We celebrated at home this time around, with gifts and cards from afar and food from France (or recipes from France to make crepes, savory and sweet, on the crepe pan which is actually from France). Now it's raining and thunderstorming and Ben Folds is on 314 in the loft. The cats have mellowed for the evening and it feels like a birthday Tuesday day.
Nobody in Weezer is named Jonas, but the first 120-decibel words they sang last night could have convinced anyone. I've been waiting to see this show since nineteen-ninety high school and that delay was evident in Rivers Cuomo's knees and receding hairlines all around the arena, which isn't to say that this show was anything less than awesome. By the time the big W went up on the backdrop they had rocked all the songs you know and a bunch of the ones you don't while we jumped around in the pit. No Surf Wax, though, and that means they're still on the list.
Pretty quiet day other than that. Slept in a bit, lounged a bit, and got haircuts. We had crepes for dinner at Philly cafe Beau Monde before the show because we're aging hipsters too and that's how we roll. There was also uplifting news via bb of a pretty major comeback in Ann Arbor - I had turned off the game in disgust when we left the valley - and a brief detour through the Camden business district to spice up the drive back to the val. Today we're watching weather and wondering if the previously-scheduled outing to the city is a good idea...
Both Jenelle and I found ourselves at home a little earlier than usual today with an above-average desire to get out of the house. So we did: BCMR and PALCB then home for new recipes and the debate - or in my case, previously-viewed "The Office" on NBC. I also stumbled on a 'We Are Serious Journalists' style rebuff of now-blog Stuff White People Like. This puffed-chest editorial theorized that SWPL is actually ignorant racism. Really? "White people like frisbee sports (#110)" is racist? 'Cuz it sounds to me like pretty clever satire, where 'clever' is a threshold only reached by satirical media which are countered by We Are Serious Journalist editorials. It hurts my feelings that people can't laugh about this stuff. The only serious problem I see with SWPL #110 is that Frisbee is actually a registered trademark of Wham-O! and should be marked with the TM symbol...but that was lost on the We Are Serious Journalists.
posted at 10:21 PM - comments
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It's not The Clear, but an upped dose of drugs is making my face better - though playing frisbee for the first time in a couple weeks on Tuesday night made it worse again. It's getting late season for ultimate, especially in the riverbottom hollow where we play, but other activities are in full swing so I won't be too sad when darkness kills it for the season.
One of my other activities is the Lower Macungie Township Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Farmland Preservation Board. It's interesting to be active in the community in this way. The opinions of the other board members are a microcosm of the township (albeit probably a slightly mis-represented microcosm) who really control quite a bit of the destiny of the physical attributes which make up our little municipality. I've enjoyed seeing the different sides of the discussion about parks and people from my role as a community member/advisor and hope that it works out to join the board in an official voting and leading capacity someday.
In a throwback to times when we lived in a hotel, Jenelle and I sat around the dinner table with Scrabble this evening. We didn't keep score, in the interest of time, and were frequently interrupted by Ollie hissing at Jay. Jay's back from the vet and now solely rear-wheel drive; Ollie can sense 'surgery' and 'car trip' and 'other smells' which override the loneliness he displayed last night and result in one gnarly, unpleasant, not-as-big-as-his-little-brother-anymore tan snarl.
A good fall weekend spent at home and, largely, in the kitchen. Since the arrival of our freezer we've been scheming ways to fill it, like cave-men but with year-round cold. We picked apples Saturday morning and then made 14 quarts of two sauces: apple and spaghetti. There wasn't much else on the docket, really, so we read some and listened to Prairie Home and that mood carried over into today. We enjoyed another bristol day from the deck and with an afternoon walk, Jenelle did some math, and there wasn't much else to report.
posted at 9:14 PM - comments
Friday, September 19, 2008
We both rolled in a little later than usual, doubly so for a Friday night, and didn't feel like sticking to the game plan so we bagged that and headed for Friday Night Lights at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown. Allen was there, with a football team. Liberty had a team, too, and when the proverbial dust settled they had 65 more points than Allen, who had no points.
