life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

another September song


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Another this and that

So Becca moved into her apartment.  The move was less that stress-free, and involved a dispute with the new landlord as well as a near-disaster with a furniture delivery, but everything got resolved; she's in the apartment and basically unpacked, and about  start enjoying life in NYC.

I have to get used to seeing Jen in a different set of school colors.  When she worked in the school that she had attended as a student, she wore the same colors she'd worn years ago.  Now she works in a neighboring school district (the district where Drew was a student), and on Fridays the staff wear shirts in the school colors.  It's a little disconcerting

My father is being released from the hospital, and we're all looking forward to having him home again.  There have been some permanent changes in his medical condition, though, which means changing the routine at home.  It is what it is.

There is a truism that every woman turns into her mother eventually.  My mother is living proof that yes, it can happen.  Lately she is reminding me more and more of my grandmother.

So Drew and I were in a restaurant Saturday night, and when we finished eating we had to walk through the bar to leave.  One of the TV's was tuned to the Mets game, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning.  So we stayed, and saw the Mets clinch the division.  They are now headed to the post season. 

I expect the Yankees to clinch a wild card berth, so both NY teams will see post season play. 

Alas, in last week's playoff series, my poor Long Island Ducks fell to the Somerset Patriots.  The Patriots will battle the Maryland Blue Crabs for the league championship this week.   Pity.  Drew had tickets for the two championship games that would have been played in Central Islip if the Ducks had beaten the Patriots.  Maybe next year.
.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Blood Moon

So, the Blood Moon was hyped in the media.  And then I heard the disappointing weather forecast.  It would be cloudy, maybe too cloudy to see the moon.

And then, when the moon rose...it  was big and bright and beautiful.  And I hoped the weather would hold.

And it did! 

I don't have a fancy camera, but I was able to capture two images with my phone.  the first is at the beginning of the eclipse, the second at totality.  You can see just a hint of the red color.


another September song


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Deja vu

I spent Yom Kippur the same way as Rosh Hashanah. Services at the synagogue followed by time in my father's hospital room.

The doctors say he is improving and will be able to come home in a few days. But my father has a myriad of medical conditions requiring a complicated treatment plan, and his current circumstances have made things even more complicated than they were before.

The Rabbi in my synagogue always talks about life and death in his Yom Kippur sermon. This year he included a discussion of biomedical ethics, what is the difference between helping someone to live and keeping them from letting go?

We're not at that point with my father, despite the scare the palliative care team gave my sister. But it was interesting to hear his perspective. Food for thought.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve

I'm back in "explore" mode, choosing new and interesting places for a walk. Drew suggested I check out the Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve in Merrick.

Located off busy Merrick Road, the park is hidden behind the town sanitation department complex. You have to drive through the sanitation department property to access the park. Once inside, however, you feel as if you're miles away from suburban Nassau County.

The park is named after a well-liked local politician who served in the New York State Senate, and who was a champion of environmental issues. Bring water -- there's no refreshment stand. And consider wearing a hat, there's not much shade.

There are three trails suitable for hiking about the park. There's a place to launch kayaks onto the Meadow Brook, and there's a large fishing pier extending into Merrick Bay. The park uses goats as weed trimmers and Guinea fowl to control ticks.

I decided to climb the hill, and followed the signs that directed me to the shortest way to the top. The view from the summit was well worth the effort. Looking west you can make out the shape of the NYC skyline. If you look southeast, you can very clearly see the Jones Beach Water Tower and the Jones Beach Theater across the bay.

And as I stood there, I was amazed to realize that I was actually standing on a pile of garbage.

Yes, the secret is out. The park is man made, built at the site of the Merrick Landfill. Amazing how a remediated landfill has become a nature preserve.

But of course it is man made. There are no natural hills on the south shore of Long Island. And you enter the park from the sanitation department property. Inside the park, you'd never know you were at a landfill site unless you recognized the methane vents.

