Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Best I Guess this is a Hiatus?

Practically all packed up, it's time to move.
When will I have internet again?  Anyone's guess.

Also, will I survive today?  There's a bigger mystery.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Best 25th Birthday

While packing I found some stuff relating to my heavy metal birthday party in 2002.  

Kay, Myself, and Ashley.


Cindy helped me make the invitation.  I came to her with a concept and a few jpegs and she whipped the  whole thing up in no time flat.  Look at this piece of art!

Pretty good invite, right?  Nine years later I kind of take issue with how I clumped together Norwegian Black Metal with Hair Metal but, hey, we were just kids out to have fun.

Cindy.  Me.  Erin.

Man.  College.  What a time, right down to the very last spring term.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Best Obligatory Post-Hurricane Post

So . . . yeah, Irene.  Not such a big deal.  I had a lot of water leaking in through/around my air conditioner in the middle of the night.  After spending some time trying to stop it with towels and rags I just took the unit out and closed the window.

In the morning I could tell from my window that the Hudson was awful high.  Walked down through Riverside Park to have a little look around, saw a tiny bit of destruction, a tiny bit of flooding.

Tiny bit of destruction.  This seems to be the only tree that fell down in the whole park.

Tiny bit of flooding.

This dude was hogging the shot every post-hurricane photographer was trying to get.

In a tunnel, messages.  In chalk.  Any other medium and they may have seemed menacing.


And here's the river.  Seems high, right?

Bad news.  One of our water-powered street lamps has been ruptured.  Watch this.  It's the one unusual hurricane thing I have to offer.

And that's that in re:hurricane.  I hope they turn the trains back on so I can go to work.  I don't want Monday off, if anything, I want Wednesday or Thursday off.  To move.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Best Obligatory Hurricane Post

I have put tape x's on my windows and moved my bed to the other side of the room.
My roommate and I have over six gallons of bottled water between us and I've filled every canteen and squirt bottle we've got in the apartment.
I found a bucket!  Later on I'll fill the tub.
Cans and cans of chili that were on sale at CVS.  Lots of Peanut Butter, Clif Bars, Pop Tarts, Pudding Cups, Apple Sauce, leftovers, and more.
Lots of movies on my computer I've been meaning to watch.
Started Moby Dick earlier this week, love it, maybe I can finish it this weekend?
I've also got article to print up and another long story I've been working on.
I'm so close to being done packing for my move.
Phone calls with my parents, email from Grandma, texts from friends.
At 11:11 a heavy rain began but it has already let up.

Basically, as long as the power stays on this is probably going to be the best weekend.

And also, check the Facebook record, I made my "Come on, Irene" joke on Thursday.  Before it was cool.

This Will Be the Best

Why aren't we talking about Red Tails more?  Why aren't we talking about Red Tails all the time?  It looks so good!

But of course it looks so good!  That's because it's going to be so good.  Why?  Why will this George Lucas (produced) Tuskegee Airmen movie be so good?  Because it plays to George's strengths!  It's the story of a plucky band of outcasts called to fight for a good and noble cause against an evil foe.  It is a movie full of dogfights and if there's something George has always delivered on, it's dogfights.  The original attack on the Death Star was inspired in part by WWII air combat footage/old WWII air combat films, so it's the perfect territory for him to be turning to.  People.  Step back.  George has got this one.

And look at the cast, aside from Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. all up in your face, the movie has Method Man in it AND Lions QB1 Vince Howard!

If you watched the trailer do I even have to tell you that people will be cheering out loud in the theater?

Also, I'm excited to learn more about Eddie Winslow's grandpa

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best Superhero Musical I Have Ever Seen

So yes, I saw Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark last week.  Here is what I thought:

It was both great and awful, so that's pretty good—and I was certainly left wondering what I missed out on by not seeing the earlier, supposedly disasterous version of the musical.

I liked the show whenever something was happening that involved Spider-Man and at any point when Peter Parker was just Peter Parker and talking with Aunt May or Mary Jane I tried to sleep.  When Spider-Man was swinging around or the villains were on stage or the sets were transforming, that I liked.  Listen, I've never been to Cirque de Soleil or De la Guardia or Fuerza Bruta or Blue Man group or even very many birthday parties with magicians so I'm impressed by stage tricks and people swinging out over the audience and video projections and ramps rising up and treadmills rotating and stuff like that.  The music?  Eh, whatever.  But it was particularly bad during Peter's "Bouncing Off the Walls" spider-power discovering scene.  I guess it's hard to both sing and bounce off of walls at the same time.

