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As a Bostonian and a sports nut, I feel the need to say something, "Thank God this A-Rod deal isn't going to happen!" In case you haven't been watching SportsCenter, or reading The Boston Globe, we're not talking about our New England Patriots in New England. They're 12-2 and looking like a team that's headed for the Superbowl for the second time in 3 years, but that doesn't matter, cuz there's baseball talk afoot.

So, the gameplan was that A-Rod, the most expensive man in sports (252 Million over 10 years, ~25.2 mil a year, he has 7 years left on the contract. Thanks avalyn) would restructure his ginorminous contract and head to Boston, someplace he apparently wants to play. In Return, the Texas Rangers would get power-hitting, non-hussling Manny Ramirez, and probably some other considerations as well. Now, you might be thinking "What's the problem?" or "What's the holdup?", possibly even "Why should I care?" Well, I'll tell you why. It's because it would make us like Them, the dreaded, evil, manipulative New York Yankees. That's why. We'd have bought our way into the playoffs, just like the Yankees. The Yanks have a weaker team than they did last year, we might not even need the help of the most expensive man in sports to beat them in the playoffs. But I digress...

The big problem I have with the trade is the simple fact that no one sees what I see; Alex Rodriguez would make an excellent second baseman. Just imagine, Sox fans, a starting rotation of Pedro, Curt Schilling, D. Lowe and Timmy Wake, with Jason Varitek catching, Kevin Millar at first, A-Rod at second, Nomah at short, Billy Mueller at third, Gabe Kapler, Johnny Damon and Trot Nixon in the outfield. We'd be unstoppable, especially with our suddenly, completely, non-sucky bullpen (when the hell did THAT happen?). But no. No one has thought to show A-Rod his place. For getting paid more than the GDP of some African nations, you think this guy could make a little sacrifice.

As the trade was being worked on by the owners of the Sox and Rangers, many conditional deals started to fall into place, all of which pissed me off. Originally thought to be going to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in some sort of trade or other, Nomar would have been shipped off to the crumbling Chicago White Sox for outfielder Maglio Ordonez. Nothing against A-Rod and Ordonez, but they're not Red Sox! They wouldn't be my team and goddamnit, I wouldn't watch. I'm serious, I let it slide when we traded away Shea Hillenbrand for Byung Yung Kim (Which was a terrible trade, for a cheap all-star you can get more than a pitcher who blows it in A) Yankee Stadium and B) The World Series, two places where the Red Sox need to win) but for these shenanigans I would not be able to stand it. I might actually consider protesting outside Fenway Park, and I know I could get many of the legion of chowdah heads to join me.

I don't want to see the Red Sox win the World Series if we have to give up the heart of our team to do so. You heard me right; I'd wait another 80+ years. Many non-Bostonians might look at Nomar Garciaparra and see an alright bat and a good defensive shortstop. But to the people of Boston, we see something else. We see Red Sox baseball. This guy has spent his entire career in Beantown, and has quickly become part of Boston culture. He came to us as Nomar, a scrawny kid still wet behind the ears. He has then morphed into Nomah! The face of the Boston Red Sox. We don't care if he's 0-5 in a game, we want him to have the last at bat. He is the hero of Boston, even if others have pulled the Hero card and played it perfectly, we want Nomah in the clutch.

As of right now, the deal is off as the player's union did not allow Rodriguez to restructure his contract. Peter Gammons, the uber-wise baseball sage, mentioned that there are two other ways that the Red Sox could get A-Rod on their team. But if he's not playing second, then I don't want him. I want the Red Sox to be the Red Sox, and not repainted pinstripes.

This morning I was sitting reading a book eating a bagel in the cafe on the way to work, like I do most days, when somebody asked me the time. I checked my watch and answered him without thinking. Then he asked me the date and year. I looked up. "December 20th, 2003," I said to the thin, slightly wrinkled sixty-year-old man who'd asked me the question. He was stirring a cup of tea.

"Thanks very much," said the man, walking past me and sitting down at the table immediately behind me. I noticed that there was a younger man following him, looked like he was in his late teens, who sat at the same table. He was slurping a Coke. I immediately thought that they might be father and son or something. Somewhere between that and teacher and pupil.

"Much better," the man remarked as they sat down.

"Yeah," replied the kid, taking a slurp of his drink and savouring it. "Coke tastes a whole lot better in 2003 than it does in our time," he said. "Probably because it's not been recycled x times."

"The place does change a lot," replied the older man. "I'd almost forgotten what it was like without the dust. So much cleaner."

"What Bond movie were they up to now?"

The gent laughed. "Strange question! Let me think. There's the hundredth anniversary coming up next year, so call it one movie every two years..."

"About nineteen or twenty," said the kid. "That'll be one of the Brosnans."

