Crazy Association

So I was going to write a post about football in the NFL starting up again, and it is a crazy association. There is always controversy going around in the league with cheating, murders, marital abuse, rogue officiating, and more but the blood is always cleaned up nicely by Goodell and co. The fact that they let Adrian Peterson back into the league after he brutally beat his four year old son with a tree branch (switch, it was called) last year and the league and fans are cheering for him like he’s a great guy is very awful. It was even worse than Ray Rice hitting his wife in the elevator and he’s still not back in the league. Michael Vick came back after serving a lengthy sentence given to him after his dog fighting scandal (Doggate, I’ll call it, going with the usual naming of scandals with the -gate on the end) and he is still trying to find a team that he can succeed with, his short time with the Eagles putting up question marks in my book. Adrian Peterson served his time, but I’m not going to cheer for him or wear his jersey anytime soon.

Fantasy football is back. Yeah! And I’m most likely going to lose my first game today since my offensive players didn’t do much at all, Sammy Watkins getting a 0. ¬†It sucks losing to a guy who had a player active on his roster that is currently suspended, Le’Veon Bell for the Steelers. My opponent just had a better day than me overall. I’m also playing DraftKings and have put in $25 to play two contests, one being free with my deposit, the other costing $3. I know I don’t have much of a chance against some of the more seasoned veterans of this get rich quick game but I almost had to give into the pressure of playing after seeing the commercials play over and over again on TV during games, conjuring up false hopes of getting rich all around. This is not wasteful money, this is trying money, money I’m putting into trying something new, trying to better my life I guess. I’ll be very careful not to spend more than I can afford and if I do start developing a problem, LOOK OUT, I’ll be heading to Gamblers USA in no time.

My Detroit Lions lost today to the San Diego Chargers. Waah ūüė¶ They had a big lead but the offense stuttered and the defense became very porous, allowing the Chargers to quickly score touchdowns and take the lead for good. The Lions got a quick touchdown from Matt Stafford’s arm with about one minute to go to cut the lead to one score and tried an onside kick (for non-US bloggers, that is when the kicker squib kicks the ball and has it go at least ten yards, trying to get his team on one side to recover it while the team on the other side scrambles for it as well) but failed with it bouncing off a Chargers hand and going out of bounds, ball going to the opposition. My uncle was disappointed, I was disappointed, a whole fanbase of hopeful Lions fans were disappointed, many of them jumping off the bandwagon before the season even gets going. So they’re 0-1 and fans are saying “shades of 0-16” again and getting out the paper bags. Shame on you. The team’s still in it, they just have to clear some things up on defense and not fall apart on offense. Newcomer Ameer Abdullah had a magnificent debut, getting almost 100 total yards of offense with a touchdown and he looks promising if he can stay healthy. The Lions haven’t had a running back since Barry Sanders that has broken out and become a star, and I won’t believe this guy can do that until he can stay in the league for at least 5 years.

American football is a crazy game and has some of the craziest and most loyal fans around. Watching your team every Sunday, and sometimes on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday going to war against another team is a huge event. Every game is like a chapter in a book, a story being written and going all the way to the Super Bowl in February. For some teams, the book ends early and goes on the shelf with the rest of the volumes in the team’s history. For others, there are bonus chapters followed by an epilogue explaining how that team won it all and had the best year of their life.

Super Bowl 50 is this year. I still don’t know who will lead the halftime show but Bruno Mars is rumored to perform again. I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if he performed for the second time in three years, since his last appearance was magnificent and overally charismatic, hitting those drums like a chimpanzee.

I was betting on Taylor Swift to perform this year but maybe negotiations didn’t go through with her and she declined. She’s very particular and probably thought the idea of doing a football halftime show was “cheesy”. That’s what I think, who knows what she was thinking.

So here’s to football, beer, cheerleaders, fantasy football, ups and downs, and everything else in between. It’s going to be a great season. See you in February.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Fun Platform.”

Inspired by JNW topic generator

New America

14 years ago,
A tragic happening,
A city was in ruins,
Walls crumbling down around

The smoke filled the air,
The ash was so toxic,
New York life running,
Running for their life

Today I bow my head,
And put on a quiet somber,
To remember those who died,
The kids who lost their mother and father

I remember the day,
I remember the people,
The beauty was destroyed,
The shattered steeple

A young child was I,
So innocent and unaware,
We made it through though,
Can’t pick on us,
We are prepared

This New America,
It seems so much better,
But it is not perfect,
Still have scarlet letters

The world so advanced,
Social media rules us all,
Our eyes, my eyes,
Are wide open,
All because of that tragic fall

But even on this day
A little humor is okay
It helps to heal the wounds
Helps to restitch the tattered fray

Brought together again
The world so diverse
The beauty of tragedy
so poetically versed

I’ll Take The Chance

If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?

