The Weekend

Leah and I had a busy Saturday.
Central Park Gates  – 7Just before we left the apartment for my usual gym session at midtown Manhattan, we decided to go to Central Park afterward and see what the fuss is all about The Gates. I took Leah’s compact digital camera with us and took some photos there. The park was packed full of gates as well as people. The orange fabric makes the park looks very zen/Buddhist-like.

But we couldn’t find somewhere we wanted to have lunch near the park so we decided to walk all the way back to midtown and had Japanese noodles instead. The round trip must have been at least 3 miles. Well it was 10 blocks up and down town between the park and the gym/noodle place as well as our walk up and across the park. I persuaded Leah to try out the pork curry ramen noodle and she loved it. Now that becomes her favourite dish, replacing chicken katsu don. We shared the gyoza and they are probably some of the best gyoza I’ve tasted! (I am sure there are better ones but hey, I am easy to please)

Then in the evening later, we went to a Sinatra party in downtown Manhattan. Really it was just an excuse to have a party and get ourselves drunk!
Sinatra Party – 1 We were supposed to be there by 9 p.m. but I had some shirt problem and PATH train problem so we didn’t get there until way past 10 p.m. Still we had a great time there drinking and chatting with people I work with. By the way, the ‘classic’ martini tastes pretty bad. Perhaps it is the gin but I am not sure why people like it. So I had a Baileys to balance it out 🙂 We didn’t leave until 2:30 am when the owner of the place more or less kicked us out.

I joked to Leah that since we have the keys to the new apartment in Battery Park City, just across the street may be we should just stay there instead of trekking home. She didn’t buy it and so we had to wait in the freezing platforms at WTC then at Grove Street before we got home at around 3:30 p.m. Good job I didn’t go to work the next day like I planned to!

The next day I woke up at 11 a.m. by Leah’s departure to the cinema with her friend (her reason/excuse of not staying at our new apartment). I stayed in bed and surfed the net for awhile then I got up and worked on ecto for a couple of hours. By that time Leah had came back with Thai food so we finished watching the last two episodes of Long Way Round DVD* and other TiVo shows. Then took some photos of my film camera body which I will be putting onto eBay for sale very soon. More TV then ensured and after that, I played like 4 hours of Halo 2 and went to bed at 3 a.m. I need more days like this one.

* There are a bunch of negative reviews about the book of their trip on Amazon. I am not sure whether it is because the reviewers are jealous that Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman were rich actors, or that they realise they didn’t get off their collective asses and do the trip themselves. Either way, Leah and I enjoyed the DVD. It is certainly not the Round the World in 80 Days by Michael Palin but it never pretends to be.

The House of Chocolate

Leah and I had previously agreed that we don’t need presents for each other on Valentine’s Day as we are trying to save money. But I surprised her with chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat. We have always lusted after chocolates from there when we lived in Mid-Town Manhattan. Leah once bought a small bag of assorted chocolate from them many years ago and they were good! We’ve only had three pieces each tonight and they definitely lived up to expectation!

Used iPod for Sale

Now that I have a new iPod, that means I need to sale my old 2nd generation 10GB iPod. This will be my first sale on eBay in nearly 5 years (last time I sold a camera lens on eBay in the U.K.).

If anyone is interested in an old iPod in almost pristine condition (no scratch on the back and only very, very minor scratches on the front) with used Apple headphones and remote, battery still last 4+ hours, one light blue iSkin case and a Timbuk2 case, visit the eBay auction.

Update: Wow, that was quick! The iPod was sold within 30 minutes of the listing being online. The buyer hit the “Buy It Now” button without even bidding for it. I guess my “Buy It Now” price is lower than what I could have gotten. I think next weekend I will put my two film camera bodies up for eBay!

The other side of the coin

So I had my annual review at work today. Nothing formal like in my last job with questionnaire and crap. Just a quick chat. The good thing that came out of it is that I got a 20% pay rise! It is not as much as you think because when I first took the job my salary was below market average. Now it is average. This definitely make me feel better after my tax payment revelation couple of days ago.

It's time for tax again

Last year I received a huge refund from IRS but after less than half an hour on TurboTax this evening I already found out that I own IRS money this year (I have a feeling that part of it is Leah’s lack of withholding last year and now I am paying for it).

I don’t own a huge amount but that throws the “HDTV in new apartment” plan right out of the window. Not that I was planning to buy one, mind you, but still I was hoping I’ll get a nice small refund instead. It is the eating into my saving part the annoys me.

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