Wedding Wednesday on Tuesday

Well, here was my plan: I was going to write today about my cool shower gift from Esther and Emily and then do a bunch of Wedding-themed stuff tomorrow on Wedding Wednesday. But that didn't work out. The disc that I brought in with the gift photos is all screwed up and hence, no pictures today.

So, I am going to push that off to tomorrow. And move Wedding Wednesday up a day.

This Saturday will be seven weeks away from the big day. We're in the final stretch. We have RSVPs coming back. And we're trying to hit all of the little details. There's just a lot to think about. Weekends are fun because I usually get to cross off several things from my To Do Lists. I've been working on Groomsmen gifts, a present for My Intended, the reception music on our iPod and the ceremony program design. I really like that The Intended and I are both so involved in all the details. Creating this whole day ourselves will make it more special.

On top of all the little details, I now have a new concern: That I will be so drunk at my ceremony that my brother will have to take my place. Hey, it happens.

And now for some marriage levity. Here is one of those e-mail forwards about the things kids say:

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. -- Alan , age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. -- Kristen , age 10

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person forever by then. -- Camille , age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. -- Derrick , age 8

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10

I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -- Craig , age 9

When they' re rich. -- Pam , age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. - - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. -- Howard , age 8

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. -- Anita , age 9

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? -- Kelvin, age 8

No Storm Warning

A funny thing happened on my way to play poker.

On Saturday night, I was invited over to Marc's to play poker with a group of his friends. I've joined them for this manly tradition of card, pizza and beer once or twice before. The Intended had a girl's night with some teacher friends so I got my bag of coins and showed up.

Well, things didn't go as planned. As I walked in the front door, the first thing I saw was a camera aimed at me. I registered that Emily was behind it. And then I saw black-and-white balloons. And then I realized there were lots of people in the living room--all looking at me. And as my eyes made it around the room, I saw that My Intended was also there. Weird. I really didn't know what was going on here. If they yelled "Surprise!," I missed it because of my thick daze. So I just said, "Hey, everybody..."

Of course, I realized quickly that I'd been tricked and this was some party for me. But, honestly, it took me several seconds to realize what the party was for. I knew it wasn't my birthday, but I just couldn't register why I'd been surprised. And then it clicked: It was my wedding shower (or as we call these occasions for men, it was my STORM.)

The theme of the party was baseball. Everyone had on their favorite team colors and apparel (I luckily was wearing my Sox hat.) Mark made a baseball diamond table cloth. Charissa made baseball cookies. The streamers and balloons were White Sox white and black.

One big surprise was that Best Man Doug was hooked up via computer camera so I got to say a live hi to him, his wife and daughter. This was just one of the many great touches the group put on this party. I was touched.

We had a lot of fun. I got to see friends I haven't seen in so long. We laughed a lot. We got great, generous gifts (more on that tomorrow. There's one you have to see to believe!) And My Intended, Marc, Charissa and I ended the night with a rousing game of Yahtzee! (Marc won.)

When I told Designer Doug here at work this morning about my surprise Man-Shower, he said, "Well, that's better than being surprised by a man in your shower."

Too true.


The GMA Recap

So let's start at the beginning: GMA is a Sunday to Wednesday convention built around the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards on the Wednesday night. The event draws Christian music artists, labels, radio, print media, unsigned bands looking for exposure, music business pros, etc. We all stay in two hotels about 2 blocks from each other in downtown Nashville. There's seminars, music showcases, and lots of schmoozing.

For me, it's all about interviewing artists. In three days, I can get all the interviews I need (and more) for an entire year of the mag. Besides, a face-to-face interview is so much more effective and personal than a phoner. I conducted 21 real interviews this year (I met with about 15 other artists at a meet-and-greet that I'll get to later.)

This year at GMA seemed a lot more mellow than in years past. Maybe there were less people there? There just seemed to be a different vibe. Nonetheless, it was fun.

