Saturday, October 31, 2009

Older than Matt Barkley Part I

It occurred to me earlier this season that USC’s new (future Heisman) QB was born in 1990. As is the case for many of us out there, I remember 1990 well. Matt Barkley being such a youngin’ makes me feel painfully old. To this end, I have decided for the duration of USC season, around each game I will do a post featuring an item I own or have in my possession that is indeed older than Matt Barkley.

Item #1 Older Than Matt Barkley, my couch. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the tactfully covered couch featured above is approximately 25 years old. My parents bought it at then Price Club circa 1985 giving me a good five year cushion on number 7.

Fight on tonight and let’s break our three year losing streak in Oregon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

U2 360

Last night, along with tens of thousands of other devotees, in what is estimated to be the largest crowd in the history of the Rose Bowl, I saw U2’s 360 show. Apologies for the lack of pictures, I’ll post when my home life is a bit more settled and I have wireless at home. But a few quick thoughts on 360 during this jaunt to the local Bean Town for blissful wireless access…

Despite knowing all the words to all of the songs on Joshua Tree, Rattle & Hum and Achung Baby, I figured out mid-week, that Achtung Baby was the most recent U2 album I owned. And the use of word recent if probably far from appropriate as I estimate I purchased it in 1992 when I wore a size six. Sunday in a reprieve from unpacking and the joys of being a home owner (I already have two things that aren’t working right, BTW), I bought U2’s Best of 1990-2000 (I think) and quickly got caught up.

It is funny, because I never stopped loving U2, maybe we were just on a bit of a break. Seeing U2 perform many of my faves in a spectacle of multi-media extravaganza unrivaled in contemporary music/concert going, well, we are back on. By the way, through discreet eavesdropping, I just “learned” that the giant, round/sphere screen took 100 eighteen wheelers to transport. I don’t have any eloquent bow to tie up this post with, but I am for one glad I was able to be part of history last night at the Rose Bowl, the icing on the cake was it prevented me from seeing the devil incarnate clinch the American League Pennant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Rocking Horse Mug

The hope of a freeway series is fading – instead it looks the World Series will be a matchup between the Phillies and the Devil Incarnate.

By week’s end, I will have turned a year older (gulp), moved into a home I own, seen the devil incarnate play in Anaheim (and game 7 at Chavez Ravine if there is one or homecoming for the Trojans) and my first ever U2 concert. But back to packing, cleaning, sorting organizing, making lists, agonizing over appliances and all of the craziness of moving. I am very grateful for PTOs and having negotiated three weeks of vacation.

I have lived in no fewer than eleven different places with fifteen different people (plus nine months with my parents in my mid-twenties) in the last sixteen years. In that time I have lived in dorms, crappy apartments, townhouses, houses, guest houses, gated communities, and more crappy apartments in four different cities in two different states.

All of that ends Thursday when I move into a home I own.

As the gypsy/bohemian chapter of my life comes to a close, I am grasping to make sense of this wonderful and unexpected turn of a page. Sifting through the unbelievable amount of possessions I have, I came across this rocking horse mug pictured above. I believe he (the rocking horse mug) was given to me at a Christmas party in either 1993 or 1994 having come wrapped in red cellophane and filled with hot chocolate mix. I don’t know how or why he made the cut; with each of the previous moves I certainly purged many, many items as I am doing this time around. Perhaps I kept him all of this time because I so love the friends who gave him (the rocking horse mug) to me who now live five states away. Perhaps it reminds me of childhood and my penchant for rocking and carousel horses. Whatever the case, he (the rocking horse mug) now lives in my new house cleaned and stored with all of his friends, the other coffee mugs of course. He will continue, as he has for the better part of fifteen years, to bear witness to my life.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Manny Ramirez, a freeway series and domestic violence

As a much needed diversion from boxes, researching appliances and trolling Craig’s list, today I will be at Chavez Ravine for a game that hopefully goes better than last night’s. And hopefully better than the NLCS game I went to in 2008. With all of this talk of a freeway series looming, I suppose we ought to worry about winning the pennant first.

