I moved over the weekend, after spending over two years in my old residence. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but for whatever reason I’ve moved quite a bit. One friend remarked, “Didn’t you just move?” I’ll admit – some things never made it out of the boxes from my last move. They’ve found a new home through Goodwill.
Just like with any big project, the move itself consumed my social life for the last month – and then on the day of the move, everything was finished in less than 5 hours. At the beginning I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but once it was over I couldn’t believe how quickly it had passed.
Why did I move? I wanted more space, and a bit more privacy. In the last couple of months I’ve caught the music bug again and have been spending time scheming and making music with a friend. These are things not easily done in an apartment. (Also, my upstairs neighbor had a dog with irregular sleeping hours. I would wake up at 2 am and hear its nails gingerly clicking around on the hardwood floors above my head.)
As everything was cleared out of my place I took one last look around and was amazed with how many great and not-so-great memories I could recall from the last two years. Perhaps my best memories came while following the Cardinals 2011 World Series run – a postseason that made me reconsider how important sports are in today’s world.
How long will I stay in my new neighborhood? It’s only been a few days, but I definitely like the change. Things aren’t quite as walkable as by my old place, but I’m near a few things that drew my interest when I looked at ELEVEN prospective houses
There’s something really cleansing about moving. Yes, it’s stressful but I welcome the opportunity to make new, positive memories and establish a home that’ll be the new constant in my life.
I can’t describe the joy I felt today when I saw that Drum Corps International named 2005 Southwind the DCI Spotlight show of the week.
Over the last few years I’ve made lots of fantastic friends that didn’t know me when I was a lot more musically active, but here’s an explanation of what you’re seeing below:
It’s impossible to sum up the best years of your life in less than 1000 words, but here I go: I spent a couple of summers of my life (2003 & 2005) touring as a member of a drum and bugle corps. What’s a drum and bugle corps? Imagine a marching band minus woodwinds, that performs at a level much higher than 97% of any other marching band in the world. That’s drum corps.
The season usually begins around Thanksgiving weekend, with ‘audition camps’. In 2005, I used that weekend to venture to George Rogers Clark High School in Lexington, Kentucky to audition for Southwind. I only knew one person there – a staff member from my summer tour in 2003 – but I always had an appreciation for them. They weren’t the highest scoring drum corps, but their shows were always entertaining. Our 2005 show write-up on this site describes the show better than I’ll ever be able to. It was as if progressive rock had a child with classical music. You’ll never see a repertoire that long ever again.
Rehearsal camps are held one weekend a month during the winter and spring, so once every four weeks I’d pile in my car on a Friday afternoon and make the six-hour trek to Lexington (Winchester, but close enough) by myself. We’d then rehearse until midnight on Friday nights, and wake up at 7 on Saturday morning. Saturdays were our long, grueling day. We’d practice until midnight again – with breaks for meals, and do it all over again on Sunday (finishing up around 3 pm). Camps aren’t what I’d call fun, but they’re necessary. If you put in hard work during the winter, it’ll pay off ten-fold during the summer. I always came home on Sunday night feeling like I had been beat down.
In early-to-mid May brings what we called “everydays”. Everydays are quite possibly the least pleasant thing that I’ve ever done in my life. We rehearsed for around 14 hours a day for three weeks straight. The first two weeks were in London, Kentucky, deep in the heart of the Bible Belt. I didn’t receive cell phone service, so I was practically cut off from my support group of friends and family. (I actually liked the fact that every summer I went three months without using a computer. Unplugging was really pleasant. Cell phones didn’t really offer much in terms of mobile data, either. I was truly gone.) Basically in everydays you have the hardest rehearsals of the summer, learning all 11 minutes of your show. At times you want nothing more than to quit, but you draw strength from 134 of your surrounding Brothers and Sisters and simply push on.
From there, you go on tour, spending the next couple of months touring the country on charter buses, competing in contests across the country. You sleep on the bus and on gym floors, practice during the day, and compete at night. Life’s simplicity at its best. It was a lot of hard work, but it all paid off when you put on the uniform to perform. I’ve never felt so alive.
In all, I traveled around 17,000 miles for 2005 Southwind. Too bad there aren’t any ‘frequent driver/rider miles’.
The feeling I had to perform the above show in front of a crowd is indescribable. My favorite show that summer came in Charlotte, North Carolina, in front of what is always known as an enthusiastic, appreciative crowd. We got multiple standing ovations during the show (only time that happened in my nearly 70 ‘shows’, very rare) and I remember scanning the crowd to see a man running up and down the aisle, high-fiving random strangers. Yes, it was simply That Cool. We weren’t the most talented corps, but we were damn entertaining.
