August 2005 Archives

Back From Vegas

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Hey everybody.

I'm back from Vegas, and this time it was a drama-free trip. I was at The Palms, and the hotel is great! I would highly recommend it to everyone going out to Vegas. The pool scene alone was worth it.

Take every hot body from Club H and put them around a decent sized pool with a bar. Add many girls with breast implants and the occasional star and you got The Palms poolside. When I arrived on Friday I saw Gene Simmons. He walked out in a long red shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. His hair was like a bear pelt - it was thick and didn't move very much. But he was very nice to everyone who walked up to gush about his greatness - a solid 20 minutes of him talking to guests at the pool. I took some pictures and was somewhat inclined to walk up and get a picture with him but wimped out.

Next day at the pool - Seth Green walked by, but he was just passing. I don't think many people recognized him. He is very short (5'5) and very skinny.

On Sunday they filmed "Dr. 90210" and were filming 3 girls who I guess were put under the knife and were staying at the resort. A camera crew followed them around and filmed their romp at the pool. They put up a big notice which said, "Please vacate the pool area immediately if you do not want to be filmed for the show Dr. 90210". We stayed and i'm sure that i'm going to be in the background somewhere.

Ok, it wouldn't be a Vegas trip if I didn't have a fun story.

The trip was for Jon's friends from San Diego, most notably Rina, who was turning 30. I didn't know her at all, or any of her friends. I meet Rina and Mary from San Diego, along with Brian from Queens at the airport - we share a taxi to the hotel. Once we arrive we quickly meet Monica, a friend of Rina's.

Monica has her meet & greets - and gets introduced to me. She says "Furey...hey I saw your last name on the email I know someone with that same last name."

My surname is a very ethnic Italian last name that even Italians say is ethnic. Hell, it may not even be Italian - it could be Spanish for all I know. So it's fairly unique, with a smattering of us on the East Coast and some of us in Michigan - at least that is what I find on a Google search.

"That's cool, there are some of us around...", I begin.

"His name was Kevin."

I laugh and think, "Kevin. Are you kidding me?"

"Kevin's my brother.", I reply

"No way!", she says.

"Yea. How do you know him?", I ask.

"We worked together in D.C. about 12 years ago - didn't you come to visit him when you were in college?

As a matter of fact, I did visit him a few times when I was at Villanova. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall in 1992 then immediately moved to D.C. to work for a company there in marketing.

Turns out that Monica and Kevin worked together at that same company and were BFF's long ago. I did meet her once - she went over the details of meeting her at a bar with some of his common friends, and I even drove her car home that night, with my brother and several friends piled in, because I was the LEAST drunk of the group.

We talked about some old times with her and Kevin in D.C. - I told her that he was married and expecting a kid soon and she was happy for him.

Not quite seven degrees of seperation, but still strange:

Jon met me via a roommate search on Hobokeni.
Jon is friends with Rina.
Rina is friends with Monica.
Monica worked with Kevin.
Kevin is my brother.

Aside from the strangeness the vacation was good. Friday night we went to The Hard Rock and gambled and drank a bit. Then went to New York New York and hit Pianos and Coyote Ugly until 3am. Saturday night we went to Hard Rock again - because of a snafu about getting a table at Rain. I thought this was all lined up months ago. I was very disappointed because I don't like clubs to begin with - I was willing to shell out $100 and at least you have your own place to sit and drink rather than stand up in a crowded loud club. Plus with my leg - it's not like I was going to do much dancing anyhow.

After that fell thru on Saturday night, they couldn't get a table anywhere else and did general admission at Body English, the club in Hard Rock. Sadly, I felt sick to my stomach (not alcohol related - could have been something I ate) - and couldn't make it out that night. I felt much better the next day - but I really missed "The Night" that we were all going to party.

Sunday was a bit more tame. We went to The Fix at Bellagio and had a group dinner. Afterwards we gambled and I got to watch a guy play $1,000 per hand of roulette. He would take stacks of $5 and $25 chips and go to town. I saw him win ridiculous amounts of money. But he also lost a lot, too. He was easily down $2,000 after I left and betting with his other $1,000 marker.

As for my gambling, it was ok. I won at 3 card poker as soon as I arrived on Friday - I got a straight flush which paid 40 to 1 on my $10 bet. I gambled some of that away - but got to learn Pai Gow Poker, Craps and Blackjack - but still lost while playing these three games. To top it off, my last night I played 3 card poker and hit a straight flush again. But I ended up losing money, but that straight flush REALLY helped.

I'm off from work this week and I have a few things to do - but mostly relax and poke around Hoboken. I want to get a bar card, go to the driving range, get my license updated from the DMV, see some friends, and try to avoid sleeping in every day.

