Monday, November 16, 2009

For the Love of the Game


"I feel like I'm falling more in love with the game every day."
- Yael Averbuch

The older I get, I find that the sport I gave my blood, sweat, tears and time to continues to draw me in with its timeless wonder. As a youngster I really liked soccer. I spent hours playing soccer tennis with my brother, playing pickup, juggling, poring over soccer magazines, the Eurosport catalog (shameless plug) and playing soccer video games.

I had aspirations of being the next Ronaldo (the real one) and leading the U.S. to the World Cup. While this didn't happen, my enthusiasm and passion for the game did not wane like many of my peers. Far from it, as I've gotten older, my love for the sport has seemed to increase exponentially.

I've been blessed to be surrounded by a group of people who love the game just as much as I do and are willing and happy to go out and play at literally any time of the day, whether it's at 10:00 AM on a Sunday or 12:30 AM on a Tuesday.

Being around people who share my passion has only increased my desire to play constantly to the point where I feel out of sorts when a day passes without having the ball at my feet. It can be as simple as going to an open area and juggling for hours, playing one-on-one or just shooting balls at each other until one of the group messes up their touch.

Whatever we do, we love it. And it doesn't look like we'll stop loving it anytime soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What You Know 'Bout Me?? Too Much, Lil' Mama, Too Much


Two words: Lil' Mama. Hah! Only something this ridiculous could bring me out of my blogger's hibernation. The sight of the lilliputian "rapper" posing beside one of the greatest of all time, Jay-Z and the pillar of pure class that is Alicia Keys elicits more than just a simple ROFL and SMH. For me, it was a "DLMJRUOSASBTILSB"??

Also known as: Did Lil' Mama Just Run Up On Stage And Stand Beside These Icons Like She Belonged??

In other news, Kanye West is still a ridiculous blowhard who can't seem to grasp the fact that the world is not indeed his oyster. And he looks ridiculous to boot.

That is all.

*Image is taken from @MicheleIsabel on Twitter*

Thursday, September 3, 2009

World Cup cont'd

Not content with just an NFL squad list, I've created a starting 11 of basketball players as well. Basketball was a bit more difficult, with taller players unlikely to do as well on the soccer field, so bear with me a bit. Without further Adu (haha, get it, cuz Freddy Adu is -- Yeah I know, I know, it was dumb stupid). Without further ado...

Lebron James
Kevin Durant | Dwyane Wade | Joe Johnson | Rajan Rondo
Ron Artest
Chris Paul | Steve Nash | Derrick Rose
Kobe Bryant | Ben Gordon


There you have it. The ones that might be the biggest stretch are Kevin Durant and Lebron James at 6'9". However, there was no way I could make a list without including the freakish athletic talents of the King, as well as Kevin Durant's undeniable potential as the new Dani Alves or Maicon.

USA World Cup FTW


I was talking to some work colleagues about if the U.S. had all its best athletes playing soccer just as other countries do and it got me thinking. What if our NFL players played soccer? What would our best 11 be? I thought about it for a bit, and came up with the squad of 18 below:

Hines Ward
Antonio Cromartie | Troy Polamalu | Ed Reed | Champ Bailey
Reggie Bush | DeMarcus Ware | Adrian Peterson | Steve Smith
Randy Moss | Larry Fitzgerald

Subs:
TJ Houshmanzadeh (GK)
LaDainian Tomlinson (CM)
Andre Johnson (LM/RM)
Antonio Gates (CB)
Mike Vick (LM/RM/FWD)
Maurice Jones-Drew (CM)
Devin Hester (LM/RM)
Calvin Johnson (FWD)

Reply back in the comments with your own 11/18!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Untitled

A few days ago I happened to take the time to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test on Facebook. After receiving my results (INFJ), I began to think about my personality and how it affects my view of life. What are my goals? What type of life (personally and businesswise) do I ideally want to lead?

From my Myers-Briggs results I stumbled upon an aspect of my personality that I had an inkling of, but never really addressed or could put my finger on. I work best as a behind-the-scenes person, and I do better with bigger-picture things. I'm not one to fuss over details, and indeed-- it can get me in trouble sometimes if I'm not attentive. However, when dealing with problems I love to use creative solutions and address them head-on.

