Tag: norm

Let’s play dress-up

Norm, Andy, and Scott were going to use our hotel room to get ready for the wedding. A photographer and videographer would be on-hand to capture the fiasco. Norm was the first to arrive, and seemed in high spirits. He was followed closely by the videographer. Norm was on and off the phone working out logistics and since Andy and Scott hadn’t arrived yet, the videographer headed downstairs to take exterior shots of the hotel.

Andy arrived shortly thereafter with Scott quick on his heels. I was hungry and so was everyone else, so we ordered up room service to the tune of 2 burgers, and 2 chicken sandwiches, plus sodas. The 30-minute order took only 45 minutes to be delivered. We didn’t want to start getting dressed until we had eaten. Andy, who had planted himself on Lisa’s bed, had the TV volume blasting and was watching Heat.

I should mention here that I practical joke that Lisa and I tried to pull seemed to go unnoticed by everyone. Lisa spent the entire morning at the pool and was absent from our dressing-room antics. However, prior to going down to the pool, we agreed on a plot, whereby Lisa made up her bed to look as though it hadn’t been slept in. I left my bed a mess. No one noticed. At one point, Andy even made a joke that went something like, “Yeah, only if we came in here and found that Jamie’s bed was made up and Lisa’s wasn’t” or something like that, and he still didn’t notice what we had done. I thought at one point, Norm might have noticed, but he didn’t say anything so our fun was spoiled!

One of the amusing things that took place at this time was when AJ called. AJ called me to see what we were up to and were he was supposed to catch his bus. He was concerned that the 2:05 pickup time was cutting it close to a wedding ceremony that started at 2:30. AJ can talk on the phone, so as a joke, I told him I wasn’t sure of the answers to his questions and I gave the phone to Norm. Norm had a difficult time getting AJ off the phone and handed the phone back to me. At this point, Andy, who was still laying on Lisa’s bed, looked at me shaking his head and waving his finger by his neck. I said to AJ, “I think Andy knows where you need to go,” and handed the phone to Andy. Andy eventually handed the phone to Scott and Scott actually spent a good deal of time on the phone with AJ before he hung up. And that is the story of how AJ was passed around between three guys the early afternoon before Norm’s wedding.

Finally we started to get dressed. This seemingly simple procedure gets more complicated when (a) no girls are around, (b) four guys are trying to dress in a tiny hotel room, (c) two additional camera people (for now the photographer had arrived) were moving about the room trying to capture the event for posterity. Also, we had to rush because we were behind schedule and Norm, Andy and Scott needed to be in the limo at 1 PM.

I helped Andy with his vest and Norm with his tie and I think several pictures were taken. Andy, for reasons known only to Satan, decided to change his clothes halfway in the closet. Good friend that I am, I called this to the attention of the photographer, who made sure to get pictures of a half-naked Andy standing in the closet trying to get dressed.

Norm handed out the various envelopes containing tips to Andy. He gave the rings to Scott. Andy, who had left the card that he and Mandy got for Norm and Vicky at home, decided to just hand Norm a check. When Norm would not accept just a bare check, I came to the rescue once more, suggesting that Andy put the check inside a hotel stationary envelop and drop it in the gift box that would be at the reception. Problem solved.

Eventually, we all finished dressing (even me). Andy did his hair, and then we were on our way. We got some good pictures standing by the elevators. I walked the boys to the limo, and then, in my full wedding costume, walked to the pool to collect Lisa, who had decided she’d rather stay at the pool than get dressed for the wedding.

But get dressed she did, and contrary to the popular belief that it takes a long time for women to get ready for anything, Lisa was ready to go on time and we were downstairs to meet the bus with time to spare. Once everyone was loaded on board, the bus made off for the Disney World wedding pavilion where Norm and Vicky were having their ceremony…

Spoodles and Jellyrolls

Some rest. We watched a couple of episodes of Friends, including, ironically, the Chandler/Monica wedding episode. It was nice to be able to relax for a while and stay off your feet. Eventually we had to get up and ready for the evening.

Lisa made dinner reservations at Spoodles, which servces a Mediterranean cuisine. It’s an open kitchen which is kind of cool. Lisa and I shared a lamb kabob for an appetizer. I had a beef kabob for dinner and Lisa had a pasta dish which looked much better than what I got. We also shared creme brule for dessert.

