Random


Twice in the past two days I have purchased alcohol (no judgment). And both times, I’ve had pretty much the exact same thing go down. I take my preferred beverage to the front (last night it was beer from the bodega across the street, this afternoon it was wine from the wine shop down the street) and give it to the guy. He rings it up, runs my credit card and then asks: “How old are you?” I respond “27”, the guy’s jaw drops and he says something like “I would have thought you were under 21.” I offer to show my id and the guy declines.

I find this so odd. I mean, a) wouldn’t it make more sense to just ask for my id instead of asking how old I am? This eliminates all confusion. And, b), if you really thought I was under 21, wouldn’t you ask before running my credit card? I can’t decide if I think this is some elaborate trap they set for the under-21 crowd in NYC or, if these sellers really could care less and just want to make the sale, but “check” just to halfway cover their own asses. Considering the fact that both times the sellers declined to actually see my id even when I attempted to give it to them, I’m leaning towards the second option. Which is really just EXCELLENT news for all the NYU students in the area.

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I know it’s been awhile, so forgive me. Work was crazy and I had a small bad patch there emotionally and just wasn’t able to muster up the energy to blog, even though I thought of things I wanted to talk about. I imagine after such a long absence, this wasn’t exactly what you were expecting me to talk about, (also, I’m sure you’re all, way to be behind the times fifi), but in the fifi house, much talk this time of year revolves around NCAA football because we love it so and in sad anticipation of it going away for the next few months, we gorge ourselves on bowl games to prepare for the empty months ahead.* Of course, we are beyond happy and excited about Ohio State and the Rose Bowl tomorrow, but that doesn’t not mean there aren’t other games that pique our interest (Penn State-LSU, I’m looking at you.) I come by this obsession naturally, of course: my dad has been known to make reference to what happened in the D-3 championship and look shocked that no one else caught the game. So how am I going to ring out 2009 in the blogging world? Not with top ten posts or what I’ve done this year or recaps, but by talking about college football. Obviously.

But anyway, I was going to let this go, but what with all the Urban Meyer fuss as of late (and, if you follow me on twitter, you know my thoughts on THAT**), the Cincy-Florida game has been a topic of conversation as well (I’m sure you know who I’m pulling for in that one but I’ll give you a hint anyway-it’s not Florida. I’m so not still bitter about that or anything). I find it interesting that both teams in this match up are going through some turmoil thanks to their head coaches.***

Now, I don’t think Brian Kelly is a sportsmanship antichrist in anywhere the same way that Rich “‘It’s all about the reasons for staying‘ – that $1.75 million per year he extracted in exchange for a promise to stay until 2014 – ‘this is my school’ – until something better comes along” Rodriguez is. And, to be fair, I get that Kelly overcame A LOT at Cincy to get the program where it is (having to buy your support staff cellphones is completely ridiculous for a D-1 school). I can see how working for Notre Dame would be tempting, what with its money and its boosters and its PRIVATE JET. Notre Dame is the big time and coaching there with all that support would be a lot easier than staying.

So I’m not even saying that Kelly shouldn’t have left Cincy. It’s all about the TIMING. As great as Kelly is, he didn’t get Cincy to where it is by himself. He’s there because of his players. His players who he told he wouldn’t leave, but abandoned before their really-quite-a-big-deal bowl game. And that is SO not cool.

I understand about that this is all about recruiting, but, seriously? Notre Dame wanted Kelly. He could have pushed back and set a precedent for coaches in this position. It’s already very likely that he is going to take some potential recruits from Cincy to ND with him. What kind of difference is an extra couple of weeks going to make really? There are factors other than just the coaching staff that make people pick schools. For one thing, Kelly is going to have to work with what talent ND already has-him recruiting doesn’t change the quality of the recruiting classes already at the school.