One of my professors at Davidson always told me to never create the title of my essay until I actually finished my body of work. In the essay that is my life, I think I'm slowly starting to feel out my thesis and flesh out my main argument. I've begun to realize this slowly, but I'm still developing and tightening my supporting details and anecdotes. At the risk of running this post too long, I'll end here and say:

To Be Continued...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fallen Giant

AC Milan, how great thou were.

Just over 4 years ago the stylish Italians from the fashion capital were mowing through the Champions League, on their way to their seventh title when workmanlike Liverpool dashed their hopes to the ground with a remarkable comeback in Istanbul.

Fast forward to now: with 0 wins in 5 preseason matches, the increasingly geriatric Milanese club looks to be in dire straights. Apart from the signing of Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Brazilian defender Thiago Silva, the Rossoneri have done little to supplement the loss of icons Paolo Maldini and Kaká, as well as the increased fragility of Milan's aging outfield players.

Although Ronaldinho has shown flashes of his previous brilliance, he no longer has the drive or physique that propelled him to such great heights in the past. Alexandre Pato is still young, despite his frightening potential, and the old guard of Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluca Zambrotta are just that: Old. Despite Andrea Pirlo's undeniable quality, the argument remains whether or not his presence in the side is a liability due to the predictability he sometimes gives Milan.

The response to Milan's current predicament has been nothing short of laughable. A number of legends have lauded the current squad and predicted success for the upcoming season. The club's directors have repeatedly stated their confidence in the current squad, and despite the signing of Huntelaar they look set to continue with the resources at their disposal.

To be blunt, the future looks bleak for Milan. Lazio, Fiorentina, Genoa and Napoli have all strengthened (with possibly the exception of Fiorentina who lost an integral part of their side in Felipe Melo), and their young, exciting and hungry sides look primed to make the leap in front of Milan.

Only time will tell whether the faltering giants can maintain their proud history. Right now, however, it looks to be a time of despair.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keepin it 100

It's now been just over a year since I began blogging from my desk at Topics Education. On this day, I "pen" my 100th post. In the time between 1-100 I've seen a lot of change in myself, my situation and the world in general. True to the spirit of my blog, I won't really delve into my personal feelings, but rather focus on some of the other aspects of what's been going on my life.

To begin, I'm now no longer living in Charlotte with Will Bryan and my brother or working at Topics. I moved from Topics to working as a tutor at the Mecklenburg County Police Athletic League (PAL), and I'm now back in Chapel Hill working for Eurosport as Grassroots Marketing Coordinator for the East Coast. As part of my job I travel to various soccer events as the "face" of Eurosport, and I handle promotional tournament, camp and other event support for the company in my regions.

Without getting too much into it right now, I'm loving my job, and I couldn't be in a better position right now as the soccer lover that I am.

On the style front, my sneaker collection is strong in the force (not the Air One, the midichlorian one), and my t-shirt game is on point. I've racked up a large number of Adidas boots (soccer shoes) due to being blessed with a foot perfectly made for sample sizes, and my Adidas soccer gear collection has been quadrupled thanks to our strong partnership with Adi Dassler's company.

On the video game front, there's not much to report. Due to travel I haven't had much chance to pick up my Xbox controller, so I'll have to update my loyal readership of 3 on that in a couple months.

Hopefully I'll have the wherewithal to actually sit down and write a decent post in the next couple weeks, so here's my sign off:

Thanks to everyone who's stuck around this far, and I hope you'll continue on with me on this journey.

PS. Brr! Aye! Ok! This post has been brought to you by OJ Da Joo-Man.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Freshness 2.0

As I've gone a while without updating my blog, it goes without saying that it's been a while since I posted anything about the additions to my closet. In the time I've been away from my online journal, I've managed to acquire several items to enhance the quality and aesthetic beauty of my wardrobe. Now that I have a bit of space to update the eagerly waiting world about the goings-on in my life, I might as well enlighten you. Let's start with the kicks:

In the past few months I've added some heat-rock to my shoe arsenal. This includes 2 pairs of Nike Air Zoom Tres, the white Supra TUF Vaiders, (free, work-given) Adidas running shoes and last, but certainly not least... The Nike Dunk SB Blue Lobster. The Blue Lobsters (pictured here) are the crown jewel of my collection, and probably the closest to my heart. As soon as their release was announced, my plotting on their coppage began. When I finally received them, time slowed down, birds sang and the sun shone on me and only me. True story.
When I wear the shoes an ethereal glow emanates from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head and a chorus of angelic voices trills the Ave Maria in canon. Truth be told, I can't even wear them very often for the sake of swooning women across the lands. In all honesty, the shoes are a collector's item and as such, I'll rarely wear them.
Except when I'm steppin out with the extra freshness.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rundown

I'm baaaaack. After a protracted absence from the blog-o-sphere, I've returned to drop some knowledge and wisdom on the people long parched from the lack of the sweet sweet nectar that is my writing.

