Taking My 1st-Ever Painting Class at Wine & Design in Rahway NJ

Wine and Design Rahway NJI’ve never viewed myself as artistic. But my significant other recently found art as a passion of hers. She took in my passion of wrestling with open arms, so I decided to do the same with painting for her even though I was very intimidated by the aspect of putting the brush to the canvas.

I found a local paint studio near us called Wine & Design in Rahway, New Jersey and decided to book us in a class as a romantic date. And it worked like a charm since I bought a bottle of Dornfelder red wine to have between us as we painted.

Turns out the class was A LOT more intimate than I thought since it was only myself, my significant other, the teacher Stephanie and another girl Christine who painted often with her significant other who was at a bachelor party for the weekend.

The paintings at Wine & Design are traced out, so I felt a lot better about my lack of art skills. The wine helped also, as did having all of the colors right there and Stephanie’s slow & well-taught instruction.

Painting Class Rahway NJ

I chose this exact painting since it combined the look of Van Gogh’s Starry Night with our love of wine. I embellished some parts of the original artwork (and messed up others), so mine came out a bit different. I even added my signature on the napkin to make it look like I own something monogrammed like a classy person.

I’d definitely take another stab at doing an art project and I’ll definitely be less nervous going in next time. If you’re looking for a painting class in the Rahway NJ area, I’d recommend giving Wine & Design a try… especially if Stephanie is teaching.

Business Card Count: 36,109

Finding Old Business Cards & Much More During the Home Packing Process

Old Business CardsPacking can definitely be tough, especially if you intend on downsizing for the first time. That’s the case for my move.

I held onto a lot of things I brought into the house & got from the divorce since they were mine. But I know that I needed to downsize a good amount. I was hesitant to do it at first, but I found it therapeutic and emotional as I was doing it.

I found things that I forgot I even had, including some duplicate business cards in a random bag. Shockingly, there were some bigger-ticket items than these cards.

After it was all set and done, I purged the following items:

  • Old VHS tapes that can be found digitally
  • Old games I don’t play anymore
  • Old paperwork/bills from accounts I closed as long as 10 years ago (shred, baby shred)
  • Clothes that don’t fit me anymore (anything 2x and/or I didn’t wear was donated)
  • Old greeting cards/books/non-photo memory keepsakes collecting dust & not being looked at after 2 or more moves
  • Anything I haven’t used in at least a year or was later found to be broken or there wasn’t space for

Overall, the packing & downsizing process was very eye opening for me. Seeing past bills from when I was in credit card debt, old statements from places I used to live, cards from old birthdays/holidays & sympathy cards from my dad’s passing and other things I honestly forgot I had brought up memories.

But getting rid of them helps me to leave my past in the past and concentrate on building the future that is the next chapter in my life.

Business Card Count: 36,098

My Food Eating Experience at The Pizza Parlor in Wyckoff NJ

Pizza Parlor Wyckoff NJA new pizza place opened up recently by my job in Wyckoff, New Jersey aptly named The Pizza Parlor. It took the place of another pizzeria that either changed its name or sold their business.

I tried the previous business’s pizza and it was nothing to write home about. And they didn’t have a business card either, which is always a disappointment in my book. However, The Pizza Parlor does have a business card and some good food.

I tried a slice of their plain pizza along with a Tuscan panini (grilled chicken, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella & balsamic vinaigrette). The pizza was a good-quality slice, which is the norm for the NJ area, and the panini tasted good.

However, the peeve I have is many restaurants’ definition of a panini. Like others, The Pizza Parlor put the Tuscan panini contents in between pita bread. Pitas are flimsy and putting a lot of content on them makes the bottom soggy, which is what happened with mine.

The ideal bread for a panini, which I first tried in Europe, is either focaccia, ciabatta or baguette since they’re thicker & can handle being toasted while the juices of the meat & condiment flavor the sandwich. This is why I try to avoid ordering paninis here in the US.