After dinner we headed back down the boardwalk to Jellyrolls where we were meeting up with everyone else. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar where the crowd send requests to the piano players and then sings along. It was a smokey, but a lot of fun. We got there at about 10 PM. I got a text from Norm saying they’d be there at 10:30. Then another saying they’d be late. Norm and Vicky showed up sometime well after 11 PM. But AJ, Andy and a bunch of other people got there right around 11 PM. It was the first time I saw AJ since arriving, because he arrived earlier in the afternoon.

I sang quite a bit, and was worried that my voice would be gone the next day. But it really was fun. Lisa made a request for Norm and Vicky and announced they were getting married. The piano guys brought them up on stage and had them do some dancing and other stuff. It was funny.

I think we finally got out of there sometime after 1 AM, but I’m not sure exactly the time. Lisa and I walked back to the hotel (which was not far). I went to bed with the good feeling of knowing that I could actually sleep in the following morning because we didn’t have to be up early to do anything.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The b/b’ette parties turned out to be really fun, because most of the time we were all together. Things got started in the lobby of the Dolphin hotel, where everyone was meeting. There were 8 guys: me, Norm, Andy, Scott, Bob and Matt, Norm’s boss. There were also several girls: Lisa, Vicky and Mandy. After a drink, we all got into a stretch Hummer limo with a mission of picking up several other people. The Limo was stocked with all kinds of drinks and over the next hour and half or so, we picked up several other people: Steve, Ken, JJ (Vicky’s Maid of Honor), Julie and at least one other person, if I remember correctly. When all was said and done, there were 14 of us in the limo.

We then headed for a place called the Blue Martini, or something like that, a typical Floria-style club/martini bar. Inside, we watched the ladies dance for a while. Even Andy got out onto the dance floor (he might have been the only guy aside from Norm to do so) which was a sight to see. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this because by this time, the battery in my new camera had died and I left my charger and spare battery at home. So from this point forward, I have to depend on everyone else’s pictures.

Norm’s boss, Matt, bought everyone a Kamikaze shot. We watched the dancing for a little while longer and then the gentlemen left the ladies at the club while we headed back to the limo for a 20 minute drive to a place, the name of which I can’t recall at the moment, but which I’m sure someone who reads this and was there will remember.

Andy and Scott had arranged for us to get a stage-side table, and indeed we did. We had a few rounds of drinks, watched the show, and in general, tried to make sure that Norm had a good time. It was fun (albeit, smokey), but it was not quite the same as Olympic Gardens in Las Vegas. Still, we had a good time, but after about an hour and a half, we had to leave in order to pick up the girls and start dropping people off at their respective hotels. (We only had the limo until 2 AM). We headed back to the martini bar and loaded the girls, all of whom were giddy and giggling, back into the limo, and then started making stops. Ours was the last stop and we were dropped off just before the clock struck 2 AM.

The plan for tomorrow is to spend half the day at Animal Kingdom and the other half at Epcot. Once again, we’re planning on an early start. We’ll see how that goes.

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

Today we took on the Magic Kingdom.

Lisa and I met Norm and Vicky for breakfast at the Picabu Buffeteria at about 7 AM. I had done a workout so I stuffed my plate with protein: scrambled eggs, bacon, and some fruit. The eggs were terrible, like something squeezed out of a tube or sprayed out of a can. But the bacon was good. We sat around eating breakfast and planning out our day.

Norm drove us to the transportation center and from there we caught a monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Our timing was perfect as they were just counting down to the opening of the gates. We got there right at 8 AM, and the this particular day, they were letting resort guests into the park one hour before everyone else.

Lisa and Vicky waiting for the Monorail.

Our first stop was Space Mountain. We got a fast-pass for a later ride on Space Mountain but we got into a relatively quick line for our first ride of the day. Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is different than Space Mountain at Dinseyland, but it was still fun.

This was Norm’s pose for much of the day.

Norm and Vicky are experts with fast-pass use and because of that we were able to make good use of our time. We went on a bunch of other rides: Pirates, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and back onto Space Mountain once again. Half way through our day, we met up with Norm’s brother Scott and his girlfriend, Meredith, as well as Norm’s sister Julie and her fiance, Bob and we spent the rest of our time there with them.

Norm and Vicky pose for the camera.

Our first attempt at Splash Mountain resulted in a 40 minute delay because the ride was not working. Eventually, we bailed from the line, but not before being given return passes, which are essentially the same as “fast-passes”. That worked out well because it meant that when we used our fast-passes for Space Mountain, we had four extra passes to give to Scott, Meredith, Julie and Bob so that they could go with us.

