Asian Fireman

Brisket 101 Virtual Training with AC(Not Wharton)

Last week I was on a call with my peers who also sell double decker tour bus tickets to the tourists. The question was posed as to what we were doing over the Memorial Day Holiday. Not a lot of fun adventurous plans given the current environment but we are trying. AC(Not Wharton) informed us that she will be taking a maiden voyage with the smoker that she got her husband. She was asking for suggestions so brother S(squared) said that I should help her. Of course I would, I actually live for this kind of shit since I don’t have a grill of my own now.

AC(Not Wharton) and I had a quick conversation on Friday on the items that she needed to get prior the cook. We spoke about technique and how to prep the meat. It should be mentioned that AC(Not Wharton) practices Kosher Dietary with her family. I am always enthralled with other religions so it was interesting learning how the food had to be prepared. We were able to add some traditional BBQ Techniques and keep her still in the good graces with Temple. She and I agreed on Sunday and I told her to call me if she had questions.

So for you folks who don’t know how to smoke meat it can be intimidating. Add to that it being your first time using a smoker that has a layer of dust it’s daunting. I mean this can be down right frightening because you have put yourself out there and you can’t just paddle back in. Day of the cook AC(Not Wharton) calls me scared that she has already messed up because she didn’t dilute the Pineapple Juice marinade. It was here that I informed her that Rule Number one for Pitmasters; “Pitmasters never make mistakes, everything we do is calculated, planned, and or modified at the last minute if needed.” There is another golden rule that Brother Guido (a fellow teammate) says but it didn’t really apply here “Get them Drunk and Stall, Stall, Stall!

We get the wood chips on the hot coals, the Brisket on the smoker and we start checking hourly. Things are going well but I can get the sense that AC was feeling that smoking meat should be a on a time table like you cook in the oven. Here we learned another lesson on that you have to be subtle and always be reactive. No cook is the same. We get a two hours into the smoke and we are nearing the time to pull them off (a little early but that is fine, this smoker doesn’t have a bottom daisy wheel damper) and we wrap it in foil. As expected, we have to add more charcoal and we get the brisket singing in the foil.

I ended up going to the Commissioner to say hello to Brendan but AC(Not Wharton) sends me the pic of the finished product. What I like most about this was her feedback, she gets it.

  • “I didn’t Season it so well.” (we can also talk about injecting too)
  • “Tasted a little over seasoned.” (we can work on that, we can keep it simple and season it on the back end)
  • “Not a fan of the thin layer of Mustard to put on the brisket before we season it.” (Disclaimer to AC – I do that for Pork Ribs and I may have gotten that wrong. I don’t really cook Brisket like the Asian Fireman or Myron Mixon) We can use oil or the residual juice.
  • Wants to get a less lean Brisket next time. (We need to talk to the Asian Fireman on that)

Hey, I was pumped that she was happy with it. To cook a dish that you are unfamiliar with is hard. To prepare the dish on a cooking apparatus that you have never used before – That pretty incredible. But to do this and your teacher is in Brooklyn when you are on the island of Long…Get the F out of here!

What can I say, us New Yorkers are pretty resourceful and can pretty much do everything. Personally I can’t wait to come out and hang with AC(Not Wharton) and we do some whole chickens beer can style or Burnt Ends. Oh Burnt Ends are the Bees Knees! You are ok if I smoke a couple dozen cigars in your back yard right?

On her list of things she needed to get was a fire extinguisher. She didn’t have one so I told her to have some Flour handy in case we had a grease fire.
This is Battalion 9 in Manhattan that I am hoping I only ever get to see when they are getting provisions at my new Grocery Store.
I have Never Seen one of these before.
AC – Get you one of those Oven Thermometers next time you are at the store. You and I gauging the temp with the “How long can you hold your hand by the rack” needs to improve. I suspect that sucker went hot way too quickly but you and I recovered well.
Love the Bark (the dark crust) on that
You got some smoke ring in there. Like I told AC(Not Wharton) on text. The first one is in the books. So we learn what we like and what we don’t like and we do it again.
I am open on Sunday by the way…..
Yeah I boast that I am not on a BBQ Team but I am grooming AC for WCBCC.
Not sure how we can do that with Shabbat but we can figure something out.
So AC(Not Wharton) BACK STORY ON YOUR BLOG NAME – AC Wharton was a former Mayor of Memphis and I am having writers block coming up with your Blog nickname.

