Sunday, July 23, 2006

Homemade cookies and John Mayer

Abbey came to visit me this weekend in Port Jeff and I'm so glad she did. We had plans for a night at the bar on Friday and a drive over to the Hamptons on Saturday. After encountering a scary, blue-bearded bum and a delay on the LIRR, Abbey made it here safely and we followed through on the first part of our plan. Although a little later than expected, we still made it downtown to a bar called Billies that I've been wanting to check out. It was a fun place with a laid-back atmosphere, but it was really busy. Abbey and I were super excited that they had photo hunt, a video bar game we played continuously at Ricks in East Lansing. Of course, we also ran into someone with a U-M hat who didn't attend the school, which we complained about for a while. And Abbey got called out on her Midwestern "accent," which I really don't think exists.
We woke up the following morning to cloudy skies and a forecast for a day filled with rain and thunderstorms. Sure enough, it started raining on our trip to the bagel store for breakfast, so we called off the trip to the beach and substituted it for more rainy-friendly activities. We bought all the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, at least we thought we had it all. And then we walked downtown to pick up the brown sugar that we'd overlooked the first time around, making a stop at the puppy store and a couple other shops along the way. I haven't made cookies that haven't originated from a box or a tube in many years, probably not since elementary school days, so Abbey definitely led the way on this one. With cookies baking, we watched one of three movies we rented and then went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant not far from my apartment. We watched the second movie after dinner, at least I did, Abbey fell asleep halfway through as usual. But she snapped back to life right after. We both had a hard time falling asleep even though we had to get up super early this morning to catch a train to the city. Earlier, we both had drank a can of Tilt, one of those caffeinated, alcoholic orange-type energy drinks, and I'm convinced it worked on some kind of time release that didn't kick in for about an hour. So of course we did the only thing we could to pass the time before sleep hit us: sing along with old John Mayer songs. That's right, Room for Squares style. It was definitely quite a sight and a flashback to high school. In fact, the whole day was reminiscent of a sleepover we might have had 13 or so years ago. Minus the Tilt, that is. Sometimes you need a reminder of how nice the simple things are in life.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

NY resident for real

I've survived not one, but two trips to the DMV without being eaten by one of the grumpy ladies behind the counter. Whether its the Secretary of State, the DMV or whatever your state calls it, tell me, why are the people who work at these places so unhappy? After staring at the number on my paper ticket for an hour and a half, I'm definitely not in the best of moods. And these women (I'm yet to see a guy in this job) only worsen the pain. But, like I said, I've survived this round and walked away with proof of my new residence. Including not one, but two license plates to replace my single old blue. Now I just have to figure out how to put them on. Help, anyone?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Underage no more

It's true. My brother is officially 21 years old. Although it seems like he's been 21 for years, at least in the drinking aspect. I flew into Orlando to help him celebrate on Friday, as did a couple of his friends from Michigan. We had big plans for his first (legal) bar experience, which included a taxi and a cool bar downtown. But once 1 a.m. rolled around and there was still no call from the cab we called more than an hour ago, we took matters into our own hands, or really into Jeff's hands, as he drove us down the road to the first bar we could find. With last call at 1:45, there was no time to waste. We ended up at Wing Shack, or Wing Hut, or some shady bar with an extremely drunk DJ and a name to that effect. 1:30 p.m. We didn't think it possible to get drunk in 15 minutes. But three rounds of shots later, we were wrong. It might of helped that the bartender's name was Kendra, as was a girl on the other side of the bar, and she was thrilled have the trifecta present. I'm sure it resulted in drinks that were a bit stronger and quite a bit larger than normal. So although short, I'd say the night was a success, and a huge headache in the morning.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just thinking

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you made just one decision differently? It really doesn't apply until you graduate high school, at least it doesn't for me. I'm not talking about deciding whether to go to class or not to go to class, or to do drugs or not to. I'm talking about the decisions where you have two or more possible options, all of which seem equally appealing. Life is really mapped out for you throughout the early school years. You know that first grade is followed by second. And 11th followed by 12th. You can choose classes and prom dates, but any drastic changes are usually the decisions of your parents, and you follow, because you really have no choice. After that, each decision is actually your own. Think back. What if you had attended a different college? Would you have the same friends or even the same degree? What if you had held out for a different job or settled for another one much earlier? Would you be living where you are now? Would you be in the same city, or state or country? Sometimes I'm grateful for the decisions I've made, because it's hard to imagine life much differently. But what if we could pull a "Choose Your Own Adventure" with our lives. Would you play?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Long weekend

OK, so it's almost Friday again (I love the four-day holiday). But let me give a quick update of my Independence Day weekend.
I met Abbey at a huge house she was babysitting at on Friday night in NJ. The kids she watches have every toy, book, movie, game you can imagine. Including a big in-ground pool. I'm jealous. From there, we drove back to her apartment to make cupcakes, deviled eggs and pasta salad before going to bed. We woke up early to go "down the shore." That's how you say it supposedly. Omit the "to" and the "the." We stopped at Costco and bought a crazy amount of food: about 70 hamburgers, 50 hotdogs, three types of salads, a huge veggie tray, strawberries, and bags and bags of chips. Abbey still worried that we wouldn't have enough to eat. Don't worry. We did.
After laying out at the beach, where I got ridiculously burned on my back, we had a party at the house. There were supposed to be fireworks on Sunday. But a huge thunderstorm rolled in that night. It was really just as amusing. We all watched from the front porch as some of our drunken neighbors danced around in the flooded streets or on the tops of their roofs. The lightening struck so close in those scary bright lines that kind of make your heart jump, and it was all over in about a half hour. We went to a local bar later on, where I pretended to talk in Kory's huge 1993 Motorola, handing it off to random people and telling them that Zack Morris was on the other line.
We went to Bar A on Monday night, which is a different type of bar. Everything is outside, except for a room with a live band. There's a sand volleyball court with lounge chairs and tiki huts and all kind of cute beachy stuff. Although my favorite part of the night came after the bar, when Abbey, Rachel, Jim and I walked to a pizza place. We ordered cheese fries, which came with a free surprise -- a dead fly on the bottom of the plate. A second or two after we had our girly shrieking over with, Jim casually reached in and swooped the fly into his mouth. Which of course, caused an even greater amount of shrieking. Gross, but kind of impressive considering we hadn't even dared him. I definitely don't want to eat there again, though.
Abbey and I drove back to Saddle Brook on Tuesday morning and we saw "The Devil Wears Prada" for free thanks to a special she gets from the cable and internet company. And then we ate at one of her favorite Mexican restaurants. Yum.
Surprisingly, traffic on the drive home was light. Go figure. But I was still completely exhausted by the time I got back to my apartment.
Time off can be tiring. In a good way.