Tribeca Film Festival

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the red carpet premiere of the film Summer of Blood at the Tribeca Film Festival.  While discussing the festival with my friend, I realized that I have attended the festival every year since I have moved to the city.  It is truly a great event that occurs annually in New York and a wonderful opportunity to see unique films.  In a world where almost every major film produced now is either a sequel, remake, or based on a comic book, it is refreshing to see something that has a plot line that strays away from the norm.  The director and star of the film was funny and extremely witty.  His banter afterwards and his general appearance was very Galifianakian (Not a real word but I hope you know what I mean).  Everyone should go to the Tribeca Film Festival and experience the culture that surrounds independent film and the hard work that these filmmakers put into creating their vision.  It is remarkable.

Looking at the Past

This photo is of my 4th grade class.  Someone posted it on Facebook asking a mutual friend “how many people he could tag in it” When I took a look at it, I thought it was amazing to see how many people I could not only easily communicate with via social media, but how there were people in that photo I still regularly see and hang out with. 

Ryan and the Game Show

I recently competed on the NBC game show Million Second Quiz, which was a crazy experience to say the least.  It consisted of hours upon hours of tests and waiting in rooms just hoping that you would get picked to be on the show.  After finally making it through all the paperwork and testing I was informed that I was going to be on Million Second Quiz to compete. 

The concept of the show for anyone who is unaware is that players compete in a head to head battle where one of them is in the “money chair”.  That person is making $10 a second for the duration of his time in the chair.  His goal is to make enough money to become one of the top 4 contestants, where they would then go into the winners circle.  It was a very ambitious concept for a game show and was something that has never been done before.  As I waited for my turn to go on, I saw people coming out of the room with their head down looking defeated.  I asked what happened and it seemed that the person in the chair was a former champion of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  Not only that, he was one of the biggest winners in the shows history.  Needless to say that shook my confidence.  When I finally was called into the room I saw Ed still in the chair.  At that point he had already racked up almost $80,000.   It was a 500 second bout and each question was worth 1 point. 

The first question was asked and I had no clue what the answer is.  To be honest I do not even remember what the question was.  I just remember seeing it and thinking, “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK.  I am way out of my league” I guessed incorrectly and he took an early lead.  After that, we both keep answering correctly until a question came up asking which film was not adapted into a Lego play set.  Options were A) Lone Ranger B) World War Z C) The Hobbit or D) Star Wars.  He guessed Lone Ranger, getting it wrong.  I answered the correct response of World War Z to tie the game up.  We remained tied until the final 20 seconds of the match where I guessed wrong on two consecutive questions, giving him a lead that could not be regained.  Afterwards we shook hands and he told me that I really had him worried.  That alone made the whole thing worth it.

Another Drinking Around the World success.

 

For anyone that has never heard of Drinking Around the World, it is a wonderful challenge that takes place at EPCOT in Disney World.  People will travel from country to country, not only tasting some of the fine cuisine represented at each station but a cocktail or beer as well.  To drink around the world a person consumes 12 different beers throughout the day. 

I went into this already knowing that I can easily accomplish it.  On a prior trip I accomplished Drinking Around the World and Back in a bet with friend.  Once again I enjoyed another amazing trip to the happiest place on earth. 

Surgery is a Bitch

So I recently received my third ACL receonstruction, which like a fine wine, is more enjoyable over time.  This one was even more of a doozy as it was a dual operation, where I had ACL Reconstruction and an Osteotomy.  I forgot how insanely painful the first week of recovery acutally is. It involves a constant drug induced haze coupled with the inability to sleep for more than a couple hours due to sharp constant pain.  If I had to pick my favorite part, I would have to say it would be living on the 2nd floor of a duplex where the bathroom was downstairs.  I have been extremely lucky to have such amazing friends to visit during the first couple weeks and provide endless entertainment to feed my boredom.

 

For your enjoyment I included a brief video of the advancements of technology.  I now have the ability to pay for a machine that will bend my knee for me hypotheticaly making the recovery process easier.

