Tag Archives: ryane

Valentine’s day in Albany

I gave Kelly her Valentine’s gift yesterday, since we had a busy day today, and she gave me not one but two cards this morning, which made me realize that I hadn’t gotten her any cards.  Nevertheless, we had a very nice Valentine’s day–our first as a married couple.  I was up at 6 AM to feed the cats, came back upstairs and told Kelly that I was probably just going to get up, since I was already awake.  I then promptly fell back asleep for another hour or so, which she found very amusing.

We flew out of Reagan/National and once again, it’s great living so close to that airport.  The flight to Albany was less than 1/4 full.  In fact, there were 19 people on a plane that holds 80.  It was quite possibly the emptiest flight I’ve ever been on.  We left the gate 10 minutes early and arrived in Albany nearly half an hour early.  strausmouse  was there to meet us, and we piled into his car and headed to a nearby mall where we met rmstraus  and their little dude for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  Then it was back to their house to hang out, and where lots of talk about babies took place.

Eric made an excellent dinner that consisted of pasta with sweet potatoes, to say nothing of a side salad with some homemade dressing.  And there was some pumpkin ale to go along with it.  Yum!  For dessert, there were chocolate-filled strawberries and ice cream.  We ate dessert while playing a few games of Apples to Apples.  Ryane won the first game and Eric somehow managed to win the second game.  It’s hilarious to watch those two play any game together.  Around 10 PM, Kelly and I called it a night.

Rainbow Room Birthday Bash 2008

Saturday began early for I was anxious to see everyone and wanted to get an early start. Kelly and I had gone to bed around midnight and I was up at 6:40 AM. I showered and then headed downstairs to sit on the couch and read until everyone else woke up. Kelly was up early too, and so we waited for vickyandnorm (Norm and Vicky) and kruppenheimer (Lisa) to awaken and get ready. It didn’t take too long but it seemed as though it took forever. However, we were ready to go by 9 AM, which is what I was hoping for, and at that point, we hit the road.

How’s this for a great day…

New York weekend, day 1

[Written on November 12, 2007]

Kelly and I hit the road at 7 AM. The GPS predicted a 11:12 AM arrival in Stony Point at vickyandnorm‘s house. We were there at almost exactly 11 AM. Boy, making that drive with someone to talk to in the car makes a huge difference. The time flew by and what was ultimately 4 hours seemed like a mere 60 minutes. Kelly is an awesome driving companion!

Come join the adventure

Albany day 2/Stony Point day 1

I was up at about 7:15 AM this morning, in time to see strausmouse head off to work for a little while. I hung around the house with rmstraus and little Damian until Eric got back. We went for lunch along the Hudson River at a nice riverside cafe. There was a great breeze blowing and it was not too humid out either. After lunch, we headed back to Eric and Ryane’s house and I got my picture taken with Damian. Then it was time for Damian to head to the doctor’s office and time for me to make the drive down to Stony Point.

It took a little under 2 hours to make the drive and toward the end, I was going against traffic, which was kind of nice. vickyandnorm live on the edge of Harriman State Park, and the drive down Palisades Parkway was a nice one. I arrived at their house just before 5 PM to find their cars parked on the street–apparently, there was some work that still needed to be done to all of the curbs in the neighborhood, and their driveway still requires it’s final surfacing as well.

And their street doesn’t exist yet. At least, as they explained to me, they have to go to the post office to pick up their mail. Until their street shows up on some map, I guess it simply doesn’t exist. I wonder if they could get away with temporarily being their own country?

It was nice to see the house completely finished and furnished and it looked great. In fact, I was jealous and I decided at once that I’d never be able to buy a house because I’d take one look at the places that I would be willing to pay for and picture Norm and Vicky’s little kingdom and be disappointed with what I had. I got the full tour, of course, including the long awaited “Jamie Rubin Memorial Bedroom”, which was done up in a beach motif, like the other “beach room” in the house.

At 6 PM, we headed out to the Palisades Mall in order to go to Tu Tu Tango for dinner, which is a kind of tapas joint. Very, very good, especially thanks to the spring roll recommendation by strausmouse. Vicky had gotten us tickets for the 9:30 PM showing of The Simpson’s Movie. We finished our dinner with plenty of time to spare and so we wandered over to Coldstone for some ice cream. By the time we got in line for the movie, it was just being let into the theater.

The movie itself was hilarious and I really enjoyed it. I’ve only ever seen a handful of episodes of the cartoon, but I could imagine myself seeing more. It’s the kind of movie which, when released on DVD, could be watched over and over again, with something new being discovered each time.

Tomorrow, we pick up Norm and Vicky’s new kitten.

A visit to Albany, day 1

Yesterday, after dropping Zeke off at the vet, I got on the road to head up to Albany to visit strausmouse and rmstraus. I was on the road by 8:20 AM and made surprisingly good time. In fact, I’d covered the entire 360 mile drive in under 6 hours and arrived at Eric and Ryane’s at about 2:15 PM. The new GPS worked great. I didn’t use Eric’s directions, and instead, followed what the nav unit told me and it got me to their house without trouble. There was no traffic at all, which helped.

