Tag Archives: Marc Feigelson

The fun and memories of shoveling snow. A bizarre, cool tradition I just discovered. And the Jets, ugh, the Jets

This is going to sound extremely strange and quite possibly disturbing if you were one of the millions affected by the East Coast blizzard Sunday.
But I shoveled snow for a little while Sunday. And enjoyed it. I’d missed the experience.
I hadn’t shoveled snow in probably a decade. And you wouldn’t think you’d ever miss doing something like that, because it’s cold and windy and hard labor and all that good stuff.
But it brought back memories. Of the times my sister and I would stand there with my father on the family driveway, shoveling and shoveling and wondering exactly why we had to do this, why someone else couldn’t be out there helping my Dad.
Or the time when my best friend Marc Feigelson and I became all excited that our parents had chipped in to buy a snowblower. Marc and I figured we’d go around to all the neighborhood houses, do their driveways for a small fee, and we’d be rolling in the dough.
Except that the winter we bought it, it snowed once, and then not again for like three years.
Many of my childhood memories are inextricably linked to snow, and living down in Florida, I just don’t get to experience it that much.
I know, many of you are probably thinking I’m nuts now, because you or someone you love was stranded by this enormous blizzard, that made the roads treacherous and cancelled a billion flights.
But for a few minutes yesterday afternoon, with my gloves and coat on and the wind whipping into my face as I shoveled off some of my dad and stepmother’s walkway, I actually enjoyed it.
Crazy, I know.

**So I’m reading Sports Illustrated Sunday and writer Phil Taylor clued me into one of the strangest sports traditions I’ve ever heard of. Every year on Dec. 10 at a school called Taylor University in Indiana, they have something called the “Silent Night” basketball game. For the beginning few minutes of the game, the entire crowd is quiet, not making a peep. Then, when the home team scores its 10th point, well, watch this, just until around 40 seconds in:

How cool is  that? The crowd also sings “Silent Night” together at the end of the game. Awesome.

**And then there was the Jets game Sunday. Hey, the offense scored 34 points! (well, really only 27, but who’s counting?) And still, that wasn’t good enough to win.
My beloved boys in green and white made Jay freaking Cutler look like Joe freaking Montana, as the Chicago Bears squeaked by the Jets, 38-34.
Just another awful performance by the Jets defense. So sick and tired of hearing from these players how this defense is solid and top-notch and all that crap. They couldn’t have covered ME on Sunday in Soldier Field, and I’m slow and white.
On the plus side, Mark Sanchez played fantastic except for one really bad decision at the end of the game, and hey, Jacksonville losing put the Jets in the playoffs for sure. So that’s good.
But it’s hard to have any confidence in this team when the defense plays so bad.
Still, they’re 10-5 and going to be playing in January, so what the hell am I doing complaining?


Learning to swim. At 35

Me and swimming? We have a tortured history.
I learned as a little kid, like most people, but really didn’t like it. When I was first taking lessons my Mom and I would go together and I sort of was bored, and then the whole class would go over to the diving board and we’d each take turns jumping in, while the instructors were in the water to catch us.
I was terrified, so I used to cut the line backwards, letting other kids go six or seven times while I hoped no one would notice. (Eventually, someone did).

When it came to summer camp, my friend Marc Feigelson and I would “cut” the instructional swim period and go hang out in the locker room. Neither one of us can exactly remember what the hell we did in there, but it sure beat instructional swim.

As I became an adult, I pretty much forgot about swimming. I knew I could do it passably enough (i.e., I wasn’t going to drown anytime soon), so who needed any more than that?

Then I moved to Florida, where you can swim year-round. I loved the exercise of swimming, and of testing my endurance. Unfortunately, my swimming skill had faded even more (how can you fade from nothing? I wondered.)

My form was awful. I didn’t put my head in the water for fear of getting water up my nose (I really, really hate water up my nose). I could barely kick. I swim in sort of a herky-jerky motion that doesn’t look much like swimming. More like I’m spasming, actually.

I wasn’t getting any better, I was exhausted after only a few laps, and I think i hurt my shoulder at one point.

So finally, at age 35, after a lifetime of being embarrassed, I’m learning how to swim. For real. I’ve signed up to take four 1/2 hour lessons, and last Saturday was my first one.

A friendly lifeguard named Caroline (who was born when Nirvana was big, I sadly realized) first taught me about breathing. My whole life, I never knew you were supposed to exhale underwater. We worked on that for a while, and then on some kicking (man, did my hip flexor hurt), and then tried to put three things together at once (arms, breathing, and kicking) and it didn’t go so hot.

But hey, it was my first lesson. I’m super excited for lesson No.2 this Saturday. Finally I will be able to channel my inner Ryan Lochte and swim like a regular grown-up person.

If I get this swimming thing down, maybe next I’ll tackle staying calm during Jets games.

Nah. That’d be way harder than swimming.