Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sometimes they surprise you.

Thanks to two couples who popped in the store at approximately 6:55 p.m. tonight and a quick drive to my Mom's to say goodbye to my sister and her family before they headed back to Oklahoma, I got home a little after 8 tonight.

Surprisingly, Rakes and Trot were actually sitting still on the couch watching some Charlie Brown special and not re-enacting the final 7 minutes of the Undertaker vs Mankind "Hell in a Cell" match and I was told Ciera was spending the night with her friend across the street.

It wasn't 2 minutes later the doorbell rang and Ciera was on my front porch. Letting her in, I gave her a big hug, asked about her day, and inquired why she was home.

Remember, she's 12 going on 30 and full of raging hormones. Her reply to my question?

"I was watching to see when you came home. I just wanted to come give you a hug and tell you I love you."


They go and do something that breaks your heart.

In a totally great way.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I had my picture taken with Red Auerbach in Boston back in June.

It was that kind of year.

Unexpected trip to my favorite place on earth thanks to the kindness and generosity of JB and countless other great people combined with the Three Amigos Wandering Spectacular to Florida and Georgia helped make 2010 one for the ages.

It also greatly lessened the sting of turning 40 and the inevitable collateral damage of also turning officially middle aged.

My wife still loves me, my kids haven't killed me yet, I've got 2 great friends (one being a certifiable lunatic and the other just plain certifiable not withstanding) and the Red Sox have loaded up the Gatling Gun for the upcoming season.

Here's to 2011 being even better.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Coming Soon.

As the chaos know as the Christmas Holiday finally winds down and all the gifts have been open and dinners have been eaten and Trot has had, hopefully, his last epic meltdown of the Yuletide season I find myself taking a moment to reflect.

My family had a fantastic Christmas. I got to see friends from Boston and family from Oklahoma and got cards from all over the country that were sent by people who thought enough of me and my raging band of lunatics to take the time to send us a note saying they were thinking about us.

My kids got pretty much everything they wanted (Except Rakes and the elusive I Pod. I keep having to remind him he's SEVEN.) and while I didn't get Peace on Earth I at least got Nobody Went to the ER.

Yeah, my house is sort of a mess still, and yeah that is kicking my OCD into overdrive but I'm pretty sure by Sunday it'll be back to normal, the kids will be fussing about having to go to school, and I'll be back to debating with myself whether I should go ahead and buy that home Heart Attack Paddle kit I saw in the L.L. Bean catalog or just let it ride and hope for the best.

But as I sit here with snow on the ground, my driveway packed with ice and the sounds of Trot yelling like a banshee some 4 hours before echoing in my mind, there is one image that I found that reminds me better, warmer days are ahead.

I'm not sure how many days it is until pitchers and catchers report, but I do know it's closer today than it was yesterday.

And that's good enough for now.

*Image courtesy of*

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Diary

5:30 a.m.

Trot wakes me up by coming down the stairs like a strung out Himalayan elephant and running into my room screaming "Santa came last night" while I do everything in my power not to throw the pillow my head is laying on at him.

5:31a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

I lay on my side and pray for death or the final present to be opened, whichever comes first. (Side note: I stayed up until 1 reading the new Dennis Lehane novel so I sort of did it to myself.)

6:30 a.m. to around 10 a.m.

Ever tried to sleep with 3 kids hopped up on Christmas Day adrenaline and remote control cars?

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Nana bought them the Wii Fit, and after several attempts to figure out why the remotes wouldn't work I realized you had to "sync" it. I was about 2 minutes from throwing it out the front door before figuring this out. Turns out reading the directions actually DOES help. Go figure.

This thing is wild; it tells you your Body Mass Index, how much weight you need to lose or gain, and your "Wii Fit" age. Turns out I'm really 48, which surprised me; due to my lack of any type of physical activity and questionable diet I was figuring on about 67.

1 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Late lunch with family at my Mom's house, followed by a couple of hours playing some card game called "Hand and Foot" which I'm pretty sure my brother in law made up on the spot just to screw with me. Throw in Trot doing SEVERAL renditions of Christmas Carols while sounding eerily like the Chinese waiters at the end of "A Christmas Story" and Rakes running around wearing a wrestling title belt and we were one turkey catching on fire away from an episode of COPS.

