Archive for May, 2008

Summer, It Turns Me Upside Down

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

There are two things I hate about post-Memorial Day.

The first is the beachgoers that travel to Fire Island, the Hamptons and Montauk every Friday afternoon and Monday morning. They all travel on my LIRR line. Why are most of them annoying?

  • They pack three full-sized suitcases for a two-day weekend. I was able to go on a six-day Alaskan cruise with one carry-on.
  • There’s an abundance of grating Long Island accents. You’ll, like, hear, like, the word “like,” like, interjected every three seconds.
  • They’re glued to their cell phones, usually involved in some drama than invokes the grating Long Island accent. Peace and quiet doesn’t exist on Friday afternoon trains anymore. Pre-Memorial and post-Labor Days, you can hear a pin drop on the 5:09.
  • They are often accompanied by yapping pocketbook dogs.
  • They have no respect for daily commuters. They think their pooches and Vera Bradley duffel bags deserve a seat, when neither carry a ticket. They also block the aisle. The daily commuters loathe them. We talk about them before the summer starts and how much we hate summer Fridays.

Well, they’re back with a vengance. (more…)

Under The Sea

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Well, even though my creative energy has been zapped, I was able to muster a slight recharge this past weekend so Lex and I could construct a five-foot replica of an R-36 Redbird for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Yes, us crazy cats are going to march in the parade carrying the replica, which has been decorated in marine life, to commemorate all the reefed subway cars. They are now now part of the underwater ecosystem!

Took us about two days to go about doing so, and involved a lot of cardboad, paint and posterboard. But it looks great, even though we took some creative liberties with it. We’re sure to get yelled at by some foamers. We’re not going to publish photos until after the parade, so come see us or even march with us.

Other than that, life’s been good. Not much has been going on, except for work.  Haven’t traveled since Atlanta, but tried to relive the experience by ordering grits at the deli near my office. New York grits ? Atlanta grits. I highly suggest you stay away. Even McDonald’s has been trying to bring Southern cooking up here, but their attempts to copy Chick-Fil-A = ultimate fail (in fact, a Tulsa Chick-Fil-A was letting people trade half-eaten McDonald’s chicken sandwiches for the real thing). They were giving away their chicken sandwiches for free a few weeks ago. I had one for lunch, but it was bland and slimy. Ugh. But I did discover that a Chick-Fil-A does exist in New York City, at NYU’s student center. I have to see if I can sneak in one day – my co-workers and I are on a mission. Yes, I work with a bunch of Chick-Fil-A addicts. If you’ve never been to one, go – your life will never be the same.

Did go to my annual work Mets game the other day. Boxed seats, sushi, Cracker Jacks – who could ask for more? Had to leave before I saw my name on the Jumbotron, but we always get pictures later. Weird that it’s probably the last time I’ll ever be in Shea Stadium. Chicago is also in less than two months, so that should be exciting. I’ve never been to the Midwest before, unless the boondocks of Western Pennsylvania count.

Nothing much else to report, but I suppose a recent scorecord is in order. Presenting Amanda vs. The World, Part IV: (more…)

Wow, An Update?

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Looks like I’ll have to blow some dust off this blog. Haven’t been writing much (well, besides work) because my creative energy has just been zapped. Plain zapped. But I am hoping to remedy that shortly.

Contrary to my last post, life is good and I’m finally getting back on track with things. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling since February, including Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Boston, Las Vegas and Atlanta. Thankfully, not all has been for work and I’ve been able to enjoy myself by visiting with friends, going to shows and just walking around. And, of course, I spend many a day toodling around New York.

Vegas was certainly interesting. I went to go see Journey and its new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, at the Planet Hollywood Casino in March. It was sort of a last minute thing for me – I had free tickets from Southwest so I pretty much hopped on a plane and went for the weekend. The show was okay – definitely wasn’t the best Journey show I’ve been to (if you feel like watching it, the whole concert is here on YouTube). Arnel is the spitting vocal image of Steve Perry, so it was just like listening to my Greatest Hits CD. I did something I normally don’t do for concerts and sat throughout most of the thing. I just felt strangely apathetic to the whole experience. They’re coming around to Jones Beach in August with Heart and Cheap Trick, but I’m just going to to get the $31 nosebleed seats. Orchestra is $131 – yikes! I remember paying $60 for third row in 2001 and getting a backstage pass to boot. The “I Love All Access” packages – which give you a chance for a meet and greet and tent access – cost something like $400. Rip. Off.

Best part of Vegas was seeing my West Coast friends. Even though I saw a lot of them when I went to San Francisco last July, I hung around with a lot more people I’ve talked to for years but never met in person. My overall impression of Vegas was “Eh.” I like Atlantic City so much better. Vegas is just so damned expensive ($11 for a White Russian!), even though I wound up spending only about $250 the whole trip – and that included the hotel, food, the concert, gambling and sighteseeing. I did win $150 towards the end of the trip, so that offset a lot of my costs. But I did get the Vegas thing done and over with, and don’t know if I’d go again unless I had a compelling reason.

After the lackluster Journey show, some of my East Coast friends got together to go see tribute band Evolution in Bay Shore. Now, if you want a Steve Perry clone, Hugo would be it. We had a lot of fun; might I mention that it’s pretty pathetic when a tribute band does better than the band it’s emulating. It was great seeing my girls again, and we’re all heading to Chicago this July for the Journey To The Cure Sparkle Tie Gala, where Steve Augeri and Kevin Chalfant will be perfoming.

And in other concert notes, New Kids On The Block got back togeter. YES. What a way to take me back to being seven again. A co-worker and I spent two hours in the pouring rain to see them on “The Today Show” on April 4. Rumors were circulating that they were going to sing, but to my disappointment, they only announced that they were back together and that an album and tour were in the works. However, I was only four feet or so away from Jonathan Knight, so my life is somewhat complete. They’re going to be back on “The Today Show” on May 16 to actually sing, but after standing in that crazy NKOTB crowd, I think I might skip it and just go to one of their shows in September. (Yes, there were 20- and 30-somethings shaking and crying. And screaming, “Marry me, Jordan!” Some things never change). I am amused that their first show will at Z-100’s Zootopia, also starring Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.

My brain is fizzled. More later.