Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Big Thank You...

...to any emegency reponders out there, for all that you do.

This past week has really made me appreciate what several of my friends do on a daily basis, even more. Last week, we had a man in St. Louis, set his truck on fire, and then ambush the firemen, police and paramedics that arrived on the scene. A 22 year-old fireman was killed and two officers were shot. I have read all the stories about this incident as they are posted and wanted to post something about it, but thought it would seem a bit dramatic and...I don't know...maybe, not enough.

You see, it hits me kinda close. As most of you know, I was going to be a cop. That is what I wanted to do growing up. I have a criminal justice degree. I came really, really close several times to becoming an officer. Went through the hiring process for the state police three times. Made it through the six month process twice. All the way to the final interview before they offer the job. The way I answered one question on the application is all that kept me from being a trooper. I had a few strings being pulled by some family friends that were pretty well connected. But, I was told by several troopers to be honest all the way through the process. I was and am very happy that I was not chosen. I don't think I would be happy after dealing with the stresses that can be laid upon someone in those positions. It bothered me when I was not chosen, but after a few incidents from the old P.I. gig, I know that my honesty and their standards worked to perfection.

I have several friends that are officers, paramedics, and firemen, and one that is a U.S. Marshall. And I normally don't give a second thought to what they do, because they have been doing it for years and sometimes, over time, things start to get taken for granted. But, with everything that happened last week, I started to think about it again. And, last night, one of my newest friends was involved in entering a building that was possibly hiding a gunman. His girlfriend is a really close friend of mine and contacted me while it was happening, because she was worried and just needed someone to talk to. It brought all this up, again.

So, even though this seems contrived and not nearly enough, thank you all for all you do.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sore Loser

Y'all remember last week when I was complaining about being really sore from playing way too much hockey in a such a short time? Well, I managed to play five games in a little less than 30 hours this weekend and I hurt sooooo much worse. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. It's a good type of pain. The type that you can only receive from a great workout. I've still got a tournament next weekend where I should play at least four more games.

Friday morning when I got to work and checked my email, a friend had invited me to play in a local tourney that he was playing in. His team needed one more player, as one had dropped. I contacted the team captain and let him know that I was interested. But, was informed under the circumstances that I would be a sub. After their first game Friday night, they called and told me to show up for the rest of the tournament. It was a fun group of guys who I had never met before. The best part is that we were an orange team. My new jersey is possibly my new favorite. It has a screen print of a traffic cone on it. We were officially "The Pylons". That name was very fitting.

I was the best overall player on the team. I'm good at hockey. Not great, but I can and have played with a very diverse range of skilled players. From horrible, to average and good to great. Some high level juniors and a few D-1 NCAA guys. I've even played against a few over-the-hill NHLers from time to time. One was involved in our level of this tournament. So, I can gauge my skill against that. Unless you count roller hockey, I have never been a prolific offensive player. I skate well and pass well, but, I am a defenseman by trade. The scoring touch was never bestowed upon me.

That being said, I was one of the teams leading scorers with my one goal. We lost every game. The only one that was even close was the last one, where we went about 10 rounds deep into a shootout to lose. My poor friend Todd, the one who invited me, was one of our goalies. He's probably shell shocked at this point. I have never had so much fun losing so horribly. These guys were all good sports, and except for one team, where someone threw a hat onto the ice for a hat-trick, after their 12th goal (12-1 at that point, and the guy who scored is a junior A player, playing in the middle skill level division of the tournament), the rest of the teams were really good sports a well.

I think as a team, they should have put us in the lower level of competition. But, I really enjoyed playing at the level we played, and against the teams we competed with. However, I can't wait until next weekend, when I will be one of the worst players on my tournament team. It makes the game very simple for me. Play defense, make good passes and let the natural born finishers try to score the goals. No real pressure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Interesting Quotes, From Interesting Folks

Lately, I have found myself collecting quotes. Most are not famous quotes, song lyrics, or poetry. They are quotes I have found while reading interesting news stories online, about intersting people. It started several weeks ago when I was reading a story about Tempest Storm an 80 year-old burlesque dancer. She dated Elvis, and rubbed shoulders with a whole lot of other famous people and has lived an absolutely fascinating life. And at 80, she still dances every so often. I just tracked down a link to this story, here. Anyway I loved this quote:

