Monday, March 31, 2008

DC and Opening Day Baseball

Wow, who would have thought that driving a couple hundred miles to see trees would be worth a trip? We drove 4 hours (traffic delays) to get to DC and 3 hours back to P-Towne to go and see the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms and it was worth it.

They were stunning. They were beautiful. They were really, frigg'n cool.

Even on the drive up we were questioning our sanity. Why are we driving to see trees. We have so much stuff to get done before our two weeks apart (more on that on Tuesday). We are going to miss church Sunday morning. Neither one of us should spend the cash.

Every excuse we thought of, went rushing out the window after just five minutes around the water. The pink and white blossoms with the monuments in the background were, quite simply, amazing. It was a little cold (yea, I know, there I go with the weather again), but we stopped and looked at trees up close and at a distance, then we stood in awe.

Sure, it was crowded, like crazy crowded. Picture Disneyland on a 80 degree Saturday in June crowded, but I would so do it again.


On the way up we stopped at the Principle Art Gallery in Alexandria, VA. They are the dealer for one of our favorite artists, GC Myers. It was so cool to finally make it in there and see all of the Myers paintings that we have really only seen on-line.

Did you hear the news? The baseball season is underway. I might have taken 1/2 a day off from work today to sit in front of the TV and watch baseball. Does that make me sick?


Just in case anyone is keeping track (I am, so that is why it is here) are my picks for the season:

AL East - Boston
AL Central - Cleveland
AL West - Seattle
AL Wildcard - Detroit

NL East - Philadelphia
NL Central - Chicago
NL West - Arizona
NL Wildcard - New York Mets


Have a great March 31st...Birds are chirping, Baseballs are flying, and Bogart in P-Towne is checking in as happy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

East Coast Lov'n

There are days that I love the East Coast. 6 months into my East Coast adventure, I am reminded regularly that it is different out here, but it is mostly good. Yesterday was one of the days that was wonderful.

I am out of coffee. I have really tried to be disciplined over the past few months and make my own coffee. Not always, but usually. Thursday, however found me sneaking out to the coffee cart for some scuttlebutt and a medium roast.

The minute I stepped outside, I smiled. The sun was out, I had flip-flops and a t-shirt on, the trees were starting to bloom, and I heard/saw many birds chirping. I can honestly say that I finally understand that spring is more than just the arrival of baseball, but also the death of Old Man Winter.
Now, having been a SoCal boy all my life, I always thought Old Man Winter was more of a Labor Day Man with a mid-life crisis. I never owned a coat (except my ski coat which was in the attic until that 1 week a year I hit the slopes) prior to moving to P-Towne. No really, I did not own one. I had an assorted collection of hoodies and a couple of wind-breakers, but that was it. Now, I own three coats (including one that Claire hates), a real-life, dress-up sweater, and even isotoner gloves. All of which I HATE, mainly because when I have to use them it means that I can't be wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops.

But Thursday (AND TODAY WOOOHOOO) prove that even in P-Towne, the Flip-Flops t-shirt, and shorts can be sported!


One thing I am having a bit of trouble understanding is how it can be 80+ degrees is...and in the low 50's will be. That is silly.


I think I complain about the weather too much.


Another reason to be happy I am on the East Coast right now is that the Cherry Blossoms are blooming. Claire and I are driving up to Washington D.C. this weekend to see them. My grandmother has been talking about seeing the Japanese Cherry Blossoms for years, so I am going to take her advice and go.

We are going to drive up on Saturday afternoon and check them out. It is so cool that I am driving distance to the capital. I can't wait to see Lincoln, Jefferson, and the like.

Some days it is very good to have majored in history in college!


Is it sick that I had the TV on twice this week around 6:30am to watch baseball games in Japan?

I guess I could chalk that up to another cool thing about being on the East Coast. If I were in SoCal, there is no chance the alarm clock would have gone off early enough (like 3am) to get me up to watch baseball. I mean, c'mon, I have baseball fever, but that is beyond sick.
A bucket of Buffalo Wings showed up at my door via FedEx this morning...50 wings were over-nighted from Buffalo. Claire and I won them at a conference last fall. I was going to save them until Monday and crack them open for a day of baseball, but I am thinking that 50 Spicy hot wings might be really frigg'n good while we watch season 6 of Scrubs tonight. Decisions, decisions.

Tale of Woe Pt. 2

Well, since a certain someone wanted to know the rest of the story, here it is...
I asked this pretty girl out on a date. Like an official date. Like a real, official date.

