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Posts Tagged ‘Sean’

Happy Birthday, Sean!

Dear Sean,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thanks for letting gimpy and back-sore me take you, your tender ankle and your crutch out to lunch today! But mostly, thanks for waiting to dig into what was by far one of the prettiest platings of sushi my eyes have ever beheld so that I could take photos of the massive green and orange roe-topped Dragon Roll.

You were such a good sport, in fact, that I chose not to make you sit through my surely-awful rendition of the Happy Birthday song, which I would have inevitably ended with a dramatic, “…and many moooooorrrrreeeeee!” in a surprisingly deep voice, causing you to wonder if I am a talented low alto, or a transgendered person.

seanbd2009

Always feeding the mystery, right along with feeding you lunch…

Love, Jen

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A complete shutout

One of the list items on my Ultimate To-Do List is to see an ice hockey game in Canada with my sister, Jaclyn, and her fiance, Jason. But Jay, who grew up in upstate New York near Canada and who has played ice hockey, is a serious fan. I worried slightly about not knowing enough about the game, and as a person who prefers life sports to watching sports on TV, I wasn’t sure that I’d understand what was going on down there on the ice when I finally did get to go and watch a game in person.

So, last night I popped my ice hockey cherry with a match up between the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens at the Verizon Center. (I did not, however, pop my ice-hockey-inCanada-cherry — that’s still reserved for Jaci and Jay!)

But about the game… Did I mention? I LOVED IT.

Honestly, ice hockey is a blast to watch! During each of the three periods, the action keeps on going — I’m sure that the frequent player substitutions helps to keep those five on the ice fresh, so they can keep the pressure on the opposing team… which is exactly what the Caps did! They kept the pressure on Montreal, and at one point two Montreal players were in penalty so it was 5 against 3! The Caps didn’t score while they had the advantage, but that scramble fired them up and shortly after the playing field leveled back to 5-on-5, they scored their second goal of the evening! While I’m really glad I took my camera, I discovered that it was hard to stand up and cheer with a camera in one hand and a beer in the other. Consequently, my voice is a little hoarse today!

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Final score? A complete shut out at Caps: 3, Montreal: 0! A great game, good company (Thanks for scoring us tickets, Sean!), and a decent beer at RFD afterwards to let the metro crowds die down!

Making My Case: At one point during the game I’d gotten up to use the restroom, and when I returned I was waiting by the usher for a stop in play so I could take my seat. The usher was talking to another man about how many women show up for ice hockey games now, and he just didn’t understand why it was appealing to them. He turned to me, and asked me why I enjoy ice hockey. My response, “It’s Fight Club on Ice. What could be better?!”

Yes, Tyler Durden, I do believe I’m now a hockey fan.

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Up until recently, I was the girl who had never seen a Coen Brothers’ movie. I was initiated into this world by Sean, who popped Fargo into the DVD player one rainy Sunday evening. I think I sorta busted his anticipation by guessing that the noise in the background of the snowy homestead scene was a wood chipper! 

Next? Raising Arizona. Knowing I’m not a huge fan of Nicolas Cage’s, Sean drummed up the Holly Hunter angle, the crazy baby stealer angle, and the “It’s a COEN BROTHERS MOVIE!” angle. As with Fargo, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. And I learned that I can stomach Nic Cage more when the movie is a bit silly, because I find him a little bit cartoonish in general.

Most recently I fell asleep after watching the first 45 minutes of No Country for Old Men at Sarah and Mike’s house late one night, but the good news is that Sean recorded it one evening and I was able to watch it the whole way through shortly after. Watching No Country for Old White Men at Second City in Chicago with Jamie was much funnier, but I realized that I was (in my own way) developing an appreciation for the Coen Brothers’ work. Javier Bardem was chillingly good in his role as the miscreant villian with weird hair. And I totally found myself wanting one of those air-canister gun things, although I have NO FREAKING IDEA what I’d use it for.

Then last night I saw Burn After Reading. A fourth Coen Brother’s film, and a fourth time I’ve ended a movie not sure, exactly, how amused or how entertained I am. Not sure whether I really “got” the film, and yet again unsure as to how to sum up what I’ve just seen. I’m never upset that I spent the past two hours watching one of their films, but neither am I so moved as to say, “I’d watch that again!”

Upon ruminating overnight on this most recent movie, and at the behest of my friend Max in a recent comment, here are my thoughts on Burn in no particular order of importance:

1. Brad Pitt’s character, Chad, is funny and Brad plays him well. HOWEVER COMMA — I felt like most of the physical humor (Chad running on the treadmill at the gym, pumping his arms) was shown in the previews. Two scenes I really liked? The first phone call placed to Ozzie from Linda’s apartment, and the first face-to-face meeting of Chad and Ozzie, in Ozzie’s car. The nuances that Brad put into Chad’s “I’m sizing you up” expression had me cracking up.

