Category Archives: Life & Reality

This is a catch all category for my personal musings on topics from iced coffee to travel. If it doesn’t fit elsewhere it should fit here!

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Self-diagnosing the cause of this headache

To say I was in a funk last week would be an understatement.  When Monday morning woke me up with those bitter rays of sunshine last week I immediately felt the cosmic pull dragging me into a string of bad days.  From the moment my eyes opened I knew I had a busy week ahead of me and no matter how much I dreaded it I knew I needed to focus on it.

Extra activities like blogging had to take a backseat, all the while I was telling myself I would  make up for the off week this week.  Well, one week later and this Monday morning didn’t greet me with a sun shinning smile either.  Instead I was woken up early by a blistering sinus headache or at least a headache I have self-diagnosed as a sinus headache. What in the world is this about? Why do Monday’s hate me?

When I lived in New York City I felt as if my allergies rarely bothered me, minus the mold that grew in my ancient Hell’s Kitchen apartment of course.  Yet here in Los Angeles I am dying.  If you watched me as I moved around my apartment this morning to get ready you would have seen a pathetic scene play out in front of you.  Allegra could have just put a camera up to record my ranting stumbles to use as the “before” footage for their next antihistamine commercial.

I felt miserable. It almost felt as if I was hungover without having gotten to drink heavily the night before. Where is the fun in that? That’s like immaculate conception. Where is the fun in going through the pain of pregnancy if you didn’t get to at least enjoy the sex?  Why suffer from a hangover like headache if I didn’t at least get to have a fun party the night before?

To top it all off I was out of coffee this morning, my office was freezing when I arrived and my outfit screams that I didn’t care about my professional appearance when I picked it out.  None-the-less the day must carry-on.

forn1067lSince this is the sixth day in a row that these allergy like symptoms are bothering me my boss has suggested I consider finding out if there is something larger stirring up these nasty symptoms.  I know she probably meant to get a professional diagnosis, but where is the fun in that? I don’t love going to the doctor, but I do love self-diagnosing like a lot of people enjoy doing.

I took to the internet like any smart person would do to get a health diagnosis. With WebMD’s symptom checker opened in front of me I started to try to get to the bottom of this awful headache.

I put in the basic symptoms that matched what I am feeling right now:

  • Headache
  • Slow thinking
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Nasal Congestion

article-2131275-12A4787E000005DC-873_306x510Let me tell you, WebMD came to the rescue presenting me with a narrow list of 99 possible conditions ranging from a middle ear infection to ricin poisoning.  Well shoot!  Who in the world would want to kill me with ricin? Oh yea, no one so it probably is just the ever annoying allergies that we have to deal with in life.

Next time my body wants me to hate being awake, I hope I at least have fun falling asleep so that I will have earned the pain! None-the-less this is a reminder to us all to try and stay away from the ever tempting internet when we aren’t feeling well. Self-diagnosis can end up causing people to overly panic. I remember when I swore I had cancer one year thanks to self-diagnosis.  10 hospital visits later and a lot of annoying tests and it turned out that I just had anxiety, which was increased by my new fear of cancer.

A cough is a cough, a sneeze is a sneeze, but self-diagnosis is when a sneeze becomes deadly.

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Bobby and Blair in 2012 after first starting to date at Boxers NYC.

After 8 years, we had our first date!

2004:

Remember the days before Grindr and OkCupid?  When we had to either use antiquated social sites like XY.com or Gay.com to find other gay men in our area to be friends with, or to do other things with?  Back in 2004 I was one of those people using XY.com to see who else was out there.

Virginia was a lonely world for a gay guy in his late teen years.  I wanted friends or a guy to date.  I found a lot of frogs in that time, but no princes.  To be fair I was in high school and about to head off to college.  I didn’t really know what I wanted at that time.

None-the-less I searched longingly to fill an emptiness inside of me.  Then one day I got a message from a guy on XY.com.  He was cute, but a bit older.  I was a senior in a Virginia high school and he was a freshman at American University in Washington, DC.  We talked for a while on AIM, that’s American Online Instant Messenger for you young kids out there, and tried a few times to go on a date. I loved chatting with him online. He was forward, but honest.  He was sweet and always knew what to say. He made me laugh every day.

At that point in my life I thought laughter was gone from my world, but he had reintroduced it to me. Unfortunately with his just having started college and my trying to wrap up high school we never got the chance to meet in person before I packed up my bags and moved off to college.

2008:

In December of 2007 I graduated from college a semester early.  My boyfriend at the time really wanted to move to New York City and I figured it sounded like fun so I went along for the ride.

When I arrived in New York I realized I didn’t know anyone besides the boyfriend I moved up with.  At this point in my life my online world had already started to expand.  I was on Myspace and Facebook and used them both regularly.

