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Finally a bill worth passing! November 12, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in animals, brooklyn, common sense, current events, football, new york city, opinion, pedestrian behavior, politics, sports, world news.
18 comments

Firstly…how bout them Cowboys! Big win for the boys over the weekend knocking off the Giants, who basically spent the last 4 weeks playing Junior Varsity. Glad they finally got knocked back to earth.

Now, onto the news of the day. I read in AM New York this morning that Councilman Simcha Felder from Brooklyn is looking to put a ban on feeding pigeons.

As reported here back in July, pigeons have become bigger and nastier in recent days. I reported that due to steriod based grass fertilizers, pigeons have been on a eating spree, gobbling up as much steriod infused seeds as they can get their beaks on. Also it’s well known that pigeon shit is highly acidic and causes the rotting and decay of our bridges, buildings and infrastructure.


A pigeon performing a “shit and run” in NYC

So this bill would effectively ban all feeding of pigeons. Furthermore the bill calls for the creation of a “pigeon czar to be held accountable for all the city’s pigeon-related complaints”.

Now if the city had any brains at all they’d appoint me pigeon czar. Just give me a shotgun and I’d effectively end the pigeon overpopulation problem for good. And anyone caught feeding a pigeon would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

What would that punishment be? I’d unleash a gang of ugly, unruly pigeons, lock them in the offender’s house or apartment for a week, feeding them nothing but Ex-Lax and Metamusil. I’d lock the violator in the house as well, leaving them to defend themselves against the shit fueled rage that would transpire. Then after the week was up, I’d “humanely execute” all of the pigeons in the house leaving the homeowner to clean up the mess of shit and pigeon carcasses. I bet your bottom dollar that the violator of pigeon law would never, ever feed a pigeon ever again!

If they did violate a second time….they would be met with death. No questions asked.

Think I’m the only one with these thoughts? Think again.

Take a look at the Royal Society for the Preservation of Pigeon Killing, which is better known as KillthePigeons.com

There’s countless stories on this site of how pigeons destroy our every day lives and also reports on the “heros” who help rid the world of pesky pigeons.

Are you sick of pigeons shitting on your new coat the first time you wear it? Are you tired of having to dodge swarms of pigeons on the street as soon as someone so much as feeds them a small piece of bread? Speak up. Support Councilman Felder’s proposal ban on pigeon feeding! Join the cause and let’s keep the damn pigeon population under control!

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“Cult” of Personality October 31, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in critique, eating, food, football, opinion, pedestrian behavior, photos, pictures, sports, travel.
14 comments

So I’m stealing a line from one of my most favorite songs of all time, Living Colour’s Cult of Personality.

Although the cult I’m referring to are the fans that inhabit Darrel Royal Stadium at the University of Texas, Austin.

I was last at a Longhorns game about 5 years ago and was amazed by how every single fan knew every single chant and battle hymn. Coming from a I-AA football school, we were lucky if students remembered when the team was actually at home.

Anyway, I had the chance to go to another Longhorns game this past weekend, as we were down in Austin celebrating Rich’s bachelor party. We saw UT take on perennial powerhouse Nebraska, who themselves have been struggling of late.

The hotel we stayed at (the Days Inn University) was packed full of Nebraska fans who made the trip down south. However, not wanting to be the enemies of 80,000 fans that pack into the stadium, we decide to don the home burnt orange and white.


The crew donning the burnt orange and white

We ended up tailgating at Sholz Garten before the game…which was this huge facility with a large backyard picnic type area with hundreds of peeps packed in. They had a large indoor hall with a big screen TV, where diehards were glued to one of the games. Outside they had a few bars with bbq grills. After waiting in line for 20 minutes for a pulled pork sandwich at one of the pits, I grabbed a seat and took a bite. However said pulled pork was kinda cold and very fatty. Definitely not an appetizing snack whatsoever, especially added to the fact I waited 20 minutes to get it.


