March 30, 2007
Congratulations to Mark Reichelderfer, an occasional reader of this site,1 who was named in the April issue of Men's Health as one of the top doctors in the country. In an article titled "America's Top Doctors for Men," the magazine lists him as being one of the top gastroenterologists in the Midwest.
The article says the No. 1 gastroentrologist in the country is Douglas Drossman of the University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders.
However, Drossman played a weak non-conference schedule and does not have a high RPI rating — as a result, most experts expect Reichelderfer to move higher in the next ranking.
1Or so he says. We'll soon find out if he's telling the truth.
March 29, 2007
George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, said today that he gets excited when the TV camera shows him at baseball games.
Bush said that when he and Barbara sit behind home plate at Houston Astros games, he e-mails his friends from his Blackberry to tell them to look for him on TV:
“I e-mail back and tell them, ‘Okay, I’m going to wave to you after the next strike.’ And so it’s a fun thing and I wave.”
Bush elected not to comment on his son's position on branding new fraternity pledges with a coat hanger.
MySpace gives its users several choices for setting up their profiles. Under the category of "children," MySpace lets users choose one of the following:
As you can see, there are four different options for people who don't have children and just one option for people who do have children.
As far as MySpace is concerned, all parents are proud parents.
March 28, 2007
Interestingly, the Japanese word for rice is gohan.
I can tell this is not a language I would excel at learning.
(Unless every word means rice.)
March 27, 2007
The New York Times sometimes acts as if things don't exist until they appear in its newspaper.
Thus, George W. Bush did not exist until Nov. 8, 1967, when the New York Times made its first mention of the man who would be the 43rd president.
At the time, Bush was a senior at Yale University and former president of the school's chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon.
In the article, Bush defends the practice of branding new fraternity pledges with a hot coat hanger. Bush says in the story that the resulting wound is "only a cigarette burn."
Bob Woodward mentions this article in his latest book, "State Of Denial," but he doesn't say whether the folks at Delta Kappa Epsilon complained about the coverage. You know, did DKE demand to know where were the New York Times stories about the things the fraternity did that didn't involve burning its pledges?
March 26, 2007
It has come to my attention that a full Windsor knot is also known as a double Windsor.
If W = 2W, then W must equal 0.
But that means that that a half Windsor (1/2W) would also equal 0.
This equation would have us believe that a half Windsor is the same as a double Windsor, which it clearly isn't.
In any case, now that I know how to tie a Windsor, I'm never going back to the traditional four-in-hand knot. The Windsor knot uses up more of the tie, you see, thus not dangling as far down on the body. Thus, the Windsor is an important tactic for short people who don't want their ties hanging below their waist.
March 24, 2007
March 23, 2007
Marnie has to be in Maryland, with our car, at noon.
Marnie is not pleased with marathoners.
March 22, 2007
There are some men who care deeply about protecting their fingernails and having a distinguished matte finish.
But can't these men use the "regular" nail products?
That is, what makes a nail product work better on a man's fingernails than a woman's fingernails?
Isn't this a bit like making a toothpaste for men?
March 21, 2007
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Since it costs $9 to drive across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Brooklyn onto Staten Island, I tried to enjoy the experience and get my money's worth.
But the whole experience was over too fast. And it didn't come with a meal.
What a disappointment.
March 20, 2007
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- I took this picture from the Smith-9th St. subway station platform last month. When Marnie & I returned via car a couple weeks later, we were stuck in traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway right next to the same railroad bridge and the same Kentile Floors sign.
On my February visit, I loved the sign and the industrial surroundings. But sitting on that highway in rush-hour traffic made me like the surroundings a bit less.
March 19, 2007
Four months ago, Eric introduced Marnie & me to "Phantom Limb," the new song from The Shins. We liked it and even put it on our Discology CD.
Today, I heard "Phantom Limb" on the radio (94.7 FM) for the first time. We're no longer cutting edge with that song, I suppose.
However, thanks to Eric's trip to the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, we're back to being cutting edge — our iPods are hopping with a brand new 15-song SXSW playlist. My favorite so far is "If That's The Case Then I Don't Know" by The Electric Soft Parade.
QUEENS, N.Y. — Driving by Flushing Meadows Park with my parents brought out a few stories of their days living nearby.
