November 2007


Happy Thanksgiving. What do I have to be thankful for? Good health, which is often forgotten but always bears remembering. I was able to walk all over Manhattan on a business trip this past weekend, and remembered how much I love walking. Saw my old friend Christina, who has been “in search of wellness,” as she puts it, for many years, after two bouts with cancer. We also got dinner with my coworker Kathy, whose husband suffers from dementia and may also have cancer, depending on the results of a test this week. I’ve never had a broken bone or major illness, car accident, anything, which is in the category of miraculous.

A great wife. We had a fun evening tonight making appetizers for tomorrow and goofing around the kitchen to Nina Simone and Van Morrison (I’m thankful for good music too, come to think about it). Great family, though I take them for granted and don’t connect as much as I’d like to. But they take me in unconditionally, as only family can.

A job I like. I was just thinking about how much I enjoy my job as I was going in. I’ve generally enjoyed this career. The work is interesting, I get to talk to cool people, learn new things, have my own office, be in charge, and my company sent me on a business trip to a conference in New York this past weekend. The next project should be a bear, but I’m looking forward to it regardless.

Good people. It’s easy to get caught up by the negative interactions, but I try to ignore them and focus on the others. Picking up some DVDs at the library today, the woman who checked me out looked up at me in the middle of the process and said, pointedly, “So, how are you?” She didn’t know me, but her subtext was that this did not just have to be a formality, but that we were human beings and could react in a personal way as well, even if we didn’t know each other.

Good friends. I’ve been lucky to know you over the years, and regret that I haven’t always been a better friend. Life goes on, I suppose, but I do look forward to reuniting and renewing old acquaintances from time to time. And when we do, let’s just pick up where we last left off, okay?

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After reading Dwyer’s spot-on analysis of football and by the Pats, I feel emboldened to write more about sports. Plus, Nate is into sports, so that’s one more person who will be interested.

So today the Pats and Colts are playing the game of the century. Or the game of the century of the week. I think all the negative hype around the Pats is getting to me, making it less fun to root for them. I loved rooting when they were doing it with smoke and mirrors, when the other teams had all the flashy players and you couldn’t quite figure  out how they were doing it. Now we’re the bullies, the team that everyone hates. It’s the coach who cheats, who pushes cameramen and runs up the score, against the classy coach who is nice to everyone and whose son committed suicide, so we have to be nice to him.

We already had the story where the Pats were the good guys. The scrappy underdogs won, won again, and became the champ. We don’t really need the same movie again–it’s like the endless parade of Rocky movies. Maybe a movie where Rocky is suddenly the bad guy would be more interesting than seeing him be the underdog for the 8 millionth time. It’ll never be as good as Rocky 1, but it’s something. Same thing with the Red Sox. 86 years as the “underdogs”, and now they’re the ones with all the advantages. New story line needed.

Maybe the best thing to do is to focus on the game, which works too. But it really only works if it’s a good game. The World Series wasn’t much of a contest, and the Pats games have all been blowouts. So it’s down to appreciating greatness (see Dwyer’s entry). But greatness doesn’t seem so great unless it’s challenged.

These are all minor quibbles, since Boston is suddenly the master of all sports. It’s like a millionaire singing the blues. And after having the greatest sports stories ever (Pats ’01, Sox ’04), there’s nowhere else to go but inferior sequels.

And for the non-sports fans, I hope you saw the latest SNL song a few weeks back. Fantastic: