Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to Send a Christmas Card to a Recovering American Soldier

My friend Ellie posted the following information on her Facebook page that I wanted to pass along. She recommended that for their of you out there who are sending out Christmas cards, to take at least one card and send it to a recovering American soldier.  

The address for sending said card is:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

The deadline for sending cards is December 9, 2011.

The 2011 Holiday Mail For Heroes program is administered by the Red Cross, and funded/managed/screened gratis by Pitney-Bowes. Here are the rules: 

Card Guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country. Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

- All cards being sent in for should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.

- Ensure that all cards are signed. Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

- Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.

- Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

- Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
We encourage participants to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

- Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient's recovery.

So do a little to bring a bit of happiness to those who are giving so much of themselves for the freedoms that we enjoy everyday.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To Like or Dislike Tim Tebow

I have asked this question a few times, both to myself and others. Why is Tim Tebow disliked and hated. I can probably say that it has to do with a few things. 

As the adage goes, nice guys finish last. In this case, it remains to be seen whether or not Tebow succeeds, people really seem to hate the guy because he's living the dream that we all would like to live. Allow me to elaborate. 

I hear that he's being given a chance rather than earning it since he doesn't have the necessary talent to play the position of Quarterback. He's overrated is another thing I hear about him. That remains to be seen. Who's to say that his way of playing the position is wrong. I thing people get to caught up in Pre-conceived notions of what a quarterback is. I also think people hate the kid because he's smart, eloquent, good looking, defined and shaped by his beliefs.

Tebow is a very strong believer in God. That is probably the big reason why he's hated. One gentleman I spoke to told me that he hated the fact that Tebow always seemed to mention God. His practice of taking a knee and giving thanks to God after a scoring play has been ridiculed by many including opposing players. But my thing is what's wrong with that. If Tebow was trying to preach from the Football field and pass judgments on others then maybe I can see some of the resentment. But the fact that he given praise to his savior shouldn't be a reason to hate the man. They are his beliefs. He's not the first athlete to praise God. He won't be the last. Remember Reverend Reggie White?

The way I see it, in this sports landscape of douchebags, dead beat dads, drug users and cheaters a person of Tim Tebow's character should be a role model rather than being vilified. He lives a clean lifestyle, spending much of his free-time helping those in his community and many within poor communities around the world. I guess most people today find it cool to love the "Bad guy" over the "Good guy". In the case of Tim Tebow, I hope he succeeds so he could shut up all those detractors and haters.


- Click Here to access Austin Murphy's article You Gotta Love Tim Tebow from dated July 27, 2009

Monday, November 14, 2011

MTA Closing Late Night

So it was announced on the WNYC blogpage by Andrea Bernstein in a post called City to Put Brakes on Some Subway Service Overnight that the MTA will be shutting down lines during nighttime hours and some lines completely during the entire weekends in order to perform construction normally done piecemeal during the weekends. For those of you who know me, know how much of a critic of the MTA that I am. As much as I wish I could get all upset and frothed at the mouth like a rabid dog about this AND as much as I don't like the plan, I'm surprised it too the MTA this long to implement it. It really is the most realistic way to go about it. 

Consider this: that much of the NYC Subway system is over 100 years old, consists of over 600 miles of track and runs in it's entirety 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. To maintain a system of it's size and depth without interrupting service is virtually impossible. Take the London tube as an viable example. In segments it is older than the NYC Subway and It shuts down from 2am-5am for cleaning and regular maintenance on most lines if not longer on others. Most other cities shut down every-night from about midnight to 5am if not earlier.

For those who are complaining about the fares, that's where our money is going. To make sure the repairs that are necessary get done. I'm going to feel the inconvenience first hand when my lines get shortened in January with no service from Grand Central to Atlantic Avenue. I guess I'll just have to leave early and detour to get to work. Let's hope it's like the MTA says: Performing work in this manner is expected to shorten the overall duration of projects, minimizing customer inconvenience and maximizing worker safety

I hope they are right.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Got Kicked Out of the Bar For Being Honest

Our bar is not necessarily a place where stealing occurs. As with any bar stealing can happen but its rare at our location. What I do find that tends to go missing are darts. There's a reason why we charge a $10 dollar deposit to replace darts whenever they go missing. But the predicament gets compounded when private darts go missing. That's what happened tonight.

We have regulars who like to bring in their darts. Just like we have pool regulars who bring in their sticks. So tonight we had some regulars who in total had 3 sets of their own darts. They left their darts on the board and went out for a smoke. No biggie, right? Here comes the issue. This other guy who was playing next to them took the set he rented and brought the private darts thinking they were bar darts to rack up the deposit money.

When I saw that he took the private darts up to the bar, I told him that they were private darts and that he needed to pur them back where he found them. He walked back to the dart area and placed them on the rail. But as things work in this business, my "Spidey-Sense" went off. My gut told me things weren't as they seemed. 

I went outside and told the dart owners to go make sure all their darts were there. And as my gut instinct is very rarely wrong, there were a set of darts missing. As I go to approach who I believed took the darts, he walked over to the owner and returned the darts, which he had hidden in his pocket. 

Upon his returning of the disputed darts, I told the thief that he needed to get pay his tab, get his stuff and leave immediately. So he did and left leaving us with a little note on his credit card slip that said: I'm getting kicked out of the bar for being honest. No fool, you got kicked out for being a fucking thief. You were lucky you didn't take some other regular's darts who would have popped you in right in the mouth. The nerve of some people. To even think that returning the darts after placing them in his pocket makes it right and that he is the vicim here is just wrong. People are delusional.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Survived Halloween 2011

Yesterday was the first Halloween that I worked as a bar-tender and I must say it was a doozy of a shift. Thanks to the main man John, we had a record night (well at least for me) behind the sticks. There are a few things I want to touch on here in this post. Let's do this.

Why is it that people who are out on a busy night like Halloween are such assholes. I mean really, who asks for a Manhattan, a Cosmopolitan and a Dirty Martini when the bar is three to four deep. Have some consideration. it's not all about you and the fancy cocktail that you want. Sure I made them as my job specifies but I sure didn't like it. LOL.

Here's the opposite, who in the Benny Hill asks for a recommendation for a shot when the bar is three or four deep. Don't ask your bartender who is completely swamped with people waving glow sticks, hats, hands and in one case bare breasts to get his attention so that you can ask them for what they recommend for a shot. Even worse, don't ask them for a Halloween Special shot. Really now. Its like asking a bartender at an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day to make you a Green Irish themed shot. He or she will pouring a Guinness and a Jameson and you'll drink it. Damn amateurs. Know what you like an order it. Keep the sampling for a night that's not busy. A bartender like me won't mind experimenting on a slow night. You might even get to sample a few shots for free. 

This point is something that goes back to my post on how to take control of your money. You have no idea how many people swiped their cards for a one or two drink transaction and then came back to use their cards again. The irony is that I overheard the same people complaining about banks and the current state of affairs. Well let me tell you buccos, you're doing what the banks want. Reckless and frivolous swiping of your cards (be it Debit or Credit) just makes the banks more an more money in the form of fees. If you damn well know that you are going to have more than one drink keep the damn tab open. But no, some of these obnoxious fools just keep swiping swiping and swiping. Poor fools.

Ok peeps. I'm swamped. Hope you had a safe Halloween and may your hangovers be minimal an somewhat painless. BTW, the request of the night was made to Izzie when she was asked: What kind of drinks to you have? Damn amateurs. LOL.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Funnyman in the Booth

Never let it be said that MTA Token Booth clerks don't have a sense of humor at 5:00am. I walk down to the Uptown Bleecker Street Station and ask the token booth clerk "Is the 6 train running?" The man says something which I don't quite understand but gets a big smile from him.

He notices that I don't understand what he says and he repeats himself and says: The 6 trains have no legs so they can't run. They roll instead. I have to admit that I chuckled at that answer.

Considering that the MTA is usually pissing me off, it was good to laugh for once. Well played you cheeky bastard. LOL.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Waking Someone on the Train

I often wonder about what kind of judgment some people use while riding the subway. That is bad enough to think about during "normal" riding hours. Multiply that tenfold during the late hours that I ride on the trains. Allow me to elaborate on what I mean.

I was riding the train after work last night/this morning and the train had a mix of people coming home from work, those going to work and those coming back from Friday night's entertainments. I tend to sit in the middle of the car. Why? I'm not sure. Perhaps it's because I'm a creature of habit in certain aspects of my life. To be honest, during the late night hours, the corner seats tens to be occupied by sprawled out sleepers and/or homeless people. To get to the point, apparently there was a guy either sitting asleep or had his legs on one of the long corner seats while asleep. Nothing strange about it, right? Well, here comes my source of wonderment.

