Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't know ... Am I crazy???

I don't know if it's just an uncharacteristic cold front, but I don't remember the weather being this cold in the Midwest this time of year. So there I was, all bundled up, watching the overcast grey clouds spit snow as I refereed youth soccer games right in the heart of metropolitan St. Louis, MO. At point I definitely asked myself: Am I crazy?

Anyone who knew what I was doing on Saturday could have easily made that argument. Overcast skies, no sunshine, a bitterly chilling wind from the northwest ... maybe South Texas wasn't so bad after all. However I kept myself motivated as parents shouted, criticized and even went so far as to call me an idiot. I promised myself a couple pints of Guiness Irish Lager afterwards at a nearby soccer pub.

As I thawed out at ye ol' New Amsterdam Tavern, the barkeep noticed my referee gear under my jacket. We talked about the beautiful game, our favorite clubs, our stories, etc. He used to work for the U.S. Soccer Federation. I used to work for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. He asked if I played and I told him I was looking for a team. He recruited me for his men's side Steinclub right there on the spot.

The downside was that the squad wore the green and white hooped jerseys of Glasgow's mostly Catholic supported Celtic FC. I happen to support Glasgow's traditionally Protestant club Rangers FC because native Fort Wayne-ian Damarcus Beasley plays for the side. So when I took the pitch for Steinclub's Sunday league match, I reluctantly put on the green and white shirt. However, the slightly older and injury stricken squad needed some younger, fresher legs. Again the temperature was in the 40's but at least the sun was shining to provide a morale boost.

I think I am crazy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hoosier Country

I was due for a visit to my alma mater since I returned to the Midwest. However a hectic and unpredictable schedule make the task next to impossible. However the stars and planets aligned in the galaxy and somehow I managed to have open the weekend of November 8- the date of the Indiana-Wisconsin football game.

I acquired the very last of my late grandfather's IU football season tickets and headed east on I-70 for Bloomington, IN. Like most respectable college town, getting there isn't easy because the town doesn't lie on a major U.S. highway. The weekend was about as unpredictable as my life as of late.

I arrived Friday evening and went to the Sigma Nu house to kill some time. Believe it or not, but I actually still do know some people there. I played catch-up before meeting up with my friend Miranda who invited me to a work party. Contrary to what this seems like, it was actually a professional moves versus an event with free food and beverage. Miranda works for a PR firm and is trying to help me get a job- SO THERE! All in all the evening ended rather early because we all wanted to get up early on Saturday for tailgating.

Saturday morning came soon enough. We bundled up, loaded my truck and set-up shop in the reserved parking section right outside the stadium. My friends both new and old were impressed with my "hook-up." The weather was less than favorable. Overcast skies, temperatures in the 30's and a heavy wind from the west. I think I picked the worst weekend of the fall to attend a football game, but after a few beers and/or mojitos everyone was in much better spirits. In a moment of weakness I bought a fleece IU jacket because I was so cold.

The first half of the game was incredible. The Hoosiers fought tooth and nail with the Badgers. In the third quarter, reality set in and the Cream & Crimson had a nuclear meltdown. I'll give the girls who came to the game with me major props. Despite the poor weather, not once did a single one of them complain. They were troopers. Sucked it up and had fun regardless. One of them was a former IU cheerleader who had never tailgated before. We left shortly after the third quarter.

We took power naps before venturing out for a night on Kirkwood Ave. For those who have been fortunate to socialize on this beloved street, then I need say no more, but since most of you haven't, well, that's too bad. We went to the favorites: Nick's, Upstairs Pub and even Kilroys was thrown out there as a possibility but we thought better of it.

After a slow Sunday that included breakfast at everyone's favorite hangover-cure hot-spot Village Deli, Miranda and I went to a concert at Bluebird. Monday morning I woke up and drove home.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 Election Reflection

Barrack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States. Let's be honest, we all saw this coming. Even a staunch conservative like me saw this coming. The GOP's track record the past 4 years has been anything but stellar. Hopefully this will be the wake-up call the Republican Party needs.

Is Obama truly the better man for the job than McCain? Time will tell. Despite the many "good things" he has done in his career, he has never been truly in a political position with legitimate executive power. Since both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be controlled by the Democrats, will Obama be a pawn? Or will he stick to his campaign platform even when faced by stiff opposition from his own party. We will see. America will be watching. The World will be watching.

What I hope that society gets from this election is mostly this: I hope all the minorities are paying attention to this election and realize that no one is being held down by the evil white man anymore. The system is not holding anyone down. Everyone has the power to write their own story. Obama came from very humble beginnings. He was not a son of wealth and privilege. Everything he accomplished was because of his own hard work and drive. I respect that.

Obama talks a good game. All through his campaign he talked about change and doing "good things" like creating jobs and reforming business. I'm unemployed (mostly), so is he going to get me a job? Is Obama going to pass my resume out to his colleagues and say: "John Fischer needs a job and you should give him one because that would be a good thing to do." Yes, it would be a "nice" thing to do, but to the overall economic scheme. Why give a job to one person when another person, who is more qualified, could do the same job with twice the production rate.

Like I said, time will tell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Shenanigans

I was really looking forward to Halloween this year. I mean I really- REALLY was looking forward to Halloween. All four years of college I never dressed up or anything, but this year I was ready to go all out.

Why, you ask?


I needed a distraction. I needed a distraction from everything- resumes, cover letters, follow-up phones calls and countless hours probing the World Wide Web searching for the next opportunity. I haven't been making much progress. Which is another topic for another day.

The Blues played the night before Halloween and we all got to dress up in costumes. A buddy and I went as Wayne and Garth from Wayne's World- it was awesome.

I had made arrangements to celebrate All Hallows Eve with a friend of mine that I work the St. Louis Blues games with. This girl is absolutely gorgeous in every way and a personality to match. I was confident the night would be a blast no matter what happened.

I was wrong.

This girl is a walking soap opera.

Every bar or venue we entered we had to leave because of some nut job from her past would show up. The went into every bar on Morgan Ford St. in downtown St. Louis. Talk about a buzz kill.

I still can't get over the fact at how many "slutty" costumes are out there. Slutty police office, slutty nurse, slutty school teacher, slutty firefigher- the list goes on and on. No element of wonder exists anymore. Everything is all out there in the open- and for most of the broads wearing those costumes should NOT have been wearing those types of costumes.


Because those chicks were fat and ugly. As my grandfather would say: "Two Bag Ugly." You know, a girl so ugly she needs two bags over her face?

My friends and I eventually ended up at Bar 101 in the Soulard area where we danced and carried on into the early morning hours.

All was made good again the next morning when my dad and I went kayaking on the Meremec River. We paddled 11 miles down the river. In some areas forgetting about you humble Midwest settings is easy. High rock bluffs, rapids and rolling hills on both sides add to the package. The kayak trip was the first real adventure that I had been on in quite some time. I hope to make it a higher priority from now on.