Tag Archives: eric


It was approximately 16 years ago today that I first met Dan and Shannon and Rich and Tricia, when I moved into the D1-East hall of the Aberdeen-Inverness dorm at U. C. Riverside. If I was a newborn on the day that we all met, I would be about to get my drivers license today!

In a similar note, it was approximately 19 years ago today that I first met strausmouse and Andy at Former President Grover Cleveland Humanities “School Without Walls” Magnet High School. (I think I met Norm and Lisa a little later, and I first met AJ more than a year later). Who would have thought that 19 years later, both Eric and I would be living on the East coast, and that Norm would be living in Nanuet, right around the corner from where my Grandparents lived for 30 years?


Some miscellaneous items from today, before I head off to bed:

  • I finally got around to looking through the Rome and Florance pictures from vickyandnorm‘s trip to Italy. Some of that art looked awfully familiar. I felt as though I was having flashbacks to 11th grade art history. “The Rape of the Sabine Women”…? And as usual, some entertaining captions.
  • Received and paid my enormous $20 gas bill this month.
  • Did my afternoon workout with Bernard, but I’m too tired to record it now, so I’ll get it posted tomorrow.

I’m 38 pages through Brainiac and loving it! I think strausmouse would like it too. Just as I feel like a mental midget when standing next to Norm, I also feel like a trivia toad beside the likes of Eric, who conjures up from his memory more obscurely random facts than I could ever dream to. And that’s saying something!

The airplane dream

So last night, I had a dream that I was in a Cessna 172 and strausmouse was the pilot. We were approaching what, in my warped dreamland, was Van Nuys airport. (In my dreams, Van Nuys airport is never like the actually VNY, into and out of which I’ve flown dozens of times. However, it is always different in the same way.) Eric was making a very low downwind approach and even managed to stall the plane once just before turning final.

I have no fear of flying whatsoever, but his approach to 16R scared me!

Rockland Reunion

Once again, the day was supposed to start out with Jason and I running in the Park and once again, we failed miserably. Instead, we went to a corner diner and had breakfast. (I saw someone there reading a copy of the Jeppeson Private Pilot Manual–the same edition I went through back in 1999/2000.)

I had rented a car today because we were going to head up to Nanuet in Rockland County and see Norm and Vicky (vickyandnorm) who had just returned from a 2 week vacation in Italy. Eric and Ryane were going to meet us there later in the day. Jason and I walked over to Hertz and picked up the car, a nice Pontiac of some kind with leather seats and a sun roof, and headed up to Rockland. I had told Norm and Vicky that we’d be there at about noon. We pulled into their place as the clock struck noon, although according to Vicky, it was 3 minutes after by the time we actually walked into their place.

We got to hear all about their trip to Italy, which was fascinating, especially the part about the cat colony. We also go to hear about their baggage woes. It made me decide that I definitely want to arrive in Venice 24 hours before I actually have to be there for the cruise next year. Vicky insists she hates U.S. Airways and I figured I’d include that here as a caution to anyone else considering flying them to Italy.

We also got to hear more about the upcoming wedding.

Jason, Norm, Vicky and I headed to the Palisades Mall for lunch at a place where you design your own stir fry. It was pretty good. Norm, as it his wont, drove around the parking lot for a year or so looking for a close up spot, before deciding to give up and park at the North Pole.

Eric and Ryane arrived a little later in the afternoon and we sat around chatting, and seeing pictures of the spectacular house that Norm and Vicky are having built up in Stony Point. We also got a call from Andy, who had attended the Playboy Mansion party last night. (He was the grand prize winner on a local L.A. ESPN radio contest.) He was deceptively vague in the details he gave over the phone, but I see he’s sent us some pictures today, which I have yet to look at.

Around 4:30, Jason and I headed back into the city, returned the rental car, and then, at my request, stopped at a bookstore. We probably spent an hour browsing around. I had gone there with the intention of getting some light reading, perhaps a Heinlein book that I haven’t yet read. I came away with Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Executioner’s Song. At 442,900 words, it’s one of the longer books I’ve ever attempted. I started reading it late in the evening and it’s the kind of book you just can’t put down.

