Sunday, April 14, 2013

On coaching hockey..

I've had the urge to write lately, so here it goes. It's been like two-some-odd years since my last blog post, so scroll down to read what my life was like two years ago. A lot has changed since then, as you can imagine.

I've been reflecting on my life a lot lately. I guess, this is what I envisioned--but not exactly what I envisioned. I mean, here I am at 23, living upstairs with my parents and working a dead-end job at Hannaford with $100,000+ of college loan debts to pay back for a degree that becomes more useless by the day. But in the weirdest way, I don't think I'd have it any other way.

The past week has been the first since July 3rd of last year when I didn't spend at least five days in an ice rink. It was a crazy summer, fall, and winter to say the least. I was fortunate enough to go away last summer with Townshend hockey and learn from some of the best coaches in the world. I got to coach OHL draft picks and kids that I got to follow in the U16 and U18 national championships last week. I was at two Chowder Cups, got to coach in Buffalo, NY, and spend my summer the only place I'd want to--in an ice rink.

Then there was the Renegades team, who may have been the most special team I could ever coach. They were the biggest group of clowns, comprised of mostly 7th and 8th graders. They made every single practice and every single game worth showing up to and reminded me every day of why I love coaching hockey so much. They were all unique and made memories that will certainly last a lifetime. We far and away overachieved, moving up several divisions in the Valley League in Massachusetts and reaching the semi-finals on anything but talent--simply a bunch of kids who loved playing the game and loved each other.

Then there was Cape and the magical ride there. We had to win our last game just to make the playoffs, and we beat the team below us in the standings 1-0 in overtime. What an incredible rush that was--only to be topped a few days later by our first playoff win since 2009, a 4-3 win over Yarmouth. Then we got to play at the Colisee in Lewiston in front of over a thousand fans, losing to the eventual state champions in Greely. Cape managed to fill two buses full of students to make the drive and there was a buzz about hockey in Cape Elizabeth. It was an awesome, awesome experience and I can't be more thankful that the people in Cape believed in me to lead their hockey team when my own alma mater didn't. And I couldn't be luckier at how things turned out.

And maybe it's unconventional--heck, maybe it's wrong--but I am so happy with where things stand. Of course I'm looking for a job and I need one. But after spending nearly every day at the rink, getting to know and befriend and work with some of the greatest kids and people I could ever ask for, it makes me wonder how I could ever want anything different. I guess it isn't glamorous getting up at 5 am every day to make doughnuts, but it allows me to do what I want to do. I'm leaving again for two months this summer to head to New York and Boston and continue to coach and improve my own skills. I'm broke every day, am scrapping to pay my loans, but for some reason that's worth it and I have some sort of blind faith it will all work out.

I love what I do. It drives me. It makes it worth it to get out of bed every morning and know that something you say, or even a joke you crack, can make a kid's day. I am by no means a perfect person and have made my share of mistakes. And watching the kids make mistakes, and subsequently battle and work their way through them, is a very gratifying process. Some of these kids may play in the NHL and some of them may quit hockey tomorrow. But regardless of where their careers take them, I'd like to hope they can look back at something I said or something I taught them and apply it, learn from it, or grow from it. If you have never been in that situation, words cannot describe how gratifying and rewarding that experience is. I heard a great quote recently that I really took to heart--teachers (and coaches alike) may not make the most money, but they make a difference. And I guess at the end of the day that's all I want and something I am striving very hard to achieve.

I recently had a conversation with a freshman at Cape who I have a lot of respect for. I told him that it was crazy, and kind of scary how things play out. Him and I are going to grow together--when he graduates at 18, I will be 27. He will learn a lot about hockey and life over the next three years and so will I. The symbiotic relationship between coaches and players is a fascinating dynamic. For every thing they learn from me, I take something from them--be it a lesson, a unique situation to learn from, or a ridiculous joke they heard in school that morning. Every day is a growing process for myself and for them and I feel like, even in the slightest way, I become smarter and a better person every day through a bunch of 13-18 year old kids. I look back at what my coaches taught me and the lessons I still carry with me to this day--how to be a good teammate, how to deal with being the in the dumps, how to pick yourself up and how to battle your mistakes--that is the stuff I will always hold near and dear to my heart; the stuff that has nothing to do with physically playing the game of hockey, but more to do with playing the game of life.

I guess I'm at a standstill and I don't know what I want to do or where I want to go. But I can truly say I'm the happiest person in the world. Every day for the past nine months or so has been an incredible adventure that I will never forget. I hope that I can do it every day for the rest of my life. I will never be the best coach, but I want to be the best coach and person I can be. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to have something I love sitting right in front of me. I guess this is the Wonder Years moment; the chance to win. And I want to take it. As the highs and lows, victories and defeats from a crazy season at the rink fade,  I'm left with a burning desire to keep pushing on and keep doing more of it. To keep having to pinch myself to see if I'm really doing what I love and if I really have this opportunity. My mantra as a coach is that "you have to dare to be great, and when you get that chance to win you have to take it." I guess I just have to keep taking my own advice.

What an incredible season it's been.


Friday, September 2, 2011

I was born in the dark.

I wasn't actually born in the dark; it was 5-something in the afternoon, but the new Fireworks album is phenomenal and deserves a plug in my first blog in almost a year. I can't even say I'll bring this back for good because I suck at that kind of stuff. I've already failed a couple of hockey blogs that I just got too lazy and too tied-up to write.

Anyways, let's talk about Fireworks briefly before we talk about the rest of life. So much to fill you in on from the past year. Fireworks put out an album in May and since I live under a rock I didn't buy it until a few weeks ago. It's incredible. Obviously I listen to a ton of albums and I do like a lot of them, but every once in a while an album comes around that's a gospel to me (no pun intended--the album is called Gospel). It's an incredible record front to back and has some incredible stuff on it. I think it--hold the phone--may top the Wonder Years album for record of the year. Fireworks are touring with Polar Bear Club and I kind of think I have to go.