6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

Trot, Rakes, and Ciera playing the Wii while on 4 hours of sleep while Ang and I tried to read. Somehow Trot slipped through the defense lines and snuck an ice cream sandwich into the toy room, yet when found with chocolate all over his face and the wrapper STILL IN HIS HAND he had the marbles to yell "I Didn't do ANYTHING!" This is what happens to 4 year olds on Christmas Day who slept less than your average tweaker the night before, had sensory overload with free toys all day and hopped up on gum, ice cream, and roughly 2300 M&M's.

8:30 to present time of 9:46 p.m.

Ang and Ciera are curled up watching a movie, Trot and Rakes are sound asleep, and I'm desperately trying to get my heart beat back to normal after Ciera yelled out 30 minutes ago that she had a leak in her ceiling and the snow was coming through the roof.

Turns out her lava lamp went all Rosemary's Baby and was spewing whatever that liquid is in a lava lamp out all over her while she was reading.

I now know how Clark Griswold felt when he realized Cousin Eddie was, in fact, standing on his lawn.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Man, and Opening Day can't get here fast enough.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas, however, is still in December

From my loud, deranged, and chaotic corner of the world to yours;

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blue Christmas

It's been a few days since I posted, but that was due to the fact we got the Blues for a few days. JB and Amy came to visit and as usual it went by too fast and they left too soon.

We've got a day's worth of memories, along with some wicked awesome Sox stuff and speaking for the entire deranged crew?

We can't wait until they visit again.

My biggest wish for everyone who reads this blog is that there is someone in your life that you think as much about that you get to spend a little time with over the Christmas Holiday.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Up is Down and Down is Up.

My Mother in Law bought me Dennis Lehane's new novel "Moonlight Mile" for Christmas. But no matter how much I turn on the charm or beg or plead, she won't let me have it until Christmas.

Too lazy to go the library and too cheap to actually buy a new book, I'm reading Bill Simmons "Now I Can Die in Peace" for about the 3,694th time. Much to my amazement, I find something new each time I turn the page.

Tonight, I found this little blurb that not only made me smile, but in light of the Yankees chuckle inducing off season of missing out on Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, AND Zack Greinke and due to the fact their biggest signs have been 41 year old Mariano Rivera and Jeets this is even MORE poignant.

Simmons, talking about Tom Gordon flipping out over Dave Roberts dancing off first base in Game 5 of the ALCS and giving up a single to Trot Nixon (regular readers know how much I love me some Trot) and causing Torre to bring in The Fruit Bat who then gave up a sac fly to Tek that tied the game:

"One of the most unfair blown saves. Then again, f*** him".

Other than the whole "One of the most unfair blown saves" thing, this was EXACTLY what I was thinking when it happened.

I have no idea how I'm making it through the next 4 months.

But the 2011 baseball season is gonna be one for the ages.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

18 and Counting

Today marks the day Ang lost her ever loving mind and actually said "I do" and when she did I was as shocked as anybody. Her actually agreeing to spend the rest of her life with me ranks right up there in the "Holy Crap" Hall of Fame. J.R. Ewing getting shot, the Red Sox winning the '04 ALCS and Jack Bauer chopping his partners hand off in order to save the world are about the only three moments that actually top it.

Somehow we've made it another year without killing each other or the kids sending one of us off the reservation and Trot gave us the best anniversary present we could have asked for; he's finally completely, totally, 100% potty trained. No more diapers at night!

So we head into year 19 with Ciera on the threshold of teenager-land, Rakes edging ever so closer into "Hey Dad! Watch me ride my ripstick off the roof and onto the trampoline!" territory, and Trot.......well, let's just say it's gonna take a lot of Band Aids, super glue, and Prozac to get to a year from today.

Thanks to the prettiest girl who'll ever walk in the room for the best 18 years of my life.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jerry Remy Stunk

Christmas is almost here and pitchers and catchers reporting is right around the corner.

Thank God.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

El Gringo Guapo

I gotta give credit for the title to Jr, who texted me the news of the Bobby Jenks signing while I was at work today.

