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Friday, August 7, 2009

This Has Been a Great Week

I know, I know; I'm interrupting my series - again. But I really felt the need to express how great this week has been for me. Rarely have I woken up for work on a Friday morning

1. Last Saturday I made my triumphant return to lacrosse. We did not have many people out, so it was a nice steady return. I was rusty and stiff, but comfortable.

2. Sunday I started working in earnest on a new writing project. It is something that I am really excited about and has the potential to be a life changing event. That potential is very small, but my enthusiasm for the project is great. Details are top secret because I do not want to jinx myself or hurt the marketability of the project. I will say this though: it is a screenplay for a recently optioned licensed character; the studio and production company are taken open pitches.
Working for about two hours on Sunday and during my 45 minute lunch breaks this week, I have completed around 10% of the script already. This is very good. I have also secured a few individuals to read for content and revision. Writing is my strongest passion and something I would love to do for a career. That is why my MA is in teaching high school English; it is the next best thing. Unfortunately I do not teach - my original goal was a PhD in Creative Writing, but that is a complicated matter.

3. A few months ago I applied for a new position at my company. The manager wanted me to move the new position, but my current department refused to let me go. Around the second week of July the opportunity presented itself again. This time my supervisor agreed that it was in the best interest of my career to move on. I found out Tuesday that I am moving to the new position. On top of that, it is a small promotion with a slight raise. Since we did not get company raises this year, this made my week.

4. Tuesday night I paid my deposit for hockey. Last season I played a really short season at Wells Fargo Arena. It was an invitational league that was covered by purchasing a partial season ticket package. It was fun, but inconsistent; some weeks we had one game, some weeks two, and sometimes a month would pass between games. I missed my last games because they were on Saturdays that I was in Omaha with the Valley team. Still, it was better than playing at the Metro Ice Sports Facility in Urbandale/Johnston.

This year I am playing in an invitational league with the same group of guys. We will be at Buccaneer Arena and have weekly games. No double headers (thank God!) this year. I should get plenty of hockey as the Wednesday night league starts on September 16 and ends on May 5. I am not sure which team I will be assigned to, but two of my former teams have moved to this league. One of my friends also recently moved back to Des Moines and will be on my team as well. It is nice to know that I will be playing on the best ice available for the second year in a row.

5. Wednesday night my wife finally confirmed that I can participate in/run the Open Box Lacrosse League at the Soccer House. My promotion and raise played a part in that decision (nonbudgeted money). Ironically so did the series of events causing me to withdraw from lax for the last couple of weeks. She always says that everything happens for a reason; who knew that reason was more lacrosse?!

I still need serious feedback (email me) from people regarding the league. Some decisions I have made on my own based on circumstances. A. We will have assigned teams. The league is 5 on 5 (like real box) plus goalies. Depending on how many we have, goalies may not be assigned. B. We will start no earlier than November 4. Valley's planned fall ball tournament in West Des Moines will most likely be around October 24. We will be outside until Valley's fall schedule wraps up. C. We will only play once per week- Tuesday or Thursday. I am leaning towards Thursday. Depending on how many Valley players are participating in other sports, there may be a second night for open practice; we need our guys in shape if we want to dominate the league. D. Traditional box does not use long poles, but we might change this. I know guys are defensive specialists and it is also good to keep them working with their game sticks. Hopefully I can get in to the Soccer House to determine whether or not we can use long poles.

6. Last night was a great turnout for lacrosse. We had most of the returning Valley players there, a few adults, and a middle schooler or two. It was a good chance to assess the fitness of our players (not so good) in a competitive environment. It was also a great opportunity to see our latest acquisition - an incoming Valley freshman that just moved from North Carolina. Even being rusty from not playing since their season ended and with only two season of middle school experience the kid was good. Last night also gave us a chance to check out Cole, younger brother of Dylan (Valley's resident speedster), for the first time since April. His recent growth spurt makes him more formidable than his older brother while still having significant speed. An incoming Waukee freshman, he was our first youth player as he regularly joined us at practice. Combined with our other known freshmen (Josh-Valley and Ross-Waukee) and our returning players, Valley looks to have a strong core from which to build our 2010 Varsity and JV teams.

7. Last night was also an awesome night for me on the lax field. Somehow I made some pretty good moves and had a pretty sweet goal. My passes were on the money most of the time (sorry Ben from NC - 7th grade solid talent). The only catches I missed were those too far over my head. I was able to run longer than usual and my stick work was better all around (although my cradles were suspect - ok absent). I know I was no Paul Rabil or Matt Danowski out there (not even a Cam Bostwick), but all around, I had a great game.

8. Tonight I am going to Trostel's Dish. My wife and I went there for our last anniversary. It is definitely not cheap, but it is a fun place to go. Everything is served appetizer style and designed to share between a couple. It is very chic and quite romantic. Did I mention it is very tasty? Great martinis too. I highly recommend it for special occasions (which tonight is not).

9. GI Joe came out today. While many purists loathe filmmakers bastardizing our childhood favorites, I look at it from a different perspective. The original GI Joe cartoon that I grew up with (some of which I own on DVD) was essentially a 30 minute commercial. The show was designed to promote the figures and accessories. It was a bastardization to begin with. Still, it remains my favorite cartoon of all time. Did I mention the massive army of Joes that my brothers and I had?

Both Transformer movies were entertaining. I felt they did a good job of modernizing the material and setting it in a more realistic environment. GI Joe has a lot more to work from. Plus Ray Park is playing Snake Eyes! Darth Maul was the only great thing about Star Wars Episode 1. He was also impressive as Toad in the first X-Men movie and as the headless Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow. I plan to see GI Joe tomorrow.

10. Although the game is not on TV, the Long Island Lizards play the Chicago Machine at Soldier Field tomorrow. The Lizards need the win to make the playoffs. Unfortunately the Machine were eliminated in their overtime loss to the Washington Bayhawks last weekend (aired on Tuesday). The Washington Bayhawks played a tough Boston Cannons team last night. Unfortunately, they won. This puts the pressure on Long Island to win tomorrow. Win and they are in; lose and the Bayhawks make the playoffs. I will be cheering for the Lizards, of course.
11. I am not working on Monday. I am taking my nine-year-old sister-in-law to Adventureland. I received two free tickets and $12 of "fun money" from my company. This year she should finally be tall enough to ride the Sidewinder (the only thing she could not ride last year).

12. I slept soundly all week. I may not have hit eight hours (or even six) every night, but I did not wake up. For the past few months I have struggled sleep through the night. Having solid sleep all night was amazing.

Hopefully this streak continues into next week. I am disappointed that the weather forced me to cancel lax tomorrow. Thursday night should be our next session.

Tribe 7