Archive for the ‘Another Day In My Life’ Category

May I Buy Your Telephone?

February 22, 2012

I did the deed, perhaps a little against my better judgement, but I did it. 

I’d been having troubles with my phone; oh, it was making calls with no problem, I’m assuming, but everything else seemed sluggish and worn out. But, I combated that with putting in a larger SD card to boost the phone’s memory and did some manipulating and seemed to get it working smoothly again.

But the lure of upgrading was gnawing at me and as our plans for last Friday had changed (I had taken the day off to spend with a houseguest who had his own change in plans and didn’t come) and when Ariel got home from work we decided we’d go see about the new Droid Razr Maxx and off to the mall to the Verizon store we went.

Now you know how I hate to call people (places, things) out, but in this case I feel it warranted (and please don’t take it personally my dear friend JP).

Of course I was concerned as I am with changes of any sort and I had question about how this new phone would function by comparison to my old one, about transferring all the information like phone numbers and addresses and I figured I’d have the weekend to set it up, work out a majority of the kinks, and generally get used to it.  I didn’t want to wait until, well, yesterday when it would have been shipped and I’d end up having to make another trip to the mall, which I really wasn’t looking forward to. All the while I was speaking to the salesman, he was yes’ing me to death and stepping over my questions with some technological gibberish and that was when he took the time to pay attention to me.  I was feeling the blood rush in my head in a panicky swirl of indecision and I  finally consented to get the phone when he said, “There’s only one problem, we don’t have any in stock,” with an added dastardly chuckle. “Can you check around at other stores?” Ariel suggested and at the service desk, salesman guy proclaimed no availability within a 20 mile radius. “Not even in a 500 mile radius,” he said, to punctuate the point. I took it as a sign, thanked him and left.

In the parking lot, Ariel asked Siri on his iPhone to find Verizon stores in the area and believe it or not, there was one not 2 miles from the house. They had one, but I had a bad taste in my mouth and was left even more unsure about the upgrade than before and he called back to say not to hold it, we weren’t coming.

Next day, in the wake of our Friday plans being canceled, I thought, hmm, let’s go check out the Verizon store in New Brunswick and see what they have to say. “Within an hour I’ll have a phone here for you,” the guy said on the phone. And he did, but it was defective and within 20 minutes some guy brought in another one which got activated and set up. They owner/salesman of the rather downsized store actually spoke to me like a human being, exercising the art of customer relations.

Once the transaction was complete, I decided to call out the mall store and asked how, if there wasn’t a phone within a 500 mile radius, he was able to produce 2 in the span of an hour and he told me that because in those corporate stores, they’re looking to make money and they don’t want to “waste their time” on an upgrade on a rather expensive phone ( under the plan we have they’d only make a fraction of the actual cost) and they’d rather spend their time on a new customer and make more than three times as much on the sale.

I filled out the survey I was asked to do and in the details box, spouted off on this incident. Now all I have to do is learn my way around the thing and everything will be right as rain.

Curtain Up

October 20, 2011

While we’re on the topic of Broadway shows, I have to get something off my chest. I have another thing to get off my chest that sort of works in tandem with the first thing.

There is a feature on my blog, the tags, found at the bottom of most of my posts that at one time would link the reader, or me, for that matter, to others blogging about similar topics, whether it be those silly Eggies or how badly The Chew is doing in the ratings. Sorry, I vowed I wouldn’t mention that All My Children replacement without an unwarranted reason. Well, anyway, for some reason, the host of this blog has decided to disengage that feature and instead, when I, or you, click on a tag, it simply gathers all the blogs I’ve written on that topic. While I also like that idea since it gives my readers a chance to explore what else I may have done on a particular topic, it’s a bit disappointing since one of the benefits of blogging is to network.

So, what does that have to do with that other thing? Well, besides the fact that I hope I have a vast readership, I also would like to think that somehow these words are getting out to theater owners by way of hyper cyberlinks.

