A very good long weekend has just ended, featuring holiday gatherings, lots of young cousins, oodles of driving, lots of time with friends, and hockey.
Good drive down on Thursday, despite not quite enough sleep the night before. Thursday's Thanksgiving gathering at my parents' house was relatively quiet, since there were no little kids around. Uncle Steve (father's older brother) and Aunt Maddy and Tyler (their son) were there, and Evan (father's former assistant) came since his family's in Michigan.
Evan's a decent guy, though I don't know him well enough to say we're friends. It was good to chat with him about his new job, which my father helped him get. (Dad sold his business in the spring, so Evan needed a new place to work, and Dad put in a good word.) Considering he was the second of two full-time people in the company for a few years, he really knows the publishing business inside-out at this point. He could probably have just about whatever kind of job he wanted.
Aunt Maddy's pecan cluster thingies were yummy! Tyler whipped up some fresh whipped cream, too, for them and the apple pie.
Friday, I slept until 11! beeeej had gotten a ride back into the City with the relatives, so wasn't around for the day. My parents and I ended up driving in a few hours before the scheduled Hanukkah party, so we could explore some new exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dad's car is too small for four, and Mom's had a spare tire on it, so we drove my car in. It's an Audi A4, and it's the car that convinced my father to take a look at the Audi TT that he quickly decided to buy.
Fun at the Met, including the remarkable exhibit of Richard Avedon's photography, and dozens of striking works of Théodore Chassériau, an early 19th-century painter.
Then on to meet Jeff at Steve and Maddy's apartment in NYC. This time, all the kids were around. Tyler's two (who were with their mom's family Thursday), plus his sister Tracy and husband Rob brought their two. They're all cute kids, but Rebecca and Noah (Tracy and Rob's pair) are noisy. Tyler made potato pancakes, and we all ate lots of those. There was also homemade onion soup and a very good salad Niçoise, but I'd say we were all there for the latkes.
Tyler's son Jacob is probably 11 or 12 by now. He and I talked a lot about video cameras, laptops, and video editing, since they have a DV camcorder and have been thinking about getting a new laptop so Jacob can edit the home movies he's been working on. A PowerBook would be perfect for them, but I think the budgetary constraints will leave them with an iBook, which ought to do fine.
All four of us went back to Dobbs Ferry Friday night; Jeff stayed at the folks' house because he was leaving with me first thing in the morning.
Saturday morning we set out for Ithaca before ten, since Saturday afternoon at 3 was the first of a pair of home non-league games against Boston University. The always-nationally-ranked Terriers just never seemed to get their asses in gear. They were once Cornell's most storied rivals, and they certainly have been a hockey powerhouse. We didn't see any sign of that at Lynah.
Saturday's game was a 4-1 shutout... by which I mean the Terriers' single goal wasn't really deserved. It should clearly have been waved off by the referee, Scott Hansen, who seemed to have his head up his ass all weekend. (Ironically, Cornell had a goal waved off not long after that I thought should have counted, but why be greedy?) BU's forwards also managed to clink a couple of pucks off the posts and crossbar, so they must have been enormously frustrated at never managing to score. The empty-netter late in the game for Cornell is always a treat to see, but sucks for the team that's scored against. Especially when you're going to see them again the next night, adding insult to injury can be dangerous!
That frustration really showed up in Sunday's game, where the two teams picked right up with the chippiness that had started to develop late in the first game. BU still never got their act together, and Cornell posted a 5-1 win this afternoon. I can't imagine it was a fun bus ride back to Boston, and I wouldn't be surprised if the #11 team slipped a bit in the polls this week.
I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with Joy this weekend, since she'd jumped at the chance to join me for the hockey games when I offered a couple of weeks ago. Jeff and I picked her up Saturday afternoon when we hit town. She was already stir-crazy from listening to her annoying, loud neighbors. She also came along to the Boatyard Grill following the game. Our timing was perfect; we got there before six, and the eight of us were seated quickly. The crowds built up after that, including lots of hockey players and their families, and even Cornell's new radio announcer and his family, and people were waiting forever for tables. That's common at the Boatyard, but in my opinion it's worth the wait. I was a little leery of "throwing Joy into the deep end" by dragging her out with the hockey gang, but she seemed to fit right in.
Brunch at Q this morning was more relaxed, with a smaller group of us and much less of a mob. Grabbed Joy for that, too, since we were probably going to head from there right up to Lynah Rink. They're having another New Year's Eve shindig that almost makes me wish I were going to be in Ithaca for it!
The odd scheduling of this weekend's games... a pair of 3pm starts on Saturday and Sunday... meant all the out-of-town folks had to rush to hit the highways after today's game. A couple wanted food first, though, so John and Josh and Joy and I hit the Chariot. I didn't need too much food; most of my chicken parm dinner is in the refrigerator for lunch tomorrow. (We'll see if I remember to bring it.)
Bought Dave Nulle, the Zamboni driver, a drink at the Chariot when I spotted him at the bar. Dave's a cool guy who does just a perfect job on clearing the ice between periods, is fun to chat with, and even comes to Bound for Glory for a set or two most weeks. His taste in beer runs a little on the light side for my tastes, but no one's perfect!
As Joy and I were heading back towards Lansing, Adam (radio guy) called my cell phone to see if anything was still going on. He'd just finished the post-game stuff, including writing his game recap for US College Hockey Online. I told him he was welcome to come hang out at my place before hitting the road, but since he lives in Philly, hitting the road seemed like a much better idea. Gave him a couple of ideas of where to grab food on the way out.
Relaxed with some Sunday night TV while Joy and guinness_duck were off at his hockey game, then drove Joy home. She's looking forward to a quieter night with the neighbors (theoretically) moved out! And I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep before heading back to work in the morning.