And I just read some recent friends page entries. As planned, I'll now post another entry of my own.
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Really, I have no hope of covering even one-quarter of the stuff that I've done since November 19. So, I'll just write about a few things that come to mind.
One of the biggest recent changes involved our residence. We moved from the Upper West Side to Hell's Kitchen, at the end of January. The new neighborhood is more exciting. The new building is nicer. We have significantly better transit access. The rent is lower. The only significant disadvantage of the new place is that it's smaller than the old place. However, the layout works well for us, and I have no real complaints.
It's taken us a while to unpack. Tomorrow (Saturday), I expect that we will unpack our last box. The place will still be a complete disaster, but we will have unpacked all the boxes.
Mara is now working as a substitute teacher for the New York City school system. She has work almost every day, and the pay is relatively good, as substitute teaching jobs go.
Since we moved, we've done very little in the way of wedding planning. Unpacking of boxes has taken precedence. But I expect that we'll be making a real effort in that area within the next 10 days.
My mother is coming to New York this weekend. I warned her that the apartment is still a complete disaster, but she's apparently really eager to see it.
Not much else to write at the moment. So, I guess that I'll post this entry.
Wow! My last post was in November (2011). A lot has happened since then, and things are going well.
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I'm going to read some recent friends page entries. Then, I'll probably post another entry of my own.
On the whole, last weekend (the weekend of the 11th) was pretty quiet. I ran a couple of errands, and I did stuff around the apartment. On Sunday, Mara and I went out to dinner with our friend Margalit. We had dinner at an Israeli Arab place, and then we had dessert at a nearby café.
On Tuesday, we went to see the New Century Chamber Orchestra perform. They are a San Francisco chamber orchestra. I saw them perform a few times while I lived in San Francisco, but it had been a while. It was a very good concert overall. I think that it might have been better than the New Century concerts that I attended in San Francisco, in fact. Our friends Mike and Rachel attended with several members of Rachel's family.
On Wednesday, we went to an opera called Kommilitonen!. Here's a brief description (from Time Out New York): "With Occupy Wall Street's momentum continuing to pick up, it seems like the perfect time for Juilliard Opera to bring over Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's opera that weaves together three stories of 20th-century protest movements. Daring maestro Anne Manson returns to lead the cast of devoted young singers in a production by David Pountney--who also wrote the libretto--that features puppetry by Blind Summit Theatre." It was surprisingly brief. It was also a student production (by Juilliard students). Judging it as a student production, it was pretty good. (However, if I'd paid big bucks to see it at the Met, my judgment would probably be harsher.)
Thus far today, I've done some cleaning and some reading. Not much else.
Mara and I have started working on the preliminary guest list for the wedding. Thus far, we have 101 people. However:
- My parents and/or Mara's parents might suggest additional people for us to invite.
- We might decide to add or remove a few names. (Since composing the list, I've already thought of four people that I might add and two people that I might remove.)
- Obviously, a number of invitees might not be attending. I think that only about one-fifth of the people on our list live in the New York area. Some are in Israel. Some are in Europe. Some are in California.
That's about it for now. Tonight, we are going to a concert. Tomorrow evening, we might head to Brooklyn, for Ethiopian food and drinks.
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I'm pleased to report that I remember a bit more about the second half of October.
As before, this isn't everything that I did. It's just what I remember. Here we go:
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- I think that we went out almost every evening in the second half of October. We didn't make a conscious effort to do so. It's just that there was stuff that we wanted to do.
- We saw attended several musical performances, including performances by Fionn Regan, Christina Courtin, Yael Naïm, and Lisa Hannigan. All of them were good (although the opening act for Fionn Regan was not so good). None of them were extraordinary.
- My friend worked on the music for a play. So, we went to go see the play. Definitely a good play. But the music wasn't a hugely prominent part of it. So, we didn't get to hear much of my friend's work.
