Monday, April 21, 2008

I spilt my coffee on a stranger (A Jen post of course)

It's no secret. I'm fairly clumsy... usually this fault only causes problems for myself. Well, this morning it caused a problem for someone else.

The train came. I along with several others walked in and sat down. We're the first stop so everyone got a seat and sat rather spaced apart. Across from me was a grandma and 2 kids. The kids were clearly not from NY and this was their first subway ride. The woman siting one seat away from me on my side of the train looked like a nurse or a medical assistant. She was wearing scrubs.

I had my purse next to me and my travel coffee mug (filled w/ yummy Aged Sumatra Peets coffee). I was digging in my purse for my Ipod when I hear the little girl ask her Grandma if you are allowed to drink on the train. The Grandma said "Yes as long as your careful." I was thinking how nice it was to hear a kid with manners, asking if something is "ok." And that's when I did the not "ok."

My purse hit the coffee mug. My coffee mug fell to the side on the bench and the lid opened and the lady in the scrubs got sprayed w/ Aged Sumatra. She didn't get soaked... but she definitely got sprayed.

I felt awful.

She looked shocked and I kept saying "I'm so sorry."

I offered her my Tide stick. She didn't want it and she got off at the next exit/. Presumably to go back home and change.

I still feel bad.

To that random stranger on the A train - I truly am sorry!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why's Mike so quiet???

If you're wondering why I've been rather quiet as of late, its because I have been slammed with pope-related coverage, and well as working 13 of the last 14 days (including today, Sunday). Poor Jen is getting her Benedict fill as well this weekend (and having to rise at 2am as well), but I think I have her beat only because I've seemingly reported on NOTHING but the Holy Father for weeks now...the whole town has been giddy with anticipation, and I was telling my co-workers the other day, "I swear, if I see ONE MORE Pope-related promo..I'm becoming a Muslim out of spite.."

Actually I was hoping I'd get a chance to meet the I could have him bless my matza for Passover...maybe he could have come over and I would have let him try to find the Afikomen?? Just as long as he didn't sit in Elijah's chair, all would have been well...maybe next time...

Well, the pontiff leaves tonight following a mass at Yankee Stadium (if you're lucky B-Neal, maybe he'll say a prayer for the Yankees mess of a starting rotation) but the fun doesn't end for me...

No...beginning next week, I move to a new shift at work...Mondays thru Fridays from noon to 6-630pm....along with that I begin training to be a backup producer for Charles Osgood and his Osgood Files radio shows that he does on a daily basis...

For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Osgood, he's the Paul Harvey of CBS Osgood Files and you'll find out more...

Anyways, I'm training with the regular producer all next week, and then filling in for him the following two weeks after that...the kicker is its a morning shift, as in EARLY in I have to be up at 2am to get here by 330am...produce Osgood til 10...find a place to take a quick snooze here in the CBS building (maybe I can use Andy Rooney's couch) and then work from noon to 6....

Basically 15 hour days...for 3 weeks straight...maybe I should get the Pope to say a prayer for me!

So if you don't hear from me much in this blog over the next 3 weeks, its probably because I'm asleep...

But I will try and write every now and then should funny stories arise or whatnot...

Hope to see everyone when we come back to California next month!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Easy Like Sunday Morning...and Evening

So last weekend was my first weekend of being off the Sunday overnight shift...and thank God! It was actually nice to enjoy a full Sunday without having to worry about jumping on a train at 930 at night and heading downtown...

We started off Sunday with a brunch trip to the world famous Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. We got to sit in the room that looks out on the garden, and it was amazing. It was like being in the middle of a Faberge Egg or carousel...just lots of all over the place...very neat the food was great. I had a goat cheese omelette and Jen had the eggs benedict on top of pepper jack biscuits with a Cajun crawfish hollandaise sauce...both were delicious....totally neat experience...we can't wait to take Mom and Dad Weiss the next time they come out....

After brunch, we came home, changed clothes, and it was off to KICKBALL with the social networking group up in our neck of the woods known as the UME (Upper Manhattan Experience)...great group of people who are totally fun to hang out with...

yep, remember kickball, right? Played it when you were seven, lots of running around involved?? Well about 30 of us gathered at Inwood Hill Park Sunday morning to "kick it." We had been earlier divided into 2 teams, and Jen, myself and Dawn were all on the "Low Ballers"

And you know what? We were awesome! We had Jen bat (kick?) leadoff, and I'm proud to say that not only did she NOT injure herself (maybe I need to rethink her Evel Knievel nickname)..she got a hit (kick?) every time she was up!! In fact the only time she made an out was when she was on first and I kicked a fly ball that someone caught with less than 2 outs and we forgot to tell Jen that you don't want to run on that play...she was all the way to third by the time she realized she needed to come back...needless to say she was out by 40 feet, BUT we can go over the rules another time (see, babe, this is why you need to pay attention to me when I take you to baseball games!!)

As some folks know, I'm pretty competitive when it comes to sports...any sports (just ask Kevin and our bloody indoor Nerf basketball battles...or Mike and Dave and our trash talking air hockey wars)....much like Katie Neal, I don't like to lose (unlike Katie Neal, I don't resort to cheating when I am losing)....but losing was never going to happen for the Low Ballers!! Our team rocked...and we dominated the 9-inning contest 35-to-18. Yours truly went 6-for-7 (minus the previously noted fly ball) and Jen batted 1.000.