This older guy gets on the train and yells out "Wake up and get your feet off of the seat". Naturally he startled everyone on the train including the sleeper who the message was intended for. The older guy who was of a decent size decides to sit directly across the now awakened and pissed off man to further browbeat him. He tells him that it's illegal to occupy more than one seat while on the subway. Now, while that is true, unless you're a police officer why stick you're neck out. Sure the older dude was wearing a baseball cap that had the word police written across the side but I would hardly say that his hat would qualify him to be a law enforcement official. 

So the man continues to bust this dude's balls to the point where the awakened man tells him to "Just shut the fuck up already". That seemed to end the now truly amusing exchange between the two men. The sleeper went back to sleep and the old dude was left grumbling about God knows what. Ok, so you would think that would be the end of my little tale. Nope, not quite. Fast forward the train ride to the Hunts Point station in the Bronx.

The train pulls into said station and the sleeper gets up to get off the train. As he steps off the older man yells something out at him and starts wagging his index finger at him. The man steps back on the train and looks like wanted to throttle the man. He, unlike the older man, showed better judgment by just exiting the train avoiding any further confrontation. The older man focused his attention a teen who got on at Hunts Point and was wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. The older man told the teen "Now that's a team" while pointing at the hat. The teen just opened the side door and went into the next car. LOL.

I mean what are people thinking. What if the dude who was sleeping had a bad day, a bad week or a bad month. Why risk putting yourself in a position where you could be assaulted or worse. People need to learn to just mind their business and just sir there quietly. You hear of it often enough in the news (and on YouTube) about how the person who stuck their nose in someone's business on the train got the taste smacked out of their mouth. Come on now people. Just ride the iron horse and get home safe. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Mob Boss Lives In Parkchester

I'm waiting at the Parkchester station waiting for the Downtown 6 train when this older black man wearing a tan trench-coat does his his best to get my attention. Grudgingly I take my headphones off and listen to what he has to say. Here goes the brief exchange:

"You live around here?" He says
"You can say that" I respond. The man points toward the Parkchester housing development and says:

"You live in Parkchester?" I shake my head to indicate that I don't. He continues:

"You see Parkchester there? It's corrupt. The mob boss lives there and runs the place. If you don't work with him, you get ran out of there"

I try to remain as serious as I can when I answer: "I didn't know that. I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in Parkchester" 

"Yes. Do." he retorts with a grave face. 
"Are you from New York?" He adds. I answer in the affirmative with a nod to which he responds "I'm from South Florida" and he continues down the platform to the end.

Well, that solved one of the questions I had on my bucket list. Now I know where the mob boss lives. He's in Parkchester. Splendid!! I wonder if he has one of those apartments similar to the one my sister has in Parkchester. Maybe he has deluxe accommodations. 

You would think that I would pose an intimidating figure while waiting for the train. Maybe I should have left the stash instead of shaving it. Gotta love NYC.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning Something New Everyday

I've made it a point in my life to try and learn something new everyday. I believe that life isn't worth living if you don't learn something new. Something new causes you to think, to imagine and to learn something you hadn't known before.  The new nugget of information doesn't have to be something monumental. Something simple would do just fine.

A good source that I found resides right on the Google home page. If you look under the search bar on Google's page, you'll see a clickable box called "I'm Feeling Lucky". Clicking on this box takes you to the Doodle 4 Google page which shows the Google logo drawn in honor of different event such as Days of Independence of various countries and birthdays of different historic figures. If looking at those doodles and what they signify doesn't peak your curiosity I don't know what will. 

To go back to my original point of learning something new everyday day, what have I learned that's new. Last night while watching an episode of How It's Made on Science Channel On Demand, I saw how Barbershop poles are made. Not only that, but the narrator explained why those poles were important historically. Not that I doubted the narrator's description of the history of the barber pole, but I decided to do some research of my own.

According to

The modern barber pole originated in the days when bloodletting was one of the principal duties of the barber.  The two spiral ribbons painted around the pole represent the two long bandages, one twisted around the arm before bleeding, and the other used to bind is afterward.  Originally, when not in use, the pole with a bandage wound around it, so that both might be together when needed, was hung at the door as a sign.  But later, for convenience, instead of hanging out the original pole, another one was painted in imitation of it and given a permanent place on the outside of the shop.  This was the beginning of the modern barber pole.

See what I mean? How many of you out there can say you knew that. 

Today I came across an article on one of my favorite blog pages called Past Imperfect which is hosted on This blog site has a variety of historical articles. The one I read recently was about Pablo Fanque. Fanque was an expert equestrian, tightrope walker, acrobat, showman–and Britain's first black circus owner. Not to spoil it for you (since I know you will read it now that I included the link for you ;P) but there is a connection between Pablo Fanque and Beatle John Lennon. 

So go out and read, load up your RRS reader with a multitude of informative blogs and articles, explore and learn something new today and everyday.


Debit Card Fees or To Swipe or Not to Swipe

I've had a number of conversations as of late concerning a number of topics. I just wanted to touch on one of them. In recent days it has been announced that Bank of America is going to start charging a five-dollar monthly fee for those customers who use their debit card at least once a month. I'm not of the parameters of which accounts will get charged or not but people are up in arms and to a degree its understandable. Given the fact that Bank of America was given a bailout by the government makes the move smell like greed and feels like a smack in the face to consumers. While some consumers can (and will) pick up the picket signs to let their voice be heard by Bank of America, there are a few steps that can be done by consumers that I feel will be beneficial in the long run.

- Close your Bank of America account(s)
This is probably the simplest one of all. Don't like what a bank is doing, then take your money out. Plain and simple. A few years ago, Commerce Bank which now known as TD Bank announced that they were going to start charging Checking account holders in NYC a fee. When I inquired to see if the bank fee was across the board for all account holders in other states, the bank representative told me that only account holders in NYC were being charged. I close my accounts. Don't profile me because I live in NYC. Commerce, TD Bank or whatever they are called is not the be all, end all option in banking. There are options. There are always options.

- Do your research and invest locally
In this age of internet information you can do proper research on just about anything. The same applies to banks. Look around online at local banks in your area to find the best option for you. Maybe you won't have the luxury of having a gazillion ATMs in your backyard as with the big banks but sometimes investing in a small bank is what consumers need. Check out this website Find A Better Bank for help in doing what the name says.

- Go back to relying on cash
This is the big one for me. I believe that consumers have gotten so used to the ease of just swiping plastic that we have forgotten to be fiscally responsible. Why do I say that? You really think its efficient and prudent to swipe your card for a two dollar cup of coffee or a five dollar bottle of beer? As I stated on Facebook the other day:

says that people, especially the younger generation that has gotten so used to just using debit cards in their daily routines, need to get used to carrying cash. Carry cash=no need to use debit=better budgeting=no need to pay fees

You can't imagine the number of people I come across on a daily basis in the bar that don't carry cash. The rely entirely on debit cards. The thought to me is just astonishing. I feel weird when I leave the house and don't have any cash. I hate relying on using my debit and/or credit cards for everyday purchases. I try to use them only when making substantial purchases. If consumers would budget themselves properly there wouldn't be the need to swipe for a cup of coffee. Invest in gift cards. They work just as well as a debit card and can be refilled often earning reward points depending on the store.

If we as consumers take the power from the banks, we'll eventually return to the days where banks courted us for the privilege of putting our money into their vaults. But that won't happen until we stop being lazy and just swiping for the sake of swiping. We need to re-learn and adjust our spending habits. As my friend Jeremy said the other day: Cash is King. Do I think we need to go back to the age of stuffing our mattress full of cash? No, not at all. Banks have their uses (paying bills, storing money, storing items in safe deposit) as long as we maintain control of our situations. We have to live within our means. Not above it. If you use cash, then there is no reason to swipe thereby no need to pay a fee to swipe. If you don't have cash? Then you can't get in trouble by overspending. Right? Makes sense?

It starts with us one baby step at a time. Yes? No?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Full Moon Over Bleecker Street

Sometimes I complain about my job and the shit that I put up with. This is not one of them. A couple of regulars walked towards the bar talking about a girl who was on the corner with her ass all hanging out and her the back of her skirt was riding on the top of her ass. From my perspective at the front door I couldn't tell. So I waited to see if she'd walk by. And as if some divine being granted my wish, here came stumbling up the block was Miss Cheek-a-popping out. 

This young chick was with a mixed group of about 10 people or so and was walking by with her ass hanging out. It was literally hanging out. And where was her skirt you might ask? It was riding up on the ridge of Mount Gluteus Maximus. Her ass was way too big for her way too little skirt and to add insult to injury she had to be held up by two friends cause she was very hammered. She was not a pretty sight. But wait, there's more.

It was bad enough that she walked by once, but as I'm outside with John she walks by a second time. As she walks past us, her big ole white ass was aglow under her panty hose for the whole of NYC to see. I yell out at her "Your ass is sticking out. Cover that ass up" as she feebly pulls the back of her skirt out. Man, someone needs to take that woman home an put her to sleep. Nice friends she has. NOT!

