Sunday, November 27, 2016

Filled Up

The long Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end and my house is quiet and my heart is full. It was a weekend full of food, family, friends and fun. Each day brought a new set of friends and family into our lives interspersed with moments of just Donna, Ben, Sarah and myself, reunited.

Thanksgiving brought our friends of 25 years to our house as well as my brother in-law and his partner. It felt good to eat, laugh and watch football with them. They each brought something to the table, literally in this case. Our table was full of food to the point of needing to use the nearby buffet to hold the stuffing. 

Then, on Friday we celebrated Sarah's 21st birthday with a different set of friends of nearly 20 years. Like many friendships, ours has ebbed and flowed over the years but, most importantly, has sustained. Our kids grew up together and have stayed in touch and lately we have reconnected through our church, CollectiveMKE. 

We had dinner and, afterward the kids played board games while the parents chatted. It was so much fun listening to our grown children laugh and talk in the other room. It gave me a sense of accomplishment - a sense that we'd arrived, if you will. They are good kids and there's something to be said for raising kids who are not axe murderers, never landed in jail and aren't messed up on drugs. These are the simple prayer requests of every parent, I think. Three of the five of them are in college and the other two will be soon enough. You kind of grind out those early years with this as the light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Yesterday we did more celebrating of Sarah's 21st birthday at a favorite restaurant in Milwaukee. It was the same crowd as Thanksgiving and was a fun night capped by my brother in-law's fantastic Wintermint cake. 

Today we spent among our church family discussing the first week of advent and how we all are dealing with our post election realities as we head into preparing for Christmas. 

Like I said, for this introvert, it was a FULL weekend. Loads of socializing and eating and festiveness. I love these people like family. There's a reason we have been friends for so long. We support each other, we've been through the fire together, and we share in our triumphs. We gather at these holidays to remind us how lucky we are to have such perfect, imperfect friends and family. 

And I wouldn't trade a moment of it, but now it is time to rest, recover and replenish. My heart is full, but I need to get back to my routine. I need quiet navel-gazing introspective bliss for a while. I need to write, to journal and get my mind set for what's next, because in a few weeks we'll have Christmas and it will all ramp up again. 

With a little luck, I should be good to go by then. And that extroverted part of me can't wait.

Blogging off...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Qualified Thanks

It is that time of year when people count their blessings and look back. I think they even call November "Gratitude Month." Of course I have much to be grateful for. At the same time, the reality of my reality is that not everything is always perfect. I'm pretty sure that's what's called life. We can put on airs or try and make it look like everything is "just right," but, is it ever, really? The best we can hope for is 90% I think.

But 90% in middle class America is still pretty dang good. We are a country blessed beyond belief, yet still we find things complain about. Well, I am always seeking to find the positive in life, so here's a few things that I am thankful for but that come with qualifiers.


  • I am thankful for the heat pumped out of my howling furnace. The unit we have is 21 years old and when it fires up, it shakes the whole house. (C'mon over sometime if you don't believe me.) It needs a new "inducer unit." We're scheduled to get a new furnace on December 15th and I will be even more grateful for that. Until then though, I'm grateful for noisy heat.
  • I am blessed with a dog who isn't much to look at, but loves his "daddy" unconditionally. If you know Toby, you know he's a bear to groom, so is almost always in need of a trim. His breath could peel paint and smells like he's just eaten a dead carp. He has a fatty growth on his rear quarters that is benign, but gives him even more personality. But when the day is done, we love him and his quirky ways.
  • I am lucky to have two smart, beautiful children that have grown to become compassionate adults. All of this despite a son who jumps out from behind doors to scare his pops and a daughter who regularly rips his heart out with her tears. I thought parenting was supposed to get easier once you were past the physical needs. Anyway, I'm grateful for the practical jokes (I'll miss them some day) and the huge heart that brings the tears to the surface.
  • I am fortunate to have an imperfect wife who loves me despite my imperfections. Twenty six years in this business and we pretty much know what buttons to push and when to pull back. We're looking at a whole lot more together time in a year when Ben goes to college and that's okay with me. Grateful for my wife's patience.
  • I am forever grateful for my extended family in Minnesota. Like any family, there is a healthy level of dysfunction from member to member, myself included, but I love them, warts, tics and all. We've been through a lot as a family and when the going gets tough, we rally. 
  • I am blessed with a family of in-laws that comes with their own unique dysfunction - hey, it's part of life. They love us though, and I can't imagine a better set of in-laws to have married into.
  • I am thankful for the water that comes out of my faucets that are slowly gumming up because of the hard water. These are also on my short list to fix, but until then, every time I use them, I think of people all over the world who have no running water in their homes. It keeps me honest; keeps my first world problem real. (Nonetheless, if you have mad plumbing skills, lets have coffee soon.)
  • And last but not least I am grateful for this great country we live in. 2016 was a HARD year and it doesn't appear that 2017's going to get any easier. But I have faith in humanity that we, as people, will continue to care more for each other, and will continue to try and make a better America for our kids. We need to do it one person at a time. We need to quit bickering, finger pointing and dwelling on our differences and get down to business. 
So, that's just a bit of what I'm going to focus on today. Lots to be thankful for, none of it perfect, but all of it good.

