Happy Holidays! My Christmas weekend was really great, in spite of this nasty sinus/head cold I am dealing with. I really did a lot this weekend and got to be with the people I love and care about.
It started Friday. I had a pretty challenging “half-day” at work. Usually the work day before a Holiday is usually easy. Typically the client is on vacation, as well, so there is usually not a lot to cover.
BUT, there was a lot to be done for my client on Friday.
The key thing that had to be done before I left, I had to finalize and release an ad, developed in an emergency for the client by the end of day or the client would have to incur a lost of $12 grand because their incompetent media agency didn’t tell them about the Media Buy until a few days ago, which is ridiculous and unprofessional on their part.
The difficulty was in this case, as indicated by my previous paragraph. The media agency was unreliable in terms of information. The direction kept changing, which drove me and my team nuts. They kept changing the specs and the magazine publication we were releasing too.
Another issue was internally. Because of the upcoming break and people taking vacation, the studio pretty much had a skeleton crew. They didn’t have a lot of people there, so you were at the mercy of waiting longer than you probably should to get your stuff done by them.
The client contact I was working with on the project was clearly a “Nervous Nellie”, as indicated by her 20 emails to me to check on the status within 30 minutes. While it is annoying, I can understand why she’s freaking out. $12 grand is a lot of money to lose and explain to your boss even if it was clearly the media agency’s fault.
I was assuring though caustic optimistic because while I am rushing to get this out the door for her. It needs to be accurate and clean, first and foremost. If there is a mistake in the ad whether a misspelling or the studio set-up the file in the wrong specs, we would be in deep trouble, as well as the media agency despite us fulfilling a last second request for something that takes 1-2 weeks as opposed to the 3 days we had to work on this.
I was also finalizing other projects, which caused me to miss the Traffic/Production Holiday party at work. I really wanted to come and a lot of people we’re trying to drag me from my desk to come, but I had to get this work done.
Eventually I was able to have about 10 minutes and join the party, opening my secret Santa gift which was a book about movies and a free ticket to a movie (Thank You, Regina!), gave my secret santa gift to a co-worker. Grabbed a plate of food, and ran back to my desk to finalize my work.
Around 3pm, I was able to release the ad fortunately, let my awesome boss and client know the good news. The client contact wrote me a nice note thanking me for getting the work done.
Now, I have to rush home and get my NY Rangers stuff! Did I mention, I was going to my first Rangers game at Madison Square Garden since they began the renovation, last summer!
I have to rush home, because i have to get my stuff and immediately get my ass to Queens to take care of my Cuban big sister/friend’s cats first, then head straight for Madison Square Garden.
I get to her apartment in record time, which is a rarity if you ever taking the NYC Subway. I see her two precious cats, Diesel and Portia. Diesel like his name implies is “Diesel”. He’s a big orange tabby cat in the vein of Garfield but he’s a cool cat while Garfield is kind of a douche. Portia is a scaredy cat and routinely avoids contact with people.
I follow my friend’s instructions to the T, feed them their wet food with some dry food, re-fill the water bowls, and change the litter box. I lock the door and I am on my way to MSG!
I get their just when the opening face-off happens. While Football is my favorite sport, there is just something about going to a hockey game in person that is amazingly fun.
First, the music is always great. Always good arena/alt rock!
Second, There’s always action in a Hockey game, compared to other sports games in person. The puck is constantly moving, mulleted canadians are hitting the fuck out of each other. Hockey is also to a complete amateur actually a relatively easy game to follow.
Third, The crowd at Madison Square Garden especially during hockey games is electrifying. New York City is an underrated Hockey city compared to Detroit, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago and Philly/Pittsburgh. Everyone rocking their jerseys and smiling glowingly at the 1993-1994 Rangers Stanley Cup Champions Banner, remembering Matteau’s clutch goal in the East Finals and Captain Messier raising the cup in Game 7 defeating the Canucks ending the 54 year curse.
Rangers are playing the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are a dirty team with a dirty legacy starting with the “Broad Street Bullies of the 70’s”, I hate those assholes. They are also ahead of the Rangers for the lead in the Atlantic Division. If the Rangers win the game, we would take the division lead.
The game starts and the Rangers look lousy early. Flyers dominate possession of the puck and the Rangers don’t get a shot on goal for the first 12 minutes of the game.
Our goalie, Henrik Lundqvist (who is Swedish), as always is amazing in goal during this tough start for the Rangers and keeps the Flyers from scoring.
The Rangers start to get aggressive and start hitting the Flyers around culminating in our of goons, Brandon Prust beating up one of their goon players in a fight.
Goons, in hockey are the guys who are the fighters and the hardest hitters. They protect their team stars from brutality, and have a code. It’s really cool and reminds me of the awesome Paul Newman movie, “Slap Shot”.
The first period ends with both teams scoreless. I begin to look around the new Garden. Now it’s not fully completed yet. It’s part 1 of a 3-part renovation process. But you can see the improvement, the concourses are wider and easier to navigate (a constant problem before), the food is muuuuuuuch better! I try the Waffle Fries/Chicken Fingers counter. Waffle Fries are the beeskness! I check out the Team Shop and it’s packed, so I decide to go in during the next break. I get back to my seat before the 2nd period starts.
Rangers finally get on the board with a sick goal when winger, Derek Stepan redirects a shot into the goal with some nice stickhandling. 1-0 Rangers. Fuck Yeah!
Rangers then score again about 10 minutes later, when another winger, Ruslan Fedotenko scores a goal through the Philly goalie, that the refs miss. It takes a instant replay review to confirm what everyone in the stadium already knew, IT WAS A GOAL! 2-0 RANGERS!