Our final show came in Semifinals at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Deep down, I knew that it was my last summer and last performance even though I had a couple years of eligibility left. I had a great job waiting on me in 2006, and that job has propelled me to where I am today. It was heartbreaking, but I made the right decision in the end.
As we stood ‘on the starting line’ I looked into the stands at the crow and started to cry and could. not. stop. This was it. Marching in a Division 1 drum corps was my dream since I was a child, and here I was. I had dreamed about that very moment for years. I had a solid show – not my best – but when it was over, I knew that I had done just about everything I could. My body was hurting. I needed rest. When we left the stadium and sang our corps song together for the last time, I was inconsolable. It was over. My dream had ended, and it was time to get back to the Real World. (As a side note, ESPN cameras captured that moment…I have been thankful that it was left on the cutting room floor. I was an ugly, ugly crier that day)
I came home in fantastic shape. Sadly time has changed that a bit, but it’ll be back. No worries.
Simply put, it was the best summer of my life with a unique family environment that I’ll never have again. The great news is that it changed me forever, and I gained traits that still benefit me in my adult life to this very day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about being on the road again, with my only concern being our show. With many adult responsibilities these days, it’s tough to imagine.
Drum corps was my passion for a few years. Let’s chat more about it sometime?
As a side note, I wrote about my summer of 2003 here – if you’d like to see more about my time on the road.
I’ve almost always been an early adopter of technology. My family had a bag phone in 1993. The large antenna bobbed obnoxiously on top of my mom’s Ford Escort. The plan was for 25 minutes of talk time a month for some negligible amount (less than $15). Reception on the thing was beyond awful, and you could barely hear who you were talking to.
Fast forward ten years to spring 2003. I was graduating high school, so my parents got me a cell phone for a couple of reasons: 1) I was going away for the summer to march drum corps, where I would spend three months on the road traveling to less-than-favorable towns 2) I was going to college right after I got home from tour.
Before cell phones, when my friends and I would hang out on the weekend, if you didn’t have predetermined plans (meet at Billy’s at 7:30 – set up over instant messenger) we would have to drive from one friend’s house to another, in search of their cars. If they were out already, good luck finding them. They’d usually be at one of several places: Best Buy, Steak ‘n Shake, or Hesse Park (in my opinion, the best makeout spot in town. Cops quickly caught on and ‘patrolled’ the area). Things have changed drastically since I left, but at the time, my hometown was best described as a ‘sleepy town’.
When I finally got my phone weeks before graduation, everything changed. I could call my friends to see where they were, but I didn’t know how to use my voicemail. I remember calling my phone from a landline, and being absolutely mindblown when my phone began to ring. Looking back at that moment, there is no defense for my thought process – I should have read the manual. (In my defense, there was no button that magically called voicemail. I think it was *76 – how was I supposed to know?)
My freshman year of college was spent at Illinois State University, on a near-full ride for Psychology. It was a fun year. My dorm floor was an all-male floor, connected by a common area to a floor of all-females. My time on that side of the floor was limited, because I was in the first serious relationship of my life and I believed that if I spent a significant amount of time with any other girl, I was cheating. I was 18 years old.
The guys on my floor were fantastic. We hung out in the common area, worked out together, ate together, and met up once a week to watch Playmakers (which was as close to a soap opera for men that you’ll ever find). We were an extremely tight-knit group of guys.
However, over the summer after my freshman year, I decided that I needed to transfer. My summer job was at the local grocery store, which was miserable. I pushed carts inside in 100 degree heat, I cleaned bathrooms, and bagged groceries – often getting yelled at because I ‘messed up someone’s bag.’ I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong…why were people trying to get me fired?
The woman working the deli pulled me aside one day.
“You’re studying psych, right?”
“Yes ma’am. Why do you ask?”
“I did too. Look at where I am 30 years later.”
That conversation and a few other factors had me thinking about transferring. I loved to write, so why not study journalism? ISU didn’t have a program, so I applied to a few schools: University of Miami, University of Central Florida, and Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. My heart was set on Florida, but some things happened that kept me in town. SIUC it was.
My years at SIU were a roller coaster of emotion. Early in my time there I was struck by a bout of serious depression, which caused me to lose 40 pounds off of my then-130 pound frame (relax. I run 150 these days). I took care of business while somehow staying in school with a 3.5 GPA. It was a good lesson in listening to my body and addressing my mental health. We’ll talk about that in another post, though.
