wine by the color

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm finally home and it's nice to be back at Casa Magnolia, despite the 50-degree difference from when I woke this morning to when I arrived at EWR this afternoon.

There will be a spate of blogging in the coming days, although little of it will have to do with the cruise (although that was tremendous and will certainly be covered). There is a reason that Fark gives Florida its own tag, and I'll be addressing some of my personal experiences in the Sunshine State, including our visit to the McDonald's That Time Forgot.

For now, it's off to put something in the fridge other than condiments and beer.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Crazy Nephews would like to let you know we are really enjoying our vacation, but having this much fun can be exhausting.

I'll check in with a full report soon...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Nothing to see here...

Greeting from Miami. Yesterday was a hell of a travel day that included a 4 a.m. wake-up call and Crazy Nephew #1 slugging a security officer a EWR, but it was all worth it to be in the lovely weather here.

On the flight, we sat next to a 13-year-old kid from Stony Point named Josh who was traveling solo to visit his grandparents. This cat was a pisser and there was a lot of fantastic banter, covering everything from the chances Cheney would be indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges to recent episodes of South Park. He was wearing a Yankees hat and I tried to show him the error of his ways, but he wasn't having it. Great kid, though.

Tomorrow we depart for a seven-day cruise, where my only priorities are going to be relaxing, tanning, reading, eating and enjoying cocktails. So unless Brett Favre calls me personally to tell me he's retiring, I don't think there will be much posting until the end of the month. However, upon our return to land we're heading to Daytona right around Bike Week, and I can only imagine there will be some good stories. So you have that to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Life is a little crazy as I try to wrap things up in advance of a 12-day vacation. Mostly good crazy (although my workday yesterday at one point prompted me to research whether it might be National Idiot Day), but crazy nonetheless, which is why there has been and will continue to be very little posting from me for a while...

Somewhere along the way, I managed to injure myself. My left foot is a complete mess, which is unusual because my right foot is the usual culprit. I'm not quite sure how I did it, as for once I was being fairly responsible - wasn't playing basketball, or hurling myself off cliffs or jumping out of a plane (coming this May). The extent of my weekend activities was bowling and snow shoveling, and I can't imagine either of those could be responsible for the crumbling of my left foot. But something did it.

For most people this would be upsetting, and I'm not entirely thrilled with the hobbling around. But it does mean I got to visit my podiatrist yesterday. And to say I have a little crush on the man who fixes my feet is wholly understating the situation. It's actually embarrassing. I turn into a 15-year-old high school girl, giggling a little too much at everything he says and having difficulty putting intelligent sentences together. During one of my first visits, he was jamming a cortisone shot directly into the side of my foot and I didn't make a peep. He remarked, "you know, you're taking this well; most people find this quite painful." I just smiled and mumbled something about being tough. But I was thinking, "you could stick that needle directly into my eye and I would still gaze at you adoringly."

Anyway, Dr. D seemed to be leaning toward putting my foot in a boot, until I pointed out that I was going on vacation and that a boot wouldn't accessorize with my bathing suit very well. He took sympathy and shelved the boot. For now. Now the challenge will be trying to avoid making it any worse.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's hard to capture just how wildly it's snowing here. When I opened the patio door to take this picture, snow came swirling into the house. I can't open the front door because the snow is piled up outside the door. It is lovely, however, and makes for a nice backdrop as I pack for 12 days in warmer climates.

A few random mid-weekend things...

-I got an e-mail with a subject line of 'Oldest Ladies in Porn' the other day. I've got to be honest, that made me slightly curious. Almost enough to make me consider opening it.

-I took the train to and from DC, and on the way back I wound up on something called the 'Quiet Car.' No cell phones, no loud talking, no noise at all. Genius. I'm going to have to write Continental and ask if they'd consider something similar.

-We took the crazy nephews bowling for the first time yesterday afternoon. Much fun.

-Also, I finally posted photos from our Super Bowl shindig, where my cousin's little girl got her mitts on a cupcake with glee like you've never before seen.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

While strolling through the lobby at the conference hotel today, I heard a familiar voice and turned around to find comedian Richard Lewis sitting in the cafe. Apparently, he is performing at the DC Improv tonight.

I was tempted to stop and initiate a conversation, because he's also a graduate of a certain Columbus-based university. But I was afraid this might come up and I didn't want to go there, even though my tenure in athletic communications at OSU had long since ended when this happened.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I’m at a conference in Washington D.C., learning about the art of speechwriting. Although I furiously strive to avoid giving lectures, it’s something I have to do from time to time. I think I might eventually like to be more involved in writing speeches for my organization’s higher-ups so I’d like to gain a little more knowledge about how successful, memorable speeches are crafted. And my job was kind enough to pay for me to attend the conference, so here I am.

