Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Celebrity Clause

Jennifer Aniston...

This is my first blog in quite some time. But I haven't truly wanted to write about something in quite awhile. Something that peaked my interest as much as Ms. Jennifer Aniston.

Why you ask? I'll tell you why.

Actually, I'll show you why...

Jennifer Aniston has been linked, and married, to the likes of Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, Gerard Butler, and John Mayer among many others. Most, if not all, of the men in her life have seemed to move on to other women...most notably Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie.

Now I will battle you to the death with the Aniston vs. Jolie argument. From what I see on this magazine cover, to what I have seen in TV and other magazines over the years, Jennifer Aniston, in my mind, is the most attractive woman in Hollywood.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But hell, this is my blog, my ideas, my comments...and ultimately, my decision. The woman is 40 years old, yes old enough to be my mother. But actually, my mother is 50...so no, Jennifer is not old enough to be MY mother, but i digress.

Sure you have Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Halle Berry, and countless others who I'm sure you could throw in my face that would be more "attractive" than Ms. Aniston, but I just couldn't disagree more.

But now comes to the problem of her dating life. Why is it that she can't seem to hang on to any man, excluding Brad Pitt, for an extended period of time? Maybe she is incredibly needed, or just, well...I don't know. There have been many reasons why, at least what the tabloids say, Jennifer hasn't been able to court a man for very long. But she is definitely attractive, fairly wealthy, and has played plenty of roles where she is quirky, funny...and I would hope that she's the same way in real life. I just don't understand why she is single more often than not.

This brings me to the title of my blog "Celebrity Clause." Now I'm not sure how many of you out there reading this (all 5 of you) have a significant other right now. I also don't know how many of those aforementioned even know what a celebrity clause is. If you don't, let me explain...

A "celebrity clause" in a relationship with two "normal, everyday people" like you and me is that if a celebrity of your choice came in contact with you at anytime and...well...you know the birds and the bees right? Well the "celebrity clause" prevents your significant other from frowning upon any act with the aforementioned celebrity.

Now I have recently discussed this "clause" with my girlfriend. She plainly asked if we actually need a clause like this at all. And I guess, truth be told, 99.9% of relationships, relationships like us normal folk, will never have to use the "celebrity clause"...ever. Well my response to her question was "But what happens if Jennifer Aniston reads my blog?" There wasn't much discussion of it after the fact...so I guess my "clause" is still be negotiated.

But, if the "clause" ever does become something of an agreed upon nature by me and my girlfriend (lovely and darling she is!!), Jennifer Aniston would be the only one needed in my celebrity list.

I want to send out an all points bulletin to all Hollywood men out there, at least those who aren't d-bags and will actually treat Ms. Aniston with some respect, that she seems to be an amazing catch to me and you should probably pursue the idea ASAP. Tony Romo, if you're out there, dump the blonde's and give her a shot.

So this was my first entry in quite awhile. But after seeing that magazine cover and pondering over Jennifer's dating troubles...I was drawn to come back to my place of blogging and speak out on her behalf (and hope to get a response from her PR person!).

Jennifer Aniston...

Need I say more?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A 26.2 Experience...

Do you know that somewhere from 0.1% to 2% of people in America run a marathon each year?

I am officially a part of that statistic...twice.

A marathon isn't something to laugh at, no matter how long it takes you, or the person next to you. You know what, if you can laugh at yourself after the race is over...then I say more power to you.

I recently completed my second marathon in Nashville clocking a blazing time of 4:44 and change. It was close to 30 minutes slower than my first attempt in Philadelphia. There were a lot of differences between the two races, differences that changed my race. But either way, 26.2 miles...not everyone can say they did that...at once.

The second time around...you figure that you're more prepared...as prepared as you can be for 26.2 miles of straight running. But I'm not really sure that you can ever be fully prepared for a marathon...ever.

My training was better, but still not nearly as much as I need. The mental focus seemed to be better early on, but wained as the marathon got closer, maybe because I was trying to run on my own...but it faltered. I bought new shoes, the same style of shoe i wore for my first go around, broke them in...but my feet hurt so bad it was hard to move after mile 15. The walk to the starting line is a mistake I will easily avoid on my next trip as well...I'd rather not get into that.