No, but seriously, I'm back with a quick rundown of my life so far. (Dre, here you go).

Over the past month and a half I've been in Lancaster, California, Frisco, Texas and Barboursville, West Virginia for the USYSA (US Youth Soccer Association) Regional Championships. I spent about a week and a half at each venue (with the exception of Lancaster, where I only spent around 3 or 4 days) with my coworkers as we partnered with Adidas to run their retail tents at each event. At each event, we arrived around 4 days before the tournament start, checked into our hotels and for the next couple days slowly started to click into gear. The first couple days involved small tasks like picking up supplies like snacks, water, etc for when we're working in the tent, picking up the 26' truck to store our merchandise in and other logistical details.

In the days before the tourney starts we completely set up the Adidas retail tent by folding thousands of t-shirts, hanging shorts, jackets, jerseys and other clothing as well as setting up all the miscellaneous merchandise (balls, shinguards, boots, etc.) Once that's completely done, we put all the clothing on racks and place them and the boxes of extra clothing on the truck for safekeeping.

When the tournament starts, we typically arrive on site around 6:15 or 6:30 for an 8 AM or 8:30 first kickoff. We take all the boxes of merchandise off the truck and put them in the back of the tent for easy access when gear needs restocking. We then hang all the clothing and put the t-shirts into a t-shirt wall to be ready for open at around 7:30.

Once we open, we work throughout the day with only short breaks until around 6 or 6:30 PM when the games end and we close up shop. We then turn the heat presses (for putting the tournament logo on gear) off and put all the merchandise back on the truck for the next day.

The whole process can be grueling, but the interaction with players, parents and coworkers makes the job fun and the day goes by quicker than expected. That being said, it can get incredibly boring at times if business is slow, and it can be a madhouse when business picks up.

The sites I've visited so far have proved a mixed bag. In Lancaster, CA (in Southeastern Cali)there is absolutely NOTHING to do but watch tumbleweeds (literally), eat Mexican food and go to the movies from time to time. Frisco, Texas was much better despite the constant 100+ temperatures. The city is a vast expanse of suburbia with a large mall and plenty of excellent restaurants in the vicinity, so I much preferred it to Lancaster and Barboursville. Ahh, Barboursville. I'd never been to West Virginia, and Barboursville was everything and more I expected of quite possibly the worst state in the Union. I'd rather not go into detail about how much I disliked it, but perhaps I'll delve deeper next year when I return for the Region 1 Championships again.

Now I'm back in Chapel hill for the next week and a half before I head to Lancaster, Massachusetts for the National Championships and then to Foxboro, Mass on the 26th for the AC Milan-Inter Milan match (!!!!!!!) where I'll be able to see the game and probably meet the players.

I'll return to post more of my normal sneaker/soccer/nonsense fare in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Child Whisperer

At the request of my dude Patrick Braxton-Andrew, aka Pibba aka Dookie Monster, aka Stringer Bell, I've decided to pick up the proverbial pen and lay down some tracks (words) to ye ole blog.

What will I write about, you ask? Best believe it'll be up to the nonsensical and utterly random standard I've set for myself in the past. I cannot disappoint the loyal readership I've managed to gather thus far. To all 5 of you... Thank you.

So what's going on in my life? On Tuesday I began my new job as Grassroots Marketing Coordinator for Eurosport and Soccer.com. In what is basically a job tailor-made for me, I will travel about the country attending various soccer events, spreading the good word about how tight Eurosport is, and why everyone and their mother should exclusively buy their life from the company.

