September 2010 Archives

Another Night, Another Near Brawl...

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I'm at Farside the other night, having a beer with friends.

It was kind of quiet at the bar, with patrons drinking at the bar and a few playing darts. I went to the dart board to sign up for a game and saw a guy at the bar wearing a "Hatboro-Horsham Wrestling" T-shirt.

Hatboro-Horsham is a town in PA which is squarely between where I grew up, in Richboro, and where I spent my teen-age years, in Gwynedd Valley, only 20 minutes away from either town. Since I run the Eagles and Phillies club in town, I often befriend strangers from PA - talk up the Eagles or Phillies club and invite them down to the bar. I walk over, slap a hand on his back and he turns around.

Wearing a YANKEES cap.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Look, I get it. Maybe you grew up in Philly and we had suck ass Phillies teams for most of our years from 1984-1992, a brief blip on the radar in 1993, and then a whole lot of suckiness (?) from 1994 to 2005. I get it. My own brother called the Yankees "his American League team". Fuck you. You grow up in Philly, you gotta stand behind your teams!

Now my reaction, was of course dignified and profound when I said to the very large & beefy 22 year old, "YOU FUCKING TRAITOR!"* (*but, I did say it with a smile, and not threatening)

He looks at me like you would expect, with a who-the-heck-are-you-and-why-am-I-a-traitor? look at me, but he's smiling wondering what i'm going to say next.

Now, dear reader, you must realize that Uncle Sean has had a few drinks at this point and add my usual Red Bull to the mix and I was Mr. Motormouth.

"You are wearing a Yankees cap," I began with my mock-seriousness and Sherlock Holmes like intensity, "Yet you are wearing a Hatboro-Horsham T-shirt - which says you are clearly from PA. That doesn't make sense, you should be a PHILLIES fan!" I exclaimed.

"No, I grew up around Hudson County."

"But...the shirt. Where did you get it?", I asked.

"She gave it to me.", he gestured to the 22 year old blonde haired girl standing next to him.

"OK, so you grew up in Hudson County...but are wearing a Hatboro-Horsham shirt that your girlfriend gave you...and she wasn't a wrestler..."

You know what's coming next, don't you? Foot meet mouth.

"Was it her ex-boyfriends?"

BOOM.

He chuckles at first, and the girls eyes widen a bit. Then he goes "Wait a second. IS THIS YOUR EX-BOYFRIENDS SHIRT?!", he mock-growls at the blonde haired girl. She stammers a bit, and i'm edging away with a comic "CHECK PLEASE" to try and break slight bit of tension which erupted with my comment.

Now, truth be told, this guy isn't angry. He's laughing it off and "mock-angry" with her, while i'm laughing along. I'm telling him, "Ah, my bad dude I thought you were from my neck of the woods..."

When in comes friend #2.

Now we are bantering back and forth about the t-shirt and stuff when "Friend #2" jumps into our business. She's a short annoying looking rat of a girl who puts her finger in my face and says "WHO ARE YOU? WHY YOU CARE WHO'S SHIRT IT IS..."

Her tone and manner wasn't suggesting anything but anger and trying to stir shit up between me and the Hatboro-Horsham guy and Friend #2's boyfriend who was sitting at the bar, but only half paying attention. The difference between me and Friend #2 in our actions was that I was jovial and kidding - she wasn't. She got into my business quick and I could see this turning ugly if I didn't diffuse the situation fast.

"I run the Phillies and Eagles club in town, I thought he was from PA, so that's why I was talking to him....", I started.

The blonde haired girl turns to me and said, "Hey, you are the Mulligan's 'guy'. You do that? I have been there before!"

The tension level drops. The guy at the bar pulls away Friend #2, with a half-bored "Leave him alone..."

And the rest of our conversation between me and the T-shirt guy ends up talking about baseball and how the Phillies would smoke the Yankees in the World Series. Ha ha.