Speaking of the Wonder Years, I bought a shirt online with the infamous lyric from "This Party Sucks" ("I don't need to pump my fist to look sweet") scrawled across the front. Besides the fact that a) I love the Wonder Years and b) it's a great shirt, it's oddly kind of special to me because of my distaste for the whole club scene. Those of you who know me know that I think that the idea of nightclubs and that whole "Jersey Shore" kind of scene is absurd and something I'd never partake in. It's a bunch of douchebags dancing to some pathetically orchestrated Top 40 hit trying to bring home some sleazebag girl who's easier than writing a better blog than this. It's the most random thing to feel strongly about, but I really hate clubbing.

And this is why no one reads this blog; I just wrote an entire paragraph about how a t-shirt "means something to me".

Let's see. To sum up the last year in four words: the Thrashers are gone. Obviously this was pretty tough because of how much I love that team and how much that team grounded me over the years. I've said it in many places before, but they were more than a team to me. The season starts in a few short weeks and I'm definitely excited, but something's a little different. I'm a Hurricanes fan now, for those of you who don't know, and I can't wait to see hometown boy Brian Dumoulin lace 'em up in the NHL for my favorite team.

Speaking of hockey season, I'm doing more coaching this winter. I'm coaching midget-age kids this fall, starting next weekend. It's just games and no practices, which kind of crimps my style, but it will be fun to work with older kids. In October the younger kids start up and I can't wait for that. I like coaching way more than I ever liked playing, which is remarkable for me to say.

What else can I ramble on about? I have a fish named Gilly and he's a monster. I need to get him a new tank but I'm not sure if I can afford it this week. Hopefully by next weekend he'll be into a new home. I also need to get my drivers license reinstated, get a Hurricanes jersey (which is a priority!), and take care of a few other things in the next couple weeks. I'm working like 40 hours a week, which is obviously pretty normal, but with school starting we'll see how long I can keep that up. Given my history of exerting minimal effort in school it shouldn't be a problem, but part of me feels really driven to do well this year. I guess I always feel really driven and when push comes to shove I kind of don't get out of myself what I feel I should. I guess I'm lazy? Actually, I know I'm lazy. At some point I've got to face the music and put my shoulder to the wheel and accomplish something in my life. Graduation is inching dangerously close, and frankly that's terrifying.

Blake's 21st is in two weeks and I'm pretty jacked for it. I think we're hitting the Old Port on the night of his birthday, which is Friday, September 16th. The following night we're going to Boston because he has some coupon for a free night in a hotel and that's what people as awesome as we do go and do.

I have a girlfriend. Things went all "square peg, round hole" in my last relationship and I didn't intend to not be single for my senior year of college. But if you get the chance to win, take it. Vicki's a pretty special girl. I don't have her permission to be rambling about her in here, so I hope she's cool with it. I've written about other girls in here in the past and if you want to dig through the archives you can find all that; but when I say I'm truly happy and feel as though I've found someone I feel right with, I've never meant it more.

I feel like there are other things I'm forgetting to talk about, so perhaps if I think of them I'll write another blog. Maybe I'll write another one tomorrow. Maybe I'll never blog again and you guys can all go f*** yourselves. Time will tell!

Listening to:
Fireworks - Life Is Killing Me
The Movielife - Jamestown
The Spill Canvas - Staplegunned

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Speak now.

Hello all.

I know I haven't blogged in two months almost exactly, and for that I apologize. I just don't feel like people read this anymore. This is my 323rd blog and I've sort of run out of stuff to say other than to vent about my miserable life and go on and on about crap you don't care about. If you do still read this, like it when I put it on Facebook so I can see if there's any interest level at all.

Anyways, life is swell. I'm at UNE and this place just annoys me. The people, everything. And I know you're sick of hearing about it, but this is my blog and Ill whine if I want to. I want to fight half of the administration and most of the student body here. It's disgusting. And the whole concept of RAs is pathetic here at the University of New England, or any other place for that matter. They get to get other people in trouble because they proved to administration they are good people. Good news, UNE: you RA process is brutal. I've drank with half the RAs on campus. It's not what you do, it's who you know. I mean, this place is basically an advanced high school. Oh well.

I saw the Wonder Years a couple weekends ago. It was life-shattering. I haven't even written a blog since I made this executive decision, but they're currently my favorite band. Saosin is doing their whole like, "we're kicking out our singer and who knows if we find another one" thing, so I've moved on to a band that has changed my life for the positive. The Upsides is still one of the best pop-punk albums of all time and I try to listen to some of it daily. Through some of the crap that I've gone through lately, I can't help but put "Washington Square Park" on or "Logan Circle" and just bring myself back and know that everything is going to be okay.

Speaking of great albums, the new Senses Fail album, "The Fire", is one of those life-shaping albums. In "Saint Anthony" they pen perhaps their best lyric to date: "it's always darkest just before the dawn". That couldn't be more legitimate as of late. Everything's pretty dark around me, a place I haven't even been close to being in so, so long. While Buddy Nielsen, the Senses Fail lead singer, typically writes about doom and gloom, the new album has bits and pieces of hope in it and it's kind of nice to hear. They're such a great band, perhaps the number 3 on my list (behind Jimmy Eat World?).

I don't know. Not much to ramble on about. I went to Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago, which was unbelievable as expected. The Thrashers are struggling, but you can read about that over at my other blog, Thrash Compactor. I had to cancel my Atlanta trip that was scheduled for Thanksgiving break because of my lack of funding. I've run into a bunch of financial roadblocks as of lately, but that's life and it's only going to get tougher from here with my $100,000 in college loans looming.

Men's league is going well too. We're undefeated and I'm leading the league in scoring. Hopefully I can put a few in tonight as we face off against Homestead Mortgage in what should be a pretty good battle. We're 5-0-0 and they're 3-1-0, including winning three straight. Should be a pretty good battle at Portland Ice Arena tonight (9:20 p.m.) if you want to go check that out.

I really have nothing to say. Oh, I bought a new fish. He's an albino oscar and I've named him Gilly. He should soon outgrow this tank, so I'm not sure what to do about that. He can live for up to fifteen years and grow to be over a foot long, so that'll be pretty cool. I've named him Gilly after the ferocious NHL enforcer Trevor Gillies.

Well, hopefully you enjoyed catching up with me. Who knows when I'll write again? But hopefully this will tie you over for the next two months or so. Oh, and Thanksgiving break is coming, so hopefully I can catch up with everyone.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not the average American.

