Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Life Lesson

I’ve been had.

Today I was lied to. I don’t like being lied to. Too many repercussions. Life lied to me. It told me I could do something. I couldn’t.

My bike’s been annoyed at me lately. Too much pavement he says. So today when I didn’t receive a call by 11am, I packed up my bike and took off to the suburbs to let him have a little air. Literally.

My first mistake was right there at the beginning. I turned onto the trail and two guys stop me, saying they were doing some work and I could go back this way. I told them I’d find another way out. Unfortunately I didn’t know another way. But I figured I could find one.

I arrive at one of my favorite trails, which begins with a steep hill that declines into the woods and is littered with roots, and at the end you splash through a creek. After that you go up a hill, then descend again. At the bottom of this hill theres a small creek. Theres two ways through this creek. The first is off to the side, where there is a bike path worn through its trenches. I had every intention of going this rout, but as I got to the bottom of the hill I stopped. I saw another way through.

The side of the creek I was on was about a foot higher than the ground on the other side. The span of the creek was about 2 or 3 feet. I looked up the hill where I had just come from, and I got an idea. I could jump this sucker. Easy. Life told me “Cmon ya pansy. You can do this. This is nothing.You’ve jumped a million sea walls out by the lake, this was no further of a jump.” So I trek my bike up the hill turn around, and down I went.

I picked up speed, hurling myself towards a trench that surely awaited my demise. I hit the edge pulled my front wheel up, my entire bike was now airborn….

Aaaaannddd…SMACK! My bike felt like it wanted to buckle under the pressure. I felt like I had just jumped off the empire state building. Unfortunately right as I landed, my right foot slipped off the peddle.

Now I don’t have the most muscular legs. If you’ve seen my shin, theres not much between the bone and the skin. It’s like a razor right under the surface of my skin.

When my foot slipped, the peddle started at the bottom of my leg and proceeded to climb up my leg, ripping flesh away from my leg with the its teeth that normally serve as grips. I’m barreling out of control. I pull my back break and I start fish-tailing out of control, slamming into thick bushes. I come out the other side and proceed to fall off the right side of my bike.

I was ok, I was not knocked unconscious, I did not pass out, I did not break any bones, and unfortunately I had forgotten the card for my camera, so I was unable to take a picture of the effects. However I did not touch the wound until I arrived at home, so if you want you can see a picture of it below.

I rode away from the accident alive and well. Well, except for the pieces of flesh that I felt flapping in the wind as I sped up for the next jump.

P.S. I WAS wearing a helmet.


This is what it's all about

Monday, June 27, 2005

Man Up!

Ok guys its time to get real and man up. Enough of all the lies!!!We've put this mask on to the world, and all these white lies have piled up and now we can't get out of it. Let's come clean.

I've got this theory about guys and alcohol. So close you eyes and imagine you walk into a bar. Everyone has to do this because if you WERE in a bar recently, chances are you don't remember it. SO, let's all imagine.

You walk in, you see a buncha "macho" guys hitting on ladies up at the bar. What are they drinking? Guys are probably drinking beer, girls probably mixed drinks such as fuzzy navels or cosmo's. Right?

Why? Thats the way our society has been turned. But we did it to ourselves. We've been molded to drink this nasty urine-smelling beverage to make us feel like a MAN!!

But cmon. Let's be honest. Guys drink beer just to feel macho. (OR maybe its cheap and we just wanna get hammered) None of us REALLY like it. It's bitter and awful. But if a girl walks up and sees us drinking some girly fruity drink...its over before it began. The best tasting beverages are the sweet fruity ones. I'm sure some of you think i'm a little fairy right now, but I don't care, I'm the only one man enough to admit what we've all been thinking for years, and its time to set the record straight. Margarita's are where its at.

Sorry guys if i've blown our cover. But It's better this way.

FYI: Dad, Mom, Mr. Ambrose, others from my home church, i'm not an alcoholic, i drink rarely if ever, i rarely stray into bars unless the national championship game is on and i've got no tv. But i did go to the doctor not to long ago and he asked me if i drank, i said every once in a while, and he said it was good for me. so there ya go.

Friday, June 24, 2005

View from the Top

So i got interviewed by a Malaysian.

Jeremy's Bloggerview Questions.
1. What is the one thing you absolutely love AND hate about living in Chicago?

Oh geez. well considering I'M NEVER THERE, thats a tough question. But heres my tough answer. I love the view of the city on a clear early morning drive on the way to the airport. No ones on the road, and you get this spectacular skyline view of the sears tower and that other building :) What do i hate? THE TRAFFIC. I can't tell you how many times i've taken my car to go to the store and have come back before i ever arrived at the store. I just got tired of sitting in traffic then not being able to find parking.

