Rowan & Pops Hit the Course

Driving the golf cart with Pops

In a futile attempt to watch Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, I passed out on the couch around 1AM last night. I awoke to Rowan yelling at the dog. Realizing it was still dark, and the dog was still outside of his crate, I figured it was around 3AM or so. Turns out it was 5:25AM. Even though my plan was to play my usual crack-of-dawn, Saturday morning round of golf, I had planned on taking advantage of the fact I didn’t have to to to work, figuring I’d get to “sleep in” until 6:45 or so, then head out. All week Rowan has been waking up around 7AM, so I thought, with a little coaxing, she’d go back to sleep. After 20 minutes of “I don’t want to go to sleep!” and “I’m not tired!” I gave up.

The wife suggested I take Roe to Little River with me. At first I thought this was crazy. I mean, how the heck was I supposed to watch a toddler and play golf? After working somewhere around 60 hours every week, I look forward to my solo time on the course Saturday mornings. I usually play pretty well by myself, and it’s early enough in the day that it’s no problem getting home in time for the rest family day.

After giving it a little thought, I decided to take Rowan with me. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to play 18 holes (I’d be lucky to get in 9), and I’d have to pay for a cart (I usually walk), pack hella snacks for Roe, and try to swing a club with the constant stream of words exiting my daughter’s mouth, but maybe we’d have some fun. I’m so glad that I decided to take her; we had a blast!

On the way to the course, we stopped to get doughnuts and an Odwalla drink for Roe at Safeway. I’m currently on a diet, so I only got one doughnut. (This is a bigger deal than it sounds. I usually get three!) Of course, Roe had to have the frosted doughnut with pink sprinkles. She only eats the frosting and the sprinkles, but it’s her favorite special treat when she’s with me.

Why eat the doughnut, when the frosting and sprinkles taste a million times better.

Around 7:15 we finally got to the course. Kathy was working, and she informed me that I really can’t have Rowan out on the course with me. Insurance issues or something like that. She let us go out anyway, seeing as the course was completely empty, and likely to stay that way considering the greens were recently sanded.

For the first few holes, Rowan asked random questions while eating her sugary breakfast, and I played mediocre golf. The sand on the greens didn’t help. I ended up shooting 42, so it wasn’t too bad. My driver was on point today for a change, and I managed to pull off a nice draw with my irons. I hadn’t played since the Abalone Invitational two weeks ago, and it felt good hitting the ball well after embarrassing myself in the biggest Little River Men’s Club Event of the year.

I really turned it up near the end with a birdie on 18, (I played the back nine) and wouldn’t have minded playing the front to get a nice mid to low 80s score for 18 holes. But, by the seventh hole Roe started asking if we were going home soon, so I called it a day after nine holes.

Overall, it was one of the better mornings I’ve had after an early morning wake-up call from Rowan. Hopefully, I’ll get to sleep until 7AM tomorrow, but that seems a little far-fetched. Below are more pics from our little golf outing. Hopefully I can convince the Golf Club to let me take Roe again before the weather turns, since she had so much fun hanging with her pops. I realized today how much I miss seeing her during the day.

Chillin' with Pops in the cart.

 

Nice shot Daddy!

 

What did you do to the grass?

Her face is just too funny here.

This left for birdie on 13, but the sand will force a 3 putt:(

Ready to drive already!

Yes, I did let her out of the cart.

"Hi turkeys, have fun at your home!" Yeah, she really said that.

What a great caddie

Nice birdie Pops!

The Apprentice

Guuyln had never seen anyone move so fast. The young padawan crouched at the base of a large tree, concealed by the lush forest undergrowth, clutching his lightsaber hilt so hard, his knuckles had turned white. He tried to remember last week’s breathing exercises in a failed attempt to calm himself down. His master, one of the most seasoned, and respected Jedi Consulars stationed on Alderaan, was fighting for his life, and Guuyln had a front row seat.

The Sith Assassin was a something out of a nightmare. He was a dark-skinned human, wore flexible black armor, and a deep purple cloak that not only matched his double-bladed lightsaber, but his eyes as well. It was the rest of the assassin’s face that kept Guuyln’s feet firmly planted in the soft dirt. His skin was riddled with glowing dark purple gashes that spread from the back of his neck, over his bald head and congregated around his nearly black, full lips. The fractures in his skin pulsed with Dark Force energy, looking like rage-filled veins that could burst at any moment. He used The Force to move his body, and his blade, faster than Guuyln thought possible. His master, Whilum Yangli, was hard pressed to keep that deadly purple blade at bay.

