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And this isn’t about football.

Though we nestled inside during these last single-digit days, and enjoyed seeing GranJorja’s Insta pictures of our little cousins in Pasadena – visiting the preparations for the Rose Bowl floats and lining up for a front row view of the parade. Jorja’s first visit to the Rose Bowl was many years ago, when she and my brother Mike, the fairly new GM of the Minnesota franchise found out what winter in California was really like;

“The Vikings played in their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years against the Oakland Raiders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, on Jan. 9, 1977.”

And I have to admit that Bob did watch a little college ball yesterday, exclaiming about what a great game Georgia was playing against Oklahoma. I was reheating a black-eyed pea concoction I’d delivered to a party on New Year’s Eve (returning with half of it), and couldn’t care less about the game. I know, shocking!

Still during halftime, Bob paused the action to play a game of cards with me. An actual real game of cards, that are not on a device but depicted Provence in all its glory, with an “R” for the King and a “D” for the Queen and so we looked at each card carefully to see if we’d visited that market or that field of lavender… How many men would do that? Stop watching football for a game of chance?

My Daddy Jim would play Gin Rummy with me nearly every night when I was a child. The only TV show I remember being allowed to watch at night was “Father Knows Best,” and indeed, I learned quite a bit from Jim. He would help Nell clean up the kitchen after dinner, not many men did this in the 50s. He would put on the kettle for tea, open a box of ginger snaps, and get out the cards and the pennies. We played for pennies that would end up in my piggy bank aka a cigar box.

Every now and then, we’d sit at the kitchen table on a weekend morning, and roll the pennies up in reddish brown wrappers. Then he would drive me into town to deposit the  loot in my own savings account at the bank!

Maybe this is why I love games so much? I love backgammon, chess, rummikub, poker, Go Fish, and I think I want to learn Canasta and Exploding Kittens! And I really need to learn Mahjongg!! I saw a friend’s picture recently of her grandson playing a board game and the word “Sorry” just popped into my head. I recognized the board I haven’t seen in probably sixty years.

I remember playing Chutes and Ladders with my kiddos. Today, my best buddy’s retirement means he’s willing to indulge my love of games. Unfortunately, our Scrabble game is in the Pod. https://www.thespruce.com/best-family-board-games-4151145

Scrabble was the Flapper and Nell’s favorite game. It is one of my top 5 I have to admit, though you might have guessed that wordsmithy is my jam. When the Bride talked me into Words With Friends, it wasn’t the same. Call me old-fashioned, but I actually like interacting with REAL people, and so virtual gaming in any form is NOT my jam.

We got the Grands a wonderful new game this year for Hanukkah. It’s called “Silly Street”  and the Love Bug loved it! It’s not just fun, it helps children build confidence and think about their answers, and it ends with a dance party every time! http://playsillystreet.com And I’ve collected two beautifully illustrated Bingo games for our house as they get older, one with birds and one with bugs, of course.

So if you’re like me, and determined to add a little more fun to 2018, why not start a new routine with the family, a game night that doesn’t involve a device? Well, except for “Heads Up!” that’s the exception, thank you Ellen, and it’s great for travel.

Happy and Healthy 2018 Everyone! Here is our Lil Pumpkin mid-strike in our impromptu straw hockey game at a restaurant. Look out Preds!IMG_1678

 

 

 

 

 

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Football on the Brain

Bet you thought I was going to write about the Pope? Nope. Don’t get me wrong or anything, but once a lapsed Catholic, always a bit of a doubter. Humility was driven into us in Catholic school, and you know who you are my fellow Sacred Heart peeps. It’s nice to see a Pope who practices the Catechism we were taught in the 1950s.

Anyway, today is the highest and holiest day of the Jewish Year, Yom Kippur. It’s a day to ask our family and friends for forgiveness, and to cover all bases, we ask God to forgive even those things we may have forgotten to ask him/her about! It’s also a fast day – meaning Jews everywhere are starving! It’s the one day in the year a Jewish mother won’t ask you, “Did you eat?” This must be where Lent came from, and even Ramadan – give up something good to eat and all your sins will be forgiven.

I’ve been cooking up a storm since returning home. Bob lost a few pounds while recovering from his Cervical Spine surgery in NY, so I feel it’s my God-given right to make dessert these days. Dressed in a Darth Vader neck brace/collar, Bob has spent a few hours watching football lately, both college and professional, and of course I’ve come along for the ride – cause I’m a ride or die girl!

