Seeing my little brother for the first time in about a decade…

I sent 3 hand written letters to my little brother. I wanted to try to have a relationship with him. I wrote about not needing to talk about anything that may have happened in the past and apologized for anything and everything I may have done to hurt him. I let him know he did not have to talk to me or be friends with me but I wanted him to know that I wanted to get to know him. Three times I wrote. Each time I gave my email address, phone number and mailing address in case he wanted to reach out when he was ready. He never did.
We were both going to be in Ohio visiting and staying at our mother’s house. We would be in the same place for the first time in ten years at least. I was very nervous and scared and excited.
He was civil which was appreciated. He also spoke to me, but only when I asked him questions. It was one of the most awkward weekends of my life.
I don’t know what I expected or how I could have possibly hoped for anything more. He didn’t ignore me and for that I am grateful however I had to leave without saying goodbye. I couldn’t figure out what to say to him without crying so I just left.

Second visit in two months…

I went to Ohio for his wedding party. I helped our mom cook all the food and I cut the meat and prepared the platters for the event. I participated and talked to everyone there. Since the previous time we met he did not seem interested in talking to me I decided to leave him alone. Again, what would I say to someone I don’t know and someone who has such huge amounts of anger towards me for so long?
I think the only word he spoke to me was “Hi.”
That’s it.

I keep trying to figure out what I could write in another letter. I cannot be emotional. I cannot be straight forward. I basically have to write small talk with myself and mail it to him. I really do want to know my brother. It has been really sad for me without him. He is my one and only full blood relative.

I am happy he is happy. I am happy he has found a lovely wife to spend his life with.
Robert I am sorry I am not part of your life. I really wish I could be but I know I cannot force you to have a relationship with me. I pray that one day you have a desire to reconcile too.

25th Annual Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Festival 2016

Oh hello.
It has been a while. I apologize.
Back a few months ago my sista Anna had let me know that her and her hubby were planning on going to a concert in Cincinnati, OH in September. She knows that Cinci is a lot closer to me than Cleveland so we were trying to figure out a way to see each other and have some fun without a ton of driving.
It turned out that the Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Festival was going on that same weekend so we decided to meet in Kentucky and go to the fest and a couple distilleries! I was very excited about this because since I moved to Indy I’ve been dying to go to KY to some distilleries. Yay.

Friday September 16, 2016
I make the executive decision that we are not waiting for Anna and Robert to go to Kentucky. They are in Columbus, Ohio and going to have breakfast with Damien and Katie and since I know they are going to be late I decide we are leaving early in the morning.

Saturday September 17, 2016
Jason and I wake up at the crack of overcast and get ready for the drive. We left around 0800 just as it started to rain. It rained the whole entire drive. As a matter of fact it rained the whole entire day…until about 1900!
At 1115 we arrive in Bardstown, KY. Home of the Bourbon Festival (and multiple distilleries.) I park my car, change into shorts because of the rain and make my way to the lawn where the World Champion Barrel Races are going on. I immediately befriend some people that have a little tent and ask if they mind if my buddy Jason and I hang out under their tent for a little bit. They obliged and we stayed relatively dry. After a little bit of talking with these people I realize that this is not just a bourbon fest, it is THE bourbon fest and it is the 25th ANNUAL Bourbon Heritage Festival! Big deal. I also realize that we are hanging out with one of the women that is competing in the 16th annual barrel rolling race! How cool is that? I mean, Kentucky isn’t really all that big but still it was pretty cool. Anna and Robert get there about 2 hours after us and catch the tail end of the races. I bought an official Buffalo Trace Team coat from the nice woman who was in the race.
Up until now, I had been standing in the same spot for two hours. We did not adventure out to see the grounds or any other tents or events. I felt that I needed to stay and watch all of the races, cheer on our new made friend, and take full advantage of the tent while it was there! After the races the tent came down and it was time to wonder around.
1400 was when the auction started. The four of us decided to go in and check it out after getting our first pour of the drink. Well, I went into the auction to check it out and Anna, Robert, and Jason went into the building and walked around and looked at stuff. Bourbon history stuff. I don’t exactly know because i didn’t get the time to.
The auction was interesting. They were selling a lot of antique stuff. Not antique collection bourbon but like one of the auction items was a doctor’s prescription for alcohol from the prohibition. That was pretty cool. Another was an eighty year old bottle someone found that ended up being bought when the seller added a bottle of Pappy to the prize!
I was in and out. I didn’t get what I wanted.
I go grab another drink and find everyone.
We decided to meander around the place and see what is in the tents and drink a bit. I think it was just the second tent we went into (first if you;\’re Anna and don’t count the t-shirt tent) where we lucked upon a nice woman who informed us that we could catch the last Barton’s distillery tour of the day if we walked around the corner to get the shuttle. Sweet! We didn’t think we were going to get to one of those today and it added an extra tour to our trip and my first ever distillery tour. The shuttle = a golf cart. It is not easy to find a shuttle when you do not know you are looking for a golf cart!
This particular tour was not that interesting. I am going to be honest; I am not a big fan of most tours. I do not like walking around listening to someone talk about boring stuff. I could really care less where barley or wheat comes from. If I am not being told something about history or being talked to about something I already know, I’m bored. This was a boring tour (it is also very very possible that I was bored because I was no longer drinking and I wanted to be drinking so I was just not being fun.) We did get to taste the clear alcohol that they put in the barrels though (I forget what it is called…Dog something.) That stuff will not put hair on your chest…it will make your hair fall off! We put our pinky finger in it and licked our finger and were choking on how strong it was. Yikes.
After the tour they gave us a taste of their 1792 bourbon, their cream bourbon, and a chocolate truffle. That was nice.
Back to the BHF! First thing is first; go straight to the place we get drinks. The drink tent? Also we need pins because Anna wants a pin. We all get pins. For some reason they did not make magnets for the 25th ABHF, so I ended up with a couple magnets from 2014 lol!
We got drinks, we walked around, we messed with Jason a little bit because it had been a while since he had food and was getting funny. Robert and I had a blast (at least I did) walking around looking at classic cars and pointing out funny stuff inside the bourbon tents. I really enjoy hanging out with Robert. He is smart so he can have a conversation without turning it into an argument and his smartness can make him very witty when we are having fun. He also likes to explore drinking and making fancy drinks which comes in pretty handy. I never really had too much one-on-one time with him and this trip made me appreciate having him in the family a lot more. (Also sorry I haven’t gotten to this way earlier in life.) Anywho, Jason is a little tipsy and touching other people’s cars that are on show so we need to move. We get to more tents where it is acceptable to touch things. I spot this badass beer bottle opener that is made out of used Blanton barrels and probably the most expensive thing there other than the auction stuff! Jason scores it. It is seriously the coolest bottle opener I have ever seen and I am going to get one next year.
We need food so we start walking towards the cars. We stop in front of the band to talk about where we are going to eat and how we are going to get there. After some sing-alongs and talking we decide that we are going to take Anna’s car to Mamies (a place the girl from the barrel race told me about.) During the walk Anna saw some flower/vine things she liked and we ended up talking to the owner of the house and getting some seeds for what she called “Thomas Jefferson’s?” It was very nice of her. The walk to the car was fun in itself because we (well me and Jason and Robert a little bit) were slightly intoxicated. Also, the walk to the car took longer than walking to the restaurant would have so that was fun to point out to Anna 😉
I got a burger with an egg on it that was sad and I forget what everyone else got. We will go to a different place next year.
So we are done with the BHF and now it is time to drive to Louisville to our hotel to play board games and taste all the bourbons I brought.
Robert brought a game called Exploding Kittens. It was interesting. However, the conversations were more interesting. Ohio State football game in the background too.
Bed around 1 a.m. because we had to get up early enough to shower, eat, and drive to Buffalo Trace!!!!!

