progression: from tolerate to love to hate – the story of football

I didn't really grow up in a football centric home. Well, I might have. I remember my Dad watching football some Sundays, but I'm not sure if it was just his excuse to take a nap in his favorite recliner before the Monday work week hell started back up. I never got into watching sports after I moved out, didn't even really watch TV for that matter. Where I live is a college basketball crazy town. Although there have been years where I have watched every game that I possible could, today, I can say that I haven't watched a game in a few years. And I still don't watch TV. But this post is not about me. I used to tolerate a football game on the TV at the bar or visiting a friend. My son. All 117 pounds of pure joy in my life decided to play football this year. He found a decent league to play with and started practice. His first game was, to me, hilarious. A bunch of 8-9 year old boys running around the field tackling the other team. I honestly do not believe any of them knew where the ball was at any given time. But they got to be tough and rough and tackle other kids. The first game did not go very well, they lost by a land slide even though they did not officially keep score. All is good. I'm starting to love football. The league is small, so the games were anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 1/2 hours away. Small price to pay for his enjoyment. Then it happened. The second game was cancelled? Come to find out, his team was suspended from the league because they didn't have enough players and were not bringing enough money into the league. I'll explain. All parents, friends, family that came to watch the game had to pay the $5 admission fee to be a spectator. Because his team only had 11 players, well you can do the math. So, after his Mom put up with a lot of stuff (I've only heard parts of what she had to go through) to get him into another league, he went back to practicing. I still am now loving football. Mother Nature decided to step in and it rained for a good week and a half. Game cancellation. Then doubling up with a game on Saturday and a game on Sunday. This coupled with between 3 and 4 days of practice per week, rain or shine, it was a lot of work. Once the rain decided to dissipate, he played exactly 4 plays in the next game. Three plays in the next game. No plays in the next game. He practiced his ass off during the week, finishing covered in boy sweat (yuck) and tired. I now hate football. This is my opinion, maybe not yours, and I will take no offense if you disagree with me nor will I be defensive if you disagree (see, I do know offense and defense). This is supposed to be a rec league where you DO have to pay to play. It's not horribly expensive, but it is money. I completely understand when you get to middle school or high school that you will go through tryouts and may not make the team. What I question is that this is supposed to be something the kids do because they want to and the parents decide to pay their dues, both in time and money. And when the child does not get to play and gets upset and although they practice their little butts off, they aren't really playing what they signed up for. So, in the end, although the season runs through the end of the month, he has decided that he no longer wants to play for this team. He does not feel like a quitter. He does feel like an outcast on the team. I believe that this is due to him joining the team 2 weeks after the season kicked off and the previous league being under different rules than the current. I also believe that his coach expects him to completely understand the game in his first season because most of the boys on his team have been playing for at least one season. His size, he's a big boy, not fat, just big for his age, put him in a 10U team when he is 8. To all the coaches out there, it's not for your benefit, it's for the kids. They are doing this because they want to. If your rec league team absolutely has to win or you feel like a failure then you really should not be coaching (and may want to re-evaluate your mental state). Take this advice and realize the kids will do their best, but only based on the direction and coaching you give them. And most importantly, this is not about the money, it is about my child wanting to play with a team - a wonderful life lesson for him to learn in the early years, which is what I thought was part of playing sports, apparently not. It is also not about me being a jealous or irritated parent because my son doesn't get to play. It is, however, about your lack of skills in coaching to teach the kids (it is also not just my child that is sitting out, the last game, 3 kids sat out the entire game) My final words to the coaches (trying to refrain from the "F**K YOU"): This is life folks, we all lose from time to time, but if we are not in the game, we can never win. I'm off my soap box, for now. Basketball starts in a few months. I kind of feel like "one of those parents" right now!  