One day when I was sitting bored in my Hell’s Kitchen apartment I decided to see if I could find anyone from my past who may have moved to New York as well via Facebook.  I signed into my account and synced all my contacts into my Facebook profile.  First my AIM contacts, which included that adorably sweet guy from American University who use to chat with me my senior year of high school.

He popped up as someone from my contact list who was also living in New York City now.  I was excited to say the least.  I kind of knew someone and possibly could make a friend.  No, we couldn’t date at this point because I had a boyfriend, but I figured everyone needs friends.

I decided to make the bold move to write him. I was going to be throwing a birthday bar crawl for a friend so I decided to invite him to that. A group situation to break the ice seemed like a good idea.

Our Facebook conversation started February 21, 2008:

Blair responded to my invitation: hey hun, not sure how we know each other, or what party I am supposed to attend, but I guess if you’re coming to NYC to party let me know where and when, k, hope you have a good bday!

Realizing that I probably sounded a bit crazy since we hadn’t ever met or talked since 2004 I thought I should say more. I added someone I talked to 4 years earlier on a dating website to my Facebook page, invited him to a birthday party and expected him to remember me and come. I tried my best to reign in my crazy.

I wrote him back: I did the find which of your AIM contacts are on Facebook.  I decided to check my old screen name from when I lived outside of DC.  I think we met when you were in college at American University.  Now that I live up here in NYC I figured I’d add you as a friend because it never hurts and I really know no one up here lol. I know it seems random!

I guess Blair realized that his original message was a bit curt so he replied:

Blair’s response on Facebook: No, I wasn’t trying to be mean, just confused and didn’t want to ignore you or anything. That’s totally cool, when I moved up here I didn’t know a ton of people either but now I have a really great group of gay friends and girlfriends from work, etc. So yea, if you and your bf or whomever are ever interested in going out just let me know, they’re a lot of fun. And as I said last night I was kinda confused about when and where your party is so if your having one let me know. Have a good day!

Our conversation continued for a couple more exchanges. I tried my hardest to engage with him and he entertained me to an extent, but as he tells me now he didn’t see much of a point. I had a boyfriend and he wasn’t interested in just being friends.

He never showed up at the party i was throwing and we didn’t get to meet that year. I wasn’t all that surprised, but it was worth a shot to run into him again after 4 years.

2009:

Nonchalantly, as all of us do, Blair and I wished each other Happy Birthday on Facebook when our birthday’s came around.  While we both arbitrarily invited each other to our birthday parties that year, neither of us went to the others. Our lives continued on separate paths.

2010:

While living in Hell’s Kitchen on 47th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues I was walking Evian when I noticed a guy walking toward me.  At this point I was married to the guy who I had moved to New York City with, so was still unavailable.

None-the-less the guy caught my eye.  I am only human after all.  As he got closer I could tell he was looking at me too.  He was incredibly sexy.  His walk screamed of confidence. His outfit was fitted and stylish and his scruff was so sexy I could hardly take my eyes off it until I noticed his eyes.

He must have noticed me staring because he kindly said hi as he passed. Once we were a few feet past each other we turned, smiled and waved acknowledging that we knew we had just passed each other in person for the first time since we had started talking in 2004.

Sadly, I was taken and he was walking to meet a guy for a date. The stars were not aligned for us at this point.

2012:

In 2012 I split with my now ex-husband.  Divorces take a long time, but one month after announcing publicly that I was no longer married I got a message that changed my life forever.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was sitting at my desk at Roosevelt Hospital in Midtown Manhattan when I noticed my Facebook was blinking.  Someone had either sent me a message or made a comment.  I decided to check it out.

Blair wrote me a private Facebook message on June 27, 2012: So, I know this is kinda random, but I see your pictures on Instagram and Facebook all the time and always thought you were such a cutie. I know we chatted ages ago, but I guess I didn’t realize you were single until very recently.  Would it be too forward to ask you out for a drink sometime? Hope you’re enjoying this lovely day. ~ Blair.

I think I read the message twenty times before calling over my work-wife Daisy to read the message with me and stock his Facebook photos.  A couple of guys had asked me out since the divorce and I had gone on dates, but none had excited me as much as this guy.

I was hesitant but after ten minutes I wrote him back, “Hi Blair”.  Then I must have had further hesitations because it took me two more minutes before I fully responded.

My full response sent on Facebook: You are just the sweetest.  I haven’t been single all that long, or at least public about it, so I’m not surprised you didn’t notice.  I think a drink would be nice. I do remember we use to talk when we both live in the DC area but never were able to meet up.  I am leaving for Virginia early Friday morning and won’t be back until July 12th. Anytime after that would be wonderful. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx and of course I do think you are cute as well, and a little forwardness is always welcome!