0331 Unbroken Pool

Only if I was absolutely sure the water was clean and pure, lol. Is there a sign there that says it’s OK to drink? I don’t want to be stupid and die a painful death from a foolhardy poisonous trap. And no telling how many people have walked in that fountain or if it even has the ability to magical clean itself. But in the best case scenario I would absolutely love to shed some years off my life, but not too many, maybe just down to about seven years old. I wouldn’t stop at my 12 to 14 year old life, since those weren’t exactly the brightest days.

Back in September 2001, I was sitting at an Apple IIe computer in the resource room, another name for the special room for kids with learning disabilities. I was ten years old. I remember the phone ringing and my teacher in there picking it up. She said hello and there was a moment of silence before she promptly hung up. Then she turned on the television hanging from the ceiling and instantly a news broadcast about some plane having crashed into a New York City building came up. It looked horrifying. The first thing I noticed was the big clouds of grey smoke surrounding a smoldering tower. Then an announcement came over the PA system:

“Because of a recent terrorist attack, all students are being let out of school early today for their safety. Please have them exit the building and board the buses immediately. Parents are free to pick up their children if necessary.”

I’m not sure if it went exactly like that but nevertheless, I was sent home that day, not really knowing what was going on. It was only until I got home and saw that my parents were talking about the attacks and had the news broadcast on that it registered in my mind. And then the second tower was hit and I remember my mom freaking out over it, not wanting to see the replay that was being used multiple times. This was the first time I was seeing something like this, being so used to cheery cartoons and Disney shows. Being forced by dad to sit there and take in the events “out of respect” was a little painful and boring because this wasn’t my idea of fun. And then President Bush came on with an urgent announcement. And of course all blame was laid on him.

The rest is a bit muddy. All I remember is a number of country songs being released the following weeks giving tribute to the 2,993 that lost their lives. I remember some controversy going around about Toby Keith releasing a song with the lyric “Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass/It’s the American way”. It died down though in midst of more serious matters, the biggest one being the war in Iraq that would ignite and keep going for very long time.

With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, it would be a story to go back to when New Orleans was in the middle of devastation. I was 13 years old at the time and just beginning to understand how the world works. I remember the levees breaking, remember the flooding of the city on TV, remember the people seeking refuge in the Louisiana Superdome that had a hole in the roof.

Would I have the power to change events? I sure hope so. I would love to revisit that spelling bee in fourth grade that I got eliminated on the very first word I received: Flashback! Oh, geez. How did I get that wrong? Did the judges mishear me? I should have said something to them. I was very sure that I spelled the word right. But being that I didn’t have much of a voice, I just went and sat where my mom and sisters were and watched the rest of the contest. My mom asked me what had happened and I just shrugged my shoulders. Felt like a big disappointment there and the next day in school. No one seemed to acknowledge it though.

I wrote a poem similar to this prompt topic back on November 19, 2014.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”

It’s My Birthday – A Tale of Cranes

Happy birthday to me!

I have turned 24 today. A whole two rounds of a clock complete.

My god, I’m starting to feel old when I look at that number about five times. It’s starting to sink in though but I don’t want to get too used to it, still want to believe future birthdays will still have that “special” feeling about them.

The good news is I get to live another year and do so much more amazing things. The bad news is I’m nearly halfway to 30. Yikes! Where is time going?

me
My first picture at 24. My stylish driving cap.

I happen to be sharing my 24th birthyear with the retirement year of NASCAR Sprint Cup legend Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car. How are the odds that I would coincide with such a big moment? All my life, I’ve been pushed and prodded to be a fan of Jeff Gordon and the number 24 so happens to be a magical number of continuance and ending this year.

cranesA red eyed crane hanging outside Denny’s today. They must come from the nearby woods and get attracted by the smell of the food cooking in the restaurant.¬†You’re not getting any food, pesky cranes. Go home. Well, they did eventually after we finished dining.
cranes3I’ve seen these long¬†legged creatures walking around this restaurant’s front grass multiple times. They were also hanging out in a Wendy’s parking lot on “Asian Friday” last week – a bunch of Chinese and Japanese looking people were all in line at Wendy’s and eating at the tables. Like they were all in a group or something. Very confusing and strange, no offense. We eventually left because the line wasn’t getting any shorter, the counter workers having difficulty understanding the foreign languages/accents.

cranes4
They can fly, but I’ve never seen them do so

We were all seated near the “crane window” on the right side of the restaurant, a place we rarely, if ever, eat. Our waitress, Jasmine, took our drinks (all waters except Joe with a Coke). My meal was set to be all free if it was under seven dollars. So I ordered a $6 Baja Quesadilla burger with chips and salsa. Very delicious.

