ELRR Graveyard

This blog is no longer active. It's pretty much just a bunch of drunken idiocy mixed with senseless ramblings. A more refined blog can be viewed at riraho.blogspot.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trying Not to Waste My Vacation

I cashed in my vacation at work and I am off for 11 days. That I was able to score the vacation at all was a minor miracle. But the bigger challenge is going to be for me to use the time wisely.

I originally had planned to go to Florida. But when I moved into the apartment, that was no longer financially possible. I haven't been on a real vacation since I went to Canada in 2000. So with no real plans, I am going to be around town for nearly a week and a half. I'm hoping to get a new job in the near future, so I figured it would be alot easier to get it all out of the way sooner than later.

That's not to say I have nothing to do. I have my TGI Fridays fantasy football draft and College Boy's annual Labor Day picnic on Sunday. I was hoping to try a little pitch n putt and my birthday is on Saturday. The NFL also starts up next weekend, so there is a chance of having some actual fun. I could also use the time to rest up my aching body.

The thing is, I'm not getting any younger. I always get the feeling that I'm wasting my golden years. So, I am kind of counting on having some great memories in the next 11 days. In reality, I just hope I don't end up stuck in the house, watching TV and annoying girls on Myspace the entire time.

DAY ONE - Saturday August 30th, 2008

I woke up with a slight hangover after having a few beers at the Fairview Tavern Friday night. Nothing major, I was able to wake up at a reasonable hour and have coffee and an english muffin. From there, I finished my game of College Football's National Championship on *Sega Genesis*.

Later in the afternoon, I watched a good portion of a Coach marathon that ran all day. It's kind of hokey, one of the games they were playing in was called the Pop Corn Bowl. Overall not a bad show, though. The thing about Coach is, what in the world happened to the people on that show? I can't remember anything from Craig T. Nelson or the guy who played Luther. After checking the internet, I did find that the tall guy who played the moron Dauber is actually the voice of Patrick on SpongeBob Square Pants. That's fairly interesting, but I'm sure that anyone who knows him as Patrick has no clue who Dauber is, and anyone who knows him from Coach has never seen SpongeBob. It works for nostalgia purposes I guess.

By evening, I had hit the proverbial wall. Although you could probably say that I already hit it head on, right before watching 3 hours of the Coach marathon. I spent the majority of the evening on the internet before watching the Red Sox - White Sox game on WGN. I soon tired of that and went grocery shopping.

Let's take a moment here. I'm still pretty young, in age, if not particularly feeling it. I like to have fun, I like to hang out. I spent a Saturday night in the prime of my life...grocery shopping. I'm 27 right? Did I wake up after a 30 year nap and not realize it? I looked around and the only people in Redner's were senior citizens. Next thing you know, i'll be playing Bingo with Aunt Shirley and Grandma Granny.

It was kind of a downer, but in retrospect the likely alternative was probably going out to the bar . I've sort of mellowed out on going to the bar in my older years. I've come to realize that it's a giant waste of money and ultimately a hazard to your health, in several more ways than one.
So, it's safe to say that I am not off to a good start. Tomorrow looks to be better. Fantasy drafts are usually a lot of fun and College Boy's cook outs always seem to offer up something memorable. I hope.

DAY TWO - Sunday August 31st, 2008

We had our annual TGI Fridays fantasy football draft at Annie Bailey's in downtown Lancaster. AB's is one of those old style designed Irish Pubs. It's a nice place and it looks real old. It's also one of those places that screams, "We're Irish!" which follows the trend these days of people getting on their high horse and drinking Guiness like maniacs. Which isn't a bad thing, but I didn't see anyone waving their Ireland flag until it became en vouge.

I picked up Brad at his place and we met up with the old gang. I was surprised that there was none of the old hostility with Blymeir and Eric or myself. We never got along all that well. Shane was his usual hilarious self and Brad was at the very least on marajuana, if not a combination of that and a few other things. Anyway, my team looks decidedly average. Should be good for 7-10 wins and a playoff spot, so I'll be happy, I think. I've got alot of depth. Of course, my centerpiece is Thomas Brady. He alone should get me three wins.

