Quick Thoughts on Soccer

Pre game at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento - 2/28/15

Pre game at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento – 2/28/15

My sleepy town of Sacramento is making its biggest push to wake up and be relevant in the decades since I’ve been here. Of course by “relevant”, I guess what I mean is that it’s building a lot of trendy overpriced places for hipsters to eat and drink.

But the thing that is really appealing to me is the passionate pursuit to land a professional sports franchise that isn’t the Raiders. The Sacramento Republic FC is now in its second season, following an inaugural championship campaign that left no doubt of our city’s ability to support a pro club. And while everything thus far has been all fine and good, we all know the ultimate goal is to become a Major League Soccer city. Anything less would be a travesty.

For anyone who invested themselves in the Sacramento Kings near-championship run in 2002 only to see the team fall devastatingly short, you could feel the collective sucker punch that had been levied against the town. To finally be that close to something incredible only to have it snatched away was a pain that, in some respects, the city has yet to recover from.

To see such amazing support for the Republic and the building momentum towards an MLS decision in the coming months feels like that same championship run in 2002. You can just feel the energy of the fan base and much of the city coming together in support of something amazing. To fall short of the dream would be heartbreaking.

This is a soccer town! Anyone who saw the Sacramento Knights play in the 90’s knows this – a professional-level team that broke its own league attendance records season after season until finally getting Maloofed. Anyone who has a kid playing youth soccer on one of the abundant, yet always crowded, soccer fields in our area during the soccer season knows this. And if you have been lucky enough to be in attendance of any of the Republic games – all of which have been sold out – you absolutely know this.

MLS is the goal, and no league with a genuine interest in expanding the popularity of this sport in our country, could possibly deny Sacramento of this opportunity. This city was truly Built for MLS, and this is our moment! We will not come up short this time. We can’t. We’re indomitable!

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A Blog About Work

I hate blogs about work. I really can’t stand any sort of social platform on which people bang out negative comments about the place and/or people which keep them employed. Are you stupid or what?

That said, here are a couple of things about work:

Open Door Policy
My god. This has got to be the craziest management concept to ever be considered. I have one of these “policies”. It’s meant to make me approachable and open to feedback and honest communication. What nobody tells you before you establish this open-door approach is that people will use this door…constantly.

Got a Minute?
That’s how it begins. The open door has given way to an impromptu meeting. If you’ve ever been suckered into a “drive-by” conversation that’s started with this question, you’ve no doubt found yourself looking for an open window to jump out of after about 15 precious minutes of lost productivity. After 30 minutes, your body has entered advanced stages of decomposition.

Reply All
Jesus. Reply all. REPLY ALL!! Such a display of mass social retardation that it has caused me to blaspheme for a second time in a relatively short blog! OMGWTFBBQ?!?!?!111

HUMP DAY!!
humpdayGEICO and this stupid camel are responsible for THE most obnoxious thing to ever hit offices on a Wednesday. I can appreciate the short run the commercials had, but the catch phrase has taken deep root into the minds of too many colleagues who have decided that repeated imitation is appreciated by everyone, regardless of the day. Hey, Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike……it is not.

Can you do me a favor?
Nope.

Brochures/Flyers/Handouts/Posters/Etc.
This may not apply to all of you, but I’m a marketing guy. I am ultimately responsible for the public-facing brand of my organization. Everyday somebody comes to me with a piece of garbage “designed” in Word with liberal use of the WordArt function, incorrect logos, and ridiculous attempts at grammar. I would say that I appreciate your effort, but I don’t. Not even a little. None of these will be used. I would sooner have a mime represent my brand. A MIME!

So that ought to do it for my existing work gripes. It’s always dicey putting these out there, but I figure that most of my colleagues who may read this can relate and won’t hold it against me. If they do, well, I guess I should’ve known better. The lessons are out there!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Cheers!

