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23 February 2008   Snow Angels

That was pretty much the only fun had this week. Making a snow angel on the balcony outside my window when it snowed here in NYC on Friday. Otherwise...?

So where can I begin with the Shitty Shit Shitstorm that has been my life for the last week or so? I guess I'll save the pics for the end as like I said above, that was really the only fun part of the week so why not save the best for last, right?

So first - last Thursday was Feb 14th, or what most of you may call Valentine's Day. It had potential to be a great one. It didn't. The guy I was sorta seeing flaked out and I realized that this was going to be basically the way of things to come. So I ended that. I'd rather be alone (and unhappy) than alone and foolishly waiting. It actually felt nice to get closure on that but seriously, it was a bummer. I liked him a lot but throughout the week I realized this was really the only way forward...and with what happened a week later, well, I'll get to that.

Then I was on-call for work during the last weekend, as I mentioned in my last post. That's fine and that's to be expected. It sucked because I basically had to cancel all my plans for the weekend and stay local. And of course there were calls, but I learned plenty during those. I thought I might have gotten away from having any further calls past the Friday evening...but on Monday morning as I struggled to wake up, I got another two-hour call. Glad I didn't go out on Sunday night as I had planned or there's no way I could have dealt with that.

Monday night rolls around and I get a call from home: Mom's in the hospital since Saturday. That's a bit of a shock, to put it lightly. I will admit being upset at not only the news but also at the timing of receiving the news, but that's neither here nor there. I understand why, and basically at this point, I just want to know what's going on. As some of you have been keeping track with me on what's been going on, Mom is now at home and was released from the hospital a few days back. I'll give her privacy on this site with respect to what is wrong, but she is at home for a while and has a steady road to recovery ahead of her. I know she's impatient to get well and I know that's where I also get that impatience from, so I can relate to her mindset. I just want her to know that I know she's a fighter but she has to take it easy and take things slow. She knows this but it's driving her crazy. Tough. Get better, and take your time. There's no rush. Needless to say though, this has been heavy on my mind the past week, especially when we really didn't know what was going on.

And then the crappy piece de resistance for the week? On Thursday, my boss comes in to my office, shuts the door, and tells me that the guy who has been my mentor and a good friend at work no longer works at NBC. My jaw nearly hit the floor. I didn't even get to say goodbye as he was escorted from the building. And not only that shock, but now I get all the responsibility of his admittedly big project which I had been helping on but nowhere near guiding it. And now it's all mine...with no turnover. So Thursday afternoon was a bit of a stressful day. I've been quickly/slowly getting up to speed on trying to get a handle on my responsibilities now as they've effectively doubled...and while I know I can do it, seriously, this has been a trying week.

Work... Family.... Personal Life.... all have basically decided to say Fuck You, Hobie. I know, I know, the family thing isn't all about me so who the hell do I think I am complaining about it...but it weighs on my mind because I hate being so far away and being unable to do anything. Hell, I don't know if there's anything I could do even if I was there. But 3000 miles of distance makes things hard regardless. And then work crumbling in front of me means there's a big part that used to be consistent and is no longer. And finally, the dearth of a personal life also just adds to the fact that February has been crappy.

So I take the happy parts when I can get them. Take yesterday. It snowed over Thursday night and into Friday morning. It was beautiful, actually. I dreaded the commute into work, but enjoyably, it went faster than ever because many many people were calling it a 'work from home' day. I threw on my boots (brand new from the military when CMAFS went and bought new boots for everybody - including me - and so I stowed them away when I got them knowing I'd just use them when I became a civilian - and sure enough this was a beautiful day to break them out) and jeans and got to work almost effortlessly as I could just trudge through the deepest snow drift or puddle and not care as those boots are awesome. Then when I got to work I saw that the balcony was pristine and I wanted some pics of the cool cityscape outside in the snow. So I dragged Arielle and Dan out there and while out there, the idea to make a snow angel came to me. After a few seconds of contemplation, I was down on the ground angel-ing away. And that helped to end a shitty week on a good note. Busy as hell at work still, but I know I'll be able to handle it. Mom will get better. And my personal life will one day click into place. I just know I can't force it.

Anyways, here's pics from Friday's snowstorm and my Rock Center view of it all.

22 Feb 08 - A Snowy Rock Center

Dan take a fairly awesome pic of me poised amongst the snowy skyscrapers
Hobie the Snow Angel
Rock Center under snow. You can also see the new 'Electric Fountain' they're installing. WTF?
Me and Arielle, future NBC News casters of America
A view north east from my 30 Rock balcony through the snow
Safe in my office, you can see out to the balcony and where we disturbed the snow

Oh yeah, I also got a call from Connie right after the snow angel fun! How crazy, random and awesome was that!? She wanted me to get Enrique Iglesias' autograph because he was on the Today show....in Miami. Poor Connie.

