Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Campus drinking and fighting....

It's a bleak Tuesday morning, but I could not be happier. I finally figured out how to make a decent cup of coffee with the Keurig coffee maker that I got for Christmas. One would think..."uh, seriously? it's a one cup machine with one of the little cupettes that are pre-filled." Yeah, that's right...it's almost idiot proof...hence the difficulty. You see, you can make a big cup or little cup and the amount of water is crucial to the final taste. Ok, now do you get it? It's like a chemistry assignment...a little bit of water plus pre-filled cup OR a lot of water plus the pre-filled cup=delicious coffee or swill....it took days of measuring and tasting the product before I got the right combination of water to coffee. That's it. It's the little things that make our day so early in the morning. It gets us out of bed and helps us to turn on the coffee machine and computer and plow through the day of ups and downs.
Speaking of downs...did you see this coming? I got a report from campus last night from the southpaw news network....there are lots of issues before the season is scheduled to begin and guess what? They are alcohol-related. And so, I will come right out with the news...

It seems that some of the players and alumni who were in town for the baseball banquet and at their favorite drinking spot on campus. Apparently, a girl walked up to one of the guys and shared her woes with her soon to be former boy friend who has an attitude and temper. Can you feel something big coming on? After an extended evening of sharing pitchers of beer, the guys started to walk home and were jumped by the soon to be ex boyfriend and his friends. A melee ensured and the following guys sustained injuries:
1. starting shortstop has concussion and chipped teeth
2. starting third baseman's contact lens rotated to the back of his eye and he cannot remove it. he may need surgery to extract it.
3. a relief left handed pitcher broke his left hand.

That's right....LW ran into the fight and punched one of the guys so hard that he broke his hand two weeks before the season starts. He is in a cast for 6 weeks, then physical therapy and strength training before he can actually throw a ball....and there you have it...once again...alcohol plus idiots = stupidity.

Three guys who are out indefinitely and the coaches must be crazed. Who wouldn't be? Fortunately, my son has figured out that there is a bulls eye on the players backs and he is trying to stay out of trouble. However, there are others who think that they are invincible. Think about it. They watch these movies where the guys get into brawls but the only injury is a cut on the forehead that is quickly healed with a band-aid. But the reality is that there are real injuries that could be permanent and these guys are not thinking about the ramifications of their actions. As Buddy says: "I have too much to lose to let that happen." And he is right. The other guys are now figuring it out...the hard way...a life lesson.

And so...what to do? Well, it looks like the second and third string guys will travel to the preseason games while these fellows stay home on their sofas and nurse their wounds. The coaches begin to lose their minds before the season begins....and Buddy has one less pitcher to worry about as he climbs back to his previous form.

Speaking of which, I saw his surgeon in Target on Sunday and reported Buddy's progress. This guy could not have been more pleased to hear how well his surgery took. In fact, he shared two things with me. First, another major league player had the same injury and surgery as Buddy and he is now throwing 100 mile per hour (nice, eh). Second, he asked me to tell my son that his recovery is one of the reasons that he gets out of bed in the morning and that we made his day....nice....At the time, I did not know about the fight and possibility of sending another ball player to him. But I guess that this is the way that he earns his money...from idiots who like to fight after a night of drinking...over a girl that they do not know.... to prove a point that they do not have...

on to work..bye!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prime rib or chicken?

Good morning! We're back from the oh-so-frigid mountains...you know the mountains...the place where people strap long planks onto their boots in subzero temperature, climb to the top of the mountain and once they are on top of the aforesaid mountain, he or she will propel themselves down a steep slope on their planks with nothing between them, the snow, the ice, a wayward snow boarder, and death. Yeah, they call this activity skiing. Ask my bud, Menopausal Marathoner about skiing and she will show you her x-ray and the cast on her wrist......anyway.....back to me!

Yes, we arrived yesterday on campus with our cooler full of goodies ready to sit in the back of the baseball banquet with our mouths closed, only opening them for an occasional sip of water. Is that the way it happened? Heck, no....my kid has matured...and here is how....

As I walked into the Ramada by myself since dad could not find a parking space, my son...the tall leftie walked up to me at the door and greeted me with a hug. That's right...not only did he acknowledge that I had entered the room, but he did so in front of his pals. Uh-huh....am I dying?

As we looked for the bar (OK, I was thirsty), he bought me a $5.00 glass of wine. Hum...what's wrong with this picture? He proceeded to chat with me until his dad and sister walked into the room then he  greeted them. Wow....acknowledging in front of the entire baseball squad that you have parents and were not hatched or delivered by a stork has actually put him back into the will as I leave him my greatest possessions....my laptop, Tempur pedic bed, and chipped bar glasses. Back to the Ramada....

I announced under the influence of a sip of wine that we were having prime rib because I could identify the scent wafting through the lobby. That's right, we were partying in the lobby of the Ramada Inn with our $5.00 wine, $4.00 beers, and free prime rib scent. It seemed that the $40.00 that we each spent on our tickets was going to pay off in a big way....