Life, interrupted

To know a person is to walk in their shoes. To know Ian was to drink coffee (lots of coffee) with him and learn to move at his pace. At a young age of twenty something, he walked with a cane. He was an artist and had a brilliant mind with a take on life that surpassed anything I could ever imagine. We shared art class together and countless nights of me not coming home until well past curfew. We spent many late nights cruising Raleigh in his Blazer, getting into trouble, drinking coffee, getting into more trouble and drinking more coffee. We went camping at the beach, sitting up all night drinking the mixer for strawberry daquiries  because we were not quite of age for the alcohol part. I have many memories of "visions" we BOTH encountered when the moonlight danced it's magic on the moving ocean waters. White horses and giants. The sand. We lost touch for a few years, but found each other and once again, enjoyed coffee. The last time I saw Ian was in a photography studio where we did a photo session with some (I think) hot gals. We stepped out back of the shop after the session and cracked a couple of cold ones (we were finally of age to drink). After that, life happened and we lost touch. He seemed generally well, still with cane, but good. And we toasted to being over 21. Over the years, I haver tried to find Ian. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, People Search. I had people asking me if I'd been in contact. The answer always turned up as no, no one has heard from him in years. And today, I learned he has moved on from this world.  Almost 7 years ago, I lost a friend, a dear friend, and I didn't even know it at the time. We all lose touch for periods of time, but we expect that we will sync back up in a few months, or even years. Sometimes... that doesn't happen. I spent the afternoon in tears. I called the one person who loved Ian as much, if not more than I do. And yes, it was a call peppered with many tears. Life is short. Cherish every single fucking minute of it, because you never know when your best friend will be gone. Ian Sean Bennett, rest in peace my friend. All my love and we'll meet again on the other side.
"Ian Sean Bennett, 31, passed away Friday, October 12, 2007, at his home in Rocky Mount. He was born May 23, 1976, in Watauga County, Boone, NC. Ian was an Artist and previously employed with Lake Boone Photo Lab and Tri-Color Photo Lab in Raleigh. He leaves to cherish his memory, three brothers, James Tyler Diacont of Rocky Mount, Brian Cary Bennett of Prescott, AZ, Langdon S. Bennett of Los Alamos, New Mexico; his father, Brian C. Bennett of Alamos, New Mexico; his mother, Jennifer L. LaShorne and stepfather Jeffrey of Ft. Pierce, FL; stepfather, Dale W. Diacont of Waynesboro, VA; sister, Sabrina H. Bennett of Carbondale, IL. The family will receive friends and family Tuesday, October 16, 2007 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Johnson Funerals and Cremations on English Road. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27601 with Pastor Hank Vandergrift officiating." ~  source:http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?pid=96233871#sthash.qjc7wvGX.dpuf

To my dearest sister

Remember those times when we picked the eyeballs out of locust? Remember when I blamed you for drawing with crayons all over the closet walls? Or did you blame me? Remember the hole in the wall from the recorder? Remember front porch sitting and talking all night long? Remember carting kids to the beach? Remember the aquarium trips? Do you remember Meatloaf and Nashville (That was an EPIC night). Does your butt itch? 'Cause mine does. Yes, we had a few rocky spans of time, but hey, we are all human. All in all, we have a rock solid relationship, I know I can tell you anything. Anything! And you only tell Mom some of it :) And you know I am always here for whatever you need. I wish I could be there for your birthday, to give you a big hug and say, "Thank you." Thank you for being a wonderful sister, friend, front porch buddy, my favorite front porch buddy. Thank you for having such a wonderful family and all that you do for them. So... Have a... 1. wonderful 2. awesome 3. epic 4. super 5. kick ass 6. crazy cool 7. supercalifragilistic 8. beautiful 9. gorgeous 10. relaxing ...day. Make it count and have a happy happy birthday! All my love!

Dear Lola

First of all, you didn't technically hack my blog, you have your own account you silly dog. Secondly, you did hack my FaceBook when you posted the link to your plea for me, uh, you. You should know what happens when someone hacks my FaceBook, I get pretty upset. Aside from that, I don't know if I should be mad at you or not. It was a very sweet attempt at trying to find someone for me, uh, you. I should probably let you know that "relationship" laps don't just magically fall out of the sky. It takes time, and commitment and energy and happy blissful feelings that make you all tingly inside. All in all though, you got most of it right. I am mad that you think I'm so old! As for that black stuff, it's called coffee and I will never let you drink it again after the last episode. Remember that? You drank the rest of my cup and bounced off the walls for hours. Yeah, that stuff is reserved for humans, sorry. Do remember that if your little scheme was to work, I could potentially owe my son a thousand dollars. Yeah, that's right, one thousand. The bet was he would have a girlfriend before me. I don't want to lose, but since you started this whole thing, and after thinking about it, it would be kinda cool, with the right person, er, uh, lap. Sorry. I assume you are going to want to meet her first? Please don't embarrass me any more than you already have. I'll be home when I get home. Remember, I pay the bills around here. Kidding, I'll be home at a reasonable hour and no, she won't take your side of the bed. You didn't think about that, did you? Quit stressing my sweets, these things take time, if it's meant to happen, then it will. Your lap will come along. Until then, please just be content with my lap. Let's go for a walk...