Interestingly the preserve shares a fence with the more conventional Merrick Road Park, which has ball fields, a golf course, etc., but you can't access the other park from inside the preserve.

The famed goats:  photo 20150918_142844.jpg photo 20150918_142623.jpg

Scenes from the summit:  photo 20150918_145648.jpg photo 20150918_145513.jpg photo 20150918_145500.jpg photo 20150918_145310.jpg photo 20150918_144849.jpg photo 20150918_144921.jpg


View of Jones Beach form the summit. You can clearly see the theater and the water tower:  photo 20150918_150124.jpg


The fishing pier: photo 20150918_152727.jpg


View of Jones Beach from the fishing pier:  photo 20150918_152742.jpg


These guys wouldn't let me leave, they insisted on walking in front of my car:  photo 20150918_161416.jpg

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Visit With the Pope

Pope Francis is in town, wreaking havoc with the NYC traffic,  As a non-Catholic, I have avoided the city, though my poor baby Becca had to deal with the chaos as she moved into her new apartment.

The papal visit reminds me of one of my father's war stories,

My father turned 18 in February 1945.  He served in the army during the tail end of WW II, He was stationed in Italy.Blonde hair, blue eyes, the very picture of an American GI.

A GI who was also a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, but you'd never know it unless you heard his very Jewish surname.

My father and a group of his friends had the opportunity to spend some time in Rome.  They decided to see the Sistine Chapel.    While they were in the chapel, a priest approached them and asked if they'd like to meet the Pope.  Of course they wanted to!   The Pope knew my father wasn't Catholic because my father didn't kiss his ring.  The Pope chatted with them briefly and gave each of them a rosary.  My father brought the rosary home for one of his neighbors, a very religious man who truly appreciated a rosary blessed by the Pope.


Then there was the time my father and some friends got a chance to go to Switzerland.  They all wanted Swiss watches.  They went to a shop.  The shopkeeper, upon seeing several GI's in uniform, spoke to his wife in Yiddish, "American soldiers?  We'll hike up the prices."

My father found a watch he wanted -- it had Hebrew letters instead of numbers, a perfect gift for my grandfather. He waited until the others made their purchases and left the shop, then approacedh the shopkeeper,  At first the shopkeeper told my father "You don't want this watch."  But when my father insisted, the shopkeeper spoke to him in Yiddish


"You're Jewish?".  

"Yes."

"You heard what I said to my wife when you came in?"


"Yes."


"Are you going to tell your friends?"

"No."

Shopkeeper gave him a very good deal on the watch.

We still have the watch.  I should really get it cleaned, I'm sure it will still run.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

another September song


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the annual pilgrimage and the abomination

So yes, I love baseball.

Early last spring, one of the social groups at my synagogue decided to sponsor a trip to Citi Field.  They chose Sunday afternoon, September 20, when the Mets were scheduled to play the NY Yankees.  We have fans of both teams in our congregation, and the organizers hoped that at least one of the teams would still be in playoff contention this late in the season.  I ordered tickets.

Fast forward to September.  The Mets are leading their division.  The Yankees are trailing the Blue Jays, but are definitely in contention for the wild card spot.   And the Sunday afternoon game became a Sunday night game, the ESPN Game of the Week.

The evening began well.  We parked in our favorite lot on Roosevelt Avenue, across the street from the ballpark.  There's no safe place to cross before the game, so we had to climb up the stairs to the 7 train, then climb down again to get into the ballpark. We arrived before the gates opened, so we got on line and waited...We listened to the music -- the Mets fight song from way back in the 1960's:




After awhile, the song got a bit...repetitive.

From our vantage point we could see the Billie Jean King Tennis Center -- they're putting a dome on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, I believe.  And I was able to spot planes as they circled towards La Guardia Airport --  Citi Field is thisclose to La Guardia. 


 photo 20150920_172214.jpg photo 20150920_173354.jpg photo 20150920_173357.jpg

The frist 15,000 fans to enter the stadium got a Matt Harvey Fathead giveaway.  Yes, we got our Fatheads.  (It's a wall decal.)

