Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Worst Christmas Gifts

I have many generous friends and family, so I always do pretty well in terms of giving and receiving Christmas gifts. There always seems to be one person however, that partakes in one of the worst holiday traditions, bad gifts. We saw it in the movie Christmas Vacation when Aunt Bethany wrapped up her cat, or when Clark received a one year subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club. There's the bunny suit that Ralphie received from Aunt Clara in "A Christmas Story". It's probably happened to all of us at one time or another.

I have one person in my family that gives us those awful gifts every single year; and not just for Christmas. She is married to my grandfather, and NO she's NOT my grandmother! My grandmother was and is one of the most important people in my life. She was a strong woman of compassion, caring, wisdom, and faith. I always think about her this time of year, or whenever I need strength in life's most difficult situations. She died in 1995 from Lou Gehrig's Disease. After my grandmother was diagnosed with ALS, Grace entered my grandfather's life. She was my grandparents' neighbor who used to bring meals over as a "gesture" to my grandfather and grandmother. Chicken Tertrazini was her favorite dish to bring by. My grandmother couldn't eat of any of it of course because she had lost her ability to chew from the disease. After Gram died, Grace and my grandfather became companions and married two years later in 1997. This was Grace's first marriage at age 68 and my grandfather's second at age 80. Now that I've given a little family history of how she became a part of our lives, I can talk about the gifts she gives.

Over the years I have received the following gifts from Grace at the holidays: a pen shaped like an exclamation point, a sweater that was 4 sizes too big, and a plastic penguin that walks after you wind it. This year we received a wreath from William Sonoma that fell apart right out of the box. For our wedding, rather than pay attention to pointless little things like gift registries, she sent a lamp to an old address. We never received the lamp, but we did receive 2 calls from the store she bought it from at 4AM Hawaii time while we were on our honeymoon, asking why we hadn't received this special gift. I wonder if it was like the "Leg Lamp" the father won in "A Christmas Story". Regardless, it's always entertaining to see what she sends on these occasions. I just keep in mind that it's the thought that counts, and it did provide material for this blog post.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Belichick Is the Best

I like coach Belichick more every day. Yesterday he sent 4 players home from practice for being late including Randy Moss and Adalius Thomas. Thomas hasn't performed a single day that he has been in New England, but he felt the need to open his trap yet again. "There's nothing to apologize about," Thomas said today. "You can't run people over. You leave home people are there. What are you going to do? It's not the Jetsons. I can't get up and fly." Blaming the traffic and the weather for being late to an 8AM meeting. Typical Thomas. Figures he brings up the Jetsons. He plays about as big as Elroy.

Belichick is the best because he knows he has a team with a ton of weaknesses, but he still doesn't stand for lack of effort, discipline, subpar performance, and bullshit. Unlike a certain baseball manager in this town, he doesn't allow the inmates to run the asylum. He doesn't allow players to quit on the team like Manny Ramirez did on the Red Sox in 2006 and 2007. I admire Belichick's decisions even if I don't always agree with them. He could probably draft a little better, but even the best GMs only hit on half of their draft choices at best. These players have nothing holding them back to attend an 8AM practice. If they want to buy a $90,000 SUV to drive through the snow, they can do it. If they want to buy 6000 square foot house next to Gillette, they can do it. Their wives don't have to work and they can hire a nanny to take the kids to school and pick them up. There's nothing keeping these players from doing anything. Take your punishment like a man Thomas, and shut your piehole. You love eating humble pie, I'll give you one guess of another thing you can eat. It rhymes with HIT: another thing you haven't done since you've been in Foxboro.