And good is good enough.

Blogging off...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coffee And Connective Moments

This past Wednesday evening, I was the featured poet at an Open Mic event at a coffee shop in downtown Wales, Wisconsin. The event was held at Mama D's Coffee, a quaint, atmospherically beautiful shop right downtown. (Wales is about 15 minutes west of Waukesha.)

Mama D's holds an open mic event once a month where a featured poet reads for the first half hour, then the mic is opened up and other poets and spoken word artists are invited to read. The way they happened upon me was through a writing colleague who had seen me read in Waukesha. She knew of the Wales location and thought I would be a good addition to the monthly featured poet series. It brings people into the shop and provides a venue for the writers, so is really a win-win. 

Anyway, the reading went pretty well. I covered about 18 poems in the half hour allotted. As I've mentioned before, I am getting increasingly comfortable in front of a group, so this was no different. I tried to break up each poem with a little introduction to what went into the creation of it. This gives the audience a glimpse into me and allows for maybe a level of connection that wouldn't happen if I were to just rattle off the poems.

With each of these events that I do, whether it is reading poetry or from my book Dirty Shirt, it becomes increasingly apparent that these are fleeting moments of artistic expression that will never be repeated. I could and will read again at a different location, but the audience's empathy, connection  and response will be entirely different. While I sometimes consider it a stretch to call myself an artist, what I am doing is performance art in every sense of the word. 

This notion of a moment in time performance art is no different than my brother in law acting in a play. The poetry (or prose, or theatrical performance) may have an impact on someone that they'll never forget. I know I'll never forget the first time I saw Michael Perry do a reading. It was a bookstore in Mequon and some of his short readings were so poignant that they took my breath away. The same holds true for some of my brother in-law's play performances. At this event on Wednesday, I got to hear creative poems from a couple of other poets, including a piece based around her grandson and Star Wars by Mary Jo Balistreri, and another by Charlie, who wrote about his emotions while in a treatment center for depression. There was even a memorized poem from a new inspirational friend and writer/poet who just happens to also be blind, Gregg Wandsneider. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. These are moments I will hold onto.

Maybe it's because I'm a sappy memoirist who has a thing for "moments in time," but that's what these things are - what this night was for me. They are snapshots of the beauty and brilliance of art and the artist and the story they are telling. The stories resonate about the human condition, of love, loss, laughter and life. The telling of them has been going on in the art and literary world since the beginning of time. 

So it is my hope that every time I ask people to be present at one of my events, that my work does justice to taking that time away from something else they could be doing. We owe it to our readers and our listeners to have something worth hearing. And it is nothing short of extremely gratifying when people assure you that you have done just that.

I will keep looking for more of these moments, because they are pretty cool.

Below is a list of the poems I read and the order. Nearly all were from either Written Life or Reciting From Memory. A couple that were mentioned by people were, Bad A*$ Daddy, Pushing One Hundred and Bobby Buzzword.


Set List
  1. Above Ground Rules (List poem)
  2. An Individual's Medley (Son)
  3. Learning To Fly (Daughter)
  4. On A Road (From the poem series in tribute to Kerouac)
  5. Car Hunting In America (In tribute to Brautigan)
  6. Can't be Beat (Beats)
  7. Wednesday's Child (Dad)
  8. Memphis MN (Dad)
  9. Reciting From Memory (Dad)
  10. Docked (Fishing)
  11. Huffy (Fishing)
  12. Pushing One Hundred (House)
  13. Winter Kite (House)
  14. Galactic Destiny (Wife/Love)
  15. The Start of a Beautiful Friendship (Wife/Love)
  16. Bad A*S Daddy (Mid Life Crises)
  17. Doctor Recommended (Mid Life)
  18. (Encore) Bobby Buzzword (Techno babble)

Blogging off...


