Tuesday, December 20, 2016


So, I recently became a father. Well, okay, technically I am about to become a step-father, but I don't like the term step-father. I like to live by this popular quote...

I just wanted to clarify before moving forward, here. Now that you are up to speed, back down to business. So, I recently became a father.

My daughter is two (going on 13) and we have been living together as a family for about six months now. She was barely two when I first met her, but it didn't take long before I got the coveted invite, in an adorable toddler voice to, "play with me in my room." This was sort of the first inroads. She is pretty friendly and outgoing to begin with, so we were still a ways away from any sort of real connection, but it was a start. It would be about four months later until the living together would come into play, but it's safe to say the little one at least liked me somewhat from the get-go.

As the living arrangement came into play, there were your basic ins, your basic outs and your basic what have yous. I mean, there is a reason they call it the "terrible twos", right? She would start to test me, somewhat in the same way she would test her mother. In that way, I was sort of in, being treated like a parent or at least a large human with whom she felt comfortable enough to test boundaries. Truth be told, though, there was still something missing. Still something that would often leave me saddened and discouraged at the end of the day. The full connection, that a dad might feel,  was not quite there and as a "new" parent thrown into this family dynamic, it was easy to wonder if that connection would ever come.

Children, naturally, have a genuine, ready made bond or deep connection to their birth parents. As a "stepparent" there's a chance you may never get that feeling. Quite honestly, there are probably some "stepparents" who are pretty resigned to that fact and don't give a darn (pardon my French) or some that don't even think about that connection and don't  even try. I am neither of those stepparents. So that's where the saddened, discouraged feelings would mainly come from. I mean, this is a child who I have sworn to love and protect for the rest of my life so, yeah, I was hoping she would hold me in somewhat parental esteem at some point, however unrealistic that might be. I mean, when I proposed it was a proposal to both mother and daughter. A proposal for both of them to spend their lives with me. My lady is no dummy, nor is she selfish. Her daughter, rightfully so, comes first, so she would not have said yes unless she thought I would be good for her daughter in the first place, but her daughter, being two also didn't really get a say, per se. In fact, the marriage concept has still not quite sunk in since the toddler's response to a mention of this life changing event has generally been, "I'm getting married too...to my granddaughter." Hilarious and adorable, right? My point thought, which might actually be hidden in this paragraph somewhere, is she has accepted me, but there was still a missing piece to the puzzle. Not too long ago, that piece showed up, in the form of nap time.

Yes, nap time. Simple as that. As her nap time approached one day, the little one, ever so sweetly, asked me"will you lay with me". Now, this may not seem like much more than a heart melting moment to most, but to me this was huge! This was her really accepting me into her and her mother's life. See, kids will play and talk with many different people that pass through, but laying with them, during nap time? That's not an invite toddlers will just bandy about. Oh no, that's about as big of a sign of trust that a two-year old can offer and it not only warmed my little heart, but it made me feel accepted and, for the first time, like a full fledged dad. There will be plenty more of these moments to come and I am looking forward to sharing some of them, as I learn the joys of fatherhood and family life.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Welcome to a very special Halloween weekend edition of The "Bitterness is a Fish You Can Catch Weekly Picks'! Now in this week's post you will not find Gob-lynn Swan, LaRod Stephens-Howling, or former Giant wide receiver, Armani Cost-toomer. Enjoy! 

Chargers (+2) at Dolphins- The Chargers were early season darlings after beating the defending champion, Seattle Seahawks to start a treat of a five game winning streak, but now their star, or lightning bolt, is fading. I will say I was bit taken in and thought, "Hey, the Chargers may be legit, this year and could. Phillip Rivers is clearly channeling Stan Humphries or something, could they have a chance to ghost all the way?"

