wine by the color

Monday, October 17, 2005

My taste buds worked overtime this weekend. Friday night was seafood down the shore, which was a nice way to end a long, wet week. We wound up at a new place because we couldn’t get to our regular haunt due to flooding, which was everywhere. The place had a great vibe – more of a bar than a restaurant, great food (had the creamy crab chowder and crab cakes), 99 different beers including my favorite, and live music.

Saturday was a girls’ outing to the city to see Mamma Mia. We stopped at the Hyatt for cocktails before dinner (okay, it was really to catch football scores, but we had several drinks as well) and then headed to the Bryant Park Grill, which was outstanding. Had the sea bass, which was perfect. After the show, which was tremendous (I didn't come close to falling asleep, which is usually a problem for me in any sort of theater) we headed to Carmine's for another cocktail.

Then, perhaps saving the best for last, Kevin and I went to Steve’s Sizzlin’ Steaks in north Jersey last night, for two reasons: to watch the Jets game and eat meat. The steaks were outstanding; the Jets were not. Steve's is one of my favorite places, and Kevin now lives less than two miles from it. It is low key (one might even refer to it as a dive) and doesn't have a web site, which is why there's no link. But it has two key features: televisions in every room and fantastic steaks. They don’t mess around with vegetables and sides and all that crap. They put a huge piece of meat on your plate and cover it with a few steak fries, and then soak the entire thing in some magical sauce. And when it arrives at the table, it is indeed sizzlin’. Kevin had the sirloin and I had the filet and there was not a lot of food left on the plates when we were done.

Another reason for the visit to Kevin’s was so he could help me purchase a digital camera. As has been mentioned previously, I’m not usually the quickest to pick up on new technology. But my 35mm camera has been on the fritz lately and I needed to rectify that before I left for vacation. So after a torturous visit to Best Buy, I am now the owner, finally, of a digital camera.

One week from today, I’ll be on a plane to Hawaii, where I will spend two weeks with one of my college roommates. We’re going to Oahu and Kauai. To say I’m excited is the understatement of the year. I honestly can’t remember ever being this wound up for something. Ok, something that doesn't involve sports. Also, since I joined the working world 12 years ago, I have never taken two consecutive weeks off from work, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

In the lone sports note I’ll mention this week (because the Packers were off, the Jets sucked, and the Browns barely showed up against their former selves), Ohio State rebounded from last week’s loss to Penn State to beat Michigan State. I missed the entire second half because I was en route to the city but right before I left, Ohio State took advantage of some block-headed coaching by Michigan State to block a field goal and run it back for a touchdown as the first half ended. So instead of Michigan State heading to halftime with a 20-7 lead, they instead led by a 17-14 margin. It completely turned the tide and Ohio State went on to win 35-24.

I bring this up for one reason – the comments Michigan State coach John L. Smith made to the sideline reporter as he walked to the locker room after the botched kick. He was irate. I don’t know that I’ve never seen a coach so angry. Unfortunately, the Evil Empire won't allow me to link directly to the video of his outburst, but if you go here and click on 'Video' you can watch it at 'Buckeyes Get Back on Track With Win.' The tirade comes halfway through the video and, as a bonus, you can see highlights of the OSU victory. Good times.

Oh, also worth mentioning is the fact that I rooted for Michigan Saturday for what I believe was the first time ever. I didn't feel good about it, but it needed to be done if OSU is to remain in the hunt for the Big 10 title. Michigan beat Penn State on a last-second touchdown and I was happy about that, but I felt like I should shower afterward.

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