The disappointing pulled pork at Sholz

Other than that the beer was great (kudos for having Spaten Oktoberfest on draft!) and the atmosphere was pretty kick ass!

(side rant coming: everything in Austin is made to order. Nothing is cooked ahead of time. While this is a nice touch, it adds completely unnecessary delays, especially at a tailgate or even at the game itself. The lines all day were ridiculous, because even soda from the fountain was made to order. They even ran out of hotdogs and pretzels before half time because they didn’t keep filling the machines. At Sholz, they made the burgers to order. So they waited for someone to order before throwing it on the grill. Now, when you have a line, of lets say 50 people or so, good planning dictates more than half of them will be getting a burger when it’s one of the 5 items you offer up. Dont’cha think you should have a bunch grilling and ready to rock, instead of having people stand there for 20 minutes? I mean I appreciate the “human touch”, I really do. But let’s talk about efficiencies here people. Think ahead. Prepare. Don’t run out of fuckin hotdogs at a football game. Thanks).

Back to football. Even though the team is struggling a bit this season, the fans were rapid from the opening ceremonies. The old PeeWee favorite “The Stars at Night are Big and Bright…Deep in the Heart of Texas” gets the crowd singing along, young and old alike. Not even at a professional football game will you find the crowd as pumped up before the game even starts than you will at UT. Case in point, when the players emerge from the tunnel and head across the field for a pre-game prayer, the fans pray with them.

It’s not all that surprising considering that in a state like Texas, football and god go hand-in-hand.

The Longhorns ended up winning the game 28-25. Nebraska actually had a lead in the second half with momentum, but couldn’t capitalize on a Interception around midfield as their drive stalled and ultimately UT took advantage of their superior talent in the game.

There’s some more stories to share, including how it took us over an hour to get food served to us at two different locations over the weekend…so stay tuned!

Texas: football, steer and testicles? October 16, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in animals, eating, food, football, humor, opinion, photos, pictures, restaurant, sports, travel.
21 comments

Oh well…the Cowboys tried. They really did. But the Patriots were too much. Too much offense. The Cowboys actually had a lead in the game in the 3rd Quarter.


The scoreboard clearly shows the Cowboys up big

But poor play calling and execution by the Cowboys in the 3rd/4th Quarters pretty much did them in. Including going for a FG on 4th and goal from the 5 when they were down 14. Smart move. But give the Pats credit. They’re definitely talented and Brady is a stud. They very well could go 16-0. They have the talent too. We’ll just see if they can stay focused for that long.


The Patriots pretty much took the air out of Cowboys fans after their victory

I’ll follow up with pictures of the tailgate and other random player jerseys we came across during the game.

Other than that Dallas was fun filled and action packed. Ok not really action packed but definitely fun filled. Some highlights from the trip:

We started with a visit to the Grassy Knoll down by the Book Depository where that “man who was president” was shot.

If you didn’t know it was the grassy knoll, well…this sign could have helped you.

I mean really…ridiculous. Thanks for pointing that out. There’s even an X that marks the spot where Kennedy was shot. Completely over the top and distasteful as far as I’m concerned. Not that I didn’t take pictures of the area myself, but that’s for journalistic purposes of course!

Next up was a trip to the Whataburger. I had never frequented one before so I was up to the task. The burger was passable…nothing special. But special touch was getting it delivered to your table. The foam cup kept the soda nice and cold though. Foam is definitely a good alternative to the plastic cups most fast food places give customers.

After filling up on Whataburger we took a trip to the Ballpark at Arlington where we were treated to a behind the scenes tour at the stadium. It was only Tom, John and I so we were able to get a pretty intimate tour of the stadium, the press box and the team locker room. We also took a trip to the dugout. Unfortunately they were leveling the field so it was nothing but backhoes and dirt, but nonetheless it was pretty crazy being the only people in the stadium besides the few workers.

After our private tour we were craving some steak so we headed west to Fort Worth and down to the famous Stockyards. After knocking down a few Lonestars at a local watering hole we decide to fill out stomachs with good ole steer.

