These last few months have been somewhat filled with activity. However, this last month of the year is going to packed with nonstop action. Below is an outline of what I have coming up this month/what’s happened so far. I will fill it in as things actually transpire.
Naturally the stuff I’ve written for future dates is just conjecture so far.
Karaoke / Shave
After work I met up with some co-workers at the Alligator Lounge, a staple of my life in Brooklyn. We went for what other than karaoke. Despite telling people to be there at 10:30pm, I myself arrived at 11pm. However, as is usually the case, I was still the first one there.
I put my song in right away and then watched a few people sing. After a while I started to make my way to the bar to see if anyone had come in. No sooner did I turn to leave was I greeted by my co-worker Yev. Moments later he was followed by our co-worker Michael. Just as we began to make our way to the bar, my name was called, perfect timing.
Rather than just stand up and sing, I chose to make it a full performance. I pulled over the small table that was on the stage and pulled up a seat next to the table. I then lowered the mic stand so I could sing into it from a seated position. I then took off my regular glasses, placed them on the table and put on the sunglasses I’d brought with me.
As the music began to play I mimicked playing piano on the table and then proceeded to sing all 6 minutes and 46 seconds of Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight.
Singing at karaoke at Alligator Lounge
At the end, when it repeats the title, I did a bit of call and response with the audience. First with them as a whole, then out to individuals and finally for the last two, splitting the audience between the left side and the right side. To my pleasant surprise it worked and they sang along beautifully.
What I love about karaoke (and I imagine is the appeal for most people) is the feeling, even if just for a moment, that you’re a rockstar and that the audience is hanging on your every word. To have that much control over an audience while also having their temporary affection is really wonderful thing.
On top of that, the feeling of vindication of picking a good song that the whole bar know and will be interested in singing along to is really a talent that I pride myself on. I rarely fail to bring the house down.
After singing and dancing until 1:30 or 2am, we called it a night. Michael was kind enough to give me a ride back to my apartment. Once home I took advantage of the fact that November was technically over and trimmed down my overgrown beard. It was nice to see my face again and not feel dirty or itchy.
That said, I don’t know if it was the shock of going from a lot of facial hair to suddenly very little, but I did sort of immediately regret it. I think I need to find a happy medium of scraggily facial hair and too little facial hair. Luckily, it’ll grow back.
December 1 (Sat)
Haircut / Food / Write / Brinson Chill Session
After going to bed at around 4am, I slept in till 9:30am. I then got showered, dressed, brushed my teeth and at 10:25, began to make my way to Greenpoint for my haircut appointment.
It usually takes me pretty long to get to my barbershop, but I knew it was going to take particularly long because, in usual (G) train fashion, it was only running to Nassau Ave, at which point I needed to transfer to a shuttle bus to Greenpoint Ave.
Once off the bus I backtracked to the nearby Bank of America to grab some cash. Then doubled back to head to Tomcats, grabbing a copy of this weeks Time Out magazine along the way. I got there a few minutes early for my haircut so I just sat and chilled.
After the cut I headed back towards Nassau Ave, this time on foot, along the way stopping for a late breakfast (or on time lunch) at Charlotte Pâtisserie. There I had their hummus sandwich which was very good and fairly priced. Afterwards I made my way back home where I chilled and wrote a bunch of this.
Went to Brinson’s apartment to hang out with co-workers. We watched some boxing and afterwards I went to my co-worker’s girlfriend’s apartment which was literally across the street.
December 3 – 7
It’s crazy to think that this is my last week with the Inside Sales team. Despite the fact that the time with this team has been slightly longer than my time with the Boston team (1 yr 6 months vs 1 yr 5 months) it’s somehow felt shorter.
After work on Friday I went to Home Sweet Home for Shakin’ All Over, the soul music dance night put on by New York Night Train and spun by DJ Jonathan Toubin. I met up with my co-worker’s girlfriend -Skyler, her roommate Kristen and their friend Tory.
We had a really good time dancing. Kristen and Skyler ended up leaving at 1am but Tory and I hung back and danced until 2.
When I first saw the trailer for Vox Lux I instantly got Black Swan vibes. Not only because of Natalie Portman, but also because she is playing a character who is a performer. My gameplan was to go to this movie on a Hinge date. However, due to unforeseen complications, she decided we should reschedule.
That said, I had no intention of waiting to see this movie so I ended up going with my co-worker Carter. Initially we tried to meet up for the 2:50pm screening but by the time Carter showed up, it had sold out.
When I went to the box office to get a refund, the guy told me I couldn’t get a refund, but that he could give me two free passes the see the movie another time. This was a win.
