May 2008 Archives

Problem With Comments

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For some reason people have been reporting they are getting a message:

"You don't have permission to post."

I'm not sure why that's happening. I certainly don't ban anyone from writing here, unless they are being a complete jackass with rude entries.

I'm not sure what's causing this, because everyone should be enabled for comments.

My Old Volvo

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Last weekend, I made a late start to hit the beach, which was mostly due to the fact that the guy who got me into the house was the only person I knew there, and he wasn't showing up until Sunday.

When I decided to make my journey on Sunday, I hopped in my aging, but normally dependable 1993 Volvo and started on my way. Noticing that my car needed a wash - I went to the car wash on Observer Highway.

Scrub a dub, dub - my car was looking pretty again (or at least as pretty as a car from 1993 can look) - and I was pulling out of the car wash, putting it in park for the guys to towel dry my car - and my car wouldn't go into Park.

I never saw this problem before. It would go into Reverse, Neutral, Park, 2, 1. Trying to move the shift into Park and it would not move like it was locked.

I was stunned, and not sure what to do. Thoughts flashed into my mind - like the idea of getting a new car, or not having a car for the summer now that I have a shore house. FUCK.

I drove over to the Sears Auto Center, which was thankfully open, by the Newpart Mall. I normally get my oil changed there, and it was the same place that I got new tires. I was hoping someone there could help.

I talked to the guys there, while sitting in my car, and explained my situation. They never heard of that and gave me the name of a mechanic that works in Jersey City which specializes in Volvo's. But, it being Sunday, they doubted he was open.

I figured that I didn't have any choice, so I drove over there, using a new Garmin Nuvi I picked up a few months ago to guide me there.

Sidenote: I got the Garmin because while driving back to my mother's house outside Philly, I wanted to visit my father's grave, on the way there. I didn't use mapquest, figuring i'd go by the directions from mom - I got hopelessly lost and couldn't find it!! I was quite upset, as you can imagine.

This mechanic was located on Communipaw Ave in Jersey City. For those of you who haven't seen Communipaw Ave, lets just say that I don't consider myself to be a gentle little snowflake, but looking around I hadn't been this apprehensive since my ill fated drive through Chester, PA. I quickly got out of there, when I drove by a very closed, locked and chain fenced shop.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I knew that driving to the shore was out of the question.

I drove home, and went into my parking lot. I put the car in Neutral, and put on the parking brake, then turned the car off. I fiddled with the shifter, which wouldn't move. I turned the key back to the position just before you switch to ignition, and then fiddled with the shifter some more, and it popped back into Park.

I'm not sure what happened. But, I turned the car on, tested it out a few times, and it seemed fine after that. I drove down to Bradley Beach, after 90 minutes of being terrified by my car.

The Hoboken Timeline

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As you know, I have a shore house at Bradley Beach this summer.

I bought into a full share at a shore house that I knew nothing about through a friend of mine, Chris. If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be doing a summer share at a shore house at 36 years old, I would have laughed it off and fully expected that my life would be not about summer shares, but about living the quiet life in the suburbs.

When I told my friends I was getting a summer share, they all had the same basic reaction - laughter. Not "hey that's funny, Sean" laughter, but "dude, you aren't 26 anymore" laughter. There seems to be in our world a "Hoboken Timeline" that the world must follow if you live here. For example:

1. Graduate from college.
2. Get a job.
3. Find a apartment.
4. Explore the city & get down the shore.
5. Sow your wild oats & have a few flings.
6. Meet that special someone.
7. Get engaged.
8. Move out of Hoboken (some wait until 1 kid & some don't).
9. Have kids.
10. Die.

Now, the timing isn't so important, per se, but there's an overall "attitude" that people have about it. It's like when you are dating someone for a long time and your annoying uncle who smells like Dewars gives ya the nudge at every family event saying "Hey! When you gonna get married?!" Then when you finally get married your aunt is bugging you, "So, when you having kids?!"

It's kind of the same story with the Hoboken Timeline. There's a timeline that we are all supposed to be on. If you stray from it, there's always someone nudging you, but instead of the 'alcoholic uncle' you have the 'weekend alcoholic bar-friends'.

It doesn't bother me much, but I simply find it fascinating. People get locked into a structure of life. There's supposed to be a freedom in our lives, but really it's about conformity, that we, as a society, adhere to. "Job...husband/wife....kids" is the mantra we repeat and need to do it before our "expiration date", which for women the pressure is even greater.