But first appetizers came calling. And the one appetizer that jumped out was the sampler platter, complete with ribs, mozzarella sticks, and calf fries.

Asking the waiter what calf fries were, he vaguely said something about the hanging sirloin of the bull (looking it up the definition of calf fries are buffalo, boar or bull testicles. They are usually peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt, sometimes pounded flat, then deep-fried. Nice! High-five!).

I was undeterred however and after getting said testicles I was the first to try.


I can cross testicles of my list of food to eat

They were quite tasty actually. Very succulent (is it wrong to say testicles are succulent?) Then again anything fried is bound to be tasty. But they seriously tasted like chicken tenders. Even the guys agreed: testicles aren’t so bad after all!

After downing some apps and a salad it was on to the steer.  An 18 oz porterhouse with a nice baked potato and corn on the cob.

Of course being that I’m a glutton for ignoring my stomach when it says it’s full, I threw down some pecan pie.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any Paul Bunyon hats for my eating performance but I was completely stuffed afterwards. I was so stuffed actually that I wasn’t able to get out of the car when Tom and John went to the supermarket. So I just sat there and slumped in my seat. At least it allowed me to snap a picture of this beauty. Nothing like putting megawheels on a 4×4.

Only in Texas my friends, only in Texas.

We’re not in Kansas anymore! September 25, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in eating, food, football, humor, photos, pictures, random references, restaurant, travel, video.
24 comments

Never thought I’d actually be able to say that in my lifetime. But I’m back from Kansas City and actually had a great time. My event went well this weekend and I made some new friends, including Steve Hickoff, Turkey Hunting Expert and Stuart Littlefield, who won our Outdoor Life Grand Slam Adventure contest. Steve is a fellow blogger himself and wrote a little of our experience this weekend (I impressed Steve with my knowledge and insight on competitive eating!) Stuart is a native Kansas City-ian and took us for some good ole homestyle BBQ on Saturday night. Joining us for a culinary adventure was Peter Mathiesen, Field & Stream’s Gear Guru.

Stuart took us to a place called Oklahoma Joe’s. Oklahoma Joe’s is situated in Kansas City, KS and is located in a gas station. Yep, half of the “convenience” area of the gas station was torn out to put seating and an order station. Since this was as authentic as BBQ gets I didn’t mind the long wait which stretched outside the doors.

Once we ordered the food was ready lightning fast. The place is market style, meaning you place your order, get yur order and find a seat. I decided on a pulled pork sandwich at Stuart’s suggestion and we all split a slab of ribs (I was corrected after requesting we split a rack of ribs. Apparently there’s no room for saying rack of ribs in Kansas…only thing racks refer to are deers and well you know…).

Anyway lemme tell you that the BBQ was lip smacking good! Unreal. Some of the tastiest, tender pulled pork I’d ever laid my fingers on. Same with the ribs. Juicy. Tender. Fell right off the bone.


The Oklahoma Joe’s slab of ribs


The pulled pork sandwich

The side of baked beans was merely an afterthought and the fries were just there to help soak up some of the tasty sauce. The pickles were a nice sweetener to compliment the beef. But honestly who cares about sides when you have some of the best meat around. Just look at how perfectly cooked the meat was. (Sorry LK- but you’re gonna have to get some my BBQ after that pic my friend). So needless to say I’m definitely a fan of the Oklahoma Joe’s.

It’s been tough coming back and getting into the work mode again. Although the day went by so fast on Monday that I didn’t even have a chance to give you your Monday morning fix, so for that I apologize!

Although I think this is one of the few times I’ve actually blogged at night! Much different vibe than blogging in the morning or during the day. I feel hipper. Fresher. More twisted in my thoughts. Almost as twisted as this young contortionist:

My favorite is when she busts into the worm. Unfucking believable. Talk about flexibility. I’m lucky I can touch the ground on my stretches (and that’s after spreading my legs a few extra inches). This girl can wrap her leg around her head like it’s a bandana. Crazy.