However, that doesn’t stop me from recommending The Pizza Parlor, a name which I love because I used to call my childhood pizzeria a “pizza parlor” and it reminded me of how excited I got walking to the parlor & getting a slice or my parents picking it up for us. The staff I dealt with is a family that seemed to be very nice. It’s always good to see family-run businesses and I’m proud to dine at local restaurants as opposed to chains.

Business Card Count: 36,076

The Used Car Shopping Experience at Enterprise in Iselin NJ

Anita Y PeeleI haven’t been used car shopping since my mother helped me find my 1999 Dodge Intrepid in college, which incidentally died right after I paid a toll on the Tappan Zee Bridge. But this experience was different since it was my significant other purchasing her next vehicle.

And the place she chose was the same one she got her last vehicle from: the Enterprise car sales location in Iselin, New Jersey. I’ve worked with car dealerships for a number of years through my full-time job, so I know how they operate and which vehicles were the safest choice & worth the money.

Enterprise is a little bit different since they have a no-haggle pricing policy, which means there’s no need (or room, depending on your point of view) to negotiate. I was honestly skeptical at first until I arrived at the dealership and met with our salesperson Anita Y. Peele.

The Enterprise Experience With Anita Y. Peele

Enterprise Iselin NJ

From the very beginning, Anita treated us very well and helped get the right SUV that met all driving needs & the budget. Between needing added space for 2 young kids, their respective booster/baby seats and other cargo, a 2015 Chevy Equinox they had in stock was the best bet.

Problem was that it was on Long Island instead of being in NJ. Luckily, Anita made some calls to the Huntington location to secure the vehicle and get it delivered quickly. To make sure that we liked the Equinox, we got to sit inside of a different model they had in stock with fewer miles & see the features the vehicle.

Once the Equinox arrived to our nearby Enterprise location, Anita called to let us know we can pick up the vehicle. That’s where the real challenge came in since we picked up the SUV with the kids as well. Luckily, the dealership was practically empty since it was really late.

Let me tell you: keeping kids entertained is not easy at a used car dealership, but somehow Anita got the job done between stickers, bubbles and a big box of snack food that I wound up wolfing down Rice Krispie Treats from. But that was only part of the goodness, as Anita kept making calls between the lenders, insurance companies and more to ensure that we drove home in the Chevy Equinox that night.

And we did. If you’re shopping for a used car in the Iselin NJ area, I’d definitely recommend going to Enterprise and asking for Anita Peele since she’ll go the extra mile with a smile on her face.

Business Card Count: 35,998

O&M Landscaping Taped Their Business Card to My Mailbox

O and M LandscapingI’m sure you’ve seen many things put in your mailbox in an effort for a company to promote their business like pamphlets, menus and enveloped mail. I recently saw one of the more unique approaches for self promotion: a business card taped to the mailbox.

O&M Landscaping was the culprit. Someone from that company went around house to house to scotch tape their card in an effort to get customers during the summer, presumably that business’s busy season.

Here’s why this is a good idea: this type of self promotion will surely get noticed, as opposed to putting it in the mailbox where it might not get grabbed.

It also cuts down on costs of other print advertising. This business card is well done since it presents the key info: the O&M Landscaping name, phone # and main services performed.

Here’s why this is a bad idea:

  • The tape could deface someone’s mailbox, which could anger someone who might be that particular.
  • The tape is very hard to separate from the card without damage being caused to the card, though this isn’t as bad since they only used a small piece at the top.
  • The card could very well fall off or get damaged due to weather conditions like the rain or high winds.
  • People might not notice if they’re on their phone or distracted with kids while just grabbing the mail. This card was taped to the front of the box and not on the top lid.

I’ve never used or knowingly met anyone from O&M Landscaping, so this is not a reflection of their work. This is just a look at the way they advertised their services.

Business Card Count: 35,969

Almond-Milk Swirl FroYo and Foot Fetishes in Westfield NJ

Almond Milk Swirl Frozen YogurtI had 2 of the most unusual experiences of my life at FroYo in Westfield, New Jersey. Both of them are very different in terms of why they were weird.

