Thursday, February 28, 2013

Memories...may be beautiful and yet...

I'm baack! But not for long. Getting ready for the Texas trip. Yes, he is going. Yes, Tink and I are packing our bags and trying to download our boarding passes without success. Anyway...where did I leave off? Hmmmmm....
Not sure, so I am going to move forward. This week was filled with some angst and a new slider. Yep, the angst was on the part of several of the players who are not making the trip including LW. Remember, LW broke his hand when he hit a guy in the jaw a month ago? Well, the cast came off this week and he thinks he is ready to pitch. When his name was not on the travel roster, he cried. Yikes....several other pitchers were also left off, but the big leftie was on. Whew.
Unfortunately, Tink and I did not make air travel arrangements since we were unclear as to whether he would travel. Therefore, we got stuck with off hour, one stop travel that will take 8ish hours to get to our destination. No big deal. We'll have Starbucks coffee and Skittles. True, Skittles is not on the WW 360 plan, but I am ditching it for the weekend of Tex-Mex food. And so, we must be at the airport tomorrow at 6 am. We'll get to Texas by 1 pm and go right to the stadium in our rented Ford Fiesta.

On to the team....the big kid threw a bullpen this week and his 88 mph fastball was not a fluke. His surgeon will be pleased to hear it. His ligament was stretched out and therefore his velocity dropped over the past few years. With an intact ligament, there is plenty of room for acceleration. Amazing!
Also, the pitching coach had told him during his freshman year to eliminate his slider. On Tuesday, he brought is back. And so, for his 21st birthday, he has received permission to use ole faithful-the slider. Nice.

Speaking of birthdays, he turns 21 tomorrow at 8:49 pm. That's right. I have a 21 year old son and it makes me sound old. But I don't feel it. I gave him my blessing to go out with the guys tomorrow night. Tink and I will figure out what to do after the game. It's no big deal. He can have a blast with the team. But no! He told dad that he wants to go out with us and that we can 'protect' him and his reputation. Huh? Well, here is the way he sees it. He is on a business trip. There is no room for partying and such. He needs to be on top of his game and in good physical condition. Therefore, drinking to excess is out. He uses me as the excuse...."my mom insists on taking me out tonight...sorry guys...." and there you have it. I am the bad mom here :-)

He did say that he wanted a beer for dinner. Sure....want a bottle or draft? It will be odd to see him drink. I know that he parties....Lord, I know...but I have never seen him drink a beer or shot. This will really bring it home to me when I watch it. I am not sure if I am is it. He's in all 50 states....can for no longer a minor....yikes!
I guess that our little party will be bittersweet. I just cannot cry. Hold reflecting back when he was a little boy holding his plastic Fisher Price baseball bat and hitting the big white balls off the tee. No more little boy who would grab his Curious George books and recite the first several lines....."Curious George....was a very curious little monkey...." We would read them over and over more peanut butter and fluff sandwiches in his more begging him to study his spelling words, tying his shoes, buying new cleats that are 'cool' or bribing him with sodas and ice cream. It's over...a new beginning....memories, light the corner of my mind....(oops, sorry Barbra).......

Back to traveling. I am excited about Texas. The temperature is going to be a balmy 65 degrees...the food is amazing...and I am leaving my laptop at home. That's right. I will be writing my blog either on the hotel computer or on legal paper and transcribe it on Monday.
Now, I gotta run. Work...pack....and stuff like that...go team!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baseball in the rain

Monday morning after the surprises except Seth McFarlane...I kind of liked his humor. I could have done without the song about a woman's anatomy, but on the whole...he was funny.

OK, on to the weekend of baseball.....The team traveled to Virginia without us. With the bad weather, inability to get a hotel room close to the school, and Buddy's lack of play time, dad felt that we should stay home and let him navigate this road trip on his own. And he did....