- On the same evening that we saw the play, we also went to see Le Havre with a couple of friends. (As we were walking from the venue at which the play was performed to the subway, a friend texted me to invite us to the movie.) Following the movie, we had cocktails.
- We went to Baltimore to attend my stepsister's wedding. We arrived at around lunchtime on Saturday. Then, curlyhairedimp met us at the main rail station in Baltimore. Mara, curlyhairedimp, and I had lunch. And we spent some time walking around Baltimore. The wedding took place on Saturday evening. It was a large, elaborate wedding. I think that there were about 150 people in attendance. On Sunday morning, Mara and I went to a post-wedding brunch. My mother, Aunt Mary, and their respective boyfriends picked us up at the brunch. We drove around Baltimore a bit, and then we ended up having a very leisurely lunch. After lunch, we went to Fort McHenry. (First time that I'd been there in a very, very long time.) And then Mara and I headed back to New York.
- Mara and I went to bar trivia at a place in the neighborhood. This time, we joined a team, instead of forming a team of two. Not surprisingly, we did better this time.
- A couple of days before Halloween, we went to the Nitehawk Cinema to see a double feature, consisting of the 1931 version of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. The Nitehawk Cinema has waiter service in the theater, and they have a full bar. The movies started at about midnight, and they ended at about 2:45 AM. All in all, it was not a "family-friendly" movie viewing environment. ;)
- Some time in the second half of October, I decided that I would propose to Mara before Thanksgiving.
- On Halloween itself, I was absolutely exhausted. We did not go out. We had a lot of trick-or-treaters.
All right, I suppose that I'll start by writing about the first half of October. Obviously, this isn't everything that I did. It might not even include the most important things that I did. It's just what I remember.
Here we go:
- Mara and I went to see The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby with our friends Margalit and Jon. I learned a few interesting things, but the film was much too "dry," for the most part. After the movie, we ended up going to a Margalit's friend's birthday party.
- We finally filed Mara's taxes. As expected, she got small refunds for both federal taxes and California taxes.
- Mara went back to the Los Angeles area for a few days to visit her brother there. First time that she had been on a plane since we arrived in New York. (I still haven't been on a plane since then.) While she was gone, I went drinking with friends, and I attended some musical performances.
Not much else is coming to mind. My next entry will probably cover the second half of October. Fortunately, I remember more about that.
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|Subject:||The big news|
Wow! Have I really not written an entry since September?
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I suppose that I'll start by writing an entry with the big news: As of this past Monday, Mara and I are engaged!
I plan to write more entries today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday). Before I do that, though, I'm going to try to remember what I've been doing for the last month or so!
Okay, it's time for another entry. As usual, I will note that it's been a long time since my last entry. As usual, I will say that I'll do better in the future. (And, in all likelihood, nothing will change.)
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Back in San Francisco, I often wrote a lot of entries, in spite of the fact that I rarely had any exciting adventures to relate. Now, I rarely write entries, because my adventures are somewhat more exciting. :)
The evening following my last entry (the evening of the 18th), Mara and I went out for dinner with her father and her father's girlfriend. The next day, her father and her father's girlfriend left town. We actually didn't see all that much of them, because they did a lot of touring on their own.
I'm actually having a hard time remembering what we did on the 19th and the 20th. I wouldn't be surprised if we spent both evenings at home. (Mara's reduced mobility also reduced the frequency with which we left the apartment.)
On Wednesday the 21st, we went to a bar trivia event at a nearby bar. Mara and I did surprisingly badly. When I went to a trivia event last month, my team finished in first place. Suffice it to say that our performance on the 21st was not so good.
Beginning on Saturday the 24th, Mara and I took a trip to Maryland. The motivation for the trip was attending Mara's father's girlfriend's daughter's wedding. I don't know Mara's father's girlfriend's daughter well, but Mara's father strongly encouraged us to attend.