Once there, I met little Damian for the first time, and what a cutie he is! He is energetic, but quiet. He smiles and laughs. All told, he is very much the way Eric describes him. I got to see Cali, too, who was her usual calm self. Ryane and Damian and Cali and I hung out until Eric got home from work. Once Eric was home, I helped him out with some computer-related stuff (like setting up his webcam) and then we headed out for dinner. We went to a Vietnamese place that they like and it was terrific. I don’t remember the name of what I ordered, but it was the same thing that Eric had and it was great! Especially the spring rolls and the sauce that they use. It was also way more than I could eat so there were plenty of left-overs.

We have about half the day to hang out today and then I head down to Stony Point, New York, to spent some time with vickyandnorm.

Congratulations Eric and Ryane!

I was going to wait until strausmouse posted something on his blog announcing the birth of their son, back on April Fools Day, but it occurred to me that Eric may never post another entry again, now that he has been promoted to the ranks of parenthood. Or at least, he may not post again for the next 18 years. My understanding of parenthood is that would-be parents can’t wait for the baby to be born and, once born, can’t wait until the kid is 18 and has moved out of the house.

Congratulations Eric and Ryane

I spoke with Eric about 3 hours after the baby was born and he sounded more or less in shock, although in good spirits. For a while, I thought that Eric and Ryane might be the mysterious couple attempting to name their baby Metallica. But when I spoke to him, he said that as much as he would have liked to name the boy Metallica (or even better, Slayer), they decided on Damian Lucas Straus. Damian is, of course, Eric’s middle name and comes from the movie The Exorcist (I’m not kidding). Eric is a big George Lucas fan and he explained to me that is where the middle name came from.

Actually, Eric and Ryane will make super parents. Eric, of course, will ensure that Damian has an excellent memory for rock and roll music, to say nothing of volumes of useless information. (Believe it or not, Eric knows far more trivia than I do. I am an amateur by comparison.) Ryane will see to it that Damian has common sense, to say nothing of a deathly fear of ever using Wikipedia for his homework. Damian’s big (and rather hisute) sister, Cali, will have him talking before he’s six month old. Of course, he’ll be barking…

It will be interesting to see if Damian turns out to be a Cardinals fan or an Angels fan. Of course, the Cardinals have lost every game they have played since Damian was born, so he might want to look closely at the Angels…

Seriously, though, congratulations to both you guys. I can’t wait to come and visit, knowing full well that I will be able to go home afterward… 😉

In the city with friends

I didn’t go the gym on Saturday, but it wouldn’t have worked out, given the time constraints that I had. Instead, I went out to get some wrapping paper for Norm and Vicky’s gifts and then jen_ashlock was kind enough to help wrap the gifts, as I am a terrible wrapper. Now that Norm and Vicky have their gifts, I can tell you all that one of them was a set of note cards with their names on them, and matching envelopes with their new address. The cards were designed and created by Jen and Jenn and their company, Buttercream Cards and I thought they came out really well.

At noon on Saturday, I headed over to DTUT, which is just around the corner from where Jen and Jason live. That’s where Norm and Vicky’s “Jack and Jill” wedding shower took place. strausmouse and Ryane were already there, as were Norm and Vicky and many of their friends. We had the back room to ourselves and the whole event was really well done. I met Vicky’s mother for the first time. There were some games that were played, food and drinks that were served, and Norm and Vicky opened their gifts. Vicky deputized me as official photographer, apparently unaware of my total lack of talent when it comes to the taking of photos.

When the event wrapped up, we headed downtown. Ryane had a maternity massage treatment that Eric gave her for her birthday, so we dropped her off at the massage place, and then we parked the car and headed to Mickey Mantle’s, where we met Jen and Jason. We spent a few hours at Mickey Mantle’s (where Eric made fun of the guacamole) and where we had a few drinks. Then we went for a walk in the park while we waited for Ryane to finish up. Eric had to browbeat his way into a hotel bathroom, but other than that, it was a fun walk. The weather has been unusually warm, although it has also been overcast.

We picked up Ryane and then drove up to Norm and Vicky’s in Nanuet. We went to Martio’s for dinner. Afterward, we spent the evening playing games. I got my butt kicked in Apples to Apples (where the Albany contingent dominated), but I got my revenge when we played Phase 10. I won by 4 whole phases and more than 100 points less than the second place person. Shortly after that game, we all retired for the evening.


I was up at about 8 AM this morning, Sunday, my “free” day. Norm made us all breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon. This seemed to mystify Eric because Norm hates eggs and claims to never have tried them in his life, and Eric couldn’t understand how Norm could know the eggs were any good while he was cooking them. But the eggs turned out just fine and I wolfed them down.

