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28 October 07   Central Park

I made it to Central Park today - and man, there really is nothing like Sunday in Central Park, especially when the day is beautiful.

So I went to Central Park today because I decided to take rollerblading lessons, and when I found out I could do it in Central Park (sts), I was totally there. And because this was the first day of sunshine in a couple days (while SoCal has been burning up, we've been drenched with rain - talk about bad timing on that) it was even more amazing. Had a good time though and I definitely feel a lot better on rollerblades now.

It's been an odd week at work for me - had a few days there where I got a little bummed because I wasn't sure of my role but I had a great talk with my officemate, and she is a project manager expert and she gave me some good advice on how to tackle things at work. Made a huge difference for my mindset and made the rest of the week a lot better.

And things are going well so far in the personals thing. Might be meeting up with one or two this week - I know, I'm a raging whore. I'm just stoked that someone may actually be interested in me right back. Go figure.

I'm a little distracted right now for some reason - hence no REALLY long paragraphs for you today. Maybe I'll be more focused tomorrow.

23 & 28 Oct 07 - Pics from 30 Rock and Central Park

Got to work early one morning - this is out front of 30 Rock looking towards Today Show studios
And from that same point, looking over the Rink towards Saks Fifth Avenue
And then looking towards 30 Rock itself, here's the giant mural over the front doors
This is the view from my office, looking out the door/window. You can just see the top of the Today Show building
And here's Central Park


21 October 07   Fall Foliage!

If you went to high school with me, you know that Mr. Ace (my 9th Grade Geography teacher) would be so happy for me - I've finally seen Fall Foliage!

21 Oct 07 - Fall Foliage Day Trip Pictures

Stopped on County Road 17 to take some pics
It's beautiful here
Look at that valley
Me, roadside
And there's the illustrious point
Me and the hill of color
Me again
And here's Shelly out in the color
Fall Foliage is pretty amazing
Lots of colors
How much can I say about leaves?
Looking back towards the colorful hill
At a second stop, we found a great view from the road and a beautiful lawn
There's Catherine and an amazingly located house

It was pretty breathtaking the view out here
Looking down the ridge

So today, Shelly and I took a drive up to upstate New York (I think anything north of Manhattan is considered 'Upstate'...) to get a look at the amazing phenomenon known around the world as 'The Fall Colors' or 'Fall Foliage'. During the month of September and the beginning of October, the leaves change color throughout this region and you get brilliant displays of colorful leaves, ranging from ridiculously bright yellows and greens to oranges and reds that could make you cry. This is definitely a true phenomenon that has to be seen in person to be believed. My pictures definitely do not do it justice, mainly because whenever there was amazing colors, we were either on the highway or on a very narrow twisty road I did not feel comfortable stopping on and getting out to take pictures on. So alas, the pictures above are the extent, but it gives you a decent idea of how awesome it is. We ended up driving from West New York to the Catskills areas (cue the Dirty Dancing soundtrack!) for this adventure, and basically this was an entire day trip, as this was a lot of driving. What was great though was that once you basically got out of the main NYC area, New York is incredible looking. So the entire drive was awesome, but of course, once we got closer to the Catskills, that was when the leaves became truly beautiful.

Anyways, that was my exploration for this week. As for other things, I am going to start taking lessons in rollerblading, which are held in Central Park. Hopefully this will give me a lot of confidence in rollerblading and then I can start rollerblading all sorts of places. But I guess Central Park will be my next 'place to see'. And wonder of wonders, I put up a personal profile on Yahoo Personals. Guess we'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.


18 October 07   Miami / Vice

So for my job, I HAD to go to Miami. Even I hate me because that's so effin' awesome.