We went to Soho and grabbed a beer and chatted. Before you knew it, it was time for the 5:10pm screening. We doubled back and got tickets. I don’t have the time or energy to do a full on review. Plus, being that it is still relatively fresh in my mind, I think I’m still processing it. That said, the one adjective that comes to mind to describe the movie is Intense.
After the movie I took the train into Brooklyn to got to my co-work’s roommate’s birthday party. I’ve gotten to know Tom a bit over the year and a half that I’ve been in NY so I was happy to attend.
I got to Bed-Stuy a little before they’d gotten back from dinner so I went to a nearby pizza spot and grabbed a few slices. I then sung by once I got the green light from Adam.
The party was pretty low key. Naturally there were a bunch of people that I didn’t know. I socialized with a few of them and chatted with some that I’d met before but mostly just chatted with Adam.
Eventually the combination of it being too hot in there apartment, me having been out all day and the early onset of what I now know to be a throat and head cold, I called it quits at 11pm.
Fly to California
After sleeping in late and getting a few last minute things organized, I left my apartment at 12:08pm and made my way to JFK. Along the way I listened to my Spotify 2018 Recap Playlist. It was filled with a bunch of solid tracks.
And then perfectly timed, as if ordained by the heavens, as I exited the AirTrain and headed to the terminal, This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks came on.
I got to JFK at 1:45pm. Security was empty and I had pre-checked in on the Alaska Airlines app so I already had a digital boarding pass on my phone. I got through security in no time and then had 2 and a half hours to kill before my flight.
I mostly spent it hanging out, drinking orange juice and tea, and talking with my Mom on the phone. Eventually it was time to board and I purposely waited so I’d be one of the last people on the plane. However, because I had waited, they had to check my bag since overhead storage space had filled.
While I was boarding, I realized I recognized the interior of the plane. Having never flown Alaska Airlines before, I didn’t know how this was possible. A quick glance at the branding on the galley confirmed my suspicion, this was a Virgin America A320 being operated by Alaska Airlines. The good news is, I knew this meant that I’d have IFE.
Once in the air I started Incredibles 2. During the movie I ate the bagel I’d gotten and drank the second OJ. After the movie I watched Isle of Dogs which I’d had a craving for. Halfway through the movie I took a bathroom break.
Once it was over, I got started on my last movie, Ocean’s 8. This was a fun re-watch (as all of them were) and by the time it ended we were on final approach to SJC, I’d timed it perfectly.
We landed at 7:40pm PST. The San Jose airport was very basic but modern, nice and clean. There was a great announcement I overheard while on my way to baggage claim, “Paging passenger [Joe Shmoe], this is the final boarding call for your flight. We love you but we will leave you.”
After collecting my bag at baggage claim, I grabbed an Uber to my hotel. My driver was chatty and friendly. I got a free cookie with check-in. I then proceeded to my room where I got things organized before watching a little TV.
I tried to fall asleep but the descent in the airplane had caused bad blockage in my ears on top of my cold which already had me stuffed up. I tossed and turned in pain for a while before calling the front desk. The didn’t have any Nyquil for me but told there was a nearby 7-Eleven.
I ran out, grabbed the stuff and brought it back to the room. I then chugged some and hopped in bed. Eventually the pain subsided and be it the drugs, the fact I was actually tired (it was 2am in my brain) or a combination of the two but before I knew it (I literally don’t remember) I was asleep.
December 10 (Mon)
I got up, got showered/dressed and grabbed some oatmeal from the lobby. A little before 8:30am I went downstairs to meet up with my new colleague/co-worker Andrew Ho.
We went back to the “Kato” facility in Fremont and Andrew gave me a little tour. There I got to see an early prototype of Model S. Cut to a montage of us doing some stuff on the computer, him taking me for a ride to show me how his day is structured, going back to “Kato” and then me taking us on a ride.
A little while later we drove to THE FACTORY. There I finally came face-to-face with the facility I’d seen only on pictures and heard only about in stories. We checked in and got me badge access, then after a few short texts and weird luck, I ran into my friend and former fellow Boston Product Specialist Corey.
Passed NASA while driving the long route
He took Andrew and myself to “Stinson Beach,” The food court in the factory. There we grabbed lunch and were going to take a tour of the factory but the golf kart we were going to take wasn’t fully charged.
On the way out, Corey showed me his desk and I met some of his co-workers. His immediate neighbor gave me a red plastic Model S “toy” as a souvenir which was pretty cool. I then took an obligatory picture in front of the giant T-E-S-L-A before heading back to “Kato”.
There we did another test with Andrew driving. It was a fun drive and we had a really cool conversation. Once back we had a meeting and did a few more things before wrapping up. A very full but solid/fun day.