Sure, I went on my first "date" when I was 12...I went and saw the local high school production of Greece with Jenny Blackwood (my first kiss)...her mom came with, drove, and sat with us. It was so cute.

Sure, I had a number of "girlfriends" most of my Jr. High and High School friends can attest, I was rarely without a lady.

But this was going to be my first, honest to goodness, non-school sponsored, non-group setting, drive myself type of date. I was to pick her up in my 1984 Dodge Ram 50 pick-up truck (full over sized camper shell included), go to dinner, then to a movie.

Oh it was to be so cool...oh it was going to be so fun...oh she is so pretty.

I pick her up at 5:30 and plan on stopping by the ATM to pull out cash for the date. At 16, I did not have a credit card.
I go up to the door, talk with her parents, get the low-down on curfew, walk her to the car, open the door for her, and drive away. "Where is the nearest ATM?"

As we arrive at the ATM, I notice my charms are working wonderfully. She is laughing at my jokes, playfully looking at me out of the corner of her eye, and, oh, did she just brush my hand as I shifted into 3rd? WOOOOHOOOO. She likes me, she really likes me.

I get out of the car and walk to the ATM (you see where this is going yet?). It really was not a walk, but more of a confident stride.

$40 ought to do it. A couple of burgers, cokes, we can share fries, and two movie tickets.

Put in the card, type in the secret code, ask for $40...DENIED.


Let's try again. Cancel transaction, take out card, smile at the lady, put card back in, type in secret code, ask for $40...DENIED.

Well, I can say I am not that hungry, just "nibble" on her fries and drink water. $20 should get me by.

I look over at the car, smile and wave. She giggles, smiles and waves back. Hakuna matata...I ain't got no worries. Put card in again, type in secret code, ask for $20...DENIED.

Balance Inquiry..."You have $11.48 available in your account."

Hakuna matata my tookus...I have a lot of worries. What the junk do I do now?

The walk of shame followed. Shuffling my feet, trying to figure out a way out of this one. The ATM would not dispense $11.48, nor would it give me even $10.00. I tried that.

The laughing and smiling on my end was gone. I was a defeated man-child. Life was over. I was going to have to explain to this lovely young lady that I, keeper of all that is cool and awesome, driver of the mysterious 1984 Dodge Ram 50, and slayer of female hearts everywhere was going to have to drive her home. Walk her back to the door and apologize. Then face the wrath of the school the next morning. I just knew this was going to get out. I just knew that no woman would ever like me again. I just knew that my membership card to the nerd-herd had just been punched.

I got in the car. Looked her in the eye and said "Potential Bogart Girlfriend, I am so sorry. I think I made some sort of mistake. I don't have any cash on me and my bank account is dry. I will have to bid you adieu and just ask that you take pity on me."

She looked at the floor for a minute...then back up to me. "No worries. My dad gave me $100 for the night. We can just make this one my treat."


She bought dinner and the movie. She did not even make us share fries. She never did end up being the Bogart Girlfriend I for the little innocent smooch'n one Halloween night, but I give her a pass because my costume as a domino made me look so darn hot. We did end up being very good friends for the rest of High School and that story never got out.


Hakuna Matata my friends, Hakuna Matata.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tale of Woe

I was reminded of a very sad story by this post over at Laughing Through My Chardonnay. It is a tale of woe and sadness, ending with silliness and frivolity...Can I tell you how it ends then get into the sad part?

Hope you said yes, because that is what I am going to do.

Me: "I enjoyed kissing you on Halloween, but we are too good of friends to be doing that. Let's never do that again."

Her: "I agree."

Me: "See you in school."

Her: "Yea, see ya."

The End.

I think the rest is too embarrassing, so I don't think I can share. Sorry.


By the way, Mom, this was really innocent. It was at a chaperoned party (Her Parents were there).


Don't worry Janet, I have really only ever had eyes for Claire...I just might not have known it all the time, but the minute I saw her I realized that every other girl I ever had a crush on was just a prelude to me loving your daughter.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fresh Air

Ever have one of those moments where you are 1/2 asleep and 1/2 awake and say something that does not make much sense to everyone else, but makes perfect sense to you?

Last week I dozed off...

Claire poked me "Bogart..."

"Huh, what...hey Claire, how's the oxygen out there?"


Poop and Boogies knows what I am talking about.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Travel

Happy Easter everyone...I know I am a day late, but due to a 48-hour, whirlwind trip to South Louisiana, it was not bloody likely that I would be dropping a rare-weekend post.