I found my table in the back of the room, as I was going to keep my promise to stay away from the party. I actually wanted a great view to see if there were any fights or issues, but the guys were told by Coach that they were not allowed to drink and had to be on their best behavior.

looking around, I asked if any other parents were there since I could only find LW's and Big Red's folks. We sat with Angel's family who are incredibly sweet as they peppered him with multiple questions about his activities last week when he turned 21.

Asking the big kid why there weren't more parents, he replied: "There are....the guys are not sitting with them...." Ouch, I felt that pain....Then I oh-so-maturely said: "Look, go hang out with the guys...we're fine...we chatted...you can go."

"Nope...I learned my lesson the last time. I am fine here."

Sniff...yeah...that's what he said....my little guy has done a "360"...an about-face....He is no longer mortified by his folks. OK, perhaps we can embarrass him on a given situation, but he sees that guys really don't mind hanging out with the family on a short term basis. They can be themselves, live their lives, and come home every now and then. Our goal in life is not to embarrass him but to guide him to make good choices and feel positive about himself. Honestly, that's it. There are no ulterior motives....really.

For example, while shoveling the snow yesterday, a friend walked up to say hello. She reported that they sold their shore home as the kids have left the family house, and are ready to travel. See...full circle...no more ties to the seashore. Now they can move around freely since it has been 20+ years since they could just take off and find a condo to rent by a golf course.

And so, gang....here is the way that it goes....you raise the kids to be independent with the idea that you will eventually escort them out of the house or they can leave willingly...you travel....volunteer...sleep late....read a book uninterrupted...no longer have to hide cookies...will not find a sticky lollipop stick on your bottom (although in a Boston Market one day, a man carefully told me that I had a soccer ball sticker on my bottom)...no longer have to extract anything from your child's nose....no longer remember the lyrics to the Sesame Street songs....find yourself with quiet and solitude....wah! Yeah...I will miss the crazy, unpredictable things that happen around the house.

But perhaps....just perhaps...I will get a call (or text) asking me to join the kids for lunch. Their friends will be there...can I come too? Oh, yeah...bring dessert.....don't forget your credit card....

Got to go to Zumba....we actually had chicken last night and not prime rib....the nose was wrong...oops, I guess that I did embarrass him.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Leaving the bathrobe at home

It's Friday...Friday...Friday! One day before the big baseball banquet and I am still looking at my clothes trying to find the least embarrassing, wall flower-ish, covering all body parts like the Muslim women do- outfit. Let's consider this, the banquet is being held in the mountains, therefore, there is snow on the ground....

This will eliminate the neon orange, low cut blouse to my navel and evening gown....
Also off the list are:
  • 6" spiked heels
  • leather boots that cover the entire leg
  • black motorcycle jacket with the skull and cross bones on the back
  • straight leg denim jeans with holes in the knees that are so tight that I cannot sit down.
  • my spiky Cher and Tina Turner wig.
  • my fleece bathrobe that I just bought at Boscovs for 75% off (such a deal!)
  • Tinker Bell pajamas with the little hearts on them
  • my straight from Elizabeth Taylor's collection 24 carat emerald necklace with the diamond baguettes (is that a loaf of bread or cut of stone?) 
I am going to have to settle for option 9, which is a black skirt that flows below the knees, boots, and a turtleneck sweater. Victoria Justice ClothesYes, I have made the decision and will stand in the corner with a Shirley Temple drink in my hand and my mouth closed only opening it to sip my drink.  I will only speak when spoken to and then it will be about the chicken and green beans on the plate. Perhaps if I am lucky, the cheesecake for dessert will be defrosted before it is served.

Yes, my big plan is to not embarrass the big kid and let him know that I have his back. The guys will not be talking about the crazy lady who appeared on campus with a cooler full of food for her son, waterproof and warm boots, and his shirt and tie. Nope, someone else's parent is going to have to be the topic of conversation around the Gatorade cooler in the dugout. What can I say? I'm just that kind of mama...

Anyway, on to another topic close to my hips...the bill came in for the two cases of Girl Scout cookies.....let's just say that I think that I have been inducted into the neighborhood hall of fame. As I wrote the $100 check, I thought that I really need to have my head examined. Why would a person on Weight Watchers buy not only one box of cookies but two cases? What is it about me and impulse buying? Do I have a psychological disorder or do I really love thin mint cookies? What would a therapist say about me? I'll tell you what my husband thinks....better not....he had to go to work early today to pay for my cookie addiction.

By the way, I do not plan on eating any of the cookies...for my family and friends in the region...guess what you are getting for your birthdays?

Gotta go...tennis at noon....be safe.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Please don't embarrass me.....

It's frigid outside! Finally a cold day in January when you need gloves, a hat, and coat. Dad never wears a coat which is odd, but then.....kidding!