Here's what I was up to:

I interviewed new artists Two Empty Chairs and Nate Huss to start the day. Then, Russ and I double-teamed an interview with the Desperation Band, the worship band at New Life Church--the church that belonged to Ted Haggard. We talked about moving on when leaders fall.

I mentioned when I blogged earlier this week that Jim Caviezel showed up. When I was leaving the Desperation Band interview, one of the guys was like, "I just got a text. Jim Caviezel is downstairs!" We all went and looked. He was in the little bar section of the hotel doing a meet and greet. Jesus in a bar? Funny.

Later, like I wrote on Monday, Jim was at the GMA Worship Service with Michael W. Smith. I took a pic from way up in the balcony. (The green lettering was added later because the people are kinda hard to make out. The ID arrows were not there in the worship service.)

I had a full day of interviews. The best ones were with Seventh Day Slumber's bassist, Chris Tomlin, tobyMac, and rapper Pettidee. Pettidee wears grillz. I've never talked to a person with a grill. Or been hugged by one. So that made my day.

The worst part of the day was that I had interviews all scheduled back-to-back. And so I rushed around a lot. I was running late for Tomlin and was stuck on the 23rd floor of the main hotel for GMA. The elevators are infamously busy, slow and jammed at GMA, so I took the stairs. Later, I was in a hurry again and needed to go from floor one to the 19th floor. I thought, I did 23 floors by stairs earlier. Surely, I can do 19. Well, going up is different than down. I did my entire interview with Group 1 Crew sucking air. Listening to that tape has to be really funny.

The day highlight was my interview with the band Red Umbrella. We met at a hotel restaurant. I didn't want to take up the place's table without buying anything, so I ordered us a plate of nachos to share as we talked. This is what came:

I don't even know if the pic does it justice. It's HUGE. You can see that one member of the band is also taking a picture of it. In fact, as soon as it came, we all pulled out our cameras. The nachos were so good, you can see one band member giving it the thumbs up. See how small his hand is in comparison to the heap of goodness? Wow.

I miss those nachos.

My day of interviews ended with Connersvine, a worship group releasing an album in September. One member of the band is Hunter Smith, punter for the Colts. He wasn't there because he was visiting the White House with the team. But I told the other member, Chris, that I was very skeptical of the band because I am a Bears fan. He responded by saying that he's not a football fan at all so he's objective. In fact, he said that when he first started playing with Hunter in church, he didn't know what Hunter's day job was.

The only show I saw that night was The Afters. I tried to see an acoustic show by Switchfoot's Jon Foreman, but the line was BLOCKS long.

TUESDAYAt 8:00, I started my day with Flatfoot 56, the celtic punk band from Chicago I really dig. It was fun. They weren't too awake but I got in good with them because I'm a Sox fan. I also interviewed Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Red and Adie.

The whole afternoon was taken by a Word Label meet and greet. For four hours I was at the Melting Pot fondue restaurant doing a kind-of speed dating set up. Every 10 minutes, the journalist would rotate to the next artist. The most fun I had was with Big Daddy Weave who goes down as the only artist at GMA to say the words "kick him in the nuts" and Stellar Kart who dared a 14-year-old member of another band to eat a potato straight out of the hot oil. It was hilarious.

Two of the bands were late because a hotel elevator got stuck. 16 people had crammed in it and it bottomed out on the first floor. They were in there for 30 minutes. "You could see the condensation and sweat running down the walls," one guy told me.

Right after the Fun-do, I went on a Provident Record Label boat cruise.

I was seated at a table right in front of the stage for the dinner and show. Every table has an artist at these media dinners. Our artist was the lead singer of Pillar. So that was cool. Four or five bands perfromed. The one I liked the most was Leeland. Because I was so close to the stage, I couldn't help taking a couple pics of Leeland. My appreciation for this young band really has taken off after intervieiwing them Tuesday morning and seeing them play live. It's good stuff.