I had visited the park once before, stopping at the Queens Museum of Art to see the huge scale model of New York City. The model is a cross between Google Earth and, well, the actual Earth. I like the area so much that although I've never been to the adjacent Shea Stadium, I've learned to appreciate the New York Mets.
But back to my parents and their stories.
My dad recalled visiting a booth at the 1964 World's Fair that asked visitors to say where they lived so that the event organizers could notify the proper hometown newspaper. The idea was for, say, the Appleton Post-Crescent to publish an item saying that local Appleton resident Jimbob Johnson was at the World's Fair in New York.
Anyway, my dad told them that he was from New York.
Then he waited to see if his local newspaper, the New York Times, wrote about him.
March 18, 2007
The "Gray Lady" has been in color for awhile now. But I was still surprised to see such a cool-looking building. It's much more colorful than the newspaper's other main plant in Edison, N.J.
March 17, 2007
March 15, 2007
SANDS POINT, N.Y. — Our accommodations in Nassau County were at the Village Club of Sands Point, which was once the estate of Isaac Guggenheim and Solomon Guggenheim.
On our last visit, there was a rumor that the mansion on this estate was the location for the famous "horse head in the bed" scene in the Godfather (which took place in California in the film). But Internet searches appear to confirm that it was filmed at Falaise Mansion, which is another of the Guggenheim properties in Sands Point.
Anyway, we had a wonderful stay in Sands Point in a room overlooking Long Island Sound.
March 14, 2007
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — At JWB's bar mitzvah reception three years ago, the DJ played "Hey Ya" by OutKast. At the time, I was somewhat taken aback to see parents clap along as they watched their twelve- and thirteen-year-old kids dance to a song that includes the lyrics:
I just want you in my Caddy
I don't want to meet your mama/
I just want to make you come-a
Fortunately, I was spared the experience of feeling like a prude this weekend. When the DJ played Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," he scratched out the swear words, choosing the radio-friendly version instead.
March 13, 2007
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — KWB says her favorite kind of ice cream is cookie dough. She doesn't mean "cookie dough ice cream." She means actual cookie dough. That is, the kind you could place in your oven and bake.
Leaving aside the matter of whether this is actually ice cream at all,1 the dish makes for a fantastic dessert.
SEW's cookie dough recipe does not contain raw eggs, making it safe for post-bat mitzvah binging.
March 12, 2007
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. -- The theme1 at KWB's bat mitzvah party was "24," as in the Emmy-winning TV show on Fox. Since I don't watch this program, I didn't know any of the answers to the trivia contests.
But I still managed to come home with a free t-shirt. Thanks, KWB!
1The theme at my bar mitzvah was "bar mitzvah." But they do things differently on Long Island.
Wisconsin's first-round opponent in the NCAA Tournament is Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi — or the TAMU-CC Islanders, as they are evidently known.
An Internet search finds that the team's mascot is "Izzy the Islander," and the school's student newspaper is called the Island Waves.
May the better team win.
For the love of god, may the better team win.
March 11, 2007
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — During her bat mitzvah service, KWB became a woman in the eyes of God who is responsible for her actions and to whom the commandments apply.
Daringly, she used the opportunity to challenge God.
During the service, which she led with poise and confidence, KWB discussed her Torah portion, which involved a passage in Exodus in which the Israelites became impatient waiting for Moses to return from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments and decide to worship a golden calf instead.1 God's punishment was to kill thousands of the Israelites.
After reading from the Torah, KWB said she thought God should have shown compassion and spent more time showing the Israelites that what they had done was wrong. Killing them, KWB asserted, did not teach them a lesson.
And so on the first occasion on which the commandments applied to KWB, she boldly showed God that she's got chutzpah.
1Besides, everyone knows that the best use of a golden calf is as a football trophy.
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Last summer, I told you about how Marnie cleans out our sponges periodically by putting them in the dishwasher.
This morning, I learned about another of her cleaning techniques: While we stopped to fill up the gas tank, she squeegeed the windshield and then popped up the windshield wipers and squeegeed them too!
March 10, 2007
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The number 18 carries special meaning to Jewish people, since it is the sum of the letters that make up the word for "life" in Hebrew.
In my day, the standard bar mitzvah gift from classmates and their families was $18.
