I Visited GusGus Yesterday

He slept most of the time I was there. He had his first doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. He’s doing great. He’s gaining back the weight he initially lost. Right now he’s battling a blocked right tear duct, but that’s not a big deal. A round of antibiotic salve should clear it up. It seemed to be helping yesterday. He’s just the sweetest little cuddlebug. I adored him. 

I’m no professional photographer, but these pictures turned out great. Just me and a cellphone. Instagram helped with the black and white aspect. I’m a sucker for black and white photography. The last picture is my favorite. I’m going to get that framed for his Mom. Someday soon we’ll all marvel that he was ever so tiny. I’m going to enjoy it while I can. 


This Magic Moment

I still can’t believe it actually happened. This is something I, and a lot of other Cubs fans, never thought we’d get to see. It’s not a dream; it’s dream come true.

Now I haven’t been a fan as long as some of my family members have. This win brought tears to my aunt and uncle’s eye. My family isn’t a big time sports family. We don’t make a big deal of having football on at Thanksgiving and we don’t talk about who we think is going to the Super Bowl. My mom is a White Sox fan (I’ve forgiven her) but the rest of my family – the baseball lovers – are Cubs fans. I grew up listening to Harry Caray on the radio calling the games. If it was baseball season and I went to my aunt and uncle’s house, odds were there was Harry’s voice playing on AM radio, giving the play by play. As a kid, I remember sitting in the upper deck at one Cubs game and Wrigley field wasn’t very full that day. I remember being pretty cold. I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 at the time, and I had no appreciation for baseball whatsoever.

I played softball for a year in junior high school, but I’ve never really been the super athletic type, so one year was all I played. It was enough to really get me to love the game and to be able to appreciate it from a spectator’s perspective. Honestly, it wasn’t until the White Sox won the World Series back in ’05 that I really came to a decision about which Chicago baseball team was the one for me. While I was kind of indifferent to the win in ’05, it got me to realize that at some point every Chicagoan has to make a choice on which side of the city they’re going to root for. We’re all for Chicago so that’s a cop out answer, in my humble opinion.

The second realization I made was that White Sox games were boring as hell. The announcers bored me almost to the point of thinking watching paint dry would be more entertaining. It just didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. But the Cubs? Now they’re fun to watch. I didn’t start watching or paying attention regularly until ’06, but I’ve been a fan ever since. When the Cubs won the National League Central Division back in ’08 I went to the rally with my aunt, who is a long-time Cubs fan. It was a great day and a fantastic rally. There were high hopes for that team to get further the following season, but things fell apart. Players moved on to different teams, as did the management. It just wasn’t the right blend of guys to go all the way.

I’ll admit, life got a little busy and I stopped paying such close attention for a while. Then this season started and I was hearing all these great things about the team this year. There was a lot of favor on them going into the regular season this year. A few mid-season additions to the team really brought things together. They finished the season 17 games ahead of everyone else. That is just amazing.

Most of the friends I used to hang out with were Sox fans. They talked a lot of shit about the Cubs, still boasting about the World Series win in ’05. We won’t talk about what the Sox did this year because it’s not even worth mentioning. As my own mother said, “They suck.” I think that about sums it up. But I refused to be a bandwagon jumper and switch sides because that’s not what Cubs fans do. Cubs fans, the real ones, stick around whether the team is winning or losing. We never give up the hope that there’s always next year. We remember the Billy Goat Curse, which is now officially broken. We remember – and joke about – Steve Bartman. Legends like Jim Brickhouse, Harry Carary, Ron Santo, Bill Williams, Ryne Sandburg and Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks are names that are burned into our memories.

Now we accept a new roster.

Javier Baez, Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Willson Contreras, Miguel Montero, Kyle Schwarber, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Aroldis Chapman, Addison Russel, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, John Lackey and David Ross are now names that no Cubs fan will ever forget.

I am blown away by how this win has brought together so many people. The city today was just… I have no words to describe it and I wasn’t even there. I made the decision not to go downtown, knowing what a madhouse it was going to be. I chose to watch the parade and the rally in Grant Park from the comfort of my own home and it was glorious. To see the love these players have for each other and to know they are always going to be bonded together as the ones who broke this curse even had me a little choked up. I’m proud of the people who were in Wrigleyville on Wednesday night, waiting outside of the Wrigley Field for the marquee to light up.

