Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Drop-Off

The calm before the storm. Not so much a storm as a whirlwind of activity today. In an hour, I'm meeting my buddy Phil to record some podcastification after a couple of false starts due to scheduling. From there, I'm heading over to Hannah's soccer game. Then I have to do a little Mother's Day shopping. In the late afternoon, I'm heading over to Lynn to play in a benefit hockey game to raise money for a scholarship in the name of Mike McGilvery, the guy who had a stroke last October during one of our games and died a week later. After that, I'm heading straight into the city to see the Tragically Hip play. They've revamped their live show this time around; no opening act and an intermission, with a setlist that changes every night. They've dug out some older songs they haven't played in years, so it promises to be a blast for Hip fans.

When I get to Boston, I like to park at a cheap lot on the outskirts of the city and take the subway to Kenmore Square. So I was not psyched to hear about an accident yesterday on the Green Line that was caused when one of the train operators was texting instead of paying attention. A trolley hit a train and more than 40 people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries. Things should be back to normal today. At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, is it really that necessary to text someone while you're driving (or operating a frickin' train)? How the hell did we ever survive without texting?

My latest running column was in the paper yesterday, this time talking about relay races. As for my running week, I was stuck on the treadmill Tuesday because of the rain but got out for a couple of nice runs the last two days. As much as I like training for marathons, it's also good to just be able to go out for a run with no goal attached.

This was my last week of hockey in Lynn until the fall. We skated for two hours Wednesday night and then today's game will be the grand finale. The guys I used to skate with in Concord have had to move their skate to Northborough, which is just too damn far. So I'm hoping to hook on with some guys skating in Reading courtesy of a guy who lives on our street. I'd love to keep it going right through the summer.

Boots or hearts:
  • Naming a kid is a tough task. Deb and I had many deliberations over what to name Hannah and Lily, mainly having to due with Deb's negative associations with certain names because she had students who were bratty/annoying/evil. We didn't pick the names based on anything other than we liked them, so it was surprising when we came to find out later that they were both pretty popular. In fact, there's a couple at our church who have twin girls named Hannah and Lily. But apparently, other names are proving more popular these days, with Emma the most popular girls' name this year and Hannah dropping out of the top 10. For boys, Jacob has been the most popular name for a decade. Pop culture and politics can play a role in kid name popularity, as there an increasing number of kids named Miley and Barack, just as a lot of Britneys started showing up a few years ago. For the record, if we had a boy, he would have been named Zach, based on my middle name Zachariah. And there's a ton of Zachs out there these days, too.
  • I'd like to say I was shocked by Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, but really, come on, now. I'm so jaded by all the stuff that's come out the last few years that any name that comes out wouldn't surprise me. It hasn't turned me off the game entirely and I still root for the Jays, but nothing shocks me anymore. Meanwhile, the first-place Dodgers have lost their first two games sans Manny and A-Rod, another superstar who admitted he took steroids early in his career, came back off the DL last night and hit a homer on the first pitch he faced.
  • A Pennsylvania high school handed out shot glasses as prom favors and naturally, people were upset. Hey, they're just trying to look out for the kids when they go to college. You don't want to be caught unprepared for binge drinking, folks.

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