I have this strange fascination with television shows about drug use and addicts.
At Meaghan and Dan's Boston wedding celebration a few years ago, I happened to be speaking with a woman who mentioned that her son was a producer for a show that was on A&E. I asked which show, and almost jumped atop her when she informed me that it was Intervention (my favorite show at the time).
I sat down this evening to scan through my viewing options in my DVR, and right after finishing an episode of High Stakes Poker, I went immediately to the Lisa Ling-hosted documentary on National Geographic HD about meth use. Poker and drugs. Not exactly the kind of stuff I'd see on According to Jim, a show I have no interest watching.
It's weird - I don't do drugs. Never have. Not even pot. Not once. Not even at a place like Brown, where pretty much everyone smoked up.
Truly, I think this interest is a self-esteem builder that makes my petty gripes seem trivial, when the alternative could be rotting teeth from meth mouth and track marks.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I have this strange fascination with television shows about drug use and addicts.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I'm bowing out of Red Sox discussions for the next few weeks.
I behaved gracefully during the postseason while the Sox deservedly won it all and my underachieving team from New York continued spinning its wheels, the members of which attempted to steal media time from the Sox with the manager, A-Rod, and remaining free agent fiascoes.
For a change, it's not about the Yankees. It's about the Red Sox. It's Boston's time to shine.
Perhaps the Yanks should return to the blueprint of the late 90's - building a team organically with young talent, kind of like what the Sox look like now. That sounds like a decent plan that might bear fruit in a couple years.
So, I have a good five or six months before I have to think about the Yankees again, time away from them and the rivalry that I require for my sanity.
Congrats to the Sox and the fans.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
While I understand what this means...
"Will you be posting these links on your Wiki?"
I have never uttered those words in that order. But, I did just hear them.
BTW - This is posting #300 on Platinum Elite. Another milestone!
A guy just spoke about SecondLife (I should check this out too...especially after seeing that Dwight Schrute has an avatar on there, but between online poker and SecondLife, I would be fearful of my avoiding in-person human contact altogether, outside of my job).
He has a virtual SecondLife bar in SecondLife Boston that he claims is popular.
I suppose hitting up virtual bars is a good way to stay relatively sober.
Second post from PodCamp, so I suppose I am live blogging.
I have already seen two guys in what seem to be kilts (though one is arguably a dude in a skirt). I have heard one of them speak during a session, and he sounds to be from the UK of Isles, so he gets a free pass. The other, however...
I feel entirely lame to have a Dell computer here, when everyone else has Apple MacBook Pros. The cult of Apple is intimidating. I might have to join.
During my first session (Web 2.0 Tools That Are Actually Useful), I learned about a number of webapps that seem useful, such as Jott - the voice-to-text application, and GrandCentral - the phone number aggregator. A gent named Scott Monty gave the presentation, and he seems to be an upstanding guy.
Someone from PodCamp TV grabbed me for an on-camera interview after the session, I'm assuming because I am that photogenic (and not because I was the first person to walk past her table).
Everyone here seems to use Twitter. I need to get on that.
Someone just referred to the years 1999/2000 as "Way Back"
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have had a busy few days, and this weekend will be no exception with PodCamp at the BCEC, the World Series (fine...I'm watching it), and possibly something to celebrate Chris' birthday.
1. Dinner and drinks Tuesday night at The Playwright with Bev, who happened to be in town this week and dropped me a last-minute email to see if we could catch up and see my Italy pics (yes, she actually wanted to see them all and loved them!!) A few Stoli and sodas seem to make 700+ pics fly by.
2. After Doug's invite-turn-uninvite to watch the game at his place (fine, he did get a ticket last-minute), I watched from home and played a 117 player $30+$3 buy-in poker tournament online. I finished 11th, and won back my $33 plus about 10 bucks. First place was over $1,000, so there was quite a rise in prize money within the Top 10. I played well, but not well enough. Still, that was the deepest I had made it in a field that large. I have won a number of 45-person tournaments. I still like the No-Limit cash games better.
3. Blogtoberfest last night at The Pour House was fun. It's nice to meet other bloggers, some of whom write blogs that I read regularly. The crowd was mixed with randoms like myself who say a whole lot about nothing (but people seem to enjoy reading it) to folks who make plenty of cash money from their blogs, or referral work from people who discover them through their blogs. Jenny did a great job organizing it!
