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  • Last Books Read

    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    *****
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    *****
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    *****
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    ***
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    ***
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    ***
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.
    **

Baseball Wrap-Up

Unless you live in, well, any other country other than the US or Japan and maybe Taiwan, you know that the Phillies won the World Series last night. I was personally hoping for a Rays comeback, but am also happy that former Mariner Jamie Moyer picked up a ring at age 46. Jamie is one of those great stories of never give up. He was drafted in 1984 but has been up and and down the system and contemplated leaving baseball several years ago when it seemed he really couldn’t cut it as a major league player. Amazingly, Jamie persisted long enough (24 years!) to throw a great game during the World Series including this spectacular dive by the old man that beat the runner to the base…

Jamie Dives

Jamie Dives

So about the Seattle Mariners…yea, they sucked. I mean they were really, really bad. Unfortunately, Seattle had a better year than they really should have the year before and that caused the management to make some truly bad decisions (like trade 5 players for Erik Bedard) that have come back to haunt the team. That, combined with the previous years of bad decisions (like spending a ton of money on Richie Sexson, Carlos Silva, Jarod Washburn and Miquel Batista) and bad luck in injuries and you end up with a team that spent $100 million in payroll and still lost 100+ games. ugh. It is hard to be a Mariner fan during these times, but we still have the undervalued Ichiro, Felix Hernandez and uhm, some others. Oh, and we have a new GM this year so maybe they’ll turn it around next year.

Highlight of the year? I got to watch Felix Hernandez hit a grand slam at Shea Stadium against the Mets. Awesome!

Suckiness of the year? Felix getting injured in that same game and listening to those same Mets fans cheer about it. Ugh.

If you didn’t know, I pay a lot of attention to baseball these days. Had you told me I would be this interested in baseball 7 years ago, I would’ve laughed. Before moving to Seattle I thought baseball was the most boring sport ever created. Slowly, after learning a bit about the team and then after paying lots of attention to USS Mariner, I’ve learned that baseball, more than any other sport, is a numbers game.

I like numbers.

This year I signed up for a couple Fantasy Baseball teams on Yahoo and did pretty well. In my season long team, I came in 2nd place (out of 12 teams) and in my half-season team, I came in third (out of nine). The whole objective of the Fantasy League was to learn more about the players I didn’t know about at the time. Before, I only knew about the Mariners.

Now I feel like I have a good understanding of many players in the league. Which veterans are really super stars and not just paid like they are. Which stats on SportsCenter are almost totally useless (hint – pretty much all of them). It was fun and I’m glad I did it, even if my wife called me a dork numerous times throughout the season as I searched online for good pickups when my players were faltering. But seriously, what was my other option? Watching Grey’s Anatomy?

Nah.

I Heart NKOTB

OMG.  After 15 yrs, the NKOTB hotties still managed to sell out Madison Square Garden!  Amazing, huh? And what was even better was that the opening acts were Lady Gaga followed by the amazing Natasha Bedingfield, who sounds great live!

I got to go with my co-worker, Winter Boots.  She and I very much enjoyed being amidst the crowd of late 20s, 30-something-year-olds who seemed to have forgotten all inhibition and fallen into the abyss of teeny-bopperness.  However, there were no signs of bra and undies throwing…at least not from the ghettoness of my far-away seats.

The crowd was loud and excited and there was a lot of dancing and singing along.  The only miserable people there were some of the husbands.  I had one right next to me, who had earplugs on during the entire show.  Another one seemed to enjoy bits and pieces of it since he would only cover up his ears every once in a while.  The original plan was to take Diesel with me, but I am SO glad I didn’t do it because he would be miserable, and honestly he would also be very ashamed of me.

By far, the highlight of the show came towards the end, when they finally sang Step by Step.  Watch it here.

It’s Finally Here!

I’m excited.

I’m scared.

I’m ready to do it.

Wish me luck.

Pray that I come out of this alive.

Loving It…

Flip & Tumble

I’ve had these bags for several months, but I’ve been forgetting to share it with you.  They boast a slick design, fresh color and are super practical. I had been using the Reisenthels which I was so in love with.  These are even better because 1)  it’s got very long handles, so you can carry it over your shoulder 2)   you can just roll them up into their own little pocket, which is part of the bag itself.

Watch the demo here.


We Are So Cheap…

We made our own passport pics using this program.  We did them in our living room.  We will then go to Duane Reade and print them out.

I told Diesel I look ugly and it seems like a shame that I would still have an ugly pic even with the opportunity to take it as many times as I wanted, theoretically.  Diesel is, however, very impatient, so I’ll have to settle for the ugly pic x 24 times.


Run Diesel Run

pic from Diesel’s run in Sydney…

Look at him run.  So concentrated…

One Week in Sydney

There’s not much to say about it. After the long flight, we checked into the hotel and slept for a few hours. I went for a swim to wake up, which kind of worked and then we met a partner for a meeting. Finally, after a 6pm dinner, I went to sleep…waking up at 3am and then again at 5:30am.

Highlights of the trip?

1. Running in the Sydney Marathon: Well OK, not the marathon, but the 9k that started right after the marathon. It was great because they shut down the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and we got to run across it. All 25k of us. Also, I ran it in 48 minutes, a 8:40 pace – my fastest race ever, though I’ve only run like 2 races.

Sydney Bridge Run

Sydney Bridge Run

2. The Wagyu Steak at Glass Brasserie in the Hilton Sydney: Now normally, hotel restaurants scare me. Officially the “Rangers Valley 400 day grain fed wagyu entrecote, score 7-8, 250g, mushrooms, capers and bone marrow jus”. It was awesome. When it arrived pre-sliced, I was concerned but it was amazingly tender and rich. You could enjoy this steak for an hour.

3. Marlborough Pinot Noirs of New Zealand: Being sick I didn’t get to drink that many glasses of wine, but every glass of pinot I had from Marlborough was a delight. Very subtle stuff.

4. Laksa – I haven’t found good Laksa in all of NY and I miss it. Luckily, there was a place next to the hotel dishing out rich bowls of this coconut-based, hot and spicy soup for $9 AUD. Perfect food for a boy with a flu. I think Topics in Seattle Chinatown does a pretty good job too, if you’re interested.

5. In general, there is a real focus on the origins of the food you eat. Many restaurants promote the farmers and ranchers they get their stuff from.

The downsides? This is Australia, so there aren’t that many

1. Being sick. Ugh. I missed out on my one free day.

2. Long hours in hot rooms repeating the same product overviews over and over again. Sometimes we were also the therapists of the group…

3. Food prices in Sydney are HIGH. Really high. it’s an expensive place.

4. The long flight. 21 hours of flying. Jet lag totally sucked.