I think it’s time theaters do away with their concession stands. I mean, how important is having that bag of M&M’s during the last 45 minutes of play? Before every performance the announcement is made to turn off all cellphones and pagers, the taking of photographs and recording is strictly prohibited and to unwrap all candies. Enjoy the show. How, then, can the theater justify selling snacks in cellophane wrappers? For the $4 dollars a bag? And how about that popping plastic sound from someone squeezing an empty water bottle? Or sucking the dregs of a soda through a straw? Stop it! Oh yeah, and if the theater would stop selling stuff, the rest of us wouldn’t have to exit through trash laying on the floor. Is this how people are at home? Ignorant?

But people also carry stuff in off the street, blatantly, in shopping bags from the Hershey store or wherever; one time a group of women at a show behind us had sandwiches and french fries.

And a note to you inconsiderate self-important cellphoners, turn OFF your cellphone, don’t just turn the volume down. I’m not paying a premium for my seat to listen to an impromptu concerto of digitized rap songs, that “cool”  ring you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you’re the only one in the world who has it,  and otherwise chirping during an actors monologue.

Going to the theater should be a sophisticated experience, an important experience. For many, it’s a one time shot. Actors have one chance to convey the story in a unique 2 or so hour time frame there is no rewind. Life, unfortunately, is not Tivo.

I don’t know what can be done about the cellphone, that’s just peoples’ stupidity, but as far as other noise that can be controlled, close the snack bar, or have the big burly usher who’s job nowadays is to simply point in the general direction of where your seat is, confiscate all crinkly articles.

Now that I think about it, I think an actual letter to the theaters I’ve been to would be much more effective in getting my point across.

Meanwhile, for ha-ha’s, this past weekend we sorted out our Playbills, to see how many shows we’ve seen and we grouped them by theater.

**That’s a lot of hard-earned cash we’re spending, Mr. Theater owner!

WTF!

June 15, 2011

Early yesterday morning I discovered one of my tomato plants was leafless. In fact it looked like it had been eaten. Sure it was the smallest of them all and at first I thought maybe it was a bad plant, a runt, and dropped its leaves. But they would be laying on the ground and there were no signs of them anyway. On closer inspection, it was evident they’d been chewed off with razor sharp precision. So much for that protective fencing. WTF? (Fence..see, you thought I was gonna say the other F word!)

But I wasn’t to be defeated. I spent a couple of hours wrestling with and cutting strips of quarter inch wire mesh to stuff into wherever slight opening whatever hungry varmint it was might have slipped through. Most likely it was under the front gate, the gap there is rather extraordinary but now, after having my hands cut to shreds and fingers punctured, I think we are officially critter-proof.

In the meantime, with the watering and the rain we’ve been having, everything is flourishing and my pepper plants are finally starting to sprout as well as one lima bean plant so far, exploding through the ground like an embryonic alien emerging from a fetal sleep.

I’m still engrossed in the Casey Anthony trial and today the prosecution will rest its case with and by tomorrow the defense will begin their presentation, unless they win their motion for an acquittal, but that will probably end up the same way their plea for a mistrial yesterday ended up…denied.

And of course our Save the Soaps (all of them) battle rages on. Right now our focus is on contacting any ABC/Disney personnel to pass the message on to Bob Iger to sell the soaps to another network. Trouble is, they mostly respond with that same link to the ABC website Contact Us tab. And now those replies read like canned responses, when they decided to answer or if they don’t have their “away” messages up.

A Day In The City

May 10, 2011

‘Twas a busy morning around here. I set my alarm for 4:30 because I was taking my niece and her husband to the train. They are going to a taping of Dr. Oz and had to be in line by 8. So that means getting into the city with enough time to walk (their choice) from Penn Station to the Dr. Oz show and be there before 8. So, we decided the 6:11 would get them into the city in plenty of time. And thankfully it’s a beautiful day.

She had filled out a form, sent a photo and a bunch of info that could help her be a participant on the show, but as of last night she still hadn’t yet heard back. So, we’ll see what happens. So, I thought, hmm, this would be the perfect opportunity; a banner? No, they’d never let her in. Throwing a bra? No, that honor belongs to the Radio Chick. I know, use sign language to spell out S-A-V-E O-N-E L-I-F-E T-O L-I-V-E.

