Last weekend we took a long one went to Maine to visit my parents. Between visiting, we did lots of fun stuff with our Little One although Mrs. B. didn't know what I had up my sleeve.
My anniversary is coming up, so I wanted to surprise her and I planned out a fun Saturday of activities.
Upon awakening, I had the Mrs. dress for a short hike. Sensible shoes, shorts and a tee shirt would do. Shortly before we left the house though, I snuck out some dress shoes for her and the Little One and the make-up case. Then, we were off to explore the Lost River and Boulder Caves.
First, we had some shopping to do. I surprised them by stopping at a store and instructed them to get nice dinner outfits. I bought one for myself as well. Both my girls selected very pretty outfits at which time I informed them I had dress shoes for them and make-up too. They were nicely surprised and I was having fun with the whole mystery.
A one hour scenic drive, with intermittent stops for pictures, finally had us at the Lost River where we all enjoyed self-guided hiking through the magnificent gorge on precarious boardwalks. The Little One and I enjoyed climbing through all the caves that I could reasonably get my 6 foot frame through but the Mrs. took a pass on that. Good idea. It was tough on the body and a bit dirty too. After some quick shopping in the gift shop we were off again to the next surprise destination.
After another one hour plus scenic drive, we arrived at Wildcat Mountain were we had a couple beers on the wonderful deck before taking the gondola to the top and hiking around. It was a bit chilly and foggy, but still the views of Mount Washington and surrounding areas were fantastic. Plus, the foliage is changing up there, so the oranges and reds were quite vibrant. I think we must have taken a million pictures. Thank God for digital cameras where one can snap away and pare them down later.
After our exploration on top we descended and adjourned to the rest rooms to put on our dinner outfits. Of course, The Little One looked absolutely adorable in her cute dress and the Mrs. looked stunning as usual in her new outfit. I don't think I looked to shabby either, if I do say so myself. We could not promenade around long though, we had to make haste.
There was a reservation I arranged to have dinner aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad and time was getting tight. Its a nicely refurbished old rail car that takes a scenic 1.75 hour trip all while serving up a rather tasty dinner. We took extra time beforehand with my soon-to-be 5 year old to explain what was expected of a "young lady" on such a classy date and she didn't disappoint. Her recent trips to restaurants have been spotty so I was a bit nervous. But she came through big-time. Many times I caught Mrs. B. looking at our proper little girl with a smile and an aura of pride all the while enjoying the wonderment through her young eyes. As did I. There's simply no price to put on that. Dinner was good and the train was really cool and we had a blast.
Sunday, I had more plans for my girls, but this was not a surprise. We had been meaning to take the Little One to Story Land for some time and finally we were able to. Once again, the weather could not have been more perfect. Story Land is an incredibly clean park geared toward little kids. As an adult, I found much of the stuff pretty boring. The rides were lame (she's been on bigger and better ones) and the shows/attractions were trivial. Having said that, the rates are very, very reasonable and the Little One had a blast exploring all their fairy tale themed attractions while Mrs. B and I had fun secretly making fun of everything and everybody. We spent the whole day there before returning to my parents in time for one of my mom's wonderful meals.
The next day, Monday, we had more wonderful visitation with my folks before loading up for the 4 hour ride home. Such a a nice, long weekend. Absolutely perfect!
Sidebar: Ok, now you're all going to think I'm lying, but......On my drive up, at a toll booth, there was a lot of congestion because of some emergency vehicles. Well, they had JUST finished putting out a car fire. Can you belive it??? I've seen three in less than a week!!!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Last weekend we took a long one went to Maine to visit my parents. Between visiting, we did lots of fun stuff with our Little One although Mrs. B. didn't know what I had up my sleeve.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
After posting what I thought was a rather amusing post below (the Holiday), I am dismayed to see it only garnered 1 comment in 4+ days. My hits and comments are all down. Perhaps I'm not so good at this blogging thing. Oh well.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Ok, so last night I watched The Holiday. Whilst fully understanding the target audience of this romantic "comedy" I still found it an entertaining enough movie. Long. Oh, God was it long. But entertaining in its own right.
Maybe because I'm not the proper demographic, I am left with one question.....
Where the fuck did the dog come from?
Have you seen it? Anyone? Help. Perhaps the answers are on the cutting room floor?