Anyway I’m sitting here watching Drew Brees continue to suck ass. He’s really killing me in fantasy football this year. My team is off to it’s worse start in my 10 year fantasy career and I really have him to blame. Good job Drew. Way to follow up on that dream season of yours.

I’m so depressed I went out and bought myself a cherry pie to make myself feel better. After devouring it in about 4 seconds along with a glass of Chocolate Soy milk I feel a little better about life. Although can’t say the same for my stomach.

Actually watching Brees stink up the joint my stomach is starting to turn a bit. Kinda sounds like it’s trying to sing Warrant’s Cherry Pie song. You know the words:

She’s my

Cool drink of water
Such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good make a grown man cry
Sweet

Oh yeah

She’s my

Put a smile on your face
Ten miles wide
Looks so good
Bring a tear to your eye
Sweet

Yeah sweet

Yeah

“Fantasy” Weekend August 21, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in celebrities, current events, eating, fashion, food, football, new york city, television.
22 comments

When you think “fantasy weekend” you probably don’t envision 12 guys in a room drinking beer, talking football, with a newborn and a greyhound (unless maybe you’re Britney Spears). But when it’s fantasy football season, there’s no time for females or lounging at the beach. There’s some pride on the line and some drafting to be done! Well, this past weekend was my annual fantasy football draft. I’m proud to say our league has been in existance for 15 years and I think I’ve been a part of it for the last 9. The best part about our league is that we try to be together in person for the draft. Obviously getting everyone in the same room year after year is difficult, especially with people living all over the country, but that’s what makes our league special.

Anyway, not to bore you with all of the fantasy football details (if you want to know my team feel free to post a comment) but one of the highlights is always the food. We’ve come a long way since our inception, and at recent drafts you could find lobster, freshly caught steamed quahog, Vietnamese Tiger Shrimp (the biggest shrimp you’ve ever seen!), homemade chili and other tasty treats (both homemade and store bought).

For this year I was able to bust out some boneless buffalo chicken strips using my newly updated recipe. I bake my famous “buffalo wings” instead of frying them and make a “special sauce” which has become famous over the years at Super Bowl parties and other gatherings. I’ve started to substitute chicken wings for skinless, boneless chicken breast that I carve up into bite size portions and bake away. The result is a nice tender and tasty buffalo chicken piece that’s for the most part healthy for you (minus the sodium in the buffalo wing sauce).


My buffalo style chicken (right) accompanied by Pigs in a Blanket and Jalepeno Poppers

Along with my buffalo style chicken we feasted on Connell’s chili, pizza, homemade Hummus, brownies, and Ian’s extra large, butterflied grilled tiger shrimp (of which I ate about 20 of – hence no pictures).


Connell’s chili


Pizza and homemade hummus

So the food this year was a success, even if we didn’t have freshly caught clams and steamed lobster. But maybe we’ll make up for it next year!

Anyway, I had another “fantasy” experience last night when I was invited to a swank party thrown by Meow Mix. Now when you think Meow Mix you don’t think party (unless there’s some catnip thrown in!) but the party was a “Meow Mix Acatemy Back to School party”.

The party was thrown in a converted space on Union Square East and 15th street. There were limos in the front and cameras everywhere and immediately I thought I wouldn’t be let in with my khakis and untucked polo shirt. But since I “was on the list” I was let in.

Immediately after I walked through the front doors it was like a stepped on stage of a model shoot. To my left was a photo area where singer Kat DeLuna was holding some cats and posing for pictures. On my right was an area to purchase Meow Mix “attire” including t-shirts and handbags. Further into the room were two side rooms with more photo areas, including a life-size kitty play area where another model was taking pictures. The room then opened up into a bar and food area, with a stage and areas to “catnap” and stretch.

