Tuesday, April 24, 2007


i can't remember how many years it's been since my last trip to the big easy for jazz fest, but i do remember that i am leaving for new orleans friday morning for some fun in the louisiana sun. i'm getting more psyched every day. matty's getting married in september, so in addition to the music, we will be celebrating his bachelorhood throughout the weekend.

i am dreaming about crawfish monica and alligator pie.

check out some of my boy dino's amazing fest photos here: http://www.jazzfestarchives.com/

only 4 days?

just signed in to post some stuff, thinking that it's been a week or more since i last wrote something for the blog. well, i saw the 420 post, so it's been only 3 days. but maybe the fact that the last post was on 4/20 has something to do with why i can't remember the last time i posted.

here are some updates (i feel like a lot has happened in the last three days):

some happy birthdays i didn't post: 14th: jeffrey, 15th: uncle michael, 21st: uncle jerry, and yesterday: kropp.

saturday was the first day of little league for jackson. it was a beautiful day, and my little guy was a star. he had an unassisted double play that wowed the opposing team's coach, but seemed par for the course for grampa vinny and me. we had a lot of fun coaching. dad and joshua came out for the afternoon too.

sunday we spent the day with jeff and debbie and samantha and lindsey. first it was lunch at the country club in port washington. we ate out on the patio watching the some golf, then we went to jeff's for a bunch of baseball, some napping, and time with the wii. the wii rocks. gotta get one. then we headed to uncle jerry and aunt marcia's house for barbecue, birthday cake, and a 50" hi-def plasma viewing of the yanks giving up 4 home runs in a row to the redsox.

monday and today have been spent scrambling to get a bunch of work stuff out of the way, including a big installation tomorrow at yankee stadium.

one more thing. doesn't phil on american idol look just like nosferatu?

photos of baseball, house progress, and other pics coming soon.

Friday, April 20, 2007

happy 4.20

turn it up!

reaching the summit

times square, then popgadget, and now gizmodo. i feel like the cocoa-puffs bird.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

more fame (and fortune?)

violight just hit the presses again at popgadget. it's a favorite site of mine, even thought it targets women. i guess that's kinda like how i love to read real simple magazine, even though that's for girls too. (but that's where it stops as far as girl-things i like, except of course real girls, but ok, enough of this.)

check out the review here.

the big show, baby

well well well....here's the violight in all its glory up on a screen in times square. now can i retire?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

options: good or bad?

so my general m.o. is that the more options i have, the better off i am. if i don't see all the options in a given situation, i simply create them. feels great, works great, especially when i pretend i am stuck in a bad situation, or feel like i have no choice (always a big lie).

but what happens when you have an option presented that you are not sure if you want? here's the deal: i have been planning and building the new house for a long long time, and the other day a guy starts snooping around the property. when my contractor approached him, the guy asked how much the house was selling for. my contractor (smart...) said, "mucho dinero." (he didn't literally say that...he's not spanish, but he speaks spanish, but what he actually said i am not repeating here.)

so now i am looking at all the profit i could make if i find a buyer and take the money and run. finding another house will be easy, although at some point i want my ass planted in one spot. maybe i build and move into this one, then start finding other homes to buy, renovate, and sell, since i seem pretty good at it so far.

my broker will do a walk-thru and appraisal next week.

Monday, April 16, 2007

cause and effect at virginia tech

what is going on, and how are we responsible? yes, you, me, wherever you are, sitting and reading this. ask yourself that question.

32 people just like you and me are dead. i was on my way back to the office from lunch at home, when i heard about the mass murder today. i didn't have more than 30 seconds to think about what happened, because i wanted to listen to howard stern, get back to work, sell some more consumer products, check up on the house i am building, prepare to teach tonight, etc etc, and then i realized how i am part of the problem.

we are all so busy running around, taking care of ourselves, our bank accounts, our stuff, and the fabric of what it means to be human and part of a community is, at least in my immediate circle, falling apart.

the things we don't spend time on as a society are the things that cause people to feel so much despair that they go out and shoot as many people as they can in order to feel better, or feel nothing by being dead (of their own hand or by the law).

and now the cycle will start again (it already has) -- the media is having a field day because something more interesting that don imus's nappy ho's and poor anna nicole's pocket-picking drug pusher boyfriend's deadly antics. and what will come out of it? they'll get better ratings, sell more commercials, and get more money.

