Saturday, August 30, 2008

So the local club across the street is slapstick awful...

Quick update...

I explored another new neighborhood the other night, the Meatpacking District. It's supposed to be this ubertrendy area with upscale bars...

While wandering around, I'm about 95-100 percent certain I walked by Tim Meadows, from SNL,... so that was kind of neat. The "Lady's Man" was out with a lady friend.

The Meatpacking District was alright, I could see it being more fun with a group of people.

I didn't stay out too late, so when I got home the club across from my apartment was still open. I still hadn't checked it out yet, so I wandered over,

Oh my God was it lame. They try to project this fancy image, but it was the saddest thing I've seen since coming to the city. The worse part is that there is a line out there on a lot of nights... It's also only open on weekend nights, which is kind of odd. I wonder how they stay in business, but I probably don't want to know...

Anyway, so I walk to the front door and a bouncer in a full suit cards me. Then I go inside, and there are two more bouncers and a girl taking money.

They tell me there's a $20 cover. Ha! I ask if that was every night or if tonight was special... they tell me that's every night.

I kindly tell them that I have no interest in paying a $20 cover. As I start leaving, they say I can go in for free... (I think they were just trying to fleece me for cash, but they epic failed... I sincerely doubt they usually charge $20 admission).

Next I get a full pat down for weapons, an odd little surprise, then I go through a big curtain to the club... the very, very empty club. It was dark and had loud Spanish music playing, which makes sense... but there was nobody dancing or anything.

There were a couple pairs of people at the bar, and that was about it. There was more staff than clubgoers.

It gets better. I figure, that I'd order at least one drink and see how things play out. I order a rum and coke and just chill. It was the worst drink I've ever had. I couldn't even finish half of it. I guess it was just clear rum on the rocks with a splash of cola... I don't even know. It was just gross.

After a while, I gave up on sipping my nasty beverage and asked to cash out.

$12! For one rum and coke. Who'd have thought the most expensive drink I've found in the city so far would be an awful rum and coke at a feaux trendy dance club in my little Dominican neighborhood.

I actually chuckled when she told me.

Heck, the actual trendy club I went to in the fancy pants Meatpacking District wasn't nearly that expensive. I got a Maker's Mark and an import beer and it came to $14 for the two... and people were saying the drinks were expensive on the cruise, hehe.

Also, I found a bar in SoHo that has free beer-cooked hot dogs on Wednesdays... so you know where I'll be Wednesdays. They were actually pretty good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mayor... Weiner?

One of the front-runners for New York City's mayoral race is Rep. Anthony Weiner, and since I have the sense of humor of a child, I think that's hilarious.

Despite, in theory, having a job to do in the House of Representatives, he's been actively gunning for the office since at least before I got here... out campaigning like crazy. At first it was for himself and Hillary Clinton, but once she dropped out, he focused solely on the mayorship.

I've been chuckling to myself every time I see a story about him campaigning in one of the papers.

I can only imagine the fun the New York Post would have if he was mayor.

After all, they brought us such masterpiece headlines as "Ho-Broken!" (about a rich New Jersey guy cheating on his wife with the hooker that brought down
Gov. Spitzer) and "Peking Yuck" (about the poor air quality at the Olympics).

Heck, the Post calls Mayor Bloomberg "Bloomie" in a lot of their headlines, I wonder if they would they call Weiner "Weenie"...? I know, I'm a third-grader at heart.

Plus, as a bonus, if you want to keep up to date on his doings you can sign up for the "Weiner Report." Seriously? For all I know, that sight might be blocked at work.

He campaigns in a "mobile office" that he calls the "Weinermobile." (I didn't make that up.) In reality, it's an SUV with a sticker/magnet on the side that he calls a mobile office so he can get away with illegally parking where ever he wants... but whatever I guess.

If he campaigned in a real weinermobile, I would totally vote for him... well, not really, but I would joke about it at least.

I guess it could be worse for him...

"The people of America have spoken, and they're saying they want four more years of Douchebag!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I had fun this weekend, but it looks like I missed out on some Central Park fun...

So I had originally planned to go to Central Park a couple times this weekend to jog and explore, but instead I got lazy and mostly drank the weekend away... which was tons of fun, but apparently I missed topless day at Central Park! (NSFW)

I really did have plans to spend most of the weekend exploring the park and getting familiar with it... oh well. Win some, lose some I guess. It would have been the perfect excuse to be gross and jog topless too. Maybe it's best that I didn't end up at topless day... as things like that have ended poorly in the past.

As has become normal when I've been lazy and not posting too often, I'll do bullets...

