"But have you been to Barksdale Air Force Base?"
It's the end of the month....so, once again, it's time for 10 happy things!
1. Roland Garros is underway. That's the French Open for you people who aren't into tennis. The best thing about Roland Garros being underway, however, is that it means that the start of Wimbledon is less than a month away.
2. Direct TV (and, I'm sure, other cable providers) has recently added The Tennis Channel to its lineup. This brings me incredible joy. Not only do I now have a channel devoted entirely to my second-favorite sport, it also comes complete with five additional channels that do nothing but show French Open tennis matches. Like my MLB Extra Innings package, these tennis channels also come with this handy set of interactive menus that give me all kinds of delicious tennis tidbits. I'm close to tennis heaven. If they do this extra channels with interactive menus thing for Wimbledon, I will fully be in tennis heaven.
3. In keeping with the tennis trend here, I'm going to attend a day of the US Open in New York this year. It is my goal to eventually get to all four grand slams before I die. This will be the first. I don't even care who I see play. I'm just psyched as hell to be going.
4. Both of my favorite baseball teams are in first place. As baseball is pretty much my reason for life in the summer, the fact that both of my favorite teams are in first place is enough said.
5. The new Director of Marketing, who never ceases to crack me up, has started doing this new thing that totally slays me. He'll call my office from his office...and just as a frame of reference, when someone calls your extension from another extension in the office, the phone will display exactly who is calling on the little display screen. So, when he calls, I know it's him before I pick up the receiver. Every time he calls, I pick up the phone, he says my name, I say "yessir?", and then he says his name....first and last. It's very reminiscent of old-school Johnny Cash when he'd come out on stage at one of his shows and say, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" as if there was even the most remote possibility that someone in the room didn't have the foggiest as to who he was.
6. The US of A used to have all these wonderful little traditions that were carried over from our days as part of the British Empire. Sadly, though, with the passage of time, many of these fun little things have fallen out of vogue....except for, however, in the South. My favorite of these is the tendency for a married couple to take the wife's maiden name as use it as the middle name of their first born. I've recently discovered that Freddy Fantastic's middle name is in fact his mother's maiden name, a still-common practice in his native Virginia. His middle name is Barksdale. That is now all I call him. Why the hell would I call the guy 'Fred' when I can call him something infinitely more debonaire like 'Barksdale'? Thankfully, because I'm cute, he lets me get away with it. His mother, I'm told, also gets a huge bang out of it.
7. Staying with Barksdale...here's another little quip. Being from Virginia, he's not been exposed to a glut of real-life Italian culture. Every Sunday, he watches The Sopranos and then asks me a million and one questions about the reality of this or that behavior, or what does this word mean, or why would this or that person react in this or that way, or why something I think is funny is actually funny because, you know, he doesn't get it. It's just too cute. I feel like some kind of Donnie Brasko spinoff explaining the different implications of a phrase like "this fucking guy". Plus, it lets me feel all uber-Italian...and being Italian is my most favorite thing about myself.
8. My pool is open. It's a lot of work. Actually, it's more work than I thought it would be...but it's totally worth it. It was nearly 90 degrees when I got home from work last night....and you know what I did? I put on my bathing suit, put the baseball game on, ran the sound to the speaker I have on my desk specifically for listening to the television outside, cracked open a beer, and floated in my pool with my beer listening to the baseball game. It was fan-fucking-tastic.
9. I've got a friend whose mother liquidating the contents of her house in Batavia. The woman apparently has a house in some other state and she's just going to live there instead of splitting time between the two houses....and she's trying to get rid of as much of her stuff as possible. So....she's giving me this magnificent kitchen cart with a butcher block on top. This is like a $750 piece of kitchen decor and she's just giving it to me because he daughter said she knew someone who'd want it. Pretty cool.
10. Marcus Theaters in Orland Park does this thing every summer where they show an older movie on Sunday nights for five bucks. This year's line-up includes, among a host of other cool movies, The Dark Crystal. THE DARK CRYSTAL!!!! ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!!! The last time I saw The Dark Crystal on the big screen, I was around six years old. When my little brother called me and told me The Dark Crystal was coming to the theater this summer, I just about had a stroke.
There you have it...my ten happy things for this month. We now return you to your regularly scheduled boredom.