From there they’ll be touring some of the city and later, we’ll be meeting them in New York for dinner at one of favorite haunts. I just hope my cab company doesn’t let me down again like the last time when I missed two trains, a half hour apart from each other on the cab ride to the station. To be fair, he had to pick up another passenger, but also that day was the beginning of spring break and all the freaks and, well, freaks had taken to the streets, beer kegs being paraded to various parties, boys peeing on dorm house walls, girls… well, never mind…. Anyway, I just hope I don’t miss my train this afternoon.

So, let’s see if my niece utilizes her sign language skills. And in the meantime, here is all that info again for you. And thanks! Don’t forget, thsi week, Roger Howarth returns, but will he be Todd and Trevor St John an imposter lo these many years? Tune in and find out.

A Brighter Day!

May 2, 2011

 

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue!

 

Never forget. Never let our guard down.

 

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It’s always seems impossible to juggle one more thing into an already hectic schedule without hemming and hawing about it but we were going to see Insidious this weekend. It was going to be Friday night after work, but not knowing what time we’d be able to get out after grocery shopping in preparation for next week we decided it would be Sunday. Melissa and Bob are coming to visit. Yes, we just saw them over Easter, but she had already planned on coming out. So, we needed to stock up on stuff, plus plan for Mother’s Day. So, Saturday, while I put in a full day of work–end of the month crunch–Ariel prepped pretty much all the food we’ll have and then we went into the city to a birthday party at Bowlmor in the city. It was Jamie’s birthday, of Ronny and Jamie who recently got married. Oh, yeah, and they made the announcement that they’re just seven months shy of being parents. Weeeee!

It’s been years since I’ve gone bowling and I must say I didn’t do too badly… 126. We only got in a game and a half. Traffic into the city was a complete mess and we arrived later than we planned. Midway through our second game, our time was up and they shut our lanes down to make way for the next party. I’m sure I was on target for a perfect game in the second round, but now we’ll never know. Might be something to look into, but around here….? Not sure where. Maybe we can install an alley in the basement.  

After the bowling party we went across the street to a club/bar and rather than go a la carte, we opted to pay the open bar fee of $50, get our wristbands so we could imbibe all night long. The way we figured it, it was a savings, especially by the time you buy a round or two. Of course, one also has to drink wisely, like with bottled beer because the liquor pours are nearly non-existent, a meticulously measured thimble-full. We drove Ronny and Jamie home, rather than their having to take the Path and it also afforded me the chance to tell my New York Hotel story yet again. I swear, that just doesn’t get old!

Yesterday, Ariel continued with some food prep and I turned into a white tornado and we headed out to the movies. Of course, even with Ingrid’s help, we still got lost up there, off Rt 3. Anytime we go up there we get lost. It’s got to be one of the most confusing tangle of roads in this entire state. Great suspenseful movie without the usual blood and gore, fires and explosions and car chases that so many movie makers deem necessary elements to a good movie. I had me kind of groaning in a spot or two, like it was taking a cue from so many other spooky movies, but it also had elements that had my hair standing on end. And it begs for a sequel.

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Nothing new on the Sony/NBC rumor to buy One Life to Live and All My Children except that one article cited that a particular actor from one of those shows, who hasn’t heard about the rumor has decided it possibly couldn’t be true. Well, how very nice for him. In the meantime, here is a link to quite a bit of information on how you can help Support Our Soaps.  There are phone numbers and addresses for executives and advertisers plus other information.

And for those of you who feel threatened by the so-called soap opera, remember this–to quote a very in depth columnists’ words (I hope he doesn’t mind)–just about every show, be it a cop show, sci-fi (ABC’s “V” is also now rumored it might not return next season), Desperate Housewives, or even your favorite “reality” show follows a similar formula, serialized storytelling, all taking a cue from the much maligned soap.

