Saturday, February 28, 2009

feel good doing good

The past few days I've really been thinking about just doing good stuff for people. Sometimes even the simplest things can make someone's day. I realized this a few times today and the past couple days. I'm sure I've realized this before, but I didn't think to much about it nor did I have a blog to write it down. I was sitting on the train and saw an older woman approach the door, she barely made it in and obviously would love to sit down. The E train was packed tight - as it usually is. I made sure to get her attention and offered her my seat. Now this is where it gets twisted...a younger woman who had been standing actually jolted towards the seat and cut this lady off and sat down - with no regret. I was so angry but luckily the lady acknowledged me and another person gave her a seat. Now don't get me wrong, I don't feel great because I gave an older lady my seat - your supposed to do that. It's not some big feat, but it definitely made me feel good and she smiled, which you don't see to many smiles around the city. 

Anyway today I went to Barnes and Noble with Reid and Laura, we dispersed throughout the store and agreed to meet up in a little. A little turned into an hour, but nonetheless, the feeling of being in a bookstore and enclosed with endless knowledge is warming, but it also lets you know how much is out there, and how little you know. I am always drawn to the design books and I usually strike up conversations with people that are looking at the same stuff. Today I attempted to ask someone if they were learning After Effects - well, he didn't answer me. So I asked again...no answer. I tried one more time and still no answer, finally the guy looked at me and signed to me that he was deaf. I could tell he probably gets that a lot and probably thought I would just turn around and walk away. I sort of got nervous, because I took two years of sign language and don't know much at all but I figured if I turn around, he will have missed out on meeting someone and talking to a stranger. So I quickly cycled through all the sayings I learned and tried to remember just anything I could sign to him, I got his attention and signed to him if he was trying to learn after effects. The smile that came upon his face was amazing. He seemed so happy and quickly put the book down and signed very slow for me - he said he was trying to learn but it was so much information.We had about a 5 minute convo and he thanked me for talking to him and I told him it was good talking and have a good day. I felt so good walking away but wished I would've known more so we could of continued to chat. 

So my point is, you don't need to know sign language to do good, but if we try and do good, it's usually reciprocated, and that good is contagious. So do more good, and feel good doing it. The more we try to be nice, the more people will be nice. It's the little things that count, as cliche as it sounds, it really is. Simple things like holding the door, picking up something someone dropped, giving your seat up, striking a conversation, smiling....the good words are endless. 

So the next time your out, feel good doing good. 

Just try it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

St. Patrick's Cathedral


St. Patrick's Cathedral, originally uploaded by mjbrooks10.

I got a chance to attend mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral this weekend. The architecture inside is absolutely amazing. The service was fairly short and they allow visitors/tourists throughout the mass. The cathedral is amazing and if you've never been there, you should go.

The cathedral ranked 11th out of 150 buildings in the recent list of America's Favorite Architecture. Hopefully I'll have another chance to go back.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Good Enough To Eat



My Grandpa sent me an email this morning telling me about a place to eat that he saw on the food network. So I went out, freezing rain all up in my face, but that didn't stop me. I headed over to amsterdam ave, and found this little place. People were lined up outside the door waiting to be seated. The atmosphere was very homy, and the service was great. I ordered an omelette and customized it just because I always do, annoying as it is, I always want something substituted out or something added. Anyway, I got an omelette with granny smith apples, home cooked sausage, mushrooms, and goat cheese. Sounds disgusting, but let me tell you, it was incredible. The coffee was really good, and they served hot biscuits with a strawberry spread. The atmosphere and experience reminded me of pancake pantry a little bit. That link is to the post I wrote about pancake pantry before. It wasn't as good nor was the experience but it certainly lived up to the hype of being great home-cooked food. So thanks Gooze. 

Tomorrow is Monday - blahh.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nico Vega



Nico Vega, originally uploaded by mjbrooks10.

I'm up way to late, but I had to finish this. Ahhhhh my eyes are closing. Goodnight. This week flewwww by. This is the girl that was the lead singer in Nico Vega, they opened for The Von Bondies on Monday night. Her voice could do all sorts of things. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

to the guy in the green jacket

February 16th, 2009 - 60th St. Park Avenue - New York City - 4:00 P.M.

That was about the time this happened. See what happened was I was standing in the middle of the street at a crosswalk, Virginia and I were trying to find Dylans Candy Bar which was conveniently not located where we thought it was. As I stood there I told her hold on let me check it out on my phone, so I pull out my iphone and pull up google maps and I'm trying to find this place on my phone. There was a group of people standing around me and suddenly I felt this weird feeling, maybe I'm just saying that now but atleast I thought I felt something. I turned to grab Virginia's arm with my iphone in my other hand and before I could turn back around I had been hit with a lot of force on my right arm, and in seconds I realized my phone had just been stolen. The thief took off running down the street...naturally, I took off running right behind him. Now that I think about it, probably not the best idea, but it was all instinct, I didn't think...I just ran. The entire time I was chasing this guy, I kept screaming all sorts of obscenities, and kept telling him he messed with the wrong person. While he was running he kept looking back noticing that I was getting closer and closer. I told myself I didn't care if this guy ran for 25 miles I wasn't gonna stop running until I caught him. We jumped over bushes, ran past cars, and dodged in and out of people. People on the sidewalk were screaming call the police, and old woman were screaming. Guys were jogging to try and watch the chase. I felt like I was on a movie.

Sure enough he tired out earlier than I did. I caught up to the guy in the green jacket, I reached out and grabbed the back of his jacket, and he stopped...we both froze, we were now staring at each other on the corner of the street. We were now a good ways away from the start of all this. We were over some streets and up an avenue but regardless, here we were...The guy in the green jacket and me, a few seconds went by and he decided he was going to fight me. He reared back with all his might and looked like he was about to throw a Mike Tyson punch on me, and for some reason I wasn't scared, I wasn't nervous, I was very calm, but furious at the same time and was gonna do anything I could to get my phone back. As he threw his punch, I ducked it(thank you matt for all those boxing lessons) I lunged at him and hit him in his chest and as he was falling to the ground he took my iphone and threw it down on the cement. He got up and looked back and took off running back down the street. I grabbed my phone, and held it high up in the air and I said some other obscenities. People flocked over to see what had happened and called the police. I was on the phone with the police and I was being treated like I was the thief or something so I hung up on them because I didn't feel like dealing with all their crap and I'm sure that is the least of the worries in the huge city of New York. 

The point is, I'm not sure why I chased him and now that I think about it, my phone is replaceable but my life isn't. But at the time I had no choice, I love my iphone, and ya know I just had to get it back. So finally all that running I did all my life and all those boxing lessons Matt gave me while I was doing my rehab - all that came into play on this very day, which was my 22nd birthday. It was the biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had and I'm glad that everything is ok now. But I guess that was my freshman initiation into the city. I think I did well. 

On top of all that, my phone was cracked but still fully functional. I spent a good thirty minutes on the phone with Apple and finally got to talk to someone high up and because of my story and the fact that I risked my life to get my iphone back they deemed my experience one of a kind and waved all my fees and I now have an appointment on Friday to a brand new phone for free.

So thank you to the guy in the green jacket, because of your stupidity I am now receiving a brand new sleek shiny iphone. Oh and next time try and not steal from someone who can run. Or better yet, don't steal...But then again if you hadn't tried to steal my phone I wouldn't be writing this post. Shame on you. 

I'm off to bed, I'll be sure to hold on to my phone a little tighter.

And thank you Virginia for handling the whole situation like a tough little girl :)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three Day Weekend

So this weekend felt like an entire week, I got to do sooo much. My girlfriend came to visit me on Friday and she arrived in the evening. We went to a wine and chocolate bar called Ayza, it was so good and the atmosphere was really cool. We ended up getting 6 different chocolate truffles after our meal along with 3 sweet wines. I've never been to a place like that which was really cool. 