Coffee And Connective Moments

This past Wednesday evening, I was the featured poet at an Open Mic event at a coffee shop in downtown Wales, Wisconsin. The event was held at Mama D's Coffee, a quaint, atmospherically beautiful shop right downtown. (Wales is about 15 minutes west of Waukesha.)

Mama D's holds an open mic event once a month where a featured poet reads for the first half hour, then the mic is opened up and other poets and spoken word artists are invited to read. The way they happened upon me was through a writing colleague who had seen me read in Waukesha. She knew of the Wales location and thought I would be a good addition to the monthly featured poet series. It brings people into the shop and provides a venue for the writers, so is really a win-win. 

Anyway, the reading went pretty well. I covered about 18 poems in the half hour allotted. As I've mentioned before, I am getting increasingly comfortable in front of a group, so this was no different. I tried to break up each poem with a little introduction to what went into the creation of it. This gives the audience a glimpse into me and allows for maybe a level of connection that wouldn't happen if I were to just rattle off the poems.

With each of these events that I do, whether it is reading poetry or from my book Dirty Shirt, it becomes increasingly apparent that these are fleeting moments of artistic expression that will never be repeated. I could and will read again at a different location, but the audience's empathy, connection  and response will be entirely different. While I sometimes consider it a stretch to call myself an artist, what I am doing is performance art in every sense of the word. 

This notion of a moment in time performance art is no different than my brother in law acting in a play. The poetry (or prose, or theatrical performance) may have an impact on someone that they'll never forget. I know I'll never forget the first time I saw Michael Perry do a reading. It was a bookstore in Mequon and some of his short readings were so poignant that they took my breath away. The same holds true for some of my brother in-law's play performances. At this event on Wednesday, I got to hear creative poems from a couple of other poets, including a piece based around her grandson and Star Wars by Mary Jo Balistreri, and another by Charlie, who wrote about his emotions while in a treatment center for depression. There was even a memorized poem from a new inspirational friend and writer/poet who just happens to also be blind, Gregg Wandsneider. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. These are moments I will hold onto.

Maybe it's because I'm a sappy memoirist who has a thing for "moments in time," but that's what these things are - what this night was for me. They are snapshots of the beauty and brilliance of art and the artist and the story they are telling. The stories resonate about the human condition, of love, loss, laughter and life. The telling of them has been going on in the art and literary world since the beginning of time. 

So it is my hope that every time I ask people to be present at one of my events, that my work does justice to taking that time away from something else they could be doing. We owe it to our readers and our listeners to have something worth hearing. And it is nothing short of extremely gratifying when people assure you that you have done just that.

I will keep looking for more of these moments, because they are pretty cool.

Below is a list of the poems I read and the order.


  1. Above Ground Rules (List poem)
  2. An Individual's Medley (Son)
  3. Learning To Fly (Daughter)
  4. On A Road (From the poem series in tribute to Kerouac)
  5. Car Hunting In America (In tribute to Brautigan)
  6. Can't be Beat (Beats)
  7. Wednesday's Child (Dad)
  8. Memphis MN (Dad)
  9. Reciting From Memory (Dad)
  10. Docked (Fishing)
  11. Huffy (Fishing)
  12. Pushing One Hundred (House)
  13. Winter Kite (House)
  14. Galactic Destiny (Wife/Love)
  15. The Start of a Beautiful Friendship (Wife/Love)
  16. Bad Ass Daddy (Mid Life Crises)
  17. Doctor Recommended (Mid Life)
  18. (Closing) Bobby Buzzword (Techno babble)

Blogging off...


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lessons From A Bad Lip Reader

The time has finally come for me to take that leap into old age and get...wait for it...wait for it...a hearing aid! 

I've only been putting it off for about ten years now. In fact, I would argue that I don't really need one at all. 

My family would argue differently.

The other day, when I asked what we were having for dinner, what I heard was Fried web burgers. When I asked "What are Fried web burgers?" Donna and Ben just about busted a gut. She said, "I SAID, Prime rib burgers. 

Oh, that sounds better. Much better.