"Never stop doing what you love, it makes you who you are." Tempest Storm, an 80-year-old burlesque dancer

Another quote that I found while reading something (I wish I could remember what), was a quote by Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. This one really hits home with me. I always tell my friends when they are bothered or upset about something that someone else has said to/about them, "Don't worry about what they say unless they really matter to you. Everyone who doesn't matter is just background noise." Dr. Seuss puts it even better and I was amazed that I could think so much like such a genius. His quote:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr Seuss

Then today, I read a story about a man named Dr. Randy Pausch. He was a college professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. I had never heard of him before reading the article at break this morning. However, he was an internet sensation and published author of "The Last Lecture" for a lecture he gave after finding out about his desease. He was a man who did what he loved and enjoyed life to the fullest, even after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He died this morning after living with the knowledge that he would for almost two years. A quote from the story that I loved was this:

"I mean I don't know how to not have fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there's no other way to play it." Dr. Randy Pausch(11-07 lecture at University of Viriginia)

Periodically, I will be posting more if I find them. I thought that there was really no use in collecting them if I could not share them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned?

It has been roughly, two days since my last confession. And I think I am guilty of being a glutton. Not with food, nor money, or even physical pleasure. It is the morning after my third straight night of hockey. I knew the good Lord wouldn't let me be gluttonous without some form of retribution being paid. And since I hadn't really done anything physical for the past 3 weeks, I HURT ALL OVER! It's not a bad pain. However, my legs are jello, my shoulders and neck are stiff, and after a late night last night, I am exhausted. And, my job requires a whole hell of a lot of walking, bending, squatting, lifting, etc., etc., etc. Today is the day I receive my shipment of supplies for the week and have to put them away.

I didn't think it through all of the way. Ooops. I think my bed will feel wonderful this evening. Right after dinner.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flyin By

This weekend has been great. But, it has also flown by. Friday, when I got home from work I mowed the lawn, shaved my head, and went out to dinner with the Steph and a whole lotta friends. That took up my whole Friday night. We went to a pizzeria located near The Loop, called Dewey's. Hands down the best Buffalo chicken pizza ever!

I had been sick for most of the last two weeks, so I didn't set my alarm. I figured I'd let my body dictate when I should wake up Saturday. It didn't. One of my best friends was expecting me over at her place around noon. She called at 30 after to see if I was on my way. I groggily told her no. We spent the afternoon running around and went to her brother-in-law's birthday BBQ in the evening. Saturday night was spent playing hockey. Something I hadn't done in over 3 weeks. The week before I was sick, I managed to get a concussion playing roller hockey. So, until my headaches went away, hockey was out. When they went away I was sick. I played from about 10 to almost 2am. It was great, and surprisingly I felt good and played well.

Unfortunately, my Sunday, which was shaping up to be good anyway, could have been a lot better. I was again planning on sleeping in. Then, this evening I will either be playing ice hockey again, or roller, if a friend needs any subs for his team. The sleeping in thing happened again. Except this time I slept through a call from another friend who had an extra Cardinals ticket. They won on a walk off grand slam. I missed it, because I couldn't hear my phone. Oh well.

In other news, I have been invited to a wedding in October, to be held at...

...Graceland. That should be an experience. I have never been to Graceland, and to see it as a wedding guest should just add to the experience. The only problem I have with this, is that it is the same night as the Blues home opener. They should have known better. He proposed to her at a Blues game for Christ's sake. I wouldn't miss their wedding for the world, though.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend. Hope to have another post for you soon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Family Time

My step-dad, who I am only calling my step-dad so as not to confuse my very few readers, I call him dad, fainted last Sunday night and has been in the hospital since. He will be going home tomorrow. However, he has a few decently serious health problems already and it seems that there will be several more added to the list over the next few weeks and several more visits to the doctor. As much as this worries me, I am just as concerned for Steph. If anything happens to her dad, it will destroy her.

Also, I went down to visit my dad in the sticks this weekend. From there we went over to Springfield to visit both of my brothers, sister-in-law, and their kids. My niece turned one last week and they had her birthday party on Saturday. I realized just how little I have seen that side of my family this past year. After everything that happened this week I feel I need to visit them a bit more often. I just don't know how many more times I will be able to get down there this year. School will be starting in a month. Then, I got home and checked my email. I had an invite to play in a hockey tournament with some friends, in Springfield, at the beginning of next month. I think I will be going down there for that weekend. It will give me an excuse to get down there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Thought the Sausage Would've Been Better

Last weekend I ordered a pizza one night for dinner. Thankfully, I looked at the receipt. I normally don't. This is what I saw...