Come Into The Closet

April 12, 2011

Years ago, I’ll never forget it as long as I live, when my beagle was alive, I learned there was truth in Pavlov’s theory. On the first night after the basement was finished and the bedroom moved down there and it was time to hit the hay, Wiffy was nowhere to be found. Usually she was under my feet, whether I was sitting on the couch or trying to navigate on foot, going from one room to another, trying not to trip over her and certainly at bedtime she was in my spot, making herself so big, I had to squeeze into whatever space remained. So, that night, I found her, standing, with a dumbfounded WTF look on her face at the indentation in the carpet where the foot of the bed was just hours before. She knew it was bedtime, but hadn’t registered the move yet. I entered the room and all she could do was helplessly look to me for guidance until I convinced her to follow me to where she could once again make herself huge to the point there was room for only her on the bed.

Well, Ariel has that same look on his face when he tries to find his clothes. They’re no longer in the small closet. I shouldn’t pick on him though, he’ll get it eventually. I, on the other hand, after more than twelve years, still choose the wrong switch in a 2, 3 or 4 gang; the singles I’ve finally gotten the hang of.  And there’s the ever famous incident of wandering aimlessly into the living room, pondering my reason for being there, only to realize I meant to go into the bathroom. (I think that’s a different condition altogether, something Pavlov couldn’t help with). And then of course there’s the ribbing I get all the time about touching the wrong button on a remote control or the computer. As a matter of fact, while I was writing, I went to open Internet Explorer, hit the Start button and followed through without realizing what I was doing until the screen went dark. Duh!

I’m still working on transferring my music from iPod to iPod and as I’m working on it, I’m questioning whether there might not be an easier way but I’m having a good time doing it. It was bit of a convoluted process. First I had to realize that if I transferred my stored music files from my external drive to my iTunes library, all 6 thousand some songs would end up on my mSpot program on my Droid. So, with my PD Rescue program (which I recommend highly for anyone who’s got invaluable music files) I was able to input the contents of my old iPod into iTunes on my laptop (not associated with mSpot). I was able to pick and choose what got moved, so I eliminated four hundred and some Christmas songs from moving. Not that I don’t like Christmas music, but invariably, one of the umpteen versions of “The Little Drummer Boy”–one of my least favorite Christmas songs….EVER!!!–will play at an inopportune time. Plus, because the new iPod is an iPod Touch, I want to have album art for all my stuff and that’s taking some time to collect.

I don’t have a smooth closer so I’ll just show you this video I saw on Ellen last night.

House To The Rescue

April 5, 2011

My “hotel” story got its first live telling this past weekend to someone who doesn’t read my blog. The nerve! But the expression on his face was priceless. And he told me yesterday he’s been passing it on.

You knew it was coming, stuff about the house. I left you off last week that the attic/closet was done and awaiting a paint job so the carpet can get installed. And there was that piece of base molding that was missing. Well, here’s where my house came to the rescue. I found that piece of molding. Mind you, in the past twelve years, there have been elements to my house that have been conducive to ease of living (the flood in the basement last year notwithstanding–that was anything but easy); such as a nail stuck in the wall in the precise place we intended to hang the calender, or the little bit of barren wall space was perfect for this bit of bric-a-brac. Okay, maybe it was just that we were lazy and decided to hang the calendar on that nail in that spot rather than look for a nail and the hammer and get all involved with calendar hanging.

But I’ve found useful things, such as a saw one time tucked up in the rafters in the basement and other odds and ends. I had this thought of looking there once again and there, right next to the bundle of curtain rods and roll up shades and reflective foil paper for behind the radiators that have all been wedged up there from the word go, was that piece of molding. So, that saves Jim from having to hunt down a match which may never happen.

And then, as promised, on Saturday, the patio lights arrived, but because there were some parts missing, they didn’t get installed until yesterday, but, oh, they’re just wonderful. Worth the wait. In fact, Patio Joe said he’s ordering the same ones for his house.