After this early dinner, we rode in the Ford to Culver’s and I ordered a free dish of vanilla icecream with Reese’s peanut butter cup chunks on top. Didn’t have to show my ID to prove it was my birthday, probably because it was really busy. Wondered if others could get away with this.

Tomorrow, my birthday bash continues. Going out to eat at Sava’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’ve never been there but my research online about it makes it out to be a fine restaurant that students and adults both appreciate. One reason I am choosing this place is because meals are affordable there, most of them under $25, and another reason is because it seems more special to go to a place with a fancy name and dark, elegant environment.

And now I dedicate a poem to the hungry cranes outside the window:

Hungry Cranes

I could see that you were hungry, salivating,

Waiting outside that tempered glass

Watching us drink, watching us eat,

Our delicious meals come to pass

Your legs were spindly, your feathers down thick,

Traipsing the land wide and far,

Attracted to human dwellings,

Full of the happy, sad, and sick

You stopped in for a meal but could not get inside,

So loitered on the outside, the flavorful smells licking your eyes

Curious I was about your whereabouts,

Where you came from, your really long mouths

After our delicious meal, I turned and was surprised

To see that you disappeared, probably to bother some other guys

We’ll be sure to meet again,

You weird necked birds of ostrich type,

In the parking lot, in the park,

Maybe wherever the aroma smells just right

And now a song I’m dedicating to my birthday, inspired by watching Star Trek: Enterprise for the first time today on Netflix and hearing the amazing intro song. I believe it really fits the theme of where I am heading in the future, what sort of person I want to be in 20, 30 years. “I’ve got faith” it sings. That’s what I want to have years from now, to always have hope to accomplish my dreams and never give up on life. It’s essentially a song of life, describing how far I’ve come in 24 years.


In Response to the Daily Post writing prompt: Middle Seat

Visiting Lincoln’s Tomb

Yesterday my stay in Springfield took a trip down memory lane – the memory lane of one of our most celebrated presidents. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and people today still pay their respects to him by visiting Oak Ridge cemetery¬†every year. Walking through the halls of the mausoleum was like going back in time. I could sense the state of preserved history in the air. Kind of eerie and creepy, I might add. Like I was disturbing the peace.

 photo lincoln7_zpsis1tpjvp.jpgWelcome to the tomb. Historically preserved since 1960.
 photo lincoln10_zps43peuxog.jpg
Young Abraham Lincoln
 photo lincoln9_zpsznycep4l.jpg
Lincoln’s head bust sculpted by Gorzam Borglum. The nose is gold because of many tourists rubbing it for good luck.
 photo lincoln8_zpsyjcmd2xu.jpg
Centerpiece of Lincoln’s tomb, a small¬†replica of the piece at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

lincoln11Honest Abe on his horse
 photo lincoln2_zpstmfjmzeh.jpg
Lincoln’s chair from the side
 photo lincoln1_zpsjvsfdbww.jpg
Burial headstone of Lincoln. He’s buried ten feet under.
 photo lincoln4_zpsubnkbl2x.jpg
“Gold nose” from the side
 photo lincoln3_zpsb4lrdbaf.jpg
Lincoln Tomb¬†obelisk. The tomb also houses Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, and his son Robert Tadd. Mary Lincoln had quite bad luck because her husband was assassinated and three of her four sons all died before adulthood.
 photo lincoln5_zpsdeo5oape.jpg
Lincoln’s chair from the back. The man, the myth, the legend.

WPC: Fireworks

Normally, fireworks aren’t much to get excited about, but when I finally got the chance to get some decent photographs of some this Memorial Day weekend, a new perspective of these pyrotechnic marvels opened up to me. It must be true, as with snowflakes, that no set-off firework ever is the same.
Fireworks

Bursting red, like a brilliant star exploding after millions of years, emitting a hot shower of sparks, raining down with a sizzle and fizzing out into the nether. This firework looks so much like one of those flowers with sprouting antennae like feelers, which are probably used to absorb sunlight.

“And the rockets red glare”

Fireworks

A more finely tuned set of fireworks, with the quill like structures of porcupines. The thing about catching fireworks on camera, especially with a point and click, is that you have to sometimes press the shutter button before the firework bursts open in the sky, and what you end up with is totally random.