Here is the way it went. The team lost. It lost big...not little...big...finally during the first game of Sunday's double header, the big leftie was tossed into the lion's den after the opposing team devoured the first 7 pitchers. I am sure in the coaches mind, they figured: "Hey, throw him in the game now. It can't get any worse." And so they did. Tink and I had watched the game progress on the computer screen for two hours as each pitcher was crushed. Then they changed pitchers and the big kid ran in. Screaming......we watched the fist pitch....strike! strike! Ball...Ball...ground out to shortstop....Next batter...ball...ball.. strike...strike...strike! Strike out! The last batter popped up to the outfield. Three up...three lost...Buddy, in his mind, won....
OK, so then what? The next game was also a blow out. I will write about that tomorrow. Too much to do today....In the bits and pieces of texting that I received after the game...the kid threw an all time high 88 mph...that's right...88...that's fast...And so, although he has miles to go before he is truly 100%, life is good...the flowers smell more fragrant....the sky is bluer....and the kid is happier....on to Texas!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The best of the best

Good morning! A bleak day in PA....the game will begin at 1 pm, so I will be glued to the computer monitor. The little screen changes every few minutes with an update. It's the only way to watch the game from the house. Fun, eh?
OK, I received multiple text messages from the bus from one grateful pitcher. He was calm, relaxed, and kind of funny. It's the new Buddy versus the last week Buddy who tore the locker room apart (in a figurative sense).  I understand the blues of not getting what you want...but when you choose to be member of a team, you are bound by their rules. It's more of a dictatorship rather than a democracy. You have no control. The only control that you do have is the ability to work as hard as you can trying to get noticed. That's it folks...the rest is up to the sensibility of the coaches.

Now, let's look back at recruiting....the coach never said that he would start or even play. He said that he had a place on the team and would have to earn the right to hold the ball. As he reflected this week on perhaps transferring to another school that had recruited him,  I don't recall the coaches promising a start either.

Another thought is that he wants to start...great BUT not on his terms. My take on it is that he wants to be the best of the best, not best of the worst, which is why he selected the university. To be the best, you have to beat the best out. In other the team losing last week, he has the opportunity to play this week. Is it because he beat them out or because they beat themselves out. Understand? Maybe not.

I was once told by a tennis coach (sorry)...'you are playing not to lose.' Get it? My play was tentative. He was saying that I need to go for it. Be more aggressive...a bit more reckless....This is what one can see now in baseball. If I lose out, I lose to a better pitcher and team. If I win, it's because I worked hard to win....not to not lose.

Anyway, today is the first day of his journey back from surgery and rehab. I will be watching the computer screen with my lucky sneakers on, hoping that he has a chance to prove that his hard work was worth the effort as the ball is handed to him as he pitches to win among the best of the best.....
Happy birthday, Uncle C!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The remote control

Hello! It's Friday! Time to prepare for a weekend of NOT going to any baseball games. Oh no...what really want to read this one? OK, here we go.....

Someone once said to me: "life is a journey....not s sprint....don't try to rush it." Thanks for that piece of advice. I never forget it and never really liked the sentiment either. Why? OY! Why not? Someone is telling me not to be so intense. Relax. Enjoy these precious moments...they will be gone before you know it. Yes, all that is true for the good times. But the bad times? I would love to fast forward them or at least crawl up into a fetal position and close my eyes for a few days. And so I tried to wish these crazy low times away and hit the remote control to bypass the turmoil. Hmmm...but I am a big girl, so I tried to tackle it head on.....too vague? OK, here we go....

On Monday, there was a team meeting and the  head coach called out my son and told the group that he wants to see more passion like what Buddy had displayed last week. I guess being told to $%#YU(* was an  eye opener for the coach.

On Wednesday, the big kid swallowed his pride and went to speak with the pitching coach on his own. Let's rewind to Tuesday night, when he was depressed, low, and incredibly sad. "This place is not for me..." Oh shades of 'whoa is me....'   Finally, I had enough and said: "Get over it or do something."

The meeting with the coach went as expected. He gave him grief about his attitude...told him that he was arrogant and owed a number of people an apology. Then the leftie asked the coach for help since he cannot achieve his goals without him. As he sat in the office and was berated by the coach for his attitude and arrogance, he apologized, told the coach that he does not like to ask for help, is very independent, and somewhat self-centered. OK, in other words....he 'owned it'. Then the coach said that he would travel this week to Virginia.

