Recommendation.

I just got back from the lovely city of Schenectady. I joined Earl for dinner tonight; he’s out of town on business but luckily he’s close enough that I can drive a couple of hours and see him during his down time. It keeps us both out of mischief.

We had dinner at a great little place called “Pinhead Susan’s”. I didn’t see any pinheads running around, and the burly guy behind the bar really didn’t look like a Susan to me, so I read the whole tale of the name of the restaurant on the back of the menu and found it quite interesting. You’ll have to stop by to find out for yourself.

We then took a walk through downtown Schenectady, which is undergoing a rather extensive renovation project. It’s good to see a city’s downtown area being revitalized without being entirely ripped down in the process. Earl is staying at The Parker Hotel tonight; a delightfully early 1900s hotel renovated to modern standards and quite nice. We also took a walk along the Mohawk River, which runs between Schenectady and the neighboring Village of Scotia (SKO-shuh, in case you’re wondering). There was a water-skiing demonstration on the river for those that were interested. We also had the obligatory ice cream at Jumpin’ Jacks, where they have old early 20th century cash registers in the ice cream parlor and in the food area, a beautiful mid 1970s mechanical NCR cash register that I really wish I could get my hands on. When you tip the folks working the ice cream counter, they yell out “Subway!” and all thank you. Quite charming.

Mother Nature treated me to a small lightning show on the ride home along the Thruway. I celebrated by rolling down all the windows in the car and cranking up the Eagles’ “One Of These Nights”.

Romance.

I have a date tonight. That’s right, instead of coming home after work, throwing on some comfortable clothes and sizzling up some supper, I’m going to stay in my work duds and go out to dinner tonight with someone special.

That would be Earl, by the way.

He’s out of town in the thriving metropolis of Schenectady for the overnight, and since it’s a reasonable drive to get there, I’m going to join him for dinner tonight. He’s been talking about a restaurant that he’s wanted to take me to for a while now, and since I’m getting out of work at 4:00 p.m., I can make it there and back with plenty of time to sleep tonight.

I know it’s easier for some than for others, but I think it’s important for couples to set aside some quality time, away from the computer, away from the Blackberry and away from the household concerns that sometimes consume our relationships. It’s good for people in love to get together just for the sake of getting together and enjoying some quality time. Whether you’ve been together for a month or a decade, togetherness is always good.

I’ll just have to remember that it’s a date tonight and that I need to refrain from putting my sleeves in whatever sauce is on my plate or licking the salad dressing off my elbows.