This next part is written in haste and very poorly at that. I apologize.

Got up. Went to Copper Kings distillery for Anna and Robert to get some brandy.
Buffalo Trace was awesome. The grounds are beautiful. The smell is amazing. They have all bottles of all bourbons. The tasting was great. They even have a vault they keep select antique bottles in! Super awesome. On the way home we stopped at a seafood joint my co-worker Jane told me about and parted at the diner.
I had a really awesome time with Anna, Robert and Jason.
We decided to make it a yearly tradition. Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2017 watch out we’re comin’ back!

New York City Summer 2016! FIN

Hi there! So I went to New York City in July this year and here is the story:
So I have been looking for a job since February. The past few months I have been working two part-time jobs. I was working mornings at Bonefish Grill as a prep cook and nights at Stone Creek Restaurant as a server. I really enjoyed working in restaurants (as a matter of fact I still do and am keeping on the schedule at Stone Creek 2 days a month to help) but the money has not been enough to support myself and my student loans. I finally got a job offer from an awesome company you may have heard of…Raytheon! I was supposed to start working at Raytheon on July 5, right after my Fourth of July trip to Michigan so. put my two weeks notice in at Stone Creek with my last shift being on June 26 so I could go to Ohio before the new job started.
A few things happened to delay my start date at Raytheon and had me end up in NYC in July instead of Michigan…
My start date was delayed during the background check process. Since I am from Ohio it took a little longer than expected to get all the background they needed to accept my employment offer. So because of that my start date got pushed to July 11, 2016. The day before my friend Kylee and I were to leave for Michigan to spend the holiday at her family house on Lake Huron there was a fatal accident involving one of her friends. We cancelled the trip to MI so she could attend the funeral.
So here I am sitting at my buddy Adam’s house in Columbus, Ohio thinking WTF am I going to do for 11 days!!?? I could hang out in Columbus but Adam was taking off for Long Island with his family for their annual trip to NY in the morning, I don’t have any money saved at all so I couldn’t really go anywhere on my own, and I was already halfway back to Indiana by the time I got notice Michigan was cancelled so I didn’t want to go back there. Now my brother would tell me to pick up work at the restaurant in the mean time so I’m at least making some money but…I have amazing friends. So amazing that one of them bought me a flight to NYC! BAM. Vacation. Do you remember Danny the fire fighter from Brooklyn we met in Mexico? He spotted me a ticket to NYC to hang out with him on his days off and do my thing for a couple days. (I told you he was a super nice guy.) So we worked it out over the phone. I’d fly in Sunday July 3 and leave Thursday July 7. Danny is a fire fighter so he has a rough schedule. He had to start his 26 hour shift Sunday at 1600 and work until Monday at 1800 (keep in mind Monday is 4th of July.) He also had to work Wednesday at 0700-1800 and Thursday night. So here is everything that went down…

Sunday July 3, 2016
I arrived at Indianapolis International Airport at 0530 to catch my 0630 flight. They let me carry on my 3-inch-too-big suitcase because, and I honestly believe this, Hoosiers don’t even pay attention to shit like that. They don’t care how big your suitcase is or if you have a carry on and a huge ass purse (which I totally did.) If it looks like it will fit they let you bring it. No other airport would have let me carry on that case (in fact La Guardia made me check it before I even got into the airport!)
It was supposed to be a 2 hour flight arriving at 0840. The winds were in our favor and we arrived almost an hour early ha. (To be honest every time I fly to NY from here it is always early, gotta love those NE winds.)
I call Danny like “Hey I’m here” and hes like “I thought you said 0830?!” Ha. Anyway, he picked me up outside of LGA at 0830. We were headed back to his place in Brooklyn and chatting and whatever and he mentioned this place we could go get brunch. After all it is Sunday. So there is this “world famous” place called Buttermilk Channel that opens at 1000 on Sunday. So since it was a little early Danny got some coffee and we stood outside the restaurant for about half an hour waiting in line waiting for the place to open. We were the first people there. Danny kept on telling me how there will be a line around the block by the time the place opened and he was right. There were a lot of people behind us when the doors opened. The menu looked delicious. You can see all the pictures of the food and menu on my Instagram page instagram.com/sl33v3d. I had pecan pie French Toast, a cheddar waffle for the table, and Danny got short rib hash and eggs. Everything was amazing. The waffle was a little weird to me though. It tasted just like a Red Lobster biscuit! Either way nom nom nom.
Since Danny didn’t have to work until 1600 we went to his place (the second floor of a two family home in Bay Ridge (Brooklyn,) New York and watch Narcos on Netflix! (I’m pretty sure I took a brief nap instead of watching the tv though.)
Sunday was the day that worked best to see my sister in Midtown. Before Danny went to work I had him drop me off at Karen’s!!!!
I cannot get across in words how happy I am every single time I get to see my sister. She is just amazing. It is always a great experience. And it is always an experience! We are constantly learning things about each other and noticing shit we have in common and we just have this relationship and we get along really well and our opposites compliment each other. Okay enough gushy shit about me and my sis.
I didn’t know this until just before my trip but my sister and her girlfriend celebrate their anniversary on July 4th so…Chari was going to be there too! Double yay. Karen and Cha insist that I met Cha before back in 2009 when I was there for like a minute but I cannot recall. So this was really my first time meeting her in real life. Like we’ve Skyped before but never face to face so I was excited. We were all excited.
I’m at Karen’s. The two of them were hangry (so hungry you get a little angry/cranks) waiting to go to brunch with me. [By the way thank you so much for waiting for me!!!] We went to their usual spot, which subsequently because me and my sisters spot, The Chelsea Grill in Hells Kitchen. K and Cha love to go there because they have the best hash in the area (and K doesn’t like to walk far lol.) Unfortunately there was some gas leak issue the day before and since it was Sunday they had not had anyone available to come clear them so it was a limited menu…but they had the hash! We all had black and blue burgers. Since I was there and we had some time to kill before Whadimir came to pick me up we took a walk to the Ernst & Young offices to get my Christmas ornament ha! (I bought an ornament from the NBC store in December…my maintenance people broke it, had my sister get a new one for me, it never got mailed.) We also got to look at the New Years Ball again. I knew it was up there all year long but I did not know it was actually lit all year. It was pretty cool. After that we took a walk through Bryant Park so we could get me to the cigar shop Nat Sherman. I got some good cigars. The place is really cool. The guys in the shop really know what they are talking about. I threw out the name of a cigar we don’t have in the states and they don’t even make any more and they knew all about it and pointed me to a comparable cigar.
We walk back to Karen’s and Whadimir pulls up as we’re walking around the corner to the liquor store. The four of us look around at the liquor store and I was amazed. The same bottle of Elmer T. Lee that I just saw in Ohio for $31.99 was up for sale for $99.99 in NYC! I asked the shop person if they just charge whatever they want and they told me that they actually do not mark it up much at all. They have to pay more than other states. Who knew. (The very next weekend my brother saw the same bottle for $149 in NY.) So we didn’t get any bourbon but we got a couple beers from the deli. Karen had met Whad before so we all went up and hung out and talked for a bit while Chari made some homemade guacamole and salsa. Cha’s son is thinking about joining the service and Whad was in the Navy so he talked about that a bit. It was nice hearing positive things from an ex service man. It was pretty informative too. So we were all happy. Before I left my sister and Cha the four of us walked to Two Boots Pizza to see Sam. Sam’s a good kid. Still working at the pizza shop. Still doing his thing for the Mets. Still full ass beard!
Before leaving Manhattan I had asked Whadimir if he could take me to China Town real quick because, you know, I needed a purse. It worked out great. Couldn’t have been any smoother. It was after 1800 so all the street people were closing up shop so I was like one last score to them. I got a new Louis Vuitton bag for $45. BAM!
Back at Whad’s place I cleaned up before going out to dinner in Forrest Hills. We went to a new joint called Station House. Dang they have all the antique bourbon. I’m talking Thomas Handy, Sazerac, Weller, and some other stuff I forget. Did you know that the “Classic Sazerac” drink doesn’t even have Sazzy in it? I didn’t either. Whady had a burger with short rib and bourbon glaze and I had a southern friend chicken sammy. Both very good. Since I’m crafty and prepared for all situations we decided to walk to the next spot which was about a twenty minute walk. So I put my heels in my new purse, grabbed my flip-flops and we were walking. We walked to our favorite bar in Queens; Acey Deucey. The owner, Tim, was bar-tending all night long so we had a real good time and got a nice discount. There was a group of a few dudes in there already and when we sat down they ordered a round of 3 wise men shots for themselves…then they ordered Jager bombs….then they all had shots of tequila. Gross! If I had those three shots in a row I would have been laid out on the floor puking everywhere! However, the Jager bombs they ordered brought me back a bit and made me want to drink a lot of berry bombs. Which I did. And I drank them until we were the last people to leave the bar.