But outside of that Seattle win, who have they played? The last three wins in that five game winning  streak were against the Jaguars (1-7), Jets (1-7) and Raiders (0-7). That's three teams with a combined record of 3-21. Basically, these were all games that they should have won with no problem whatsoever. What happened though is the the Bolts squeaked past the Raiders and then lost the next two games to division foes, Kansas City and Denver.

On the other side of the coin, the Dolphins have won three of four and their one loss was just a three point loss to a very talented Packers team. Then there's San Diego traveling across the country into the treacherous and haunting eastern time zone. Everything kind of points to the Dolphins covering this one, no problem, right? Well, here's the thing, the Chargers are coming off a a Thursday nighter, so they've got extra rest and prep time and we're setting the clocks back, giving one of those lost time zone crossing hours, back. They're gonna be itching to get off the snide. It is one of the tougher calls this week, but I think the Chargers pull this one out. Chargers 24-21

Jaguars (+10.5) at Bengals- The Bengals look to be getting A.J. Green back for a game against the 26th ranked pass defense. That sounds good to me, kids. Sure, they won't have Giovanni "Scare"nard, but Jeremy "House on Haunted" Hill looks to be more than serviceable as his replacement, so I don't see the Jags getting win number two, in week nine. That being said, the Jags defense has improved and I don't think the Bengals put up a ton of points. Bengals 21-13

Buccaneers (+6.5) at Browns- Look, before I start, let me just say I think Buccaneers are less than good. I want to make that very clear. Got it? Okay, good. In their last four games they have a win and two of their losses were by six points or less. There's just something Lake Eerie about believing in the Browns to cover. Browns 21-17

Redskins (+1) at Vikings- RG III returns Sunday and while it is tough to say where he will be, having not played in an NFL game week two, I think you have to like what he brings to the table. I think Teddy Bridgewater is not quite in sync with his offense, just yet, so the I think the 'Skins zom-beat the Vikings in this one. Redskins 23-14

Eagles (-1.5) at Texans- Nick Foles has been somewhat inconsistent and the Texans have J.J. Watt and that frightening Clowney, fella.

Sorry for the clown pic...it's Halloween weekend, though, folks...deal. Bottom line, though, is that the Eagles are the better football team. That and clowns are scary. Eagles 28-17

Jets (+9.5) at Chiefs- It is certainly pickaxe-citing that Vick's first start as a Jet is against former head coach Andy Reid. Now Vick is better than Geno Smith, but does he make the Jets better enough to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City? I don't think so, but the Jets have a good rush defense and I don't trust Alex Smith to out up big points. Chiefs 20-17

Cardinals (+3) at Cowboys- The Cowboys rely on running Demarco Murray into the ground while the Cardinals rely on their defense to keep them in games. Should we expect some ghoul-line stands from Zona? Maybe not, but expect a close one. Cardinals 28-24

Rams (+10) at 49ers- Frank "Guts and" Gore and company are favored pretty big, but it may be coverable. The Niners are coming off a bye, are at home (in what was once called Monster Park) and are against the Rams...who don't play complete games, really. 49ers 24-13

Raiders (+14.5) at Seahawks- A spread of this size is always tough to bet on, but the Raiders are not really good. The Raiders have only scored more than 14 points once this season and the Seahawks Legion of Booo, despite being a bit overrated, is still fairly frightening. The Raiders have only lost by more than 14.5 or more points twice and only once on American soil. Seahawks 27-14

Broncos (-3) at Patriots- Foxboro kind of haunts Peyton Manning and he has not played well in cooler weather. Manning's last trip to Foxboro didn't end, well, the way he wanted. Broncos may very well be the better team, but I think Peyton's Foxboro troubles continue. Patriots 31-27

Ravens (-1.5) at Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger was elite for a few hours last Sunday against the Colts, but will that continue? Probably not, but doesn't mean they should be home dogs, here. I don't think the Steelers are coffin up the deficit they faced in the teams' first meeting. Steelers 21-18

