Archive for December, 2008

2008 – Final Thoughts

December 31, 2008

Right now, just outside my Times Square office, hundreds of people are waiting in 28 degree weather, snow and rain to hold their place for the annual Ball Drop.  By around 9:00 those hundreds will have become thousands.  Some people will have stood in one place nearly 12 hours in order to get a good view of a 10 second countdown!!

It’s funny what people do to themselves in the name of fun.

Farewell, 2008.  It was a tough year for most of us, but I think the good mostly outweighed the bad.   This year brought me lots of new friends and I’ve seen God move in the lives of many people – myself included.  I didn’t have a lot I really wanted to accomplish in ’08, but I didn’t backtrack in many ways either. 

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration.  Let’s all do our own little parts to make 2009 great.  Be nice to a stranger.  Call up an old friend you’ve lost touch with.  Smile more.  Stay to the right on stairs and escalators.  Drink a little less.  Pray a little more.  Don’t talk during movies.  More face time with friends and less email. 

God bless you guys.  Thanks for a great year.  Unless I don’t know you of course, in which case I guess thanks for politely stalking my blog and not spamming my comments.

– J

Two Random Things

December 30, 2008

1. I want.

2. This guy is more talented than I will ever be.

Have a good’n.

– J

The Post-Christmas Post

December 29, 2008

Howdy everyone.  A little holiday recap for you all…

Christmas was great.  I enjoyed some downtime, reasonable weather and a lot of quality time with the family types.

And now, some abstract math:  AirTran + Bad Weather = the movie Cloverfield.  I was supposed to be home at 4:00 Saturday afternoon.  Finally touched down in LGA at 7:00PM Sunday.  Wasn’t all bad though.  Got to spend an extra night with my parents. 

Upon getting back to my apartment, I was a little more than miffed to find the cable and internet on the fritz.  The customer service representative was unable to figure out what the problem was, so they are sending someone out to the apartment.  On FRIDAY.  So I get to spend a few days without internet or cable television.  It’s an inconvenience, but then again this could be a good thing.  Sort of an unintentional fast.  Besides, compared to the problems I could be having, in the grand scheme of things missing House really isn’t the end of the world.

I finished reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown on the way home yesterday.  Really great book.  I hope the movie does it justice.  I’ll start on The Da Vinci  Code pretty soon.

I’m also about 3/4 through the original Watchmen graphic novel.  Interesting is the shortest way I can describe it so far.  Again, I’m looking forward to the movie and hope it lives up to the hype.

This will be my first New Year’s in the city and I’m really excited.  I’ll be welcoming 2009 at a party with some friends (because short of a date with Megan Fox, nothing on earth could get me in Time Square at midnight).  I’ve been told they’ll have some of those little pull-string popper thingys.  That’s pretty much my main reason for going lol.

That’ll do for now.  I hope the holidays have been good to everyone else too.  Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve.

God Bless!!

City Spots

December 17, 2008

I’m very fond of Central Park.  This is relatively common knowledge.  I know it well, particularly the southern half below the Reservoir.

Across the Bow Bridge (go to Bethesda Fountain and head Northwest) is an area known as “The Ramble“.  It’s appropriately named as it’s nothing but winding paths through hilly woods.  For months about half of it has been closed off while some kind of work was being done.  Much to my excitement this past Saturday, I found it was open again. 

If you have a chance, go check it out.  They’ve added new paths that go along the edge of the lake that give an amazing view of the city skyline as it interacts with the parks natural beauty.  I went around 4:00, just before sunset this time of year.  I recommend you do the same.  It was beautiful.  You’ll know the new sections by the fresh cement and black hand rails.