There are so many factors that are also out of your control. One big one, Mother Nature. The average temperature at the time of my marathon was 60 so odd degrees....in the past. The day easily started in the 70's and had to be 80's+ by the end of my day. You know how we all hate to run into the wind during a run? The wind was the only nice thing about the weather all day. Once the sun rose over the buildings in Tennessee, there wasn't much shade to be found. Sun meant heat and the warm temperatures made each water station farther and farther away. The sun even took a toll on those tables as well...some of the water and Cytomax (like Gatorade, but not really) was warm by the time I was reaching for a cup.

If you could believe salt packets were being handed out...for athletes you can understand the necessity of salt in your system when trying to perform at a high level. I had 3 packets of salt with water during the run because the Cytomax was upsetting my stomach. I even had to stop and go to the bathroom once during my run...something that probably added close to 5 minutes (I actually enjoyed sitting down in a port-o-potty for the first time in my entire life)...and was something I did not have to deal with in Philly.

So far I have yet to have prime running weather when attempting a marathon. Philadelphia was easily 50 and below, rainy, and overcast. Nashville was the complete opposite. Yet both set of conditions, with different techniques about them...found ways to cramp my legs in ways I have never felt before. Both were conditions that the body was not entirely prepared for. Training in weather that is 10-15 degrees hotter or colder than your racing temperature...well that does not make for a fun day.

As I mentioned before, my training partner and friend who was going to take on the city with me could not participate, at least to his best, in the 26.2. He did manage to eek out 10+ miles with me however, which I greatly appreciated, and Mr. Knapik I have nothing but good things to say about you in that regard. But running alone...and running alone with the knowledge that no one on your course knows who you are, is something I did not have to deal with at Philly either. I ran with Kyle there as well. We separated around mile 15 or so and I saw him once after, excusing himself behind some large tree in these people's front yard. But the whole time after we separated I knew someone out there, trudging along at the same pace as me...it almost comforts you in a way...until you get to those licorice sticks around mile 22...then I could give a damn about anyone else...but I digress. After he left me around mile 11, it was me, and me alone out there. Well me and the couple thousand of people hammering the streets...for the full go at 26.2...with me.

I saw some interesting people, heard some interesting things, and talked to a few guys who were moving better, worse, and about at the same pace I was. That was definitely a new experience to me. The first guy, middle aged guy around 40 or so...just came up behind me around mile 16 and asked who I thought the Titans were going to draft this year. I proudly told him I was a Cleveland fan (HA)...and didn't know who the Titans would draft. We talked football for a little bit and I brought up the weather...and how unforgiving it seemed to be. We exchanged some more small talk and I went on my way. He passed me within the next 5 minutes during a walk break of mine.

I can't remember now if the second guy passed me or I was passing him during another walk break of mine...basically on the same stretch in the INDUSTRIAL park...(not PARK park, like Knapik told me I would be running through)...but our talk was pretty brief. He asked me if I had cramps in my legs, which I actually didn't at that point, just incredibly sore feet. There wasn't much else to the convo besides how sore and terrible we felt...and that gave me the motivation to trot along for awhile. I needed to get away from anything that was going to make me concentrate on my broken feet...I actually re-passed him around mile 20, not sure when he caught me again. But I gave him a pat on the back, said "how are the cramps?" and then said "good luck" after he gave me a look that either meant he didn't know who i was, or one that showed how good his cramps were actually doing. It was good to see Kinches and Chad right after that...

The third guy, named Ben...was a first time marathoner. He was from Tennessee...stocky guy, but definitely one who was in shape ("look at the buns on that...yea, he must work out"....anyone? anyone? ahhhhhhhhhhh). We talked about where we were from (this was during a much longer walk break, which we both seemed to need and enjoy at the time) and he went on to say this was his first marathon. He and a buddy had started together but his buddy was "long gone" after they started out a little fast...Ben told me around 8-8:30 pace, which ultimately put him next to me. We talked for quite awhile...probably around a mile or so...I told him all we had to do was get over the bridge and river. That would signal about 6 miles to go. Ben was the one who left me early this time...which was probably a good idea for the both of us. Once he got a little bit out of sight with his slow trot, I took and breath and started my own attempt. Ironically I caught Ben as we were crossing the bridge. Gave him a pat, retold him about the bridge, and he gave a "hell yea brother, about 6 miles." Wished each other luck and that...was that.

A marathon definitely isn't for everyone...but it is something everyone can do, I truly believe that. From young to senior citizen...to the fully-abled..to the semi-abled...to those pushing the unable...it's something you can, and see people, do. There are risks...people have died. A soldier who ran out race tragically passed away sometime after the marathon was over...which I did not find out until recently. Everyone knows about New York and the extreme heat, race cancellation, and a few deaths that occurred that day as well. A marathon is something everyone can do...but is not for the faint at heart.

I look to possibly complete my third within this year...most likely it will have to wait. But it is something I am passionate about. My grandpa, who recently passed on from cancer, holds our family record. Somewhere around the 2:50 mark. It would be great to know I could compete at a level as high as my grandpa...he was quite an athlete...it would also be great to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I think I have to run around 3:10 or so to do that. But a third, fourth, fifth and so on marathon is in my future.

Wont you join me?

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Been a Long Time Comin...

So the whole Zombie thing is going to have to be put to rest...it's now too far removed to go back to something like that, and there are bigger fish to fry anyway...


How does that look to you?

A blowout?

A far superior team against another who does not match up in any way, shape, or form? One that couldn't even get a stroke of luck?

Do you think it's probably 100-0 because that's the way a lot of people wanted it to end? Wanted to show that they could score 100 points on a far less athletic team?

Well it happened recently and has been coming back into the news after an ESPN60 interview.

On January 13 this year the private Christian School of Covenant defeated Dallas Academy 100-0.

So you think they ran up the score? It was 59-0 at halftime.

Coach Micah Grimes for Covenant was fired later that month and said he would not apologize for how the game ended. People are outraged...

...I am not.

Sure it may look terrible on TV media outlets...that's what they are supposed to do. Vilify an individual with a lot of integrity and a fine demeanor about himself. During the interview on ESPN60, Coach Grimes neither came off arrogant nor misunderstanding of why people may be upset with him. He can see both sides, he understand why people are upset over what happened between those solid lines in a small gym in Texas. But he is not sorry for it, and neither would I be.

The first thing I look at is the score. 35-0 in after the first quarter, 59-0 after two, 88-0 after the third, and the final capping out at 100-0. So the point totals scored in each quarter are 35, 24, 29, and 12. Surely by the numbers themselves to can tell that Covenant slowed everything down in the 4th quarter. The slowed their overall scoring attack from 59 to 41 in the second half. The numbers alone show that Coach Grimes found a way to lessen the blow on Dallas Academy.

Secondly...and I think the second most important factor in this debate is that Dallas Academy only had 8 girls on the team. Now that might not sound too drastic, but consider that Dallas Academy on has 20 girls that attend school and have never won a game in 4 years. The Academy is also known to not forfeit, or call off games when they had been losing by insurmountable margins.

20 girls? You are trying to create a VARSITY basketball program...one that is competitive...with 20 girls enrolled in your school system? There is just no way that will ever be possible. ESPN60 received an editing version of the game tape, which one parent had shot during the course of the game. Right from the opening tip you could see that Dallas Academy was undersized in every position and was slower and less talented than Covenant. There is no reason why an athletic director or a head coach for that matter can't see how overmatched their program is night in and night out. There was a suggestion by one of the correspondents of the ESPN60 showing that Dallas Academy should either play JV games or just get rid of the team all together. Now if the girls want to play basketball, I think they should...but JV games would definitely suit them a lot better. How much better, we don't know. But I don't think you'd see another 100-0 game.

Coach Grimes played this game the right way and told his players to play it as such. Which brings me to my third and most important factor on why this outrage is uncalled for. The girls were just playing the game the best way they knew how. The point of a basketball game is to score more points than the other team. After the first made bucket by Covenant, off of one pass from the opening tip, the team got into their full-court press, which they do every game. I believe the report stated that after the score was 25-0 the team backed off and Coach Grimes placed them into a zone defense.

What took place for the next 3 quarters was literally the same scenario every time Dallas Academy came down the floor...dribble passed the timeline, stop, pass to the wing where a Covenant player would steal the ball and then go in for a layup. The Dallas Academy coach said Covenant were running "lay-up drills" on them. Very true. So why didn't he tell his girls after the 30th+ ball was stolen, to fake the first pass and then pass behind the zone? For one, his team consists of girls who would never see the light of varsity girls basketball minutes had not they gone to Dallas Academy. And two, maybe the coach didn't say anything once he saw what was taking place on the floor.

Another disturbing image was when Dallas Academy broke into the zone, got up a shot and Covenant rebounded under their basket...it was like the Academy was hoping there was another set of girls playing defense on the other end. Covenant surely pushed the pace early in the game...which is what they are supposed to do. But into the second half and fourth quarter, all Covenant had to do was make one pass to the outlet and they were free from there. There were four or five shots from the edited home video of 5 Covenant players on one half of the floor, making 2-3 passes before making a layup, with no Dallas Academy played in sight. Are you kidding me? Don't complain about the score being run up or the other team playing the game the wrong way if you don't coach your athletes, or lack there of, the wrong way or no way at all.

I was apart of a traveling rec basketball team in 7th grade that lost a game 76-6. Sure the team we played had been together over the years and grew up together while our team had just been put together that year. But they were also running "lay-up" drills on us. It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter where we scored our points, 4 of them by the second to last man on our bench. I remember my dad, who coached the team, taking me out of the game after I came down time after time throwing the ball into an opposing teams players hands for a layup. My mom got upset at my dad for this, but even I told her "Mom I was playing terrible." The thing is that was one of our first games of the year and we got better. We were never going to win any traveling championships, but finishing a game or so in either way around .500 was a solid season for us. Never once during, or coming home after that game did anyone say anything about the other team running up the score. We knew we played terrible, we knew we put ourselves in that situation...we knew the other team was playing the game of basketball the right way. And we knew all of this at a younger age then it seems the people who are outraged at this scenario.

Has anyone tried to talk to the kids about the game? Do you think they went into the locker room and cried? Maybe they did...but I don't think they would be crying because the other team was mean and hurtful. They would be upset with how they played, how they made the outcome appear so drastically one-sided. After the drubbing was over for this small Texas game, both teams were shown shaking hands and Covenant showed no signs of over-celebration or taunting of the other girls from Dallas Academy. Coach Grimes followed through with that same dignity by shaking the girls hands and never "fist pumping" his victory to the crowd.

It's ridiculous how people asked "why didn't you just let Dallas Academy score a point?" Coach Grimes' answer came in the form of something along the lines of it would have been more embarrassing for them if we had just let them score. Who would want to make that layup? The opposing team just standing there saying "go ahead, it's OK, we won't hurt you?" With the way the game was going, Dallas Academy would've missed the layup which would have prompted Coach Grimes to look across at the other bench with a "what would you like me to do?" look on his face.

Coach Grimes was asked what he would've done differently given the chance again and he made some good remarks. He told the interviewer that he probably would have asked the opposing coach at half time if he wanted the game to be stopped and also that he would have had the scoreboard turned off once the game was getting too out of hand.

But he would never tell his girls to stop playing...

Which is something I can stand behind.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ZOMBIE ATTCK!! (Are you prepared!?)

You know damn well I am. Well, you will know after reading this.


Joe Anchorguy: Hordes of the undead are taking over the United States. Their numbers rise by the minutes as they feed on the living and turn them into one of their own. The military has sent out an urgent message that those receiving this feed lock themselves indoors and not to come out under any circumstance. Defend yourselves by any means necessary. The mutation comes from the undeads bite, so avoid hand-to-hand comba........OH GOD THEY ARE HERE!! SAVE YOURSELVES...AHHAHRGADHAHGAHFHT.......!!!!!!!

Scary!? I think so.

That's why you need to have gone over this in your head, like me...which is probably a sign of
A) I have too much free time on my hands
B) I may need some kind of psychological help
and C) I'm more prepared that you!

Alright so the bulletin comes out. Now what?

Well for my first scenario I am opening the fitness center where I work and have no idea about the news break at all. I have a wild imagination and every time I walk into that place at 5AM its pitch black at the far end of the center. Well I get some crazy ideas about whats back there waiting for me so I get into the office and turn on the lights as fast as possible...but stepping away from my bizarre life for a second...

So here I come strolling in and low and behold a group of zombies appears from that darkness and my worst thoughts have come to life. So I run into the office, per usual, close the door and lock it behind me. I then go into the weight room and lock all of those doors with the Alan Wrench key, since zombies, as we all know cant open doors, just crash through them.

Now this doesn't give me much time because the second holds very true. The ten or so zombies begin to pound the thick glass, causing minor cracks in some of the doors. Luckily for me, but unluckily for him, a few of the undead attack the maintenance guy who opens with me sending a handful of them off the glass, giving me more time.

So now what? There's no use calling 911, because I already figure out that everyone will be calling them and no lines would be open. It is also five in the morning, who is up except me? Well being more awake than I ever was at this time my mind begins to filter out ideas...

I go to the back doors and notice there aren't massive amounts of the undead patrolling the back road. But it is also pitch black out there, so seeing at a distance is troublesome...meaning a zombie could be 200 feet away without me noticing.

So, I convince myself all I need to do is get to my car and I can high-tail it home and lock myself down there with the rest of my family. This means I would have to go all the way back through the fitness center where most likely there are 3 more undead than there were when I first walked in. The receptionist, maintenance guy, and lifeguard who also open will most likely be looking to take a bite out of me by now.

I have about a half hour span until patrons think the center will open, only to be attacked and turned into flesh-craving "people" themselves, so I have to plan this out perfectly and quickly.

I quickly head to the free weight side of the weight room and look for anything that can be used as a weapon. We have this one foot, round metal bar which I have no clue what to use it on except to hit people with, so I take that right away. Of course I don't want to be that close to these creeps, but it's a start. Then I find some attachments for the lat pull down machine...a rope with two large, round rubber ends and a longer metal bar that will give me some more options. I also take a couple of 5 pound barbell weights and put the smaller things in my backpack, carrying the longer metal bar in my hands.

I figure my best bet is to make it upstairs to the cardio room, onto the pool balcony, down to the pool, and then outside to my car.

To my surprise, and my heart, the 6 or so zombies that were left by the glass windows are gone, leaving the heavily cracked, bloodied glass windows, behind. I carefully scan the track and courts but see nothing. I notice the door to the lobby is open, which is most likely where they went to attack and unknown receptionist.

I get into the office and put my hand on the door ready to make a run for the cardio room. I flick the lights off thinking that'll help for some reason, and slowly turn the handle down, pulling the door open.

Now with my heart racing and everything sweating I fail to remember how squeaky this door is and as I get just enough space for me to slide through, the loudest creak I've ever heard, emanates through the hinges and I take off like a "bat out of hell."

Of course by now the maintenance guy, long been eaten, has officially made his way to the zombie side, but missed out when the rest of his gang barreled through the lobby doors to attack the others, so he had been standing there, as zombies do, when there is no other zombie or person to eat, around. So just as I close in on the hallway door, 2 doors from a safe place, he spots me and makes a bee-line for me.

With metal bar in hand, I cock back and send a full-forced swing to the side and upper shoulder of the creature, knocking it to the floor. Realizing that one full swing to the shoulder wouldn't even put down a real person for an extended period, I take off through the hallway door and right into the door leading to the cardio room.

To no surprise to me that the zombie is right on me as I skid into the cardio room door, his hands slamming onto it just as I close it behind me. I catch my breath for a second, but the unfazed undead crashes through the glass on the top half of the door with his head and arms. I swing again, baseball style, but aim a bit higher this time. Direct hit, I never liked this guy anyway. As the insides of the zombies cranium splatter against the wall and he goes limp across the door I turn and sprint up the stairs, since the sound of the broken glass would most likely alarm the others.

Reaching the cardio room I take a quick look inside and notice no one there so I slide in and quickly make my way to the side door leading to the balcony. I creep out to the pool area and notice that the lifeguard, the newly "dead" lifeguard is standing, once again, by the side of the pool. Now here comes a problem. The floor of the surrounding pool area is about 15-20 feet below the railing of the balcony. With my history of knee/ankle problems, a straight jump down and a blown out knee or twisted ankle is something I can ill regard to suffer. I scan my options.

