Come on Eileen

All comments aside, I can’t believe people like this actually exist:

[ Some Random Radio Station in NYC ]
DJ: Hello ABC Radio, who’s calling?
Caller: This is Jim, from New York City!
DJ: Hello Jim, is there something you’d like to hear tonight?
Jim: Yes, can I hear “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners?
DJ: Great 80’s song, I can definitely play that for you.
Jim: Thanks! I tell you, I haven’t heard that song since the early 80’s.. Really brings me back. Thanks so much!
DJ: Thanks for calling, and always tune to ABC Radio — playing all your 80’s music.

Is this guy serious? He hasn’t heard this song since sometime in the early 80’s? Last time I can pinpoint hearing that song was three weeks ago while heading down to Ocean Grove with the Capn, Angela and Miss Possible. This guy needs to get out more. Or maybe get an iPod.

The Big Six Oh

Hoboken Marina

It was on my way to work this morning that it hit me. Next Tuesday will mark the two month annivesary of our move out of Boston. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been this long. It feels like just yesterday we were making moving arrangements, saying goodbye to our boston.com friends, packing up our effects and heading out to the great unknown (aka New York City, or Hoboken for those that are keeping score).

I remember our first week in the new apartment where we were scurrying around trying to get everything unpacked and squared away so that we could enjoy some time in our place before heading off to Manchester TN for Bonnaroo 2005.

Coming back from this trip, I remember looking at the New York Skyline as we returned home, not feeling very comforted by the fact that this was our home — but it didn’t feel that way. I think I’m starting to get a grip on the fact that Hoboken is my home. Our little apartment on 11th street is where I live now — not Boston, Somerville, Huntington Ave.

Every day it’s been a new adventure: Trying new restaurants, exploring areas of New York City, trying to learn the transportation system, etc. But, also, it’s been an adventure for Miss Possible and myself living together.

I know I’ve said this before, but moving down here was really the best thing we could’ve done for ourselves. Once again we have friends that live in the area that we can do things with, we don’t work together, there’s new places to explore, and it’s a lot of fun.

In any event, I just wanted to sit back and make note of our 60-day anniversary that comes up this Tuesday and comfortably say those magical words: “There’s no place like home.”

Adventures in Babysitting…And Just Plain Adventures

For only the fourth or fifth time in my life, Cool Jesus was a co-babysitter last Saturday night.  I might be giving myself too much credit by calling myself a co-sitter, but hey, let me enjoy my resume-building moment.  Swedish Girl had committed to babysit on Saturday night and then, after realizing this would eat up our entire night, she sought and was granted permission for Cool Jesus to become her assistant.

I arrived at 6:30 pm, even before the parents’ friends had come over for cocktails.  As Swedish Girl did her thing, I flipped through the newest issue of Life & Style (Britney chopped off all her hair!  Angelina and Brad are over!  Lindsay Lohan wants to settle down and have babies!).  The cocktail hour seemed to drag on and on, but once the grown-ups were gone, I was summoned downstairs to assume my co-sitting duties.  I was hoping to play some games with the twins – a boy and a girl not yet 3 years old – but all we got to do before their bedtime was watch a little bit of Charlotte’s Web.  Then it was time for them to get ready for bed.  As they piled on top of Swedish Girl in the armchair, I donned a red, plastic firefighter helmet, sat on the floor, and enjoyed the stories (it’s okay to be different, but I think Swedish Girl disagreed with the author’s assertion that it is okay to eat in a car…something like that).

So, sadly my time with the twins was brief, but there was still one more client to go.  The baby (not yet 4 months old) had to be awoken, given his bottle, and bathed.  True, I mostly watched as these things were being done, but the important thing was that I was there as a trusty backup.  For instance, who else was going to jump into action to get those tissues when the baby spit up?  Who else was going to be right there on the spot to stop him from crying when he didn’t like the water temperature the first time?  Who else was going to teach him to say, "Hi, my name is Ben.  It’s nice to meet  you."  I swear he said, "Hi, I am…"

The night was uneventful, at least for me.  Swedish Girl might disagree, especially since she was on the receiving end of an icy glance from the mother when the mom was told that it took a long time for the baby to fall asleep.  I’m not sure I’m ready to go solo, but if you’re looking for a trustworthy co-sitter, Cool Jesus is for hire.

