The Mrs. and I finally broke down and joined Netflix. We watched Wet Hot American Summer last night, and if its excellence was any indication of our Netflix experience, I might as well quit my job and take up moviewatching full-time. Crash is up next, with 41 more silent films, French classics, and documentaries (though no silent French documentaries, as far as I know) in the queue.

Only when the Red Sox are on the West Coast can I schedule a bachelor party, play six rounds of Dance Dance Revolution, eat a delicious meal, apply for a j*b, and watch an entire movie before prying my eyes open through three innings of dingers.


Paradise and the Great Satan

Jill and I spent the long weekend at Jeff's camp on Lake Cobbosseecontee, near Augusta, Maine. I hadn't been there for more than a few hours in several years, and I must say that a weekend there certainly takes on a new meaning as an adult. The chance to get away from computers and deadlines and lawnmowers and dishwashers in the serenity of a lakeside cottage (although I did escape to Portland for a j*b interv*ew on Friday morning and the dishes still had to be done) makes the nine-to-five grind a little more tolerable.

We spent the weekend swimming, drinking wine, and playing board games with Jeff, Arlene, Greg, and Grace, each couple taking turns cooking meals while the rest of us laid out in the hammock or the porch swing with a book and/or a beer. I even ventured out to the east side of the lake in a kayak on Saturday night and learned several valuable lessons, most of them about how taxing kayaking is on every muscle in the upper body.

Before my interv*ew on Friday and on our way home on Sunday, I got a few more chances to check out Portland, and I'm quickly falling in love with this little city. As long as the house sells and the j*bs come, there's no keeping the O'Connors away from Portland in the coming months.

I'm trying to use as much ink as possible on the fond memories of this trip and the prospects of a move to Maine because while we were gone, The Great Satan was once again rearing its ugly head back in the real world. While the Red Sox were busy losing three of four to Oakland, the Y*****s were finding their late-season form in a highly improbable sweep of the White Sox. They whittled their division deficit to a half game and pulled within 3 1/2 of Chicago, only to win again Monday night.

No big deal, right? This happens every year. Let's fast forward to last night. While I watch Jon Lester dismantle the Royals, I'm happy to see Seattle leading New York 4-2 every time NESN gives me an update. Can they come back? Sure. Is it likely? Not with criminal drunkard and desperate waiver wire pickup Sidney Ponson on the mound. The Sox game ends and I check the final score in New York, just so I could sleep soundly at night, only to find the following scenario:

Ponson somehow gave up just the four runs in six plus innings, and the dismal bullpen shut down Seattle into the ninth, keeping the game at 4-2 and placing it in the hands of surprisingly effective Mariners closer JJ Putz. The entire Y***** roster is injured (not surprising, as they average about 57 years old and have played 5-17 extra games in each of the past nine Octobers), so the Satans bring up Andy Phillips, Melky Cabrera and Aaron Guiel, a threesome almost as imposing as Warren Tire's Colvin-Tolman-Carr murderer's row in '91 Queensbury Little League.

Naturally, Phillips doubles, and after Cabrera strikes out, Guiel singles him home. No worries yet. Guiel moves to second on a wild pitch, caused by rain whipping around so hard that the game would have been called by now had The Umps' Boys not been losing. Jorge Posada grounds out for the second out, bringing up... wait a minute... Posada was called safe! On a call so obvious that the Associated Press called it "visibly wrong", baseball's slowest turtle-faced catcher was called safe on what should have been the second out of the inning, allowing some anonymous beardless centerfielder's would-be game-ending flyout to bring home the game-tying run. At this point, the game is delayed (it's safe now, since a baseball game can't end in a tie) and after two more innings of baseball that shouldn't have been played, Melky Cabrera hits a walk-off homer to clinch the Kitten Slayers' fifth straight "win". Unbelievable.

It's days like this that make me wonder why I still waste my time on this game. And then I remember Luis Gonzalez's bloop single. And I'm back on Lake Cobbosseecontee.


Shoe rank, etc.

An actual email from a woman who wants to live with Colleen. Unedited.