Friday, July 31, 2009

The One About the Baby

Brace yourselves. This whole post is going to be about…Bosco.

As you may have suspected upon reading the title, this post is being authored by me, Jasmine. As Rob has taken up both golfing and a video project (which he hopes to feature on the next blog) this week, it is left to me to fill you in about Bosco’s doings. While I love my husband’s posts, I don’t think our computer has the capacity to allow him to enter one that includes four weeks of his version of information by the time he completes his other current project.

The bottom picture, for those less discerning readers is Bosco at his first Billy Joel concert, where Elton John also happened to be. For two guys in their later years we were impressed at the amount of hearing loss the concert caused. It was a great time and we had a nice close parking spot. Rob can also walk you to any of the first aid stations at Nationals Stadium with a blindfold on should you need one. It was also the first event where I experienced the phenomenon of Bosco’s apparently hugely misleading size. Rob and I will go to events, conferences, stores, etc. and at least one person will say something like “we don’t want you to get too excited!” Or, “you’d better sit down so you don’t tax yourself.” Or, “you look like you’re ready to go!” Every time I tell said person my due date is actually not till November, they look at me as if I’ve made a dreadful mistake by not knowing it’s actually imminent, like tomorrow.

Last Friday’s week 24 appointment to double-check Bosco’s face went swimmingly and everything appears to be fine. Bosco did give the sonographist fits since all she needed to see was the face and he kept it alternately buried in the placenta or filled with the fist he was ardently sucking. She joked that he must think the closer he puts his face to the placenta the more food he will get, whereupon Rob naturally mentioned that that is how we know he is our baby. Side note: this is ironic as Rob is out as I type procuring Chipotle for dinner. It was especially fun to see his little jaw working up and down as he learns how to suck. Nevertheless, I apologize that the new ultrasound pictures I have posted mostly feature great shots of my outstanding placenta rather than Bosco, but we did our best.

Our trip to the OB the previous Monday also indicated that his size is good, his heart rate (149) is well within normal range, my weight gain is on track, etc. According to the ultrasound Bosco was weighing in last week at 1lb 10oz, which means that right now he is probably almost two pounds a week later. As we are in the 6th month it is his job to double in weight from the beginning of the month to the end. Rest assured I am doing my part.

As evidenced in picture number 1, where his leg is raised all the way to his chin in preparation to punt mommy's bladder, Bosco continues to practice for the Men’s Olympic Gymnastics team, a spot on the DC United, and field goal kicker for whichever NFL team is still in the running in 20 years. We’ve heard from many quarters that this means he’s going to be a bundle of energy to keep up with ex-utero and we should start marathon training now. It may also be his subtle way of working off all the spicy food mommy loves to eat. I of course maintain that it’s Bosco who wants to eat. I am merely an innocent by-eater.

The nursery continues to come together with all the actual furniture now present and accounted for except the nursing chair and the carpet. Rob is becoming a master of construction. We also put up semi-sheer white drapes in an attempt to not cook the baby the first time we put him down for a nap on a sunny day. We even have some clothes donated by friends and coworkers to go in Bosco’s drawers already. People’s generosity is overwhelming and so appreciated! And Candice, my pregnancy stylist, is single handedly keeping me from attending business meetings as a naked beach ball.

Therefore, I now have to share Candice’s favorite story of the week, entitled “How to Be Pregnant In the Federal Government.” First they inform you that they are going to have to let security know that you are pregnant. Shortly after that you get an email informing you that as a prego, you’ve been added to the list of persons with disabilities, to make sure someone comes to fetch you on the eighth floor and hoists you out of the building in an emergency. When you’ve reached about the end of the second trimester, your office administrator will send you a template of an emergency birth plan to fill out. This is to protect you from security calling an ambulance that might service a hospital in Timbuktu—rather than the one you’d like to go to that has the added benefit of allowing your doctor in—in the event that you go into labor at the office. After you fill out the hospital and doctor information and let them know you’d like to be driven in your car, to your hospital, by your friend (I’ve reassured Olivia that rather than relying on a woman in labor for directions to the hospital, we’ve preprogrammed the hospital into the car’s GPS system) instead of providing an emergency training forum for the security personnel, you are asked to disclose where you have stored “the bag.” Let it be known this is Candice’s favorite part. While you get to select what is in “the bag,” the highly recommended items are two large towels, two large garbage bags, and water. I think this is the same bag cleaners for the mob carry in their trunk in case of an emergency call. Even more entertaining than imagining what all these items could be used for—such as protecting important gov’t property or your car upholstery should your water break, is imagining what gigantic furor at the office caused these bag ingredients to be the only suggested items on the list. My favorite image of potential use is layering the bag and towel on the passenger seat of my car so that at every stop light I slide forward off my well protected seat onto the floor of the car hanging by my seatbelt. In any case, I am now prepared for major office cleanup and/or accidentally going into labor while I’m downtown.