Monday July 4, 2016
So much stuff happened on the fourth of July I think this post is going to be a little jumbled or not as good as I want it to be…
I was pretty hungover all morning long and it was hot. I woke up and Whadimir was gone. Not really sure where he went but when he came back I was ready to try to get some food in me to recover from the previous nigh of drinking. We drove around Queens, NY a little bit and ended up at some hipster-organic burger joint (I really wish I remembered the name but I didn’t care for any of the food we had so I didn’t take any pictures.) I barely ate any of my food so I was still feeling pretty weak. We went to a park to try to find some shade from the heat and smoke a cigar…that didn’t work too well because you can’t smoke in parks. Doh! We ended up going back to Whad’s place and chillin on the front stoop until it was time to pack up and take me to Danny’s.
Danny has lived in Brooklyn his whole life and this was going to be the first time he went out to watch the fireworks instead of watching them on TV. I got to Danny’s around 6 and took a quick shower so we could catch a train to the park to meet my friends from Ohio that already had a spot there. When we got off the train Adam called me and told me that the police were starting to block the park entrance and not letting any more people in. With that info Danny and I decided to pop into the Heights Grills in Brooklyn to eat dinner before finding another place to watch the fireworks from. I told the host we wanted to have a table outside because I thought it would be cooler outside for some reason. Danny knew better but didn’t say anything. Then it started raining a little. Our table, and Danny’s beer, got a little rain water dumped on it but I was thoroughly enjoying all the people on the street leaving the park and running for cover. By the time it was really coming down Adam called to tell us that they were leaving the park and heading to his friends house to watch the fireworks from the roof. Why we didn’t just plan on the roof watching to begin with I have no clue. We got the address and were told to get beer. So it was getting close to the fireworks time and I could tell Danny was getting really frustrated but he would never admit it. Remember how it was his first time attempting to see the fireworks in person…well we had to get beer which took a while because everyone was out, then we had to get an Uber to drive us a half an hour to the house, and the freaking Uber drivers couldn’t find us because we were on a triangle intersection and it was just all jacked up. I ordered an Uber at 3x the rate, he couldn’t find us, I cancelled the Uber and had Danny download the app to order one at 2x the rate (paying the $5 cancellation fee was cheaper.) His app wasn’t working so I ordered another one. By the time we walked to the Uber (the whole time Danny is carrying two bags full with beer) and got on the road the fireworks started. So our first experience with Brooklyn’s famous fourth of July fireworks was watched mostly from a car. We got the the house Adam and his brother were at with a few minutes left in the fireworks show. It was still raining but it was really cool to see the fireworks from the rooftop. Like really cool.

I just got a call from a buddy to have a drink. I’ll write more later. Ciao

So where was I? Ah fireworks on the roof. Okay. So me, Danny, Adam, Christian (Adam’s brother,) and the girl whos name I don’t remember, are all on the roof. It is still raining. We don’t care. It is good people and good times and it turns out we have Spider-Man with us…After everyone else from the building goes inside to keep from getting wet, we stay outside. #badasses This is a rooftop in Brooklyn, NY. There is a lot of random stuff up there. First we noticed a folding table. That table, flipped open and set atop two drainage pipes made a great shelter for two people and large purse. When under the table shelter someone noticed some large sheets of wood (sorry I forget what they are called but like 8’x5’x.5″ pieces of wood.) There is a passage on the roof from the front of the building to the back. Adam is like 6 foot 8 inches so I holler at him to throw a piece of wood up and shimmy it over to make some more cover. While Adam and his brother are picking up the big board Spider-Man (Danny) over here jumps up a wall and on the top of the other roof to pull the wood board up. I don’t know how he got up there or that fast. I guess being a New York City Fire Fighter teaches you a few things about climbing up/on/in/over/through buildings! Now that we have a brave soul on the top why the heck not put two boards up there? We have a nice cover now! We are saved from the rain. There is even a laundry vent in our little make-shift hallway cover! But wait, we were soaking wet before this happened…whatever. We are in Brooklyn (which is vacation for most of there) and drinking, which helps with the being wet thing. We stand outside for a good couple hours talking and drinking and “adultly” fucking around making shelter and doing whatever. It’s either 0100 technically July 5th now and we go in the house to find a bar to head to. Ha. Seriously. It is a holiday so we call a couple places to find one open. I find a bourbon bar (of course) that’s open. We get in the Uber and go. It is a place called Huckleberry Bar. It was open late and they have some badass food there. We got this meat plate with fresh cut salami, prosciutto, some other meat I can’t think of, olives, baby pickles, hot mustard, and ciabatta chips. We had grilled cheese sandwiches which were amazing and some really good bourbon. Remember how we were all wet from the rain? Well we started freezing in the air-conditioned bar! They had these tea light candles on the tables and the guys were all hovering over their candles and trying to dry their shirts and keep their hands warm. There was also some commotion about the restrooms. Men going in the womens’ room and vice versa. I think everyone (but me this time) was pretty drunk so it was fun watching. Bar closes, Uber back to Danny’s place to get a good night’s sleep for whatever we decide to do with tomorrow!