Okay, how cool is that? Another place that I've always wanted to go: Miami. And now I've gone. I even had the chance to go to South Beach, although admittedly it was with my coworkers, so it wasn't exactly the ideal situation. But it was still incredible to go down there and partake in the fun. I flew there from LaGuardia (which I have an entirely BETTER impression of now that I've flown out of there from a different terminal, this one the AWESOME Delta terminal) on Monday afternoon, with my boss picking me up from Midtown in his car. We then got down there around dinner time, so we first stopped at our hotel, the Conrad Hotel. OMG. In-fucking-credible. First, the hotel's lobby is on the 25th floor. And when you're checking in, behind the desk folk is a stunning view of the Miami bay. Then I found out I had been upgraded to a suite. Which was hella sweet. Pictures below. But we only paused to drop stuff off (and I did a quick shirt change) and then it was off to meet up with others in the group for dinner. They had stayed much closer to South Beach, and I may have to do that as well next time (which I found out that there probably will be a few more Miami business trips!). Anyways, we met up with them and South Beach is pretty damn awesome. We ate at a place called Mojitos and then hit the main strip, Ocean Drive, and hung out in a club called Mango's. You can imagine what that name implies. Well, it's not really that suggestive I guess - it wasn't a strip joint. But the club does have girls in very small bathing suits dancing on a bar...as well as guys too. Nice. ANYWAYS, I definitely think a non-business trip down there will be in order!

That was probably the highlight of this week so far - if I have a better highlight, you know I'll be updating asap! But other fun was had since I've last updated.

First, I finally got my first true taste of NYC nightlife. Went with Shelly, my roommate, out to a concert this past Saturday night. It was 'supposed' to start at 8pm, but of course it didn't start till 10pm (thems the rules in NYC). But it was a great chance to drink a lot, and by the time the concert started (the artist was Me'Shell Ndegocello, for those that are interested), I really was so buzzed it didn't matter if it was Yoko Ono screaching her little Asian heart out. But it was a blast, I ended up making friends with a couple who had been hanging out at the bar too (they were about as trashed as me too and were also like, who the fuck cares who's singing?). The guy gave me his business card and I may have to contact him to hang out with him and his wife again. They were cool. After the concert ended around 11:30, Shelly and I headed a few streets up. The concert was held in the Maritime Hotel's ballroom (called the Hiro Ballroom) which was Asian themed, and was located close to Downtown on 16th Street. A few blocks up at 22nd street is where you then find some of NYC's really fun (and expensive) night clubs, so we strolled up 8th Avenue from 16th to 22nd, passing by all sorts of people out and about on a Saturday night. There was an 'alternative' club that I'll definitely have to go back to one day, but tonight we were headed to one of the Ultra Lounge / Dance clubs on 22nd. So basically, between like 8th and 7th avenues, there's a section of street that is purely nightclubs. It almost actually reminded me of the downtown Colorado Springs area where the clubs are...but just a LOT more expensive. We had a number of clubs to choose from, but we ended up choosing one called Duvet. It was awesome. Very upbeat and danceable music and the crowd was all having a blast. White walls and giant beds were the theme of the club, but barely anyone was chilling on the beds - literally everybody was shaking their ass on the floor. It was quite an awesome place to start my NYC clubbing days. That night was mostly hip-hop, but as the night went on, it definitely started progressing towards mixes of recognizable tunes - but these mixes were so crazy good it was awesome. I heard Wanna Be Startin' Something mixed with Don't Cha and just had to dance harder. I totally wished Susan would have been there at that point, as she was definitely my CS dance buddy. When she gets out here to visit, she better be ready for a workout!!!!