Bosco’s next adventure will be on August 14th, in exactly two weeks, to do a Glucose tolerance test. This involves eating no carbs or sugars for the morning (we can have proteins—like a hard-boiled egg—and water). We then proceed to the dr.’s office and have our blood drawn as a baseline measurement. After the initial blood test we drink what has been described to me as orange kool-aid syrup that no one has bothered to add water to, and then take a second blood test an hour later to establish my response to the sugar rush. Apparently we are lucky in that there is a 3 hour version of this test, which I won’t have to take unless the 1 hour test isn’t satisfactory. I can’t imagine the cartwheels our normally very active baby that gets excited if I send down nothing but water will do after this introduction of a bottle of pure sugar. Then I imagine we will crash and need the rest of the afternoon to nap it off. Luckily we have scheduled this test for day off. J As usual we will keep you posted on the results.

Finally, a special “yippee!!” to Jodie as I close this week out, as she has approximately one week to go before introducing us all to a beautiful baby girl. We can’t wait to meet her!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The One You Won't Finish

...and now! Live! 60 feet in the air! Overlooking the most POWERFUL city north of the Confederacy, “It’s the Grrrrrrrrrrreat Fobian Baby Blog, Charlie Brown!” with your host and future Dad, Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrob!

Thank you as always Jack for that very enthusiastic opening. And may I take this opportunity to welcome you back to the blog. Ladies and gentlemen, the ebullient, enigmatic and elegant emissary of the blog, our announcer…the legendary, MR…..JACK BARRY! Welcome back, Jack!

Uh, thank you sir…I think you superseded your own introduction…

How was your vacation, Jack?

Wonderful, sir…I visited the desert oasis of Las Vegas, Nevada, stayed at the Trop and just relaxed.

Well, I certainly hope the jokers were indeed wild…

Yes…and thank you for THAT painful memory.

Well, it’s been an exciting two weeks and we have much to share. I’d like to begin tonight by dedicating tonight’s post to Calvin Crosson and his family. My apologies to our Yankee readers for my opening remarks however, Jasmine and I have been conducting our “every-three-years-or-so” family tradition of watching the great 80’s Civil War miniseries “North and South” and “North and South Book II” (on VHS no less!) When Jazz and I first met and I visited my future in-laws who were then residing BELOW the Mason-Dixon line, we went down to the local video store (remember those?!?!) and rented “North and South”. I’m not sure what prompted us to do so, but it was a nice way to spend that first weekend in the family fold. With apologies to the literary proficiencies of author John Jakes (who created the North and South trilogy), I can’t vouch for the series’ historical accuracy, but there can be no denying the entertainment value of watching the saga of the families Main and Hazard which features a stunning “Who’s Who” of 80’s television and movie stars. Whether you are a Civil War enthusiast or not, I would encourage everyone to watch it once…better still, read the books. And do NOT, under ANY circumstances, view “North and South Book III”! I won’t give away the spoilers, but it is so incredibly bad, it nearly ruins the previous 18 hours that comprise the first two books. I would also like to add for the parents out there, that perhaps my sensibilities are being ratcheted towards over-protectiveness but, despite being shown on network primetime over 20 years ago, both series are VERY R-rated, so censor accordingly, if not entirely to “little eyes” and or “little ears”.

