Friday, July 28, 2006
I use public restrooms, and I piss on the seat...
Yeah, that seems about right.
(Thanks Nowhere Girl)
Anyway, I will probably post a little more about it next week when I have time. Or not. Have a great weekend!
Friday, July 21, 2006
I am entering my apricot braised pork chops in the grillinng event on Sunday and confidence is high. These are the same ones that I wanted to submit in New Hampshire, but couldn't because my wife had bronchitis and I had to skip it. That only means that I had at least four more practice attempts, so they are truly perfect.
I will post some pics on Monday, and maybe a recipe. Have a great weekend y'all!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
More Crying, More Baseball
Old Yeller - To quote the great John Winger in `Stripes', "Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I'm sure… I cried my eyes out!" What is more tear-jerking than a boy losing his dog? Probably nothing in this world.
Pride of the Yankees – Gary Cooper does a better job of delivering Lou Gehrig's farewell speech than Gehrig himself… And I'm a Red Sox fan! Throughout this movie, you grow to love Gehrig, for being a great son, husband and ball player. And even though you know the he is going to die, it kicks you square in the nuts when he asks, "Is it three strikes, Doc?"
Brian's Song – No, not that fraud of a remake a few years ago. I mean the original with Billy D. Williams and the great James Caan. The scene where Gayle Sayers is accepting the award and talks about his dying friend, "I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him." Damn, it gets me just reading it.
Something for Joey – Yes, another football movie, another relationship with a cancer victim, and another gut-wrenching award scene as Penn State's John Cappelletti receives the Heisman Trophy and tells everyone he wants Joey to have it, for inspiring him and for enduring so much difficulty with leukemia. Joey runs up to meet his brother at the podium, and there is not a dry eye in the house.
Bambi – It's obvious to me that anyone who still hunts has never seen Bambi.
The Green Mile: Seeing the child-like John Coffey actually go to the electric chair troubling to say the least. Tremendous acting all around in the Steven King classic.
Monday, July 17, 2006
There's Some Crying in Baseball
I love this movie, and I don't think that I really knew just how much until recently. And yes, I cried a little while watching it, but that happens every time I see it. The scene at the end is what gets me, and most other guys that I know.
If you are not familiar with the movie then this might not make sense, but there is this scene when Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is talking to his father John on the field. His father is not an elderly man, but a young man with his whole life ahead of him, prior to Ray's birth. (Remember the title!) Ray only refers to him as John, but he knows that it is his father.
The conversation ends like this:
John: Well, good night Ray.
Ray: Good night, John. [They shake hands and John begins to walk away]
Ray: Hey... Dad? [John turns]
Ray: [choked up] "You wanna have a catch?"
John: I'd like that.
And that's when the tears begin. Every time.
For every little boy that grew up tossing the ball around the back yard with his dad, this scene is a killer. But why?
For me, it's simple. As a kid, I always looked forward to my dad coming home from work, putting on a mitt, and having a catch with me. Then I got a little older, went to high school and quit playing baseball. I quit having the catches too.
I had my developing life to deal with, and having a catch with dad just wasn't cool anymore. There were other people to hang out with, and football practice was starting too. In short, my childhood effectively ended when I stopped having the catches with dad.
As I sit here and worry about my wife and son, my job, my mortgage payment and my taxes, I can't help but miss the innocence of my youth. And this movie, particularly that scene, brings it all to the surface.
And I can't wait to toss the ball around the back yard with Jake.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Have you ever heard the saying, "If you've got something that needs to be done, give it to a busy person"? The idea is that busy people always find a way to get things done, regardless of the circumstances.
I used to be that busy person. In college, I worked a full-time job, took a full load of classes, maintained a fairly decent social life, played in a hockey league, and still had time to spend with my girlfriend. And I still managed to sleep 6-8 hours a night.
My plate was full, but manageable.
After graduation, I moved back to Jersey, worked two jobs, helped plan my wedding, maintained an even better social life, and still had time to spend with my fiancé.
Again, I had a full, but manageable, plate.
In the years after college and marriage, I moved around a lot for work; Ft. Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Tampa, Providence, and finally Connecticut. My work days were long, and since we kept moving around and didn't know anyone, I really didn't have much of a social life. We lived in our RV while we were traveling, so I didn't have a house to maintain. My wife and I were always together, and that was life. Work. Wife. Sleep. Eat. Repeat.
My plate looked like something that you would get in some snazzy French restaurant; Not quite enough on it. I was bored. I got real lazy. I put on a lot of weight, even by my standards. (Side note: I have always been bigger than everyone else around me. As a HS freshman, I was 13 years old and 265lbs.) In short, nothing got done other than the basics.
Then we bought a house with a lot of land to maintain (4 ½ acres), at least by New England standards. There are renovation projects. There is home maintenance. There is landscaping. And of course, there is grass mowing.