After about 15 minutes he hadn’t responded and my nerves were getting the better of me.  I was asking myself a hundred questions. Was I ready to date?  Am I moving to quickly?  If I wait

Then my conscience started to scream at me.  I couldn’t resist writing more because I felt guilty and as if people would judge me for dating.

I wrote: I do have to be honest though, not sure if I am looking to date at the moment, but a drink doesn’t hurt if that sounds good to you.

Smooth, so freaking smooth.  I guess playing hard to get has never been my strength.  Luckily Blair is patient. He has waited since 2004 to take me on a date, so dealing with a little hesitation didn’t seem much of an issue.

Blair responded like a gentleman: Well that all sounds fine, and I completely understand if you’re not looking to date, I’m kind of in an in-between stage myself, so maybe we can just get a drink and see how it goes, haha. The summer is crazy, I’m in and out a lot as well, but we should be able to find a time after the 12th. (I’m in Chicago July 14-17) Do you wanna just pencil in the 19th and revisit when we get closer?

My response:  Yes, we can pencil in the 19th. That works perfectly for me. I work in Hell’s Kitchen so I can stay in the area post work . If I come back from my trip earlier I’ll let you know. My trip is very up in the air at the moment as it’s last minute and things at the office are so crazy busy.  Chat soon or see you on the 19th .

I was due to take a two to three-week trip to my parents. I was very fortunate because my job at the time let me travel to my parents since my life had so much going on to get my head on straight.  I thought it would be perfect to get me out of the city and away from my ex.

In the days building up to my trip Blair and I started to exchange Facebook messages and text messages.  My attraction to him was growing with every day.

By the time I got to my parents we were chatting regularly.  I obviously through playing hard to get out of the window, until my parent’s home came into play.  Their home tried to force me to play hard to get.

You see, they live in the middle of no where Virginia.  The first day I was at their house a storm hit Virginia and Washington, D.C.  Power and cell towers were knocked out throughout the area.  This was an issue that lasted for about a week.

My parents are fortunate enough to have a land line for phone calls and a backup generator that can give electricity to the guest house I was staying in, but not to the main house.  My trip wasn’t ruined, but I couldn’t get on the internet to chat with Blair there.  I couldn’t text him or call him from my cell phone either.  To top it all off he was in Cape Code with his friend and I didn’t want to interrupt his trip by calling him from the landline. We hadn’t even met after all.

Yet, I learned quickly what type of guy Blair is.  Without hesitation or question he called my parents home that first night to talk to me.  He enjoyed talking to me and getting to know me.  I enjoyed talking to him just as much.  As if we were living decades earlier we started a courtship for two weeks over the phone.

When I could, I would drive the hour and a half to Richmond, VA were I could get service on my cell phone. That allowed us to send each other pictures of our trips and further connect with each other.

By July 11th I was dying to get back to New York City.  When I left I never wanted to go back, but after two weeks of talking to Blair on the phone I couldn’t wait. We got to know everything about each other.  We had no choice, but to talk and learn about each other’s lives.  I think that is something missing in a lot of relationships today.  Thanks to apps like Grindr people often meet, have sex and move on with their lives.

When the time came for me to decide if I would stay an extra week or go back to New York City I decided I had to go back to New York City.  My mother and I hopped in the car and began the long drive up the east coast.  The entire time Blair and I texted each other and sent pictures as I made my way back to the city. He was already back from his trip.

My mom and I arrived around 5 pm.  She had to continue on to Connecticut for a business meeting, but I had business to take care of as well.  I unloaded the car, put Evian in my apartment and immediately headed to Queens.  Blair and I couldn’t wait any longer. We mutually decide that July 19th wouldn’t work.  The moment I got back to the city on July 11th I ran to the subway and our relationship began. We met for the first time in person and never looked back. 

Two years later I have to say, he is every bit as amazing and thoughtful as he had been those first two weeks while I was in Virginia.  He is a gentleman that wants only the best for me.

2014

Today we celebrate our two-year anniversary.  It’s been the best two years of my life.  We’ve moved across the country together and started a new life. We adopted a second dog and began to form our family.  Most importantly, we have decided to get married.  Sometimes I just have to sit back and remind myself that I have a pretty amazing life and an extraordinary partner.

I’m  not a patient person, but sometimes the best things in life are worth the wait!

