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Showing posts from March, 2012

When I Get Older , Losing My Hair ...

Old people are starting to "friend" me on Facebook.

The other day ... one sent me a message: "Link to my high school page". Why would I want to link to his high school page? Maybe my dad would want to link to his high school page but not ... wait a minute ... That's MY high school. And that was the year I graduated ...
Crap ... he is MY AGE.
I didn't recognize him until I got out an old yearbook and saw his picture.  I remember him ... he was in my Spanish class. He was a little skinny guy with long greased-back hair. He's changed some. Now he's fat and bald.

I looked at my yearbook picture.

Yep, there I was at 17. Stupid Kenny Ogden had signed my picture instead of his own. Kenny, if you are out there, what were you thinking?

I don't remember looking like that. To me, the guy with my name under his picture was a stranger. And the things listed: Senior Class Vice President, Junior Class Treasurer, Poetry Award?

On the page opposite mine was a …

No More Girlie Mahn

I started working out again.

I know what you're thinking. How could I improve on perfection ... right? Why spend all those hours in the gym, deny myself a few french fries and go to sleep at reasonable hours.

Somehow ... my wife and my kids (and 3000 of my closest friends) have gotten the idea that I actually need this!

I know ... I told them the same thing. Really?

Truth be told, I feel much better since I started working out. It's been one whole day and my muscles, although pretty sore,  are bulging out of my sleeves.

Going back to the gym and starting over is really an intimidating event, by the way. I've started over about 348 times over the past 20 years so you'd think I'd be used to it. Not so. The older you get, the worse it is. I'm still embarrassed to set the treadmill at the lowest speed ... CRAWL ... and the least elevation ... BELOW SEA LEVEL.

There are a few bright spots. Lifestyles has new health and safety videos that scroll the monitors. Cat…

I Told You I Was Sick

Last week, I watched a repeat episode of Modern Family.

Phil Dunphy visits his doctor, who examines him, orders some tests and tells Phil, "If there is a problem ... I'll call you." A few days later, Phil gets a message from the doctor to call him as soon as he can. When he calls back, Phil finds out that his doctor has left on vacation. Thinking the worst, Phil convinces the family that he has a short time to live.

The doctor eventually calls to tell Phil all is okay with his health. He just needed real estate advice quickly.

Okay, I'll admit that I have my Phil Dunphy moments.

Last week, I was tired, had a sore throat and felt feverish. I was sure I had either diabetes or bubonic plague. Debbie didn't believe me! She had a ridiculous theory about a cold or flu.

I don't want to worry her ... so I'll continue to take the Advil she bought me.


My sister-in-law Keli's birthday was the other day.

I think she still believes that she is 21 ... not because of vanity ... because it's the largest number she knows without using her fingers.

Keli cracks me up. I've written about her before. There was the time she asked me about Jews ...

K ... "Joel .. you know the language that you people use in Israel?"
Me ... " I assume by 'my people' you mean ... the Jews?"
K ... "Yeah ... you know the Yittans ... how is it that they ..."
Me ... "Wait .. Keli ... the Yittans?"
K ... "Uh huh ... the language you use ... it's Yittan. right?"
Me ... "You mean Yiddish?"
K ... "I thought it was Yittan. You remember when I met the ribbi, Jah Kobe? I thought he spoke that."
Me ... "No ... listen. He is a RABBI and his name is JACOB and he probably knows YIDDISH. Keli ... if I were you, I wouldn't speak to anyone about Jews outside of our immediate f…

We Ran Out Of Time

We didn't win Sunday night.

We didn't lose, either.

We just ... ran out of time (as Vince Lombardi would say).

Ohio University now travels to St. Louis to play North Carolina. They are an elite team ... one of 16 in the country to move on to the NCAA Championships. We were one of 32 and just like Duke and Florida State and Michigan ... who also "didn't win" ... we were in the dance and we made history for USF.

Nice to hear sportscasters talking about us as true contenders.



 Nashville was a pretty cool place.

Yesterday, before the game, we toured the Ryman Auditorium ... better known as the original home of the Grand Ole Opry . What a great venue. They still have concerts today but moved the Opry a few miles away to a newer bigger place.

If you ask me ... I would have stayed put.

Check it out. 

