Monday, October 26, 2009

My Bye Week

Along with my down-but-not-out Baltimore Ravens, I enjoyed a football bye week(end). In the absence of pigskin, we sought out adventures all over the fine state of Maryland.

The Run Down:

On Friday, we tempted fate and headed over the Bay Bridge to the Easton High School homecoming football game. The rain held off, and the Warriors held on for a 17-14 win. A soccer player on the football team kicked a 41 yard field goal for the winning margin, and the Easton defense made a late stand to preserve the win. The visitors - Kent County - were driving late toward a tying or go-ahead score, but our favorite player Cory Berry made two big plays on defense. Cory provided blanket-like coverage on a pass intended for his man, and came up with a great open-field tackle on a runner who had been giving Easton fits.

The postgame victory meal occurred at La Plaza Tapatilla - good fajitas. I went for the chicken / beef / shrimp combination.

The rain continued to hold off on Saturday AM, and Team #2 in the Girls Under 6 North soccer division took to the field (that means Lilly's team - I'm the coach). The ladies engaged in a spirited scrimmage, running hard and completely earning their postgame snack of juice boxes and mini packs of cookies.

As morning became afternoon, Lilly shed her cleats for her swimsuit and headed to the Y for a swim lesson. From there she headed home for a shower, then a "Daisies" campfire, then a playdate, then a sleepover at Grammy and Pop's house.

With the Lil out of the house, P-Roch joined me for a trip to Frederick and a birthday dinner celebration at "The Tasting Room." Good wine and good food - I thoroughly enjoyed my filet Mignon; Pam opted for the scallops. Ross, the guest of honor, smacked his lips through his plate of Veal Osso Bucco.

A dinner highlight included the waiter eavesdropping on one of our random conversations, and then using sharing with us a picture from his cell phone - of Gallagher. Yep, that guy.

Sunday was a day of Fall Frivolity Baugher's Orchard. We picked pumpkins, made scarecrows, and stocked up on the world's best applesauce. Puts me in the mood for a porkchop.

Until later,


Monday, October 19, 2009

My Theme Song

Perhaps never before have song lyrics been so fitting:

Every other day, every other day,

Every other day of the week is fine, yeah

But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes

You can find me cryin' all of the time

Thanks to The Mamas and The Papas for their melodic motivation - as
Inigo Montoya said, "Let me explain. No there is to much, let me sum up."

I'm moonlighting as a nurse once again, as Lilly has ... well ... something. The fever has dipped to the 99 degree range, but she can can't shake it. This morning, there's pink in the eyes - we have a noon appointment with the doctor.

Let me give some major props to Barb, Meg and the good people at Thurmont Middle School. They have graciously covered for me when daddy duties have come up. They are a family-first outfit, and I appreciate them for it.

This Monday also brings about another reflection on a Ravens loss. Yet again, another entertaining (or gut-wrenching) late 4th quarter loss. And who do we blame this week? The popular goat is the kicker - He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named-That-Replaced-Matt-Stover. But I disagree.

How about we put the spotlight on Ray Ray and the vaunted defense? In six games, the team has allowed 130 points - that's more than 20 per game. In the three defeats, Ray Ray and friends have let up 33, 17 and 27 points - that's 77 points ... more than 25 per game. With the exception of the Browns game, the defense has looked ordinary. Some good plays have masked some overall deficiencies.

I think the team misses Rex Ryan and Jim Leonard more than it misses Bart Scott or Matt Stover.

My take on a few other sporting items:

1. Tim Tebow is not healthy, and the Florida Gators look a bit off.

2. The Phillies are good. The Yankees are really good.

3. Brett Favre, who annoys me, was right to un-retire - this time.

4. I'm looking forward to watching the Barry Levinson / ESPN film about the Baltimore Colts Marching Band. But they could have come up with a better title than "The Band that Wouldn't Die" ...

Other blog-worthy items:

Have you ever seen so much rain in one weekend?

Doesn't the "Where The Wild Things Are" flick look a bit dark and menacing?

The Balloon Boy nonsense ... what a fiasco.

If you are looking for a tasty meal, I recommend J&P Pizza - Frederick, Mt. Airy, Eldersburg ... good pizza, subs and Italian fare.

