Life: November 2006 Archives

"The Beach" of Great Falls

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On our exploration of Great Falls National Park, my nephews kept saying "Are we going to the beach?" to their parents. Perplexed by this thought, I just figured there was a waterfront area near the Potomac with some sand. The first picture, gives the impression that there is a beach...
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But upon closer inspection, it reveals that The Beach doesn't have sand, but shells! Very small, fine shells that have washed upon this area to create a very unique and different beach...

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More pictures to come this week.

Thanksgiving in DC

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Wonderful trip to DC, with a lot of great indoor and outdoor photos (369 in all! The picture above taken at Great Falls National Park).

My brother and sister in law hosted Thanksgiving at their house, and it was really great. All my siblings were there, along with my mother. It is the rare treat to have us all under one roof for a holiday dinner, because of in-law family obligations during the holidays.

Easily my favorite day was hiking in Great Falls National Park. My sister and brother in law moved into a new house about 10 minutes from the park, and we spent Sunday exploring various craggy outreaches along the Potomic River. A really facinating park, with old ruins of a Federal canal system. Here is one picture of me, along the river. I'm spending the night watching the Eagles struggle against the Colts and looking over the pictures.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. On kind of a cool note, the guys over at Gothamist posted my mini-review of a Goodburger that opened up on the east side, on 54th and Lex. I took some pictures with my compact camera, so the quality just isn't the same with my digital SLR.

Boyfriend Bomb

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Semi-interesting story last weekend. I was out at Teak with my childhood friend, Matt, trying their food for the second time and i'm planning to write up a review about it soon (I like to eat at a place at least three times before reviewing it). Afterwards I went over to Mulligan's for a drink and met up with some people. So there are some cute girls there and I mention to the guys there how cute one is in particular, and immediately the guys are goading me into talking to them.

No, not me. I'm not that guy and never have been. I try to explain, but they keep hounding with suggestions and what not.

I know they meant well, but that simply isn't me. Call me a coward or call me shy (although i'm not sure if I am really that shy if you know me). But I completely clam up when it comes to trying to approach cute girls. Once that ice is broken, i'm fine. I'm just not the icebreaker and I hate that "being set up feeling" when it comes to meeting someone.

Anyhow, we left Mulligan's, and went to Moran's. I'm in the bar for about 2 minutes, and a blonde, 30-something woman in jeans and a cool t-shirt approaches me. First thought was, "Damn she's cute.", she looks at me oddly and says, "Hey, aren't you the guy who has the blog on Hobokeni?".

Poker-faced I say, "No, sorry. Never heard of it." and act like I walk away. I turn around and say, "Nah, i'm kidding, that's me."

She laughs and I smile and we make our introductions, and chat a bit about the blog. In the back of my mind i'm thinking "Cool, I meet a cute girl and the blog did all the introduction work". I talk a bit about the recent articles I wrote and about bartending at Mikie's. She says that "we" were there last week.

"We"?

I'm thinking, "Ok, here comes the 'boyfriend bomb'.

The "boyfriend bomb" is a term that I made up in college. It always happened to me, i'd be talking to a very cute coed and it would take about 5-10 minutes of conversation before I get her to mention something about her boyfriend. Usually it was completely out of the blue, like her saying, "My boyfriend has that same shirt!" or "You studied in Italy? My boyfriend is Italian!" I either took it as an innocent, casual mention of her boyfriend or simply her way of saying "I'm not interested, I have a boyfriend." I mean don't you know those kind of people who get wrapped up in a relationship that every 10 minutes they have to say something about them?

A moment or two later, I was able to meet her very nice husband. No harm, no foul. I chatted him up a bit, and introduced both of them to my friends. I just chalked it up, and still liked the fact I met someone who liked reading my blog.

After that, I go over to the bar, near the corner by the opening and i'm about to order a drink. Out of the corner of my eye I see some guy looking at me to my right. I look once, and I don't know who it is. I wait at the bar, but again, out of the corner of my eye he keeps looking at me. It isn't a friendly look, either. It is like someone who knows me and someone who isn't very happy with me.