Tuesday July 5th, 2016
Danny finally had a day off. After some random ideas being thrown out there we decided on the New York Aquarium which was absolutely perfect. The aquarium is on Coney Island in Brooklyn so I would get to go to the beach too. I had been talking to my friend Mackenzie about setting up a time to hang out and she wash excited about the aquarium idea and said she would meet us there. Yay. I think we got to Coney around 1300-1330? I remember that we got there just in time to see the sea lion show lol. By the way it was hot as fuck. It was 97 degrees outside and thank the Lord we were going to a beach because I would have died (dude doesn’t like to use an air conditioner in his apartment so it was very hard for me. Almost unbearable. And thank you for putting the AC on a little the last night or two whatever it was.) Anyway, sea lion show = cool. NY Aquarium = small but still cool. They are also building on to it so I guess there are going to have a few more exhibits. **coming soon
Mackenzie had a pretty long commute from where she lives in BK so she didn’t make it in time to go to the aquarium. In fact, she got there just as we were finishing up seeing everything in the aquarium. We met on the boardwalk.
-Whoops, I forgot to tell you we went to Nathan’s Original Hot Dog place. That place the hot dog eating contest is every year…yeah we ate there before the aquarium. It was more for the experience. I mean, hot dogs aren’t too fancy of an item. It was good for a hot dog 🙂
Beach time. Finally some fun in the sun! Mack and I are water people. Danny chose not to get in the water. (Come to think of it, when we were in Mexico he only got in the ocean once…after a few drinks…because I probably made him.) It was very nice relaxing on the beach and getting to dip in the ocean of New York.
Danny and I had to go to a “squad reunion” thing that night so at around 1700 we started getting ready to head back to clean up and go back out. Before leaving we had to get a funnel cake. I had asked if they have any elephant ears here or do they only have funnel cakes? “What’s an elephant ear?”
Seriously, sometimes I am surprised at some places and the common foods they don’t have. Mackenzie confirmed for me that New York people don’t have elephant ears. Weird. So we settled on funnel cakes. Well, a funnel cake. When I was asking around with the food places about whether or not they could make elephant ears I learned that their funnel cakes are not made fresh in front of you like every other place I’ve gotten one but they come frozen, are deep fried, then put in the oven! And ya know what? It was the best funnel cake I have ever had! Also, there are these things called “lobster rolls.” I was like what the heck is a lobster roll and why is it $25.00?? Of course Danny got one so I could experience the deliciousness of lobster meat salad on a bun. It was so freaking good (and Danny said it was actually the worst one he’d ever had.) IDGAF I loved it.
Say bye to Mackenzie. Drive back to apartment. Shower. Walk to train to the city to meet up with a bunch of fire fighters who were in Danny’s graduating squad.
The first thing I noticed when we walked into Down the Hatch was $3.00 bombs and half priced pitchers (more the bombs part.) About 8 or so of the guys Danny went to the academy with showed up. They are all really cool and super nice dudes. I think we all got along pretty well…especially since I kept buying rounds of cherry bombs. But seriously. It was a great time. I met some really cool people that I look forward to seeing again. Larry is this bug dude from Staten Island who is just a normal cool guy. Matty from Long Island reminds me of some AdultSwim cartoon character I can’t think of at the moment and is really funny. David is a cool kid who just seems to be friendly and, uh, I don’t know how to put it..just up for making new friends I guess. Cool people.
Danny had to be at work at 0730 or sometime ridiculously early so we were supposed to leave by 2230 but didn’t leave until 0100. Whoops. Sorry Danny. Thank you for letting me stay out and enjoy the night!
Apartment. Pass out.

Wednesday July 6, 2016
Danny is at work. I’m hot and hungover. It is another 97 degree day in the city. I didn’t want to move. It was way too hot for me. Eventually I decided I needed to go out and I went right back to Coney Island to go to the beach to cool down. David, the fire fighter, told me I should check out Whalburgers while I was there. I did. I was not impressed. Good experience for a tourist but not that great of food. I was happy for the suggestion though. I spent some time inside the restaurant keeping cool taking my time eating before heading to the beach. I chilled, I swam, I did nothing special.
Train back to Danny’s to meet him after work and go out to dinner on my last night there.
Figuring out where to eat was a pain in the ass. We were both hangry so it made things really difficult. You starve yourself and look at Yelp for an hour and try to figure out what you want. Ugh. Danny decided on Sushi Katsuei. Man was that good. Fresh sushi. Danny got the chef’s choice and I was amazed. Everything was so good. Danny asked if I wanted dessert (I think without really weighing the options out) and I said “Sure.” So where do we get dessert after 2100 on a week night? Uh, good question. We drove around, while looking at Yelp trying to find a place that was open late and served food, at least dessert. We found Butter and Scotch. We ordered one piece of each pie! Ha. Bourbon ginger pie, gin vermouth orange peel pie, and s’mores pie. If you ever see s’mores anything get it and enjoy!
We were full from all the food and tired from lack of sleep and had to get up early (for me at least) to play ultimate frisbee in the morning so we called it a night. Food coma.

Thursday July 7, 2016
My last day in New York.
Wake up and pack. Go to breakfast? Sounds fantastic. My favorite meal to cook and to eat is always breakfast. Where did we go? Park Asia. For dim sum. Finally! I have been wanting to go back to the dim sum place Mack, Kate and I went to years ago for like the past 3 years I’ve been going to New York and finally I get to have dim sum. But dim sum for breakfast is kinda weird. Kinda weird and lovely at the same time. Weird because its not breakfast dim sum. Its regular shrimp rolled in rice sheets, shrimp pot stickers, spring rolls, pork wrapped in some sort of pastry, all of it covered in soy sauce, and whatever else they normally have! I will admit that I had a negative view on dim sum for breakfast before I actually had dim sum for breakfast. It was a very hearty meal that ended with a nice sweet ball of poppy seed filled bread. I will never turn down dim sum and I would gladly have it for breakfast any day!
Danny had warned me before I came to NY that he had signed us up to play in his firehouse’ frisbee football game on the day that I was leaving. At the time I was not thrilled about it but once we started playing, it was a load of fun. It was the hottest day of the year so far, I was with a bunch of New York City fire fighters, a lot of them had no shirts on, and everyone was sweaty. I was thoroughly enjoying myself minus them not throwing me the frisbee. Guys, next time give me the frisbee, I know how to throw and catch a lot better than some of the people I saw! It was really amazing. Never in a million years would I ever had gone out in the heat to play frisbee football. Never. But I did and I had a blast. Thank you for letting me participate!

I have been seriously blessed with the company of a lot of great people in my life. Truly great people. Not a lot of people would buy a plane ticket for someone they barely know to come visit them. Not a lot of family members would let me interrupt their anniversary time and spend the day with them. Not a lot of people would drive across town just to pick you up to hang out for a night. Not a lot of people would just take off of work to spend some time with an old high school friend. Not a lot of people have friends that go on vacation near and invite you up on a roof for fireworks! Me, Danny, Adam, Karen, Chari, Mackenzie, and Whadimir are those kind of people and I am so lucky. I would do anything I am capable of for these people.

Life is short. It’s not all about the money. Sometimes it is about giving and sacrificing to enjoy the people you have in your life.

Since this trip I have gotten some sad news. Whadimir and Mackenzie are leaving New York. Whadimir is moving up in his job with IPSoft and moving to Florida in October and Mackenzie has decided to just leave and search the states for a new home while continuing her freelancing. Every time I go to the city I will miss seeing you guys but I know I will see you wherever you go and you better come visit me wherever I end up!!!

I love you!

_CC

P.S. Special thank you to Jason Wigger in Indianapolis, IN. There is no way I would be able to travel as much as I do without your friendship and help. You watch my baby when I am away and words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you J.W.

Polo Run Apartments Greenwood Indiana Edward Rose Realty

If you are thinking about moving to Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood, Indiana STOP!!!
I have lived in 13 different apartments in my life in multiple states and this place has been the worst experience of my life.

