Sunday, September 30, 2007

Keep Me Posted

We're about to head out to the baseball game.  No - not THAT game, the Yankees game in Baltimore.

My son is a huge Yankees fan and at the beginning of the season, thinking the last game might be big for the Yanks, I got us seats in the Club Level at Oriole park for the season finale.

As it turns out, the game will be meaningless as the Yanks have already clinched a wildcard berth and the O's were terrible again this year.

The game here in Philly though will be one for the ages, as the Phils battle the Nationals to scratch their way into the playoffs for the first time since 1993. 

I'll be watching the scoreboard and wearing my Phils shirt.  Keep me posted on all the news from South Philly and Flushing

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Here's a new one for this week:

What are the four most unlikely things you have done?

  1. Sent a text that said "First Place NL East!"

  2. Gone on a date with Junior Miss Pennsylvania

  3. Gone on a cruise - (I am a non-swimmer)

  4. Work at an art school

Have a great weekend rooting for the Phils!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Good Day

It's a DAMN good day.

A major project wrapped up at work.

The boss taking me and the staff out for thank you drinks.

A night at The Bank watching the Phightins' scratching and clawing their way tot he top of the NL East.

I'll be down there... drop me a line if you will be too.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Out and About In Philly

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, but it's been a rather crushing week or so at the job.  While the project isn't complete yet by any means, the finish line is on the horizon and I can at least THINK about other things.

On the positive side, I have had a couple of very good meals this week since I have been too tired to cook.    On Monday, the GF whipped up a great Italian sausage sandwich made with turkey sausage.  Very good!  Tuesday was 12th Street Cantina pizza at work - actually very good stuff!

I was a big fan of the meal Thursday night at Alma de Cuba.  Lobster and Crab ceviche was tasty and there was a good-sized portion, not something you can always say about a Stephen Starr appetizer.  While I think it wasn't a true ceviche, it WAS finished in a very nice citrus sauce.  The sugarcane tuna entree was very good, excellent rare tuna with a coffee and sugar searing that was
a nice change to the usual tuna preparations.  Their caipirinha  was more sour than I usually have, but still very good.

Friday, we tried the newish Mexican Post outlet at 1601 Cherry.  I love the hot, cramped, noisy 2nd Street location.  But they should have stopped there.   While it was a Friday, you should still be able to get decent service and good food.  You can't.  The 2 high-end margaritas I had differed widely.  We were largely ignored in our corner of the dining area and the food was not up to the Post standards.  Skip it unless you're looking for a happy hour crowd.

The King Tut exhibit at The Franklin Institute afterwards was very interesting and had some wonderful and exquisitely detailed work, but lacked a "WOW!" centerpiece.  It's amazing how well-preserved the 3200 year old relics are, but the splendor associated with the words "King Tut" was absent.

Last night, the GF and I met the parents in the city for a visit to Sotto Varalli.  I've eaten here a good bit and the one thing I will say is that these guy know how to make risotto.   I started with six Malpeque oysters on the halfshell that were good-sized and salty. I had the seafood risotto as an entree, filled with excellent littleneck clams, some middling mussels, shrimp, half a lobster tail and a huge hunk of crab.  A+!!!  The GF's chicken risotto was also well-received.  My parents raved about the Maine-inspired corn and crab chowder and the colossal crab appetizer.  I had mango mousse for dessert, the ladies had bread pudding and my dad had creme brulee.  All the desserts were tasty, but basically average.  The house chianti was terrible at best, but the pinot noir was smooth and easy to drink with the seafood.  Service by both our new server and the experienced Eddie was top-notch.

We finished the night at my usual haunt, where Laurentiu was making a surprise appearance behind th
e busy Valanni bar.  I celebrated my recent decision to remain at UArts with a healthy pour of Lagavulin 16 year old, which I had last with my brother to celebrate his promotion last year.  It's still damn good stuff.   The GF had a Laurentiu creation that tasted spot on like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Today I am going to join the Great American House Hunt, looking around the area for new digs.  Also planning to try to catch some of the Phils and Eagles games.  Enjoy the day!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Continuing on our book theme, here is today’s list: 

What author would you most like to see have a new book out?

