Thursday, May 28, 2009

This week

Disjointed post alert.

I'm a little depressed this week. Work is just sooo difficult to maintain any motivation. It's pretty depressing - I estimate there are 57 people still employed by my company in Richmond. Next Friday that number drops to 40 or so. Down from 2000 in December. Every day is like the final episode of "Survivor" where you reminisce about those voted out. But we don't ever get a bonfire. I'm thinking a nice bonfire would help with the depression. No, I'm not contemplating being the source of a fire nor instigating a fire. I'm just saying.

Now in the past 9 days, Anita & I have played golf 7 times, I think. That's been fun. We've decided to form a support group, "Golfers Anonymous". "Hello, my name is CJ and I shot a 40 for 9 last night. Yes, there are dishes in the sink and the clothes aren't washed, but did you see that drive on number 8? Sweet!" Golf may be the only thing keeping me sane these days. I almost ran over the weekend. See, I do need help!?

Oh, and the word for the day is "Fuckmuffins". I mean, why not?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

NYC Retri

Obviously I don't speak French because I have no idea what's after dux or duex or dues or whatever.

I had to go to Manhattan on business a week ago, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.  Anita walked the city as I had my meeting - she spent a lot of time at the NY Public Library and 
Bryant Park, then headed uptown to try to see "The View", but there were no openings.  She emailed me throughout the day so I knew she was wandering and was OK and safe.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th and 48th, which was fine - a large room by NY standards, but nothing to write home about, though we did have a decent view of the river & sunset.  

We had checked "The Times" for what shows were playing and decided to see two of our favorite actresses, Angela Lansbury in "Blithe Spirit" and Susan Sarandon in "Exit the King".  "The Times" gave each of these shows reviews in the fair to good category.

We saw Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" Thursday evening.  Besides Angela Lansbury, it starred Rupert Everett and Christine Ebersole and also had Jayne Atkinson and Debra Rush - all of whom you'd know if you saw if the names don't ring a bell.  It was OK - mildly amusing without any significant charm.  Of course, it was wonderful to see eighty-something Angela Lansbury larking about but the play suffered when she wasn't onstage.  Unfortunately, Rupert Everett was on stage for most of the play and there was just something "off" about his performance.  This is pretty funny as he played an Englishman.  He is an Englishman - you'd think he could've pulled that off.  But he mugged a lot and seemed to be overacting; I wondered several times if he was just bored with his role and the play in general.   I'd call this mildly recommended for Angela Lansbury fans, decent 3rd choice in the TKTS line for others seeking mild amusement.

We walked the city together on Friday as it was a gorgeous day - high 70's and beautiful blue sky.  we spent a lot of time exploring Central Park and debated renting a row boat for an hour and then debated lunching at "Tavern on the Green".  We went so far as to go inside and review a menu at the latter, but decided we really could just have a $2 hot dog and be just as, if not more content than if we'd spent $25 on a shrimp cocktail.  We found the Castle in the Park and thoroughly enjoyed exploring.

Next we walked south, checking out the neighborhoods of monied folks as we made our way to Madison Square Garden to see if P!nk (you didn't think I'd write a blog entry this year that fails to mention her, did you?) tickets would be on sale at the box office on Saturday when they went on sale at Ticketmaster (otherwise known as the thief in the night).  Regretably MSG box office only sells tickets the day after Ticketmaster sales start.  So, instead of paying only a $4 convenience fee (can anyone tell me what's convenient about flying to NY to see if I can buy a P!nk ticked at the box office of the venue she'll be performing at),  we had to pay the outrageous $12 PER TICKET convenience fee of Ticketmaster.  After checking out MSG, we had a couple of burgers at White Castle, then headed to Macy's.  I'm in the market for a couple of new suits as I'll be interviewing some day soon and (I know this is hard for some of you to believe) I've put on a few pounds.  A few being my ASS IS AS BIG AS CHICAGO....  When I had to put my suit on Thursday morning to fly to NYC, I realized that the suit I had tailor made in Singapore is no longer just a bit large on me.  Now it's tight.  Everywhere.  I HATE it when the dry cleaners shrink my pants.  So we spent some significant time in the ladies suits department and I found a couple I liked that were very reasonably priced.  Then I tried them on.  Damn it, either my ass is REALLY as big as Chicago, or they've just started making the asses and waistlines of these suitpants smaller (and the legs longer).  WTF.  So, newsflash, I'm thinking my ass is as big as Chicago.  Fuckmuffins.  (God, I love that word).  Anita & I are going on a diet...when we're in 80 days....hmmm.

