Friday Night Lights
What a night. Two-for-two.
Two wins for my teams. Two victories over teams that, in some circles, are almost univerally loathed. Two teams that rank below U.S. Steel, the bubonic plague, and repetitive kicks to the groin.Defending World Champion Red Sox (check!)
5, 26 time something Yankees
3. No. 18 ranked MU women's soccer
4, No. 5 and defending national champion Notre Dame
1. (In the effort of full disclosure, I root for Notre Dame football now that Charlie Weis is there. Never before, though.)
Last year, when the Sox made their improbable ALCS comeback, me and the boys in New Rochelle held vigil all four nights. Same clothes. Same spots. Same food (Domino's bacon pizza). At the time, I had the magic red cast and used it's powers in times of late-inning heroics.
This year, I'm in MKE. DB is in God's Country. Only Malls and Dyzzy remain in New Roc City, but not in 549 - the place to be when it all happened from games 4-7.
So this morning, I seriously mulled going to the ER and asking them to place a red cast on my arm, despite the fact that it wasn't broken. That's why I pay 68 bucks a month for health insurance.
I called the boys. They were ready. Malls was ready with the shots of Jack Daniels. Dyzz had his same outfit cooking. I ordered up a Domino's with bacon (actually, I did the 555 deal and had three pies ordered, as it is a three-game series.). Last year, I rocked the red Johnny Damon t-shirt. But now that red is a bad color around work (see also, Wisconsin, University of), I went with the "Red Sox - Greatest Comeback in Playoff History" shirt. I thought it apropos.
Last year, my man Jeffy called me from the Thurbers Avenue curve. I was in the car, headed down Lincoln Ave. towards 5th in New Roc. I had just heard "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey on the radio. Prophetic at the time, I thought. I answered Jeff's call.
He was calling to tell me that he was stuck in traffic, behind a red jeep with the license plate "JohnnyD 18". Don't Stop Believin' was also on the radio then. Two cars, two states, two radio stations. Same karma.
Tonight, I got in the car and "Manic Monday" was on. If you believe in this b.s. like I do - my notion of iPod karma and random music and songs you hear in relation to real-life shite going on - then you'd think that all-time great by the Bangles would not bode well for the Sox.
I switched the channel quickly. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce. He's from the South Side of Chicago. But the song is about the big, bad southsider getting cut down. The White Sox are playing the Indians. Another bad sign - we don't need the only part of the Southsiders' not bloody to be the soles of their feet. Switch.
"Don't worry...about a thing...cuz every little thing is gonna be alright..."
Thanks Bob. I needed that.
Like Rem Dawg says about the local potion..."Good call."
Onto tomorrow. One.
I've got gas. And I'm cooking with it.
Welcome to the high-speed world of TLBR. This here is the first post on my brand-new laptop, complete with all kinds of bells and whistles...and one of those, you know, es-scanners to track, eh-flying saucers (poor Tony Montana-in the Porsche dealership-imitation).
So it's Thursday and here's what's on the docket for today:
* Sports Illustrated finally updated my address for my subscription and I received my first copy out here in Milwaukee. And miraculously, it's the NHL preview. I think SI dedicated about eight pages to it, which was about eight too many. I fear that even if I left this copy of SI in the crapper in my apt., I'd be more apt to read the ingredients on the back of my tube of Colgate tartar control than I would glance through the season preview for the Calgary Flames. Which is sad, really, because when I was younger, I liked Boston Bruins games a lot. Tom Larson on NESN, Derek Sanderson, the whole nine. It just does nothing for me now.
* The more time that passes since his triple crown on his knee, the more I really feel for Rodney Harrison. Yes, we all know what a leader he is. And it's obvious, to watch him play out there, that his proficiency level at safety is second to none. But this could very well end his career. It's tough enough to tear an ACL and bounce back, especially because doctor's tend to use tendons from the hamstring to fuse the knee back together. But to also have the MCL and PCL to deal with, plus the fact that his position on the field requires explosiveness - and you get that from your hamstrings - the glass is half-empty. But I'm sure he won't go quietly and will be out there with a clipboard and a headset the first chance he gets.
* So like I was saying, I got my new laptop today. And I'm very excited. Because no less than eight hours ago, I was starting at the circa 1998 PowerBook with a Bill Cowher face. Jaw tightened. Scowl. Real mean-looking. Borderline helpless. But lo and behold, it worked. For the first time in history...a mean scowl with jowls worked.
* I'm growing sick and tired of the term "Red Sox Nation," on account of those two semi-prominent, Holy Cross-educated, Boston-area sportswriters use it as their calling cards. (and to the nice anonymous commenter, yes, I'm calling out your boy once again. Flail away...) But last night, I was at Miller Park watching the Brewers fight, scratch and claw their way to the .500 level. I was wearing my Terry Francona-styled fleece pullover, with the "B" on the neck...the one I bought at game one of the World Series last year. Anyway, a nice older couple comes up to be and asks if I am a Red Sox fan. I reply "yes." Turns out that these kind folks were the in-laws of Boston Herald Sox beat writer Jeff Horrigan. Big fan of both sides of that family now.
* Made my way over to Bob the barber this morning. I now have to go to Bob, as going to see Adam at Ken's barbershop is a little out of the way. Bob's barbershop is located on campus. Ken's is in Jamestown, RI. Either way, Bob's good people. He tells the same corny jokes that most barbers tell and his shop looks like a slice of time where history stops and chronicles itself. And for 15 bucks, he did the job. Although, he did hack up the widow's peak a bit. I reckon I'll be needing a touch-up in about a week.
* If the Red Sox win tonight and the Yankees lose, it'll be all tied up with just the three games to play at the Fens. No one - from Mamet to Fox Sports - could pen this play any better. Especially with Schill and Moose toeing the rubber, conceivably, with the whole thing on the line. And now, with the Sox acquiring former Yankee and former Sox Mike Stanton to plug a hole in the pen, it could be even more dramatic. Either way, I'm sticking to my guns - the Sox will win the American League East. And it will all be academic by Sunday, as the Indians will have played themselves out of the race completely.
* Ok, returning to the fun baby-name game for the Broekers. In my last post, I told of the story of these two fine people who will be having a child in the very near future. And I have also been schooled as to tread lightly in the land of possessive nouns. It is not "his" or "hers," rather it is "theirs."
