Friday, January 29, 2010

What's On My Mind...

Random things going on in my life/head....

WEDDINGS - Wow, I am definitely coming to that age where friends are starting to get married like crazy. As we stand currently, I can count at least 5-6 friend weddings in 2010. Better get that suit cleaned...

WETSUIT - Bought a new wetsuit yesterday in Ocean Beach. It's an O'Neill with 4/3 thickness with a sweet insulated firewall inside, and liquid seams. Amped. Next up....9'0" board.

BOOKS - I've read 3 books in 3 weeks. And no, I'm not reading Bernstein Bears 6-pagers either. Big shout-out to Heidi for the Michael Connelly books. I enjoy reading.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Running, surfing, gym and golf. Assuming I surf in morning tomorrow, I will have done all of those this week. I'd like to make this a more regular occurrence. I think it will help with my sleeping habits too.

LITTLE ITALY - If you're looking for a great Italian place, go to Buon Appetito in Little Italy (on India and Cedar). Julie and I made our way there on Wednesday and had a phenomenal meal. They have a huge Italian wine selection, as well as another page dedicated to other wines and wineries not from Italy. We had a great bottle of Fiftyrow Syrah, and then had awesome entrees. She had the pumpkin ravioli (phenomenal) and I had the gnocchi (one of their staples). Marc gives this Two Thumbs Up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Wish I Could....

Some realistic (and not-so-realistic) things I wish I could do:

1) Cartwheel - I have always wanted to bust out this celebratory move, but alas, I am cartwheel-inept. My version is some off-balance, limb-flailing spasm that never gets full leg extension and almost certainly ends in a round-off. My lanky-ass might have problems with this for years to come.

2) Two-Finger Whistle - No, this isn't some sick adult movie trick. I have always wanted to be able to do that really LOUD, obnoxious whistle where you put your fingers in your mouth and let 'er rip. However, this is not to be used at a sporting event as a frequent form of cheering (once or twice is okay). I would use this camping or when I'm trying to get someone's attention.

3) Spin on My Head - No real explanation here other than I watch way too much BET.

4) Blow Bubbles with My Tongue - D'uh. Who wouldn't? I have no problem getting the bubble on my tongue. My problem is the successful release from the tastebuds into the air without it bursting.

5) Meet Jim Carrey - I would have a field-day with this guy. You think I imitate him NOW? Just imagine if I had a day with him. I'd be sssssmokin!

6) Make Roller-Blading Cool Again - No secret here. Marc likes the rollerblades. C'mon people, you know you wanna do it!

7) Grow a Butt - I would really like to see something between my thighs and my back. I'm like the anti-Beyonce: she's Bootylicious, I'm Bootyless.

So there it is folks. Just imagine how cool I would be if those things were possible. Maybe too cool for words?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Little Annoyances...Re-Visited

So recently I have thought of some more little things that drive me bonkers. You know how people always say "It's the little things in life..."? Like it's those things that get us through the day? Well, that may be true, but they can ALSO make the day WAY longer.


1) When you go to sit down in a stall in a public restroom with multiple stalls and you realize there is GAPING hole between the door and the side wall so ANYONE that walks in can see you in all your glory. How difficult is it to seal that with a 6-inch vertical piece of plastic?! Holy hell.

2) When the rain flips up my umbrella. I am no engineer, but how is it that we still have these wimpy, thin-metal spoked umbrellas with paper thin cloth? Usually when it's rainy, it's windy too. Put the two together and gimme a WINDBRELLA! Geez.

3) When you are obviously busy and someone comes up and says "I know you're busy and you've got tons of people coming up to you...but..." and then proceed to ask a completely innocuous, unimportant question. They try to preface their statement by telling you how much they understand/recognize your situation...and then add to the problem. If it's important, I totally am fine with it. But otherwise, I hate to break it to you, you're just like everyone else, regardless of how eloquently you word it...(another version of this is when someone says "I don't really care about this, but..." and then gives a dissertation about some issue. If you're telling me, you care.)

4) Their.....There.....They're..... Not that hard people.
(Example - I want to go to their house over there, but they're not home.)

5)When I e-mail someone, and they respond back with "Dear Mark...". My e-mails have a signature hard is it to spell my name as it appears IN FRONT OF YOU.

