Monday, December 29, 2003

Yargh. Must work out soon. Cavalcade of Christmas goodies quickly accumulating on waistline. Haven't done anything the last two days, mainly because I've had to get my newsletter done. The good news is I got it done today, so tomorrow I'm running, dammit.

Christmas was fun. It was good to have my mom around, and even better that Hannah was able to spend some time with her. Got some cool presents, although Hannah got most of the loot, as she should. She was cracking me up when she was opening presents, tossing aside clothes in her constant search for toys. Didn't take her long to figure that out.

I've seen some good movies that I missed in the theaters in the last few days. "Adaptation" was on HBO over the was so meta it made your head spin. Nice touch to have the scenes on the "Being John Malkovich" set with Cusack, Keener, and of course, Malkovich. It was amazingly self-indulgent, and yet, really, really good. Then last night, we rented a couple of DVDs. I enjoyed the surreal "Punch-Drunk Love," and surprisingly, Adam Sandler proved he can actually act. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a great actor...that guy makes every movie he's in. We also rented "Old School", which I plan to watch after the Leafs game tonight. It's the second intermission right now and the Leafs are losing 4-2 to the friggin' Panthers. They're not looking good. I'm planning on going to see them play the Bruins on New Year's Day, but I sure hope they get their act in gear again.

So "Finding Nemo" has replaced "Dumbo" as Hannah's go-to movie, meaning she wants to watch it over and over again. I think I've seen it at least 12 times. Funny things, it's a great movie. Some great performances from Albert Brooks and Ellen Degeneres, as well as good bit parts by Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Barry Humphries (the guy who plays Dame Edna--he's a Great White shark in this), and a bunch of others. Excellent animation, too.

Aiight, I'm outta here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Blog humbug! Actually, I'm in a pretty good mood. Working a half day tomorrow, then picking my mother up from NH so she can spend the next few days with us before heading back to O Canada. Although I have a bunch to do at work because my deadline is Monday, so Friday will be a busy day. At least there won't be many distractions. The last week, my group has been bringing in so much food, I feel like I'm going to explode. Good stuff, though.

The Patriots-Jets game was a lot of fun. In the parking lot before the game, we didn't think we'd last into the second half because it was so damn cold. About 30 degrees with a brisk wind. But our seats were so close to the field--9th row in the Jets season ticket holder section--that we didn't have to worry about the wind. It was still really cold, but we lasted the whole game. We were a few rows behind Fireman Ed, this guy's who a fixture at Jets game, starting the "J-E-T-S" chant and getting on the big screen. This guy's such a legend, that during the halftime presentation of the all-time Jets team, one of the players came over and gave Ed a souvenir ball. Anyway, we were right in the middle of all these obnoxious Jets fans. Eight-year-old kids were giving us crap, although the Pats were leading the whole game and had a much better record. Jets QB Chad Pennington threw five interceptions and the Pats won 21-16. Unlike Foxboro, it took us longer to walk to our car than it did to drive out of the place.

It was cool to meet Timmy, my three-week-old nephew. I had forgotten how small newborns were. Of course, I'll be able to remember it all over again in a couple of months.

We got an EZ-Pass transponder just before we went down there. Those things rule. I love not having to scramble for correct change, or any change, for that matter.

Got all my Christmas shopping done early this year for a change, although Deb did most of it for both of us. More later. Me go now.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Domo arigoto, Mr. Blogoto. Yeah, I know, it's been over a week. I've been busy. I'm actually home today hanging out with Hannah--my mom's coming down from NH to visit with us for a while before we head to NJ for the weekend. Then she'll stay with us next week for Christmas. Should be a good weekend. My brother-in-law Matt scored tickets to the Pats-Jets game Saturday night, so we're there. It'll be cold, but fun. Plus we get to meet little Timmy for the first time.

Man, I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away. This year flew by. It was a good year, for the most part.

My favorite music of 2003, in no particular order:

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists--Hearts of Oak
Sloan--Action Pact
Consonant--Love and Affliction
Radiohead--Hail to the Thief
White Stripes--Elephant
New Pornographers--Electric Version
Gordon Downie--Battle of the Nudes
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks--Pig Lib
Hot Hot Heat--Make Up the Breakdown
Metallica--St. Anger

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Okay, so technically it wasn't a blizzard, but we got a crapload of snow. The final tally was just short of three feet. That's right. THREE FEET. Biggest snowstorm I've ever seen. My back is still sore from the shoveling. Deb got two days off from school because the streets were so bad. We had a delayed opening Monday at HCPro, which was just as well because I was getting a little stir crazy.

The day off was good for Deb because she was able to get the Maxima's brakes fixed, and I finally got my Civic back tonight, so I won't have to bum any more rides. Three weeks without a car is pretty rough. I missed having control of the radio and the route and, well, the car. Let's hope the thing holds together for a good long time now.

So the Leafs beat Detroit Saturday night to extend their winning streak to eight. I only got to see the first two periods because our power went out for about 90 minutes. Unfortunately, they lost in OT to St. Louis last night, but you've gotta tip your toque to a hell of a run.

Looks like the Red Sox are actually going to pull this A-Rod deal off, and then wheel Nomar to the Dodgers or Angels. They could actually go into next season with a better team than the Yankees. Meanwhile, the Jays got Ted Lilly in a trade, which was good, and signed Pat Hentgen and Kerry Ligtenberg from the Orioles, which is okay, but it's hard to see them competing with the Yanks and Sox. So it's hellooo, third place once again.

Okay, that's enough blogmastification for now. Werd.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Welcome to Kumar's Blizzardnog. We're getting slammed by a huge blizzard that's supposed to drop about two feet of snow on us when all is said and done. I've already been out shoveling once, this morning when about five inches had fallen, and I'm about to go out again in a few minutes. We've basically been housebound all day, not that we could have gone anywhere even if the weather was nice. My car's still being worked on and Deb's car is having brake problems, so it's just as well that the weather's horrendous. It doesn't help matters that our mechanic's real job involves plowing, so he's pretty busy right now.

So I spent the week bumming rides to work. Thursday night, Deb and I saw a great hockey game. The Leafs absolutely smoked the Bruins, 6-0. Total domination. Usually, when I see the Leafs in Boston, they lose, so it was nice for me. Our section was full of Toronto fans, too, so that made it even more fun. We took the train in, and to catch the 9:30 train we had to leave with four minutes left, but it was already 6-0 by then. It was Toronto's seventh win in a row, their longest win streak in 10 years.

Last night, I got together with the Webnoize doods--Ric, OJ, Lee and Christian. Briggy was just back from Beth's company trip to Sanibel, so they had to spend time with their kid. Took the train in again, doing my old commute to Central Square. We met at the Miracle of Science this time. Hung out, mostly talked with Doobs and OJ, and then I was going to catch the 10:45 train back to Beverly, but Ric offered to drive me instead, so I took him up on it. The snow was just starting to fall. Originally, Deb was planning to drive down to NJ to see baby Timothy, but the Maxima's brakes and the weather put the kibosh on that.

Tuesday morning was a traffic nightmare, as we had some snow squalls that immediately froze and caused major traffic jams all over the Boston area. It took over an hour to get from Beverly to Marblehead, but poor Deb had the worst of it. It took her almost FIVE freakin' hours to get to Malden, a trip that usually takes less than 30 minutes. Route 1 was just a parking lot, I guess. My buddy Convey at the Boston Herald ended up quoting Deb for a story he did on the storm, so she got some ribbing for that.

Well, time to go out and shovel some more. Then it's time to crack open a few beers and watch the Leafs play Detroit. Nice.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Thanksgiving's over. Let the X-mas season officially begin. Back to work after a four-day weekend. The drive down to NJ wasn't too bad, considering it was the day before Thanksgiving. The real slow spot was on I-84 near Waterbury, CT, just as it was in the summer when we went down there, and just as it was when we drove home on Saturday. Tricia didn't have her baby while we were there, but she ended up going to the hospital early Sunday morning and having a baby boy, Timothy Jude, on Sunday at 5 a.m. Big kid, too, 8 lb 6 oz. Congrats to the happy parents.

