Friday, June 8, 2007

Brotha's Gotta Eat

Please send recipes to We are able cooks but lack creativity in the kitchen. We need your help. Our life and well-being is in your hands.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Rocket Science

This just in. Experts predict man who starts every fifth game probably can't save season. Roger Clemens, aka "The Rocket," is scheduled to make his first Major League appearance in over eight months on Saturday against the lowly Pirates. "I am going to go out on a limb and say that this player who will perform in approximately 20 games for the rest of the year will, at the absolute most, have a positive impact on roughly 20 games," said ESPNs Rob Neyer recently. We appreciate the thoughtful insight Rob, but after weeks of never-ending banter about Clemens on TV and radio, we expect a little more. The Yankees are below .500 and 10.5 games behind the Red Sox at the moment. It does not take a genius to see that a 44 year old man who will pitch no more than 100 of the team's remaining 936 innings will have very little impact on the outcome of their awful season. Pitching in the AL east is a far-cry from tossing batting practice to your son down on the ranch. I can't wait to see the headlines in the Times when the D-Rays move ahead of the Yankees in the standings. I can hear Bon Jovi's "Living On A Prayer" blasting from the wedding across the street at the moment. This seems very fitting to the Yanks' current situation.

I met someone last night who is related to a rocket scientist. When asked what said relative actually does, she responded: "I don't know, I think he tests new rockets by shooting them off in the middle of nowhere and seeing what happens. Wouldn't that be awesome?" Yes, it certainly would, but I think it may be a bit more scientific than that.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and you know what that means... Bottle Rockets! Big brown grocery-sacks filled with bottle rockets and other explosive goodness. I'm not sure what the law regarding the sale of fireworks is here in NY, but just to be safe, please send fireworks. If you do not have our address, contact myself or Al immediately and we can get this pyrotechnic plan in motion.

In other non-rocket related news, Al and I are alive and well in the Big Bad City. I apologize for not updating in awhile. There just hasn't been much to write about lately. We have moved into our apartment and life is good. I am starting work tomorrow and Al is still in search of work. Life feels relatively normal here now and there has been little excitement worth noting. I could update everyone daily about the odd differences between life in the 'hood and life where you are, but I won't. I have a feeling this blog will soon turn into a space to rant about odd things that flow through my mind frequently. Feign interest.

Apartment pictures taken with Al's phone:

Friday, May 25, 2007

This, That and Some of Those

My eye is feeling much better. I'm still using my drops occasionally and not wearing contacts but expect it to be healed by tomorrow.

I'm becoming more efficent in travelling about the city with each passing day. I can generally keep track of which direction I am heading and am quickly learning the details of the complex subway system.

Trash day in NYC is not Monday or Tuesday or whatever day as it is in most places I've lived. There are mountains of garbage in the streets everyday and people are working in shifts 24/7 to collect them.

My classes for my license exam are awful. They are geared for the absolute slowest person in class and are taught by a couple flunkys from Jersey. Only ten left.

Thank God I'm moving to Brooklyn soon, where there are only about 35,000 people/sq. mile. That is approximately half as dense as Manhattan.

If I took every flyer that was stuck in front of me everyday and chopped it into confetti, I could posibly sell it to party supply stores for a decent profit.

Fashion sucks.

Although I am against cruelty to animals, I took an opportunity to punt a pigeon the other day. Probably flew about fifteen feet. I enjoyed it.

I've contemplated purchasing at least a few fake Rolexes so I can stand in Chinatown pestering every Chineese person to buy them.

My feet and knees are killing me.

When I am ordering a sandwich at a deli, I would really appreciate it if the maker of my sandwich spoke english. I like a good sandwich and am more demanding of my sandwich creator than the average guy. The Panamanian girls at the Hot & Crusty just can't hack it.

Have you seen my umbrella?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We Live In Brooklyn Baby

When I arrived here a few days ago, I was willing to sell my soul to find a suitable apartment here in the city. From what I've heard, the housing hunt 'round these parts is typically akin to having unpleasant dental procedures. If you choose to go it alone on your search, you must devote long hours of travelling to your desired neighborhoods and viewing a series of spaces that will never have everything you really want in your new home. It is a rabid market as well, so you must be prepared to write a check on the spot if you do find something that meets half your needs. Chances are, it will be gone within days, days that you thought you would check out a dozen other apartments and then have the luxury of choosing one that is just right. This is not an option. You must prioritize your needs, know what you are willing to sacrifice, and write someone a check as soon as you find a spot that fits the criteria. Given, there are new places on the market everyday, but the common man in this city has very little time to waste waiting for the perfect spot. If you choose to hire a broker, the process will certainly be streamlined but you will pay through the nose for this service.

