Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

  • I went 4-1 in the football pool this week! I'm officially tied for 6th. I'm also slightly obsessed.
  • I'm disappointed in the Ray Donovan season finale. I like a badass Ray Donovan and this episode gave me a resigned and weak Ray Donovan. I guess I understand the reason why they chose to end the season the way they did-it's about absolution and redemption, OK, I get it. But in my opinion they over played their hand a bit here. They put too much focus on Ray's two weaknesses-the Catholic church and his family and I don't feel like it resolved anything for me. I'm thinking that's exactly what it was meant to do. I'll be waiting till next season Ray, don't you worry. 
  • Scientists have discovered evidence of flowing water on Mars! Exciting news that some say could lead to the discovery of some form of life on the planet. I wonder-is this a ploy by Hollywood to promote the opening of Matt Damon's new movie "The Martian"? Just a thought.
  • The Pope is the cutest man in the world. I love him. 
  • Today I consider myself fortunate for all that I do have in my life and fortunate that I will not focus what I don't have....and I'm fortunate that I feel that way. 
  • I'm going to see Frack this weekend in North Carolina. It's Parent Weekend at HPU and I can't wait! I miss my boy so much!! He is pledging a frat Pi Kappa Phi and he's rally excited about it. I'm loving the fact that this frat boasts the best GPA on campus and they take academics VERY seriously. So much so, that Frack has to log in 12 hours of monitored study time during the week as part of his pledge duties. Is this great or what?
  • Babies are everywhere in my family. Lately there have been most joyous visits from 2 great nieces and a great nephew. I'm not going to even think about the fact that this means I am old..no, I am going to rejoice in the fact that my beautiful nieces and nephews whom I have enjoyed watching growing up are now becoming parents themselves. The love I feel for their children is so overwhelmingly satisfying. It's a beautiful lesson in the circle of life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dipping My Feet Into The Pool

So last month My Guy invited me to join his NFL football pool. I was a little nervous about joining a football pool with 20 guys, so I recruited my BFF to join also. I played Fantasy Football once before and made it all the way to the playoffs, but this is different. This time I need to follow the entire GAME and not just my beloved New England Patriots, but all of the games in the league. I need to watch the spread and ponder and learn about lots of other teams. Shouldn't be too hard for someone who has worked in sports journalism not that long ago, right? I still follow and understand and read about and root for all sports-mostly my hometown teams-but sounds like a piece of cake right? Wrong.

Week 1 started and I was a nervous Nelly-searching the web for anything that would help me with the prospects for the first game of the season. After reading ESPN and finding several football pick sites, I took all that information and I sat down to make my picks. The Pats were opening the season on Thurs Night Football against the Steelers. The spread was Pats -7. Of course I took it as my top point pick, with all the "deflatgate" bullshit, I figured My Tommy was gunning for blood. I then went on to pick 4 other teams, mindful of the line and submitted my picks.

I was right about My Tommy, but Vegas has a way of snaring away all your glory. The Pats won, but only by 7, which means I scored a "push" and took only half of my intended points. Better than a loss, I figure, and not bad for a pool rookie. I ended up going 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie. Respectable enough and good enough to keep me in 13th place.

This Sunday that same anxiety overcame me as I knew my picks had to be in before the first kickoff. My cherished Sunday morning ritual of leisurely reading the paper and then watching CBS Sunday Morning was fast replaced by nervous energy spent pouring over the sports pages and the web. 2 hours later, I came up for air and was ready to make my picks. I made one fatal error though....
I was going to take Cleveland and take points for my biggest points pick-heck-two Heisman winners dueling it out on the field and even though it is the Browns, I figured this Manziel's last chance to prove himself. Just before I made the pick, I asked My Guy what he thought about the Cleveland game...

He warned me about following the NFL Pick sites-he showed me ESPN and USA Today and explained about home teams and point spreads. He gave me this valuable piece of advice-that even the experts get it wrong some time. "There are no locks," he said, which now left me even more confused. I asked him who his 5 star pick was and he replied with this, "New Orleans is playing the worst team in the league at home. They are giving 9 points, but I'm thinking it's a safe bet." Now, My Guy went 5-0 in his first week, so he added, "You should bet against me. I'm probably not going to go 5-0 again"

Don't ask me why, but I started thinking; Brees at home-Tampa on the road-Tampa sucks, and 9 points is a LOT-2 score spread-at home-I'm doing it!!! Guess what? It was the only game I lost on Sunday and had I taken Cleveland I would have gone 5-0.....

