Life: December 2004 Archives

Why You Shouldn't Date Alcoholics

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About 2 years ago, I met a girl named Daria. Daria lived in Hoboken, she was a nurse, at a hospital in New York City. I met her through a mutual friend, when I saw her at a bar.

She was very pretty, with bottle blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a great, stunning body. From a superficial standpoint (i.e. hotness) she was real cute. On my Hoboken scale of 1-10 (where we only judge the quality of Hoboken girls, not the world) - i'd give her an 8 on looks alone.

We got to chatting that first night. It was breezy, fun and mirthfilled conversation. She told me about herself, her nursing stories, and light coversation while she sipped on her dirty martini.

The hours passed, and at closing time - I asked the dreaded question of every man (and yes, you women, too): "Can I have your number?"

Fortunately all the signals leading up to that question were looking good a few key signs at I like:

1) Any girl that touches you while she talks. She touched my arm a few times - good sign.
2) Sitting towards you, in your direction as you coverse. Shows that she is being inviting.
3) Mentions that she had breast reduction surgery because her breasts were "too big" and they are "perfect now" - another good sign.

Yes, the flags were green on the racetrack and the getting of the number was easy. I wish the rest of the story was simple.

The Drama

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I'm tired of the drama. What gets me about the drama in my life is that I seriously aim to do "the right thing". Somehow, it all gets messed up. I'll give you an example.

Fantasy football. My league of 12 owners, we set up rules for it last August. One of those rules was that we would have top 8 teams make the playoffs (2 conferences, 6 teams in each, top 4 play each other round 1 & 2 - round 3 is conference winner for Super Bowl). They would be first ranked on regular season record, conference record, and points forced. In week 12 - the first person started to complain saying that it should be regular season record, points forced, and conference record.

I try to do the right thing - I want to keep everyone happy, and I allow a vote for it. Then someone else pipes up claiming the vote is unfair, and we made the rules in August and should stick to those. So I decided, as commissioner, that we stick to the rules which were made in August - all the owners were invited to this meeting to decide on what was fair. Everyone gets ruffled feathers (in one way or another) and i'm looking like the bad guy. Either i'm the bad guy for not making better rules in August or the bad guy for entertaining the idea of a vote so late in the season to change the rules. All I wanted was a fun league.

Another example of drama was my trip to Las Vegas 2003. This is worth writing about in a whole different seperate post. Suffice to say there was anger, betrayal, gossip, rumors, drug-busts, getting thrown out of clubs, panic attacks and friendships ruined over that trip.

The problem with Hoboken is rumors which cause drama.

A lot of things happen not based on fact, but based on when people put 2+2 together (some facts and some rumors or second-hand information) and come up with 5. Or facts that get twisted into a vision of reality that just simply doesn't exist.

Another problem is everyone talks in this town.

Cheating on your girlfriend? Someone knows.

Have a coke problem? Someone knows.

Badmouthing a "friend"? Someone knows.

The worst part? Is that just because "someone knows" doesn't mean that its always 100% accurate. Maybe someone saw you walk into a bathroom where other people were doing coke and you came out with them - doesn't mean you were doing lines. Just because you walked out of a bar with a certain guy or girl - doesn't mean you slept with them. If someone claims "So-and-So told me..." maybe they don't have their facts 100% straight.

All too often the "Walks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Its a duck." principle gets used. I had a friend tell me "I'm not stupid! I know what's going on!"

Unless someone gets their facts straight, they don't know what's going on.

I am happy that the current drama of the week came to a peaceful conclusion. Unfortunately, as one person mentioned "the damage is done". Oh well, life goes on.

