Tag Archives: ketchup with us

Ketchup With Us-sie

Ms Mel and ODNTWant to see you as an ‘us’. Not necessarily you and I, just you and who(m)ever else is around. PlUS, USSIE sounds better than selfie. I am not sure, but if you are from Australia, perhaps it’s an AUSSIEUSSIE. In any case, snap and post and link and be adored by US!

 

Ketchup With Us

Right off the bat, I thought, I can’t have an ussie without GUSSIE!

gvzzime

I should point out, 1. though it appears that way, she did not take the photo.2. though it appears that way, I am not gripping her like a vise.

Next, why not take advantage of dinner with a fellow blogger whom you all know and adore.

guapme

I met Mr G. and his TMWGITU for dinner at Junior’s in Brooklyn (the only location I truly acknowledge as existing) since it is doomed to be shut down and later re-inserted (?!) into the overpriced condos that will sully the spirit and memory of yet another NYC landmark. We enjoyed both experiences.

Finally, since I am a Jr., a Three-Pete for you!

lug3rp3t3

MaT and I took my dad (BT Sr) out to Peter Luger (also in Brooklyn) for his 65th birthday last week. Ok, while not an US-SIE (and done in portrait, not landscape), it was a punny thing. 

 

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Filed under Cats, Humor, Ketchup With Us, Life, Life in NYC, New York City, Photo Blogs, Photography, Uncategorized

7 Cool Summer Activities – AKA the Ice Bucket List

Ms Mel and ODNT know there is strength in numbers – so write a numbered list this month and they will link YOU up! You have 10 minutes! Ketchup With Us

Will I do them all? Well I already know I don’t have enough time, but as long as I keep hydrated and wear spf 100, I could get through what is predicted as a hot and humid couple of months.

I admit I went way over 10 minutes, but they will forgive me, as I am slightly adored by them.

1. Water-based activities. Well does going rowing in Central Park count? Or Splish Splash? I hear Lazy River Tubing in Harper’s Ferry is fun (even though apparently the coolest family that lived there just moved). Or fishing off the coast of Long Island. I definitely want to get to Montauk by the end of summer. Go to the beach – I’ve been exermasizing, and have a new swimsuit, so off I should go. But I hate sitting out in the sun, it’s boring! So much for solar energy right…right?! (Is this thing on?). At least one day out though, with decent suntan lotion. I am all for safe sunbathing, but I always buy an SPF that blocks out every ray. Like black hole strength or something, so I wind up getting no color at all. Which makes me wonder if I did tan, I should definitely keep the beard, I might wind up with a terrible tan line!

2. Go to the movies. Considering I have already put off seeing Godzilla several times, I should really get my ass to a chilly theater. This is a terrible waste of a perfectly nice flask I have.

Every good Rebel had one.

Every good Rebel had one.

I should note that off-broadway plays, independent music venues, and museums are also well ventilated, and offer plenty of entertainment.

3. Wine tasting. There are tons of vineyards in New York State, but unless you are planning a weekender, I can’t understand enabling people to drive in, drink wine all day and then hop back on the road. Seriously, be safe people. You could always just hit up a local liquor store or farmer’s market for tastings and advice on local and famous brand (just be sure to buy something once in a while!)

h0td4wg

                 Summer doesn’t count without this.

4. Fine Dining outdoors. Yes this includes picnics. No, not in Central Park. NYers seem to think this is the only park in existence. Bear Mountain perhaps. Complete with fine wine (but not an all day tasting).  Outdoors also includes poolside or rooftop BBQ’s. I will get myself invited one way or another. I promise not to cannonball (pool not roof!). Ok that is a lie, I will absolutely splash you all. The finest of dining would be a corn/hot dog and cheese fries at Nathan’s. Yes the one in Coney Island – that’s the only one in existence in my universe. And riding the Cyclone. BEFORE the hot dog. I cannot stress that enough.
5. Indoor fine dining – If I want to get fancy pants, a trip out to City Island – I hear the seafood is amazing. Juniors, before it closes and re-opens within the putrid bowels of overpriced NYC housing. Burgers with a buddy (yes, you), is always fine dining, even If the place is a dive or trendy place.

abelburger

 I’ll be Abel to finish this, not problem.