When I was engaged, I had good times at SIU. I lived right off of Campus Lake, which became quite therapeutic for me. I worked with the band at the local high school, which was fantastic. A turning point came the night that Facebook was opened up to our school – they had rolled out availability to a few schools at a time. The night it became available, campus changed. People were huddled over their computers the rest of the night, poking cute girls, and finding an adequate picture to use as their profile picture.
There was a small scandal within my dorm due to the fact that Facebook didn’t allow you to upload photo albums – you couldn’t see how someone truly looked (you weren’t able to blow up profile pics either. You were stuck with a 200×200 box). A girl in my dorm added hundreds of guys, promising them a hookup, they would show up and see that she looked nothing like her profile picture. She was one of the first true masters of the “MySpace angle”. There was actually a group on Facebook that started called ” ___ ____ lied to me”, and it had several hundred people. I never was able to meet her, but my roommates ran into her at a party months later and told me that she turned out to be a nice girl.
Once Facebook got a little more popular, it overtook people’s lives. Long story short, I did not get along with my first roommate. I caught him going through my things several times and had the video evidence to prove it. I confronted him with it, and he denied everything. When I left later that night, I came home to several nasty messages from the girl who lived next door, telling me that I needed to leave Chris alone (along with a lot of other racist things that I won’t share). I kept my head down and backed away from the confrontation, and a few weeks later she was seriously injured after she was hit by a car while crossing the street. I saw her months later while she was struggling to wheel herself into my dorm. We never spoke again, but the look I gave her at that moment said it all. There’s no excuse for racism these days.
I can’t help but think that every time there’s an progression in technology, there is an equal and opposite regression in society. It sometimes feels as if we’ve forgotten the little things that make it great to be alive.
When you’re at a concert, look around. You’re surrounded by people holding up their phones to record what will most certainly be an awful video.
At the grocery store when we’re waiting in line, we pull out our cell phone instead of reading the trashy tabloids that await you above the conveyor belt. Instead of talking to the people around us, we bury our faces in our phone, seemingly afraid to speak to a stranger.
On the bus? Better pull out my cell phone. Nevermind the fact that bus windows are the ultimate philosophical lesson.
Last fall I did happy hour with a friend who got up to use the restroom. We were outside and there was plenty of scenery to look at, but I chose to fill the time by pulling out my phone. We’ve forgotten what to do with small chunks of time.
Not too long ago, I went on a few dates with a girl who despised cell phones. We met at a local restaurant that had swings on the bar. The second thing she asked was that we leave our phones in our pockets for the next few hours. We had a fantastic conversation which led to a few more great dates. In the end it didn’t work out, but the point was made. Nothing bothers me more than someone who is more engaged in their phone than you. It makes me feel like ‘Samsung Galaxy 1, Jarel 0′.
I recently read something about how it’s becoming more depressing for people to log onto Facebook, because they see all of the highlights from someone’s life. This makes them feel like their life is inadequate, because they see the whole picture of their life – not just the highlights. I always laughed when people told me that my old job was amazing. I worked with great people and did really fun things, but that was what I was going to share on Facebook. I wasn’t going to write, “had argument with coworker. Cooling off in my office”. Initially, I posted a lot of serious, deep thoughts on Facebook but as time changed I lightened up. Now I use it as a testing ground for jokes and a place to post my *ahem…less than serious thoughts.
Now whenever I feel a vibration in my pocket, I reach for my phone. It’s to the point that I receive phantom texts. I live by myself and often need a few minutes of ‘interaction’ a night, so I’ll pick up my phone and text someone. I should add that I keep a pretty hectic schedule outside of work by volunteering with being on the board of three nonprofits, so I don’t know what to do with myself when I have downtime. I text a lot. I read a lot of books. I find topics that I’m interested in and research them endlessly.
Calling used to be the preferred way of contact, but these days people think something is seriously wrong if you pick up the phone. The more time we spend avoiding vocalizing our words, the tougher it is when we actually have to use them.
Lately I’ve just felt that social media provides very little to my life. Every time I get online and see people whining about first world problems (myself included), I feel like I need to take a step away. To take a step away and go back to simpler times…where my mind was clearer, and life seemed a bit slower.
One can dream, right?
…a year makes.