 

Ow My Knee 29th Annual

Recently I made my way up to Albany for the 29th Annual Ow My Knee Tournament.  I wasn't playing ultimate at all due to my upcoming surgery but I wanted to hang out with a bunch of friends and get into some shennanigans. As always Albany proved once again why I spent so long living up there.  It is always great to go back to where I spent such a large chunk of my life and relive some of the past.  Below is a short video from the weekend.  My friends are huge fans of Turquoise Jeep and decided to showcase their dance skills on the sideline.

 

Losing a Loved One

I would like to consider myself a man of few regrets.  By no means does this suggest that I have made no mistakes.  I have made more than I would care to admit, but with every mistake I have felt there was something to be learned from it. 

My one major regret occurred when I was 17 years old.  My grandfather on my mother’s side had a stroke years prior, and he was bed ridden and unable to speak.  As time passed, visits became more infrequent, and one weekend my mother asked me to go with her to visit him.  I was 17 and at a point where family seemed less important than whatever sport or party I could rather be doing.  I told my mom that I wasn’t going and proceeded to do whatever it was I felt was more important at the time.  Soon after, my grandfather passed away.  I immediately realized the unchangeable truth, that I would never be able to see him again and that I had missed the opportunity to say goodbye. 

 
I had two remaining grandparents, both on my father’s side.  During college and my time living in Albany, I would see them regularly and we would go out for dinners to catch up.   Eventually I made my move to New York City and, in the way that distance affects any relationship, communication suffered.  Calls and visits were less frequent and limited to special occasions.  Two weeks ago, I received a call from my parents saying that something had happened to my grandmother, and she was in the hospital.  Immediately, the old emotions of 17-year-old Ryan start re-emerging and I felt confused about to what to do.  I ended up hopping on a bus to Albany and waiting outside the hospital for my father and uncles to arrive with my grandfather.  We were hoping to hear good news from the doctor.  That sadly was not the case.  We learned that she had suffered a heart attack and, although she survived, the brain damage was too extensive and there was no chance of recovery.  I sat alongside the people that raised me from birth as the toughest decision any loved one would have to make was made. I lost one of the most influential women in my life that day. 

I was not the only one that lost someone that day.  My father and uncles lost their mother, which is a pain that I wish never to bear.  My grandfather lost his wife of 59 years and the true love of his life.  Now as time goes on, I look to my grandfather who I know is strong and will push through this, but I worry as anyone would.  I hope he realizes how strong he truly is, and how we all with miss her dearly, but it is important to keep her in our heart to make us stronger.

I said my goodbye to my grandmother that day in the hospital; I just pray she heard it.

Just a Thought

I really wish I knew how to make animated videos.  I want to make a Batman parody where instead of Batman it is Pacman.  I just imagine talking in a deep hoarse voice saying how he is the hero the game needs and its time to stop eating pellets and start eating ghosts.

Clover decided to test her photoshop skills on the idea.

Now is not the time for fear... That comes later!

A New Breed of Foolishness

This year as Bad Eggs and SCUM attends the Fools Fest Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, we lay to rest one of our time honored traditions of Blind Fold Boxing.  We realized that this event was a little more dangerous than even we are willing to allow.  However it allows us to introduce a new event that we hope will entertain all in attendance.  The 1st Annual Fools Derby is sure to excite and become a highlight of the weekend. 

 

 

Food and Drinks in NOLA

Felix's

Prior to my trip to New Orleans I did an adequate amount of research regarding the go-to food spots, and as any person who has done a basic Google search on Louisiana cuisine will see, the word "ACME" is synonymous with Oysters.  During the festivities of Mardi Gras,it came time to eat. ACME was nearby but had a huge line. We decided instead to check out Felix’s. It was the best decision I made the entire trip. I still dream about those char-grilled oysters. It was by far the best food I experienced in NOLA. The wait staff was friendly and loved playing along when my friends and I decided who was going to pay the bill via credit card roulette. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting the city. It was amazing. 

Parkway Bakery and Tavern

Best Po-Boy in Louisiana, hands down. I think during my week-long stay in New Orleans, I became somewhat of a po-boy aficionado, having more of those delicious sandwiches than I care to count. Parkway blew every other place away. The bar was awesome, and had a great history behind it. While down in New Orleans make sure you find your way to this place and enjoy what may be the most indulgent food available. 

