Monday, September 19, 2005

Broken Promises

I know that I was supposed to update the Blog on Thursday, but stuff got in the way and here it is Monday and you get to hear about my last TWO weekends. Aren’t you the lucky ducks? So, you can all stop emailing me about when I'm going to update the site (actually, I did get an email about the Blog, very happy about it). In any event, I’m going to do some quick bullet type things and if you don’t like something, go to the next bullet.

* Went to the Sox game on Thursday night with Ryan, Skaus and Eddie. Nick couldn’t go and Brownie was vacationing in North Carolina. Quick aside, Brownie supposedly was evacuated from his vacation house because it was getting hit hard by Hurricane Ophelia. This is the second year in a row that he’s gone to NC in the midst of hurricane season. Sure, it’s cheaper, but it’s fucking hurricane season. I don’t think this is good planning, but what do I know?

Anyway, the game sucked. It was a match-up of Curt Schilling and Athletics rookie Joe Blanton. Seems like a pretty easy win for the Sox, huh? I think you’re forgetting that the Sox can’t hit shit unless they’ve seen a pitcher a minimum of four times. After a 35 minute rain delay, Schilling got cuffed around in the first two innings until he settled down and pitched reasonably well.

Blanton, on the other hand, pitched pretty damn well from start to finish and the Sox lost 6-2. While this was going on, the Yankees were beating the crap out of the Devil Rays and cut the division lead to 1.5 games.

As far as losses go, this one was simply terrible. The defense sucked, the hitting sucked, Schilling sucked and the weather sucked. All in all, a crappy night at the ball park that was made less crappy by the fact that it was over quickly. We have one more game, a week from Saturday against the Yankees.

* Which brings me to my next point: as of right now, the Sox still hold a slim 1.5 game lead in the division (one game in the loss column). This was after a six game lead in August. How the hell did this happen? Seriously? The Sox were rolling along beating up everyone from the Devil Rays and Royals to the Angels and White Sox, then they hit September and everything falls apart.

There are a few reasons for their fall:

1. They’re in the midst of 30 games in 30 days. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baseball player, a fry cook or a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, working for 30 days in a row sucks and will sap you of your energy. It just will.

2. There are three guys that are hitting: Johnny Damon, David Ortiz and Tony Graffinino. And Ortiz hasn’t been just hitting, he’s been Christ-like in the way the he can bring this team back from the dead. If he doesn’t get the MVP this year, than something is seriously wrong. Manny looks like he’s back on track with a good weekend against the A’s, but Varitek, Trot, Mueller, Millar and Renteria look hopeless at the dish. Hopefully, this slump lasts for a game or two longer, anything over than that and this team is done in the playoffs, if they make it.

3. Injuries have begun to take a toll on this team. In the last week alone, Gabe Kapler, Kevin Youkilis and Wade Miller have been completely lost for the season. Granted Kapler and Youks are just back ups, but they make up the bulk of the Sox bench. Who would you rather see hit in a key situation, Gabe Kapler or Adam Hyzdu? Besides the pitching rotation, the biggest strength of the 2004 Red Sox was its bench. This year, they’re going with the best nine guys and riding them.

4. Matt Clement sucks. There. I said it. He’s won two games since the All-Star break, is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and during that time, his ERA is over 10.00. Yesterday he gave up seven runs in a little over an inning against Oakland. When it comes to crunch time pitching, he makes Matt Young look like Roger Clemens. He has to find his old form if the Sox are going to succeed. That’s the bottom line.

* All year I look forward to September Sundays so I can easily flip between the Sox and the Pats on those afternoons when they’re playing a double dip. Despite both of the teams playing, yesterday, was a crap day. The Sox game was over by the second inning and the Patriots couldn’t get out of their own way in Carolina. It’s going to be a long ride home as I listen to the radio and hear all of New England whine about their two favorite teams.