On Long Island in 2007, the going rate for such gifts, in cash and gift-certificates, is $54 (or sometimes $36).
March 09, 2007
(Bonnie Bernstein brought me good ratings in January, when she explained her move from CBS to ABC, so I brought her back for an encore performance. Maybe she'll become a regular guest.)
Bonnie Bernstein may have been the inspiration behind the fictional TV sports journalist Bobbi Bernstein for all we know. But one thing seems obvious: Bonnie wasn't paid for the likeness.
Meanwhile, Bonnie told me over e-mail that she "can't stand hats" and wears them on camera to stay warm, not to be a "fashion icon." (Incidentally, her professionalism commands respect, but her use of emoticons makes me comfortable being on a first-name basis with her.)
Bonnie conceded that sideline reporters often have trouble seeing what's going on, due to the poor vantage point.
And she revealed what would have to happen in order for her to wear a 10-gallon hat on the air.
It turns out that Bonnie, like Vice President Dick Cheney, suffered recently from deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Bernstein has become a spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent DVT. Although she did not log 65 hours of air travel in nine days as Cheney did, Bernstein did fly to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. "I thought my leg was going to explode on the flight back," she said.
Below is my second interview with Bonnie Bernstein:
When watching a football game, It's much easier to understand what's going on when sitting high up. Is it hard to follow the game from the sidelines?
It's tough, at times, to see exactly what's going on. But it's still the best seat in the house! And there are always replays on the jumbotron!
You are known for having an eclectic hat collection. Yet you wore a simple baseball cap for the Super Bowl. What gives?
Easy! When I"m on radio, I don't have to be on TV. There is no "aesthetic component." I'm just out there covering a game. I wear jeans sometimes and very little makeup, which is how I dress when I'm attending sports events as a fan.
Here's the funny thing about hats: people think I wear them because I like them or I'm trying to be some fashion icon. Couldn't be further from the truth. I actually can't stand hats, but they keep my head warm (I know — novel concept). I've always gotten chilly pretty easily. So for me, it's survival of the fittest! Since heat escapes from your body most quickly through your extremities, I think you'd be nuts standing out in 40-degree weather or less for 5-6 hours, not wearing a hat (and gloves... and wool socks... and a scarf... and really warm boots... and hand warmers/foot warmers if it's super cold... Brrr!!!)
How big is your closet?
You might be surprised. I'm not much of a clothes horse, probably because (as uncharacteristic as this may sound for a woman) I don't really like shopping. It's a means to an end for me, so I don't have any huge walk-in closets or anything. I could, however, use some extra space for my golf clubs. :)
Why do the sports media complain so often about the Pro Bowl being pointless? Don't journalists enjoy a trip to Hawaii?
Huh? Seriously? I can't imagine there's a person out there who doesn't love a free trip to Hawaii! I don't care whether the players dog it in the game or not (although I don't really agree with people who say that).
You mentioned a desire to do more studio work at ESPN. Are those hosting opportunities more rewarding than sideline reporting?
They're not more rewarding. They simply help make me a more multi-faceted journalist. I don't think people realize how different the skills sets are for each job in broadcasting — play-by-play, color, sideline. Different studio jobs require different strengths, too. So the more you can do, the more valuable you are to your employer.
Sports Night — the Aaron Sorkin TV show that lasted two seasons on ABC — had a character named Bobbi Bernstein. She was a field reporter who occasionally filled in for the studio hosts of a SportsCenter-like program. Have you ever been to the Hotel d'Espagne?
I remember the show, but I never really watched. Bobbi Bernstein, huh? Man, I should have been a consultant for the show. LOL :)
To the ambitious, you offered the following career advice: "Be willing to move anywhere in the country" for a good job. What if that job is in Houston, Texas?
Let's reiterate the word "anywhere." Is it humid as all get-out? Absolutely! But it's a huge TV market with every major sports team. You'd be nuts not to go. And the people down there are wonderful! That said, you'd have to pay me a lot of money to wear a 10-gallon hat on the air. :)
March 08, 2007
SKBK returned for her term studying in Oaxaca a few years ago with the ability to whip up a delicious meal of Mexican appetizers.
She taught Marnie & me how to cook two of her favorites: memelitas and chilaquiles. Good stuff. But it turns out we can eat them without cracking open SKBK's recipe.
