Saturday, December 31, 2005
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
1. Funniest memory of 2005
2. Biggest personal accomplishment of 2005
3. Biggest professional accomplishment of 2005
4. Most inspiring moment of 2005
5. Biggest decision you made in 2005
6. Most difficult decision you made in 2005
7. Biggest disappointment in 2005
8. Someone who did something nice for you in 2005 – what did he/she do?
9. Someone you did something nice for in 2005 – who and what was it?
10. Stupidest thing you did in 2005
11. Smartest thing you did in 2005
12. Most challenging thing you did in 2005
13. Weirdest thing you did in 2005
14. One new thing you tried in 2005
15. Name a new person you met in 2005
16. Biggest purchase of 2005 (monetarily)
17. Best purchase in 2005 (emotionally)
18. Strangest thing you saw in person in 2005
19. Strangest thing you saw on TV or online in 2005
20. A good joke you heard in 2005
21. Favorite outfit in 2005
22. Something you’re sorry you did in 2005
23. Someone you owe an apology to for something you did in 2005
24. Someone who owes you an apology for something he/she did in 2005
25. Who did you have your biggest fight/argument with in 2005?
26. One person you made laugh in 2005
27. One word to describe your year
28. One word that you hope describes the year ahead
29. Personal prediction for 2006
30. Professional prediction for 2006
We spent Christmas Eve at the O'Neills for the first time. It was a lot of fun to be with all of my crazy Germano cousins.
Christmas day was just Ernie and I at my parent's house. we managed to amuse ourselves anyway.
It was our first Christmas in the new house with our little tree.
Some of these photos have spots on them. Especially the ones in the cathedral and around my dad when he opened his Christmas present. It is something wrong with my camera? Or is it the spirits of loved ones who have passed?
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Now if I could only come up with a good story.....
Well, seeing as it is the week between Christmas and New Years and every one of my clients and the Search Engines themselves are all closed - I am bored, bored, bored. I already updated my Friendster profile, worked on MySpace and read The NY Times online. So what next? I read Steph's blog, not updated. Deanne's blog. Anne and Josette have obviously taken a blogging hiatus, as has Searchviews. So I had nowhere else to turn but to Miss. Doxie.
I read two entries and was peeing my pants at my desk. I literally had to stop reading and look out the window because I was crying from laughing and didn't want my co-workers to see me. You see, our boss is out on vacation and I am the Senior team member this week aka The Man. It would be very unprofessional for my team to see me hysterical over reading a blog during the work day. But there I was.
And so, Miss. Doxie you now have my vote. Not that you need it. She has zillions of comments for every blog post. Oh my God. I just read one about a shark encounter she had while helping to clean up a beach after one of the hurricanes, oh my God...If you're looking for a laugh.
So now I will add Mss. Doxie's blog to my list to the right. Please read her in good health. And Miss. Doxie - keep up the awesome posts!
So as we wind down and head into 2006 I thought it might be fun to look back on the early blog posts. I suggest you click on a few of the archived weeks in the right sidebar. It is really fun.
For example, I forgot that back in January when I packed up clothes to take out to the first weekend on the farm I put them in Rubbermaid containers to protect them from all of the sawdust and mess that would be generated by the construction. THE CONSTRUCTION! Construction from CONTRACTORS! ha, ha, ha. Little did I know......where are those contractors anyway?
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I'm practicing the songs right now. You can easily find lyrics online. Drink a bottle of wine and see what you come up with. I bet Ruth would do this with me. Let's do it.
I told Ernie if he would just become a rock star I could sing like this and market the crap out of it - all while fulfilling my soul.
Check them out - The Be Good Tanyas. They are so cool. And we can do the same thing girls. The harmonies are all a 5th. The lyrics are all old traditional songs. All we need to do is come up with melodies - easy.
Seems so easy.
Isn't it easy? I have such a crush on them. I want to be a Tanya. Be a Tanya with me, please?
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
January 1, 2006 New Year's Day
Join the Coney Island Polar Bears for their 103rd annual New Year Day's swim, 1:00 pm, on the boardwalk at
This year we will again be hosting the Special Olympics New York. Make a pledge to the Special Olympics and have a hearty pre-swim breakfast at the New York Aquarium while enjoying the penguin and walrus feeding and sea lions show.
The Coney Island Polar Bears wish to thank all the sponsors for their support: Special Olympics New York, the New York Aquarium, Jimmy Dean, Junior's Cheesecake, Coca Cola, Statewide Coffee, Crowley Foods, Aunt Butchie Cakes,
Saturday, December 24, 2005
My merry, merry boys,
The Christmas log to the firing,
While my good dame she
Bids ye all be free,
And drink to your heart's desiring.
With the last year's brand
Light the new block, and,
For good success in his spending,
On your psalteries play
That sweet luck may
Come while the log is a teending.
Drink now the strong beer,
Cut the white loaf here,
The while the meat is a shredding;
For the rare mince-pie,
And the plums stand by,
To fill the paste that's a kneading.'
- Robert Herrick (17th Century)
Friday, December 23, 2005
I told him I wanted a divorce and he told me I was just stressed out. I decided he was right and then he wrestled me to the ground (If you don't get it, then you just have to click on the link and figure it out for yourselves).
Today is actually the true Festivus, we just decided to start a day early because I was already pissed off. Well, it worked and now we are all made-up and having our Festivus Feast - well, if you can call a bottle of Pinot Noir a feast. Last night we ordered a deluxe pizza after the AOG, so maybe you can call that the Festivus Feast, if you want.
