You'll note something different in the above photograph - the porch steps are finally fixed! That and more made this weekend a good one....
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Friday was the first of two days I expect to be en-homme. My plans were to take care of any errands I needed to do as Mario, and then drive to Rosendale to see GFJ for dinner and a movie.
I scheduled an appointment for an oil change for the afternoon, and found out that I needed more intense periodic service and a brake job. (Sooner or later, I'd need that brake job - I was still running on original brake pads after 75,000 miles, and wondered why they were lasting as long as they had, as I usually needed brake jobs after 30,000 miles or so. $700 and 3 hours later, I was out of the dealership and off to see GFJ.
The ride up to Rosendale was a busy one. I had never seen traffic so slow on the Taconic through Putnam county, Nor had I seen bumper to bumper traffic on Route 84 from the Beacon-Newburgh bridge to the NYS Thruway. I was glad that I knew the side roads to go North, as this allowed me to bypass traffic without losing that much time.
Arriving in Rosendale, I proceed to wait for GFJ by playing another game of Candy Crush on my cell phone. When she arrived, it was the second time I was disturbed while playing Candy Crush that kept me from completing a super hard level with a good chance of successful completion. (The first was when my car was ready at the dealership.) It didn't bother me much, as I knew that, once I completed this level, I'd have 72 hours to go before I could go on to the next. And I do put people first, not my games....
We had a good dinner at the Red Brick cafe, but it was hard to hear each other over the background noise. Then, we walked down the street to the movie theater, where we saw "Gifted". I highly recommend this movie, as it echoes themes from my life that weren't handled well. (Don't read too much into this. You'd have to understand the people in my life to pick up on my reference.)
All too soon, it was time to leave. Given both of our schedules, I don't know when we will meet again. Hopefully soon, but you never know.
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When I woke up the next morning, I knew that I'd have to deal with weekend traffic on Long Island. Each time I go to work on the house, things get worse and worse on the roads. What used to be a 60-75 minute drive often takes me 2 hours. But I blame this on the work they are doing to prepare the bridges for cashless toll collection.
Getting to Long Island is easier than coming back, as all the toll collection points are on the Bronx side of the East River. And this was true on Saturday, when I made my trip to Long Island. My brother was already off and running to Home Depot when I got to the family homestead, so I started to touch up the ceiling paint in one room while waiting for him. He returned with the paint in the color we used for the walls, so I started that task next. It was far from the job I'd have liked to have done, as I could neither get to the edge of the ceiling to complete the wall paint in that area, nor was I comfortable bending down to do the part of the wall touching the floor. It'll be up to my brother to finish up the job properly.
While I was doing a mediocre paint job, my brother was taking care of repairing the porch. This was a big pain, as he had to remove all the brick and mortar, clean the bricks of old mortar, and then put everything back in place. This was exhausting for him. I'm glad I had the presence to have picked up a 6 pack of Coronas to quench his thirst.
We never got to move the radiator as we planned, and that was just as well. Instead, we talked about things in general, including some of his disappointments in life. Next weekend, he plans to take my dad out of the nursing home for the day for Father's Day and have a barbecue in the back yard. That'll be a nice thing to do. And hopefully, it'll bring a smile to his face. (This changes my plans a little, and for the best. It makes it possible for me to see the Cat Lady next Saturday without any scheduling issues.)
Work on the family home wasn't done until 7:30 or so, and it took me forever to drive home. As I finally was able to relax after a long day, my brother called as I was starting to go semi conscious. The realtor had called him, and let us know of a rental offer for the price we wanted. We talked for a bit, and then agreed to the tenants. So, my brother will need to call a lawyer and get a rental agreement that covers our needs. It'll cost us more than a typical set of standard forms. But when two of the tenants are attorneys, we know we must dot the I's and cross the T's....
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If I were to wake up early on a normal Sunday, I'd have considered going to church again. But with temperatures already in the 80's and going to the 90's, I want to limit my exposure to non-air-conditioned areas. As a result, the morning and early afternoon was spent in air conditioned comfort inside my apartment. But when 1:30 came along, I started getting ready for my day out with HWV, by showering, shaving, and getting made up for a day as Marian.
A little before 3 pm, I picked up HWV. And the two of us proceeded to the city from there. Normally, we would have expected to be in the city by 4 pm. But with traffic on the roads, I ended up taking a detour well around the Henry Hudson Bridge on local roads, placing me back on the parkway in upper Manhattan. From there it was an easy drive to some very expensive parking.
HWV and I realized that the less we walked in 90 degree weather, the more comfortable we would be. We figured that $52 for 12 hours was well worth the price of not breaking a sweat in this weather. So we proceeded to walk around the block to the theater, then across the street for a quick bite to eat.
When we were done, it was back to the theater - just in time for the play. This was a "low rent" production of "Twelve Angry Women" based on the movie with a male cast. The story still holds up, but I couldn't help comparing the female characters with the men who played similar roles in the movie. And in comparison, this production didn't hold up as well, as both the performances and the production needed to be tightened up.
After the play, we went for a drink at the same place we went to in our last trip to NYC. And, we had the same waitress to boot! We were enjoying our libations until almost 10 pm, when we left for the parking lot where my car was being held. I figured that I'd try to show HWV some of the spots I liked in NYC before driving home. (I couldn't find a couple of the locations, and I wasn't going to look them up. The conversation we were having was well worth slowing the return home.
Eventually, we left Manhattan and started homewards. Unlike my previous trips home as of late, this was a pleasant drive - and I enjoyed having HWV as a conversation partner. Hopefully, we'll be doing more of these trips, as I think we both enjoy the same type of diversions....