Friday June 30, 2006
I’ve been working on a new website for AJ’s Angels (see this post). Just wanted to show it off a little… see if anyone had any input at all. Adam and Beth (it’s their foundation) seem pleased, but I’m always looking for improvements. I already know of a dozen things that need to be fixed/changed/added/tweaked. But that’s me. I can’t put my name on something that is in my mind even a touch subpar.
(this is a temporary site I’m using while in development).
I don’t have a real post today. I just felt like putting a few more pictures of the boys out there. Thats all.
Synchronized Napping, were it a dog olympic event, you’re looking at the gold medal champions.
Frank… looking rather supplicant.
Dino… Slice of sunlight and chew toy… thats all I need.
Personally… I think they probably miss each other too…
Wednesday June 28, 2006
I suppose I should write about how I’ve been doing lately since I haven’t done an update like that in a while. Here goes.
I would have to say that things have improved, but not a whole lot. In my down time I still find myself thinking about everything and it still bums me out. You know what really sucks? When you work hard all day to try and not think about it, then when you sleep that night you have a dream about the her, the divorce, the loss, whatever. Nothing like starting your day off on a really positive note. I used to really enjoy the fact that I could very often remember my dreams. Now… not so much… Speaking of sleeping, this hasn’t been a banner week so far. Between bad dreams and more ‘waking up super early’ (yesterday morning… I was awake at 3am, and had to try and kill time before going to work at 6.) I’ve been working out like my doctor suggested, but it doesn’t seem to be helping lately.
What I’ve noticed lately is that I am now mired in the ‘missing her’ state. I’m not angry. I don’t miss all the ancillary crap that went along with everything. I just simply miss her. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to shake that. I can distract myself for a little while, but usually not very long. Its all the little stuff I miss. And there is always something to remind me. Hearing a co-worker talking about a ‘rum punch’ (our last summer party, the rum punch was flowing) or the headline “Man Shot in Vegas Airport” (of all things… I can remember our February trip like it was yesterday. Literally.). I found the ticket stub for the movie ‘Inside Man’… we saw that 10 days before the split. I’m surrounded by it all. We loved the HBO show ‘Deadwood’. Now, watching it by myself just isn’t the same. I see advertisements for events or places that we would have totally enjoyed. I haven’t fully trained my brain either, because when I see or hear about things, for the slightest of split seconds I think “hey, we should totally do that!” … before I catch myself. I think its instinctual. Gonna be tough to shake. There are lots of things that I would like to do, but no matter what you try, you just can’t make it work when you’re single. Those of you who are married (and at this point, I think its all of my regular readers) know what I’m talking about. Family and friends are great. And they’re great to do certain things with. But you can’t do everything. George, I love you man, but I seriously doubt we would go to see Michael Buble’ together.
The other day, I was listening to some Sinatra which I haven’t done in a long time. Love songs haven’t really been what I’m into lately. Anyway, of my 20 or so albums, I picked one out at random and started listening. I was really enjoying it. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy his music. Then, the wheels came off the wagon. The song “Our Love is Here to Stay” came on, and I knew it in the first 3 notes. (it was like hell’s version of ‘Name That Tune’… “I can ruin my entire day in 3 notes, Beelzebub!”) Most of you know that was our wedding theme. I couldn’t get that song off fast enough to not put a black cloud over the rest of my day. I really hate that crap like that still gets me. It’s been almost 3 months and there is no end in sight.
I also find myself really missing the boys. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a total animal person. When I’m at someone’s house and their dog is a little too excited or too friendly, they are usually trying to restrain the dog or get him from the room… I’d rather have the exact opposite. Let the 85lbs lab sit on my lap. Give me kisses. Beg for pets. I love it. That’s what I miss from my guys Frank and Dino. Boy, did they love their dad. They would get so wound up when I got home from work. Running around the house at mach 2. I couldn’t work on the computer or watch TV without BOTH of them wanting to be on my lap, preferably burrowed into a blanket of some sort. Wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer (you don’t know how skilled you are until you can learn to type at a desk with two 12lbs. daschunds in your lap). When I hear a doorbell on TV, part of me still waits for the inevitable spastic barking that would ensue. Dog lovers know what I’m talking about. There are reasons you love your dogs and they’re far too many to list. Those are all the things I miss. Even when they were a pain in the ass. Other peoples dogs are great… Syd & Gus… Josie… Sadie… Otis (T-Bone)… but they’re not mine… and mine are gone.
