Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life

Sure, 2008 brought a recession, the continuation of 2 wars, and Hank Steinbrenner becoming the face and voice of the MFY's. It gave us mudslides and wildfires in California, that whackjob in Iran making more idiotic statements in 15 minutes than I've made in 15 years, and more Peyton Manning commercials than the average prisoner at Gitmo deserves to see in a lifetime.

We saw the AL East through the looking glass from Alice in Wonderland with the Rays winning the division and making the World Series. We saw lovable, child-like Manny turn into a quitter in Boston and then a world beater in LA. The Phillies, forever the bridesmaid save for one brief instant in 1980 win the World Series and the Yankees finish the year in 3rd place and the Cubs fail. Again.

Boston made it to one game from the dance with Mike Lowell doing his best impression of a rest home resident needing a hip transplant and Josh Beckett looking like Hideo Nomo most of the year. The Giants won the Super Bowl, Indiana Jones make a comeback, and an African American got elected to the highest office in the world.

All in all I'd say it was a pretty crazy 365 days.

On a personal level? 2008 rocked. I got to go to Fenway Park for the first time, flew on a plane without throwing up or putting the guy next to me in a Scorpion Death Lock, and made it to a Palooza. THEN, thanks to my great friend Rob, his generosity, and the fact Jane was in Hawaii at the time, I got to go BACK to Boston for Game 3 of the ALCS.

Best of all?

I got my name on the scoreboard at Fenway Freaking Park.

2008 ruled.

Here's to an even better 2009.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I can bet you Ward Cleaver never had days like these.

The following events are true, taking place roughly an hour ago in my kitchen.

Rakes, sitting at the bar and coloring in his new Star Wars color book that Santa brought him, and myself had the following conversation.

Rakes: "Dad. Is Darth Vader's last name Darth? Or Vader?"

Me: "Skywalker, Rakes."

Rakes: "No Dad. That is LUKE'S name."

Me: "Darth Vader is his Dad, Rakes."

Rakes: "Dad?"

Me: "Yeah, son?"

Rakes: "Can I have a Dr. Pepper?"

Mind you, he never looked up from his coloring. Not once. I felt like I was starring in a movie by Ed Wood being filmed by the Candid Camera crew the whole time.

I can't wait until he asks me where baby's come from.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Revenge of the Scouser, 2008.

My buddy John from New Zealand came to visit again this year, bringing a funny accent, loads of stories, and gifts for Ang and the kids.

Trot with the Screaming Monkey Slingshot. Can I tell you that you haven't lived until you've heard this thing going off at 6:15 in the morning? In a perfect example of karma, John woke up around 6 today with Trot 10 inches from his face mumbling some sort of gibberish. John told him to go back to bed and lo and behold: he did. It must be the accent.

Trot modeling my socks from John (as we all know; Dad's get socks for Christmas) and a hat made out of raccoon hair. Count me among those who didn't know New Zealand was home to 75 million raccoons. It's a veritable perfect dream for a West Virginian. ;)

John and his adopted, slightly deranged American family. I threatened him with the prospect of us coming to New Zealand someday; you've never seen someone try and get deported faster.

Finally, Big and Little right before The Scouser jumped in his car in relief to journey back up North. John, we're honored you took some time to come visit, although I do worry about your mental health in making such a decision.

Can't wait to see you again in May at the Megapalooza.

Safe travels back to the Land of the Kiwi and you've got a standing invitation anytime you can make it over the pond.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Return of the Scouser

John, in an apparent moment of weakness, returned to Casa De Ted.

As of 9:45 tonight, he's still alive and still sound of mind.

There is a lot of time left on the clock, however.

In a side note, I may need a translator. Ang and her southern accent and John and his English twang may be worse than a United Nations summit.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome to the Red Sox Offseason

While the Yankees are signing every available player who can fog a mirror while breathing on it, all has been quiet from Red Sox Headquarters.

Since Theo and Company are about as talkative as the CIA when it comes to what in the world they're thinking, this isn't a completely unexpected development. But watching CC, Burnett, Tex, and the head janitor for the Kansas City Royals sign multi-million dollar deals with the MFY, it's be nice to see SOMETHING coming out of the Bat Cave.

