Definitely missed the “wear your sunglasses inside the supermarket” memo today. #ITSSOBRIGHT
As I write this, the whirlwind Christmas season has come to a close (can’t really say the holidays, as New Years is still ahead of us.), and what a season we had this year. Work ended on Tuesday night, followed up by volleyball. On Wednesday, we made the colossal Wegmans run, prepped the house for the ensuing visitors, and got a good night’s sleep. Woke up Thursday morning, got some last minute wrapping done, and we welcomed Mom and Dad S. to the house. We got them settled, then made another Weggie’s run to get the catering and some last-minute stuff. Came back home, and Tiff and her mom went to work in the kitchen getting food for dinner and Christmas Day ready. We had a very nice dinner and celebrated Tiff’s father’s birthday. Opened a couple stocking stuffers at night to get in the Christmas spirit, and called it a night rather early in anticipation of Christmas Day.
We got the house ready, Tiff and Mom got the food ready, and then the Bonus/Kowalenko caravan rolled in around 12:45. We got them unloaded and in, and commenced with the food, drink, and merriment! Tons of snacks, Amanda’s buffalo wing dip, some good beers, getting full even before dinner. We packed 15 people into the house, and that’s about our limit! We opened a couple gifts, then had Grandma’s perogies and Dad’s mushroom soup as appetizers. Gotta move some of the old traditions to our place! Opened a couple more gifts, and then it was time for the big dinner. Ham, squash, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. Excellent. After everyone digested and had their fill, we filled up even more with cookies and the cheesecake my aunt and uncle brought. It was awesome to have everyone up to our place, and thankfully the weather held out so driving for everyone wasn’t a factor. A wonderful Christmas, and for our first time hosting, it went really well.
What to do the day after Christmas? Why, go shopping of course! We hit a couple places in Henrietta, then after lunch at the Distillery and a quick detour to Beers of the World, we trucked out to Eastview to get our shop on. The mall was packed, even more so than any mall I saw before Christmas. A jaunt back to Barnes and Noble in Pittsford, then back home for a dinner of the best leftovers from the night before. Still tasted great. For the nightcap, Tiff and her parents watched the latest Harry Potter movie while I watched the Sabres lose.
We got up early the next morning, and grabbed a really good breakfast at Peppermints on W. Henrietta Rd. Yum. We saw Tiff’s parents off, cleaned up the house a bit, then Pat and Jodi came over. We did our little gift exchange, and went out for a big late lunch at Sticky Lips. One BBQ platter later, we rolled out of there and came back to the house and visited for a little bit. We saw Pat and Jodi off, and then I saw myself off to Buffalo to meet Adam and hit up the Every Time I Die Christmas show at Mohawk Place. Since that didn’t start ’til 9, we grabbed some dinner and pre-gamed a bit at the Thirsty Buffalo on Elmwood. Had a good time there, watched the Jets prevent the Colts from going undefeated, and watched the Sabres beat the Blues. We trekked down to Mohawk, met my buddy Art, and had a great time hanging out at the show. Thankfully, I only had to drive back to NT, not Rochester, and Dad was still up to greet me!