[Add the bit about how on one of the routes you drove past NASA]
December 11 (Tue)
I got up a little before my alarm, got ready, drove to Kato and got there at ~8:20. Once we were done getting things set up for the day, we headed out to San Francisco for the long drive.
I was behind the wheel for this route which had a lot of tests for us to conduct along the way. On top of that we came across various traffic patterns and weather conditions such as heavy fog.
When we eventually got to the city one of the fist things I had to do was to crossed the Bay Bridge. On the way to Treasure Island from San Francisco we traveled on the lower part of the bridge.
It was so foggy that all I could see on either side of the bridge was a white haze. We eventually crossed over to Treasure Island where, after a short jaunt down the road, we found a place to turn around.
I then had to drive back across the Bay Bridge, this time on the top section. Again, my visibility beyond the traffic was cut short by thick fog.
Driving back across the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island into SF
After making it back into the city we quickly found a Parking Garage to park in downtown. We drove around for a while but eventually found a spot that we thought we might be able to fit into.
Andrew got out and miraculously guided me in. There had to have been mere centimeters between my side view mirror and theirs. We then took the stairs down to street level, made our way through the Westfield and headed out onto Market Street.
We ate at a spot called Bun Mee, a place I’d been to the last time I was in San Francisco (2014). After finishing our sandwiches we headed back to the car. Along the way we crossed through the Westfield again, this time stopping upstairs the check out the upside-down Christmas Tree.
When we were leaving the Wesfield, the city was testing their earthquake alarm system. I drove back to Kato where Andrew filled out the report from the drive. In the meantime I worked to get access to the various websites I would be needing to use in this new role.
Eventually we went out again to try and test a new software update that had been pushed to the car. However, we weren’t able to get it to work. Afterwards we stopped for milk tea which I had been craving. Andrew also grabbed some popcorn chicken before we drove back to Kato. Once back, I parked in the warehouse to supercharge.
Entering San Francisco
Back at our work area, I continued to work on getting access and before I knew it, it was time to go. I drove straight from Kato to The Factory to pick up Corey.
There was terrible traffic leaving The Factory, but once we got through the light and onto surface streets we were home free. I drove us to Asian Pearl where we met up with Conner and Vasili, two of my other former direct co-workers.
We let Vasili order and we had dinner chatted and caught up with each other from 6:30pm to 8:45pm. Afterwards I showed Vasili the Model 3 as he’d never been in one before. Looking back, I’m kind of bummed we didn’t take a group picture before parting ways.
Upside-down Christmas Tree hanging from the ceiling of the Westfield Mall
I then drove back to my hotel from the restaurant. When I got to my room I found tons of ants in my sink (I also found one in the bed). I called the front desk to come up and check it out.
The gave me a new room key and I moved to a room a bit further down the hall. In then went through the process of moving everything to the new room.
It had clearly just had a similar problem as the new room smelled like bug spray and all the cabinet doors we open as well as the windows. After settling in I wrote this, watched some Futurama and then went to bed.
December 12 (Wed)
9:00am short route. i did notes. came back and I filled out report. I got badge access for Kato.
11:30am went out, did long route, Andrew took notes and recorded clips. we passed NASA again.
once done stopped to grab some ramen. went back and supercharged the Model 3. uploaded the clips from the long route.
Once we were done with that we hopped into a Model X and did one more set of tests. This time Andrew drove while I took notes.
When we got back to Kato, Andrew and I recapped the day, he then uploaded clips and
December 13 (Thu)
I skipped breakfast at the hotel because I’m sick of oatmeal and instead grabbed cereal at Kato. Once at my desk, Andrew put me to work setting up the route for the day. We then left at around 9am and ran the Hard Route.
After that we came back to Kato to dump the footage from the hard drive. At around 11:20am we drove to headquarters in Deer Creek or “DC” as it’s known. We got there at around noon, got me badge access and went to the food court. Andrew grabbed a quick bite.
Deer Creek Headquarters
He then took me on a quick tour of the building. We were pretty early so we just hung out for a bit. We then went to the meeting from 1pm to 1:40pm. Afterwards I drove us to Adamson’s French Dip in Sunnyvale. We stopped there to get lunch.
After Adamson’s I drove us to “Page” so we could look at the goings ons at that building. Andrew took me on a quick tour before we went back to Kato. We got back by 3:30pm. Once back I put the Model 3 on the Supercharger.
We waited for it to charge and for the newest build to download to the Model X. Then we went on the route and tested the new build.
When we came back one of Andrew’s coworkers asked if he (we) could give him a ride to the factory. There I got a peak at the end of the production line. We then drove back to Kato and reported on the day plus added clips.
