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Long, Lonely Weekends

It’s back to work for me on Tuesday.  To be honest, I’m quite happy about that.  Indeed, I think I wouldn’t mind going back a bit earlier and ignore the whole New Years’ Eve thing.  But it seems no-one can avoid that and I’m going to have to work something out or I’ll end up feeling even worse.  Joanne has the kids and I don’t know what her plans are.  I’ll have to see what’s going on in my area, that I’m less likely to end up feeling completely out of place.

The Wellsville Fire Company looks okay.  I never like the idea of something that’s called an “experience” though; to me that sounds like it’s going to be loud.  Still, there is a comedy show being put on and that is certainly what I need on a night I don’t think I will feel very much like laughing.  I’ll probably do that and try and remain anonymous all night.  Dinner looks good there – well, to me anything that has fried chicken and mashed potatoes on the menu has to be delicious.  I figure that if the comedy starts at 9pm then I can stay for all that, say Happy New Year at midnight and be home before 12 30 without having to feel completely  pathetic but also not have to feel sad that this year I’m alone for New Year’s.

Learning About Harrisburg’s Heritage

I’d done so much eating over the last few days that I felt like it was really time to walk off some of the Christmas pudding and mince pies.  I took a long walk today along the Susquehanna River which really was beautiful.  Then I rested and ate a sandwich I’d prepared at home.  And after I did that I did something I’ve wanted to do ever since I moved here – I took the Sailing on the Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat ride. That was really nice and relaxing.  Although, in hindsight, it probably was not exactly what I needed after all the relaxation and sitting around I’ve been doing but it just was too tempting to resist. I’m so glad I did it as I got to see the entire Harrisburg skyline – what a great view.  It’s definitely something I want to do again.

You know, I really was dreading Christmas, but now, looking back on my first Christmas as a divorcee, it’s been pretty good. Let’s hope I see in the New Year like this as well!

Munching on Muncheese


What a great name for a restaurant, especially if you’re a cheese lover like me – Muncheese!  New in town, I decided to take myself along there this afternoon as the kids left this morning, I am still on vacation from work, and I really didn’t welcome the idea of being alone the rest of the day.

Located on Second Street, Muncheese specializes in everything grilled-cheese.  You can have grilled cheese on all different types of bread (from pretzel rolls to white bread) and then choose your cheese (pepperjack, provolone and more). So it’s pretty cool; you start off by choosing your cheese, then your bread and then add finally some meats!  I took cheddar cheese on rye and added turkey bacon and boy was it good!


Next time – if I ever get a date – I may bring someone here and share the grilled cheese for two. That looks really delicious!

A Treat for the Kids

There was so much I wanted to do with the kids over the holiday season.  I really wanted to make it special for them.  So I was particularly happy that I found out about the Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre performing at Harrisburg’s Gamut Classic Theatre.  I knew they would all love it, so off we went.

It really was incredible.  We all very much got into the Christmas holiday spirit with this very humorous, entertaining show.  There was a real sense of Christmas in it but it was also modernized which made it even more enjoyable.  My little one got such a kick out of Santa Claus himself showing up, right in the middle; a surprise to us all, but especially fun for him.

It was probably the first time the two little ones ever went to a theatre before. That’s what’s so amazing about this group – it really makes the theatre accessible to the whole family.  We’ll definitely be coming again.  In fact, the little one kept asking as we left when we’d be coming back again!

A Harrisburg White Christmas?

I woke up really early this morning, looking outside hoping to see snow on my lawn.  My kids just love it when it snows over Christmas (truthfully, what kids don’t?) and given that this is the first year we’re not altogether as a family (first Christmas-divorce), I was hoping that a white Christmas would make things a little better.

I’ve been on top of Accuweather for days.  First of all it looked like there was going to be snow in Harrisburg, then they said it would only be up until Christmas Eve and now it looks like their prediction for a non-white Christmas was correct.

We did enjoy a bit of snow yesterday though.  The kids actually tried to build a snowman but there didn’t seem quite enough white fluffy stuff on the ground yet.  Still, they certainly had a jolly good time trying and, truthfully, this year I even got into it with them.  I think in years past I never did because it always bothered Joanne – now we’re no longer together I can be a kid again.  She hated how they made such a mess of the house when they were done so I always tried to stop them too.  But this year, as the old adage goes, when the cat’s away, the mice will play.  And it seems like these mice are going to be playing for a long time to come.

Here’s to a merry Christmas to all in Harrisburg – white or not!

Cutting Crime in Harrisburg

In general Harrisburg is a great place to live. But there is always some kind of crime, no matter where you live.  So I was particularly delighted to discover the new app – Docket In Your Pocket – that can help do a quick check of criminal records throughout the state of Pennsylvania.  Apparently one has been able to check out criminal records on line before this app, but it is not the kind of site that makes it easy to check out a Harrisburg resident’s criminal record on the go for example.  This is going to make life much easier now for all those who want to be aware of criminals in the area.

