Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm a Foster Parent (for a week)

I have the most adorable and smart son. As a mid twenty-twenty-something-young-professional I never at this stage thought I'd be a foster parent. His name is Rhett, he's about 12-13 weeks old and he is absolutely the best thing that will happen to me for the next week or so.

I never thought I'd be able to be a foster parent, even if it's temporary. But turns out, my heart sees the bigger picture and that he will need to be adopted by someone who will love him and provide the best home for his life. I can in the short term, but not for Rhett's lifetime.

BTW I did not pick out his name, but to me he seems more like a Rufus. I dunno, something about him.

Switching subjects I normally don't read the comments, because I try to be anonymous, mostly because of what I do for a living. So when "someone" leaves a comment that says I suck. I like it, because I think diversity in dialogue is good. But if you can't leave a name and you are just saying something without a reason to get back to you, then what is the point. You are not furthering along any sort of debate. So to you anoymous commenter, I'm sure like everyone else in the world you think you are funny and have good taste. But if you don't have any way to get back to you, grow a pair and then comment.


What else in Ms. Minneapolis land? The 87 Twins reunion. Yea, they are my favorite team, Twins team. I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that reunion. Who knew Gene Larkin was the youngest one on the team? No clue. And that Juan B is a car salesman, doesn't surprise me, but a car salesman in Chanhassen, freakin Chanhassen, now that does.

But it is weird that Kirby didn't make it to see this weekend. Maybe he overshadowed the team. He did own the 91 series, but I do think Gaetti and the two-person pitching tandem of Bert and Frank were the heroes in that series.

Oddly nothing strange or unusual has happened to me in the last week to spill to the masses. Watch out, that means twice the load for the upcoming week. Take care everyone and enjoy the 87 Twins!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When you try to be good, but things go awry?

i'm not even going to try and explaing the title. i justed needed to write it. and maybe again, and again, and again.


so now that that is out of my system, at least temporarily. in honor of the Twins winning a series and due to my laziness/exhaustion -- the toughest players in baseball, according to ESPN. oh BTW my new fave netflix show is Weeds. i watched the first six episodes in one night. yea, i have no life, i know. but holy sh$t is it funny, and i'm not/nor ever have been a stoner.

No pain, no game for these hard-nosed players

Updated: August 15, 2007

Jason Hirsh didn't mean to make a statement. It just worked out that way.

After taking a J.J. Hardy line drive off the leg last week, Hirsh stayed in the game to pitch five more innings in Colorado's 11-4 victory over Milwaukee. Only later did Hirsh discover he had fractured his right fibula on the play. Baseball players aren't typically regarded as tough in the manner of NFL wide receivers going over the middle or NHL wingers digging into the corner for loose pucks. But the season is so long, so physically and mentally draining, that few regulars report for work each day feeling spry or healthy in the conventional sense. They're all soldiers in a war of attrition. Toughness is in the eye of the beholder. But we're pretty sure it's embodied by Minnesota backup catcher Mike Redmond. During a game in July, Chicago's Jim Thome took a long follow-through and caught Redmond in the head with the barrel of his bat. After several moments on the ground, Redmond staggered to his feet, blood pouring from his head, and apologized to teammate Joe Mauer on his way back to the dugout. It was the second game of a doubleheader, and Redmond felt bad about taxing Mauer's workload. "It wasn't like I was hurt that bad," Redmond told Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Just bleeding a lot." In honor of the Jason Hirshes and Mike Redmonds of the world, we surveyed 30 players, managers, scouts, executives and media members in a quest to find players with high pain thresholds and a low tolerance for days off. These guys are quick to sacrifice their bodies for the team, and no threat to run and hide during a bench-clearing brawl. Remember "The Breakfast Club"? We'll call this week's installment of Starting 9 the Eat-Nails-for-Breakfast Club.
Russell Martin


Russell Martin, Dodgers catcher

1 As one National League catcher recently observed, "Mike Lieberthal has the best job in baseball." Considering that Lieberthal makes $1.25 million and has started 11 games behind the plate as Martin's backup, it sure seems like a good gig. Martin leads all major league catchers in games played and ranks second to Cleveland's Victor Martinez in plate appearances. He blocks balls, shakes off foul tips, breaks up double plays with abandon and doesn't know the meaning of the words, "I can't go, Skip." We became acquainted with Martin's toughness last September, watching him walk into the Dodgers' clubhouse with a stiffer gait than the Tin Woodsman in the "Wizard of Oz." At this point in the season, Martin needs a daily massage just to climb the dugout stairs and make it onto the field for pregame stretching. "I'm becoming a big fan of Russell Martin," said Arizona's Tony Clark, a 13-year veteran. Honorable mention: Brad Ausmus, Gregg Zaun, Jason Kendall and Michael Barrett were among the other catchers who received mentions, but no one embodies hard-core toughness more than Boston's Jason Varitek. "If I had to pick the guys in the game I respect most, he'd rank in the top three," said Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand.
Todd Helton


