wine by the color

Sunday, July 30, 2006

To the person in room 236:

I hate to be nosy, but may I ask how on earth you're spending your late-night hours in southern Oregon? For the past three nights, I've heard your door open at 3 a.m. and the shower start running 10 minutes later. You must be really dirty, too, because that water runs for a good 20 minutes. Are you visiting filthy bars? Pig wrestling? Burying bodies?

I guess my only consolation is that you can't be too happy when I hit the shower at 5:15 every morning. To be honest, I'm not thrilled about that either.

Looking forward to my aquatic serenade later tonight...

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Five hours of flying and five hours of driving later, and I'm at what will be my home for the week – southern Oregon, along the coast. Very beautiful. Worth the effort of getting here. It's also 30 degrees cooler here than at home, which is quite nice. I am wearing a sweatshirt, and I'm a bit chilly. Much different than the ongoing 2006 NJ Humidity Festival.

I crammed a slew of activities into my eight days in New Jersey, culminating in a guest-speaker appearance at the Professor's class Monday night. After imparting our questionable wisdom on his students, we hit a Hub City institution. We had a lot catching up to do, starting with the party he and the Mrs. threw Memorial Day weekend. I was unfortunately unable to attend but apparently his behavior was so unruly that he sent out e-mails of apology to various partygoers the following day.

So he was telling me about some of his party antics, and after reviewing some of the high (low?) points of his performance, he wrapped up with: "Well, at least I didn't take my pants off. I finally seem to be past that."

It's a sad day, when a man gets into his 30s and no longer feels an appropriate way to celebrate drunken times is by removing his slacks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Clerks II
(R), for pervasive sexual and crude content including aberrant sexuality, strong language and some drug material

"Time to go! First movie I've walked out of in 30 f-ing years!"
-Joel Siegel

"I laughed, I cried. What a great f-ing movie!"
-Jersey Girl

If Joel Siegel walked out after 40 minutes, just imagine how offended he'd have been had he stayed until the magnificent end.

I didn't actually cry, but it did get a little dusty in the theater near the end. Because "Clerks II," despite the interspecies erotica and A-M shtick, is really about love and friendship.

A fine review from the NY Times:

The conventional romantic-comedy outlines of the story emerge almost casually, and they are camouflaged by the film’s humor, which is gleefully and abrasively obscene.

A pre-movie highlight: I arrived at the theater before my cousin and his roommate, so I purchased the tickets to avoid getting shut out of the show. When it was my turn, I placed the following order: "Three for Clerks II please." I was hit with this: "Three adults?" leading me to wonder if she would actually sell tickets for this movie to children.

She should not. She should also not sell them to my parents. Although I loved this flick, I do not want them going anywhere near it. They watched "Jackass" and found it highly amusing, and that's as far as I want to push the obscenity boundaries with them. I do not want any phone calls from EMTs reporting that my parents have been carted away from the movie theater in an ambulance.

Speaking of aberrant sexuality, why is this protestor, who streaked across the golf course at the British Open yesterday, wearing a g-string with a chipmunk on it? Is this any way to get people to support your cause?

Friday, July 21, 2006

I am no amateur when it comes to traveling across time zones, but for some reason this last trip really threw my system for a loop. For the past week, this has been my routine:

7:00 a.m. Alarm goes off
7:45 a.m. Drag ass out of bed
9:00 a.m. Drag ass into work, 60 minutes later than usual
5:00 p.m. Drag ass out of office
5:01 p.m. Think about going to gym
5:02 p.m. Blow off gym
5:03-8 p.m. Miscellaneous errands/dinner/reading/important internet research
8 p.m. Fall asleep on couch
10 p.m. Wake up, get off couch
11:30 p.m. Roll into rack, fall back asleep
3:30 a.m. Find self wide awake
4:30 a.m. Finally fall back asleep
7:00 a.m. Repeat

But all is not lost. On Wednesday night, I discovered channel 11 airs "Welcome Back Kotter" reruns at 3:30 a.m. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

And I'm not sure if it's even worth trying to get back on a regular schedule, given that I return to the West coast Tuesday and will be there for three weeks.

In other news from the week, you can read about our venture to see Bon Jovi here, here and here (and a NY Times review here, if you prefer your reviews more high-brow). Overall, a very good time and so I'm happy I got to go, which happened at the last minute.

