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later on 9/30/09
Despite not having any cheesesteak, Philly was a blast. It wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be, and the Phillies clinched the NL East. I love going to that ballpark. Aaron Boone wasn't in the lineup, but that was OK.

We drove down right after noon, and walked through Christ Church burial ground (where Ben Franklin is buried), visited the National Constitution Center (which was just closing the last time we were in Philly) and Museum of American Jewish History (which is moving, so there wasn't really any exhibit, but I did find a new car mezzuzah for my next car), walked through Elfreth's Alley (the longest-continually-occupied residential street in the US, which is just beautiful and I want to live there), and had a late lunch at the City Tavern (had the bacon-wrapped shrimp and the roasted duck). So full from the food there that there was no room for cheesesteak.

Going to see my doctor tomorrow about this rib thing.

9/30/09
Off to Philly! Its good timing, too - we've had these tickets all season (for the chance of seeing Aaron Boone play), and it turns out that the Philles could clinch the NL East tonight! It doesn't look like rain, which is nice to hear, but it IS supposed to be about 57 degrees at game time. I am practicing for playoff baseball, then, by layering up with long underwear, leggings, jeans, two pairs of socks, long underwear top, turtleneck and Irish knit sweater. And winter coat and hat and scarf and gloves. And lap blanket. And hand warmers.

I feel like the kid in A Christmas Story.

9/28/09
I seriously think I coughed so hard that I cracked a rib. I'm going to see my MD on Thursday (was going to go on Wed, my day off, but we are headed to Philly to see AARON BOONE take on the Phils), and ask him for a chest x-ray. Also going to ask about some Wellbutrin, the stop-smoking anti-depressant, so I can stop being so cranky with the not-smoking.

Man, I hope I didn't break a rib. Because there's nothing they can do for that. Not that I can do anything for a pulled muscle if that's what it is, either - I tried Motrin, Flexeril, Naprosyn, Lidoderm patch, Ben-Gay... nothing helps.

I kind of don't want to start reading An Echo in the Bone, because then I'll be done with it, and lord knows the next (and last?) book in the series won't be out for a few more years. Sigh. Plus I'm reading two other books, and almost done re-watching season two of House.

Ah screw it, I'll start it.

9/27/09
I don't know what's sweeter:

  1. winning the AL Pennant
  2. sweeping the Sox this weekend
  3. winning our 100th game of the season
  4. starting off 0-8 against the Sox and ending up 9-9
Oh, who am I kidding - winning the pennant and clinching home field advantage for all of the playoffs!

later on 9/25/09
And the Yankees slaughtered the Sox tonight, it was lovely. I almost didn't recognize the Stadium without the tarp on the field. Joba pitched great, everyone stole bases against Varitek, A-Rod and Matsui were always on base, and the game lasted more than four hours. However, we left the game early because while there was no rain, there was a lot of wind and cold, and I was coughing up a lung. I pulled a muscle in my chest from the coughing, so I'm going to take a Flexeril and some Claritin and some generic NyQuil and veg out on the couch now. I just can't shake this upper respiratory thing.

9/25/09
Managed to get up at the crack of 10am to search for Yankees postseason tix, and I scored a pair for the Division Series home game 1 (which will hopefully fall on Wed the 7th, the only day I could go), and the Championship series home game 1 (which will hopefully fall the 16th). If the Yankees have home field advantage for both series, which it looks like they will, things will be perfect for my schedule. And let's hope they don't get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs again.

9/24/09
Happy birthday, Dad!

Two weeks from today, I will be in Vegas on a much-needed vacation.

9/22/09
The Yankees have sent out their incredibly complicated post-season ticket information. So now, in addition to the regular partial season ticket holder presale, they're doing a "preliminary presale" via random drawing for 1,000 lucky partial season ticket holders. I didn't get selected, but whatever. So, for the rest of the riff-raff, our tix will go on sale on Friday for the ALDS/ALCS. Then do they the same lottery/preliminary presale and regular presale thing all over again for World Series tix, as needed. Last season, you could buy tickets for games in all three series - this year, it doesn't say if you can buy for both the ALDS AND ALCS, it's a little unclear. I'm going to try for the ALCS first, because I'll be in Vegas for 90% of the Division Series. Guess I'll get getting up early on Friday.