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

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1. Original name was going to be "Jacques-Pierre". Until Mom stopped drinking the cooking sherry and decided on my Irish name.
2. I'm very good at juggling three balls. Every visit to my nephews or nieces begins with them running up to me demanding I juggle and perform like a circus seal.
3. Joined Navy NROTC at Villanova on a spur of the moment. Dad was very happy - i'm not sure if it was from my patriotism or my tuition was going to decrease.
4. Common criticism throughout life is that i'm arrogant. I think that i'm very confidence in certain aspects and also very competitive - and I think people misunderstand my intentions which causes this perception. I genuinely believe that i'm very nice - to those that don't irritate me. :)
5. I don't do mornings. Extremely cranky in the morning to the point where loud noises or people talking bothers me. I can't explain it, but its almost like it hurts my brain. It takes about 2 hours for the "morning fog" to lift. I even warn my co-workers to not bother me until after 10am. After that i'm perky and fun.
6. Had a dog, an Afgan hound, named "Leia" after "Princess Leia". Most dogs fetch, guard or are friendly - my dog would basically sleep all day long in a corner. Worst. Dog. Ever.
7. Played a game as a kid called "Freedom". Probably the most fun game as a kid - a modified group game of hide & seek. Used to wear a full body black Ninja uniform to hide better. I can only imagine what neighbors must have thought when some gangly 11 year old is running at full speed in a ninja uniform being chased by other children. Or, even better, when i'm hiding in a tree and someone spots me who ISN'T playing the game. [whispering] "Hi - i'm not here to kill you, i'm just playing a game...sorry!"
8. Vacationed in the following foreign cities: London, Paris, Prague, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Sydney, Melbourne, Florence, Rome.
9. Began snowboarding in 1988, before it was popular. I wish I knew it was going to become so popular - I would have tried to go pro!
10. Played Dungeons & Dragons, started playing around 1980 - still playing today. Glad my parents didn't buy into the whole "Satan" thing. He would rather be called, "Lucifer, Prince of Darkness", anyhow.
11. Love playing online games centered around D&D. Currently playing World of Warcraft.
12. Had imaginary monsters as a child named "Hands-Hands" and "Teeth-Teeth". Hands-Hands were a pair of rubber gloves who would attack me and hold me down. Teeth-Teeth were disembodied teeth that would click & clack to terrify me. Why the double-word names? Got me - I was 6, cut me some slack!
13. Favorite all-time TV shows: Dr. Who, Star Trek (old & new) or Quantum Leap. Yes, I inherited the nerd gene.
14. I skateboarded for years, from age 11 to 17. Many summers were spent on all-day sessions of skateboarding. At my peak I would say I was above average in skill. Tried skating once in college, in an empty shopping center, felt like I was too old to keep doing it after about 10 minutes.
15. Love freestyle frisbee, especially at the beach because a good wind can loft the throws better and the water can slick the underside of the frisbee allowing for longer spins & tricks.
16. Favorite dinner: Spiral Honey-Cured Ham. Throw some mashed potatoes & broccoli in there with a nice gravy and i'm in hog heaven. I dig swine.
17. Trained in horseback riding for 2 years from 16-18. Got to the point where I could jump horses - and stopped because the next step was to compete in shows, which I had no interest in doing.
18. I'm a night owl. Very much enjoy staying up late watching TV or playing video games on my PC. Which leads to...
19. I sleep late. Some people can sleep a few hours a night. I need at least 9 hours of sleep. So if I stay up until 3am - I usually sleep past noon on the weekends. Now, if you think about it - if I stay up until 3am, and sleep until noon, i'm really just getting 9 hours of sleep.
20. My IQ was judged by to be a 142 when I was 6 - not by standardized testing, but by professionals. I'm still waiting for it to kick in so I can cash out.
21. I have very vivid, detailed dreams. They are so vivid, that I remember them weeks later. Some dreams are so fun that I hate having to wake up (even on weekends) - and go back to sleep to "continue the dream".
22. I bartended for 2 years from 29-31. I would still like to do it again, given the right situation.
23. For fun, I started writing restaurant reviews for a website about 4 or 5 years ago. Feel free to read those reviews and figure out which ones are mine. Its not that hard.
24. For years, growing up, I always carried and worn a green backback to school. Today one of my most common worn items is my messenger bag. Some things never change.
25. I have a tendancy to fall into routines. My gym schedule is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - it doesn't change. The thought of changing the routine annoys me. I won't do it.

The Pixies Concert

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It's Saturday night and i'm at a bachelor party for Lee L. at Jake's Dilemma.