As tight as my new job is, that's not what I'll focus on in this post. I'm going to talk about a little incident from my previous job as a tutor. In short? I dog whispered a child.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It had been a long day of sitting around my house surfing the internet, and I was in no mood for the shenanigans of loud children when I arrived at work promptly at 3:17 PM for my 3:00 start time. The kids filed in (read: ran in screaming) at around 3:35, and my day began in earnest. After first shaking down a child for some bubble gum, I proceeded to do absolutely no work for the next 45 minutes aside from advising one munchkin that 4 + 4 was probably not 17.

I had a slight headache, and the vocal emanations from one 10-year-old began to grate on my nerves like 9-inch nails on an amplified chalkboard. He ran up to me and began yelling, and my calm insistence that he lower his tone went unheeded. In a moment of pure inspiration, I quickly reached out, tapped his shoulder with a claw-like hand and firmly uttered the patented "SST" sound of the dog whisperer. The completely befuddled little boy immediately drew up and shut his mouth, unable to process what had happened.

Full of joy, I jumped on a table and crowed with delight, proclaming myself to be THE CHILD WHISPERER (read: I quietly smiled and sat back down, texting everyone I knew about what took place). The rest of my day was happily spent playing football with the kids and generally acting as if an 11-year-old was trapped in a 22-year-old's body. My duty was done, and another child was rehabilitated, properly socialized and able to return to its owners (parents).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Art of War

I have learned from the greatest. I have read Sun Tzu, studied Alexander the Great and followed in Napoleon's footsteps. I will conquer all. I will be... A warlord.

Naw, but can you imagine if I was like that?

I'm slowly but surely taking over the world. I've conquered most of Davidson, North Carolina, a small part of Charlotte (read: my bedroom, the kitchen, and part of the living room), and I have moderately expansive territories in Chapel Hill. My regime is based on discipline, faith and strength. None shall stand in my way.

Yeah, I was real bored when I wrote this.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Run Baby Run

I went running the other day. In the events preceding my bipedal excursion and during the run itself, I made a series of mistakes. Mistakes that cost me dearly. Let me tell you about it.

From the beginning, I decided to go running after a few things (including an undeserved loss in FIFA) angered me. That was mistake number one. Before embarking upon my journey, I neglected to fuel my body with food, or even water. Another mistake. I also neglected to bring music with me to help pace myself and block out distractions. Guess what? Mistake. Are you counting so far? (We're up to number three.)

By deciding to run under extreme duress and emotional imbalance, I didn't have the mental discipline necessary to pace myself the way I should have. Coming off a serious hamstring injury I've been pacing myself in my recovery, and angry running... not the thing to do. To make matters worse, I decided not to eat or drink before I left, so I had nothing to fuel my running but pure frustration. The first half mile went well until I ran into the bane of my existence when running: people.

For those who don't know me, I am an extremely competitive person. I can't stand to lose, come close to losing, or be perceived as a loser. For that reason, any time I come upon people during a run, I have to either pass them, or run at a ridiculous speed that I won't be able to keep up for more than a quarter mile.

My run was going according to plan until I ran into a man and two women walking on the side of the road. One of the women called out, "KEEP ON RUNNING BABY", further inflaming my competitive instinct. I increased my speed a bit, and gradually kept the acceleration going until I felt I was out of their sight. And then I hit "the wall". Let me rephrase that. Said wall hit ME. I immediately slowed down to a walk, and wasn't able to catch my breath for another half mile. I was finally able to hit a slow jog for the final quarter mile, but my lungs and pride were dealt an irreparable blow.

Next time I'm wearing blinders when I run.

Friday, April 10, 2009

English

What's your deal, English? We're out here just trying to get a handle on the language, but you're evolving, changing, metamorphosing constantly, however you please. Other languages give us accents to guide us along the way, but you just throw words out there and expect us to know how to pronounce them. Are you better than other languages? Are you too cool for an accent here and there?

It's okay though English, because I love you. Your intricacies, the way that most of us don't really know how to use you 100% correctly, and your ever-changing personality make me appreciate you that much more. You're cool, English. We can hang out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Because

For no other reason than pure hilarity. Note the look of pure glee by the woman, the strain of holding an abnormally large wombat, and the expression of terror on said wombat's face.

Enjoi.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ibrahimovic: Magic or Misfit?