So, what's up in the mountains with our favorite leftie? Well.....he finally told the guys that he was moving out and rather than being upset, they were mature about it. He explained that he felt bad that he had to cancel the parties and wanted them to live their lives as they desired. In return, he too, was going to live in a place where he was comfortable...and they all agreed....how about that for honesty? Open communication? Sharing around the camp fire...thoughts....feelings....ambitions....ooops.....On to other news.

He still has not been given an assignment for a summer team. This is probably due to a number of reasons such as the pitching coach still does not trust that he has rehabbed enough. The head coach has been duly impressed with the recovery but the pitching coach who makes the summer league connections has not budged yet. Of course, this is a guy who loves Burger King whoppers and was hit in the head with a line drive, so a person may ponder his ability to make decisions.

With that said, Buddy is not panicked but is looking at his own options for the summer which includes playing in  an adult league close to home. As long as he is pitching, he does not care where he goes. However, my only request is that he does not return to Ohio. That's it....go to Hawaii, Cape Cod, Virginia, or North Carolina....but stay out of Ohio. There is nothing wrong with Ohio itself but he needs more experience and the Ohio teams were restricted in their ability to help him.

And now, we look ahead to the baseball banquet on Saturday. Hmmm...what will we see? I have been told that my son plans on sitting with us. This is a huge leap since he was mortified that we attended the last banquet. As a matter of fact, one of the senior team mates called him out on it and he saw the errors of his ways. Actually, I didn't notice until he escorted me away from his friends because I was embarrassing  him with my presence. Although...wanna talk about embarrassing?

Isn't that what your kids do in the mall when they ask for something, you refuse and they flip out? Or how about when they reluctantly answer the telephone and scream into the receiver calling you. Naturally, the person on the other end is the Dean or a co worker who sees how well you run your own home....and continuing on the notion of embarrassing...how about the time when I sat in the stands with an old college friend who was watching him pitch with me and he threw a hissy fit when the first baseman missed a ball...then he was pulled out of the game and tore his jersey off. The crowd, mostly parents of the kids and grandparents, watched as I melted into the ground. Or, how about the times when he would freak out when he was thrown out at first base? Or questioning God when rain would cause the cancellation of a baseball game....so I embarrassed him by asking his friends what their majors were....?
With that said, I have to find an outfit that does not scream: "I am deliberately trying to embarrass my son..." Perhaps a turtleneck that covers my face? I will leave the couture evening gowns and Jimmy Choo shoes home with the butler and maid. The limo will stay in the garage for this one trip. I will wash my face, brush my teeth, and comb my hair. My clothes will be pressed with no grease stains or crumbs from lunch. I will nod my head as if I am listening intently on what the person next to me is saying, but I will not open my mouth to reply. We will take a table in the corner of the room and act as innocuous as possible. If the coach speaks to us, then I will reply politely and talk about the weather. That's it...I won't pull out baby pictures or the lock of hair from his first hair cut ('cause I threw it out). Yes, it is my desire to act ordinary and blend in...although I always thought that I blended in except when I wore plastic bags on my feet in college when I could not afford waterproof boots...that's another story for another time and place....definitely not for the baseball banquet.
Gotta go and work....you know...that daily thing that we do to earn enough money to send our kids to college as we do our best not to embarrass them....yep..that's us..... we'll never learn!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Good morning....we had a bit of snow last night but not enough to make a difference in our lives as there is nothing to plow, shovel, or plod through. BP Grandpop probably does not have to put on his ice cleats to make it to church today.

The title of the blog today is 'ambushed'. What is the reason for this cryptic title? Well, I guess as I look back on last week, I can firmly say that I was ambushed in my own home....and here is how....

One late afternoon, I was working at  my desk in my office and minding my own business. I was in the zone as I graded paper after paper. Life was good as I worked diligently to catch up on grades, when suddenly the door bell rang distracting me from my goal. I begged Tink to answer it but she was in her own zone trying to calm the dog. Running to the door, there they stood.....not one, not two, but three little girl scout brownies and their oh so cute blond mama. I looked at the little group and knew that I was sunk.....

They smiled and handed me the dreaded list....you know the list....the one with every girl scout cookie available on the market, the price, and a pen. Looking at the trio, I knew that I could not order one box, or two, or even three. Oh no....I had to order one box of each cookie and another case of thin mints for dad's office. That's right. Me, on Weight Watchers, ordering over two cases of girl scout cookies.

Why? WHY? I'll tell you why....calm down...OK, I ordered the cookies because of a number of reasons....first...I was that little girl scout at one time. Except for the two other girls and the mom, I traveled light with one of my brothers or little sister, the case of cookies in my hand, and a desire to sell all of the cookies except one box of mints which I planned on eating after explaining to the folks that no one wanted to buy them.

Second, these little girls were so darn cute, I could not turn them down for anything....want my car? wedding ring? pin number to my ATM account? Their smile had me at "hello"....

