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Random Recollections Of My Vacation

July 22, 2008 - John Whittaker


That felt good.

Vacation is over, unfortunately, and I'm back at my desk here at The Post-Journal. That doesn’t mean I'm not thinking, at least a little bit, about last week. Some highlights:

On Saturday, the News Gal and I took off to Hartfield to hit the flea market at the Dart Airport, something we say we want to do a bunch of times every summer, but usually only hit once. I found a couple of neat Christmas presents for my mom and dad, and came THIS CLOSE to finishing my 1987 Topps baseball card set - I bought a box of cards I thought was a complete set for $5, but came about 40 cards short. More on this later.

After the flea market, we took off to the Crossroads market near Westfield - the first time either one of us had gone there. It's really neat and worth going to. There are three buildings, each with several vendors and at least one food vendor and a place to eat. It's worth going to, if only for the view of the surrounding country side from the top of the hill where the market is situated.

Go figure that, on the week the News Gal and I took vacation, we didn't get a chance to watch a Yankees game together until Monday night. Because of the All-Star break, a game not televised on YES until late Friday and two day games, games were either watched the day after the game was played or during the day. My thoughts: Sidney Ponson still looks a little too much like Porky Pig, though we'll take any good games out of him we can get, the bottom of the order needs to start hitting, it really sucks that Jorge Posada had to go back on the disabled list, and I'd love it if the team scored any runs for Joba Chamberlain. More on all of those thoughts later, too.

Much wedding progress was made over the vacation. The News Gal went dress shopping and found bridesmaid dresses - and she played for the people, too, finding really pretty dresses without breaking the bank. We found some of the decorative stuff we wanted for the reception hall and went to the hall again to start getting ideas of things we need to do yet. Next up on the agenda - TRIMMING THE GUEST LIST! But, things are going pretty well so far.

With no Yankees on the tube, and needing at least background noise to keep us occupied, we bought three movies. I'd highly recommend 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl. Good story, good plot, well acted, and something I'm sure we'll watch again, even though it makes the newspaper business look really crappy. National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets didn't match up to the quality of National Treasure, but I'll keep it and maybe watch it again on a rainy day. For a movie that was supposed to have a lot of twists, it was incredibly predictable. Third on the list is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. It will soon be sold, along with Spanglish, in the News Gal's yard sale. If you're going to make a spoof, at least don't make a cliché spoof. I can't believe someone with John C. Reilly's talents was wasted in that movie. It really sucked. We also watched Waiting, starring Ryan Reynolds. I didn't like it that much at first, but watching it again, the movie's really not that bad. If you see it in the $5 bin or in a 4 for $20 sale, it's probably worth picking up.

Last, I finished The Choice - what a great look back at an interesting time in American history through the eyes of Bob Woodward. The great thing about Woodwards books is that he writes them like a novel rather than a news story or historical text, which means you really invest in the characters. When he writes about Colin Powell's decision not to run - because his family was against it and because he didn't have the "fire in the belly" for politics - you really feel the decision. When Bob Dole is convinced his campaign is heading down the tubes, you also feel his pain in losing a chance at the presidency. Wonderful book.

While in Erie, I picked up a copy of Joel Sherman's book, Birth of a Dynasty, in which Sherman takes a look at how the 1996 Yankees were put together and all of the struggles that team had. I won't write much now about that book - future shameless blog alert! - but I will say Sherman did an unbelievable job chronicling how that team was built and puts a big hole in the image of "The New George." I finished the book in a day and a half - couldn't put it down - and recommend it to any Yankees fan.


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