My GMA was capped off by the Provident-Flicker rock show Tuesday night: Flatfoot 56, Red, Wavorly, Pillar and Nevertheless. Flatfoot was awesome but the crowd wouldn't get crazy enough for them. And I really think my Band To Watch this year is Wavorly. I'd heard their album before GMA, but seeing them live really impressed me. They do this dramatic hard rock that's just solid. It seemed like the crowd really dug them.
And so, that's my GMA 2007.


Quick Hello

Just a quick update to say I am back from Nashville. Between catching up with work, formulating new LOST theories and trying to figure out why Ozzie let Brian "Worthless DH" Anderson bat in the 9th with 2 outs and bases loaded, I'm gonna hold off the big GMA recap until tomorrow.

I did have a cool wedding dream last night though. In it, we held the wedding rehearsal at my brother's farm. And we invited all 300 wedding guests to watch the rehearsal. (So then what makes it a rehearsal?) We had a big stage set up by the machine shed with cahirs all over the yard. There were also huge video screens to show close-ups of the action. The two big themes of the dream were 1) My old friend Jay Dickerson from high school just showed up and asked to be a groomsmen (and I let him) and 2) I was very excited that we had BBQ for the rehersal dinner.

As a tease for tomorrow I will say this: Biggest. Nacho. Plate. Ever.


GMA Mid-Action

You may have seen a message up here saying that I was in Nashville for Gospel Music Week and that I would be back Thursday. Well, I am in Nashville but found a couple of minutes to give updates of GMA 2007.

Today I will be interviewing TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Mandisa from American Idol and a few others. Tomorrow is another big day with interviews with about 10 artists including Flatfoot 56 (whoo!), Jars of Clay, and Michael W. Smith. And then, I go to a big fondue party where I will dip fruit into yummy chocolate with BarlowGirl, Plumb and others. Good times.

When I left for the week, I really didn't realize how cool of a week's lineup I have. I am getting to interview a lot of great folks. It's a lot of fun. I have the best job ever.

Last night, I interviewed some new artists and went to the annual GMA worship service. This year, Michael W. Smith hosted the service (with music by Hillsong). The highlight for me (besides some intense worship and prayer) was when Smitty brought actor Jim Caviezel out to give his testimony. It was weird to see Jesus in jeans.

I got the opportunity to go out to a steakhouse with KJ-52 for dinner. One of the best parts was when the waiter came by with the pepper shaker. "Pepper, sir?" he asked KJ.

KJ said yes.

And then, the waiter promptly walked away.

As soon as the yes came out of KJ's mouth, the man just wandered off. He couldn't have played it off funnier if he tried. I thought for a minute that KJ was being PUNK'd. He was like, "Ummmm..."

Another cool thing from yesterday: I wore my new Mr. Rogers shirt that my sister gave me for my birthday. Sis, everyone talked about it. I probably got 10 compliments. One woman said that she was just singing the "Won't You Be My Neighbor" song when I turned the corner. It freaked her out.

Okay, See ya Thursday.


RIP Porta-Blanket

The Intended and I celebrated Valentine's Day last night. Well, at least we partook in what she got me for Valentine's: Two great lower-bowl tickets for the Sox-Rangers game. (And I made the painstaking choice to take her with my extra ticket.)

Fittingly, it was about the same temperature as if it were Feb 14.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. We each wore 5 layers of shirts and had our gloves on. And we utilized my Portable Blankey for the first time. It was really convenient to carry the rolled-up blanket in by it's handle--and when needed, unroll it and be warmed.

So we sat there eating good food, watching Javi lose his no-hitter in the 2nd (but still have a solid outing), and enjoying baseball live for the first time after a long winter absence. It was a great night. The Intended was especially happy to see her favorite player (AJ) blast a 3-run dinger.

At the end of the game, Bobby Jenks did what Bobby Jenks does. After the last out, The Intended and I celebrated the win and hustled out.

In the parking lot, she turned to me and said, "Do you have the blanket?"