* Friday night I went barhopping around Columbia, which is in the Upper West Side (just not nearly as "way upper" as where I am. It was interesting, and I swear the couple next to me at the first bar was a professor and a student. It was an old WASPy looking dude and a 19-year-old looking Asian girl. That was totally a "Law and Order: SVU" episode waiting to happen.

* Saturday was the Upper East Side with MM. We went to this piano bar where we ran into an uber-celebrity! He's so huge... I didn't even know who he was. That's a whole new strata of celebritude. It was Doug Wilson! Yeah, THE Doug Wilson.

Apparently he's on "Trading Spaces" on TLC.

I would have had no idea who he was, except another guy at the bar excitedly asked me "Is that Doug Wilson from 'Trading Spaces' over there!"

I think I said something to the effect of "I have no idea, but I bet he knows, let me ask..."

He was a friendly guy, I think he was a regular there.

* Another bar we went to was kind of interesting... as soon as I walked in the guy who had been playing the bongo drum grabbed me and sat me down at the bongo and said "play." Play I did, just some sort of random beat that hopefully had something to do with the beat (though most likely not... the night was well underway at that point).

I must have been really loud though, because my fingers are like bruised... weird. They also had a hula-hoop competition... I did not win. I know, you're shocked.

I chatted up the owners for a bit, asking them where they recommend in Chinatown... turns out they were from Taiwan and loathe Chinatown - oops. Again, win some, lose some, right?

* Then we went to a new bar and watched the men's basketball gold medal match... while closer than it should have been, we still dominated. The only takeaway from the game is that Pao Gasol is a complete beeyatch. Word.

* I really should start carrying my camera around... but I've said that before. This weekend I heard "Beat It" blaring at the subway station and a big crowd had gathered, so I check it out and sure enough there's midget dressed up in full MJ garb, with the white glove and everything moonwalking around the station.

It was basically the same as this clip, except a midget in that outfit, and fewer people, and just a boombox, and no spotlights or special effects, and it probably smelled worse, and... well, the only things that were the same were the outfit and the creepy factor.

* The other strange sight was a man walking near Chinatown around lunchtime today wearing a sandwich sign covered in too many words to possibly make any sense, like "Bloomberg," "school," "Child-torture" and about thirty other random words. He kept hitting a cowbell and chanting "Arrest Bloomberg. Arrest Bloomberg." That's the mayor, Michael Bloomberg in case you're wondering. I bet the weirdo would be none too pleased if Bloomie successfully beat the city's term limits and got re-elected.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I got my lunch from the "Bloody Angle" today

I got my lunch from the "Bloody Angle" in Chinatown today.

It is featured in one of the chapters in Gangs of New York, which I finished on the subway ride home today. It was actually a really enjoyable read and was filled with neat tidbits on the history of city.

As for the Bloody Angle, it dates back to when rival Chinatown gangsters were killing each other regularly around the turn of the century give or take.

This is totally how I imagine things were in the dirty (dirtier than now?) and dangerous streets of Chinatown back in the day. (The clip really isn't too bad, but it's probably not too work friendly I guess...)

Anywho... back to the Bloody Angle, here's how the author describes it (and yes, he is prone to exaggeration and yes it was written in 1928):

The police believe, and can prove so far as such proof is possible, that
more men have been murdered at the Bloody Angle than at any other place of like area in the world. It was, and is, an ideal place for ambush; the turn is very abrupt, and not even a slant-eyed Chinaman can see around the corner.

Nowadays it's just known as Doyers Street. A little less flashy, but I guess it works.

One of the other things that also made it a perfect place for jumping people was that there is an underground passage from Doyers to Chatham Square where gangsters would escape.

It's still there, just not marked in English. You go down a couple of flights of stairs and the passage is still there, its just lined with doctors and acupuncture offices and such. Unlike the streets, which are filled with signs in Chinese and English, in the passage there was very little English and most offices had absolutely no English signage. I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb as the only white dude down there. It was kind of neat.

Doyers Street, surprisingly wasn't too crowded. I guess because it was mostly hair salons and more things for locals, not too many restaurants or doodad stands. The lady I ordered from at the restaurant I did eat at didn't speak much English at all. After a painful few minutes of trying to order, she pulled out a little "touching memories" looking photo album and opened it up. It was filled with pictures of food and she had me just point to something. I'm assuming that means I wasn't the first to have so muh trouble there.

I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when nobody understands any words being said. That being said, I still don't think I actually got what I tried to order... but at least what I got was really good.

The story of the Bloody Angle is just one of the many fascinating things I learned about the city from that book.

The book was also fun because it was filled with random things like this about how "gentlemanly" one of the nastiest gang leaders in the history of the East Side around 1900 - Monk Eastman. He talks about how brutal he was and how often he would beat men up, but...

