Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Well, my birthday rolled around complete with thunderstorms and a low pressure front that woke me up with an awesome migraine. I guess Mother Nature didn't get the email that I took the day off today. So started in with some coffee, then Tylenol, Crailtap, a Red Bull, then some Aleve, and after browsing the Berrics, I was closer to normal aside from some nausea. Nothing like the barfys on your birthday when it's too wet to skate and your second favorite pastime is eating.
After a few rounds of alternating between Sportscenter & episodes of Food Paradise, I got off my fat ass to get some post rain air. Nothing like the scent of rinsed garbage juice & worms. Palate cleanser. With storms predicted on & off for the rest of the day, I passed on my grand ideas of returning to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for Mike's Deli Sandwiches or making my maiden voyage to Midwood, Brooklyn to finally sample the infamous Di Fara pizza. Oh well.
But after watching a grip of food shows about Southern Cookin', I made it my birthday goal to polish off a bucket of chicken or a pizza pie if that fails. After a bit of Googling, I couldn't find a decent Neopolitan pizzeria or KFC within walking distance. So I decided on Good Old Jollibee. Jollibee is a Filipino food chain located internationally in exotic locales such as Manila, Saudi Arabia, Cerritos & Woodside. It's a cross between KFC & a Hawaiian local restaurant. Good home cookin' available in Value Meal format.
Headed out with my beater gear on, a golf umbrella, and a Transworld dodging puddles + abandoned dog dooks, trying to mellow out with this mix.
JDJ Steve1der- In the Rain.
Turned the corner to Roosevelt and boom, I was greeted to the always happy Jolibee Bee. Sup bro. Put a smile on my face, as did the heavenly scent of deep fried chicken heaven.
Walked to the counter and was stupefied to find that the menu had expanded since my last visit. Choices Choices Choices. So I ordered a family sized meal for myself: Chicken Joy Bucket, Burger Steak plate meal, side of Lumpia Shanghai (Flip Style Spring Rolls) and a fountain Coke Zero. Bada Bing.
The Jolibee Chicken Joy chicken is served with a baby tub of brown gravy for dipping as well as some rice. So so good. Almost inhaled my Burger Steak platter, reminiscent of a Hawaiian Loco Moco plate lunch (sans egg) without snapping a pic. Also delectable. Gone in 60 Seconds.
By now I was in Filipino fat kid wonderland near done with my meal, now sizing up the dessert menu. Decided on the always fun to eat Halo Halo.
Picked up some Spaghetti Joy to go- similar to Italian marinara although sweeter and with chopped hot dogs. Yum. Just like momma used to make it.
Walked into the Red Ribbon Bakery down the street but was too full to enjoy all the goodness they have to offer.
So headed home with a super full stomach, some food to go and the satisfaction of my chicken bucket mission complete. I was happy despite the rain persisting. I had a few hours of indoor chill time until dinner with Jillian, so I planned to set up a new board. While most are annoyed by the trouble of putting a skateboard together, I revel in the minutiae of the process. Some may enjoy gardening, or golf, or yoga; give me a deck & some wheels and I'm smiling. The process massages the OCD in me & gives me satisfaction in the perfection of completion like nothing else. Although boards can get destroyed in a single session, I like to have my shit straight before I step on board.
I'm admittedly super anal & particular with my initial set-up and would love to take 2-3 hours to put a board together, but I don't have a shop to fuck around in anymore (R.I.P. EBS) to clean my bearings, replace pivot cup bushings, replace axle & kingpin hardware, grab a fresh pair of bolts per set-up, and have a nice stable table to do my griptape which is the most maddening process of them all. I only use 3 bolts per truck (used to be two until trucks started loosening after a week), always allen, flush them to the board then put the grip over the bolts except for one rear bolt which is usually a silver bolt. Yeah, annoyingly retarded. Plus the grip has to be put on perfect with no bubbles and a perfect deck ply width gap to show the top sheet color preferably red. Absolutely insane, but I enjoy the perfect grip job when I can actually get it right.
Check the near perfect application. Plus the preferred red top sheet & REDS bearings to match. If I could only find a pair of Sport Red PRod 2.5s to match, I'd be in OCD heaven. Complete anal-retentive satisfaction. Too bad (or good) the local shop employees are also a size 9.5.
I've been a fan of Plan B shapes even before when they were made by Syndrome alternating between them and the flatter Habitat logo boards. I just didn't enjoy how they would get soggy then snap. So I was elated to recieve a package gift from Andy to try the new Schmitt wood Pro lite Design P.Rod decks and Superthane wheels. The shapes are nice and symmetrical with narrow hips and a full nose and tail- clean pill shape. I rode a previous set-up and truthfully found them to be incredibly light as advertised. After skating the board, I was amazed by the decreased swing weight and popability. Perfect for a fat ass like me. I have my own weight to deal with. It may be a tough set-up if I was skating a more ollie style park with hips and euro gaps, but since my local Astoria park is more of the ledge/ manual variety, the board is perfect. The wheels roll super smooth, but seemed to chunk skating a street spot; but most wheels don't survive the shitty Queens spots in the neighborhood.
So I spent the afternoon enjoying the details of putting the perfect complete together with recently broken in raw Indy 129s + Powell medium bushings, fresh Diamond hardware and a slice of a rare grade of Jessup I bought a roll of a few years ago with super tacky glue and 20% more grit grip than the current Jessup, which I save for boards I know I like. As a super picky tard like me, I often try to get multiple boards of a deck I like chain-setting them up; so I don't mind fucking up the present board. Hip Ollie to Pile Driver, No Problem. Kickflip to Snowboard, Whatevs.
After cleaning my set-up mess, I finally headed out to meet Jillian for my b'day dinner. I had intentions of trying out The Meatball Shop but was deterred by the no reservation hour plus wait line reviews. Nah, not tonight. So we headed to one of our favorites: Hill Country.
Turned out to be a nice night and saw a sweet sunset peeking through the skyline.
A full roast hog.
A High Life, Collared Greens, Mac n Cheese, Corn Pudding, some toast, 1/2 lb Moist Brisket, 1/2 lb Roast Pork, & some Cracklin' Skin. Good Eatin'. Good thing I'm poor or I'd be really fat.
And to close it out a Red Velvet cupcake. Rebate from our wedding. We served them, but didn't get to taste one. At least everybody loved them; but now we have to order one every chance we get just cuz.
Big thanks to all that made this day possible- Andy Nig, Colonel Sanders' Filipino cousin, and my wonderful wife, Jillian. I was able to salvage a crappy weathered birthday to make it a good one. Another notch in the headboard. Another day less young, but I feel the same- healthy & hungry.