Monday, August 31, 2009

A tribute for Tedy

If you can make Bill Belichick choke up, then the least you deserve is a tribute on this blog.

Tedy Bruschi's 13-year run with the Patriots is over. He leaves with three rings, five Super Bowl appearances and countless memories for anyone who has followed New England for the past decade and more.

Noted cyborg and NFL supervillain Belichick called him the "perfect player." You can't find higher praise from a coach who demands maximum effort and maximum intelligence from all his players -- and he got it from Bruschi his entire time here.

While age, mileage and a stroke took their toll on his recent on-field performance, any Patriot fan will always think of the smallish linebacker who, for 13 years, always seemed to be in the right place, who always seemed to make the big play, who always seemed to get the absolute best of his abilities. After Tom Brady, he's the most popular player of the dynasty because he was the everyman, yet he was a relentless torpedo on the field.

My favorite Bruschi memory was the divisional playoff game in 2005 against the Colts when he tore the ball from a running back's hand. It perfectly epitomized what made him so special. To top it off, he pumped me up with some great quotes after the game. For context, remember that the Colts endlessly complained about the AFC title game the year before, claiming the Pats were too rough in the secondary and that they intentionally let the field conditions deteriorate. (Apparently, the weather gets dicey in Massachusetts in January. Hmm.) Basically, they were sore sports and couldn't take their loss like men.

"We play! That's what we do. We don't talk. We play. You come to Foxborough, it's gonna be snowing. It's gonna be cold. C'mon in here! You wanna say all you want? You wanna change the rules? Change 'em! We still play. And we win. That's what we do."

Does any quote sum up what this team is about better? Call them cheaters. Call them meanie-pants. But they never complain about refs or injuries and they never bad mouth other teams unless provoked. They just play. And they usually win.

Just like Bruschi.

His comeback from a stroke is a great story which goes without saying. His reputation as a great family man who truly appreciated the fans is common knowledge. I'll always remember him in the spirit of that great 20-3 drubbing of the "unstoppable" Colts. He was the heart and soul of a defense that won three Super Bowls.

(Though it should have been four Super Bowls.)

Oh, and I'll always remember how he made Bill Belichick choke up. He proved the coach just might be human. Might be his best accomplishment yet.
So long, 54. Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and some Saturdays won't be the same without you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Theme Songs Part II

You might recall my list of top TV show theme songs from my childhood. By popular demand, it's time to list the best from that point forward. Basically, shows from the mid-90s through the present.

I considered the quality of song and the quality of the visuals. I know I have a strange fascination with this topic. Please forgive me.

10. Six Feet Under: A tad long but perfect for the show -- the most important thing for any theme. The black crow, the white light, the levitating letters, the sorrowful yet hopeful music and the lonely tree all stick with the viewer and all tell you distinctly this show is about death (if you didn't know by the title.)

9. Dexter: It's another show staring Michael C. Hall. The song is brilliant -- creepy, unnerving but enjoyable nonetheless, just like the main character. The song isn't the key player, though. It's the spots of blood from shaving. It's the simple act of cutting a fruit and making it as violent as a killer hacking someone's leg off or tying a shoeless like he'd strangle a gangster.

8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ignore the fact I was a big, big Sarah Michelle Gellar fan back in my formative years. Really big. Huge. Anyway, the song rocks. It tells you the characters on this show are ready to kick some Bill Compton-ass. I even have it on my iPod.

7. Law & Order: Recognized instantly by anyone who has ever owned a television set, this opener is iconic. The guitar part alone I can hum from beginning to end. (Yeah, I'm proud of that.) The images are decent, but this one goes down in history simply for the song, often introduced by a Lennie Briscoe wisecrack.

6. Damages: I continue to push for this show to reach a larger audience because it deserves it. A small, yet not insignificant reason is this A+ theme song. The tune is "When I Am Through with You" by the VLA. And trust me, the title could not be more appropriate. The sequence shows a gloomy New York City haunted by aged statues, institutional buildings and hovering clouds. Includes only a flash of the two main characters of the show right at the end, the good, bad and in between of the city's system of justice.