Then the next day we went to Dishes but unfortunately they were closed. So we ate at a cafe place and ended up looking at a few places over there. Then for dinner we ate at Alpha - which is my favorite sushi place where they all treat me like I am a celeberity. The people are so nice there and are always trying to give me free appetizers and free desserts. After that we took it easy and then woke up on Sunday and headed to Soho. That area is sooo nice, we went to a few places in Tribeca and just walked around and soaked up the city. We went to a few high-end places such as BO where one tv costs 20k. A little off my price range but hey, maybe in a few weeks...? I love that area over there, it reminds me of downtown fredericksburg but wayyy nicer. We walked in all kinds of one of a kind places that you would never find anywhere else. We ate a late lunch at a really cool french cafe that had open face sandwiches. Virginia got a pbj w/ mangos and nuts sprinkled on top. I got a avocado shrimp open face sandwich with fresh mozzarella and cilantro on top. After lunch we hung out for a little and then headed back to my place. We got ready and went to the Minskoff Theatre to catch Lion King. I've never been to a broadway show - and my honest opinion is that show was nothing less than amazing. It blew my mind the complexity of each scene and the timing of movements and the ingenious costumes. The whole experience was one of a kind and I'm glad I got to go, I would definitely recommend that show to anyone. 

The next day was my birthday, I turned 22. I can honestly say I don't feel any different than I did when I turned 18, but who cares. Virginia and I walked around a little bit and went over to Park Avenue, now I had quite the experience over here but I want to dedicate this 'experience' to a post by itself, so stay tuned for that. Later that night we went to Butter - now I heard how amazing this place was but I had no idea that the food would really be that amazing. I ordered a rack of lamb with some yogurt type of sauce and Virginia got filet mignon with potatoes. Both of our meals were so far above any meal i've ever had it doesn't even make sense. Well atleast it tasted that good at the time. We took a cab over to the mercury lounge and caught The Von Bondies, Neco Vega opened for them and the mercury lounge is a little smaller venue but the sound was incredible. I had such a good weekend and birthday. Virginia left this morning , and back to work I went to resume my daily schedule. 

I had such an awesome time the past three days.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brett Favre



So I opened up si.com today at work and the highlight was "Brett Favre retires." It certainly didn't shock me up as much as it last year but it still saddens me to see him go. He's all I knew growing up as a kid, he's the only player I wanted to always see, he's the only athlete that I will never forget, he was my idol. The way he played, so effortlessly, so carelessly, so gracefully, (insert a good word that ends in ly) - anyway...He was the man, my dad and I use to just chuckle at the things he did. We would go out into the back yard and my dad would say "Favre drops back, he throws it deeppp." I would dive to catch the ball and say "He caught it, TOUCHDOWN." My dad and I would celebrate and do a couple more plays and then hustle back inside to catch the rest of the game. Some of my most fondest memories as a kid is watching the packers with my dad either at our old house on halloween night or our new house when Favre's dad died and many more games.

When I heard he was retiring last season, a part of me thought he might come back, this time..it's over. There is no way he'll try and come back and I hate to see him go out on a year that didn't prove his abilities but I will always remember his great moments and him leading the packers to the super-bowl and being the reason while they were so successful. I'll remember him laughing, and running around the field jumping on his players and celebrating, playing the game like a kid. Enjoying it. That's what I'll remember. 

He'll go down as the greatest QB to ever play the game, or atleast in my mind he will and I'm sure many others.

So heres to you Brett, thanks for all the great laughs, and enjoyable moments with my dad watching you. Thanks for exemplifying the way you 'should' play the game. 

Cheers. 

Get better Grans.

So today it was around 50 degrees and it's February in New York...Tomorrow the forecast says 65 degrees...come on meow. It's nice but I like the cold, and it didn't feel like I got to much of that. Anywho, we tried a new place for lunch today called Cafe Cafe, it was pretty good. I did get a carrot juice that was quite splendid. 

