Tag Archive for 'personal'

1 Year in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge 5

Lisa and I on the Brook­lyn Bridge, taken some time in 2004. (I real­ize that it was not taken in the past year, but it’s a great photo!)

I can’t let this pass with­out a men­tion – last Fri­day was the 1-year anniver­sary of our move from Cam­bridge to Brook­lyn. Since then, we’ve started new jobs, recon­nected with old friends and made new ones, and had an all-around great time.

I miss Boston from time to time, but couldn’t be hap­pier liv­ing and work­ing in New York City. Why would any­body live any­where else?

Lunch with The Destroyer

In the paper

This morn­ing, Lisa and I had lunch with her Grandma and Grandpa, who vis­it­ing this week­end from Buf­falo. Grandpa Dick is a retired pro­fes­sional wrestler, who used to be quite big in Japan. In addi­tion to win­ning numer­ous wrestling titles, the masked “Destroyer” was a star on the most watched com­edy show in Japan’s tele­vi­sion his­tory, along with Wada Akiko. But he also was famous in the West – Deb­bie Harry of Blondie sported some camel-toe in a t-shirt from Dick’s bad guy alter-ego, Dr. X… Hott.

So, we ate a ton of Japan­ese food while Dick enter­tained the chefs and wait­staff with his antics and Japan­ese lin­guis­tic skills. The shot above is of a Japan­ese newspaper.

More pho­tos, and a video of The Destroyer wrestling a bear, after the fold.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Lunch with The Destroyer’

On Video

I didn’t make any excit­ing res­o­lu­tions this New Year, except to get back to my fight­ing weight, and land a more per­ma­nent design job. Look­ing back on 2007, one thing that stands out is that my Flickr pho­to­stream finally became a more real-time photo reflec­tion of my life, with the con­ve­nience of my iPhone and its unlim­ited data plan. Sure, the qual­ity of my pho­tog­ra­phy might have dete­ri­o­rated, but I’ve always pre­ferred to shoot from the hip any­way. The iPhone suits what I want to do with Flickr.

But for 2008, I’d like to make one small res­o­lu­tion: do more with video. I bought a new point-and-shoot cam­era that does OK VGA video, (Canon Dig­i­tal Elph SD750), so I want to put it to use. It’s out­put is a lit­tle grainy, espe­cially in low light, but I think it suits what I want to do with it.

Here is a lit­tle idea that I got while walk­ing around the Meat­pack­ing dis­trict this past week­end: the The­ory store on Gan­sevoort street has these amaz­ing pul­sat­ing col­ored lights in the win­dow – so I shot them, and then looped them in iMovie, set to The Knife’s live arrange­ment of “Heartbeats”:

Con­tinue read­ing ‘On Video’

Roast & Toast NYE

We spent New Year’s Eve this year co-hosting a potluck din­ner at Jason and Liz’s place in Park Slope. Here is a lit­tle video that I put together:

We served roast beef to twenty peo­ple, drank cham­pale, and made some res­o­lu­tions that we prob­a­bly won’t keep. More below the fold, includ­ing some of my and Lisa’s photos.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Roast & Toast NYE

On Turning 30

Happy Birth­day, John! from Pirata718 on Vimeo.

Decem­ber 22 came and went, and now I’m 30 years old. I can’t even com­pre­hend that sta­tis­tic. Grow­ing up, I fig­ured that I would have accom­plished so much by that age – it seemed so far away. Today, 40 seems ridicu­lously far away. There is prob­a­bly some kind of les­son in that.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘On Turn­ing 30′

Google Maps: Boston Street View

It was announced yes­ter­day that Google Maps’ Street View comes to more cities, includ­ing Boston. So nat­u­rally, I looked up our pre­vi­ous apart­ment in Cam­bridge, MA. The weird thing is that myself, and our friends/upstairs neigh­bors Tyler and Sarah are pictured!


We’re hav­ing our mov­ing sale, and that’s my Saab in the fore­ground. I can prob­a­bly peg the date taken to August 11th or 12th, 2007 – the week­end before we moved.

Click the photo to see notes, look at it big, or check it out on Google Maps your­self. I am a lit­tle creeped out.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Google Maps: Boston Street View’

Thanksgiving 2007

This is why I love thanks­giv­ing – invite some fam­ily and friends over, cook a ridicu­lous amount of food, crack open 7–8 bot­tles of wine, and go to town. Lisa has the right idea here:

For our first Brook­lyn Thanks­giv­ing, we invited Lisa’s sis­ter Kelly, Rohit, Shane, and Megan, and it was amaz­ingly fun. I am thank­ful that every­one could join us in our new home. I’m also thank­ful that Lisa is such a good cook, because it was so tasty.