We had a mostly great trip. The whole reason for the flight was for a baptism of one of Claire's best friends. She lives just outside of Baton Rouge and both her and her son were getting dunked...well, more like spilled on, but this is not a theology blog that I will be debating the biblical stance on sprinkle vs. full immersion...I digress.

Baptisms are one of my favorite things. As I mentioned last week, I really do cry at baptisms. They make me so happy. The service on Saturday was beautiful, Jack (the young'n) was so well behaved and even his mom did not act up much in church.

We really had a lot of fun and Claire got to spend some good time with one of her best friends...


Sunday was spent with Claire's family in LA...really good food, really great family, all-in-all a good day.


I guess that on Good Friday, it is tradition to boil crawfish and have a get together. Claire and I were on a plane and did not land in LA until 11pm on Friday night. We missed those festivities. Sad for us.

Although it was probably best since I think I put on 5lb's with the candy, brownies, and angel food cake that I threw down this weekend. I was like a 6'5 Kobayashi.


I did miss my family quite a bit and really was bummed not to see them. I also am bummed out about not being able to dye eggs with my Goddaughter and her had become somewhat of a tradition and it did not feel right not being there to do it with them...


The one tough spot this weekend was the unexpected passing of Claire's sister's dog, Presley. It was a young, sweet boxer with a great temperament and really was part of the family. Everyone was mourning the dog from Saturday night on.


It is amazing to me how much a dog can become part of the family if you let it. They are such amazing creatures that really can get into your heart and make a difference in your life. Presley was like that and she will be missed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time to Admit I Have a Problem

I hate this...this being Reality TV.

I have resisted the call of Survivor...mostly because I was not invited to Survivor parties.

I have stayed away from American Idol...mostly because I want to be seen as someone who is not a follower, but rather a leader.

I have avoided America's Next Top Model, Housewives in the OC, Big Brother, America's Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Project Runway, Beauty and the Geek, Celebrity Fit Club and Elimidate because...well...because they are stupid.

But as I think about it, it may be time to come out of the closet and announce that I am a reality TV fan...

I liked Joe Millionaire...both of them.

I enjoyed Fear Factor and Punk'd...yes, they count as reality.

Extreme Home Makeover makes me cry on Sunday nights...yes, I cry when I watch it. And I am okay with that.

I can't wait for The Contender to come on again. (Closet Boxing Fan)

All of this occurred this morning when I was reviewing my Wednesday evening in my head.

Claire came over for dinner...a quick meal of Pork Chops with Cream Sauce and Garlic Bread (Yes, I made it from scratch) to a girl's group for her and then the WWJE time for me.

Claire called after her group..."Want to hang out?" "Sure", I said.

When she walked in, I was watching Top Chef. She got excited that a new episode was coming on...frankly, so was I.

It is here that we faced a hard decision. Watch Top Chef or finish Beverly Hills Cop.

Eddie Murphy was waiting. He hates to wait and I can't wait to finish that great comedy of the 80's. Claire has never seen it and we are getting to the end. How could we not pick it.

I dunno, but we didn't. We watched a Quick Fire Challenge and an Elimination Challenge. We critiqued the food and the people. We groaned when Andrew won immunity, got excited about the Squid Ceviche with Soy-Balsamic Tapioca.

I can't believe what I have turned into. It hurts me deep to even think that I like this stuff. My soul is bruised this morning.

I am sad and Eddie is still waiting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Man Crush

I am often reminded that I am a little different than most guys...I like chick flicks, I cry in movies and at baptisms. I remember most birthday's, anniversaries, and other important dates. I send flowers and hand written thank you cards often. I admit to missing my friends and tell them often. I call my mom. I like to cuddle. I cook, regularly. I don't like to be dirty. I keep my nails trimmed, have been known to get a manicure, and love spending the day at the day spa.

But please don't think that I am not 100% guy...I play sports, eat steak, and drink scotch. I scratch, burp, and have been known to occasionally sit on a barking spider. I pee standing up, have written my name in the snow, and smoke the occasional cigar. I have been in fights, been bloodied in a fight, and bloodied someone else. I think chocolate is just another sweet, I feel uncomfortable getting flowers, and I snore. I like to drive fast, play poker, and I have been known to growl. I watch the 3 Stooges, Monty Python, and the History Channel. I like pretty girls, power tools, and sand paper. I read the Wall Street Journal, I vote, and I pray. I take my hat off during the national anthem, tear up on the 4th of July, and thank every military person I can. I have often been told that I am a lot like Zach Morris.