5. The West Wing: Admittedly, this slathers on the patriotism with the waving flag and the soaring instrumental, but gosh darn, if it doesn't make me want to work for the Office of Management and Budget. And check out this version, only with a real administration.

4. The Simpsons: This show has been on since the Hoover Administration, but I only started watching in junior high. Do I even need to explain it? Everyone knows it by now. I linked to the new version and it's a testament to how ingrained this opener is because I was jarred watching it. Like changing Mount Rushmore.

3. Mad Men: I'm not as crazy about this show as many people, but this thing is perfection. The black silhouette is a stroke of genius. His constructed office disintegrates and he falls past a dizzying array of 60's-era advertisements until ending on one of the coolest images in TV, the picture at the top of the blog. The definition of cool, just like this show.
Check out this great parody from the Simpsons.

2. True Blood: This could have easily been numero uno because it's that good. The song is great but I love the images. The rotting fox. The dead possum. The "God Hates Fangs" sign. The little boy in the Klan outfit followed by the cut to the old guy rocking in his chair. It's a chronicle of the South - churches, baptisms, dingy bars, trucker hats and some Civil Rights protests. My favorite part is the backward shot of the smoke going into a woman's mouth with the reddest lips you'll ever see. As long as I watch this show, I will never skip the theme song. Ever.

1. The Sopranos: I remember eagerly awaiting a new episode on Sunday nights and the HBO swoosh would sound, followed by the low bass rumble and I'd be pretty content that a great show was about to begin yet again. We follow Tony Soprano as he drives from the Lincoln Tunnel onto the Turnpike and to his home in northern New Jersey. The scenery provides the ambiance along with Alabama 3's theme "Woke Up This Morning." Watch as the scenery gets better as he drives along through factory towns to his white-collar home.

A violent, sociopathic mob boss is on his commute just like every other working stiff. At its core, that's what this show was about. It did not glorify the mob. It was just another job and these were just average men residing in the underbelly. That's what comes across. Despite how good the sequences in this list are, I could imagine the creators going a different route. I could see something different for True Blood or Law & Order or Mad Men. I can not possibly fathom a different opening to The Sopranos.

That is why it's at the top.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


During the bachelor party weekend, Jeff, Zach and I tried to come up with five defining stories each of us had during college. After about a half hour of this, we came to the conclusion that my stories were the best. Not best as in triumphant or astounding, but as in humiliating and hilarious (for everyone except me, the victim).

Thus begins another new feature of this Internet wasteland. I was going to call it Stories of Steve but that sounds like a Hallmark movie. So I decided on SteveCentury, even though these stories span both the 20th and 21st centuries. Remember those SportsCentury bits ESPN did way back with the likes of Charles Fountain and Harry Edwards opining on the legends of sports? Well, they always had some good stories to tell and I do, too.

Since I'm feeling generous, I'll provide you with two. Remember, they don't necessarily come from college. And I don't know why I'm sharing some of these, but really, who reads this anyway?

First story. I'm in fifth or sixth grade and it was THAT time. Yeah, time for sexual education. We learned about the penis, the vagina, the vas deferens and all other dirty terms. It was just us boys and after the lesson it came time to ask questions. I usually did not ask questions in school because I was so afraid to ask a dumb one. This one time, I decided to speak up.

I was wondering why, sometimes, couples can't have children. Why, even after intercourse, would a woman not get pregnant? Here's what I said:

"How come a girl doesn't get pregnant sometimes? Is it cuz the guy didn't stick it in far enough?"

Yeah, that's what I was thinking at the time. Nothing about shooting blanks or contraception, just the above. One of my friends, who probably lost his virginity in pre-school, did not let me forget it.

