Friday, August 31, 2007

Dual Championships!

Fear and Loathing clinched first place in the SFCRSL with a tie on Wednesday night. It was a spectacular season in which Fear went undefeated. We started slow with various ties, but because of players returning to the team, we finished strong.

My Thursday commenced as usual. I was planning on subbing for a team at 6:15 pm. I got a call at noon saying our women's 7v7 championship was rescheduled for Thursday night at 9 pm. I told her I would be there. Sure enough, we hit the field with 7 players. The other team had practically 2 full lines and I'm sure it was the first game of the night for most of them. Whereas, 4 people on our team already had a game under their belt.

The game was well fought, but ended in a 2-2 tie with the other team scoring in the final minute. We went straight to 10 minutes of overtime. Again, neither team scored. It was time for PKs. Lindsay decided she was playing goalie and stopped the first shot. After a few more we were up 1-0, then tied 1-1, it came down to the last shooter; she scores, we win. Sure enough, beautiful shot!! It was a well deserved and hard fought win. We ended up with trophies, although I would have preferred t-shirts.

It feels good to be on top and today has moved forward accordingly. My day started with a thank you note from my boss and then a call from my mom telling me how wonderful I am. Needless to say, I'm feeling loved and appreciated. Plus I'm excited about Mendo this weekend. WOO HOO! Although I do need some sleep...some day.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

3900 Saturdays

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.

And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." - Winnie the Pooh.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Exchange

My French is mildly conversational at best. My favorite phrases quickly became, je ne comprends pas and Parlez-Anglais? Apparently the French like the way I walk. In two nights, I was told that I walk fantastically. I'm not sure what that means, but I presume it's a good thing.

At times, I felt emerged in the culture. Perhaps to the point that no one knew that I couldn't speak fluent French. It's hard to converse because you realize how many holes there are in your vocabulary as well as how many verbs you can't conjugate. I loved just watching and listening to conversations, which I probably understood half.

Time had no meaning for me in Paris. Very little was planned and I didn't have to be anywhere. Clubs don't open until Midnight and I didn't stay long enough to know when they close. My mornings were filled with sleep and my afternoons with Boulangeries, Cafes, walking and shopping. It's a world that was fun to be into, but hopefully next time for a longer spell.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Of course the plan was to stay off the internet for the duration of my trip, but computer in hand, and net available, it hasn't happened. I've managed to refrain from emailing hellos to everyone in the address book and shooting IMs to everyone on my buddy list. This is a trip to decompresss. So far, I have. I've slept more in the last few days then I have in weeks. In some ways, its a blessing, but in others, I feel I've missed something. I'm not sure what that is exactly, but I'm itching to go out, put on my dancing shoes, and explore all that is Paris.

My mother and grandmother would be perfectly content talking the night away with a glass of wine in each hand. I don't blame them, but I long for something more. I guess I'm looking for more in the world. I'm not quite sure what that is, but more. I'm looking for more in life.

I'm handing the net over to mom... off to the clubs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Another Whirlwind

Or perhaps it's better put as a hurricane weekend. I can't believe it's Monday! I'm not sure where the weekend went, but it was a good one. I'm blessed to have good friends that are very dear to my heart.

Lauren, Mike and I saw Bourne on Friday night. AWESOME movie!! It was the perfect relaxing Friday night.

Saturday, I was up at 7 am. I had to be on the field in Palo Alto at 8 am to check in before my 9 am game. I played in the Silicon Valley Soccer Tournament. It was a lot of fun. We didn't have enough women for a full team on the field, but won our first game playing with 9 players and our second, playing with 10. I even scored a goal in the second game. That doesn't happen too often. :) We lost our 3rd game in fine fashion because of shitty refs (that was sarcasm). It definitely sucked, but we knew we'd be facing them again in the championship. The only nice thing about losing the third game was our next game on Sunday morning was pushed to 10:15 am instead of 9 am.

Saturday afternoon I took a quick nap before getting ready to go out on the town with the girls. Jenna, Lauren and I went out to Blue Chalk in Palo Alto. I can't remember the last time I had been out in Palo Alto. In the past year, I've spent the majority of my time in San Francisco. It was a great time. Jenna's teammate Iver came down from SF - had a few drinks and a few dances. Tony stopped by as well. Shauna came by - a little drunk from the football game. Overall, it was a fun night!! I was exhausted by the end however.

