Wednesday, September 9, 2009

blog shmog and moving

So, no point in any excuses other than to recognize that I haven't blogged for an eternity (4months). While, I feel bad for Lost Soul , as she tells me to "blog you lazy ass", I know no one else is reading this rambling shit.
Anyway, times, they are a changin' as Dylan once sang and Eddie Vedder covered. Took a job waaaay far away from where I have spent my last 4 years. In face, its waaaay far away from everyone I know, and farther than I've ever gone before (no smart-ass Star Trek references nerds!). Mixed bag of emotions here.
new job, new opportunity, exactly what I wanted in terms of responsibility, nice weather.
far away from home, not that I'm close now or that the fam or friends visit alot, just nice to know if things go to shit totally or I'm going to lose it, it's within driving distance; money isn't exactly what I would feel comfortable with, Finding an apartment without standing in it or driving up to it makes me extremely uncomfortable.

Sad: as much as I hate this shit hole of a town, I like the kids that I work with and they seem to like me. They are going to be as sad as I am, and they will display said sadness, which in turn will make me feel worse. Already started to happen.
Disloyal: This job gave me my start and the powers that be are happy for me getting this opportunity, but it's kinda leaving them high and dry. Plus, took another job that hasn't started yet with kids that I have worked with in the past and they know it. Now, I have to resign that position.

In the end: had to do it. As much trepidation as I may have, if this is really what I want to do with my life, I have to make some moves. The roommate has moved on, with new girlfriend in tow, Lost Soul has moved to sunny Fargo, North Dakota, and the company I am with has seen better days financially.

With the tight timeline I'm on to move, I find that I do not much of anything except sit up all night and think about things, then sleep late and not do much. Is it weird to worry that your parents are going to get old while you are away? Or that not being home for Christmas is being a bad son? Maybe I saddle more obligation to others on myself than is healthy or "average"; maybe that's the nature of my profession. How can you relate and communicate to others if you don't share empathy and a sense of respect and responsibility to one another? Or maybe I'm losing my mind and everyone is going to be fine and move on with life with or without me so I better get mine while the getting is good. In a weird way I wish that were true, but get sad thinking, "what if it is true?"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Child Abuse

Letting your kids get away with anything should be grounds for removal. If your kid is eleven years old, you should not buy them coffee. PERIOD. I don't give a shit if they think it's cool and all their friends drink it and it's what all the hipster little 11 yr olds do. Especially if this child is a hyperactive chatterbox to begin with. Caffeine is bad for people, especially children (see this is how I justify imbibing copious amounts of the stuff: by being over 18). Let them get their jumpstart on addiction the all-American way: Second-hand smoke, McDonald's and Coca-Cola.

Also, if your kid is considered morbidly obese by the general guidelines the health and food administration sets in the United States, you should be charged with attempted murder and child abuse and neglect. You are ruining a life and sending them to an early grave. Who's to say that kid isn't' going to become so fucked up from the ridicule and self-loathing over the next 15 years of his/her life that they don't "Go Postal" themselves.

You parents have already managed to fuck up the planet, the market, the government, heathcare, social security, the gene pool, and rock music: Pink Floyd said it and I expound on it, "Leave those kids (the fuck) alone!!"


I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night. I haven't slept since Saturday night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Just Wonderin'

What do I smell like to a dog?
After you get done laughing or thinking, "this guy is fucked up", consider it.
Big Willy (my boss/drinking buddy) has a boxer, Elwood. Elwood is with us alot. In the car, at the house, just generally around alot. He's a good dog, very friendly and loves loves loves any and all food you might have or have had and remnants still linger on your fingers or in your immediate vicinity. He is ornery though, and absolutely craves and sometimes demands attention. He can smell a person coming from pretty far away. We know that dog's have an extremely sense of smell, I'm just wondering if it smells the same as we smell it, just amplified, or do things smell different when you can notice any and all nuances of something. Kinda like TV in HD. It's the same, but very different.
I'm just wonderin'.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm Just Wonderin... (usually on thursday, but not this week)