Top 5 Tricks and Tips When Dieting

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http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health1/exercise-has-minor-effect-on-weight-loss-claim-new-studies_100432261.html.

I read this study the other day, and I don't claim to be an expert, but after starting my exercise routine for the last couple of years, I have learned a lot about dieting, exercise and weight loss.

I think the study is accurate to a point, but I want to add in my own observations about how exercise works, and what the gyms don't want you to know:

1. If you want to lose weight, diet is about 80% of the trick to losing weight.
2. No matter what the study says, you need to do some kind of exercise that involves upping your heart rate, and creating a sweat that lasts at least 30 minutes.
3. People want results fast - so they don't see a change, get discouraged in about a month and stop dieting.

Then many people are out a year membership with their local health club because they don't get how to lose weight. I have heard a thousand "reasons" from my friends about their weight loss and some utterly stupid diets. The problem with weight loss can be summed up easily:

We love food.

It's not shocking to say that. But when people are deprived of what they love, they feel bad. Maybe not crying that they cannot eat a cheeseburger, but after a month of eating salad for lunch every day, they miss their favorite foods. The brain is amazing at tricking us into eating. You are basically fighting emotion, and some people are simply better at this than other people.

What I would suggest are these tricks which have worked for me. I'm not here to lecture people, I'm not the peak of physical perfection. I'm still someone who struggles with staying on my diet and exercise. But these things have worked for me, and if you are someone looking to get into shape, this is what I would suggest:


1. Small changes add up. Drink water, not juice or diet soda. Instead of eating potato chips, try soy crisps or at the very least - pretzels. Substitute sweet potato into your diet. Avoid sauces, gravy or dressing - they have so many hidden calories and sugar. Avoid white bread, use wheat when you can. Order turkey burgers over regular burgers. Buy the book "Eat This! Not That!", which is a good guide to other small changes that really add up. I had a bagel the other day - a WHOLE WHEAT bagel. I had light cream cheese, which had less fat, and I didn't use very much. A bit here and there.

2. Cheating is OK, but that doesn't mean cheating everyday. My diet is 5 days "good" and 2 days "bad". There's going to be the unexpected days where you are supposed to be on a "good" day and you eat unhealthy - THAT IS OK. Just get back to being good. I drink 1 cup of coffee everyday. I use cream. I use sugar. I don't care. Have your coffee in the morning. Have a bagel with cream cheese. Order a cheeseburger on a Saturday afternoon WITH fries. The key word is: MODERATION. Friends of mine look at me and will quip about "OFF THE DIET, HUH?" when they see me eating junk food. No, i'm not eating bad when you add up how I eat during the whole week.

3. Eat like a caveman. When choosing foods to eat, don't reach into the frozen foods section and get a "Lean Cuisine". The majority of your meals should be food basics. Most of my dinners each night are chicken and asparagus, with a small bit of BBQ sauce on the side (about a tablespoon). I dip an edge of the chicken into the BBQ sauce, and that goes back to my "moderation" comment. People get dismayed about dieting with flavorless food. Don't kill yourself when dieting. Have a bit of sauce on the side, but don't SLATHER your food in sauces or gravy.

4. Do not starve yourself, it doesn't work. I have seen this a thousand times. People starve themselves, get miserable, and they are off the diet in a few weeks and back to their old weight. Everyone has these little diet solutions that they read in a magazine, and they never work. The key is just moderating diet & eating whole foods, not processed foods. Eating complex carbs will make you feel fuller, longer. Foods like brown rice or sweet potato are excellent choices as side dishes.

5. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.. If you need to pig out, eat more in the mornings. After 5pm, avoid carbs like the plague. My morning routine is coffee (milk and sugar!) with honey nut cheerios (more sugar! heaven forbid!). I tried switching out sugar for a substitute, but it goes back to Adelle Davis's saying - I figure that I can get away with it in the morning. I can cut it out completely, and go hardcore, but like I said before - if you need to cheat, and are dying to have a tasty treat, do it in moderation and do it in the mornings, not 8pm at night when you wolf down three slices of pizza with a couple of beers.

