Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Features

In my wide awake state I've added some new features to the blog in order to keep it interesting. You'll see Google AdSense now appear on the site, feel free to click on it when you see something relevant to you. Another new feature is the Rapid Counter in order to see how much, ok how little traffic How Do You Like Me NOW!? is truly getting.

I'm an internet dork. Trackability is good. Generating revenue is even better. But if I want to make this thing work there needs to be things on the site to keep my loyal users happy. And by loyal users I'm referring to the 4 people who come to my site.

This isn't my full time job but it is something that is keeping my interest.

11.5 Year Reunion

Its midnight here at home. If you read my previous post you'll know I was in San Fran, which is where my sleep timer is still located. I know I need to go to bed because I have to get up early to go to work but sleep isn't happening. For one of the first times in my life I don't want to sleep. On the plane I took a quick power nap which was induced by a can of Miller Lite. Now, two beers later I'm wide awake.

And now that I'm wide awake there are a ton of things running through my mind.
- Is there something that I didn't do for work that I can be doing now?
- Shouldn't I be apartment/house hunting?
- Why are the Phillies still in the playoff hunt? They should have been eliminated months ago which now forces me to pay closer attention to the Phillies and Astros. That bothers me.
- Man am i glad I didn't go to my 11.5 year reunion.

That last point sticks out the most. Its been 11.5 years since I graduated from high school and instead of having a 10 year reunion like normal people we missed it. Someone organized the 11.5 year but I really didn't feel like going. All the people I want to see are people I still talk to. They are people I see at least twice per year. Should I have gone to hear what people are doing these days? Nope I shouldn't have. I can only assume that there were people who were making themselves out to be bigger than who they really are.

"I run my own company."
"I'm a CEO of a major corporation."
"Married. 3 Kids."

Personally, I don't give a shit. The people who I still talk to are successful in their own right. I don't need pointless babble like "So what have you done with yourself since graduating?" "My the last 11 years haven't been kind to you. What the fuck happened?" Bullshit...don't need it. The sales guy in me thought it was a good networking opportunity. But networking for what? Are these people going to be future clients of mine? Probably not. Are they going to sell me house? Nope, I don't like friends knowing my finances and something like having a high school acquaintence know how much or how little money I make isn't appealing.

But whatelse. Were there people who I wanted to see? Nope. Were there people who I wanted to rekindle friendships with? Maybe but if they were that important to rekindle then I would have made more of an effort. What ever happened to the people who won homecoming and prom king and queen? What did they make of themselves? Are they still the "elite people" they thought they were in high school? Who cares! What happened to the people who thought they were the shit in high school? I have an idea but I don't really give a shit what has happened to them.

Maybe it would have been good to go to see these people. Then I would have had the people with their yearbooks saying stupid things like "you guys were class couple, what happened?" What happened was the we grew up and apart and I found my life. I found where I wanted to go and who I wanted to go there with. Yeah she dumped me but who cares!? Not me. If I cared I would have made an effort but I didn't.

My life has brought me to many places. Its brought me a great family, a beautiful girlfriend who I have a future with and I'll make it work. I have great friends who, while we don't always see each other, we are friends and when we're together its like we never missed a beat.

But what has happened in the last 11.5 years? There's more than I can explain. Friends have come and gone. I've moved north and left that school behind. Why look like back? So I can feel some self gratification? So I can say "Ha this is where life brought me!" - that line would most likely be followed or supported with more bullshit.

Where will I be for the 20th? Who knows, who cares. Maybe in 8.5 years I'll have an interest to go to the 20 year reunion where I'll go backed with pictures of the wife and kids. My car, house, boat, office or cardboard box. But maybe I won't go to the reunion because I won't really care.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Comfort of Home

Traveling has taught me something, its taught me to miss home and love NYC that much more. I just returned from a business trip to San Francisco and while its a great city this trip was tainted by where I stayed. "Its like Times Square 20 years ago," is how it was explained to me. My hotel was at 8th and Market. Not knowing the city I figured that it was in a good location based on the pictures of the hotel and what it was near. Little did I know that it wasn't really near anything. Yes it was about 4 blocks from Union Square and all the shopping of San Fran but to walk out of there in the middle of the night was like taking your life in your hands.

On Tuesday I walked from Embarcadero to my hotel in a suit carrying a laptop bag. More like clutching my laptop bag. There were more bums in that eight block walk then there are bars in Hoboken, and Hoboken has the most bars per square mile than any place in the country. I'll admit it, i was nervous even slightly scared. But not enough to panic.

I walked with a purpose. Eyes forward and focused on my destination. I didn't look to the right or left but I did look behind me every so often. Even though it was broad daylight you never know whats going to happen. When I sensed a homeless person eyeing me for money I grabbed the cell phone making it look like I was talking to someone. Hoping that they wouldn't hit me up for money.

I'll give money to a homeless person. That's not a problem. Especially during the winter. But when you're walking a street where there's a homeless person every ten feet you just can't do it.