Well, it's kind of disheartening that I haven't blogged in the month of September the clock quite literally just turned to September 17th. Sad, sad indeed.

I'm all situated at UNE and it goes without saying I'd rather be at Georgia State. That being said, our new dorm is pretty sick and of course living with Ethan is fun since he's pretty much my best friend. Speaking of my best friend, Mikey is in Springfield and it's odd because it's far away and I haven't seen him in 2 1/2 weeks.

Speaking of Springfield, I am no longer a member of the Fog. I made the switch to the Chicago Dogs and will perhaps make the jump to Division II at some point in the near future. I just want to be able to skate and be competitive. I love the Fog, I really do; it was a tough decision. A really hard one, actually. I've never really made a transition like this, but we'll see how it goes. I still feel like I can play some sort of competitive hockey, though obviously I don't really train and work that hard off-ice. I still do enjoy playing competitively though and losing really isn't in my vocabulary, so I've switched teams. Obviously there's more to it than that and hopefully I didn't step on any toes because that wasn't my intention.

The first full week of classes is done and it's already been a nuisance, but it hasn't been that bad. Thank God I took some philosophy classes. Really. They've been like, interesting for one, and secondly they've made me actually believe in school again. I was really so done with school last year I considered quitting and just writing for a living, though that wouldn't have gotten me far. But classes where you're actually challenged to think and not just spooned garbage have really invigorated me. Now whether or not I feel as such at the end of the semester is a different story, but so far so good.

It's fall out currently and you all know how much I drool over fall. I love crisp air. I also love apple picking, which I did yesterday. I bought a Czech Republic flag. It's raining. I love fall, though. Hockey season is close. I still haven't figured out where I'm coaching yet; the middle school offered me the "A" team position, which I wanted last year but didn't get. Now I don't really want it, but I've got it. Hmmm. It's a tough call. We'll see how that whole thing plays out too.

So much that's going to "play out" as I keep phrasing it. I need to get Jimmy Eat World tickets as soon as possible because I love them. They're one of those bands that sort of shaped who I am growing up. I haven't seen them in five years which kind of saddens me.

Pretty much it boils down to this: I need hockey season. Now. There is a huge void in my life without it. It's really crappy, actually. I can't wait to be on the ice with the kids and to be watching the Thrashers, who open training camp on Saturday. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I'm excited for the Thrashers. This is our year!

The Red Sox are toast but Ethan and I have tickets for them next Wednesday. They're playing Baltimore which will of course be a clash for the ages. Just saying, but...

if the Sox go 12-4 the rest of the way, including 5-1 against the Yankees, and the Yankees go 6-10, we're in. Just saying. That's quite possible but at the same time highly unlikey. But can you count on that Yankees pitching staff to hold up? Not really. It's something like a 2% chance they make the playoffs, but you all know how I am; until that says 0%, there's still a chance.

Listening to:
Eminem - Not Afraid
Asking Alexandria - A Candlelit Dinner With Inamorta
Mayday Parade - Get Up

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No one wants to hear your sappy bullshit.

So, I literally stayed up past 5:00 in the morning last night working on this blog. Not writing it, per se, but doing the research. I was listening to Senses Fail yesterday and thinking about how frequently I use their lyrics in my Facebook status' because they write some tremendous stuff. So, I did the research. There's this neat program that displays every Facebook status you've ever had (mine were retrieved back to 8/28/2008). My most-used word was "Thrashers", which really blew my mind. In 1354 status updates, the word "Thrashers" found it's way in there 130 times.

As you all know, though, I use lyrics as a status quite often. I find it's a more interesting way of capturing a mood. But what bands do I use most often? Well, I've determined it. I've used a total of 121 different artists. I've listed the ones I used more than 10 times:

Senses Fail - 27
The Wonder Years - 24
Fall Out Boy - 23
Sparks The Rescue - 22
Mayday Parade - 20
A Skylit Drive - 18
The Devil Wears Prada - 18
Four Year Strong - 18
Saosin - 18
UnderOath - 15
I Set My Friends On Fire - 16
Taking Back Sunday - 13
The Used - 13
A Day To Remember - 12
Eminem - 12
Thursday - 11
Bullet For My Valentine - 10
Tool - 10

Very interesting. Some notables:

A.F.I. - 9
Anberlin - 9
Too Late The Hero - 9
Chiodos - 8
Fireworks - 6
Garth Brooks - 5

There's many others, but it should be worth noting I have used Taylor Swift lyrics, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Lonely Island, Jason Aldean, and Rascal Flatts lyrics as well. I also used the Goo Goo Dolls more than once, which is odd in itself, and The White Tie Affair four times. I was surprised A.F.I and Anberlin weren't higher, but was kind of surprised I've used Too Late The Hero so frequently.

The point of this list? Well, there isn't one. It was kind of interesting to see some of the stuff I've said over the years. It kind of brings you back. There was some elation and definitely some depression, as well as everything in between. There was also quick a bit of humor. Some examples:

Tue September 29, 2009, 10:27 pm: dropping my balls down robs throat. fuck yeah!

Sat October 24, 2009, 9:52 pm: is a homo with a lightingdragon.

Mon October 26, 2009, 10:16 pm: tickling jesus

Tue November 10, 2009, 10:42 pm: drunk, would not mind some good ol asian penis right now...you know the number

Fri May 1, 2009, 11:07 pm: cant believe swine flu is at une..

Fri May 15, 2009, 8:43 am: hahaha fuck the bruins, fuck their dumbass/fairweather fans, fuck lucic, fuck them all! southleast division? i think not!

Okay, so that last one was just after the Bruins lost to the Hurricanes, but I liked it anyways. Anyways, there was no point to this blog and it took me like two hours to compose, but I found it interesting anyways. Senses Fail has a new CD coming out as well, so that total is only going to grow. Okay! Talk to you all soon!

Listening to:
The Wonder Years - We Were Giants
Senses Fail - Yellow Angels
Jimmy Eat World - My Best Theory

Monday, August 30, 2010

Stand up and scream.

You know, it's funny how quickly technology changes. A few years ago, AIM was all the rage. Everyone was on AIM and it was all fine and dandy and the best thing since sliced bread. Now nobody uses that foolish thing becaue it's obsolete, giving way to Facebook chat. Furthermore, remember MySpace?