Is it over? is what happened next. Yesterday the travel  list was posted. Buddy was on it, but one of his friends was not. Naturally, the non-traveler was peeved and blamed him for his removal from the list. Does anyone see a cohesive team here? Frankly, it starts at the top. The way that the list was distributed, taking the freshman as opposed to the upper classmen, has created a major chasm with the pitchers.

Pick up the remote, and hit the forward button to today. The weather in Virginia is awful and today's game has been postponed. Tomorrow's weather is not much better but they will try to play and on Sunday, there will be a double header. Tink and I are not going to travel this weekend for a number of reasons.

First, the weather is going to be soupy, drippy, and cold. There is no joy watching a game in the freezing rain while your player sits in the wet bullpen. Maybe he gets the call...but after last week's activities....probably not. Sunday's double header seems somewhat exciting....but I'll watch it at home. My son needs to handle his issues on his own. having his mom show up does not deliver a sign to the coaches that he is mature enough to handle his issues.

Once I was called a helicopter mom by a friend. This could not be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, I listen, support, and show up when I am needed. But the kids have to find their own way and hopefully use me to help them to figure out what to do. I am not the decision maker here. They control their decisions. I have as much control over them as I do the weather.....Besides, they don't listen to me anyway...sound familiar?

Now what...well, I am sad that I won't be catching up with Blue Devil in Virginia but will make a plan to see her soon. I will watch the game's activities online this weekend and wait patiently for the big kid's number to be called to the mound. I will continue to support him but not give into the attitude or entitlement....although.....

I just finished reading Andre Agassi's biography. It was pretty compelling as the reader is taken on a journey into a champion's mind. Let's just say, that once I finished the book, I understood what it took to be the best in any line of work from tennis to education. No one stands in their way. The passion can be construed as arrogance. People will write and talk about you, but since they do not live in your mind, they can only speculate. Usually, they are wrong. And so, here we go again....

The season begins for bullpen mom as she sits by her computer and watches a screen that changes and updates the game's progress in what seems like a looong time. The usual questions will be asked: "When will he be put in? Why did he throw that pitch? what's going on with the slow shortstop...." and so on.

Ok, I think that I am ready....sad that I am not traveling, but sometimes, a son is better off if his mom does not show up in her SUV or helicopter.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Highs...lows...nothing in between

Good morning! This will be another quickie. Apparently, Tink scored the job at the extended care facility and needs a urine test to check for opioids and illegal substances. Honestly, the only substance they will find there is a toxic level of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. Otherwise, the girl is clean and hopefully employed  for a very long time.
The big kid continues his ups and downs...mainly his downs. Yesterday's pitching session did not go well at all (in his mind). Frustrated, he thinks of leaving. He thinks that he is in the wrong environment. He wants to transfer....quit...move on....He is down...way down...

 A mom can only do so much in this situation. And so, here is my speech delivered in the phone last night (a synopsis and rate G):

"You are on the way back from surgery. It does not happen over night. It's a process....a take time...hard patience....You have to get over feeling like a victim and become a victor. You must see things as they are...not as they are not. not more feeling misunderstood. You are not the first athlete to work their way back to the field or court. In fact....many more people have worse injuries and work their way back to the Hall of fame. The question is: 'is all this worth it?' If the answer is yes...then get down....don't stop until you drop....If the answer is 'no', then develop a plan of action and start to disengage from the sport that has given you incredible highs and merciless lows."

Who loves ya, babeee?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My own boss

Good Tuesday morning! Tink just left for a job preview at a local assisted living residence. My fingers, toes, and eyes are crossed for her. If all works out, she will have more regular hours, an opportunity for advancement, and she can take courses toward her degree! Go Tink!

Yesterday, the two of us did something we never did before....ever....Yoga....that's right...stretch...ummm, ohs...and so on. Breathe in...clear your mind (right...)....I kind of liked it. In a way....I got to lie down on my mat most of the time and stretch. I like when  person can exercise and relax at the same time.

As far as the big kid is concerned, he is pitching to the team today. The coaches are furious about the weekend's poor play and they instituted a loser's run. In other words, the players ran until they dropped. Then the coaches set the line in the sand and announced: "These players are safe...These players are fighting for a travel position...." Guess who has to fight?

