Thursday, December 31, 2009
I work in retail, so national recessions aren't really conducive to good sales. But somehow we managed to make enough to meet all our commitments each month, even though Ange didn't go back to work until August.
Even though I have 3 insane children, we made absolutely no visits to the ER (close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades), they didn't give me a stroke, and somehow I managed to con Ange into staying married for another year, our 17th.
I got to go to Boston again, meet one of my closest friends in Jr, and watch virtually every game the Red Sox played. I've got both of my parents still with me, I've got my health (physically anyway) and I've been blessed with a family I never thought I'd have and definitely don't deserve.
Hayes, JB, and Amy all came to visit, I got to catch one last ball game with Mr. Andy, and when I go to sleep tonight I'll have heat in my house, food in the fridge, and a good woman to cuddle up with.
All in all? 2009's been a pretty good year.
Here's to 2010 being even better.
And to anyone who happens by this little corner of the world every now and then?
Happy New Year. I hope the upcoming year brings you more joy, health, and prosperity than you know what to do with.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Apparently, the hoser from the Great White North has signed with the Mets, and this development is causing chaos across Red Sox Nation.
Me? They traded Nomar, let Pedro and Damon leave via free agency, let Trot go along with Foulke, and sent Manny packing days after hitting his 500th career home run. In fact, the only thing I can see that was sentiment based was signing Tek to a $40 million dollar deal after '04, which in retrospect I'm pretty sure they regret.
The days of getting upset, at least for me, when a fan favorite departs left the barn a LONG time ago. Don't get me wrong; I'd have loved to have had Jason Bay patrolling LF for the next 5 years, but if Theo says otherwise, I ain't gonna argue.
What kills me is this; I make in one year what the average major league player makes in a game. If someone came up to me, told me I could provide for the next 3 generations of my family if I signed their contract, I'm pretty sure I'd set the land speed record for signing so high it could never be reached.
I've never begrudged anyone the opportunity to make as much money as they possibly can (unless you say you'll never play for New York, then turn around and do just that. That makes you an uber dink in my book but I'll still appreciate everything you did). I know how much I love my family and if I can make their life that much better, then by God I'll go to Queens, wear that stupid uniform, and hit as many bombs as I can.
And contrary to what most people would have you believe, I honestly think they would too. It's easy to judge a situation when you have absolutely NO CHANCE of ever getting that opportunity but if push came to shove? I can't think of a lot of folks who would turn down $6 million dollars, or whatever the exact figure works out to be.
Thanks for 1 1/2 years of service, Mr. Bay. You'll get a standing O in my living room when/if you come back to Fenway, and I hope you win the NL MVP 4 years running.
I won't notice, however. I'll be cheering for Mike Cameron, Aaron Bates, and whoever the Red Sox brass decide to run out in your place. And that bulldog of a pitcher named John Lackey we got with some of your $60 million?
He's pretty good.
You gotta love the off season.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Actual conversation between Trot and I around 8 pm tonight, while we sat on the couch watching whatever Ciera and Rakes were enthralled with on Disney.
Trot: "Where am I doing now Dad?"
Me: "To bed in a few minutes."
Trot: "No. Where am I doing NOW Dad?"
Me: "To BED in a few minutes."
Trot: "No. WHERE AM I DOING NOW DAD?"
Me: "TO BED!"
Ciera: "He means where is he going tomorrow."
Me: "Oh. To Papa's house."
Trot: "You tunny, Dad."
I consider it a small miracle I'm not currently a resident of the closest mental institution.
Monday, December 28, 2009
One of the best 24 hours of my family's life. (And don't tell me that weird looking kid in the left hand corner of the picture doesn't freak you out just a little. And I have to LIVE with him.)
Josh and Amy came to visit and there was more wrestling, hide and seek, wrestling, jumping on the trampoline, wrestling, playing ball, wrestling, and laughing we've seen in about 4 years total.
Did I mention the wrestling?
Like some northern version of the Southern Winds, Josh and Amy blew through our home and left a ton of happy memories, 3 sad children, and 2 sad but happy adults in their wake.
And an autographed Dustin Pedroia ball for which I'll be forever grateful.
Come back anytime, guys.
We'll leave the light on for you.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Naturally, when I get home from work today they want to play the board games LIFE and Zingo, which is just Bingo with some blackjack-like dealer for the bingo things.
My kids are weird.