So, with all that admitted, I feel a little more comfortable sharing the following...

Cruising around the few blogs that I read (only a couple are everyday stops, but there are a handful that I visit occasionally) there have been some posts about batting for the other side.

You know what that means right? Ummm, no? Hmmmm, how to explain on this family blog...

Switching teams, swinging the other way, moving camps, etc. Still don't know what I am talking about? How about I try another tact.

Anyone who says they have never appreciated someone with the same parts is lying.


Yes, Sarah, Kyle is lying to you right now. He has a man crush. We all do. Yes, even you Neil...and KP, stop trying to deny it, I have seen you in a moment of weakness.

They may not be real feelings, but their is a certain, ahem, appreciation every man has for at least one other that might end up next to them in the pee trough...

So, without further adieu, my man crushes...

Taye Diggs

Heath Ledger

Robert Downey, Jr.

No, I would not really shake the other way, but I will admit that I "appreciate" those three.


I really don't know why I felt the need to share that.

No mom...stop worrying. Not really. It is simply an appreciation for beauty. No, really mom, please stop crying. Here's a tissue.


Janet, I really am normal...mostly. Please don't make Claire break up with me!


As long as I am at it, I thought I should pass along this little number...only go there if you are a woman older than 50 or you promise to watch the whole thing...yes, all 4 mins of it. If you are not a female older than 50 or you can't commit to watching the whole thing, then please don't go. Hat Tip to Wonderful World of Weiners...thanks Hallie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Training, Bad Hair, Premature Love, and Barack

It was great. It always is. I mean, really, how could it not be? Two of my best friends, baseball, golf, and a guys weekend.

This past weekend was my annual trip to Phoenix for Spring Training. I have been doing it since I was a kid and this is the 6th year in a row that I have done it with Teddy and Steve.

We saw two games in Peoria, where the Padres and Mariners train, and one game in Surprise where the Royals and Rangers train. We saw major and minor league games, practices, and players...It was great.


Heck yes we are excited about next year!


Time to start backing off these trips for a while. The travel has just gotten to be too much and I need to spend a bit more time at home. Yes, we are going to New Orleans/Baton Rouge this weekend (A Baptism and Easter), but that should be it for a while.


My nephew just started to smile...I am not sure what is up with his hair. Hey Esther, couldn't you slick it down or something? I know that some spikes are in fashion (just look at JP), but I don't know if that will get the ladies.


My Goddaughter, all of 5 years old, has found out that kissing is cool. Chasing boys around the school yard and kissing them...she apparently has a special fondness for a boy named Luke because she "Loves him". Is it a good thing to want to have a conversation with a 5 year old boy about how much my Goddaughter means to me and that if he makes her cry that I will make him cry? Just wonder'n.


As many of you know, I am a political, family, God, politics...these are the things that I get super excited about. Sometimes too much...But right now I am in 7th election year, a contentious race, and historical people involved. It is so great.

I don't often write about politics on this blog, I don't know that it is the right place, but I thought a very interesting point was brought up yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. They quoted a blog (that I now can't find, but will keep working on it) written by an Obama campaign supporter. The basic question regarding his pastor was this: Mr. Obama, can you explain how you can say you did not know about the comments your pastor made just 5 days after the 9/11 attacks? Either they were very common comments, not at all unusual in this church that you have been a member of for 20 years and people were not shocked by them or you are lying. If they were unusual, don't you think there might have been enough shock that at least one of the parisioners would have called the sitting Illinois senator and told him about the comments? 'Hey Barack, did you hear what pastor said this weekend? Can you believe it?'

I think it is a legitimate question that will be addressed in Phily today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Today is one of my favorite days of the year...

For the last 6 years, me and my buddies Steve and Teddy (we had another friend J join us last year...the one in the orange shirt...but his wife is about to birth a child, so he could not get a permission slip to come and play) meet up on Phoenix and go to Spring Training. It is there that the transformation is complete...we go from 30-something, responsible adults to 10-year old kids who can enjoy an adult libation.

Scary, I know.

We chase foul balls like they are lined with diamonds...Teddy has even been known to push people over and poke little kids in the eye to get at one...

We beg and plead for autographs. We glare, point, and gawk at other 30-something year-old men that throw, catch and hit a round ball for a living.

We eat cotton candy, chipwhich, and red vines.

We talk baseball, baseball, and even more baseball.

