April 28, 2007
Atlanta Braves - 15-8 (+0.5)
New York Mets - 14-8
Florida Marlins - 11-12
Philadelphia Phillies - 10-13
Washington Nationals - 8-16

May 28, 2007
New York Mets - 32-17 (+4.0)
Atlanta Braves - 29-22
Philadelphia Phillies - 26-25
Florida Marlins - 24-27
Washington Nationals - 21-30
June 28, 2007
New York Mets - 43-33 (+3.0)
Philadelphia Phillies - 41-37
Atlanta Braves - 41-38
Florida Marlins - 37-42
Washington Nationals - 32-46
July 28, 2007
New York Mets - 58-46 (+3.5)
Philadelphia Phillies - 54-49
Atlanta Braves - 54-51
Florida Marlins - 48-57
Washington Nationals - 45-59
August 28, 2007
New York Mets - 73-58 (+4.0)
Philadelphia Phillies - 69-62
Atlanta Braves - 68-65
Florida Marlins - 58-75
Washington Nationals - 58-75

September 28, 2007
New York Mets - 87-72 (--)
Philadelphia Phillies - 87-72
Atlanta Braves - 83-76
Washington Nationals - 72-87
Florida Marlins - 69-90
What in the hell is the world coming to?


UPDATED AT 11:02 PM EDT -- Phils win, Mets lose. Phillies are now 1 game up on NYM with a "magic number" of 2. Also, Red Sox clinch AL East thanks to a walk-off RBI single from Melvin Mora in the 10th in Baltimore. Also looks like the Cubs will clinch NL Central tonight (Brewers are currently losing). If it didn't stress me out too much, I would LOVE down-to-the-wire September baseball.

Plus, MLB.com had the following picture up which I am totally not making up (see here for the actual story). It's so sacreligious, it's fucking wonderful. As an FYI, Cole Hamels is married to the former Heidi Strobel, who once got naked for chocolate and peanut butter on "Survivor: Amazon" when she didn't have to and then posed for Playboy and lost her job as a teacher because she's basically an idiot. I wouldn't exactly call Hamels a "savior" for Philadelphia -- everybody knows J-Rol is our Jesus.

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UPDATED AGAIN AT 11:18 PM EDT because Jesus Christ on a cracker, I cannot handle formatting on the Intarwebs, oh my head -- Cubs clinch. Rockies lose. Oh, and while nobody was paying much attention, Jimmy Rollins quietly set a new MLB record tonight.



Dear friends, family, Romans, countrymen, etc.:

It is television premiere season, and for the next month or so, on Monday through Friday nights, between the hours of 8 and 11 pm ET, I will be mostly unavailable because I will be (choose one of the options below) —

[__] Checking out the season premieres of my old favorite TV shows
[__] Checking out the series premieres of my new favorite TV shows
[__] Geeking out over the awesomeness of the new TV season
[__] Snarking about the complete crapitude of the new TV season
[__] Trying to figure out how the holy hell to set up my DVR
[__] Mulling over my multitude of unresolvable DVR conflicts
[__] Attending 12-step program meetings for my television addiction

Should you need to contact me during this hectic time, please (choose one of the options below) —

[__] Send me an email
[__] Send me a text
[__] Send me an Instant Message of some kind
[__] Send me a bribe
[__] Send me another TiVo

I appreciate your patience and understanding. See you all at Thanksgiving, if I live that long!

PS - Think I'm kidding? Here is my personal programming grid — see why I am losing my ever-loving mind? And please note that this does not even include the "bonus" programs on the cable channels. "Slacker Cats" is missing, and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "Lil Bush," and etc. And everything will change again in January, when "Jericho," "Lost," "American Idol," and OMG "The Amazing Race" make it back into the starting rotation. I think I need to lie down now ...


HAIRCUT!! I had more than 6 inches cropped off. Photos and details to follow but it's sort of a longer version of Posh's most recent 'do. Not quite a bob, definitely not a pixie, maybe kind of a wedge? Dunno how to describe it exactly -- one of the stylists at the Hair Cuttery had it, and I liked it, so I told my stylist to go for it. Good idea right now? Who knows. I needed a change, though, and my hair was getting into trashy-looking Brit-Brit bad weave territory (and it was real!). Maybe tomorrow I'll hate it, but for now at least, I don't regret it.