So, on Saturday morning, we took the train to Wilmington and rented a car. We then drove to my father's house in the suburbs of Baltimore. We had lunch there, and we spent several hours there. Eventually, we left my father's house and drove down to Washington. After parking the car, we went to a bar, to meet curlyhairedimp, curlyhairedimp's new husband, and a few other friends to whom curlyhairedimp had previously introduced us. I had never been to the bar before, but it's apparently been around for a very long time. It was great to see everyone, but my drinking was somewhat limited (as I had to drive). After we got back to the car, we drove up to my mother's house, near Ellicott City (in Maryland). My mother lives down a country lane, and we had a very hard time finding the house in the dark. I'm sure that the GPS navigator led us to within a 1000 feet of the house. From that point, however, finding the house probably took almost half-an-hour!
Anyway, on Sunday, we had breakfast at my mother's house. Then, my mother, my mother's boyfriend, Mara, and I met my Aunt Mary for lunch. Not too long after lunch, we headed to the wedding. The wedding began at about 6:00 PM. Like curlyhairedimp's wedding, the ceremony was outside, and the reception was inside. Obviously, we knew very few of the people in attendance, but it was still generally enjoyable. At approximately 10:00 PM, we left the wedding. We then drove about two hours to Philadelphia. (Along the way, I stopped for gas and a soda somewhere in Delaware.) By the time that we exited the last highway into Philadelphia, it was a bit after midnight, and I was surprised by how deserted the streets were. Philadelphia is most assuredly a city that sleeps. :) We soon arrived at our hotel. Almost as soon as we got to our room, we went to bed.
On Monday morning, we woke up entirely too early. If memory serves, I arranged a wake-up call for 5:15 AM. After getting up, we quickly got ready and checked out of the hotel. We then got in the rental car and drove to the main train station. (At that hour of the morning, the drive took about five minutes.) We then returned the rental car. And, soon, we were on a train back to New York.
Things have been going reasonably well lately, I suppose.
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Mara is using the wheelchair less. She is using a crutch more. She hasn't ridden the subway by herself since the accident, but she does go to places in the neighborhood by herself.
On Monday evening, I went to my book group. We had a very good discussion, I think.
On Tuesday evening, Mara and I had dinner with Mara's friend Ilanah. (I usually don't join them when they go out. However, given that Mara still needs help to get around, this was the exception.) We went to a Thai restaurant in Hoboken.
On Wednesday, Mara had a job interview up in the Bronx. I helped her to get there.
On Thursday, Mara's father arrived in town. His girlfriend, his girlfriend's daughter, and his girlfriend's daughter's fiancé accompanied him.
The fiancé left New York soon after arriving. (I believe that he went to the D.C. area.) The rest of them are here until tomorrow (Monday), but we haven't seen all that much of them.
That's about it for now.
I wrote my previous entry shortly before Hurricane Irene hit.
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Hurricane Irene had very little impact on my neighborhood. It damaged a few trees. My building did not flood, and we did not lose power. I know that some parts of New Jersey did not fare nearly as well, though.
We still have the wheelchair, and Mara is still using it. However, she is more able to use crutches now. Within the apartment, she rarely uses the wheelchair.
She has had several job interviews. Because of her mobility issues, I've been assisting her in getting to them. If she doesn't find a "permanent" job this week, though, she is going to try to register herself for substitute teaching.
During Labor Day weekend, I went to a friend's birthday party, and I caught up on sleep.
I spent much of this weekend reading. Last night, though, Mara and I went to several bars with our friend Margalit and some other people. We started at a fancy hotel bar on the Upper East Side. From there, we made a very brief stop at a sports bar in Chelsea, before ending up at a gay lounge on West 24th Street. By the time that we got home, it was a bit after 2:00 AM.
I guess that's about all that I have to say for now, especially since I'm getting quite tired.
Since we returned from Philadelphia, our activities have been a bit constrained by Mara's mobility issues.
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On Monday, we didn't go anywhere of note. Mara didn't leave the apartment at all.
