November 2005 Archives

Vidcasts?

| 3 Comments

I take the PATH train in everyday to work, usually blasting my IPOD loud enough to not have to hear the rest of the world. I either close my eyes and nap or read a magazine during the ride. Many times I just daydream, thinking of a world outside of my own, thinking of the world of the future.

In the advent of this new digital age, where blogs and websites like Gawker or Gothamist replace traditional media, I also see the same happening for entertainment.

If you can get a digital camera, a computer to edit your film and a server to host your file - you, too, could write your own movies or TV shows at a fraction of what it costs to make in traditional Hollywood. Think about popular blogs - how fast does the word get out about a good blog or website? One click of an email and thousands of people tell thousands of other people about something they discovered on the net.

I'm sure this has already started. We have "podcast" now, where people like you and me record audio and distribute it to Ipods. When will a "vidcast" start? Some 15 year old kid from Carrollton, Texas stops making videos of him and his buddies doing skateboarding tricks for dumpalink.com and makes a 45 minute movie that inspires, entertains or saddens the world.

What I want to find out is how a person could do this and what the costs involve. What kind of camera do you need? What kind of editing equipment do you want? How much does it cost to host on a server? I just think that there are tremendous changes coming, as costs come down for production and bandwidth increases for our homes. I don't think it takes a big budget film to make a movie or TV show.

I'm a Dr. Who fan. If you haven't heard of Dr. Who, it is a BBC production that began on November 23, 1963, with a mysterious anti-hero in the mold of Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger. The production costs were minimal, the special effects were made from bubble wrap & tin foil, but the storylines were superb and many of the actors were theatrical veterans of the English stage. In fact, if you watch many other BBC classical productions (Shakespeare, etc) you will see many of the same Dr. Who actors in various parts, too.

You can't convince people to like Dr. Who. Either you do, or you don't like it, but the people who like it the most are the ones with the greatest imagination. They don't see a tin gun & a spaceship made from balsa wood, they see a Cyberman Standard Issue Rifle and a Dalek Space Cruiser. They are enthralled by the characters, from the long scarved Doctor, his robot companion K9 or the alluring female tribal warrior. Most of the early Dr. Who was filmed using London and the countryside as a backdrop. By today's standards the filming was primitive - but at the TV shows height, it was ridiculously popular in Britian with children and adults on Saturday nights.

My point about Dr. Who and vidcasts is that someday, sooner than you think, someone out there is going to put 2+2 together. Instead of being some starving actor or director at New York University - they will just sit at home and write, direct and produce their own visions in a digital format. It may be just as cheesy as Dr. Who, but if written well enough and if a buzz starts - I think the sky is the limit for anyone who first can make something entertaining.

Out of curiousity I bought 3 new books from Amazon:

• What They Don't Teach You At Film School : 161 Strategies to Making Your Own Movie No Matter What
• Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide to Producing Low Budget Movies
• The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (Graphics Series)

Heh.

Eagles Fan Gets Busted

| 2 Comments

Only a few weeks ago I wrote about how I would want my ashes spread on Lincoln Financial Field, and someone decided to steal my idea!

PHILADELPHIA Nov 29, 2005A man arrested for running onto the field during the Philadelphia Eagles' game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday told police he was spreading his late mother's ashes.

Christopher Noteboom, of Tempe, Ariz., ran onto the field holding a plastic bag, leaving a cloud of fine powder behind. 112905.jpg

As he reached the 30-yard line, he dropped to his knees, made the sign of the cross and lay down on his stomach. Security personnel reached him moments later and he offered no resistance as he was escorted from the field.

The 33-year-old Noteboom, a native of Doylestown, said his mother died of emphysema in January 2005, shortly before the Eagles' Super Bowl appearance.

"She never cared for any other team except the Eagles," Noteboom told WPVI-TV after he was released from custody Monday. "I know that the last handful of ashes I had are laying on the field, and will never be taken away. She'll always be part of Lincoln Financial Field and of the Eagles."

Noteboom, a bar owner in Arizona, was charged with defiant trespass. He has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 27.

"It's bizarre, but we have a zero tolerance for people who run on the field," Police Inspector William Colarulo said. "We especially have a zero tolerance for people who run onto the field and dump an unknown substance in a stadium full of people."

Eagles spokeswoman Bonnie Grant said the team has declined requests to spread ashes on the field.

If I had to do this, I wouldn't do it while a game was being played - i'd just get a job at the Linc doing some menial job, like janitoral services or working in the food court. First night on the job, walk down to the field, spread the ashes and then quit the next day. No fuss, and no lawsuit.

Of course, we won last weeks game - maybe we should do this every week to get another victory?

Pam laughing all the way to the bank!

| No Comments

112805.jpg

My very funny cousin, Pam got a 3 year deal with 20th Century Fox a few weeks ago...

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117932135?categoryid=14&cs=1

"Team America: World Police" scribe and "South Park" alum Pam Brady has sealed a new, rich overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Three-year deal, which consists of an initial two-year run with an option for one more year, will keep Brady on Fox's upcoming laffer "The Loop," which she's exec producing, and eventually calls for new development as well.

20th Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden called Brady "one of the funniest people I've ever sat in a room with."

"She's all parts artist, which is why everybody in this company has so much passion for her," Walden said. "She doesn't let the business of her business get in the way of her vision. That's who will have a big hit, and she was one of the writers we were willing to place a big bet on."

Brady has served as both a vocal performer and scribe on the long-running Comedy Central fave "South Park"; she also helped write the theatrical "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut."

In TV, besides the upcoming "The Loop" (which she created and exec produces with Will Gluck), Brady's credits include "Just Shoot Me," "Go Fish," "The John Larroquette Show" and "The Single Guy."

"We feel lucky she's going to be a part of this company for a long time to come," Walden said.

Of course everyone in my family are all really psyched to see Pam doing well in Hollywood, she is just one of those people who are simply extremely intelligent and very witty in every situation.

Here is an early look at The Loop, on the Fox website.