Yes, I'll give you three guesses and the first two do not count. That's right. The bullpen today in front of the team will determine if the kid is on the bus this week. Is he angry? Not going to answer that one....but here is what he did:

1. he inscribed the dates 2/13/12 in his cap to highlight the day that he was given the bad news. He plans to be more motivated to grab his spot and hold on tight. This date will inspire him every time he looks at it.

2. He took down last week's travel roster from the locker room and posted it in his own locker. Again...more anger...more motivation....

3. Dang! Do not mess with this kid. Do not get in his way, he can be scary...very very scary.

All of this has also meant something else..."Mom, I can never work for anyone else. I need to be my own boss." Gotcha...your own boss....does that mean Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a nice annual bonus, and a key to the executive rest room?

True, I have no doubts. This guy is NOT meant for corporate America or France...or anywhere. In fact, he is the kind of person who must call his own shots. Fine then, I'll help you to find nice office space with a fancy Keurig coffee pot, so that you can be your own boss. Got to give it to him...he knows fact, he's a chip (a large chip or maybe a chunk) off his dad's block. Dad cannot work for anyone else either...I guess this is generational....or crazy? Who knows. I will hopefully have a front row seat as I watch this kid use his passion for striking out the competition on the baseball diamond and courtroom. Hopefully, I will get a quarterly bonus and an excellent annual performance appraisal.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Seeing things as they are.....

Good morning! This is going to be a short post since I still have a mountain of work, even though I am not supposed to be does that happen?

Yesterday, Wildcat and I saw Argo....very intense....great movie...moving....scary too. The disregard for human life was palpable and disconcerting. If it was me....I would let the hostages go one at a time.....but then again, it is never really up to it?

My polar bear is fine. No side effects from the plunge. She is warm and toasty and has a story to tell to anyone who will listen.

On the other hand, my big kid continues to process his disappointment. He wants someone to say: "Yeah..raw deal...that're a one like work harder than anyone the coaches notice? Absolutely not....a rip off...."  Have I said it? nope.

Look, here is my take on it....remember RGIII, the quarterback for the Redskins? The coaches allowed him to play when he was injured. His injury during that subsequent game could be career ending, yet they played him. The 'skins lost in a big way. Not only did they lose the game but they lost they franchise quarterback who has had surgery with Dr. Andrews and will be rehabbing until next season. Why did they do it? Well, they wanted to win even to the physical detriment of their player.

So, what am I saying? I am actually congratulating the coaches for not putting Buddy in a spot where he would be permanently injured. In other words, they may have saved his college career. After all, the pitchers were throwing in snow, wind, and frigid temperatures. As soon as my son gets his head out of his .@)&^%, he will see the coach's wisdom. Until then, he suffers.....

Remember, good things come to those who wait....

By the way, the team lost 2 out of three to the TN team mainly due to giving up 21 runs in three games. Do they need the big kid? Yep...but only if he is healthy. After all, it is a very long season.

And so, it is time for me to turn my attention to work.  I hope that you enjoy this President's Day weekend. I will leave you with the words of Abraham Lincoln: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."
Enjoy the day!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Takin' the plunge

Good morning! We're back after spending a frigid day with Big Sis in Sea Isle. And yes, Tink made the plunge....and so did I (metaphorically speaking, of course). The weather was nasty. It was cold, drizzling, and raw. Tink had to check in at noon, but the plunge was not scheduled until two pm which meant that we had to spend two hours waiting by the beach to jump into the cold water. And we waited and waited in the rain and began to feel the effects of the weather. After an hour, I could not feel my feet or fingers. Tink was calm and serene or perhaps too scared to say anything so Big Sis and I kept the conversation going...."OK, we need a plan...."

What kind of plan? Well, since BS has been to the annual Polar Bear plunge for a number of years, I considered her an expert, so I went with her lead. We need a spot to meet....Check....

You need to have your blankets and coat ready to take off and put back on again....check....

Let's find a good place in case you get lost since you won't have a cell phone...check....