Todd Helton, Rockies first baseman

1Helton isn't the same dominant offensive player who received a $141 million contract from Colorado in 2001 and looked like a Hall of Fame lock at age 30. But he never makes excuses, and he leaves nothing in the tank. Helton has endured back pain and calf problems, and missed two weeks last season with acute ileitis, a painful inflammation of the small intestine. Despite losing 10 pounds, Helton came off the disabled list as scheduled and started 64 straight games before Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was able to chain him to the bench. It's the same brand of fortitude Helton displayed as a University of Tennessee quarterback while facing the onslaught of SEC linebackers. If he's ambulatory, he's out there. Honorable mention: Albert Pujols, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner make the grade. Hafner, who stands 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds and loves professional wrestling, is a man you want standing beside you when the beanballs fly.
Craig Biggio


Craig Biggio, Astros second baseman

1 It's a certainty Biggio will be wearing an Astros cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. The portrayal would be even more genuine if it showed him beneath a gunk-encrusted helmet with sweat and eye black all over his face. Biggio has played 1,961 games at second base, 427 at catcher and almost 400 in the outfield. He's that rare player who knows how it feels to get spiked at the bag, block a slider in the dirt and go shoulder-first into the wall in pursuit of a fly ball. That's a masochist's hat trick. Biggio has also been hit by a pitch 285 times, second-most in history behind Hughie Jennings, and has 414 stolen bases worth of jammed fingers. Considering the abuse he's taken, it's amazing that he's been on the disabled list only once, with torn knee ligaments in 2000. Honorable mention: Lots of people remember Jeff Kent breaking his wrist while popping wheelies on his motorcycle in San Francisco. Giants fans recall when Kent, weak with the flu, took intravenous feedings before playing both ends of a day-night doubleheader against Colorado in 2000. He's one ornery gamer.
Miguel Tejada


Miguel Tejada, Orioles shortstop

1 Tejada isn't such a great investment these days, with his $12 million annual salary, .430 slugging percentage and diminished range in the field. The fewer home runs he hits, the tougher it is for speculation about those vitamin B-12 shots to fade away. But Tejada's stamina is indisputable. He appeared in 1,152 straight games, the fifth-longest streak in history, before breaking his wrist in June. That's an awful lot of punishment with no breathers. "A few years ago, we were playing Baltimore, and Miggy went back on a ball and did something to his ankle," Rowand said. "He went down like somebody shot him, and they had to carry him off the field. He was right back out there playing the next day." Honorable mention: Jimmy Rollins, Omar Vizquel and David Eckstein pass the pound-for-pound toughness test, and Derek Jeter's foray into the stands on a Trot Nixon foul pop in July 2004 remains one of his signature moments. "Derek Jeter diving in the stands headfirst and coming out looking like George Chuvalo is my all-time great effort," said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. "That was just instinctive toughness."
Ty Wigginton


Ty Wigginton, Astros third baseman

1 If Eric Byrnes is known as the Crash Test Dummy, then Wigginton should forever be regarded as the Human Four-Car Pileup. "This guy will run into, over or through anybody or anything," said Washington Nationals reliever Ray King. Just ask catcher Koyie Hill, who suffered a broken ankle while being steamrolled by Wigginton, or Yadier Molina, whose cage was similarly rattled. Wigginton isn't the most skilled or graceful athlete. But he's a grunting, snorting, collision-inducing machine. Honorable mention: Boston's Mike Lowell came back from testicular cancer. Joe Crede played through some excruciating back pain in Chicago. David Wright did his own Jeter-like leap into the stands. And while Alex Rodriguez is rarely hailed for his toughness, he comes to play. Since 2001, A-Rod has missed 18 of 1,091 games with Texas and New York.
Aaron Rowand


