SUSHI SAMBA & Other NYC Adventures

Had a little night on the town in NYC with Jacalope, Laurie, and Lev over the weekend.  We started the day looking at knockoff purses, watches, hats, and sunglasses on the infamous Canal Street.  I remember reading about the history of Canal Street, it used to hold a tiny pond at the top which sewage was dumped into.  The water from that pond, drained out into a canal that eventually fell into the Hudson River, that Canal had a street that ran along it, and now it is Canal Street.  Upon telling that story, Lev and I agreed that the place has lived up to its origins.  A couple of sunglasses were purchased by the ladies, Jaclyn got some knockoff Ray Bans that match prescription Ray Bans, we look like a very cute couple.

We took Canal Street up to Mulberry and busted a left into Little Italy.  The US soccer team was in the 60th minute of their World Cup game against Ghana and the street erupted into applause when Landon Donovan scored on a penalty kick.  I’m not much of a fan of Little Italy, reminds me of Disney World, but every once in awhile, Disney World isn’t that bad.  

Then we found ourselves in Soho, poking into stores, peering into windows, like waves coming on and off the beach.  We stopped in my favorite store, Pearl River.  Pearl River is completely dedicated to Asian stuff and its a great place to pick up a souvineer or two that makes it seem like you just traveled across the ocean.  

We had dinner at SUSHI Samba which was a big hit, I think it is a mix of Japenese and Brazillian food.  We had a table of a terrace overlooking 7th Avenue.  The table next to us ordered Sawagani which is tiny river crabs (they look just like regular crabs), fried whole.  We had a bunch of different sushi rolls and tapas and we all couldn’t agree on which items we liked the most.  

Afterwards, we hit up a couple bars that were in basements and had an excellent time.  Laurie demonstrated a new dance she invented which featured a hand against her head.  Jaclyn has adapted to my dance style of just standing on the dance floor, by dancing all around me.  We were having a darn good time and thank goodness the girls had a bridal shower the next day, which prompted Jaclyn to round us up and make us leave at 2AM, otherwise, I think we would have made it to the 4AM closing time.  Maybe I am giving myself too much credit.  

The morning I woke up early and headed to the big Bull near Wall Street.  There was a crowd of Asian people taking photographs, I snapped a photo and headed to the back of the bull to rub its balls for good luck.  Sure enough, the balls were very polished from all the other whackos out there.  

I have so many pictures that I need to post.  My next couple blog postings will be exclusively pictures. 


Lost A Tooth…Maybe In TD Bank

Okay, I am really not proud to admit this, but there’s a possibility that I misplaced my tooth in a coin counting machine in TD Bank. 

Here’s the deal, my replacement tooth was on the desk in my bedroom when I woke up this morning.  Then I got dressed for work and put it into my pocket because I thought that there was a possibility that the dentist would see me sometime today and put it back into my mouth.  Then I grabbed my big change jar, because I wanted to cash it in during my lunch break because it was getting so heavy I thought our shelf was going to break that housed the jar. 

I get into work and call the dentist and they said that they can squeeze me in at 7PM.  At lunch I head to TD Bank with my change jar and dump it into the coin counting machine.  As the coin counting machine is counting the coins, I realize that I have 75 cents in my pocket and throw it into the machine to be added to the total. 

Fast forward to 5PM, I am starting to shut down at work and I check my pocket for the tooth, it’s not in there.  I look around my desk and cannot locate the tooth.  It must have fallen out of my pocket in the car, I check the floor all around my car seat and see no signs of the tooth. 

I think I may have grabbed the tooth with the 75 cents and tossed into into the coin counting machine, I hope that’s not the case, but it cannot be ruled out.   

Crowning A Tooth – Horrible Idea

Several years ago, I had to get my first and only root canal. 

I think my dentist mentioned at the time that it was important to get a crown for the root canal because they drill pretty deep into the tooth and put in a filling, but the tooth is weakened by the big hole that was drilled into it.  My tooth felt fine so I never got the crown, plus the crown was approximately $300 to $1,200 based on the dental coverage you had. 

Years have passed and every dentist appointment since then featured a 2 minute plug for the importance of getting a crown on the tooth that had root canal.  Eventually, I finally gave in and decided to get the stupid crown.  The dentist said, “Okay, it is two appointments, the first one is to get prepped and fitted for the crown, the crown gets made in a laboratory, and two weeks later you get the permanent crown put in.”

