Why I Don’t Watch Football

girl-watching-footballI’m as man as a man can get, except in one glaringly obvious way.

I’m a man in the sense that

* I think better of my looks than I ought

* I have a desire to go hunting

* I can’t stand rom-coms unless they star Tom Hanks or Adam Sandler

* I have to shave on a daily basis to not look too much like George Clooney (refer to the first bullet point)puppy1

* I think what I have to say is the most important thing ever and I hardly listen to other people

* I’m still learning to master my table manners (or am I?)

* I drink milk out of the carton when no one’s looking

*I’m incredibly hot when I cuddle my puppies

 

So now that I’ve established my masculinity, I am free to admit something that not many of my co-gender can admit:

I hate football. (GASP!!)

Relax, people. I’m not part of a terrorist origination (though I’m sure that would be more acceptable to some people).

It’s not just because I wasn’t the most athletic growing up (I played a lot of street hockey and basketball, however). It’s not because I never scored a touchdown while the cheerleaders screamed my name from the sidelines.

Whenever I see a game on, I just keep thinking, “What’s the point?” I simply don’t get team spirit. The Patriots vs. the Raiders, whatever. People think that just because they’re from a certain state or town they’re football team is automatically the best in the country. I mean, if you’re from Detroit, are you really going to claim that the Lions are the best NFL team to root for?

I don’t know. I really just don’t get dedicating half my weekend to watching a bunch of overpaid baboons jumping all over each other fighting for a misshaped ball. I just don’t care about catching up on the scores while I’m at work, because honestly, that doesn’t make me any more money than my job does. And really, does nothing for me beneficial whatsoever.

rugbyfootballI mean, football players are the biggest wimps on the planet, if you think about it. They get paid billions of dollars to play a little boy’s game for a profession. And then they cry bloody foul over every little injury – I mean, they have pads and helmets, people. They’re protected from head to toe. They twist a knee – don’t feel too bad for them when they’re sobbing on the field to get attention. They’ve got the insurance to take care of it. And private nurses to nurse them to health.

You know who actually earns their pay? Rugby players. That’s a game I can get into because there’s real violence, lots of risk, and no body protection. Those guys are awesome. Definitely a stupid profession, but they earn my respect much much more than football players. (And yes, I know the picture to the right depicts a soccer player, but it’s the same idea.)

And I don’t get people that spend a lot of time watching football. Do they feel more manly, like they’re living up to a cultural expectation? Honestly, get me a group of guys who’d actually want to play football (without the mama helmets and baby pads, of course), and I’m all in. Let’s go. Bring it on! That’s where the real action is at.

Plus, when did football become America’s pastime?  Personally I think it’s only because of all the beer sponsorships and half-naked cheerleaders that propelled it to its current status.

I’m glad to say baseball is too classy for all that. So wake me up when it’s spring.

On My Own

home-alone_2Sarabeth and the baby have been out of town for a couple of days visiting family. So I’m holding down the fort with the help of our two crime-fighting miniature dachshunds, Pixie and Prim. They don’t like it when Sarabeth is gone because when she’s here – with the baby’s moods permitting – we hold to a pretty regular and predictable schedule.

We watch a show while eating dinner, share some ice cream, and snuggle on the couch – the one thing the pups live and die by.

But when Sarabeth’s gone, they have to be locked up all day while I’m at work. They’re not used to that. Plus, I’m a pretty flighty person, so when I get home from work, I don’t really follow a schedule. I might shower before dinner, I might do some reading before I eat, I might watch a movie or read a book. I just kind of go with what I feel like. One night this week I spent forty-five minutes tearing up the place tracking down a fly.

The dinners are sub-par compared to what I come home to from work when Sarabeth’s been cooking. I revert back to Mac and Cheese (with hot dogs), and frozen pizzas. Quality lost; weight gained.

Sometimes I sleep in the bed.

Sometimes I sleep on the couch.

Either way, I go to bed much later because I can keep the light on to read as late as I want. Or I watched a movie that was a little too long and too scary and I had to spend twenty minutes booby-trapping the house.

Either way, it comes down to this.

I might feel like I need my alone time and I might get annoyed by my baby’s crying and spit bubbles, but when it comes down to it, when they’re gone, it’s not as great as it sounds. I just spend a lot of time wishing they were home so I can eat better food and go to bed on time.

Can We Talk Harry Potter for a Moment, Please?

Hogwarts-castle-harry-potter-166431Harry Potter and I have a history together. It’s rather a messy, complicated history, and really, I’m the one at fault.

In other words, it’s not you, Harry – it’s me.

I read the books about six or seven years ago when they were given to me as a gift. I read up to book six and stopped. I wasn’t impressed.

I honestly have no reason why I didn’t like the books.

I was stupid and narrow-minded.

