For the most part, and for better or worse, being a Yankee fan this season will be a lot like riding a rollercoaster: loads of ups and downs, some thrills, some chills, and once it's over, there'll be a whole lot o' nausea.
Today's game was a stark contrast in potential and ability as compared with the last four. Against Oakland, with Mike Mussina firmly in command, the Yankees shut out the A's behind a complete game from "The Moose" and looked as crisp as a freshly-starched broadcloth dress shirt. The past week, the team was ready for the Major League Baseball Follies reel, today they're balleting through their defensive assignments, playing small ball, and taking the extra base, bunting, playing smart. Yesterday I was pulling out my hair, today I'm proud to wear a Yankee cap. Rollercoaster.
While it seems almost bizarre, I'm still exchanging e-mails with Kaia's dad, and there's no question that he's a good guy. I think at this point, until he and I meet in person, we'll continue going back and forth -- with us agreeing almost 100% on everything we've discussed -- and just try at establishing rapport and finding common ground. Except that seems sort of overstated, when it's clear he's a good guy -- down to earth, committed to the Yankees (how could that be bad?), menschy, considerate and complimentary. Since I've been discussing the back-and-forth with Kaia (and she discusses it with him as well), it's a strange but really nice way of getting to know her dad. I mentioned to her that when I am out there I want to show her mom how to use Photoshop because, up until now, her mom has been working with actual photos -- she does things to them to alter them and make them her own. I'm not exactly sure what she does, frankly, but I am fluent enough with Photoshop that with her mom's abilities and artistry and my skill with Photoshop, she might very well try something new. If not, it's okay -- but I am simultaneously relieved and pleased that I have things in common with her parents other than simply wanting the best for her. And despite knowing everything happens for a reason, I am increasingly amazed as I watch the pieces of the puzzle com together to form the bigger picture they've chosen.
The final stop this weekend is to my parents' to celebrate Mother's Day. Since my grandmother is back home, this will be a day just for the five of us to chill out and enjoy some family time. I'm sure I'll be checking in with Kaia and her parents, so we'll have to figure out the telephone tag-team to allow me to say a brief hello to her mother and possibly her dad, and her to my mom as well. Other than that, I don't see any small details -- or big ones, for that matter -- adversely affecting what should otherwise be a nice, relaxing day. The one negative is that we're spending family time apart, and that never seems to feel too wonderful. But as time marches on, I know that these types of days will be spent together, either here or there, but either way, with family. So all and will be right in the world.
Then again, the Yankees are playing today, so mebbe I oughtta wait until after the game's over to comment further. I guess we'll see. But even if they lose, I'm looking forward to having a smile on my face and inspiring same on others as well.
It's going to be a long, long season.