wine by the color

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Hello, is this the webmaster for the Packers' official web site? Yes, this is Jersey Girl and I'd like to have a word with you."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whenever my brother and I go into smart-ass mode (which is frequently), my mother muses, "I wonder where my real children are. The polite, well-behaved ones."

So can you just imagine what the mother of these two is saying right about now?

Speaking of shenanigans, I added another genius to the blogroll recently. Moose has entered the fray with a blog titled "Moose Droppings are Tasty." If you click on his site, you'll probably get the following message:

Content Warning
Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog's content is objectionable. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog.

I've never seen that message before. While he's not done anything over the top yet, I'm sure he will eventually live up to that billing.

Monday, February 25, 2008


To: Local Parents In Huge Homes With Impossibly Long Driveways
From: Jersey Girl

I know it's cold. And I realize you don't want little Blake or Courtney to be standing outside in the elements waiting for the school bus. I get that. I'm not completely heartless.

But might I recommend you transport them to the end of your half-mile driveway in your toasty Volvo SUV and wait for the bus there, rather than sitting in the house until the bus arrives, then having your child casually saunter in its direction.

This absolute ridiculousness caused a backup of at least 40 cars during my morning commute today. It's quite likely a large percentage of those were experiencing the rage I was this morning, meaning there were a lot of very unhappy people with dangerously high blood pressure driving around central Jersey.

A programming note ... coming soon, a discussion of the 51st state in our nation: South Jersey.

Friday, February 22, 2008

So, to review, the choices today were a) going to work and spending 10 hours editing a 600-page publication; or b) hanging out with these faces:

I'll let you decide for yourselves how that worked out...

There may indeed be a sweeter sentence than "It is Friday, February 22 and the office will be closed today."

But you'd have a very hard time convincing me of that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This article appeared in the local paper's Your Life section last week.

In theory, I suppose I understand the point the wine-supplying parents are trying to make. But there is just no way I'd give a five-year-old wine. To support my position, I offer the following equation:

The last thing that face needs is alcoholic fuel, no matter how small the serving...

And then there's his brother. I offer this video as exhibit A. He hadn't even had soda the day he did this. Could you imagine what wine would do to him?

(And I'm sorry the damn video is sideways. His aunt is an idiot who didn't stop to think that she wouldn't be able to rotate a video like she does with photos. Live and learn. Either tilt your head to the side or watch it sideways. He looks crazier that way anyway.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Yesterday was an EXCELLENT work day...

I had the opportunity to help coordinate a photo shoot for one of the most recognizable (and, based on my experience, nicest) sports figures of the last 50 years, which was quite a thrill.

Equally thrilling was the incredible scenery in the California desert...

and seeing (and smelling) beautiful, blooming flowers in February...

One last scenic photo ... for years, I've been told there are no tastier fast food burgers than the ones at In-N-Out Burger, which is primarily a California chain. I've always been skeptical of such a claim, mainly because I didn't believe the words "tasty" and "fast food burger" could be used in the same sentence.

Consider me mistaken.

At long last, we made a visit en route from LA to Palm Springs.

It did not suck.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Doesn't it seem ridiculous that in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Charlie's family was so poor that a loaf of bread was a luxury and the four grandparents shared one bed, but somehow they had a television?

Maybe it's just me.

I have been told I'm a good writer. That's very nice and perhaps I am, depending on the day and the topic. But then you read things like this and realize you are far from being a great writer. When you can hold someone's interest for 4,583 words, you have talent.

And yes, I just complimented a piece of writing from the Evil Empire that did not come from my literary girl-crush, Le Anne. The world may indeed be ending.

Speaking of the published word, I was fired up to see the cover of the most recent NJ Monthly Magazine as I checked out at the grocery store the other day. Advertised as "The Diner Issue," I eagerly grabbed it and added it to my purchases.

Things started well, with the editor's letter offering the following introduction...

Barry Levinson's 1982 film, Diner, proves that the acclaimed director and Baltimore devotee deserves to be an honorary New Jerseyan. His homage to his youth starred a bunch of quasi-unknown actors, including Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, and Daniel Stern. But make no mistake - the diner stole the show. That's a concept we in the Garden State and perfectly comfortable with.

