Sunday, May 23, 2010
*Friendly's Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the only restaurant grilled cheese my son will eat;
*DMV? Runs very smoothly...was very used to this type of chaos in Daly City...
*Connecticuters love running...and the wife and I have discussed training for the many 5K and 10K runs that are coming up...
*The Noah Webster branch of the West Hartford Library has the best section for kids I've ever seen; Zach can stay there all day, playing, reading, working on the computer - I would have done the same at his age...
*The regular section of the library is pretty cool, too...
*Nutmeggers (another nickname) LOVE their Dunkin Donuts coffee - both hot and iced...
*The weather here turns on a dime; one day 50, cloudy, next day 86, sunny, then the quick shower/thunderstorm - this will take some getting used to...
*Connecticuticans (most current nickname) have been over the top friendly for the most part (there was an incident near the very affluent town of Avon that reminded me that not everyone approves of darker-skinned people)...best example was going to see the New Britain Rock Cats, the local AA baseball team, on a night where they were packed; I didn't have a ticket, and was waiting for my turn at the ticket booth, when a lovely woman by the name of Donna asked me if I needed just one ticket for myself, and when I said yes, she gave me her extra ticket for free! Turns out she gets tickets to all the games from the Rock Cats pitching coach, but her daughter, who normally accompanies her, decided to go to a school dance instead, so I got the extra ticket. And, not only that, but her seats turned out to be right behind the players' wives and girlfriends; what was interesting about the ladies was that the three levels of blondes (platinum, sandy, golden), sat and talked together the whole night, while the three brunettes did the same.
*The highway system is very good - If a job interview this week goes well, I'll be constantly using the system to go into Massachusetts (about a 35 minute drive).
*I'm reminded every time I go to the grocery store of how spoiled I was in California, with the abundance of different fruits and veg available; the stores aren't limited, but the quality does leave a lot to be desired; but, with the summer months coming up, I'm hopeful for more selection and better quality.
*Connecticut microbrews? Very tasty!
*We're almost into lobster season, so looking very forward to my first true lobster roll...
*Lots of weekend/day trips planned to discover our new state(s);
- Springfield, Mass for the Basketball Hall of Fame...
- Six-Flags New England in Springfield that boasts one of the few Wiggles World shows, as well as Thomas the Train, meaning that Zach will not want to leave...
- Science/Kids museums in West Hartford and Hartford...
- Steam train/Thomas the Train in Thomaston...
- Of course, a trip down to the Jersey Shore (FIST PUMP!)
- And, a trip to NYC
I'm still in a little bit of a haze, but hopefully the job situation will stabilize, and a new pre-school for Zach will make things a bit more normal - though he will say at least once a day "I miss California..."
Till next week...or sooner...
Saturday, May 15, 2010
When we arrived at JFK, we rented a car for the week, hoping that our car would arrive before Sunday the 9th; the car did not arrive, but my father-in-law offered one of his cars for us to use, so on Saturday we made the trek to New Jersey for the night; spent the night in Cranford, and, thanks to my mother-in-law, my wife and I got to see this:
So, the next morning, after a delicious breakfast at my favorite bagel shop in the world (suck it, Noah's!), we made the long trek from Cranford/Westfield, New Jersey, back to JFK to drop off the car, quickly followed by a day long excursion here:
YES! CITI FIELD! GIANTS V. METS! WITH TIM-MAY PITCHING!!!
This turned out to be a game that reminded this Candlestick old-timer of chilly, chilly nights in Bayview/Hunters Point; it was gusting all day, it felt like a 45-50 degree game, though this little guy didn't care;
As for the game, it was great for a while, with Lincecum shutting up the Citi Field patrons time and again, and it looked good with the Giants up 4-0 in the 6th inning, which is when my mother-in-law said:
"well, it looks good for you now, doesn't it?"
Of course two innings later, a misjudged fly ball and sacrifice fly spelled a 5-4 deficit for the Jints going into the eighth, when the Giants had a runner on and Aaron Rowand at the plate.
What is interesting about Citi Field is that at that time of the day, the wind was gusting toward right center field; I read a lot about Candlestick's early days, and that Willie Mays adjusted his swing so that he could drive the ball toward right-center, right field, because that was he best chance to hit one out. Well, Rowand channelled that theory, because he hit one that, from our seats, just cleared the fence in right-center for a go-ahead home run! There was a smattering of Giants fans in our area, and, needless to say, we went bonkers! We even had a couple of pickles thrown at us, so you know WE WERE LOUD!
We were too cold to stay for the rest of the game, but saw the highlights; Brian Wilson flashing his nasty stuff, the wind playing with Uribe and Rowand, and David Wright losing his mind; so, after back-to-back walk-off losses, a win for the Giants, in what will probably be the only time I see them live this year - good times.
Also, there may be an opportunity to start cooking again; keep your fingers crossed, everyone.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
44 Years. 10 Months. 328 Days.
This is how long I’ve called the San Francisco Bay Area home. And now, it’s off to a brand new home, and a brand new chapter in
Besides the oncoming sadness that comes with the knowledge that my days in the Bay Area are numbered, adding to the stress level has been a series of trying times with an auto shipper that will remain nameless - let's just say that what I'd like to do to the sales rep and the "customer service" reps has everything to do with how the cows and chickens are treated in the movie "Food Inc."
Normally, when I tell a company what I expect, I believe that they'll follow through, then I remember this is 2010, not 1941; so when the expected date of picking up the car (Monday, 4/26) came and went without even a courtesy phone call (one that I had been promised , by the sales rep), I, of course followed through, only to have my blood pressure rise, along with my voice, as the poor customer service reps felt the wrath of Rob. Fortunately, the company that our mover suggested was able to take our car, and we now await its arrival. With regards to our stuff, the moving company was quite impressed with the amount of boxes ready to load; apparently if we left it up to the movers to do everything, it would take about 2 days; since we were using the past 10 days to pack, they were in and out in 4 hours. Again, we anxiously await the arrival, but, in the meantime, it's a great opportunity to plan how we want the new house to look, and get some of the necessities for it.
It’s quite easy to say that I’ll miss the Bay Area, and
I didn’t join Facebook as quickly as my friends and family; I did join Twitter rather early, mostly because 140 characters is all I can muster most of the time. Now, these two platforms for social networking will be my lifeline to the place that was home. I’ll be able to see what everyone is up to (at least what they want the public to know). I’ll be able to keep tabs on my nieces and nephews as they reach milestones, and I’ll be able to see how my newest niece is doing come August.
With all the sites that are
With all the sites that are Bay Area driven, it will not be hard to get caught up with friends whose endeavors I’ve followed, or will follow.
Likewise, to those of you who choose to spend quality time perusing my ramblings, I hope to keep you entertained, either by my wit/charm/grace (not likely), or by the occasional appearance by a certain 3-year old who continues to amaze…