Just a Blog…

It’s been quite a while since I last blogged, and that was because it was starting to become something I dreaded. I don’t ever want writing to be something that I dread, least of all when I am not getting paid for it, and doing it on my own time. In light of that, I’m giving myself license to indulge in some more rambling, multi-faceted (read: aimless) blog posts from time to time here. It limbers up my writing muscles, it makes me feel like I’ve been to a shitty therapist’s office, and makes me feel less like a shut-in.

What’s on my mind right now? Football. Again.

I was never a big football fan until I got to college. We dutifully watched the Cowboys play every Super Bowl in the 1990s, since my recently deceased grandfather, Jack Penson, was one of the biggest die hards I had ever met. He was a fan since the team’s inception and stuck with them through thick and thin. I began to follow college football once I transferred into UT, and enjoyed being along for the ride watching the Longhorns go to two national championship games (one win, the other a heartbreaking loss on the back of a QB injury–that will come into play later). I also followed the Dallas Mavericks with varying degrees of fair-weather, through their 2006 finals run, and going into their championship-winning season in 2011.

But the Dallas Cowboys, arguably the greatest (or at least most popular) franchise my hometown ever produced, always eluded me. Truth be told, I always remembered those Super Bowl games in the 90s, and how much fun it was being at Grandaddy’s house and jumping up when a big play happened, and taking turns wearing the Cowboys knit cap. That was fun. Watching the boys grind it out was not as fun. Eventually I got somewhat into fantasy football (which makes following the league a lot more interesting when your favorite team is depressingly average), and bgan this season with a faint glimmer of hope that the Cowboys would put something together.

And they did. They won in week 2, when I was on enemy turf at a Giants game (they Giants lost to the Cardinals, which made things even sweeter). Then they staged an impressive comeback against the Rams. Then, on the weekend Jack Penson died, they blew out the New Orleans Saints. That was when I decided I was going to throw my Cowboys fan pants back on, and for good this time. Through thick and thin. The way Jack Penson wanted it. Then they beat Houston, and the Seahawks, and the Giants. This was going to be a lot more fun than I anticipated.

The Cowboys are now 6-2, thanks to a clusterfuck of a Monday Night game against the Washington Cultural Appropriators. After Romo took a knee to the same back he had surgery on less than a year ago, things looked dark. He was still lying on the turf when the broadcast returned from commercial break, which is never a good sign, but eventually got up and walked to the locker room. OK, maybe things weren’t going to be so bad.

Anybody watching knows the score: Weeden led the Cowboys to two scoring drives to tie the game, and then Romo, against all logic and sanity, came back onto the field. Cowboys owner and noted megalomaniac Jerry Jones was on the sideline talking to Jason Garrett, and who knows exactly what went down or what was implied, but in some shape or form, Jones was backing the idea of Romo going onto the field. Maybe. Or maybe he was just being a conscientious owner and sticking together with his team when the chips were down. Whatever the case, Romo should have stayed on the bench: Weeden was making progress and Murray was being Murray, but some stupid macho genes kicked in and the coaching staff decided a 35 year old with a torn up back was how they wanted to wind up this divisional contest.

The game went to over time and the Skins tacked on a field goal. Dallas had 4 downs to match with a field goal or score for the win, and inexplicably decided to keep the ball out of Murray’s hands with 2 yards to go for a first down. There have been reports that Murray was furious on his way to the locker room, and I don’t blame them. I can only hope that there are no lingering chemistry issues.

Or lingering back issues, for that matter. I’ve spent most of today penning a column for LitReactor, but I have to admit, I’ve been checking up on Romo’s back, grasping for any new news about that back, for the better part of the day. So far everything points to him being good to go on Sunday, but you never know, and given that it’s now nearing Midnight on the East Coast and Dallas hasn’t released any concrete information, I’m very, very nervous about that back.

The silver lining: maybe this Dallas team needed a good kick in the teeth, if not a kick in the back. Maybe we were (definitely) riding too high on a 6-0 streak and needed to face some of the elephants in the room, the health of Romo perhaps being one of them. We’ll see how things shape up tomorrow, and going into Sunday with the Cardinals (gulp).

An unrelated rant: what’s the deal with people turning Halloween into a two week long celebration? I have accepted, under protest, that people are going to celebrate Halloween the weekend before when it falls on a Tuesday or something, but it’s on a fucking Friday this year. Just celebrate it on the damn day. I love Halloween as much as the next guy (although my appetite for it has waned since moving to a city that basically becomes a nightmare to move around in on October 31st), but aren’t we quite literally spoiling our appetites when we decide to dedicate two weekends in a row to adult costume parties (with increasingly annoying “clever” costumes)? This is really sort of a collective version of the obnoxious “birthday week” phenomenon a lot of people my age are doing now. I think from this point on, excepting certain milestones (30th, for example), I am going to have my birthday on one day only, and if I can help it, that will be the actual date, regardless of convenience or potential for partying. If people can’t make it, that’s fine, it’s not like I’m getting married or something.

Moving on…my application to become a graduate student of British and American Literature at Hunter College is in, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m also theoretically in the running to begin substituting for teachers at an academy on the upper west side, but I haven’t heard any updates on that front, which is somewhat discouraging, but to be expected. Less expected is the mentoring program I signed up with that has accepted me but is taking their sweet time getting me matched up with a student and getting the ball rolling. I’m looking forward to that very much, and hope I get matched with a cool kid.

On the horizon: working on a new book, a new short story, trying to get rolling with a new draft of a screenplay, and throwing around ideas for another with two near and dear creative partners. On the more fun and less work side: Halloween Movie Marathon Pizza Party at my place on Friday (eff you NYC parade), Starry Eyes NYC premiere Sunday night (!!!), and a possible brief weekend upstate with Leigh, and then Thanksgiving in Dallas shortly after that. Then it’s only a few short weeks until JAMAICA WITH LEIGH omgroflcopter.

All in all, things are looking up. Thanks blog, it’s been swell.


–Johnny J