Easter Memories

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 16)

Easter is an interesting holiday around our house.

Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, it is not a holiday that gets equal time between our two families...more on that in a minute.

But as I was thinking about how we'd spend this Easter Sunday, I started thinking about how we've spent past Easter Sundays.

And in our time together, Kathy and I have had some notable experiences on Easter.

First of all, here's why the holiday is not equally split: when I was growing up, New York City spring breaks always coincided with Easter. Since I've lived in Massachusetts (and for most of that time abided by the school vacation schedule) spring break always coincides with Patriot's Day.

And this year is one of the few years that Easter falls on a Sunday where Monday is Patriot's Day.

When that happens, we'll often get down to New York and spend Easter with my family. But in the time that we've had children, it's only been a few times that we've had a New York Easter.

One of those stands out - Easter 2009, which I told you about recently. This was not a Patriot's Day Easter - it was Citi Field Opening Day. Since I was taking that Monday off anyway Kathy and I came down for Easter the day before with our then two children. (I also watched BU win the NCAA hockey championship all alone in New York without realizing that two of my closest college friends were in the city that night and we could have watched the exciting championship game - BU tied it in the closing seconds and won in overtime - together.)

Easter 2006 was pretty memorable too - we flew out to the west coast and visited a friend in San Francisco, then drove down the coast to stop in Los Angeles and San Diego before flying back on Sunday, when I returned to school on Monday. (And vowed never again to take a vacation that filled every day of spring break...I had no down time to recoup over the break and felt a little burned out in my first full year teaching.) Easter fell on the first Sunday of that trip and we went to an Oakland A's game on Easter Sunday that year...and Kathy did all that touring while a few months pregnant with our first-born.

This year we didn't go down to New York because I had these two shows this weekend and I knew about them pretty early on so we just planned on having Easter here.  Which is our usual routine.

The nicest thing about our Easter routine is that it's a quiet day for us. We'll usually do brunch with Kathy's family in the morning, and then we have the rest of the day to ourselves. We don't do a whole lot - other than watch baseball. It's pretty nice.

And the way it falls this year, it's even nicer. Because we'll have a whole week to relax together afterwards.


*Tough week balancing the writing and trying to get out to enjoy the nice weather. Went for a few long walks and ran outside a bit. Justified it as brainstorming exercise to get the creative juices flowing. Kind of weird, too - I have a deadline on Monday, which is hard to wrap my head around since everyone around me isn't working or going to school. I have another deadline later in the week, so I'm going to try to get both of those done by the end of the day today so I can enjoy Marathon Monday. (Something tells me the 'Easter I spent writing articles to beat a deadline' won't make it into the memory banks of memorable Easters.)


*Was part of a fun show on Thursday night at Sweet Caroline's, which may or may not be changing its name soon, over near Fenway Park. They have a great show there every Friday and Saturday and now that the Red Sox are playing every so often the show will move to Thursdays. I'm looking forward to getting back there - they always have a good lineup and it's a good time.

*Friday and Saturday I opened for Steve Sweeney's one-man show in Framingham. This was cool on a bunch of levels - it was good to get a chance to see him work, and I had a chance to perform in front of a lot of people I knew. (And a lot of other locals who I don't know yet. At the Friday night show Kathy sat near two people who were coincidentally sitting next to one another who didn't know each other and who, it turns out, counting us, all live within about 10 houses from one another.) If you came out to one of the shows, thanks for the support, and I hope you enjoyed it. It was neat to see Sweeney work two nights in a row on this show and note the differences between the two performances and see the progression of the show. It was a really neat learning experience.

*This week I'm at Limelight in Boston (in the theater district, if you're in the area) on Wednesday, and then on Saturday I'm doing a show up in Gardiner, Maine. 

What I've Been Enjoying

*I wrote about 'The Americans' as one of my 'New Things In 2013'. It's a New Thing that has stuck - I still really enjoy the show. (I watch maybe 5 shows in regular rotation. A couple of sitcoms that Kathy and I watch together - 'New Girl' and 'Modern Family' - a couple I watch on my own - 'Bob's Burgers' and 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', and then a couple of hour-long dramas like 'The Americans' and 'Turn'.) If you don't know, 'The Americans' takes place in the 1980s and it's about a couple living in Washington, D.C. that is actually a pair of Russian spies. That's the very short version. It's a tense show and it keeps getting better. My only problem with it is I can't watch it when it airs because if I do it keeps me up and I have nightmares. (For example, one time I dreamt Kathy murdered someone and then asked me to help her cover it up. It was very upsetting.) So I watch it on the DVR, usually during the day. Among my favorite things about the show: sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of my old neighborhood in New York - although the show takes place in D.C. I guess they do their filming in New York - one big key scene was shot in Astoria Park. (Like I told you a couple of weeks ago - a lot is shot there.) This season is almost over...and then there's just one season left. I suspect this isn't an original thought anymore (maybe it was when I first thought of it but by now other fans of the show must have thought the same thing), but in light of recent real-life developments I've wondered if the writers will change the way they end the show...I imagine something along the lines of the main family in the show, older and maybe relocated but still at the spying job, watching the results of the 2016 presidential election, being satisfied and then going back to work or something. Anyway, if you're looking for a tense, complex drama, I recommend the show. I just wouldn't watch it before bed.


*This is very exciting - we'll be going to New York towards the end of this week to see Sara Bareilles in 'Waitress'! That's probably what I'll be writing about next week, so I won't say much about it here.

*In case you missed it on the Facebook page earlier this week - Easter 2006 was also when I took maybe the greatest picture I've ever taken. It was Huston Street Bobblehead Day at the Oakland Coliseum, and in the 9th inning I took the following picture, with a kid down near the field holding up his Huston Street bobblehead as Street turns to watch the game-winning home run leave the yard as he blows the save on his bobblehead day. I love it. 

*Fun fact: the Braves opened their new ballpark on Friday, and the opponent was the Padres. When the Mets opened Citi Field (the day after Easter 2009, as mentioned above!), the opponent was the Padres. Obviously, when the Padres opened Petco Park (Petco - Where the Mets Go [that's an old line of mine from my sports blogging days that I'm proud of and will use whenever I can]) obviously the Padres played in that game. So they've opened at least 3 new ballparks. I am not going to look up every ballpark opening, but I bet that's among the leaders in terms of teams playing the first game at a new ballpark.

*Forgot to give you this update: Earlier this month I told you about the vote on whether or not Framingham would become a city - in a very tight vote the new charter passed so I think, effective January 1st, Framingham will become a city. Pretty exciting. But clearly it's so exciting and in the front of my mind that I forgot to write about it last week.

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*Happy Easter, if that's your thing. Or Patriot's Day, if you're in this neck of the woods. Or just hope you're enjoying the spring-like weather that's been a long time coming.