Now we're at home; Jenelle has some tea and her program and I've got btb in my belly and a couple of blackberry emails worth reading.
There's something wrong with my face. No, seriously: I have a rash or some darn thing around my eyes. The good doctor from Macungie Medical Group - which is open during, like, real people hours - suggested that perhaps I gave myself poison ________ (insert plant name) via sunglasses which may have been set down in same. Shoot. Now I'm paying for it.
Other than that a pretty normal week. NOT! Between the financial market hubbub, my regular job that lately seems to consist of finding fires to add to my list and trying to put them out to cross them back off, steroid-induced stupors in the mid-evening hours, and a trip down to Royersford to meet Ryan P from the summer of ought-six it has been anything but a normal week.
Much of the success in my life can be traced to a singular recommendation from an old yachtsman with whom I corresponded. The man was Olin Stephens, who suggested that if I had the opportunity I should go to Webb Institute. It's difficult to describe the magnitude of the shadow that Mr. Stephens casts over yachting; one of the most prestigious design firms carries his name, as do a handful of America's Cup winners and a flotilla of the prettiest yachts ever built. A compilation of his designs, called simply Lines, is the ultimate volume of elegance and performance afloat. The definition of 'elder statesman,' he was still known to show up to his firms' Manhattan offices and celebrated his 100th birthday at New York Yacht Club's Harbor Court earlier this summer. Olin Stephens died yesterday - Saturday, September 13th, 2008 - at his residence in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was one hundred years old. If there was ever a man who deserved an age-old nautical blessing, he did... fair winds and following seas, sir. And thanks for the good advice from a kid who got all this and sailing too, too.
posted at 9:11 PM - comments
Camping weekend with the Webb crowd! We met at old standby Worthington State Forest up on the Delaware and had a great time. Most of the excitement focused around the fire under the gimongous tarp... where the food was. We had breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, hobo dinner, and pancakes. There was a trip down the Delaware on Saturday and not much else; people headed for home relatively early Sunday which meant virtually a whole weekend day at home for us.
Since last time, a very busy week at work and frisbee and basketball. A review at work was less fun than I had expected but resulted in more work and ever-increasing visibility. This job is great for that and this week reinforced (again) that KNL was the correct decision 18 months ago. At the sports desk: decent frisbee, then decent defense at basketball but a pretty sorry state of affairs in terms of scoring.
You've missed your chance to join the fun, but a tip of the hat to Gram & Co. for raising over $50k for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the honor of a skipper he sailed with this summer.
Smarmy ads used to promote The New York Times Sunday magazine with "the only thing I enjoy more than doing the crossword is actually finishing." Rubbish ad campaign, but I kind of get it now. Lately, though, I've been starting Sunday in the window seat with some light reading from Britain. This week I learned about politics in countries whose elections are quicker and some thoughts about Russia.
We also went on a long, long walk around our 'block' and came back happy and slightly tan. Then, to the grocery to stock up for the week and think about camping, home for dinner, and bed. Lazy Sunday.
Imagine your favorite band, live - go ahead, I'll wait - and then add a symphony orchestra to back them. Hear, in your mind, cellos and basses strumming the deepest lows and a raft of flautists hammering the raucous highs. Take away the trap set that you hear when the album plays in your car and replace it with a timpanist providing new percussive depth. Add an operatic tenor to provide the chorus in front of a wall-of-sound finale to a song you never quite got but is your favorite the next morning. Now imagine this outdoors as the remnants of a tropical storm blow the cloudy veil off skyscrapers visible in the not-so-distant city which provide the only illumination on a very dark night. That was Ben Folds and the Philadelphia Orchestra at Mann Center last night.
posted at 1:21 PM - comments
Friday, September 05, 2008
It was a long short week that came to a close this evening. I've been working late and playing later, so tonight we stayed in - pizza and a movie and cherry Coke. Our plan to relax and kick off a relaxed weekend was partly foiled by a great and highly motivational film, The Great Debaters. Denzel Washington's directing wasn't my favorite and I felt abandoned at times, but the content and climax carried too much gravity not to be engrossed.
