Friday, February 11, 2005

With much gratitude to Hashem...

...it's true. I'm engaged! You may have already read about it over at Sarah or House of Joy, so by now it might be old news to you, but it's still exciting to me. It happened on Wednesday night.

It's also one of the reasons that I haven't been blogging lately. My hours at work got longer all of a sudden and I made a conscious choice that I'd rather spend my few minutes of free time looking into the eyes of my now-betrothed than looking at a computer screen. Forgive me.

As Esther (Madonna) figured out (as I'm sure some of you did as well), it was also the source of my post on what to call the female one is dating. I finally decided fiancee is much simpler.

I'd love to tell you all about the details and the numerous other posts that I thought about but never managed to actually type out, but work does beckon. And given the anticipated chaos of planning the wedding, I don't know when I will be back. But I appreciate the good wishes and thoughts and I will try to get back here before too long.

May we all be able to share lots of Joy together. have a great Shabbos.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Crying Game

Jack has a powerful and very personal post on crying. It tugged at a few of my heartstrings and made me think a bit.

When I was 14, the Cubs lost in the baseball playoffs to the Padres. I cried myself to sleep that night. How could they blow a 2-0 lead in games? How could Lee Smith give up that home run to Steve Garvey in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4 after the Cubs had taken the lead off Goose Gossage in the top of the inning? How could Leon Durham let that ball squirt between his legs? I don't know if I said I would never cry like that again, but from that point on, I really never cried because nothing affected me like that. Occasionally, there were some wet eyes at a movie (Schindler’s List) or a happy event (Ray Bourque raising the Stanley Cup), but nothing like an all-encompassing, heaving cry.

But then my wife died 2 years ago. Boy did that put things into perspective. For months, the tears just came without warning. Now it is getting better, but I still get sad at times when I miss her. In a way, I am glad that I was finally able to let out that kind of emotion. But now I fear that I will be unaffected by lesser events. I hope I am in touch enough with my emotions that I will be able to cry for less cataclysmic events, and I certainly hope I never have to experience that kind of pain again.

Jim Valvano, former basketball coach at North Carolina State, said at the first Espy Awards, as his body was being ravaged by cancer,
"To me, there are three things we should all do every day. Number 1 is
laugh. You should laugh every day. Number 2 is think. You should spend some time
in thought. Number 3 is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be
happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry,
that's a full day, that's a heck of a day."

Monday, December 06, 2004

Of "Girlfriends" and other politically incorrect titles

DovBear and Sarah have both posted recently about how one should refer to females. This raises an interesting question about how someone should refer to the female he is dating.

The candidates:
Girlfriend: Pro- the tried and true term that gets across the meaning. Con - How is this not politically incorrect? Even without the political correctness nonsense, doesn't "girl"friend connote a certain immaturity? Maybe it works for teenagers, but not when both people are in their thirties. I just think the term sounds too "high school".

Friend: Pro - Avoids the immaturity thing. Con - Sounds waaaayyy too platonic. The type of person you would love to have a cup of coffee with and talk to for hours at a time, but the thought of actually kissing the person makes you convulse.

The girl/woman/chick/chyck/etc. I'm seeing: Pro - Expresses the point and the romantic side of things. Con - Makes it sound like you're just fooling around until something better comes along. You like the person, but you know you could never bring her home to the folks. Kinda like the way religious Jews feel about dating someone who is Reform or even not-Jewish.

Lady-friend: Pro - Sounds mature. Con: Sounds like she's your "shack-up honey". Either that, or you are both in your fifties.

Woman-friend: Pro - sounds mature. Con: Sounds like she's your "shack-up honey". Either that, or she's a "femi-nazi".

So how does a guy refer to someone like this? Obviously, there's an easy way to remedy the situation: Simply buy the ring already to change the title to finacee, and eventually, wife. But what to do in that interim 2-6 month period, when you are dating seriously, asking the important questions, having the major discussions, seriously thinking about the future and saving the coin needed to make the big purchase?

I'd be very curious to hear what the female readers of this blog (all two of you) think.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I guess the glass is half-empty after all...

This is funny, but sad. It seems the Optimists Club of Quakertown, PA is breaking up due to lack of interest. Depressing, in a way. But I'm sure the remaining members are holding out hope that the club will become popular again, eventually.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Shanny can kiss my fanny

So Jack is happy this morning that the Broncos choked away an 11-point 4th quarter lead to lose to the hated (or in Jack's case, loved) Raiders. For my part, I'm just nauseous. Once again, Mike Shanahan can be blamed directly for this loss. For those of you who weren't watching, after the Broncos went up 24-13 early in the fourth quarter, they let the Raiders storm down the field not once, but twice, with big pass plays to set up touchdowns. With just under 2 minutes left, the Raiders had a 25-24 lead.

Our heroes did not give up, however, they came back themselves, setting up a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 26 with 38 seconds and 1 timeout left. At that point, Mike Shanahan went into brain freeze. I realize that the Broncos have a great field goal kicker in Jason Elam. I know that he has had great success kicking in all kinds of weather in Denver. And 44 yards is definitely within his range. But why, why, WHY must Denver take its foot off the accelerator at that point? Shanny had Ruben Droughns run into the line for 2 yards, and then Jake threw 2 incompletions to set up a 42 yard field goal attempt that was blocked. The Raiders won 25-24.

If we were moving down the field so well, why not just keep pushing with pass plays? Why run the ball, taking time off the clock and wasting a down? Keep your foot on the other guy's neck and don't let them catch their breath. We should have been playing for a touchdown when instead we were playing for a FG. That's a joke (and a bad one, I might add). It's especially appalling when you realize last night was a horrible night for kickers. There was a snowstorm, earlier in the game 2 kicks had been blocked and even the field goal that Elam made was a knuckleball that barely got over the crossbar. Why take a chance on a 42-yarder? Go for the gold and settle if you must, but don't get conservative in that situation. The same thing happened in Jacksonville earlier in the year, when Quentin Griffin coughed up the ball after Denver was in FG range, when in fact they should have been throwing it to try to score a touchdown.

The result is an embarrassing loss to a bottom-feeding team that basically killed Denver's playoff chances unless they are able to run the table, starting with this week in San Diego against what clearly looks to be a better team. It's time for Shanahan to take the head coaching job at the U of Florida and allow Denver to get someone who knows what the heck he's doing on that sideline. How about Jimmy Johnson?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Good sports news

So the Broncos not only won today, but they also managed to force some turnovers. And for once, it was the other team's quarterback who suffered a brain fart (Aaron Brooks tossed a stupid interception to Al Wilson, who ran it in 7 yards for a touchdown - but I'm not complaining). So the good guys are now 7-3 and staring at 2 games against the Raiders (at home) and Chargers (in SoCal) that could decide the division if we win both. Unfortunately, thanks to the Steelers and Pats, we can't get a first-round bye and won't even be able to get to the AFC Championship. But at least we seem to be getting better. and Ruben Droughns is still running well.

And the Nuggets seem to have righted the ship. As I write, they are leading Dallas by 21 with 3 minutes left in a game that will get them back to .500. There seems to be hope for them yet. Now if only they can win on the road.

Next up is getting the Cubbies to trade Sosa so that they can sign Beltran instead and all will be well with the world.

And just for the record, I think Ron Artest got off easy by only getting suspended for the rest of this year. He should pay a $1 million fine on top of that and should be subject to criminal charges, which may come anyway.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A new member of the tribe

Mazal Tov to my dear friend Beth, who just had number 3 last Saturday night. Read all about it over here.