Fresh off a bit of snowfall, a lot of work and some really cold winter weather, I've been going through the motions a bit; between getting everything addressed workwise, gearing up for the party in March, planning a mini Superbowl gathering of friends and attending a birthday dinner last night, it's been a crazy week.
Most of the workload is busy-season stuff; my busy season starts on January 1 and ends on December 31, but for the other half of the office, now is the time to gear up for the push that ends in March. So between now and March, it's full-speed, balls-to-the-wall, now-or-never (add your own cliche here) excitement. Most of it doesn't directly affect me, but since there's a greater load to shoulder and the tension is amped up, and since the flow of work and monies increases ten- or twenty-fold, it obviously has its affect on me and what I need to accomplish on a daily basis. For the most part, essentially, we're getting a lot of paper in, getting a lot of paper out, and getting everything organized -- in fact, organized chaos is pretty much how I'd describe it. My dad and my sister are humming along at three-quarters speed; the big push will come in the next couple or so weeks. Meantime, I'm just trying not to get in the way while I do what I need to do in and out of the office.
Since we filed a bunch of applications, they've all been through the preliminary processing phase and now they're all hitting the desks of inspectors, which means I need to be on call for on-site building inspections all over -- mostly in Manhattan, but some in Queens, Brooklyn and maybe one or two in the Bronx. The inspectors all know me -- in a good way -- so they give me first crack at their first appointments, meaning I can work with them to schedule inspections at times that don't completely fuck up my day. So instead of having an 11AM visit downtown, I can schedule it first thing or at the absolute end of the day, thus not screwing up the rest of it -- it might not seem like much, but Monday I've got a first-thing inspection in the 30's on Park then a meeting with a contractor thereafter, and every time my Monday starts with me running around first thing, it pretty much dictates what kind of week I'm in for -- so I guess it will be yet another busy, run-around, pressure-packed week. It could be worse -- there could be little or no work to be had -- but every so often a quiet period is nice to experience. If and when I see one I'll let you know...
Meanwhile, last night a group of about a dozen of us celebrated LisaB's birthday at Zoe. It was nice for many of the obvious reasons: Zoe is a great restaurant (which I think I originally suggested to Lisa as a good spot in Soho for tasty eats), it was restaurant week so it wasn't mongo-pricey, and despite the weather I had a half-block walk from the R train to the restaurant. Oh yeah...the company wasn't bad either :) Actually, of the attendees, I knew half of the people and met the other half -- including Julie, proprietor of Rabid Rabbits & Psycho Squirrels, so between hanging with people I knew and meeting the ones I didn't, it was great -- and I'd traded e-mails with Julie for awhile so meeting her in person was great. Overall, it was a very nice night. We started at 7:30 and went 'til about 10:30ish. Most of us bitched (or gloated about having Tivo/DVR) in connection with missing the Top Chef finale on Bravo -- no, I won't reveal who won -- but despite missing the show, it was nice that just about all of us were pushing for Ilan, the New York line cook, instead of Marcel, who Anthony Bourdain described as an amalgam of Julia Child and Charles Manson. Basically, despite the fact I missed the finale, the celebration was lots of fun, and the cab-ride home was as well. Between Lisa, Shari (another attendee) and I, we were going through our collective memory banks to figure out which of the restaurants we'd been to were worthwhile and which were dreck, and for the most part, most of our collective experience was positive, as was the fact that three of us, with our winter coats, our bags and Lisa's packages strewn about the backseat (thanks to a driver who hit every hemorrhoid-inspiring pothole -- thankyouverymuch) had a fun cab ride home. I dropped the ladies off on their mutual street -- they live two buildings from each other -- and managed to walk into my place at around 10:58 and was thus able to see who won the Top Chef finale. Watching the last minute or so felt like I'd skipped the bulk of War & Peace and went right for the last page, but it felt good knowing I wouldn't have to stay up until 2AM to find out who won during the rebroadcast.
I managed to grab a few shots of the entire group, but since I was ordered to keep 'em private, I'll have them up on The House of Boogie Flickr Site in the next day or so -- password protected with only the attendees given the option of visitation. Overall, it was a lot of fun; the only disappointment, as per usual, was that Kaia wasn't there. Such is life (for the time being).
In either case, to the attendees: Lisa, hope you had a lot of fun and a happy birthday; Linny, glad you made it on time-ish; Julie, nice to meet you; Shari, I'll e-mail you those exploratory photos we discussed in the cab; and to Alex and Doggy, we'll see you in March. To the rest of the group, 'twas great meeting you all and we should definitely do it again soon, only in warmer clime or season, and on a weekend (or at least not on a school night).
Cheers for now!
PS If any reader is asking him- or herself who Anthony Bourdain is, shame on you. And yes, I know when I use that expression I sound like my grandmother. Shame on you again.