Socialed out

So that plan of mine to post every day during November? Somehow that stopped.

Class is almost done. I had a big presentation due this week in one class, and next week I have to turn in a take-home final, and the final version of master’s project proposal, and then I’ll be done with my first semester as a Columbia student. Yay! Then I have one month of “vacation” where all I have to do is work full-time, so I’m looking for fun things to do with my “time off”.

The “vacation” unexpectedly started early. On Monday afternoon, my friend Dylan called me up and said that he was in town from Milwaukee and we should hang out. I said I’d love to see him, but I had this big presentation due, and I was meeting my study group Monday evening, and had class Tuesday evening, and the presentation on Wednesday evening, and he left Thursday morning, so I didn’t see how it was possible. We agreed to hang out next time.

Also on Monday afternoon, my friends N and C from the San Francisco Symphony Chorus called me and said “Hey, we’re in Central Park! Want to hang out in the next couple days?”, and I had to give them the same spiel. It turned out N was leaving on Wednesday morning, but C was staying through Saturday morning, so I told him I would call him Thursday to arrange time to hang out.

Wednesday evening, the presentation went really well. My group had fun with it – we decided to go for the sales Sales SALES approach of Glengarry Glen Ross, and I think it turned out nicely. During class, I got a voice mail from Dylan. When I checked it later, his message was that now that the presentation was over, I should come out and have a drink with him. After stressing about the presentation for several days, that sounded good. So I headed out and met up with him and some other folks at about 11pm at the Pegu Club (warning: Flash page). Really really nice place – expensive but the cocktails were amazing. We ended up hanging out until 2am when I managed to summon the willpower to head home so that I had some chance of making it to work by 9am the next morning.

While at the Pegu Club, though, Beth mentioned that she had an extra ticket to a show Thursday night at the Bowery Ballroom. The headline act was Rhett Miller and the Believers, of whom Beth is a big fan. So after work on Thursday, I headed out again. Dinner in the East Village, and then to the Bowery Ballroom. Great space – chill bar downstairs, nice stage upstairs. It totally felt like the kind of space where real rock’n’roll happens, especially as we got there early enough to be 5 feet from the stage.

We ended up catching the opening band, Tom Clark and the High Action Boys, who were excellent. Way fun. Songs like “Caught Blondehanded”, “New Toothbrush on the Sink”, and “First Girl After You” (all high energy breakup songs, of course) were really entertaining, and I bought the CD for them (RealAudio available on their website). They also had a couple songs which I’m looking forward to on the next CD with lyrics of “You’re not hot, you’re just good looking, and there are a lot of good looking girls in this town”, and in another song, “If that’s country, I want to know what country it’s from”. I ended up listening to the CD all day today at work, and it’s nice light music to work to.

I wasn’t as impressed with Rhett Miller, although that may be because I’m a straight guy. The women in the audience were certainly swooning :). I ended up leaving a bit before midnight, even though the concert wasn’t over, because I was just dead on my feet. Plus, my socializing for the week was not yet done.

I can’t remember where I saw the link any more, but I heard about likemind a few weeks ago, and was really psyched about it. “an opportunity to enjoy coffee and conversation.” Since I love conversation, I was in. I’d been planning to go for weeks. Except it was at 8am on Friday, after having been out late the previous two nights. But I set my alarm and made it down there.

It was excellent. I met some interesting people, including Noah, one of the two guys who started it. Apparently, he and Piers had never met in person, but knew each other through their blogs, so they decided to get coffee a few months ago. Being bloggers, they posted about their plan, and about 15 people showed up. Today’s likemind was likemind #5, and about 30 people or so were there. I observed that it was enjoyable to just sit and talk to people without having an agenda. Noah pointed out that having it in the morning helped with that – after work, people are coming out of work mode and thinking about networking and stuff. At 8am, though, people are still waking up, having their first coffee of the day, and it’s much more relaxed.

So that was a good time, and I’ll definitely be going to more in the future. But I had to bail at around 9:30 to go to work. Then at work, I got back in touch with my friend C (from the beginning of the post) who relayed the plan to go hit the free Friday from 4-8pm at MOMA. So I bailed from work early to go meet up with him and catch up. We wandered through the museum for a few hours along with his friends, and then grabbed a quick dinner before he went to a recital at Carnegie Hall.

My friend Jocelyn had text messaged me earlier in the day about catching a comedy show Friday evening, but I was just too exhausted. I came home instead, wrote this post to talk about my insane week, and will now turn my brain off and watch some TV. I had also discussed doing Guggenheim First Friday this evening with another friend, but that was out too. Too many things to do in New York!

P.S. Other stuff since my last post. Friday the 17th, the day after my last post, was a housewarming party/game night, where we played Settlers and then Apples to Apples until late. Saturday the 18th I had a total body shutdown, where I woke up at 9am, took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon, and was asleep again by 9pm. Sunday the 19th involved running many errands prepping for Thanksgiving weekend, watching the Bears shut out the Jets, then doing some revisions on my master’s project proposals. Monday the 20th was more revisions, Tuesday the 21st was class.

I took the Greyhound up to Boston on the afternoon of Wednesday the 22nd; even with them running busses basically continuously, I was in line for over an hour at Port Authority, and then it took an hour for the bus to get off of Manhattan. But I eventually arrived in Hopkinton, MA, and spent a wonderfully relaxing three days doing nothing, intentionally bringing no computer and no homework. I read a couple silly mysteries, went on a walk, and reaffirmed that Brezhnev’s has the best scallion pancakes ever. And then I was back on Sunday to work on the presentation.

P.P.S. Maybe more brain-ful posts after I’m done with classes.

Posted in nyc

2 thoughts on “Socialed out

  1. I know what you mean about overload. I spent last night at home doing nothing. Vaguely cleaning up. Watching panel shows on the TV. It was delightful.

    Also 1) Why do some of your friends get names and others only initials? Poor N and C, banished to vague signifiers. Or, alternately, poor Jocelyn and Beth, their friendship with you exposed for all to see.

    Also 2) Chinatown bus beats Greyhound hands down. Hell, even Peter Pan beats Greyhound…. o wait, they’re the same now, aren’t they? Still, even with the added inconvenience of getting to Chinatown as opposed to walking up a few blocks, I think you’ll still probably save an hour. They go like a rocket, it’s stunning.

    Also 3) Perhaps one of the problems is that if you have enough to blog about daily then you don’t have time to blog. Of course, it depends on what you blog. But given your blog runs more towards Deep Thoughts I Have Had and less towards Things, Like, What I Ate Today for Breakfast, then it takes time. Quanitity != Quality. (Although, on the deep thoughts line, I’m currently actively struggling with figuring out what does = quality. But that’s another post.)

  2. 1) My rule of thumb is that I can use the names of people who have a web presence, because they have demonstrated they don’t mind being on the web. If not, I’m less sure, so I default to signifiers. And poor Jocelyn and Beth have already claimed me as friends on LiveJournal so they’re already busted.
    2) Chinatown Bus makes me nervous with Batman’s stories of regularly seeing them on the side of the road. Plus, going like a rocket doesn’t actually make me feel safe – I’m fine with going a bit slower if it makes me less likely to die in a fiery crash. Plus the inconvenience.
    3) Agreed that quantity != quality, but at the same time, I’d like to be using my brain more. It bothers me when I’m not, and blog posts are a proxy for that.

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