Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Nurse the Hate: The Whale Adventure

My feet were dangling off the side of the boat wearing a pair of cheap flippers.  I had on an equally cheap diving mask with a snorkel jammed in my mouth.  My right arm desperately held on to a pole supporting the flimsy sun tarp as we floundered in eight-foot swells three miles from shore.  Six very excited Latin American dive instructors were also in snorkels but outfitted with state-of-the-art masks and wet suits.  The plan was to get in close to a surfacing whale, and then jump in next to it to observe the massive creature in the water.  Not only does this fall into the category of “bad idea”, it’s also “illegal” (even in Mexico). 

Allow me to explain.  The previous day I had gone on one of my favorite scuba dives of all time.  If you have ever been to Cabo San Lucas, there is an area by Lover’s Beach where sea lions lounge on a large rock and bark away at tourist boats.  A Mexican Dad and I with $22,000 of gear and no real ability jumped in the water there with a German girl dive guide.  She had been living in the area for months after leaving “a small town in SW Germany”.  (“What’s the name of the town?”  You never heard of it.  “Try me…”  Karlsruhe?  “I played a gig at the Hackerei last Fall.  Did you go to university there?”  Oh my God!  You do know it!)

The dive began in a small cave filled with bright red fish.  Despite instruction not to disturb the silt on the bottom, Mexican Dad immediately disturbs it all and fucks up the visibility for all of us.  We leave the cave and head towards the big rock where the sea lions hang out while tourist boats rumbled overhead.  Then, like a fighter jet fly by, two sea lions rocketed right over top of us, turned radically right, zipped in about 3 feet in front of our faces and stared at us.  Just as quickly they zipped off again.  Awesome.  We worked our way through a small passage that serves as a border between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.  The push of the waves created three feet forward and one foot back progress.  It was narrow, about 12 feet across and 20 feet deep.  Two more sea lions roared straight toward us overhead and shot by.  We cleared the channel and emerged to find a shipwreck from the 1950s where all sorts of colorful fish and a suspicious hefty grouper gave us the eye.  We investigated the wreck as the occasional sea lion roared past unexpectedly.  When we ascended for our safety stop, a huge school of jacks enveloped us in a blanket of shimmering silver.  It was a great dive.

We headed back into the harbor watching the sea lions beg for bait from the returning fisherman.  Pelicans circled overhead looking for a free meal.  Terrible looking fake pirate ships hauled bachelorette parties out where the captain and I speculated on which girl was going to barf/cry and which would hold her hair.  The sun warmed my skin, cold from the ocean.  It was a nice morning.  I helped haul the empty oxygen tanks up the dock to the captain’s beat up old Ford pickup.  I gave him a farewell and started down the dock when he called out for me.  “Hey man… Ah…  If you’re not doing anything tomorrow I’m taking out some friends to snorkel with whales if you’re into it.”  Yeah.  I’m into that!  “OK, we leave before sunup because it’s not technically legal?”  OK.  “Be here at 645a.”  See you then man.

As you might have guessed, this captain is not the most legit guy in the area.  I tend to have a skill to find people that operate in, shall we say, “the margins” of their communities.  This guy was employed in the summer up in Alaska running a commercial fishing boat, and in the winter came down to Cabo where he lived in a $200 a month apartment above a motorcycle repair shop.  If you needed something in Cabo that you might not want to ask the concierge at the hotel for, he’s your guy. 

The uber took my associate Mike and I to the dock at exactly 645.  It was dark.  Fishermen prepped their charters, but it was too early for the local hustlers to work the area yet.  I had asked Mike if he was into going and might have skimmed a bit on the details.  I think his concern ratcheted up a notch when the captain said “I had to set five alarms to get up.  I was out drinking until 330 last night.  Hey, do you have gear?”  No man.  I told you that yesterday.  “Oh…  I totally spaced on that.  We probably have some in the hutch.”  Did you get that wet suit for me?  “Oh, I thought you had one.”  You got me one yesterday!  “Ohhh…  That’s right.”  Then we hit the swells as we headed straight out to sea.  It was cold, and the boat was getting tossed around, mostly because it was about 15 feet long and not ideal for the conditions.  “Tourist Goes Missing In Suspected Sea Disaster”