And Robbie updated his website. For the first time this year and technically the second time in A year. Will wonders never cease?

And if you've been missing it, there's been loads of TV discussion in the Shooting Gallery. Jen, are you watching Big Brother 9 or not????? I KNOW you have time to drop some comments.

And yes, I basically sheared off all my hair. Got tired of looking like the guy who has a combover and who just needs to cut the hair short. Hence what you see above.


16 February 2008   Temple of Doom was PG!?!

I just rewatched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom tonight and my God, that movie is ridiculously violent and horrific. And the funniest part? A big giant PG rating at the beginning.

I have read before that the Temple of Doom was the straw that broke the camel's back though, and after it came out with its PG, that's when the PG-13 rating was developed and released immediately thereafter. And not surprising at all, let me tell you. Here's the scene from by far the most disturbing scene in the movie, although it is an edited version that omits the part where Mola Ram's hand actually goes in to the guy's chest and you see the heart come out:


In today's day and age, this movie would be so R-Rated it's not even funny. The scene above, the dining scene, the ridiculous violence at the Shanghai Club in the beginning (and I'm not even talking about Willie's 'Anything Goes' number!), the whole child-slavery theme, Indiana beating down on Short Round while under the Kali Ma spell, Indiana drinking 'blood' from the shriveled head, the gross bugs.... I mean, seriously, I could keep going on. Don't get me wrong: I freakin' love these movies. I'm watching them again after watching the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (and trust me, I nearly filled a cup when I watched THAT preview - how ridiculous was that? I am SOOO there - oh hell, here it is from YouTube for your viewing pleasure:)

Yeah, you know you lost it when you heard the Indiana Jones theme music. I loved the brief flashbacks to all the previous movies...but what got me most excited? The fact that they're back in the DAMN WAREHOUSE WHERE THE ARK WAS HIDDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP. I have no idea how that's all going to play in but it's awesome, especially when I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark last night and know that he's going there in the next movie. Marion comes back, Cate Blanchett is the bad guy, and Indy is still funny: "Part Time". I can NOT WAIT for May to get here.

 But yeah, watched Raiders last night and while it has share of violence, Temple of Doom goes way above and beyond in the violence/horror quota. Will watch The Last Crusade tomorrow night but I know from memory that it definitely doesn't go the route of Temple of Doom and is much more similar in tone to Raiders with respect to violence. I don't know, just felt like sharing thoughts on some really ridiculously good old movies that now will have a 4th part to cap them off. How awesome is that?

Besides Indiana Jones awesomeness, there's been other stuff going on to talk about:

- Valentine's Day: total bust on this. Oh well.

- Great news about my Report of Survey issue with the Air Force... hmm... I'm not sure I actually wrote about my Report of Survey issue here on my site. I spent many emails and conversations talking about it but apparently not here. Anyways, the AF tried to accuse me of being responsible for missing equipment that happened to disappear in the year AFTER I left Nellis AFB. I sent a strongly worded letter in response defending myself and using the evidence already gathered to my benefit. Found out this week that the Colonel (hell, I'm just going to spell it like it sounds...) Kernel who had determined I was responsible decided due to my statement that there is no financial liability necessary. That would have been $2600, sports fans, the Air Force wanted from me. FUCK YOU. That definitely was a Sword of Damocles hanging over my head the past month or so and it's now a relief to know that is over. The next financial thing to keep me up is Taxes. Oy. Last year was interesting.

- Sheryl Crow's latest album is incredible. Literally have tears on the last song called "Lullaby to Wyatt" - such a beautiful song to her son.

- I'm on call this weekend for work, for the first time. It figures it's on a damn holiday weekend. But I guess that's why I get paid the big bucks, right? I couldn't believe yesterday (Friday) though - I had made plans to hang out with Arielle and Dan (both from work) and get silly drunk at a place in Hoboken called East LA (serves Mexican food, of course). The plan was to get sloshed on margaritas and gorge on Mexican food and all would be well with the world. Well, I thought I was safe because technically, the weekend support was from the 16th (Sat) thru the 18th (Mon) - nothing is explicitly said about the 15th! I was wrong. I literally opened my apartment door and stepped one foot into it when my work phone starts ringing - and that began an hour or so of being on the phone helping diagnose an issue with our system. It seems you can set your watch to our system crashing on Friday evening. So basically my Friday fun plans were derailed and now I realize that to be responsible, I need to cancel my plans tomorrow night because I really need to be able to get to my laptop easy enough to fix stuff if need be. Oh well, this only happens every 7 weeks or so with me being primary on a weekend and I can totally deal with that. It just sucks it's on a holiday!