We had a good time down there. Hannah had a blast playing with her cousin Danny, and Deb and I got a taste of what things will be like in a year or two when we took the kids to McDonalds while Matt and Tricia were at the hospital. Trying to keep them both sitting in their seats while Deb ordered the food was a huge challenge; then Danny started asking for his mommy. Somehow we got through it--mainly by eating quickly--but it gave me an interesting glimpse into the future.

Didn't OD on tryptophan this year. I ate my share, but managed to keep it to a light gorging.

Meanwhile, the Leafs are on fiyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, as the great VH used to say. They've won five in a row over pretty decent teams--Vancouver twice, Atlanta, Ottawa and the Rangers. Deb and I are going to see them playing in Boston at the Fleet/Bank of America/Some Other Bank in 2005 Center on Thursday.

Looks like fixing the Honda won't be quite as expensive as we thought, so we're going to do that and hopefully keep it going for a few more years. Our mechanic, who we trust, feels it's the best option, instead of going the Escort route. I hope he's right.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Hola, jalapenos. Just posting some bloggishness before we head off to NJ for the rest of the week. I'm getting out of work at 12:30 tomorrow and we're hitting the road for what undoubtedly will be a long, arduous journey. I've been spoiled the last few years, as we've hosted T-giving here in Beverly, so tomorrow I'll have to suck it up and hope it doesn't take much longer than six hours. Hopefully Hannah will take a nice nap for some of the trip, too.

So my car misadventures continue. I went into work for a few hours Saturday morning and on my way home I noticed I was having some problems accelerating after a stop. Then I got the lovely smell of radiator fluid. I stopped about a mile from my house because I didn't think I'd make it home. Long story short, it was the head gasket, which could cost big bucks to fix. If it gets into the $1,500-$2,000 stratosphere, we may just say screw it and not bother. At this point, it's just not worth it. One possibility could be to buy my mom-in-law's '97 Escort, because she may be getting a new vehicle in a few months. I only need a car to get to Marblehead and back every day, a 15-mile round trip.

Things got a little better Saturday when I watched the Heritage Classic, the first NHL outdoor hockey game ever. They held it in Edmonton at the football stadium there, and damn, did it look cold. Temps were around zero F. It was Edmonton vs. Montreal and was preceded by an oldtimers game featuring Gretzky, Messier, Kurri et al vs. the Montreal geezers with Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, etc. Boy, did that bring back a lot of memories. The old bastards put on a good show, too. They played two 15-minute halves, with a short break to allow the players to shovel off the snow, just like a real pond hockey game. The Oilers won 2-0, but the current Oil lost in the nightcap, 5-2. It was good game, though. Got me psyched to get out on the ponds once it gets cold enough.

The end of the year is coming, so that means lots of lists. I'll hold off on my top whatever of the year until the year actually ends, but the folks at Pitchfork are posting their revised Top 100 albums of the '90s list. The strange thing is, they did one at the actual end of the '90s, but apparently they felt the urge to do a little revisionist history and update it. Seems a little cheesy to me--maybe they were embarrassed by all the Color Me Badd albums they included the first time around. Speaking of cheese, the vacuous blowhards at Rolling Stone have graced us with their Top 500 albums of all time list, for whatever that's worth. These chumps come out with lists like these about three times a year, in between soft-core Britney covers. God, do they suck-diddly-uck. Still, I enjoy reading these lists, if only to disagree with them. List-making is so subjective, there will always be disagreements. But hopefully, the writers at least do a good job justifying their picks. I just skimmed these two, and of course, Pitchfork's is more enjoyable to read, in their Superior Indie Rock Nerd fashion.

Aiight, I'm off to play some hockey. Rock on and don't eat too much turducken, or in Master OJ's case, too much tofurkey. Werd.

Friday, November 21, 2003

What up? It's been a few days. I got back from Chi-town late Tuesday night, but I haven't been able to use my home computer for a couple of days because of some crazy problem involving our old MSN dial-up service. Deb was checking her email and all of a sudden started getting an error message for a program called TRAYCLNT. Every time I tried to close it, it would just pop up again. I went on the InterWeb at work today and found that I just had to uninstall MSN and the problem would go away. And so I did, and it did.

Chicago was cool, although it rained the whole time I was there. I barely made it to the Blackhawks game on time because my flight was over an hour late due to major fog. It was a decent game, considering the crummy teams playing, and I had a good time. I was amazed by the fact that the United Center has a smoking area right out on the main concourse. I thought those went out with dayglo shirts and the Spin Doctors. Then it became quickly apparent that in Chicago, everybody smokes. In the hotel bar, in every restaurant, everywhere. I guess I'm just used to Massachusetts banning smoking from every public place. It was kind of like stepping back in time.

So Wacko Jacko was arrested on child molestation charges. Gee, what a shock. Let's hope they can actually convict his freakazoid ass this time.

Can't believe it's already Thanksgiving next week. We're heading to Joisey to visit Deb's brother and his family; his wife is due any day now. Hopefully she'll have the baby before we get down there.

Hannah's officially obsessed with the movie "Dumbo." If she had things her way, we'd watch it five times a day.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Just tooling on the computer for a little while before I leave for the airport. Flying to Chicago for a conference Monday and Tuesday; I get back Tuesday night. Got a ticket to the Blackhawks-Rangers game tonight, so that will be cool, although it would have been a much better game 10 years ago when both teams were doing well. At least it'll be the fourth Original Six city I'll have seen a game in (Chicago, Toronto, Boston and Montreal--still need to see games in New York and Detroit).

Friday night, I got together with Mssrs. Dube, Brighaaaaam, Breitling and Rohda at Tha Good Life for some beers and B.S. A good time, although we're starting to question why we keep going back to that place, since they're always out of the beers we like. Last time, they didn't have any Sam Adams, for crying out loud. We went over to the People's Republic for a quick one after that. Hard to believe two years have passed since we all worked together.

The HCPro football game yesterday was a lot of fun, despite temps in the mid-30s. We had a good turnout, about 15 people, and once we started running around, we warmed up quickly. My team lost 4-2, but it didn't really matter. I hadn't played football in seven or eight years, but I had a touchdown at the end, and a few good punt returns. We ripped up the Marblehead Charter School field pretty well; the thing's a big mudpit now. We'll have to do that again sometime.

Last night, my old high school buddy Jeremy stopped by with his wife and youngest son. We reconnected a few years ago. Talk about your different paths. He got married during his senior year and they had a kid the following summer; now his oldest is 17. Dayamn. Hannah's not even 19 months yet. But he's done all right for himself and his family and they seem really happy, so that's all that matters. I'm glad I didn't do things that way, though.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Man, it just don't pay to be a celebrity these days. Those guys are dropping like the so-called flies. Art Carney departed this mortal coil Sunday at age 85. Not that it was a total shock or anything; he was one of those guys that you were surprised to find out he was still alive. Like Abe Vigoda. That dude's looked near death for 30 years now. But getting back to the Honeymooners, that was a truly great show. Jackie Gleason and Carney were, how you say, frickin' funny.

Agh, it's fundraising week on WMBR, the MIT station I listen to every morning for the good indie rock. Not that they don't deserve the money for providing quality programming that I enjoy, but the begging can be annoying at times. Still, stations like MBR, WZBC and WERS (and hell, even good ol' WUNH) are to be treasured, so I'll send in some cash money at some point.

Finally got back on the ice last night for the first time in over a month. My legs felt pretty heavy, partly because it had been so long and partly because I played street hockey Monday night. But it was fun, although we were all sucking wind because the kid running the rink gave us an extra 20 minutes of ice time. I popped in a goal, but could definitely feel the rust. I also had new gloves and shin pads to get used to. Street hockey was good the other night, too, although my timing was way off. I had a nice goal where I faked the goalie one way and slipped the ball behind on the other side, but I also missed four or five one-timers. It'll come back, but not next week, because I'll be in Chicago for work, dammit.