The next day was much more adventurous and much more monumental.  Swedish Girl and Cool Jesus went to Six Flags New England.  Not only had I not been to an amusement park in well over 10 years, but I hadn’t been on a roller coaster in 20 years.  I would ride them as a boy, but something must have happened around the time I was 8 years old (maybe it was the man who died when he fell out of one at Lincoln Park?) and I never went near them again.  So, I went to Six Flags under duress, planning on sticking to the Ferris Wheel (which is massively enormous there, by the way) and the tilt-a-whirl.  Once there, I went on the first ride under strict protest.  I intended on merely waiting in the 40-minute line with Swedish Girl and then waving good-bye as she boarded the death rocket.  Some kissing and pleading wore down my defenses and before I knew it, I was strapped into Flashback.  Incidentally, I’m just now getting the feeling back in my sack region.  Those freakin’ sadists love jamming that over-the-shoulder restraint square into the unsuspecting crotch of all men.

Something happened to me while I was on Flashback.  Around the time I was wondering if my Johnson was still functional and before I yelled out "I just peed my pants!!!" I realized I was enjoying myself.  Of course, I couldn’t admit this to Swedish Girl.  I had to remain resolute in my toughness.  Naturally, she saw right through that sham because I suddenly became eager to ride more coasters.  In all, we probably spent 6 hours waiting in line for 9 or 10 minutes of action.  If my memory serves me, we rode Flashback, Scream, Time Warp, Mind Eraser, Superman – Ride of Steel, Poison Ivy’s Tangled Train (we got lost looking for Batman and ended up at this kiddie coaster), Batman – The Dark Knight, Flashback again (because the brand new Mr. Six’s Pandemonium line was way too long).

We took about 20 minutes to have a full-color caricature done of us.  If it wasn’t such a righteously kitschy keepsake, then I’d say it was perhaps a waste of $26, if only because the likeness of Swedish Girl looks nothing like her.  However, she is adamant that my likeness looks just like me.  If so, then why hasn’t anyone ever told me that I have the jawline of Jay Leno? 

To sum up:  I’m the Commonwealth’s best assistant babysitter, don’t leave champagne out when I’m around (shhhh…), my voice is shot and my throat is sore from yelling so much, I look like Jay Leno and John Travolta (circa Saturday Night Fever) had a love child, and I can’t wait to strap myself into another death rocket.

rotation reply

nice… thanks for the feedback.

when i said new music, i didn’t mean it had to be new releases, just new to the listener. i think that discovering old treasures is just as satisfying (ask captain larby – he loves discovering old treasure, especially pirate booty).

angela: cage is hip hop. probably not your style. you may find it a bit… confining – no pun intended.

what i was most surprised to hear was that ltj was listening to the path. jew or gentile, you be the judge…

<%image(cache/20050722-the path.jpg|600||which path is ltj on?>

In the belly of the beast

Last Friday, LTJ met me after work and we had our first explorations of Manhattan in the Soho area. We putzed around and stumbled onto a major Harry Potter event outside of the Scholastic store. People were lined up to get into this fenced off area, where they had all kinds of wizard shops from the books. Street performers were eating fire and juggling and performing other magical tricks. They even had Moaning Myrtle in the porta potties. Her voice was wailing from some hidden loudspeakers and emissions of smoke were coming from there. Pretty clever.

Anyways, that’s not really the point of this post. Though, it does illustrate how you can find just about anything in NYC.

As we were walking toward Tribeca in Soho, we passed an Irish bar that had the Sox-Yankees game on. As LTJ drooled through the window, I suggested we step inside for some beers. While throwing back a few Guinness (resplendent with shamrocks in the foam head courtesy of our excellent bartendress), 3 guys walked in and asked what was happening with the game. The Sox were shaming the Yankees and had just scored another run, which is pretty much what LTJ said.

In a mocking tone, one of the guys — who happened to look like A-Rod’s brother though I didn’t tell him as much — said, “Oh, what are you Mets fans?” LTJ didn’t miss a beat: “No, we’re Red Sox fans and it looks like you’re getting spanked right now.”

Ok. That isn’t a direct quote. But to those guys whatever he said translated into that. The pseudo-friendly banter continued with the Yankees fans trying to hurt our feelings. “Well, it only took you 86 years to win the World Series.” Blah. Blah. We threw some quips back their way.

I whispered to LTJ to be careful. I didn’t want him getting jumped. He was like, “But you got my back, right?” Har. Har.