December 14 (Fri)
Accidentally deleted this part
I got up at around 8:30 and at 9, texted my friends Conner and Cory to let them know I was planning on getting ready for the day and was planning to leave for Mission Peak at 10am. I then proceeded to do exactly that.
Luckily, I had already Google Mapped directions to the base because the GPS in the car was taking me some complete wrong way. I turned it off and drove to the base from my memory of the Google Map directions. It was super easy to find at only 1.4 miles away and I got there in no time.
Cut to a montage of me looking for a space in the tiny parking lot and eventually using Autopark to parallel park in a space on a nearby side street. Before exiting the car, I noticed that I had gotten a text from Corey saying that he’d just woken up so him and Conner would not be joining me. I then walked up to the base and, after taking a moment to figure out how to get on the train (you had to open a gate) began my hike.
Mission Peak trail
I was about a minute into the hike when I reached a fork in the trail. As I stared at it and tied to figure out where to go, an older gentleman who was on his way down stopped to help me. He explained that the path to the left was a bit easier and the one to the right was a bit steeper. He recommended the left path as I was new to the hike. He also told me it should take about an hour (it was 10:23).
I thanked him and continued down the left path. I took my time making my way up the path. I stopped a few times along the way to grab a drink of the large ice tea I had in my back pack. The sun was out with little cloud coverage, so I was pretty hot on the way up. Luckily, I had put on sun tan lotion, so I didn’t get burned.
About half way up I took out my phone and played Daft Punk Alive 2007. It’s great motivational/work out music. As I approached the summit, the last five or ten minutes of the hike, the clouds rolled in and I got a bit chilly. Luckily, I had packed my sweatshirt just in case. Eventually I made it to the top and as expected, I felt very gratified.
Me at the top
I had a fellow hiker take a picture of me at the top. I then walked over to a boulder and sat down. I took a drink of my ice tea and ate a granola bar I’d packed, taken from the hotel “breakfast.” I checked the time and it was 11:47, it had taken me a little over an hour to reach the top, not bad.
I then slowly made my way back down. Once at the bottom I called Corey from the car. He told me their plans for the day and we decided to meet up in Oakland, where he and Conner live. I drove to the address he gave me and was luckily able to find an inexpensive parking lot nearby.
I then walked to Itani Ramen and waited for them outside. They got there about three minutes later, and we went in. We ordered, sat and ate our ramen and chatted. Once done, we made our way down the street to SoleSpace, a street-wear store. There, both Conner and Corey tried on sneakers and Corey bought a pair of white low tops that were 50% off.
After that we went to this other shop nearby where Conner bought two small plants for their apartment. They were going to Uber or rent scooters to get to their apartment but since I had the car, I offered to give them a ride.
I drove them to their apartment and parked down the street. They showed me inside and it was pretty nice. After grabbing a selfie with them on their little balcony, I offered to drive them to the grocery store where we parted ways.
Corey, me and Conner on their balcony
I then set the GPS for nearby San Francisco. It should have normally taken me about 20 minutes to get there but due to an accident and generally bad traffic crossing the Bay Bridge it took an hour. After exiting the bridge in SF, I took the Embarcadero to Fishermans Wharf, the Times Square of San Francisco.
I drove around there for a bit but eventually found a spot on the street. Once parked, I basically just walked around aimlessly for an hour. I then circled back and made my way into the city to go to a classic SF tiki bar, The Tonga Room.
The Tonga Room is in the basement of The Fairmont Hotel in the central part of the city. When I got to the area, I spent about half an hour driving up and down a bunch of random blocks looking for a spot to park.
On top of the fact that there was nowhere to park, I was getting my kicks driving on the streetcar tracks (you have to on some streets, there’s literally no other choice) and going up and down SF’s famous hills. I literally thought one hill was a sheer drop.
Eventually I got fed up and decided to drive back to Fremont. However, just as I was making my way out of the city, I found an open spot. I Autoparked and, after double checking that I was not in a tow zone, made my way back to The Fairmont Hotel.
Driving on streetcar tracks
On my way over there I passed a bar called Pagan Idol. I made a mental note to hit it on the way back. After figuring out the line situation and stopping at the restroom I got in line for The Tonga Room. The wait was pretty short about 10 minutes and I went right to the bar to get a tiki cocktail. I never drink hard alcohol but at a tiki bar, how can you not.
I then found a spot at a stand-up table (in the shape of a surfboard) with a group of 30-somethings all dressed in “ugly sweaters.” I got to chatting with a few of them and before I knew it, I was part of their tribe. The “leader” was this nice guy named Justin.
He really took me under his wing. He told me they’d just come from Smuggler’s Cove, the other tiki bar I’d been to in SF when I was there in 2014, and that after Tonga Room they were headed to Pagan Idol. A match made in heaven.
