Friday, April 29, 2005

While I was Sleeping

For starters, I'm tired of basketball taking up espn top plays. I'm sorry. All they do is dunk. Its like putting home runs on there. sure, its cool, but geez it happens 400 times a game, everyone "postarizing" each other. i just don't care anymore. Lets see some passing or something people. I just feel like dunking is cheap entertainment.

I have officially joined a softball team here in chicago. tuesday nights. competitive league. i havn't even met any of my teammates yet. we play this tuesday night. should be fun.

Strange things happen when i sleep. Its unexplained because, well, i'm sleeping. I think i might be possessed. If anyone has a video camera, i'd like to use it to see what i do. Everyone whos slept in the same room as me lately, they say i talk. not like every once in a while, but every night. My roommate Da'rrow, says he hears me through the walls. He laughs then goes back to sleep.

Ok well thats normal, right? ok maybe not, but a lot of people do it. my pal cherie claims to do it too.

But every night i'll go to bed, all tucked in with a sheet, electric blanket (not plugged in, i'd overheat if i did that) and a down comforter. (you also have to remember i'm in the basement. its quite cool down there) And every morning i wake up with the sheet pulled up to where the entire thing is around my neck. all the other covers are mangled, but the sheet is completely pulled up. I wish I knew what I did during the night. My parents used to say that i kick like a mule in my sleep, but this whole sheet thing is new, but consistent. I don't understand. I sleep like a log. I don't usually wake up in the middle of the night, but while i am asleep, strange things are going on. I'M GOIN' CRAZY OVER HERE

-JJ

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Road Less Travelled


My Bike and I

So Yesterday i bought a bike. Its no super $2,000 bike, but he's no slouch either. Good frame, double walled rims, front fork suspension. Its a Specialized RockHopper. And I didn't waste anytime tryin' him out. The guy at the shop clued me into a trail just north of chicago.

This mornin, after calling the shop to figure out how to take the front wheel off, packed a lunch, packed my bike in my car, and drove 30 mins north of the city for a little ride. Its called the Des Planes River Trail, which winds 40 miles along the...you guessed it...des planes river. I found a place to park near the trail, put my bike together, and off I went.

I was tired within the first 5 mins. Not kidding. but the scenery was amazing, tons of lakes, ponds, lush greens, beautiful blue sunny sky..highs in the upper 60s and a cool breeze. and it was a monday...the entire trail was to myself. I found a bridge, snapped a few shots, and headed on. Things were pretty tame, just pedalling along, relaxin', takin it all in, nuthin' too hard. There were a lot of small trails that veered from the main trail, and i always took them. they were through grass and dirt instead of gravel.

I'm a very adventurous person, so i was always excited as to what was around the corner. a bridge? a jump? so at this point i didn't feel tired. i was too excited about what lied ahead. There were a lot of small hills that i could speed up to and fly down. I found one side trail that led right next to the river with 5 or 6 good bumps that i could pull up on and get some air. nice.

i found a picnic area to eat, and a small trail with mud at the bottom...i hit it hard...ahhh..first taste of mud for my bike...and my legs.

around 1pm, i decided it was time to turn back. however i found a little trail that went up this large hill. i thought before i turned back that i would go up this thing then ride it down. this is where the fun began.

I got up,took a short breather, then headed down, pedalling as hard as i could, flyin' down this hill. then i hit the little turn on the hill. Realizing i was going way to fast to make the turn, and with not enough space to slow down, i hit my rear brake, i started fishtailing a bit, back tired locks up, and i fly straight, uncontrollably into the woods...with briars. i was fine...just laughed at myself and moved on.

at this point i'd like to mention that when the bikeshop owner told me i needed a helmet, i said i had one at home. which wasn't true. i just didn't want her to refuse to sell me the bike without a helmet. i never wore those things growing up, and i had my share of crashes and flips over the handlebars. and i'm fine. so i have no helmet on.

on the way back im noticing that its a lot harder going back. the adventurousness is gone.

i find a trail i had missed earlier. tearing down it, i run into a small problem..its flooded..no way around. don't matter. i go right through it, sloshing up water and mud...getting stuck a couple of times, but i get through. i hit another little muddy area, get bogged down, try to push back on the peddle, my foot slips and my shin slams into the peddle......ahhhhh..blood. oh well. i continue on. it leads to a residential road. i can't find the original path. i ask a landscape worker. he has no idea. dang. i have to go back through that muddy path. i make it through, see some deer and duck on the way.

