February 2010 Archives

Snowy Friday

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Been busy lately. Lots of things been happening, and just a few bullet points, and random thoughts for today.

I'm not a fan of shopping. My normal shopping experience is opening a J. Crew magazine and ordering maybe once or twice a year for clothes. Perhaps going to Bloomingdale's and buying Polo shirts. It isn't a question of not wanting to look good, just a question of boredom when it comes to shopping.

A few years back my old roommate Kristen would often shop for me. I would give her money, and she would go out and buy me things to wear. I only did it once or twice and went fairly well. Recently, a girl friend of mine, who loves to shop (lets call her "Diamond"), offered to do the same for me. We set a date and went into the city.

Diamond came to my house, looked at what I had in my closet (and remarked how I have about 20 polo shirts: "OK, no more polo shirts...") - and then had an idea of what I needed to wear. Our goal was fuzzy, it was about getting things that I can wear at the office, or when hanging with friends - since I work in an ultra casual workplace I can wear whatever I want. So that makes life easier.

Suffice to say, we shopped until we nearly dropped. I spend a good chuck of my bonus on some new clothes, and no I won't be gushing on here about what I got. I probably need about 5 more shopping sprees like that, truth be told, but still it was a good start. As her reward, I took Diamond afterwards to have lunch at Wolfgang's, and then drinks at Warren77. She met up with her friends, and I headed back to Hoboken to walk a very grateful puppy who was alone for the afternoon.

Aside from my shopping spree, my friends took me out to Bin 14 the other night. I'm working on writing up something a bit more formal about it, but the bottom line is that if you haven't been there you are missing out. Expensive? Sure. Expecting the Olive Garden with their endless breadsticks and $10.99 specials? Then go to the Olive Garden! Bin 14 is for people who understand that quality comes at a price. Sure, you can buy a bottle of wine for $10 or $50 - they are all the same fermented grapes, but sometimes that $50 bottle of wine is worth it. Same is true for Bin 14. I have no problem paying for something that's expensive if I think it is worth it. Bin 14 is worth it. More on that later when I get time to write something up.

Diet - I didn't reach my goal as fast as I expected. I ran into a hitch with running, I think I may have hurt my heel running and it slowed down my progression. I have kept lifting and eating mostly right. When I say "mostly right", a perfect example was Thursday. A coworker stopped by my desk with cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. All day I was eating right, with a power shake for breakfast, eggs & oatmeal at 10am, protein power lunch at 1pm, then another protein meal at 4pm, along with the cupcake. Ugh. Went to the gym, lifted, ran, had another power shake & then a protein dinner. Do I wish I could have just skipped the cupcake? Sure. So that's the kind of situation i'm in now.

But, i'm lifting Monday & Tuesday, skipping Wednesday and lifting Thursday & Friday. Weekends I have been off, also. So far, so good.

Northern Soul - been going to this bar lately. I really like it. Friendly bartenders. Good (older) crowd. There's a DJ on Friday night, and the music is good. As much as I love Mulligan's, just tired of the 22-26 year old crowd on the weekends.

I'm in the market to buy a new computer. Been looking around and someone told me that Intel should be releasing some new 6 core processors in a few weeks which will drive down the prices on the "old" 4 core processors. Considering that I have a dual core running Windows XP, I can wait a few more weeks to get a deal.

Rocco update: The Rock Man is great. I have zero complaints about him. He's smart, quiet and a great companion. I have a dog walker who walks him when i'm at work, and the same dog walker takes him to her house on Tuesdays and Thursdays so he can play with her dogs and be social. I take him to the dog park about twice a week, and he seems like a happy, healthy dog. I don't let him sleep on my bed, but I do let him sleep on my lap if i'm watching TV in the family room. He's funny when I try to get up he does the the sleepy-i'm-not-looking-at-you-but-are-you-really-moving-right-now-because-i'm-comfy stare at the wall. His first six months I have been crate training him, and now I have been leaving him alone for a few hours here and there, outside the crate, for the last six weeks. So far, no accidents. If he continues to be good, I will just do away with the crate I think by July, when he's one year old.

My *only* two complaints about dog ownership are this:

1. When I was back w/my mom at her place, I envied just opening her front door, letting him out and opening it back up for him to come back in. Getting all dressed up for winter walks kind of sucks. I don't mind it during summer at all.

2. As my friends warned me, it does limit your freedom. When I did my shopping spree like I wrote before, I couldn't just stay out in Manhattan and have some drinks. I had to go home to walk him. He's 7 months, so "they" say the rule is # of months plus 1 hour that a puppy can "hold it".

Both are small prices to pay. His vet bills...well those are BIG prices to pay, but fortunately he hasn't needed to see the vet since he was neutered in January.

Otherwise, life chugging along and going well.

The Day Before 38

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Tomorrow I turn 38.

I don't feel 38. Then again, i'm not sure what 38 should really feel like. Generally, I enjoy my life. I have a stable job, my same job out of college - it's a good job, but if I did it all over again, I may have chose a different career path. At 38, with mortgages and bills, it's a bit too late for me to reverse gears and do something different. I'm good at my job, and it will provide me with a stable lifestyle and probably a good retirement, which is important to me.

