If you've been following the blog the last few days, you'd notice I went to NYC this past weekend. My friend Alison was having a birthday, and I haven't seen Sheila in forever... so about a week ago, I made a plan, requested Friday afternoon off, and took off for the big city.
The drive down wasn't horrible, but it rained and there was a lot of construction. I think I sat in traffic along 83S for over an hour. But I had my music, my dew and my container of mixed nuts. I was golden.
I got there, and Sheila and I immediately went to a local bar lounge and talked for several hours. We shared a wonderful red wine shiraz and tiramisu and nutella crepes. We talked forever about life, love, jobs and stress. It was wonderful seeing her again and just being as open and honest with our lives as two can be. It was a great release from the day's travels, the month's stress, the increasing frustration I feel with Rochester, and so much more.
Saturday, we made our way to Jackson Height's for some Indian shopping and food. After getting a parking ticket, what should have been a ruined day was just the beginning of an amazing stretch. Food was awesome. Conversation was amazing. The people fantastic. Shopping wonderful... and it was still like 11am. But we wanted to head to Michael Jackson's birthday party in Brooklyn at Prospect Park, and the sky finally cleared up enough.
We spent several hours singing, dancing, swaying, talking, drinking.... all while joined with thousands of other people. The park kept filling up.. and celebrities kept coming up on stage. The speeches were heartfelt, the music amazing, and even Thriller started with people dancing all over the place. Everyone really got into the mood. We also bumped into some people that Sheila knew, and I got to talk to a great guy who works in Time's Square. With the threat of rain, the day could have been awful, but it just the right mix of coolness and sun. Was just amazing being with so many people.
But we headed back to Sheila's flat to get ready to go out to the 2nd of our Saturday parties. Sheila's friend Megan was having a birthday on a rooftop apartment building. See picture above, as you can see, it had an amazing view! That's the Empire State Building in the background. We were about 20 floors up, and the temperature was just ideal. With a vodka coke in hand, I had a great time talking to a varied group of people from all over the country. Each of them knew Megan in some way, and Megan had traveled the world (which is how she knew Sheila). But I had a great time. It was eye-opening to talk to people from a diverse set of backgrounds, and unique jobs and goals in life. I didn't want to leave!
But Sheila squealed that it was 10.. and we were late for our next party! It was funny, because before we got there, her and I had a signal in case we wanted to go... but it ended up being the opposite. I had a great time. But we made our way to Chinatown to this bar called Fontana's. A relatively large bar, Alison had reserved to back area for her group. Quite a few people had been there already, and we got going and dancing. Quite a few drinks later, lots of money gone, we danced for hours. I met Sheila's friend Joy, and had a great time just laughing, dancing and drinking. I think we left around 1 for another bar... but it turned into mostly a blur there on out.
Sheila's great. She's got my back. She took my cell phone and money away from me. I ended up hurting my hip (unknowingly) having a little fall, and we didn't stay at the second bar more than a few minutes, but the night was a blast (albeit I was a bit trashed). We ended up getting late night food on the corner, and taking a cab home after 2. Was a good night, was a great group of people.. and living it up in nyc was just the release I needed.
Sunday, Sheila and I were supposed to meet up with Alison for brunch, but Alison got home at 6am from her night, and as a starving group of 20-somethings, her and I headed for brunch at a little European bistro a couple blocks from the apartment. Having hardly ate a thing for a couple days, and drinking heavily the night before, I felt a bit off... and lunch didn't help much. But the day was sunny, the breeze was warm, and we headed out for a wonderful day on the High Line in Chelsea. Walking the park, taking pictures, enjoying fresh fruit drinks, and catching a bite to eat was a good way to ease into the realization that I had a 7 hour drive ahead of me.
After a late lunch at "The Diner" nearby, we headed to Central Park for a walk around, a long nap in the sun, and people watching. But alas, time flew, and we headed back to Astoria so I could make my journey home. Sheila's sister Dimple caught a ride with me back to Binghamton, and my drive back to Rochester was long, brutal, tiring.. but worth every second to spend a wonderful weekend in the city.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
While I miss this show, I'm excited about the upcoming TV movie "The Plan" and the new BSG series "Caprica" and also the upcoming remake of the BSG premise in a motion picture release. But until then, this youtube clip gives me goosebumps as I remember its 5 year run.
Posted by Luke at 2:02 PM
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. I've tried to stay up to date on twitter and the blog, more for me keeping a record of all the fun I'm having than to show you what's going on. I enjoy going back in my archives and seeing these events again through the writing.
So if you couldn't tell, I've gotten a little addicted to True Blood. I borrowed season 1 on bluray from Scott, and finished it in about 3 days. I then downloaded season 2 and I'm on way through it. Man, the show is intense. And the emotions are just overwhelming. I just intensely love a show that can get my heart beating in one instance, and then get me to tears in another. Am I having a hotflash? Phew. Season 2 just finished up a couple days ago, so I look forward to going through them all and not having to wait on a weekly schedule like a sucker.
I've actually had a pretty good run at work for the last couple of weeks. I guess vacation was EXACTLY what I needed to recharge. I was getting a bit burnt out. Stressing and thoughts of other options... have now all bud faded. And my new office! I love it. I've really settled in and have got everything as I want it. Plus I was able to adopt another plant. I didn't think it would work with only one window, but the plants look good spread out, and so far, they like it in the lower light. I was also able to scrounge up some furniture and supplies from a storage room, so I really feel all professional and adult like now. I guess it's time. I am 28.
