Getting a Quarterly Spot Spraying & Checkup From Terminix

Terminix Trenton NJBugs have never really been a huge problem for me, more of a nuisance. A hatred of ankle-biting mosquitoes in the summer time.

Though the house I bought did have a cricket issue of them being in the wall, so that was fun. I believe I got someone to take care of them while patching the hold causing the problems.

But I feel like this is my first experience with regular bug treatments with a company like Terminix. That’s because my significant other has a plan with them that costs a minimal amount per quarter.

And I must say the outer pods are effective since I barely see bugs inside. It was only when I started dwelling in the basement (and we cleaned it) did a few more start coming.

The other day, Ibrahim Temur from Terminix came out to the house to do some spraying inside and out. He said the inside hadn’t been done in a while, so its a good thing it got done.

I was picturing a tent needing to be erected and evacuating to the backyard from the fumes. Turns out, it’s a small canister of spray and the area couldn’t be touched for 15 minutes.

Ibrahim, which must be Abraham in another language, was polite and thorough to ensure everywhere that needed to get hit did. If it keeps critters out for winter, it’s well worth the money.

Business Card Count: 36,518

Throwback: Max Seibert’s Unique Ouija Board Business Card

Max SeibertI recently came across a business card that I enjoy that Max Seibert used to stand out while promoting his brand. It stands out to me because it’s a Ouija board.

I may like board games, but I’ve never used a Ouija board though I do remember having one briefly as a child. I was always skeptical of its capabilities of being a portal into the spirit world.

My cynicism came from my logical thinking that Ouija s a multiple-person board game (or board activity) where everyone has their hands on the planchette (aka the little pointer thing with the opening to indicate which letter is being communicated), so the odds are that someone is pulling on purpose or subconsciously.

But, I’ve watched some paranormal shows with my significant other that have shown some links between the use (or misuse) of Ouija boards and the spirit world. One particular case that stands out is where a girl & her sister mess with a board without properly finishing the ritual and that causes their home to be haunted.

I read some history about these boards and it actually started out as a parlor game and then the inventor had to sue a bunch of people who ripped off his idea. Eventually, Parker Brothers bought the rights from the guy’s estate and then Hasbro took over Parker Brothers.

My belief is that Ouija boards are not actually a portal to the spirit world because I feel as though that type of power would not be man made. I feel it had to have existed from the onset of whoever created the world. I think any “portal” that would open up the spirit world would already be open and the concept of a Ouija board may anger a spirit enough to haunt a location rather than the board itself.

Oh, and I’ve seen online reviews of the Ouija movies and they look awful.

Business Card Count: 36,482

Sticks Cigars in Rahway NJ: Going to My 1st-Ever Cigar Bar

Sticks Cigars Rahway NJOn a special occasion like celebrating a life event, I like to have a cigar. It’s once in a blue moon, but I do enjoy it from time to time.

I’ve never been to a cigar bar in my life, but was excited when my friend Jon wanted to do one for his bachelor party in NYC in 2014.  Unfortunately, a couple of people in our group were wearing shorts and the dress code was pants only… so no luck.

But it wouldn’t be until over 3 years later when I got an opportunity to go to a cigar bar near me. It was actually accidental since me and my significant other were going to a Cuban restaurant in Rahway NJ when we stumbled across Sticks Cigars.

Turns out, it’s a cigar bar that just opened like 2 months ago and we decided to go in since we wanted to try something different. We were properly greeted by a woman named Emily who gave us a tour of the establishment that included lockers that you could rent out for a yearly fee and an outside area.

We wound up sitting inside in comfortable chairs as the cigars they had in stock were explained to us. I wound up leaving to grab a bottle of wine since it is a BYOB with a glass fee. When I got back, we enjoy 2 different cigars with our wine: one mild one made for 1st-time smokers like her and one a little more robust.

Overall, Sticks Cigars gave me (and my significant other) a very fun experience with a helpful & nice staff. We’ll definitely visit again and I recommend going there if you’re looking for a cigar bar in the Rahway, New Jersey area that offers a budget-friendly smoke and an intimate atmosphere with a big screen TV.

Business Card Count: 36,449

Experiencing the Unique Menu at Mascali Restaurant in East Northport NY

Mascali Restaurant East Northport NYEating out at new restaurants is always fun for me. It’s especially enjoyable when you get to spend time with family. And it’s even rarer when a family member is there who I haven’t seen in over 20 years except once briefly at my grandmother’s wake.