In my traveling I just couldn't wait to get home. The comfort of my apartment. The softness of my bed. The sight and touch of Melissa. It made me realize that while I don't mind traveling, I'm much more comfortable at home. I know what streets to walk and when. Where I can grab a drink. Basically just how to get around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nothing to read at the Book Store

Since starting my job three months ago, I've taken to journeying over to the Time Warner Center. At least twice a week I had over there to look at some clothes in the windows that I can't afford yet I keep telling myself that I need new clothes for work. Then I head up to the Samsung store on the 3rd floor and look at the cool phones that don't interest me. Or the laptops I can't afford either, if I couldn't afford the clothes there's no way I can afford the laptop.

In between looking at the clothes and going to Samsung I hit Borders. Every time I go in there's always one of two security guards at the door, a large black man or a large white man. Both always pretty cool as they say hello and goodbye to me. I'm sure that they recognize me coming in there at this point. Because the people at J. Crew and Samsung sure do remember me.

There I was today. Looking for a book to grab for my trip to and from San Fran. I wondered the store with no specific book or topic in mind. Just wandering. "Maybe I'll get a book on house buying tips or one on history," I thought to myself. Then I realized that i'm flying Song out to San Fran which means which ever book I have to pick up it will have to compete with the football games that will be on tv on the plain.

I was so determined to find a good book that I ended up in the kids section! Oh the Places You'll Go is something that could keep my interest. Nah...moving on...I kept wandering back to the the Best Seller section. Nothing...boring. Maybe a magazine.

I headed over to the magazines. Standing by the sports magazines and the men's health magazines of the world i reach for the GQ. Cameron Diaz is on the front, so why not. But then I realize that if i buy it I'll have to pay sales tax at Borders so maybe I'll just buy it at the newsstand across from my office. (Which i found out later isn't carrying the latest GQ with Cameron on the front.)

After finally leaving Borders, I had down to my lunch spot. Whole Foods of course. Reaching the supermarket of all supermarkets I had right over to where the seltzer is. Grab a bottle of citrus flavored seltzer and head for the lunch section. As I approach the area where the sushi, sandwiches and hot foods are, I see that the lines to pay are out of control. I reverse course. Put the seltzer back where I bought it, because nothing bothers me more than putting things back in a supermarket where they don't belong. Then I head for the escalator. Its been a very boring and eventful trip.

Walking out of the Time Warner Center I once again feel as though I have beat Capitalism by not spending any money in there. But then I feel as though its been a waste of time walking the 3 blocks to get there. Maybe tomorrow they'll have a new selection of books for me to dismiss for my trip. And hopefully the newsstand across the street gets the new GQ with Cameron Diaz in soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

September 11th

On Sunday September 11th 2005 I walked past the TV tuned to one of the local channels broadcasting people reciting the names of those who passed away four years ago. Today in my daily review of the blogs I opened up an old co-workers blog and began reading. Ted Villa and I worked together at Euro. On Sunday he posted blogs at the exact same times as each incident from 2001 - 8:46 am, 9:03 am, 10:05 am, 10:10 am and 10:28 am.

Nothing touched me more than his posting of an email he sent out to friends and loved ones on September 15th. Ted had shared some of his recounts of the incident with me after the attacks. We had different visual perspectives, his from a roof top in Brooklyn and mine from across the river in Hoboken.

Here is the URL to his site with the posting of the email. Its touching and definitely worth reading.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What Would You Do With $171 Million?

"What Would You Do With $171 Million?" she asked.
Without hesitation "Pay off my mom's house, your parent's house, Kevin & DJ's house, Frankie's house, your debt, my debt, give money to Ken because we've made that deal."
"Would you keep working though?"
"Yeah, I can't go without working. Shit I work two jobs now and I don't need to but I still do because i need to keep busy."
"Sigh, I'd probably work part-time and travel alot though."

Today I played the megamillions, its at $171 million so how could I not. I meant to play last week but I forgot to get my tickets. Luckily for me I had a second chance. People don't get second chances and I'm not expecting to win but its worth trying. You can't win the game unless you're playing.

Let's imagine for a while what would happen if I did win. Look at my response to Melissa above. Six of the 7 things I've listed above revolve around everyone else. To take the conversation further, I went on to tell her that I'd then sell my mom's house and buy her a new one allowing her to keep the profit from the sale of her house. I'd sell Kevin's house and do the same plus make sure Little Princess Grace doesn't have to worry about money ever! Yeah I'd get myself out of debt and I'd buy myself a house, car and other cool stuff but I'd keep working. Money is great. I like working to make money to buy the things that her and I want. But $171 million would definitely change someone.

Of course I'd take that in cash then spread it out where I needed it to be spread out. Lets just say I'd get $70 million in cash after taxes and Uncle Sam took any thing else he wanted. That wouldn't leave me with much. I could spend a million in a week just buying toys, such as a beach house, a sweet car, a boat and other fun stuff. But with buying houses and cars and boats comes insurance and taxes. If I owed multiple houses I'd pay multiple taxes. So if I kept working then I could use my paychecks to pay those taxes and insurance.