Since I started my blog in October 2004, I have written about lots of subjects. I'm fairly sure i'm the oldest (continuously updated) blog in Hoboken. I don't really have time for daily updates about water mains breaking or snow removal. I just write when I feel like it.

Being 38, I feel good about my life. I have a few regrets, and I think most of us do, but for the most part I like what's going on and where i'm going.

I think my biggest change over the last year has been that my interest level in going to bars is about zero. I like being social, but the whole bar scene to me is basically dead. I have done it. 16 years of the bar scene and the idea of going to a bar on a Friday night just isn't there anymore.

I think there are many key reasons. One is that I don't really have a "local" pub anymore, like Dipper's. Dipper's was just a special time, where you could walk in and it was like the TV show "Cheer's". There was someone always there that you knew, and all of my friends would be there on a Friday or Saturday night. You didn't need to call or text or email anyone, just show up - and more than likely you would see someone you liked to hang out with and have a drink.

That's long gone. Mulligan's is a fine bar, and I love all the people that work there, but at 37 years old I only would constantly meet people who were about 24-28 years old. I'm not against dating younger girls, but I sure they view me as ancient.

Also, two years ago when I stopped bartending, was another reason why the fire dimmed. I had my weekends free again for the first time in eight years. I liked it. I liked having my freedom again, and I enjoyed my time at Bradley Beach, just hanging out with friends on a Saturday night, getting drunk at home, and having a blast. I didn't need a bar full of random people, I had what I wanted - my friends, a drink or two (or more) and that was all I needed.

Third, I got my little Rocco now. He's an amazing dog and a good friend. I just hate the idea of going out to a bar for 6 hours and leaving him in the crate. That might change, in the future. Right now i'm "testing him" by leaving him out of the crate for an hour or two, when I go to the gym after work. I have been doing it for 6 weeks and he hasn't had one accident or chewed on anything.

Fourth, the weather isn't helping. Enough said about that. I hate the cold. And oddly enough, it seems as I get older I just hate it more. I never enjoyed it, even going on ski trips as a kid I enjoyed snowboarding, but after a short time on the mountain freezing my balls off, I often would just go back to the lodge. I was never one of those people who could snowboard for 10 hours. I was happy just going out there for about 3 to 4 hours.

I'm keeping myself in shape. Been doing things with the blog, photography, learning to cook new dishes (i'm actually making brownies on Friday from Cooking Light magazine), and been thinking about taking a cooking class (any suggestions? email me!)

Spring can't come fast enough.

As a dog owner, I start to see certain aspects of our city in a new light. One of them is our parks. We have such few open space, and are lucky to have quite a few dog parks in our town. Sadly, they are often in various states of disrepair.

Our city is cash strapped. It is very hard to justify expenditures to renovate and restore our dog parks. Heck, it's very hard to even get new gravel.

Over the last two months I, and others, have been emailing Mayor Zimmer, Councilperson Cunningham, and Director Pope to ask for new gravel to be put down at our dog parks. It cost $13,000 just to re-gravel all our dog parks.

Also the design of many of these parks are in poor shape. They don't have proper drainage, which leads to runoff of dirt, gravel and dog waste into our streets and sidewalks. Hoboken411 had a nice article about the dog run at Elysian Park and their issues.

Here's my ideas for fixing the situation:

1. A dog license in Hoboken is $10.00 if spayed/neutered (proof required) or $14.00 if NOT spayed/neutered per year. That's peanuts. One drink at The W Hotel bar costs more than that. I'd just increase the license to $15 / $20, with the idea that the extra money is going towards capital improvements of our dog runs, rather than taking from the taxpayers to fund it.

2. We have to get it easier to license our dogs. As of now, dog owners have to mail the application, rabies certificate and spay/neuter proof to 124 Grand Street. In Pennsylvania, you can do this all online at http://www.padoglicense.com/, which was designed and maintained by http://www.epaymentnow.com/. How hard can this be? Have the newly installed Environmental Services Director, Jennifer Wenson Maier, contact this site and find out how much it would cost to set up a similar website in Hoboken or possibly Hudson county.

3. We need better enforcement of dog licenses in town. We need police to patrol our city parks and check dogs for licenses. Where's the incentive to GET a dog license if there are no repercussions for not having one?

4. Councilperson Cunningham, who founded the HDA, mentioned about doing advertising at the dog parks. I agree with that, and think it's a great idea. We need to approach local businesses (perhaps start a non-profit fund that is tax deductible?) for donations towards the restoration of dog parks. Also we can encourage dog owners to donate to this fund while they register their dogs online for the dog licenses.

5. We need to actively seek loans and grants that can be used towards the restoration of our dog runs.

6. We need to possibly seek out new locations for dog runs. I agree with Hoboken411 who mentioned that there was a great spot by City Hall that would be a good spot for a new dog run (again, funded by dog licenses and donations, not taxpayers).

Right now, from what I understand Director Pope was told to re-gravel the dog runs. But I hope to work with City Hall with finding a way to renovate and restore these runs for better drainage and general repairs that wouldn't affect our taxpayers and can be funded by dog licenses. In a town of 40,000 residents how many dogs do you think are here? I would hazard at least 1,000 dogs. Even if we get 50% of those people to lawfully license their dog, that's about $10,000 a year we could raise just with licenses alone, not including business donations & advertisement.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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