That ass reminds me of the time many many moons ago (no pun intended, LOL) where someone U know (who shall remain nameless) needed to pee after drinking in a club and proceeded to lift her skirt and squat in between two cars to pee. Unbeknownst to her, she flashed her big ole white ass in the direction of some Japanese tourists who were with cameras in hand taking pictures of her from the back. That was classy and priceless. But that my friends is a story for another day.


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Zing of the Week

These three ladies are walking by the far and look inside and say in abvery snooty manner "We're not going in there" to which I respond "Why not?"

One of the girls points to the world famous Bleecker Street Bar "No Clowns" sign and says "No Clowns are allowed" to which I say to her "Well I guess I wouldn't have been able to let you in anyway".

The girl stopped in her tracks astonished that anyone would say that to her. A number of regulars who were outside smoking just broke out into loud laughter.

Zing-a-zing-a-zing zing. Barump bump bump!!! I'm here all week folks, don't forget to tip your server. LOL.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 10 Years Later

10 years can sure fly by in the blink of an eye. Though my life has changed tremendously since the fateful day in American History simply known as 9/11, looking back on the day it seems like yesterday. Thinking of the sights, sounds and smells brings up instantaneous goosebumps. 

I don't want to make myself more important that I am with my last statements since there were many many others whose lives were changed for the worse, especially for the family and friends of those 2977 civilians, 343 FDNY, 23 NYPD. 37 PAPD and 8 private EMT's whose lives were taken. This is how I remember that day.

Being a native born New Yorker I have seen my share of events in this city be it through TV, radio and/or live including watching the original attacks on the World Trade Center during February 1993 on TV. But nothing that I knew could brace me for the events of Tuesday September 11, 2001. The irony of the matter was that I was at the World Trade Center site that day before Monday September 10, 2001. There was a vibrant shopping center/mall space there and I remember stopping off at the Borders book store purchasing a few paperback novels, a few donuts from the Krispy Kreme and taking the E train on my way to the Bronx.

I was staying at Brigette's place (at the time we were still dating) on Castle Hill Avenue. I woke up to go to work and put on NY1 to see the footage of one of the Twin Towers ablaze and wondering aloud to no one in particular if this was a commercial for a new movie. Looking back on it how naive of me was it to think so. Soon enough I realized that this wasn't a concept from the mind of a movie director but in fact real life. I changed the channels on the TV and saw different angles of the same image. I truly knew that something horrible was happening. Though the images of that day's events are crystal clear in my mind and soul, the time frame is blurred so forgive me if the series of events are convoluted. The next few events seemed to happen in rapid fire.  Little did I know how bad it was. The second plane hit the other Twin Tower. The first building hit succumbed to the structural damage it sustained in conjunction with the burning jet fuel causing it to come crashing down into itself and those who were inside an around the area. The clouds of dust and debris seemed to take a life of their own when the second building collapsed adding it's own cloud cover to the area which could be seen for miles around. The mass evacuation of survivors had begun into Staten Island, New Jersey and into the outer boroughs and other areas. For possibly the first time ever, the city that never sleeps was silent, in mourning and numb.

Two nights later I was working at Bleecker Street Bar and could smell the the remains of the WTC in the air. I can still smell the stench now. A week later we were able to enter state and federal building in downtown NYC under new security rules. Life as we knew it had changed.

To show you how much things have changed technologically, I remember walking my dog Buddy and over-hearing kids saying to themselves "I think I heard that something happened in Manhattan today". Yes kids something indeed had happened. Today not much happens in the world that we can access and find out about in the virtual blink of an eye. And here we are 10 years later in another virtual blink of an eye.

In closing this post I would like to briefly mention two people. One is my friend Lourdes Vega who worked  in the World Trade Center complex and was in one of the buildings. She was able to make her way out to safety and the chaos that was 9/11 was occurring around her. The story of how she got out and the events that unfolded around her are chilling and I won't dare go into them here since I can't do it any justice. She was able to survive and move on in life creating her own family enjoying the same freedoms that those who attacked us would try to extinguish. Nothing I can say will ease your experiences of that day. All I can say that I'm glad that you are here making the world a better place. Love ya.

The other is Frank Mancini. I went to High School with Frank and found out a few days after 9/11 that he was one of the 2977 civilians declared dead. I believe that he worked at the World Trade Center. We didn't always see things eye to eye in the good old days but you were a fun dude to hang out with at the Le Club pool hall under the El and at the strip by Astoria Park. You were taken way too fast. May You Always Rest in Peace and crack jokes and make people smile in Heaven as you did here on Earth. Love ya bro. 

May all those lives taken on that fateful day in NYC, Washington DC and in Pennsylvania Rest in Peace.


Drugs Are Bad?

I'm here at the bar eavesdropping on a conversation that this group is having regarding drugs. Some of the drugs that were mentioned were Ecstacy, MDMA, Acid and Mushrooms. I have to admit that for as knowledgeable and savvy that I believe that I am, I have NO idea what drugs are about. I don't have a clue what MDMA, ecstasy and acid look like let alone know how to take it.

Now let me clarify something right off the bat: I Don't Regret Not Taking Drugs. It's not something that I really ever wanted to do. I be the first to admit that I don't like the smell of pot. The smell repels me and I can count on less than 10 fingers how many times I have smoked weed. It's just not something that I like to do. 

I do have to say, that listening to the people talk about how much of a feeling of camaraderie and enlightenment that they say they had on this drugs with others is somewhat enviable. What is certainly enviable are the feelings of creativeness that seems to reach close to home with me. As of late I seem to be suffering from a lack of creativeness that stems from a variety of reasons. To hear them say that their being on the drug gave them the feeling that a part of their imagination that has been lost was active again was amazing. That it felt as if many dormant synapses in their brain has come to life causing their brain to open up with life is intriguing.  To feel as you were as a child running around without a care in the world does indeed sound ideal. This does create a bit of conflict. What to do.

Does that mean that I'm going to run out and do a shitload of drugs? LOL. No, not at all. Like I said, they aren't something that I strive for. But as seen recently in the plot-line of the movie Limitless, if you were given the opportunity to age a pill to open up full usage of your brain, would you say no?

Just makes you wonder.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Post-Hurricane Irene

Here we are the day after Irene and the winds are still whipping around us. At least the rain has stopped which means that those areas that have flooded will have a chance to have the waters recede. So how did the storm affect me.

To be honest, gladly the storm didn't hit as was predicted. Staying up all most of the night watching movies on Netflix (Iron Man 2, Fire and Ice and Operation: Barbarossa) and drinking coffee, I have to admit that the rain and wind were quite soothing. That's easy for me to say since I live on the top floor of a private house and didn't experience any flooding or power outage. The worst thing of the storm was some broken branches, leaves and a lack of cable TV.

All in all, I believe that the administrations of Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo did the right thing by shutting down the MTA. Even though I still believe that it was a "knee-jerk" reaction (to Mayor Bloomberg's bad handling of the blizzard last winter) to the storm, I would hate to imagine how bad it would be with the tunnels flooded in Lower Manhattan and passengers stuck on trains, as well as, cars being at the mercy of high winds on the bridges. Already there is limited bus service and hopefully full service will be restored by the time I have to go to work tomorrow night. I'm just glad that (as far as I know) everyone that I know came out of this safe. Back to the daily grind tomorrow.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Is It Really Wise to be Drunk During a Hurricane?

I have to say that I am really astonished that so many people that I know through Facebook are actually drinking and getting drunk with the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene. I mean think about it folks, wouldn't you  like to be at your peak mentally and physically when the shit hits the proverbial fan?

Maybe the weather isn't "hurricane-like" but do you really want to be hungover when it does show up? I know how my hangovers can be, and let me tell you, I can barely get up to go to the bathroom when hungover let alone possibly being told to evacuate in a crisis situation.

I know some of you will say: Well, you work in a bar. Yes, I do. I've done so for 15 years or so and I have been serving drinks "professionally" for the last three months. I say "professionally" in a general sense since I am no way near being a professional bartender. Amateurish sure but I'm taking my baby steps to the next level. But I digress. 

Those of you who really know me can attest to the fact that I have always been conflicted with people who drink and those who are drunk. Maybe it has to do with having a father who drank too much and seeing myself walk down that same path. Who knows what really goes on in this big old noggin' of mine. But I do think that getting piss drunk and hanging out on a rooftop or on a beach/shoreline or in an area that is deemed to be hazardous due to potential flooding while "waiting" for the hurricane to show up is a bad idea. Do I think the media is playing things up? Sure do. Why? Who the fuck knows. Ratings? All I can think about is that in optimal survival situations, being impaired by drugs, alcohol or any other type of impairing agent is not a good idea. 

Maybe I am acting older than my 38 years say I am. Maybe I feel that my time here on this little mudball is limited and I want to enjoy it to the fullest. Maybe I want to be here for my family and not be the jackass that gets drunk, crashes his car and runs round drunk in a potential Category 1 or higher Hurricane. In the end, like I told my wife earlier: There's so much that we can control. And I can't control how people are going to act. 