The clearing hummed with the sound of impossibly fast lightsabers whirling through the warm morning air. Every other second the force of the blades meeting broke the almost consistent humming with very brief thunderclaps. Guuyln could barely keep up as the fight seemed to relentlessly bounce from one side of the clearing to the other. It was then that the guilt hit him. None of this would have happened if he hadn’t insisted they pursue the assassin in the first place.

*             *             *

“How many, commander?” Captain Briyguard asked.

“That is the third lieutenant killed this week, Captain.”

“How many last night?”

“Lieutenant Crossr, and ten of the troopers in his command group, sir. Eleven total.”

Briyguard looked at his personal guard’s commander and frowned. He had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. Briyguard had commanded the infantry troops on Alderaan for five years, and had too many scars and a chronically stiff back proving his loyalty to the Alderaanian cause. Never had he faced an enemy like this. Presumably, a Sith Assassin had been behind a series of murders at his remote outpost. The killer had never been seen, and left only the bodies of Briyguard’s command core in his wake.

Briyguard had made the request for Jedi assistance yesterday, when the news that yet another lieutenant and six infantry troopers’ had be killed. He thought he had better figure out a plan or he would have no one left to promote. The Jedi should have arrived already. It’s not like a Jedi to be late.

He was just about to dismiss his guard, when the door slid open. A Jedi Consular, who he knew of, but didn’t know personally, stepped into the command room. Just on his heels trailed a young boy, not more than 8 years old. The boy’s dark hair was cut short except for a single braid that trailed down toward the middle of his back. The boy was human, but he had never seen a human with eyes like that. Briyguard tried not to stare, but the boy’s eyes were the color of dried blood.

“You requested Jedi assistance, Captain?” The Jedi master asked.

Briyguard peeled his eyes away from the boy’s and met the gaze of the Jedi. He was tall, with light brown hair, cut just like his padawan’s. The master’s eyes were a bright, cool green color and his fair-colored skin was still darker than the boy’s almost translucent pigment.

“We weren’t what you were expecting, Captain?” The Jedi said, when Briyguard let the silence go a moment too long. He realized he was staring into the boy’s eyes again. The boy smiled. Briyguard tried to fight off a chill.

“Honestly, no, Master Jedi,” Briyguard finally responded. “I had hoped for a small hunting party of Jedi Knights. I mean no offense, but it’s just the two of you?”

“Truthfully, Captain, if it had not been for the boy insisting that we take the assignment, you would have no assistance at all. The war has taken its toll on even us Jedi. The Jedi Knights on Alderaan have either been killed, or are supporting the troops on the front lines. We are awaiting reinforcements from other systems, but for now, we are all you have.” The Consular tried to catch Briyguard’s eye, and realized he was staring at the boy. “The boy’s name is Guuyln, and he is eager to help his home planet for the very first time.”

Briyguard snapped out of it, and scowled at the Jedi. “You mean this is his…”

“First mission, yes,” the Jedi finished. “I assure you, Captain, it is not mine.” The Jedi smiled warmly at the boy. “He shows great promise for his age.”

There was something that bothered Briyguard about that statement. Promise, sure, but what was with those eyes? Why did they seem to look right into his very being? The Captain tried to shake it off. “Well, I better start at the beginning…”

*             *             *

Later that same day, Guuyln found himself cowering in the brush, watching his master fight for his life. It hadn’t been difficult to find the assassin. In fact, he wasn’t camped terribly far from Briyguard’s outpost. Master Yangli somehow used the force to “feel” where the assassin was. It didn’t seem very difficult for him either. Guuyln had a lot to learn. In the back of his mind, the boy thought that an assassin would be harder to find, even for a Jedi Master. He shrugged it off. It didn’t matter now.

The fight, however violent, and fast paced, was over just as fast. The last few moments, from what Guuyln could make out, seemed to slow down just enough for him to witness the death of his master. Whilum Yangli furiously kept his green lightsaber parrying the viciously precise blows from the assassin as he backpedaled, back flipped, and sidestepped with the rest of his body. The Consular was constantly retreating, and managed to stay just out of reach.

