Friday, January 26, 2007

She Doesn't Mention the Word Addiction

The 2nd post in as many days. What's going on? Crazy, I know. This should be a short one for those of you who don't like my long posts (you know who you are).

There was a period in my life when I watched a lot of Law and Order: SVU. I'd frequently say stuff along the lines of "So I was watching Law and Order: SVU..." and it became a running gag with some of my friends. I still watch the show (the only L&O I watch) but my vices have moved on.

My current crutch is Wikipedia. I think the site is just wonderful and its THE online source that I turn to whenever I want to find something out. Because of the way it is set-up I usually end up finding out more information on other topics. I end up way off-topic from the original thing I wanted to look up. I think this sums it up pretty well.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Can't Wait

A little Paul Westerberg/The Replacements for you on this fine day. For those that are wondering, 21 days out.

Well, on Saturday the OFOMOL will be travelling across the sea (here are some asians playing that song) to spend time here in the states for 5 weeks. Its quite an exciting time. She's had quite a stressful semester and will enjoy time relaxing for the first part of her trip. Good thing, since there's NOTHING TO DO HERE!! Hehe. It's nice because we'll have a chance to experience what its like having a life together. Its little things like doing shopping, cooking, and cleaning together that I'm looking forward to.

The last time she was travelling to the states was over a year ago so its been while since I'm the one waiting for her. I've taken a couple trips there this past year so its a different dynamic. Travelling from where I am to where she lives is quite a chore. Its a 2-hr car trip to Pittsburgh, then there is a connector flight to bigger city to get an intercontinental flight for 8-9 hours, this lands in Germany and then there is another flight to Dresden. Yes, its not easy but you know what the best part is? You get to do it all again on the way back! Whoo!

When I was in Florida with my team this past December, it was one of my kids' first time flying. He was a bit excited to say the least. When we got back I asked him if he enjoyed it and he commented that it was kind of boring and not a big deal. I made a comment that its a lot of waiting, and that is exactly what it is. I don't care where you're travelling, but its all about waiting. You need to get to the airport ontime so you can wait in line to check-in. Then you wait to go through security. Once there, you have to wait at the gate until its time to board. Then you wait in the plane as it waits (kind of waiting squared there) to take-off. The time in the air is spent trying not to go crazy, especially if you're seated next to this guy. After you land you have to wait until it gets to the gate and then you have to wait to get off the plane. If you were oh-so-lucky to check baggage you have to wait at the baggage claim for it to come out. If you're travelling internationally, you've gotta wait as you go through customs and recheck your baggage. So yeah, this is air travel in a nutshell. We can all attest that its not the most efficient system out there.

When you have to go through all this and deal with the jet lag/time change, it can be hard to be excited about the travelling. Since all I have to do is drive 2 hours to Pittsburgh to pick her up, well, I'm very excited about seeing her. We're going to have a fun time. She'll be able to see my life down here and find out what rural America is like. And maybe she'll get a chance to do a guest-blog or two and address the "Mensch" issue from awhile back.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Don't Call it a Comeback

*Tap Tap* Is this thing on?
Its been awhile but I'm still here. I thought it might be a good idea to do some catching up. I'll try to keep it short, but my most die-hard readers know this won't be the case. First things first, I'm starting something new. As the title for all my posts come from a song lyric, I thought I'd put up a video for that song. This may not always work as sometimes I use obscure songs, but I'll do my best. Today you are treated to LL Cool J. That's Ladies Love Cool James for my readers not in the know (ie Mom and Dad).

I survived my first training trip as a coach. This went as smoothly as I could have hoped. The weather, the pools, the hotel...all got thumbs-up from the athletes. Oh yeah, the kids also trained their butts off. I was more then pleased with everything. We all had a great time and I know we're looking forward to next year.

Sadly I had to return from Florida but then I spent 10 days in Germany with the OFOMOL for Christmas and New Years. We had a wonderful time together. The weather was a little colder then I expected so I had to pick up a new winter coat while I was there. Yeah, I'm the dumbass who didn't pack one. As my old winter coat was 5 years old, I was in the market for one. I was able to pick up a nice European jacket -- one with the removable fleece liner. Its also in orange and black, very apropos for my job. Of course the saleswoman immediately tried to get me to buy the one for 300 Euros. Nope, sorry. Anyway, we're in a nice department store in downtown Dresden and go to check out. Since I'm travelling I'm carrying limited cash and use my debit card for other expenses. Well, this store does not take credit cards. How does this happen? I mean, McDonald's takes plastic thesedays. But over in Europe, its a little different. How are you supposed to cater to travelers like myself? Fortunately the OFOMOL covered it and I owe her. Hopefully the dollar doesn't lose any more value to the euro.

We took a side trip to Prague between Christmas and New Year's. What a beautiful city! We had a nice hotel right off the metro. The great thing about Prague is that it wasn't destroyed during WWII so the buildings are still preserved in their original state. It's also pretty cheap. We had a couple of really nice meals. For example, for $30 (thats in US Dollars, not Czech Koruna) I had a shrimp cocktail, main course, cup of tea, and a sprite while she had two glasses of wine, and a main course. Quite a deal. I also enjoyed that they spoke english there, so I was able to order things and talk with the merchants. Speaking of merchants, there are all sorts of shops for tourists to spend money. A lot of these places are pretty small. But you know what you can do? You can use a debit/credit card to pay for stuff. Now there is a concept that other places could adopt! I got to try some Grog -- rum, hot water, and sugar. The Czechs like to put a lot of rum in there. As it is a hot drink, you want to keep it warm, but the level of alcohol can limit this. I took it like a man and drank it up. I doubt I'll be having one of those again.

The visit to Europe was great. This was my first Christmas away from my family and even though her family doesn't speak English, I had a great time with the OFOMOL and her family. They made it feel like home.

Monday was a both a good and bad day. tOSU played what is, IMHO, their worst game in the Jim Tressel era. It was the first time that he was out-coached. The team look flat, they fell behind and didn't know how to respond. Whatever game plan (offensively and defensively) they had didn't work and the team wasn't able to adjust to what Florida had schemed. Anyone who followed them realizes this game isn't indicative of their season. 12-1 with a 2nd trip the BCS Championship game in 5 years is quite an accomplishment. Tressel will be back and will be hosting a crystal ball yet again.

As for the good news, well guess which band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum? Yes, R.E.M.!!!!! Like it was ever a question. One of the cool things is that Patti Smith (who heavily influenced all members of the band) is being inducted too. The other inductees are Van Halen, Grandmaster Flash, and the Ronettes. I'm looking forward to the traditional all-star jam. That should be fun. Its also curious as to who will induct the band. I mean their influence is profound and there is a laundry list of artists who could induct them. As good of music as they put out, their influence is equally parallel. They were leaders of the 80s college-rock/indie circuit. They put out an album a year from 83-88 and supported this with constant touring. This lead to their superstar status of the early-mid 90s. Bands these days look at them both musically and what they stand for. Yes I am a biased opinion, but this is truly worthy of everything they've done over the past 27 years.

Alright, hopefully I can get back on the horse and be a little more regular in this new year.