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Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer '19: Have You Seen Me Lately

Could you tell me the things you remember about me?
And have you seen me lately...

Dateline: 3:00am, Nick's Patio (South Bend, IN):  Young Jerrence is nervous.  The High Council has adjourned for its quintannual post-Reunion meeting and he's about to make his short-list recommendation of Classmates Who Should Be Put To Sleep.  

"I'm proposing ketamine..."
This topic is not on the meeting's agenda.  And with this group's slavish commitment to organizational rules, that could be an issue... what with their obsession to be addressed by their formal titles - what is a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer anyway - and insistence on everything be 'ratified this' and 'seconded that.'

Even with a management team not known for being the most linear of thinkers, Jerrence nonetheless feels good about the proposal - 40 years of consistent, observational data ought to count for something with leadership, right?   

Jerrence reminds himself that he needs to emphasize that he's not proposing anything as heinous as death (good Lord, we're not the KGB).  Rather, he's thinking an animal tranquilizer shot would do the trick, albeit a hefty dosage - say, something that would've dropped Secretariat coming down the back stretch of the '73 Belmont...

But then the esteemed CPO Dr. McGuire orders Steak & Eggs and the group's facial reaction is immediate, visceral.  

Half of leadership seem to be thinking, "that's a bold, if counter-intuitive, choice" while the countenance of others suggests more of a WTF-this-is-South Bend at 3am-does-he-think-he's-at-a-Ruth's Chris-satellite-outlet bafflement.

When the order comes and the aforementioned 'steak' turns out to appear to be more like a giant hamburger, the meeting's focus is broken and conversation turns to more mundane topics like, "Hey didn't we walk out the dorm with one more person?  Where exactly did they go..."

Speaking of other things that we didn't see coming, how about that 2018 Notre Dame football season?!  12-1.  BCS Playoff!  And hung tough w Clemson for roughly 3/8 of the game. Woo hoo!  

What that might mean for the '19 season is anyone's guess - but that's why they call it betting.

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph:  

Jerrence was getting frustrated.  No one was using - or more importantly, responding - to the safe word.  Or rather, they were mis-using the safe word.  Or rather, mis-pronouncing the safe word.

It's Bob Mueller, dammit.  As in 'Annie Muller.'  Not Bob Mueller, as is 'Ferris Bueller."

And Jerrence was paying the price.  Repeatedly, he was getting caught in conversations from which he needed extraction.  And with seemingly the same people. He thought he was being targeted... what karmic Crime Against Humanity had he commited... and this was no time for semantics - "Get me the f*** out of this, somebody!"

Hey, there's Ungie!  He sees me!  And he's smiling!  Huzzah!  And now he's heading... to the bar?  WTF?!  Sure, I left him in one interminably long convoluted conversation with a classmate - okay I may have actually poured an accelerant on the chat - but that was no reason to leave me hanging now. 

It was only later that Jerrence learned he'd been victimized by an insidious phenomenon as old as time immemorial, The dreaded Reunion Barnacle - that creature that once engaged with, affixes itself like a computer virus, seemingly cloning itself to enable its presence virtually everywhere you go.

And no Bob Mueller reference, however loud and well pronunciated, was going to save him from that.

If I cross your path again, 
Who knows where - who knows when...
Keep your distance.

If memory serves, that would've been only the 2nd weirdest thing Ungie and I heard from one of our classmates Thursday night of Reunion. 

Reunion Review
"Once Allies laughed and drank
But it was 40 years ago..."

Ah nostalgia.  40 years, some memories better than others. 

Without commentary (mostly because that same memory bank isn't what it once was)...

I said, "Sell, not buy, high..."

Dumb, Dumber and I'm Not With Them...

A wife knows when it's time to go...

Huzzah!  A Chicago-in-the-80's Reunion! 

Look - isn't that the LGBTQ flag?

"Please sir, may I have another?"
Dr. Coughlan says he can fix that, Albert...