We reminisce about the time we sat next to Buck O'Neil, chatted with Miguel "Miggy" Tejada, had doughnuts with Mark "Mud" Grant, peed next to Donavan McNabb, and got radar gun readings from Kevin Towers.

We work on our heckling (Even fans need to train!)

We laugh, a lot...we eat, a lot...we even mess up hotel room toilets, a lot...well, at least Teddy does!

All-in-all it is 4 of my favorite days of any year...I think I look forward to this trip as much as I do anything...and today is the day I leave. Oh yea!!!


This year we are mixing in a little golf...this will be the first time we are able to work that into the schedule. You know there will be money riding on that! Yes, I plan on winning all of it...see, while Steve throws a better fastball and curveball than me, I whoop him on the golf course...and Teddy, well, he can usually beat me at Trivial Pursuit, but on the golf course I'm his daddy.


For you enjoyment...and mine...I give you one of the best stand up routines of all time...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Did I Just Get Serious?

Found a great little restaurant last was a wine bar and restaurant...We both did the "wine tasting" which consisted of sampling either red or white and will include every open bottle they our case, there were 15-18 bottles...holy crap batman. Next time Claire and I will share one tasting.

We did find time to eat during the 2 hours we were trying every red grape ever made into wine. Claire had a cheese plate (which, even for a non-cheese eater like me) was really figg'n good...I had the bruschetta. It was unlike any bruschetta I ever had, it was based around artichokes rather than tomatoes. Fantastic. The balsamic rocked, the diced onions and tomatoes worked well and we both really enjoyed it. Looking forward to going back again!


How do you pronounce "bruschetta"? Is it like I have always heard and said "bru-shet-a" or is it like the big head girl on food network says it "bru-sket-a"?

And even if it pronounced like it has a "K" in the middle, do I really want to say it that way? Kinda sounds pompous...

*In my most condescending voice*..."No, no, no darling, not brusheta, but brusketa, with a K...You would not want to sound uncouth at the club, would you? Oh, and tell Buffy to clean up this mess. I dripped our 100 year old balsamic on Grandmothers lace table cloth."


Got into a discussion about this whole Elliot Spitzer mess. Claire and I had a lot of questions and are 10 of them...

1. How can you do that to your wife? Not just the cheating, but rather the bringing her on stage while you apologize. I know, I know you want to show that she is standing by you and supporting you despite what a scumbag you have been, but doesn't that just humiliate her even further?

2. How can someone sleep with a hooker for the better part of 10 years and the wife not have any idea? If she knew, is she complicit in this?

3. How can you afford to pay $5000 per hour to sleep with a hooker?

4. How do you become a $5000 per hour hooker? Does the pimp say "man, this one has talent. I need to call the major league club and let them know"? Is there a minor league and major league division in the hook'n business?

5. I know that Gov. Spitzer made some enemies on Wall Street, but how tacky was it that the trading floor stopped trading and cheered when the news broke. Seriously, that was weak.

6. Wouldn't it have been cheaper and better to just take on a mistress?

7. What is the cut for the "Pimp/Madam" on that $5k per hour?

8. I wonder if there is a sense of pride to be a hooker that charges that much. I remember being told that if you are going to be a criminal, be the high end kind...robbing a 7-11 may net you a couple hundred bucks, robbing a bank a few thousand, but white collar crime pays millions. Not to mention, when you are that good, the prison they send you to is not the "Don't Drop the Soap" variety, so in the end, you make so much more on the outside and you can play tennis on the inside. It is a win-win...if you want to live a life of crime. ;-)

9. It is fascinating that this whole thing might affect the outcome of the presidential race...Gov. Spitzer is a Super Delegate that has pledged his vote to Hillary...if he steps down, that vote opens back up...crazy.

10. The tragedy of this whole mess is the Spitzer's 3 daughters. I feel bad for the wife, but how awful for the kids. I don't even know what could possibly being going through their heads right now and how this will affect them for the rest of their lives, but make no mistake, those kids will feel the effects until the day they die.


Read an interesting quote yesterday and I thought I would share..."Being liked does not mean you will do well. But doing well does mean you will, over time, be liked."


Made the mistake of getting on a scale today...I had not been running or exercising much the last couple of weeks...couple that with the amount of travel Claire and I have been doing where we are eating 250lbs of crawfish, buffets in Vegas, sipping wine and pina coladas, and having crazy good beef and gravy sandwiches, and I have tacked on a full 5lb's. I did not really notice until I jogged 2 miles yesterday and felt myself jiggle.