Are you sure that you want to do this?....Ummmmm.....yeah....check....

And so, we watched the other crazies prepare for the splash. By the way, the most scantily dressed, ie. the Tom Cruise Risky Business dress shirt and BVDs, the men and women in tutus....the guys with diapers on....the contingent dressed like penguins had a few adult beverages before venturing out to the beach. Then the moment came....Tink! You're on...go, baby, go!
She walked....sprinted....ran to the water with her GAP rain boots on...."Ooops" says Big Sis "Rookie mistake. She should take the boots off..." Ooops, indeed....

And Tink finally got into the water....stop! Don't go any further....come back...and then she dunked herself in the frigid water in the freezing rain that was turning to snow and bingo! She can now take the Polar Bear plunge off her bucket list, which I did not know that she had. According to Tink, she was either going to be a polar bear or jump out of a plane. Glad she chose the frigid water. ...just sayin'....

The minute she ran out of the water, she had her blankets and glasses on and  we ran to Fuzz's beach house as fast as our wet feet and the crowd would let us. Fuzz is Big M's brother, so Tink had a place to shower and warm up. After this venture, I have much more respect for our Tink. None of us and I mean 'none' of us would ever consider doing what she did. But, lo and behold, the kid has some hutzpa (is that the way you spell the Yiddish word?...I have to check with my Jewish BFF Muscles, for the actual spelling. She teaches me the very cool words, although my accent is not South Tel Aviv, but South Philly....yo...)

OK, on to the broken hearted big kid in the mountains. Yes, he lived through the weekend by sleeping, pitching his bullpen, and attending a huge fund raiser for kids with cancer on campus. Then came the call...."I met this little boy who had cancer since he was 16 months old...he's had chemo...he's a neat kid....I don't have any troubles, so I?"
No, my do not have troubles...just a bump in the road on your way back to the mound. Life has a way of sharing what is really important. These are the lesson that are learned not from your parents but by paying attention to the little messages in our minds...perhaps it is the conscience....perhaps not....What I do know is that he had a big blow from inflated expectations. He had to process what it meant and how he was going to deal with it. I was not not needed for my presence or cooking specialties. he chose to work through his disappointment on his own and discovered something important about life.

What did he discover? Well, he's is not fair....and there are levels of 'un-fairness'. The little boys and girls with cancer have it rougher than a big college kid who did not travel to Tennessee to sit in a bullpen while the team plays a baseball game in the snow. The kids who are in the wheelchairs or the parents who have to learn to say good by to their five year olds with brain tumors. How about the children who do not have food in the pantry or the people who don't have a mom who would drop everything to cook your favorites all day and drive it to the mountains for her disappointed son?  Yep, life is not fair....

On to something else....if I cook comfort I filling a void with food rather than figuring out how to handle the disappointment without it? In other words, does this type of comfort create eating disorders? After all...what is comfort food? Well....macaroni and cheese (25 WW points), ice cream (a zillion WW points) chocolate with marshmallows (6 WW points).....baked french toast (let's not even go there).....Something to ponder......
On to Zumba class....have a great day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Peace of heart and mind

Good morning and Happy Valentine's Day! The candy has been on the store shelves since the day after Christmas. Hopefully, dad will realize that a box of candy is a zillion Weight Watchers points and walk by it for a box of Kashi granola bars. Oh, how things have changed since my first Valentine's day......

Anyway, back to our hero and his story as he climbs back to the mound. Yesterday, according to the big kid, was the worst day of his life as the dust settled on not traveling with the team this weekend.

Heartbroken? Yes

Furious? Yes

Angry? Oh, yes

Ego and pride? Hurt and bruised......

And so, throughout the day, he spoke to dad over and over trying to get his poise back and his bearings. It didn't work. Then he was in the weight room and someone stole his ear buds for his iPod. Oye!

Here is the biggest kick in the stomach....the trainers gave the cool travel gear to all of the players who were traveling this weekend and he did not receive any of the gear. More than anything, this added a nail into his emotional coffin.

On the way to practice yesterday afternoon, he was in such a state. I tried to talk him down from the ledge but he was devastated and was emotionally blank. I asked him what I could do for him....I offered to drive to the mountains and take him to dinner. No....what can I do? Nothing, mom...nothing....