Top 5 Bartending Pet Peeves

| 4 Comments

Most of you know that i'm bartending once again. I first started at the bar when it first opened, January 2001. I worked until November 2003, when I was, well, fired. It is a long story, and not sure if I want to blog it, because it will just reopen old wounds. If you are really interested, you can always email me or just come to the bar on a Saturday night and ask me. Bottom line is that the owner and I made up with each other and he was happy to welcome me back.

Now that I am back again, here are my top 5 pet peeves I have while i'm working at the bar. Other bartenders may read this and know what i'm talking about, or maybe they will disagree with me. From this list I excluded my whole tipping principles, which you can find here.

  • Order everything at once & have your money ready. A girl came up to the bar the other night, and said, "A Miller Lite, please." I walk to the cooler, get the beer and walk back, putting the beer on the bar and said, "$4 bucks". They say, "Oh, another one!". I walk back to the cooler, get another one, put that on the bar, and say "Ok, $8 bucks". "...and a Captain & coke!" I make the drink and tell her "$14 dollars." She goes into her wallet, fiddles around with money, then turns and asks her friends for money. Bartenders need to sling the drinks out as soon as they can, and this is just slowing us down.

  • Patrons who order stupid drinks. I get younger drinkers who come in and say, "I will have a Mind Eraser!" or "Three shots of Scooby Snack!" I know how to make Mind Erasers, but when its busy, you don't want to be sitting there making a layered drink. I don't know Scooby Snacks, and I would ask the people, "What's in that?" and they have no idea, either. I will look it up sometimes, and a Scooby Snack has 1 part Malibu, Creme de Bananes, Midori, Pineapple and whipped cream shaken together. In other words a pain in the ass to make, especially when the bar is busy. Sometimes people order a "Pink Pussycat" or a "Purple Nurple" and I have no clue what these shots are - so I just make something that has vodka and then color it to look pink or purple and say "There ya go!" Most people have no clue anyhow.

  • People who have no music taste. The bane of my existence at the bar is the jukebox. There are multiple reasons:

    • People have no concept of playing music to the crowd. You get 3 people in the bar who like Phish. They play Phish on a Saturday night in a packed room and everyone else is thinking "Is that music or is someone strangling a seal?" I just hit the skip key and ask the people to play something better.
    • Everyone wants to hear the "song of the moment". Every 2 months there is a supersong that is on the radio and everyone wants to hear it. Kayne West. Outkast. Beyonce. Kelly Clarkson. The problem is that these songs get played ad nauseum every night at the bar. A patron may come in, stay for 2 hours, play that song and leave. Another patron comes in and does the same thing. Pretty soon you are about to rip the jukebox off the wall.

    I liked the old days when a bartender could set the music tempo and play the songs from their CD collection or Ipod. Sometimes patrons would ask for certain bands, and we would play that for them. When I used to work with Teresa, we would have a slamming good time behind the bar listening to Rage Against The Machine and dancing with each other while we worked. Those were the good old days.

  • Rude customers. There was a guy who came into the bar when I worked who just, for some reason, was always rude to me. There were a series of events where he would order from me and just act rude, saying things like, "You aren't friendly - get the other bartender!" or he would look at the shot I poured in a rocks glass and say "This is it? This is all your giving me?" Now, I like to think I give good customer service, but it only took a few more similar situations where I had to set this guy straight. One night I finally had enough, when he got angry at me for pouring a shot incorrectly. He was right, it was a shot I didn't know, his pal told me how to pour it - and it was fairly terrible. I didn't charge for the shot and he kept giving me grief over it. Finally I went off on him. Keep in mind that this was the cumlination of about 4 weeks of this guy being a jerkoff to me. I laid into him, starting with, "What the fuck is your problem, exactly?" I detailed everything he did the last 4 weeks, in front of his friends and his fiance. His friends were all saying, "Oh, we're sorry. He does that when he is drunk!" and at the end of it even he was saying, "Look, i'm really sorry."
    I wrote before that the bartenders aren't servants. I certainly could have handled it a bit differently, but it was a busy bar night and I was at the end of my rope on tolerance. I saw the same guy a week later, he shook my hand and apologized again. Nice guy when he's sober.

  • Underage kids. I was in college, and I tried to get into bars when I wasn't 21. Sadly, I never had ID because my brother refused to "lose" his license for me and I wasn't the kind of brother that would steal it from his wallet. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, we have a tremendous amount of customers from Stevens University who come to the bar with NJ licenses that are incredibly real. Some are good customers, who drink, tip and act normal. But the other morons make them look really bad. They punch holes in the wall, steal things from the bar and rarely can handle their drink. It makes me want to get a scanner than you can run a license under and it will verify if it is genuine or a fake. I just want everyone in my bar who is older than 21. There are plenty of young 20-somethings who act like morons, too - but the older the patrons get the less likely they will be a complete asshat in a bar.

    Those are my pet peeves while I bartend. Here are my pet peeves while i'm a patron.

  • Male bartenders that ignore guys and serve girls first. I don't know how many uptown bars I will stand there, with my tried and true technique of holding my money out, and the bartenders serve the girls first. As a bartender, I absolutely treat everyone equally, and this drives me insane.

  • Any bars that have a line. I think any Hobokenite who waits in line for a bar is a complete fucking moron. There are NO BARS in this town that are worth a line. You have a trillion bars to choose from, and you want to wait in line for 30 minutes to drink in a bar? No way, not me. Plus, the bouncers at Madisons keep people outside when the bar is half-full. Why?

  • Going to any bar that has 10 people or more wearing the Man Suit. Now that the winter is upon is, the next variation of the Man Suit is the Sweater Man Suit, where the person wears a sweater over the shirt - but the collar, cuffs and untucked tail are all showing - yes, i'm guilty as charged, here. Places that have the "cool yuppie crowd" always have the same vibe: You go there with friends, get into a circle, talk with each other, and ignore everyone else. Am I right? People go to a bar, to drink, and be around other people who drink - but don't talk to them or socialize.