You can actually buy a Festivus Pole, but we didn't this year. This year it was really more about the AOG than anaything else. Maybe next year we can do the pole thing. I think it can double as a vertical bike rack the rest of the year, or a prop for a stripper, depending.
You may be surprised to know that Festivus is a true holiday. I guess it is a way to clear out all of the old crap so that you don't carry any grudges or negative crap into the new year. It allows you to accept the Christmas, Hanukkah (MSWord spells it with one K, Google spells it with two) or Kwanza presents without any guilt, because you can really feel like you like, or even love, the person who is giving it to you (now that you've gotten all those grievances out in the open).
I have to say that I don't have many disappointements to air to all of you. You have all been faithful Blog readers this year.
I guess do feel that you could contribute more, though. It would be nice if someone wrote back once in a while. I mean, Tony C. tries every so often, and when he does it is a pisser (I know I have been using the adjective/adverb piss a lot in this post. Ernie just told me that Tony C. used to be in a band called Piss. How cool. Would love to hear some of that). But come on. Linda? Hello! I know you are reading this. Why don't you ever write? Randy? Steph? What gives? Are you guys all take and no give? Show me the love. And what about my dearest, who loves to be a backseat blogger but won't ever step up to the plate himself? MIL? You too...
Anne - your write so well, you're blog kills me every time, and I rarely write to you, so I won't include you in this airing. But Josette is another story, and I have no way to know whether or not Aunt Francie has been lurking here....
Now that I have a house - even though I don't live in it - I vow to hold the yearly Festivus. On Dec 23rd we will gather to honestly Air Our Grievances and then show feats of strength before enjoying a Feast and exchanging crappy re-gifted Festivus gifts.
Then we will all get drunk on Boil-o (photo courtesy of Google Images - Michael, you should be careful what you send to the nether regions of the internet - don't blame me Josette, I almost pissed my pants when I searched Boilo on Google Images and it gave me this...) and wake-up two days later to a truly Happy Holiday.
Friday, December 16, 2005
AP - 5 minutes ago (via Yahoo! News)
"WASHINGTON - The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Here is a little quote, "... The animal appeared to be a cross "between a cat and a fox" and may live in trees during the day, coming down at night..."
"...slightly larger than a domestic cat with dark red fur and a long bushy tail...has very small ears and large hind legs, was spotted in the Kayan Mentarang national park in the mountainous jungles of Kalimantan, where vast tracts of rainforest still remain..."
These mammals also can be spotted sleeping on beds and scaling to the tops of acoustic double basses in apartments in Brooklyn and homes in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. There have also been a few spottings at the beach and in the woods...
Give the people what they want - I always say...
This is a nice one on a snowy December morning. Ernie as "Ocean Man" in Barbados...
And here is a little Green Monkey - mon, hanging out by the beach...
And, when we were tan. It lasted, like, a day...
Ahhhh. Now I feel much better. When I woke up this morning to more snow and wind all I wanted to do was pull the covers up over my head. But looking through my photo library reminded me of lovely warm Barbados. It is a place of happiness. You should go there. Maybe we'll buy our next piece of real estate down there - kidding! Shut up!
Don't get me wrong - I do love winter. Remember this?Notice the giant aluminum soup pot on the ground behind me? It must have fallen off my sled. That's right, sled. Remember?I don't know if we will be spending much time out at Adzentoivich Woods this winter. But last year sure was fun!
BTW - My sister says she likes Scions. What!? It must be an LA thing, because she isn't a 22 year old car-enthusiast boy trying to make it into 2Fast 2Furious 3 - or is she?
Next thing I know she'll be serving Turducken for Christmas.
Monday, December 05, 2005
I was so proud of myself for actually writing again and now I find that nobody cares about what I might have to say - they just want to see some goofy phots instead. So OK, here are a few to tie you over until the Holiday pics are ready...ENJOY!
The Family at Dad's 60th Birthday Non-Surprise Party:
Autumn in Adzentoivich Woods:
Godzilla wishing you a Merry Christmas (you didn't think we could get the hat on the other one, did you?):
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Did anyone have Turducken for Thanksgiving? Other than Tony C, of course, who tells me he wrapped his turducken in ham and cheese, then deep fried it - yum, yum. I know he's kidding 'cuz if he isn't I am going to have to alter all of my Wedding photos to remove him from the party - and I really have much better things to do these days.
Traffic. Hate it.
I swear that drivers take Gran Turismo 4 and Grand Theft Auto (video games, for those of you not of the Gamer generation) to the streets. Sort of like how the NASCAR drivers practice their skills with the EA Sports NASCAR video game during their off time.
I mean, here I am driving along, la, la,la...singing along with Lite 106fm, who went to an all-Christmas-all-the-time radio format on Thanksgiving day (I guess their programmers and DJs get an entire month off for the holidays) minding my own business when WHAM! all of a sudden a car appears in my rearview going about a zillion miles an hour. I watch my mirror and hold my breath as he comes up on my tail (oh, sounds a little fresh...) and cuts it hard to the left just a fraction of a second before slamming into my rearend (he, he, he - you can tell driving terminology was created by men), veering his car into the left lane narrowly missing my left fender and giving me a heart attack. Then I watch the guy do the same thing to three other cars before he is quickly out of sight.
I don't get this style of driving. There is no point behind it other than to scare the shit out of other drivers and to see just how close you can get to another car before swerving. It is like every other driver is an involuntary participant in an ongoing game of 75 mile per hour chicken. But then how come I get pulled over for speeding?
Oh my GOD, I just found what could become my new addiction. Maybe someone will get this for me for Christmas? Steph, you need to get it to prepare for Daytona!