Oh yeah....well, as I finished speaking with him, I said, "I can pray for you and for peace of heart." It's all I can do.

And so, I hung up the phone and spoke to God. I did not ask for him to travel. I did not ask for a million dollars or the directions to the Fountain of Youth. I asked for my son's peace of heart. That's it. The prayer was simple but needed. And then I went back to work.

After dinner, the big kid called home and I gave dad the phone. I did not have any psychic energy left to deal with the turmoil. Within a minute, dad was laughing...a good sign...more laughter...a great is what happened soon after my prayer was uttered.....

The head coach walked up to him and shared that he had been thinking about him all day. Here is where he stood (finally, some accurate communication)....he is better than most kids on the team....the coach does not think that he is 100% yet and did not want to put him in a position where he would not succeed thereby damaging his progress. He will be pitching...he is to pitch before the team on Tuesday...and he has a career with the team. And with that...a bit of peace hit his heart until the coach uttered the words: "but the pitching coach makes all of the pitching decisions." ouch!

The pitching coach does not like my son. It's pretty obvious as he often chooses the LW over him during a tight situation in a game and LW loses the game for the team. The coach never acknowledged Buddy's stay in the hospital even though he texted him that he was admitted. He also has not scheduled him for a summer team nor communicated what he wanted him to work on while the team is away. It may not be in Buddy's mind that he is not the favorite son, but this is a team and this is what happens. At least he has the support from the head coach.

Now, is all well? Nope, not entirely. The big kid has a test today and he did not study because he thought that he would be traveling to TN. All I could do is suggest that he is honest with the professor and tell him everything. It's one thing after another....I think that I need a vacation or twelve (at least in my mind)....
Anyway, the team leaves today. I am not traveling to see the kid. He has too much to do. So, Tink, in all of her 'Tink-ness' wants to take the Polar Bear plunge in Sea Isle City on Saturday. You know what the PBP is, right? You jump into the Atlantic Ocean in frigid temperatures to make a point that you are a tough cookie. Therefore, since we are not in TN, we are headed to NJ. Hey, maybe Chris Christie will be there in his governor's blue fleece! Never, ever, ever, ever....a dull moment.

OK, back to work.....hope that you have peace in your heart.....if not, you know how to get it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The journey back to the mound

Oh my gosh! I have to start this one off with that statement. Oh my gosh.....Why am I so upset?
Ahhhh....for a number of reasons and here we go.....

As I began to write this blog, I did so to chronicle the good, bad, and ugly. I also planned on writing how tough it is to work toward lofty goals and often the road is filled with bumps, bruises, and crushed egos and spirits. I debated whether to even write today, but I have to keep it honest and therefore, the following story is very very true....

From a mother's perspective....

Tink and I have been making preparations for Tennessee and looking forward to seeing the big kid in his uniform again. The reason is simple....I love seeing my children doing what they have worked for, are passionate about...and love. What can I say? I'm a mom...that's it. And so, the plans were made and the hotel booked.....

Then the call came in from dad. "Buddy is not on the week's roster to travel."....Huh? What? That's a mistake. He's wrong. The big leftie has pitched scoreless innings all spring. No one has successfully gotten a ball out of the infield with him on the mound. LW, another leftie, is nursing a broken hand. This is a mistake. He read the roster wrong. Seriously? Crazy! Oh wow...he must be crushed!

Why crushed? Well, as you know, this time last year, he was shut down because he needed the shoulder surgery. Fortunately, the surgery was successful and he has rehabbed like crazy. Hours after hours after hours...morning, noon, and night.  No rest...nothing but the goal of returning to the mound. Unfortunately he did not pitch in the fall since he was not ready and had mono in October. So he was hit with a double whammy....but again....

He fought back. Nothing was going to stop him as he worked to regain his speed and strength. The winter indoor season was very successful as he dominated on the mound. No one could hit him as he carved the plate. After last weekend's scrimmage, we knew that he was ready to pitch again in competition....then this happened.....