  • Bartenders who complain. I may have my pet peeves, but I do realize a simple thing about bartending - the ratio of money to work is ridiculously easy. You pour drinks, talk to people and hang out at a bar for 8 hours - then walk out with a fistload of cash. As much as I may make my comments about my peeves, don't take any of this the wrong way - bartending is one of the best jobs ever. If they had 401K and health care, I would be tempted to leave my IT job and do it fulltime. I sit there and do the math, and some bartenders work two shifts a week (16 hours), and make more money than a schoolteacher who works 5 days a week (35-40 hours).

Hey, that's just me. Have an interesting one? Email me or leave a comment. Same rules about comments apply to real life - don't be a dick. :)

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

| No Comments

Another year is coming to a close, and the holiday season is upon us. Only a few weeks until Christmas and New Years, and tomorrow we have Thanksgiving.

This year I have had a lot of people offer me to come to their house, and I had to basically start lying to everyone.

Yes, i'm not happy about it. I do sincerely appreciate the offers, my brother-in-law Pat called me and said I could come to Allentown to his brother's Thankgiving dinner. My sister Steph called from Temecula, California and said I should fly out to visit her for the weekend. My brother offered for me to come visit and meet the new baby, Abrianna (My mother will be going there for the weekend). I had a few friends offer me to come to their house.

It is hard to basically say, "No" when you don't want to hurt everyone's feelings. I only have off Thursday and not Friday, so that limits what I can do for my holiday. Going to Allentown to spend it with Pat's side of the family...flying to California for one day....driving to DC and back in 24 hours....spening the day with a friend and their family that you don't know? Eh.

So, yes. I'm sorry to tell you, and i'm sure my family will read this, is that I lied. I said I had plans when I didn't. At first I started to tell people, "Thank you so much, but I will just stay in Hoboken". My sister Steph clearly understood, as did Kevin. I just felt bad telling other people the truth for some reason.

I will be happy to spend the day at home, with Boston Chicken carryout. I will pop open a bottle of wine and I bought a 20 year old bottle of taylor fladgate tawny port last night. Here are the things I am thankful for this year...

  • My health. After my leg injury, it absolutely made me appreciate being able to walk. I'm still not 100%, it is going to be a long time until my left leg is as strong as my right leg.
  • My family. I may not say it enough, but I love them all.
  • My liberty. God bless our men and women in the Armed Forces and their fight for our freedom and for protecting America.
  • My friends. Old friends and new friends I have met over the last year! A special thanks to Matt, Dominique, Kristen, Jon and Lisa who helped me while I was hurt.
  • Heather H and Dipper. - a big "Thank You" to Heather this year. She was the key reason i'm bartending again, if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be back at the bar. I'm grateful to Dipper that we were able to put our differences behind us and his hosting of the club at his bar.
  • DataPipe - i'm very thankful to everyone at Datapipe for helping promote the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken and getting this blog off the ground.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

How Times Have Changed

| 2 Comments

From Super Bowl contenders to playoff pretenders, our Eagles are having a terrible season. Why?

I think there is a fine line between our 4-6 record and being 6-4 right now. Here are what I see as the Eagles problems, and I don't know if this season it can be fixed:

1) Special Teams - I think I wrote about this weeks ago, and our special teams have been killing us most games. Against the Giants, the blocked punt is beyond terrible, how many times do you snap a ball low? Come on.

2) Derrick Burgess - think we miss him much? I do. Corey Simon - think we could have used fat boy now? Our defensive line just isn't getting pressure on the QBs like they used to. I think Mike Patterson is a bit green, and didn't live up to the pre-season hype. Kearse is just above average, and not the factor that he was hyped up to be. Losing Jerome McDougle certainly didn't help.

3) Don't blame this on TO, wrote Rich Hofmann in the Philadelphia Daily News: "You want to pin this on Terrell Owens, go ahead. But unless Jeremiah Trotter was searching for T.O. in the middle of traffic when Tiki Barber cut back for a 55-yard run that set up a Giants field goal, Owens had nothing to do with it. T.O. had nothing to do with the pass interference in the end zone that set up another score, on a play in which a referee's flag and hat joined Michael Lewis' jock in the laundry pile on the field. And unless Sheldon Brown was distracted by visions of Owens dancing in his head when Plaxico Burress ran by him for the final TD, well, you get the idea." Defense wins championships.

4) McNabb. I don't think the team lives and dies by one player, but having Koy or Mike at QB certainly is a different team versus having McNabb. I still like what I see from McMahon, but it may be until 2 games from now that the guy gets into a better rhythm with his center on how to snap the ball. But I still don't place too much blame on McMahon - he scored 17 points against a very good defense.

I said it before, I know we are a better team than 4-6, but unfortunately the door is nearly closed on us this season. I expect to win 5 of the next 6. I would like to end this season on a high note, with some wins, even if we miss the playoffs.

But football is a crazy sport. Who knows what will happen to Dallas and the Giants in the coming weeks?

Uncle Times Seven

| 3 Comments

I'm an uncle again, if you are keeping count at home, my sister Stephanie has two boys; my sister Stacey has two boys and two girls; and my brother's first girl, Abrianna Frances has been welcomed into the family. She weighed in 7 pounds and 20 inches. I already have on order for her plenty of Eagle baby gear to make sure she doesn't ever think about rooting for her hometown team, the Redskins.

I thought it was very cute that her middle name is a variation of my father's name, Francis. I told my brother that every guy I know who has a little girl immediately fall into the "Daddy's Little Girl Syndrome". It is like something short circuits in their head and they no longer are they guy they once were. It is like Invasion of the Lame Body Snatchers. They replace the once rough and tumble guy's-guy with a vanilla version of their old self.

This effect has happened to a ton of Hoboken guy friends. Before you could go to clubs or pub with the guy and drink a few beers - now they would rather stay in. Before you could talk about slutty cheerleaders getting off with each other in Florida bathrooms, now they want to talk about their baby girl's first steps. I'm all for good dads - but what happened to your friends that got replaced by Mr. Rogers? This was a drinking buddy who used to recant tales about his escapades in college and now he turns into Mr. Good Guy. I'd like to see one of the new fathers i'd know just keep some parts of their old self - stay that good fun friend you knew and also be a good kind father that they have become.