I don't care if it's the announcement they are re-upping Tek, bringing back Manny, or adding 37 more seats to Fenway situated right behind the pitchers mound, just give me something.

Tell me Schilling is coming back as designated quote for the CHB, Millar is being signed as the new first base coach/designated naked guy to ruin any post game locker room interviews, or Luis Tiant has been hired to try and light Tito's shoes on fire every game. I just want SOME sort of news regarding the Olde Town Team.

The Royals and the Reds are making headlines right now for Pete's sake, and the team whose won 2 championships in the past 4 years is doing it's best impression of a mob informant on the witness stand.

They do realize we are around 4 months away from Opening Day and don't have a SINGLE CATCHER ON THE ROSTER right?

In the back of my mind I realize this team came within one game of the World Series and buying the fantasy league equivalent of a major league roster promises exactly NOTHING. But it sure would make me feel better to read "The Boston Red Sox have signed......" in my paper tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, we're waiting on the arrival of a certain Englishman from New Zealand to arrive for a visit; safe travels 'Scouser.

It'll be great to see you again.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Is Huey Lewis in charge of the marketing department?

Every year my Mom buys the kids the MLB and NFL ornament showcased at Hallmark. In years past we've had Cal Ripken, Barry Bonds, and Big Papi just to name a few.

This year? Nomie. 4 years removed from his trade to the Cubs and 6 years from his last good year, Nomar Garciaparra was the featured ornament for the Christmas season. In a league full of guys like Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia, Prince Fielder, and Matt Holiday the face of MLB for every person who darkened a Hallmark store this holiday season was Nomar.

A guy who played in around 50 games, who seemingly can't walk to the mailbox without tearing a hamstring, and unless you are a die hard baseball fan is more known for being married to that soccer player who tore her jersey off after winning a game a few years back is a freaking Christmas tree ornament.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. If Ang had rejected Trot as a name for our son Nomar was the next one on my list.

It just made me wonder; do people actually pay attention to what is going on? Is the person responsible for making these decisions taking drugs? Or just a die hard Red Sox fan wishing for one more year of Nomar manning SS and raking line drives off the Monster?

My heart tells me the latter.

My head tells me I need to be committed for even wondering about all this stuff.

In a few days it'll be 2009 and we'll be inching closer to Spring Training, the WBC, and next May's Megapalooza.

I just gotta figure out a way to hold on in the meantime.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day in Pictures

Trot was awake by 5:30 but we made him lay in the bed with us until Rakes and Ciera woke up at 7. I look like the walking dead at 7; can you imagine what I looked like at 5:30 in the freaking morning?

Ciera cleaned up with a portable DVD player, clothes, movies, and a little piece of her Dad's heart; Ang and I both noticed the magic of Christmas, for the first time, didn't get her this year. Getting old sucks.

Rakes got some video games, books, Indiana Jones and Power Ranger movies, and more stuff I can't remember right now. The little sucker even thanked us for his gifts and told me to tell Santa he said thanks too. I think it's the cough medicine he's on.

Trot, while loaded down with gifts, was more interested in the apples, oranges, Hershey kisses, and Pez Santa left in his stocking. I found a half eaten apple and 5 Kisses wrappers under the computer about 11 o'clock. I guess it's what I get for falling back asleep on the living room floor at around 8 o'clock.

Me and the rugrats, with Trot chomping on yet another apple after all the presents were tore apart. My eyes are now half-way open, which represented significant progress. It was approximately 5 minutes and 27 seconds later that I was sound asleep right there on the floor. I'm guessing by next year I'll just put sunglasses on and pretend I'm awake.

Several hours later, after naps, rest, and quiet time we all gathered at Mom and Dad's to spend some time with my family. After more food, more presents, and more noise than you'll find at the average Metallica concert, we all look remarkably well rested.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

My biggest wish is that you all were as happy today as I was.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas already?

Christmas Communion at church, complete with Trot in the nursery, Ciera and her cousin Jared giggling during the sermon, and Rakes crawling under the pews?