I feel the best way to describe this is chronologically. I entered the frozen yogurt stop since I wanted a small cool down.

I was promptly greeted by the man who was serving the FroYo… I’m not sure if he’s the owner or an employee. As I was deciding on what flavor to sample, he started just giving me samples of a bunch of flavors.

Almond-Milk Swirl

FroYo Westfield NJOne flavor I got to sample was the chocolate version of Almond-Milk Swirl, a vegan frozen yogurt alternative. They call themselves a creamy dairy-free soft serve.

What’s cool about the business card itself is that it lists the ingredients and nutrition info about the product. However, the product itself can’t replicate the exact texture of frozen yogurt.

Even though I like almond milk, the product tasted like a more solid version of chocolate almond milk. So not my cup of tea, but I can see it as a vegan alternative that’s healthier.

Possible Foot Fetish Request

I ultimately chose a small cup of graham cracker frozen yogurt with a multi-cookie topping. It tasted great and was smartly layered with yogurt-topping-yogurt-topping.

And at a $3.50 price tag, I would have went back to FroYo if I was in the Westfield area. Except for the interaction I had with the employee as I was leaving.

He requested to take a photo of my shoes (or the bottoms of my shoes). I asked why he wanted to and it took him some umms & pauses to respond with “for a collage.”

I immediately felt uncomfortable since I didn’t see said collage anywhere in the store and politely declined. I walked out and drove away as fast as I could with FroYo in hand.

Business Card Count: 35,941

How It Feels to Get Pseudo-Evicted From My Apartment

Well, I was given 2 months notice to move out of my apartment. My living situation is a little bit complicated.

You see, I live in the basement of a house and I pay rent to the landlord who is a mother living with her son and boyfriend. 2 separate people, just to avoid any confusion.

The house is owned by a married couple in their 80s who I’ve never met. They have decided to put the house on the market, which has created upheavel.

Kenneth Kawash Eva Mok

Realtors have been coming frequently, such as Eva Mok from Next Age M3 Realty. She was speaking in an Asian language (I don’t want to sound ignorant by saying the wrong country or dialect) to her client & both were polite.

The complications come in when my landlord doesn’t get notice and people just show up, like an incident of them walking in as she was getting out of the shower.

Eventually, my landlord got fed up and said she can’t live like this and was moving out by September 1st. I did get almost 60 days notice, which is nice.

I was planning to move, so the stars aligned. But I was still mad though since I didn’t like how I couldn’t control my fate. I felt that way in my marriage and would have liked the option to be the one to say “I’m done” instead of being pseudo-evicted.

It feels like I got laid off at home, which has happened to me twice already in my work career. It really felt like I was getting some secondary treatment though the notice was a good amount of time.

I’ll talk about the move itself in another blog post in the near future.

Business Card Count: 35,915

Finding a Random Business Card at a Rest Stop in South Carolina

Cash Carry Wholesale Grocery North Charleston SCTaking long drives is something I enjoy doing with my free time. It helps me think, relax and end up at a fun destination.

This time, I found (what I feel may just be) my very first business card at a rest stop. I was driving back from Savannah, Georgia with my significant other and we needed a potty break and driver switch. I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be funny if I found a business card at this rest stop?”

I laughed out loud when I saw the business card for Cash & Carry Wholesale Grocery located in North Charleston, South Carolina attached to a newspaper stand. I was curious as to what the heck a lone Cash & Carry Wholesale Grocery card was doing there.

I would assume it would be something the company may have done to spread the word to motivate road trip takers to stop at that store. But if you look at the map, the store is nowhere near the rest stop I-95.

Fortune BubblePlus, with a name like “wholesale”, it sounds like it’s a Costco-type store, so one might not have room for bulk shopping items when on a road trip. I’d definitely shop there if I was in the area based on the reviews and a unique product I saw promoted on their Facebook: Fortune Bubble.