Of course it is only day one as a daddy for Kevin. He is still his old self. He told me that it was nice to have a new girl in his wife that worships the ground he walks on, since his wife no longer does. Yes, that's a joke people!

Jokes aside, i'm happy for them both. I asked Kevin if I could just set aside $1,000 now and that would cover me for the next 10 years of birthdays and holiday gifts. I'm bad like that. I have no problem giving gifts but I can never remember the dates and I hate hate hate shopping. This year my same gift to the other 6 nephews and nieces will be my online gift certificate from Amazon.com.

Although I am contemplating buying them World of Warcraft and a 1 year subscription to the game. Then I could play online with them and they could join Uncle Furey in dominating the virtual world. Wouldn't that be a fun bonding experience?

My sister was nice enough to email me right after I wrote this and gave me a virtual backhanded slap from California: That's the point - having a baby makes you grow up in the FASTEST way possible. Not that going to clubs et al was a bad thing, it's just that after having kids, you realize that there is a WHOLE lot more out there.

56 Minutes Of Good Football

| 1 Comment

Football is a funny game sometimes. And if by saying 'funny' I mean 'drives me insane' then you get what i'm saying.

It is hard to write a post where your team looks excellent for about, oh, 56 minutes. It is holding the other teams offensive challenges and doing a decent job on offense. In the 4th quarter, up 13 points and only 4 minutes left, the Gods of football would say that you have a pretty good chance to win. Heck, they even flashed a stat up on the screen "Eagles have won 36 consecutive games when leading by 10+ points in the 4th quarter - the longest streak in the NFL!"

Dallas, the bane of the Eagles existence, decided to add just another reason for Eagles fans to hate them after this Monday Night loss. What was poised to be a rejuvenated team, a phoenix rising from the ashes of the firey citadel of Rosenhaus & Owens, get a rude awakening to the current state of the NFC East:

You are no longer the big kids on the block.

Hats off to Dallas, because they won with a fairly incredible comeback. Much like the Redskins/Dallas MNF football game on Sept 20th, the visitor team was just close enough to rally for a win.

What does it mean for Eagles country? First off, we need Dallas to continue to do well, in the regular season, and win the NFC East. Yep, I just wrote that. I know most of you want to see the entire Dallas team die in a plane crash, but hear me out.

Right now at 4-5, with 7 games left, I just don't see the birds winning 7 in a row. Here would be my non-baised prediction on the upcoming games, if McNabb's newest groin injury doesn't sideline him:
Nov 20 - at NY Giants - loss.
Nov 27 - vs. Green Bay - win.
Dec 5 - vs. Seattle - loss.
Dec 11 - vs. NY Giants - win.
Dec 18 - at St. Louis - win.
Dec 24 - at Arizona - win.
Jan 1 - vs. Washington - win.

I think we are going to win 5 of the next 7 and end up 9-7 now.

I think the Giants can go 2-5 absolutely lose the following games:
Seattle, Dallas, Philly, KC, Washington

Here is the kicker. Lets say we sweep the Giants & my other predictions hold true. They go 1-6, which, if you look at who they are playing, is entirely possible.

We end up 10-6.

Now how about those pesky Redskins? With 7 games left, they are playing so haphazard it will be hard to predict what they will do in any game. San Diego, Dallas & Philly could be losses. Oakland, St. Louis and Arizona are probable wins, but who knows? Hope they beat Giants. If the Redskins win 4 of the next 7, they end up 9-6.

What's my point? Losing to Dallas certainly hurts, not only from a personal hatred standpoint, but also from a playoff picture. If the Eagles can put this loss behind them and win at least 5 of the next 7, along with the Redskins and Giants having troubles, we aren't doomed yet.

A longshot? Yes. Probable? No. Possible? Absolutely.

The Tired T.O. Arguement

| 3 Comments

"Fly Eagles Fly, on the road to victoryyyyyyyyy!", sang two patrons off key at the bar. "Hey Eeeeeagles fan? How about T.O.?", they mocked.

The two patrons were bar regulars, one wearing a Yankee cap, and the other shorter and unshaven. Both were obviously drinking all day. I was fiddling with the lights, trying to darken the bar, before my shift started at the bar on Saturday night. It reminded me like schoolchildren at Richboro Elementary playground in 3rd grade. I felt my blood boil a bit and I was more than happy to set the record straight, like I have been doing all week.

"Hey, I think most Eagles fans were fooled by the act from last year.", I began, "We thought that San Fran was a unique case and he got a fair deal with us. It wasn't until Rosenhaus showed up that Owens turned into an asshole."

The drunken Yankee fan, with bleary eyes said, "You all loved him, saying he was the key to a Super Bowl! Now you homers are saying how you don't need him anymore! I hate you Philly fans!"

"I said it before, I think he is the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. I loved him as a player, and hoped he was just in a bad situation in San Francisco. The Eagles did get to 4 NFC Championships and 1 Super Bowl without him. We were just wrong about the guy, he proved he has the maturity of a twelve year old. What can I say?", I stated.

"Philly fans are so two-faced! What do you think of McNabb? Great or good?", he grunted.

"I think he is good, but not great. He isn't Marino or Young quality yet. He has two key problems: One is time management, and second is his 'touch' when passing. Over his career, McNabb has always used timeouts at the wrong time in a game or can't run the 2-minute offense effectively. As for his touch, I think he has a rifle for an arm, but never learned a consistent touch on the ball, either overthrowing or underthrowing passes.", I analyzed.

"Dude, you should have your own TV show!", the other scruffy drunk guy exclaimed.

"Hey, I may be an Eagles fan, but i'm not a homer. I know what is wrong with my team. Plus lets talk about some New York issues.", I started my offensive on them.

"First, before you start with your gay-T.O. tirade on me. Let's talk about a player on the YANKEES named A-Rod? Remember him?"

"Yea? So?", said the one with the Yankees cap.

"Hmmmmm. Let's go back to oh...I don't know...when he was going to sign with Boston...", I started.