 

 

 

Two Legs and a Twat

Originally posted on Betty, Travelling:

Scotty called it Two Legs and a Twat? It was always in the form of a question. In California, whenever I would bitch about a crappy day job, rickety actor cars and/or not getting the eighth supporting role in some shitty play in a rat-hole he would look at me and say “Mary, do you have two legs and a twat?” Our standards for survival were extremely low in those days, but yes, back then, I had to grudgingly admit that I could possibly muster up a couple of walking things and maybe a relatively functioning girl thing. So, we could actually soldier on, we weren’t as badly off as we liked to think we were, others had it worse, blah blah. Get on with it.

Dad sits and stares out the window for hours and hours at a time. He has recently recovered from a fall, but since then…

View original 346 more words

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A Purpose: Defined

Over the past month I have been putting a lot of effort into finally revamping bobbytbd.com.  I’ve written countless times over the past year or two about how I have hit a road block when it comes to writing for my blog.  I just couldn’t get beyond the surface of things to topics I really felt interested in anymore.

Everything about the blog seemed wrong.  While my focus hadn’t really changed, in that I will always be in search of who I am and what makes me, me, I no longer was writing as a reaction to my divorce.  I had reclaimed my life, but that also meant changing to look of my blog.  If my writing is going to be different then I felt the visual of the site should reflect that.

Unfortunately with the change in my feelings toward the blog I also couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about anymore. Now, after a month of hard work, I think I have started to make some headway.  With a new design I feel as if this blog has become more easily navigable.  Visitors can now see that bobbytbd.com isn’t just about me venting about my day. Don’t get me wrong, I realize I do vent a lot here, but it is now more evident at a quick glance that I am trying to do more. Maybe not much more, but more than just journaling about my friend Betty being a mean person.

I want to share an everyday, flamboyantly gay, 28-year-old man’s point of view on ever day life, events and interest.  That can range from healthy eating to America’s pathetic obsession with out-of-control celebrities and how my life comes into play… or at least my views.

There is also going to be a section dedicated to my favorite summer obsession, CBS’ Big Brother!  I’ve been watching it for years and look forward to it all year-long.  It’s such a brilliant show or social experimentation, how could I not analyze it each week?

Now that I have a visual for my website that I think is representative of me and I have started to tackle the wall preventing me from thinking of content and topics to write about I want to tackle something new.

Well, I don’t know why I am acting like it’s a big announcement. I wrote about it the other day.  I asked if I should try to tackle YouTube or not.  I’ve made the decision that I will, but what should I talk about on my YouTube channel?

I don’t want it to be like every other YouTube channel out there.  I don’t want to just be another product reviewer or something lame.  I want to bring something to the table that I haven’t already.  I want something uniquely me.

Look out later this month for the launch.  Topics will range from feminist issues to my views on haters of “sissy gays”.

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Personal views on Social Media Audiences: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress & Instagram

social-networksIn a world overwhelmed by social media we have had to learn how we are comfortable integrating social media into our lives.  It’s a crazy web opening up our lives to millions of people.  Depending on the social media site you are using faceless, nameless people you have never met can comment both positively and negatively about you at all times.  Everything good about social media is also the bad things about social media.

Yes social media does give us a larger voice, but it also gives a voice to the irrational.  Yes we have access to information, but we all know the internet is full of false information.  Yes it’s fun, but at what cost?

Parents, teachers and people of the older generations often are preaching about how the youth today are putting too much personal information on-line.  People fear those of us who use social media religiously are putting ourselves at danger and with constantly changing privacy rules and settings we rarely know what is visible to strangers and what is not.

That’s why I created my fool-proof system for social media. My rules are simple and straight forward on how I behave online.

My first rule is in regards to Facebook.  Out of all the social media sites I believe Facebook is the most personal.  I view Facebook like my home or hub for social media.  It’s personal and I hold the information included as closely as I feel I need to.  85% of the time I do not add people I have never met before as friends on Facebook.  This is my life.  It’s my friends, my family, my colleagues and people I know and trust.

Yes I do post a lot of things publicly, but with Facebook I have that option to pick and choose what I post and I have the option of who sees it.  I often utilize this platform to post commentary that can spark debate.  Mostly because I know my friends and family  can handle a healthy debate or won’t start a debate just because they disagree. They will start a debate if there is one to be had, but not one just to argue.  My friends and family get me. They get my thought process. They make their points and then they go about their business.

That’s what I love about my family and friends. I can trust them to be mature.  I trust them to at least have a foundation for their beliefs.  That’s why I allow them into this personal world and I try my best to engage in the dialogue.

I also use Facebook to post personal things I want to share with friends and family, but I may not want future employers to see.  Another case is if I want to post something I don’t want someone being able to Google, but still may have a cute picture from a party worth posting.

Facebook is my home.  If Facebook is my home then Instagram and WordPress are like the city and state in which I live.  I reach a wider audience with these platforms, but not as wide as I do with sites like Twitter.  People choose to read or not read what I post. People choose to view or not view the photos I post.  You typically have to be searching out a topic to find my postings on WordPress or Instagram via tags and keywords.