Given this, I ask you ... how in the name of all that is holy is it never mentioned that "Diner" is filmed at the Bendix?

I mean, they did a sidebar about movie-making in Jersey diners, and mentioned the Bendix but in reference to the movie "Jersey Girl. And not the Kevin Smith "Jersey Girl" (scenes from which were filmed at the New Berlin Diner and Sandman, make a note that we have to go there), but the Jami Gertz version from 1992 (the hair ... oh, the shame).

Overall, it's a solid issue. But that sort of negligence is difficult to overlook.

A list of my favorite diners would require a good deal of thought. But a preliminary top five would be:

-Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights
-Time to Eat Diner, Bridgewater
-Phoenix Diner, Absecon
-Somerset Diner
-Princess Maria Diner, Wall

A special mention of the Wildwood Diner should also be made. It was an absolute beauty and probably where my love of diners began, as we visited the establishment on Atlantic Avenue many times during my childhood. But sadly, it served its last meal in 2005 and was demolished a year later.

A travesty.

As for my top-five menu items:

-Cheese fries
-Grilled cheese
-Pork roll and cheese
-French toast
-Rice pudding

I could talk about diners all night, but I really have to get packing as I'm due to fly to California in the morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

For those of you on the West Coast who have yet to make Valentine's plans, might I recommend a mini-marathon of Cribs and Pimp My Ride? Nothing says romance like a melange of MTV reality programming.

So the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue arrived in the mail yesterday. Frightening news for New Jersey shore-goers - apparently, 2008 is going to be the year of the half suit.

Not counting the body-painted suits, models taking photos of themselves or the wives/athletes (Danica Patrick? Seriously?), there are roughly 120 swimsuits in the issue. Of those...

Number of models not wearing a top: 21
Number of models wearing a mesh or see-through top: 11
Number of models carrying their bikini top rather than wearing it: 2
Number of models who felt no need to sport the bottom of their suit: 1
Number of suits that made me visibly blanche, due to either ugliness or lack of comfort (or, in at least one case, both): 4
Number of Jets, Packers and/or Browns representatives featured in the NFL cheerleaders section: 0
Number of suits I'd actually wear: 0
Number of ads featuring Djimon Hounsou in his Calvin Kleins: 1

And consider this list:
-two Eddie Bauer bathing suits, featuring both a top and bottom ($170)
-my annual gym membership ($504)
-160-gig iPod ($349)
-Bose portable sound dock ($399)
-oil changes for a year ($240)
-two tickets for all three Springsteen shows at the Meadowlands in July ($660)
-dinner for two at the diner once a week for a year ($1,250)

I could get all of these things for a grand total of $3,581. Or, for roughly that same amount, I could purchase this top, which I wouldn't really call a bathing suit top. But it is $3,500 (and unfortunately is a crappy picture. Not that anything could explain why this costs $3,500.)

Now, if I could have the body in that frock, I'd consider $3,500. Otherwise, I'm going with the list above.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The weather in Central Jersey today was a spectacular crapfest, featuring heavy snow and sleet throughout the day. As you can imagine, the roads were a mess, with the majority of my fellow motorists immediately forgetting how to drive due to the precipitation on the ground.

Given this, I ask you - does this seem like a good day to take a student driver out on the road? The fine folks at one local driving education school seemed to think it was. So my speed for the majority of the trip home was a robust seven miles per hour.

Yet another reason people are not allowed to carry weapons in their cars.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Since I returned from vacation, I have been in a major funk. The Man has been kicking my ass, and it's affected me to the point where I have not been my usual chipper self. I have been cranky and anti-social, and those are not words I'd normally use to describe myself.

So I took Friday off, a mental health day of sorts. After dropping the younger crazy nephew at school, Sweetie Pie Princess and I visited my old office, where she entertained the masses. A $23 parking ticket later, we picked her brother up at school and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the diner. It's never too early to expose a Jersey Girl to the wonderment of the diner experience, and she's taken to it nicely. And her brother still calls it the Fancy Dinner Place.

