Monthly Archives: December 2006

Adventurous 2006 (Sort of)

It’s the last day of the year and before I delve into my wishful thoughts for 2007, I thought it’d be nice to remember some of the more interesting moments of 2006. Let’s see if I can embrace the idea of simplicity while I attempt this review.

Turning Point
In my small world of waking up and being me each day, a big change happened in my life when I walked into my Managing Director’s office in mid-July and told him that I would be quitting my job as an analyst at Lehman Brothers. A few days later, I began working full-time from my apartment in Queens, hoping to build a sustainable business that would allow me to do what I really wanted. Five months later, there are still many things to learn and to accomplish, but I have zero regrets about the decision. And while I cherish the moments I experienced in banking, I’ll take my chances (at least for now) with life outside the corporate world.

Cultural Fun
Although I have yet to attend a classical music concert or an opera where I don’t find myself falling asleep, I try to keep myself open to new cultural experiences. And while I am far from critically understanding most of these experiences, I appreciate the new things I pick up along the way. An inventory of 2006 cultural fun:

Musicals & Plays
Spamalot, Avenue Q, Sink or Swim, Spring Awakening

Talks & Lectures
Milos Foreman interview (New Yorker Festival), Malcolm Gladwell talk (New Yorker Festival), The Art of the Book with Chip Kidd, Dave Eggers, Milton Glaser (92Y), Of Chaos and Fiction (Brooklyn Book Festival)

Concerts & Events
St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Massive Attack at Hollywood Bowl, Cut’n’Paste in Brooklyn, Rangers hockey game at MSG

The Getty Musuem (Los Angeles), The International Center of Photography (New York), Deoksu Palace & Royal Musuem (Seoul)

I never traveled much while growing up. Even in college, I preferred to spend my vacations in New York. In the past two years, however, I’ve come to learn the importance of travel and how seeing new places and actually being somewhere else can spark ideas and shift perspectives. A list of cities I visited in 2006 (and stayed over at least one night):

Seoul, Korea
Los Angeles, California
Atlanta, Georgia
Burlington, Vermont
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Princeton, New Jersey
Boston, Massachusetts
Kennebunkport, Maine

Not too impressive of a list, but a promising start for a great deal of travel in 2007!

Repeat Stops
Everyone has a favorite “spot” in the city, whether it’s for eating, drinking, or anything else. Where did I find myself going to again and again in 2006?

Pegu Club, Otto Enoteca, Bar Jamon, 71 Irving Place

Kunjip, Schiller’s, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Rairaiken

Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Plaza, McNally Robinson, Housing Works Used Book Cafe

Well, the sun’s beginning to set for the last time in 2006. A great year to remember!

Can You Spot the Typo?

Some of you may receive something in the mail from me in the next few days — if not before Christmas, then definitely within the next week. I tried my best to double-check, but I know that right as the “thing” went to print, I spotted an egregious typo. There might be other typos I’m not aware of, but if you can spot the typo I’m thinking about and email me, I’ll send you a prize* by mail. Since I’m feeling mighty generous this holiday season, I’ll send a prize to the first three people who spot the typo. Seriously, the typo drove me nuts for an entire day.

I’m in Atlanta (Lawrenceville to be exact) for the week visiting my family. Since downtown is about 20 minutes away, I’m hanging at my parent’s house spending most of my time at the dining table. Atlanta Botanical Garden was very nice, but out here in Lawrenceville, it feels like such a suburban desert. More on the A-T-L experience later.

* sorry, I haven’t made up my mind entirely about it, so the prize will have to be a secret for now

A Small Scar

note: a 30-min exercise!

One summer when I was in college, I went fishing on the Delaware River with a couple of my friends and their girlfriends. I was the only one without a girlfriend at the time, so I played the role of “third wheel,” although for this trip, it was technically the “fifth wheel.”

We set up along the river bank. We opened two blue folding chairs for the girls and carried out the cooler from the car. We took out the large styrofoam bowls that contained dirt and fresh nightcrawlers. The three of us squatted down and stuck hooks through these fat worms. My friend Mike teased his girlfriend Liz by dangling the hooked nightcrawler in front of her. She screamed and laughed as she waved her arms frantically.

We passed around bottles of Amstel Light and took our spots on the bank. I tried casting a few times until I finally got it out to a favorable spot. I took sips from the bottle and waited patiently. It was cloudy and humid, and I regretted not having sprayed myself with OFF! before I came out. I looked over at my friends. Scott let Jessica hold on to the rod as he explained what she had to do if a fish bit. Mike stood patiently and waited like me. Liz was still in her chair, reading InStyle magazine. I looked across the river at the thick green forest and wondered how long it would take me to swim to the other side.

“Any luck?” I heard from behind me. Liz had walked over, a bottle of Amstel in her hand.

“Nope, nothing. Maybe it’s not the right time of day,” I said.

“Hmm. Can I try casting with your rod?” she asked.

“Okay, sure. Do you know how?” I asked.

“I think so,” she replied. I reeled in my line. The nightcrawler was now soggy but still intact. I handed the rod to Liz. She bent her arm to raise the rod and swung forward. The line did not release and the violent jerk forced the nightcralwer to fall off the hook.

“Damn it!” she said.

“You forgot to unlatch the spool cover,” I told her. I put on a new nightcrawler and showed her what to do. She nodded. She took the rod again and tried a second time. She swung forward as hard as she could but nothing went forward. She jerked once or twice before realizing the hook had stuck to something. She turned around and looked at me, frozen with horror.

“Oh my God! Dave! Are you okay?” she yelled. I winced in pain and reached behind my head to locate the hook. I tore off the nightcrawler that was wedged against my head. I then pulled the hook out. My hand was covered in blood. By this time, Mike, Scott, and Jessica had come running.

After several pieces of paper towel and a painful application of anti-bacterial cream, I put a bandage over the wound. It wasn’t big, but the cut felt deep. Liz kept apologizing and wore a worried expression for the rest of the day. I told her I was okay and eventually continued to fish. She didn’t come near me after that.

We left in the early evening. I had caught a couple of catfish, none too big, while Mike and Scott each caught one small catfish. We decided to let them go and packed up our things. As we loaded everything into the car, Liz came up to me.

“You’re not mad at me, are you?” she asked.

“Of course not. It was just an accident,” I said.

She leaned closer to me and lowered her voice.

“What if it wasn’t?”