Dear available ladies

Do not tell my Dad that I hacked his blog. I'm being selfish, this is really for him. Really. But. I am a two lap dog, and ladies, he only has one. So. Yeah, it's kind of for me, too. I need another lap to snuggle on when we are on the couch. I mean he needs another person to snuggle with. He really is a nice guy. Short. Yeah. But I think you could just call him compressed and be OK with it. He works hard. But he takes plenty of time to walk me and play with me. I'm sure he would do the same for you. His kids are just adorable, I like to nip at their flip flops. Love me the taste of processed Wal-Mart plastic/rubber. It's wonderful. Oh, did I tell ya, the dude can cook! He makes some mean ass food on the grill. I don't normally get to taste it, but it sure smells out of this world. I digress. So here's why I'm here. Again, I need... my Dad, well, he needs... OK, fine. I need another lap. He's only 259 years old. Oh, that's dog years. Damn, he's old! He does this thing called work on a computer. I don't understand it, but he seems to enjoy it. Sometimes he has to go on trips and my aunt takes care of me, it's cool. She rocks. My Papa also takes care of me sometimes. But Dad always comes home to me. So, he is very loyal. You should remember that. We live in the country. I like to listen to the frogs and crickets at night. You should probably be OK with mosquitoes. If you wear cowgirl boots, that would be a plus. I think he would like that. He makes me listen to country music all the time. I'm starting to get into it, but honestly, I think 80's hair bands are the bomb diggity. You can take musical interests up with him, I can learn to love any type of music. Getting back to my point, he travels. And I mean loves to travel. So. You better be cool with that. If you strike the right pose, he might even take you to some tropical paradise. Maybe if you like him enough, we can all move there. That would be the coolest. He always talks about Chicago. I've never been there. I wonder why he likes it so much. I can't pretend to understand too much. I just know that somewhere there's a lady out there for my Dad, just like he is here for me and his kids. I wonder what color hair you would have. I bet you would give me an extra treat in the morning. Another thing, my Dad, he doesn't like a mess. There was one time that I tore up a pillow. Yeah. He was not happy. He likes to keep a really clean house. Everything. And I mean everything has to be in it's place. You could call that anal I suppose. But it is nice to not be walking around in a house full of cat poo. No, he doesn't have cats, that's just the dirtiest reference I could come up with. I can also tell you that he makes this black stuff in the morning, it smells heavenly. He doesn't put cream or sugar in it. I bet he would love to have a cup of it with you. He's silly, really. He flies by the seat of his pants yet is totally grounded and responsible. You really should consider. It might be the best thing you ever did.So again, I need a second lap to be comfortable. I mean my Dad, he's available. Shit, he's going to kill me when he reads this. Going to chase my tail.........

The consulting series – Twilight

I admit, I've seen them all, but only one in the theater and no, it was not at the midnight release party. Blame it on Kristen Stewart's eyes. They make me melt. And since I'm coming clean, yes, I've also read all four books. But that's not why I'm here today. For the next four posts, we get to talk about consulting and vampires. Sink your teeth into that! It all starts on a Friday, usually, at 4:45 PM. Right before you are getting ready to pop the top on that ice cold one that's been staring at you in the fridge each time you open it. The phone rings. Monday you are on a project with a new client. Just like Bella, the decision wasn't entirely yours, although I doubt your boss kicked you out so she could travel with a baseball player. So you start to pack your things in preparation for Forks. It's a sleepy little company stuck in the past on archaic technology. You have no idea what to expect, except rain. Once you are on the ground, you meet your project manager Carlisle Cullen, your visionary solution architect, Alice Cullen, your IT sponsor, Edward Cullen and the business sponsor, Jacob Black. As for the whole falling in love thing, well, that part doesn't exactly fall in line, unless you count the fatal attraction to the bartender at a bar you frequent a couple of blocks from the office after a hard days work. Jacob likes you immediately and tells you about the business requirements. Some of them seem a little strange, some hint towards the impossible, but at the end, you start to draw your own conclusions and unearth the truth. Unfortunately, for Jacob, you are more attracted to the IT requirements as specified by Edward. There's an internal battle starting to brew. You almost get hit by the proverbial van when you were presenting solutions to the CTO, but Edward was right there to save you. You start to wonder how he is so good which makes your commitment to him much stronger. And helps to solidify your conclusions. After some time on the ground and learning the ropes, you meet up with James. He is the lead at a 3rd party marketing firm that Forks has partnered with and is out to get you. Your Cullen project team tries to protect you, ultimately, you have to escape back to Phoenix for the weekend. As soon as you land, your phone lights up. Thirteen emails, seven texts and just 10 voice mails from James. He's trying to trick you. Alice knew this would happen and asked Carlisle to set up a conference call where the team successfully squashed James' absurd suggestions for the project. Edward saved you again, he sucked the ugly thoughts right out of your head. When you return to Forks, Edward takes you out for dinner and you try to convince him that he should hire you direct. You want to be one of them. He politely refuses even though you continue to pressure him. Coming to a blog near you... Spring 2013 - The consulting series - New Moon

Some nights

There are some memories that you can only share with yourself, no matter how close another person might be. And there are some things you read, or hear that spark that distant memory and you want to share, you really do. But you can't. And those 10 things you learned from that one experience are forever locked in your head. Safe dreams my friends.

