Haven't had much time or inclination to post lately, so I'll just post some random thoughts to keep the blog alive for the time being.
Baseball: Gotta love the game, gotta hate being one of the people who helps keep the league going. Last year I scheduled umpires for games and it was a rough go. Out of a roster of 55 umpires, 23 of whom give a fig, it's hard to find umpires to cover some 32+ games a week. I took my medicine and covered most of the games but made it known at the end of the season that I wouldn't schedule umpires again. This year I was called at the last minute and asked to be the commissioner for the Jr and Sr leagues. I took it. This year the umpire guy (trying to do the right thing--in his mind) accidentally alienated most of the experienced umpires and umpire coverage this year has been dismal. I've had to call off a few games and ask coaches to be creative for a few more. I ended up umpiring a game on Saturday--not something I mind, but it's tough calling your son out. Almost blew a call because a guy on my son's team made a sweet tag--but dropped the ball. I was so excited by the tag I didn't see the ball hit the ground, just saw it roll away.
School: This year was 8th grade graduation. Now, to me 8th grade graduation is an odd concept--yet another overdoing of things...someone once told me recently that her kid "graduated" kindergarten and they had to rent a cap and gown. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as a cap and gown kindergarten "graduation". Not quite, anyway. When I was in 8th grade we just sort of segued to high school. We knew it was a new atmosphere with lots of new people, but we knew we'd see each other. In the case of a parochial school, there's a real diaspora. The kids, most of whom have been together since kindergarten (nine years), are being spread out among a good 15 high schools, so there's a sense of moving on. Hence the big deal over 8th grade "graduation". Incredibly, I got a bit maudlin, thinking about some of the guys I might not see again. I've been lucky to go on a lot of field trips over the years and incredibly, some of the guys find me "cool". There's Fred, who always smiles. Cory, whom I'd vote most likely to fall down an abandoned elevator shaft, but is a good guy. There's Beefy (his dad's nickname), who is the only 13-year old in the world who can pull off a bow tie and sunglasses. Marc, tall and happy. Drew--a quiet, introspective guy whom I can't draw out but was my son's best buddy. Calvin, who stands six-six(at 14-years)and works at the local ice cream shop. They all greet me, even when I'm not there for a field trip, with "Hi, J...'s Dad". I'll miss that.
Gaduation: An interesting event. I'm no prude by a long shot, but I was amazed by the number of girls (13/14-year olds) literally wobbling on their 5-6 inch heels as they filed in sans uniform for graduation. One girl (a teacher's daughter) wore a dress in which the hemline bobbed up and down and very nearly exposed her bottom (I kid you not). Another girl showed more cleavage than I imagined possible in a 13/14-year old. Yet another girl wobbled in on stilletto heels which wrapped around her ankles as her shirt showed off predernaturally advanced mammalian features. So much for the idea of staid churchgoers...
Birthday: Got another year older Saturday and spent the evening stripping and polishing the kitchen floor. I'd hoped to be stripping something else on my birthday. Sigh.