 

Cafe du Monde

I found Café Du Monde extremely interesting. It was a huge space with tons of seating and very busy. I found this unique considering the limited menu. I could count every menu item on one hand. However from my readings this was the place to go to for beignets. They were absolutely delicious. The only qualm I had with Café Du Monde was that for a place that large, the bathroom was extremely small and had a very long line. Overall though it’s a sweet spot located right near Jackson Square. 

 

ACME

I felt ACME was a bit overrated. This is probably because I built my hopes up so high for this place and left with only a satisfactory feeling.  The food was good, but "good" is the baseline for cuisine in New Orleans. The staff was extremely thorough, and it did not take nearly as long to get inside as it seemed at first. 

 

Spirits on Bourbon

This bar had my favorite drink on Bourbon Street: The Resurrection. The Resurrection was amazing. Chances are a person would probably only need one to feel the effects of the drink. The bartenders were awesome and when we went back a few days after Mardi Gras, they actually remembered my group (still not sure if that is a good or bad thing). Either way, it was an awesome place to drop into.  They have dueling pianos as well as a barber's chair where an attractive woman pours shots down your throat - if you are into that sort of thing.

New Orleans

New Orleans is full of life, great food, and natural disasters. Two of those reasons were why I made my third trip down there to celebrate Mardi Gras. I feel I went at three very crucial points in my life that allowed me to experience the city in dramatically different ways. 

 I was 18 years old the first time I went to Mardi Gras.  I am fairly certain that all I packed that year was my fake ID and a duffel bag full of beads acquired at a local party stop. It truly was a college kid's paradise, however it is important to remember a college kid's paradise can also be bought dirt cheap. We camped about 40 minutes outside of New Orleans, where it rained constantly, and our tents floated from campsite to campsite.  During my first night there, I sadly was victim of a pretty bad car accident (not due to inebriation) which left me toothless (just front 4 teeth?). However, this did not stop me from making the most of my time there.  I spent the rest of the trip ignoring doctor’s orders and pretending I was a mute as I sucked down Hand Grenades. In spite of losing my teeth (or maybe because of it), it was the craziest experience of my life up to that point. 

 My second trip was when I was 21, following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.  I went down with a smaller group with no set plans other than hoping that we would be able to make the most of it.  We were lucky enough this time to stay at a friend’s house in Baton Rouge. We soon realized that even after one of the most destructive events to occur to their city, everyone was still in high spirits and celebrating as much as ever. Being 21 opened up a plethora of new things to explore. We were able to go into bars without fear, we had some semblance of an income so we could actually afford to buy drinks without wondering how we were planning on paying next semester's tuition, and we were more aware of what was going on and conversed with people to find out the best places to go and the best parades to check out.

 I don't think I saw a single parade the first time I went to Mardi Gras. At the time I was more focused on trading beads with young uninhibited women. Now I am 28 and this experience was even more distinctive than the other two. This year, I rented a house for myself and my friends in New Orleans and did not have to worry about a designated driver as we planned on taking cabs everywhere with a credit card that would get plenty of use. I was able to experience some of the best food New Orleans has to offer and probably every drink as well. On top of everything, I had the honor of attending a wedding down there afterwards that truly exemplified New Orleans culture. 


 There is no place quite like New Orleans.  The variety of sights, trom the French Quarter, which closely resembles a frat party turned loose on the streets, to Frenchman Street, where you can hear some of the best live music possible, to day-trips to places like Jackson Square and City Park, makes New Orleans a truly breath taking city. I know my liver is very upset with me so I will be taking some time to detox after such a long excursion out there, but I can say without question it was (and always will be) worth it. 

What is the most baller Jeopardy player ever?

Last week was the teen tournament on Jeopardy and I especially love watching teen week because it is even easier to desimate while watching alone in my living room.  However this young fellow was hilarious.  The man played like a boss and deserved to win.  Watch the highlights from the finals below.  Also his final Jeopardy answer is hilarious.