'Course according to Ange, Rakes played it so much today that he probably ruined his vision, possibly has developed carpel tunnel syndrome, and may have dislocated his elbow during one particularly animated game of "Star Wars".
I still think they're weird.
Friday, December 25, 2009
We've been to both sets of parents homes, communion at church, had Santa AND the Tooth Fairy visit on the same night (Rakes lost his second tooth within a 10 day span; at this rate he's gonna be gumming his cheeseburger from McDonald's sometime in the next 30 days.)
Added to the pile of toys, games, and gadgets has been a WII, and flat screen tv, 4 WII games, 2 lightsabers for the WII (sadly, we lost both within 1 1/2 hours of opening thanks to Trot and his Godzilla like way of playing with stuff) and two remote control cars that have yet to reach the scrapyard but I've got $50 bucks that says they don't make it past Saturday. We've got 5 sets of pajamas, 4 stuffed animals, 3 wore out kids, 2 exhausted parents and a partridge in a pear tree in need of intense psycho therapy.
Throw in the fact I'm so out of shape that I think I tore my rotator cuff playing WII golf, Rakes muttered "D****t" when I missed my 6th putt on hole #3 (which led to a 10 minute session of Rakes in the box and me doing my best impression of Dennis Franz from NYPD Blue on where exactly he picked up this new bit of vocabulary. Best I can figure it was from "The Sandlot" (but who knows?) and Trot duck walking his way out of my Mom's bathroom and uttering "I pooped my pants, Dad. Can I have some more punch?", and I'm thinking I should just stick my head in the oven and just get it over with.
But just when I'm ready to pull a Krank and skip Christmas altogether, Ange goes and takes a picture like this and I'm Griswold-esque in my love of this special day all over again.
If you laughed half as much as I did today, or loved a fraction as much as I did today, or even lost your temper AS MUCH as I did today, consider yourself blessed.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and the countdown to Truck Day is officially on.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Merry Christmas from my nutty little corner of the world to wherever you are tonight.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
As I'm leaving, the very nice Doctor lady says "If you get to feeling bad again after your medicine runs out, just call and I'll call something in". After feeling no pain for roughly a week after the medicine was gone, I woke up Monday morning feeling like a road grader had ran over my while I slept. Stupid man that I am I tell myself "It'll go away if I don't think about it"; you can see where this is going, right?
At 10:30 this morning while I'm at work laying a layer of manure so deep you needed two sets of hip waders to just walk in it I call, leave a message and receive a call back in about 15 minutes that I had seen a WEEKEND doc and not a WEEKLY doc, and they would need to see me before they could help. I calmly tell this very pleasant young woman that I work all the way across town, IN RETAIL, and it's 2 days before Christmas AND on commission so she promises to ask again.
An hour later? Same exact message; you've got to come in. Look, I get the game; get 'em in, charge 'em the co-pay, make 'em wait JUST long enough that they are beginning to think about tearing up the office, then check them out, write a scrip, and send them home. Today, however, I wasn't having it; I called my ENT, begged his head nurse for some help, and currently have pill one of 20 inside my stomach and on the road to recovery.
I told you that story to tell you this one. While I'm alternating between hacking, chills, and legs that ached like I'd leg pressed 1,000 pounds my first born child, the daughter that I love more than life itself, is at home transforming Trot into the following:
It's not like he didn't have enough issues to deal with already.
And now this.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Check that; he makes TROT look normal. Milton Bradley may be the most certifiable insane athlete we've ever seen. Some guys lose it for brief periods, once or twice a career like Coco Crisp charging the mound like he was Ali back in the day or Pedro treating Don Zimmer like a charging Rhino back in '03.
But Milton? He takes first prize for being the biggest head case this side of "Monk". Let's put it this way; put Milton next to Crazy Carl Everett and Carl ends up looking like Einstein.
I'm not going to go over all of Milton's personal highlight reel over his career since you can read it all HERE. Suffice it to say, he's about an entire Sears store away from a full toolbox.
And the Seattle Mariners just traded for the guy.
I give it until about May 1st before Ichiro calls his contact in the Yakuza to see if they can "settle" things down.
Reason 4,792 I thank God everyday we've got Theo running this team.
Monday, December 21, 2009
If the worst thing that happens to the Red Sox this off season is they "have" to take Mike Lowell and his professionalism, dirt doggedness, and award winning goatee back?