Lastly, I was very vulnerable as I was on week two of WW. I looked at those cookies and knew in an instant that they were my diet kryptonite. Yep, I was going down on cookies...or perhaps a better way to put it is that my weight was going up.....I am pretty sure that there are no low fat girl scout cookies....yeah, pretty sure.

And now, with the promise of two cases being delivered to my house this week, I have to use every bit of resolve and commitment to not open the cookies and begin to give them out as birthday, Valentine's Day and perhaps late Passover hostess gifts. I would be nuts to keep them in the pantry since I really want to fit in those pants that are hanging in my closet before the baseball season.

And now, I face the hardest task of the new year. How can I possibly allow these fat laden detectible cookies into my own home while I am in such a weakened state...not physically...I feel great...no, mentally...I have not crunched down on pure sugar with additives and trans fats in over two weeks and have actually lost weight without much thought. Yep, it's a dilemma, but I think that I can conquer it with the Serenity Prayer and maybe a stomach flu.

With that said, I look forward to this weekend's Kick-off baseball banquet on campus as I will fill the trunk with Buddy's dress shirt and tie, Timberland boots that he casually forgot, and multiple boxes of girl scout cookies for the guys. On each box, I will beg them to eat them or use the thin mints for the snow men's eyes that they construct with each snowfall. Other uses for the cookies could be to put a few under the leg of a table that is not balanced, crumble the Tag-a-longs and sprinkle them on a tuna casserole, use pureed do-si-dos as a skin moisturizer, and the samoas to tenderize meat.

Time to get to work...have a great day!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Heating up the pool

Good Saturday morning! I hope all is well in your corner of the world. It's frigid but dry here, so no big deal. All we have to do is wear an extra layer of clothing when going out. Although on Saturdays, Tink and I go to Aqua Zumba and I must confess, with the cold temperatures, it is going to take the promise of eating a huge piece of cake to get me into a bathing suit and travel to the Y in these cold temps.

And a large piece of cake is coming my way if I play my Weight Watchers points the correct way, which includes attendance at AZ class. Tomorrow we celebrate BP Grandpop's 86th birthday with the family. How great is that? What does an 86 year old want for his birthday? Well...the guys still has all of his hair (mostly black and some gray) and teeth....so those things are covered by great genes and care for the body...but what else could a person possibly want? Hmmmm.....so, Tink, BP Grandmom and I took him to see the movie Les Miserables on Thursday. The screen was very large and the music was so loud that he claimed that he could have turned his hearing aid off and still heard the production.

I liked the movie although the cinematography made me queasy. I get motion sickness and the way the camera moved so quickly, I got dizzy and nauseated. Yep, that's me, getting sick just watching a movie. By the way, Les Miz was a good movie to take the folks since there was no cursing or nudity. Ok, a bit of violence during the French Revolution, but no one had their heads or appendages blown off. So, it's a good movie to bring senior citizens who want more action than Bambi can give them....although I never understood why in every Disney film, the mother seems to die to begin or continue the story...aren't mothers needed to tell a story? Do we have targets on our backs in cartoons? By the way, I hope that this does not spoil the movie for you...but..the mother dies....naturally...need her dead to tell a compelling story...uh huh.

Anyway, speaking of parenthood, the big kid had a great night last night as he went to the movies with friends then home to chill out. This is the kind of entertainment that best suits him. After the rugby melee last week, I think that he is laying looooow....and liking it.

He reported that he threw well yesterday and that the head coach actually complimented him. The coach said that he thought that Buddy was basically done with baseball when he saw him throw in the fall. But now he claims that he is back and better than ever. This made the big leftie a very happy man since his pitching coach never compliments him or makes comments to him. He realizes that he has to be his own advocate since the pitching coach seems so apathetic. hey, if the head coach is happy, who cares about his assistant?

There was also some levity in the mountains this week as there was a significant snow fall. Someone had created a snow man in the front of the house, added a can of chewing tobacco in one hand, a beer in the other hand and a baseball cap on top of the head. Then a sign was posted on the snowman with the coach's name on it. Ooopps.....better melt that snowman and fast. I doubt if the coach would be happy to see this portrayal of him land up on the front page of the student newspaper. I doubt the athletic director would find the humor in it....just sayin'
Anyway, it is time for me to do some deep breathing....layer up, grab my towel and aqua shoes (yeah, I have them. Even though I swim, I am still a germphobe....and get queasy with motion....and a whole bunch of other things that you can poke fun of...)....and start the car. The instructor starts the class out with the song..."Hey Sexy Lady..." OK, what's wrong with this picture as the song is playing with the geriatric crowd shimmering in the cold water and the teenage life guards laughing at us? Could anything be more humiliating? Uh, yeah...tossing your cookies in a movie theater for one....have a great day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Searching for meaning

Good morning! A rainy day in the northeast and I am thankful that the precipitation is not snow. At any point, we can have sleet and ice....so let's hear it for Mother Nature! Thanks for the rain!

