Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!


Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: Long Shot by Mike Piazza, Lonnie Wheeler

Finished March 27, 2016

Synopsis at Good Reads:

Mike Piazza's autobiography—the candid story of the greatest hitting catcher in the history of baseball, from his inauspicious draft selection to his Hall of Fame-worthy achievements and the unusual controversies that marked his career.

Mike Piazza was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 baseball draft as a "courtesy pick." The Dodgers never expected him to play for them – or anyone else. Mike had other ideas. Overcoming his detractors, he became the National League rookie of the year in 1993, broke the record for season batting average by a catcher, holds the record for career home runs at his position, and was selected as an All Star twelve times.

Mike was groomed for baseball success by his ambitious, self-made father in Pennsylvania, a classic father-son American-dream story. With the Dodgers, Piazza established himself as baseball's premier offensive catcher; but the team never seemed willing to recognize him as the franchise player he was. He joined the Mets and led them to the memorable 2000 World Series with their cross-town rivals, the Yankees. Mike tells the story behind his dramatic confrontation with Roger Clemens in that series. He addresses the steroid controversy that hovered around him and Major League Baseball during his time and provides valuable perspective on the subject. Mike also addresses the rumors of being gay and describes the thrill of his game-winning home run on September 21, 2001, the first baseball game played in New York after the 9/11 tragedy. Along the way, he tells terrific stories about teammates and rivals that baseball fans will devour.

Long Shot is written with insight, candor, humor, and charm. It's surprising and inspiring, one of the great sports autobiographies.


My review at Good Reads: 
1 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to read this book. I expected to like it a lot. I was a Piazza fan from his rookie year. I watched any game on cable TV that included the Dodgers, listened to night games when the Cardinals, Cubs, Pirates or any team with a radio superstation and a good bounce that could delver the games from LA at night to the Detroit area. I even paid some serious cash to the baseball card store when they got his Bowman rookie card in. I called him my first "adopted rookie," telling everyone about him in 1993 and following his career. I was excited to read his autobiography.

Mike was a great ball player. Mike is a lousy writer.

The wonderful story of the 62nd round draft pick who became a super star became tainted with incessant whining. He had help getting to levels in his minor league days but seemed to find fault because things weren't happening his way or at his pace. He had the talent that drew the media but lacked media savvy and blamed the media when they were critical. And I could have accepted, even belived that, if it wasn't a career-long recurring theme.

Too big a portion of the book was devoted to defending the steroid users. While I do agree that legal supplements and weight rooms contribute to numbers getting bigger and records being broken, that doesn't excuse the use of performance enhancing drugs and in truth makes it more inexcusable.

There is just too much unessesary detail in everything. The book is over 600 pages and it would have lost nothing if it was edited to 400. In the end the books tells that Mike was a great player who didn't get credit for how great he was. He powered through constant adversity because everyone stood in the way. He sure hates the Dodgers. Steroid users aren't so bad and our society would be better if we were all Roman Catholic. My husband asked me if reading Piazza's book changed my mind about him. No, Mike Piazza was an awesome baseball player who had a stellar career. I just don't want to read it if he writes another book and I don't think I'd want to have a beer with him.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Chocolate Bunnies!

Easter art made from a few pieces from my stash

David and I will trade chocolate when he gets home from work. I ope everyone has a great holiday, if you celebrate it, or a beautiful spring day that happens to have excellent candy on the shelves!

I’m watching cactus league baseball game and munching beans and eggs. That’s healthy food, right? -big grin- Okay, jelly beans and candy covered chocolate eggs. I don’t count candy points on Easter. I’ll check in after I sleep off the sugar coma. hehe

Saturday, March 19, 2016

If You Can't Say Something Nice…

Lazing around the house. Still here, still coping.

The last few weeks have been kind of rough for me and I never feel like airing my ripped up and shredded laundry while it's getting ripped up and shredded. It's more my speed to get a new wardrobe and show off of the new laundry before it even gets dirty again.

I speak metaphorically, of course. We can just leave it at somewhere between infections, weakening muscles, general malaise and the temperament that goes with not being able to move and get around the house, I haven't really felt up to prowling around online, reading or writing any blogs. Things are starting to get better now.

I do have some financial woes. MS is one pricey disease! I suppose a lot of incurable diseases are pricey but the progressive form of this one is one of the worst because it still won't kill me so there's not a foreseeable end to the expense. Not that I want it to kill me. Like the people who call and counsel me on the phone always hear from me as an answer when they ask, "I'm not suicidal, or homicidal.” But I do get frustrated, same as anyone else when it comes to money, I suppose. The biggest difference is when I can't pay the bills they don't turn off the lights and shut off the water, there just won't be help. It means I can't get a glass of water or move to someplace where there's light.

Right now, until I can’t afford it anymore, I have an aide that comes in for a few hours in the afternoon to help me with some basic things in the house and make sure I get cleaned up and have a hot meal at midday. The added bonus is that having another human being I can talk to for a few hours has made a huge difference for me emotionally. Insurance doesn't cover home health aides and I am working desperately to look for assistance in paying that bill so I don't have to quit.

I am happy to report that insurance did approve the new wheelchair! Reflection Medical, the chair vendor, won't be able to place the order until they get the written approval sometime next week, but I called the insurance company to verify what parts of the chair is covered and what parts I'll have to pay out-of-pocket. They told me that absolutely every bit of the chair was approved! Nani does a happy dance!

There’s my short nod to the good, the bad and the better. Now I’ll be reading my friends’ blogs and catching up for a coupe of days so I feel I’m back in my groove. I missed blogland and all of my visiting friends!