Life: July 2006 Archives

I really pick and choose on this site about what I like to talk about. One topic that I haven't really been able to delve into recently was my dating life. For you long time readers, or long time friends, you will know that i'm not really a guy who likes to...date.

My approach for the last 34 years has been the "get to know a girl, secretly have a crush on her, and pray to God that I ply her and me with enough alcohol to make a move". It isn't the most successful method, but its the path of least resistance for someone who hates rejection and hates the whole "dating" thing.

Sadly, like I mentioned, this really isn't a great method. Most girls who become friends with me put me into the "friend box" and if we did a roll call of my hot girl friends (two words) over the last 11 years of Hoboken, I would be looking like a pimp. I have had some incredibly hot girl friends.

Now here comes the tricky part of my story. How do I tell this tale without giving out too much information?

Ok since the end of April I was dating someone. Let's call her "Jill".

Now Jill is intensely private and even the fact that i'm writing this is going to bother her. But hopefully she understands that my writing is my outlet and won't freak out too much.

It was fun. Probably the most fun I had dating someone, since I don't like to date, ever. I can say that most other girls I have been with I just liked them. Jill was easily the first girl I felt something for other than "like". She has qualities about her that I absolutely would want to have when I find that "Mrs. Furey". She wasn't perfect, but then again - is anyone really perfect? We have our quirks. Some can be endearing, some can be maddening. The pro's just need to outweigh the con's.

Jill was cool. And smart. And funny. And adventerous. And sexy. Just writing this I am smiling when I think of her. She had most of the qualities that i'd like in a girl.

I knew her for a long time, she worked in Hoboken part time. For 2 years I would see her about once a week. We would make small-talk and I never had the guts to say anything.

I never thought she was interested in me.

One day, in talking with her, I mentioned the blog. I told her I write a bit, and she might like to check it out. So I asked for her email. We got to chatting over email and she was bold enough to call me out one day. She said to me, "You know that thing about making friends with girls you like...you are doing it again."

So I took the bait and asked her out. She agreed.

I was floored when she agreed. It was great. Dating her was fun. I knew her for a long time, so it was very easy going. Unfortunately for both of us there was a problem.

She was leaving in August to head to a new town and start studying for her doctorate. After a few weeks of dating we both were like, "Do we really want to continue this?"

As much as we liked each other I wasn't about to leave my career and she couldn't abandon hers. What do you do? My attitude was "fuck it", I figured we will just burn that bridge when we got there.

There are a lot of good stories that i'd share, but I can't. Suffice to say I had a great summer. One of the best in recent memory. It had it shares of ups and downs. Heartbreak and joy.

I learned a lot about me, and a lot more about relationships. I learned that emotion and logic are very hard in any relationship. I'm great with dispensing advice to my friends, because I have no vested emotion. Telling someone, "He's just not that into you - time to move on" sounds fine when it isn't your heart that weighs 100 tons. I think I learned how to be a bit more tactful when talking to someone about their relationship.

As for Jill and myself, our time in the sun is over. Maybe one day if she is single and I am single and we live closer to each other we can take another shot at a relationship. For now, we just remain long distance...friends? Well, I hope it's friends with benefits. :)

People have been asking me, "Are you sad?". I tell them that I would have had it no other way. I got to date a girl that I had a crush on for 2 years. Imagine if she moved away and I would have had to keep wondering what ever happened to her, or never had the chance to date her. No, i'm not sad. Its bittersweet. Certainly I would loved for Jill to stay here, and see where our road would have continued (or ended). But its also sweet that I have such good memories to remember her by.

There is still some summer left...and I have a pooch named Layla that I can borrow for long walks on Washington Street. Maybe there will be some more good entries for the Summer of 2006. Who knows?

Layla Porn

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I'm sure i'm going to get a ton of misdirected hits for people looking for "porn" and "layla". Sorry to disappoint, you perverts, but ya found some doggie pics.

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Yes, just keep staring at her eyes. Keep staring. Deeper. Deeper. Deeeeeeper. Now taking reservations to meet our newest four legged roommate.

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Beautiful, don't you think? The puppy is cute, too.

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Much like all the bitches in my life, she loves to hurt me. I kid, because I love.

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Adorable is her middle name, don't you think? She's beat from a big day of biting me.

Puppy Power

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I wrote that Kristen was getting a puppy a few days ago.

