Everyone says this, but you never truly believe you’ll ever be in your 40s. And you certainly never believe you will look at 31 years since your senior year in high school. It feels like yesterday, although I havent seen most of my class since graduation (I’ve skipped the reunions, although I enjoyed high school – waht is the point?). Some day soon I will (hopefully) say, I can’t believe I am in my 80s. The sad part is, when I was a teen I *never* thought I’d be as old as 40 (that was an eternity away) but now at 49 I can definitely see 80 on the horizon.
I’ve never truly liked dancing (except when I’ve had a few drinks) although I truly love being in dance clubs to hear the music. I find the pulsing music thrilling and an adrenaline rush and it makes me feel alive, and makes me want to play high octane sports (e.g. basketball, football).
When I was in high school my team would play music sometimes while we practiced/scrimmaged, and that was always a problem for me because it pumped me up so much that I would start playing out of control, which would make me prone to mistakes 🙂 The one exception is the time that I was in one of those zones – the music-inducing energy combined with the zone resulted in an unbelievable scrimmage for me that my teammates were talking about afterward.
I was always a streak player (other than softball hitting and football catching, where I was pretty consistent). I’d go through stretches in a season where I was the best player on the court, and then go through awful stretches where I was benched. I always knew I’d have one good streak and one bad streak in a season and that it would last a few games, I just didn’t know when. Boy it felt good when I was on, and boy it sucked when I was off (would have nightmares about it).
My dream was to play college basketball, which was my obsession in high school. I was a freakishly good shooter in high school and had tireless energy, but I was small (5’11”), slow, a little immature, it was before the three point shot, I played for a fast break team and honestly never had great coaches (the time I went to a high school basketball camp and a couple of coaches worked with me, I was named one of the MVPs). Ironically, after high school I got stronger and developed foot speed, and they added a 3-point shot. In short, it was never meant to be. But I still can feel that love of baskeball I felt, and still love to hear dance music 🙂
Note: the baskeball player I ever saw was Cali D, a friend of a friend who lived in California. He was only 5’10” but was darty-quick, could leap like a freak and had uncanny court sense. He was his high school league MVP, recruited by DIvision 1 but played for a small college (his dad was rich, he was easygoing, and he didn’t want the pressure of playing D1 I think). He played with us once at the playground and guys were getting pissed as he ran circles around them – I’ve never seen anything like it, even when we played with some UW basketball players once.
My favorte team ever were the Loyola Maramount teams of the late 80s, the ones that ran at a relentless pace and wore other teams down. One time in college during a pick up game, three guys like myself (5’11”, but high energy) got on the same team (plus one of the guys girlfriends played with us) and we pressed and ran the entire time, and I think ran off 10 games in a row in a crowded gym, which was pissing off some of the taller guys, especially since one of our players was a girl who claimed to not like basketball. One of thestarters from the college (NAIA) team joined in, saying he was going to put an end to our run, and we beat him too. It was the relentless defense then the running for layups, plus one of the guys had a great 3-point shot during the fast break, and it is hard to break that when you aren’t playing on a prepared (pick up) team. That was my favorite pick up game day ever, of course.
I think it is hilarious that eight years later I still love the song Poker Face by Lady Gaga. The first time I heard it I didn’t even know who Lady Gaga was – I was driving on the freeway late one January night when it was playing on the radio, and I loved it’s energy. It gave me goosebumps, but I forgot about it for a couple of weeks when Wife M brought it home on a compilation CD her friend J made for her – it was my favorite song that year. ALthough I don’t seek it out, 8 years later when it pops on Spotify, I turn it up and enjoy it. I love that song. It literally makes me want to run sprints and makes me miss playing sports.
My favorite Christmas seasons were in the early years of my marriage to Wife M. When we’d decorate our apartment and go to Christmas parties with friends and watch Xmas specials. The night before Xmas Eve we spent with friends attending The Nutcracker, Xmas Eve was with my family and Xmas at her grandma’s place. We loved those times, and they got even better when the kids were a few years old. But I will always remember those first Christmases with Wife M most fondly.