2. Who is the one person in your life who has been most inspiring to you and why? (it has to be someone you actually KNOW)

Well first of all, I would say my Dad, but I'm not because thats the easy answer. Those of you who know "super-ted" know what i'm talking about. It's like answering Jesus in church. (...i'm not saying my dad is on the same level as Jesus) it's the easy way out. I feel that I need to leave the family to answer the question. No offense, dad.

Joe Hays. My pal in New York. When i moved to New York i guess i was still young and moldible, and Joe was the one that really inspired me to be myself. When the option came up to me to be a flight attendant, a lot of baggage comes with that as far as being a guy. People assume things. But Joe was the one that encouraged me to ingore that and to play to my strengths and do what I enjoy, no matter what people think, even though that meant i would have to leave New York. He's an incredible man of God. He's been going through a lot lately and he's faced it and refused to back down. He's a man that admits his mistakes but learns from them. He was the first person in New York to really engage me in conversation in an effort to meet me. And i didn' t even live there at the time. For more on Joe Hays, visit http://www.brooklynchurchplant.blogspot.com/

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Trendy People. People who do things for the purely popular reason. Superficial people. I could rant and rave about this. But i'm not going to. mostly because i tried to do it in my head but it made me so irate that none of it made any sense. But i'll give examples. Big huge sunglasses. White ipod earphones. (even though i have an ipod) A lot of rap music. People who go to parties to "be cool." People who hate on me for not liking certain things. this is what I hate.

I like down to earth and real. Keep it real kids.



4. What is the craziest thing you have ever done, to the point where it almost killed you?

This is kind of a hard question. i've done a lot of crazy things, most of which had a lot of potential to kill me, but nothing ever happened, therefore i really don't remember them. But I guess the riskiest thing i've done, which i didn't really do on purpose, and it was probably the most scared for my life i've ever been.

I was in New York and my friend amanda was on a campaign up in the bronx. Now the Bronx has a bad rap. It's really not that bad, so long as you stay out of certain areas at certain times of day. Which is where i got messed up. Anyways, i wanted to go see this friend, so in the morning i set off for the bronx. i got there, met up with my friend, spent most of the day up there, and towards the end of it i realized that the street i was on was the same street that the kid i mentored lived on. So naturally i thought i'd give him a call to see if i could take him out to eat. He ended up living about 10 or 15 blocks south, so i hopped a bus down to where he lived. it was about 4 pm. no big deal. after about an hr or so of trying to find him, he finally shows up and we walk down the street to a pizzaria. We eat, and i walk him back to his apartment. Now at this time its dark, theres no subway around, so he shows me where to catch the bus back to town. If theres one time when your in trouble in New York, its on a deserted street in a bad part of town. He takes me to the bus stop, and says "well,i gotta go catch my tv show" and leaves me. We're in a really bad part of town, its about 8 or 9 at night, and theres not a soul on this street with me. I have my hoody on, so i pull the hood on to cover up any white skin. I mean i'm really scared. Luckily the bus showed up about 5-10 mins later, and i escaped unscathed. I've never been so happy to see Harlem in my life.


5. If you could date and marry any well-known woman, who would she be and why?

If you know me, I don't really get caught up with "well known" or "celebrity" women. (okok, this doesn't count natalie coughlin) It kinda goes along with my irritation with trendy things. So when it comes to well known women, i tend to go for girls that don't get caught up in the "hoopla." Girls like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, girls of this nature. So If there was one "well known" woman (i'm assuming well known means celebrities) that i would date and marry, I'd have to go with Natalie Portman. She's classy, she's a great actress, shes doesn't seem to get caught up in all the mess.

oh,and shes short.

-JJ

Here are the instructions to post on your blog.1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here).3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm an Old man!!!

So I've descovered that I'm somewhat of a purist. After reading an article on instant replay, I've come to accept that fact...to an extent.

-Baseball should not use instant replay. Think of what we would miss. Imagine how boring it would become to watch Lou Pinella. And lets face it. YOU like the controversy. YOU like the scandal. It's human error. its part of the game. Not to mention how slow the game would go.

-I think baseball should go back to wearing those sweet old school uniforms. The ones where you tuck your pants into your socks. Where they were baggy, where names weren't used on the backs of the uniforms.

-Wooden bats should be used at all levels of baseball...from tee-ball on up.