By now, the plate is getting pretty full again. My wife is working, so financial burdens are pretty light. Things are getting done. I still have the weight issue, but I'm making progress. Life is starting to make sense again.
Now enter Jake. He is awesome and I make time for him regardless of anything else going on. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, so all the finances are on me. She spends every waking moment with him, and most sleeping moments, so she is always exhausted. Also, she has been fighting bronchitis for like 6 weeks now and she can't shake it. My house chores have increased to not only the yard work, but laundry, grocery shopping, and most of the cooking. Work has calmed down quite a bit from the construction days, but it still demands 11 hours each day, including commuting time. And my weight? At 36 years old, I am the heaviest I have ever been. That further complicates things because I have no energy whatsoever, so even less is getting done when I do have time.
My plate is much too full, and I can feel myself shutting down. I can feel myself going to a place where nothing is going to get done. It's all too much right now. I joined a gym to try to work off the stress (and a couple of pounds), but I have only managed to make it there once. Work and life keep getting in the way.
So here I am now, trying to get things back to a happy medium. Too much time on my hands is a bad thing, but not enough time to get stuff done is even worse. I'm hoping that my wife will be feeling better and up for taking some of the load, but I have to work on the assumption that she won't be, and just get things done. I know that I am not alone on this, and if you have found yourself in this situation and have any advice, it would be appreciated.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I think that this might be the coolest commercial I have ever seen. Glad to see that Otis, Marmalard and Neidermeyer are doing well.
Manny Ramirez was the leading vote-getter for the All Star Game this year, but, citing a knee injury, he has chosen not to go. He was healthy enough to play in all 19 innings of their game on Sunday, but not healthy enough to even show up in Pittsburgh? Even as a Sox fan, I'm a little ashamed of Manny on this one.
Why does soccer keep giving me reasons to hate it? First, France didn't surrender as I had predicted. Then, they determine the winner of this World Cup thing, supposedly the biggest sporting event in the world, in a shootout? Why don't they just do like hockey does in the playoffs and let them keep playing until someone scores? Finally, they award their MVP trophy to Zinedine Zidane, the bonehead that got thrown out of the championship game for taking a cheapshot at one of my Italian brethren. Did I mention that he was on the LOSING team? Ok soccer, back under your rock for four more years.
I just got a raise, and it was actually a little more than I was expecting. But my company likes to base everything on a scale with comparable industry wages, and by that scale, I am still underpaid by about 3%. Should I be happy, or a little disappointed?
I am supposed to go to Jersey for a week at the end of the month, but the woman that usually watches our house, dogs and cats will be out of town that week as well. I can't afford to board the herd, so does anyone want to house sit for me? The pay sucks, but there will be plenty of barbecue in the fridge.
I hate my new cell phone that work has provided. It's a Nokia 6102i, and the damn speaker is so small, that if you move it ever so slightly, you can't hear anything. It is, however, Blue Tooth enabled, so I may need to make a purchase.
Johnny Drama is the freaking man! And if you don't know who he is, then I actually have a pop-culture edge on someone. And that is pretty sad considering that I have never seen a single episode of Lost, Desperate Houswives, Gray's Anatomy, The Apprentice, The Soprano's, American Idol, or any other show that "everyone" seems to watch.
I'm working on a couple of "real" posts that I should have up by the end of the week. Maybe.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Damn. I can't even type that with a straight face. Soccer sucks! I mean, what kind of "sport" can have TWO goals scored in overtime? Geez!
All joking aside, I reconstructed part of a rock wall and planted a tree in front of my house yesterday, and the Advil just isn't cutting it. It wasn't bad enough that the rocks weighed a freaking ton, but there were these giant weeds that I pulled out that had root systems that you would not believe. They were thick, deep and intermingled together. In fact, I hadn't really set out to rebuild the wall, but the roots went under it and it partially collapsed when I was removing them.
I also relocated the sign post by the driveway. Have you ever tried to dig a hole with a post-hole digger in New England? It is an exercise in futility if ever there was one. The hole wound up being about a foot in diameter so that I could dig out all the freaking rocks in there.
So I'm exhausted, my back and knees hurt, and I've got like 15 skeeter bites that are making me itch my ass off. In the immortal words of Garth Brooks, I'm much too young to feel this damn old.
But there was a bright spot from yesterday. My wife was holding my son and watching me move rocks around. As I was tossing them into each other, I heard a little giggle come from my son. I looked up at him, then tossed another rock. He giggled again, this time a little more. Then I took a big rock and threw it into the pile, making a huge crashing sound.
He lost it. It was an absolute belly laugh for about 20 seconds.
His first real laugh, and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. My wife could only hear it, though. She missed that look on his face that I will never forget. I feel a little bad for her, and I told her so. She told me that laugh was just for me, and that there will be other things just for her. She said that I shouldn't feel bad about it, so I won't. How cool is she?
Anyway, hope you all had a great holiday and that you still have all your digits intact. C-ya!
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