Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Ugh, I feel pretty crappy tonight. No, I'm not sick. Today was flu shot day at work. They lined us up like cattle (moooooo!) and stuck us with needles. It was strictly optional. I agreed to it. But yuck, this year's vaccine is bad.
Some years, I get no reaction at all. Some years, there's just some itching and swelling at the injection site. Sometimes, I feel like I'm dying.
I'm not quite to "dying" this time, but it's close. The injection site is painful and burning, and my left arm is swollen and hurts from my shoulder to my hand. (This must be what Andy Pettitte feels like the morning after.) I'm feverish and achy and tired, like I'm getting sick. But I'm not. It's just the stupid flu shot.
I also got some sad news today. My friend R passed away yesterday. Well, he wasn't exactly a friend. More of a mentor, I guess you'd say. We worked together when I started my first real job. He was much older - older than my dad even.
He taught me a lot. He was also a real character. Always joking around, playing pranks, etc. Our group was known for being full of crazies and misfits. We were not very professional - wearing casual clothes, goofing around a lot - but we also produced the most work of any group in the office. So we had a lot of leeway. They just made sure to keep us well-hidden whenever someone important toured the place.
R was always up to something. Starting rubber band fights, pretending to throw up by dropping a ripe tomato on the floor, and otherwise yanking his bosses' chains. But he was smart and knowledgeable and worked hard, despite the joking around. He was a real leader around the office.
He also ran several of the office sports pools, including the annual World Series pool. When he retired, other people took over the pools...except the World Series pool. No one wanted to do that one. (A sign of the dropping interest in baseball, I think.) To this day, there's no World Series pool in that office.
He played softball all his life, and after he retired, he joined an over-60 league. Only one problem: he wasn't actually over 60 yet. He was 59, but lied to get into the league. He ended up breaking his leg sliding into first. Of course everyone ragged on him - for sliding into first, and for getting his leg broken by a 75-year-old. (He recovered and went on to play again.)
He always seemed perfectly healthy when I knew him, but he battled cancer off and on for over 20 years - starting long before I even met him. Partly for that reason, he retired young, in his 50s. He finally succumbed yesterday. The doctors said there was no brain function and that his organs were failing, so his family agreed to disconnect him from life support Monday. He passed away yesterday, and someone sent me his obituary today. It described him as a loving husband, father, and grandfather - and a lifelong Yankee fan. About as fine a way to be remembered as I can imagine.
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