I Got Poison Ivy & Went to Doctor’s Office Urgent Care

Poison Ivy AllergyIf there’s one thing to know about me, I have a severe allergy to poison ivy. So severe that I was once hospitalized since half of my face was oozing orange within 3 days.

This time wasn’t as bad, though my face is marked up red on my forehead, throughout my eye and on the tip of my nose. My eye was also swollen shut, which is when I decided to go to The Doctor’s Office Urgent Care location in Manalapan, New Jersey.

Doctor's Office Urgent Care Manalapan NJ

I got there right after 8:00 am when they opened up since I wanted to ensure I could get in and out so I could go back to work. I took a sick day the previous day and I worked from home on this day. But let’s talk more about my visit to The Doctor’s Office Urgent Care.

It was typical urgent care treatment, except I didn’t have to wait too long since I was one of the first people there. The doctor gave me a shot and some pills that I took. I still have a little bit of a rash and will probably see another doctor about it, perhaps not Doctor’s Office Urgent Care since urgent cares could run more expensive than a regular doctor.

I have some other reasons to see the doctor, but I enjoyed going to the urgent care. The only other time I went to an urgent care was to get my elbow drained since I dinged it at some point wrestling. It definitely beats going to the emergency room if your ailment is not dire. I’d definitely go to The Doctor’s Office Urgent Care in Manalapan again.

Business Card Count: 32,998

I Chose a New Gym: Retro Fitness (throughout New Jersey)

Retro Fitness Freehold NJIt took a little while after I decided to leave LA Fitness, but I finally picked a new gym: Retro Fitness, primarily the location in Freehold NJ. However, I’ve worked out in a few of them around the state so far.

It’s weird how inconsistent these gyms are from one another. Planet Fitness is pretty much cookie cutter with added equipment with more space and LA Fitness was the same way with equipment & amenities. There’s a stark contrast with Retro.

The Freehold location has a steam room, but it’s the only location I’ve been to with one. There’s also a variety of different equipment and rooms depending on the location you pick. The only consistency is their Theatre for cardio, which I don’t use anyway, and the juice bar that has decent enough protein but use liquid flavoring that tastes too artificial.

But here’s why I chose Retro Fitness over some other gyms besides this juice stack of business cards I was able to get at Retro.

Club Metro

Club Metro Freehold NJIn spite of the other stack of business cards I got at Club Metro of Freehold and how much nicer that gym is compared to Retro, Club Metro was just too expensive. Not to mention there aren’t enough locations in North Jersey to accommodate my desire to work out elsewhere.

New York Sports Club

In spite of the third stack of business cards (see a theme here?) I got at the New York Sports Club in Manalapan, I felt like there was lack of difference between NYSC and Retro. I didn’t need a basketball court, which takes up about half the gym’s space and NYSC was more money (see another theme here?).

After the first month of being a Retro Fitness member, I’m enjoying it. I’m still getting a good workout in each time I go to the gym, but I do find myself not wanting to shower there since the soap is inferior to LA Fitness. I just bring my own and smell squeaky clean.

Oh and Retro also wins because their stack of business cards was bigger than the stacks from the other gyms.

Business Card Count: 32,979

Popping My H&R Block Cherry with Ellen Sowers

Ellen Sowers H&R BlockGetting my taxes done was always a bit of a core for me even though I’ve never met the person who did my taxes face to face. I always just had to mail my tax documents to my mother who would in turn give them to an accountant whose business card I never received.

That all changed this year because of my marriage. Firstly, we had to file together and secondly, she uses H&R Block. She always goes to the Piscataway, New Jersey location and works with Ellen Sowers.

So off I went for my first visit to the Block. Beth told me pretty much what to expect from my cherry popping: sitting around for about an hour or so & dropping a couple hundred dollars. But, there was more to the story.

The Ellen Sowers Experience

Sowers explained to me what some of the things on my tax paperwork meant, which was a nice added bonus. I like learning more about how things work and taxes were no exception.

