Archive for June, 2008

Yorkville

I have big, exciting news for all you faithful readers:

Last week, the Dallas Mavericks selected Shan Foster with the 51st pick of the 2008 NBA Draft!

Ok, settle down. Here’s the real news of which I spake:

I am moving to Manhattan in August!

I’ve been thinking about making an official relocation into The City for years, but was always waiting for the perfect circumstances. Well, those finally arrived and so I started my apartment search in earnest. Ok, actually, I just continued to play online basketball and let Cassie “Super Planner” Melnikow do all the searching now that she has a lot of free time on her hands. Her lease ends at the end of July so we decided to go on a fact-finding excursion with a New York broker to get a feel for size, location, and quality of apartments that we could afford in our price range.

To my surprise I was so impressed with how great the crop we looked at were, that I started wondering if we could bump up our expected move date from August to ASAP. Two months was just too long a wait for me! After a little convincing Cassie agreed, and we went out on a couple more apartment hunts – this time for real.

By the second day of really searching, however, we were becoming a little depressed. No apartments were looking as good as the ones we had seen on the original day. Though these were nicer and newer (completely renovated kitchens and elevators in the building!), they weren’t as big or as comfortably laid out. Worse, they were all cookie-cutter apartments owned by the same management. Cassie decided to check out some on her own since my work schedule was limiting what we could see. At 4 PM on the third day I received a call from her telling me to get my ass up to the Upper East Side because she found the perfect one.

When I got there I couldn’t disagree. It was bigger than any of the apartments we had seen and was $200 cheaper than what I thought our floor asking price was. It had just come on the market while Cassie was exploring with a broker so we were the absolute first ones to see it. Better yet, the current tenant was still there so we got to ask her questions about her living experience in the place (instead of just relying on the broker’s sales pitches). I downplayed my excitement in a futile attempt to have some sort of leverage in the negotiations, but everyone involved knew this apartment was going to go quickly (average time for a New York apartment to get a renter: 1 day).

Well, we signed the lease and turned over an ass-load of money but are now happy renters of an Upper East apartment. Oops! Actually, it turns out the place doesn’t officially open until August 15th, which means a month and a half until we can move in. Since Cassie’s lease ends August 1st this means we’ll have to figure out what to do with both her and her furniture for 15 days … but it does all seem worth it to finally be in the city. Now, commute will only be half an hour at the most and I can do whatever the fuck I want whenever I want! Lastly, of course, there’s Menu Pages. Ah, Menu Pages: my lover!

The area we will be living in is known as Yorkville. Among some of its rich history includes the following hotness:

Oh, and I forgot to mention: the picture above is the apartment, itself. We will live directly above a deli (hopefully 24-hours) so I will never again live in fear of running out of beer!

X-TRA FACT: This is actually the second time I’ll be living in a Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead) themed area. During the summer of 2000 I lived in the famous Shack, which was located on Yorkshire Road in Manassas, Virginia.

Street photo © 2008 Google Maps

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  • Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 13:03 | #1

    you’ll have to let us all know what you do with “both her and her furniture for 15 days” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 15:55 | #2

    I wanted to allude to the fact that having Cassie just stay at my place for the 15 days (our obvious choice) brings certain inconveniences – ones that we can’t control nor are they ones I want to mention in this blog.

    For now that’s all but trust in doh and the blog will show

  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 at 09:40 | #3

    Congratulations – you are truly living the Seinfeld life. I hope it has room for visiting parents to sleep ’cause we want to get up there and see you before it gets cold again.

  • Wilson
    Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 09:20 | #4

    you are such a nerd…but still awesome! Congrats dude!

I’m A Balla’ … Shotcalla’, Brawla!

“I really like depriving myself of things. It’s fun!”
– Cosmo Kramer [6.07] The Soup

I guess I must be a little like Kramer since that seems to accurately describe my video game situation! First, it took me over a year to figure out I wasn’t using the most detailed graphical setting on my PS3. Well, I recently decided to finally try playing my NBA 2k8 game online (this being almost 3 years since I last played online). Once again, I have no clue what I was waiting for … because I am completely addicted now!

