Why Do I Have These Pictures?

When I win the lottery I think one of my projects will be to finally sit down for about a week or two and organize all of my pictures. I guess I don’t really know why because, really, one hundred years from now who will be looking at any of them, but I have a lot of pictures, and now that some are digital they pop up in the weirdest places, and without explanation. Why do I have these pictures?

An example of this: A folder on my cloud drive is labeled “Turkey Day Pix.”

This folder has been there since November of 2014, which kind of makes sense for the folder label, but for the life of me I don’t recall putting it there, and I’m usually pretty good at that kind of stuff. Then there are the pictures saved in it, and all I can come up with right now, as my wife is sleeping, is they must have been some kind of backup, maybe for a slideshow, and probably for her, because most of the pictures have to do with her family, although there are some personal gems that made me smile this morning as I was scrolling through them.

In the folder was one of my favorite pictures, a picture of my niece and me, from a visit to see them in Houston. I’m not sure why my niece would ever want to stab my with a fork, I mean, it’s not like I ever flipped her off or anything. I mean, I’m sweet Uncle Andy? Yet there she is, fork in hand, ready to jab me in my temple, with me oblivious.

Then, for whatever reason in this folder, was a picture of my sister. There she is, reading, I’m sure some technology manual and not some trashy piece of fiction, and I’m happy to see that she is ready for a sneeze with the box of tissues, likes Snoopy and M&M’s, seems to be ready if she needs a pen, and likes to keep dust away with the can of compressed air.

So there area a couple of pictures that make sense being part of my backups, but there it is, a picture of my brother-in-law, Paul, after a trip to the Sears Tower, I mean Willis Tower SkyDeck. Sure, he appears to be having fun, as he is wont to do, but why is it in my backups? What I’m also not posting are more pictures of my wife’s side of things, things like photos from my father-in-law’s party, my mom-in-law at a Costco, my sister-in-law with a bunch of her nurse co-workers, and my other brother-in-law holding a giant carrot.

Back to me. Along with the picture with my niece, there was also another picture of me. I’ll tell you there aren’t a lot of those as I like to be on the other side of the camera, taking the pictures, instead of having the picture taken, but there I am back when my ankle OCD, a.k.a. osteochondritis dissecans was flaring up, and was relegated to cruising the Wal-Mart in the motorized cart. Not my proudest of times.

I will ask my wife is she might remember why I have this folder of random pictures. She’ll probably recall, but for now it was just a fun trip through memory lane this morning, which, really, isn’t that what pictures are meant for?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

I’m All In and Will Take Credit for a Cavs Championship

All in or All Out. It's a Cavs Championship game.I’m “All In.” That’s right, it’s time, but I just hope I don’t curse the Cleveland Cavs Championship by being “all in” for the last game of the championship series.

See, I’m originally from the Cleveland area, spending my formative years in the city of Lorain, Ohio, about 25 minutes from downtown Cleveland. Back then Cleveland seemed like forever away. Hell, my Aunt who lived 10 minutes from our house, seemed like forever away, especially in a city where it took about 5 minutes to get anywhere. But, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals, fighting back from a deficit against the Golden State Warriors, and forcing a game 7 in the Warrior den of the Oracle Arena, in Oakland California, and the city of Cleveland is out of its mind, and frightened.

See, part 2, it’s been almost forever since a Cleveland team won a championship (I’m ignoring the Lake Erie Monsters who won the Calder Cup recently because, well, they don’t have “Cleveland” in their name, they are in the AHL which is like the step-child of the NHL, and there is almost no one who thinks “Cleveland” when they think “hockey.”). Okay, it’s not as long as the Chicago Cubs, but it’s been since 1964 since the Cleveland Browns won a championship for the city and it wasn’t even a Super Bowl because it was before the Super Bowl was born. The problem for Cleveland is they have been teased. There was a baseball tease by the Cleveland Indians in 1997, the Cavs teased in 2015, the city had football, then lost football when Art Modell stole the team to Baltimore (but thank God had to leave the Browns name in Cleveland), and then every year is a football tease, at least until the first game.

All along I have lived with the tease.

