Monday, August 29, 2005

What a weekend! I am totally exhausted.

Let me tell you about brunch yesterday:

DISCLAIMER: For anyone who may, for one reason or another, read this blog entry that doesn't really know me- I am not an alcoholic. I didn't even drink until 2 years ago... Please don't judge my character from this entry.

Jenn's Birthday was last Thursday and we decided to celebrate with brunch at Essex on the LES Sunday. Meredith made reservations for 1pm. We all show up on time and Mr. Green Shirt nerdy host man decides that we are not cool enough, so he does that brilliant smile and look right through you to us for about a half hour. Every now and then he looks at us as if he's just noticed us and says, "Oh, hello, who are you all?" At which point we say, "Meredith, party of five...same as the last six times you have asked us..." At which point he pretends he doesn't remember that we have told him this six times, apologizes profusely and begins ignoring us again. After about an hour of this, he pretends he feels awful (even though he has most definitely given our table to people without reservations that showed up after us) and tells the bartender to give us drinks on him...which he doesn't...We wait for 20 more minutes and finally are seated upstairs.

Now, the reason we came to Essex in the first place is they have a 15 dollar Prix Fix brunch that includes 3 drinks of your choice (bloody marys, screwdrivers, or mimosas). By the time we sit down, we are damn well ready for these drinks and we all quickly down drink number one. Drink number two and another half goes down with our food-- which I must say was damn yummy. As we finish our food, the busboy notices that we are at the bottom of our third drinks. We are already paying the check and he brings us all drink number 4.

At this point the waitress comes by. "I'm sorry," she says, "but my boss is bugging me to get y'all out here cause it's really busy and we need your table." We look at her like she has four heads. Is this acceptable behavior??? It's our friend's Birthday, we all still have full drinks, and we have only been sitting there for an hour...after waiting an hour for the table that was supposedly reserved for us. We tell her this. She doesn't care. Downstairs we go to the bar with our 4th drink and Meredith, thank you girl, bitches out the stupid guy in the green shirt. We finish drink number four and head out...just in time for a rain shower.

Now, I don't normally have four drinks in an hour on a Saturday night, let alone a Sunday afternoon. It's 3pm...some people are just getting out of church for Christ's sake (no pun intended). And I am drunk. DRUNK. That kind of drunk where you feel a little buzzed at first, but you drank everything so quickly that by the time you are on the subway home it all hits you and you are wasted by the time you get back to your house.

I got home and popped a disc of Wonderfalls (which you all should Netflix btw) into my DVD player and passed out in my bed. I made it through a couple of episodes and threw up. Now I know that was maybe an overshare, but I feel that it is actually quite important for me to share this with you all: NEVER THROW UP AFTER DRINKING BLOODY MARYS. It burns. It burns like a thousand devils. Especially if it comes out your nose.

Needless to say, when I went to Pat and Joe's for dinner I drank only water.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I just saw a dude in the elevator with some hilarious bling. It was a giant Jesus head and his crown of thorns was made of diamonds.

A few weeks ago, my friend Pat wrote a delightful blog posting about how much he hates going to bars in New York City. I am a firm believer that all folks disillusioned with the NYC bar scene just have to get their asses over the Brooklyn Bridge (or over the Manhattan Bridge, or through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel...). I'm not talking Williamsburg. Williamsburg is just an extention of the East Village at this point. I'm talking about my beloved haunts off the ole F Train line. And the best places of all? Red Hook, baby.

Last night, my roomies and I took the trusty B61 down to Hope and Ladder where it's Karaoke night Thursday through Saturday. Andy sang Superstitious and I sang my all-time favorite Jolene by Dolly Parton. There was this little girl there (I'm guessing she was maybe 8...) who sang just about every other song and I wanted to take her home in my pocket. The first time we heard her sing we were all like, "Is this a recording of the chipmunks" and we were looking everywhere for the singer...and then we looked down. This girl was just so fricking cute, and her Repertoire - priceless. I love that about New York/Brooklyn. When I was 8, I had to be in bed by 9pm. This girl is not only awake at 10:30 on a Thursday night, she's in a bar...singing karaoke.