The other passengers were all Spanish speaking divers except for a really skinny blonde kid from South Africa that was some kind of ocean videographer.  There were two women, both of whom were long haired with groovy hippie anklets, Zen tattoos and perfectly toned in their professional wetsuits.  The guys had the graceful confidence of truly athletic men in their prime.  They were pros.  We were two assholes with sunglasses and flip flops.  And we were going to jump in rough ocean with whales.
We found three gray whales that had surfaced.  Their blowholes sent up spray.  Their dark black backs arched out of the water when they dove.  The tails would briefly reveal themselves as the whales went under, hiding from us.  We were close enough to see small scars on their skin.  We waited to see if the whales would surface again, poised to jump off the boat at the first sign.  Then they were gone.  We waited and bobbed in the ocean, scanning in all directions.  They didn’t want to show themselves to us.  We motored on.  And on.  And on.

By the time we spotted three large humpbacks and a calf breaching from the ocean making dramatic splashes, the small armada of whale watching boats were out to sea.  There would be no snorkeling with the whales today.  If we did jump in the water, the boat would be reported, and the captain given a backbreaking ticket.  We would have to content ourselves watching these beautiful massive creatures play and lounge on the surface.  At one point the largest humpback turned on his side and flapped his massive fin lazily making massive “thwacks!” on the surface.  It would have been a real rush to have swum near something that huge, having it stare at me with his enormous eye.  I was disappointed but only mildly so.  It had been a good adventure.  The group on the boat shared an easy comraderie.  The sun shone down.  The sea lions barked.  The pelicans circled.  It was a nice day.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Tuesday 10am

Each Tuesday morning, he went to see his therapist in a small office building filled with small businesses advertising vague services like “logistics solutions” and “financial consulting”.  There the receptionists would stare at him as he walked past.  He felt self-conscious that they speculated on his “condition” as he walked past, so he went to great lengths to avoid eye contact.  The receptionists would hurriedly gaze down at their computer screens on the rare occasions when he tried to confirm his suspicions that he was being monitored.  He would sit in the small waiting room that contained water damaged books of New Yorker cartoons and Ansel Adams coffee table options culled from library sales.  His therapist was always late to receive him but eventually the door would open and the tired old man would greet him.  “C’mon in…”

The room had two chairs and a sagging couch from the 1980s.  It felt like a rec room from a different time.  Clutter filled the floor.  Unhung paintings, hardcover books, stacks of magazines.  The doctor wore Birkenstock slippers with toes worn to the point of his socks being visible.  The doctor always placed his feet on a stool as if he had an ongoing ailment like gout or poor circulation in his feet.  The sound of a strained exhale indicated that the doctor’s feet were on the stool and the session could begin.  He suspected the therapist was a narcoleptic as he often appeared to doze off during the sessions.  Maybe he was just bored.  It was hard to pinpoint. The doctor held a notebook and stared and him with heavy blinks as if unable to find comfort in a pair of old dry contact lenses.  He stared back.  There was an uncomfortable silence.  It was part of the game, meant to force him to talk, the discomfort of the silence working to ferret out what was on the patient’s mind.  The patient eventually always lost this game and would begin to speak.

“I sat on an airplane next to a dying man last week.”  How did that make you feel?  “I don’t know.  I didn’t feel anything.  He was thin, but in a sickly way, you know?  He was older but you could still see the vision of what he looked like as a young man if you tried.  He was out of breath.  Must be cancer.  He smelled like decay and cigarettes.”  Um hum.  The doctor shifted in his chair and began to close his eyes.  “To my right was a young woman.  Really pretty.  She smelled like flowers.  It was probably one of those expensive shampoos.  Meanwhile the sick guy starts wheezing to my left.  There I was in the middle seat like an example of middle age.  It went right across.  Beginning, middle, end…”   The doctor stared at him, blinking.  There was an uncomfortable silence.  The doctor struggled to keep his eyes open. 

“I get to the airport and am waiting on my luggage.  I bought one of those black suitcases with the wheels.  I had all kinds of anxiety picking it out.  What if I can’t figure out which is mine when the luggage comes out?  What if I grab someone’s bag by mistake and get to the hotel with someone else’s clothes?  I can feel myself getting more and more nervous about it.  Then the bags start coming off and it’s nothing but black bags.  I can't remember which is mine.  I knew I made a mistake getting that black bag.”  The doctor scribbled off handedly in his notebook.  