So, Sunday, once we got ourselves in gear from the previous night when four of us killed at least one  bottle of Jack, we got down to painting the attic and I had the nerve-wracking job of staining the woodwork, including the door and even though I was tarped down enough to protect the floor from even sulphuric acid, I was still in a panic working over the carpet. And then I also patched up that paint job where the wall was replaced from when the heater was moved.  Saturday morning I put my light upholstery skills from my career in window treatment design to work and padded the individual sections and Sunday, after the painting and all, we put that together and hung it. And finally around 8pm we got the rooms put back together.

So, here are what could be the last pictures of the entire project, not including the carpet, because it hasn’t happened yet. And that’ll look like the one that’s already down in the bedroom and I’m sure you don’t care to see my clothes hanging.

   

The lumber in the garage. The last of that window. Looking in at “attic”. The doorway opens and the radiator is moved and subfloor  is down.

   

Close-up of the interior and the air conditioning ducts are in. A shot through the door at the sheetrocked room. Sheetrocked. The just about finished space (no carpet) with a hanger rod installed and stained. The raised platform is because of the raised ceiling for the fan in the room below. I just fit standing up with no shoes on.

                                

Looking into the room showing both sides of the closet. And the room put back together, with the patched paint job on either side of the door.

                

Without headboard and, well, with…..

   

The lights!

Then There Was That Man

March 30, 2011

PART 3: THE CONCLUSION

We arrived finally at our hotel, tired and chilled and somewhat satisfactorily sated from something that resembled a frankfurter on a stale bun, rang the security bell, and said good night once again to the desk clerk who was on duty earlier and had let us in a few hours prior after the concert.

Our room, 112 was just steps from the elevator, possibly 2 giant steps (May I?). We walked in and the first thing that caught my attention was an uncomfortable putrid odor and I closed the door behind us. One of us must have gotten quick action from our midnight snack, but it wasn’t me.  All at once, my mind was occupied with taking off my jacket, trying to identify whatever that increasingly sickening stench was and registering the  words Ariel just spoke “What is this? Who is that?”   My head reeled in a sudden fog, my teeth clenched and the hair on the back of neck  stood up when I saw before me a strange man, sprawled out face down, naked and covered in feces on one of the beds.

 Our gazes were fixed momentarily, as we tried to assess the situation and makes sense out of what we were seeing until we composed ourselves enough to return to the front desk. In spite of Ariel’s pleas that we remain as calm as possible, I blurted out the description of what we just left behind to the front desk clerk and  her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.  She finally realized we weren’t joking around and called the police and then the hotel’s security manager came out from his office He interrogated us as to whether we knew him, or gave him our key, if we left our door open. The first to respond was the fire department and they took off when the police arrived and they were followed the first aid squad.

While we waited in the lobby to see what would develop, the desk clerk tried valiantly to find us a room elsewhere in town because this hotel was all booked up for that wedding on Sunday, the one that caused the ridiculous registration rigamarole when I was trying to check in. There’s a punch line in here. Wait for it… (as if a naked man in a “fecal” position wasn’t enough!)

At least forty-five minutes had gone by and she was unable to get a satisfactory answer from anyone, including her manager whom she roused out of a sound sleep on the phone and finally Captain Craptastick was being wheeled through the lobby on a stretcher, awake and sitting up, wrapped in a robe and obviously incoherent. He was stone cold drunk out of his mind! That’s what one of the paramedics told us and one of the cops who spoke with us could just about contain a laugh when he realized it was our room that had been violated.

Finding a room for us was becoming an obvious impossibility and the entire situation knocked the tired right out of us and we decided to go home. It really made no sense at that point to get a room anywhere in the city because by the time check out time would have come around, we would have only gotten a few hours sleep anyway. We were finally allowed to go  back into our room to gather our belongings, except one shirt of mine that was otherwise soiled and Ariel’s toothbrush on the sink,  and though it was seemingly untouched, he left it among the detritus in the equally soiled bathroom.