Anyways, we danced for a few hours there (with a $30 cover for me, you better believe I was going to stick around for a bit, even if I am making 6 figures) and then we met up with someone Shelly is dating a ways away on 3rd avenue. I was EXHAUSTED by this point so I decided to head home - and what a journey that turned out to be. First, I admit I was drunk. So with that said, my initial goal was just to get to the New Jersey PATH train station, which takes you from Manhattan to Hoboken, NJ. The PATH station is on 6th Avenue and 23rd, which is FARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR from where we were. And in my new shoes (story below) which weren't still quite broken in, my feet paid the price. And for some reason, I felt reluctant to take a taxi to the station. Never again will that reluctance be encountered. So I walked my drunk ass to the PATH station and discovered why I am going to continue taking the ferry to work. The PATH stinks. Literally. It's fucking gross. So while it may be cheaper overall to go to work via PATH and the Subway, the ease of hopping on the ferry and the lack of the B.O. smell is WORTH IT. But the ferries stop running long before 3 in the morning (which let me tell you, while late for me, is pretty much the midpoint of the evening for a true Manhattanite) so I had no other option except maybe a ridiculously expensive cab ride all the way home. So I took the PATH to Hoboken along with many other drunk partyers returning to New Jersey. Once in Hoboken, the plan was then to hop in a cab the rest of the way home, which I was glad to do. Of course, many others have this same plan, so there's a taxi line, and to top it off, the taxi cabs like to fill the car up as much as possible, so with it being just me, my cab driver also took others. In my case, it turned out to be 2 drunk guys and a girl. The drunk guys decided to sing Bruce Springsteen... a lot. Now, I know, me and Bruce are tight, but I barely know the words to anything of his besides Dancing in the Dark and the chorus of Born in the U.S.A. So in other words, not much at all. So when the two guys ask, first if I like 'The Boss' and second what song would I like them to sing, I just had to laugh and respond that they could the song of their choice as it really didn't matter to me. And it didn't. I just wanted to go home. They continued singing, and the girl was frantically trying to get me to not request or encourage them any more... all in all, an interesting time. OH! I forgot while on the PATH train to Hoboken, I ended up sitting next to some girl who had partied just a tad too much. She sat directly next to me with her friend and had her head in one of those small clear-plastic purses and vomited the ENTIRE train ride there. Yes, I will not be taking the PATH more than absolutely necessary.

So how's THAT for a first NYC party experience? But you know what? I'm so going to do it again!

Alright, what else is there? I've been really enjoying getting to know the job more and more. I actually am starting to feel knowledgeable. Oh yeah, I was in Miami because we were there to help transition Telemundo (which NBC Universal owns) to one of our library management systems and train them on the new process. Sounds glamorous, yes? Of course it's not, but it was a necessary step to get them inline with some new technology and to begin the transition to a electronic media library that will encompass All of NBC's networks so that we can know where every commercial, promo, or program is physically located. A lot of work, but it'll be awesome when done.

I promised you another story though, didn't I? Well, I promised it to you if you managed to get through my NYC party story. Basically, I went shopping at one of the more trendy stores the other day during lunch: Kenneth Cole at Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue. His stuff for guys is very much my style, and he has stuff from shoes to jackets to clothes to belts to well, basically, most everything. And I've been in the market for a new rainjacket and some nice brown shoes. And THEN I found out that since I work at Rockefeller Center, I get a 10% discount there as well. Can you say, FUCK YEAH!? I know that you can. So I went in there, not really expecting much in terms of customer service because my previous experience at H&M left a bad taste in my mouth. Basically at H&M, even with me being my most polite and charming, I got basically blank stares and near-sneers in response from the 'help'. What a bunch of jerks. But surprise, surprise, the guy I went to who was near the jackets turned out to be awesome and nice (nice-looking too, but I digress). I picked out a sweet jacket, new brown shoes that I freakin' love, and a cool new reversible brown/black belt. I think I helped his commission enough that I got to become part of his 'Client Book'. Yay me. I ended up missing a 20% off invite-only night at Kenneth Cole on Tuesday because I was in Miami (you know, writing that last sentence is hilarious - who knew that I would EVER write something like that?) though, and it sucks because there was going to be free Champagne!!!!!

Alright, let's see, I think that IS all the stories now. But while walking home tonight from the ferry, I realized I feel the need to divest myself of all my insecure and internal thoughts that go through my head. Now if you could give a rats ass about this all, then feel free to stop reading. No one's forcing you to and you're certainly not paying for the 'privilege' of Hobie's thoughts, but I was thinking about all the things that go through my head at certain times and I realized there's just things I would rather not be hesitant to admit anymore. And maybe it's not even hesitation in saying them - it's just been I thought no one cared. And no one really does, but it's my website, and I care, so I can do whatever the hell I want. Life's too short to repress yourself. So if you'd like to skip down to the pictures, please do so at this point. And if anything I write makes you think less of me, well, sorry - I made no guarantees!