"So the bags keep rolling onto the belt.  Bag after bag.  Every one of them is black.  Every single one.  I grab one that I think is mine and I hear this woman say “that old ugly guy just grabbed my bag”.  Now I’m not even paying attention to see if the suitcase is mine because I’m dealing with the idea that I’m old and ugly.”  The doctor opened his eyes showing some animation for the first time.  Do you think you’re old and ugly?  “Well, I didn't before but I guess so now because that woman said I am with a lot of confidence. It wasn’t like the guy with her looked at someone else before coming straight over to me and hassling me about the suitcase.  I just handed him the bag without a word and stared at his wife thinking “fuck, how long have I been old and ugly?”  I know I’m not a model but I didn’t think I was notably unappealing.  I’ve been walking around thinking I’m just a normal guy.  Now I’m looking at people wondering how ugly they think I am.  Do you think I’m ugly or am I just unattractive?”

The doctor shifted uncomfortably in his chair and hedged.  Well, ah... It doesn't matter what I think...  Umm...  Let's get back to your anxiety about the suitcase.  I think that would be more constructive.  "Well, that woman fucked up.  It was my bag all along.  I just watched her strut out on me with my bag and I didn't say anything.  I stood there like I was invisible for about 15 minutes.  All the other passengers retrieved their suitcases and ignored me as I stood there like a statue.  It was just me and one black suitcase going around and around and around on the belt.  I finally filled out a lost bag report at the airport and left.  I never got my bad back.  I had to go out and buy new clothes and a toothbrush.  I went to WalMart and bought all cheap shit.  What's the difference what I wear now anyway?  I am almost the cancer guy and I didn't even know it.  Do I smell like decay?  You'd tell me, right?  You'd let me know, wouldn't you?"  The doctor was motionless with his eyes closed, perhaps now fully asleep.  His Birkenstocks rested on the stool, old and worn out.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The New Porn Blackmail Letter

From: Gmiller
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:36 PM
To: Miller, Greg
Subject: gmiller : gregmiller

I am aware gregmiller is one of your passphrases. Lets get directly to point. None has paid me to investigate about you. You may not know me and you are most likely wondering why you are getting this e mail? 

You do have not one but two possibilities. We will check out these possibilities in details:

Very first alternative is to ignore this email message. in such a case, i most certainly will send your actual videotape to all your your personal contacts and thus just consider regarding the humiliation you experience. Not to mention should you be in a relationship, just how it can affect?

Number 2 solution will be to pay me $978. i will regard it as a donation. as a result, i will immediately delete your videotape. You can continue on your daily life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me.

You will make the payment via Bi‌tco‌in (if you do not know this, search for 'how to buy b‌itcoi‌n' in Google search engine).

if you are looking at going to the authorities, anyway, this email can not be traced back to me. I have dealt with my moves. i am not attempting to demand so much, i just like to be compensated. mail if i don't get the ‌bi‌tco‌in‌, i will send out your video to all of your contacts including family members, coworkers, and so on. However, if i do get paid, i'll destroy the video immediately. If you want to have proof, reply with Yes! then i will certainly send your video recording to your 9 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, and thus do not waste my personal time & yours by responding to this e-mail.

From: Miller, Greg 
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2019 11:16 AM
Subject: gmiller : gregmiller

Good morning,

Imagine my surprise at finding this email this morning.  You were quite clever breaking into my computer like that and observing my online activities.  However, I believe that you might not have a full comprehension of the content I was viewing due, no doubt, to a cultural disconnect.  It appears that English might not be your first language, so I will give you a pass in regards to understanding the subtleties of the United States and our taste in cinema.  I can understand why you would think the film I was watching was X rated as your country might have a different set of standards in regards to a ratings system for content.  Let me assure you that what I was watching was considered to be, at worst, “erotic” and more likely “an art film”. 