Scott pointed out this amusing angle of the Walt Disney statue. If you look closely, you might notice something funny about Walt (although my picture isn’t as good as some).

What’s ‘up’ with Walt?

That’s what she said

Just a quick post to say that the trip is loads of fun so far. I haven’t had much time to post because we’ve been out and about, but I will get caught up, just perhaps a day or two later than usual. I have been taking pictures, which I will get posted soon too.

We spent the day today at the Magic Kingdom with Norm and Vicky, and later, with Norm’s brother Scott and his girlfriend, and Norm’s sister Julie and her fiance. I’m just done napping and about to get ready for dinner. We’re meeting Andy and Mandy at 6 PM. Then, at 8 PM, guys and girls split up for their respective celebrations.

Oh, and I hope you all enjoyed the guest blogger this morning. She may be back again before the trip is over.

And now for a brief Jamie’s blog interlude

Good Morning, Jamie fans! This is Lisa, alternately known here as kruppenheimer who says she doesn’t get mentioned enough in this blog (I wish I knew how to make my name do that linky thing Jamie always does to his friends, but I’m a livejournal novice … Sorry.). So, here we are at Disneyworld, and your boy Jamie is downstairs at the gym, so I’m guest-blogging.

It is ridiculously early for Jamie to be at the gym. It is ridiculously early for most anything, really… especially when your body is on west coast time like mine. The Heavenly beds here at the Dolphin by Starwood are indeed heavenly, and yet I didn’t sleep all that well, perhaps in anticipation of the day ahead. So I’m up. And slightly bitter about it.

Anyway, a brief summary of yesterday. Jamie will blog later to tell you all about his airport misadventures which, to make a long story short, got him in to Orlando 15 minutes before me instead of the planned 90 minutes. My trip from LA was uneventful, thanks for asking. Upon arriving at baggage claim and finding Jamie, we (read: he) quickly decided a drink was in order while we prayed upon his luggage arriving on the 7:20 flight. One tequila shot (him) and one Amstel Light (me) later, luggage successfully in hand, we hop in the towncar on the way to the lovely aforementioned Disney Dolphin. I’ll let Jamie tell you about my little accident in baggage claim.

Check in… quick freshening up… and we’re off to meet the soon to be newlyweds for dinner. I am, at this point, starving, having only eaten an airplane turkey wrap and a bag of mini-pretzels. Norm and Vicky are, I think, on some sort of wedding adrenaline rush (who can blame them?), as they seem to have boundless energy. They also have an insane amount of stories, many of which Jamie already seems to know. These are the things I miss out on by living 3000 miles away. Dinner was fantastic, at a buffet-style restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge called Boma. Most of the food was “exotic,” african-inspired, and… surprising. (Tangent … I’m starting to see how blogging really encourages you to spill the minutae of your life. Weirdly self indulgent.) There was a lot of meat. A lot.

“That’s what SHE said…”

Jamie seems to be on a “That’s what she said” kick. I don’t know where gutter minded, tequila guzzling Jamie came from, but he’s pretty entertaining.

Fast forward to lots of nice conversation at dinner, and back into the room at about 11:30. Vicky wants to meet us at 6:55 for breakfast so that we can make it over to Magic Kingdom for the special resort-guest early entrance time of 8AM. Yeah, that’s how we roll…

This give me exactly 15 minutes until Jamie’s back from the gym, and 30 min or so til we have to go downstairs. I’m gonna have to wrap it up. For those of you who are wondering about the state of Jamie’s innocence, you’ll be pleased to know that there ARE indeed two beds in the room, and we have, of yet, kept to our own.

And also, Jamie doesn’t snore. Which is awesome.

Thanks for indulging me, maybe we’ll meet again soon.

Disaster! Averted!

I left for the airport at about noon for my 2:45 PM flight to Orlando. I had to make a stop at the post office in order to mail away my tax papers to my new tax person. Once that was done I was on the road and it didn’t take me long to get to the airport, find a parking space and check in. Dulles was pretty empty on a Wednesday afternoon. I checked in at the counter (checking 2 bags) and found that my flight was departing 15 minutes late, at 3 PM. That was fine because I had to wait about 1-1/2 for Lisa in Orlando.

