Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Hole I'm Not In

I was looking at my post from January 1st of '05, to see what the first word I wrote this year was. When I read that post, though, I started thinking about other, slightly deeper things.

I had been talking, one year ago, about how I feel bad for people who don't get enough to eat, while I sit complaining about my job and spending money on junk.

It seems like whenever Gumby's around, he and Chan and I get to talking about these things. (Gumby is off flying huge planes really fast, but comes back to the east coast at holiday time.) So, this holiday season, we were continuing that neverending discussion long into what were then jobless nights for me. I was tryng to figure out, you know, the meaning of life, stuff like that. Things like: I got offered 600 bucks a month to put an ad for a ticket-selling agency on my website. Why should I be so adamant about not advertising for others, when, if I had a job, I'd be doing the same thing for my employer, essentially. And besides, who am I protecting by keeping a very tiny amount of people away from these ticket places? The teams themselves, who mark them up in the first place and then charge you 4 bucks for a bottle of water, which isn't much purer than what might be falling from the sky, and which you should immediately sending to people who'd give a thousand dollars for a bottle of water. You know, if they had any money, like the 600 bucks I could have if I put a couple of words on an electronic screen.

And if I work for myself, and sell stuff, well, at least I wouldn't be doing it for anyone else, but it still seems rather selfish.

The point is, as Gumby said, Can you sleep at night? I could anyway, so that wasn't a problem. Except when the shithead above me plays his shitty keyboard all night. Now that's a selfish guy.

It was more like, "I can be awake at day."

Long story a little tiny bit shorter, I got a job, and it's one where I help people. So, I think that may have been the key for me. To have the thing I "have to do," i.e. the thing that brings home the Soy Bacon, be something that helps people. So I know I'm doing that every day, and I don't need to feel guilty about placing bids for the 1983 Boston Herald Red Sox collectible stamp set.

Happy New Year, everybody. yankee fans, too.

Oh, and my first word of the year was "Chan's." And as you can see, it's also the last. I wonder what word will be Chan's.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Droppin' Hamiltons Like Aaron Burr

Ever since I compared the yankees to the mythical "Mr. Dunbar" in this post, I've been thinking: The yankees should be referred to as simply "Mr. Dunbar" on this blog, effective immediately.

So, let's try it out, using a sample conversation between person A, who we'll call "Me," and person B, who we'll call "Chan":

Me: What up, C-Sekshin?

Chan: Hey.

Me: I'll be going up to Boston this weekend.

Chan: You gonna see a game?

Me: Yeah, Mr. Dunbar's in town for three.

Chan: You better watch out, Mr. D's got another murderer's row this year.

Me: Eh. Mr. Dunbar's overrated.

Chan: You going to any games at Mr. Dunbar's house this year?

Me: I should, I do live in his neighborhood.

Chan: Nice. Well, I gotta go watch "Lazy Sunday" for the hundredth time.

Me: I'll join you.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

NYC Jobs

Chad Bradford was signed by the Mets. So both of our submariners have gone to New York City.

Speaking of getting a job in New York City, I now have my first. I haven't yet decided if I'll be mentioning exactly what I do here on this public diary. It is the type of job that's going to provide a lot of stories, so that makes me lean toward telling you all. We'll see what happens. Maybe I'll just pull a Theo and tell the stories, and from there you can figure out what type of job it is.

In the meantime, we're now up to May 25th, 1983 on My Anything Journal.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Don MAJ-kowski

For Christmas, my mom gave my sister and I huge folders full of stuff she'd been saving from our childhoods. But you all win, because I'll surely be putting lots of cool stuff from the 80s online. Starting with this: My Anything Journal. It's from second grade. I'll let you know each time I put up a new entry.

In the meantime, I just watched my Huskers narrowly avoid getting their fingers fed to Sam's Wolverines. The refs seemed to be officiating their first game. But hey, it was the Alamo Bowl. We had a nice comeback, despite that no rules were being enforced. And the last play featured both teams running around in the parking lot, playing Chinese Checkers with beach balls to determine a final winner. It was wild, you should've seen it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Put Me In Coach, I'm Ready To Play For The Shitty yankees

I think it was a stupid move for the yanks to keep Bernie Williams.

yankee fans have no reason to like Johnny Damon. They're not gonna come out and cheer for the face of the enemy. A-Rod and the Unit still haven't been embraced, and they never played for the Red Sox, let alone knocked the yanks out of the playoffs in their own stadium as a Red Sox very recently.

