30. rare.

 

I’m watching the Browns play the Ravens in a Monday Night Football matchup that actually sounded decent when you looked at the schedule back in the summer. And this question occurs to me: Which is more unusual: the Browns scoring a touchdown or Uncle Crappy successfully finishing a National Blog Posting Month?

And we’re not going to find out today … because both just happened.

I can’t speak for any progress being made by the “professional” football team in Cleveland — actually, I can, but we’re going to save the angry #factoryofsadness rant for another time — but I’ve had a blast coming up with 30 blog posts this month. I’m not going to go back and look, but I can say with certainty that it’s been at least several years since I completed a full NaBloPoMo.

This also felt familiar, once I got into it. I often did these in November — that used to be the regular NaBloPoMo month — so the rhythm of the month definitely came back, especially with Ohio State’s regular season reaching a peak and reaching Thanksgiving, one of my favorite posts of any year.

charlie sleeep

And we had some new stuff too, especially with the adoption of Mr. Charlie, who has been passed out on the couch after an especially vicious mousie-hunting session.

This has been fun. As much fun as I’ve had here in quite a while. Blogging sometimes feels like a chore these days, and I definitely felt that way when I fell behind about halfway through the month. But I’ve also re-discovered the process that makes daily posting possible; even if I don’t keep this up every day going forward, it’s nice to know that I still have it in me.

It’s also nice to know that you guys are still paying attention. I’ve always known that consistent production of semi-coherent content is the best way to gain and maintain readers — do I do this enough that I’ve actually kept any of you guys around? — but it’s cool to have that reinforced. As I said yesterday, you’re the best part of this whole operation, and I’ll keep writing if you keep reading.

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The cat is awake, and that’s all I got for the month of November. Thanks, yinz guys, for your help. See you in December.

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1. hey.

yogurt

I used to do this as a matter of course.

But it’s been years since I’ve regularly written stuff here, much less successfully completed a National Blog Posting Month month. I’m not sure why I’ve neglected a tool that I used to appreciate so much — perhaps it’s because my jobs came to too closely resemble what I used to do here — but over the last several years, that’s what’s happened.

So I’m going to try to have some fun with Uncle Crappy — the blog — this month. NaBloPoMo used to be a thing I did regularly; I even remember approaching that first November with some trepidation about mustering one post a day for an entire month … and then coming up with something like 36 posts in the course of a month.

NaBloPoMo_2015I have no idea whether I have 36 posts in me this month. I have no idea whether I have 30 posts in me this month. And, frankly, I have no idea whether NaBloPoMo is even still a thing these days. (If you read this and you’re doing it too, leave me a comment, willya?)

But I’m going to give this a try.

Folks who have been reading here for a long time will know some of this stuff. For the rest of you: By way of an introduction, here are 10 things you might read about during the course of the month.

Weather. I’m kind of a freak about the weather. And we’re solidly in the middle of my favorite time of year, weather(and other)wise.

Diabetes. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this is a new development. I’m doing pretty well with my goal of not letting diabetes define who I am, but there are moments of frustration, like the one I experienced today: Hungry, standing in a Sheetz in eastern Ohio and understanding that there is basically nothing in the entire building that I can eat. I get that from time to time; in other instances, I’m able to convince myself that a bowl of raspberries and plain Greek yogurt is every bit as good as a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Of note this month: As we approach the holidays, the diabeetus is going to make things interesting.

Food. No, I’m not trying to be funny. I love cooking. I love eating. And the fun part of my diagnosis has been searching for healthier alternatives to replace some of the crap I can no longer get away with eating. My favorite so far: Whole wheat flatbread pizza with onions and turkey pepperoni.

Beer. This is also a challenge, given the diabeetus, because I still need to keep up with my professional obligations. On my own time, the solution is easy: Drink much less, but drink much better.

Yoga. If there’s something on this list that should define me, it’s this. It’s been a tough fall, because work and our trips to Columbus have really taken away from the time I would spend in the studio, and I notice the absence, physically and — especially — mentally and emotionally. That’ll get better this month, because we travel only two weekends … and man, I need it. I am a different person now than I was 18 months ago because of yoga and the things that come with it, and I can’t wait to really jump back in.

Football. Mrs. Crappy and I are Ohio State football season ticket holders and in the fall, traveling back and forth to Columbus kind of overshadows everything else. We love it — especially the tailgate parties, which we manage for my folks — but by this point of the season, it can be exhausting. You may also hear about my long-tortured existence as a Cleveland Browns fan. My mostly successful plan for enjoying the current NFL season: Caring less means more fun.

Football (other). I had a brief flirtation with Aston Villa a few years ago, but that was based on common ownership with the Browns … so, naturally, that turned out to be a disaster. Over the past two years, I’ve undergone a more organic Premier League selection process, which has reached this final, carved-in-stone conclusion: Liverpool. On the domestic side, this process has been much easier: Columbus ’til I die.

