Thursday, July 29, 2010

Willie Nelson, You Are Always On My Mind

OMG people! Last night was... Best! Night! Ever! When we first moved to NYC back in February, we made a list of things we wanted to do here before we left (you can see the list on my NY blog). One of the things was "Concert at Radio City Music Hall". So I went digging, looked around, and holy crap - Willie Nelson was coming to town in July. I booked immediately.

Flash forward to last night (about 4 months after I booked the tickets), and here comes Willie!

I started my day off by dressing in cowtown clothes - that is, I wore my cowboy boots. I felt like a giant jackass all day long (hint: people at work give you really funny looks when you wear cowboy boots), but it didn't bother me.

I met Blondie for dinner at a diner, we both enjoyed a hamburger and split a chocolate shake. Then we headed over to RCMH. Where I 100% fit in with my boots. And Blondie fit in with his facial hair. Literally, 80% of the men had some kind of random facial hair. Also, we were younger than about 95% of the people there too.

So Willie's warm-up band pretty much rocked my world - between them and a couple of beers, I was bouncing all over the place waiting for him to come out. And then he did! It was like the 2nd coming of christ - everyone went nutso.

He's a fabulous entertainer - a huge pot smoker (a lot of his lyrics were about being high) - and the most sprightly almost 80 year old I've ever seen go in my life. Blondie pointed out that since Willie is a huge pot smoker, and he's totally got more energy than either of us combined, maybe we should drop the beer habit and pick up a more herbal one. Which made me laugh until I about peed myself.

We love you Willie!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

You're so money, you don't even know it

I believe this is the year of the never-ending heat wave. It's so disgustingly hot outside, it's insane. All week long, it's been in the high 90's with horrible humidity. But for as much as I hate sweating through my clothes, I've also started to remember how much I love the heat in general.

This week was good - it was obviously hot, but a good week. I finally feel like I've settled into my new role (only took 6 months - go me), but I still don't like the position that much. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable having my job be making other people do their job. This week involved a lot of making uncomfortable decisions, but I did it - and because of that, I feel okay about work.

Outside of work, I had an excellent week. A friend of mine texted me on Thursday and asked me if Blondie and I wanted to join her and her hubby for Shakespeare in the Park on Friday. We were all over it! And then she told me we had to get in line at the theater in the park at 6 am on Friday to get tickets. Luckily, I'm a morning person, so we worked up an arrangement where I would meet her at 6, and then Blondie would take over my position in line at 9 am so I could go to work.

The alarm went off on Friday and it was just like being at the despised old job again (or bootcamp). My eyes popped open, and I was instantly wide awake. I left the apartment around 5:40 am, and was so freaking surprised by how many people were already out and about for the day! NYC wakes up early - or maybe it's better to say it just never goes to sleep to begin with.

I met my friend at the start of the line at 6, and we headed down the line to the end to join it. We started walking, and kept walking and walking and walking. So many people. SO MANY PEOPLE! They weren't even giving the tickets out until 1 pm, yet the line was ginormous. It was so different than going to Shakespeare in KY - there you just show up about an hour before the performance and throw your blanket on the grass. Of course, Al Pacino acts in the NYC Shakespeare, and he never came to KY once - so maybe that's the difference???

Anyway, about 6:45 am, the people that run Shakespeare came through and told us there was no way we were getting tickets that far back in line. So my buddy and I packed up our stuff, and headed for breakfast (side note: as I get older, it gets harder and harder to just make friends - but I honestly met this woman and felt like we had been friends for years already. Thanks Sweetie J! I owe you!) After breakfast, I cut back across the city to go to work. I didn't get my summer Friday on Friday as I had to make the decision to have everyone work the entire day (anyone want to guess as to how much they hate me right now?)

Friday night was low-key - I met Blondie at a german restaurant for some beers, and then we headed home to order some pizza for dinner. And then it was Saturday 5:30 am and I was up again. My sleep schedule tends to get thrown off very easily, so uber early Friday leads to uber early Saturday.