Leaving (for) Las Vegas

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If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be travelling on, now,
ícause thereís too many places Iíve got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldnít be the same.
ícause Iím as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I canít change.

I'm going to Vegas tomorrow, and I will be back late Monday. I'm bringing my digital camera, a handle of Captain Morgan and not much else. May God have mercy on my soul.

I don't know if I can top the drama from my previous Vegas trip. I'm going with my roommates, Kristen and Jon, and 10 of Jon's friends from different parts of the country. I hope to have some good blog entries when I return.

Also, i'm very excited to see all the new traffic coming into the site. This week was my busiest week ever - 200 page loads and over 100 visitors on Wednesday alone. That's wild. Hello, new people! Just read the "Essential Entries" on the right side for the good stuff.

Thanks for all the kind emails, phone calls and cards that everyone has sent me this week. It was very nice of everyone for their outpouring of affection and I do appreciate it. I toasted my father with a bottle of Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro (Chianti Classico) instead, given to me as a gift from a special friend. I decided to save the 1994 Chateau Mouton Rothschild for our next family gathering to share with them.

Also word is getting to me that everyone is starting to use FreshDirect - after they read my entry! Hey bitches - post some love and leave a comment - it's not asking so much is it?! ;)

Fresh Direct Comes To Hoboken

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Fresh Direct, the online market which specializes in fresh, organic products announced last 082305a.jpgweek that they were delivering to Hoboken residents. From their website, you can browse the various departments from fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, deli goods, dairy, breads, pastries, full meals, household goods, beverages or even frozen foods. Once you fill up your shopping cart - FreshDirect will arrange delivery to your door, for a $4.99 delivery charge - during the weekdays or weekends, at a specific 2 hour window you specify. FreshDirect claims that their food is fresher than a supermarket because they get their food directly from the source, circumventing the layers of distributors and middlemen that others use. They prepare the food at their own facilities - from roasting green coffee beans, aging their own beef or baking their own breads. There are no retail locations for FreshDirect - which allows them to keep their costs down and even less expensive than your local supermarkets.

Hype? Reality? Somewhere in-between?

So I decided to 082305b.jpgdiscover this on my own, and ordered up from FreshDirect last week, on a Wednesday. I went on the website, registered, and first found out that first time users of their site get a $20 coupon towards any fresh food. I ordered up filet mignon, ground veal, chicken breasts, tuna steak, vegetables, pasta, canned goods and some paper products, along with a whole wheat baguette. My focus was to order foods that I would use over the next week to prepare dinners at home. Normally, I stop at the Kings at 333 River St or the A&P on 6th street on my walk home to buy the ingredients for my dinners.

The ease of use on the website was incredible. 082305c.jpgI was floored at the pictures and information that FreshDirect provides. It was like using Amazon.com - but just ordering up your favorite foods. I also found that I ordered more than I expected. I kept searching on various items, like Prosciutto, real Prosciutto di Parma Ham. They had that from Citterio or Leoncini, for example.

Also what was unexpected was the various qualities of meats that are available. Most supermarkets get "USDA Choice" meats. If you are unfamiliar with the meat grading system, USDA Choice grade beef is tender, juicy and good flavor - but is second in rank to USDA Prime. USDA Prime is normally only available to hotels and restaurants. I don't think any A&P would ever carry USDA Prime. Places like Peter Lugers, Old Homestead and Sparks would only serve USDA Prime to their customers. Premium beef does carry a premium price, and is more expensive. I ordered up two USDA Prime filet mignons, and had them vacuum sealed for freshness. All meat orders on FreshDirect 082305d.jpghave rubs and marinades available with your purchase. Chicken is available in different forms, from money saving bulk packs or individual orders. Available antibiotic free or grade A chicken, if you prefer.

Simply put - this website caters to everyone. Are you a discerning cook that wants very specific kind of cheeses? Are you simply trying to get some quick meals ready for the week? Are you hoping to find specialty foods? FreshDirect blew me away.

I made arrangements to have the order delivered between 11am to 1pm on Saturday, since I was busy on Thursday and Friday. The FreshDirect truck and delivery person appeared at 12:20pm and delivered 3 boxes and 1 frozen bag. It was brought to my door, I signed the delivery paper and brought the goods inside.

After you open the boxes, you first notice the attention to detail that FreshDirect takes with their packaging. Each box was seperated by the type of goods: 082305e.jpgOne box was boxed & canned items. One box was meats and vegetables, which was still cold from the refrigerated truck. The frozen bag was the frozen bread I ordered. Every meat was seperately wrapped in a styrofoam container, with plastic and then wrapped in another plastic bag. Each meat had a label inside, identifying the product, along with care instructions.