Lesson learned, but I have to tell you that playing in this pool has made football on Sunday's so much more fun! I know that you can't be a hero every week, but I'm having a ball trying.
Sooo...anyone have any picks for THIS Sunday? I'm all ears.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I Was Just Thinking...

I saw this picture of Paris Jackson today and it got me to thinking about Michael Jackson's kids and where they are now. You know how a picture or a story gets you thinking about people that really aren't in your realm of life, yet you can't stop wondering what happened to them?

A quick internet check on Paris finds the 17 year-old beauty seemingly happy and attending a private boarding school in Utah. She certainly has turned out to be a beautiful young lady, and social media pictures show her to be dating.

Her 18 year-old boyfriend, Chester Castellaw, is a soccer player for the Real So Cal youth soccer club. When not away at school she resides with her grandmother, Katherine Jackson and cousin Tito in California and her two brothers. She seems to be doing much better since her reported suicide attempt when she was 15.

Her brother Prince Michael also seems to be faring well.

The Loyola Marymount student, 18, is focusing his studies on a career in film and television. Reportedly a great student, Prince is said to be committed to his studies and focused on receiving a degree. Good thing because as the heir of his father's vast estate, he will need a good head on his shoulders to navigate all that entails. Talk about pressure. Let's keep our fingers crossed he stays the course. I think it would be a great testament to his late father.

Last, is their brother, Prince Michael II, "Blanket" who is 13.

Reportedly bullied for his name "Blanket", he changed his name to Bigi Jackson. Blanket, as he was known by his family, is said to be quiet, funny, respectful and helpful to others. Here's hoping he can live a somewhat normal teen aged life.

After reading and reporting all of that, I am left to wonder why I care? But strangely I do care-Michael Jackson's children were the young and  innocents caught in the madness that was his life. I could be wrong, but it looks like his mother is doing a good job raising his children. And as I said before, it would be nice if despite it all, the 3 kids turned out to be decent, happy and successful adults. As a parent, that's the best you can hope for.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Black And Whitey

So I'm going to see "Black Mass" tonight. I can hardly wait.

I read the book. 
I read the papers when it was happening. 
I live in the city that was terrorized.
I remember the pain it caused the families of the victims; mine included. 
Whitey Bulger is urban legend around here.

I'm fascinated by this moment in history that was captured on film and looking forward to seeing-and almost being there-while the story unfolds. Evil like that has a way of mesmerizing the psyche, which is how Whitey intimidated his victims. Make no mistake, I'm not endorsing a Hollywood glorified Whitey Bulger character, but what I am doing is immersing myself in the story of this crime lord who was enabled by a corrupt FBI agent. I am extremely mindful of the damage that this story has caused, yet I am unable to look the other way. 

Johnny Depp's performance as the cold blooded killer is being hailed as "scary good" which lends itself to the legend of this evil man. Boston Herald scribe Peter Gelzinis explained the truth of Whitey's core evil quite eloquently this morning. He was relaying a story about the murder of a bookmaker 30 years ago who had pissed Whitey off. Gelzinis and his colleague Paul Corsetti were working the story.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Let's Debate

It's on for the GOP tonight!

I was thinking, on my way to work this morning, that the whole 2016 Presidential race is in the toilet. No really, I'm so disappointed with all of the candidates. All of them from both parties.

Let's take the Republicans:
Trump: The man with a double digit lead is a bully! I get that he's talking tough and people really like that, but let's talk temperament for a second. This guy continues to insult and belittle his opponents (like a grade school tyrant)-and it seems to be working for him-but can we afford for him to piss off Putin and call him a loser? He can talk the talk, but just because he runs a billion dollar corporation bearing his name does that really mean he can walk the walk on a global level? Politically? He's a loose cannon.

Carson: The media is calling Carson's recent surge in the polls "Trump-esque". Is Ben Carson the kinder, gentler Trump? Or is his recent surge due to the fact that The Donald's name calling game has turned off former supporters who find Ben more presidential? Trump better watch it. Carson's got God on his side, just saying, and if, after a great performance tonight, he emerges as the front runner it would be interesting to see how Trump handles that. Not well is my bet.