i can't tell you how tired i was on the way back. exhausted. my legs hurt. my butt hurt. my back hurt. everything. i started counting how many miles i'd been..(there were mile markers) so i counted from where i turned around to the start and multiplied by two. by the time i made it back..counting the muddy trail that i had to do twice...20 miles. what??? how'd i do that? and this wasn't cozy road riding. this was tough. its amazing how much harder the ride going back was.

i just know i'll feel it in the morning.

for pics of this little escapade, go here

Sunday, April 24, 2005

What a Pain

So i wanted to settle in last night and watch sportscenter, unfortunately the NBA playoffs were on. So I settled for Punk'd. Is anyone with me in saying that the NBA is grossly overpopular, as its basically a competition between iverson, lebron, garnett, shaq? theres no passing. its just dunk after dunk. its BBOORRRRINNNGG!!! last year was entertaining for the pure fact that the little pistons pounded the mightly lakers. but now i just REALLY don't care. I'm making myself sick by just making this a topic.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What do do...and What not to do...

alright, for all you flyers out there...heres some tips to keep flight attendants happy...and other passengers happy....and having a better flight.

-yesterday i had to settle an argument between two men because one guy was "taking up all the armrest." are you kidding??? cmon', lets act like adults here. and yes, i had to seperate them.

-the seatback pocket is NOT YOUR PERSONAL TRASH CAN. you can put stuff in there. thats fine. thats what its for. but for cryin out loud don't leave it. be responsible.
-after takeoff, the seatbelt sign is on...just stay seated until its off. i know ya gotta go to the bathroom, but unless your 'bout to leak all over yourself (i'm not cleanin' it up) just hang tight. its the rulz. i don't make'm. but YOU can be personally fined for breaking them. like $1,000 bucks. i'm not kidding. :) FAA is pretty ruthless.
-ok listen, theres a 2 bag limit...one goes up above, one below. DON'T walk on the plane with 2 HUGE carryons. then u get mad when theres no room and we have to check them. or you take up all the space and we have to check someone elses. then the flights delayed. boeing makes the planes, they put all the space they can up there. and we all have to share...ok?? oh, and please don't try to squeeze your rollerbag under the seat and hope we don't see it. it doesn't fit. and we will see it. oh, and you can get fined for that, too.


-during the announcements at the beginning, don't wear ur earphones. i dont care if you pay attention, but i dont' feel like havin' to tell you that you can't have ur ipod on, then you smart off and say "uhh, its not on." well if you have ur headphones on, then ur askin' to be harrassed.

-don't order 2 drinks at once. (yesterday i had 3 guys order 5 jack daniels', and 2 waters.) you can get more later. we are more than happy to do that. just lemme get everyone else's first.

-Control your kids. i know its hard sometimes, but i've just seen too many parents let their kids run wild while parents do nothing. they ask us...yes. they ask US, to tell their kids to put their seatbelts on.

-last of all, just listen to our announcements. we pretty much tell ya everything you need to know. except for "what lake that is over there." (a guy told me if anyone asks me, then just tell them my middle name. for instance, "oh, thats Lee lake!!!" haha. people never know the difference, its actually quite amusing.


These are just a few occurrences that i see DAILY. I don't mean to complain, i just wanna help everyone out. i just laugh everytime. i look at this list and i think its common curtosy. its just amazing what people do. I love all my passengers and i'll always have a smile on my face, but...are you kidding????

and just a heads up, if you commit one of these crimes and we correct you, and we are accidentily rude (i've done it a couple ..er...few...times) we really don't mean to be, its just hard to have to nag EVERYONE about this stuff all the time and not get frustrated and come off as rude.

-JJ

Friday, April 15, 2005

Smokin'

First, just a few feelings i'd like to share....

-Sheff, thanks for holdin' back. You had every right to deck that guy. I'm really getting sick and tired of stupid drunk fans getting involved, which usually ends up having a player get fed up and end up getting suspended. That fan should be gone for the season. These people aren't baseball fans...they're hoodlums.