i'm being critical, yes, but more so hypocritical, since i like to buy all that stuff i see on tv and make it a powerful part of my life, instead of the stuff that only matters deep down, or when i am ranting like this...education and help for everyone, especially our country's children, so that they know that they could live great lives just by choosing it, and when they know that, but they can't seem to fulfill their knowledge without prozac, a.d.d. bullshit drugs, and all that other crap invented by the capital money machine, they have a place to go to get some real help, causal help, not effects help.

we only strive to really do anything meaningful when it's one of our own who's in big trouble, or sick, or worse, dead, from some tragedy, and then even that wears off, because (like 9/11) it only takes a short time for the material world to take over again, because we really believe all that stuff will make us feel better, when a day like today reminds us of what it really gets us: superficial minds and superficial kids and superficial parents, who breed the same generation after generation, until we all blow ourselves up or die old and hating one another.

enough said, i gotta go to dunkin donuts for an iced latte in my lexus.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

kropp's farewell

Kropp's Farewell Party Album

a bunch of us got together last night at lucas and debbie's to reminisce and wish rich a happy goodbye. he is off to ubs in zurich for (at least) the next couple of years.

it was really great to see everybody. first of all, we all look great after 20 years. second of all, it's really been 20 years. it's fun to look at everyones faces and still see the same kids...we were just 18...but now we are all grown up, ready for 40, and still having a lot of fun.

many of us shared a funny story about meeting rich up at syracuse, and although there are some storytelling photos in the gallery, my kids might read this one day so i won't recount them here.

below are some highlight shots, but click on the album cover above to see all the pics.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


monkey hug

a canvas from the wall in jaden's room.

Friday, April 13, 2007

wtf, blogger?

gotta figure something out.

every time i do a standard post, my line spacing is nice and open (like on this post). however, when i create a post and add picasa albums, or other raw html (like the animation in the 'couch' post below), the damn line spacing closes up like the label on whack-job crazy dr. bronner's bottle.

i can't find anything in the code that seems to control the line spacing. since most of you who are reading this blog are html experts, send an email if you have a tip.

if not, and you are still looking for something to do, click on the bronner label (below) to jump over to my picasa web album with the original image. then click the little magnifying glass, and you can zoom in enough to read bronner's rants.

it's the perfect thing to print and leave in the crapper for a rainy day, too.

the fireplace

here's the inspiration for the fireplace surround and mantle. we probably have too much crap for the small mantle in this image, but we'll figure out something.

it's a cast concrete design from a company in vancouver, with showrooms in manhattan and saratoga springs. more to come...

is this the couch? what color?

how cool is this sectional by american leather? way cool, i think, especially if it's covered in a microfiber instead of cheesey, sticky, slidey leather.

don't get me wrong -- i grew up surrounded by great leather, like joel's leather couch from poulain peausserie in paris, but for now the leather in my life is for harley jackets, belts, shoes, and car upholstery so my ride don't smell like dog and baby puke.

anyway, back to the couch...with our expanded living room this baby will fit just fine, and as you watch the animation you'll see all the configurations i am really digging.

cathy was out in joysey at the showroom today and we are getting some prices.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

omg too cute!

lenka has a little digital camera that kicks ass. she brought it to boca and took some amazing snapshots, from which i will pull highlights and include in a future post.

but for now, get a load of my adorable little peanut (ok, she's approaching walnut, but a nut is a nut) and pay special attention to what it says on her t-shirt.

before and after

i just looked thru some old photos and blog posts, and it's crazy to see the difference a few months makes up at mianus drive:

meat the family

click the photo for the full gallery

moms, dads, aunts and uncles, grammas and grampas, and the cousins all got together last night for a meat-fest at jason's new eatery, fette sau in williamsburg.

finally, i got to taste the food, and here's what i think: delicious. brisket wins hands down. dry-rub ribs were great without any sauce. i only had one beer...it was a "shard" something, named after chardonnay wine and the grape-y taste. loved it. the wall of whiskey is impressive, but last night was no time for me to sit at the bar and get plastered.

jason asked me to taste the pork belly, and compare it to luger's thick bacon slices. fette sau's belly slab was tasty, but by the time i ate it i was so full of dead cow, dead lamb, and dead pig, that i wasn't in the mindset to compare.

bottom line: go to fette sau. get a little bit of everything. bring the kids, bring the elders, bring your loved one, or go alone and share some flesh with a stranger on a picnic bench. and then have a shower, or smell like a pit smoker until you do.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

watch this

so my favoritest accessory lately is my bathys hawaii watch. it looks almost exactly like the one on their website (at left) but i chose to use the alternative black rubber strap instead of the leather one in the picture.

