Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Anti-Tito.

He managed the Mets to the 2000 World Series, so he can manage in a media circus.

He's smart, witty, a baseball lifer, doesn't seem like he takes a lot of crap off people and he's got thick skin. All of which will serve him well in Boston.

In Japan, he managed for several years and took his team to a championship so he can deal with foreign players and the chaos that usually follows them so dealing with a multi-national clubhouse should be a piece of cake.

But the biggest reason I'm stoked about Bobby Valentine being the next manager of the Red Sox?

He once got tossed out of a game and came back to the dugout wearing the lamest disguise this side of Robin's little mask.

Seriously, a fake 'stache, some sunglasses and a hat?

Trot could have done better in his sleep.

Welcome to Boston, Bobby V.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis the Season.

For the first time in two years, we're going to have an official Christmas card. And no, this isn't it, although it's sort of fitting, right?

For whatever reason, Ang decided we'd have a family card this year so we hornswaggled my sister into riding to the lake with us to take our mug shots. And yes, the thought of "We're going to the lake to take a picture. The odds Trot stays dry are about 100 to 1" DID cross my mind.

Yet except for a few times where it was somewhat dicey everybody stayed dry, shirts stayed tucked in, I didn't have a coronary yelling at someone, and for the most part nobody got muddy.

I haven't seen the pictures yet, however.

So the jury is still out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rome wasn't built in a day. But it was faster than this.




Thursday, November 24, 2011

Plymouth Rock has nothing on us.

In our very Griswold like tradition, Thanksgiving Day has always been the day we get all our Christmas stuff up. Partly due to Ang being a teacher and having the weekend to get it all together, partly due to me only getting the one day to help her, and the other part being I have a touch of OCD and getting the tree up and all the decorations put out would just seem hinky on any other day.

After we got the tree back home, lo and behold we had our first Christmas miracle of the year; while sliding the couch over I looked down and found Rakes long lost DS. This thing has been missing since around the first week of school and I KNOW I looked under that same spot under the couch AT LEAST 15 times but there it was.

After a day of arguing, untying tangled lights, vacuuming 800 gazillion pine needles and garland off every square inch of the house, watching Trot break 2 ornaments I've had since I was 5 years old, and listening to Trot mangle "Oh Christmas Tree" in a way only he can?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Dalton style.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dad, what do you call a snail on a boat? A Snailer.

If you couldn't tell by the fact he looks EXACTLY like me, right down to the unruly mop of hair sitting on top of his head, the fact he's wearing a Red Sox shirt and jeans with at least 2 visible holes in them would tell you right off you're looking at my son.

8 years ago tomorrow it had been me, Ang, and Ciera for 5 years; granted, we tried to have them closer together but there's a line that goes something along "If you wanna hear God laugh, tell him YOUR plans". And so it was, on November 23 2003, just 11 months before the Sox finally broke through, that my son was born.

It's been a wild ride, most of which I've documented here along the way. The Doc told us he was probably a Downs Syndrome baby, then he came out feet first with the umbilical cord tied around his neck yet he's smart, funny, healthy, rowdy, polite, and the apple of my eye.

Tomorrow he turns 8 and if I slow down and think about it I'll probably cry like a baby but for right now? He's my best bud, my Red Sox watching companion, my catch partner, and he thinks I'm the best thing in the world.

So I'm just gonna enjoy it while it lasts.

Happy Birthday, mini-me.

Love you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, Monday.

Has it ever felt like you were going to drop over in agony just by touching the hair on your arm?

Or the outside of your ear hurt just turning over? Or your legs feel like you've just done 100 squats when you haven't seen the inside of a gym since Clinton was in office?

I have no idea what I've got; no fever, no sore throat, a mild headache, and otherwise seem fine except for the fact it feels like I'm getting hit with a hammer every time I take a step.

Throw in Rakes getting up 13 times in the last 30 minutes, wondering how I'm getting out of bed and to work in the morning, and this thing with Ciera and "He who shall not be named" is showing no sign of ending soon and I could use a Valium, a nap, and a shot of Johnny Walker.

And not necessarily in that order.