On another note, my grandma got surgery today and it was a little more complicated than originally planned. But my grandpa kept me updated throughout the day with her progress and she is fighting hard, shes tough so I know she'll get through it. I wish I could be there to support her but I'm many hours away and can only wait for my grandpas updates via text. 

I watched the Grammy's the other night and saw coldplay perform with jay-z it was pretty awesome but I found the new music video that was sick. Check it out.

 

Tomorrow is Thursday, just like that...the weekend is almost here. That means virginia is commingggg....

Goodnight.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Imagine Mural

Today Laura, Colin, and I went strolling through Central Park. It was sooo nice out, but I thought when the weather man said it was going to be 50 today, that it really was going to be 50. I learned the hard way, it still was really cold but I umm - well I didn't bring a jacket. So it wasn't as enjoyable as it could of been, but nonetheless it was such a nice day.

When we first entered into the Park, there was a guy that was in the middle of a group of people. I'm not sure if this is correct but he puts together a mural every single day with certain stuff from the park or wherever he can find things. It's called the "Imagine Mural" - we got there a little late and I heard him say he used blueberries, banana peels, and all kinds of stuff to make this mural. But I got a good picture of the mural today. The picture I took can be viewed on my flickr page. (I also posted some other pictures I took today)

There were thousands of people running/walking/biking/skating - anything you can think of all throughout the park. The ducks were swimming and attacking each other for food from the tourists. There was a cover band playing the beatles, there were families taking pictures, father and son playing catch, and dogs everywhere. It's amazing to me that so many people all come to this park and wether your running or playing music or just sitting on a bench - the feeling of being in this park is surreal. I saw a guy sitting on a bench with his dog by his side, legs crossed, sunglasses on, a smile from ear to ear, and he was just people-watching, while his dog was right by his side. He was just taking everything in and looked like he was enjoying the day just as much as I was but for a complete different reason.  

Anyway, I went to The Jouney church tonight and it was different, but I enjoyed it. 5 more days and Virginia is visiting. I can't wait until she comes. It's gonna be such a good weekend, my birthday is Monday and I get the day off. Thank you Presidents Day.

Goodnight.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vampire Weekend

I've been working a lot lately so I apologize for the lack of posts to all those hundreds of thousands of people that read my blog, well..or just the few people that do. But when I was working today I had pandora on and I came across a Vampire Weekend song that I hadn't heard yet. So here it is.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a chance to do something cool :)

Goodnight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gladys

So I was surfing the book of faces today and ran across this video that I couldn't stop laughing at. Check it out.

Ol' Gladys should have her own TV show, I would watch for sure. 

That's all for tonight. Enjoy.

Oh and p.s. we dominated Duke tonight 74-47. That's not a typo.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

yeahhhh

So today I saw a trailer for the very popular book by Dan Brown...Angels & Demons, which is actually the prequel to The Da Vinci Code. Check out the trailer here...

I can't wait to see it, I loved that book. On to some less exciting things, I got home today and was just hanging out and you know next thing I know my toilet is overflowing...AGAIN..for the second time. So I call the EHS people and nobody shows up, so I took all my stress and anger, put on some running clothes and took off running around the city...I got back, and yep, there is still toilet water all over my bathroom. So this time I storm downstairs and let them have a piece of my mind. So they cleaned it. 

Kobe dropped 61 on the Knicks tonight @MSG - I wish I could of been there but I read all about it and I still can't believe the Cardinals lost last night. But who cares.

Monday is over - and actually it wasn't that bad of a Monday.

Goodnight.