We ordered pizza for dinner, watched Vanilla Sky (which Jason had never seen before) and I was finally ready to go to sleep around 11:30 PM/

Blues, Booze, & BBQ (not quite in that order)

The day was supposed to start out with Jason and I going for a run in Central Park, but that didn’t happen. We were up a little late, and I had to meet strausmouse and rmstraus and their friends at 11:30 AM. So instead, we ran out for some bagels and cream cheese. While walking to the bagel place, I showed Jason how to use the handheld GPS which he and Jen and my Mom will be using next week when they drive from Boston to New Hampshire.

I met Eric and Ryane, and their friends Lena and Anthony outside their place on 95th. We then hopped on the 4 train to Yankee stadium. We had bleacher seats; I’d never sat in the bleachers at Yankee stadium before and I was surprised that the view was still good. I made the mistake of wearing a black shirt, however, and it was hot out there! We were in left-center and had a good view of the game. The bleachers are alcohol-free at Yankee stadium, but that didn’t prevent the people who sat around us from passing around bottles of this and that to pour into their drinks. (They had all come down to the stadium on a bus and at least one of their members was very drunk and in a pissy mood.) On the otherhand, they were all Yankees fans. And as it turned out, the Yankees won the game 5-2. All 5 of their runs were scored off 2 home runs in the second inning. We headed back after the game and decided to meet up later for dinner.

In the meantime, Jason and I headed to Central Park to get some exercise. We tossed around a baseball for a while, and were asked to play in a pickup game of softball that was forming, but we didn’t have enough time to commit to the game. We did manage to get in a good workout, however.

We all met for dinner at Brother Jimmy’s on 92nd and 3rd at around 7 PM. For the second night in a row, we ate at a place where everyone was ordering big hunks of beef (I had the ribs!). When it came Jason’s turn to order, I believe he got the catfish. But he held his ground and survived the peer-pressure of those (myself included) encouraging him to eat meat.

After dinner, we walked over to Mustang and somehow, Anthony managed to get us into the back room, where we had comfortable chairs and couches mostly to ourselves. We Eric and Anthony each ordered a flight of tequila for themselves. Jason and I shared a flight. They were sipping theirs but I couldn’t seem to get the hang of sipping. It all just seemed to go down, no matter how small a sip I tried to take. Once again, however, I limited myself to 2 shots. We spent a relaxing evening in that back room and finally headed back home sometime around midnight.

Eric and Ryane’s visit: Day 2

We went to the Oriole’s/Angels game today and that was a lot of fun. Especially for Ryane because the Angels clobbered the O’s 9-3. I kept score during the game and it was a tricky score-keeping game indeed. During the second inning, Javy Lopez hit what was clearly a homerun to left-center. For some reason, Miguel Tejada stopped running at 2nd base–perhaps because he thought the ball was caught. In the meantime, Lopez passed Tejada on the baselines. Well, that confused things even more. Ultimately, while the ball was clearly a homerun, it was ruled a single and the batter was OUT because the batter passed another runner on the basepaths. Tejada was allowed to score. I’d never seen anything like that before.

After the game, we headed to the Inner Harbor. We stopped at Capitol City Brewery for some beers and appetizers and then spent some time walking around the harbor. We headed home just as it looked as though it were about to start raining.

On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to get some ice cream and walked into the store one minute before it was scheduled to close–early because of Easter Sunday. We got our ice cream, however, and headed home.

We watched Garden State in the evening because Eric and Ryane had never seen it before.

They head back home tomorrow.

Eric and Ryane’s visit: Day 1

Eric and Ryane spent much of the early part of the day visiting with Eric’s uncle and aunt in Alexandria and this allowed me to get a bunch of errands done. I took the train with them as far as Pentagon City to run some errands, and then headed back to Riverdale where I got a haircut, purchased a scorebook for the Oriole’s game, and did some other errands. We agreed to meet outside Foggy Bottom late in the afternoon and from there, to head over to AJ and Denisse’s.

We met and were at AJ and Denisse’s just after 5 PM. I’d never been to AJ’s place before and so this was a first for all of us. Our plan was to walk into Georgetown for dinner. The weather was incredibly beautiful out, very mild and sunny with a pleasant breeze, and naturally, Georgetown was packed.