Our seats were ...interesting.  Field level, which gave us access to the clubs, but out in left field.  Way out.  Way, way out.  So we started at the club level, and grabbed a bite to eat.  The view from the club level is awesome:

 photo 20150920_190007.jpg photo 20150920_190024.jpg

We ate, picked up our souvenir Mike Piazza jerseys (part of our group package) and found our seats.


And the view from out seats.  photo 20150920_191201.jpg photo 20150920_194229.jpg photo 20150920_194348.jpg

The Home Run Apple: photo 20150920_192753.jpg

Those lights between the flagpoles? A plane coming in for a landing.
 photo 20150920_205001.jpg


There were a lot of Yankee fans in the house. In our section, there were as many people in pinstripes as in blue and orange Mets gear.

The first surprise of the night?  Mike Piazza threw out the ceremonial first pitch!!!!    Later in the evening, Doc Gooden and Mookie Wilson would be featured on the big screen as well -- nice that our heroes come back to visit.

Matt Harvey on the mound: photo 20150920_205703.jpg

CC Sabathia on the mound: photo 20150920_204855.jpg

It was a cool evening, with the breeze blowing off Flushing Bay, and we were all glad we brought jackets.

The evening started well.  The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

And then Matt Harvey left the game after 5 innings...and the team fell apart.  Four errors and an ineffective bullpen, you had to wonder if this was the same team that dominated their division.  Were those the 2015 Mets or the ghost of the 1962 Mets on the field?

Early in the evening, the cheering was loud for both teams, each "Let's Go Yankees" answered with an equally joyous "Let's Go Mets".  But by the end of the evening, you would have thought you were in the Bronx.


We left after the bottom of the 8th, made our way back to the train station, back to the parking lot.  Got into the car and turned on the radio, just in time to hear the last out of the game.  Final score 11-2 Yankees.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Burger City

Burger City Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last Friday was National Cheeseburger Day. I would never have known it but for the burger posts that kept popping up in my Facebook feed, so by the end of the day I had such a craving ....

And so we headed over to Burger City.

This place is a throwback, a salute to hamburger stands of the 50's and 60's. A kiosk in the middle of a shopping center parking lot. No seating area, just a few outside tables to lean on if you don't want to eat in your car. Very simple menu -- hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, fries and onion rings, shakes. Not a lot of options, no real choice of toppings. But they advertise that the food is always fresh, never frozen.

My double cheeseburger -- two patties, cheese, ketchup, chopped onion, pickles. Juicy but not sloppy, a tasty burger. Thick cut fries cooked in peanut oil were salty but not overwhelmingly so. Drew had a hot dog -- I think they use Hebrew National -- with sauerkraut (I saw the cans of Sabrett sauerkraut in the cooking area).

Next time I think I'll try the onion rings, they looked really good. We didn't try the shakes.

Overall a nice place to grab a quick bite.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Songbird Salutes the 70's -- September


Sunday, September 20, 2015

the little things -- just another day in NYC

So it was Thursday afternoon, rush hour, and I was in lower Manhattan, at the corner of Fulton Street and Broadway.

That's a very busy corner, even in the best of times.  Right now there's a construction project on that corner, and some of the lanes on Broadway are closed.  One of the construction workers helps direct traffic so that pedestrians can get across Broadway.

As I came up Fulton towards Broadway I could see a small crowd gathered across the street, on the corner in front of St. Paul's.  A woman was lying on the sidewalk, right at the curb.  A man was moving construction cones to that corner, to keep the traffic away from the curb where she was lying.  Several people were on their cell phones.  Just as I was wondering if someone called 911, a police officer walked up from behind me to cross the street.

