THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
2000-12-31 - 16:54:21
Looking back on the year
I don�t do resolutions, so here is my look back at 2000.
Driving into the Year 2000, New Jersey Turnpike overpass before Exit 7, Philadelphia NPR countdown, then fireworks in the distance ... Party at Jaime�s, Manayunk, Pa., catching up, then passing out, 4 a.m. ... Time off � finally � and off to Austin, Brad meeting me at the airport and a cab ride with warm Texas spring coming through the windows; snow back home ... A wild, drunk night with Heather and Brad in Austin, the Music Capital of the World, an invite to return in April for Bruce, Bob Schneider at Antone�s and searching for Sandra, celebration of Waitangi Day (Feb. 6) ... Enjoying Texas, visiting Pedernales Falls and LBJ�s Ranch, dinners out and TV with Heather (�Hood subject to elephant rump damage�) ... Back to New Jersey, Bryan visits and a night out in New York with Mia; dinner at a Mexican place, playing games at ESPN Zone, enjoying Notre Dame�s upset over UConn ... �It�s time to go home, ol� boy,� Feb. 13, the day Charles Schultz died ... A Valentine�s Day drive to Island Beach State Park, a walk on the deserted beach in the cold winter fog ... Lisa�s birthday (Feb. 22) and dinner out with her, friend Matt(?), Elise, Heather; the plan for Bruce tickets as a gift ... Trip to D.C. for Cowboy Junkies, visiting Jamie in warm 60-degree Washington, her Christmas tree still standing, then the drive home and car trouble on I-95 in Maryland ... Bruce dialing (March 4), eight tickets for two June shows at The Garden ... Big East basketball, March 8 and 9; morning games on the 8th, then watching ND crush Rutgers from work that night ... On the 9th, a full day of hoops heaven, then a break for beer at Barrow St. Ale House before ND�s close loss to Miami � last-second miss by Troy Murphy ... Selection Sunday, ESPN in South Bend, but no bid ... The Ides of March and Heather visits for seven hours on the way to Rome; lunch at Val�s and some driving around the Jersey Shore, plus a stop at the Press ... Holmdel baseball draft (March 19) and Seton Hall upsets Temple to move on to Sweet 16 � TYME TO SHINE headline rejected ... Lunch with Heather in Newark Continental terminal 3 during five-hour return to Austin layover ... Boys of Summer draft (March 26) at Neibart�s up north ... Notre Dame in NIT semifinals (March 28), victory over Penn State ... Mets open season with loss to Cubs in Japan (March 29) ... A Mets win the next day on Benny�s pinch-hit grand slam in the 10th ... NIT finals loss to Wake Forest, and the waiting begins � Troy soon stays ... Opening Day at Shea (April 3) with Jimmy, Dave, Gayle � almost lost the tickets; Derek Bell�s 8th-inning home run wins 2-1 game ... A cold night in Philly (April 13) for Mets 2-1 win; �Whasssuuuup!� with Dave B., Jaime, Karen ... Saturday (April 15) morning flight to Austin for the weekend leading up to Bruce; Latino comedy show and afterparty ... Sunday matinee of American Beauty, then a Monday stroll around UT campus before the night�s concert ... Tuesday return to NJ for work on Bryan�s and Dave B.�s mutual birthday ... Ken Griffey Jr. comes to Shea on Turn Back The Clock night (April 25) to promote Frequency; Mets win ... Belated Easter with Bryan and family in Massachusetts (April 30); more egg-toss olympics ... Into May and beginning the baseball column ... Beginning a week of baseball: Mets vs. Diamondbacks (May 21) with Mia, Coutenay, Cande in a homer-fest � Piazza�s crusher of Randy Johnson, then a Mets� 6-5 win in the ninth on Bell�s liner to right ... Afternoons at Big East Tournament at Bridgewater ballpark ... Night (May 25) at the ballpark � Waterfront Park � for Thunder game with BlueClaws staff ... Touching the Stanley Cup on the boardwalk, Pt. Pleasant ... Jaime�s birthday surprise in Philly ... Makeup date from snowed out Thunder/Ravens game (June 4); Dave meets Marjorie ... Don Henley at Radio City (June 8) and watching Devils/Stars Game 5 from Penn Station bar go into overtime; in the kitchen when Dallas wins it to force Game 6 ... Late Saturday (June 10) night, Jason Arnott�s goal brings Cup back to NJ ... Time to turn in the Volvo � June 17 I by the Grand Am and drive straight to work ... Staten Island Yankees� opener (June 20); Jason Faigin interview behind the backstop after his rough performance on the mound ... Matt arrives from Philly, late (of course) June 22 ... Brian, Will, Matt, myself on the way to Applebee�s dinner � three people, one car, three area codes stretching from NJ to Orlando to Seattle � it�s good to have a Friday off ... June 24, Amy Beth weds James in Rumson on a perfect, warm, sunny Saturday; reception at Shadowbrook, party at Elise�s � pool, drinking, pizza, Windmill, Walker making rope, shots (with Sharon), �WILL! WILL! WILL!