I remember the election of 1984 when Reagan absolutely routed Mondale. This year, I always wondered if Trump would win, but I woke up today fully expecting Clinton to route Trump today, that when the emotions settled down and when people went to cast their vote they’d vote for the “safe” choice of Clinton (like I did 😦 ). So I am stunned that as I type this Trump is probably going to be president of the USA. To me, people aren’t really voting for Trump – they are saying they want change. They are saying they are tired of making 8/hr and having to work Thanksgivings at Walmart while fleets of rich people get richer and richer and ship more and more jobs overseas, turn it over to automation or hire slave labor and fire 1000s of people without penalty while paying themselves millions. Today’s election was a cry for change, and the funny thing is that even if the stocks tank tomorrow it won’t hurt the 401Ks of the people who voted for Trump since none of them can afford 401Ks anyway. In most ways I am terrified today, and I am upset overall, and I am sick to my stomach that we elected a racist and sexist president, but in some small ways I am proud of America for making a statement. Trump is the wrong execution of the right idea. 😦 Unfortunately, Hitler was a wrong execution too… In the 18th century we had the Shay’s rebellion when the poor felt extorted by the rich – today the USA voted for Trump.
Dad loved Christmas morning. He loved showering his kids with gifts and watching us revel in the thrill of Christmas morning. Mom was a saver (i.e. didn’t like to spend money), so we didn’t always get the most expensive gifts as kids when mom/dad were still a young couple trying to pay a mortgage, but dad definitely got an A for effort…
Every Christmas, dad would make a big show of having us wait outside the living room while he lit the fire, turned on the tree, got the camera ready and so on, then he’d give us the okay and we’d race in. He was always just as involved with our opening our presents as we were, sitting nearby, feeling as excited about us opening our gifts as we were getting them. It was like every gift and every Christmas was like The Old Man in A Christmas Story giving his son the air rifle. Wife M is that way, too – she loves giving gifts more than getting them (and she loves getting them).
Even as teens and then adults, dad ensured this still happened by upping the ante – buying us electronics, giving us cash, etc. One year, mom was recuperating from surgery so could not keep an eye on dad during Christmas season – that was the most amazing Christmas we ever had as far as gifts go 🙂 Later, when we had kids, the cycle started over again with his grandkids – when we arrive at the house he does everything he can to make it an awesome experience for all of us 🙂
But in 7th grade I had a paper route, Which means before we could start our Christmas morning, I’d have to spend an hour or two delivering 100 papers over a 6-block area. Dad couldn’t wait that long, and didn’t want my sister (in 4th grade) and I to wait that long, so after hosting his inlaws until 1 AM on Christmas Eve he got up at 5 AM that Christmas morning, pulled my sister and I out of bed, and the three of us piled in his van and delivered the papers together so we could have our CHristmas morning at 7 AM.
What a wonderful memory that is. I feel love when I think of that memory. 🙂
We were taken out of the field for a full f***ing week two years ago and flown across the country and stuck in a dark conference room during the all-important January to attend a Sales Training mandated by that nutbag Mahfuz, our so-called leader. This was bad enough, but then we spent most of the time brainstorming for a new business idea that we could pitch to customers. WTF. We were running a 500M organization with firm practices in place with a nutbag CEO (Mahfuz), and he wastes a fully day of my time brainstorming for what-ifs? This would be fine, but he was completely intolerant of missed quotas and had a no cell-phone policy during these meetings, which is why 80% of the people were fired or quit every month, plus I had an office I was responsible for. I was thinking about this right now, as I came across the title “Content Manager” and that was one of the ideas — Content — we were brainstorming for. As a former Educator, I knew these one-day brainstorming with no follow-up on top of a million other similar activites that Mahfuz oversaw on top of our stressful day jobs was doomed to fail. I rue the day I ever worked for that whack job, and the next time I think of him will be too soon 🙂