Indiscriminate Deliberations: Holiday Edition

Maybe I’m just getting a little long in the tooth, but even when I was 24, I never could be part of that group that waits on lines 20-40 people deep at a place like McSwiggans or The Shannon (as I witnessed last Saturday night/Sunday morning) at 1:30 in the morning in December (or any month for that matter). All that money spent during the previous 4-9 hours on getting that perfect buzz goes away. And from a guy’s perspective, it must be assumed that any hook-up that can be accomplished in the final half-hour before closing can’t be USDA-approved in terms of quality (perhaps quantity).

When you call for a cab, does anyone else find it interesting that the dispatcher, sitting in some cold, desolate room smelling of cigar smoke with the FOX Soccer Channel on a 19-inch TV has the same tracking system as Tom Cruise’s outfit in Minority Report?

You: “Hello, can I get a pickup please?”

Dispatcher (the same guy who works 23 hours a day, 7 days a week at Travel): “Where at?”

You: “14th and Madison”

Dispatcher: “Going where?”

You: “2nd and Park”

“OK, 5-7 minutes…”

So you get off the phone, happy that you’ll have a cab by the time you finish your drink. But then it dawns on you as you’re standing outside in a 19-degree wind chill: “How the fuck did he know where his next cab was in 1.1 seconds of response time? Are there even any cabs AVAILABLE?”

So after 16-25 minutes go by, you call back:

“Uh, hi. I called for a cab awhile ago…”

Dispatcher: “Where you at?”

You: “14th and Madison”

Dispatcher: “Going to? Going to? Going to? (a sound of a tape recorder being stopped then rewinded is heard in the background). Oh yeah, he’s right around the corner. Should be there any second.’

Again, unless you’re Homeland Security with 34 monitors looking at every street in Hoboken, how does he know where his cab is at that EXACT moment?

Half the time the car will come, half the time it won’t. And they must have caller ID at Travel, because when you call back a third time to find out what the hell is happening while your toes and fingers start to lose all feeling (and realizing you could have walked home and back three times by now) the just phone rings and rings.

Next thing you know, you’re late for brunch…

Maybe the hype unfairly portrayed the entire town storming Wednesday’s city council meeting in our own version of the Boston, er, Hudson Tea Party. But only about 250 protesters showed up to voice their fervent displeasure on the retroactive 47% property tax increase.

Given that the hike won’t only affect property owners, but many renters in Hoboken as well, you would think the crowd would have been bigger given that 40,000 people live here. Flyers were everywhere, a web site was established, and Hoboken411 tirelessly promoted it. But then again, when you cry wolf enough times like Klaussen does on a thrice-daily basis, or cry in general about never being able to take a vacation, the old tale says that people start tuning out.

So the question now is: Can anything really be done to prevent this hike from continuing? Revolts are admirable and this one got some decent media coverage. But in the end, where will the money come from to pay for the massive shortfall come from?

According to Carly Baldwin of, for most Hoboken homeowners, the 47 percent tax hike was seen in recently-received property tax bills. For the median Hoboken home going for $250,000, homeowners was told to pay an additional $625 to $650 per quarter, which will then become as much as an extra $2500.00 per year.

Even if, as the good folks at request, that “deep cuts in expenditures for all non-essential services, based on an expedited, comprehensive and open review of the current budget proposal and of the City’s existing legal obligations” happens, and if all of their other proposals that are laid out in their flyers and on their site come to fruition, how do you un-ring the bell?

Put the toothpaste back in the tube?

The condom back in the wrapper?

You get the point…

The money spent ain’t coming back.

And all of the pay cuts in the world for Hoboken City Council members or the Mayor won’t mean much in terms of putting cash back in the coffers of Hoboken residents. The effort by last night’s protesters was admirable, but the deficit is far too big to make any tangible difference in the foreseeable future.

What’s amazing is that Mayor Roberts is still considering another run at re-election in May. The current over/under on the number of votes he’ll receive is currently at 14 on

Speaking of bets, the Eagles are making quite a comeback this season. And if they make the playoffs, that means another year of the McNabb and Reid show! Highlights will include (this isn’t a recording) not drafting a game-breaking receiver, horrific play calling (such as Reid’s doozy of having DeSean Jackson throw the ball out of the Wildcat formation with a 17-3 lead from inside the 10), and Eagle fans calling for the aforementioned quarterback and coach to be burned in effigy. Where have you gone, Rich Kotite?

Here’s your playoff predictions. You won’t even have to bother watching the games:

AFC Wild Card:

#5 Colts 27, #4 Broncos 10

#6 Ravens 11, #3 Jets 6


NFC Wild Card:

#5 Cowboys 28, #4 Cardinals 21

#3 Bears 21, #6 Bucs 17


AFC Divisional Round:

#1 Steelers 12, #6 Ravens 8

#5 Colts 23, #2 Titans 20

NFC Divisional Round:

#5 Cowboys 21, #1 Giants 17

#2 Panthers 28, #3 Bears 20

AFC Championship:

#1 Steelers 20, #5 Colts 17 (Texas Arizona rakes in $1.2 million during game, but hot bartenders only take home $23 each due to bad Steelers Fan Club tippers. Don’t bother emailing me…this comes directly from two bartenders I spoke to there last week)

NFC Championship:

#2 Panthers 24, #5 Cowboys 21

And so we’ll have a Panthers-Steelers Super Bowl, which is only slightly more compelling than Steelers-Seahawks in ’06, and that ain’t a good thing.

Looking for the fastest delivery of a quality meal in town? Call Cafe Michelina (I personally recommend the chicken francese and penne vodka side) at 201-659-3663. No joke: Called yesterday at 5:28 PM and had my buzzer buzzing at 5:44.

Bin 14 is a great place, but don’t bother trying to get a table there Thursday-Saturday night anytime after 8:00.

Who knew they even delivered?

Well, now you know.

It’s official: The FreeCreditReport guy needs to be arrested. Doesn’t matter what charge. He just needs to disappear, like, now.

Speaking of getting things for free, I just love how everyone who was screaming about Sarah Palin not having enough experience to be VP are the same folks hailing Caroline Kennedy to take Hillary’s seat in the Senate. For the record, Caroline hasn’t even held office on a student council, let alone hold any actual job (outside of being President of the Kennedy Library Foundation) in her entire privileged life.

A little advice for Illinois and New York (and any other state stupid enough to do this): Maybe it’s time to consider holding elections when an official leaves a seat as opposed to having it appointed like a GM hiring a head coach.

To those who are hailing the Bush shoe-throwing-guy as some kind of hero, know this: If he tried that stunt before we turned Iraq into a democracy, he would have been beaten, had his nuts cut off and shoved down his throat, killed, dug up, and killed again.

Good to see the Secret Service was all over that situation, at least. If you’re Obama right now, are you thinking of hiring your own security team…or at least carrying your own Glock like Plax?


Speaking of the Giants, did you know that Eli Manning was ranked #28 on New York Magazine’s list of reasons to love New York?

Plays in Jersey, right?

Lives in Hoboken, right?

Just checking…