Looking forward to convening with my fellow nerdizens from WebNozie on Friday night in Cambridge to mark the second anniversary of Black Friday, when we were all laid off by the ill-fated startup. There will be much sniping and laughing at others' misfortune, I suspect. Exxxxxcceeelllllllllllllllllllent.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Brrr, it's frickin' cold in here, Mr. Bigglesworth. Seriously, it's in the 30s out. Far cry from last weekend's 70-degree temps.

Had a real quick recovery from the marathon. I felt good enough to run on Thursday and yesterday. Not sure when my next race will be, but I'm just glad that I feel good. I might be sore after next weekend, when I play football for the first time in six or seven years with the HCPro crew. I used to organize games when I was at the paper and they were always a blast, but inevitably I'd be sore for days afterward. Should be fun.

Friday night, I went with my friend Rick to see the UNH hockey team play at BU. He's got season tickets there. Last year when we went, UNH got smoked, but this time the Wildcats kicked major arse. A 4-0 shutout, and the fourth consecutive game UNH has shut BU out. Very cool. And then last night, the Cats trounced their arch-enemies from Maine, 6-3. It's also nice to see the Leafs turning things around after getting destroyed by Philly last Saturday; they've won 3 and tied 1 since then, including last night's dominating 4-1 win over Edmonton.

Deb and I went to see "Lost in Translation" yesterday afternoon. Really good movie. Bill Murray is great in it, although it's a little weird to see him opposite 18-year-old Scarlett Johansson. Give her credit, though, she's a good actress and doesn't come off like a teenybopper. There are some really nice moments in the movie, including Murray doing an updated take on his old lounge lizard from SNL with karaoke versions of Roxy Music's "More Than This" and Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." He's done some really underrated work in the last couple of decades, including "Ed Wood," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Rushmore."

Kind of a bummer Friday when I found out a woman I worked with at the Beverly Times back in tha day died in a car crash. She definitely had her demons, which led to her leaving the paper, but she was a good person underneath it all. I'll probably hit the wake this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

So I found a photo of myself from the marathon taken by Jim Rhoades, a Boston-based guy who shoots a lot of the bigger races in the area. Check it out here. As you can clearly see, I'm at mile 16 having run over the 59th Street bridge, and I've just spotted the great Ronnie James Dio in the crowd. It was very inspirational, because I'm just a rainbow in the dark.

Monday, November 03, 2003

It's over. Another marathon has come and gone. I finished the NYC Marathon in 4:10 (4:16 officially, but my net time is when I actually crossed the start and finish lines). Senor Diddy finished in 4:14, so I actually did beat him, even though he crossed the line before I did; he started ahead of me. It was a lot warmer than they initially predicted. It ended up being sunny in the high 60s/low 70s, which definitely slowed me and a lot of others down. Fortunately, I didn't have any injuries or problems like I suffered when I did Boston back in April. I just kept chugging along at a decent pace. And I finished in the top third of the runners, so that's nothing to be ashamed of. And I feel good today, certainly not as sore as I was after running Boston.

The race itself was a lot of fun. It was cool to see so many different parts of the city, and have all those people cheering for you. It wasn't as hilly as Boston, but there were still some good ones, including the 59th Street bridge. I had a disposable camera with me, so I managed to get some good photos of some of the sights along the way, although by the end I was too damn tired to dig the camera out of my Camelback to take a picture. Around the 20-mile mark, I decided to stop at one of the medical stations to get a couple of Tylenol 8-hour tablets; I was starting to get pretty achy, and I hoped it would help me get through the last hour or so of the race. It definitely worked.

Some sights and sounds of race day:

--I caught a cab at 6 a.m. to go to the New York Public Library, where buses would take us to the start in Staten Island. It was surreal to see the streets of New York totally empty, except for runners waiting on street corners for cabs.
--The pre-race gathering area was obviously packed with 35,000 people. I just found a spot to sit down and read Sports Illustrated for a while. I was sitting next to this group of about 150 runners from Peru. Kevin Nealon, ex of Saturday Night Live, was doing some reports for the Tonight Show, and came over to interview them. You don't hear much from him anymore.
--I was waiting in the endless lines for the porta-potty when a cop car drove through, clearing the way for some women and children. Turns out it was P. Diddy's mom, girlfriend, and kids. Then we heard a commotion and the Diddster and an MTV crew made their way through the crowd behind us. I give the guy credit. He only trained for eight weeks and suffered some injuries and did pretty well. And he raised $2 million for charity.
--There was a definite international flavor to the race. Not just the Kenyans who win every year, but there were a lot of folks from Europe and other parts of the world who were there to run. Lots of English guys in goofy suits and costumes, a French guy running with an inflatable Eiffel Tower on his head (not actual size), the aforementioned Peruvians. Very cool.

I have to give much credit to my wife and to her uncle Jim and Aunt Merry for helping get through the weekend. But also I must deliver the mad "props" to the music I put on my old Rio 600 MP3 player, which continues to serve me well while I wait for the iPod to drop down to a reasonable price. I filled the Rio with rawk from a mix CD I concocted and these are the songs I listened to four times each as I wended my way through New York. They kicked ass, and so did I:

* You Didn't Need--Rollins Band
* Unsung--Helmet
* Bed for the Scraping--Fugazi
* Negative Creep--Nirvana
* In 'n' Out of Grace--Mudhoney
* Leash--Pearl Jam
* Youth Against Fascism--Sonic Youth
* What's Going On--Husker Du
* That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate--Mission of Burma
* The Wagon--Dinosaur Jr.
* Hit the Plane Down--Pavement
* Kerosene--Big Black
* Evil Eye--Fu Manchu
* Killed by Death--Motorhead

I also should mention Sloan's latest album, "Action Pact," which I listened to on many of my training runs. Good stuff. Too bad it hasn't been released in the U.S. yet.

Well, that will probably be my last marathon for a while. With the new baby due in March, we'll be plenty busy in the spring. And I've encouraged Deb to get back into the long-distance running after she has the baby, so hopefully she'll do a half-marathon in the fall and shoot for a marathon in the spring of '05. As for me, I'm looking forward to not training in the cold of winter. I'll still run shorter races and the occasional half-marathon, but I want to get back to playing hockey again.

Werd up.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Well, getting ready to head off to NYC tomorrow morning for the marathon. Deb and I are driving in to the expo where I'll pick up my number, and then we're staying in Manhattan with her uncle. Then it's up at the crack o' dawn on Sunday to catch a bus to the start, where I'll wait around until the race kicks off at 10. The weather is supposed to be in the mid-60s and cloudy, which is pretty great. Originally they were predicting temps in the 70s, which is too warm, but it'd be easier to take than the 70-degree weather we had for the Boston Marathon this year, which came after training in cold weather all winter. Anyway, wish me luck. P. Diddy's running the race, too, so we'll see if I can beat him. Will Ferrell kicked my butt in Boston this year, but he had the advantage of training in warm weather; on the other hand, in 2002, I totally whupped Mario Lopez's (Slater from "Saved by the Bell") ass by more than an hour in Boston, but he had a sprained ankle. Whatevah.

So I'm sitting at my desk yesterday minding my own business when our HR honcho Bernie walks in and drops a couple of $82 tickets for the B's-Habs game last night. The seats were awesome...four rows from the ice by one of the nets. Closest I've ever been for a pro hockey game. I ended up going with my buddy Matt. Bruins lost 1-0 in OT.

I think we had about five kids come by for Halloween tonight, which is three more than usual. We took Hannah to a couple of our neighbors' houses, but she was pretty cranky by that point. She sure made a cute giraffe, though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Bloggity blog blog blog. Doing some work at home tonight, which is never fun. Tomorrow we have our annual kids' Halloween party, which means I won't get much done from 3 to 5, so I'm getting some writing done tonight. I'm dressing up as Mike Tyson--I was unable to find a fake gold tooth, but other than that, I'm all set. I'll be drawing that stupid tattoo on my face, so that will look good.