2. Frances McDormand (Linda) has really gained my enthusiasm as an audience member through watching these Coen Brothers’ movies. But the character Linda is so self-centered and single-purposed that I had a hard time believing she was a functioning human being. I kept waiting for Will Smith to pop out from around a corner and whip out his flashy thingy to reprogram my brain, “You did not see an alien in the form of Frances McDormand. All is well. Peace out.”

3. I LOVE LOVE LOVED the interaction between the two top CIA officials, David Rasche and J.K. Simmons. Beautifully played, boys, beautifully played!

4. George Clooney is another actor who is a cartooney tool. I haven’t even seen Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? yet, but if I have to watch him make wide-open eyes in a prison suit throughout those two hours, I just might need to make myself a stiff rum-and-Coke before sitting down.

5. Clooney’s character, Harry, invents and makes a prototype for a very special chair… This was extremely amusing but proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Dear Mr. Harry doesn’t know women very well. I wonder, what research did he do to make sure his geometry was right?! I also had a hard time believing that smart, successful women would fall for his sh!t; I found him to be incredibly awkward and reluctant when he wasn’t being suave, and thus transparent. Only it did make sense that Linda liked him, because she wanted to see a likeness of what she saw in herself reflected back from him.

6. You could make a drinking game out of the number of times John Malkovich (Osbourne “Ozzie” Cox) and Tilda Swinton (Katie Cox) say the “Eff” word during this film. Just remember — Drink, Don’t Drive. Plan ahead to be sloshed!

7. Does Tilda Swinton always play icy cold bitches?! (Narnia‘s White Witch, Michael Clayton‘s Karen) — I mean, she’s great in that particular kind of role, but I’m concerned that perhaps she is getting typecast. Time to put her in a Baz Luhrmann film… We know he knows how to film porcelain; he’s worked well with Nicole Kidman.

8. I felt sorry for the poor loser, Ted. I also tottered back and forth between wanting to give him a wedgie, and wanting to slap his face and tell him, “Wake up, man!” The good news is, Ted had the most spectacular death out of all of the characters, with Chad coming in at a close second.

9. Which brings me to #9: If I ever watch this on DVD, I’m going to hit PAUSE the moment when Harry opens the closet door and the camera focuses on Chad, right before HARRY DOES WHAT HE DOES. (You know, because I’m not TRYING to give out spoilers here!) I have a feeling that particular screenshot, before the blood, would be priceless.

10. Good social commentary on how automated customer service telephone lines work. Everyone sleeps with everyone else. Those wedge pillows aren’t just for doing crunches at the gym. If you’re cheating on her, chances are she already knows and is having you tailed by her divorce lawyer’s firm. Apparently if you escape to Venezuela they won’t send you back to the US to face charges against you. If you have a disc of government secrets, don’t go to the Russians. The CIA doesn’t always know more than you do.

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He knows me well

 —–Original Message—–
From: Sean
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:19
To: Jennifer
Subject: I saw this and thought of you…

Jenerator, 

I thought you would really enjoy it. Open the page and click on the dark gray square in the upper left corner. Enjoy!

The Artist Formerly Known as Sean
—–End Original Message—–

 

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The other day Sean sent me a link to howmanyofme [dot] com, along with the stats for his full name which indicate that there are 222 other people in the U.S. with his same name.

The results for moi?

Apparently there are 1,421,191 people in the U.S with the first name Jennifer (21st most popular first name) and 671 people in the U.S. with the last name Amber (38,739th most popular last name).

I am not surprised about Jennifer — it was a very popular name when I was a kid and in every first day of class all the Jennifers would have to divy up the nicknames so the teacher could tell us apart: Jennifer. Jen. Jenny. Jenn-with-two-n’s. Lord help us if there were more than three or four of us in one classroom at the same time!

True story: When I was especially young, I was a Jenny. Then one day I decided I didn’t want to be a Jenny anymore. This was right around the time I stopped liking the color pink and starting “having an attitude,” if you ask my Mom. 😉 I’ve been a Jen ever since… and to this day very few people can get away with calling me Jenny… My parents, although they rarely do. My sister, and by association her fiance, Jason, because I like him well enough to let him get away with it. My grandmother. Heidi. Everyone else? It’s Jen, please, or Jennifer. But I digress…

So back to me and my name. There are apparently 3 – three! – people in the U.S. named Jennifer Amber. One of them turned up in a Google search: a tiny, leggy blonde model from L.A. Disclaimer: This girl is definitely NOT ME. I’m a short-legged brunette from Southern Maryland who will NEVER be a size 0. I’m not putting you on people, this is just how life is.