To say that he was angry and devastated is an understatement. His hurt was palpable from a distance. All I could do was listen and pray for his spirit to return and to get over the anger and seething revenge that he wanted to instill.....

Then it happened....he went to practice and confronted both coaches about not traveling this week. Both said that they liked his progress but did not seem ready since he did not pitch in the fall. In my mind, this is a bogus answer especially since he had been recently successful. So, what does the kid do?

He told them that he would have the ball in his hand by the end of the season, he would be their go-to guy on the mound and they can shove it "up their %)*#E%$# #$@@!" That's right...he cussed them out to their faces. Oh, shades of the time when he cussed out the surgeon who told him that he would never play again. This is the kid that I know and love....You know what the coaches did?

They liked it. They liked the fire and congratulated him. But they are still not taking him this week. And so, today, as he continues to seethe, he will speak with the head coach and share that he feels that he is not being given a fair shake. We'll see what happens. Doesn't every sports player feel that way? He does feel that when he gets his shot, they will regret this decision. Until then, he has to be patient and continue to work hard. And what do I do? What do I always do? I gotta be a mom who listens, nods, but does not give in to the anger. he has to channel the negative energy in a positive way and not say something that he will deeply regret.

All in all, this is typical of his baseball career. He has always been underestimated, then by the end of the season, he is named one really sees his talent because he does not have an -in-your-face demeanor. He is basically a nice guy who does not flaunt his talent  and hard work. It takes an outside source such as in high school to alert the coach that they have a great player on the mound.  And so, let's see what happens. This is an ugly process and I will travel the road with him even if it means that I drive to the mountains this weekend to drop off baked french toast and baked ziti. Mom is on duty. I just don't want to feed the anger...only his stomach....'re an awesome player. You will get your chance sooner than later. Take the time to catch up on the school work, 'cause some day these guys will need a lawyer to bail them out of a mess. Make sure that you charge them the full rate.....

With that said, have a great day. More we journey back to the mound.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tossed under the bus

Hiya! I'm posting a bit late since I have been running since early morning. You see, it's dad's birthday and I did not have a gift or dinner items. So, Tink and I ran around town trying to prepare for the festivities. We were also picking up our provisions for the trip to Tennessee. Ok, I know, Tennessee is not a third world country, but I wanted to have the items that I need on hand so that I did not have to find a 24 hour CVS on the outskirts of town. I also did not want to pay $5.00 in the hotel for a little bottle of water. Therefore, I want to be prepared. Although, I must confess, even when I am prepared, I always forget or lose something....

Like the time when we went to Kiaweh Island for a week and I did not pack shirts for myself. Yes, it's true that I could buy a few there but at the time we did not have extra money  (not that we really do now, but I am bolder these days with the credit card) therefore no extra $$ for luxury items like a shirt or two. However, the kids and husband had everything that they needed.  Hmmmm...then there were the family parties that we traveled hours to get to and I forgot my dress shoes. I did have sneakers but they did not match my dress so I squeezed into another person's shoes and hobbled around the party. And so, even though I think that I am organized, there will be something very important that I will leave in my office or garage. That's it. I am prepared to forget. The only thing that I cannot forget is my Mastercard. If I lose or forget that, I might as well just jump out of the car window.

Although, when the kids and I traveled to Italy for a canonization one year, Visa refused my request to pay for the hotel room in Florence. Yes, I contacted them before I left to tell them that I was traveling in Europe, but the message seemed to get lost. THEN Visa would not listen to my pleas in Italy to pay and would only respond  to dad who was working at home since it was basically his card. It gets better....while still waiting to check out with my new friend at the hotel desk, I had to find my husband  long distance to straighten things out. I was not in the mood to stay in an Italian jail for running from my bill. Consequently, it took two hours but we got it straightened out. Let that be a warning to all travelers! In the meantime, we had to hang out in the lobby of the hotel while dad and Visa made peace.