Back in the lobby, we crossed paths with the man’s wife, who wasn’t operating on all cylinders herself, whether from likewise over-imbibing,  suffering the embarrassment her drunken husband was causing or possibly from wondering how this would effect their daughter’s wedding the next day. Yes, this was the family that was checking in when we arrived! In a turn of simple compassion, after Ariel demanded from this woman to know her name, rather than add to her obvious misery, which it looked like he was about to do, only offered her good luck, to which she sorrowfully responded, “Thanks. I think I’m gonna need it”.  Breaks my heart, really, to think of the innocent parties involved, namely, the poor bride.

In conclusion, we arrived home just after 5 in the morning. The hotel couldn’t even validate or offer to pay our parking fee so we could get the truck and go home; they aren’t affiliated with that garage. That was the least of our concerns, but we made it home without incident and in one piece and we’d have to leave Chock Full Of Nuts for another time.

There are two trains of thought: one being that  there was a glitch in the key card code, or as the hotel suggested, which I would imagine they would have to, we left our door ajar. That was their take on it when they called Sunday afternoon, but I remember distinctly closing that door with the doorhandle in  my hand because when we went out the first time, for dinner and the concert, the door slammed behind us and  echoed throughout the hallway.  I remembered that when we left to meet up with the guys and held the door from slamming. It was after 11:30 at night and didn’t want to be “that guy” with disregard for everyone else.   

Well, the hotel offered us a complimentary two-night stay nonetheless to be used all at one time or on two separate occasions to make up for the inconvenience. And the last report of the father of the bride–he was released from the hospital on Sunday evening where was treated for severe alcohol poisoning and returned to his family who was still staying at the hotel. And in retrospect, as Ariel pointed out, thank God that man wasn’t dead otherwise we would have been unwittingly dragged into a police investigation. Now, THAT would have been something to write about!

Creatures Of The Night

March 29, 2011

 

PART 2:   I loved Stevie Nicks, she looks fabulous and she even treated us to her trademark twirl. The audience erupted when she sang “Stand Back” and we nearly tore the roof off the place once “Edge of Seventeen” began. That would have been the perfect finale, but she sang a song she had begun writing before 9/11 and found its meaning relevant in today’s world climate. Not being familiar with it, and it being a ballad, it kind of brought the mood down some. But the evening belonged to Rod Stewart, he really had the place rockin’ from start to finish. As you saw in the pictures yesterday, he had Stevie Nicks join him on stage for a few numbers. With the exception of a few new songs each, their sets were made up of their classic stuff and his finale was “Do You Think I’m Sexy”. I was surprised how many Rod Stewart songs I knew and actually enjoyed, even though I never would have considered myself a bona fide fan.

We were meeting friends from Brooklyn after the show to hang out and knock back a couple of drinks who I finally got a hold of on the phone. Apparently I had an incorrect number and found out about that on Sunday morning when after I sent another text message, the owner of that number called to tell me I’ve been texting and calling and that I should double-check my number.

We walked from The Garden down to our Hotel on 21st Street to get out of our dinner/concert clothes and put on something more suitable for barhopping and then it was back to 28th Street, by foot and our friends were running late. By just around midnight they got there and we kibitzed the night away, every now and then dodging a pistoning pool cue. Well, it was a stupid move for the bar to  have moved the pool table to that end of the bar rather than have left it in the vast barren area it was in just three weeks ago. The four of us made plans to possibly see a show starring two actors from the now defunct Guiding Light, Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer, who recently reprised her role as Echo DeSavoy on One Life To Live.