What is going on in the world of BP mom? Well, I end my marathon cycle of classes in preparation for the baseball season. All of the intense work was worth it. As I finish the classes this week, I do not have to step into another classroom until late May. This gives me the freedom and flexibility to move around the country to watch/observe baseball games.

Last year, as most readers know, the season ended before it began, with an injury that had been misdiagnosed multiple times. After hard work, great doctors, and rehab, the kid is ready to go...but is his mind ready? Who knows? I don't think anyone will know until he finally hits the mound during competition.

Another question people may have is what was the fall out from the Saturday night/Sunday morning melee? Well, let's see....it seems that the big kid learned something very important. it's something that I have said for the past few years but it did not penetrate the granite like substance in his mind. I had to chuckle when he said: "I think that I need to hang out with different people. I am going to be judged by the group that I hang out with...." Uh huh...never heard that one before, yet I was thrilled to hear it come out of his mouth.  As a result, he is on a mission to turn things around and perhaps (just perhaps) join a service club or two on campus.

Huh? really? service? Yes, you read this one right. He is going to find a way to lead a more fruitful life and find his niche outside of baseball. I guess that the big kid is growing up because if he is true to his word, then he is turning into the man that I always knew he could/would be.

And so, I will keep you posted on his quest to be a "stand up guy." it should be interesting as he explores the world of regular people. You know who regular people are....these people are normal men and women, young adults, and teens who work hard, give to the community, hang out playing hoops on a Friday night or gather for pizza and a football game on a Saturday afternoon. Regular people have no special athletic abilities, were given participation trophies as kids,  and are not given any special kudos for catching a ball. In fact, regular people generally miss the ball when it is thrown at them or they throw is back and miss their target. Regular people are not on television unless they are at a parade or caught on tape cheering at a basketball game, and wash their own cars. Lastly, regular people make their own cakes and cupcakes and do not have trainers who massage their arms and backs after a game.

So, let's hear it as Buddy leaves his dis-comfort zone and the only world that he really knows....empty kegs, bar room brawls with rugby players, and finding his bed at 4 am. I, for one, am going to enjoy 'Man's Search for Meaning....'

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

not the perp....

Yawn.....good morning...boy, did I need the Starbucks grande pike coffee this am...for a number of reasons. First of all, people are dropping around me with the flu....for example, when we walked into church today, an elderly woman was on the floor with lots of doctors and nurses surrounding her and someone on the phone calling "911" (what's the number for 911?). There was nothing that I could do as I saw that she was well cared for...I could hear her saying: "let me get up!"....The next person who dropped was the alter boy...he turned the shade of clean snow and had to be led out. After a few moments, his mother brought him back in and as we departed from church, I had to step over his breakfast that was on the sidewalk....ah, the flu.....

Now, why am I tired....the real reason....ahhhh...here we go with a 2 am Sunday morning call. Naturally, when the phone rang, we knew that it was not Verizon trying to fix my telephone number...yes....it was the big kid and thankfully, the phone was on his father's side of the bed....so, I shut my eyes and could hear a very panicked son in the background talking a mile a minute...and his dad saying: "You did nothing wrong....calm down...go home....you witnessed a crime....did not commit it....." Yep....I'm tired....

Here are the details....Buddy and his posse went over to a high school friend's apartment and the group went to a rugby party down the hall. Ok, so far so good....then a fight broke out and he shuffled the girls back to their place for safety. Following this? It gets better.....

He and his friends left the apartment building through the parking garage and the fight continued out of the apartment, down the hall and stairs and into the garage where he was departing. With that, one of the rugby players swung and connected on a fellow student who twisted and landed on the floor of the garage. He was knocked out cold. Seeing that the injured guy was being taken care of by his friend, the big leftie got the heck out of there and called his dad and mom thinking that he was culpable and could be arrested.

Oye...are we still looking at a brilliant legal career? It's a good thing that he is so good looking, 'cause his common sense except for departing the scene is lacking.

Let's look at it from a parent's perspective....the kid obviously was having a good time with a group of friends.....obviously a great deal of alcohol flowed and students were inebriated.....with drinking comes crazy behavior....with crazy behavior comes stupid decisions....with stupid decisions, the cops come.  Buddy was not only worried about the kid who was injured but thought that he would be arrested because he was on the garage's video as being present  as a witness.

OK, Knucklehead....is it time to consider going to the movies on Saturday night? How about pinochle or parcheesi? Television, anyone? The season has to come now....

Dude...once again, you were in a spot that was fueled by liquor. No, you are not to blame, but you did witness something that went down. be grateful that you were not lying on the garage floor and were able to call your folks...and for crying out loud...get some sleep....'cause I know that you need it and so do I.