Sounds pretty simple, a piece of cake, I thought to myself, “Why did I put this off for so long?”

Here’s what actually has happened, so far:
I come into the office for my prep/fitting.  They start numbing me up.  I begin to think, “Hmmm, what kind of fitting requires getting a couple shots of novacaine?”  The drill then comes out.  I’m not a dentist or a dental expert, but I knew that the duration of time he applied the drill to my tooth multiplied by the force of the drill against my tooth could only mean one of two things:
1.  He was carving a very detailed miniature sculpture of Michelangelo’s David from my tooth or
2.  He was drilling my tooth into a very tiny little nub

After he finished drilling, he said I could rinse, my tongue immediately searched to determine if he was working on scenario 1 or 2.  Tongue’s assessment, scenario 2!  What the hell?  MY tooth is gone?  His explanation as to why I needed a root canal was because my tooth was weakened and someday might chip or break if I didn’t get a crown, so what does he do…destroyed the freaking tooth!  Let’s recap, I have perfectly good tooth, dentist says getting a crown will help protect that tooth, in order to get crown, he destroys tooth, to make tiny anchor nub for crown. 

Almost two hours later, I walk out of dentist office with temporary crown.  I am not supposed to eat chewy, hard, or sticky food for two weeks until I get new permanent crown.  My temporary crown falls off on the same night I get it.  I pop it back on and it stays on for the rest of the week.  It fell off again this weekend and broke, now I need to go to dentist to get new temporary crown. 

Moral of the story, don’t get a crown unless you have to. 

Trying To Find A Home

My family has been searching for a home and it has been a long and sometimes frustrating process.  I suppose our home search could have begun at a worse time, like at the height of the real estate bubble, but searching at the tail end of the bubble wasn’t much better because most sellers preferred to have their house sit on the market for over a year than lower their price.  We started our search looking for bargains, trying to get our foot in the door in a home that needed some TLC, but even the properties that required TLC were generally above our price range.  I finally budged and increased our price limit. 

Well, it seems like it is about 99% certain that we’re going to buy Jaclyn’s Grandmother’s home in Hartsville, PA.  Jaclyn’s Grandmother was planning on selling the home because she is moving to Pine Run and we love the location, it is almost exactly in between Jaclyn’s parent’s house and my parent’s house.  It is a 4 bedroom home and has a nice yard for the kids to play in.  Jaclyn’s Grandmother had lived there for over 40 years and has invested a lot into making it into her perfect home, we’re very excited to continue that tradition and add even more great memories.

The terms have been agreed upon and Jaclyn’s Grandmother will be moving in early September, so our goal is to settle by late August.  

As far as the mortgage and stuff goes, I’ve been pre-approved, I just need to secure the closing costs and send some stuff to my bank so they can complete underwriting.  I also need to get a lawyer who can help draft the agreement.  I’m very excited that I do not have to use a real estate agent, you know my feelings on real estate agents!  I’m sure real estate agents feel the same way about pharmaceutical marketers and I don’t blame them.  Anyone want to recommend a lawyer?   

Exhausting The Children

Hello Everyone!

We used to live in an apartment in Frenchtown and our laundry room was downstairs in the basement. I used to try to cram all my clothing into a duffel bag to transport downstairs into the basement. There was so much laundry, it should have required two duffel bags to contain all the clothing, but since I only had one duffel bag, I’d pack it into the single bag so hard and make it all fit in. I believe that the seams eventually ripped and I adopted the laundry basket moving forward. This is what my days feel like lately, but I am not complaining, its just been crazy. The problem is, my wife and kids are kind of sucked into my whirlwind of activities and Jaclyn has explained that this might have detrimental effects on the children. I can see her point, taking the kids on weekend adventures, taking them to the beach, late night fireworks, and all over town exhausts adults, so it probably has an effect on toddlers too.

My goal is to fill my kids brains with amazing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, colors, and sensations. They usually appreciate the adventure and while they may only retain small portions of it now, I think there’s a subconscious expansion taking place that opens up doors to what is possible.

With Jaclyn working two nights a week, my mad scientist approach to parenting has increased it’s scope from weekends only to weekends plus Tuesdays and Thursdays. This has Jaclyn nervous and she asked that I do my best to add some sort of more relaxed routine into the weeknights, try to get them to understand that 8:30PM is a reasonable bedtime, opposed to chasing lightning bugs or starting a late night movie. It’s a tough thing to admit, but she’s probably right for the weeknights.

