Taking a Half Day Off

Since I’ve been home, I treat Monday through Friday like a work week. I’m at the desk in the morning through dinnertime with a break for lunch. I occasionally extend lunch to run errands, like I would were I still in the city. As I’ve written here recently, I now use the weekend as real, honest-to-goodness down time.

So yesterday was a treat.

I knocked off work a little after three and drove to Long Island. Accompanying me was Robbie along with Susan and Marina Olson, friends from further upstate. We were headed for the home of the Long Island Ducks, the baseball team in the same league as my local Bridgeport Bluefish. The reason for this was we had all been invited to attend as guests at Ariel David’s Sweet 16.

Ariel and her family enjoy going to these games for much the same reason I like the Bluefish. They’re convenient, they’re affordable and it’s fun seeing familiar major leaguers now in another phase of their playing careers. The Ducks boasts some very familiar former Mets such as Edgardo Alfonzo, Bill Pulsipher and even Danny Graves. Carl Everett is on this roster as is Jamie Pogue and a bunch of others. One of the most popular players is P.J. Rose, son of Pete.

The Ducks were playing the Newark Bears for a best of three series, the winner advancing to the next round of playoffs. The previous night, the Bears had won so this was a must-win game for the team.

Peter and Kathleen had secured a luxury suite for the party so we had a living room available to us, plenty of finely catered food and then, just passed the sliding glass doors, fifteen seats along the third base line. Most of the adults watched the game, pausing between innings to hit the room for food and to check the Mets game playing on the television (talk about must-win games).

The kids played around, jabbering away despite many meeting for the first time. They left us to go try the Speed Pitch and returned informing us, with great glee, that Jessie, the sixth grader, pitched better than Robbie. When Robbie and Kyle began quoting Monty Python routines from memory we knew we lost them for the night (although Peter did offer corrections from his seat). However, despite the fun, all claimed to have actually watched the game in bits and pieces.

The Ducks lost 302, bringing their season to a disappointing close.

But, given the fine weather, great food and terrific company, none of us seemed to mind all that much. Ariel certainly seemed to enjoy her Sweet 16 and after all, that was what counted the most.