With whispers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's possible transfer to Barcelona in the summer, the question presents itself: who is Zlatan exactly? Ibrahimovic is just as capable of physics-defying acrobatics (see his flying backheel against Bologna a few months ago) as mind-bending exhibitions of skill and technical ability (see his goal for Ajax against NAC Breda) a few years ago. The giant Swede stands alone with his combination of size, athletic ability and pure technical acumen. Day in and day out in the Serie A, he both bullies and bewilders his opponents with apparent ease.

For all his positives, Ibracadabra (as he is known affectionately to his supporters) seems to suffer from what I call the "Cristiano Ronaldo Effect". A consistent performer day in and day out on the "small" stages of the Serie A and Coppa Italia, Ibra seems to shrink from his responsibilities and disappear on the "big" stages of the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Cup. While Cristiano Ronaldo has arguably shrugged off that underperforming reputation somewhat after scoring a goal and leading his side to a Champions League final victory, Ibrahimovic still has to prove himself under the limelight of international competition.

While it's obvious that Ibra has underperformed in major competitions, his talent is absolutely undeniable. In addition, it is my personal opinion that he has been relied too much upon by his respective club and national teams for their success. When Ibra does not play well, Inter and Sweden often do not play well. This holds true more for Inter than Sweden, but the fact remains that he is the lynchpin for both sides. In a side such as Barcelona, the weight of expectation is perhaps higher, but is also shared by other international superstars such as Leo Messi, Samuel Eto'o, Thierry Henry, Xavi, et al (depending on who remains after Zlatan's prospective transfer). With that weight lifted, Ibra may well be free to perform to the best of his ability on any stage.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sneaker What?

I don't consider myself a normal sneakerhead. I don't display typical
sneakerhead tendencies such as triple digit footwear count, ability to
spot fake "send help" dunks from across a campus, willingness to camp
out for sneakers, etc. However, I do consider myself a sneaker
aficionado. A "sneaker h" if you will. As such, I find myself perusing
sneaker websites throughout the day and late into the night. I
frequent eBay in search of killer deals, and I pine over the newest
releases, knowing I can't afford them. Why? I love sneakers.

As a sneaker h, the news that Nike is planning to remove the fat tongue from their low top SBs
sent me scrambling to eBay looking for some affordable heat with which
to stock my closet. The notification struck a solid blow to my
sneakerheart, making me cry out in anguish. The main reason I began liking low top SBs was because of the way the oh-so-comfortable fat tongue lends itself to jean-wearing, and for the fresh colorways that poured from Nike's factories. Now I'll have to confine myself to eBay searching and my normal hi-top SBs.

As I said before, I don't consider myself a sneaker head. I feel that's an insult to the real
sneaker heads out there who've devoted their time, energy and money to
copping dope kicks and understanding the game. I respect those people, and as such, I cannot count myself in their number. Sneaker h it is.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fake!

I decided to take another look at my sneaker collection the other day and noticed a key fact about one of my beloved pairs of kicks. My Jordan 11 Concords (the white and black patent leather shoes on the right side of the picture) have a gold Jumpman logo. Uh oh. Strike one for authenticity. I looked at the number on the back of the shoe and was a bit relieved. The correctly spaced, aligned and colored "23" made my pulse return more to normal. Against my better judgment, I looked at the sole of the shoe.

Fake, painted carbon fiber.

@#&*!!!! I've been wearing fake Jordan's for months!!! Disheartened I looked at some more of my sneakers and noticed that my Dinosaur Jr's aren't nearly as purple as they should be. In fact, they're not purple at all... I've been hornswoggled. Bamboozled. Taken in.

Frantic, I tore through the rest of my sneaker collection to see if I was rocking with any more unauthentic kicks. I found no such evidence, but my heart was still at the bottom of my stomach as I looked at my beloved Jordan's.

Then I realized it doesn't matter. I will continue to wear them. If I get called out on them, I get called out on them. I know they're fake. My readership knows they're fake. I'm not trying to hide anything.

Except for maybe that gold Jumpman and the "carbon fiber" sole.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Heir to the Throne

At the venerable age of 38, the Czech lion Pavel Nedved has finally decided to hang up the boots for good. For months there has been a flurry of speculation surrounding the former Ballon d'Or's successor. Many touted Diego Ribas da Cunha (or just plain Diego) as the one to fill the shaggy-haired dynamo's boots, but the jury is still out on his ability to fit into Claudio Ranieri's solid 4-4-2 system. As Ranieri himself stated, in order to include Diego into his squad, he would have to change his preferred formation to accomodate the fantasista.

