GG’s B-Day in NYC

GG’s birthday is coming up, and to celebrate he wanted to see a show at the Comedy Cellar in New York, which you may recognize from the opening of most episodes of Louie. The Comedy Cellar has kind of a weird system for taking reservations and posting line-ups, but you put up with it because there’s a chance that a big-name comedian might show up and perform among all the no-names, for the same $20 admission price. Louis CK is there often, obviously, also Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Attell, Darrell Hammond, and tons of others. We couldn’t get a reservation in advance, so we just took the chance, took the day off work on Friday, and headed up.

Timing-wise, everything worked out perfectly all day. We got to the bus into the city exactly on time, and then grabbed a subway to Greenwich Village immediately. We left home a little after 11 AM and had been thinking we’d get to the venue by around 3 PM, but it was more like 2. We went to the Comedy Cellar first thing, to get on the list for the show that night. The weird system is that they take a certain number of reservations over the phone, but those apparently fill up immediately; otherwise, you have to show up in person. Our back-up plan was to go to Dangerfield’s.

Our next stop was kind of a late addition to the schedule. A blog I read on Thursday mentioned this new Chobani SoHo store, and I realized that it was right where we were going to be the next day! And I love Chobani – I eat one almost every day! So GG was cool with it, and we went to check out the store. It is a really neat concept – they serve a selection of yogurt “creations,” basically plain Greek yogurt with sweet or savory toppings. GG and I decided to try the Pistachio + Chocolate and Fig + Walnut options, respectively, as well as split the Plain + Cucumber with pita chips. The store is very small, and with the crowd inside and the heat outside, it was pretty warm. But once some of the people cleared out, it was more tolerable. And the girl who waited on us was very nice, we were chatting with her a bit about the store. They just walk up and take your order on an iPhone, and you pay them right there. Then you can watch through a window as your items are assembled, and when they’re done they call out your name and hand you a bag. There really wasn’t space left in there for us to eat, but they directed us to a park around the corner. It was a nice park with a pool, fountain, playground, etc., so we sat and chowed down. The yogurt is served in nice little glass bowls that you can keep or recycle, or you can bring them back next time for $.25 off your order. We likely will not be back (I actually just recreated the cucumber and pita chips thing tonight at home…), but we washed out the bowls in the restroom at the park and GG carried them in his bag for the rest of the day. I tweeted about our visit and I saw @ChobaniSoHo tweeted me back (they are so good at social networking), so I suggested that they open a location in my area!

GG had originally wanted to go to this chili restaurant for dinner, but we realized after walking past it that it’s not really a place you can sit down and eat in. So while we walked around, we kind of kept an eye out for other restaurants. I think the problem in Greenwich Village is that there are too many options! We spent the afternoon walking around in the heat; yes, it was hot, but I’m glad it didn’t rain while we were there, as was forecast! We stopped in at some various stores and places. We went to a liquor store, which turned out to be the biggest liquor store in NYC. GG of course had to check out the single-malt Scotches. Most of the prices were comparable to, or more than, what he could get at home or in DE. But he found one thing that was way cheaper than he’s seen it anywhere (even with NYC sales tax). He freaked out and had to buy a bottle, so that was his little happy birthday surprise for himself. We also sat in Washington Square Park for a little while. GG was enjoying watching all the scantily-clad sunbathers, while I enjoyed looking at this girl sitting by the fountain knitting something, and this guy who just started dancing crazily (wonder what was on his headphones).

Finally it was time to head back for dinner. We decided to just eat at the Olive Tree Cafe, which is upstairs from the Comedy Cellar. While there, some people we didn’t recognize were sitting at the table reserved for comics. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, then went out and downstairs for the show. We ended up seated front row, center. Like, inches from the performers. There’s a host and five comics scheduled, in about an hour and a half. I’d looked at the schedule in advance, and the only name I recognized was Sherrod Small, from Best Week Ever. All the comedians were great. They were almost through the show, when the host announced that next up was… Jim Norton! GG freaked out. And that was probably the best birthday surprise :o) After the show, we tried to get out of there quickly so GG could go back up to the restaurant and see Jim and the others sitting at the comedians’ table. That was fun.