-After reading a little more of "a people's history of the u.s." i'm coming to realize that our little war over there is more about business and oil. Some people are probably ticked about this. I just think we're takin' care of two birds with one stone.

Smokers. Why? Thats the question. Is it cool? I guess thats how it starts. Cuz other than that theres no reason to start. Then you get addicted and what not. To each his own, right?

NO. I hate smokers. They're always in the way. They contribute nuthin' to society. Just a nuisence. YEAH. thats right. if you're reading this and you smoke, i think your a pain in the rear end of society. Why? Cmon. You stink everything up. I can't go to bowling alleys because of you. Or Bingo Halls...Or sometimes restaurants. It's pathetic. How can you sit in that little room in the airport and soak up toxic air? What is so appealing about that? Then we have to sit around and wait on people who need a smoke...yesterday we had a through flight. we came from san diego, stopped in baltimore,(long way..i know) and we had a few stay on and continue on with us to providence, r.i. i'm tryin' to count everyone thats staying on to make sure we have a right count, and this guy asks me if he can go smoke. OOOHHH...LETS HOLD THE PLANE! THIS GUY NEEDS TO STEP OFF AND HAVE A SMOKE. I DONT THINK ANYONE WILL MIND. SURE SIR, DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO. AND YOU CAN COME BACK AND STINK UP THE WHOLE PLANE. ya know what?? you might as well just sit right here in the seat and light up, cuz we're all gonna smell it anyways when ya get back.

and no, ur cologne won't cover it up.

course i didn't say this. but i thought it. with a smile on my face...as i told him to kindly sit back in his seat and hang tight for a sec.

And thats pretty much all I have to say about that. (take a deep breath, jeremy.)

lata

-JJ

Monday, April 11, 2005

Why Baseball Still Rules

My list of reasons why Baseball is still The National Pastime...And the Best Game

-You dont have to be of a certain physical specimen to play...see David Eckstein

-It doesn't resort to violence as the main form of entertainment...see football and hockey

-Everybody gets a chance to step up to the plate,instead of having a "team" consist of 2 or 3 players...see football and basketball

-You don't have to be in shape

-It was invented right here in the U.S. of A.

-There's about 70 free souveniers per game

-Coaches get to wear uniforms

-I'm willing to bet that kids who play baseball are less prone to ADD (more of a patient game, instead of the keyshawn and iverson "gimme the dang ball...now"

-We get dugouts

-You can flex your muscles for the ladies in the on-deck circle

-We call Umps "Blue" and they like it

-You can play in the game in all parts of the country...see Hockey

-Keeping the box score

-Flip Up shades

-Fields have designs carved in them

-History...lemme repeat that...HISTORY

-5 Senses: Pop of the glove, smell of leather, taste of dirt when you slide headfirst, taste of leather glove, sight of a freshly groomed ballpark, taste of the ballpark hotdog, sunshine in your eyes, feeling when the ball hits the sweet part of the bat, feeling in your gut when you try to steal , the crack of the bat...

-Infield Chatter

-Best father/son...ookokko..and/or daughter...bond in sports

-Catchers gear is really cool

-The Squeeze play

-Coach-Umpire shouting match

-Every team gets a bucket of sunflower seeds...mandatory

-Big-League Chew

-the Bad News Bears

-In little league, the Ump asks mom for the score

-"play ball" means baseball, not football or basketball

I'm sure theres tons more...i'll add more if i have to, but right now i'm going to a Cubs game. lata

-JJ

*And the list keeps growing...

-Only 260 Hall of Famers since the 1860s

-Minor League Ball...where players genuinly care, ride buses between towns...and you can take a date to on a small budget.

-"LETS PLAY TWO!" - Doubleheaders

Friday, April 08, 2005

I'm Not Kidding....

So tonight was wild. crazy. no fun.

I went snowboarding about a week ago. when i arrived back in Chicago, my board didn't show up. Yes, my airline lost my bag. It happens. I didn't need it immediately, but they found it and called me at 1:30 am the next morning. I told them that I had to go to work in the next couple days, and I would pick it up on my way out. That night was tonight...