After a good workout, Blondie and I headed up to Port Authority to catch the bus to Atlantic City. We had a fantastic trip - enjoyed some really good seafood, and spent the afternoon and evening gambling the day away (craps, blackjack and pai gow). We caught a 1 am bus back to the city which put us into NY at 4 am this morning. We are both way down for the trip - neither of us caught any kind of streak which kind of sucked. But it was so good just hanging with Blondie and getting out of the nasty heat of the city.

When we came out of Port Authority at 4 am today, I about fell over - even then, it was so muggy - I can't even describe it - it was like walking through hot soup or something. Ugh.

Today we slept in and then I found the energy somehow to force my way through some semblance of a workout. We headed down to our deli and got some cold sandwiches for lunch, and then a huge storm blew through so we watched that for awhile.

We have no plans for the upcoming week, but I'm hoping it goes by fast. Blondie has a trip to Arkansas coming up, and we are looking at heading to KY at the end of August. My boss has hinted around at me heading back to SF for a week for a project I'm on - I talked my way out of the first trip she wanted me to go on, but not sure I can do that again.

Sweatily Yours,

Monday, July 19, 2010

From Broadway to Paris... With Love

First off, the answer to the question I know everyone is asking. It's "Yes, I did buy another eggplant this week". My food was SO GOOD last week (actually, I can't decide if it was really that good or if I'm just a cheapskate) that I'm doing it again this week. I'm off to grill up an eggplant as soon as I'm done here. I did hit up my salad place today for lunch though - can't have my guys forgetting I'm "mixed greens" girl.

The early part of last week was pretty low-key, but then Thursday started the fun. Blondie came and met up with me and 5 of my coworkers for some Korean Fried Chicken. Between the 7 of us, we managed to put away 4 huge bottles of Soju. Um, WTF? How? We also managed to cram down more food than should be legal. OMG. I seriously felt so gut-heavy when we left, like it was pulling me down.

Friday, I got out of work early (woot!) so I met Blondie for some hurricanes and cajun food (he had smothered chicken and biscuits, and I had etoufee) for lunch. 1 hurricane turned into 1 hurricane and a beer, turned into 1 hurricane, a beer, and 2 margaritas, turned into the same + 8 beers. Oops. :) And a bag of pretzels.

Saturday we had no plans, so we decided to head up to see an off-Broadway play we'd been wanting to see - The Screwtape Letters. This is a story originally penned by C.S. Lewis - it was basically a 1 man play, involving a bureaucrat in hell who was sending letters to his nephew in the real word who was trying to recruit people to the devil's side. It was so incredibly interesting - I was shocked. The set was minimal but spooky, the main actor was the perfect person for the role, and they brought in enough modern day references and comic-relief, that it never felt like you were being preached to.

Seeing the play was like being in church though. The people behind me kept saying "yes! Yes! oh yes lord!" and the woman beside me was bored out of her mind and kept sighing and slamming her body around her chair.

After the play, we headed off for some nachos and beers before heading home early and taking it easy the rest of the night.

Sunday, we decided to do a heavy workout (we workout every single day of the week, but on Sunday, we wanted a hard-core workout). We headed down to our gym, and busted some major ass, before heading on over to Brooklyn. Some friends of ours were headed to Bastille Day in Brooklyn, so we met up with them and some of their friends. Our day involved a ton of fabulous new people (I'd be friends with them all), a lot of champagne cocktails (you can drink on the street!) and some pizza to end it all. It's a good thing I did that hard-core workout, let me tell you. Captain Butterball, reporting for duty!

Today it's 5000 degrees outside (no exaggeration) and I managed to sweat out everything I ate over the weekend. I had to run to Times Square after work to do an errand and decided to take the underground path from Port Authority to Times Square. The non-air conditioned, underground path, crammed full of people headed home from work. I sweated clear through my khakis and had to walk around Times Square with 2 enormous circles of sweat on my butt cheeks. Swamp Ass - that's the technical terms for it.