On Tuesday, Mara and I went to the doctor. Obviously, we took a taxi there and another taxi back. The doctor decided that a cast wasn't necessary. He told her to use one of those "fracture walking boots." (A friend calls it a "moon boot.") For the time being, she's not supposed to put any weight on it.
On Wednesday, again, we didn't go anywhere of note, and Mara didn't leave the apartment.
Then, on Thursday morning, I suggested that we rent a wheelchair, largely because Mara was having a very difficult time getting around on crutches. I made a phone call, and the wheelchair arrived on Thursday afternoon. To celebrate (and to give the wheelchair a field test), we went out to dinner at a restaurant that is about 10 blocks from home.
And, now, it's Saturday. We've got a hurricane on the way, of course. So, we're probably not going anywhere outside the building for about 24 hours. We're in a relatively safe part of the city, with regard to hurricane risk. We're not in any of the official evacuation zones, meaning that we "are unlikely to experience storm surge flooding from a hurricane."
The MTA shut down the entire subway system at about noon today. They've never shut it down for weather-related reasons before.
In spite of that, I don't think that the storm is going to be that bad. I don't expect that our building will flood or experience significant damage. I am slightly concerned about utility service. I'm not sure whether we'll lose power, and I don't know how long it will take Con Edison to restore power (if we do lose it).
My last entry was on August 11. Since then, what have I been doing? I'm actually not having a huge amount of luck remembering, at the moment. But I'll write about what I do remember.
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The weekend after my last entry, I met up with a friend in Brooklyn on Saturday (the 13th). We did quite a bit of drinking. I think that we visited three different bars and a food cart. We also did quite a bit of walking. All in all, it was a fun day.
Then, the next day (Sunday the 14th), Mara and I finally went out to dinner to celebrate six months of living in New York. We went back to the restaurant at which we had our first meal as New York residents.
I don't remember too much about the workweek. I had a lot of stuff to get done, and I finished most of it.
I'll likely write about last weekend (the weekend of the 19th) in my next entry.
Oh, there were a couple of things from late July that I forgot to include in my previous entry.
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For one thing, my friend Tom, Mara, and I went to the New Museum. I'd never been there before, but it's probably Tom's favorite art museum. It doesn't have a permanent collection, and the exhibits change pretty frequently, I think. When we went, Tom said that the main exhibit was probably below-average for the museum. Still, it was interesting. It related to Eastern Europe and communist rule. After the museum, we went out to dinner.
Also, Mara and I went to see a free concert that included Jonathon Coulton and They Might Be Giants. While we were there, we met up with Bill, his boyfriend, and a couple of his boyfriend's friends. It was a very good show, in spite of the fact that it was an outdoor show and there was rain.
And, in this entry, I'll try to summarize what we did in the second half of July. Again, I'm leaving lots of stuff out. A comprehensive description would probably be more than you'd want to read, and it would definitely be more than I'd want to write. :)
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On July 15, 16, and 17, we took our first trip to D.C. (since moving to New York). On Friday (the 15th), we took a train from New York to Washington. We then took the Metro to our hotel (in the District). Not long after we checked into the hotel, we took the Metro up to Maryland. In Maryland, we went to my Aunt Mary's retirement party. I saw my Aunt Mary and my brother, for the first time in a while. After several hours at the party, we took the Metro back to the District and eventually returned to the hotel. On Saturday (the 16th), we met curlyhairedimp and her friend. We had dinner and saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with them. Then, on Sunday (the 17th), Mara went to curlyhairedimp's bridal shower. While she was at the shower, I spent most of my time hanging out at the hotel. (I'd hoped to see a friend who lived near the hotel. However, just my luck, she was in New York for the weekend.) Mara and I met at the main rail station after the shower, as planned, so that we could catch our train back to New York. However, due to subway problems, Mara got to the train station only a few minutes before our train left. Very close call!