The sausage was just average. I kinda expected more from the Sausage King of Chicago.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Celebrity Gossip

I find myself reading celebrity gossip at work, on lunch. Not because I care. Because, I don't. Not because it's interesting. Because, for the most part, it's the same people doing the same things over and over. It's because I'm bored and have already read all of the stories that interest me. So I go for the time filling garbage.

Since I'm a sports fanatic, hockey being my biggest passion. And, NHL free agency gets about as much press as the new Barney tour. I finish the few short blurbs about who signed where each day in a few moments. Then I move on to that huge celeb drama that is A-Rod and Madonna. Today one of Fox Sports' columnists wrote this little cutting piece about A-Rod.

I swear to God, Mark Kriegel must be a huge egomaniac to believe that he knows thought one about what's going through A-Rod's head. Don't get me wrong here. I'm am not a fan of Alex Rodriguez. I hate the Yankees (worse than I hate the Cubs, and from a Cardinals fan, that is something). And, with the money and publicity that Rodriguez generates and/or brings home, he should know that every little thing he does is going to get huge coverage. That being said, holy shit, Mr. Kriegel, what do you expect? The guy has been the next coming since high school. Everyone and their mother had him in Cooperstown before he saw his first big league pitch. He's only 33 years old and this is arguably the first big hardship he is going to have to face, as an adult.

Shit, this guy is the poster child for "not knowing who he is". Outside of baseball what has there been in his life. So, good work dectective Kriegel, you win the "Captain Obvious" prize. But, who are you to judge A-Rod!? Write another book about what someone else has done with their lives instead of living yours, asshole. Seriously, I got married at 20 and divorced at 27. I had no idea who I was until I went through my divorce and was forced to figure it out. I had never in my adult life been alone long enough to figure it out. It seems to me, that is the case with Rodriguez. I doubt he will truly know who he is until after his baseball career is over and life slows down for him enough to figure it out. Until then, this will hopefully help him figure out a little bit more, what he needs or wants out of life. Who knows? I sure don't. I'm just guessing. Maybe, he already knows and maybe he never will.

The point is, why glorify people like Jeter, who is "making his way through Maxim's Top 100" and vilify the guy standing to his right on the field for screwing up his marriage by doing, arguably, about the same thing. Neither one is really that great of a role model, unless you really think that moving from woman to woman to woman is a noble pursuit. I really don't. Although, there are plenty of worse things that someone could do. And, honestly both of them are just trying to find what makes them happy.

So, Kriegel, who cares that Madonna is past her prime and Jeter has had some younger talent. I'd be willing to bet my next meager check that you've jerked off to most of the women either one has brought home. Don't be bitter cuz you can only write about it.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Everyone Has Felt This Way

At some point in time, everyone has or will feel this nervousness. Chris Carrabba captured the feeling beautifully. It reminds me of how I have felt several times. One of these days I may feel it again. As one of my female coworkers said the other day, "Larry, you should take someone there(referring to a really awesome restaurant) when you finally go out on another date. It's really romantic."

Funny how when I wanted to date and was looking to, it seemed as if there were no women interested. Now that I just want to finish school and get out of town, there are several. Of which I am interested in none. Funny, because at least one of them is really cool, and would probably be good for me. What the hell is wrong with me? Oh well, c'est la vie. In a month or so, when I am back to 18 credit hours and 40 hour work weeks, I won't even notice.

"Remember To Breathe" by Dashboard Confessional

She fixes her lips, they always look perfect
Never a smudged line, never too much
I try on my blue shirt, she told me she liked it, once
She wonders what I'll wear, she knows just what she'll wear
She always wears blue
So, sneakers or flip flops? I'm starting to panic, wait, wait
Remember she asked you
Remember to breathe
And everything will be okay

Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright

Now every time we do this I fall for you
Wave after wave it's all for you
And now you listen like your hearts on fire
Like you wanna believe in me
So, I'll try
Put your hands in the sky
And remember
It will be here forever
I'll be alright, alright, alright, alright