Some Things I Think: (this will probably be a re-occurring feature, so please skip as necessary in the future)

- I often walk into a room of people and immediately try to see who the most attractive guy is and then compare myself to that person. Then I'll usually do a rank-order of where I probably fit in, comparatively. At this point in my life, I think I'm pretty fair and objective in my rankings. Like today and yesterday, I was in a Project Management course. There were two incredibly good-looking guys (at least in my opinion) that I think definitely were better-looking than me, so I probably came up as #3 in the rankings today. But you see, this shows how arrogant I truly am in my own head. I'm not Exceedingly arrogant, but still pretty arrogant, and definitely vain. I mean, hello, I make a ranking list. Yet what I hate is when my own self-image gets destroyed by a bad reflection or bad picture of me (or is it a TRUE picture?). Because you see, in my own mind, I think I'm fairly good-looking!

- I hate talking on the phone, especially when trying to do the 'catch up with others' thing. I'm horrible at it. Why? Because almost everything that I think would keep people interested on the phone ISN'T interesting. And then i'm like, what the hell do I have to talk about or tell people? My life, although new and exciting now, is still pretty damn solitary, so there's not much to 'report' on. "Yep, I went to work again". This week was quite a change from the norm, and who knows, my phone calls may be a lot more interesting from here on out. So this isn't a slam against anyone who calls me, because honestly, I love to hear how you all are doing, but I have nothing usually. And then I feel bad. I don't want to bore people. God knows I do it enough on this website.

- I've realized that my natural and relaxed face is a very pissed-off face. At least that is what it looks and seems like. So I consciously try to relax my face yet also have a smirk or slight smile so I don't look like a damn psycho. But when i do that, then I realize instead of an angry psycho, I must look like a smirking psycho. So honestly, what the hell am I supposed to do? I don't want to become another walled-off New Yorker who absolutely looks miserable while going to work. You should see some of these people. They look completely and utterly defeated. They barely look at others and while I know it's a defense mechanism of some sort, seriously, it's not that bad! Look Up! Look at the City! It's a great life. You've got one shot - enjoy it! But in the meantime, even though I don't feel that way, I don't want to look life a fucking idiot savant smiling away to himself (I'm Rain Man!) or some serial killer. What to do.....

Okay, I guess that's enough for now. The first bullet point was what really got me wanting to 'divest' (I love that word today) myself of these mainly self-centered and arrogant thoughts. It's not as if I don't think them anymore, but it's kind of nice to just say em out loud and let people know that I'm a selfish bastard. And if you can deal with that, then rock on with yo' bad self.

And here are some pictures for persevering through this long long long-winded entry. I've finally taken some pictures of my room and dancehall bathroom too. Enjoy! And as an added bonus, I just recorded a mini-video of my room so you can truly see for yourself, with a guided tour no less, my living space. I may have to take advantage of this camera's video features, as it would be kind of cool to make mini-videos throughout my stay here.

Random Oct 2007 Pictures (incl. Miami & Apartment pics)

That's my roommate Shelly - a few hours before we went out on 13 Oct (Sat)
That's the venue where the concert was
Me in Miami at Mojitos, holding a Mojito, strangely enough
This was my suite in the Conrad Hotel in Miami.
Didn't want to leave
On Wed, 17 Oct, the Rockefeller Center rink hosted a Breast Cancer event, hence the Pink
And now here's my apartment as of 18 Oct - this is looking from my bed to the bathroom

A guided video tour of my side of the West New York apartment (~16 MB)

Looking from the mirror to my window
My desk and bureau from the room entrance
How I hid my bookcase
The needlessly spacious bathroom
Cluttered sink, but what can you do? (I know, put the shit away!)


9 October 07   In a New York Minute!

Okay, that has absolutely nothing to do with your Mom, but it sounded cool in my head while typing it.