In honor (or just straightup copyright enfringement) of one of my favorite people, I give to you, "I'm just wondering Thursdays.
Every Thursday (or Friday), I will simply put my latest wandering thought of the week.
This week:
Why is fish not considered meat?
Meat is animals.. fish is an animal.
Meat isn't exclusive to land, because birds are considered meat, but water animals.... oh no my friend, not meat, that's just fish.
As my favorite Wednesday night chef so aptly put it, "it probably has something to do with the church striking up a deal with fish mongers when they started lent"
Probably dead on. Just another example of the Catholic church fucking with everyone's sensibilities.
hey pope, hey pope, your hat looks dumb.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

latenight, drunken post, sure to be deleted

It's curious to me that dreams can so effect our lives. Today I was heading to lunch (early breakfast for me) with the roommate at our favorite spot. He was describing to me that he had a very disturbing dream last night ( I can attest, he wasn't exaggerating, it was fucked up). I thought, did I have a dream last night? As I recounted, I did. And it proceeded to fuck my day up. BTW, my roommate's dream consisted of a Dr. taking blood from his nose with a huge ass needle and he pulling it out. WOW.
In my dream, I dreamt about the EX. Goddammit. The Ex. To preface the ex, it goes something like this. We dated for a long time. Circa 2.05 - 1.08 Almost 3 years. We broke up once, but it was temporary. The first 6 months were close distance (30minutes away), the rest was long distance (5hrs away). We had a great relationship, one that I wouldn't trade anything for. Why it didn't work out? That's anyone's guess. She wanted to settle down, I always felt insecure about the $$$, the timing, the anything. I guess I was noncommittal in that way. I loved her, I guess I always will. On her engagement website (yeah that's right) it says that her first date with her beau was 12.14.07, proposed to on 3.15.08. You do that math.
As hurt as I was (and apparently still am) it made sense in my mind. Local guy, financially secure, nice guy, what's not to like. In the end, she wanted to get engaged, no matter who, only soon. I know it seems so long ago that I should get over it, it seems silly looking at the date now, and I thought I was. It seemed as if I was content to be single for the time being. I mean I've had dates and hookups since, but nothing seemed to stick.
So anyway, back to the dream. I was in a house with a girl, content. Everytime I look out the window, she's leaning against a tree looking at me. First I go out and talk to her and go back inside. Later I look out, still there. I just breakdown crying. I go out pleading for her to leave, and to no avail. She stays. The girl leaves later and I go out again. Things get more heated (verbally speaking) and then more physical (emotionally speaking). That is all I remember. I remember this in the car on the way to lunch and my demeanor on the day totally changes. I cannot get this dream out of my head, and it had previously not been there at all. I don't know what this means and I guess it doesn't matter. The only thing that does matter is I need to put this behind me for good. It's over and done with. But for some reason it sticks with me. Thanks to the Ex for getting me out of the funk of not posting I guess. I don't know. With everything else being so fucking out of whack, it's really the last thing I need. 
No happy ending, no funny quip...just bewilderment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coach wins big, gets fired

So this one time, a coach won his basketball game by 100 points; then he got fired. In fact, he won by a final score of 100-0. It bears repeating, he won a basketball game by 100 points. The coach of the winning private Christian school, The Covenant, Micah Grimes did not agree with the schools stance that it was embarrassed by the lopsided win. He was then fired. It seems that he was not fired for the victory, but for his descent of toeing the line.
In the words of Herm Edwards, "you play to win the games." Now I've heard that the box score showed that Covenent only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, so it seems that when they were ahead 59-0 at the half, they took their foot off the gas.
The most important blame that is not being discussed here is who the hell scheduled this game? The athletic directors of these two schools should have never let this happen. The losing school only boasts 28 females students total, with 8 of those on the basketball team. They should obviously never be playing a team of this caliber. Who's to blame here? The coach that did his job to the best of his ability, the players who did what players do and score, the players who can't score one freaking point, or the AD's that are so oblivious to their athletes abilities that let this "contest" take place? You be the judge. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just a reminder: the downfall of American society continues