I blink. Hang about. "Our time"?

"There are some things that you can never forget, no matter how hard you try," said the gent. "Fresh air that's not filled with harmful chemicals and nanites. Clothing that's not made of artifical polymers but proper spun cotton or wool. Hard cash! Having actual money in your hands, I never thought I'd miss that. You know, I often wish I could come back here to live permanently."

Fif- sixty years... This has to be some kind of joke...

"Yeah, you said," said the youth. "I thought about it too. But there are some things about it I could never stand. 2D televisions. Or their laughable excuses for computers. And the internet, pre-moderation. Before the Metabase came in. And then you've got the medical and hygienic aspects to contend with. No nanonic immune system. You'd be breathing germs every day of your life, almost completely unprotected. And even if you could cope with all that, what about the war? Would you choose to live here, knowing what was coming? Knowing what you'd have to live through all over again? I know I wouldn't."

"No. I guess not. But that is, of course, the purpose of our visit. We'd better get going or we'll be late for our appointment."

They got up and left, not paying me any attention at all. I turned around and watched them walk away, while trying to get my head around what just happened.

I can imagine that they probably rounded the corner and then burst out with laughter. It would be a very slick joke to play, after all. Making someone think you were from another time... Practical jokers or something. Maybe even a hidden camera show. I dunno. Another surreal day in the life.

But there was something ringing in my head, something about Bond movies.

Updates about myself while E2 was on leave - this was the announcement that went out in the mail today...

For Immediate Release:

Nora to Wed Norbi Cleveland, Ohio - December 18, 2003: Mr. & Mrs. parents of Nora of Atwater, Ohio
announce the engagement of their daughter to Norbi, the son of Mr. & Mrs. parents of Norbi of Hungary.
A September 2004 wedding is planned.

The bride is a student at Kent State University. She will be graduating from Kent State University where she will receive a BFA in Art History with a minor in fiber arts/textiles. The groom is a carpenter, self-employed. He is a graduate of a trade school in Hungary where he finished with a degree in carpentry.

A Lovejoyman E2 Late-Autumn Sabbatical Roundup

DISCLAIMER: This is truly a blathering self-absorbed daylog, but I've missed you guys. Maybe by spilling my guts to you, you'll spill some of yours toward me. (Yick, but you know what I mean.)

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been 48 days since my last writeup.

Where or where to begin?

Resuming the experiment of one

For the last 20 years, any physical endeavor I've started has had a goal at the end. Run a sub-40 10K. Swim a mile in under 20 minutes. Finish a 50K. Deadlift 300 pounds. However, in the past two years I've been injured, sick and frustrated more than I have in the previous 18 by trying to attain these arbitrary marks.

Pneumonia, flu and tendonitis -- the result of running either too much or too little. Tweaked lower back and achey right hip thanks to overly aggressive powerlifting. Right shoulder gound to dust by swimming and polished off by lifting. To be honest, I'm a little tired of this.

Also, generous helpings at every meal for the past two months combined with a determined lack of direction have forged me in to a woefully unfit Pillsbury Doughboy. The force needed to button my pants in the morning nearly dislocates my shoulders. This sloth, however, allowed me to heal, and now I'm ready to hit it again.

No screw-ups this time. Perhaps I should just quit obsessing on the end product and just enjoy the trip. Maybe I should take my own damn advice.

A career is just a job you've had too long. -- Warren Miller.

Job-wise, I'm still stuck in hell. I've got benefits now so I'm here for a while. My plan for getting out, however, has gone through multiple incarnations in the past few months.

For years friends and family have urged me to open a restaurant -- a small breakfast/lunch/bakery. I did some research, a soul search and then decided against it. The clincher came when after work one day RunningHammer cozied next to me on the couch and said, "Put your arm around me, Daddy." Knowing that I'd be spending at least 18+ hours every day at the store and missing moments like this made it an easy decision.

After having some extensive work done on our house, I thought, "Hmm. I could do that." I've always want to weld and looked in to that. Alas, no place to learn it in this area.

Radiography seemed to satisfy my inner geek while at the same time offering a lot of opportunity. Schooling, it turns out, is too long for me to justify and packed with classes that make my eyes glaze over.

I applied and interviewed for a job in yet another department of my company. It was OK that I didn't get it until I learned it went to someone the department manager had decided on even before the interview process began.

All this time I've still been sending out resumes and trying to maintain my meager programming skills. Waking up one morning, my mind relaxed and twirlling a function between its vaporous fingers, it hit me: I want to write code. It's what I've been doing in all my scarce snippets of free time. Even if I received a job offer to scrub toilets, but had as a secondary duty maintaining dusty lines in ancient programs, I'd jump at the chance.