Friday, November 18, 2011

All I'm Missing is a Lampshade on My Head.

Ang fell asleep at 8, followed by Trot crashing on the chair around 8:20, leaving me and Rakes sprawled on the couch watching Kitchen Nightmares while he looked at one of Ciera's yearbooks from when she was in Elementary School.

Somebody stop the roller coaster; I wanna get off.

Although I know in 10 years I'm gonna be looking at my empty living room on a Friday night and wishing I could go back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Amid the urine and Pokemon obsession comes a glimmer of hope.

To paraphrase the great quote from Al Michaels in the 1980 Winter Olympics:


They may come home on yellow everyday, but they haven't missed a day so far and both got, wait for it.......

Academic Awards at school today.

So Trot can't go to the bathroom without hollering his head off or pinched that little girl the other day or wanders off to the science lab for 20 minutes at a time; he got most improved in Math!

And even though Rakes can't sit still, his desk area at school looks like a small explosive device went off and leaves his lunchbox at school roughly 3 times a week; he got the advanced reader award for 2nd grade!

I still think they'll end up as the stars of "Jackass" someday, but maybe, JUST maybe they can somehow win an Oscar doing it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, Monday.

About a month ago Ang asked me if I could take the kids to the Dentist this morning, and like most things that give me nightmares I immediately pushed it to the back of my mind and pretended like she never asked, only to be jerked back to reality on Saturday when she reminded me.

My first thought was "Why do I agree to these things?" immediately followed by "Dear God, I hope Trot doesn't get a hold of a drill while he's back there". Turns out, it actually went pretty smooth. We got there at 7:50, spent 15 minutes filling out paperwork while watching Trot stalk some other kid in front of the tv out of the corner of my eye, and about 8:10 they took 'em all to the back.

Now, Ciera I'm not worried about. But those two living Super Balls out of my sight and with totally unaware dental hygienists had me a little nervous. Turns out, other than her comment to me of "Well, HE'S a little handful isn't he?" I had nothing to worry about. No cavities, no expensive crowns, no unauthorized use of the thing that sucks the spit out of your mouth, and no sticking utensils in inappropriate places.

Trot, however, did provide a laugh. The lady cleaning his teeth asked him if Rakes was his brother, and when Trot said yes she remarked that she wouldn't have guessed.

His response?

"Yeah. He's the quiet one."

I think I'll just duct tape a video camera to the top of his head from here on out.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So Long, Pap

I'm WAY late with this but as most of the free world knows already, Jonathan Paplebon signed a 4 year, $50 million dollar deal with the Phillies. No more "Shipping Up to Boston" in the ninth, no more river dancing in compression shorts with a Bud Light box on his head, and no more 6 minute pauses between pitches.

From Day 1 he made no secret of his desire to test free agency and I'm guessing when he saw the Phillies were willing to make him the highest paid relief pitcher in history that was enough to seal the deal. However, unless your last name is Rivera and your first name is Mariano being a closer is a crap shoot; yeah, Pap did it for a long time but history is littered with guys who have sev
eral great years then just lose it for one reason or another.

I don't know if Pap will lose it just like I don't know if he'll end up in the Hall of Fame. I DO know that I agree with the Red Sox brass in that I don't want to give him $50 million to find out, not when that money can be used elsewhere.

Good luck, Paps.

And thanks for 2007.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rakes and Ted's Excellent Adventure

I gotta admit.

He looked so flipping happy I almost left him with the Baboons at the Zoo today.

I'd miss the little maniac too much to do it, though.

Spent the day with Rakes and roughly 200 other 2nd graders today, and even with the rain, cold, and general spazziness that only 200 seven year old children can provide?

We had a most bodacious time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Napalm Happy Valley. STAT.

I'm not gonna get too far into it, as every news source, web site, newspaper, and networks are covering it ten fold but the horrifying stories coming out of Penn State are turning my stomach.

There are a lot of questions that need answers; how did this sick, demented individual not only gain but maintain access to the facilities of one of the most prestigious colleges in America, how much/how long did the 84 year old patron saint really know, and how did so many people turn a blind eye come to mind.