At any rate, here is today's list of potential baby names, brought to you by the letter "D" and the number "12." (not to be confused with Shady Records' D-12)
12. Diddy (as in Puff, Puffy, P., Sean John, etc...)
11. Doremus (as in Bennerman)
10. D'Arg (as in Saints Alive!)
9. David Americo Arias (as in Ortiz)
8. Dwyane (as in Wade)
7. Diversity (I believe it's an old wooden ship from the Civil War era)
6. Diener (as in, well, pick one. there's a whole bunch)
5. Dave Roberts (as in the guy who swiped second in game four of the '04 ALCS)
4. Derek (as in Captain Intangibles, the guy who missed the tag)
3. Dontrelle (2005 N.L. Cy Young Awardwinner, if I had a vote)
2. Diego (which is German for "whale's")
1.5 Dirk (as in Diggler)
1. Dikembe (as in Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo)
That's it. Talk to you all later, sooner, and more often now. One.
Recapping the Weekend
Friday, Sept. 23:
Manny Ramirez, RBI machine. Red Sox (check!) win. Take in first Pat McCrory show at Shank Hall; very funny.Saturday, Sept. 24:
Hop into Al's Run, a five-mile road race which benefits a local children's hospital. Clock 46:00 for the run. Close the race in an 8:04 mile. Surprised I made it. Manny Ramirez, RBI machine. Red Sox win. Stayed in that night.Sunday, Sept. 25:
Woke up tired and sore. Worked a women's soccer match which was interrupted by a lightning storm. Manny Ramirez, RBI machine. Red Sox win. Watched the New England Patriots (check!) win, extending the "they haven't lost two in a row since 2002" streak. Reconfirmed that Tom Brady is the best shampooing quarterback in the NFL and Adam Vinatieri is the best shampooing clutch kicker in the history of professional football.
All in all, it was a very good weekend. There were several particulars not covered by the quick hitters up top, the kinds of small facts and actions that "slip through the cracks." ... like the movie Anchorman scattered around on the 16 HBO channels I have on my cable...to last night's television lineup: Fletch, Super Troopers, and Silence of the Lambs on at the same time. Fletch was followed by the Blues Brothers. On HBO, the season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiam was followed by two episodes of Ali G, followed by an old Curb re-run. That could very well be the greatest night of television in history.
Tonight, I'm pissed I don't have TiVo, as Scorsese's biopic of Bob Dylan is on PBS at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. Central. However, I will be attending the Ray LaMontagne show at the Pabst Theatre tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. Central.
Now, I'm sure many of you TLBR regulars out there are saying to yourself: "This is dumbest, biggest waste of time I have ever had with this blog. At not time was it funny, witty, cute, or sarcastic. It, in fact, sucked. I wish I could get the last five minutes of my life back so I could stick toothpicks in my eyes as it would be a more enjoyable act than reading this post."
Or something like that...
Well, I'm introducing a new interactive feature, sure to keep you entertained as well as active in the content of the blog.
My boss and his wife just recently found out that they will be the parents of a bouncing baby boy. And the next logical step is naming Baby Broeker. So each day that TLBR is updated, I'll provide a top 12 list of names with a certain theme. Feel free to comment or email in with your thoughts and I'll keep track of them.
Today's list of names has a baseball theme, so without further ado:
12. Bronson (as in Arroyo)
11. Rickey (as in being Rickey)
10. Honus (as in Wagner)
9. Ty (as in Cobb. Did you know his grandfather invented the Cobb salad?)
8. David Americo Arias (as in "El Grand Papi.")
7. Kirby (as in Puckett, or Wayne)
6. Chipper (as in Larry Jones)
5. Prince (as in Fielder)
4. Brooks (as in Robinson)
3. Teddy (as in Ballgame)
2. Pedro (as in Feliz, not for anyone on the Mets)
1. Chien-Ming (gets my vote)
Email your vote to email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Have a good day...one.
Some more Karma
Red Sox (check) beat guy Gordon Edes began his column in this morning's Boston Globe
with this paragraph:
"It was midway through the Yankees' 7-6 win last night against the Orioles in Yankee Stadium that YES broadcaster Michael Kay threw out a tidbit designed to give Yankee fans cause to swagger anew. Only once in the team's long history, Kay said, had the Yankees been in first place this late in the season and failed to finish."
Michael Kay looks like a pencil eraser. And besides that juvenile little 4th grade crack, he's also a pompous jerk and a moron.
And he's just done it. He just ended the Yankees season. Pretty soon, in about 12 days, St. Joe Torre and Willie Randolph can both go golfing at Wykagyl, pondering whether or not they'll still have jobs.
The Yankees have stuck their plum, fat thumbs in the eyes of the baseball gods for too long now. And last year, as Dave Roberts slid into second in game four, just two outs from a sweep, the Gods finally stopped taking it from the Bronx Bombers.
The Gods in heaven finally got sick of Ruth eating hot dogs and farting. They got sick of DiMaggio being an aloof jerk. They were tired of Mantle's drinking and Munson trying to get angel wings to learn how to fly (insert off-color bad pilot joke here).
And finally, the Gods of baseball sat down and listened to Ted Williams. He spoke loudly and bombastically, but he made sense. You had to swing up on the ball, as the pitcher has a 12% advantage coming off the mound. He spoke of hitting home runs when they didn't count and missing some of his best chances at a World Series title because he served his nation - not once, but twice.
He bragged that when Bob Feller finally reached the pearly gates, that he would finally get the best of him in heaven's full-scale replica of Fenway. And tears welled in his eyes as he described what it was like to see ole Needlenose - Johnny Pesky - be able to hold that World Series trophy high and put one of those gigantic World Series rings on his finger.
The Gods know. They understand. They listen. They respond.
The Red Sox, as beaten and battered as they are, will win the American League east title. They will win it, presumably, in the last game of the season. And it will come in, well, one of those Yankee fashions. Remember 1996? Remember that "true Yankee team?"
The guys that got them there to that title didn't have their own planes, eight numbers and three commas on their paychecks, and frighteningly blue lips (or blue man-parts and back acne either).
It was Scott Brosius who hit the big homer. It was Luis Sojo who came up with the clutch pinch hit slapper. It was Charlie Hayes who made the final FF5 scoring play to end the game. It was a rookie fireballer who set up the ninth for the erstwhile closer.
Get ready for the Bill Mueller clutch diving play and big double in the gap. Get ready for Alex Cora to come up big when his back is against the wall. Get ready for the other Manny, the new Clemens, and a kid who is just five months removed from rising and sleeping in the shadows of Utopia Parkway.
It's destiny now. It's our destiny. It happened that way last year. Curses be damned, the Babe is speaking in softer tones now, up there. Now it's Ted. Ted is bellowing and it's now Ted's curse - not so much as a spell or a voodoo, but mostly his language.
