Thursday, November 24, 2016
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Cubs Win the World Series & Life Goes On
Monday, October 24, 2016
The Cubs Are FINALLY Going to the World Series!
* The great collapse of 1969. A team with several future Hall of Fame members just faded in August and September. Harry Caray was still announcing for the St. Louis Cardinals at that time and was heard to sing and say "The Cardinals are coming, tra la, tra la," but it was the dastardly New York Mets who overtook the Cubbies and eventually won the World Series.
* In 1984, the Cubs went up two games to none against the San Diego Padres in the five-game National League Championship Series. In game five, first baseman Leon Durham let a ground ball go through his legs, allowing the tying run to score. Disaster followed. The Cubs had this series and blew it. Friggin' Steve Garvey.
* In 1989, the Cubs faced the San Francisco Giants in the Championship Series. The Giants won the series in five games in what I remember as the series of first basemen. Will Clark went 13 for 20 and Mark Grace went 11 for 17. The Cubs had some great players, but the Giants just seemed to be the overall better team.
* In 2003, the Cubs were within five outs of going to the World Series in game six. It will forever be known as the Bartman Game. The Cubs suffered a bitter losses to the Florida Marlins in that game and game seven. Although the Marlins were arguably the better team (they did win the World Series), the Cubbies should have won the series. No longer did people say "In Dusty, we trusty."
* In 2007 and 2008, the Cubbies had great teams, yet were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectfully. Manager Sweet Lou couldn't bat for the feckless Cubs.
* In 2015, the Cubs got hot as the season wore on and made it to the National League Championship Series, only to be swept by the Mets. My brother, thundering36 and I were at that final game. Although the defeat to the excellent pitching staff of the Mets was sad, it laid hope for the 2016 season.
With the Cubs finally making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945, the feeling is indescribable. The closest thing I can say is it is like Christmas when you were a kid ... times 50!
Unfortunately, a sad note is that the Cubs, like the White Sox in 2005, took too long to get to the Promised Land. My father, a White Sox fan, passed away 14 months before the Sox won the World Series. My mother, a Cubs fan, passed away this past June. Her grandchildren have made the hashtag #winitforgram on Facebook (the more recent posts -- not the ones for the grandmother who is 102 years old!). So I guarantee you, if there is some funky World Series play where the ball takes a weird hop for the Cubs, you can guess that my mother was probably involved from the great beyond.
Saturday, October 01, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Crossroads: A Work Dilemma
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Almost Back to Me
It had been evident for some time, at least to me, that my wife's supervisor, the principal at a private elementary/middle school, seemed to not like my wife for some reason. About a week or two before the school year ended, an email my wife received led her to believe that she, an at-will employee, would be fired. She confronted the principal, who lied to to her face told her no. Toward the end of May, I was taking part in a big picnic that the directors of my workplace hosted for our employees. During that, I heard from my wife that she had been let go and was treated very harshly. Meanwhile, I am gritting my teeth as I helping run the picnic. It was a shitty day.
Last December, I watched my mom for a few days after Christmas so that thundering36 could get a break away from taking care of her and go to Las Vegas. My mom was not too bad during the time I watched over her, but thundering36 let me know that he saw a cognitive decline in her during the first several months of 2016. In June, my mom seemed to be having some more severe issues, and it was recommended that she go into the hospice in-patient center for a few days for an evaluation. As I got ready to head up to visit in June, my brother told me that I needed to get to the in-patient unit right away. I had just started the trip and pulled to the side of the road, phoned my wife to quickly pack some clothes, went back home to get my wife, and headed to the in-patient center. My family watched my mother slowly die over the next week. She passed away on June 16, the day before my son's birthday.
The next couple months were pretty rough. I had already cancelled a quick return trip to Las Vegas and was forced to cancel a trip my wife and I were going to take to New Orleans. We also had a special hotel room reserved in St. Louis to celebrate our anniversary in July, but I just didn't feel like going.
I got a short respite at the end of July as thundering36 and I went to a couple White Sox-Cubs games, but the afterward the pressure at work was pretty intense. I went back to Las Vegas at the end of August and was joined by my wife for a few days, After returning, more intense work, which finally ended last Friday afternoon.
So in short, my summer really sucked. It was if there were clouds hovering over my head for a few months. I put on weight and overall felt like crap. It was part depression and part just needing to cope with some new realities. All the while I had a ton of pressure at work. Yuck.
However, I seem to have broken through since returning from Las Vegas. I've been on a diet and have dropped eight pounds. For the first time since last spring, I feel like myself again -- for better or worse!
And once again, a heartfelt thank you to my online and poker friends who were around for me this summer and helped me get through these past difficult months. The tweets, text messages, Facebook comments and blog comments all were a part of finally getting my life back to normal. I think I am about there.
Onward and upward. That is the right direction to go, right?
Saturday, September 03, 2016
Attack of the Man-hating Woman
I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas (Aug 26-31) and have not yet had a chance to post about any of the happenings due to a busy work and leisure schedule upon my return . However, due to some tweets that were sent by myself and Vegas DWP during my Las Vegas trip, I have had several requests to post the story of how I was verbally attacked while playing poker at Caesars Palace. Since Vegas DWP was a witness and not directly involved in the situation, he is a much more impartial observer that I could be. In reality, since I was in the middle of the situation and seething, I don't have a coherent memory of the entire incident myself -- only bits and pieces I remember or heard.
Here is Vegas DWP's account of the situation. Afterward, I will comment.
A BIG thanks to Vegas DWP for providing the gist of this post. He is okay ... for a male ...