Although I'm not entirely sure that one is necessary, I still feel the need to apologize to G for everything that happened yesterday.

You see, I had a migraine that ruined our whole day. It wasn't a bad one, as far as my migraines go, but it was bad enough. I kind of knew it was coming and maybe I should have given G more warning, but I've always been stubborn and I must admit to a certain amount of better living through denial. Perhaps it is better to say that I was suffering, at the beginning anyway, from a preponderance of hope.

We were both up late on Friday night, until after midnight, and I was up before 8:00 yesterday morning. Inadequate sleep is one of my triggers. To kill time until we were going to leave for the baseball game, I played a video game until noon. Doing puzzles on the computer for an extended period: another unwise move. Plus, it was hot and sticky after a few days of rather nice weather. Barometric changes sometimes set me off.

It didn't start to get bad until we were on our way to the game, though. Stopped at Wawa for lunch, and had a delicious roast beef ciabiatta melt sandwich. (If you're anywhere near a Wawa, try it! Fantastic.) But the juice from the tomatoes dripped on my shirt, and I was irrationally irritable about it. I practically started to cry when G wouldn't turn the car around to take me home and let me change. I wonder now if he wishes he had.

[ED.: To review: Lack of sleep? Check. Eyestrain? Check. Humidity? Check. Hunger? Check. Random everyday stress? Check. Oh, we can already tell that this is going to end well.]

When we got to the game, it was already too late. At that point my headache was already im full force, although I remained optimistic that I could battle through it. That's the thing about migraines, sometimes: they can blow over like afternoon thundershowers. Not often, but sometimes. If I give myself a wide enough berth, stay cool and calm, there is about a 50% chance that I can will myself to remain functional.

No such luck yesterday. By the time the game started, I was a goner. My migraines make me hypersensitive to stimuli of all kinds, particularly sound and light. Controlling one or the other helps -- for example, if I get a migraine at work, I can make it to the end of the day by putting in my earphones to block out background noise, or by making my cube as dark as possible and wearing sunglasses indoors. (Not entirely unlike suffering from a hangover that starts at 2:00 in the afternoon.)

But at a baseball game it is nearly impossible control your surroundings. Plus, we were in a different section than usual, so I had to deal with change, in addition to endless mindless droning chatter and the harsh glare coming off the field and the marked lack of air in the stands. And the smells! Food and people and the city and the grass. Everything. The absolute kicker was when people in the seats next to us showed up late. Manners especially matter to me when I am feeling ill, even though everyone knows that etiquette rules do not apply (1) at sporting events and (2) in Philadelphia.

I don't remember much after that yesterday, except that I needed to leave, and G knew it. I was miserable, short tempered, almost hysterical, trying to breathe without making a sound, practically gouging my own eyes out so I could have some darkness. We left before the end of the third inning, I think -- I don't even remember. We made one stop on the way to the car, so he could get water and I could throw up. Someone laughed at me, called me a stupid drunk, and I didn't have the strength to argue.

Sometimes when I get a migraine, I see "in color," where everything has a sort of a psychadelic haze around it. That happened yesterday on the ride home: objects were in supersharp focus, and I could see each individual leaf of every passing tree, and everything was outlined in shades of purple. I don't always see purple, but that tends to be the most frequent color I see. Maybe it's because that's my favorite color. Anyway, at that point I know all hope is lost. Once I start hallucinating, I know I need to put myself to bed and hope for nuclear war.

We left the game so early that we didn't hit any traffic, so we were home before the Penn State game started (which is impressive, since the Phillies game started at 3:55). I took two Advil, two Tylenol, and an Aleve, turned the air in the bedroom down as far as I thought I could stand it, and tucked myself in. I didn't take a Toradol for only one reason: I wasn't sure if I was doing being sick, and I hate to waste good medicine.

The timeline isn't entirely clear, but I'm pretty sure I was asleep by 6:30. I woke up once during the night, around 11:30, and went to the bathroom. G was still up then. As a preventive measure, I took a Benadryl at that point, so I knew I would sleep through the rest of the night. Probably I didn't need it, because I slept until 8:00. Almost 14 hours in a row. I feel better now, but still exhuasted. Maybe football will perk me up, or maybe I only feel temporarily better, like the eye of a hurricane is passing over my head.

