Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Christmas Picture, or, What really happens in a city that never sleeps

As you may or may not know. We live in New York, NY, and have for a few years. Last year we decided it would be fun to go to see the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Needless to say, it was not. This year we thought, wouldn't it be great to get a good picture of the tree and send it as our Christmas card? A simple premise to a not so simple task.

On a normal day, there are approximately 1,000 people in Rockefeller Center at midday. At Christmas, after the tree is lit, there are approximately 10,000 people in the same space at the same time during the prime tree viewing hours. There are many people every minute trying to take a good picture of the same tree from the same point, many of them using their camera/phone. It quickly becomes evident that getting a good shot is not going to happen, no matter how much the picture is edited in Photoshop, photoshopped if you will. So, I says to Whitney, I says, "Why don't we go at 11:30 or midnight and take some pictures when there are less people around and the ice rink is closing."

"Great idea, Blake," Whitney said enthusiastically. "You are the greatest and smartest man in the world and I am honored to call you my husband."

So, on a Friday night much like any other Friday, we set out around 12:30 to go out and picture the elusive crowdless tree. We approach the OPP, optimal photo-taking position, and then notice, the lights are off. While Whitney begins to settle into a picture taking frenzy of a darkened tree, I locate a general security officer. I inquire of this said security officer, who we will call Phil as kind of a filler for the story, as to when the lights, which I might point out are solar powered, will return to their light shining natural state. Phil replies that they will be turning back on around 4AM. At this point we have approximately 2.5 hours to light-resuming, picture-taking, Christmas-card-making, Christmas tree OPP time.

It should also be mentioned at this point that Saks 5th Ave is across the street from the OPP. The windows this year are snowmen. It looks cute, but don't let the brightly colored snowmen fool you. There is a 30 second loop that plays OVER and OVER... Just as cheery each time. I have tried to erase this part of the journey from my memory.

As I work a few blocks away, and since if we were to go home we would just be coming back in less than an hour later, we decided to go to the Apple Store, and see some of my co-workers and buy some Christmas gifts. We finish this in record timing, because it's apparently not so busy at the Apple store from 2 to 3AM when they are cleaning the floor. Since there is still some time, we grab some coffee to warm up and head back out. Did I mention that in addition to it being ridiculously late, it is also 25 with a wind-chill in the near single digits?

Just a photo taken along the way.

The Apple store...

Arriving back at the OPP at 4:06AM, we find the tree to still be turned off. Looking around, we evenually locate Ferdinand, who has replaced Phil, and again inquire as to when the tree light resumption is. He says that Phil is new, and that the tree doesn't turn on until 5 or 5:30. As we have already waited 2 hours, we could wait another 1 hour to achieve what few in their life time will see in person. Many people wait for years to experience something that no one else has. Some decide that skiing a rare slope, or mountain climbing to the top of a tall mountain or riding in a barrel over Niagara Falls, or attempting to swim to the bottom of the ocean to escape a group of angry pirates intent on stealing a priceless pearl is what they will do that few have done before. For this picture, waiting for an hour did not seem like that much of a sacrifice in comparison.

We noticed a group of people rounding the corner with lawn chairs and decided we would follow them, you never know when you might find an impromptu barbecue party, and since it was late and we had not planned on being out this long, we were both getting hungry. Instead of food though, these people were waiting in line at the Nintendo store in hopes of buying a wii. We saw someone Whitney knew, and we talked to them for a while. Finally, the tree became illuminated, and optimal results were achieved. We had it! The Great White Whale, or Titanic, or Tickle Me Elmo of the 21st Century. A unobscured picture of a giant Christmas tree.

We have passed this on to you in hope that you enjoy this Christmas season by knowing that you can now see this same tree without having actually having been in front of it in the cold at 5AM. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a much better night.

As an aside, on the way home, if you will recall, we had been out much later than expected and had grown quite hungry. We decided we would eat breakfast at a diner before going home and getting some sleep. We decided we would eat at the one nearest our home, since it was the one that was cosmetically cleanest and had a public restroom. Passing by the 3 that were on our way home, we arrived at the diner of our choice, only to find it closed. Like Jonah, having waited inside the whale, or David Blaine doing something random in plexiglass, we decided we would rather go home, rather than wait the additional 15 minutes for the diner to open. Kind of ironic if you think about it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

