Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wherever there's a tow truck, there's a tow truck guy


At approximately 15:00 today, the Justy (pictured) was taken to an undisclosed location on a tow truck that was operated by a tow truck guy (also pictured, left).

Once it reaches its destination (which I can't reveal to you - undisclosed, remember), the following modifications will be made, one of which is not facetious:

-Armor. A protective layer will be added that is not only superlight (preserving our excellent gas mileage) but, according to DoD specifications, is impervious to a .30-06 round at ten meters.
-On-board electronics and telemetry. Available to the driver of the car, as well as its support crew at the aforementioned undisclosed location, will be the following: engine temperature, fluid levels, altitude, velocity, body temperature, and the location of all metallic objects within a kilometer.
-Brakes. Will enable driver to arrest the vehicle's movement should such a need arise.

I don't really need to tell you that there is no stopping us.

In unrelated news, Paul and Audrey will be submitting respective 200-hour-long music playlists to an arbitration committee. Their decision is, of course, final (because that's how arbitration works.) Paul has been advised that inclusion of "Mambo Number 5" more than three or four times is, in the words of a pre-arbitration consultant, "really pushing her buttons for no good reason."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I now own a car I have never seen.

So, Team Ramrod wants to know how we acquired a car for the Rally. Paul, I don't want to take you away from your appointed duties of turning the car into the unstoppable force in question, I'll try and answer Patrick's question.

Some dude gave it to us!

For real - we're sitting there one day, and Paul gets the word from on high (or maybe his Dad) that some dude out on the Island wants to *donate* a car to us for use in the Rally. As it is my role in this endeavor to play Bad Cop at all times, I had look sternly at Paul (over the phone) and say, "hmm, don't know if that's a good idea," and it's Paul's role in this endeavor to go "WE'VE GOT A CAR!!!!!!!!!!" and be, generally, Mr. Bright Side. And also, Mr. Elbow Grease. Because what happened next is rather outstanding. Paul and Mr. Hanson (father of Paul) went to check out le automobile, found it to be in good condition, and provisionally accepted the kind offer of the Gentleman (who is an acquaintance of the Hansons). But that was only hurdle #1. Then came the paperwork we lacked - namely, the signature of the current owner of the car (who had to be tracked down) and then battle the DMV and insurance industry bureaucracy to make it happen. Which Paul did. For, like, three whole days. And then, voila, we have the car. Which of course we need to now have shipped to England (which may be Reason #1 for Fundraiser #2). But the car itself remains shrouded in mystery - I'll let Paul tell the world about our ride.

We are currently accepting offers to pimp the aformentioned ride. Call us to make your pitch.

Some cars you can stand on, some you cannot

We still haven't been inside a car together, Audrey and I, but we did sit/stand on one together, which is just as much fun. (However, getting good pictures out of it is not as easy as one would think.) Anyway, speaking of cars, the one that is going to Mongolia is now legally propery of Ms. A. A. Roofeh and under the care of Gerry Hanson, the Team's Chief Mechanic. That car, we can stand on top of as much as we feel like (and will do just that.)

The Backseat Drivers' Club meeting is shaping up to be a hell of a time. I predict a packed house. I do sincerely hope that Mr. Gal, and everyone else from Mongolia's diplomatic corps, is in attendance.

I would write a much longer entry but we must go retrieve the car. In many ways, the Rally begins the moment we hit the Southern State Parkway to get the car to where it will be prepared and transformed into an unstoppable force.

Pictures coming soon.

PH

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We'll give you $10 if you let those two people stand on top of your cab

And today I post to inform you, the reader, of what you might encounter when you are four months into preparation for your trip to Mongolia, and have just under two months to go.