When I was down in Belize one year I organized a BBQ Sauce Contest all via a Message Board. I had one of the owner’s of a Bed and Breakfast get me some whole Chickens and I borrowed her Grill that is an old Butane Tank. We did Beer Can Butt Chicken. When the other owner and partner asked me if I had ever done this before I admitted to her –
Nope, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Thankfully it turned out great.

The faces were courtesy of Shuffles.

So Congrats AC(Not Wharton) we smoked a Brisket and didn’t burn up your backyard.

Welcome to your new addiction.

Just make sure we do this in the summer because that sucker is going to be a beast getting it to temp in the winter.

Oh and AC(Not Wharton) you have to name your smoker now. Its a Pitmaster Tradition.

I am proud of our Sunday Cooking project.

Lets Take One of The Worst Things Imaginable – Moving! But Let’s Do That Shit in NYC During A Pandemic

Yeah, talk about some crazy stuff but hey, we have already paddled out on the surfboard some 4 3/4 years ago when we moved here. Why not keep the dream alive.

Back Story – When we got the offer and made the decision to move up here almost 5 years ago we sought council from The Murphranks. They both told us that we needed to prioritize the following items;

  • Be as Close to Public Transportation (Subway, Bus, Regional Lite Rail)
  • Avoid at all costs any type of a Pre-War Walk Up
  • I am sure there are more but I those two have burned some good Brain Cells in the short time we have been living here.

First Apartment on First Avenue was a dream now looking back. It was part of the Hospital so we didn’t have to hunt for a place to live and it was another stress item we didn’t have to worry about. It was perfect except for the fact that I had to walk about 15 minutes to and from each day to get the 6 Train at 68/Lexington. I did this for about 17 months and let me tell you it sucked. That all changed when the Q Train opened up on January 1, 2017. Ironically we ran into ole Andrew that morning but I digress.

First Apartment had the following things that we were growing accustomed to and it because a priority;

  • Doorman Building – Not so much to open your door but to know that if the front door didn’t shut behind another resident meant it was a safety/security issue.
  • Package Room – This is a HUGE problem when people BC (Before Covid-19) would have to have signatures on deliveries. People in the Package Room would sign for our shit
  • Elevator Banks that would accommodate the number of residents.
  • Closeness to a Grocery Store – Right Across the Street
  • Closeness to bars – This isn’t so much of a good thing.
  • Laundry in Building – Who wants to schlep stuff

So when Geranium and I decided to move from the UES place we looked at a couple of places or more areas. We decided on Downtown Brooklyn for a couple of reasons as once again our priorities were changing. She was going to be on the road more so I needed more amenities to keep my sanity. I mean we looked at Fidi (No Grocery Store), Battery Park City (bitch of a walk to one subway line) and Murray Hill (I wasn’t a fan for some reason)

What our new priorities were included;

  • Ability to have someone swing by and get keys from the front desk to walk the Monkey Heads and leave keys for our cousin.
  • Subway Options – I had over 16 different lines I could choose from to get into the city.
  • Needed an Outdoor space or place for me to go work in the building.
  • Exercise and Possible instructed classes that we could join.
  • Washer/Dryer in Unit – Well that is now a bonus
  • Roof Terrace and Grilling Pavilions
  • Closeness to Murphranks (yeah we kind of like drinking with you)
  • Ease of getting to all 3 airports for Geranium. She can actually get to EWR, JFK, LGA in about an hour from our location.
  • Bomb Dot Com View of Manhattan – Full disclosure – I signed the lease on this joint before Geranium did because it had a killer view of the Empire State and Manhattan.
  • Then COVID-19 Hit in early March.

So our lease is up in July and the leasing company wanted to know if we wanted to sign a 1 year or 2 year lease. Of course with a nice little additional percentage on the lease. I am not one to shit on people but they wouldn’t let us go month to month so we are off like a Prom Dress. Just so we are clear – the Front Desk and Maintenance Staff – we love each and everyone of you. But the management/ownership company not so much.

So what are our new Priorities and what priority is now been relegated to the bottom of the list you ask? God Bless Geranium because she found us a place on West 39th Between 9/10 Avenues I think in 2 days. The location is considered Midtown West/Hudson Yards as it is nestled north of Chelsea, South of Hells Kitchen and West of The Garment District.

