Dec 23, 2004

My Bug's Birthday

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. She turned a whole one. It wasn't as eventful as it could have been. We put off a lot of the party until today, since the rest of the family is coming in today for Christmas. The birthdays of your kids always makes you think about things. I cannot believe she is already one. Just two days ago, she was zero. And now she is one. One year ago we were sitting in the hospital with her - brand new and wrinkly. And now she running around and being so sweet.

Every day when I come home, she hears the garage door open and starts to get excited. She starts going, "da...da...dada" and toddles over to the door. When she sees me, she gets a huge smile and says, "HI! DADA! HI!" Then I pick her up and she looks at her mommy and points at me and goes, "Da...da...da." My son will usually jump up and say, "Daddy! He's here." And then go back to his videos or puzzles or planets.

There is something different about a girl. I love my boy to death and he loves me. That is not even up for debate. But I had always heard about the special bond between a daughter and her daddy. I never really knew what was meant by that until she came along. I didn't do anything special with her because she was a girl. I was less nervous - having already had one child. But, if anything, I was more apprehensive about caring for her in some ways BECAUSE she was a girl. I just knew one thing - it had been drilled into by a long line of advisors and friends. Girls need their daddies. Boys need them too, but girls really need to know that their daddies love them and think they are beautiful and wonderful. And I believed it. I had seen too many girls over the years that made poor decisions or felt poor about themselves because of the way their father treated them. And that wasn't going to happen to my girl.

But there was something special between me and my daughter from the very outset. She cuddled me differently. She lit up when I came home. (Don't get me wrong - she is still a major mama's girl) There was something there on her part too that was different. Her first word was dada. When I would see her, I would wave and say hi. Very early she learned to wave and soon was telling everyone hi. And she's still my girl. I joke around sometimes and say, "Man, I wish she liked me a little bit." Deep down, there are few feelings, though, that are like knowing your kid adores you. She love me and I love her. And she is just awesome. Beautiful, smart, funny, happy, sweet, cuddly. And awesome. Inspiring awe. Awe that God entrusted this beautiful gift to us. Awe that He created something so amazing. Awe that she trusts me and loves me so much without really knowing me. Awesome. (My son's awesome too, but it isn't his birthday. He'll get his own post some other day.)

Happy birthday, my little bug. Even though it is your birthday, I got the best gift of them all. You.

Dec 21, 2004

The Fantasy in Football

So, I am an avid Fantasy Football fan. I define avid as someone who has at least one team, maybe two. They can check the stats a couple times a weeks. And they have discussions with their fellow players about the games. That is a far cry from the Fantasy Football Fanatic. That is the person that has five to ten teams, checks their stats every hour, and has the live stat tracker. They also refer to themselves as their team name all the time. The last level is the Fantasy Football Loser. This is the person who has no life and only feels they can exist in the Fantasy world. They are very similar in personality and complexion to addicts to MMPOGs and Star Wars freaks.

Anyway, one of my leagues ends this week and the other ends next week. So I will be forced to actually watch real football with no outlet for my amateur General Manager feelings. There is a debate going on about fantasy football and whether or not it has destroyed football. After thinking about this, here is my opinion. Football destroyed football. Fantasy football is merely the offspring of the changed NFL.

I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. That used to mean something. I knew the coach, the players, the playing method. The uniform was simple - white at home, blue on the road. Tony Dorsett. Tom Landry. Danny White. They were standbys. Even the new look Cowboys of the 1990s had the same approach. Aikman, Emmitt, Irvin, Novacek, Moose. The same players, same approach. Coaches would change, but still. It was the Cowboys. I even could take the alternative jersey for special occasions. It was because they are still the Cowboys.

Well now, things are different. I know maybe five players on the Cowboys. They change coaches every other year. Now they are coached by Parcells - ugh. I don't even cheer for them. I moved to Tampa and started to follow the Bucs. But Tampa is just as bad. Every year, they cut players that were cornerstones of the team. And we are left cheering for a team - without a personality. Personally, I don't want to just cheer for a uniform. There is no loyalty anymore in the league. I always attached myself to the players. And now, we are asked to have loyalty to a helmet. We don't know who will wear that helmet, so it is just a piece of equipment.