But Monk was always a gentleman; he was proud of the fact that he had never struck a woman with his club, no matter how much she annoyed him. When it
became necessary to discipline a lady for a lapse in manners, he simply blackened her eye with his fist.

"I only give her a little poke," he exclaimed. "Just enough to put a shanty on her glimmer. But I always takes off me knucks first."

At least he took his brass knuckles off, how chivalrous.

Now that I've finished that book, I swung by the library on the way home and got Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning. If you haven't heard of it or heard the phrase, it's in reference to New York City's "issues" in 1977. Hopefully it will be interesting... though unfortunately I already know it includes a lot about the va-jankees and them winning the World Series that summer... so well see.

New York City in 1977 also had the Son of Sam, riots, a blackout and a crazy mayoral races so hopefully it'll be a good read.

Well, in honor of this post being focused on Chinatown, here's something pretty random...

An explanation can be found here... sort of.

This was on the Cake Wrecks blog, which has some of the goofiest cake failures around. My brother and his wife introduced me to it, and I got a decent number of good laughs from it. That particular cake was apparently originally from a blog called Basic Instructions.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I know, I'm a slacker... a few random things from the past week...

Well, I'm aware that I've been a total slacker lately, but I've been like and alcoholic hair product this whole past week. Get hammered, recover from hangover, repeat. Unfortunately, keeping up that kind of schedule doesn't leave much time for blogging.

Since it's been a while I'll just throw out some random things from the past week or so, which included Thanatos coming up this weekend and us hanging out with another roommate of ours from USF, who I'll just call MM. He lives in the Upper East Side now.

* During the week, I went out for some serious boozing with MM. The few random things I remember... doing some sort of street dancing/break dancing with these dudes outside of a bar... somewhere (I have no idea what part of town that was in) and grabbing drinks at Beauty Bar. They had a manicurist on staff and had a deal where a manicure was $10 and it comes with a free martini.

* I was introduced to Country Club malt liquor this weekend, which was fun. MM and I picked up a couple of 40's (still always a novelty since in Florida you can't get anything bigger than a "32," which is lame).

I'm not going to lie and say it was delicious, heck - when I opened the bottle it smelled like it farted, but it did provide us with endless entertainment in many ways.

Someone made a MySpace page for the malt liquor and it's pretty goofy.

Who I'd like to meet:
I'd like to meet "real" drinkers. The kind of person who likes to go to the store and pick up a ice cold and frosty Country Club 40oz. and drink it right in the parking lot. That's right, you don't have time to wait until you get home.

Or "his" TV Interests:
Television I remember the episode of Sesame Street where Burt came home after a long day and went right to the fridge. Well, guess what? Yup, Ernie had drank up all of Burts 40oz and was face down on the carpet. Needless to say, Burt beat the shit outta Ernie that day. I think the letter of the day was P....for Pain.

Hopefully Country Club malt liquor will accept my friend request, unlike Sue Bird. That hurt deep, but somehow I think I'll pull through.

* Besides, there are bigger things to worry about in this city, like C.H.U.D., Cannabalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.

We spent a lot of time underground, both on and off trains, so we had to be extra cautious this weekend due to the constant threat of C.H.U.D.

* Thanatos and I stumbled on the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, which was pretty cool. They had all kinds of weird things for sale, ranging from records to those old-timey two-piece telephones to a 1990 Batcopter toy complete with a picture of Michael Keaton on the box.

I was able to behave myself and left with just one thing, the Godfather soundtrack on record. There's some quality music in that movie, like the "Godfather Waltz" -

* We totally set back my health efforts by about two or three months at least. Along with copious amounts of booze and other random food, including of course the malt liquor, we had Hooters, KFC and White Castle. Those are not places known for their healthy options.

*Oh yeah, I successfully got my transit subsidy worked out... I just had to get turned away from a bunch of seemingly legit places first.

* Also, thanks for all the birthday wishes and such!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Karma's a bitch... you win this round New Jersey...

I do, on occasion, make a joke or two at New Jersey's expense. It's true.

Like, you all may not have noticed, but when I make seemingly innocuous words into links, like New Jersey and France, they're actually links to goofy (more often than not, not-too-nice) things.

Like the last time I did it for Jersey? It was a link to a picture of Oscar the Grouch in is garbage can. France? A YouTube clip of Cheap Trick's classic, "Surrender."

I guess I've made fun of New Jersey so much, it decided to get back at me.

When I first started working here, I applied for a free subway pass for the commute to and from work. The government offers this as a way to help keep more cars off the road, limit traffic, be more environmentally friendly, etc... and it would help my finances out in an amazing way. I spent approximately $80 a month right now to get to and from work.