Monday night I grilled up a tuna steak, using the blackened rub from FreshDirect. Tuesday night I made meatballs using the ground veal. Tonight I plan on searing the filet mignons. The food has been delicious, and I am extremely satisfied with what they offer.

My total bill was around $100. I paid a premium, for example, on the filet mignons. I was curious. Was Fresh Direct ripping me off? I took my bill and walked over to the Kings on 333 River Street and decided to compare prices.

1 year anniversary

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One year ago today my father died.

Tonight I plan on making myself Nanny's Meatball and Sausage dinner and popping open a bottle of 1994 Chateau
Mouton Rothschild
that my friends 082305.JPG
bought for me last year after his death. After dinner, I expect to drink a few glasses of 20 year old Taylor Flagdate port and go to bed with a nice heady buzz.

I started this blog because of that event. I wanted to open myself up to my friends and family, and just write an online journal to share to them my inner thoughts. Eventually it morphed into also writing about the Eagles club, reviews and life observations. I'm amazed how the site traffic went from 10-20 people reading it a day to about 80-100 people reading it now. If you are new to the site, i'd recommend going back and reading "Call Your Parents After Reading This...". I re-read it again tonight, and I don't think I could top what I wrote last October with a similar entry today.

I not only miss my father but also miss "what could have been". I miss the idea of what we could have shared together. I miss that he won't ever see me marry or see my children or celebrate more Eagles games with me. I miss the future we could have had together.

I miss his advice. He was like a rock in the storm of life, someone who you could always go to for wise advice. I see many things in myself that I saw in him. I only wish I could become half the man he became. I still have time.

Just do me a favor. If you like this site and everything I have done. Just raise your glass tonight while watching TV or during dinner, say "To Frank" and i'm sure he would appreciate it.

Just don't lose the remote control.

Massage at Spa H

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I decided this week to treat myself to one of my favorite ways to indulge myself - with a massage. I'm a fan of massages, head rubs or back scratches. Any of my ex-girlfriends can attest to this. I will return the favor, and I think i'm fairly good at it.

I had 082205.jpgto decide where in Hoboken to get a massage, and there are many places you can get one. I chose Spa H, formerly known as River Spa (3 months after River Spa opened another spa trademarked the name "River Spa"). I chose the spa for two reasons:

1. It was bright, clean and new. The facility just opened less than a year ago and the design is much like Club H's environment. I have been to some massage parlors in the city that, while cheap, had each "booth" just seperated by a curtain. I wasn't interested in hearing someone next to me get a massage.

2. Club H members get 10% off all services. The massage, normally $90 - was only $81 with the discount. For all the money I pay at Club H - it's nice to get a break for being a member.

I could go into fanciful details about the massage, but it was just as expected. An hour long massage. I chose a Swedish massage, but in retrospect I probably should have gotten a deep tissue massage. I am very tight and sore from working out 4 days a week, plus it really felt great to get my injured leg worked on.

I did talk to my massage therapist and decided to ask her some straightforward questions about her job. I figured that i'd share them with you, so that the rest of Hoboken can learn a thing or two from your friendly neighborhood massage therapists.

1. They are massage therapists, not a masseurs or masseuses. I learned this because I was about to ask Amanda, the massage therapist, her advice on "good" clients and began by saying "As a masseuse...". As soon as I said those three words, I could immediately tell I used the wrong words. We had been chatting amiciably during the massage, and it was a small and slight change in the vibe I got from her that I knew I used the wrong word. I immediately corrected myself and said "Wait - do you guys call yourselves that? What's the proper term". She informed me that a "masseuse" is a bit of a deragatory word which categorizes her profession, but also those that would be found in the back pages of the Village Voice - if you know what I mean. Massage Therapists prefer not to be called a "masseuse". Learn from Furey.

2. Tipping is important. As a bartender, and working as a waiter during my adolescent summers at Ocean City, I learned about how important it was to tip properly. I paid $81 for a massage. If I was at dinner, and had an $81 dollar meal, I would have tipped about $15-20, depending on the service and quality of the meal. The same is true for a massage. If you get a massage, expect to tip in the same range. A $5 tip isn't cutting it, folks.

3. Take your happy endings and shove it. While writing this I was expecting a few snarky emails on Monday asking "Did ya get a happy ending - har har har...". Massage Therapists are performing a job to help you. Guys, no matter how great the massage was, they aren't there for you to hit on them. If you happen to see your massage therapist in a bar, hey, buy 'em a drink - and try to impress them about how much money you make or what kind of car you drive. But at Spa H, or any spa, let the professionals perform their jobs.

4. Hygiene is important. If you just had a big workout - TAKE A SHOWER BEFORE YOU GET A MASSAGE. That means, soap, water and a washcloth. Amanda told me how some people don't exfoliate their skin and during the massage the skin peels off and gets under her nails. How disgusting! It is simply considerate to make sure you don't smell like a New York City cab driver or are sweating like Michael Jackson at a nursery school before you get a massage.