My cousin Mary (technically, my mother’s first cousin, so it’s once removed or something of that nature) works at an Italian cuisine restaurant called Mascali in East Northport on Long Island, New York and I knew it by name only because I had received their business card numerous times.

But it’s good to finally put a name with a place with an experience. And boy, was the food unique! A lot of it looked like typical Italian fare with the appetizers, pasta dishes (the pasta being homemade of course) and the usual chicken/veal entrees with the usual sauces/cheeses/vegetables cooked with it.

However, we opted to order some things off of the specials menu.

Colossal Crab & Golden Marble Potato SaladColossal Crab & Golden Marble Potato Salad

The first course was the appetizer. Besides the calamari that my sister’s husband ordered and I sampled, we split an order of potato salad.

If you know me well enough, you’d know that I despise potato salad… so I initially lost interest. Once our waitress said that there was no mayo in and had crème fraîche instead, I got intrigued enough to order it.

Besides the potatoes and crème fraîche, there was also crab meat, fried capers, little tiny red potato halves and a touch of cayenne oil for some spice. I can definitely appreciate the uniqueness of the dish, how refreshing the potatoes taste with the crème fraîche and how mixing in the cayenne oil & fried capers makes for interesting pairings.

French Cut Chicken BreastFrench Cut Chicken Breast

I’d definitely say bonjour to the French cut chicken breast special once again. The protein is pan seared and it came out very juicy with good flavor on the skin.

Don’t forget about the veggie selection. The okra was tempura fried and tasted very good. It gave me a great first impression of okra since I had never eaten it until then.

But the absolute highlight for me was the jambalaya quinoa. That’s right: quinoa spiced and seasoned like an Italian classic: jambalaya. It melted in my mouth and I couldn’t stop nibbling on it from my significant other’s plate.

Slow Braised Beef Brisket (Pot Roast)Slow-Braised Beef Brisket

Our waitress called this dish the pot roast, but the menu called it the slow-braised beef brisket… which sounds more elegant. The beef was drizzled in a gremolata that really brought some good flavor to the meat.

What really made me want to order this dish were the truffle mashed potatoes. Truffle oil is definitely a delicacy I enjoy once in a while and the potatoes were amazing. I enjoyed mixing the meat with them also since that’s what I do with mashed potatoes.

Haricot vert was the vegetable on the side. You know, green beans. I literally had no idea that was the formal name of this veggie. Whether it’s pot roast with green beans or slow-braised beef brisket with haricot vert, it was a good dish.

And finally, dessert came out. We oped to split a chocolate mousse cake (well, a slice of it anyway) that was infused with Grand Mariner orange liqueur, which blended so impeccably with the mousse. Best of all, there was a chocolate chip cookie crust for flavor and texture.

I’d definitely eat at Mascali Restaurant again, even if it wasn’t my cousin’s place of employment, for the experience. But seeing family is what really put the meal over the top.

Business Card Count: 36,408

How Arctic Air Conditioning Fixed a Most Unusual Issue

Sal Del're Arctic Air ConditioningKnowing the AC doesn’t work on a hot day really sucks. This happened one day recently and it was time to call somebody. But I didn’t know anybody.

Since I spent so much time at Home Depot getting paint to give the basement a new coat of paint (pun intended, though my significant other did more painting than I did), I decided to see if they knew someone who could help with this. And they had a company they recommend in my area called Arctic Air Conditioning.

I received a call from Arctic Air Conditioning to set up an appointment a couple of days later and they had openings, so it was only for a weekend that the AC didn’t work. Early Monday morning came and so did Sal Del’re.

If the R in his name is capitalized, I can’t tell from the business card, which has a cool cartoon Eskimo mascot on it who looks to be dancing. But I digress.

Sal was very helpful in fixing our air conditioning issue. Well, issues technically. The first one was more minor when he pulled the air filter out that got SUCKED INSIDE the unit. It looked like a dusty flattened accordion by the end.

The more major issue was a wire not working since it appears to have been cut. The basement was home to many wires that led nowhere, so it must have been pulled on by accident. My bad people.

I’d use Arctic Air Conditioning again and hope that Sal would return to help us out. Or maybe somebody else with a different business card can, so I can add a new one to my collection.

Business Card Count: 36,378

Sampling 4 Treats From the House of Cupcakes Food Truck

House of CupcakesI’m not usually one to deviate to sweet food. I usually go for saltier snacks or desserts that aren’t as sweet.

However, I couldn’t resist when I saw the House of Cupcakes food truck at the Edison Fall Family Spectacular. That’s because I noticed that they won an episode of Cupcake Wars, a popular show on the Food Network.

