Hoboken Thanksgiving

I’m not even in Hoboken right now, but I feel like talking about it. I love living here… for the most part. Unfortunately, thanks to the politics, finances, and certain legal issues, I’m just about ready to move out. Lately I’ve been rather down on the city for these reasons, but sometimes I go out and have a blast and remember why I love it so much. Tuesday was the perfect example because Lisa and I took a little walk along Washington St. to shop and then picked up some food at our favorite Cuban restaurant. While we were eating I made the comment that La Isla probably is the best thing about Hoboken. So I started thinking along those lines and decided that I should make a top ten list about Hoboken. Today being Thanksgiving (at least when I started typing) I figure I’ll make it the “Top Ten Things to be Thankful for in Hoboken” (alliteration be damned).

  1. La Isla – Nothing beats an incredible meal at a cheap price in a place where you feel like you’re home. Everytime I eat there I can’t help but feel good afterwards – there’s just something so comforting about a pressed Cuban sandwich (and truset me, give the potato sticks a chance 🙂 ). How can anyone go hungry in this world when all it really takes to satisfy are rice and beans?
  2. Art and Music Festival – Twice a year the town closes half of its main stretch allowing thousands of residents and visitors a chance to wonder amongst artisans and musicians plying their wares. It truly is amazing to merely walk amidst those crowds even if you do nothing more than look at the Cheap Art and buy some Fried Oreos. I’ve missed exactly one in the past 8 years and I swear I’ll never do that again.
  3. Nag’s Head – “You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” The town is full of pubs and bars, and if you’re lucky you’ll find one with a close-knit atmosphere that allows you to meet people who will gladly call out your name everytime you walk through the door. I certainly consider myself lucky to have stepped into the Nag’s the first time around.
  4. Maxwell’s – This list would be laughable if I didn’t include one of the most famous music clubs in the Northeast. What more can be said about a small venue that offers up great indie bands almost every night of the week and still finds time to book the locals. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to try their humus.
  5. New York City – Let’s face it, one of the main reasons so many of us live in this town is the proximity to one of the greatest city’s in the world. Hoboken affords us a community – a real sense of belonging. But being next to NYC gives us everything else we could ever ask for.
  6. Artkore OpenMic – I was going to say the Rodeo/Ristra itself since there is so much else Ivy has going on there these days, but it all comes back to the OpenMic. For the past couple of years the OpenMic has thrived and built up a true scene of musicians, poets, and artists and the people who support them. To say that we owe a lot to the OpenMic would be an extreme understatment.
  7. Louise & Jerry’s – Ask just about anybody in town who has the best jukebox and you will undoubtedly be pointed to L&J’s. This is the classic local bar that’s packed with all of the usual characters complete with a friendly face behind the bar. It’s like a nexus that ties us all together – a common ground where we can all come together.
  8. Gibby – The man is a cultural icon in the burgeoning Hoboken music scene. His passion and energy has helped to push, not only his own band, but countless others into the limelight of our little town. I could list many other great musicians in this town, but it takes a figure like Gibby to rally those people and give them a true sense of worth.
  9. Summertime – If you have the opportunity, take the time to walk around Washington St. in the middle of the week in June. It’s amazing how packed the outdoor seating becomes for all the cafes and restaurants. I can’t go more than two blocks without running into someone I know, and perhaps joining them for a bite, or a quick pint at 3 in the afternoon.
  10. Castle Point – Quite simply one of the greatest views in the world. The heart of Stevens’ campus, Castle Point at night provides a stunning and (typically) quiet panoramic of the NYC skyline. Sure you may have to share it with a few lovers taking a stroll on date night, but you really can’t blame them.

Okay, so that’s my quick take on this town o’ mine. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, I hope you agree. For those unfamiliar with the area, make sure to drop by and check out why we find it so difficult to leave this overpriced little city.

The walking wounded

Today I ended up taking a trip to the production facility. Everybody just wanted to assure themselves that they weren’t the only ones in abject pain from our little game on Friday. No overwhelming sense of machismo here – there was a desperate need of affirmation that our being out of shape was not a unique predicament. Fortunately I can now scale even the longest of staircases without wincing at every step. Maybe I’ll actually stretch a little before we play again.

And they do this every Sunday

Friday afternoon was a turkey day party at the production facility at work. They all bugged me to make an excuse to visit them so I could hang out (since I’m based at the other site), so I did. It was good eats complete with beer and wine, which was an excellent way to fill the afternoon. Unfortunately someone brought out a football and I became an idiot. Tossing around the ol’ pigskin (well, rubber skin) is one thing – my ‘mates and I have been rather regular with that, so my upper body is in shape. But once you actually start running around trying to cover a guy in an real game, well lets just say that my legs weren’t exactly warmed up. Even before my serious collision with Wilson on one third down conversion attempt they were already cramping up all over. The last two days have been hell, as merely walking up and down the stairs hurts like a… well, you know. Fortunately Lisa worked on my calves last night, so by tomorrow they should be much more loose so I don’t have to walk around work like Frankenstein’s monster.

For now I’ll just return to my cheering on the guys that get paid to do that every week. Go Eagles – I wish I could’ve watched another stunning victory this week – damn New York coverage!

It’s Wednesday already

I can’t tell if this week is moving too fast or too slow. It’s already Wednesday and I haven’t even bragged about the Eagles stompin’ on the Gints. I got to wear my new jersey (wow, that looks funny) while I screamed my head off for them (not nearly as much as Monday night, but it wasn’t exactly a nailbiter 😉 ). And when LJ made a key catch on their first drive, boy did it get me pumped. I’m really excited to see where this team will go. Sunday night I swung by the Ristra to meet up with Lisa and found out that a friend of ours is also an Eagles fan. Sarah was very excited to see my jersey and totally psyched about the game. I need to bring all of the Philly people together for some of these games because it’s just more fun that way. I also need to snag the emoticons from the Eagles website as I like them a lot more than the ones that come with WordPress.

