Summer Pics

Lots of fun the past few weekends…

Happy 2011

Happy New Year to all!

Mrs Portfolio and I moved into a new apartment for the new year, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan! Emphasis on east, but hey, we love the place and are really excited to be in the city after three years across the river in Hoboken. I’ll post some pics soon. Pull-out couch is available to friends swinging through town 🙂

Hung out with some friends yesterday watching football. I am further convinced that the Packers are going to win the Superbowl on the back of Aaron Rodgers. It really is looking like his year. The story of how he was passed over in the draft six years ago provides some great perspective on what is driving him. It’s going to be a great game against Evil Rapist Big Ben and the Steelers…

In other family news, Will finished just one shot out of the money in his latest effort on the Florida Professional Golf Tour. Hang in there buddy! Check out Will’s new blog for updates on his season. And Gia has a new blog too! Wow, Portfolio Family blog network!

Easter Party in Catonsville

Bob and Michael (Susan in the background)
Bob and Michael

I rode the Chinatown Bus down to Baltimore for Easter Weekend and had a great time at the Barbagallos! Katie and Bob really know how to throw a good party, and I had so much fun catching up with everybody. I saw a whole bunch of the Boyland clan, and it had been awhile.

I played golf with Nick and Will, and we realized with some amazement that it was the first time Nick and I have played together. I once played with Will back in ’07, when he had gotten stung on the hand by a few wasps who were living in one of the ball-washers. This time, he almost got stung again as he was sitting in the cart! I had several pars and a few nice drives, but I mostly rode the bogey train, and on the back nine I was struggling against physical exhaustion and just started hacking it up. First round of the year is a 94, and I was just glad to break 100 (and have the low round of the group :-))

On the way back, I was glad I could speak Chinese. The bus was late, or so I thought, because I was waiting in the wrong place. When I found the bus, they were ready to leave, but another person and I were running and flagging it down. The Chinese driver looked at our tickets, waived her on, and told me I couldn’t board. My tickets had something wrong with them. So I started speaking Mandarin to the guy, asking him what was wrong with my ticket, and we went back and forth for 5 minutes while everyone waited. He gave me the phone number I had already tried several times with no one answering. I cajoled him to call them himself, and he did, and they said let me on. Disaster averted! But when I boarded I could feel everybody looking at me, like, Who’s this asshole who just delayed us 10 minutes? So I said, “Sorry everybody! Thanks for picking me up!”

Hoyas Looking Good

March Madness is back. Having disconnected the cable about a year ago, I had to trek out to the local watering hole to catch the Big East final between my Hoyas and West Virginia last weekend. It was raining something spectacular, and Xianyi and I were hanging at home. I said, “Well, I’ve gotta go watch this game. I’ll be back in two hours.” Wherein I proceeded to one of the many shitty bars that I despise, alone, and sure to run into no one. It’s literally 45 seconds away, and I was drenched when I got there.

Georgetown lost on the final shot, which was some kind of miracle thrown up in desperation, and maybe the ugliest winning shot of any game in the history of basketball, but whatever. We have more Big East trophies than any other team, and this was the first for the Mountaineers. So, well done. Now we move onto the Big Dance.

How you like them Hoyas?

***

So Tiger’s coming back. Everybody knew he’d never miss the Masters. But why no warm-up tournament? I gotta think Arnie is a little miffed that Tiger won’t be at Bay Hill. My theory is that Billy Payne and the Augusta whitebreads will enforce a strict zero-sex-questions policy in the press tent, and employ plainclothes officers to follow El Tigre around the course from outside the ropes, ready to make an example of any “patrons” who wanna get cute.

Some Good Will Come of This

The world of Tiger Woods is falling apart, his reputation is dinged and he may end up paying lots of money to one or more women – but at least one good thing has resulted. This is the end of the Church of Tiger Woods movement.

A mere mortal, after all
A mere mortal, after all

Seriously. You didn’t know about www.tigerwoodsisgod.com? The First Church of Tiger Woods, where they rejoice in “the emergence of the ‘true’ messiah”, was recently renamed by its Pastor, “The Damnation of Tiger Woods.” There you can find several long posts directed at Tiger from the Pastor, who founded the church back in 1996 but has now decided to disband it, on account of Tiger’s Transgressions.

… you might think that such a decision might be difficult. In this case, it was not. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods has made it all to easy to realize that he is no longer worthy of any special admiration.

Check it out soon, because the Pastor won’t be renewing the domain. My favorite part is the photo captioned: “Proud Father looks on as Tiger Woods wins the Masters.”

Milano

With the sun setting early now that daylight savings time has ended, I’m reflecting on my recent trip to Italy.

I was lucky to receive an invitation from my good friend Andreas. He is an aspiring professional golfer, and had reserved a space in the qualifying tournament for the European Tour. Stage One was a series of 4-round tournaments, and ours took place in a little town called Bogogno, near Milan. Andreas offered to pay my airfare and hotel for the week in exchange for caddying for him during the tournament. How could I say no? Continue reading Milano

Holiday Weekend

Uncle Steve carves the turkey
Uncle Steve carves the turkey

Thanksgiving weekend was nice, despite some mild drama (par for the PortFam course at the holidays). We drove out to PA and stayed with the Violas, who cooked up a feast. Gia and Mom were there, too.

The food was excellent, as usual for a meal from Uncle Steve, although dinner eventually devolved into an argument over politics and other nonsense – and things only got worse afterwards, when some miscommunication led to rather heated exchanges. Continue reading Holiday Weekend

Pros vs. Joes

The annual golfing tradition known as Pros vs. Joes took place recently, and it was not pretty for the Joes.

The pros – Pete and Remy – were looking to avenge their losses in the first two installments of the Fall Finish last year, when Johnny cakes and I destroyed them twice – first at Hackensack, then at Ridgewood.

One of the benefits of being a looper is that you can play top notch courses for free, by virtue of your friendships to the people who run these places. When the fancy clubs are closed to members, there are opportunities for the workingmen to enjoy themselves on the fairways and greens.

This time, sadly, it was more often the rough and the sand for me and my partner. It started off with a bad sign: I lost an entire brand new sleeve of Titleists on the first hole. Two in the water off the tee, and a third, dropped behind the pond, also failed to clear the drink. All day, the Joes won 2 holes, I think. The final verdict was a $36 dollar defeat.

We had a beautiful day for it, though. Late October, leaves changing color, a crisp breeze but sunny skies that meant the sweaters could stay off most of the day. Afterwards, three of us went down to the Hudson Tavern for a kingly feast. The pros were gracious enough to pick up the tab.