Well Layla has arrived, in her brown furred glory. Born in Oklahoma (don't ask), and brought to Hoboken, Kristen has a new best friend for the next 14 years. Layla is a Cocker Spaniel, and has lived up to what I have read about the breed. She is playful, curious, frisky, dim, and a ball of energy. Almost everything I like in a girl - except for the dim part.

Most days are the same when I get home. If Kristen is there first, I just call out the dogs name and she comes running from Kristen's room at full speed and jumps into my lap. Being a puppy, she isn't quite strong enough to make the leap very well, so she ends up as a wriggly tangle of legs, ears and an exposed belly on my lap. After a few moments of righting herself, she then licks and nips at my hands begging me to play with her. Sometimes I do. Othertimes, when I just want to pet her, that doesn't seem to be good enough, and she will bark at me as if to say, "Play! Play!" and take a nip at my knee.

Walking the dog has become an interesting lesson. Back in the day, I grew up with an Afgan Hound named Leia. Leia was perhaps the most gentle dog, but also the most stupid dog, too. Fun as a puppy, but once she became an adult she slept about 22 hours a day. Taking Leia for a walk was a breeze, just open the back door, she goes outside and does her business. Walking Layla has become more of an effort.

Walking any dog in a city environment poses so many problems, like cars on the street or people walking on the sidewalk. Layla's curiousity: "Ooh! A Leaf to eat! Ooh! Gum to eat! Ooh! Concrete bits to eat!!", with me saying "No! No! Layla drop it! No!" Not fun.

Also since she isn't my dog I don't know all of her mannerisms and signals. Yesterday I took her out for a walk and she pees, so i'm happy. But now i'm walking for a good 10 minutes and she still hasn't done #2. Finally she decides to lead me right back to the house with a lease tugging authority. I assume its the puppy way of saying, "I'm done!"

15 minutes later she does #2 in the house. Damn you!

Next time I take Layla for a walk, i'm going to bring a sleeping bag. She isn't going back inside until she does BOTH.

My First (Real) Car

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Growing up, I had it pretty good. I was the youngest of 4 children, so I got away with a lot more than my older siblings. Like my sisters were banned from watching Blue Lagoon when they were 14, but screamed bloody murder when Dad and I were watching "10" on cable TV when I was the same age.

Same situation applied for cars. The twins got to share a Chevy Camaro when they were 17. My brother got a Volkswagen Cabroliet at 17. I got a Jeep Wrangler Laredo when I was 17.

I loved that car. Firstly, I went to LaSalle and I lived in Gwynedd Valley and it was *the* car to own as a teenager. Basically the quintessential preppymobile for 1988, and being sucked into conformity at an early age, I was thrilled to have it. Secondly, it was the top of the line Jeep - with the chrome grill and all the extras - cruise control and air conditioning. Thirdly, not to sound too snobby, but the car was a $20,000 car driven by a 17 year old - that does make the ego rise a notch or two.

Before you, my dear readers, get up in arms about my well-to-do upbringing, my parents were all about installing a work ethic at an early age. Part of that work ethic is about paying for things we owned. Every summer working in Ocean City my money would go straight to my parents to pay for my car. End of a day selling ice cream or end of a night being a waiter. Per year I owed my parents for half of the lease, about $3,000.

Conversely, i'm not going to try and make myself out to be "Mr. Self Sufficient". My parents did pay for my insurance. They paid for my gas. Clothes. School. Just about any hobby that I enjoyed they would pay for, and I think i'm much more thankful now about how generous my parents were.

But, with that being said, here are my "Top 5" Jeep memories:

1. Snow Patrol: One day in January I was driving from Villanova to Gwynedd Valley. It was only about a 30 minute drive and the roads were snow covered. I had driven my Jeep in 4-wheel drive all the time in the show, and it was a champ. Everyone else on the road is driving 15 miles an hour, I would "blaze" past them at 30 miles an hour, with nary a slip. But, this one night, the snow-slick road turned to ice. I wasn't driving very fast at the time, only 10-15 miles per hour when I felt the front of the car began to list to the left. So, I turned my wheel into the skid, which I learned at an early age, and was expecting the skid to correct itself. It didn't. I was on an icepatch and I was slowly rotating in a 360 degree circle in the middle of the road. Thank God it was 1am. No one was on the road. So as I was doing 360's down the road in slow motion I just took my hands off the wheel and crossed my arms. I said to myself, "May as well just enjoy the ride" and for the next 12 seconds waited until I skidded off the road and into a snowbank. I slipped the Jeep into 4-wheel drive (the higher torque setting) and easily got out of the snowbank and just continued home.