Now to one of the stories from the College Years. Let's start at Fenway Park. My relationship with the ol' ballyard is a complicated one. The Red Sox are about 2-8 when I attend a game, with more than a few 15-2, 14-3 games in the other team's favor. So one day the three of us get tickets in the outfield on a beautiful day. I forget who the Red Sox were playing at the time.

At some point during the game, I noticed something weird going on behind me. First, a foul stench appeared. I didn't make a big deal about it since Fenway and foul stenches go together like Jason Varitek and strikeouts. Soon thereafter, I heard some gurgling noises. I turned around and saw a middle-aged, disheveled man slumping in his seat and completely wasted. Not even fun drunk or angry drunk. He was a blubbering mess.

Then I saw pink vomit on the ground behind me. Great, I have the luck of sitting in front of a vomiting drunk. Just to be careful, I asked Jeff and Zach to check my back just to make sure he had not puked on my jacket.

They refused to look. "Don't worry about it." Well, this made me even more paranoid. I asked and asked and asked until finally I stood up and turned all the way around. Their laughter told me all I needed to know. I took my jacket off and saw a few plots of bright pink vomit.

At that point, I was upset that they were laughing after refusing to look at the back of my jacket. I was upset because I loved that jacket. I was upset some pathetic drunk was right behind me, puking on me and stinking the area up. Never before have I been so inclined to just punch somebody, but I really wanted to deck that guy. Not that he would have felt it or remembered it. After another Red Sox loss, I exited the park holding the jacket well out in front me like you hold a bag of dog poop or a dirty diaper.

And there are your two stories for the day. I have some better ones from college, trust me. You'll just have to wait for those.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh boy

This is comforting to see.

Multiple people bringing loaded weapons to a presidential event is fine with the police. But God forbid you skateboard on the sidewalk or listen to loud music or set up a lemonade stand ...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My new toy

This is my 75th blog post, but my inaugural one on my new Toshiba laptop.

Yes, my old Compaq is on its last legs. It had basically run out of disk space. How did I know this? Well, it warned me 4,000 times a day. I would clean out some junk, delete some programs, erase the porn and that still would barely solve the problem.

In addition, the old laptop, which is about four years old, made a loud humming noise and was very slow to start up and shut down. Hence, I ventured to Best Buy to drop (hopefully) less than $1,000.

Being the bargain-hunter I am, I found one that cost me about $700, including pre-installed Microsoft Office and anti-virus.

The difference is night and day. My old computer is Dante Bichette and the new one is Usain Bolt. No major complaints, except the touch pad is WAYYYY to oversensitive. The other pain in the ass is having to burn all my CDs onto a new iTunes. You take having all those things on your old computer for granted, built up over the years. Now I need to remember my log-on information for online banking, Netflix, Sallie Mae, car insurance and all that good stuff.

So yes, who cares that I got a new laptop? Well, I do. And perhaps this will allow me to more efficiently document my exciting life for my needy audience on this here webspace.

Now excuse me as I burn my 20 Pearl Jam CDs. It'll take a while.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What just happened?

Remember the 2001 Red Sox who just imploded in late summer? They had a few weeks just like the one the 2009 Red Sox just slept through.

A week ago, the Red Sox were a half-game out of first place and leading the Wild Card. Today they are 6 1/2 back and tied with the Rangers for the Wild Card. The season ain't over by a long shot, but it sure went pretty bad pretty fast.

My level of irrational anger/profanity-laced rants rose with each game this weekend. I did not bother to watch John Smoltz's start because I knew - I KNEW - he'd get rocked. He did. Friday night they hit into 33 double plays and as each inning went by, I tried to guess which Yankee would end it with a home run. I guessed Posada. Then Saturday CC Sabathia dominated them and Kevin Youkilis did his best Sears impression in left field.

And there's Sunday's loss. Thirty innings without a run. Ridiculous. But Victor Martinez belts a two-run homer! Runs! Sweet, glorious runs! The Sox might salvage a game. But wait, they don't want the lead. It makes them uncomfortable. So they promptly give up back-to-back shots and a few more runs after just for kicks and it's time for curtain calls galore in the Bronx.