The blow came too fast for Guuyln to see, but the assassin held the killing strike long enough for him to see that the energy to continue the fight had been eradicated from his master. Yangli was pinned between a great oak tree, and one end of the purple hum of the assassin’s lightsaber. There was no remorse on the Sith’s face. It was hard to read any expression at all, in fact. Then, still holding the blade which clearly entered the Jedi’s chest and penetrated the oak behind his master, the Sith turned only his head to meet Guuyln’s unique blood colored eyes with his own blazing purple orbs. A twisted and scarred smiled tugged at the Sith’s mouth.

The next few moments came to Guulyn unconsciously. He felt rage, like he never thought possible, pushing through his veins by his racing heartbeat. His Jedi teachings fell far away from the young padawan, and he instead, used the incredible anger as courage to propel him toward the assassin.

All Guuyln heard was screaming as he cleared the thirty meter gap between his former hiding place and the assassin, in one Force fueled leap. As he attempted to cut the purple nightmare down with the lightsaber he didn’t remember deploying, Guuyln realized that not only were his attacks futile, but that the screaming was coming from him! The assassin blocked every one of his attacks as if he were swatting a pesky mosquito looking for a bloody snack.

Just as Guuyln realized there was no way to avenge his master, he noticed that not only did the screaming stop, but that the assassin was trying to speak to him. Guuyln felt dizzy. He hopped back just out of that dangerous lightsaber’s range, and looked up into the glowing purple eyes of the assassin.

“I’ve been waiting for you to seek me out, young Jedi,” the assassin said, all but spitting the word Jedi as it passed his lips. “I thought I’d have to kill scores more before I got your attention.”

“What do you mean?” Guuyln managed to squeak, nearly dropping his lightsaber in the process.

“You must know you will never become a Jedi. Why else would you be here?”

“I am here to destroy you! You killed my master!” Guuyln screamed, trying to keep his tears at bay. “I HATE you!”

“Good. That is a start…apprentice,” the assassin hissed as he tucked his blade beneath his cloak and extended his hand toward Guuyln. “Come,” he beckoned. He turned, raised the dark hood over his head and left the clearing.

Guuyln, despite the loss of his master, could feel the truth in the assassin’s words. There was something about the situation that just felt…right. He turned and looked at his former master, slumped at the base of the great oak, eyes open, but seeing nothing. Guuyln turned back to where the assassin took his leave, and chose to follow that same dark path.

Home-Birth 2.0

Many of you who were ‘fortunate’ enough to hear me retell the story of Rowan’s home-birth a little over two years ago, know I was beaming with admiration for my truly heroic wife. For 12 hours, Katie was able to move her consciousness inward and breathe through countless contractions with little more than a few low moans. (Minor disclaimer, I originally wrote this on my phone to hide my writing ways from Kate, and then transferred it. There are a lot of minor glitches, but time is money or something like that. Not my normal level of quality, but I appreciate your understanding.)
Her second home-birth attempt, this past Thursday evening and into Friday morning, was no exception to how amazing my wife truly is.
I got the call around 10 that all signs were pointing toward labor within 24 hours. Needless to say, it was tough to get through my last truly important work day. My seniors were presenting their senior projects at 1pm and I was one of the head judges. It would have been okay had I left early, but I felt I needed to be there when it was over to congratulate all my amazingly talented seniors who worked silly hard all year. On top of that, it was Thursday so that meant I had to post a feature length article on TORWars.com. In true Katie fashion, she conveniently waited until I posted my article and finally got home at around 5pm to start the hard part. Well, hard for me. Katie seems to be able to not only handle the pain that comes with contractions and of course, the hard pushing at the end, but she handles it in a way that I know I never could. She never complains, never slips into the television/movie cliche of barking out orders, hitting, or breaking limbs. She simply requests minor things and pukes a few times. Basically, I worriedly followed her around the house, catching puke, heating up water, and holding her up as she bore down and pushed.