I saw a flashback in my mind's eye of the sad little blue stadium blanket draped over a U.S. Cellular seat. Right where I left him in all the excitement of the final out.

And so, after his very first outing, I've lost the Porta-Blanket. He was good to me. We had some laughs. And some warmth. Hopefully, he will find a good home.

In his memory, I've considered sewing handles onto all my blankets. Nah, maybe not.

The Triumphant Return of QUOTES OF THE WEEK!

"I can't talk to anyone, I am watching baseball." -The adorable 5-year-old sitting in front of us at the game last night to his mom in the first inning.

"I liked the part with the bird. It was a bird right?" - Hurley on LOST about Jin's ghost story.

"Are you two arguing about who your favorite Other is?" - Sawyer on LOST to Jack and Juliette.

"We have to play ping pong every 108 minutes or the island will explode." - Sawyer on LOST

"I had high blood pressure this morning. I think it's this place. And a little bit you." -Camerin to me.


No, No, No

Well, I guess I should call the White Sox morons more often.

This is one of the many reasons I love baseball. It's a game of hope, redemption and resurrection. It's a game where anything can happen and everything can change. In football, if your team loses you have to taste that loss for a week before even having the chance to rebound. In baseball, you just wake up the next morning with new hope. I was mad at my team after 3 pitiful losses in a row. We weren't playing good baseball. No fielding. No hitting. And now, I feel like it's October again. So much energy and excitement. So much to celebrate. That was one great game for the Sox and especially for Mr. Buehrle.

How much fun is this?

And now the sad truth: I follow a lot of White Sox games either on radio, TV, live or through the internet live feed. In 2002, I proudly watched or listened to EVERY game of the season (I really had no life then.) But of the few games I don't watch, last night was one. Yah, I didn't see it. Wednesday nights are a special routine for The Intended and I. She has me over, makes me dinner, we make S'mores, we watch Lost.

During the first commercial break, I turned over to the Sox to see how they were doing. The game had just ended. The first thing I see is Mark walking in the dugout with guys slapping him on the back. The crowd is going nuts. I said aloud, "Oh no. Oh no, no, no...." They show a replay of Konerko catching a ball and pumping his fist.

"Oh, My Intended," I said. "Buehrle just threw a no-hitter. Oh my goodness. And I didn't watch it."

At some point, the remote dropped from my hand. One of my favorite Sox players of all time just entered history and I missed it. While it's not the same, I am set to tape this afternoon's encore of the game on comcast. At least I will get to see how it all unfolded. I do remember following the last Sox no-hitter though. My Dad and I were fishing at the Bonfield quarry listening to the game on the radio as Wilson Alvarez pitched his in 1991.

So close yet so far away: The Intended and I missed seeing it live by one night. We are going to the game tonight. Maybe Javi can go back-to-back. You know, in the 2005 playoffs we had four consecutive complete games. Could four consecutive no-hitters be much harder?

Am I a Prophet? Last May, I wrote about a dream I had. I wrote: "I am at Wrigley Field for a Sox-Cubs game and Mark Buehrle pitches a perfect game."

Now, there are a few differences. One, it was a no-hitter, not a perfect game. But Mark was one walk away from the perfect game (even though he did indeed face the minimum amount of batters).

Two, the game wasn't against the Cubs. But the Rangers, like the Cubs, wear blue. And now they have Sammy Sosa. So, it's close.

I think maybe I am a minor prophet. Or like a Slightly Off Prophet. Pseudo-Prophet?


Blum Is Kinda Scary Now

Okay, now it's just weird.

In the 2005 World Series, the usually worthless Geoff Blum slugged his way into White Sox lore with a 14th Inning homer that won game three.

Last year, he left the Sox to re-join the Padres. I wrote in April of last year how Blum is apparently "Mr. 14th Inning." There's something strange about him and that inning. After all, he hadn't gotten a hit after that game-winning homerun until the 14th game of last season...in the 14th inning. He hit a single and then scored the winning run.

