Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Although I'm partial to their chicken nuggets, it is a truth that Chick-Fil-A makes one delicious sandwich.  It's also true that there are loads of privately-owned companies with bigoted CEOs.  However, I fear the point of this debate is being missed through arguments found near the likes of Facebook.  In a time when over 1,100 basic human rights are being denied to more than 9 million Americans (those are just the ones who are out), the rest of us in the majority have a responsibility to our friends, coworkers, and family members to stand with the minority.

I honestly couldn't care less whether you fill your body with chicken made from mutant animals, burgers made with pink slime, or french fries that never decompose.  I also don't care how much extra money you're able to spend on super-organic-all-natural quinoa or how broke you are that you have to buy the 75-cent slice on the corner to not starve.  And I truthfully don't need to put our political views into our diets... they're already everywhere else, and if we want to discuss the issues, let's go.

I also firmly believe that Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A, has every right under the sun to be as big a bigot as he wants.  In that same light, though, I have to try to put myself in my friends' places.  If the President of another restaurant chain spent company funds supporting the KKK or other absurdly archaic and offensive groups like Focus on the Family, I might choose to stop my patronage there as well.  You might, too.  Or we might not.  We have the right to do either.

But the bottom line is this:  until Chick-Fil-A stops using its funds to support groups that work to make sure a group of minorities remain 2nd-class citizens and are proud of it, I'll have to go without those delicious waffle fries when I go to Arkansas or hit the airport in Orlando.  It's not a difficult sacrifice to make.  I can't consider myself a Straight Ally in this fight by running to the basement and irresponsibly ignoring things that are hurtful to those I love.

Conor Gaughan says it best in this article that I do hope you'll take the time to read.

If you disagree, I'm not looking to de-friend you, start a cyber-war, or even publicly show my disappointment when you "like" inflammatory pictures/articles/pages.  Just like you have the right to openly support bigotry, I have the right to shake my head in shame because I realize that you think this is over chicken and nothing more.  Know that each time you support this company, you're putting another dollar into the pockets of those keeping your friends, your coworkers, your children, your congregants, your cousins, and your neighbors down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who Knew Staten Island Could Provide Such A Long Review??

When planning an adventure-date to that far-away Island of Staten, we did not count on all of the education we would receive before the night was over.  Here's our story:

After work Friday, the boy and I met up downtown to catch the 6:15 Staten Island Ferry to make our dinner reservation -- him wearing a gold chain and wife-beater A-shirt, me sporting a bump-it and perpetually pouty mouth (ok, not really but we did threaten these to each other).  My native New Yorker found himself at the Statue of Liberty Ferry dock because "just walking toward water" made sense when he arrived at the Whitehall Station.  Lucky for him, he's super cute with a great smile, so the 6:30 ferry was totally fine.  We boarded the ferry and went straight for the snack bar to grab a can of beer so he could fit in with the locals, while I fittingly matched the tourists by photographing the water, Ms. Liberty, and our developing new skyline.

We arrived on the landfill.... er, island and found our way to Enoteca Maria.  We had learned of this restaurant from the Cooking Channel and decided we needed to check it out for ourselves.

Fully expecting to be amongst the "Joeys" and "Ginas" of Staten Island complete with SI accent, we were slightly disappointed that the restaurant had only a couple of men in gold chains and women in pink leopard print.  We sat at the bar where the owner/sommelier provided an impressive wine list.  He added a lot of flourish as he swirled the "Grandpa Chacha" wine we ordered ironically at which point we caught each other's eye in appreciation of what was suddenly turning out to be exactly why we made the venture.

Teresa was our chef for the evening, and the menu was extensive and glorious.  From the imported mozzarella appetizer, to my entree of rolled beef and green beans and his entree of rabbit, the food was lovely.  Our well-chosen vantage point allowed us to watch everything Teresa did as well as take stock of everything the owner engaged in.