Super excited today - the new Diana Gabaldon book, An Echo in the Bone, is out, and I have it. Now I just need like a week off with nothing to do, so I can read it. I just re-read A Breath of Snow and Ashes to refresh, so I'm good to go for this one.

Today was errands day (since I'm only working 11-7 tonight, I actually had daylight to do things in) - drop off my prescriptions, drop off my wedding-weekend clothes at the dry cleaners, pick up a frame and matte for my new Francisco Cervelli signed pic (we love eBay), take the air conditioner out of the window (I think I used it maybe twice this summer?), go to the bookstore, water all the new trees we planted (which are surprisingly not dead, even tho the dogwood looks almost dead). My Yankees Stadium sod farm is now completely overrun with weeds, so it looks like the rest of the lawn. I hate to say this, but we need rain, so we can get rid of the patchy dry spots. Never fear tho, this Friday is Yankees at the Stadium (vs. Boston), and I will be there, so I'm sure it'll be raining.

9/21/09
Oh, Missy and Oliver's wedding was beautiful - and a lot of fun for the whole weekend.

Friday night, I did the non-wedding part of the weekend, and had dinner with my friend Alan. Who brought me an Aaron Boone baseball card, which will go up on the mirror next to the Cervelli cards (yes, they're all in plastic, and no, I do not collect baseball cards). Then I went up to Times Square and saw Inglourious Basterds. I forgot it was directed by Quentin Tarantino, and would therefore be bloody. But it was really enjoyable.

Saturday I took the bus up to the UES to meet Missy for mani/pedi time, along with her maid of honor and her mom. I managed to leave the card I'd bought for them on the bus, so I had to run out and grab another one before the rehearsal dinner. Got the nails done, and then, since I had about 4 hours to kill before the dinner, I walked over to the Met Museum to kill some time. They had a great photograph exhibit with old New York photos (I bought a book for Dad since he loves old NYC pics), and I wandered through the newly-renovated American Wing and the European paintings like I always do.

I hesitate to call Saturday's dinner the "rehearsal dinner," since there was no rehearsal on Saturday, but it was just a nice dinner with 40 of their closest family and friends. Eight course Chinese dinner, and we had more than a few drinks to wash it all down.

Yesterday was a long day. Missy said the hair-and-makeup was starting at 9am, but I wasn't set for hair until noon, so I didn't rush. Missy's parents had a suite at the W Court Hotel that became "Wedding Central" for getting ready, so I made it there by 11.30am or so. Jen and Sean were also staying there, and Dona was at another hotel in midtown. Anyway, small world story - I walked into the lobby with my overnight bag (which Miss said to bring to the wedding and leave in the "bride room," so I wouldn't have to go all the way downtown and then back to Penn Station after the wedding) - and someone walks up and says, "Hello, Miss Skidmore." It took me a few minutes, but realized it was our friend Eddie from the Rent line. Who we haven't seen in what, ten years? So, he was at the W because he was working an Acura presentation or promotion or something, and he managed to get us a free ride from the hotel to Central Park, so we saved on getting a cab and got to take a chauffered Acura SUV instead. That was sweet. So, hair and makeup and getting dressed went well, we hung around the hotel while the bridal party went up to do photos in the park, and then me, Jen and Sean took the Acura up to the Park.

The Boathouse is beautiful inside. The guy who was posted at the door kept telling people, "No, you can't go in until 6pm," and Jen and I pulled the "we're with the bride" routine - which we were. So we went in to give some moral support (and drop off my bag) and grab some Champagne. The ceremony seemed to go by in a blur - whether it was just quick, or the free-flowing alcohol contributed, who knows. After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour with TONS of food, and then there was the sit-down dinner and dancing with a live band. Brian (my date), who said he wasn't a big dancer, must've been lying, since we were on the dance floor more than I'd expected - glad I wore flats. It was so much fun, the whole weekend.