Fiorina: Carly, Carly, Carly. I recently read that she compared Trump's inappropriate comment about her face to the grade school bully who is mean and pulls your hair but secretly really likes you. Uh, no Carly. Make no mistake, Trump wanted to insult you and bring you down. I have to give her kudos for turning that ugly comment into political gold. A web new ad by Carly's camp said this about Fiorina:
"Ladies, look at this face and look at all of your faces, the face of leadership," Fiorina says. "This is the face of a 61-year-old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle."

Bush: Ughhh..I seriously think that the ONLY interesting thing about Jeb is that he speaks Spanish. He is so vanilla that I'm asleep already...please somebody wake me because the man has yet to wake any of us up. It's do or die for him tonight. He can't play mediocre or rest on his family's laurels because Trump will squash him. I'm not sure he has the chops to go up against Trump. He is over matched.

Walker, Kasich, Christie, Cruz, Rubio, Huckabee and Paul: The only ones I want to talk about are Christie and Rubio. Christie, I like, but his offensive attack on Paul at the last debate did him no favors. In my opinion it made him look angry instead of strong. And Rubio? He needs to be noticed. He's intelligent and articulate, but if eloquence is his only Presidential attribute he will continue to get lost in the water with these sharks. The rest have no chance. Zero.

As for the Democrats, I'm supremely disappointed in Hillary. She literally had a cake walk back into the White House and now all she has is cake on her face. What the HELL happened? I'm calling that a choke of EPIC proportions. I'm not sure she can come back, but I hope she does because the Dem's are loosing the race against the fiery Republicans.

Tonight should be interesting...I can't wait to see who Trump insults and I'm guessing I'm not the only one. It doesn't make for great politics, but it sure does make for great TV.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Miss 'Merica

So our newly crowned Miss America thinks that Tom Brady is a cheater? Actually-she said that she thought that My Tommy was a cheater if there was a question, but the media blew that way out of context. What she did say when asked if Brady should be held accountable for deflating footballs was,

"Did he cheat? That’s a really good question, I’m not sure," Miss Georgia, 21, replied. "I think I’d have to be there to see the ball and to feel it to make sure if it was deflated or not deflated, but if there was any question there then yes, I think he cheated. If there was any question to be had I think that he definitely cheated and he should have been suspended for that. That’s not fair."

The social media backlash was not kind. Dumb? Maybe, but Miss America 2015 Betty Cantrell's answer is not the dumbest thing a beauty pageant contestant has ever said. 

Here are some of the greatest highlights over the years:

Question: "If you could be beautiful and not so smart, or brilliant and not so beautiful, what would you be and why?"
Answer: "Well, I'd rather choose to be beautiful, um because, to be beautiful it's natural. But being smart you can learn...you can learn, um a lot of things...a lot of things from the experience...you can learn from a lot of things being smart."

Smart..not her strong suit. 

Question: "Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"
Answer: "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some . . . people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over HERE in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children".

Poor thing. She will never-and I mean never-live that down. 

 Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero at Miss Universe 2012
Question: "If you could make a new law, what would it be? And explain why."
Answer: "I think that any leys (read laws) there are in Constitution or in life, are already made. I think that we should have, uh, a straight way to go in our similar, or, eh, in our lives as is this. For example, I'm a surfer, and I think that the best wave that I can take is the wave that I wait for it. So please do our only, eh, law that we can do. Thank you, Vegas!"

Talk about hanging loose...

And I'm sure she was very proud of her AT LEAST coherent answer, though not accurate. 

She was asked about how women are continuing to earn less than men in America, and what she thinks that means for our society.
"How to create jobs right now, that is the biggest problem right now, and I think especially the men are seen as leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so we can solve this problem," Powell answered.
I have to cut these ladies at least a little slack. These are some serious high pressure situations and let's face it, they are not on that stage to "change the world" with their minds. But they know they are going to be asked a question involving current events, so it might help to pick up a newspaper once in  while. 
Or squeeze a football....  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fair Game?

I just got finished reading ESPN's bombshell attack on The New England Patriots. Released three hours before the time of this posting, 12:00 EST, I literally just finished the lengthy article.

I'm dumbfounded.

The article, mainly about Spygate, a scandal in 2007 involving the video taping of opposing teams hand signals, talks in detail about the accusations leveled at the Patriots organization and mainly at it's head coach Bill Belichik back then. It's like I was reading a step-by-step guide on how to "cheat and cover it up". The authors claim to have interviewed dozens of people involved in the scandal at the time, and according to this report, Goodell, Belichick and Kraft all conspired to cover it up. But do really know that's what happened?