My 3 am bedtime was met by another 9 am morning. Game at 10:15 am, which we won with flying colors. I had to miss the championship due to a previous engagement, but I'm happy to report that my team WON, so I get a t-shirt. I headed home for a quick shower and change - then I was off to the Spinsters' new member tea in San Francisco. The tea ended around 4 pm and I had to run back to the house for our 5 pm lobster party. The party was a hit! I had the privilege of inviting a few of my friends. It was the perfect group. Everyone played catch up and got along great. My father and I danced on the porch, then we headed to the patio to enjoy the music, lights and stars. The grounds are amazing!

My night concluded around 11 pm and I was definitely ready for some shut eye. It's Monday morning and I'm ready to go home already. I need to pack tonight for my adventure tomorrow - PARIS! I'm hoping to catch a few winks on the plane.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stealing Quotes

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."- Alfred D. Souza

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

"Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.”- Corinthians

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. - Herman Hesse

I loved him. He needed time to think and that was ok- he was worth waiting for... and waiting for... and waiting for. Finally I realized I had waited away my life for an answer he had already given me: Had he loved me back, I would not have had to wait. - Annoyomous

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
- Bertrand Russell

Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.
- Oscar Levant

Monday, August 13, 2007

Letting Go

We all experience loss in various forms. Some people lose parents while they're young. Others feel loss in the form of a close pet. Friendships build and friendships break. We have romantic relationships that work and those that don't. With all forms of loss, we have to learn to let go. We have to learn that each experience happened for a reason and will hopefully teach us to be stronger in the end. It seems the healing process when we're young is quicker than that when we're old. I'm not sure if it's because there is more going on when we're young and we're more fixated on the hole when we're old. Perhaps we build closer relationships with people and things as we get older. Or it's just more understanding about what is going on. Either way, it doesn't make the difficulty vanish. You have to keep your head high and mourn for as long as you need, but know, one day, you must let go.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Not a Market for the Weak

The market is in complete disarray. Technical analysis seems almost useless these days. The market blows through resistance, but then sinks beyond support. It doesn't make sense. It's a new market that is being run by "outside" factors. Subprime rates are simply out of hand. I'd hate to admit how nice my portfolio looked a short 2 weeks ago. Today it's down substantially and I've decided that not looking may be better for my health.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fast Paced Weekend

I never realize how busy life can be until I get that extra moment to myself. That moment where the world doesn't matter and I'm left alone to think. The weekend started off early with a late Thursday night. I try to not to deprive myself of sleep until at least Friday, but every so often, important things arise. Work on Friday wasn't bad, but I had every intention of returning to the comfort of my bed after I was done. Instead I ended up in San Francisco at Palomino for an afternoon cocktail with my mother and grandmother. After they left, I proceeded to hang out with a friend at the bar. Good times, but he was definitely polluted when I dropped him off at home. I returned to my humble abode at 10 pm. I washed up and quickly got into bed. The alarm was set for 6 am - a normal work day wake up, except that the next day was Saturday.

Friday night's rest was heavenly. I awoke a bit scattered seeing I had only slightly prepared for my river rafting trip. The group met in San Francisco around 7:30 am. We took a bus up to the drop in point of the South Fork of the American River. Our guide was partial owner of the rafting company and had 15 years of experience on the river. Not only was our group made up of athletic people, but our guide was definitely there to help us have a good time. Erika and I were at the front of the boat for the majority of the trip. I'll admit, it was fun to see what was coming and what was going on. The river was busy, but our guide had a knack for slowing down when we needed to put some distance between us and the other rafts. We witnessed a wrapped boat rescue mission by our guides. I was definitely glad that wasn't us.