I am a bit disappointed that Brooke didn't mention what was perhaps my favorite moment of the evening - our joint decision that gender lines don't mean much when nature is urgently calling. That's right (and won't my mom be so proud) ... faced with a mob of easily more than 50 women in line for each ladies' room, and no one waiting at the men's, we quickly assessed the scene and decided it would be just fine to use the men's room.

And it was. We were welcomed in the men's room. In fact, our moxie seemed appreciated. Ah, Jersey.

Also worth mentioning was a solid tailgate, which only served to completely whet my appetite for September 17th. I know people weren't too thrilled with the weather, but after sweating in the parking lot all afternoon, the downpour actually gave me a much-needed second wind. Unfortunately, the band called it quits shortly thereafter.

It should also be noted that I've probably been to no less than 100 events at the Meadowlands over the years, and I can't ever remember it taking so long to get out of the parking lot. And then, once out, Route 3 was a complete mess. That could have been related to the trees and branches strewn about the highway, thanks to the storm. But still, an unbelievable mess.

And speaking of those 100+ trips to the Meadowlands...

This week's Sports Illustrated provided a user guide for this season's NFL Fantasy Football leagues. They provide rankings, players to watch for, those to avoid, etc.

While reviewing the player ratings for the QBs, I wasn't surprised to see Brett Lorenzo Favre at #22. He's a gamble as a fantasy QB, given his INT tendency, his lack of an offensive line, and a shaky receiving corp.

Then I looked for Chad Pennington. He's currently ranked ... not at all. He's not on the list. No Jet QB appears on the list.

This does not bode well for Gang Green.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Someone sent me one of those "getting to know you" e-mails yesterday and one of the questions was ... name four places you'd rather be. My answer: nowhere.

Last night was the first night I slept in my bed since June 19th. It was a crazy month of travel, and it is damn nice to be home. I arrived at EWR at 6:30 a.m. via the redeye and was on the softball field by 9:45 a.m. Despite giving up 10 runs in the first inning and back-to-back-to-back homers later in the game, we rallied for the win.

I spent the rest of the day in my brother's pool. They got a solar cover so the pool was a toasty 88 degrees, but it still felt good. It was still about 90 degrees cooler than it feels outside. After two weeks in the Pacific Northwest's lovely 60-degree temperatures, returning to this sweltering pit of heat and humidity has been a bit of a shock.

Now I've got just eight days to tend to a crowded personal, business and social agenda. Already done: bought a new washer and dryer and spent the afternoon with the crazy nephews, who are peacefully slumbering in the guest room as I type. Next up: Bon Jovi with the Sandman. My sister-in-law is also due at any moment (hopes she), and it'd be great if she could pop out the kid before I leave next week, as I'll be gone again for three weeks. I'm sure she'd be happy to not be 8+ months pregnant as temperatures hover in the triple-digit neighborhood.

One of the upsides of my frequent travel is that I have the opportunity to catch up on movies. Thanks to the Continental’s in-flight offerings and my outfit’s policy of letting us watch movies in hotel rooms, I’ve caught a few lately. Some quick reviews...

“Last Holiday” – Queen Latifah, a fine Jersey Girl, is quite likable. And that’s good, because that’s the only positive thing I’ll be saying about this movie. Oh, and I guess it’s nice to see Timothy Hutton, one of my favorites in the 80s, getting work. It’s too bad it’s this sort of work. Couldn’t they make Taps 2?

“Aquamarine” – I have never walked out of a movie theater. The closest I ever came was during a viewing of “Pret A Porter (Ready to Wear)” – absolute dreck. That said, had I somehow been in a theater when this was being shown, I’d have walked out. I wanted to walk off the plane. Even the cat they got to play the "non-descript teenage love interest" wasn't that hot. If you're going to subject people to this sort of cinematic shit, at least give them something to look at.

“The Perfect Man” – adhering to the ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ philosophy, I will say that Mr. Big is in this movie, and that is good. And Heather Locklear bakes beautiful, delicious-looking cakes. Huh. Two positive things. No doubt two more than it deserves.

“Failure to Launch” – I watched this for two reasons … be it misguided, I have a soft spot for Terry Bradshaw ("where I come from, we call that bait"), and I would love nothing more than to have Matthew McConaughey and his bongos visit Casa Magnolia for an evening. Those two things were nowhere near enough to make this a good movie. Stench.

“Imagine Me and You” – Girl falls in love at first site with another girl. On her wedding day. To a man. I didn’t hate this movie, but I don’t know that it will be finding a mainstream audience anytime soon.