Having spent most of my life in Northern Virginia, I grew up with the Civil War. My childhood home featured a three foot high by fifty foot long earth mound that divided our backyard nearly in two. And many of our direct neighbors also had these earth mounds, so that you could see rows of them as you looked down the street through the backyards. It didn’t take a historian to figure it out, but when our neighborhood was being built, the developers brought one in to determine that these earth mounds were in fact used as defenses to protect the Orange and Alexandria railroad, which ran about a half mile from our house. Who knew almost 110 years later that a soldier’s hard work would be used by children for…I’m so ashamed…jumps for our BMX bikes! And, in a strange twist, the “51st State Studios” where we now call home, is also about a half mile from a different section of the former O&A Railroad. Geographically, a little more Alexandria than Orange...In summary, when you spend time in Northern Virginia you cannot help but feel the essence of the Civil War all around you. And to think our good friends at Disney almost plowed up Bull Run errr…MANASSAS Battlefields nearly 20 years ago for a new theme park! But, you didn’t come here for a history lesson, did you? Before we get to the latest on Bosco, here’s some genuine entertainment a.k.a. “The Evian Roller Skating Babies Commercial”. Bosco was going to be in this commercial himself, but he missed the age cutoff…

Many thanks to Jasmine’s office for the incredible summer picnic two weeks ago! We had a wonderful time in beautiful weather at the park near Pentagon City. There was a permanent shelter which the office rented and I don’t know what the final attendance was, but I’d say about 100 people by my count. And you just haven’t lived until you’ve been to a picnic conducted by employees of the Federal Government. I didn’t know you could sign for a juice box or a yo-yo “in triplicate”! Is there a tax implication here? I also found it incredibly ironic that Jasmine has been there nearly six years but it wasn’t until after this year’s election that a picnic was held. Bosco enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs and all the trimmings! And a special thank you to Kim, Jordan, Madeline and Olivia for keeping us company.

I never went to the old Eastern Market (pre-fire) but I was pleased to see the recovery efforts were completed and it has re-opened. I nearly lost my dinner recently when I overheard the following on our local NBC broadcast coverage of the re-opening:
Reporter: Eastern Market is better now that it was. Are you happy it burned down?
Eastern Market spokesperson: Um, no, we’re not happy it burned down but it did turn out nicely.

We also enjoyed, although were quickly overwhelmed by, all of the Michael Jackson video tributes. Although Thriller was undeniably his best album, I have decided that “Dirty Diana” is his best song. This might be because until last weekend, I thought the name of the song was “Dirty Gigandor”. MJ was never much for pronunciation, especially during live performances. I was also unaware that the song was written about a groupie and that it was on his set list the year he was scheduled to perform at the annual “Prince’s Trust Concert” in England. This charity event brings together all the world’s biggest entertainers. It seems the year in question, the Princess of Wales was in attendance, so Michael pulled the song out of respect. This stunned Lady Diana who said later she was disappointed not to hear it because it was one of her favorite songs.

We also discovered yet another benefit to Bosco’s pending arrival. After years of complaining that no one EVER uses them…yep, we have now been cleared to use that most suburban of delights…EXPECTANT MOTHER PARKING! WOO HOO!

In other baby news, although Bosco’s last sonogram went very well, as evidenced by the still jaw dropping photos, we have been asked to come back for another sonogram in about two weeks. In a strange twist, last week we watched In The Womb a documentary film by National Geographic that follows the nine month gestational period. (Thanks for the recommendation, Grammy Anne!) One of the things mentioned in the sonogram portion of the film was that sonograms have become very helpful to doctors in identifying early developmental concerns. No sooner had we finished the film and driven the car out of the garage did Jasmine receive a call from Ultrasound Associates. They were calling to say they needed Bosco to come back in two weeks for a follow up exam. They stressed that there was nothing to be concerned about however they were calling to say they did not get a satisfactory shot of Boscos’ nose and lips. If you’ll recall from our last post, Bosco established a relationship to us both in his reluctant cooperation during the sonogram. So, they want to have Bosco come back to see if they can get a better picture to ensure everything is indeed developing as it should. By the way, Jasmine is unaware of this, but I received a notice last week that footage of Bosco’s sonogram has been posted on YouTube! This should prove once and for all that Bosco is indeed our child. Or at least, MY child…sorry, honey…

