wine by the color

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yeah. I'm still in vacation mode.

Maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For those of you who have wondered if I planned to leave that photo of Favre in a Jets hat up there forever, no. Well, okay, yes, it did cross my mind.

But I've actually been on vacation for the past few days and doing a lot of this...

and as a result eating a lot of this...

so my computer time has been limited. More to come soon. Or maybe not. We'll see. I'm on vacation for another nine days.

(As an aside, might I say that if I were to watch a cow being marched to its death, I would never eat meat again. Never, ever. But I had no problem dropping that crab into a boiling death and eating it shortly thereafter. And smiling as I did it. Humanitarian of the Year, people. I'll let you know where you can submit my name.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's like my birthday and Christmas, all in one day.

Seriously. I wonder what my heart rate currently is...




"If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."

One of my favorite movies of all time is the original "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." Near the end of that cinematic wonder, when Gene Wilder's Wonka informs the young Charlie Bucket that he would be given the reigns to the factory, the following exchange occurs:

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he he always wanted.
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

With the news that His Holiness is a Jet, you can call me Charlie Bucket.

Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the news, which came via a phone call from Joe Pendleton and a text from the Sandman simultaneously as I sat in an Oregon restaurant. Before I checked either, I rushed to the bar and asked two fellow diners, who were watching television, if Favre had been traded. "Yeah," they replied. "To whom?" I replied tentatively.

Their reply, "The Jets," set off a raucous celebration between me and, well, me.

Now, I realize that things probably didn't end well for young Charlie Bucket. He was only about nine years old and no doubt ill-equipped to run a large business. Who knows what sort of union trouble he had with the Oompa Loompahs, not to mention Veruca and her malfeasant friends were stuck in various places around the factory.

Similarly, I don't expect things to go smoothly with the arrival of His Holiness in East Rutherford.

But right now, I. Do. Not. Care.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Armed with my robust 45 minutes of sleep the prior night and several hours of on-and-off napping while en route from EWR to SEA, I arrived in the Emerald City exhausted. But there were things to be done, friends to catch up with, baseball parks to visit. So I powered myself with a steady stream of diet Coke and went about my day.

Safeco is impressive, perhaps my favorite of the newer stadiums except for Pittsburgh. Very easy to get in and out of, easy to navigate once inside, nice view of downtown. Also, the weather was lovely. The locals referred to it as "cold" and I did indeed wear a jacket and jeans, but considering I had left choking heat and humidity, I found it to be quite pleasant.

En route to our seats, we passed the outfield bullpens, where I had the opportunity to check out that night's starter, Jarrod Washburn, who looked excellent in his baseball pants. I don't want to say my ogling him was the highlight of his evening, but given that he proceeded to get shelled, giving up six runs in less than five innings, it just might have been.

The cat in front of me kept the score for the game, which I thought was hard-core. Then he went to the bathroom and made his wife keep the score, which was even better.

And then there was this ... if you can't see this, I'd recommend you make it larger.

Yes. His shirt reads "Home of the Dingleberry." I would have thought some words have a universal meaning, but apparently not, given that they were advertising a food product, far from the definition I know. It would seem it's also the name of chocolate strawberry kebob.

But not all the food-related news from Safeco was disturbing. Might I introduce you to my new best friend, the Garlic Fries?

What's that? You can't get the idea? Here, allow me to zoom in. Lean closer to your computer screen and get a better look at those nice big pieces of garlic all over the place...

These things were H-E-A-V-E-N. It's all I ate that night. I had to restrain myself from not going back for seconds.

Sadly, this young lady outlasted me at the game, which we left in the eighth inning. But all in all, a lovely evening in Seattle.

Followed by a five-hour drive south the following morning. Lengthy, but worth it. Fortunately, I was alone, as I was burping garlic for the entirety of the drive.

Again, totally worth it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I know how he feels...

Ten minutes before Thursday night's show started, KJ punched me on the arm and exclaimed, "Dude, check that out." I turned just in time to see a woman throw up all over herself less than 10 feet from us. It was spectacularly horrific. While trying to hold her mouth closed until she arrived at a trashcan, she somehow managed to hurl such that she wound up back-splashing it all over her own face. She was such a wreck that she was eventually removed on a sitting gurney.

Sadly for her, she missed one of the best concerts I have ever seen. It might be the best. I need some time to reflect, but it is way up there.

Thursday night had a mix of potentially troublesome variables - a show that started an hour late due to the perfect storm of traffic disasters en route to the stadium ... stifling heat and humidity ... a mid-level stomach ailment troubling yours truly .... a 3:45 a.m. wakeup call the next morning.

But none of that was enough to overcome this setlist:

Summertime Blues
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Radio Nowhere
Prove It All Night
Two Hearts
The Promised Land
Spirit in the Night
Light of Day
Brilliant Disguise
Pretty Flamingo
Blinded by the Light
Cadillac Ranch
Candy's Room
Because the Night
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
Mary's Place
Incident on 57th Street
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Born to Run
Bobby Jean
Dancing in the Dark
American Land
Jersey Girl

I absolutely floated out of the stadium. The crowd energy was great throughout, despite humidity that caused me to lean over to KJ around midnight and declare: "I cannot believe how fucking hot it is at this hour."

The traffic debacle meant the show didn't start until 9:30 and ended, by my count, at 12:47 a.m. I arrived home at 2:41 a.m., fell asleep at 3:08 a.m., and was awakened by the alarm at 3:45 a.m. I packed in an absolute frenzy and was out the door less than two hours later. I was snoring before the door was closed. Thank GOD I was flying across the country. I needed every minute of sleep I could get.

You know who didn't need to rest on Friday? The person sitting in section 14, row 1, seat 15, who slumbered for the majority of the show. Eyes closed, head bobbing, O-U-T. Now, I have dozed off during a Jets game or two, but that's the Jets. This was a magical evening of music, a gift for the masses. It took a tremendous amount of self-restraint not to punch her in the ear.

I mean, not for nothing, but in a five-day span, I drove in awful traffic from Connecticut to Jersey, rocked my ass off at three Springsteen/E Street Band shows, worked a few days, got a haircut, ran a variety of errands, hung out with the crazy nephews, wrote my weekly column, celebrated Sweetie Pie Princess' second birthday, had lunch with Mel, gave Charlie a tour of the Museum, had dinner with BAM, drove in heinous traffic from the 'Burg to the Meadowlands, and got my ass to the airport on 45 minutes of sleep. What on earth could 14/1/15 have been doing that would have necessitated slumbering during the best Springsteen show I've ever seen (ok, apparently I've decided)?

But this wasn't enough to keep me down. Less than 24 hours later, I was sitting in another stadium, some 2,874 miles away from the night before...

Friday, August 01, 2008

So it's 2:41 a.m. and I have just walked in the door after perhaps the best concert I have ever seen. At 5:15 a.m., a car is coming to take me to the airport. As I have not entirely packed, the alarm is going off at 3:45 a.m.

Do I even bother sleeping?

More to come on the concert tomorrow...