Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve

Two Thousand Five has been a pretty good year all told. I managed to procure and build a new office for Transportation Alternatives, got engaged and did a couple of shows. 2006 is going to be a year of tall orders. I haven't announced it to a good many people or to the world-wide-web but Laura and I are going to open an cafe/venue in Williamsburg or Greenpoint. I've been kind of shy about talking about it, but I really want to do this freaking thing. In the spirit of Josh's book I'm going to start saying it more often and make this sucker happen.

No, I haven't figured out how I'll come up with the seed money, but my subconscious is working overtime on it. I woke up at 6:45 this morning after a vivid anxiety dream where Laura and I found all this money on a near sunken ship. We got in an argument about how much to take, I just wanted to take enough to start the cafe, but she wanted to take a lot more so we'd be set for life. I tried for a half hour to get back to sleed then crept to the bathroom and read for a few hours so as not to wake our houseguests, John and Noreen.

In other amazing news, that fixed gear bike that I referred to the other day was actually a surprise present for Laura and my friend Emily. It was a gife from her boyfriend Chris, who is, as you might imagine, a rather thoughtful guy. Yesterday, Emily moved and we helped her and when we were almost done, Chris fetched the bike and we were there when he gave it to her. She was a pretty happy camper to say the least.

This is the before picture:

This is after:

And this is Chris with the bike:

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

TWU Strike, The Holidays ETC.

It's been a bit, but I won't dwell. To me, the strike was a big, huge amateur hour on the streets of New York. When you bike regardless of the weather, you kind of get like a crotchety Cape Codder: there are "the summer people" and then there are the locals. There were roughly the same number of bikers on the road as one sees on the third consecutive day of spring, only it was cold as all hell and no one was too happy. There was a conspicuous lack biking etiquitte and I saw people getting really pissed at cars. I followed one woman for a couple of blocks just to see how she successful she would be at screaming at every car that was rude to her.

I work in Brooklyn four days a week and so I only had to go over the bridge into Manhattan one day. It was terrible. Teeming humanity, wall to wall cars and a sea of unhappy campers on foot.

Laura and I went to St. Louis for Christmas. It was a good time, if a little stressful. I got to see my bro's new dog, Milo who he spent his entire summer vacation training. I also got to see his completed bar that he built in one of the three bedrooms of his house and try a good amount of the beer that he's been brewing.

St. Louis for the holidays can be very stressful on the system. Lots of family stress, eating huge meals, drinking and almost zero exercize save for walking from the house to the car. Laura and I feel like bloated slugs. Laura was a real trooper I have to say. We're back in the city now and if all goes well, I'll be putting together a fixed gear from an old frame I've had for a spell and getting to the gym.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Not So Shadenfreudelicious

Well, the strike finally happened. As much as I'd like to be all smug about how I have my bike and all and this doesn't make a goddamned lick of difference to me, but it's cold out there. Really cold. I've gotten into the habit of using the G train by my door to get to work in the morning and taking my bike back, and this would be just such a morning. I hope everyone has a bearable commute or at best, a good day off.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fun At A Funeral Home

Laura and I went to our friend and former Lyric Lounge regular, Archie's holiday party last night.

Archie's family is in the funeral home business.

Archie lives above the funeral home his family owns.

His place is huge.

The food was good, the drinks were plentiful and I got to see an embalming table. What the hell could be better? We did a little Yankee gift swap and I came home with a "Happy New Year's pack" which included three different types of novelty condems, a couple of packets of Alka-Seltzer and some Power Bars.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Not Working With a Computer During The Day

I work primarily with my hands during the day and my computer time is relegated to quick peeks at the internet in the morning and night. Little time to make content, though I feel I need to change that somehow.

As everyone and their mother knows, there is not strike right now, but kind of a strike maybe later. Maybe. I thought it woudn't happen at all, Laura thought that it would, but it turns out that we're both wrong. It's rainy and nasty outside, I intend to take my bike on the subway....while I can.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Little Giant Owners and Staff Have Read My Blog

I started to worry that my favorite restaurant, Little Giant, was out of business. I spent three days trying to get a reservation for this Saturday. I kept getting either a fax squawk or a busy signal on their reservation number. So tonight I decided to stop by there and make sure for myself that they were still kicking. It turns out that they were and that they were just having trouble with stupid Verizon. I was working out the reservation business with Julie, one of the owners when Tasha, the other owner, came up the stairs to say hi.