Twitter, well twitter is the world because I use it more globally.  Unlike Facebook I don’t use privacy settings. My personal filter is also much less tight on Twitter.  The way I see it is that Twitter is like a blog.  It’s a place for me to succinctly air my opinions on large issues, current events, celebrities and life.  It allows me to engage a wider audience, but with that I am engaging thousands of people I don’t know.  You can’t control the dialogue.  By that I mean you can’t control the level of descent or negativity.  You can’t control the level of respect people have toward one another when engaging in an argument.  It’s global.

While my family, friends and colleagues are welcome to follow me on Twitter, they must do so with a clear understanding that I won’t hold back or ask my followers to hold back if they engage with me on Twitter.  I share my opinion bluntly and openly on Twitter.  I discuss topic I wouldn’t necessarily discuss on Facebook in front of my parents. siblings, nieces and nephews like dating when I was single or which soccer player in the World Cup is the most filled out. I’ve never actually talked about that, but it seems like a good Twitter topic.

Basically I view social media by audiences.  I chose who will see what and I allow full engagement, but with a bit more respect on personal profiles like Facebook.  Klout posted a great article about the different types of social networks and what they are used for. Here is how my views fit in:

Facebook:

Personal. Filtered and private. For family, friends and colleagues only.

WordPress and Instagram:

Shared Interest Community. I watch what I post, but I do post openly and honestly. Anyone can engage on my accounts and I invite them to, none-the-less I do use a bit more of a filter here as well since my audience is wider.  My blogs are easily searchable and we all know you have to be careful with what you post online.

Twitter:

Content Sharing. Is for everyone to use and abuse.  It’s for thoughts and mindless musings. It’s for engaging strangers on any and every topic out there.  It’s to speak passionately and openly.  It’s global.

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Which city has the better commute? NYC or LA?

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The grass is always greener on the other side.  That is what they say anyways and I am starting to see why.  Especially when it comes to commuting to and from work in Los Angeles when compared to commuting in New York City.

After having spent about 6 years commuting to work in New York City and the past 16 months commuting to work in Los Angeles I think I have a pretty good idea of the good and bad of each cities rush hours.

When I was in NYC I dreaded and loved commuting to work. Over the years I got to experience many different commutes because of job transitions or apartment moves.

My first commute was a 30 to 45 minute commute from Hells Kitchen to the Financial District. My second big commute was from Hell’s Kitchen to East Harlem.  My third big commute was to and from Astoria from Hell’s Kitchen. The fourth commute I had to learn while living in NYC was a 15 minute walking commute from my apartment in Hell’s Kitchen to the hospital I worked at in Hell’s Kitchen.

Each commute was about the same.  Crowded trains, pushy people, fighting to find the perfect place to read my books undisturbed and juggling coffee.

Here in Los Angeles I have had a few different commutes as well.  While public transportation hasn’t played a part in my commuting here yet, it’s really about the route to work as oppose to the mode of transportation.  I’ve taken a mostly back road commute through neighborhoods since moving here. I’ve gone through periods of having to take Santa Monica Blvd. or Wilshire from West Hollywood to Santa Monica.  I’ve also had to take the 10 Freeway to and from work for a period.  Each with their pluses and minus.

This got me thinking.  Which city is nicer to commute to work in and why?

Traffic & Options: images (2)

Both Los Angeles and New York City have major issues when it comes to traffic.  In NYC you can find yourself standing in a group of people on a subway platform 6 or 7 rows deep just trying to get on an already packed train.  I’ve watched multiple trains pass by me in the mornings, particularly when I was commuting to and from East Harlem or Queens, because they were too crowded for me to get on.

Subway cars in NYC are also often held up by train traffic.  That’s right, the MTA has internal traffic jams that they typically blame on signal related issues or passengers holding the doors. Train times are unreliable and not consistent.

Traffic is an everyday reality in LA
Traffic is an everyday reality in LA

In Los Angeles we battle actual vehicular traffic on a daily basis. It can take 30 to 60 minutes for me to get home from work during rush hour and I only live 7 miles away from my office.  The good news is that thanks to apps like Waze and the knowledge of multiple routes between my office and apartment I always have a way to cheat traffic.  When you are in NYC you have very few options unless you are midtown.  You either get on your train or you don’t.

Believe it or not I am giving this one to Los Angeles as being better with traffic and having more route options during rush hour because of the diverse options in routes and more reliability in transportation.

Door to Door:

In New York you often have to walk a bit to get to the subway and then when you get off you will have to walk a bit more to get to your destination.  This is a good way to power walk off any stress you may have.  It also allows for quick stops along the way for things like coffee.