Slept in a bit, putzed around in the morning, and then Dad and I grabbed some lunch at Ted’s (mmm, Char-Broiled hotdogs!) before I bounced back to Rochester and Dad took off for the office. Got back home, lounged a bit, made a Weggie’s run, and after dinner I organized the basement, watched some hockey, I’m still watching some football, and barring some disaster, I’ll win my second straight fantasy football title! Not looking forward to getting ready to head back to work tomorrow, but I do have volleyball tomorrow night though, so that oughta be the usual rip-roaring good time! Working Wednesday and Thursday also, and then New Years Eve festivities…
It’s been awhile since the last proper blog post, but this weekend deserves one. Pat and Jodi’s wedding weekend was finally upon us, and needless to say, “we had a blast” is kinda putting it lightly. Tiff and I rolled out of Rochester on Friday morning and hauled down to the twin tiers. We first went to Park Station to crash a picnic with Tiff’s parents and Carol and Gary. They were nice enough to feed us lunch and hang out for a bit before we started the wedding activities. We got to the Lindenwald Haus B&B around 2pm, got checked in, and just sat around for a bit as others arrived and checked in. We ended up taking a two car caravan over to the Hill Top Inn for the rehearsal, where we met up with Jodi and a couple of others. Once the Pat and the boys arrived, the rehearsal ensued. After the rest of us not in the wedding party were done waiting around (ha), we headed back to the B&B so the guys could get somewhat cleaned up. I ended up taking a couple people and we grabbed the pizzas, some beverages, and headed up the hill to Cathy and Marlin’s place for the rehearsal dinner/party. I think everyone had a pretty good time at the party, some more than others (!), which made the caravan back to the B&B a tight squeeze (lotsa people, not a lot of drivers and car space!). We didn’t quite stop once we got back to the B&B, so suffice to say we had a long night. 🙂
Saturday morning came a bit too early, but we had a nice breakfast at the B&B, and then started thumb-twiddling time. Tiff was in the wedding, I wasn’t, and thus the handful of us that were affiliated with the wedding party, but not in the wedding party, had a *ton* of time to kill. As in, from roughly 10:30am or so until pictures around 3pm. Thankfully there was a Wegmans two minutes away, because one run later, we had cold beverages, and sat around yapping for the next couple hours. All that talking worked up some hunger, so yet another Weggies run ensued, this time for lunch. Giant subs all around. Finally, we had some entertainment (other than ourselves!) as it was time for pictures. I had to change into my suit to look presentable for the 5 pictures I was in, and once the wedding party left for more pics, I got to change back out of the suit and resume hanging out for another 2 hours or so. We all got changed, and made our way to the Hill Top around 7:15. Marlin ambushed me as soon as I got there and put me on traffic duty, helping make sure the horse-drawn carriage wouldnt get hit as they came down the road. The carriage (and it’s precious cargo!) made it up the hill in one piece, and I snuck in the back to witness a beautiful ceremony. Pat and Jodi and the rest of the wedding party looked great! We watched the two newlyweds disappear on the chariot, and we headed into the reception area to start the party. After a bit, the wedding party got introduced, with each couple doing something a little goofy upon entrance. Good times. Pat and Jodi’s first dance was something to see, as they went outside on the patio, and were surrounded by everyone holding giant sparklers. It looked really really cool. The reception rolled on from there, with a dynamite candy buffet (yes, CANDY buffet!), and SLIDERS! Good food choices, guys! After we closed out the reception, most everyone hauled back to the B&B, Tiff got to make an extra trip back to the Hill Top to pick up some ghosts (hehehe.), and we hung out a bit at the B&B before knocking off for the night. Apparently the bride and groom and assorted others didn’t retire until the sun was coming up!
We had yet another nice breakfast Sunday morning, saw most everyone off, and hung around to watch a couple of the gifts get opened and help Pat and Jodi clean up the place a bit. We met Tiff’s parents for lunch on our way home, and finally made it home around 5:45pm. But because we’re crazy, we didn’t stay home long. The local rock radio station, 94.1 had their festival Sunday afternoon, with Sevendust headlining. Since they’re the only band on the bill we (yes, we, Tiff came to this one!) wanted to see anyway, we figured we’d time it perfectly. We did, sorta. We walked right in (tickets? Why’d we bother?), only missed three songs, and got to see the rest of their set! Got in and got out, grabbed a couple groceries at Weggies on the way home, and finally called it a night. I don’t think we coulda packed much more into the weekend than we did. Had a great time doing it though!
We had quite the weekend both heading to DC, and of course once we were there. Adam and Matt met me at the track, and we took off for Ithaca on Thursday night, to hang with Karl and Kelley, and then get a jump on the travel. We grabbed dinner at the Ithaca Ale House, and followed that up with stints at Pixel (where they had NES’s hooked up to play, plus The Simpsons in an arcade cabinet!), and the Chapter House. We finished up the night at Benchwarmers, watching a couple of the OT’s of the Syracuse-UConn game, before heading back to K&K’s house (and watched ‘Cuse win in the 6th overtime!).
We got up ridiculously early Friday morning and started our journey down to DC, but not before a couple of detours! Since I-81 runs right past Potsville, PA, we had no choice but to stop and tour the brewery of one of our favorite beers, Yuengling!