The police officer helped the woman to sit up, and I heard someone say "She has a bump on her head from when she fell."

And then I noticed something unusual. 

Up against the church fence there was a backpack, a sweater, a cardboard sing and a hat, clearly the property of a panhandler, all scattered as if their owner had jumped up in a hurry ... yes, the panhandler was one for  the first people to rush to help the woman who had fallen.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September Song


Friday, September 18, 2015

NaBloPoMo prompt: Which house would you be in at Hogwarts and why?

No way was I going to ignore this NaBloPoMo prompt.

Harry Potter has been a part of my life since, well, forever...

Or rather, since that day when Jen was 11, and she read the first Harry Potter novel.  There came a time when  I used to have to buy three copies of each new book  -- one for Jen, one for Becca and one for myself -- because none of us could wait to read it. 

Long before there was a Harry Potter area of Universal/Islands of Adventure  (some of the best rides in Orlando!), I used to buy Harry Potter merchandise from the Warner Brothers Studio Store.  I still have a t shirt from that era, as well as the shirt I bought in Florida when we visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Becca actually took a college philosophy class where the novels were used to illustrate all sorts of philosophical topics.  She even let me read her essay on love.  Her professor quite cleverly created four study groups by "Sorting" the students into "Houses".

So, which House would I choose?

I participated in a "Sorting" on the Pottermore site. (Yes, I, a grown woman,  admit to visiting Pottermore.)  I was Sorted into Hufflepuff.  Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses; valuing hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members.  Hufflepuffs are friendly, fair, patient, kind, tolerant, trustworthy, loyal as all hell, and seriously unafraid of some toil..  In fact, J.K. Rowling says it's now the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff, I guess that's OK.  I don't mind being a Hufflepuff

But if given the choice?


Most people would hope to be Sorted into Gryffindor.  Who wouldn't want to be considered brave and heroic? 

A lot of people might choose Slytherin, to explore their dark side.  Besides, playing the villain can be fun. 

But much as I find the dark side interesting, let's be honest.  I'm as much a Slytherin as I am a Gryffindeor, which is to say...I'm a Ravenclaw. 

Or, at least, I aspire to be a Ravenclaw.  Members of this house are characterised by their wit, learning, and wisdom. 

I'm not sure how witty or wise I am, but I'm certainly attracted to learning.    I love to read.  I love to do research.   I love to explore.  And I love to be with smart, well-read, intelligent people.

My ego calls out "Ravenclaw". 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another this and that

So we're dealing with my father's latest health issues.  I'm getting to know my way around that hospital far too well.  Sigh.

And then there's my mother.   A couple of weeks ago she took a bad fall.  There's a single step up from the driveway to the front porch, and there's no porch railing to grab, and she lost her balance.  She's recovering nicely.  But she gave me a huge scare Tuesday in the parking lot of the pharmacy.  Tripped and fell over her own two feet.  I was holding her arm at the time, but couldn't catch her.  I think they heard my screams a mile away.  Fortunately another woman was in the parking lot at the time; she helped me get my mother off the ground and into the car. 

So my sisters and I are dealing with octogenarian parents.  Most of the burden falls to them, by their choice.  I do what I can, but ... My sisters don't think I do enough.   Sigh.

In the meantime, life goes on.

It was a strange Rosh Hashanah, but I'm hoping Yom Kippur will be more "normal".  Nothing like sitting in an overcrowded building with 1,800 of your fellow congregants, listening to services drone on, especially when none of us have eaten.  I walk to synagogue, but not out of religious requirement. I live on the same street as the synagogue, about half a mile up the road.  It's almost impossible to park anywhere near the building during High Holiday services.  I'd feel guilty taking a parking spot.  So I walk.

Jen is settling into the new job.  She's looking to get involved with an after school program, one day per week.  It'll put a little more money into her pocket.  Not a bad thing. 