And it's karma - for all the pomposity that comes from the mouths of Kay and the equally as horrible John Sterling. It comes right back around. Just like Ron Burgandy's guns, "they'll gitcha; they'll gitcha everytime." (check!)
For as great as the only comeback from an 0-3 deficit in Major League Baseball history last year was - when the Sox were the ham sandwich to the Yankees Mama Cass - the measure of how far we as Sox fans and the whole Red Sox Nation (god, I'm really beginning to hate that term, esp. in light of the fact Shaughnessy came up with it and pardon the run-on sentence but it's my blog and I can do what I want, but you should all click on the link up top for Sheriff Sully and read his latest "Under the Bus" entry. It's priceless...)
Sorry, I digress...the measure of how far we've come is how we follow it up the following year. While I firmly believe that not making the playoffs is not the end of the world, I don't believe that is going to be the case. What will be great is the manner in which the Sox do make it.
Final weekend. Three games to glory - and sorry Dr. Charles, the boys down on Rt. 1 have that phrase trademarked - at the end of the season. A true season-ending series, as the one left standing when the music stops ought to breakout the Ping Zings and get going. And when this happens, with the Sox' big hit coming from one of the aforementioned players, it will be a total and complete reverse of fortunes. The Gods are on our side now.
I close this rambling stream of consciousness with this: a called to WEEI's Whiner Line a few weeks back made a funny and I stole it and have been using it as my own. As many of you know, that's how I get my humor. But the caller said something along these lines:
"5 games up. 5 games back. 1 game out. Back to 5 back. 1st place. Then 2nd place. Then nothing. Hey Yankee fans, welcome to the last 86 years of our lives."
Karma: It’s something Carson Daly came up with
Before I begin this blog entry, and before I apologize for the lack of blog entries over the last five days, I need to express the joy and unbridled sublimity that I just felt when watching primetime television.
If I were to sit down and pen a pilot, it would include several of the following (in no particular order):
- The funny guy from Mallrats.
- The fat guy from Mallrats.
- A blonde B list actress who can’t act.
- Some random wacky ethnically stereotypical foil characters.
- Old school rap.
- “Telly” from the movie “Kids.”
- Rudimentary existentialism.
- Buddhism 101
- Carson Daly
Oh wait, someone already did. And that show’s name is “My Name is Earl.” This sitcom may have set television ahead about 20 years. I will never miss an episode.
Then again, I said the same about “Greg The Bunny” and look what that got them: cult status and a season one DVD (there was only one season, anyhew).
Ok, so it’s been a while since we’ve last chatted. And things are starting to come together. If this were the A-Team, the plan would’ve come together in like 38 seconds and would have been accompanied by a loud, triumphant horn section and snare drums.
This, however took longer than 38 seconds. It took about five days. And like I said, it’s not quite done yet. This process is more like the show “24.”
When I left the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (check!), I arrived in New York, where upon I witnessed the Red Sox (check!) mowing the Yankees down behind the able arm of Curt Schilling. They were 3.5 games ahead then.
Ten days later, they’re just .5 game ahead, clinging to life. The arsonist has oddly shaped feet (check! - new checkpoint for random "Anchorman" quotes).
When I left Rhody, I had a good feeling about the good folks at United Van Lines.
Ten days later, I’ll be filing a claim for the bag of shoes and various throwback jerseys that were left behind somewhere along the way through Altoona. (To United’s credit, they were prompt and helpful and instructed me to fill out a claim for the, um, Prada bag filled with my custom made Bruno Magli laceups – three pair – and the, uh, Gucci loafers. And the autographed, field authentic Tom Brady jersey, size 56.)
But regardless, I have (most of) my stuff. I think. But at least the 95% of my possessions (and a reminder that ownership is 90% possession) that are present and accounted for are 85% unpacked. The deluxe apartment is coming along nicely. One feature that I am quite happy about the D-L-A is the shelf-like qualities of the top of the kitchen cabinet. Since I can remember, or since 1998 (whichever comes first), I have collected plastic souvenir soda cups from ballparks and stadiums.
And yes, even as a man who is in his 30’s, I still perform the ancient postgame art/ritual of “cupping.” (which is completely different that the real ancient ritual of cupping
, which involves candles and flames and cups and pain.)
Regardless, there is a nice display for the bevy of Red Sox and New England Patriot (check) plastic cups that I have collected. In a few months, be sure to check back for the follow-up to this heartwarming story of souvenir display called “What in Holy Hell is Growing in My 2002 Dunkin Dugout/Nomar Cup?”
I’m very much liking the folks out here in the Midwest. I’m very much realizing that I’m not originally from here. I'm very much realizing that they're very much realizing that I'm not from around here.
The way that I’m very much realizing this oh-so-very-much is in the little things. People wait for the “walk” sign and stop when “don’t walk” flashes. I jaywalk. All the time.
People stop before taking a right turn on red. I take right turns. And left turns. Everywhere. Even on red.
People don’t talk to themselves. I generally do. But lately, it’s been of the encouraging kind (attaboy!), rather than the disappointed (c’mon, what the hell are you doing?).
People don’t swear so much, out here, either. And betcha by golly wow, well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, too. Bet yer bippy. (author’s note: I’ve taken to not swearing so much on TLBR after an esteemed reader and media mogul suggested that I take the edge off. So I came up with the Pantene Pro-V euphemism of “shampoo” for everytime I’d like to curse. It works here. It does not, however, work in public. I swear as much as I like on my blog, only I press the delete key and you never see it. I just swore again. But it's gone from the public record without you knowing, save for my small admission. There is no delete key for the random or instinctive eff-bomb I’ll drop on occasion. And by occasion, I mean frequently. The one time I tried to verbalize the literary euphemism "shampoo" instead of swearing at the sticking doorknob to my apartment, I got strange looks. I’d have been better off calling it a shampooing see-you-next-Tuesday. That would’ve drawn less attention than saying "shampoo" lather, rinse, and repeatedly
I have been eating out quite a bit, on account of having no furniture or dishes. And I must say, the sandwich shops are good. From Potbellies to Jimmy John’s, I have not had a bad sandwich. And the hamburgers – whoa, Nellie. They're dumb
Right down the road, reportedly, the No. 1 ranked burger in the country is served. I dunno if it’s consensus or a split national champion on both the AP and coaches poll, but I’m sure it’s pretty high. I’ve had plenty of burgers in my day and my top 10 burger list is a tough one to crack. I will update you.