So here are our New COVID-19 priorities now and what doesn’t really matter so much now;

  • Outdoor space – No, it is not so that I can smoke cigars, I don’t think they are allowed on balconies anyway. We need to air out and get sun.
  • Smaller Building/Less Floors/Footprint – They only allow 2 people in our elevator now. We have 3 elevators dedicated to floors 30 – 55 and you do the math. Oh and there are times when the door opens I can see the fear in people’s eyes when I want to enter with Maya. Current wait time is about 10 minutes during peak times. And on the day I am writing this elevator #3 is down….again.
  • Neighborhood Residential Density Footprint – Where we are in Downtown Brooklyn we have tiny sidewalks. We also have tons of residential high rises and the Brownstones from Boerum Hill. Sadly we have to give up the sidewalks to the kids. Where we are going according to Mr. 3 First Names is very quiet.
  • Washer/Dryer in Suite – Absolutely now!
  • Grocery Store/Pharmacy Nearby – We live above the same grocery store I visit once a week 4 blocks away. Haven’t figured out where the CVS is but I am happy about the closness of my grocery store. Having it across the street in the UES was paramount.

Not a Priority at this Time (For obvious reasons)

  • Closeness to the Subways – That’s a big ole nope. The friggin NYSE told their members that they would not be allowed to take public transportation if they were going to be on the floor until a vaccine is created. The New York Stock Exchange folks…..
  • Amenities/Common Space – Yeah why am I going to pay 3% more at our current place to not use it?
  • Nearby Bars/Restaurants – We ain’t going anywhere for a while folks. And any New Yorker is stupid to think we are going back to what it was before. At least till we get some type of handle on this virus.
  • Commute to the office – I am actually now the only rep for the Double Decker Bus Company who lives closest to our office at 37 and 7th Avenue. I ain’t going there….
  • Close to stuff – We are not too far from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden now. Like we will there anytime soon.

I know I rambled but actually I have some folks who are also in the same boat as us and I wanted to verbalize how priorities have shifted for us. We are very excited for this new place. So is Maya, she is so over having to pee at 16 Sycamore Park. Also her boyfriend George is gone because our current building did her mom dirty too..

Back to the isle of Manhattan!

Layout of the new place. Trust me when I say that we have already figured out how to maximize space
Rule Number One – Never buy for the new place but I got my eye on you there Boo!
Never in a million years….
Already head of the game getting boxes.
Now in the top 5 important items.
When we saw him at the Second Avenue Subway opening.
I like the job that Andrew is doing in response to COVID-19 and being the father figure that we need.
I do love that his own brother called him out with that “Double Barrel Shotgun Mounted on the front of his face!” We need to laugh folks.

More to come, more to come.

Wednesday is the New Saturday Right?

Man O Man The Murphrank’s, Professor, Bobcat, Homeless Tim, The Asian Fireman and Wife are going to be jealous of this post.

Those previously named are in The Per Se Christmas Dinner invited list that we thankfully make the cut each year. Don’t let the fancy dinner confuse them as all high fancy folk. I mean with the exception of Homeless Tim all of them can crush Bud Light like it is their job. Actually if my memory serves me correctly we did go crush Bud Lights after this past years dinner.

I have mentioned a couple times that we have always been a fan of the Grocery service Fresh Direct. A couple clicks of mouse and BOOM someone is delivering my groceries and doing the heavy lifting. You don’t understand what a pain carrying heavy stuff around without a car is up here. Put it this way grab an 18 pack of beer and a normal grocery store haul and try to walk that shit 8 blocks in a boat tote bag. Yeah, you get the picture.

Prior to COVID-19 we could get a delivery slot for the next day pretty easy. Now days they are sold out for the entire week. This does present a problem but we know a couple life hacks to get around this.

  • Always have a couple things in your shopping cart to meet the minimum order.
  • Make this like your Christmas Wish List – All the Proteins, all the drinks and don’t be shy. You may get shut out because of inventory is so wonky these days.
  • Don’t get all pissy if you get a sub. They are trying as hard as they can and if you are one of those who bitch. Bless. Your. Heart.
  • Check everyday multiple times to see if there are some open time slots. You always take the first available slot you can get and then you keep adding to the order. Typically you can make changes to the order up until 5PM the day before.
  • You Network the Fuck out of this – Maria keeps an eye on it and so do a couple other friends.

So last Saturday Maria shot us a text that Wednesday was wide open and we needed to grab a slot. Geranium was on the laptop and she threw 3 items to make the minimum and would modify that later. She picked Cold Water Lobster Tail, Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and a Ribeye Steak. (who is she trying to fucking impress, its just her, me and dog)

Saturday after I got done with my chores I went in to amend the order and I couldn’t find the order. Geranium has been known to struggle with this but I am well versed in doing this on my iPad. I was able to create an order and also secure a slot on Wednesday (4.22.2020 with a window of 6AM to 8AM) so I wasn’t too worried.