On to baseball....Oye! OC was cut by the coaches last week. He was devastated. Who wouldn't be? The coaches did offer him the opportunity to be a manager/coach and he took it. In the meantime, he now sits in on private coach's meetings and has tales to tell his roomies. For example, another poor kid was cut last week and the coaches met with the former player and parents. It seems that the session did not go well and as the kid was stating his case, he shared private information that he knew about the other players. He spilled his guts about Angel who is a bit of a drinker. Then he continued with his story and told the coaches since Buddy was best friends with Angel, he too was a big booze-hound. His point was why are these partying players on the team when this kid, who is not a huge partier, but definitely has some issues, was cut? Whew, glad that I was not there. Kids are going to throw anyone under the bus, turn on the ignition, and drive on top of them if it means that they will have the upper hand in any discussion.

And so, it's time for me to finish my work. Got another pile of papers to create and process. This is crazy for a person who is not formally in class until May. No rest...If anyone thinks that being a college professor is fun and games and all a person has to do is stand before a class and preach...they are wrong...really wrong. I am never going to catch I might as well get used to it. As the saying goes: "God gave me so many things to accomplish in my lifetime. At this rate, I am never going to die..."

On to birthday cake...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Eliminating bed bugs from the equation

Whew! We dodged a big snow storm here. Sorry, New England.....can't feel too sorry for you. After all, we have had our share of blizzards and ice storms. It's time to share the slick roads and shoveling duties with my friends in the north.

Today, I am taking BP Grandmom to a Flyers hockey game. We have tickets for the season and I nominated her to join me. Yep, five rows from the ice, I'll get Grandmom one of the big foam fingers and paint her face orange and black. Now, there is a fan. Actually, she told me that she does not like hockey. I really don't either, but the tickets are sitting here and since dad and Tink are working, I wanted to treat Grandmom to a new experience.

OK, so how is the big kid? Well, he seems to be fine yet salty. In other words...status quo. As the season approaches, I have been making travel arrangements. The oddest part of the preparations is that I cannot find a hotel near the games in Virginia. They are all booked in this area OR have had such bad internet reviews that I refuse to book there and would rather sleep in Tink's car.

What kind of reviews? How about this one:

"The beds were loaded with bedbugs!"

"The cable service was fuzzy and did not match the channels listed in the room. Wifi signal was strong but bandwidth was only workable."

"It was dirty, noisy and not taken care of."
"The motel was dirty from the carpets to the bathtub. We had to hand clean everything before we used it and if it had not been the only motel where we could find a room. We would have left immediately."

" Facilities old and worn. No Internet. Had to pay for Ice. Not as clean as I'd like. Overpriced."

 "Bathroom very run down, calk missing, door unpainted, hair on the sheets."

" It was a dump, run down, the smoke smell was terrible."

"Smelly, broken furniture and appliances."
"Room was smelly, furniture was in poor condition, appliances either didn't work (fridge) or marginally worked (AC). When I asked to change rooms, was told that because I had reserved online this wasn't possible (seems like cop-out to me)."

Here is my favorite and yes, my skin is crawling......

"Bedbugs in room 312. I was bitten over 100 times all over my body. The manager did not show up to talk with me when I checked out. No effort was made at compensation. I left luggage and contents in the room as not to bring home any bedbugs. They did move me to a new room after the first night but the damage was done. Do not stay at this hotel."

Ahhhh!  Yes, I will do anything for my little guy, but staying in a dirty, bug infested hotel even if it has a mini bar is over the top. It would truly test my love. And I have to admit, I may fail. A few years ago, he had to sleep on the floor of a hotel in this city and he came home with a rash all over his body. it was so bad that I had to take him to the ER for treatment. The nurse walked out to the waiting room and shouted: "Where is the kid with the rash?" Where was HIPAA on this one?

OK, back to traveling.....and so, I may stay out of the city and find a nice quiet inn on the outskirts of town and travel back and forth to the games. I just don't want to feel gross-out for the entire weekend. Many know that I am a bit of a germ-phobe and clean the hotel rooms when I get there with my Clorox and place the TV remote in a plastic bag so that I don't have to touch it. That's right...I care about my health.....

And so, I am leaving it to dad. Perhaps he can find a hotel within 25 miles that does not have bed bugs, filth or a rating of less than 2 stars. I would rather have cleanliness and comfort rather than convenience....

and the beat goes on.....
let's go Flyers!