Well, now it's just getting freaky. Once again, the man is a 14th Inning Hero with his double against the Cubs yesterday. Says Blum: "I was just waiting until the 14th inning to relax and get this thing over with."

Truth be told: I am writing about Geoff Blum today only because my own stupid team gives me nothing to write about. Morons.

And even pictures of my magical Podsednik action figure aren't going to help his right adductor. Dang it.


As Cute As His Uncle....

And he eats like me too.


Yay, God!

Our youth group led all three services at church this weekend. It went really well. Except for the part in the kid's time when I asked a little girl for an answer--and then realized she was probably too young to talk. And so, I just pretended like she said the right answer.

But besides my mucking it up, all was well. The kids did great sermonettes and we unleashed our youth band onto the congregation for the first time. It's really a great story. We won a drum set, bass guitar and speakers at a youth ministry conference two years ago. Since then, kids who never played bass or drums have taught themselves how. This weekend they rocked the sanctuary with Switchfoot and Blink 182 tunes.

Yah, Blink 182. I am fairly confident we were the only church in America that had Blink played in their worship time yesterday. I introduced the song for the services as the band got ready because I thought some people may see the name Blink 182 and be like, "Whaaa?"

I explained that I had actually questioned why our youth band would be playing a Blink song in church. I don't work closely with the band and so when I found out they been practicing a Blink 182 song, I told the band members I thought it was inappropriate. I figured they just wanted to play it because they like Blink and it sounds cool. But Steve, the singer, told me I needed to read the lyrics before I jumped to conclusions. He was right. No, it's not a song from a Christian band, but it reads as a desperate plea from someone who believes in God and his plan--but is lost and forlorn. It's almost like a psalm. With its honesty and searching, its vulnerability and longing, I realized that this song connected with the guys and did indeed have a spot in their worship. It reminded me that "all truth is God's truth."

Isn't it cool how God can work in you when you think he's just working through you?

After the first of the three youth-led services, one high schooler's dad told The Intended a story of when he first started to know me. I'd never heard this story before.

He said he was reminded of the story because of the final praise song we sang in the service. Apparently way back when I first started working with the youth, the congregation was singing this same song. As our older, calm congregation sweetly sang the song, they reached the line, "I'll shout it from the mountaintop." At that point, this father heard a loud yell from the balcony of , "YAY, GOD!"

That was me. And this father told us us that all of a sudden he 1) was happy there was some youthful excitement injected into our church and 2) afraid of who was influencing his children.

Flash forward to yesterday: During the last service, the kids thought it would be fun if we all yelled, "Yay God!" at that spot in the song--something we picked up at a youth rally. When the time came, I yelled. And maybe too loudly. The guy next to me said, "I couldn't hear myself yell over Todd." The youth in front of me said, "Todd was so loud that I got scared and forgot what to yell."


Milwaukee: A God Forsaken City?

When Marc and I discovered on Monday that the Cleveland Indians would be playing their home opening series in Milwaukee's dome due to Ohio's snow storms, we got an idea.

Tickets were only $10. Neither of us have watched a game at Milwaukee's new(er) ballpark. We love baseball (even if it is the Angels and the Indians). And we'd get to brag to Cleveland fan Doug V that we saw his team in 2007 before he did.

How cool would it be to just spontaneously drive to Wisconsin to watch baseball? Like Marc said, it would be one of those things that we could say of later, "Remember the time we watched a Cleveland home game in Wisconsin?" How many people can say they saw two teams play a series ina totally unrelated city? That's pretty cool.

We discussed the plan Monday night at a very fun friend group dinner at P.F. Chang's to celebrate the birthdays of Marc, Sara and Charissa. The games were scheduled for Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. We decided Wednesday was best all around for our schedules.

This is where God intervened.

We were all set to go on Wednesday (I even had poster board for our funny signs: "Can I Run the Sausage Race?" and "Angels? Indians? We're here for cheap baseball.")