See, part 3, I love my Cleveland teams, and then moved to Chicago. When did I come to The Windy City? Let’s just say “Monsters of the Midway,” and the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl. Yea, yea, that was fine and all, good for Chicago, but I couldn’t find a reason to really celebrate. Football, blah, but then came the Cavs, back in the game, except for one problem, and that problem’s name for Cleveland was Michael Jordan. I remember that playoff final game, in 1989, and watching it, in my college room, on my tiny TV, by myself, as the rest of the people in the fraternity house were watching the game. The Cavs had it, they should have won, but there it was, “The Shot,” and the hopes of Cleveland crushed again, and a lot of taunting by my friends, and myself, and Cleveland, only to be crushed again in a few years. At least, as the years have been kind to Chicago, with some White Sox World Series wins, the Chicago Bulls dynasty, Chicago Blackhawk hockey awesomeness, and the eternal hope of that is the Chicago Cubs, I have been able to enjoy some championship celebration, but alas, at the end of it all, was Cleveland.

And see, part 4. I always cheer on my Cleveland teams yet somehow knowing they will probably let me down. The Browns show small glimpses of goodness, then blow up; The Indians ride the roller coaster of baseball, getting good, becoming bad, and even though there are thoughts they might be good again, along comes the implosion. Then come the Cavaliers. So close. So far. So close again. Here comes LeBron James! Yay! They must win! Nope, it’s Cleveland. They lose.

And see, final. I haven’t watched one, full Cleveland Cavalier’s basketball game this season. I would look at the box scores every now and then; I would see some highlights on the news; I would catch part of a game hear and there, and I would see the prognosticators saying how Cleveland had no chance, yet here they are, in Game 7 of the Championship game, with the only thing stopping them from breaking the “curse” is Steph “I’m going to whip my mouthpiece at a fan” Curry, and Steve “Ghost of the Chicago Bulls” Kerr.

So, I’m all in. That’s the slogan for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year, and it’s finally time I watch a game. I just hope I don’t fall asleep before the game is over, after all, I have to work on Monday. I also hope I don’t curse the team. If they lose I suppose you can blame me, but just remember that if they win, I’m taking the credit.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Dónde Está el Baño?


A monkey at Dreams Las Mareas resort in Costa Rica.Many, many years ago I took Spanish in high school. I did fairly well although I still think my Spanish teacher gave me a slight pass sometimes as I was also involved in yearbook, and she was yearbook advisor. I wish I could say my Spanish learnin’ has served me well, but I don’t remember much of the language any longer, although I can still read it out loud if something is written in Spanish. The issue there is that I probably wouldn’t know what I’m saying, so it’s probably best I stick to English.

Through all of my forgetfulness of the language there have been two phrases I can speak with authority, well, okay, three if you count “dos cervezas frias, por favor,” but mostly I know “No hablo español,” which is simply “I don’t speak Spanish,” and it oddly comes in handy if a person assumes you speak the language, but the coup de grâce of my knowledge is being able to ask where a bathroom is located. The thing is I’ve never been able to use the phrase as everywhere I’ve traveled, well, English was widely spoken. Finally, though, after all of these years, on a trip to Costa Rica, I was able to rattle off “Dónde Está el Baño?”, and the dude pointed me in the direction of relief!

I have never been so excited not to really know how to speak a different language!

A weird tree at Dreams Las Mareas resort in Costa Rica.The thing is that as we were preparing for our trip I really wanted to brush up on my Spanish. I kept thinking I should pull out my Duolingo app and start the lessons, but I would usually keep thinking about this when I was in the car and never followed through when I could pay attention. Eventually the time came to head to Costa Rica, most of the reviews about the Dreams Las Mareas resort mentioned you could get by without knowing Spanish, and although sometimes a challenge, most of the staff could figure out what you wanted, and they would always end with “It’s a pleasure.”

It was a nice trip though I wish it were longer. We saw some monkeys, and we opted not to go on any excursions, instead just to relax a lot, which was nice, but I will say that it was really hot and humid, especially just coming off a Chicago winter. Nothing really mattered, though, because all I know is that I finally got to use “Dónde Está el Baño?”, and I pulled it off like I knew Spanish!