The Yankee fan shifted uncomfortably and rolled his eyes.

"Why yes...that was a good week of trash talking I heard from New York fans about how much A-Rod sucked. How he wasn't going to help Boston. How overrated he was. Then look what happens when New York signs him, hmmmm? Everyone is running down Madison Avenue and sprinkling rose petals to welcome their new hero to the team. So don't talk to me about two faced fans. You know that you Yankee fans are just as bad when you lose a player."

"I didn't bash A-Rod!", he sputtered.

"Whatever, maybe YOU didn't. But you know you had fans doing it.", I said.

"Well...", he sheepishly agreed nodding his head.

"As for overrated teams, you cannot sit here and mock my birds and think that the Giants aren't overrated. Defensively - doing a great job, my hats are off to them. Offensively? Hell, no. Manning is doing just enough to keep his team winning, but he is still a work in progress. Reminds me of Ben Rothlisberger last year, who had a very good Steelers defense, but was passing for 225 yards and 1 or 2 TDs to win games. His run offense was the real gem last year, much like the Tiki Barber show this year. Manning is showing flashes of brillance, but he is also making some huge green mistakes. San Francisco, Arizona, Redskins. Take the score out of the game and look at Manning's stats. Terrible.", I vented.

"Yea, I guess you are right. One last question. If you could have T.O. back would you take him?", one asked.

"Tough call. I think no one can hold a candle to his talent, and we have a bunch of rookie WRs that are untested, which doesn't make me confident. But, I think his distraction is too much. So I would say, no.", I conceded.

I guess we will see tonight what the Birds can do.

Crema Lita

| No Comments

111205.JPG

The ice cream and pastry shop, Crema Lita, opened on Friday in Hoboken on the corner of 5th and Washington. Since it was a blustry autumn day I opted to hold off on trying their ice cream, but did buy some of their SoHo bakery cupcakes. Very tasty, but not sure if they are worth $1.90 each.

I was able to meet Ms. Kim, the owner and thanked her profusely for not opening up a Nail Salon, Sushi Restaurant or Real Estate office.

The Other Half

| 1 Comment

I think i'm still half-drunk from last night. I'm miserable in the office and told my manager i'm working a half day & leaving at 1pm.

Why?

Because I decided to act like i'm 23 again.

I was out at Strip House with Matt 111105.JPG
last night. I wanted to celebrate my 11th year at work and I figured i'd take out a good friend. Brad was invited, but he is on a weight bet (10 people bet $400 that in 1 month they can lose more weight than each competitor) at work and we are going to celebrate next month.

The steak was excellent, I had a 14oz filet mignon. Juicy, tantalizing and cooked to perfection. I had a Lion's Peak 2000 cabernet, and finished the meal off with two glasses of 10 year old Churchill tawny port. I had a decent buzz at that point.

Matt informs me that Tre and friend Tim are at a bar called One, in the meatpacking district. He suggests that I come out and have fun on a Thursday.

When I first moved to Hoboken, 11 years ago, I would say about every Thursday would be a drink night and I was out until 2am. I could coast through a Friday at work, and my bounce back was fairly good. Those days are long gone.111105b.JPG


We get out to One and it was suit-city. Everyone looked like a Wall Street dude, wearing their post-work suits and i'm in my jeans and sneakers looking like I don't belong. Whatever.

I get to meet Tim again, which was cool, since I don't get to meet many people who work on television. He's a sown to Earth guy, really funny and a blast to hang out with. The four of us drink at One for two hours, and then we decide we want to go to a club and walk across the street to PM.

PM is your typical meatpacking district club. Arrogant bouncers in suits. Velvet ropes and people waiting in line. Tim's celebrity status (if you watch ESPN basketball, you know who he is) and it gives us a slight bonus in the credibility, yet it isn't enough to get us out of waiting in line. We are a bit amused and frustrated that they aren't letting us in right away, just shrugging our shoulders and waiting.

A guy steps out from behind the bouncers with a clip board, showing all the arrogance of someone in Clubland middle management, and shouts to the crowd in line, "Which one of you reserved the table?"

We didn't reserve a table, but Matt, being Matt and not missing a beat, shouts back, "Right here, my man!"

Matt saunters up, like he owns the place and starts talking to the guy, negotiating with him on how many bottles we are buying and at what price. The club guy is trying to get us to buy 3 bottles. Matt states that we are only 4 people and we aren't going to polish off 3 bottles. There is a large line, lots of people waiting and after about a minute of Matt's haggling, the management guy isn't enjoying this. 111105c.JPG


"Stop the fast talk. Do you want in or not?", he says.

"Done.", Matt says.

Now I don't know the math, but I know that each bottle is going to be ridiculously expensive. I'd hazard $200-300 a bottle. At this point of the night, with a heady buzz and in celebration mode, I was prepared to throw down a few bills to cover my cost. Matt won't listen to me and says he will take care of it. Good friend, that one.

Once inside, the club was by most accounts a bridge and tunnel crowd. Don't get me wrong, it was filled with beautiful women and the guido factor was actually at a minimum. The music was ok, the DJ wasn't playing anything popular, just remixing old 80's and 90 songs. After we get inside, Matt negotiates with the waitress to get our three bottles to two, probably saving about $300.

We get our table, which was tiny, our bottles of Grey Goose, champagne, orange and cranberry juice, ice and glasses. Once we got our table, it seemed like women started to just come over and chat. Everyone is friendly. Clubgoers near your table are grooving with their circle and then start to dance with us, too. Some fans recognize Tim and come up to introduce themselves, and are starstruck because they watch him on ESPN and here he is...next to them at their club. It's wild. The music is pumping, lights are flashing. Girls are dancing on tables & couches. There is a camera crew going around taking video of people having fun. I talk to a ton of strangers, get a few email addresses and phone numbers. There is a mirthful joy in the air, everyone is cool with each other and it's nothing like the experience I have had in other clubs growing up.

I remember clubs where there's that overall tension in the air. Like you bump into someone and they are ready to kick your ass with their "boys" backing them up. The girls are standoffish, and people only talk to other people they came into the club with. This is nothing like that. Everyone is just out to have a good time and meet other people.