Anyways, life is good. I've been working quite diligently and school is now merely seven days away. At least moving in, on the 6th; classes don't start until September 8th. LiWen and I are going to the Red Sox/White Sox game this weekend. It looks like Manny Ramirez will be making a return with the White Sox which would be absolutely fanastic. I'd love to boo that loser. My thoughts on Manny haven't changed much in two years, so if he is in the line-up on Friday, I will jeer him without hesitation.

Life, life, life. Summer is over and I worked a lot. I work a lot every summer, but this summer was brutal and I didn't really have much fun outside of work. I did a couple cool things, most notably a canoe trip with Ethan and I did turn 21, which as nice--but other than that it was a really boring summer. I guess that's growing up for you.

I am dreading moving my fish tank back to UNE.

I have to get Jimmy Eat World tickets. I bought a new Thrashers jersey. It's a blue Evander Kane jersey. It should be here within a week. I was going to get a white jersey, since I don't have one, but I was afraid it would get dirty and I don't wash my jerseys often.

Marston and I are getting half-season tickets to the Pirates. We'll probably buy those next week. I love Marston. I'm coaching hockey as well this year. I still haven't decided if I'm going to go back to the middle school; a lot to deal with, for sure, and we already won a championship there.

You know what's strange? How people evolve. When I was younger I used to have a terrible phobia of spiders. As in, like, if there was a spider in the room I would run out. Now there's a spider sitting on the edge of my bed and I'm too lazy to go kill it. He doesn't freak me out. Or maybe it's a she. But either way, I'm less afraid of spiders. Heights and snakes have always bothered me, but now I am deathly afraid. Like, if there was a snake in this house I'd run out the door so fast it'd make your head spin.

I have to pee so bad that I'm going to end this blog. Not much to say, per usual, but at least it's been said.

Listening to:
Check my Last.fm cause I really have to pee.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Texas is south.

Well, it's been two weeks to the day since I last penned something, so here goes because God knows you're all dying to read something. Does anyone read this thing anymore? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't because I never write, clearly. Plus it's beautiful outside today so I'm not sure why I'm sitting inside rambling away anyways.

Last night Phil, Matt Buonopane, and I went to The Devil Wears Prada show in Allston. It was borderline epic. It was really, really awesome, perhaps better than when I saw them at Warped last year (which was awesome as well). It was really special to be in a small room like that with a relatively big band and hearing everyone sing back every word. Yes, I know there's a lot of screaming and I know that they're Christian, but they've written some stuff that is really special to me personally. The first four songs last night were amazing and the encore was fantastic; they played "Louder Than Thunder", their only song without screaming and it was beautiful. It made my day and it was one of those special moments you only get at shows. Their set:

1. Danger: Wildman
2. HTML Rulez D00d
3. Sassafras
4. Ben Has a Kid
5. Swords, Dragons, and Diet Coke
6. Nickels Is Money Too
7. Outnumbered
8. Assistant To The Regional Manager
9. Reptar, King Of The Ozone
10. Texas Is South
11. Hey John, What's Your Name Again?
ENCORE:
12. Louder Than Thunder
13. Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over

It was pretty tremendous stuff. I will definitely see them again next time around.

Speaking of seeing them the next time around, Saosin, whom I've seen six times, are really losing my love. Is that even possible? I'm not sure. I never saw what a lot of other people saw; maybe it was my rose-colored glasses, but I always thought Cove put on a decent live performance. Saosin kicking him out, claiming his poor performance and smoking cigarettes; well, we all have our demons. It's kind of disheartening because I love Saosin, but sadly I'm more excited for Cove's next project than Saosin's next project. I really think he's a fantastic singer and I admittedly think the guys in Saosin are fantastic musicians, but something about the way they handled the whole situation leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Let's see. I go into Georgia State but unfortunately the money didn't work out. This is quite disheartening for me because this was sort of a dream of mine. I got an acceptance letter in the mail that, once you read past what it really said, essentially said "Matt, come live out your dream". I could have changed my major to, I don't know, something I care about, gotten internships somewhere that actually matters, not have been stuck in Maine, and been able to start my life in the place I actually want to be. But, what can I do? It's another obstacle I suppose. I really screwed myself by going to school in Maine because there are no opportunities here and my seemingly insurmontable debt is going to be quite a burden because of it. But what can you do? I'll have to really clamp down upon graduation to figure out a way to get all that done, but I really hope it all works out for my own sake. I still have no idea where I want to take life and I would have had so much more direction and opportunity in Georgia, but here I am in Maine, not living out my dream.

That being said, I'm excited for school to start because I do, after all, have a lot of good friends. Living with Ethan will be sick again because I would classify him as pretty much my best friend. There will be so many other good kids in our dorm as well, plus it's a new building. I suppose I have to make the most of the $100,000 I've wasted on my garbage UNE experience. Any prospective high schoolers reading this blog (and I'm not sure why there would be?) DO NOT ATTEND UNE. It sucks. The end.

LiWen and I have Red Sox tickets for next Friday. Manny's return with the White Sox..? Oh man.

Listening to:
The Devil Wears Prada - Lord Xenu
Rodney Atkins - It's America
I Set My Friends on Fire - But Reese's Pieces, I Don't Know Who John Cleese Is

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Outside, its a hard life. But that's alright.

Fear not! The Upsides is not dead! I know, I know I haven't written in like three weeks but I've been doing a few things, most notably working hard on my new Thrashers blog over at Thrash Compactor. I've also been busy doing that whole turning 21 thing, which was awesome for what it's worth.

So yeah, that's that. It looks like I'm going back to UNE unless Georgia State sends me an offer at the last minute saying "hey, come here for free!". I have to get my loan stuff together for UNE which I will likely do after I finish typing this blog. It's going to be a good time no matter what. I can still coach, which I'm excited about, and be around all the people I love and have become great friends with. I've come to realize how many awesome friends I have at UNE and I can't really imagine leaving them, though it would probably better me as a student to do so. But what the heck; this year will be good and I'll have some good times.