Don't be surprised if the next time you pop into the bar and ask me to do a shot and I politely decline. I think the best way to do something that I can control is by doing it by example instead of sitting here bitching about it while I'm bored at home. LOL. Sisco's off the sauce for an undetermined period of time. I'll get off of my soapbox now. May you all be safe out there during the next few days.


Hey Mother Nature You Trying to Tell Us Something?

Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something? Between last Wednesday's minor earthquake here in NYC and the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene, we have an unprecedented one-two punch of nature's fury. The last time that I remember a hurricane causing this kind of panic in the NYC area was either Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and/or Hurricane Bob in 1991. Luckily for me, I don't read into these natural events as being a sign of something to come. But is it? Could it just be that it's a coincidence that these natural occurrences have happened at the same time? Will it be as bad as the media and politicians are making it seem to be?

I mean the NYC Public Transit system is slated to be shut down at noon on Saturday night. The only time I can remember the entire system being shut down is during the last two transit strikes. Even during the blackouts and on 9/11 there was service (with the buses). Is it a "knee jerk" reaction? I believe it could be especially with the Mayor of NYC Michael Bloomberg. His public approval rating dropped significantly after this past winter's blizzard and lack of a coordinated effort by the City in snow clean-up. Maybe it's better to err on the side of caution.  I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. May everyone be safe during the next few days.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On My Way Home From Work

So after working a seven day in a row stretch, here's a few highlights of my ride home:

- The token booth clerk at the Uptown Bleecker Street Station is in apparent need for a potty break. So as he's walking towards the bathroom door, he lights up a smoke and proceeds to smoke it before going in. Hey, I understand sometimes you need a smoke before using the can but as far as I know its illegal to smoke on MTA property. Why can someone who pays get busted but an employee not. And this would be the same guy to yell out "Pay Your Fare" at someone hopping the turnstile. Smells hypocritical to me. Just saying.

- There's a drunk and hungry dude who stumbles on to the train. Why do I think he's hungry? He's holding onto an open can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew and eating the contents can to mouth. Apparently there are no utensils required with this meal. To make matters worse, his upper lip and chin were red from the can hitting his face with every bump the train made. At least his tummy was full. Yummo!!!

- There's a family that gets on the train on 125th Street with two kids and a baby. I know its 5:00am, maybe they had somewhere to go. So the baby starts letting out the kind of screams that Jamie Lee Curtis was known for in the late 1970's horror flicks. Hey, I had kids. I know when they are that age they cry. Its how they communicate. I personally didn't mind since I had my headphones on, but the other riders, especially those who were sleeping might have something different to say. But I digress.

So the kid is letting it rip and the parents are scrambling to prepare a bottle of formula. Mom is holding the baby and gives dad a bottle to rinse out. Mind you we're on the 6 train. Dad takes a Coke bottle with water and transfers some to the empty baby bottle to clean it out. He rinses it a bit and empties the contents on the platform.

Ok, cool. But apparently the bottle wasn't clean enough. So he decides to do it again. This time it seems that he's trying to time his dumping of the water with the closing of the train doors. He mis-times the empting of the bottle and instead of dumping the water on the platform, it hits the now closed door causing a wet mess on the floor and on the sleeping person on the other side of the door. Finally he makes the formula and the kid eats and goes to sleep.

- As I'm walking towards the bus stop near Parkchester, this person is walking my way wearing a pink dress. I'm assuming that its a woman (though I can't tell from their looks). So let's use "She" for a lack of a better term. She is looking for empty bottles and can. Hey, doing her part for the environment. That's cool. But that's not why she catches my eye. As we cross paths, I notice that she is well endowed with a large bosom and a pair of the biggest and hardest nipples that I have ever seen on anyone that is dressed. I mean these were protruding to the point that I had to do a double take along with the other people walking in my direction. If those missles were that noticble when she's dressed, she'd poke an eye or two out when she would remove her bra. Again, Just saying.

And with that, I am almost home. Can anything else happen? LOL.


Friday, August 5, 2011

A-Rod, Poker and MLB.

After a few quiet years of no Alex Rodriguez controversies, the tabloids have dusted off their presses. The papers here in NYC have reported that A-Rod is being investigated to see if he was involved in any underground and illegal poker games in 2009. It is believed that the games were frequented by such A-list movie stars as Tobey McGuire, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. You know what I think about it? I really don't care.

Now, I understand Major League Baseball's sore spot when it comes to gambling. The game has yet to shake off the results of the 1919 Black Sox scandal where a number of Chicago White Sox players took bribes to throw the World Series. I mean look at Pete Rose, forever banned from the game for betting on the game. The league banned legends Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for a year because they took a job at a casino AFTER they had retired. Mantle and Mays aside, A-Rod's case differs from the others I listed. 

Where these Black Sox and Rose examples affected the play of baseball, A-Rod is playing poker, not betting on Baseball games. Sure, I understand the point where his bosses and MLB told him directly andI indirectly to stop engaging in underground card games but haven't we all not listened to our bosses. I was told once to not date within the office. Did that stop me? Not at all. A-Rod is a man who has millions on top of millions and if he wants to act like many Americans do and spend his money in a card game then so be it. So it's fine if players host  poker parties at their homes whether illegal or not but they can't join in one anywhere else AND they can play cards in the clubhouse before, during and after games sure sounds hypocritical to me.  

I understood MLB's position in 2005 that by A-Rod participating in the NYC underground poker games it would expose him to possibly danger and a seedy element. In the end, he's a grown man and many a grown man (or grown woman for that matter) whether rich or poor enjoy playing cards whether online, at a casino, in a friends' basement or in a bar. If he was placing bets on baseball then I would agree with MLB 100%. No player should do so since his actions can possibly affect the way a game is played. That would ruin the integrity of how the game is played by him in response to the betting line. But with this situation, it just seems to me that MLB is taking it's anti-gambling crusade a little too far. Agree? Disagree?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bye Bye Dunkin' Donuts at Parkchester

I try to not complain too much about people who work in the service industry since I work in the service industry. But there are times when I can't help myself. Like now.

Maybe I've been spoiled. At the Dunkin' Donuts near the Parkchester train station, there have been a few employees that I have been satisfied with. Before the renovation, they had young teens and young adults working the counter in the evening who were sharp at making what you ordered. Never an issue with repeating orders more than twice. Never an issue with getting your order wrong. Even recently, a few of the ladies who worked there were so good that I wouldn't even have to ask me what I wanted. I'd walk in and by the time I reached the register my coffee was ready. Alas it seems those days are gone. 

Last week I walked in and asked for my usual: large coffee, double cream, 1 splenda. Simple enough, right? Well, with the new batch of workers at DD, it wasn't that easy. I had to repeat the order 5 times and one last time when it was being made because I knew that they were going to screw it up since they had to remake it. I really like to support local businesses but not at the expense of not getting what I want. Perfect example, last night I poured a woman the wrong beer. What did I do? I didn't charge her and made sure I gave her the correct drink her next rounds. Accidents happen and anyone can have them. Well, after today, the jig is up.

I walked in with my kids to get them a few donuts and to buy a bag of ground coffee. Getting the donuts was fine, it's the coffee that threw a wrench into the gears. There were three workers behind the counter who looked like I spoke to them in Kryptonian or Klingon when I asked for the coffee. Why? Well, apparently these three people had no idea how to ring in the bag of coffee into the register. After exchanging dumbfounded looks to each other and to me, one of them takes his "Smart-phone" and calls someone who proceeds to walk him through on how to enter the purchase. After 3 minutes on the smart-phone, which did not transfer any smarts to it's owner, he still couldn't enter the coffee into the register. To which I told him to never mind. I took the three to task as to how they can work alone without being properly trained and without any  management. Mismanaged was the term I used. What asked where their manager was, they sheepishly told me that he had just left. Right, and I have a bridge to sell if you are interested. 

I'm sorry to say that I will not be frequenting that particular location any longer. You might think I'm being a bit extreme but I love to have a cup of coffee on the way to work. I love my coffee and hate to settle for less. It's quite simple really. Now I will have to be take my business to Au Bon Pain and Starbucks which are both located in Parkchester. Au revoir DD. It was nice knowing you. Maybe when you get your act together, I'll come back.


Bye Bye Dunkin' Donuts at Parkchester

I try to not complain too much about people who work in the service industry since I work in the service industry. But there are times when I can't help myself. Like now.

Maybe I've been spoiled. At the Dunkin' Donuts near the Parkchester train station, there have been a few employees that I have been satisfied with. Before the renovation, try had young teens working the counter in the evening who were sharp at making what you ordered. Never an issue with repeating orders more than twice. Never an issue with getting your order wrong. Even recently, a few of the ladies who worked there were so good that I wouldn't even have to ask me what I wanted. I'd walk in and by the time I reached the register my coffee was ready. Alas it seems those days are gone. 