I'm starting to get to know her boyfriend.  He's a nice guy.  He came to the hospital and stayed with us  when my father underwent his procedure the other day.  He was able to prepare Jen for what she'd see in the ICU afterwards -- he works in a hospital, he's studying to be a either physician's assistant or a nurse-practitioner (I'm not sure which).  It's the "family business", both of his parents are radiology technicians.

Becca is getting a bit anxious.  The big move is on Thursday.  Moving out of the family home and getting your own apartment is anxiety enough, but Becca chose to do this when there's a lot more going on in the city.  The city will be crazy Thursday and Friday.  The annual opening of the UN General Assembly brings all sorts of heads of state to New York, and traffic is insane as the dignitaries take over.  And then, to complicate matters, Pope Francis will be  visiting New York.  He'll address the UN General Assembly, visit the World Trade Center Memorial, Central Park and Madison Square Garden,  etc.

I haven't met Becca's current love.  I've seen his picture on her Twitter, but she tends to keep things to herself until the relationship gets serious.

Drew and I are going to Citi Field Sunday night for the Mets-Yankees game.  The Mets are in first place in their division, and the Yankees are contenders for the wild card, so this year the Subway Series has implications beyond the usual cross town rivalry.  My synagogue bought the tickets back in May, long before we knew how important the game would be; we just figured that the Yankee fans among us would buy as many tickets as the Mets fans.

And yes, our Long Island Ducks clinched a playoff berth earlier this week.  Drew bought tickets for the September 24 playoff game.    If they advance to the championship series, the first two games (September 30 and October 1) will be played in Central Islip.  Drew wants to buy tickets for one of those games.

I've been a bit lax about my walking routine lately. I have to get back into it, I'll be doing the breast cancer walk in 2 1/2 weeks. 

Sigh....

Dr. Who?

You know that I am a geek. More "Star Trek" than "Star Wars", but I like them both. I grok Heinlein, knew the Three Laws of Robotics before Will Smith taught them to the masses. If you say "42", I understand. My most recent "must see TV" was "Dark Matter", every Friday night on SyFy.



Drew is a Whovian, has been a fan of The a Doctor for years, since back in the "classic" days of the 1960!s. I watch occasionally, with Drew.  I understand words like "tardis", "dalek" and "regenerate", but I'm not a devotee.

Still, when Fandango announced a special presentation, two episodes in 3D, it sounded like fun.

I'll be watching more often now, I think.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Long Island Live Steamers

Like history? Like old trains?

Then you might like Live Steamers.

An old friend of ours is a member of the Long Island Live Steamers Club. These folks are really into the history of railroads. They build replicas of old trains. Not "models" -- these aren't toy trains, running on tracks around your living room. These replicas are large enough to ride on.

The Long Island club is based in Southaven Park. They've built two tracks through the woods, where club members can ride their trains. Many club members travel, they take their trains to "meets" sponsored by other clubs.

But what's really cool is how the club raises money for its activities. Public run days. Twice a month they give rides to the public. They don't charge a fee to ride, but you are encouraged to make a small donation.

It's a fun way to kill an hour or two, especially if you have young children.



Here's more info http://www.longislandlivesteamers.org/about.php



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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

L'shanah Tovah

L'Shanah Tovah. Happy New Year. The words sound strangely dissonant in the corridors of the hospital.

We exchange New Year's greetings with the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the respiratory therapist. It feels like everyone managing my father's case is Jewish, headed home to a holiday dinner.

A family story I have heard, it happened before I was born, pops into my head. My paternal grandmother died "Erev Pesach", the night before Passover; they went home from the hospital and made a Seder.


L'Shanah Tovah. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life. It has a very different meaning in the surgical suite, in the ICU.

Our "holiday" dinner: takeout Chinese food. There was no time, and no desire, to cook the brisket, the matzoh balls, the chicken soup. We will have our celebration when my father comes home.

