Life: March 2008 Archives

Villanova Basketball: Kansas vs 'Nova

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I'm pretty excited about Villanova basketball each year, even if I don't really write about it that much.

It could be the only thing that I really liked about attending Villa-No-Fun.

Odd thing is that we all have our own version of how we see college, my experices were from 1990-1994.

See, for me, Villanova was a good educational institution, but forever marred by my social experiences there. I found 90% of the people to be stuck up snobby rich kids, with an elitist attitude that is somewhat similar to what we find with some yuppie Hobokenites.

I felt that the school treated their students like children, not adults. It was hard to party there, I remember sneaking beers into the male-only dorms and if we actually had girls at the party the RA (Resident Administrator) basically knew something was "up" and would start knocking on doors to break up the party.

Yes, i'm aware that now the dorms at Villanova are now co-ed.

Off campus, you were dependant upon your fraternity to party. I was in Delta Tau Delta, and I liked the brothers - we were an eclectic bunch of jocks, engineers, potheads and NROTC guys that loved to get hammered & goof off. Most of the sorority girls at 'Nova were a bit....cold. Except Delta Gamma, they were always the fun girls as I remember. Tri Delts and Kappa Kappa Gamma wouldn't give us the time of day.

So wouldn't you know it, I was bartending a few weeks back, and I get a couple of guys at the bar, and we are talking. One said he was from Philly....I mention my 'Nova connection, and they all perk up, giving me high fives - they were Villanova alumni.

We then get on the subject of fraternities, and wouldn't you know it....they are Delts, too.

More high fives and laughter.

They were younger than me. And I start to lay into Villanova, like I usually do, about the things I hated about it. The looks they give me are ones of "What? You didn't have FUN?"

I ask them, "Wait, you partied at...VILLANOVA?"

They are all like, "Hell yea. It was great!" They went on to tell me about some of the parties they had. I tell them a few stories of my own, like the time I decided to light my pants on fire.

Well, at least we all agreed that we enjoyed watching Villanova basketball.

This Friday i'll be over at Mulligan's watching Villanova getting trounced by Kansas at 9:40. Ok, ok. Maybe Villanova can pull the upset, but i'm a Philly fan, for crying out loud. We get miracles like once every 100 years, and the last one was in 1985 with Villanova vs Georgetown.

The guys from Bud Light emailed me to say that Mulligan's are having $2 pints, $10 Buckets & $8 Pitchers of Bud & Bud Light both Thursday & Friday nights during the games (7p-1am). That's always fun.

Ego and Self Worth On The Internet

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I always find the definition of self-worth fascinating, especially in a town like Hoboken.

The definition of self worth is basically the way that a person perceives themself, their social standing (importance) amongst their peers, based on various factors. Some factors are tangible, and some are intangible. Some people could care less, but in a fucked up town like Hoboken, I notice that a lot of people get caught up in making themselves feel important.

Like, for example, money is a barometer for many people as their definition of self worth. The more money someone has, the more important they feel. They buy nice clothes, and feel better about themselves. They buy an expensive car or a beautiful home. Surrounding themselves with luxuries isn't merely for the pleasure of ownership, but the psychological impact of owning it. Why buy a Rolex when a Citizen tells the same time? Or when someone buys a wedding ring for their fiance, they want to spend as much as possible to say "THIS IS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU?" or is it really "THIS IS HOW MUCH MONEY I MAKE AND LET ME SHOW OFF YOU AS MY PRIZE". Shallow? Of course. How many women do you really know that will forgo an expensive wedding ring, and use that money with their soon to be husband towards their first house?

Another example is a power. Working for the city may not pay as much as someone on Wall Street, but there are perks to being connected in Hoboken, and the bloated egos that go along with it. You don't have to be rich, look at a police officer as an example. How many perks do you think a cop has in their life? At the recent St. Patrick's Day Parade, I heard that an off-duty cop from another county flashed a badge at a bouncer, in order to get their friend, who was waiting in line, into a bar. Think about that. In that police officer's mind - they were a cop and had MORE AUTHORITY than "regular people" to bypass the rules. How often do you think a cop gets a free pass from other police officers on traffic tickets or if they are caught on other minor infractions? Or the police, while off duty, are given free rounds at his local pub by nervous owners who want to keep the police "on their side".

