Friday, April 30, 2010

The Last 36 Hours...

The most recent 36 hours (now about 39 hours) have been among the strangest in my life.  

Why?

Let's give a "quick" recap, shall we?

- At about 6:20 AM on Thursday, I was rear-ended by some jackass while I was sitting at a stoplight in Crofton.  Just completely rammed.  I jerked forward into my steering wheel and got a mild case of whiplash. The idiot who rammed me peeled away and I never got a look at the plate - all I know is that it was a red pickup truck.

- After a quick inspection of the car, I determined that there was no damage (how wrong I would be!) and while I was pretty shaken, I got back into the driver's seat and continued on my way to school.

- I drove on US 50 and got off at the usual exit for East-West Highway (MD 410) and pull up to the light in the intersection with Annapolis Road (MD 450) and all of a sudden, the car shuts off.  Even worse...I notice that the keys are NOT in the ignition!  I must have driven close to 20 miles without the key in the ignition!  I panic and grab the key and stick it back in and try to restart the car.  It won't....SHIT!  I am stuck in a through lane on a major thoroughfare and my car won't start.  Outstanding!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Factionalism In Life

It has been a while since I have made a legitimate personal post, and for that I apologize.  Lots of stuff has come up in the past 3 weeks and in due time they will all be revealed.

One thing that has always bothered me in observing people - whether in school, in the workplace, and the various organizations with which I have associated in my life is the formation of cliques in those places.  I don't mean necessarily making good friends and such, but rather the immaturity of it all - complete with the incessant juvenile behavior: backbiting, finger-pointing, and the sin of 'not belonging' to that particular clique. 

It was tolerable in the 7th grade because we know that 12-year-olds are fickle mush-heads who wouldn't know logic and common sense if they were shot in the ass with them.  With adults in their 30's, 40's and even 50's, it becomes much less amusing, and in many ways, sad. 

I don't belong to any kind of clique, and quite honestly, I like that.  True, it doesn't give me any kind of ready-made group of friends, but at the same time, I don't have to engage in useless exercises of groupthink.  Does this make my existence a bit lonelier?  Maybe.  Cliques, though, have one of the worst traits that you will never see in family bonds, or patriotic bonds, or even bonds amongst friends...

Artificiality.

Cliques are fake - they are are thrown together and have no real hook and tie except to say you are part of it.  But that's it.  No blood (family), common land (patriotism), or even shared experiences and love (friendship) - just this feeling of 'belonging' to something that claims to be exclusive.  Even when the participants claim to be inclusive, they aren't.  College drove this point home time and time again.  It is something I don't need or want.

It is something we all shouldn't need or want.  Unfortunately, not enough of us understand. 

What a pity.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One Final Victory For Rusty

The following story is from good friend and NASCAR nut Dustin Holt, whom you may remember as the one who collaborated with me on the Super Bowl Countdown Series.  Since I don't give a singular damn about stock car racing (although I know more about it than I care to admit!) and it has just passed the anniversary of Rusty Wallace's final victory (which coincidentally, also fell on the anniversary of Mike Schmidt's 500th career homerun), I felt that it would be cool for Dustin to share his memories on that April day in Martinsville, Virginia when he witnessed the last triumph of a great career.

One of the great things about sports is having an opportunity to soak up the event while in the stands. If you are lucky, you get to experience the joys of victory when the one you are rooting for scores a victory.

Last Saturday night, I had that opportunity as I watched the Washington Capitals defeat the Montreal Canadians 6-5 in an overtime thriller that saw the Caps comeback from a 4-1 deficit late in the second period, thanks to Nicklaus Backstrom’s third goal of the game, just 31 seconds in overtime.

After attending two agonizing home overtime playoff losses, the game seven loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008 and the game 5 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, last Saturday’s game ranks as one of the best I’ve attended in all of sports.

However, the experience pales in comparisons to the sporting event, which ranks number one on my list. That event occurred six years ago last Sunday in a small town in southern Virginia.

On that weekend in 2004, I ventured down Interstate 81 through Virginia and made my way to Martinsville for the Advance Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Donovan McNabb and Philadelphia Eagles, RIP

I had received texts, IM's and messages from friends and family on Sunday night saying the same thing - Donovan McNabb had been traded.

