Snow Days Are Awesome...Right?

So I got my second snow day of the new year today due to the small blizzard that took place in our area. Granted, I love the idea of a three-day weekend as much as the next guy. But the problem is that everything at work gets backed up. Clients usually don't like the idea of "Well, it snowed too much, so we closed the office." Besides, it's easier to deal with the work during the week so you can completely relax on the weekend. Still, it's a chance for the fiancee and me to relax and hang out together.

We went out for a quick breakfast this morning to survey the damage. The verdict? Lots of snow, not many plows. Oh well. We watched a father and son playing in the snow outside while we received much needed repairs to our place. Ironically, the repairmen came when the weather was worst. Watching the father and son reminded me of doing the same thing with my dad as a child. I wish life could be that simple again. But of course, things change.

Snowicane 2010

For the past few days, we have been gearing up the "Snow-icane". The weather people have been calling it this because we are expected to get 6 - 12 inches of snow in the city with 50-65 mph winds.

On my way to work this morning (a ten min. drive), I drove through: rain, sleet, and snow. There were sparks from a telephone poll causing the power to go out along 58th Street in Astoria, Woodside, and Maspeth. The NYPD and FDNY have their fleet services department along this road. It was quite funny to see various service personnel outside just staring up at the telephone poll. I have a feeling that both the service personnel and the drivers were both thinking the same thing. This is not a good way to start the day.

I'm beginning to think that coming to work today was not the brightest idea due to the fact that it is only 8:55 am and the flakes are already starting to stick. I am not sure who would like an early dismissal/ snow day more...the teachers or the students.

Days like this are when I am truly grateful for having a warm place to go. I cannot imagine having to stay outside in this weather.

Reflection on the end of Pre-Cana

I've been wanting to blog for a looong time and it just seems that I never exactly get around to it.

Let's travel back in time to Super Bowl Sunday. It was an incredible day. We finished Pre-Cana. At the beginning, I thought it would be endless but, it ended up being four weeks of talking with one another and growing closer as a couple. I was quite proud of us that we did the reading and the discussions. It has encouraged us to explore our faith as a couple rather than as individuals. Overall the experience was great! Looking back on it, I kind of miss it.

During the Mass celebrating the end of Pre-Cana, a couple that was married 68 years renewed their wedding vows. They were the grandparents of the canter and parents of a very active member in the parish. It was inspiring to see these two older people who still had so much life and love in them. As they stood before the altar, they both had canes in their hands. However, when they walked down the aisle to leave the church, they handed the canes to the priest and walked out hand in hand. It was beautiful!

The couple was asked to say a few words to the Pre-Cana couples. The older man said with a grin: Men - work as many jobs as you can, that's how you make a marriage last. Of course, we had a good laugh. The older woman said - marriage is wonderful...just wonderful.

I can't wait until July! We have so much to look forward to and can't wait to share it with our friends and family!

Valentine's Day 2010 (Actually #7 for Us, But Who's Counting?)

So it turns out that we've spent 7 Valentine's Days together. Our first Valentine's Day was spent with the Girl's little brother. Needless to say, the last 6 versions have been good, but never on February 14th of any year. Apparently, one of our accidental traditions is that we never celebrate it on the right day.

Nonetheless, Valentine's Day 2010 did not disappoint. True to form, we started the day (February 13th) with gifts. The Girl got flowers, new jewelry and a Brooklyn Bagel breakfast, while the Guy got a new tie, dark chocolate and a very sweet card. Best of all, both of us got each other gifts from the same local store without knowing it, a little spot called Candy Plum. So far, so good.

The day continued with a quick lunch at home, followed by a lazy afternoon of movies and Wii. While it may sound boring to some people to sit around all day and vegetate, with our lives being as stressed and as hectic as they sometimes are, having a day to detox and being together is sometimes all you need. Horribly cliched? Maybe, but cliches are cliches for a reason, right?

We went (read "ran") to Mass and then had dinner at Taste of Thai, a restaurant that we decided to try for the first time. We had noodles (Pad Thai and Pad See-Ew) which were among the best we've had in terms of Thai cuisine. The food wasn't too spicy, but just enough for flavor.

Afterward, we got some cupcakes for dessert and made a stop at Best Yet Market. THIS PLACE IS AMAZING! Okay, so it's just a supermarket, but if you've ever lived in an urban environment, and you grew up in the 'burbs, you know that the grocery stores are NOT the same in both locations. Typically, urban markets are convenient and walkable, but don't necessarily carry the foods or brands you'd actually want to buy. You tend to make do with what they have, mainly because there's nothing else and everyone carries the same stuff. That, and in the suburbs, the markets tend to have lots of products, but there's a catch. You have to drive...everywhere...every time...even for a gallon of milk!

Well, Best Yet has somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,567 types of beer, ice cream, pastries, meats and other delights. Yes, I know, not actually that many, but it's like a better version of a Super Stop-n-Shop right in Astoria! Although we went there at night, we picked up a couple of things and walked around. We'll definitely be spending lots of time here in the future. It's a nice taste of suburbia in the "urban jungle" that Astoria can sometimes be.

I guess it's about time to call it a day for Valentine's Day '10. By this time next year, the fiance and I will be married...I wonder if we'll start celebrating on the 14th of February?

Nah. Why mess with a good thing.

The Ides of....February?

So I realized that we hadn't posted anything about the beginning of this month.

So here's a quick recap: Mom & Dad made a trip up and brought us a beautiful "new" chair. I say "new" because it is actually a chair that I played under (yes, under) as a child. It's vintage '60s and my parents have had it forever, ever since we got it from an uncle of mine. The chair previously had an orange covering over the cushions, but my parents found a little sewing shop in MD where they had it redone with new fabric, designed to match the sea motif in our place. It was a wonderful way to dress up an old chair with a lot of sentimental value and it looks great in the house.

The fiance's dad and my folks both brought rugs. We now have an Oriental rug in the living room and a great rope rug in the bedroom, with another matching rope rug to follow. The place is really coming along well.

Lastly, we had our last class of Pre-Cana. As the fiance pointed out, it's a marriage preparation course for Catholics prior to the actual ceremony. Our experience was pretty positive. The presenters (meaning married couples who direct the program) were pleasant and made the evenings go quickly. It was the right mix of religion with everyday marriage advice and some suggestions of how to begin married life together. We even got a wedding cross at Mass at the end of the program. While neither of us was interested in the idea initially, we discovered that the program was helpful and that it was kind of fun, in a way. It was funny to see how some of the other couples had similar life experiences to us, and how well we actually know one another.

I guess that sums up the beginning of the month...along with a MASSIVE snowfall on the East Coast, which managed to cancel work for both of us...I love the snow.