Thursday, July 30, 2009

Playing hooky at Citi Field... watching the Mets trounce the Rockies 7 - 0

It's always nice when your team wins. But it's especially nice when you are attending the game at the ballpark. And today was an especially nice day. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. (At least I think they were singing. It was a little hard to hear them over the sound of the planes taking off and landing at LaGuardia.) And this afternoon the New York Mets beat the Colorado Rockies 7 - 0 (in well under three hours!).

Johan Santana pitched for the Mets and did an excellent job. And the Mets scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead -- and never let it go.

The spouse and I and our friend M--- had a fantastic time at Citi Field (our first time at the Mets new stadium). And my only regret is that I didn't have one of those ginormous lenses for my Nikon D70. But at least I have the memories.

Play ball!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Male sea lion goes out with a bang

This story gives new meaning to the phrase "Be like Mike." ; )

For those of you who, like me, missed the story about Mike, the 19-year-old 550-pound California sea lion stud whose heart gave out while enjoying the charms of not one, not two, but three female sea lions at the Nuremberg Zoo in Germany last week, allow me (and the Daily Mail) to share.

According to the zoo, Mike was a "good-natured" fellow who was quite popular with the ladies -- and sired 12 sea lions over the years. However, a recent marathon mating session with paramours Farah, Tiffy, and Soda proved to be too much for the old fellow, and his ticker gave out.

When asked about their former lover, Farah, Tiffy, and Soda were quoted as saying "Aar, aar, aar."

Rest in peace, Mike.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What a trip

Or what develops when a middle-aged woman with a penchant for photography and her middle-aged spouse drop their tween daughter at sleepaway camp and then go on a six-day roadtrip to Montreal via Cooperstown and the Adirondacks.

You really otter see Cooperstown...

And try that Foo Kin restaurant while you're there...

or the Yum Yum Shack...

and go on a tour at the Brewery Ommegang (where the beer flows like milk)...

Then if you need to make a pitstop, and you happen to be passing through Lewis, New York, try Betty Beavers Truck Stop & Diner (even if you don't have a truck or a hankering for beaver)...

In Montreal, be sure to say bonjour to the gnomes (who never roam alone)...

and... sweet! (Good things those cupcakes are protected by ADT!)

But don't forget to eat your veggies, which are fresh and plentiful at the Jean-Talon Market...

And be sure to quaff a Molson while you're in town... or bring home a truckload...

Hmm... that bus looks a little fishy...

A bientôt...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

¡Ay Chihuahua! This summer is setting a record for celebrity deaths!

It has gotten to the point that every week I expect to hear that yet another famous person died. And this week did not disappoint (if that is the right term -- hey, it's 6 a.m. and I've been up since around 4).

As you may have already heard or read, this Tuesday a true icon, beloved and recognized by millions, suffered a major stroke and passed away. No, I am not talking about Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes, who died this past Sunday. I am referring to, of course, Gidget, the feisty 15-year-old chihuahua who was the star of countless Taco Bell ads (even though the chihuahua in the ads was supposedly male) and the movie Legally Blonde 2.

"She made so many people happy," said Sue Chipperton, Gidget's trainer. Si.

Adios amiga.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

She's leaving home... and I'm a mess

In a few hours the spouse and I will be taking our daughter to her sleepaway camp up in Massachusetts -- and I feel like my heart is going to beat right out of my chest. It is only for three weeks, and she had a great time there last summer (so much so that the day we picked her up she asked if she could go back the next summer), but still. We are both (my daughter and I -- not the spouse, who is still snoring away in the bedroom) a bit... anxious. Because. You know.

It also does not help that I am "hormonal." ('Nuff said.) But just a word to the wise, to all you guys out there whose children are or are going off to sleepaway camp, for the first or second or third time, and whose wives may be feeling a wee bit... tense or anxious: now is NOT the time to be picking a fight with her.

Case in point: Yesterday, after spending the better part of the day packing up my daughter, doing laundry and making sure she had everything she needed for camp, and feeling incredibly tense and anxious (even though I know she and I will both, eventually, BE FINE), the spouse casually mentions he wants to go to yoga class this morning. Which is FINE. Really. So I equally casually ask him to gas up his car on the way back from yoga class, as we have to drive around 400 miles today. (After we drop our daughter off at sleepaway camp we are going on a little roadtrip, to Cooperstown, the Adirondacks, and Montreal.)

Now the response to that simple request should have been "OK. No problem." Or something like that. Especially as he knows I am ALWAYS a wee bit anxious before a big trip, and am extra hormonal, because... you know. But instead he says, not-so-casually, "I have around half a tank. That's plenty to get us up there."

So I say, slightly less casually, "Okay. But could you please fill it up anyway, since you'll be out, so we don't have to stop later?" And he says, not casually at all, "J-------, my car gets, like, 500 miles to the tank, more. We'll be fine." And I say, gritting my teeth, "Honey, please, can you JUST GO FILL UP THE TANK ON YOUR WAY BACK FROM YOGA?! Please?"