Alright, bear with me - I think all chronological order will be thrown out the window as I recount the past week and a half or so of events here in ol' NYC. First, some of the more recent things:

- Robie Saunderson of San Antonio Chicken Divinity fame sent me a digital movie file of my TODAY show glory - click here to download it for yourself (it's about 2 MB or so, so keep that in mind dial-up folks!). So it's not exactly a CLOSE-UP of me, but hey, I was still intercut with Bruce Springsteen and when I saw it on the jumbotron screen at Rockefeller Center (NOT Times Square though...bummer), it was lifesize! Also, here are some stills that Robie thoughtfully sent as well (thanks Robbie!):

- While waiting for the Ferry bus (no smartaleck comments, kthx) to pick me up outside work today (I was standing outside a Kenneth Cole store and kept looking in - I definitely need to go in there and look at their shoes and jackets...and hope they're not like $500) as I was heading home early to meet the DirecTV folks who ended up not being able to install HD because my receiver I brought with me is BROKEN...okay, I rambled there, but while waiting for the Ferry bus (heh heh) who walks by me but Conan O'Brian? That dude is tall! And what's funny is that he wasn't mobbed or nothin' while walking down the street. In fact, he probably never is, but still, he's pretty distinctive looking. And tall.

- Speaking of Conan O'Brian, this past Friday I remembered that on the internal NBC channels in 30 Rock, you can tune to each of the studios and watch rehearsals. So during the afternoon, I was working and watching Conan work on that night's broadcast, which was actually pretty damn cool as you see how they tweak the material to make it funnier and such. And he cusses. Awesome. Then, a few channels over, you can watch Studio 8H aka the Saturday Night Live studio and watch them prep for Saturday. If you thought some of their sketches were painful to watch just once, try listening to it REPEATEDLY over and over - and it doesn't get funnier, folks. I can't imagine the skit I saw was one that was hilarious to watch on Saturday evening.

- The Rockefeller Center SKATING RINK has opened up as of yesterday. Yes, the skating rink is actually open. Yesterday the temperature was in the 80s. Go figure. But maybe they knew something we all didn't because while Monday was sweltering and muggy, the rest of the week the temps are dropping over 20 degrees and by Friday, our highs are in the 50s! Yowza. Guess I'll get to finally use my new umbrella and jackets.

- Have I said recently how cool it is to work in Midtown???? If not, it's freakin' awesome. So much goes on right there.

- Okay, so last I updated, the TODAY show experience had just happened, and now I'm posting the video. What's happened since? Glad you asked.

So on Saturday, I embarked on my first sightseeing-as-a-native trip, wanting to go into Manhattan and see the Barnes & Noble flagship store as well as see more of Midtown Fifth Avenue, which is where all the fancy stores are. So I did that, traveling first to Midtown (#12 in the map to the left, which is courtesy of the NFT NYC guide, indispensable!) and taking some more pics of 30 Rock before taking the subway down to Union Square (which is in the southern part of #9), which is south of the Empire State Building and kinda close to Greenwich Village. Needless to say, the B&N there is pretty awesome. 4 stories. And like the retard I am, I couldn't stop myself from buying not one but TWO heavy computer books that I now had to carry around the rest of my trip. I'm stupid.

You know, I'm looking at the map I put there and it makes me laugh - you see how close it looks like between where I live and where I work. Probably no more than 3-4 miles. But it takes at a minimum 40 minutes to get there. An hour when it's heavily crowded or horrendous streets. Hopefully me getting to work ahead of the rush will help a bit, as I've signed up as a member of the 30 Rock gym and will work out in the mornings. I got to work early (meaning, 7:25 am) today and it was amazing how fast it was. The rush hour really is if you try to get to work between 9 - 9:30. That blows my mind coming from the military and getting to work by 7:30 (okay, I didn't quite do that near the end of my time, but cut me some slack, bitches).

