Life on the Rails: Prologue

Sorry about that false alarm back in December, but things are finally back on track!

After months of hemming and hawing I officially took the plunge, and am moving to San Francisco. In my continued spirit of procrastination, I figured the best way to move across the country would be to take a train and stop in several cities along the way.

Of course before doing that, I had to say goodbye to the East Coast!

DC

I feel like I did a pretty bad job saying goodbye to DC. I missed seeing a handful of friends, and I never even fully wrote my DC bucket list let alone completed everything on it.

One thing I did get to do was check out the African-American Museum of History and Culture, which was amazing. Thanks to my sister Katie (Break and Bake) for scoring the tickets! I barely had enough time to get through the history section let alone go upstairs for the cultural half though, so even that was a failure.

I guess what I’m saying is that I really need to go back to DC at some point. It won’t be for a while though, because I also definitely left DC like t(-_-t).

PA

If I did a bad job saying goodbye to DC, I did even worse saying goodbye to PA. I didn’t go to a single Wawa!

I really should have scheduled more PA time considering that I showed up like an hour late to friendship hangouts with my friends Zack and James, and I only saw one of my aunts. GUESS THEY’LL ALL HAVE TO VISIT ME IN SAN FRANCISCO.

NYC

The first thing I did when I got to NYC was walk 8 miles. I was just so full of energy that I didn’t know what else to do. I walked from the Port Authority to Central Park and up and around the Central Park reservoir. When I was done I still had some time to kill before meeting people for Happy Hour, so I went to Prospect Park for even more wandering in nature. It felt a little weird spending all my time in the city trying to seclude myself, but considering how much time I’m going to spend crammed in with others, every second of solitude counts.


Ever since it opened, all I wanted to do while in NYC was to go to Hinterlands, which is Stuart Wellington from the Flop House’s bar. In the past my friends Luke and Paolo would complain that it was too inconvenient, so we’d go to somewhere in Bed-Stuy instead. Since this was my going away party, I put my foot down. They weren’t wrong about it being inconvenient, but It was definitely worth it.

The bar itself is awesome, with funk and R&B music playing and a bathroom papered with different RPG Guides and Monster Manuals. I was more than ok just hanging out and enjoying the bar, but then Stuart showed up to bartend and my friend Paolo immediately blew up my spot. Luckily Stuart was exactly the cool party dude he claims to be and actually gave me a free t-shirt (or a dramatic discount on drinks, I’m not positive)

Plan your campaign as you pee!

Our happy hour accidentally ran late, and we were out until about midnight. Luke and his girlfriend Emily tapped out, but Paolo and I grabbed another beer before I passed out on his couch. Still, I managed to wake up at 6 AM, get showered and dressed and make it out the door with plenty of time to catch my 8 AM bus.

Boston

My trip to Boston started out inauspicious enough. Despite giving myself over an hour to get there I still managed to miss my bus when it took over 20 minutes for a 7 train to show up. It was entirely my fault for trusting such a shitty train line instead of just taking the C train.

When I finally made it to Boston – two hours later than I expected – I met up with my friend Cal to hit up some breweries. We started at his apartment where I awkwardly crashed a pot luck his wife was hosting for her fellow marathon runners and tried some beers from Trillium Brewing Co.

Once we hit the road we stopped at Lord Hobo for some delicious IPAs, and Mystic Brewery for some much more experimental belgian style beers. I wound up buying a bottle of “The Null” at Mystic a smoked quad they made in collaboration with Backlash Beer, another Mass. brewery, that was fucking delicious.

Cal took this photo to taunt our friend Krysti. My amazing hair was a bonus.

Cal had to get dinner with his family, so I ended my brewery tour by meeting my friend Shreya at Sommerville Brewing Company. Sommerville apparently has a Niles Crane beer, but it wasn’t on draft. Instead I got their malty and delicious winter warmer and Shreya and I just watched some Frasier to make up for it.

On Sunday Shreya and I agreed we were going to do cultural things and then get ramen for dinner instead of watching the Super Bowl. We went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Public Library and the Mapparium. I took 0 photos because I’m a terrible traveler, and also photos of the Mapparium are forbidden. It was a little weird how dead everything was in the city. Public transit was like a ghost town, and all the museums were close to empty.

Oh wait, I took one museum photo!

After a morning of museums we snuck a to-go order of tater tots smothered in mushrooms and gravy into a showing of I Am Not Your Negro. We housed the food almost immediately, which was good because the both of us spent almost the entire movie being transfixed or sobbing uncontrollably. I can’t even begin to write a full review of I Am Not Your Negro,  there’s way too much to unpack, but when the credits began to roll the audience was dead silent. Slowly, we came out of our collective daze deeply shaken but ready to take on the future.