Aaron Rowand, Phillies center fielder

1 Rowand clinched his spot on this team in 2006 when he caught a Xavier Nady fly ball, smacked into the Citizens Bank Park fence, then left the field with his face in a blood-soaked towel. Rowand later joked that his mother, a nurse, was concerned he might be injured until she realized he had hit the wall with his head. It wasn't the first time Rowand had put his noggin to the test. In five seasons with the White Sox, he crashed into the wall so routinely that owner Jerry Reinsdorf installed $50,000 of extra padding to ensure he wouldn't become the next Pete Reiser. Chicago general manager Kenny Williams, a former major league outfielder, describes Rowand as tough in every conceivable way. "And I don't toss out that compliment lightly," said Williams, who once played on a fractured ankle for two months before the advent of MRIs. Honorable mention: Ryan Freel, Trot Nixon and Gary Sheffield win points for competitiveness and high pain thresholds. Mike Cameron recovered from one of the scariest collisions in memory to keep playing. And Torii Hunter plays with such abandon, he once burned his goatee while sliding on the Metrodome turf after making a diving catch.
Eric Byrnes


Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks left fielder

1"There's a difference between being aggressive and suicidal," Byrnes once said in response to a question about his penchant for running into walls. When he figures it out, maybe he'll let us know. Byrnes has made a cottage industry of his hyperaggressiveness, with frequent TV and radio appearances, to the point that some people wonder whether it's a shtick. "I know he plays with reckless abandon, but he also dives for balls when he shouldn't dive for them," said a scout. "I think it's a little over the top." On the other hand, lots of teammates and opponents swear that Byrnes' intensity is legit. During Byrnes' winter-ball days, fans in the Dominican Republic embraced him and called him "Captain America." His zest for the game transcends national boundaries. Honorable mention: Hideki Matsui played in 1,768 straight games for the Yomiuri Giants and Yankees. After suffering a broken wrist against Boston in May 2006, Matsui expressed remorse for letting down his teammates and issued a statement of apology.
Vladimir Guerrero


Vladimir Guerrero, Angels right fielder

1If Guerrero walks as if he's in constant pain, there's good reason: He was born with his right leg longer than his left. He also played seven seasons on a glorified parking lot in Montreal, until his knees reached the Andre Dawson point of no return. Guerrero's teammates love him because there's not a trace of prima donna in him. When opposing pitchers drill him, he invariably gets up, dusts himself off and jogs down to first base. Then, the next time at bat, he exacts revenge like a man. Case in point: In August 2006, Texas starter Vicente Padilla hit Guerrero in the forearm with a fastball and threw a second pitch near his head. Guerrero responded with a three-run homer to show everybody who was boss and politely declined comment after the game. Honorable mention: Brian Giles routinely plays through injuries and once lobbied his way into the San Diego lineup against Randy Johnson because he didn't want to be accused of ducking the Big Unit.
Tom Glavine


Greg Maddux


John Smoltz


Bobby's boys

1Our nominee for baseball's toughest pitcher has 843 career victories and seven Cy Young Awards, and looks to be on track for three Hall of Fame induction speeches. The choice came down to Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. But after soliciting Atlanta manager Bobby Cox's opinion, we've declared the race a three-way tie. Glavine, a former high school hockey star in Massachusetts, has thrown 4,300 innings without a disabled list appearance. He pitched with a broken rib, a bad ankle and assorted arm issues in Atlanta, and survived an adventurous, tooth-mangling taxi ride in New York. Maddux's meek appearance belies his tenacity. One spring in Atlanta, he took a line drive off the toe in his final spring training start. The doctors stitched up the toe, shot him up with numbing agents, and Maddux never missed a turn. While Smoltz has made eight disabled list visits in his career, he has also pitched through pain that would make lots of grown men cry. Wonder how it feels to throw 90 mph-plus with a torn elbow ligament? Smoltz knows the answer. "You just don't do what these guys have done in the game without being competitive and tough," Cox said. Honorable mention: Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Jamie Moyer, Joe Borowski, Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield received mentions among the older crowd, while Tim Hudson, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Dontrelle Willis are younger pitchers with big motors and bigger hearts. Pedro Martinez is also widely respected for his fortitude. "I've seen Pedro go out there start after start and still be dealing when I know his arm was barking like a German Shepherd," Kenny Williams said. Although Yankees fans might question Kyle Farnsworth's toughness in close games, he is trained in Tae Kwon Do and put his skills to good use in a memorable confrontation with Paul Wilson. "When you charge the mound on this guy, you better know what you're doing," said Angels outfielder Gary Matthews, Farnsworth's former teammate in Chicago. San Diego reliever Doug Brocail, who came back to pitch in 2006 after two angioplasties in four months, also received several mentions. "Brocail is the guy I'm avoiding if a brawl breaks out, because of his mental stability combined with his toughness," said Padres infielder Geoff Blum. "Oh yeah -- he's had two stents put in his heart." Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for His book "License To Deal" was published by Rodale. Click here to order a copy. Jerry can be reached via e-mail.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My near laptop death

