Friday, September 06, 2002

With the new job, internet time and writing time have been practically non-existent the last week. This unexpected hiatus has caused a backlog of Deep Thoughts and brain farts to pile up in my mind. I leave it to you to discern which is which.

From the very first time I saw one, I've hated those faux-European oval stickers that folks slap on their cars. In Europe they have a purpose, designating the car's country of origin; here they're just pretentious and annoying. The most prevalent offender in this region of the country is the one representing North Carolina's Outer Banks, a favorite vacation spot for, it would seem, just about everybody who owns an oversized SUV.

The abbreviation used to condense "Outer Banks" down to a workable size is, oddly, "OBX." It took me no time to figure out what that meant to me, but it's taken over five years to boil my feelings about the symbol down precisely to a similarly pithy few words:

You can't spell "obnoxious" without OBX.

Trite? Perhaps. But trust me, it will serve me well for years to come.

I used to pride myself on being good in a crisis. When chaos threatens to envelop one and all, I remain cool-headed and in control. A really nasty crisis invigorates me, awakens my Inner Leader, makes me a "take charge" kind of guy.

But I'm not just a good emergency leader. If someone else steps up and starts calling the shots, I can be a great follower, too. I don't waste any time arguing, I jump, because there's no time to waste and serious consequences are in the offing if I hesitate. In a crisis, the important thing is to do something, anything, and sort out the details later.

This week, I was ruminating on my steadily decreasing opinion of President Bush since the high he reached in my esteem after the September 11th attacks. In those first horrible, nightmarish days, Bush did exactly what the country, what I, needed him to do. He was determined, he was strong for us, he said what he had to say, and he helped gets us through the crisis. I still didn't agree with or like the man, but I respected him more.

I also felt a tiny spark of kinship for him. Here was someone else who was at his best in a crisis. Maybe he was a better man than I thought him to be, after all.

The ensuing months have belied those positive views. Increasingly, he looks like the Bush of old, the man whose policies I abhor and whose motives I must question. I heard someone on the radio this week talking about the "transformation" of Bush since the attacks, and I thought to myself how strained and ludicrous the assertion sounded. This was no new man. He'd done well when he had to, when there was no other option but to do what had to be done. Anybody can do that, I realized.

Anybody can do that.

I don't think I'll be bragging anymore about how good I am in a crisis.

Caught without a book at bedtime on Tuesday, I grabbed my well-read copy of Dave Barry Slept Here and settled in for a few laughs. It's been at least a decade since I agreed with the assertion made by many that Barry is today's Mark Twain and the funniest man in America, but his old stuff is still hilarious.

Or so I thought. I got about ten pages into the book, but there was nary a laugh to be found. I guess I've been wrong this whole time. Barry didn't get less funny; I just got tired of his extremely formulaic writing style.

Praise be to the gods of autumn, the NFL is back! To deepen my enjoyment and (more importantly) knowledge of the sport, I joined a fantasy football league this season, after many years of wanting to do so. It's an all-beginners league, so it shouldn't be too competitive, which is a good thing. I'm looking at this as a fun warm-up for next season, when I plan to start a league of my own with a few other similarly-inclined friends.

I'll be posting about it plenty throughout the season, bitching and bragging as appropriate. Let's start off with some introductions. Here are your 2002 Greywings!

Current starters:
Brett Favre - QB, Green Bay
Plaxico Burress - WR, Pittsburgh
Kevin Johnson - WR, Cleveland
Eric Moulds - WR, Buffalo
Shaun Alexander - RB, Seattle
Eddie George - RB, Tennessee
Marcus Pollard - TE, Indianapolis
Paul Edinger - K, Chicago
Green Bay Packers - Defense

On the bench:
Brad Johnson - QB, Tampa Bay
Jacquez Green - WR, Washington
J.J. Stokes - WR, San Francisco
Kevan Barlow - RB, San Francisco
Robert Holcombe - RB, Tennessee
Stephen Alexander - TE, San Diego
Go 'Wings!
Posted @ 9:49 AM


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