On Tuesday morning we were still messing with the order and Geranium realized that the original order was still showing in there so she zeroed out those items. Honestly – We have kind of grown used to things and apps acting strange given everyone is home on their devices.

I think you know where this is going…..

So the order I placed got delivered at 7AM and the ‘guy’ was appreciative of the healthy tip I put on the bill. I mean dude was carrying 6 X 12 packs of drinks and a case of 6X1Gallon Distilled Water. He deserves much more for doing this given the environment.

Then at 11AM our doorbell rings and Geranium receives the second order. It just has 3 items but cost as much as my larger order. I just hope it wasn’t the same guy.

It is pretty easy and you can get pretty much all that you get at a Kroger or Aldi’s
They ain’t setting foot in your house and you can’t open the door until they leave.
Booze is delivered downstairs but with food being perishable they have to deliver to the door.
Seriously we have been shut out for like 3 weeks in a row. Carrying Soda Water is a bitch!
We got Cut on SpaghettiO’s with meatballs but I made this shit rock!
FYI – This was Geranium’s Go-To Meal during Chemo
Don’t hate the Player….
Hate the Game!

Dinner was fantastic and doesn’t everyone eat Surf and Turf with expensive ass champagne on a Wednesday? LJZ is going to be pissed at me for not sharing the bubbles or the lobster!

And Just A Reminder – There Are No Rules in a Pandemic! If I Could Have Gotten White Truffles I Would Have Done So!

Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights is Resting

Saturday was a little heavy for us so we stayed in and didn’t really want to get on any of the chat apps. I watched some Insta Stories and one of my favorite nowadays is Michael Rappaport. He had posted a now viral post where he tells parents to keep their kids at home. Saturday he reposted a video of a bike messengers wearing Go-Pro’s going about their way in Manhattan. Talk about strange seeing everything void of people and cars. The name of it was “New York is Resting” and I encourage you to go find it. It is pretty neat stuff.

So on Sunday I was dispatched to go get Easter Beer and some items I couldn’t carry from my Grocery store trip. I decided I would walk down to the Duane Reade on Fulton Mall. Guess what? That location is now closed so I had to walk my ass down to Brooklyn Heights. I left out early in the morning so that I didn’t have that much interaction with people as I knew a lot were going to virtual Mass.

To say the streets are empty is an understatement. Check out my 20 block walk.

Livingston Street – I mean guys this kind of shit never happens.
Flatbush and Nevins – This is like Germantown Road at Poplar Avenue.
This is looking back up Flatbush at Nevins towards the Barclay’s Center. Again Empty!
I mean you would normally have a guy begging for money here. Not anymore. There isn’t anyone riding the subways.
It reminds me of South Main with all the quiet buildings. BUT IT IS NEVER LIKE THIS!
One of the Urgent Clinics here that I am guessing have temporarily closed due to COVID-19. A lot of the urgent cares are being understaffed due to people quarantining or getting sick. To combat that they are closing urgent cares and sending staff to other locations.
Dekalb Market – There should be over 100 people sitting around this flower garden. Empty!
Over on Hoyt Street
I actually could hear the most famous 6 words said – “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors” from here!
and S/O to my Kentucky readers!
This is the place who said it was ok to have 1 dog that weighed up to 75 pounds but having 2 dogs that a total of 12 pounds is unacceptable. The leasing agent said it was ok then they said nope. And they tried to keep our deposit.
I want to say this place opened in early March.
Yeah this place never made it to open. Seriously folks the restaurant framework here is going to be changed forever.
So here is where The Asian Fireman and AB the LSU Fan sit back and laugh.

Hey Bill (Debasio) how about you stop fucking riding from the UES to Prospect Park (in Brooklyn) in your NYPD detail to have an afternoon stroll and you close some city streets down here?

Explain to me how the in the World I am to walk here and maintain social distancing?

Oh and for those of you who don’t know but Gracie Mansion in in the Upper East Side and guess what is right next to it?

A New York city park. He is a bum I tell ya!
I have a feeling these guys won’t be back.

Hope you enjoyed the walk with me.

We Are NY Tough

I was standing outside waiting on the dog to pee Thursday morning and I felt a subway rumble under the sidewalk and it almost startled me. I hadn’t seen a subway platform for over 28 days. From my “office” I can see the B & Q train on occasion going over the Manhattan Bridge but that’s it. We are now 26 days in lockdown and I am starting to forget the little things that make this city so great. The things that normal people skeeve that are just part of life for New Yorkers.