4. I won a gift certificate for a facial at Viva Skin Care Center in Burlington. There was a free raffle at Blogtoberfest, and I figured my odds were good to win something given the amount of attendees (maybe 30-40?) and the amount of prizes (there were about 10 of them). I kind of played it off last night as "ha ha, I won a facial," but....I am shamelessly quite happy with my forthcoming buffing, moisturizing, or whatever happens during a facial.
5. The Go! Team at Paradise last night. Sold out show. I went with Karin and Debbie, and we watched from the balcony (which had plenty of room to stand and even room for more people...I'm assuming the fire code's definition of "sold out" is far less than what the venue would have liked to have stuffed inside). Great show - I was amazed that all of their music, much of which I thought were samples and crafted in recording studios, was actually people playing instruments and singing. For some reason, I did not have the image of a full band. Everyone in the group seemed to play instruments in a rotating order - 2 drummers, then all of a sudden one drummer is singing and the other is on guitar, and Ninja (the singer) is now on drums, wait the drummer is now playing a recorder, now one of those blow keyboards, wait is that a double-dutch chant?...that's The Go! Team.
6. I took the T home last night, and again took it to work. That in itself should not be an event, but for those who know me (either off line or solely through Platinum Elite), it's always an adventure. I almost forgot to get off at Park Street to transfer to the Green Line, and then on the Green Line train I stood next to crazy dancing guy.
Posted by Jason at 8:55 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Posted by Jason at 7:56 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I saw this great list online - Travel + Leisure's Favorite Cities 2007
They had residents and visitors rank 25 US cities on a number of categories, and included most of the typical large cities along with a few that made me scratch my head as to why they were on the list (Santa Fe?)
Boston scored highest in:
#2 Sports Fan's Vacation
#2 Classical Music
#3 Notable Neighborhoods
#3 Historic Sites / Monuments
#3 Antique Shopping
#4 Pizza (I could not disagree more)
#4 Worldly People
We're trailing in:
#24 Food / Dining - Barbecue (I totally agree)
#21 Flea Markets
While I enjoy Redbone's and Tennessee's BBQ here in the area, we're pretty devoid of a full list of great barbecue places.
As for #21 Friendly - I think this city is tough to break into if you don't know anybody. But once you do, I feel that things change dramatically. Unfortunately, bringing those new friends to flea markets is a tall task here in Boston
Posted by Jason at 8:15 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
I saw this great photo op right outside of my window.
I am still learning the basics of Flickr, but I was amazed that within minutes of my posting this shot on there, it had 9 views. While I still have a ton of pics to upload and tag, there are a number of shots up there ready for killing lots of time at work today after a late night of revelry.
Posted by Jason at 7:51 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I don't know how well-publicized this tidbit is these days, but should the Sox win tonight, and then go on to win the World Series, Jordan's Furniture has a lot of refunds to issue.
What a great publicity stunt for Jordan's if they have to make good on their Spring promotion. Huge Word of Mouth could be at stake for them.
I'm assuming the company with whom they purchased the insurance policy are the true die hard Indians fans tonight!
Posted by Jason at 7:15 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
Posted by Jason at 7:30 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Boston blog world seems to be a pretty vibrant one with the amount of links to local blogs from sites like UniversalHub, The Menu Pages, and Bostonist (the first two of which link to me on occasion - what's up bloggers!)
Somewhere in the mix, I heard about Blogtoberfest at The Pour House on Boylston St. next Thursday night at 6pm. I just signed up this afternoon. I'm looking forward to meeting a few of the other Bloggers in town, some of whom I probably have bookmarked, others may become new blogmigos.
Actually, the 25th is going to be a busy night for me because Karin just bought tickets for The Go! Team show at Paradise Rock Club. Even though their second CD basically sounds just like their first one, it's quite an interesting high-energy sound that's unbelievably catchy - mashups of horns, 70's movie music, double dutch chants, drums, samples, and a British rapper chick named Ninja. I posted one of their new videos in the preceding post.
I'm doing something entirely mindless at work today - lots of entering numbers into a spreadsheet I built for tracking purposes. So, I'm ensconsed (begrudgingly) in Excel and (happily) in my ipod.
The last three songs that have played on shuffle have been Christian pop/rock songs. Perhaps God is telling me to hang in there.
Unfortunately, God was not with me during my final swig of Starbucks coffee this morning, the composition of which was 60% cold coffee and 40% coffee grounds.