Baseball is the toughest sport to follow in many ways. Five hours watching them lose on Friday. Almost four on Saturday. Another four on Sunday. For what? I could have been blogging about my top Jack Bauer moments or read some more Huffington Post articles. There's no escape in baseball. If your team is scuffling, it's every day for three ours. Every day.

I'm not as angry about this as I would have been, say, in my college years. I'm slowly but surely growing out of that as I realize millionaires playing baseball should not affect my mood that much.

As I type, the BoSox are up 3-0. (World Series champs!) Nonetheless, it's time to look at all the things that have gone wrong the past few weeks.

1. Jason Bay's disappearance: He's been injured lately, but since the All-Star break, he's batting a robust .204 with one home run. Not exactly Manny-type numbers. Besides costing himself millions in the free-agent market, his vicious slump has created a giant crater in the lineup. He's not alone, though.

2. Shortstop: Nick Green's been a great story, but he should not be an everyday starter at shortstop for a team with a $120M dollar payroll. Jed Lowrie's been hurt and Boston started Chris Woodward (Chris Woodward!) at short Friday night in that interminable 2-0 Yankees win in 15 innings. The Sox just aren't receiving great production here, offensively or defensively. It all traces back to the still unexplained fascination Theo Epstein had with Julio Lugo. An average player his whole life, Theo thought of him as Honus Wagner/Ozzie Smith. Now Lugo is in St. Louis and Boston will be searching for a permanent shortstop for a long time.

3. 3-4-5 starters: Will John Smoltz go into the Hall as a Red Sox? He was the best Home Run Derby pitcher to hit Fenway since John Wasdin. That was a total failure. Brad Penny's ERA since the All-Star Game? 7.24. The jury's out on Clay Buccholz as a long-term pitcher. Right now, he is iffy at best. We all know how much Dice-K sucked early in the year, but at least he was good in the World Baseball Classic. Magically, he's able to throw strikes and get guys out while pitching for Japan and then he turns back into Bobby Jones when he plays for Boston. Not to worry though, Junichi Tazawa is slated to start tomorrow.

4. Middle relief: Last month, this was the best bullpen in baseball. I have no idea what happened. Hideki Okajima is still solid, but not spectacular. Ramon Ramirez has come back to earth a bit. Daniel Bard has serious stuff, but he's a rookie. Justin Masterson is gone. And against the Yankees Boston trotted out two guys I never knew existed in Billy Traber and Enrique Gonzalez. Combine this with 5-inning starts from Penny and company and you have a suddenly vulnerable 'pen.

5. Rocco Baldelli's everything: No need to comment.

6. No sluggers: The days of Manny-Papi slamming homers and doubles all over the place made me one spoiled little brat. These days it's tough to see where the power can come from. J.D. Drew is a singles hitter at this point. I talked about Bay. Pedroia and Youkilis are carrying their weight, but power comes and goes with them. And then there's 2009 David Ortiz. Terry Francona is platooning him on a regular basis. The low inside fastballs he used to hammer are foul balls or grounders to second. They need him to be better than he is right now. I keep hoping for some miracle turn-around where he becomes the Papi of old.

And I will stop here because it's too depressing.
Boston leads 4-0! Nevermind. Who will they play in the World Series, Philly or L.A.?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crazy town

During my Rhode Island vacation, I had a long, wide-ranging political discussion with my dad. He is 77 years old. He grew up under FDR, remembers when we dropped the A-bomb and witnessed the Civil Rights movement.

I wondered aloud if the Republicans/right-wing were losing their minds (with more than a hint of racism) because Barack Obama is president. He disagreed. He told me they immediately went after Bill Clinton, and he's right. From the moment he was inaugurated they attacked him from all sides, for being a murderer, for being a rapist, for being a draft-dodger, for playing the saxophone. And I can recall the 2000 election fiasco when conservatives basically rioted in South Florida in order to stop the recount and with the help of five Supreme Court justices they installed their man into the White House.