Iris/Kate Winslet/Rose from Titanic, apparently not over the fact that she should have stayed on the lifeboat in the first place, thereby leaving the floating door for Jack all by himself, decides to trade her house for two weeks with a complete Internet stranger. Good idea. I'm not sure about you, but trading my house for some dude's crusty mattress under an off-ramp bridge sounds awful good.
Having said that, Rose did look good for being, what, 113 years old? Didn't she die at the end? Or was it all just a dream? Shoulda kept the diamond, too, you dumb bitch. Give it to your granddauther after you forced her to hear about how great some guy you screwed for two days was but don't even mention your husband of years and years? Sheesh! It was her grandfather for cryin' out loud!
In any event, she lucks out and trades her Flintstone-like residence with Amanda/Cameron Diaz/Mary/Natalie from Charlie's Angels thereby getting herself an impossibly cool Hollywood Manse. No, Warren wasn't around ("have you stheen my batheball?"). Apparently, Cameron Diaz's career has sufficiently recovered from that Charlie's Angels big budget horror-show to make more drivel. Obviously, Elizabeth Berkley was off with Slater or too busy stuffing her hands down her g-string making Showgirls II to take the part. Shame. This movie coulda used more T&A. But then, most could.
And don't get me started on Charlie's Angels. I'll just get all upset.
So, moving forward, our beautiful female protagonists have impossibly agreed to trade houses in a matter of seconds even going so far as to swap houses the very next day. Uh huh! That must happen all the time. It was all arranged online too! What better place to wheel and deal. If you can't trust a stranger online, who can you trust? Am I right?
But wait. Soon the movie causes one to really, really suspend their disbelief. In a scene a bit later, Amanda is sitting there on the phone while on "holiday" and suddenly there's a dog!!! A cute, tiny, little Benji is staring at her like he's been there the whole time. Again, I fully realize the "awwwww" factor of adorable little brown dogs and their ability to make movie audience's smile. But this mutt is crow barred into the move and I'm not sure why. Perhaps Jimmy fell down a well.
Unfortunately, Mr. Perennially Skeptic here couldn't help uttering to himself, "Where the fuck did the dog come from? It obviously lives there. Who's is it?" Some answers just have to remain mysteries I guess.
Surely, I don't recall Benji being on the plane with Amanda. He wasn't stuffed in a crate as she oh-so-comically trudged 20-odd miles to Fred's/Rose's house, through the snow, hauling luggage all while in 6-inch stilettos. So, then, did Iris leave him there? Would she do that? In a barely heated cartoon house in the dead of winter in England? Yet there was never a mention of the house smelling like dog shit when Amanda arrived. Is he a rabid stray? Oh, that'd be great! Little Cujo could have surely created some non-obvious excitement for the movie. I would have loved some hysterical scenes of Amanda getting a 22" needle into her stomach as she foams at the mouth. Alas, the writers didn't see fit to include that.
In any event, he just, like.....appears. A doggy angel perhaps except without the "this is your crappy life" flashbacks.
Anyway, predictably, each party is left to get over current bad romances to begin anew. And Iris finds Jack Black. Just as we all do. In every goddamn movie. Jack Black. Isn't he exactly the same character in every movie? Is what he does acting? Is what he does funny? I think he's just himself every time reading lines. Then again, so is Natalie/Mary/Cameron Diaz.
Well, Iris (I never have a bad word for Kate Winslet - rowr, rowr. Rose, yes, but Kate, no.) eventually falls for him and his Sam Donaldson eyebrows while Amanda falls for Jude Law assuming he doesn't turn around and fall for their babysitter later in life (didn't he do that in real life? Hmmmm.....creepy.). Of course the two were fuck-buddies the first night, but in the movies that seems to be something to get over quickly.
OH MY GOD! I'm just now realizing how many spoilers I've given to this movie. I am sooooo sorry. I fear I've given away way to much. Nobody could possibly foresee the twists and turns of this cinematic masterpiece any more than one would notice the Andrea Doria cruising down Broadway. I can't believe I'm ruining it. Again. Sorry.