And Notre Dame is Notre Dame. Even though they suck right now, recruits go there because it is Notre Dame. Maybe some recruits need a phone call or personal handholding, but does it really have to be from Kelly? If you could release the information that Kelly were going to ND after the bowl, why do you need the man himself? ND hired him because of his reputation and his record- that’s why recruits are coming as well. Wouldn’t it be better for all parties involved-including the NCAA-for Kelly to look like a man of integrity who has concern for his players (students! Remember them, NCAA? That whole big difference between this level of athletics and the pros? The people whose best interest you’re supposed to be looking out for?) instead of one who bailed on his kids when a big new shiny supposedly better deal came along?

As an aside, isn’t there something to be said for loyalty? I understand making the move to a D-1 school from a lesser school, but once you’re at the D-1 school, shouldn’t that be enough? I always thought the goal was to have a career at a school, not to bounce around in pursuit of the best deal and the most toys.

All that said, perhaps Kelly might have looked to RichRod’s example before bailing on his players. (Not, actually, that I mind this. For obviously reasons, I hate Michigan and ND and ND fans are incredibly annoying,**** so if both teams continue to suck they way have in recent years, I will be a happy fifi.*****) because karma, it is a bitch. And I think that what we’ve all learned from the RichRod incident, the higher powers of college football don’t like this kind of abandoning-your-players behavior and will rain down the hellfire of losses and embarrassment on those who violate the unspoken gospel of good sportsmanship and sticking by the players who got you to where you are. As discussed above, Kelly really hasn’t quite reached RichRod-levels of skeevitude, so I’m predicting another Ty Willingham. Enjoy ND. Enjoy.

As another aside in all this, I will also miss the Charlie Weiss kitteh on FOTP. A Brian Kelly kitteh will just not be as entertaining.

*At this point, you may be asking, “but, fifi, does g.town even have a football team? (Yes and they are about as good and play as interesting teams as you might imagine). Isn’t g.town a basketball school? (Again, yes.) Even if you do heart college football with all the fibers of your being, should g.town bball at least tide you over? (No, and it’s not for lack of trying. I mean, I love March Madness and the Big East tourney as much as the next Hoya Blue blooded girl, but in general, even with King James is playing, I just don’t find bball as interesting to watch as football. This is in part because there are just so many games and therefore the individual games don’t matter like football games do and therefore, I don’t feel compelled to watch every game. Also, for this very same reason, there just aren’t as many “big” games in college bball as there are in college football. Find a way to justify me watching every single game on a Saturday and then maybe I’ll be more on board.

But I digress.

**I am sure this was an incredibly difficult decision for Meyer and his family to make and the reasons behind it are personal and should remain so. Meyer owes nothing to anyone in the public in terms of an explanation and he certainly doesn’t owe it to the public to keep coaching at the expense of his health. It’s not like he’s leaving his players to go coach another team(ahem RichRodBrianKelly).

But that said, when you make the choice to publicly announce something like this (which I would HOPE was well-thought out and factored in the possibility of some regret) and then immediately back pedal the next day after you’ve been praised to the high heavens by the media and called a genius for 24 hours, I’m not going to say it was a publicity stunt or something to explain away your big SEC loss, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Also, if I were his wife and daughters, obvs. I would be supportive, but I also might be just a wee bit annoyed right now.

***Again, I am not judging Meyer for his decision to stop coaching – if that is, in fact, what he decides to do. I think sometimes, hard as it is, you do have to put your health before everything else, if not just for yourself, but for your family. And I know of what I speak when I say that heart issues are scary, scary stuff.

HOWEVER, I absolutely blame Meyer for creating this media firestorm right now. There really was no reason to announce this before the bowl game – even if there were leak threats, I still think it could have waited. Make the game about the players who worked so hard to get there – all those kids, esp. the seniors, were already going to be overshadowed in the media tonguebath that will be Tebow’s last game and now it’s going to be all about that AND Urban Meyer’s maybe-kinda-sorta-possibly last game. Not cool. And also, of course, see above.

****Example in two words: Brady Quinn. Thirteen words: Brady Quinn’s sister and her stupid split jersey at the 2006 fiesta bowl. And, on behalf of Browns fans everywhere who have to look at you: cut your hair Brady. It looks stupid particularly in those after game interviews when they catch you right out of the shower.