Bosco also enjoyed a wonderful birthday celebration for our former neighbor and friend, Andrew, who was celebrating yet another 18th birthday. Andrew’s guests enjoyed sublimely smoked salmon, an equally delightful homemade bean salad, fresh corn on the cob with a locally baked chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Not to be outdone, Andrew’s gourmand fiancée, Julie provided the piece de resistance with her own homemade (say it with me…) chocolate, PEANUT BUTTER cheesecake replete with miniature peanut butter cups. Were there any Hobbits in attendance they surely would have declared it SECOND dessert! And EVERYONE’S waistlines grew THREE sizes that day!
This brings us to 4th of July weekend, which marked Bosco’s first flight and visit to our extended family in Buffalo, NY. (And you thought we took off from the blog last week to “re-crimp our tinfoil hats”!) We flew up Thursday night out of our favorite services/amenities, least favorite geographically located airport, BWI…errr, Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. After 30 years of driving to and from that airport, I (which is to say, Jasmine…) has finally determined that the quickest route is in fact to go around the Beltway, rather than go through the city and out the Balto-Wash Parkway. We arrived in plenty of time and after a brief wait, we boarded the plane and were off to the great- not-white-this-time-of-year Western New York. The best part about flying to Buffalo from Washington, especially out of BWI, is to watch what I like to call “The (insert airline name here) 500”. Flight time, you see, is just shy of 60 minutes and about 40 if departing from Justice Marshall’s aforementioned airstrip. With one exception, I can only remember ONE TIME in the last 11 years where the flight crew did not serve everyone at least one drink. It’s such a short flight that they almost have to start serving everyone during takeoff.

The other comedic moment is always the captain greeting us over the intercom with something like, “And good evening, this is your captain speaking….it’s a lovely night for flying, we’re so glad you chose to fly with us….we’re cruising at an altitude of…what? Oh…Ladies and gentlemen, we’re now at the gate…”

I used to think airports were places where you went before you plummeted into the ground but since meeting Jasmine I have learned they are really special places for families. Unless of course there’s no there to meet you..thankfully this has NEVER happened to me…oh wait…
So, we gathered our things and after a few surreptitious text messages, we were once again reunited with Jasmine’s Pater and Mater Familias at the baggage carousel, which is made of super-rust-resistant steel lest it become oxidized by the tears of many, many happy parents upon sighting their children. Papa Fran quickly acquired our conveyance and we were on our way to the suburb of Orchard Park.

Orchard Park was really supposed to be just the home of the Buffalo football Bills, but they were nice enough to also let people like Jasmine’s late Grandpa John build their homes and live there, too. I’ve always enjoyed the loose zoning that encompasses parts of Orchard Park. It reminds me a lot of Green Bay, Wisconsin. There are many unique, free-standing businesses many of which are either parts of residences or are former residences. This is de-rigueur in parts of Orchard Park, but for a kid from the mean streets of Springfield, VA it is a wonderment of laissez-faire urban planning.
In short, Buffalo gets a bad rap. Yes, President McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Expo there in 1901. Yes, it has only two seasons, winter and the 4th of July. Yes, the roads are in a constant state of being torn up by Mother Nature and the state. But, as Princess Amidala said to Obi-Wan Kenobi of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, “There is still good in him.” So too there is and always has been goodness in Buffalo.
Power generated from the Niagara River is sent to all four corners of the globe as well as three other planets. The spicy hot chicken wing (only called a Buffalo Wing OUTSIDE of the area…) Mighty Taco. Ted’s Red Hots. Wegman’s (ok, technically Rochester, NY). Sahlen’s Hot Dogs. Loganberry Soda. Taffy’s and Connor’s (ice cream stands/grills). The Aud and now HSBC Arena. George Schuster, 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race winner and Jasmine’s ancestor. Rich Stadium. Vernor’s Ginger Ale (ok, technically Detroit, MI) Chinese restaurants in Fort Erie, Ontario (ok, technically Fort Erie, Ontario) Pierce-Arrow automobiles. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. M&T Bank (you’re welcome, Claire). The New Era Cap Company. Capelli’s Pizza. Roast Beef on Kummel Weck Rolls. The windshield wiper. Rosewell Park Cancer Institute. The Anchor Bar. Anderson’s Frozen Custard. Duff’s Bar. Sponge candy. Great Gramma Jeanne’s Peanut Clusters and Hungarian Coffee Cake (you can’t eat just twelve!) Tim Horton’s Donut Shop. Barbill’s. Flying Bison Beer. General Mills and Gold Medal Flour. Robert Redford swung “Wonderboy” and broke the lights at War Memorial Stadium and ate lunch at the Parkside Candy Company. Sorrento Cheeses. The Buffalo Philharmonic and Kleinhans Music Hall. Rick James. More Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than any other city except Chicago. The shores of Lake Erie. Grain elevators were invented in Buffalo. Murray Brothers’ Nursery. Chippewa Street. Thursdays at the Square. They play professional hockey OUTSIDE in Buffalo. Wolf Blitzer. Lawrence Block. Dale Brown. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tim Russert. Ani DiFranco. The Goo Goo Dolls. Brian McKnight. Billy Sheehan. Spyro Gyra. Christine Baranski. Sorrell Booke. Don Criqui. Buffalo Bob Smith. James Whitmore. Shirley Chisholm. Grover Cleveland. Millard Fillmore. Jack Kemp. Jack Brownschidle. Randy Burridge. Jim Burt. Orel Hershiser. Ron Jaworski. Todd Krygier. Christian Laettner. Bob Lanier. Lex Luger. Dan Majkowski. Mike Mamula. Todd Marchant. Phil McConkey. Joe Mesi. Greg Oden. Brooks Orpick. Warren Spahn. And last but not least…Niagara Falls! Tonight, make it Buffalo, because everything else is just a city!
Speaking of Niagara Falls, we are also pleased to bring you photographic evidence (thanks to “jmd”!) of Bosco’s trip to Niagara Falls to include a jaunt on the world famous “Maid of the Mist” which has to be dried off of you to be believed. This was my fifth voyage on the Maid and it seems to me they have figured out a way each time to get just a little closer, stay just a little longer and get more water into the boat. But, it was a hot summer day so, it felt very refreshing. I have also had the misfortune of taking the LAST trip on the Maid’s sailing calendar which is roughly a week before Halloween! Cold redefined. I tripped on a polar bear warming himself near the boat’s engine. The ride is free. The ponchos? US $14.50 a piece (Thanks Grammy Lou!) Kids under 5 ride free, so word to the Bosco…You get five rides, make ‘em count, boy-o!
In addition to it being Bosco’s first trip to Buffalo, this was also Jasmine’s brother’s fiancée, Lauren’s first trip to Buffalo and like many of us who have joined the family, I think she has a budding affinity for the region. Of course, she hasn’t been there yet during “Not-The-Summer”. Justus also nearly introduced Lauren to the great American-Canadian border crossing tradition known as the “full body search”. Apparently, our neighbors to the North have this new thing called “secured borders” now where they do more than wave at you as you pass on through. In Justus’ defense, he was driving on a current State of Washington driver’s license, in Great Uncle Rich’s (Grammy Lou’s brother) car which had New York plates. But after a few “Yes, sirs.”, “No, sirs.” and a quick search of the trunk, we were all on our way. I never did hear about that return trip, Uncle Justus…