Since the party was cat themed, invited guests were (besides Kat DeLuna): Iron Chef Cat Cora, “Big Pussy” from the Sopranos, CariDee (winner of America’s Next Top Model) and Rachel Hunter. Not sure what Rachel Hunter had to do with cats, but regardless she was there (although I didn’t even recognize her, nor did I recognize any celebrities for that matter). All I know was that there were LOTS of tall women there (presumably all models) and lots of yummy food (and a large sampling of Meow Mix Salmon treats for your cats there for the taking). I had joked with some guests that they should serve up the cat treats on little crackers just to see if people would’ve noticed the difference (they probably wouldn’t have). But all in all for the little I was there it was a good time (how can you not enjoy watching models prance around a small room trying to “one-up” each other).

Here are some published pics from last night:

Apparently the “Meow Mix Acatemy” is here to stay for a while too. So may be something to check out if you’re a cat lover. Although hopefully the geniuses behind ICanHazCheezburger won’t go and fuck it up for cat lovers.

It’s all been done…. May 31, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in celebrities, football, music, new york city, NFL, nostaglia, opinion, photos, pictures, random references, sports, white castle.
18 comments

Ooh ooh ooh…it’s all been done…ooh ooh…it’s all been done, before…

That Barenaked Ladies song popped into my head when I read an article this morning that Mark Cuban, the much ballyhooed owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, wants to launch his own professional football league.

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ap-newfootballleague&prov=ap&type=lgns

Cuban’s idea centers around taking lower round draft picks to populate the league, which will save on having to pay high salaries to players. I actually thought about that point after the recent draft. How many NFL players drafted below the 3rd round actually get a chance to play? I mean not to say you don’t have “gems” later in the draft (i.e. Tom Brady) or guys that weren’t drafted at all (i.e. Tony Romo), but by and large most guys drafted end up on practice squads or playing in Europe. So conceivably this idea of another league, which if they do it right should be positioned as a development league, could stick. Not to say it’ll be popular as NFL football on Sundays…but if minor league baseball works…then why not “minor league football?”. People love to tailgate. As long as they kept ticket prices down and did some zany local market promotions (like the minor league baseball team in Sauget with the deep fried White Castles at their concessions) they can get decent crowds at games.

I honestly think this could work though. I was an avid and rabid fan of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in the early 80s. Mainly because it gave me a local team to root for since I was a Dallas Cowboys fan.

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Walker hitting the hole for the Generals

Plus Herschel Walker ended up getting a “promotion” to the “big league” a few years later landing a spot on the Cowboys. But it doesn’t just end with Herschel. Look at all of the great NFL talent that came directly from the USFL:

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Future Super Bowl Champion and MVP Doug Williams of the Redskins

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Future 4 time Super Bowl participant Jim Kelly of the Bills

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Future Super Bowl Champion and one of the greatest scrambling QBs in NFL history, Steve Young of the 49ers

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Reggie White would become arguably the greatest defensive end ever to play in the NFL for the Eagles

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Without the USFL, we may never had been introduced to Flutie Flakes and longtime fan favorite Doug Flutie of the Bills

Other players who made an impact in the NFL coming from the USFL include:

Mel Gray – RB/KR Lions
Mike Rozier – RB Oilers
Bobby Hebert – QB Saints
Albert Bentley – WR Colts
Anthony Carter – WR Vikings
Ricky Sanders – WR Redskins

So when done right, an alternate league can yield some great undiscovered talent. Even the short-lived XFL contributed to the NFL by giving them Rod Smart of He Hate Me fame. Plus the NFL also stole the XFL’s roving field cameras and started using them during games (despite the NFL saying these were once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary cameras which as anyone who watched the XFL know was complete bullshit).

So even though I hate Mark Cuban because he’s a meddling pompous asshole who complains and whines about everything (hmm…remind you of a Mr. Steinbrenner?), I wish him well with this new league. After all, I’d love to see the next Herschel Walker or Doug Flutie in action before they hit it big!