The Yankees lost to the Marlins in 6 over the weekend. To which I say, hardy har har. Give Florida credit. They're a scrappy team.

Well, back to work. Get thee to a nunnery or something, willya?

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Hey there, ho there. Saturday night's alright for bloggin'. Just watched the Leafs take out the Capitals, 4-1. Nice game, Belfour played great, Sundin finally scored his first goal, and the team looks like it's putting it all together.

Had a decent day today...we had folks from the softball team over for a BBQ, although Deb, Hannah and me were the only ones who actually stayed for the food. Everyone had somewhere to go. But it was a nice day and I'm not complaining. My cold's finally gone, my stomach feels okay (knock on wood-like desk), and my back's not too sore. One week away from the NYC marathon, which is hard to believe.

It'll be a busy week at work. My deadline's on Wednesday and a bunch of people haven't called me back yet. I'm going in tomorrow to write as much as I can so the week isn't a total freakshow.

Elliott Smith killed himself this week. His girlfriend found him after he stabbed himself in the heart with a steak knife. Dayamn. Couldn't he have found an easier way to go, like setting himself on fire and then jumping into a blast furnace? Guess he was pretty messed up on drugs and shiznitt. The guy was talented, no doubt. I was checking out some of his stuff in Heatmiser, his old band, and it was really cool. I never realized he brought the rock like that. Heatmiser also featured the guy from Quasi. I definitely need to pick up Smith's solo stuff. What a waste. Suicide's just friggin' stupid.

The ultrasound yesterday was awesome. We saw the little dude/dudette moving around in there, counted all the fingers, and saw a normal-looking heat beating away. It never fails to blow me away, to know that a little person is in there just chillin' for nine months. It was also weird to think that not quite two years ago, we were looking at Hannah in an ultrasound. Four months to go.

So I'm sitting there last night, watching "Boston Public." Like all David Kelley shows, it's eminently watchable even though it's absolutely ridiculous. In last night's episode, Dennis Miller guest starred as a broker who instead of receiving jail time for some scheme gets sentenced to becoming a math teacher. This show cracks me up, because people just get pulled off the street to become teachers. Jeri Ryan's character was a lawyer who decides to become a teacher. Don't bother getting certified, just walk right up. And of course, just about every female teacher has to be absolutely smokin' hot, with Jeri Ryan as the prime example. I'm not complaining or anything, but in all my years of going to school, I never had a teacher look anything remotely like her. Trust me, I would have noticed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Ah, it never ends. I got the A-OK on Friday to get back to regular eating, which is great news. I have to keep taking the thyroid medication, probably forever, and there's no indication how the problem got started, but at least it's manageable. Of course, I was still dealing with this chest cold over the weekend, but it's mostly gone now. And this morning, I'm at the gym doing a chest workout when I strained my back. I've done it before, but it's just annoying because I can't play hockey tonight. I already missed the last two weeks because of my stomach and the chest cold, and I'll miss the next two because of the marathon. Oh, well. My back should be all right in a few days, but it's pretty damn sore right now. I need to watch out for falling pianos and anvils.

The wedding went okay on Sunday, although I didn't see a second of the ceremony because Hannah had fallen asleep in the car on the way there. So I stayed with her in the car and listened to the Patriots game. We had a babysitter to take care of Hannah and her cousin Danny while we were at the reception. Everybody seemed to have a good time. I'm just glad we're done with weddings for the year. We had a lot of them this year.

On Friday, we go for the first ultrasound of BK2 (Baby Kumar 2). We're not finding out the sex of the baby, but it's always cool to see the little one in there moving around. I can't wait.

Friday, October 17, 2003

I'm still in shock today at how the Red Sox totally blew their first shot at going to the World Series since '86. They had game 7 in the bag, leading 5-2, and Grady Little leaves Pedro out there for the eighth instead of going to his bullpen. Next thing you know, it's 5-5 and the damn Yankees win in 11. I could hear my dad saying "Stupid Grady Leeeetle," just like he used to say "Stupid Jeeemy Weeeliams" back when Jimy was managing the Jays in the late '80s. Couple that with the Cubs' choke a few days earlier, and you get a good understanding why these teams haven't won anything in the last 85 years. There's a lot of depressed and angry folks around here today. Fortunately, I was just an interested observer. I still have my memories of the '92 and '93 World Series victories to savor.

At least I don't have to hear anybody say "Cowboy up" any more. God, was that annoying.

Of course, the Leafs have had some big chokes of their own the last 36+ years, but they usually don't even get to a big game. Last night, they let the Devils tie it up with two friggin' seconds left. Sheesh.

Still fighting this cold, but I feel a lot better than earlier in the week. Didn't play hockey Tuesday night, just stayed home. I'm starting to eat more regular food, which is nice. I have an appointment with my nurse practitioner in half an hour, so we'll see if she says I can get back to eating what I want again.

My brother-in-law Steve gets married for the second time this weekend. Should be interesting.

Got some cool DVDs to watch: My bro sent me "The Kids are Alright" and Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" as belated birthday presents, plus I still have "A Mighty Wind" to watch.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Hola. Happy Columbus Day. Gotta love these long weekends, even if I feel pretty miserable right now. No, not the stomach thing, I've got a nice chest cold thanks to Hannah, who brought it home from daycare. We're all suffering, but mine is definitely the worse. Coughing up lots of good stuff. I ran the BAA Half Marathon yesterday and at first wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish because I had been up half the night hacking. But surprisingly, I felt good and had a decent race.

Saturday's Red Sox-Yankees game was insane in the membrane. Pedro throwing at guys, Don Zimmer getting tossed to the ground by Pedro, a melee in the Yankees bullpen, Clemens and Manny yelling at each other. It was out of control. But give Clemens credit. He was the one guy who controlled his temper and that's why they won.

The Leafs came out flat for their season opener, getting shut out by the lowly Habs. I taped it because we had our roto hockey draft at the same time, but it sounds like it was so bad I have no desire to watch it. Hopefully they'll play better tonight against Washington.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Hey, how's it going? Things are going a lot better here. I'm still eating bland as hell, but at least I feel better. The doc thinks the thyroid problem is what caused the Crohn's to kick up, but I still have no idea what caused the thyroid problem. All I know is I feel better and I can do whatever I want as far as exercise--I ran 21.5 miles on Sunday and felt great, played hockey last night and scored two goals. But I'm still being careful about what I eat, although I have been sneaking some ketchup or chocolate here and there and have had no problems so far. Hopefully, I'll find out soon that I can go back to eating meat, veggies, fruit and dairy products, not to mention drinking beer.

It's a great time of year for sports. The baseball playoffs have been fantastic so far. The Red Sox just won the divisional series from Oakland in five games after losing the first two, and now they face the Yankees. As much as I can't stand the Sox normally, I hate the Yankees more, so go Red Sox! Meanwhile the Cubs and Marlins are in the other series. And the NHL season starts tonight, which not so many people care about around here anymore, but I do. Besides, it might be the last season for a while. And the NFL is well underway and always exciting.

I need to see some new movies out or about to come out: Kill Bill, pt. 1; Lost in Translation; and School of Rock. Also there's a bunch of new rock out that I need to pick up: the new Outkast double-disc, Guided by Voices, live Fu Manchu, Nebula, all sortsa stuff.

Got my car back and it's running fine, although I need to get the exhaust worked on in a few weeks. One thing after another.