Shreya and I probably spent too much time drinking after the movie, but we had a lot to process and one bartender offered us shots because Shreya is a rockstar fighting to defend science. We were too late for ramen, and while waiting on Indian food found ourselves in a bar with too many tvs to ignore, so we saw the Patriots take the game into overtime. We left before they officially won, but the loud cheers all around us as we walked back to her place confirmed the obvious.

The only photo of Boston I took

NYC Redux

My original plan was to go from Boston to NYC and immediately hop on a train for New Orleans, but then Amtrak decided to start doing construction on the line between Atlanta and New Orleans, so I could either take a 17 hour bus ride or spend 3 extra days in NYC and take a direct 30 hour train ride. I definitely made the smart call.

I kept up my museum kick by hitting up the Met and doing the 3 guided tours Nate DiMeo has released as their artist in residence. I generally hate The Met, and DiMeo does a fantastic job providing historical context for the pieces he discusses and in the process demystifies the museum itself. It repeatedly forces you to ask the question “why is this even here?”

“Seriously, fuck these bottles” – shorter Nate DiMeo

On Wednesday, I went out to the Brooklyn Museum with a quick detour to check out the abandoned City Hall subway station (I actually tried to take a photo, but the light is all messed up so my phone couldn’t do shit. Just rest assured it was beautiful.). They were still exhibiting Iggy Pop Life Class, which is just sketches of Iggy Pop from a life-drawing class and is 100% my aesthetic.

Sketch by Guno Park

Wednesday night is when I first started hearing rumblings about a snow storm, but based on every other weather event that people get paranoid about I wasn’t really concerned. When I woke up on Thursday to about two inches of snow on the ground my opinion changed a little bit. Luckily Amtrak is on top of its shit, and the only cancellation  was a local train to Albany.

Suck it, snow!

Next Time:

Life on the Rails: The Road to NoLa

 

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Ray Wise

I didn’t so much forget this post as I didn’t do shit worth writing about. 

Highlights!

  • I got caught up on Fresh Off The Boat and there were several perfect jokes about Ray Wise’s character loving Jingle All The Way. I feel like Ray Wise has cornered the market on the unhinged guy who is just too sweet to be considered a threat role. I’m very excited for him to show up in the Twin Peaks re-boot.

By the Numbers 

Sobriety: 8/10. My sister Katie made me go to the WABA holiday party and kept shouting “drink!” at me if I didn’t have a beer. 

Healthy Eating: 3/10. I didn’t bake myself a bunch of cookies, plus I had two separate meals. I’d call it a win. 

Sanity: 10/10. I was mostly just sleepy. 

True Love: 0/10. Never!

Steps: 5,718

A Christmas TogetherĀ 

Let’s just go ahead and expect these posts in the afternoon now. Save everyone some stress.

Highlights!

  • John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together is up on YouTube. It definitely doesn’t hold up, but that just makes it all the more amazing. The songs are a mix of Christmas standards and weird fucking shit, and the end features an all puppet Nativity Play that is horrific at best. You should all watch it.
  • I actually got to go to trivia with my friends instead of having to work. It’s was pretty fun, but we were overly cautious with our wagering and came in second by 1 point.

By the Numbers

Sobriety: 7/10. They had hot cider with bourbon at trivia.

Healthy Eating: 2/10. All I ate were some french fries and two meatball subs.

Sanity: 8/10. I went to REI to look at backpacks, but was too anxious to actually ask anyone for help.

True Love: 0/10. One day I’ll find a girl who wants to talk about obscure Muppet shit.

Steps: 8,336

Hell No We’re Not Going Back to Numbering the Days

Sorry this post is late, but I’m still not fully back in the groove yet. 

Highlights!

  • Instead of attempting to fix my sleep schedule, I stayed up until 3 AM watching Gamorrah. It’s really good, but I spent a lot of the movie going “wait, is this the plot?” which is a compliment.
  • I just realized Christmas is in less than two weeks, so I spent a lot of my night trying to coordinate holiday stuff with friends. Any suggestions on what gifts to get my family would be appreciated. 

By the Numbers 

Sobriety: 8/10. Things were slow at Atlas, so I had some sips of beer. 

Sanity: 9/10. I’m feeling pretty ok. 

Healthy Eating: 4/10. All I ate was some leftover tomato soup.

True Love: 0/10. Not today 

Steps: 5,100.

RESURGENCE!

Hey kiddos, sorry for the radio silence, but I haven’t felt much like writing for a bit.

If you are unaware, the secret reason for my original disappearance was that my friends Cal, Marcus, Krysti and I all flew to San Francisco to surprise our friend Phil for Halloween. 