Later in the morning, we headed up to Stony Point to walk through Norm and Vicky’s new house, which is getting ever closer to completion. Then we had to go to White Castle so that Eric could get his fix of mini burgers for the next several months. After lunch, Eric and Ryane headed back home, but not before we all got a chance to see Ryane’s new car. Meanwhile, Norm, Vicky and I headed back to their place and they proceeded to bombard me with questions from some trivia game. I actually did pretty well.

Sadly, I left Norm and Vicky’s place at about 3:30 and caught the 3:45 bus back to the city. It was actually an interesting trip because it took backroads through New Jersey. I fell asleep at one point, however, and when I woke up, we were at Port Authority and everyone was already getting off the bus.

I’m now back at Jen and Jason’s. As a thank you for their hospitality in letting me stay at their place this weekend (and three weeks ago), I am taking them to Ruth’s Chris for dinner this evening. We have an 8 PM appointment. Which means I need to get changed as we will have to leave in a little while. More later…

Pictures from this weekend


Lazy Saturday Afternoon
Originally uploaded by jamietr.

Eric requested that I post some pictures from this weekend, so here are some pictures from this weekend. Most of the pictures are from “game night” Saturday night, but there are a few others. All pictures are courtesy of Norm (of vickyandnorm fame). To be honest, I stole them from his Kodak Gallery. There are some more pictures there if you are really that interested.

Lazy Nanuet Sunday

I was up at 7 AM and everyone else was up shortly after 8 AM. After various showers, we decided to head over to Friendly’s for breakfast. Eric and Ryane headed home around 11 AM. I debated when I was going to leave and finally decided that I would wait until Vicky got back from her work meeting she had Sunday afternoon. Norm, Vicky and I lazed around until Vicky headed into work, and then Norm and I headed over to Dave and Busters. I’d never been to a Dave and Busters before, and so I really didn’t know what to expect. It is a kind of Chuck-e-Cheese for grown-ups. One of the games I played three times was Sega’s Airline Pilot Simulator, which allowed you to fly an airliner. It was a pretty good simulation. I played all three levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and I managed to successfully takeoff and land the airplane each time. Norm played Police 9-1-1- and was frustrated because the game did not seem properly calibrated.

I had a snack at the mall and then we headed back to Norm and Vicky’s place and waited for Vicky to get home. She got home at about 4 PM and I got on the road at about 4:15 PM.

It was absolutely miserable driving home. It rained most of the way, and at times the visibility was down to almost nothing. I was tired. Also, there was once again about an hour’s worth of traffic in Delaware so that while I left Norm and Vicky’s at 4:15 PM, I didn’t get home until about 9:40 PM. All-in-all, however, it was a fun weekend and as always, I had a really good visit.


I received the December/January 2007 issue of ANALOG in the mail this weekend. It had the conclusion (part 4) of Robert J. Sawyer’s serialized novel, Rollback and I am anxious to read it in the next day or so. Also in the mail was the latest issue of F&SF.

I’m getting ready for bed now. Working from home tomorrow…

Games people play

I was up at about 7 AM and sat around for about an hour and a half until Norm and Vicky finally got up. Norm made breakfast for all of us, ham, eggs, and toast. The early part of the day was pretty lazy. We did take a ride up to Stony Point to check out the hole in the ground that is Norm and Vicky’s new house. As it turned out, the basement had been poured, something that Norm and Vicky were very excited about. We spend a few minutes wandering around the basement, admiring the handiwork, and taking pictures. It was a little bit muddy, but Norm and Vicky seemed very excited by the whole thing.

Eric and Ryane arrived around 4 PM and a little while later, we all headed out to the Cheesecake Factory at the Palisades Mall for dinner. There, we met some of Norm and Vicky’s friends, Annie and Tom and the seven of us had dinner together. Then it was back to Norm and Vicky’s for game night.

We played three different games at “game night” and Eric bartended (with Norm acting as a backup bartender). First, we played and amusing game called “Apples to Apples”. After several rounds of that game, we played a few hands of “Phase 10”. Finally, after Annie and Tom left, we played “Scattergories”. All three were fun and by the time we were finished playing, both Eric and Norm were pretty drunk. In fact, Norm called Andy and left a hilarious message. He then immediately called Lisa and left a different, but still hilarious, message.

It was after 1 AM when we all finally headed off to bed.

[Posted on 11/13/2006]

A night of unsettling dream

I don’t know what it was about last night, but unsettling dreams was a part of it. I half expected to wake this morning in my bed to find myself transformed into a giant cockroach.

Nevertheless, it is a gorgeous day out. We’re talking late spring-like weather, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, driving with the car window rolled down weather. I went out to get a haircut first thing this morning. I also went to buy some new shirts. And a I did a ton and a half of laundry.

I am driving up to New York in a few hours to spend the weekend with vickyandnorm, and also with strausmouse and ryanestraus. Last time I drove up there I listened to my Autobiography playlist and got through the first 75 songs or so, taking my to just before high school. Today, I plan on beginning where I left off last time and see where it gets me.

I expect to arrive in Nanuet between 6 and 7 PM, although I’m aiming for right about 6:15 PM. I don’t know what traffic will be like on a Veterans Day, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

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/