76.1 by stegall
September 28, 2008, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family, PA, Rants

This weekend (in the middle of moving) Kir and I somehow found time (ok, we planned it this way) to ride in the MS 150 City to Shore race with Kir’s dad.  There are a number of rides you can do–100 mile century, 25 mile fun ride, etc.–but the main attraction is the two-day, 150 mile ride.  Theoretically one is supposed to ride from just outside of Philly (the Woodcrest PATCO station in Jerz) to Ocean City on Saturday (about 75 miles) and then back on Sunday.  Theoretically….

This is Kir and I crossing the finish line (Evan was about 30 yards ahead of us).  But here we all are, post-ride.

Citing sore feet (Patrick), sore legs (Kir), a wussy daughter and son-in law (Evan), and a less-than-good (bad) seafood dinner (everyone), we ended up not riding back the next day.  Judging by the quantity of numbered bikes we saw strapped to vehicles on the Garden State Parkway Sunday noon, we weren’t the only ones to skip the second half of the ride.  I gues the MS 150 is kinda the MS 76.1.  Evan claims to have done the ride to the Shore 10 times and the ride back only 3.  Next year we’re just going to ride 100 miles in one day and not bother pretending to do it all over again the next day.

Still, we kicked ass all the way “down the Shore”.  [Non-sequitur alert!!!]  Down the Shore…. that’s what they say in Philly.  This bugs me to no end.  When I hear “We kicked ass all the way down the Shore,” I imagine the three of us kicking ass while moving due-south, parallel to the coastline–you know, down the shore.  But what Philadelphians mean when they say they “kicked ass all the way down the Shore” is that they kicked ass all the way down TO THE Shore.  I know they’re just two little words, but I guess all the cheesesteaks and hoagies and scrapple and Tastykake and soft pretzels and pork roll and Irish potatoes and stewed Met fans they eat down here render them too lazy for certain prepositions, conjunctions, articles, etc.   Here’s another example…

Parent: “Turn the TV off and go do your homework!”

Teen: “No ma! I’m already done it!”

Me: “You mean you’re done WITH it?”

Teen: “No.  I’m doneit.”

(beat, splashing sound)

Teen: “Aww man, I just spilt sooda on my phoone.”

Parent: “And you got some on your far-head.  Here, let me get you a tal…”



Moving! by stegaliu
September 25, 2008, 8:58 am
Filed under: Moving, Uncategorized

So I am exhausted because the cats are FREAKING OUT about the move. Of course they don’t know we are moving per se but they know something is up and they do NOT like. Chairman is crying that his fat chair is gone:

Fidel is climbing on the high piles of boxes and at night they will not settle down and sleep. They ran in cirlces all night scratching Patrick and me and knocking things over. The movers come today to help Patrick load into the truck and he’ll drive it to PA tonight and then come back to Bronxville in the morning for closing. Then tomorrow night we’ll both go back to PA and on Saturday we’ll leave for our bike race to Ocean City IN THE RAIN! It’s going to be an insanely hectic weekend but hey, it’s us. What weekend isn’t?

Saddle up boys; we’re Oscar Mike! by stegall
September 24, 2008, 11:01 am
Filed under: Moving

Oscar Mike is Marine Corps slang for O.M., meaning “on the move” (thank you, Generation Kill). This is likely to be our last entry before a truck with all of our belongings heads down to Philadelphia where it will sit in the Liu driveway until being offloaded into our house on Monday. Kir will be in NYC five days a week until her contract job is up in December. I will have a lingering presence in the City, flitting back and forth between towns when my phone rings for work. So in one sense it’s really our stuff that’s moving, not us.

So long, Worldly Possessions! Like, send me an email once you get settled cause I totally want to come down and hang.

Amazin’! by stegall
September 24, 2008, 10:52 am
Filed under: Friends

Nick brought me along to a Mets game Tuesday night. There has been a dark pall of late-season collapse looming in the air around the Amazin’s lately. Predictably they’ve been losing when they can least afford to and, as of last night, they were 2.5 games behind the Phils and their wild card lead on the Brewers was down to 1 game.