The only thing I am going to say about the internet (because I have months worth of problems with the service here) is that Xfinity/Comcast BLOCKED THIS LOCATION from being able to receive their services! That is how bad it it. Comcast doesn’t want to serve this place. Polo Run has their own crappy 5Mbps for $50 or you can go with AT&T if you choose.

I know I did not have a lot of time to search for apartments when moving from Ohio to Indiana but I had an idea of where I wanted to live and a price range. Unfortunately I had to commit to an apartment without seeing it.

The day I signed my lease the apartment was no place near move-in standards. There was bird droppings all over my patio, rust all over everything in the bathroom, mold on the walls of the bathroom, basically the only thing done was they replaced the carpet.

After I took pictures and sent printed pictures and a letter of all the issues via certified letter to the corporate office to try to get someone to acknowledge me I had to call them and threaten a suit to get any compensation.

First few weeks living in Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood, Indiana:
When bathtub was replaced they didn’t realize it was larger than the last one and they broke the handmade ceramic bowl I’ve had for over ten years that I had on the counter.
When they replaced the bathtub they DID NOT PUT THE CURTAIN ROD BACK UP!!! THEY DIDN’T PUT THE TOWEL RACK UP EITHER!!! They also didn’t realize that since the tub was bigger that meant the room for the mirror was smaller and I had to wait weeks for a new mirror too!

I came home from work one day to my kitchen being totally covered with water, including inside my cabinets. I guess they were working on the unit above me and forgot to turn off the water when replacing the dishwasher so my shit got flooded and ruined.

My patio was covered with about half an inch of bird shit when I moved in also. They didn’t power wash it though. They PAINTED OVER THE BIRD SHIT!

While the apartment above me was being renovated, they took it upon themselves to throw the garbage from the work out the patio door to the parking lot resulting in much of the debris landing on my patio so I came home daily to junk on my patio that I would have to clean off.

Dude comes to check my internet, I have a Christmas tree up, He decided he didn’t need to move the tree. Since he didn’t move the tree, when he tried to get behind it to my modem he broke a $40.00 ornament.

Light in hallway outside my apartment burnt out. I emailed the office, I called the office, I emailed again requesting it be replaced (it is pitch black out there at night and I do not feel safe fumbling around trying to find the key hole after working for tips at the restaurant.) After the 4th time I talked to someone they finally fixed it.

Months after moving in I continue to have issues. My patio door would not lock. You know, where the handle meets the door frame and you push up to lock or down to open…well that got replaced but the parts didn’t match. They replaced the handle without replacing the latch on the frame leaving there a gap between the parts and it not locking. When I called about my patio door not locking they asked if I still had the bar (one of those ghetto bars you put between the door and frame so you cannot even slide the door open at all.) Yes I did but that doesn’t fly for me. I have pets that I need to let out on the patio and regardless of the pets I don’t want to have to move a fucking bar every time I want to go outside. They told me if I have the bar the door technically locks. I told them they have 24 hours to fix it. Another dude came, he couldn’t figure it out. Turned out the handle and the lock didn’t match. Surprise. He got a new lock. It worked…for a few days. Finally I had a locksmith out too fix it. That worked for a while. Last, just a few days ago, it broke again (I swear I am not violent or heavy-handed with the door, I just open it frequently to let the cat out and the weather might have had something to do with it warping or sliding.)
Dude comes at 630pm right when I was heating up dinner and getting ready to relax before bed. He’s messing around trying to figure it out. I hear him mumbling to himself because he is not getting anywhere on this. I tell him it’s cool if he wants to stop for the day, I’ll put the bar up and he can come back tomorrow morning when I’m gone and he has more time. I can deal with the bar for a night and since it was getting late I know he wanted to go home himself. He asked what time I go to work. I tell him I leave before he even wakes up. He says he will be here first thing. The next day I get home from work NO ONE CAME BACK TO FIX THE DOOR!!!! I call the office like, “Uh, did anyone come back to my apartment? I mean he said he would but I’m pretty sure no one came and I still can’t lock my door…”
They put me on hold and tell me he will be right over….

If you decide to live in Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood, Indiana understand you will have horrible internet service, you will have to call the office multiple times in order to get any work orders in (even completed,) oh yeah my car has been broken into twice, you will have to get used to the smell of cat urine because there are strays all over the property, and the plumbing stinks. Everything gets backed up and slow to drain.

If you can move anywhere else please do. Auburn Place is right across the street, its about the same price and newly renovated. Oakwood Village and Valle Vista and Park Madison too are close. There are a million places to live around here DON’T CHOOSE POLO RUN GREENWOOD INDIANA FOR YOUR HOME!

This post was written in haste on July 26, 2016 before signing any non-disclosure agreement between myself and Edward Rose Properties.

Thank you and have a good night.

So this happened…

A couple goes to meet one of their family members and her two kids for dinner.
Only an hour before the meet time the family member asks to push back the time later.
Couple agrees to push back half an hour.
They all arrive in the parking lot at the same time.
Instead of waiting for the couple to get out of their cars the family member gets her kiddos out of the car and walks into the restaurant.
By the time the couple is walking into the restaurant the family member is already ordering food and talking at them as they walk in. Giving them no opportunity to stop and say “Hello, how are you doing?”
They all sit and have dinner and talk about life as usual.

A couple days later the family member, who did not stop in the parking lot to wait for the couple, who did not give the couple any time to settle in the restaurant before starting talking to them, who did not mention anything off at all to either of them, complains about how the female of the couple being so rude to not say hello to her or ask her how she is doing! Um hello? How is anyone supposed to do anything when you give no opportunity to do so? You cannot use that as a complaint when it is your fault.

So that makes sense…

A younger brother, who is a very dominant male, is always chiming in on conversations and giving his two cents and throwing out smart mouthed comments to everyone because he knows best and is quick witted. When he hangs out with his older brother and his brother’s friend it is usually just the three of them and the kids… Younger brother complains about the girl his brother is hanging out with because “she always interrupts conversations with her input.”

Is it really interrupting when there are only 3 people in the room and you are usually standing talking in the room facing both of the other parties??

I get annoyed by a lot of shit but I try not to get annoyed at shit people do IF I DO THE SAME THINGS. That would be hypocritical of me.
If someone walks into my house and I’m playing with the nephews or making food and just start talking to them I certainly do not expect them to wait for a pause to ask me how I am doing. Especially if it is my brother or sister.

Los Cabo, Mexico 2016

Yeah I went to Mexico.
My friend from Columbus, Ohio wanted to do an all-inclusive trip. I’m in. I’m always in! After a couple weeks of looking around and a million hours on the phone with travel agents I got us flights to Mexico and booked a 4 night stay at Posada Real in Los Cabo through bookit.com (bookvip.com can eat ecoli.)

I’ve been debating on writing everything I thought about the trip, just copying what I wrote in my journal, or just the highlights…
I decided to mix up highlights and some from journal because I did not have the best of experiences on this trip and I don’t want to piss anyone off.