Oh boy, is all I'm going to say about how I felt reading what I just read. It is a scathing, explosive, expose on what, according to this article, was a game changing cheating scandal that rocked the Patriots and the NFL. A large amount of the information in this article has never before been made public, which makes reading it for the first time eye opening, to say the least.

The timing of this article is interesting considering some of the same people involved in Spygate are involved in Delfategate-and I'm not sure why ESPN has decided to report this now-and not then-when the facts were more relevant.

It doesn't look good-for anybody involved and ESPN has not been without their fair share of biased, inaccurate reporting on the Patriots- HERE. We have wasted 8 months talking about this whole Deflategate debacle and to be quite honest, at this point I don't know who to believe.

I'm not sure what to think here except that my theory that cheaters never really get away with cheating. And really, why cheat? It robs everyone involved and in this case it's the NFL, the New England Patriots, the fans and the game. This game is about a lot of things and money is the first and foremost reason to lie and cheat, but what about the fans? We are the ones who help pay the hefty salary's of those involved.

Doesn't make it OK by any stretch, and so we are all left to wonder why? Cheaters never prosper, is the old adage from my childhood that comes to mind, but it would seem the NFL continues to prosper despite it all.

Friday, September 4, 2015

I've Got A Bone To Pick

So I went to the dentist yesterday for my routine cleaning. I never used to worry about a trip to the dentist, but after a certain age a routine trip to the dentist is no longer so routine. That sensitive area or slight twang of pain somewhere turns out to be more than you bargained for-or budgeted for. A simple cleaning can suddenly turn into a "deep scaling", which causes discussion of gum disease and a lengthy lecture about the virtues of flossing. Cue the anxiety! I suddenly understand why people have fears about seeing the dentist. I made it out of there alive yesterday and with a glowing review which means I do not have to return for another six months. Thank God!

While I was there, I noticed things were different. What happened to the spit bowl? The dentist's scraping tool is now equipped with water, so scraping is accompanied with a rinse option. While your teeth are scraped and cleansed of tartar, your mouth fills with water. The suction tool that hangs on the side of your mouth becomes the only thing saving you from chocking and gagging your way through the whole procedure and it robs you of actually seeing if your gums are bleeding or not. 

I still HATE the tooth polishing. It's like the hygienist puts Lava hand soap on the small rubber tool and spins it all over your pristine, vulnerable teeth. It's the equivalent to scraping nails on a chalk board and let's not even mention the gritty grit that you are left with to crunch and grind on for the rest of the day. The residue is most certainly a constant reminder of the whole torturous process. 

The good news for me that a simple fix put my mouth back in healthy graces. The daily addition of G.U.M. Soft Picks have literally saved me anxiety and time at my dental check ups! These flexible and jagged little picks with bristles, used in the same manner as dental floss but at the base of the gum, do wonders to remove plaque and stimulate the gums. As soon as I added these to my daily brushing routine, my trips to the dentist have been a quick, efficient trip with a positive check up and no talk of gum disease. 

Dentists are people too, with feelings like everyone else. A dentist has to endure the occasional, "Sorry doc, it's nothing personal. I just don't like dentists." After all, they are just doing their job, right? Unfortunately for them, their job happens to remind people that a trip to the dentist is nothing more than a necessary pain. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Best Friend's Birthday

How many birthday's have we celebrated since we've known each other? More than we'd care to admit.
Friends through it all, you and me, like two pieces of a puzzle that are the perfect fit.

Growing up together, how I remember long days of fun and adventure. We we never far from each other, neither one wanting our time to end if a guess, I had to venture.

Elementary school was a life full of dreams, junk food, and sleepover parties. We told ghost stories and did makeovers and considered ourselves the ultimate smarties!

High School was harder, you were older and  socially trying to make your way. So I stayed in your shadows and understood; a younger best friend needed to stay out of the fray.

Then college came, and we parted ways and made lots of  new friends. No longer down the street, we lost touch but inside our hearts knew this was not to be the end.

You moved.
I got married.
We didn't talk for years.

Yet the second we found each other again we laughed through the tears.

Our second act, as they say, has been quite a ride! Together we've loved and we've lost and we've marveled at accomplishments with pride. This time distance wasn't an issue, as you occupied both coasts.  I'll always be there, you know, you are my family and family is what matters the most.

So you're stuck with me San, and that's not so bad because to me, you are the best friend a girl ever had.
Happy Birthday to my BFF, here's to many, many more, and to the memories we will make and to what ever else our lives together have in store.....

I love ya!