wine by the color

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Continental Airlines
Attn: In-flight Entertainment
P.O. Box 4607
Houston, Texas 77210-4607

Dear Sir or Madam:

You've probably noticed the calendar changes to May tomorrow. With that, I am hoping you will have mercy on my tender heart and stop showing the movie P.S. I Love You.

In four cross-country flights during the month of April, I watched this flick three times. The first time was a complete debacle - an embarrassing display of tears. I have done a better job of controlling my emotions since that initial viewing but still found myself somewhat weepy during the third showing.

Now, I can't say what sets off the waterworks. Could it be the movie was actually that good? A quick look at the reviews compiled on Rotten Tomatoes offered the following:

-"By mid-film I was praying for Clint Eastwood to show up and take Swank off life support. No such luck."
-"This is a movie that will leave you stunned and stupefied from beginning to end, if you don't head for the exits first."
-"P.S. I Love You is the cinematic equivalent of a Celine Dion song."
-"You could go see P.S. I Love You, or you could hit yourself on the head with a meat mallet."


I don't think it has anything to do with Hilary Swank, despite my affection for her fine work in one of the greatest television shows in history, not to mention her role in Million Dollar Baby, aka The Movie I Shall Never Watch Again.

Certainly, that the movie opens with The Pogues' "Love You 'Till The End" sets the tone early. The music throughout is terrific, as is the scenery once the action goes to Ireland. Lisa Kudrow amused me greatly, as did Harry Connick Jr. And don't get me started on the eye-candy combination of Gerard Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

But none of this explains this movie's ability to repeatedly pull on my heartstrings. So that leaves the following possibilities:

-I am a wus.
-Memories of my tremendous trip to Dublin have clouded my judgment.
-A stressful few weeks have affected my ability to filter crap.
-I got completely sucked in by a by-the-numbers chick flick.

I'm at a loss. I consulted my personal cinematic authority but she has yet to see the flick, so I am unable to say whether it's that the movie is actually good or that I have lost my good sense.

Until she is able to do, I am begging you: PLEASE remove this movie from your in-flight entertainment options. I cannot take anymore and I am scheduled to fly three times next week.

Thank you for your consideration.

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A little haiku...

Grass: fragrant, deadly
Spring is here; I cannot breathe
Allergies amok.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So the whole Jersey Girl clan decided to take in a movie yesterday on a chilly April Saturday afternoon.

And how can you go wrong with a movie that promises ... anything can happen on Nim’s Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl’s imagination. Here, a fiesty young girl named Nim, surrounded by her exotic animal friends and inspired by legends and books, leads an amazing tropical existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary hero, Alex Rover, the world's greatest adventurer.

That seemed like a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, particularly for Sweetie Pie Princess' first theater experience...

How could we go wrong? Well, I can tell you exactly how that can go wrong. Really, really wrong...

For example, when the cinema house shows an alternate movie without much (i.e., no) notification, so much so that the marquee outside the theater is still advertising Nim's Island as the main feature. So that, when you arrive a few minutes before the movie begins, order popcorn and pizza and pitchers of soda and beer and settle into your seats to enjoy a show about a magical place ruled by a girl's imagination, things take an immediate unexpected turn.

The three adults in our party began to exchange confused looks. What exactly were we watching?


Before we realized the gravity of our error, I thought it was cute that Mrs. Cunningham and Frank Drebin were guest-starring in the flick. And then we realized the full extent of what we had mistakenly encountered...

More than once, my brother leaned over and asked, "Why are we still here?" Fortunately, the crazy nephews chose to focus on the slapstick humor and super-hero action instead of the barrage of foul language and adult humor.

The only questions I had to answer from the four-year-old sitting next to me were: What did they do to his penis (during some shtick about a sex-change operation)? (Answer: oh, they're just fixing up his parts); and What does shat mean (in response to a character saying, "I shat my pants"). (Answer: He farted in his pants a lot). Fortunately, there were no questions about the following topics (despite being mentioned): porn, Hooters, sexual intercourse, sex change, bitch, whore, vagina, testicles, balls, fuck, shit, ass, and so on).

If nothing else, we now have a firm grasp on the difference between PG and PG-13.

And before you ask why we didn't simply leave, I'll respond by asking if you've ever tried to remove three children from a theater once a movie has started. Allow me to link to the word meltdown (please see #3).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but something this great deserves a repeat performance...

"Obviously the Jets know something that the people up here don't." Classic.

Just an hour or so remaining until we learn if/how they'll screw up this year's pick...
This week's helpful tip for WBTC readers ... if you're near the end of an challenging, hilly bike ride, do NOT attempt to jump a curb as you return to your abode. If my experience is any example, you will not have enough energy left to do so, thus leading to a head-first-over-the-handlebars catastrophe. If any of my neighbors were looking at the window at that moment, I cannot imagine what went through their minds. It must have been a spectacular scene.

On the bright side, I learned I am still capable of flight. And I do not seem to have suffered any broken bones. Fortunately I was wearing a helmet. I saw stars with the helmet on, so I can't imagine what would have happened had I been sans head protection.