I’m proud that they didn’t damage store fronts. There were no riots, overturned cars and no violence. Only 14 people were arrested for disorderly conduct and 35 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, most of them alcohol related. Chicago gets a bad rap because of the gun violence that primarily plagues the south side of the city. No one was shot. No one was killed. People were high fiving the police down there. Spirits were high. It was a night of celebration and it stayed that way. That is what I like to see happening.

Chicago is a great city built on tradition and we do have our own culture here. I love to see the city represented in such a positive way. It’s not all gangsters and gun violence. Although if I catch you putting ketchup on a hot dog, I have no choice but to ridicule you until the end of time. It’s deeply ingrained in me. Oh, and should you ever visit, don’t think you can fold a slice of deep dish and eat it like a slice in New York. Chicago pizza isn’t for the faint of heart. You will need a knife and fork for it, and even the great Jon Stewart can suck it for his mockery of it.

There’s a possibility this might be my last baseball season in Chicago, so to go out on a World Series win means a lot to me. Everything I’ve been doing lately, I’ve done with the mindset that it might be the last time I get to see it. I’ve enjoyed seeing the fall colors in the woods and I’m even looking forward to a little bit of snow this winter because I sure won’t be getting it out west. Nothing’s for sure decided yet, but there’s talks to be had to figure things out. One things’s for sure, wherever I go and whatever I do, my heart will always belong to Chicago and will always bleed Cubbie Blue.

Right now, I’m mostly happy that I don’t have to hear shit from White Sox fans for a while. My mother borrowed one of my Cubs shirts today when we went out to lunch. I promised not to tell any of her friends who are Sox fans. For years I’ve had “Go Cubs Go” on my phone, and for a long time there were a lot of people in my life who laughed about it.

The Cubs will never win the World Series.

You’re wasting your time.

Sox will always be better than the Cubs.

They’re entitled to their wrong opinions. When I see salty Sox fans on Facebook who are still talking shit I just shake my head. I take comfort in knowing that next year is finally here. On our way out of the restaurant where we had lunch today I told my mom I feel bad for Sox fans. When she asked why I told her because I never see any joy in their games. They never look like they’re having fun. How can you at Progressive Rate Field. They went from The Cell (U.S. Cellular Field) to The Sellout. No one’s writing songs about them. Even after they won the World Series no one wrote a song. There are two that I know of. I sang “Go Cubs Go” with the other fans watching the rally in the restaurant with us. The other was written by Eddie Vedder.

The song was written the night before fantasy camp started, and was requested by Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks. Being a lifelong Cubs fan, Eddie was more than happy to oblige. The rest is history, and the song is a beautiful tribute. Not just to the players who have come and gone, but to the fans who have stuck it out through decades of close calls and sometimes, terrible seasons of drought. It’s not easy being a Cubs fan sometimes, but it certain has its shining moments.

Today was the crown jewel.

Has the World Gone Mad?

I think the obvious answer to that question is YES.

I haven’t posted on this blog in over nine months. It’s not because I’ve been lacking in opinions or things to say. I should start keeping a list of all the things I mean to blog about. If the app for WordPress was better I might even try blogging on the fly. So why today? What finally tipped the scales?

Two things.

This is a long post full of personal opinions. There will not be an option to comment. If you don’t want to read my ranting and venting, by all means feel free to skip over reading what is under the cut. I promise I won’t be offended.

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If you’re not interested in politics, please turn back now or you’re in for a really boring read.

I want to start by saying that for all intents and purposes, that I am a liberal. Hell, you might even call me a socialist. I see nothing wrong with that. Maybe I’m a liberal with socialist tendencies? I don’t know. I’m not that deeply entrenched in politics. I have a lot to learn but I’m paying attention. Not just to what the democratic party is saying, but what the republican party is saying as well. Though I will say that what I hear from the republican side these days is a lot more name calling and outright lying than I would expect from adults who expect to be elected to the highest office this country has.

What made me want to write this post was a status a friend posted on Facebook. He’s a good guy and I generally like him. He’s hilarious, most of the time. Our political views really couldn’t be much more on opposite ends of the spectrum. I try not to engage him in too many debates because instead of having an open dialogue about things, he turns into one of those smug, sarcastic types who doesn’t really want to discuss it at all; he just wants to be right. I should also mention that he was born in ’87 and considers Reagan to be his hero. Draw whatever conclusions from that you’d like. I’ll keep mine to myself.

What my friend said was:

“Hi, I’m Hillary Clinton. Everything that has ever reflected poorly on me is someone else’s fault. Vote for me because I’m a woman.”