I actually had my ears tested about 10 years ago and they said I had some loss and that I would eventually need hearing aids. But telling that to a man is basically giving him license to ignore the problem for 10 years. So that's what I did. For me, it's as much a vanity thing as anything. Which is a stupid reason I know, especially given that my brother Rob wore one for most of his 47 years on earth. What's the big deal, anyway?

Well it's getting worse and I've decided that it's time.

The only problem is I can't seem to get a hearing provider to hear me.

Because I'm not a big phone person, I used a local audiology provider's email to ask for more information. 

What I got was crickets.

So I used their site to "Schedule an Appointment."

They sent an immediate email saying "Thanks for contacting us. We'll get back to you soon." Or something to that effect.

The next day they sent a message telling me to "Find an Office Near You!" 

Which I then did. 

Along about this time I'm starting to become a phone person. So I finally decided to call the local office. I figure I'll talk to a real, live person and actually schedule an appointment. 

So I called them at 3:00 PM on Monday.

And got their voicemail. Sigh.

I left a detailed message and have not yet heard back from them.

The moral of the story is I know a good Audiology clinic in Waukesha NOT to contact.

If anyone has any good suggestions in Southeastern Wisconsin, I'm all ears. (See what I did there?)

Blogging off...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gratefully Apparent

It seems that November is also Gratitude Month. I think they pretty much have a month for everything now. It seems that the NFL teams just finished wearing all the pink socks and towels for breast cancer awareness month (October), and now they're all wearing some sort of camouflage in support of our troops. These are all noble causes and I can't say that I disagree with recognizing any of them, it's just hard to keep tabs on what's what.

Anyway, as I mentioned, it's gratitude month. Each day of November we're supposed to find something that we are grateful for. I think this is some psychological trick to distract us all from the fact that winter is just around the corner, so we need to stockpile our good feelings, because darkness and cold is a comin'. Oh, yes it is.

The wellness center at my workplace even has a Facebook page that is dedicated to gratitude posts. It's been kind of fun, as each day they pick a subject with which to post a grateful picture. (Home, siblings, books, etc.)

So, in light of what has been one of the tougher weeks for me personally, based on the events of the election and some of the fallout and backlash, I'd like to stay positive and focus on some of the things that keep me sane and in the present.


  • My kids. My son just found out he scored four points better on his re-take of  the ACT test. This will help him in his college application process, but more to the point, it is a reminder of how much better students both of my kids are than me. Follow that up with the fact that my college enrolled daughter celebrated her 21st birthday by playing board games and buying pizza for her fellow players. Good friends and good choices. Again, my kids are making way better decisions than I did and I am extremely grateful for that.

  • My job. I am incredibly lucky to have always loved my job. Maps are my life and I thank God everyday that I have a job in something I actually went to school for. I have been blessed to be in mapping/GIS for 30 years this year. Plus I work for one of the top counties in the state of Wisconsin that has a great GIS staff and an extremely engaged and strong community. I love GIS!

  • Family. Just talked to Mom today. She's 83 and just got home from "work." She works a day or two a week at the monastery near her, answering phones and doing computer work. She's living with my older sister in a mutually beneficial living arrangement. Both help each other. The rest of the family is back in Minnesota and provide a safe network for my daughter at the U of MN. I am grateful that we all get along so well after all these years. Proof of a good upbringing by mom.

  • My wife. She is my sanity in our sometimes insane world. We are looking in the face of an empty house soon and as we have more and more time one-on-one, I feel like we're reconnecting in some really cool ways. And I'm grateful for that.

  • My church. Collective MKE is our name and we are a small home-based church. As weird as that may sound, it is something that I cannot put into words. I feel more connected to my neighbors and my God than I ever have. And I've been to every sized church you can imagine. Small is working right now and I am grateful for it.  

  • The weather. We have had some of the best fall weather that one could expect. I especially like the cloudless skies we've had and can't stop taking pictures of the sunsets. Every day over 50 degrees is one less day of cold that I have to deal with
  • My house. It's drafty, in need of a new furnace and a half dozen other projects, but it is my haven. It's where I'm happiest - as I'm sure yours is as well. It ain't perfect, but I'm grateful for it.
That's just a short list of the things I can think of at the moment. If we take a moment each day to think of what we have instead of what we don't, we'd all be better off. So that's what I aim to do.

Blogging off...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Restarting. Please wait...