6) 110% effort is not possible.

That's it for now (although I think we all know there is probably more where that came from)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Contradictory Cliches

So certain proverbs/adages/cliches really annoy me. And I don't just mean the dumb athlete cliches like "I gave 110% on the field" (for the record, that doesn't make physical OR mathematical sense) or "I'm just gonna go out there and give it my all" (oh, that's reassuring...I'm glad that you feel the need to go out and perform given your $100 million contract!).

Nope, my biggest beef comes with contradicting cliches.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone gave you advice and then after you walked away you realized that it really didn’t help you at all? Did you feel that the advice they gave you was not really for you at all, but more of the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all response? If you felt this way, you’re not alone.

We have created a saying for any given situation (especially when it comes to advice), and it has gone so far now that we actually have cliches that directly contradict one another! For example:

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
"Out of sight, out of mind."

We give advice based off what people want/need to hear. I know there is no real way around this, because we are just trying to help our friends with some encouraging words, but man these things bug me. I try and avoid cliches when I can and ideally I'd like to give some real, personally-tailored advice. It's not always easy, but I would really hate to just spout off old adages to my closest friends instead of some real advice.

Anyway, about a year ago I wrote a piece about this odd cliche phenomenon. Dug it up the other day and thought some of you might find it interesting. Obviously, pay attention to the contradictions:

Love’s Paradox

“Birds of a feather flock together” you said,
I took that line as fact.
But explain how that is true,
If “opposites attract.”

“Look before you leap” you said,
That kind of haste in love brings a cost.
So I just looked and she walked right by me,
So I guess “he who hesitates is lost.”

“You’re never too old to learn” you said,
So my love problems I tried to fix.
But I crashed and burned and now I think,
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” you said,
Now this one made some sense, of course.
But I’ve just received my eighteenth rejection,
So now I say, “Don’t beat a dead horse.”

“Out of sight, out of mind” you said,
So these words I began to ponder.
But staring at her picture now I know,
That “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

“The pen is mightier than the sword” you said,
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
No, I won’t listen to you anymore,
I think “actions speak louder than words.”

Anyway, I could go on and on about the problems with cliches and and how we need to be better about giving constructive advice, but I think I'm just gonna stop ranting about cliches now because...

Less is more...right?

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010...Big Year Ahead

I have the feeling 2010 is going to be a big year. I don't have any concrete reason, nor do I have ESP...but I just get the impression that this coming year is going to be bring important moments, tough decisions, exciting times, and brand new experiences. Now I know every year brings new things, but 2010 sets up to be a doozy. And I can't wait.


1) I spent a lot of time this past week up in North County San Diego, and it became glaringly obvious to me that the coast is where I need to be. I grew up minutes from the beach, surfing, running and throwing a frisbee all the time, yet since I have migrated south and east in San Diego, that has all changed. Virtually no surfing, and way less time at the beach (although with most of my friends now living in the Cardiff/Encinitas area, that looks likely to draw me up there more often). This needs to change.

Currently I am in the third month of a year-long lease, and man am I regretting it now. It's not to say I don't like my apartment, because I do love it. I just don't like it's location. I need to be near the beach up in north county, but I have to sit on my hands for a bit before I can seriously consider making another move. Yes, I know, I move every year. But this one might stick (assuming I still feel this way eight months from now).

2) I played golf today. Man I love that sport. My new goal is to play 20 times in 2010. And I think it is do-able. If I ever learned to stop duck-hooking my driver, slicing my irons, chunking my chips, and toe-ing my putter, I'd be one HELL of a golfer...

3) Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls went well. Obviously the score of the Holiday Bowl (33-0 Nebraska) sucked from a TV ratings perspective, but we had great ticket sales and sponsorship revenue, so I think we're gonna have a good year. I'm off for a couple days and then get back to the daily grind starting this Thursday. I'm already rested and ready to get planning for the spring Holiday Bowl events.

2010 Goals (yes, this is what I say instead of "New Year's Resolutions"):
-play 20 rounds of golf
-make surfing a normal, unforced weekend activity
-run double-digit mileage (never run more than 7 miles before)

These may seem relatively trivial or minute, but these are the things I want to have happen in 2010. I've got some other goals and plans of action for this year as well...but these are the ones I'll broadcast to y'all.