Paul's Blog

The Well-Grounded Yuppie

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

George Foreman Grill: First Experiences

After getting back from NY, I finally get a chance to use my George Foreman grill for the first time. I went to a local grocery store and bought some beef, some porkchops, and some chicken breast.

I decided to cook some porkchops tonight. Everything turned out great, porkchops were cooked how they were supposed to. Instead of "doing it right" with the preparations, I just sprinkled some "steak seasoning" while cooking and it tasted pretty good. I'm sure I'll put my new grill to good use; I bought enough meat for about 10 dinners.

Last night in Long Island - Day 5's Saturday. I woke up around 9:30 and not have to work today. I met up a friend Rob for a bagel. I remember playing basketball with him on our neighborhood court when I was living on Long Island. He was about 3-4 years younger than everyone, so we all picked on him. I haven't seen him since I moved away, and it's been about 10 years.

After that, I caught a movie with a friend. "My super ex-girlfriend". It was pretty good. Cute, semi-romantic, creative, and humorous. Perfect for my friend and me. I see her every time I visit Long Island, so there's not much to catch up, just sit around and enjoy each other's company.

I then visited my buddy Ron. We also don't have much to chat about, we get together and play video games every time I visit him and talk nerdy stuffs such as computer programming and code.

After dinner, I visited my buddy Bobby, who is now an NYPD, and I'm proud of him. He's out there making a difference. He isn't sitting under bridges trying to pull over people who're trying to get to work on time in the morning; he is in subway stations keeping people safe. I hang with him for about two hours, caught up on a lot of stuff, and returned to Ron's place and played some more video games.

It's about 2AM, and I need to go to bed. I'm getting up around 9:30AM to drive to the airport tomorrow.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Shout from Long Island - Day 4

Today was great. Did the whole family/friends thing after working from home 9-5.

I did get to take an extra long lunch break. I had lunch and coffee with a friend. Her name's Marian and I met her online about 10 years ago. I was 16 and new to the AOL chatrooms thing, and became friends with Marian and we kept in touch till today. I've gotten together with her here and there when I visited Long Island, and I think the last time I saw her was about a year and a half ago over Thanksgiving break.

Since she's mostly an online buddy, I talked to her about a lot of things I normally wouldn't tell the friends I hang out with, because online buddies are less judgemental. I remember talking to her about my ex-girlfriend 5 years ago, having a total crush on this girl 4 years ago, not able to find my first "real job" 3 years ago, etc.

It's always a real treat for me to see her in real life, and she's so nice every time I meet up with her.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Live from Long Island - Day 3

Okay, so I'm now on Long Island. Woke up around 9AM in my aunt's basement and jumped on a my laptop to work without brushing my teeth. For some reason, the convenience felt great. I now envy people who work at home. I got more accomplished today than I normally could've at the office, I guess I'm just more efficient "working from home".

I ate some leftovers for lunch (from yesterday's dinner) and "called it a day" from work around 5:45PM. After watching some TV, I went to a Jewish place for dinner with my aunt. The food was alright, just typical American, but everything was "Kosher".

I DID get to drive my rental car around today, it's a new Pontiac Grand Prix (pic), had less than 500 miles on it. It's fun to drive because I can randomly floor it without worrying about reducing the life of the car.

I hang out for a little bit and visited a friend around 9PM. It's about 11:30 and I am going to go to sleep so I can repeat the same exact thing tomorrow.


Live from Long Island - Day 2

Today went fairly well. Got up around 9:15 to have a business meeting at 10AM. Did the whole SEO presenation thing, had some discussion about SEO best practices, went over some traffic stats/graphs, everything went well and it ended around noon. I then met up with the Google team around 1PM. Google has a great office, and they give out free food. Free lunches reminded me of my first job at WBS, except the food is better and the drinks are free as well.

After the meeting, I took a cab to Laguardia Airport where my car rental reservation is. I rented from Enterprise. I'm renting for 4 days, and got a "one free day" coupon from my buddy Eddie, and the 3 days of rent is going to cost me around $150, which isn't too bad for NYC. Since I rigged my PDA into a GPS, I took it with me so I don't get lost in NY. My GPS told me the trip from the car rental to my relative's place on Long Island would take about an hour, but it took two due to traffic. I had dinner with some relatives, and I visited one of my best friends growing up (lived on Long Island for 5 years).

Business trip is officially over, let the fun begin (other than working from home 9-5).


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Live in NYC - Day 1

Some might know that I'll be in NY this week. This is my first "business trip", and it's going well so far. I reserved a cab at 7:30AM yesterday, from work to airport, so I don't have to park at the airport. Things went well, and I arrived in NYC around 10AM.

I don't ride cabs often, is it normal to have flat tires while on a cab? The cab driver acted calm and like he was used to it. He got out and changed his tire in 15 minutes and went on like nothing happened.

I had a meeting with my first stop, things went well, I shared some "SEO best practices", went over their PPC results for last month and trends over the past few months, and their traffic analysis. Yeah, some real nerdy stuff.

After checking in the hotel around 2PM, my boss and I decided to eat at restaurant at the 2nd floor of the hotel. It was a fairly fancy place, and the steak sandwich I had costed $22, which my boss will expense as a part of the "business trip cost".