I'd say the off season went well.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
More so than anything else, however, is our unparalleled ability to totally FREAK OUT when the possibility of winter weather rears it's ugly head. You've never seen a population clear out a grocery store of it's milk, bread, and lotto tickets like the fine citizens of the Tar Heel state. The elderly go to the supermarket while those of us with small children clean out the local ABC stores, the corner drug dealer, and if all possible get ahold of a Doctors prescription pad; the prospect of prolonged lock down mode with rabid children will make you wipe your moral compass clean in roughly the amount of time it takes to break the speed of sound. Trust me on this one.
Thankfully, in spite of our local weather gurus predictions, we only got 3 inches instead of 12; which meant I shuffled off to work yesterday while Ange took the Two Amigos and One Amigoette out to play yesterday.
Instead of telling you about how it all played out I'm going to just sum it up with what Ange saw as she finally got all three kids out of their wet clothes and boots and back inside the house.
Trot, buck naked, standing on top of the counter eating a banana while dancing and singing "Let it Snow" at the top of his lungs.
I couldn't make half this stuff up if I tried.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
And speaking for myself, I'm more in love now than I was that night when I said "I do."
17 years may not seem that long, but I bet if you ask her, when you're married to me, it seems like a lifetime.
Thanks, Ange. For putting up with me obsessing about a baseball team and for spending countless hours watching baseball games that mean nothing in the big picture but are seemingly life and death when they are happening. Thanks for putting up with the fact that I have multiple online friends yet balk whenever you mention getting together with some couple that actually live close by.
Thank you for giving me the three biggest blessings I could ever ask for in my children, and for putting up with a fully grown child as well. I know I'm not what you dreamed for growing up but I'll be forever grateful I became what you wished for when you reached adulthood.
I'll never deserve you but I'll always be eternally grateful I got you.
Here's to 17 years being celebrated and another 43 to come.
That'll give us an even 60 and by that time I figure you can just trade me in for a newer model.
Love you, darlin'.
And Happy Anniversary.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Leave it to Papi, some shades that I imagine cost more than my yearly salary, and Wake and Crabby in suits to lighten the mood. Throw in the Mayor looking slightly psychotic and Scenic rocking his Smithsonian worthy facial hair and unless you've got A. A heart of stone, B. You're a MFY fan and therefore have NO heart, or C. You've just arrived from the planet Nebulon looking for brains to harvest, this picture should at the very least bring a smile to your face and at best make you feel like it's Christmas morning, you're back to being 7 years old, and Santa brought you an Atari game console complete with the NFL game.
Or maybe that's just me.
However, it doesn't take an expert to notice Papi looking like a model for GQ and per my completely fact less, uneducated guess, about 20 pounds less than his most recent playing rate.
A healthy, motivated, ticked off Large Father?
Bad for everyone else and great for the Sox.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For some reason this is going over about as well as the Hindenburg to most of RSN. Me? I'll take a thumper who can hit one off the Mass Pike every time he steps up to the plate every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But that's just me.
Basically I look at the Hot Stove like I do an episode of Jerry Springer; lots of posturing, yelling, and cursing but in the end not much ever really happens.
I'll believe this latest theory right about the time I see A Gone put one in the 5th row of the Right Field bleachers.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The more I think about it the more it makes sense. ('Course I just got home from a 6th grade band concert so I may be disoriented and out of my ever loving mind)
NESN should make Tito room Beckett and Lackey on the road next year, assign a camera man 24/7 and go ahead and write the FCC a check for $3 million dollars as a sign of good faith, then just let the good times roll.
This could make "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" look like an after school special by the end of the year.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Commander, Lester, Daisuke, Wake/Clay, and Lackey as your starting rotation?
I'm so freaking happy I can even forget he looks just like Marty McFly's mortal enemy.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Just when I've mentally resigned myself to the fact that Mikey Two Bags and his award winning facial hair are gone from Fenway forever, I go and read THIS story on ESPN and all of a sudden my head is spinning around like I've got the Bubonic plague.
What's even more amazing is it's his thumb they're worried about. Forget the arthritic hip of a 98 year old with a calcium deficiency, they're worried about his thumb? Granted, it was an issue but I'd be more concerned about him hitting a ball off the LF wall and getting thrown out at first than his ability to imitate Arthur Fonzerelli.
Throw in the Red Sox eating most of the $12 million owed on his contract and this makes as much sense as me entering "People Magazinest Sexiest Man" contest next year.
Somebody wake me up when Truck Day gets here.