So there is a video clip that someone made of Cuomo’s speech. I encourage you to go seek it out. It is titled “NY Tough” grab a tissue it will put a tear in your eye.

There are two parts that really hit home. “You have to be smart to make it in New York The Second part is equally strong “And because we are New York Tough. We are tough, you have to be tough. This place makes tough. But it makes you tough in a good way. We are going to make it because I love New York. And I love New York. Because New York loves me. New York loves all of you. Black and White, Brown and Asian, Short and Tall, gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That is why I love new York.” Incidentally Maria informed me that I got my New York Pin so I guess I got that going for me.

So I put on my reporter hat and asked a bunch of my fellow New Yorkers (via email, text, Instagram) a question – “Once we get out of this what is the one thing you are going to do?” I will start off;

  • Carbunkle Trumpet – I plan on sitting with the old Chooch’s at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue and smoke an Arturo Fuente Opus X ($75 a stick) hell I may smoke two of them at the same time! I might even debate the Chooch’s about Trump. (highly discouraged as they are all red hat wearers)
  • The Notorious N “M’effin” G – Make a reservation at Carbone and have every single person I have ever met over to my apartment to pre-game.
  • The work wife (The international one) – I am going to day drink by the pool or beach with no social distancing and then go out to eat every night for weeks because I am already tired of cooking every single meal.
  • My Cubical Roomate in the West Village – See my friends and do whatever we can as a group. Oh and join you on Second Avenue too!
I recall a baseball game right after 9/11 and they showed the back of the camera and it had this sticker. This is my iPad stand I put that sticker on it on Friday March 13th. That is the last day that New York was normal.
  • My Haitian Brother from another Mother not wishing to be from PA – Talking to everyone on the Train at Grand Central and having lunch with my work brothers and sister at Sophies and Blue Smoke and drive the kids to school. (he has 2 young ones and a wife that works in a medical lab – make sure you pour one for him)
  • Tarheel M(squared) – Drink an overpriced iced latte on my way to boozy brunch in the East Village then day drinking all day!
  • Shawneen from Middle Village – I am going to visit my family and hug and kiss them with no fear!
  • M(Squared) the former work wife (the domestic one) – Response pending
  • The Cruise Queen – Going to a nice restaurant after I get my hair done.
  • Geranium’s Work Wife – I am going to head down to Paddy McGown’s Pub drink buckets of Busch Light cans with friends and sing along (way out of key) to all our favorite songs on Touch Tunes.
  • Don Bruni – I am going to hop on a plane and hit an island somewhere. Work phone in a lock box in my bedroom.
  • The Credit Queen – I am going to NEVER again get pressured into buying ginormous amounts of toilet paper. Drink more prosecco, pay attention – really pay attention at Mass.
  • Bikinisareforever – Yankees Game
  • Asian Fireman – Going to the Rambling House for a proper pint of Guinness.
Rush hour on the Manhattan Bridge – Yep that is a FedEx Truck
  • AB the LSU Tiger Fan – Go to Nat Sherman for 2 Metropolitan Host Maduro Hyde and smoke it in Bryant Park while enjoying a few 24oz Ice Cold Corona Mortar shells and polish off a few dirty dishwater dogs. YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR HIS ACCENT WHEN YOU READ THIS.
  • Bobcat – Peter Lugar Steakhouse in Brooklyn and see her sister
  • The Professor – Swing by 773 Dive Bar, Palace Dive Bar, Connie O’s Dive Bar and Call Box (yep you guessed it another dive bar)
  • Homeless Tim – Fried Chicken at TAK Room and sit down and eat it properly. *he got that for Takeout when he fled the city for CT*
  • Lady Barrister Murphrank – Commissioner, Fausto, Osteria Morini (Italian Joint in the City) as that was the last place she ate before the city went on pause.
  • Mr 3 First Names – A repeat Trip up 5th Avenue (its a FDNY Pipe’s and Drums band thing)
  • AV The Russian – Take the subway anywhere and have a nice boozy brunch outside at a restaurant while touching every single person I see.
  • AV’s Momma – After I give my daughter an unending hug and shed some tears, Ima getting a huge juicy burger and eat it down by Battery Park across from the Statue of Liberty. I LOVE THIS ONE
  • Flynn Shady – Drinks at Down The Hatch in Greenwich Village and a slice of pizza at Joe’s,
  • PC the Memphis Fan – Queens Comfort in Astoria and get rousingly drunk at hip hop brunch then walk it off along the East River.
I don’t know what scares me more. That Z(squared) will get one of these guys if they are having a bad day. Or I will get one of them if we are having a bad day. I am kidding because no mater what they still have to go into work. God Bless you Boys!
  • The Cousin – A Bouie UES Brunch at Penrose with my girls!!!!!!
  • UWS Holly – Well it won’t be ‘go see Hamilton’ because her tickets are for May 30th. She will go to the 105th street dog run with the Ellington in the park outdoor café.
  • Maria – Bloody steak at Peter Lugar in Brooklyn
  • Gumata Jennie – Joining Maria for that Steak
  • Rhino – A great meal from Maria and Inga
  • LJZ – Stupid Expensive Cocktails on the roof of the Peninsula then sipping champagne at Tiffany’s with her personal shopper.
  • F from Z(squared) – Playing Dominos at the Ear Inn and drinks at Oceana.
  • JP on the Island of Long – Head to the Gym then Beach. I’ll be in a NY state of Mind.
  • Tay-Tay – Mani/Pedi, then a Swedish Massage and flying down to Florida ASAP for the Big 3-0!
  • Vivian Longstreet – Raoul’s – having a martini at the bar served by Franko then I’m having dinner in a booth. I will start with 6 raw oysters, then steak au Poivre and finally the profiteroles.
Asshole to Elbow getting a pic of Manhattanedge
  • Ty Middelton – Go to my Tailor and pick up the Rick Owens Suit I had altered. Then head over to Caviar Russe for Vodka and Caviar.
  • Ty Webb on The Price is Right – Response Pending
  • Name Withheld to protect the innocent – JG Mellon’s in the UES for a bloody Mary, Bowl of Chili and a Burger.
  • The Bartender – I am going to hug the F Train!
  • San Pedro Scoop – Murray’s Bagels for a Sesame with Lox or Maple Walnut Cream Cheese naturally Untoasted
  • Brizzyc – Wants to go to Kettle of Fish for a Packers Game! I miss being with FANS!
  • Grantmeaccess – Anything to do with Beer!
  • Mary Louise Geranium – Find a Gospel Brunch and ride the Q Train into the city to see her chiropractor.
  • Steve from Flushing – Aquaduct and then maybe Belmont.
  • The Bookie – I am going to go to one of my favorite Alphabet City Dive Bars, walk in the men’s room and if it doesn’t smell like it used to I am going to be pissed!
  • QBall from Tudor City – I am going to Old Town Tavern sit at the bar and bitch to John (the Bartender) about how the Mets completely fucking Suck!
  • Kate the Dog Sitter – I am going to my favorite restaurant Coppola’s with my grandma!
  • Constantine – “I am going to walk into Mt. Sinai hospital and I am going to hug every nurse, doctor and employee”
  • Mr. Clean – I am going to cherish the following 6 words – “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors!”
  • DRS (Former Work Momma) – I plan on seeing my mother, and head to the beach.
I miss the old Normal