We went backstage where all the greats played and waited to take the stage. By the way, it wasn't o…

Basketball, Little People and Country Music

Last night was another historic occasion.

USF beat Temple in the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and we are here in Nashville watching it live. We have never gotten past the first round of the "big dance" ... now we are in the third.

For those of you that don't follow college basketball, my apologies for again writing about our tournament wins. For those that do ... You're welcome.

Wasn't pretty in the first half of play. Temple was all over our guys and we had about an 11% scoring average. The second half was a different story ... 90% scoring average, three pointers from everywhere and a BIG WIN.

We play next on Sunday ... Ohio University.

Note: There was one little thing that I thought I'd mention about the game in case any officials are reading this. Actually TWO little things.

No ... not the officiating (although it pretty much sucked), not the fan experience (the venue was superb) ...

It was the cleaning crew. That's right ... the clea…

Genius Is Right

Debbie bought me a new iPhone. It's the one with Siri ... the smartest female on the planet.

Because I wanted to get the maximum benefits from Siri, I visited the Apple store last week. I also wanted to know why only 688 songs downloaded to my computer when I had over 1000 songs on my old phone.

I found out that in order to talk to a 21 year old computer "Genius" I needed to make an appointment and then wait another hour until my name was called. There are 50 or so geniuses there to answer your questions and most of us customers are not quite sure where to go ... or how someone is going to find us among the hoards of lost customers wandering aimlessly around the store.

Josh found me. He was my own personal genius.

"How did you do it ... find me, that is?" I asked.

"Take a look. This is what they wrote when you checked in." He showed me his iPad and next to my name was a brief description: Tallish, stocky build, tan slacks, glasses, blue tie.


Basketball and Shopping

Notre Dame was the second game of the Big East Tournament for USF and unfortunately ... our last.

We were ahead for most of the game. A blown layup, a missed free throw and a couple of other timely mistakes took us into overtime and ultimately, a loss. Now ... we are awaiting word on whether we have made the cut for the NCAA Regional games.

But this was NOT the big story for me this week.

No ... that happened one day earlier when Debbie and I were in the bar of the Omni Hotel having an Irish coffee after our big win against Villanova. As I was telling a particularly animated story to our assembled group ... my hands flew across the table (I couldn't help myself) and knocked the cup into Debbie's purse.

That's right ... INTO Debbie purse.

Debbie froze ... coffee seeping through her purse into her lap. There was a moment in time when I was sure I saw a death look in her eyes. Not her death ... mine.

When she did talk to me, it was simple and direct ... "You owe me a new…

Stan The Man

Stan is ... the man!

He's the Big East Coach of the Year. Voted on by his peers, Stan was the conference favorite for bringing the USF Bulls to an historic 12 - 6 record, tied for fourth place  ... after being picked to finish in 14th place this year.

We are in New York this week for the Big East Tournament and celebrated yesterday with Stan Heath after his press conference (left).

Tonight we beat Villanova and are playing tomorrow night against Notre Dame in Round Two. The atmosphere is electric. For the first time in 20 years there's a likely possibility that USF will go to the NCAA Tournament and compete for the National Championship. (Okay ... got ahead of myself) COMPETE with others for the biggest title in college basketball.

Next stop ... Omaha or Memphis ... or Portland ... or I don't know ... first stop on the circuit.

We have great seats here in Madison Square Garden (can you get luckier than that? Watching basketball in the Garden?) Tonight, we sat with the Smith…

Sammy at Macaroni Grill

Took Sammy to Macaroni Grill this afternoon. He wanted a waffle and chicken livers.

Surprisingly, they didn't serve that ... so he settled for fettucini alfredo, tomato soup, a loaf of bread and ice cream. He told me he had no appetite. Here are some Sunday nuggets:  

"Smitty and Bert are really living it up."

"I thought you said you hadn't talked to them."

"I haven't."

"Somebody told you?"

"No ... I just know. You know ... Smitty's got a young girlfriend that he flits around the world with."


"Yeah ... Can you imagine ... at his age? She's ... uh ... 78 ... I think."
"Hey Joel ... are you growing hair in front?"

"In front of what? My old hair?"

"Yeah. Looks like hair in front."

"I think my hair stopped growing ... it's now just falling out."

"Hmmm ... looks new to me."

"I got a call fr…