February 23, 2005

Paging R. Lee Ermey

Today's Musical Selection: "Boris the Spider" by The Who

Hi, kids! Sorry I've been absent of late; much hustling and bustling about in connection with my Fan Club gig. Last night, I rubbed elbows (literally; it was very crowded) with the high 'n' mighty at a DC baseball-related fundraising dinner. Key lesson from this event: Just because the schedule says there's a bus to take you where you're going doesn't mean you can find the bus. This becomes important when the alternative is walking 30 city blocks in wingtips (each way), an experience I emphatically do not recommend to anyone. The dinner itself was splendid, though.

Today it's time to respond to the latest batch of your comments. Let's rummage around in the ol' comment bag and see what we can find, shall we?

Let's start with loyal reader PG, who thinks it's good that I almost died. No, wait, that's not exactly what she said. Forgive me, I'm functioning on limited sleep. Here's what she really said:

Near-death experiences are good for concentrating the mind. You figure out who and what is important, as well as what your regrets might be. The whole "did I say 'I love you'" is cheesy and cliched but nonetheless a real concern.

Good points all. I'm not sure what it says about me that, facing the possbility of extinction, I thought of the Fan Club and the waitress. (Let the record reflect that I thought of other things too, things that I did not include in my little narrative.) Does it mean that they are the most important things to me? Or the things that were most pressing on my mind at that moment? I'm not sure.

But it does occur to me that I don't say "I love you" enough these days. Just the way my life is running at the moment. Not sure what to do about it, though. Going up to random people on the street and saying it tends to creep them out. And most of the people I spend time with these days are not people I'd feel comfortable saying it to.

Why am I saying this? For the benefit of those readers out there who may think that near-death experiences automatically produce some sort of epiphany. Mine didn't. Maybe I did it wrong.

(And when did this blog become All About Me? My growing self-absorption is getting on my nerves. I really don't enjoy talking about myself that much. And this blog used to be about pretty much anything but me. Is it a side effect of wiritng a blog for a long time that you become stuck on yourself? Is it the surest sign you're out of material? Or have I just become a self-centered twit?)

(Am I crazy? I think my schedule is making me that way.)

At any rate, I'd like to point out that I do love you. All of you, who take the time to come by and read this blog. You're what makes it worth keeping this up. From far-flung corners of cyberspace, you all gather in my virtual living room to engage in a never-ending conversation. It enriches my life (and your lives too, I hope) more than you'll ever know.

Moving on, loyal reader Carl would like to put my fascination with little Ashley to good use:

If you have a new-found baby jones, you are welcome to come over and babysit sometime.

I'll keep that in mind, Carl. I'm not sure if it's a "baby jones" or not, but if so I'm glad to know I have a willing supplier.

Loyal reader Tripp offers a note of caution:

Careful about the babies - they get bigger. I know, cause I got four of them (three now teenagers!) myself! Yikes!

He then proceeds to take me to task for... well, for a number of things, really:

And what is this "fake it to make it" has not been a mantra for you? Are you an underachiever? Do you only do things you are 'comfortable' with? Anyone who has ever been good at anything has had to start somewhere, sometime, *before* they were good. I absolutely can't believe you have read "Ball Four" (not more than I have, I bet) and have NOT stuck your tongue out. My God, man, that book was practically a manual. I bet you thought it didn't pertain to you, huh?

You need a mentor. Someone who has a way with the ladies that you would like to have. It's best to have a real-life mentor, but even TV or movie characters can work. Study them. Copy them.

Oh, yeah, I can hear you now "But I wouldn't be being myself." Yes, you would. If you restricted yourself to NEVER changing you'd be walking around like some five year old right now. Instead, while you were growing up, without knowing it, you watched the people around you and modeled their behavior. So why not do that deliberately and for a purpose now? It really is no different than learning a sport or musical instrument. It seems very weird and difficult at the start, but eventually you will get better!

Capre Diem!

I must admit that, in all the times I have read Ball Four, it never once occurred to me to use it as a manual. (Just as you suspected.) Perhaps this is, as you say, at the heart of my problem. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a mentor.

By the way, I believe it was "Carpe Diem!" you were searching for. "Capre Diem!", as best I can figure, means "Goat of the Day!"

Loyal reader Brett offers sympathy for my Valentine-less Valentine's Day:

[S]orry to hear about your bad Valentine's Day. But it's nice that a high school memory is able to make it that much more bearable.

It's funny, the things that comfort you, sometimes. I've had a number of enjoyable Valentine's Days in my time, ones spent in the company of that Special Someone. But those don't stick out in my mind quite so much, for whatever reason.

By the way, about the co-worker with the dozen roses on her desk. I handled things as graciously as I could. I stopped by her desk to get a good look and told her the flowers were beautiful. She said it's the only time of year she gets flowers (shame on her husband for that), so she treasures them. For a guy who only buys them once a year, her husband has good taste in flowers. I do, too, but it's been a while.

A hearty round of thanks to everyone who congratulated me on the Fan Club's success! It's been hard work, but it's really paying handsome dividends. It's really exciting to be in on the ground floor of something like this... we're watching a new tradition being born. It's like an Internet start-up without the foosball tables and impending bankruptcy!

It's not often in life that you have a front-row seat for history like this. In the past month, I've done and seen more things and met more people than I'd have ever imagined possible before. The city is coming together around this team, and I'm thrilled to be in the middle of it all.

That's all for today. Something else tomorrow! (Possibly.)

Posted by Fred at February 23, 2005 11:53 PM

Dude... just because your childhood dream came true, and DC has a baseball team and you get to start up this hoity-toity fan club does not mean that you get to ignore your blog to this extent.

And really, how many "fans" can these mysterious "Nationals" even have?

Ehhh... I'm kidding, and more that a touch jealous. The only time my name is in the paper is when I'm falsely accused of some terrible crime.

Posted by: frinklin at February 24, 2005 01:06 AM


Nice catch on the capre diem! I am ashamed to say I took two years of high school latin and missed the typo.

I came across the following article from 1993 in Psychology Today. Maybe I read it when it came out - I don't know, but it certainly sums up my perceptions on courtship:

I won't hector you on this much more. Well, not for awhile - a day or two.

Posted by: Tripp at February 25, 2005 03:01 PM
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