It appears to be a gum that combines the fun of chewing gum with reading your fortune from a fortune cookie. Hopefully, it’s not fortune cookie-flavored gum… I’ve had a bad experience with rest stop gum when I was a kid getting a gumball that looked and tasted like an ear of corn.

But my favorite part is the mascot. I’d love to have a conversation with a character like that whose love is chewing gum.

I guess the fortune on the cover of the Fortune Bubble was right. “A pleasant surprise is in store for you.” Finding a business card at a rest stop sure was one.

Business Card Count: 35,898

Nothing Beats Hawaiian Husky Organic Shave Ice on a Hot Day

Hawaiian Husky Organic Shave IceThe summer is known for hot weather and its cold treats. And boy was it hot on the day I went to the Freedom Fest State Fair in Allentown, New Jersey.

It felt like it was 100 degrees on that farm in the middle of nowhere, so I was definitely feeling dehydrated. That’s when I saw the Hawaiian Husky Organic Shave Ice food truck. Honestly, I thought it was “Shaved” ice until I looked at the business card closer and did my research.

But I digress. I walked up to Hawaiian Husky and the first impression I got was “wow, there are a lot of options here.” I’m used to carnivals only providing a couple of flavor choices… the hits if you will. But there was so much variety that it took me 5 minutes to choose.

Cucumber Watermelon Lemon Organic Shaved IceI debated between a few flavors of organic shaved ice, but the one that won was Cucumber Watermelon Lemon… I think it was lemon, but I know it was cucumber and watermelon for sure. It beat out pink lemonade (which is more commonplace) and I made a good decision.

Not only was it very tasty, it was also organic so no processed nonsense was in it. I can picture the vile syrups that would go into something like an Icee, but this legitimately tasted so refreshing. It was light yet flavorful and it wasn’t too pricey, so I’d definitely stop by their truck again.

Hawaiian Husky Organic Shave Ice have a variety of combination flavors, as well as single flavors that looked appetizing. There are also a variety of toppings that looked interesting, but I don’t think I would get since the ice itself was so good.

Business Card Count: 35,881

My Phone Upgrading Experience at Verizon Wireless in Woodbridge NJ

Verizon Wireless Woodbridge NJI got a wonderful birthday gift: my phone stopped working. I know blink-182’s What’s My Age Again says that nobody likes you when you’re 23, but I didn’t know that meant 32 also.

So I took my phone to the Verizon Wireless store in Woodbridge, New Jersey to see if I could get it to work since I needed my phone for just a little while longer, so I can thank everyone who called, texted and messaged me for my special day.

I was already shopping around for a new phone for my upgrade and saw that I can get the Motorola Moto Z2 Play and get a free JBL speaker attachment for ordering it by a certain date. I sure wanted to take advantage of that!

The first person I dealt with, Adeola (Addy for short), was an angel. She tried everything to get my phone to work and really talked me through how they would help me by setting me up with a Motorola Moto Z Play and then exchange it for the phone I want.

That seemed like the ideal plan since the Moto Z2 Play was to be released a week later. That plan was good until I had to go back again.

Second Time Was Not the Charm

This time, I dealt with Ryan. I knew I should have called Addy like she told me to since he had no idea what I was talking about. The deal stopped being the primary one listed with the phone, so he told me to call customer service.

I left angry since I felt blown off. When I spoke to customer service, they told me the deal was still around and that the guy at the store should have called them for help. That really got me hot, as did finding out they aren’t an official Verizon Wireless location even though the store says it.

Now I went to the store determined to get what I deserved, plus a void of the restocking fee. I was helped by Ryan again and he had to ask for a manager once I talked about waiving that fee.

Andre the manager told me to call customer service. That’s when I played the card of them calling, which they refused. After calling again to get it waived, I got my phone and did the discount for the free speaker.

The speaker will arrive in 6-8 weeks… Much sooner than my arrival at the Verizon Wireless store in Woodbridge NJ.

Business Card Count: 35,858