But we had to keep a careful eye on Milwaukee weather. They were under a winter storm warning. We still thought we'd go. They had 5.6 inches by 4 and more was just hitting. We were on the fence. The state roads commission was recommending people stay in their homes. We started thinking this might not work out so hot. All the roads we needed to take were apparently "snow covered and slippery."

And then, Marc and I surrendered the dream. We wouldn't get our "Remember When" moment.

I joked to Marc that God just didn't want us to go. But in seriousness, I've come to believe that God communicates his will through open or closed doors. If we look for his guidance, he shows us his path with easy roads or one of constant obstacles. If something feels like forcing a square peg in a round hole, God's trying to tell you something. If it just somehow clicks, he's showing you a way that he's blessing.

With how we kept finding bad news about Milwaukee weather, it'd didn't seem like the door was very open.

But then Marc had a new idea: The Thursday day game. Now we could say, "Remember the time we took vacation days just to drive to Wisconsin to see cheap baseball played by teams we don't care about?"

We took vacation days. We made our plans. And I arrived at Marc's house at 9 a.m. today. I walked in as he said, "God doesn't want us to go to Milwaukee." I feared it was more weather issues. Instead, he told me that the daycare had called. His son had a 102 temp. Someone had to go pick up and bring home the sick little guy.

That's when the dream died. Marc was a good dad. And I got to save a vacation day and attend a work lunch that I would have been ditching to go to the game.

Oh well. It just proves that God was keeping us from Milwaukee for some reason. With such a succession of clearly closed doors, I think it means that he really hates Wisconsin. Or the Cleveland Indians.


More About My Hair!

On Saturday, my mom, grandma, sister and sister-in-law threw a lovely shower for My Intended. My dad arrived before it started to drop of his mom who lives in a nursing home. I went outside to help her get out of the car. As she struggled to stand, she look up at me, paused and said, "What have you done to your hair?"

Later, I was telling her a long story. When I finished, all she said was, "I really don't like your hair."

I assured her that this long, shaggy look won't be permanent.

In fact, I go through new hairstyles quite a bit. And there's one stage that some readers of PTOIT missed a few summers back. The FauxHawk stage:

I look pretty punk, huh?

Although I wanted to do because I thought it'd be fun and cool, I also used it to serve a purpose. Our junior High kids needed extra motivation to raise mission trip funds. So I told them I'd wear an almost-Mohawk (without the completely shaved sides) on the trip if they raised a certain amount. Of course, I wanted them to do it...and just used the bet as an excuse.

Two funny stories that came from that time:

1) One of the kids from another church at our work camp cut his hair into a Fauxhawk like mine on the trip. He was all proud and we took pictures together. But I know that somewhere, I really ticked off some mom who's kid came home with a horrible haircut.

2) I took my work team to Arby's on our last work day. There, two older women were really skittish around this weird guy with the red almost-Mohawk. They sat at their table and kept whispering and glaring. I felt bad. But then, one of them spilled her coke all over. I rushed over with napkins and helped them clean it up. You should have seen their reactions to the surprise that someone who looked so odd could be nice.


Weekend With The Boy

One of my comedic shticks is taking posed, goofy photos. It's what I do--especially back in college with Jeff, Gene and Adam. We'd always pose for strange pics -- pretending to be doing silly thing or pantomiming a goofy action, whatever.

What you are about to see looks like one of those posed photos. It looks like one of my typical posed shots--pretending to be dropping my nephew. But it's not.

Here's what happened. I was home for Easter and got to spend some time with The Nephew. My sister decided to take a picture. I posed all smiley, but right as the picture took, The Nephew did one of his notorious back arches. Yeah, I almost dropped him. Here's the proof:

You can just imagine that I am saying, "Whoooooa!"

Thankfully, the little guy stopped lunging and arching and all was well. I didn't drop him all weekend.

