Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If I could wish upon a star, I would hitch a cable car...Won't you save me, San Francisco?

Had a heck of a birthday vacay in the city by the bay.  Here's a few highlights:

Transportation.  We hit all the kinds.  Taxi, BART, CalTrain, PediCab, walking, biking, ferry, Cable Car.  Each was a different, authentic look at the city.  My faves were the PediCab and the Cable Car.  Almost got my ankles swiped by a crazy driver standing on the outside of the Cable Car, but I guess that goes with the territory.

Riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge
Food.  Burgers and local beer in Sausalito.  Homemade pasta in short rib ragu in Little Italy.  Authentic Mexican brunch (I know you don't think of Mexican as breakfast food, but they do it right).  Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.  Ghiradelli cookie-bottom sundae.  Late night pesto pizza.  Polish sausage from a street cart.  Yummm!
Polish Sausage with Sauerkraut and Red Onion Relish
Touristy things.  The Golden Gate Bridge.  Fisherman's Wharf.  Pier 39.  Ghiradelli Square.  Union Square.  Alcatraz.  Lombard Street.  We pretty much did it all.

Felon in Cell Block D
Giants game.  Those folks love their World Series Champions.  While I felt like a poser in my just-purchased Giants' t-shirt, I had a blast cheering for the home team.  Hot dog, beer, churro, sunshine, nail-biter game won on an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.  Did I mention they put on a fireworks show for my birthday?  Strong work.

Happy Birthday to Me!
Wine.  Our tour was cut short by a driver who called in sick.  But we still managed to hit a few wineries and sample our fair share.  The hands-down highlight was Homewood Winery.  Killer food pairings, uber-friendly staff and volunteers, and AMAZING wine.  The Barbera was to-die-for.  The Chardonnay was good enough for me to buy two bottles, and if you know me, that's a big deal.  Among the 4 of us (I'm not counting Brad and Rachel because they were too poor to buy any), we walked away with 50 bottles of wine.  Not joking.  I was the responsible one and only bought 10, and half were for Dad.  But that tells you how much we liked them.

Sonoma Valley Vineyard
And there was my five days in San Francisco.  Made complete by a turbulent landing in Denver that had me sick enough to warrant the paramedics.  Awesome.  And now I'm watching the snow continue to fall and add to the 3 inches from yesterday.  Welcome to April in Colorado.  Bottom line- San Francisco is a great city.

Monday, April 15, 2013

"You go to Sunday dinner and all you do is fight. You sure you're not Italian?"

So I'm watching Blue Bloods, and I had to laugh when Danny asked the OR pharmacist if she was familiar with fentanyl.  The first words out of her mouth were "Yeah, synthetic heroin."  (Also, my brain wants to spell heroin h-e-r-o-i-n-e, cause that's the better kind)  I don't know a single pharmacist who thinks of fentanyl first and foremost as synthetic heroin.  Some see it as a pain med, some as a procedural sedation for RSI or a reduction, some as a sedative anesthetic in the OR.  I suppose as long as Blue Bloods stays away from pharmacy, I can keep watching.

I've been trying to figure out why I like this show so much.  There's not a lot of humor or any sort of love story (unless you count Linda and Danny, which I'll get to), and through a little more than a season and a half, I'm not sure I've seen a ton of character development.  Character revelation, yes.  Each episode, we do get to see a little more of each character's soul, but they aren't really evolving or growing that I've seen.  Those are all the main reasons why I like most shows.  But something about Blue Bloods just keeps pulling me back.

I think it's simply that no other show on television is so rooted in a family's commitment to faith and family and justice.  Nobody on TV has a moral code anymore.  Much less an entire set of characters.  Most episodes have me thinking that Danny is finally gonna blow it with Linda.  Or Erin is being just too darn strict with the letter of the law.  Or Jamie is going to get killed because he kept something from his dad.  Or Frank's stubbornness is going to prove to be his downfall.  But these are their human sides and weaknesses. And it makes it that much more appealing when they triumph over them.  When Danny gave Linda his badge after she threatened to leave him, and she said, "I don't want you to quit being a cop," I nearly cried when he said, "I just need you to know that I would."  Since when does marriage get the trump card?  Never in our society.  But it should.

Every time the sibling fighting seems ready to boil over, one of them does something to show without a doubt that family and the right thing are more important than opinions and prejudices.  Every dinner starts with a prayer.  Mass isn't a four-letter word.  The Catholic priest was defended for his abuse accusations until the truth was revealed.  Four generations of moral conviction, compassion, work ethic, honesty, sacrifice, and love.  I think that's why I love this show.
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.