Check this out.
Tonight I watched my second professional baseball game in less than a week. I joined a dozen or so colleagues at New Britain Stadium to see the Rock Cats defeat the Binghamton Mets.
My tickets for The Police concert in East Hartford on July 31 have come through! Sweet!
I've been making more use of iWeb to maintain a "microsite" for my Constitutional Law class this spring. I provide summaries of the real Supreme Court's decisions in the cases we cover in our Mock Court exercise. I also started a podcast; there's only one "episode" up right now--an explanation of something called substantive due process.
iWeb is a quick, easy way to edit and upload web content, though it works most smoothly with a .Mac account. I figure that I'm paying for this service, so I might as well use it.
Earlier today, Rafael Nadal prevailed in a third-set tiebreak against Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Mallorca. The result itself is close to meaningless, given the context, but the gimmick in this match is the court, which was grass on one side and red clay on the other--the best surfaces of the two players.
Another strong episode of The Office tonight. This show is firing on all cylinders now--like All In The Family, Cheers, or Seinfeld in their prime, this sitcom is consistently funny, features deftly drawn characters, and brilliant plotting.
This movie was a mixed bag for me. It didn't have the humor or the energy of the second installment (which benefitted, I think, from a Michael Chabon script). The pacing of this one seemed off and there was a bit too much in the way of weepy moments and speech-making throughout. I heard plenty of snickers and groans in the theater at different points in the film. There were some good moments and certainly lots of interesting eye candy, but overall I'd rate Spider-Man 3 disappointing.
Ugh. Choate Tennis dropped another match today--this time to arch-rival Deerfield. This was one we should have won. We dropped the doubles point after serving for the match. Even though we took first sets in five of the six singles matches, we could only hold on in three of them. Final score: 3-4.
I drove over to western Connecticut this morning to Lake Waramaug to see the Choate crews compete in the Founder's Day Regatta. Watching rowing is sort of like going to watch the Tour de France--a few seconds of frenetic cheering surrounded by lots of sitting around and eating.
Spent most of the day in Marlborough, Massachusetts--between Boston and Worcester--at a meeting of the NEPSAC Executive Board. Generally this group meets in the most central location in New England, but the venue seems to be gravitating eastward, from Sturbridge to Worcester and now to Marlborough. It means I am spending more time in the car than I want to.
A amusing new Spinal Tap mini-film has been posted. Check it out here.
At last! I woke up this morning to live coverage of the ATP Masters Series event in Rome. I now receive Tennis Channel (no "the" apparently). This makes me SO happy.
Tonight's Lost was AMAZING. The backstory was that of Ben, the leader of "The Others," and it provided some answers (and of course planted a few more key questions) to the series mythology. And what a surprise ending!
The blue caps on the Diet Cokes caught my eye in the convenience store a couple weeks back. DIet Coke Plus is apparently the garden variety of the soft drink but with an extra helping of vitamins and minerals. I don't really see the point of it, but I guess it can't hurt.
Rafael Nadal's defeat of Novak Djokovic in the Rome quarterfinals today was his 75th straight win on clay. Impressive. And I got to watch the tennis live on Tennis Channel. I really love this cable channel!
At a light team practice today, a few of us hit around with some racquets from my personal museum: wood racquets like the Wilson Jack Kramer (my first "real" racquet, the one that I played with in high school) and the Head Vilas, as well as the steel T-2000 made famous by Jimmy Connors. I have to say I enjoyed the smooth, buttery feel of the wooden stick. It's been many years since I played regularly with wood, but I'm glad I learned the game with the old equipment.
Smodcast is an entertaining podcast by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, the directing/producing team behind such flims as Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. You can access it here.
In a conversation with a Choate student, I casually referenced Bjorn Borg. The response was "Who is Bjorn Borg?" Wow! When I was in about 10th grade, I thought Borg was the coolest guy on the planet.
Rafael Nadal takes his third straight Rome Masters title, waxing Fernando Gonzalez pretty quickly. Rafa closes the gap a bit between himself and #1 Roger Federer. It will be interesting to see: (a) how Federer--who just announced his split with coach Tony Roche--fares in the Hamburg Masters Series event this week, and (b) if Nadal drops out of the Hamburg event, as he did last year.
I didn't know President Bush performed U2 covers: check it out.
This weekly pile of admiration is no doubt getting repetitive, but Heroes demonstrates week after week that it is truly a great show.
Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell passed away earlier today. Hard to take satisfaction in any person's death, but for a man of the cloth, Falwell leaves behind an unfortunate legacy of divisiveness and intolerance.
Choate Tennis stumbled again, this time losing to Hotchkiss for the first time since 1999. This was another winnable match that we couldn't put away. I am not used to this!
Man, do I love The Office! Week after week, the plot set-ups, the throwaway lines, and the sharply drawn minor characters all amaze me. Great writing, great acting, great comedy.
This version of James Taylor singing "Something In The Way She Moves" is priceless. He re-recorded the song for his mid-1970s Greatest Hits package and this is a far superior take than the cut on the James Taylor debut album on Apple Records. (By the way, George Harrison apparently was so taken by the first line of the song that he appropriated it for his "Something" on Abbey Road.)
I spent most of today re-shuffling tomorrow's tennis championships in light of the heavy rain forecast for the weekend. It was non-stop e-mailing and phone calling, but we finally have indoor venues on tap for six different sites in Classes A, B, and C tournaments.
Choate Tennis avenged its earlier loss to Deerfield by upsetting the Big Green in the first round of the New England Class "A" tournament this morning. Sweet!