So it takes a while for all the paperwork and stuff to go through and I finally got notified I can pick up my subway passes for the next couple months. Great!

I go and they're not subway passes, they basically look like traveler's cheques, but that say they're for mass transit. They were definitely not what I was supposed to be getting. So the lady explains that yeah it was a mess up, but I can just take those to the subway station and basically use them to buy what I was supposed to get in the first place... which isn't so bad.

So I go to the train station, and they tell me my normal station can't help me and I have to go basically over to the station by Ground Zero. Weak... so I wander over to that station and wait in line...

I get to the teller, and he says it's been years since my "cheques" could be used for the NYC subway system.

He said what I got was only good for the PATH Train. Jiggawha?

That's New Jersey's "subway" system that takes Jersey folk into the Manhattan for those who are confused. It has stops at prime destinations like Journal Square... me and JS go way back.

I was so pissed. I'm going to have a "conversation" with the person who messed up my paperwork tomorrow... it will probably be another month or two, which is a very weak, very expensive screw up. Oh well, worse things can happen, right?

As for the frugality experiment? I failed, miserably... but it was for a good cause. A friend from D.C. was in town so I went drinking with him and another from in the city. It was a lot of fun. I didn't spend too much though, so it wasn't so bad.

My undoing was when a buddy of mine kindly ordered me a triple bourbon... which the bartender opted to make more like a quadruple. We'll just say I got served in more ways than one. Again... lots of fun.

Also neat, despite the city having millions of people in it, I happened to bump into a friend of Lisa's girlfriend who I met in June. I was transferring to a different train and bumped into her at the platform... so that was random. We exchanged out contact info and hopefully we can hang out sometime. She was a lot of fun (and no, she's not single as I'm sure I'll get asked by plenty of folk).

Well, I didn't get too much sleep at all last night, so I gotta hit the hay...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Libraries, jogging and the Olympics are all free

Another day, zero cents spent. Heck, I'm making money. I found a dime on the ground on the way home from the library.

It was an interesting little library. About a quarter of the books were in Spanish, which makes sense I suppose. There was also a little section of Russian-language books... there was an old lady checking it out, so I guess it sees use.

Come to think of it, we must have some Ruskies around here. There is a little Russian grocery store a few blocks down the street... as a bonus, they have a rack with their potatoes for sale out on the sidewalk... 49 cents a pound, word?

If only Ivan Drago could read, maybe I'd bump into him in my library. He was too busy getting served to learn how to read though I guess.

The selection at the library was pretty random... they actually didn't have Pride and Prejudice, but it may have been checked out and I couldn't use their electronic card catalogue so I couldn't check.

I did see Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, which is actually a good read. I thought about picking it up and reading it again.

One of the interesting parts in that one is when they tell about Lee's failed attempt to pitch his sex-themed comic strip to Playboy... it was deemed to weird and creepy. Believe me, it was. And no, that's not something I randomly made up either... and yes, it was weird.

I ended up getting The Gangs of New York, as in the book that inspired the movie. Apparently it was written in the 1920's... who knew?

I haven't seen the movie, so it will all be new to me.

So far it is just giving a history of the area where the book is set, which is really cool... since it is giving a history of basically where my office building is. My work subway stop is like a block from what it describes as "Negroes' burying ground....on the outskirts of town."

That probably made for a gross time when putting in the subway routes...

He also makes reference to the when "the present Times Square theatrical district was a howling wilderness where the savage Indian prowled." I'll have to picture next time I'm there and surrounded by the sea of neon commercialism.

After the library, I went jogging... to New Jersey.

I walked to the George Washington Bridge and jogged across the Hudson River (to where it becomes the the Jersey Turnpike) and back... about a two-mile trip total.

They have a little walking/biking trail set up, and if you look to the south, you can see the city's skyline... which is a pretty cool sight as your jogging along. It kind of reminded me of the jogging scene in Punch-Out!!...

Technically though, I guess Little Mac is actually jogging in either
Brooklyn or New Jersey in order to have that awesome view.

Side note:Some of the best video game music, ever.

Not surprisingly, once I got on solid ground in Jersey, there was actually a noticeable, not too pleasant, smell. Go figure.

I spent most of the rest of the day watching the Olympics and cooking with my gas stove... and gas oven. I was quite surprised to look under the oven where I stored my baking trays to see a ginormous blue flame right on top of them... I think I'll move those to somewhere less like a fireplace.

As for the Olympics, we totally dominated fencing.

That's right, gold, silver and bronze. Word.