We went to our next business stop for a meeting, and we were done for the day. I came back to the hotel, lay around for a bit, and waited for my friend Patrick to get off work and come by for dinner. He lives in NJ and works in NYC. So luck would have it, a mutual friend, May, was also in NY doing job interviews, and I haven't seen her for about 3 years. Patrick, May, and myself went to a Japanese place for dinner. We shared a bottle of Saki and then we went to another bar and had a few drinks to catch up on some old times.

Alcohol in NYC's expensive. A pint of Guiness costed me $8?


Monday, July 24, 2006

Gambling Dice Game in Pirates of the Caribbean 2

I just saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 today and one of the scenes showed them play a dice game on the ghost pirate ship. I remember playing that game as a drinking game with my buddies Nick and Chi when I lived in Charlotte before I got my first “real job”. We played the exact same game, with the variation of “one’s are wilds” and can substitute as any number there is. We did the same thing those ghost pirates did, except there was about half a shot of Vodka in the middle and the loser had to drink it. With only 3 people playing the game, we got drunk fairly fast.

Ahhh………good times.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

My New George Foreman Grill

Just decided to buy a new George Forman grill 2 days ago, don't even know what led me to do it. I just woke up that day and decided "I think I'd attempt to cook if I had one of those". I went to Target after work and bought a personal sized one, big enough to cook two hamburgers or one steak.

I've been busy with stuff last night and tonight. I don't think I'd cook this weekend because I have weekend plans both Sat and Sun night. I'll be out of town next week. I would like to try out my indoor grill sometime.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I like Pi

A while back, I was looking at random T-shirts on sale on a website, and one of them said "I like pi" with a math symbol Pi on it. It bought a bunch of memories of my 8th grade math teacher. She had this shirt that also had the math symbol Pi, and it said "Never ending, but always well rounded".

I was also wondering: I consider myself a closet geek, but I would never buy or wear a shirt that says "I like pi". Would anyone actually buy that shirt other than to give out as a joke?


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Car Rental Advice

I'll be in NY next Tue-Sun. Does anyone know of any car rental advice? I've checked on Priceline and it's $280/week. I always hear about people renting cars for $15-$20/day, any advice for me on how to get that rate? I'll be picking up/dropping off the car in NYC. I'm flying in so the rental place has to be accessible through an airport or cheap enough to make it worth cabbing to the rental place.

Thanks for any advice anyone can give.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Andrew Simmering & Sarah Armstrong: Beautiful Wedding

This past Saturday, I drove to Raleigh to witness the beautiful wedding ceremony of my friend Andrew Simmering and his lovely bride Sarah Armstrong. Well, I guess now, they are Andrew and Sarah Simmering. The ceremony took place at a lovely country club beside the lake, and the scenery was magnificent. With any wedding, the most magical moment was when the groom and the bride said their “I do’s” when they were asked “Do you, Andrew Simmering take …” and “Do you, Sarah Armstrong take…”

The drive there should’ve taken 4.5 hours, but it took me 6 due to traffic. I got to see some of my old college buddies, and that’s always a treat for me nowadays, especially due to me living in a new city. The college buddies and I stuck around and hang out Saturday night and went our separate ways on Sunday. Afterwards, I visited my friend/colleague Evan, who also lives in the Raleigh area.

Evan’s wife, Jen, cooked a fantastic meal. Living on Subway and TV dinners, home-cooked meals are always a treat for me. Evan and I talked about search marketing industry trends, which is also a treat because it’s been a long time since I had a face-to-face conversation about it, instead of communicating with colleagues through Emails and search marketing forums/blogs.

It took me about 4.5 hrs to get back home after the trip, and the drive was totally worth it. To all the people I saw over the weekend, thanks for making my weekend trip great.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Will be in Raleigh this coming weekend

I'll be attending a wedding in Raleigh and I will be free on Sunday. Please leave a message on my blog if anyone that lives in the area would like to get together.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Capitol 4th 2006

Last night I had family over for July 4th and we attended the celebration in DC – A Capitol 4th 2006. I guess that was one of the few “family friendly” entertainment that didn’t totally suck.

The celebration concert started at 8PM and lasted till about 9:30. Other than the National Anthem sang by Jojo, most of the performers were big named old-school singers such as Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams and Stevie Wonder. I was most impressed by the host, Jason Alexander. With his Broadway experience, he was just a great entertainer.

Overall, the show was not as boring as I imagined it would be, and I’m somewhat glad I went.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Power Outage

Power outages suck, especially in 85 degrees heat. Last night, due to a storm, my whole neighborhood was out of power. It was super hot with no AC, and I couldn’t even turn on my fan. How annoying was that?

Around 11PM, I went out and had a drink in attempt to put me to sleep. That didn’t work too well, so I started to play games on my cell phone, which was the probably only thing that had power. I flipped and turned on my bed with nothing but boxers on (probably more info than anyone wants to know) for an hour, and finally fell asleep. I think I semi-woke up about 5 diff times due to the heat. I hope I never have to endure another night like this again.