People have told me to get a cat. I like cats well enough… like I said, I’m an animal lover. But as I’m looking at my apartment the thing is just so small. I would need to get one of those automatic litter scooping litter boxes because I’m a lazy S.O.B and don’t want to deal with it. But, there is nowhere in my entire place it would fit. I know that sounds like such a stupid reason to not get one… maybe its just an excuse I’m using to myself. I dunno.
Sometimes I really can’t help but marvel at everything I lost. I know I’ve said it before and don’t want to sound like I’m whining… but goddamn…
I guess I have to live with this:
“Everything can be taken from a man but the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Victor Frankl
I’m trying, Victor… I’m trying.
Tuesday June 27, 2006
This is starting to get ridiculous. Wait… strike that… this IS ridiculous. As far as I know, Lance Armstrong retired a year ago. Yet, this doesn’t seem to stem the never-ending stream of news stories about him. I simply cannot believe the amount of time and energy people (aka the French, or anyone who has some axe to grind) are devoting into somehow convincing the rest of us that he might have taken some performance enhancer.
Yes France, we get it, you hate him. You are pissed off that he dominated your little race 7 times in a row. Yes, he’s a dirty American… a Texan no less… and needs to be destroyed at all costs. But for the love of God, can you just go back to eating cheese, drinking wine and being snooty to tourists in peace?
I like Armstrong. He battled back from about 3 different cancers and became the ultimate bike racer. He won the ‘Tour’ 7 times. But, since I’m an American, that’s about as far as my caring can go. I don’t give 2 shits about bike racing. I barely cared when he was actually riding… and guess what… I care FAR less now.
I guess this is an open letter to the media as well. Not only do the French, and everyone else just need to let it rest, the media has got to stop playing each and every story like its actually important. WE DON’T CARE. The world didn’t come to a halt when Barry Bonds, who is hated by many and we can pretty much all agree he has taken just about everything, passed Hank Aaron on the all time home run list and people actually care about baseball. So, you’re never going to make us give a damn about a likable Texan who won some race that we really don’t care about. Here, let me do your job for you for the next 10 or 20 news stories regarding Lance Armstrong.
Headline: Armstrong accused of ______________ (doping, cheating, calling us ‘frogs’, generally being a pain in our ass).
Today, Lance Armstrong was accused by _________ (the French, some cycling body, former teammates, former friends, general rabble-rousers) of ___________ (enter what ever they’re whining about now). Citing sworn testimony, ___________ (enter current accusers, max 3) said they have concrete proof that Armstrong ___________ (enter what he supposedly did wrong, try to make it sound really horrible). They claim that in (some year before he won, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) Armstrong was known to be taking __________ (steroids, human growth hormone, horse tranquilizers, the blood of infants) in order to improve his conditioning.
Armstrong, when reached for comment angrily denies these “baseless accusations.” Armstrong reiterated that he was, “the most tested athlete in the world,” and that he has “never tested positive of anything.”
Repeat ad nasueum. There… you’re finished. You can copy & paste and save yourself the time and effort and leave us all the hell alone now. Unless someone has a picture showing Lance with a syringe in his ass, a mouth full of pills, a copy of that day’s newspaper and a copy of his birth certificate in it, nobody is going to believe anything bad. More to the point, it simply doesn’t matter to anyone anymore. Not that it mattered much in the first place.
Friday June 23, 2006
My friends Adam and Beth (picture) have a charitable foundation in honor of their son who passed away from cancer at 19 months old. There is a terrific article about them and their charity work in today’s Idaho Statesman. They are great people with an even better cause.
If any of you are sports fans and want to try and get your hands on some good memorabilia, please head down to the Ha’ Penny tomorrow night. In past years, I’ve gotten an Boise State helmet autographed by then head coach Dan Hawkins, and a Buffalo Sabres hockey jersey autographed by the entire team. Even better, is that all proceeds go to a very good cause. If you can help AJ’s Angels, please do.Â If you just want to donate, they will take PayPal donations through their website: AJsAngels.org
I’m going to post the auction item list that Adam has given me.
Item List Here
Wednesday June 21, 2006
Ok… one more sports related post. I wanted to post this… well, I guess it’s an essay… I wrote to win a contest the local sports talk radio show was running. Essentially, tell us why you’re the biggest Boise State fan, sorta thing. Well, that was right in my wheelhouse, so I stepped up and knocked it out of the park. For the record… yes, we are the team with the blue field. No, geese do not crash into it thinking its water. Yes, I love it. I ended up winning a Boise State swag package, Season review DVD, autographed Poster by the head coach, t-shirt, tickets to the spring game, etc etc etc.
