wine by the color

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I would be much more inclined to participate in this worldwide Earth Hour were it not been scheduled during the NCAA tournament. The event calls for "nonessential lights" to be dimmed. The lights that are bringing Nova-Pitt into my living room are most certainly essential.

But since I won't be turning off the television during this hour, I might as well be on the computer as well and post for the first time in more than a week.

In my third year at OSU (notice the lack of "junior year" used there - that's what happens when it takes five years to complete a four-year degree), I had a wacky housing situation. It actually started the prior spring, when I made arrangements to live with a sorority sister. However, weeks before the quarter ended, said sister announced she was getting married and not returning to school. So I was left high and dry without anywhere to live, as everyone else had made their arrangements. But with a mere three weeks to go before I was due to return to NJ for the summer, I ran into another sister on the sidewalk near campus. She offhandedly asked where I was living the next year and I said I had no idea (if memory serves, I recall being rather nonchalant about this, although I was truly close to having nowhere to live and thus not returning to school). As luck would have it, she and three friends from her hometown had rented a house and needed a fifth roommate. So I gave her a check, got the address and headed home.

And that was the last time I ever spoke to her.

Throughout the summer, I tried to call her. I sent my then-boyfriend, who lived in suburban Columbus, over to campus in the hope of tracking her down. I asked other friends if they had heard from her. All in vain.

So in mid-September, my parents and I loaded up the mini-van and my jeep and headed 500 miles west. Upon arriving in Columbus, we headed to 258 E. 13th Avenue, where I rang the doorbell and announced to the girl who answered the door, "Um, hi. I'm Beth. I'm supposed to live here this year?"

Apparently, sometime during the summer my friend had a falling out with the three other girls and was thus no longer living in the house. But they were still counting on me to live there, so in I moved. The friend non-grata had been replaced by a guy from their hometown named Doug. I had met Doug once the previous year, at a dorm party at about 4 in the morning. In a strange twist, his cousin was marrying the girl who was supposed to live with me that year but bailed to get married.

As you'd expect, Doug and I became great friends. We shared a love of the nightlife and were inseparable. The other three roommates weren't so amused by our antics but that was of little concern to us. Two of them, sisters, were a little nutty and the third was nice enough but never home as her boyfriend lived next door. Eventually, one of them moved out and another girl, Robin, moved in for a few months. She and I also got along famously well.

But things eventually fell apart. Doug, who never actually attended OSU, decided to move home, as did Robin. While I was in NJ for spring break, the sisters moved out, which meant I returned to an empty apartment. Well, empty except for the eviction notice from our landlord, who had visited while we were away and was apparently (and most likely justifiably) less-than-pleased with the conditions he found at 258. I called him and explained that the other roommates, on whom I blamed the mess, had departed and he agreed to let me stay until he found other renters.

Two days later, the apartment was broken into in the middle of the night while I was home alone. Less than 24 hours later, I vacated the premises and moved in with Becky and Sandy. Less than two days after that, my jeep was broken into while parked in their lot overnight. Not my finest week in Columbus.

Anyway, it seems hard to understand how we all lost touch, but this was before the days of cell phones and text messages and e-mail, which made keeping in touch with people more difficult than it is now. I lost track of Robin almost immediately. Doug and I stayed in touch until I left Columbus about two years later, but that was about it.

But this past week, the three of us reconnected thanks to Facebook. And just like that, almost 18 years evaporated. I'm going to Columbus next week and hope to catch up with Doug. It seems he lives around the corner from Becky, with whom I'm staying. Funny how things like that work out...

Friday, March 20, 2009

So a mere three days after I theatened physical violence should it snow again, I awoke this morning to find it doing that very thing. Happy spring, indeed.

I have an extremely busy day ahead (and by that I mean 12 hours of eating, drinking and watching hoops) so I need to get rolling but I leave you with this...

Since the discovery of This is Why You're Fat several weeks ago, it has become one of my favorite web sites. My brother and I have an ongoing game where I send him the latest posts with something like "there's no way you'd eat this" and he replies, "oh yes I would." Of the 100 or so entries, I think there are only about three things there I would actually eat.

