January 25, 2008: Just Another Manic Friday

I knew that today was going to be a crazy day. They told me yesterday that I had an abnormally large number of deployments scheduled for this evening. So I wasn’t exactly excited rolling out of bed this morning. Not that I don’t like deployments – it’s just that I don’t like them when there are so many that you have to start jumping from one to another which makes you likely to get confused and to make a mistake. It isn’t like they get spaced out evenly throughout the day. They hit all at once around five thirty.

I go in late on Fridays because I always have to stay late and normally no one needs me in the morning. But my BlackBerry was dead today so I decided to log in and check out my mail before heading in just to be on the safe side. I ended up working for two hours before heading out to catch the train.

Josh didn’t leave the apartment until eleven or so so that gave us a chance to hang out while I did some work. It was before ten when I left and he just dropped off my keys with the front desk. It was a short visit but more than most anyone else does. So far, other than our parents and siblings, only Josh and the Ralstons has come down from back home to visit us here. We have been here for two years now!

I grabbed breakfast from Airlie and got onto the PATH. I learned today that the PATH system is actually older than the New York City Subway and is the oldest underground train system in the New York City Metro area. Josh was planning to hit Food for Life for breakfast before heading off to Jersey City to work.

Work was quite busy. I was going crazy all day and was stuck working until rather late. But nothing that I wasn’t expecting so it was okay.

Before leaving the office, Kevin called to see if Dominica and I wanted to do dinner in Jersey City. He and Pam had run into Dominica on her way home so they had already talked to her. It was about twenty minutes before I got to leave the office so we planned to meet at the Newport/Pavona PATH station in Jersey City. That trip is really easy as it is a direct connection from World Trade Center where I get onto the train.

We all had dinner at Raaz, an Indian restaurant right across the street from the train station. Jersey City is so easy to deal with via the PATH. The PATH is almost a dedicated subway system for Jersey City and Hoboken with commuter connections to Newark and Manhattan.

Dinner was really good. Having lived in Newark for so long (Newark isn’t really a part of New Jersey) we have forgotten about the “New Jersey restaurant bill” problem where every restaurant in the state is happy to bring you food but then never brings you the bill and just forgets that you are there. Since we moved to New Jersey it has been completely consistent that no restaurant will ever bring you a bill no matter how much you try to get one. They just refuse to let you leave and yet they completely stop serving you so they don’t make any more money. In fact, it lowers their tips. And worse than that, in cases like tonight, the restaurant was completely full without any seats available and people were turning around at the door and deciding not to eat there even though there were multiple tables waiting half an hour or more to pay and leave after they were done and bored. It is one of the most bizarre business traditions I have ever seen. In New York the bill comes with dinner and if you want coffee and dessert they take the bill back and add that to it. They never take a risk of you taking up valuable real estate if you don’t want to. They don’t kick you out but they sure don’t do anything to make you stay against your will – and I appreciate that.

After dinner we came home and took care of Oreo. Then it was off to bed. I have a lot of work to do this weekend so I am going to be quite busy. No D&D tomorrow, unfortunately.

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