Speaking of return trips to the United States…I would like to formally apologize to Papa Fran, Grammy Lou, Aunt Jade and Jasmine. We left the “Maid of the Mist” and headed straight for the Buffalo-Niagara Airport back in the good old U.S. of A. There are several crossings back from Canada into the U.S. in that part of the world and it’s always a bit of a crapshoot knowing which will be the quickest. We selected the Rainbow Bridge and crossed our fingers.
Upon reaching the Rainbow Bridge we found ourselves behind a beautiful, and rare, pearl blue Jaguar XJ12 Vanden Plas with an Ontario license plate that read “90 Katze”. For you non-Teutons, that means “cat”. The car bore two couples in their 60s?; one Teutonic couple, the other Canadian. Just after we passed through the tollbooth, the German couple decided to take advantage of one of the unique features of the Rainbow Bridge, albeit in a very unique way. The Rainbow Bridge includes a section which can be walked. Typically, one seeking to cross the bridge in a pedestrian fashion has to enter the walking span BEFORE the tollbooths, you know…At the DOOR, where all the SIGNS POINT YOU TOWARDS! Oh, but not this lady and her husband. Oh no, they waited until they saw traffic backing up and then got out, which allowed several cars to angrily roar around us and them and move ahead in line. Witnesses say that Grammy Lou was also questioning their actions, but I couldn’t hear her what with all the blood roaring in my ears. And then, it happened…the couple stopped to speak with the other couple in the car and hand some items through the window...for yes, a THIRD time thus allowing more cars to once again bypass us and them. Now, I’m not saying they were holding us up, but I did see Bosco’s wedding procession scoot through that gap, too. And that’s when the OTHER thing happened…the bad thing. The thing where I forgot I was in a car…stopped in traffic…in public…with my in-laws…in a foreign land…
Gently, I leaned out the window and bellowed, “WE’RE TRYING TO GET TO THE AIRPORT!” I’m certain they had NO IDEA what I said but they could tell I was not in my happy place and traffic was quickly crawling once again. After the blood withdrew from my in-laws’ faces, my OWN mortification set in. Wow! Did I really just do that? Papa Fran just looked at me over the tops of his glasses. Oh no! The look! He didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. I knew how disappointed he was in what I had done. I, too, didn’t say anything. I was just too embarrassed. So, now all I can do is say I’m sorry and that I’m glad it happened before Bosco was ex-utero.
As a closing remark, how could people with such refined taste in automobiles act so aloof while crossing an international border on a busy holiday weekend? And heck, without my crassness we may have missed that pre-fight meal of Mighty Taco and Anderson’s Custard.
Speaking of Mighty Taco, one of their delicacies is an El Nino burrito which contains an ironic, one-half pound of ground beef. I saw a young boy who had ordered one and couldn’t even get his hands around it. An el nino trying to eat an el nino!