Being a bit of a “gear hound,” I did gladly accept for first new pair of sneakers – the Nike Air Shox 45’s. Size 11.5. Have not worn them yet, but they’re exciting and new – just like the Love Boat.
Tonight, I felt like I did my first real piece of work in the new place. I wrote the game story from our women's soccer team's road game.
In the old days in the old place, dealing with the women's soccer team was tedious - but that was the old old days. To their credit, the new regime is turning that squad around nicely.
In the late 1990's, talking about the 25 or so games on the old place's women's soccer schedule was akin to the 25 or so comedians telling the same dirty joke in "The Aristocrats."
But new place, new rules. Fired up.
I even forwarded it around to family and friends. I know the folks have a color laser printer at home and they'll save a copy for the scrap book.
To answer a funny emailer’s question(s) from the TLBR hotline: No, I have not seen Laverne. No, I have not seen Shirley. No, I have not seen Lenny. And Squiggy, as the fine emailer pointed out, is an advance scout for the Seattle Mariners, so he might be in Anaheim of L.A. right now watching the Angels.
Also, to another funny emailer – and it's probably the same person as he/she/it uses the same quasi-semi-demi-hemi funny “hey, did you see (fill in the blank of said movie/tv star/quirky subreference who resided in a particular city or town) yet?” question…
No, I did not see Drew Carey in Cleveland or Bad, Bad Leroy Brown in the South Side of Chicago. I was in the North End. But either way, don’t mess with the wife of a jealous man.
On the walk to the library - which, if you're scoring at home, places me one shy of my undergraduate library visit total - I saw a bizarro couple, comprised of s-a's from the old place: bizarro Corey Elias holding hands all sweet with Jackie O'Leary. Or was it Rachel O'Leary? I dunno, they look the same. (hope all is well back there, 'Wak.)
A good friend from home – Matt – went to school out here and has taken up full-time residence. And being the good friend that Matt is, he took me out for a little tour of downtown Milwaukee. And the new hometown is really growing on me. All I need to find is a kick-butt buffalo wing place and we're cookin' with gas.
But Matt also showed me some of the, qu'est que-ce, "outlying areas." Matt took me to Muskego.
And when you say the word "Muskego," a vision probably pops into your head as to what it's like out there...in Muskego.
So turn up that vision. Look at it. Study it. Here comes some color.
Imagine a roadside bar in Muskego. The roadside bar is sponsoring an outdoor concert with a longtime, well-established cover band (author's note: the cover band ended up ranking third all-time on the cover band list, behind the likes of Loose Cannon from Fairfield and Those Guys from Newport
The roadside bar has a dunk tank. Yes, the one-ball-for-a-dollar; three-for-two-dollars kind of dunk tank. The female bartenders are the dunkees.
The patrons are the throwees. And the patronage in the bar ranged from: us, the barstaff, the 12 bouncers (one of whom was hoping it'd get crowded because when that happens, fights break out, and he likes to hurt people...endquote), two older moms, their two younger daughters (maybe 17. maybe. but they had over 21 bracelets.), and, well, the band. That was it. That was the extent of the guest list when we arrived. It grew slightly larger as the night grew later.
At one point, a 10-year old girl (didn't see if she had an over 21 bracelet, but even money said she did...) came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy candy. Just like all little 10-year olds do when they're in elementary school, this little darlin was selling candy.
Except she wasn't going door-to-door so she and her 5th grade class could tour the Hoover Dam...she was in a g-d shampooing roadhouse
! With a dunktank. And a bouncer who was probably just on furlough or something.
I politely declined as I do not enjoy the taste of Reese's Peanut Butter cups and stale Miller Lite. In fact, I do no enjoy the taste of stale Miller Lite, either. But, "when in Rome...Ron, that doesn't make any sense." (check!)
To make matters worse, the father of the 10-year old girl saw that I was not buying candy from his daughter, so he, um, intervened. Kinda like when the sales manager steps in when you're buying a bar, except he looked like a member of the Boo-Yah Tribe and his sales tactics bordered more on intimidation, fear, and idle threats than polite persuasion.
I bought the peanut M&M's. And they made for a fine midnight snack.
The cover band - the Lovemonkeys - played an ambitious set from Ben Harper, the Counting Crows, to Peter Gabriel (Solisbury Hill, and well-done I might add), to U2. They were also pretty shampooing hilarious, esp. when they jumped off stage, stood in a semi-circle, and called it their "in the round" performance. Just hee-haw hi-larious.
I have a busy week ahead and an even busier weekend planned. By then, I should have a regular computer and some more consistent service so you can expect more timely posts.
But really...isn't the long recap so much better? It's cyber-playing-hard-to-get...
Which leads me to the final anecdote...
When I arrived here seven days ago, I had a car full of stuff. Not much, but definately two trips to apt. 1804 (by the way, I'm getting used to the HVAC noise. It's actually quite soothing now. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
In the lobby, I happened to be waiting for the elevator next to a moderately attractive young woman with curly blonde hair. When the 'vator arrived, it was some wacky old guy who came out pushing a shopping cart and talking gibberish.
It was at that point I wished to find the three copies of my lease and shred them.
But the friendly new neighbor assured me that the gentleman was not homeless, in fact lived on the 11th floor, and was usually always drunk.
So my new building friend...my first building friend if you're counting...got off at the 9th floor and we each said "bye." Although I may have said "bye now." But do you really shampooing care?
I hop back in the elevator, and 9th floor friend is in a bikini and a sarong (she cleaned up pretty well), heading for the rooftop pool. We exchanged polite smiles. She was heading, presumably, to sunbathe. I was heading upstairs to grab a bottle of soda, presumably because I was wicked parched.
Skip ahead two days. I couldn't sleep. So instead of taking Ny-Quil or benadryl and having a -dryl hangover, I went to Mo's down the road. They had this guitar player I liked and I brought a pad and pen and enjoyed a few club sodas with lime.
Yes, they were club soda with lime
After an hour or so, I hiked back, hopped on the elevator, and lo and behold, it was 9th floor B.F.F. She was all gussied up, with jeans and heels, and looked quite nice if I may be so bold. She was holding two styrofoam containers, which were either take-out or leftovers, and was with this real squirrel-ly kind of chap. You ever see those almost sickly-looking dudes with a coiffe like The Donald? Yep, that was this guy.
I was just guessin at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart trying to figure that one out. Questions of science and progress were abound in my head before la chica de noveno pavimento
reached up with her one free hand hand pressed the 18 key.
"I remembered your floor from the other day."
Bold move by Mrs. King (not her name) especially in front her beau, the scarecrow.