[ED.: Bonus reference materials: Joan Didion's essay "In Bed." WARNING! Background on linked page might cause seizures. Or migraines.]


Not everybody knows the story of how "Sweet Caroline" came to be associated with the Boston Red Sox -- I didn't know it myself until a couple of years ago, and I've been a fan for quite a while -- but regardless of how things developed, there is nothing in the world that describes my relationship with the Sox quite like that song does: "Where it began, I can't begin to know when ... And when I hurt / Hurting runs off my shoulder / How can I hurt when holding you? ... Good times never seemed so good."

That song, however inadvertly, is all about being a fan, about being so in love with a team that you can't even think straight, because you well up with tears when you hear a song written by a man who also wrote the (in-?) famous lines "I am, I said ... and no one heard at all / not even the chair." I don't really care that Neil Diamond is more the Sergeant of Square than the Sultan of Swing. Doesn't matter. When I took G to Fenway Park for the first time, for his birthday, and I heard him singing along with the Fenway crowd, and I saw the look of utter bliss on his face, that right there was my own personal nirvana.

And I was wondering: do the Phillies have a song that invokes the same feelings in its fans? I can't really think of one, and I've been a Phillies "phan" longer than I've been a member of Red Sox Nation. Well, maybe "Loser," but that's more intended to be more ironical than anything. Their storied history notwithstanding, the Phillies aren't really losers, and certainly not this year. Except for Pat Burrell, and even he only sucks for half the season. The half when it matters, but still.

I just did an informal scientific survey of 6 specific random Philadelphia sports fans -- me, my dad, my grandparents, and two of my cousins -- and between the lot of us, we couldn't come up with an analogue for "Sweet Caroline" to represent the Phillies. There were lots of suggestions, including but definitely not limited to:
  • "I'm a Loser" by The Beatles (hey! a song older than Jamie Moyer!)
  • "I Hate Myself for Loving You" by Joan Jett (already used for football, so right out)
  • "You Stink But I Love You" by Mucky Pup (bonus points for this one, IMO, because it came from a 15-year-old that I didn't know had ever even heard of Mucky Pup)
  • "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John (... I don't know)
  • "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (no! no love songs!)
  • "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton, then wrecked forever by Whitney Houston (barfbarfbarfbarfbarfitybarfBARFBARF!)

None of these were my idea, by the way. After careful consideration and a thorough review of the 7,000+ songs on my iPod, I came up with two really good options, both of them with the exact same title, as it turns out -- "Bad Reputation," by Joan Jett or Freedy Johnston. Two totally different songs with two totally different attitudes, but convincing case can be made for either one, really.

Joan Jett's song is more defiant and, to the uninitiated, more "Philly style." I know that we Philadelphians have gotten bad press for being mean, nasty, and fatalistic. And we really don't care, frankly. What do you expect when our teams suck so hard? As long as we keep coming close-by-no-cigar to a championship of any kind*, we're going to be this way. Deal with it: "Don't give a damn about my reputation / Never said I wanted to improve my station ... Everyone can say what they want to say / It never gets better anyway / So why should I care about a bad reputation?"

The other contender, Freedy Johnston's song, is much different, and a song I like to think is more about the players speaking to the fans rather than the fans speaking to everyone else. It's sweet and melodic, wonderful in places, but also very plaintive, a plea for forgiveness or at least absolution: "I know I got a bad reputation / And it isn't just talk, talk, talk / If I only could give you everything / You know I haven't got ... Don't you think I've heard the talk? / Nobody's going to tell me who to love / Been breaking down / Do you want me now?"

Personally, I haven't decided what the theme song for the Phillies ought to be, for this year or for any other. I don't know how much time or energy I have to devote to the search, either; I'm too busy giving myself agita, hitting F5 on the MLB.com standing page, waiting for the "GB" figure to change and the other shoe to drop. Two games behind the Mets in the East, two games behind the Padres in the Wild Card, and a whole long month to go before it's over. Maybe I should worry instead about the music I want played at my funeral, when I die of exhaustion from worry.

* Another vicious lie. God, I'm lousy with them this week. In any event, Citizens Bank Park did just win "Best Ballpark Eats," according to the Food Channel. Hey, listen, I'll take what I can get!