I also watched, like, the most ridiculous pommel horse routine ever. All the other Americans basically took it easy on the horse and just tried not to mess up, but not Alexander Artemev. I couldn't get a clip of him in Beijing, but here's what looks like the same routine at a different recent competition.

Friday, August 8, 2008

You know what was free? The Olympics opening ceremony...

I successfully made it one full day without spending a single cent... despite being a moron and forgetting to bring my lunch to work with me.

Luckily, I had some Pop Tarts left in my desk from when I first moved to the city and was in a hotel rocking the continental breakfasts.

That took care of that.

As for the evening, rather than go out drinking, I figured a nice, free way to entertain myself would be to watch the much anticipated opening ceremony for the Olympics. Overall, it was pretty cool, but I got a bigger kick out of some specific things...

First and foremost, the announcer that was there as a China expert. This dude was totally in love with China. I think he was actually aroused by how "amazing" the opening ceremony was and how much it proved China was the greatest thing to ever grace this planet. I really think if he could find a way, he would probably gladly go down on China.

The ceremony did get a little cheesy at certain points...

I just kept thinking of "Hooray for Everything" from the Simpsons, especially when they started making a giant collage of children's faces toward the end.

It reminded me of their halftime "salute to the greatest hemisphere on earth, the Western Hemisphere! The dancingest hemisphere of all!"... though technically the opening ceremony was indeed a salute to the eastern hemisphere, which I assure you is not even close to being the "dancingest hemisphere of all." Heck, they aren't even number two. Take that!

The announcers pretty much had to say something about every country that was shown parading in, and they were kind of all over the place and reaching at some points. Here are just a few of the random things I got a kick out of as they paraded the countries in...

* Malawi is known solely for being where Madonna snatched up a spare kid to take home with her. That was there fifteen minutes of fame.

*Apparently the Cayman Islands actually e-mailed NBC asking them to not cut to commercials and not show their delegation. They did seem to show snippets of multiple countries right after each commercial break, but not early in the procession. So presumably, a select few countries were just not cool enough to be shown.

Don't worry though, powerhouses like Vanuatu and Lesotho got airtime. (They're real, I swear)

* Not surprisingly, there is intrigue surrounding Taiwan... or if you're China and/or the Olympics "Chinese Taipei"

In addition to not being allowed to be called Taiwan, they also have to use special flags...

So it looked like they were waving little souvenirs. Having to use a special fill-in flag to represent your country? That's cold.

* When Paraguay came through, the announcers kept talking about one of their potential gold medal winners, but the cameraman and producers just kept the shot this one cute girl on their team, even after the announcers commented that the wrong person was on the screen. She was pretty cute, but she was no...

* Samantha Paxinos - the flag bearer from Botswana was a cutie... she's competing in the 50m freestyle. It looks like I may have to catch the prelims if I want to see her again before she gets sent back to Africa though.

I like how on her official bio on the Olympics site, her picture looks like something you might see on the side of a milk carton. It definitely does not do her justice.

* Good thing Mauritania's democratically elected government was replaced with a junta via a coup the other day, or else the announcers might not have had anything to kibbitz about when their team came in. It was just in the nick of time too, that was a close one.

* They put the camera on President Bush about two hours in and caught him (trying to be inconspicuous) checking his watch, looking really bored. Little did he know he was only about halfway through the ceremony. Laura happened to look at her watch about two seconds later.

* Laos got a pretty brief mention where they basically just talked about how to say the country's name and mentioned, very matter-of-factly, that they were known as a "hub for eco-terrorism" and then just went on to the next country.

I'm sure Laosians are filled with an indescribable pride now that their country, which was not known for anything before, is now apparently known for being a "hub for eco-terrorism."

So it looks like I'm all set for this year's Olympics, I've got Olympic fever I guess.

Why not, right?... I mean we rule!

Just look at the all-time medal standings.

The rankings aren't set in stone for everybody though. It looks like if Australia has a good year, they may be able to finally surpass East Germany (that is, of course, if East Germany continues making a tremendously weak showing like it has at the past few games).

I'm rooting for the Aussies on that one. Heck, if the Aussies do manage to surpass the East Germans by the end of the games, I'll buy anyone who remembers about this a Foster's.

In honor of the Beijing Games, I'll end with an Overheard in New York from Chinatown:

20-something Chinese guy: You know what? Chinese people discovered America.
20-something Black guy: Bullshit.
20-something Chinese guy: It's true! There's an article on CNN showing we discovered America, there are maps. Chinese were here first before everyone else. Chinese people did everything before everyone else. White people take credit for everything, but now it's coming out that Chinese made all of these discoveries first. Don't you see a pattern? We're the shit.
20-something Black guy: The only pattern I see is that you motherfuckers pirate and resell every DVD, and now you're trying to bootleg history.