After this afternoon’s session, I took a stroll through the monuments. I started at the Washington Monument and then took in the World War II Monument for the first time. My grandfather’s brother was killed in WWII, so seeing that was a priority and it did not disappoint.

From there, it was down the edge of the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Monument. I have been there many times but don’t know that I’ve ever truly taken the time to completely read the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second inaugural address, both of which are written on the inner walls of the monument. Given what’s currently going on around the world, standing there reading words that resonate almost 150 years later was somewhat humbling.

On my way back I walked through the Vietnam Memorial, which to me always takes on a more solemn feel in the evening, when only the small lights in the ground shine up on the walls of the memorial. As usual, I did not make the side trip to the Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson definitely got the shaft as far as location is concerned.

I know something went on in the Russell Senate Office Building here today, although I haven’t had a chance to read much about it. I have to wonder whether the high-level of security at my hotel is a result of today’s goings-on, or if something else is going on. You can’t enter the hotel without your room key, and there are police and security all over the lobby. I’m about four blocks from the White House so maybe that’s just a way of life at hotels in this area.

But I’m not going to let this bother me, because when I checked into my room, I was greeted by a huge flat-screen TV. I wonder if they’ll notice if I take that home with me…

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I meant to write about this last week but the whole work thing kept getting in the way…

Last Monday I spent the day at MGM Studios with my best friend and her entire family, all of whom I’ve known for more than 30 years. All around, an absolutely excellent time.

But I arrived at the park a little bit before they did so I decided to hit a few of the rides while I waited. I'm a huge fan of roller coasters so I thought I’d check out the Aerosmith Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster. Because I was a solo act, they paired me up with a kid who was about 11 years old. As I sat down, he immediately asked: “have you been on this before?” When I indicated that this was my first ride, he started to giggle and warned me: “This is a really fast ride.”

I assured him that I was no roller-coaster novice and should be able to handle it. As I sat down, I put my backpack on the floor by my feet. I quickly realized that was a mistake, since the harness went over my head and shoulders, thus indicating the ride would be going upside down.

So as the roller coaster was rolling up to its starting position, I was furiously trying to grab the backpack, so it didn’t go flying away mid-ride. And that’s when it happened.

One second we were sitting still, and the next I felt like I had been shot from a cannon. This thing just took off. The online description indicates that the ride “zooms from 0-60 mph with the force of a supersonic F-14.” I believe it. I was screaming in a mix of exhilaration and shock. The kid next to me was laughing wildly.

I barely had time to gather myself from the breathless beginning, and the next thing you know we were upside down. And then again, and again. The whole ride couldn’t have lasted more than 60 seconds. But I would have been hard-pressed to correctly spell my first name upon stepping off the ride.

Don’t think this means I didn’t ride it again. We rode it several more times after the entire group got there. Excellent, excellent ride. But consider yourself warned. It IS really fast.

Monday, February 06, 2006

For anyone who is (was) a Metallica fan, this will really make you yearn for the old days, when Cliff hadn't been smushed by a bus, and James still stomped around the stage with a beer in his hand. When Lars did more drumming than running his mouth, and Jason was still in the band, and James didn't sit around talking about his feelings.

You know, back when Metallica just fucking rocked.
And BAM says there are no good men left out there...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Good Doctor is going to have to make a donation to While they have good intentions, they are not doing an adequate job of spreading the word and as a result, people just don't realize how dire Katie's situation is.

Fabulous commentary underneath the photos. My favorite...

Well, if Tom wasn't gay before, he will be after he takes a gander at those pics. Jeez. Who dressed her - Britney?

Thanks to freakgirl for sending this my way, and for knowing that I’m never too busy for important interruptions such as this.
One other thing ... to try to quell the cold I feel brewing, I tried Airborne for the first time this morning.

If my options are drinking this glass of foul liquid or getting pneumonia, I’m going with pneumonia.
I'm frighteningly oversubscribed at work right now, as I need to finish three huge projects before I leave for vacation in 14 days. So posting will be limited for the foreseeable future.

For now, here are two news stories that caught my eye this morning:

-This very e-mail arrived in my inbox not too long ago. I'll admit, I found it rather entertaining. If I forwarded it on to anyone who was offended, please accept my sincerest apology. Really, I'm sorry.

-I saw this story on the news this morning. I have to believe there's a special spot in hell reserved for people who would use puppies to transport heroin.