a fun day of thanks

So, we stayed in NYC this year for Thanksgiving. Blake is working,
and the plane tickets were crazy expensive. It has been a nice day
though. I decided that there was no way I was even going to think of
cooking just for the 2 of us, and Blake worked all last night, so he
slept during the day today. So, I decided it would be best for us to
go out and eat after he got some sleep. We decided to go to ESPN zone
so Blake could watch the Cowboys beat the Jets. The food there is
pretty good and the atmosphere is relaxed. Blake had the Turkey
dinner and I had... Buffalo Chicken. If you know me... you aren't at
all surprised by that. It was fun! We stayed for the whole game and
surprisingly there were more Cowboy fans there than Jets... Well who
would like the Jets anyway, so I guess it isn't really all that
surprising. We sat in the screening room and watched the game on a
gigantic screen (see photo below).
I also thought this Bestbuy was interesting. We were just about to go
into the subway (see the 4,5,6?) and saw these nutty people. Who the
heck sits out side of a bestbuy all day and night for a cheap computer
or whatever? It isn't like they are free. You still have to pay for
them... By the way, this photo was taken at 3:15pm on Thanksgiving
day. The store doesn't open till tomorrow morning. Speaking of
craziness... if you look closely at the best buy photo, you will
notice that no one is wearing heavy coats. Remember... we are in
NYC. It is supposed to be cold and snowy. Today it was like 65
degrees. Now, earlier in the week, it was super cold, but today... it
was beautiful! Blake just wore a tshirt tonight and I just wore a
sweatshirt with my tshirt. Back in texas friends and family were
getting snow. Who knows....
The Charmin photo was taken in Times Square after leaving the ESPN
zone. They had it last year also. I'm determined to go in there this
year and photo document the whole experience... well, not all of it,
but just the interesting parts. I've heard that they have a bunch of
fancy toilet paper that you can choose from to use... gotta try
that... And just so you know, there was a line outside of it tonight
as well.
So, that's our day! A fun day in the city!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

time to blog

So, I haven't written here in a while, so I decided that I should... Not just a whole lot going on here. We are getting ready for the holiday season. Thanksgiving has just creeped up on me. I can't believe it is next week! We will be staying in NY this year, so I don't know that we will do just a whole lot. Blake will be working like crazy. I may go to Macy's parade... that might be fun. I'm really looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree. If you know me, you know how much I love Christmas. Even though our apartment is the size of a dorm room (350 sq. feet including the long hallway), I have a large, tall Christmas Tree. I'm not so sure that Blake loves that tree as it occupies his closet 11 months of the year, but he's a good sport about it. What a great guy.
We went to see the Grinch on Broadway last week. It was a blast... fun crazy costumes all over the stage. Gotta love me some Broadway. I recommend it to children or adults of all ages.
Ok, so there's the update for the 2 people who read my blog. Have fun times!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Follow up on carrots

So Blake decided to write up a whole post about carrots having, or not
having, juice. Guess what kind "lazy" juice he got yesterday... That
crazy kid. He really makes me laugh sometimes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How does a root have a juice?

I saw a talking carrot today promoting a fruit juice, and thought,
aren't carrots usually pretty dry? I mean they aren't really a
fruit, they are just roots, and the job of a root is to send liquid
to the rest of the plant. It isn't like you sit around thinking,
"Man, what I wouldn't give for a nice juicy potato right now." If
the carrot is being used as a juice, to me, I would think that was
one of the lazier carrots. The ones who just sit around, show up for
work late, only do the minimum to keep the rest of the plant alive.
To me, couch potato carrots should not be role models. That's why I
only drink Coke Zero and Dr. Pepper.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Photos

Here are some more photos from our fall trip. I only uploaded two, but click this link to see the others.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mmmmmm blindside

So, I went to see blindside tonight. I love concerts, and I've decided that I dont want to grow up because I like being in a sweaty mass of bodies... Wait, scratch that... I dont like sweat, I just like music.
Anyway, I had fun, but now I must go home and get clean so I can get up for work tomorrow morning. Fun stuff.

Today's view

Here's the view from where I am today... The new york times. Just below is 8th ave and Chevys (yum I love Chevys). This is a really cool building. The shades go up and down automatically, and the a/c comes from the carpet. It is pretty sweet. Anyway, more to come later. Peace.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

In Leiu of a sleeper sofa

So, we checked into a Best Western in Concord, NH for the night last night and found out the hard way that the sleeper sofa was more broken than the New Orlean Saints spirits. After a pleasant conversation with the manager which ended in us saying that we would never recommend this place to anyone ever, we went downstairs to get the 2 rollawsys they had for us. They wouldn't even bring them up for us! Using all my remaining Genius skills at the end of a long day of driving, we took the matress off a bed and the sofa and slept mostly uncomfortably. More from the road later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blake's first lobster

So, we are in NH/Maine, Blake decides to try a lobster for the first time. He pulled apart and was not pleased with the sight of green stuff that spilled out. I have never laughed so hard in all my life. More pictures are to follow, this is just the one from the cellphone.

Blake found a wendy's!

Need I say more?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bo went hunting for a duck.

.... And got one. Man, does he love his toys.

Try number 2

So, we really are going to try to do this blog thing now. Not a lot of exciting stuff happening now. Just the usual work and stuff like that. This weekend we are headed up to Vermont and upstate NY to see some fall. You see, we dont really have that thing called "fall" where we are from. It should be fun. I'll be sure to take some pictures to share with the world of blog. Fun stuff. Till then. Enjoy life.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

To our new beginning

This is an entry , ur first in a series of postings... more to come.