Last week I walked in and asked for my usual: large coffee, double cream, 1 splenda. Simple enough, right? Well, with the new batch of workers at DD, it wasn't that easy. I had to repeat the order 5 times and one last time when it was being made because I knew that they were going to screw it up since they had to remake it. I really like to support local businesses but not at the expense of not getting what I want. Perfect example, last night I poured a woman the wrong beer. What did I do? I didn't charge her and made sure I gave her the correct drink her next rounds. Accidents happen and anyone can have them. Well, after today, the jig is up.

I walked in with my kids to get them a few donuts and to buy a bag of ground coffee. Getting the donuts was fine, it's the coffee that threw a wrench into the gears. There were three workers behind the counter who looked like I spoke to them in Kryptonian when I asked for the coffee. Why? Well, apparently these three people had no idea how to ring in the bag of coffee into the register. After exchanging dumbfounded looks to each other and to me, one of them takes his "Smart-phone" and calls someone who proceeds to walk him through on how to enter the purchase. After 3 minutes on the smart-phone, which did not transfer any smarts to it's owner, he still couldn't enter the coffee into the register. To which I told him to never mind. I took the three to task as to how they can work alone without being properly trained and without any  management. Mismanaged was the term I used. What asked where their manager was, they sheepishly told me that he had just left. Right, and I have a bridge to sell if you are interested. 

I'm sorry to say that I will not be frequenting that particular location any longer. You might think I'm being a bit extreme but I love to have a cup of coffee on the way to work. I love my coffee and hate to settle for less. It's quite simple really. Now I will have to be take my business to Au Bon Pain and Starbucks which are both located in Parkchester. Au revoir DD. It was nice knowing you. Maybe when you get your act together, I'll come back.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's Been a While

Between the new bartending gig and the forced vacation, I haven't had time to write. Not that I haven't had subjects to write about such as the woman with the inappropriate bathing suit for her size getting her vulva massaged last week on Coney Island beach in front of everyone. But this guy on the 6 train takes the cake.

So this dude a few people away from me is bopping to the music that he's listening to on his headphones. From what I can tell, he's listening to a Bachata. He's basically dancing in his seat exclaiming that "this is my shit". He likes this particular tune so much that he decides to put on loudspeaker so we all can enjoy his tunes. Lo and behold, no one really dug his tune and he took it off speaker and kept dancing in his seat.

Then he decides to talk to the man to his right that is visibly trying to ignore him. Bachatero starts talking about how he always buys Nikes never spending less than $100 per pair. But this time he decided to buy $15 kicks. Why? I don't know, he started rambling to himself as to why. Thankfully for the dude to his right, he gets off at Hunts Point Avenue singing the rest of his song. 

On a side note, this other dude who was a gay as the day was bright let the whole train know about his new haircut and how his hair looked nastier today but was now looking fly with the double lines he had put around his head. He was definitely the fashion-plate. That's right papa, you strut your stuff.  LOL.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow. Man 12 days went by WAY too fast.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Man in the Burgundy Sweater

I'm not sure on what stop this man got on the Downtown #6 train but it was somewhere in the Bronx. I only noticed him since I could hear his rustling over the music in my headphones. I look to my right and see this man with many small black garbage bags in front of him. He seems to be organizing his possessions based on the bags. Not to make assumptions, but the man seems to be homeless or displaced. He doesn't seem to smell or look dirty. He makes an interesting figure.

He looks like he could be in his 50's or 60's of thin build and average height. He's wearing a burgundy colored sweater with brown denim or corduroy pants and sneakers. It's his face that really interests me. He has long stringy brown hair that seems to hang off the sides of his head. He's bald on top. He has a grey bushy beard that adds depth to his otherwise skinny face. His forehead is heavily creased and his mouth is puckered, maybe even toothless. Where his face seems aged his eyes seemed at peace. They looked placid like those of a person who is at ease with the skin that they live in. His eyes lack the look of someone who is living a stressful life. Makes me wonder who he might have been in a former life. A businessman? An administrator? Who. It also makes me wonder who is freer, him without the trappings of everyday life or me saddled with them. I'll never know since he disembarked from the train on 116th Street with all of his black bags consolidated into one big bag slung over his left shoulder. Take care. Happy carefree travels.


The Blonde and the Blabbermouth

The Uptown #6 train pulls into Union Square and groups of people get on and off the train. This one blonde woman gets on and looks at the electronic strip-map and notices that it is a local. I glance in her direction and even though I was wearing my headphones listening to sone Elvis Presley, Stuck on You to be precise, I see she mouths "I want an express". Well, at 5:20am there are no express trains and I tell her so and she thanks me as she gets back on the train. She sits down in front of a black man with thick black rimmed "coke bottle" glasses who proceeds to explain why there are no express trains. Once he's done with that line of talk he starts rambling on about a bunch of nothing. The woman desperately tries to avoid making eye contact with the man but he just continues to talk to no one in particular and laughing at a joke only he seems to find amusing. The look on her face and her posture is priceless. 

She sits there trying dearly to apply the looking through you while looking at you that us New Yorkers have down pat. It doesn't work for her since the man starts right back up talking to her as a few riders, including myself just start chuckling to ourselves. The poor woman looks just miserable. She obviously doesn't want to be rude since he is polite but annoying. At one point she just puts her head back and looks out the window. He just won't stop talking to her. Maybe she wishes that she got off the train and waited for the express that would never come. Better that than the ride she was enduring now. Finally her desired stop approaches and see politely waves goodbye to the man and exits the train. The ironic thing is, she gets off on a local stop. Did she have enough of the jibber-jabber? Hard to tell since I lost track of her as the train pulled away leaving the rest of the passengers to listen to the man with the thick black rimmed "coke bottle" glasses just talk on and on.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kakes and Stuff NYer of the Week

I just saw the profile of Ms. Margarita Canales of of NY1's New Yorker of the Week. Ms. Canales provides the following service:

“I decided I wanted to give back in tithe and instead of just giving money,” says Canales, “I always wanted to make free cakes for children who never had a birthday or things of that nature, so I put an ad that said ‘if you know someone who is deserving of a free cake or never had a birthday, please contact me.’”

The images of her cakes are amazing and she makes a difference helping bring happiness to those in need. Check out her website and help support her either through Donations or though purchasing cakes from her for your party needs.

Keep up the good work Ms. Canales.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From The Mouth of Babes

I'm waiting for my son to come out from his side of the school and I notice there's a woman with a baby in a stroller and a small dog. The dog takes a shit on the sidewalk without the woman noticing. The small girl that I guess is with her points it out. The lady takes a piece of paper, picks it up and dumps it on the street next to the curb. The little girl takes the woman to task by asking her why she dropped the poop in the street. The woman tells her its in the street, no one will step on it. The girl asks but what if someone slips on it and falls down and gets hurt. All the woman can do is give a nervous laugh as the little girl (and the other parents for that matter) just stood there with her hands hips waiting for the woman to pick it up which by the way, the woman doesn't pick up the shit. Hey lady, nice way to reinforce the kid's positive behavior.


How's This For An Entertaining Commute

There's a couple sleeping at the end of the car that I am on and another man is sleeping across from them on why I like to call the "Four seater". There's another man a few seats from them jabbering about how the man who is laying down is going to get arrested since he's taking up more than one seat. The seated man says that he was  already warned. The adviser keeps jabbering on about getting arrested when the man who is laying down pops up and yells "I am the cops!" to which the woman who is sitting across from him sleeping wakes up and promptly tells him to "Shut The Fuck Up Before I put a Boot in Your Face". Mind you this is going on from Bleecker Street to Astor Place, just one stop. The man who originally spoke about getting arrested was smart enough to get off of the train. This is all on my right hand side. 

Now to my left is a man holding a small Whole Foods bag who seems to have a rubber band around his wrist. He seems to be upset about something since he keeps banging the bag on the floor and snapping the band on his wrist as he repeats the same word that I can't seem to make out. At random intervals he puts his palms out asking for something.

As he's doing that another man gets on the car through the emergency doors as he walks by everyone and gives us the peace sign. The lady sitting next to me says "Is this the looney car". LOL. But it continues.

On enters the man I refer to as the "Please" man. He's the guy who always yells "Please" when asking for money. As he walks by, rubber band man yells out Please for the man to please shut up and proceeds to say please in about five or six languages before going back to snapping the rubber band and talking to himself. And with that I arrive at my stop and get off the train. Talk about an entertaining ride. Beat that.