Afterwards, we ventured over to College Boy's Labor Day cook out, where there is usually something to remember. Like the one time Kyle danced with his pants and underwear at his ankles, or when Josh and he smashed their heads together, or when they tricked me into wearing a woman's bathing suit. There was nothing like that this time, but it was fun. It's funny, when we go to these things there is always a divide, where Kate's family is on one side and Kyle's family and me are on the other. I don't blame them, I think they are a little put off by the beer, cigarettes, and sports arguments. Even more so, by the Royal Rumble that we had in the yard last time. We were giving each other leg drops and clotheslines and we were drilling each other with lawn chairs.

I did get into my contractually obligated sports and politics arguments with Gary Constein. I informed him that Manny Ramirez sucks, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, both the Red Sox and Patriots are winning championships this year, and that the National League should be renamed AAAA Baseball. I also argued that President Bush is not a bad president, and Barrack Obama doesn't have a magic wand that is going to change gas prices, and that the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein in power. I don't think I changed his mind on anything, and he did call me an asshole afterwards, but it was fun, if not entertaining for anyone listening.

We ended up drinking a lot of Molson Canadian (i'll never learn), making fun of each other (always a blast), and playing horeshoes (???). Overall it was a lot of fun, even if the volleyball net was broken and we didn't even try to rig it back up. Eventually I was the last one left. Mark called and said there was an End of the Summer Party at Trio.

So after all that, I went down to the Trio (not a very good decision) to see what the party would look like. I tried to wade my way through the hoard of people on the deck, until I realized that I knew absolutely no one and decided to go back to the bar. I had a beer there and chatted with Amanda and Kelley for a while, then decided to have a shot of tequila. I really never learn. I took that and decided to go back to the deck to see if anyone that I actually knew had shown up. One the way, I happened upon a table of food that I guess the bar or the organizer of the party had laid out for everyone. At least I hope it was for everyone, because I had about 10 of the steak, mushroom, green pepper, and onion shishkabobs. They were delicious and I devoured them, even if the people who walked by looked at me like I was a lion eating a raw gazelle. A few of the looks were a little too condescending and the tequilla was starting to set in, so I figured it was a good time to get home.

I did get home fine and dandy, but I have little memory of the rest of the evening. On the upside, a quick check of MySpace and Facebook showed that I didn't leave any potentially embarrassing comments to any girls, but on the downside, I have at the very least a sprained foot, which ultimately could be a broken fourth toe. Don't know what happened there.

We'll call day two a success, if only because it was a hell of a lot better than Saturday.

DAY THREE - Monday September 1st, 2008

Needless to say, after last night's transgressions, Monday ended up being a rest day. Other than doing laundry, which was way overdue, not a lot went down.

I woke up with quite a hangover. Dragged myself to the kitchen for a little breakfast, then began the always nervous search to make sure I didn't lose my cell phone, keys, contacts, or wallet. Luckily everything was safe and sound.

There was nothing to watch on television, for which there is little excuse. Any time someone has off for a holiday, there should be back to back to back awesome movies on TV. But there was nothing of note, so as I feared, I spent a good part of the day on the internet.

After a long nap, I went over to my parents house, for their "cookout." Which was okay, only if you didn't mind that all the food was cooked five hours beforehand. And since I felt like shit the whole day anyway, it didn't take very well regardless. My Aunt Joyce was over with her beau, but I didn't see her all that much, because the sunlight was affecting me like it would a vampire. Going did allow me to have this exchange with my three year old neice, Tianna:

Tianna: My shirt has a red butterfly and a blue butterfly...
Me: That's pretty, where did you get it?
Tianna: I got this t shirt at Ocean City, Maryland
Me: Oh yeah, what's down there? (thinking beach, boardwalk)
Tianna: T shirts.

Maybe you had to be there, but her response was dead pan, like, "haven't you been paying attention!?"

I felt a little better after taking a shower and was able to relax the rest of the night. Got to watch the Red Sox beat the Orioles and chilled out. Overall, i'd liken Monday to Brady going 17-30, 178 yards passing, 1 TD and a fumble. Economical. I was going to have today paid off anyway, so I'm content.