That is all. Have a good rest of your week. Keep those emails and comments coming.
And Go Red Averages.
My left one is James Westfall and my right one is Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Here's my first random nighttime blog in Milwaukee.
Working on very little sleep so far. Those of you who know me are probably thinking: "sure, it's hard to sleep when you close all the bars in town..."
Wrong. I've been a model citizen thusfar.
Sleep has been a precious commodity, due in large part to the location of the deluxe apartment. It is situated directly below the "chiller room," which basically means that I'm sleeping below the heating and air conditioning unit for the entire 18-floor high rise tower.
Imagine living below a neighbor that is a neat-freak. And said neighbor runs his industrial sized vacuum 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yep, that's the rub for me.
So if you're looking for a short-term, get-rich-quick stock to buy, consider Walgreens. Because I'm loading up on ny-quil. As Leary says, "capital N, small y, big shampooing Q."
There is a long-term solution to the insomnia predicament: I will be switching apartments. But the vacancy will take a month. Oh well.
While strolling around, I stopped by the campus library and, lo and behold, they provide you both with free internet complete with headphones.
Dial up redsox.com, please.
Log on and the Red Sox (check!) were down 3-0 but, lo and behold, the Yankees were down 5-1 to Seth McClung and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Leave it to Trupe to, well, trupe the Sox with a long fly ball (out) by Captain Varitek and then mention that Cano was up with the bases loaded and no outs.
Skip ahead 15 minutes. Sox still down 3-0. Yanks now up 7-5. The HVAC sound in apt. 1804 sounds pretty good right now.
Still don't have TV, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Really. Seriously.
Been listening to the Brewers on the radio at night, as Bob Uecker does their games. High entertainment.
Tried to find a grocery store today but got hopelessly lost, so I said "shampoo it," stopped off at some barbeque joint and had dinner. Delish. Must remember to bookmark it in the mental internet explorer.
What the shampoo? WEEI now does the MOST ANNOYING THING IN RADIO - the cut away to the moviefone voice guy for updates. So moviefone guy just played John Sterling's call of the granny by "whattya know, Cano." (John, please, make sure you get your whole face in front of the shotgun.)
Ok, enough baseball talk for the moment. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. And I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen: Renee Zellweger and her boyfriend split up.
Man, if I thought I had trouble sleeping before, this, well... Who was her boyfriend? Oh, Kenny Chesney.
Right. Well, I hate NASCAR.
Oh, he's a country singer? I still hate NASCAR.
Shampooing Trupe just truped me again with a long...fly...ball...deep to left...way back...way back... and off the glove of Nick Swisher. Well, it's a start. Baserunner on third with less than two outs in the sixth. Papi drives him in with a SAC F8, if you're scoring at home.
Grabbed a local weekly and saw that Ray Lamontagne is playing my new hometown. Yes, I will be in attendance.
Google just introduced a blog search
. Yeah, milk is chillin', Biz is chillin', what else can I say? Not quite top billin'. There is a "Bats Left, Throws Right."
That's all kinds of crap. Here I am, me bein' me (and Rickey bein' Rickey), and this guy has to get all Wade Boggs and Curtis Granderson on y'all. Well, give him a read.
But I'm so much wicked bettah.
Thankfully nobody's asked me (or axed me) to say typical northeastern things like "pahk the cah," "wickid pissah," or "nomah gahceeahpahhrah."
Well, I'm going to grab a cup of tea and read a book. This is a library, you know.
Nicest darned library I've ever seen. But considering I only visited Nyselius five times during my undergraduate career (once for a study group for sophomore macro, once to meet this girl I had been hooking up with (she was wickid smaht, like my boy Will. And Opie.) one other random time and then twice on graduation day: once to meet and line up and once to return the cap and gown) and Ryan as a grad student, um, pretty much never, maybe these mysterious quiet places with the books ain't so bad.
Four Bare Walls and the Rem Dawg
All settled in, sorta, in Milwaukee.
The apartment is bare, save for the air mattress (which could double nicely as a hovercraft) , the stereo, and the framed "Best Wishes, Jerry Remy" 5x7 promo photo.
Headed out last night with an old friend from Rhode Island (check!) and was successful in finding a good mexican place (no el pelon, but c'mon...really...what is?) and a few good beer places. I'm beginning to notice a trend here with the beer places. Akin to swinging a dead cat in Rhody and hitting a Dunkin Donuts, you can't whip a deceased feline around by its tail out here without connecting with some drinking/eating/drinking establishment. Martha sez "that's a good thing."
But I wouldn't have gotten here without a few stops along the way and I've noticed that I hadn't updated the trip since the 10th, so without further ado...Sept. 11
Living in New York for as long as I did - including on 9/11/01 - the day was always a somber one, especially in light of losing a friend on UA 175. But, as they say, time heals all wounds. The fact that as each tick of the year column on the dateline progressed, dealing with the day has gotten easier to bare.
That being said, when I got on the road early from Harrisburg, PA to Pittsburgh, where I picked up Habs, iPod karma took over close to quarter-to-nine...close to the time of first impact at the World Trade Center.
The shuffle play on the iPod ranged from all kinds of good music and then switched gears. It was JFK's 1961 inaugural speech
. And to listen to the words of, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest speeches ever crafted, and try to imagine those words being spoken now, it crosses the many lines of time, ideology, and world history. Click on the above link and read the first few paragraphs. The "world is very different" now, all because of the events of the worst Tuesday morning in the history of the world.
The drive from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh was only about two and a half hours, but it seemed like it took forever. The stretch of road - I 76 - seemed like it was the opossum roadkill capital of the world. You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a dead opossum. And no, they weren't just playing opossum. They really dead.
There were also several tunnels through mountains and a four mile stretch of road curvier that a room of 100 Minnie Driver clones. Every couple of miles, those annoying trailers with a digital readout of "Your Speed" would tell me what my speed was. Guess what Pennsylvania State Police? I know what my speed is. My car comes with this thing called a "speedometer" and a "gas pedal." I can make the red line go whereever I want it to with a push of my right foot. Save the taxpayers money with the jugs guns on the side of the interstate, mmm'kay?
Aside from all that, the drive through what my good friend TP calls "Pennsyltucky" was fine. A few too many Pittsburgh Steeler faithful at the Blue Mtn. rest stop, but other than that, it was uneventful. Except for the lack of Dunkin Donuts. That was troubling.
I grabbed Habs a little before noon and proceeded to lunch at Brighton Hot Dogs. If you're ever in Coraopolis, PA, not far from Moon Township, stop by and order up two all the way (no relish) and a loaded burger. I did. And I did not regret it.