And I left around 11.15pm or so, took a cab down to Penn Station, and hopped the train home. Took some tylenol to haed off the hangover, and I slept like a baby til 1pm or so. I didn't bother to wash my hair today, since the six tons of hairspray kept it in pretty good shape.

I was supposed to start my new work schedule today, with working a double shift tonight, but when I got to work, I saw that there was an extra nurse on the schedule for 11-7. So I offered to be off (unpaid), and I can actually get some more rest and finish recovering from the wedding. Working just 11-7 tomorrow. So I shall now go and spend my free time watching the House season six premiere, which Mom taped for me.

Oh, and except for cheating and having three cigarettes yesterday (when I was drinking), I haven't smoked in 17 days.

9/18/09
I read The Lost Symbol, the new Dan Brown book, and while it didn't thrill me as much as his other books, it made me want to go back down to DC and scope out the Capitol Rotunda.

Off to the city for Missy's wedding weekend!

9/16/09
Yay! Cervelli got the walk-off RBI in the game against the Blue Jays tonight. Pie in the face!

9/15/09
Day ten of not smoking. Still can't take an incredibly deep breath, but it will come. The upper respiratory thing is just lingering.

This week is perfect weather (of course, since I have no baseball games to attend this week), warm and sunny and almost Fall-like. The wedding weather should be perfect, I can't wait! Jen has a room booked at the W Hotel (so does Missy), so we're doing hair and makeup at Missy's, and then I'm going to hang out with Jen and Sean (and I told Brian to come up and meet us there) before we head to Central Park for the festivities. Miss and Oliver are leaving the hotel earlier than us to do photos. The plan is to do mani/pedis on Saturday afternoon, followed by some downtime (maybe I'll go over to the Met for a while), rehearsal dinner Sat night, and then reconvene at the W Hotel on Sunday for hair and makeup and dress-up, and then the wedding at six.

I am so happy at work. My friend/coworker Julia - who lives right down the street - came back from her leave, and they put her on a part-time 7-shifts-in-the-pay-period schedule, which she wasn't happy about (having worked all ten shifts for fulltime work before going on leave). So when she got the 7-day schedule, we compared hers to mine, and figured that if I moved two of my 3-11 shifts to 11-7 (which I don't mind doing, it throws me a double shift, so I technically get another day off in a way), she could pick up my newly-available 3-11 shifts. So we found out that it was all approved and we can start with the next pay period - that is, next week! So now I'll be doing Sat 3-11 and 11-7, Sun 3-11, Mon 3-11 and 11-7, Tues 11-7, off Wed, Thurs 3-11, off Fri, Sat and Sun. Then Mon 3-11, Tues 3-11, off Wed, Thurs 3-11, off Fri, and then start all over again. Whew. I'm going to have to make a poster-sized copy of my calendar and hang it where I can see it, so I remember which week it is. One week is the same as it is now - all evenings. The other week is just shifting two of my 3-11 shifts onto the night shift. And with that extra double thrown in there on Mondays, I get Wednesday freed up. I like it.

Will be finished with Season One of House today, then onwards to Season Two.

Rivalry? What rivalry?

And good news - Michael is out of the hospital! I'll call him later for details.

9/13/09
Best wishes to Michael, who Tesse reports is in the hospital with hypertension (and probably some other long words that she's going to write down for me when she goes to visit). Since he's in the ICU, I think the words are much longer than hypertension. Maybe I can get up there tomorrow (it's the hospital near Inwood) - I'm working nights this week.