So that's what's happening with me. Hanging out at home tonight as well, I've got nothing else to do and I kinda have to stay home this time. So I guess I'll just drink another Heineken or two and watch another movie...probably Devil Wears Prada because I can watch that movie all the damn time. Seriously.


10 February 2008   The Pacha Experience

Sounds like a skin disease, doesn't it? Fortunately for you (and most definitely for me) that's not the case.

Last night I went out with Shelly, Ray and one of Shelly's friends from Boston. I had felt all mopey on Friday and kicked my own ass into gear so that on Saturday, whatever I was doing and/or whoever I was with, I was getting out of the apartment. Shelly and her friend, Stefan, had set up an evening of dancing at this club called Pacha - and from what my iPhone had told me (yes, it talks to me - should I worry?) it was a.... psst, it listed it as a gay dance club. So I was totally down for it because as anyone worth their dance salts knows, the gays know their dance music. And I wanted to shake it. Bwahahaha. I crack myself up. I found out in Shelly's car though, as we were driving through the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan, that it wasn't. Dammit! Foiled again. Guess I'll just have to dance with the straightys. And I am so glad I did. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. It really was a lot of fun. I guess Pacha could be grouped into a 'megaclub' category as it has multiple floors (I think there's alleged to be 6 floors although not everyone can go to all the floors - some floors are ek-SKLOO-sive) but we could get to 4 of them...or was it 3? I don't know. After you get through the entrance here, you first walk through a very 'intimate' (meaning small) dance floor that was focused on hiphop that night in order to get to up your first set of stairs to the Main Floor. It's a huge floor. And we got there early (around 10:30 or so - positively unheard of in the cool Manhattan circles - luckily for me I'm not part of those circles!). So at first this place seemed like it may be a bust. But we went to the bar and got some drinks and started feeling the house groove that was being played from the DJ. It was a really good house rhythm - and while there weren't many people out on the floor (the vibe was distinctly junior-high-dance, with guys all grouped around looking slyly at the girls, etc...), that didn't stop me and Shelly from starting to groove out there. Susan can relate to that with starting up dance floors! And sure enough, other people started dancing, and guess what, Shelly and I started up the floor. Of course we were just a spark because once that floor started, good God it blazed. The house beats never segued into pop song/remixes or any vocals at all. I think I could pick out beats and rhythms from famous songs but it was always just the music and the beats - and wow, it was incredible. We went upstairs for a bit - to take a break every now and then as it got HOT down there - and on that next level (past another ek-skloo-sive floor) you can look down on the action on the Main Level through glass but it's a whole 'nother dance floor up there with a totally different DJ playing just-as-addictive beats. This place was ridiculous. We stayed mainly on the Main Floor though - and by about 2am the floor was jammed with people all caught up in the rhythm. Seriously - if you were out there, you were dancing with like everyone. I don't think I was incorrect in my initial thought of Pacha - this was definitely a mixed club in terms of it being more than just a straight or gay club. I think it's more of an equal-opportunity come-to-dance place, which made the vibe even better. You were there to dance, not to worry about being 'seen' or something pretentious like that. It was awesome. At one point in the night though, they blacked out the lights, pumped the room full of fog, and then turned on their brightest strobe light and pulsed it. You literally COULD NOT SEE anything but white. You could hold your hand up to your face and not see it. It was like anti-reverse-opposite-blindness in which it wasn't pitch black, but it was pitch white. It was actually surreal, and a little bit frightening, as you really couldnt' tell what the fuck was going on with your eyes. I'd never experienced anything like that before. And I swear I have not started doing drugs, so no smart-ass comments. By around 3:30, we decided to call it a night, although we were told the club stays open till 8 or 9 in the mornign. Who the fuck is still dancing and has the energy to dance at that time????? Certainly not me!

My ears have finally stopped ringing although it's about 8pm on Sunday now and they're finally about normal. I didn't mix alcohols this time and I really don't think I was hungover today - just tired. And ringy-ears-y. But it was a fantastic club and any of you that come to visit me and wanna dance - rest assured we'll be going there one night. A must see. Susan, Melissa...I'm talking to you! ;-)

As for the rest of the week? Dad fucked around with me via email and I gotta admit at first it was mildly offputting but then I remembered my dad is absolutely nuts. No medication is going to help you, old man!!!!! ;-) I love you, Dad. I worked a lot, got somewhat sick midway through the week and came home and crashed and got about 12 hours of much-needed sleep. Felt better after that!