American “Idle” May 23, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in American Idol, baseball, celebrities, common sense, critique, current events, football, funny, humor, music, NFL, opinion, photos, pictures, random references, sarcasm, television, world news.
20 comments

So I’m probably the only person in America (or the world for that matter) who didn’t watch American Idol last night. Well make that Bridget & I since we went to grab dinner at the Barking Dog. We got back at 9:15 and I flipped on Fox to see some guy giving a monologue type performance on stage. Then I remembered Idol started at 8 not 9. Oops. Oh well…I’m sure I didn’t miss much and I don’t really need to watch tonight to know who wins. Cause I know. It’s Jordin Sparks.

How do I know? Well the two best female singers got knocked out already in LaKisha and Doolittle, and Blake is basically playing the Clay Aiken to Jordin’s Kelly Clarkson winning role. I read online this morning that she even shed a tear while singing the new Idol single – “This is my now” or something like that.

So she pretty much just wrapped it up. America loves a crier.

I won’t be watching tonight. I have better things to do. Like laundry. That and I won’t be voting either. Mainly because I can’t vote for Jordin. Why…because I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan and her dad, Phillippi played for the Giants. Although Sparks did play one season for the Boys in 2000, hauling in 5 INTs. Although they didn’t win the Super Bowl that year and by and large he was a Giants player for his whole career. So can’t root for the enemy and thus can’t vote for her. Sorry Jordin. Although you’re gonna win anyway. Sorry to ruin the surprise for everyone.

IF I did have to vote…I’d vote for Gretchen Wilson.

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My “Idol” vote goes to Gretchen Wilson

And don’t give me this bullshit that you can’t vote for someone else besides the final two. I’m voting for Gretchen simply because her song “All Jacked Up” has popped into my head more than any other song over the past few months. So I’m basing my decision on that.

Don’t know the song? You should get to know it. It’s a boot stomping, head nodding, rootin-tootin good tune. Great also for working out in the gym and perfect for sculpting those abs for the summer. I think it should be the official song of the Jersey Shore for the summer. Hell, maybe even the MLB should adopt it in a new marketing campaign.

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Bonds will star in the new MLB Marketing Campaign – “All Jacked Up”

Makes perfect sense, since all of the players have gotten “Jacked” over the past 10 years off steriods and human growth hormones.

Actually I think I may even go ahead and produce the marketing video for them. Would be pretty easy to do. You could just flash before and after pictures of Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, Giambi, Sosa, etc. You can start out with them as they came into the league, skinny and non-muscular and show pictures of them downing vitamins or injecting the HGH into their asses gradually becoming bigger and bigger. All while “All Jacked Up” plays in the background. Not a bad concept…maybe I should get a job in marketing someday 😉

If 50 is the new 40… May 21, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in baseball, critique, eating, food, football, funny, humor, lunch, new york city, NFL, opinion, restaurant, sarcasm, sports, travel, yankees.
27 comments

So as they say these days, 50 is the new 40 (largely thanks to advances in “wrinkle cream” cosmetics, botox shots and plastic surgeries galore). Also it is commonly said that 40 is the new 30, due to 40 year olds being more active and looking younger these days (which is largely thanks to the recent explosion of 40 year old “hot” female stars, like Madonna, Teri Hatcher, etc. Read this article for more details)

Drilling down even further, it’s been also widely said that 30 is the new 20. In that case, happy 20th birthday to me! I’ve been waiting sooooo long to turn 20. I mean thank god I can finally put those dreaded teenage years behind me and sound much more “adult-like”. People take you so much more seriously when you say you’re “20 something” rather than being a “teenager”.

To celebrate my “20th birthday” this past weekend we went where any responsible “20 year old” would go: Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. Being that it’s also my mother’s birthday (yes, I was born on the same day as my mother. And please no more jokes about “that’s the best present she’s ever gotten” or “wow, what a birthday present for her”) we made a group decision to go out to eat. Instead of picking anything in Brooklyn or going to a “chain” like Cheesesteak Factory or Olive Garden, we decided to take a trip out to Staten Island to eat at the good ole’ family fun destination of Charlie Brown’s. I personally had voted for Burger King so I could get a crown, but I was overruled.