There's people who don't have money, and they don't have power, but they define their self worth by other factors, like intelligence:


  • "The Insider": There are various kinds of insiders, like the music insider, a cynical artsy emo-kid who knows every up-and-coming band on the music scene working at places like The Frozen Monkey, and feels superior to those "in the rat race". Or the political insider, who is privy to the "behind the scenes" world of politics and feels like his knowledge makes them more powerful. The "hipster insiders" are the people who go to Last Night's Party, hang out with Cobrasnake and are pals with MisShapes, sipping on their soy chai teas while looking at gawker.com.
  • "The Professor": Super intelligent, bookish smart people who pat themselves on the back with their hefty IQ, and education. Some may have money or power, and some may not. Either way, they pride themselves in being smarter than everyone else. Maybe they went to an Ivy League school and will put down people with quips like, "I bet Joe on Wall Street didn't get a job like me because of years of {enter schooling here}, but because his daddy is a Director at Goldman." There's plenty of Professors that didn't go to great schools, or even have great jobs, but thrive on the IDEA that they are smarter than everyone else and therefore their self-worth is intact.
  • "Street Smart Local Unionist": There's plenty of people out there who didn't get a great job, don't have a great education, mommy and daddy didn't get them a condo in Hoboken, and they don't have any city connections, but pride themselves on their street (or local) credibility. They sneer at the local yuppies, laugh at the Barry Bond HGH gym rats and don't know Gawker.com from GAP.com. They look at life like it's a war, and they have survived because of their quick thinking and scrappiness, working a job as an electrician, plumber, machinist, or construction - connected to other union types and other "organizations", if ya know what i'm gettin' at, cump.

Or maybe physical charms:


  • "Steroid Guy": Probably has one of those tribal tattoos around their big bicep, lifts 7 days a week, probably at one point claims to have played high-school or college sports. They look down on others because of their superior strength, showing off their six-pack to people and feeling better about themselves.
  • "The Beauty Queen": She's the ball of the dance who is working as a 1st grade kindergarten teacher or a secretary (oops, sorry, administrative assistant), who may or may not have a college education (even if she does, she really went to college to get a M.R.S. degree, but wouldn't admit that to anyone). She pride herself on her good looks, often reminding people about when she was a cheerleader or how many boyfriends she had in her youth. She feels superior even if she's not educated or has a good job, she knows she's better than YOU because she is (or was) pretty.
  • "The Stud": Similar to the Beauty Queen, except defines his self worth by his sexual prowess, and probably working a job in sales or is a struggling actor (while working as a waiter). He prides himself on his boyish charm, good looks and ability to always pick up a girl at the bar. He may not be making a tremendous amount of money, but he sure gets lots of attention from women, which he loves.

So now if you take the above into account first, then, in Hoboken, there exists a certain hierarchy amongst the locals, the Born and Raised (BnR). Basically it goes like this:

1. Do you live in Hoboken, own a home and pay residential taxes.
2. Do you work or own a business in Hoboken (and pay commericial taxes).
3. How many years you lived in Hoboken.
4. Do you and/or other members of your family work for the City of Hoboken (i.e. City Hall, police, firemen, etc).
5. Were you were born and raised in Hoboken.
6. The number of generations your family has lived Hoboken.

What's the point to everything I wrote? Why do an exercise in trying to understand ego and self-worth?

I just find it fascinating, for starters. I will readily admit that I certainly fit into some of the criteria described above, I certainly pride myself on a decent job, my fitness and the fact I own a home. I don't write this entry to somehow act like i'm above all this, i'm not. I'm a human being with human insecurities, ego and failings.

The point to writing it was nothing more than an exercise in understanding our self. Maybe you are reading this and thinking "Furey is writing about me!" - yes and no. I'm writing about me, what I see from online local message boards, hear people talk about in the bar or just observe.

Think about when an arguement starts on a message board (like Hoboken411 or Hobokenchat) or even behind friend's back in email flaming. What are the common ways that people puff up their chests and boast their self worth. I always read things boasting or put downs:

"I have more money."
"I have a better job."
"I lived in Hoboken longer."
"I have had more boyfriends/girlfriends/lovers."
"They are a fat slob."
"They are an ugly short troll."

Yadda yadda yadda.

I'm sure that Hoboken isn't unique. I'm sure the definition of self worth doesn't end when you leave Hoboken for the Land Of Suburbia...the definition of self worth probably transfers from self-worth to "Family Pride". Where your kids go to school, what grades they get, are they on student council or play a sport...it doesn't end.

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