Let's see. LiWen and I went to Rangeley over the weekend. It's definitely changed a lot since the last time I went up there; namely there is a wind turbine farm on one of the logging roads I've always fished on, and secondly my favorite river (which I have blogged about many times previously) is gated off and access is restriced because people like to be complete douchebags. That was very aggrivating for me, but I will go back and fish there someday and hike around.

Let's see. We also hiked Bald Mountain, which was pretty cool, and hiked to Angel Falls which is a 90-foot waterfall. I like that area of Maine quite a bit. Unfortunately our tent didn't have a rainfly so we had to put tablecloths over the tent. We were pretty wet most of the weekend but it was fun. We returned the tent upon arriving home.

I know it's been like, weeks, but since I haven't formerly written about it here are my thoughts on Saosin kicking out Cove: I am so depressed. Having seen them six times, all with Cove, you can see why I'd be a little upset. I mean they are, after all, like my favorite band. That whole thing is sad, especially in the wake of Chiodos falling apart. They have a new album coming out soon, so we'll see how that is.

I really have nothing to talk about. You wonder why I don't write much...I have nothing to say. Life is no longer that interesting. I work tonight. And so, I leave you with little bullet points to hold you over until next time:

-Jo Dee Messina and John Michael Montgomery is next Friday..I'm pumped.

-The Devil Wears Prada show is coming as well and my ticket is sitting next to me.

-LiWen and I are going to the Red Sox/White Sox game September 3rd. This will mark the 3rd straight summer I've seen a Red Sox/White Sox game within a week before going back to school. How odd. And I love seeing them beat the White Sox.

-My fish are doing well, since I haven't updated you on them in a long time. Moose is growing up so fast!

-I've gotten a Blackberry since my last blog. It's my brothers' old one and it's alright.

Listening to:
Eminem - 25 to Life
Escape The Fate - You Are So Beautiful
John Michael Montgomery - Life's A Dance

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bittersweet memories.

Hello all. It's been quite a while since I've blogged about life, mostly because I don't have one. I just sit in my room all day, and though it is nice and air-conditioned, I still do nothing with my life and it's been boring.

So, I've been grappling with, uh, releasing this information to the public because I don't want people to start jumping to conclusions. First let me lay out that I am already over $46,000 in debt to UNE and I'm only half way to a degree. Upon graduating I will owe the school almost $100,000. All this for a school that a) sucks and b) I'm not totally happy at.

So what I've done is applied to Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta. I would be changing my major to Journalism in hopes of possibly pursuing a radio career (though I'm not sure if I have a voice) or some other print media career. There are a lot of logistics to work out, so let me detail them to you so you all can see how far I am from actually transferring to Georgia State:

1. I would have to save over $8,000 annually. If I didn't save a boatload of money it wouldn't be worth the hassle, but the prospect of cutting my loan down by $15,000 over a couple years is obviously very important, let alone I'd be going where I actually want to go to school.

2. The credits have to work out. I'm not going to put myself through a ton of extra work if it doesn't make sense to. I don't mind taking a couple classes elsewhere and transferring in the spring, but I don't want to have to kill myself to make up like 30 credits or something.

And that's pretty much it. There are a lot of other logistics, so I'd say the odds are 95+ % that I return to UNE in a couple of weeks. If I do return, I'm excited for it. I miss everyone there. Ethan's birthday is June 6th. He turns 21. This only gets mentioned to prove I know his birthday, so Ethan, I love you.

Who wants to go to the Red Sox on August 5th? I plan on celebrating my birthday down there that night. If you're serious about going, let me know today. I plan on getting bleacher seats for like $20-$25 and just going down and hanging out for the day, so let me know as soon as possible and we'll work on getting some tickets. They're playing Cleveland.

My fish tank could use a little water. I work from 4-9 tonight. I just bought a new license plate. It says "THRSHRS" on it and it's going to be sick when it gets here in 4-6 weeks. The main purpose of getting it is to evade UNE parking tickets. I also won free SoBe flip-flops on one of those little under the cap promotions. What a great couple of days!

Fog hockey lost last night, 9-6. I played pretty poorly and we fell to 1-4-1. There was a brawl post-game which is customary during Fog/Winship games. I hate losing, even in men's league, so our recent swoon is troubling.

Sixteen whole days until my 21st birthday. Going to be a fantastic couple of days.

Random tidbits before closing this thing up:

I have a new blog about the Thrashers, entitled Thrash Compactor.

I haven't seen Blake or Kevo in way too long.

I know I posted this on Facebook a while back, but Jimmy Eat World has a new album coming out in September. I have a feeling it's going to be fantastic.

I'm going to Jo Dee Messina and John Michael Montgomery at the Civic Center. Going to be a bomb show.

The Devil Wears Prada show is coming up. Going to be fun.

I haven't seen LiWen in a while and I miss her. Her GREs were today and I'm sure she did a fantastic job.

Speaking of grad school...do I want to go?

Anyways, not much else going on. Get at me about those Red Sox tickets if anyone wants to go. Maybe I can get like $25 from anyone tomorrow.

Listening to:
Chevelle - Panic Prone
Jay Sean - Down
Fireworks - Geography, Vonnegut, and Me

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A nice, new Top 10 list.

So I've decided to switch things up with the blog here. Instead of babbling about my life, which has been awesome (Ethan, two of his friends and I went canoeing in Jackman and it was sick), I've decided to ramble on about sports. I've compiled a list of the Top 10 sports moments I've ever been a part of, either in person or on TV. This was kind of a hard list to compile, since the Pirates winning the Calder Cup would be on there but I wasn't old enough to remember. So, here is a complete, 10-to-1 list of my sports history.

10. March 18, 2010 - Thrashers beat Senators, move 3 points out of 8th

While the Thrashers didn't make the post-season in 2010, personally being in Atlanta as the Thrashers rallied to beat the Senators 6-3 and the Bruins put forth a lifeless 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh, the Thrashers rallied within 3 points of the final playoff spot. The feeling was incredible knowing that we were so close and to see it firsthand is what made it even better.