I made my way to the terminal, and decided to get a sandwich from Potbelly. On my way back to the gate, there was an enormous line at the customer service desk, and I immediately became concerned. The concern grew when I heard someone say that the flight to Orlando was canceled and that there were no other flights available for the rest of the weekend. I got into the customer service line and called from my cell phone. I was on hold. But I noticed there were customer service kiosks that no one was using. I went up to one of those, put in my Premier card and was told pick up the phone. I did and was immediately connected to an agent. He told me that the flight had been canceled due to mechanical problems. There were no more direct flights but he could get me on a 2:30 flight to Philly and from there, a 5:45 flight to Orlando. It would mean I wouldn’t get into Orlando until after 8 PM and I’d miss dinner with Norm and Vicky. Since it was mechanical problems and not weather that caused the cancellation, I asked what my options were under Rule 240. The agent checked but all other airlines direct flight were full. So I had him book me on the flight to Philly and he assured me my luggage would get there.

I got to Philly on time and was talking to Norm on the phone when I heard an announcement that US Airways flight so-and-so was making it’s last and final boarding call to Orlando. I hung up on Norm and ran to that gate and pleaded with the agent to get me on this flight. (United had rebooked me on US Airways for the Philly to Orlando leg of the flight.) Somehow, she was able to do this and I managed to get on a 4 PM flight to Orlando. It was a good flight to, as I sat between two interesting people and talked with them for the entire flight. I got into Orlando about 10 minutes before Lisa. The only worry now was my luggage. I checked with the luggage office and was told my bags would arrive on the next flight from Dulles which was in about half an hour. I let our driver know and then Lisa and I went to a bar for a drink. When we got back downstairs, the bags were just beginning to arrive.

Some pictures from the evening


I’m heading out the door in less than an hour for my one and only mini-vacation between now and July and I am so excited! I nearly screamed a big loud, “Whoo-hoo!” as I left the office this morning. At this point, I’m all packed up. The house is in order. The chores are done. I’m ready to go. I’m going to have some lunch, and pack something to bring with me on the plane. Then I make a quick stop at the post office and I’m outta here!

My flight is on time (so far). I’m scheduled to get into Orland just before 5 PM, at which point I was for kruppenheimer to arrive. She’s scheduled to get in at 6:20. I confirmed with the car service that the driver will meet us at baggage claim at 6:20, then it’s off to the hotel to check in, followed by a quick hop over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to meet Norm and Vicky for dinner at Boma at 8:30 PM.

I’ll have my laptop with me and be blogging and posting pictures as often as I can. It won’t be “real-time”, but I’ll try and get some pictures up at least once a day so that strausmouse and rmstraus can live vicariously through the photos.

Vacation feels great!


In more of less of a panic that I wouldn’t know what to say at Norm and Vicky’s wedding, I decided today to actually jot down a few words. Actually, about 600 of them. (That’s really not a lot, considering it takes less than 3 minutes to speak them outloud.) I’ve read through it once, then set it aside and said it outloud to fix it in my mind. I think it works pretty well. I may need a little smoothing out here and there, but I did manage to capture the one thing about Norm and Vicky’s relationship that I wanted to capture (I think) so that’s a good thing.

I was intending to read a quote from Norm–what he wrote in my high school yearbook–as part of this thing, but I couldnt’ find an appropriate place or context for it so I left it out. But I include it below, because it is pretty damn funny, and totally typical of Norm:


This is Norman Perreault. Remember me? Norman Perreault? Oh well, I’m not so unforgettable. It’s been a rad time knowing you for two years and everything! Finally, hell has ended (that’s funny, I didn’t know hell could just END!) Anyway, it’s all over, finito, fini! We’re outta here, and I couldn’t be happier. Also, I couldn’t be more sad. I won’t be able to see all of you every day anymore. Just remember we have to see each other as much as possible. If we lose touch, you’ll be sorry. I’d hunt you down and really keep in touch with you. He he! So let’s party on during the summer, and relax, the worst has passed!

Norm then went ahead and drew a Metallica logo as a post script, after which he said, “I know it’s weak!”

One week from today Norm and Vicky will be married and on their way to the South Pacific. I’m still trying to figure out a way to sneak into their luggage and avoid going back to work.