2) Only fools...- Ocean City + Jeep = A lot of attention from girls. Me, being about as experienced with a girl as a yuppie Hobokenite is with clipping coupons, didn't bode well. One girl, who was about 16 and extremely cute at the time, convinced me to let her drive my car (saying she was learning to drive with her permit). So I drove the car into an alley, and her friends were in the backseat while I told her what to do. This was one of the biggest mistakes ever. It was summer and the roof & doors of my Jeep were off. So I was outside the drivers side, and she was in the drivers seat. She didn't wait for me to get back into the car and she guns it. I was right next to her, so I was able to make a quick move by grasping the top rollover bar of the Jeep and stick my foot on the brakes. She is still - STILL - gunning the engine while my foot is on the brakes and this gnarly squealing sound is coming from the engine. I reach across and put the car into park, while she is fucking GIGGLING the whole time like its some kind of game. Fucking idiot girls. I tell her and her friends to get out of my car and I never see them again.

3) Late Night Drives: Dave (my brother-in-law) had brother-in-law named Chuck. Chuck, who is no longer with us, was a real salt of the earth kind of guy who was very overweight and the typical jolly fat-guy. He also drove Harleys in his spare time, and would tell me that his favorite experience was driving a Harley, on a warm summer night, with no real destination - just riding for hours. It wasn't until I had my Jeep that I sort-of knew what he was talking about. Driving the car with no roof and no doors was about as close to being on a motorcycle I got and I did have the same thrill for life on certain sweet summer nights when the air was warm and would sit at a traffic light in the middle of nowhere and look up - and see the crisp stars shining down from the heavens. It was a Zen like moment, when everything was right with the world and unless you have experienced it yourself, you won't know what i'm talking about.

4) "Offroading": Suburban Philadelphia has its share of industrial parks and fields. Sadly none are really "offroading" places, but when you are a bored teenager and you have a carfull of friends - you do what you can. I broke several laws with that Jeep, taking it across fields and lawns while yelling "Offroading" with a group of laughing teenagers in the other seats. I was kind enough NOT to do any major destruction to landscapes, but I do know that there must have been a few mornings where some guy is going to work, walks out of his house and takes a look at his lawn with my tire tracks going across it and he must have been thinking "WHAT...THE...FUCK!"

5) New York, New York: I was pledging Delta Tau Delta, and in our final week we had a scavenger hunt in New York City. The plan was to get 3 carloads of pledges to drive to New York on like a Wedneday night and we had a series of places we needed to visit. Some items we needed to collect, some photos we needed to take to prove we did it. I was one of the drivers and had 3 uncomfortable people in the backseat, along with someone in the shotgun seat. It was my first time driving to NYC, and I can honestly say I went to Manhattan once before when I was a kid - so I was somewhat nervous about driving my nice Jeep into the crime-ridden streets of NYC in 1992. We were right outside of New York city, on the Garden State Parkway (don't ask why we were on the GSP and not I-95), when my steering wheel started to shake violently. I never saw that before, so I slowed down, signalled to the other drivers and something was drastically wrong with my car. I took it to a service station off the GSP and they told me something or other had broke and it would need to be replaced. The people in my car piled into the 2 other cars and I drove home, alone, going 40 miles an hour on I-95, with my hazard signals on. If I went any faster than 40 miles per hour, the steering wheel would shake and rattle. I feel bad about that day because it was a good pledge bonding experience and I missed out.

Good times. Today I drive Dave's old 1993 Volvo with 120,000 miles on it. It does the job. It is a good weekend car. If I had to drive to work, I have little doubt that I would be driving something else. I still find myself on edmunds.com about once a week, looking at the new BMWs and thinking if a $375 lease on a new X3 versus a $420 lease on an X5 is justified. I crunch the numbers and then also try to guess what my insurance would cost - and by the time i'm done daydreaming about a new BMW, Toureag, Volvo convertible...I always take a peek at the latest Jeep and wonder...maybe I could just recapture some of that magic again...

Then the frugal side of me shuts down any thought of buying a car and keeps me focused on saving enough money to buy a condo & pay my PSE&G bill.