9. May 9, 2008 - Pirates beat Bruins, advance to Conference Finals

The Pirates had a magical run in 2008, advancing to within 20:11 of the Calder Cup Finals. But their defeat of Providence in the 2nd round is what rung the loudest. The Pirates rallied from a 2-0 series deficit by winning Game 3 and Game 4 in overtime, clinging to a 3-2 win in Game 5 and finishing the deal in Providence with a Game 6 victory, 5-4. It was a magical series and a stirring comeback as the Pirates were counted out against Bruins rookie Tuukka Rask. The Pirates prevailed and it was a magical moment Pirates fans won't soon forget.

8. February 1, 2004 - Patriots win 2004 Super Bowl, 32-29

The Patriots first Super Bowl was less thrilling for me because I didn't really understand football at the time. After becoming a pretty avid fan in 2003, which saw the Pats go 9-7, the Patriots stunned the world yet again to take home Super Bowl XXXVIII. Adam Vinatieri hit a game-winning field goal with 0:04 left to clinch it in what was yet another unforgettable Super Bowl run for the Pats. The 2005 Super Bowl was special as well, but this one held a little more meaning to me.

7. April 6, 2007 - Thrashers clinch first-ever Southeast Division title

As I watched the Florida Panthers smash the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2, it meant only one thing--the Thrashers were going to the playoffs. It was a long time coming for the Blueland Boys and was a gratifying process. They got swept in the first round by the Rangers, but the regular season was a ride Thrashers fans will hold onto until our next playoff appearance.

6. February 28, 2010 - United States wins silver medal in Vancouver

It was a gratifying moment for United States hockey fans and one of the best sports moments of my life when Zach Parise knotted the gold medal game at 2-2 with 0:30 left. It was euphoria, even if only for a little while, across America where a record 27.6 million people tuned in for the game, the most for a hockey game since 1980. Watching it at the Civic Center, it was one of the craziest things I've ever seen...seeing the puck cross the line to send the game into overtime was one of the most intense things I've ever witnessed, good for 6th on this list.

5. July 24, 2004 - Varitek/A-Rod brawl

Being at Fenway for this is what moves it quite a ways up the list. This game had it all--Terry Francona ejected, Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez throwing down with Trot Nixon and Tanyon Sturtze going at it, and finally a walk-off home run by Bill Mueller in the bottom of the 9th of legend Mariano Rivera. It was unbelievable. The emotion in Fenway was unpalpable and it's no doubt something I'll never forget.

4. June 23, 2010 - U.S.A. Soccer wins group

This may seem to be strangely high, but it was a landmark moment in United States soccer history. Watching by myself at home, Landon Donovan scored at 90+1' to send the United States to the knockout round, their first group victory in 80 years. Being just minutes from elimination, Donovan banged in a Clint Dempsey rebound to send United States fans into a frenzy, playing out soccer history right before our eyes. It was a stunning moment and one that I will never, ever forget.

3. May 23, 2006 - Pirates stun Bears in Game 5

It was the 3rd round of the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs and the Pirates were done--down 3-1 in the series and 2-0 in the game after the 2nd period. So, we said good-bye to everyone at the Civic Center for the summer. "It's over," we thought, and it was anything but. Bruno St. Jacques scored 2:36 in, then Ryan Shannon notched a power-play tally at 7:25. Just :57 later, Tim Brent banged home the game-winning goal sending the series to a Game 6 which the Pirates also won. They would eventually fall in seven games, but the 2006 playoff run in SVRA's heyday was undoubtedly one of the best times I've had in sports.

2. October 27, 2004 - Red Sox win 2004 World Series

"Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. Underhands to first. And the Boston Red Sox are World Champions. For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball's World Championship. Can you believe it?" The famous radio call of Joe Castiglione says it all, but it was an unbelievable moment in my life. Having watched almost every single game out of 162 that season, it was the crowning moment. Having only been 15 I didn't have to endure 86 years, but it was still an unbelievable moment in sports history.

1. October 20, 2004 - Red Sox beat Yankees in seven, advance to Series

It was the most improbable of all sports comebacks. Three outs from elimination--and a sweep--when Dave Roberts came in as a pinch-runner, stole second, then tied Game 4on a Bill Mueller single. David Ortiz hit a walk-off blast in the 12th, sending the series to Game 5. Game 5 ended in the 14th when David Ortiz singled up the middle, scoring Johnny Damon and sending the series to Game 6 in New York. The Sox won Game 6 and followed it up by blowing Game 7 open early, eventually winning 10-3. It was a stirring comeback and is one that will forever live in sports history. I am glad I could be a part of it.

Listening to:
Just Surrender - Through The Night
The Swellers - Welcome Back Riders
Eminem - Cold Wind Blows

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jukebox memoirs.

Hello. Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. I had a pretty okay one. I got to spend some time at camp which was nice, but then I had to work a 16-hour shift at Papa John's on the holiday itself. That absolutely sucked. We got crushed later in the night and I still made like no money. That was kind of disheartening because I really want to to make money because all I really want in life is to go back to Atlanta but I'm not sure how I can make that happen if I make garbage tips.

Anyways, enough self-pity; you get enough of it in this blog. Let's talk about heroes. Matthew Leone, one of the two twins in Madina Lake is currently hospitalized after helping a woman who was getting beaten by her husband. Matthew stepped in, failed to subdue the man, and he came back and basically kicked the crap out of him on a Chicago street (see, I did have reason to worry). Just read this and tell me how you don't want to cry. The guy pretty much gave up his life for someone he didn't even know, and I think that's pretty amazing stuff. This is a band I always said was really passionate about what they did and when they said how much they loved their fans, they really meant it. They're pretty good guys from what I can tell--great guys, actually, so to see something like this is sad and reminds you of how much tragedy there is in the world. However, the outpouring of support from friends and fans shows how much good there can be in the world. The world is such a messed up place. Really.

As of today, July 5th, an arrest has been made in the case and on July 16th Matthew will have surgery to have part of his skull re-attached.

I still want to learn Russian dammit.

In other big news, the Thrashers signed goalie Chris Mason to a two-year deal and acquired Andrew Ladd of the Blackhawks. We now have four Hawks that won the Stanley Cup just a few short weeks ago. I think that both moves make us a considerably better team. I'm sad to see Ivan Vishneksiy parted with because he looked like he was going to be a stud, but he was projected to be the next Toby Enstrom and we already have Toby Enstrom so why have two?