First, you might find yourself having a difficult time typing, because the dip/tet/pertussis shot you got in your left arm (get the shot in your non-writing arm, buddy!) has left you somewhat gimpy for a day or two. The Hep A and Hep B shots were minor, and the oral typhoid medication is just plain fun (there is currently live typhoid virus [in the form of pills] in our refrigerator at home!) (note to Chris - it's on top of the gouda on the top shelf)

But that's something we've experienced, whether or not we remember from childhood. And what this ridiculousness is about, for me, anyway (and you, when you decide to take your own version of the Mongol Rally) is the chance to give yourself into a situation where things you never thought could happen to you, will most certainly happen. For me, I never thought that I would ever (a) ask someone to marry me so that I could travel through an Islamic theocracy by car; and (b) GET REJECTED! But it happened. (and screw you, buddy!) And then today. At about 5:00pm this afternoon, I found myself (along with Paul) standing on top of a yellow cab in a BP station on 10th Avenue and 37th Street (after having bought off the cabbie to allow us to do so) having pictures taken by a photographer for a magazine, while getting cat called by the folks hanging out at the gas station. This was not on the top of my list of things I ever thought I would do. But there you go, it's done.

I don't know. Maybe something exciting can happen for everyone involved here. We really like the idea of being New York's team in the Rally. All New Yorkers can take pride (or laugh at us) as being their own. And on that note, we invite you all out there to our final Team Newyorkistan event before we leave for Mongolia. Our final fundraiser event will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2006, at Verlaine, a lovely little bar (but bigger than Winnie's) on Rivington Street in Manhattan. Here's a link to the review on Citysearch:
http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/11652224/new_york_ny/verlaine.html

More info to come, but that's what you should write on the Subodai you printed out and stuck to your fridge.

We'll give you $10 if you let those two people stand on top of your cab

And today I post to inform you, the reader, of what you might encounter when you are four months into preparation for your trip to Mongolia, and have just under two months to go.

First, you might find yourself having a difficult time typing, because the dip/tet/pertussis shot you got in your left arm (get the shot in your non-writing arm, buddy!) has left you somewhat gimpy for a day or two. The Hep A and Hep B shots were minor, and the oral typhoid medication is just plain fun (there is currently live typhoid virus [in the form of pills] in our refrigerator at home!) (note to Chris - it's on top of the gouda on the top shelf)

But that's something we've experienced, whether or not we remember from childhood. And what this ridiculousness is about, for me, anyway (and you, when you decide to take your own version of the Mongol Rally) is the chance to give yourself into a situation where things you never thought could happen to you, will most certainly happen. For me, I never thought that I would ever (a) ask someone to marry me so that I could travel through an Islamic theocracy by car; and (b) GET REJECTED! But it happened. (and screw you, buddy!) And then today. At about 5:00pm this afternoon, I found myself (along with Paul) standing on top of a yellow cab in a BP station on 10th Avenue and 37th Street (after having bought off the cabbie to allow us to do so) having pictures taken by a photographer for a magazine, while getting cat called by the folks hanging out at the gas station. This was not on the top of my list of things I ever thought I would do. But there you go, it's done.

I don't know. Maybe something exciting can happen for everyone involved here. We really like the idea of being New York's team in the Rally. All New Yorkers can take pride (or laugh at us) as being their own. And on that note, we invite you all out there to our final Team Newyorkistan event before we leave for Mongolia. Our final fundraiser event will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2006, at Verlaine, a lovely little bar (but bigger than Winnie's) on Rivington Street in Manhattan. Here's a link to the review on Citysearch:
http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/11652224/new_york_ny/verlaine.html

More info to come, but that's what you should write on the Subodai you printed out and stuck to your fridge.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Meeting of the Team Newyorkistan Backseat Drivers Club


You all are now on notice - the first official meeting of the Team Newyorkistan Backseat Drivers Club/bar night/bon voyage to Team Newyorkistan is on for Thursday, June 29th, 2006, at a location TBA, possibly DBA (if they know what's good for em).

However, just like that cute little cartoon tooth your dentist sent you, stick this one on the fridge to remind yourself that you have an appointment Thursday, June 29th, around 7:30pm, at a bar somewhere in Manhattan. And be sure to invite your dentist.

