Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unprofessional and irresponsible

When you work for an internet news site, deadline is more "now" than by a certain time. And when the last relevant event happens at 10 p.m., there's no reason your assignment should arrive 4 1/2 hours later.

I'm just saying. And venting.

Tomorrow, I attend my last game at Shea Stadium, though I hope it's not the last game at Shea Stadium. Today, that is. In 10 hours, I'll be there, standing and cheering. Hopefully, much rejoicing will follow.

And then I'll return to this office, this desk, and work another shift.

October lies just around the corner...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fight! Fight!

After getting home at 5 a.m. Monday, I wasn't about to set an alarm for any particular time. The plan was to catch up on my sleep and wake up when my body said it was time. Or at least my stomach.

But with the windows open, I was exposed to the audible elements of the neighborhood. When I heard the daily cacophony of high school students walking down the street, I first thought I'd slept until 2:30, which is when they usually pass by on their way home and to the city buses. But the clock showed 12:15, so I deduced that it must have been a half-day.

As I lay there trying to drift back to sleep, it occurred to me that the shouting outside wasn't the usual back-and-forth across the street. And the honking seemed to be a little more frequent then normal. When the yells reached a certain level, I flashed back to the seventh-grade playground and realized what I was hearing.

There was a fight going on. Right outside my house.

On the street.

I ran into the guest room and looked out over the patio and through the trees. In the street by our driveway a circle had formed. In the middle were two boys circling one another, fists up, taking the occasional jab at one another. The leaves on the trees obscured the full scene, so I don't know exactly which two were fighting or if it had gotten very far, but with a soundtrack and a little lyrical dialogue and it could've been Clifton's west side story -- and yes, we live on the western end of town.

Shortly after I got to the window, though, the cars lined up in the street -- there was no room to get around the crowd that had gathered -- won after repeated honking, and the circle broke up, the would-be combatants decamping to opposite sides of the street. I didn't even have enough time to really comprehend that I still don't know, or have programmed into my phone, the number for the Clifton police. Yeah, I'd decided I was going to age 40 years and be the 70-year-old man who essentially tells the kids to get out of his yard. Had a scuffle broken out -- or even a melee -- it could've spilled over into the driveway and onto the car, and that would've been a bigger problem.

There was no way I was opening the window and yelling at the young whippersnappers, though. I'm not drawing any more attention to the house than I have to with the kids passing by daily.

Friday, September 05, 2008

And now we're in September

Man, it's been ages. I suck.

Let's see ... of late:

1.) We spent a weekend in Pittsburgh in mid-August that included a Mets-Pirates game, Primanti Bros. sandwiches, the Johnstown Flood National Memorial and a stretch of abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

2.) We cleared out more of the front "yard" and it looks much better now.

3.) We had Harry's -- the big cat's -- teeth cleaned, and he got back at us by eating coffee cake and bagels.

4.) The weather the last two weeks of August felt more like September, and now these first few days of September have felt like August should have. I nearly needed to turn on the air conditioning today.

5.) I turned 32. It was a low-key birthday, on account of the insulation estimating guy asking to set up the consultation for Tuesday morning. So he came by and checked out the house, then my parents arrived and I introduced Mom to White Manna (Hackensack, of course) before we took a look at Paterson's Great Falls. Then she got all excited when we drove down Spruce St. and realized that the Burger King used to be a hot dog shack she and her family used to visit. She shrieked.

6.) Now we've got Matt and Ellie coming in for the weekend to celebrate Notre Dame's opener tomorrow and then drink for my birthday with other people as they show up. Should be good, drunken times.