Around 1:00, just like the Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming, we were finally on our own in O-hi-o. We got to Cleveland around 2:00, checked into the hotel and set a plan for later - something to sandwich in before Indians/Twins.
The hotel - which was a nice place in 2001 when I stayed there last - was upgraded. The 32 inch flat screen plasma was a nice touch. It was also the road hotel for the Minnesota Twins and I searched around the many doors on my floor to see if Kyle Lohse happened to "knock" on manager Ron Gardenhire's room. No bat marks anywhere.
After a stop at the Great Lakes Brewery for dinner and drinks, we headed Jacobs Field way. The Browns and Bengals played earlier in the day, so the establishments were loaded with people who were loaded. This one group of four heavily intoxicated and highly annoying couples all but sat on our table. One of the girls - a Sarah Silverman clone - had a really loud and shrill speaking voice and she was situated right by my left ear. That sucked. Her boyfriend had the wherewithal to apologize and ask me if she was getting annoying. I didn't have the heart to say yes because I knew he had to chaperone the group, make sure lovey got home safe, and eventually would have to hold her hair as she vomited into the toilet.
The game was extremely uneventful. And it wouldn't have even sold out if the Indians didn't sell tickets for 5 bucks. An ESPN2 game with 20,000 tickets unsold would've looked bad, especially since the Indians are poised to make their first playoff run since Manny Ramirez batted sixth in their lineup.
After going up 10-0 in the second, we walked arouind the park and ended up in dead center, chatting with a longtime usher and security guard. Tim was good people. I would've enjoyed a Miller Lite or two, but the Browns fans ruined it for everyone. The head of security at the park had to deal with so many alcohol-related incidents from people wearing Kelly Holcomb replicas that they cut off beer sales.
So that was that. Back to the crib, to sleep, early to rise, and get on the road.Sept. 12
Denny's. Meat lover's skillet. If those darned things didn't take seven years off your life, I'd eat one everyday. Bacon. Sausage. Homefries. Scrambled eggs. Cheese. Buttered toast. All mixed into one. Delish.
Since the ride to Chi-town was a long one, I killed time by playing a few standup shows, first by Mitch Hedberg, then by Lewis Black. Despite all the laughs, Habs astutely pointed out that "Man, Ohio sucks." He was right, but we still hadn't gotten to Indiana yet. And man, Indiana sucked, too.
But as we were cruising through Ohio at a high rate of speed, I did see Sandusky and was tempted to stop by Callahan Auto Parts. It was right off the Fangboner Rd. exit (titter, titter, I said "fangboner").
And like its neighbor to the East, Ohio had no Dunkin Donuts. Neither did Indiana. But it did have an a.m. station that was playing "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure. Thankfully I was able to find an ESPN radio affiliate and the Dan Patrick show before I got hooked on mono new wave 80's tunes.
Into Chicago and to the hotel was a harrowing process, as my directions sucked and it's kind of a busy major world city. But cool, nonetheless. After dumping the bags, we headed toward Wrigleyville - the neighborhood behind the Friendly Confines. On the walk to the L, there were two Dunkin Donuts. It was nice to be back in a civilized place again... One large, light with skim, and one sugar, please...
Wrigleyville reminded me a lot of the area around Fenway. And once, getting into the park, so did Wrigley. Except, and I know this is blasphemy because lots of Red Sox (check!) fan friends cried out such a word when I said, "I think I like this better than..."
I won't even finish the sentence because I think, in hind sight, that it is blasphemy. But the hot dogs were better than... (sinner!)
After the ballgame, it was straight to Murphy's Bleachers and then home. On the L ride back, we met a Red Sox fan from Rhody (E.G. to be exact). We are taking over, one major U.S. city at a time, people.
The next morning, Habs caught a shuttle to O'Hare and I headed out for the final one hour of the trip - up 94 to Milwaukee.
It only took about an hour, but it seemed like five minutes. And after crossing the state line into Wisconsin, passing the exits for Sheboygan and Green Bay, I saw the Catholic Knights building - my new home. It sticks out very much like the Pru building in Boston, so that should help for me not getting too lost in my new town.
And besides, two blocks down, there's a Dunkin Donuts...
Ok, have to get cracking on getting me some cable t.v. for the deluxe apartment in the sky.
Have a good one.
On Curt, Chinese food, and Strange Capitals
Today began innocently enough around quarter-to-eight in Jamestown, RI - also known as Conanicut Island and founded in 1636 by Roger Williams.
It's no ordinary day. Today - Saturday, Sept. 10 - is the first day of TLBR's Nine States, Nine Dunkin Donuts and Three Ballparks in Three Days
This massive undertaking coincides with my moving to Milwaukee and starting up the new gig. The luxury sedan was packed up, the gas tank filled, my wallet drained from the gas tank filling, and there's no looking back.
ESPN did 50 states in 50 days, but my average of three states a day is so much better. And my theme song is too. The Worldwide Leader jammed that "Life is a open road" tune by Bryan "Cuts Like a Knife" Adams down your throat.
The Nine States theme, however, blows it out of the water. It took months of planning, remastering, and tons of data and marketing research throughout the demographics of my readership.
Actually, I lied. It was the first song that came on the soothing hi-fi sounds in the luxury sedan. And that song was (drumroll, s.v.p...) "Stuck inside of Mobile with those Memphis Blues Again" by Mr. Robert Zimmerman.
In fact, as Ashford and Bradford bid me farewell as they always do when Exit 1 in Rhody becomes Exit 93 in the Nutmeg State, the first 50 minutes of the drive was all Zimmerman/Dylan. WRIU, 90.3 FM, was playing a marathon of Dylan tunes and it was terrific to hear and fitting for the beginning of a lengthy roadtrip.
RIU usually doesn't impress with their range, but I was able to take their signal strong into the high 70's in Connecticut.
So today's itinerary consisted of: 1. leaving Rhode Island; 2. Navigating through Connecticut; 3. Parking in New Rochelle, NY, picking up some stuff from my old office from the guy who moved into my old apartment, grabbing my sneakers from my old locker, and heading to the Toilet for an afternoon matinee of American League baseball; 4. Navigating out of New York and into New Jersey; 5. Some sort of dinner; 6. Navigating into Pennsylvania; 7. Catching some shut-eye in Harrisburg.
Today's line: 7-for-7. Which, coincedentally, is what Tony Graffanino batted today. (not really, but he was 3-for-5)
But there is also a greater goal that I need to achieve. One that will require diligence and attentiveness (yes, it's a word. look it up, webster.). My goal is to drink a large coffee from Dunkin Donuts in every state that I travel through.