That guy kind of sounds like the NBC announcer who was sexually attracted to China as a whole...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You say Czech Republic and I say Czechoslovakia (which makes me wrong)

So I decided to hit the town after work yesterday... which ended up being a lot of fun, but made work not nearly as much fun today.

Originally I was going to catch a concert at this bar right near where I work.

As I got closer I noticed this big line of people waiting outside the club, and as I got closer, I realized it was like 95 percent girls... which is not a minus to say the least. But, as I got even closer, I realized the club did not have an age limit and they ranged from tweens (some with their humorously unexcited looking fathers) on up to mid-twenties... I figured that probably wouldn't be the best place to go so I wandered to the Village and kept exploring.

Eventually I ended up at a bar with some friends from USF, which was fun. I spent a good part of the evening talking to this girl who was in town from the Czech Republic.

I pulled a John McCain and mistakenly referred to her as being from the now defunct Czechoslovakia. She quickly reminded me that country no longer exists.

Still? I thought for sure by now they'd have hooked up and had some crazy makeup sex by now, oh well...

I also mentioned something about European geography and was way off, and I got called out on that too. I explained to her that we don't need to learn European geography here on this side of the Atlantic and asked her if she knew the geography of our states. Luckily she laughed at most of the crazy jingotastic jokes I made rather than smack me in the face... I probably get away with a lot more than I should sometimes, but I digress...

I wish I had thought to ask her if she was a fan of Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team - Worker and Parasite! ...

The night, which ended up costing a bit, also got me to thinking about finances. I'm definitely doing fine at the moment money-wise, but the more I go out drinking, the more cash I'm hemorrhaging and at some point that might cause some trouble. I really need to reign in the spending, whether it's from drinking, eating out, or just buying things for the apartment - it all keeps adding up.

So I've decided to try something out. Until next weekend (except Wednesday, my birthday!), I'm not going to spend another damn cent. I'm going to prepare every meal at home, not go out drinking, no Chinatown for lunch... heck, not even pick up a 50 cent New York Post on the way to work in the morning. Nothing!

I was totally rocking out to Candy Girl in one of the bars I went to yesterday...

I was just thinking, maybe I'll pick it up for 99 cents on iTunes, what's 99 cents, right? Nope, that's 99 cents too many. I guess my need for a New Edition fix came at a bad time. Oh well, somehow I think I'll survive... even though it really is a fun little ditty...

I'm still debating whether I'll skip doing laundry this Saturday morning too... we'll see.

I'm already planning some thrifty tactics to make this work. Like I'm going to go to get a library card Saturday morning and get a new (free) book to read on my commute instead of the Post. Hopefully it will be better than With a Tangled Skein, a chill just went down my spine thinking of that "book"...

That reminds me, maybe if I can find some sort of abridged children's version with tons of pictures I might pick up Pride and Prejudice. The poll showed that six people had read the book and five had only seen a film version. Either way, in my drunkenness I forgot that the debate was actually over whether all girls had read the book... and the poll didn't specify anything about that, so it was kind of useless I suppose. Oh well.

If I limited it to just women, it probably would have gotten confusing anyway, having to do the math to calculate the results of all those partial votes... I'll just consider that bullet dodged.

Side note: I passed by an epic dominoes match walking home today. These two old guys had a table set up on the sidewalk and they actually had a fairly loud (for dominoes I suppose) crowd watching intently. It was a little odd. It also reminded me that I can't remember the last time I played dominoes and I'm not even sure I even remember how to play.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Looking for an alpaca to hook up with on the A train? I've got the site for you.

So I stumbled onto a new fun blog to follow,, which has all kinds of fun subway-specific news and such.

There's all kinds of fun stories to read about, like the possibility of standing-room only cars being used during rush hour or fun new increases in fines for various misdemeanors you can commit in the stations. Fascinating stuff, right?

My favorite post though as I was perusing the archives was about a site called New York Subway Crush

It's basically like missed connections on Craigslist, except just for the subway and organized it's organized by line... there aren't too many posts, but I went to my train, the A train, and went to see who all has been leaving their adorations on the Internet for me.

Shockingly, there was nobody... yet, but I'm going to stay optimistic.

I kid, of course, but I did go to look at the A train and there were some goofy ones, but this one totally cracked me up:

You're head looks like an alpaca

"This is not a crush per-se but I do see you every day on the A train and your head literally looks like an alpaca. It's huge, with a long neck and a just-got-punched mouth. I'm not usually one to point out when people look ugly, but god damn what is up with your face?!?!"