  1. Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)

  2. John Sandford (Prey books)

  3. Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Have a great weekend and GO PHILS!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First Tooth Gone!

  First Tooth Gone! 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

John lost his first tooth this week and is very happy to show everyone the gap in the front where it used to be.  When it got wiggly, he very bravely grabbed it with a napkin and yanked it out!!  The Tooth Fairy came that night and exchanged the tooth for two dollars.

The permanent tooth is already coming in, but I am pretty sure that the other front tooth will be gone soon as well.

Starting second grade and losing his first tooth has made this a very exciting week for John!

What does the Tooth Fairy DO with all those teeth?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Today's list is in honor of the beginning of school:

What were your four favorite books as a child?

The Great Brain - John D. Fitzgerald
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Dinosaur picture book - Don't know the exact title, but it had great information and illustrations!
Pat the Bunny - Dorothy Kunhardt

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back To School Night

542728990_3421fa6b1b_m I spent last night I engaged in that time honored tradition that marks the beginning of fall:  Back to School Night.  John was excited that I was going to school to meet Miss Lacey.  I was very happy to see examples of his early work and meet some of the other parents.

As the 18 0f us settled into the impossibly little chairs and listened raptly to Miss Lacey's discussion of all that would go on this year, I was struck by how old John has gotten so fast.  Its seems like just yesterday I was spooning squash into him and waking up every two hours each night to feed and soothe him.  Now he's a big second grader with 40 minutes of homework each night!

I don't think that I had 40 minutes of homework a night until I was at least in 4th grade.  The specificity with which the spelling lists need to be completed reminds me of Sister Margaret Leonore's ruler-straight strictures.  It takes a lot of discipline to be a kid these days, and I am proud of John that he is handling it all so well.

As for Emma, she has a couple more years of playing with her friends and less-structured learning before entering elementary school, but even she has some elements of rigor creeping into her days.

Here's to a good year for all the kids and teachers!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Ago

I was at a small conference in Rindge, NH when I got the news. It was about 9:10 in the morning and details were still pretty sketchy. My assistant had called me on my cell phone while I was out for a walk enjoying the late summer New Hampshire stillness. She asked if I had heard the news that a plane had hit the  World Trade Center in New York. I hadn’t, but was pretty sure it was just an accident, a Corey Lidle-esque moment of bad flying.


I wandered back to the meeting that I was already late for and folks were milling about, talking on cell phones and wondering what was up. The atmosphere was unconcerned. Some of the folks got the meeting started, but I wanted to see if I could find a TV. We were staying in an older summer resort, and the only large (19”) TV around was in the lobby. 

By the time I got to the lobby, Flight 175 had hit the second World Trade tower and the mood was much more somber. A dozen or so of us watched the coverage as Katie Couric and Matt Lauer anchored the coverage and bits of video came in showing the chaos in Lower Manhattan. Tom Brokaw joined the broadcast. There wasn’t a whole lot of analysis going on, but the emotion was clear.

When they started to get reports of explosions in DC, even before knowing about the Pentagon, I decided it was just about time to start thinking about driving home. It was unclear if the airports were open, if the highways were Ok to travel, or if we should just stay put where we were. 

I don’t sit still well, but I was mesmerized by the coverage. Fires at the Pentagon, billowing smoke in
Manhattan, confusion on the air. When Katie Couric was unable to determine what was happening as the first WTC tower fell, and I knew that history in America had changed; I went upstairs and packed my bag. I was on the road for the 6 plus hour trip when news that Flight 93 had gone down came sketchily out of western Pennsylvania. I was driving when news came that President Bush was in Louisiana, his leadership team in a DC bunker. I was almost home when word came that he would address the nation that night.

I listened primarily to NPR affiliates, Robert Siegel, Melissa Block and Noah Adams among others. I would switch up now and then for local traffic. I kept trying to talk to my wife and parents, but cell phones were jammed and I was only able to get through a basic message that I was OK and headed home. From what I could tell, everyone else who I knew was ok too. I stopped for lunch at a bar somewhere in Connecticut, watched some more coverage on TV  and decided that I would take a wide loop around New York City,  way out to the Thruway and then down into New Jersey on 287.