Just When You Thought Your Night Was Bad

Just when you think you're having a bad night, think about this. I just found a bag at the bar that was left behind and the first thing I find in it after opening it up is a tube of Hemorrhoidal Cooling Gel. Hmm, I guess you can say that someone one is having a worse time than I am. Ouch!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Sharp Dressed Young Man

Very often I see many of the male youth of this city wearing their pants down past their ass showing us their boxers. I have to admit, it irks me when I see that. But I have to give credit when it's due. Allow me to explain. Sitting down in front of me on the train was this young Latino man. I'm assuming he's a recent High School graduate or a High School senior since he's wearing his HS graduation ring. His hair is short with a nicely shaped sideburns and a small mustache to match. He was clean shaven. He wore a crisp black suit with a stylish peach colored shirt (with a stiff collar I might add). Providing a perfect match for the suit was a black tie with accents of small martini and highball glasses. The irony is that he might not be old enough to enjoy an alcoholic drink but he wears the tie well. He has a simply gold colored watch along his left wrist. He has on simple black shoes and the only flaw I would find in his ensemble are the white socks he's wearing. In my opinion, dark socks with a dark suit is preferable. At last, there's a sign of hope with the youth of this country. Always look good my young Latino brother. You're the future. Represent us with the pride and class that you show with how you're dressed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Don't Have ID, Will This Do?

Tonight's conversation of the night went as so:

Hello ladies, I need to see your IDs.

I just need to use the bathroom.

I still need to see your ID.

She proceeds to show me her ID and mentions to her friend that she can't come in since she has no ID. The second woman says:

I can't go in and just use the bathroom?

I would need to see your ID if you want to come into the bar.

But I don't have one.

After a quick second, she continues.

Yo my nigga, look at my butt.  

And she proceeds to point her butt in my direction. I had to admit, she had a cute little butt. 

Now, normally that wouldn't work on me but since it was a slow night and she got a good laugh out of me with her quick thinking, I let her in to use the bathroom. After a quick few minutes in the crapper, they bid me thanks and a good night and off they went. 

Sometimes you have to just laugh. Showing me her butt was definitely a new way to get me to laugh.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Seat Jockeying on the 2 Train

Its funny to watch people jockeying for seats on the train. For example, while I'm riding down on the 2 train headed towards the American Museum of Natural History, this woman who I can't tell whether she's pregnant or just fat gets on the train and bullies her way into a seat leaving a small space between her and another woman sitting in the corner near the door. She's grumbling something as she opens up her NY Post. The train moves on.

A few stops later an older woman gets on and attempts to sit in the small space. Now I feel as if the woman didn't really fit in the seat being as "hippy" as she was, but apparently she thought she could fit. She says excuse me once, twice to no avail. Big mamma jamma is ignoring her requests to move over by holding the paper over her face while giving the mad dog look. The woman waits another few seconds and squeezes her "hippy" self into another tight (albeit somewhat bigger) spot and Big Mamma Jamma has a smirk of victory on her mean mug of a face. People truly are funny on the trains.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Over a Pair of Generic iPod Headphones

So I can truly say I have seen it all. I just had this suit here at the bar threaten to call the police and file a police report over a pair of apple headphones. These headphones that come standard with any iPod and iTouch. The dude says he's going to call the cops since no one should have taken his property. To add insult to injury, he was the one who left them on the dart rail UNATTENDED and now he's willing to call the cops and file a report. I wish he would have so I could see the look on their faces when they were told why they were here. But, the story ends with Stevie finding his headphones laying in a corner. Guess they're really worth a lot of money if someone just chucked them in a corner like a sheet of soiled toilet paper. What a fucking jackass.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Zach Shows Up at the Bleecker Street Bar

Zach Galifianakis of the Hangover walks into the bar with a few of his friends (Yes I know it sounds like the beginning to a joke). As he walks in, he does so during a routine Police Community check. The male officer says to me "He looks like the guy from the Hangover". I shrug since I really wouldn't have noticed that it was him if the officer hadn't mentioned it. So I do my job and ID him and his lady friend and here is how the repartee went:

"May I see your ID please"
"You really need it?"
"Yes I do" 
"But I'm 41 years old"
"You don't look 41"
"You must say that to all the ladies"
"Only to some of them"

I smile at him and shoot a glance in the direction of the cops as I say it. He grudgingly says "OK" and pulls out his ID. To he honest, had the police officer not mentioned it, I probably wouldn't have recognized him. We get our fair share of regular looking dudes with big beards in the bar so he really didn't stand out in my mind and as I told him after the police left, I didn't think that he was 41 years old.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Rain on my City

There really isn't a much nicer sound than the rain hitting the big city. The tip tip tap of the drops on the asphalt adds to the musical notes of the rains drops hitting the various other surfaces on the buildings. The sidewalks seem to give off a fresh smell when the rainwater saturates them. Better that than the other smells that can come off of the sidewalks. 

The gentle splash of the tires on the passing cars can be very soothing especially as time passes into the later hours of the night. To my senses, the splashes come close to how I would feel being on a boat and the waves slowly lapping on it's hull. 

The reflections of the halogen streetlights spread across the puddles that occupy the various potholes and dings on the city streets. Each giving off a oily sheen depending on how much motor oil and radiator fluid has been deposited by passing cars. The liquid looks very much like darker colors on a watercolor painting. Smeared, thick, and blotchy. 

As my friend Harper likes to say: It's nice when the city takes a shower. Yes it does my friend. Yes it does.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's Our Fault You're a Douchebag

Last night Stevie catches a couple making whoopee in the ladies room and proceeded to escort them from the bar. The "lady" gives us no trouble whatsoever. The "gentleman" was another story. He takes the tact that the reason why he went into the bathroom with the lady was that it was our fault. How so?

Well, the man lectures Stevie and I that it was through our bartenders negligence of over serving him of his alcoholic beverages that was causing him to act like he was. That his behavior was a caused by our lack of moral responsibility when it came to over serving him and his lady friend. People, I kid you not. That was a first for me, but it gets better. He continues by saying that since he was already over served, he was going to finish his drink no matter what I or anyone else thought about it. I told him three words, take a guess of which three I uttered. 

So as he went to take a sip of his drink, I snatched the glass from his hand and told him to hit the bricks. Now he wanted to know my name so he could call the cops and report me. As if I had offended his sensibilities by not letting him do what he wanted to do. As if. People live their perfect little lives not used to hearing the word "No". Well, never let it be said that I'm above using the word "No" and breaking the delusion of grandeur of the many assholes that walk through our glass doors.

Long story short, he walked out on his own, proclaiming that we were the negligent ones and threatening to call the authorities. And people wonder why I have a specific disdain towards "suits". Bunch of douches. 


Friday, April 8, 2011

Go Fuck Yourself MTA

I'm really tired of bitching about the MTA, but given the current state of gas and oil prices, I have nonviable choice but to ride the trains. So back to my original point, I'm getting tired of bitching about the MTA. I know shit happens. The system is old, over 100 years old to be exact so things break down. Trust me, I get it. But if something broke down yesterday, you can let people know about it though the PA system that is on the trains. For example, there apparently is a problem with the downtown local platform on 14th Street and Union Square. Now if you're riding down on the downtown express train and are looking to make a connection with the downtown local at Union Square you can't since the local train is not stopping there due to the platform condition. Knowing that, you think that the conductors would announce it over the PA at 42nd Street and Grand Central. No, that would be logical and too easy. They wait until the train pulls into 14th Street to let those want to transfer know that they can't. So we have to ride down to Brooklyn Bridge to transfer for an Uptown local train or just walk. All I have to say is fuck you MTA. You fucking blow!


Two (of the many) Things That Irks Me About The Subway

Two of the things that irks me about having to deal with on the trains occurred on my ride home. One is getting on a train car after someone smokes a cigarette on the train. God only knows how people rode the trains when not only one person smoked on the train but everyone was allowed to. I'm not sure when smoking was barred from the trains but not only is it nasty it's fucking rude. Bad enough I walked into a cloud of cigarette smoke, but since I got a ticket two weeks ago for walking in between cars "without authorization" for trying to get away from a smelly fucker, I had to wait until the train stopped at the next car to change cars. If you need to smoke that badly, go between the cars. Is that too much to ask?

The second thing is when you have a drunk person sitting in front of you and he fucking can't sit still. To make matters worse, he's singing to a song on his cheap ass mp3 player with an off-key voice and stomping his feet to the beat. After having to deal with the smoke, I have to deal with this jackass? I so wanted to smack his face and give him a swift kick to the ass as I threw him off of the train. Luckily for both of us, he got off at 86th Street before he pissed me off any further.

Sometimes I really hate people. 


Monday, April 4, 2011

A Mouse On My Train

Just saw a little mouse walking around the train car that I'm riding on. Cute little guy seems to be trying to find his way off of the train. While doing so he seems to have crawled onto the heater that is located under the seat across from me. The train is full of garbage under the seats: empty cans, soda bottles, coffee cups and garbage in plastic bags. The guy across from me wonders why there's a mouse on the train. I tell him while pointing to the garbage: if people would pick up their garbage...there wouldn't be any mice, he says finishing my statement as I nod to him in agreement. Ah, my beautiful home town of New York. Gotta love it.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Drama Drama Drama

Before I go into the brief story I am presenting to you today, allow me to add this little tidbit. I have no idea of what events led into what was happening when I walked down the stairs into the train station. Given that brief prologue, here goes. 