So I signed up at Sourceforge hoping that perhaps I can help on some project and get some actual experience. I'm wading through K&R again (New Testament) and starting on Python. I'm going back to school for a series of Oracle classes that prepare you for their DBA certification. As squishy and dorky as it sounds, I love this stuff.

Sheesh! Right now my dream is to get an entry-level programming job. Sometimes I feel like a tone-deaf cellist shooting for first chair, but I won't give up.

Any hints or suggestions regarding this course of action are welcome, appreciated and eagerly awaited.

Diamonds slipping through my fingers

There have been other timepiece-defying milestones appearing on the shore of Lovejoy Island:

  • RunningHammer is potty trained. You folks know what a big deal this is. However, like a tiny George Costanza, he has to take off all his clothes to go. Great cheers and celebrations ensue with each deposit.
  • I have it on good faith that Santa's bringing SweetFaceBoy a drum set. His teacher is blown away with his progress. While watching "School of Rock" he was stoked by the clips of Keith Moon, but, knowing that whole story, I'm steering him toward Neil Peart and Mickey Hart.
  • Vonda MaShone plays violin next week in a huge Christmas concert. Straight A's and voraciously reading Lemony Snicket and Chronicles of Narnia. Now if his parents would each fall in to a wood chipper, everyone would be better off.
  • I have finally finished The Return of the King. This is a big deal because I take forever to read a book and because I did it before the movie came out.
  • My incredible sweetie and I have finally agreed that it is time I visit Dr. V. Yes, there were discussions and arguments and silence and time, but we reached an agreement. Just have to find a urologist and do all that insurance and referral stuff. "Just hurry up and get it done," she said. I liked the tone of her voice.
  • My Nearly Naked Summer ended without fanfare, only goosebumps. Officially it was 10.27.03, pretty much the last day I could putter around the backyard wearing only my Tevas. The next morning I went for a jog, stripped, and decided quite quickly that the pool was now too cold. I'm looking forward to spring and my first trip to the beach.

Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hands -- Robert Hunter

During the move, my year anniversary here came and went. I had planned a deep and poignant daylog for it, but of course wrote nothing down and therefore those ideas have hit the road. (We are, I believe now, all the more lucky for it.)

I arrived by clicking on the link at Slashdot. Within four minutes I knew I wanted in. Since then I've written about sex, childhood sickness, household maintenance, paybacks and snow. They among others are ideas and images and observations I never thought I'd put in to words, let alone allow anyone to read. Yet you did read them, and more often than not approved of them. Since I was in the eighth grade I've wanted to be a writer. Hopefully during the past year I've gotten closer to being one.

Also during the past year I've been lucky enough to chat with some of the smartest, coolest, most interesting people on the planet. Though idea of attending a nodermeet gives me the same feeling as BASE jumping (abject terror meets ticklish fun), perhaps that will change in the next year, and I'll actually get to meet some of you incredible people. (nota has valiantly tried.)

Anything else I could say about e2 and my feelings toward it have already been eloquently expressed by Lucy-S. I can do no better. I will, however, echo her words: You guys rock!!

I'm glad I discovered this place, though I don't believe in accidents. It's good to have everyone back. Like I said, I've missed you guys.

Now spill.

I am convinced that my daughters' soul used to inhabit a raver who died of an Ecstacy overdose. She loves to dance to dance music and likes glow sticks

Does that mean I don't love her. Of course not. It's just funny. In between the little 18 month old trying to say uvula and throwing all the cat food in the house all around the kitchin, I got to say, being a dad is weird. We spent 2 hours looking at Guitar World, her totally facinated with an Ebay ad with a set of drums on it.

This is kind of cool.

A little late to be posting this, as it is acutally the 22 but I decided to post this anyways, partly due to the current quest sponsered by ninjagirls.

Today is my 3-month wedding aniversary and I am enjoying the interesting Christmas tradition's that my wife's family has every year. I come from a family that has only one tradition, going to a live navitity each year on Christmas Eve, however her family is full of traditions. In fact, in her family, family is huge. Everyone gets together with everyone else. All the time.

Every year, her mother's side of the family gets together and bakes cookies, all kinds of Christmas cookies, sugar, gingerbread men, no-bake, and of course fudge. Much food and much wine is consumed during this experience, along with much laughter. It is a great time and a great event and an even better tradition.

Another fun tradition that they have is breakfast on Christmas morning. Granny and Papa, my wife's grandparents, come over in the morning and have a great big breakfast, including pork sausage and sparkling grape juice. Once again in contrast, my family gets up, and opens presents, nothing special.

On a sad note, a good friend of mine, he was my best man in my wedding and I in his, father-in-law passed away today. They took him off of life support and within the hour he had died. What a sad time to be dealing with a death. And Merry Christmas to them as the funeral is Christmas Eve. Keep them in your thoughts.

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