It’s likely that I just wasn’t fully committed to jumping on the Hogwarts bandwagon. Maybe I wanted to be the “mature adult” who didn’t get sucked into such childish storytelling.

Well, fast forward to about this time last year. Nothing significant happened; I had no premonition or anything like that. I just didn’t have anything to watch; The Office had ended a few months earlier.

So I decided to rent all the Harry Potter movies from the library. I watched them all in about a two-month period. When I finished with movie number eight I immediately dug through my things and pulled out my old Harry Potter books.

I’ll save my short reviews for a later post, but right now I’m well into book five, and Sarabeth is rapidly catching up with me. We cannot get enough of this phenomenon that we missed out on for so many years.

Sarabeth has even made butterbeer for me twice and I have told her to buy me a Harry Potter wand for Christmas.

Yes, the turn-around is that drastic.

We don’t celebrate Halloween, but we’re talking about celebrating Harry Potter.

I want to paint a lightning bolt on our daughter’s head, let my wife’s hair go frizzy, while we all wear stripped scarves and go out and put hexes on things.

We’ve decided that for our daughter’s 11th birthday, we’ll give her an invitation to Hogwarts to introduce her to the books.

Oh, and we’ll definitely be visiting the Hogwarts castle in Universal Studios, thank you very much. It is now the reason I work overtime.

The moral of the story is simple.

Go back and retry that thing you once hated. And don’t ever think you’re too old to enjoy something so awesome.

 

 

Things I was Supposed to Have Accomplished By Now

There’s an episode in The Office that’s kind of somber. It’s when Michael Scott shows a video of himself as a Michael Scottkid as a guest on a popular children’s show. In it, the puppet-host asks him what he hopes to be when he grows up.

The young Michael Scott, with suite and a neat comb-over, answers, “I want to get married and have a hundred kids so I can have a hundred friends and no one can say no to being my friend.”

Well, this depresses the grown Michael Scott because he’s not married, has no kids, and no one really wants to be his friend.

We all have expectations when we’re young, right?

We were building bucket lists even before Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman coined the term.

I had things that I was supposed to have accomplished by this time. Here’s a few of them:

1. I was supposed to have won my third Academy Award for best director and actor and screen writer.

2. I was supposed to be a bestselling author and on a first-name basis with Michael Crichton.

3. By now I was supposed to have saved a bunch of people from a mad terrorist and be headlined as a hero on the front page of every newspaper for years.

4. I was supposed to have finally found the perfect hairstyle for my thinning hair; but then again, my hair wasn’t supposed to thin at all.

5. I was supposed to have found the best pizza in the world – one so good that I would never want a slice from any other place ever again. And then I was to learn to replicate it at home.

6. I was supposed to have made it through Lost without burning out.

Even though there’s a lot of things I haven’t done in my life, and breaking into Hollywood isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, I have to stop and remember the things that I have accomplished.

I’m married to a beautiful woman. Check.

I have an awesome baby girl (though she’s not a silent baby like I was hoping for). Still, check.

I have two dogs.

I’m a homeowner.

So yeah, I’m at least still writing, and haven’t given up on becoming a bestselling author, and I’ll probably eventually get back to Lost someday, but it seems like I’ve got all the important things accomplished.

Now, if  you excuse me, I’m going to take a music break and listen to Montgomery Gentry’s “Something to Be Proud Of”

 

My Day at the Fair

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Hi, it’s me, “Baby A.” I logged into my dad’s blog again.

Yesterday, my parents took me to the Kentucky State Fair. Being only seven months old, I’m safe to say this is the first fair I have ever been to.

First thing’s first. The smells! Okay, so I know I don’t produce very good smells, but good grief! The next time my dad complains about how bad my diapers smell, I’m going to grab my dad’s nose (because I’ve mastered that by now), crawl right down to the nearest farm, and stick his face up to a cow’s bottom.

Speaking of cows, my dad got in trouble by Mom saying something like, “No wonder they look so sad, they’ve all got a gloom future ahead of them.” I wonder what he means by that.

But on a completely different subject, there was a lot of meats and steaks and pork, and it all smelled so good! Sure, the only thing I like at the moment is formula, sweet potatoes, and fluffy pieces of bread, but I’m sure I’ll learn how to eat all that other stuff.

My dad got to check off something from his bucket list. He got himself a donut burger from donutKrispy Kreme. He kept saying, “I’m not getting any younger,” like he was psyching himself up to actually do it after talking about it half the day. Mom thought he was nuts and made him promise that that would be his only one. He promised it would be, but I wonder how serious he was. I thought only babies were supposed to be gross!

We got to see this thing called the horse and mull pull. It’s where they see how many pounds these animals can pull before they get-attachment-1.aspxbreak their legs or something. I was feeling sad by how hard they were having to work, so I started crying halfway through. I like doing that sometimes, just to make Mom and Dad uncomfortable.