As if that wasn’t fun enough, a little further up the road was Harrisburg, where we stopped for lunch at the Appalachian Brewing Company, where in addition to the great beer, I had an amazing chicken pot pie with a cheddar cornbread crust. Phenomenal!
After lunch, we literally drove around the corner, and found ourselves confronted with the entrance to Troegs Brewery! More beer! Yay! Nice place, we got our tasting on, and continued on our way to Northern Virginia.
We arrived at Kevin’s place, where he and Dan greeted us, and we had a delicious meal cooked up by Dan. Carlo rolled in a little later, and much food, drink, and fun was had by all. We even got to watch Syracuse win another OT game in the Big East Semifinals. Not that I’m a college basketball fan by any stretch, but when everyone is collectively rooting for one team in a big and exciting game, it’s kinda hard not to get into it!
We awoke Saturday morning and set sail for our nation’s capital, about a half-hour away. After getting our morning fuel, we hiked down Pennsylvania Ave towards the White House. Our first stop was the Renwick Gallery, then onto the White House (or at least, around it). Before any of the other monuments, we made a special trip to the Albert Einstein Memorial, outside the National Academy of Sciences. Our reasons were threefold: Firstly, Einstein was cool to us technically-minded guys. Secondly, it was Pi day (3/14), and such a mathy day required a visit to the mathematician. And thirdly, and unbeknownst to us, 3/14 was Einstein’s birthday! Yes, we sang Happy Birthday to him, much to the amusement of the others at the monument!
We did the whirlwind tour of most of the monuments, including Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean War, DC War Memorial, FDR, Jefferson, and we passed around the Washington Monument.
By this time, we were all hungry, so we ate at the Old Ebbitt Grill, which had been established in 1856 and apparently was DC’s first saloon. Food was great, beer selection passable, and it was a nice rest. We then continued our journey toward the National Archives, but since the line was quite long, and rain had begun to fall, we passed on that in favor of the National Museum of Natural History. We made quick work of seeing a moai, a giant squid, and the Hope diamond. We then headed towards the Capitol Building, en route to the Dubliner for a St. Patty’s Day Ale! We then backtracked to Union Station, and caught the Metro back to where we parked in the morning, near our final destination for the evening.
The Brickskeller! One of the most famous bars in DC, with hundreds of bottled beers on the menu (but not necessarily available, as Kevin unfortunately found out!). Our waiter was a dead ringer for Tay Zonday, but was quite patient with us. After eating and drinking our fill, we retired back to Kevin’s place for yet another Syracuse game (they lost the Big East final), and the anticipation of a couple more destinations in the morning.
Sunday morning brought us to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, which is right next to Dulles Airport. Highlights included a SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, an F16, and a test-flight version of the Space Shuttle (Enterprise). We all geeked out, some of us more than others (Karl, I’m looking in your direction!). After too short of a visit, we retreated back to Kevin’s hood to grab lunch where? Where else? Wegmans! Sterling, Virginia’s Wegmans to be exact. This at the urging of Dan, who had a whole shopping list ready to go 🙂 We said our goodbyes, and after making a requisite stop at a Sheetz, we hauled back to Ithaca. Kelley had dinner waiting for us (thanks Kel!), we picked up Adam’s dog at his parents house, and ran back up to the track to pick up the cars. A great time had by all, and we gotta do it again next year!
Wegmans is changing their logo! According to the article in the D&C, “it was time for the 71-store grocery chain to return to its roots and to a logo that is “welcoming because it is more like a family signature.””
Now I gotta change the logo on my website. Maybe I can get my hands on some cool WPOP swag now that it’ll all have the old logo on it!
Yeah, and it still does, but it’s hanging on by a thread. So I finally replaced my shoppers club card. So what. Why even bother posting this? Because A) this blog sucks, and posts like this are why, and B) because the freakin card hung on for 10 years! Confirmed by the girl at the customer service desk that updated my info, I applied for the card in October of 1998, a month after getting to RIT. The card is 10 years old, brittle as hell, and it’s about to crack in half. How old school is this? It has the Chase-Pitkin logo on it too. Eat that, newbies!
Considering all the other Woo-related posts over the years, I thought the longevity of my ticket to savings heaven was pretty cool. Probably the start of becoming a Wegmans fanboy, really.
