Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Tubesteak Vegan


Having drinks during happy hour with friends is always entertaining. It's amazing what a few libations will do to a person.

I recently found myself getting inebriated with a few co-workers I've known for a few years, along with a few that were hired just before the economy tanked.

Depending on my mood, I can either be a voyeur, watching people and listening to them ramble on incoherantly, or sometimes I'll contribute my own special brand of drivel to the conversation.

I'm an equal opportunity driveler, so the extent of my ramblings will typically depend on whichever of the ten different conversations I happen to be paying attention to in that moment.

After about 5-6 drinks, it can get tough to follow it all. It takes talent to keep up with drunken blathering. It's almost like learning another language. But the topics of conversation and everyone's contributions to them definitely tend to get more amusing as the night progresses.

I myself was in the mood for red wine. I prefer to only drink red wine. I'm a red wine snob. Actually, I mostly drink Cabernet if I can help it. I'm also a Cabernet snob. Sue me.

So I was on my 4th glass, feeling good and feeling loose. I found myself joining a conversation between one of the recently hired guys, Chris, and a few of my long-time buddies.

They were talking about work, but they were acting way too jovial for it to have been a serious conversation -- so naturally, I joined in.

Already slurring, I interject, "You see Chris..."

I take a swallow of my drink, "Coming to work wasted is frowned upon..."

I pause for effect, then continue...

"But also lovingly embraced."

With the sound of chuckles in the background, he replies, "then I'm gonna love working there!"

Our friend John Sullivan, aka Johnny Two Times, aka Johnny Luva joins in and continues laying down our tongue-in-cheek version of the workplace rules:

"When you're in a meeting," he says, "and there is a call for feedback or questions, lean back in your chair, prop your feet up on the table, smile contentedly, and say, 'Well, here's the way I see it, J.B...'"

He sticks his finger in his ear as if he's digging for gold, takes it out, looks at his finger and continues...

"No one really gives a fuck about what you want us to do anymore. Everyone's just gonna do what they want. And any further complaints can be directed to my ass."

The table erupts in loud, obnoxious, creepy man-laughter.

He then adds, "but after that you have to smile, look at the person next to you as if everything's normal, and ask...'that's how you wanted me to say it, right?'"

More drunken chuckles ensue.

I turn my head to the left to see what the girls are talking about, and take another swallow of my drink just in time to hear Suzie tell Kathy, "You've had way too much cock in your mouth to be vegan."

My wine nearly came out my nose as I laughed uncontrollably while in the midst of swallowing it. The girls laugh as I regain my composure, when I mimick Ben Affleck's character from Good Will Hunting and say, "speaking of tubesteak Kathy, why didn't you give me none of that nasty little hoochie woochie you usually throw at me?"

Without missing a beat she replies with the right line from the movie, "Oh fuck you and your Irish curse Chuckie!"

Kathy and I are always quoting the movie, which usually starts a domino effect of movie quotes for the rest of the night.

Randomly going back to what caught my attention, I ask, "So what's with the vegan thing?"

"Well, my sister is vegan and she was explaining it all to me, so I was thinking about becoming vegan too," she says.

"Seriously?!" I say, with a smirking, skeptical look on my face. "Not for nothin', but as much as you love the tubesteak, no one loves a juicy filet mignon more than you. You invite us over to grill steaks every week for christsake!"

She says, "Yeah, the whole giving up meat thing is the problem. And the cheese. And the pork. And the..."

More group laughter.

"No seriously. I'm gonna do it though!"

"I bet you fifty bucks you'll be eating steak again in two weeks," I said.

She replies, "You're on biatch!"

As it turns out...I got my fifty bucks today.

Then I took Kathy to Outback Steakhouse for a big, juicy Porterhouse steak.

And I used the fifty bucks to pay for dinner. :o)

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gubbio, Italy


Gubbio, Italy
Originally uploaded by R.o.b.e.r.t.o.
How gorgeous is this picture. I mean really. It's hard to see it well in such a small size, but I'm genuinely awestruck.

There are truly some talented photographers out there who know how to maximize the beauty of their pictures.

This is so well done, it's almost intimidating to think about possibly trying to make a living as a photographer.

Wow.

It actually looks better in full size. See it here.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good Times, Indeed


I have very few vices, but I do indulge in a few simple pleasures.

There are two that I especially look forward to the most.

For example, at 3 PM every day, there's a guy I work with who prepares about a half-pint worth of espresso, then walks around giving each of his friends a little white cup filled with a divine little shot of heaven.

Pretty cool of him I'd say.

Before I started drinking the espresso my buddy makes, the cuban variety was the best I'd ever had. Was being the key word here.

Mind you, I grew up drinking cuban espresso.

I can't put into words how delicious this guy's espresso is. Just trust me, it's damn good.

So anyway, after I had my little shot of espresso today, I decided to partake in my other daily indulgence.

Arturo Fuente Cubanitos -- small cigars sold in a tin filled with 10 of them.

I go outside to the beautiful patio area overlooking all the nice palm trees that the company I work for planted in the parking lot. This is where the smokers go for their hourly nicotine fix. So I have a seat, kick back, put my feet up on the ledge, and light one up.