Ok, deep breath....I had been ready for this possibility for some time.  I had expected him to be traded somewhere during the offseason - Minnesota, Arizona, Chicago, or Oakland.  

Washington????  The REDSKINS!!!????

What.

The.

F*CK!!??

I feel betrayed by the Eagles front office and Andy Reid.  I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach and the nuts with the trading of my all-time favorite football player.  To a division rival.  A division rival that I loathe with every ounce of my existence.  A divisional rival that I delight in seeing lose every week just because I live in the area and listen to their house organ of a sports station on occasion.

This is the paramount of disrespect to the player who may well have been the greatest player in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise, and is the greatest quarterback ever to play in the city of Philadelphia.  To think that they could just dump him in the division without consequence shows the ultimate arrogance of the front office.  They have been right about moves like this in the past, but I have an awful feeling about this one.  

The Eagles have just delivered a top-10 quarterback to a division rival.

The Eagles have just given Donovan a reason to play like he has never played before.

The Eagles will have to play against Donovan this coming season - twice.  That is not a good thing.

The Eagles are dead to me now.  At least so long as Andy Reid is in the organization.  When he leaves, is fired, or dies, then I will return to following the Eagles.  Until then, I want nothing to do with them.  I will not support them, I will not give them financial support, and I will not wear their clothing or display any apparel in my car or classroom.  My posters and pennants are down; bumper stickers have been removed.  This is the long haul, people.

A special word to many who follow the Eagles - don't get all upset and weepy over this trade, since so many of you were never Donovan fans to begin with and had been pining for Kevin Kolb or Jeff Garcia or AJ Feeley.  You have got what you wanted, now put up or shut up.  You know who you are - the same assholes who booed him on draft day in 1999 and wanted his head on a platter despite playing his heart out for years and years, as well as the morons who listen to WIP day in and day out and let themselves be influenced by the likes of Eskin, Cataldi, and Gargano. 

The following sentences are among the hardest I will ever write as a sports fan - I want the Eagles to fail badly: 3-13 bad.  I want the Redskins to win the Super Bowl with Donovan as their quarterback.  Don't get me wrong, I still despise the Redskins, and I am not hoping this for altruistic reasons, but because I want the Eagles and the mostly moronic fanbase to suffer for this.  The Eagles and their fans deserve 40 years of wandering in the desert.  

Dear Redskin fans - enjoy #5 while you have him.  I hope he takes you far, and I will be bitter every step of the way, but knowing that he will play for a fanbase that will blindly support him no matter what rather than a fanbase that blindly ripped his guts out whenever they got the opportunity, whether it was his fault or not.

Goodbye, Donovan McNabb - at least I know in my heart that the Lattanzi family always loved you, that you, as my father always said, 'walked on water in our house'. 

Go to hell, Eagles.  Especially the Fat One.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" -- Philippians 2:6-11

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bowling Etiquette

My mother and I went bowling this morning because we are practicing for the tournament that I have mentioned in previous posts.  While there, we started alone, but soon enough, since all of the local school jurisdictions were off, a couple kids and their dad show up on the lane next to us.  The kids were probably something like 5 and 7 years old and their behavior was absolutely atrocious.  I propose that for open bowling, the alleys should have a small business card with some basic rules of bowling etiquette - 

1) The biggie - when there is someone on the lane next to you (either side) getting ready to approach and throw - do NOT step onto the lane yet.  Wait until *both* are finished before you set up and throw your ball.

2) Throw your ball, watch the contact with the pins, and then step off.  No preening or posturing, because there are other bowlers who have lives, and jobs, and need to get home at a decent hour (Yes, I am speaking to certain specific people that I know who shall remain nameless).

3) Give space to the bowlers; don't stalk the bowler ahead of you.  It's funny, my own father violates this one like 20 times a night when we do our league bowling.

4) Remember that it's bowling - save the heckling for after the frame is completely finished.  No, it's not a church or even a golf course.  People can talk the whole time, but there is no need for a shout right as a bowler is making his approach. 

Holy Thursday

We begin the Holy Triduum in the Church today with the day of the Last Supper, in which the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood of the New Covenant occurs.

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