Skaterat Days of Summer

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I was on my way to Club H yesterday when I saw some local kids on dirt bikes using a metal cellar door as a ramp near Pier A. My first (and very brief) reaction was that of an adult, "I can't believe those kids are harming public property!" - my second reaction was like, "Whatever, I used to do worse as a kid..."

At first I was just going to walk by, but I wanted to take a picture. I asked the kid in the photo, he appeared to be like 16 or so, if I could take a picture of him doing a trick. I was actually surprised how nice he was about it. I wish I had a better camera, because by the time I got the shot off, he was coming off the wall. He got some good air.

I remember back to my skaterat days from when I was 14-18, or 1986-1990. I was a preppy skaterat, I would have my "bowl" haircut, khaki pants (with the cuffs rolled up), hightop sneakers (my ankles needed the hightop support), and usually a T-shirt from a skater in the Powell Peralta group (my favorite skater used to be Lance Mountain).

Our gang of skaters from the neighborhood used to hit a few main skateareas: Richboro Veternary Hospital, Richboro Elementary School and various shopping centers. Our favorite place was Mallard Creek Shopping Center, it had some choice stairs and landscaping that we used to "ollie" (jump) around. We even constructed a quarter pipe ramp that I would throw into the back of my GMC Jimmie truck and we would use the ramp for different tricks.

The reactions were varied in those days. Most people ignored us. Very rarely we would get a few people who enjoyed watching us and of course we loved the attention. Cops hated us, but they mostly would just have us leave, rather than giving us a real hard time.

I was a fairly good skater, but I easily hold the record for the amount of snapped boards. Each skateboard cost about $50 back in the day (for just the board itself). If I were to hazard a guess of how many I snapped, i'd say about 12 boards in 4 years. I remember my parents were very supportive, and would always buy me what I wanted at the skateboard store. I still remember my mother driving me to the skateboard store when I was 14 and I was so excited when I would get a new board, it was like Christmas kind of excitement.

In the 80s we didn't have digital cameras, but I did grab my parents VHS camera and video some of our exploits. I seriously need to ask my friend Eric, who I haven't seen in years, if he still has the tape we made. If he does, I gotta get it converted to DVD.

My skaterat days were just extremely fun days. I remember hot summers sitting in a parking lot and everyone trying to out-do each other. We would have "Thrasher" magazines (the old skateboarding magazine) and try to emulate the tricks we saw in there. Or we would play skateboard "tag", where the whole parking lot was the boundary, and you couldn't get off your skateboard, except for taking two steps. Yes, there were accidents, bruises and cuts from playing this game. I broke the fourth metatarsal in my foot from a mistimed ollie.

Our days were harmless fun and diversion. We weren't hurting anyone. We did maybe scrape up some sidewalks and concrete parking stops (rail slides are fun!). Sometimes shop owners would yell at us. We would make fun of them and skate away. I miss those days, sure beats sitting in an office doing the 9 to 5.

Drunk and Disorderly

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I bartend once a week at Mikie's Squared on Saturday nights. I walked into the bar to get ready for my shift at 6:30pm. Nearly as soon as I walked in, one of the day managers, pulls me aside and says, "See that guy in the Yankees shirt? Just be careful he was here last week during the World Cup game and acted really strange. If he acts up again, we will ask him to leave."

I look out and the guy they are talking about is someone I didn't know from my days working at Dipper's. He was a 60 year old white guy with a bad combover in a blue Mantle #7 Yankee t-shirt. He had a weather worn, tanned face and spoke with exaggerated mannerisms, waving his arms and such.

Not thinking too much of this, except with mild curiousity, I walked behind the bar and started to get ready for my shift. I checked the liquor and beer, adn set up my Ipod and he mostly ignored me, talking to the day shift bartender instead. The bar was mostly empty, and he had a pitcher of our homemade red sangria in front of him. He was watching the Mets vs Cubs and was loudly rooting for the Cubs.

He cheered loudly again, and I joined in, saying "Go Cubs", while watching the TV. Hey, i'm a Phillies fan.

He then said, "You are a Yankee fan too?". I corrected him by saying, "Oh no. Sorry...Phillies fan. Gotta stay true to my hometown boys, even if they suck this year."

He winced, "Phillies? They are worse than the Mets! You from Philadelphia?"

"Yea, the Philly suburbs, born and raised.", I said.

This is where things get...weird.

