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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Just because I have a plan for the day, that doesn’t mean I have any idea how that day is going to go. Last night I made up my mind to get some serious errands done today, and do some serious shopping. (I have this gift card that I got for Christmas, which is better than money (which I don’t have)). Then this morning I woke up feeling a little crummy, so I decided to zip off to the post office and back and then use the day to get some work done.

Because I’m all efficient and dedicated, especially when I don’t feel like fighting traffic and crowds and standing in lines. (You can’t see it, but I’m patting myself on the back and giving myself an “atta boy.”) Maybe I’ll feel like fighting tomorrow, but today? Not so much.

So I didn’t shave, and I put on my holiest shirt. Not, as you might think, a priestly vestment or a hair shirt, but a T-shirt with actual holes. Not that anyone would see it, because I would (a) wear a sweatshirt over it most of the day, and (2) not be going anywhere except the post office. Or so I planned.

Then the call came from Tammy and an emergency of sorts had come up and I was drafted to pick up D.J. at school. (Well, not “drafted,” exactly. That makes it sound as if I didn’t have a choice. And I sort of did, but I didn’t have a good enough reason not to do it, and besides, it’s Tammy and David’s anniversary today, so why not grab a chance to be a part of it?)

Anyway, so much for plans, but at least I got to hear about D.J.’s latest passion. It’s not cheetahs any more. I fell right into his trap, too. “Do you know what my favorite big cat is?” he asked me, first thing when he came bouncing out of the classroom. Sure. Cheetahs, right? “No, I like red jaguars now.” And he proceeded to tell me what he knew about red jaguars: they’re red, and they’re jaguars. The rest of the story was a little sketchy, but he had a book at home that he wanted to show me. “If you have time,” he said with no irony whatsoever.

According to the book, red jaguar is another name for puma (which has lots of names, including cougar, panther and mountain lion). It’s also a sports car (which is, in fact, even faster than a cheetah), but D.J. is six, not sixteen, and there were no XKEs in the big cat book.

We had arrived at his house at the same time Dakota’s bus drove up and deposited him at the door. Dakota walked up to me, pointed to my car, and said, “Green car.” We all went in the house and Dakota and Aiden ran to the window saying, “Green car.” I had to open the blinds so they could look out.

I couldn’t stay long, what with having all these plans and such, so I started saying my goodbyes right away. That way I knew I might be on my way home in twenty or thirty minutes. (And it’s not all their fault it takes that long, to be perfectly honest about it.) Before I left, Aiden ran to give me a hug and pulled me down on top of him, laughing like the little clown he is. Yes, he did do that on purpose.

4 January 2006

The driveway is a little drier than it was a week ago.

Kylie was home already when I got there, so I had a little conversation with her. I told her she was an angel, but for some reason her mother told me that Kylie is going to be an even bigger monster than her three older brothers. I took a long look at her, but I couldn’t see it. It must have been those eyes of hers. I kind of melt a little when she looks at me.

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Okay, if Bruce Sutter belongs in the Hall of Fame, why not Goose Gossage? Why not Lee Smith? One was a more dominant closer, and the other had more saves. I’ve never been convinced that pitching specialists are all that critical to a team’s success, with the possible exception of Dennis Eckersley in his prime. There’s a Hall of Fame reliever (who just happened to spend the first half of his career as a starter). I think Sutter benefited from the fact that there was a thin crop of candidates this year. After all, it took him thirteen years of eligibility to get enough votes for election. And that’s longer than he pitched in the major leagues. I will admit, though, that Sutter changed the game by introducing the split-finger fastball, and that he was not one of your modern one-inning closers who never show up before the ninth inning and only when his team is ahead. He was a stud, in his day. (I guess what I’m really bitter about is that Andre Dawson, one of my favorite players, was shut out of the Hall again. That’s an oversight by the baseball writers that is unforgivable.)

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