wine by the color

Thursday, January 31, 2008

If you want to get some strange looks, go to your local Quick Chek and purchase just two things: whipped cream and lottery tickets.

Trust me on this.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I usually steer clear of all matters political, but a recent trifecta of stories in Vanity Fair are worth mentioning. You can read them here, here and here.

Fare thee well, Mr. Giuliani. Don't let the door smack you in the ass.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

While reading the latest issue of my alumni magazine, something caught my eye in the personal news pages. Someone from the class of 1945 was listed in the marriages section, with a nuptials date of January, 2007. Then I realized it was someone who earned their law degree in 1945. Now, this is a lot of math for me, but let's conservatively say she was 23 when she received her law degree, which would make her 85 on her wedding day.

Rock on with your bad self, ma'am.

That is my new target age for settling down. Which means my wedding announcement will appear in the 2055 issue of the OSU Alumni Magazine.

While I'm lagging a bit behind with the reading goal thus far, I have started a 2008 Reading List to the right. I'll link to books once I finish them. I flew through the first two but it's slow going thus far with No. 3.

Monday, January 28, 2008

To the unsuspecting eye, this probably looks like a simple small cooler on a countertop.

You would be wrong in that line of thinking.

This morning, the second of three flood lights in my kitchen blew. Unfortunately, because the lights are located high in the lofted ceiling, replacing them is no easy task. A change requires a process whereby I climb from the chair onto the counter, then step atop the cooler so I can reach the lights.

Now, as I arranged this system this evening, I realized that for someone who lives alone (and is cloudy-headed thanks to the cold), this might not be the safest method for interior illumination replacement. Although I remain somewhat athletic and coordinated, this just seems to be asking for trouble. And by "trouble," I mean a fall of around 9 feet, with no one around to hear my screams and transfer me to a medical facility.

But all's well that ends well. I am in one piece, and the kitchen is again bright.

As we always say here at Wine by the Color - Safety First!
Expect a lot of crankiness this week. Back at work, back in the cold, fighting a cold, way too much Belichick.

This was in the huge pile of mail waiting for me. I'd usually be fired up about seeing His Holiness on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but it's clear that the jinx is alive and well.

Great picture, though.

To completely switch gears, this story made me feel a little bit better about humanity. Most people would be blaming the fire department for the loss of their loved one, not asking people to make donations to the department.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A few days ago, I read an article about Pitcairn in last month's Vanity Fair. Pitcairn, for those unfamilar, was the island settled by the mutineers from the H.M.S. Bounty in the late 1700s.

Well, there was almost another mutiny on the high seas last night.

After watching the Patriots march their way into the Super Bowl, I sat back for the start of the Packers-Giants game. The captain had made an announcement that the game would be available in the ship's four bars and casino, as well as in all staterooms.

That was a lie.

At game time, the promised channel was instead showing coverage of the women's Australian Open. And people were not happy about it. I have never seen such vitriol from so many grown men at once (as well as hearty pouting and glaring from at least one grown woman). A guy at the bar in an Eli Manning jersey looked so angry that had someone come along and taken his blood pressure, they would have immediately checked him into a medical facility.

Apparently, they were unable to get the game on the television due to "satellite issues." But finally, with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter, the tennis flickered off the screen and football at long last appeared.

Now, given how the game ended, would I rather have not been able to watch at all? That is a fine question. Without doubt, watching the fourth quarter and overtime took at least a year off my life.

But, given my history of semi-unhealthy, irresponsible behavior, what would I really be doing during that year beside sitting in a chair, trying to remember the days of yore and watching the Young and the Restless and Price is Right?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When I watch the Packers-Giants game later today, it will be approximately 113 degrees warmer than it will be in Green Bay (taking the wind chill into account, of course).

Perhaps I'll have some hot chocolate as I watch in my shorts and flip flops, to give me more of an Ice Bowl feel...

Monday, January 14, 2008

God bless you, New York Giants. Every last one of you. I don't usually root for you and I certainly won't be doing so next Sunday, but for today, I salute you.

Making T.O. weep and putting the NFC championship game in Green Bay all at once? It's almost too much to believe.

Who knew #13 on the year's goals list - maintaining a healthy blood pressure while watching sporting events - would face a second challenge so early in the year...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The list of goals for 2008 isn't going so well thus far.

So to help move things along, I'm leaving the country for the next 12 days. Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 9 are obvious objectives. #24 is a possibility.

While posting will be infrequent in the next two weeks, I assure you I'll figure out a way to blog from the ocean if His Holiness leads the Pack back to the Super Bowl.
I was at my cousin's house last week and as I walked out the door, he handed me a letter from a local real-estate office. It's a solicitation letter, aimed at attracting new customers.

You tell me, would you trust these folks to handle a complicated transaction like the sale of your home, given their obvious lack of concern for simple things like punctuation, spelling and good grammar?

(When I clicked on the document above to make it larger, I realized I didn't do a very good job of crossing out the agent's name and contact information. You know what? Too damn bad. That's what you get, Rosemary.)
I don't want to go totally crazy with the Favre pictures, but, well, ok, I do.

How could I possibly eliminate any of these from my "holy crap, do I love football and this is how it should be played" montage (and thanks to the folks at the AP for making these things so easy to share).