Most people would retire but maybe I'll keep working the two jobs just for shits and giggles.


The trip was planned. Five days, four nights. We were finally getting away from everything. Our first trip that wasn't business, family or wedding related. Labor Day weekend away from the barbecues, crowded beaches and bars of the Jersey shore or the Hamptons. Melissa planned the trip in the matter of 45 minutes. It basically started with an IM "I need to go on vacation." My response "Ok, lets go." Short and sweet, a man of many words, never in my life have I realized that I take after my father until I realize I'm not a talker...I'm not a talker.

A week before we were set to go away Hurricane Katrina unleashed mass destruction on the Gulf Coast. We were watching the reports in horror of what was going on with the people in the South. But in the back of our minds we were selfish thinking about the destruction in Cancun. Would the Hurricane make a turn for the worst for us? Yeah we were being selfish but when you hadn't had a vacation alone in the two plus years you've dated then you can be selfish. And just to easy anyone's comments about the hurricane, yes I've contributed money.

Two days before our trip to Cancun, rain for 10 days straight. And not just a 10% - 30% chance but a 60%-75% chance of rain. Thank God for travel insurance! We were able to recoup all the money we were going to spend to go to Cancun. Now it was time to decide where we should go instead.


I'd never been to Newport. Melissa hadn't been so lets go! Let's get to Newport. If you haven't been to Newport I recommend going. We did the drunken couple stumbling home. We did the nice dinners and a really nice lunch. The best time we had was sitting at Castle Hill having lunch. Castle Hill is right on the water. There outdoor dining and then there's a section where you can bring your drink down to the chairs over looking the water.

Due to the amount of people we weren't able to sit at the chairs to drink because once we finished our lunch, and what a lunch it was, we felt the need to go walk off the food in the tourist area.

The meals we had were by far well worth the cost. Melissa had scallops, I had pork tenderloin and we both had 3 drinks each. By far one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The pork literally fell apart as I cut it which is a good sign to me.

If you haven't been to Newport I recommend you go. Its a nice place to go in order to get away. There were a lot of people but when I looked around, the only person I saw was Melissa. It was just a good "rekindling" experience. Now we need to start planning our beach trip for the fall. Cancun again maybe? Possibly.

If any one of the five people who read this site can recommend some place nice for her and I go to away to in order to cut loose or just sit on the beach and drink a few frozen drinks please let me know.

I have pictures but that requires emailing them because they are on

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Fight Against Cancer

My uncle has cancer. My father passed away from cancer. A close friend of mine as well. My roommates mom. My cousin’s husband is a cancer survive. An old friend from work is a cancer survivor. Many more in my circle of family and friends that are just to vast to count or list have been affected by this disease.

2005 marks the first time in two years I’m not putting my body through the hell of a 100 mile bike ride to raise money to battle this terrible disease. Yet I feel the need to do something. Whether its donate money, send a card, an email or anything to show them that I care. My thoughts of them aren’t enough. My prayers, while may be powerful, don’t make me feel as though I’m doing anything to help.

But through all of this the people who I feel for are those of us who are the “support group.” Believe me I feel for the cancer patient, survivor and victim (for lack of a better word), but the task of the support group is extremely difficult. These people look at our loved ones on a daily basis and see how they change. They are set to the task of ensuring they do everything in their power to help their loved one but sometimes they feel as though it’s not enough. I know, because I’ve been there.

When my father was suffering from cancer and every thing else that came with it, my mom, brother, future sister-in-law, and I were tasked with doing everything that we could to help him. My brother and I often talk about how we had two different fathers in the same person. During my brother’s high school and most of college years my father was strong and healthy. During my high school and college years my father was sick, often too sick to get out of bed. He would go to my sporting events in a wheelchair because he couldn’t walk. It broke my heart. Actually it tore my heart out. But I didn’t love him any less. I love him more. He was and always will be my father and no one can replace him.

One day I’ll get married and my future father-in-law my let me call him “Dad” but I may decline out of respect for him and my father.

As I mentioned earlier, my uncle is battling cancer. The doctors told him, his treatment may take 6-8 weeks. He was hoping for 6 weeks but on Wednesday he started treatment week number 7. I can only imagine what my aunt and my cousin are going through these days. My uncle is and will always be strong but cancer and its treatment knocks the shit out of you. It makes you humble.

The last two years I’ve taken pride in putting cancer survivors and cancer victim’s names on my jersey to ride in their honor. While this year I am not doing the ride for financial, physical and personal reasons – I was hoping to get into the NYC 2005 Marathon so my training changed – I am supporting the fight against cancer in other ways. Through donations, reaching out to family and friends and by staying informed. All I ask of my family and friends who read this blog is to either make a small donation or more importantly call someone you know who is battling or battling cancer to let them know you’re thinking of them.

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