Then it was on to Lillie's, just about my favorite place on the planet ( Lillie's is just about as far out in Red Hook as you can get. There are wild dogs roaming the streets (no kidding!) and when you walk in, you feel like you've stepped back in time to 1956. Honestly, I don't think anything has changed in that place in 50 years. Usually, we're the only ones there at first and then a few other people trickle in over the course of the night. We know all the bartenders and Lillie herself usually rolls in with kisses and hugs for everyone. Last night, we ruled the open mic. Andy and his friend from work performed a million songs. Lillie sang one accapella, and then there was Pearl. Oh, Pearl. She was so great.

We had seen Pearl and her daughter earlier getting off the B61. They asked us if we were going to Lillie's (I guess it was obvious...) so we weren't surprised when they came into the bar later that night. Apparently, Pearl is in town from the Ozarks housesitting for Jan, an Irish bartender who also plays in the bluegrass band The Maybelles (I was wondering why Jan wasn't there...). Pearl is one of those people that has seen a lot of things. You take one look at her and think, "Now there's a woman who's lived some life." Her skin is old and wrinkled, her voice is husky, and she probably hasn't had a hair cut since 1982. When she sings, she sings from her soul and you know she's telling the truth. She sang this one song called "I Burned my Dead Lover's House Down on the Way to Work Today." No kidding. She told us she had this friend who had a lover (yes, she said "lover") who died, and one day she casually let it drop that she had burned her lover's house down that morning. Like it was no big thing. Oh, the stories I bet Pearl could tell.

Lillie asked me for the millionth time if I was going to sing, so, folks, next week I will make my big open mic debut. Andy's going to learn a couple songs to play with me and I will sing. There you have it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I am having issues with pictures on my blog...if there are a million copies of one picture on this page that's why...

Here's the Ren Cen with the lovely People Mover tracks in the foreground.
Pictures from my weekend in the Big D.

I went home this past weekend for the first time in a year and a half. Yeah, that's right. Ask the kids who worked with me last Christmas Eve when I broke down on the phone with the customer service lady at the post office how I felt about this wasn't pretty..."But it's my first Christmas away from home and I have to work and I can't even get my presents! WAHHHH" Oh, the poor woman on the other end of the phone...

ANYWHO~ I went home last weekend.

My sister and I rented a car and drove overnight Thursday with her gi-normous golden retriever who decided it was a fun game to jump from the front to the back of the car over and over again for 11 hours, landing with her huge feet and nails digging into my crotch every time she made it to the front seat. Needless to say, I have some nasty bruises in some nasty places...

Friday we chilled on the lake for a little bit and went to Trader Joe's. My sister and I basically looked like alcoholics. Wine and beer is so cheap there that we both ended up with a cart filled entirely with alcohol. Party on. Oh yeah, and I went to BIFF's Coney Island (Gotta love the name!) with L-squared and Evan, who I haven't seen since the last time I was home. For those of you that don't know, Coney Islands are Detroit restaurants usually found in mini malls that serve a mix of diner food, greek food, and these awesome hotdogs with chili, onions, and everything else you can think of (aka the "Coney Dog").

Saturday was a little rainy so we went to the grocery store AGAIN. We bought lots of yummy things and my aunt, uncle and cousin (just back from Iraq) came over for a BBQ. Oh yeah, my sister's friend Laura also came over (freshly back from 7 months in Sweden). She had a cool new short haircut, and after dinner, we gave it a trim with the old clippers. What fun! Then I went to The Village Place with Lauren. What memories! Village is this 24 hour diner where everyone used to hang out in high school cause there's nothing else to do in Michigan...We saw this kid there who graduated with us with his mom. Lauren thought it was Doug Drazin, but she was way off. It was James Rubinstein (a different nerdy gangly Jewish boy). Good times, good times.

Sunday, I got up early and drove to Detroit to take a bunch-o-pictures for my coworkers so they know what it looks like when we work on Motor City (that show I made up). I stopped at Kroger's to buy some Johnsonville brats, Vernor's and Faygo and then my sister and I started the long trek home.

Overall, a great time. I forgot how lovely Michigan can be. Enjoy the pics.

Monday, August 15, 2005

So, as some of you know, I have been really frustrated with Coke's claim to 1 in 12 odds on their under-the-cap contest. I buy at least one 20 ounce diet Coke a day and over the course of the two or so months they have been running the promotion have never won a single free 1 liter of Coke. 1 in 12 my ass.

However, I think I have solved the problem. My coworker Kirk has been spoiling the odds for all of us. Day after day I continue to not win and day after day Kirk ends up with a winning cap. Seriously, he's won like 45 times...

