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Posts from December 2005

Contestant #2: The Goofball

I met our second contestant at a very raucous party.  We danced, joked, took stupid pictures, and, to make a long story short, eventually agreed to go out on a proper date.  I was pretty happy about this, because although he was fun, he seemed like a bit of a goofball, and I was curious to see if there was any depth to him.  Due to M's job, for which he traveled quite a bit, we hadn't nailed down a date when we ended up at the same party the following week.  At the party, we talked about possibly going out later that week.  I mentioned that a mutual friend of ours was having a birthday party that Friday.  He hadn't been invited, but after I asked the birthday girl if I could bring a date to her party, we were all set. 

Although we both knew the birthday girl, he was uncomfortable enough about not having been invited to her party that he waited downstairs for me to arrive, and then we headed upstairs together.  We sat next to each other at dinner, we met some people who clearly thought we were a couple; one woman might have even mistakenly referred to M as my boyfriend, but I don't recall -- don't want to embellish erroneously.  The bottom line is that it was clear from the beginning of the evening that we were there together. 

The evening progressed.  A great deal of sake was consumed by all.  The party progressed from the large common room we had been in for dinner to the birthday girl's apartment (more sake) then on to a nearby bar for even more drinks and dancing.  At some point, I turned around and there was my date, making out with the birthday girl.  I tapped him on the shoulder, "can I have a word with you?"  He pried himself away and we huddled in a quiet hallway.  "Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that I was here with you tonight."  "You are, I'm sorry," he slurred. "Are you sure about that?  Because I want to make sure we're both on the same page here."  "Yes, I'm sure." He kissed me.  In my own somewhat tipsy state, oddly this was enough to reassure me.  We wandered back to the dance floor.  A short while later, I went to fetch a drink from the bar.  I turned around, and my "date" and the birthday girl were at it again.  That was enough.  I walked up to them.  "Happy birthday -- you've got my date."  I turned to him, "have a lovely evening."  I walked out and picked up my cell phone, calling Rob, who was out at 'inoteca with some friends.  I sobbed in the cab on the way there, not over my date (in fact, I was quite relieved that I had learned what a jerk he was so quickly), but over the fact that I was starting to feel like if there was a jackass out there, I could pick him out of a crowd.  Rob and his friends consoled me that night, and luckily, I haven't had another candidate surface since then.

So, there you have it!  Pick your favorite jackass, leave me a note in the comments, and I'll post the winner after the New Year.  Have a healthy and happy New Year, everyone!

Contestant #1: The Young 'Un

I met our first contestant through Dodgeball late one night at The Stoned Crow, and within a week we were actually out on a proper date.  Despite our difference in ages (he is 11 years my junior), I actually found N to be smart, funny, interesting, and good company, but because of our difference in ages (among other things), I knew that N was not a contender for anything serious, but we spent a decent amount of time together, and even actually used the word "dating" once or twice.  Alas, N was about to head off to Australia for a month, but he made it clear that he really wanted to see me before he left town.  After some consultation, we agreed to meet up at some point over the course of the evening, as each of us had various birthday parties to attend in different boroughs, but through Dodgeball and text message, we kept each other posted as to our whereabouts.  Finally, we agreed to meet up at the birthday party I was attending at the Cellar.

N walked in with a woman, came up to me, and said, "this is my platonic friend, Alexa."  "Nice to meet you," I replied, and bought us all a round of drinks.  He tapped me on the arm, "Can I talk to you for a sec?"  "Sure."  We went off to a quiet table in the corner.  "Alexa used to be my roommate, and she has always been a platonic friend."  "Okay," I said, not really sure where this was going.  "But I'm getting a vibe that something might happen with her tonight, and she's going to California tomorrow, and," he paused, "you don't like girls at all, do you?"  "Excuse me?"  "Do you like girls?"  "Um, no."  He took this in.  "Oh."  Pause.  "Well, then I think I need to give things a go with her."  I sat there, stunned for a moment, then glared at him.  "Do you realize what a jackass move you are making here?"  He squirmed uneasily.  "Yeah, I guess so."  "Okay then," I said, pushing away from the table, "have fun tonight, have a great trip, and see ya."  "Yeah, okay.  I'm really sorry about this."  "You should be."  I stormed off.