I also excused myself to go to the bathroom, so I can snag myself some more employee business cards. Did you know they rank employees at H&R Block by number? I saw some Tax Specialist 3 cards (and I think there was a 2 in there also), so I’m glad when I knew my taxes were being done by a 5.

The best part of it all though was knowing that I’m getting a refund. It’s always a nice feeling when you get money back, especially at this time because of the house. The refund is bigger than usual, but that could be because of our joint filing.

All in all, my first H&R Block experience was a good one (I did play some games on my phone while the numbers were being put into the software by Sowers) & we’ll be using them for the foreseeable future.

Business Card Count: 32,411

See You Later Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Nassau Veterans Memorial ColiseumA very Long Island-appropriate Billy Joel concert on August 4th will be the last event to be taking place at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale NY before a major renovation that will close the arena for over a year.

I know when they did the same for Shea Stadium, they renamed it CitiField, so who knows if the arena will even be called Nassau Coliseum anymore. Either way, I have had some good times over the years there.

My Memories at Nassau Coliseum

Nassau ColiseumThe most fond memories I’ve had were seeing wrestling events with my father & brother. In fact, my first live event was a WWE house show in 1994 where I got see wrestlers including Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Alundra Blayze & others.

There were others including a WCW house show, an episode of WCW Monday Nitro where Hulk Hogan & Goldberg took on the Jersey Triad in the main event and an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw where the main event was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Rikishi.

During some of the events, we got to sit in a sky box because of the connection my father or godfather had at the Coliseum. Either way, I had lots of fun.

In fact, I think seeing wrestling shows were the only memories I have. I know I went to an Islanders game at some point, as well as a different type of show or job event. I can’t recall, but it’s been fun going to Nassau Coliseum.

Tell me about your fond memories at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the comments below or tweet me @ChrisKeuling!

Business Card Count: 30,741

The Time the Wake Viewing Line Was Out the Door

Thompson Memorial HomeFunerals are most always sad occasions. I know that all too well. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a wake of a friend’s father. It was raining, which I’ve found to be a trend for funerals and/or wakes of people I’ve known.

When I got there, I found a line out the door. I’ve never seen that before, but it happened at the Thompson Memorial Home down in Red Bank NJ.

From what I learned about him, he owned a pizzeria in the area and was influential in the community. I read that he kept the place open during Hurricane Sandy.

It seemed like there was good reason for the line to be out the door. It took about 45 minutes to actually get into the funeral home, which looked nice but a little small when I went inside. Then, it took another 20 minutes to actually view him and say my condolences since the line wrapped into the casket-free common area, into a hall and around another bend.

Man, I hope that I touch that many people when I die.

Have you ever been to the Thompson Memorial Home? Tell me about your experience in the comments below or on Twitter @ChrisKeuling!

A Nice Funeral Goes a Long Way

My apologies for the lack of an update. I was actually in the middle of writing a blog post about a new restaurant (well, cafe) that opened up recently in my area & my first experience there.

However, I’ve been (in addition to the things I already do in my life) been dealing and reeling over the process of my grandmother Vivian Steers passing away over the past couple of weeks. Long story short: she had a stroke in August, they found cancer in her brain, she was doing better until the tumor grew and things got worse until she passed away on Monday 9/22.

I visited her twice post stroke, once in an assisted living facility that she enjoyed but didn’t have the medical team to help once things got worse and on the day before her death when she seemed to be in a deep sleep and comfortable. It was quick and thankfully, the suffering was minimal.

Thomas P Walsh Funeral HomeThen, came the wake on Wednesday and the funeral mass & burial on Thursday. Upon arriving at Thomas P. Walsh Funeral Home in Central Islip, I saw that it was a nice size and looked immaculate. The size was especially good for the number of people who came to both viewings and sat down.

They actually used two different rooms that are usually divided by a movable wall, but made it into one room. The setup was also really nice, with one feature that I’ve never seen before. There was a candle next to the casket (which was closed) and it had a picture of my grandmother’s face on the glass as a part of the candle.