Thanks to all those who played along. I had fun putting this out.

Pictures from Last Year and of the Week.

Don’t you hate those people? The ones who will say; “See you next year.” Those people are probably the same people who try to rush onto a crowded subway/elevator car before letting others off first.

Here are some good pics that I had from December and a couple that made it in January. Hope everyone is doing well and keeping to their New Years Resolutions. I am glad that Otter is keeping his resolution of drinking lots of beer and then dining on the finest Gut Grenade in his domiciled city. I am seriously jealous of those square roto-rooter burgers.

Thankfully nobody was hurt in terms of Staff or anyone from Memphis Fire Department. Those boys will rebuild and it will be even better!
One of our friends flew in for a couple of hours in late December so we had to go out and see him.
No wonder those Purple Tail Planes list to the left a little. That is an OBSCENE AMOUNT OF STUFF Costanza!
Never really paid much attention to this building in Tudor City. Wonder what it costs to live at the top?
We didn’t eat much during the Christmas season
Wait its called Lardo Bread and it is stuffed with Ham Goodness? Oh Hell Yes!
Like I said, I starved during Christmas! Thanks Chris, Maria and Inga!
Grabbing a smoke on the fire escape. I am pretty sure this is a No-No. Mr 3 First Names/Asian Fireman – Judges ruling?
Yeah I stole it but kudos to this guy/gal who put it out there!
Geranium got inspired to re-organize the bathroom cabinet. Thanks to Baltimore SB for the encouragement.
Thanks to Z-Squared for the Prince Ping Pong Balls. Did you know that he was a huge ping pong fan? I figured his little ass couldn’t see the top of the table.