6. Fireworks. No not doing them – I really miss those days. But a good show, and that they are done every weekend in Coney Island is good. And yes you can eat hot dogs during the show, even though it’s already past 10pm.

7. Baseball! The sport of summer. Major leagues though – forget it. Too far too expensive and too crowded, especially with mass transit. Minor leagues! The Yanks and Mets both have teams around here. Cheaper seats that aren’t half a mile back and lot of fan interaction and fun.

Whatever I do though, I should keep a bottle of water in my pack (on those non-flask days) and a Zamzee strapped to my belt.

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Filed under Ketchup With Us, Life, Life in NYC, Lists, New York City, Prompts, Travel, Writing

Ketchup With Us #39 – Four For 4/4

Ms Mel and ODNT Want a linkup, new or old. Maybe there was some awesomeness that went unaccoladed – now’s your chance! Ketchup With Us

I used this chance to revisit a fun thing I do. Four things on the Fourth day of the Fourth Month.

Also I decided to do it in 10 minutes and so each one got the fair shot of rambling, each bit was 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Mr G I will let you know about burgers soon. I have already met with other ‘online friends’- a term that was dubious back in the 90’s but is absolutely acceptable these days. Still I carry a whisper of that doubt, as I guess people see that I get along with so many people in the real world that it is still somehow different. Let me tell you there are people in your own company that you have worked with for years and never met. One professor who starts after I leave for example. We could have stood next to each other at an event and never knew it, when I met him, I realized…that wasn’t true. Anyway, so there are plenty of burger places and apparently a bar hidden upstairs from a five guys. I think though we’ll be going for ostrich burgers and a Guinness. My ending point being that I traveled to other cities to see some friends now time to make a day for the ones right here. Also you others need to come see us.

So I went to Chicago and Dallas and they were both great. I am exhausted and there is too much laundry waiting to be done, but I am glad I did it at this time. It leaves me open for more travels (that is after the next fiscal year rolls over and or after my tax refund comes back in). I got into the restaurants I wanted. I ate well, rested better, and saw the museums. Two things that I rate a city by, and glad to say that both cities passed. Dallas streets have few people and less litter. I spend way too much on souvenirs. I didn’t spend a lot on coffee, and I got some damn good deals on rooms that were right in the middle of town. One more US destination and then I look overseas. In the meantime my passport application sits in my bag, un-mailed. This weekend. I promise.

When I was younger I was apparently cute or precocious enough for my parents to see if I wanted to try out modeling/acting. I landed a few tiny things like textbooks, none of which I read or to my knowledge learned were defaced with devil beards and horns, until I landed an interview with some lady for a movie. “Why do you want to do this?” she asked. “Because my mom wanted me to.” She laughed and I made a good impression. Apparently also I made the short list for a movie about two boys who suddenly grew older and had to deal with this new situation. The script was changed, the movie was Big, and the woman who interviewed me was Penny Marshall. She never gave me a callback. Ah, well at least I am not on any terrible reality shows or dating late 80’s playboy models. And hey I got a paycheck. That’ll do.

So I now have one week until my windows XP machine is somehow no longer worthy of upgrades by Microsoft. I will be simply disconnecting it from the internet and using it for offline activities like games and writing, as I am sure that there will be a field day on XP machines. Well why not just upgrade they say? Well because in buying the upgrade to 7 or 8 and having to upgrade the hardware which is outdated, I will have to spend more than if I bought a new system. So why not just buy a new system, Good idea. I’ll switch to mac like everyone else is doing these days. So, well played Microsoft. Its days like this that I wonder why I got rid of my commodore 64 in the first place. THAT had Zak McKraken on it- which was the best game ever (shout out?). And dot matrix printers only less noisy than modems would be in later years.

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Filed under Ketchup With Us, Life, Lists, Travel, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #38 – Homeward Bound

Ms Mel and ODNT Are giving you 10 minutes to write something, anything. Ketchup With Us


I’m on my way to Chicago tomorrow morning, returning home Friday. I will post pictures and stories upon my return. Until then, I began to think about whatever travels we go on, we somehow seek home again.