I spent that afternoon cleaning Casa Magnolia, something I always find therapeutic, and spent the evening with the trifecta of good friends, beer and karaoke at our local dive bar (no photographed bathroom material, for those keeping score at home). There was a fine offering of musical numbers, including a local barfly doing a version of "Rocket Man" that rivaled this. The Sandman closed out the evening with a terrific version of "Jersey Girl."

Saturday started with a violation of #17. Don't judge me. There's nothing better than a greasy sausage biscuit and hash brown to start the day after an evening of libations. Particularly when you are going to spend the next nine hours watching three children under the age of eight.

When I mentioned to Local Shill, during our outing Friday night, that I would be hanging out with the crazies, he mentioned the lack of tales about Sweetie Pie Princess. That is indeed a disservice, for she is coming along nicely with the crazy...

After several hours of puzzles, movie watching and brother-on-brother battle, our quartet hit the diner for dinner because, really, why wouldn't we? And they are absolutely delightful dinner companions. I'm sure when we walked in, people exchanged "oh crap, there goes our quiet dinner" looks. But the kids were great, so much so that two fellow diners stopped as they left to comment on how beautiful and well-behaved the children are, and what a pleasure it was to dine near them. And indeed it was.

Today was spent with the entire family, celebrating a few birthdays, including mine, although it's still a few weeks away. An update - my days of balancing on the cooler for household tasks are over. Apparently, they make tools for changing light bulbs high in the ceiling. Who knew?

All in all, an excellent weekend. So should you find The Man getting you down, might I recommend several days filled with family, friends and good times. I feel like a new Jersey Girl.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Joker, I see you your tremendous Berman video and would like to raise with this:

It's not as good as the genius that is Playoffs/Practice, but still enjoyable.

(I'm not kidding - I could watch that Mora/Iverson thing 10 times a day and giggle like a 7-year-old girl every single time. It really does not take much to amuse me.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Things have been more dicey than usual at my home away from home lately. To work through some of my frustrations, I've been spending a lot of time in the gym (kickboxing works wonders to burn off negative energy). So when this online article popped up today, I thought I'd give it a read.

I have spent thousands of hours in gyms - for basketball, softball, various fitness endeavors - and, as a result, in locker rooms, over the years. And in all that time, never, ever, have I turned to someone in a locker room and asked to borrow their razor.

When it comes to goggles, sweatbands, razors, and towels, neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Would people actually do that? I wouldn't borrow anything from a fellow exerciser, let alone something that scrapes hair off my legs and armpits.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I took the crazy nephews to their swimming lessons tonight after work. Matthew didn't quite make it to the end of class, so he sat in my lap for a few minutes while we waited for his brother to finish.

With the extra weight in my lap, it didn't take long for my ass to hurt, given that we were sitting on a metal windowsill. Thus ensued the following exchange:

Me: "My butt hurts. I need a new one. Where could I get one?"
Him (very matter-of-factly): "The butt store."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm sitting on the couch watching the Super Bowl in my favorite Jets sweatshirt. Hey, a girl can dream...

I took this quiz today, and where did the results indicate this proud Jersey Girl hails from?


During my quick trip to Orlando this weekend, I was charged with finding a restaurant for dinner for our trio of travelers. I was told, seafood or Mexican. So I spoke to the concierge at our hotel, who recommended a place called Moon Fish.

The food was outstanding. But the cost was staggering. You'll notice there are no prices listed on their online menu. I'm sure that's no accident. They had a piece of fish that cost $54.99. Now, I'm not the most fiscally conservative person, but even I found that ridiculous. For $54.99, it should be served and fed to me by His Holiness.

Edited to add...

Even if the Giants lose, people will talk about Eli getting out of that sack and David Tyree making that insane catch for a long time.

Edited again to add...

Holy shit!

Also, I think Peyton Manning might be my favorite non-Green Bay athlete. To see how fired up he is for his brother is, to use a dorky phrase, really neat.

Another edit...

Stay classy, Bill. No need to stay to the end of the game...