Check. (I'm REALLY hoping he wasn't trying to look up the dresses of anyone sitting behind us. Truth is, I was too mortified to turn around and look).

Reading "The Night Before Christmas" and the story of Christ's birth with everyone right before bed?

Check. (Trot was alternating between doing somersaults in the living room floor and watching "The Grinch" on mute during all this, but at least there was no bloodshed so I let him be.

Getting all 3 kids in bed by 9 pm?

Check. (I've got to add that this was accomplished with threats of Santa taking toys away if they acted up and threatening Trot with deportation/military school if he didn't got to sleep post-haste.

Getting all the toys under the tree, avoiding fighting with Ang, and getting to bed at a half-way decent hour?

To be determined.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random musings on the night before Christmas Eve.

So the Red Sox missed out again on one of Scott Boras' mercenaries for hire. The last one was Slappy in 2003; seems like we've won 2 world titles in the past 5 years and came within a game of getting into a third. I think the Red Sox will be just fine....

The Yankees have committed roughly $453 million to three players over the next 8 years; one is a bonafied stud, one is a biscuit away from 350 lbs and the DL, and the 3rd is a headcase who up to now only turns it on when he gets paid. And he's got a 5 year, $85 million dollar contract. I'll take Dustin Pedroia, a ticked off Josh Beckett, and a rabid mongoose, thank you very much....

While it would have been nice to get Tex (the player not the legend who comments here) how awesome is it to think of a healthy, motivated, and righteously pissed off Mike Lowell doing his best impression of Jules from "Pulp Fiction" next year?.....

Why do people, and by people I mean my wife LOVE to go shopping at 10 pm on the night before Christmas Eve? What is she looking for? A waffle iron? A life size Derek Jeter doll the boys can practice submission holds on? An autographed Big Papi bat for me? Or is it just to get 5 minutes of peace?.....

Finally, where in God's name did the year go? It's Christmas Eve already?

Oh crap; it's Christmas Eve.

Anyone know how long the stores stay open tomorrow?

I wonder how receptive Ang will be to an IOU.

Monday, December 22, 2008

When Medicine just won't do

I've got a few explanations on why my house has turned into the Amyteville Horror over the past 4 months. There is no logical explanation for why at least one of us, over the past several weeks, has been infected with some form of sickness, the latest being my 12 round fight with a batch of bad crab that I came out on the losing end of.

One? We're part of some reality tv show like that movie "The Truman Show" a few years back. I'm secretly hoping this is it, because Rakes will become a major star and I can finally retire.

Two? It's some government conspiracy designed to drive me nuts and take down some 3rd world dictator at the same time. This somehow involves Trot, a rocket launcher, and one of his "special" diapers.

Three? There is a grand alien plan to take us out one by one and they started with my house because my natural defenses are at an all time low.

Four? We've just had a run of bad luck not seen since William H. Macy in "The Cooler" and I need to change my Christmas plans to a trip to Vegas. 'Cause bad luck can't possibly last much longer than this.

So, as I lay half-awake Sunday night and wished I could die, my thoughts turned to May.

To my next trip to Boston, my next Palooza, and all my friends.

And while it didn't make me feel any better, and it didn't make my head stop spinning it did make me smile.

Sort of.

I guess Christmas really does come early sometimes.

Just when I thought I was in the clear

I'm never eating crab cakes again.

After dodging the raging stomach flu that obliterated everyone else in the house last week I was feeling pretty good about avoiding the "Great Sickness of '08".

Ang and I went out for dinner Saturday night, watched a movie and enjoyed the peace and quiet of a house with no children for the evening. Feeling fine and looking forward to the next 2 days off I went to bed Saturday night and slept like a baby.

Until about 6 am Sunday morning when I woke up feeling like somebody was stabbing my stomach with a rusty meat cleaver. Still, I got up, took a shower, and we were about 10 minutes from heading to church; at least we were until I felt the tremendous urge to get the bathroom ASAP.