But back to the point....we left Macy no poorer and not weighted down with purchases!  Then it was time, once again, to head to TKTS.  Tonight's goal was "Exit the King".  We checked the theater to see if there were any rush seats available, but they only sell student rush.  We took the time to read the entire "Times" review which was posted at the theater and it felt like a rave...I say felt like, because clearly we misread it.  The first act was funny - well, a little funny anyway.  Geoffrey Rush's entrance and physical comedy was quite good.  Susan Sarandon looked magnificent and was spot on in her role as the first Queen.  Lauren Ambrose of "6 Feet Under" fame was good; Andrea Martin was quite amusing as the maid.  As I said, the first act was funny.  Probably very funny for a good 30 minutes.  But it lasted 1.5 hours or so.  The last hour was the same joke, retreaded for our enjoyment.  It really didn't work, but it was OK, it just got a little old.  Intermission and big laugh as the performers run back to the positions that closed the 1st act.  That was the last laugh of the show.  I actually hit sound sleep at one point.  It wasn't funny.  It wasn't poignant.  It made no new points, broke no new ground from the first act.  It was a very large relief when the King exited.  NOT RECOMMENDED.

On the walk to the hotel from the theater (one block if we went directly, but probably 20 blocks as it was a beautiful evening), we decided we were done with plays for the season.  So, if we saw a show Saturday before leaving for home, it'd be a musical.  We checked the Tony nominations and saw that "Next to Normal was nominated for best musical.  Someone in the TKTS line (because you have to chat with total strangers in the TKTS line to sort out and verify your choices) said that it was great, but being about a bipolar actress did not make it the feel good musical of the year.  We decided that if it were on the board, we'd see it.

Saturday dawned a little chilly & overcast.  We took another long walk and had breakfast in an Irish restaurant on 8th Avenue.  The food was not good, but when we reported this to the manager, she charged us only for what we liked, which was nice - so we paid for my bacon and a diet coke!  Anita's coke wasn't even very good.  Weird.

Standing back in the TKTS line, we made some new friends and we all decided that "Next to Normal" was the thing to see.  As we were only a step or two away from the ticket window, I chatted up one of the TKTS paid wanderers and he told us that we had made a really good choice, but ominously added "I don't think we have very good seats though".  Not very good at all as they sold out as we got to the window!  Crap, once again we did not have a good second choice ready.  There were tickets available for last year's best musical, "In the Heights", but I'd heard quite a bit of the soundtrack and wasn't that excited about it.  Another 2009 best musical nominee was "Rock of Ages" which is a love story that takes place in 1987 (GLORY DAYS, BABY), but we were a little concerned about the decibel level of a musical featuring the music of Foreigner, Twisted Sister & Poison.  I asked the people behind us in line what they were seeing  - "Rock of Ages".  I asked our new friends who were in the line next to us - either "In the Heights" or "Rock of Ages".  It was again our turn at the ticket window.  I asked "what do you have better seats for - ITH or ROA?  He said "eh, there about the same."  Crap.  Now how do we decide.  I said "2 for Rock of Ages" at about the same time that Anita said "In the Heights".  The ticket guy only heard me.  I turned to the folks behind us and said "see you there" and "I bet we have better seats than you" (trust me, it was funny).  We then got some lunch and went to the drug store to buy earplugs - just in case.  We have about 100 "Just In Case" earplugs in the house now.

Big build up to this show, right?

We get in line to go in and they're passing out something that looks like a lighter, says "Rock of Ages" and is really a flashlight to hold up as if we're at a concert.  Cool AND funny before the show even starts.  Nice.  The entire theater is decorated like 1987 Los Angeles/Hollywood, the stage looks like a bar with a small bandstand in the rear and there are waiters and waitresses taking drink orders.  Drink Orders.  At a Broadway show.  Awesome.  What do you mean I don't have to wait until intermission to buy a $4 bottle of water, $6 beer or a $10 mixed drink?  You'll bring it to my seat.  FUN.  Then the people sitting behind us turn out to be the people behind us in line.  Of course, I mentioned again that our seats were waayy better than theirs.

The lights go down and this awesome and funny and inspiring show comes out of nowhere.  It was really great.  It probably helps a lot that I was in my 20's in the 80's, but I don't think it's a prerequisite.  There is a narrator that channels Jack Black and the whole thing was intelligent and touching and well, just great.  Didn't even need the ear plugs.  There probably isn't anything to give away, but just go see this show, especially if you were in your teens or 20's in the 80's.  It was a blast.

We capped Saturday off with another long walk that took us to just south of the fashion district, looking for a restaurant.  We found Keene's chophouse and though we were clearly underdressed, it was early enough that they didn't say a word.  We had a lovely dinner, another nice walk, then cabbed to the airport for our 10pm flight that finally took off as Saturday Night Live was ending - bummer.  We got home at 3, watched the "Survivor" Thursday night episode where Coach was FINALLY voted off. Mosied off to bed at 4:30 or so and slept clear until noon Sunday, which was fine since the weather was rainy & cold (sorry we missed cheering all our friends on at the Rockett's Landing Olympic tri/duathlon).