At the club I realize how this situation just isn't my life, I don't do this. I doubt it really could be. Sure, it is a lot of fun to see how the other half lives. I asked Tim how often he goes out to clubs like this and he says about three times a week, often staying out until the club closes. Of course, he needs to be at ESPN in the afternoon, so he's able to sleep in, then get up and go to work.

The next four hours whipped by in a blur of drinks, dancing and laughter. I had my fill of the club and nearly panicked when I realized it was 3am and I had work the next day. I say my goodbyes and hopped in a cab, and negotiated a ride back to Hoboken, $30 plus tolls. There was no chance i'd make it on the PATH train. I was well ripped, but still a functional drunk. I got back to my apartment and played the "Dude, you aren't going to be sick" game with my brain and stomach:

Breathe. You're fine. Have some water. Sit on the couch. Breathe. Doing good. Shit it's 3:30am! Ok, 4 hours of sleep. I'll just coast as best as I can at work. It's cool. Have some more water.

I don't exactly remember getting from the couch to the bed. My alarm went off at 7:30 and my entire morning routine I was on auto-pilot. It was very existential, like I was watching myself from outside my body. I wasn't even hungover. I quite possibly think I was still drunk. I may be drunk right now as I write this.

I took a Tylenol (which I try not to do because of the liver issues with drinking and taking that) and shuffled to work. Semi-snoozed on the PATH. Grabbed a bagel to soak up whatever Rockstar energy drink and Grey Goose was left in my stomach.

I can see why people love going out in NYC. If you have the money, or if you have the connections - I bet doing that every weekend is a blast. I can see how people must come to Hoboken and be standing in Trinity thinking, "How provincial!"

I'd absolutely do that again. But next time I can't work the next day. I'm dying.

Plus, of course Murphy's Law jump starts at the office. I get into the office, thinking I can coast. I get pulled into a meeting about 10 minutes after I walk in. My co-worker quietly turns to me, while others aren't listening and says, "I can smell the booze reeking from your pores...", and quietly chuckles.

Great. Wonderful. Can 1pm get here any sooner?

In a way, it was totally worth it. Except it just isn't worth it right now.

Rings

| 4 Comments

I was taking the PATH in, standing up on a crowded car and saw two women sitting in front of me. I saw that they were both attractive, one was reading a book and the other was doing the "train nap", that half-doze that we all do on public transportation. Maybe it is just me, but the next thing I usually do, after seeing a comely Hoboken woman, is look at her left hand.

One had an engagement ring, and the other had a ring & band. My immediate thought is, "Well, she is off the market."

Then I got to thinking about the significance of engagement rings. North American society is designed in such a way that men give women a diamond ring as part of their ritual for marriage. Why?

To the women, there are various reasons why the ring holds importance to them. I think the primary reason, which drives the majority of people is love. It is a symbol of love. For some it could be made out of tin and they would cherish it. But, there are some that, while they very much love their boyfriends, also very much want an expensive diamond ring. I don't find that to be ridiculous by any means, we are a society that is driven by materialism. We drive expensive cars, buy expensive homes, wear expensive clothes. We measure our self-worth by surrounding ourselves with trinkets and toys, the wedding ring is just an extension of that. If expense weren't at the central issue, we wouldn't give diamonds, would we? I mean, if it were just a question of a ring, that could be fashioned from any material, couldn't it? One girlfriend I had made it very clear that the quality and size of the diamond was very important to her.

For other women it is a validation of self-worth. On a recent episode of "Grey's Anatomy", Dr. Meredith Grey implores Dr. Derek Shepherd to "Pick Me. Choose Me. Love Me." over his estranged wife. I really don't think this display of needing to feel loved is also measured with many girlfriend's desires to have that ring on their finger. They get to show the world that they, are indeed, special. Even if Daddy wouldn't get them a pony when they were eleven years old.

To the men, giving a ring is just as complicated. Some, cherish their future wife and want to give a symbol of their love to her. They do this as they have learned over the years through the representation of a ring, and only recently has the diamond become a part of that symbol (Thanks to the DeBeers conglomerate). There are some men, who being vain and shallow, enjoy giving a ring because it simply says to all men, "She's mine, stay away."

Then I wondered what does it all mean?

Shouldn't an engaged man have some kind of symbol that says to other women, "I'm engaged, stay away."? Then again, if you really think about our chauvanistic society, there is an very strong theme of chaste women and men sowing their wild oats. A man who gets laid often is called a "stud" and the same kind of woman is a "slut". As much as people will try to brainwash us on the media, showing shows like Sex in the City, there is still the underlying negativity of women who are sexually active. Think about it - brides wear WHITE on their wedding day as a symbol of their purity. Men don't do this?

That is what my morning commute was like. I was thinking about all of this on the PATH train. What are your thoughts?

My Take On T.O.

| No Comments

Nothing is final, but it does appear that the Owens era is over for the Eagles.

I feel many things about this situation. Resentment. Anger. Relief.

I resent the idea that once again a Philadelphia sports team loses a star player. We can talk about "Owens the man". But i'm talking about "Owens the athlete". No one can deny his talent. Everytime he had the ball & had open field you knew something was going to happen. He was exciting to watch, and so exciting that I bought his jersey last year.

Slowly my appreciation of him dwindled. I thought the situation with the 49ers was just a situation of bad blood between an employer and an employee. Owens was upset at his old "company", bad words were said and that would be over once he changed jobs. Some people called it - telling me he was a locker room cancer. I personally thought he was put in a bad light by the media and would come around now that he was on a team that wanted him. I was wrong. I hate being wrong.

Owens started to say the wrong things and started to act like his old self, after the Super Bowl and once Drew Rosenhaus entered the picture. Contracts are interesting things. Look at Freddie Mitchell. The Eagles signed that first round draft pick for a decent clip of money and he didn't pan out. Do the Eagles get some money back? No. Ok, now look at Owens. We paid him a decent clip of money, and he did pan out. Does that mean he gets a raise? No.