Well, time to go watch five games at once. Later.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Damn, it's been a whole week. Not a fun one, either. Last Saturday, I got a good 20-mile run in and was feeling pretty well. That night, I went out with my brother-in-law Steve for his bachelor party, which turned out to be a pretty tame affair. We just went to the Outback steakhouse for dinner and had some drinks afterward. But at some point, I picked up a stomach bug and for the next four days or so, my gastrointestinal system was in some serious turmoil. I couldn't eat much, had a lot of trips to the bathroom, it wasn't fun. I still went to work, but I was pretty miserable. I felt better on Tuesday, but I made the mistake of having a roast beef sandwich for lunch and getting the whole thing going again. On Wednesday I went to my nurse practitioner and she figured it probably had something to do with Crohn's Disease, which I was diagnosed with last year but which hadn't yet manifested itself. She said I could eat chicken and fish, but no beef or really fatty foods, no fruits or vegetables, at least until this is resolved. I visited my G-I specialist the next day and he said I probably had some sort of bug or virus that activated the Crohn's. He prescribed some medication, ordered a stool sample (not easy) and I'm to call him next Tuesday to report back on how I'm doing. I felt pretty good on Thursday and Friday, enough to get a couple of five-mile runs in; we'll see how I do tomorrow, when I'm supposed to run 22 miles. It's my last really long run. The marathon's less than a month away.

So anyway, yesterday I get a call from my NP saying my blood test showed I had an underactive thyroid, which usually means the person is sluggish, sleepy and gaining weight. All things that I'm not suffering from. They're double-checking it. I'm just full of surprises.

To top all that off, on Tuesday, the radiator in my car sprung a leak and I had to leave it with our mechanic because it was overheating. Fortunately it won't cost too much to fix because he's giving us a good deal, but I haven't had a car all week.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Another week down. Got back from Atlanta today after a quick two-day trip. It was productive from a work standpoint. Didn't do much else, although what I did see of Decatur was pretty nice. I certainly liked it a lot more than I liked downtown Atlanta, where I stayed a year ago.

Hockey was good on Tuesday. We had a contingent of guys from Quincy who played the last few years, but who this year aren't playing, and it seems to have picked everyone else's game up. Two of them are twins who just dominated the games, but now the rest of us get the puck a lot more and it's more fun. We were wondering if anyone would score when after the first 20 minutes it was a scoreless tie, but I actually popped in the first goal of the year. I got another later on, plus an assist, and we won 8-3. One drawback is last year the kid who worked at the rink let us play for an extra 20 to 45 minutes every week. The dink working there now rung that buzzer right at 10:50. Although it wasn't totally a bad thing, since I had to get up at 5:15 the next morning to go to the airport.

Carlos Delgado hit four homers last night. Awesome.

Well, gotta get up early and run 20 miles tomorrow. I've got that run and a 22-miler next weekend, and then I start winding things down before the marathon. It'll be here before I know it.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Hey. Today was a hot one, with temps in the mid-80s. Of course, it was also the day I ran a 30k (18.6 miles) race. Same thing happened last year when I ran it. Every time I ran during the week, it was in the morning and it was cool and comfortable. Today was tough. I brought water and paced myself better than last year, but the heat definitely got to me by the last few miles. Walked a bunch. I finished in 2:47, 10 minutes slower than last year, when I started out way too fast and staggered in at the end. I was pretty woozy today after I got done, but it was nothing serious. I basically looked at it as another long run in my marathon training. It didn't help that the race started at 10, meaning it finished at the hottest time of day. If they started it at 8, it would have been much better. But whatever, it's over now.

So tomorrow I turn 36. Pretty weird. Honestly, I don't feel that old. I wouldn't look that old if it wasn't for the gray hair, but even then I don't think I look that old. Physically, I feel like I'm in my late 20s. That's gotta count for something, right?

Getting psyched to start playing ice hockey again next week. I always look forward to those Tuesday nights, even though it means getting home at midnight.

Got together with my old co-workers from Webnoize the other night in Cambridge. We had been talking about it for a while and finally just decided Thursday was a good night. Always an entertaining time, sharing war stories about the old days in the dot-bomb world. We're planning to get together again in mid-November to mark the second anniversary of Black Friday, the day we all got laid off. I had already given my two weeks' notice at that point to return to HCPro, and was at the end of the first week, so obviously it didn't hit me as hard as the others. But it was still pretty damn strange. The company ended up keeping going for another few weeks with a skeleton staff before giving up the ghost in December '01. At first, they said they'd be re-launching the site in early '02 when they got some funding, but they never got the funding and haven't been heard from since. Another case of a good idea that fell victim to poor management. Oh well, as the French say, what the hell.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Word up. Let's see, it's been a few days again. Lots of stuff going on. Roy Halladay just won his 21st game of the season with another shutout. I don't want to jinx him, but the man's looking good for the AL Cy Young. The Leafs kicked off the NHL preseason in Finland yesterday with a nice win over Jokerit, a Finnish pro team, but in typical fashion, they've already got a bunch of injured guys. I watched the first period on tape delay on; that InterWeb thingie's got a future. Deb and I went to the Sox game last night against Tampa Bay. I got free tickets from work. It was my first game at Fenway in two years, since Cal Ripken's last appearance in Boston. Last year, I was busy with the new baby and then later in the season was kind of annoyed by all the strike talk, so I never bought any tickets. This year, I didn't try again, but tickets were hard to come by because the Sox have been doing so well. The seats were pretty good in the grandstand behind home plate. Pedro Martinez pitched well and the Sox won 3-2, although we left early to beat the crowd to the subway. As is typical, we had this annoying bozo behind us who thought he was hilarious, telling bad jokes throughout the game ("Hey, Marlon Anderson is on the wrong team. He should be on the Marlins. Get it?"). Ugh. It was all I could do to keep from turning around and telling him to shut the fuck up. Other than that, though, it was a good time.

We had a new fence installed yesterday. Our old one was falling apart because the dimwit who used to live here never treated the wood when he installed the damn thing seven years ago. We also replaced the fence behind our house, which actually belonged to the senile old lady who lives behind us, but was leaning into our backyard. We got permission from her daughters to replace it. The new fence is pretty sweet, and it has gates on either side where the driveways start. We can finally let Hannah play in the backyard. Well, there's still the matter of all the dogshit that my mother-in-law's dog deposits on a daily basis, but somehow never gets picked up. Well, you don't expect me to do it, do you? Anyway, that's another issue entirely. Suffice it to say, we'll put in new grass back there when there no more poop production, which could be in the next year or two. The next big project is having our gravel driveways paved over before the winter hits.

Hurricane Isabel is all over the news as it prepares to hit the East Coast. I think all we're supposed to get up here is a bunch of rain on Friday, but the Carolinas are preparing to get whacked.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Ah, Saturday morning. It's 10 a.m. and the day is full of possibilities. Not to mention the fact I already got out and ran 17 miles. It's nice to have that out of the way early. Felt pretty good today--my calf didn't bother me at all and I ran pretty fast. My buddy Matt joined me for 10 miles of the run. Six weeks to the NYC Marathon and I'm feeling good.

So yesterday was pretty cool. Skipped out of work early to join Deb at her doctor's appointment. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time, which is always an intense experience. That little sucker was beating fast, too, at 148 bpm.

From there, we headed to the FleetBoston Pavilion (the venue formerly known as Harborlights) to see Guster, a mostly acoustic pop trio that Deb's been a big fan of for years. I got her the tickets for our anniversary, which was in July. Guster's not really my cup of rock, but I don't mind them. They write decent songs. We saw them there three years ago, right after we got back from our honeymoon. Last night's show was pretty good, although we froze our butts off. Down on the water, the temps dropped down into the low 50s, so my shorts didn't offer much protection from the steady breeze blowing through the place. Of course, that didn't deter the vast majority of the audience, which consisted of females aged 16-23. Most of them were wearing the low-cut jeans and the high-cut t-shirts, which led to another new fashion phenomenon: a preponderance of back fat. While a lot of the girls were pretty damn skinny, others appeared to have shoehorned themselves into impossibly tight jeans and equally tight tops, forcing the exposed midsection flesh to be pushed out at the sides. Not overly attractive. Needless to say, Deb and I felt pretty old at the show, although not as old as the parents who escorted their kids to the show. Damn, I hope Hannah doesn't like too many crappy bands when she's in her teens, because guess who gets to take her?

