About that web series I mentioned…

File this under big things are about to happen

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m in the beginning of stages of creating a web series with a great group of people.

I struggle with finishing things sometimes, mostly because of anxiety. You may remember this chart:

I'm bad at finishing things

Well, one thing that can really reduce that anxiety for me is teaming up with people that actually get things done. I’m incredibly pumped right now to be teamed up with the guys that made this short film. I think it’s really great.

Especially the part where they finished it and put it up on the internet.

More personalized thank you drawings for my amazing and talented readers

I’ve been working furiously through the holiday season to get to each and everyone of my devout readers.  Many of whom will never see these since they ignore my posts.  Regardless, I hope that you enjoy them and try not to get mad if I haven’t gotten to you yet. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, it merely means that I haven’t figured out an offensive yet somehow still inoffensive way to say thanks.  Your time will come (except for the one person who “unliked” me since yesterday.  I hope that person suffers a horrible stubbed toe today).

A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com

A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com

A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com
A thank you drawing by Rob Pollak robpollak.com

A Reflection on my 2012 Goals that I’m Retroactively Setting for Myself Right Now

Around Thanksgiving of last year, I set out to write a blog post reviewing my accomplishments from 2011 and setting my goals for 2012.  I never got around to it though, because just the thought of embarking on such a task sent me into a tailspin of creative blocks and self-loating that lasted for the rest of my life.  Or at least until my mom sent me on a yogic retreat intended for women experiencing midlife crises.

But now that a year has passed, my creative blocks have disappeared, and my outlook on life has shifted from severe cynicism to just mildly severe cynicism, it seems like a perfect time to reflect on 2012 and retroactively set the goals that I might have imagined for myself a year ago.  Then, I can reflect on how successful I was at achieving those goals.


Goal 1:  Set attainable goals for myself and then periodically measure my progress.

Damnit!  How can I fail at retroactive goals, you moron?  All I have to do is list out all of my achievements for the year and pretend that they were my goals and then I’ll feel really great about myself.  But nooooo, instead the first one I list is an utter failure.  Damn you mildly severe cynicism!

Okay.  Start over.  Goal number two can be to use the rest of this blog post to imagine what 2011 me might have written on New Year’s Eve 2011 for present me to reflect upon in a hilarious blog post that present me would write while wearing jeans that he had not washed for the entirety of the year.

–A brief aside:  Disregarding for a second that what I am about to say addresses a topic that most certainly has a correct answer, and that I am not sure whether I fall on the good side or bad side of that answer, or that I don’t care about which side I am, here’s something that’s bothering me:  

      I hate people that use the word “an” instead of the word “a” before a word that starts with H and has a hard H sound.  That’s why I said “a hilarious” not “an hilarious.”  I would also say “an hour” because I don’t say “an how-er,” I say “an ow-er.”  Ow starts with a vowel.  How doesn’t.  Did I make this more confusing because hour and how both start with Hs?  How would one spell the sound a hard H makes?  Eight-ch?  Speaking of eight-ch, who decided that g and h should go together?  Ghod?  Probably not, right?  Any way, this whole thought process is giving me an headache.  It’s a probably as ghood a time as any to return to the list of failures goals I set for 2012. 


Goal 2:  Run the New York City Marathon

In December of last year, I had hit the nadir of my running life.

graphUnless nadir means top, in which case I mean zenith.  So in an effort to get back in the game and enjoy running again, I came up with an elaborate plan:

Step 1: I forced myself to run the NYC half marathon (check)

Step 2:  I swore I would run my personal record time for that race (check)

Step 3:  Right now, I amended step two to clarify the the word “record” could mean either the fastest or slowest time I’d ever run.  Both would be records, right?  (nailed it!) (suck it mildly severe cynicism!)

Step 4:  While on the 45 minute walk home from the finish line, shivering from the cold, dehydrated, hating running and myself, thinking of nothing other than how I never wanted to ever run ever again in my life for any reason whatsoever, decide that I should definitely run the New York City marathon this year.   (check)

Step 5:  Cancel my entry for the marathon even though canceling does not benefit in me in any way.  It is a courtesy to the New York Road Runners so that they can plan their race accordingly and order one less water.

Step 6:  Have ING and NYRR cancel the marathon and allow all entrants to run the race in a future year!  Except for those who canceled their entry as a courtesy to ING and NYRR.

So, I’m doubly screwed.  Since even if I had spent the entire year training for the marathon my dreams would have been shattered, I am calling this one a win!  Mission accomplished, MF’ers!  I’m a marathoner!


Goal 3:  Visit the gym 120 times.

120 visits has been a steady goal of mine since 2008, when I first joined fancy pants Equinox on a whim.  I remember it well because Anne and I had just moved to the Upper West Side, and we both agreed that me joining the fancier (but closer & eucalyptus towel sporting) gym would most likely turn out to be an enormous waste of money.  But I was really lazy, so I disregarded our collective common sense and signed up for Equinox with the promise that I would make sure to visit 120 times for the year.  An impossible goal to achieve, but one that would justify the cost.

Turns out that it worked!  Maybe it was the eucalyptus towels, maybe it was the angle of the mirrors that made me appear slightly less pudgy than I really was, or maybe it was the layout of the locker room in the Connecticut gyms that ensures every other guy will walk nude for an extremely inappropriate distance before grabbing a towel.  No one can be sure.