I spent the next 8 hours or so either in the bed or the bathroom praying God would just let me throw up so I'd feel better. I was in the shower at about 6:15 last night when he finally granted my wish.

The moral here is be careful what you pray for; sometimes you get it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dinner and a movie

Since I work until 7 and get home about 30 minutes later during the week, Ang and I decided to celebrate our anniversary tonight instead of Friday.

So the kids spent the night with my Mom, we went out to a romantic dinner, and came home to watch Will Smith play an alcoholic superhero saving the world.

No dirty diapers to change, no fights to be broken up, and I'm going to bed with the knowledge nobody is going to get up at 6 in the morning wanting cheese for breakfast.


It's good.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Revenge of the Nerd

For a guy with the social skill set of a 13 year old, Red Sox owner John Henry has got a huge set of marbles.

Taking young Jedi apprentice Theo Epstein with him, he flew to Texas to meet with free agent Mark Teixeira for what most observers figured was the final piece to the puzzle that would bring the 1B to Boston. Leave it to the sports agent equivalent of a zit that won't go away, Scott Boras, to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

This dink tells Mr. Henry that they are somewhere around $25 million short of the best offer, which is a typical Boras move. What team? Is the offer even real, or is this Johnny Damon all over again? But instead of letting the inmates run the asylum, Henry and the Red Sox issue a public statement via an email to the Associated Press that they're out. They made their offer, Teixeira knows what it is, and if he wants to come to Boston they'll leave the light on for him.

Just not at the cost it would take to run a 3rd world country for the next decade.

I've been imagining Henry on the phone with some stooge for the past 24 hours screaming "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" This image has made me smile more than it honestly should have.

Finally, it looks like the Dirt Dog has found a new junkyard to defend; Trot is headed to Milwaukee to try and make the Brewers Major League roster.

My head is telling me this is a good thing; Trot is still running through walls and playing the game he loves.

My heart wishes he'd come back to Boston and be the chief head knocker and gibley puncher whenever there was a donnybrook.

Someday it'll happen.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back when I had a beard.

16 years.

3 children, 2 miscarriages along the way, and a whole lot of hugs.

A few arguments, some tears, and a lifetime worth of laughter.

Tomorrow is the 16th anniversary of what I like to refer to as "The Miracle of Ang agreeing to marry me" but what most would refer to as our 16th wedding anniversary.

Somehow, in spite of the amount of idiocy that has come out of my mouth over the past decade and a half, she's stuck by me. From stupid comments like "I make 5 times as much money as you" to watching me turn into a raving lunatic in the fall of 2004 she's been there.

As I've wilted like a dying flower at the sight of a dirty diaper, she's been there to knock me out of the way, roll up her sleeves, and get her hands dirty. So to speak. She's been a stay at home with the rowdiest bunch of kids this side of "The Bad News Bears" for the past 10 years and I'll be forever grateful.

How she's managed to not lock them all in a cage at one point or another is a question for another day.

Add onto all that the fact she's married to a OCD having, attention span lacking, Red Sox obsessed dink of a husband and I'm pretty sure she deserves a medal. Or at the very least the Pulitzer Prize.

Happy Anniversary, darlin'.

I've just got one question.

Due to the fact I'm 38 yet look like I'm 50, how in God's name do you look better NOW than you did then?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mel Gibson would have been jealous

Imagine the following: Trot, in his footie pajama's , wearing his fireman hat and clutching a carrot shaped baseball bat screaming indecipherable rants and pointing at me with his hand like he was Johnny Cochran in front of the OJ jury.

I really wish I wasn't so washed out so I could have grabbed the video camera and recorded it; he was doing a spot on impression of Mel in "Braveheart". Well, without the blue face paint and the sword. Although with a few minutes of work I could have made it happen.

I honestly have no clue what he was trying to say.

Although I keep telling myself it was "Death to the Yankees and FREE MIKE LOWELL!"

In all actuality it most likely had something to do with Mickey Mouse, a cup of apple juice, and peanut M&M's.

The fact my life is in a constant state of chaos is not lost on me. What I can do about it, however, is still up in the air.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

I found this picture tonight while I was rummaging through my dresser drawer looking for Rakes' wallet.