May 1, 2016.
I got on my plane in Indianapolis, IN to meet Cynthia in Chicago, IL for our flight to Cabo together. It was raining a little when my flight took off. I guess it was raining a little harder when Cynthia’s plane took off because she didn’t make it to Chicago with me. Her pilot couldn’t land the plane in Chicago due to weather and ended up going to Madison, WI to wait to get another couple flights to get to Mexico.
I got through customs just fine and made my way to the hotel. I got the Wi-Fi set up to try to communicate with Cyn and found out she was now in Texas going to Mexico City then coming to Cabo arriving around midnight. I’ve got a whole day in Cabo alone which kinda sucks. Maybe I’ll go to the liquor store and buy a bottle of tequila…
The resort…all-inclusive means they only have Modelo and Modelo Negro beer and 3 low shelf tequilas. Ugh. I also couldn’t go in the ocean because the waves crashing into the beach were horrifying at that time of day. At just 5pm I decided to eat and drink at the outside beach bar and just sleep until Cynthia got there…
I must have wrote that down before actually doing anything because now I see an entry “still May first…” that goes like this:
Around 9:30 I woke up from my nap. I had a bunch of messages from Cynthia asking about the address to the hotel. Why that was needed I do not know because I sent very clear instructions on what to do once off the plane. I guess she wanted to be safer than sorry.
So dinner was fine. Oh, lunch first! Hot dogs cut up and put into beans. And not the good kind of hot dogs, the cheap ones..but it was actually pretty good. I had awesome chicken, rice, beans, and fresh fruit for lunch when I got there. Himica is a fruit (I think) that taste a lot like pears. I ate a lot of that. Then I went to the beach for a bit and sat and watched the waves crashing down before going to the bar for more food…Best steak tacos I’ve ever had. Steak, onion, and peppers rolled in corn tortillas served with pico, refried beans, and fresh guacamole. I ate those things daily.
Dinner (probably around 5pm when I decided to eat and drink and sleep until Cyn got in) was bland flank steak that I didn’t eat, more fruit I didn’t eat all of so I could throw some in the room for Cynthia, more rice (rice here has been awesome,) and a couple glasses of milk all while listening to really loud karaoke, karaoke in Spanish.
After a nap I did go try to walk to a liquor store to find better booze. Unfortunately the directions I was given were not that great. I spent about an hour walking up and down these two main roads outside of the hotel and found nothing which was not really fun because it was pretty hot over there in Mexico lol. When I got back to our room there was water all over the floor. I guess it was dripping out from the air conditioner they have. Awesome stuff. Cynthia is now getting through customs and should be here in about an hour.

May 2, 2016.
Breakfast was awesome. I didn’t write down what it was but it was great. Cyn and I walked to the Mega Store up from the resort. I bought some rum and random stuff and sh got a bottle of Cabo Wabo tequila.
After eating those amazing tacos again we laid in the hot ass sun, got drunk, went in the ocean, made a “sand castle” and laid in the sun some more before going out.
We took a cab to some downtown shopping area. It was really neat. The stores were all local people trying to sell their stuff. The one item no one would bargain with were their wrestling masks! Seriously, I would have gotten a mask had they let me pay what I wanted! I think I just ended up spending money on a bunch of cigars. I love cigars. In fact I bought the best cigar I have ever had there. It is called Guantanamela (not sure about that spelling.) It is still the best I’ve had and I just got back from a trip to NYC where I went to a cigar shop and asked about them and I won’t see one ever again.
Dinner was three plates of buffet food. I went to sleep while Cyn stayed out and partied until the bar closed down.

May 3, 2016.
I got up, had breakfast alone, and then walked up to Mega to shop again. I got some pretty decent stuff.
By the time I got back to the resort Cyn was up and running, I mean drinking! She had made some friends at the resort which was really cool. She was having a good time. I dropped my stuff off in the room and went to the beach bar with her. Oddly enough there were very few non-hispanic people at the resort. Most people were from somewhere else in Mexico. I guess it was off season? There were a group of people from Canada and Danny!
While we were at the bars and on the beach I tried to make conversations with people about where they were from and why here and all that just making friends. I mean what else do you do when you are at an all-inclusive beach resort?!
I took a dip in the ocean while Cyn stayed up on the beach. I had brought my waterproof bag with my phone in it and left it on the sand wall above where the waves broke onto it. A few mins after I got back to Cyn I couldn’t find my phone. Mother trucker I left it on the sand wall! Shit! I ran up and down the beach looking for it. Nope. I dug out through a lot of that sand wall praying it didn’t got sucked into the ocean and maybe just chucked down into a sand break. Nope. I make my way back to Cynthia and was like “Whelp, I lost my phone. I’m not gonna freak but it really effing sucks.” At this perfect moment when I’m silently freaking out this guy walks up to us. His name is Danny and he is from Brooklyn, NY. Ah someone from New York! I’m happy now. Cynthia found my bag with my phone in it under a chair! Double happy! We spent some time drinking and talking with Danny for a while. Danny is a really cool guy. He is a firefighter in Brooklyn and was in the Marines for a while. We had a lot in common and had a really good time. After we were all pretty buzzed we decided to all go off resort for dinner. The three of us walked up to the mall and found a little sushi spot. I thought the sushi was really good. Better than what we have here in Indiana! Walking back to the resort we got some more booze and I made catchphrase cards so we could get drunk and play catchphrase in the rooms. Not gonna lie, I had a lot of fun. I freaking love catchphrase!

May 4, 2016.
Cynthia stayed at the resort while Danny and I went out to shop again. Danny was on vacation solo spending a couple days in Mexico before going to Vancouver, Canada. He said he is a foodie so I guess Vancouver is a place to go for interesting foods. Anyway, he read about an enchilada place near the resort that was supposed to be really good. We walked passed it on the way back to the resort and picked up some highly recommended authentic Mexican made enchiladas. We smashed them back at the resort beach bar. Cynthia was having a good time partying with the friends she had made. Since it was all of our last night in Mexico; Cynthia, Danny, and I decided to go out for dinner together, hit up the cigar shop, and then end the night club hopping. We did one of those three and I cannot say anymore.

Tips for travel:
Write down and have all the hotel, cab, transportation information before leaving the states.
Make sure you book somewhere with Wi-Fi.
Bring waterproof bags.
Make sure you and your travel partner have the same agenda for going on vacation.
Don’t leave the people you are with without telling them where you are going. Ever.

NYE in NYC 2015/2016 (Completed)

Most of you know that I have been going to New York to visit with my sister and family (niece, nephew, uncle-ish guy, and sisters nieces) in December for the past few years. So this is my story of the last visit.

I have to start by saying that when I booked my ticket it was so far in advance I did not realize that I booked my flight to leave Indianapolis the day after Christmas! Therefore, I was unable to go back to Cleveland, Ohio to spend the holiday with my family. I am very sorry about that but things happen. As is was I had been working Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past couple years and didn’t make it back then either.

I have made a few new friends in NYC thanks to working at Diebold Inc. and reacquainted with some friends from the past so I had a lot going on this trip. More than usual.

Saturday December 26, 2015
I arrived at JFK around 0800. Called my buddy Whadimir and told him he could come pick me up now! Since it was so early we went back to his place in Queens, NY to watch some ESPN and chat until he had to go to the city for work and he could drop me off at my sister’s place. We had some nice conversation about how life was and all that catching up stuff. I got to my sister’s place in Midtown Manhattan around 1230. “Daddy Max” was already in town from Denver, CO for a couple days and hanging out at the house along with Tori and Rachel (long story short about Max he is my sister’s ex-wife’s ex-husband and the father of my 31-year-old nephew and a male role model/father figure to my 11-year-old niece and we love him dearly…and I also make him come to NY for the holiday.) After saying the hellos and giving out hugs we decided to watch Bridge of Spies and eat some Two Boots Pizza. My sister is in the SAG so she’s got all the movies to watch (some that haven’t even come out in theaters yet) because she has a duty to vote for the nominees. My sis has one of those crazy LCD televisions that makes everything look like they are literally in your living room so some times it is kinda creepy but, Bridge of Spies was good. I would have liked it better on a different tv. (Serious that is how creeped out I am with those tv’s!)
We all hung out and waited for Tori (sister’s niece) to come back to the house and me, my sis, Tori, and H (H is my niece) went out to eat at this awesome Japanese place called Guy-Kaku. They have these little tiny personal grill things built into the table so you basically order meat and you get to cook it yourself and play around with the sauces. It was so good!
After dinner we hung out at the house until Whadimir got out of work, picked me up, and went out on the town. (I didn’t really take great notes this year on the whole timeline of things or exactly where we went so please bare with me.)

