Back to Work: Don’t they know it’s Masters Week?

So as y’all may or may not know, I went back to work in October of 2015. It’s been an adjustment for sure. Aside from leaving the kids I’ve been raising for six years in the hands of Mrs Frank’s Place, I had to learn new stuff. After all, these people are paying me. With American money no less. I feel obligated to at least learn my new job. So I started adjusting.

First there was the time thing. I went from thinking about getting up around 7am to bolting upright at 4:30am so I can shower and be rolling to the J.O.B. by 5am. Then there is the whole not staying up till 1 am anymore. It’s not like I didn’t foolishly try that. But I keep passing out around 9:30 in the pm. I mean what’s next, taking my place in line at the Shoney’s early bird dinner buffet trough. As I write this at 11:30 in the pm on a Friday night, I am struggling to stay awake. And that’s as I’m actually hitting the keys!

Of course there was driving again, in traffic, in the dark. I had forgotten about the skills, or more accurately the lack there of, Knoxvillians posses behind the wheel. Gas pedal on the right, fast lane on the left, lets get it straight people.

If that wasn’t enough, I had to adjust to working and playing nice with people again. Well, if I’m being honest, I never worked and played well. So it wasn’t so much adjusting again as it was initiating adjustment. And surprisingly it turns out people are pretty cool. In fact it may be the main source of satisfaction of the job. (Yes some of them read this.)

But as it turns out the largest adjustment would involve, not surprisingly, golf. Going back to work would mean an adjustment to my golfing. Although not as much as I had anticipated. One of the things that made this particular job attractive was the 4/10 schedule. Friday’s off! Golfing would be unharmed. Golf watching on the other hand…

C'mon Frank, keep practicing. I'll make this look good.

C’mon Frank, keep practicing. I’ll make this look good.

This would be the first time in 7 years I would not be home for Masters Week. I know! The horror right!? No scheduling would save that. I could watch the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition on Sunday but then would be radio silent until Friday. That would mean missing the player interviews on Monday and Tuesday, State of the Game speech by the Pres of Augusta National on Tuesday, the Par 3 contest on Wednesday, and the ceremonial tee shot and entire first round on Thursday.

I may have to quit. I mean, do they know it’s Masters week at work? Worse even, do they care? Not sure I could work with a bunch of godless golf heathens.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Just take the week off. Look I’m an addict, but I ain’t stupid. No way I could justify taking 4 days off to sit around and watch golf. I can justify it in my mind all day long. But I don’t live alone. Burning my vacation for golf watchin may not be good politics currently. Someday…

No an adjustment had to be made. Since there is no way to watch a millisecond at work (Don’t they know it’s Masters Week?) DVR would be my friend. Well more like a step-sister I can’t stand really. I’ve never been one to watch live events on tape after I know the results. Also the advantages of DVR, mainly buzzing through commercials, is lost on The Masters. There are only two sponsors, usually AT&T and Coke. The commercials are very limited.

In 2003 Martha Burke and the National Organization of Women (NOW), protested Augusta National’s men only policy. To do that they targeted AT& T and Coke. Augusta responded by shielding it’s main sponsors by having no sponsors for that year’s Masters. You know what that meant? Yep, a commercial free telecast. Almost 12 hours of uninterrupted golf at The Masters. I’ve been a big Martha Burke fan ever since. My e-mails to her asking for another protest go unanswered to this day.

But if that little episode doesn’t make you love The Masters then I imagine you must be a communist. Augusta National literally said, “We don’t need outside money to run the biggest tournament in the history of the sport. Watch if you want or don’t, but we still playin golf.” It’s one of the endearing aspects of The Masters. Meanwhile The Masters has expanded to Sunday to Sunday coverage and an app that shows the entire week including a live camera on the driving range. Martha Burke on the other hand… She Gone.

So no buzzing through commercials and I already know who won the Par 3 contest. Alas better than nothing. Plus I did have a floating holiday to spend, so I was home on a rare Thursday to watch the broadcast on ESPN and the 3 live streams on themasters.org. Yes 4. And yes I had a monitor going for each one. Peep a little glimpse of golfing greatness.

The struggle people, it is real.

The struggle people, it is real.

Yeah that’s my setup. I ain’t ashamed. We all need a hobby. But now I have a J.O.B. too. So I’ll have to adjust. Maybe not for too long though. Presidential candidate John Kasich, Republican Governor of Ohio, has offered that the Monday after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. He now has my vote.

I mean how long before Master’s Week is declared a National Week of Jubilee?