Question of the Week

If you attended coach Kelly's talk to the Class of '79, you got to hear him speak (more or less) on the State of the Program. Interesting that at nearly the same time, Pete Sampson of The Athletic was also speaking to Kelly's boss - and one question jumped out to me:

Nutrition / sports science.  Having an ever so brief glimpse into the lunatic world of triathletes (see below), I now know that sh** be real.   So it's about damn time we catch up on that score, given all the other handicaps we establish for the team (e.g., transcontinental travel, having to actually study).  

Buddy's Buddy

So many strong candidates to go around over the course of the summer, mostly Reunion related, starting chronologically:  

1.   Bill Brittan - he who led the effort to get what was ultimately the ND sponsored Class of '79 Reunion Operating Fund (aka Let's Try and Make Lini Even Remotely Whole For All His Party Investment).

BTW, if you haven't contributed and would like to, this LINK is still active.    

2.  Tim Sullivan - responsible for providing this week's word, which also happened to be the Word of The Reunion. Notable on two fronts: its perfect analogy and its Engineering major source, both needing to be called out (lest we perpetuate the unfortunate stereotype of those more quantitatively oriented not being capable of advanced communication skills). Says the man still suffering PTSD from the one Engineering smoker he bartended at Senior Bar - so, so many pocket protectors in one place. 

3.  Daryl Madden - easily came the farthest, geographically, for the Reunion... and played golf not once but twice with arguably some of the class's biggest miscreants.

PLUS got us drinking on the back 9 of the Monogram outing, leading us to victory more drinking after the round.  

Good on ya, mate!  Visionary, Thy Name is Daryl.

4.  Jerry Castellini - speaking only for myself, for all the talk of 'barnacles' and identifying classmates for coma inducement, this was, in fact, a very, very fun reunion.  

Coach, you'll want to ignore Gruley in the front row...
And why?  You have to start with Our Man Lini.  For starters, recognize the considerable effort he puts into it: the great dorm venue (and Chateauneuf du Pape) / getting coach Kelly to speak / lining up the comedian (who knew his audience) / employing my daughter (cronyism so rocks)...  

I'm completely sure no other class's officers work as hard - thanks JC (and Barb, Julie and... hey, whatever did happen to Gary Fair?)  

5.  Michael Brooks, MD - gave me my latest summer book read and it is fabulous!  

Honestly, who even knew the Dillon guys could read?

Between the Trump-Putin bromance, the HBO mini-series "Chernobyl" and this book, it's truly The Summer of Russia.  

And no one is more pleased than me.  (Thanks, Mike!)

But here's the deal - allowing for all the notable achievements by the aforementioned luminaries, the most impressive thing I saw this summer occurred miles away from South Bend... though indeed I did witness many incredible things over Reunion weekend (see Jerry "Fireball" Perez).  So this week's award goes to The Budster's old homey, Ryan Corrigan, for her completion of her first full IRONMAN.

I won't bow. 
I won't bend. 
I won't break.
I'll tough it out. 

That's an understatement.

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run - 12 hrs and 49 minutes of ridiculous - at 5400' altitude.  

As she crosses the finish line, "Ryan Corrigan, YOU are an IRONMAN!" 
The coolest declaration ever.

(I'd apologize to most of you who've only heard me go full Proud Dad on this only about a dozen times.  But nah, the achievement still blows my mind so you get to hear it one. more. time.)

Wager 2019

Once again, congratulations to Moon Mullins.  You bested the Best of the Best. (Actually not even close to the anyone's best but hey a win is a win and the check still cleared, yes?)  Now it's time, as the Philosopher Jackson Browne might say, to get up and do it again. 

Unless you've been living under a rock, touring the Galapagos Islands or watching only Fox News (or all of the above), you might not realize 2019 is The Year of Keanu - as Mr. Reeves finally gets recognized not only as the acting maestro that he is but also being one of the entertainment industry's truly nice guys - and underrated smart guys (hey, a $360M net worth while staying completely off the Access Hollywood grid is doing more than a little bit right.) 