Last November, Obama won the election handily, more handily than George W. Bush could ever have dreamed of. Yet most Republicans aren't even sure Obama is American. They are sure he is a socialist, a communist, a fascist, a Klingon all rolled into one. Gun sales shot up when Obama was elected. There have been several shootings from right-wingers since he took office. The president faces 30 death threats a day, up a good 400 percent from the previous administration. Of course, you have the insane Birther Movement, propagated by a lethal combo of idiots, morons, Fox News morons and racists.

Most recently, we have the town hall disruptions. All across the country, "spontaneous" outbursts are erupting at town halls meant to discuss health care reform. Events that are usually attended by five grandmothers who eat cupcakes and drink juice while a Congressperson drones are now turning into WWE-style cage matches.

For a solid week, these stories have trickled in and the health care debate is now a question of how similar to the Holocaust will these reforms be instead of how to fix a national embarrassment of a health denial er... health care system.

Note that when people took to the streets to protest the Iraq War, everyone in the media rushed to declare them treasonists and terrorist-sympathizers. They should be tasered. They should be arrested. Now right-wing loons are acting like complete jackasses in town halls, refusing to let anyone get a word in and resorting to violence in some cases. But unlike war protesters, these people are true, "concerned" Americans utilizing their free speech rights. Interesting ...

Anyway, are we going crazy as a nation? Even just a little bit? Certainly we went a bit nuts in the 60's over Vietnam and Civil Rights. Certainly the 2000 election was nuts. You can even count the Monica Lewinsky affair.

We're in one of those times, where people in the future will look back at this time and say, "Damn, what a mess."

Like a river current bringing a dead body in a tarp to land, the election of a black president was bound to bring out the racists from their rabbit holes. Not to imply all of Obama's critics are racists, but the ones claiming he was born in Kenya without a scintilla of proof, the ones calling him un-American, the ones wailing about "getting our country back" only six months into his administration, they should just admit their pro-white leanings. The white America of their youth is changing. A Hispanic is on the Supreme Court. A black guy is in the White House. And they don't like it one bit.

All of their inner demons bubble up to the surface in these town halls. The health care debate in this country has always been a bit loopy. More than 45 million people are without insurance. But listen to the protesters and look at the polls. Many Americans just don't care. Out of sight, out of mind. People with Medicare actually have "socialized" medicine, yet these are the same people screaming against "government-run" health care. To do so either requires a healthy amount of hypocrisy or an even healthier amount of idiocy.

Basically, Obama wants to set up a government-run option to compete with private insurers to keep them honest. He wants to ban insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. He wants to control the sky-rocketing costs of prescription drugs. These are mainstream reforms. They are far, far from socialism. Yet ask these rabble-rousers and they think differently. For some reason they empathize with the insurance companies, already making huge profits, to people who go bankrupt because they had the temerity to get sick. They side with CEOs in private jets over people who don't have their illnesses checked because they know they won't be able to afford treatment. They side with UnitedHealth Group over a person who paid his premiums for two decades but when he finally needed the company to, you know, actually provide the service for which he paid, the company flicks him the bird and drops him.

This sounds like liberal clap-trap? Maybe. But I just don't get it. I don't get why many Americans side with Goliath over David time and time again. I don't get why they can't see something which is clear as day to everyone else in the Western world: That the United States plays profit games with peoples lives and has done so for decades.

Bill Maher made a great point. Most countries don't treat health care as a profit industry. They don't get into medicine to buy Porches but to actually help people. He also says we're a stupid country. Well, there's certainly a stupid minority, the ones who speak the loudest. The ones who turns simple town halls into Royal Rumbles.

I don't know if America is stupid. I would hope not. But we're certainly going crazy right now. Like a horror movie villain after the axe has been buried into his chest, the radical fringe is making its last desperate move to survive. Then they should eventually fritter away, defeated by common sense, like their ancestors who opposed women's rights, Social Security, Civil Rights, Medicare, Medicaid and countless other reforms in history.