I also spotted a few accidents on the way back from the farm on Sunday. One was a little Scion or something equally boxy and ugly, that had somehow gotten itself turned around facing into oncoming traffic while the passenger side was jammed up against the Jersey barrier. I saw two kids inside. The other car involved was a Lexus or Infiniti SUV sitting up ahead a ways as if nothing had happened, and I swear I saw a woman with blonde hair and perfect makeup in the driver's seat. I had to think this was a game of highway chicken gone terribly wrong. And guess who was the aficiando?
Stereotyping? Sure, maybe, but I am now beginning to understand the appeal of the SUV. And all the while muttering to myself - "where do these kids learn to drive these days?"
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
And I'd better not hear of one single person having Turducken this Thanksgiving. It is the most vile concept I have ever heard of. Demonstrates the vulgar over-indulgence and complete disregard for the natural world that is so prevalent in this country. Gross.
If you have no idea what Turducken is, I applaud you. But here is a link. Let me know if you find it equally repugnant. Supposedly it is a Cajun delicacy so it is all over the news in homage to New Orleans. It was the most searched term on AOL this week (good thing nobody is searching for useless things like Tom DeLay...or Troops in Iraq...).
BTW - all three animals have no bones, explain that one to me. This is what the people with the upsidedown Christmas trees are serving for Thanksgiving this year - I betcha.
It's just wrong!
Monday, November 21, 2005
Yes, that is right. Nominated for a nomination.
What that means is that Starting Over has been submitted to the pool of possible Emmy nominees in the category of Music Composition. This means that Ernie, along with the other composers, are in the running for a nomination.
So if you happen to be in the Academy and are allowed to vote for who gets nominated, then please vote for Starting Over (who, by the way has already won a few Emmy's for past seasons).
The nominees will be announced in February, so stay tuned....
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
So me, Mrs, Jinx and Godzilla got in the car and dropped daddy off at Laguardia Saturday morning. The ride to Stamford was quite uneventful as I find it usually is as long as Mrs. Jinx approves of what is on the radio. Usually she prefers anything top 40, not hip hop, rap or KROC type stuff. More like Kelly Clarkson and Rob Thomas. And usually she likes it when I sing along (but sometimes not).
So Saturday morning I tried something different and tuned into Public Radio. They were playing old-timey stuff like Sinatra and the like. Mrs. Jinx was quiet as a mouse (Godzilla ia always an angel, it is the primadonna we always need to worry about) until some female crooner came on. She did not approve - not one bit. This woman apprently has just released a compilation of Irving Berlin tunes. Well, Mrs. Jinx did not give her a favorable review. I was forced to switch over to WPLJ - greatest hits of the 80's, 90's and today! She calmed down almost immediately. Crisis (and headache) averted.
That evening as I slept on the foam mattress in what will someday be my master bedroom, I was awoken by a strange feeling at the top of my head. I open my eyes a crack and in the dark of night I can just barely make out the silouette of Mrs. Jinx peering down at me from the pillow above my head.
She was sitting on the pillow pawing at my scalp! It seems she was trying to pry loose strands of my hair from between my head and the pillow. She was going at it with such intensity. It was almost like she was trying to tease my hair into some odd up-do. The thing is, as soon as she got a small clump free SHE STARTED TO CHEW ON IT! I immediately became 100% awake and brushed her off the pillow screaming "What is wrong with you! Are you insane?" and went back to sleep.
Later - I have no idea how much later because it was all like one long nightmare - I was re-awoken to Mrs. Jinx noshing on my hair again! I twisted my neck to see her and she was staring into my face with this look of utter concentration. I swear she wanted to eat through to my brain. This time I pushed her off the foam bed completely and pleaded to Godzilla to protect me from her. I threatened to lock her out of the bedroom. Since I was on the foam mattress I was basically on the floor at prime cat access level...I was completely exposed!
It happened again. I am not kidding. It was right out of some teen horror flick. I am sure she was intent on eating my head, had I let her. Straight through the hair to the scalp, to the brain. Like she isn't smart enough? Now she wants my brain too?
This time I think I scared her because she didn't come back for fourths (at least not that I am aware of).
Later on that morning, when I woke up at a more normal hour, there was a clanging in the basement. I hadn't gotten out of bed (off the floor) yet but assumed it was the furnace turning on. Well, it must have disturbed Mrs. Jinx (who was sleeping now that it was daylight). The next thing I know I see the bedroom door slowly swinging shut. As it shuts I see Mrs. Jinx is behind it, on two legs, pushing it with her front feet until it closed. She was sort of walking along behind it until it shut all the way. Once shut she sat there and looked at her reflection in the mirror that hangs on the back of it.
Is this normal behavior for a cat? I mean really?! I am afraid of her.
Have I ever bothered to mention that Mrs. Jinx weighs a whopping 7 pounds?
Monday, November 14, 2005
We had a family dinner at my parent's house on Saturday to commemorate him. As I was driving home down East Avenue in Norwalk I saw a huge shooting star/meteorite/firework blaze acros the sky. It was so bright and fast that I gasped and said "Oh My God" out loud to no one. It was huge and for a minute I thought it was a missle or something that was going to land right in front of my car. It was frightening. So I quickly made a wish - just in case it was a shooting star. So far I don't know if my wish has come true so I can't tell you if it was a star or not.
I kept looking in the sky to see if maybe it was a firework there would be more. I didn't see any more.
So thanks Uncle Bernard. We were thinking of you too.
I tried clicking through my Target link in the original post but Target no longer has the upsidedown trees on their web site!
Anyone know what this is all about?
It just gets more and more strange...
