(Sunday Paper, Volume I, Issue 30)
A few weeks back our coffeemaker broke.
It was right before Thanksgiving, so I figured instead of rushing out to get a new one we could wait about a month and use a Christmas gift card to buy a new one.
Seemed like a pretty reasonable idea at the time.
But I'm here to tell you, it is getting to be a little hard to handle.
For many years I was buying coffee every day. I'd stop at Dunkin' on the way to school and then have another late-morning coffee from the school supply.
Then, when I was bringing kids to school with me I couldn't stop every day - it became a once-a-week treat and I just filled up my mug when I got to school.
Then I started to make coffee at home and I never looked back.
And since I've been working from home I've settled into a great caffeinated routine: I make the coffee first thing, have a cup with breakfast, maybe a little more after I drop the kids off at school and then another full cup mid-afternoon to keep me going for when the kids come home or to make sure I can stay awake for that night's comedy commitments.
Since the coffeemaker broke it's been chaos.
I find myself a little more irritable with the girls before drop-off because I haven't had coffee. (I recognize this in myself and am trying to control it. And it gives us all yet another reason to look forward to Christmas.) I find myself a little scatter-brained - the other day I went to the store to pick up a Christmas gift before I stopped by Dunkin' to get my coffee and I made a terrible, wrong purchase. My brain just wasn't working correctly. And I've been tired because I haven't had my afternoon wake-up coffee everyday. (I'll sometimes have a Kuerig but I'm not a huge Kuerig guy - sometimes it works in the afternoon but I find there's not enough caffeine for it to serve as my morning coffee.)
The thought occurred to me when the coffeemaker broke that this would be a good time to quit coffee cold-turkey since I had such a reliance on it. And then when I got so sick right after that I thought the timing was perfect. Then I thought maybe the reason I was so sick was because I wasn't drinking my coffee the same way. So I drank some coffee. I didn't feel better physically but I did feel better mentally because I had my caffeine.
So I'm not quitting coffee. I'm just building up the purchases on my Dunkin' card so I can space out my free coffee rewards.
I have two free coffee coupons now. So that's two less I have to buy this week as we await the coming of the new coffeemaker.
That's what Christmas is all about (this year), Charlie Brown.
Not much to report from the writing world, but I do have the links to what I told you about last week - the three articles I submitted to a magazine commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. That (and all of my published writing) can be found at this link - scroll down towards the bottom for the Pearl Harbor magazine excerpts. The entire magazine was too large a file to upload so I just uploaded what I wrote, but the whole magazine was really well done.
Had a great time hosting the Speakers show on Thursday. Incredible lineup of comedians, pretty good crowd came out - felt good about it. It was probably the last show at that venue, but I'm sure (I hope?) there will be other local opportunities.
This week is a good week - I'm in Abington (free show) Monday, Allston on Tuesday (free show), and telling a story on Thursday in a show at Improv Boston on Thursday (not a free show). The 'Comedy Shows' link at the top of the page has all the details.
What I've Been Enjoying
I talk a lot about baseball and football. Those are the two sports I spend the most time watching. Hockey used to be a close three but now I only get into it when the playoffs roll around. And basketball, well, we've had a tough 15 years. I used to be all about the NBA. Baseball's always been my number one, but for a while in the 1990s basketball would have been 1a. Then the baseball strike hit, followed closely by the NBA lockout, and I couldn't stop watching baseball so I took my baseball strike aggression out on the NBA lockout and haven't been interested in it since. I still like watching college basketball - especially in March - and occasionally will watch a little NBA, but not like I used to. And I no longer care about the Knicks. But this week I was thinking about them.
Sports Illustrated had an article about Jayson Williams, the former St. John's and New Jersey Nets forward who quickly fell into hard times. (You may remember when he accidentally shot and killed his limo driver.) Well, the article was about how Williams is trying to get back on his feet...but the scene was stolen for me by former Knicks forward Charles Oakley. Without pomp Oakley is introduced in the article (linked above...and apparently this story was also on Showtime's '60 Minutes Sports' this week) as a supporter of Williams and he'll meet with him often and then cook dinner for the sober house where Williams spends a lot of his time. I was blown away reading about Oakley.
So I read more. I didn't know Oakley lived in Cleveland. (He also has homes in Atlanta and New York.) I vaguely remembered the reference to Oakley having had a falling-out with the Knicks. So I refreshed my memory this week by reading the New York Times article from early November profiling Oakley. He probably made his own bed with the Knicks, but I doubt he's said anything about the organization that is untrue. I don't follow them closely, but I know enough to know they've been a disaster for more than a few years. It's too bad though. I always closely related to Oakley as a player - when I played I was a good rebounder with limited range who did the messy work in the paint. My favorite player was Patrick Ewing because he was (I guess somewhat) more exciting to watch, but I've grown less impressed with him as a person over the years. I'm growing more and more impressed with Oakley. I think he's now my all-time favorite Knicks player.
*One more Oakley note - when I was a teenager I worked at a sporting goods store outside Madison Square Garden. On a quiet weekend afternoon - I can't remember if it was in season or not - Charles Oakley came in to buy something. At the time I didn't think much of it but now that he's my hero I'm realizing he probably was buying merchandise to give away to sick kids or something. Anyway, I was most impressed with his height. He was always announced as 6'9'', and he was always standing next to Patrick Ewing, who was 7 feet tall, so he looked regular-size. When he came into the store I couldn't believe how big 6'9'' was.
*It's BOWL SEASON!! This is one of my favorite times of the year, partly because I love the weeks building up to Christmas and the New Year, and partly because I love the Bowl Pool I participate in. Every day between now and New Year's Day (and then some days afterwards), between the NFL and college football, I have games to watch and root for. That's a lot of fun for me. (With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year it also makes for an interesting football schedule between the bowl games, an almost-full NFL slate on Christmas Eve, then a couple of games on Christmas Day, then Monday Night Football the next night. It's just nice to have an alternative to the NBA on Christmas Day.)
*Only one more week of 2016 Sunday Papers, which means in two weeks we're back to 'Volume II, Issue 1'!!! That excites me more than it probably should.