 

 

 

Snowmageddon: Aunt Jemimah, Golf, and Pat Summit to the Rescue!

Well look at that, two weeks in a row. I’m on a roll now. And I can say that, and write this particular post, because I’m not usually superstitious. Plus I’m fairly confident winter has come and gone, so talking about the past snowmageddon and my latest writers block doesn’t feel near as dangerous. At this point I would encourage all of you who live above the Mason-Dixon to get it out of your systems. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The constant, “That ain’t snow, you want to see snow you need to come here.”, “Do you even own a shovel?” “That’s just a dusting up here boy!”

Yeah all that. Get it out and get over it already. If you flat-landers lived here you would pee your pants the first time you had to take a hairpin curve on a hillside that has no guard rail and anywhere from a 10 to 50 foot drop with untreated snow and ice covered roads. I grew up in Jersey. I lived through 3ft of snow. Guess what, roads there are flat and straight. Ain’t so down here. Exhibit A:

Ain't your daddy's tow truck.

Ain’t your daddy’s tow truck.

See this cat here. He’s trying not to slide off the road and into a 15 foot ditch. Cause if he starts toward the edge they’ll be no saving him. You are seeing the only straight, flat piece of road on my entire drive to and from work. Anyway, this isn’t about our southern inferiority complex with snowy roads. This post is really about being trapped inside with kids during whatever snomageddon means to you. And, if you’ll pardon my double negative, I don’t know anyone who can’t relate to that.

During this most recent snowpocolypse I had some unlikely saviors.

Like most places when the threat of snow is broadcast to and fro by every news outlet in existence one thing will absolutely happen without fail. The Kroger will be covered up, as they say. Sadly for me lately, these apocalyptic forecasts have come on the weekend. Meaning snow for Sunday night into Monday morning.

Why is that sad? Well I normally do my grocery shopping on Sundays. You know what that means. Yeah, I look like every other schmo just trying to get eggs, milk, and bread to survive the upcoming end of the world. As hard as I try, and I do try, it’s impossible to make people believe it’s just your normal shopping day. Especially if you actually need milk, bread and eggs. I’ve stopped fighting it. I just accept my label and get on with my shopping.

It does thin out once you get to the sundries like laundry soap and away from must have survival stuffs like bread. And I have no idea why those three staples are considered to be mother’s milk when it comes to survival food. But they are. Although one day I was getting gas at the Weigles and heard a fine southern gent remark that it might snow tomorrow so he “…best git his smokes, beer n scratch offs.” Now there is a man with his priorities in order. Not sure what the winning scratch off will get him if he can’t get out to cash it in for more smokes, but hey who am I to judge. I grocery shop on Sunday’s and that apparently makes me a storm prepper.

Well not this time sister. No way. When the last forecast came up for an avalanche of snow I was defiant. We have plenty, no need to get to the store this Sunday, my normal grocery day. I will not trudge the aisles grabbing up every last piece of gluten soaked food stuffs like the unwashed who only shop there cause the local weather guy told them to. Nope not me.

We actually got some snow. Work let out early, I was off the next day and that meant the kids would be out of school the rest of the month. Well it felt like that anyway. But they missed the rest of the week and had a huge long weekend. Now I was in a jam. By Saturday there was nothing really ready made to eat. They were tired of pancakes and frozen waffles. They wanted biscuits. Well we didn’t have any biscuits. But the natives were getting restless and they had been laying about the house in some manner or another for a few days. So I decided we would make biscuits together.

No flour.

Well balls. Now what? I’m sure not letting them know we have no biscuits and no flour because I was the only numb-skull who didn’t go to the Kroger and thus unprepared for an extended stay in the house with growing kids. In steps Aunt Jemimah and her ready made pancake mix. Looks like flour, feels like flour, it probably bears some chemical resemblance to flour. Might even share an electron or two. So a little water and a slam in some sugar and we’re makin biscuit dough. How bad could it turn out? If we jack it up all we’ve done is make some small cylindrical pancake type ingots. And those sound good all by themselves.

But the little varmints want round ones, just like from the store. Believe it or not I don’t posses anything that would give me the shape and size I need to make biscuits. For shame, I know but it’s the truth. But I was saved. Saved by the greatest game ever invented and the greatest basketball coach in history, ever.

Only the greatest Coach in history would have goblets shaped perfectly for biscuit cutting.

Perfect.

Golf is not just a sport, it’s a life teaching tool the depths of which have yet to be plumbed. When ticking off the myriad of life instances where golf has been helpful you can add biscuit making to that list.