they are very rare due to limited production, and i thought i was out of luck last year when i found out the 2006 stock was sold out. so i pre-ordered one from the small lot being produced for 2007.

then (eureka!) i found one at a small jeweler in hawaii, and i bought it right away.

it's been about 5 months since i got it, and i have been so busy admiring my left wrist that i completely forgot about the one i pre-ordered, due to arrive in a few weeks!

even though i have two wrists, i don't love it that much, so cousin brian will be the proud owner of this awesome timepiece very soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

house update

our .25 tub

a lot happened up on mianus drive while we were gone.

the roof is done! the windows are in. the ducts have started to snake through the beams and rafters. the plumbing is almost done and fixtures are on the way.

the studio is awesome. huge. we actually got to step out of the french doors onto the new balcony yesterday, although i felt a little uneasy without any railings.

we have selected the stone for the barn, chimneys, and base of the house. i'm also thinking of covering the entire detached garage in stone. in a few days we should see mockups of the vertical siding for the barn, and we will choose the width of the clapboard for the main house.

it's hard to believe that the rest of the interior design will start pretty soon. i feel like we will be living in a beautiful home with great bathrooms and a killer kitchen, but just empty space beyond that, since those are all we have designed so far! the canvas is blank.

time and war and friends

if you haven't browsed my links in a while, (on the left hand side of the page) then you may have missed the essays on thai minsky about vietnam, cambodia, and time spent with dear friends.

click here; its worth a read. and click on the photos to get to the albums. the photos are magnificent!

i love jules and eleanor deeply, and their influence on me continues even when they are so far away.

they really know how to live life, and i aspire to be like them!


just as we got back from boca, brian drove up with alex and rachel from the land of jefferson. we bee-lined to bellmore on sunday for some cousin-time.

click the picture above for more photos!

it's been a while

time flies when you are having fun. i haven't posted for a record number of days.

jaden's first trip to florida was great. we were plagued with the usual stuffy noses we get whenever we are down there, but that didn't stop us from hanging with sammy, rhoda, the extended nagel clan, and getting into the pool and the ocean almost every day.

more photos will come soon, but first i had to get this one posted...daddy's little girl!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

back in boca


we have been having fun in boca since our arrival on the last day of march.

aunt joanna wins the april fools prank for the year. the rat-infested construction here at the entrance of broken sound had us all disgusted until we were all dubbed as fools for the day.

monday was seder at grammy's, and grampa sammy came over for a great dinner.

today jaden had two firsts...a swim in the pool and then an afternoon on the beach.

look at the trip's highlight photos by clicking on the album image above!

pork up

fette sau continues to rock the critics. check out the latest hip-blog review of jason's new restaurant in williamsurg. click here.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

closet techie grampa joel to the rescue

on several occasions dad will get frustrated and claim to know little about computers. usually he says this while he is in the process of doing something on his computer.

tonight he used his i-book like a champ. cathy and i just came out of a movie, and we were hungry at 9:30 on a sunday night in boca. not much choice.

for some reason i thought about a great 1/2-rack of bbq ribs i had with joel a few months ago in tampa. delicious. chain restaurant. i thought, "hmmm...tampa. i'm in boca. good chance there's one of those right here or nearby."

so i ask cathy to call joel, and in a few minutes he's on his mac surfing, finds the name of the place (smokey bones bbq), finds one a few blocks away from where we were in the car, gets us the phone number, and we head over and eat. delicious.

thanks, pop. glad you can use your computer.

go see the movie 'namesake'

cathy and i did the boca thing tonight: left the kids with the grandparents (and lenka) and went to the movies.

we went to see 'namesake', a film by mira nair, with kal penn (kumar, from 'white castle'). it was a great movie. go see it.

i'm too tired to write a review, but here's an interview with the director:

meat, candy, dinosaurs, and rocketships

dailycandy.com highlights fette sau! (click here)

dad and josh were there last night and said the place was jammed. they brought home rib bones and today they were building dinosaurs. cool dad/son bonding. back in the day, when jason and i were little, we made model rockets with dad at one lincoln and took the tram to roosevelt island to launch them.

1st cousins

two new j's

yes, it's great to have a big happy family. click on either image in this post for a gallery of cathy's cutest, latest photos of jaden, jordan, and jackson!