And can I just give Carolina a hearty “Fuck You”? I haven’t been swearing a lot in this Blog, but seriously, the Panthers have managed to really piss me off. Last week I picked them in my suicide pool against the New Orleans Saints at home. This is the same Saints team that hasn’t been at their homes in over a month and have been wandering around the country looking for a place to play and practice.

The Panthers have been the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year with an awesome defense, a tremendous offense and a great coach. So what do they do? They lay a huge egg and for the third time in four weeks, I’m out of the suicide pool in the first week. Let that be a lesson to me, gambling sucks.

* Speaking of me, last weekend was the old birthday weekend. Aly took me to an awesome steak house in Boston on Friday, Smith and Wolensky’s and then my parents took us to Jimmy’s Steer House on Sunday. My mother thought that an appropriate gift for her oldest son (31 years old, BTW) would be to buy him two sets of every day utensils. So I got four forks, two spoons and two knives. Whopeee for me. I really don’t care about presents that much, honestly I’m too old to give a shit, but I was a bit disappointed (no, too strong of a word, maybe dejected?) about this. Actually, I’m not sure how I feel, but I wasn’t really thrilled.

Even my grandmother said it was a shitty gift and my father felt so bad, he made my mom give me another gift.

* This weekend, we didn’t do too much, Friday we stuck around the house and Saturday we hung out with some of Aly’s friends. Sunday (I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I am) we had a dance lesson. To be honest, it wasn’t half bad. Aly and I went to Newton for this wedding crash course, where for two and a half hours they show you a couple of steps and a few other moves and you actually look pretty good.

There are a few things about the wedding that I’m nervous about, one of them is the first dance. I have zero coordination for these sort of things and during my life when I’m forced by a circumstance to dance, I just act really goofy and get through it. Unfortunately, this is one of those times where acting goofy isn’t going to cut it. The instructors were really nice, they showed us how to work together, how to lead, where to put my hands (they are NOT, as I was instructed in junior high, to be placed on the girl’s ass) and other crap.

All in all, not a bad way to warm up and now I’m not so freaked out about that.

* Aly’s dog Murphy passed away last Saturday, so it has been a pretty somber week at the Magrane house. Murphy was more than Aly’s pet, she was her best friend. When her brother went to college and her sister at school, Aly was all alone, so her parents got her a puppy. This dog and Aly became really close because for a while they were the only thing that each of them had.

Murphy just visited us in Brookline during the Labor Day weekend and was looking pretty good, so although she was 15, it was a bit of a surprise when she passed on. She was a great dog and a good friend. She will be missed.

* Two things about school, beginning in October, I’m taking two classes a week as my web design course start up. That should be a freaking blast as now I will have to go to school on Mondays and Tuesdays, get ready for the wedding, do my strip, work and find time to sleep. The one good thing is that at least I’ll be done with the course two months early.

The class that I’m in now is a design theory course and it’s pretty good. Very light on the computer, but heavy on theory. I love it, I enjoy talking about why a piece looks good and how it can be improved. Last week, our project was to design a logo for a company and I chose to design a few logos for If you go to the site now you can see one of them and in a few weeks I’ll be rotating the other one in. Both came out really well and I had a focus group to show my ideas.

* The last thing that I’m going to talk about is television, this fall looks like a banner year for the boob tube as a bunch of shows are coming on that I’m going to be watching and TiVoing. You should check them out:

Sunday night is going to be awesome with “the Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, “Rome” (on HBO) and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Monday is going to be killer as “Arrested Development” moves from Sunday to there. Hopefully that show will find an audience there.

There’s a few more other shows that I will be catching regularly, the Jason Lee show, “My Name is Earl” (I think that’s what its called), “The Office”, “Survivor”, “Everyone Hates Chris” and maybe I’ll try to get into “Scrubs” and “Lost”. So the 2005 fall TV season looks like it’s going to be a winner, and with the usual stuff that I watch and the Sox and the Pats … the old TiVo is going to be filled with stuff.

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