The pool itself is probably 8-10 feet from the wall of the balcony, a jump into there would probably be safer on my legs, but probably harder on my escape once in the water. But its a chance I'm willing to take.

I take off my backpack and try to figure out how to get rid of the zombie lifeguard. I pull out the rope/rubber ends item and look down at the walking corpse below me. I grip it and rip it sending it spiraling towards the zombie...and it whips right past her splashing harmlessly into the pool.

The zombie, for whatever reason, doesn't even turn to look at neither the splash, nor the direction from which the flying object came from. With that in mind, I take out the two, five pound weights I have in my bag and equip one in each hand. With the first toss I fire one deep into the far corner to the pool area, hitting the glass wall, cracking a few glass blocks and sending the zombie into "attack the sound" mode. I then take the second weight and throw it in the general direction of where she was headed and crack her right in the back adding momentum and sending her into the same wall.

Reveling in my two fine tosses for a second I forget the task at hand. I forgo the book bag and run from the door to the balcony, leaping up, on, and off the railing going for the pool.

In the air I can tell that the pool is a lot farther away than what it looked and I stretch out with my legs, praying that stretching my body will land me in the water and not back-down onto the hard floor in front of it. Success.

Now swim. It's not easy with a metal pole in your hand, but with it being the only thing I have left to defend myself I swing it wildly with my strokes moving towards the middle of the pool. Reaching 3/4's of the way to the door on the parking lot side, zombies come tearing into the pool area, making me to tear to the side of the pool. A couple of them leap into the water, falling to the bottom instantly, and the rest sprint madly, and you know how fast zombies get for some reason, around the outside.

I reach the side, leap out and crash into the side door, turning to push it closed behind me. I quickly glance to my car and the parking lot and notice no undead walking around. I'm about to take a well deserved sigh of relief when I turn and notice the receptionist, who was late to work, walking up to the front doors key in hand. Before I can even begin to yell, the door is open and consumed she is. Taking no time I sprint to the car, keys in hand, bloodied, dented, metal bar in hand...and I peel out of the parking lot, leaving a mob of zombies chasing in toe...

to be continued...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Playoff" Brett


You know I have to touch on this situation.

Brett FaVRE was once quoted as saying "playoff" Brett...as in, I'll be going to the playoffs this year.


Well after successfully throwing his team out of the playoffs with his "gunslinger" attitude, it looks like it's time to write another chapter in this long, drawn out, book.

He recently stated that he is going to "deliberate for several weeks" about what he wants to do next season.


I mean, who didn't see that coming.

Even before good ole number 4 was throwing the game away against Miami, it was already determined that he was going to the Pro Bowl. For what?

He's good ole number 4 of course...doesn't he deserve to be there?

No, no he doesn't. There are plenty of other QB's, Matt Cassel in particular, who should have that spot. Look at it this way...Dikembe Mutumbo is coming back to play for the Houston Rockets...what is he, like 50? So should he play in the All-Star game because he's a great guy and plays for the love of the sport and does the dirty work....no, no he shouldn't. And neither should FaVRE.

It seems like there was a lot of hard feelings toward #4 as well. Not only did an unnamed player come out and bash FaVRE about his lack of team bonding, saying that Brett would be off in a room by himself and not really be a part of the team, kept himself separate...but Thomas Jones, the Jets star runner came out and publicly bashed him for throwing those picks and basically losing the game for them.

So what happens next? Eric Mangini gets fired. Nice.

Seems like a lot of guys on the team were against that move and it seemed as if, if they had to choose the "Manginious" or Good Ole Number 4, they would have chosen the head coach. What's bad news for the Jets is good news for the Browns, if they can actually land this guy.

He had 2 winning seasons with the Jets, his second season was riddled with injury. But it seems like Brett has run him out of town, sort of speak.

#4 just needs to go away...and stay away. Get out of the public eye for a few weeks and just leave us alone. People all around the NFL were saying how tired he looked and just how old he looked in his past few games...maybe it's because you're done Brett, you're done.

And I for one, won't be sad to see you go.