In closing, I would say don't get discouraged when you diet. Especially when you get derailed. I get derailed all the time, and what you do is just get back on track again and don't beat yourself up over it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I love the changes I have seen from working out. There's always more I wish I could do, and a few pounds I wish I could lose. I'm very happy with my body, and have gotten to this point from many different lessons learned about how to trick your brain into getting the body that you want.

I went to the Wicked Wolf on Saturday night, a new bar that opened up on the corner of 2nd and Sinatra Drive.

What's there to say? It's new. Has lots of TVs and seating. A good beer selection. A big crowd was there.

It was the latest "Popular Bar Of The Moment" in Hoboken.

After living here 16 years, and missing my "You need to move out of Hoboken and raise a family" expiration date, I have seen bars like this rise and fall. Here's my quick primer, and please note that my order may not be 100% correct, i'm doing this from memory...also i'm just talking about bars that were HUGELY popular, not every bar in town...

O'Donohughes: This was the #1 bar back in the mid 90's. Raising Cain was the best band. Sure, the place smelled like old beer and looked like it was decorated by a local frat house. People didn't care, it's where all the hot girls were and there really wasn't many other good bars to go to besides Moran's or Stinky Sullivan's.

10th and Willow: During OD's reign, 10th and Willow became the cool place to go dance in 1998. Now most guys couldn't give a shit about dancing - but since all the girls would freak the fuck out and go to 10th and Willow, most of the guys would just go there. I remember this bar being beyond insane with the lines out the door, down the street and people dancing in every room. It was about as close to a "club" that Hoboken had back in the day.

Black Bear: OD's was supplanted by this new upstart, and their all-black clad bartending staff. With a great DJ, two floors and lots of open space, Black Bear set the bar to how the evolution of the bar scene was starting. Before Black Bear a local hole in the wall pub like Rogo's and their $1 draft night would get a line out the door for thirsty Stevens kids...but Black Bear said "fuck that" and just made a great bar which became the Go-to place in 1999. Technically The Whiskey Bar should get a good nod here, but I don't remember it being as popular as The Black Bear. Don't get me wrong The Whiskey Bar was insane, but I just remember more of my friends saying how they were going to Black Bear all the time.

The Madison: If you can imagine, this used to be a lonely boring sports bar on the corner of 14th street. There wasn't any of the new construction. The Tea Building was just renovated when The Madison opened up with a bang. Hoboken went from the days of where all the reigning bars were Irish Pubs to the "Everyone wears black and we have velvet ropes" phase. The Madison was the first bar in town to successfully gather all the local douchebags and the women who loved them into one place. This was (I think) around 2000.

Green Rock: Before Green Rock opened, this was a bunch of failed bars that couldn't do anything right, one even had the name of "The Screaming Viking" - which was a reference to the TV show Cheers. This bar opened in 2002 and even today is probably still one of the most popular bars in town, with lines outside the bar for the idiots who are too stupid to find another bar.

The Waterfront Bars: To name just one wouldn't be fair. It seemed that new bars were opening up at a frantic pace. Each one listed became the "Popular Bar Of The Moment" for about 6 months starting with 3 Forty Grill in 2003. Then Trinity. Then The Quays. Don't forget Lua, uptown! This was the first documented appearance of The Man Suit - the tried and true uniform of every Hoboken man!

The Shannon: A very old bar, that got smart and renovated. Before the renovation it was filled with locals and was about as popular as The Wilton House. After the renovation, they became the #1 stop for every frat boy and the women who love them.

It seems to me that Hoboken has a big history of those Popular Bars Of The Moment. I hereby announce that Wicked Wolf is our current champion. Enjoy it while it lasts, boys, because I bet that The Pour House and One Republic are waiting to take over.

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