Life: September 2005 Archives

I really can't see you

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I have this funny quirk about me.

If I am walking anywhere, I have this habit of tunnel vision. I won't really notice people walking past me. Oh sure, I can see that there is a blonde girl or a short guy or a fat man with a dog, walking past me. But if it was someone I knew, a quick glace won't do anything for me.

But I could walk right past you and have no idea.

A friend of mine was upset the other day. She said I walked right by her in the gym and didn't say hello.

I tried to explain how it works, and that I can even look at people, briefly and it won't register who they are unless I really LOOK at them. By saying "LOOK", I mean I have to like stare at them for at least 2 seconds before my eyes and my brain say "Bingo! You know them!" Don't ask me to explain it, but I have been this way all my life.

And this can lead me into trouble.

I saw a girl sitting on a bench one day with blonde hair and a small build and it LOOKED like my friend Tina. I walked up, looked at her and she looked back at me....1....2...Oh, you aren't Tina, I thought and turned and walked away. But to her, i'm sure I looked like 'Joe Stalker'. She is writing on myspace.com, "Some tall freak was looking at me funny the other day..."

I remember once when I was at the Smithsonian as a kid with my mother, we split up and I wandered around the building. She caught up to me about 30 minutes later and was upset that I didn't acknowledge her.

"I was waving at you - you looked RIGHT AT ME and looked away!"

Nope. No recognition. I was probably scanning the crowd and the connection between what I saw and my brain decided to not work.

It is also frustrating because I have an aloof nature when I am alone, and people mix up my attitude with arrogance. Couple that with the chance I could walk right past you in a bar without saying hello and you have a recipe for disaster (for my more sensitive friends).

I was at a bar the other night. As soon as I walked in, there weren't many people in the bar, I saw some friends playing darts and I was chatting with them for about 30 minutes. At the other end of the bar, were friends I knew and I didn't even acknowlege them. No idea they were there. Sure, I knew people were down there but I had to like LOOK at them.

Oh well, now you know, so next time I pass you on the street, just tackle me to get my attention.

The Hidden Road of Richboro

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Growing up in Richboro, there was a section of area in my neighborhood that was wilderness. It was about a half mile away from little Tanyard Farms, and it was a area of dense brush, trees and a small creek that provided a tremendous amount of adventure and amusement for the growing boys of our town.

Many a summer was spent with stolen garden tools from our parents garages, cutting through the thorny bushes, and creating trails and hidden hideouts for us to hide.

Being boys, we would create somewhat crude camps where there may be a hidden stash of stolen cigarettes and old Playboys. This was our haven, our escape from suburbia. My first taste of beer was back in that wilderness. I remember trying Moosehead beer for the first time, it was so sour, I hated it. But I was around my brother's friends so I just sipped it and tried to be cool like them.

While exploring one day, we were watching the minnows and trying to catch salamanders around the muddy riverbank. I looked into the clear water, with the insects skipping across the glassy surface and saw something odd.

On the bottom of the "floor" of the creek was rock, and it was cut into a pattern. There was a stone "road" under the water - it was made from a dark stone, and cut into irregular shapes, but they all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. I told my friends, and we all were amazed.

What kind of road could this be? Maybe it was an old road from the days of the Revolution? The Spread Eagle Inn was merely a mile away from this area, and it has been around since 1790. That was when Richboro was called "Beartown" or "The Bears". I heard there were many different roads into town, but when you are 10 years old, you just think it is neat and move on.

I still think about that hidden road, and how no one has discovered it. I think from time to time that I should tell someone - like a historical society about it. I don't know if they would do anything - i'm not sure what the purpose of that road was, now it is completely covered by the creek, maybe it was a man-made built creek to divert water for the near-by slaughterhouse?

I decided to email the people at the Northampton Historical Society to see if they have any interest in knowing about this.

Wedding Crasher

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I had a wedding this weekend, and I found myself in a dilemma. I hand wrote a wedding card, like I do for any wedding or special birthday. I usually take time to include a toast or memorable quote, along with my few heartfelt words. At weddings, I will include a check for the bride and groom....but I found myself wondering:

How much money do you give at a wedding?

I consider myself a good tipper, and a good friend, and don't want to give a bad wedding gift. Before I drove to the wedding Jon and I talked it and we agreed it depends on a few factors:

1. How well you know the groom or bride. Siblings should get more than the groom, who you met two years ago at a AA meeting.

2. Cover the cost of your plate. This is hard to judge. A good way to tell how expensive the wedding is, would be to see where the invitation has the wedding. If invitation for the party is at, say, a country club versus the local Veterans of Foreign War clubhouse - maybe you want to give an extra bit.

3. Take into consideration your financial status. If you are making $35,000 a year versus $350,000 - certainly you aren't expected to cough up $500.

I spoke to my mother today and we were talking about this. She told me that, back in the day, my sister's weddings were about $75 a plate (this was 1980's folks) - and she said you can expect to have around $125-$250 (if not more!) per plate nowadays.

I hope I gave enough.

The wedding, itself, was good. It was held in East Stroudsburg, PA and was outside under a large tent. Lots of friends from Hoboken to celebrate the wedding of Teresa and John. I bartended with Teresa for a little over a year at the bar on Saturday nights. It was pure fun behind the bar when we worked. We would rock out to Rage Against The Machine, and goof off with each other and the customers. I have some great memories with her.

Sunday, I bartended again for the first time since November 2003. I found it amusing because I have a lot of new friends that don't remember me as the "bartender". Both my roommates weren't living with me before 2003 - they just think of me as the working guy.