I'm relieved that part of this soap opera is over. I'd like to finally read some news that talks about the Eagles and not Terrell. I'd like to read about players thoughts about the upcoming game and not about locker room chemistry.

As for the Owens apology, I just don't buy it. That was a well crafted letter by his PR people to do some damage control on the situation. They know that he needs to come out looking repentant, and write a letter making it seem that he was sorry for his actions. Where was that letter before he got suspended? I will guarantee that if he read the same letter, he would be still wearing an Eagles uniform. But reading such a letter is just a simple way of making sure that T.O. plays football again. There are teams, that aren't doing well, but have money to spend that a playmaker like Terrell can make them from a pretender into a contender - like Miami or New Orleans. It also is possible that Falcons will take a shot at Owens, also, I heard that he is friendly with the Wide Receiver coach there.

And so ends another chapter in the Philadelphia sports team & another star leaving our beloved city.

At 4-4, I think it would be foolish to just count the Eagles out of anything. The NFC East is crowded with talented teams. It will be a dogfight to see who wins the East and who wins the wildcard. A good first step is beating Dallas on Monday Night Football. Just one game at a time and let the chips fall as they may.

Evil Parents

| 1 Comment

110805.JPG

Poor little fella. Imagine the years of therapy he will need after finding this picture in his scrapbook when he gets older.

Sweet Sausage & Ricotta Cheese

| 2 Comments

This could hands down be my favorite pasta dish. It is very easy to make and if you like pasta, you will love this, trust me. I think total time to make this, from preparation to finish is about 40 minutes. This will make about 3 good sized servings, or 2 servings if you have goat-boy Jon as a roommate. Jon is an eating machine. I was making this the other night and Kristen and he were mocking me because they read my entry the other day. They kept trying to distract me, but it really wasn't working because I wasn't under pressure. I think I just don't like it when people try to talk to me and i'm trying to concentrate - like if I have something on the stove and i'm trying to multi-task.

This dish is perfect for the normal Hobokenite who doesn't have a lot of time at night to cook, but wants something delicious for dinner. Of course you can throw in some of Nanny's meatballs along with this dish, too.

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion
1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 cup of diced canned tomatoes
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb penne pasta
2 tbsp fresh basil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:

1. Chop the onion, you only need a 1/2 cup which is about half the onion. Put the other half in a ziploc bag and save for another day.

2. Most packages of italian sausage are 6 links, that weigh 1lb. It usually take 3 links out to use, and ziploc the other 3. If you are feeding 2 roommates, like me, you can use 4 links. Take the sausage out of the package, and carefully slice the outer lining of the sausage and discard. Set the sausage aside.

3. Take the basil and wash it. Remove the leafs from the stems and you can tear it into small pieces or chop the basil into fine bits.

Cooking:

1. Put the tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet and heat it on medium. Add the onion, stirring every 30 seconds, for about 6 minutes. Careful with the heat, you don't want the onions black, just a nice golden brown.

2. Once that is done, add the sausage and turn up the heat a bit to medium-high. Take a wooden spoon and break up the sausage in the pan into small pieces while it cooks. This takes about 4-5 minutes for the sausage to cook through. Make sure the sausage is lightly browned, but not pink.

3. Stir in the tomatoes to the skillet and keep the heat the same level. It should bubble gently, add the salt and pepper to taste. Just remember that sausage is fairly salty, so I only use a pinch or two of salt and about 1/2 tablespoon of pepper.

4. You want the tomatoes to reduce, to get to the point where the tomatoes sauce thicken as the water evaporates. Don't worry, you really can't mess this up too badly. Just stir from time to time, give it a good 10 minutes and you should be fine. Once it is done, you can take it off the heat and set aside.

5. While your tomatoes are reducing, get your pasta ready by grabbing a pot, adding water and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, add in a teaspoon of salt and all the pasta at once. Stir it a bit, to keep it from sticking from time to time. Don't overcook the pasta, you want it al dente - not soggy! Just read the instructions on the package, and if it says 10-13 minutes to cook - at the 10 minute mark take out one of the penne with a spoon, run it under cold water and taste. It should be firm to the taste, but not chewy. It takes some practice to get al dente down, but once you do, you will enjoy it!

6. When the pasta is almost done, add the skillet back to medium heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and basil. Your goal here is to mix throughly the cheese and basil, while heating the skillet. Should take about 2 minutes.

7. Take the pasta out of the pot and drain. Don't run cold water on the pasta, you want that starch!

8. Put the pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the skillet, and mix on medium-low heat for 1 minute.

9. Pour a glass of your favorite red wine (Grab a 2000 Rosenblum Zinfandel), serve immediately and enjoy!

Week 9: Scalped!

| 14 Comments

Here we are. 4-4.

Redskins beat us. The Redskins. Are you fucking kidding me?

4th and 4. McNabb throws into the arms of the Redskins secondary. Seriously, what the fuck?

I'm not a doom and gloom kind of fan. My brother always was. Years I would try and sit on the Eagles bandwagon and say things would get better. This year? Wow. I don't know what to say.

Our offensive line looks beyond horrible. McNabb barely has any protection. He can't get any plays off including the dump pass to Westbrook.

Eagles defense, once maligned for its rush defense, is now looking terrible against the pass. Can we stop 3rd and 5 anymore?

Welcome to being a Philadelphia fan, I suppose. On paper, our team, before the season began, looked good. Now, at 4-4, and with our performance tonight, I have strong suspicions that we are going to have a hard time making the playoffs. I still believe in my prediction (before the season started) that the Eagles were going 10-6.

I know they aren't playing great, but I still believe. I believe that we are a better team and I believe that we will come around. It is easy for Philly fans, the Negadelphians, those fans that are always negative about the Eagles to pipe up and say that we aren't going to make the playoffs. I don't agree with that. I think the birds are a world class organization and will find a way to win.

But I guess that is the difference between a bandwagon fan and a real Eagles fan. The bandwagon fan sits at home and watches the game. The real fan wears the Eagles colors and supports his team in thick and thin. Which kind of fan are you?