The poster also provided a visual and included this picture, which totally tickled my funnybone when I scrolled down and saw it...

I love how they made sure to find an alpaca picture with that classic "just-got-punched mouth."

As a bonus, someone wrote a reply post:

I think I'm in love

"I've been so self conscious all my life because when I was younger the kids used to call me alpacadome and to make things worst I recently got bitch slapped in my mouth for eating the last hard boiled egg. Then I saw you and realized we were a match made in heaven. I've been wanting to come up to you and say hi, but I sound like sylvester stallone when I talk because my mouth got jacked. Won't you be my man-pie?"

It was complete with it's own competing ridiculous looking alpaca...

In a similar vein, it seems some renegade goats outsmarted some of the city's top security measures and went to the base of the Verrezano Bridge. That's the bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn, there is no bridge to Manhattan, so it essentially connects Staten Island to the rest of NYC. That fills me with confidence like nobody's business.

So it's all about the alpacas and goats today. Mmmm goats and alpacas...

Oh yeah, how about I'll end with a random Overheard in New York from the A train:

Little guy to big guy wearing fur hat: You know, wearing fur is murder.
Big guy wearing fur hat: So is me pushing you off the train.

--A Train

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quick update on Lisa's visit...

So after work today, Lisa and I went to the bar with the nipple burgers... that bartender wasn't there, but we still had a good time shooting pool and playing darts.

Speaking of darts... I totally owned Lisa...

Mmmm... take that!

That sums up today's post since it's about bedtime... I just figured it would only be appropriate to announce Lisa's shame... and now the deed is done.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not-so-open house and some fun museums...

So... anyone want to guess how many neighbors came to the open house?

I'll give you a hint... zero. Yes, zero, which is kind of weak, but what are you going to do?

Lisa and I had a blast anyway. Also, an old friend from high school who is going to Columbia now came by and we basically all just hang out and drank all night... it was tons of fun.

Some highlights from the evening include:

* repairing the Atari and rocking some insane Warlords and Combat action
* calling my friend in Colorado and asking him to pretend he was Meatloaf on speaker phone to help me win some sort of bet... he was pretty darned confused
* Watched Captain EO, of course (Part 1 on YouTube, Part 2 on YouTube)
* Rocked to the soundtracks from both Dirty Dancing and Footloose

Those are just a few of the random highlights from the well-behaved evening that lacked debauchery of all kinds. I swear it.

After waking up Sunday, none to early I assure you, Lisa and I walked to The Cloisters which is right near my apartment.

Put simply, it is a museum focused on medieval art... but the twist is that the museum itself is built from parts of monasteries torn down in France (and I think one in Austria too). Yup, J.D. Rockefeller Jr. was just plain rich enough that in the '30s he was able to afford to tear down precious history in France, ship it to Manhattan, harvest his favorite parts and have his own monastery built.

It gave me a special sense of pride to know that the museum I was enjoying in my neighborhood was built at the expense of history elsewhere.

Also, many of the sculptures and statues are missing arms and forearms, like the "Figure of a King" below. All I could think of when I saw each one was "they could rectify the situation with some chainsaws, a la Ash in Army of Darkness. Word?...

"Say hello to the twenty-first century!"

I bet if that king had chainsaws for arms, nobody would give him crap for being a cheapskate and bringing Myrrh anymore... nobody would mess with him at all.

Maybe they could put him at the entrance of the museum to scare people into donating more money on the way in. The admission is a "suggested" donation of $20... but thats of course suggested, right? As we were paying, a guy tried to walk in without a donation and he was accosted by the guards who curtly explained that he had better pay some sort of donation or go back from whence he came.

So after the Cloisters, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they're doing this crazy special exhibition - Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. It was pretty strange to say the least. They took classic superheroes, like Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, etc... and had crazy designers make outfits "inspired" by each hero. You know, the kind of designer clothes that nobody could ever possibly wear... at least not since the '80s.

This stuff was just off the wall... but it was vaguely entertaining and pretty funny to stroll through the exhibit. Plus, they did have some original costumes on display too, like a Batman costume from The Dark Knight and a Spider-Man costume from the recent movies.

They didn't allow pictures at all (the guards seemed angry to be there), so these are taken from around the Internet.

Spidey's outfits were some of the less ridiculous of the bunch.

These are a couple of the outfits "inspired" by Wonder Woman's costume (the Lynda Carter one from the '70s). In case you were wondering, yes - those are indeed Coke cans on tops of the heads. I actually burst out laughing when I saw these ones. I shouldn't be allowed in some museums.

Iron Man was another who got the fashion treatment. I swear, apparently all of these outfits were worn by models on the runway at some point... weird.