Lots of celebrity deaths these days. In the last five days, we've lost Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash and John Ritter. While the only Zevon album I have is the Hindu Love Gods side project he did with the boys from REM, and the only Cash album I have is the first one he did with Rick Rubin, certainly both men were formidable talents. Especially the Man in Black. Zevon and Cash had both been very ill for a while, so their deaths weren't surprising, but still sad nonetheless.

As for John Ritter, I grew up watching "Three's Company" reruns--he was a talented and supremely silly physical comedian, and even had some good roles in recent years in "Sling Blade" and on other shows. The scariest part of his death was the sudden nature of it--out of nowhere he had an aneurysm at age 54. Yikes.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Hard to believe it's been two years since the September 11 attacks. I was working at Webnoize in Cambridge. We were all settled in for a day's work, when at about 8:50, Ric Dube comes over and says, "I think something just happened in New York." He was listening to Howard Stern as he does every day, and in the middle of a typical discussion about Pamela Anderson's boobs, they just stopped. Turns out they had a perfect view of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. So we switched from WMBR, the MIT station that we usually listened to in the mornings, to WBZ and sure enough, they were reporting that a plane hit the tower. Not long after, another plane hit and we knew this was more than just a messed-up accident. I sent Deb an email at school about it, and it turns out that was the first she'd heard about it.

And of course, everything unfolded from there. Our boss Tom had a cable-less TV in his office, so we were watching ABC when the towers fell. Even in fuzzy black and white, it was one of the most disturbing things I had ever seen live. Being an online publication, we were of course trying to get as much information as we could from sites like, but Web traffic was overflowing at that time, as you can imagine. The irony was not lost on us, as we continued to listen to the AM radio for our information. Then we heard about Washington, and Pennsylvania, and speculated amongst ourselves that maybe something would happen on the West Coast later in the day. I was supposed to do an interview that afternoon with a guy at some dotcom out in LA; he called to reschedule and I asked him what the mood was like out there. Kind of a mixture of fear and uncertainty. Everything was happening so fast. They sent us home around noon, so I took the subway to North Station to catch a train back to Beverly. It was like rush hour. The place was packed like it was when I usually arrived there at 6:30 p.m. every day. I was waiting for the next train to Beverly when I saw a guy I play hockey with, so we hung out talking about how messed up everything was. I got back to Beverly around 2 and just started walking home; usually Deb would pick me up but I wasn't sure she was home and I didn't know when I would arrive. It's about a half-hour walk and about halfway there, Deb's mom Susan drove up and picked me up. I had left a voice mail at home when I left the office, so Deb (who wasn't home yet) got it and called her mom to see if she could find me. I spent the rest of the night like everyone else, glued to the tube for the latest. They were showing all the different footage of the planes hitting the towers and no matter how many times I saw it, I had to watch it again. It was just so unbelievable. It was tough for Deb and me, because we had just found out Deb was pregnant and we wondered what kind of fucked-up world we were bringing a child into.

The next day, I went to work because what the hell else was I going to do? Everything was really somber and low-key. I went to the gym and there were the usual 5:30 a.m. workout freaks there like myself, going through the motions. It was comforting, really, to do that. Walking from the train to work, I started feeling really conscious about being Indian, not knowing if people were looking at me differently because I wasn't white, because I looked a little like the terrorists. I even came up with a snappy reply if someone confronted me on it, but of course, nobody did. I did hear some horror stories about idiots attacking Sikhs and other south Asians in misguided revenge attempts, but fortunately I never dealt with anything overt like that. It was definitely a strange time to be an American, and an even stranger time to be an American who looked like me. Soon, a jingoistic fervor began whipping up, people driving down the street with huge flags in their trucks and the like, which also made me uncomfortable. I've never been the type to start chanting "USA, USA" at the Olympics or something. I love this country and never want to leave it, but blind faith in a flag is never a good idea for anyone.

Anyway, enough reflections for one day. How 'bout that Roy Halladay? He won his 20th game today for the Jays. Can you say Cy Young? And the Leafs signed Joe Nieuwendyk last night, which was a decent move. Now they need some defensive help.

All right, I'm done with the typing already. Later.

Monday, September 08, 2003

It's been about five days, but what can I say? The weather around here has been too damn nice lately. Had a busy weekend. On Friday, my softball team promptly lost our big game, ending our playoff chances. Not that we would have gone far anyway, but it would have been nice. Still, we came back on Saturday and swept a doubleheader to finish 11-15. We need to get a few good female players next year.

Managed to get 17 miles in over the weekend, although not in one day. Five on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. I didn't have time to do more for a long run because we went to a christening of a friend's baby boy. Actually, I sat in the car and read the Globe sports page because Hannah was fast asleep; that was fine by me. Deb said just like the last christening we attended at that church, the priest passed the collection plate around twice. Then it was back to the house where there were kids everywhere. Fortunately, Steve and Tammy have a huge yard and a sweet playground set, so we kept Hannah busy.

Lately I've been listening to Sloan's new album, Action Pact, a lot. It's excellent, chock full of riff rockers and catchy mid-tempo pop; not so much of the wussy stuff they had on the last album. Although I would have liked some of drummer Andrew Scott's off-kilter psychedelic tunes, which serve as a nice counterpoint to their power pop standards. But he stuck to just playing drums this time because he and his wife just had a kid. I'll cut the dude some slack. I can relate. I picked up the disc while in Toronto and it's a good thing I did, because they haven't secured U.S. distribution yet. Too bad. It's way better than the crap that gets played on MTV like Good Charlotte; I loved Chris Rock's line after their performance on the VMAs a few weeks back: "Good Charlotte? More like Mediocre Green Day."

Doug Gilmour retired today after 20 years in the NHL. He was an ornery little bastard not much bigger than me, but in his prime 10 years ago, he was arguably the best player pound for pound in the league. I got to see his last game, which was his first back in a Leafs uniform last year; he played about five minutes before a freak collision demolished his knee. Well done, Killer. I still wear my Gilmour Leafs jersey with pride.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Holy crap, it's September! Where did the summer go? Speaking of which, softball season is winding down. We played our last work game tonight. We've been playing in Salem against a team of locals that practices every Wednesday night. At first, they were kicking our butt because they're pretty serious in their baseball uniforms and don't let women play, while we let anyone play regardless of ability or gender, and we eat and drink copious amounts of pizza and beer. As the season went on, we got better. Tonight, we only had nine players on each team, but we kicked their arses, 21-10. Nice way to end the season. I absolutely croaked a home run; it helps that there's no fence and that if you hit past an outfielder, it just keeps going. This coming weekend, my coed team has three makeup games to play. We need to win them all to make the playoffs. Should be fun.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Hey. Three days of work after a vacation and I'm definitely ready for this long weekend. Finally got to the gym yesterday after two weeks of no lifting--no reason, just didn't have the time or was out of town. Played some street hockey, too, which was fun. Today, I ran for the first time since I strained my calf last Sunday. Did seven miles and felt okay, although between the humidity and the week off, I was sucking wind. It's amazing how quickly you lose that fitness you work so hard to maintain; last Friday, I was kicking butt.

Anyway, we had a lunch in Marblehead at a park by the water, and then in the evening, Deb and I went to see "The Secret Lives of Dentists" with Campbell Scott and Denis Leary. Good movie. Scott's always been a good actor. Although we rarely get out to see movies, inevitably we get some annoying people sitting nearby to worsen the experience. Tonight, it was an old couple behind us that were yammering throughout the flick. I fought the temptation several times to turn around and tell them to shut the hell up. Finally, about three-quarters through the movie, they just got up and shuffled out. Maybe Matlock was on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Home sweet home, as Vince Neil once caterwauled. We got back last night after 11 hours on the road. Back to work today.

The vacation was good. We told everyone that we were expecting child #2 in March, so that was fun. We took Hannah to the zoo, went to a wedding, I saw a Blue Jays game (they lost), hung out with my cousins, disrupted Hannah's sleep patterns with late nights out, saw people we hadn't seen in a long time, saw the condo my mom plans to buy, I ran three times before injuring my calf, etc.