Have a good day!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Steroids: There is nothing postive about them

Hi! I am still working with Verizon to fix my telephone number. We are currently receiving calls from people who want a doctor's appointment. According to Comcast who had the number, no company can use a telephone number unless papers are signed and the number is released by the owner (me). Therefore, it was stolen, taken, or slammed (as they say in the world of tech support). And so, I will continue this battle and probably lose it at some point.

What's up with the big kid? Actually, I don't know. I have not spoken to him in 3 days. The only communication was a quick text message yesterday morning to report that his 8am class was cancelled and his day began on a positive note....only in college would a person who is paying a great deal of money for a class would not want the full value of their investment. Yahoo...class is cancelled! Yeah, well, guess what? I paid for that class and you're going to sit in that class room and study....get it?

Today during aqua zumba, I started to think about the baseball Hall of Fame voting and how no player was voted in....upon pondering it further....I am actually happy that they were sent a message from the little people like us. The message is that you cheated to achieve the statistics whereas someone who did not use steroids did not and therefore was not given the fame, glory, and money that the cheaters did. They polluted the game for the people who enjoyed its purity. Should they be voted into the Hall of Fame in the future?

As far as I am concerned, the answer is "no"! How many other guys followed the rules and did not have the batting averages, home runs or earned run average that the cheaters had? Most of them....sure you can level the playing field by giving every player steroids, but then that ruins the sport. Here is the way it is supposed to be....

A guy or girl is born with some athletic ability....they grow up and work hard to train, eat well, and participate in games. They sacrifice a normal life to travel to games and work out. They have no time for extra curricular activities as their lives are their sports. Then they either "make it" or they don't....then they have to figure out what to do the rest of their lives. Through it all, they did not take performance enhancement drugs and followed the rules. For the few that make it, they are looked upon as possibly having used the steroids. In other words, their accomplishments are tainted even though they did not participate in anything illegal.

Look at the Phillies catcher, Carlos Ruiz.....he had a record breaking year....he was applauded and cheered. Look...he's great....then in the off season, he was suspended for failing a drug test. Now what? Yeah, I will tell you...anyone who has an exceptional year, I will always think that maybe they had cheated. That, my friend, is how the sport has been tainted....for all the people who work hard and followed the rules....

And so, this Hall of Fame vote sends a clear message to all current and future athletes..."Don't cheat". It's not worth it.. Or is it... Barry Bonds as he continues to fight another battle in court.

Call me crazy, but if he is guilty, then lock him up, take away his records, and send a message to any guy or girl who has a syringe in their hand and is contemplating taking steroids....Just do one more crunch.....more time on the treadmill....throw the ball more.....find another trainer...but for Pete's sake...put the needle down and do it the right way.....


Thursday, January 10, 2013


Ok, sports fans....I am sorry that I have not written, but there has not been too much to report...until now....

Guess what? My phone number has been re-routed to a doctor's office and I now need a new line in the house. Yep, that's right....stolen. Right from under my nose....how did it happen? Well, the last hour and half that I have spent with verizon's tech support personnel still cannot tell me how or why,  but a doctor's office now has my line. According to my friend on the other line, my phone has been "slammed". That means another provider took my line without permission. The issue is now in Verizon's legal department. Oh, yeah...while I was on the line with my new friend from tech support, he noted that I was paying full price for the premium channels and wanted to know why...hmmmm...'cause I have to? Well, he just gave me half price on HBO and Showtime...nice...now all I need are some decent movies on those channels and we can call this a deal.

So, what's happening in the mountains? Well, let's see....oh, I know...the big kid is getting his new glove. This is huge and means a number of very important things:

1. he's still on the team even though he was red-shirted last spring
2. he will be playing this spring
3. he gets something brand new
4. the glove has to be treated and broken in which means that it is rubbed with oil and placed under his mattress...don't ask.....
5. they still want him to pitch
6. the season is upon us and it's time to be mentally and physically prepared....

Actually, I am pretty excited. Last year at this time, we prepared for Florida. This year, we head to Tennessee, Virginia and Texas during the preseason. Blue Devil and Chill will join us in Virginia and Baker and Sparky will be on the Texas trip.

Although I must confess, we were also excited last year and that's when the big kid injured his arm. But it's all behind him now. Thank goodness. He went through a tough year, had to really do a great deal of soul searching, and re-committed himself to his sport. Although something very mature happened at the same time....he picked another major that seems to be a field in which he has a great deal of interest. That is, he wants to go to law school. This fascinates me since I thought that as soon as he was done with undergrad, he would head for the hills, grab an entry level job in some corporation, and coach little league. But no, he wants to join the legal system and prosecute the bad guys. Hmmmm...that's all I can say....