It's 72 degrees, sunny, with a mild breeze to keep you cool. Perfect day out. This is irrelevant to the story, but I thought I'd be a smart ass and point that out since it's hella cold in much of the country still.

About half-way into my Cubanito, two friends of mine come by to smoke their cigarettes. Both of my friends are openly gay, and quite comfortable with it. They also know I'm completely non-judgmental, and couldn't care less who or what they're into.

Which really makes for amusing conversation among all of us, and today was no different.

One of them (R) is very feminine, sensitive, and flamboyant. My other friend (K) is the 'butch' of the two, very cynical, not flamboyant, and somewhat bitter. It's an established hierarchy, and everyone understands their role.

I'm the metrosexual breeder.

Good times.

So, R and K are discussing possible weekend plans when they walk up. They both say hi, and continue their conversation as they normally would.

It goes something like this:

R: "There are a couple of parties this weekend actually. The [insert gay nightclub here] is throwing a big bash too. Why don't you come with me and J?"

K: "Yeah, I dunno about that. I don't really like hanging around gay people."

R: (gasps and puts his left hand over his mouth, in shock) "What do mean...how could you say that?"

K: "I don't really mesh with the culture."

R: "Like what part?!"

K: "Well, it's just that I don't really have much in common with the gay guys I know. I love sitting at a bar with regular guys, drinking beer, watching sports, and listening to heavy metal music. I hate being around all the little divas and that whole scene. It's just not me."

R: (puts his hand up and turns his head away) "Whateva!!!"

Then K looks at me and puts a big smirking grin on his face.

We both know that even though he does really feel that way, he really just loves to get a rise out of R. Cuz it's just too easy.

I chime in: "You know, K isn't really gay, he's just Greek, if you know what I mean..."

We both look at R, who is now pouting and has distanced himself from K, then look at each other again and start laughing in unison.

Then, R looks at us both laughing -- his body language starting to get the fact that K deliberately wanted to get a rise out of him -- sits down, glares at us, smiles and says, "you both some stupid assholes!" He joins us in a hearty group-laugh, and in a New York minute, all was forgiven.

Order had been restored to our little universe in the smoker's patio.

Like I said -- good times.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

No Reservations

I love the show 'No Reservations' with Anthony Bourdain, which plays on the Travel Channel.

I happened to watch tonight's episode twice because he did a show on NYC's food, and well, I love NYC and it's food.

If you love learning about different foods and cultures of the world, this show is a must see. And it's not just the things you learn from watching the show that makes the show enjoyable -- the concept of traveling to different countries to film a show about their culture and food is great -- but it's Tony who really makes the show.

His genuine, down to earth, and honest prose is what really tops off an already interesting format, and is what keeps me interested. You can tell by watching the show that the guy is a true food afficionado, and he adds that intangible x-factor to the show's entertainment value.

Check out his blog. Better yet, check out the show. It's good stuff...
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Feeling Around for a Light Switch


While I was reading a few of my favorite blogs today, it occured to me that I have no idea what I'm doing with mine.

I'm mostly interested in the writing part for this blog, first and foremost, and that's where my sole comfort lies.

When it comes to learning the technical aspects of blogging (i.e. improving the blog), however, I'm completely ignorant.

I know what I'd like this place to look like, but have no idea how to actually make it happen yet.

I feel like a 2 year-old trying to learn violin for the first time; which isn't the bad part. The bad part is that I'm like a 2 year-old who wants to play Vivaldi in his first week of learning.

Needless to say, that clearly isn't going to happen!

At least it appears that no one is able to find this blog via any search engines yet, so I suppose there's plenty of time to work on making it 'purty.'

In the meantime, I hope what I do have up so far is at least mildly interesting. While I clumsily search for a light switch in a pitch-black room, you might also want to check out the blogs I'm following. They're all quite interesting, in my opinion.

Speaking of 2 year-olds, this is me when I was about that age. While much has changed since then, clearly, some things haven't. ;o)
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

111 Huntington Avenue



What a beautiful shot from Boston. I remember being in the Prudential Tower and seeing this very same sight. Although, I must admit, it somehow looks even better in this picture than I remember. My kudos to the talented photographer that took this.

Photo by Amar Raavi at flickr.com.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Buzzkill Suburbia


I live in a place called Davie, which I guess is considered a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I've lived here most of my life, in various neighborhoods throughout the years.

And when you live in a place like this for most of your life, you get used to the type of energy that exists within the suburban landscape. The stillness, or detached energy of these places doesn't really stand out if it's all you've known your whole life.

Until...

Until you go to a big city metropolis like NYC, Chicago, or even Boston (which in addition to NYC, I also love dearly).

For me, nothing can compare to the energy that oozes off these cities and into your senses. Just being there is an invigorating experience to me. In fact, I'd say it's even inspiring.

On my first trip to NYC as an adult, back in 2005, I called a friend to tell him about some of the adventures I'd gotten into while I was there. I was sitting at what I think was some sort of hybrid Subway/Dunkin Donuts shop, somewhere in mid-town around 33rd Ave & Fifth when I made the call:


"What's it like up there?" he asked (after the obligatory greetings).