The 3rd period starts and thanks to a bad Philly pass and a heads-up outlet pass by our defenseman to our best scorer, Marian Gaborik on a breakaway with no Flyers, except the Goalie in his path and he scores…3-0 RANGERS!
The crowd goes nuts! We end up winning the game 4-2 Rangers! Taking first place of the Atlantic Division and beating a rival in our house!
I go home and get some sleep.
I wake up saturday with a nasty sinus headache, I’ve been fighting a head cold, the last few days and it’s getting worst. I take some Advil Cold and Sinus for it and just chillax.
I watch the Jets/Giants game. This is a huge game for both teams, who need to win or face a tough path to making the playoffs.
My team, The Jets get a jump on the Giants early thanks to a dumb Giants penalty and get a touchdown on the opening drive, 7-0 Jets! I am particularly excited because the Jets never start the game that well.
Things get a tad slow as the game goes. The Jets pinned the Giants back to their own 1 yard line after a punt. I am pumped up because usually when a team is pinned back like that it can cause huge scoring turnovers for the defense or atleast good field position for the offense after a punt.
The Jets get them to 3rd down on their 1, Manning gets a pass to Victor Cruz for 10 yards. All, Jets shitty cornerback, Antonio Cromartie had to do was tackle Cruz and just keep him to 10 yards.
Cromartie freaking missed the tackle! and Cruz runs down the field for 99 yards in an insane touchdown sequence! I am furious. Cromartie for all his talent and his speed can’t tackle an old lady in a wheelchair and impregnates women like eating skittles. The guy has 9 kids with 7 different women and can’t even remember half his kids names!
The Jets don’t recover after that. They have a few flashes of hope, only to screw up at big moments. The Giants end up winning 29-14 deservedly and get their big game against the Cowboys next week for a spot in the playoffs.
The Jets playoff chances are shit out of luck. We need to beat Miami (not a given at this point) and need two teams to lose. I am tired of my team, we have the talent to make the Super Bowl but we keep shooting ourselves in the foot with undisciplined play, fuck-ups by Cromartie and Free Safety Eric Smith, Sanchez’s inconsistency and terrible offensive coaching. I really don’t care what happens next week. If we make the playoffs, fine but other than that I am not happy with this team.
I let the loss go and have some pizza with my brother and sister who are here to hang out. They go back out, and I catch-up on my DVR and watch my favorite show, “Storage Wars”. I have some Hot Apple Cider and go to sleep.
I wake-up and my family is home. We open our presents!
I got my mom, a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I show her how to use it though I know she’s going to need my help to get used to it… My mom isn’t used to techy stuff even though she’s had a smartphone for a year now, so I am always on standby to talk her through how to use it.
My dad, I arranged for him to go AC with my mom tomorrow for a day with a room at the Bally’s.
My brother, I got him some of those “In-ear” Beats by Dre Headphones. Which should get him to stop asking for my current headphones!
My sister, I got her some Ugg Boots even though Tom Brady endorses them. I hate Tom Brady and hope to beat his ass with an Ugg Boot someday.
My parents, got me some brand new Beats by Dre Headphones! Their Studio, High-Definition Quality. The freaking sound on them is amazing! I am rocking out to Billy Ocean’s “Get Out of My Dreams Get into My Car” while my family looks at me like some Billy Ocean loving weirdo with expensive headphones.
My brother gave me cash and my sister got me a Carmelo Anthony Knicks Jersey…Woohoo!
More family comes over. We immediately turn on the Knicks game game against the Celtics! It’s a Christmas Opening Day for the NBA after a length lockout!
Knicks have higher expectations after getting Superstars Carmelo Anthony, A’mare Stoudemire and securing defensive big man, Tyson Chandler. I am excited to see them play. The Celtics aren’t as strong as they look this year because of declining age and injuries. They also don’t have top scorer, Paul Pierce who is out with a bruised heel.
The Knicks start the game HOT, great ball movement, increased tenacity on defense, STAT (Stoudemire) is draining 3’s and Melo is dominating.
We get as much as a 19-point lead on them. My brother, father and I are freaking going crazy. The Knicks are looking freaking great!
Then… The Celtics after the half got hot and went on a 21-2 run and took the lead. Because point guard, Toney Douglas kept taking too many bad shots, not passing the ball enough and the Celtics got hot at the right time.
It wasn’t looking good going into the 4th quarter, my brother and I couldn’t believe it. UNTIL, The Knicks got hot thanks to our Superstar, Carmelo Anthony.
‘Melo took the game over at the right moment. The Knicks wisely, ran the offense through him. He proceeded to score 17 points in the 4th quarter and carried the Knicks to a comeback victory! KNICKS ARE 1-0! Though in a bout of sour grapes, Celtics Superstar Kevin Garnett after choking and missing a shot that could’ve put the game into Overtime, cheapshot one of our players like the asshole he is.
More family comes and I get more gifts (woohoo!), we have a lot of food: Turkey, Pernil, Arroz Con Gandules, Plantanos, Salad, Bread, tons of dessert stuff! A typical Puerto Rican Family Christmas!
I end the day by watching the rest of the NBA games and texting or facebooking well wishes to my closest friends, seeing the Heat dominate the defending champion, Mavericks. D-Rose leads the Bulls to a comeback victory in LA against the Lakers, as my family start to leave.
I can say without a doubt in my mind, the ultimate present that I received this year and every year since I was born is to have a wonderful family and great friends who I deeply care about.
“Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.”– It’s a Wonderful Life.
-V. for Vinnie