Did I mention we have a difficult schedule, playing the formidable Cubs (never thought I’d write that phrase) while the Phillies and Brewers are playing plump teams with double digit game defecits, long eliminated from playoff contention–the Braves (sorry Thomas) and Pirates, respectively.

We weren’t planning on having a fun evening at the ball park.

Crowds steaming of the 7 train. Mets fans are a self-hating lot. Overheard on the way into the stadium:

Nick: “40,000 people here. And they all know exactly how this is going to end.”

Guy from Queens: “Yeah, I hope Luis Castillo dies in a fire.”

This was probably my last trip to Shea due to both the move to Philly and the eminent destruction of Shea stadium to make room for parking at CitiField (seen in the background petting a moody white cat and cooing, “Good, good. All is going to plan.”)

This is how the first third of the game went. Guess if it was good.

The only laughter in the first three innings was derived from this Cub’s last name. If you can’t read and really want to know what it is, look it up. He plays right field.

Yada yada yada, the Mets tied it up and took a small lead. Nick again, dripping sarcasm: “One up with six innings to go, what could go wrong?”

Luckily the thing that went wrong was a fan charging onto the field while the Mets had the bases loaded. Everyone had a laugh and then Jose Reyes hit a triple directly up the first base line and added three. Woot!

Nick, overcome with joyous, blurry dancing–made extra joyous when the Braves beat the Phillies (many thanks to that Gas Shortage Gang) and the Pirates took a lead over the Brewers. Mets win 6-2!

On the train ride home from Flushing, Nick consults his iPhone for Milwaukee/Pittsburgh updates. By Long Island City, the Brewers have come back to win and stay a single game behind the Mets in the NL wild card.

Look at this face. This is what loving an always-a-bridesmaid team does to you.

Emilio-Romagna by stegall
September 23, 2008, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Cooking

Kir and I took a long overdue cooking class at ICE Saturday night. I say long overdue because Kir bought me this (or any) class as a birthday gift in something like 2005 and it seemed that we needed to use it on our last weekend in NYC.

The class was not so much a class as an invitation to cook dishes you normally wouldn’t. A menu was planned and we were split up into groups to make them. Of course Kir and I chose to be in the pasta group (I’ve long wanted to see the Kitchenaid Pasta Rollers in action).

Of course we made the best dish of the meal, which probably had more to do with the fact that it contained fresh pasta, cured ham, and butter than our abilities as cooks. Here are some of the highlights…

A delicious carpaccio with basil and parm cheese. (Although I think Tom Colicchio would dock them for not cooking anything.)

One of Kir’s favorites, sauteed mushrooms and meat over polenta.

Tuscan lamb stew tasted very much like stew.

Poached cotechino sausage with lentils which kir said was delicious and I forgot to eat.

And here’s ours–pig, onion, and butter on a pile of fresh rolled fettucine. One of the only menu items to disappear from the platter completely.

And here is Kir’s plate (with obligatory ICE logo) with all the elements assembled.


Whew! by stegaliu
September 21, 2008, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Glad everyone enjoyed the copious posting.  After a crazy weekend of packing, it’s our anniversary tomorrow and so we are heading out the door to Blue Hill to celebrate.  Expect a review shortly.

Even though the date is technically tomorrow, yesterday “felt” like our anniversary as it was a beautiful Saturday in the Northeast and we fondly remembered this:

More reminiscing to come…

Post 5 of 5: Organic farms and U-pick Raspberries by stegaliu
September 20, 2008, 7:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m pretty sure Patrick agrees with me that, although there are other beautiful places to live, Westchester County is nothing to scoff at.  The Northeast comes packed with beautiful farms, foliage and weather (I mean we’re no SoCal but come on, who is?).  One particularly lovely day we made our way to Amawalk Farm for some delicious organic produce and to pick our own raspberries.

If you’ve ever been in the grocery store and picked up some berries and thought, “Wow, these are so expensive,” there’s a reason.  It’s time consuming work and the bushes are very prickly.  We picked 2 pints in about an hour.

But it was all worth it to bite into a sun warmed raspberry right off the bush, as nature intended.