DAY FOUR - Tuesday September 2nd, 2008

Well, it was bound to happen. A day where nothing was accomplished. A boring, lazy day where no memories were created.

I woke up early and had breakfast as usual. Then I watched Sportscenter and checked out Patriots and Red Sox news on the Boston Globe website.

Later, I went to Turkey Hill to pick up a copy of the USA Today. Came home, had a roast beef sandwhich and watched 4-6 episodes of Married...With Children on You Tube.

After waking from another nap, I figured I didn't want the day to be a total waste, so I went out to Ollie's Bargain Outlet and Borders to see if there were any books available that I could mow through over vacation. If you've ever been to Ollie's book section, you'd know that, while the prices are hard to beat, the book selection is for shit. There was nothing there, unless you fancied Faithfull from horror master Stephen King and nameless hack Stewart O'Nan on audio cassestte. Border's had the bigger selection of quality books, but lacked the cheap price tag that I was looking for.

Anyways, while I was at Ollie's, Fries called from Trio and asked me to come out. I went out for a handfull of beers, where we discussed taxes, Presidental candidates, and sports. We took the party home and tried to play Sega Genesis while drunk, which didn't work out all that well. Fries ended up running to the bathroom in the middle of it all to yak, so it was a nice capper to the evening.

So, we'll call day four a total wash.

DAY FIVE - Wednesday September 3rd, 2008

Today meant getting rid of another slight hangover. I woke up, made breakfast, and listened to Colin Cowherd's radio show for a bit. Loafed around, watched an episode of Jeopardy that had Ken Jennings. He demolished the two ladies playing with him. I missed final Jeopardy, but one lady was in the negatives, one lady had $4,000, and Ken had $40,000.

I always wonder how I'd do on the show. I surprised the hell out of my parents when I was five and got the Final Jeopardy answer correct. Somehow I knew it was The Monkees. My dad and I used to bet five dollars on Final Jeopardy all the time, and there was an incident after I actually beat him for once. I can't remember what the answer was, but it was hard and I made a good guess. We handed our slips to my Mom, and when it turned out that I had won, my Dad got pissed and accused me of watching the episode when it played an hour earlier. I don't even think he gave me the money.

Later on, the Red Sox had a day game against Baltimore. I always liked day games when I had a day off. Always seemed like a bonus. The Sox were lethargic for about seven innings, losing 4-0. They got two in the 7th, two in the eighth, and scored the winning run on a wild throw to third in the 9th. One of those great come back wins late in the year that help momentum wise moving towards the playoffs. They are really hitting well since the Manny trade and Beckett is coming back Friday, so I am fully confident that they are winning the World Series again. Happy times in Title Town, USA.

After all that, I went to another soft ball practice for the work team. I thought I felt horrible after the first two practices. I felt like hell about 2 minutes into the practice today. I think it might have been due to the drinking from the night before, followed by not really eating anything before going, but I was running around like Andre Dawson circa 1993 today. I think it will turn around if I actually stretch beforehand next time.

In any case, it was fun going out and playing and the Red Sox game was fun, so today worked out fine. Tomorrow should involve some pitch n putt golf, so that's something to look forward to.

DAY SIX - Thursday September 4th, 2008

Unfortunately, these 11 days of vacation seem to be flying by. Only five days left after today. And I still haven't done anything all that great. But, it was pointed out to me that its 1000x times better than actually working, so I should count my blessings.

I woke up bright and early this morning to play pitch n putt with College Boy over at Ever Green. Now, it was fun and I enjoyed myself, but I am horrible at golf. Absolutely absymal. The main problem is that I cannot hit off of a tee. I hit more line drives, slices, and hooks it seemed than times I teed off. Any time that I line drived my way off the tee into a decent lie in the "fairway" I managed to screw it up by messing up the chip. Or I got a hold of it alright, but launched it 20 feet past the green. I had four 7's and about 10 6's. I didn't make less than two putts any time that I made the green, and I thought that putting would be the best part of my game.

