Archive for February, 2015

Dear Evan: Scary Stories

February 11th, 2015

Dear Evan:

I think you’re inheriting your daddy’s love for scary stories. Recently, you ask every night for a scary story — “but not *too* scary, just a little scary” — after we read books at bedtime.

Sometimes, I’m able to oblige, though I have to admit more often that I start in on what *I* think is only a little scary, and you plug your eyes and stop me right away.

(Looks like the Headless Horseman will need to wait another year.)

You may also have inherited your daddy’s love for storytelling. A few nights ago, we were driving home from errands and I heard from the back seat:

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014

“…and the ghost became a *witch*… and the witch became a *monster*… and the monster became a *gob-uh-lin*… and the gob-uh-lin became a *pile of zombies*!”

All complete with dramatic enunciation and growly whisper. I laughed. “What are you doing, bug?”

“Telling a scary story.”

If you get an agent before I do, I’m just going to be crushed.

I love you,


Another loss for Doug’s family

February 6th, 2015

Some of my newer friends won’t recognize the name Mary Bastianelli; she is the mother to my dear departed friend Doug and, I’m sad to say, passed away earlier this week.

I never met her, but I did reach out to Mary and her husband after Doug’s death. Evan’s middle name is Douglas, and so for the first couple of years of his life I would send Mary and Al photos and notes about my little boy’s harrowing early days and then his bloom into full health. Mary always wrote very sweet letters back, and sent a copy of “Goodnight Moon” that we read to this day.

I don’t know the circumstances behind Mary’s passing, but I do know that somewhere, Doug welcomed her with a bear hug and that wide, mischievous grin. I’m glad they’ve been reunited.

The NFL has a trust problem

February 2nd, 2015

I’ve spent the morning debating whether to write about the state of Roger Goodell’s NFL, but this overheard exchange may seal the deal.

Two co-workers — and I work with professional auditors — were opining in the men’s room whether the Super Bowl was fixed, whether the last call at the end was, as one said, “You know, politics.” You know, because the commish and the Pats’ owner are best buddies.

First: Come on. No coach wants to lose the Super Bowl. That’s just dumb. And yet… and yet these two men, whose job it is to pore over corporate accounts looking for any sort of intentional or unintentional wrongdoing, unironically opined that a coach might have thrown the game so the Commish’s favorite team would win. And I’m not in the heart of Seattle; here in Dallas, all we care is that the Iggles or Potomic Drainage Basin Indigenous Peoples don’t win the Super Bowl.

The NFL has a trust issue.

As Gregg Easterbrook often says, the league doesn’t have to be America’s favorite sport. Baseball was once, remember, until real and imagined scandal brought it low. And this past season has been rife with real and imagined scandal, culminating in the Super Bowl win whose trip to the Big Game is openly attributed to breaking the rules. That’s not even taking into consideration the laughably tone-deaf (and I am being incredibly generous there) responses to the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson issues.

I love football. I love the NFL. Something’s got to be done. Because when “Deflategate” or “Ballghazi” or whatever fizzles — and it will, because what commish would take back the Lombardi trophy from the team responsible for his ascendancy? — my co-workers won’t be the only ones floating ridiculous conspiracy theories. After that, it’s a quick trip to “eh, the game is rigged” and an exodus of fans.