Okay, so I missed posting this on the actual date, but here I am one year ago, talking about a concert I was was putting on at my old employer. I can’t help but looking back at this and thinking a few things:
-We were supposed to stand to do the interview, but that was the peak of an awful shingles outbreak that I had. Migraine that made me grind my teeth involuntarily every 4-5 seconds, feeling like I was going to pass out at any moment, etc. I was on so much medication that I’m amazed I was able to even talk
-My shingles outbreak was on my chest and back. I like to wear fitted clothes. See the problem here? It took me over an hour to get dressed. I never want to feel agony like that ever again.
-I never, never, never am that long-winded. Again, I was gone…
-The strangest part was going home and laying down on my couch in an even-larger haze, watching myself.
However, the best part of watching that video is how clueless I was that my life was about to change so much over the next month. Sometimes, all you can do is take a step back and acknowledge that life will continuously be a work in progress…but enjoy the progress that has been made. Here’s to continuing to become a better person.
I’m not big on resolutions, but one thing I love about the end of the year is how for once – everyone is so optimistic as the seconds tick away before midnight. Of course, all of this optimism quickly disappears when people realize that yes, it does take a lot of work to achieve your resolution (and your body fat won’t magically decrease while you sit on the couch and eat Entenmann’s snacks).
The one thing that I did vow to do this year is to take a moment every day to reflect on why I’m thankful at the moment. I don’t remember where I originally read this idea, but each day I’m making a note of the highlights of my day and stashing it in a shoebox. Some days my highlight might be as simple as “ate a really juicy orange” or “slept on the usually-unoccupied other side of my bed”, but my goal is to have something to document every day. At the end of each month, I’ll have 30 or 31 uplifting cards to read – and I am actively forced to think about how to maximize each day on the fly, instead of looking back at wasted days.
Here’s my first card for 2013 (I’ve been writing a card every day, just decided to share this one). How do you aim to make your 2013 as good as it can be?
PS: I have tried to rotate this thumbnail for 25 minutes to no avail. Click on it and it rotates properly, I promise. My next post up will be how to build an office wardrobe from scratch for less than $1000. It’s more of a challenge than you think!
Before we get started, a few things about me: It’s no secret to those close to me that I think about men’s fashion a lot. I have a lot of clothes – we’ll just say…multiple closets worth, but I assure you that a vast majority of what I own was bought on sale or at a thrift store. I spent a couple of years building the foundation of my wardrobe (that’ll be another post coming soon), but I still add pieces here and there as I see things come across the sites that I check. I don’t claim to be a fashion expert, but I did judge an…alternative fashion show for four years, and put in countless hours of reading men’s fashion blogs and studying combinations on my color wheel. That’s my fashion background – pretty limited, but I know what I like. For months, I’ve wanted to post short entries about men’s fashion issues, so here’s the first one:
I’m 27. I own one pair of what people would call “khakis” – but in actuality, they are “chinos”. Here’s the problem that I, and many other males run into: you can’t wear them without looking like a grandpa. How do you wear them?
Before we get into it, here is a brief etymology lesson on the word “chino” (thanks, Wikipedia): The term “chino” comes from the American Spanish language word “chino” which translated literally means toasted. This reflects the color of the fabric which is a brown similar to toasted bread. As well as this, the cloth itself was originally manufactured in China, and some believe this name is a corruption of its country of origin.
For me, there are three different keys to effectively wearing chinos:
1) Wear a different color chino
There’s nothing wrong with exploring the color spectrum. Why not give a different color a shot? (Whatever you do, avoid stone colored chinos.)
I recently bought a pair of red chinos. While they might be a little too adventurous for a few people, I absolutely love them. The fit is fantastic, and I have little issue matching them with quite a few different pieces in my wardrobe.
2) Pay attention to fit
Honestly, 75% of ‘good’ men’s fashion involves wearing clothes that properly fit. We’re past the 90’s trend of wearing everything baggy. JNCO jeans aren’t cool anymore. Typically, most people wear khakis that give themselves what’s best described as ‘mom butt’. (Whenever I’ve used this term around people, they instantly understand what I’m talking about. I don’t think I need to explain what it is)
There are a few different brands that I would suggest.
Dockers Alpha $59
J.Crew Factory $75
3) Pair it with a more exciting shirt
Unless you’re pairing it with a vibrant tie, ditch the white shirt. Try a colorful shirt – perhaps something from the Express 1MX line?
If you’re looking for a fun summer outfit, try pairing chinos with a gingham shirt (roll up the sleeves) and a pair of Sperry’s.
Last Monday afternoon, as Hurricane Sandy prepared to barrel down on the East Coast, another storm was brewing via social media. A picture of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier started circulating on Facebook and Twitter, supposedly taken hours before.
