Sociable

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Unicorns lose 6-5 and T-Bear hits the Old Grandad with ugly results

I was thinking about not writing anything this week because a softball team that can only muster up five runs is not worth my creative output. Actually, the real reason is I am incredibly hung over. However, as the iron fist that is a hangover slowly releases it's grip on my body and I begin to feel like myself again and funny thoughts and voices fill my head about last night's game I have no choice but to either let them continue to rattle around my mind or to release them here. Plus, I know Bauer would be sad, and I don't like to make our shining star sad.

It is clear that every male unicorn wishes to be just like Todd. Who would not want to be like our southpaw slugger? A beautiful wife, three cute sweet girls, a six figure salary, boyish good lucks and charm, penthouse condo on the 100th floor, huge office at work with leather seats. It is obvious that Todd's life is a dream. To top it off he is the star of the championship Oz park volley ball team. All male unicorns looked on in envy at Todd's facebook pics as he was beaming after his triumph leading his volleyball team to victory.

The reason I bring this up is that this fact speaks volumes for some of the play last night and some of the after game festivities. For instance a fly ball was hit to Turk that normally the big guy corals with ease. On this day though instead of catching it, Turk decided to be like Todd and he did a perfect set of the ball trying to imitate the Oz park champion. Turk then shook his head in disbelief not because he missed the catch, but because Todd missed the spike on his perfect set. Later in the game a somewhat easy pop fly was hit to yours truly and instead of catching it I did the same thing and once again Brady missed the spike. Turk and I were in bewilderment wondering how Todd's team could have won with two missed spikes like that. After that inning Todd took both me and Turk aside. He gave us a grilling. He told us that we are playing softball here and you two losers will never be like me. Well, naturally, we were both crushed.

In fact, I was so sad I was just glad my Dad was there. I went over and had a cry on his shoulder. Then my dad said, "I have just the thing for you son." Then with a devilish grin he pulled out a blue fuel bottle with Old Grandad whiskey in it. This was just the pacifier I needed to stop crying and I suckled on this the rest of the night to cure the crushing realism that I was not Todd. Then, with an equally devilish grin, my dad's sidekick, Pawel, pointed to the magical blue cooler where a tall boy of Polish beer was waiting for me. Many psychologists say you cannot drink your troubles away, but I call horse crap as I and the Unicorns are living proof that you can.

I did make amends for my horrible miss plays at short by running up on a little pop and jumping for it. Somehow my 38 year old body spun around like I was 21 again and was able to right myself and fire to first for the double play. It was my parachute roll, and I dedicate that to my dear departed Uncle Richard who was an Air Force Veteran. One time camping with my Uncle he fell down a small rock face and flipped completely over and on his back. Obviously concerned, we rushed to him to see if he was alright. He smiled and said he was fine and that it was his parachute roll.

What can I say about Mary that I have not already said. She rocks. She gave up two earned runs last night. That is freaking awesome. The rest scored on errors. Despite the errors, our defense as stout. Turk finally realized we were playing softball and made some nice catches and JIT was fantastic at first. Our offense lost the game. I have not played in many softball games where five runs won it. I think people are putting too much pressure on themselves to succeed to match or better what we did last year. Who gives a crap if we make the playoffs. What is important is we have a great time and enjoy each other's company. I for one look forward to each Tuesday laying with each and every one of you and could really care less if we win. Winning is more fun, but I have no problem losing with this bunch (tears are streaming down my cheek).

After the beer was gone we made the epic trip to Cactus, and I really think someone else should take over as my memory is rather fuzzy at this point as my Old Grandad was having his way with me. I remember food, beer, shots, Pawel playing pool, Old Grandad, and Crash saying my Dad was adorable. All I know is that my Old Grandad was anything but adorable. We then hit another bar. What bar that is I have no idea. All I remember from this unknown unnamed bar is that Paige and Javi with Javi's brother or some relative (all I am certain here was that it was not his Old Grandad) magically appeared into my consciousness and then isappeared as they put my drunken self in a cab and home.

I woke up this morning with many questions. One thing I am sure of is that despite all my hopes and dreams I am not Todd, and I am okay with that. I am just your lovable, fun loving, witty, sometimes too much Old Grandad drinking, Chicago Adventure traveler (hey have you guys clicked on my website today?), error prone shortstop, slightly twisted, happy T-Bear.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Case of Ms. Taschini's murdered goldfish

The other day I was subbing for a Biology class for two consecutive days at Uplift High School in Chicago. For the first two periods I had as special education instructor helping me. He made a comment that the goldfish in the room was a pretty hardy speciman as he had survived most of the school year. I had subbed for this teacher before, and I had to protect him as a few students wanted to go over and mess with the fish.

On the second day, the special education teacher left the room and I was busy helping a few students with the assignment for the day. A few students wandered over to the fish tank and started screwing with the goldfish. I tried to get them away from the fish, but I was distracted by the students that were looking for help. A few minutes later the students had left and the fish was floating at the top of the aquarium.

I sarcastically congratulated the students on the murder of the goldfish. One of the students started doing a little dance and yelled "yes, no more goldfish." Wow, I thought, here is someone with no regard for life. I know that a goldfish is very low on the ecological scale, but I think it is pretty much proven that young people that torment animals are the ones you really have to be wary of. I have no doubt that these students have as little regard for human life as they do for the lives of goldfishes. I just hope to not meet these turkeys in a dark alley or on a deserted train platform in a few years when they are adults and are even more hardened and uncaring. If I do, I will run.

One thing I will never forget is there was this one girl in the class that is an absolute sweetheart. Every time I sub for her she comes into the class and smiles and says "hello, Mr. Nelson." Most of the students regard me with almost complete indifference. When the goldfish murderer was doing his little victory dance she gave me a look of such disgust that I will never forget. I am not sure what this look implied, but I think it was one of contempt and embarrassment toward her fellow classmates.

It reminds me that there are certain students that we just cannot help. They are already too damaged from their personal life for us to make a difference. Our job as educators is to protect the sweethearts and make sure they can circumnavigate the system, so that they lose the look of disgust and can continue to smile and say hello to Mr. Nelson.