Good to be back in my own bed. I can't believe it's almost September. Deb's back to work next week when school starts, and Hannah's back in day care. The Leafs are expected to name John Ferguson Jr. as their new GM--nothing like taking all summer to pick your man, you bozos.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Well, we're here in Toronto. The drive wasn't bad. Tuesday night, the worst traffic we hit was on 128 in Peabody. No problems on the rest of 128, the Mass Pike, or the NY Thruway. We got to Syracuse by 11:30, and as we were checking in, Hannah woke up. She was all excited to be in our room, which was so humid the carpet was damp, that she was running all over the place. We finally calmed her down sometime after midnight. We hit the road around 8, got to the border around 10. No lines, no waiting, no problems. We stopped at Niagara Falls and checked it out for about an hour, then left for Toronto. We got here around 2:30, then just hung out with Mom for the rest of the day. Hannah was happy to see her and very playful. Spent the evening watching the Jays game and getting to bed early.

This morning, I ran six loops on Sandhurst Circle near Mom's building. I clocked it in the car and found it was 1.4 miles long, so I ran 8.4 miles. I plan to do the same the next two days and Monday. I figure it's not realistic for me to do a long run of 17 miles this week, since I don't really know the area, but I can at least get my miles in while I'm up here.

It's pretty hot today, pushing 90 (or 30 degrees Celsius, as they say up here). So far the power supply seems to be working fine, although you can see that businesses are trying to conserve. We were at a nearby mall in Wal-Mart and they didn't have all their lights on. And some of the mall escalators were out of commission to save energy. So after the mall, we hit the Toronto Zoo so Hannah could check out the animals. I hadn't been there in over 23 years, so it was cool for me, too. Hannah got a little antsy at times because she didn't want to stay in her stroller, but she had fun seeing the elephants, giraffes, monkeys, etc. We stayed three hours, but we were all pretty fried from the sun by the time we left.

JP gets here tomorrow night. I'm psyched to go to the Jays game Saturday--it's Paul Molitor bobblehead doll night. No, really, that's a good thing.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Yeah, it's been a few days. Had a busy weekend. Matt, Tricia and Danny were in town for a visit, which was fun. In between, I ran 14.7 miles on Saturday, much of it spent in gastrointestinal distress. Not fun. Finally my route brought me past the Y on the way back, where I stopped to use the facilities; I left for my run at 5:30, so the place wasn't even open the first time I passed by. But I got through it. Then we had a doubleheader in softball that afternoon, and Deb gave me the okay to actually partake in post-game celebrations. Of coursee, the celebrating was done by the other team, which beat us by a run, but that's okay. On Sunday, we had a makeup game, which we won handily.

Getting ready for our trip to Toronto. We leave tomorrow night after I get home from work. We're stopping in Syracuse for the night, then finishing the trip on Wednesday. I've got a ton of work to do tomorrow--my newsletter deadline is the day after I get back to work. I already know it's going to suck. People haven't been calling me back, so basically I'll be pulling this issue out of my ass, so to speak.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Things got pretty weird today when a huge power outage hit a big chunk of the Northeast, but not most of New England. NYC, Toronto, Cleveland, Michigan all lost power because of a power grid problem around 4 p.m. Checked in with my mom in Toronto and she was fine--I was just glad she didn't get stuck in the elevator of her high-rise. Deb's brother Matt and his family still didn't have power in NJ as of 10 p.m. The images of people flooding the streets of NYC certainly reminded me of September 11, although everything stayed pretty calm and orderly.

The Radiohead show last night was awesome. They played two hours and I thought they were better than the show I saw two years ago, which was pretty damn good itself. Thom Yorke played a lot of guitar and was all over the place, jumping and shimmying and spaz-dancing. They're one of the few bands I'm willing to travel to the Tweeter Center to see. It takes forever to get in and out of there. Didn't get home til 1 a.m., and my buddy Andrew still had to drive up to Kennebunk, Maine. Well worth it, though. Radiohead is one of the few truly great bands out there right now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Werd. Getting psyched for the Radiohead/Malkmus show at the Tweeter Center tomorrow. Should be great. I saw Radiohead almost two years ago to the day at Suffolk Downs, which is a crappy place to see a band. Hopefully we won't have any thunderstorms tomorrow night.

I also spent part of the day mapping out our drive to Toronto. We're planning on staying in Syracuse next Tuesday night, then hitting Niagara Falls on our way to Toronto the next day. Splitting up the drive definitely makes it easier on Hannah, not to mention me.

Even though their season's going down the tubes, I'm excited to see a Blue Jays game next week. It'll be my first baseball game since last September, when I went to a game while in Atlanta for work. I haven't been to a game at Fenway in two years for no particular reason. It's a great place to see a game, but I've been lazy about ordering tickets and they get snapped up quickly. Can't believe Springsteen's playing there next month. The whole stadium might collapse.

I think I forgot to mention the 5K I did last Thursday in Beverly. It was my fastest ever, at 21:30, a 6:55 pace. I just figured I'd see how fast I could go and ran all out. Most of the time, I pace myself a lot better, but it was fun to kick out the jams.

A so-called shout-out to my buddy Jay Breitling, who's getting married this coming weekend in Pennsylvania. I won't be able to attend, but some of our fellow ex-Webnoizers will be there. That's one wedding that's bound to be a blast.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Hey. Just got back from a weekend in lovely Ringwood, NJ. No, really, it actually is lovely. It's a small town on a lake in northern NJ, about 45 minutes from NYC. We were down visiting Deb's kid brother and his wife, who were throwing a big second birthday bash for their son, Danny. The drive down was annoying. It usually takes four hours, but we had to add two more on because of a seemingly endless string of traffic jams. I had run 13 miles in the morning, and sitting in a car for six hours didn't feel great. Then that night, we got little sleep because Hannah woke up around 1:30 and didn't crash until 5 a.m. It was rough. On Saturday, it was sunny until right about the time the party started, and then the rains came. There were something like 20 kids there running wild. Insanity, but fun.

The ride home went a lot smoother, thankfully. Although as we drove through Hartford on I-84, we drove alongside a strange-looking convoy of white unmarked vans with Colorado plates. They were led by an SUV and they all stuck together, leading me to assume they were all members of some cult going to a big meeting. Either that, or a church group driving to Fenway for the Sox game.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

California is the place to be right now. Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for governor, as is Gary Coleman, Gallagher (you know, the guy who smashes watermelons for a living), two porn stars, and Arianna Huffington. I hope C-SPAN carries some of those debates. There should be some lively political discourse going on: "Hasta la vista, Coleman." "Whatchoo talking 'bout, Terminator?"

If Arnold wins, and he just might, the speeches alone will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Just read an article in the Boston Globe about an ultramarathon held last weekend in Vermont. Whenever I get impressed with myself for running marathons, I remember that there are crazy bastards out there who do ironman triathlons and freakin' 100-mile ultramarathons, and it puts me in my place. I can't even comprehend training for an event where you'll be running for 24 hours or more. That is truly insane in the membrane.

So last night I decided to shave off my goatee. I'd had it for two-plus months, which is a long time for me. I just get bored after a while. Plus it's too damn hot for facial hair. It's funny, whenever I shave off some facial growth, I look like a little kid. Well, a little kid with graying hair, but you know what I mean. Anyway, here I am thinking I look radically different, and I go to work and nobody noticed. Not that I'm expecting a party to be thrown in my honor, but you'd think someone would notice. It's kind of a subtle change, I guess. Of course, I could grow another one in a couple of days if I wanted to. I am what is known in the business as a "hairy bastard."

Monday, August 04, 2003

Feels like we're living in Florida. It's muggy all day and night, with constant showers popping in and out. And it's supposed to be like this all week. We had three softball games rained out over the weekend. As my good friend Briggy likes to say, "Enuff Z'nuff!"

