Monday, February 27, 2006

In the time it takes to consume one warm diet dr. pepper...

I will update the world on the status of Team Newyorkistan. For one thing, I had a very interesting dinner on Saturday night with my family, in which the Persian contigent suggested strongly that we consider the Southern Route of the Rally. Paul being the voice of reason suggested we give some consideration to the geopolitical game of Russian Roulette that may entail. On the other hand, my cousin mentioned this morning that it may be a great deal more puffery by Bush and Ahmedinejad than actual possibilities of invasion, and that big words are all for the benefit of the American and Iranian media, respectively. On that mutated third hand though, is the reality that I would have to wear a hijab when travelling through Iran, and unless Paul and I get married at the Turkish border and then an annullment upon arrival in Turkmenistan, we may not actually be able to travel together in a car. Holy crap - the things to consider. Basically, what I'm saying is, that the toppings too are cursed. Comments/advice/help?! Please post.

And now for something completely different. You are the people who are going to make Team Newyorkistan happen, so. . . what kind of Mongol Rally fundraising event would you be interested in attending? Efforts are underway to slap something (17 things?) together to raise money, but we'd like to hear from you the reader about what would float your boat.

Possibilities for you to consider:
Cocktail hour at a bar in Manhattan
Karaoke night

An auction

Friday, February 24, 2006

Matthews Family Represent!

Here's to Raven - thank you so much for donating to the cause! While you may not believe we're doing this, you know damn well what a BAD influence your kid sister is on me, and well, how the whole Matthews family just enables us to do wild and wacky things.

All I can say is that this year at the Matthews Family Christmas, you know it's going to be all about the random crap I can bring back from Uzbekistan.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Your Body's a Dream That Turns Violent.

And that's the way I like it, that's the way I like it.

Not twenty minutes ago I was sitting in his car, driving back to Brooklyn, espousing the virtues of Ben Lee. The virtues of cracked out power pop. Let this be a post-it in your mind (and especially yours, sir). I Need to Download A Copy of Ben Lee's song, "Catch My Disease". Now. go and do it, and it will bring you three minutes of pure pop happiness. Trust me, I know what I speak of.

Besides getting more in the way of moral and financial support for this ridiculous endeavor, today was everything a full day should have. Start work at 6:00am? Check. Run around frantic (while sitting planted at a desk, of course) trying to save (I Kid You Not) a public pay phone? You bet. Get to see a friend who I should kick myself for not actively trying to spend more time with because this person clearly kicks ass? Uh-huh. (bonus check points you've held this person in high esteem for wearing a blue seersucker suit in summer). Were you faced with a challenge to this new and ridiculous goal you've set for yourself? Something that made you sit at your desk, and shake, visibly, audibly, in working out for yourself whether you ought to continue on the path you've set, or take what's behind door #2?

Screw door #2. I'm going to Mongolia.


Strange world we live in

Audrey and I only met on January 25th of this very year, but our lives have at times run parallel. Audrey's father and my mother, both in the medical field, seem to have crossed paths at some point (not sure when, but according to my mother's foggy recollections, they did.) We were also both devotees of the greatest high school club ever, Model United Nations, Audrey in New Hyde Park Memorial and myself in Floral Park. The advisor emeritus of New Hyde Park Memorial's MUN club, Lee Marcus, is apparently quite enthused about our venture; he is also heading off on vacation to South America, which is where I just returned from. Best wishes for a pleasant time to him.

What have I learned so far from the Mongol Rally? It's all connected, everyone and everything. At least, when you live in Floral Park/New Hyde Park, it is.

Wherever and whatever our fundraising events are, they are going to own. You will get owned just by attending. That's how good it will be. Guaranteed. Stay tuned for more info.


John M. Lundin Comes Through! Again!

Thanks to our most recent sponsor of Team Newyorkistan, John M. Lundin, who put us 500 bucks closer to our goal of Ulan Bataar this August! I might mention that I have actually stopped counting the number of times that JML has saved my butt over the years. It's basically a daily occurrence. He's the man you want to know.

But this raises a question - being that the sponsors get to slap stickers all over our TBA car - what should John's sticker say?

Post all suggestions!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006


My optimism is being further fueled by our most
recent donation of GBP 50 from the mysterious "Clyde
and etc.," who is in line for not only our sincere
thanks, but one of our very awesome t-shirts, when
they are made and ready to be given out. Clyde and et
cetera, wherever you are, sincerest thanks. Your 50
quid probably just got us over the Urals.

Audrey thinks you might be Leslie Levine. Please confirm/deny. audrey /s/


The Crap Car Adventure!

Well, friends, I have to say that I am pretty excited
about how this thing is going so far. Donations are
coming in already and our website has received quite a
few compliments. My colleague Audrey is nothing short
of a powerhouse, and I am honored to be the other half
of her team (and it is her team; I'm more of a
passenger or, alternately, the cow that will be sent
if we can't find a real one.)

Audrey and I have tossed around the idea of a
fundraiser for Team Newyorkistan. Since Newyorkistan
cannot charge you $100 for a tourist visa (as can, for
example, Kyrgyzstan), we have to hold fundraisers. (We
can still put a stamp in your passport...but it will
have to be our own stamp.) So, ideas for venues,
events, and gimmicky stuff that we will give away are
being discussed; the Newyorkistan t-shirt will be a
handsome one that will show your support of the Team.

Just one hundred and fifty days until Paul and Audrey
roll out of London...there is much to be done, let's
make them count!

Thank you Michael and Lizardbreath!

On our first day of fundraising, we met a full 10% of our fundraising goals, thanks to Lizardbreath, of the blog, and Michael Matthews, of For Shore Weed Control. A random mix, true, but I know them both well, and when we have the return from Mongolia partay, I know they'll get on like a house on fire. Until then, there are links to their respective websites/blogs on this page. Check em out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's All Sarah Grafman's Fault

One day, I get an email with a link to the Chuck Norris fact generator from Sarah. Haha, right? Spend a few seconds at work learning how Chuck Norris' chest hair has chest hair. The next day I get another email, with a similarly throwaway link, to something called the Mongol Rally (, to which I was surely supposed to reply, funnyhaha, now where were those subpoenas I was working on? But that didn't happen. Instead, I got stuck, staring at the strangely blue waters of the Kyrgyz lakes in all the photos from last year, and the snow capped mountains, the desert, and it was all I could think about, for a few days. Could it happen? Would I die of bird flu? That turned into, how could I possibly not go?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It is recognized that you have a funny sense of fun.

Hello and Welcome to the Long Island/NYC contingent of the 2006 Mongol Rally.

Paul Hanson and Audrey Roofeh - Team Newyorkistan - are driving in whatever beat up, hilariously underpowered excuse for a car that we can win in a poker game, and we're taking that baby from London, through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, back to Kazakstan! Back to Russia! and Bam! Mongolia, where apparently, we'll be on our own, because every single map that exists for this country is wrong. I have this on good authority. Furthermore, this ain't no Paris to Dakar - there's no crying to yo mama support team if you get lost or stranded - it's me, Paul, our charm and USD to get us through. We hope to blog our way through it all for those who remain tethered to their desks.