Throughout the evening we watched our sommelier do odd things like balance wine corks and pennies on a scale.  He even filled his hands with water from the sink at the bar once and proceeded to run his wet hands through his hair.  Russell and I looked at each other silently noting the growing peculiarities of our wine-loving "friend."  For each bottle of wine he opened and every glass he poured, he seemed to check it out for himself by taking a swig thus creating a more, how can I say it diplomatically... "loose" demeanor.  I kid you not, gentle readers, the next part actually happened.

We had pulled up the Yelp reviews to read some of the negative ones (as we are wont to do), and as we were reading our favorite, it came to life, playing out before our eyes:
"The problem: The sommelier (inferred that he is the owner) is a complete jackhole. He seemed personally offended that we didn't order wine, gave us a hard time over it, and asked several times how our water was. He was visibly inebriated on a Paula Abdul kind of level, ate at the counter, and was blasting really questionable music selections. At one point singing along to Smells Like Teen Spirit turned up so loud it was making my silverware vibrate. Which let me tell you, I think $25 a plate for pasta, I think impromptu drunken Nirvana karaoke." -Brady B., 2/26/2012
I wouldn't call him a "Jackhole" (thought don't think for a second this isn't my new favorite slang), but he was definitely eccentric... or, well, tipsy.  However, he - almost as if he knew we were reading this particular review - made fun of my prosecco order and ate his stuffed mussels at the bar directly in front of us.  Shortly thereafter Nirvana came over the sound system, and this dude turned it up, sang along, and even gave an air drum/air guitar performance.  It was awesome. Awesome good??  I'm not sure.  But awesome nonetheless.

Eventually the place was hoppin'.  People who looked like they stepped out of "The Sopranos" began filling the joint.  There were WonderBra cleavage and waxed chests everywhere we looked.  After our plate of Teresa's amazing cookies, we paid the bill (cash only if you decide to go) and reluctantly headed out to catch the 25-minute ferry back to civilization.

Here's where the story turns from awesome to one of the best dates of my freakin' life.  On the way to the ferry terminal we were almost tempted to pop into the local bar full of Top 40 hits and every can of beer imaginable.  We forged on (with me getting my hip poked over and over by his attempts at figuring out the implausibilities of The Astoria Penetrator) and arrived at Slip 6 where we had about 15 minutes to people-watch -- a span of 15 minutes my awkward-loving self wouldn't have minded lasting longer.

What seemed to be every 20-something Staten Islander had come out to head into the big bad city on the 10pm ferry to go clubbing, drinking, whoring, and/or partying.  The outfits on these party animals were amazing.  I so wish I had pictures to show all of you, but we were already staring at everyone as though they were zoo creatures, and I don't think the camera would've been welcomed.  Our two favorite groups included wanna-be frat boys complete with a fanny pack, wing tips being clicked together incessantly in a Dorothy fashion, a girl who was NOT happy to be there, and a salmon-colored dress worn by a girl who I'm 97.3% sure was wearing a butt lifter.  For those of you unfamiliar with a butt lifter as my sometimes-simple boyfriend was, see below:

My degree of confidence in her undergarment of choice was due to Salmon Dress Girl's salmon dress being so incredibly tight I could see the thong and butt lifter through the material.  We're dealing with super class, ladies and gentlemen.

The other group of derelicts we loved to hate (or hated to love) included a handful of young pretty girls in dresses that were sure to get the attention they were looking for, complete with taped-up boobies, five-inch stilettos they were definitely not making it far in without changing into flip flops, and plunging v-neck ballet-type costumes.  The ring-leader of this group, however, was a young lady with a beautiful face, pronounced clavicles, and a cute little tank top that showed off her arms (which she unfortunately covered up with what I'm gonna assume was a Members Only jacket non-ironically).  The problem with Clavicle Girl was her lower half.  Before I continue, please note that I have never considered myself a supermodel and I'm sure I've left the house in pseudo-situations of attire-regret.  But just follow me here...

Clavicle Girl had a pear shape.  She had a white girl booty.  I know this because she had on a white spandex skirt topped off with horizontal piping.  Underneath the skirt was a black string thong bikini.  She had also awkwardly tucked in her cute tank top and bunched it up at the waistline, so as not to cover up her pear shape.  Her super tight, super short mini skirt was not hiding her trouble areas thus creating an incredibly obvious cottage cheese look.  (Stay with me, gentle readers... I'm not being cruel for cruel's sake.)