Notice to Great Gramma Jeanne…The company “Just Born” is bringing a Peeps Marshmallow Retail Store to the Washington, DC area! This is their first ever store and it will be located just 100 feet from Seward Johnson’s magnificent statue “The Awakening” which was recently and thankfully relocated from Hains Point in DC to the new National Harbor in Maryland at the foot of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike’s will also be sold there. No opening date yet.

Papa Fran and Grammy Lou also hosted yet ANOTHER fantastic family gathering at Great Uncle Rich’s house. I was privileged to finally meet Fran and Lou’s long time friends Pat and Karen who drove up special just for the holiday. Sahlen’s Hot Dogs, provolone cheese burgers, and Italian sausage links were the order of the day along with a beautiful cake heralding Justus and Lauren’s engagement, Papa Delicious’ birthday (Fran’s father) and of course, the mighty, mighty Bosco’s pending arrival. Tonight make it Great Uncle Rich’s, because everything else is just a party. Bosco received a wonderful gift from Great Uncle Bob (Grammy Lou’s brother) and Great Aunt Norma. A music box styled like a carousel featuring characters from Mother Goose. It plays the Brahm’s Lullaby! Lauren could be seen creating a virtual family tree in her head, frantically trying to get her synapses to put mnemonic devices in place to help her remember everyone’s names. “Relax,” I told her, “meeting new people you didn’t even know were in the family is part of the fun at these parties!”

At the appointed hour, the group broke into two groups with one group headed to the Village of Orchard Park for the annual fireworks.

Uncle Justus had plans for the other group that stayed behind. Another great tradition of DRIVING up to Buffalo is an occasional stop at Phantom Fireworks in Pennsylvania. And if you can present out of state identification, you too can buy all manner of celebratory explosives guaranteed to shred your wallet in just ONE trip. We once drove from their store in Warfordsburg, PA all the way to Buffalo with a load of rockets between Aunt Jade and Uncle Justus in the back seat. Hey, c’mon…they were in a highly flammable cardboard box. We were keeping safe! Next time, maybe we’ll stop at their store outside of Erie, PA instead…who knew it was closer? Besides people with a map, I mean…

Uncle Justus located some of the aforementioned rockets in Great Uncle Rich’s garage and proceeded to follow John Adams’ advice regarding a proper 2nd of July celebration. Now, I’m not saying that “Howlin’ Wolf” rockets are loud, but man did it HURT watching Bosco get startled and reach up through the umbilical cord and poke Jasmine in the eyes. Uncle Justus? Toronto called…they want their hearing back. Apparently, the trick to not having the neighbors telephone the local constabulary is to 1) launch on the 4th of July not New Year’s Day, 2) launch BEFORE 3AM not after, 3) launch FIVE rockets, not FIVE hundred, and 4) launch when there is no wind so that the burning ash, brimstone, fireballs and other explosive detritus only lands on Great Uncle Rich’s roof. The group that left for the village fireworks show returned and then we watched the REAL fireworks from Daytona International Speedway during the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 while playing billiards and working the slot machine. We all watched in horror as the strongly disliked Kyle “I Haven’t Won A Championship But My Big Brother Has” Busch first crashed violently into the wall on the final lap and was then horribly rear-ended by Kasey Kahne. For those that remember, it was eerily reminiscent of the crash that took Dale Earnhardt from us. Tony Stewart took home the victory, and to his credit showed an appropriate amount of concern for Busch who was unhurt.