Ratdog

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My buddy Matt called me on Tuesday and told me he had tickets to Ratdog.

Ratdog is Bob Weir's band, and Bob Weir played in the Grateful Dead. Its sound and style is a typical Kentucky Blues Grass Jam Band, much like the Dead, but a shadow of the real Dead sound. I wasn't under any illusion that this would be a real Dead show, but it was a free ticket and I don't get a lot of chances to see Matt, and its something unique to do.

But, I figured it would be fun and why not - it was in Radio City Music Hall and Matt had seats 20 rows from the stage. Its not that often that I get a free ticket to a show, my last free ticket was when I got backstage passes to see Dave Matthews Band play Central Park from the Red Bull rep in Hoboken. I still see him to this day, and thank him for those tickets, they were insane. 071407.JPG

I went with Matt, Keith, Larry and myself to the show.

I didn't know Keith, he was a friend of Matt's from his financial world, but I knew Larry. I haven't seen Larry in a long time, but he and I have been friends for years, I met him when I was about 12 in Richboro. Larry was psyched to be at this show, and it was fun to be with him.

Now for the uninitiated, a show like this can be different. First off, the people who come here are a bit...eclectic. Aging hippies, young burnouts, and old hermits show up at this show, but the thing I love about it is that everyone has a great vibe. A show like this is all about positivity. You may hate the music, but I love the scene. Everyone here is to have a good time and there is just positive energy flowing amongst the crowd. Its the same reason why I love pubs over lounges or clubs - a pub usually is a good atmosphere to meet other people who don't let pretentiousness or shallowness dominate the room.

One thing I happened to notice, with Larry, was that the crowd was broken down into distinct groups dancers. Everyone who comes to this show will dance in their own way, and Larry and I were pointing people out and commenting on how they dance to Matt. This is the list I was able to remember...

Deep Groove: This is the Anthony Kiedis of the deadhead dancers. They got rythym and aren't afraid to show it. They will dip, weave and bend to the music. They are loving every minute of Weir and they are jamming like Jerry never died. In any other concert, they would look like a jackass (well, except Red Hot Chili Peppers...), but here they are the Tony Manero for a night.

Chicken Heads: This is the un-coordinated "Deep Groove" dancer. They know basically one move, like bending at the waist and bobbing up and down like a psychotic chicken. They are either very stoned or have no rythym. Lots of these types are younger guidos, who really are at the concert to get fucked up more than listening to the music itself.

Swayers: This is the types of people who simply sway side to side, not moving their feet much, but are swinging side to side with the music. Its the ones who can't keep a beat that look pathetic doing this, like Mr. Rogers on acid.

Afraid To Dance: These are the older deadheads. They were a big deadhead like 20 years ago, but now they have kids, a corporate job and wear collared polo shirts to the show. They bob a bit, and shuffle their feet, but they don't really know how to get into the show. These are normally middle aged white guys who are trying to reclaim their youth for the next 5 hours. They are the ones who have really good pot, however.

Dance To Their Own Beat: You can easily spot these chicks. They are wearing long skirts, might have a a floral headpiece, and something else that's fruity - like a cloak or bells on their ankles. They spin around like a whirling dervish, to their own beat, it doesn't matter who or what gets in their way they have their own music they hear. Generally most of these chicks are also overweight, too.

Bass Master (no, not the fish!): These guys are jamming with the bass. Sometimes they "air-bass" and/or "air-drum", too. They are closely related to swayers, but also move their torso to the sound of the bass, so can kind of look awkward with their quick stops and dips and air drumming at the same time.

Freaks & Geeks: There are some serious freaks at this show. Old hippies who don't know what year it is, and they really get into the music. Arms outstretched, spinning and whirling around they are in their wonderland of 1969. Some can be old, and some can be young, but they are all social outcasts. You couldn't imagine they actually have jobs - and if they did - you couldn't imagine what the fuck they do for a living.

Over The Hill Bikers: These are the guys with the Grizzly Adams beard, paunch stomach and 1,000 yard stare they got in 'Nam. They are very well medicated during the show and are mostly harmless, but some have a look to them like they will knife you in the gut if you look at them (or their "old lady") the wrong way. They dance by bobbing their head a few times to the beat, but that's about it.