-Parks should be built smaller. Wrigley and Fenway were popular for a reason. They're small, friendly, and they always filled up. Parks are built too big these days.

-I like small ball. I like defense.

-Dunks in basketball are boring. I'd take a sweet move for a layup anyday over a dunk.

-Pistol Peete is top 5 greatest basketball player ever. The man had moves. He revolutionized the game. Where would the suns be without steve nash?

-I'd much rather have a team that acts like a team, rather than a team that had 1 or 2 stars. (see L.A. Lakers)

-Lets get rid of silly dot/sausage/pizza races between innings. (Thats sports marketing you say? Find me one person that goes to the game to watch the dot races)

-I like smash-mouth defensive-grind it out football. Tell the Rams to get a life and the Saints to get some linebackers.

So there ya have it. What? Whats that you say? You say all this is boring? Well if you had have a brain and if you got your face out of the 92 ounce miller light to take the time to actually see whats going on instead of being amused by cheap entertainment (hockey anyone?) then maybe you'll understand.

-JJ

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Swashbuckler!!!!


sO tIRED
Why? I mean cmon. Every time i jump on my stinkin' bike, I'm ridin' against the wind.

It hates me. Out to the lakefront, I take off downtown, and its a trek. I'm panting, tired, cuz that wind is just a whippin' me in the face. I'm thinkin, "at least on the way back it won't be so bad. I'll have the wind helpin' me out.

Unfortunately the wind hates me. On the way back, again, its in my face.

UUGGGHHHH!!

Last night I had to ride my bike to my softball game, I was in a hurry so i was peddling my little heart out against the wind.

After the game, which we hammered the first place team by 10 runs, i had to get back quick to go to bed,and AGAIN i'm against the wind.

I just don't get it. Why does the weather hate me? Why must this world make it so hard on me? Always struggling I am. Bent down, hair sticking straight up, fighting, fighting fighting, peddling peddling, peddling against that unforgiving wind. It never ends.

Or maybe its just that I'm riding so FREAKING FAST!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Set Love Free!!

Its stupid.

Its outrageous.

Unbelievable!

absurd.

unjustified.

www.setlovefree.com

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Not in my House


Torii Hunter- The Epitome of Good Defense

“I'd rather save a home run than hit one. I've always been like that. Defense is what I pride myself on."

-Torii Hunter


A few weeks ago I’m playing center field, my position of choice, in my city softball league. I’m still trying to prove myself as an undersized kid who doesn’t hit with a lot of pop, so I gotta’ get it done in the field. So there I am, when a ball is squeezed through the hole between second and shortstop. As I charge, I hear yells from my teammates that the guy is going for two.

NOT IN MY HOUSE

I come up throwing. It’s a laser to second, right where I want it, the guy is toast. GONE. GO HOME.

My team picked me up off of the league message board. I’d never met them. I was a bit nervous. In my first game it showed. I was rusty. I misplayed a couple fly balls. I had started in Left-Center, and I ended up in right. I promised that I was usually better than this. But words would do no good. I’d have to prove it.

I played right the next game, and no balls were hit to me. The third game we were short people, so I was put back in left-center. I had a good game, snagging a few fly balls.

Two days ago, Tuesday night, we had another game. I’m back in left-center. I’d proven that I was a decent outfielder, catching the balls that I should catch, and even a couple tough ones.

Another ball is hit on the ground, it’s got eyes and it finds its way onto the grass in the outfield. I charge in again, and seconds before I grab it, I hear from the guys that we’ve got a guy going for third.

Poor sucker.

Again I come up throwing, firing a missile that hits the third baseman in the chest. The tag gets down. TAKE A SEAT, MUCHACHO!

It’s all becoming routine. At the end of the game my teammate tells me: “Man, that first game you really struggled out there in the outfield…but now your just makin’ it look easy!”

Not to mention my bat came alive that game, with a 2-run triple.

Watch yo back, Mr Hunter. Watch yo back.

-JJ

Monday, June 06, 2005

SUCCESS!

STOP. Right now. Stop whatever your doing. Put down the pen. Stop clicking around (unless its necessary to read this blog). Turn off the tv. dont worry about the crying child. Go. out to the store, and pick up a copy of this months Men's Journal. Ok, now flip a few pages in, page 18 to be exact. on the top right corner of the left page....YES. THERE. NOW YOU SEE IT.

I'm a published man.

So originally i saw in the magazine that the winner of that months letter of the month will win a mountain bike worth $2,000. So i read every article, picked my favorite one, and wrote a letter about it. It was an article about the Great White Shark, and how they have an unfortunate repurtation and how they are being killed off the face of the earth.

