Friday, August 7, 2009

Canadian State Troopers?

When I lived in Manhattan, I never drove. I walked and took the subway with the occasional ride in a yellow taxi or a black town car. That all changed when I established my primary residence in Virginia. Now I drive everywhere, including on Interstate 64 to the Richmond Airport so I can fly up to New York, Toronto and other places where I don't have to worry about being captured by dualing banjo-playing hillbillies who think I have "a reeee-al pur-dy mouth...."

When I first moved to the South, I got a real kick out of the State troopers. I found them to be pretty much just as they're portrayed on television and in the movies--close cropped haircuts, brimmed hats and, of course, mirrored sunglasses. In my third month living here, I got pulled over by a State trooper while taking my parents to the airport. My dad described our experience as "neat," considered it a highlight of his trip and still talks about it. I suppose I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been issued a $300 speeding ticket....

Maybe Canada should create its own corps of State troopers. Who patrols the Trans-Canada Highway? The RCMP? If you ask me, having a guy like this:

around would be sort of fun. I know my dad would like it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Gladiator" Or "Frank The Tank?"

I'm frustrated. My New York marketing initiative has pretty much come to an end. Some nice coversation but no mandates. None. F*ck. Things really are as bad as everyone says they are and I've got the "boots on the ground" intelligence to back it up. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck-itty f*ck.

One of my buddies in Toronto who has her own very successful boutique law practice catering to the venture capital community had this to say about my plight: "It's crazy, you're all ready to go and--well--there's nothing for you to do. It's sort of like you're a gladiator looking for the Coliseum." I think that's apt, although it's not so bad thinking of myself as this guy:

Sadly, I feel a little more like this guy:

I know the photo is a bit dark, but that's "Frank the Tank" in the midst of the famous one-man streaking scene from the movie Old School. Out in front of the crowd all by yourself? Mr. Winky flapping in the breeze? I can relate. F*ck.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day Coffee Crisp Angst

Happy Canada Day!

Today's New York Times contains an interesting article where a number of Canadians living in the United States discuss what they miss most about Canada. You can check out the article here:

I started salivating in sympathy when one of the writers mentioned that the one thing he misses most about Canada is ready access to Coffee Crisp candy bars. I hear you brother! When I first moved here, I was outraged, OUTRAGED that I couldn't find Coffee Crisps. Anywhere. Then, a couple of years ago, I spotted a box of Coffee Crisps in one of the Hudson's News stores in Grand Central. They didn't seem very popular and, after a few months, the store stopped carrying them.

On this Canada Day, let's honor a real Canadian icon--the Coffee Crisp:

Once again, Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BlackBerry Manners

There's an interesting article in today's Globe & Mail about BlackBerry etiquette. You can check the article out here:

I laughed out loud when I read that nearly twenty percent of American workers have been reprimanded for inappropriate BlackBerry conduct. Why the laughter? I'm one of them!

I got my first BlackBerry in September 2003 when my firm started rolling them out. It was love at first use! I just couldn't stop checking the thing. This became an issue during one meeting that was particularly excruciatingly boring. I kept checking my BlackBerry every few minutes to the obvious annoyance of the senior partner that I was working for who was seated to my left.

After my fourth or fifth BlackBerry check, the senior partner reached for his. He struggled a bit with the tiny keyboard but finally typed a message. He aggressively hit "send" and slammed his BlackBerry down. Less than a second later, my BlackBerry buzzed. I picked it up and noticed that my new e-mail was from the senior partner. It read: "STOP checking your e-mail."

I looked over at the senior partner. He glared at me, his arms crossed in disapproval. I gently placed my BlackBerry on the conference room table, etiquette lesson learned. Lest you think me a girly-man, here's a photo of the senior partner in question:

You'd have put your BlackBerry down too, trust me!

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Touch With My Wild Side

Recently, I've taken to watching videos on Youtube when I need a break. I just came across the video for the song "Wild Side" from Motley Crue's 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls. Here's the link to the video:

I was never that much a fan of The Crue when I was younger but I have to say that this video is AWESOME! "Wild Side" isn't just a song, it's a freakin' ANTHEM! I simply can't resist the urge to turn the volume up, WAY UP, when I watch this video. My favorite part? Tommy Lee's rotating drums! When the pyrotechnics flanking his rotating drum kit blow, I'm so amped up I emit an involuntary primal yell! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!

What's the takeaway here? Probably something like: "You can take the boy out of small town British Columbia but you can never take the small town British Columbia out of the boy!"

Inspired By Mine That Bird

Given the reference to Mine That Bird in the title of this post, you're no doubt expecting me to talk about his Canadian connection--the fact that Mine That Bird was one of the top horses in Canada when he raced at Woodbine before winning the Kentucky Derby as he is about to do in the following photo:

Although Mine That Bird's Canadian connection is a good story, it's been done to death. Instead, I'm going to recount a story about geldings, of which Mine That Bird is one.

In July 2003, I represented Verizon Wireless in connection with the sale of its 39.4% interest in Grupo Iusacell, a publicly-traded Mexican cellular telephone company. Sullivan & Cromwell acted for Vodafone which also held a significant percentage of Grupo Iusacell stock. During a lull in the kick off meeting with the acquirer and its counsel, the topic turned to horse racing.

"Oh yeah, he's a great horse--especially for a gelding," one of the business principles from the acquirer said about some horse I'd never heard of.

The immaculately coiffed, young male associate from Sullivan & Cromwell sitting across the table furrowed his brow. "What's a gelding?" he asked.

The business principle from the acquirer laughed. "Well. Hmmm, how should I put this," he said. "A gelding is a male horse who--uh, uh--whose had his testicles removed...."

"NO!" shouted the associate from Sullivan & Cromwell while involuntarily clenching his thighs and buttocks. "Why would anyone do THAT?"

The business principle grinned and explained: "Fixing male horses like that has lots of advantages. They're less aggressive and they're easier to control. They pretty much just do what they're told to do with no fuss."

The partner from Sullivan & Cromwell perked up and raised his eyebrows theatrically. "You know what?" he asked rhetorically, "maybe we should think about doing THAT to our male associates!"

Everyone in the room erupted with raucous laughter. Everyone, that is, but the associate from Sullivan & Cromwell....