This is Reunion Weekend at Choate. There were a fair number from the Class of 2006 back on campus, but most of the returnees I visited with were from 2002 and 1997 (attendance is always strongest among those celebrating their 5th, 10th, 20th, and 25th reunions, I think). It was nice to see some alums watching the tennis tournament today. We had a strong turnout at the dedication of our new Gelb Track & Field facility. And I had a nice evening catching up with folks in Hill House. It's always a hectic time for me, what with the tennis New Englands in full swing, but it's an enjoyable weekend nonetheless.
Roger Federer dropped the first set in the Hamburg final against his nemesis Rafael Nadal, but was able to win the final two sets in commanding form, dropping only two games. Suddenly the prospects for his winning Roland Garros have gotten a bit brighter.
After watching this morning's German Open final on television, I met some '06 tennis alums for a little doubles action at the Hunt Tennis Center. Following that I took in the Western New England softball championship game here on campus (Choate won, beating Loomis Chaffee in the final!). In a few minutes I will be heading down to Shea Stadium for the Mets/Yankees game.
Like an old-time Sunday morning church meeting, Shea Stadium was filled with call and response. It went something like this:
"Let's go, Yankees . . . "
As a fan of both New York teams (which is heretical in some quarters, I know) I enjoyed watching the interaction between the partisans all night.
The Yankees finally won one, by the way, 6-2.
I've been pricing round-trip flights to London in June at $800 and up online the past few weeks. This weekend the fare dropped to $600 and I grabbed it. Of course $200 hardly gets one through a day in London anymore, given the current exchange rate! But I'll take the savings nonetheless.
I've pretty much become my own travel agent the last few years, thanks to the Internet. I do recommend signing up for alert emails from airlines and especially from Airfarewatchdog.com. It was such an alert notice from Expedia that alerted me of a $27 airfare savings (which turned out to be almost ten times that!) this weekend.
My plan in June is to use London as a launching point on the low-cost European carriers to see Scandanavia, come back for a bit of Wimbledon, and then head right home for summer school.
I watched the last episode of the Heroes season tonight (not bad, though not as good as it could have been). I will check out the final two hours of 24 Day 6 after they download tomorrow.
Good to see I am not the only one who can thrive amidst creative clutter!
(By the way, I wish I had the three-screen Mac display array pictured here.)
Choate Tennis concluded its regular season with a shutout win at Avon Old Farms. A rather anti-climactic finish to a season with a handful of hotly contested matches. We celebrated afterward at Bertucci's.
The third season of Lost ended in style, with a gripping two-hour season finale that threw in a few nice twists in the closing minutes. This season the drama wandered a bit, but seems to have regained its footing in the home stretch.
Opening night for Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End. A decent, if somewhat tired, flick. It was not as disappointing as the third Spider-Man installment, but probably the weakest of the three Pirates entries.
The last day of the spring term and it was over 90 degrees in Wallingford. In fact, I made the move to install my bedroom air conditioner this afternoon to create a bit of an oasis. It is, after all, Memorial Day weekend--the traditional start of the summer!
Congrats to Ben Gettinger and Max Mullen, 2007 New England champions in doubles.
Opening day at Roland Garros! Tennis time once again. I am looking forward to the wall-to-wall coverage on Tennis Channel. Apparently it is raining in Paris today, so match play is intermittent.
I was actually planning to be on site this year. I would have taken a flight around 11 p.m. last night--after running the NEPSITT at Choate all day yesterday--and seen play on Sunday and Monday before jetting back to school. But when I investigated cashing in some mileage points, it turned out to be too complicated and too expensive to pull it off. I probably waited until it was far too late. Maybe next year?
I wrote this entry about Memorial Day three years ago in this blog and it seems to capture my feelings about the holiday pretty well:
Today is one of my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving is the other one). In part this is because it's traditionally regarded as the beginning of summer. And I have fond memories of the small town parades of my childhood. But I also like what the day represents: we citizens are asked to consider notions of duty, sacrifice, and love of country in an era when such ideas may be out of fashion. (Plus there's no expectation of having to buy gifts!)
I have fond memories of marching in my hometown Memorial Day parade: with the Little League, with the Boy Scouts, with my high school band. I also remember seeing my grandfather--a World War I veteran--riding in an old-fashioned car with other vets one year.
I can remember being riveted to the 1991 U.S. Open--the year Jimmy Connors advanced to the semis at age 39, capturing the attention of the world with his dramatic come-from-behind wins along the way. After each match, he had to be hooked up to an IV and he could barely walk the next day. As I recall, I was mystified by this: he wasn't THAT old after all. How could a tennis match take that much out of him?
Having played three sets of doubles this evening, I now can fully appreciate Jimbo's position. Even though I wasn't playing at a world class level, I feel stiff all over tonight. The body doesn't recover like it used to!
(By the way, I ended up attending the Open men's singles final in 1991 with Choate captain Case Maner, seeing Stefan Edberg dismantle Jim Courier in straight sets.)
Today would have been John F. Kennedy's 90th birthday. Given that his mother lived beyond 100, it's possible he might have been around to celebrate in 2007. It's intriguing to imagine what the world would have been like with an ex-President Kennedy on the scene since the 1960s!
Apple debuted DRM-free versions of some of its offerings on the iTunes Music Store, all encoded at twice the normal bit rate (256 kbps, as opposed to the standard 128). I was given the option of upgrading 28 of my songs at 30 cents a pop (which I did). Probably won't make much of a difference to my listening habits right now, but who knows what advances in audio will be coming around the corner?
Some days, you just get out of the blocks early. I crossed off a whole bunch of tasks from my "to do" list in just a few hours this morning. If only it came so easily every day!