For the second week in a row, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is the top grossing movie. That's right, it's Oscar season and we are talking about Kevin James again. And people mock Kevin Costner. At least he gives a shit and tries.
Paul Blart beat out the third installment of the Underworld movies at number two, Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood, Hotel For Dogs at number four, and Slumdog Millionaire rounds out the top five. That's right, it beat a popular sequal, an award buzzworthy flick, a movie with the red-hot Don Cheadle, and a movie up for 10 Oscars.
A big thank you to all the morons in America. YOU SUCK!
On a side note, one of the 12 year olds that I coach went to see Paul Blart with his dad this weekend, and he thought it was hilarious. He couldn't stop laughing while telling me all the funny parts of the movie. Congrats on all your mature fans Kevin!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

former athletes insomniacs dream

Australian Open coverage live from 9pm-3am every night. Sometimes later!
As a lifelong Andre Agassi fan, there is no way that I couldn't love the tournament that so defined Andre's career. A tournament at the beginning of the season that most players were not conditioned enough at that point to compete in the heat, Andre always flourished. He was the hardest-working, smartest player for the later point of his career and it always showed here. It has been stated numerous times over the first week of this tournament that many of the athletes took a page straight from the Agassi playbook on how to prepare for this tournament and cope with the heat. A testament to a person who started as a young man all about perception and ended as a great ambassador for the game who was all about fulfilling potential and maximizing opportunities.
Damn I love that man. Some may talk about what he could have accomplished, but without the experience of the journey, you never know where or how he might have ended up. He might be a very different person had he taken a journey without the pitfalls and learning associated with it.
Alright, I'm getting teary-eyed here, stop gloating and go donate to the Agassi foundation you heartless bastards.

Say it ain't so Joe!

Joe Torre, you're better than that! In the spirit of Stephen Colbert's "Wag of the finger", C'MON JOE! In a world of sensationalized, well...everything, there are few people let in the limelight with real integrity and just general, old school workmanship. No bitching, no whining, blame me first, no nonsense guys who I really respect.
Take Mike Krzyzewski, or Coach K, as he's affectionately known. That's a guy who gets it. He learned from the oldest of old school, refined it in a disciplined environment, added his own added level of caring and BOOM, ideal mentor, coach, father, and man. Yeah, I'm sure no one is perfect and he is no exception, and he would freely admit that, but that's a man right there. No fuss, no airing of grevances to the media, nothing except a common-man workman like attitude.
I have always felt like that about current Dodger's manager (former Yankees manager) Joe Torre. The buck has always stopped here with this man. No blame, I'll take it. No excuses, you make them. Talks to the media and his players like men and is one. Well, it seems we have spoken too soon.
In a soon to be published book "The Yankee Years", Torre along with his "co-author"(think ghost writer) Tom Verducci, proceeds to rip Alex Rodriguez, George Steinbrenner, and Brian Cashman. The Festivus like airing of greivances is so unlike Torre, that I am still hesitant about writing this blogpost for fear of a retraction for smearing a man I hold in such great regard. In fact, I actually hope I have to post that retraction. A man of such high character, who works in a sport of such secrecy, and former integrity is just not a man who does such a thing. Unless we have had him pegged wrong all along, which I doubt.
Now, Tom Verducci has gone on record since this came out saying that this is a huge book and this is just a small portion. I have since gone on to speculate that this is expert marketing, along the lines of "Juiced" and other books of the like that have a few scintillating pages that are exploited to its fullest for $$$$. No doubt ESPN will continuously run this on the ticker between updates on how Brett Favre went fishing with his kids today and T.O. drove by Jerry Jones's house. They will talk and talk and talk about it ad nauseum on their worthless daytime schedule after replaying Sportscenter 25 times in a row. I'm getting off topic here. Good future blog material though!
At any rate, we know Joe has always been very honest, however he has always done it in a tactful and very thoughtful way. This would certainly be a departure in demeanor for him. Possibly taking his LA state farm commercial to heart. Joe, if you are reading this, I saw on the ticker that you said you and Brian Cashman have patched things up. That's great. Please go back to the man you have always been and don't talk about any of your past, present, or future sour grapes to anyone having anything to do with any media outlets of any kind. You used to be better than that.