Hope everyone is doing well, and is less sweaty than us!


Monday, July 12, 2010

The way to my heart

Blondie brought me treats this past weekend - he knows me too well. Roses and a celebrity gossip magazine. I LOVE THIS MAN!

Making Eggplant. Yeah baby. Exciting life I lead!

To start with, let me say - I'm a salad girl. At least 2-3 times a week for lunch, I get a huge veggie salad with 1 protein on top (chicken, shrimps, egg, something). I love my salads. It's so hot here, that all I basically eat is fruit, cereal, and salad. What I don't love about my salad is paying a minimum of $8 a day for salad for lunch. Ugh. Why can't my salads be free?

Sooooo, this past Saturday when we hit up our cheap ass farmer's market, the whole paying for a salad was on my mind - and I saw the most beautiful eggplants. Ever. I just finished cooking up one and Blondie grilled me a chicken breast - I have lunches for the rest of the week! Go me!

I'm sure my salad guy is going to miss me though - I'm in my salad place so much that as soon as they see me, they start with the mixed greens as the base. It's kind of embarrassing actually. So many places to eat in NYC, and I pick the same one. Every. Single. Day.

This was a very good, but still very jam packed week we just came off of. Slick and PFunk left last Monday, and on Wednesday, we had our very first Mets game! They played the Reds (whom I used to ADORE but that's only because KY doesn't have any pro sports teams at all, and the Reds are basically in KY anyway). I met Blondie and we took the subway out to Queens. The ride was nice, but honestly people - I must have a sign stuck to me that says "I want you to talk to me!" Everytime I get on a car, I guarantee I've either got the crazies, the people who want to convert you to their religion, or the ones that feel the need to tell you everything about them.

This ride was no exception - I listened to a gentleman prattle on and on for the 35 minute ride, and the conversation ended by him telling Blondie he would look for him in his Mets cap on TV. Yes, because nobody else at Citifield would be wearing a Mets cap. Oh well, he made the ride interesting at least. If that was my biggest problem last week, then I'm 1 f'ing lucky person.

So the Mets lost which was sad - and brought our record of seeing NY sports teams play to 0 and 4. Yes, every single team has lost. But Citifield had some of the most amazing stadium food I've ever had. They had fresh jalapenos on their condiment station for crying out loud. It was beautiful. I almost cried. And then I molested the hell out of the condiment stand. Parents were covering their kids eyes - "don't look! don't look!"

Then, on Saturday, Blondie and I had tickets to see the Gotham Girls Roller Derby! We decided to cheer for the Queens of Pain (their mascot was a guy completely dressed in S&M gear - how can you NOT root for them?) They played the Brooklyn Bombshells, and absolutely whipped them. I LOVE ROLLER DERBY! I've made a decision to start taking skating lessons from the girls, because I think I'd be a bad ass blocker. It's all about the thighs, and trust me, I have the thighs. Blondie and I had a blast on Saturday, all without booze, because the rink was actually in a local college - no alcohol sold on that campus. It was so worth it. What a great game!

And finally, what I will call Shit Show Sunday. We got up and headed down to Greenwich Village to do a walking tour with a local meetup group we are a part of. Our subway ride (back to the crazies) involved an entire family from North Caroline (they screamed that they were from there) and a daughter-in-law who decided to climb up the rails and hang from her knees upside down. She kept hollering "Take a picture! Take a picture!" This woman was at least 25 years old. OMG. I couldn't decide whether to laugh until I peed myself or get the skeevies about how many gross germs she was picking up by flinging herself around like that.

And just so everybody doesn't think I'm a super mega bitch, I totally helped them with directions to the WTC site before we got off the train. Also, they TOTALLY reminded me of my family. North Carolina and KY are pretty dang close.

Anyway, I love the West Village area, and was really looking forward to hearing some more of the history about the place. So I was completely looking forward to this tour. But it was not good - I'm sure there are really good tours/tourguides, but our guide was not one of them. He did take us to 1 interesting site (in 2 hours) - some old stables that had been converted into houses on a street that was gated off. I didn't even know that existed. But the rest - nah. He seriously took us into Washington Square Park to look at an elm tree. I'm still not sure how that relates to Greenwich Village.

Afterwards, Blondie and I headed for margaritas and mexican food - which officially started Shit Show Sunday. While we were dining on the outdoor patio, I happened to notice a little bar across the street, down some steps, with $3 PBR specials. As soon as we were done with lunch, we hit up the bar where we got to watch the last of the World Cup game. The primary team being rooted for was Spain, and a woman in the bar kept screaming "Espana! Espana! We are the champions of the world!" Blondie made me about lose it when he said "If the Netherlands score (prior to Spain winning of course), then I'm going to scream Deutch! Deutch! and dry hump the TV screen".

After the game, we headed back to our hood but stopped on the way to pick up some margarita mix. We proceeded to each down a ton of beer and another margarita when we got home. I was fast asleep by 9 pm, completely drunk off my ass. I think I carried on an hour long conversation with my mom on the phone at some point but I could not tell you what we talked about to save my life.

Also, I'm getting old - today I totally felt everything I did to my body yesterday. I walked around work in a daze, feeling like I had been sucker punched in the gut all day. OMG. So old!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We have no plans coming up, just some relaxation time built in. Can't wait to just enjoy what NYC throws at us.


Friday, July 09, 2010

It's really f'ing hot here

And apparently, the belly is the air conditioner for a cat.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Revisit, redo, and recap

Monday: Last week started off with Blondie's sister and her family (husband and baby) coming for a visit. I came home from work on Monday and we took off to our local bar (it's totally baby-friendly, for as much as a bar can be baby-friendly) for some grub and beers. While we were sitting there chatting and relaxing, we decided a night out in Times Square was needed. We headed up in the horrendous heat to take in the lights and sounds of the craziest section of New York (which is saying A LOT).

One of the local businesses had taken over one of the huge electronic billboards - they had trained a camera on the crowd so basically you could see yourself on the huge screens of Times Square. The 4 of us spent literally about 15 minutes being giant jackasses and laughing our asses off at ourselves. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself... BTW, it was all my idea to do this too!

Tuesday: I met back up with the group on Tues evening in Little Italy for some pasta dinner. It was a quick 15 minute train ride down, and my pasta con broccoli was killer. We split a caraffe (how do you spell that?) of wine and just enjoyed getting to catch up.

Wednesday: The family was off, but Sweetie J was ready for some action. She came to my office and hung out with me for awhile, before we headed over to Murray Hill to meet up with some of her friends from Brooklyn. Blondie joined us for a fabulous indian food dinner at the suggestion of her friend. The restaurant (Copper Chimney) was soooo good, and I think I made some pretty obscene noises as I slobbered over the lamb chops with yogurt sauce. Go me! Many bottles of beer, and after dinner was over, it was time to head to a local bar and party it up San Francisco style!

Thursday: Um, owies! I nursed a headache all day but sucked it up big time and headed out to meet up with Blondie, Slick and PFunk. They had flown in from Chicago (minus Blondie who just flat out lives here) early Thurs morning and had spent the day drinking beers, napping, and generally making me jealous. The 4 of us decided to hit our local cheap bar (hint: I'm going to marry Rudy's when it becomes legal to marry an inanimate object). PFunk and I managed to catch the eye of a very inebriated (very x very) lady who took it upon herself to try and be our BFF's. This is literally what I understood of what she said to us over the course of 20 minutes: chickpeas, pressure cooker, 3 pounds, helicoptor, Beyonce. The rest of her words ran together so hard - it was like madlibs without any clues.

PFunk and I literally pushed the guys out of the bar, we were trying to escape so bad. We headed down the street to our local sports bar to imbibe some more and split a plate of onion rings. PFunk had an awesome idea for Turkish Cuisine, so we headed there for dinner. Since I hadn't gotten my fill of lamb from the previous night, I got the lamb stuffed bell peppers - I was about to take a bath with them, they were so good.