Bear in mind, this was written when I was still happily married, so there will be references to that in there. I’m not going to edit it at all, cause it was true when I wrote it, April ’05. I have added a little explanation of some items for those of you out there who don’t have an intimate knowledge of the Broncos.
What demonstrates that I am a dedicated Boise State Bronco fan?Well, the possible answers to that question might well be endless.
It could be that my dad, my sister, my wife and I are all alumni, but many people could boast that.
Perhaps its because I have basketball season tickets, and did not miss a home game this season… which is saying something. My basketball experience began as young impressionable kid with Bolden, Childs, Usitello, Jones, and King and can be traced in a continuous line through Beard, Coker, Huleen, Jackson, Bergersen, Washington all the way to adulthood with Lane, Karl, Ellis, and Blackburn. When I hear KJ Mac in his radio day job, I keep expecting to hear him call, “Wwwwwwwwalking… ball to the BRONCOS!”
It could be that I have not missed a home Bronco football game in 13 years, and I’m only 31 years old. Maybe it’s because I proposed to my wife prior to the 2002 Fresno State football game, and both families gathered at the tailgate party to celebrate. The whole family and many friends tailgate at every home game, both pre and post game. All are welcome, and they always know where to find us, no invitation required. Something has to be said for the first people to roll into the stadium lot in the morning also being among the last people to call it a day and go home following another Boise State win. To us, a football game just isn’t a game. It is a state holiday that we celebrate with vigor 6 or 7 times a year. Go all out, or don’t go at all. You just know going in that you need to plan to be there for 12 hours or more.
Yes, I do consider Bobby Dye and Pokey Allen personal heroes.
Perhaps its because 3 of my top 10 all-time life moments involve Boise State Football:
- Boise State ending “The Streak” (12 straight losses) against arch rival Idaho in 1994, 27-24 to win the Big Sky conference (watching Offensive Coordinator Al Borges among the fans hanging from the goalposts) and the ensuing playoff run culminating in playing in the 1-AA national championship game (Pokey would die of cancer just over a year later… I still remember the cancer he had: rhabdomyosarcoma)
- 2001, Boise State 35, undefeated #8 and media darling Fresno State 30 (in their house on national television)
- 2002, the aforementioned ‘engagement game’ Boise State 67, Fresno State 21 and being part of a Bronco Stadium record crowd (and the first one truly decked out head to toe in orange). Quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie coming back from a broken ankle, not playing the whole 1st quarter, but still ending the game 19-22, 406 yards and 5 touchdowns. Greatest performance I have ever seen live.
It could be that I cannot imagine hearing anybody but Paul J. as the voice of Boise State Athletics, and think it will be a sad sad day when he retires.
Maybe it’s the fact that half of my wardrobe is indeed orange.
But lets be honest, there are thousands of people in this valley who could say the same to any or all of these things. There is one aspect of my Boise State fandom that belongs to me and me alone. It is a part of family lore and is a favorite story that has been told many many times. Saturday, November 24th, 1973, Boise State was finishing its regular season schedule with an away game at UC Davis that afternoon. My dad, being an alumnus and fan, was listening to a young Paul J call the game in his first season on the job. My mom was very pregnant with me. In the middle of the 2nd quarter, Mom gives him those dreaded words, “Its time to GO”. Of course, he’s both upset and excited at the same time. I feel for the guy… the game is TIED for pete’s sake! Fortunately for all involved , he made the correct choice and grudgingly drove mom and me to the hospital, game on the whole way. Upon arrival, mom is admitted and dad is off to find a radio. As my mom is wheeled into the delivery room, the doctors are actually listening to the game while my mom is giving birth to me. I’ve always said, I’m not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that BSU won the game (32-31) since I was risking a spike or a fumble either way. Luckily, both the doctors and the Broncos held on. It is very likely, that the first words I heard in my life belong to that of Paul J. Schneider calling a Boise State football game.
It doesn’t get any more true Blue & Orange than that.
In the past 2 nights we have had 2 sport champions crowned. The Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup on Monday and Tuesday, the Miami Heat won the NBA championship. Really, I had very little invested in either series. Having not seen NHL hockey since 2004 and being at best a lukewarm fan of the NBA, I wasn’t real intrigued. I did, however, tune into the games from time to time, simply because they were broadcast in high def. I’m telling you, sports is what high def does best. There is no question. If you have yet to view such an event in HD, do not wait any longer. The picture is so good that even regular season baseball games are interesting.