I saw some people I always see and others that I hadn’t seen in years. It was a nice time of reflection to think about my grandmother and a time to say goodbye.

A great thing that the staff did was that they opened the door for everybody coming in and going out. I also liked that the staff were helpful in knowing all of the different prayers and religious things that needed to be said upon her arrival at the cemetery.

I’ll miss my grandmother a whole lot, but I’m glad that she’s buried with her husband & family and grateful that all that she gave me from gifts & money to love & some personality traits. Even the hard times when being told that I’ll never find a girl who would love me since I didn’t know how to hold a fork the right way.

Disney’s A Business Card Disappointment

I went on vacation to Walt Disney World about a month ago and was excited to see if I could snag a lot of business cards in Florida while I was there.

Boy, was I wrong. There were not as many business cards at Disney as I thought. And you know what? Why should there be?

I mean, Disney is world renowned and you’ll be able to find most anything on Disney property without needing a card. From the maps and guides to the fact that you actually have to pay admission to get into a majority of the places, there’s really no need. However, we did leave Disney property for one day and actually grabbed a couple from Downtown Disney, the restaurant- and shop-oriented part of the property.

East Coast Mechanical

Well, it all started a couple of weeks ago when I found this card in the parking lot of my office. Yeah, I picked it up off the ground. I wrote a blog about doing that sort of thing. Moving on…

Portobello Italian RestaurantPortobello

The first night Beth & I got to Disney, my brother & sister-in-law took us out to eat. All while we got lost on the bus. I ate wood-roasted portobello mushroom with gorgonzola/polenta/rosemary sauce and grilled fresh salmon with crispy oregano potatoes/arugula/pickled red onions. Boy, was it good. That was the theme of some of the restaurants Beth & I made reservations at, including Chefs de France where I had escargot and a salad and Mama Melrose’s where I had minestrone and corvina with fennel/peppers/basil-garlic gnocchi. Others were not so great, such as…

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville Luxury Lanes, a bowling alley and restaurant in one. Bowling was fun, but an order of cheese fries that took 3 tries to get right and a mediocre taco salad was not so fun. Other misses include Coral Reef Restaurant and the meatless creamy lobster soup (although the orange-ginger salmon with stir-fry veggies was a bit less bland) and Planet Hollywood where we got free dessert (a mountain of ice cream and toppings) because there was plastic in my nephew’s dinner.

David Dibble

We did go off the resort one day when visiting Beth’s grandma in West Palm Beach, where I got my first-ever business card from a toll booth. Do you want to work in a toll booth in Florida? As long as it’s air conditioned.

Publix PharmacySomething Silver

We also went to a Publix to get a snack and I snagged the business card from the pharmacy. I also got my last business card at Disney from a store called Something Silver. Didn’t go in, just grabbed it in passing.

World Car Center

How convenient that the last business card I find in Florida was on the floor in the airport. And may I say, what a crappy food selection this airport had. The one place I liked, a smoothie place, was under construction.

My trip to Disney was full of memories that I’ll keep for a lifetime. Including the fact that my business card collection did not get much growth from it.

And yes, I want Disney to make a movie called “A Business Card Disappointment” and give me royalties.

Well, I’m Engaged Now

Iannelli DiamondsI haven’t blogged in a while because there were a few important life events that have happened. And work also.

But back to the important life events. In some of the blogs that I’ve written, I talked about my girlfriend Beth. Now, she’s my fiancée and we’ll be planning a wedding together.

The first thing people ask: when’s the wedding? Hold your horses.

The second thing people ask: how did he or you, depending on who’s being asked, pop the question.

Business Card BlogWell, here’s how it went down. It was Valentine’s Day. Yes, I did that cliché. After a work happy hour, we arrived home and Beth went to take a shower and that’s when I set up tea lights that said “Marry Me”.

You can see it in the picture for yourself.