I've come to the realization that when playing with my daughter, I should wear my hockey facemask and cup. I've taken a few choice unintentional kicks to the groin and eye jabs in the past week--it's getting rough.

Ben Affleck and J.Lo's new flick "Gigli" was a total bomb at the box office over the weekend. From reading the reviews, it sounds like one of those movies that's so bad it's good. Guess that means it'll turn up in heavy rotation on VH-1 in a few years. That station was pretty decent a couple of years ago, with the "Behind the Music" series and "Pop-up Video" in the must-see category. Then somebody got the bright idea that people would want to watch "Showgirls" with commercials and more importantly, without the nudity. Ditto for Demi Moore's "Striptease." And other cinematic gems like "Staying Alive," the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever," and "Grease 2." They call them "Movies That Rock." A more accurate description would be "Movies That Suck Total Ass, But We Don't Have Any Other Programming to Fill This Time Slot, So This Drivel Will Have to Do." And despite all that, I'd still rather watch VH-1 than MTV, which continues to run "Real World"-"Road Rules" marathons on a continuous loop. Fascinating.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Hola, nerditos. Another quiet Saturday night. Five years ago, I would have been out drinking beer at a bar somewhere. Now, it all revolves around little Ms. Hannah. Most of the day was spent playing with her, or letting her smack the bejeezus out of me. I did manage to squeeze a 10-mile run in, and Deb and I finally got to see a movie for the first time in months, "Bend It Like Beckham." Very entertaining. It's always cool to see an intelligent portrayal of Indians on screen, even if most of them are done in England. It did a good job of capturing the struggle between first-generation Indian kids and old-school Indian parents wanting to keep traditions going. My parents were never so much into the tradition part, but they were strict, and that led to plenty of conflict. Not that I was that much of a rebel or anything.

We're attending an Indian wedding in a few weeks in Toronto. A guy I knew as a kid is getting hitched. Should be fun. It's a Hindu ceremony since the bride is, so the whole thing will take much of the day. There's a lunch, the ceremony itself, and then a reception later in the day. We just attended my cousin's wedding in May that was the same way. Long, but always fun.

Halladay finally lost a start last night. Oh well, 15-3 is nothing to sneeze at. Too bad the Jays are totally going in the tank. Tickets shouldn't be a problem when we get up there.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Okay, it's been a few days. You didn't think I was going to post stuff every freakin' day, did you?

It's August...summer's speeding by. Time to get serious about my training regime for the NYC Marathon in November. For me, it's all about the long run on the weekend. I'll do 10 tomorrow and add a few miles each week until I max out at 22. Although I'm not sure what I'll do when we go up to Toronto in a few weeks--don't know if I'll be able to get a 16-miler in while I'm up there. I'll figure something out. Three months of hardcore running and I'll be good to go.

We had another softball game rained out tonight. That's three so far this summer, although we're making one of them up on Sunday. Stupid rainy weather.

Watched "Say Anything" on HBO tonight for the 17th time. Damn, that's a great movie. Cusack is the man. About the only negative thing I can say about it is the fact Cameron Crowe had to let his wife Nancy Wilson throw some sappy-ass ballad shit in there. The soundtrack is awesome...Fishbone, Replacements, Soundgarden, Chili Peppers, Living Colour, and then he messes it up with some crummy Nancy Wilson song. Now she's a babe and all, and she did some decent stuff with Heart back in the '70s, but damn, dude. I guess if I was in his shoes, I'd do it, too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ran a 10-mile race tonight in Newburyport in 1:24. Felt pretty good. It helped that temps were only in the 70s, as opposed to last year, when it was in the mid-90s. Yowch.

Not much else to's been a long day. Oh yeah, one of the guitarists from Iron Butterfly died. I have to say my favorite Iron Butterfly moment was the "Simpsons" episode where Bart switched the church hymns with "In the Garden of Eden, by I. Ron Butterfly." A classic. The song was also used to good effect in the climactic scene of "Manhunter", the movie version of Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon" starring William Petersen.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Y'know, it's not easy being a Leafs fan. They do their damnedest to push you away. Good thing I'm too dumb to know any better. Today's big signing: Josh Holden. Schedule the Cup parade! Of course, living in the Boston area, I know at least one other NHL team has similar disregard for its fans. And I take heart in the fact that J.P. Ricciardi has the Jays going in the right direction.

I, for one, am shocked--SHOCKED--that the whole Liza Minnelli-David Gest marriage isn't working out. Too bad they didn't get their VH-1 reality show, after all.

I was just on the Blogger home page and saw a link to Living Colour's blog. They're releasing a new CD in September, their first in 10 years. Hope they still kick as much ass as they used to.

There's some good stuff coming out in the next few months: Sloan, Mission of Burma's first new album in 20 years (!), and other stuff I can't think of at the moment. Excellent, Smithers.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Damn, it was a hot and sticky one today. The coed softball team I manage lost a doubleheader. It's been a long, ugly season so far and we still have 10 games to go. So far, we're 4-12. I'm looking forward to just playing next year. After 11 years of managing, it's not much fun anymore for me.

Roy Halladay is the man! Fifteen straight wins for the Jays. Too bad he can't start every game.

Okay, if I hear that frickin' Ford commercial with Journey's "Any Way You Want It" again, I think I'm gonna freak. They must play that thing about 50 times a day on every major network. What's next, Volkswagen using "Mr. Roboto"? Oh, right. Well, at least that one was funny.

Mucho props to Lance Armstrong for winning his fifth straight Tour de France. I can't even imagine having that kind of endurance. I've run three marathons, and I thought that was hard (well, it is), but it's nothing compared to 20 stages of the Tour.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

It's been a weird afternoon. My daughter's going through some major teething issues. I thought it was bad when she was getting her first few teeth, but now she's cutting some molars and man, is she miserable. Much whining and gnashing of baby teeth, no napping. Deb and I were going to catch a movie and leave Hannah with my mother-in-law, but we decided not to inflict that on her (my mother-in-law, that is). Besides, there aren't a lot of movies we both want to see. I want to see "28 Days Later" and the Charlie's Angels sequel, and she don't. Oh, well.

Some music I'm digging lately:

New Pornographers--Electric Version (catchier than SARS)
Radiohead--Hail to the Thief
Metallica--St. Anger (definitely their best album since And Justice for All)
Gordon Downie--Battle of the Nudes
Neil Young--Tonight's the Night
Led Zeppelin--How the West Was Won

Seeing those pictures of the Hussein boys in the morgue reminded me of Hugo, Man of 1,000 Faces, a toy that was popular in the late '70s. It was basically a head and you could disguise it any way you wanted. Those guys were so messed up they had to do major reconstruction--they almost looked like they were made of rubber.

Saw on the news the other night that in Rhode Island, authorities had to cut a hole in the side of this guy's house to remove his dead body. His dead, 900-pound body. Dizzamn. He was too big to fit out the door. I never understood how a human could get so big. Maybe he was a big Brando fan.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy, man. I just found out about this InterWeb thingy, where you can write stuff that nobody in their right mind would publish. I want in.

It's funny, because you wouldn't think these things would be interesting, and yet they usually are. As long as you're not writing about how you washed your socks today...see, that's the kind of stuff I charge extra for you to read. Right.

So I figured I'd start me one of these here blogs because I'm too damn lazy to try and get a newspaper or magazine to publish my writing...that is, if I had anything for them to publish. I'm an editor for a B2B publishing company by day, so by night usually the last thing I want to do is write. But maybe this will at least give me a forum to do some non-work writing, even if it is just to bitch about my favorite sports teams or the RIAA or something. Because god knows that makes for fascinating reading.

Hey, the Jays won tonight. Nice. Not that it matters, since they're already out of the race. Oh, I didn't warn you that even though I live just north of Boston, I'm a fan of Toronto sports teams. See, I grew up in Toronto, at least until I was 14, but I still root for the teams. This has caused me much heartache, especially the Leafs, although the Jays did give me a couple of World Series titles to celebrate in the early '90s. Don't worry, it won't all be about sports. I promise.