Last week, we discovered that chilaquiles are on the menu at Oyamel, the trendy José Andrés restaurant that has replaced Andale at 7th and D. (Marnie has more on José Andrés's dominance of Penn Quarter.)
We had a fantastic meal at Oyamel, although the chilaquiles were only okay (the cheese wasn't quite right).
March 07, 2007
In the 1998 novel "About A Boy," Will Freeman (played by Hugh Grant in the film version) meets women by showing up to meetings of Single Parents Alone Together and pretending he is a father.
It was a clever way for author Nick Hornby to introduce Fiona Brewer into the plot.
But I was reminded this week that the same thing happened on Growing Pains eight years earlier in an episode in which Mike Seaver scored a date with a woman he met at a Parents Without Mates meeting.1
1The scheme was really Eddie's idea, not Mike's. But the fact that I know that only proves two things: I was a loser on Oct. 10, 1990 (when the episode first aired), and I remain a loser since I watched the episode again this week.
March 06, 2007
When I served on a jury a few months ago, the defense attorney in the case bore a strong resemblance to Forest Whitaker.1
The whole jury thought so.2
On the first day of the trial, we jurors were sent out of the courtroom for a short recess with instructions not to talk about the case.
And we didn't.
However, we did spend a good deal of time discussing the Forest Whitaker look-alike. People were dying to get this observation off their chest, since gossip during the voir dire the previous day had focused only about whether Chris Wallace of Fox News would be discarded from the jury pool.3
1Whitaker just won an Academy Award last week, which makes this tale timely. I had been waiting for Whitaker to get into the news as an excuse to bring up this story, which I forgot to jot down at the time.
2Uncharacteristically for a D.C. petit jury, there were only two black people out of 14. Both of them agreed about the Forest Whitaker resemblance.
3Wallace was indeed discarded.
It's not everyday that nunchucks come up in conversation, but hearing a nunchucks-related joke the other day reminded me of when I first heard the word:
I was eight years old and reading about Michael Jones, a wide receiver for the Wisconsin Badgers, who was arrested for beating someone up with nunchucks. That year, I had cheered Jones from the stands when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Northwestern.
I don't really remember the dinner conversation, but I'm pretty sure it began by me asking, "Dad, what are nunchucks?"
March 05, 2007
I still haven't seen the new Kathleen Robertson film.
And now I have another chance to pass on 90210 nostalgia — Lifetime Television has picked up a pilot entitled Side Order of Life starring Jason Priestley.
The show premieres July 15.
This weekend, I saw "The Lives Of Others" with Marnie and LAL at our neighborhood art house cinema.
As I've said many times, I generally like ads (except for commercials infixed during a television show I'm watching).
Marnie & I agree that a movie ticket is a clever place to put an ad. I suppose it's a bit like wrapping subway turnstiles and gas station pumps in ads.
March 04, 2007
March 03, 2007
According to this article, some people "live blog" the birth of their children. Or a funeral they attended. Or an afternoon spent cleaning out a closet. This means banging out blog posts as the events are happening.
I post to this site pretty often, sure. But I would never "live blog."
If people feel the need, they can blog the shit out of my funeral for all I care. But I hope they will have the decency to post their content later.
March 02, 2007
My least favorite time of year is the end of winter.
Oh, I like spring just fine. The part I dislike is the melting snow.
Snow can make any city look pretty since it provides a nice white cover over whatever the city actually looks like. But melting snow leaves behind dirty muckity muck that takes forever to actually go away, even at 58° (as it is today).
In Wisconsin, that melting period happens once — at the end of winter.
In D.C., however, the melting period takes place the day after each snowfall. This means it often happens several times per year.
With that in mind, I decided to head outside one snowy morning last week to take these pictures while the scene lasted.
March 01, 2007
Growing up, there was a theological school on the outskirts of town called Holy Name Seminary.
The school closed in 1995, but somewhere along the way it introduced me to the phrase "holy name," which always sounded more like a placeholder to me than a term conjuring up thoughts of divinity.
"Holy [Insert Sacrosanct Appellation Here] Seminary"
My strange obsession with the seminary's name led me to think — for a short time — that it would be funny to yell out "holy name!" in the place where a normal person might exclaim "holy shit!" Obviously, doing so led to utter confusion among the people standing within earshot.