Friday night I took the kids to see the fireworks in New Hope, a beautiful show, a great event for a date. The fireworks are shot from a barge in the middle of the river and it was a worthy show. It lasted about 15 to 20 minutes and looked beautiful with the reflections and Delaware Valley scenery. Saturday we looked at the house we’re going to buy, I am very excited, I think our patience has paid off. Sunday was hot and the highlight was sitting on the front porch watching the lightning, then hearing the thunder, and even feeling the rain showers soak us. Jaclyn just stood in the rain, soaking it in, some people may have thought she was crazy, but it really was perfect.

Thanks for reading, lots more to write and post, maybe if the kids go to bed around 8:30PM, I’ll be able to get around to it!

Sea Shore

Winston, Dalia, Jaclyn and I met my parents for a nice day at the shore on Saturday.  We started our day on my parent’s boat in the bay.  We took a short drive out in the boat and found a nice little cover where a creek spilled out and we anchored up and dropped some crab lines over the side.  The weather was superb, a little hot, but a steady breeze always cooled us off.  Within minutes we started feeling the crabs on our crab lines and we’d hoist them up from the bottom and capture them with a net.  For a moment, we thought about cooking a couple up, but it’s just too much work to get the meat out and maybe the process of boiling them alive would have been traumatic to our children, so we just played with them for a bit.  The feisty crabs eager for a fight amused the heck out of our children.  When the angry crab would aggressively try to pinch anything in close proximity, Winston and Dalia would laugh hysterically.  It’s funny that they think pissed off crabs are funny. 

They kids started touching all the buttons on my parent’s boat and Winston became intent on going overboard so we decided to head back to the marina around 1PM.  My parents dropped us on the dock, they hopped back into the boat and went back exploring.  My wife, kids, and I stepped into our Santa Fe and headed south to Ocean City, NJ. 

We spent about 4 hours on the boardwalk, the kids loved looking at all the hermit crab displays.  Pretty amazed that we were able to make it off the boardwalk without purchasing one.  The other highlight was more amusement park rides, including a monstrous ferris wheel that loomed over the city.  Around 5PM we headed down to the beach because you didn’t need to pay after 5PM.  We spent a couple hours finding sea shells and playing in the surf.  Water was intolerably cold, but Winston rolled around in it like a baby seal, oblivious to the temperature.  

We hit up Smitty’s Clam Bar at Somers Point on the way home, delicious, fair priced seafood.  It is very popular as the parking lot was packed with people waiting to get in.  People are allowed to drink beers or wine in the parking lot while waiting, so it resembled a Phillies tailgating party.  Oh, it is BYOB too, so people are literally drinking beers from a cooler in the parking lot waiting for their number to be called.  We just wanted takeout, so we walked up to the counter and grabbed our meal in about 10 minutes.  It was delicious.

Men Without Women

Went down to the Outer Banks with my brother and father from Thursday to Sunday. 

Traveled great distance to get to boat, boarded the boat and pushed miles into the ocean until reaching Gulf Stream, waves crashed over side of boat filling it with water, caught and killed dozens of fish resulting in blood stains on shirt, and feasted on red meat and ale. 

Came home with a belly ache and was very happy to see my wife and kids, I missed them, I guess I’m getting soft.

I will post a video of my brother’s fight with a white marlin when I have a chance, pretty intense battle between man, fish, and a volatile ocean.  

Every year when the carnival comes around, an annual tradition for me is to pay the dollar to use the sledge hammer and see if I can still make the metal ball travel up the post and hit the bell to win a prize.  So far, I can still can do it, but a part of me always worries that this year I’ll miss it, it is a relief when I crush the base and hear that bell ring again.  You never want to get soft and these fishing trips are sort of similar, you get out there and harken back into a primordial state of being which offers a wonderful sense of perspective.  You’re not in a climate controlled office with artificial incandescent lighting, you’re not at Acme buying your dinner, you’re not in a car driving on a paved road, you’re faced with the wind, big waves, a boat that shakes and rattles, you’re working to lure an animal to bite, then you do your best to muscle it into your boat.  It feels good to know that you can still do it, it feels good to be capable of existing on your own.  

If anyone needs mahi mahi, let me know, I have plenty of extremely fresh fish in a cooler for you.