The Harsh Reality.....................

Just one more night and I’m on vacation, and people, is it ever needed.  I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the seemingly summer long heat wave we have going on here, maybe it’s the “other sex” that’s driving me up the god damn wall, or perhaps it’s the fact that I’m employed by a company that couldn’t manage a little league baseball team, let alone a 500 million dollar a year transportation agency.  But whatever it is your boy needs a break from it, and fast.  I’m a block away from Snap City here, and it’s taking every bit of fortitude I have to keep it together and not kill anybody.  I’m not sure if anyone is really aware of exactly how much energy it takes to always have something funny to say, but let me tell you, it takes a shit load.  And I’m running on fumes these days.  I mean hey, it’s nothing I can’t handle, after all I can handle anything, and truthfully, I do it to myself, but still, come 2:35 am I’m off the clock, and I’m out of here.  What’s vacation got in store for me?  I’m glad you asked.  Tomorrow I’m heading up to Mom’s place to celebrate her 50th trip around the sun.  Damn she’s old.  I told her we need to sit down and start planning the wake soon, and she smacked me.  But she got over it pretty quick.  That’s the gem about being an only child, no matter what you say or do, or how much of a fuck up you are, you’re still the favorite son.  After I leave Moms house, I’m heading straight to the cottage, where I am going to put the feet up, read a book or two, play on the lake and fuck the dog like it’s my first time fucking the dog.  I may come home Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, or possibly Thursday.  Who knows, who cares?  As long as I’m back in time for my Friday afternoon check in at the BeerFest, that’s all that’s important to me.  Hotel is already booked downtown, tickets are bought, and plans are made.  The only left to do at that point will be to indulge in the greatness that is imported ale’s from all over yonder, and then let the universe do what the universe feels like doing.  Sunday is a toss-up.  Depending on how well I’m feeling I may, for the first time in years, actually make it down for day three of the festival.  That’s something that once upon a time only the strong could do, and I did it on more than one occasion, but this year I’m thinking about doing it for much the same reason I do most of the things I do these days, just to prove that I can.  Between me you and the centipede that is crawling up the wall here, I doubt it’s going to happen, but it is in my mind.  Will I see any of you down there?  I do hope so.  Monday will be a rest and recover day, and Tuesday its back to work, refreshed and ready to go.  My next break isn’t that far away either.  I manipulated some scheduling, and called in some favors from some co-workers, and three weeks after I get back from vacation I’m on the road to Montreal for a long weekend.  God I love that place.  And god do I love a Filipino stripper named Neo.  But anyway, we can chat about everyone’s favorite escort capital of the country a little closer to the date.  Let’s move on, shall we?