Hope you had a good weekend and your football team won. Me, my ass is going to be in Mexico during the Super Bowl so I don’t give much thought to it.

The Decade in Review

I know that this post is a couple of weeks late. I have been kinda busy and add to that Geranium has been working at my creative desk…….#herfault

So I started jotting down all the events that have occurred in the past 10 years. I was filling up a Legal Pad I realized HOLY FUCK! We have done some major shit in the past 10 years.

Without further adeau and in no certain order are some highlights, difficulties, not so great moments. I look back on this list and I see things that have defined us. I chose that certain quote about the windshield vs rear view mirror for a reason. Without further adeau;

  • CBT was “fun-employed” for a bit – Let me tell you there really isn’t much fun in that. Mind you it was 10 years ago but as I look back it was the greatest thing that happened to me. I will elaborate on this later.
  • CBT became a Carnie for Memphis in May and lived to tell about it. I tell people up here what I did that spring they still can’t believe it. It taught me a lot. Most importantly I learned that one should always have a nickname and periodically yell “Go For Robo” when answering a call.
  • Geranium went back to cleaning bedpans. I joke when I say that she was asked to come back after she came down to the river and hung out with me as a carnie. That was true by the way. This also was a good thing for our progressive movement.
  • CBT went to work for AMF/HW. Yep I needed to get off the streets and I found a little nitch for myself and we made a little money and had some fun too. In all seriousness God Bless Ernie and Lynn Mellor for taking a chance on me. I will always be in your debt.
  • English Mike/Claire, RJ/Mal-O-Rie, & Mr. 3 First Names/VQ all got hitched in the past decade. What is important about this stat is that we now have a full basketball team roster of kids. More kids to help us when we get older.
  • Geranium got diagnosed and Then kicked the ever loving Fuck out of Cancer. Let me just say that not all superheroes get to wear capes. Since then we sadly have some friends of ours join this club too. This also defined us and put things in perspective.
  • Geranium decides to not only get an Undergrad but then a Masters in Bed Pan Cleaning. I have told her that there is no reason for her to go get her Doctorate or Juris Doctorate. Her ass is done with text books.
  • Carbunkle Trumpet completed his first and only 1/2 Marathon. Again, if my knees could bend backwards I would kick my own ass.
  • After many years of owning a bar in South Bluffs we pulled off a Ponzi Scheme and moved to the core of Downtown Memphis. Yep we had to get RJ/Mal-O-Rie’s house sold, then they bought ours and we got the condo. God Bless Ponzi Scheme Pawn JL for believing a bunch of strangers at the pool that one day. *Disclaimer – I don’t have good nickname for her so this will work till I come up with one*
  • Geranium gets her a Job in New York City! What can I say, we like it up here. We probably are going to stay for a little more while. Anyway we haven’t seen all the dive bars in all 5 boroughs.
  • I get a job seeing Double Decker Bus Tickets to Tourists. Ironic that I had to move to New York to get this job.
  • New Job (again) for Geranium – She left cleaning those bed pans to working for a company that would make the cleaning solution for the pans.
  • Move from the UES to Crime-Free Brooklyn – Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for Maria we may still be unboxing those damned boxes. Moving in New York sucks!
  • Stamps are getting put on our Passports – Truth be told we chose to move to New York so that we could take advantage of cheaper and direct flights to foreign lands. We really have enjoyed this.

We look back for a moment and are very grateful for our past experiences. Some of those experiences without a doubt has made us move forward.

Always look forward folks, always forward.

Losers Lounge Takes on Stax Music

Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Booker T & the MG’s and a whole bunch of others were featured by the Joe McGinty 7 and The Losers last weekend. I was really excited to see this feature given that I am a Memphis guy. The show was great but man I wish that they did a little Black Moses. Sadly the show we saw didn’t feature any but it was a great time with The VQ and the Asian Fireman. On thing that was strange was that a lot of the normal players were off on Friday night but were playing on Saturday night. Well as long as Donahue look a like Mike Fornatale and Carlton Smith were on it was going to be a good one.

Opening Act – Mr. Big Stuff
Liz Vice singing “These Arms of Mine”
Milton and Julia Joseph – Breakdown
Carlton “Soul; Man” Smith!
La La Brooks formally of The Crystals Singing Gee Whiz
Pretty Much when Mike Fornatale is going to sing its going to be a good one!
Yes he killed Otis’ version of “Try a Little Tenderness”
Joe McGinty Finishing up “The Ballad of El Goodo”

By the way, great job singing the classics. I have to say that singing some of the original Stax songs “Walkin the Dog” is hard to do if you don’t have that voice. David Milone did The World’s Oldest Teenager proud!