insomnia and crossword puzzles

I've been neglecting my blog lately. Not that it matter much because I don't believe anyone reads other than the roommate(sometimes), the long distance friend (that's a story for a much longer, different blog) and my local, very wonderful friend who cooks dinner on Wednesday nights (she really is wonderful). 
Irregardless, every time I think about the blog, it is mocking me. What are you going to write about next? Well blog, I've been busy. Cheating on you with crossword puzzles. Yes, lately, due to my job in which I basically work the equivalent of afternoons, I've been up very late at night. And during these late night zoning out sessions with the flat screen, I've been doing online crossword puzzles. I must confess that I'm usually not very good at them. I'm not sure why really. I feel like I am pretty competent with words, and at least partially intelligent. However, I think my brain just doesn't work like other peoples. I don't associate particular words to certain phrases. I blame it partially on the Left-handedness. I wonder if lefties do better on crosswords that lefties create. Now that would be an interesting case study.
I have been getting better at them as I do them more and more often. But, I worry that because I'm getting better at them, does that mean I am programming my brain to function like others'? I don't really like that thought much. But, they have been entertaining me as of late, so I might as well keep on with it until I either get too frustrated or complete my reprogramming.
The best part about online crossword puzzles other than they are free? No pencil lead on my hand. Lefties you know what I'm talking about!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This weekend's sign of the apocolypse

Want a sign that the American public is a bunch of uneducated sheep? How about this?
That's right, Kevin James movie, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" beat Academy Award Winner and Film Icon Clint Eastwood's award nominated and critically acclaimed, "Gran Torino."
You may remember Kevin James as the fat, bumbling sidekick in "Hitch", or as the fat, bumbling sidekick on the moving "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry", or as the fat, bumbling husband of smoking hot Leah Remini in, "King Of Queens."
Less remembered by all you, apparently, is the nearly 60 year acting career of one of the truly great gems of Hollywood. "Do you feel lucky punk, well do ya?' ring a bell? Other than his 5 OSCARS, he has also received the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, been a Mayor, and won about 1,000 other awards.
I think I speak for everyone who has over a 10th grade education level and/or knows anything about films when i say, 'What the fuck is wrong with you people?"

ps. I'm so baffled about this that I refuse to even tag this post with Kevin James's name.

Official Wendy's Boycott Begins

Today I didnt have to work. The most important decision of the day was: Wendy's or Taco Bell? I tough call to be sure. This decision was ultimately swayed by the fact that I had a coupon for a FREE TACO! from Taco Bell. Fast-forward to Taco Bell parking lot, 6:30pm. You would have thought they were giving out FREE TACOS! today. Drive-thru was backed-up up into the parking lot; inside was hopping. Quick decision time, the football game is coming on, gotta go gotta go. Fuck FREE TACO! coupon, Wendy's time.

Now, I will say that Wendy's and I had a falling out a while back when my co-worker and I were trying to lose some weight. We decided we would do Wendy's for lunch every Wednesday during out "staff meeting". Well, three straight times of cold fries, and chicken nuggets and I stopped going. 
Also contributing; Have you seen the prices there lately?!?!? Holy shit. Remember the 99cent 5-piece nugget: $1.39 now! I thought we were in a recession? Remember when you could get the Double cheeseburger combo meal and a 5-piece for like $6? Okay, the combo meal is now $6.50...that's for the small! That means you are breaking off over $7 for the large combo. Add a 99cent 5-piece now for $1.39 and you are getting dangerously close to $9.. FOR WENDY'S!
( Now before all one of you readers start in with the, "well maybe that should let you know you shouldn't get the big combo, just get the regular one", or "those chicken nuggets aren't good for you anyway". Shut the Fuck up. I don't want to hear about it. If you say you care about nutrition or your health when you are going to eat Wendy's you are a fucking liar. I don't care about any of that shit when I go to Wendy's, I just want a hot burger with crispy fries and nuggets. Not a lecture.)

So I digress, I gave in and went. Well that'll be the last time, possibly forever. I will attempt to illustrate this as thuroughly (and colorfully) as possible.
-decided on drive-thur, gotta save time, check. 
-checked that the combo meals were still way to expensive, Check. 
-Mutter, "Fuck you wendy's" under my breath, check. 
-Order Two-double stacks(99cents), one 5-piece nugget with ranch($1.39!), 1-value fry (99cents). 
-"Want something to drink with that?" Mutter, Fuck you... "No Thanks". 
-$4.80 or something like that. Dynamite. No one in the drive-thru. Things are going well.