On July 21, we went to see Guggenheim Grotto again (at the Rockwood).
On July 23 (including the early morning hours of July 24), Mara and I enjoyed a long night of drinking with my friend Bill. The third (and final) place that we went to was this great bar in Park Slope. I'm in Park Slope with moderate frequency. So, I think that I've found a new spot, for those times when I want to stop somewhere for a drink.
Then, a week later (on July 30), the three of us returned to that same bar in Park Slope.
And, in this entry, I'll try to summarize what we did in the first half of July. Again, I'm leaving out a lot, but it should give you some idea.
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On July 2, we saw a musical that was a satire of Silence of the Lambs. I had heard some of the music a while ago, but I'd never seen it performed before. It was often quite funny, but it wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped it would be.
The next day, we saw The Normal Heart. I was already familiar with the plot, but I'd never seen it performed before.
The following day was July 4. So, we went to see the fireworks. We ended up on West 34th Street, a few blocks west of Penn Station. Our view was pretty good. If we'd moved closer to the water, we almost certainly would have been in a tightly packed crowd. Given that we weren't that close to the water, we had some room to move around.
On July 7, we went to see Guggenheim Grotto perform at Rockwood Music Hall. They're an Irish "alt-folk" duo, but they're a bit "harder" than one would expect, given that description. It was a great show. As is the case with many of the acts at Rockwood, they only had about an hour to perform.
On July 9, we went to see our acquaintances from the neighborhood perform again. We've now attended three of their shows, and that one was quite likely the best of the three.
Wow! Before today, my last entry was on June 15!
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In this entry, I'll try to summarize some of what we did in the second half of June. I'm obviously leaving out a fair amount, but this is much of what I remember.
On June 18, we attended the famous Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and we went to my friend Bill's housewarming party. Before that day, I hadn't been to Coney Island since college! (We were going to try to meet up with friends of a friend at the parade. Unfortunately, I had almost no cell service on Coney Island. So, that didn't happen.) Bill's party was fun. At Bill's previous party, I drank way too much. At this party, though, I think that I drank just the right amount. :)
While we were at the party, we heard about a free theatrical production in Central Park the following evening. It was within walking distance of where we lived, too! So, we decided to go to that. The play was The School for Husbands. It was an interesting production. The performance took place at various locations in the park, and we had to follow the actors around. All in all, it was a pretty cool experience.
The day after that, we went to see Paul Brill perform at Joe's Pub. It was an enjoyable show, but it wasn't extraordinary. (Even if you haven't heard of Paul Brill, you've probably heard his music. He has written a lot of music for film scores.)
The day after that (June 21) was Make Music New York, an annual event. Basically, there are free musical performances at many different outdoor locations in the city. It's a cool idea, but the Make Music New York people seem to be pretty disorganized. We attempted to go to one show, at a nearby playground. The performers were nowhere to be found. The city employees who were at the playground weren't even aware of the performance. Then, we attempted to go to another show. For that show, the musicians were acquaintances who live in our neighborhood. There was supposed to be a piano at the location, but there was no piano! After some frantic phone calls, one of the musicians determined that there was a piano at another location. So, we shared a cab with the band to that other location! The show was pretty good, given that they were performing under difficult circumstances. Including Mara and me, there were only four audience members. So, the band invited us all to join them for dinner after the show.
On June 24, we saw a performance of The Cunning Little Vixen by the New York Philharmonic. Definitely a good show. I'd previously seen a not-so-good performance of the same opera by the San Francisco Opera. So, the New York Philharmonic performance was "a correcting experience."