He is about to argue with me, but I cut him off. "Sweetheart. When your wife is a near basket case because her one and only child is going off to sleepaway camp for three weeks AND is hormonally challenged, the correct response is 'Yes, J-------.'"

Again, he starts to bring up the fact that his car is a HYBRID and gets over 40 miles to the gallon and that we should be perfectly fine, when I cut him off again. "What did I JUST say, dear?!"

"Yes, J-------."

I am now off to make my daughter, who just got up (and woke the spouse up), breakfast.

I will have my laptop on the road, as well as my cameras, so I hope to post some nice pictures.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dinner in the "adult" room

No, the waitresses weren't topless. It was the new kid-free section of one of our favorite local restaurants. And I must say, the spouse and I greatly enjoyed dining amongst people who knew how to use their indoor voice and weren't playing hide-and-seek under our table or using my chair as part of an obstacle course.

Don't get me wrong. We like kids. So much so that we had one of our own. And we occasionally take her out to eat with us, to family-friendly establishments (though we didn't even do that when she was younger). But there are times when one prefers to be urchin-free while dining -- a concept that some parents and restaurants don't seem to understand.

One of my friends used to call it the "white tablecloth" rule, and it went like this: If a restaurant bills itself as a fine-dining establishment and has white tablecloths covering the tables, and the average entree costs over $20, and there is no kids menu, it is inappropriate to take children there after 7 p.m. (or at all).

This is not to say you should not take your children out to dinner once in a while, but that when you do take them out, do so before 7 p.m. and/or pick a place that advertises itself as child friendly. Also, as a courtesy, please do not assume that the other diners will love your little darlings as much as you do and won't mind all the whining and carrying on. They don't and they do.

That is why this evening the spouse and I were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at 5:30 p.m. at a family friendly establishment and were taken to the "adult" room. (That is exactly what the hostess called it.) And we enjoyed a most pleasant repast, until the hostess plopped a very noisy family with at least four children at the entrance to the adult room just as we were finishing our main courses. But still... progress.

Wishing you all a bon appetit and a delicious weekend...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bored of the Sonia Sotomayor hearings? Tired of watching senators making asses of themselves? Then watch this instead.

This mule is no ass -- and is far more entertaining than newly Democratic Senator Arlen Specter.

And just so you don't think I'm biased, check out what this member of the GOP can do. Talk about painting an accurate picture!

And for those of you who have been unable (or unwilling) to watch our nation's senators quizzing of that wise Latina President Barack Obama nominated to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, just watch this recap from "The Colbert Report":

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Senator Wences Questions Sonia Sotomayor
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum
You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I liked it better when people's private lives were private

Enough about Sonia Sotomayor (Did we really need to know she spent her first week at Princeton University obsessing over a cricket?)....

Enough about Michael Jackson (Did we really need to know he had so much work done on his nose that he had no nose left? And that's just the tip of the plastic surgery stories!)....

Enough about (soon-to-be-ex?) South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his soul baring and his mistress....

Enough about Jon and Kate, the "Real Housewives" (who seem totally fake), Bachelors and Bachelorettes, B-list (and A-list) celebrities, and athletes (though I do kinda feel bad for Jessica Simpson, who was dumped by boyfriend Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, the night before her birthday - OUCH!).

And enough about Sarah Palin. Period. Really ENOUGH. (Though this Slate article, "Lost in Translation: Why Sarah really quit us," is worth a read.)

You would think from reading and watching the news (and I'm talking mainstream media) that there was little else going on in the world (except for plane crashes, natural disasters, grizzly murders, and men driving around without their pants on).


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh the things people search online for...

and somehow wind up on this blog.

Following are some of my favorite search terms or keywords that brought people to J-TWO-O:

"let cupcake seduce you with her naughty spandex dance"

[Best wishes to Cupcake, but I do not recall putting up her video clip. Though my spandex post is quite popular. ]

"did you ever blow up a frog with firecrackers"

[I blame this entirely on the spouse, and this post.]

"sex cucumbers"

[Very popular in N.E. Pennsylvania, apparently.]

"smurf balloon tutorial"

[Really, there are smurfs giving tutorials about balloons? Who knew?!]

"the great gazoo jumped the shark"

[So true. As did Karl Rove.]

There were also many (and I mean MANY) people who came looking for Spanx for men or underwear that would enhance their penis (or versions of these); people who wanted to know model Brooklyn Decker's bra size and/or people looking for hot female golfers; people who wanted to know more about Mike Pelfrey's hand-licking; and people looking for that Peak Freans jingle ("Peak Freans are a very serious cookie...").

Now you know.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Get a free Slurpee just for reading this post!