Pagan Idol tiki bar
After chatting and dancing and singing and drinking with my new squad, we made our way to Pagan Idol. Along the way the group got a bit spread out and Justin yelled, “Kyle? Do we still have Kyle?” What a class act.
Eventually we made it to the bar. I really loved the theming there and we all continued to chat and drink and hang out. Everyone was super nice and fun to talk with. It was so cool of them to just bring me in. At around 11 I decided to call it quits, said goodbye to everyone and then drove the 50 minutes back to Fremont where I immediately went to bed.
I slept in until around 10am because I had a late night and because why not. I was up at 8:30 but decided to stay in bed. Once I got showered an dressed I wrote yesterday’s post. Eventually, at around 12:30 or 1 I left the hotel and drove to downtown San Jose.
I knew there would be basically nothing to see or do there but ever since dipping my toe in during my brief visit in 2014, I wanted to at least get waist deep. After getting rerouted shortly after getting off the highway due to a police roadblock, I eventually found free street parking on account of it being Sunday.
San Pedro Square
I then took a stroll around the block and eventually to the SAP Arena where I had started my SJ journey the last time. I retracted my steps and eventually found myself basically back where I started. I ended up at a restaurant called Olla Cocina.
It was a well-designed family Mexican restaurant. I got a variety of tacos and some Mexican Hot Chocolate (they add cinnamon). The food was very good and after a bit more strolling, I made my way back to the car.
I had been debating going to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or California’s Great America, so I could get some coasters under my belt while I was out here, but it was starting to rain, and it only got heavier. I navigated my way to a nearby supercharger, but all the stalls were full when I got there.
Then, just for the hell of it, I decided to navigate to Great America just to check it out. However, when I got to the entrance, there were cones blocking it off. This seemed to be a theme throughout the South Bay. Defeated, I made my way back to the hotel.
The rain was really bumming me out, but I didn’t want to be cooped up watching TV all day. After scrolling through my phone, I was reminded that Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse was out. I looked up nearby cinemas and showtimes. It was ~4pm and there was a 5pm showtime at an AMC that was 16 minutes away.
I hopped back into the car and made my way to the theatre. Cut to a montage of me moving the car into different spots because apparently, I don’t know how to park, then realizing that the cinema was kind of far from where I parked. I decided to grab my ticket and then walked back and re-parked closer to the theatre.
Without going into a full review, I thought the movie was great. The animation was beautiful, the voice acting was on point, the story (though parts were predictable) was fun and action packed and the music was excellent. I knew I was going to like it, but I really, really liked it.
12/17 – 12/18
Most of these days consisted of uneventful training. I was with Kaz on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday I went with Andrew on the long route to San Francisco and back. On the way back to Kato we stopped at A Slice of New York for pizza. Andrew told me that the restaurant was owned buy a former New Yorker who moved out to the West Coast but said he couldn’t find a good slice of pizza out there, so he made his own pizza joint.
The place itself has a bunch of curated graffiti all over the walls. There is a fake (7) train in the restaurant complete with subway maps. The floor is painted to resemble a giant subway map and there is memorabilia on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. This includes NY street signs, the advertisement holders from taxi cabs and a subway sign for Penn Station. One section of the wall had a bunch of old Metro Cards posted on it.
After that we stopped into Krispy Kreme because Andrew wanted to get donuts for the team. While there, I got a glass of coffee milk. They had a bunch of weird flavors to choose from such as Root Beer and Orange, but I landed on Coffee.
After the day was over I drove to the South Fremont BART station, parked and took the BART to San Francisco. I figured since I only had a few days left, I might as well not waste my nights going back to the hotel to eat fast food and watch TV. Plus, taking the BART meant that I wouldn’t have to try and find parking in the city.
Coin Op Game Room
Once I got into SF and figured out where I needed to go, I made my way to a bar called Coin Op. This was a spot that had been recommended to my by one of the “friends” I’d made while I was out at The Tonga Room and Pagan Idol. Coin Op is a two story bar that is themed around gaming and nerd culture. There is some 80s nostalgic memorabilia on the walls and the top of the bar is filled with VHS tapes.
I grabbed a beer and some food and hung out by the bar. Then, a work group came and ordered drinks next to me. When the first beer came out, I asked them what it was because it looked good. They told me and took it back to their boss. I made a mental note and planned to get it for my second drink. However, the woman who had ordered it for her boss was back seconds later ordering a new drink.
“My boss didn’t like the look of this drink so he asked me to get him a new one. Do you want it?” I gave her a confused look. “I promise we didn’t do anything to it, he just doesn’t want it. I understand if it’s kind of weird and it you don’t wanna take it but I figured I’d offer it to you before they pour it out.”