5. Get there early. If you make an appointment for 7pm, try to be there 6:50pm. Massage Therapists are on a schedule. They have clients every hour, so if you are late - that means less blissful massaging for you. Also, that backs up their other appointments if they do give you the full hour. Again, it's another simple way that you, as a client, can be considerate towards the massage therapist, who is trying to give you the very best experience possible.

I thought the massage was good, but at $81, it certainly isn't inexpensive. For the same price, I can get a similar massage in New York City. If you are living in Hoboken, you kind of expect that services around here would be a bit less expensive than the city.

I told Amanda that there were two types of people who lived in Hoboken: Those that love the town or those that can't afford New York. Those that can't afford New York are probably the same people who are poor tippers. They aren't going to shell out $90 for a massage but when they do, they would be the type to skimp on a tip. They are the same people who tip $1 after making them 3 mixed drinks and a Cosmo.

I'm always interested in your comments and emails. If anyone has another spa for me to try - let me know where I should be going for a good massage.

No One Listens To Furey

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See, now if you read about Hop Devil a few weeks ago you would have been on the inside track to the cool beers that are out there. News is out from Philly.com that Hop Devil earned the #14 spot on the "Best 100 in the World".

Read the article here.

Since now that I have been confirmed as the King Of All Knowledge, here are my other ideas for Hoboken (if you are a member of Hobokenchat, you may have seen my rants before on similar topics):

1) Someone build a Taco Bell. I tried Mission Burrito, Fresh Tortillas and Qdoba. The're ok. But I want that cruchy goodness of a Taco Bell. Tell me this place wouldn't clean up if they were open 24 hours? Yes, I know about the Taco Bell Express at the train station and No, it never counted. It wasn't a real Taco Bell.

2) Open J. Crew or Banana Republic. No one likes going to the Newport Mall - it's crap. Garden State Plaza is too far. You know that your target yuppies are here. Anyone know that old bank with the granite facade which is three doors down from The Planet (to the right)? Perfect location for this store.

3) Start making The Arts & Music Festival about Hoboken. There are a lot of talented local musicians (Has anyone listed to the Jazz performers at Scotland Yard?) that I would want to see on stage. I don't understand why the powers that be find these has-been acts to clog our stages. The festival should be about those local artists and musicians. I'd ask Chris Burkhardt from Bama Galleries in Hoboken to help with the art part of the festival, myself. I'm sure the guys at Whiskey Bar or Maxwell's Bar might have a better bead on the local performers that can really rock the stages.

4) Once a month churches should give back to town. Hear me out here. I was once a religious person. I did CCD and all that. Once a month, instead of boring your masses by singing hymns and telling them they are sinful bastards - why not organize 1 hour to helping the community. Tell all your parishoners that next Sunday that instead of mass - we are going to use our 1 hour to try and make our corner of the world a better place? How about an adopt-a-unit campaign for our soldiers in Iraq? Each parishoner gets a soldier as a "buddy" - who they write to, telling them "Thank you for making our world safe" and seeing if we can send them a care package to make them happier while they protect our freedoms? I mean how many "Our Fathers" do we need to get into Heaven, anyhow?

5) Repeal the restrictions on bars. I think the limit on the number of bars you can build in town is horseshit. It figures that Mayor Roberts, who owns East LA, wants to limit the number of bars that can open up. It allows his shithole to have less competition. Also jacks up the prices of crappy bars that are out there, since the owners know that someone with a better idea can't just open up a new bar on Washington St. Sure, we can open up sushi bars, nail salons, real estate agencies and banks to our hearts content but can't open a bar (unless you follow the bizarre restrictions set forth by our city hall)?

6) Lower the Hoboken train station. Build on top of it. It seems a terrible waste that there isn't a better link between Jersey City and Hoboken. Imagine if the train station was underground, and you could build a beautiful park on top of it? Wouldn't that keep all the people who keep yelling for more parks happy? The park would be huge. Of course I don't know how we can PAY for this, but i'm an 'idea man', dammit!

7) Steal my idea - coffee shop by day & bar at night. During the day - you just serve coffee, tea, snacks like a Starbucks geared towards the stay at home moms & the stroller set. Once 9pm hits, the urns shut off and the bar opens up for the drinkers.