I didn't win the bike, but i got my name in the magazine. If you can't make it to the store, heres what I wrote:

"Thanks to Peter Benchley for shedding light on the shadowy world of the great white shark. It amazes me what people will do for a buck-without any regard for the future of this incredible creature. If only poachers who hunt these endangered animals for money would realize the beauty they are denying future generations. And all of this for an expensive but tasteless bow of shark-fin soup."
-Jeremiah Lee Jackson, Chicago, IL


Yeah, so thats not EXACTLY how I wrote it, but close enough. :)

-JJ

Thursday, June 02, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things

Since I'm sitting at home with nothing to do,thought i'd go through and pick out my favorite photographs in recent years. Enjoy!

-JJ

New Haven, CT

Central Park, NYC

This is why I love Montana

Can't leave out the moment we all thought Smarty Jones would take it all

Somwhere between St Louis and Chicago

ACU- Abilene, Texas

Jasmine loves to sail

Early morning in Burbank, Ca

Fetch in Central Park

Grand Canyon

Somewhere in West Texas...go figure

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm a Bad Mamma Jamma

Run around, scrape your knees, get dirty....climb trees, hop fences, GET INTO TROUBLE for cryin' out loud...not too much, but some.
-The Sandlot

I went to a wedding this past memorial day, and during the rehearsal dinner, they asked around for stories about the bride and groom. There were a plethera of people who began to stand up, and tell stories. Not surprisingly, most of them were about them getting into trouble.

Lets all be honest, being in a little trouble is good for you. It keeps things a interesting. If your curious, inquisitive, sometimes trouble ensues. And man does it make good stories.

I've been in my share of trouble. I'm not talking about being malicious to anyone, that doesn't do anyone any good. I was a brat when I was younger...I smarted off all the time (some things never change) but in high school I'd go to detention. I went to a all-boy catholic school, and i got in trouble for reflecting light off my watch around the chapel out of boredom. Next thing i knew i was being scolded outside and being sent to detention. I had to go for not turning in my baseball uniform in time (lame, i know), for talking too much in class.

I've run into my friends car...with that friend in my car.

I've had the cops called on me for shooting fireworks into a neighbors yard after i'd been yelled at by the neighbor.

I've been kicked out of wal-mart.

I've been busted shooting at a nieghbors mailbox.

Theres tons of others.

It keeps ya on your toes.

This past 5 months i've been on probation at southwest. Its basically a period of time where they have the opportunity to fire you for doing things you shouldn't. Once your off probation, which lasts 6 months, your covered by the union, and its really difficult to get fired...supposedly. during my 5 months, i've been perfect. never been late. never been written up, nothing.

I went to the White Sox game last night. at about 9:30 I called scheduling to see if they'd given me a trip yet for the next morning. Sure enough, they had, and my check-in would be at 5:30am....pretty early, and i was prepared to not get much sleep. I got home at 11, was in bed by 11:30, asleep by 12, with both alarms set for 3:45 (alarm clock and cell phone).

5:24 stares me in the face. I sit up, start thinking....DANG! I check my alarm clock..it had been turned off...check my cell phone...it says "missed alarm"

I call scheduling, tell them that i slept through 2 alarms (even though i have no recollection of either going off) and i was supposed to be there in 6 minutes.

He tells me he can give me an MBL (might be late) if i could get to the airport and to the gate within 15 minutes of our push time...which gave me 45 minutes to get to the airport. "not a chance" i said. its a 20-30 minute drive without traffic. not to mention i was still lying in bed.

apparently i had turned my alarms off in my sleep. as i thought about it, i did vaugely remember getting annoyed at the noise and turning them off...but it was like a dream.

So he gave me a no show. on probation we're allotted 2 pts. MBL's are 1/2 pt. if we go over, we're in trouble. a no show is worth 2 1/2 pts. oops.

i went back to sleep, got up, called my supervisor, told her what happened, and i was told to fill out an irregularity report, and see her in her office.

I have a very good rep with my sup. i always stop by to say hi. so i go in, sat down with her, explained what happened, we joked, laughed, she said this stuff happens all the time. Luckily I had a good letter a co-worker had written for me that i found out never made it into my file. so i gave it to her at the right time to help smooth it over. Except now i can't do anything wrong. I've got 1 mth to go before i'm off probation, and i've got to be perfect. No MbL's, no UTC (unable to contact) no noshows, and no bad reports. the pressure is on and its my time to shine.

Hey, I could go through probation and do NOTHING wrong. But whats the fun in that. At least i made it a good one. :)

-JJ