The PS3 online system is great. Sure, it doesn’t have all the achievement points or consolidated leader boards of the XBOX 360 … but is is free. And I’ve never waited more than 15 minutes for a game to start (and I haven’t even set up my network so I can host games). I’d like to also announce that I haven’t purchased a head set (as Dirk is photoshoppingly modeling for you) as there’s no way I’m going to listen to the trash talk of the 12 year olds I’m playing as I destroy them with my superior knowledge of basketball statistics!

Finally, I’d like to announce to everyone that my AOL screenname of old, Warlock94, lives on as that is my alias online. So, if you see him in your NBA 2k lobby … run! (Sorry this is a bit of a non-blog, folks, but I had to get it out of my system to make way for some exciting news coming soon).

I couldn’t find the scene where Kramer performs the quote I used above so I had to settle for one of the funniest Seinfeld story arcs:

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  • Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 16:25 | #1

    Why is Daredevil one of your Stanus themes?

  • Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 17:55 | #2

    I’ve been going through all the Essential Daredevils (just finished #2) and I like to make new themes about current things I’m into. I highly recommend these early Daredevils, by the way. Not as silly as early Spider-Man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Night Like Any Other Night …

So last night was pretty uneventful.

After work, Cassie and went to Cheeseburger in Paradise where I had a cajun burger and she had a girlie alcoholic beverage complete with a sunglasses-wearing guy made from an orange and a lime. Then we came back and I watched the Celtics come back from 25 down in the third quarter and demolish the Lakers to go up 3-1 and, pretty much, win the championship. I’m no Celtics fan, but I am a Kobe Bryant hater (and I’m no fan of the Lakers as a franchise) and it gave me a smile to see him frustrated. Then, I was so hyped up on basketball, I decided to finally give a test run of NBA 2k8‘s online capabilities. And, yes, I got pwned by two people who were probably younger than 15. But that was about it for the night.

Oh, wait. I think I forgot something. Ah, yes: there were bullets fired in my neighbors house!

You read that correctly. I was just finishing up playing my second game when we hear what sounded like firecrackers. My street is composed of nothing but older couples, so I didn’t know who would be setting it off but this was followed by women screaming and men shouting. I was frozen to my seat just trying to discern what was going on. After the shots there were tries screeching and about a minute later I ran to a window in my roommates’ room that had a better view of the scene.

Directly next door I saw several vehicles leave the driveway and a couple of guys running at full speed down the block in what I assume to be an attempt at following the shooter. After some more screaming from some younger girl and an angry guy on a phone, everyone returned back. After another five minutes or so three cop cars finally showed up to take stock of the situation. I couldn’t really hear everything, but I thought I heard someone telling the officers it was a drive by type situation. Up until that point I was under the impression it was someone actually at the house who shot while leaving.

It was all surreal and I was way more afraid of being seen by the cops watching the show than of any more firing. Also, I don’t believe anyone was actually hit since no ambulance ever showed up. But I still have no clue as to what really happened. If I hear anything from my roommates or find anything in police blotters I’ll post them here.

Highlight of the night still remains Kobe losing, though!

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  • Friday, June 13th, 2008 at 15:58 | #1

    I turned the game on briefly during the second quarter and I believe the celtics were down by 23… I kinda wish I had watched the rest of the game now.

    I hope you realize you missed your one chance in life to help a damsel in distress! You should have rushed next door with you computer in hand and threatened to blog about all of them unless they wait for the cops to arrive!

Air! AIR!!

I don’t know why but that scene from Spaceballs has stayed with me for two decades now … it’s not even a joke (I think). But it was pretty close to how I felt when I woke up yesterday.

Two days ago it was 94 degrees outside and so humid that I was sweating in my room, wearing next to nothing (!) and having two fans set on high. I had just finished eating dinner and was getting ready to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals when suddenly a ridiculously powerful gust of wind ripped through my room. Within seconds the temperature had dropped 10 degrees (I was happy) followed by all of the electricity in my room blinking out (I was not so happy).