The bar, if you haven't been there, is a total guy's pub. It has pool, foosball, darts, Golden Tee & plenty of eye candy. 43 different beers on tap, and I didn't see any girls drinking a "Cosmo" or channelling their inner "Sara Jessica".

We got there around 7pm, for a open bar until 10pm, in a private room at the bar called The Oak Cellar. They also served food, which was surprisingly delicious pasta (chicken & penne in a vodka sauce) and a beef satay (with a hearty spiciness to it). It cost $55, but I made sure to get my money's worth. I downed about 9 Captain & Cokes and did my best impression at the buffet table of the biblical locusts that destroyed Egypt 2,000 years ago.

So I was feeling buzzed, but the nice layer of pasta kept me from going overboard into "drunk". A friend of mine, Pat, asks if I want to go to Hammerstein Ballroom to see "The Pixies". This was the last show of their reunion tour, a midnight showing at Hammerstein Ballroom at 34th street.

First things first. If you don't know "The Pixies" - seriously, go to iTunes or your local music store and get their CDs "Surfer Rosa" & "Doolittle". At the very least, get their Greatest Hits. The Boston based Pixies were one of the most influential rock bands of the late '80s, composed of Black Francis (real name Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV), bassist/singer Kim Deal (started the band "The Breeders" which had a big MTV 90's hit "Cannonball"), guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering. MTV has an article here about their history & the tour.

Second things second. I wasn't expecting to go to this concert that night, but I got into listening to the Pixies about 2 years ago when I read something about them - which caused me to buy the beforementioned CD's. My iPod has had their songs on constant rotation for the last 2 years and something like this falling into my lap was simply great.

Pat, Adam, Chet and I pile into a cab around midnight after drinking with Lee for 5 hours (they were headed back to Hoboken at 1am - no strip clubs that night) - and arrive at Hammerstein. We get out of the cab and get into line. There are about 200 people outside, some are in line, some are waiting for friends and quite a few scalpers working the crowd.

We get into line, and it is at that moment I realize we are going to have a problem.

Most concert & sporting events in major cities have security who frisk patrons. Of course after the events of 9-11, the security guards take their job extremely seriously to the point of insanity. Knowing this, I realized that I made a tactical error in coming to the concert. I was armed.

I was armed with bar darts.

Falsehood Rant

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I worked with a co-worker who I didn't get along with very well.

She was snippy and insecure. One way that she thought may anger me was to throw a barbed comment about my single status.

A lot of our arguements began the same way. She would try to order me to do something. I would say no. She would pout and complain, in front of other co-workers, and say things like "Well that's why you don't have a girlfriend".

So this went on for a good couple of months. She would jab at me and I would give it back and she would cluck, "That's why your single and i'm married." Basically you have someone who is defining their self worth because they are married. In a relationship = that someone loves me. Not in a relationship = you aren't worth loving.

So at a company party I got to meet Mr. Wonderful.

Call me shallow. Call me crass. The guy was a wonderful as a food processor. First, he looked like he could get beaten up by girl scouts. Second, he had the personality of my roommate's fish. Third, he worked for shipping comany as a "delivery specialist".

So i'm laughing on the inside. Shook his hand and all I could think, in full sarcasm: "Wow, another GREAT guy off the market. Glad you landed that one!"

I notice these falsehoods all the time. Like when you meet the guys who think they are all that, sleeping with this girl and that girl. Then you meet some of the train-wrecks they are banging. I'm fairly certain that the Bronx Zoo may be missing some orangutans. Yet you have to listen to these guys who make themselves sound like a porn star with all the action they are getting.

How about the people in town who are diving in their leased BMWs, Gold American Express, $2,000 a month condo? Yet, if you find out the truth - they don't have a penny saved in their bank account. Oh, they live like they are making about 5 times more than their current salary.

Or, people at the gym who are jacked. Its incredible to see the muscular form on these people. One of my friends, who was a personal trainer, pointed out a few of them and said, "Juiced. Juiced. Juiced...AND oh, yea, juiced." (Juiced, for our older readers, is the term for someone who is "On the juice" - or using steroids) I was incredulous, I asked her how she knew that. "After years working in gyms you know the key symptoms, they are easy to spot."