Ninety-five days until opening night and 32 days until my birthday...obviously I'm pretty ecstatic for that. LiWen turned 21 last week. We went to the beach. It was nice. I like LiWen, she's a nice kid.

The new Just Surrender CD is fantastic. I really like it. It puts me in a unique mood. Not sure what that mood is, but you should check out "Jukebox Memoirs" because it's unreal.

Ethan, one of his friends, and I are going canoeing this weekend. That should be pretty fun. I have to miss a Fog game, but I'll probably live. I just can't wait to be out in the woods without anything to think about.

I went fishing the other day. Caught two trout.

I have nothing else to say. I just got really annoyed. I'm just tired and don't want to work ten more hours tonight.

Listening to:
Just Surrender - Jukebox Memoirs
Just Surrender - Through The Night
The Devil Wears Prada - Outnumbered

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eon blue apocalypse.

Now, I'm pretty thankful for everything I have in my life. However, I'm very jealous. Tool is playing different set lists at different shows on their current tour and the tour doesn't come within a thousand miles of Maine. I wish I could go to one. Just one, that's all.

Anyways, what's up? It's 2:21 a.m. and I have to be in the dentist's chair in 6 hours and 39 minutes. The whole new job and working late thing is prohibiting sleep, however, so I'm sitting here writing a blog. And listening to Tool of course, who is my favorite band.

Let's just talk about Tool. My God do I love Tool. They are the best band ever. They write really long songs but those really songs are really awesome and Toolisthebestbandnofuckthattheyaretheonlybandintheworld.

Anyways, the Thrashers drafted Alexander Burmistrov in the first round of last Friday's draft. I'm satisfied with the selection, though I would have rather seen Nino Neiderreiter. He went to the Islanders with the 5th overall pick, however, so what can you do? One-hundred days exactly until opening night, so I'm itching to drop the puck. Free agency is tomorrow as well but I don't see the Thrashers making any big splashes.

Just Surrender put out a new CD and it's pretty solid. It's not like an exceptional CD as far as music goes, but it kind of, eh, speaks to me? in a way. It's kind of helped me out over the past couple days which have been awkward in my own little world. Sometimes you just need a CD. "Life Is Not A Waiting Room", Senses Fail's last CD, was huge for me at a time in my life when the walls around me were cracking. I think that album was a big reason they didn't fall down completely. "Lateralus" by this band I may have mentioned, Tool, was huge at the time too. Sometimes music can just put you back together.

So, I've decided the measuring stick for friendship. The measuring stick for friendship is whether or not you know someone's birthday without having Facebook tell you. When people that don't know my birthday wish me happy birthday on Facebook, I'm going to delete them one-by-one because while the intention is good, it's kind of tacky and fake. I know all my closest friend's birthdays (Mike - 8/1, Phil - 4/10, Blake - 9/16, Kevo - 10/19, Marston 2/12...) need I continue. Those who I am not close friends with, I don't know their birthdays. Does that make sense?

Today is LiWen's birthday. Don't wish her happy birthday if you didn't know that already.

Anyways, I'm happy for her. She's 21 today but doesn't really drink so I suppose it's just a number. Now, 37 days from now when I turn 21...ruhroh.

LiWen and I have now been together for 8 months which is impressive I suppose. Actually, I don't suppose, I know that it's impressive. Who would put up with me for that long? I wouldn't even put up with me for that long.

Anyways, back to my life. I blew out a tire while I was delivering last night. That really sucked. Luckily AAA came in a flash and put on my spare and I was good to go. I only made $60 last night. I'm trying to save up about $700 to go to Atlanta in November, even though I don't think Phil will end up wanting to go with me like he said he did. And I don't really blame him, I am just making an observation. Who knows, maybe I won't have the money either? I hate babbling about money. I wish I wa rich so money would never be a problem again.

Rhetotrical question of the day: how gay is Twilight? I already know the answer, and it's not "a little."

So, let's finish this with random thoughts:

Dustin Pedroia's injury is the biggest blow to the Red Sox line-up. He's out for six weeks and it's not necessarily his skill but his leadership and spark that the Red Sox will miss.

Mike's dad is in the hospital tonight, and hopefully just for tonight...everyone say a quick prayer that he'll get better and back at 'em soon.

I don't like Sublime.

CYY is the worst radio station ever.

September 14th, Kanye's new album comes out. I don't care, but maybe you do.

The Devil Wears Prada are playing "Louder Than Thunder" on their current tour. Will be purchasing tickets as soon as possible.

God bless the Wonder Years. They are the greatest band on the planet. Some of the stuff they're going through..oh man. That really sucks. Looks like I'll have to buy some CDs and t-shirts soon.

I'm sad I can't make Warped Tour. I really wanted to see Set Your Goals and The Swellers.

Listening to:
Just Surrender - Through The Night
The Swellers - 2009
Eminem - You're Never Over

Friday, June 25, 2010

I couldn't think of a title.

New pet peeve. I can't stand when people tag people in status' on Facebook that they don't know. Like when they're talking about the Red Sox or something and they're friend with a fake Dustin Pedroia account and they have a status like "OMGGGGZ DUSTIN PEDROIA HOME RUN!!!" and they tag Pedroia in it. What is the purpose of that and who do you think you're fooling?

My life has reached an all time low because I'm complaining about things on Facebook.

Now to more important things. I suck at blogging now. I've been rather busy. Working late is killing me and I can't get to bed early, so I pretty much stay up until like four in the morning every night.

Let's see, there's a lot to discuss.

How about the United States soccer team? Amazing. Whether or not you like soccer or not you should be tuning in Saturday at 2:00 to see the U.S. play Ghana. The World Cup is such an awesome event and while I don't follow soccer with much intensity, but I have followed this team throughout qualifying and of course that tremendous run to the Confederations Cup finals. When Landon Donovan scored in the 91st minute on Wednesday, I don't think I've ever been so excited. It was a defining moment for U.S. soccer. I literally wrapped myself in my flag and laid down on the floor and yelled. Screamed. No, soccer is not my favorite sport; but this is certainly my favorite country. Those of you who are rooting for other countries should be ashamed, frankly. You're from America..get behind your country, I don't care how good England is, Italy is (and if you are rooting for Italy..haha), or how good Brazil is.