I am not sure how to process all of the hatred and vitriol I am seeing on both sides of the political system these past couple days. It is unlike I've ever seen in all my days. I certainly have feelings of my own that I will keep to myself, just like we used to do in the old days. I wish I could come up with an inspiring post, but instead I think I will let this post be what it is. Sunday is a new day.


Blogging off...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Saturday Well Spent

Yesterday I spent the day at the University of Waukesha for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books. This is a two day event that celebrates local authors and their work using a series of panels, discussions and educational seminars. I've been going to the fest for years and this one was my second where I was featured on a couple of panels.

The first panel I sat on included Susan Martell Huebner who's written a soon-to-be-released memoir and Kathie Giorgio who has just released a short story collection called Oddities and Endings. The panel was titled Writers Branching Out and discussed crossing genres. I had such a blast on this panel answering the ad hoc questions of the moderator. This moderator was actually Kathie Giorgio's high school English teacher. He did a wonderful job of including the audience and the panel. A great interaction.

Sometimes people on panels like to know the questions in advance, but I feel there's something to be said for getting thrown surprise questions one after another. I think it makes for a more engaging discussion. At the end, the audience was invited to ask questions and they obliged nicely. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate readers who support local authors. They make it all worthwhile.

The second panel was titled The Family Tree: Writers on Families and included Fran Rybarik (memoir) and Lauren Fox (fiction). Like the other panel, it featured three of us covering three genres, poetry, fiction and memoir. The nonfiction author in this panel wrote a book about how her husband died and now here children and friends are taking bits of his ashes around on their travels in an effort to continue his adventure. I thought it was a great subject for a book and it was pretty cool sharing commonalities between our memoirs both before and during the panel.
Books by Books and Company.

These panels were a blast, but I also enjoyed so much more about the day.

  • I loved seeing my writing colleagues, old and young, current and past. We attend each others' events and signings because we are a community. Part of that community is mutual support and encouragement. We have each others' backs. 
  • It was cool meeting a few people that I've connected with on Facebook with but never met. This included David Mathews whose book, Lemons and Lemonade, about his experience with mid-life online dating is soon to be released. We had a nice chat and purchased each others' books. 
  • I got to finally meet Lisa Baudoin, who represented Books and Company of Oconomowoc,Wisconsin, the bookseller at the event. I can't say enough about the great job they did with handling all the books. Second to none.
  • At my signing after the last panel, I had a woman come up and talk to me for about five minutes. She didn't buy a book, but made a point of repeatedly telling me how much my stories during the panel meant to her. I talked a bit about some of the losses in my family during my panel and evidently they hit a common nerve with her. She thanked me a couple of times, took a bookmark and a business card and left. These kinds of interactions sometimes mean more to me than a sale. (Though, sales are always nice. LOL)
  • I also bumped into Paula Anderson who published one of my first poems in her publication, Echoes. She has set me up with a reading at Mama D's in Wales, Wisconsin, and has been a poetry advocate for years.
The whole day was really, really good. I came away from the event energized, humbled and grateful. 

I can't wait for next year!

Blogging off...

A Saturday Well Spent

Yesterday I spent the day at the University of Waukesha for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books. This is a two day event that celebrates local authors and their work using a series of panels, discussions and educational seminars. I've been going to the fest for years and this one was my second where I was featured on a couple of panels.

The first panel I sat on included Susan Martell Huebner who's written a soon-to-be-released memoir and Kathie Giorgio who has just released a short story collection called Oddities and Endings. The panel was titled Writers Branching Out and discussed crossing genres. I had such a blast on this panel answering the ad hoc questions of the moderator.

Sometimes people on panels like to know the questions in advance, but I feel there's something to be said for getting thrown surprise questions one after another. I think it makes for a more engaging discussion. At the end, the audience was invited to ask questions and they obliged nicely. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate readers who support local authors. They make it all worthwhile.

The second panel was titled The Family Tree: Writers on Families and included Fran Rybarik (memoir) and Lauren Fox (fiction). Like the other panel, it featured three of us covering three genres, poetry, fiction and memoir. The nonfiction author in this panel wrote a book about how her husband died and now here children and friends are taking bits of his ashes around on their travels in an effort to continue his adventure. I thought it was a great subject for a book and it was pretty cool sharing commonalities between our memoirs both before and during the panel.

These panels were a blast, but I also enjoyed so much more about the day.