A Brief Tale of Pants

I’m going to talk about pants here. Specifically, I’m going to talk about how pants are stupid. For all you people out there who are gonna get all uppity and say “ewww, TMI…” blah, blah, blah, get over yourselves. You hate pants, too. You are fooling no one.

Let me further preface this by saying that the last thing myself or society wants is everyone strutting around pantless. Nobody needs that freak show. That said…

Pants suck. Societal norms tell us that we must wear pants in order to not offend or make uncomfortable our friends and colleagues. To satisfy this oppressive doctrine, we jam our lower halves into inflexible, unbreathable fabrics and lower the overall quality of our lives for hours at a time.

But the second you get home, there’s nothing quite like breaking free of those shackles which have held you captive for far too long! “Freedom at last!” you cry, as you abandon those bastards in your driveway and fly into the comforting embrace of your couch*. At the end of the work day, or volunteer time at the kid’s school, liberation has finally come. And it’s glorious!

This is about the time where some of you people are thinking “oh, how gross, he’s one of those ‘no pants’ people, eww.” Cut the crap. I’ve seen the way women insist on shoehorning themselves into pants they ultimately have to peel off. And these idiot dudes who have decided it’s worth it to cram into skinny jeans? As I see it, unless they’ve had some major operation, there’s no way that’s an ideal look for fashion OR for comfort.

I’ve often complained about the guys that sag their pants and waddle around leaving an ass trail everywhere they go. But after further thought on the matter, they’re simply doing to bare minimum to satisfy our pants-wearing society. Once they get home they have less work to do than anyone else to get into a state of comfort, and for that I salute them.

There are a lot of problems in the world. Lots of people disagreeing, people don’t get along. There are wars and famine. We’ve obviously lost our minds if this society has made the Kardashian name famous and Miley Cyrus is still a thing. But as we wallow in our pants-wearing depressive state, think about this for a moment. Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus are beyond obnoxious, but they both enjoy immense wealth, “success” and freedoms to do whatever it is they want to do.

Did they earn this freedom by wearing pants? Case closed.

#mindblown

*For the record, there is no bare assery going on. Traditional pants are always replaced by basketball shorts or fleece in the common areas, which is acceptable.

Oh, Turkey Leg, How do I Love Thee…

~The following post was written in my original blog back in 2009. Yes, this is lazy. And I realize it’s a little early in the new blog to be recycling old blogs, but it’s Friday night and you all are out having lives. None of you will read this. For those who long for new stuff, I’ll be back with original content over the weekend~

The Crew went out to Disneyland on Monday in celebration of the Lightning’s wedding, churros, and inflated theme park retail prices. All good things, indeed. But I think the most memorable thing at the House of Mouse this time around was delicious turkey. Never before had I experienced such a marvel of meat on bone (pastrami and bacon aren’t eaten off the bone, so my love of those meats is undeterred). But I digress….

Helloooo, Turkey leg....

Helloooo, Turkey leg….

Chet is impressed, as he should be...

Chet is impressed, as he should be…

Sexiest thing I've ever seen.

Sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Sheriff, turn your hungry eyes away from me!

Sheriff, turn your hungry eyes away from me!

AWMNOMNOMNOM!!!

AWMNOMNOMNOM!!!

Things I’ve Learned Today

Between finally moving out of my parent’s house in my early 20’s to getting myself married in my early 30’s, I lived a number of years where I was the sole person responsible for simply keeping myself alive. I had to feed myself, maintain the hygiene of both myself and my environment the best that I could, and I had to keep a roof over my head. All of these things I did rather well. I was resourceful and actually quite MacGyveresque when it came to figuring my way around life’s obstacles.

Then I got married.

I’m not sure if it was immediate or a more gradual decline, but I realize that I have regressed to an almost childlike state of dependence on the wife. Never is this more clear to me than when she skips town for a couple of days – as she has done to me this week – leaving me to fend for myself.

In the 36ish hours she has been gone so far, I have realized the following:

I don’t know where food comes from

When home alone, I must walk from the couch to the kitchen at least once every 10 minutes to look in the refrigerator. I’m not sure what I’m expecting to find. There are things in there…edible things…but they don’t look like anything I’m interested in eating. I think I’m hoping that the various ingredients may somehow form up into a meal of some description that may sustain me for the next few hours. When this doesn’t happen, I resort to eating Lucky Charms out of the box because I ran out of milk and can’t be bothered to go to the store. Where is the store, anyway?!!?

I can’t figure out the coffee:water ratio

Every morning after the kid heads to school, the wife and I enjoy coffee time. It’s nice and peaceful, and a chance to ease into the morning. Sometimes she makes the coffee, sometimes I make the coffee. We used to have one of those idiot-proof Keurig things where you pour any amount of water in there, insert the coffee cartridge, and out comes a cup. However, we recently returned to the more traditional coffee grounds and filter approach. The wife has taught me the perfect balance of beans to water that will make two cups of coffee. But now that I am by myself, I don’t know what the hell to do! One would think you just cut the ingredients in half…but it doesn’t work!! I drank two cups of coffee this morning just to avoid wasting it and spent the morning jacked up on caffeine! What’s worse – I never even drank coffee before the wife came along. Now I’m hooked and completely screwed!

I need more lap space

We’ve got three dogs. THREE! Nobody needs three dogs. We try to justify it by telling ourselves that they’re just small dogs, so it’s not a big deal. And yes, together they weigh less than 20 pounds, so there’s nothing big about them at all. However, all three of them are lap dogs. You can’t sit down without a dog immediately climbing up on you. This is less of a problem when you’ve got one human lap in the house for every dog. But now that I’m a solo human, there is an endless dog parade marching across my lap and using my crotch as a trampoline!

I have zero focus

I have a gnat-like attention span. At one point last night I had the TV on, the computer up, and a different cell phone in each hand…but I wasn’t looking at any of them because I was busy watching one of the dogs do something funny. Having the wife and kid around tends to give me something to focus on. Without them, my brain rattles around like a pinball machine. Not that you need proof, but that last sentence took me 10 minutes to finish because I decided I wanted to eat a piece of candy, pay a bill, then arrange pencils in a drawer. Yes, pencils in a drawer.

So there it is. After years of looking forward to and finally achieving some independence in my life, I find myself hopelessly dependent. But it’s all good, cuz I kind of like my wife. She’s a bit of alright and she helps me keep my business together. I just hope she hurries home before I’m wearing a propeller hat and velcro shoes!

Cheers!

I Get Older, They Stay the Same Age

The look of defeat. It looks pretty much the same as victory, but the shirt is soaked with tears.

The look of defeat. It looks pretty much the same as victory, but the shirt is soaked with tears.

I’m a lucky guy. For a lot of years growing up, I was a sporting young man. Lots of running, jumping, throwing, and…uh, running. Anyhoo, I became fairly adept at playing a number of sports just well enough to compete with the scrubs at local parks. And I played all the time!

When I struck out on my own, I continually looked for opportunities to play recreational sports. From formal leagues, to playing obscene amounts of basketball with friends, and even jogging on occasion just to burn off energy, I did it all! At my peak of athleticism (and aloneness) I found myself on two indoor soccer teams, one outdoor team, a basketball team, and a softball team. Each day of the work week had some sort of game going on!

Fast forward let’s say 15 years…

I should, by all accounts, weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 pounds. Gone are the days of filling every non-working moment with some sort of activity. Long ago replaced by Netflix, couch time, and a variety of cheeses, the athletic days have calmed significantly. Every now and again I’ll peel myself off of the couch and try not to hurt myself walking to the fridge and back.

But for anywhere between 20-40 minutes every Sunday night over the last 15+ years, there’s one thing that has kept me moving a bit. Indoor soccer. Yes, for a few minutes once a week, I force myself to labor up and down a field of artificial turf trying to will a plastic orb into a net more times than the opposing team.

I shouldn’t be doing this anymore. Really. I’m basically in the same league I’ve been in since this madness began more than a decade and a half ago. Most people who were playing at this place back then have moved on. Some have started families, some have chosen recliners, some have surely moved on to the grave. For eff’s sake, it’s an 18+ league. That means some of the people I’m playing soccer against weren’t even born when I started…or they were sitting in a car seat on the sidelines! This thought only just occurred to me while writing this, so I’m trying to type through many tears and joints swollen from tonight’s game.

I think it’s a rare thing to actually get to witness yourself age. Thanks to soccer, I get to do that every week! In my youth I was a pretty fast dude. However, until Alzheimers hits (no doubt in a month or two), I will never forget being in a flat out sprint alongside a 20-something woman who couldn’t have been more than five feet tall. She destroyed me! And this happens all the time. Fortunately, I’m not on the field too long before crawling off crying for a substitution.

I really do enjoy playing, though. If there’s a reason to look forward to turning 40, it’s the hope of joining up with an over-40 league where opposing teams can appreciate a couch like I do and hold the same contempt for these ‘roided up youths and their boundless energy.

Until then, I’ll continue in my strict regimen of dodging exercise until Sunday kickoffs and falling back into a comatose state immediately following the final buzzer. Sure, I could get out more and try to stay in shape. But working out is hard! And thanks to my athletic childhood, I’m able to fool people into thinking I’m actually IN shape, so what do I have to prove? I think I’ve earned a cupcake.

I’ve forgotten my point. Ah well. Goodnight, all.

Cheers.

Said and Heard – a Terrified Husband’s Tale

I have a wife and a daughter. By conventional mathematics, that has me outnumbered 2-1 in my own home. However, when that daughter is 11 years old and that wife spends a great deal of time in the same room with said daughter when she’s not in school, the estrogen level compounds significantly. I figure the math, when adjusted for emotion, has me facing a 79-1 disadvantage on any given day. Oh sure, we’ve added two male dogs to create the appearance of balance, but it’s all an illusion. A slight of hand maneuver or “bone” thrown my way to keep me in line.

And it’s worked, too! I have been very well trained to never think too much beyond the face value of any domestic situation. I don’t really ask a lot of questions, leaving most words to be spoken, debated, and settled between the two women who own my life. Meanwhile, I try to melt into my couch and absorb whatever war documentary or sitcom appears on my TV screen.

However, there are no perfect systems. Now and again my simple brain has gotten confused and I have dared to break formation. While my words have seemed clear to me when spoken, I can’t help but feel I’m part of an epic game of telephone by the time they are received and interpreted.

The following are some samples of words I have said and, based on the response(s) I received, what must have been heard:

Said – “Hey, wife. Would you like to watch a TV show?”
Heard – “Woman, it’d be awesome if we could watch something on TV but your gawd awful taste in shows has locked up our DVR recording Real Housewives and other stupid crap. And that outfit you’re wearing looks like hell.”

Said – “Daughter, is your homework finished?”
Heard – “Kid whose name I don’t know or care about, you are responsible for the Holocaust and every other travesty that’s ever occurred on the face of this planet. Of this I am 100 percent certain and there’s nothing you will say or do to change my mind, as this is fact! You also hate turtles.”

Said – “Wife, that outfit looks pretty on you.”
Heard – “You are a cow. But not a normal cow. A cow that looks fat. Yes, that’s it. If a fat cow ate another fat cow and then threw up on itself…that’s what you look like. Exactly.”

Said – “Daughter, please turn off the light in your room.”
Heard – “&%*# you. #%$^& YOU!!!”

Said – “I love you, wife.”
Heard – “Calm down.”

I blame myself. I should know better by now, but life is a series of lessons. When the numbers aren’t in your favor, you’ve gotta pick your spots. This isn’t Sparta! Oh well, I’ll get it eventually.

Cheers!