Now I was going to throw out some six cents this week, but I don’t know anymore.  I mean what’s to talk about?  A couple more shootings in the city that were completely idiotic?  We all know my stance on that, and I offered up a perfectly viable solution when the Eaton Center fiasco went down, and no one listened then, so forget that.  I was going to talk about the plethora of lateral moves Bryan Colangelo has made with my Toronto Raptors, but then I realized the NBA in general makes me sick to my fucking stomach, so get that shit out of here.  And I was going to conclude with a piece on how incredibly sick the new Samsung Galaxy looks, but I unfortunately played with one, and although it is one seriously kick ass piece of equipment, when I had it in my hands I realized two things I couldn’t get over.  For one, it’s an awkward fucking size, somewhere in between the note and the Galaxy 2, and it just doesn’t feel right to me.  And two, it feels about as fragile as those stupid little glass things your grandmother used to have on the mantle that you were never allowed to look at, let alone touch when you were a kid.  Don’t get me wrong, technically it’s a marvel for sure, and it can do just about anything you could ever want a handheld to do.  But for a piece of equipment that can do so much, it needs a little more weight to it, and needs to feel like it can at least be put down (re: drunkenly dropped and kicked down the street) without too much concern.  So my blackberry lives to see yet another day, much to my displeasure. 
Truthfully, I’m not sure what we should talk about this post, I’ve been so grumpy lately and so unfocused (on everything, not just the blog) that I don’t have anything planned.  I’ve been meaning to talk about dating a little bit, I suppose we could do that if you want to.   Actually, yeah let’s do that, but let’s go back to before the turn of the millennia for a second first.  I believe it was 1998, or maybe it was ‘99, not sure exactly, but it was a while ago, and I got this email (which is actually still in my yahoo inbox, if I could only remember the password for my yahoo account), and the email was entitled “The Harsh Reality”.  It was basically a picture of this woman, a modern day goddess if you will.  To say this woman was kissed by the gods of beauty would be the equivalent to saying Lime Crush is an alright pop.  This woman was the most beautiful woman this green Earth has ever had walk on it.  She was perfect.  She made 10’s look like me in a wig.  She had a body you couldn’t imagine with a stack of vintage Playboys and a handful of Lorazepam.  The kind of stuff you would dream about in a dream.  Take exactly what you’re thinking right now by my description, and you’re not even close to understanding how incredible this chick looked.  And she was wearing a small black bikini, and she was showering in this little waterfall in a beautiful tropical heaven like oasis, set in some distant land that only monkeys and wild flowers know about. And on top of the picture it stated “The Harsh Reality”, and below the picture it said, “No matter how beautiful she looks right now, some man, somewhere, is sick and tired of putting up with her shit”.  Now, when I got that email I laughed and thought that’s really funny, and I left it at that.  I mean I was in my young twenties, what the hell did I know.  I just thought it was a joke.  But now, 13 or 14 years later, I realized what I thought was just a moderately funny email a long long time ago, was actually not a moderately funny email at all.  It was in fact, arguably, the most valuable piece of wisdom I have ever and may ever come across in my entire god damn life.  It was the email equivalent to gold plus frankincense multiplied by myrrh.  And had I not been so young and na├»ve and prone to insisting upon learning lessons the hard way, a lot of time, trouble and effort could have been avoided in the past decade plus.  Fast forward to the present day and I’m going to bang off some stats for you real quick.  In the past year and a half the number of first dates I’ve been on is approximately in the low 20’s.  That number may seem high to you, but in actuality I’m probably low balling (don’t fucking judge me).  Let’s call it 20 and run, since it’s a round number and easy to work with.  Of that 20, I’d say half of them didn’t make it to date 2.  Of that 10, only 2 were by their choice.  1 was the Asian chick with the tattoo of the fighting ninjas on her back, and the other was the geisha with (very) broken English.  Co-incidentally they both used the same excuse, the good old “no chemistry” shtick.  Well, to be precise the geisha actually said “I fink deres no any chemisry”.  They were both full of shit, but whatever, slightly overweight broke white guys with a chip on their shoulder wasn’t there thing, and they didn’t want to admit it.  Anyway, of the other 8, spending one evening with each of them was more than enough time to spend with each of them, and calling them back was about as important to me as enrolling in a Christian study group.  Now, the remaining ten (or so) that made it to date 2 also made it past date 2 and unto dates 3, 4, what have you.  Of them, only one ended things on her end rather early.  That was the younger 20’s Russian model/dental hygienist chick.  But come on we all saw that one coming didn’t we?  She just “got really busy” and I assume is still really busy, because I never heard back from her again.  At least she had tact though, right?  Besides, she was a dime, and although she was cool and all, I make it a rule not to mess with dimes.  I have my reasons.  Don’t get me wrong now, she gets un-busy and I’m in, but anyway……..  Of the remaining 9, I’d say 4 are still somewhat casual friends.  Read into that as you may.  The other 5 (or so) ended, or I suppose I should say never took off, because quite frankly try as I did, I just couldn’t put up with their shit anymore.  So out of roughly 20 girls here’s your stat line.  10 percent of them ended it after date one, whereas I ended a staggering 40 percent at the same point.  5 percent ended around the 3 or 4 date mark (or just got busy, whatever the case may be), 20 percent are still relatively cordial, and that leaves a final fail rate of approximately 80 percent.  WOW.   That doesn’t even take into account the however many I’ve met and talked with, and just couldn’t set anything up with due to scheduling and what have you. Those are actually really disgusting numbers.  WOW.  You know, I was going to close up with a part about how no one is coming in here and knocking your boys socks off, and maybe some things I’m looking for that I’m not finding, and provide some rationale, but………. WOW.  A fail rate of 80 percent?  The harsh reality is, that’s a lot of wasted fucking time and effort for nothing. And truthfully, I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. I’m out of here.  I just got to get through one more night. I’m going to get a Lime Crush, I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks…………………………..     Hang in there.

My Cup Overflows.

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It's time for me to take a moment and be thankful.

Thank you Lord, for the summer jobs you have blessed me with. 

Thank you for the opportunity to work with kids; growing and learning in my teaching abilities.

Thank you for the love and company of living at home with my parents.

Thank you for the true friends in my life. The ones that I've been able to see more of this summer and spend time with.

Thank you for the love and guidance my parents have given me.

Thank you for blessing Josh and I's relationship as we spend our final (hopefully) summer apart.

Thank you for giving me the health and ability to run long distance and train for my half marathon.

excellent reminder.

More importantly...

Thank you for reminding me to draw near to you daily.

Thank you for the wonderful church body that I am a part of.

Thank you for the daily devotions that were inspired by you and your holy word.

Thank you for allowing me to let my light shine to fellow co-workers.