8) My million dollar idea: In this age where we single people have become increasingly isolated, there should be a better system to let someone know you are interested in them. Oh sure, all your coupled friends talk about how EASY it is to walk up to strangers and hit on them - until they become single again and whine how hard it has become. I was thinking of some kind of way you could combine match.com with your cell phone's blue tooth. So, let's say you are at a bar and see a cute girl. You casually walk by, click the "#" key when you are in range of her cell phone. The bluetooth from your phone talks to the bluetooth on hers - and if she's single, your phone then connects to the match.com site and you can read her profile & then walk up to her with, "Hey you went to school in Virginia - me, too." as your opening line. If she isn't single, your phone will just display "In A Relationship", and then you don't have to bother her. Of course vice versa for ladies out there who see a cute guy. This idea could work anywhere - on a bus, the gym, work, walking down the street (how many times have you seen a cute girl or guy and wondered if they were single?). Plus match.com (and other sites) need to allow a search function which only displays the area code of "07030". Lets see all the single people in Hoboken, not 1 mile away in New York.

9) There needs to be a law passed at Club H (or other gyms) to stop the following: loud gum snapping, singing while you work out, talking on your cell phone at all, staring at women while they workout, lifting heavy weights with terrible form, or wearing wedding rings (or any jewelery) while you work out.

10) The Hoboken Reporter should reach out to local bloggers and writers for adding their commentary to the newspaper. We do it for free - all you would need to do is fix all my spelling mistakes and credit our sites.

I'm really looking foward to my delivery from FreshDirect on Saturday. I'm very curious about the service and I expect to write up a nice little review on my order for the site and those interested in the quality of the food.

Texas Arizona: Steelers vs Eagles

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Randy sent me an email when I got into work on Monday:

"After reading your website and seeing your schedule for Dippers' hosting of the Eagles I noticed that you are not doing a pre-seaon. Since I have yet to go to a local official Steeler bar I wanted to invite you to join me at Texas-Arizona to see the Eagles get smashed by my Pittsburgh Steelers."

Why not? The Steelers Club of Hoboken has been going in town for 5 years, and from what I heard they are packed every Sunday during the year. Plus it's pre-season, and I figured it would be fun.

In retrospect, I learned a lot of things from this experience:

1) When I walked in, there were easily 40 Steeler fans there. Every barstool and table was occupied by someone in yellow and black. I was impressed for the turnout for just a preseason game.

2) Texas Arizona has excellent buffalo wings. The food is delicious. My only grief is that the service is SLOW. It took 30 minutes for me to get those wings - I figured i'd get a buyback or something. Nada.

3) They have a Steelers fan who DJs for free at the bar. Before the game he is pumping the crowd up with your typical songs that they would play at the stadium and during the commerical breaks during the game - they turn the sound off the TVs and play a song. What a great idea. Time to load up the IPOD with, "Fly Eagles Fly", and some commerical break songs.

4) Every touchdown they play a Steelers variation of "The Pennsylvania Polka" (remember the song from "Groundhog Day?"). They play this song after the touchdown - and during the commericals. I hate polka. It sounds like it was invented by drunk retards who couldn't play real instruments. People may hate the Eagles song - but thankfully it lasts like 30-45 seconds? This polka song is beyond annoying - it ran for at least 5 minutes - I thank God that no one made an Eagles variation. Holy shit. After the 4th Steeler touchdown I was ready to buy a sniper rifle and find a watertower.

5) There are some hot Steeler girls at Texas Arizona. Wow. If I met a girl who was a Steeler fan, I certainly could date them because they were an AFC team - plus anyone from Pennsylvania is cool in my book. She just better hate polka, too. If I met a girl that was a diehard Dallas or Giants fan - I don't think I could date her. I'm serious. I don't hate the Redskins as much, but I wouldn't be happy. I mean - could a diehard Yankee fan date a diehard Red Sox fan?! I'm not talking casual fairweather fans here. Think about it.

6) Texas Arizona has 10 stunning flat screen TVs with HD satellite reception. Crystal clear picture. It was like Ben Roethlisberger's nose was jumping off the screen. After watching the game I was really interested in getting a flat screen TV & hoping never to see a close up of Ben's greasy face again. No offense Steeler fans, but if you slapped a pair of overalls on Ben & handed him a banjo he would look like he belongs on the cast of Deliverance 2: Electric Banjaloo.

7) For those in the club last year - think we had energy? The Steeler fans were right up there with us. Cheering, clapping, singing and high-fiving the whole game. During the regular season, I heard that they have wall-to-wall fans who go bonkers. Last night I would cheer when the Eagles scored, but much like if I was sitting at Giants Stadium - I made sure that I wasn't obnoxious about it. If you know me well enough you will know this did take a supreme act of willpower to remain silent.

8) Like the Eagles club - 75% of the Steeler fans left at half-time. Monday night football is a tough draw. I bet these are the same people who leave a game early to "beat traffic". You pansies.

9) Randy and Tina were 1 hour late - showing up just after 9pm. I was ready to chew on broken glass at that point, with Steeler fans breakdancing around me and listening to them try and clap to their polka songs. I see that white people from Pittsburgh don't have much rythym.