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Stay posted for updates.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Now I am convinced it is the end of the world. Or at least the end of intelligence on this planet - or at least in this country.
What the fuck?And it's $499!
This is no joke. I wish it were. There was actually a story about it in Yahoo! News this morning.
The argument for this innovative new product goes something like this:
Oh goodie. More room for larger and a greater number of presents. Maybe this idea was brought to us by our friends at Wal-Mart: Wouldn't want to stifle consumerism this holiday season by limiting the number of large gifts that can fit under anyone's tree. Right?
I guess to be fair I should mention that some web sites claim this was the original 12th Century tradition. But, whatever.
Here're my questions
1. Can any Christmas Tree be turned upside down and hung from the ceiling - or do you have to buy an entirely new tree made for this purpose?
2. If you do indeed need to purchase a whole new tree, can old rightside-up trees be traded in towards a new upside down one? Sort of like the Government plans to do with the new digital TVs?
3. Will people now need to install Upside Down Christmas Tree brackets on their walls and/or ceilings?
4. If so, will these brackets become standard features in new McMansions?
5. Is it gauche to hang a silver or white Christmas Tree upside down? Is it only fashionable to have a natural fake upside down tree?
I suppose for those of us living in small urban apartments (recently reduced, by the way...) this will become all the rage, since all of the promotional material touts these upside down trees as being perfect for "...using a minimum of floor space, the unusual tapering shape allows the tree to stand in places that do not accommodate a traditional holiday tree, such as between two armchairs or in a corner." But if I see one in anyone's place this holiday season - and there is drinking involved - I might just have to turn the thing rightside up.
Friday, November 04, 2005
It was such a flash back to 1995 and the scene of my last NIN concert. I saw Trent Reznor and David Bowie at The Meadows outside of Hartford, CT. That same year I also saw Marilyn Manson and The Beastie Boys - those were great times. Driving around CT in my convertible Toyota Celica thinking I was all the shit blasting my CD player with the booster under the seat. Ahhhh...memories.
Flash forward to 2005. Here I am, 30+ something years old. Working my ass off 10 hours a day for the Man. Buying houses, getting in debt, trying to have babies. And I shrug it all off for one night to go see one of the original loves of my life - Trent. I have to say he is looking mighty buff. Gone are the days of the Heroin Chic. His arms were like guns. His thighs looked very thick in his leather jeans. His hair was shot on the sides and floppy on top - but still jet black. He still had the moves though - and is still sexy as hell.
The band was incredible. They were so tight - of course. I explained to Randy the Pro-Suite rig that sat in front of us on the floor. He was a but dissappointed to hear that bands play their tracks, loops and fills a la computer and just sort of sing and play along on stage. For me it was really cool to look at the show from a more technical perspective and try to figure out how they were getting the sounds, etc. No matter how they did it - they sounded excellend and had more energy than I could ever muster.
They played all the favorites; Head Like a Hole, Animal, Hurt, etc., etc. Trent got all political in the middle of the show and brought out the old video projector with images of tanks, bombs and George and Laura dancing in the ballroom. Nice. The crowd went wild.
And speaking of the crowd - they were all old. Well, mostly old. My age. Not so many Goth kids. I mean, I was one of those Goth kids at the show in 1995 - I suppose we all were. Instead I saw guys wearing their suit shirts tied around their waists. Old fat guys behind us got so wasted on the $9 champagne that was being served that one of them was asked to leave - only problem is he couldn't really make it up the stairs. Hilarious and sad at the same time. I hate to think NIN has lost their cache with the younger audience. It's a shame if they have because this was a real live old school kick-ass rock and roll show. Something every kid needs to see at least once in their lives.
The kicker (isn't there always a kicker?) is that Ernie came home from his rehearsal and said "Kevin had backstage passes for that show but he couldn't go because we had rehearsal". WHAT! He could have given them to me had Ernie mentioned anything the day before. So I missed my chance to hang out with Trent and the guys. Maybe next time.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Thinking back to that day makes me feel especially grateful to all of our friends and family who have been by our side over the past seven years. I love you all and only wish we could all see each other more often. I appreciate everything each of you has done for us and the support you have given, specifically through this past year.
Unfortunately, nobody owned a digital camera way back in 1998, so I have no digital wedding photos to post here. Perhaps I will scan some one of these days.
Thanks Ernie, for being my best friend and going on this crazy adventure with me. I love you.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Craig's new record, Lapland is so good. You should buy it. Craig used to be in a band called Shudder to Think. He is such a nice guy. He currently writes the music for the Comedy Central show Stella. Craig is a great songwriter. The band is Ernie, Kevin March on drums (from Guided by Voices) and Kevin McGuiness on guitar. These guys are hot. The next show is next Friday 11/4 at the Living Room on the lower east side.
Has anyone ever said to you "Not to name drop but, nobody ever calls me anymore except U2. I wish someone else would call me once in a while." WHAT!? Sometimes it just amazes me how my life has become such a twilight zone episode- now I'm going to go bid on some keywords...
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Truthfully, I enjoy reading other people's lives online. The problem is that lately I have not had very much time to keep up to date with all of my blog reading. The last thing I read from Anne was about her poor neighbor with the sudden and unexpected brain tumor. It broke my heart and made me extremely paranoid (surely my recent lack of memory is related to my very own latent brain tumor!). I thought, this is bad. Very bad. I can't keep reading these things until I learn to seperate my life from the lives of those I read about. Some strange psychoses that I seem to have developed in my later years. Don't ask.