Lunch was a mixture of fruit, sandwiches, and lemonade. The class III rapids were all after lunch. On some of them we got to ride bronco which is sitting at the front of the raft with your feet dangling over the side like a hood ornament. It was a good time! Jenna and I went first, but kept falling into the raft because it was hard to hold on. The last time I rode bronco I got sacrificed by my own boat mate. However, I did get him back. ;)

Pulling people into the raft was also entertaining. You pulled them up and over the side by the top of their life jackets. Needless to say, everyone always ended up on top of each other. But I promise there was nothing "naughty" about it. Overall it was a great day and the stop at Safeway was perfect. Nothing like Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream before a short siesta. And I am so proud, no sunburn! :D

My night wasn't over yet. I got in the car and touched base with Shauna who at the time told me I had 1 hour to get home, shower, eat and get dressed. I stole a few pieces of my brother's pizza and headed for the shower. My one hour was extended because Shauna and Amanda didn't know what to wear. I had never met Shauna's friend Amanda, until I realized that she was a girl that actually went to both my middle and high school. I knew her and her sister mainly by name. They were fantastic swimmers. Needless to say, I almost didn't recognize her. The three of us trekked back up to SF and went to Le Coloniel. It was another successful night of dancing. LOTS of fun! :)
My friend Rich had joined us for drinks, dancing, and Pizza O. I finally returned home around 3 am from a VERY long day. We pulled up to my house and some kid had lost control and ended up in our fence. Not exactly what I wanted. I grilled him briefly and once satisfied, drove up the drive. My brother said that the parents already knew, so I let it be.

Sunday was another decently early morning. I was out the door a little after 10 am for my 11 am soccer game. We lost that game, but I didn't have time to dwell on it. I had 40 minutes to get from SF to Palo Alto for another game. I arrived right at start time and played a solid game. It was fun to play midfield for once. I'm a solid defender, but forget that I have the speed to play mid. It was a good change of pace and a great work out. I took the long way home via a Costco detour to drop off rafting pictures. Overall it was a great weekend! I broke a bit towards the end of the night, but perhaps I was just tired.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Horrible Person

What constitutes a horrible person? Immediately murder, vandalism, and an infliction of physical pain or destruction of property come to mind. But can you be horrible without meaning to be? Is there a line between selfish and horrible that blends? Today I simply feel like a horrible person. I've unintentionally hurt the people I care about most and I feel that sorry isn't enough. I wish I had the chance to show them that I can change, but perhaps you only deserve one chance.

People make mistakes. It's only human, but at what point can you forgive those mistakes. Are mistakes in one realm different from those in another? Is it easier to forgive the people you care most about? Or is it harder to forgive those people because you hold them to a higher standard and put more effort into them?

I've made my fair share of mistakes, impacting my life as well as others. And today it's those mistakes that remind me I'm not perfect, but perhaps perfectly flawed. Sorry never seems to be enough, but I don't know what else to say. I can't change the past, I can only work on the future.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Busy Living

I looked at this today and realized it's been days since my last post and even then, the last post was nothing more than some quotes I like. Life has been busy. I finally feel rested. I hadn't been to bed before 11 pm in almost two weeks when I decided that yesterday was the night. The market was all over the place and thus provided a very stressful day at work. I went to the gym, but kept the work out to some strength training. Dinner offered by the fam was Chinese, so I opted to make spaghetti. I grew up on pasta, but don't eat it nearly as much as I did. I'll admit, it hit the spot. After dinner, I jumped into bed and watched the rest of FlightPlan, not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Finally I drifted off sometime after 8 pm. It was GREAT! I woke with a little bounce in my step. :D

That boring day does not top my Saturday soccer girls night out! We'd been planning a girls night out for a couple weeks. The first email sent was a save the date. The correspondence after that was discussion as to where we wanted to go and what we wanted to eat. Eva took the reigns on food and I added us to some guest lists. We decided to start at Roe. Now I've been to Roe many times, but it's never been quite as dead as it was on Saturday night. Even the hip hop floor was dead. Either way, we danced until 12 am there. It was a good warm up and nice to have LOTS of room. Le Coloniel followed Roe. We lost a few people on our way over and even more as the night progressed. 2 am struck and I was left with the troopers - Jenna and Shauna. They, like I, were not ready to escape yet, so we went to an after hours party. Turns out both Shauna and I knew people there. It's a rather small world. We danced there until 4 am. Returning to my house, we raided the pantry full of girl scout cookies. The girls opened 4 different boxes - just what we needed at 5 am. Everyone was in bed sub 5:30 am and up by 9:30 am. Jenna had 2 games starting at 10 am. My game started at 10:30 am and I ended up playing back to back games - totaling 160 minutes. Talk about dead, but the day wasn't over yet. I had to go to a housewarming party for my friend Crystal. Even after the lack of sleep and exhausting day, I still didn't make it to bed until 11 pm. OUCH!

I guess I've just been busy living! :D