10) At kickoff, I turn to one of the Steeler fans and tell them i'm an Eagles fan and run the club in town. Eagles first posession - interception - TD and after they get done cheering and singing the gay polka song I turn to him and say, "I guess I shouldn't have admitted that." I also had to correct everyone I met that I run the CLUB, and we aren't associated with Scotland Yard.

My thoughts for the game itself (and this is before reading the Eagles website or Philly.com):

1) Anyone think the Eagles miss Ike Reese? I agree that one player isn't a whole team - but he was the leader of that group. They have 4 weeks to fix that coverage.

2) Wow, what a crappy way to start a game with a horrendous pass that gets returned for a TD. Reminded me of the Giants/Eagles playoff game 4 years ago when Ron Dixon returned the kickoff for a TD. Just knocks the wind out of your sails.

3) 21 points on special teams/interceptions. Steelers didn't do squat offensively with the 1st team.

4) The first drive for a touchdown should be what Eagles fans take away from the game? McMullen (4-59), Brown (5-52) and Lewis (3-28) looked terrific. There wasn't one error in that drive. It was crisp and professional - I think that the first fears of, "We can't win without TO (0-0)" should be soothed. Lets see how these guys do the next 3 games.

5) Who would you rather be the #2 QB? Koy (5-10-1, 59 yards) or McMahon (8-11-0, 73 yards)?

6) Everyone talks how Moats (6-22)is a little guy - loved both his touchdowns, he was barreling & bouncing thru defenders.

7) Contract extension for Westbrook who rushed 4 times for 5 yards and caught 2 passes for 18 yards? Hmmm.

8) The offensive line looked, at times, like they belonged in a Pop Warner league. We may have some fresh talent there but boy were there some missed assignments.

9) I'm happy there are no major injuries!!!!!

10) ESPN did a terrible job with covering the game last night. This is the future of Monday night football? God help us.

Yes, so we lost. Realistically the blame was on special teams that we lost the game. Otherwise the first team Eagles defense looked crisp. The offense clicked after an initial mistake. Just be happy this wasn't the first real game of the season.

The Dubliner: Pre-Open Update

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Last Saturday I had the chance to take a few pictures inside The Dubliner, a 081505a.jpgnew bar opening up where Gerrino's used to be at 96 River Street. A friend of mine is doing some of the electrical work inside the bar and it looks spectactular. Like many of the new renovations and constructed bars in town - it's laden with flat screen TV's and new interior designs.

Unlike many of the new incantations of bars and lounges in our town - The Dubliner is the best of many worlds. They have three floors, each designed a bit differently to satistfy the fickle taste of every young Hobokenite.

The first floor is more like a quiet pub lounge. The music is a bit lower, so you can easily chat with friends or a date. The second floor is a bit more open, with a DJ booth, great sound system and a pool table. The third floor, orginally Skybar, will soon be an open air Tiki Lounge, open "as many months as possible" during the year - possibly even New Years Eve, if the owners can swing it.

I spoke to Aiden Boyle, the owner on Saturday night. He also owns a popular irish pub, McSwiggan's on 1st and Bloomfield. He stressed how the bar is still a work in progress, and that the 081505c.jpgofficial opening of The Dubliner is still about a month away - they expect the offical opening to be mid September. They have some very creative ideas brewing for the opening, I won't give too many details away - but it involves a theatric "Irish Wake" and an open bar for we patrons who attend the wake. I'll provide details when the date draws closer.

There are two kind of bar owners in town - those just out to make a buck and those that really enjoy the business of a tavern. Aiden, like many other pub owners, reminds me of the latter. He is filled with ideas on how he wants to make a bar that keeps as many patrons as happy as possible.

Keeping patrons happy, and coming back to the bar is up to the bartenders behind the bar. One thing I have learned is that two things make a bar - the bar itself and the people working there. You have an unruly staff who serve with mock sincerity or downright arrogance - it doesn't matter how popular your bar is, there will be people who won't want to go there. While talking to Aiden, I also got to meet with Walter and Rob (see picture, Walter is the taller one) - two really great bartenders in my humble opinion. They were charismatic and friendly, and Walter, being a season veteran of bars (he owned one in Staten Island), was on the same page with me on how to treat customers.

I'm really impressed with what I have seen at the bar so far. The first floor and second floor are mostly completed, with some extra work happening over the next few weeks. The 3rd floor should be ready by the grand opening. The bar is open for business, but like I said - it is still under some construction so it is not a finished product.081505b.jpg

They also have a bar menu right now, and from what I hear the food is really delicious - especially The Dubliner Burger (8 oz of grade A ground beef grilled with melted cheese, bacon and onion served with fries for $9). There are also some tasty looking soups, salads, appetizers (wings, fingers and skins) along with sandwiches and wraps. Not one thing was more expensive than $9.