The highlight came as we wandered past the key bridge to the place where the famous staircase from “The Exorcist” resides. Eric had been wanted to see that, and once he saw it, it was as though it couldn’t believe it. He was really excited about the whole thing and must have taken two dozen pictures of the stairs and people standing on the stairs. We climbed to the very top and took more pictures, climbed back down to the bottom and Eric seemed almost overcome by the stairs. The only possible thing that might have made the experience better for him would to have been arrive at the stairs on a foggy, misty night. (All picture credits to Eric.)

Once we could tear ourselves away from the staircase, we headed down to the river and scouted out a suitable restuarant at which to eat. We decided on Cabana’s, and arranged for a table outside. Drinks were ordered all around and we sat around drinking them for what seemed like a long time before our dinner was actually served. It was incredibly pleasant, however, because the weather outside was so nice and the company so lively.

After dinner (and a brief stop at an ice cream shop for dessert), we headed back to AJ and Dennise’s for more drinks and a game of Cranium (“Turbo Edition”). I tried OJ and Captain Morgan’s Coconut Rum for the first time and found that I liked it.

The “Turbo” edition of thte Cranium had to have been a misnomer, joke, or both. First off, it took us forever to figure out how to play. There was no dice, nor hourglass. Instead, there was an electronic gizmo that acted as both dice and timer, and not all of our collective intelligence could make us understand how to make the device work properly. Second, the game didn’t actually seem any faster, and in fact the “turbo” portion of the games worked to only confuse us and slow things down. Eventually, I forfitted the game on behalf of AJ and myself (even though we were winning) because I felt the need to take pity on everyone else. The game might otherwise have lasted until dawn.

It was the very early hours of the morning by the time that Eric, Ryane and I got back on the metro to head home. But lots of fun was had by all.


In order to “warm up” after being out in the cold for much of the day, Eric bought some tequila and also the stuff needed to make margaritas.

Now, I’d never had tequila before let alone drink it the way one is supposed to drink it. Eric showed me what to do, however, and after a moment, I sprinkled salt on the back of my hand, licked it off, swallowed the glass of the tequila, and then bit into the lime.

I warmed up pretty quickly after that.

Eric also made margaritas, which I also had for the first time this evening. That was pretty good, and it lasted me much longer than the tequila did.

Second day in Albany

My second full day in Albany was strikingly different from the first–mainly because it snowed overnight and the temperatures plummeted. Where it felt almost muggy out on Saturday, there was a cutting wind and several inches of snow (and ice) on Sunday. With the windchill, the temperature never broke -5 degrees.

But we didn’t let that bother us. After breakfast, we trudged out into the cold weather, headed over to the local golf course, and did some sledding. This was the first sledding I’ve done since I was a kid, but it was fun. We found a good hill and off we went. I think I did about four runs. Coming up the hill was tough and none of us (except, perhaps, Cali) lasted longer than 30 minutes in the cold, cold weather. But we had a good time.

Eric and I had a rematch of Yankees vs. St. Louis on ESPN Basebal and I lost once again, but did a little better than yesterday.

After lunch, Eric and I went downtown and I got a birds-eye view of the capital of New York, from the top of the tallest building between New York City and Montreal. (It was somewhere around 40+ stories). By then, the skies had cleared up but the temperatures were still below freezing. Eric let me borrow his camera to take some pictures:

Eric made dinner in the evening–chicken and tortillas, with a salad, all of which was excellent. We closed out the evening watching the season premier of 24.

First full day in Albany

I was up at about 8 AM, showered and then spent the early part of the morning reading Foundation and Chaos. It was unusually mild out early today. I went with Eric to take Cali out for a walk after breakfast this morning and it felt almost humid.

I skimmed through the local paper during breakfast, the Albany Times Union. The opinions column had Andy Rooney’s column, which I don’t get in any of my local papers, and, as usual, I was hilarious. The column attribute included Andy Rooney’s email address, so I decided to sent him an email message, and this is what I wrote:

Mr. Rooney:

I’m writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your column, “A Staggered Life” in today’s Albany Times Union. I don’t ordinarily see your columns in print, but I’m up in Albany visiting friends this weekend, and I caught your column on the editorial page.