Whatever it was that got me 120 times in 2008 did not help me this year, when I only had 110 visits.  Why even bother?   I did some research on this, and for optimal results, you should be working out 2 hours a day.  At least according to science:

How many days should i work out    Yahoo  Answers

How many days should i work out    Yahoo  Answers

Goal 4:  Write a blog post that is published by an online media outlet that shares a name with an animal typically found in zoos:

Whoa!  Nailed this one.  Great job, 2012 Rob!:


Readers, I’ll need your help to achieve a related goal in 2013.  Even after a really great day, fewer people viewed my article than viewed an article titled, “Your ugly vagina is normal and gorgeous.”  So if you want to make me more popular than an ugly vagina, then share my link!  By the way, I’m not linking to the ugly VJJ article for obvious reasons.  (the obvious reason being that you will click and then it will continue to rack up more views than my article).

Goal 5:  Build up my blog a little bit and then lose all of my followers.

Wait, that doesn’t seem like something 2011 me would set out to do.  Oh, ok 2012 Rob.  Then why mention an article about ugly vaginas?  You’re going to drive everyone away.  Or will I?  Google Analytics says that in 2012 the search term that most often directed people to my blog was “Jamaican Penis?”  (This is the space where I am providing a link to the post about Jamaica so no one has to click on a link with the word penis [but if you like clicking on penises, then this is for you: 8======> ) (FYI if you’re reading this mom – that’s internet slang for a picture of a penis).  So if you’ve found me through either of these search terms, Welcome!  Bienvenue!  Bonvenon!  G’Day!  And if that offended you, I’m sorry to see you go.  But at least I won’t have to draw any more thank you pictures.  See ya suckers.

Goal 6:  Eat 200 pints of ice cream.

Finally!  I totally nailed this one.  And not only did I accomplish it, I completed the whole thing by February.


Up next – My goals for 2013…if I get around to it.



Guys – My plan is coming together!

As Polexia Aprhodisia once said in Almost Famous, “It’s all happening.”  One of my blog posts was picked up by a MAJOR media source.  

Click the link so they think I’m really great.  Alternatively, you can now run a google search for “Rob Pollak – Elephant” and the results won’t be pictures from my sophomore year of college anymore!

Help me resolve a fight I had with my dad

SPOILER ALERT —  In keeping with the spirit of this post, details of the final round of the British Open Golf Championship may be revealed below.  If you plan to watch the final round on DVR and have been avoiding contact with all people, news sources, and internet feeds other than my blog, be warned that you should stop reading now.  Thank you for considering my blog irresistible despite those attempts.

Yesterday, my dad and I had a major fight.  As is advised in all domestic disputes, I’m turning to the Internet for a speedy and just resolution.  My goal is to receive a completely fair and impartial decision, so I will present the story as neutrally as possible.  


This dispute involves two individuals: “Person A” and his father, “Person B.”  For ease of reference, I’ve selected random names for the two people.  I’ll call Person A “SONNY” and Person B “POPS.”  On July 22, 2012, Sonny and Pops were playing a round of golf.  At the outset of the round, Pops referenced the final round of the British Open Golf Championship.  Sonny immediately said, “I’m DVR’ing the final round.  I don’t want to know anything about it.  I’m really looking forward to watching it when I get home.  It would mean a lot to me if you didn’t say anything at all about the tournament.  I love golf, and other than playing golf with you, Dad, watching the British Open is my favorite thing in the world.”  

The Incident:

After the fifteenth hole, Sonny and Pops were reflecting on their enjoyable round.  Sonny said, “Pops, it’s so great to be out here with you on such a beautiful day.  We sure are living the good life.”  Pops grunted some form of agreement or disagreement.  His intent was not clear because while Sonny was thanking his father profusely for the round of golf, Pops was reading the internet on his smartphone, which the country club explicitly bans from use during the round.  Sonny then said, “I love you, Pops.”  But Pops was too distracted by some fascinating detail on his phone, and he did not respond.

When they reached the sixteenth tee box a short while later, Sonny placed his peg in the ground and began his pre-shot routine.  Just as Sonny was about to address his ball and hit an incredibly difficult tee shot, Pops shouted an interruption.  ”WAIT!”  he screamed out, sending a resounding echo through the hollows of historic Silvermine Golf Club.

Sonny backed off of the ball, already slightly annoyed to be torn from his pre-shot routine.  Pops said to the group, “I know you guys don’t want to know anything about the British Open….But….”  At this point, Sonny and another member of the foursome protested.  ”No, Pops.  Don’t tell us anything.”  Pops insisted that he was not providing any information that was going to ruin the DVR’ed viewing experience.  Sonny, however, was furious about knowing even this small piece of information.  In his (most likely correct and supported by the internet) view, Sonny interpreted Pops to mean one of the following things:

  1. Adam Scott did not win in resounding fashion.
  2. It was going to get exciting and close at the end of the round.
  3. Tiger Woods either did something special or something atrocious.  (Not in that way, pervs)
  4. There was a playoff.

Sonny surmised that Pops was going to say, “I know you don’t want to know anything but you’re in for a good show.”  He also has known Pops long enough to know that Pops is incapable of having a piece of information he wants to share with you and not sharing it.  The second he opened his mouth, I felt like this:


The Outcome:

Sonny returned from a great day on the golf links feeling grateful that he got to spend a beautiful day out in nature with his dad.  For the next 6-9 hours, he did not move from his position on the couch, except to eat ice cream, which if you have read his blog before you know he struggles with.   With just four holes to play, Adam Scott had a commanding lead and was a 98% favorite to win the British Open.  But Sonny had an uneasy feeling about Scott’s chances.  

Sure enough, Scott went on to bogey the last four holes, and Ernie Els hoisted the trophy. Unfortunately, Pops didn’t even provide the information early enough for Sonny to win $32,000, like this guy did.

The Resolution:

So what do you say, Internet?  Should Pops have respected the rules of his golf club, not checked his phone, avoided any details about the British Open and not even started to say anything to Sonny?  Or should he have waited just a short few hours and allowed Sonny to have a wonderful, spoiler free afternoon of European Golf and then discussed the tournament then?