God this was pointless. 🙂
So as you can see, Great Lakes Brewing finally has started distributing in New York. This is pretty awesome, and even more awesome was the place I picked it up, our new Wegmans on the corner of Calkins and East Henrietta Road (that replaces the old one across the street). One step down from the behemoth that is the Pittsford location, it’s still a damn sight better than our usual Hylan Dr. location. Yay for progress! We went Sunday for the grand opening, like the idiots we are, and of course, it was nuts. But fun!
It’s been a while since I could… write out my posts straight. (Ok, I’ll quit now.) A lot has happened since the last time I’ve actually written something not a CD or concert review! Last weekend saw us taking Friday off to head to Boston to see Rebecca and Joel, and more specifically, watch Rebecca’s final recital for her Early Music Master’s voice studies at the Longy School of Music. We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel (which was literally within walking distance of their apartment), and headed to said apartment, where we promptly ran out with Becca to do some errands, and I made my maiden voyage into a Whole Foods. It’s like Wegmans, but all organic and natural foods (i.e. not really my kinda store). Anyway, we got back to their apartment, and about the same time, Joel rolled in with his parents from the airport. We had a blast with the Leistikow family, heading out to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Paparazzi’s, which is a smaller-numbered chain, but feels like a one-off. Our food and drink were excellent, as was the company! Joel’s parents are a riot to hang out with. After coming back from dinner, we had a game-night of sorts (yeah, we brought the games!) before turning in to bed. The next morning we were up and at ’em, and went out to breakfast at a place called “The Restaurant” in Woburn. It was cafeteria style, with the guys cooking your breakfast yelling at you, asking what you want. The portions were huge, the price was reasonable, and the food was great. I wish we had something like this in Rochester! From there, we hit up the Burlington Mall, which was right next to the hotel and the apartments, just to walk around and kill some time, before splitting off. The girls went to get Becca’s hair done, and us guys got the food for the recital reception. We came back, got changed, and it was off to Longy. While Rebecca was warming up and preparing to sing, the rest of us set up an adjacent room for a reception following the performance. We then settled in for an exceptional recital by Rebecca and her accompanists. The recital was well-attended, and the reception was a success, with plenty of food and drink for all. After we overstayed the closing of the school by a half-hour (the guard was in there eating and drinking too, so we were OK by him), we came back to the apartment, and after a bit of relaxation, hit the hay back at the hotel. Sunday morning saw breakfast at Panera, and we said our goodbyes and set sail for Rochester. We got home at a reasonable time, and started the work week.
Monday was uneventful, and then Tuesday saw Jerry and I hit up the Three Days Grace / Breaking Benjamin / Seether show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (read the review below). Wednesday brought Halloween, and all 15 kids that came to the door while Tiff played volleyball. I really thought there’d be more kids in our neighborhood. More candy for us! Thursday had me moonlighting at Batavia to cover a day shift, and after pillaging the Batavia FYE of their used CD’s, came home and watched the Sabres lose.
Friday was two concerts in one night! I had planned the Hip show well in advance, and when I saw Sevendust was coming, I jumped on that ticket as well, not bothering to check what day the show was. As luck would have it, it was the same night. My only hope was that since the Sevendust show had four bands playing, and the doors were at 7:30, it’d go long, and Sevendust wouldn’t start until 11pm, leaving me time to see the Hip (which ended at 11) and then book over to Water Street. My plan actually came through for once, and worked like clockwork. I busted out of the Aud Theater, didn’t encounter any resistance in the parking lot, and the biggest miracle of them all, actually found a parking spot on Andrews. I ran down Water Street to the club, and only missed two songs of Sevendust’s set.
Saturday brought some clothes shopping, then dinner at Olive Garden with Matt, Lisa, Carlo and Alyssa, before coming back to our place for game night. The Swasta clan were up today, as Ozzie is shacking up with us for a week and a half while they go on vacation. We caught breakfast at Mykonos Cafe (we really gotta go to that place more!), hit Target, the Mall, and then home, where we had a fajita feast for an early dinner, while watching the Bills win. Tiff’s parents left, and then I did too, as I met Matt, Adam and Carlo at Tully’s to watch the Pats-Colts “Super Bowl 41 1/2” game. Much to the billing, the game was close right until the end. Much revelry was had, and now I’m home keeping the cat company in the basement (gotta keep Wizard and Ozzie segregated… Cats and Dogs, living together, MASS HYSTERIA!)
