It’s Fantasy Football season. Count me in! I did this a bunch of times back at the old place. Now there’s a new group with whom I can embarrass myself!
Make no mistake about it. I will embarrass myself.
To understand Fantasy Football you’ve got to forget football is a team sport. Each player is split out as an individual and his stats establish your score.
“It’s sports betting,” says Helaine.
How can she say that about my team, The Incontinent Poodles?
Actually she’s got a point. You don’t care if the team on the field wins or loses as long as your players (often playing against each other in real life) do well. That subtracts from the purity of the game… though maybe it’s a little late to worry about purity in sports.
I’ve already downloaded a “draft kit” to help me better understand my options. It’s 79 pages long. This is serious stuff. I guess what I’m saying is, beyond a few superstars I don’t know too much!
My work league’s draft is being held Sunday in Windsor. I’ll probably just line up my choices beforehand and let the computer act as my surrogate. Windsor’s a long drive on Sunday morning.
I look forward to this every year. It’s likely everyone else in the league will know more than me. No one will have a better time.
“Someday when we move…” Helaine began. She was sitting over a pile of stuff; an archeological dig from a seldom opened cabinet in the family room. Unrelated artifacts were piling up on the family room floor. She was pondering how much crap we have that needs to disappear.
“Do you need these National Geographics from 2002-2003?” They are now outta here.
She found a cache of doctor’s notes and prescriptions from when she was an infant. My mother-in-law was a packrat where Helaine was concerned.
One note from the pediatrician told her mother to feed Helaine “strained meat, white or sweet potatoes and Jello.” Another added, “Try homogenized milk in place of formula.”
I’ve met this doctor now a sprightly younger-than-his-age senior. If he sent this note home today we’d be leading the news with his arrest, right?
We’ve got newspapers from Stef’s birth day. We’ve got papers from her first birthday too. Those aren’t going away. Same for the 12/31/99 and 1/1/00 stuff. Y2K may have been a bust but we’ve got it documented anyway.
Helaine held up a plastic bag full of newspapers from September 11. Those can never be discarded nor forgotten.
Did you read this book? Did you read that book? Lots of partially read books. I need a longer attention span.
There’s memorabilia from the Phils winning the National League Championship. We had limited expectations back then. Same for the UCONN NCAA win in March ’99.
Anyone need a Gucci TV Guide holder? We have one. Amazon has one listed for $150. Seriously?
Right now I’m staring at a very old record album: “The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows.” A crew cut Stan is grasping his glasses while holding a pink script and standing in front of a CBS Radio microphone. There’s a cut from this I’ll get dubbed and post here later. I no longer have a way at home to convert vinyl grooves to digits.
Someday when we move! I need to be absent that day.
Dave writes, “As you grew up in NYC, have lived in the Buffalo area and now CT how did you and Helaine become such avid Philly sports fans?
Yeah, funny thing isn’t it? A lot of my friends don’t understand.
Helaine’s explanation is easier. She grew up in Philadelphia, the only child of a father who was a rabid Philly sports fan. It was from him she learned to talk back to the TV and question balls and strikes even when the Phils are up by a dozen. They shared a Phils season ticket package as she grew up.
My answer is a little more difficult. I grew up in New York and was a marginal sports fan. Nothing serious. I attended a few games–even a Mets game at the pre-Shea Stadium Polo Grounds!
I worked in Philadelphia on the radio from 1975 to 1980. Philly is where I realized I was an adult. Normally you slide into adulthood gradually. Not me.
It happened in the late 70s when I began playing poker every Thursday night with a bunch of guys around my age. Most of them had families. All of them had responsibilities. Each was accomplished in his own way. It was an impressive group.
They were adults and treated me as an equal. Therefore, I realized in one Eureka moment, I too was an adult. I was ready for adult pursuits.
At the same time a friend whose father was a season ticket holder to the Eagles asked if I wanted to buy two of them. Bingo! My love of Philly sports began.
I sat through a 4-10 Eagles season in Section 614. I never left before the final gun.
I attended a load of Phillies games at the Vet. I was there for the Phils-Dodgers playoff game where the fans rattled Bert Hooten so badly he had to be pulled!
I find watching sports with my wife among the most enjoyable parts of our relationship. She knows a lot more about the games than me!
Friday night after work I headed to Stop and Shop to fill my grocery list. Yes, I needed help. I had no clue where most of the things I needed were located. Not only that, there are shopping nuances I didn’t know.
I was on the phone with my friend Dennis as I shopped. That was a good thing because until he set me straight I thought each head of garlic was a clove. Overly spicy dinner avoided!
I’d also like to thank the nice woman at the self checkout stand who found a way to get me the shopper’s card discount without my having a shopper’s card… and gave me a quick lesson in weighing and pricing produce. The woman knew the four digit code for tomatoes without looking!