I landed from my trip, went down to baggage services, where i claimed my snowboard. whew. my baby was back in my hands. (for those of you who don't know, its about $650 worth of equipment). I went outside and caught the employee shuttle out to the parking lot , which is about a mile down the road. I get dropped off, go to my car, start putting my bags in my car when i realize my snowboard wasn't there. I had left it in the bus. Oops. Usually it just parks at the lot and waits for the next time to leave.

I jumped in my car and raced over to where the buses wait. no one was in the bus, and my bag was not there. i ask a couple of guys, who tell me no bus had come. it must have gone back to the airport....

i book it out of the lot, see a bus driving down the road, and tail it. i get close, pull up next to it, and i see my board in the bus. so i follow it all the way back to the airport, pull up behind it (we're at the departures part of the airport) and run in the bus....no snowboard. must have been my imagination. i tell the driver, who tells me that that bus must be downstairs(arrivals)...so i jump back in my car, circle the airport, pull up to the place where you pick up people, turn my car off, turn the hazards on, and jump out, racing across the street and jumping on the bus that usually takes us to our lot. no snowboard. i tell the lady, who radio's in and tells them that i lost my bag. she tells me that i better go check on my car, cuz those cops out there are nazi's about not parking there. i run back, only to find them giving me a ticket.

i begin telling the lady what was going on, and she says its too late, shes already writing the ticket. theres nothing i can do. and this lady was downright MEAN. at this point i could care less about the ticket. i just don't know what to do, where to put my car. i just want my snowboard back. i don't have time to go to a lot. if i leave it they'll tow it. i explain my situation. she doesn't care. "its your problem" she says. dang it. she won't give me any ideas about what to do. she thinks i'm still trying to get out of a ticket. this lady is ruthless. and she keeps telling me that me being an employee that i should know better. this is all true, but i was in no position to be thinking rationally here. another parking person comes over, calmly apologizes, says the lady is new and not very compassionate, and tells me to go park over in the daily lot, and walk down back to the southwest baggage service, and tell them what happened. so thats what i do. i get down to baggage service (mind you, this is where i just claimed my snowboard) and i tell them what happened. they couldn't believe it. they know me by name at this point. she says "Jeremy, you just need to go home." I'm like "now without my snowboard i'm not."

so they call the shuttle bus place for me, i sit on the phone with a really nice lady who is yelling in the background as drivers pull up to see if theres a snowboard on board. nope. nothing. she keeps trying. "HEY! IS THERE A BAG ON YO BUS?? NO?? OK!!" 5-10 mins later, she says "theres another bus here. i'm gonna go check myself. call back in 5 mins." so i hang around, and call back. "I've got it" she says. whew. i thanked her and asked if she wanted anything to eat. i was willing to bring her dinner. she turned it down.

at that moment, who walked in but the evil lady who gave me a ticket. i said "well look who it is!" she looks at me and ..get this.. apologizes. she said she was so sorry and that if she knew i was an employee she would have understood. but when she found my car with no one in it (i was gone a max of 1 minute) she asked whos it was. people around just said that the person had run across the street. she was in no position to let that car sit there. i understood. she even gave me directions to the shuttle bus place. i told her i was gonna write in and contest it, and she thinks i'll be able to get out of it.

so i drove to this lot of buses, go inside, where i see the nice lady that helped me out. i gave her a big hug, (and its these times i wish i could give out free southwest tickets)...and thanked her. I took my snowboard...and i'm glad to say shes safe and sound in my room at this moment.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

For those who don't know

OKOKOK...i guess i could tell that story. I was going to, but i figured everyone had heard that one. so here we go...

My freshman year i was on an intramural softball team, and surprisingly we were dang good. We were smart too. We made teams pitch to us. we'd end up walking the bases loaded, then steven would hit a moon shot and we'd all score. one team was so mad at us because of that that they wouldn't say a prayer with us after the game...geez.

so championship game. I'm playin second, like i had all season. big James Henderson..who must have been 6'5" 350 lbs , a left hander, gets up. the time before he had squeezed the ball in-between me and first baseman. so i cheated over towards first. and whatdya know, he hits it in the exact same spot. well this is as far as i remember, but from references, the ball was smacked hard, i went over to field it, and it took a funny hop at the last second, and jumped up toward my face. i got my glove up in time, but the ball bounced off the top of my glove, and hit me square in the eye. apparently i stood for a split second, collapsed to my knees then hunched over on the ground. the next thing i remember, there were a few of my teammates crowded around me. i was asking which way the school was, cuz i knew where i was , just didn't have my bearings. i didn't get my bearings until later. apparently the other team kept circling the bases while i was unconcious. jerks.