Radio City Music Hall was outstanding. It was my first time there and I don't claim to be an audiophile, but I know that the music sounded great in this hall. The String Cheese Incident opened for Ratdog, and I think in many ways were much better. Yes, I know, you are saying "The String Cheese Incident" and saying how much that name sucks for a band (Ratdog isn't much better). I thought the same thing until I heard them. Good energy and a tight jam. I thought they did a wonderful job and played for a solid 2 hours before Ratdog.

After about 4 hours of this music I had enough. Fortunately Ratdog's last hour was filled with old Grateful Dead songs that were fan favorites. All in all, it was a good time had by all. It has been a long time since I have been to a dead-esque show, so I realized that I missed this kind of concert. I normally don't go to concerts, I just don't like being crowded & listen to music. I very much prefer an open air-seat under the stars and listening to the band play good music.

I don't knoiw if i'd go again to Ratdog. It was sort of Grateful Dead Lite. They had a lot of the elements of a Grateful Dead show, but its just not the same. Bob Weir sounds great, and does a wonderful job, but he isn't surrounded by the Dead, but a bunch of good musicians who want to sound as good as him. They try. They need another 30 years before they get to that level.

Photoshop Eva

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Wow, just...wow. I have said it a million times, Hollywood can make anyone look beautiful. If they took me and put me into a movie, i'd be even more handsome than I am now.

:)

Maybe this will just prove it again and maybe you just might be happy with that beautiful woman in your life and not the airbrushed image that the media portrays.

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PATH Terrorist Bombing

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I was out of work last week and hence - no time for blog entries while I was home.

Interesting news story, and i'm blogging a bit late here, was the plot for a bombing on or around 9/11/06 of the PATH train while under the Hudson River. I already had scheduled the week of September 4-8 off for vacation. I just added September 11, today. I'm sure an attack can come at anywhere or at anytime, but I figure i'd like the peace of mind.

A few thoughts from my perspective, since I take the PATH every day and would be affected by this.

First, if 15-20 guys of middle Eastern descent walked into the Hoboken PATH terminal with large satchels or backpacks there is about a very low percent chance that they would make it to a train. We have cops all over the station during rush hour for the last four years. Some days they have random bag screenings. Some days they are wearing body armor and carrying semi-automatic rifles. Other days maybes its 2 patrolmen standing outside by the stairs. I just don't see it happening, just because they would stand out amongst the Hoboken commuters like a sore thumb. Could you imagine on 9/11 fifteen middle eastern guys walking around a PATH terminal with large backpacks?! I just think someone would say something in this day and age - I know that I would freak out and be running for the cops if I saw that.

I have been taking the PATH for the last 5 years. I used to take the 126 NJ Transit bus into work, but the tunnel traffic is so unpredictable at 8am that I stopped due to being late for work. If the terrorists did get a bomb off around 8-8:30am, there is a fairly good chance that i'd be caught in it.

I know full well that working in New York makes my chances of dying to such a situation much greater than most other people in other major cities. I'm well aware that every month that passes living here it's like a timebomb. What can you do? Leave?

Sure, I guess I could leave New York but maybe it is a "it can't happen to me" attitude or just a grim reality that keeps me here. I feel like even with the threat out there i'm not gonna run away. I mean, sure, if they detonated a dirty bomb - I wouldn't be sticking around New York after that. If I could choose anywhere to live with the same job I have now, along with the same money i'm making - i'd probably be someplace else. But the reality is that after living in Hoboken for 11 years I have become comfortable with a lot of things up here. My job is fairly easy. I have a bunch of friends up here. I'm single. I have a life that I have grown accustomed to. Maybe if I met someone special and we thought about a new place to be - i'd entertain the possibility of moving. But for now i'm not going anywhere, terrorism or no terrorism.

PSE&G "Miles Apart"

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Spoke to PSE&G today, they told me the estimate has been for the last 6 years (I wrote before that it was 7 years).

They were willing to reduce my bill $1,000 (to $7,000) to settle over this matter. I told them that I was willing to pay 1/3 of the total cost (1/3 of $8,000 or $2,666), since, to me, that was what I was responsible for the last 6 years being 1 of 3 roommates. Giving me a $1,000 reduction means shit to me. Still means that i'm going to be paying for my old roommates who I strongly suspect won't give me a dime to pay me back. Thank God that Jon and Kristen have been cool about this situation. Even with Jon moving out, he is paying me back before he leaves.

I told the woman that in 6 years I never received one notice outside my normal bill saying, "Mr. Furey - we notice that your bill has been estimated by xx months, please call us to schedule a reading."