Imagine wearing this Batman-inspired gem to a job interview... or maybe the airport?...

Who needs hands anyway, right?

This Hulk-inspired mess would turn some heads...

Apparently Hulk symbolizes masculinity in its purest form, so the designer figured he would add a big protruding penis to the outfit. I might try this one on a casual Friday at the office.

If you follow this link and look around, you can actually click on the comic book covers and look at a whole lot more of the crazy outfits.

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Reading totally sucks ass" - Officer Barbrady

So, though I joked about being an avid non-reader, I actually tore through a book this week that was great... until about the last 75 pages. It was called With a Tangled Skein.

It's part of a series, and I read another book in the series, On a Pale Horse, and it was great. So that's why I picked up this one... and it was great too, until I got toward the end. Then it started sucking like a Dyson. Once it started sucking, it just kept sucking all the way to the end... I swear, it "never lost suction."

Those last pages were literally painful to finish, but I figured I had read the first 300 or so pages and they were enjoyable so I'd see it through to the end and maybe the very end would be good. Wrong.

The end involved a stupid maze of puzzles that were either really easy to figure out (thus making the ten pages it took the heroine to "figure it out" painful) or they were just so dumb they weren't worth pondering.

This puzzle maze went on until the very end. I just kept reading and seeing there were less and less pages and then BAM! It was over. The solution to the whole book was the simplest, dumbest thing. I thought of the solution pretty much as soon as the problem was presented, as anyone over three (except apparently the heroine) would figure it out pretty quickly.

I swear to God. Ridiculous.

Since I doubt any of you will read the book, I'll oversimplify the plot and spoil it...

The main character is the Incarnate Fate (made up of three people)... who, along with several other powers, can ultimately cause people to die if they want, because they determine fates.

Long story short, Satan has rigged the Senate and filled certain Senate seats with people who will do his bidding and prevent the right, good people, from getting their seats in the future.

So Fate is stumped, for about 100 pages, on how to fix the problem and get some of the stacked Senators out of the Senate and set the world's fate right.

So about 25 pages lead up to the puzzle maze, and then the main character goes through this massive 75 pages of stupid puzzle maze to find the answer...

Any ideas? Bueller? Bueller?

Put overly simply, at the end the heroine is like "Oh yeah, Fate can determine the Senator fates and ultimately cut them short, thus getting rid of them."

I just about shat myself. I was so pissed. The first 300ish pages were great. Heck, I tore through the book in four days, which is crazy for me... but the end that I read today just hurt my brain and made me begin to question the value of the written word.

When I finished it, I couldn't help but think of Officer Barbrady's speech from the South Park episode where he learns to read. He was tricked into learning to read by a crazy bookmobile driver who was having sex with chickens and leaving clues that forced Barbrady to learn to read in order to catch him... brilliant.

They hold a parade to celebrate his learning to read and this is part of his speech to the crowd...

Officer Barbrady: "Well, first of all I'd like to thank the town of South Park, the town that borne me and eventually will rob me of my life precious.

Second, I'd like to say to all those out there who think they can screw chickens just to teach people to read... Your days are numbered!!!

And finally, I'd like to say that READING TOTALLY SUCKS ASS!!"

That scene played through my head in loop once I put the book down in disgust.

The bookmobile driver had given him the breezy read that is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand... which led to his rage against reading.

Side note: Apparently an Atlas Shrugged movie is in the works and may star Angelina Jolie... weird.

This whole book reading experience has left me a bit jaded. I think it's time to go back to reading the Post on my subway ride to and from work again. Books and me are not friends at the moment. Seriously.

Besides, I almost feel like I'm cheating on my newspaper guy in the morning. He stands outside the train station entrance with stacks of papers every morning and for a while I would like clockwork pick up a Post every morning. Since I started reading the book though, I've walked by, novel in hand, and just tried not to make eye contact.

Anywho... it's T-minus one day until my open house... we'll see if anyone shows. I met some nice people in the elevator who seemed nice and vaguely interested in coming. They may swing by. Who knows. No matter what, it should be an interesting evening. We'll see...

Follow up: The bronze bull is back at Bloomingdale, and apparently it was indeed some very stupid kids. It sounds like they were probably from Brandon high, so it makes sense that they're stupid I suppose.

Other follow-up: I think I'll stop checking...I'm fairly certain Sue Bird rejected my friend request on MySpace :(

That's ice cold... and I maintain it's also not a great way to help build a fan base for the WNBA. Despite the hurt, I think I'll still try to go see Bill Laimbeer when his team comes to Madison Square Garden. I'll soldier, somehow.