That's my rant for the day.

Pictures of California

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Here are some of the pictures from my sister and brother in laws new home in Temecula. Its an absolutely stunning property, located in the hills above the city. They have about 4 acres of property, along with orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit trees. On Thanksgiving I was picking fresh lemons as an ingredient for a sauce that Dave, my brother in law, was preparing.

Here are some sample pictures, along with commentary...enjoy...

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The entrance to my sister and brother in laws home - on either side of the driveway are the fruit trees. From what my sister tells me they have so much fruit that they have to give it away. This explains where the guys on the streets in L.A. selling bags of oranges must be getting their supply.

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This is what you get when you study hard & become a CEO. This explains, why at 32, i'm still living with 2 roommates.

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Champ, the boxer who was once living on the streets of Camden, now living large in Cali after Stephanie and Dave rescued him.

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Snoopy, the mutt (we think he is part Lab & part Border collie) - who played fetch with me until his toenail got cut and started to bleed. The dogs drive to fetch was so great that he kept playing and wouldn't stop! We deactivated the dog for 3 days and put him on injured reserve.

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A beautiful atrium in the backyard that the previous owner built for the wedding of their child. Its about the same dimensions as many of my friends apartments in Hoboken.

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A picture looking at the back of their house, from the atrium. There is an enormous upkeep for the landscaping at their house, they have a gardener who visits 3 days a week! Hire me, i'm cheap and will work for wine or port.

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A picture of me with some horses from their personal stable. Just kidding, I don't know who that guy is. ;) This was a picture taken from a vineyard in Temecula called the Longshadow Ranch where I picked up some excellent port. They have wooden casks that were used for Jack Daniels which they store the port in - creates a very tasty treat. I'll share it with some close friends very soon.

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If you like nature, the view is nice to see with the whitecapped mountains in the distance. But I think that a walk down Sinatra Drive with New York city across the water beats this view. That's just me. I need something to be happy about living in Hoboken.

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A blurry, dark picture of me from behind riding a Segway at Disneyland. I forgot I did that until I saw the picture again. The segways were a lot of fun but I don't think I want to cough up 3 grand for it...

Chauncy, a loyal friend.

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A friend of mine passed away yesterday. Her name was Chauncy.

She was one the nicest and gentle friends I had. Always ready to be there for you, never judging you, never questioning. Her deep brown eyes would listen to your words and absorb what was being said with a quiet wisdom and loyal disposition.

She was always turning heads when I walked with her down the street, her long blonde hair blowing in the wind - very often we would be stopped by complete strangers who would comment on her beauty.

Chauncy lived for 15 wonderful years. To some that time may be considered short - but for her it was a lifetime.

Vietri Di Potenza

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Studying in Italy provided me with quite a few amusing stories. One of those stories was when I decided to visit the Italian side of my family in Vietri Di Potenza, northeast of Naples.

In the early 1980's a few people from my father's side of the family decided to visit Vietri. My family arrived on a Friday night, stayed overnight and left Saturday for Naples. To an American, this was normal.

To an Italian, this was an insult!

Regrets

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Life is full of regrets.

They say that they shouldn't overwhelm you, and I agree with that. I don't sit in my room crying over past mistakes, but I do find myself in random situations thinking about them - like when i'm sitting in traffic or waiting at the airport. I'm glad with most of the decisions in my life, and even some of my regrets are silly but I always wonder.

One of my regrets was my choice not to try out for high school basketball. I went to a all-boys, private, Catholic High School, and I played basketball for fun during childhood, and was on the 8th Grade basketball team. I was average, my large height gave me an advantage, but I was like most other tall kids - bad at dribbling and too skinny to hold my own in the post. It would be like Todd Pinkston playing for the Sixers.

In the high school during my freshman year of 1996 were a few freshmen who were obviously better than me, and even courted by the school to attend and play basketball. I wasn't one of those kids, but from day one every teacher would call me: "Kevin's brother".

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from December 2004.

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