Until next time, be well, and if you have a ham sandwich, be careful.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's like Deja Vu

So here's a new post ... stop me if you've read these before, or heard these in your travels.

1. I played nurse again for part of the weekend. Pam got a second wave of whatever made her sick 2 weeks ago. Target clinic, 2 prescriptions, many boxes of tissues - not fun.

2. Family illness got in the way of another family celebration. First, it was the Lilly / Pam bug that kept us from heading to Jacksonville. Then, it was Pam's new bug that prevented her (and Lilly) from going to the wedding of a cousin in NJ. We'll have to do a better job of planning illness on the family calendar.

3. Should be a long week at work ... middle school kids are nuts, and they are extra-nuts when the schedule is changed on them. Well, we're giving the kids not 1, not 2, but three days of not-normal-schedules. It's parent-teacher conference week. Should be a blast. At least tomorrow is a dress-down fundraiser day, and one night the PTA is feeding the staff dinner.

4. Ravens lose ... again ... and many folks are blaming the referees ... again ... and I disagree ... again. When you profess to have the best defense ever and have a 4-point lead with 2 minutes to play, you better live up to the hype. The personal foul on Ray Lewis was obvious and stupid. The pass interference call on Frank Walker was close, but stuff happens. As Coach Harbaugh said after the game (paraphrasing), "You have to be good enough to make those penalties irrelevant and not a deciding factor."

Cincy is not a very strong 4-1 team ... but they're a first place 4-1 team. The Ravens at the moment are neither 4-1, nor strong. Next week is a trip for the Ravens to Minnesota - and the undefeated Vikings. I sure home the Purple Birds soar into the bye week at 4-2 instead of licking their wounds with a mark of 3-3.

By the way, I'm not a big fan of Brett Favre, but I have to admit that his TV commercial for Sears is quite funny. You can see it here. A close second ... the ESPN commercial about Favre.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Update

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago when I would look forward to "Saturday Night Live" and the Dennis Miller spoof-news-show. Miller anchored the desk from 1985-1991, and it was funny. I gave his replacement, Kevin Nealon a chance to impress me, but he didn't, and thus my allegiance to the show ended. Too bad - when your curfew is midnight, you rush home just in time to get a snack and turn on SNL.

Anyway, Miller made a bit of money between his HBO work and his Monday Night Football stint, but I'm not sure Weekend Update fully recovered from his departure until Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey arrived at the news desk. I'm just supposing, because I have not watched the show in quite some time ... but Fallon and Fey seem to be pretty funny, and they have made a splash in post-SNL projects.

For MY weekend update:

The Orioles finished strong by winning 4 in a row, but it's too little to late. I'm glad that they avoided 100 losses, and I'm glad that Dave Trembley will be back as the manager. Matt Wieters is fantastic. But, looking ahead, you have to wonder:
  • Can Adam Jones stay healthy?
  • Who will be the team's closer in the bullpen?
  • Can they find a big bat to play 1st and/or 3rd base?
  • Which of the young pitchers can stake a claim as "ace?"
I went to Saturday night's game - great seats on the visitor's dugout, courtesy of Dennis Albright. It was nice of Dennis to go to the extra lengths of getting "Super Fan" to sit in our section. What a unique man?!?! He had a cape. By the way, did you like the Facebook picture of me at the game?

The Ravens lost - and not because of the refs. The Ravens fumbled the opening kickoff, threw an interception near the end of the first half, and dropped a first down pass with under a minute to go in the game. Those three plays account for the 6-point loss, not to mention Dawan Landry's struggles to tackle Patriots. I think the Ravens win that game if there is a playoff rematch - everyone will be just a bit wiser. Playoffs, you wonder? If the Ravens can go 3-1 in every four game stretch, they'll be 12-4.

My niece was a true champion, coming through her surgery with rave reviews. There will certainly be some bumps in the road, but we're rooting for the days where Karen and Dimitry (who have been so poised through all of this) can have regular first-kid-worries, as opposed to the past three months of hospital worries.

In the spirit of a true "Weekend Update," here's my take on the David Letterman drama - maybe he wants to rename his production company to "World Wide (caught with your) Pants (down.)"

That's the news, and I am outta here!