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – UN General Assembly!

For those of you who bitch about Memphis in May gridlock when they take Tom Lee Park down to 2 lanes pay attention. Every September when The United Nations gathers for the General Assembly New York, particularly the East Side, turns into the worlds largest parking lot. There are only 2 things you can do when all 200+ delegates transcend on New York; plan for delays and don’t bitch about it, or go the fuck out of town.

Me, I find it fascinating that so much can happen in a week and it pretty much runs like clockwork. The security this year is going to be paramount. Given all that is going on in the world but I am always amazed at how much prep work is done. Here are some pictures from this weekend and on Monday.

They have about a million of these things spread all over Midtown East
Bike Rack for Days
Confirmed with Mr. 3 First Names and Asian Fireman that this was a reserve company for the UNGA
No the NYPD isn’t into the Dump Truck business. They use these for barricades . Hard to ram past one of these when its full of Sand.
Lots of Black Limos and Police Cars
Tons of Suburban’s with flashy lights too
Since the UN is on the East River it is going to be a mess on the FDR too!
This right here is going to be the quickest way to get around town this week!

Have a good week and God Bless the Pizza Delivery folks and those who live in Tudor City and near the UN.

Pictures of the Week (And A Shout Out Too!)

I have a bunch of stuff building up on some scratch pads. That and Geranium is going to be away all next week so get ready for more production out of me. In so many words/phrases here is what I have cooking;

  • “The Big Chill” at Dale Hollow Lake (Relax, I got this)
  • “Memphis Basketball Fans have ‘A Guy’ when they visit Brooklyn”
  • Boat Ride on the Hudson
  • “Would Someone Fix My Cigar Bar? Fucking Please!”
  • “Way to Piss Me off” – Airport Decorum
  • “A return to the old haunts” – Going back to the USE roots
  • “So I came out of the closet with the blog at work”

First off, I want to give a shout out to RMT from PA. She has been a ‘stalker’ of this worthless dribble of a blog ever since we moved up here. Her son did some time down by Union Square for the past 4 years as we have lived here. Albeit, I may have never met him, but I feel like I know him. You see RMT got her Christmas, Birthday, Tooth Fairy, and Mothers Day present all rolled into one a couple of weeks back. This makes me happy and puts a serious smile on my face. Oh and by the way RMT – I want a MOG pic texted to me on the blessed day. #UgotThis

I know that I have been kind of scatter brained but I promise when I say this….we have been (really fucking) busy. I mean Geranium has been away more days in a month than she has been in Brooklyn. We aren’t bitching, she works her ass off and she actually loves what she does. She also is getting some great exposure on selling those Bed Pans. On my side…Yeah, I don’t feel so guilty working longer hours on my double decker tour bus sales gig or having a cigar with the boys. This is what people in their mid to early 50’s do in NYC right? More to come, more to come.

Anyway here are some pictures from this past week. It has been a powerful week to say the least.

Saint John Baptist De La Salle…..Pray for Us but Most Importantly Thank You!
Happy Birthday Monkey Head!
All aboard the A Train!
Thanks Alex! Way to made the guys in Green look FAT! Seriously it was great To See Joe and Henry up in the Big Apple!
Thanks to LJZ for leaving Spin Class to come down for Evening Service.
(She doesn’t read this, I am safe)
No real words never need to be said here
Disclaimer – I omitted the name of the person who posted this out of the deepest respect for them and their family. This was posted on Wednesday and yet again it brings me to tears. What occurred 18 years ago still digs deep into the hearts and souls of so many people.
I may have a story about this day but I will never speak it. This day isn’t about me.
It is about those who lost their mothers, their fathers, their wives, their husbands, their partners, their children, their neighbors, their work peers and so many more.
We shall always remember their names and we will also remember those who are still perishing from 9/11 illnesses.
God I hope this kicks ass! And I also hope they speak with a worse accent than I am accessed of having up here.
“I am going to wake up in the morning on the couch…..wearing a kilt.” Name withheld to protect the Fellow Drunken Uber Rider.

Have a good weekend. Be nice to a Stranger.

Call your Mother and Father because they probably worry about you.

Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them.

And hug your babies a little closer.

As one of my cigar buddies always says “These are interesting times we are living in.”