SO, finally today, to test his luck, as I stood in line behind Kirk at the deli, I made him switch bottles with me. We got back to the office, and sure enough, Kirk didn't win today and I WON my first free 1 liter of Coke. Kirk clearly has some freakish sixth sense for winning Coke bottles and it's draining the pool for the rest of us dammit.
My neighborhood is crawling with celebrities...

1) My sister and I went to see a noon showing of The Aristocrats yesterday at Cobble Hill Cinemas and Rob Cordry from The Daily Show was sitting in the audience by himself.

2) Michelle Williams and her baby's daddy Heath Ledger have been spotted numerous times by me and my roomates in the hood. We figured they lived in Cobble Hill because they were spotted at places like Hill Diner where you wouldn't be traveling from far and wide to go to eat...BUT we now have confirmation. The happy couple is, in fact, currently living on my sisters block in a brownstown at about 2nd and Clinton. My sister was walking her dog yesterday and Linus (the dog) mauled a random dude walking with his lady friend. The dude was Heath Ledger- who apparently beemed and then walked with groceries from Key Foods with Michelle Williams up the stoop to a brownstone. She also passed him on her way back with the dog taking out the trash.

3) My sister spotted Michael Stipe (love of my life, if only he were not gay) sitting on a stoop on Warren between Smith and Court one day.

4) I've spotted Ben Kweller- whose song "My Apartment" is about his Cobble Hill place...

There have been more but I can't think of them right now... just goes to show that celebrities are picking up on what a cool place Brooklyn is...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I am officially falling apart.

1) It occurred to me yesterday that I never got my tax refund in the mail. So, I went on the IRS website and it told me that I needed to know exactly how much I was owed. So I went home last night, fished through my bedside cabinet and found the large white envelope my friend Lisa sent me after preparing my taxes. I open it up and pull out the papers inside and see some lovely stickers on them saying, "SIGN HERE." There are also addressed and stamped envelopes inside. I never sent out my taxes. OOPS. For some reason, when they came in the mail, I opened the envelope, glanced in and thought, "Oh look, Lisa sent me copies of my tax returns, I'll just file these away," without actually pulling the papers out of the envelope and examining them. Needless to say, I am sending these out today.

2) I got a blister on my thumb this morning blow drying my hair. Are you kidding me? I feel ridiculous even admitting this. Apparently my round brush is a bit harsh on the old thumb.

God help me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Actual phone message from Sat. night: "Hey Sam, it's Haley. I just wanted to call and let you know that I was flipping through channels and I saw Kobayashi eating on ESPN. It's Saturday night, so you are probably out doing something exciting and not watching TV, but I just wanted to let you know..."

The sad truth:
I WAS home watching eating competitions on ESPN. I had my phone in the other room and didn't hear it cause I was engrossed in the drama that is the US Open for Competitive Eating. I went out after it was over...

This thing was awesome.

It was at ESPN Zone in Vegas, so all the food was ESPN Zone bar food.

First round I saw was chopped salad. We're talking giant bowls of iceberg lettuce with olives, salami cubes, tomato quarters, croutons and dressing. Unbelievable. The Black Widow won her heat in a landslide victory consuming exactly two of these giant bowls in the allotted time. Eater X (rookie of the year) had great style and took down his worthy apponent. Also moving on were Kobayashi and Ed "Cookie" Harris.

The semi-final round was potato skins (yes, with bacon, cheese and sour cream). 4 lb. plates of them. The Black Widow dominated Eater X-- he didn't even have a chance. His stomach capacity is just not up to snuff yet. Kobayashi killed Cookie with perfect form. He brilliantly stacked one skin on top of another skin kind of putting the potato back together again- and then he ate with these rapid rodent-like bites, turning the potato round and round till it disappeared. Cookie was stuffed. His eyes started glazing over and he just couldn't take down enough food.

The final round: The 6lb. sampler platter. Crudite, Swedish meatballs, spinach dip, tortilla chips, chili, chicken fingers and a buffalo chicken sandwich. The Black Widow put up a good fight, but it was Kobayashi again who dominated the food.

Overall, an inspiring evening.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Last night I sat across from a man on the subway whose penis tip was hanging out the bottom of his shorts. They weren't short shorts either. I didn't know whether to throw up or give him a high five, so I did both.