And pass the Prozac.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
If nothing else, the headlines in the Globe and the Herald next year should be a lot of fun.
Throw in Jason Bay and his agent flat out rejecting the Sox initial offer combined with Senor Doubles getting shipped off to Texas and I'm left wondering when the fun is going to commence.
All that said?
In Theo I Trust.
He just doesn't make it real easy sometimes.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I call it a business, they tell me to be a fan and support the team.
In yet one more "Don't get too attached to these guys" moments the guy who has manned third base for the past 4 years and who was World Series MVP back in '07 is gone.
I don't know of a man who didn't admire his skills and his toughness and a woman who didn't think he was gorgeous, my own wife, Mom, and sister included. Shoot, even I think the guy is the epitome of a man's man.
But a pressing need for a young catcher and the fact his hip resembles one of Micky Rooney's combined with what I'm REALLY hoping is some blockbuster deal Theo is saving for Christmas Eve as a nice present to all of us made Mikey Lowell disposable. Mind you, as much as I love the guy, watching him limp his way down to first base or display the range of your average wildebeest at third last year was painful to watch. That said, it's gonna be a little bit weird not to see him digging balls out at third while displaying the most awesome facial hair since "Sonny Crockett" patrolled the streets of Miami.
God Speed, Senor Doubles.
Fenway Park won't be the same without you.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
A reminder that we've got a beer swilling, nail chewing, expletive spewing, 98 mph fastball throwing honest to God Texan as the ace of our staff.
And if you think he's not good and tanked off at how the season ended last year, then by God you don't know Josh Beckett.
If I know the Commander (and I don't, but bear with me) he's been lifting like a maniac and shooting men in Reno just to watch them die since the last game with the Angels in the post-season.
'Cause that's just how he rolls.
God help the poor first batter who has to step into the box in Spring Training.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
When did the concept of marriage become a running joke and why can't men (not all of us, but a growing majority) just keep it in their pants?
I'm using Tiger because he's just the latest and most famous in an increasingly and disturbing long line of men who somehow decide it's OK to cheat on the woman you vowed to honor for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE and screw up the lives of your kids, who never asked to be here in the first place.
Now I realize I'm fundamentally lacking in the three areas most likely to lead to an affair; 1. I'm not rich. 2. I'm ugly. 3. I have no discernible talent other than the ability to recite lines from movies I saw 10 years ago seemingly at will.
But still. How can you look someone you supposedly love in the eye, swear a lifetime of devotion to that person, decide to bring innocent children into the mix, and then go out and chase anything with a pulse? When did being a man STOP meaning honoring your word and your commitment and evolve into chasing women, apparently as many as humanely possible?
And it's not just famous, rich dudes. I see it every day in my business; guys who own restaurants buying new living room suites for the 19 year old hostess or in the one instance a guy brings his wife in one week for a new bedroom suite and the very next week his girlfriend in for a new mattress.
What in the name of Ward Cleaver happened to "For better or worse" and "till death do us part?" Maybe I'm just some old fashioned romantic or maybe I just think that when you give your word you should, you know, keep it.
All I know is I don't have any idea how Tiger or the guy who came in my store or any other man can do that to his wife, then manage to look into the eyes of his kids and not feel like he's less than 2 feet tall.
When I die, if I'm lucky, the following will be on my tombstone.
"He loved his wife, loved his kids, and did the best he could everyday to prove it. And he may have been a tad bent when it came to the Red Sox."
If it happens, I'll go off to the great beyond a happy man.
Call me crazy but it sounds a lot better to me than "He could hit a golf ball like nobodies business."
Monday, December 7, 2009
Something that far exceeds Theo trading Nomar in 2004, more amazing than the Arizona Cardinals making the Super Bowl this past January, and bigger than Barry Bonds head after 5 years of Human Growth Hormone use.
Rakes lost his first tooth.
And another small part of me died.
They just keep getting bigger and older, no matter how hard I try and make it all stop.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
How did I arrive at this spot, on 2:50 this afternoon, contemplating hitting this dink upside the head with 1.3 pounds of red meat? We need to back up about a week.
Ever since last Saturday, I've felt like I just went 10 rounds with Brock Lesnar; aching, sore, chills, and a persistent cough that had me begging for death sometime around Thursday afternoon. Being a man, I came to the completely rational conclusion that it would just go away on it's own when it was good and ready and I'd just deal with it.