I don't know if that has ever happened to you, but when you are less than 45 years old and you jiggle when you run, it might be time to push away from the buffet...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You Make Baby Jesus Cry When You Lie

Claire and I went for a run last night...more of a saunter really...when we got back, our Pastor was sitting at the front door...we chit chatted a bit and then I asked "so, you here to see someone?"
"Yes, you. We have that planning meeting at your house tonight, remember?"
Nope, did not remember, but did I say that? Of course not! Claire and I lied to pastor Hank...
"Oh, is it 7pm already? Whew, I thought it was earlier than that. The time change has thrown me off."
We dashed up stairs to my apartment, made sure it was clean (thank goodness we vacuumed last week), and ordered the pizza. I think we pulled it off, but I still think lying to your pastor should be a double sin.

Don't let Claire fool you...she was totally in on the lie.


Thought I would share some pics from the weekend...
The sisters at the morning know the all girl fest. Where was I? Drafting a baseball team. Oh yea!

I got a lesson in cooking later that afternoon from Tom and Jim...well, really Jim did all the teaching and Tom pointed stuff out...
Here I am making sure the crawfish knows I will win the fight...I actually think I am mad at this one because he pinched me...

After our little tift, that crawfish went into the pot...

Crawfish at this South Louisiana party get served in a wheel barrel. How cool is that?

We pulled out the best china for the food!

The Pina Colada machine got a lot of use...

Here are our hosts...Jim (Thanks for teach me all this!) and Sally (Sorry you almost died!)...


There seems to be much concern about the dance competition I have joined in May. I appreciate all the moves that you suggested. Many of them are in my repertoire. I plan on having the best moves perfected and will show South Louisiana how a Cali boy in P-Towne rolls.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Trip to South Louisiana

Death seemed certain...either for Sally or for me. One way or the other, someone was going to die and it would not be pretty.

As the makeshift bat hurdled through the air, I stopped to contemplate all the firsts that had happened in the previous 24-hours:

1. I cooked/boiled 250lbs of Crawfish.

2. I talked to someone with no teeth. It was wonderful. Claire's cousin Jim and I were getting wood for the bonfires and we went to this little house on the side of the road, picked up some wood, and then were handed the bill. The gal who handed us the bill was jabbering away in a very thick drawl about wood and oil prices (they have some oil rights and the "checks keep getting bigger") and the weather when she very matter of factly said "Oops, I forgot to put my teeth in". I just about lost it. It was already taking concentration to really understand everything she was saying, but it was made so much more difficult because now she had her hand covering her mouth and it took all the will power I could muster not to laugh. Seriously fantastic.

3. I feel like I ate 250lbs of Crawfish.

4. I made Pina Coladas by the gallon (3 gallons at a time to be exact) rather than by the glass or the pitcher.

5. I entered a dance contest (scheduled for Memorial Day) against 7 other guys. That poor decision might have been the result of the gallons of pina colada I consumed...yes, not just made, but consumed. Now I have to go work on finding moves that compliment the Helicopter, the Worm, the Sprinkler, and the Big Rig...

6. I rolled a full size 4-wheeler on top of myself...on flat ground...I still hold my head high because it rolled when I leaned too much and it came in on me rather than not leaning enough and tossing me off. That would have been a rookie mistake.

7. I lost a Crawfish peeling contest (in 60 seconds I took off 31 tails)...although my bowl fell over during the match, spilling the tails...I demand a recount.

8. I used a wooden paddle to hit an aluminum can into a creek...followed by another...then a potato (which did not make it into the water, but rather exploded into tiny little hash brown nuggets), which brings me back:

To where I began...See, there is a reason major league batters use pine tar on their baseball bats. It is sticky and usually keeps the bats in their hand. I, however, did not have the luxury of having pine tar, so the wooden paddle that had become a makeshift bat was spinning out of control like some sort of heat seeking missile. My mind had wandered to the things listed above, ensuring that no cries of "FOUR" or "HEADS UP!!!" or even "LOOK OUT!!!" could be yelled...but then, by force of nature, the paddle caught just a bit of up draft and sailed just an inch above Sally's head, avoiding certain death.

Sure, everyone sitting around the fire jumped and screamed, but Sally was alive and all was well.


You may be wondering why I would have died...I did say that it was either going to be her or I that ended up with a toe tag...well, if that paddle had hit her in the head and she had not been instantly killed, she would have come after me. There is no doubt in my mind she could/would have taken me out.


