Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Friday, June 15, 2001
I wear Fitover Sunglasses. I must admit that these look a bit 'unconventional' (they're huge!) but they work great! The weather remained hot, and the sun was blinding, but thanks to these Fitovers, I'm in the shade.


Thursday, June 14, 2001
Today was hot. Hot weather. I often claim that summer is my favorite season, but on days like this, I feel I need to move summer down a notch. Someone said that winter is better because you can always put on clothes when you're cold, until you get warm. With summer, you'll always be hot, no matter how many clothes you take off.

It was 80 degrees on Paul Fox's real-time temperature monitor, but it felt like 90.


Wednesday, June 13, 2001
I played golf today and ended up with a reunion of former work colleagues.

I left the house after Mia's morning feeding. By 6:50AM, I went into the pro shop at the Woburn Country Club and asked if I could play nine holes as a single. Normally, I would have joined another group, but a league was teeing off in five minutes. I decided to try another course.

I went to my old stand-by, Pine Meadows Golf Course. This is a nine-hole course (like the Woburn Country Club). I paid the fee, and was asked to join three older gentlemen. As my group was getting ready to tee off, three guys from my last job happened to be walking past the first tee. The starter suggested I join them, since it was clear I knew who these guys were.

So just like that, I left the three older gentlemen, and joined my former work colleagues: Tim Besser, Bill O'Keefe, and John Perakis.

Golf is a sport best enjoyed with happy company. These guys were happy. Despite a work day, they wanted to squeeze in nine holes before the 9AM. I had played with a few of them before. The comraderie of golf can't be overstated. There was no discouraging remarks. Instead, the banter was self-deprecating, and above all, encouraging. Golf talk isn't trash talk.

And the course was an old buddy too. All of us had memories of certain birdies, pars, bogeys, snow men, and "other" scores as we marched through each of the familiar holes. I can walk this course in my head.

I played OK, but the surprise reunion made up for my ugly score.


Sunday, June 10, 2001
Ray Bourque has finally touched the Stanley Cup. He and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils in an epic seven game series, that had me emotionally spent by the end of it.

I told my wife when the Stanley Cup finals started, that I would emotionally invest myself in rooting for the Avalanche, for Ray Bourque. I told her that she could root for the Avalanche for Chris Drury, a fellow BU alumnus.

For me, I spent a heady seven nights watching this on TV. There were games where I was glued to the television. There were games where I could only watch it cowered behind the computer, watching web updates to a mute scoreboard.

When the Avalanche went down 3-2 in the series, I was thrust into a despair I hadn't felt in a long time. When the Avalanche tied it up 3-3 in New Jersey, I moved about in trepidation for forty-eight hours, until game 7. Everything I did on Saturday seemed fraught with Stanley Cup significance: should I wear a certain shirt? which TV should I watch the Cup? should I have a take-out lunch in addition to dinner? should I shave?

Saturday seemed filled with other great sports. I rejoiced when Jennifer Capriati won the French Open in an epic third set, but I feared that her good fortune would 'cancel out' an Avalanche win. I enjoyed the quick two goal lead by the New England Revolution, but I couldn't bear to think that the sporting gods would deny me an Avalanche victory so that my local soccer team could win one at home. I hid all this from Jenn as best I could, but in the early evening, I told her that I was a big mess waiting for this game to begin.

And when the game finally started, and the Avalanche kept pulling ahead, I frequently changed the channel, not daring to believe that a victory was possible. But with five minutes to play, I could barely sit down. After the game, I was so keyed up, I stayed awake flipping through the local news and Ray Bourque led every local telecast.

I am relieved to be writing these words as a common sports fan. The team I rooted for won, and that's a very satisfying feeling.





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