We hopped back on the subway, and made it to the bus just in time. We were the last people to board, and as we made our way back to an empty seat, someone said “Hi” as we walked past – it was my friend B! GG was surprised that he would be on the bus, and I said, “Hey, remember who taught me about this bus line!” So when we got back to NJ, we chatted for a little bit – he’d taken a girl to NYC to see Cirque du Soleil. We might meet up at another friend’s birthday party in a couple months. That was a fun coincidence and a great way to top off a great day!

“The world’s so bright and beautiful I have to look away”

So it’s been a while, sorry. I had a whole thing I wanted to write about Chick-fil-A, but I didn’t want two topical posts back-to-back, so you’ll have to wait on that one.

We’ve been eating lots of corn on the cob. Except both GG and I prefer to cut it off the cob (a habit I picked up back when I had braces; we both hate getting it stuck in our teeth, plus it’s just a mess). How did I luck out enough to marry someone who eats corn the same weird way I do?!

Two friends had babies, and both now have a Jack :o) Natalie popped out her little nautical bundle on 7/17, and then a couple days later my coworker and friend H had her twins, Jack and Ryan, on 7/22. Those two were about 10 weeks early, though I’ve since been to visit H and seen pictures of the boys; they are healthy, eating, breathing, etc., just need to put on some weight before they can come home.

I’ve been half watching Project Runway 10 the past few weeks that it’s been on. It’s just hard to pay attention at this point when there’s still 10+ designers in the running. I’m sure I’ll focus when we’re closing in on a winner. Though this week looks to be saucy with Old Lady up and leaving in the night…

Lots of silly things happened at work, though this week will be a bit quiet since half my group is out on vacation. It’s a good time to catch up on stuff, though. (I’ve already caught up on a lot and it’s only Tuesday morning. I’ll have to pace myself.) We had this “breakfast with leadership” thing where we were supposed to mix and mingle with the leadership team, which barely happened, but I did meet someone in my own organization who sits down the hall but I’d not met in person before. Now we’re BFFs.

I stayed home from work with a one-day case of vertigo – I decided when I walked into a wall that I probably shouldn’t drive a car, plus I just couldn’t sit upright. But I could lay down, so that’s how I worked for much of the day, from my bed. (Thanks to working from home, there’s really no need to take a sick day anymore unless you’re absolutely dying.)

I watched the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and then pretty much none of it since then. I either forget or I’m just not interested in whatever’s on. I watched some divers, and I would have watched gymnastics if I’d happened to catch it, but I didn’t. It’s ok, I learn what I need to know from NPR (just like the rest of my life).

Oh this was funny: I was out at lunch last week with my friend J – we just went across the street from our office. We were actually talking about religion, and vacation bible school and stuff (obviously I’m not particularly religious, and neither is she). About five girls came in and they were totally dressed like the Duggars: calf-length skirts, short-sleeved shirts, sandals, long hair. It was a little odd. Soon the restaurant was literally overrun with girls dressed like this, and guys in polos and khakis. It was like a Duggar convention! I saw some of them had name badges and looked up the name on them when I finally got a glimpse. Turns out there was some Christian music ministry class taking place, and they were all on lunch break. We just sat there, literally surrounded by these people, while we talked about Duggar-related issues. The funniest part was when J asked, “Are they saying grace before they eat?” and right then, this guy behind her closed his eyes and I assume said a silent prayer (and it was long) before digging in to his burrito.

And finally, my new business is going so well. Going into this, I thought, the minimum numbers you need to hit to remain active are so low, I should be able to make them, but I wasn’t really planning to being super successful or anything. They have this program for new Consultants where if you make certain goals within your first 30, 60, and 90 days, you get bonuses, and I hit the first one! And then the second one! And I’m on track to make the third one as well! For August, they’re doing another incentive with two levels – one at a certain amount, and one at twice that. I figured I’d be struggling to hit that lower one, but I’m actually almost at the higher one! The past three months with this have seriously been amazing – not to mention that it’s something I love doing. As has been my plan all along, I’m just going to ride this out and see what happens, but so far, the ride is going very well :o)