We got on our 10pm ferry, sat outside for approximately 8 minutes, and got up because we HAD to go see what the party animals were up to.  We find Clavicle Girl's group near the exit (already changing into flip flops...do I know my non-heel-wearers or what?!) taking pictures of each other (complete with pouty mouths...not to be confused with potty mouths).  Right about the time I had decided to hate Clavicle Girl's friends for letting her walk out of the house in the outfit of the lower half of her body, Clavicle Girl found a new friend.  An older gentleman was sitting across ogling her and making it known to her and all of us that he loved the dimply booty showing through the skin-tight garment (I'll spare you his quotes).  She adored every second of it.  I was shocked.  I'm not often shocked.  Staten Island Clavicle Girl was in heaven, and her friends were jealous!  Maybe I should add this to my wardrobe too...

When we departed the ferry, we shared the R train uptown with Salmon Dress Girl and Crew.  We made bets about which stop they would exit and how many times they would shout, "Woooo!!"  I won the station exit bet, Russell won the number of woos.  So I guess we were even.

Seriously great date night.  We've both laughed about it for the past 3 days.  And now I've happily shared it with you.  Doubtful that you did as much as myself, but I hope you enjoyed my recap.

Ah, Staten Island...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Date Night - Thunderstorms and Hyperbole

The boy and I have decided to defy the constraints of an impossible work schedule and try to make Wednesday our midweek date night.  Woohoo!!

After reaching what I can only assume was 627 degrees we had one of those storms that I so love in the city.  Here's an Instagram picture captured by Dhani Jones showing how cool this one was.  That's over my hood, y'all.

In light of such an intense downpour, I had to rush home after work to change out of my peep toes and silk shirt and into a tank top, fedora, and messy bun before heading to Ali's Kebab Cafe.  So weird, but I went here literally a year ago today with my friend Jared.  Such a strange little factoid.  The food was still to die for (even if a bit experimental for me), and Ali was still just as charmingly amazing as he was a year ago.

Sometimes dates are lovey-dovey, sometimes they're passionate, sometimes they're hysterical fun.  This one was just us chatting about work, chatting about family, chatting about friends, and most importantly discussing the intricacies of our newest obsession - The Astoria Penetrator.  Don't ask for details from either of us unless you want a serious earful.  Just know it involves Astoria, a ninja, racism, and exaggerated implausibilities at their finest... what isn't worthy of hours of discussion about any of that*?!

Happy Date Day, gentle readers.  I've missed you...

*For those who don't know me extremely well, I'm known to get on controversial soapboxes, on occasion, and not get off them for days (or longer).  This ranges from injustices being done to serious issues in the community to simple annoying pet peeves that crawl all over me.  Who knew I'd locate someone who feels the same way and also likes to discuss ad nauseum WITH me?!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stressful Summer

Summer is half over and needless to say it's been a little stressful.  Some things at work changed and change is always awkward.  My health has been... well, it's been stupid.  I had a little setback on the neuro front, and now I'm on some dumb new meds that are taking some getting used to.  Being in a romantic relationship is definitely challenging when dealing with summer schedules.  Heat waves suck.


Here are some awesome things about the summer of 2012 that allow for de-stressing:

Including a Hantz, a Boogie, a Jani, a Razorback, a Coach, and a Chen-Bot

Including Mia Michaels, which is sure to produce tears

Including an Altar Boy, a Greek goddess, 2 Taylors, and John Carter

Sun flares at the Frying Pan (and their signature sangria)

Including a Phelps, a Lochte, and 2.5 weeks of awesome

And a beautiful city

When those de-stressors take hold, I realize that I have a great job that I truly love.  I have amazing progressive doctors who give me meds that suck just to make me better.  Being in love is wonderful (who knew?!) especially when the dude is pretty awesome (and hilarious to boot).  And the heat wave has periodic breaks...like the upcoming weekend.

Here's the rest of the summer being all downhill, less stressful, and just all around easier.