The fact that behemoth of a man with the pink paint brush hanging off his chin and the chest Dolly Parton would envy is now the Red Sox 7th inning set up man has me positively giddy.

Throw in the caveat that Theo signed him for TWO years and you've got more potential comedic situations than the average Three Stooges episode.

Let the Bobby Jenks Era begin!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When I dream, I dream BIG

//"It's plenty of money," Lee said. "When you hit a certain point, enough's enough. It's just a matter of where you're comfortable, where you're happy, where your family's the most comfortable, what team gives you the best chance to win."//

The more I think about this whole "Cliff Lee left a crap load of money on the table and basically told the Yankees he'd rather play in a city where they boo'd Santa Claus AND Mike Schmidt than take their money and deal with idiot reporters every day" thing the more amazed I get.

Look, the fact he's gonna be part of one of the best starting rotations ever factored in his decision, along with the fact he loved the manager, his teammates, and the city. And the Phillies are one of the top 5 teams in the game and figure to stay there for the foreseeable future. But what Lee did is completely opposite of what every other player the Yankees set their sights on has ever done; CC, Burnett, Slappy, Rogah, Kevin Brown, Damon, etc.. all paid lip service to listening to other teams offers only to bolt to the Yankees when they opened up the vault.

I jokingly referenced the scene in "Training Day" on Facebook the other day about how all of a sudden it's like the rest of the league has turned into the project residents that Washington's Alonzo Harris had crapped on for years and the Yankees were now Alonzo Harris. They've bullied and bribed and spent their way to the top for so many years that it's almost like the league is as sick of it as everybody whose not a Yankee fan walking the streets are. And they turn a deaf ear to his yelling and ordering and intimidating and simply walk away.

Like most things I come up with it was completely grabbed out of my rear end with no basis on fact and was, predictably, wrong. Lee is the exception, not the rule and I'm sure they'll be plenty of players in the near future who will follow the all-mighty dollar. The Yankees will always be the lead dog in the race to sign any big name free agents and it'll be a pier six brawl in the AL East until the day Gabriel blows his horn.

But for one brief instance in my addled, sleep deprived, Sponge Bob Squarepants saturated brain, it was Training Day all over again.

Thanks, Cliff.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How about that?

*Image from*

Eat it, Hank.

Lee goes to Philadelphia for 5 years, leaving roughly half the U.S. deficit on the table, and sends the collective Yankee fan base over the edge.

Merry Christmas Red Sox Nation!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The NFL: Not For Long Term

According to the Associate Press, concussions are up 21% this year over last year. After all the new rules and fines and general freaking out by the league, concussions have gone UP.

Watch the video I linked. There is the equivalent of a car wreck on every. single. play. After they reach the age of 45 I would bet you there aren't too many men who played professional football who don't need 30 minutes, a pie chart and an algebra teacher to figure out the physics of putting on a pair of pants in the morning due to chronic pain. Yes, they choose a violent way to make a living. And yes, they get compensated extremely well to play the game. Nobody put a gun to their head and told 'em to do it and most go into knowing they are giving up years on the back nine to play the front.

Saying all that, the NFL wants to INCREASE the number of games from 16 to EIGHTEEN next year.

The NFL is a printing press for money; the league, the owners, the players, the television networks and the advertisers all profit. And if they have a work stoppage or lock out or whatever they want to call it next year I'll be as ticked off as the next guy.

UNLESS it's over the players refusing to play those 2 extra games.

When it comes to their long term health?

I'll take their side every time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I LOVE the Winter Meetings. Especially THIS year.

*Image courtesy of*

Quote courtesy of my brother from another mother.

"[Bleeping] Theo," one GM said of Boston general manager Theo Epstein. "What a brilliant move."

To paraphrase the great Hannibal Smith?

I love it when a plan comes together.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's a Beautiful Thing

Trying to wrap my mind around the past few days hasn't been easy; all of a sudden the Red Sox have gone from talking about things like "fiscal integrity", "bridge years" and fretting about the Yankees spending the equivalent of the budget of Bulgaria each season to what we've seen the past week or so.