Don't ask; yes he's 5. And yes he has a wallet. Inside of which resides canceled credit cards, expired drivers license's and my library card from 1988. Plus his paycheck, whatever that means.

I'd sort of forgotten about this picture, taken at the height of my mullet and 6 months before I'd move back to NC, ask Ang out to dinner, and stumble into the rest of my life complete with kids, mortgages, and more worries than I ever imagined possible.

What struck me most was how freaking young I look; taking a peek at the mirror tonight, I hardly recognize that young punk with the horrible hair cut. Back then, I thought of nothing more than what was happening right now; today? I think about college funds, 401K's, and pray they never reinstate the draft for my boys sake.

I wonder what I'd say to the 20 year old me, besides "Get a haircut; you look like a complete dink". I reckon I'd tell him to enjoy it while it lasts, because along with adulthood comes a whole new set of worries and problems. I'd most likely tell him to quit taking himself so seriously and that girl you've been losing sleep over? You'll forget her name as soon as you kiss that woman you're meant to be with. And those friends? As good as they are, they won't hold a candle to the ones you'll meet down the road.

The more I think about, there really isn't anything I'd say; most likely that hard headed know it all wouldn't listen anyway. Besides, the bottom line is the road I travelled ended here.

With Ang, the kids, and the life I have now.

So if I've gotta put up with having a monumentally bad hair style to get to where I am today?

I can live with that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dr. Spock is a Moron.

Before Ang and I had any children, I always wondered why parents had such a tough time. There are literally thousands of books for sale at Barnes and Noble that give you a page by page outline on how to raise kids.

From potty training to wetting the bed to how to choose between the salad fork and the dinner fork at a formal dinner. For what it's worth, the next time you see my kids at a formal dinner will be the first time. And if you happen to look out your window you'll most likely see Wilbur the Pig flying by on his way to the River Styx for a hockey game.

What they DON'T tell you is this: how do you cope with a stomach flu which I'm pretty sure hasn't been seen since the Black Plague that has decided YOUR house is where it wants to have it's Winter Vacation.

Have you ever felt completely and totally helpless? I mean helpless to the point of 100% frustration over the fact there is absolutely NOTHING you can do to help? Take that feeling, multiply it times 5,000 and imagine all 3 of your kids doing their best impression of a college freshman during pledge week while riding the porcelain train and you sort of get how I'm feeling tonight.

Throw in the fact your wife, their mother, and the foundation to the whole house of cards is doing the same thing? I am officially in total freak out mode right now. Curling up in the fetal position and crying is out; I already tried it.

Pretending you are Niles from "Frazier" and fainting is a no go as well. I almost tried the "Rocky Balboa in Rocky 3 after Micky gets killed" defense as well, but I knew it was a losing battle.

Where in God's name is Bill Cosby when you need him?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pre School needs a new Casting Director

Due to the fact that Trot was still sick, Ciera spent the afternoon riding the porcelain train in her bathroom (thanks to the aforementioned demon child) and somebody had to stay home and play Janitor I found myself taking Rakes to his pre-school Christmas Pageant this afternoon.

When I hear he's got a part in a Christmas play, I naturally think of the Grinch, Heat Miser, or Mr. Scrooge when it involves Rakes. You can imagine my shock when I discovered he was cast as one of the wise men who brought gifts to the Baby Jesus. Talk about going against typecast; this was like DeNiro being asked to play Moses, Will Ferrell getting the lead in "A Beautiful Mind", or Whoopi Goldberg as a basketball coach. Wait a minute....

I digress. For whatever reason, my 5 year old bundle of energy, twitches, and a voice born to one day be an auctioneer found himself wearing a crown, a grin, and a look of bad intentions as he walked down the middle of the sanctuary toward the manger scene this afternoon.

Couple that with the conversation we had a few hours before and you'll see why I was JUST a bit nervous.

Me: "So, you're a wise man. Which gift are you bringing?"

Rakes: "What are you talking about, Dad?"

Me: "Is your gift Gold, Frankincense, or Myrrh?"