March madness

Apparently, we have entered a phenomenon known as March Madness, as evidence by the seemingly dozens of college basketball games on in the bar last night during happy hour. People really get into this March Madness. There are these “bracket” boards all over the place and people try to guess who will end up as the final two teams to play one another when all other teams have been eliminated. There is a kind of mad, drunken obsession with these games, which perhaps explains the term itself. I just don’t get it. Basketball never seemed that exciting to me (although it’s better than football). But all of this hubbub over college games? I wouldn’t even know who to cheer for. I suppose I could cheer for Maryland, since that’s where I live. But it seems to be the better bet would be on UCLA. Granted, I didn’t got to UCLA, but I did got to UCR, and besides, UCLA, UCR, UCI, UCSB, UCSD, they are all just “annex” schools of Cal anyway, right?

I did have fun at happy hour last night, despite the basketball madness. It was a “going away” party for someone and we were there for hours. I finally ended up leaving just before 10 PM and I got home as the clock struck 11 PM.

I was up just after 8 this morning. I have a number of things to do this weekend, not the least of which is preparing all of my tax information and getting it sent out to my new tax adviser. I’m nearly 200 pages through Houdini and hoping to make some headway there as well. And I’d like to get through a few more Italian lessons this weekend if I could.

Incidentally, it’s exactly ONE WEEK from Norm and Vicky’s wedding in Orlando. I still have a few things to do in preparation for that. I leave on Wednesday and I have to get a shirt pressed. On second thought, I’ll probably just buy a new shirt. My neck size has grown some in the last few months and those 15-1/2 next sized shirts strangle me when they are buttoned up. I think I need to move up to a 16 or 16-1/2.

Rainbow Room Dinner 2007

Rainbow Room 2007
Originally uploaded by jamietr.

The eight of us (AJ, Denisse, Jen, Jason, Kevin, Vicky, Norm, and myself) all met the W at Union Square around 6:30 PM and after checking into our rooms, decided to head straight to the restaurant because the bar at the hotel was packed. So we packed into two taxis and off we went. We arrived outside Rockefeller Center at about the same time, took some photos and then headed to the elevator and up 65 floors to the restaurant itself. We had reservations for 8 PM, but since we wanted a window table, we agreed to wait a little longer. We headed for the bar and had drinks. I can’t remember what everyone had, but I had the Planter’s Punch, which I first discovered when I was at the Rainbow Room a year ago, and which I had not had since then. It was excellent!

We were seated about 40 minutes later and we did have a spectacular view of the city. We also had about the best service I have ever had at any restaurant I’ve ever visited. Our table captain was outstanding (and I was sure to give him a very good tip). Norm ordered a few bottles of wine for the table. Meanwhile, we sat around chatting and enjoying the view. The restaurant was crowded but it seemed like we were getting the full attention of our waiters and table captain. We ordered appetizers and then main courses. I had the grilled sirloin, which must have been in the neighborhood of 16 ounces and was excellent! When the meal was over, our table captain brought me a slice of chocolate cake and ice cream with a candle, and everyone else ordered dessert. All told, it was a terrific dinner, the more so because so many of my good friends were able to be there.

We must have left the restaurant at around 11:30 PM. The Rainbow Room proper was hosting a Bar Mitzvah and for those people attending, they were giving away half-dozen boxes of Crispy Creme donuts. It was either Jason or Norm (I can’t remember) who walked up to the donut station and took a box of the donuts, as if they had attended the event. That was pretty funny too.

When we got outside, it was raining pretty hard out, and of course, we couldn’t find a taxi. We tried for a while, but no luck. Finally, we found one and put the girls (and Norm) into it and they headed back to the hotel. The rest of us (me, Kevin, AJ, and Jason) made for the nearest subway and took the subway back to the hotel. We shared a drink at the hotel before calling it a night. It was a terrific evening, and it went by far too fast. I look forward to doing it again next year.

(I took a few pictures, which you can access on Flickr by clicking the image above.)

The Cleveland Crew: Then and Now

I came across my high school year book while doing my spring cleaning. It’s one of the things that I decided not to get rid of and, in fact, I got side-tracked skimming through it, reading what people wrote and looking at pictures. Hilarious pictures. Riotous pictures. Keep in mind, this was nearly 17 years ago. The great thing is that I am still very good friends with most of the people that I was friends with back then. And because I fear you won’t believe just how funny some of the pictures are, I’ve arranged for you to see a Then and Now of the Cleveland crew. Keep in mind that I photographed these from my yearbook and some of the pictures are fuzzy. And to be fair, I’ll start with myself.

Then Now

See the rest of the crew