Monday, October 24, 2016

The Cubs Are FINALLY Going to the World Series!

Sometimes you really do have to wait almost a lifetime for something. For myself and other Cubs fans around the country and the world, that day has FINALLY come. In my lifetime, I have lived through ...

*  The great collapse of 1969. A team with several future Hall of Fame members just faded in August and September. Harry Caray was still announcing for the St. Louis Cardinals at that time and was heard to sing and say "The Cardinals are coming, tra la, tra la," but it was the dastardly New York Mets who overtook the Cubbies and eventually won the World Series.

*  In 1984, the Cubs went up two games to none against the San Diego Padres in the five-game National League Championship Series. In game five, first baseman Leon Durham let a ground ball go through his legs, allowing the tying run to score. Disaster followed. The Cubs had this series and blew it. Friggin' Steve Garvey.

* In 1989, the Cubs faced the San Francisco Giants in the Championship Series. The Giants won the series in five games in what I remember as the series of first basemen. Will Clark went 13 for 20 and Mark Grace went 11 for 17. The Cubs had some great players, but the Giants just seemed to be the overall better team.

*  In 2003, the Cubs were within five outs of going to the World Series in game six. It will forever be known as the Bartman Game. The Cubs suffered a bitter losses to the Florida Marlins in that game and game seven. Although the Marlins were arguably the better team (they did win the World Series), the Cubbies should have won the series. No longer did people say "In Dusty, we trusty."

*  In 2007 and 2008, the Cubbies had great teams, yet were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectfully. Manager Sweet Lou couldn't bat for the feckless Cubs.

*  In 2015, the Cubs got hot as the season wore on and made it to the National League Championship Series, only to be swept by the Mets. My brother, thundering36 and I were at that final game. Although the defeat to the excellent pitching staff of the Mets was sad, it laid hope for the 2016 season.

With the Cubs finally making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945, the feeling is indescribable. The closest thing I can say is it is like Christmas when you were a kid ... times 50!

Unfortunately, a sad note is that the Cubs, like the White Sox in 2005, took too long to get to the Promised Land. My father, a White Sox fan, passed away 14 months before the Sox won the World Series. My mother, a Cubs fan, passed away this past June. Her grandchildren have made the hashtag #winitforgram on Facebook (the more recent posts -- not the ones for the grandmother who is 102 years old!). So I guarantee you, if there is some funky World Series play where the ball takes a weird hop for the Cubs, you can guess that my mother was probably involved from the great beyond.
In the meantime, I am wearing what I call the "Cubs smile" today. The sun is shining, the temperature is fine. Play ball! Or maybe even ...

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Brief Update

Thanks to the people who shared their wisdom on my last post either through blog comments or private communications to me via other means. This past week at work was particularly brutal. Last Sunday, I had to work to prepare my office for any students who sought counseling assistance due to a local shooting. On Tuesday night, I was working with police to track down a person whom we considered a serious self-harm risk. Needless to say, there was a lot of stress this past week.

In some ways, the recent events almost seemed to muddle my situation further. I was at the top of my game and met the challenges I needed to. At the same time, I was reminded that maybe it is time to let go of my administrative responsibilities and get back to my regular job.

I chuckled at the people who said that my decision should include the amount of poker I will be able to play. The truth is, my poker is very much impacted by my job. Before I took on these additional responsibilities several years ago, I was heading to Harrah's Horseshoe Hammond about every other weekend to play poker. I now use the weekends more for relaxation, which usually does not include the 2 1/2 hour drive to play at The Shoe.

On Sunday, however, I am heading up to the Chicago suburbs to get a better idea of how much will need to be done to begin to get rid of the junk in my Mom's house. I plan on torturing myself by watching the Bears play the Lions, and then playing some $1/2 NL at Harrah's Joliet on the way home. Ahhh ... how sweet it would be to catch some of the bad beat jackpot which is now over $600,000. Heck, even the mini bbj is almost $35,000!

I hope to be able to write a positive poker post upon my return ... if I have time, that is. I am beginning to appreciate how valuable and elusive free time can be.

Thanks for reading!