Then I also find it funny when I go to weddings and meet people there, and always get the guy who finds out i'm single and in my 30's and they are like "Oh man! You are SO LUCKY! Don't settle down, man! I got married at 26, and dude, that was a huge mistake..." Then I get to hear about the wife, child out of wedlock & the mistress story.

I guess it all depends on who is doing the listening. To me - hey, i'm just rolling with the punches and working with the hand that Life dealt to me.

I'm 36 and single, and i'm not quite ready to die just yet - so, a beach house it is. More on that later this week.

Van Halen Concert 2008

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Last night, I got to see Van Halen at the Meadowlands.

Growing up, I was a huge Van Halen fan in Richboro. My brother and his friends Doug, Paul, Steve and I would listen to Van Halen on warm summer nights, usually after a day of playing baseball out in the cul-de-sac.

Music is a part of our identity. My music morphed from Van Halen to New Wave in the 80's, while my other friends went down the path of hard rock with bands like Megadeath, Iron Maiden and Rush.

The concert itself was a lot of fun. It wasn't sold out, which surprised me, but i'd say it was 85% full. The majority of people there were in their 30's, along with a few kids tagging along with their 40 year old parents. There was a huge cross section of society there, and if you like to people watch, like I do, it was just a blast looking at all the different walks of life at the concert.

Van Halen put on a great show, and here's some quick comments about their performance:

1. David Lee is ripped for a man his age. Still in great shape, but I was disappointed that he mumbled over a few lines of many songs. It was almost like he didn't know the lyrics or something. Very strange. Otherwise I give his performance a B minus.

2. Eddie Van Halen was incredible. The guy is a master on the guitar and you really don't get a good understanding until you actually see it live. My jaw hit the floor and rolled around when he did his solo. An A plus - the man is a master of his craft.

3. Wolfgang Van Halen did a great job, but considering he is filling in for Michael Anthony, that isn't saying much. But he looked comfortable on stage, and did well.

4. Alex Van Halen is still just as good as he ever was and is easily the most unappreciated drummer. Watch him live and you really see that this guy is excellent at what he does.

All said and done, I would give the concert a B plus. Would I go again? Probably not. Once was enough for me, but I was absolutely glad I went and got to see my childhood band in concert at least one time. If you grew up a Van Halen fan like me, i'd highly encourage you to see them in concert.

As Chris mentioned to me, "These guys were idiots for breaking up" - I couldn't agree more. If they could have kept it together, they would have went on to make a ton of great music and made a fortune in concerts.

Top 5 Things I'd Like To Do...

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I was reading a New York Times article about surfing, and was reading about guys, older than me, who still surf every day in Santa Cruz, California.

I couldn't fathom that with my schedule. Even if I lived in Santa Cruz, I really couldn't see myself, each day, going to the beach and surfing.

Well, for one, I don't know how to surf.

Secondly, I don't think I could just go, surf, leave and do that in under 2 hours. Maybe I could. I dunno. Matt could tell me how he used to surf back in the day in Ocean City, NJ.

After reading the article I thought how cool it would be to 051208.jpggo to Hawaii or California, for a week or two and just learn how to surf. Nothing else. No sight seeing. Just go on a vacation on How To Surf 101, some place warm.

Then I started to think about other things, besides the Surf Camp, i'd like to learn or do before I die, and came up with my own "Top Five" of things that would be fun to do - say in the next 5-10 years.

1. Go to a golf camp, get a pro to figure out my game and fix it, so I can win some money at Myrtle. If anyone knows of a good camp...you know where to reach me...

2. I'm still in love with the idea of getting a dog. I just can't pull the trigger right now, but someday i'd really like to have one. Right now my fix will have to be thru my friends or family dogs.

3. Go on a real camping trip, into the wilderness. As much as i'm a fan of air conditioning and running water, I also like the idea of a real escape from civilization - maybe a safari in Africa.

4. Get back to London. My visit at 16 was fun, but i'd rather see it as an adult & see all the touristy places that I skipped while nursing hangovers. I like the idea of going, but wouldn't want to do this alone & wouldn't like to do this at today's currency exchange rates. Would also like to include Ireland & Scotland in here, too.