Definite highlight of the night: At the end of Act One, as Norman Osborn is transforming into the Green Goblin, the lights are going off and on and it's loud and there's screaming and everything is total chaos, during that this little kid comes tearing up the aisle for the lobby screaming "I want to go home! I want to go home!" with a parent running after them, many paces behind.

There is a slightly similar story told at my house about when my parents took me to Peter Pan at that age.  But I was a bit more apprehensive than terrified.

Ah, the theatre!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Best Eating Pie on a Roof Birthday

Tuesday night I went to my 3rd ever Aubrey Birthday Party.  The first time I didn't even know who she was.  Look how far we've come in two years!

The party was on Josh's roof and Josh had a portrait-taking setup in full effect.  You should see the Facebook album!  It's a thing of beauty.  Does that link even work?

The main idea behind this party was there were pies from Bubbys.  I'd never had a Bubbys pie.  Now I've tasted three kinds.  Can you guess which ones I tried?  Come on, just guess.  I bet you get it right. 

Right there on the left, that's my new roommate Darren.  We could be living in Little Italy as soon as Saturday!  It's all a question of packing.

Rooftop party people.

This is Lars' sister-in-law Victoria, she's in town for a few months.

Caesar blue his hair.  And was the first of several partiers to throw forks up at the camera.

Andrea: This photo was taken just for you.  Why don't you answer your phone?  That's what Alpha and AnnMarie want to know.

I handed Alpha my camera and said, "Please, go and take some talented photos of the party, please."

I present to you Talented Alpha's high-ISO party photos.

Caroline and forks.

Hooray for birthday parties!  Hooray for pie!  Hooray for photo booths!  Hooray for everything, forever and ever!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Best Okay, Okay, I'll Get an iPhone. And Join Twitter.

Hey, remember that earthquake we had today?  I know, it already seems like that was so long ago.  Still, I can't help but want to share my earthquake story.  If you live here, it's probably very similar to your story.

I was in the bathroom when the earthquake happened.

And I wondered to myself, for a split second that I barely noticed, "Am I on a boat?"

When I came out of the bathroom all my coworkers were leaving the office.  I wondered, at first, for a split second, if it was someone's birthday.  And then I wondered, second, for a split second, if they had all finally had enough.  They told me that the office had been shaking and they were getting out of there.  So I followed.

We passed someone in the hall as they were saying ". . . same thing happened in DC."  So I walk down 13 stories worth of stairs wondering "What sort of same thing?"

Out on the street the sidewalks are filling and everyone is on their phones to find out what has happened.  There's a mystery period where no one can make any calls, send or receive texts, or get online--and during this mystery period a Department of Homeland Security van zooms down Broadway, followed by police and a firetruck.  Slowly our wireless providers begin to provide and the news surfaces that there has been an earthquake.  Either in Colorado or Virginia.  No, the guy saying that it was in Colorado is reading yesterday's news.  The earthquake was in Virginia.  A 5.8?  That's big, right?  I am jealous of the people with internet phones, I don't like having to overhear the news.  Patricia, who works nextdoor to me, found me.  So did my former coworker Dino.  So there were happy reunions while we waited it out, whatever exactly "it" was.

Here the story kind of just fizzles . . . after maybe thirty minutes we're told it's okay to go back in the building, but we can go home if we want.  Won't get paid if I go home and they've stopped the subway for the time being, so I'll go back to work.

And I did.

Best Archeological Discovery

In preparation for my move I've been going through my stuff, throwing things out, and discovering things.  Like this Valentine's Day card from my uncle Frank that I got when I was really little, like Nursery School aged or before.

Up until now I thought that in 1999 my buddy Paul was the first person to call me "Briggie."  Nope.  The diminutive was coined much earlier than that.

Another thing about going through all your stuff before you move: It is good to have watched a season's worth of Hoarders before you do this.

And also, I didn't realize that I should have been sending my nieces and nephews valentines.  Sorry, guys.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Brotherly Vacation

Well, like I was saying in my M Wells post from a few days ago, Owen and Greg were in town for the week last week.  In this post I will show you what I did with them.  I was working during the day and they had adventures while I was working, when we were together mostly we ate.  Can you believe it?

That said, early Wednesday morning I went down to Times Square with them to get in line for Spider-Man rush tickets.  I couldn't stay with them until the box office opened, but I put in some time.  For solidarity's sake.

Arriving a minute after 8 we were the second party in line.  The first person in line was a guy in town for Milan who had been there since 6:45.  If you want to see someone very concerned with the availability of tickets, I'd have a look at the man standing behind us in line.

