A very sad day

For the second year in a row the Mets season came down to the last day and again they are not going to the post season. In the early season I hated when people would say a loss it just one loss and it is a long season. Without that thinking one could make the argument that the Mets lost the season in April in a tough loss rather than today. But no matter how you spin it, having the same thing happen two years in a row is tough to take. One more win and you get another day for a playoff, but to only score five runs in the final three games doesn't get it done. Don't blame the bullpen. The offense went to sleep. Another loss season. And once again we say, "Wait 'til next year".

But to add to the sadness of the day is that it was the final game at Shea Stadium. Forty five years of games. It was more than a two tissue day watching the ceremony and all the highlights and all the past players. Maybe it was the two glasses of wine I had, or the 162 games I suffered through this year, or all those years of highs and lows at the stadium, but it was very moving. So many memories of games I attended. Games with my father and brother Bob including Jim Bunning's perfect game, games with Pat, games with Pat and the kids, one opening day with Kevin, games with guys from work, and games with my brother Rick which included the greatest game of all, the sixth game of the '86 series. Such good times, such good memories. Somehow the closing ceremony cushioned the end of the year collapse a bit by deflecting some of the sadness to more of a happy memory sadness, if that makes sense.

So, as numbers 41 and 31 walked to centerfield and through the gates, then turned and closed the gates, it was very moving, and very final. The end of a year, the end of an era. Shea is gone, but the memories will remain.


A Screen Legend Passes On

Usually I wouldn't make note of a celebrity's death, but this one is special. Paul Newman died today. To see that on MSNBC's page this morning was a bit shocking. It was inevitable because he suffered from lung cancer, but because of his connection to Pat and myself I was taken aback. Connection? Yes. Pat has adored him and his blue eyes for the past fifty years, always saying that he could "put his shoes under her bed anytime". Over the years we have joked about him being the one man she would be allowed to be with. And she always wanted to invite him over for spaghetti and meatballs. So his passing makes it a sad day for us.


Almonds anyone?

You go through life thinking that you are good at spelling and fairly adept at recognizing how to spell things based on hearing the word, and then you find out that for years you have been mistaken. But it is comforting when you realize that most people have made or are making the same mistake you are. What am I talking about you may ask? What do you call the vegetable dish with green beans and almonds? Now you are thinking that this is probably a trick question and are trying to think outside the box to get the answer. Green beans almondine? Or maybe the alternate spelling of green beans almandine? Did you think it was either of those? Well if you did you would be wrong just as I was wrong, and just about every recipe you can find was wrong. So now I have you wondering, right? If you go to dictionary.com you will see that almondine will refer you to almandine which is "a mineral, red iron aluminum garnet". The correct spelling for the recipe would be green beans amandine. Who knew?


Baseball quiz

When is the following true? Tie game - bottom of the ninth - leadoff man triples - team doesn't score - ends up losing in the tenth.

Answer: When the team is the Mets.

I can't take much more of this and am glad the season will be over soon, one way or another.


An Uneasy Evening Remembered

I recall this night very well. Sitting on the couch with Pat the day before her birthday waiting to see which way my life would go. But I recall the show being live, perhaps on a different channel. By live I mean from start to finish without a reporter commenting as with this video. In the very beginning of this clip, as he is talking, if you listen very carefully you can hear April 17th being called out as number 260. As they drew the numbers and April 17th didn't come up I would get a little more relaxed, especially when it got to above 150 or so. But listening to all the numbers drawn before that was a nerve wracking experience. Not an easy evening to endure. Knowing that your fate was in the hands of someone picking a blue capsule out of that bin. And when I say I never won any lottery I will have to keep this in mind, because I did win that night. I think they only got as high as 195 in the actual call ups in that year. So I had a cushion of 65.

A little further explanation of the lottery can be found here: "lottery info"


Two Months In

Two months down, and many, many, many more to go. Pat's retirement is now two months old, but it is really only beginning this month. The first two months, being July and August, were similar to previous years when she had been home for the summer. Only with the start of the new school year is retirement real. We have thus far survived being home together, but who knows what the future holds. I have considered writing a separate blog about this new chapter in our lives, but think it would have one entry after the other with the words "Please see previous day's entry". But if anything extraordinary or unusual does happen you will be able to find it here.