Thank you for the relationships I have that encourage me to turn to you in all circumstances of life.

Thank you, Lord, for being my best friend, my rock, my comforter, and my Savior.
I pray that you keep reminding me to be thankful for the place I am in this life.
You are my shepherd, and you continue to lead me on my path in life.
What great comfort to know that you are by me every step of the way.
Thank you!

What blessings has God given you?
What are you thankful for today?

May your thankfulness draw you nearer to God and desire him MORE

Much love,

I Wish I Never Met Her At All....................................

“I met this girl when I was 10 years old, and what I loved most, she had so much soul.  She was old school when I was just a shorty, never knew throughout my life she would be there for me…….”

I still remember the first NBA game I ever fully watched on T.V.  We had just moved into the apartment building that we would go on to call home for the next ten years or so, and for the first time in ages we could actually have cable.  Now in the early 90’s cable was pretty much a standard for every household, but believe me, for my mom and I, this was actually a real big thing.  Now I had watched bits and pieces of games here and there before, and I was usually at an aunt or uncle’s house or maybe a friends place for important playoff games, but this particular day was different.  It was 1991 (so I was in fact 13, not 10) and it was the season opener for the Orlando Magic against the New York Knicks. The Magic went on to win that game, and although I don’t remember how or what exactly went on, I do vividly remember the action.  This wasn’t any incarnation of a Magic team that gets remembered by the way.   It was a year before Shaq and two years before Penny, and the team fielded players that although would go on to have decent careers they were hardly the kind of guys you would tune in JUST to watch.  I remember Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott, I remember of course Scott Skiles and although he never really went on to do anything important in the league, for some reason I remember Anthony Bowie, but perhaps maybe just because of the name alone.  I was glued to that T.V. not only for the entire game, but for the rest of the season as well, and the Orlando Magic inheritably became my team, not because I had any affiliation with them, but because it seemed that that was the team my service provider always broadcasted on T.V.  I started looking forward to Saturday morning’s edition of “Inside Stuff” with Ahmad Rashad and Willow Bay, and my interest, along with my knowledge and appreciation grew in leaps and bounds with every passing episode.  By the next season, although the Orlando Magic drafted Shaq, who would become, stay and quite possibly be forever known as “my all-time favorite player”, I had experienced enough to follow other teams as well.  I witnessed Mike doing stuff only Mike could do.  My jaw dropped when Magic admitted he “had it”, and I found my first ever bona fide role model in one Larry Bird. It’s no secret that baseball is my one true love in this world, but if baseball is my wife; than basketball is my mistress, and I’m pretty sure every knows the difference.
The memories?  Oh my friends do I have memories.  Enough memories for three lifetimes in fact.  Barkley pulling up for three against the Bulls in the playoffs, Clyde Gliding through the lane, K.J. throwing down on Ewing, Pip throwing down on Ewing, Penny throwing down on Ewing (oh the tribulations of a backup defender). What about “His Airness”? Changing hands, fading away, ball fake after ball fake after ball fake, and yes even throwing down on Ewing.  Some of the things “Money” did with a basketball defied some of the basic laws of physics, and he did them easily, and what’s more baffling, regularly.  How somebody could ever compare anyone to Michael Jordan obviously did not see the man play.  The memories of NBA basketball throughout the 90’s are like scars in my mind, faded as they become they will always be there.  If I had to pick my top three moments, I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  When I got my first VCR at the age of 15, I got it for two reasons, 1; I found a convenience store around the way that would sell me Asian porn when I was clearly underage, and 2; to record the entire NBA’s triple header on NBC every Sunday when I was at work at the gas station.  I couldn’t wait to get home and watch it.  Remember the theme music?  In case you don’t here you go.  I wouldn’t even tape over them, I would buy a new blank tape every week and had quite a collection.  It broke my heart when, during my separation I had to make the decision that after almost 20 years of lugging all these tapes around move after move it was finally time to throw them away.  Marv Albert, Bob Costa and the rest of the NBC crew were like family to me and oh did I ever look forward to Sunday dinner.  The next decade or so was pretty much scheduled around the NBA.  “I’ll meet you after the game” or “I can’t because so and so are playing against whoever tonight” became staples in my vocabulary.  I even had one girlfriend that would use basketball to get me to come over.  She would call me up and say “the Raptors are playing the Lakers tonight, and my parents are out, want to come over and watch it?”  It was her equivalent to the infamous “want to come over and watch a movie?” routine that I, like so many before and after me, had come to master in my time.  And it worked for her too, she got hers, and I got to watch the game, so we both won.  Slam magazine would eventually go on to replace the Source as my preferred magazine of choice, and like most I had a routine with my new copy that was steadfast.  First I had to check out the “SlamADaMonth”, then right to the “trash talk” segment, flip to the back page and check out the “punks” and then start at the beginning and go page by page reading, devouring, storing everything away, so I had plenty to talk about when we hit the courts ourselves that week.  Basketball was life for me, and if it wasn’t for the NBA in the early 90’s it probably wouldn’t have been.