Maybe one night you want to get dressed up and hit Nine, the new lounge on Washington street - and the next night you want to kick back and drink a few under the stars at The Dubliner. Absolutely worth going to check out and I like what I see so far.

Nanny's Meatballs & Sauce Recipe

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Growing up I used to love going to Nanny's (my father's mother) house in Philadelphia for primarily one reason: The food.
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I didn't really know my Nanny and Pop-Pop as an adult. My knowledge and understanding of both of them was from the perspecitive of a child. A child with hyperactivity and a low tolerance for boredom.

They lived at 11th St. in North Philadelphia, very close to Temple University Hospital, it was rowhomes and concrete with a tiny patch of grass behind each house. In some ways, it is much like Hoboken, but I think Hoboken's beautiful brownstones and history make the bland Philadelphia brick structures pale in comparison.

But growing up in the green sprawling suburbs, it was like being exiled to Romania for a day. Our family would visit about every other month, I think. Everything about this section of Philly was gray to me and dark. Their couches had plastic on it and there was a faint musty smell in the house. The family room was painted a periwinkle color, which was all the rage in 1960's fashion - and not one bit of furniture was ever changed in all my years that I visited. But, there was the good meatballs and sausages to look forward to each time my family arrived for a Sunday dinner.

Now that i'm teaching myself how to cook, I asked my mother if she had any good recipes. One of the first she sent was Nanny's Meatballs & Sauce Recipe. I read it and my first reaction was:

That's it?!

If you are expecting something mind blowing, you are going to be unbelieveably disappointed. This recipe is simple, but the results are delicious - even my roommates agree and it was devoured by everyone at The Live 3 BBQ. Try it, what do you have to lose? The whole list of ingredients will cost about $15 and easily feed 4 to 6 people.

Back To Life Back To Reality

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Everytime I see my life repeating itself, I hum that song...like when I go home and my mother still has me take out the trash I feel like i'm 15 again...

Some of you know that I bartended at Dipper's bar when it first opened. I was part of the orignial crew: C$ (Su, Tu, Th), TG (Fr, Sa), Joe (We, Fr), and I (Mo, Sa) were the first four to work the night shifts (CB and Heather worked days/weekends). It was a blast.

We all were friends before the bar opened. C$ was the bouncer at Farside, and I would do fill-in bouncing work there also. Joe is a fireman in town, and bartended at Moran's years back. TG used to bartend at Dooley's Bar, and became part of our social circle before Dipper's opened up.

I never bartended before, but Joe was going to be the manager at Dipper's. He pulled me aside one night and dropped a bomb on me with, "Are you interested in bartending?". He told me he picked me because he thought I would be good behind the bar and that he could trust me, which is also very important in a bartender. People who handle money, and a register, you have to trust won't steal.

At the time I was bouncing at Farside, and every once in a blue moon would end up behind the bar or working a beer-station (during festivals) at the pub. Bartending is easy money. Just a few times when I worked behind the sticks you quickly realize how much better it is to bartend versus other service jobs. I worked as a waiter for a few summers in Ocean City, NJ - much harder work with decent tips.

As a bartender? You make nice change, you meet people and you have fun. It was a no brainer.

I owe Joe for the chance to bartend, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have gotten such a opportunity. There are three ways to get a bartending shift in Hoboken:

1) You are a hot girl or you have a hot body.
2) You know the owner or a bartender.
3) You are a hot girl or you have a hot body.
(Yes, this is a tongue-in-cheek joke!)

Otherwise you are shit out of luck. There is no chance that if I walked into every bar in Hoboken and asked to bartend would I get a job. I'm not knocking my dashing good looks, but male bartenders are a dime a dozen. If you live in Hoboken and are a cute girl - you can find work much easier than any guy could. Remember the bar logic:

1) Bars want business.
2) Men like women.
3) Cute female bartenders bring in male patrons.
4) More guys = busy bar.
5) Women like busy bars that have crowds.
6) More women = more guys.
7) Bar makes money.
(Madison's, Lua, 340, Quays, Trinity, Nine - look at the talent behind the bar. Not too many mousey librarians types serving drinks are there?)

Joe's offer totally fell into my lap.

We worked there and there were more ups than downs. Everyone really enjoyed working there and as time progressed most went our different ways.

I can't win sometimes.

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TO suspended from practice today. Here is what they said on WIP:

According to Cobb, the player told him that Owens was supposed to be off today in order to rest his strained groin muscle and Reid was upset to see him running pass routes at full speed. When Reid suggested that if Owens felt good enough to run routes all out, he should be good enough to attend practice, and the player told Cobb that the argument escalated from there.

