Posts Tagged ‘overtime’

Brothers FTW

3 January 2009

Dear J-

Down here in San Diego there’s a palpable electricity in the air as the Chargers host the Colts in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.  Sure, there’s a hint of opportunism, as after November most of us had pretty much left the team for dead, just as they’d deflated our hopes this season with one close loss after another.  Plus the conventional wisdom was that some team with a Manning at the helm would roll their way forward through the playoffs, but that’s the beauty of a playoff system — win or go home, no excuses, no second-guessing, just demonstrating which team is better on the field.

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So it goes; the Chargers are well-regarded in this city — to the point where we’d regret seeing them go, but not, perhaps as much as Nick Canepa might suggest, to the point where all sense of civic identity would be lost, despair would reign, and everyone would commit ritual suicide if they left.  At this point they’re like the brother that always threatens to move out when they don’t get their way, and that no one takes seriously any more.

Tonight I’m thinking about family, as a result, watching the Bolts and Colts swapping the lead like a hot potato.  Whereas your fan can swap allegiances as needed, as my parents are fond of saying, I’ve only got one brother in the world, often after some petty squabble had divided us (window down or up, who gets the last whatever, or any of the innumerable opportunities for sharing that may go awry).  It’s one of those truths that make you groan at the time with the blatant obviousness of it, but as I get older, I appreciate it more.  We fumble through the world knowing little else but that we’ve always got a place to turn to in all cases, on all occasions.  Life is messy, but knowing you’ve got that support, no judgement, no reservations, no boundaries, no distance, no reasons — there’s nothing I’d trade for that.

Mike

P.S.  Chargers 23, Colts 17 (OT).

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Just Like US

16 September 2008

Dear J-

We head home together without rancor; the weight of work lifts as we pass through the gates and so far, it’s still sunny on the way back.  Come the end of Daylight Savings, though, things will change.  Sometimes I think about picking up a smoking habit, or even just a secondhand smoking habit, for the excuse of getting out of doors once in a while when I’m otherwise stuck at my desk all day long.  Back in grad school I had friends from foreign countries who’d drag me outside — this is how I picked up the odd habits of carspotting I carry to this day.

I get out the door in the afternoons and forget how bright daylight is; the conflicting edicts of microbreaks and productivity conspire to keep me from leaving my chair on a regular basis.  Weather, what’s weather again?  The amazing thing is how staying busy keeps the day moving; no sooner it seems that I get one or two small things done than it is time to head back home again.  I can’t help but put on my old job hat and look at things from a cost engineer’s perspective; one of the rules was that overtime was effective in limited instances, but completely ineffective to the point of countering productivity after roughly six weeks.  The aphorism that work expands to fill the available time holds true:  given the chance, I suspect that we’ll lay some pretty spectacularly polished gold bricks.

But we’re headed home again.  Weather continues to cooperate with the notion that it’s still summer around here, not a handful of days short of the next equinox.  The political season continues, unabashed in hypocritical contradictions and hyperbolic projections; I keep hoping that folks will figure out better criteria for picking candidates than tabloid magazines (the “Stars, they’re just like US” segment in US magazine comes to mind — not that I read that too much, right).  I can’t say that I understand the backlash against smart candidates — why is it so engrained in us to be jealous?  We’ll have a lot of time to consider it, at any rate.

Mike

Last Sunday

9 August 2008

Dear J-

It seems simple — just a few more hours, one more Sunday of work, and yet it’s been looming over my head all week like some sort of sword, delighting in telling me that there’s no way I can enjoy the weekend at this rate.  It’s already over, and all I’ve done is watch more than my fair share of Olympic coverage (handball, beach volleyball — here I confess I’ve never understood how you can separate the athlete from their looks, swimming, fencing, and all those sports that the truly devoted watch in lieu of housework).  Ah well.  All the same; the earth turns, the sun sets, I return to work.  It’s not forever, it’s not more than tomorrow, and all it really comes down to is being able to come home at the end.  I’ll live.  The frustration is not personal, yet the disappointment can’t hide, unfortunately.

Mike