*****And really, if I’m being honest, I would rather see Michigan good than ND, so as to give some teeth to the rivalry, make the Big 10 stronger, and shut up all those SEC-is-the-only-real-football annoying people (you come play in the snow, then we talk, m’kay?).

Or, the Snarky Verizon Guy‘s Revenge*

As I have mentioned previously, when I started work, I got a Black.Berry for work. And I got a phone plan because I am trying my best to keep my personal life personal and am willing to carry around both a Berry and a phone to do so. The Berry phone number is the only number work has and no one else in my life has that number.

So Verizon gives me a new number. Great. However, today the Berry starts blowing up with texts from people who don’t know or forget that the person with this number before changed his number.

And these texts? All congratulations texts. Why congratulations? Because dude-who-used-to-have-this-number just got engaged.

Somewhere, someone in the universe is laughing right now.**

* Of course, this actually has nothing to do with him. But still.
** I will concede, Well Played Universe, Well Played.

Even though I just got the BlackBerry a week and a half ago, it was not holding a charge the way it should. Everyone I know who has a Berry can go days without charging, so the fact that my Berry could only go four, five hours without flashing the yellowish-green light of death and cutting off my email and internet access was not so good. Also, although I’m not doing it now and really would like to avoid doing so whenever possible, there will be times in my legal career when I am at work ten, twelve hours and a BlackBerry that doesn’t hold a charge is just not going to cut it.

So, of course, there is no way to remedy this without actually going to the Verizon store. I did call though, just to be sure, and the tech on the phone told me it was no big deal, they would just switch out the battery at the store.

And I went. They were understaffed, as always (I love that they waste one person checking people in. I can use a cell phone. I can check myself in). The tech guy I got was trying to juggle two customers at once and he was super-snotty from the start. I explained that my Berry was not holding a charge (super nicely, of course) and I got this in response:

“Well you’re syncing your email to your BlackBerry. You cannot expect it to hold a charge if you do that.”

Seriously? Because, if I’m not mistaken, syncing email is the whole f-ing point of the BlackBerry. I am not carrying this thing around for fun. I am carrying it around so I can get my work email at any time and as soon as it is sent and received.

I pointed this out to the tech guy (again, very nicely!) and we finally agreed that we’re would just try a new battery and see if that made any difference (even though he assured me it will not). Whatever. I still got my way and got my new battery.

Although the tech guy did have to have the last word: He told me that even if it wasn’t the email thing draining the battery, it was surely the fact that I have the Berry set on vibrate.

OF COURSE. Why didn’t I think of that???

So I decided to stay in DC Friday night to see some people and catch up with friends I’ve only seen once or twice since moving away in May. If you follow me on twitter, you know that I kicked off the night with a celebrity sighting Friday evening. My last year of law school, I worked as a babysitter/nanny and became very close with the whole family* (to the extent that when they were going to a family reunion in Michigan this summer, they spent a night in Cleveland and we had a very fun BBQ and swimming evening. I meant to write about it, but ended up not having time with the Bar). Anyway, Sara, the mom, and the two girls and I were supposed to meet up once I got done with work stuff and go to the Portrait Gallery and then Zaytinya for dinner. Unfortunately, The Divine Miss E, the four year old, was sick with bronchitis and unable to come at the last minute so it was just me, Sara, and Baby, who is no longer a baby but a very adult 18 months.**

We had an awesome time checking out the “1934: A New Deal For Artists” exhibit at the American Art Museum and catching up, but the highlight was when we got to Zaytinya. Not only was the food fantastic (Baby laid claim to the kibbeh immediately and made this preference clear with her emphatic MMMMs after every bite! – overall, she was fantastic and charming and quite the little lady), but Sara (who is also a huge Top Chef fan) and I got a great surprise when Mike Isabella from this season came out to chat with the people behind us and we realized that Richard Blais was at said table. Sara may have taken a picture of Mike and Richard, under the guise of taking a picture of me and Baby, but other than that we played it cool and basked in the Top Chef glow.