I was, as probably many other Dodger fans were, ecstatic when Manny Ramirez hit a homerun last night – perhaps the slump is finally over? I can’t help but wonder every time Manny is up to bat if my feeling is at all similar to what women in abusive relationships feel right before their partner’s come home. (I know I just lost most of my readers right there.) This feeling is amplified at the stadium – Mannywood in our line of sight, #99 jerseys are everywhere and the ubiquitous dred lock wigs – but as he heads to the plate, I know I feel a twinge of, “this time it is going to be different,” and instead of striking out, the Manny we fell in love with last season, pre-suspension, will, well return. How we all loved saying and celebrating Manny being Manny last year. Today, I hope instead of striking out, Manny doesn’t let us down and things continue to be different.

Don’t think I am not also very aware that our Trojans are in South Bend gearing up to beat the Irish. And will Obama hang with W this weekend? It is the most wonderful time of year, indeed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today is the last day before the chaos begins. I am moving in exactly one week and tonight instead of packing like a mad fool (or at the very least organizing/pre-packing) I am instead, for one last night savoring my dear little apartment. Never again will it be as it is now – my feeble attempts at d├ęcor and organization will all begin to unravel within 24 hours. Soon my life will be flooded with boxes and the pursuit of boxes, packing tape, markers, incomprehensible disarray and the looming hope/fear of will I in fact get all of my deposit back. But for the time being, I will try to ponder the four (or has it been five?) years I have lived in this little apartment as they are slowing drawing to a close.

In the time (four/five years) I have lived in this crappy two bedroom two bath apartment (praise God my apartment living days are nearly over) many crazy things have happened. I have changed roommates, marrying one off (so-to speak), I have changed jobs (but that topic has been really over done on my blog), I have changed computers, I have changed phones about eighteen times finally landing on an iPhone, I have changed presidents – but really so has everyone, right, and well those are about all of the notable changes I can think of. Oh yeah, and I am finally on a diet after all of this moaning about pants not fitting I have finally decided to make a change and to date I have lost 3 pounds (OK, 2.5 but 3 sounds so much better).

What is it about moving that brings on such nostalgia? I believe I am one especially prone to be overly nostalgic – friends have heard me say at casual gatherings things like “we will never all be together again.” And maybe this particular move as it is not only a huge milestone – for the love I am buying a house – but it coincides with my birthday, which there again is always an occasion I tend to fret over for weeks prior – has upped my schmaltzy factor.

I wish I had some eloquent and elaborate direction for this blog, I don’t. On the ride home I agonized over blog topics wanting so much to keep my posting consistent but hedging off the chaos was the best I could do. I thought about a blog on Manny Ramirez but the right words just couldn’t seem to come (maybe tomorrow in anticipation of going to game 2 of the NLCS). I thought blogging about a Michael Scott-esque antidote that happened at work yesterday but decided it is too risky as, well, too many of my readers would quickly know exactly who I was talking about. I thought about blogging on Jesus’ 33 years on earth but figured I could do it next week. I thought about blogging about the communities, small group and videos but decided I didn’t have the moral fortitude to go there, perhaps in November. And, TK, I also thought about blogging on the museum of miniatures but as that would be such a short post, I figured I could squeeze that in over my lunch break one day when I am totally out of material. And so this entry will end, I will try to pick up some of the loose ends I always seem to leave when I feel inspired.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


A lot of days I think I am the least professional person in the history of the world, generally terrible at my job, in a nut shell a failure – well, if you read my blog you’ve heard my excessive self-deprecation theme. But today was not one of those days. Allow me to share a delightful tidbit from my work day.

So there I was juggling my normal balls of tutoring precocious eight-year olds, encouraging volunteers, building relationships with teachers and school staff (as a side note today that included buying a popsicle from the JCREW model-esque teacher some of the moms call Mr. Hot) and generally putting out fires during program when the cutest thing happened. This is just our second week of tutoring and in that time I’ve begun to banter a bit with one particular boy who for our purposes (because his name is so unusual) I will refer to as Andre (not to be confused with our own Andre Ethier).

Andre has the kind of smile that lights up a room. The banter between us has to do with me going on and on about how great his smile is. Trust me, if you met Andre, you couldn’t help but also notice his contagious smile. The banter makes him smile more sort of fuel for my fire in terms of teasing. Today after having come from an ad hoc meeting with his teacher, I said to Andre something along the lines – “I don’t see how anyone can pay attention to anything in your class when you are smiling.” To which Andre replied, and this is the part that made me a bit misty, “I only smile when I come here.”

Maybe I won’t make a million dollars, and more than likely I won’t get a promotion anytime in the next decade, but I believe I will sleep better knowing, even for the briefest of instances, I made Andre smile.