I will say that you have not been to a party until you have been to a crawfish boil. I need to export that tradition to P-Towne.


I really love traveling with Claire. We can spend the day walking around cities, eating street food, ducking in and out of art shops, and generally finding little nooks and crannies of the cities. Sure, big museums, historic sights, and other tourist draws are fun, but it seems that our favorite times involve places we find because of the adventure we seek...I really like that.

So even though she and I were both pretty spent from our 3 days at the conference, we spent a couple of hours walking around New Orleans Friday and had a blast.


As much as I love the extra daylight in the evening, that first Monday after the spring time change is brutal! I am generally a morning person, but I had a tough time getting going today.

I think TSA plays tricks on passengers...a bottle of lotion opened in my bag on the flight home yesterday...not exploded, not cracked or broke, or even a simple was opened. The screw top was loosened and it poured out. I could understand it leaking from the cap or exploding, but the screw top coming undone seems weird.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How I fell in love with a New York Cop (Montreal Pt. 2)

Southwest is wonderful. A last minute flight to Albany, New York only cost $200. And Albany is only 3 hours from Montreal. That is a doable drive.

I rent a car. A Chevy Cobalt...white with a tail fin...and while you are at it, why don't you throw in the Garmin for the day. So I don't get lost...

I wake up early, jump in my White Cobalt and start driving. Through Canada...through the border...cruising along, wind in my hair, enjoying the drive. I had Golden Earring pumping through the radio. I am singing at the top of my lungs. I had the road to myself. Pedal to the metal. Drumming on the steering wheel. Cruising...

COP, COP, brain screams. I look down at the speedometer...155...OH NO. One Hundred and Fifty Five...Crap. This car should have broken apart. Chevy's don't go that fast. Oh no. I am going to jail. It is all over. My political career, over. My reputation, over. My weekend, over.

Oh wait...Kilometers per hour...155 KPH. This car is Canadian. Whew...155kph is not that fast, is it?

The way that cop peeled out said that it was...I quickly did the math in my head...155kph...carry the 1...95mph. Yes, Ninety-Five Miles Per Hour, or so...frick, frick, double frick.

"Sir, please step out of the car and put your hands on the hood."

Uh oh. This is not normal. I have been pulled over before. Maybe a couple times (shhh, don't tell my mom). I have never been asked to step out of the car before. Did he just say put my hands on the hood. This is not good.

"Wait" he says just as I got my left leg out of the car. "What is that?"

I had a red rose...a single red rose sitting in a water bottle. You know, for the lady. He was asking about the rose. I start telling him my story.

"Get back in the car."

Who am I to question authority?

I finished my story and he looked at me with pursed lips and questioning eyes.

"Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"

"Well, I know I was speeding, but I really don't know how fast, you see the speedometer is in KPH and I am just a simply country boy."

"You are from San Diego, not a country boy. You are driving a car with Canadian plates in New York. There is something wrong with this picture, son. Wait here."

So I waited, and waited, and waited...and then I waited some more. What is he doing back there? Is he playing solitaire on the computer? Man, I must really be in some trouble.

He comes back to the car, this time without his hand on his holstered weapon..."Mr. Bogart, today is your lucky day. You see, normally I would be hauling you in front of the judge. I clocked you at 95 MPH. That means I should arrest you, tow your car, and take you to the court room, but...but I like your speedometer excuse and I don't want this beautiful lady sitting at the airport all alone. That would be irresponsible. So, here is your ticket. It says 92mph. That is a big ticket. It will be a big fine. Make sure you pay it. And you have another 80 miles or so. There are cops, just like me, at exit 142, 181, and 202. Keep it under 130kph and they won't bother you. Have a great weekend. Drive safely and I hope she is worth it."

"Thank you officer, I really appre..."

"Don't thank me," he replied "it makes me feel dirty."


You can read Part 1 here...


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ode to Flip Flops and Long Haired Weiner Dogs

When the sun is shining and the mecury rises, they come out to play
The bottom protected from rocks, your feet feel good all day
I wear you to the beach, I wear you to the mall
I might wear you to church or nowhere at all.
Oh the mighty flip flop, so supple and divine
I thank God the weather is changing so I can again call you mine!

Hooray for Flip Flops!

Just in case you are wondering, the thermometer hit 60 yesterday and today...the dust got kicked off the Kobions and then they were gently put on. Spring is coming, I can feel it. Yahoo!