 

When it came time to push, things were a little different than they were with Rowan. I noticed right away that this time pushing was harder for Kate. It took a little longer and the first few attempts didn’t result in much. Once she got into the rhythm and the feel of pushing again, the process started to speed up. I was just stoked when our little baby Zoey’s head made it’s way into the world for the first time! Then things got a little scary. Carla, our midwife, noticed it first. Zoey’s cord was wrapped around her so that it made it nearly impossible for Kate to push her the rest of the way in the position she was in. I could hear a slight nervousness in Carla’s voice (as if it wasn’t hard enough for me to keep it together!). Did I mention that Carla is my hero? She never faltered, just ordered me into action. She needed a better angle to help ‘guide’ the baby free from her corded prison. Before I knew it, I was hoisting Kate up onto the bed. Scissors appeared in Carla’s hands as she attempted to cut the cord that I swear was wrapped around my half-born daughter’s purple neck. Carla quickly abandoned that idea and we both urged Kate to push. Carla tugged at Zoey, Kate pushed, and I tried to keep my heart from bursting from my chest. In what seemed like 15 minutes, (likely it was 15-20 seconds), Zoey was free! Another 20 minutes later, (again, probably more like 4 seconds), she cried for the first time. Kate had no idea at the time, but I swear I was gonna lose it waiting for that moment.
The point of this post is to praise my wife for what I can only categorize as a goddess-like achievement. I don’t know how any woman does it in a hospital with lots of lovely drugs to ease the pain we men will never know, let alone at home with no awesome drugs and only a birth partner whispering “you can do it” over and over again in her ear. My wife is a rare birthing talent if I do say so so myself. Crazy bias aside, I truly appreciate want she’s been through and now it’s my turn to take care of all three of my girls. Enjoy some of the random before and after photos that follow. There is also a sweet video of Rowan first meeting her little sister Zoey.

Rowan meeting Zoey for the first time

3rd Time in the Chi

The first time I went to Chicago I had a blast. Sure, I was young, childless, committed but not married, and had little in the way of soul-crushing responsibilities. A couple weeks ago, I went back. The main reason was to support my sister as she defended her thesis and earned her PhD. At your leisure you can pop over to my previous post here, detailing all my proud sisterly love.

Ridiculous travel times aside, I had an amazing trip. I got to finally catch up with my buddy Jeff, and met his girl Quince. It bums me out sometimes having my friends so far away. The upside is that it gives me future excuses to journey to distant cities. Jeff’s next destination is Dallas, so at some point in coming years I’ll be having a brew in a badass Dallas pub. Jeff even rode the train with me back to the airport. That’s a true friend!

I took way to many pictures on the trip to Chicago, but I really do like that city. If I considered myself a big city guy, I’d consider Chi Town. My sister lives downtown, so everything is a short train or taxi ride away. Speaking of which, on the way to a cool little club in a taxi, I swear we were going to die. It’s hard to imagine driving in a city like Chicago, let alone driving a taxi in a city like Chicago. The driver, at one point, was driving 60mph! No, it wasn’t on a highway. There were streetlights and everything.

Check out all the pictures I took below.

The tavern downstairs and across the street from Jane’s place. Great spot to hang, and I tried a new beer!

The view from Jane’s balcony.

There were like three of these trucks. We never figured out where or what was being filmed.

Navy Pier

My yacht…no, it’s not:(

I blew this pic up because, if you look closely, under mixed drinks in a drink called ‘Horny Goat’. Wish I had tried it.

Seems a little extreme…right?

Harry Caray’s

Jeff and Quince posing with my and my dad. It was great catching up!

This was around 2am at the club. Apparently, I had something on my face. Thanks Sean!

It’s late. Jane’s friends may be a little “tired”

These next few pics were sent by my wife Kate while I was gone…

Roe wearing the cute little outfit Uncle Don bought her

Kaya, Row and Kate making dinner

Happy face

Sad face

Eleven City Diner. What an awesome place to grub. Gotta eat there if you’re in Chicago

This was my omelet. It was just phenomenal!!

The gift shop at Eleven City was just sweet! (get it?) There was a ton of old school candy and gum like Bazooka. I had to buy a t-shirt and pint class.

These building were under construction last time I was there. Wow…

Soldier Field from a distance

A crazy huge demonstration downtown. Everything is always bigger in the city.

Crazy cool statues

Either the lion is HUGE or Jr. is shrinking.

Don’t give that look sis…I mean Dr. Sis

Uncle Don’s not sure which way to go…again.

I love all the artwork in Chicago. This is one of two huge stone blocks with digital faces looking at each other. Creepy, cool and a little weird. Just my style.

That silver bean thing in the background was also under construction last I saw it. Once the quinceanera moved on, we got a much closer look.

closer…

This is actually our reflection

Views from inside

Pretty cool idea.

My mom is notorious for giving cask to the less fortunate.

My last meal at Midway airport before my flight home. Sadly, I took too long and my plane was about to leave without me! Oops.

Dragon on the Ledge

My New Writing Gig!

Some of you know I’ve been obsessing over this new Star Wars game that may, or may not be coming out this year. Site jumping frantically everyday, trying to find out the latest game info, I found myself checking one site more than any others: TORWars. After months of listening to their amazing podcasts, and perusing frequent updates about both the game, and other Star Wars news, I inquired about possibly writing for them. I felt somehow compelled to not only do more writing, but to contribute to a site and a community that I was already a quasi part of. Long story short, they agreed to give me a shot! My first and second posts went up this afternoon.

TOR stands for The Old Republic

If you like what you see, if you are interested in the game, or just want to follow more of my ranting, writing ways, you can follow TORWars on Twitter @TORWars, or ‘like’ TORWars on Facebook. (You can also follow the links on my main blog page to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.) Check the links to my posts below. To all my friends and family, thanks for all the awesome support. By the way, this weekend I will finally post my pics and antics from my Chicago trip…promise!

1st Post: …I am Your Father
2nd Post: 57 out of 60?

Dragon on the Ledge

Forest felled just in time for Mother’s Day

Three days, 1 dead mower, and a half dead trimmer, my backyard finally, (with a little more work tomorrow), looks like exactly that: a backyard. I have excuses for days about how/why I let it get this point, but the biggest, most realistic excuse is that I put every single other obligation in front of my need to cut my lawn. I work everyday with the youth of our community, I play in a Monday night golf league, it was raining (and it was), a ridiculous amount this year and on and on… The bottom line is that my “lawn” (mostly weeds at this point) has reached nearly 4 feet high and my poor dog had to carve out a small sanctuary, near the pine tree, to be able to exist out there during the day. These pics were taken yesterday when I was on the home stretch.
You might be asking how I let it get this bad, and my only answer is…um…time. Time works against me on a level where if I had only 2 more hours in a day I’d have it made. As it stands, our meager 24-hour day only allows for so much to happen, so many things have to be cut. Unfortunately, one of these many things is not my lawn:)So, it’s Mother’s Day, and once again, I’m up before 7. It’s not because I’m an early-bird, but because my little girl is always up before 7. During the week it’s great because I never oversleep and miss work, but on the weekend, the only thing I want is for Roe to sleep past 7…
Once I finally dragged my “I only slept 5 hours” butt out of bed it was time to get Roe dressed, hair combed, to Safeway and back before Kate came downstairs. Clearly this was too ambitious a plan, because she was on her way down soon after we got home. The upside is that I got the flowers Roe picked out, and the presents on the table just in time.

 A funny little moment during breakfast

The entire goal of getting the yard done was so Kate could spend the day getting her garden in order. We headed to Hare Creek Nursery to get supplies…

Of course, she wanted to ride on the wagon
Ultimately, we got Kate’s garden bed turned over and ready to plant while Roe took a nap. When she woke up, we finally planted her placenta under a lilac tree we bought, (better late that never). Roe had a blast finally being able to run around the backyard with Dag.
Time to feed the fish!
That last pic was from the last leg of the journey. We, of course, had to go wish my mother in law, Anne (otherwise known as Gaga), a Happy Mother’s Day. Super bonus, they asked if we wanted to go get Thai food, so, naturally we had to go. It’s been an incredibly long, productive day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working, under appreciated mothers out there, and check back in the next couple days for all the Chi Town fun from last week.
Baba’s swing goes way higher than the one at the park
Roe munching on sour-grass and chatting with Gaga
You can’t tell, but she’ s watching the trailer for the new Winne the Pooh movie. No doubt that”ll be the first movie we take her to.
It’s crazy how hard she focuses when she drawing.

Dr. Janai Ryan-Marie Carr (My amazing little sister)

A few days later I’m still at a loss for words. In most families there is a shining star. Someone who really stands out. Someone who not only meets your expectations, but proceeds to blow those expectations out of the water with a Hiroshima sized atomic bomb. In my family, as much as I wish it was me, I have nothing on my sister Janai. I have called her Jane for as long as I can remember, and as of two days ago, you’ve got to call her Doctor Carr. Yes, my sister has done something few can say. She has earned a PH.D in Biochemistry. My entire family has always been aware of her high intelligence. She skipped the 1st grade for crying out loud! That aside, as snarky, playful and witty as she can be, this has never masked the fact that she is scary smart. I flew out to Chicago to watch her defend her thesis in front of a room of friends, family, peers and other scary smart scientists. She not only defended it, but made me wonder why or how anyone in their right mind would question her work when her roughly 50 minute talk ended. It was absolutely brilliant. Just listen in to her mentor introduce her:

As you can see, her colleagues not only admire and support her work, but they think what we’ve always known Jane to be: way above the rest of us mere mortals. One of the heads of her department made a point of pulling us aside and informing us that she was the best student they have ever seen. Did you catch that? EVER! While following all the terms and processes of her work was hard to follow to us laymen, it was obvious that what Jane’s doing is nothing short of groundbreaking. I have included a coupe of videos and pictures capturing this occasion below. What goes without saying is that my sister is well on her way to making her imprint in this world and our family could not be any prouder if we tried. Me personally, I couldn’t help but puff out my chest as wave after wave of her friends, coworkers and colleagues came by to shake my hand, say congrats, and share their experience with this most extraordinary member to the Carr family. Best of luck Jane, we love you so much. You’ve made us so proud!
(I apologize for the audio in the videos; she wasn’t miked)

Okay…Now say it in English.
This is a longer video, but the thank yous are toward the end. You might see and hear some familiar names *cough* Carr Family *cough, cough*
This is the part where Sean and I got pretty defensive of our sis because how dare they question her awesomeness!!
 Carr family dressed and on aproach
 She looks amazing, I know, but if only you could see the shoes…
 Title of Jane’s presentation
 Long name; longer hallways
 This room will be nearly full by the time Jane starts talking. Of course Jane’s friend Yalda had to get into the picture.
 Jane talking to her mentor Pradip and another really smart sciency guy
 Just one of her many amazingly detailed and informative slides. This made total sense at the time.
Carr family hanging on Jane’s every word; even if we didn’t understand it all.
Sean Jr. (my nephlet) didn’t quite make it all the way through, but he couldn’t have picked a better time to nap
Jane’s peers had everything all decked out
If you didn’t know, Jane’s favorite cake is strawberry shortcake. I normally don’t do cake, but this one was phenomenal!
Jane arrives to the party met with roaring applause
Hugs all around!
One for Uncle Don too. It was great to see him again. He seems to fly around the country in order to show up to our stuff. Thanks for all the years of support. We love ya Don!
Nephlet and DeeDee. I hadn’t seen DeeDee in a long time. It was great to see you!! We gotta hit the links again soon.
Proud mother
Yeah, it’s the cake again, but this time it’s not covered!
Yalda, Jane and a proud father. He seems to be talking instead of smiling, which is unusual because he’s normally so quiet:)
Looking good Carr family
Uncle Don, Jane and nephlet.
Jane’s friends
Looks like they are holding her up. Figuratively that’s what they’re doing
Yalda, Jane and her other friend Matt.
It’s a little blurry, but you can feel the love, right?
Jane standing next to her avatar. As Rowan would say: “Same, same!”
Jane’s very “tidy” workstation
Jane promised that they weren’t doing anything bad to this cute little mouse, but we had our doubts.
The guys down the hall doing a little “work”
This pic was hanging on Jane’s workstation wall. Talk about a blast from the New Year’s Eve past.
By the way, check back soon for the pics and vids from the rest of my antics in Chi Town…

