February 8, 2008

JetBlue Rocks!

Posted in travel at 11:04 pm by Michael

I was on the JetBlue flight again from Boston to Seattle. These guys are by far my favorite domestic airline (SAS is super cool internationally – and is really nice w/kids…). I love having the pilot come out and talk to the passengers from the front of the cabin, and the flight attendants, especially on my flight tonight, are just awesome.

Shoes

Posted in transgender at 11:03 pm by Michael

I was in the security line tonight at Logan tonight and this woman behind me said:

“Excuse me, I noticed your shoes, and I love them! What is the brand? I’m going to Italy next month, and I’m looking for some nice walking shoes and those look comfy and really cool!”.

I was wearing these green Privo shoes by Clark’s that are super comfy, and I do love them.

As we were talking about her trip (we had been in August, and I was telling her about the super cool butcher in Panzano in Chianti) I was wondering if it would go “odd”, and if she was going to “read” me. Lets face it, my voice is pretty masculine.

Absolutely not! We kept talking as we went through security and we parted ways, I told her to have a great trip, and she said the same. Zero Weirdness. It was a nice moment.

Busy Week

Posted in work at 11:01 pm by Michael

This was a busy week. I was in Boston for work from Wednesday morning through Friday night (JetBlue rocks again).

I got in to Boston at about 6am on Wednesday after taking the redeye. I had slept pretty well on the flight – way better than usual – but it was still the redeye. I generally like to go to the hotel post the flight, sleep for a couple more hours, and then go into the office. I ended up checking in at about 7am (you can do this if you pay for the night before – good travel tip!). I get to the hotel, and they can’t find my reservation. The woman at the front desk was super nice, very apologetic, and made me a new reservation, and at the previously quoted rate – all good. The downside was that it took another half an hour to check in. She apologized again, and said that there were no rooms with one big bed, just two small ones. I said “No problem, its just me, and I just want to get a couple hours sleep before I go into the office.” She said “No problem, I just found a great room, and its nice and quiet!”

At the same time that I was checking in, they were having lots of problems with virtually all of their systems at the front desk – no printers, computers down,etc.

She tried to make my key – no can do. The key machine is down. No problem, she walked me up to my room, and opened the door with a master key.

Ahh, sleepy time.

It’s now 7:30, and I have my alarm set for 10:30 – three hours of sleep! Woo Hoo!

At about 9, I woke up to the dulcet tones of jackhammering next door. Turns out that they are renovating the hotel room by room – but not floor by floor. I got a room literally surrounded by rooms on all sides that were being renovated – with jackhammers and crowbars.

I called down to the front desk to inquire. Yep, they are renovating. Nope, no way to delay it. Sorry, no floors with no renovation going on. They offered to move me, but I asked if they could say that it wouldn’t be to a place w/renovation. Nope!

Great.

I’ll go for a run. Went down to the gym, ran for 30 mins, felt great, and walked back upstairs to my room. As I’m walking down the hall, I notice that over all the hall smoke detectors, they have put what looks like shower caps and tape. Wouldn’t want those pesky smoke detectors going off if there was a fire and all. I’m no fire protection engineer, but I’m pretty damn sure that its not cool to cover up/disable fire protection systems in an occupied hotel.

Now, I’m really not a complainer. Really. I had kind of had it. I called down to the front desk again and report said clear violation of the fire code:

“Hi, this is Janelle, can I help you?”

“Hi Janelle, this your favorite guest from room 723. I really hate to complain so much, but, um, I was just walking down the hall and noticed that all of the smoke and heat detectors in the hall are covered up by what appears to be shower caps and tape. I’m pretty sure this isn’t ok.”

“Uh huh.”

“Did you happen to see the news last week, where the Monte Carlo hotel in Vegas caught on fire during renovation, and they had to evacuate it?”

“No, I didn’t see that.”

“Janelle, I really don’t want to be served crispy.”

“I can have the director of engineering call you?”

“No, that’s ok. I just think it would be a good idea if maybe we had smoke detectors on this floor, ok? If I’m wrong, and it’s cool, then ok – great. But can ya check?”

“Right away….”

That night, when I came home from a super long day at work, there was a nice fruit and cheese platter, along with a bottle of wine in my room. I got a note from the hotel manager, apologizing for my “troubles” that morning.

I’m not sure what they could have done that would have been better, but I felt at a loss a bit. It didn’t quite make up for it, although I did end up having much of the cheese and fruit for lunch over the next few days.

February 4, 2008

Ok, Deep Breath

Posted in friends, NE Patriots at 7:18 am by Michael

I’m over it. The Pats had an amazing season. They showed amazing tenacity, dedication and teamwork.

The first half of the year they were a machine. Scoring what my friend Viresh called “F-U Touchdowns” in the 4th quarter when they were up by a million.

