Saturday, May 26, 2007

Samantha's Dance Recital

Today, was a LONG day! It was Samantha's dance recital. Now, some may think, "a recital, how can that be a long day?" Well let me tell you, we left at 11:50 am and got home tonight at 7:00 PM. It was a long day. Especially for a father that has difficulty sitting in a dance recital.

We left for New London before lunch this morning. Samantha had to be backstage at 12:45 and we had to drop Jay off at a sitter for the day. If I would have difficulty sitting through the recital, Jay would have been a nightmare! We arrived a right on time after securing a parking space at the New London Corps...just a block from the venue, the Garde Arts Center.

Elaine and I dropped Sammi off at the back door stage entrance then took a walk down to the River. I took my camera as I hoped to grab a few pictures of some boats and if I was really lucky, a submarine coming in or leaving Sub base New London. I have always enjoyed living near the water and SE Connecticut is great in that regard. Its history is rich in maritime tradition starting with whaling, ship building and now, submarine building and support. Here are a few pictures of the Thames River and the mouth of the river which dumps into the Long Island Sound.

After short time on the pier, we began the walk back to the recital. I must say, I wanted to see Samantha, but I was going to have a hard time sitting for 3 hours watching 250 other kids perform. We found our seats, the lights dimmed and the show started.

After about an hour into the first act, I found myself beginning to drift. The dancing was good. Some of the groups are awesome, but for me, it was very hard to sit for so long in this environment. I broke the rules, and pulled my cell phone out and started texting my sister. Before I knew it, I had a second wind and was raring to go. The first act was finally over, and Sammi would soon be up in the 2nd Act.

When I saw Sam come out, I was incredibly proud. She looked so grown up and she moved in sync with her group. She is in a jazz group and she does quite well. I was a proud father and after she went, I began comparing her to the other groups as if to say, "Sam can do that!"

The time went by...slowly for the most part, but I must say, next year, I won't look at this with as much trepidation as I did this year. It helped that some kids from the corps were in several other groups, so I was able to pick them out from time to time. I have attached some pictures of Sam prior to the dress rehersal as photos were prohibited at the actual show. There is also some taken of her at the monument across the street from our house..

It was a good time overall. I got to know the father of the kids from the corps better. He does not attend, but their mother does. He is a retired submariner and currently a cop, so I had a lot to talk to him about over dinner at the Olive Garden. Perhaps a friendship can be made and he will join his family at the corps.

It was a good day. As I type this my little girl sleeps after a long day. She certainly deserves it!

Friday, May 25, 2007


Its that time of year for us who call The Salvation Army home. No, we are not moving, but both pairs of parents are. I must say that we are very pleased at the distance that our families will be from us for the foreseable future. Mom and Dad Camuti are moving to Portland, Maine, and Mom and Dad Smith are moving to Oneonta, NY.

These last several years there have been between 430-610 miles from our families. The gap closed a bit when we moved to Connecticut, but it was still a good day in the car to visit both of them. Now we are looking at 190 miles for Mom and Dad Camuti and 230 miles for Mom and Dad Smith. Very manageable at 75 mph!

Mom and Dad Camuti will be the Secretary of Program, Women's Ministries Secretary and Divisional Secretary respectively for the Northern New England Division. It will be strange going to visit them in Portland as we know all of the tourist sites and good restaurants. We have even been in their "new" house a few times.

Mom and Dad Smith will be the corps officers for the Oneonta, NY corps. We are very happy they will be closer, and I look forward to visiting Cooperstown just up the road from them on many visits. Their last appointment was near Niagara Falls, so we would go there from time to time when we visited. Now baseball will be the theme. Elaine may not care for Cooperstown, but I can't wait!

These changes will be here before we know it. It seems I finally memorized addresses, phone numbers, cell phone numbers, now that will all change again!

Congratulations on your new appointments Moms and Dads!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Entertainment Rant

Okay, I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I haven't had too much to talk about. As I was browsing through some other blogs, I thought of my current rant...the entertainment industry.

