Dear Waze: Please don’t show me movie trailers while I am driving

waze

Dear Waze:

Driving in Boston is pretty stressful when you don’t know where you are going.

And so just telling us where to go instead of showing pop-up promo ads for sitcoms will reduce our odds of getting into an accident.

I fully realize you need to monetize your GPS app, but there’s gotta be a safer way.

Love,

Darren

XOXOXOXOXO

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Robin is Retiring… But the Garnick Justice League is Stronger Than Ever

The Boy Wonder Bids Farewell

The Boy Wonder Bids Farewell

No matter how worthy the cause, my rule is that you can only (aggressively) bang on the same friends’ doors for donations once a year. Go beyond that and they won’t be thinking of you as altruistic. They’ll stop taking your phone calls.

For the past four years, I’ve run in the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) HERO race with my kids in superhero costumes. No parent ever wants to get to know the inside of a children’s hospital, and unfortunately, I’ve spent way too much time there.

Having a strong personal connection to a charity — and sharing it — is probably the most effective fundraising approach possible. People that I’ve chosen to share my story with have been exceptionally generous. However, a few months ago, I also tapped deep into my network to support One Run For Boston, a fundraising race to help victims of the Boston Marathon terror attacks.

This is an issue that’s surfaced with the soaring popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. How can you pit one charity up against another? People only have so much to donate. How do you weigh the merits of helping a bombing victim with a prosthetic limb vs. a baby who needs to eat with a feeding tube?

Again, you can’t ask everyone you know to support everything you care about or every charity event you participate in. Most of the time I resolve this by making a modest donation (whatever I can afford) to charity events I’m part of — or figure out how to contribute in volunteer hours — and don’t “bother” others.

I’m making an exception this time.

The superhero race is my way of expressing gratitude that I have to spend far less time in children’s hospitals these days. My family does not even use CHaD at all currently, but I want to support other parents who unexpectedly feel like they were smacked in the face with a brick.

On a lighthearted note, one of my family’s most important decisions will be which heroes to be this year. Last year, my son was Wolverine, my daughter was Robin the Girl Wonder, and I was Robin the Boy Wonder for the second time in a row. It’s time to retire the mask, but the Garnick Justice League will be coming back stronger than ever this year!

Those of you who know my story can support us in the October 26th CHaD race at my team page.

Those of you unfamiliar with CHaD or who are stumbling on my blog for the first time can still help an amazing cause.

As for our new alter-egos… stay tuned!

Leave a comment

Filed under 1966 Batman References, Superhero Race

Am I the slowest runner EVER?

Slowest run ever? These stats speak for themselves.

Slowest run ever? These stats speak for themselves.

According to my RunKeeper app, I just ran 1.1 miles in 36 hours and 7 minutes. That translates to a 32 hour, 56 minute mile.

The sports world was amazed when Roger Bannister first ran a 4-minute mile in 1954.

Moroccan Olympic gold medalist Hicham El Guerrouj now owns the world record for the mile at 3 minutes 43 seconds (watch him do it).

So how did I wind up taking 527 times as long as Mr. El Guerrouj to strut a mere four laps around my local high school track?

Forgetting to shut off the RunKeeper app will do that to you.

P.S. The world record for the Beer Mile — an insane competition requiring runners to chug a can of beer every quarter mile — is 4 minutes 57 seconds.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports

I was poet Emily Dickinson in a past life

emily dickinson past life

I took Brainfall.com’s personality/reincarnation quiz and their proprietary past-life algorithm matched me up with Emily Dickinson. Perhaps it has something to do with the formative years I spent in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Brainfall’s assessment:

“Ahh, you have the heart of a true poet. Deeply introspective and keenly sensitive even to the most subtle of life’s nuances, you may one day produce a work of staggering artistic genius at some point – You’re gonna get right on that, right?”

I really don’t see the parallels since Dickinson never wrote one word about baseball or “Welcome Back Kotter,” but more importantly, ever notice that no one was ever the guy shoveling horse manure in a past life?

