life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More crazy mixed up family stuff

My father is finally home from rehab, we hope for good.  I do not like the changes I see in him, though.  Physically he is weak and dependent.  He needs help getting up from the chair or the bed, he walks with a walker.  Although his stamina is much improved since the valve replacement, and he does the exercises he learned in physical therapy, a trip upstairs absolutely exhausts him, and most nights he sleeps on the bed in the living room.

More worrysome are the "new" symptoms.  Not entirely new, but . . .

Years ago he had serious issues with his eyes, and needed several surgeries to correct the problem.  One of those problems was macular degeneration. I think it's back.  He has moments when he cannot see what's in front of him.

And then there are the cognitive and language processing issues.  At first we wondered if the problem was that he simply couldn't hear, because he wasn't wearing his hearing aids.  Now the deficits are becoming more obvious.  He is still himself, at least for now.

I must give credit where it is due, my sisters F and A have taken on the responsibility of his cate and are doing a wonderful job of it.  It's become their full-time job.

'Bout time they took on some responsibility.

Meow, that was a bit harsh.

But well-deserved.

45 years old and they still live off their parents' income.  Never had to take on adult responsibility.

I mean, if they had actual lives, we would have had to hire someone to take care of my father.

But I am so very tired of being their punching bag.  The more unhappy they are the more they verbally abuse me.  I bite my tongue and don't engage, but oh how I want to smack them both in the face.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Sad about Jeff.

My supervisor at work.  And a really nice guy.

For the last few weeks Jeff seemed "off".  Not his usual vivacious self.  Tired.  Subdued.  We thought it was due to stress, lots of changes coming at work at not all of them good.

Then he went on a business trip with our coworker Joe.  Joe says Jeff was popping Advil like candy and actually took a bad fall.

And then he stopped coming to work.

He's in the hospital. He won't be back to the office for a very long time.

He has leukemia.

Cancer sucks.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A few pictures

From last night

So . . .how about those Mets?

So I took the #7 train to Citi Field.  I used to take the #7 to Shea all the time, but last night was the first time I took the subway to Citi Field.

Actually I shouldn't call it a"subway", the #7 is elevated throughout Queens.

Citi Field was built in Shea's parking lot, much closer to the subway station.  So when you arrive by subway the view of the stadium is overwhelming.

I had arranged to neet Drew and Marc "by the apple."  By this we meant the home run apple, the old one from Shea, that now sits outside Citi Field by the main gate.  The Citi Field home run apple is supposed to be much larger tgan the original.

Field seats meant we could enter through the Hodges gate instead of the rotunda, and gave us access to the club level -- which we didn't use.  our seats were in right field, 3 rows back from the grass.  Not bad for free tickets!

And we found the elusive hot dogs steamed in beer.  Note for next year -- try "Catch of the Day" restaurant.

The stadium is right near LaGuardia.  Usually the planes can been seen flying past the stadium,  but last night the planes were directly over the field -- and there were a lot of them!

Then there was the pleasant surprise.  I see a large group of high school student come out onto the field to sing the national anthem.  And the announcer says who they are -- the concert choir from my high school!  In my scool district there are two high schools -- I graduated from High School East, my sisters and my daughters graduated from High School West.  The singers were from High School East.  Oh, wow.

At the end of the fourth inning it was time for the kiss cam.  That's where the camera crew find couples in the stands and broadcast their pictures to the main screen over center field.  The couples are expected to kiss.

So I'm watching the kiss cam, and couples are kissing.  And then it happened.  My mind was just starting to register that that was MY FACE on the big screen when Drew grabbed me and kissed me.  First time in my life I've been kissed in front of such a large audience.

We were the last couple, so the camera lingered on us for awhile.  And then I got the giggles.

As for the game . . .after Thursday night's debacle against Philly, the guys redeemed themselves -- a good game, and they actually won.  First time this year I got to see the home run apple do its thing.

After the game we spent a few minutes in the museum/hall of fame (we'd never done that before) and in the team shop.

A typical night at the ballpark.

About halfway through the game it occurred ti me.  It's the anniversary.

Friday, September 21, 2001.  A game I watched on tv.  The NY Mets vs. the Atlanta Braves.  The Mets wearing the caps of NYC's first responders -- NYPD, FDNY and the like.   Mayor Guiliani, a devout Yankees fan, cheering for the Mets.  Liza Minelli singing "New York, New York." It's the first professional baseball game to be played in NY since the terrible events ten days ago, Ground Zero is smouldering and recovery efforts are ongoing.  And Mike Piazza becomes a hero with the stroke of the bat -- a come-from-behind, game-winning home run.  And we knew then that although things would never been the same, everything was going to be OK.

And 11 years later, an ordinary night in the park.  How wonderful is that?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The boys of summer -- Citi Field Redux

To celebrate the end of summer we are heading out to Citi Field tonight.