I ended up accepting because this seemed reasonable and why turn down a free drink. Plus, I didn’t see any reason for there to be “foul play” so I took it. The beer was pretty good and it turned out not to be roofied!
After finishing my food and drinks, I wanted to check out the upper level but it was roped off for a private party. I had been told it was supposed to end at 8:30 and by the time I’d finished it was 8:30. However, there was still a rope up. The security guard told me they had extended their time and I asked if I could go up just to get a picture.
Eventually, after waiting for a few minutes, they let me up. The main thing I wanted to see was a neon FLYNN’S sign they had behind the bar as a reference to Tron. I got the picture as well as a few others looking down at the first floor from above. I also got a picture of the green army men they had in a display case. However rather thank being in army poses, they were in yoga poses.
Eventually, I asked the bartender if I could buy some merch (I had seen a poster on the wall advertising their merch). All I wanted was the enamel pin that was in the shape of a Tron arcade game. His buddy went and got it for me and, after I paid for it, took me to the not-so-secret back room that is a Tron Legacy themed VIP speakeasy. The cool thing was that the entrance was through a Tron arcade cabinet.
After getting my fill of all things nerd, I headed back to the BART and took it to South Fremont then drove home. A pretty solid night overall. Clearly I have good luck when it comes to going out to bars alone in SF.
Went to Deer Creek for meeting and to pick up a car. Got Boiling Point for dinner.
December 21 (Fri)
During my last day I was kind of out of it due to my cold. I went on a ride along with the other Kyle to see how he does his routes. Later Kyle, Nick and I went to lunch at a place called Black Bear. After that we picked up a car at Sunnyvale. I basically just napped the entire time. Once back we hung around for a bit. I eventually got a chance to briefly meet my new manager before getting a ride to the airport at ~6pm.
Fly back to Boston
Rube Goldberg Device at SJC
I flew back Friday night on Jet Blue. I spent the first two hours of the flight watching Crazy Rich Asians and the last three hours were spent sleeping. There was intermittent turbulence throughout the flight and they had us close the window shades as we would be flying into daylight.
Thus when we were on final approach I had no idea how far along we were. Before I knew it there was a fair bit of turbulence and then nothing. The woman next to me opened the window and we had already landed. The last bit of “turbulence” I’d felt was the ground.
I got into Boston early Saturday morning ~5am EST. After getting my luggage I took the T to Oak Grove and got picked up by my Mom at ~6:45. I then slept from 7am to 2:20pm.
After that I watched Ready Player One on HBO and later The Parent Trap. I basically watched TV the rest of the night like a loser. I had the opportunity to go to The Mill and meet up with my friends but I didn’t want to take the energy to drive out there.
I wanted to record an episode of AudioMovies with Chris Smith and Greg Clapp but since I didn’t have my MacBook or my mic, I axed that plan. I had also wanted to party with my OG Tesla Squad but I’m pretty sure they chilled without me while I was in California.
December 23 (Sun)
Sunday was pretty chill. I slept in until 11:30am. I then got ready for the day and proceeded to watch football with my Dad. At halftime he drove my Mom and I to Oak Grove and we took the train into South Station.
From there we walked to the Seaport District where we went into the brand new Away luggage store. It literally just opened on Wednesday. I’d been to their store in Manhattan before but I love the design of their stores and my Mom had never seen it before so we went in.
The luggage is kind of cool, but what I really like are the travel guides and magazines they carry. This store however carried these city guides by a company called Lost In. The city guide had beautiful photography and seemed to be well curated. On top of that, they have an app so you can look through their guides on your phone.
Away “luggage tag”
We also went into Filson next door. I believe I had previously written about Filson shortly after visiting their new flagship location in New York. However, I didn’t even know there was one in Boston before visiting the one in NY. To be honest, I think the layout at the Boston location was much better than the one in NY. It’s much more conducive to shopping and there is a lot more room to walk around.
After taking a lap through the store we walked from the Seaport District to The North End. There we went to the Old North Church to meet up with Kyra. On the way back to the T we stopped into CVS so I could get contact solution. We then walked through the Public Market and then took the train back to Melrose.
Once home we ate dinner. Kyra’s friend (and my ex-girlfriend) Katherine came over so they could exchange gift. We watched The Santa Clause and filled out some Mad Libs before she left. Afterwards we watched The Big Bang Theory and eventually ended the evening by watching Nightcrawler. I hadn’t seen it for about three years and Kyra had never seen it so it was good to re-watch.