Rakes: (After a good 15 second pause, and with more than a touch of irritation in his voice) "It's green, Dad."

Sure enough, as I watched closely just in case I needed to sprint to the front and save some innocent child unlucky enough to be in his way, Rakes calmly laid a green box down in front of the cradle where the thankfully fake baby lay.

Just when I think I've got the boy figured out, he changes the rules.

After the play, the kids had the opportunity to have their picture made with Santa. I've gotta come clean here; I was more than a little nervous about how this would all end. Fortunately, Rakes was on his best behavior and Santa didn't show any fear; otherwise this may have been on the homepage of CNN tomorrow morning.

Although he did want to know why he didn't ask what Rakes wanted for Christmas, how come his beard was a different color than his hair, and why didn't his beard "stick" like mine does.

What can I say?

The boy is quick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is it Spring yet?

Trot is throwing up and doing his best impression of someone with Dengue fever.

Rakes spent the last 3 hours re-enacting the latest episode of WWE Raw with our Nativity Scene. Thankfully he left Baby Jesus alone. I guess even lunatics have a breaking point.

Ciera's best friend is moving 5 hours away to Virginia and let's just say she's not taking it well.

I'm pretty sure I said hello to Ang at least once this week, but don't hold me to it.

It's December, the Yankees are signing anyone with a pulse to a contract, and I'm sitting at the computer at 10 pm on a Saturday night watching "Pulp Fiction".

I miss baseball.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Another Brick In The Wall.

Would YOU give this man a 5 year, $82.5 million dollar contract?

He looks like Jeff Spicoli's long lost older brother for Pete's sake; for all we know he's doing a beer bong and hot boxing a reefer as we speak.

Combine his salary with CC Sabbathia's completely obscene $160 million dollars and the MFY's have committed $243 million dollars, (or the gross national product of Timbuktu, whichever you prefer) to two guys who will pitch in roughly 70 games.

One guy is a Golden Corral buffet away from being on next years "Celebrity Fit Club" and the other is a injury prone head case who just wrapped up his BEST YEAR EVER with 18 wins and a +4 era.

Have I mentioned how much I love the fact the Steinbrenner boys are carrying on the tradition of Papa George? I'm fully expecting Nolan Ryan being lured out of retirement and Reggie Jackson being signed as the full-time DH to be announced next.

This is classic Yankee panic mode; make a big splash, throw a lot of money around, and have the pr department go ahead and draft the "We expected big things when we signed player x...." statement in the inevitable moment it all comes crashing down around them.

As a fan of the Red Sox, it's really good to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

King of the Dinks

Scott Boras.

If you're a baseball fan, this name most likely sends chills down your spine and you looking for a trash can to throw up in. Not only did he corrupt young Jedi Jacoby, he's the Uber Agent for roughly 88% percent of MLB players the best I can figure.

I gotta hand it to the guy; he can make chicken salad out of chicken s**t better than anyone I've ever laid my eyes on. His latest magic trick is attempting to get Jason Varitek a huge money contract after The Captain just went through the worst year of his career.

And he's using a submarine as an analogy.

I have no idea what all this means, other than the fact that there is no team on earth who is going to give Tek the kind of money Boras is asking for. Not even the Yankees, although in the back of my mind I keep imagining them giving Tek a plaque in Monument Park and retiring his number if he would agree to back up the chinless wonder.

Not to mention Manny and his 4 year, $100 million dollar quest that is going to end up making Geraldo's special on busting into Al Capone's vault look like the best idea since the remote control.

All I know is I hate the Hot Stove, wish Spring Training was here already, and my head hurts.

Did anyone let him know we're in a recession?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pray he doesn't answer your 911 call.

While I was getting Trot out of his car seat after they got home from church tonight, he kept rambling about "my hat". I thought he was talking about my Red Sox cap, which I honor Burt Reynold's "Bandit" character by adhering to the motto of "this hat only comes off for one thing".

Thankfully he was referring to his Fireman's hat which was laying in the basket beside the van. After repeated attempts by his Mom to let me wear his and him wear mine, we came to a compromise; he would actually smile for a picture with me, just as long as each of us wore our OWN hats.