Moral of the story -- I should not be dating people my brother and sister's age, or if I do, I've got to expect immature behavior.  Then again, many guys to whom I've recounted this story have given him props for at least asking about the potential of a threesome (23 year olds are not known for their tact).  Who knows, in a different situation, he might have gotten lucky, but that night with me, all he got was a nomination for Jackass of the Year.

Coming next, the second (and final, unless something really awful happens in the next 24 hours) contestant.


All of a sudden I realized that it's been a week since my last post -- I guess I needed a break.  Either that, or I had to recover from all my walking during the transit strike.  Either way, I'm back.

The past week has been a blur of fun, food and festivities, from Christmas Eve roast beef with my mom and Stephen, to Christmas brunch at Fran's, to a huge family dinner at Pampano last night.  And, oh yeah, my 35th birthday was in there somewhere (or as my friend Gary called it, my half 70th birthday.  Thanks, Gary -- just remember that you're older than I am).  I still have some mixed feelings about turning 35, and the egg-freezing conversation that my cousins and I had on Christmas just added to the mix, but overall, I'm feeling pretty good.  I started the day with a training session, and ended it surrounded by good friends.  I received birthday wishes (and flowers -- thanks Dad and Joan!) from friends via phone, text message, and email -- thank you all so much for a perfect birthday. 

And now that the year is winding down, it's time for a few things -- I'm going to try to pull some of my favorite photos from the year (although I didn't make calendars this time around), and, of course, you get the choose the Sweet Blog o' Mine Jackass of the Year.  Stories begin soon.

On My New Commute . . .

  • I stopped to say hi to Rick at the Greenmarket in "condiment alley," where he told me that he met someone I know while DJing in his silk pajamas at a bar in the East Village last weekend (does this ring any bells to anyone?).
  • I noticed some very beautiful buildings on 19th between Irving and Third, several with mosaic tiles and a few with NY Public library-esque mini-lions (or other creatures) out front.
  • I fell even more deeply in love with my now-antique iPod (and its shuffle function).

I've decided that "An Open Letter to NYC" by the Beastie Boys is the perfect song to hear on your walk to work on a crisp sunny day during the transit strike.  Other favorite parts of my commuting soundrack included "Rapture" by Blondie and "All in a Day" by Joe Strummer and the Mescalaros.  I'm sure if I were more of a techno-dork I could figure out how to link to clips of each of those songs . . . any hints from the dorks experts out there?

And by the way, I have kept up with my gym regimen on top of my walking to and from work for the past two days, so I'm a bit pooped at the moment.  Off to bed for me.

Dem Bones

At one point, I was convinced that ribs were the perfect food for a first date.  Why?  Well, if I can't get messy eating with someone, they're probably not the right person for me.  Every time I eat ribs I think about this, whether I'm on a date or not.  This weekend's ribs were at Blue Smoke, with Mark, Nicole, Ward, and Rob (who was oddly excited about the prospect of being mentioned on a blog).  Before the actual rib-gnawing began, I introduced the group to Blue Smoke's fantastic sidecars (thanks as always to John B. for introducing them to me), and then the carnage began. 

Saturday included a trip to the gym with Katie (which included Ali's torture devices), some holiday shopping, and dinner with the girls from the beach house at Lima's Peruvian Taste (which was somewhat hit or miss -- skip the sangria, it's way too sweet).  Katie and I had thought that we were in for a relatively mellow evening, but no.  We ended up at Lisa's holiday soiree, followed by a requisite stop at Otto, and finished out with general ridiculousness at Automatic Slim's.

Yesterday, I spent the day enjoying the hospitality of others.  Between GirlyNYC's afternoon get-together and Augie's experiments in breadbaking, I enjoyed stellar company, interesting conversation, and excellent food all day before falling into bed early. 

