Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 3, 2011
BLOG: A Word of Explanation
Content and traffic at this blog have been off for some time now, so I probably owe a word or two of explanation to readers who have kept stopping by.
In part, I've just been busier at work the past few months, with some rather large pieces of litigation, and these days it's hard for anyone to complain about being busy at work. But a major drag on my time has been personal.
As you will recall, my older brother died suddenly last November. This was too much for my dad, who turned 77 in December - he'd lost his wife and his two oldest sons. Just about the last thing my brother said to my dad was, "let's have a great Christmas," and my dad was determined to do that - he held together through the funeral and Christmas, and basically unraveled after that. He's been in, out and finally in hospitals and homes since then. As any of you who have dealt with aging parents in poor mental condition will understand, this has been enormously time-consuming, in addition to being stressful and generally unpleasant. But my father has carried so many other people for so long, it was time for us to carry him back.
Second, my wife and I had to take over as administrators of my brother's estate, with all that entails in terms of taking complete control of his finances, assets, bills, tax returns, etc. (Thankfully his papers were well-organized, but there are always small surprises). This, too, has proven enormously time-consuming in its own right. If anybody ever asks you to administer an estate...run.
Third, with my dad unable to function and my younger brother and sister in DC, it fell to my wife and I to mostly take over my father's finances as well - pay his bills, deal with medical stuff, etc. This, too, has proven enormously time-consuming in its own right.
Fourth, my dad for the last few years had been doing a good deal of the work to handle my Uncle John's finances, in terms of making sure his bills got paid on time and the like. My uncle, also a widower and with a son who was incarcerated on drug and theft charges (long story; he's out now and skipped parole, and we've had to take additional steps to protect my dad's house to prevent him from robbing my dad again) was not really able to look after that himself. For reasons not worth explaining here, it fell to my dad, as his surviving brother-in-law, to take this on for my uncle and my uncle's sister, who lived with him. So, we ended up inheriting all of that headache as well and many related others generated by people newly interested in John's finances (John died in the spring of this year, after long illnesses). This, too, has proven spectacularly time-consuming in its own right, as well as needlessly acrimonious.
Only so much of all this can come out of the time I devote to work and family, and so necessarily the blog has suffered the most. In particular, my baseball writing; I find it hard to do short baseball posts off the cuff, and I've had only so much time to do the kinds of number-crunching that typically goes into my baseball posts. And the more I'm stuck at the office listening to games on the radio rather than watching on TV, the harder it gets to do non-stat-driven posts without just repeating things everybody else is saying already. (My two cents on Jose Reyes, however: there's nothing at all unprecedented about the way he won the batting title, but especially if he's leaving town, he owed the fans to at least go out to field his position before being removed, so people could give him a more fitting sendoff ovation). On top of the fact that you can't really intelligently discuss the Mets these days without addressing the impact of litigation on their finances, and for professional reasons I can't really get much into the topic of that litigation.
So, thanks for continuing to drop by; I'm still trying to find time to keep the lights on and write when I can. I'm more active on Twitter, where it's easier to find time to toss off a quick one-liner than to write a long blog post. And sooner or later, I'll have more of my own time back.