wine by the color

Saturday, March 31, 2007

HUGE excitement!

This is my vantage point of this, from just a few miles away.

I flew into LA yesterday (the kickoff of 20 of the next 33 days on the road). My final destination was Palm Springs, but it's a pain in the ass to fly to PSP and, more importantly, flying to LA would allow me to make a stop at my favorite store on earth. So after landing at LAX, I started the traffic-filled drive to the corner of Sunset and Cahuenga.

As I drove down Sunset toward the store, I noticed the smoke coming from the hills but didn't think anything of it. When you live in Jersey, you're used to random smoke in the sky. But when I arrived at the store, the smoke was thick, black and everywhere.

By the time I left the store (with a bagful of CDs by international artists no one has ever heard of), it was really getting out of control. People were standing on the streets, mesmerized, taking photos. Cars were stopped in the middle of the road (just what LA needs). No one really knew what was going on, except that there was one whopper of a fire in the hills, and seemed to be threating the Hollywood sign (which is behind the Amoeba store sign in the photos above). I took a few pictures before hopping in the car.

Thanks to the chaos this caused on the already disastrous LA freeways, it took me four hours to drive the 125 miles from the record store to my hotel in Palm Springs.

Totally worth it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

By now, most folks have probably heard this sad story about the North Carolina mascot who died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a car on a New Jersey highway last weekend.

Halfway through that article, this quote from UNC coach Roy Williams jumped off the page at me:

"Obviously our team is disappointed with the outcome of Sunday's game, but that pales greatly in comparison with the loss the Ray family is dealing with today."

Do you really have to mention your team's disappointment about a basketball game as an introduction to reacting to a tragedy that resulted in the death of someone who apparently lived to support your team? Is it just me, or does that seem incredibly insensitive?

Perhaps Roy really doesn’t give a shit about North Carolina

Monday, March 26, 2007


While watching the R-U women on the Evil Empire, the sound just disappeared during halftime. I've checked other channels and they all seem to be fine. So it is just the Worldwide Leader. Oh, happy day!

Special thanks to freakgirl for pointing out this collection of sheer gems (Mom, the usual warning applies).

Kissing Suzy Kolber is one of my favorite blogs, along with The Big Lead (perhaps my favorite read on the internets). It might be time to add both to the list of Geniuses.

Since this has been posted pretty much everywhere by now, let me be the 4,357th person to link to it. I just want to make sure no one misses it, since it's what all the cool kids are talking about. So damn funny.

And I spoke too soon. The volume has returned. But man, those two minutes of silence were among the sweetest sounds these ears have ever heard.
You know when you don’t plan to speak to someone ever again? When you completely remove them from your address book.

I recently needed to add someone to my phone numbers, but that letter was already full. So I took a good, hard look at the folks taking those valuable spaces. Assessments were made. And a big Pink Pearl eraser later, two people from the letter C have been deleted.

Then I moved on to the other letters, to see who else could be removed. Strangely, I have three deceased people in my phone book. They're still there. But 17 individuals who are alive, including two college boyfriends, two former beer league softball teammates, a high-school basketball teammate and my first administrative assistant, are now essentially dead to me.

So, want to be my friend? I have plenty of room for you. As long as your surname doesn’t begin with S. I’m kind of overbooked there right now. Wait until the next round of cuts, when I’m sure some of them will go.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dear Buckeyes,

You might not realize it, but I had a birthday earlier this week. While I apparently still look young enough to be carded, as I was the night of my birthday due to the restaurant’s “we card anyone under 30” policy, I am not as young as I was once.

I mention this because you are going to kill me with these close tilts. Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly grateful you have somehow survived the past two games. When you fell down by 20 in the first half last night, I briefly considered turning off the game and going to bed, since I came back from Vermont with a cold. But something told me you would come back. And, almost remarkably quickly, you did exactly that.

Perhaps against Memphis, you could muster a stronger effort in the first half. No need to make it so dramatic. Maybe play hard for a full 40 minutes and win by 15. I think I'd be okay with that.

And Mike Conley, make your free throws. Please.

Go Bucks.

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl

Sunday, March 18, 2007


My brother and I were watching the game yesterday, and things weren't looking good. With 9.3 seconds remaining and OSU trailing by two, Greg Oden commited his fifth foul, sending Xavier to the free-throw line, with a chance to put the game away.

And then, my brother's cable went out.

I ran to the other room to see if it was just one television, and it was not. So I said to my brother, "I guess they just don't want us to have to suffer through this." I put on my boots and headed outside to start shoveling the heaviest snow ever.

A minute later, my brother came running to the door and advised me that I should return inside immediately, as "I'm not sure how, but this game is in overtime!"

Inside I returned, leaping over snow piles to get there. My cell phone started going nuts and thanks to my cousin and The Captain, I figured out how the Buckeyes wound up living another day.

Even if Ohio State weren't playing in that game, it would have been an instant classic. It's the sort of tilt that makes the NCAA Tournament the year's best sporting event.

If you are going to host friends to watch the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, might I recommend you offer these two amenities:

1. Have a wide-screen television with the picture-in-picture option. Then spring for the all-games package so you can watch at least two games at a time for 12 consecutive hours.

2. At midnight, after everyone has avoided meat throughout the day to adhere to the Catholics' meatless Fridays, head out to the grill, in the snow, to make burgers for your meat-hungry friends.

An outstanding effort from BB and the Mrs.

Off to Vermont...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Recently, I've been going to the gym before work. I'd typically rather be hit in the head with a hammer than voluntarily rise at 5:30 a.m., but I have to admit this new system is working pretty well so far. I feel great when I'm done, and I've gotten it out of the way by 7:15 a.m. Given my rigorous social calendar (ahem), it's rare I actually exercise after leaving the office, so getting it done early is the key.