But cleary the most interesting shot was my attempt at teeing off that missed, with no exaggeration, an 80 year old lady's face by mere inches. I put the ball on the tee, then tried to focus and keep my eye on the ball. I swung, and the ball immediately sliced (or hooked--whichever it is when it goes right). As soon as I could locate the ball, I saw it heading for the woman, who was bending over to pick up her own ball. I saw it going towards her, but I couldn't seem to yell "watch out!" College Boy got a "fore!" out just in time that she was able to look up, see it heading for her face, and artfully dodge it by about six inches.

After it flew by her, and I saw her "did you try that on purpose, because no one can be that bad?" look, I turned to Kyle for a little "it happens to the best of us" assurance. But Kyle was crouched down, shaking his head with his face in his hands. Add that disaster to the fact that I ended up a whopping 54 strokes over par (when no hole is over a par three), and it made for a thoroughly embarassing morning. But like I said, it was fun.

So that was my morning. The evening brought the begginning of the new NFL season. Even if it was the Giants playing the Red Skins. I have to wait for Sunday to see the Patriots first game, but tonight also brought the start of a new Fantasy Football year. I nearly forgot how fun and maddening it can be at the same time. It also gives you a reason to care about games or players you wouldn't give a damn about under any other circumstances. Like Plexico Burress. The same wide receiver that caught the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl against the Patriots. He's on my team, and I was rooting for the Giants to get the ball back at the end, that they might throw one more ball to him. That's the beauty of fantasy football, if I didn't play, I'd be pulling for him to dislocate both of knee caps.

Add up the golf and fantasy football, multiply it by one million since I wasn't stuck at my desk, trying to figure out how I'd get through the day, and it was a great day. I'm going to savor every second until Wednesday at 8am.

DAY SEVEN - Friday September 5th, 2008

Pedestrian. I took pleasure in doing nothing.

I woke up early and tried to make breakfast. Tried. For a lifelong bachelor like myself, it was no easy task. I figured I would have some OJ, coffee, eggs, and bacon. Easier said than done.

To start, the bacon was frozen. I don't know if you ever tried, but pulling apart frozen bacon is no easy task. I ended up breaking apart twenty or so peices and frying them up. At the same time, I tried to start my scrambled eggs. While I was waiting for the bacon to sizzle, I neglected my eggs. They ended up frying like an omlette. I tried to save them, but I ended up with your usual runny eggs omlettle. I had hoped to enjoy some coffee with my breakfast, but as I tried to save the eggs, that went by the wayside. While tending to the eggs, I neglected the bacon.
So I sat down to my laptop, reading about the Pats and Sox on the Globe website, with runny, gross eggs and my burnt bacon.

Now, I cannot forsee having a girl over for the night anywhere in the near future, but if it ever happens and they expect a decent breakfast the next morning, I am going to need a lot of practice.

I got my paycheck from TFP and relaxed for a little at home. Later, I went to the Scare-View for a few drinks. I passed the time playing Mega-Touch, the ultimate waste of money at any bar.

I made it home and regretted ever leaving.

DAY EIGHT - Saturday September 6th, 2008

The birthday. Twenty-eight years old, with emphasis on old. For the most part I like my birthday. I'm a history guy, so dates and anniversaries are interesting and important to me. But another year older? Before I know it, I am going to be thirty. That's no offense to anyone who's thirty or fifty, but to me it's crazy. Perhaps I feel that I've had 28 years to accomplish things and they haven't happened yet. It's already been ten years since I finished high school. As fast as that decade has come to pass, the next ten will come and go and I'll be nearing 40! Maybe it's a good thing that I realize we only have so many years on this planet and you shouldn't take them for granted. Heh, with age comes wisdom.

I woke up Saturday morning regretting my stop at the Scare-View from the night before. I hung around, basically doing nothing for the first half of the day. I was pretty bored, so I set up another season of Madden '08 to coincide with the new NFL season. That's always a pain in the ass, trying to set the rosters, creating rookies, and getting everything perfect. I got the Patriots roster set and went through the training camp and preseason stages. After the last preseason game, I noticed that Matt Cassel, Tom Brady's backup quarterback, was injured with a broken tail bone and was out for the season (It's bad omens like those that should have put me on high alert for Sunday).