Deanne's Blog seems to have fallen by the wayside, which is a shame because that was much more scandalous and explicit than The OC, Desperate Housewives, or any other evening Soap. And I have neglected poor Josette's Blog for far too long (whose latest entry I see is entitled "Bug in a Cup"). I do apologize my sisters, and I promise to read again if you will only continue to write.
So I apologize and thereby retract anything I said that may have offended my fellow Bloggers. Please, Blog away and I will keep reading as much as I can.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I mean, I constantly think of things and then think to myself "Hey! This should go on the blog!" but then I wonder if all of this blogging isn't just self-indulgent and annoying to others. And of course I know that if what I write is irritating then a person has the right to continue reading or to remove the Blog address from their bookmarks folder, never to return. Either way is fine, really. I thought that was the whole point, in the beginning.
I think now, however, after reading other personal Blogs, that I don't really want people to think I am self-indulgent, flakey, conceided, pompous, etc. I mean, I am sure I am all of these things, but that doesn't mean I need to point it out, does it? And I especially don't want everyone to think I have poor grammar or spelling skills - all of these typos really show me off in a negative light. It's a lot of pressure, to be sure.
So anyway, for now I am laying off the blog posts. And besides, it seems I have become increasingly busy at work, with no time to slip in a blog entry during the day and no desire to do so when I wake up in the morning or after returning home from work. So if anything AMAZING happens, or if I see anything completely outlandish in my daily travels, I will surely report it. But I need to rethink my overall blogging strategy before reinstating the daily "diary" entries.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
[When we called on Saturday] We were trying to get to you to borrow a chainsaw. We had a HUGE tree down across the driveway. Our Saw is in the shop (plus it is only 12 inches).
Frank Savitsky, who has like 75 chain saws, was nowhere to be found.
So we called the other neighbor when on Sunday we still hadn't removed the tree. So he comes over with his dad's saw. 20" Echo (expensive) and proceeds to do short work of the tree, we get it out, start drinking Yangs [Yuengling Beer] and smoking ciggs.
Real man over wilderness type stuff.
When he asks, "you got any other trees you want to take down while I got the saw?"
If anyone ever asks you this SAY NO!!!!!!!!
But we didn't know any better.
So, this guy [Mike] and I pick the tallest meanest thickest tree that is right next to the driveway, and he proceeds to go to work on it.
It sOOOOOOOOOO should have fallen into the woods, but this tree decided to fall back over the driveway. On the way down it pinches the saw blade and proceeds to take the saw out.
The saw is in Like 2 pieces and the blade is so bent that it is only good for cutting around corners.
So of course Nancy and I feel realllllly bad and give him a check to help pay for a new saw for his dad. (The whole point of borrowing a saw was to not have to buy one) so now it looks like we have to buy 2 saws; one for the guy and now one for us to get the new monster tree out of our driveway. Cuz of course Nancy and I were too stupid to put our cars on the other side of the tree, so now both of our cars are traped up by the house.
So Nancy and I hack an alternate path through the woods [Go Big Blue! Nothing like a 4x4] and drive around the downed tree to freedom and LOWES.
On the way we get a call from my parents' friends who were in Atlantic city all weekend, and they have a saw we can borrow.
So we go and get the saw and it is a 16" blade and the tree is like 4 feet in diameter.
So we spend like 2 hours trying to get a cut through, which results in us finaly getting the saw bound up in the tree and haveing to use the truck to pull a section of the tree I cut out of the huge monster tree. It finaly works after like 4 tries and the saw is free and we have a huge 3' x4' piece of tree and the 2 other huge ends.
The neighbor comes back and has an idea of driving his truck into the woods and
hooking a chain around the shorter stump and hauling it off of the road . We rig it all up and in a few minutes the tree is clear enough so the hyuandi can get through.
Monday, October 03, 2005
So today we buy a house. We are closing on the house in Stamford but we aren't moving in today. Nope. We are just closing and then coming back to spend the night in Brooklyn. Frustrating, really. But for us it makes no sense to move everything and start paying the commuting cost until we have an accepted offer on our Brooklyn apartment - which we don't. So instead, we are bringing some stuff that we know we won't need anytime in the next month:
1. One bottle of Blue Caracao Liquer
2. One bottle of Grenadine
3. One bottle of Godiva Liquer (seeing a trend here?)
6. More, books
7. Old towels
8. Old sheets
9. 10 bars of soap
10. 3 cans of refried beans
11. 2 boxes Macaroni & Cheese
12. 3 bottles of hair conditioner
13. Winter parka (hopefully we won't be needing these anytime soon)
14. Did I mention books?
15. 1 kitchen chair
I have no idea how we ended up stocking up on things like soap and refriend beans, these things just happen I suppose. So we will be carting off our unused back-stock of goods. I am sure the house will feel homey in no time at this rate.
I had to throw in the kitchen chair because once I took a minute to think about it I realized that there will be absolutely no place to sit in the house while drinking our Blue Hawaiis, reading books while gnoshing on macaroni & cheesey refried beans.
OK. My husband is barking at me from the other room to get off line and help him "get ready to go". I am guessing what he really means is "please get in here and keep me from pulling out every strand of my hair while I bang my head against this mirror and smoke 200 cigarettes..." So I'd better get in there before I end up with a nut job on my hands.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Really, it's not.
One Realtor gave us an appraisal and set the asking price at $549,000.
Four weeks later 12 people have been through to see the place. We close on our new house in a week. There is no buyer in sight. Panic is beginning to settle in.
This weekend, three new Realtors came by and gave us appraisals. Guess what? $30k less than what we had it listed for. Oh yes...$30k.
