Archive for November, 2018

19
Nov
18

I’m not ready for this – Part 1

Bas Senior Day

Senior Day with Sebastian, Melina and me.

So it begins.

Or rather, so it begins to end.

This past weekend — Saturday November 17, to be exact — marked the end of my eldest son’s football season and, unless something really crazy happens (hey the University of Southern California football team could need a scholarship athlete to pull up their GPA!), the end of his football career.

And with that it hit me that Sebastian, my first-born child, is really wrapping things up a and hurtling towards graduation, college and full on adulthood.

I’m not ready for this.

I mean, who is?

I guess some of you are, but if the experiences of friends are anything to judge by, it’s a very few.

Complicating this is football, something which has been a massive part of this family’s life for a decade. Our younger son, Simon, isn’t a football dude. He may be in the Marching Band when he heads to high school next year, so we may still be at occasional games.

And I’ll be there almost every Saturday, covering the game for the town paper as long as it’s around.

But neither of those things are the same experience as actively having a stake in what’s happening and a connection to the team as exists when you have a kid on it.

It doesn’t help that the game ended badly for Bas’ team, as they lost in the State Sectional final, on their home field. It also doesn’t help that for the fourth year in a row he was hurt, which probably cost him a starting job, so he didn’t play quite as much at the end of the season as he may have wanted.

It doesn’t help that football was a place he and I have connected for a long time. Less so as he has moved to high school and become interested in other things, I stopped coaching and we both had other things to occupy our time.

So it’s bittersweet to see the end of football.

Mind you, there is a small, guilty bit of me that is a little relieved. I can’t tell you how hard it was to divest myself of emotion for the team – a team with a significant number of kids I coached plus my son on it – during the seasons. I would imagine my editor probably could tell you stories where he rolled his eyes.

It’s easier to manage that when I don’t have a son there. I still know the kids and have a connection but it’s easier to shove that aside when it’s not your kid.

What makes it seem a little better are the things I saw from my son as the season progressed. He became more confident and invested. He also cared a great deal about his teammates.

He would defend the quarterback when we talked about that kid’s struggles.  He felt sympathy when two of his team were lost for the season right before the playoffs. Bas was supportive of players who earned spots over him, no matter how much he might have wished to have won the job himself.

And while he was hurting because he had just lost his final game ever, he was expressing concern for the future of the team, and hoping the two offensive linemen who won’t be graduating this spring would have a good last season when they were seniors themselves next year.

Football seemed to bring out some of the best in him. He was never one for the limelight – each week a senior is asked to lead the team onto the field with the Mountie flag, and Bas said he declined it when asked if he wanted to do it – but he was always the kid who had his teammate’s back.

Last season, when the Mounties won the State Championship – undefeated, I might add – Sebastian’s role was pretty limited. Some of that was due to injury, some of that was due to the team being ridiculously talented and deep.

So when the game was over and Montclair was celebrating, he admitted to me it was a bit bittersweet – he felt like he didn’t do a ton to help, and wished he had had a chance.

I tried to point out to him that what he did each week as a member of the scout team — a group of guys who run the plays the coaches think the next opponent will use — and when he got on the field to give another player a breather, was very important.

Every day at practice, the coaches knew they could rely on Bas to make sure he gave his all, did what he was supposed to and help the starters get prepared for the upcoming game. If the scout team isn’t focused and working as hard as they can, the starters won’t be as prepared.

It’s kind of an important lesson to learn, one I hope he will take as he moves through life. You don’t always get the limelight, and you don’t always get the accolades. That doesn’t make your role or value less.

Most of the time, the people around you notice. I think his coaches and fellow teammates did, and I think  his future coworkers and friends will as well.

A chapter in our lives is ending, one of many as we move towards his high school graduation. It only just hit me as we all sat eating dinner Saturday night, that we are at the beginning of the end of Sebastian as a kid.

And at the end of the beginning of the rest of his life.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not sure if I will for a long time.

I know I’ll revisit this feeling, whatever it is, a lot this year, hence the “Part 1.” At some point, maybe we’ll reach the end of it.

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02
Nov
18

Nerd Multiverse: Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House

So, we’re back. Only took a couple years.

I’m firing this back up, and it’s going to be a place covering a wide variety of things, from the kids, to society to, yes, nerd stuff.

We’re starting off with that last thing because I happen to have ready-made content and 1) I’m lazy and 2) excited about it.

So here is my podcast review of the Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House.”

You can download it here because I can never get the Podbean player to embed in an article on WordPress.

Feel free to subscribe via Itunes, Podbean or Stitcher.

The many “look there are ghosts you don’t see” articles I have not seen mention which really got me geeked out. It’s a small thing but really hearkened back to the 1963 movie “The Haunting” which was also based on Shirley Jackson’s excellent novel, “The Haunting of Hill House.”

Get ready for creepy.

So Hugh and Olivia are trying to find young Nell, who has disappeared in Hill House during a storm (this takes part in a flashback in back in the 1990s).

They search upstairs and, at one point, Hugh decides he’s going to look elsewhere.

Statue 1

I’ve lightened this so the whole thing is clearer.

Also, sidenote, Hugh says “I’ll be right back” and for goodness’ sake you never say that in a haunted house.

As you can see, the statue over Hugh’s right shoulder (camera left) is looking intently at its a bowl in its hand. What is in the bowl? What is so interesting? We can only speculate, but my guess, mold.

Olivia, the flighty, somewhat possessed mom, walks into a room near the statue, checks out some broken glass and then heads back out into the hallway to keep looking for her daughter.

But wait, something has changed.

Statue 2

Whatever was captivating about that bowl isn’t as interesting as Olivia.

One can only imagine the statue is wondering where Olivia bought that dress.

Olivia heads down the hallway where things happen but Nell still doesn’t show up, and then she walks back towards the statues.

Statue 3

OOOOOOOHHHHH SPOOOOOOKY.

It’s a small, subtle thing and yes, I spoiled it, but I wanted to use it as a great example of how well and thoughtfully made this show is – including set design.

And consider that even though I was looking for crap like this, because it is something I loved in the original movie (The Haunting 1963 not the crapfest from 1999), I still missed a ton of stuff.

Watch the show, it’s fantastic.

And yeah-




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