Finally, I turn and stare back at him. I shrug my shoulders and throw up my hands as if to say, in a non-threatening way, "What are you looking at?". I notice he is swaying a bit, like he had too much to drink, he turns away from looking at me. What-the-fuck?

I get my drink and chat with Lenny, the owner, a bit. I turn and go back to my friends by the Golden Tee machine, and the guy is looking at me again. I glance back his way and everything falls into place.

Sitting next to the drunken guy is my old roommate, Helga*.

Helga lived with me for two years and left my apartment about 3 years ago. Each roommate is different in my apartment they fall into three categories: Tolerance, Cordial or Friends. Roommates I tolerate are just there, they pay the rent and don't socialize with me at all. Cordial ones are semi-social roommates, but really not that friendly with me. Friends are one that we really click and get along, go to movies, concerts and the bars together.

Helga and I we were cordial to each other. She paid her rent on time, and mostly during her years, as my roommate, she had a boyfriend named William*. William was one of those boyfriends who was at our apartement at least every other weekend, for the whole weekend. I called him the "4th roommate". Fortunately, William was cool and we all liked him, so it wasn't a big bother. They mostly stayed inside her bedroom all weekend, anyhow.

Right before Helga moved out, 2 years ago, that she and William broke up. She bought her own apartment in Hoboken and met a new guy, Ken*. Ken and her hit it off and now they are either engaged or married, and soon to move into the suburbs in New Jersey into a new home.

So my brain is quickly adding everything up. This must be Ken, I did meet him once, long ago, but I just didn't recognize him. Why is he giving me dirty looks...?

PSE&G.

Oh, ok, I sort of get it now. The other day, about 2 weeks ago a common friend of Helga and myself walked into the bar. We talked a bit about my PSE&G situation. He spoke to Helga and told me that she doesn't feel as if it is her problem. I was responsibile for the bills. I was responsibile for collecting from the roommates what was owed on those bills. She feels that she does not have to pay me, especially that she hasn't been in my apartment for over 3 years.

The settlement, for those keeping track at home, was $5,500 for 55 months ($100 per month), or 4.5 years from October 2005, which makes that date January 2001.The amount that Helga (and anyone who lived with me from January 2001 to October 2005) owes me, $33 a month. I believe that Helga moved out July 2002 (I have to double check that), she lived with me for 19 months, or $627 (her name was on the lease every year). I sent her an email about it 2 months ago. One to her "normal email" and another via a website she is registered. She never responded back to me.

My ex-roommate Jon, and current roommate Kristen both agreed to pay me back. I emailed Fred* at his yahoo address, but he was always broke and clearly upset with me when he left Hoboken because of his failed relationship.

So, i'm sure Ken was well aware of who I was and wasn't happy that I was in Moran's. I considered walking up and saying something to Helga, but Matt, turned to me and simply said, "It's not worth it." and Matt just shook his head and rolled his eyes as if to say, "Whatever".

I figured that a Friday night at Moran's, with a few drinks in me, wasn't the time and place to have an discussion over $627 contested dollars. I just enjoyed the rest of my night listening to Willie O'Connor play his guitar.

What would you do in my situation?

Driven

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I was at the bar the other night and met two very cute, very nice girls living in town. Right after they ordered their first drinks, I entered in the computer system a tab for them. Most tabs I try to keep somewhat business like with names like "Corner" or "Couple" or "Glasses" or if I know the customer, their first name. When they sat down, I wrote "Hotness".

One girl had light brown hair with blonde highlights and stunning blue eyes. The kind of eyes that you can't help to stare at. The other was just as attractive, but in a darker more myterious way. Both happen to me roommates in our town, and, as I found out over the course of the night, they are both from the Philadelphia area. I did my best to entertain them, and they were easy to talk to and quick to laugh. By the end of the night, and about 6 drinks each later, I decide to ask some introspective questions their way. I ask the brunette, "What do you look for in a guy" question.