The Rhode Island one was easy. RI leads the nation in DD shops per capita, averaging one shop per 5,600 residents. I grabbed a large hot/light with skim/one sugar at the one in Richmond at the foot of Rt. 138. At exit 40 in Orange, CT, I pulled off for a medium, same characteristics. By this point, if you wanted to hook a few wires up to me, the caffeine count in my body could power Poughkeepsie, NY for the week.
After stopping by New Ro for a bit, I departed for the Toilet in the South Bronx. Why the "Toilet" references, you ask? Well, if you look at Yankee Stadium, it's kind of shaped like a bowl. And since it's usually filled with shit, you get the lovely poo-poo, ca-ca metaphor.
I won these seats a while back at a golf outing/benefit. I went with my friend Sean who, over the past seven years in New York, was an individual I dealt with both on a personal and professional level...and he's second to none. I won the tickets in a golf outing raffle that he sponsors.
Sean's a Yankee fan, but I don't hold that against him. Not everyone's perfect, like Tom Brady. And he's also a Packer fan, which I'm beginning to realize that I had better sympathize with that sort of thing. And I don't think it will be a problem, as long as Cheesehead folks realize these three indisputable facts:
* Tom Brady is already a better career quarterback than Brett Favre. No debate. I don't care if Farverer has started 300 games in a row or whatever...it's not the Hall of Longevity, it's the Hall of Fame. Sure, he'll be there, but he's not better than Tom.
* Desmond Howard and Andre Rison were flukes.
* If Troy Brown plays, Drew Bledsoe has two Super Bowl rings.
The seats were good and the game was better. I was nervous coming into it because that it my nature and that is my defense mechanism. I watched the Red Sox (check!) offense sputter the last two nights. I remember the Yankee comebacks of old. I have watched Curt Schilling's last few attempts to be a starting pitcher. I knew Manny Ramirez was slumping and hadn't homered in his last 60 at-bats.
Plus, right before theYankees official "we're almost going to take the field, guys" theme song - which is the instrumental to "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who - the Toilet had Pat Benatar's "Invincible" cranking.
Nothing like a little Pat Benatar to get your blood pumping. Love truly is a battlefield. And heartache to heartache, we stand.
Well, the do-or-die situation that Pat sang about ended up the latter rather than the former. Manuel hit a 3-2 fastball to the Tracey Towers and Schilling looked more like Bloody Sock than Bloody Suck going eight full, yielding five hits and two measely runs. Sox win, 9-2, and all is well.
It was taxing, though, having to try to speak monosyllabically so that Yankee fans could understand. After a while, it helps to just point and gesticulate and end all your words in "uck."
After hitting the D-Double on North Ave. for a large usual, it was time to put the Empire State in the rearview, at least until the roadtrip to St. John's. Bidding Manhattan farewell, gazing across the Hudson from the GWB and sending much love, respect and the best out to Shawn, who perished four years earlier in lower Manhattan on United 175 (I'll never forget), I was in Jersey.
Roll 'em up. The sweet smell of methane was in the air. Like the old joke goes: a man and a woman had been dating for a while. As things progressed physically between the two consenting adults in the bedroom, the woman whispered to the man "I want you to kiss me where it smells funny." So the guy jumps out of bed, grabs his car keys, and says "Ok, I'll take you to Secaucus."
(I will be here all week, you ungrateful sods, so tip your waitress. And the lamb is to die for.)
Somewhere off of Rt. 78, I got hungry and stopped at Ting Ho's Chinese takeout place. Ting Ho looked just like every single solitary Chinese food place I've ever been to. Now, if you want to make the joke about them
all looking the same, go ahead, be my guest. I'm just saying, though...do they all have the same interior decorator?
I ordered the General Tso combo. Not too difficult. It's a Chinese takeout place, right?
If you go to Burger King, you'd expect that you'd get a tasty hamburger in a timely fashion, right? It's not the first time someone ordered a hamburger. And since "burger" is prominently featured in both the name of the restaurant, as well as the order, things should proceed rather smoothly.
Not so with Ting Ho and General Tso's combo #13. I waited 10...15...20...25 minutes. Finally, I had enough and walked out. The woman yelled at me. I told her I didn't have time. She told me I didn't pay. I told her I didn't have to. She said I did. I told her I didn't get my food. She said it coming. I said not fast enough. (isn't that exciting dialogue?)
So I went to McDonald's, ordered a quick #2, went across the street to Dunkin Donuts for a medium usual, and headed back on the highway.
Once into Pennsylvania, I was cruising along. Literally. At some points, I looked down and realized that I was traveling 90 mph. That's not good, especially for someone with a recent speeding ticket on the record (dismissed for a good driving record, ah thank you.).
Of course, when I realize that I'm speeding...I sped through, yep, you guessed it, a speed trap.
There is no way that I was getting out of this one. The State Trooper had to get me. I was flying. Right past him. He had a gun and was checking everyone.
Well, it couldn't have been a radar gun. It was probably a hair dryer. No cop. No ticket. No trying to use "well, I know Trooper Doyle in Rhode Island." I slowed down to 80. Ok, fine. 85.
Route 81 was kind of barren and dark. Lots of road work, but not much scenery, and it was making me tired. Until I took the turn for route 83. It was like I was driving that desert road from California to Vegas.
And by Vegas, I mean Harrisburg. The place looked like the friggin' Moulin Rouge compared to, well, Hershey. And Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania? Who knew? I sure didn't.
They signed the damned Declaration of Independence and filmed Rocky in Philadelphia - it was even the Capital of the United States. But no, let's make the capital of this 30-some odd electoral vote state Harrisburg.
That's like picking some old mill town to be the capital of New York.
But regardless of all the witty banter and cynicism, I'm happy to be here in Harrisburg and look forward to settling down for a nice night's sleep.
Tomorrow, it's an early rise to pick up Steve in Pittsburgh and head to Cleveland. Wow. Pittsburgh and Cleveland in one day. Don't y'all hurt yourself while queueing up trying to be me.
Cleaning out the Cupboard
So, last (full) day in God's Country - a.k.a. Rhode Island (check!) on this wonderful Friday.
Spent last night in front of two television sets. The one on the left had the World Champion Boston Red Sox (check!); the one on the right had the Two-time Defending World Champion New England Patriots (check!). Two tv's over were the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In front of me was a tall Miller Lite (well, I guess that needs to become a new checkmark...) and barbeque chicken nachos. To my right were Matty and Jeffy. That, my little precious, is a good setup.