I left work as I usually do, walked down Bleecker Street and crossed Lafayette Street to catch the Uptown #6 train. I had yet to put on my headphones so I could hear that there was some kind of commotion on the platform. As I take a few steps down, I hear something hitting the floor and breaking. I hesitated briefly on the staircase before continuing down. As I reach the bottom of the stairs, a man is throwing what looks like the remnants of a portable CD player to the wall. Yes, I did say a portable CD player. You do remember what those devices looked like in the Pre-iPod/MP3 player days. Right? But I digress.

Now, as I stated at the beginning of this post, I don't know why this guy was so irate as to ruin his music player. Now I assume that it was his since none of his friends (who were keeping their distance from him) were complaining about the destroyed electronic device. I made brief eye contact with the pissed off dude and stepped over his CD as I kept on my way to the turnstile. All I could hear as I swiped my Metrocard was f-bomb this and I don't give a f-bomb about that. This dude was seriously irate. 

As I stood on the platform, I decided to look back to see what was going on. Nothing worse that having major issues go down behind you and not knowing about it. Chalk it up to my being nosy. Anyway, I see the pissed off individual yelling at the token booth clerk while being restrained by one of his buddies. Yes, I realize that the term "token booth" is referring to a relic of an earlier era when riders used token coins to gain entry to the subway. If you have another more socially relevant name for the enclosure, let me know. Until then, back to the story at hand. 

The man was yelling at the clerk and the clerk kept saying something to him over the microphone. I was unsure of what he said since it was garbled but I don't think they were sweet nothings, since the man went even more ballistic. Now he started kicking the bottom of the booth and threatening to wait for the clerk to finish his shift and kick his ass. As amusing as the spectacle was, it grew quite tired and I decided to proceed towards the middle of the platform, shaking my head the whole way down. Another interesting night in the NYC Subway system.


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Hasidic Man Walks Into the Bar...

Ok, so the weirdness continues. This older Hasidic man approaches the bar and walks smack dab into the front door. After adjusting his black hat, he nods to Ben and I and walks into the bar. Ben gives me a weird look as I observe the gentleman. He walks around the high tables, fixated on two ladies who are sitting talking to themselves. After he does a full circle around their table, he stops, tips his hat and has a short conversation with them. Ben asks me if he knows them. I just shrug my shoulders as he approaches the bar near the window. He asks Mike something and walks out. 

I approach the ladies and ask them if they knew him. They said they didn't. He apparently told them that we has from Israel and was in town for a convention. That's as far as the conversation went. Mike called me over and said that the Hasid asked him for Gentlemen. My guess is that he was looking for company with the ladies and directions to the nearest Gentleman's club from Mike. 

Like Jack Nicholson said as the Joker from the 1989 Batman movie: There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight.... LOL. And it's only 9:40pm. Let's see what else cones through the door to make me laugh.


It's Bad Over There

A guy comes up to me while I'm waiting for the Downtown #6 train on 14th Street-Union Square. He's pointing to the rear of the station an saying that things are worse over there. I take my headphones off to hear him, not knowing if there was a problem of if he was just a nut. Lo and behold, he was a little screwy.

He says to me that things are bad over there but are worse in Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico. He's dipping in and out of English and Spanish as he spoke not sure if I understood him. He goes on to say that going to jail in Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico is not like going to jail here. There are no libraries or free lawyers. I just nodded to him and as he walked away he yelled out in Spanish: Coño, ni hay agua, which for you monolinguals means Damnit, there's not even water.

The moral of the story? If you are going to go to jail, don't do it in Santo Domingo or Puerto Rico or how about this thought, how about trying not to go to jail. Just saying.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Bar Conversation of the Weekend

This had to be the bar conversation of this past weekend:

Man 1: You take that girl home the other day?

Man 2: What girl

Man 1: The one you were making out with.

Man 2: I was making out with a girl?

Man 3: Yeah dude, for over an hour with my friend that you met the other day.

Man 2: I did? Damn, I don't remember.

Man 1: What do you mean you don't remember

Man 2: I don't remember. Must have blacked out again.

Man 1: Damn it. Ever since you broke up with that other chick you've been blacking out every night you drink.

Man 3: You keep blacking out like that and you're going to get yourself in trouble one day and not know why. (Man 1 nods in agreement) That shit's not good for you.

Man 2: I know. I'm not going to black out anymore. Hey, give me her email.

Man 3: Why?

Man 2: I want to let her know that I'm sorry for not remembering that I made out with her and didn't remember her.

Man 3: Why would you want to do that. Ignorance is bliss bro. You tell her that, then I have to hear her complaining how you forget that you made out with her. Let it go bro.

Well fellow readers, what do you think happened at the end of the night:

A) Man 2 finished his beer and went home and had a good night sleep

B) Man 2 had a few drinks and left nice and buzzed but aware of everything

C) Man 2 got himself so drunk that he was granted VIP entrance to the blackout zone.

What do you think the right answer is.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Teachers Should Return to Their Roots

This past Wednesday was a bit of a throwback day for me. Gaby's teacher, Ms. Aguilar gave my son a talking to based on the way he's been treating his sister. Like I told Briggy, if I was someone else, I might have taken issue with it. She wasn't rude to the boy, but she was stern, forceful and when he wasn't looking straight at her, she made him look at her.

Some parents today would have taken exception with how she went about talking to him. See, I was raised to treat your teachers as if they were your parents. You treated them the same way that you would treat your own parents, if not better. In today's environment where teachers are being maligned for the job that they are hired to do, I feel that some teachers hesitate from being that authority figure that they need to be. You hear the stories of parents being abusive, and even getting physical with teachers for doing their jobs in trying to educate their kids.

I'm glad Ms. Aguilar spoke to my son the way she did. Most teachers need to be strict when needed as most parents also need to be strict. I find that kids today are a bit more reckless due to a lack of discipline both at home and at school.

I would have never dreamed of doing what some of these kids do today. My dad's grocery store was in walking distance of my High School and a number of the teachers would frequently stop there. Not only that, if anyone in the neighborhood saw me doing something inappropriate, I would have been ratted out in an instant. There was no way that my dad wouldn't have found out. I guess the saying is true: It takes a village to raise a child.

Monday, February 28, 2011

To Watch or Not To Watch. That Is the question.

I found this oldie but goodie from the archives in my notes from a few years back. Here goes:

I'm walking down the stairs on the Uptown #6 train at Union Square and see a man sitting on the stairs in front of me watching a movie on a portable DVD player with his headphones in the device. I think to myself that he's being very considerate of the other passengers. As I look closer to the image on his screen, I see he's watching a hardcore porn movie. No folks, he's not watching one of those tame Skinimax flicks. He's watching some hardcore orgy action. I laugh to myself as I walk pass him. The train comes into the station a few minutes later and we both get in the same car.

A few cars go by and the train starts to fill up with people heading to work. At one point a man sits next to him and noticed what he's watching and looks visibly disturbed. Instead of moving and taking a different seat, the man decides to be nosy and ask the man a question. Here's how the brief discussion went:

Nosy Man taps Movie Man on the shoulder. Annoyed, Movie Man takes his headphones off and looks at Nosy Man.

Nosy Man: Excuse me sir. Why are you watching that movie on the train.

Without missing a beat, Movie man shrugs his shoulders and says "Cause I can" puts his headphones back on his head and goes back to watching his movie.

Well I guess he told him. ;)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Claudius and Hamlet Take the L to Brooklyn

As I'm riding the "L" train this past Tuesday night to meet Justin and Myron at the Brooklyn Public House on DeKalb Avenue, I seemed to have walked into an impromptu performance. Why do I say that? Where it started with one man giving a monologue (or just talking out loud to himself) and looking rather intense and somewhat nuts while dropping to his knees supplicating to an unseen figure. Then a second man joins him and my suspicions of a performance were confirmed. At quick listen I thought it may have been one of William Shakespeare's works they were enacting, in particular it sounded like Hamlet. After they were done, they explained to the riders that it was in fact Hamlet Act 3 Scene 3. I give the Brooklyn trains credit, all we get in the Bronx are the dancers, the beggars and people talking to themselves. The Bronx train thespians, artists and savants needs to step up it's game.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Sweet Astoria My Have You Changed

I went to Astoria on Wednesday to have the kids see grandma and decided to take a walk around the old neighborhood. I walked up Broadway to Steinway Street, down to 30th Avenue then back down. I have to say that I'm a little sad to see how much the neighborhood has changed. Gone are many of the stores that I visited as a teen and young adult on Steinway Street. Also gone are many of the small houses along 31st Avenue from my mom's block up to Crescent Street. In their place stands multiple dwelling buildings, while nice in appearance, seem to make the blocks seem much more cluttered. I'm not sad that there is progress. Progress is good but the sadness comes from the fact that I must have seemed like a tourist walking around looking at all the new buildings when I lived 26 years in Astoria. I guess Eric is right when he says things work in cycles. The scary thing for me is wondering what the next cycle will look like.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can't Make This One Up

Folks, I can't make this up. In comes in this woman who seems a little winded or distressed. I let her in the bar. Who knows if someone is following her or something to that degree. She says she walked about 30 blocks and needs to compose herself. She orders a water from Mike and then the "fun" begins.