I wonder if I’ll remember these days when I’m older. Probably not, but my parents will, and I think it’s good for people to get out and do fun things like go to the fair, or drive by a lake, or pack a picnic and take the dogs (and the baby) to the park for an evening.

After all, that’s what makes life worth living, isn’t it? Those little things? At least that’s what I’ve been told.

But all in all, it was  a fun day! I got as hot and sweaty as I’ve ever been, Daddy got a tummy ache, and Mommy got to get out of the house. I hope we go again next year so I can try one of those donut burgers with Daddy, then beg him to take me on a bunch of spinny-twirly rides afterwards.

I’ll be tall enough for those by then, right?

Hugs

Shel Silversteen penned a poem called “Hug-O-War.” You’d probably remember it if I started it off for you:

I will not play tug-o-war.mar15

I’d rather play hug-o-war.

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs,

Where everyone giggles

and rolls on the rug…

I don’t do hugs. They’re just not my thing.

dtv-tommyboyKids hug parents. Girls hug puppies. Heavy-set people give bear hugs. Women hug women. Tommy Boy hugs.

But I, Andrew, do not hug. I’ll shake your hand, or even better, I’ll high-five or fist-bump you. (“Knucks!”) But the best of all is a head nod. “Hey. What’s up?”

“Nothing. You?”

“Not much. See ya.”

“See ya.”

But there’s a problem with all of this. I don’t like hugs, but

I’m married.

And my spouse is a woman.

And women hug.

My wife likes hugs.

The first time Sarabeth and I hung out together as a couple, we could have hugged when I said good night.handshake

But we didn’t. I shook her hand. No joke.

But here’s the thing. Sarabeth knows me and my needs. She knows that I need affirmation and compliments. And she doesn’t give out compliments freely. But she gives them generously to me because she knows I need them.

So it’s only fair that I hug her more than once a week.

Because I love her.

What does your spouse love? What do they need every day?

My wife needs hugs.

Bad Neighbor?

Every summer our neighbor – we’ll call her Paddington – tries to grow tomatoes on herIMG_8378 front porch. And every summer she only gets about two or three successful tomatoes because slugs and worms and critters vandalize her efforts.

Throughout the years you can see the evolution of her defensive tactics. One year she put a ring of salt around her pots. The next year she put eggshells in her soil. Then she started putting plastic bags of vinegar water in her pots.

But this year, she’s taking her tomato-preserving strategies to a whole new level.

havahartezsetracoonShe’s taken to setting up animal traps.

Now, if anybody is an advocate for more tomatoes in this world, it’s me. In fact, I say we don’t need any other fruit or root but tomatoes. Tomatoes are like cheese – they make everything better. (I think I inherited my unusual love of tomatoes from my father: he was a successful tomato planter and he would bring his own tomatoes with him when we went out to restaurants. I can’t blame him, to this day I’ve never had better tomatoes.)

Do you see this picture of the tomato? Just looking at it makes me salivate, and it’s only 8:40 in the morning!tumblr_mfsxqiD18k1re461do1_500

So my love of tomatoes is clear. But, thought I’m no tree hugger, I also love animals. Not in the way a twelve-year-old girl does. I don’t doodle glittery ponies on my notebooks or anything, but I get a sense of sadness if I see them in trouble.

I always pull my car over to check for tags if I see a lost dog. If it wouldn’t be so dangerous, I’d shoo deer off the side of the road so they don’t get hit.

But anyway, our neighbor, Paddington, set these traps out and every day since I’ve found squirrels trapped in the cages. They just look so scared and helpless; they just wanted a bite of that darn Fig Newton.

I don’t know. Maybe I still feel guilty for hitting a baby squirrel with my car a while ago, or shooting suirells with my BB gun in the backyard when I was a kid…

So I look all around to make sure the coast is clear and release the squirrels . Sarabeth told me that they’re going to see me as their savior now. (Maybe I’ll grow some tomatoes and they’ll leave them alone as a thank you, then I can give some to Paddington as a peace offering.)

PussInBoots1Today I went outside with the dogs and it wasn’t a squirrel, but a raccoon. The poor guy wasn’t even struggling, probably because he was exhausted from panicking all night. He didn’t even flinch when I approached. He just looked up at me with those big tear-filled eyes…

So of course I let the big guy out.

This probably makes me an incredibly bad neighbor, but there’s no proof that the squirrels and raccoons are the ones destroying Paddington’s tomato plants. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

So what do you think? Bad neighbor or rodent savior? Is growing a few tomatoes worth trapping animals for? You be the jury. You decide.

In the meantime, I’m going to run to the grocery store and pick up some produce.

 

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