– “Rambling” J

Blogging Around the Christmas Tree

December 9, 2008

Well gang, the holidays are upon us.  Time to dig up the old Christmas albums, bring foliage inside and put the lights on the outside, and of course it’s time to start checking the cable guides for all the 1960’s stop motion animation we can find.  Personally, I’m more a fan of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the one animated by Chuck Jones and narrated by Boris Karloff).  And maybe we can spread a bit of peace on earth and goodwill toward men if we can find time.  Oops, I mean goodwill toward persons of indiscriminate sex.  Gotta be PC during the holidays you know.

I love the holidays.  I spent about an hour on iTunes Sunday tracking down all the old Christmas songs my family listened to when I was young .  And to be honest, I never really stopped listening to them.  The Hat I Got for Christmas is Too Beeg will always make me laugh.   And if you know who Yogi Yorgesson is, well you’re awesome in my book.  Also this weekend we got our tree and most of the decorating done. 

I’m really looking forward to some time off from work and to be back in Texas with my family for a while.  I miss them all a lot, but that’s easily remedied by my love of holidays here in the city.  There’s really nothing quite like it.  If you can deal with the throngs of crazed tourists, it’s definitely worth the trouble to take a late night stroll down 5th Ave and through Bryant Park.

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season as much as I am so far.  Like we try to remind ourselves every year, don’t get too wrapped up in presents, schedules and parties.  Take a moment every now and again and remind yourself why you celebrate your holiday of choice (and be thankful that you have the right to do so).  It’s a bit cliche, but the best presents really can’t be bought. 

Now let’s party!!

– J

Snapple Cap

December 3, 2008

Real Fact #113

“The fasted recorded speed of a racehorse was over 43 mph.”

Consider yourselves enlightened.

– J

No Mosh, Por Favor

December 1, 2008

Living in NYC almost requires one to experience new things.  I have encountered many in my time here in the city but this past Tuesday night was definitely one of the craziest.

About 3 months ago I was turned on to a band by the name of Dragonforce*.  When Roomie and I heard they were coming to town we promptly bought General Admission tickets so we could be in the pit as close as possible.  We got there early and were fortunate enough to get a spot front and center, right on the rail.  This ingenious idea brought J to his first Mosh Pit. 

Simply defined, a mosh pit is the center portion of a crowd at a concert beating the hell out of one another in an effort to fight to the front closest to the performing band.

If I may use a farming simile, it’s a lot like 300 pigs trying to get at 5 tits.

Only it’s not pigs, but a herd of drunk, angry, smelly gorillas, badgers and velociraptors all wearing Vans.  Every rumor you might have heard about a mosh pit is one hundred percent true.  I got elbows jabbed into both sides, my feet were stomped on the whole time and occasionally I was forced to climb over a few people myself just to stay upright.  Suddenly from deep within me a pure animalistic rage and some kind of carnal defense mechanism kicked in and I began to cry started sucker punching people in the ribs just to keep them off me.  This was all during the first and second opening acts before Dragonforce had even taken the stage.  Once it was time for Dragonforce to begin I was relieved because surely the crowd would calm a bit and pay closer attention to the headlining act.

About the time my face was forced into an open armpit while simultaneously being kicked in the back of the head by a passing crowd surfer (no exaggeration, folks), I decided I had had enough “fun” and wanted to actually watch the band I paid money to see.  After killing three people fighting my way out of the pit (only a slight exaggeration here), I made my way to the back of the room where I finished the concert in relative peace.

I cannot in good conscience refer to myself as an educated person and still call that “fun”.  That’s fun and exciting in an “I think I’ll go stand out in the hurricane” kind of way.  Or perhaps, “Yeah, I’ll help you finish that bottle of Jägermeister”.  Or even, “Of course I’ll watch that Paulie Shore marathon with you”.  Sure it sounds fun at first, but you’re going to end up in excruciating pain and with a lot of regret the next morning.

Honestly, I enjoyed the music and performance of all three bands.  What was on stage was fantastic.  It was what happened about 10 feet away from the stage that made for a rough night.

Rock on,

* If you don’t watch the whole video, at least fast forward to 3:20 and watch a minute or two.  Yeah, I saw that LIVE.