But last night, I ate something that appeared on TISYF ... the Bacon Explosion. People, I am not going to lie to you. It was FANTASTIC.

Earlier this week, Freakgirl and I signed up for boot camp, a four-week program that will have us sweating from 6 to 7 a.m., five days a week. I believe part of this process includes an evaluation of our diet. Won't they be impressed when they hear that in the past 16 hours, in addition to the wonderment above, I enjoyed pizza, Doritos, kettle korn popcorn, cookies, a cupcake, five glasses of wine, some blackberry brandy and breakfast at McDonald's.

Yeah. They are going to LOVE me...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Last week, while I went to work, the Captain decided to explore one of the local nature preserves. One of the things I like best about him is his love of the outdoors and his ability to take the time to enjoy the beautiful, simple wonders nature can provide. He also has a terrific eye and takes wonderful pictures...

And a video he took of the "spring peepers..."

I can't wait to visit this place in the spring, which if today is any indication, should be right around the corner. So help me, if it snows again I am going to hurt someone. I love winter, but I have had enough.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometime within the last year, while reading about the wonderful Irish band the Pogues, I thought I read somewhere that their infamous lead singer, Shane MacGowan, was finally off the sauce.

Erroneous. Erroneous!!

Well, either that report was incorrect or he has since fallen off the wagon. And gotten run over by it.

Don't get me wrong, Friday's Pogues concert at the Roseland Ballroom was great. Fantastic. But everything I have read about MacGowan's legendary drinking seems to be spot on. He stumbled onto the stage and everything that came out of his mouth that wasn't sung was completely mumbled.

But again, it wasn't enough to ruin the show. The anticipation of "how many more songs will he be able to remain upright" was interesting throughout the evening. He sang the first four songs, then rested for the next one while the band played a jaunty tune sans lyrics. It was then one on, one off for most of the rest of the show, with the band's flute player ably filling in on lead vocals when necessary. MacGowan did finish strong, belting out several tunes during the encore.

I think whoever recorded this video must have been standing in front of me, as this was our exact view, about six rows from the stage...

When Shannon and I went to the Dropkick Murphys concert at the Roseland the Friday before, we were amazed by the hostility in the crowd - incredibly violent slam dancing and moshing. We chalked it up to crazy kids and I figured it would be much calmer at the Pogues, given the generally older fan base.

Again, erroneous.

It just meant then when the older, bigger (read: fatter) kids fell, they fell much harder. I'm sure several concert attendees visited their chiropractors after the show.

And a word about the Roseland Ballroom ... what a fantastic venue. I had never been there but have now been twice in a week. It's a small, old-school dance hall/theater that holds a large-enough crowd to make a show loud and rocking while at the same time feeling like an intimate venue.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned the original Roseland was founded in Philly, funded by the fine folks at Yuengling.

Yuengling just gives and gives...

Friday, March 13, 2009

We were pretty sure it was going to be a good game.

And we were about 10 seconds and 20 dollars from missing it...


As usual, KJ and I waited until the last minute to make plans for our annual Big East tourney day. Last weekend, I actually told the Captain we might skip it this year.

But at the last minute, KJ got tickets for yesterday afternoon's games from a client, so in we went. Louisville pretty much blew out Providence in the day's first game, prompting me to say to KJ, "I just hope we get to see a close game today."

Which is exactly what we got in the next tilt, when Villanova hit a buzzer beater to top Marquette by one.

As soon as that game ended, we dashed over to Stout, hoping to beat the crowd we knew was coming. We were so efficient we scored seats at the bar, where we parked for the next two hours. Upon our departure, we decided we would make a half-hearted attempt to score tickets for the evening session, knowing that the UConn-Syracuse game had potential to be a good one. We determined the price we were willing to pay and walked across Seventh Ave.

The second our feet hit the sidewalk, we encountered a nattily attired businessman who quietly mentioned he had two tickets. KJ opened the bidding, which he quickly declined. He countered, and she declined. We conferred for about 10 seconds, ready to walk away. But he came back to us with a lower price "as long as we bought him two beers."

So in we went...