While I escaped unscathed, the front wheel of my bike is completely askew and I will have to have it fixed before I ride 45 miles through the five boroughs of New York City in eight days.

In other sassy-lady vehicular news, the crazy niece has her own wheels. And she loves them...

Friday, April 25, 2008

One of the biggest blessings I've had bestowed upon me is that I have had the same best friend for 36 years. Our childhood homes were three doors apart, we went to college two hours away from each other, lived together for a year or so upon our returns to Jersey, and have remained very close throughout the years.

Our neighborhood was a surburban haven for young families when we were kids, and our families spent a lot of time together back in the day. I have many memories of everyone hanging on the back porch or by the pool, a combined five kids running around as our mothers, both graduates of the same college and teachers, chatted hours away while our dads amused themselves with old school cans of Budweiser and horseshoes. They also played men's league basketball and softball together.

I also remember that when we were in high school, her older brother and his friends - a collection of all-county hoopers - used to wage some battle royales in their driveway. Their hoop was torn down so many times that her father finally got fed up and dug a ridiculously deep hole in the ground and filled it with several feet of concrete.

Although they moved quite a few years ago, I still pass the house frequently as my brother now lives on the street. The backboard is partially torn off, but that pole is still firmly in the ground.

Her dad died today after a mercifully short battle with cancer. But that pole is going to be there forever.

And I'll think of him everytime I see it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Now that spring seems to have finally arrived for good and my patio door is open for the first time, I'm sure my neighbor will again start to wonder why I randomly erupt in raucous fits of laughter.

My dear neighbor, it's things like this, from the latest Victoria' Secret catalog...

This would look good on approximately 0.06% of the female population, and I most certainly do not count myself among that percentage. Not to mention, can you picture me doing backdives or fishing in that get-up? A suit like this would no doubt lead to a lot of wardrobe malfuctions. One would have to sit absolutely still to avoid incidents. I'd also imagine there would be a fair amount of bunching in the crotch. Uncomfortable and socially hazardous? Check.

This suit would have been particularly disastrous during our family vacation last month. While in Tortola, I spent some time riding the waves with my older crazy nephew. He's only recently gotten more adventurous and surprised me by letting me take him further and further out into the semi-rough sea.

All was going well until AJ noticed a larger wave approaching. My father called out, "that's going to be a big one," and indeed it was. I had two seconds to consider my options, which was done amid a barrage of silent, internal profanity. I decided to mash AJ against me to protect him from the crashing wave and minimize the amount of water he took on. It worked fairly well but we got absolutely hammered by the rogue wave (as a sidebar, I cannot imagine what that tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 must have been like. This was a little wave that caught us off-guard and passed within four seconds. Anyway...)

As I waited for AJ to dissolve into tears, his little face looked up at me and yelled, "THAT WAS GREAT" with a huge smile. And thank God he felt that way as another wave crashed onto us almost immediately. He took that one well also.

My brother was standing on the beach and witnessed the whole thing. He was holding his camera and I hoped he had captured the carnage, but alas, no. I think he was concerned he was going to have to make a Hasselhoff-esque save.

Ah well, next time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Catching up on a variety of things...

During my Oregon travels, I spent a few days with Tege and her family. At one point, Tege ran some errands while her husband and I stayed home to watch the Masters and their nine-month-old baby girl.

Their daughter loves her little jumpy swing so while we watched golf, she amused herself by jumping and laughing, which she did for quite a while. But suddenly, she went completely quiet.

And this was why...

Dead asleep to the world. Brandon and I considered moving her but a) we were afraid we'd wake her; and b) she looked so damn cute. So we left her there.

I'm not sure leaving a toddler dangling in a swing while sleeping is listed under good moves in the child-rearing guides, but she didn't seem to mind.


Last Christmas, a friend surprised me with an iPod shuffle. I already have one that I use at the gym and while running, so I wanted to do something different with the new one. I considered putting my entire Springsteen catalog on it but there wasn't enough room. So I decided to create a mix of "Jersey Girl's All-time Favorite Tunes." I thought that collection would be good for long bike rides, among other things.

Which is how I happened to go from Springsteen's "You're Missing" to "Ice Ice Baby" during a ride yesterday.

Somewhat jarring, even for me...


Speaking of music ... while cleaning my car today, I realized the only CDs I have in the vehicle are: Springsteen's The Rising, Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor; and South Park's Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics.

I guess I'm ready for a variety of moods...


During our girls' night in the city Friday, we started the evening with huge, expensive, melt-in-your-mouth-tasty plates of meat at a city institution. After a Broadway show that was much more entertaining than I expected, it was on to the Living Room Bar at the W for pricey cocktails and amusing conversation with men who were still in diapers when I was operating a motor vehicle.

Given that medley of high-priced entertainment, how best to end the evening in our fancy duds? Two words...

White Castle.

Which, as a public service announcement for everyone, does accept Visa. That was important, given that we had spent all our money during the previous stops.