I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of everything I’ve read of yours which to-date includes “My War”, “Sincerely, Andy Rooney”, “Common Nonsense”, and most recently, “Years of Minutes”. I don’t watch a lot of television magazine programs, but if I happen to be near a TV at 7:55 on a Sunday night, I always tune in your segment on 60-Minutes.

I appreciate your candor, sense of humor, and skill as a writer. Most of all, I enjoy reading what you write.


Jamie Todd Rubin

Early this afternoon, Eric, Ryane and I headed to a local mall where I picked up a fitted Yankee hat (size 7) since my old had really needed replacing. We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s (where our buffalo wantans came out cold the first time) and then headed back to Eric and Ryane’s house to pick up Cali and take her to the local city park.

The park was pretty desolate, but it was still mild out, although heavily overcast. We walked around for a while and allowed Cali to chase a few squirils. After dropping Cali back off at home, we headed back out and dropped Ryane off at a bridal shower in Saratoga Springs. Then Eric and I headed to a sports bar in town and spent a few hours watching the Seahawks of Seattle pound the Redskins of Washington over several beers and mixed drinks.

On our way back home, after picking up Ryane from the shower, it started snowing pretty hard. Somehow, the conversation got turned to Harlan Ellison and Eric mentioned that Ellison lived a few houses up the street from his parents. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve been past his house several times and never even knew it! I always knew his house was up in the hills but now I know more or less the address of Ellison Wonderland, which just boggles my mind for some reason.

We decided to stay in for the evening and ordered pizza. We closed out the evening playing Scrabble (which I lost) and then Uno (in which I was blown away). I can’t seem to win any type of game whatsoever. Why is that, I wonder?

I’m heading to bed now, and as I look outside, the ground it white, and the snow is still coming down pretty hard. The winds have picked up too, and are blowing strong. Weather is saying 3-5 inches by morning. We’ve got a lot planned for tomorrow–including sledding, so we’ll see how the snow turns out.

I’m so pissed I forgot my camera!

First night in Albany

Eric and Ryane took me to this Indian food place in Albany called Ghandi. It was the first time I ever knowingly tried Indian food and it was all delicious. We ordered a bunch of stuff and I tried some of everything: chicken Mahkani, saag (sometimes called palak paneer), which is a spinich and cheese mix; mixed grilled tandori with chicken, fish and lamb; garlic naan (a kind of bread); and briyani rice.

I got a tour of Eric and Ryane’ house, which seems large on the inside. I also met their dog, Cali, who just turned two years old. What a cute dog! I forgot my camera–something I didn’t realize until I was already on the train–or I would have posted some pictures to go along with this. We took Cali for a walk, and then spent some time chatting.

Later, we went upstairs and played the old game “Operation”. This was the Homer Simson variant. Eric is a huge Simson’s fan and has a whole cabinet dedicated to Simson’s memorabilia. I lost by the way–I managed to earn a total of $300. Compare that to Ryane who raked in $4,000.

Eric and I closed out the evening with a game of ESPN 2005 baseball: Yankees at St. Louis. Yankees lost the game something like 14-3. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I couldn’t seem to master the pitching controls. It was fun regardless.

Trip to Albany

The taxi picked me up from the house at 10:30 AM. When the seatbelt didn’t work, I smiled and reminded myself it was Friday the 13th. Naturally, I got to Union Station without incident.

I had a business class seat on the first leg of the trip from Union Station to Penn Station in New York. The trip was completely uneventful. I grabbed a tuna sandwich for lunch and spent most of the time reading. The bulk of the business class car seemed to be taken up by by one family, who (it seemed to me) were travelling to New York for the first time. At one point, they started playing charades on the train. Go figure.

I managed to do some writing–a total of about 1,600 words total. I did the first 800 or so on the first leg of the trip, the next 800 on the second leg.

The train rolled into Penn Station ontime. I gave Jen a call when I got there but she was at work. The next train was delayed about 15 minutes. This was the “Lake Shore” line that goes to Chicago by way of half a million cities. Although this leg was an hour shorter than the first leg, it seemed to be an hour longer.

I rolled into Albany-Rensallear station at about 6:45 PM and Eric and Ryane were there to greet me.