Music. I can’t overstate the importance of music in my life, from the chill stuff that Kristi plays in her yoga classes to the hippie music that has occupied a huge portion of my life since, uh, junior high school. Coming this month: bluegrass, Johnny Rotten, the annual return of Christmas music and a buildup to a Keller Williams show in early December.

Pittsburgh. I grumble about Pittsburgh during football season, but the secret is that I love being here: the places, the social life and especially all of you. And here’s a not-so-closely-held secret: Pittsburgh during the holiday season is magical.

Mrs. Crappy. I saved the best one for last.

18. shouting.

Y’all want a crack at a Super Bowl trip, right?

Have I got a deal for you.

If you head over to Draft Day Suit, you’ll find details about a contest, sponsored by Vicks — the Dayquil people, not the dog-abusing, whining quarterback — that gives you a shot at showing your commitment to your chosen NFL team for a shot at a trip to this season’s Super Bowl — which, granted, is in Indianapolis, but still…

Need an idea of what you’re required to do? The Draft Day Suiters — specifically Laurie, Kristabella and yours truly — have helpfully provided a couple of suggestions for the tone that Vicks is looking for. Go take a look.

And once you’ve read, go enter the contest. You’ll have a shot at that magical trip to, ahem, Indianapolis, and you’ll be helping out DDS as well.

mysterious.

Stuff that arrived in the mail today:

1) A coupon from Right by Nature.

2) Address labels from a charity I haven’t given money to for years.

3) This:

No. 3 was something of a surprise, because I didn’t order it and Mrs. Crappy said she didn’t either. It’s a really nice jersey — all the stuff that comes with one of the NFL Authentics — and I have no idea where it came from.

I assume this is someone’s reaction to my questions last week about my NFL fandom; maybe whoever sent this wanted to reinforce my decision to stay with my Browns, no matter how ugly things get.

Those would be decent reasons for the why; I still don’t have any idea about the who. I have some guesses in mind (coughfredahem) but they are just that — guesses — at this point.

To my benefactor: Thank you. It means a lot. And I am totally wearing this on Super Bowl Sunday.

DISCLOSURE: I know I’m supposed to disclose gifts I’ve received because of my blog, so I suppose I need to say that here. This jersey, apparently, was a gift. But I don’t know who I’m thanking, which makes this disclosure a little weird. Sorry about that.

not happening.

I look good in black. But I’m a lot more comfortable in brown and orange.

I had a Moment of Weakness on Friday, and it led to ask a question that had never hit me in the 16 years I’ve lived in western Pennsylvania. I also asked you guys for advice about how to handle this question about my pro football identity, and most of you came through with honest, thoughtful responses.

Before I get to those, though, I should tell you about my test on Saturday. After I finished up a work assignment in the morning, Mrs. Crappy and I headed to the Strip, to get some lunch and find some Aloha kitsch for our upcoming Groundhog weekend. To further set the scene:

  • My lifelong commitment to Cleveland Browns football is apparently wavering.
  • I live in Pittsburgh — not just the area, mind you, but I own a house in the freaking City of Pittsburgh — and it would be awfully easy, convenient and fun to jump on the Stillers’ bandwagon.
  • I’m in the Strip on the day before the AFC championship game. There is cheap Stillers gear everywhere — everywhere — and if I were to ever make the leap, I could have outfitted myself right then, head to toe, for less than 40 bucks.

And you know what happened?

Nothing.

I helped Mrs. Crappy look for a black and gold scarf. We stopped at many of the tables set up along Penn to check out the new stuff. Although I had plenty of opportunities, I wasn’t tempted to buy a single fucking thing.

– – – –

The comments I got on Friday’s post — here and on Facebook — were somewhat predictable, but also helpful. Most of the Stiller fans said they were ready to welcome me to the fold. The people who have a more thorough idea of my football past said I should know better than to even consider changing my mind.

But the one comment that resonated the most came from Kim, a lifelong Red Sox fan who A) knows a little bit about suffering for your team and B) knows how good the payoff is when it comes. Her point? Jumping on that black-and-gold bandwagon would be fun; it would also inevitably become hollow, because that’s not where my heart is.

– – – –

I also found this. That’s the front and back of my old Pittsburgh Browns Backers T-shirt. Between regular Sunday shifts for several years and our travel to Columbus for those other football games, I haven’t been able to watch a game with the club for years; the two seasons I was able to hang out with those folks were among the most fun I’ve had as a pro football fan (and yes, those were after the team returned to the league). The team was probably even worse back then, but being with like-minded people helped a bunch; it also made those rare wins even better.

That is who I am. I may still be pissed about the current state of the team, but it is still my team. And it always will be.

On Friday I asked you guys if I was loyal or stupid.

The answer? Yes.

And if you don’t like it, you can kiss my brown-and-orange ass.