An open question to the reincarnation experts out there: How is it possible that all of us were famous in years past, but we got stuck with our boring underachiever selves in this century?

Leave a comment

Filed under Past Life Regression, Reincarnation

Dear John Henry: Last Place Teams Should Have First Place Service

Sox tickets jon lester 2014

Dear John Henry:

This is my souvenir ticket stub from Tuesday night, Jon Lester’s second-to-last game in a Red Sox uniform.

I went to Fenway Park expecting no issues getting a seat to watch a last place team. I was so wrong. Unlike other evenings when I’ve purchased Standing Room tix, this game really was sold out. Wall to wall people — a wonderful sign of a faithful fan base.

The line at the Game Day ticket office on Lansdowne Street extended the full length of the Green Monster, meaning that I was guaranteed to miss an inning or two. I didn’t care. I was meeting a childhood friend who I don’t see often and the ballpark is my favorite place to hangout.

But Fenway’s charming atmosphere shattered the moment I handed over my credit card. After I signed the receipt and put the pen down, I heard the ticket agent behind the bulletproof banker’s window mumble something I couldn’t understand. I smiled at him, said “thank you” and started to walk away.

“I SAID, PUT THE PEN BACK UNDERNEATH THE WINDOW!!!” he yelled through the glass.

His angry facial expression and tone would be appropriate if I had been trying to steal something from the Red Sox gift shop. I told him to chill out and walked away, trying my best to forget this unfortunate “Welcome to Fenway.”

Oh, I still had a good time and have a thick skin, but even if I had tried to steal your employee’s 10-cent pen, do you think this is the first impression Red Sox fans should get when they go through the turnstile? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Red Sox Schlock

Overkill

The Red Sox Facebook tribute to the players they kicked out the door at yesterday's trading deadline: Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Andrew Miller -- and two guys they dumped earlier with little remorse: Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront.

The Red Sox Facebook tribute to the players they kicked out the door at yesterday’s trading deadline: Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Andrew Miller — and two guys they dumped earlier with little remorse: Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront. (Double click to enlarge)

Dear Boston Red Sox: These players were traded. They were not killed serving their country.

Don’t act as if you’re going to retire their numbers tomorrow.

sox social media goodbye to jon lester

P.S. You made a HUGE mistake getting rid of Andrew Miller. He would’ve made the perfect closer next year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Red Sox Schlock

Fan Mail Can Go Both Ways – A Note From My “Pen Pal” Dan Quisenberry

I was a Red Sox fan growing up, but how could I NOT love Dan Quisenberry, the guy who led the league in saves throwing underhand!

I was a Red Sox fan growing up, but how could I NOT love Kansas City Royals closer Dan Quisenberry, the guy who led the league in saves throwing underhand!

Handwritten letters are endangered species.

About the only places they live on are birthday cards, thank you notes and summer camp letters, which kids are forced to write because nostalgia keeps their parents signing those checkbooks (another endangered medium).

On the occasion of one of my favorite childhood baseball players, Dan Quisenberry, missing out on the Baseball Hall of Fame, I just wrote a column for The Atlantic reminiscing about the thrill of receiving a two-page letter from him in 1981. (“How Athletes Ensure Immortality: Not all greats make the Hall of Fame. Not all Hall of Famers are remembered. But a player who forges personal connections with fans with live on.”)

You can read the story here, but I’d also like to share the full text of the letter for the benefit of the world’s Kansas City Royals fans — or anyone who still cherishes the power of handwritten letters.

The idea of a professional athlete, let alone the American League’s best closer, taking the time to write a two-page letter to a kid he thought was “creative,” is unfathomable to me as a jaded adult. Sadly, Quisenberry died of brain cancer at age 45 — younger than the age that many of the kids watching him pitch would be now.

Here’s Dan’s letter for you to read for yourself:

Dan Quisenberry Letter - Page 1 of 2 (Double click to enlarge)

Dan Quisenberry Letter – Page 1 of 2 (Double click to enlarge)

** Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Dan Quisenberry, Sports, Sports Psychology, Submarine Pitchers