Monthly Mottos: August

Prepare for the end of this worldAugust? More like Ugh-ust. (Which I’m pretty sure could be the motto on its own.)

Honestly, without context, August is a solid month. It’s got nice weather with beach and vacation potential. The problem is that the idea of August just reminds me that summer is almost over. After a mere 31 more days, it’ll be September and all the summer fun ends. Then I remind myself that it’s closer to the next year than it was the previous year, which is true for July, too, but July is too much fun to worry about it. Carpe diem, I suppose.

Anyways, here’s my motto for August:

“August, the end is near.”

Have a good rest of your summer!

photo credit: Prepare for the end of this world via photopin (license)

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Phone Troubles

Cell Phone TroubleNormally, a middle-aged man struggling with his cell phone wouldn’t be worth talking about. It’s almost expected. However, this man went above and beyond with his confusion to the point of hatred. I sat next to him for 25 minutes on the subway and not for a single minute did he stop threateningly talking to his phone. I wrote down everything he said that I could.

A little background before we get to what he said. He did not have a smart phone nor a regular flip phone. It looked like one of those hybrid phones with a keyboard and a rudimentary touch screen. He was constantly pressing this “touch screen” as hard as possible and was occasional punching and open palm hitting the phone. Everything he said to the phone was whispered into it, as if it had Cortana on it. Finally, the problem seemed to be that there was some kind of photo on the phone that this man didn’t like. Enjoy!

“Get it off.”
“Get those pictures off.”
“I don’t want them on the screen.”
*hands begin to flail in the air*
“Get them off.”
“Get these crappy pictures off.”
“Unload right now.”
“I don’t want that.”
“How did I become a slave to this thing?”
*begin spazzing in the seat*
“Do what I want.”
“They’re staring me in the face.”
“No I don’t want the slide show.”
“I don’t want any show me.”
“Off!”
“It can go on, it can go off.”
*starts drooling*
“Get this pictures off.”
“Get it off.”
“No. No. NO!”

Then I got off the train. I like to imagine this continued for another 20 minutes until he got home and his kid deleted the photo in 10 seconds.

Work smarter, not harder, man.

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Citi Field

Citi Field Panorama

The first time I went to Citi Field was in 2009; its inaugural season. I remember being unimpressed but I had a much better experience this time around.

The biggest difference is probably that I was able to appreciate more of the food and drink. The beer selection is the best of any ballpark I’ve been to (here’s me drinking a Southern Tier 2XIPA) and pretty much everything was the same price, so craft beer wasn’t twice as much as a Budweiser. The food is also great, with all the regular ballpark stuff (hot dogs, fried dough, cotton candy) plus some good calls on local, New York chains, like Shake Shack for burgers, Two Boots for pizza, and Blue Smoke for BBQ. Here’s what we got to eat from Blue Smoke (with fries from Box Frites):   Food from Blue Smoke

The brisket sandwich was amazing.

There are a few unique things about Citi Field that I can appreciate on different levels:

Citi Field

The façade of Citi Field and outside of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Jackie Robinson Rotunda – The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a recreation of the gate to Ebbets Field, torn down after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. It’s dedicated to the memory of Jackie Robinson, the first major league player to break the color barrier. I have mixed feelings about the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. On the one hand, Jackie Robinson is an important figure in baseball and America. I appreciate all he did and went through. On the other hand, he played for the Dodgers, not the Mets. He was retired before the Mets were even a team. The design of the rotunda itself is from Ebbets Field (where the Dodgers played). The Mets play in Queens while the Dodgers used to play in Brooklyn. On yet another (third) hand, Ebbets Field is now just an ugly apartment building that I happen to live a couple of blocks away from, so I can appreciate trying to keep that history alive. I guess I like it but not as much as if the Dodgers had done it.

Shea Stadium EpitaphShea Bridge – A landmark dedicated to the Mets’ old ballpark, Shea Stadium, and to William A. Shea, the guy who is credited with the Mets being created.

Orange Foul Polls – I dig it. It’s not crazy ingenious but they are the only major league team that has strayed from the standard yellow. This was also a carry-over from their old ballpark.

