Tired of Ted

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Need I say more?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Monday, May 29, 2006

An Update

So after many phone calls, unpleasant conversations, and throwing around the idea of lawsuits, we have an apartment. Alas, it is not the one we lost when the tenants threatened to not move, and then said they would move. It is a different apartment, but just as nice, if not nicer, although there is an electric stove- the kind w/individual coils- blech. The best piece of advice I can give you about all of this is to avoid our realtor (the one we used the second time around- I would highly recommend our original realtor).

So life goes on, and the past few days have been dedicated to packing, helping people get furniture out of our house, and just generally stressing about moving. The upside is that we have made a tidy sum of money by selling most of our furniture. Amen to Craigslist.

Back to the grind. On an unrelated note, the NY Times book review this week is dedicated to books about food- cookbooks, memoirs and the like. Bill Buford's book is reviewed - he quit his job as fiction editor of the New Yorker to try and become a chef under Mario Batali. It was supposed to be a story, but then became a full-time endeavor. He also apprenticed under a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany. The book review is very good. And we had a wonderful meal the other night in the hip and trendy section of our town. We had been meaning to try this particular restaurant, but never seemed to be in the mood. Well, when the wait at our original restaurant of choice was 45 minutes (at 9pm!), it became the right mood. We had sauteed shrimp in garlic and cherry, and Elle had Tuna Tartar while I had an excellent skirt stake with a cilantro - garlic sauce. Light, but hearty. It ended up being just what we were in the mood for, and the restaurant itself is very well-decorated. We took away some ideas for our own new apartment, so can't wait to see what you guys think. We enjoyed an excellent 2003 Cotes Du Rhone from an importer Elle's dad told us about, and it really rounded out the meal. We discussed dessert and after-dinner drinks, but passed. Until a server brought us two small (and funky!) glasses of dessert wine - on the house. Soooooo good. Our waitress came by to ask us how everything was, and asked us if we wanted more dessert wine. Sure! So she brought out the bottle and gave us a refill. Doesn't it always work out that you discover hidden gems just as you're about to leave the mine? At least we had the chance to eat there.

Back to the packing grind. Possibly one of my least favorite activities.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Deep Breath And...

First off: Congrats to the Favs!! Adorable, and the name is perfect.

All right. Here's the deal. In the last 2 months or so, I have:

Decided to move to Boston
Gotten engaged!
Resigned from my job of 7 years working for a premier money manager
Found a new job with less known but ambitious money manager
Entered into negotiations to sell our house
Searched, found, lost, found, lost, found-and-still-waiting-to-hear on an apartment in Boston.

Over those past few months, I have also taken a vacation in Italy, taken a couple of trips for work, and generally experienced more stress than in the prior 29 years of my life.

Here is a smattering of some of the more stress-inducing events:
On trip up to Boston to interview with potential new employer, while checking out of the hotel I was staying in, I run into CEO of current employer in lobby. And it isn't like we're IBM and so this guy wouldn't know me from Adam. I've presented in front of him, been in numerous lunch meetings with him, and he knows exactly who I am. I proceed to soil myself. Just kidding. I was stunned however to run into him. As they say in the movies, "Of all the gin joints." We agreed that we would discuss why I was in Boston the following week, and he did do his best to put me at ease. Given that my fiancee had just resigned (we were working for the same company) to go to school in Boston, it was very clear exactly what I was doing in Boston. Ultimately though we had a very good conversation about my decision to leave work and the reasons, and all is well.

Negotiations on selling our house. Oy. To begin with, the buyers are very stubborn, and that is their right. However, they had a 3-week trip to China scheduled, and the day they left was the day they did the inspection. So, their attorney has negotiation powers - no problem, right? Well there was an issue that needed negotiating. So we convey our position to our attorney, and he conveys our position to their attorney, who then informs us that he needs to contact his clients. What?!?? They are in China! You - Attorney! What happened to your so -called "negotiating priveleges"? Thank goodness for email.

Apartment hunting. We decided to take one weekend earlier in May to try and see as many places as possible. We saw a good amount of places, and made a decision on a place. The building was going through a transition to a new owner, but we were assured that our unit would be available for move-in on June 1. A week ago, I received a call from our realtor in which he informed me that the tenants in the apartment we were supposed to rent are not leaving on June 1 and were making noise about taking the new landlord to court. So this might be a problem, it might not. We had already provided first and last month's rent, and security, and so we decided to discuss our situation with a certain Harvard Law grad to see what our options were and to best protect ourselves from possibly losing any money. Technically, we were entitled to lots of things under the law. So we let the realty company know that we were concerned and knew our legal rights. They quickly called back to let us know that the apartment wouldn't be available until February 2007, and they were refunding all of our money. Are you kidding me? This was on May 19. So no apartment. We did have two back-ups, but we weren't thrilled with either. So fiancee decides to go up to Boston and see more places, joined by my sister, who was a HUGE help. They see some places, and they find one that is just gorgeous. Great location, high ceilings, perfect layout for entertaining (which we are known to do once in a while). There is another application in for the apartment, but we were ready to provide a deposit while the other applicant had not done so. However, we do have a dog and a cat, which has proved to be an obstacle, albeit not insurmountable, in this hunt. So the realtor has to ask the landlord if they would be okay with pets. This takes an entire day. So late Tuesday (yes three days ago), we find out that there is a no-pet policy in the building. Why would you show a couple desperately looking for an apartment a gorgeous unit in a non-pet building, knowing that they have pets?? So, May 23, and no apartment. We decide to take a different apartment, which seems nice enough. We call the realtor to let her know, and she promptly calls the landlord to see if the pets are okay. Turns out the landlord is concerned because he had a bad experience with a cat. But if we turn over our first born as security, he'll consider us. 30 minutes of negotiations later we hammer out a deal- rent, deposit, security, etc. Next day the realtor faxes us a lease, we sign it, and fax it back. We also provided a hefty deposit. However, we find out Thursday (yes, yesterday) that the landlord now wants confirmation that our dog is not a rottweiler. Nevermind the dog-racism implicit in this, he actually wants us to fax vet records to try and prove this point. Importantly, we had already emailed photos of our dog to the same realtor for another building, and it is pretty goddamn clear that our dog is not a rottweiler. However, judge for yourself:

So here it is, Friday morning, and we still do not have confirmation of the apartment definitively being ours. And to add insult to injury, remember our first choice for an apartment, where the tenants had made a ruckus about not moving. Yes, that's right- they're moving.

I am sure you're all exhausted and stressed just from reading this. But, as my father tells me (and his mother told him), "This too shall pass."

I look forward to the new chapter of my life in a great city where we have wonderful supportive friends and family. I look forward to sharing this life with my wonderful fiancee and two fantastic pets. See you soon.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I bought them hats a long time ago...

I wondered if it was even worthwhile providing an update. I figure people probably stop checking. But, I don't want to be a lame-ass blogger.

And besides, there is so much to say. The last time you read my blog, I was not engaged. After a fantastic trip to Italy, I'm engaged! Very exciting. Italy was fantastic. Ate and drank my way through Florence with fiancee, and her sister and brother-in-law. Highlights included getting engaged, watching the explosion of the cart at the Duomo for Easter, and getting completely and utterly inebriated at an irish pub.

Check these guys out. They're from Finland. No, I am not making this up. They will be participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Previous winners include Abba and Celine Dion, and it was where "Volare" gained worldwide prominence.

And the hat follow-up: I wore the old Italian Man walking hat quite a bit in the cold weather, but have yet to bust out the fancy grey felt.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Hats Off to Me

I bought two hats today. Two fancy hats. I've been threatening to buy a hat for months, and today I finally pulled the trigger. I had a couple of styles in mind, and I had tried on a bunch of hats at different places- but not at a bona fide hat store. Until today, when I visited a fantastic hat store in nearby small city. A wonderful little man helped me out- I would put a hat on, look at it, and think, looks all right, and then he would make a slight adjustment to the brim, and it made a huge difference. So I bought an Italian Walking Hat, which is a brown tweed, and a grey felt dress hat. It was a delightful experience. I'm not really doing justice to the great old man who helped me, but he made the experience.

Also visited two museums, and then stopped at a TGIF for a couple of beers, some pot stickers and chicken fajitas. The museums were great- one a blend of old art and new, the other a natural history museum, where we saw the controversial Machu Picchu exhibit, where Peru is demanding many of the artifacts back.

All in all, just one of those very leisurely enjoyable day.

Saw "Walk the Line" this week, and "Capote." The former was okay, a nice love story, but not very explorational. The latter was terrific.

Tomorrow I'm off to Philly to celebrate the birth of a boy to very close friends.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Where You At?

Some of you may recognize this as a tagline for some cell phone advertising campaign involving Fat Joe. I also overheard someone say it into their cell phone. Pretty normal. Except that this was while I was eating lunch in a restaurant whose menu explicitly said "No Cell Phones in the Dining Room Please." This is an era of entitlement that we live in, no question. Several other people at this table also very freely used their cell phones as well, with blatant disregard for restaurant policy. I was reminded of the time I saw "Spiderman" in the movie theater, and a crying baby would not stop crying. Finally, I said "Would you please take that baby outside," only to be met with, "I'll take you outside, motherfucker." You can ask Marielle.

This cell phone experience was the only blemish on an otherwise delightful few days in a major midwest city that I visited for business and turned into a long weekend. We know some friends in said town, and had a great time just walking around, eating well, shopping (I spent a small fortune on many new wardrobe pieces) and ice skating. Also fit in a great workout both days at a very fancy health club (Michael Jordan and Oprah both work out there, but were not sighted on this particular weekend). Took Marielle to one of my favorite restaurants, where we enjoyed chilled lobster salad, scallops, humboldt fog goat cheese (dynamite!) and a spectacular grilled veal chop. We also had some lovely pomme frites accompanied by some "not very good mayonnaise" according to Marielle. Now, being Belgian and visiting there every summer during her childhood, Marielle is well-qualified to judge the quality of mayonnaise, especially when it accompanies pomme frites. The only problem is that it wasn't mayonnaise. It was truffle cream, which was delicious, for truffle cream. Our evening ended with not one, but two spectacular desserts. Lest you accuse us of gluttony, we couldn't decide on the one dessert we wanted to share. I bet you think you know where this is going but you don't. So we asked the waiter which he would choose out of the two we were considering, and we went with his recommendation. However, he brought the other dessert, on the house. The one that we ordered was a buttercream chocolate cake with a malted vanillla milkshake (oh yeah). The other was a flourless chocolate cake with peppermint ice cream. Delish.

Other notable events of the past few weeks include the birth of a baby boy to a long-time friend of my family and her husband. Maazel Tov right? Well, I get to go to Philly on Super Bowl Sunday to attend the infamous ceremony performed on Jewish boys on the eighth day after their birth.

We also attended a very enjoyable, and adult, dinner party, with two other couples. There was great food, great wine, an impromptu wine tasting, and pleasant conversation covering a wide range of topics.

A closing note. One of my favorite words is "paradigm."

P.S. The hyperlink button has disappeared from my blogspot tool bar. Help.