Instantly, I questioned the authenticity of the photo. The hurricane had not hit yet, but the picture showed pouring rain. A quick check of the local weather verified my thought – all day, there had only been a light mist. The next question: where did the picture come from? A reverse image search revealed the original source, a picture taken back in September.
The strange response came when I posted a correction on Facebook. I received a few angry private messages, calling me unpatriotic, saying I did not support the troops, etc. Those were responded to politely (because come on, arguing on the internet feels like we took a time machine back to 2000), even though I made it very clear in my original post that it was a great picture, just in need of an accurate caption.
Messages calling me unpatriotic reeked of McCarthyism. If you don’t know what McCarthyism is, read the hyperlinked page for greater detail, but here is the gist: in the early 1950s Senator Joseph McCarthy accused several Americans of being Russian spies, causing what was described as the “Red Scare”. I feel that today, the new McCarthyism is throwing around the word “unpatriotic”.
The picture itself could have been a great educational moment: the picture could’ve been reposted with a caption “Did you know that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7, no matter the conditions? Despite Hurricane Sandy’s expected arrival, the Honor Guard will…” so on.
What is most disturbing to me is how few people were bothered by the inaccuracy, which speaks to the nature of the internet these days. One person posts an inaccuracy, another reposts it, a third picks it up…and within minutes, something that’s false becomes a fact. Several news organizations, including NPR and the Washington Post, posted the picture with incorrect information. Many organizations posted corrections, but hours had passed. In addition, several other fake pictures were reposted, the worst being a shot taken from posters for The Day After Tomorrow.
It’s the same way we don’t bother to fact check before passing around email forwards from your mom’s cousin’s friend that lives down the street. Suddenly we think that (politician) is a (bad thing that goes against our views). We don’t stop to analyze the truth, we let others tell us what the truth is and run with it.
In my journalist days – I had to have two retractions printed on my stories, and they still bother me to this day. I strived to be accurate, and I failed. Why can’t we take a minute or two to attempt to fact check before we simply accept something as the truth?
I’m awake before 5 am. An hour before my alarm is set to go off, an hour before I’m supposed to go to the gym. A garbage truck carrying away last week’s trash woke me up about fifteen minutes ago, and I could not fall back to sleep.
Outside of thinking, ‘I feel pretty great for it being this early’ (really, you should learn about sleep cycles and how to utilize them), one thought was stuck in my head: IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO END THIS WAY.
Up three games to one in the NLCS. A chance to book a return trip to the World Series, at home, on a Friday night. How perfect. Nobody could’ve scripted a better ending.
The bottom line is, the Cardinals gave this away. At this point, I’d usually launch into some sort of detailed numerical analysis, but that doesn’t matter. They lost. Needing to win one game out of three, they were outscored 20-1 over the course of the final 27 innings of the series. At that rate, they don’t even deserve to go to the World Series. Here are a few more ugly numbers:
6 errors in the series, all coming in losses
10 unearned runs allowed, an NLCS record
.217 team batting average
I could go on, but I won’t.
Not just in things that can be measured numerically, I believe in regression to the mean. The Cardinals ARE who we thought they were – an average defensive team that had been playing above their ability. They finished the regular season 12th of 17 teams in defense, committing 107 errors, above the league average of 104. The bottom line is that eventually, everything balances itself out.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way, but that is the beautiful thing about sports – there is no script, and the unexpected always happens. Best of luck to the Giants, who played their best when their backs were to the wall. Just like a team that we’re beyond familiar with from last season, right?
The thing about life that continues to hurt me – and this goes far past sports, obviously – is that everything has an ending sometime. Last season’s postseason run was once-in-a-lifetime. When it ended and I sat at my desk in a painful return to reality the next Monday morning, I was greeted by the news that Tony La Russa retired. It jolted me from the child-like jubilation of the victory and reminded me that yes, it is a game but it is also a business. He was ready for the next stage in his life. It’s just like going to a great party…you don’t want to go, but you know that if you stay any longer, it won’t be the same.
I’ve never been one to let my emotions get out of hand, but something just…hurts about this one. Losing sucks, but it is a feeling that everyone should understand. I fell asleep last night to footage of the 2011 World Series, something that’ll never be taken away from me. The 2012 season had more frustrations than not, but I am incredibly thankful for the great experiences that I was able to share with amazing people.
With that, my actual alarm just sounded so it’s off to the gym. I hear endorphins are a great anti-depressant.