And now you’re all caught up. Congrats for reading this far. More boring crap next week!
As you can see, I’m back on the CD kick, as I’ve actually had some luck finding stuff used again. I’ve been trolling the three local FYE’s at the three malls, and they’ve been pretty good with both selection and even price-wise on their used stuff. (What? You thought I’d lost my mind (and my bank account) by buying new there? Puh-leeze!)
So what *else* have we been up to? Well, two weekends ago, Tiff had a big work weekend, so Saturday she did a lot of that, and then we hosted Matt, Lisa, Carlo, and Alyssa for some games. Sunday was football and more work for Tiff. I got the Ice Bowl tickets during the week, saw Finger Eleven at Water Street, had a roller hockey game, and then Friday night brought a party at Karen and Jeremy’s place. Grilling outside, a little beer pong, and some hardcore washers action. Jeremy made his own set, and they came out pretty well! Saturday saw the ladies going to Lisa’s place for a handmade jewelry party, while the guys all helped out Ahmad put up his new stockade fence. Well, we got there for the easy part, he already had the post holes dug, sunk the posts and the concrete was in. We just helped him put up the pre-made sections of fence, but hey, any excuse to have a couple beers and use some tools! (And destroy stuff with the tamper!!) We met back up with the girls for dinner at Beale Street, and then entertained Matt, Lisa, Karl and Kelley back at our place, chilling by the fire, and then inside for some TV.
Sunday we saw Karl and Kelley off, and Tiff and I had the day to ourselves, as it was our one year anniversary! We did our usual bumming around, and then had a very nice dinner together at Jojo, an “American Bistro”, in Pittsford. After our dinner, we stopped off at the famous Pittsford Wegmans to pick up some dessert, mainly as a fallback in case the year-old frozen wedding cake didn’t work out. And to no one’s surprise, it didn’t cut it. Well, it cut, and it looked okay, but tasted really really stale. We gave the cake it’s last rites, and busted out our Weggies brownies instead. Much better!
This week, I’ve had to get to work two hours early every morning, as we’ve had a mass renumbering project foisted upon us by the lottery. So over the course of this week, we’re resetting (RAM Clearing) every game on the floor, and assigning it a new device name for the network. It actually will make our lives easier, but right now, I’m cursing it! The OT however, is not bad. We have a fun weekend coming up, as Saturday we’re doing a wine tour with Tiff’s friend Michaela and her boyfriend, and then Sunday is the Naples Grape Festival. Never a dull moment this month, and next month is just as packed!
Snapped by my Dad at the local Wegmans on the Boulevard in Amherst:
So after coming back from vacation… I need a vacation! We got home Saturday night, and then Sunday was a crapload of laundry, mowing the lawn, and my first roller hockey game of the season. I didn’t fare too badly, but man am I out of shape! We won 10-4, and I wasn’t on for any goals against (I’m playing defense), so all in all, not bad.
The work week wasn’t terrible, we had a bunch of game changes, so we kept busy in the mornings. Monday, as you may have read, was the Deftones show, and then the rest of the week was pretty low-key. Saturday Tiff met Becca at the airport, so left to my own devices, I went garage sale hunting (didn’t come up with anything), and then we entertained Dan and Tobi for a little bit, as they were up for Jeff and Steph’s wedding. Always nice to catch up with them, and we hadn’t seen them since their wedding back in October. Tiff and I caught some Moe’s, did a little shopping, and then met Karl, Kelley, Karen and Jeremy out at MacGregors, to be joined by Dan and Tobi a bit later.
Sunday brought Father’s Day, and that meant heading out to Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva to picnic with Tiff’s folks. After dodging a 2 minute rain shower, we had a beautiful day. We hit the outlet mall briefly on our way back, and then I had hockey. We didn’t do nearly as well this week, losing 9-5, but I think I’m getting my stamina back. I wasn’t sucking wind on the bench this week! So concluded the week, and we’re back at it this morning. I mean, I’m at work. 🙂