Today we spent all day going to open houses in Brooklyn. Comparable prices. Crappier apartments. Seems that for the money, at $30k less than the current asking price, our apartment can't really be beat. The issue lies in the neighborhood which is still undergoing change. The old adage "location, location, location" has never been more evident. If this place was a few blocks to the West we would have had 3 offers by now.
Then we get four realtors to agree to a non-exclusive listing agreement at 4% commission. The fifth one wants a one month exclusive at 6% and won't budge. She also wants to list it a tad lower than the $30k discounted price, thinking it will cause a bidding war. Problem is, if we go with her plan our Net income will be less than if we go with the other guys. Of course she is from the biggest conglomerate in NYC - Corcoran. And so thinks she can outsell any other "local" realtor, making her worth the extra $10k commission. Well, we disagree.
So now I am going to try to host another open house of my own tomorrow night at the new asking price of $519,000. We'll see how it goes. After tomorrow we will open it up to our three new realtors and give the new price to the original guy who set the price too high to begin with. Hopefully this price reduction will create a "feeding frenzy" as they like to say around here. Maybe next weekend we will have a buyer. Let's hope so.
If you know anyone interested in a great 1+ bedroom Condo in Prospect Heights Brooklyn, please send them my way. Thanks.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Since Jenna has been in La La Land she has appeared in several films and TV commercials. I believe this will mark her first musical wide-release. Though in her former life as a struggling NYC actor, she did appear in many AFT musical theater performances across the country (didn't we all?!). She was also my roommate when I first moved to NY, and lived with my sister in College and in Brooklyn way back when in the 90's.
Of course she looks gorgeous and I hope her new records sells lots and lots of copies.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Adzentoivich Music and Plexus can also be heard on the current season of The Real World on MTV. Check episode guides for when and where.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I searched my name (Adzentoivich). No surprise that out of the 100 results 98 of them were linked to this blog. What was cool was that some blog about Sinks linked to an entry on this blog going back to when we bought the farm house and I described the old kitchen sink! Another one was a link to a blog that mentioned a show that Ernie played the bass in last summer.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
I am going to warn you that this post will contain many, many photos. You know what they say, a thousand words, and all that. So sit back, grab a beer or a rum punch, a shot of whiskey or maybe a glass of wine, and get set to chuckle at the (mis)fortune of others (depends on your POV, afterall). Cheers!
The Cats' first visit to the farm. Mrs. Jinx took immediately to the laid back lifestyle of country living.
Godzilla, on the other hand, ventured outdoors for the first time only to realize he much prefers the warmth of a down comforter and the comfort of canned citified.
While the Cats spent the weekend discovering the joys of country life, Ernie and I decided we needed to buy a rototiller. Because we planned to cultivate a 500 square foot vegetable garden this summer.........
We harvested 2 squash and a handfuls of baseball sized tomatoes. Oh yeah, and a cucumber.
One weekend, we repaired a busted water pipe that brings water from the spring to our house
(for the first time)....It runs for about a mile through the woods, above ground, prone to trees falling on it...
I planted our Orchard and did my best to design a landscape layout complete with marked off future walkways, thematic areas i.e Japanese Garden, Formal English Garden, etc. I explored my inner Martha (as opposed to Anne's inner Mimi).
We enjoyed the beautiful Lilacs that bloomed around the farm. We had violet and white.
One weekend we saw a beautiful full rainbow...
And an awful Snake (actually, it wasn't poisonous or anything, just gross, and much too close to the house). This same weekend we were informed by our neighbors, Frank and Rose Savitsky, that there were bears in residence on our mountain. Yep, bears. They told us stories of the bears coming right up onto their front porch and looking in through their windows, of ripping down bird feeders in the yard. We only found out later that they keep an arsenal of weaponry in their house, cars, barns, garage and God knows where else. They aren't afraid of no bears. Their giant dog, Pepsi, is a good bear deterrent too. She is a big Doberman Pincer. This was enough to convince me that I would never go to the farm again. Me and snakes, guns and bears, we don't get along.
In mid-May we went to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it is known to geeks everywhere. The purpose of this trip was to get Ernie connections into the gaming world so that he can write music for games. This really is big business and Ernie soaked it all up like a sponge. The Expo is extremely impressive. I know there are pics in the blog archives so I don't want to bore you with redundancy. However, if one picture is worth a thousand words....Now just getting to this point in May has taken me a good 40 minutes. I don't see how I am ever going to get this apartment ready for tomorrow's open house, but I must persevere. So on I trudge through Blogger interface hell.
While out in LA for E3 we also visited Santa Barbara wine country and a little town called Solvang. If you have seen the movie "Sideways" you will be very familiar with this little part of the world. Ironically, neither Ernie nor I had seen the movie before deciding to take a trip up there. It just happened to be the closest wine country to LA (and was an easy overnight trip in my brothers brand new bright yellow Chevy truck that he so kindly loaned to us during our stay). Add to that the delicious Abelschivers (sp) they serve up there for breakfast and you 've got yourself one helluva nice weekend getaway.
Luckily for you, dear reader, I seem to have taken no pictures in the month of June. June was not a particularly good month for us. Not much to report but a stroke of crappy luck. Call this the misfortune part of our story. So better to just move straight through to July.
We hosted a bang-up 4th of July weekend out at Adzentoivich Woods. Unfortunately, most of our friends were unable to make it out of the city due to either their lack of transportation, our lack of indoor overnight shelter, or a combination of both. But I do think those folks who did make the trek enjoyed themselves. My mom came out to the farm for the first time and her first question to me was "were you on drugs when you decided to buy this place"? I do think she warmed up to the place after a day or two. She is a product of the suburbs afterall, it isn't her fault. My sister also came out from Los Angeles and spent the weekend with her friend Aimee building a clear path through the woods leading to the Swimming Hole, which turned out to be the highlight of the summer.