so i started new job yesterday. gotta love showing up for the weekly all-staff meeting. that's right weekly. but when there are only 15 of you, weekly isn't so bad. but the electric was out because of the storms over the weekend. no big deal.

i get home around 5:00ish. noticing that it only takes me 8, yes thats right, 8 minutes to get home. fantastic! turn on laptop. walk into kitchen to make dinner. come bakc and laptop screen is black. i think it just went to sleep. turns out, it went into a coma. or a near death experience.
either way, i'm slightly freaked out and little concerned. because when you ride a wave of good things (new job, apt, seeing old friends, etc.) eventually reality catches up with you and you take a turn towards negative town. i'm thinking computer dying was the off-ramp towards other bad things about to occur.

turns out. laptop went ?#@!!$#$? and this morning i plug it in, turn it on, and PRESTO! like nothing even occurred. so did my laptop have amensia, a nightly coma or was it mad because i left it for the day after six months of using it daily? maybe laptop and i will have to figure out a plan. jeez, i wonder what it would do when it found out i was having an affair with my mac laptop? as the Go Go's sing my lips are sealed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

How do I do it, and do it well?

Wow at first that sounded perverse. Maybe. But what I mean by "it" is this: how do I continue to blog, read and comment on other blogs without appearing to not be getting work done?

For a considerable amount of time I have been working from home. Being your own boss, with no one paying for your wireless while you are working, you are free to roam anywhere you would like. And I'm even going to throw it out there in my defense and for all the others that read/comment/write blogs that you need to look at other people's stuff for creative re-charge of your batteries. Because I am the person who eats at their desk during lunch, 90% of the time, so checking out what other people are commenting on about the world, helps me re-charge. Screw the mandatory 15 minute breaks and 30-60 minute lunches. Let us write and search in freedom.

I haven't even officially started and already I'm griping about something. I suppose that would be in my true spirit. But since for the most part I am going to be self-managed, and as long as I produce results, I don't think I have anything to worry about. Plus I'm completely anonymous, unless those have cracked my code. You know who you are :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend Update *what I've learned*

Jered Weaver looks like that freshman/younger brother/pitcher from Dazed and Confused only with blonde hair instead of brown.

Jered Weaver can not complete eight innings of work.

The Twins are terrible on the road this year. Looks like we are getting closer to being non-contender. But with a dozen or so games left against Detroit and Cleveland, I'm still clinging onto hope.

Grandmas can be mean, especially if they were raised on the iron range. And yes, while it might not be kosher for others, it is acceptable sometimes to tell your own grandma "to F off."

Mother daughter relationships are always interesting, and sometimes feel like their own separate prementral cycle. No joke. The ups and downs, cravings and release, cramps and uncomfortableness. Yep, I'm going to put that phrase in my monthly vocab.

Friends. I'm the ultimate "haven't-talked-to-you-in-years-picked-up-where-we-left-off-friend." It's good to know there are others I can count on.

Tiger Woods is the best golfer ever, and I will never like golf, ever.

Sundays continue to remain the ultimate day of rest, or as I like to call it, don't get out of my pajamas all day and watch sports. Can't wait for football and lounging in my Gopher pants.

That tomorrow is Monday and I'm looking fwd: to a job with an office. Shared office, but I don't have to wear flair/flare (i wish i could wear tnt to work) or be anything but myself.

I feel like I'm missing something. As the best Pixie songs states: "where is my mind?"

This is Surreal and found on People's online edition

Hockey Stars Krissy Wendell and John Pohl Wed


Wendell and Pohl Photo by: Jim Rogash / WireImage; Brad White / Getty
Hockey Stars Krissy Wendell and John Pohl Wed
Swapping her hockey pads and helmet for a wedding gown and veil, Krissy Wendell, star of the U.S. women's Olympic ice hockey team, married NHL player John Pohl Saturday in a West Roseville, Minnesota church before 200 friends and family.