Really, the only real good thing about these two sports ending the seasons means that we are that much closer to the real sports season… Football. Now, without the seemingly never ending NBA coverage to waste time with (and the cursory glance they gave to the NHL), SportsCenter can get back to their day jobs of covering the hell out of the NFL. Training camps open in roughly a month. Soon, they will begin breaking down every team, one per day, and analyze every aspect of the off season moves and the upcoming season. College players start practice a little after that and we start to talk about who is favored in the big rivalries… Michigan/Ohio State… Alabama/Auburn… The worlds largest outdoor cocktail party… the red river shootout… the civil war… Just typing it makes me excited.
This is also when Madden 2007 and NCAA Football 2007 video games are released. Anymore, the day Madden is released should be a holiday, simply because there are many many guys out there who will think of nothing but their upcoming virtual seasons for the entire day. I predict more than a few ‘sick’ days will be used that day.
Thus begins the time of year when I start to get a little giddy. I start researching for our fantasy football draft (not that it ever helps for I will end up injuring half my team anyway). I look at the weekend schedules of which college games will be on ABC or ESPN or FoxSports (always knowing that Notre Dame will be on NBC) and plan accordingly.
Mainly, it begins the season of the only team on the planet that I live and die by. Boise State Bronco Football. I will expound on this more in a future post, but growing up in geographically isolated Boise Idaho (seriously…look at a map) you don’t have any major pro teams close to devote yourself to. You’ve got one game in town, and growing up like I did, you learn to love it. At the time of this post, the season opener is 71 days, 9 hours, 2 minutes and 38 seconds away. Of course, this season will be a little different for me as the massive tailgate party of past years I will no longer be a part of. Just another thing I lost in the divorce. Those six or seven days were always in my top 10 favorite days all year. I’ll truly miss them. At least I’ll still be at the games, which is the main focus.
But, it’s still the greatest time of year. And its only 2 short months away. Bring it on.
Monday June 19, 2006
Ladies, this one is for you. I have a question that has boggled my mind for sometime, perhaps one of you can shed some light.
As I was driving around the other day, I went past a women’s clothing store that by all accounts is quite successful, despite what I see to be a horrible handicap. Perhaps, someone out there can describe to me the appeal of a store for women called, “Dress Barn”TM?
Admittedly, I am no marketing wizard. I am not a guru of sensibly priced women’s fashions. I have, however, actually spent some time with women. I have yet to find a single one that would appreciate having, at any time, a reference relating themselves to anything to do with a barnyard. Every 3 year old knows what the have on the barnyard… cows and pigs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would ever willingly call any woman I’ve ever met, either of those. Men know the wrath that can come down for even the slightest offhand remark regarding their ladies… uh… amplitude.
Yet, this store exists. Not only does it exist, it appears to be thriving. According to their website, there are over 800 stores. I am utterly amazed that a company got women to willingly shop in a store called “Dress Barn”TM. Say Dress Barn isn’t a well known store. You’re telling me that if some guy told his significant other, that she should go down to a place called “Dress Barn” to do some shopping, he would not immediately be persona non grata in the household and sleeping on the couch? Really? I can hear it now…
“What are you trying to say? *flashes of anger building*… Are you calling me a cow!? How dare you call me fat! …*now the sobbing starts*… I can’t believe you think I’m a disgusting fat pig. Don’t you love me anymore?” *More Sobbing and storming from the room*
Anyone who is doubting that a female would make such jumps in logic is either a.) a female or b.) never spent time with a female. Leaping from “Dress Barn” to “disgusting fat pig” can happen is less time than it takes for a guy to even know what he said wrong. We’ve all been there, guys. Every guy has at least one time when something they said got them is very hot water, without him even realizing it at the time.
I suppose I could understand if the store was trying to be ironic or something. Kinda like guys shopping at “Knuckle-Dragger Unibrow’s Fine Men’s Fashions” and the store is full of flannel, boxer shorts and T-shirts with crude sayings on them. But this isn’t the case. For the life of me, I can’t understand it.
I really have to plead ignorance here. Maybe some executive from Dress BarnTMTM will see this post and be able to shed some light. If not, maybe someone who has voluntarily shopped at a store where the name conjures up images of mucking stalls and feed troughs could explain their thought processes.