You can certainly understand my reluctance to send you $978 just because I was swept up in the cinematic majesty of “Teen Babysitter Sluts and Bad Daddies IV”.  The incredible lighting techniques used by director Johnny Rod are perhaps his finest nod yet to the early work of Orson Welles.  I think you would agree that the mood of bleakness and social disconnect completely enveloped the first scene when our protagonist Kendra soulfully made love to Mr. Stevens with a detached professionalism to the delight of Mrs. Stevens secretly observing from the hallway.  The look that washes over Mrs. Stevens as the mix of pleasure and shame clouds her husband’s face while gloom hangs over the couch…  The final pan to Mr. Stevens black socks on his motionless feet?  I think you would agree that this is the work of a master at the very top of his craft. 

Now as opposed to you threatening to expose my refined taste in film, you would in fact be doing me a favor by allowing others to understand my true depth of interest in today’s auteurs of erotic expressionism.  I might be interested in bringing you on board as a “personal brand publicist” (at a handsome wage I might add) if you believe we can somehow “get the word out” and create large scale festival type events.  Most of my close friends already know I am a cinephile as we faithfully hold movie nights in my backyard on a large projection screen.  Last year’s deep dive into the “Naughty MILF” franchise was perhaps our most well attended event with well over 50 people debating the symbolism and easter eggs that appear time and again through the series of films.  I think if we could take that to a larger stage, we might really have something my friend.

Please let me know your interest in pursuing this project.  I would be looking at paying you a monthly consultation fee of $5000 per month.  For tax purposes I will need to make a direct deposit into your bank account, so please send me your current account number, PIN information, routing numbers and any other personal information to make this transfer of money into your account as swift as possible.

Looking forward to our new working relationship,


Friday, February 8, 2019

Nurse the Hate: The Odd Thing About Gig Memories

I was surprised to discover a guy I work with used to be a touring musician.  I had no idea.  We both pull a chameleon at work and blend into the bland landscape.  He's older than me, so I didn't know what he meant by him saying "he used to play in bands".  Generally, when someone tells me they play(ed) in a band, it can turn out they had instruments briefly set up in their basement or played at a wedding once.  There is a stark difference in life experience between playing shitty punk rock bars to strangers that initially hate you and taking a shot at “Disco Inferno” at your cousin Trudy’s wedding while your family coos and takes video. 

When I found out he had played with Alex Bevan, someone I knew that played “real” shows slightly before I crept into the scene, I suspected he was in the tribe.  When he told me of his doomed opening slot for The Clash in 1979, he had much respect.  Back then Ohio kids thought you had to spit on the performer to be as “punk” as the reports they had seen about this new dangerous music from New York and London.  What a drag to have punk poseurs from Chagrin Falls spit on you as you kill time as an obstacle before the big prize of The Clash.  Poor Bo Diddley played the second slot with union musicians that appeared to have bought “cool” clothes from JC Penney when they learned they had the gig.  I would guess that a union bass player used to playing Playhouse Square mixers and wedding receptions would have been uncomfortable being spat on prior to a band that was in combat boots waiting to play “I’m So Bored With The USA”.

We quickly moved onto the conversation all touring musicians have at one point or another.  “What’s the worst men’s room of any club you ever played?”  I was surprised by his answer of a now forgotten club that was next door to the old Peabody’s Café in Cleveland Hts.  The bathrooms were downstairs behind the area where the band played.  Patrons had to essentially walk through the band to get to the staircase.  The club had abandoned all pretense of cleaning the facilities and at this point also stopped replacing lightbulbs.  The stairs down were like something from a nightmare in Game of Thrones.  As a result, patrons began to creep as far down stairs as they dared in the increasing darkness until just pissing in the general direction of where they believed a toilet might be located.  This led to the unmistakable scent of human waste settling in around the area of the band as it wafted upstairs.  This indeed sounded grim, but that's not the worst.

I did not have to think long for my answer.  I thought of the terrifying CBGB’s men’s room, but like most pilgrims to that club, I missed the “glory days” of when Hilly’s dog used to shit everywhere.  To me, that men’s room was about as bad as when the Euclid Tavern would have plumbing issues.  Bad, certainly, but not the worst.  My mind drifted briefly to a club called Ronnie Ps in Pittsburgh where we played one cursed show with the Frampton Brothers.  Ronnie Ps was a club that was originally a men’s room and they decided to add on.  “Hey, we have a filthy toilet.  Let’s add on a club!”.  It was there Leo got bitten by a small flying gnat that gave him a stubborn raised skin infection that took months to heal.  As far as I know, he still has some sort of early strain of the Zika virus from that.