____

What is home to you- Where the heart is? Where your hat is hung? The newly defined dwelling that love turns a house into?
For me it was an apartment building where I spent my formative years. 18 years to be exact, and we lived on the 18th floor. We had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a balcony. I would sit out there on summer afternoons and ‘plane spot’ – the route to one of the airports was along the way and I would read the rear wing design. Most were American Airlines, sometimes I would see something unique. Alaska Air had an Eskimo on it. I even went to the liberry once and found a book with an entire index of them. The Concord would roar by at 8 or 10 am on weekends, cutting through the air sharp as it looked.

I’ve moved several times since 1995; lived in a house for 3 years, then my parents bought a co-op. I would buy one nearby a couple years later, where I still live. Still in Brooklyn.
I am a vivid dreamer. Colors, words, sounds, the whole shebang. Emotions and tension as well. A vividly detailed dream can be over-stimulating even if it’s a good one, and for someone who watches horror/thrillers, played Quake almost exclusively for several years and used to listen to death metal all the time, you can imagine the types of dreams I had. Sometimes I had to get home – for safety, or pick up something, a home base…not sure. It could have been any of those reasons. It was, many times, run-down. Not always post apocalyptic. But something that fell into disuse and disrepair. Things did change when we were moving, criminal elements started to move in and we really were forced to get out asap. Not the terms we wanted. But still there was something that made me go there. Nowhere else. I would reach my floor and sometimes just reach the door but never got in. Never got to that balcony again. Never looked out my parents window at the NY skyline with the twin towers still standing.

Guess I never truly made it home again in those dreams, maybe the new ones became more real .

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Filed under About Me, Ketchup With Us, Life, Life in NYC, Writing, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #37: Re- Lenting

Ms Mel and ODNT want you to revisit another entry of yours. Ketchup With Us

This seems fitting to update.

in 2012, I wrote this first post on what I was going to do for Lent. I don’t think I actually decided on anything.

In 2013, I made a choice – I gave up ‘seconds’ in food. I was gaining a little weight, but more than that, I was gaining bad food habits; mainly taking more of something- another helping of rice, chips, cookies, meatballs and pasta, etc. I mean, seconds on veggies isn’t so bad, but that’s not what I was doing. So I made the rule – I can pile it on a plate, bowl, whatever, but that’s all I can have. At first, I took the liberties; a big bowl of pasta and 3 meatballs. The thing is that I don’t eat that at one quick sitting, so what was I actually doing? I hardly finished it, and when I did, there were no firsts on dessert! Gradually I realized that I was portioning out exactly what I thought I would be able to eat and not save for leftovers. As my portions and habits went back to normal, so did my weight (also my energy went back up a bit). Even on Easter Sunday and beyond, the one plateful rule was still in effect. Still is.

Now for this year, I am doing something different.

There is a lot of talk regarding the idea of ‘giving up’ something. Much like a new year’s resolution, everything sounds awesome, doable and a mark of your strong character & faith. So you give up chocolate or cursing.

And you last a day, then get Catholic guilt.

So now it is the emphasis of doing something GOOD each day. Good for you, society, your faith, or just your general well being.

I like that last bit. On that note, I had some unexpected news on Ash Wednesday that rattled me a bit.

(Side note – I got my ashes. Dude, check out the job the priest did!)
4sh3z

Ok back to that feeling. I’m giving up something. Doubts.

Doubt that I can lead others in a good direction. Doubt that despite my awesomeness*, (whatever) it (is) can and will happen. Doubt or second-guessing any/every decision I make. None of those fcuking things that keep me everyone up at 3am.

Already I feel this challenging me, and I bite it back and down. I’ll make it, maybe not perfectly, but I will emerge after 40 days having replaced doubt completely with something very different. Something better.

It might make it easier to look at it in comparison – chocolate would be waaaay harder than this.**

*notice that I have no doubts about that.

**Case in point – Double chocolate & cherry brownies.

dblch0ch33rOriginal Recipe found at Kary Osmond.

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Filed under Baking, Ketchup With Us, Life, Religion, Writing

Ketchup With Us #36b – Hi, Tee!

Ms Mel and ODNT are giving me another 10 minutes to write something, anything. Starting…now! Ketchup With Us

I guess this is a sequel to the other entry about T shirts. Or further evidence that I am a hoarder.

Well I found some boxes in my parent’s closet (well what was my closet when I lived there), and guess what? I found another stash of memories and yes they are t shirts. Band/music t shirts to be exact.