"So Frank, why are you so anal these days?"

I was confused

"Hey Julie, this is the guy who wrote on his web site that Little Giant was gauronteed anal sex"

Before I could clarify and say that their mutual brainchild that they spent years of hard work building was LIKE gauronteed anal sex and not a real gaurontee, the bartender chimed in, "oh yeah, I remember that. Heh heh."

I would like to now say two things regarding my November 12th post:

1. Little Giant, with its incredible selection of seasonal American dishes, wine list, decor, music and service makes the payer of the tab the feel entitled to their date's forbidden, star-shaped fruit but in no way gaurontees it.
2. I challenge anyone who works at, owns or has eaten at Little Giant to quote me just one line from the glowing reviews given it by the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Times or any other publication.

Little Giant is located on the corner of Orchard and Broom Street, for reservations call: (212) 226-5047

"Little Giant: The Place To Close The Deal"

UPDATE: Julie pointed out that the number was wrong and that's why I didn't get through. I corrected it above and I'm now a little mortified at the thought of going into the restaurant on Saturday with my parents, my fiancee and a family friend.

Monday, December 05, 2005

If you want something done right...

So Frank, how does it feel to be engaged? Not so different, it's a weight off my shoulders but now there's the immense production of getting hitched to worry about. What does feel different is that since I've gotten engaged, I've been increasingly worried about Laura's well-being and she mine.

While I was doing my deliveries this morning I got several calls from her. She was extremely upset because she fell three times trying to climb the Williamsburg bridge. By 8:30 this morning, the DOT had yet to put down salt so that now the cleared snow which had melted slightly was now frozen in icy patches. This is Laura's first winter on a track bike and it is a tricky thing to ride a slick, fully inflated, 25mm wide tire on ice and snow. You need to put your weight roughly in the middle of the bike and hover your butt in front of the seat to get leverage in your pedal stroke but not too forward so that you're rear tire will skid. It takes a lot of fucking up to get it right and doing it for your first time on a 40 degree incline while trying to get to work must be just awful. To add insult to injury, Transportation Alternatives chose this of all mornings to stand at the bottom of the bridge and remind bike commuters to slow down on the bridge and watch out for pedestrians. I don't think anyone was going that fast this morning unless they were out of control or had a death wish.

The whole thing pissed me off so much that I bought a 20 lb bag of rock salt from a hardware store on Mott and Delancy and salted off the two major turns on the bridge, both of which still had lots of snow and ice on them. The DOT had done a little bit of salting by that point, but I just decided to really lay it on thick. I coulda just called 311 and bitched to the DOT, but it was way too satisfying to just dump out a crapload of salt on the spots on the bridge they always miss.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ahhh Love

So the pot luck went over damned well. Lots of good food, friends and wholesale consumption of affordable wine. Kristine brought her dog Milo over and the two of them fought and humped to everyone's amusement. Afterwards the party moved to The Palace, a bar in Greenpoint where everyone got beer by the pitcher.

So then......

Laura and I chatted about marraige, something that had happened before and had been left unspoken in the morning. I've realized for a while that she was the one, it was just a matter of when and where etc. etc. We went back to the house and passed out. I woke up at about seven in the morning and remembered instantly what we had discussed. I had thought to ask her this summer, probably on a small island off of the Croatian Coast. Now I was like, "oh shit, gotta do it now!"

I waited till she woke up and asked her. She said yes, we made calls, we searched for a ring (and found one for an undisclosed amount) had dinner and, since we felt to damned awful from the night before, we pretty much called it a night.

As for the response, I think my mother, who is paid for her ability to orate and is currently writing a book on parenting techniques said it best, "what took you so fucking long!"

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pot Luck At My Place

In the interest of promoting Churchillian values and eschewing those of Hitler, Laura and I will be having a Pot Luck dinner at our place this Friday. If you're reading this, you're invited, just shoot me a line to confirm. If I'm being read by people in somewhere like Kazakhstan instead of just a coterie of my 1st degree friends, well, come on through as well, it'll be interesting.