What a Month! It’s Ben (October 2023) — Office, New York, & Halloween

publishedabout 1 month ago
5 min read

Happy (belated) Halloween!

I started October by moving into an office with The Meat Mafia team, followed that up with a ten-day trip to Connecticut and New York City, and capped off the month with Halloween celebrations. Let’s dive in 😊

The Meat Mafia Office

The Meat Mafia got our own dedicated office!

And it’s absolutely perfect for us. It’s a ~1,000-square-foot one-story house that’s zoned as an office. It’s got character, a great kitchen, a room we can convert into a podcast studio, and a massive backyard that caters well to both events and the company dog. It’s a block from our favorite farm-to-table restaurant (Intero), a block from one of our favorite barbecue spots (La Barbecue), and across the street from a smoothie shop (Juiceland).

It’s also a ten-minute walk from my new home in East Austin, which is a fantastically nice perk to tack on as well.

Despite having the funds for an office, we did not have funds to properly furnish said office. So on move-in day, one of my teammates and I drove to Walmart and bought 3 plastic tables and 10 folding chairs to serve as (hopefully) placeholders.

One month in and the vibes have been fantastic.

We’re now a team of 12 (7 full-time and 5 part-time) — 9 of whom are in Austin and regularly pop into the space. And during our second week, we hosted a BYOS party (Bring Your Own Steak, of course) and had 40 friends of the brand roll through for an evening of grilling and chilling.

I’m proud of how we’ve grown the business since I joined six months ago. It’s honestly pretty surreal that we have an office of our own — and one that has so many people on payroll that come through. It also means added pressure: we have mouths to feed and rent payments to make. But we’ve got great people and now a central hub bustling with energy and I’m excited to see where we take things from here!

Wedding in Greenwich

In the summer of 2015 I lived in Tel Aviv in a maybe 1,000-square-foot apartment with 10 roommates and two bathrooms and it was an absolute blast.

Eight years later one of those roommates, Ethan, got married in Greenwich, Connecticut and me and five of my other friends from that summer were on hand to celebrate.

My flight to JFK was five hours delayed so I rolled up a bit late to the Friday night rehearsal dinner — but still in time for dinner to be served and to have a great time catching up the homies.

On Saturday morning I realized that all of those friends also happened to be groomsmen and had groomsmen-related activities scheduled up until the ceremony. So I hit the town with the girlfriends, grabbing lunch, shopping, and getting my first-ever pedicure (men: it does in fact feel amazing and I would highly recommend it).

The wedding ceremony was beautiful and the reception went all out. Killer band, killer vibes, killer food, and a lively dance floor. For my one friend it was his first-ever Jewish wedding. Toward the end of the night he said to me: “Is this how all Jewish weddings are? This is the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to!” And all I could do was smile and tell him, “Absolutely not.”

Ethan and Lauren are so fun and full of life, and their wedding fit them perfectly. Mazel Tov to the beautiful couple and thank you for including me on your special day 😊

Eagles vs. Jets

On Sunday morning I woke up in my Greenwich hotel room and jetted off (pun not intended?) to MetLife Stadium to watch the Eagles play the Jets (now parentheses number one should make a tad bit more sense).

I’ve been a lifelong Eagles fan (as a Chicagoan this tends to catch people by surprise) and had two separate friends who were attending the game, so the day before I felt compelled to buy a ticket.

At 1pm I strolled through the tailgate grounds with my bulky rolling suitcase and joined my friend Brendon at a tailgate with his friends and sister (while also stashing my suitcase in their rental car).

I then popped over and joined my high school buddy Graham (a recent Eagles convert thanks to his girlfriend) for a wild tailgate experience full of fervent Jets fans (and that included a Jalen Hurts jersey-burning celebration).

We popped into the stadium minutes before kickoff and hung out and watched the game. With four minutes left and the Eagles up two, Brendon tapped me and let me know that he was driving back to beat traffic. And with him both having my suitcase and playing host for the night, I sort of had to comply. Which at the time I was quite upset about until 1) the Jets scored and won the game and 2) I heard from Graham how terrible the traffic out wound up being.

The Eagles are now 7-1 on the year and so I must be bad luck but despite the loss I had a great time and Go Birds! 🦅

New York City

Since I was already in the general New York area, I decided to extend my trip a week to hang out in New York City. I broke into WeWorks by day (four separate ones, in fact) and grabbed dinner and drinks by night. I got some pickleball in on Saturday, but outside of that, it was largely a week of simply eating good, drinking good, and hanging out with friends.

Life in Austin

My life in Austin has been crazy active lately. I’ve hit Monday HIIT class, the Meat Mafia Tuesday morning jog, hot yoga, spin class, and Sunday evening beach volleyball.

Beach volleyball has been a particularly fun addition to my life. Beyond genuinely enjoying volleyball, I’ve loved the people that I’m meeting and the community around it.

This past weekend I celebrated Halloween by dressing up as the DJ Marc Rebillet. I hit two house parties on Friday and then headed to a local pub with my friends Kyle and Amber. No one at the pub was dressed for Halloween and when Amber took offer her angler fish headset and Kyle took off his apron full of bread (he has red hair and so he was the ‘Ginger Bread Man’) they looked quite normally dressed as well, and so I stuck out like a sore thumb playing pool in my red silk llama bathrobe.

On Saturday I hit two more house parties and then an after-hours spot to cap off the night. It was fun and exhausting and I slept most of Sunday (until volleyball, that is).

My favorite costume of the weekend was Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan, where the girl actually brought a wheelchair to the party to sell the getup.

Otherwise — my costume got me shaving my facial hair and so now I’m trying the mustache and soul patch thing and honestly I’m kind of digging it. Is this a keeper? Let me know what you think 🤔

Monthly Favorites

🎵 Song: On My Mama by Victoria Monét — Smooth. Vibe-y. Old school feel with a new school twist. I’ve long said my favorite genre of music is “anything with a horn in it” and this song validates that take strongly.

📝 Articles: Well I’ve made it this long without mentioning Israel-Palestine, but I’ve certainly been consuming a good amount of content about the tragedies going on over there. These are two pieces of writing in particular that have stood out to me about the current conflict:

  • Thoughts on Israel and Gaza by Barack Obama — It’s short and to the point and pragmatic and sensible and well-worth reading.
  • My Old Friend Is Ripping Down Posters of Kidnapped Children by Candace Mittel Kahn — Written by my friend Jeff Kahn’s wife and published by The Free Press, this is a beautiful piece about a Jewish mother’s response to seeing a video of an old college friend tear down posters of kidnapped Israeli children.

🎥 Video: nothing, except everything. by Wesley Wang — Wesley Wang wrote and filmed ‘nothing, except everything.’ during his senior year of high school and this 13-minute short film is an absolute masterpiece that I highly recommend y’all check out.

Thanks for reading! As always, if anything I shared resonated with you, I’d love for you to shoot me a reply 😊

Til Next Month,


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