I knew that meant I would not see the smoke, but I didn’t really feel the need. I don’t want it to see like I am reading too much into this, but as I had driven north for the conference a few days before I had taken special note of the New York City skyline and the Twin Towers in particular. I had called home to tell John, then 15 months old, that I was looking at New York. He wasn’t particularly impressed.

Driving back, I didn’t feel like I needed to see what it was like. I also just wanted to be home and hold my son and feel safe.

In re-reading everything that happened that day, I am amazed at all the things that went wrong. I am amazed at how unready we were. It is truly unreal how little we still know as a nation about all that went on behind the scenes. If this was Bush’s finest hour it’s only in the perspective of some of the truly horrible moments he has had since then. 

I’ve never written about the horrific events of 9/11/01. I didn’t think I had much to add. And I probably don’t, but I have this to say I and I hope others hear it:

Monuments and memorials are not the way to honor those who died that day. The heroes and the innocents of 9/11 and all of those who have died in the “War on Terror” since then deserve more. Much more. They deserve our honest interpretation of and staunch defense of the Constitution. They deserve a nation ready for any threat, mobilized to protect our freedoms and defend our nation. They also deserve to know that their government will work to protect every American, while also safeguarding our freedoms.

And we need to remember. They deserve as much.

Six Years Ago

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some Simple Things Are Still Perfect

  BLT - Food of the Gods! 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is a perfect thing.  In all its incarnations, it remains excellent.  I like mine with no mayo and plenty of pepper on the tomatoes.  Plenty of people slather them with different varieties of mayo or even baby greens instead of true lettuce. 

The photo is from this weekend's BLT event following the Eagles game.  Fresh Jersey tomatoes from the Flying Feather Farm in Moorestown, turkey bacon (cholesterol is getting high), and California romaine lettuce.  Plenty of McCormick Peppercorn Blend freshly ground pepper and a tiny bit of salt on toast.

I had two ... with a Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale.  What a combination!!!

It almost made me able to relax after the Birds muffed the game.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

On Jealousy

Some things we know about ourselves and they aren't too pretty.  One thing I know about me is that I have a tendency toward jealousy.

I am jealous of the folks who have big shore houses.  I envy those who have traveled Europe.  I wish to be one of those folks with the custom kitchen and Subzero fridge.  I sigh when the Porsche Cayenne idles throatily next to my Honda CRV.

I have plenty and am quite lucky I know.  I get tot he beach a week a year.  I have traveled the US extensively.   My kitchen .. well my kitchen needs work!  And who wouldn't want a Porsche?

But today I am positively GREEN with envy.

Matt is in Green Bay for the Eagles season opener  against the Packers.  He is joined by my uncle Bill, cousins Pat and Dan and Pat's fiancee Audrey.  They are among the luckiest folks I know today.  To be at the center of all that is holy in football and be able to root the Eagles on in weather that isn't frigid.   MMMMMM. Jealousy and envy just don't quite cover the feeling.

Go Birds!!!! 31-21 over the Pack at Lambeau.  I am sure Matt will have pictures!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Eagles Predictions

Welcome visitors from!

For those of you who care, here is my comprehensive analysis of the Eagles 2007 Schedule:

Sun.9@ Packers - LOSS 0-11:00 PM
Mon.17REDSKINS - WIN 1-18:30 PM
Sun.23LIONS - Win 2-11:00 PM
Sun.30@ Giants- LOSS 2-28:15 PM
Sun.14@ Jets LOSS 2-31:00 PM
Sun.21BEARS LOSS 2-44:15 PM
Sun.28@ Vikings WIN 3-41:00 PM
Sun.4COWBOYS WIN 4-48:15 PM
Sun.11@ Redskins WIN 5-41:00 PM
Sun.18DOLPHINS WIN 6-41:00 PM
Sun.25@ Patriots WIN 7-48:15 PM
Sun.9GIANTS WIN 8-51:00 PM
Sun.16@ Cowboys WIN 9-54:15 PM
Sun.23@ Saints LOSS 9-61:00 PM
Sun.30BILLS 10-61:00 PM

Yep.  That's right.  I have them at 10-6 with an opening loss to the Packers (the game they have no business losing that they always lose) and a win AT New England (the annual inexplicable victory).  I think it takes a while for the defense to come together, but when it does, this team has enough offense to go all the way to Phoenix. 