I thought I could fight the inevitable, as the power couldn’t seem to make up its mind about staying on or off for the next five minutes. And then, I was left in complete darkness. I fumbled around in my walk-in … closet/room and found a flashlight. After a few minutes of discussing what was going on with my roommates, I realized that I may have a long night without electricity ahead of me and I panicked. Live without the internet or computer software for a night?! NEVER!

Luckily, my laptop was fully charged so I spent an hour or so working on music in the dark (where everything just sounds more serious) and then watched Point Blank from Netflix. Now it was after midnight, my laptop was dead, and my room was still in the mid-90’s. Relief wasn’t coming anytime soon (one of my roommates gave up and slept in the cool basement while another slept in a room on the first floor) so I resigned myself to my fate of a sweaty night (and not because I had randomly run into high school classmate, Brian Street, earlier in the day!).

Around 6 in the morning I woke up to the sound of one of my fans spinning up (we had power!) but this lasted only about 10 minutes 🙁 . However, when I finally got up for real at 9 (jealous?) it was to a cool breeze wafting in through my window. The storm had finally broke the recent temperature’s fever and I arose quoting King Roland’s famous (to me) lines! Sure, electricity wouldn’t return for good until 3 PM this day, but at least I wouldn’t have to excrete a personal cooling fluid from my sweat glands waiting for it.

In fact, when I arrived home that night from work, I celebrated my returned power by turning on every god damn electrical appliance in my room. Just like any other night 🙁 . Huzzah!

Oh, I think I’ll quietly mention here at the end that I just updated a Feature about my latest conquering of an NBA 2k video game. Each year, I buy the new version, create a team consisting of me and my friends, and then win the championship. It’s super-fascinating to me (hell, I made a Feature about it), but I doubt most of you will get a kick out of it. Still, it felt necessary to do this so here it is: Ballas2k7

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Beta Music

I’ve been quite the busy bee! One of the projects I’ve been working on is my oft-mentioned upgrade to the musicDB. The last time I brought up the subject I mentioned I’d have something for all of you to check out in “less than a month.” Okay, so it’s been almost two months since that proclamation, but here you go:

musicDB 2 beta!!!!!

A whole bunch of things aren’t working; countless fields for each song, album and recording aren’t filled in; and I’m sure there are a few errors, but you can definitely see the progress from the original. There’s much more to see eventually, as I plan to add several other pieces of information (who wrote what song, what instruments were played on each track, where were songs recorded, etc.), but for now enjoy the beta!

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Prophecy: Mostly Fulfilled

Last night I beat my latest video game, Indigo Prophecy, for the PS2. It was a little-known game by Atari that came out back in 2005, received glowing reviews, and slowly built up a cult following. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but I’m glad I did. Many people have wished they could create a workable, interactive movie and countless games have claimed to do so, but Indigo Prophecy has come the closest, in my experience.

The game’s story revolves around a murder in a diner bathroom. After the initial investigation it starts to appear that this is the handiwork of a serial killer who’s last attack came over a decade ago. Now, normally it would seem that this arc would continue along a familiar pattern but Indigo Prophecy throws a monkey wrench into the plans. Yes, this game has the player scratching his head from the beginning as you realize you play as both the killer and the detective assigned to the case. How does one win thoroughly if half of the character pool you control must lose?

Indigo Prophecy’s gameplay is refreshingly unique as well. Sure, you move your character around with the left joystick (adventure game de rigueur) but the right joystick is used for all other actions: interacting with the environment, examining objects, even communicating with other characters. It really all comes together exceptionally well – I couldn’t put down the controller for the first couple of hours (and really only could do so the next couple of times because I realized I’d have to get some sleep sometime).

Initially, I was rating this game as high as my experience with Metal Gear Solid (my favorite game of all time and don’t you forget about it!), as it sucked me in so completely. Unfortunately, the designers just couldn’t sustain their astronomical levels of inspiration at the start and the game slowly leaks quality the further you go. By the end, in fact, I just wanted to get the thing over with as it had turned into a terrible Matrix-style climax.

VERDICT: 4 out of 5 ritualistic killer cyborgs who have traveled from another dimension just to kidnap a little girl … ??

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