Opening Day

Opening Day

It is Opening Day at Wrigley Field today. I can safely say with out a doubt, the Cubs will not win it this year. Yet for every Cub fan, hope springs eternal. Works that way in baseball and life.

My first baseball game was June 8th, 1975, Cincinati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves. It was a Sunday, my dad took me. Just the two of us sitting on the first base side. We ate hot dogs, Cracker Jack, and ice cream. The Braves lost that day (the Reds won the World Series that year). The thing I remember most was being with my dad and him telling me who to watch and cheer for. It was a great day.

From that moment I was pretty much hooked on baseball. I collected cards, followed box scores. I wish I could tell you that I was a good baseball player, but I wasn’t (I had a decent glove, no bat). And I was okay with that. We moved around a few times when I was a kid, so I became a fan of the team of the city where we were living. I got to see Hank Aaron play when we lived in Atlanta, saw Rod Carew when we lived in Minnesota, when I was in college I saw George Brett play in Kansas City. I’ve lived in Chicago the longest and consider myself a Cub fan. I got to see Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, and Andre Dawson amongst others. My grandfather used to tell me stories of Cub players of old. I’ve been a fan of the Cubs since forever.

I don’t not like the White Sox, for the record. I remember when they won it all in 2005 cheering and yelling with friends after that final out. I just prefer the Cubs is all.

I saved all my Cubs and Red Sox hats from when I was a kid. And after years of trying, I finally got my son to wear a Cubs hat yesterday. He also said this Summer he would go to a game. I actually started teaching him how to read the box score in the paper yesterday. I don’t think he had a clue of what I was talking about, he smiled and seemed to enjoy it. Maybe it was just the expierence of being with his dad. I don’t know.

I can tell you that first baseball game, I had no clue of what was going on the field. I just remember being with my dad and thinking it was pretty cool.

In the past few years, I’ve hit some pretty lowest of lows. I’ve had a few jobs, I’ve parted ways with some really good friends, struggled mightly. I’ve never not given up hope. I know the Cubs are headed in the right direction. It’s going to take some time to get where they are going. And so am I.

Rest assured, when the Cubs win the World Series, I am going to be sitting there with Frankie.

The World’s Coolest Dad

Somehow,  thru the magic of social media, I am involved in this 64 person knock off of the NCAA Tourney, to find out “The World’s Coolest Dad”.

After I made it to the round of 32, I thought I would have a little fun with it and see how far I could go. Of all the things in the world I am, “World’s Coolest Dad” is not one of them. Alas, I am having fun with it. I am not cool.

I know a lot of guys who are dads and their kids worship the ground they walk on. In my son’s eyes,  I am not one of them. My son’s heroes are firefighters. They always have been. Why shouldn’t they be? Running into a burning building while everyone else is running out. Saving lives. Making the world a better place. Making the ultimate sacrifice if needed. The definition of a hero.

Then there is your dad, he struggles with finances, jobs, trying to make ends meet, life in general. One step up, two steps back. Yeah, that’s me. Not very cool.

I do enjoy being a parent, matter of fact I love it. I wish I could tell you that I was great or I am cool. I am not. If I could, I’d give my ex-wife more child support.I’d buy Frankie all the legos in the world. I love to take him to Disney World.   I can’t right now. In loads of people’s eyes, that makes me a really bad guy, a failure, a loser,  so be it. I acknowledge my mistakes, my struggles. I keep moving forward. I get out of bed everyday and  with the hope that this will be my best day, that I will make the turn and put the past behind me. Not very cool-definitely not “World’s Coolest Dad” worthy.

This is not meant to be one of those “whoah is me, my life it horrible” type posts. I said I was going to tell you tales from The Healing Road. I am going to. They are not always cool or funny.

Bond, James Bond

Some of my favorite memories of growing up were watching television with my dad. We used to watch all kinds of sports, the occasional sitcome, a good WW2 movie. My favorite thing we used to watch were James Bond Films. You see long before there were 900 different cable channels, ABC used to show James Bond movies on Sunday nights. My father was (and still is) a big fan of the Bond films. He’d pour himself a martini and we’d all gather around the television as a family and watch a Bond film. “Goldfinger” was the first one I can remember watching with him. “Do you expect me to talk. No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die”.  And from that moment on, I was hooked on Bond.

I have my favorites and not so favorites. I can tell you my 5 Favorite Bond films are

  1. ) Thunderball
  2. ) Goldfinger
  3. ) Skyfall
  4. ) Tomorrow Never Dies
  5. ) Casino Royale

It’s a great debate to have among people, along with who is your favorite Bond (Sean Connery followed by Pierce Brosnon). Much like your favorite Bond movies, there really is no wrong answer to that question.

If Thursday night is Martini Night in my world, then every other Friday night when Frankie comes for the weekend is James Bond Night. I started introducing them to Frankie last fall, and he loved them. First movie we ever saw together was  “Goldfinger”, then we saw a couple of more. I decided that in the New Year (2013) we were going to watch them in the order they were released in (which is something that I have never actually done).  We started with “Dr. No” and this weekend we will be watching “The Living Daylights” and “License to Kill”. It is one of my favorite traditions.

Frankie is such a fan of Bond, he has told me that he wants to go as James Bond for Halloween this year (I am not sure where I am going to get a white dinner jacket that small). On Saturday nights after he has dinner, we watch a Bond Film and he has his Root Beer in a Martini Glass (skaken, not stirred). He is a Bond fan, he will tell you what his favorite movie is (Goldfinger).

People have asked me as a parent, if I think it’s good that I watch James Bond movies with my son. The thing about Bond films is that there is no sex, no nudity, no swearing, no real graphic voilence. I’ve never gotten a call from his mother or school about it. So to answer the question, no I don’t think it’s a bad thing to watch James Bond movies with my son. It’s something that we do as father and son.

I live for Friday and Saturday nights with #5.

 

By the way, in case you wondered here are a couple more lists

My 5 least favorite Bond Films

  1. Moonraker
  2. Diamonds are Forever
  3. Quantum of Solace
  4. License to Kill
  5. Die Another Day

My 5 favorite Bond themes

  1. Goldfinger
  2. Skyfall
  3. Live and Let Die
  4. Thunderball
  5. James Bond Theme (Dr. No)