After that, I met up with Jill at the semi-annual work party for the SAT prep company we both worked for in college and that she is pretty high up at now where I got to catch up with my old boss and some old co-workers and meet Jill’s new boyfriend. After that, we went to our favorite bar in Crystal City where several shots where had to celebrate my passing the NY Bar.

Jill has been working like crazy the past few weeks and I’ve had a few stressors as well what with starting work and moving and all, so we decided to treat ourselves to massages to relax. It was great-I mean, who doesn’t love a massage- but definitely not relaxing! My masseuse started working on my back, then stopped and said that he thought my shoulders needed a lot of work and that we should do more of a therapeutic massage. I figured he was the professional, so why not?

Let us just say that he took his work VERY seriously, to the extent that he was telling me to breathe through the pain. I definitely think that my back and shoulders needed it because he found and worked out a ton of knots, but Dear God is my back tender today. The boyfriend literally put his hand on my back and I winced in pain. Am actually contemplating breaking out the heating pad now.

Clearly I need to find a yoga studio that I like here and start a regular practice again because I can’t let my back get this bad. It will definitely be a battle with work and sitting at a desk all day so I also really need to be more conscious of my posture. So easy to say, but we’ll see how I do in practice!

*I knew it was going to be a good fit when I discovered they named their dog Asta after the dog in the Thin Man movies and that we shared a love of old movies (the Thin Man movies are some of the first movies I remember seeing).
**Baby has a very pretty and elegant name that she is just starting to grow into so most of the time we all just called her Baby. Very Dirty Dancing.

Our cats are generally not huge fans of cooked meat. Offer them pieces of Thanksgiving turkey, for example, and they turn up their wee little noses. There is an exception, of course, though: C (the black cat) and his all-consuming love of certain pork products.

I discovered this by accident when I was studying for the Bar and had made myself a bowl of cantaloupe with some proscuitto and C would not leave my bowl alone. So I gave him a bite of the said proscuitto, thinking he would not like it, so he would leave me to my snack and my studying in peace. Not so much. I got absorbed in my studying and next thing I knew, C was up on my window seat attacking the proscuitto with a vengeance. The cantaloupe, of course, he left alone (I know, I know – my bowl shouldn’t have been within his reach. Normally he is much better mannered than this).

Which brings us to today. We had the family over on Sunday for a little BBQ and as an appetizer my mom made these ham, dill pickle, and cream cheese roll-ups (take 1 slice ham, spread it with cream cheese, lay the pickle on the ham, roll it up, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Before you scoff, try them. They are ridiculously addictive). My dad had brought home more pickles, so I was making a few more roll-ups to use up the rest of the ham. I had barely gotten the ham out of the fridge, before C was wrapping himself around my legs, all: “Hello. I love you. And I love ham. GIVE ME HAM.” I gave him a little nibble, which apparently was completely insufficient because he then reached up the cabinet to try and grab the ham from the counter (he is not quite tall enough to achieve this feat however). Of course, when he realized there was no more ham forthcoming, he gave up the lovey-dovey routine immediately. Cats.

0901091741FINE. If you will not give me more ham, I will just eat your nightstand handles. See how you like that.

So in the new Rolling Stone, there is a review of the bootleg of the August 4th Dylan concert, in which the reviewer states that Charlie Sexton joined Dylan and “made chestnuts like ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Highway 61 Revisted’ crackle like they haven’t in years.”

To which I say: awesome. Sign me up. Well, not me so much as the boyfriend because the boyfriend loves Dylan more than anything else in this world, except perhaps Derek Jeter the Yankees,* and I need something else to accompany this which I got him for our upcoming pseudo-anniversary thing in September.

But here is the problem: how do I get my hands on a copy of the aforementioned standout bootleg? Clearly it must exist somewhere in order for RS to be reviewing it, unless by “bootlegs” RS just means “concerts our writers recently attended,” in which case, BE MORE CLEAR RS. Googling has led me nowhere, so I put this quest out to the universe in hopes that one of you may have some ideas. Let me know.

*Yes, I realize that puts me, at the very best, third on his list of things he loves most in the entire world and, no, I am not exaggerating.

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