From the big time to hard time

Is there any athlete dumber than Aaron Hernandez? In case you don’t
recognize the name, Hernandez was a Pro-Bowl caliber NFL player who signed a
$40 million (yes, you read that right, $40 million) dollar contract just
under three years ago with the current Super Bowl champion New England
Patriots. Unfortunately for Hernandez, however, he couldn’t leave the thug
life behind, and just got convicted of first degree murder. While I’ll skip
the “He’s going from tight end to wide receiver” jokes, here’s some thoughts
on this latest development.

First, it’s nice to see Hernandez get the long-term deal he deserved.at
Walpole.

A $40 million contract to play ball on Sundays. A good looking wife. A new
kid. Guy went from having the life, to having the life-without.

I hope the next balls Hernandez catches are from a hardcase at Cedar
Junction named Big Rodney.

As writer Greg Bedard points out, on a good Sunday, Hernandez will probably
be able to hear the crowd at Gillette from the yard at Cedar Junction.

When the cellblock doors slam, I imagine at Lights Out, ol’ Aaron will be
rethinking some of the play calls he made off the field.

The Longest Yard will never be amusing again for Hernandez after that
verdict came down.

Hernandez goes from a guy who, on an average day, couldn’t fit his wallet in
his pocket, to a guy who may soon be able to fit a regulation football in
his prison wallet.

When the guy standing behind him yells “Go deep!” it isn’t gonna be anything
remotely like when Tom Brady did it.

And finally, while his stardom may protect him for a while, I can only hope
that a bunch of bad-ass Pats diehards behind the walls who blame Hernandez
for hurting the team prior to their latest Super Bowl, turn this lowlife
into a shiv magnet.

Observations & Stuff

Haven’t blogged in forever, so just throwin’ some stuff out there.

MH370. Listen, I know families want answers. I would, too. But a freaking
plane went off radar, cut communications, deviated from its flight path and
nose-dived into the drink. There’s no black boxes. No flight data recorder.
Nothing beyond a short transcript of what the pilots said to the tower
before turning everything off. Where the hell do you expect to get any
answers from, folks? I feel sorry for each and every one of you, but this
demanding answers and accusing the government of a cover-up? Really? You’ve
got basically zero to go on. And that’s a whole lot of water to hunt
through. Five miles deep in places. Totally dark down there. Underwater
mountain ranges, trenches, you name it. And you’re pissy because the last
line of the translated flight transcript is a little off??? I know we’re
talking life and death here, but this is like my wife demanding answers
about a missing lighter during one of our parties. Now, she may want
answers, and there may be a bunch of people hunting for the thing, and we
might even have a basic search area narrowed down, but there aren’t going to
be any answers until the damned thing turns up and we find out who put it in
their back pocket instead of their front pocket and walked away with it.
There’s a bunch of countries helping out round the clock. Let them do their
best and hope for results, because searching an ocean is *not* an easy task,
and these people have been doing it for a month straight.

The NCAA. How out of touch am I with college hoops? When it got down to
Kentucky vs. U Conn for the national championship, I rooted for U Conn
because I thought it’d be cool if Jim Calhoun won another title.
Unfortunately, Jim doesn’t coach U Conn any longer, and I didn’t even know.

The Giants. I may actually splurge for the Sunday Ticket for the first time
in 3 years over at my Mom’s, because for the first time in recent memory,
the Giants did a whole lot during free agency and significantly upgraded the
team. Big signings. Splashy signings. If things come together with the new
players, this could be a playoff team. Getting to see all 16 games? Might be
worth it this season.

Writing. Been banging away like a madman on the keyboard for weeks now. Ran
through a set of batteries on Dad’s old keyboard in less than 3 months,
which never happens. I was pretty set on the lineup for Grave Choices, the
new anthology I’ll be releasing in May, and then. And then I got an idea for
a new story, and started writing it. And, that new story became an
all-consuming creative inferno. End result? A 65 page creature story that
blindsided me (har-har) ¬†and will now close out the book. It’s put me up
against the wall time-frame-wise to be done with my final draft, but what
the hell. When the Muse calls, you pick up the phone. Every time.

Freelancing. Couple weeks back, I got the single strangest assignment I’ve
ever gotten in my life. It’s for a magazine that caters to 60somethings.
Yes, it’s a men’s mag. No, I didn’t know it existed until I got the call.
Interracial, cuckolding, grandmother swinger sex. No, I didn’t mistype that.
Oh, and the kicker? “Any chance you could turn this one around in a week?”
Needless to say, professional that I am, I did *not* deny that I’d gotten
the e-mail, took the gig, and met the deadline. Whatever pays the bills,
baby, whatever pays the bills.

Guitar. Broke another string yesterday. Now, this is no surprise, really,
strings don’t last forever. But for a novice like me, who’s used to strings
lasting six months at a clip, this was irritating. Billy, who’s been doing
this professionally for 20+ years, says, “Dude, it happens. We’re playing a
hell of a lot more than we were a couple of months ago.” And this is true.
Still, in my head, I have this misguided belief that strings should only
break when my guitar is in it’s case, and I don’t need it. I should hear a
muffled, Sproing! In the middle of the night, and think, “Oh, better change
that in the morning.” Still, can’t complain. Even though this set only
lasted 2 months, Billy and I (and John, on Tuesday’s) are playing a *lot* of
guitar. Yesterday I picked up a song I had never played before, and in one
run-thru not only nailed it, but nailed the dynamics as well. Last week, I
hit 30 on my ‘Playable songs’ list. Truth be told, never thought I’d get
here. Tried learning several times during my life, back when I had sight,
and could never do it. Now? Thanks to Billy, I can hold my own at any
backyard party for a good 3 hours. Not bad for a year and a half.

Gas. Hey, all my liberal friends. You ignored it last time I mentioned how
you all went into hiding when Obama took over for Bush and gas prices didn’t
return to ‘normal.’ Yesterday we paid $3.71 for gas, and we sure as hell
weren’t buying premium. Please tell me, again, folks, how gas prices being
double what they were under Bush is Bush paying off big oil.after 6 years.
C’mon, I’ll wait. I’m reminded of Simon & Garfunkel every time I go to the
pump, because all I hear out of the same people (as well as the media) is
the sounds of silence when it comes to gas prices, when newscasters were all
but apoplectic on-air when gas first hit $2.50 a gallon under the last guy.
Where’s the outrage now, huh?

Movies. I’m sitting on a pair of free passes to our favorite Regal. Me? I’m
thinking Godzilla, opening weekend, maybe the last show on Sunday night so I
don’t have to deal with the Friday and Saturday crowd. I don’t care what
people say, the trailer sounds fun, and the Godzilla roar isn’t a
disappointment. My nephews say from the trailer that Godzilla looks like
Godzilla, the big, rubbery, loveable Godzilla. Might just circle that date.
Who’s with me?