Forgot to tell you about the most interesting person Claire and I saw on the boat Saturday...dude was sooo cool. He had to be pushing 70 and had the biggest, bushiest, best eyebrows ever! When I saw him, he had his hood on and I thought he just had his bangs hanging out. After the hood was removed, we saw them in their full glory. Holy Cow Batman. Those things look like two long haired dachshunds chill'n above his eyes.

It was so cool.


I promise part 2 of the Montreal story will be here on Wednesday.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Movies, Food, a China Treatise, and a Really Cool Chick

With as much traveling that Claire and I do, it is nice to get a weekend at home. Sure, we get to do some pretty frick'n amazing things on most weekends (San Diego, Vegas, New York, New Orleans, Michigan, Washington D.C., etc...), but when we are both in P-Towne for the weekend, we usually really enjoy it. Case in point, the last 2 days were GRRRRREEEEEAAAATTTT!

We started off the weekend in High Class fashion with dinner and a movie on Friday night. We had dinner at CPK (the BLT Club Pizza is sooooo good!) and saw Charlie Bartlett (If you liked Juno, it is similar type, but not quite as good).

On Saturday morning, we went Whale Watching. There were 3 dolphins seen, but nothing much else. Please don't think it was not enjoyable or memorable. We had a 9 year-old girl named Zoe that decided Claire and I were her new best friends. We talked about all types of things. Her thick, North Carolina accent was so cute. We learned that it was her first boat ride, but she had been reading about dolphins and whales for years and loves to study boats too! She shared that she believes it is "good to share things you know, because then others will share with you and that is how you get to learn more." Claire also found out the true intentions of this 9 win my heart by following me around the boat. At one point I slipped away to use the head (that is what they call bathrooms on boats...silly land-lubber)...A couple of minutes later, an out of breath Zoe grabbed Claire and said "I have walked all over this boat and Bogart is missing!" Poor Claire, having to fight off 9 year-old rivals.

I also got a treatise on the evils of China from a 12 year-old. During the boat ride it got a little windy. I took off my cap so as not to lose it to the mouth of the ocean. This girl then proceeded to tell me that she did not have to take off her hat. She "got it in Germany, even thought it was made in China...did you know that 90% of the clothes we wear these days were made in China? That is dangerous. 90%! That is a lot of clothes and a lot of money going to the enemy" said the 12 year-old girl to a stranger on a whale watching trip.

Spent an hour at the Hampton Roads Food and Wine was pretty small, maybe 20 vendors. Despite the fact that Bobby Flay was there (he is a tiny little man) it was not all that exciting.


So, Claire and I work in the same industry (we are actually competitors) and our jobs require us to travel and entertain clients. It is usually a very nice perk. We get to eat at some of the worlds best restaurants, drink some of the best wines, golf amazing courses, get impossible to get tickets, and even spend time in some crazy, cool day spas...One of the problems (yes, I use that word VERY lightly) with this is that it becomes very hard to "WOW" us. We walk away from some very good dinners and very nonchalantly say "eh, it was good."

So on Saturday night, we got to experience a place that ended up wowing us with a couple of things on the menu...very exciting! We did a progressive dinner in P-Towne...some friends offered to come to our part of town (a rarity) and go out to dinner. So we took them to The Deck for oysters and then we walked a few blocks to Fusion 440 for dinner.

The Deck was nice. Oysters were okay. The view was good and the service just fine. I am sure we will go back and have the Oysters Rockefeller again.

Fusion 440, however, had one of the best Key Lime Pies I have ever tasted...and that sentiment was shared by everyone at the table. It WOWed us. I love when that happens!
Yes, I do know that I am blessed beyond belief and no, I don't say that lightly either!

Sunday was church, a planning meeting, then over to Claire's for another good meal. She made herb crusted pork chops, mashed red potatoes, and cheesy garlic bread. Dessert was chocolate gingerbread brownies. Wow. Yes, I got WOWed again.

Thank you Janet (Claire's mom) for raising your girl right!


I tasted the Elvis edition of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (it is new and has banana cream in it) this made me feel like singing!!!

Heaven... I'm in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.
And I seem to find the happiness I seek,
When Reese's Cups are filling each cheek.

Heaven... I'm in heaven,
And the cares that hung around me through the week,
Seem to vanish like a gambler's lucky streak,
When Reese's Cups are filling each cheek.

It is pretty frick'n amazing and really is making me rethink this whole healthy eating thing.


Part 2 of the Montreal Story will be up in the next day or two...