That particular way to address the problem came to an abrupt end at about 3 this morning when Ang woke me up by sticking her finger in my chest and telling me "You're snoring and that cough is about to drive me insane. You're going to the doctor tomorrow and don't you dare say no."
So I went, all the while convinced they were going to tell me I had a cold and there was nothing they could do and to drink plenty of fluids, blah blah blah and it's run it's course. I was almost pleasantly surprised when the nice Doctor lady told me I had bronchitis, which partly relieved me because in the back of my mind I've got visions in H1N1 rattling around inside my head.
In a surprising lack of good judgement, I'd agreed to run some errands and pick up a few things for Ang while I was out, which is how we come full circle to me, some ground beef, and a lady ,3 seconds away from getting a rib roast upside her head.
Summoning some force inside me I didn't know I had, I calmly turned and said "This is the last one. Although maybe you should have gotten here first."
Good will to all men, and peace on earth.
I hope she burns her stupid Christmas Turkey.
Can you tell I get a little irritable on antibiotics?
I've been sick since last Saturday with some kind of flu/virus/bug that has me coughing like I smoke 3 packs of Camels a day combined with aches, chills, and enough congestion in my head to fill up an average size swimming pool.
After 5 days of listening to Ang yell at me about "Why won't you just go to the doctor" and me yell back with "They're just going to tell me it's got to run it's course" I've finally given in and plan to be at the walk in clinic when they open at 1 today.
Hopefully they can give me some medicine.
Hopefully I can be out of there before dark.
Hopefully I don't get the 3rd year med student working on her masters as my doctor.
I'm taking a book, my phone, and flask just in case.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
However, when we get to the "Social Skills" area, he received the following.
(S= Satisfactory, N = Needs Improvement, and U= Unsatisfactory)
Completes Task given: N
Follows Directions: N
Like I need a progress report to tell me this? He's 6, a boy, and has never met a messy room, drawer, or bathroom he didn't love. Look, I understand the teacher needs an orderly classroom or otherwise she's got the Kindergarten version of Attica on her hands. But come on; name me one boy who isn't a future ballet dancer or the next Bill Gates who doesn't cut corners, hear what he wants to hear, and would rather walk backwards into a Hurricane than do what someone tells him to do?
Two days ago he comes home from school, takes off his clothes, and proudly shows his Grandmother the pajamas he slept in the night before that he wore UNDER his school clothes because he was too lazy to actually take them off that morning. Yeah, it was dumb but you gotta admire his initiative.
I'll be the first to admit this is all new to me; all I've had to go on up to now is a organized neat freak little girl who couldn't bear not making straight A's and did everything she could to stay out of trouble; personally? When it comes to Rakes I'm grateful for every day that doesn't end in a visit to the principle, suspension, or expulsion.
Besides, there is some small part of me that wants to shout "If you think HE'S bad, wait until you get a load of THIS one!"
(Notice the Middle finger. May God Have Mercy on Their Souls.)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hi. My name is Ted and I'm a basebalaholic.
Is there a 12 step program available for this yet?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
However, last night at the party I learned a few more details about Rakes call to 911 on Saturday.
It came to my attention that in addition to Trot excitedly asking this poor man if HE could go to jail, the following conversation took place....
Trot: "Oooh. What is DAT?"
Cop: "My taser."
Trot: "OOOOOOH. Your TASER? Tan I hold your taser? What it do? Tan I shoot it?"
Cop: "Uh, no. You might hurt yourself."
Trot: "Oh. I might hurt myself? What is DAT?"
Cop: "My gun."
Trot: "OOOOOH. Your DUN? Tan I hold your dun? Pleeeeeease?"
Cop: (Nervously looking at Ang) "Uh, no son. It's dangerous."
Trot: "Why?" (I should interject here that Ang immediately deduced this man didn't have any children as he spent the next 5 minutes calmly trying to explain why Trot couldn't hold a deadly weapon, only to be greeted with "Why?" every 7 seconds.)
Somehow this poor man managed to convince Rakes that while it was serious business to dial 911 he would not be doing any jail time for it, keep his weapons away from Trot, make Ang feel better about the whole thing, and drive away before Trot planted himself in the back seat and wanted to make the siren go.
Again, it's these moments that make me truly grateful I work on Saturday.
Oh yeah; rumor is Theo may ask Pedie to play short stop this year.
Pedie. Short stop.
Sometimes the headline just writes itself.