Since “Amber” is not a common last name, I decided to check out the stats for the rest of my family members. I typed in my sister and mother’s names, and the site said that there are “1 or fewer” people in the U.S. with their names. My question is: One or FEWER? As in, zero? Why  not just say, “There might be one, we’re just not sure! Maybe there WAS one, and she died… or maybe she hasn’t been born yet! Or maybe we just make up numbers based on the number of jellybeans we can successfully catch – in a row – by tossing them up in the air and catching them with our mouths.”

As a result of one statistician having VERY GOOD hand-eye coordination, there are 11 other individuals with the same name as my Dad running around. Using this research, I have deduced that my Dad has plenty of back-ups, but with only three other me’s I am a limited edition!!! Unfortunately, it is questionable as to whether or not my Mom and sister actually exist. I’d better give them a call, huh? *grin*

How many of YOU are in the U.S.?

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Thank You, Sean

Last night Sean and I attended our last ballroom dancing class before Amy’s wedding (neither of us can make the August session). We practiced our Foxtrot, and said “Pooh!” to the East Coast Swing and the Polka. We enjoyed the Southern Maryland Swing Band’s musical stylings, and eventually decided to retire. As he was dropping me off, Sean extended a most welcome invitation. He asked me if I wanted to meet him at the pool Sunday morning to swim some laps.

Now, I don’t think I’ve been in a pool to do anything more than float or do underwater handstands since Mom signed my sister and I up for swim lessons when we were in elementary school. But I’ve seen Sean really embrace swimming in the past year, and I knew that he was kind enough not to make fun of me or make me feel bad if I put forth a poor first showing. So really, despite being incredibly nervous for agreeing to do something I never thought I’d like (Laps? Boring.), I was surprisingly excited that Sean had asked me to go with him, and that I could get pointers on my strokes from someone who actually knew what he was doing!

So today, after Sean’s round of golf, I met him at the base outdoor pool. Sean’s usual pool workout is quite awe-inspiring for a newbie like myself. One length is 50 meters, and two lengths is a lap, or 100 meters. Sean swims 10 laps, takes a five minute break, and then completes 10 more laps (2,000 meters, or two kilometers) during a standard workout. Cra-zee!

We shared a lane, with Sean leading and yes, lapping me. I did one entire lap of breast stroke, after which Sean took a moment to point out that I needed to get more use from my kick by traveling forward more before sweeping my hands and coming up for a breath. Basically, I was setting myself up to burn myself out. So, since the most important aspect of this pool venture was the exercise and not the speed, I grabbed a boogie board. On the length headed toward the deep end, I held it with my left hand and basically did a modified breast stroke, then on the length headed back toward the shallow end, I swapped the boogie board to my right. I found that I was definitely weaker on my left side (not unsurprising).

During Sean’s first 10 laps, I did four. But during Sean’s last 10 laps I “found my stride” and completed six! Do you know what that means, people??!!?! I SWAM TEN LAPS THIS MORNING! that’s 1000 meters, or one kilometer! Basically, a little over half a mile!! I’m so psyched… I really thought I’d go, I wouldn’t be good at it and I’d get frustrated and give up.

So, I just wanted to say “Thank you, Sean.”

Thank you for taking me swimming with you today, for taking your first two laps slower than normal in order to help me out, and for not dunking me under in the deep end.

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…because tonight begins the Great Dog Watch of 2008 (happily coined by Sean)!

Tonight I report to the wagging tails of Kelsy and Dakota, my two favorite canine furkids! The first leg of the Great Dog Watch 2008 ( GDW08 ) is from 5/5 to roughly 5/25, or whenever the grandparents arrive to relieve me. Upon my return from Chicago (visiting Jamie, yay!) I also return to these lovely ladies, until about 6/12 when work will finally let Human Dad return home to his house and furkids!

GDW08 will take a break for a few weeks, but returns for two weeks in July: 6/29 – sometime around 7/12.

It is my belief that the GDW08 will make me the all-time ROCK STAR of the dog-sitting world! But what of my poor, little blog — all alone out there in the world wide web while I’m playing fetch in the backyard and trying to figure out how to cut a 45 degree angle on the table saw?

Well, I have it on good authority that Awesome Curtis is going to help me out by letting me borrow a not-often-used laptop with wireless internet connectivity, so hopefully the word and picture fun can continue. THREE CHEERS FOR CURTIS! Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip, Hooray!

You’d better cheer… because otherwise you’d miss me, right? 😉

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