Whilst helping my fellow man by playing in a charity tournament hosted by Pat Summitt, head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols, I dropped a perfect 8 iron some 5 inches from the cup, not once but twice. For my silty efforts I was awarded two sets of faux crystal goblets engraved with Pat Summitt’s name. Pretty freaking awesome if I do say so myself. And I do.

Now I’m not a wine drinker, or drinker of any type for that matter, so they sat on a shelf gathering dust. Until that one fateful moment when I needed a biscuit cutter. Turns out the opening of these major awards are the perfect size for home made biscuits. Only the winning-est coach in all of basketball would make wine glasses with the perfect opening and then award those glasses for golf feats yet to be equaled.

(Yes folks, it’s been a long winter and I’ve been in a bit of a writer block type thing so just go with it.)
It's  a Major Award!

It’s a Major Award!

In case you can’t see, let me give you a close up. Breathtaking I know. I have four of them. And they came in handy, for at least half a day anyway. The final result? Well I just let junior tell you what he thought of the home-madeness of them there biscuits. Pic below.

If you were not aware, that is not an easy kid to please. His sister would happily eat from a garbage can. Frank’s pallet is a bit more refined. He turns his nose up at pizza if it’s too cheesy. Yeah you read that right. So to get the big thumbs up from him over something I made from scratch, well that almost rivals winning those fancy drinking cups from Pat Summitt. Almost.

Be sure to get that on Yelp bro.

Be sure to get that on Yelp bro.

Did I mention she gave them to me herself, shook my hand and everything.

So thanks to Pat, and Aunt Jemimah, we survived snowmageddon 2016.

And I can shop on Sundays again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Frank: It’s Masters Sunday!

Aside from two major holidays, Christmas and Easter, there is no more hollowed week in this house than Masters Week.

That’s golf by the way.

For a golf fan Masters Week is the Super Bowl but without the two weeks of media redundancy leading to the actual event. The Masters competition starts on Thursday and ends today, there is the par three competition on Wednesday and State of the Game address on Tuesday, with an opening tee shot by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus starting things off early Monday morning.

This year a new event has been added to the “Tradition unlike any other.”

Masters Week now starts off on Sunday with the Drive, Chip, & Putt contest. Think punt pass and kick. Regional winners from across the country, ages 7 – 14, come to Augusta National to compete for the championship in their age group. All 4 hours was televised on the Golf Channel. Guess where I was last Sunday.

At 8:00am I settled into my office chair, propped my feet up and watched little kids, boys and girls, hit their drivers 250-300 yards. Clearly poisoned by the steroid ear of baseball, those kids must be on the juice.

Anyway, my 2yr old daughter waddled in, said GOLF! and climbed into my lap. It was shaping up to be a good Sunday morning.

Well for a bit anyway.

Out of no where my beautiful bride appears asking, “Are you taking Frank golfing?”

Crazy at it sounds I had no plans to golf that day or take Frank.

“Well he just gave me detailed “constructions” on how I was to watch after Anne Marie while you two went golfing. He’s in his room getting dressed, polo shirt and all.”

OK then I guess we’re going golfing.

It’s no secret I am trying to get Frank hooked on golf. I have no delusions about watching him compete in the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition at the Masters. Besides each competitor can only bring one chaperone, and I know he would pick his mother.

No, I’m just trying to cultivate some playing partners for the next 15-30 years. The Masters would just be a sweet bonus.

But for real, how awesome would I look in the white coveralls each caddy must wear during competition, toting Frank’s clubs as he comes down the back nine on Sunday at Augusta?

Back to realty. We’re dressed and hauling the mail to the Par 3 course about 5 miles up the road. Then off to the driving range at our home course to put in some work.

Peep the skills of my 4yr old.

New Tee boxes at the Par 3. Old boxes couldn't contain him. The course has been Frankified!

New Tee boxes at the Par 3. Old boxes couldn’t contain him. The course has been Frankified!

Posture getting a little closed. Trying to really pound this one.

Posture getting a little closed. Trying to really pound this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going for the green in one.

Going for the green in one.

His first ever par putt.

His first ever par putt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing greatness can be a lonely business. The great ones put in the work after everyone else goes home.

I’m just taking pictures and eating a hotdog I had actually bought for Frank, he’s doing all the work. Keep working Frank, still got some chips to eat!

It’s hard to see but he’s throwing the balls around the chipping green and chipping them until they go in. The beauty of golf, he stops to watch a flock of birds fly over. Do that on a soccer field and you might take one in the onions.

All that work leads to the payoff, imitating a move he saw in a dopey Adam Sandler golf movie.

Enjoy Masters Sunday!