Thursday, November 3, 2011

Life in the Sixty-Seventh Percentile

A bit herky-jerky this morning (as opposed to just plain jerky I reckon), which is owed directly to the fact that the Missus and I were out last night - on a school night. We returned to the Stress Factory to see Jim Breuer, who had originally been slated to appear there last Thursday on Margaret's birthday after he was brought in to replace Richard Belzer - for whom we had originally purchased tickets. Neither of us had seen Jim Breuer's act live before last evening. Funny dude. Time well spent. As a result of it, I begin today feeling a bit spent myself.

Given that I no rooting interest in it, I watched very little of this year's World Series. Even so, I paid enough attention to it to know that it was a closely-contested, very competitive affair. And I paid enough attention to know that the answer to the question, "Who will not have to pick up a single tab at any joint in St. Louis until (at least) Opening Day 2012?" is, "This guy." I reckon that if you play a sport that requires you to play its championship round on cold, late autumn evenings (because who the hell ever heard of playing a World Series game in the afternoon), it serves you well to have a guy on your team whose very name evokes the image of coolness. Amazing stuff. Young man probably cried out loud on Tuesday morning when he tore the "OCTOBER" page off of his calendar.

You might have missed the story in the Star-Ledger from earlier this week about another rather amazing young man. Park Ridge High School goalkeeper Sean McCann is a senior. Yesterday, he and his teammates won their first-round playoff game vs. Becton in North Jersey Section 1, Group I action (do not ask me to attempt to explain the manner in which high school playoffs are conducted in this state for I have lived here my whole life and still have no idea). Park Ridge won 3-0. McCann made eleven saves. Thus far this season, he has made one hundred and fifty-seven (157) saves. So what? McCann is not only putting his body between the ball and the goal for himself and his mates. He is doing it as well for 17 month-old Gavin Scimeca.

It turns out that Sean and Gavin have something in common: Sean's dad Mike is the Chief of Police in River Vale, New Jersey and Gavin's dad Tony is one of the Department's 23 officers. Gavin sufffers from a condition known as autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, which is about as unpleasant - and serious - as it sounds:

Gavin Scimeca is 17 months old and has autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, for which he will need a kidney transplant. Scimeca said doctors would like to wait until Gavin turns 5 because they will likely be using an adult organ.

In the meantime, Gavin takes 21 doses of medicine a day and visits one of his doctors’ offices — his pediatrician, cardiologist, nephrologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist or early intervention specialist — 10 times a week. Scimeca and his wife Tara monitor Gavin’s diet, blood pressure, potassium intake and sodium levels. Gavin has already had surgery to fix a heart valve.

Out-of-pocket expenses for the transplant alone are estimated between $100,000 and $150,000.

Sean McCann organized a fund-raising campaign for Gavin Scimeca. The "Saves for Gavin" campaign asks people to pledge money - 100% of which goes to the Scimeca family to assist in Gavin's treatment and to help put a dent in the estimated transplant costs - for each save Sean McCann makes. Going into yesterday's first-round playoff game, the campaign had raised over $18,000. Young Mr. McCann - in addition to being one hell of a young man - is apparently one hell of a goalie. Through eighteen games this season, he has recorded 157 saves and given up only 17 goals, helping his team to a 9-7-2 record.

And perhaps it is me being - yet again - too damn cynical and judgmental. A man should be man enough to acknowledge his own flaws, failings and imperfections. Perhaps I alone find it vomit-inducing to hear Kim Kardashian express regret - while announcing she is divorcing her husband of 72 days - over the end of the marriage since, after all, they had expected to be together forever. Really? Expected "forever" and lasted "72 days"? A new hire's probationary period at a lot of companies is longer than the life span of this marriage. So is the warranty on my toaster. Hell, the Chilean miners survived UNDERGROUND for 69 days . With any luck, we are approaching the 14:30 mark in the Kardashians' 15 minutes of fame.

That is all for today folks. In the immortal words of Meatloaf....


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