Now it's time to restart the week. Joe from work has left for his LA rotation and our little 'hood in the office definitely won't be the same without him around. The four of us (Arielle, Dan, Joe and I) went to the Channel 4 Bar on Friday for a last lunch with Joe - there's a few pics from it. I must say I will NEVER wear that beige shirt again. It's a fucking circus tent on me. You see how I'm blaming the shirt for my bad pic? It's a technique you all can try if you find yourself in this situation.

8 & 10 Feb 08 - Pics from Channel 4 Bar/Me on a Sunday

Joe's 'parting' glance - good luck in LA, dude!
Was the waiter high? Who focuses on the back window as the center of the picture???
Damn huge beige shirt. Seriously.
Me on a Sunday!



5 February 2008   Obama voter in New Jersey

I cast my vote in New Jersey's primary tonight after work - I have no need to keep it secret: Barack Obama is who I'd love to see as our next president.

There is a distinct part of him that I respond to, and I think it's the fact that he has a natural leadership and charisma about him that all the other candidates do NOT have. Because in terms of what either Hillary or Barack have as their positions - those are really very close. So of course it comes down for me to something less black-and-white (so to speak). And having been in the military for a bit, there's a quality a few people just naturally have and that is the ability to lead people, seemingly effortlessly. To me, Barack Obama has that quality. I'm most definitely ready for a change in our government, and to have someone who, in my mind, has that natural leadership quality is a strong, huge factor for me. You may have noticed that I didn't even mention the Republican candidates. You noticed correctly. Huckabee will NEVER get any vote from me. Romney is the epitome of a snake-oil-politician to me in my mind.... which leaves McCain. I respect him for his military service, and for his earlier ability to do what seemed to be in the best interests of the people. But with the latest campaign pledges, it just seems that the Republican nominees are falling all over themselves to be the most conservative... which in today's day and age means that whoever is the most homophobic, pro-war, anti-Roe v Wade candidate wins! Now I'm sure I've pissed off some of you out there - too bad, so sad. I've got my opinion, and luckily for me, I pay for it by funding this website by myself...so I can say whatever the hell I want. Don't read my site if Hobie2008 (and late 2007) offends you.

It was nice to cast a vote - I honestly haven't voted in a long time. I guess I've been registered in California for the longest time and they've stopped even trying to send me Absentee ballots. But when I did all the registering here in New Jersey, I decided to just do it all. I had to hustle from work though tonight, and just did a quick workout and then got caught in the 6-7pm rush. But I then walked from Port Imperial to the staircase that leads from the River area up to the Palisades, as that's where my voting precinct location was. As I walked up these stairs for the first time, I looked back out towards NYC and nearly fell over from the view I had before me. As the photo-junkie I am, I always have my good camera with me and no sooner did I finish voting (completely soaked in sweat too - I must have freaked out the voting attendants - but I had just hustled up a few hundred steps or so in my work clothes!) did I go out to the park overlook up on the Palisades and take the following shots. There were a few more, but these were the ones that turned out amazing. I especially like them because you can see my building in the foreground. I truly do live in an amazing location with a stellar view!

5 Feb 08 - NYC from WestNYC

A wide shot. Taken at 100 ISO, with the camera on a railing so there was no affect from me trying my best to be immobile.
A bit zoomed in to remove some of the foreground. A bit brighter too, but still amazing. NYC is a truly wondrous sight!

I almost thought about bailing on voting tonight, but I remembered what I had passed up to do this and there was no way I was going to have passed that up just to be a pussy and not continue voting. Still not 100% positive that I made the right choice, but I know there will be more opportunities to do what I missed. And I am not going to get into details. ;-)

Before I leave, this past weekend was pretty fun! Well, Saturday was. Sunday was miserable as I again was hungover. On Saturday, I hung out with Greg and two of his friends, Daniel and Nicholas. They were very cool and it was great to meet more people that I get along with - hopefully expanding my social circle slowly. I think I fit in well with them all. I will have to say I think I will definitely reconsider oyster shooters in the future though.... It's like swallowing a chunky bit of snot. ugh. And did you see that Super Bowl? I was definitely rooting more against the Patriots (Tom Brady's perfectness is more than annoying) than rooting for the Giants, but by the 4th Quarter, I was firmly rooting for the Giants. Even me, who is extremely apathetic to football, couldn't help getting into that game! As for the commercials, my favorites were definitely the Justin Timberlake Pepsi one and the giant Macy's Thanksgiving balloon Coke one. I couldn't believe some of the obscenely violent and strange ones, especially from CareerBuilder.com (that heart that ripped itself out of the woman at her desk - hello Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!) and that giant manMouse in the Doritos one - completely bizarre.

Okay, I'm done for the day. Time to clean up and get ready for sleepy time!