She puts her bag and coat down on the first round table closer to the door and proceeds to take her pink sweater off. She walks towards the darts and stretches. As she walks back she stops in front of the mirror and fixes her hair and takes off her glasses. She walks to her stuff and moves them to the third round table where other patrons have their jackets. She places her glasses down and wraps her silver colored scarf around her neck and stops at the mirror to fix her hair again. She wraps the pink sweater around her waist then over her shoulders and stops at the mirror to re-adjust her last adjustment. She then puts her leather coat on and she stops at a jacket that's draped over one of the chairs. She starts looking at the label.

Mind you folks, she's doing this in a matter of 5-10 minutes. This chick was super suspicious. Then she nonchalantly puts the jacket over her shoulder and starts to walk out. I stop her since I'm not sure if its hers or not. Now we really start to have fun. This is something of how the conversation went:

"Put the coat down."

"But its mine, why are you so strict."

"You've been acting suspicious since you got here"

"You're strict like a drill sergeant. I'm leaving."

"You're not going anywhere until I verify who this belongs to."

"You're so strict. You remind me of my dad" and she proceeds to sit down and fuss with her hair and glasses.

I verify that the jacket did not belong to the people who were sitting at the third round table and let her go. She storms out and drops her pink sweater. I pick it up and hand it to her wishing her a good night. She sarcastically says "Thanks" giving me dagger eyes as she stomped down the block.

Any clues as to her behavior?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Here's a Sneak Peek Into What I See at Work

I hate to stand on the soapbox and comment on things that I really can't control but life is really scary out there. Take the drunk woman last night at the bar as an example. She was drunk, making out and dancing with various guys making herself to be quite the easy target. I hate to take a sexist POV on this but I probably don't think twice about it if it was a dude acting the same way.

Sure the guy (in the same situation) is in jeopardy of being mugged, beat up and even worse in his state of inebriation but my mind always goes back to the situation at The Falls a few years back.

That issue was that a drunk woman was left alone at the bar by her friends and left the premises with a bouncer who raped and killed her, disposing of her body like one would do a bag of garbage. I'm not saying that's what was happening last night. Luckily for her, we at the bar take ourselves, our jobs and our place of employment seriously. Since she was alone, we tried to put her in a cab so she could get home safely.

As with drunk people, things are never easy and this was no different. We had difficulties putting her in a cab since she refused to (or couldn't) tell us where she was going. Finally, after putting her in a cab, she gave the cab driver a hard time even smacking him in the face when he tried to get her out of his car. He said he was willing to take her where she needed to go, but she wasn't cooperating with him. She also refused to give him her address. Eventually they pulled away, hopefully taking her home or to the nearest precinct.

She left her coat and phone behind in the bar. I contacted her through Facebook letting her know about her coat and phone being in the office and that she should come get it. She has yet to contact me or the bar about her things so I'm a little worried to say the least.

Being the father of a 7-year old daughter I can't help seeing my child in these kind of situations and it's downright scary. Bad enough I'm conflicted about working in a bar. My conflict stems from feelings of being partly to blame for how some of our patrons are destroying themselves with alcohol. Granted, they are adults and drinking voluntarily, but at times I still feel awkward earning my keep by working in a bar even after 15 years. It really is scary.

Hopefully the young lady got home safely and comes by the bar and gets her things.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Free Ride is Officially Over!!!!

Today marks the day in my life when I realize that there is truly nothing free in this world of ours. I went into the TD Bank on 85th and 3rd to use the Penny Arcade machine to cash in my son's share of the loose change that I put away towards the kids' fund. To my surprise as I approach the machine I notice a little sign that says "A 6% transaction fee will be applied to non TD Bank Customers". So bad enough the poor little banks have eliminated free checking accounts, now they are charging a transaction fee on change that they will end up using to make a profit on.

Bad enough I closed my accounts at Commerce Bank/TD Bank years ago because of their NYC customer fee that they were applying to my accounts. Yes folks, we paid a fee for the privilege of having out accounts in NYC. If the fee was applied to all customers then I wouldn't be too upset, though I probably would have still closed the accounts. Now my change has a fee attached to it as well. We won't be seeing that commercial with Regis and Kathy Lee's replacement with the mason jar full of coins on the boob-tube any more. I guess they need to find a way to pay for all the lollipops and dog biscuits they give out for "free".

I guess unless I have to go into a TD Bank for work purposes, I'll never go into one again.


Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14th and the Pitifulness of the Day

For anyone of you who seriously knows me, knows my stance on the day popularly known as Valentine's Day. I think it's a bullshit holiday created by the Chocolate, Jewelry, Flowers and Greeting card industries to get the gullible public to spend their hard earned money so soon after Christmas. And I'm not some bitter man, who is still feeling the sting of an ex-lover and has turned his back on love and romance. Far from it. But I personally don't feel that I need a day on the calendar to show how I feel towards my wife and loved ones. To me that's just further proof of the Lemming behavior that seems to have permeated our modern society. But that's not the troubling point.

What bothers me the most is what I've heard from people, mainly ladies the last few days. Not to call people out (because there has been a large number of women to tell me this during this past weekend) but if you tell me that your man needs a day like Valentine's day to show you how important you are in his life as opposed to him doing it on the most randomnest of days then ladies you know what: YOU NEED A NEW MAN!!!!! It's as simple as that. If your man (and men the point applies to your ladies as well) needs to see a red heart on his calendar to show you your importance in his life then he's just not worth your time. To me, it seems purely asinine that we need to be prodded by commercials, pretty displays and peer pressure to show our lover, wife, partner, mistress (if you have one or a few, LOL) that they are important to us.

Be spontaneous on any day of the week and it doesn't have to be showy and over the top. If your lady likes a particular food, surprise her. If she likes flowers (why someone would buy an item that will die in a few days is beyond me. it doesn't reflect well on how you view the person you are giving them to) then get her some on the random day. Variety is the spice of life and don't be the moron that neglects your lady on every day but Valentine's Day. I guarantee you, there's another dude who sees things the way I do and will swoop in and take her away from your dumb ass with the simplest of gestures. And ladies, stop being so gullible. Find yourself a man who is worth your time. But as I know, most of you out there will maintain your lemming mentality as it is believed that ignorance is bliss. For in reality, what do I truly know, I'm just a bouncer. LOL.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sinus Headaches and the Law

I've had this recurring Sinus headache the last two days that feels as if someone has been punching me from the back of my nose and eyes. Let's say it is not a pleasant feeling. To combat the force of sinus evil, I decide to go to Duane Reade to pick something up.

As I arrive at the aisle where the cold medicine is located, I see empty shelves with slips of papers that have images of the products that I am looking for. It say to go to the pharmacist to get the items I need. So I do as the paper says and ask for the item. The pharmacist asks me if I have ID, which I produce and she asks me to fill out the log book. Wow, is it that serious with the Crystal Meth? I know it is pretty bad in the Midwest and on the West Coast but I didn't think it was bad here.

I did a little research and here is what I found out. The active ingredient in many chosen medicines (Pseudoephedrine HCL) can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. According to the website

In 1893, Methamphetamine or crystal meth was first developed from ephedrine. A chemist by the name of Nagayoshi Nagai was responsible for this creation. It wasn’t until 1919, that methamphetamine was turned into its crystallized form by Akira Ogata. Ogata was able to do this by reduction of ephedrine using iodine and red phosphorous. Amphetamine, which is a related drug, first came into existence in 1887 by a Lazar Edeleanu in Germany. Methamphetamine manufacturing initially began in the United States in Hawaii in the 1960s.

The article on their website called the History of Crystal Meth goes into more details about the history of drug and it's usage, so feel free to check it out. 

According to the above mentioned article:

In terms of crystal meth legislation, There have been five federal laws and many state laws written since 1989 in order to try to curb production of methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, sales have been restricted in order to reduce the amount of the main ingredient of methamphetamine available to the general public. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was written especially to combat the sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine that an individual may purchase in a specified time period. In addition, there are other requirements regarding storage of these products in order to prevent theft.

For more information on the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 and any amendments made to the law check out the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Division Office of Diversion Control website.

So that makes sense why I would have to show ID an sign a log to buy the meds. I just didn't think we'd get to that point. Like Mr. Mackey says on South Park: Drugs are Bad, mmmkay

For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Division Office of Diversion Control website .
- Click Here to access the informative Addictionsearch website.