I am a little irritated with the CBS Network right now. Last week, it was confirmed that my favorite new show, Jericho would not be picked up for a second season. Their excuse was that the ratings started strong, but struggled after the holiday hiatus. Anything will fail when it has to go head to head with American Idol auditions! I was angry, sad, you name it at CBS. The VP who made the press release went on to say that serial dramas are not popular with viewers and that CBS has the CSI in its varied forms to appeal to viewers.

I am also irritated at the cost for movies. Last weekend while my wife was away at Youth Councils, I took my kids to see Shrek the Third. We went to a matinee, and the tickets were $19.00 for the three of us...for a matinee! I then proceeded to the snack area for snacks. I am fine without snacks as I think they are overpriced into the stratosphere! I can't however convince a 7 and a 5 year old that they can go to a movie without a popcorn and soda. I got my kids each a kids snack pack which included an 8 oz soda, small bag of fruit snacks, and a very tiny bit of popcorn. I then thought, I might as well get a soda. Those things came to a total of $14.50!!!!! Then, the theater tried to charge me for it twice! I told the guy, you broke my bank once already, I don't need to give you anymore.

There are other movies I want to see this summer, but I am thinking I can wait until Christmas. You know all of the summer blockbusters will be out on DVD by the holidays to cash in on holiday sales. I can rent the movies for a dollar at Stop & Shop!

The movie was good. I didn't think it was as good as the first or second, but there is a neat bit in it that paid homage to the James Bond movie Live and let Die. I was singing along the song in the theater.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Baseball...What a Great Game!

For the past few days, I have been riding a wave of excitement. I have been really excited about baseball. My son, played his first Tee-Ball game over the weekend. I was glad when he was assigned #4. If you have any familiarity with Baseball history, that is the number of Yankee Great, Lou Gehrig.

Jay did pretty well his first game. He got a couple of hits, but he gets bored playing the field. I was yelling out to him over the course of the game to stand up. He likes to crouch down and prepare for the ball the whole time he is out there. Here are a few pictures.

My kids, both of them do enjoy baseball as well. Sammi and Jay both know a good portion of the Yankee starters, and even Elaine the other day remembered who Jason Giambi was. The piece de resistance however is Jay mimicking Yankee broadcaster John Sterling. If you have ever listened to a Yankee game on the Yankees radio network, you will know that Sterling is known for his corny calls. Some of his calls are, "it is high, it is far, it is, goooooone," or, "Yankees win, thhhhhheee, Yankeeeeees wiiinnn!" He does have one line that Jay repeats almost every day. Whenever Yankees 3rd baseball Alex Rodriguez or A-Rod hits a home run, Sterling often says, "An A-bomb, from A-Rod" Now whenever Jay hears that on the radio whether as it happens, or as part of a sound bite, he breaks into saying it in his own 5 year old way. I love hearing it. While watching American Idol last night, we flipped to the Yankee game during commercials and sure enough on one Idol break, A-Rod hit one to the right field bleachers. I said Sterlings line, and Jay followed suit. I can't wait until the kids are old enough to attend a game.

Last but definitely not least is the return of Roger Clemens to the Yankees. I had a feeling when his good pal Andy Pettitte re-signed that the Rocket wouldn't be able to resist a return to the Bronx. I was actually on the phone on Sunday with my dad, when I looked at the tv and saw Roger at the stadium. I said to dad, "Clemens is at the stadium." His response was, "Really, thats pretty cool." Before he had a chance to finish, I interupted my dad and said, "he is saying something." My excitement was starting to build. The Rocket with mic in his hand said, and I quote, "They came and got me out of Texas. It is good to be back, and I will be talking to y'all soon." With that statement, Roger Clemens returned to the Yankees. I immediately hung up with my dad and called my sister who was on the way home from Youth Councils. By the way, he was in agreement to call Trace! YES Announcer, Michael Kay summed it by saying, "it looks like the Yankees found their #4 starter."

Isn't Baseball great?