Besides my concerns, it really was pretty harmless. We left there and found this odd place called The Garage in Tribeca. It reminds me of some Boston bars, but much worse. Like a cross between Waterworks in Marina Bay and a post-college frat boys bar. Let’s put it this way, they have Beer Pong tournaments on Wednesday nights. Highlights: huge projection screen of the game, free bud bottles at the night’s end. It didn’t even feel like being in Manhattan. Where most places are posh, with everyone wearing black, drinking martinis, etc., this place was all about cheap pitchers and evener cheaper men gazing over the slim female pickings. However, despite my initial reservations, the food was excellent.

The Sox continued to spank the Yanks, royally. Toward the end of the game, there were a few particularly delicious plays and even I was getting riled up, laughing and clapping and cheering on the Sox.

A group at the next table were hanging out, chatting. To be honest, it didn’t even seem like they were paying attention to the game. And when I shouted in glee at the last out, this one girl (not even facing the screen, mind you) says “What, do you think that’s funny?” in a very provoking, accusatory tone.

Me: “Yeah, actually I think its verrrry funny.”

Biatch: “What, YOU don’t like the Yankees?”

[ geez, is it really that shocking? ]

Me: “Ha. No, we don’t like the Yankees around here.”

At this point, I really had to turn away as I was confident this was leading no where good, and that soon LTJ would need to have my back.

We paid our bill after waiting for the slowest waitress ever, and I really had to go to the bathroom. Earlier, that girl had left the table, and I had a feeling she was in the bathroom. I headed up to the restroom and immediately knew that I was in the stall next to her. I was taking awhile. And she was taking even longer.

Suddenly, her friend pokes her head in because I can hear her asking, “Hey so and so are you all right in there?”

Biatch: “Yeah, I’m good.” [ not knowing I’m in the stall right next to her. ]

Friend: “Well, my cousin’s gonna wait for you right outside.”

Me: Silently chuckling.

I exit the stall before Biatch, slowly wash my hands and leave the bathroom walking past said cousin and smirking at him.

Ha. Ha. So funny. They obviously thought I was beating the girl up in the bathroom or something.

Two things that annoyed me about this:

1) Once again, I get singled out to be harassed even though LTJ was being much more provoking to Yankees fans [losers] all night long. I think his saving grace was he wasn’t wearing his Sox hat.

2) Are Yankees fans really that fucking arrogant that they are literally shocked — no dumbfounded — when they encounter someone in NYC who isn’t a fan of their team? Or are they just that stupid? I mean come on. It’s probably one of the most hateable teams in all of baseball. Biatch!

To be fair, I think some people in Boston act the same way when they see a Yankees fan. In fact, I can distinctly recall a certain someone ripping a “Red Sox sucks” sign off the back of a Yankees fan. But there were extenuating circumstances in that case. It was right after the devastating game 7 ALCS loss in 2003. There was also a lot of alcohol involved. I can’t be held accountable.

Anyways, I no longer live in Boston. I can pretend that I don’t know the reverse holds true.

All I know is now we are Sox fans living in the belly of the beast.

Faith Rewarded

As you know, I get discouraged from time to time when my fellow drivers don’t show me the hand.  You can check out my original entry on this topic and you can probably expect more in the future.  I’ve noticed a disturbing trend of drivers not being courteous enough to give even a token hand wave when I’m nice enough to let them pass me (the post-9/11 wave of roadway kindness subsided some time ago).  However, what I experienced the other morning as I drove to work rekindled my faith in my fellow motorists. 

I drive along a rural road at the foot of Blue Hills, a road in which I’ve seen wild turkeys and deer, both of which like to dart toward my car while I’m going 40 miles per hour.  There is also, unfortunately, a State Police barracks on this road.  I was driving southbound and was passed by a northbound woman (I think?) in an SUV who flashed her high beams.  I am aware of precious few reasons for someone to flash their high beams at another driver.  One is if it’s dark out and you have forgotten to turn on your headlights.  Another is if that flasher is a gang member and is playing a dangerous game with you.  I checked my headlights, but since it was 8:00 am and sunny, there was no need for them to be on.  I then saw my life flash before my eyes before realizing that the flasher didn’t look too threatening. 

I drove for another couple hundred yards wondering if/when the third possible scenario would occur.  And then it did – a State Trooper had pulled someone over.  The Good Samaritan motorist was warning me of a cop up ahead.  I was so overcome with magnanimity, I wanted to return the favor.  A smile appeared on my face and I felt my half-empty glass of faith suddenly become half-full. 