"Something New" - a black financial whiz with a chip on her shoulder falls for her white, easy-going gardener. I can't believe I just used those words to describe an actual movie script. I can't believe I watched the whole thing. I can't believe I checked out the soundtrack (many of which were written by Wendy and Lisa of Prince fame).

“Derailed” – I think that people probably stayed away from this movie because they suspected it was a typical Jennifer Aniston fluffy piece of crap. That was a mistake. What a good flick. Definitely worth watching.

But speaking of Jennifer Aniston fluffy pieces of crap…

“Rumor Has It” – The rumor was true. This movie was bad. I was rooting for a woman to hook up with someone she thought was her father. That can't be good.

“Chronicles of Narnia” – there are three things that are usually a guaranteed nap for me when it comes to cinema – accents (Colin Firth and Hugh Grant notwithstanding), costumes and science fiction. This flick more or less nailed that entire trifecta, and yet I still enjoyed it. The best of the airline offerings of late.

More to come soon. I've got three more weeks on the road, including more trips across the country. Can't wait to see what crap Hollywood subjects me to next.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

We hire an intern every year and we really hit the jackpot this summer. This kid is not only incredibly competent, he's a total character, which I find even more valuable. He bears a striking resemblance to Matt Leinart and we've been calling him Leinart around the office when he's not around. I mentioned that to him the other day after a few cocktails and he found that amusing, so now we'll be addressing him as such to his face.

So at breakfast this morning, a few of us were talking about our favorite internet finds. I told the group about this, and Leinart mentioned that he had a good one about leprechauns.

He was right. I will laugh about this for a long, long time. Amateur sketch. Comedy gold.

Speaking of humor, I also offer this, sent by my uncle, another fine character.

How #4 isn't #1 is beyond me. Really. #15 is fairly horrifying as well. I do find it curious that certain covers were censored, but there were no problems with #44.

I have to admit to owning the winner (loser?) of this list. Fortunately, it's just the cassette, so it's a very small picture.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

As I drove around the Pacific Northwest Friday, I realized I was in the midst of a stretch that would have me sleep in seven different beds in seven consecutive nights. I took pictures from the window (or, in one case, the front door) of most of my lodging, so I can provide a photo tour of my travels this week...

Sunday night: Newport, R.I. Unfortunately, this doesn't capture my favorite part of this spot - the ever-present fish smell. Some people hated it - I loved it. Very New England.

Monday night: a quick stop at my parents' house to do laundry and take a long boat ride with the crazy nephews.

Tuesday night: an even quicker stop at a Portland, Ore., airport hotel. No photo necessary.

Wednesday night: Bandon, Ore.

Thursday night: back in Portland, Ore. No photo here, although I could include one of my new haircut. Thursday morning, I decided I hated my hair, so I had it chopped. Apparently, I told the girl I wanted bangs. I must have been very tired, because I don't remember this. But it actually looks pretty good.

Friday night: Tacoma, Wash. This one took my breath away as I opened the curtain. Completely worth the lengthy drive and traffic delays to get there.

Saturday night: Bremerton, Wash.

Fortunately, I get to park it in one place for the week before taking the redeye home in time to make Sunday morning's softball game. There are definitely worse places to spend a week. It's quite nice here.

As a postscript, I offer these - actual street signs in the Evergreen State.

I didn't know you could make street signs with random numbers - I thought it had to be a multiple of five. And the teeter-totter sign was made better by the fact that there was no teeter-totter to be seen. Perhaps it was some sort of homage to Bobby and Cindy Brady.

And I'll leave you with this...

Uh, I'm going to pass, thank you.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

If you find yourself sitting in a window seat on your next flight, please be 100% certain you can successfully step over the person sitting in the aisle seat without waking them.

Because it’s quite possible that the slumbering soul is in a coma-like state thanks to 12 extremely long days, which usually started with a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call and lights-out at midnight. She may have also had a few glasses of wine during the flight, which departed almost three hours later than it was slated to.

While the intent – to not wake me – was considerate, I’d much rather have had the gentleman in seat 4A en route from EWR to PDX tap me on the arm to alert me to his impending visit to the restroom than to have him trip over my feet and slam into my lap when he was not able to successfully negotiate the step-over.

I have a bevy of things to report, and as soon as the power cord for my laptop makes its way to Oregon, I won’t have to worry about using vital battery power and can catch up on the last two weeks.