25 More Things You May Not Know About Me

| 1 Comment

If you read my old entry, you can read up on how I could be known as "J.P." today and my hatred for Afgans (well, Hounds...).

26. In the last year have been interested in learning how to cook. It has tailed off a bit since I injured my leg, but I still like to read cookbooks and think about new dishes I can make in my spare time.
27. I talk in my sleep. Girlfriends would tell me what I said the night before, and I would have no recollection of saying it.
28. I also snore. I often think about having some kind of surgery to fix this, because I think it interferes with my ability to have a restful nights sleep.
29. My biggest roommate pet peeve? Loud noises. I had a roommate who would come home and play his radio every day from work. Upstairs I would hear "thump, thump, thump" from the bass. We had a chat, and eventually he stopped. Upstairs neighbors who drop their shoes on the hardwood floor or walk across the hardwood floor is very annoying. Also I have neighbors who have a fire escape, with doors, and they use it as a balcony to chat on their cell phones or have cigarettes. I would hear their conversations when my window is open & them slamming their doors when they go back inside. Drives me nuts.
30. Three things I would need alone on a desert island: fishing pole (with plenty of gear; hooks, line, etc), flint & steel (to light fires) and an axe with sharpener.
31. I believe there is life on other planets. But I also believe that we are incredibly insignificant in the scheme of the universe. 600,000 years of human existence is a blip in the timeline.
32. Women with English accents are incredibly sexy to me (a 300 pound woman with an English accent doesn't suddenly become sexy, however) and conversely women with New York accents are an incredible turnoff.
33. I grew up with many pets. A dog (Leia), cat (Tasha) and a rabbit (damn, I forgot the rabbit's name). My sisters worked at a local veternary hospital, and would bring home pets to nurse back to health. We had ducks, racoons, deer & birds, too. I love animals, and want to get a dog (i'm a big fan of boxers & pugs or a cat (big fan of Abyssinians) but would prefer to wait until I moved out of Hoboken.
34. My school grades were always "C's" or "B's" until I got a great english literature teacher at LaSalle high school named Mr. McCabe. He taught with a passion and I really enjoyed reading. From that point onward, I excelled in all literature classes (as you can tell on this blog I sucked with my grammar classes).
35. The greatest moment of my life? I think returning to America after my 4 month trip to Italy. You really don't appreciate being an American until you have been away for a very long time, and we take so much for granted here. We have so, so many more choices and conveniencies that the rest of the world doesn't have. Secondly, I think the trip broadened my horizons and mindset, I think everyone should send their children to study in a foreign country (even if it is a 6 week summer trip). Too many born and raised Jersey kids have no concept of the world outside of Hudson county.
36. I have a problem with concentration. I get very irritated when someone interrupts me when I am under pressure or trying to concentrate, like when i'm typing or cooking. For example, I have to turn my radio and tv off if I am trying to read or study. I just can't do it. If someone is talking to me, I can't type at the same time. If I am typing, I can guarantee i'm not listening to you. When i'm cooking I tell my roommates I have one rule - stay out of the kitchen. I have snapped at people for interruping my concentration by trying to talk to me while I cook. I can't do it. I can't concentrate on cutting or timing the meal while someone is trying to talk to me. I have even gotten into fights over it, and tried to explain, but I always lose the argument because people don't get it. What? You can't listen to me while you chop an onion? I can, but I wouldn't really be listening to you. I am big about being focused on what i'm doing. It is just the way my brain is wired.
37. The oldest lie I remember is when my father sat me down and asked if I did drugs. I think I was about 12 years old, and was experimenting with pot thanks to my older brother's friends who were 15 (for the record, my older brother wasn't doing it, and I think my brother suspected that I was doing it with his friends when he wasn't around). I flat out told him "No", only because I was afraid of his reaction. I hold a certain level of guilt over that to this day, only because it underscores our relationship - I couldn't tell him the truth, he wasn't the kind of guy that would say, "That's alright! I tried it also!". In my mind he would have flipped out and busted everyone in the neighborhood.
38. Nothing was better than getting a Tanner's Ice Cream (a local cow farm, about a mile away from our neighborhood in Richboro) as a kid. Favorite flavor was chocolate marshmallow.
39. In my fraternity, there was a nickname ceremony, everyone got a nickname. My nickname was "The Grinch", because my brother-sponsor thought I smiled like him sometimes. It never stuck.
40. My first online nickname, on CompuServe, that I used was "Thrasher", because of the skateboarding magazine. In college my handle for MUDs was, "Inferno". By the time I graduated college I was "Furey" (after my great grandmother's maiden name).
41. For special occasions I will hand write a birthday or wedding card.
42. I'm right handed, but I play pool left handed.
43. I very rarely find red-headed women attractive (especially with the milk-white skin and freckles), I like blondes and brunettes.
44. For the last 4 years I have been claiming that the rise in real estate prices is leading to a bubble. I felt the same way about stocks in 1998. It amazes me how many people who don't think there is the market is cyclical work in real estate. I'm also fairly upset about the housing situation in Hoboken, since anything worth buying is at least 500k.
45. I have a habit of being very meticulous on anything I purchase. I will read multiple reviews, compare and contrast the item and price it out for months before I buy it. My only impulse items would be for clothing or food.
46. I used to have a large overbite before I got braces at 13. I had 4 permanent molars removed from my mouth to allow room for the changes.
47. I know, for a fact, that if my job didn't have internet access that I would never be able to work a in a corporate world.
48. When I was a youngster, I thought about becoming a catholic priest, but couldn't get over the whole celibate rule. I wanted to marry a woman more than I wanted to study about God. Then I started to question everything, and the answers I got back started to bother me - since they all started with, "Well, you need faith..."
49. There are some regrets I have now that I attended Villanova. I should have gone to a school with more of a party scene. University of Florida, University of California — Santa Barbara or Penn State should have been the schools I applied to. I enjoyed my time at the school, but I think college could have been a lot more fun.
50. I'm always trying to do things to the last minute and more often than not, I always run 10 minutes late for things.

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2005 is the previous archive.

December 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!