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Journal Style

Thursday -
I went to Kings of Leon, which was amazing *refer to my post about kings a few months ago*...but this time it was a little different, I wasn't as close - I couldn't feel the speakers vibrating my chest, or I wasn't dancing with my girlfriend and all my friends right next to the stage...BUT..let me tell you, that feeling of laughing and realizing how amazing they sound and still dancing next to friends, welp...I still had that, that's for sure. They were so amazing again and I hope I get to see them again. Something about their words, the sound of their music blows my mind, and the way they talk to the crowd is something else. But I've explained all of this before and just go see them if you can.
Friday -
Work was fun today, I just got to shadow a few people, work on some projects, and learned some more flash. I found out that the interactive people are coming in so hopefully I get to work with them and learn how all that stuff works. I would love to get into Video editing, and CGI stuff - I think that stuff is so awesome. But when I got off of work I came home and hung out with some friends at the building and then went out around the town. I've had some pretty odd cab rides, and I'm not even sure why I take a cab - I guess because it's so cold sometimes and the trains haven't exactly worked like they're supposed to lately but anyway..I've met four different cab drivers now, all different in many ways, but all have the same exact goal...the SAME exact one that they may never achieve but I tried to give every single one of them some inspiration and I hope that they take that and I made a difference some how. I spoke to one of them about graphic design and what I'm doing here in NYC and he told me how bad he wanted to do that stuff - so I gave him some websites to get started and some tutorials to follow...He took me about 5 avenues down and talked and talked...He told me I was "good guy" and "good person" and said that he wanted to keep in touch with me. So I gave him my email and told him to never stop following his dream and to never give up, because if I would of given up just one little bit in my life there is no way I would be here today and not a chance I would be in a cab in NYC had I not kept working hard. Then the next night, I met another guy he wanted to do programming and said his main goal was to become a programmer and stop driving taxis but he just does it because he was to lazy and didn't want to do anything else. So I gave him some advice to just keep trying and never stop and even though it's tough you gotta work hard to be successful. The next night I met a 63 old cab driver who was very bitter. He didn't want to talk, he didn't want to be friendly, he just wanted to beep at everyone who drove by. But I kept asking questions, and kept talking, finally he stopped at a red light and started laughing, and then kinda unleashed a novel to me. About how he wishes he could go back to where he was born and misses it every single night and thinks about moving out but doesn't know what he would do for money. I told him the same story I told everyone else, just keep fighting, and keep working hard...Finally last night, the cab driver said the same thing, he wanted to do "something else" but just didn't know if he could. 
So I thought to myself in my philosophical way of thinking, I really think you can do whatever you want. You really can, obviously with a few exceptions, but for the most part if you set your goals high, and keep working hard, sooner or later you can achieve it...and the feeling of success and achievement is self-gratifying and such a feel-good moment. 
*friday was a little lengthy - skim if you please :) *
Saturday - 
I went to my favorite place to eat but they were closed so I stopped at a little place next to it and got a Mango Crusted Salmon Burger - pretty amazing...Then I headed to The Museum of Arts and Design - It was $15 dollars and soo worth it, some of the ideas I saw there were breathtaking. I sat there sometimes and said under my breath "Oh myyyy goodness." It's absurd how amazingly creative some people are. I snapped a few pictures here and there even though I knew I wasn't supposed to be, but I pretended like I was texting but I was snapping away (thanks iphone) Then I came home and went to the 17th floor and read about 100 pages of my book and then Pedro, Reid, Laura, Galina and I all went to dinner at Jon's Pizzeria. It's zagat rated..which means it's really good. IT didn't feel like a pizzeria but the pizza was so good. I went out for a little to Phebe's Tavern and Grill and the headed home.
Sunday -
Today I went to Forefront church at 11:30 and it was like New Spring but nowhere near the size and it wasn't as intense. I truly enjoyed this place, it was a little more homey and I felt like I could relate a little more with the people here and the pastor. Don't get me wrong New Spring is awesome, but sometimes I feel a little less appreciated there and I feel like things are so intense and it's hard to grasp sometimes. It was a good little place and I'm sure I'll be back. I ate at a place called Punch, which was known for it's Brunch...how nice :) I ordered a avacado omelette, which came with a bloody mary, coffee, and muffins for $15.95, not bad. Then I went to borders and read and EHS had a superbowl party, free pizza and drinks. It was a good game, but I wanted the cardinals to win.

Wow. long weekend , but I did a lot and I figured I need to write about it :) Excuse my journal style entry tonight but it was a must to recap everything. 

Monday is tomorrow, ahhhhh. Goodnight.