How about the Thrashers? First they trade for Dustin Byfuglien (who I ate lunch with!), Brent Sopel, and Ben Eager (...) then they hire Bruins assistant Craig Ramsay as the fifth coach in franchise history. The NHL Draft is Friday night and hopefully they either deal the pick for a stud right now or take Nino Neiderreiter if he's available; another game-breaking forward would be nice. Hopefully the Bruins take Seguin and he breaks both his legs.

The schedule is out and it is sort of favorable for me, though not as much as I'd hoped. If all goes well I plan on going to the December 23rd and April 2nd Thrashers games in Boston and the March 19th game in Buffalo. I'd like to go to Long Island on December 11th so see them play the Islanders and Phil and I are trying to finagle a trip to Atlanta after Thanksgiving to see them play Montreal and Boston. That would be quite a weekend. Since it's the holiday, however, it's a little more expensive to fly anywhere.

Other than that, not much to say about life. Went to L.L. Bean last night at midnight. The nice thing about my new job is that I can go fishing every day. I'll probably go fishing after I write this blog for God sake. So I'm going to stop writing and go fishing.

Oh! Tool is not coming to the East Coast but are opening with "Third Eye" and also playing "Intolerance" and "The Patient". My dream. Oh my. Have I ever mentioned I love Tool? You lie, cheat, and steal, yet I tolerate you.

Listening to:
Saosin - It's Far Better To Learn
Tool - Pushit
Taking Back Sunday - Cute Without The 'E'

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cold wind blows.

Hello.

So, it's been like two weeks since I've blogged and for that I truly apologize. My life has been incredibly busy so let's get to business.

Yesterday was my last day at Hannaford. I decided that after five years I had seen enough. It really is not a great company to work for, contrary to what you believe. After five years I made $9.50 and people within my department who had been there for a year make $9. Quite a contrast. And the people there are all tools for the most part, save a few. But I had grown tired of being bitched at constantly, talked about behind my back incessantly, and when you have another job that gives you 30+ hours it's really not necessary to put with up with the garbage I put up with at Hannaford. So good luck Hannaford; I'm sure it will do just fine without employee number 92470; not sure if they knew me by name anyways.

I know it's old news, but the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. I'm very happy for the Hawks and the city of Chicago, and even moreso for my friends in Chicago who got to see their team win the Cup. I thought about it and determined that if the Thrashers ever won the Cup I would just sit down and cry. As I've said, Chicago--enjoy the time as champs because you never know when it will happen; I'm sure in 1961 they thought it'd be a lot quicker than 49 years. But again, this my formal congratulations to the Blackhawks and Chicago.

The new Eminem CD has leaked and I have it, yet I still will likely buy the real thing when it comes out. There are some unbelievable lines on the CD and a lot of it is really intense, some of it showing very raw emotion from a guy that once killed somebody different in every other song. Plus he finds a way to work antidisestablishmentarianism into a song, so if nothing else that's impressive.

The Old Port Festival was yesterday, but I skipped out on it. Estes, Phil, and I went fishing at Otter Ponds in Standish and caught a few fish, all largemouth bass and none with a whole ton of size on them.

FOG hockey starts tomorrow with a tilt against our rivals in the Winship Warriors. Should be a good match-up, though we'll see how out of shape I am. Should be another fun season. It is a nice bridge between summer and real hockey season so I can get my fix of hockey. I can't wait for the Thrashers to open up; you have no idea. The NHL schedule comes out in 8 days.

I turn 21 in 53 days, which really isn't too far off. I'm extremely excited as I'm sure is easily believeable.

Well, I need to go to Blake's house to get my wallet, then get a new hockey stick. Alright! Oh, and my state tax return hasn't come yet. Unbelievable.

Listening to:
Eminem - Cold Wind Blows
Eminem - Talking 2 Myself
Hit The Lights - Coast To Coast

Monday, May 31, 2010

Airplanes in the night sky.

Hello. How be you? I be good. I'm pretty tired. I went camping with my family and LiWen this weekend. It was pretty tiring. I came back because I had a really long, strenuous 11-1 shift at Papa John's today. Two whole hours. I do it again on Thursday.

Anyways, LiWen is nice. It was a fun weekend. We went fishing a lot and yesterday I caught ten smallmouth bass; it's so much fun to fish for them when they're spawning because they're very aggressive. Today I caught five brook trout when I went fishing in Mill Brook. I mosty just got eaten alive by bugs though.

I have decided to release, if you'd like to call it that, the first short story that I had written for my little collection of stories. This one is probably not going to be good enough to make the cut, but it may end up making it with some tweaks. You can find that here if you so choose. I know the formatting is less than desirable because you can't tab on this website, but hopefully you'll find that enjoyable. I've been meaning to write a new story lately because I have this idea for one, but I haven't gotten to it.

LiWen and I are going to Fenway on Tuesday night to see the A's and the Red Sox. It'll be my second Fenway trip of the season and, coincidentally, the second time I'll see John Lackey throw. LiWen is taking me as a birthday present; premature, yes, but we had the opportunity and the tickets are really cheap. Now I need to find her a birthday present which is sort of easier said than done because shopping for her is an arduous task.

Speaking of shopping, I ordered two books on Amazon yesterday. One is F. Scott Fitzgerald's collection of short stories and the other is by Bob Frissell and entitled Nothing In This Book Is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are which is about sacred geometry, life on Mars, and levels of consciousness. In other words, it's this crazy new age book that is supposedly going to change my life and, more importantly, has influenced Tool (who are still not coming to the east coast) to write some of their songs, notably "Forty Six & 2". Hopefully that will come soon because I'm excited to read it and have my life changed. I also ordered a Gwinnett Gladiators backpack on eBay and I'm rather stoked to receive that.

I'm watching the pre-game show for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Hawks won Game 1 I'm honestly really excited for them. Chicago is a pretty good city and they have a lot of real hockey fans there, most of which have been dormant while they sucked it up the past few seasons. But it's been good to see an Original Six franchise rebound like the Hawks have.

I don't have much else to say other than the fact that I'm tired, just ordered a pizza, and am ready to watch hockey. Go Hawks! Go Thrashers! Go Red Sox!

Listening to:
Earshot - Closer
Tool - Schism
Lady Gaga - Monster