With my department's staff at its lowest number ever, I am now required to work the occasional Saturday. While that blows in many ways, the one benefit is having a day off during the week and, yesterday, I took full advantage.8:00 a.m.:
There was no sleeping in. Seize the day! Nothing like a trip to the dentist to get the morning started off right. Deep cleaning. Wow! Did that suck!
It wasn't so much the cleaning, but the discomfort of sitting in the chair for 90 minutes. My jaw hurt. My neck was stiff, so much so that I made them bring me a pillow.
Lecture by the dentist on flossing. Right. Like I have time for flossing. You know...that's why I hate the dentist so much. Not the pain. The tsk, tsk-ing. I'm a man! I'm 40!9:31 a.m.:
40-year-old man with numb face comically spills mouthwash all over himself. Twice.10:00 a.m.:
Back at Emet's house and I hear the news about Manny. Pisses me off. It's almost as if you can't get excited about anything regarding baseball any more. I had surprisingly found myself caught up in "Mannywood." Dodger Stadium hasn't seen such a frenzy since Fernando Mania. More often than not, I'd watch the Dodgers on TV, rather than the A's, perhaps simply because it's fun to see a team actually execute at a major league level.
But the real point of this is that I'm cursed. Didn't see that coming, did ya? Yep. My ego is so huge that I believe I have an effect on events completely out of my control. We all know the manner in which the A's have shit the bed in the playoffs this millennium. And now this with the Dodgers.
On Wednesday, talking to Dodger-lover Donny on the phone, I said I was really enjoying watching his team play. Might even be called...gasp...a fan. And what happens? But a few hours later.
So, what exactly is the genesis of this curse? What have I done to the Sporting Gods? Honestly, I have no idea. Was it the night I unleashed a stream of expletives dirty names (the worst kind; you know...the compound words) for not pinch-running for that Fat Ass Jeremy Giambi, resulting in the Jeter Flip Throw? Was it the Terrance Long voodoo doll? Dating Gil Heredia's underage daughter?
Regardless, an exorcism is needed.11:00 a.m.:
Finally un-numbed, I grab a coffee and muffin at Starbucks on the way to the golf course. I should mention it's 90 degrees. Nothing like hot coffee on a summer's day.11:45 a.m.:
Emet meets me at the golf course. Like any good girlfriend, she takes a half day off when there's fun to be had, a difficult choice for her as one so dedicated to her craft, that of keeping her students from stabbing each other during language arts. Thank a teacher today, everyone.12:30 p.m.:
I par the first two holes. This is notable because I'm not good. We're playing an executive course (par 62) because Emet's just starting to learn how to play, though she's taken more lessons (five) in her life than I have (zero), which might explain why I'm not good. Just as I learned how to play poker from watching WPT Final Tables, I learned how to play golf watching the Northern Bank Trust Open.12:36 p.m.:
Triple Bogey. I question the inclusion in my bag of the pitching wedge, as it seems I'd get similar results if I used a craggy tree limb.1:00 p.m.:
Beer > coffee on a hot summer day. I also slather myself in a few ounces of sunblock, using the time-honored and effective Garth
"aggressive application" method. 3:30 p.m.:
I somehow end up with a 79, even though I parred 6 holes. Which means I played the other 12 in 17 over. That is just plain fucking horrible. Even for someone who is not good. Like me. My main problem is distance control. I'm just too long.
That's what she said.4:30 p.m.:
Showered and freshened, Emet and I head to The Auld Irisher for food and beer as a prelude to the evening's Red Wings-Ducks tilt at Honda Center. Nothing says hockey like an Irish pub. Nothing!5:00 p.m.:
Mmmmmmmm, corned beef and "Awesome Old Man's Beer" (that's two Garth references today. I think I miss Garth).6:30 p.m.:
The two-mile trip from The Auld Irisher to Honda Center is a cock-up of massive proportions. Emet claims the problem is Angel fans trekking to the nearby ballpark for their game with the Blue Jays, but I respond that is impossible, seeing as this is the worst possible route to Angel Stadium before reversing myself once I recall that Angels fans are idiots.
I suggest a "pizza move," so named for the nebulously legal actions I used to take behind the wheel when I delivered pizzas during college. It works. Then we jaywalk.
Fight the Power!7:25 p.m.:
Comfortably in our seats, seven rows up from the glass right behind the net, I take a picture and drop my cell phone into my 24 oz. Pacifico. Fortunately, the Ducks have handed out garish, orange hand towels, presumably to spin over our heads during moments of high emotion. I will not be doing this. For one, I'm not a Ducks fan. I am here a) for the beer b) to see someone's head bleed c) to support my girlfriend. Also, if I spun my towel, beer would fly from it like a whirly bird sprinkler since I used it to dry my cell phone. And my arms.
I'm 40.7:40 p.m.:
Ducks score in the first minute. Honda Center goes bonkers. Well...70% of it. The rest are Wings fans. They travel well. Emet swears off beer. Says there's too much going on to continue drinking. I see her point. Having never sat this close to the ice, for any hockey game, let alone the playoffs, it's exhilarating. Johan Franzen skating right down on you? Eff me.8:20 p.m.:
End of first period. Despite early goal, Ducks are getting destroyed in all facets and now trail 2-1. Bathroom line provides plenty of hilarity. To wit:
Guy wearing meticulously faded Wings t-shirt tries to bond with other Detroit fans, bald, ugly, hardcore guys in Yzerman jerseys. I can tell t-shirt guy is not "true" (maybe it was his perfectly coiffed hair, not that there's anything wrong with that), but trying hard to fit in and he's doing okay until he mentions how it "won't be tied for long."
"Uh, we're ahead 2-1," Yzerman Guy says and turns away with contempt.
The trash talk is beauty, too. You know how it goes. Detroit fans mock Anaheim ("Is it even a real city?") and OC fans, to a person, lean on, "Why do you live here, then?"8:25 p.m.:
Emet runs into one of her students. Tries to hide her beer under her shirt.9:30 p.m.:
Second period ends 4-2 Wings. Could be 8. Could be 10. All over 'em. This thing's over, but for the fights. While we don't get any on the ice, I see at least two in the stands, one contested by senior citizens. Awesome.10:20 p.m.:
Game over. 6-3 final. Coulda been 15. Coulda been 20. I sing "It's So Cold in the 'D'" all the way back to the car. Not a single person sings along with me. Disappointing really.
I'm 40.10:30 p.m.:
I'm starving. That corned beef sandwich seems so long ago. And I don't want to go to bed. It's a Weekday Off! I suggest a bar and some pub grub. Emet's dragging. Been a long day for her and she has to teach in the morning. We reach a sublime compromise: Jack in the Box tacos. I only have two.
Coulda been 6. Coulda been 12.