Don't forget, Gotta pay at the first window and get food at the second window, thereby eliminating anyone from possible responsibility and increasing the frequency of Fuck-ups 10fold.
First Window: 
-Credit Card ready, Check.
-Roll down my window when it's freezing cause the guy's looking at me, Check.
-Stay there with my hand extended as guy takes someone else's order, Check.
-Stay there with my hand extended in the FREEZING FUCKING COLD as guy takes yet another person's order, CHECK!
-Fucking idiot with the headset on takes card, swipes, gives it back to me without saying a word, check.

-Wait three minutes, check.
-Roll down window when the guy tries to give me 2 large pops and two children's milks and tell him that's not my oder, CHECK. (I mean seriously, I'm a 27yr old slob driving a beatup Cavalier, hmm now that I think of it, that is a stereotype for Father of two kids in south bend, HA!)
-Other kid comes into the picture now, "Whata we need, Whata we need?" Me: I repeat order, sloooowwwlly, FUCKING CHECK GIVE ME MY FOOD!!!
- Old man who tried to give me kids milk gives me a bag with obviously too much food, check.
-Old man says, "whoops, wrong oder, give me that back.", check.
-Kid gives me a bag that is too small for my order, so it won't close. IT'S -500 FUCKING DEGREES OUT MAN, can you give me a bag that closes, so I have a chance to get my fries that are already probably freezing home before they are frozen? Me: "Thanks :)", check.

The Drive Home:
-Driving down the road , decide to eat a double stack, unwrap, take a bite. AHHH, tasty CHICKEN!! They gave me the wrong order AGAIN!! , check. (FUCKKKK)
- Whip a shitty on McKinley, check.
-Get out of car back at Wendy's. Guy who gave me said order is outside smoking, sees me drive in, throws half smoked cig, and heads inside, check. (THAT"S RIGHT MUTHAFUCKA, YOU BETTER HEAD BACK INSIDE)

Alright the "checks" are getting annoying. Suffice it to say, they were unsurprised at their error, told me I was lucky that I got new, hot fries, and DID NOT, I repeat, DID NOT EVER say, "I'm sorry." Fast forward back to home. Cold 5-piece nugget, no napkins, NO RANCH. fuck me.
So that's it Wendy's, you and I are done. I'm tired of your overpriced food, your unintelligent, underacheiving staff, your shitty heat lamps, and these love handles.

Dave Thomas is turning in his grave over this shit.

decisions on collegiate sports

When alot of great high school athletes graduate, they continue their sporting journey at the collegiate level. The problem here lies in the fact that they most likely have to make a decision on their path at the beginning of their senior years in high school to reap the maximum benefits allotted by most big conference teams. 

I am conflicted on who should own the blame when a swimmer goes to a school that doesn't meet their expectations for their athletic career. Surely the oweness should partially be of the professional doing the recruiting; the coach of that athletic team and institution. It is only responsible for them to sift out the riffraff and find the athletes that should make an impact on their team, both training and scoring wise. And that is certainly what they do. However, there lies the proverbial "fringe" athlete. An athlete that is on the cusp of contributing to said team, but may need a year or two to develop. This is especially the case when the university team is a large caliber, big name institution. Typically they are able to accommodate a large number of athletes, and those "fringe" athletes are viewed as Walk-ons (not on scholarship) with the promise of athletic aid to follow when this athlete is good enough to contribute.

Where is the cut-off for this type of recruiting, and further more shouldn't this Coach lay it out for this athlete? "Hey, we would love to have you, but we have 10 guys better than you right now and you are going to have a tough road to hoe if you want to be a contributing member." Of more forthright, "We certainly appreciate your interest, but you simply aren't good enough to be a member of our team and we don't want to waste your time."