But then something happened.  Something changed.  And it wasn’t on my end either.  Slight rule changes here and there started to pile up year after year, and my game, the game I loved and lived for started evolving.  Those that know me know that I don’t believe change to be a good thing, ever, and this was no exception.  After a couple of years of tweaking and adjusting to “improve the way the game is played”, I would say conservatively that 80% of the body contact in the NBA was removed.  You couldn’t even touch someone driving through the lane without those annoying whistles blaring.  Off the ball fouls and offensive fouls were becoming more and more prevalent not with each passing season, but seemingly with each passing game.  The shit just got weak, and it got weak fast.  The domino effect to this of course was that players, who for the record mostly comprised of inner city disadvantaged youth that fought for their lives every damn day on basketball courts around the country in projects we wouldn’t really want to be caught dead in after dark, started to get soft.  Started crying about everything.  Looking to the refs to bail them out.  We had a rule when I was young, if you were still standing, it wasn’t a foul, and it shouldn’t matter anyways, because foul or no foul, you should have made the shot regardless.  That mentality was lost, and the game switched from being hard and blue collar to being more preppy and lame.  But love is love, and just because jump shots and free throws took precedence over hardcore in your face dunks, doesn’t mean you turn your back and walk away.   Besides, there were still a few players that were strong enough and explosive enough to wow you out of your seat every now and again, and to be honest with you, those players combined with sharp shooters behind the arc really had an effect on scoring.  Games totaling 210-225 points were the norm now, which I suppose was the point, and that’s kind of fun, right? Even if you had to sacrifice testicles and bravado to get it, it did become exciting.  The Kobe’s the Dirks, the Pierce’s, the J Will’s, all these guys helped ease me into this transitive way of basketball, and as much as I hated to see the hardcore shit go, I kind of enjoyed the run and gun fast tempo way of play.
But change is like evolution, it doesn't stop.  And the change that started taking place around the turn of the decade has spawned so far out of control, even I have a hard time defending it now.  I knew in 2004 that class of rookies was going to be trouble.  I never liked that Lebron kid from the fucking jump off.  Maybe it was the comparisons to Mike (please) or the “next best thing” moniker that I have seen bandied around way too much in my lifetime.  Hell, maybe I’m just a hater.  Who gives a shit what the reasons are, but I knew from the first time he “graced” the cover of my slam magazine that he was going to be trouble.  I just had no idea to what degree.  Now you and I have talked extensively about “the Decision” and it’s no secret what my thoughts were/are on that debacle.  But look at the landscape that has dramatically changed over the last few seasons as fall out from it.  The Carmelo Anthony saga, the Chirs Paul/Lakers shit, the lock out.  Deron Williams running a legend in Jerry Sloan out of Utah only to be traded shortly after.  The Dwight Howard bullshit.  I could list example after example of situations like this, but nothing could compare to what took place a few days ago.  A free agent signing so despicable I can hardly even bring myself to mention it.  “Ray Allen signs with the Miami Heat.”  What the fuck????  This was a man that for years now has been a Lebron killer.  Remember game 5 in the Conference Finals a few years back, when Lebron ripped off his Cavs jersey half way between the court and his fishing boat?  That was all Ray Allen.  He had only been a Celtic for 5 seasons, but he bleeds green.  Got himself a ring there too, and I think he could have gotten another one.  A man of Ray Allen’s pedigree shouldn’t even want to be in the same uniform with the likes of Bosh and James.  The man played Jesus Shuttleworth for fuck sakes.  He was on the short list of Brad’s top ten players of all time.  Ray Allen was the shit, but now even he’s jumped ship.   I’m sure you all know this by now, but there are two things I fucking hate in this world, having sex with women who aren’t on birth control and sell outs.  And it seems with every off season a new bunch of guys that you thought were full of class and dignity are trading in their jeans for suits and their boxers for panties.  Hell, I don’t even know what to do at this point, and to be honest, I don’t really care either.  But I do know I can’t take much more of this shit.  My mistress has played games before, she’s even lied to me a time or two.  I know she was unfaithful, but hell, I’m not a saint either, so I let a lot of stuff slide.  But Ray Allen doing his best Benedict Arnold impression and running straight to the enemy is too much for even me to tolerate.  I fucking hate you NBA, you lying cheating dirty whore.  Go fuck yourself.  I’m glad I threw all those tapes out, and I really wish I had’ve had something better to do that night in November back when I was only 13. 

I wish I never fucking met you at all………………