It also provided an evening-ending boost, as the girl who prepared our order complimented my outfit. One would think a $39 piece of meat and great seats to a Broadway show would provide the highlights during an evening in the city.

But no, it was your kind words and approving head-to-toe glance. So thank YOU, Shaniqua'ah.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've always had a special spot in my E-Street loving heart for Danny Federici, given that our hometowns are about seven miles apart.

He made a special appearance at a show on my birthday last month. Thought that was a good sign.

Very sad day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Greetings from central Oregon, where yesterday it was 76 degrees, a beautiful day that allowed for hiking in shorts.

Less than 24 hours later, this was the scene as I drove across Oregon, as the temperature plummeted to 30 degrees and snow blew sideways as I drove across the Beaver State.

My brother called earlier to alert me to a possible new low in his television viewing - the NCAA Women's Bowling Championship. That's impressively bad, but I have just stumbled across something called Ego Trip's Miss Rap Supreme on VH1 and I'm pretty sure I have upped the ante to an unreachable level. I won't bore you with all the details, but one segment featured a bevy of young females in Daisy Dukes and a melange of gold chains rapping to nuns.

If you are a very bad person, I'm pretty sure they air this show on a continuous loop when you get to hell.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dear His Holiness,

You know, I'm dealing with a lot of stress at the office, and I had that crying jag while watching a movie on the plane last week (as an aside to WBTC readers, I'm not ready to talk about that yet, but I will) so my emotions are clearly out of sorts, and I haven't been sleeping well and as a result I'm a little edgy, so the last thing I need is you toying with me.

Have a heart. A girl can only take so much.

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl

Monday, April 07, 2008

My office runs a comprehensive NCAA tournament pool that utilizes the same technology we use to score 10 national championships each year. The pool is quite popular, garnering close to 200 entrants annually. This year, the exact number is 179. How do I know this?

Because regardless of what happens in the next two hours, I will finish 179th.

It's a shameful reality I will carry like a scarlet letter for the rest of my life.

That's one reason our attentions will not be as focused as usual on tonight's championship final. The other is that G4 is airing a "Ninja Warrior"/"Unbeatable Banzuki" marathon. (As a sidebar, could the Wiki entry for "Ninja Warrior" be any longer?)

My brother, in a fine tradition passed down by our father, watches an incredible amount of crap. I'm not a fan of much of it - most notably, his preferred trifecta of poker, house flipping and motorcycle-building programming (although, I am currently sitting next to him and he would also like to be credited with watching "Deadliest Catch" and "Dirty Jobs," both of which I do enjoy, although the closest I've ever come to vomiting while watching television was during an episode of "Dirty Jobs," but I digress. Also, given how many episodes of "My Super Sweet 16" I watched over the weekend, I'm not in any position to judge.).

But this Japanese show is different - it's glorious, simply glorious!

The show itself is tremendous - humans performing a variety of tricks and stunts, accompanied by shtick-filled, subtitled commentary. But then add my brother's contributions - a lot of karate-esque noises and the like - and you have a slam-dunk winner of a viewing experience.

I've said it before but it's worth repeating. Easily amused, people.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dear Fellow Cross-Country Traveler:

Might I introduce you to the wonder of the Ziploc bag...

Do you see what I did there? I put items that were more likely to leak as my luggage got jostled around during the travel process - on the conveyer belt down to the plane, loading and unloading, and the trip to baggage claim - in an air-tight container. Then, because I'm extra careful, I put that bag in a cosmetics bag for extra protection. I don't want to brag, but it's an almost fail-safe system.

Employing such a system helps avoid, for example, items floating all willy nilly in luggage, allowing the contents to leak all over creation and thus causing the bags of others to marinate in the mess during the six-hour flight. I don't want to rush to judgment, but given the liquid dripping off my bag when it came my way on the baggage claim carousel, I'm fairly certain you did not employ any sort of leak-protection measures.

But, since you did take that packing approach, might I also ask why you were carrying liquid citronella? During the lengthy clean-up process I needed to undertake, I had plenty of time to recognize the undeniable odor of citronella, coupled with a waxy, sticky residue all over my bag. Are you going camping? Were you afraid you couldn't buy citronella in California? Not to be a know-it-all, but I'm pretty sure there's a Wal-Mart here. And Wal-Mart has everything. And it's often open 24 hours a day.

Now, if you're not camping, I certainly hope that stench is not your fragrance. If it is, rest assured you are making a mistake.

Of course, based on my experience, it would not be your first.

Hugs & kisses,
Jersey Girl

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I just read a job posting that seeks the following from potential candidates:

Affable, with a high tolerance for ambiguity.

I have reviewed, conservatively, 591 job listings in the past few months and that is certainly a first.
It's hard to accurately capture the joy the Sports Illustrated Vault is bringing me.

In honor of April Fools' Day, today they featured this absolute classic.

And this picture from the cover of the April 15, 1985 issue.

I think you may be seeing a daily "What I Found on the Vault" feature around here before too long...