The tickets were in the last row, but at mid-court so the seats weren't too bad. But we quickly made our way down to our usual bar to watch WVU top Pitt. Our friends from Pitt, bitter about the loss, were leaving the arena so we took their tickets so we could sit in their seats for the day's final game. But we realized our seats from the afternoon had been filled by Pitt fans who also left, so we wound up back in our original seats in the lower section. The friends we had made in the afternoon seemed happy about our return, which was good, given that we'd be spending the next three hours and 26 minutes with them...

The game was tight throughout and overtime always seemed like a possibility. But no one could have imagined we would be sitting there for SIX overtimes. As someone said on ESPN this morning: "It was the game you didn't want to see end, but were afraid never would."

When Syracuse hit the three as time expired in regulation, everyone in the building knew it was unlikely the shot was good. But because the Garden would not show the replay while the officials were conferring, no one knew for sure. The Professor, watching at home, sent me a text that read: "No good."

And indeed it was not and off to OT we went...

and went...

and went...

and went...

It was amazing. The energy in the arena, which remained quite full, was palpable. It's one thing to witness sports history. It's another to know it's happening as you're watching it. At one point, KJ nudged me, pointed upward and said: "You don't see that everyday." The scoreboard read 100-100. Eventually, the number under Period read 8. Usually you get 2. Maybe 3 if you're lucky...

As the sixth overtime started, we began to discuss the train situation. Any Jerseyan who visits NYC on a regular basis (and enjoys the nightlife) knows the last train out departs at 1:41 a.m. The sixth overtime started at 1:07 a.m. and we figured a seventh overtime, should there be one, would make the 1:41 train unlikely. But there was no way we were leaving, so contigency plans were discussed.

But ultimately unnecessary. Neither team had any legs left and UConn completely lost the ability to shoot from the outside. With their big men fouled out and no inside game as a result, Syracuse pulled away and finally the second-longest game in NCAA history ended at 1:22 a.m.

We safely made the 1:41 train, where I ran into a former co-worker. I arrived home at 3:15 a.m. and am exhausted today. But it was completely worth it...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's been a week since I posted? Cripes. Here's the best I can do for now ... the briefest of updates:

Dropkick Murphys = great

Crowd at Dropkick Murphys = mesmerizing/violent

The sweet potato fries at Stout prior to the show = heavenly

Work = crazy

Mary Poppins and NYC with Adam J = fabulous

Bike NY training = underway

Spring Lake 5 training = underway

Big East hoops = Thursday

Life in general = excellent

Perhaps I'll provide more information about some of these topics soon. No guarantees.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I opened an e-mail from Ticketmaster recently that advertised, among other artists, Led Zeppelin. That's one band I have never seen and while it would not be the same as seeing them in the band's 70s heyday, I'd be interested in doing so.

Then I realized the band in question is actually called Lez Zeppelin. Call me crazy, but I'm guessing they are not the same thing.

And I should probably start wearing my glasses more often...

Last year, I saw a grand total of four concerts (Rush and three Springsteen shows). This year, I will have seen that many before the year is halfway through. In addition to a Springsteen show in May (one in Hershey, Pa., instead of N.J. thanks to the Ticketmaster/TicketsNow debacle), I also have tickets to the Dropkick Murphys, the Pogues and Amadou et Mariam.

I am looking forward to all of the shows but am particularly excited about the Amadou et Mariam concert. I was first introduced to the African artists by a clerk at the Amoeba Records in Los Angeles several years ago. That CD, "Dimanche a Bamako," has become one of my favorites - perhaps top 10 of all time. The lyrics are in French and I cannot understand a single word of it and it doesn't matter at all. It's absolutely joyous. I can't help dancing to it, even when doing mundane tasks like cleaning the house. I can't wait to see them live.

Speaking of dancing...I can't pinpoint why, but I REALLY enjoy this video of Digger Phelps cutting a rug during a timeout during a recent Cal-UCLA game. Perhaps because he not letting his lack of smooth moves stop him from dancing with reckless abandon. I don't know, but I love it:

Sunday, March 01, 2009

In light of yesterday's newspaper-related post...

I found this on a forum I visit. It's almost surreal:

Hard to believe that less than 30 years ago, "Owns Home Computer" was worthy of a tag in a news clip...