Yeah, I know, the Mets' playoff hopes died around the All Star break, and lately it seems as if the ghost of 1962 has ressurected itself every time they take  the field.

But the tickets are for field level seats.

And we got them for free.  Yes, free.

We'll go, have a couple of hot dogs . . .and leave early if we want without feeling guilty about how much we spent on admission.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Japanese fast food? Why not?

Tried a new place the other night. Sarku Japan. Japanese food in a fast-food format. I ordered a California roll, which was a bit dry. Also had the shrimp and vegetable tempura. The vegetables turned out to be three slices of sweet potato (not my favorite) and three slices of zucchini. Next time I'll stick with a side order of shrimp tempura. I tasted Drew's beef teriyaki. It was tender and flavorful. Drew ordered noodles and I had fried rice, which was pretty standard. This place will never replace our favorite Japanese restaurant, but the food was decent and was served fairly quickly. We'll be back. Sarku Japan on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rosh Ha Shanah

It will be a strange holiday, with my father a guest in his own home, leaving at the end of the evening to return to the rehab facility.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ever serve on a jury?

A few weeks ago I got a letter from the Commissioner of Jurors, asking me to fill out an eligibility questionaire.  Lawyers are not exempt from jury service, so I anticipate receiving a summons to jury duty in the near future.

I have never served on a jury.  Closest I came was about 14 years ago.  I was on telephone standby for two weeks, until the very last day, when I had to go to court.  The court clerk called out 23 names, and we were sent to an empanelling room with a group of about 4 - 5 lawyers.

Voir dire is the term we use when lawyers question potential jurors to see who they want on the jury.  During voir dire the lawyers get to tell the potential jurors a little bit about the case.

The process is to put six people in the jury box and speak to them.  As one potential juror is dimissed, another potential juror takes a seat in the box.  Usually those who haven't been interviewed sit in the seats used by the audience and listen to the proceedings.

My name wasn't called until the lawyers had picked six jurors and now needed to select two alternates.  So I had been listening to the voir dire for several hours before my interview began.

I knew I wasn't going to be chosen.  The case involved a multi-car accident.    One of the drivers lived in the same town where I reside.  The accident took place in an intersection I can describe from memory.  And the plaintiff's attorney kept asking each potential juror " Do you know anyone who works in property and casualty insurance?"

So the plaintiff's attorney begins his questioning -- what's my name, where do I luve, do I work outside the home?  Fourth question is "What do you do for a living?"

As soon as I said "I'm an attorney with a property and casualty insurance company ", the lawyer's face went white, and his jaw dropped almost all the way to the floor.  He turned to the other attorneys and said one word: "Cause?"

Within a few seconds I'd been dismissed.

Life is short, eat dessert first

People who know me understand that I usually mean this as a metaphor for making sure you make time to enjoy yourself.

I mean, I love cake and ice cream and etc.  But I also enjoy my meals.  And if you read my restaurant reviews you know I seldom order desserts in a restaurant.

But yesterday...

My company leases space from a realty conglomerate.   Once a year the landlord has a "tenant appreciation day.". There's a party in the parking lot of one of their buildings, with live music and a handful of carnival games. Retail tenants have tables set up to advertise their businesses.  Every employee of every tenant gets a ticket for a free ice cream.

So I went over at lunchtime and got my ice cream,  a small cup of Ben and Jerry's.  Then I began to explore.   One restaurant was giving out small cups of pasta and small slices of pizza.  Another had small portions of wraps.  Someone else was offering free drinks.  Free lunch.

There's an Amish farmer who sets up a stand every Wednesday.   As I was leaving the party I stopped to make a few purchases from him.

Not a bad way to spend lunch hour.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Penn Station, Amtrak level 9/11/12

It's a beautiful Tuesday morning here in NY

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning 11 years ago today.

Never forget.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The dark and scary place revisited

So it turns out that the pathologist was wrong.  When I went back to the dermatologist she told me that her clinical observations of my nose did not match up to what was in the report.  She did a second biopsy of my nose.  It's benign.

As for my neck . . .the plastic surgeon removed the mole on my neck -- I've got 6 stitches (engendering jokes about getting my head sewn on straight).   He thinks the pathology report will be good, most of the moles ge remives are harmless.  It's the potential for it turning into something more serious down the road that concerns him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And she's hired

The current varsity coach, Maddie, was a senior and captain of the varsity squad when Jen was on JV.  So of course she wanted Jen and Kristen (who was on the team too) to coach JV. 

And the principal loves Jen and Kristen.

And Jen already hit me up for $$ - team fundraiser for new uniforms.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cheeleading is back

So Jen's babysitting job fell through.   Now she's meeting with the principal of her high school today.   She's looking to be hired as a coach for the cheer team.  . .

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