Sunday, June 15, 2008

Living Large

Once again, the 'dorf has come up big in annual rankings of the best places to live. It's 36 on the Mercer list of best places to live. Apparently the availability of Mexican food is not a ranking category. But it still ranks ahead of Amsterdam (apparently weed is also not a category), Copenhagen, and NYC. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Doctor Zhivago Update

This was a huge mistake. On the heels of the "Wuthering Heights" beatdown, I started "Doctor Zhivago" (my copy is actually 50 years old). Ouch. If this is a faithful rendering of life before the Communist Revolution, I can see why people were ok with Lenin, Stalin & co. It's a gulag archipelago of boredom. Here are some excerpts:

"More vividly than ever he realized that art has two constant, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus it always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St. John."
"All the same, I'm feeling wonderful. I'm so happy."
"His relations with his wife were good but lacked simplicity."

It's picking up a bit now that war is setting in, but this is just a beating. How do relations with a wife lack simplicity? WTF? If this doesn't improve, I'm shunning "classics" like baseball shuns Bonds. On the positive side, the upcoming winter leaves open the possibility of everyone being eaten by rats.

Monday, June 09, 2008

French Open 2008

If you get a chance, you should go. Period. It's amazing. Great tennis, great atmosphere, and it's in Paris. So it's really a nice little deal. We spent Thursday with a court pass which let us into 17 of the 20 courts. We roamed & saw some good matches. Friday we stolled the outer courts some and then watched a few matches in the 2nd largest court, Suzanne Lenglen. As always (at least for now), more photos at (the "French Open 2008" album)

Olga Dormaschow (sp?) trying vainly to hold serve against Dementieva (taken from the 2nd row, thanks to the rain delay!).

Serena tries & fails to keep it together against Srebotovic.

Nadal treats another hapless opponent to a good, old-fashioned ass kicking.
John Voight Is In The Dorf!

What should be parked in front of my building yesterday? That's right, the Jo(h)n Voight car. Sure it's had a paint job, but who knew an Academy Award winner would visit the 'dorf? I tried to get an autograph, but he bit me.
Why It's A Bad Idea to Let Someone in Amsterdam Pick Uniform Colors

Easy, legal access to pot has been shown to lead to bad decisions. Case in point: the light blue socks on the 2008 Netherlands Euro uniforms. Ouch. Ease off on the brownies before you design the 2010 World Cup version, potsie.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ahhhh... Paris

Other than Bologna, Paris is the only city I've stayed in all 3 years I've been in Europe. Each trip has been very different, the first being the big group Grand Tour, the second a short weekend to myself, and this one was about the French Open. I've seen most of the major sights (and all the ones I "must" see), and so this time Scott and I could just hang out at the tournament during the day and enjoy the food, drink and scene at night. Photos, as always, at ("Paris May 2008" album).

Unfortunately, Paris isn't the most convenient city at night. Subways stop at midnight, and cabs are rarer than finding someone who pines for the Occupation. On the other hand, forgetting to bring a map is a good incentive to see a bit more of the city than you'd planned. After midnight.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bibione Photos

For the last 15 years I've been hearing how great Paganello, the monster beach tournament in Italy over Easter, is. It's not bad. Bibione, however, is better. It's more of a social atmosphere and less of a destination. People are there to play, relax on the beach and have fun -- not to check it off their ultimate bucket list. Of course, having checked Paga off my ultimate bucket list, I'm free to sneer.

Anyway, Bibione is one of the top 5 ultimate experiences of my life, without a doubt. If we'd finished 9th instead of 8th, it would've been bizarrely perfect. We had a blast, lost a minimum number of games, and I was on an unbelievable roll -- off the field. I was the comedy equivalent of Larry Bird in the '86 playoffs. Unfortunately, Like Larry Legend, I choked badly in my follow-up in the 'dorf.

Check out the photos at -- it's the Bibione 2008 album.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ahhhh... Venice

If you only have a day in Venice, make sure to spend it with good people. And eat some good seafood.

It was only a day, but it was a great day. CHeck out more photos at my shutterfly site,
Hello, Handsome Stranger

I was in the middle of a team meeting in the cafeteria yesterday, when I glanced up and saw this vaguely familiar-looking guy in a reflection off the window. It took me several seconds to realize that it was me. Not in the metaphorical sense of "I no longer know who I am," but in the basic, "what's his name?" sense. It was incredibly jarring. Fortunately, I realized who it was before I asked a coworker.
I'll Take "Rubbing It In" for $1000, Alex

For years, I've been enviously eyeing my friends' business trips to LA, New York, Vegas, Seattle, etc. I seriously coveted my neighbor's business travel. But now I will have to shut my whine-hole and As if going to the French Open (photos coming) wasn't enough, now I'm being sent to Prague for 3 weeks on a work trip. June 16th-July 6th I'll be enjoying the pearl of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the separation from my computer might lead to a lack of blogging and photos, but I will try to make up for it before & after. Feel free to stop by if you're in the neighborhood!