In Los Angeles you typically are in your car from point A to point B.  I find it a bit too overwhelming in the mornings to find parking, park my car, walk into a Starbucks, stand in the same long lines I stood in while in NYC and order coffee on my way to work.  The added time it takes to locate parking is more than enough to make any stops along the way not possible without building in extra time.

Point to commuting in NYC! 

Alone Time:

Both cities offer you a little bit of alone time while commuting in their own ways.  In NYC if you have the ability you can often ignore everyone around you, zone out into your own world and do what you need to do.  It’s a good time to read a book, digest your thoughts and listen to music.  Very often, we find ourselves too busy for these simple activities in modern-day society.  Living in NYC you have time built-in to do just these things.

In Los Angeles you are truly alone when you are commuting (unless you carpool).  Sitting in your car doesn’t allow you to read a book unless you have a book on tape, but it does allow you something commuting by subway in NYC doesn’t allow you to do.  It allows you to be truly alone.  You have time to make calls to your family, a place to cry if you just need a good cry and a place where no one can really bother you.  You are alone with your thoughts, your music and your world.

For me I find that LA wins in this category.  I prefer being truly alone.  It takes more effort to feel like you are having alone time in NYC on a subway even though it is completely possible.

Aggravations:

Commuting anywhere in the world can create a long list of aggravations, but between Los Angeles and New York City I think one commute takes the cake in this arena.

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Packed subway platform in NYC during rush hour.

In New York City, while commuting by subway, you have to deal with people. People can be the worst!  Whether the people around you are being pushy, loud, rude or smelly you are bound to run into someone who fits one of those descriptions on a regular basis.  Falling in line with this is the fact that you have unauthorized performers begging for money on the subways.  Young

Annoying subway dancer.  The lady on the right says it all with that facial expression!
Annoying subway dancer. The lady on the right says it all with that facial expression!

dancers jump, twist, kick and turn all over subway cars coming inches from commuters faces.  If you refuse to make room for their illegal performances they get aggressive or rude even if the train is too full for you to move.

Subway trains are often delayed or held up mid-trip for unknown reasons.  You can be cruising along when out of the blue the train comes to a complete stop for 15 minutes with no explanation.  At least in Los Angeles you know why you are stopped because you are personally in control of your vehicle.

Los Angeles has a number of aggravations associated with commuting during rush hour in the city as well.  For starters, the traffic is one of the biggest aggravators, mostly because people can’t drive.  I guess I should just say that people are in issue everywhere.  People cut you off, don’t use turn signals to switch lanes and things like that. All of which can drive a man crazy.

When it rains in LA, even if just a few drops, it’s as if every driver on the road forgets how to drive.  It’s just rain LA, step on the gas. At least go the speed limit for the love of God!

Overall, I think the aggravations in NYC were worse for me personally.  I hated being tossed around, fighting for seats, trying to not to breathe because a homeless person is standing nearby who has obviously urinated on themselves a few times. The win goes to Los Angeles. 

Use of time:

This is a bit more difficult. Right out of the gate, I’d have to say I used my commute time more wisely in New York City simply because I could.  I could read on the train, I could write on the train, I could prepare for meetings.  I could study on the train, review notes, or simply play iPhone games to clear my head.

When in LA and commuting in your car you are pretty restricted about what activities you can do.  You have to drive, so you can’t be overly distracted after all.  You can make calls if you have a hands-free device, but otherwise you can’t be extremely productive.

Point goes to New York City!

Cost:

New York City has a flat monthly rate for your unlimited monthly metrocard.  While the price has slowly increased over the years you still know your exact expenses for the month when it comes to commuting.

In Los Angeles you can’t always gauge how fast your car will burn through gas. You also can’t depend on gas prices since they go up and down on a regular basis.  Then you have to factor in car maintenance fees and insurance.

Overall I think New York City wins in the cost category.

Reliability:

I can always rely on my car, but I can’t always rely on a subway to be there when I need it.  Simply put, LA is a bit more reliable and offers more alternatives than NYC. Point for LA!

Filth:

Do you really want to be stuck next to this on the subway? ~ Photo by Helayne Seidman
Do you really want to be stuck next to this on the subway? ~ Photo by Helayne Seidman

New York subways and subway stations are old.  I’m sure it’s no surprise that you can come into contact with countless germs, virus’ and bacteria while traveling on public transportation.

My car is as dirty or as clean as I make it and it’s my filth.  Point to LA again!

Los Angeles: 5 Points

New York City: 3 Points

 

For me, Los Angeles is just a better place to commute to work.  I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but it comes down to what you value.  I value less personal aggravation, more alone time, more reliability and the ability to be self-reliant and not reliant on the MTA.