Posted by Jason at 11:46 AM
So after the Yankees elected not to show up to the playoffs (as exhibited by most of their post-season escapades since 2001), I vowed that I was done watching baseball this year. But that was a veiled threat. The Sox are still the center of socializing here in town, and I can rather choose to be a grump and not spend time with friends during the games, or suck it up and watch the games.
Friday night, we went to Doug's house and I brought my laptop (because uploading and tagging to Flickr was a far more interesting proposition than actually watching the game). It was just nice to be out with friends. The game didn't interest me.
Now before last night's game, I figured I would flip over to FOX ever so often during the game just to see how good Cleveland really was. Once I saw that the score was 7-1 in the 5th inning, I concluded that Cleveland was indeed THAT GOOD and I returned to my DVR, cruising through a couple Sarah Silverman shows, and watching a recent VH1 Rock Honors featuring Heart, Ozzy Osbourne, ZZ Top, and a shockingly bad Genesis (who have some GREAT songs, but sounded awful at that particular performance).
I don't understand why there's an off day tonight in the middle of a series in the same city. I guess FOX wants big ratings on a Thursday evening against all the big shows on the other networks (if Thursday was an off night, FOX would be conceding the ratings to the others).
Posted by Jason at 8:47 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I was e-yelled at by Jamen yesterday for not posting pictures of him in Italy. Apparently, on Saturday night, I told him I would post about him first thing Monday morning, and it must have escaped me. So now, I present Jamen (aka "TAKE MY PICTURE, TAKE MY PICTURE")
I'm really digging the monochrome shots. The unposed ones of Jamen are pretty much the only ones where he looks different, because he definitely has a camera face that, when presented a photo op, he never ceases to wear. This was at the Roman Forum, undoubtedly contemplating some gelato.
I love this shot too - everybody in Pisa takes a picture of them "holding up" the Leaning Tower. I guess it's the fault of the photographer when a subject is improperly positioned, but I did this on purpose. Insert Southern intellect comment here. Just kidding.
Positano, one of the highlights. After a delicious meal, we of course had limoncello sitting cliffside overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. This was my first official limoncello, as Ryan bought a bottle in Rome, but gave me a swig of it at room temperature. It tasted like cough medicine. Here, however, served ice cold, it was perfect.
Moments later, Jamen put on his limoncello face, which he also wore on Saturday night when he dropped by and Ryan, he, and I cracked open one of the bottles I packed in my luggage.
Posted by Jason at 8:09 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
We never stopped in any of these farmacias, but they seemed to be ubiquitous throughout each of the major cities we hit.
Originally, I took this picture in B&W, but it appeared much too dark. I added a sepia filter effect using Picasa (Google's very cool free downloadable photo organizing and editing software), and ended up with this. I try not to add too many effects to my photos, but digital darkrooms are amazing and can truly turn lemons into lemonade.
Posted by Jason at 10:49 PM
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I remember the exact time in Italy that I discovered the power of monochrome photos with my Canon DSLR camera. I missed the Tuscan bike tour after a late night of debauchery, and went to lunch in Siena with Ryan (who also missed the tour).
The beauty of that moment is the world of interesting photo ops it created for me, as Italian cities in particular scream out at the prospect of being captured in black and white or sepia tone.
Here's a simple picture of a bicycle I snapped in Florence during a walking tour. Sometimes the best pics are not of monuments, people, or famous places. It's the unplanned moment, the quick composition, or the lucky shot that make for the great photos.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wow, it just kind of dawned to me that today is the 1 year anniversary of Platinum Elite, and this is posting #276. Looking back, it's quite amazing to me that I kept up with posting here, but it's not a shocker that I had a lot to say (about nothing in particular I might add, come to think of it).
Nonetheless, I'm a bit busy with work today, so the anniversary posting will have to be short.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
During my time with my present job, I have been asked to post a number of our open positions for my company on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.
Somehow I have ended up sorted into one of their database distribution lists that thinks I'm also looking for a new job in Southern California.
My favorite position on this list is as a Tortilleria Clerk in Lynwood, California. I have always had a strong affinity for flattening corn meal, all day long.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Posted by Jason at 7:42 PM
I decided to check out some XM Radio this morning at work, and landed on U-POP Channel 29, which is always good for some interesting hits from non-US countries.
They just played this song, which I learned (after a couple quick Google searches) was a top-charting hit in Germany a couple years ago.