“The bombs bursting in air”

Fireworks

And this was part of the “grand finale” that tuned out this year to be a complete letdown. Unlike in previous years, there were only a couple of fireworks set off, not the big pyrotechnic show of dazzling lights and cannon booming shaking the night, leaving a cloud of smoke afterward. I guess they were cutting back on the budget, trying to save money for more important things like fixing the roads. There will be two more firework shows this year in my city, so watch out for more pictures of these holiday traditions in the future.

For all the vets who have died in the past and recently, this Memorial Day post goes out to you.

“For the land of the free…and the home of the brave!”¬†


Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

I decided to include this as a second entry for this week’s WPC, since fireworks are a thing that starts off as one large cluster and then explode/break into many smaller parts.

Y is for Year of the Goat

It’s the year of the goat for me
What does that mean?
I shouldn’t be wearing black, blue, or green
Of course, none of that matters,
Since I’m still here
I guess bad luck will have to find me next year

For more about the Year of the Goat, click the link.

April A to Z Challenge

My Unorthodox Christmas

So Christmas has come and gone
Another run of cheer in the books
It was a wonderful time this year
Even though we went about it with different looks

See, we didn’t open our presents today
Saving them for New Year’s Eve
While everyone else is throwing away wrapping paper
We still have gifts to receive

Instead of rejoicing
And singing candid Christmas carols
We decided to play a raunchy card game
And make all sorts of creative perils

And even though
There’s no snow
Far and wide as the eye can see
My unorthodox Christmas
Had still managed to make me happy

It will come again next year
As the family gets smaller
And drifts further apart
That will correlate with a barer tree
Looking so skinny, now that’s just for three

To cope with the sadness that years together are dwindling
I have to believe
That somewhere in this world
Is the starting piece for a new family
That the traditions will continue
Anew and better
That my kids and their kids
Will carry on the name
Keep on the happiness that
Comes in this game
And celebrate these great holidays
Full of love and cheer
Have their own unorthodox Christmas
Never have anything to fear

And I won’t be lonely
Will have someone always there
To share and build a well of memories
And have the dearest opportunity to share

Some pictures from our Christmas dinner at Queen’s:

PTDC0016
Queen of the Miraculous Medal Parish Church
PTDC0019
Table top flower decor
PTDC0023
Mom and dad
PTDC0024
Emily and Uncle Jack

No Shave November – The Journey

Hooray! No Shave November is over and I finally get to shave this month…or I should keep my magnificent mug and groom it into magnificent manly material? Too late now…the following is my journey each day in November of growing out my facial hair.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ag

A Chicago Story

Today I visited Chicago,
If only for the briefest moment
A glorious day of sightseeing
As grand as I have always known it

~~

One of the busiest spots on Earth
Its global commerce alongside Wall Street
A city that continues to grow
With no sign of defeat

~~

The metropolis by the lake
Where work is never done
Often called the Windy City
Because Chicagoans like to have all the fun

~~

The Great Chicago Fire
Some say it was O’Leary’s cow
A blazing inferno swept through the streets
Forever a reminder of the then and now

~~

File:Court of Honor and Grand Basin.jpg

The turmoil did not last long
For out of the ashes came a melodious song
The world’s fair bringing citizens together again
Celebrating Columbus’ successful mission
And America’s first breathes, how zen

~~

Chicagoland
The City in a Garden
Urbs in Horto
The landscape sculpted so beautifully
The parks and ports fit for show

~~

Music and art here is alive and well
From the blues, soul, jazz, and gospel
To the offbeat and unmellow
Classical monuments from the idealist alike
Art crafted so intuitively
It’s like they always knew who was right

~~

New York is the Big Apple
Chi-town, the Big Onion
Named for the tear jerking Allium

That is ever so abundant

~~

Exceptional dining is the way
Renowned by many far and wide
Its deep dish pizza, so delicious
Feeding the plenty one slice at a time

~~

With gusts of force, the Hawk swoops down
On those cold chilly mornings
From the waters of Lake Michigan
Neighbors across the shore peacefully snoring

~~

The night Chicago died
Capone and his mob ruled the streets
People thought it was done for
But Chicago got right back on its feet

~~

A ruthless draught forever engulfs the Cubs
While on the South side
The black and white cladden
Always have some bad blood

~~

Jordan and the Bulls
Dominated the hardwood
Knocking down opponents left and right
Paying off as we thought it should

~~

The Blackhawks
Part of the Original Six
Have fared well in their own right
Adding yet another Lord Stanley to their immense mix

~~~

Chicago is my kind of town
The place I yearn to be
A bustling concrete jungle
That has such rich history
I wish to visit here again someday
To see more of this amazing place
And maybe even get to live here
And revel in its power and grace


Daily Prompt 11/2/14