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That bitch stole my Burger King crown

Before you make fun, let me just tell you there’s no knockin the Charlie Brown’s. The fun atmosphere, good food, and fair prices make it the ideal location to celebrate a birthday, as evidenced by the “Happy Birthday to You” songs that seemed to be sung every 5 minutes by the staff (of course we got ours too…but we didn’t get a balloon so I was disappointed about that). But fun atmosphere aside, for a family of 5 to eat dinner, which included appetizer, salad bar, steaks all around (filet mignon’s, porterhouses, prime rib, sirloin and shrimp, etc), two hulking pieces of dessert (including the world’s biggest piece of carrot cake) and 2 rounds of drinks, the total bill was $150 bucks. That’s it. $150. That would have cost like $500 in the city. Our first round of drinks, which included 2 beers, a martini and a jagerbomb only cost $20. That’s like highway robbery right there. They even advertise a margarita night, with $1.50 margs. They also advertised a new “Carlito’s Taco Salad” for just $9.99. Which prompted me to say “Say hello to my lil’ salad”. Although I guess you had to be there to appreciate it. It’s much funnier after a few beers – trust me. But all in all, if I had a car or lived on S.I. or in N.J, Charlie Brown’s seems like the place to be!

The other highlight of the weekend was going to Tea & Sympathy with Juliana and Bridget. Tea & Sympathy is located in the “Little Britain” area of NYC, down on Greenwich Avenue. If you’re not familiar, some of the stores, along with Virgin Atlantic want to rename this area of the West Village “Little Britain”. Albeit there are only a few British shops such as Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery on this one block stretch, so it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Since we had to wait over 30 minutes for a table at Tea & Sympathy, I was starving so decided to get some Fish & Chips at A Salt & Battery. I was especially after craving them after devouring Fish & Chips in London last week (plus I was curious to see what all the hype was about, after seeing Bobby Flay challenge them and lose on one of his Bobby Flay Throwdowns. I got a small order to go with a coke and the total price was over $10. Pretty hefty but there’s not too many places to get authentic Fish & Chips in the city so you’re definitely paying a premium. The fish was deep fried and crispy and the fish was tender. Although it definitely paled in comparison to the authentic British version. The “chips” or fries weren’t that good and we threw half of them out. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate them a 6.5 (with the fish getting a 7/8 and the chips getting a 4/5). The one cool thing was all of the beers they had available to drink, including several British favorites such as Kronenburg, Old Speckled Hen, Boddington’s and Carlsburg. So that’s a bonus. But overall, definitely disappointing as a package though and if I wasn’t starving I probably would’ve been more disappointed.

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Even if the fish & chips were “so-so”, A Salt & Battery had quite the beer selection

Anyway, it whet my appetite for some tea, scones and tea sandwiches at Tea & Sympathy. After the wait we were crammed into a small area that neither of us could really fit into. I mean I was practically sitting on both Bridget’s and Juliana’s laps at the same time. Plus my ass was practically on top of the table behind me. Definitely not the place to be if you’re over 200 pounds. Especially since their seating capacity is only 23 seats and they use every square inch of their dining area. Plus everything is so delicate, so if you’re clumsy please stay away. The food was ok, although it may have been more enjoyable had the space not been so confined. The scones were delicate and tasty and the claddaugh cream and jam were a good compliment. The tea sandwiches were good too, although a little disappointing compared to the afternoon tea was had at the Ritz Carlton in London. The dessert was good as well, but the pieces of cake were huge and rich and definitely put us over the top as far as fullness is concerned. Overall, I’d give it a 7 out of 10. If they gave you more room to eat the experience would’ve been a lot more enjoyable.

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Tea at “Tea & Sympathy” couldn’t hold a candle compared to tea at the Ritz Carlton

The other food related highlight of the weekend was seeing a Captain Softee truck. Yes, Captain Softee. Not Mister Softee (as Juliana wittingly said, perhaps he was promoted from Mister to Captain). Anyway I would have taken a picture of the truck but I was told that “I’ve beaten the whole Mr. Softee thing to death on this blog already” – which I begrudgingly admitted too. Although I wonder if the ice cream at “the captain’s” tastes superior? I guess I’ll need to find out someday.