And then lose.

Enjoy the season!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

To celebrate the beginning of the football season, we have a sport-related list today. 

What are your four favorite sports events? 

For example – in 1983 when I hit a home run off Suzy Sample to win the Kidde Kup World Series or the 2003 Daytona 500 or whatever.

  1. Taking the kids and GF to Yankee Stadium in 2006.  Yanks lost, but John was enthralled

  2. Game 5, 1993 World Series - Schilling beats the Blow Jays 2-0.  Bryen O'Boyle and I sit in the 700 Level and drink lots of beer, later falling asleep in the parking lot.

  3. 1997 1998 Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Baskeball Championship - Cabrini beats Allentown Alvernia to cut the nets down in the last game ever at Sacred Heart Hall.

  4. 1985 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship - Villanova plays the perfect game and downs the vaunted Hoyas 66-64 on April Fool's Day.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I was about halfway through writing a diatribe about the Phillies shitting the bed yesterday afternoon and how happy I am that football season is starting tonight before I noticed my brother's post over at

He said it all and better than me, so I will shut up now.

Except to say that I'm taking my fantasy QB Drew Brees and the Saints to win outright tonight over the Colts. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandpop!

  Grandpop and Me 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

My grandfather, Stanley 'Kris' Pesotski, would have been 86 today.  As a child, I spent as much time as I could at his house (now Matt's), gardening, exploring the upstairs, listening to baseball on the radio and generally enjoying the whole experience.  I was as close to him as I was to anybody I guess.

He could be a difficult person and he drank more than he should, but he generally took his anger out on others, saving the best parts of himself for his first grandchild.  Though in physical pain most of his life, he worked his tiny plot of yard into the most amazing vegetable gardens I have ever seen, growing everything from grapes and peaches to horseradish and zucchini.  And tomatoes.  Mountains of tomatoes, eaten raw like apples, sliced with salt or sugar, cooked into paste or juice, or sold in a stand on the front yard.

Even after I went away to college (the picture at right is the only time he was on campus) we still stayed in touch.  Every now and then he would call.  I would stop by whenever I went home.  We talked often about the Phillies.  He got sick when I worked at Widener and I would take long lunches to visit him at the hospital or his house.  I knew my friend would be going soon and I wanted to spend as much time as I could.

He's been dead for over 12 years now and I still find myself picking up the phone to call him now and then.  I don't know what to make of that.   I want to tell him how much my son John loves baseball and what a sweet, funny thing Emma said last night.  I want to believe that he knows, that he has somehow seen, but I don't know for sure.  I just hope so.

Happy Birthday Gramps!  I miss you very much.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School

Emma returns to her little school today and John starts second grade tomorrow.  Emma will miss seeing her friend Miss TImg002erri each day, but has agreed to be 'a good girl' and see how things go.  john is rather grudging in his acceptance that summer is ending and the school year beginning.  He has opined that school should start after baseball season ends and should end in April when it begins again.

I always had mixed emotions about returning to school in September.  I always looked forward to seeing my friends again, but I disliked the uniforms at St. John's in Wallingford after the freedom of Walden.  I did not do well with the long periods of sitting quietly and paying attention.  John seems the same way, saying that recess and gym are the parts of school that he likes.   Emma has not had to conform much so far in her early schooling, but certainly likes to do her own thing.

Here's to all the little ones who head back to school this week and to all those who teach them .  I know it's a big job and one of the most important around.  Let's hope the summer vacation has everyone all charged up for the new year!

The photo is from John's first day at school, two years ago this week.  Emma was not happy he was getting all the attention!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Dreaming of a Pennant

  Dreaming of a Pennant 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

Last night, as I was headed to bed after Dan's and Mary Ann's party and catching up on the first Saturday of college football, I stuck my head into John's room before turning in.  The sight of him peacefully asleep, prized Phils cap still on his head, made me hope all the harder that the Phightin's can put last night behind them knock off the Marlins this afternoon.

It's been an up and down ride, but I sure hope that my baseball boy get a chance to see some playoff action at CBP this fall.