It’s not like I’m exactly paranoid or anything but I am definitely going to get this app – I just like to know these things.  As well, I read a review that said information on the app is updated twice a week.  It’s also cool to know that it was Pennsylvania to first get the app…but then I was thinking that maybe it’s not such a good sign – perhaps it indicates there’s more crime in Pennsylvania than I thought! Oh well, at least there’s a cool Irish pub here now!  If worst comes to worse I’ll just drown my sorrows at the thought of crime on the up in Harrisburg.

Have a great Wednesday! Do some Christmas shopping for me.  It’s going to be hard the first year without the ex and the kids so I’m not so into the shopping this time but I will for sure try to somehow get into the spirit.

Harrisburg JCC Performance

I was pretty proud of my middle kid this last Sunday.  He was one of the performers at our local JCC. I was so glad he was able to do this, especially given the flood damage the center encountered over the summer.  But I guess that’s partly why the whole thing happened anyway.  It was meant as a performance-cum-fundraiser.  That’s what I love about this city – a bunch of us just grouped together to try and help with some of the center’s losses; after all, it is OUR community center.

Anyway Zach featured in the “Kids Care” musical showcase which raised money toward refurbishing the flood-damaged JCC. I thought this was great since it enabled him to perform, but also showed him the importance of doing something for an important cause.  Even if you are not able to give money, you can show your support in other ways, I felt was the lesson.

The kids sang songs from popular musicals including “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Wicked.”  It was really nice to see so many people – especially the kids – banding together to save the JCC, giving their time and talents.  And we heard later that over $11,000 was raised from the evening!

Getting in Some True Irish Entertainment

When I relocated to Harrisburg a few months ago after the divorce, the last thing I could ever imagine doing was ever going out again, especially in an evening, to a pub or something else resembling entertainment.  I just couldn’t picture myself being happy again I guess.  I figured I’d just be one of those sad middle-aged men who sat at home with a microwave meal for one and see out the end of my days.

Thankfully it’s really true what they say about time healing.  Over the last month or so I’ve really changed my tune.  Now I’m always looking for something to do – with or without the kids.  And so I was absolutely thrilled when I recently discovered McGrath’s – the coolest Irish pub ever – right here in Harrisburg.  It really is great and it’s the city’s first ever real McDeal – true, authentic Irish pub.

The pub has been around for a while too; it opened nearly 10 years ago.  But I just hadn’t heard about it.  Now though, since the divorce is no longer so raw, after a long day at the office, especially when I’m alone (which is most nights; the kids just visit every other weekend and some Tuesdays), I love unwinding there.  It’s very friendly and pretty green too; so it just gives you an all-round feeling of feel good.  The brews are great and the food isn’t bad either, but truthfully I go for the mellow, relaxation element that you always get in a good Irish pub; no-one is judging me; everyone is there to chill out and unwind.  What more could one ask for? Perfect.

Harrisburg Kids’ Activities

I had a few ideas for this weekend for the kids, but in the end none of them seemed appropriate since the kids seemed particularly tired and asked if they could just chill out at home.  I was pretty happy about that actually because it showed that they are really getting comfortable in my home – something I was initially concerned about.  So we had a nice, relaxing time and I started looking into stuff for the next time they can.

My middle kid loves music so I was thrilled when I found out about the 96th Pennsylvania Farm Show, which is inviting kids to show off their musical talents after the New Year.  It really is kids from 8-18, but I think my youngest – being pretty tall – can pass for an 8-year old, providing they’re not so stringent on the age-thing. It’s set to take place at Harrisburg’s Expo Center.

I’m really proud of him actually.  He’s a good kid and it seems the divorce hasn’t affected him so much. I’m so glad he has his brothers – that for sure helps them all – but the fact that he’s always trying to do well and achieve something new, is really great and I’m glad the problems me and my ex had don’t seem to be affecting him too badly.

So that was my weekend; quiet but way nicer with the kids than being alone.

Flash Mob in Harrisburg

So I just spoke to my kids today after they got home from school about their weekend.  What an adventure they seemed to have had!  Joanne had taken them to the Harrisburg Mall for a spot of shopping (for her I suspect) and then a bite to eat. Just after they finished eating, a flash mob appeared!  They had absolutely no idea this was going to happen and were completely in shock. In fact, they had been so absorbed in their burgers, they didn’t even notice how strangely quiet the mall seemed to be for a Sunday afternoon or a bunch of kids decked out in bright orange shirts.

Moments later, Reel 2 Real song ‘I Like to Move It’ started blaring out from some speakers right by the movie theater.  The orange-shirt-clad-kids (it seemed from their description that there were some adults amongst them too), thereafter began moving and boogeying along to the music!

It sure was a first for my kids to see a real live flash mob.  They’ve heard about them and watched them on YouTube, but never actually seem them “in real life” as my 7-year-old enthusiastically said.  Well, good for them.  They can tick that off their “things to do while I’m alive” list!