Its a cute movie. I almost chuckled out loud a few times. I almost didn't notice the incredibly slow digital readout of time passing on my DVD player ("Christ! Will 2:07 just get here!!). I struggled to pause it nearly every 6 minutes as an excuse to do any kind of frivolous chore ("What honey? You need the dog poop scooped outside? Let me just pause this movie, I'll be right there") I almost fell for the instantaneous "love" the parties felt for each other. Although, it would help explain why their previous relationships were so screwed up. I almost fell for the whole house-swap thing (does that really happen?). Of course I fell for how impossibly successful everyone in the movie is. Its important that movie-goers learn that rich people are unhappy as well. "Yay! Rich people are unhappy! My life doesn't suck afterall."Yep, I got it all figured out.
If only I could figure out where the hell that damn dog came from.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I've read very few books twice in my life (which seems weird because I will watch movies over and over again), but I have done so with Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I find it a haunting piece of non-fiction about the life of a young man that ends tragically while he was pursuing his dreams. Its the type of book that makes the reader (ok, me) want to learn more and more about the subject not unlike how I felt after seeing the movie Titanic.
Anyway, Sean Penn has handled the adaptation of the book into a movie (screenplay, directed) and I have every confidence he will do an extraordinary job as he is a special talent. The movie opens tomorrow and while I am past the age waiting on line to see movies when they first come out, I'll be sure to see it as soon I can.
Learn more about this story by checking out this very easy read (and check out Into Thin Air by Krakauer if you like it) or see the movie. I know nothing at all about the movie in terms of reviews but I'm guessing it will be a sleeper hit (if not award winner) in the vein of Brokeback Mountain. Let's see if I'm right.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Direct TV was supposed to come to my house to install a new dish so that I could get all my local channels in high definition. High definition rules, but I have to say Direct TV sucks. My "appointment" was 8 to 12. They called to say they'd be late.
Finally he showed up at 12:30 and seems like he's stumbling around a bit. He just left to get his meter that he left at his last appointement. WTF?!!?!?
I still need to go to the office too!
I don't know why, maybe its a flashback to my youth, but I am very curious to check out the new Bionic Woman television show. I think it starts at nine tonight. It'll probably suck, but I'll give it a chance.
Updated 90 mins later: On my way into the office, I saw another car on fire. Unbelievable. What's going on around here? I tried to take a picture, but the sound of the guardrail rubbing against my car and horns honking snapped me out of it (just kidding, but I did fail to stay in my established lane).
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
What I saw driving home last night (hopefully you can make it out). Cops were just arriving as I was. I distinctly remember reading in my owner's manual that one should turn off the A/C when the vehicle temperature starts to heat up. Bet that guy wishes he read his.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Late tonight, I embark and an annual trip to Cape Cod for a golf outing with roughly 35 other guys. Cape Cod, the easternmost part of Massachusetts, is quite a popular golf destination although its primarily a beach resort that inspires many great artists, novelists and writers as well as houses quite a few celebrities. There are terrific quaint towns and miles and miles of beaches and its perhaps nationally known as the epicenter of the Kennedys.
The heart of the Cape is about two and a half hours from my home although the first time I ever went there (that I remember) I was nineteen years old. Since then, I estimate I've been there roughly seventy times. I have two brothers that moved there about fifteen years ago so I have many, many fond memories of visits, golf outings, a few vacations, weddings and other assorted family fare.
The water is cold, the weather can be iffy, but on the whole its a wonderful place with old school charm. Be it shopping (they don't have a Wal*Mart yet), sight-seeing, golf, Cape Cod baseball (where excellent college players summer), water parks, fishing, biking or just hanging on a beautiful beach, there's something for everyone.
Have you ever been?
From space - Boston would be extreme upper left
Sunset on Nantucket Sound
Cape Cod National Seashore
(pictures "borrowed" from Wikipedia)
I will be playing Ballymeade, Cape Cod Country Club, Cranberry Valley (twice) and Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds if anyone cares. There's money to be won and I'm pretty much at the top of my game. Raining today, but weather looks to be perfect. Wish me luck!
Friday, September 7, 2007
My first two years of college I was a Biology major. It was incredibly hard and after my fourth semester of it, I realized there were simply too many, much smarter kids for me to compete with so I switched over the Psychology. Shit came much easier for them then me. I guess I wasn't cut out for it.
Part of being a Bio major, however, is intensive math courses since it factors in so much for all the Chemistry.