Great weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I refuse to go back and review my blog posts, but I'm pretty sure I've only written about the following this whole year:
  • P!nk
  • New York City visits
  • Golf
  • Mountain biking
So, question: am I boring you? Should I just keep a diary? Or do you want to propose topics I should cover (yes, I'm a little nervous about this question)?

In my defense, when I was training for IM, I mostly was one track there just may have been more interested in it...

Monday, May 18, 2009

For Annnnnnn

I can very nearly review the P!nk concert already as I have watched quite a bit of her European & Australian tour via youtube:

It was amazing. I laughed. I cried. I was awestruck.

I wore earplugs to ensure my old ears were protected yet I was still able to hear P!nk's amazing voice. We lined up 3 hours before the doors opened in order to get in the front of general admission. The Ting Tings were fine, but I'd rather have had no opening act.

My only regret is that I did not buy tickets to more of her concerts. I guess I'm a P!nkhead, which is better than having pink eye and about on par with being a Dead Head, but with fewer compatriots.

I'm sure I'll have more to write about this in late September.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


P!nk was on Ellen on Friday.  Ellen is giving a way a set of tickets to each P!nk concert (among others).


Fairfax.  Check
Boston.  Check
NYC.  Check


Friday, May 8, 2009


By this point, I'm guessing that my loyal readers may be bored with the subject matter (or jealous), but we scored tickets to P!nk in BOSTON today.  Yeah BABY.  FYI, it's not stalking if you buy tickets.

Yes, we intend to see her in NYC too....

Oh and a special shout out to my favorite Caps fan....yoohoo, don't look now, but that series you were winning is TIED UP.  Go Pens!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

P!nk Eagle

Ok, so last Monday, Anita got her first eagle ever. I was working late, so I didn't get to see it, just got the completely hysterical, thought somebody had died phone call, before figuring out it was a "good" kind of hysterical. She pitched in from a sand trap on number 3 at the Crossings.

Thursday morning P!nk tickets went on pre-sale and I FOOLISHLY volunteered to buy for our "group". I'm not sure I've ever experienced that kind of pressure before, but I managed to buy 2 sets of 4 seats, completely opposite each other in the arena, but both sets look to be OK.

Friday night, Anita & I went to Cambridge, Maryland for the "Wild Goose Chase" bike ride through a nature preserve. Ride was on Sunday, so we played golf on Saturday. We decided to be lazy and play the gorgeous, but expensive course, on the hotel property. I got my first ever eagle on # 11 at River Marsh. So Anita & I have been playing golf together for just about EXACTLY 19 years and we both get our first ever eagles within 5 days of each other. I'm thinking: "Weird". She's thinking "we're meant to be together". Guess which one is the romantic? But very cool anyway and I no longer have to be extremely supportive and jealous at the same time, which was just a little painful!

At the same time I was getting my eagle, Michelle & Jody were once again online for P!nk tickets, checking out the general admission floor seating - rush the stage tix, which were oddly sold out on Thursday. They got 6 tix. So, now we have 14 seats for 8 folks. Major dilemma - save fixed seats or sell them...hmmm...fortunately, we have months to decide whether or not to sell the extra seats. P!NK!!!!! so cool. Deanna & Cathy - I believe seats are still available and I can tell you she has a great show, just based on when she opened for Justin Timberlake...check her European concerts out on youtube - definitely a must see for any P!nk fans. Rumor is she'll announce more dates/venues as sales are successful.

The "Wild Goose Chase" bike ride was a lot of fun. Not just because the goodie bags had cool stuff. Not just because a bunch of friends did it. Not just because it wasn't a RACE and I could just coast occasionally. Not just because I could stop to pick up the maps folks had dropped on the way - my bit to save the planet - and then pedal hard to catch up with my peeps. Not just because I COULD catch up with my peeps. Not just because I was repeatedly excited to remember that I could get off the bike and get a beer and food at mile 25. Not just because I didn't have an additional 87 miles to ride. Not just because I had no race cutoffs to calculate & beat. Not just because I hadn't already swum 2.4 miles. Just because I didn't have to run off the bike. Hallelujah. It was difficult just walking from putting the bikes in the car to check to see if we won prizes (I won a buff, woo hoo). I'm thinking I don't miss triathlon. Yes, I have to remind myself fairly constantly - especially after reading Peep's blogs. Yes, this means you.

So, yes, this was a helluva week AND it doesn't mention that we filed all the first schedules & statements with the bankruptcy court, which means I'm pretty much done with 16 hour days, 6 days a week. One helluva week.

FYI, still haven't decided whether to race the Urban Assault Mountain bike race (haven't actually been on the mountain bike with the new pedals - too much golf and waaayyyy too much rain). Anyone out there considering??? Not sure there are any mountainbike afficianodo's reading this.....