More pho­tos below the fold. [from iPhone]

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Thanks­giv­ing 2007′

Village Academies/Esquire Event

We attended a fundraiser for Lisa’s work last night, hon­or­ing Bill Cosby and oth­ers. It was held in Esquire’s swank Esquire North pent­house on Cen­tral Park North, and the mag­a­zine is also fea­tur­ing Vil­lage Acad­e­mies founder Deb­o­rah Kenny in this month’s issue:

In six years, Kenny’s vision has grown into a trio of char­ter schools under the rubric of Vil­lage Acad­e­mies, located in New York precincts where a mus­cu­lar poverty has thrived for gen­er­a­tions. The num­bers alone tell a com­pelling story. Locally, pass­ing rates for seventh-grade math hover around 30 per­cent. At HVA, the rate is a stun­ning 96 percent.

Cast mem­bers from Gos­sip Girl showed up, and Tyler Hilton played a few songs, (who played Elvis in Walk the Line Johnny Cash movie).

midtown office + loved ones

At least the ladies look good – Matt and I have taken bet­ter pictures.

More pho­tos below the fold.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Vil­lage Academies/Esquire Event’

Brooklyn Neighborhood Poster, by Ork Posters

Brooklyn Neighborhood Poster, by Ork PostersI love this typo­graph­i­cal poster of Brook­lyn neigh­bor­hoods, by Ork Posters of Chicago.

It won’t help me fig­ure out the “offi­cial” bound­aries of Car­roll Gar­dens, but it sure is pretty.

[via swiss­miss]

Apple Picking


We went Apple Pick­ing upstate, in War­wick, NY. Jason and I dis­cov­ered some­thing more chal­leng­ing than chuck­ing apples at each other – spear­ing them with a stick, and then attempt­ing to fling them at each other. The one pic­tured above is bounc­ing vio­lently towards me.

It’s been 3 years since we last went apple picking.

More below the fold. [from iPhone]

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Apple Picking’

Alma Mater

Lisa and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends from high school, some of which we’ve known since grade school. We were all try­ing to remem­ber today if there was an alma mater anthem for our High School. As none of us were par­tic­u­larly rah-rah back then, we couldn’t remember.

Three of us, how­ever, could remem­ber the words to our grade school anthem – which is a bit shock­ing, con­sid­er­ing the last time I heard it was some­time in 1988, in the fifth grade. I think they forced us to sing this thing dur­ing assem­blies, through­out the school years:

Coun­try Park­way is our school,
where we learn to obey the rules.
We do our best and take great pride,
with our Country’s flag fly­ing high.

Here we work and here we play
Learn­ing new things every­day.
From north to south and east to west,
Our Coun­try Park­way is the best.

Creepy, in its empha­sis on con­for­mity – espe­cially for a fairly pro­gres­sive pub­lic school district.

First Week in Carroll Gardens

We arrived last Wednes­day, and unpack­ing is an ongo­ing project. We sold, gave away, or threw out most of our “big stuff”, so this move is not only about a new space, but also a lot of new pur­chases. A lot of the stuff we got rid of was from our col­lege days, and had also already made it through our fire.

Room & Board sofaI’m most excited about our new sofa, which Lisa bought from Room & Board in SoHo. Thanks to Jason and Liz for tip­ping us off to this place – we loved every­thing we saw there. Their fur­ni­ture man­ages to be very mod­ern with­out look­ing uncom­fort­able or annoy­ing. (Of course, we real­ized later that we chose the same sofa as the Yovanoff-De Mase home… but hey, good taste is good taste, right?

Con­tinue read­ing ‘First Week in Car­roll Gardens’

Good Deed of the Day

I’m doing some cod­ing (and drink­ing iced cof­fee) today at Darwin’s, near Har­vard Square – and I did the unthink­able. I found a Nikon D80 (with a nice lens) left behind by another cus­tomer, and I turned it in to the staff.

Yea, I sur­prise myself sometimes.

(Un)Happy Planet Index

The (Un)Happy Planet Index is a fas­ci­nat­ing exam­i­na­tion of coun­tries’ eco­nomic and eco­log­i­cal foot­prints. Like much of social sci­ence, I’m not con­vinced that it shows any­thing con­cretely use­ful at all, but it does sati­ate my need for rank-order and self-examination. Here is how they designed the study:

The Index doesn’t reveal the “hap­pi­est” coun­try in the world. It shows the rel­a­tive effi­ciency with which nations con­vert the planet’s nat­ural resources into long and happy lives for their cit­i­zens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the hap­pi­est places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achiev­ing, long, happy lives with­out over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.

And of course, I decided to take their sur­vey and deter­mine my own HPI score (PDF):

Your per­sonal Happy Planet Index (HPI) is 26, which is sim­i­lar to that of Zam­bia, Cen­tral African Repub­lic or Belarus. Sorry to say that this is below the world aver­age of 46.

Christ. Appar­ently my eco­log­i­cal foot­print wrecks my score, but then again that was the point of the study – the Amer­i­can lifestyle is f*cking up the world.



From Tabea:

Today at two min­utes and three sec­onds after 1:00, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

For Euro­peans, it will hap­pen on the 4th of May…

You’ll have to wait another 100 years to see that again. Watch the clock.

