August 7th, 2008

christmas 2008

traveling

I am back up here in what my ex-roommate calls "the State of Fail," and have taken care all things Blue Trooper-related. It was just as easy on this side of the Sound as on the other.

About two minutes after I left the Ancestral Palace, I heard the traffic report on WBLI. "Westbound Northern State backed up...delays on the westbound LIE...Southern State westbound, a mess..." - and I laughed. For I was heading eastbound, and would not be subject to the morning rush into NYC. The ferry was, as usual, a wise choice. Having a clean trip naturally enhances the journey, one that rolls through the North Fork's wineries. Someday I'll have to take RB through there - with me as the designated driver, of course.

Cross Sound Ferry gets hated on a lot by old school Long Islanders, because their recent expansion (fueled by the opening of the twin casinos in the Armpit of New England) threatens the rustic nature of the North Fork. I, a semi-regular customer of this service, cannot join in this bashing. I've been pleased by their service every time I've sailed with them. Today they accommodated my early arrival to the terminal by getting me across half an hour earlier than the time I'd booked. This is the second time they've done this for me; in the other instance, the extra time was most beneficial, as there was a torrential downpour on Long Island that evening. I have had to endure nearly hour-long waits a couple of times. But CSF couldn't help in those cases - because I was sailing on the first ferry of the day. They also have a boat (the Cape Henlopen) that's been converted from a World War II tank landing ship that was at Normandy on D-Day. I'll be rolling with these guys for as long as I'm left in the Navy - and maybe longer, should I settle out on Long Island and feel a sudden need to get my gambling fix on. Because you know they're never going to build the bridge over the Sound.
christmas 2008

closing out Northport on a high note...

...once again, Facebook provides an unexpected win.

My original plan for last night was to head over to RB's house. He hosts a little wine tasting once a week, and there was also the possibility of Brewmeister bringing over some of his home-brewed craft. All that changed just before 5 p.m., when I saw an update from one of my oldest friends from back in the day, BtL. "BtL" stands for "Behind the Lens"; he has always been interested in film. We go back to the time of single digit age. He said he was "looking for people to meet at Naps." That's short for Napper Tandy's, one of the only bars around frequented by the local under-thirty set. I texted him, and then something weird happened. I thought I saw him as I was picking up dinner from McDonald's. I wasn't sure, and I was on a timetable since I had Mom's food as well, so I left. A minute later I get a call from him saying he'd be out late (I was driving, so I couldn't answer). This immediately took priority over everything else. BtL lives on the West Coast, and I was leaving for Connecticut the next morning. It is, therefore, a rare thing for us both to be in Northport at the same time. My attitude was that nothing short of a call from a woman promising immediate sex would derail our meeting. It was that important.

I arrived at Napper's, and was pleasantly surprised by the number of relatively young people in the place on a Wednesday night. It was nearly an hour before I found BtL, and it was a most welcome reunion. In relative terms, it hasn't been too long since I last saw him - only since December 2006 in New York City. He was rolling with two of his friends from California. BtL and one of the friends had clearly been drinking prior to their arrival - because they were throwing down game without regard to anything. We ended up talking to a couple of young women who were fairly close in age to BtL and me. I ended up being there longer than the other guys. At first, I thought I'd simply outlasted them. On further review, it's more likely that they bailed because they realized they wouldn't make any headway, and by then, those two were the last ladies in the bar. They both eventually admitted to having boyfriends. I had no way of verifying that statement; regardless, I was out of there within three minutes.

It was a great capstone to two wonderful weeks. Given that I lost a car during this past leave, you can rest assured that the good times were indeed that good.
christmas 2008

and now, for some randoms - and a recap...

Shortly before I left Napper Tandy's last night, I saw the breaking news alert on SNY showing that Brett Favre had been traded to the Jets. Of the two women with whom I was chatting at the time, one was a Jets fan, and the other pulled for Big Blue, as do I. I was, of course, compelled to point out that the Giants are WORLD CHAMPIONS. The lady who rooted for Gang Green was NOT pleased with the transaction. And throughout today, I have seen more negative reaction. According to Facebook, Bizarro is "is hoping the Jets will do the right thing.... and trade Favre to the Vikings." Double-A "isn't happy about the Favre situation, but will have to deal." (They're both friends of mine from the Cornell era, and fellow Big Red Bones. Trumpets suck.) I think it's an immediate shot in the arm for a team that won only four games last year. On the flip side, I totally understand the concerns people might have, especially about chemistry. On the woefully named Monday Night Countdown, there was some reporting from Cleveland (site of the Jets' preseason opener tonight) that some of the Jets had trouble with this, having been through the battles with Pennington and Clemens. My primary concern is the way in which it shifts the football talk in New York. This is a fine time to remind all readers that the New York Giants are the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS.

As I arrived back to the New Nexus of Hate late this morning, I was treated to an unusually large dose of useless bullshit. In the course of digesting this, I discovered that R. Kelly's upcoming album, 12 Play Fourth Quarter, had been leaked into the online realm. I thus set about the task of obtaining it for a certain Kells-obsessed friend of mine. I was beaten to the punch, but that didn't prevent me from listening to it - and totally cracking up laughing at the lyrics. I said over two months ago that I was neutral on Kells; that is clearly no longer the case. It's a rare day that I put fifteen new songs onto my iPod, but today is such a day.

During these past two weeks of leave, I've done so much, and had such a great time. Let's sum it up...
  • Watched a beautiful movie about the teenage condition, and supported the work of a high school friend
  • Attended a game at Shea Stadium, during its final season
  • Saw a Met hit his first major league home run
  • Attended a good friend's engagement party
  • Won some money at the casino, and had a lot of fun with the other players
  • Attended a game at the most historic yard in baseball
  • BTW, it was Mark Teixiera's first game with the Angels, and Manny Ramírez's last with the Red Sox
  • Saw and took video of my best friend's performance in my ancestral home
  • Lost the car I've driven for nearly six and a half years
  • Gained a replacement (NOT new) car, further proving why my Mom rocks
  • Went out drinking and partying in the greatest city in the world
  • Wrote nearly two thousand words detailing the shortcomings of the "State of Fail"
  • Hooked up with e-Scarlet in real time, and took her PNR recommendation
  • Saw and partied one of my oldest friends
  • Had authentic White Castle, on two separate occasions
  • And perhaps most importantly, generally refreshed and recharged, making me all the more capable of attacking the 284 days after this one.
That last one points to perhaps the most beautiful thing. There were several occasions in all of this that I totally forgot the count. I might actually be able to cope with going to back to work tomorrow...