Friday, September 28, 2012


 I was watching "You've Got Mail" last night, a Fall tradition.  For the first time, I realized just how technologically dated it is, which probably reveals me as pretty dated myself if I'm just now catching on.  I had always huffed at the sound of the modem connecting and how abbreviated the timing of it was, but I had never really picked up on the social aspect of it, how it's set in a time when the internet was still a new and novel thing.  Many of the online jokes fall flat now that the internet is so tightly wound into our social fabric, but there was a pleasant nostalgia for the element of innocence in those early days as well.

I was taken back to that time when as Meg's character says "my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words, 'you've got mail'."  Remember when you could log into your email account and NOT necessarily have anything new there, much less fifty emails you have to sift through?  I remembered anxiously waiting for one.  Please tell me I have mail!  Even though conveyed by that robotic voice, those three little words were like a colored greeting card envelope in your mailbox, a jolt of excitement and anticipation before the who and the what were revealed.

I guess that's it.  Just a quick Remember When.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Well I just had a punch-in-the-nuts kind of a weekend.

Now this is not on the level of things that actually matter in life or anything.  I am healthy and not in trouble of any kind that I am aware of.  No, we're just talking about sports, which, if you care about them you know, can be ALMOST as exciting, joyous, heartbreaking, and devastating as many things that do matter.  It's all about how much you invest emotionally.  Let's just say I am an all-in type of guy in this department.

Please allow me to give you the rundown of the worst sports weekend in recent memory that had me looking to a Paul Thomas Anderson movie as escapism and counting the minutes 'til Monday.  In the order in which they occurred...

--My beloved Angels, who have been trying to send me to the insane asylum throughout this rollercoaster season, blew a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth on two home runs and lost a crucial(!) game in the Wild Card race to the (friggin') Kansas City Royals.

--My proud USC Trojans, ranked #2 in the nation and a popular favorite to win the National Championship as well as the Heisman Trophy for its quarterback, suffered a shocking, demoralizing, emasculating defeat at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal.  The loss doesn't make championship impossible, but it's improbable.  And it was their fourth straight loss to this team.  Joe and I discussed driving up for the game and can only thank the heavens we didn't because I would probably be in jail right now for suspicion of murdering a tree.  Thanks to the brilliant blogger at Lost Angeles, I feel a lot better about this loss now, but at the time, I was bordering on catatonic.  My solution was to drink and go see "The Master," which was just weird enough to disrupt my waves of depression.

-- I am eliminated in my Survivor League when the Patriots lose their home opener to the Arizona Cardinals of all teams.  I hate the Patriots.  The one time I ever align myself with their interests, the one time I am NOT rooting for them to lose, that's exactly what they do.  And, of course, they did it in dramatic fashion.  Down 8 late in the 4th quarter, they scored a touchdown, but failed to complete the 2-point conversion.  So now their down 2 and the Cardinals have the ball and can seemingly run out the clock.  Except they fumble it, giving it right back to the Patriots somewhere around the Cardinal 30-yard line!!!  "It's a miracle!" I thought, "Finally, a Patriots miracle I can celebrate!"  But no.  Their veteran kicker inexplicably shanked an easy field goal that would have won the game and, thus, now lost the game.  This is after they had a touchdown called back for Holding by the way.  If you saw the confusion on the face of their owner, Robert Kraft, following the kick, you know how I felt.

--My New York Jets lose to the hated Pittsburgh Steelers in classic fashion, giving up a go-ahead touchdown when Ben Roethlisberger miraculously avoids getting sacked just long enough to throw a bomb on third and long.  There was also the obligatory stinkage of Sanchez and the erosion of both offensive and defensive lines over the course of the game.  I tell you what, there is no more disheartening way to lose a football game than to watch your linemen get bullied over and over and over again.

--Both of my fantasy football teams lose.  I joined a second league this year to diversify my emotional investment, hoping that one team's loss could be offset by the other's victory.  In this case, fate had me doubling down on defeat.  These losses are incredibly painful because you personally watch them develop slowly over a course of 12 hours of an entire Sunday.

Good thing the Lakers didn't play!  Seriously, T.G.I.M.

Although I still have two of my fantasy players in tonight's Monday Night Football game.  Why do we do this to ourselves, men? 

UPDATE, Tuesday 9/18:  As it turns out, I didn't lose in both fantasy leagues after all.  Entering Monday Night Football, I was down single digits with my kicker left to play versus his Julio Jones.  Somehow, the improbably happened and my team pulled off a sensational rally to win by 2 points.  The hex of the weekend was broken and I look ahead hopefully to a better week.