This is shaping up to be another crazy busy week -- between the holiday events and social plans I'll be sneaking in the rest of my holiday shopping, making toffee, and taking care of the holiday tipping.  I'm thinking of it as the storm before the calm -- I'll be on vacation next week.  Can't wait! 

The Big One

As I mentioned earlier, I'm giving myself a little jump start on my New Year's resolutions.  I have also bought myself an early birthday present.  Since I'm approaching a milestone birthday, I have taken some drastic measures to ensure that I hit the second half of my thirties in top condition:  I started with boot camp, and more recently, I've kicked it into high gear at the gym since I re-joined NYSC a few weeks ago.  Last week was the coup de grace -- I purchased a 20 pack of personal training sessions, two of which I completed last week.

Ali, my trainer, is huge.  HUGE.  I truly believe that he could eat me for a light snack and still be hungry.  His manner, however, is firm but fair.  He's pushy, but in a good way, and even laughs at my self-deprecating humor ("no really, there are muscles under that squishy stuff." "I know.  I see them trying to come out.").  Muscles that I never knew existed are sore from last weeks two workouts, and he has given me homework over the weekend.  I have instructions to do cardio, but not just hopping on the elliptical trainer for a while, no sir.  Ali prefers other, more torturous cardio devices, like the stair-stepper with actual stairs, and my arch-nemesis, the Versa-Climber.  I really think he might be out to kill me.

Tomorrow, spin and yoga, and more of the same next week.  Look out 35 -- I'm comin' to get ya.


The word started spreading yesterday.  "He's out of Iraq."  "Is he in New York?" "Not sure, but he's definitely not in Iraq anymore."  Then later: "I have good info that Dave is back." "Really?"  "Heard from the doctor himself." 


As you may recall, my friend David was shipped off to Iraq at the end of August.  Last night, he strolled into Otto, a little thinner, but all in one piece.  I can barely express what a relief it was to see him in person and give him a hug, and even something as simple as sharing a bottle of wine with him again felt incredibly special.  Welcome home, David!


In the comments of my last post, Kris asked if I cook supremely.  I'm not sure I cook supremely (you'll have to ask people who have tasted my cooking -- any comments from the peanut gallery?), but I do cook.  In fact, every time I cook I realize that I don't cook as often as I'd like to.  Why?  Well, first of all, my kitchen is on the small side.  Not bad for a New York apartment, but certainly not spacious.  I like cooking and eating with friends, and although I can just about squeeze in one other person to chop something while I'm at the stove, I can't really cook with someone.  In my dream kitchen I'll have a big island where friends can sip wine, nibble, and chop things while I'm doing the same.  Now, I just have people sit in chairs near the kitchen so I don't feel left out.  Second, it's really not that easy to cook for one.  Yes, you can cook a large amount and end up with leftovers for lunch and whatnot, which is a good thing (although I have recently met someone who doesn't eat leftovers.  At all.  I find this very odd.), but sometimes I just end up with a little too much for one meal, but not quite enough for two.  Tonight I made simple steamed mussels with white wine, garlic, and chili flakes -- it would have been a perfect meal for two with a salad.  It was too much for just me, and I didn't really think the leftovers would keep in this case, so I threw them out.  Such a shame. 

Regardless, I really do want to cook more and eat out less -- just one resolution that I'm trying to start a little early.  I've also gotten a fantastic coffee mug so that I can bring coffee to work in the morning -- resolution number two.  Stay tuned for the next one -- it's a doozy.

Go Team!

Earlier this week, I went out to dinner with my Gothamist Food team to D'Or Ahn, which recently opened in a sleek, narrow, and yet comfortable space  in Chelsea.  As I was sitting down to write about it, I read Youngna's post, and, to be honest, she described it perfectly, even down to Frank Bruni's criticism of Lannie Ahn, who couldn't have been sweeter to us.  Thanks again to my wonderful, amazing, and inspiring team, without whom Gothamist Food wouldn't survive: Martha, Youngna, Joe, Tamara, and Vittles Vamp (who, sadly, couldn't join us for dinner).