So I went to Home Depot to meet John Flaherty. He was doing an autograph signing for two hours, for the first two hundred people. I got there an hour and a half before it was supposed to start, and was probably the 50th person in line. They gave out free water, and wristbands so you know who was in line. The time moved pretty quickly, and once he got there, he signed not only the Home Depot baseballs, but anything else people had brought. And he took pictures, so I asked the woman behind me to take one of us. I asked him what he thought of "this Cervelli kid," and he said, "I like the way he catches," and then he said it was nice to meet me and I was on my merry way. So much better looking in person!

9/12/09
Aw, Derek did it, thus giving millions of people a happy 9/11 memory. Tesse and I met up at the Stadium, and waited out the first rain delay (90 minutes) - watched the grounds crew with the tarp, watched the pre-game stuff on the many TV's, looked at all the shops and the big team store, ate (cheesesteak and BBQ chicken sandwich), and finally, they started the game around 8.30pm.

Derek struck out the first time up, but then smacked a single to right field in the bottom of the third, and the crowd (which was standing up for all of his at-bats to start with) just cheered and cheered. The whole Yankees team came out of the dugout to hug him, and he tipped his cap to the crowd twice.

Shame that we lost the game, and that it just kept raining and raining. Tesse and I left in the sixth inning, when the rain started to get heavier. And when I got back down to Dad's, the game was in another rain delay. By the time it finally finished, it was close to 2am. Ugh.

Today was lunch and shopping with Missy - one more week til the wedding! And I wrote down all of the times and places for next weekend (mani/pedi, rehearsal dinner, hair, actual wedding) so I know where I need to be. Can't wait.

9/11/09
For the eighth straight year, I have successfully avoided the 9/11 coverage on TV. Of course, we will probably get socked with Ronan Tynan singing the 20 minute rendition of God Bless America at the game tonight.

If there IS a game, that is - since, as you can probably tell, it's RAINING.

9/10/09
I'm so glad it's payday, because I spent an obscene amount of money (that is, I paid full price) for a ticket to see Jude Law in Hamlet for next month. I am mildly obsessed with the play, and it's JUDE LAW. Jen and I saw him in Dr. Faustus in London many years ago, and I can't wait for October to get here. First Hamlet, then Las Vegas. And playoff baseball. We're going to be in Vegas for most of the Division Series games - and I'm trying to figure out if I have enough sick hours to take off a sick day on the 7th, because that's the day that four playoff games are on, and I kind of want to sit on the couch all day and watch them all, one after the other.

And ooh, my bad - it's not a three-day weekend. I'm working 11-7 on Sun, Mon and Tues (in exchange for the Mon and Tues 3-11 shifts off, so I can get some overtime), so technically it's a two-and-a-half day weekend.

Former Yanks catcher John Flaherty is appearing at my Home Depot (in Hazlet) on Sunday - signing special Home Depot balls. There's some tie-in with HD selling the official Yankee Stadium grass seed (that stuff works, I can tell you from experience - my patch of grass seeded lawn is already covered in weeds!), so maybe I'll go check that out on Sunday.

9/9/09
I survived the double shift, and I survived today. One more day til a three-day weekend.

I'm so glad it was Derek Jeter who tied Lou Gehrig's all time hits by a Yankee record. I can't think of a classier guy. And I'm hoping he gets a hit on Friday when I'm at the game, to see him break the record.

The good part of being sick - I can't inhale deeply enough to smoke. I haven't had a cigarette since Saturday afternoon. I did try yesterday, but couldn't do it. So, this is good.

9/8/09
Or maybe Jeter is holding out til Friday, when I can see him break the record in person, since he went 0-8 in the doublheader.

Why, oh why, did I agree to work a double today?

9/7/09
I was planning to meet my friend Alan for the Yankees game tonight (make up from a rainout, no surprise there). But I'm still coughing, and his cat is really sick, so we're going to pass, and exchange the tix for a game next season. Will watch Jeter break the all-time "hits by a Yankee" record on TV, since I'm sure it'll happen during one of the games today.

later on 9/6/09
I swear, the generic Walgreen's brand Cold and Sinus daytime formula has dried up all the phlegm in my body. I can't blow my nose to save my life. Yesterday I couldn't stop blowing it. The mighty phlegm river, it is dried up. The nighttime formula has apparently fried my remaining brain cells, since it took four tries to type this without making mistakes.