The formerly conservative front office has turned into the baseball version of Richard Pryor in the all-time classic "Brewsters Millions". If I didn't know better I'd swear Henry told Theo he had to spend a gazillion dollars before Opening Day or his 2011 salary wouldn't kick in. They've given an 8 year and a 7 year contract that combined are worth around $300 million, made an offer to Mariano Rivera, were in on the Jason Werth deal, told Cliff Lee they'd give him a 7 year deal, are trying to sign Russell Martin, are rumored to be in on every available relief pitcher out there. At this point it wouldn't shock me if they brought back Pedro to pitch just Opening Day for $25 million and then have him coach third the rest of the year.

Don't get me wrong; as a fan, I love this stuff. And they're doing it the right way; giving long term deals to guys hitting their prime, locking up their young players to team friendly contracts, and keeping the fan base invested while at the same time causing the Yankees and their acolytes to go completely bats***. I'd give Jr's left marble to be a fly on the wall inside THEIR meetings right about now; Theo has ensured they will give idiotic money and idiotic years to try and get Cliff Lee, and they'll probably offer their entire farm system for Zack Greinke, who has to be at least 50/50 odds to totally go Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" after 3 months in that zoo.

Basically, this is better than that Christmas I had as a kid when I got a Redskins helmet, an Atari 2600 and my sister got a whipping for doing something terrible to me. I can't quite remember what she did, but I'm sure it was big time awful. However, that doesn't answer the question of "Why?". Why now, and not last year or 3 years ago or whenever you want to pick did they decide to do this? I don't KNOW why, but I've got as good a reason as any.

My guess? One day after the season ended and probably before he decided to buy a soccer team in England (Yes. John Henry bought a soccer team. Don't ask me why; could be as simple as he just can.) I think he had a come to Jesus moment.

He woke up, looked in the mirror and did what I imagine he does every morning; marveled at the fact he looks just like Crispin Glover in "Back to the Future" when Marty comes back home and his Dad and Mom are super cool and the guy who tried to rape his Mom back in the 50's is now washing his Dad's cars. (Think about THAT for a minute.)

Then he said "I'm John Freaking Henry. I own the Boston Red Sox, I've got more money than Thurston Howell III, my wife is smoking hot, and I haven't had to tie my own shoes in years. I'm the proprietor of one of the most revered and loved sports franchises with one of the national treasures of ball parks, have more boats, cars, homes, and pocket protectors of anyone I know. Sure I'm a little bit nerdy, and yeah I'm about as comfortable in front of a camera as The Elephant Man but I freaking OWN THE BOSTON RED SOX! For years I've let those thugs in New York throw money around like they print it in the basement of Yankee Stadium while I acted like I owned the Kansas City Royals instead of the FREAKING BOSTON RED SOX!"

"It's time to make the donuts!"

He probably immediately called Theo, told him to stroll into the winter meetings smoking Cuban cigars lit by $100 dollar bills while dressed like Sherlock Holmes and declare to the
entire throng in attendance "Gentlemen. The game is afoot."

I am officially GIDDY about the 2011 baseball season.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moments in TIme

John Lennon died 30 years ago today.

Is it just me, or is the fact Howard Freaking Cosell was the guy who broke the news the height of irony?

6 years prior he had that conversation with Lennon.

The fact it was a Pats/Dolphin overtime game when he broke the news about Lennon's death only piles on to the issue.

One of the best musicians of all time died and Howard Cosell is the dude who announced it to the world.

That is the modern day equivalent of Chris Berman saying Bono died.

Only without all the inevitable "Back, back, back to the Joshua Tree!" crap.

RIP, John. And hopefully the rest of us will someday give Peace a Chance.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm only smiling to keep from crying

Ciera is as excited as I am about Gonzo arriving in Boston.

And if you plan on showing up on my doorstep one day wanting to take my baby girl out for the evening?

You better have a plan, a graph telling me where you're going, and her home by 10:30. And not in my driveway at 10:30 but in MY living room at 10:30.

BTW? YOU will be in your car on the way home at that point.

'Course this is 20 years in the future so you've got some time.

Sweet Holy Moses where has the last 12 years gone?

And is it too late for her to join the convent?