Home Run Apple – There’s an apple (a BIG apple) that pops up when a Met hits a home run. It’s fun, I saw it pop out twice.

One subtle change I noticed was the actual elimination of some ads. Fewer ads are always better. I also noticed a distinct upgrade in the quality, no more shifty looking lawn mower ads, Cash 4 Gold, or Fox News (though they still house an Amway location in the park).

For general ambiance, the crowd was very lively for a baseball game that probably couldn’t have mattered less. The place was very clean. I also saw my first ever manager’s challenge board.

Inevitably, Citi Field has to be compared to Yankee Stadium. Undoubtedly, Citi Field is the better ballpark. Citi Field doesn’t feel like a mall. It feels like it embodies New York more with its choices of food and beer. There are good views everywhere and no closed in spaces. The staff was more competent (at Yankee Stadium, there was a vendor who could only serve sausages, not hot dogs, despite working behind the same counter as hot dogs and sausages, who walked by the hot dogs to get to the sausages). A win for the Mets!

Citi Field has gone up a few notches in my book since the first time I was there and I had a great experience. I even moved it up a few places in my overall ballpark rankings.

Photo Gallery

Most of the photos by Laura Miner.

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Did I miss anything awesome? Do I sound like jerk for hating on Yankee Stadium? Let me know!Twitter #citifield

How do I cotton candy?

The other day I went to see a game at Citi Field (a review to come). I had a craving for cotton candy, so I hailed a vendor over. Laura took some pictures of me trying to eat it. Importantly, I’m not making these faces to be funny, this is just how I look when I’m eating cotton candy (click on any of the thumbnails to bring up a fun carousel to view them all):

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2015 Del Close Marathon Postmortem

This past weekend was the Del Close Marathon where I performed twice and saw a whole bunch of improv.

Big Gulp at the Del Close Marathon

Big Gulp at the Del Close Marathon

Saturday night was Big Gulp’s big night with a 1/2 hour time slot at UCB East Village. I think we were all a little nervous about it but the show went amazing. We’ve had better shows but it was still awesome. We laid out some good scenes in the beginning and called back to them as the show wrapped up. We got some good laughs from the crowd and I was giddy as a school boy afterwards that we did so well.

Improvised West Wing at Del Close Marathon

Improvised West Wing at Del Close Marathon

Sunday morning, at 8:30am, I was a part of the last bit show of the festival, Improvised West Wing. This show went better than I had expected. There were people literally asleep in the theater when we went out to perform but we brought in a lot of energy (way more than 8:30am on a Sunday deserves). The whole set was done with the house lights up as we walked and talked through the aisles and over empty seats. I’ve never seen the West Wing, so I played a woman who kept getting coffee for people. It was fun.

Of the three Del Close Marathons I’ve been to, I also had the best experience of all those years seen shows. Here’s the complete list:

  • Marathon Press Conference
  • Five Dudes
  • North Coast
  • JV
  • KEMPSAS
  • THE LAW FIRM: Law and Disorder
  • THE SWARM
  • Middleditch + Schwartz
  • Some Kid
  • Higgins
  • Cardinal Redbird
  • Improv4Humans with Matt Besser
  • Devlin Down
  • BABY WANTS CANDY
  • Adsit & You
  • Play by Play
  • Improvised Seinfeld
  • Blindfolded
  • Tami and Shannon Have Friends
  • We Can Fix You

Some highlights:
The Marathon Press Conference was my first time seeing Amy Poehler perform improv, and the whole UCB Four (Amy, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts) on stage together. Five Dudes was crazy good. KEMPSAS pulled me on stage with them for their last scene and we hugged afterwards (marking the first time I’ve performed on UCB’s Chelsea stage). The Law Firm had a ridiculously huge cast with all kinds of members from the past. Middleditch + Schwartz is probably the most fun and silly improv set I’ve ever seen and included a bunch of hat based humor. Play by Play was one of the few shows I decided I couldn’t miss and that decision worked out well because of the amazing cast.

So, all in all, a pretty good weekend. I’m still tired.

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