I can't tell you if I wore the fireman's hat and not much of anything else later or Ang will kill me.

Let's just say me and The Bandit are still friends and leave it at that.

In other news, the Yankees signed CC Sabbathia to a 6 year, $160 million dollar contract when the next reported offer was roughly $60 million dollars less.

Why do I get the feeling we'll be seeing him on a future season of "Celebrity Fit Club"?

God Bless the Yankees; signing the guy who looks like he's one biscuit away from 300 lbs to a guaranteed 6 year deal when he's only going to pitch in roughly 35 games and can't pitch in the post season to save his life.

This has the makings of a what were they thinking documentary written all over it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Living La Vida Loca

I used to read every Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Mad Magazine issue from cover to cover.

Pondering the use of character development and the writing styles of the great authors of my generation, I spent many an hour devouring every good book I could get my hands on while reflecting with Ang on the joys of reading.

These days? Georgie and the Robbers passes as fine literature.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. Rakes smiled from ear to ear tonight as we read this thing for roughly the 1,248th time and begged me to read it again.

I've learned as a parent that our greatest moments don't always happen with trophies, awards, and applause.

They happen when your little boy is almost asleep, curled up in your lap, and all he wants is his Dad, a book, and not to have to brush his teeth before going to bed.

Like I told him, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Move over Miley.

Usually I'm ranting about Rakes and Trot's latest antics or giving my completely uniformed opinion on the Red Sox which results in most cases with me being 100% completely wrong. My daughter Ciera gets kept out of most discussions, mainly because she's the only normal one of us in the bunch.

Frequently however there are occasions where she makes me very proud to be her father, and last night at our church the kids put on their Christmas program. Ciera had a prominent role in a play that somehow tied in a spelling bee, my nephew Jarod doing his best Erkel impression, and the birth of Jesus with several songs put in for good measure.

I'm not really sure how it all tied in, seeing that there was no child care provided, Rakes was alternating between sitting beside me and laying under the pew and Ang was wrestling with Trot one row behind us. The highlight of the night from the audience was when Trot broke free and got down front, only to turn back a few seconds later with Angie right behind him as he sprinted for the rear of the church. As he passed me, he grinned from ear to ear and in a voice loud enough to raise the dead declared "Me donna do PEE now, Dad!"

Thankfully I lost the "utterly mortified" gene a LONG time ago.

Ciera is 10 going on 30, growing up entirely too fast, and last night was her very last Christmas play as a child. Next year she moves on to middle school, where I've got a whole new series of worries to deal with.

I'm not gonna think about that tonight, though.

I'm just going to remember that Angel I watched last night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just another Sunday afternoon.

It happens everyday on the plains of Africa and in the jungles of the Amazon; the slower, stronger predator stalks it's weaker yet faster prey. When it finally makes it's move, the smaller animal uses it's God given speed to try and elude it's attacker and usually it can make a safe escape and live to fight another day.

Unless it happens to trip and fall. And if it does? It's usually an ugly affair.

The Lion and the Antelope. The Tiger and the Zebra. The Cheetah and whatever a Cheetah chases and eats.

Trot and Rakes, the latter wearing his Cars underoos, his Mom's UG boots, and a smile.

I wish I could say this hardly ever happens. I wish I could say they are really calm, normal children that don't need professional help. I wish I could say this didn't make me laugh.

I wish.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I hate the Hot Stove.

It's Saturday night and I've spent the last 4 hours watching Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall in what might be the greatest Western ever told.

All the while I've been checking wondering if Tek had re-signed or if the Sox had traded Mikey Lowell in order to sign Mark Texiera. For a guy who welcomes change about as much as I look forward to hurricane season, this time of year is my version of Gitmo torture.

I HATE the offseason; I sit around obsessing over what the Yankees are going to do and all the while wonder why the Red Sox won't do the same. And every year Theo proves to me he's WAY smarter than I am and always makes the right move.