In a traditional ceremony, the couple shared vows at the Rose Hill Alliance Church, the very setting where Wendell's parents were married. The afternoon wedding was presided over by Pastor Tom Johnson. Wendell's sister Kara, served as maid of honor while sister-in-law Julie was matron of honor. Pohl's brother, Mark, assisted as best man

A reception was held at a nearby hotel in Brooklyn Park, Wendell's hometown. As guests dined on chicken, fish and steak, Wendell, 25, resplendent in a white Mori Lee gown with a 4-foot train, and Pohl, 28, sporting a black Ralph Lauren tux with a white vest, shared their first dance as husband and wife to the Clint Black song, "Easy for Me to Say."

The couple got engaged last Christmas Eve in Toronto, where Pohl plays forward for the Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. As part of his marriage proposal, Pohl made a collage of pictures documenting their seven-year relationship, which began with a July 4, 2000 date of dinner and fireworks. They had been introduced by Wendell's brother, Erik, who was Pohl's roommate at the University of Minnesota.

"We were hanging out as friends but when I had to leave to go to training camp that September, we agreed we were friends with potential. We never really dated anyone else after that," says Wendell.

Wendell went on to start for both the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey teams. She also won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial award in 2005 for being the best female collegiate hockey player.

Next, the couple will head to a Minnesota resort to play golf and relax for a few days before Pohl, a Rochester, Minn., native, returns to his training regimen. Pohl, a forward, is due in training camp in September for the Leafs.

"We did a pre-honeymoon," explains Wendell. "We went to Maui for 10 days at the end of April and had a great time."

Wendell is taking a year off from competitive hockey but has not ruled out to playing in a third Olympic winter games in 2010 in Vancouver. The couple will settle in Toronto.

In accuracy: Pohl is from Red Wing, Minn not Rochester. The other roommate was Adam Hauser. Reporters these days.

On the Eve of My New Gig

I was baseball scouting over the weekend. Yep, that's right. A friend works as an admissions counselor/coach for a D III school. So there we were in tandem watching the Minnesota American Legion tournament. After day of scouting, I confess I am a self-proclaimed scouting roadie. Because I think a "roadie" has more perks than being a scouting groupie. And let's face it, I don't just put out for anyone at any time. That would be scandalous. And I don't need a scandal on the eve of my new gig?

What do I need?

A fair question, but it can be taken in all sorts of directions. There are the basics -- friends, family, alcohol, good conversation, shelter, water, food, sports. But after that. I have no idea.

What I do know is I give myself goosebumps sometimes thinking about my life. I like who I am and who I have become. I don't know if other people my age, 26, can say that. I used to joke around that everyone dies at 27 (Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, etc.) and I still believe a part of you does die at 27. Because I am convinced that 27 will be the age when I will first describe myself as a woman-girl, instead of girlish(tomboyish) woman. I don't know what it is at 27? Maybe shit has happened universally to everyone so they have to deal with it by that age. Or maybe it really is the time when you become a grown-up. But I must say -- those you are on the cusp of X/Y like I am, we're not really growing up entirely. We may have spouses, partners or in a relationship. We may have children or dogs or cats or other pets that we adore. But you know what? We are still a bunch of sarcastic, pragmatic, somewhat-optimistic group of folk and damn right we will drive our Jettas, listen to The Current and can't wait for our kiddies to be wearing smart-ass onesies, when we decide to have children. Or adopt them.

I've had the pleasure in the last six months to have left a position and re-connect with people who I met in earlier stages of my life. I've also had friendships end for no apparent reason. And while I like to think I am a introperspective person, who could easily pick up a conversation with someone I haven't talked to in 10 years, I now can verify and validate those assumptions.

I look in the mirror and honestly like everything about me and my life. Even the flaws. I think I prefer the flaws more because they tell stories. Scars, physical or emotional, my iTunes collection, books, magazines, movies, hockey posters, Gopher memorabilia, Twins autographs, journals, expanding waistline, 40 pairs of shoes, broken thoughts and lost ideas, they are all there. Nestled with the hope, big dreams, aspirations, determination that I have for myself and the life I continue to embark on.

I know I am not a nice person, but sometimes after reading the paper, you gotta think life is nice, when you take the time to acknowledge and soak it all up. Now if only the freaking Twins could start winning again. Yep, back to my sporting angst. Oh we suffer in Minnesota.