I also managed to tick off another milestone on the expectant father checklist. I had my first dream involving Bosco. The dream involved Bosco as an adult, maybe early 20s, floating in the air in a huge room. The room’s walls were the colors of 1960s mood rings and changed slowly from dark blue to light blue to light green to dark green and back to dark blue. Bosco was arguing with an identified woman who appeared on a giant flat screen in the middle of the room. When the argument ended, the screen went dark and started flipping on several axis. Then my eyes were drawn to the rear of the room. The rear wall split vertically in two and the halves slid open to reveal the darkness of outer space with its blanket of stars. All that could be seen out the doors of the room were the curvature of the moon which curved down from the top of the room and filled a third of the view and behind it, the full sphere of the earth off in the distance. If you have an interpretation, please post.

And now, for this week’s edition of “The Rundown”…all the things that are fit for me to print, which have nothing to do with Bosco and you will likely not read.

The Washington Natinals (misspelling intentional…look it up) are third in road attendance in Major League Baseball behind the Cubs and Yankees. Which really begs the question…why?
Speaking of the Cubs, they have a promotion where they let people run around the bases. Our Natinals have been letting people do that since their INCEPTION…they’re called THE OTHER TEAM.

Did you catch the Gnats’ Austin Kearns sliding….into the middle of the BASEPATH last week? Hey Austin, it’s NINETY feet from first to second, not forty-five! I’m not saying our hometown nine is bad, but the inside of my hockey skates called…they want their stink back!

The word from Cooperstown’s veterans committee is that they are seeking to get Roger Maris into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a form of protest that his 61 homers in 1961 was the last great, HONEST season from a genu-wine Major League slugger. Critics point out that 11 of his 61 homers that season were against expansion clubs, and 8 of those 11 came against…yep, my Washington Senators (or is that Sentors? Centaurs, maybe?) Call me confused, but I actually thought Maris was ALREADY in the Hall. OPINION: Best Baseball film ever, “61*” all due respect Bernie Malamud…
Veteran open WHEEL racing announcer Paul Page is now the voice of open MOUTH racing as he calls all of the esophageal exploits of the IFOCE.
This week’s sign the apocalypse is upon us…Centre Court at Wimbledon now features a retractable roof. Seriously? I know they have had their share of rainouts but what’s next? Wimbledon, where after 132 years, NOTHING is a tradition.
Speaking of tennis…Chris Evert spoke out negatively this week on all of the excessive on-court grunting heard from the majority of today’s players on the WTA. What’s all the fuss? Steffi Graf was one of the hardest hitters ever and worked in silence.
Sheryl Crow’s ‘roided-up ex-boyfriend, may be out of contention in the 96th running of the Tour de France. The “Cyclist-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named” fell from second place today to a dismal third. In a sport where you don’t race on the final day, merely parade down the Champs, this means he is effectively done. “Politics of the Peloton” indeed! And to think before the race started last week, he ran smack saying that he was just there as a “support rider” for his team. Sure, pal…the Nixon administration called, they want their prevarication back.

Wake Forest golfer Cheyenne Woods was given a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Wegman’s LPGA tournament at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, NY, however she missed the cut. Uncle Tiger was too busy stalking the blue course at Congressional Country Club here in nearby Bethesda, MD enroute to winning his own tournament, the AT&T Invitational. How exactly are those invitations worded? “In case the cleat marks from me stomping on your game repeatedly this season have healed, do come and let me thrash you at my tournament.”

A moment of silence this week for self-made pitchman and popular cultural phenomenon, Billy Mays who forgot more about selling than I’ll ever learn, veteran character actor Karl Malden from whom we learned never to leave home without the American Express card and that you can always find easy-access parking on the streets of San Francisco whenever you want, and NFL quarterback and NCAA sensation Steve McNair who came within one yard of a Super Bowl title.

Well, the original draft was 15 pages. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. But don’t worry, I keep all of the drafts. Maybe someday, we’ll have “Director’s Cut” editions. You know, once updates to terra-drives. Jasmine is pulling on her green eye shade, reaching for a HUGE red Sharpie pen and giving me a throat slashing gesture, which I think is an Italian’s way of saying there’s not enough color to the spaghetti sauce. Tune in next week, where you can read all about the Billy Joel/Elton John “Face to Face” Concert and by popular demand, we will be premiering a new editing format which will help to better organize our posts into things you WANT to read about and things you don’t want to read! Until then, I’ll keep attempting to wear out our computer’s keyboard and y’all keep attempting to rein me in. Please do keep safe and eat your green Peeps!