I trust sanity will prevail eventually, in some form. I hope so, at least. But we all know horror movie villains ... they always come back for a sequel.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Office Space

We at the Eye are moving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to .... Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

Yes, all the rumors you have heard are true. The big boss announced on Monday that our operation is moving a half-mile down the street on Cypress Creek Road. It's about time.

Our current office appears nice on the outside, but the inside is the epitome of drab -- gray, muted colors, television sets from the Eisenhower Administration, torn up carpet, malfunctioning lights and an uncomfortable proximity to an executive airport.

Our bosses have assured us the new building will be more fitting to a 21st century media company. This current one certainly isn't. Our new home will have flat screen TVs, several bathrooms, sleek glass offices for the higher-ups and a more open, newsroom environment for the plebeians. We will have the second floor of the two-floor building, above the office of a progressive water treatment company. Another perk: We might even get our own sign. Right now, the words "Pizza Fusion" are emblazoned above our entrance. The big boss assured us the sign would not be accompanying us.

This exciting endeavor is set to take place in January, which leaves us plenty of time to speculate and kvetch about our soon-to-be surroundings. Will we have to watch our language now? Will we get enough TVs? Will we have a game room? Other departments, used to their own personal TVs, are worried they might lose them. Tough luck, pansies. Others are worried about seating arrangements. Will they have to sit next to us cro-magnum copy editors, with our foul stench and fouler language?

These questions will be answered in due time, but count me as pumped about the news. A modern office is long overdue. Though I am very pissed about the addition to my commute. I will go from a five-minute drive to work all the way up to a six-minute drive to work. There goes my gas savings.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Meet the Schaibles Part II

We left off on the beach platform, with Jeff, me, Zach, Jeff's MMA-fighting buddy Mike and Emily's older brother, Mike, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Everybody had taken their seats and there were a good number of random passers-by who stopped to watch the festivities. "Hey, look! It's a wedding. Let's watch." While the beautiful bridesmaids strolled up to the beach altar, my sore throat began to act up once again and my lips became very dry. So if you see photos where it looks like I'm licking my lips, you have your reason. I needed to drink constantly that day, but that wasn't an option during the ceremony.

Anyway, when the Maid of Honor took her spot (with a repaired toe nail) it was time to unveil the beautiful bride. Emily appeared in the distance from the rotunda and proceeded very, very carefully down a long string of wooden stairs. That had to be tough in a wedding gown and heels. Trust me, I've tried it.

She disappeared behind the bumper boat tent and emerged with her father in tow as several people hustled into position to take their pictures. In the hard-scrabble journalism world I inhabit, I don't often see faces of boundless joy but the there were two at that moment. Probably some more in the seats, as well. Emily's face looked ready to burst once she locked hands with her soon-to-be husband. Something she had been dreaming about for a very long time was finally coming to fruition.

A series of religious readings followed and then it came down to the vows. They had to fight the breeze and the ocean to be heard so I did not hear everything, but both vows were very "them." They didn't go to "" A perfect fit for a picture perfect scene on a gorgeous Newport day. The photos that I've seen so far look really good. And I bet the professional ones will be astounding. They even have the ability to photoshop me out of them if necessary. They can add a stack of kittens or a Care Bear to make sure the photo is just right. I would not object.

The wedding party proceeded to the beach after the ceremony for another photo shoot while everyone else went up to the rotunda area for an outdoor cocktail party. The wedding arbor collapsed about 20 minutes after the ceremony ended because of a big gust, so consider that another bullet dodged.

After a few drinks (I tired a lime gimlet), it was time for the reception. Those of us in the wedding party ruminated on some whack intros we could do (and this was before I heard about that crazy Youtube video of the dancing introductions.) Katie, the MOH, decided she wanted to knight me and we had it all planned out but before we could do it, the DJ announced the newly-married couple. Once again, the Schaibles hog the spotlight. To prove my point, they even hogged the dance floor all to themselves for the first dance to Joshua Radin's version of "Only You."