She went back to the tired response they keep using, "But it said 'estimated' on your bill, sir."

I told her that I have been paying that bill every month for the last 7 years, and budgeted as such. Tried to explain that I live with roommates and that I would be assuming the total cost for that bill. Also went on to tell her that I don't think PSE&G knows where my estimate begins. Again, she could care less and wouldn't budge from $1,000 (and she made that amount sound like she was giving me the world).

I informed her that I have already filed for the BPU to review this case about going to court. Now we wait and see.

Amusing

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Week of vacation and i'm online at 4am writing on the blog...

I find the blog to be my outlet in life.

When I was younger I would write a lot, either with a leather bound journal in which I would write poetry or perhaps a "dream log" that i'd keep next to my bed and write what I dreamed about the next day. The blog is fun, and I always try to be 100% honest when I write.

But I have noticed over the years of writing on this site a few trueisms. Like I really can't write about everything I know. I would betray trusts and be no better than a gossiper. Also my family, friends and some girlfriends have kindly asked that I leave certain elements of their lives off my blog. I respect this and either try to change names or specific events if I really feel the need to write about something that involves them. Other times I may write about a specific event, which amongst my friends would be common knowledge, and to the unknown readers who visit her each day rarely will know what or who I am talking about.

So imagine my surprise tonight when i'm talking to a friend of mine...lets call him "Marty". I was joking around with Marty and he said between laughs, "You wrote about me a year ago, you remember that entry?", I was like, "Yea, when you [redacted]."

He went on, "It was a funny story and its not like it was some secret, but it turns out that a co-worker happened upon your website from hobokeni.com. He read the story and now everyone at works knows about that story, too. I'm not mad, it was a funny entry, but I was freaking out because the coworker wouldn't tell me for the longest time how he found out about that story - he doesn't even live in town! One day he confessed and told me he read your blog. He loves your site and reads it all the time."

My first reaction was me thinking, "Cool, someone likes reading my blog."

My second reaction was, "Damn, I gotta be more careful."

I doubt it really means i'm gonna be changing much on the site, but I certainly think I gotta be more careful with using people's real names in my entries. I will protect the innocent when choosing to use names. But if someone is a complete jackass to me or my friends, I will use real names when I post.

But, my life is an open book. Here are some updates...

PSE&G called me today and left a message. It was from a person in the executive office that I spoke to over the last 10 months, the same woman with the "Fuck you, pay me" responses (no, she really didn't say that but it's what their attitude has been). I don't know if this is good or bad but she said she had some "new information and wanted to talk to me about resolving this matter". I don't know what it means, but I called her back and left her a voicemail. I'll keep you informed.

Interesting side note. Do you, my loyal and growing readership, know of someone who is interested in a slightly used 27" Sony WEGA TV? It was my old TV before I got the plasma, and it seriously is a great TV. I will sell it to my philly2hoboken readers for a mere $250. Think of it like, "I'm helping Furey pay off his PSE&G bill". If not for me, do it for my future children!

If you haven't heard the news my roommate Kri...oh fuck it...KRISTEN is getting a puppy. She thought about getting a cat, but I wasn't terribly keen on that idea considering that her room looks like there was an explosion at the J. Crew factory. Add a cat along with her questionable cleaning skills and we have a recipe for toxoplasmosis. I can't die yet, I have to stay alive to entertain all of you.

So puppy we agreed on. I had to sway her from certain dogs she liked, because of my own selfish reasons. I know i'm gonna be stuck with helping her walk the mutt, so if she got some fruity dog like a pug (which are great dogs, but scream "I'm gay" or "i'm a whipped boyfriend" when a guy walks them in Hoboken) or a French bulldog - that would suck for me. I need a cute, fun and playful pooch to score more phone numbers off women.

We went a few rounds via email about what kind of dog to get. She likes boxers (as do I), but thought it would be too large for our apartment. After a few more rounds of me trying to convince her that a Rottweiler would be a really cool dog, she decided on a Cocker Spaniel. I really don't know the breed very well. But from what I have read they are like the Delta Gammas of the dog world - fun, friendly and not the sharpest tool in the shed, but not a dope either. Sorry DG's - we love you girls, don't be insulted.

She found a chocolate colored one, and it should be joining us in about a week. I will make sure to take pictures and upload them.

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

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