Bill Clinton says: "What an Amazing Nigh on Broadway!"  And what does Brigham say about Spider-Man?  I say it deserves its own post.  That's what I say.

We met up before the show at the Minetta Tavern to try the famous Black Label Burger.

I did not photograph the Black Label Burger well.  The deal with this pricey burger is that it's made of an incredible secret blend of Pat LaFrieda beef.  Basically it's a patty made of fine steak, or something, cooked impeccably, or something.  It's what 88% of the Minetta Tavern customers order and of it I say: "Eh, whatever."  I went for the purist experience and ate the burger straight without dressing it at all so I could savor the flavor of the beef or whatever, but if I ever have a Black Label Burger again, I'm putting cheese and all the toppings on it.

What made a bigger impression were these carrots.  Cooked in so much butter (so much butter) they tasted just like how my Great Grandma Condie liked them.  Did not know my meal was going to take me back to preschool dining memories.

Thursday evening we went with Dave to Frankies in Brooklyn.  We ate in their charming backyard garden, halfway beneath their garden tent.  Then it started to rain.  Hard.  We had to push our table in twice to get away from the water.  Right now I'm thinking: Wait.  Why didn't anyone from the staff rush out to move us in from the rain?  Come on, Frankies.  Protect your guests!

This is what it looked like by my feet when we were done.

They may not have protected us from the rain, but they protected us from hunger.  We had two plates of meatballs.

An antipasto plate.

Sweet potato & sage ravioli, the ribeye, clam linguine, and (not pictured) cavatelli with hot sausage in brown butter.

Post-dinner we walked (in the rain) over to the Brooklyn Farmacy to meet up with Broek and Kim.

We had wonderful ice cream creations like Greg's peanuts & bacon sundae.

My red velvet Twinkie sundae.

Broek's "Rhapsody in Blue" float.

And Kim had the sundae where they put a lot of potato chips on your ice cream.

Friday Owen and Greg went to Ellis Island and then met me for a downtown worker's lunch.  We had Cuban food at Sophie's.

Then that night we met up for dinner at the Noodle Bar, but at the wait for a table was already 30 minutes, so after a minute I told the hostess to strike our names and that we'd be back later.  We held off eating for several hours and saw the Tree of Life at the Sunshine.  It was my second viewing and I'd say I didn't remember at least half of it from my before.  I liked it even more this time, I caught stuff I didn't catch before, like the boy's pre-mortal life and birth (from his perspective).  I am beginning to think that this is an exceptionally fine movie.

Close to 10 we went back to the Noodle Bar, the hostess recognized us, and seated us in front of everyone else in line. SEE!  This is why you should at the very least tell the hostess when you're taking yourself out of the line, she doesn't want to call your name over and over when you're not there.  Be considerate!  She might return the favor.

Now let me tell you about our dinner.  We had a jar of pickles.  Some highlights: Pickled watermelon.  Pickled green beans.

They served Owen and Greg two of the finest pork buns I'd ever seen.  I could not refuse the bite Owen offered me.  Man.  I have to quit opting out of pork buns at Momofuku because "I've had them so many times."  Forget that!  I'm going to have them so many more times!!

There's a new roasted corn in town!  Corn with lime, mayonnaise, cilantro, bacon, cotija cheese . . . an elote off the cob.  Some might say this dish is reason enough to book New York City travel.  Here's the deal, you come to New York, I will buy you some of this corn.  

Also, would you believe that, inspired by the old miso butter corn, I made elote off the cob for Cinco de Mayo this year?  I did!  Me and the Chang Food Lab are on the same page!  This is a picture of the corn I made.  I don't blame you for thinking you'd rather have the Momofuku version.

Owen and I had shrimp buns.  Because I miss the Ebi Filet-O.

And then . . . Momofuku Ramen, which I ordered because reading Lucky Peach cover to cover made me feel like I needed to practice appreciating ramen and also my slurping.

Owen had the Bibim Gooksu with smoked chicken, fried egg, and watermelon.

And greg the Chilled Spicy Noodles with sichuan sausage and candied cashews.

For dessert?  Lemon/Ricotta soft serve with a pesto cookie at the bottom and pretzel cake balls.

Next thing we knew it was Saturday morning and the boys had to leave.  After one more game.  Just one more.

Hermanos!  (Look!  There's me!)

I took them down to Penn Station because I wanted to make sure they got on the right train and everything.  It's so confusing down there!

Goodbye, dudes!  Have fun going back to school again.

This trip was significant because it both established and completed a family tradition of when one brother returns from his mission, we gather in New York.  Great job, everybody.  We did it.  Thank you Mom and Dad for sending them out here and for feeding us.