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To Start Using YouTube or Not To Start Using YouTube

download OR Apple-Youtube

 

 

I’ve spent a lot of time lately discussing social media with friends and colleagues alike.  What platforms are the best, what should I be using, what are you using, what are best practices and many other questions have arisen.

The theme that seems to have a few of us thinking the hardest is videos and social media.  When I first started using the internet back in middle or high school I had to connect using AOL dial-up internet.  Things like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and YouTube didn’t exist.  We had AIM for chatting, AIM bios for personalization, sites like gay.com for dating or sexual rendezvous and general chat rooms for online discussions.  If you wanted a blog you had a livejournel.com account or something of that nature.

We were simple back then, but have come a long way in just the past two decades.  As social media sites started to popup I was one of the first to accept the call.  I joined Myspace and dedicated some of my social time to Facebook back in college, but now I find myself falling behind.

Yes I do have an active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress account, but what about all the other services out there.  Should I care about Pintrist or Vine?  Should I create a regularly updated YouTube channel? What would my subject matter be?

My colleague had the best idea.  Her thought was that I should put a Nanny Camera, or other affordable hidden camera, in my house to just catch the random musings and interactions of everyone who passes through. From there I could edit the videos down to two minute segments.  Knowing the things that come out of my mouth my colleague banks on these videos being entertaining.

I think it’s a funny idea, but I need more than that.  What can I do on YouTube that I can’t do on WordPress.  What can I say audibly, that I can’t write?  What can I express in a video that I can’t express with an Instagram photo and a little descriptive text?

Maybe I am just too old for this stuff, but I am only 28.  I can’t be too old to figure out the point of a dedicated video service.  Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime and see what you all think.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Vine and YouTube.  Do you love it or hate it? Is there a point or is it pointless?

Learning to be Miss(ter) Independent

I need a favor people with InDesign or Photoshop!

I do not have access to InDesign or Photoshop now so I can’t create a new header for my blog. The old header doesn’t really fit with the new theme.  If anyone is bored and wants to do me a quick favor I would love help making a new header that is 940 x 200 pixels.  Contains at least one photo of me. Has the Text Bobby TBD… Life and Everything in between. You can have total control as long as it looks good and fits!

You can use photos from this blog, or access my twitter, Facebook or instagram accounts at @bobbytbd.  You can also check out my flickr account if you don’t see something you like there.

Thanks!

Bobby

Email: bobbytbd@gmail.com

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Finally! A cheaper solution to my daily Iced Coffee addiction!

images (3) Yes, you are correct. I am still searching for the perfect way to make an amazing cup of Iced Coffee at home.  It’s been a dramatic fight over something that probably seems silly to a lot of people out there.  Especially people who don’t drink coffee or understand the cravings that come along with it. Wow, if I can digress for a second I have to point something out.  Did that last sentence sound like something a cigarette smoker would say?  I am 100% of the mind that coffee is extremely addictive. Back to my point.  Iced coffee is amazing, but often feels like either too much work to make at home or that it always comes out bad when made at home.  That’s why I decided to write about my issues surrounding Iced Coffee last week.  I discussed the challenges of finding the perfect recipe or method for preparing the perfect cup of homemade iced coffee.  A solution that doesn’t require me to spend $2 to $3 per day on one cup of iced coffee a day and doesn’t involve me drinking a cup of watered down homemade iced coffee that tastes like bath water.  Oh, and is also the same temperature of bath water. That is just a deal breaker. Three options presented themselves when I approached this issue last week. To refresh your memory those options, found on the Runners World website, included:

Option 1 You need a standard coffee maker, ground coffee, water and ice. Brew your coffee twice as strong as usual (issue with this is that I don’t really know how much coffee I usually use…). Use the same amount of grounds and half the amount of water. When it’s done, pour it into a mug and load it up with ice. The first cubes will melt, bringing the coffee to room temperature and diluting it. Once you have some cubes that aren’t melting, it’s cold and ready to drink.

Option 2 Apparently takes a couple of hours.  You need a standard coffee maker, ground coffee, water and at least one ice-cube tray. Brew a pot of coffee as usual. Pour the coffee into the ice-cube tray and freeze. Use these in standard-brewed hot coffee to cool it down without diluting it. Keep in mind that you’ll need a few to cool down hot coffee and will end up with more coffee once the cubes have melted.

Option 3 Sounds like something I won’t even attempt.  They say you need a Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker*. Nope, the point is to use what I have already so I won’t bother with this.