In the morning I walk to synagogue, my thoughts all jumbled. My father never wanted to be like this, old and sick and weak. He's 88 years old, who knows how long he'll be with us? He survived this crisis, but what comes next? I stand for the Mishaberach, the prayer for someone who is ill. I ask the Almighty to do what is best for my father.

I leave services early, before the Rabbi's sermon. I have to drive my mother to the hospital. We get caught in a traffic jam on the street leading to the hospital -- I have forgotten that there are three synagogues on that half-mile stretch. (No, really. If you start walking north from the Reform temple, you'll walk past the house where Young Israel holds its services before you arrive at the Conservative synagogue.)

The young Rabbi from the local Chabad comes by my father's room, he gives us apples and honey for a sweet New Year. We ask him not to blow the Shofar, I'm afraid the trumpeting sound will startle and upset my father. I tell him my father's Hebrew name; he will say a Mishaberach for my father in synagogue the next day. It's customary to make a donation to the synagogue,but since no money may be handled on the holy day, I will have to send a check later.

Yet another doctor stops by to check on my father.. He is also Jewish. It's becoming something of a joke, there are many doctors here of other ethnic persuasions, but we don't seem to be encountering anyone who isn't celebrating the New Year, He tells us my father is improving, he will recover from this latest crisis.

L'Shanah Tovah. A sweet new year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Songbird Salutes the 70's -- Maggie May

Sunday, September 13, 2015

introspection

On Rosh Hashanah it is written.  On Yom Kippur it is sealed.

Unlike the secular New Year, with its parties and  parades and celebrations, the Jewish New Year is a time of introspection.  Tradition holds that the Almighty decides our fate on Rosh Hashanah, we pray that our names be written in the Book of Life.  Our fate is sealed on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

So I find myself doing some serious self-examination.  What were my successes as a human being this year?  What were my failures?  How can I be a better person in the coming year?

My buzzwords for the coming year will be "patience" and "kindness".

I find that as I am growing older, I no longer have the patience for others I used to have.  I have to remind myself to be patient.  Especially with my parents.  As they grow older, it becomes more and more trying to deal with them.  I  sometimes have to remind myself to take a deep breath and not allow my frustration to show.

Patience, when dealing with my daughters.  They're adults, and "because I said so" stopped working a long time ago.  I hope I've given them a good foundation, so they can make good decisions. 

Patience, when dealing with those idiots other drivers on the road.  Road rage isn't good for anything, and it might just get you killed.

Patience, because, as the adage goes, good things come to those who wait.  Just because I want it now doesn't mean it will happen.  I can't be ruled by impulses, I need to sit back and contemplate what I'm doing.  Plan and execute.

Kindness...well, I'm not a witch, I'm usually not deliberately mean and nasty.  But I can be a bit of a "bull in a china shop" when it comes to expressing myself. It  doesn't always go over well, know what I mean?  Empathy is such an important skill, I need to work on it.

L'Shanah Tovah. May you have a sweet New Year.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Huzzah

Renfaire Redux

Remember, when we went to the Renaissance Faire last month, I mentioned we got free tickets for a return visit?

Guess where we will be today?

Here's a hint.


Friday, September 11, 2015

14 years

Once again we arrive at that solemn date, September 11.

Fourteen years ago an ordinary Tuesday turned into a nightmare, a day of horrors, a day that showed our strength to unite in the face of adversity.

9/11 happened to all of us, in NYC and California and everything in between.  But someone standing on the corner of Vesey Street and Church Street experienced 9/11 in a very different way than someone watching the events on TV.  And I will be forever grateful that I had an "on the outside looking in" experience, safe in my Long Island office that day, watching the streets that were oh-so-familiar turn into a war zone.

14 years later, lower Manhattan has risen like a phoenix from the ashes.  It is a thriving community, a pleasant place for the people who live there, work there, visit. 