So I played a few games before heading over to my parents house for the regular family birthday deal. I got some gifts, including a three month supply of contact lenses, gift cards, and cash (the best kind of present). We did the Happy Birthday deal, which surprised me because Tianna knew all the words, and had cake and ice cream. Which I don't even really like. I never eat ice cream. There is so much sugar in both, that after eating, the glucose load makes me feel like shit for hours. Anyways, it was fun.

For the evening festivities, I went to Trio for some beers with College Boy, his parents, and Fries. I had a good time and I wasn't even forced to take wild cocktails of shots that would have killed me before 10 p.m. College Boy and I entertained ourselves with Ghostbusters quotes and the evil Mega-Touch machine. Gary brought his A Game of direct personal insults, and I wouldn't have expected, or asked for, anything less. Being my birthday, I was on the receiving end of two packs of cigarettes and three bags of sunflower seeds (?), but strangley no beers.
I left the Trio for home, watched some television and started gearing up for the start of football the next day, for which I had very high hopes.

DAY NINE - Sunday September 7th, 2008

Or, as it shall be henceforth know, The Day the Patriots Season Died.

I woke up early, ready for football season. I was quite excited; made some breakfast and got the lap top out to read over any Patriots news and fine tune my fantasy teams. I played a game of Madden to further get me in the mood for the Patriots Chiefs game at One.

The only games on at home were an appalling Eagles-Rams game and a nauseating Steelers-Texans matchup, so Fries and I left for the Trio since they have the NFL Ticket. I got there and was surprised at the lack of Patriots haters. Last year, it was nearly unbearable.

So, the game was going along somewhat fine, even if Wes Welker fumbled the ball and the Patriots ended up having to punt. The defense looked good; they were not allowing Kansas City to run the ball and forced a punt.

The Patriots got the ball back and everything came crashing down. Brady dropped back to pass and launched a pass that Randy Moss came back to snag. As the camera was panning left to follow the flight of the ball, I saw Brady get nailed low on the knees. Moss ended up fumbling the ball, which the camera focused on, but I didn't like the look of the hit. While they settled who had recovered the fumble, Dan Deirdorf was yelling that Brady was down. When they finally panned back to him, he was curled up, clutching his knee.

As a Pats fan, it was about the worst possible thing that could happen. They are/were Super Bowl favorites, due in part to them having a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. But without Tom Brady, the chances of them winning the championship seem all but lost. Guys like Gary will say it's just one player and one player doesn't win a championship. But when that one player is Tom Brady (who I'll argue is the greatest QB of all time and the best player in the league), its enough to end my hopes. It appears to be a torn ACL and he's going to miss the rest of the season.

So that leaves the Pats with Matt Cassel. The same guy who was horrendous in preseason and who I can't believe wasn't cut before the season started. Tom Brady threw more touchdown passes last year alone, than Cassel has completed passes in college AND pro combined.

With that said, he didn't look all that bad. He started the first drive on his own 1 yard line and moved the offense down the field 99 yards for a TD to Moss. He's got a lot of talent to work with on offense, and he knows the system, and yeah, I'm trying to talk myself into the Matt Cassel Era in New England. Word is that they are bringing in Chris Simms for a work out, and if he has anywhere near the talent his dad did, I'd probably rather see him lead the offense.

As you might guess, the rest of the day didn't go all that swell. The Patriots did win, but I was pretty shell-shocked about Brady for the remainder of the day. Saving Private Ryan was on TNT, which got my mind off football for a good bit and I was able to watch The Honeymooners later in the evening. You gotta love Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. Classic TV, Ralphie boy!
Two days left. Monday is the first softball game, so I should be back with a whole new rash of injuries to complain about. Tuesday I am going to be the laziest ass possible.

DAY TEN - Monday September 8th, 2008

Second to last day, no need to do anything crazy. Went grocery shopping in the afternoon. I used the gift card I got for my birthday, so I was able to spurge a little. I got the good chicken nuggets this week. With a little BBQ and honey mustard, that's good eating. I'm still afraid/incapable of cooking any real food beyond rice or rigatoni, so for the most part I stuck to the mircowavable stuff.

