Saturday, July 24, 2004

Vacation, all I ever wanted
 
I'm baaaaack. We got back yesterday from our trip to the Joisey shore, tired and sick and in my case, severely sunburned. Despite all that, it was a great vacation. We stayed at the Fairway Villas, a Marriott golf resort in Galloway, NJ, about 20 minutes from Atlantic City. Deb's brother Matt has a time share condo there that is big enough to hold both our families; his inlaws own the condo across the hall and they were there all week, too. We got there Saturday afternoon after a horrendously long drive down that included a flat tire in Connecticut, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway, and various crying fits from the girls. We hit Brigantine Beach a few times, which was a blast  but was also where I got scorched. I don't usually lie on the beach much because I'm prone to a skin rash from prolonged exposure, but I was running around with Hannah and then by myself in the ocean, where the waves were humongous. It was fun, but the last few days have been pretty uncomfortable. I also played a round of golf at one of the two courses at the villa. It was the first time I've touched the clubs in a year and I have to say I wasn't totally horrendous. We hit Atlantic City a few times; I didn't gamble at all, but Deb lost a few bucks on a slot machine. All in all, a lot of fun. The drive home yesterday had us dealing with torrential downpours through NJ and New York, in-car diaper changes (at a rest stop), and rush-hour traffic on Route 128. But we made it safe, sound and exhausted.
 
Starting tomorrow, I'm getting serious about getting back into primo running shape. I've put on about 10 pounds in the last year and I haven't been running as much since Lily came into the picture. I've decided to do the Around the Cape race on Labor Day in Gloucester, a 15-mile beast of an event that I've wussed out of doing the last few years. It should be a good challenge and it'll get me back to where I was; then I hope to do a half-marathon later in the fall. I've already started drinking more water and cutting back on unnecessary calories, so now that vacation is over I should start seeing  some results. I don't believe in fad diets, just food in moderation and plenty of exercise.
 
Thanks to the magic of TiVo, I've been able to watch shows I've been meaning to watch for years now. Like The Daily Show  with Jon Stewart. I've always been a fan of Stewart, who's a funny bastid I've been watching since he had his own talk show on MTV 10 years ago, and the show itself, which  I was watching when Craig Kilborn was the host. But I lost touch with it and finally remembered to start recording it last week. And goldangit if it ain't just one of the smartest, funniest things I've seen in a long time. There's definitely a political bent, so if you're looking for wacky headlines, stick to Leno. Stewart skewers both Bush and Kerry, but mainly Bush because there's just so damn much to make fun of. I highly recommend it as an alternative to both the network newscasts and political partisanship in general.
 
Speaking of politics, the Democratic National Convention kicks off this week in Boston, grinding all business and traffic to a halt while providing enough hot air to power all the casinos in Atlantic City. I'm so glad I don't work in Cambridge anymore, but going to work anywhere near Boston will be a nightmare for anyone for the next week.
 
Thanks to my mother-in-law, Deb and I were able to sneak out this afternoon for a rare movie and dinner date.  We decided to see "The Door in the Floor" because we had both read the book it was based on, John Irving's A Widow for One Year. The movie actually follows the first third of Irving's novel, which is an excellent book but as with most of his books, nearly impossible to condense into a two-hour movie. There's just too much going on. The film captures the off-kilter and complex feel of the book, and the cast led by Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger and Jon Foster is superb. Very rewarding experience. We saw it at a local second-run film house called Hollywood Hits, which charges less than the Loews googolplex across town and therefore attracts large numbers of old people and little kids. They also show a fair number of art-house flicks that are out of the mainstream, and it never fails when we see a movie there that some confused old couple stumbles out of the theater halfway through the movie because it wasn't what they expected. "Not enough doors, way too many floors!"
 
Mucho congrats to Paul Molitor, who along with Dennis Eckersley is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday. I had always thought he was a great player, but when he signed with the Jays in '93, I really saw how great he was. An excellent hitter and consummate professional.
 
Speaking of great Jays, Pat Hentgen called it quits today. He was in the midst of an awful season and just decided he didn't have it anymore. He'll always be remembered as the first Jay to win a Cy Young award (in '96, followed by Roger Clemens the next two years and Roy Halladay last year) and was a member of the '93 World Series champion team along with Molitor.
 
Okay, that's enough for now.

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