We visited the  museum last year.  It was the first time that I visited a museum that focused on events I lived through, events I could remember in aching detail.  I cried. What set me off were the little things, the ordinary things, like fare cards for the PATH train. 

I know my thoughts are scattered today, this post is wandering about without coherence.

But I'll leave you with my best 9/11 memory.

9/21/01.  Shea Stadium.  Baseball games had been suspended in the aftermath of the attacks, but resumed that night.  The Mets wore the caps of NYC first responders, police and fire department members were on the field, Liza Minnelli sang "New York, New York."  And then, in the bottom of the 8th, Mike Piazza hit a home run, and the Mets went on to beat the Braves 3-2.  The cheering in Shea that night ...

So let me leave you with that moment:



Thursday, September 10, 2015

aggravating morning

So last night the meteorologist on TV warned that bad storms were coming and would affect the morning commute.  Little did he realize...


Becca is NOT enjoying her commute.  And lately it's gotten worse -- no place to park at our train station.  Last night she asked if I'd drive her to the station in the morning, and I said OK.   Good thing, too -- service on our branch of the railroad was suspended this morning (train hit an SUV that shouldn't have been on the tracks, damaged the third rail), and I wound up driving to a station on another branch.

One of the traffic lights in our neighborhood was out, of course, but a police officer was kind enough to sit in his patrol car and watch the traffic in that intersection.  (Truth is, the traffic wasn't very heavy, he didn't need to get out and direct it...)

Of course this put me right in the middle of construction-related traffic as I made my way to my office.

But I really had to feel for Drew.  Fender-bender on the highway as he drove to work.

So glad tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

baseball....

So it's September...the Mets are in first place in their division, and playing the Nationals, the second place team, this week.

The Yankees are in second place, merely a game and a half behind the Blue Jays, and strong contenders for the Wild Card spot if they don't overcome Toronto.

The words "October baseball" seem to be on everyone's lips.  Dare I even contemplate a repeat of the Subway Series of 2000?  That was so exciting.

We've got tickets for the Mets-Yankees came at Citi Field September 20.  Should be an interesting came. Haven't been to Citi Field yet this season, I'm really looking forward to it.

And then there's Atlantic League baseball, and my Long Island Ducks.  Their season ends September 20, and the Ducks are in contention for a playoff berth.  Drew would like to buy tickets for a playoff game, it would be fun to go.

We've done it before.   The Ducks were the league champs in 2012 and again in 2013.  We were in Bethpage Ballpark the night they won the 2012 championship, and we saw one championship game in 2013.

Yes, there's still much to look forward to in this 2015 baseball season.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

the drama llama

It was a very full weekend, with my mother's birthday on Friday, and Drew's barbecue on Sunday.

And then yesterday, Labor Day, was my sisters' birthday.  Which coincided with the arrival of the drama llama. 

Three sisters, two daughters, occasional drama is inevitable.

It was "duck and cover" time.

Yes, I stayed out of it.

Best thing I could have done.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Songbird Salutes the 70's -- September Morn


Sunday, September 6, 2015

My new "go-to" appetizer

Spread some hummus on a Ritz cracker. Top with a slice of cucumber. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Top with a piece of roasted red pepper. Enjoy.


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Saturday, September 5, 2015

I take it back!

Never mind what I said about "Bring it on, Fall".  I'm not ready.
Yesterday I saw...I can't believe it...I saw....I saw.... Fall Foliage!!!
Around here we don't usually see color until October.   It's too soon.
Must be due to the very dry weather all summer.

Friday, September 4, 2015

At the old ball game -- the Ducks dine on Bluefish

Last night we saw what will probably be our last Ducks game of the season. The team is a strong contender for the playoffs, and we may buy tickets if they are, but ...

The goal was to see the Ducks play each team in the Atlantic League, seven teams in all. We met that goal a couple of weeks ago, but that was the night Drew won two tickets for the September 3 game against the Bridgeport Bluefish.


So, off we went.