I definitely prefer this to anything by Sean Kingston.
Posted by Jason at 11:06 AM
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I did something this weekend that I haven't done in quite some time.
I cooked a fresh pot of sauce.
It just felt right today - lazy Sunday, big sports day, a bit chilly outside. The perfect combo for a pot of sauce with meatballs and sausage.
Growing up, Sunday meals almost always included something with homemade tomato sauce (but, like many Italian households, we sometimes called it "gravy"). And every month or so, my parents cooked up a big pot of sauce to be used that evening, but primarily frozen for meals throughout the following few weeks.
During my senior year at college, I had an off-campus apartment with two friends, and we were off meal plan for both semesters. I remember having my mother write up the sauce recipe and fax it to the radio station where I worked (they didn't have email yet). I still have that same exact fax, and although I know the bulk of the recipe, I pulled it out today just to be sure I was all set.
I used to make sauce all the time when I lived in NJ, and when I had roommates in the South End before moving into Southie (where we resurrected big meal Sundays and my roommate Mike and I had an undeclared yet understood ongoing culinary competition).
I think I moved away from the sauce during my many attempts to restrict carbs. After my trip last week, however, I learned that you just can't truly take the macaroni out of the Italians.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I am a bit drained after yesterday's game (I'm referring to the Yankees latest playoff loss), and it is becoming evident to me that the Yanks of the 2000's simply cannot win in the playoffs. They were big game players and a big game team back from 1996-2000, but besides the ALCS against Boston where they actually won, the Yankees cannot get the job done. It's quite heartening to watch a team for 6 months fall apart during one final week, but I am getting used to it.
Part of me is tempted to burn my Yanks hat and shirt, because when I wear them, they never seem to win. But, I can't get myself to doing that. The 1980's were worse for them, and I was able to stomach through.
Even after last night's disappointment, I'm happy to be home for a weekend. Plus, it's nice to be back in Boston during a weekend AND be off the wagon (drinking makes the losses easier to take). Summer Lent is over, and the last time I had a sip of booze here in Boston during a weekend was eight weekends ago.
I'm glad we have some decent weather today - I might grab my camera again and head downtown.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
My body clock is definitely still off, since I crashed around 9:15 last night, went to bed, and woke up without alarm at 5am. I am taking advantage of my wacky body schedule to hit the gym before work, and I'm 2 for 2 thus far.
So, I haven't had the chance to review the photos at length just yet, but there are many good ones. I love this Canon Digital SLR, and I am becoming more comfortable using it.
I admit, I like having my picture taken (these days - mostly chest up, however, as I work off the gelato that is my midsection). The issue of taking pictures with a good camera that is mine, is that I'm not in many of them. And the ones I am in aren't usually the best shots, since someone else is usually taking those pictures. They are not awful, but I can notice some focus or lighting issues.
For example: me, Trevi fountain, good but the background is a touch out of focus.
Whereas, here's a shot of Jamen (aka "Take my picture!! Take my Picture!!") in Positano, where I reduced the depth of field to focus better on the subject (i.e. him).
Or this shot of Ryan outside the Colosseum. I thought it merited a monochrome shot because of the stark colors and magnitude of the building.
Or this one of Chris, which is one of my favorite portrait shots of the whole trip. For some reason, I nailed it with the shallow depth of focus but recognizable background (Duomo in Florence), sepia monochrome, and good pose of the subject.
Monday, October 01, 2007
I'm happy to say that I have returned from Tuscany - a little more cultured, a little fatter, and having enjoyed plenty of adult beverages during my time away. To my surprise, I had no bare-knuckle fights with Jamen, Chris, and Ryan. As far as I can tell, we are still friends - always a question mark when traveling with people who had never been travel companions.
The Contiki tour was great, and our time on the Amalfi coast after the tour was even better. Between the hectic schedule of the tour, and the difficulty finding reliable Internet access (even in the big cities), I completely ignored email, posting to Platinum Elite, and the news in general. That was oddly gratifying, but now I find myself with a full DVR of season premieres, and a packed Inbox.
Catching up, I learned that the Mets blew their lead in the NL East, Miss Moneypenny died, the Giants defense suddenly awoke, the Yanks lost the division but thankfully avoided yet another first round exit by Anaheim by pairing up against Cleveland, and that limoncello rocks (OK, that's not really news...but still true).
I have tons of pictures to wade through, and will post some along with Italy stories later this week.