Yesterday was fun. My leg held up, and my ankle and achilles were a bit stiff when I got home. I worked with Liz behind the bar, and for a day of moderate business it was a good day. It was cool to see everyone come down and have a few drinks and watch some football.

I'm very excited for tonight.

Hurricane Katrina Relief Drive

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My buddy Joe the fireman is organizing a relief drive for the victims of Hurricane Katrinia:

Hoboken Fire Department - Hurricane Katrina Relief Drive
Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Hoboken Fire Department will be holding a Hurricane Katrina Relief Drive on Saturday, September 10, 2005, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Items needed include cash, non-perishable foods, clothing (infant, toddler, and children, as well as adult), feminine hygiene items, work gloves, towels, children's items, etc. Items may be dropped off at the Hoboken Fire Museum, 213 Bloomfield Street, in Hoboken. For additional info, please contact Hoboken Firefighter Joe Turner at joe@turnerroad.com.

If you are around town this weekend, see if you can help. I will be stopping by to drop off my feminine hygiene pro...I mean...canned goods.

When Roommates Become Lovers

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Names and certain parts have been altered in this story to protect the innocent...

In my 10 years of living in Hoboken, I have had, at last count, about 18 different roommates.

Before you get the wrong idea - my first apartment was a "5 bedroom" brownstone. I use that term loosely, since each bedroom really wasn't a bedroom - the basement had two rooms (with no insulation and faux wood walls). The first floor was originally a brownstone first floor, with a living room, dining room, kitchen and walk in closet - which was very poorly converted my our landlord to bedroom #1, bedroom #2, living room and bedroom #3.

Most of my years have been with a mix of guys and girls. I have found that the balance of having mixed genders in a household works out well as long as you can pick the proper type of girl and guy to live with. For the most part, my ability to screen a good roommate had been spot on. One year I let in "Sarah". Boy, was that a mistake.

Picking a girl roommate, I basically use my same rules that I wrote about before. This is my lesson on how I picked with the little head, not the big head - and paid for it.

I had the last week off from work and I realized one thing...

I really need a job.

My life, for the better part of 33 years I have always had something to occupy my weekdays. From grade school to college to the working world, my only breaks have been due to vacation. During those vacations, no matter what age I was, I would go back to my old habits.

They include:

1. Staying up late at night - i'm a night owl and simply love the night and finding ways to stay up. I normally fall asleep, on vacations, from 3am to 7am.

2. Sleeping late in to the day - this is due to my night time habits, and I wake up about 9-10 hours after I fall asleep.

3. Accomplishing very little - Sure, you read about all the things I wanted to do this week. I was able to get my bar card, only because it was urgently needed. I didn't even update my blog.

4. Procrastinating everything. I have bills sitting on my desk that have been waiting far too long for me to pay. It's not a question of payment - just the 30 second act of writing a check, putting the check into an envelope and a stamp on it that i'm avoiding.

5. Sleeping more than usual. I know how I say I sleep 9 to 10 hours, but I also catch myself napping (which, again, I have done my whole life) after every meal. I'll come back from eating something semi-healthy (like Subway - it's not pure health food, but if Jared lost weight eating it, then it can't be that bad...) and my "sleep-gene" will kick in if i'm watching TV or playing my computer. It first begins with "I'll just shut my eyes for a second..." - then 2 hours later i'm wondering what the fuck happened.

It wasn't a bad week off - just completely unproductive. I got a new obsession by watching Full Metal Alchemist every night on Cartoon Network.

If tomorrow I won 10 million dollars - I would be so screwed. I can now understand why those rich kids go bonkers in their life - when you have NOTHING to do - I can see why they turn to drugs to kick it up a notch.

Getting my bar card was an experience this week. For those that don't know a "bar card" basically is a 2 year license that the city of Hoboken grants someone to bartend or bounce in their city limits for the low, low price of $104 - in other words, they are taxing the bartenders.

You have to get two certified checks. One in the amount of $50 and the other in the amount of $54. You can get these at banks ($3 per check) or the post office ($.50 per check).

Now, once you get your two blank checks, you walk to the Hoboken Police Station on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 7am to 11am or 12pm to 2:30pm. Check in with the front desk, and they will point you to the area to the left where you need to go.

The hours for the bar card really didn't work with my nocturnal schedule, and I showed up at 2:15 on Wednesday. The police there told me "The guy who does that is out, come back early tomorrow."

Not looking to raise any issues I decide to call their bluff. I get to the station at 7am on Thursday. I had the week off, so I did this by simply staying up all night, playing video games, watching TV and living like my college days.

I needed to get the bar card, it was somewhat urgent that i'm bartending at Dipper's again. I had my first taste this week of bartending again - I helped Heather behind the bar on Wednesday night when a large crowd of Stevens kids were there. It was kind of strange to be doing it again. My main fear is how my leg will hold up working on it for 7 or 8 hours. I'm still rehabbing it and i'm still in pain when I do certain quadricep exercises that bend the knee.

I'll soon find out if my leg is up for the task - i'm bartending this Sunday at the bar during the day. It's not my normal shift, but Heather needed someone to fill in and I volunteered. Maybe I should get a knee brace just in case.

That's all for now. I have to get the picture up from the pre-season Eagles gathering on Thursday. It was a lot of fun to meet those new people who showed up. Even with the Eagles losing (and the Eagle haters who were rubbing it in) - it was a good time.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from September 2005.

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