Grab-Bag: Vacation Edition

Oh I have been out of the loop for a while.  In all honesty, the past week or so has been my “Vacation” for the summer.  From Wheaton, Illinois to Kansas City, Kansas and from Wedding to Birthday Celebration to the US Open Cup Final… it was insanely eventful.  So where does this all pick us all back up together?  Well, lots of places, to be honest.  Forgive me if this gets a little bit ADD but I’ve had a few posts I’ve been working on and I’m going to throw a couple together, here.

That amazing moment when you know the guy in the meme…

So yes, the above meme definitely features one of my very close friends.  He’s spending the summer playing in the pit ensemble of the Cavaliers drum and bugle corps.  I could go on some long dealio about “hard work and determination” but the simple fact is that Pat is not just with the Cavies and through to Semi Finals tonight because of hard work and determination.  He’s there because he loves what he does and that love has made him want to be good (and rest assured, the dude’s awesome).  In a great many ways, the love of what you do is what shines above all else.  Chipped notes, biffed runs, etc… all of that is part of life and it’s the love and excitement for the craft that gets you through the natural mistakes and growing pains.  Dude up there?  In the years I’ve known him and played in ensembles with him, I’ve never actually seen him NOT smile while making music.  THAT is what performing and creating is all about.  So boom.  There ya go.  Rest assured, though I love Crown’s hornline and BD’s music… I’m rooting for the Cavies’ percussion section all the way tonight and tomorrow at finals!

Next Up: The Scottish Premiere League/Rangers’ Relegation/Celtic FC in UCL Qualifying

So I’m Scots-Irish.  I’m a HUGE soccer (or “football”) fan… and I fell utterly in love the first moment I ever saw those green and white hoops on the pitch.  THAT SAID: Though I do have a strong dislike for Rangers on the pitch, I’m not exactly big on the whole divide the rivalry between the two clubs creates.  I respect the way Rangers play and I find it incredibly unfortunate that their management could not manage to keep to legal methods when doing their taxes.  I’m not going into the details but right now, the SPL is definitely a two horse show and losing one horse, even if it is only for three years, makes things INCREDIBLY difficult for the league and for Scottish Football.

After all of that, I’m elated and excited that one of the best opportunities to keep the SPL and Scottish Football relevant has fallen to my beloved Bhoys in Green.  As of today, Celtic has advanced to the final knock-out stage in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stages.  IF they manage to progress into the group stages, it not only guarantees greater exposure for the club (and subsequently, the SPL) but also MONEY which is sorely needed (to be honest, I have no idea how the SPL managed to keep a deal with ESPN after losing Rangers to relegation and subsequently, losing the Old Firm match as well).  I’d love to see a deep run into the UCL but right now, I’ll take every small victory I can get on the European stage.

FINALLY: I’m Sounders ‘Til I Die!!!!

So my trip to Kansas City… possibly the best period of 24 hours I’ve had in an incredibly long time.  Definitely one of the best games of soccer I’ve seen… despite the questionable officiating.  I could launch into a whole review of the game right now but that would detract from the experience.  Even though Eddie Johnson airmailed our last hope of keeping the game alive on the final penalty kick (Yes, it went the full 120 PLUS PKs and came down to the last kick… and Seattle came in Runner-up in the US Open Cup…), nothing could cheapen the experience and the fun I had.

“We are the ECS from 113!”

Had the typical sporting event camaraderie between fans whom I’d never met (the guy on the left [my left, your right] just walked up to us and we all started talking at the tailgate.  Awesome dude and DEFINITELY hope to see him again at the next game I find a way to get to) and got to watch a team that I love play.  Oh… and it POURED right before the game.  So… something like this…

Seattle Sunshine!

But outweighing the game was the simple fact that I got to have family time with my brother and make new friends.  It sounds super “kindergarten-y” and all that but honestly, there was a point right around the time Zach Scott nailed home the equalizer that I realized that the past 5 or 6 years were easily cancelled out in one day of road tripping and one night of heat, food, beer, soccer, friends, and family… oh and losing my voice singing for the full 120.  So I’ll take the loss on penalties as just a part of the experience that really feels like it’s turned the ship around and gotten me to a point where I’m starting to be ready to leave Iowa behind in less than a year.

And for those still wondering from my earlier post, I FINALLY have a picture of me and Eric together… TWO actually!

The one from the car where I look SUPER Irish…

And the one from right after the march to the stadium… we were a tad… moist…

It’s from all the “excitement” … WINKY FACE!

So there you are… I’m back and posting again.

AND FOR THOSE WONDERING ABOUT THE PODCAST… Adam gets into town next week sometime and we will resume our regular recordings then.  Get excited.

Until next time, SCARVES UP!


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