Then, I played “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, as it’s one of her favorite songs. She sings it at night also, so I thought it was appropriate.

Wedding BlogNow, let’s talk about the ring. I bought it from Iannelli Diamonds (business card above) on the recommendation of my financial adviser.

Mario Iannelli handled my ring purchase and it was great. He was very helpful in getting me what I wanted. And by what I wanted, I mean what Beth told me to get. But hey, I chose the diamond. I designed the ring. I lost a little bit of my soul paying for it.

Now that I’m engaged, you’ll be seeing some more wedding blog posts. From seeing venues and attending tastings to choosing flowers and music, I will be getting my hands on a lot of business cards.

And for those things that only Beth will go to, I’ll be sure to ask her to get me the business cards and I might even add them to the wedding blog series that I will be writing.

KleinfeldMy aunt and uncle gave me one wedding-themed business card already. Beth loves Kleinfeld based on the reality show “Say Yes to the Dress”.

I don’t think this is the location on the show, but I felt like I should throw this business card up for the fun of it.

Drop Something? I’ll Pick That Up

Sidelle SydneyMany times, people drop things on the ground and think nothing of it. Sometimes, they pick it up right away if it’s something like money. Other times, it’s something like food that you would want to pick it up but know you can’t.

But there are things that I do pick up: dropped business cards. Yes, it’s a sickness. It all started when I was walking along the highway as a teen and saw a business card just dropped on the grass in the median.

Business CardThat’s just the beginning of my obsession collecting business cards… that were left on the ground. I’ve seen many business cards on the ground in urban areas, such as Brooklyn where I recently found the card of Sidelle Sydney.

I know what battle raps are (thanks 8 Mile) and are not really my scene. I did go to this site and it seemed like an interesting point of view. It’s just not my scene, yo. Yes, I’m white.

Carmen OrtegaMoving onto another business card that I found in Union City NJ, where there’s clearly a high Hispanic population. How can I tell? Just take a look at this business card from the language, even down to Carmen Ortega’s name.

All I can get from this is that she distributes something. Probably a pyramid scheme of some sort. No habla espanol, making me 0 for 2 when it comes to picking up relevant business cards off of the ground.

Sandip PatelI’m not prejudice when it comes to picking up business cards off of the ground. I can do it in a more suburban setting.

And what setting is more representative of suburbia than right outside of my apartment complex. One of my neighbors decided to drop the business card of Sandip Patel, who is apparently running for Edison Council.

Business CardsWhat’s his platform? What are his views? And why is there another guy on the back of his business card? I have no idea, but I know to vote Column C this Election Day.

Wrong holiday. And I don’t vote, so that’s 0 for 3.

None of these are of any use to me, but I’ll still add them to my collection.

Thank You and Goodbye PCG

PCG Digital MarketingWhether you know it or not, I’ve decided to leave PCG Digital Marketing. I’ve been employed by PCG since March 0f 2011 when I joined the team as a Content Writer and got promoted up to Project Manager in April 2013.

Now that a lot of my work is done and I explained my clients to people at work, it feels sort of surreal. The last time I left a full-time job was in 2009 when I got laid off along with a quarter of my company.

We had a happy hour at the Houlihan’s by my job today in my honor and it showed me the reason why I enjoyed working at PCG: the people. They made some of the good moments even better and some of the bad moments more bearable.

I’ve enjoyed talking with and working with various team members throughout the years, whether they’re still working at the company or decided to move on and pursue other endeavors like I have. I have a lot of fond memories of work, whether it’s through the relationships I’ve had or some of the achievements I’ve done professionally.

I’m not mentioning any specific names because I don’t want to make anyone feel left out, but there are so many people that helped me along the way to learn more about writing content, managing projects and SEO in general. I thank them all since they helped me become the professional I am today.

I’ve learned from mistakes I’ve made and have become a better person for it. PCG has made me a better person and I thank everyone there for it.

Goodbye, PCG.