I know I touched on my birthday party already, but let me reiterate how much fun I had. The whole process of getting things together, planning the HUGE menu with my coworkers Crystal and Jess, shopping, cleaning, buying new decorations, doing handy work that I've put off, restarting my fishtank, setting up my new birdcage, getting people on the evite, obsessively checking the evite for funny responses:
Michael Frank (07/30)And many more funny responses. Everyone has said they had a lot of fun, and leftovers were by far my favorite part of bday part 2. Plus, my boss threw me a cheese, pepperoni and cupcake party at work. An unexpected but very much appreciated event. This year was definitely a great birthday year.
Lucky is genuinely hurt. She cried herself to sleep last night saying "I thought what Luke and I had was special"... thanks for making her feel like just another dog... and to string her along on the couch like that last night, well you should be ashamed.
I'm in. But tell me, Luke, which Jim DeLucia did you invite? Is he a DDS? Did you invite my dentist?!
As long as the fire code allows that many people, I will be there. Thanks.
Kelly B(+ 1 guest) (07/28)
Hells yes we will be in attendance and as a bonus we'll bring the offspring so that she can show you her new tricks :)
I am also sorry Jacob will be there.
We had a little yard sale at my place this past weekend. I advertised on like 5 places, put up signs all around the neighborhood, but blah, it didn't work out. We only made about $50, and I think everyone spent at least that getting all the items to my place. We're gonna try again with what is left in September... but I ended up making something like $12... which basically went to pay for the admission into Jake's birthday. But today, Nola and I, along with some of my extended family, went to a giant annual church yard sale in Canadaigua. I did end up coming back with a ton of great stuff for my house, pets and kitchen. Always pleased with the outcome of the sale. Plus, we're always treated to brunch after, and my family ended up in tears laughing so hard. We're pretty funny people. And having the morning off from work was really nice. Made this day extremely short....
I suppose that is enough for now. I'm headed to Michael's house tonight for schlock night. We're watching Zombie, actually. I think like THE original zombie movie. The whole gang will be there, even though we've all been hanging out with each other a lot lately. It's kind of nice. Between random movie nights, schlock night, game night, and all these parties (mine, Jake's, housewarming, etc), we're saturating each other. But I can absorb it. They're good people.
Posted by Luke at 7:46 PM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I have begun recording my wine tastings for the record.
I love dark, dry red wines. I love tannins. I love the flavor or dark chocolate and red fruits. I haven't tasted very many white wines I've liked. But that is changing as I expand my horizons. My quest is to find as many FIVE STAR wines and buy them up! I have quite a collection in my cellar.
1 star = would never buy
2 star = tends to be white wines that make me cringe or bad reds
3 star = I like it, and would buy it if it's under $10
4 star = wow, who knew? I was surprised, I liked it, would buy it if affordable
5 star = amazing, I buy it on the spot
I give half stars if I feel it seems to stand out among its class. The more I learn, the more I realize that while personally, I wouldn't buy it, it's a GOOD wine paired with the right food, and may rate it based on that.
My birthday was a smashing success! Had a ton of fun, and spent time with a ton of the most amazing people ever! (22 to be exact!) I am truly thankful for these wonderful people in my life.
I could not live without these women! Nicole, freshly married and back from her southern vacation, and Nola, my lovely sister with the culinary skills of a master baker! She made the cake!
Milla made a showing, with her big legs and fat arms! She's such a cute girl, and I haven't seen her in so long. And Marni's always the dutiful friend, Sticky Lips or not!
Rachael and Heather spent the evening celebrating with me, even as their husbands groped each other and sprained each others' hands. But the girls are all smiles, and was great seeing them.
Nola made this amazing white chocolate with white chocolate mousse cake for me. She also threatened to kill me if I ever made her do a cake like this again! But my god, this was an amazing cake, and I have just enough leftover for another piece tonight!
Thank you all that came to my birthday and celebrated with me. Also thank you for putting up with ONE game of Werewolf, which I know isn't everyone's favorite! (I apologize for killing my housemate Lisay and my highschool friend Mark.) I have a ton of leftover food, so come on over and help me finish it up!
Also, bonus pictures.... apparently, people got ahold of my camera once I set it down on the table.... (someone likes taking angular shots... and crotch shots!)
Posted by Luke at 11:41 AM
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Back in North Carolina, Nola brought up the topic of my birthday. She remembered that last year I had said to her that I wanted to have a big blow up birthday party next year since I never have a party for myself. Well, I waited to the last minute again, and Alex suggested I could make it easy on myself and just have it catered from my favorite BBQ place: Sticky Lips. So ever since last week, I've had plans in motion for everything involved. I got a day/time where all my close (local) friends had no conflicts, I put in the order to the restaurant 4 days ahead after laboring over ordering amounts and poundages and the like... and I've purchased enough supplies to throw a party of at least 30 people.
So my sisters helped me cleaned, Molly stayed late helping me cook and such, Nola has made this amazing White Chocolate cake for me, and I'm picking up the catering tonight. Party starts at 6:30, and I'm so very pleased with this day so far! Happy birthday, Luke!
Posted by Luke at 1:06 PM