5. Get out to more New York restaurants & bars. As much as I enjoy dining in Hoboken, i'd really like to get out and try some new places. Now that I have Saturday nights free, I have more time to get out and explore. I'd like to try to see some new bars and restaurants, preferably those that aren't French and don't require a jacket.

John Allan's: Tribeca

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When I first moved to New York City, back in 1994, there are a lot of things about me as a man then that were different than the man I am today. I enjoy good sushi. I get my haircut at a salon, not a barber. I like drinking fine wines, scotch and ports with some imported cheeses. I love a good monthly massage. I get sports pedicures.

SPORTS PEDICURES?!

So there are "pedicures" that women get and there are sports pedicures that men get. The basics are the same, washing, scrubbing, exfoliating. The main core difference is that a woman's pedicure would involve getting their toes painted, while with a man, it's basically about cleaning up dry, cracked skin and unsightly toenails. What was once a bastion of a gay man, is now becoming the normal practice of today's modern man.

Yes, I get plenty of friends who are guys and girls that don't understand it. Feet are feet to them. Everyone has a different opinion on feet, and my opinion is that there's nothing more nasty than seeing a guy or girl walking down Washington Street in flip flops, and having dry, cracked flaky skin with yellow toe nails. I see it all the time.

It's normal now for men to buy body scrubs, facial creams and other grooming products that differ than our forefather's set of grooming products that consisted of shaving cream, a bar of soap and Old Spice aftershave.

I usually get a sports pedicure a few times a year, mostly during the warmer months, depending on the condition of my feet and if i'm dating a girl - and every girl I dated loved it.

In past years, I have been to a few salons to get this done, but now that i'm working in a different part of Manhattan, I decided to do some research, and try some place new. I knew that I didn't want to go to a "girly salon", I was hoping to find a place that was for men, and not a salon that had people working there with fucked up names: "Blaze" or "Rumor" or "Staci with an I, not a E-Y".

Lo and behold, I dig up a 2006 story about John Allan's on the New York Times website, do a bit of reading and find out that they have a location near my office in Tribeca.

I made the appointment on Friday, and got down there after work.

I walk into their building at 418 Washington Street (Tribeca New York, not Hoboken), and the look is "Sports Pub Meets Spa". There's a small bar, a pool table, comfy seats, exposed industrial pipes, and a soft House pulse beat playing on the speakers. I check in, and the receptionists ask if they can take my coat, bag and mention that the store next door, which incidently is a wine store, is having a free wine tasting.

Normally this is where i'd politely say "no thank you", because i'd be self conscious and wait. John Allan's was fairly empty, it was 5pm on a Friday and I didn't have anything to do that night, aside from meeting people at Mulligan's for the Phillies vs Giants.

I checked out the 4 person seat bar, which had 2 beers on tap, a few bottles behind the bar, and a red velvet pool table next to it. There was a bartender there, and a woman from the wine store next door letting customer taste a bottle of Rose and a Syrah/Grenache blend. I talked to her for a bit, trying the wines, and I did prefer the Rose over the blend.

After that, the told me that all the beers were on the house for paying customers or members - I think my eyes lit up too much because they added "Well, within reason...". The bartender poured me a glass of Sam Adams draft, I was brought into a back room, which had two comfortable leather chairs, and two large steel buckets, sitting in front of each. On the wall was an enormous projection TV, at least 7 feet long, playing ESPN. They had me put my feet into the steel buckets, which had soapy water, and on the bottom of the buckets I could feel smooth stones or marbles. They handed me the remote, and I sat there watching ESPN, sipping a beer and the woman working on my feet began her work.

I could go into details here, but I really wasn't paying at much attention. There was lots of cutting, scrubbing, smoothing, massaging and moisturizing that were related to putting my feet back into looking great. It lasted for 45 glorious minutes and in that time I drank three icy cold beers (but they did run out of Sam Adams after my first beer!), alternated my TV watching between ESPN and The Dog Whisperer.

The bartender came in afterwards and fretted about moving a full keg from the back room to the bar. All of his co-workers were women, so I offered to help. We moved the keg, and then he handed me another beer, and I shot a game of pool. Once that beer was finished, I had a nice buzz, tipped the bartender $10, tipped my pedicurist $20 and paid my $49 tab.

The result? Nice, clean, softer feet that will look great at Bradley Beach this summer when I have the shore house.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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