Ethan drove down from Boston and Gerald and Genevieve came out from Red Hook.
The Hyatt's drove out from their place in PA and brought their two Labrador Retrievers. We also saw Anne and Marc for a few hours. Josette stopped by with Mike and her mom and the girls (who took advantage of my new swing!) for a bit as well. The festivities were topped off by fireworks at Ernie's alma mater, Mahanoy Area High School.
We installed Grandpa's Head sculpture.Mommy and Daddy spent the entire summer renovating their kitchen, dining and living rooms. Admittedly, that wasn't part of my summer, but she keeps asking me to send photos around...Gone are the avocado green counter tops and dark wood cabinets. Now they have fine recessed lighting, granite counters and custom cabinetry to last through the ages. They even have an appliance garage. What could be more appropriate in a Wood family kitchen I ask you, than a garage?
Ernie and I made it out to Jones Beach a few weekends, but you won't see any of those photos here. Not only are they unflattering for the obvious reasons, but I also managed to get a raccoon style sunburn that lasted weeks before fading.
Ernie got a contract to write a season of music for the NBC daytime show Starting Over. This is a big deal for Ernie and for our family. Ernie's name will be in the credits at the end of the show, so if you happen to TiVo it you should probably be able to pause the credits long enough to pick out Adzentoivich. I mean, I expect it will take up quite a bit of screen space, right? Another small step for Adzentoivich Music. The new season starts in the next week or two, so check your local listings.
The wackiest thing we did this summer was decide to buy a house in Connecticut but not to tell anyone about it. And by anyone I mean my family. A 1910 Bungalow in Hubbard Heights, Stamford. Our closing date is set for early October and at this point my parents both know about it. Of course, when I told them the house was in Stamford I got the exact response I had predicted "Why Stamford? They don't have very good schools" (Uh, OK...we have no children. See October 2004 and June 2005. Besides, this is absolutely untrue) and "That isn't the best neighborhood you know" and "well, if you think that is a good price...", etc. Precisely why we didn't want to tell them in the first place, or at least not tell them until the contracts had been signed.
My Dad said "It looks small and cozy"...HELLO? Do you know how much small and cozy costs? And besides, we currently reside in 730 square feet with no outdoor access....if this house is small and cozy what do you call where we are now? How about the 350 square feet we lived in for the first 4 1/2 years we were married?
My Mother-In-Law said "well, I guess you's know what you're doing...". FIL has said nothing yet, at least not to me anyway.
But the contracts are signed and now all we do is wait until 10/3. Oh yeah, and try to sell our place in Brooklyn as quickly as possible (see previous post). Some pics of the new place:
We have a sickness, or The Sickness as we like to call it. We like to buy houses. And for some reason we prefer them to be old and in need of repair. Don't know why or where we caught it from because neither of our parents like old houses, nor do any of them own more than the one they live in.
Luckily, this new house has already had lots of TLC put into it; a new kitchen, new half bath, paint, landscaping, wiring, floors have been redone, lolly-columns in basement, etc. So we won't have too much work to do, but there is enough to keep us busy through the fall and winter when we won't be out at the farm.
We went to a great Pickin' Party in PA with Anne, Marc and Sebastian (their son) at an old drive-in movie theater which was bought by one of their friends who has a bluegrass band. There was free food and beer, a stage, a bonfire and an all out jam. It was a lot of fun. Anne looked to us worriedly as we walked in saying "I should have warned you this would be just this side of Deliverance", but really, it wasn't.While Ernie, Anne, Marc, Sebastian and I were at the Pickin' Party, the fourth Riotto was traveling Europe with a mutli-state concert band. When Anne came to the City to pick her up at JFK a week later, she stayed over night at our place in Brooklyn. You know, to make it easier. This was when the infamous theft of the mid-90s Toyota Camry took place. I am happy to say that the car is back with it's family and in fine working order today!
At the end of the month I went to the Pocono 500 with my mom and dad. You know, NASCAR. My favorite sport of all time. It was actually a lot of fun. My mom didn't complain about the heat or the noise, there was a nice breeze and Jeff Gordon didn't win. We met the 3 DAs from Brooklyn Heights who sat in front us of (see previous post), hit no traffic in either direction, I got to drive the Lexus home. It was a fun day all round.
My FIL ended up in the hospital in Las Vegas after going months with a bad cough and not seeing a doctor. Luckily for him he had quit smoking back in March after his trip out to visit the farm. Turns out he had been walking around with Phneumonia and ended up a week in the hospital and another month on IV antibiotics at home. He made himself well enough in time to come out with my MIL for an extended visit at the end of August, however. He wasn't about to let any "camel jockey" doctor tell him where he could and couldn't go (no fooling, I think he actually told the nurse that).
Ernie bought a Tuba off of Craig's list. Some guy from Philly drove it all the way to Brooklyn. My FIL is now known as Tuba-Lou.
The Walshies came over and had a big rum and coke party the first weekend the In-Laws were in PA. They are a crazy bunch of kids. They told stories of how they used to all get thrown out of bars for starting fights when they were first married.
And the funny thing is, Walshie just got in trouble with the law for Road Rage on his way to AC and is doing Community Service at a local church, he just turned 70...some things never change. But you couldn't find two nicer people than Bill and Diane. They helped us out over the winter when we had no idea what we were doing out there in the woods. I mean, we still have no idea what we are doing, but at least we can fake it better now.