All that said, it still doesn't help me out when I try to explain to Ang why I've got 14 notebooks worth of scenarios buried in the back yard and why I'm sticking pins in a Hank Stienbrenner voodo doll.

I'm making a mental note to have her watch my pre-2004 dvd's tomorrow just so she sort of gets the idea of where I'm coming from.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Friday Nights didn't used to be this exciting.

As a married father of 3, you don't exactly paint the town red on the weekends anymore. Usually I'm breaking up the latest round of the Fight That Won't End between Rakes and Trot and listening to Ciera give me her latest breathless report on what the Jonas Brothers have been up to.

Tonight, Trot spent the night with his Grandparents and Ang and I took Rakes and Ciera to the latest incarnation of "Disney on Ice" featuring The Incredibles. Besides the horde of rugrats in the building and the $12 dollar plastic sword Rakes just HAD to have it wasn't all that bad.

Well, except for the cheesy dialogue, incessant hawking of all things Disney and that little kid 2 rows behind us whacking some sort of Thunder Stick every 3.7 seconds. Other than that? It was better than going to the Dentist and worse than getting a splinter under your fingernail.

Although at one point I did lean over to Ang and promise to buy a Mrs. Incredible outfit for her in the very near future.

So at least something good came out of the evening.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I AM Cosmo Kramer.

I worked 10 hours today, came home and scarfed down dinner, then spent the next 45 minutes looking for Rakes' Nintendo DS. We finally found it UNDER the toy chest in the play room.

Spent the next 15 minutes horse collaring Trot to change his diaper and get him ready for bed, then read Rakes his story books.

After finally getting all three kids settled and down for the night, Ang reminded me we're taking Rakes and Ciera to "Disney On Ice" tomorrow night as soon as I get off from work.

Me and 15,000 screaming kids at the Greensboro Coliseum with Mickey, Minnie, Buzz Lightyear and The Incredibles for 2 hours.

Serenity Now, Insanity Later.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oompa Loompa's World Wide Are Rejoicing.

Image courtesy of Kelly O'.

Rookie of the Year.

World Series Championship.

2007 AL MVP.

6 year, $40.5 million dollar contract extension after all of 2 years in the Show.

Dustin Pedroia continues his meteoric rise as role model and hero of 5'6" prematurely bald guys everywhere.

Knowing the Red Sox have this guy locked up essentially for the next 7 years has me positively giddy. I've got the feeling whenever Tek leaves the team that Captain moniker already has a jersey to land on.

As a fellow member of the vertically challenged and the Dad of someone who most likely will make Gary Coleman look positively Amazonian, Pedie's success takes on a special meaning.

After years of MVP's the likes of Bonds, Sosa, Caminetti, Vaughan, and Slappy, to see Pedie win this prestigious award gives hope to every normal guy who happens to be a fan of baseball.

The fact he got such a huge contract only makes me smile even more.

Finally, the normal guy gets his due.

What makes me smile more than anything? Somewhere Hank Steinbrenner is lambasting some poor scout who told him there was no WAY Pedie would be better than Robinson Cano.

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Hank.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Let the Pre-Palooza planning begin.

I've got a pretty simple life. Work 5 days a week, play Bobby Ewing to Ang's Pam, and turn into Homer Simpson to ride herd over my version of Bart, Lisa, and whatever that baby's name is.

My golf handicap looks like the Dow on an up day, I last visited a gym when Bill Clinton was President, and no pub within 500 miles has my name on a stool with everyone screaming "TED!" when I walk in.

I'm a story book reading, diaper changing, dish washing machine 99.9% of the time.

Except when it comes to Palooza's. And come May 23, 2009 my idiot self will be in Boston, MA with 30+ of my friends watching the Sox and the Blue Jays for the Spring 2009 SG Palooza. Or something.

In the midst of winter, Holiday shopping, and 4,398 versions of "Little Drummer Boy" being piped into the store's radio this has made me smile like I just won the PowerBall.

Sometimes Christmas comes early.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I miss baseball.

I'm flipping back and forth between the Texans/Jaguars game and CSI Miami.

I miss baseball like Hannity is gonna miss Combs.

I HATE the off season.