Last night was tip-off for fall EHS men's basketball league. It was hot hot hot in the gym, but some people had clearly prepped for this over the summer... by playing basketball. Ryan from the hood is in the group and his jumper was sharp. A guy named Blake broke out some Olajuwon-esque post moves and it was on. I'm looking forward to participating in this every season - East Penn was the school district for us.
I love short weeks, but this one is slipping away too quickly. Last night's frisbee game lasted until the point where a switch to a glow-in-the-dark disc was just a few points away. Work has been creeping ever later into the evening and ever earlier into the morning; that's elevity billion times truer for Jenelle who restarted with pupils on Tuesday. Much to my surprise, elation and relief her AP students dutifully handed in their summer projects on Day 1.
Finally, final thoughts about this weekend. While we enjoyed a great late meal on Sunday, Gram was missing the chance to drink adult beverages out of oversized vessels: dark & stormy from the Olin Stephens Cup. Though smaller than Lord Stanley and filled with a slightly less-universally recognized celebrante, any sailor or yachtsman would be equally honored. Also: nobody talked about work. I can't even remember the last time I was in a conversation with new acquaintances and the conversation didn't turn to professional background within four minutes. There was even a rule on Moderately Active Trek Goes Awry and the michigan trek that trekkers shouldn't discuss their careers... it was that prevalent. This weekend's crowd above all that? Understood that they are 'in finance'?
It is important to practice any endeavor in which you desire success. This holds for football teams and chefs, among others. It is also why we reserved this weekend for our annual yachting practice, held this year in Newport RI. Gram played host and cruise director, lining up both a downtown place to stay (his) and a steady stream of top shelf events at the Panerai Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta. As such, we enjoyed a ride around Narragansett Bay with new friends aboard Pluck, watching classic yachts with full sail move nowhere in the rainy dead calm of a useless day. We motored under the bow of Carribean Princess and through a fleet of classic 12s which was impressive even without the strain of full sails, then on to Jamestown for ice cream with jimmys. In the evening, when AP over A signaled mercy - apparently - we met the crew of Alana for cocktails and dinner under the tents at Fort Adams. Sunday the weather was beautiful and we watched from shore, after regatta breakfast and Land Rover off-road course(!), as the fleet headed out under bright blue skies into a stiff breeze. We also toured Newport in toto: Ocean Drive, tidal pools, coastal inlets, mansions, shops, the works. Cocktails at MOY for awards and a great dinner at Pasta Beach would have wrapped things nicely, but we went whole hog for an authentic yachting weekend and went to Ravers.
Somewhere along CT 15 Merritt Parkway on Friday night the Vibe rolled past 100,000 miles. On our way back under Labor Day sun we realized what makes this NYC bypass so awesome: every bridge is different. The parkway is about 40 miles and must have almost that many overpasses, each unique in terms of decoration and aesthetic. I lobbied the LMT Parks & Rec board on Wednesday night that finding the cheapest bridge might not make the best park, and I concluded Monday that the cheapest bridges do not a scenic byway make.
But enough about that... we spent the weekend in Newport. Even Google's directions refer to it as 'Scenic Newport' (seriously) and I concur. We dug the old houses at the point, the incredible five-stayed mast of Virgin money and the destroyer-like bow of an Izanami look-a-like. Out on Ocean Drive we watched a happy lab swim across an inlet while his owner paddle-boarded. There were starfish aplenty clinging to the Elm Street pier, and in town there was people-watching beyond compare. Even traffic was cooperative on the way there and back - it was a great, great weekend.