Just one more small step in the advancement of understanding between the sexes.
Saturday June 17, 2006
I think I have put a finger on why soccer is not popular in the US. It doesn’t have anything to do with the sport, or not using your arms, or anything like that. I believe the real reason is that soccer players, and since we’re talking World Cup we’re talking the best players in the world, have absolutely no self-respect. I think it must be that soccer fosters that sort of attitude, or at least never punishes it, that is our main problem.
Let me explain. In the first 45 minutes of playing time in this game (USA v. Italy), I have seen three separate guys carried off the field on a stretcher. THREE. For the record, all 3 of those guys carried off remained in the game. Here at home, if you see someone carted off the field, he is damn near maimed. Seriously. If you are watching an NFL game, and they bring out the cart, that guy is REALLY hurt. They are strapping that guy to a backboard and are cutting his helmet off with a saw, for fear of paralyzing him. It is ingrained in our athletes from the time you start little league that if you are still functioning, you walk off the field. Even if you need two guys acting as living crutches, you are walking off the field. I’ve seen guys with broken legs, torn ACL/MCLs, torn Achilles, all get off the field under their own power. I have seen guys who take a 110 mph slap shot to the face, skate off the ice. I would be willing to bet that if Joe Theismann wasn’t in shock from Lawrence Taylor giving him a second knee (aka tibia-fibula compound fracture), he would have preferred to walk off too.
I saw one Italy defender catch a knee in his ass, from his own goalie, and he rolled around like he was shot. The “trainer” came out, sprayed his ass with some ice spray and that was it. He never comes out. Another guy, who was carried off, I couldn’t even tell where his injury was. They showed a replay in which his legs pretty much just got tied up a little bit with the defender, but he was holding his shin like Theismann part 2. I have to think that “soccer trainer” is one of the easier jobs in the sports world. They don’t ever have to do anything, because no one really ever gets hurt. If they do, it’s the whole cry-wolf syndrome anyway.
I’ve been trying to see if any of the Americans flop as badly as the Italians do, and I haven’t really seen it. McBride went down and stayed down, but of course, he was intentionally elbowed in the face, to the point where his cheek was split open and bleeding. He did walk off.
So, if these guys were to have some self-respect, not scream like they’re dying one second, and staying in the game the next, far more Americans might watch and enjoy soccer. Until that happens, these guys, no matter how tough and in shape they might actually be, wind up looking like euro-trash nancy boys, who cry like they’re dying 3 or 4 times a game. Not exactly the sort of thing that really appeals to our sporting sensibilities.
That, and that our best player is apparently Pauly Shore.
I’m wondering if prison inmates in New Hampshire have any problems making license plates that read, “Live Free or Die”…
Another World Cup update. Apparently the Italians were upset with the U.S.’s use of war terminology when discussing their upcoming game. Oh give me a break. Welcome to the rough and tumble world of soccer *sarcasm*. Seriously… read that article. If you are a sports fan… check that… and AMERICAN sports fan, you will probably say, “yeah… and?..” Good thing the Italians don’t play in the NFL because their heads might explode. In case you haven’t noticed, many many sports terms have a war basis to them. Football has it’s “long bomb”, “shotgun”, “blitz”, “War Room” (for the draft), the “battery” (pitcher & catcher) in baseball, “Sudden Death”, “run and gun”, on and on and on… this is completely ignoring the fact that just about every athlete or coach interview is peppered with war analogies that they have become cliche. “go out there and battle”. Oh, and for the record, our friggin national anthem (played before EVERY sporting event) is about war as well. Get over it.
Man up, Italy. Pull your panties out of your ass and just play soccer. Quit crying. You’ll probably kick our ass anyway, so whats the point?
In other news, the apartment living room is nearing completion. I finally got some drapes up on the wall to cover the hideous mini-blinds. The room is really starting to come together. Now I just need a lamp to go behind the couch, some more stuff for the walls (maybe a big clock or a mirror or something), and a few more accent pieces (throw pillows, knick-knack stuff, candles, etc). I had the lady from the Merry Maids (yes, I’m getting a maid. I’m lazy. What’s it to ya?) come by yesterday to give me a quote on a bi-weekly cleaning deal, and she seemed really impressed with the apartment. She thought I had very good style, and wished her husband had the same. So I got that goin’ for me… which is nice. Maybe if I ever have a date, she’ll be impressed too…
Ok, US v. Italy is starting. Off to watch.