I think that Fantasy Football took off when people wanted to continue to follow players, even as they switched teams. I know that is what I do. There are certain players I really like. And I follow them. I love Priest Holmes. He is a great player. Derrick Brooks, Dante Hall, Curtis Martin. They are players that I really like - even if I detest the Jets. It didn't used to be that way. I hated the Redskins with everything I had. It didn't matter who it was, if they were on the Redskins, they were dirt. Now, though, there is Mark Brunell. True, he would lose a passing competition to a one-armed Girl Scout. But he is a great person. And so I root for him, even as I hope his team gets shut out and dies.

So that is the world of Fantasy Football - wanting to be in control of a team, and wanting to see the old way of doing things return. At least that is what I think. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go scan the fantasy waiver wires.

Dec 15, 2004

Freezing Up In Here

So, last night, on our local Fox station, the lead story on the 10:00pm news was the frigid cold snap ravaging Central Florida. "LIVE TEAM COVERAGE" They busted out the weatherman. The anchors were all making their usual rehearsed "ad lib" puns about the cold. They even had a reporter out on the streets. She holds up a thermometer and says, "As you can see, it is 40 degrees out here. But as you said, with the wind ... it is much ... much... colder." Then she goes on to say, "But even with the frigid conditions, it has not stopped people from braving the elements."

Now, bear in mind that this is an area that was hit by three hurricanes this year. I would expect that kind of commentary during a natural disaster. But when the temperature hits 40 degrees? Come on. And it is supposed to be like this for a week or more. Are we doomed to "LIVE TEAM COVERAGE" every day for a week? They then did a story about parents at their kids' soccer game that night. They were all bundled up like they were extras in the Alien vs. Predator movie. One lady said, "I"m wearing six layers and I'm still freezing." Good night nurse. It was FORTY DEGREES!

Then, of course, they have to warn us to bring in our plants and pets. You know, the thing I don't get is that this happens every year - winter I mean. It is one of the seasons. I know we live in Florida, but it is not like that means we never have a cold day. You would think we had a bunch of morons living here. (Well, I guess that is a possibility) It is not like the hurricane rush, where we had not had one cruise through for forty years. We have cold days every year. It may only be five or ten, but they happen. Did we just gain a bunch of newbies who have never braved the terrible Florida winter? If we did gain new residents, where did they come from? Chances are - since we are so far south - these people came from up North. Now, wouldn't they understand that winter=cold weather= dead plants? I would think. Yet we have the weather people present an action plan through their "LIVE TEAM COVERAGE" to show us how to survive the chilly nights.

Cracks me up every year. Reminds me of the scene in L.A. Story where Steve Martin's weatherman character in L.A. just records a week's worth of weather updates because the weather never changes - and then it rains. The whole city freaks out. Like the Guns N Roses November Rain video where all the wedding guests go charging around when the rain comes and start diving under tables and stuff - like the rain was going to do them great harm. That's Florida. They overreact when it gets too cold or too hot or too rainy or too dry. But they completely ignore the weather when a hurricane is coming. "Me n Myrtle ain't leavin'! We've been through wurse'n that before." Then after the hurricane the same people are sitting on their collapsed trailer crying and saying, "We dun lost ev'rything. Couldn't do nuthin about it neither." Of course, this will be shown on the "LIVE TEAM COVERAGE" - unless it is too cold.

Dec 1, 2004

Hey Howdy

I have done it. After several attempts, I have now entered the world of blogging. Not that anything I say will actually mean anything to anyone. But I wanted an outlet to write. And this offers me that. This is not a place for arguments and fighting. It is just a place for me to put on vitual paper the many thoughts that run through my enormous head. I hope you enjoy it.