Monday, December 27, 2010

Stronger than Volcanic Rock

Yesterday I took up the offer of an very expensive tennis club to let me join morning cardio tennis class for free. What a work out. I know I'm in need of cardio help when the warm up cashes me out. I had a blast and did pretty well I must say.

During the session we did drills and some basic games that were flashbacks to high school tennis. What's great is that the rest of the regulars know each other and may be able to out skill me most of the time. Enter my overhead smash. Nothing like seeing older people take steps back as I wind up to make them dance like a cliche western movie scene.

The end of the class had the pro paired with me and I smashed the winning point. Don't worry I'll told my parents already of my awesomeness. I was happy to end on a winner but then looked to see that I have cracked/bent my racket on both sides of the face. I'd like to think the good people at Wilson make quality rackets at all levels and that I perhaps am too strong for "volcanic formula" rackets. Where do I go now? What's stronger that a composite from magma? Maybe Wilson is making rackets out of recycled spaceships? I could certainly take Apollo rackets to new levels on the amateur scene.

I am in awe that such physical domination was displayed at 8:00am after Christmas, without my sweatband set. I and my ego now look for the next challenge to break us. Not likely knowing a "Wonder Years" marathon is out of the question.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Adults for Sledding Equality

I am entering my third consecutive year where I see myself leading a cause that many ignore. Typically every January I gather about a 6-10 friends to go sledding at a big ol' hill. Sounds pretty great? Yeah it's something amazing. See the beauty about sledding as a kid is the thrill of hitting a bump catching air but there's was a problem for my generation. We were not fat kids.

Now that I have more than a healthy body mass I can pick up speeds that rival my 4th grade fastball speeds. I'm talking some sick speeds. I hear kids wishin' they could ride like me, be heavy like me, wipe snot on their gloves like me. Fools.

The problem is that my friends and I are always the only people who can drive themselves to the hill without any kids. Who needs kids to have a good time? Huh? When did we get to a point in our lives where we said you know what would be great about this nostalgia? Throwing in some little money pit that hounds attention worse than I do. Not on my watch. When the AWOKs (Adults With Out Kids) go out we know how to steal the show.

Kids want to be us, parents want to be with us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sh!t or Get Off the Pot

One of the wisest things ever said to me was my dad once saying "if you don't make a decision, life will make it for you." Pretty impressive seeing as his advice while growing up seemed to be peppered like Leap Year. I push onward through the final days of me being a socially screw up. The 20s are all about making mistakes so adults say. That being said, on behalf of my generation I feel it's safe to say we're screwed.

I have a friend that I swear is my personal Benjamin Button. I don't get to hang out much anymore with him and the stories I hear are regressing in the social norms we used to reach to do. I won't be surprised if I get to see photos on Facebook of his fort made in his parents' basement with bedsheets. I would also be the most jealous of that nonsense.

My family is molting layers of responsibilities worse than the tragic night scene in Gremlins. There comes a point where the adult table of life thins itself out and there's room to bring in a newbie. Someone that will refresh the cycle of errors and give the sigh of relief to the predecessors for they weren't wrong, it's a right of passage.

That's what maybe is the toughest pill. Failing to follow the path worn by other is a mistake, for whom I won't know until I admit I'm done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Sweet Music

There is something special when it comes to those that are unfortunately down on their luck. They have most likely gone through some of the toughest things I can only imagine. I really wish I had the time to understand what happened but to be frank, that's just too idealistic and we all know that only works on English class essays.

What is it about while losing it all that we grab one thing to be the cornerstone of our new foundation? If your house were to burn down what would you grab? So to speak. Outside from my dog, an tangible item I would take from my house? Probably a copy of my home owner's insurance policy.

When you walk the streets of a major city in the winter time it's depressing at times. There are so many people on the streets without a place to turn. However, there are people in this situation that have a sense of humility that is just fantastic. The homeless musicians of America.

Is the saxophone the unofficial instrument of the homeless community? Perhaps people should be a bit more leery when their kid is in jazz ensemble. You know sweetie, if you hit the bricks, the rush hour commute sure will love to hear this alto sax. I guess that's the thing being said when your kid picks an instrument;
guitar- "I need all the help I can to get laid."
piano- "I can't say no to you mother."
saxophone- "isn't it cool under this viaduct?"

As much as people in Chicago rave about bland groups like Wilco, I'd much rather spend $20 and see the kids outside the Art Institute rock on with the drum buckets.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where's the Love?

It's that time of year again where we all bundle up next to each other as we walk by the homeless guy with the Starbucks cup. I like the holidays, kind of. There used to be a time where they were a lot of fun. Then I became the one who doesn't have kids and now I shuttle all over to view the effectiveness of fertility in my family.

Kids are great*. What is magical about kids is that they don't care if they are playing with an expensive toy or shooting rubber bands at each other they just want attention. What is really magical about kids is how they bring out the compromises in their parents. As an innocent bystander I realize that when you're a parent you give everything you can for your kids, otherwise you're an asshole. No really, I believe that if you go to bed at night thinking "wow, that wasn't too bad" while raising kids you probably aren't raising them. There is a nice trade off about having the kids and that's training them to be little house cleaners.

As I go to half a dozen homes this holiday season, I know there will be one key question on everyone's mind. "Where's the ring?" See, people are happy to see people together but like a tv show this shit has to keeping progressing. I am at the point in my relationship where people are wondering...well...when...Settle down people. The way that it's not cool to ask a fat lady when she is due or an old person if they have chosen their retirement home, don't ask when a couple is getting married.

Some may look at it with a BS sports metaphor of talking to the pitcher during a no-hitter. No. It's just none of your damn business. Since when are people excited to put sack up $150 for a country club dinner. The best person asking me about my relationship is my dad. I am almost thirty and he still hasn't given me "the talk." So when he wants to know if I am to sh!t or get off the pot he just asks "So how's that goin'?" Effective in his own way.

Another field condition is the blocker. I lost my blocker. The blocker is the couple in the family who is "ahead" of you in the line of engagement/marriage. You can tell they are doing a great job when you get out of a family outing only hearing about it once or twice. Who runs out of a single back formation? A jackass that's who.

It's going to be hard to not get knocked on my ass.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Flying Popes - Week1

I had a goal of mine since graduating high school. Play football better than I did freshman year. Fortunately for me I set the bar as low as possible back in the day. As I approach the third decade of my life I realize that I am finally hitting my stride, as a consistently sufficient rec sport player.

My friend asked recently for me to join a co-ed flag football team. I jumped at the chance to prove to myself and dad that I was under utilized in freshman football. Last week was game 1 and for not ever playing together we did well.

We are the Flying Popes.

Upon walking to the first offensive huddle we really made a big stride. "Who's QB?" See with that type of open communication how could we not triumph in our first game? Well, it appears that our opponents were well versed in each other's talents. The popes learned on the fly.

I may have pulled off the award for most body surface covered in Under Armor. We found ourselves down at the half and with no statistian available for us, perhaps as many penalty yards as offensive yards. We do have great defense, except on the two score we let up but hey, it's rec league.

I was honored to be QB for a portion of the game. You know there's a filter missing when you explain a play via "Madden" experience. Based on that the team is looking forward to my dynasty model I boasted at half time. I did geek out so much about this season I went and geared up. New cleats (oversized bc I am too susceptible to Marshall's prices) and under armor pants and long sleeve were donned as I looked like someone who frankly, knew what he was doing. Wrong. If you buy one thing the wrong size, don't make it the shoes. I was sliding around before I picked up my feet.

We eventually scored but it wasn't enough to win (20-7). There is something wonderful about this game. It's great to have people support you blindly to run or scramble and then immediately understand that you weren't embellishing when I said I run like a donkey.

Flag football allows us to run around like a bunch of kids at recess and then go get beer. Where is there a problem with this? I see an epic game one fine evening when an early winter storm drops snow on our turf. My only hope is to get enough notice for a camera crew.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fair but tough questions

I think there is so much going on in across the globe let alone the land of the free that we are avoiding the obvious questions because we don't want to hurt feelings of people that well, are probably on the ropes.

1. Who the hell in their right mind wants any fish for ummm years after a castrophy like the BP spill?

I have been to the Gulf coast and thought it was a fun place as a kid. This place is a trainwreck to say it nice. You have chronic poverty then Katrina and now a oil bath (spill is a polite term when you fix a mess in less than a whole damn season!). Recently I heard on the news that a small portion of the Gulf is open to fishermen. Good to get them back to work.

2. Why are people still lining up to live near or swim in a tri-state toilet?

I love Chicago very much and find almost all of it to be best I've ever seen. Almost. We as a city just can't get enough of the wonder that is Lake Michigan. I agree it's beautiful and calming and even at times blue. However, it is chronically closed for contamination reasons. People bring their kids and pets to this awesomely huge lake and it's sooo dirty the government says "shit man, stay out of the water!" Why? Shit. There is so much downstream and Chicago pollution from our own nastiness we can't go into a GREAT LAKE! That's like hitting it off with some smoking hot man/woman and only to take them the border of Pleasureville and find that they've been slumming it with a nasty even a carnie wouldn't tap. Meanwhile people constantly buy "lakefront property."

3. How is it anyone can make a politician their personal savior/hero?

The current level of political awereness is the best bronze medal to the worthless government leadership in the past ten years. I appreciate my government and the majority of the services rendered to us as a naition. Living in Chicago I have a privelage that not most in the nation have. We see bullshit politicians everywhere. It would impress me if there were more ethical than unethical politicians currently serving. In Illinois we are working on a steady careerpath of governor to inmate. When we were kids teachers let us know that politicians were people to look up to. The battle between two parties is a joke. Any belief in one over the other is as though chosing the highway over side roads during rush hour. There is no winning. At best there is less losing.

If I at some point hurt your feelings congrats on not being numb, yet.

Friday, July 09, 2010

7 Year Plan: Canine SVU

7 Year Plan: Canine SVU

Canine SVU

I feel as though its fair to say that I have trust issues. Nothing all that uncommon for a moderately young person. However, my compulsion has now worn into my one level of responsibility that I never though would change. My dog.

It's wierd on many levels to admit that I send my dog once a week to a "doggie day care." Whenever people hear that they immediately think I'm some fool that drives a Volvo sportwagon. Not true. I just have a dog that was in need of rescue and now needs to chill with other dogs.

Enter the problem. The site owner is awesome. One of the best dog people I know. One day she tells me that everything went well. In fact, we made friends today. Great news right? I imagine hearing that my (girl dog) has made friends with Trixie, Belle, or Kelly Clarkson. This moment in time is something I imagine an actual father fears. Bonnie told me that my dog made friends with Bo and Harry. BO and HARRY! Are you kidding me? My dog is nearly 1.5 years old. Who matches such a young dog up with boy dogs so early?

I immediately rush to judgement that Bonnie is covering for the antics of the day. Did Bo and Harry rape my dog? After all she is young and let's be honest here how does a dog say no? It's hard to give a crotch shot when that crotch is up your butt. She's just too young to be doggie raped! It's statchatory doggystyle!

They grow up fast and in the case of dogs, way faster than you control. Thank God at least you can still crate them when they get older.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yes Dear.

As time has passed in my relationship that defies all rules I set up when floating in bachelorhood I have begun to realize that in affairs of the heart I am the worse negotiator. Ever.

Rule 1. House cats will never live in my house.

It has been almost two years of the most worthless animal God created living in my house. Women and countless gay men disagree about why cats have value. First and foremost I am lectured for hours if I forget to flush the toilet. What if I decided to just crap in your shoe box on the floor? Cats instinctly cover their "waste." Not Fur-turd (my appointed name). She actually paws the litter out on the floor so the stink can really mature for the month long quest to see if I vomit in my own bathroom without the help of food poising.

Rule 2. You can make friends as you please, on Facebook.

It came to my attention late Saturday after my girlfriend and a couple pitchers of margaritas hung out with her BFF. There is a revelation that is destined to every set of female girlfriends. Our boyfriends should be friends.
Although this bedroom-laced incentive plan is an easy plan to draw you need to ensure there are some common ground. Fortunately there is for us. We both love video games and not having to go out to bars unless forced by birthdays and “in-town” friends. We both think each other has douche bags for friends. Let it be known guys keep a douche bag friend around for the same reason there is a token ugly/fat girl in your click. We want to look better too. Forcing this relationship is expected. I am impressed it took this long to happen in my world. I just need to get better about my fantasy sport lingo so we don’t ever bring up the topic of engagements and wedding.

Rule 3. Sorry is a word designed by women for men to use.

Life and love and bonded together by three little words. I am sorry. I used to get mad about how much I said sorry in life in general. Then I found myself in a long term relationship and wow, I am shattering all sorts of apologetic records. It’s not like we are plagued with arguments or anything. There are just things you would like to run a bit smoother and you “discuss.” A real non-earthshaker is making the bed. Right? I feel like I am in the movie “the Prestige” with Christian Bale because I bring a simple point and request to the table and without breaking a sweat I am ending wondering how the hell I went from asking for help to asking for pardon on initiating such a conversation after the royal flush of female cop outs – the “long day.” I believe women manage to have long days when they realize it’s a couple weeks from their period and can’t use that to silence their spouse. Life and love are full of challenges that often we don’t want to face head on. Well, I am not the gym teacher of life excuses. Without further delay, I am sorry.

Part of me is curious to why we don’t have a female president yet. I don’t know if they would fare any better but I certainly believe there would be a lot less excuses and more press conferences begging for forgiveness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Eve of Crossroads

Holy crap life has moved so fast that I am not even worried about my age getting to be 29. See that's what's swell about being a guy. We have statistical evidence that we tend to get the better end of the aging dilemma. I would be pumped about that but it's not like my last name is Clooney.

What bothers me is that I have only 365 more days to make some essential mistakes in life. The thirties is for coming into your own and being a man/adult. The twenties is for you to constantly screw up like you did as a teen but this time with bills. I am excited to be thirty. Frankly I just want to get through the next year healthy, beat some video games and have some great stage time.

What are some fun mistakes to make before thirty.
1. take a horrible vacation
2. grow a beard
3. try to bring back muscle tee's
4. get a second dog - already named "Chewy"
5. find vegetables and salads I enjoy to eat
6. go back to apply for my first job at the movie theater again
7. buy season tickets to Northwestern football.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Armed Man & Other Quick Hits

It has been three weeks since I broke my right wrist. I can't count the number of times women have seen me with a cast up yo my arm yet still expect me to get the door for them. Yes their latte is more important than my arm. Perhaps the half pump of skinny vanilla will ease their eyes from looking at their unringed finger.

I helped hold the door for a lady who had done well bringing more than she could carry, the door closed on my hand/cast and she gave me a look like I gave her the bird.

That being said, if a guy doesn't get the door for you odds are you didn't bring the A-game today.

Almost time for my family to pretend we are religious so we can eat together for Easter.

Miami airport has a giant foor mural of a hurricane. Seriously? Can't wait for the O'Hare pedway to be illuminated by the Chicago Fire mural.

Relationships are set upon wth rules, until you get on a dance floor. Then baby vertically dry hump a stranger all you want. Relationship diplomatic immunity.

Birth control pills - for such a large mistake that pill is sure small. Look so convenient you can swallow it while laying on your back!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

New Year...Still at it.

I prefer to wait about three weeks into the new year before I go back to the gym. It helps me to not get attached to the people who are giving their ab bench/seat/rollers at home a break. I by no means am at the apex of physical discipline nor physique but I can enjoy watching the hamsters on the treadmill watch a Burger King commercial.

The anatomy of my gym is pretty special. We have a mix of moms who just can't shake that baby weight before the graduation, dad's that think they are in their high school gym and should max out to impress their unemployed pals and then my favorite people, the jean crew.

Who comes into the gym to workout in a pair of jeans? Is that remotely comfortable to anyone? It's not a matter of being some weird fashion person but jeans people, come on! The only way their workout could get worse is corduroy.

A couple weeks ago I suddenly worked harder on my cardio. A man joined the elliptical machine next to me and he had only one leg. This guy was is so much better shape than me and the fact that he had such a difficulty to overcome not only inspired me but told me to suck it up.

I will always hold a special place in my heart for the women that know their work out has paid off and proceed to run on the treadmill in their sports bra. Yes I look. More than once do I look. Where else besides a "Seinfeld" archive can we see a woman where her bra in public and we all agree- great idea? I am sure some people or other girls specifically find the sports bra to be a bit, well not as fantastic as I do.

It is not every day you see such a sight then of course it only a mirage.