Jenna’s Visit

We hate each other

God, it’s good when Jenna vis­its… Flickr Set »

9 years

cardThe years are just fly­ing by, I can’t believe it… on mon­day, the girl and I cel­e­brated 9 years together, in the best way we know how: shar­ing a tasty meal.

And what bet­ter place to have a nice din­ner, than a 4-star restau­rant in a con­verted Burger King? Seri­ously.

Ren­dezvous just opened up in Cen­tral Square, in the old Burger King, and it is really really good. The Phoenix loves it. So does the Globe. And we do, too.

Saabs Don’t Age Well

One of the smartest things I’ve ever done, was to pay a lit­tle extra for Cer­ti­fied Pre-Owned sta­tus on my used 9–3, which more or less just extends the war­ranty. For an extra $1500 or so, I’ve received more than dou­ble that amount in parts and labor over the past 2 years.

So, on thurs­day, I dropped the 9–3 off in Fram­ing­ham so they could replace the Water Pump, which was going bad. Look at the piece of crap they gave me as a loaner:

chevy aveo

Later that after­noon, I received a call from the ser­vice depart­ment, say­ing that I also had a blown head gas­ket… great. That’s not good. So, they keep it overnight, and I don’t hear any­thing all day fri­day… so, I call them up, and they ask to keep it until mon­day, because they hadn’t fin­ished up the job. All the while, I’m rid­ing around in a tin-can amer­i­can car, with no power-windows, no Fast-Lane, and it’s bright-cherry-fucking-red.

So, today (mon­day), I call them up, and they tell me that they can’t get good oil pres­sure. WTF? And they want to replace the engine’s short block… which is a huge job. I can’t fig­ure out what the hell hap­pened, but I’m get­ting to the point where I can’t wait until the day when I don’t have to rely on a car every day of my life.

Mr. Yovanoff sold his 9–3 on eBay this week… but, he now gets to walk to work.


Mar­tini anyone?

Happy New Year, every­body! I’m back at work today, after a (I think) deserved rest. New Year’s Eve was a bit more restrained than years past, but it was a nice cap to a great year.

My only real res­o­lu­tion is for us to finally cut the cord on Boston, and move to NYC. Pres­ley fin­ishes Grad school in Sep­tem­ber, and I need to think more seri­ously about my career, grad school, and the future in general.

A lot of things could hap­pen, but that remains my #1 goal for 2006. What’s yours?

On Turning 28

On this day, in 1977, I was born. At 5 lbs. 6 oz., I was six weeks early, and spent my first Christ­mas in hospital.

I used to think that 28 sounded so old – time for mar­ry­ing, house-buying, and think­ing about kid­dos. Now that this day has come, those things seem as far away as they did when I was 20. I’m always amazed that peo­ple I know are doing these things now… my younger cous­ing Mag­gie has 3 kids, and she’s 2 years younger than me. My first real girl­friend from High School is mar­ried. And, it seems like every weblog­ger that I read is either get­ting engaged, mar­ried, or hav­ing a child.

So, I’m 28. I may have been in a hurry to come into this world, but hope­fully I’ve learned to slow down a bit. I’ve got a great girl, good friends, and a lot to be thank­ful for… those other “grown-up” things will fall into place, in time.

Happy Holidays

click here to see the full greeting I’ve almost got every­thing bought, but noth­ing is wrapped… For those that I don’t see this hol­i­day sea­son, I hope you have a nice, stress-free hol­i­day with loved-ones.

We’ll be in Buf­falo this week­end, so Macy & Jeremy, you bet­ter be ready to pound some eggnog!


eatWe spent the week­end eat­ing and drink­ing to near excess with Matt & Sharon, who were vis­it­ing from New York.

Pres­ley out­did her­self again with the meal– con­jur­ing a deli­cious turkey, all the fix­ings, and a cou­ple of pies for our enjoyment.

Dom 1995Matt and Sharon even brought along a bot­tle of 1995 vin­tage Dom Perignon cham­paigne. Sharon received it as a gift from her work, but we esti­mated that this vin­tage is worth more than $150 per bot­tle… it was tasty, but we agreed that it didn’t leave any bet­ter impres­sion that a $8 bot­tle of Korbel.


Our ceil­ing is leak­ing, ever so slowly, above my 20-inch apple cin­ema dis­play… bet­ter double-bag it.


Unti­tled, by hinagiku.

Our friend Nobuko is cat-sitting in the South End this week—she isn’t sit­ting for nor­mal kit­ties, mind you, but these Mr. Big­glesworth–esque hair­less Sph­ynx cats.

Check out her pho­tos tagged with Sph­ynx, or some inter­est­ing pub­lic photos.

UPDATE: Pres­ley has some Sph­ynx shots from her cameraphone:

New Friend, by Pres­ley

Presley’s New Specs

New Specs Some­body I know got three pairs of new eye­glasses today…

Not fair.