Monday, December 6, 2010

You call it weird. I call it Monday night supper.

*Image courtesy of my sister Sheri*

While I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, Ciera was prattling off about her day, and Trot was mangling his roast beef and asking for the 4,000th time if he could be done, Rakes and I had the following exchange.

Rakes: "Dad. Is bench a bad word?"

Me: "What?"

Rakes: "Is bench a bad word?"

Me: (Thinking some kid taught him some Snoop Dog lyrics at school today) "Is bench a bad word? No. What are you talking about?"

Rakes: (Clearly annoyed) "Is BENCH a bad word?"

Me: "How do you mean?"

Rakes: "Like, you are a bench. Is it bad?"

Me: (Thinking, thinking, thinking.....) "Where did you hear it?"

Rakes: "In a book about Justin Beiber I read."

Me: (He can barely read I am Sam. How is he reading a book about Justin Beiber? Where did he get it? How fast can I burn it? What is he talking about?) "You read a book about Justin Beiber? Why would you do that?"

Rakes: "I don't know. Hey Dad. I got to the next level on Mario Brothers."

Me: (Thank God. I really didn't want to finish the road we were heading down.) "That's great, son. Keep up the good work."

In an unrelated note, the Adrian Gonzalez deal is official.

Jr, you can come inside off the ledge now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Gonzo is in. I think.

Jason Werth took $126 million to play for....... The Nationals.

No, really. He signed with the Washington Nationals.

Rivera and Captain Intangibles are back in the Bronx, I'll be seeing Buzz Lightyear and Woody in my dreams, and I paid $30 FOR THREE ICEES IN A PLASTIC BOTTLE today.

Yep. Sounds about right.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Looks like Youk is moving back to Third Base and the Adrian Beltre era in Boston lasted approximately 1 year, which I gotta admit; sort of sucks. No more home runs hit from a kneeling position, no more defensive plays at third that looked like something out of "The Matrix", and no more demented looks while chasing some teammate who thought it would be hilarious to rub the head of an insane person.

Let the Adrian Gonzales era commence.

Check out his career stats here, playing close attention to 2007-2010.

This is gonna be fun to watch.

In an unrelated note, I'm taking the kids to THIS tomorrow afternoon.

God help me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cue the Music: Welcome Back.

*Image courtesy of Kelly O and*

Looks like the Captain is gonna be around for at least one more year. 1 year, $2 million base salary with another $300,000 possible with incentives are the figures that keep Jason Varitek in Boston, at least for next season.

I gotta admit; my stomach was in knots at the prospect of seeing him in a Dodger, Blue Jay, or Oriole uniform. The fact that he probably won't hit his body weight at the plate next year doesn't bother me.

There are still 3 certainties left in my life.

1. Trot is more than likely going to do SOMETHING tomorrow that would result in imprisonment in a foreign country.

2. Rakes will work the word "nuts" into a conversation at some point in the next 24 hours.

And 3? Jason Varitek will be wearing a Red Sox uniform with the letter "C" on his chest next year.

One out of Three ain't bad.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Old Dudes.

I'm 40 years old and can't walk to the mailbox without stopping to catch my breath. Granted, I sell furniture for a living so the comparison is sort of skewed, but the fact Jamie Moyer just underwent Tommy John surgery and is already planning a comeback at the age of FORTY NINE in 2012 made me swell up with pride.

In a sport where you're considered "old" at 35 and ancient at the age of 40, Moyer is planning to come back from MAJOR surgery TWO years from now and pitch against a bunch of young pups full of youth, vigor, and not enough smarts to come in out of the rain.

From my perspective, this is the real-life equivalent of Rocky Balboa coming out of retirement to fight some 20 something punk itching to beat down a legend.

I think taking Rakes to Target on a Wednesday night to buy some Pokemon cards is tough; this cat is willing to have ligament transplant surgery, go through thousands of hours of rehab and weeks and months of pain and misery all for the prospect of throwing a 85 mile an hour fastball to Albert Freaking Pujols.

It almost makes me want to go out, join the local gym, and put in hours of pain and suffering so I can play on the church's softball team next season.


I may be old but I'm not senile.