After Trig for Calc, advanced Algebra and Calculus comes Calculus II. I found Calc II difficult insomuch as I wasn't remembering all the Trigonometry functions as well as I should have. If you've never taken Calculus II its one of those classes where you have to prove 2+2=4 and why. One problem could easily take up two or three sheets of paper. Anyway, after getting a 33 on the first of my 3 tests (1 answer correct out of 3 - oh brother) I decided I needed to take action. I saw a tutor.
Well, I showed up for the appointment and the friggin' kid was 16!!!!! My college Calculus II (300 level course) tutor was 16!!!! I was 20. He was smart as a whip, but not a very good tutor probably because everything came so damn easy to him. While I was off working on some problems he had given to me, I heard him talking to another young tutor about his driver's test coming up! The kid couldn't even drive legally to the appointment. His mom must have taken him.
So, at the end of the session, I told him I would gladly take his driver's test and promise to pass it if he would take my next exam and promise the same.
I guess he was an adequate tutor. I rallied in the class and passed with a B or something since the teacher was reasonable in assuming if one could ace the final, then they had learned the material from the first test and skewed my final grade likewise. Phew!!!
Thank God! And I didn't have to take his driver's test although I think it would have been funny if I showed up in a racing helmet, fire suit and driving gloves to take it.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
They had just acquired a new television and the mother was busy, through labor pains, trying to explain how to use it to her three children as she anxiously awaited her mother-in-law to come up to watch them.
The father was frantic that her contractions were too close and that they really, really, should be going. The mother had been through it all time and again. This was old hat and she was certain she still had plenty of time.
Finally, at 8:30 p.m. they began their 8 mile journey to the hospital.
At 10:38 p.m. it was over (mostly). A boy was delivered, seven pounds eight ounces and 21 inches long. All eyes and hungry as all getout he was nevertheless healthy and happy as was the mother.
This was September 6, 1966.
The boy was me.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I had such a great long weekend. Went to a cool party Saturday afternoon and had my fantasy football draft (I did shitty) last night. More important, I golfed all three days but none was as much fun as Sunday afternoon's round when Mrs. Blogger played with me. The Little One was off camping with her aunt, so the Mrs. and I had a nice day and night without kid responsibilities.
She'll play golf with me about twice a year. She really doesn't have a passion for sports but she is an excellent athlete. Actually, I think she is a better natural athlete than me but because she doesn't have drive for athletics, she isn't inclined to practice or play more often. Usually, she just plays so we can spend time together. There's a lot to like about her swing and she takes instruction well (from a husband, no less), plus she takes each shot seriously. That's all I can ask.
She was totally psyched up to par the third hole too! The assistant pro for the club was in the group ahead of us and even he didn't par the hole so she really got a charge out of it. That's the beauty of golf in a lot of ways, you can at any instance be better than someone much better than yourself.
My main goal, though, is for her to have a good time. I want her to want to keep coming back out and since she's had more than her fair share of rainy or wickedly hot rounds, we were glad to see how beautiful the weather turned out. Clear skies and 78 degrees with just enough breeze to be perfectly comfortable.
Also, I tempered the amount of instruction to keep things light and easy (which I'm also doing with the Little One at the range) and while she didn't have her best round ever, she did hit some of her best shots ever. Her problem was she couldn't stay out of the damn sand (she should have brought a towel and a radio for the amount of time spent in the sand) or putt the ball close enough. I suppose, though, that's every golfers dilemma.
No doubt, it'd be cool if she was more into it, but I'm happy that she agrees to come spend time with me doing what I love to hate so much. I marvel at her natural talent but she doesn't see it. She just sees what's going wrong. I like that, too. It shows competitiveness, even if only with herself. I also happened to have one of my better rounds of the year shooting a tidy 80. Perhaps its because my game's coming around (it is, for sure) or just playing with someone new to the incredibly hard game that it keeps me relaxed. Its hard for me to get real upset missing a birdie putt for 3 when she's up around 9 strokes or so and still 50 feet away.
Afterwards we went out to a nice dinner and then to see the Simpson's Movie. I'm a huge Simpsons fan, but I was a bit disappointed in the movie but then I'm not sure what I expected.
It wasn't nearly enough to spoil the day though. Can't wait to play again. Can't wait for Mrs. B. to join me again.