Dragon on the Ledge

Finally

After hours and hours of screen time, my seniors’ rough drafts are finally graded. Managed to finish the last one during the first 10 minutes of my last period class. (I know, I cut it close) Huge weight lifted. After another couple hours I got sub plans written, my classroom organized and ready for the next two days. At the moment I’m trying to get Roe to sleep so I can hit the road and head to Sacramento. Tonight I’ll be staying with my little bro and jumping on a plane to Chicago at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I haven’t seen my sister since Christmas, and I haven’t been to Chicago in a few years. The point of the trip is to watch her defend her thesis and move on to her next step on her way to being a doctor. I’m so proud of her. I’m sad to leave my family, especially my wife, who is super pregnant and needs my help around the house and with Roe. I’ll miss them both terribly, but I’m stoked to get outta dodge for a couple days and see my family. I’m not prepared at all for next week but that’s Sunday’s problem. Now if only this daughter of mine would close her eyes…
By the way, my two YouTube vids are perma linked on my blog so check it out!

In need of a W

For some, sports are second nature. It comes naturally, and with practice, they only get better. For others, it’s takes time, effort and all the mental power they can muster to be just okay at a sport. Take a wild guess which category I fall into. Unfortunately, it’s the latter. I’ve always loved to play, but whether it be confidence, ability, drive or all of the above, I’ve always been just okay at just about every sport I’ve tried. My shining abilities as a kid was that I could run fast, and jump high. Yes, I know, I’m black, so stereotypically it makes sense. That aside, after a brief ride on the bench as a sophomore on the freshman basketball team, I figured my abilities should be used far away from the gym’s hardwood floors. (I won’t even mention middle school bball with my dad coaching no-less!) I found a new place on the dirt track of my small ass school. There I did well, being good at the two main skills required of a track athlete. I ran fast, and jumped high. My record for the 100m dash was 11.88, and my highest high jump was just about my height at the time. Somewhere around 5’6″. Sound impressive? Maybe for a small school competing against other really small schools, but it was only enough for 2nd. There was always a guy from Mariposa who beat me in the 100m and I was too short, (even jumping my height) to win the high jump.
Toward the end of my junior year my dad was really getting into golf and sometime later I acquired his old clubs. The perfect sport for a guy in my situation, right? Yes and no. For a solid decade I played occasionally (it’s an expensive habit I used to say) and improved in barely conceivable increments during that time. If my high school had a golf team I think I would have improved faster considering how often I would have been playing and competition (in golf anyway) I play better. My school naturally waited until I had graduated to start a team and I had to get rounds in when I could, paying out the ass all the way.
Long story short, I have always loved to play golf. In the last four years or so, I finally found a way to play more often. I always liked having consistent buddies to play with so I dragged my brother in law out onto the course one day. Being the former in my little intro, he got hooked and started playing a lot. When I say a lot, take what you think a lot of golf is a double it (at least). Needless to say he got better, fast. My father in law’s bed business FloBeds sponsored our team and we compete in match play events Monday nights starting in April. Unfortunately, I’m back where I started, feeling like the bench warmer on a team of stars. Granted, my handicap has dropped from roughly a 28 to hovering near 16. Team Flobeds won season 2 (see early post for my heroics) and placed 2nd last year, losing in a playoff. Still, last year I won only 3 matches and one was because the other team only had 3 guys, so I won by default.
This year I felt great going in. I’ve changed a few things mentally and physically with my game and I figured I really couldn’t lose if I came to play. Then I remembered, it’s golf. I tied my match last week, and last night, the only reason I tied was because the guy I played choked on his last putt, on the last hole. Upon reflection, I can’t help but feel like I used to. The rest of my team is undefeated and playing great, and once again I’m just okay. I’m ready for my first win of the year, so I can at least contribute to a team, and a game, that I love.

Easter ups n downs

It’s Easter Sunday and once again, up before 7am. Love my little girl for that! Anyway, once I got my ass out of bed Roe was just adorable looking for Easter eggs around the living room. The downside to the day is the stress has returned. I’m back to work tomorrow, and I haven’t started the senior papers, and honestly I’m not sure if it’s gonna happen. I feel like I’m letting the kids down, but my goal today is to be a good dad and husband. I’ve just finished my 1 of 2 church services of the year with the in-laws, and yes, Mass is still the same. After attending Catholic school from K-8th grade, two times a year is more than enough. Anyway, seven weeks of work and probably less until my little baby Zoey enters the world. I just have to remember to take one thing at a time. Gotta find done time to work today…