Anyway, it was a good “20th birthday” weekend for me. My favorite present was from my lovely girlfriend Bridget, who bought me a trip to Dallas to see my beloved Cowboys play the Patriots in October. Thanks Bridge! Although maybe this time Romo will hold onto the ball.

Speaking of sports…if the Yankees don’t come out with a “do or die” attitude tonight against the Red Sox I’m gonna be pissed off. I mean, 2 or 3 losses against the Sox can pretty much bury the season. Even though it’s “only May”, mentally its tough to come back being 14 games down. I know its been done before but this team needs to take at least 2 out of 3 from Boston this week, especially with Anaheim coming to town, a team they never beat. So I’ll be there tonight…don’t disappoint me Jankees!

He’d rather be fishing May 1, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in celebrities, critique, current events, football, new york city, NFL, opinion, sports, television, world news.
17 comments

So apparently a bit of controversy surrounded the NFL Draft this past weekend in NYC. No, no one got shot outside of a club. And surprisingly no Bengals players got arrested. Instead the controversy stemmed over one of the top draft picks, Joe Thomas, who wasn’t present at Radio City Music Hall on NFL Draft Day.

Let me explain a little. Thomas, who was regarded as one of the top offensive lineman in the nation coming out of college, was projected in many mock drafts to get selected by one of the top 5 teams. Which means (for those who are not familiar with the process) he was in for a big pay day. As in a multi-million dollar pay day.

Imagine for a second that your new boss was about to hire you and make that announcement to the world. Imagine that the media was omnipresent at that event and the whole world was watching as your new boss announced that you were a new member of their organization. And imagine that you stood to make upwards of at least $20 million dollars with your new company. You’d be pretty psyched right? And you’d probably show up for your first day or “orientation” at work to have the media take your picture and bask in the glory of the announcement.

Well what if you had a previous commitment that day? Say a family obligation or a tradition you took part in every year. Would you renege on that obligation because of a big announcement to the world in which you were set to make millions of dollars with your new job?

I guess that my friends is the million dollar question! (no pun intended)

Anyway, this is exactly with Joe Thomas had to face this weekend. Instead of coming to NYC to the NFL Draft to bask in the spotlight of the announcement that the Cleveland Browns had selected him as the 3rd overall pick in the draft, Mr. Thomas stuck to his previous plans.

Which was a fishing trip.

With his dad.

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Thomas not only caught a keeper, he just became about $20 million richer

Awesome stuff. I commend Joe for sticking to his original plans for that day. When the Browns came calling to tell Joe that they were considering taking him with their selection and to come to New York to Draft, Thomas said thanks, but no thanks. Which is very rare in this day and age of greed and instant gratification. Athletes more often than not will take the money over everything, including family. Most, you can argue, need the money to help support their families. Others would disown their own families now that they were rich and famous.

Granted it was very weird as an observer to see someone get selected at the top of a draft and not be present on stage to shake hands with his new bosses and hold up a jersey with the number one on it. But knowing the background story and seeing him on his boat fishing (they had a camera crew follow him that day) made me smile. Not just because it’s a great plug we can make for Field & Stream and Outdoor Life on the popularity of fishing. But because here was a guy who got it.

Tradition won over notoriety.

You can argue both sides of the equation. You could say that he was disrespectful to his new organization by not showing up for the “first day” on the job. You can say that as a professional athlete he has an obligation to represent his new team on its biggest stage. And partly, you would be correct. However it’s hard to argue with someone selecting time with their family in an annual tradition, which happens far too rarely in this world of crackberries and PDAs. Plus don’t you think some of the players there rather had been somewhere else on Saturday? Don’t believe me? Just ask Brady Quinn.

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You think Brady Quinn would have rather been fishing than being subjected to hours of sitting there watching team after team pass him by?