Here we are dressed as the Ninja Turtles before going on a bar crawl.


Honestly, one of the reasons I didn’t post for so long was because I struggled to put into words what an amazing adventure it was and how much I love my friends. 

After over a month off though, I’m back and full of that bile and hatred you all missed, so here we go again!

Highlights

  • I lost my ID somewhere in SF and got to confront my privilege head-on. Not only did airport security accept a photo of my ID that I had on my phone, but I got to skip the entire security line to receive a light pat-down and have my carry-on barely inspected. Once I got back to DC I learned I’d have to actually go to the DMV for my replacement license and my passport is expired, so I’ve been living off the grid since then. It’s been surprisingly easy. 
  • I went to NYC with my sisters Liz and Katie and Brother-in-Law Wes to see Hamilton on November 9th. It was originally going to be a much more joyous trip to the theater, but it was still amazing. It was Christopher Jackson’s last week as George Washington so I spent all of “One Last Time” sobbing. 
  • I’ve been working at Atlas a lot, which has been fun, but it’s definitely switched from “fun way to make money” to “job I take seriously and try to do well.”
  • I spent Thanksgiving with Liz and Wes. Wes was sick and Liz is 8 months pregnant, so we mostly napped. Then we made stuffed chicken breasts and watched Kubo and the Two Strings. 
  • My cousin Danny came to visit DC the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I took him to all the DC breweries. We started at noon, and by 9 PM a switch flipped in me and I was suddenly drunk and ready to go home. On Sunday we got brunch with Liz and I took him to Union Market. I feel bad for not doing more touristy stuff with him, but I don’t wanna do that shit.
  • I haven’t applied for any other jobs, mostly because now I’m just sort of killing time until I move to San Francisco in February.
  • On the suggestion of my friend Dylan, I started watching Terrace House and am in love. It’s like if there was a slow tv reality show. Everyone is just so open and honest and trying to live their lives and be better people. Eventually things start getting dramatic, but it never feels forced or manufactured.
  • Because I mostly work nights now, my sleep schedule is entirely fucked. I’m shocked my roommates still tolerate me. 
  • I dunno if I can maintain my original excitement for West World now that it’s over. It’s a fine show, but I’m sick of my enjoyment being so conditional on future twists. 
  • Out of the blue, my old board chair called me up and offered me a job. I told him no for a myriad of reasons, but he’s persistent. We’ll see what happens. 
  • This Friday, I worked at Atlas until 1 AM, then went home and watched Terrace House until 6 AM because I had a 7:15 AM bus to Philly I was afraid I’d miss if I fell asleep. On my 3 hours of bus sleep, I then played 9 hours of Twilight Imperium with my friends Zack, James and Steve plus Zack’s friends Rob and Zack. I talked a lot of shit leading up to the game, and somehow it didn’t really come back to bite me. I probably should have focused more on growing my band of lupine space nomads early game instead of spreading out and being at a loss late-game, but I put up a good fight. 

By the Numbers 

Sobriety: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sanity: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Healthy Eating: Nope, I got super fat off garbage. 

True Love: -10/100 I took a couple girls on dates to play pinball, but I usually spent the night playing pinball and ignoring my dates.

Day 137: Secrets

Seriously? Every day?

Highlights!

  • I started the new season of Black Mirror, and really love it so far. Haven’t gotten to Michael Schur’s Infinite Jest inspired episode yet. 
  • I also watched The Nice Guys and absolutely loved it. I was pretty sick of Shane Black, but he did a fantastic job. 
  • I had a vomit scare, probably from being sick and drinking, but I managed to tamp that shit down.
  • I did other stuff besides watch tv, but I can’t talk about it yet.

By the Numbers 

Sobriety: 2/10. Lots of drinking today. 

Healthy Eating: 1/10. I had some terrible chicken fingers. 

Sanity: 5/10. Very stressed and sleepy. 

True Love: 0/10. 

Steps: 7,827

Day: That Can’t Be Right.

I guess you vultures expect a new one of these every day now!

Highlights!

  • I have the cold I got over last week again, so I spent most of the day watching season 2 of iZombie. I’m worried Rob Thomas is getting too self-referential, but featuring singer Rob Thomas was genius. 
  • I went to Target to hopefully cobble together a Halloween costume, but did a pretty lazy job. I’m gonna be Mr. Peanutbutter in the blandest sense.

By the Numbers 

Sobriety: 8/10. HOT TODDIES!!!!

Healthy Eating: 5/10. I roasted some chicken with sweet potatoes and onions for dinner. I’m a real good cook.

Sanity: 8/10. 

True Love: 0/10. 

Steps: 10,712.