Yes, the little things.

heavy rotation

this is the first installment of a little something i have dubbed ‘heavy rotation’. you may ask – “what is ‘heavy rotation’?” well it is all about music. over the years i have learned that we all have different tastes in music – some like jazz – some like hip hop – some are partial to the classics – but what we all have in common is that music is a big part our day. whether it be listening to your ipod on the train, going to a show, or fighting over the next track while playing PS2 (or x-bis’ox for those on the dark side), music is a constant. so i thought that the d-triz would be a perfect forum to share what i was listening to and more importantly see what everyone else had in their play list.

so what have i had on repeat lately…?

<%image(cache/20050712-DJX122_3x3_300dpi.jpg|203|199|hell's winter)%>

Artist: Cage

Album: Hell???s Winter

Release Date: Sept 20th, 2005

Label: Def Jux

i got an advance copy from marc. incidentally he is making good use of his wedding website. he is using server space for select album uploads for the picking. don’t tell kristin. i am sure she wouldn’t be too happy to know that one of the pages on her wedding website is …wedding.com/cage.zip.

anyway, about the album. the production is precise; El-P and Camu Tao handle most of the beats along with Blockhead, paWL, RJD2 and DJ Shadow. to me it is one of those addictive albums that gets better with each listen. it is kinda dark and may seem a bit harsh at times, but it Cage is a insightful storyteller, with ill timing, speaking about his experiences. the album is mainly autobiographical, but is also political, spiteful (against his former label: eastern conference), and funny. following is the track list:

Good Morning
Too Heavy For Cherubs
Grand Ol Party Crash
The Death of Chris Palko
Stripes
Shoot Frank
Scenester
Perfect World
Subtle Art of the Breakup Song
Peeranoia
Left It To Us
Public Property
Lord Have Mercy
Hell’s Winter

you can find all the track samples at the def jux site

well, this post may not be of particular interest to most of you because it isn???t your type of music, but it is more of a conversation starter. reply with what you are listening to now. i find the best way to find new music is recs from people you know (i am digging the J5 ‘live at bonnaroo/bananaroo’ that ltj gave me). so no matter what it is, throw it out for the group. you may just discover something you like.

With Timber, me Shivers!

It wasn’t always this way. I can remember those hot summer days after little league, we’d go to the concession stand and get FrozenFruit Pops. I have fond memories of chasing the ice cream truck down Varinna Drive, when his distinctive bell signaled that he was in the neighborhood. But something has changed, and I can’t pinpoint when, exactly.

I’ve always had a propensity to dislike using wooden utensils, but it was never this bad. I certainly remember as a kid in elementary school, getting the little dixie cups of ice cream and eating it with the attached wooden spoon, but I never enjoyed it. Something with the consistency.. but I would always eat popsicles. Bomb Pops, Creamsicles, Fudge Pops, I loved them all.

The first time this aversion became something more substantial must have been sometime before college, as I can remember being a Freshman at Northeastern going to the Cambridge Side Galleria. I couldn’t bear using the Starbucks wooden coffee stirrer. I’d stir my coffee, sure, but I wouldn’t lick it off. I definitely prefer the Seven-Eleven Red swizzle sticks to a wooden stirrer any day of the week.

In a recent entry I mentioned the trip into Central Park for the first time. I failed to mention that this was also the first time in a many years that I’ve had a popsicle on a stick, due to my distaste for the wooden instrument inserted in the middle. The thought of taking a bite out of a popsicle and hitting the stick sends shivers up and down my spine. I feel as though I can often taste the wooden stick in the popsicle much before I’ve gotten anywhere near it.

When I brought up my little “problem with wooden sticks,” Jamie had said that it must have had something to do with my childhood. I’ve heard of people not drinking a certain alcohol, after having a bad experience — but wooden sticks? Since that day, however, I’ve been stretching the limits of my memory to try to remember what it could possibly have been that caused this objection to the most basic cooking utensil in existence.

Then it hit me.

It was sometime in the 5th, 6th, or 7th grade. All those days in the basement that I had spent practicing clarinet. Now, you may be asking yourself, what does wooden sticks have to do with a musical instrument? Plenty. The clarinet is a wood wind instrument, which requires wooden reeds. Anyone who has played one of these instruments knows that before you play, you must suck on the reed to moisten it in order to play.

I specifically remember HATING the taste of these things, and even now, the thought makes my mouth cringe, just as opening a bag of Sour Patch Kids makes your mouth water in anticipation. I recall having to go to a music store — on Monroe Ave in Pittsford (I can’t rememeber the name. Guitar Center, maybe?), before having to go to practice. I was sitting in the back of the Green Chevy Astro Van, reed in mouth, to get it prepped for practice. It was this specific memory that triggered it.