Ultimately though, the choice was easy.  The worst men’s room I know was Bernie’s Bagels, aka The Distillery in Columbus.  In the mid 80s as a college student, I used to stop in there for imported beers and bagel sandwiches.  It was a little gross, but as a college student, it was no dirtier than my rental house with my degenerate roommates.  By the time Bernies had solidified itself as the “small shitty punk rock room” of Ohio State, the staff had completely given up on maintaining a basic human level of function in that men’s room.  No doubt it was routinely destroyed by angry punk rock boys and drunk college students.  They didn’t install the indestructible prison toilets Kathy did at The Grog Shop.  They just gave up.

The last time I played Bernies was probably in the late 90s.  The Cowslingers played Bernies a bunch of times, and we almost always were terrible.  We just used to get too fucking drunk.  It would always be three bands with us playing last, which gave us too much time with the import beer cooler.  I think the general filth of the room left no other choice than “shitface drunk” to maintain the composure necessary to spend 5-6 hours in the space.   That last time we played there, I remember going to the men’s room to see no one had even attempted to clean the bathroom.  The toilet had tape across it meant to deter anyone from using it.  Unfortunately, this did not stop the previous patrons who had somehow the stomach to shit in it over and over, so much so that a small fecal mountain crested the top of the bowl.  The one working urinal had a broken beer glass in it where someone had thoughtfully vomited over the general area.  The other urinal had a hole punched in the bottom of it.  A film of mysterious liquid coated the floor of the area.  I backed out like I had chanced into an encounter with a mountain lion.  I went to the women’s, which was better, but not remarkably so.  It should also be noted I did not order a bagel or any other food item.

It's odd that in all these years of playing music I never talk about the great nights like those Link Wray gigs, the first time selling out the Grog, nights at the Star Bar in Atlanta, whatever…  Whenever I meet other people that have spent time in the van, we never talk about brief moments of small victories.  The memorable nights are somehow the biggest disasters, the most spectacular fiascos.  For example, that gig we played with Willie Nelson was great.  I can’t remember that much about it.  I still remember the Distillery though with vivid clarity…

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Nurse the Hate: The Only Super Bowl Preview You Need

On January 14th, 1973 I got punched in the nose by a girl so hard I saw stars and bled all over the floor.  Allow me to explain.  I know the date as I went with my father to his co-worker’s house to watch the Miami Dolphins beat the crap out of the overmatched Redskins in Super Bowl VII.  It looked like the Redskins had some life when Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian threw what still holds up as the meekest interception in league history for a pick six, but the Dolphins got right back to work grinding and won 14-7.  I was holding a towel to my embarrassed face for most of the 3rd quarter, but I still remember that.

As a six-year-old, I had limited experience with girls, notwithstanding a scandal when my parents discovered my neighbor Sandy and I naked in my closet of my bedroom as we inspected each other’s genitalia.  She, like me, was about six years old, so this was not like a Cinemax movie.  This was science.  I was equally as intrigued by her folds as she was with my cocktail frank sized penis.  I would have liked to have known at the time that this would be as close as I would get to female sex organs for well over the next decade.  One thing I do recall was Sandy’s mother freaking out as we emerged from the closet without pants and still in our shoes.  I think whenever a boy in black shoes/without pants pops out of a closet, it puts people on edge.  I don’t hold a grudge against Sandy’s mother.

After Sandy was placed in exile and never to be seen again, that left my interaction with females as almost exclusively as “being treated cruelly by classmates”.  My social value system at that time was largely guided by episodes of The Brady Bunch and playground justice.  None of my neighborhood pals had sisters.  It was all creepy little boys like me.  It was good for wiffleball, bad for long term social skills.  When I met my father’s co-worker’s daughter, this was like being thrown together with a cellmate in a foreign prison.  It was just us, and we were expected to play together.  “Hmm… I have heard of these strange creatures.  She will want to play with dolls or perhaps have a tea set according to the documentaries I have seen on television.”

It turned out that this young lady was quite the athlete.  The top floor of the house had a gym in it, outfitted well beyond what was normal at that time.  I remember wrestling mats, medicine balls, ropes, etc.  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with her as she was “just a girl”.  Certainly, physical sports like wrestling or throwing stuff at each other was out of the question as she was “the delicate sex”.  She suggested we each put on one of the boxing gloves and spar with each other. “Nahh…” I tried to play it off like I had just knocked off a speed bag workout this morning training for a Joe Frazier fight.  She insisted.  “Nah…”  Then the gauntlet was thrown.  “What?  Are you chicken?”

