wine by the color

Monday, June 30, 2008

And we're back...

I wish I could talk more about my job. It certainly has its downsides but there are also some special moments, like the one below, where I'm standing by as the newly crowned champion of the world's biggest women's golf tournament has her official photograph taken, or this one, where I had a front-row seat to a truly magical moment.

We will return to the regularly scheduled shtick soon. For now, I plan to sleep. A lot.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My mother would do absolutely anything for me, but I think this might fall just outside the list of acceptable favors.

Somewhere, my brother just passed out at the mere thought of this scenario.
I'm sorry. What???

I told him next time he does that I'm going to get my blade out and cut him. I'm a gangster. You go gangster on me, I'm going to have to get you. You do that again, I'm going to cut you right on the field," quipped Manuel, who reinserted Reyes at shortstop and the leadoff spot for last night's series finale against the Angels.

Did the new Mets skipper just call himself an armed gangster?

I realize I'm in Minnesota and news seems to travel here slowly but you would think I would have heard this.

Yep, I feel good about the coaching change. Really good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

For a few weeks, crazy nephew #1, who "graduates" from first grade tomorrow, has been repeatedly singing the same lines to a pop song - Hey hey you you I don't like your girlfriend. Apparently his bus driver plays this song for the kids as they travel to and from the elementary school.

We had no idea what he was singing until tonight, when he showed us a piece of paper with the word "Avril" written on it. Thanks to Google, we were quickly able to determine that the song he has been singing is Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend," which features the following lyrics:

I think you know
I'm damn precious
And hell yeah
I'm the mother fucking princess

Hmm. I think my brother might be chatting with the bus driver.

I was going to bitch about the fact that I was still sending work-related e-mails at 3:34 a.m. last night (this morning?) but then I saw Willie got fired a mere half-hour earlier so I guess I can't really complain.

Fortunately, I have a plan. One I'll tell you all about when I'm not so damn busy working 20 hours a day.

Although today was so stressful I was experiencing stabbing pain in my ribs, the day ended well...

In the last week, my younger nephew has repeatedly discussed plans that would lead to a) me moving in with them; or b) him moving in with me. This is no reflection on his feelings for my brother and sister-in-law, I am just currently his favorite person on the planet and he seems interested in spending as much time with me as possible. Which, I have to tell you, is rather nice and makes an overworked, incredibly stressed girl much happier. It's amazing how quickly that little face can melt away stress.

Tonight, during my last visit before I hit the road for two weeks, he unveiled a detailed plan whereby we will use ropes to attach my abode to a truck, then pull it onto the lawn of their home, and use a glue stick liberally to join the two homes together.

Listening to the step-by-step description of his plan was more than enough to make me forget the stress of the day.

At least temporarily...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I haven't had much time to deal with personal correspondence lately because work is out of control but I spent a few hours catching up tonight. While reviewing the few messages I've sent this week, I realized I have sent my most religious friend an e-mail with a subject line of "Furry Sluts," exchanged several communiqu├ęs with an old friend to discuss whether it's acceptable to visit a strip joint while his wife is pregnant, and held preliminary discussions about a sure-to-be shenanigan-filled girls' weekend in New Jersey's adult playground.

Somebody stop me.

But speaking of people in their undergarments...

Recently, I was trying to find the Wrangler commercial featuring His Holiness. I came up empty on YouTube but did stumble across this gem:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My vow to "work less in 2008" took a major step backward last night as I was in the office until 1:43 a.m.

I wouldn't have minded so much had they not turned the air conditioning off at 5:30 p.m.
My home state recently inducted its first class into the "New Jersey Hall of Fame" and a friend passed along the speech given by Bruce Springsteen ... definitely worth sharing...

When I first got the letter I was to be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame I was a little suspicious. New Jersey Hall of Fame? Does New York have a hall of fame? Does Connecticut have a hall of fame? I mean, maybe they don't think they need one.

But then I ran through the list of names: Albert Einstein, Bruce Springsteen... my mother's going to like that. She's here tonight. It's her birthday and it's the only time she's going to hear those two names mentioned in the same sentence, so I'm going to enjoy it.