So, now that I have found the root of the problem is there anything I can do? Is there something that I can take or do to relieve me of this detestation? If I go out and buy a pack of Vandoren Bb Clarinet V-12 Advanced Reeds will I be cured of my ails? Or has Miss Possomato’s evil instrument damaged me for life?

I guess I’ll never know. Suggestions are welcome, as I long for the day that I can once again enjoy the delicious goodies offered by The Ice Cream Man.

Misfortunes in Online Shopping

LTJ absolutely despises shopping for apartment stuff. I can’t really blame him. It’s not exactly a guy thing to do, poking around stores looking at lamp shades, pillows, window treatments, and decorative accents. And I don’t exactly like going all the way to the mall by myself. Don’t get me wrong though. He’s been a trooper. I dragged him out a half a dozen times and he only whined about every 5 minutes… uh, I mean every 5 seconds.

Anyways, our options are fairly limited. There’s a mall in Jersey City, but the Sears and J.C. Penneys are severely lacking. We did shop the heck out of the Bed Bath and Beyond. But there’s only so many times you can go to the same store, before you’ve bought everything you could possibly ever want to buy there.

We still needed several key items: a trash can, front door mat, bathroom rug, lamp shade, salt and pepper shaker, etc. Thus began my massive foray into online shopping. I shopped for hours and hours online looking for the perfect feng shui things. One night I was up until 4 a.m. I went to Amazon, Froogle, Crate and Barrel, Pier One, you name it. I ordered from a bunch of places and over the past weeks the boxes have been trickling in — all and all probably about 10-12 boxes.

Let’s just say that this foray did not go over so well. I’d say I have a 50% return rate, which frankly is just a huge pain in the ass.

Box #1 to return: Lucky Frog Fountain

So I ordered a fountain with a frog on it. I bet you’re thinking I returned it because it was cheesy and ugly. But no, it was actually quite nice. The only issue was it was chipped and broken when I received it. I’ll have to re-order. Frogs bring wealth and prosperity in feng shui.

Box #2 to return: 2-bin Recycling Can

Our current kitchen trash can comes from LTJ’s old room in Somerville. It’s pretty small and fills up quick.

I was really excited about the trash can I found online from Overstock.com: a two bin trash can, so you can use one bucket for recycling and the other for trash. You step on a lever to open it. It’s chrome. It looked like the perfect solution to our garbage disposal needs.

When the box arrived, we knew we were in trouble: the box was incredibly small. The can turned out to be even smaller than our current one. I went back to Overstock only to realize that the measurements were listed in centimeters not inches. So when I used the measuring tape to figure out how big it would be, it seemed a lot bigger than it really was. Those tricky bastards!

Box #3 to return: Salt and Pepper Shakers

I found these beautiful salt and pepper shakers on Target. When the box came, it was rather large. When I opened it, we almost died laughing. Where the trash can was too small, these were fricken gi-normous. I’ve never seen such large shakers in my life. I didn’t look at the measurements when I ordered, but going back now, they are listed as 8-1/2″. Who the hell needs foot-long shakers? I mean seriously! Back to the store they go.

Box #4 to return: Double 8 Couple Sculpture

Now I know you’re already laughing at me, but let me explain. In feng shui, the number 8 is a very positive number and in your relationships corner it is a good idea to have pairs of things, ie. like a couple standing together. If you are single and can’t seem to find a partner, you might want to check if you have single items throughout your room rather than paired items, especially in your relationships corner. For instance, you have a picture of a lone tree, or a single statue. If you just get a picture of two trees or two statues, according to feng shui, this will promote relationships within your life.

The idea was good. I mean look at it. Doesn’t it look serene and whole? But the actual statue when it came looked chintzy. It didn’t look as nice as the picture online. But now looking at the picture again, maybe I was just up too late and my eyes were bleary. Back to the store with you!

Box #5 to return: Blue Lampshade

When we first moved here, we made this amazing tag sale find: a unique lamp that fits with the colors in our living room perfect. The price: free (we went back post tag sale and it was on the curb for the trash man. We grabbed it).

The only problem with the lamp is a shade that’s too small. I found one that I thought would be bigger online, but alas I read the measurements backwards and it turned out to be smaller. Though, it did help us to realize that if we get a smaller harp for the lamp, then we’ll probably be ok with what we’ve got. So something positive came out of another return!

Moral of the story: When shopping online, pay careful attention to measurements, especially units.

Maybe online shopping isn’t the answer to all my woes. It just didn’t turn out to be the miracle solution to finishing this apartment. Oh well. What’s next? A trip to Walmart?