Sleepy time.

9/6/09
Yup, miserable and phlegmy. I worked the evening shfit yesterday, but called out for the night shift. I was blowing my nose and washing my hands and coughing up a lung and washing my hands all night. Today I'm not feeling any better. I thought if I got enough sleep I could make it through work today, but I didn't sleep good at all. I even went down and tried to sleep on the living room floor, where there was more of a fresh-air breeze and I thought the hard floor would make my back feel better - it didn't. So then today, when I called out, the HR manager was there and her first words were, "You'll lose your holiday pay!" (since tomorrow is the holiday), and I said, "I really don't care about the holiday, I feel miserable and I'm not going to get the patients sick."

Bought Vicks Vapo Rub (I love this stuff) and a new humidifier - Mom and I were scouring the attic at 3am looking for the old one. This one gets Vicks oil put in it and the whole place smells like menthol, camphor and eucalpytus. Could be worse.

In non-sick news, congrats to my long-time sister Kati on her wedding today, up in New Hampshire. I wish I could have been there somehow.

9/4/09
I think I am getting my annual upper respiratory thing a little early this year, as I'm sneezing and productively coughing up a lot of crap. Going to use up my leftover Levaquin and knock this thing out. I'm sure I picked it up at work (no? really?), what with all the buggy patients we have.

Here's the Levaquin interaction I worry about: "The fluoroquinolones have also been shown to interfere with the metabolism of caffeine. The interference with the metabolism of caffeine may lead to the reduced clearance of caffeine and a prolongation of its serum half-life, resulting in a caffeine overdose." Better watch the Diet Coke consumption this week.

However, the coughing and sneezing did not keep me away from the Jersey Gardens outlet mall today - I went up to find comfy walking shoes, and came home with some Fall tops, a cute blazer, flip-flops that aren't made out of plastic, a new maroon raincoat (so I can get rid of my "Nederlander Green" one, much as I love it) and oh yes, the comfy shoes from Sketchers.

Best part of tonight's brutal loss to the Blue Jays? Cervelli catching the eighth inning. And they showed a commercial that said John Flaherty (former catcher, currrent announcer for YES) will be signing autographs at the Home Depot in Hazlet next weekend. I might have to go!

later on 9/2/09
Didn't make it to Jersey Gardens, did make it to Menlo Park Mall instead. I didn't find Sketchers, but I found a new wallet and new pocketbook, socks, books (there's a new Clive Cussler book out, called Spartan Gold - it looks like the start of a new series), birthday cards for all the birthdays I forgot and the upcoming ones, and some holiday gifts.

9/2/09
I signed up for a bunch of 11-7 overtime shifts for this month, so I'll have spending money for Vegas.

Avis did indeed refund the $150 "fuel surcharge" to my Visa account.

Off to the mall to pick up birthday gifts and look for comfy walking shoes. There's a Sketchers outlet up by Ikea, so I'm headed that way.

Jorge can't count. Bring on Cervelli, please. I'm surprised that the home plate umpire helped Jorge remember the count at all, since it was notorious Yankee-hater Angel Hernandez. I'm glad the Yanks are on this winning tear, but so are the Red Sox. It looks like post-season time for both teams, if things keep on going this way. It'd be great to kick their ass in the ALCS again (but it would be even sweeter for Boston to get eliminated in the first round, so we don't have to see them at all).

9/1/09
It actually feels like fall. I think we only had 4 or 5 days this summer where I used my air conditioner. The rest was either rainy or cold. Today is cold. For summer.

Aaron Boone is back! And so is Francisco Cervelli! Too exciting. I hope he gets some playing time soon.

-catherine

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