After calling my Uncle Patrick the night before to make sure it would be alright and calling my Auntie Maria to see if she wanted to go with me, I made plans to go down to the Cape to vist my Cousin’s for Xmas Eve. Because my cousin’s live on the Cape, it’s pretty rare that I get to see them, even before I moved to New York.
The last time I was down there was in July of 2016 so it had been a while. Maria and I drove down at around 8:30 and got there by around 10am. We basically just hung out with my Auntie Sue, Uncle Patrick, cousin Lauren, her husband Nick and their kids.
We hung out and had coffee and snacks. I wanted to see my cousin Jonathan but he was working. His wife Becca was home with their kids but I guess they weren’t feeling well so I didn’t get to see them either. My other cousin Danielle was, funny enough, up in Melrose with my Grandpa. She was taking him out to eat with her husband and their three kids.
I was kind of bummed because I wanted to see Jonathan and Danni but it was not meant to be. We got pizza later in the day and me, Uncle Pat and Nick went out to pick it up as well as do some other errands. We came back, ate some and at around 2:30, Maria and I left to drive back to Melrose.
Santa “flying” on top of a firetruck in Winthrop
Shortly after I got back, my family drove to Winthrop to visit my Auntie Jeanne as is tradition. She wasn’t feeling well so she mostly stayed in bed. However, we hung out with my cousin’s Joe and Jason as well as Joe’s wife Maggie and Jay’s girlfriend Jen. We ate Chinese food and watched as Santa rode by on top of a firetruck.
After eating and hanging out for a bit we went back home where we watched TV and eventually went to bed.
Xmas morning was spent as it always is, opening gifts in the living room while listening to Xmas music and eating Dunkin’ Donuts. It was a pretty light year since we’re getting older and don’t ask for much, if anything, anymore. At 10 we watched the Disney World Parade and after it ended, got dressed so we could go over to my Grandpa’s house.
It’s tradition that we spent Christmas at Grandpa’s. However, each year it seems to get smaller as the cousins all have their own lives. Our time there was pretty basic, mainly just talked and ate dinner. However, I made up a new game where we would go around the table and sing a Christmas song. The twist was that each person only got to say one word. It ended up being pretty fun and was more difficult then it sounds.
Eventually we went back to our house and Kyra had us watch Infinity War. I slept through most of it but what I saw was ok.
Bus back to NY
Wednesday afternoon I took the bus back to New York. Grabbed the 12pm. Listened to a podcast and napped. Used the restroom at Burger King. Caught up with some of these posts and listened to more podcasts the rest of the ride back to NY.
12/27 (Thu) – 12/28 (Fri)
New Job in Brooklyn
Thursday and Friday I worked my new role. I spent Thursday first driving a press car from the showroom in Brooklyn to the showroom in Manhattan. Then I took a ~$75.00 Uber to Paramus, NJ to pick up the engineering car I will be driving.
Once in NJ most of my time was spent finding someone who could help me, locating the car, getting the car charged, getting the car washed and making sure it had good tire pressure and what not. Sounds easy but due to how busy they were it took the later half of my day and, thanks to traffic, I didn’t get the car back until 7pm.
That evening my former co-worker and friend James texted me to say he was in town and asked if I wanted to get drinks. I really didn’t feel like trekking back into the cold, but I hadn’t seen him since April so I met up with him, his finance and his brother at a bar in Bed-Stuy.
Most of what I did on Friday was logistical, organizational crap. Essentially preparing for next week when I will start actually getting some testing done.
I love when I have days where I have a big “To Do” list because it usually means I’m going to have a productive day. I started my morning by doing a food shopping. One of my Xmas presents consisted of some gift cards to Stop and Shop (where I get my groceries). It was great to pick out all the things I wanted and not have to worry about how much the total would come to.
When I got back to my apartment, after putting the perishables away, I went and did a laundry. This too was “free” thanks to a few rolls of quarters I received in my stocking. In the down time between when I had to move my clothes from the washer to the dryer, I organized my apartment and made myself breakfast.
Once the laundry was done, folded and put away, I took the train to the library to grab a book I had on hold; I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson. This was quick in and out; I really enjoy efficiency.
From there I took the train into Manhattan in search of jeans, dress pants and a dress shirt. The first Urban Outfitters I stopped into did not have the jeans I wanted in my size.
Next I went to Uni Qlo, which was mobbed, and looked for dress pants and a dress shirt. I found a few shirts but the fitting room line was so long that I decided to bail. Besides, I did have a backup outfit but I just thought it would be nice to have a plain button up that wasn’t black or didn’t have the Tesla logo on it.
I then continued to another Urban Outfitters where I ended up buying what I would later find out to be the wrong pair of jeans. Right color, wrong style. I then took the train back to my apartment so I could have a quick late lunch and get ready for my evening.
