Thursday, August 23, 2007

Son Trek

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, with a side order of windshield wiper
(For the record, our camera apparently works when it wants to.)

Cellular dinosaur
So off we went in our rented battle tank--the biggest SUV we could find--to take the Son-ster's stuff to school. Unfortunately, Avis has not yet equipped all its rental vehicles with E-ZPass. By the time we got through the cash-only toll lane, the Son-ster was about two miles ahead of us--and we were supposed to be the lead car. So, for lack of an alternative, said son and I each turned our cell phones to "speaker" mode and used them as walkie-talkies, with me relaying father's travel instructions to son and son's questions to father. After about an hour of this, the Son-ster mentioned that the power on his cell phone was running low. I hadn't even thought to check, and, alarmed to see that I was down to one bar on the power indicator, I insisted on turning my phone off, with the Son-ster to call when he needed info. His father's phone was saved as our emergency back-up.

When we finally regrouped at a restaurant, the Son-ster managed to find an outlet, and recharged his phone. He chided us for having packed our chargers in our suitcase, rather than leaving them available for use en route. When I told him that it had never occurred to me that I might need to recharge my phone en route because I'd never made a one-hour cell-phone call before, he looked at me as if I had four heads. "Why not?" I patiently explained that, since I have a land-line phone at home, I make all of my long calls from home. The way my son kept looking at me, I felt like the last person on the planet who still makes most personal calls from home using a phone that's plugged into the wall.

Keep on truckin'

Truckers' heaven in the hazy hills

Did I happen to mention that the route to the Son-ster's graduate school also happens to be a major truck route? I can't remember the last time I saw so many trucks in one place at one time.

Welcome to "River City"

I suppose we shouldn't complain about the fact that the streets here are constantly changing names. After all, who told Eighth Avenue to turn into Central Park West after hitting 59th Street? But still . . .

And the hills! What is this place, the San Francisco of the East?

The shopping is insane. There's a shopping area (really a series of shopping centers, malls, and independent stores) clear across town and over a bridge and through a tunnel--this town gives the old term "bridge and tunnel crowd" ("outer-borough and suburban residents" in New York City slang) a whole new meaning--that's set on almost as many hills as Rome. To go from store to store often requires hopping back into the car and trying to figure out on which hill a certain store is located, which can be tricky when you can't see past one hill to figure out which stores are on another!

Many bills later . . .
The Son-ster's unfurnished apartment is now mostly furnished (
thanks largely to Ikea), though we couldn't stick around long enough for Daddy-o to help him finish assembling everything. Yours truly, being manually challenged, was assigned to clean and line the kitchen cabinets and drawers and wash the newly-purchased dishes, tableware, and pots and pans (none of the Son-ster's RIT versions having survived long enough), not to mention the bathroom fixtures.

A fond farewell, and thanks, to Wegman's Supermarket, for keeping our son fed for the past five years. Hello, Great Eagle! We're counting on you to do the same for the next five years.

Mazal tov!

Sunday, April 6, 2008 update: In the interest of preserving what little is left of our son's and my anonymity, I have deleted this photo from this post, so that it is not visible to anyone walking past my computer, and have uploaded it to Flickr. See The Family Grad Student here.

The Son-ster is off to orientation. Mission accomplished!

Speaking of missions accomplished, the Son-ster pulled off a last-minute squeaker--in his very last semester as an RIT undergraduate, he managed to rack up enough credits
(confirmed after graduation) to earn a second minor in math, in addition to his major in physics and his minor in Japanese. The proud parents claim kvelling privileges. :)

Homeward bound
Back on the highway again, I plunk some CDs into the player, since I'm fed up with listening to the radio. First, there's "U'Shmuel B'Korei Sh'mo" (the album produced by
MOChassid), then the Nochi Krohn Band's "Ananim," along with Shlock Rock leader Lenny Solomon's "T'nu Lanu Siman." (Boy, am I sorry I didn't think to bring Aron Razel's Live in Jerusalem along for the ride--what great music for driving!) The Punster attempts to sing along, but he doesn't know this music well enough yet. After something like three hours on the road, I finally stumble upon the knob that enables me to crank up the bass. Now I can put one of Mark's into the machine. (Really, what's the point in listening to a bass player's music when one can barely hear the bass?) The hubster is singing "Shoshanat Yaakov" at the top of his lungs and having a grand old time, or as much of a grand old time as one can have when one is stuck doing all the driving. Me? The medicine to cure my severe bronchitis--which is why I'm not helping with the driving--is aggravating my acid reflux. So whenever I cough, I end up with stomach acid in the mouth--and when I swallow that junk, some of it goes into my lungs. In no time flat, I'm having the worst asthma attacks I've ever had in my life.

And this was my vacation! Sigh.

Yes, I went to the doctor today, and I'm going for a chest x-ray tomorrow. (I'm now the proud possessor of not one, but two, inhalers, one for twice-a-day use for two weeks and one for acute asthma attacks.) The good news is that it isn't walking pneumonia after all. The bad news is that I've got enough junk in the lungs that it almost looks like walking pneumonia anyway. There goes most of my sick leave.

But at least the Son-ster is well settled. To quote Marcus Cole of Babylon 5, "my job here is done."


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>