i was rushed to the hospital. they asked me my social sec number, and i knew that b/c acu drills that into your head. i got to do the whole cat-scan thing . everything turned out normal. they confirmed that i had had a concussion. that night i had people waking me up every once in a while to make sure i didn't die. my face ballooned up. i was like an alien. but i do remember having girls be allowed to come up to my room to visit. my bible professor even came to visit and offered to let me take my final exam at a later date. melissa weaver (nieland) sent me flowers. i think i was even a prayer request in chapel. and from what i remember people telling me, they made it out to be worse than it was. they said i was still in the emergency room. that wasn't true. my teeth were sore so i couldn't eat solid foods. the doctor said i was lucky to be able to see out of my eye.

i used to have a picture of my alien face, but it has since dissappeared. not my face, the picture.

the worst thing is that i never found my glove. in my daze i had left it on the field. and it was my brothers. he still asks me about that to this day.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Play Ball!

Sunday night, right after i get back from snowboarding in Idaho with my pop, you know where i'm gonna be. Sittin in front of whatever tv i can find watching baseball. thats right folks, the game we all grew up playing begins a new season sunday night starting with the yanks/sox. This time of year invokes visions of snoballs (or sno cones...if your not from louisiana) after little league practice, ice cream, big league chew, and little league heroic stories. Since most of us , if not all of us, played a little ball when we were young, i would like to open up the floor for some little league stories. I'll even open it up for older softball leagues.

So when I was little, I wasn't agressive. I LOVED to go out and play, I even loved practice, but i wasn't the most aggressive kid on the field. (my mom once even called my dad from one of my basketball games because she was so excited when i got 3 fouls) So anyway, we were having practice one day and i'm out in left field and my mom is watching me practice. (yes, my mom was so dedicated that she watched me practice) AAANYWAYS shes watching and theres a ball smacked in the gap between left and center. well i always had wheels so i booked after it, and i'm running and running and its jjjjuuuust out of the reach of my glove so my mom sees me do a full extension dive and i caught it. now my mom was so excited she couldn't contain herself. her boy was being aggressive. after practice i was walking over to her and she's like "jeremy!! way to go dive for that ball! that was great!!" and my reply was " mom...i tripped on a root." seriously. i had bit it on a root.

okok one more. I'm not exactly sure how old i was, but i couldn't have been more than 10. But i pulled off a play that major league guys have trouble doing. It was the only time i ever had the opportunity to do so, and it was soo perfect...

Man on third, 1 out. i'm up at the plate. i guess i wasn't exactly an rbi machine, so my third base coach calls me to a little meeting. i go up and he's like "jeremy, paul is running on the pitch from third. bunt it." A SQUEEZE PLAY! it was the most exciting play in baseball. do or die. if i can't get the bat on the ball and lay down a good bunt, my boy on third is toast. and when your in little league, lets be honest, we dont' do a whole lot of bunting. its almost always swing away...unless you stink and the pitcher stinks and the coach keeps giving you the "take" sign (the one that goes across the chest. it was always the same) so it was like a battle of who was worse...the pitcher or the batter. but this...THIS..was the squeeze play. i lived for this. so i get up there, i'm acting like i'm gonna plaster this ball into the next ball field. i'm staring down the pitcher. i'm wiggling that bat around, flexing my little forearms. he goes into his motion. i havn't changed a thing. he rares back to throw. still i'm acting like i'm gonna punish this ball. the ball leaves his hand, screaming towards home plate. i see out of the corner of my eye, Paul is dashing towards home. its now or never. i pull that bat down, square around. the ball hits my bat, i pull the bat back a 'tad to deaden it, and the ball rolls right down the third base line. paul practically jumps over the ball, and doesn't even have to slide. it was perfect. i didn't even get thrown out at first. coach had put his trust in my abilities, and i came through. i don't even remember if we won the game....did it really matter?

ok guys, lets hear some stories. leav'm in the comments.

-JJ