He called the other night and reported that he likes his management class  'cause the professor will teach him how to motivate people. I love this one. After he told me this, I shared that I teach leadership and know all of the theories but can't seem to get Tink out of bed in the morning, the dog to stop barking at the mail truck, dad to come home on time, and for Buddy to pick up his wet towels off the floor. Perhaps if I start each motherly request with: "According to MacGregor's Theory Y, you want to clean the dishes because it is the right thing to do and you want to do the right thing. You will derive a great deal of satisfaction if you abide by the rules of the house." Perhaps, I will begin to talk in theory rather maternal talk such as "For the last time....pick the socks up off the floor or I will toss it out the window...." 

With that said, I am still on hold with verizon and need to plug my cell phone in before the battery dies and I lose my connection with the one tech guy who seems to understand my problem. By the way, I have been on hold so long, I could have roasted a turkey and made the trimmings.....

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On the treadmill of life and not losing any weight

Good morning! A beautiful January day (is that possible?) in the northeast and I am getting ready to teach class tonight. It's a four hour marathon on scholarly writing and I watch my students lose their caffeine high by 9 pm, yet I have no choice per Department of Education regulations and have to keep them in their seats until 10pm. Their eyes start rolling, their heads go down, some of them nod off sleep...what's the deal? Isn't my class enough to keep them awake, alert, and oriented? Frankly, there are evenings when I am tired too but I am the chief so class goes on and on and on.....

What's new with the big kid? Well, he's back at school and readying for the season. Midnight practice sessions are scheduled, workouts, and training. He has already received most of his gear but is waiting for a new glove. When the guys are given their new clothes, they are like little kids. First, they ohhh and ahhhh the new duds, then they try them on. The next step is that they go to the internet to see how much the clothes are selling in the retail stores. After that, they call home and report that they are wearing $100+ sneakers. It's a great day for our heroes.

The Christmas break was just enough for the leftie to relax and prepare for the craziness of the season. He spoke to one of his professors yesterday to tell him about his upcoming schedule. The professor, a former football player, told Buddy and a volleyball  player to keep in touch but if they arrive back on campus at 5 am, he does not expect to see them in class, but they are to communicate with him to let him know. I guess the professor has a gold star next to his name for the athletes to select as their favorite.

Hopefully, this semester will be less frenetic than the last two. Last semester, the kid was hospitalized with mono. The semester before that, he had surgery and missed multiple classes. And so, I am sending positive thoughts his way......

With that said, the team had a meeting yesterday. After the meeting, he called his dad to report that he was the best player in the room. OK, hmmmm...let's see....the best player....When this was reported to me, guess what my response was?

I'll tell you....I said: "good for him." Why was I glad that the kid had such an ego? Well, because he needs it to do what he does. To stand out on the mound in public with thousands of people watching needs monumental confidence...uber confidence....confidence like I will never have. Somehow, in the course of this kid's life, he was given three extra portions of confidence. Good for him.....

And so, it's time for me to fill out my daily online Weight Watchers card. Huh, WW? Yep, I joined on Sunday after seeing how Dr. G lost 15 pounds with such ease. It's not about deprivation. It's really all about selections and portion size. I can still have my vanilla vanilla cake on occasion but I should no longer keep it in a glass case that says: "Break in case of emergency." Those days are gone for now, although Tink wants me to look up to see how many points a bag of Skittles is. Hmmm...I wonder...after all, the season is going to start and I am going to need my lucky sneakers, rosary, bag of Skittles and cooler full of water. Oh yeah, since my evening wine is 5 points, I am going to have to eliminate something else to achieve my goal.

After watching Al Roker interview a woman who lost 50 pounds and wrote a book about it, she mentioned a test that she gives herself when she is hungry. It is called the FLAB test which is an acronym for Frustrated, Lonely, Angry, and Bored. If she is any of the aforementioned, then she does something about her mood rather than her perceived hunger. Just the name of the test encourages me to sew my mouth shut.

Ok, gotta hit the treadmill and earn some Weight Watchers Activities points.....have a great day!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mountain breeze

It's Saturday! Oh boy, my little vacation from work is over, Buddy is finally doing the laundry that he brought home. The clothes have overtaken the laundry room and there is a bit of an odor..nec sias pas?

Good news...BP Grandpop is out of the hospital and looking forward to his 86th birthday in two weeks. Whoa...that's a lot of candles.

The big leftie is preparing to return to school tomorrow...with clean clothes, I assume. He has found alternate living arrangements for next year and will live with members of the golf team and his freshman year room mate. Is he happy? yep, today he is. I am not sure what courses he is taking, but will eventually hear as the semester begins. Over the break, he shared with us that he is going to go to law school....huh? Really?

Ok, this week, it is law school. We can add this to his astronaut, fire man, super hero, and marine biologist days. Although, he seems to like talking about legal matters and is politically in tuned. When did that happen? Usually he watches Sports Center, but the kid sat through the Presidential debates for a class assignment. I am going to congratulate this professor for inspiring him. Who says that you don't learn anything in college? 