But for me, the biggest question is this. How did this eyewitness, who purportedly witnessed first hand something even hardened criminals serving life in prison find completely depraved, just simply walk away and wait until the NEXT DAY to tell someone?

Not go to the police, not tell a superior IMMEDIATELY, and better yet, not do his very best to put this guy THROUGH the nearest available wall?

I'm 5 ft 5 and weigh 145 pounds when I'm wearing 10 foot weights in my shoes and this guy would have been breathing through a tube and eating all his food through a straw if I'd seen this. The fact that these people just turned a blind eye and apparently hoped it would all just go away makes me sick to my stomach.

If we don't look out for the children and the disabled and the down trodden and the ones who don't have a voice then what are we?

There's a line in Shawshank where the warden threatens Andy that he's gonna throw him down into the pit with the Sodomites in the prison.

My God, if there's one time in life that I wish I could channel a movie it's now.

Only that would be too good for these people.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tomorrow? Roller Blades!

Have you ever gone on a bike ride with a 5 year old who just got rid of his training wheels a few weeks prior?

If you haven't, DON'T. Unless you're wearing a football helmet, have nerves of steel, and the reflexes of Spider Man.

This all sounded like a fantastic idea; perfect fall afternoon, spending some quality times with my two boys, and me getting some semblance of exercise. And like all of the things that in my head are great in theory, in reality this was an experience in survival.

For one thing, he's determined to at least keep up with Rakes and not let me get ahead of him, which is fine. Except he's looking everywhere but where he's going which in turn makes you feel like you're riding bumper cars. I figured out I needed to stay behind him after the 5th time he ran me into the curb while avoiding him flying into me.

In addition there were about 15 "I need to take a rest, Dad" the first of which occurred no more than 100 yards from our driveway. We had to stop and push our bikes up any hills bigger than a bike ramp (Of course I had to as well as him; remember, I couldn't get ahead of him) and on the ensuing down hill rides?

Have you ever heard anyone use the phrase "Hell bent for leather"?

Imagine Trot wearing a deranged smile going roughly 15 miles an hour down a hill with his feet off the pedals yelling "WHEEEEEEE!!!!" at the top of his lungs. Throw in the fact he still hasn't grasped the whole "push back on the pedals" stopping thing and you get him with his butt 2 inches away from the back tire, dragging his feet on the ground to try and stop at the intersection at the bottom of the hill while I'm screaming "THE BRAKES! HIT THE BRAKES!"

As we slowly pedaled our way home I kept repeating the same thing in my head, over and over.

I wonder if Evel Kenevels kid started out like this.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I read somewhere Orson Welles got HIS start like this.

Rakes got a speaking part in the kid's Christmas play at church this year.

It may be time to look into another church to attend full-time.

This may be the first time in history a parent is going to be guzzling Pepto like it was water during the program.

Throw in the wild card that is Trot ALSO being in the play?

They may ask us to leave before this thing is half-way over.

"America's Funniest Home Video's" is still on the air and you can bet your sweet boopie I'm bringing the camera come December. If nothing else, I may be able to fund a couple of college educations out of all of this.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hey, Sam Malone did it. Why not me?

This is what it's come to.

Baseball is over and won't return for 6 months. Theo and Tito are gone, one to Chicago and the other to God knows where.

Trot is on a record setting pace to shatter the Kindergarten "Get on Yellow" prize, Rakes is asking me what "gay" means, and Ciera is THIS close to me shipping her off to Alaska to live out her teenage years, although if I did I'm pretty sure some Eskimo in the middle of nowhere would find her and my stomach ulcer will go Defcon 5 no matter what I do.

So I'm left to become obsessed with a show called "Bar Rescue", which is really nothing more than "Kitchen Nightmares", only this time without a foul mouthed English dude. In his place is a foul mouthed dude with big eyes and male pattern baldness who "fixes" bars by showing the clueless owners how their inept staff is costing them money by over pouring and how drunk people REALLY want more edible food.

If I learned one thing over the past week or so it's this.

I REALLY need to get a hobby.

Or MLB seriously needs to look into going year round.