And even though watching football makes me feel like I’m back at the Roman Coliseum watching, “Gladiators (who) were generally slaves, condemned criminals or prisoners of war,” I could appreciate the choreography of a good first down. Nurses would walk into Bob’s room and offer up some banter about the team on the screen – football was that equal opportunity conversation starter. “Did you see Brady walk on?” Or “I’m from Pittsburgh you know,” one nurse told me after I said I was a New England Patriots fan. Whoops.

Still every time I’d hear that distinct sound of helmet meeting helmet, I’d cringe. We’ve known what repeated tackles can do to the brain for years now, research and science has finally won out over owners and NFL managers. One guy got booted off the field for head-butting an opponent. Repetitive Head Trauma, so many concussions over the years, and still we watch these giant men crash into each other. Is it really good sport, or are we kidding ourselves?

When the Rocker and Ms Cait flew out on the red eye from LA to visit Bob during his hospitalization, we learned that our son had worked on the sound design for Will Smith’s new movie trailer, Concussion. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-concussion-movie-nfl-20150903-story.html

NFL games are the only programs that regularly deliver the kind of big ratings that were once taken for granted by broadcast television. Nearly all of those viewers watch the games and their commercials live in an age when delayed playback of shows is common. As a result, the NFL was able to demand $5 billion a year in rights fees from its television partners in the pact that runs through 2021.

God forgive us for watching so much football. And please point our new baby grandson toward soccer!    IMG_3227

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Well, not really “knew” him, but I did meet him once, at a football game. It was back in the ’80s, after we’d moved home to NJ. My brother Mike was the President and General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, and he invited us to an NFL game in Giants Stadium when the Vikings were playing an exhibition game against NY – they are in different leagues. I think.

Really, I know nothing about football. I don’t even like to watch it. I love watching basketball, and soccer because I played those sports as a girl. But football, even in high school, didn’t interest me in the least. Bob, on the other hand, loves watching football and was excited to get up close and personal.

Except we were seated way up high, as far away from the field as the press, in the owner’s box. Butlers served us food and drink. I know it was around Halloween because a pre-teen Bride was wearing a pair of cheap skeleton earrings in that picture. The one I took of her with Trump. The one I can’t find for the life of me. He was larger than life, and his hair wasn’t an issue yet. The rumor going around was that he’d broken up with his wife, Ivana, and was dating a model.

In fact, soon-to-be wife number two, Marla Maples was supposedly waiting for him in the wings of the arena, hidden from photographers. Some NY paper later published the headline, “Best Sex I Ever Had,” referring to his new conquest. I remember this too because I bought Bob a tie with that headline enmeshed in some other text.

Trump was sweet to my daughter, generous with a warm handshake, and some polite small talk, before turning to my brother to talk business. There was an energy shift when he walked into the room; as if one gladiator, one titan of industry had come to see another. They were there to cement a friendship and to see if there was a team Trump might be able to buy.

Which is why it didn’t surprise me to hear Trump defend the Patriots and Tom Brady this morning. He does love the NFL, he walks in those owner’s box corridors of power.

And after listening to network media try and figure out what Trump’s allure is to Republican voters, I found my answer on Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed. Morgan was the first winner of The Apprentice, he worked closely with Trump for months and knew him pretty well. He’s also an old style newsman, who is not afraid to say what he thinks. In a nutshell, Morgan thinks Trump has a double digit lead in the polls for one reason – because he doesn’t apologize.! 

It’s literally not in his DNA to ever say he’s sorry. I watched him squirm under the Today Show’s repeated questions around his “hero” remark:  “Well, then why did Savannah start off by saying that I said that he was not a war hero? I never said that. I said he was a war hero, Matt,” Trump said. “So you misrepresent — just like everybody else.” http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-john-mccain-controversy-2015-7#ixzz3hHuJJY3s

And he didn’t say Mexicans are rapists; he said the Mexican government sends us their criminals, some of whom are rapists, and on and on – he clarifies, equivocates, and turns the table, but he never EVER apologizes. I once heard him say, “I try hard not to ever make a mistake.” And that was about the best he could do. He’s like that guy who says, “Honey, I’m sorry IF what I said hurt your feelings;” which implies it certainly didn’t hurt his feelings, if he had any to begin with… except Trump won’t even say that!

And we Americans love a good Master of Ceremonies, someone who can bring the three ring political circus we call the Hill under control, the benevolent Boss Man who has to fire people from time to time, the shark in the water who never looks back. No Apologies. We love that charismatic guy with the funny hair and the balls made of steel, who thinks nothing of a little deflate-gate. He’s larger than life, with the money to play and an ego to match, and God help us if we elect him President.

My Big Brother Mike

My Big Brother Mike

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