Life: August 2008 Archives

That Bitch!

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We were having so much fun this summer. Laughing. Playing. Rubbing bellies. And look what I find - evidence that she's not only a Jets fan but also likes the Giants!

Oh God, what a horrible thing. No more treats for little Zoe!

This weekend was fun enough, even if my allergies were killing me. Friday was an early night, I was zonked from a long day of work and my stuffy nose. Went to sleep by 11pm at the shore house.

Saturday was a beach day, I worked on my tan. Someone asked me how I get so dark. For one, i'm Italian. The other, i'm Black Irish.

Chris, being Chris, has been trying to "beat me" with a better tan and can't keep up. He's been doing a good job getting fried to a crisp, however. His face was a nice shade of lobster on Saturday night.

Our luau was Saturday at 2pm and I just wasn't feeling it. It was fun and a nice party, but I was out of it from my allergies and lack of quality sleep on Friday night. I share my bedroom, and my neighbor snored until 5am. I didn't want to sleep on the couch again, so I just sat there and stared at the ceiling.

Saturday night the party lasted until 1am (11 hours of drinking and eating), when we had bodies all over the shore house, sleeping wherever they could.

Sunday was another nice beach day. I had my fill for brunch at a local irish pub, and then snoozed on the beach for a while. It was a lazy sunday, relaxing at the beach house until 6pm, and driving home to watch the Phillies vs Dodgers on ESPN.

I'm getting geared up for football. I'm playing fantasy football and I have the #1 pick in the draft. Itching to pick Brian Westbrook at #1, but really have to think that LaDanian is the smarter pick.

This week is a 4 day work week. I have off Friday...but weather calling for showers. Boo!

Top 5 Rules For Shore Roommates

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I definitely have a lot of experience living with roommates, after counting 18 different roomates over my 13 years living up here.

Most of my roomates were great people, some were weasels, some were generous and some were selfish assholes that deserve a karmic boomerang.

I have written before about how to choose a roommate, and included my "rules" to a good roomate:

Be considerate. Clean your dishes. Pick up your clothes. Be tidy. Don't like to clean the litter box - pay your roommate $30 a month to do it for you (yes, I did this). Do you have a special other - don't bring that person into the apartment all the time to "sleep over". A good rule of thumb is a overnight visit twice a week. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is over 4 nights or more a week - that is unfair to the other roommates. Maybe have them kick in some rent while you are at it.

Be quiet. This isn't a dorm room. No blasting your music or TV - the subwoofer travels easily thru hardwood floors and to the upper floors of condos and brownstones. One of my roommates reminded me that squeaky beds can be heard thru hardwood floors, too.

Be responsible. Pay your rent and bills on time. The last 10 years I have held all the cable & electric bills in my name. I usually pay them right away and then collect what is owed to me by my roommates - time and time and time again they always forget to pay me. I think if I calculated over the years the money I have lost to roommates who didn't pay me would easily be in the hundreds of dollars. Its partially my own fault, I don't hound my roommates to pay me back - I just leave the bill out, and expect them to do the math. John, if you are reading this - you still owe me 2 months of bills, buddy.

Be kind. A lightbulb is out - how about buying a new pack and fixing it? Notice that the bathtub is dirty - maybe clean it? Cooking dinner - maybe see if your roommate wants some. Its the little kind actions which will endear you to others.

And now after living in a shore house, with multiple roommates (some full shares and some half shares) in a no frills shore house, this would be my Rules For Shore Roommates (which some points may mirror points in my previous comments):

5. The bars have closed, you are drunk, your friends are drunk - don't assume it's cool to bring back your drunken mess to the house for an "after hours party". We have already a few instances of people coming back to our shore house, and drunk people making far too much noise for our sleeping roommates and our sleeping neighbors.
Bottom line: Unless you are bringing back all the roommates to the house, or if you roommates are still up - ya gotta call it a night or find some other place to go.

4. Sex happens. Overcrowding at a shore house is the norm, and often people are sharing beds in the same room. There has to be consideration on both sides (those getting some and those getting none), come up with a good system to say "DO NOT DISTURB" if you are "busy" and consideration for those couples who want to be alone in private.

3. Generousity is the better part of valor. If your buddies and you are drinking someone's else's Grey Goose, don't replace what you drank with a cheap knock off. If you are drinking good beer don't bring in a case of American Light Beer and expect that's a fair replacement. If people are buying groceries & making dinner for you each week, it isn't a bad idea to throw down some cash on basic communal foods (bottled water, burgers, dogs, chips, soda, toilet paper, etc.)

2. Clean up! I think this is very important especially when people disappear on Sundays without taking the trash & recycleables out, cleaning the sinks, wiping down common use areas or even sweeping the floors (we don't have a cleaning person). The only times I have gotten others motivated is by stopping people on Sunday for an hour of "clean time" (yes, do you believe it? ME telling people to clean up of all people...) to get the job done.