I sometimes watch cooking competition shows since they’re like game shows… aka reality shows without the overproduction and scripting like the Real Housewives or Kardashians. So they already had my respect walking up to the truck.

I decided to get 4 of the cupcakes on their menu since I wanted to try a variety… plus they were only $12 and came in a case, so what’s the harm? I was also sharing them, which helped reduce my caloric intake.

Specialty Cupcakes Princeton NJHere are the flavors I got (going from top left counter-closewise):

  • Peanut Butter Cup: This cupcake was both delicious and definitely the most filling. The peanut butter alone helped do that trick, but the peanut butter cups on top and the thick chocolate cake did their part.
  • Cookies & Cream: This cupcake was the sweetest of the 4. The flavor was very bold and I had to take a bit of time in between bites to not overload on the sweetness. But, this is coming from someone who isn’t a big sweets person.
  • S’mores: I think this cupcake was my favorite of all. I enjoyed the contrast in texture and flavors of the chocolate cake, marshmallow-flavored frosting & graham cracker crumbles on top.
  • Boston Cream: I can tell from the quality of the ingredients that it was a good cupcake. However, I don’t feel like there was enough cream to get the specialty flavor profile through the massive heap of chocolate on top of a vanilla cake. For that reason, it was my least favorite although it was still tasty.

I’d definitely stop by the House of Cupcakes location for dessert when I walk around Princeton NJ one day in the future to try other flavors they have like the chocolate chip cookie dough, banana cream pie and mint chocolate chip.

Business Card Count: 36,355

Another Move Down: The Good & Bad of My Most Recent Home Move

Tom's Automotive Service Old Bridge NJMoving day is always a stressful time since there are so many moving parts. But I doubt I’ve ever had a move as mentally taxing as this one.

That’s because there were a lot of layers to it. For one, I only had 3 days notice doe to my landlord somehow telling the homeowner that we’d be out by the 15th of the month when we agreed on the 1st of the next month.

My landlord also offered to get a truck for us both, but reneged. I also asked for half my rent back and am waiting on it. I would have stayed until I got my money, but the homeowner said they’d clear everything out using a junk removal company on the 15th.

So I couldn’t just stick around. At least I left things behind I didn’t want to carry out. But the landlord complained about that even though she told me I could leave anything behind since leaving excess garbage out would have cost her money.

She even sent photos claiming she’d be charged for the cleaning crew though they’d be brought in anyway. Between no notice and the fact that I haven’t heard from her since the move except for the photos, I hope karma gets her good.

This situation really caused me to panic over finding a truck, which I wound up getting at Tom’s Automotive Service on Old Bridge NJ. The place was far off of my beaten path and looked like such an old-school mechanic in the middle of nowhere.

They only had a 10-foot truck available and I thought that I’d be okay since I downsized a lot. Not enough apparently since I needed to make 2 trips, which led to a longer time moving. But it meant that I got more of a workout since I did a good amount of heavy lifting and walking. I did not go to the gym afterwards. Or the next day.

I also got some good bonding time in with my mother and significant other who both helped me with this move at the drop of a hat. I’m much happier in the new place than the old one since it means a new chapter in my life that I’ve been anticipating for a long time now.

Not to mention the laundry isn’t left in the machine for days and I’m not in a basement where the bathroom ceiling looks like it was chewed by beavers.

Business Card Count: 36,158

Throwback: Smoking Hookah & Eating Good at Persepolis Lounge & Grill

Persepolis Lounge and GrillTaking a trip is all about having fun experiences. And I intended to make my one day in the city of Savannah, Georgia with my significant other just that when I went down to see her family for Thanksgiving last year.

We spent the day doing a scavenger hunt, going on a haunted tour (because Savannah is pretty much built over graveyards of old) and enjoying Southern delicacies like pralines.

We decided to cap off the night at the one hookah stop we could find on Google/Yelp: Persepolis Lounge & Grill. We were conveniently about 3 blocks from it, so we gave it a whirl.

And man, did it pay off! The place was almost empty for no good reason since the ambiance was intimate and classy. The owner and waitress we had were both wonderful.

The owner recommended an amazing port wine that we had a couple of glasses of. The food was also to die for… We had a chicken dish with some rice that really stood out in a good way.

We wound up staying at Persepolis Lounge & Grill for a couple of hours just enjoying our adult night out. This was our first long trip as a couple and there was some arguing, so this day in Savannah GA and meal/hookah experience really helped make the trip special.

Business Card Count: 36,137

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