Pats won, D-Rays won, Sox lost. With all apologies - not to Meatloaf for stealing his line, but to myself for having to use Senor Loaf's quote - two outta three ain't bad.
At the half, we departed and headed home. A hug and a handshake to the fellas and then vamoose
. Was it sad? No, not really.
Despite the halfway Horatio Alger excursion that begins tomorrow around 7:30 a.m., it's not really a big deal.
The life I've chosen, the professional path I've laid - no matter if I'm in the Inner Harbor, Outer Banks, Upper Peninsula, or Down Under (check!) - my schedule is hectic and busy. This, to me, feels more like the end of a vacation, not the end of some sort of era. With apologies to Gavin DeGraw, this is start of something good (don't you agree?).
But regardless, this is the last bit of Northeast living I'll have in a while, at least until the road trips start. So I'm firing up the grilled tuna tonight and playing golf this afternoon at Newport National.
But what does playing golf have to do with the Northeast? Don't they have golf in Mil'waii (my morph of Milwaukee and Hawaii)? Answers, in order: I'll explain and; yes, they do.
Golf makes me mad (on occasion) and at National, if you don't carry your drives 220-230, you get the pleasure of hitting out of waist-high fescue and risk lyme disease on 18 separate occasions. So this should get all those dreaded four-letter words out of my lexicon, as I'm noticing that very few Midwesterners use the eff-word (which loyal readers know means "shampoo" here on TLBR) as a noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, and participal like we N'easterners do.
But, don't worry, I'm seeing a buddhist about it.
Been listening to WEEI all week. While usually maddening with some of the asinine callers and firestarters, the Dennis & Callahan bits about Raider fans; the playing of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" to Michael Holley re: the Pats; and the playing of the Michigan fight song everytime Hawk alum Pete Sheppard talks about Tom Brady is just good humor.
Over the last few weeks, with the packing mechanism in full force, lots of unused stuff has ended up at the Salvation Army. Obviously, with the events in the Gulf over the last two weeks, I hope and pray that stuff has gone to good use. Old sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, pants, and sweaters in trash bags that I either had no use or space for will hopefully find a second life for the folks who have been so adversely affected.
In a small state like Rhode Island, the state that's a half-hour by 45 minutes, the groundswell of support and help that my fine fellow citizens have shown is so encouraging. Back in the day, RI used to have a huge Navy presence. But since we've voted Democrat virtually every year since we became a colony (I think they went Reagan in 1984, but I'm not sure. It's a relatively educated guess, as 49 of the 50 did...), Nixon closed most of our Navy bases.
Like donated clothes, shoes, etc. to the Salvation Army get new lives, so do the bases. Over 500 Hurrican victims landed here in our state and they're expecting up to 400 more.
Welcome. Enjoy yourself. And no matter how long you stay, you're home.
Lazarus, not Sims
It's been six days - complete with packing, stuffing, unpacking, repacking, re-stuffing, and heading out of God's Country. But I'm back. And I'll be retreating back to my hiatus just as quick.
It's been a nice six days. I don't get to spend too much time here in seaside paradise and I've seen exactly three clouds during the whole almost week.
The Sox have been winning, with the exception of the one game I did attend at "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" - which gets me to thinking that it's probably a very good thing for the Red Sox' (check!) chances in October that I'll be chillin' (literally) in Milwaukee. The Olde Towners are 1-4 in home games that I go to, with the lone win a massive Foulke meltdown followed by a round-the-Pesky Pole game-winning (like my friend from UVM, I took eschew the term "walk-off") homer by the Captain.
Last game - a Labor Day makeup vs. the Pale Sox - was ok. Got to chill with my man D-Nice and got to see Schilling hone his craft. He wasn't bloody sock good, but he didn't bloody suck, either. Foulke spun his 86 mph heater for a few popups and had the 77 mph change dive. The Pale Hose don't invoke the '22 Yanks, or even the '05 Yanks, so when a belt-high 86 mph straight one off the bat of A-Rod ought to go real, real far.
Tonight is a big night - hitting the local bbq joint with a few of the boys as a sort of goodbye dinner. This spot also has quite a few tv's, as to monitor both sets of New England-based professional sports world champions. The good thing about all the pre-game fireworks, concerts, and Kanye West political statements, is that it gets me to the 7th with the Sox before the coinflip for the Patriots (check!).
Since the last real post, lots of horrible stuff has happened in the Bayou and Gulf of Mexico port towns. Pictures are supposed to be worth a 1,000 words. Last week's scenes on national television, the ones that passed and the ones that continue to come in...they still leave me speechless.
It's easy to spread blame. It's easy to postulate and finger-point. It's easy to pick on those whose political ideals I disagree with. It's easy to see the demographics and the afflicted and cry out.
But why do that? It's counterproductive.
Prose doesn't solve problems. People do. Clothes help. Shoes help. Food helps. Donating blood helps. Tools help.
And, like the horrible occurences of almost five years ago today, this country comes together and shows its mettle. Too often, the media highlights the negative and unearths the controversial. Not to say that it isn't true or accurate, but there have been too many stories of the Katrina victims being helped and beginning to put together their lives after it was literally washed away.
From Curt Schilling, who opened his house to a family of nine (without pomp and circumstance and quite anonymously), to the local school who donated old toys and stuffed animals for the children who now live in the Astrodome.
Help can be as big as Schilling's efforts, or as thoughtful (not small. help can never
be small) as the eight, nine, and 10-year olds in Richmond, RI. Americans come together. They work together. And they'll fix it together. That's why we've been in business this long.
TLBR will be making it's Midwestern move this Saturday. SportsCenter spent the summer touting its 50 States in 50 Days and playing that Bryan Adams "Life is an Open Road" song so much, I began to seize. Bryan Adams? He's not even in the top 10 of Canadien songwriters (I'd vote the Tragically Hip and when you go back and listen to their "New Orleans Is Sinking," it gives you the willies).
But regardless, my trip will cover nine states in three days - Rhode Island (check!), Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and finally, Wisconsin. I don't know what the ad nauseaum theme song will be, but will take requests. Email me or drop a comment below and during the stretch (I'll try my bestest to update you along the way), I'll give you the playlist.
All the best. Go Pats! Go Sox! Go you!
Labour (Day) Of Love
Forgive the non-posting, but I've just completed part I of the big move. Everything's out of NY, piled high in God's Country, and now the task of re-organizing and repacking is at hand.
Next week, TLBR will return to a normal posting schedule.
Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.