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The Path

Hi friends!

I know, I know, it’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been super busy with work the last few months. I’ve had more than my fair share of nights in the last few months where I came home, ate dinner and promptly passed out. Poor Missy can attest to this. I’d get in a document to write with her and within minutes I was out cold. Damn comfy bed. I’m going to put the rest of this under a cut in case you don’t give two shits about my personal dramas.
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Going Away…

Not me, don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. But I will put the rest of this under a cut in case you don’t want to read my rambles about work stuff. I am including an episode of Rick & Morty which I seriously suggest you try out because it’s fucking hilarious. Huge thanks to work hubs for bringing this into my life. The new season starts in a few weeks and I’m jazzed about it.

“It’s like the n-word and the c-word had a baby and it was raised by all the bad words for Jews.” -Rick


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That Awkward Moment When…

You know a murder victim.

Yeah, I can officially cross that off my bucket list. I realize I sound a little insensitive about this but I have a reason for it. I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago. If you’ve flown in to O’Hare at any point, you were pretty much in my backyard. I often refer to my hometown as Mayberry.

That is until today when Rosemont, Illinois had a second homicide committed within village limits. Murder isn’t the kind of crime that happens in Rosemont. Traffic violations/accidents, the occasional bar fight or vandalism at one of the hotels, sure. Maybe even someone gets mugged at the train station or something, but even that is rare. Crime, in general, is pretty rare in Rosemont.

Then today a guy I went to elementary school with was shot to death by his brother-in-law. I was classmates with the victim’s wife. It’s been years since I lived in Rosemont and even longer than that since the last time I spoke to Deanna (the wife) but I remember when I heard that she was marrying Joe (the victim) that I thought it was a bizarre coupling. He was always such a prick. He was a bully and mean to just about everyone he came in contact with. I knew from the conversations I had with Deanna and the guys she dated in high school that she had a thing for “bad boys” but it’s one thing to date one in high school and another to marry one thinking you’re going to change him.

Apparently Deanna never got that memo, and Joey never changed.

Granted, I don’t know the full story here but I can pretty much guess how it went down. I also knew the shooter. Again, small town and all that. Deanna came from a pretty good family. It’s purely speculation from where I’m sitting since I don’t know the ins and outs of their marriage but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there was domestic violence in that marriage and Deanna called her brother for help and it resulted in Joey getting shot.

I find it completely bizarre that everything I’m seeing on Facebook from old classmates and kids I went to school with is an outpouring of sympathy for Joey. Yeah, he’s the one that’s dead but why is that? I seriously doubt it’s because Ricky went on a shooting rampage since the body count stops with the dickhead that was smacking around his big sister.

I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Joey.

I feel sorry for Deanna who will now have to raise their child alone. I feel sorry for the fact that she just lost her husband and now might lose her brother if criminal charges are filed against him. I feel bad for that child who will grow up without a father. I feel bad that the child may have problems with his uncle because he was doing the right thing and it cost that kid his dad.

Forget for a moment the fact that Ricky is a cop because I don’t think that factors into the story at all. He was off-duty at the time. In that moment he was acting as a brother who was concerned for the well-fare of his sister and his nephew.

So no, I don’t know the full story but the article I linked at the start of this little rant? I think it paints a pretty good picture of the kind of person Joey was and it falls in line with the person I remember. Maybe he didn’t deserve to die but I’m not sorry he’s dead.

Another Year Over…

So it’s almost 3 A.M. and I’m sitting alone in the office at work.

It’s kind of perfect that the above song is playing right now as I’m typing. Purely coincidence since I’m listening to my Seeds of Memory playlist.

This year has been full of ups and downs but like always, everything seems to have worked out the way it’s supposed to. I could go through my list and itemize it all for you but I doubt any of you are that interested in my life. Or maybe you are. I don’t know.

I think it’s safe to say that my trip to Florida was the highlight of my year.

Norriego Point, Florida with the bridge to Fort Walton Beach in the background.

Even with the crazy hair from the wind that night, I think that might be my favorite picture from the entire trip and I have a few really good ones. That trip… I don’t even know if I can put into words that those seven weeks did for me. All I know is I definitely want to go back someday and I see a palm tree tattoo in my near future to commemorate the trip.

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Quick Question…

My cousin is working on a project for her psychology class in college and needs to know the myths people have heard about where babies come from and who told them. If any of you have heard a myth, we’d love to hear it to help my little Stinkerbell with her research.