Should we get one more round? Should we go? Gabe and Mike were leaving, it was nigh on three AM but the lure of another beer won us over plus I was desparate to tag one good song on the Shazam app on my Droid, like I do everytime we go there, but Shazam wasn’t recognizing anything. They play such incredible underground club music there. I was beginning to feel a little hungry so we hurried through those beers, got out coats and left. I was seeking out a hot dog truck on the way back from the concert, one that wasn’t embroiled in the melee of the helter skelter pedestrian traffic so close to The Garden, but there wasn’t one to be found until, like a mirage in the desert, we happened upon one a few blocks from the club, with everything under the sun available on it. It was situated on a corner outside of yet another club for the, shall we say, younger set… and if I really didn’t need something in my stomach, I would have continued back to the room, but we suffered the insufferable public displays of drunkenness and the mingling of police presence to maintain order. Once the hot dog vender recovered from getting knocked almost off his feet from some washed out drunken female club-goer (at least I think it was a she) crashing into him after she wrestled herself free from a policeman’s grasp and yelling at him with inaudible words, we were able to order two dogs each. I had to have mine without relish. He didn’t have any. Why is it  always relish they run out of? And there was the trio of younger guys, two of which kept trying to keep the third one, who was quite verbal about being turned down repeatedly for prospective female company from meeting one of those Kamikaze New York taxicabs face to face.  

It’s a whole new world, New York City,  in the wee hours of the morning. The most colorful characters come out to play and are mightily highlighted in the dead of night. Well, they’re probably always there, but they just don’t shine under the camouflage of daylight. And still, there was that man…

Stand Back, Maggie May!

March 28, 2011

Gather ‘round boys and girls, Uncle Brian has a tale to tell, one with a surprise twist ending you will not believe. Let us turn back the clock…back, back, all the way back to this past Saturday. We begin our story with part one of three  on the day we were going to see Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart in concert at Madison Square Garden.

We stopped off on the way for a couple of hours to have lunch with Ariel’s parents in Newark and his niece was also stopping by with the baby. In a comedy of errors, because they didn’t see us parked in the yard, Baby Rita, Juan and the baby went to do some shopping and didn’t arrive until after they learned on the phone we had been there waiting for them over two hours. The baby is getting so big, learning how to roll himself over and trying desperately to sit up on his own. And there are signs of teething.

The drive into the city was uneventful, the likes of which rarely ever happens, but it was the right time of day, apparently. With a little help from Ingrid (my GPS) to fine tune our navigation to the Desmond Tutu Center we made it from Newark to our destination in under twenty minutes. A dream, really.

While Ariel waited in the truck, I went with his paperwork to sign in but before I could, there were several members from a wedding party registering and it was like the circus had come to town. It was chaos from the word GO, deciding who was staying with whom in each room, announcing who had yet not arrived, who was arriving when and with whom. I patiently awaited my turn while the husband of the younger couple in said party reprimanded his wife for advancing to the desk out of turn.

“Are you being helped?” I was asked, once the lobby was vacated. “No, not yet,” I said. “I’m so sorry,” desk lady said and then told me that Ariel would have to sign in himself since it was his name on the reservation and luckily there was a parking deck right across the street. More waiting.

But the room was well worth enduring the confusion. Take a look. Somehow we got upgraded to the Ricardo Pivirotto Room, Room 112.

    

                          

Even with our dinner reservations in our immediate future, not to mention the concert, I was counting down the minutes until morning so I could get to use that coffee maker. We even made plans for before we would leave for home to hunt down that Chock Full Of Nuts Lunch Counter that recently opened up on the East end of 23rd Street so I could re-blog about it first hand. But, there was that man…

Dinner was at Frankie & Johnnie’s. They sat us at a tiny table sandwiched between two others to the utter disapproval of the uppity gentleman next to us. If looks could kill, we’d both be pushing up daisies at an alarming rate and he grunted out a conversation with his wife through the rest of their dinner.

Through the controlled chaos we found our seats with little effort, got two beers from the vendor guy walking around and struck up a little conversation with the grandmother set in front of us, but they were having the best time.

And right at 7:30, the show started. Rod Stewart came out and introduced Stevie Nicks and she did over an hour of mostly her classic stuff, with only maybe three new songs. I realized at intermission I didn’t have the macro setting engaged on my camera, and the first few pictures of her might be a little fuzzy. By the time Rod Stewart came out I was more in control of my camera and got a little bit better quality shots. But I was watching a woman in the row ahead of me with a camera that zoomed in so close, the images of the singers filled her entire display window.  I was impressed, but I’m not altogether dissatisfied with what I got from my own camera.