But we did have some great adventures together, such as discovering a baby in the mirror, playing catch and learning how to throw a curve ball. I also got to rock him to sleep. This was actually the first time I have ever put a baby to sleep.

He was very fussy and upset. He was too tired and was fighting it. I took him to his room and we rocked. (In a chair. Not to Black Sabbath.) He screamed. We rocked. He screamed more. The Intended came in because she heard the ruckus and knows that The Nephew likes music. Singing soothes him. So she sang. At first, it didn't work. He got so worked up that he stopped breathing, shook and turned purple. But he started to calm and we both sang.

Here's the thing: I don't remember song lyrics well. I don't know many songs. So I ran out quick once I'd sung "Go Go Go White Sox" and the Star Wars theme. So The Intended started a rousing version of "Hush Little Baby." But again, we ran out of verses we knew. And so, I had to improvise and The Nephew fell asleep to me singing this:

"Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, daddy's gonna buy you a new bullpen, and if that bullpen can't throw, Daddy's gonna buy you a Magglio. And if that Magglio goes to Detroit, Daddy's gonna buy you an Android. And if that Android malfunctions..."

Luckily, he was asleep by that point. I'm not sure what rhymes with malfunctions.

Then again, not rhyming didn't stop me from trying "Detroit" and "Android"...


I'm not saying, but I'm just saying: .467 BA, .529 OBP, .733 Slg.

Yah, it's early, but ... photos of this action figure will continue to be posted.


Baseball is Back

Despite what happened at U.S. Cellular yesterday, I am glad baseball is back.

It makes me happy to be able to turn on the TV at night and see a fast ball being thrown. It brings me joy to watch Sportscenter in the morning and see something other than basketball or hockey. Something I care about. Something I have a stake in. A sport where anything can happen--and over the next 161 games, it will. Heroes will be made. Some will fall. And underdogs will have their day.

The drama is unfolding again. The Royals are creaming Curt Schilling. A-Rod is making errors. Santana is Santana. It could be anyone's season.

I've been so excited for this baseball season that I bought myself two late birthday gifts that came in late last week.

The first is a flashback to my childhood. When I was in junior high and high school, I had two favorite teams: one in each league. The AL team was of course the White Sox. But I was also really in love with the St. Louis Cardinals. And it was for one reason really. His name is Ozzie Smith. He's probably still my favorite baseball player of all time. So, I was so excited when I discovered this amazing new McFarlane figure of him online. It's The Wizard of Oz doing one of his trademark backflips. I simply love it.

What's interesting is that I found the Ozzie figure because I went to the MacFarlane toys site to buy a figure of my current favorite player, Scott Podsednik. I also love this figure of Scotty sliding into second. He's now perpetually sliding in front of my computer monitor here at the office.

I have to admit that I got Scotty for two reasons: 1) Because it's cool. 2) To try and reverse the curse. We all know that I am a jersey curse. Thus, I am responsible for Pods' bad year in 2006. So I thought that if me buying a jersey of his caused him to tank, maybe a second purchase--of an action figure--would turn it around.

We have yet to see any hints if my purchase will indeed ring in a Pods Re-Awakening because Scotty didn't play yesterday. He sat in favor of Pablo Ozuna who has a good history against Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia. So we can't tell yet if Pods will indeed return to glory thanks to my action figure purchase. It's something to watch.

Speaking of things to watch for, there were some good things to come out of yesterday's complete disaster at the hands of the Indians. Here's my Glass Half Full report:

#1: We don't have to worry about Conteras being overworked after yesterday.

#2: Darin Erstead and Paul Konerko are each on pace to hit 162 homeruns.

#3: Bobby Jenks is still Bobby Jenks.

#4: AJ is still funny: "I saw the Cubs lost, too, so I guess the baseball season is over. Get ready for Bears football."

#5: According to Sox broadcaster Darrin Jackson, everything is fine. Watching the replay of the game last night, I heard Darrin say, "Other than the huge lead Cleveland has, the Sox are looking good." Thanks, Darrin.