Owens is now suspended for 7 days (unconfirmed) and drove back to his NJ home.

What pisses me off about all this?

I have Corey Simon & Terell Owens jerseys!! I bought Simon's because he was supposed to be the next Warren Sapp. I bought Owens because he signed a 7 year deal (I figured it was good for 4 years at least). I don't want to get a McNabb shirt (everyone has that). Maybe I will get a Kearse one - he is in year 2 of an 8 year deal.

But seriously - we lost Pinkson, I don't think we can afford to have a guy like Owens in our locker room for the whole season. It is really sad because I thought the guy was changing for the better. You would read about Owens and McNabb and how well they got along. It was so much fun to watch them, now it's like watching a train wreck about to happen.

Carl's Philly Cheesesteaks

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Last week I was reading New York Metro, and they had an article on "Best Cheesesteaks in New York", which is an oxymoron, since it's like saying "Best Italian Ices in Iraq" -080905c.JPG just not gonna happen.

Interestingly enough - I was pleasantly surprised with Carl's Philly Cheesesteaks. I scurried down to 34th and 3rd from my office in midtown during lunch of last week (took the 6 train to 32nd and Park) and walked in to a nondescript deli. At first I was thinking "This place sucks" - then thought of 080905b.JPGmy favorite cheesesteaks at Dalessandro's in Roxborough or Pat's and Geno's - they aren't anything special.

Suffice to say - I really like Carl's. It is much better than our own Philly's Cheesesteaks in Hoboken (sorry guys) and totally worth a trip if you work in New York City on the East side. They deliver, too - but I was just outside their delivery range. Plus they have a second store at 79 Chambers St. downtown.

The staff at midtown were very friendly and accomodating. I didn't have to spell out what I needed for my provolone pizza steak with onions. I figured that I was already damning my diet so I did order cheese fries and a coke. Also don't expect to sit down and enjoy your steak - Carl's has 2 tables and 6 seats. I was expecting it to be larger, but it really is just a hole-in-the-wall shop.080905a.JPG

You know what else? Carl's is fairly priced. My Pizza cheesesteak was $6.25! Along with cheese fries and a coke and my total was around $10.

I wouldn't recommend eating here every week like you did if you lived around South Jersey/Philly - but if you have that cheesesteak itch and you are in New York - hands down try Carl's Philly Cheesesteaks.

Get one, and post a comment. Take the Carl's Challenge.

For the record, nothing beats a Philly steak - but this place sure comes close to making me happy.

Grolsch Lager

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Grolsch.

The name, rolls off the tongue with a strong Dutch accent just as much as the beer stays true to its ethnic heritage. First brewed in the seventeenth century by Peter Cuyper of Grolle (present day Groenlo) who developed the brew in 1615. By 1677, he was the Master Brewer, 080805.JPGin charge of all the other brewers in Grolle. He mastered his own method of brewing and his own style of beer, which to this day is the same recipe passed down from generation to generation.

I have heard of Grolsch before, but never tried one - but it is a lager, and I decided to take the plunge. It is very crisp and refreshing, it has a faint hoppy taste that you get from drinking other Holland imports, but not as strong as a Hieneken's.

Unlike the Hop Devil, this beer packs a normal punch of 5% alcohol by volume.

I kept these beers all to myself this time, Jon decided to wimp out and buy his favorite Hoegaarden white beer.

My verdict? I think Grolsch is good, but I still would like a Yuengling Lager over it. If you like that Dutch/German hoppy flavored beer - I think you will like Grolsch. If you are more of a malty person - like Yuengling or Newcastle, you may not enjoy it as much.

But hey, give it a try - always fun to try something new, right?

Pinkston Out for Season

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Wow.

I was never a huge fan of Pinky's, but the news just came out on the wire that Todd Pinkston ruptured his Achilles tendon - and he will be out for the season.

I think two things: a) Greg Lewis was showing flashes of brilliance last season and lots of people wanted to see him as a #2. Now he has his chance. b) Suddenly TO is much, much more important to the team - if I were in their shoes i'd start to think about making him happy.

I hope Pinky gets well, and it's sad to see a player go down. Lots of Pinky lovers thought this was going to be his year to shine.

My First Time (Really) Drunk

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My first taste of alcohol was in 1983 when I was 11.

My brother and his friends would go to Giuseppe's Pizza and grab a six pack of Moosehead. They had different methods of getting the beer, the easiest was to tip a older friend of theirs $5 to purchase the Moosehead.

The beer tasted bad, sour, I hated it but kept drinking because I wanted to impress the older kids. I would have one, maybe two beers and think I was drunk. I doubt that I really was drunk. No, I know I wasn't really drunk.

My first time really drunk was at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in June 1985.

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