Life: June 2008 Archives

I Know, I Have Been Lame...

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Sorry for my lack of updates. I don't have any real excuse, just been busy.

Today is going to be a random thought day, with everything that's going on in my life and how I see things.

I wrote a lot about my diet and working out, and i'm slipping back to my food-fixation mode again. It's not fun. I start to get anxious about what i'm eating and making sure to avoid sugar, alcohol and fat. Sure, it's healthy, but I also just hate trying to figure out what I want for dinner and nixing 90% of the take out in Hoboken because there isn't a healthy option. I can't wait for Energy Kitchen to open up. They really need more healthy choices in Hoboken, and after a day of work and an hour at the gym, my interest in cooking just hasn't been the same.

I also am a big fan of Lidia's Kitchen on PBS. I love watching her cook. Reminds me when I was in college I would watch Bob Ross making happy trees with happy squirrels. I actually ordered her cookbook, i'm a huge cookbook whore...

Some people can cook by taste or just throwing things together...that's not me. I need a methodical plan with exact ingredients and temperatures. I hate those cookbooks that are vague about the temperature. I also have issues with leftovers. I was talking to a friend of mine about this, and we concluded it is about how you grew up. When I was growing up rarely we had leftovers. Oh, sure, the occasional sausage & pepper would be stored in the freezer for a next day snack, but I just rarely, if ever, had leftovers. Now I find today that I don't enjoy eating leftovers and I find it hard to just cook for one person. I have tried looking at various cookbooks for "cooking for one" or "bachelor's cookbooks" (which are really stupid, they dumb down the menu like 'Trog The Barbarian' is eating dinner). On my "things to do when I am a millionaire" is making a good, healthy, fast cookbook for single people.

Beach house is chugging along, but here's a story for ya. I was at the house on Saturday, it was a great beach day. The weather channel said that Sunday would be a washout, and I was torn. Do I get drunk and sleep at the beach house on Saturday night - driving back Sunday morning or just stay mostly sober & drive home and sleep in my own bed in Hoboken on Saturday night (maybe even hitting the bars before the 2am one-way-door)?

Twice I have chosen the latter option. I love my bed & the shore has been fun, but the people there I really don't know so well, and i'm not really jonesing to go out to the meat market bars at the shore. Waiting in lines? Paying covers? Blowing a ton of money at bars that don't give a shit? Not my style....

On that front, I went to The Shannon for the first time since they renovated. I bought a Grey Goose with Red Bull & a Bud Light. Cost? $16. Dude - FUCK THAT. Now people ask why I always go to Mulligan's (Jimmy, Tommy, Craig behind the sticks always take care of me) or Moran's (Kevin, Chuck and Lenny are class acts) - cause I don't have to spend a fortune to go there and drink.

Case in point of being a good bartender. I went to Cafe Elysian for brunch last Sunday - very impressed. I had the Eggs Benedict AND Amaretto French Toast at the bar with Patrick the bartender serving me. Nice guy, I had three Grey Goose screwdrivers and he comped a drink for me when I got my bill and I made sure to leave him a good tip. I have to say that Elysian would be a place i'd go to more if it was just closer to my condo. I find that the farthest I liked to walk is about a 4 block radius from my condo if i'm hungry.

To me, if you put a quality product out there - consistently - it will make people return again and again. I been to Elysian for dinner, and was pleasantly satisfied with my dinner also. There are very few restaurants in town that I really enjoy (Court Street is one), and Elysian could be my new #1 restaurant in town.

Also went to Zack's for lunch a few weeks back. It was a Sunday around the same time that I was at Elysian and there were only two tables seated. They are the same owners as the now defunct
Ted & Jo's. It was average at best.

I tried Legal Beans for brunch again. When I first moved to my condo, I loved it. LOVED IT. But something has gone massively downhill with the place. My last experience there, around fall last summer was the straw that broke the camel's back (a post for another day).

I waited months and months before deciding to sit down and eat. I find their coffee is fantastic and the corn bread is just fabulous. I tried going back two more times and the food is just terrible. I have tried the egg, bacon, potato with toast platter and it's almost unedible. So very disapponted, because last year it was so much better.

First Street Deli makes the best breakfast sandwiches in Hoboken. Period. Exclamation point. Question Mark. Yes, it's true. Go there and take the "Philly2Hoboken.com Challenge", I dare you to get a double bacon egg and cheese on a bagel (I get an egg bagel myself). If you eat one, and then know of a better place within a 4 block walk - you let me know and I will happily take your advice and check it out.

I have off from work all next week and a family reunion this weekend in PA. Might be quiet on the blog for a bit. I hope this will hold you over.