And so, with the big kids departure, I will be sad that he is gone, but happy that he is continuing to live his dream. Legitimate practices are set to begin at midnight and go until 3 am. Who does this? I'll tell you....crazy people do it....yeah, crazy....a bit twisted. As far as I am concerned, midnight is the time for REM sleep and not throwing a baseball. If it was me, I would have my glove on my right hand and a Starbucks grande bold coffee in my left hand. Believe me, I would not spill this cup....

 Let's ponder this another step....practice is until 3 am...what do you do if you have an 8 am class? Skip it? Sleep in it? Go and put your head down and drool on the desk? Is this why you don't see many student athletes with honors? Perhaps, although I must confess....when I played tennis in college (sorry to go there), I believe that I could have had honors if I was not so tired from practices and matches...just sayin'...I did score Dean's List a few times but not a lot....ok, maybe three times...or maybe four...would you believe twice? 


With that said, I have to check to make sure that there is enough laundry detergent and dryer sheets for Buddy's clothes to smell like a mountain breeze...Have a great day!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Living to love; loving to live

Good morning! It's been a rough week in the BP Grandparents household with BP Grandpop in the hospital. No worries, he is being sprung today and will be home by mid morning. In the meantime, BP Grandmom spent days and nights by his bedside never leaving him except to return home to take a shower. That's it...24/7 (minus one hour for freshening up). I give kudos and 'props' to Grandmom and Grandpop who are so devoted to one another that they tough it out in the hard hospital chairs caring for each other. I showed Pop a few Christmas pictures the other day and he said: "Doesn't your mother look beautiful in that sweater?" The answer is: "yes, she does...." However, the guy swells with love and pride when he looks at Grandmom's photo. This, gang, is what it is all about....

What do I mean by 'all about'? Well, to have someone ignore their comfort and personal needs to care for their loved ones is the path to happiness. It's not about us...it's about what we can do for one another. It's all about love.

As I tell my kids..."love is a verb, not a noun..." There is no need to overuse the word in a sentence, but you can use it in your daily actions with one another and your neighbor.

It's true that I am a bit sentimental today, but watching the folks this week care for each other in the hospital was not only eye opening, but expected. Over the years, I have watched their devotion to each other and have measured all relationships against theirs. I guess that they have been our role models when it comes to how to love one another and live life.

OK, enough of the mushy stuff. I have to load the car with soup and pasta for when Pop and Mom return home. It's time to care for them. Ma: you earned a looong nap....go take one and I'll take the first watch......

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Midnight Practices: Why?

Hi! Well it happened as I predicted it. Before the end of the Rose Bowl parade, I broke one of my resolutions. That's right, I had a mini Snickers bar which led to two more. The problem is that someone who will remain nameless dropped two pounds of the mini bars in my Christmas stocking. Talk about torpedoing someone's good intentions. Dr. Phil would say: "Git rid of that junk..." But how can I throw out an opened bag of perfectly good Snickers bars with all of the starving people in the world? Yes, I listened to my mom even when I refused to eat my stew for dinner.

Out of all of the meals that BP Grandmom served, I distinctly remember how bad the beef stew was. Ask any of my siblings and they would concur. Even today, if you asked Scooby or Big Sis about 'stew', they would both utter "Ewww..." The guys would just grimace and remember the days when they had to sit at the  table long after dinner was over because they refused to eat it. Yep, the parents made us stay at the table until everything was eaten. Can anyone say "eating disorder?"

Ok, how is the big leftie? Well, he found Coach T in lower Delaware and has been working out with him with great success. The hours of the work out are much better than the pre-Christmas hours when he would drive to the field and use the car's headlights to illuminate the baseball mound at 5:30 am. I give him credit...this is what it takes to succeed.

Not much else going on...got to take down the decorations. I have gotten to the point where the boxes are now in the family room. It would be nice to have some help taking them down. Tink swears that she will help me, but I am not going to hold my breath. 'Cause when I do, no one would notice that I have dropped. For example, one night Diva Dog was choking on a bone. I called Dad and Buddy to help me. Tink was screaming for help. They did not come while I was giving the dog the doggie-Heimlich now known as the abdominal thrust....in fact, both claim they never heard our pleas for help. Fortunately, I was able to dislodge the blockage and Diva Dog lives on to bite the repair men and use my carpet as her personal toilet. I wish that the Dog Whisper would make an east coast house call.

And so, it is time to reconsider my resolution and work out another system. I can't let a Snickers bar derail this train. Perhaps, I can donate the rest of the bag to a soup kitchen or perhaps Buddy can take them to the baseball house when he leaves on Sunday.

Oh yeah, this means that  baseball begins with work outs during the day and team practice from 12 am to 3 am. That's right...beginning at midnight....need I say anything else on that topic? OK, I'll say one thing...a person has to be dedicated and want this more than anything in the world to go to a midnight practice. Even a five pound bag of Snickers bars would not get me out of bed at midnight to run around a field.

With that said, it's time to pack away the ornaments and angels. Have a great day!