She turns to me and says, "I want a guy with a great personality, the kind of guy that I don't have to worry about walking into a bar and introducing him to everyone. I want someone who is personable and fun."

I said, "Ok, but that's kind of a standard, don't you think. No one really wants to meet a wall flower. What else?"

She adds, "I want a guy who is driven. That's very important to me."

Driven.

Now the mechanics of my mind mull over that word. What is "Driven"?

Now, if you ask me, if a girl in Hoboken says "Driven" it becomes interpreted as, "I want a hardworking, successful boyfriend/future husband with money."

I responded, "So, you want a man who is successful. One who has a good job?"

She denied that money, or success, was important to her. Just that he had goals in his life.

The cynic in me kept quiet, so I then asked the girls in my life.

I emailed them, asking what they they thought it meant when a woman says, "I want someone who is driven." Some answers were verbose, and some I had to draw the answer out a bit. I also added if they thought that a schoolteacher or a cop, making 40k a year, would also be considered "driven".

1998 Dom Perignon

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There comes a time in your life that you have to treat yourself with a little present.

This can come in many forms. Some people do a spa package, some do a nice dinner, some tickets to a Broadway show or sports game.

Friday I was out with friends at Three A's. I haven't been to Three A's for quite some time, and truth be told, 110606.jpg
I really don't go out as much as I used to. It is due to many factors. For one, I bartend on Saturdays, so getting wrecked on a Friday and hungover for Saturday equalled a miserable Saturday night. Also, there comes a certain level of compacency when you stop doing the "going out routine". I'm sure the fellow Hobokenites are familiar with this. It's the routine for the weekend - either going to the local pub to meet up with friends or hitting New York with your special other, it becomes "normal" to always expect to be out on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Once you start to break that routine, by staying in on the "normal nights to go out", then soon the routine becomes "staying in".

Well, I was offered the chance to meet some friends out for a drink and dinner at Three A's. Part of me was interested, and another part, the tired, sleepy, part, wanted to stay in. I relented and went out, heading down to unfamiliar territory.

I normally like to frequent bars or restaurants that I am a regular at because I frequently go out alone, and like to see a familiar face from behind the bar. Also, when you are a regular at many bars, most bartenders, the good ones, will give you a buyback for your continued patronage, or at the very least, might give you a break on paying full price.

Two double redbulls and Vodka, and $24 later my friends arrived. They had planned, earlier that morning, for a 7:30 meeting, but I didn't keep up with the email chain letter and it was shifted to 8:15. It gave me a chance to watch a lot of a channel called "GolTV" and listen in to the conversations at the bar around me.

When my friends did arrive, we were at the bar and chatted for a drink or two. Ordered dinner, and I decided to get the Chicken Rollatine, a stuffed breast of chicken with fresh spinach, prosciutto, swiss and parmesan cheese. Looking down the menu at the wine list, I was a bit unimpressed with their bottle selection. The labels they carried were fairly standard for Hoboken, like Markham, Rutherford Hill, Kendall-Jackson, Franciscian and Sterling. Don't get me wrong, I like all of those, but I was looking for something with a bit more...kick.

Then there was the champagne list. I'm not really a champagne guy. I don't know the real labels, but I do know a few. My eyes landed upon the 1998 Dom Perignon. I pondered it for about 4 seconds before I pulled the trigger.

"Hey, do you guys like champagne?", I asked innocently.

My friends shrugged and nodded, not sure what to make of my question.

"Cool, so do I.", then I told the bartender that i'd take the Dom Perignon.

I watched the bartender look at me and then nod with a sort of satisfaction. I doubt it was about my appreciation of the finer things in life and more about watching his tip cup get fatter. The bottle was $200.

Pets + Costumes = Cute

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Some may say "animal abuse", but you have to laugh after seeing these! Happy Halloween everyone!

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from November 2006.

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