Oh, and you have got to love the people of Wisconsin.

Let's Go Giants!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Much to my mother's dismay, I'd like to discuss the versatility of the word fuck to illustrate several things currently on my mind.

To Mother Nature: What the fuck? Why so warm? You are ruining some great powder in Vermont.

To the newcomers at the gym, making their New Year's resolution visits that will fortunately only last a few weeks: Go the fuck away. I watched two of you fall off treadmills and another stumble off a stairmaster this morning. You're creating an unsafe environment. I mean, I'm laughing so hard I could fall off my own machine and injure myself.

And finally, to the NCAA/BCS/Fox: Go fuck yourself. Seriously, why is this game being played on a Monday night? Right now, I should be preparing Casa Magnolia for a rollicking party so friends and family can watch the national championship featuring my alma mater. But nooooo. Had to push this game to a Monday evening.


Additions uttered during the game...

Fuck yeah!!

For fuck's sake, tackle him!!

Are you fucking kidding me? (while watching the halftime kicking challenge)

And finally, simply...


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Last night, as the Sandman and I sat at the bar watching the Steelers lose but not by more than 3.5 points, something on the other side of the bar caught my eye. After some squinting, I leaned over to the Sandman and asked, "does that guy's shirt say 'Fake Titties Taste Funny?' "

Indeed it did.

As it turned out, his friends were sitting next to us, so we had a front-row seat to his attire for the next few hours. Who would have known his fashion choice would have been his second-strangest decision of the night...

At one point, he made a bathroom visit. Apparently, someone in the men's room had committed the ultimate sin of crapping in the urinal. Now, had he returned from the restroom and simply announced this, I'm sure everyone would have believed him.

But perhaps his friends have doubted his word in the past. I don't know. All I can tell you is he felt the need to take a picture of the offending matter on his cell phone, which he immediately started showing his friends (which included both genders). Unfortunately, due to the ensuing ruckus, my eyes accidentally caught a glimpse of the photographed turd.

Before you ask, no, he was not wearing a wedding ring...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Well, one of the tasks on the 2008 to-do list has gotten off to a good start. Unfortunately, it's #4, and a stomach virus is to blame.

But hey, in these goal-oriented times, four lost pounds is four lost pounds.

Before I finish the Dublin adventures (I haven't forgotten, just thrown off track), a few pictures from the holidays...

Getting these three to sit still is no easy task:

The youngest in the family is already the most musically talented:

What good is a Halloween costume and rain boots if they can't be worn while opening Christmas presents?

Why, yes. Not only did I get a submarine, a gun and a bow and arrow, but I also got something I didn't even think to ask for - a grenade...

On New Year's Day, we didn't let an overcast afternoon keep us away from the beach...

We started at the arcade, where CN#1 has already proven himself a skilled skeeballer...

And then it was time for a walk on the beach. Here are two shots of the crazy nephews, posing as unusually high waves crashed onto the shore.

Note how I have their full attention in the first shot, but as the second was taken CN#2 sensed something was amiss and turned around.

The third of these photos would have been a real doozy, but the photographer needed to drop her camera and jump into the water to grab a four year old.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I am not usually a big fan of New Year's resolutions. A few years ago, I vowed to "drink more Coke." Last year, I offered a general resolve to "be nicer" (jury's still out on that one).

But this year, I am completely going in the other direction. I am setting the bar high, and have thus devised a list of 25 goals for 2008.

I resolve to...

1. work less.
2. dance more.
3. read one book per week.
4. lose at least one pound.
5. see as many Springsteen/E Street Band concerts as my time and finances allow.
6. write the second chapter of my book.
7. shave 10 minutes off my 2007 Spring Lake Five time.
8. ride my bike at least 700 miles (cumulatively, not all at once. I haven't completely lost my mind.).
9. visit at least two new countries.
10. knock three more states off my to-visit list.
11. make strides toward finishing the world's slowest masters' degree.
12. consider getting Easy Pass. (I only vow to consider it. I'm still not sure I want The Man to be able to track my every vehicular movement.)
13. maintain a low, healthy blood pressure regardless of what happens on Jan. 7.
14. finally clean the damn walk-in closet.
15. start playing basketball again.
16. do more camping.
17. stay out of McDonald's, particularly between the hours of 7 and 11 a.m.
18. bring the crazy nephews to Shea Stadium and Coney Island's Astroland, both in their final year.
19. make a major appliance purchase.
20. start to learn French.
21. consider writing a fan letter to Le Anne Schreiber.
22. learn how to properly grill fish.
23. figure out how to operate the sewing machine I got last year.
24. do something completely irresponsible.
25. make one major life change.

An ambitious list, yes. But nothing here seems out of the question. I mean, #24 is all but a given...

Periodic status updates will be given throughout the year.

Happy 2008.
It didn't take long for a Quote of the Year front-runner to emerge in the new year. Enjoy this gem from this article about homicides in Camden.

"You have to wonder why homicides are up" when other assaults with a gun are down, said Arturo Venegas, the state-appointed leader of Camden's Police Department. "Either the shooters are being more selective or the targets aren't ducking as fast."