One of the members of the group (Claudia) spent the game taking pictures, and as soon as they get posted on the group website, we'll move some over here so you can see our athletic prowess captured on digital film...

That night, after having dinner at home, we went to the Piper's Kilt for karaoke night. Most of you know I can be talked into belting out a tune or two, especially if I have a couple of drinks in me. Well, karaoke nights at the Kilt are themed, and this one was "Kamikaze Karaoke"...that meant that someone else had to pick the song for you, and you weren't allowed to know what song you'd be singing until you hit the stage...

That means I couldn't rely on my old standbys (Cover of the Rolling Stone, Family Tradition, Secret Agent Man) to get I wasn't even going to sing and was just going to take in the show, when another UME friend Jay strolled by and asked if I sang...actually I think Jen sold me out and told Jay to put my name in....he was at least friendly enough to ask what genre I would like, and I said "well, I'm pretty good with country music..."

He thought for a minute then snapped and said "I know the perfect song..." and off he went to put my name in...before coming back and saying, cryptically, "I picked the song...its a song I always like to hear sung at karaoke"

What the hell did that mean?? I spent the next 30 minutes racking my brain...could it be Ring of Fire? Rhinestone Cowboy? Friends in Low Places? What would it be...

So my name is called and I stride up there and the music begins and I look at the screen...and the lyrics "Well it was all that I could do to keep from crying.." hit the screen...and I immediately start laughing....its the old David Allen Coe song "You Never Even Call Me By My Name"

First off, thats one of my mother's favorite songs...second off, I know it pretty well, so off I go, and I make it through with a half-ass southern accent and some small theatrics...

Pictures of that, I believe, were also captured by Claudia and I'll post them as well when they do.

All in all, a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday...even if we returned home after midnight to the realization that I had to be up in 4 hours to go to work....

More Sundays like that are sure to come...we can't wait!!!

Mike (hmmm..sports themed...snarky comments..could it have been anything but a Mike post?)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Family Reunion Written by Mike, Illustrated by Jen

Since we've been out here, we've gotten to see Jen's parents and both of our sisters, but my folks hadn't been able to make the trek out here...until last week. Yep, Barb and Jack rolled in on Thursday and were here until Sunday night. Mom had never been to NYC and Dad hadn't been since the early 80s, so they (and we) were in full tourist mode.
One of the funniest moments happened right off the bat. Jen had the day off, so she had gone down to meet my parents at the airport and ride the subway back with them to Inwood. I got off work early and beat them home, so I took Cooper down to the subway station to wait for them. Well, when they came up with their luggage, he noticed Jen...noticed the luggage, backed up (probably thinking "oh my God these bags are going to kill me"...thats our dog)...then he stopped for a minute, looked at my folks, REALIZED who it was, and flipped out in joy. It was hilarious to see him recognize them and then get really excited...Cooper loves his Grandma and Grandpa Watts!!

Where did we take them first? Well OF COURSE it was the PIPER'S KILT! Gotta love that, "Hey Mom? Dad? I know you want to see a bunch of stuff, but first you gotta check out the bar that Mike spends way too much time at..."
After that on Thursday, we took them down to the World Trade Center Site, then we came home and rested before attending Thursday night's Yankees-Blue Jays game at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, the wrong team won that night ($#^% Yankees!) but a good time was had by all.

Friday morning I had to work my normal shift, so the folks went down towards Jen's work and she got them into the Museum of Natural History. They then proceeded to spend about five hours there (can't say I blame them, I could spend five DAYS in there) and then took themselves (look at the parents, figuring out the subway!!) to Times Square and wandered around there. They returned to Jen's work to watch George Stephanopoulous (or as Mom likes to call him, "George Snuffleupagus") fill in for Charlie on the news, then I met up with them outside of Jen's work and we headed to Carmine's for dinner. Dawn was able to join us, which was great, so Mom and Dad could see that we do have friends here in this town. All five of us had a splendid meal.

Saturday was the big touristy day. Beginning with a walk pretty much through the entire lower half of Central Park. We then proceeded down to midtown, where Mom expressed a craving for a "genuine New York deli pastrami sandwich." Not a problem...we took them to the Carnegie Deli, where we proceeded to eat about 3 cattle worth of meat. After lunch, we headed down on the "1" train to the bottom of Manhattan and rode the Staten Island ferry out and back so they could get a good look at the Statue of Liberty. From there, it was back up to midtown and the Empire State Building. Jen and I sat that one out, and we decided to go drink while Mom and Dad were up there. Jen managed to run smack into a wall mantel (I swear, that girl could get injured in a padded room) but other than that, all went well. After the folks were done, we met up again, Jen and Mom did a little Macy's window shopping while Dad and I had an extra drink, then we came home and ordered in food following a long LOOOONG day of sightseeing.

Poor Dad, I think we tried to kill his bad knee with all the walking he did Saturday. As you can see, he's getting some sarcastic sympathy from his son.

On the other hand, he'll be in great conditioning spirit for his hockey tournament in Florida later this month,'re welcome Dad!!

Sunday we made it easy. Brunch at our favorite place up in our neighborhood, plus a wander around Inwood Hill Park with Cooper, then we headed up the hill to the Cloisters museum, where Mom and Dad wandered around for a bit before coming back to the house, and then waiting for the car to come pick them up and take them to the airport.

All in all, a really nice time, and it was so good to see my parents after six months of not viewing their smiling faces. We can't wait for their next trip out, and we can't wait to see them when we RETURN to California for vacation (36 days and counting!!)