With the advancement of the Internet, some of the responsibility has to also lie on the athlete. They are now able to adequately scout the teams they have interest in (even if it is simply by name and reputation alone). Therefore, the athlete should be able to contact collegiate teams that are similar of their ability level. The problem with this is simply maturity and appropriately evaluating one's own talent level. As a 17 or 18 year old, who is most likely a star in their own "little pond", the ability to self-evaluate is more difficult than it might ought to be. I know this from first hand experience. Experiencing athletics at it's highest level without the help of the Internet to put oneself "in-check" can lead to some potentially unproductive and even embarrassing choices. 

There is also the potential factor. When properly evaluating one's own talent level, most look at the improvements that have been made over the last three or four years and expect that same level of incremental improvement. Most former collegiate athletes can attest that this is simply not always the case. In fact, it is most likely not the case. The development of the body, technique and strength from 14-18 years of age is much greater than from 18-22 in most athletes. Going from awkward freshmen to strong agile senior in high school is much more likely than from above average athlete at 18 to superstar status at 22. This, however, is not well known by confident, popular, senior athletes in the limelight of their high schools. Bigger is better and no one can tell them otherwise. This responsibility then falls back to the wiser, more seasoned professional recruiter-the college coach- to bring said superstar back to reality.

There is also some responsibility that falls on the high school and/or age-group coach. Most likely the latter as they are building their career on coaching as a profession, and not just picking up some extra cash for the family, as is so often the sad truth of high school coaches. Yes, undoubtedly, there are amazing high school coaches out there, but they are too few and far between. These "mentors" have a responsibility and duty, willingly or not to adequately provide appropriate and timely information for their athletes. This is essential for their athletes to make appropriate decisions on what colleges to contact and pursue. Without this important information from a person whom they trust, mistakes can occur in the recruiting process that lead to bad experiences.

I know what you are thinking, "what about the parents?" The parents are an integral part, most definitely. However, most parents are rightly their athletes biggest supporters and often have "drank the cool-aid" that their athlete is the best thing since sliced bread just as the athlete has. Therefore, most likely, no sage advice or clarity can be achieved by these superfans. They are, and should continue to be spectators to their athletes glory. There are exceptions to every stereotype and there are some with this as well, but an athletes biggest fans are often at least partially blinded by the local limelight as well. Something that can only be fueled by an energetic coach on the other end of an email or phone call contributing to the fandom.

A bad experience can mean many things for many athletes. For the part-time athlete (someone who only participates in their sport for the season that it lasts and no longer) a season that last twice as long and is 10 times as difficult as they are accustomed can lead to burn-out. With a more experienced, year-round athlete, going to an institution that is simply too good can lead to multiple problems. Inadequate playing time or competing exhibition are typical for fringe athletes. This can cause resentment of the program or of the coaching staff. This, in turn, leads to a less than enthusiastic attitude in practice and a generally bad attitude outside of the sport. This is the worst case scenario because it leads to a feeling of inadequacy and hatred of the work needed to improve. Often this ends in quitting the sport. A once enthusiastic, wide-eyed athlete is reduced to a bitter, uninspired quitter. A bad taste that takes quite a while to wash out.

So what is the end game here? Simply that it is important for all responsible adults to keep a level head, responsible expectations, and realistic goals when it comes to high school athletes, particularly local superstars. The Lebrons and Michael Phelps's of the world are 1 in a billion. Choose schools for just what it is intended for, LEARNING! Then widdle those down when looking at the athletics. Explore expectations with the athlete. "Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or visa-versa?", "are you okay with potentially not getting much playing time or competing exhibition for the foreseeable future?", "do you know what your chances are of making the conference team at this school?", etc. Explore stats, past coaching experience of the head and assistant coaches. If possible, talk to athletes that have competed for those coaches in the past. In general, collect as much information about the experience as possible for making a wise decision. Otherwise, there might be a very bitter wash-out sleeping on the basement couch in the near future.