Through my college days and for a few years after I used to go to as many concerts as I could. My favorite bands (metal & industrial mainly) toured frequently and hey, it was a night out. I admit I couldn’t stand many aspects of it. Having to stand around waiting between bands, which venues did to boost beer sales or something like that. My favorite venue was Roseland, which has just shuttered its doors, since they had an 11pm curfew. Places like Irving Plaza have 1 am. Not that I wanted to end early (yes I did) but that it made bands go one right after one another when a lot of them were playing. So standing around with the 1-2 friends who actually liked the shows got boring.

People are another factor of course (aren’t they always?). Being squished, pushed, kicked and crushed by others wasn’t fun. I got to stand in the front row to see TOOL, and the forward push thankfully didn’t break my ribs. The crowd surfers were landing on me all night. I would go home, sticky with sweat (mostly my own, gah) and the stench of smoke, patchouli and weed on me (they allowed smoking in most venues back then). The shirts are faded now, and trying them on*, psht I look like the ‘rock and roll will never die’ guy hanging on to a memory. All I need is a mullet and white sneakers. *If I get a dozen likes on this, I’ll post a picture!

So will I keep these? Hell no, I bet some punk would love my broken in metal shirts. I see them at these trendy community flea markets sometimes – they are old enough to be ‘retro’. Somewhere I know I still have the ticket stubs.

One of the last big shows I went to was Ozzfest. Rainy weather, shitty crowd and the bands let me down with the level of their suckage. To culminate, a roadie took out his life’s frustration on me, leading to an ER visit.

October 2001 I went to see TOOL again at Madison square garden this time. SEATS!, but everyone stood?! It was a sold out event but since 9/11 was fresh in minds, people couldn’t give away their tickets.

So I’m done with arena/stand around rock. Now I see my friends and other indie bands in the lower east side. I sit in tiny tables and rickety chairs, sip wine or cocktails, sometimes tea, say hello& thanks afterwards to the musicians, and enjoy it all without injury or strange smells.

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Filed under clothes, Life, Retro

Ketchup With Us #36 – Kitchen Up

Ms Mel and ODNT are giving you 10 minutes to write something, anything. Starting…now! Ketchup With Us

We all have talents. Writing, photography, drawing/painting, singing. Do we gravitate to what we are good at by trial and error, or do we go with the first thing that we get a sense of reward for?

One ‘talent’ I think it more of a necessity is cooking. What difference is there really between a gourmet chicken dinner and some spices simply sprinkled on and tossed into the oven? Comfort food is rarely difficult, but has the secret parts of preparation (not love…well ok BESIDES love, geez) that make it just right. Probably the reason why I refuse to eat Italian food at most locations.

My introduction to cooking started very young. I watched my parents cook while sitting in the kitchen area, as I wheeled small metal cars along the round white table. Typical Italian fare of course. As time went on I would be allowed to bread the cutlets, season the meat, I still recall handling the squishy ground beef for meatballs, or prepare the sides (usually instant from a box, or canned. Cranberry sauce a la Bart if you get the reference).

In my teenage years my parents were usually working later hours and so my sister and I were the ones who cooked for ourselves. We took the opportunity to mix and match dishes that only a teenage metabolism can appreciate – frozen pizzas and chicken strips, or everything deep fried at once! My passage into adulthood came when I found out Chef Boyardee was a real person who made more than Beefaroni. The innocence of childhood was gone.

In college I learned two things, first cookies. I gained a quick reputation of always having peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies in my backpack. A close friend advised that every woman’s weakness was peanut butter and chocolate. Back then I needed any edge, I had no swerve.

It was also the time that I would look at the way we had traditionally prepared everything and switched it up. There was resistance at first, but then scalloped potatoes do taste many, many times better when made fresh!

At this point, I rarely if ever buy cookies. I have a seafood bisque that soundly defeats any canned variety, and can make in 20 minutes with prep. In a pinch, a spoonful (or just a pinch) of curry can spice up anything, and a big handful of chocolate chips makes it sweeter.
dblch0ch33r
I admit this took slightly longer than 10 minutes with editing incomplete sentences, and finding that double chocolate & cherry brownie picture. 

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Filed under Cooking, Creative Writing, Food, Ketchup With Us, Life, Writing