As a long-time friend of Emily's and the maid of honor, Katie gave the first speech. It was short and sweet and even quoted from a high school yearbook, which was a nice touch. Then came the moment of truth for me: The Schaibleburg Address.

I wasn't as nervous as I was tense. Confident I had written a good speech, I wasn't quite sure how effectively I would deliver it. I had never spoken to a crowd that big before and I worried that I would either not speak loud enough into the microphone or I'D SPEAK WAY TOO LOUD!!!

I stood next to the couple's table and started by saying my name and my connection to both Jeff and Emily. I told the crowd that I did, in fact, beat Emily for the coveted English Award in high school, but that since she beat me out for prom queen, I thought we were even. That seemed to get a good reaction, though I was so focused on what I wanted to say next that I could not fully gauge it. I was just relieved, because if the first quip fell flat I might have collapsed up there into a mumbling, stuttering mess -- the usual Steve.

One problem did arise ... my left hand was shaking like crazy. I wasn't all that nervous either. It mystified me. The shaking was serious enough that I had trouble reading the speech, so I just read a few lines here and there to guide me and recited most of it from memory.

After I finished, I returned to my table and Grimey gave me two thumbs up so I knew I had done OK. He's always a tough critic. Zach was already sleeping.

At last, it was time for food. I couldn't tell you exactly what I was eating most of the time, but it all tasted good, so who cares? At my table it was me, Zach, Grimey, Jeff's friend Mike and his fiancee and Emily's ESPN crew. I listened in on their company secrets so I could report them to my CBS overlords. Zach and I also fed the ESPN crew some dirt on Emily, which was fun. They enjoyed it. Too bad I forgot the story about how she put on a Yankee sweatshirt the night of the "Grady Incident" - an almost unforgivable action for any Red Sox fan.

Dancing soon commenced. Grimey pressed Zach and I to dance, but we thought three dudes dancing together on the floor would be kind of lame. So instead we took the cool way out and mostly sat at our table and watched the dancers. Watching some of Emily's friends dance is a sport in itself.

Midway through, I signed the guestbook, which was a photo album of Mr. and Mrs. Schaible. This was the first time I had ever seen kid photos of Jeff. I enjoyed that. One thing I did not enjoy as much was returning to my seat only to find my plate gone, even though I had not finished eating. That happened a few times. Never leave your food alone at a wedding.

The couple danced the night away ... literally. I'm not sure they had a chance to even eat that much. I finally took to the dance floor late in the evening to a song Jeff told me he explicitly informed the DJ was on the "do not play" list. Among the fracas, I introduced my new dance "The Drummer" which is sure to sweep all the hot clubs. Though I really hope there isn't a photo out there of it.

The wedding ended at 11:30 and Zach and I headed straight home. We were both pretty tired and there was brunch hosted by Emily's mother the next morning. After a rough night of sleep Friday/Saturday, I enjoyed a peaceful night of slumber that evening.

The brunch was great as well. They had French toast sticks! Just like the Northeastern cafeteria. The brunch lasted about two hours before everyone said their goodbyes. I collected most of the tuxes since my parents live only a few minutes from the rental place. And we all parted ways, with the Schaibles off to Boston on their way to their honeymoon in the United Kingdom. I would be on my way to Florida the next day for Brett Favre and David Ortiz stories at work. Life ain't fair.

Driving back to Cranston that afternoon, it hit me that they were actually husband and wife, that this couple I remember just starting to date nearly six years ago were now legally married. Emily's last name is different. Jeff is now someone's husband. They're all grown up (sniff).

In summary, the weekend could not have gone much better. One can never go wrong with free food and free booze. I reunited with a few people I had not seen since I left Boston in 2006. The whole wacky, wild wedding weekend went great. I hope it exceeded Jeff and Emily's expectations.

The best thing now? I can start calling Emily "Schaible."