On June 25 and June 26, we took a trip to Maryland. Except for a brief trip to Newark, that was the first time that I'd left New York City since we arrived here. We took an Amtrak train to Wilmington, Delaware. There, we rented a car and drove to my father's house in a fairly rural part of Maryland. Mara attended my stepsister's bridal shower. My father, another male relative, and I went out to a bar, to escape the shower. A little while after the shower was over, we drove to my mother's house (also in a fairly rural part of Maryland). We spent the night there. In the morning, we drove down to a more urban part of Maryland (closer to D.C.). We went to curlyhairedimp's place. There, we saw curlyhairedimp, hermitdeb, and several other people. We went out to an Indian restaurant for lunch. Mara and I then went shopping briefly with curlyhairedimp and her friend. Not long after that, Mara and I got back in the rental car and drove up to Philadelphia. There, we returned the rental car at the main rail station and took a train back to New York.
Last night, I logged in to LiveJournal for the first time in well over a month! Yikes!
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In a moment, I'm going to read some of my friends page. Then, hopefully, I'll write at least one entry.
My previous entry was on Friday evening. I believe that we stayed in that evening. I had some work to get done, and I wasn't dying to go to anything in particular.
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During the day on Saturday and during the day on Sunday, I really don't recall what I did, for the most part. Mara and I lingered in bed for a while on Sunday morning.
We went to late musical performances on both Saturday and Sunday. (Both shows started at 10:30 PM.)
On Saturday, we saw the Gilad Bloom Band. I'd probably call the music "blues rock," although some sources called it folk rock. The lead singer is an Israeli man who was once a professional tennis player. Mara and I both agreed that the first two songs were not very good at all. However, the band improved as the evening drew on. (And that's not the result of drinking. I didn't drink nearly enough to affect my judgement significantly.) They performed at The Underground, a bar in the neighborhood. The Underground has a separate room for musical performances (and other kinds of performances). The acoustics were not incredible, but it was a cozy space with some sofas. I'm virtually certain that we'll go back, especially since it's within walking distance.
Not too surprisingly, there were several other Israelis in the audience. There was also a woman who lost a ring. She spent a lot of time frantically searching the bar, and she encouraged everyone else to do the same. But I think that it turned out that the ring had fallen into her bag!
On Sunday, we saw Brooklyn Rider and Christina Courtin. I was impressed by both. Brooklyn Rider played a Philip Glass piece, and I must admit that he is not one of my favorite composers. All in all, though, it was an enjoyable show.
Monday was a fairly busy day, in terms of work, but I didn't do much of note in the evening.
I'll write more soon.
Today (Friday), Mara signed the contract for her new job!
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She still needs to get fingerprinted and submit to a criminal background check. We'll probably work on the paperwork for that over the weekend.
And I suppose that that's all that I have to say at this moment.
Today, at least, I did leave the building. For the first time since Monday night, I think!
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I didn't do anything exciting, though. I got a haircut, and I went to Duane Reade.
I no longer feel sick. But I feel groggy, disoriented, slow-witted, and tired.
Aside from my brief outing, I spent most of the day reading in bed. I didn't even turn the computer on until about 5:00 PM.
Tomorrow (Sunday), Mara and I will probably go watch the "Salute to Israel" parade that goes up 5th Avenue.
Hopefully, if I get a lot of rest, I will feel close to normal by tomorrow afternoon. We shall see.
|Subject:||Bar and cold|
So, my last post was on Memorial Day afternoon.
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That evening, Mara and I went out to a bar in the neighborhood. And she had a bit too much to drink. On the walk home, she seemed only moderately drunk. But she had a definite hangover on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday evening, we were planning to go see Guggenheim Grotto perform at the Rockwood Music Hall. However, on Tuesday afternoon, it was clear that I was coming down with a cold. By Tuesday evening, I was feeling pretty crappy. So, I decided to stay home. I believe that I slept about 15 hours on Tuesday night!
On Wednesday, I called in sick to work. I spent a good bit of the day in bed, and I'm pretty sure that I didn't leave the building.
On Thursday and Friday, I was still feeling pretty sick, but I did feel well enough to work. Still, I don't think that I left the building.
On Friday, we also got the news about Mara's teaching job! That was obviously the highlight of an otherwise lackluster week.