1. Ignorance is bliss. Everyone will be on their best behavior for the first few weekends (in some cases for the first 24 hours), and you only see most of these people on the weekends. I have had disagreements with some of my roommates and rather than confronting and defending myself - I simply walked away. Normally i'm someone who WILL get in your face if i'm angry, but I have found that it's a million times easier to keep the peace and walk away from a problem or a conflict. I think it would be a different story depending on the severity of the situation (like if you had a real problematic roommate), but you should try to let most minor infractions just roll off your back and not let that other person know they are a troll. You are just there for summer, and there's no reason to ruin it by starting drama.

Maybe you have some rules of your own? Leave a comment or drop me an email if you do!

Asbury Lanes: Punk Rock Bowling

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The night was warm, with the mist of salty sea water hanging lazily in the sky, like a whisper of a passing lover, speaking sweet, soft poetry to the twinkling stars in the black velvet canopy above us....

Ok, i'll stop.

So, um, yea. Another weekend at Bradley Beach and Chris mentions about how we have to get out of the house and DO SOMETHING. Most of our weekends at the beach have been about grilling, drinking and hanging out at our house with other housemates and just enjoying each other's company...and I have been fine with that.

You, see, dear reader, I am sort of an extroverted introvert. Like you drop me into a foreign bar, with muscleheads, bikini babes, overly loud music that makes you scream to talk to the person next to you (WHAT? YOU STUDIED ARCHITECTURE? WHAT?) and other assortments of trolls and fools, and I will stand there, like a house plant, and drink my drink and talk to those i'm with and really be about as exciting as a fern can be. But, when it comes to hanging out with friends, people i'm comfortable with, i'm much more animated and fun, more social and talkative.

Simply put, staying inside, with friends, suits me just fine.

Sure, it does put a crimp on meeting women, but my attitude has always been just about enjoying myself, rather than trying to go bars and score women. I have never found that people really "meet" anyone at bars - everyone just sticks to their friends and rarely intermingle, and quite honestly I believe that you would be better off trying to make new friends, and meeting THEIR friends, than trying to get some random girl's number at a meet market bar.

But, to each their own.

Saturday, Chris says three magic words: Punk Rock Bowling.

My ears perk up. I like punk rock. I like bowling. Where is this magical land of candy trees and milkshake waterfalls?081108.JPG

Asbury Park, only a short cab ride away.

Chris, Lauren and I hop in a cab, and drive over to the bowling alley, which appears to my untrained eye to be older than me, in a neighborhood that can be generously described as "post nuclear abandoned civilization".

Remember that movie "Escape From New York" with Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin? Yea, that bowling alley would be a perfect backdrop, along with the crowd of people that were milling about outside.

They were the various driftwood of common society, bound together by alcohol, music and a fondness for tattoos. We had old greasy bikers, young post-Franz Ferdinand nerd types, fat goth chicks, hot tattoo princesses, and emo-riffic college kids scattered amongt the aging bowling alley lanes that were built before anyone knew who John F. Kennedy was.

I felt right at home.

This was my kind of scene. I enjoy being around this kind of crowd, and far away from the guidos who proudly look for themselves with their puckered smiles and pseudo-gang flashes on njguido.com.

In another day, age and not having parents who would have disowned me if I got a tattoo, I would have been much like the crowd at hand, having fun listening to good live music and chilling out in the cast off corner of the north jersey beaches. It was great.

It was a $10 cover to get in and an additional $10 to bowl. I laughed and asked if it was $10 per game, because I was so used to our outrageous prices to bowl up here.

No, it was basically $20 to bowl until your arms fell off, your fingers blistered or your rented shoes disintegrated off your feet..

To be sure, this was not bowling for those typical Hobokenites who are "pretty little snowflakes" and worry about what brand of sunglasses they wear or when it's martini night or when Green Rock is a bar they regularly frequent. No, to be sure, this was a bar for the punkers, by the punkers.

I have found that in my life I have always had the ability to be a social chameleon. As so much as I can make fern-related jabs at myself, I also am fairly good at hanging with all types of people - from punkers to Republicans to country gents to city slickers, I never really "stick out", with exception to my height.

The gang and I bowled all night, drinking various cocktails out of the house plastic cups, and listened to the band that was set up in the MIDDLE of the bowling alley, taking up about 4 lanes with a makeshift stage. The band would play about 8-10 songs, break down their equipment and a new band would set up and play some more songs. It was great until one moment.

We were at our lane, bowling and a group of three guys start to bowl next to us. I really don't pay them any attention until our bowling balls disappear. We had about 6 balls in the ball returner thing - and we were down to 2 when I say to them "Hey guys what happened to the bowling balls?"

Chris walks off to find a manager and see if they can discover why the lanes are gobbling up our bowling balls and not returning them.

The guys next to us give me the what?us?who?bowling balls? look and sit there. I take one of the remaining bowling balls, walk into their lane, and throw it down the gutter (remember this is an old school bowling alley, there wasn't any mega-computer that kept score - every game was scored by hand and since you could bowl all night, nothing kept track of how much we bowled).

Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.

Five bowling balls return just as the goth manager approaches us and rolls her eyes and walks away.

About 10 minutes later one of the jackasses next to us throws a ball down the lane as the pin sweeper was down, and BANG! the pin sweeper gets jammed, with the bowling ball rejected, and sitting in the middle of the lane. The guys next to us sit there a look on their face, like when you get home from work, see the garbage from the trash can sitting all over the kitchen floor and your dog giving you the "I don't know how it happened? The trash can must have exploded on its own" look.

They used the bowling ball I was using and it was sitting in the middle of the lane, and I snarled at the offending bowler that he better not just sit there, but go out and get my ball back. He sat there with what I can only describe as an idiot savant look, and then Lauren, bless her heart, goes out and gets it herself.

Sadly, her nice action nearly gets us in trouble - the goth manager returns, yells at Chris saying that we are shut down and can't bowl anymore. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

I was playing my best game of the night, we had 4 frames to go, and Chris and I were betting $20 against each other. I wanted to finish up, and then go home.

The other lane was dimmed, but interestingly enough, our lane wasn't. We wait for our lane to dim, and nothing happened. I guess the goth manager assumed we were bowling with the jerk offs next to us, and shut them down instead.

Ha ha ha.

We finish our game (I bowled a 174 and won $20 off Chris), wave to the children of Rain Man next to us and leave.

Even with all of that, it was just a fun time that if you are in the Bradley Beach area, and looking for something different to do that doesn't have the word "Parker" or "Edgars" in the title, it may be something you enjoy like me.

Vera Gets Serenaded

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At Bradley Beach, my housemates have been there for the better part of 10 years, and have gotten to know the neighbors on our block. One of them is Vera, and 80 year old woman, who lives there in the summers, with her children and grandchildren two doors down from us. She's not your typical grandma - my first meeting with her was her vivid description of going to see the Thunder From Down Under in Vegas last year with her daughter - and getting a lap dance from the male dancers!

She's social with us, stopping by during the day, but Vera can be a bit of a problem for our house, because like any older person, she can be a bit "crotchety" if we get too loud at night.

Friday night at the house someone discovered a megaphone that was brought down last year by a group of Staten Island guys who were living next door, and they left it at our place.

Well the megaphone was Friday nights entertainment, with a group of us sitting on the front porch, trying our best to make each other laugh using the device. I, myself, saw two 20-something girls walking by us on the sidewalk, carrying a half-case of Miller Light. I grab the megaphone, and say with an authoratative voice (like a cop would say)...

"YOU...WITH THE BEER!"

Both of them, perplexed, turn around to see me and a group of housemates getting their attention.

"I WANT YOUR BEER!"

I hear the blonde haired one say, "You want a beer?"

"YES. I AM THIRSTY."

They both look at each other and walk over, laughing and give me a beer. They sit, and crack open a few beers, and meet the rest of the house guests. Two girls from Kansas City in Bradley Beach for the weekend, and they get introduced to us by me with the megaphone.

About 15 minutes later, Joe stops at our front porch and he's Vera's son in law. He's very nice about it, but kindly asks we stop with the megaphone at 9pm at night.

We stop, and take our antics into the backyard, where we drink all night.

Saturday was a bit of a washout last weekend, and I was inside watching TV and relaxing with Lauren and Chris and i'm using the megaphone (again) inside the house. One of my housemates walks inside, asking for the megaphone, and I hand it to her. She walks outside and I hear a screeching old woman's voice:

"HEY YOU INSIDE COOL IT WITH THE MEGAPHONE!"

It was Vera. She was outside talking to some other housemates and giving me crap back.

Well then. I thought about how to respond, and then I suddenly had a flash of a movie scene in my head.

Easily one of my mother's favorite movies, and a classic in it's own cheesy right.

It was time to serenade Vera.

I hop outside, at 3pm in the afternoon and get the megaphone back and proceed to sing to our 80 year old neighbor, like I am Tom Cruise and she is my wrinkly 80 year old Kelly McGillis.

Now Chris, my buddy, who is my friend for many good reasons and one of them is his ability to pick up very fast what i'm doing and run with it - he jumps into the song singing too, backing me up as my very own "Goose". Then Jerry, another housemate, starts singing, and soon we have three guys all singing "You Lost That Lovin' Feeling" to our 80 year old neighbor, who was sitting on our front porch, both perplexed and embarassed at us making fools of ourselves.

The megaphone was loud enough that when finished, we had the other neighbors all laughing at (or with?) us with our song to Vera.

Suffice to say, it was a good laugh all around. It was a classic "Sean" moment, I simply was in my typical goofy mood and went with my first implusive thought and hit it out of the park. I didn't care, and it felt great.

Of course you will all want to know if Vera and I are dating now and the answer is no, I have my sights set on another special lady in my life. Click to see who she is...

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

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