Later in the afternoon, I watched approximately my 30th and 31st episodes of Married...With Children on You Tube.

Beyond actual computers and the internet themselves, You Tube is the greatest invention of all time. Anything you want is on You Tube. From episodes of The Honeymooners to Aaron Bailey almost catching the hail mary against Pittsburgh in the '95 AFC Championship Game (and by God, if only he had caught it, that day would easily be in my top ten favorite days of all time). Anything you want. I actually watched a film they made of the electrocution of the guy who killed President McKinnley, that was made in 1901!

Evening brought our first game in the work softball league. I played first base, which isn't my favorite position, even if it likely meant the least movement of anyone on the field. I was a little worried about covering the bag on ground balls.

But, boy, were those fears uneccessary. Because every hit seemed to be smashed over my head into the outfield. They crushed balls into every gap, over the outfielders heads, and seemingly any other spot where our fielders were not. I only had about two or three times where I had to actually play first, which if you're scoring at home, doesn't bode well for the team. That's right, the return of the old Ten Run Rule. I think it was after five innings, which was at least a little better than our team the first year we played. Also returning, was my patented third strike foul out. I watched the first five pitches without swinging, "working" a 3-1 count. Then after a strike to make it 3-2, I naturally swung at a pitch that would have probably hit me in the knee if I had let it go.

But it's fun and exercise. I didn't pull anymore muscles either. We had a small cheering crowd from the store, which is nice, even it most of the cheering I heard was Mike making various sexual advances.

Finshed off day ten with the double header of Monday Night Football. Which I was surprising able to stomach, if only for fantasy purposes, after the Tom Brady incident the day before.

DAY ELEVEN - Tuesday September 9th, 2008

Winding down on the last day. I wasn't able to sleep in as I would have liked. So I got up early and moped around.

I didn't want to loaf around all day, so I forced myself to dress and made my first ever trip to a Dunkin' Donuts. I've been on a giant coffee kick lately and American Runs on Dunkin', so their's had to be good right?. I've also been trying to find a maple frosted donut since I had one at Krispy Kreme in Baltimore in 2005. So I left, even if it is quite a drive for coffee and a donut. I got there, and naturally, they were all out of maple donuts. Damn it. So i had the coffee and a vanilla iced donut. The donut was good, but the coffee left a little to desired. Good, but not spectacular. It's funny, the best coffee I've ever had is still the generic stuff they use at TGI Fridays.

I came home, listened to a little Cowherd, watched another couple of Married..With Childrens, and took a nap. Woke up when Fries came home and watched The Best of Will Ferell SNL DVD. That's always good for a laugh, even if it's mostly from watching JImmy Fallon crack up in half of the skits.

By evening, we were truly winding down. Watched a Ghostbusters 1 & 2 double shot, which was all the more funny after College Boy and I spent half of my birthday coming up with great quotes and laughing our asses off. Finished off the night watching Baseball Tonight and surfing the net. Vacation over, fun over. Back to work at 8am tomorrow.


So did I waste my vacation? Did everything go well?
That's hard to say. After Monday's softball practice, my physical well being was a diaster. I hurt my shoulder, pulled all of my hamstrings and had about three groin pulls. Walking and getting out of bed took a lot of extra effort. Golf nearly became a disaster when I just missed hitting an old lady in the face with one of my tee shots. Disaster struck when Tom Brady tore his ACL and was lost for the year, simultaneously ruining the Patriots chances at the Super Bowl and my fantasy season, all in eight minutes. Our softball season started out disasterously, getting ten run ruled 15-1.

But as I type this, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong is playing on AOL Radio. With that in the backdrop, how can I not be happy and/or satisfied? I was fortunate enough to get 11 days off, all paid. I didn't go to Florida, but I spent time with my friends, drank some beer, watched sports, played sports, argued sports and history with Gary at the picnic, watched tv, watched movies, slept in, had a fun birthday and didn't go blind, get paralyzed or die. I got to do everything I like to do and avoided everything I hate to do. I need to win the lottery, I could very easily get used to this. See you next year.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home