The series against the Bluefish was important, the Bluefish are also in the race for the playoffs. The Bluefish took game one, the Ducks won a laugher game two, and we were present for the rubber game of the match.

Free tickets = great seats, right behind home plate.

The Bluefish took an early lead, it was 2-0 at the end of the second. The Ducks tied it up in the 6th.

And then came the bottom of the 9th, the bases were loaded and a walk-off ... excuse me, a "waddle-off" single won the game.

Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Mets-Yankees at Citi Field in two weeks.

Oh, yeah, I love baseball.













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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Another This and That

So Drew got his class schedule. He'll be teaching several sections of Global History (self-contained special ed) as well as Earth Science (inclusion). Not exactly the program he would have chosen for himself, but considering he's now in the final countdown to his retirement, he's not complaining too loudly.

Jen is loving the new job.  At her old job, in our school district,  she was a "paraprofessional" assigned to work one-on-one with a single special needs student.  She was initially assigned to her student when he was in 5th grade, at the elementary school, and  moved up to the middle school with him.  Her new title is "teaching assistant".  She's in the district's middle school, working with one teacher, in a self-contained special ed environment.

Yesterday Becca got caught in another hellish LIRR commute.  I can sympathize, I've had a few bad commutes over the years.  But she's moving into her apartment at the end of the month, so her LIRR commuting days are numbered.

Marvin gave us another bad scare, he wound up in the hospital again.  This time it was pneumonia.    Who knows what it'll be next time?

Sometimes I really love my Timehop app.  Yesterday it gave me photos of Duchess on September 2, 2013, the day Drew adopted her from the animal shelter.  She was such a tiny kitten!  But so full of energy.  She ran around the entire house that day, making it her own.  She's still quite a handful -- the other day she stood on top of the refrigerator and scolded Drew  for some imagined offense. 

Tonight is our last Ducks game of the season -- the tickets Drew won at the game a couple of weeks ago.  I've really enjoyed our trips to the ballpark.

But our baseball days aren't over yet.  We have tickets to see the Mets play the Yankees at Citi Field on the 20th.  It was originally scheduled as a Sunday afternoon game.  But since the Mets and Yankees are both playoff contenders, the game has been moved to Sunday night so that it can be broadcast on ESPN as the game of the week. Should be fun.

In the meantime, it's Labor Day weekend, and Drew's annual barbecue on Sunday. Should be an interesting time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bring It On, Fall

So even though I said I want to hold onto summer ...

I drove past Schmitt's Farm tonight and couldn't help but think of the apples coming in a couple of weeks, and the pumpkins that will soon follow.

And "Witchy Woman" came on the radio, and I started to think about haunted houses and Halloween.

And when I got home, there were the catalogues ... Sweaters and flannel shirts and jackets in rich autumn colors. Clogs and loafers and booties. Comfy p.j.'s and slippers.

Ok, Fall, I'm ready ...


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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September NaBloPoMo

September's NaBloPoMo theme is "lessons". And the writing prompts are all about going back school. Interesting theme, considering. I loved being a student, but I never had any aspirations of becoming a teacher. However, I am surrounded by educators. My father is a retired school administrator. He started out as an English teacher, became an assistant principal. (He eventful got his principal's license but was never appointed to a position.) My mother's career path...She taught Social Studies. Quit teaching to be a stay at home mom. Tried to go back to teaching when we were all a bit older, but couldn't find a suitable position and eventually made a career change. Drew is about to start his final year as a Special Ed teacher, he'll be retiring in June. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, where my life won't be tied to the school calendar. And Jen just got a new job as a teaching assistant in a neighboring school district. Pays a lot better than what she earned in our district as a paraprofessional. She will be working with Special Ed students. I'm hoping the new job will inspire her to go back to school, get her Master's and get a teaching license. I'm sure I'll find some inspiration from the NaBloPoMo prompts this month. Happy September!

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