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do, I stare out the window and wait for spring” -Rogers Hornsby
I’ve done this before after a Rams game, but I’ll do it again for the Cardinals. 15 minutes to share my thoughts. After that, I’ll hit submit. Just play along with me – I miss the rush of being on deadline.
This season, I just haven’t been that interested in Cardinals baseball. Last season is well-documented so I won’t detail everything that happened, but here are the highlights:
-Cardinals make up a 10 game deficit over the last month
-The last day of the regular season is the most exciting in baseball history
-The Cardinals win an amazing Game 5 of the NLDS, somehow beating the Phillies 1-0
-They move on and knockoff St. Louis’ favorite Brewer, Nyjer Norgan
-Game 6. David Freese.
The feeling I had running through the streets of St. Louis after they won the World Series – I know I’ll never feel that happy about sports ever again. It was as improbable of a 60-day stretch of baseball that you will ever see, so what could happen in 2012 that could keep my attention?
Tonight’s game was exactly what Bud Selig envisioned when he changed MLB’s postseason format to a one game, made-for-tv sporting drama.
Most people are making replacement NFL refs jokes, so I’ll stay away from that. I’ll just say that both teams suffered from bad calls. The Braves, who had the best defense in the National League during the regular season, shot themselves in the foot with three errors. Chipper Jones’s error was most critical (in his final game, how awful).
The play everyone will look back on is the disputed infield fly call. In my opinion, it was closer than people want to believe, but it was the wrong call. The rule reads this way:
Any fair fly ball that could have been caught by an infielder with ordinary effort is covered by the rule, regardless of where the ball is caught. The ball need not be caught by an infielder, nor must it be caught in the infield. For example, if an infielder retreats to the outfield in an effort to catch a fly ball with ordinary effort, the infield fly rule is invoked, even if an outfielder ultimately caught the ball, and even if no infielder attempted to make a play on the ball. Similarly, a fly ball within the infield that could have been caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, but is caught by an outfielder, would also be covered by the rule.
Ordinary effort given all circumstances must exist for the infield fly rule to be invoked. Thus, weather, wind, lighting, positioning of the defense, and the abilities of the players involved in the play must be taken into account. An infield fly in a major league game, thus, might not be so in a junior high school game.
An infield fly is a judgment call and may be declared by any umpire on the field. It may not be appealed or overturned by any other umpire.
There are a couple of key words in there: “ordinary effort”, “…nor must it be caught in the infield.”
Due to how deep Matt Holliday was playing, it would not have taken ordinary effort for Kozma to make the catch. Yes, he should’ve caught it, but it would’ve been a tough play. Instant reaction from Braves fans online also criticized the infield fly rule being invoked on a ball hit to mid-left field. Distance does not matter.
Even after all of that drama, the Cardinals left the door wide open for the Braves twice, but McCann left the bases loaded and Dan Uggla grounded out to end the game and deny Chipper Jones of a storybook ending to his career.
For the second season in a row, the Cardinals tucked the Braves into bed for a long offseason slumber. It’s hard to imagine they’ll replicate the excitement of last postseason, but one thing is for sure – always expect the unexpected when the Cardinals are in the playoffs.
Sometimes, I’ll write simply because I feel like writing – this is definitely one of those times. I’ve set a timer for fifteen minutes, and when the timer is up, I’ll hit submit. I did a similar writing exercise for an entire year with a personal journal. You’d be surprised at how much you can write in such a ‘short’ period of time.
I know I’ve said it several times, but 2012 has been such a bizarre year. The latest theme is ‘a fresh start’. There are very few times that you can get a clean slate; starting a job with a new employer is one of those times. When I made the decision to leave journalism, it was an easy choice. There were layoffs across the entire industry, and everything was amazingly unstable. Far too many of my friends around the country got laid off from their various newspapers.
On the other hand, this decision wasn’t easy. I’ve spent the last six months learning new skills as the PR guy for my organization. It’s gotten me countless moments on radio and television, several sleepless nights worrying about whether my guest would show up on time, and a lot of really fun random visits – a recent session with the Discovery Channel comes to mind. People feel so emotional about their jobs because it really is the one true constant that many of us have. Over the past four years with my employer, so many things have changed in my personal life…people have passed away, relationships have come and gone, and I’ve survived a pretty horrific accident. The single thing that’s stayed the same? Through all of that, no matter what’s gone on with myself, I always knew exactly what to expect the next day at work.
The unknown can be pretty frightening at times, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a few butterflies. All I can do is embrace that energy and dive in to a new world…full of new people and endless possibilities. That’s beyond exciting.