I replied, "Dude, this place is awesome! It just feels so alive here! I feel so alive! I've been here one day and it feels like home."

As if that weren't enough, I then proceeded to add, "Plus, it feels as if the ratio of women to men here is like 4 to 1! Sweeeet!"

That finally got a rise out of him, and he replied, "No! Get the fuck outta here! I'm coming with you next time you lucky bastard!"


I was way too excited and had too much walking planned to talk for very long, so I kept the conversation short, and resumed eating my breakfast.

I left a few minutes later, and soon realized that every time I stepped out of any building...BAM! -- the city's vibe just hit me as if I drank 2 triple espressos, on top of my body giving me a healthy jolt of adrenalin to boot -- and they had all just kicked in at the same time.

NYC is completely alive with energy, adventure, conversation, romance, drama, comedy -- everything that makes life interesting. All in one shot. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

Then I came home.

Cue the sound of crickets. Literally.

Now, in my daily life, when I walk out of my apartment and into the parking lot...

Nothing.

I usually see no one from the time I walk out my door to the moment I reach the parking lot. There aren't a lot of cars driving by, almost never any people, and there's usually no movement at all. On some days, there isn't even any wind, so even the trees are dead still.

Coming home from NYC, or even Boston is like going from an utterly euphoric high to suddenly being completely miserable in less than 2 hours. It's the worst kind of buzzkill.

I would call it a mega-uber buzzkill of supernova proportions. Ok, so the supernova part is a bit much. But the mega-uber part, is spot on.

And now, every day as I walk out of my apartment and to my car...I feel a mega-uber buzzkill.

Meh.

Aside from the beach, Florida is so lame to me. And the people...well, that's another topic altogether.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

V-Day Retraction (sort of)




Wow.

My life has been stranger than fiction lately.

All that stuff I said about Valentine's Day below...I still feel that way...but read the disclaimer, because it flippin came true!

OMFG!
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Brooklyn Bridge Waterfalls




I just love this picture. It makes me miss my beloved NYC all that much more...
Photo by pbredow on flickr.com.
The original can be seen here.
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Home Is Where the Heart Is


New York City is my favorite place in the world.

I'm obsessed with the place.

I haven't been to enough places outside the U.S. to say it will always be my favorite; but I can't imagine any place on earth being quite like NYC, no matter how wonderful a place it may be.

When I say New York City, I mean Manhattan, of course. Not that I dislike the other boroughs, but Manhattan is like the beautiful woman in a room of plain Janes. You would 'do' the others, but she's the one you really want to focus your attention on.

For me, NYC is like your favorite toy that captured all of your attention on Christmas morning when you were a kid. Except I never get tired of her.

I get as excited to see her as I've ever gotten to see anyone.

But alas, I don't live there unfortunately. I know my way around the place as if I did though. She just makes sense to me.

Maybe someday I'll have the balls to just pick up go...
(Picture taken by me, Sept. 2008.)
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Valentine's Day Sucks




Valentine's Day is around the corner, so I wanted to share a few thoughts about that.

I have a major love/hate thing going on with Valentine's Day. It's a very bittersweet topic for me.

I happen to resent Valentine's Day. At this moment, anyway.

You know why? Because it takes something that should occur regularly as a normal part of a loving relationship, and makes it seem like it's fine to only designate one special day to be especially romantic, intimate, loving, and/or affectionate, etc.

It's as if this one day is supposed to absolve all the other 364 days when you went through the motions and basically took your significant other for granted.

It's basically turned into an 'out' for all the multitudes of emotionally stunted men to only have to be forced to contribute to a relationship on that one day.

Hmph. Valentine's Day. My ass.

It makes a mockery of true love. I hate it.

And it's only two days away.

Ugh. I'm in utter disgust over the whole thing this year.

But you know what the damnable misery of it all is? It's that I feel left out because I can't participate in it this year.

Yes, I said it. Fine, whatever.

It's still a goddamn facade for so many people. On the other side of the coin, it is a facade that I relish deep down inside--because I truly am a lover of love, despite how much I hate what it often does to you.

In all fairness, my disdain for the day has as much to do with my own shortcomings as anything else. I have utterly horrific judgment when it comes to picking the right women.

That said, V-day still sucks.

Stupid flippin Valentine's Day.

*disclaimer: in the event someone (who is not in a relationship) that I care about and have interest in should suddenly declare their love for me--making my Valentine's Day awesome--I reserve the right to declare invalid all of the above!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day One



Hi.

My real name isn't Will.

Sometimes I wish it was though.

I don't know what exactly I intend to write about in the is blog. I just know that I can't seem to find anyone else out there who writes about things I feel like I need to read about.

All I know is that I'm lost. I'm lost and I wouldn't mind finding my way home, back to me.

I want more. I just don't really know what more is.

I have so much to say, but I have no one to say it to.

And I feel quite damaged as of today. Emotionally speaking.

So, this is me trying to make sense of my life...of the world around me.

Feel free to be a part of the ride. As long as you're respectful to me and anyone else who may leave comments, I'll be happy to hear your thoughts or make your acquaintance.

Welcome.
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