Those three options really didn’t suffice for me. Option one is too watery and weak. Option two ruins you ice trays.  Thankfully my friend warned me before I ruined any of my current ice trays.  I could just go and buy ice trays specific to my coffee, but my freezer is small and I don’t have room for that.  Option 3 wasn’t tested at all. From there tested a fourth option. That option was to fill a pitcher full of freshly brewed coffee on a Sunday and let it cool off in the fridge over night.  Come Monday morning I did have a pitcher of coffee to poor over ice that didn’t melt the ice down diluting the flavor. The issue that arose was one I mentioned last week.  I still am having a ridiculous time trying to get the recipe right.  How many scoops of coffee grounds do I use for this? That’s when I found Option 5.  Yes, hold onto your panties everybody!  Option 5 isn’t as cheap as the options listed above, but it does cost less than $2 to $3 a day. Today, however, I found an option that is a pretty decent solution. Let’s recap my list of must haves for the perfect Iced Coffee method:

  • I have to be spending less than $10 a business week on coffee.
  • The coffee cannot taste weak, warm, watery or too strong. It has to be perfectly balanced.
  • I must not waste any time in the morning.

Options 4 and 5 are the winning options and I don’t think you can go wrong with either one because they both have their strengths. How does option 4 and 5 compare on these three must-haves? With option 5 :

  • I would be spending $5 a week on iced coffee or less.
  • The coffee taste perfect in flavor and strength.
  • It takes no time to prepare.

With option 4:

  • It cost less than $5 a week to make.
  • The taste typically is good enough, although option 5 has a consistent result in flavor.
  • It takes a little preparation time on a Sunday, but also takes very little to no prep time in the morning before work.

You are probably sitting on the edge of your seat asking what the heck is this amazing option number 5?  Let me tell you, Starbucks has come to the rescue and I never expected it! I never thought I would say it, but I am in love with their pre-made product I found at the grocery store Sunday.  For $5.00 I got a 48 ounce bottle of unsweetened pre-made Starbucks Coffee.  All it requires is a cup, ice and any cream or sugar you may want to add. I do know what you may be thinking.  You probably are thinking this is no different than the single served ice coffee drinks that Starbucks has had on the market for years.  Trust me, it’s better!  Those single served things are always overly sweet and filled with too much milk. This has no milk added and is unsweetened. You can tailor it to your liking! Considering your average glass is about 8 ounces in size or your average reusable iced coffee cup is about 16 fluid ounces.  By the time you add ice to your cup you will only be using around 8 ounces of liquid coffee a day.  That equals 6 cups of iced coffee from one bottle of this product.  That answers all my problems.  I cut my expenditure in half when comparing this to going into a Starbucks or similar coffee shop and buying a cup of iced coffee with a splash of soy every day. Yes, there is the issue that a bag of coffee grounds lasts a lot longer than a one week bottle of liquid coffee. None-the-less it is an easy way to get iced coffee at home for roughly 50% less than I would be paying otherwise. Now for your benefit. My how to guide of Option Number 5: Starbucks Pre-Made unsweetened and uncreamed Iced Coffee!

STEP 1: Open the cabinet that holds your glasses. That’s easy right? IMG_2329

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Grab a glass. Go ahead, just pick one! IMG_2330

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Get ice from your freezer and fill your cup with it! IMG_2331 IMG_2332

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Get the 48 oz bottle of Starbucks Iced Coffee out of your fridge and shake it! IMG_2333 IMG_2336

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5: Pour your liquids! Just simply pour the coffee over the ice and add any creamers you like! IMG_2341 IMG_2343

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Look amazing while drinking your iced coffee at home! Boom! You’re done!

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A Room Full of Crap

Bobby TBD:

Well, everyone has been so supportive of my efforts to start writing more. While I don’t feel like I have a point to my overall blog, I think this is a blog worth following. It follows my friends journey from living in the big cities of Los Angeles and New York for the past few decades then suddenly having to drop everything and move back home to small town Massachusetts. After her father started to face the ever growing issues associated with Alzheimer’s she had no choice, but to make this move. Follow her blog to follow her writing. You are sure to be entertained!

http://bettytravel.wordpress.com/

Originally posted on Betty, Travelling:

Grand Central
Grand Central

Chirrup, chirrup… Nonstop now for two days. Where the fuck is that fucking cricket in this hellhole? There is so much crap in this room I can barely kick my way through it, and now a hidden, chirruping, non-stopping, Godless cricket has taken up happy residence? I will go madder than Lucia di Lammermoor if I don’t lay my RAID wielding paws on it. A cricket in the house is good luck? Did I read that somewhere? Is it a sin to kill a mockingbird, or a cricket?

I’ll never be able to find it in this room (chirrup). Ever since moving back here several months ago, I have been unable to wade through the flotsam of thirty years of neglect. It was all I could do to plunk down the laptop, unzip the cat carrier, dump out a pile of panties from one of  the Hefties, and…

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