Even with the rum and coke I couldn't stay out there long in the dark. I was convinced the bears would be out for an evening snack, and I didn't want to be it.
While they were here we mostly just hung out at the farm. My MIL jarred tomatoes fresh from the farmer, and made some garlic pickles (my favorite). My FIL spent an entire day driving back and forth across Schukyll County looking for the best weed wacker he could find. Once he found it he spent the week wacking weeds all over the farm. The other thing he enjoyed was burning the garbage and riding the tractor for hours at a time. Go figure.
A thousand words......The In-Laws ended their visit with Sunday dinner at the Savitsky's up the mountain. We all went up for Halupkis. What are Halupkis? You ask. Well, they are like little balls of stuffed cabbage. Actually quite good. But the point I am trying to get at here is that the Sunday afternoon dinner turned into a private gun show, of sorts. It began with Frank explaining to us that every one of the guns in their house was kept loaded at all times. He then proceeded to bring guns two and three at a time out of the master bedroom to show to my FIL, who is a former hunter. These were mostly rifles, big ones. But he also had a little sack with a few hand guns in them. He also told us that their coat closet is full round with guns on all three sides and the ceiling. They keep that door locked, thank God. I was just a tad bit uneasy. My MIL and Ernie just carried on a conversation with Rose as if there weren't the possibility of one of our heads being blown off at any second. Ernie told me to relax - of course he did.
You can't convince me that anyone needs to own that many firearms for any reason. He also told us proudly of his military surplus torch that he keeps in his truck in case of emergency. I mean, he is the sweetest guy, don't get me wrong. But now I know that I should never, ever, ever get on his bad side. As a matter of fact, he offered to go down to our place while we were away to "take care" of the groundhog problem we've noticed this summer. I didn't notice any problem, just a few cute, fat groundhogs hanging around the place. No big deal. Right? But OK, whatever you say. Who am I to argue. If something needs killin' I am certainly not the one to do it (or to ever think that something "needs" killing...except maybe a snake, and even then...).
Ah well, Labor Day and all that. We ended our summer with the first true vacation we have had in over 2 years. We found a great deal on Travelzoo for a trip to Barbados. I am not kidding you. It was $500 per person for airfare and 7 nights hotel, including breakfasts and transportation to and from the airport. I mean, are you kidding me?
So we didn't expect it was going to be the best place on the island. We didn't know what to expect so we prepared for the worst and just figured we wouldn't be spending any time in the hotel anyway. Well, I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. We stayed at the Allamanda Beach hotel, which is on the South Coast. We had all access to the sister hotel the Amaryllis Beach Resort which was just a bit down the street. It was lovely. We had a little kitchenette and a balcony on the Sea. The breakfasts weren't bad, especially for free. The beach at the Amaryllis was beautiful and there was a reef for snorkeling right off the shore.
We took the Bajan buses all over the island. Usually the independent small white vans. These are like gypsy cabs that speed along the narrow island roads, on the left side of the street, blasting "Kisoc" music, which is like Calypso, Soca and Hip Hop combined. They would pick up every girl on the side of the road, regardless of how many people were already squished in the van. There were times when people literally sat on top of one another.
The island is so humid it is like existing in a sauna. The water is so blue/green/turquoise and warm that you don't mind the humidity as long as you have access to the beach. Ernie dubbed himself Mr. Ocean and never wanted to come out of the water. We spent a day at Crane Beach on the Southeast Coast which had 3 - 4 foot swells. Swimming there was a bit of a challenge to say the least. We saw wild monkeys.
We took a bus up to the Northernmost tip of the island. To a place called Animal Flower Cave. We had to walk a mile through the Bajan countryside to get there. Ernie swam in a tidal pool inside a cave hanging in a cliff over the Caribbean. It was idyllic.
We met a few nice people, all of whom traveled on the Travelzoo special. It seemed that every American on the Island that week was from the Northeast; NY, PA, DC, VA. We met a cool couple from Philly, Alex and Tamara. He is a Sculptor/Chef and she is working on her MBA at Wharton. There weren't many tourists on the island at all. The Bajan Crop Over Festival was held a few weeks prior and once that is done they are in low season until December. So it was pretty quiet and it was easy to hang with the locals and soak up the culture (and the rum).
There is a Bajan Friday night Lime (a Lime is a party where people hang out) in Oistins at the fish market. It is the Fish Fry. They had two DJs and a whole bunch of booths where different people sell different sorts of fish, fish cakes, macaroni pie (yummmmm), rice, etc. Banks Beer cost $1.25 US (the Barbados $ is $1.98 to $1 US). We were told that on Friday night "everyone in Barbados will be there", but they also sell fish dinners at lunch time and on other nights of the week, just on a smaller scale. The native specialty is Flying Fish, but unfortunately for us there was a shortage of Flying Fish last week and so we ate a lot of Marlin instead.
We went on a catamaran cruise and snorkeled with Sea Turtles, at a Ship Wreck and a large Reef. I fed the large schools of fish and found out that I have a "nice bumper". We also found out that we don't live in Brooklyn, we live "Upstate", as far as people from the West Indies are concerned.
I could go on and on about how fabulous it all was, but really it will mean nothing unless you go and experience it for yourself.
I highly recommend signing up for the Travelzoo Top 20 email newsletter if you enjoy travel.
I really need to go and start cleaning this apartment or we are never going to sell it. This blog entry literally took all day to put together. Blogger doesn't make it easy to format the text with the pictures in the body of the post. It was the first time I tried it this way and I don't think I will do it again.
I will post picture of Barbados separately. Maybe tomorrow after our open house. Peace.