Colts (-3) at Giants- The Colts are coming off a horror-fying loss in Pittsburgh loss last week, while the G-men return from a bye week. The Giants corners are actually decent, but I expect quite a few scores in this game. All in all this is a tough pick and figuring out witch one to pick. I think I look for a big game from Ahmad Bradshaw against his former mates and with a little Luck, the Colts roll. Colts 27-21       

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Ever get that feeling like something's missing in your life. Well, there is, or, to be more accurate there was. Yeah, there was no Bitterness is a Fish You Can Catch last week! That's why your lives felt so empty last week. Not to worry, though, after a brief hiatus, "Bitterness" is back and stupider than ever! Well, maybe not. That's a pretty big task, but I will do my best.

Saints (-3) at Panthers: Okay, sure the Saints have lost their last seven road games, and they've only covered once in those losses, but ya know what? Streaks are meant to be broken. I guess. I mean eventually they all end, right? Well, Justin Beiber's streak of being loathed by me may never end,

but I think you get my general point. And if the streak is gonna end, what better time than now? Coming off a Sunday night trouncing of the high octane (love that phrase) Green Bay Packers and heading to face Carolina who has lost their last two games after a thrilling tie in Cincinnati, the time seems right...right?

Carolina doesn't scare me, per se, but I feel like they always have a big game in them...somewhere, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties.

If you get Cam Newton of like three years ago, I'd sway towards the Panthers, but that is not what we've had in 2014. That Cam could appear at any time, but without that you are looking at a Panthers offense that is so mundane it makes Neils Bohr look like the life of the party!

Worst. Metaphor. Ever.

Look, for all of the intents and purposes at our disposal, the Saints are a better team. Does that mean they'll definitely win? Well, no, not necessarily, but I like the odds of it happening and, I am right with this more than I am wrong, albeit by a slim margin. Saints 27-17


Saturday, October 18, 2014


Recently Geico has started yet another commercial/advertisement campaign. Geico's advertising department is right now rivaling old school Bud Light, pumping out new campaign after new campaign. The mind-numbing, "shouldn't necessarily be funny, but is funny" campaign after campaign. Since 1999, Geico has had about 47 different campaigns. Okay, maybe it was like seven or eight or so, but it seems like 47. The new campaigns are coming out at a much more rapid pace than when Geico started pumping about 97% of their money into advertising. Insurance commercials are the new collect call commercials. Remember those? Collect calls or the commercials for them? You know there was 10-10-220, which had a plethora of superstar celebrities involved, like Alf and Hulk Hogan...together...in the SAME COMMERCIAL

They would compete against AT&T's 1-800-CALL-ATT with celebrity heavyweights of their own, like David Arquette or, well, Carrot Top.

1-800-COLLECT was no different, as the collect call wars waged on, inking such name celebrities as Al Bundy himself, Ed O'Neill and, naturally, Mr. T.

Clearly the gloves were off, with only the CALL-ATT campaign not employing someone who played a foe in one of the Rocky movies, although, word is Carrot Top could be in the next sequel, if Sly can stop making expendable, er Expendable movies. Anyways, much like the collect call companies (still weird to think about such things) at the beginning of this century, the insurance company ad wars have reached a critical mass.

The thing is, most of them are pretty entertaining. For the most part, they are absolutely killing it! But are those days fading? Geico has had the most different ad campaigns over the past 15 years when we were first introduced to the Geico Gecko. Now, while other commercial campaigns have come and gone, the Gecko has remained, but evolving in an, let's say intriguing, direction.

When the "Gecko" campaign started, it was this little lizard voiced by Kelsey Grammer, pleading for people to stop calling him to save money on insurance, as they were looking for Geico, not Gecko. Since then the Geico has shed that persona, become highly British, for whatever reason, and has sort of become the zen philosopher of the insurance "game"? There are still some nice moments for the Gecko, but I think we can all agree, he has lost his luster. The Gecko's time has come, his "15 minutes" as it were, are up.