The second half, they looked vulnerable – the Ravens, the Eagles and finally the Giants took an approach that came CLOSE to ending the perfect regular season: pressure Brady, press the recievers on the line, double or triple Moss. Scary close those games were. They had NO RIGHT to win the Ravens game. They got outplayed and got lucky.

Then, there was the amazing Jacksonville game – 26 for 28? In a playoff game? Unheard of! I thought that maybe they had figured out a way to beat the pass pressure/reciever pressure combo. Moss had what, one catch?

Then, we get to the Chargers – hobbled QB, and LT on the bench looking like a sulky Darth Vader. Brady with a 3 INT game? First red zone int in three years (since Champ Bailey picked him at the 1, and went 97 yards to crush them in 2005)? They barely win, very scary.

Then, WTF? Brady in a walking boot? Say it isn’t so! Doesn’t practice for three days?

The Pats looked solid in pregame, but then a nine minute drive? Having that end in a FG was a victory, somewhat, but wow, nine minutes? Mid to late 30’s linebackers don’t like nine minute drives. The ensuing touchdown from the Pats was awesome.

But then, two three and outs? In a row?

Oh, the horror.

With 2:42 left in the 4th, when the Giants got the ball back, I was petrified. We had a house full of Pats fans. Our friend Leslie (www.calmbyleslie.com) said to me: “Megan, you look like you are going to throw up.”

The moment right before Manning the Younger heaved the impossible pass, just as it looked like he was going down along with the Giants hopes, that was the moment of joy. Could it be? Could this imperfect perfect season really be?

Then, The Catch. Unbelievable.

From then on out, it was unevitable.

Two chucks from Brady into triple coverage from Moss, what are those 5% completion odds passes?

The screen was off before the game clock expired. I could not stand to see Manning the Elder celebrate.

Our guests filed out somberly. Anh and I cleaned up, and I worked till midnight.

It’s a new week. It’s going to be an awesome week.

Congratulations Patriots, you guys were awesome. As Bono says “Some Days are Better than Others”. It’s ok.

Congratulations Giants, you are the Champions and you beat the best to get there.

Cathartic Blogging, its “A Good Thing”.

February 3, 2008

D’Oh

Posted in NE Patriots at 7:05 pm by Michael

What a waste….

Ready!

Posted in NE Patriots at 1:32 pm by Michael

Just went to get a new Superbowl Manicure.

Superbowl Mani

Hand Close Up

GO PATS!

Stressed Out: Reflections on Life as a Pats Fan

Posted in family, NE Patriots, Samwich at 7:39 am by Michael

Nailbiting

Just about eight hours till kickoff of “The Big Game”.

I’ve been a Pats fan for as long as I remember. I used to sit and watch games with my dad on every football Sunday. He would watch *any* football game, but he was a true blue Pats fan. He’d go make Onion Dip (which was McCormick Onion Soup Mix plus sour cream), and get a bag of Ruffles. Then, the piece de resistance, the Schlitz (later he upgraded to St. Pauli Girl, then Coors once you could get that in RI).

This was during the 70’s and 80’s though – fundamentally then, the Pats sucked.

In the words of my Dad, they “Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory” on many occasions.

They didn’t always sell out their games, so we ended up listening to a lot of games on the radio.

We hated the Cowboys together, but sometimes rooted for the Redskins (we lived in Alexandria, Virginia for a while).

I remember going to a couple of games with him in Foxboro – it was Schaefer Stadium then. It was a huge concrete bowl, with backless aluminum benches. We went to once game where the temp must have been 10F at most, and there was literally 2-3 inches of ice covering the seats. We went to another game in the pouring rain. We had crappy luck going to nice weather games.

He was still alive (but not totally with it) for the Pats wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and he was so excited and into it. We used to talk on the phone for much of the really close games – just watching and reacting to it together. When the Pats played the Colts in the RCA dome in 2005, and ended up winning the game on a last minute goal line stand, I was in Florida driving to the aiport, and he was on the phone with me, doing play by play.

He passed away in August of 2006.

I often think about what he would think about this season for the Patriots. He was such a homer, he’d certainly think the whole Spygate thing was bullshit. He’d be SO happy that the ’72 Dolphins aren’t the only regular-season undefeated team, and he’d be rooting so hard for them to win today to complete the cycle! (He didn’t like the Dolphins either – they were the rivals who always found a way to beat the Pats. EXCEPT in the dreaded “Snow Plow Game”. We LOVED that game.)

I know that he’d be excited that his youngest grandson has his own Pats game jersey and does “Touchdown”. (Although my dad passed away just as we we found out Anh was pregnant, and he never knew that there was a little Samwich coming. I’m still kind of sad about that.)

I know that my transition would have been hard on him, and I think about that a lot as well, especially on days like today, when he and I would have been so connected, and in it together. I hope he would have still loved cheering on the Pats with his youngest daughter.

Anyway… in Brady we Trust.

Brady

Today is a “Hat and Shirt” game, and they generally do pretty well on those days. 🙂

Go Pats! Lets hope that we see this next week:

Superbowl Parade

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