FatMuscle and Hat Guy

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January 2006, the Saints were playing the Eagles in the NFC playoffs on a Saturday night, and I watched it with my Eagles club at Mulligan's bar. The bar was packed with Eagles fans, proudly wearing their green and white jerseys. There were other patrons at the bar, some even wearing Saints gear, but the mood was festive and fun.

Well, until we lost.

Everyone was fairly down, and understandably so. It was a very close game, and a tough loss for Eagles fans who saw another season of promise lost, and the window closing on us again.

One of the guys from the bar, part of the Eagles club, urged me to say something. At first I didn't want to say anything, I was fairly pissed. Finally after a few more pleas from him that I should say something to the crowd, I stood up, and hoarsely said a few things about having a good year...glad everyone made it out...better luck next year...etc.

While i'm saying this, two guys (not in Eagles gear) walk out of the bar, and one wearing a Yankees hat passes me, looks at me and says, "Dude, you can shut up - the Eagles lost."

The guy was about 5'10, medium build and I am 6'3, 225 pounds angry Eagles fan who just got insulted at Mulligan's, in front of my friends, after a major playoff loss, and I have been drinking a bit. What do you think is going to happen?

I grab the guys hat and pull it off his head, then stuff it into his chest. I said to him, "Yea? Well, why don't you go fuck yourself?"

Eloquent as always.

The guy wanted no part of this and made that look that guys make when they have nothing quippy to say, and can't sneer very well. It is the way they purse their lips together, look away and make a "spffff" sound as to say, "Whatever".

His buddy is behind him, and he definitely could be a problem. While his Hat Guy walked out of the bar, this guy approached up to me. He's balding, has a tribal tattoo on his arm, and is about 5'8 and easily 215 pounds of fatmuscle. You know "fatmuscle" - he's the typical short armed burly guy that probably was on the football team...10 years ago, but only about 4 years ago in his mind. He's the guy who can bench 300 at the gym, but is built like George "The Animal" Steele - and of course is wearing an Ed Hardy T-shirt.

He watched what happened to his friend, but calmly says to me, "Ya know, my buddy don't like to swap paws, but I like to swap paws."

Seriously. Swap paws he said.

I lean down to him, so I can look him eye to eye.

"Fine. Hit me.", and I point at my chin, giving him a clear shot at throwing a punch.

"Hit me. Just start the fight. Hit me!", I growl at him.

My guess is that this guy was just smart enough to realize that throwing a punch at an Eagles fan in his Westbrook jersey, in the middle of a bar with about 80 other Eagles fans there, would be a very bad idea. Oh, i'm sure if this was a dark alley and it was me and him, that he would have gladly thrown a haymaker.

But he backs down, walks out of the bar and my Eagle friends are all clapping and patting me on the back. We do some shots, laugh about it, and now we....fast forward.

Now it is a few weeks later and i'm at Club H. I'm lifting and just waiting between sets when I see The Hat Guy and FatMuscle from the bar benching together a few seats over.

I couldn't believe it. Yes, Hoboken is a small town. No, I didn't ever remember seeing them from the gym.

I wait for one of them to recognize me, but they never said a word to me. This goes on for two weeks, until finally I have to say something.

FatMuscle was the one I saw the most at the gym, and I say to him while lifting next to the guy - "Do you remember me, from Mulligans?"

He shakes his head, says, "No, why?"

I could have just said nothing, but I was curious. "Well you and I nearly got into a fight."

He laughs and says, "Yea, well that's not surprising to me. When did that almost happen?"

I told him the story, and he shrugs it off, didn't really remember it, said he was drinking a bit that night.

I left it at that - and would stiill see the "hat guy" at the gym. Weeks become months, and I never approached Hat Guy. He's always at the gym, wearing his hat, and chatting up FatMuscle.

Last Thursday i'm at Mulligan's and watching the Phillies. It is the end of the game and Hat Guy walks into the bar with about 6 friends. I'm fairly well buzzed at this point, and finally say something to him with the "Do you remember 2 years ago..."

Nope.

I keep on telling the story. I try to describe Fatmuscle.

He smiles, and says it wasn't him & said that he didn't know what I was talking about, and laughing at the story. He's saying that if I did pull his hat off, that there would be no chance he would have walked away from me - even going so far to ask his friends, "Guys, what would happen if someone took my hat off my head and stuffed it into my chest??"

They all laughed, like an inside joke - I guess Hat Guy takes his hats seriously.

I felt bad, apologized that I was wrong and also telling him how I would see him at Club H - and for years thought he was the guy from that night. He found this hilarious, and he bought me a beer. We talked a bit more, and turns out that he's a really nice guy, albeit a Giants fan, but he went to Penn State, and we talked a bit about that.

Him and his gang were planning to hit up Green Rock, and I made an Irish Exit, and slipped out of the bar a bit later.

Just another day in my life.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from June 2008.

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