In my opinion, while Diego is not a player I would be unwilling to welcome to the Bianconeri fold, he doesn't necessarily fit the job description needed. While Nedved is not an old-fashioned winger in his own right, he is not the type of player to ignore tactical instructions in order to play in his own style. While Diego has shown tactical discipline in the past, I don't feel he has the mindset to play on the wing in Ranieri's 4-4-2. If Ranieri is to be manager of Juve, I feel he should play the formation he prefers, and not be forced to incorporate an ill-fitting puzzle piece. As such, I don't feel Diego is the man for the job.

In my opinion, the solution for the impending vacancy plies his trade in Spain for Valencia. Spanish international David Silva is a player very much suited for Juventus' style of play, and he absolutely has the required talent level. Like Nedved, Silva is equally comfortable operating through the centre of attacking midfield or out on the left wing. In addition, Silva can be used as a second striker or on the right wing. With Valencia's current economic troubles, he is an increasingly viable option for La Vecchia Signora. While French international Franck Ribery would be another excellent choice, his high price tag, and the interest of financial powerhouses like Manchester United, Inter Milan and Barcelona make him more of a reach.

The race to sign Nedved's replacement is nearing it's end, and as a staunch Juve supporter, I pray that the club doesn't veer off track and sign a sure flop such as Middlesborough's Stewart Downing, Florent Malouda or another who lacks the required quality.

Friday, February 20, 2009

House of Noise

I have a headache. But I'm happy. I just returned from the barbershop, where being loud doesn't make you right, but it definitely helps your case. The barbershop, as everyone knows by now (thanks to Cedric the Entertainer, Ice Cube, Eve, et al) is a cultural centre for black people. Ideas are exchanged, good-natured insults are traded, and more than anything, men engage in the ancient art of debate. At high volume. Very high volume. The sound waves traveling through the barbershop could level a small building if channeled properly.

Conversation topics change in the blink of an eye. One minute a hapless barber is set upon by five patrons for the poor state of Duke basketball, and the next, Julius Peppers is said to be most certainly doing steroids. Sports are usually the main theme of the day, but nothing is taboo in the barbershop. Barbers must strike the delicate balance between perfecting a difficult fade haircut and winning a heated argument about the efficacy of LeBron James' fadeaway.

And did I mention it's loud? It's really, really loud. But we love it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Other Friend (Social Media Site)

Good afternoon twitterverse! Oh crap... this is Blogger isn't it? This is a bit awkward. I thought I was on Twitter... A bit like calling a close friend with some exciting news to tell but dialing the wrong number and reaching a friend you don't talk to nearly as much. You can't really hang up and go, "sorry cuz, wrong number!" and you can't really be as excited about your news because you haven't talked to that person in so long. Anyway, how's uh, how's it going Blogger? Oh, you got a new job? That was two months ago? Yeah man, I've been real busy these past couple months with other social media-- I mean, work and soccer. You heard I got a new job? You say you had to see it on Facebook? Well I mean I meant to call you, but-- Wait, let me finish. No, I'm not purposefully ignoring you, I just-- Alright fine, I'll call you tomorrow and we'll hang out. Alright?? Peace

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Teachability

Over the last few years I've been slowly working on my ability to impart knowledge to others. Some people call that teaching, but semantics aren't important at this juncture in time. I realized that I'm simply not a very good teacher. Ok, I'm a decent teacher. But nowhere near the standard to which I normally hold myself. I've always been scared to teach children because I realize just how much sway a teacher holds in a child's life, and frankly I didn't really trust myself with that power. Over the past few months, I've really worked at being able to explain how I can do things to other people. I get easily frustrated when kids don't pick up on concepts quickly, and I realized it's because I get frustrated with myself when I do the same.

Yesterday I had a struggle with a 10-year-old who just didn't seem to grasp what I was telling him, no matter how I explained it. I realized that sometimes vocabulary can be a stumbling-block when attempting to simplify meanings. A kid that doesn't understand one polysyllabic word isn't necessarily going to understand it when one explains it using another polysyllabic word. It definitely didn't help that the boy wasn't really listening to my explanations. I was finally able to help him out by slowly walking him through each precept, but my frustration level was way above where it should have been. It was a great learning experience, and it's one I can definitely use going forward, but it's not something I want to have to repeat. Hopefully I can continue to hone my teaching skills while continuing to learn.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Not Whether You Win or Lose... It's How You Play The Game

HA!