They would've had to deal with Johnny, as he's their center fielder whether they like it or not. However, keeping Bernie in town gives the fans more of an excuse to hate Johnny. They know that their beloved Bernie is right there on the bench, while they get to watch "that Bawston caveman guy" roaming his old turf. I don't see how they could not chant for Bernie while Johnny is in the game.

Even if Bernie's the DH, they'll still be able to show how they feel by giving him a standing ovation every time he comes up to bat, while booing Johnny all game long.

Which is what I want. I want him to realize what a dumb thing he did when every yankee fan and every Red Sox fan teases him 'til he develops an eating disorder.

In Jeff Reardon robbing a jewelry store news... that's right, the unassuming former Sox reliever robbed a store, giving an employee a note that said he had a gun, which he did not. He claimed medication made him do it. This is the biggest ex-Red Sox scandal since El Guapo kidnapped himself.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tender Age In Bloom

I had this feeling that when I reviewed my mom's new book, there would be some major Red Sox news the next morning that would knock her out of the top spot on my blog. Sure enough, the biggest news of the year came out right after I posted the review. So, here it is if you missed it:

There's a real writer in my family. Her name is Mom. Although, for some reason, on her latest book's cover, she is referred to as "Mary-Ann Tirone Smith." Who knows if this error will be caught before the second printing.

The book is called Girls of Tender Age.

After seven novels, Mom tries her hand at memoir-ery, and succeeds anti-terriblejobfully. The book takes you back and forth between the story of Mom's childhood in the ghetto* in Hartford, Connecticut, and that of a murderer who found his way to her neighborhood when she was eight years old. The way she ties the stories together is masterful.

The writing style is unique, too, and makes you really feel like you know Mom's family personally.

Now, since I'm the author's son, I actually do know a lot of them personally. But, I'm telling you, you'll feel like they're your own family. Of course, I never met many of them, like the relatives from my great-grandfather's generation. I remember my grandpa telling me how when his father would hear the first pitch of a Red Sox game, and it was a strike to a Red Sox batter, he's say "That's it, they're gonna lose." I know a lot of you can appreciate that. Hey, Mom, you totally should have put that in the book.

There are other Red Sox references, of course, as is my mom's tradition in her books. I think my love of Mike Greenwell got him a mention once. Don't know if Gedman ever made the cut, however.

Another interesting thing is how she compares the inner-workings of the murderer to that of her autistic brother, who I always knew as "Uncle Tyler." It was always just kind of funny when we'd be at my grandparents' summer cottage, and we'd hear Tyler yelling "Say blue!" whenever someone would mention the color red, or when my mom would tell us to flush the toilet twice, because that's how many times Tyler needed to hear it. Maybe it didn't seem too odd because it's all we knew when we were around him. Or maybe it was because I could relate, as sometimes when I look down and see my right shoe, I feel like I have to look again and see my left one to "even it out." Obviously, Tyler's case was the extreme, whereas I can function in society without telling people go out of their way to do certain things to make me comfortable. Tyler felt so much pain when things weren't just right that he would hurt himself physically to drown out the mental pain.

So, for me, as a kid, it was no big deal on those few days a year when we'd be around Tyler. But to hear how my mom and her parents dealt with Tyler for a lifetime makes you realize how incredibly difficult it is to live with and care for autistics.

It was good to learn all this stuff about my mom's side of the family, as well as what she went through later in her life, like realizing her father has forgotten not only everyone's name, but also how to speak, ravished by Alzheimer's, while I was at Little League games, playing with baseball cards (which she bought for me), going off to college, etc.**

Also, check out the picture of me in the book. It rules.

I don't really know how to review a book. I feel like I'm giving stuff away. I mean, just to say that there's a murderer involved-- now you know he's gonna murder someone. But I guess you're supposed to know that going in. Still, I'm gonna shut up now.

Buy the book on Amazon right here or go to your local book store, like Borders, B & N, or preferrably a mom & pop type store if one exists near you.

It's also available on audio book if you don't know how to read. That also makes a great gift for your blind friends. My mom read it herself, as opposed to having some lame actor mess it up. [Update, 2/6/2007: Now available in paperback.]

Danielle Martin contributed to the win with stellar defense for Ridgefield Oil.***

*My mom always told us she grew up in the ghetto. It never made sense to me, her coming from the same place as Arnold and Willis. After reading the book, I understand.

**I think my mom once told me not to use "etc." in writing. My bad. It just seemed to fit there.

***This is a tribute to Mom, who always wrote up my Little League games for the local newspaper, since I'm now writing a review of her performance.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States