We should be so lucky if ND football has a year on the field like Keanu is having off it. 

TC’s Keanu Analogy
ND Connection

The Matrix
 Okay, so I didn't entirely get this film's concept - just like I probably won't understand if / how we get to 11+ wins.  

But in our 'ends justify the means' world, who cares?  We won't.  The film's financial backers certainly didn't... 



 If one viewed this film in greater esteem, I wouldn't disagree.  I mean, Keanu + Sandy Bullock + Dennis Hopper + Jeff Daniels?  Hello...

The point is, like this film, 10 wins would be considered very satisfying to if not all, a lot of folks,  including me.


John Wick
 All you need to know is they killed his dog. Even for the professional hit man, that's harsh. 

All bets are off after that. 

Like this movie, a 9 win season will leave you conflicted - it could've been so much better.

But damn there's some fun bits mixed in.


Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Will you be happy with a 'regression to the mean' type season?

Of course not.

Just like I had such high hopes for this film - utterly ridiculous in every way possible, where one walks out thinking "WTF was that?" -- similar to a 7-8 win season.



Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
No one would ever call this great cinema but it was a bit of launching point for Keanu - and that's what one would hope 5 wins would be for ND... something to build on.


4 or less
The Replacements
Not, in fact, a bio-pic of the influential Minneapolis band (which, Keanu as Paul Westerberg would be BRILLIANT) - but rather a really bad football flick, even Keanu couldn't save this disaster.  

Honestly, there's no defense for this movie - just like a 4 win season.

Schedule - 2019

2      @ Louisville                      
14     New Mexico                            
21    @ Georgia                       
28    Virginia            Linipalooza XV!                             

5      Bowling Green                               
12    USC                                         
19     OPEN                                   
26   @ Michigan                                    

2      Va. Tech                                     
9      @ Duke                                      
16     Navy
23    Boston College                                          
30    @ Stanford                          

Cocktail of the Month

Keeping with the Reunion theme, this week's cinematic cocktail explores the question, how does one keep a relationship strong and fresh over an extended period of time, whether it's the first seven years of one's marriage or 40 years of a shared collegiate experience.

(Answer:  the inextricable gravitational pull of the Midwest's Best Tailgate, memories prone to embellishment, lots and lots of liquor and invariably, spouses possessing acute senses of humor and a near 
limitless capacity for forgiveness.)

The 7 & 7 Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Directed by Billy Wilder

In The Seven Year Itch, a straightlaced advertising publishing exec's wife and kid hightail it out of Manhattan for the summer, leaving Dad alone just as a new hottie (hello, Marilyn Monroe) moves in next door.

Despite its saucy setup, this film was shot during the puritanical height of Hollywood censorship, leading even its own director to later denounce it as too chaste to elicit many thrills.
With a title derived from a term that suggests a marriage starts to lose its steam after seven years, this film inspires a cool summer soda that goes best in a copper mug - the traditional 7th anniversary gift, of course.
  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • 3 oz. lemon-line soda
  • 3 oz. ginger beer

Pour the whiskey over ice in a copper mug (or a rocks glass), add the soda and the ginger beer. You'll be standing over subway grates in no time (though I pray to God I'm nowhere near you when this occurs).

Source:  Gone With The Gin: Cocktails With A Hollywood Twist
by Tim Federle

Final Thought

Because Stupidity Has No Age Limit.

Annual Grace v. Dillon match.  36 holes*.  90F weather. ~ 9 hours. And four 62 yr. olds WALKING.
And this:  No. Final. Decision*.   (But a ton 'o fun.  Thanks, Ward / Bob / Jerry!)

*Lightning halted match after 34 holes w. Dillon 1 up with 2 to play.

To be continued in August.  

Just like this blog.