(Note: picture of Subodai the Warrior to be printed out, and scrawled on "6/29/06 - Mongol Rally Meeting", and stuck to fridge, bulletin board, inside of locker, etc.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Big news

...is coming soon. Really, really, really big news. And big pictures to accompany the news.

PH

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Accomodations

One might find themselves wondering: What, exactly, is located at 113 Baitursynov Street, Almaty? (Almaty, to bring the uninformed among you up to speed, is in Kazakhstan. It's either the capital or used to be the capital...whatever.)

Well, the answer to that question isn't really that much of a surprise. At that address, you will find the Best Eastern Astana International Hotel.

Best Eastern. Really.

I'll let the reader take a look at the hotel and what it offers - http://reservations.hotel.com.au/hotel/10010622-11278305O.html?lang=ENG&header=hotel . I gave it a look, and frankly, I can't wait to stay there. This is in contrast to Audrey, who was less than charitable in her assessment. Let's take a look at what a guest at the Best Eastern Astana is in for:

*On-premises bowling. Personally, I think the place should be billed as a bowling alley with on-premises hotel rooms. Excellent feature that appeals to the Jeffrey Lebowski in all of us.
*Breakfast buffet. I don't know what they serve, or if it's edible, but there huge eagle centerpiece makes for an attractive decor. Some would scoff at such a thing, even go as far as to call it "tacky." I think it's a perfect compliment to Kazakh food, which is to say, it's a bit harsh.
*Pets. They're allowed, which means that once Team Newyorkistan rolls into town, we're adopting a stray and letting him live it up with us at the Best Eastern. (What can I say, we're caring people.)

Audrey, really, it might not be the Plaza, but it's probably a whole lot nicer than the Howardski Johnsonovich.

PH

Thursday, May 11, 2006

People, we meet people...

Yesterday saw two additions to the list of people who I have met solely because I am half of Team Newyorkistan. It's already been a diplomat, a filmmaker who is part of the British nobility, and a bunch of kinda messed-up businessmen. To this list I can add Josh the Journalist and David, the..friend of Audrey. I hope that both will be at our next event.

Speaking of which, we're having another event, and it will be like the first ("what I hope my wedding reception will be like" is the way Audrey described it) except outdoors and with slightly less singing and few, if any, messed-up businessmen. Suggestions are welcome; I humbly offer my backyard, complete with pool and barbecue, but frankly, nobody wants to come out to the suburbs...just to hang out at my house. So, we'll probably avail ourselves of one of New York City's beautiful parks, in which we will have the Team Newyorkistan Ultimate Frisbee Tournament (me and Audrey are captains; my first pick is her brother David) and, I guess, beer.

I leave you now with something sent to me by my good friend Max Catania. Max lives in the New York of Latin America, Buenos Aires, a city that I had the privilege of visiting earlier this year. Max, we're proud to have you on board.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Things you realize, things you don't

So Audrey and I have been Rallymates for, well, I guess it's been five or six years now. We've been through alot together, and I sometimes don't realize that there are, in fact, experiences that we have not yet shared. Well, there couldn't be many. We met a Mongolian diplomat, for example; we haven't tried, nor should we try, to top that (at least, in terms of meeting diplomats.) Anyways, point is, I realized something.

We've never been in a car together.

This didn't seem like a significant realization to me, until I realized, oh yeah, we met in the first place in order to be in a car together. We also haven't played ping-pong, or killed off an entire litre of fine spirits, or attended a Hilary Duff concert (all of which we are going to do...I hope). But to not have been in a car together. It's weird, to say the least.

We had a brief discussion about this, and came to a very definite conclusion: we have not yet been in a car together and we will not be in a car together until the time is right - and I suspect that time will be around noon, British standard time, on 22 July 2006.

This is one of the things we realized. I can only speculate about the things we haven't.

P.H.

Come On Paul. Tell Em.

Paul, you know I'm just itching to tell them. We've been rallymates now, officially, since February 15th (and of course, we knew it before then, too), we've met each other's families and friends, we've had exciting times and drudgery...but there's something we've never done together. Something important.

But I promised I'd let you say it, so say it already! Tell em!