For those of you who did not know, today is National Slurpee Day (aka 7-Eleven Day). (Don't get it? Look at a calendar.) And in honor of Slurpee Day, 7-Eleven is giving away 5 million free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks to celebrate its 82nd birthday. (Btw, click the"7-Eleven Day" link to find out where you can get a free Slurpee and other fabulous prizes! But act now! Supplies are limited and this is a one-day only event!)

For those of you unfamiliar with the Slurpee, the slushy frozen carbonated drink introduced by 7-Eleven in 1967, here are some fun Slurpee facts:

* Slurpee drinks are all served at 28 degrees.

* Half of all Slurpee drinks are purchased between the hours of 4 and 11 p.m.

* Every day more than 11.6 million Slurpee drinks are consumed around the world.

* More than 40% of all Slurpee drinks are sold during the months of June, July and August.

Pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth is a known cure for brain freeze.

* Every year enough Slurpee drinks are sold to fill up 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

* Drinking a Slurpee can make you an awesome dancer.

You can learn more about the Slurpee over at Slurpee Nation.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Itty Bitty Titty Committee*: Helping to save the world one breast at a time

So the other day I'm stuck behind this SUV in traffic and start reading its bumper stickers, all of which are quite entertaining. But the one that really catches my eye -- and makes me smile -- is "save the ta-tas," which includes a pink ribbon (in support of breast cancer research) and a URL.

Later, at home, curious, I type in the URL, Turns out, the site is totally legit, on a mission to save as many ta-tas as it can, with "a portion of every sale of [its] ta-tas® brand breast cancer shirts, accessories, and products go[ing] to support breast cancer research and education."

Of course the spouse and I want to do our bit to save the ta-tas, but there are so many ways to show our support, how to choose?

And then, while looking through the save the ta-tas online catalog, which boasts some very impressive ta-tas, we found it, the perfect shirt for yours truly (at left -- and no, that is not me; the spouse nixed me putting up a photo of me in my tank on the blog, though said I could post one on Facebook, privately).

I have yet to wear the tank top, which just arrived, but my little ta-tas and I are happy that we are supporting a noble cause. (And yes, we also support more established breast cancer research efforts like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and several other cancer research institutions and charities.)

If you love ta-tas, please, consider making a donation now. And ladies, make sure to get a yearly mammogram if you are over 40! After all, a breast is a horrible thing to waste.

*Not to be confused with the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee (a MUST for cat lovers).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Mets' Mike Pelfrey takes a licking...

and WFAN 660's Al Dukes keeps writing songs about it. Though I have to say Al may have outdone himself with today's "Pelfrey Meets Michael Jackson" ditty (just click the link to have a listen), which I had the pleasure of hearing live on this morning's Boomer & Carton Show.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mets Pitcher Mike Pelfrey, who going into tonight's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers has a 6-3 record and a 4.26 ERA, and/or his habit of licking his hand before each pitch, here's a quick refresher.

Me, I'm still grossed out by Pelfrey's obsessive-compulsive pre-pitch hand-licking, but if it results in a Mets win, I'll deal with it. (I have low expectations. Just want the Mets to get back above .500 -- and okay, make it into the playoffs. Also, enough with the injuries and blaming David Wright for not being more of a leader.)

Play ball!

UPDATED: It's official: the Mets still stuck, losing 8 - 0 to Manny Ramirez and the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field last night. And GM Omar Minaya now says he doesn't know when Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran will be back in the lineup. Definitely not soon enough. But masochist that I am, I will continue to follow -- and root for -- my team. 'Cause that's what a true fan does. Go Mets!

UPDATED 7/17/09: Big Pelf is back on the mound, in Atlanta, tonight, and Al Dukes over at the FAN (WFAN Sports Radio 66) is at it again. Here's his latest song about Mets Pitcher Mike Pelfrey licking his hands between pitches, titled "I lick myself," sung (and I use that term loosely) to the tune of the Divinyls' "I touch myself." Btw, to hear all of Al Duke's Mike Pelfrey songs, click here.

Michael Jackson still dead. Mark Sanford still governor of South Carolina. Sarah Palin still talking. Senator Al Franken seated.

And there you have it, folks: All the news of the last week (or so it would seem if you only watched or read the mainstream media) condensed down into less than 140 characters (for all you Twitterers and people with short attention spans). You're welcome.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vacation all I ever wanted

I had almost forgotten what the sun looked and felt like.

For those of you who actually thought I was hiking the Appalachian Trail and/or working on my book, I was actually on Kiawah Island, in South Carolina, where the family and I spent a wonderful, relaxing week, swimming, biking on the beach, and watching the Fourth of July fireworks from the deck of our cozy "villa."

The weather was perfect. The people could not have been nicer. And I can honestly say I did not miss cooking, or doing the laundry, or cleaning, or working one little bit. And I have tan lines! (Well, sort of.)

: )