Pirates of Penzance
A few weeks ago a bunch of my co-workers and I decided to go to our co-worker’s production of Pirates of Penzance. When we were buying the tickets, we were trying to get the seats all in a row and next to each other. I somehow got roped into buying my seat and two others.
Now the two other people paid me back right away, but they didn’t pay the extra $4 each for the service fee. It just pissed me off because I was too much of a wuss to speak up and ask for the extra money. This sort of thing happens to me all the time, but I do it to myself, I have no one else to blame. Not important to the story, I just had to get it out.
In any case, at around 6pm I made my way from Brooklyn to Kaye Playhouse on 68th Street at Hunter College in Manhattan. The show was set to start at 7:30 but I got there at 7:08, naturally the first to arrive. I sat and waited and eventually the rest of my friends/co-workers filed in.
The show was pretty funny and all of the actors were great, my co-worker Carter especially. Turns out, he was basically the star of the show! Afterwards we all went out for drinks, and a late dinner, at Bedford Falls, a nearby bar.
Despite wanting to have a friend/co-worker screening of The Grinch (the Jim Carrey version) with my co-workers, due to life and what not, it didn’t end up happen. Instead I had another list of tasks I needed to accomplish.
I woke up late due to being out till 2am the night before. I then took an excursion to my co-worker Jonathan’s apartment to reclaim this coupon for a table for two at the top of The Standard hotel. I never used it so I gave it to him to use with his girlfriend. However, they never used it either so I wanted to see if I could use it before it expired at the end of the year.
After getting it back from him, I called the hotel only to find out that they were fully booked tonight and tomorrow is NYE so forget about it. So, that train ride was a solid waste of time.
I then went back to my apartment where I finally got showered and dressed. I organized my apartment, made lunch and brushed my teeth. I then caught up writing some of this blog post.
A little after 4pm I left to meet up with my buddy Jordan for the Man Date we had planned. I got to the restaurant -Vincent’s in Little Italy- first and was about 10 mins early. When I texted him, he said he was on the train crossing the Manhattan Bridge so I made my way towards the subway to try and meet him.
When I got there I immediately realized that there were several exits he could take and thus doubled back to the restaurant to find him now waiting for me. I kept it simple, spaghetti with meatballs. He had ravioli or something. It was good to catch up.
Visual reenactment of our Man Date
Half way through our meal a small band came in and walked around playing music. They started with some Christmas songs and then went around asking for requests… and tips. I had three songs in mind, The Godfather theme, That’s Amore and Lazy Mary, but I didn’t want to have to tip them in order to hear them play it.
December 31 (Mon)
New Year’s Eve
Thanks to my new job I have New Years Eve day off as well as NYE. On Friday, while I was flossing my teeth, I accidentally broke that permanent retainer I’ve had for about 15 years. Knowing this needed to be resolved, I called my dentist and scheduled an appointment for Monday.
So, I spent the morning at the dentist getting the retainer removed. I then went back home to do a bit of planning before heading back out to do some errands. The first was to stop at a comic book shop. Ever since seeing Into the Spider-Verse I’ve been wanting to look at some alternate Spider-Man comics.
Three comic books later I was on my way to stop number 2, Urban Outfitters. There, I was able to find the jeans I was looking for when I went the other day. So I exchanged the ones I had bought for the new ones. I was gonna hit Target on the way home but decided to skip it.
Once home I watched some YouTube, an episode of Broad City, read one of the comic books and read my library book and before I knew it, it was time to head out. I took the train to Adam’s apartment as the plan was to hang with him, his girlfriend Rachel and Jordan before heading out to karaoke.
However, because Jordan was running late and Adam was held up at work, Rachel and I just chilled and ate snacks and chatted and watched Netflix. Later Jordan joined and eventually Adam did too. We played a bit of cards against humanity before heading to The Alligator Lounge.
We got there at ~11:30 and were able to see the ball drop… sort of. Adam, Rachel and Jordan stayed until around 1 or so. Almost immediately after they left, my name was called. I did Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John. Amazingly, I was able to hit all of the notes I was struggling with while practicing at home.
The performance went well and soon after a few of my other friends showed up, egging me on to stay until 2:30. The night was pretty good, and though I didn’t get to kiss a girl at midnight, it was cool to spend another NYE with Jordan, Adam and Rachel. Two years in a row, I think I smell a tradition brewing.
New Years Day
I spent New Years Day …
January 2 – 4
New Job in Brooklyn
Wednesday through Friday I finished out the first week of new year in my new role. This was my first week doing my actual new job. Luckily I had some metaphorical training wheels in the form of my new colleague (also) Kyle. He rode around with me and taught me how to structure my day.
Whew, what a way to close out the year.