It's also given me an unexpected bonus. There were some breathtaking sunrises this week. I don't see the sunrise often, unless I happen to still be up from the previous evening. Maybe they look like this all the time and I just haven't realized it. But the sky has been an amazing maze of deep blue, pink and purple lines crossing the sky. Really amazing.

I started the Self Challenge this week, which is basically a three-month program during which you track your workouts and what you eat. I've done really well all week in terms of diet. But after a week's worth of egg whites, fruit and oatmeal shakes and whole wheat pasta and vegetables, I was concerned that yesterday's all-day hoops viewing might throw me off a bit. Let's see how I did:

Breakfast (8:30 a.m.): two egg whites and a fruit-and-oatmeal smoothie
Lunch (1:00 p.m.): grilled chicken with roasted peppers and mozzarella
Afternoon snack (2-8:00 p.m.): eight beers and popcorn
Dinner (8:30 p.m.): wings, nachos, pizza with cajun shrimp and andouille sausage, cheesy crab dip

Yep. I'd say everything is in order here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dear Sports New York,

Please accept my heartiest gratitude for airing game 7 of the 1986 World Series tonight. This saved me from watching Sanjaya live another day, which is either a testament to the sheer stupidity of the American people or to their phenomenal sense of humor.

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl
One night during our vacation, my younger crazy nephew made the following umprompted announcement at the dinner table:

Matthew: "I want to be in the movies."

He's three years old. But no one who heard this doubts it could happen. Lately, he's got a new trick where, if you anger him, he'll point his arms at you and yell out a natural disaster, as though said disaster will magically appear and cause you bodily harm. His favorites are "Wind!" "Storm!" and "Hot Lava!" I'll try to get live action footage of that soon.

In the meantime, I've compiled a photo album of some of his finer moments from the vacation (click on the photo and hit play to see the whole album).

I've also put together a gallery of his siblings' highlights. The nuttiness isn't limited to the middle child. But he is certainly setting the bar high.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We’re in the midst of one of my favorite times of year – the conference tournaments and the first week of the NCAA tourney – so you’ll have to excuse the lack of posting. And that won't change any time soon, given that I'm taking the next six days off to watch basketball and ski.

For the first time in at least a decade, I’m not filling out an NCAA tournament bracket. Given how well OSU is playing, I don’t want to sully my enjoyment of the tournament worrying about how the Buckeyes' fate. If I pick them to win it all, I feel I’d be jinxing them. If I don’t pick them, I’d never hear the end of it. So I’m going to skip it this year and just sit back and watch as much basketball as I can.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t read 1,837 stories about the tournament. I particularly liked this compilation from Lopresti (well, except for the last one. I didn’t care for that factoid so much).

In non-sports news, an on-target horoscope today (it seems they're about 1-for-7 in terms of accuracy on a weekly basis, but when they get it right, they really get it right):

You’re engaged in one of your favorite preoccupations: dreaming and wondering about the next step. Welcome the familiar restlessness like you would an old friend.

There’s a fantastic job open just outside Portland, Ore. Given the ongoing state of unrest at my office, it’s tempting. And I absolutely love Portland. But it's really far from here and from my favorite little faces, who were with me for most of the weekend. When I went to pick them up Saturday, they announced they had made me gifts, because I was sick and they wanted to help me feel better. This is what they made:

Matthew made me a portrait of his hand and Adam made me a string basketball necklace. Do gifts get any better? We spent Saturday afternoon feeding animals at a local farm and playing basketball at a new indoor hoops center.

Smiling at the horse, which seconds before scared the absolute crap out of them...

Eating blue ice cream...


Sunday, we had a textbook Americana day - the local St. Patty's Day Parade, bowling and dinner at the diner.

I don't think they have diners in Oregon. And I know they don't have crazy nephews.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The good news is, I don't feel this poorly today.

But it's close.

(And egads, does Eddie Van Halen look awful or what? Somewhere, Keith Richards is sitting around saying, "Wow, Eddie really looks like shit.")

(An addendum – apparently this picture is a year old, but it’s accompanying the story that hit the wires today regarding Eddie’s checking into rehab. I think we can all agree that seems like a good idea.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

When I was in college, a fellow writer at the paper wrote a fantastic column about recovering from the common cold. He offered two options: a responsible three-step process including rest, orange juice and medication; and the method he actually chose, which included 17 paragraphs of drinking and other irresponsible behaviors. Sadly, I can't link to this classic because I graduated from college before Al Gore invented the internet.

But I mention this because my cold is currently peaking. I awoke this morning with a swollen throat, and I've blown my nose so many times that it is completed chafed.

So what will I do tomorrow?

Head into the city for me and KJ's annual Big East Tourney Girls' Day Out. Four games and countless hours of socializing. During the past few years, the average end time of our carousing has been 4:26 a.m.

Don't worry. I'll have some orange juice on the way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm too sick and cranky (which wasn't helped any watching my alma mater play 32 ugly minutes of girls' basketball in its state playoff game ... two points in the first quarter ... stench) to be literarily clever today. I'll try to do better tomorrow. There are good vacation stories to share, including an overall poor flesh/fabric ratio in swimwear (complete with photos); future employment plans of one of the crazy nephews (also with photos); and abandoned feminine hygiene in the middle of a fitness center (fortunately, no photos). I'll get to those as soon as I can.

For now, I'll leave you with this interesting article about the Evil Empire.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Punxsutawney Phil
A burrow
Gobbler's Knob
Punxsutawney, Pa.

Dear Phil,

Bite me.

Hugs and kisses,
Jersey Girl

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Linda Cohn
Evil Empire
1 Evil Empire Way
Bristol, CN

Dear Linda,

In the name of all that is holy, please shut up.

Thank you in advance.

Hugs and kisses,
Jersey Girl