Sunday December 27, 2015
My ass ALWAYS has to have breakfast at the corner deli! This particular deli is on the corner of 10th & 45th and I always get a sausage, egg, and muenster croissant with a can of Pepsi. Always. And I never regret it. I am on vacation I don’t care! So good. (I still have yet to have one of these “famous” New York City bagels but whatever I don’t really care. Maybe one day someone will show me where to get one.)
I learned that Broadway shows have lotteries. The basic deal is, you go at certain times (usually two hours before each show, and only specific shows) and get in line (or the middle of the street depending on how many people are trying to win) and write your name on a piece of paper, put it in the basket, and wait for the names to be called. They have a certain allotment of tickets available for these and a couple standing room tickets that, if your name is called, you can buy them or get them free I forget which or probably both. Hamilton is the show to see. So me and my sister, or me and Max, or me, my sister and Max all went to the theater to try to get tickets to see Hamilton. After none of our names were called we went back to the house to get the girls and go to my favorite store in all of New York; Yellow Rat Bastard! Me, sis, H, Tori, Rach, and one of their friends (Vanessa I think) hopped on the subway to go to China Town. I literally spent most of my money the second day I was in the city. Right off the subway I dropped $150 on purses and spent another $150 at YRB…you know you’re getting old when you spend money on comfy pajamas instead of nice clothes and jewelry ha! On the way back to the house we stopped to say hi to Sam (nephew) and get some fresh made Two Boots Pizza, so good. Back at the house my sister and I talked about whatever we talk about while I got ready and was drinking bourbon waiting for Whad to get out of work again to walk around Midtown with me and take touristy pictures. When Whad arrived I packed a flask of bourbon and we went walking to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the awesome Sak’s Fifth Avenue lights. Whadimir grew up in New York and has never seen Rockefeller all lit up (I don’t blame him because it is a tourist thing to do and a pain in the butt because of all the people but still…its THE Christmas tree!) I even got a couple pictures of NYPD taking pictures of the tree! Stopped back at the house to grab some stuff then Whad took me out to this bar called Acey Deucy’s in Queens, NY. I totally forgot that bars in NY serve until 0500…uh maybe bourbon should have not been my drink of choice from the get go. Either way, awesome fun filled night. I love my friends and I love that people in New York can handle my attitude. I fit right in.

Monday December 28, 2015
Another corner deli morning. Got back to the house around 1230. I felt like poo (probably from drinking bourbon for oh, 8 hours?) I took a nap. Before coming to NY I had sent some messages out to some old coworkers about having dinner and drinks on Monday when I was there. This day I did not want to do anything. I had felt so bad from the previous nights events that I just didn’t want to move. When I woke form my nap I explained this conundrum to my niece saying “Maybe we can just reschedule…” my twelve-year-old niece said to me “Don’t you want to see your friends? If you don’t go see them now you might not get to see them later.” Sigh, the wisdom of a child. So I took my nieces life advice and went to meet up with Sebastian and Whadimir (Sebastian is the only one whom didn’t bail on the night) to eat some meat at Radeghast Hall in Williamsburg (which I think is part of Brooklyn?) The sausage was great and the mustards, oh the mustards were amazing! After dinner (because Sebastian don’t quit, we went bar hopping. Well, first he took us down to some pier to check out the view of the East River and the bridge which was pretty cool. Then it started snowing heavily so it was time to move on and go inside. Inside a bar. A bar with a half-pipe inside of it. Sorry I forget the name. I also forget the name of the second place we went to also. (And I don’t really feel like scrolling through 5 months of Facebook news feeds to try to find it. Maybe later.) Between the half-pipe bar and the gay bar that was having a trans night I lost my phone. After calmly walking back to the first place to find it I was blessed enough that it was face down on the floor under the table we were at. (It’s a phone, I don’t care, but Whad was really freaking out on my behalf. He ran like a mofo to try to find it lol. Thanks Whad!) Okay, got my phone back and we decided to go to …a bourbon and scotch bar called Shelter! Surprise surprise right? Sebastian likes scotch and made me try some fancy stuff. I still didn’t like it. Sebastian had to leave because he had to work in the morning so Whadimir and I went to Astoria to meet up with muh nephew Sam. Sam had some friends in from Chi-Town. Nothing special just a quick “Hi. bye.” On the way back to Queens the 24-hour McDonald’s were not 24-hours and I was pissed! We ended up getting some crappy I don’t even know what from I don’t know where!

Tuesday December 29, 2015
Back at the house at 1200. Everyone was there (Minus Sam because he doesn’t live there and works all the time.) We all decided to watch Jurassic World. It was a fun movie. I remember laughing a lot and a lot of us were screaming at the tv because they should not have been doing what they were doing if they wanted to NOT GET EATEN BY DINOSAURS! I tried to take a nap which didn’t work, so I decided to take a walk to Lot Less to buy some socks I think. My friend and neighbor growing up in Chagrin Falls has been living in BK for 12 years now and we got in touch. After she had a meeting at the United Nations building with a client we met up at a Japanese book store across from Bryant Park to hang out and get some dinner but first I had to find this liquor store my brother had told me about. It was not hard to find Park Avenue Liquor Shop (well actually it was because the address and google told us it was inside a tall building but it wasn’t.) Either way I got there and bought a bottle of Larceny to bring to my sister’s because all Karen has is yucky scotch. Mack and I decided to hit up this Mexican joint called Patron by my sister’s place. I think the restaurant is on 9th by 44th? Close to that corner at least. Mackenzie comes back to Karen’s with me to possibly watch a movie but instead we play one of our favorite childhood games; SPIT. It’s a card game, a really fast card game, and I lost. Every hand. It made me very mad. I am a sore loser. But since it was against Mackenzie it was okay. I missed her. And she had never beaten me growing up lol. Win-win I guess. She wasn’t feeling well and had a nice subway ride back to BK (Brooklyn) so she went home early. Tori and I decided to watch Revenant. Holy shit! Remember my sister has one of those tv’s…I don’t know how many times Tori and I were “Oh my God-ing” and “Holy shit-ing” while watching that movie but it was like watching Leo DiCaprio being shredded to bits and pieces by a fucking huge ass grizzly bear 5 feet from my face. #forreal Yikes. First night I slept at my sisters.
-Sidenote: I felt really bad not spending as much time at my sister’s as I normally do. Like really bad. Sad even. But I have made a lot of friends in the years I’ve been going to visit her. I had to divide my time. And we talked about it. My sister is the BEST. She is kind and understanding. She was just happy I was there. That we all were there and that we all come there to see her and have great family time. #mysisterrocks