This was akin to being asked if you were “a bitch” in the prison yard.  There was no way I would have my manhood judged in such a manner.  I put on one of the gloves.  There were two problems that immediately came to light.  1.  I had never boxed.  2.  What was I supposed to do?  I was taught by The Brady Bunch and probably my parents not to hit girls.  I started to consider my options when it happened.  Pow!  I got hit squarely in the nose with a crisp jab that would have drawn praise from Hector “Macho” Camacho.  My nose made a crunching sound.  I saw stars.  I reflexively had tears running out of my eyes.  I started to bleed.  That ended the boxing.  It probably took four seconds.  If I had a car, I would have driven home.  Instead there was more humiliation.  “Dad!  We were boxing and now he is crying and has a bloody nose!”  The Dads looked at me like I was a pussy.  I had my head tilted back by the other Dad as they stared at the Dolphins and drank Schlitz.  That is my earliest Super Bowl memory.

My focus on Super Bowl Sunday is now entirely on gambling, drinking to excess, and eating too much.  It’s the American Dream.  I am not even betting on the game itself, but instead focusing on the myriad of parlays available.  The game is essentially a wilderness of mirrors with a series of strobe lights going off at every angle.  In theory the Rams are the better team.  They have better personnel, great coaching, and are now rolling into their prime.  But, what are you going to do?  Bet against Brady/Belichick?  I mean, gun to my head I bet on the Rams and take the points as they should probably be favored, but I’m not wading into those waters.  Somehow the Patriots will win and Tom Brady will holding that trophy up in the air trying to look surprised.

I am going to take UNDER 10.5 in the first quarter.  The Patriots have been in eight Super Bowls.  In those games they have scored a grand total of 3 points in the first quarter.  After losing Josh Gordon, they have become a “run first” team with short passes on crossing routes in long time consuming drives.  Even if they get the ball and score, I look for them to grind out clock.  Additionally, teams hit the first quarter jacked up on nerves.  No one wants to make “the big mistake”.  It takes a bit for the game to settle in.  I love the UNDER 10.5.

With that in mind, I will also take “No/Will either team score in the first five minutes” at -165.  The Rams when winning the toss have deferred the kick every time this season.  As the Patriots will likely dink and dunk, it will be tough to get down the field in less than 5 minutes.  What can kill me here is if some long snapper gets The Yips and hikes it over the punter’s head for a safety.  I don't want to be crazed screaming profanity at a long snapper or punter, but I will melt down if this scenario unfolds.  Still, at -165, I will take that chance.

I am also getting on the Under 1.5 yards for the shortest TD of the game.  The over under suggests that this game will have seven tuochdowns.  15% of all touchdowns are one yard.  Think of all the pass interference calls in the end zone placing the ball at the one.  The math suggests that this should be at -210, but I am in on this at -140.  This is what sports gambling is all about.  Grinding away at math looking for small values.           

When I look at the Patriots, I get confused as to who is going to be getting all of these Brady passes.  As usual, their receiving corps looks thin, especially with Gronk being the shadow of the player he once was.  Julian Edelman is "the guy".  That little ball of hate manages to get open on every big passing down.  The entire stadium knows he is getting the pass, but it doesn't seem to matter.  Since 2013, Edelman has averaged 12.4 targets per playoff game.  I don't see any reason for that to change on Sunday.  I am getting on the Edelman OVER 6.5 catches.

The fear is if Pap Pap gets into the hooch early and wanders into the comparative sports wagering lines.  I have a terrible vision of myself all boozed up madly clicking wagers like "Steph Curry total points -1.5 vs Patriots total points scored".  Or maybe "Shortest Field Goal -2.5 vs Jimmy Butler points from field".  At that point you might as well bet on "No...Will Adam Levine wear hat" or "Under... Gladys Knight national anthem time".  If anyone sees me by a laptop over the next 36 hours, please have a six year old girl snap a punch into my nose so I see stars and start crying.  Ultimately, that's what Super Bowl Sunday is all about.