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in Union Square and bought a couple bricks to walk around with during the rest of my trip. I had originally anticipated just staying in Manhattan all day because the plan was to go to the movies with Shannon and some of her friends that evening around 7pm. That plan changed when the skin on my hands was raw after hauling those books around. Union Square is a really cool place though, with a huge farmers market during the weekend and lots of restaurants, shops and bars around there. I then walked up Broadway towards the Flatiron building, one of the older and more recognizable 'skyscrapers' in New York. Then it was a quick visit to Madison Square Park which was nice to be in. I jumped back in the subway towards Midtown though (#11, #12, and #13) and walked briefly by the Plaza Hotel, the very bottom edge of Central Park, and then finally back on Fifth Avenue, where like I said, all the very cool shops are. I bought stuff, of course. Then I hauled myself back to the Ferry terminal, went home and unloaded, changed, and then went back into Manhattan to go see "Into The Wild" with Shannon and Co. It was good to see her, but didn't really get a chance to hang out much as the movie started soon and then afterwards, I left to go home as she had other things going on and I was still unsure of how to get home at this point! But while walking down Broadway, I couldn't help but see Times Square so I ended up walking through that ridiculousness at night. It's incredible though. And then I finally got back home. Quite an endeavor. Here are the pics below.

29 Sep 2007 - Midtown, Union Square, Flatiron, & Madison Sq Park

The very empty Port Imperial parking lot - Saturday isn't quite as busy a day as a weekday
There's my work - the very tall 30 Rock building
And that's my balcony of fame
Okay, now we're in the Union Square area, and I'm looking north to the Empire State Building
Another pic of that
That's the Met Life building right near Madison Square Park
Looking up Broadway towards the ESB
ESB, Broadway, and Madison Square Park
This is the Flatiron building. Look familiar?
Another sot
And one more
Inside the Park
Looking at what I thought was kind of a cool bridge
The Met Life tower
A neat, subtle sculpture of evil fighting trees
Evil Squirrel
And one more of the Met Life
The other side of the violent trees
Madison Square Park
Ahhh... Central Park. The very southern edge of it. I still haven't gone in yet.
A cool curved building I walked by - beautiful design
Looking up the curving facade
To try to show just how much it arcs
So after the movie, while walking down Broadway, I came across the David Letterman theater!
The ridiculousness and awesomeness of Times Square
Yes, more - it's something to see
Wow - so bright and crazy - must be seen to be believed.

I'm almost getting tired of all this updating, but screw it, must keep going. The next day, Sunday, was chores day and picking up stuff I needed day, until I found out that North Bergen county in Jersey basically closes on Sunday. And I didn't feel like exploring too much as my auto insurance was still up in the air a bit. On that note, I've switched to GEICO and literally it is saving me about $375 every 6 months over what USAA was having me pay. No gracias, USAA!

Then it was the second week of work, and in a summary, I think I'm starting to actually make sense of things. I'm not the expert I will become, but I'm certainly making headway in to what I'll be doing and what the systems I'm working on actually do and how they do it. Sweet. I did take some random pictures from that week though, so here are those. Also, my sightseeing excursion this past weekend was to go visit one of New York's amazing museums. It was going to be between the Museum of Modern Art or The Metropolitan Museum of Art - I ended up choosing MoMA which was incredible. I love what can constitute art. I did get to see Van Gogh's Starry Night though, which is a definite checkbox in my life. It had a lot of incredible works and was quite a great museum. Highly recommended!

1, 3, and 7 Oct 2007 - Manhattan random pics + Museum of Modern Art

The Rockefeller Center skating rink getting prepared for opening
I can't believe I actually work here - soon the tree will be up!
I LOVE this pic I took of 30 Rock
And there it is, my workplace. Walk by this every day. Amazing. For me.
The Empire State Building in fog one afternoon while riding the Ferry home
The view from MoMA's sculpture garden - very eclectic
The MoMA sculpture garden reflecting pool
Another pic of the view
Inside MoMA - I think I liked the architecture and design of the museum itself more than most of the art inside
Very big open area here
High too
And here's Van Gogh's Starry Night. Awesome.
And go figure - this past Saturday was like Polish Pride Parade day or something. Fifth Avenue was shut down for the parade
And a funny ad that I can't actually believe is up.


So that brings me up to date with current pictures! It's been amazing how fast time is moving while here, but i guess that's to be expected what with all the things going on.

I hope you all are doing good! I'll update again more frequently, I promise!