Al and I chose to go it alone as a broker's fee was not really in the budget. We decided to seek a summer sublet, preferably furnished, so our search was a bit easier as we were only making a short term commitment and were willing to sacrifice more of our criteria than most on a long-term apartment hunt. For the two days before Al's arrival, I sent dozens of emails to people who were going to be out of town for the summer or just wanted out of their lease. I got a response from about a third of my emails and only spoke to a handful of people over the phone. Al was only in town Tuesday and Wednesday so the pressure was on to find a place that we agreed upon in a very timely manner. I saw one apartment on Monday afternoon that I had no interest in living in and had made appointments to see three places on Tuesday with Al and had a couple potential viewings on Wednesday.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the length of this post and assure you all that I shall never post another so lengthy or girthy. A lot of exciting things have happened in the past couple days but I have been far too exhausted and busy to update. I've finally had a restful day in the city and am currently sitting at the office in my boxers with nothing to do but write. Please feel free to take a break at anytime. No need to strain yourself trying to squeeze all this happy-goodness into one sitting. Should this turn out much longer, which I have a good feeling it will, I suggest printing it and reading on the pot or lying on the couch or anywhere more comfortable than your desk. If you are one of the fortunate folks who posses a laptop, you may skip the printing and carry your computer directly to the john.

Al arrived late Monday evening and we went out for a few adult beverages with some friends of hers. She would like me to mention that we saw Alex Rodriguez there and she met him. I wasn't to excited to say the least. All I wanted to say was "Hey A-Rod, Kevin Youkilis outscored you on my fantasy team last week, but I had him riding the bench. Show me something this week against the Sox or he's taking your place." A-rod made a grand exit and we made our way south to a bar called the Banshee to meet one of my many friends named Jeff. We'll call him "D.C. Jeff." He was in town visiting his brother who is getting treated for cancer nearby. Don't worry, his brother is doing great and everything looks promising. The poor choice was made by us all to close down the bar and turn in at about four in the morning. Al and I dragged ourselves off the couch we shared sometime shortly before noon and our apartment search was on. Our first appointment was at one o'clock in Brooklyn. We almost made yet another poor choice in less than twelve hours and committed to the first place we saw together. It was suitable and I would have been content living there for a short period. Only a two month commitment, decent furniture, nice people, across the street from the park, good view of the city and the Brooklyn Bridge, close to the train, within the budget, and many other good qualities. We were feeling a bit tired and wanting to end our search as quickly as possible but we decided to at least check out two more places that afternoon. We almost committed, but better judgement told us to at least look a little longer. In between appointments we had to meet yet another friend named Jeff back in Manhattan, we'll call him "Toledo Jeff," to help him move some belongings from one of his many couch-surfing spots to another. This was really inconvenient but he has helped me a lot so I felt obligated. We hoofed around the city for a few hours sweating booze and feeling like shit in general and were ready to skip our last two appointments but stayed true to our good judgement and got back on the train to Brooklyn to meet Nina and check out her apartment she was subletting for three to five months.

I'm terribly happy that we decided to see this place and not commit to the other. The first apartment was fine, but this one was superior in every way. It is directly across the street from the entrance to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Prospect Park which is excellent. The place is huge, the furniture is awesome, shes leaving two TVs there, the kitchen is bigger than most around here, it has rooftop access, Nina is very friendly and was very accommodating to whatever we wanted, there are lots of windows, and Al and I will be very happy living there. We wrote the check after spending ten minutes with Nina and her awesome apartment, and will be moving in next Wednesday. THIS WAS A HUGE BURDEN OFF OUR BACKS. We could now spend the rest of the evening and Wednesday enjoying ourselves and feeling accomplished. We had our home and had no obligations other than dinner with her friends late Wednesday night. Our new-found leisure time that was supposed to be spent killing ourselves, running around the city looking for a mediocre apartment seemed too good to be true.

It was.

The whole day, my left eye had been a little irritated but I wrote it off as contact trouble, and would fix it when we checked into the hotel we were staying in that night. This was not the case. When I took my contact out, it felt like someone had dumped buckets of sand into my eyeball and I was quickly aware that this could be serious trouble. I lied around whining and feeling sorry for myself most of the evening an Al tolerated it. She was too tired to care that our celebration would have to be post-poned, as was I. Hopefully my eye would feel better in the morning, but I had a feeling it wouldn't. The next morning, my eye was severely irritated and I was in need of medical attention. I didn't know how to choose an optometrist in this city, there were hundreds listed in the yellow pages. I did the only logical thing I could think of. I called the very first number listed, "A-Town Optometry." Placing an "A" before your businesses name so you will be listed first in the yellow pages is genius. This crafty naming scheme had me convinced I would be in proper hands.

