Apple-picking and 4-year-olds playing soccer in New England. The Jets come close, which is a surprise. And “Homeland” ratchets up the tension

Sorry there was no usual Monday blog post, but I spent the holiday weekend with my fiance up in New England, visiting some friends of hers.
There’s a reason poets, songwriters and lots of other people have written so much art about fall in New England; it’s really all kinds of beautiful.

We visited a family that had two little kids, so we did all kinds of family stuff, like apple-picking, going through a “mini-Green Monster” hedge maze, and even went candlepin bowling, that bizarre form of the sport they only play up there. (That sport is way too hard; you get no pin action, the ball is tiny and doesn’t spin, and yes I’m making excuses because I sorta stink at it).

I also got to watch a soccer game played by 4 and 5-year-olds; it was like watching swarms of bees all chasing one tiny ball of honey. There were no goalies in this co-ed “game,” the goals themselves were miniature, and nobody really kept score, which was nice.

Concentration isn’t exactly a forte among these future stars; one boy spent most of the game fiddling with his sweatshirt, unable to decide whether to keep it on or off.

It was a terrific relaxing weekend out of the city, even if I had to endure way too many “Gronkowski” and “Brady” jerseys. Massachusetts is one of my favorite states, and in the fall, with the leave starting to turn, it really is something special.

**Ah, the Jets. As someone said on Twitter Monday night, only my beloved Jets can turn what should’ve been a 25-point blowout loss into a heart-wrenching defeat.
Despite playing with a mostly-inept offense, filled with guys most NFL fans have never heard of, the Jets hung in there with the undefeated Texans, losing by only six, and Jets had a shot to win on their last drive.
But man, this team just makes SO many mistakes, probably because it’s not that talented. Mark Sanchez played only OK, throwing so many passes too low that they’re tipped, or too high to be caught. The Jets receivers blew all kinds of plays, the defense missed all kinds of tackles, and once again there was ZERO pass rush.

Plus, they burned two timeouts in the second half because they have no idea what to do with Tim Tebow, getting plays in late and having the wrong personnel. Pathetic how disorganized the Jets coaches are.
They’re 2-3 and while Monday was slightly encouraging, this season has 4-12 written all over it.

** “Homeland” followed up last week’s terrific season premiere with an incredibly tense episode Sunday night (SPOILER ALERT, STOP HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED YET).
The last scene, with Saul watching the previously-believed-to-be-forgotten and destroyed tape of Brody talking to the camera before what he thought would be last season’s suicide bomb attempt, was jaw-droppingly good. I have to believe Saul is now going to spill the beans on Brody, tell Carrie she was right all along, and the whole dynamic of the series may change.
A few other thoughts on a great hour of TV:

— I kept yelling at Carrie for being so damn reckless, especially when she ran back into her source’s apartment while her teammates were in a car surrounded by angry men. It’s ridiculous how many chances she takes and gets away with it.

— I know you’ve gotta suspend disbelief sometimes with this show, but both my fiance and I were incredulous that Brody A, would be allowed in a secret meeting to watch Nasir get killed, B, send a text message TO Nasir without anyone noticing or getting suspicious, C, Nasir getting the text milliseconds before he was about to be killed, and D, the snipers totally missing Nasir because he moved a split second before they shot.

That’s an awful lot for we viewers to accept. I also love how the entire U.S. government goes along with Carrie’s hunch and goes for the assassination plan. Carrie, who just had electroshock therapy.

–Loved the scene with Brody and his ex-Marine mates at the bar. How long can he hold them off from the truth?
–Finally, Brody’s daughter and the VP’s son are totally having sex in the White House at some point this season, right?

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