Stop the Insanity

I guess I’ll put this under my server’s category. Remember that whole stupid comment spam incident? Well I do! Apparently other people (probably those whose sites are actually read by people outside their apartments 😀 ) are starting to have a worse time with that. Hitting the WordPress DevBlog I noticed that Dougal posted some commentary on the issue and what the WordPress team plans to do about it. This was prompted by a somewhat pessimistic article over at Mark Pilgrim’s site. To be honest, it’s a lot of words and I’m supposed to be working right now, so I’ll be reading it later. But for now I just want to say that I agree with Dougal for the most part, and I’m glad to see that those guys aren’t going to take this lying down. In particular I like the idea of comment moderation, which works fine for a low traffic site such as mine where I get only a few comments every week or so. Obviously this could become difficult for more popular sites, but overall it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not too keen on blacklists, simply because they require a lot of cooperation to maintain and can grow rather bloated and cumbersome with little to no way of correcting mistakes. But that’s a blanket statement that could easily be proven wrong, and of course I give their effort the benefit of the doubt. I think for once, the spammer truly have the underhand (does that make sense?) in this situation and it will not grow into the disaster that is e-mail.

Roughing the passer

My roommate Brian started an account with Gamefly to cut down on all the money he (we) spend on video games. So the first game I put on the queue was ESPN NFL 2k4. I really enjoyed 2k2, but 2k3 was nigh impossible on the PS2. I decided this time it would make sense to actually try it first. In spite of all of its faults, it’s still a damn fun game. Last weekend was the perfect example when Mike, Brian, his friend Derrick, and myself played against the computer, got out asses handed to us, and still managed to have a blast. Tonight I had a lot of fun unlocking some stupid things for “My Crib”, yet nothing pleases us more than injuring a player. On consecutive plays I managed to knockout the Patriots’ starting QB, Tom Brady, followed by his backup. It was awesome! I’ve saved the replays and now I just have to transfer them to a computer somehow.

As far as real football goes, I’m totaly psyched for tomorrow’s Eagles/Giants matchup and plan to root for the Birds all the way into first place. I also just got my first jersey the other day, so I get to cheer on my boy L.J. Smith – pictures will be taken soon.

I can’t get to sleep

I haven’t been sleeping much lately. There are issues that are too personal for the web, and I don’t want to become one of those people (I’d be linking someone from my past there, but I don’t want to give her any hits 😉 ). In the meantime, I’ve been watching a lot of Scrubs. A number of people kept telling me to watch it, and now I’m finally catching up after having downloaded the first season and a half (the rest of season two is on it’s way 🙂 ). One of the best parts of the show is its use of music. I was particularly excited when they used the incredible “Fighting for My Love” by Nil Lara in one episode. But what hit me most was a later episode that had a trobadour following the main character around for much of the episode singing a song with an acoustic guitar. I knew I recognized him and his voice, and eventually realized that it was Colin Hay from Men at Work. The song was an acoustic version of “Overkill” from their 1983 album Cargo. It’s an amazing rendition that, for obvious (well, to me at least) reasons, has been running through my head non-stop. I guess I’ll just reprint the lyrics without permission or written consent:
Continue reading “I can’t get to sleep”

I think my heart is still pounding

My evening wasn’t going very well. Actually, it was downright sucky. So I’ll just say that I really needed this pick-me-up from the Eagles. The Eagles beat the Packers to solidify their lead on a wild-card spot and remain only one game behind for the division lead. They did it at Lambeau when almost nobody thought they could. It was a nailbiter with McNabb’s game-winning TD pass hitting Todd Pinkston with 27 seconds left on the clock. That was great football. That’s why I watch the game. We’re talking about a game that wasn’t sealed until Favre fumbled the ball with 1 second left. After finally taking the lead, the Eagles gave up a 45 yard TD run by Ahman Green on a fourth and 1 play then turned it over on downs when they failed to convert a fourth and 5 of their own. Yet for some reason I still didn’t give up hope and continued to watch – and the Eagles responded with possibly the biggest W of the year so far. Thank you guys!

P.S.(I couldn’t find this article about Philly fans last night when I originally posted.)

Spammers, we don’t need no steenking spammers

I can’t believe spammers are so pathetic that someone actually came up with the idea of comment spamming. Basically, in an attempt to boost page rankings for their stupid websites, people are leaving comments on blogs and journals simply to link back to themselves or other sites they are “paid to advertise”. I thought I first heard about this over at Binary Bonsai, but now I can’t find the link. Those first reports I read, however, showed comments that tried to look like real comments with messages like “Hey, I was excited to see you site, please check out mine” and would then point to some sort of pyramid scheme or fetish farm. Regardless, I’m pissed now because someone trying to push Levitra or some such crap spammed my precious comments section with utter crap that was just filled with search terms and links. And the real funny part is that I almost wouldn’t have found out about it because Mozilla picked out all the triggers in the comment notification e-mail and threw that in my junk folder 😛 . Anywho, I’ve deleted the comment, but kept the e-mail for future reference (you know, to pretend that I’ll actually report them) . For now I mainly look forward to some added features in WordPress (like comment approval) that will prevent this in the future.

Praystation 3

While poking around the nooks and crannies of the Internet to see if there was any info about Sony’s timeline for the next Playstation console (even I don’t understand how bored I had become in such a short break at work), I came across this little gem of a “PS3 sneak preview“. The interview is pretty funny, but the best part is simply to wait for his picture of the “advance PS3” to appear. That alone made me almost hit the floor laughing.