Just like heaven

It is funny that I think of you tonight. Well. Not funny in the belly laugh sort of way. Funny in what I am about to expose. How I feel. I'm not quite sure why I hang my hat on everything that is you. Be it thought. Be it dream. Be it crush. It will never be so. I will never hold your hand. I will never taste your salty tears. I will never touch your tender lips. You may as well be a ghost. A ghost in my head. Floating. You hold yourself ten feet tall. A height that I cannot reach. You are miles away. I get that. Miles can be broken. I need you. I need your questions. So direct. What do you think of that? It's bold, isn't it. Fuck yeah, it is! What do you think of that? You won't respond, you won't replay the memories that I have made we have shared. It is funny. Like that. Not in a belly laugh sort of way. And we don't have much. Time. I go on. You go on. I dream of hedgehogs. You dream of him. The him is not me. My hedgehog is not you. Or is it? I go to this place. In this place. In the end, it always is you. You are in my place. Because I want you there. I don't know if you want to be there. You laugh, it's funny. The way I slowly draw the knife. The way they would teach you in culinary school. I didn't go there. Or did I. It's not a belly laugh funny moment. Deeper. River of blood. Thick. Crimson. Pain. Lust. I sit here in a pool of tears. I never told you how I felt. I could not tell you. I just swallowed it up. That you would never love me. I laugh. Not the belly laugh. The I'll be OK laugh. And I am. I think. I'm not. Because I'll never touch your tender lips and never taste your salty tears. Tonight, I think of you, ten feet away from my heaven.

26 months

This morning I was sitting at the Orange County airport in sunny California when the clouds rolled in. They were the not so good clouds. They were the clouds of a friend that fought, and fought hard. They were the clouds of a Dad that loved his children. They were the clouds of a racer that didn't have to win to enjoy his fellow racers. They were the clouds of a friend who has moved to the next chapter. They were the clouds of a friend that was fighting pancreatic cancer. They were the clouds of a battle. They were the clouds of strength. They were clouds of persistence. They were clouds of... Brian. It was all for you brother! That crazy day in Mobile, Alabama. And all of the times we both tried to connect in Chicago, yet it never happened. You are loved and will be missed, never forgotten. You are a legend! All my love, rest in peace.

Never never never!

So I'm stuck in Buffalo, NY. It's just a slight annoyance with travel, I don't get upset, I don't go off at the gate agents, I don't curse the airline. I do hate sleeping in airports, though, so sometimes travel becomes "I don't get there when I want to." Every once in awhile, travel delays lead to great stories. Even more rare, travel delays let you overhear a conversation that makes you go "what the eff!" I'm back at the hotel, what better to do but sit at the bar, have a drink, eat some food and get a little but of work done so that I don't get behind. There is always a distraction. The dude next to me showed up after I had been planted in my seat for roughly 30 minutes. Normal. He sat down, was presented a menu and picked up his phone. The conversation went like this... "Hello honey. I just finished checking into the hotel and now I'm at the hotel restaurant. I have the menu and everything looks pretty good." "It's raining again." "OK, I'm going to order, I love you." Then [my favorite Buffalo] bartender comes up to him and takes his order. He watches the hockey game on TV. He picks up his phone. "Hi, honey." "Yes, I ordered." "I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Oh, and a Sam Adams." "Yes, they had other things like burgers with avocado and some chicken dishes, but a bacon burger sounded good." "OK, I love you." He continues to watch the hockey game. His food arrives. Next phone call. "Hello honey. I got my burger, it looks good. I love you, too." He hangs up, watches the game while eating. Another phone call. "Hi honey, the burger is really good. I put a little extra ketchup on it. The fries were salty enough, but I did put a tad bit of pepper on them." "I love you." He hangs up. He dials again. "I have finished my dinner honey, but I still have a bit of Sam Adams left." "I'll probably just sip on it and watch a little more of the game. I love you." Hangs up. Dials again. "The bill wasn't too bad, I charged it to my room. I love you." "Yes, I am going to my room now." "I'll call you when I get there. I love you." He finally left. And I just have to wonder. If ever (never, never, never) were I to be in a situation where there was that much micro management in a relationship, I think I would... It would be ugly. Really ugly. And there would be a lot of cleanup from my head splattering all over the living room floor. Here's to another Gin and Tonic!