� ... A Sunday downer, withdrawal, hangover from all the fun ... Night at the Cards � New Jersey Cardinals� opener (June 26) with downpour delay, then an early departure ... Springsteen at the Garden (June 27) ... Newark Bears story (July 6) altered by Ozzie Canseco�s suspension ... Dinner with Elise/Jaime in Philly (July 11), then the drive to South Bend (July 12) the day Matt Doherty leaves ND for Tobacco Road ... On to Chicago for dinner with Michelle (July 13) ... Tourning the Field Museum and seeing Sue with the other Michelle, then dinner, then photographing the Chicago skyline at night (July 14) before meeting up in the hotel bar with old friends in for the wedding ... July 15, Mia finally arrives in time; Barbara Ann Kurcz and Mike Bechtel are married on another warm, sunny Saturday in Chicago�s northern suburbs; reception at Chateau Rand ending with skankin� to the Skalcoholics, another night at the hotel bar and then a room on the second floor ... Next day, heart-wrenching drive into the late night to Batavia, N.Y., and crashing thankfully into bed ... A July 17 drive around Batavia, then a night at the ballpark ... Return home the next day and back into work ... Finally: interview with Ozzie (Aug. 1) ... Next day, Bears game with Steve ... Last day of work before vacation (Aug. 3), then a drive to Philly ... Off to rafting (Aug. 4), with a slight detour ... A day on the river, Aug. 5; Will falls over ... Heading home in the rain (Aug. 6) ... To Seattle, Aug. 7: Dave and I land, visit Microsoft, have lunch, hit the road and visit the Oregon Coast before dark; Tillamook closes down after dusk ... The drive to Crater Lake (Aug. 8), then a night in Eugene ... Return to Redmond via Mt. St. Helens (Aug. 9) in time to watch �Survivor� and hit the country karaoke bar ... A quiet Thursday before taking in Everett AquaSox game, with a follow-up on Darren Fenster (playing for Spokane) and story on Jake Daubert (playing for Everett) ... Write the story (Aug. 11) and enjoy Mariners/Indians at Safeco Field that night before a party night out at Romper Room ... Our final day in Washington, a two-car, seven-person excursion to Mt. Rainer Nat�l Park and exhausted, late-night dinner to Claim Jumper ... Return from Seattle, Aug. 13 ... Late August high school football preview stories: Red Bank, Rumson, RBC ... BlueClaws logo unveiling (Aug. 29) ... Happy Birthday to me � ND beats Texas A&M in football ... Cape Fear Crocs play final game in Maryland (Sept. 4), but I don�t make it ... Sept. 12, a walk along the Appalachian Trail on hot, humid Sept. day ... Trip to Atlanta (Sept. 18-20) to see Mets get nailed (miss the one they win on the 20th); but enjoy touring CNN, Carter Library (and meeting the former Prez), Martin Luther King Site (all on the 19th) ... Olympics have begun and the time thing really gets annoying ... A weekend at the Beekmans' ... Wilkens wins silver; Pearce and women�s soccer settle for silver in OT ... Amy Beth returns home for first time as a wife, and a weekend BBQ on Sept. 30 ... Dave and I trek up to Massachusetts for a day with Walker in the Berkshires (Oct. 9-10) ... Mets win National League Pennant with victory over Cardinals in Mike Hampton�s last gem (Oct. 16 � National Boss Day) ... Middletown�s parade for Wilkens, Beckerman (Oct. 22) ... A fall drive through New Jersey (Oct. 23), stopping at historic Batsto Village ... BlueClaws party, stadium naming Oct. 24, the night of the Mets� World Series win ... A rare Saturday night off (Nov. 4), spending the night in New York with Mia, Lisa, Nate ... Election Day (ugh) Nov. 7 and the beginning of the diary ... Lunch with Mia (Nov. 17) to exchange tickets; walking around lower Manhattan financial/historic district ... Notre Dame downs Rutgers, Nov. 18, then a night out at Val�s ... Thanksgiving with Jeff from California, the whole family from Maine � plus Juan Carlos from Colombia ... Friday night off and dinner, then hanging out at Amy�s with James, Jaime, Dave B., Will and Brian ... Off to South Bend (Dec. 5) and delayed in Chicago (what else is new) before frustrating loss to Indiana on the hardwood; but good news: dinner at BW3 and the first word of Laura�s engagement to David ... Snow comes on Dec. 6 and I get my Christmas card shot before heading out to dinner for Jess�s birthday; then on to Senior Bar and Club 23 ... Jess�s birthday and lunch with Greg at the seminary before heading home with weather delays because the snow has not yet stopped � rerouted through Detroit, but delayed getting there and delayed leaving, but enjoying Sam Adams and then � finally � the quick flight home ... Dinner for the holidays (Dec. 18) with New York friends (first drinks with Lori, Jess, Will meets us) then down to Lower East Side Italian restaurant to meet Nate, Lisa, Dave, Mia ... Matt comes home (Dec. 19) and we make a stop at Val�s ... Days with Matt, Dave, finish the shopping ... Stopping by Val�s Saturday night (Dec. 23) for a fun night in a crowded bar ... Christmas Eve and the traditional Rolak breakfast, where my pictures from the Seattle trip given to Matt are a hit; work in the afternoon, then Mass with the family ... Christmas Day is merry and bright, though quiet until the movie � Cast Away � and the loud crowd ... Dec. 26 with Jaime, Dave B., Dave, Matt, Elise, Lisa, Amy, James and my new game � Loaded Questions ... Matt heads home ... Lunch with Walker (Dec. 29) ... The snow comes, Dec. 30, and I shovel all day ... 4:30 a.m. pickup by Walker for the ride to the airport after the blizzard (Dec. 31) and it�s off to Phoenix and the warm afternoon in the Valley of the Sun; Tempe block party and driving to Courtenay�s and CJ�s house at 10 p.m. � the East Coast New Year � then playing Cranium up until the Mountain Time midnight and Times Square television rerun bringing in 2001 ...
Next page: I went to Phoenix, Arizona
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