Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Plans Anyone?

I was just wondering what some of you are doing for the Memorial Day weekend. Anyone going to a parade or anything to honor our military personnel? I am hopeful to be back to my village by parade time tomorrow, but I may miss it because of a prior commitment. You know by now that I am an avid herp keeper (keeping reptiles and amphibians, not herpes); and tomorrow I will be heading up to Sleepy Hollow, NY to pick up a Ball Python that someone has up for adoption. I can't wait to face the traffic northbound out of NYC and Long Island of all the happy campers getting away for the weekend. I am guessing an hour ride may take as many as two hours.

Once I pick up the snake (which will probably wind up being another story this weekend), it will be back home for me; and I have to get back reasonably soon because we are having a barbecue. The wife expects me to cook, and I told her I would, so I have to get to Sleepy Hollow, and turn right around to head back home. I think I may stop for a case of cold ones, maybe a nice German Hefe Weiss Bier. That stuff goes great with any barbecued food of which I can think, and if the food comes out burned, after a few of them - I won't care. Along those lines I love Paulauner Hefe Weiss, but there are many others. The cloudier with yeast, the better as far as I am concerned.

On Sunday, we are heading to my brother-in-law Han's house for another barbecue. He makes one heck of a steak marinade, and I am looking forward to some really good eats at his place. Of course, I'll have to bring along some of the Weiss Biers to his place. He loves them as much or more than me. Then again, who knows, maybe I'll pick up some Ommegang Abbey Ale, also great stuff - good with heavier foods - especially meat dishes, so also great for a barbecue beverage.

On Monday I will be looking for the real deal parade. I may go into NYC to see some of the ships that are here for fleet week. If I do, I'll be sure to stop and thank as many servicemen and women as I can find. I have already done that a bit over the past couple of days. They deserve our thanks and more.

Enjoy your weekend.

All the best,
Glenn B

Retirement Party Planning...

...apparently can be a bit of a pain in the behind, even for a pretty informal get together. I am finding this out first hand as I am in the process of trying to put together a party for a co-worker/friend who retired a few months back. As was usual, when he retired, I figured someone else would arrange for his retirement party. I guess most of those someone else types have all retired by now because despite this guy being well liked around the office, no one put anything together for him. Well, it could also be that moral on my job being at an all time low also had something to do with it. So as it turned out, i figured I would try to arrange a party for him - just something where those who want to attend will meet at a local restaurant/watering hole, and we will split the bill for dinner and drinks. Actually this is not as much a pain in the backside as it is a daunting task for me because I am not that self confident that I am going about it right, but since no one else stepped forward to do it - so what. I know some folks are interested in attending, I already checked on that; and so too is the honoree looking forward to it.

Forging right ahead today, I went to one of a few places I had in mind for the party here in Manhattan. I took a co-worker along and we had lunch there this afternoon. The place is called
Giggles and is a restaurant/bar combo. It has a pub like atmosphere, is pretty big with lots of seating, has a lot of variety on the menu, has lots of variety behind the bar, and has fairly reasonable prices for Manhattan, especially in midtown. For lunch I had an everything burger, a huge burger covered with fried onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheddar cheese. It sat on a likewise huge bun. It was accompanied by tomato, raw onion, lettuce, pickle and fries. My pal Bob had a Cesar Salad. We both had sodas for our beverages (no booze because it was lunch on a work day, and booze and my job do not mix).

The waitress who served us was a pretty young lass, and not only that but she was a good waitress too. She was quite attentive. Once our order was in, we were served bread and butter, and our drinks arrived quickly. After a decent wait, pretty much just a short time later, our meals were brought out. I could not believe the size of the burger, it had to be 1/2 pound of beef. besides that, it was cooked just how I had asked for it to be - medium rare. It was a tasty burger indeed, and I washed it down with a tasty beverage too. Bob enjoyed the salad, and he noted that the service had been great. The waitress stopped by a few times to check on us, and was quite pleasant. Before leaving we asked to speak to the manager about arranging for a party, but the manager was not available. I'll have to give them a call early next week after the holiday. I am hopeful I can work some sort of discount out if I can assure them 25 or more people at the retirement dinner, hopefully they will be able to accommodate us on the nights I have in mind. Once I find that out, I will put out the word that the party date and place has been set, and wait to see who responds by or before whatever date Giggles gives to me as the cut off date for making a reservation.

Once that is all set I can only hope those who will have told me they will attend, will actually show up. I guess I can also hope that parking will be none too hard to find, but that is almost always a problem in Manhattan. Of course, I will have to also hope that the retiree shows up! If this comes off nicely, who knows, I may be elected as the office's Grand Poobah of retirement party planning.

If you are ever in NYC, and need a place to have a decent lunch in midtown Manhattan (very close to Times Square (2 blocks away) I recommend this place. Good food, good drink, and great service. I hope it is likewise for you if you ever get the chance to check it out.

All the best,
Glenn B