As a sore loser, I normally take extreme offense to that statement. Tonight I had the utter misfortune to be on the wrong side of an 8-7 indoor soccer semi-final loss in overtime. Anyone who knows me relatively well knows that I don't deal favorably with losing. To put it bluntly, I have the temper of a 6-year-old whose TV privileges have been revoked for a week. I've been trying to work on it, but by nature I am a terrible loser. However, tonight I reached a turning point of sorts. We lost. I was angry. But I appreciate the journey for what it was. The essence of the quotation that headlines this post means that while it is summarily important to win in a competition, it is not necessarily the end-all be-all.

As deep (or shallow) as that obvious realization may be, the truth is that losing SUCKS. While it's some consolation that I played rather well and scored one of my best goals this year, the fact remains that I was on the losing side. But as the Russians say: c'est la vie. Wait... I meant: такова жизнь

On a completely unrelated note, I have been absolutely dominating life in FIFA 09. For something that has no value in the real world, I am doing incredibly well. If only FIFA wins translated into real-life dollars... Ah well, for the love of the game.

In other news, follow me on Twitter (AWestJuve) or rabid chinchilla/chihuahua hybrids will carry away your unborn children to raise them for their own. While you pause and wrap your brains around the utter absurdity of that statement, I'll be quietly stealing all the loose change from your sofas and car seats. That is all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Area Teen Really Into Music

I like The Onion. So in homage to The Onion, I decided to try and write my own version of one of their stories. If it sucks, let me know, if it's good let me know. Just... let me know?

San Francisco, CA -- Local teenager, Tim Grant, 16, confirmed with reporters today that he really enjoys music. "I'm really into quality bands who aren't commercialized, like Coldplay, U2, Fallout Boy and All-American Rejects," Grant said while bobbing his head expressively and maintaining a thoughtfully pensive look on his face. "I like rap, you know, hip-hop, because it helps me understand the plight of poor, I mean urban Black people." The teen went on to list his favorite rappers as Eminem, Bubba Sparxxx and Asher Roth. After cutting the interview short in order to listen to the newest Good Charlotte single, Grant went to pick up Bonnarroo tickets for himself and three friends whose favorite bands are Dave Matthews Band, Limp Bizkit and Creed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boo!

Just makin sure you're still alive, blogfamily. I'm here, I've just been Tweeting a lot. I've been writing a lot on my soccer blog (On The Touchline), and I've been neglecting my "real" blog. This is my baby though, so I can't ignore it. However, for now, I'm going to continue my soccer writing, so check it out at http://onthetouchlinefootballblog.blogspot.com if you're so inclined.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's Good Twitches?

I really like Twitter. I can honestly say I never really thought I'd enjoy it as much as I do, but... I do. The quick, rapid-fire micro-blogging it offers is perfectly suited to my quick, rapid-fire thought pattern. More often than not I find myself spitting out 20 Tweets in a row, moving from topics such as sneakers to Obama's lack of gloves to a random lyric in one of Anthony Hamilton's songs.

And that's the draw. I'm really really random. For some reason, in my mind, traditional blogging doesn't let me be as random as I normally am. I've set up a rigid formula for blogging that requires good grammar, punctuation and structure. Twitter is like my party-blog where I don't have to obey normal conventions and can feel free to be myself.

But that's all going to change (I hope). I'm going to continue to blog, even though blogging is "dead". However, my blogging will be more and more random, just like my Tweeting is. So get ready twitches, it's about to be on and twitter-popping.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Like It, I Feel Like Writin

I feel like getting back into it. I haven't written in a good while just because I really haven't felt like it. I tend to write when I'm bored, have nothing exciting to do, or I feel like talking about my life. I haven't been bored recently, I've had plenty of excitement, and I really am not big on divulging the details of my private life to the general public (aka the 3 people that might read this post).

But enough about me, let's talk about you. Nah, lets keep it focused on me. I'm cool, tryin to survive in this crazy world. I'm going to try and update a bit more over the next few days, so we'll see where that takes me. In the meantime, let this suffice.