Friday: 1 pm end time = Lombardi's pizza by 1:30. Such great pizza, and no wait time like Grimaldi's! Afterwards, we wandered through Chinatown and over to the Brooklyn Bridge - it was a gorgeous day for a walk over, and then we found a bar and had several beers while cooling down. We got a completely nutter bartender whom I wanted to adopt. His opinion: you haven't seen Central Park until you've been there after midnight. Also, if I went after midnight and got mugged, I could drink for free whenever I went into his bar. My opinion: It's almost worth it for free beer.

We caught the train back to the city and relaxed for a bit afterwards, before getting ready and heading out to Les Halles!!!! This is Tony Bourdain's restaurant (even though he isn't associated with it any longer - that I'm aware anyway). Our meal was so good - I got steak covered in foie gras. I'm aware that foie gras is a hot topic, and am always very hesitant to eat it. To be fair to me, it's only about the 3rd time in my life that I've had it - so it's not like I'm eating it out every single weekend. But I did have a lot of guilt afterwards, so I think I'll add it to my list of "no way jose". It's a shame it tastes so f'ing good.

After our meal, we headed out for more beers - we gave ourselves a curfew of 12:30 am which extended to 1 am rather quickly. We had a curfew for a good reason - and I'm glad we stuck to it because....

Saturday: STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELLIS ISLAND TOUR!!! We were up and out of the house by 11 am to catch the train down to the tip of Manhattan. We waited in a line that was crazy big, but was absolutely worth it. We didn't have tickets to actually go up into the statues, but we got to completely wander all around the base of the statue. The boat ride over was beautiful and the views of the city skyline from the island was amazing. After the statue, we caught a second ferry boat to Ellis Island and went through the Immigration Museum. The exhibits were amazing, and it felt exhilirating to get a tiny sense of what people did to move to this country. Blondie and Slick were able to search for some of their relatives from the museum's database.

We caught the ferry back to Manhattan and enjoyed a pitcher of beer in the beer garden, before heading back to our hood for some pizza and a shower. At 8 pm that night, Slick's cousin caught up with us along Sweetie J and another buddy of ours from San Francisco. We went for tapas and enjoyed a beautiful Saturday night on a patio with many pitchers of Sangria.

Afterwards, off for beer! We hit up several bars before winding down the evening in a singing (not dueling) piano bar, serenading each other with heartfelt renditions of Bon Jovi, Journey, and showtunes. We got home around 4 am and decided food was in order. So I drug my drunk ass down to our 24 hour deli and proceeded to buy anything that wasn't nailed down.

Sunday: All of a sudden it was noon. WTF? How did that happen? I haven't slept past 7:45 am in about 5 years, but here we were. Blondie came to the rescue with a giant pot of coffee and then we headed out for greasy breakfast before catching the train to Central Park. It was crazy hot, so we found a tree, spread our blankets underneath, and rehydrated all afternoon with water.

We headed back to our hood early to buy some pies and snacks, and then it was to the apartment to start our party train off. 2 pitchers of margaritas later, it was time to head to our balcony to watch the fireworks show from there. HOW LUCKY ARE WE? As we watched millions of people trying to get out to the river to view the fireworks, all we had to do was step out our balcony door.

The fireworks were amazing. So good to finally see them in person. After the fireworks, we ordered in some more beer (and flaming hot Cheetohs) and drank the night away. My schedule is so f'ed up right now.

Today, everyone is gone. It's me and Blondie again. Le sigh. I'm going to try and get back to Chicago to visit Slick and PFunk in August, along with a trip to KY to visit the fam. Blondie is off to Arkansas to hang with his bro for a week, camping and fishing. And that's what we have to look forward to.

I'm in a down mood right now - I feel like I've had one of the top 5 weeks of my whole life this past week, and now it's back to work, work, work. It's Monday dread times 50000.

I think I need a vacation.