Basically, the Gecko is the Derek Jeter of commercials, right now. He's certainly had a good run, has been beloved, and is a sure fire lock for the commercial Hall of Fame. But right now, he is not helping his team. It is time for the Gecko to make his retirement tour. Although I am very much against the retirement tour in general, you get my point. In fact I just set up a new ad campaign for Geico...the retirement tour. You're welcome. Well, now that I got that off my chest, onto the picks.  

Here's the breakdown so far this season, through six weeks

Week one: 8-7
Week two: 6-10
Week three: 9-7
Week four: 8-4-1
Week five: 6-7
Week six: 8-6-1
Season: 45-41-2

Not terrible, I suppose, but at least I have been right more than wrong in three of the past four weeks, right? Well, onto this week.

Bengals (+3) at Colts: It's really hard and, you might say, idiotic to bet against Andrew Luck right now, right? The Colts have won four straight games, are at home and are going against a Bengals team that followed up a humiliating primetime loss to the Pats in Foxboro, by tying, yes tying the Panthers. Oh and A.J. Green will miss another game. Colts 35-28
Titans (+6) at Redskins: The only team the 'Skins have triumphed over, this season is the 0-6 Jaguars. The only win the Titans have over the past five weeks is against, well, the 0-6 Jaguars. Redskins pounded the Jaguars, the Titans barely squeaked by the Jaguars. I think we can all see the transitive property at work here, Redskins 20-13
Dolphins (+3) at Bears: The Bears have yet to win at home, this season, albeit the two game sample size is miniscule. Unlike the Bears, the Dolphins played the Packers tight, but, ya know what, I still like the Bears in this one. Bears 21-17

Browns (-5.5) at Jaguars: There's something a bit unsettling about the Browns being favored, especially by this much. It has been fifteen years since the Browns have been favored by this much. Kids born the last time they were favored by this much are going to be learning to drive soon. Jags have looked somewhat improved and almost pulled out the victory last week against the Titans. This could be where the Jags get in the win column. Jaguars 21-20
Seahawks (-6.5) at Rams: Seahawks are looking to bounce back after a home loss, yeah, home loss, against the Cowboys. That's fuel enough to rout the Rams. Seahawks 24-7
Panthers (+6.5) at Packers: The Pack just don't feel dominant right now and the Panthers have been one of the better teams against the spread in 2014, especially as underdogs. Packers 24-20
Falcons (+6.5) at Ravens:  Both teams shredded the Buccaneers, but that's where the similarities end. The Falcons have yet to win or cover on the road and while I am not completely on board with the Ravens being good, I think they take this one. Ravens 31-17

Vikings (+6.5) at Bills: The Bills should pressure and befuddle Teddy Bridgewater all day. Bills 20-9

Saints (+2.5) at Lions: The Lions defense is good. The Lions defense does not give up many points. The Saints have struggled. The Saints have struggled on the road. Lions 20-13
Chiefs (+4) at Chargers: The Chargers have been rolling, although they struggled a bit last week to hold off the Raiders. This looks like a trap game, though, with the Broncos looming next on the schedule. Plus the Chiefs are coming off a bye week, and Andy Reid teams are generally good after the week off. Still I have to go with the better team right now. Chargers 28-20
Giants (+6.5) at Cowboys: Eli Manning actually plays pretty well in Dallas, for whatever reason, and this could be a classic upset after Dallas beats the defending Super Bowl champs. Giants 31-24
Cardinals (-3.5) at Raiders: The Raiders showed a bit of feistiness last week against the Chargers, but I still think the Cards are better, now that they have Palmer back in the pocket. Cardinals 31-21

49ers (+6.5) at Broncos: Both teams are really starting to hit their strides, so this should be a close one, but gotta go with the home team in this one. Broncos 21-17
Texans (+3) at Steelers: In a game that provides little interest outside of fantasy numbers and betting lines, the Steelers are still terrible. Texans 23-13