A brief visit and $175 later, the doc had me convinced that this ulcer on my eyeball could be potentially dangerous and that I should schedule another visit the next morning and possibly see a "specialist." "Ulcer" rang a very distinct bell for me. This had happened to me a few years back and it was just as unpleasant but was easily cured with some very expensive antibiotic eye-drops. This fella, Dr. Rubinstein, just wanted my money. He was already trying to make me a pair of glasses and get me fitted for some high-tech new contacts that would give me X-ray vision or allow me to shoot laser beams or some baloney. Now he's talking about specialists. The doc had given me a prescription and one sample of these glorious drops and instructed me to use them every hour. The tiny bottle would probably last approximately three hours. I needed to scam my way into a couple more of these samples to avoid any more cash out of pocket. I fed him some bull-shit about being very busy for the rest of the day and potentially unable to fill my prescription until late in the evening. Since I was to use these drops every hour, I would need more before then. Back to the sample drawer he dove, searching for my liquid gold. I offered to send down some oxygen to help ensure he wouldn't emerge empty handed. A couple more bottles, score. Used wisely and efficiently, I could stretch these out long enough to be cured without spending a substantial amount of money. After reading all the info. that came with the drops, I learned that using the drops this frequently was not advised, and that my three bottles should last me about 4-5 days which was the length of time it took to cure 94% of patients in clinical trials. The doc also instructed me to use the drops in the middle of the night if I happened to wake up. This was sternly cautioned against, in fact, it was recommended that you stop administering the drops a couple hours before you plan to sleep. Unless I woke up the next morning feeling much worse, I would not be attending my 10:15 appointment with this sleazy salesman.


I'm not sure why the last post didn't allow anyone to comment. As far as I can tell in the settings, anyone should be able to. I will try and fix this promptly. Another update coming later this afternoon.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Itchy Ass Dilemma

I have successfully survived one full day in New York and almost a second. Other than the rain my first night, no complaints so far. I arrived Saturday afternoon and got settled in my temporary place on my friends couch. It's a nice big loft between Chintown and SoHo and is within walking distance of anything I may need for the next couple weeks. I wandered around the area for a bit in the afternoon and began to feel very anxious. A few things contributing to my rare case of anxiousness: there were many more people than I expected, the place smells awful, I could rarely keep track of which direction I was heading, I couldn't find the train station I was looking for, and I was spending more time navigating my umbrella around all the other umbrellas than taking in what was around me. This was my first fifteen minutes of wandering about, how the hell was I going to deal with this shit everyday? Soon after that I had the dilemma of an itchy ass. I couldn't scratch it because anywhere I was standing or walking, there were dozens of people behind me. I soldiered on with my itch and umbrella in hand. Later I took the C train to the Upper West Side and eased my anxiety at a bar where a freind was working. After work, he showed me around the area I'm staying and I began to feel a little more comfortable. He turned in at about 3:30 a.m. but I was in no mood to sleep, there was too much to see and do. I wandered around until the crack of dawn, hopping on random trains and stopping in no place in particular. I finally found my way home about 9am and got some much needed sleep. I spent yesterday afternoon searching for apartments on the net at my new favorite place in the city, the mac store. This place is great, free use of computers and pretty girls everywhere. I forsee a lot of time spent here over the next few weeks, as purchasing my own laptop was not in the buget. I also checked out my new office yesterday. Killer spot in NoHo, I have a computer there and access it to it 24/7 but I think I'll be faithful to my Mac Store for awhile. Didn't do much last night, wandered around the east village for a bit, ate some pie, shopped for tennis shoes, and turned in early. I've spent most of my day today on the phone scheduling appointments to look at apartments over the next few days. I checked out one this afternoon but it didn't really spark my interest. Al will be arriving this evening soon after I get done with my first class. This will be the first time I've seen her in nearly two months so I'm more than a little excited about that. We have a busy day of apartment hunting ahead of us tomorrow so we probably won't be doing much tonight. I'm off to school right now, not to thrilled.

Monday, May 14, 2007

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

Five days from now, life as I know it will change radically. The night sky and its stars will disappear into an unabating orange glow. All familiar sounds of nature will be replaced with the roar of an unsympathetic city. My career of peddling food and drink will be replaced with one of peddling very expensive properties. Commuting in underground trains will supplant driving my car. The extra space on my bed once occupied by unfolded laundry and an assortment of books will now be occupied by my girlfriend, EVERYNIGHT. Things will be different.

The idea and possibility of moving to NYC was crafted many months ago when a friend offered me a job and convinced me that I could not only survive, but thrive in the city. The decision to actually go was just made a couple weeks ago after spending a some time with family in Indiana and doing some serious thinking about it. Since then, I've been plugging myself with information about the city, hoping to retain at least a little. Originally, I was to move to the city alone, without the girl. She was planning to work for the summer, save up some dough and come a few months later. Last week she made the decision to come with me now. I've taken a bit of shit for "bringing sand to the beach," but I couldn't be happier that she will be there from the start. Most of you who will be reading this have not yet met the lucky lady who seems more than happy to put up with my shit regularly. This is Annalisa, or Al as the title states. You will be meeting her soon.

I'm certain she will be happy I included this very flattering picture of her for my friends and family to form their first impressions. We have decided to search for an apartment in Brooklyn as it is much cheaper than Manhattan but still fast and easy to get there. Hopefully we are able to find one and move in soon after we arrive to keep couch surfing to a minimum. Until we get settled in our new home, things will be hectic and I will be irritable.

This is my first venture into blogging and I assume hers as well. I will more than likely be the main contributor but hopefully Al will chime in occasionaly. The idea is to let friends and family know how things are going during our move and transition into the city. I prefer this to mass emails and telling the same stories over and over on the phone. Nothing personal, feel free to call and I will willingly update you on life without stars. I just don't forsee having much time to do so. I will update when I see fit and keep those of you who are interested informed on our progress.