You veteran dinner preparers probably know how to do this, but I had no clue how to backtime the meal so it arrived at the same time Helaine did. I started as she landed at Bradley. As it turns out the timing was right, but that was just blind luck.
Within the first minute of prep I realized I was in over my head. I’d never chopped onions or garlic. I didn’t know which pan was a saucepan. I had herbs to remove from their stems.
Actually, it’s possible I have experience in herb/stem removal from my college days, but that’s a story for another time.
Long story short, the pasta came out tasting pretty good. Wolgang’s might taste better, but there’s no way it has as much love in it as mind did.
A home cooked meal is romantic. Stef knew that. Helaine was touched. Stef knew that would be the case too. This is one gift she’ll never forget.
Stef and Roxie came home last week to spend a few days with us. They were supposed to be on a plane this afternoon winging their way to SoCal.
“I canceled the reservation,” Helaine said when I sauntered out of bed this afternoon. “They’re rebooked for Wednesday.”
She then described why Stefanie wouldn’t be on an airplane today. Any list of symptoms that includes “her skin hurts” seems reasonably debilitating to me.
Stef parked it on the couch in the family room. She had already shifted into slo-mo mode.
Helaine called this evening while I was at work. Stef’s fever was just over 100°, but she was feeling worse than earlier and having some trouble breathing. By the time Helaine touched base with Dr. Steve the die was cast. He said she’d be better off at the 24-hour walk-in facility in Guilford than the hospital’s E.R.
It didn’t take long for Stef to be seen and a verdict rendered. Swine flu, aka: H1N1!
Actually, as I understand it, there’s no simple way to know for sure what she has. Anyway, by the time tests came back you’d already want to be treating it.
Wednesday’s flight is out. Another cancellation.
“Imagine if she would have gotten on that flight,” Helaine pondered. You don’t want to think about that.
On Facebook Stef was making the best of it:
Yup…I have the piggy flu. Teeny tiny piggies running around my tummy… You always knew I liked to be trendy.
Luckily she didn’t get on the plane and she’s in a place where pre-existing conditions don’t matter. No one takes better care of you than mom!
All the teams are in first place. All the pitchers have a 0.00 ERA. My cellphone ringtone is the ESPN baseball theme music!
Let the games begin. Baseball season begins tonight with the Yankees versus the Red Sox.
Baseball season used to begin in Cincinnati with the Reds playing a weekday game in the sunshine. Fat chance now. TV rules.
The Reds are in the Great Flyover. Yanks-Sox are big city draws and will play in primetime. The rest of you purists be damned.
“You know,” I said to Helaine. “At some time the Phils won’t make the playoffs. At some point they won’t get to the World Series.”
I got the type of scowl only a wife can give to her husband. I dropped the subject. Our marriage needs to be preserved.
One day last week Helaine sent me three emails in rapid succession. One Phillies pitcher was getting cortisone shots while another would start the season on the DL. I can’t remember what the third email was about, but it’s possible another pitcher had tied himself to the SEPTA tracks outside Suburban Station. Helaine implied the team would have to look for pitchers in the stands before each game.
Fans–bring your glove and spikes.
Once again I gave Helaine the MLB.tv package for her computer as a birthday gift. What a husband. I bought the companion app for my iPhone. It’s possible we can watch games on both simultaneously. The terms of service aren’t clear.
Oh, who am I kidding? Bank error in your favor only happens in Monopoly!
Stef, who returns to SoCal tomorrow has promised to watch tonight’s game with us. She wasn’t forced. She wants to watch. She is surely Helaine’s child!
I went for another eye exam today. As far as I can tell these multifocal contact lenses never really act as prescribed. You’ve got to tweak the prescription by trial-and-error.
As long as I was at the mall Helaine and Stef suggested I get sunglasses. Glare has been a problem lately. I should wear sunglasses as a matter of course anyway to protect my sight.
Getting sunglasses is different than getting fashionably acceptable sunglasses.
Stefanie has been installed as our family fashionista. I maintain my status as prime candidate to be cast on “What Not To Wear.” As long as we both understand that paradigm we get along fine.
The plan was to go to H&M, try a few pairs on and send photos from the iPhone to Stef for her approval.
I don’t want to sound old, but this is a crazy advantage (or burden) of our modern era. It’s as if Stef is there with me… well it would have been if there had been cell service at the sunglass rack at H&M. Buried deep within the store the answer to “Can you hear me now,” would have been no!
I was in a jam. Whatever I like is by definition the wrong thing!
Two young girls were walking by. “Excuse me girls,” I said in my best “I don’t want to sound like a sexual predator” voice, “could I ask a favor?”
They were fashionably dressed and willing to help. I’d struck gold at the mall!
They gave thumbs down to a pair of wraparounds. They approved the aviator glasses I did buy for $6.
“You look like Tom Cruise,” one said.
In the abstract that’s fine, but I’m guessing he’s old enough to be their father!