  • I loved seeing my writing colleagues, old and young, current and past. We attend each others' events and signings because we are a community. Part of that community is mutual support and encouragement. We have each others' backs. 
  • It was cool meeting a few people that I've connected with on Facebook with but never met. This included David Mathews whose book, Lemons and Lemonade, about his experience with mid-life online dating is soon to be released. We had a nice chat and purchased each others' books. 
  • I got to finally meet Lisa Baudoin, who represented Books and Company of Oconomowoc,Wisconsin, the bookseller at the event. I can't say enough about the great job they did with handling all the books. Second to none.
  • At my signing after the last panel, I had a woman come up and talk to me for about five minutes. She didn't buy a book, but made a point of repeatedly telling me how much my stories during the panel meant to her. I talked a bit about some of the losses in my family during my panel and evidently they hit a common nerve with her. She thanked me a couple of times, took a bookmark and a business card and left. These kinds of interactions sometimes mean more to me than a sale. (Though, sales are always nice. LOL)
  • I also bumped into Paula Anderson who published one of my first poems in her publication, Echoes. She has set me up with a reading at Mama D's in Wales, Wisconsin, and has been a poetry advocate for years.
The whole day was really, really good. I came away from the event energized, humbled and grateful. 

I can't wait for next year!

Blogging off...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Overcoming

It seems I slept through one of the best World Series games ever last night. I have a solid excuse. I'm not much of a baseball fan at all. I literally did not watch one pitch of the playoffs or series until last night. I follow the standings, and was well aware of what was at stake for the beloved Cubs going into the season. In fact, I told a die hard Cubbies fan friend of mine that if they didn't win it all this year, they deserve to be labelled the loveable losers that they were for 108 years.

Well, they didn't. And to that I say, congratulations Chicago!

I've actually been to Wrigley for games on two or three occasions. It is a fantastic stadium, truly like stepping back in time 50 years. I would go as far as to call it a cathedral or shrine. It is old school and given the ear-splitting sound systems at most parks these days, it is a pleasant alternative. I will even confess, and please forgive me Brewer fans, that when I was at those games, I was actually rooting for the Cubbies. When in Rome...

But as I said, I'm really not much of a fan. What I enjoy of it, I enjoy in person. I don't have much time for watching it on TV at all. I made it until the bottom of the sixth inning. It didn't look good for the Indians at that point. I made it until the bottom of the sixth inning. It didn't look good for the Indians at that point. As I was watching it though, I got so tired of the way the camera was flicking from coach (spitting) to batter (scratching, twitching, posturing) to teammates (more spitting) to pitcher (grabbing) and back to coach (spitting more). Lord help me! Can't we focus on one thing for more than 3 seconds?

But wait, there's a pitcher warming up in the bullpen. Lets go back and forth to that.

I know I sound curmudgeonly, but it's just not my thing. Football is, and it does much of the same flicking back and forth, but at least there's action. Nothing more painful than watching a guy foul off 5 or six pitches. There should be a 2 foul limit. If you can't hit it after two fouls, sit down.

So I slept through it.

I told everyone that had it been the Twins or Brewers, I'd have watched the whole series - an probably at least some of the playoffs. It brings to mind the last time a team I cared about made it to the series, the 1991 Twins, and before that the 1987 Twins.

If you recall, the 1991 series was pretty spectacular too. It went the whole 7 games and finished with Jack Morris' 10 inning shutout that was nothing short of scintillating. I can remember how nervous I was for many of those games. When there's a team I care about playing in a series that means so much, I kind of hung on every pitch. It was nerve wracking.

I also remember the Braves (another less than politically correct team mascot) hatchet chop and politically incorrect chant "Whoa, whoa, whoaaaa Whoa..." I hated that chant, more because it usually rallied the team to pull ahead of my Twins, but I hated it.

On perhaps the annoying side from a Braves or Cardinals' standpoint were the now-infamous Homer Hankies that the Metrodome was known for. Thousands of fans waving their hankies was probably nearly as annoying as the Brave chant.

Well, maybe not.

But they won. And they won in '87 too. That series gave my grandmother the opportunity to FINALLY see her Twins win the big one. She'd followed them for years, including their '65 series. It's these kinds of stories - lifelong fans of a relatively losing franchise - finally getting the chance to see them succeed.

And that is what the Cubs did.

It appears the Indians (who I wouldn't have minded see win, either) will have to get in line and wait their turn.