SNL retraction

I watched SNL again last night. The best thing about it was Fleet Foxes, who were amazing. And Rosario Dawson, who looked amazing. Every skit was terrible. I have no idea what the audience was laughing at. If this is what passes for humor in this country, we are in big trouble.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

afraid of being stuck

Have you ever seen Mr. Holland's Opus? Since moving from Columbus 3 1/2 years ago, I have been deathly afraid of becoming him. Even though his story is a great one of touching lives, eventual moral triumph and reconciliation, the premise of the movie never escapes me.
Since taking my most recent job, which I really do like, I have always looked upon it as a stepping stone, an means to an end, if you will. The end goal was and still is to work my way up the ladder to the top. An admiral goal, and one that is longer and more arduous than someone with a big name or someone with the best connections. Someone once told me that in my profession, prepare to be pool for 10 years before you make it. While I accepted that at the time, unforeseen circumstances may make that harder than once anticipated.
Most recently, I have stepped into a position at the high school. While it is a great team, a wonder community with amazing people, Mr. Holland's opus is always playing in the background. I know this could be a permanent gig very easily. In fact numerous people over the last month have alluded to just that fact, suggesting that I start teaching at the high school and just become a "Bremenite" as they call themselves. So now I find myself thinking, "Would this really be that bad?" or "Maybe I could just do this for a few more years and then continue up the ladder." The problem really lies in the fact that my window for climbing is a young man's game that is closing rather quickly on me these days (incidentally, a few of the high schoolers pointed out my first noticeable grey hair today, possibly prompting my crisis level today. I'm seriously distraught about this). 
There is also the consideration that I absolutely hate the wintry bluster of the midwest now. I can't imagine living in this weather for the rest of my life. But, I did immensely enjoy the competition today, and passing my knowledge on to high schoolers who genuinely want to improve, respect me, and have a team philosophy that people dream of. So the dilemma continues: risk possibly becoming Mr. Holland and living in Bremen, or continue to risk not making it at all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

slipping on the icey road of life

As I was doing my daily 35 minute drive to work yesterday, that took 45 minutes in the craptastic weather we were having, I had an epiphany. My life over the last four years is very similar to driving in this shit weather that I hate. Since I am currently also hating life, it seems fitting. I should have realized this the first year I lived in this God-forsaken town. Everytime I tried to complete numerous tasks in a day, I was stopped by some unknown force. Be it 80 red lights a day, a flat tire, closed stores, or a dead battery, life would not let me get things done. 
Gradually over the last four years, I have succumb to this force. I no longer am a "go-getter", I frequently dread leaving the house to go to work, and I would prefer to sit on the couch, drink a few (or 20) beers, and stay in on the weekend, over going out and joining the "amateur drunks" (thanks mom!) at the bar. I blame seasonal depression to a point. The fact that it's dark and wintry for 7 months a year here does not help. But I now wonder if it's more than this. Some unknown force is sucking the life out me. Just like slipping on the road when I am driving, or cruising at a neck-breaking 35 miles per hour behind 8 cars with grandmas driving, I am going nowhere fast.
Enough self-loathing for now. More later to be sure!

Monday, January 12, 2009

SNL, now mildly humerous for 60minutes

During our historic presidential campaign, I started watching Saturday Night Live again. SNL was always one of my favorite shows growing up. Although I did not get every joke as a youngster, I have fond memories of my friends coming over for sleepovers and staying up late to watch SNL. As I grew up and the cast changed, I found it less and less funny. In the late summer and early fall, however, SNL got back to what it does the best; political satire. Tina Fey's epic portrayal of Palin, as well as others were in their strides. It brought back viewers and gave NBC a temporary respit from it's meteoric fall from grace over the last many years.
As I would frequently miss said show during the campaign, my DVR is still programmed to record every SNL. I have been checking out the most recent shows and frankly I don't get it. The actors seem only semi-competent, but the acting has never been the glue that holds the magic of these skits. It's the writing. The writers just don't seem to know how to get to a rakaus level of humor. They comment on a specific incident that is mildly funny, but then ram it into the ground by not moving on and instead going to the well on the same joke, over and over and over.
As has always been the case, the first skits are the funniest. I have reasoned that after "weekend update" (now without Amy Poehler's good-natured, light-heartedness, not nearly as funny) there is really no reason to watch. The scenes are ill-conceived, unfunny, and downright pathetic, and it even shows with the live audience reaction. 
Please SNL, shorten the show to an hour, stick to political humor, and for God sake's get better writers.