Wednesday December 30, 2015
Karen made pancakes for breakfast. Yum. Tori and Rach took off for Long Island to spend two days with their friends and I went back to Lot Less to get more junk. Lot Less is this store that sells other stores’ random surplus stuff. I got a ton of Lindt’s chocolate truffles for NYE (tradition and since I didn’t have to walk to the Lindt’s store I was happy about that.) After dropping the junk off at the house I talked to my sis about what to do and I decided that I would take the subway by myself for the first time ever and explore New York and do some tourist stuff. I became a subway pro that day! By the time I walked from the station to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art – I think) I had about an hour to walk around inside and see some art which was fine with me because I don’t really like to stand and talk about that stuff and I was by myself. They had some stuff from the Congo which was really cool and an Egyptian exhibit and some modern photos. When I got off the subway in Times Square there was some weird concert going on and they were setting up the stage for the big Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. I talked to one of the guys setting up the rig and was pretty impressed how it all works and how fast they put that shit up. After having leftovers at the house with Karen and Harmony, my sister and I watched Southpaw. That Jake Gyllanhal is a pretty impressive actor. Have you seen Nightcrawler? If not you should because he plays a psycho to a tee! Back to Acey Deucy with Whad and his friend Todd who just got in from Buffalo, NY. It was the bartender’s 30th birthday, Her name was Donna. I drank a lot of bourbon again and lost a couple hours of my life.

Still four more days to write about. I am taking a break.
To be continued…
Continued…changing the spaces and paragraphs now.

Thursday December 31, 2016. New Year’s Eve.
I got dropped off at the Deli for breakfast again on Whadimir and Todd’s way back to the city. I took another nap then I walked to Papaya Dog (which I recently found closed down) to have some lunch and juice.
The next note in my journal just says “Ellen” so I assume that we watched The Ellen D show when I got back to the house.
After that Karen and I watched Sicario. I tend to like Emily Blunt but she was awful in this movie. So bad. Don’t even bother watching it.
Since it was new year’s eve Karen went through the closet to find out NYE light-up hats…the batteries had died so guess what. We took a walk to go buy new ones (hats not batteries!) We got hats and bourbon and were ready to go!
We had a lot of fun watching tv all night. Flipping between all the new year’s programs and talking it was a really fun time. At midnight, as we were watching the ball drop on TV, we opened the windows and I walked out the front door and could hear everybody just a couple blocks away screaming and cheering and I saw the spotlights in the sky! It was pretty cool. After the ball dropped Sam walked over from the pizza shop to get a picture with all of us and then I decided I wanted to walk to Times Square. I think I was trying to see Wiz Khalifa! ha. I tried to walk to Times Square at least. The police had the roads blocked off now so they could start the street cleaning. One police officer let me through after a a little bit. I walked around the city that was still filled with confetti soaring around the air. I did a bit of people watching…drunk people watching, got a gyro and went back inside. It was a great New Year’s.

Friday January 1, 2016.
Football. Football. Football.
I woke up in time to spend the majority of the day watching football. All the bowl games were starting. So I sat on the couch and Karen and Max watched with me intermittently.
Fod dinner we wanted sushi so my sis took the order and ordered a load of sushi from this place down the street. About an hour later the sushi still wasn’t there. Karen walked to the place to see what was going on…turned out that they were closed on New Year’s Day…but their website we ordered from didn’t say that! So, since Whadimir and Todd were close by I went out with them for dinner and drinks…again! We walked to Rockefeller Center after I got some food in me so Todd could see all of the lights and get some pictures. We also decided to stay drinking in the city. Here are a few places we went: St. Andrew’s Scotch Bar, Playwright Bar, and Bourbon Street (the last being my favorite because of the music and people.) Bourbon Street is right by my sister’s place. Its this cool open floor two-story place with goof food, a nice deejay, and Scottish bartenders who know how to make drinks.
Ended the night at Acey Ducey again…

Saturday January 2, 2016.
Today I walked to 30 Rock. I also got lost inside Rockefeller Center. It really is confusing in there. After getting a sweet NBC ornament (ornaments, pennies, and magnets are my thing) I went down to the other shopping mall in the building and could not figure out how to get back up and out! It was pretty ridiculous. Anyway, I got back to my sisters around 5. My friend from growing up, Mackenzie, met me out again. Her, Max and I went to the Hamilton lottery. The last name they called was “Carolyn…” I got a shit-eating-grin on my face and swear my heart started racing…but they did not say “Campbell” they said some name I do not remember but I thought I was so close to having my name drawn! Mackenzie and I went to Bourbon Street for some dinner. Hanging out with Mack is always nice. We spent a lot of time together growing up. She lived two houses down from me in Ohio for a while. She was there the night my dad died. No matter how long we go without talking I believe I will always be able to see her if we are ever in the same city. It is good to see how we both grow over the years.
After dinner we decided to watch a movie…We started the Big Short and when I saw Ryan Gosling walk out looking like a ridiculous fool we knew it was not a movie we wanted to waste time watching! We decided to watch Trainwreck! I’ve seen Trainwreck before but it is funny so I was down.
Whadimir stopped by on his way home from work to chill for a bit. We sat outside and talked, smoked, and walked to Papaya Dog (dang I really miss that place) and then walked to Two Boots one last time.
Since the girls were gone for the night I opted to sleep on the couch instead of the air mattress that night. Twas a good day.

Sunday January 3, 2016. My last day in NYC.
Somehow I was privileged enough to sleep until 1300! lol I finally got that sushi! Had some delivered for my lunch and I finally got around to watching Concussion. My sister and Max had been telling me I need to watch Concussion. I watch a lot of football when I’m around them since I am usually there during the NCAA Bowl Games so I guess they wanted me to see the story. A great story it was and Will Smith did an amazing job acting the part.
Karen and Harmony were the last ones standing. Max and the nieces went back to their states and Harmony had school in the morning and my sister was going back to work.
Since Whadimir lives like fifteen minutes from La Guardia Airport I was going to stay at his place for the last night.
Karen and H got take out from Don Giovannis in NYC and I had the best Italian Soup ever!
Whadimir and I went to 5 Napkin Burger for dinner and a salted caramel float.

It was the best NYC trip ever. I have been very blessed. Through the years I meet more and more people from New York and all of them are really great people. I met Whadimir and Sebastian when they were in Ohio training for work. Whadimir was born in Queens and was in the Navy before working for Diebold. He is the most gentlemanly person I know. The man carried my purse all over New York City, picked me up almost every night, and is just a great guy and a lot of fun to hang out with. Sebastian came from Poland and lives somewhere in Brooklyn. He was a Marine for a while before working for Diebold. This guy is absolutely crazy fun. He loves to have a good time and show people a good time. I’ve known Mackenzie since I was about 13 years old and she has lived in the same apartment in Williamsburg for the past 9 years. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love going to NYC! Back to Indiana I go.

#backtoreality

World Of Beer-Drink It Intern!

I just created a 60 second video to try to get a summer internship with World Of Beer to travel and review different beers!! I am so excited and very nervous. Excited that this opportunity is available, I know little about beer, and recently moving to Indiana has made that much more clear to me! I need to learn about beer here to survive here in the city of craft beers and 100 on tap at every bar!! Nervous because 60 second videos are hard! I couldn’t get in the brewery’s I’ve been to (Heineken and Budweiser) and I couldn’t even fit in that I grew up driving to Pennsylvania to stock up on my favorite, Yuengling, because they didn’t sell it in Ohio at the time! Wish me luck and promote me!!
Tweet @ SL33V3d would be great for #drinkitintern, hashtag me on Instagram SL33V3D and facebook #worldofbeer #drinkitintern!
I love you all!