When I was recording my first album, the record company spent a lot of money taking pictures of me in New York City. But...something didn't feel quite right. So I was walking down the boardwalk one day, stopped at a souvenir stand and bought a postcard that said "Greetings from Asbury Park." I remember thinking, "yeah, that's me."

With the exception of a few half years in California, my family and I have raised our kids here. We have a big Italian-Irish family. I found my own Jersey girl right here in Asbury Park. I've always found it deeply resonant holding the hands of my kids on the same streets where my mom held my hand, swimming in the same ocean and taking them to visit the same beaches I did as a child. It was also a place that really protected me. It's been very nurturing. I could take my kids down to Freehold, throw them up on my shoulders and walk along the street with thousands of other people on Kruise Night with everybody just going, "hey Bruce...." That was something that meant a lot to me, the ability to just go about my life. I really appreciated that.

You get a little older and when one of those crisp fall days come along in September and October, my friends and I slip into the cool water of the Atlantic Ocean. We take note that there are a few less of us as each year passes. But the thing about being in one place your whole life is that they're all still around you in the water. I look towards the shore and I see my two sons and my daughter pushing their way through the waves. And on the beach there's a whole batch of new little kids running away from the crashing surf like time itself.

That's what New Jersey is for me. It's a repository of my time on earth. My memory, the music I've made, my friendships, my life... it's all buried here in a box somewhere in the sand down along the Central Jersey coast. I can't imagine having it any other way.

So let me finish with a Garden State benediction. Rise up my fellow New Jerseyans, for we are all members of a confused but noble race. We, of the state that will never get any respect. We, who bear the coolness of the forever uncool. The chip on our shoulders of those with forever something to prove. And even with this wonderful Hall of Fame, we know that there's another bad Jersey joke coming just around the corner.

But fear not. This is not our curse. It is our blessing. For this is what imbues us with our fighting spirit. That we may salute the world forever with the Jersey state bird, and that the fumes from our great northern industrial area to the ocean breezes of Cape May fill us with the raw hunger, the naked ambition and the desire not just to do our best, but to stick it in your face. Theory of relativity anybody? How about some electric light with your day? Or maybe a spin to the moon and back? And that is why our fellow Americans in the other 49 states know, when the announcer says "and now in this corner, from New Jersey...." they better keep their hands up and their heads down, because when that bell rings, we're coming out swinging.

God Bless the Garden State.

Amen, brother.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Just as I was getting ready to say there is nothing good on the Internet today, I came across this (note: anyone who doesn't care for the F word - ahem, mom - might not be so amused).

It's unreasonably hot in the swamps of Jersey. I played softball yesterday and then went to watch A.J. parade around the field at our local minor-league baseball park with his Little League compatriots. We lasted three innings before A.J. started begging to leave. I didn't blame him and might have in fact encouraged the whining. Walking back to the car, I was so overheated I started to wonder what it must be like to be on fire.

Fortunately, we spent the rest of the day in the pool, thus banishing those thoughts.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I'm pleased to report my return trip from Scotland was much less eventful than the trip there. I watched two crappy movies, finished a tremendous book and caught a little shuteye. No mad dashes to the restroom, much to my delight.

Because I was doing the work of three people, I didn't have time to see much except the golf course while in Scotland. But when you're at St. Andrews, seeing the golf course is what's really important. What a place...

You do have to keep your eyes open - the holes are so close they share several greens. Also, "dog fouling." Such a way with words they have...

Sitting on the Swilken Bridge on a beautiful evening (a photo I expect will become as famous as this one)...

The sunsets were stunning. The sea is across the street from the course so while I was there late writing every night I would sneak out to watch the colors dance across the water as the sun disappeared from the sky...

I will definitely be returning to Scotland. Lovely people, lovely countryside. The food? Not so much. My mother asked for a Scottish cookbook. I'm not sure who she thinks will be eating any of it. She can count me out. The most adventurous thing I ate while there was mandarin-orange chicken kebabs.