Tag Archives: straight-up kicking ass

The Week of Living Productively

Clear tape organization method for my hockey bag. Looks silly, but will save much digging and frustrating on Saturday.

Clear tape organization method for my hockey bag. Looks silly, but will save much digging and frustration on Saturday. (President Bartlet approves.)

There is a vast gulf between identifying what I need to do and actually doing it. It’s a frustrating, painful, almost debilitating hangup—it  bothers me to think about the things I need to do, whether it’s the dirty dishes in the sink or the interview that’s past deadline or the haircut I so, so desperately need to schedule. And yet? This bother does not spur me to action. I build my life around tolerating the consequences of not doing.

Like if you were actually spurring a horse forward, and the horse is just standing there all, “Ow ow ow ow ow ow stop it why are you doing that?”

That being said, in the last week or so I’ve managed to traverse that gulf, move my horsey self forward, and employ whatever other metaphors necessary to accomplish some long-fallowing tasks, leading to much satisfaction and rejoicing:

  • Went to the doctor last Thursday for a checkup—something I certainly could’ve put off until…who knows, my eyes popped out or something. It’d been so long since I’d been that I showed up only to discover that the office had moved—one building over, thank goodness—and that my old records hadn’t been transferred over to their new system. It was a productivity miracle just to set an appointment and get my ass to the doctor in the first place, but the blood work they ordered required a whole separate appointment with the lab. Which I set yesterday and accomplished this morning.
  • I can’t take a lot of credit for getting my transmission fixed, since it was an immediate necessity further assisted by Ma getting me the loan through her credit union. But I still consider it productive that today I applied the non-transmission part of that loan to pay off my car in its entirety. (And thus are my car payments terminated…and replaced with transmission payments. Whatever, it’s cheaper.)
  • Over the last few weeks, my phone has refused, more and more, to recognize the charger—to the point that it required delicate cord-yoga positions to get the little red “charging” light to come on. (And even then, it had to be closely monitored.) Rather than let it deteriorate to the point of my walking around with no phone for weeks and weeks until I got used to not having a phone and lost all motivation to fix it, I took it to the Sprint store (not a short drive, let me say), and, miracle of miracles, they ordered a replacement at no charge–so to speak. I’m now enjoying personalizing my new, fully charged phone.
  • I got surprise-assigned a short but involved department for the January issue, which required coordinating between me, our art director, a photographer, and a local organization that needed to give us all a tour and then set up a photo shoot. Made that happen on Tuesday. (And then my boss said nice things about my writing in an all-staff meeting.)
  • In anticipation of this weekend’s hockey tournament, I packed the two required bags a couple days early (thus saving myself from last-minute laziness, oversight, panic and general disorganization): the overnight bag, with comfy street clothes for three days/two nights of rinktime and partytime (with contingencies for slightly fancier party time—which almost never happens); and the hockey bag, for which I emptied, sorted through and organized both pouches with jerseys and hockey socks, under-gear clothes, shower stuff, clear tape, stick tape, bandanas and whatnot. And taped my stick. And put everything in the car.And I wrote a blog. It’s good to get things done.

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Sorry, bit negligent in posting this week, so here’s some of my favorite sports-related youtube hits.

First, No. 1 in SportsCenter’s Top 10 earlier this week:

Beast Mode:

(And, though I’ve said it before, here’s the Facebook soapbox comment I made about this one.) In case I haven’t speechified at you yet, I am a big believer in sports, no matter what. There’s a reason we have tryouts. There’s no reason the smallest, least-athletic, least-interested boy should be allowed to try out, when other people are excluded for outdated reasons. If that means only one girl makes the league, or none at all, then so be it. But don’t draw lines in sports that have nothing to do with athleticism.

This is SportsCenter:

Quite possibly the best television advertising campaign EVER–and still going strong. I love virtually ALL of these commercials, but this is, at least, just one of the classics. (Just so I don’t have to make a decision, here’s a whole mess of awesome.)

Also a Good Campaign:

These are pretty good commercials, too, but this one is the best.

And Finally, My Favorite:

My (admittedly small) kingdom for anyone who can get me a high-res version of this video. Makes me cry Every. Damn. Time.

Tons more where that came from, but fortunately I’m now distracted by dinner…

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BananaHammer Fantasy Football

“Clear ice, full drinks, yay booze.”

It’s not just that I suck at fantasy football; it’s that I suck so very consistently. I’m well versed in the material, I’m fully invested, and yet? I finish in the middle of the pack, .500, year after year. And no, middle-of-the-pack is not sucking—but doing so consistently in what is all but a game of chance suggests a certain…suckitude. (Also, when two members of the league get frustrated and bail with five games left, and two others forget to update their rosters during bye weeks, it’s even less impressive.)

Above most things, fantasy football is proof that God hates me.

Last year especially: I don’t care if he’d had offseason neck surgery, Peyton Manning in the third round is an effing steal, people. So he’ll miss the first three or four games? Meh, still a steal.

(In case you hadn’t heard: he didn’t play at all last season. People will tell you that they saw that coming, but that’s bullshit—he was expected to play until he suddenly…wasn’t.)

I should’ve known what I was in for when my kicker took the opening kickoff in the very first game of the season and promptly blew out his knee. Seriously: FIRST PLAY OF THE SEASON. Kaeding, you little bitch.

But even with bad luck, I feel as though it reflects poorly on my abilities as a football fan. I really do. Throughout all my tomboy life, I’ve thought, The boys won’t have respect for you until you kick their asses. And I have doled out scant few ass-kickings on the fantasy field.

But there’s always such promise in the next horse race, the next hand, the next spin of the wheel—the next season. After the draft, before the whistle, it’s the best possible lineup: the perfect balance of surefire points-getters and savvy dark horses. I mean, I can so see how I’m going to be the dominant team in the league this year—Calvin Johnson, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Jordy Nelson—these are surefire guys who could go crazy in any particular week. These were my nemeses of years past turned BananaHammer ringers! I’ve even got a quarterback controversy now, between Matthew Stafford (throwing to Megatron—double points!) and Matt Ryan, who went nuts in week one. Imagine: Two decent quarterbacks! It’s an embarrassment of riches!

Fantasy indeed.

Yeah, talk to me in three weeks. (Or, really, on Tuesday.) People get hurt, or underperform for no reason. The guy who gets 35 points on your bench one week lays an egg the next. And so starts the dreaded speed-wobble, constantly overcorrecting from bench to starter and back, never finding the optimum lineup.

It’s still fun though—fun to get invested in teams and games that otherwise would just be background noise. And considering the Bucs are blacked out more than Roethlisberger’s dates (…*rimshot*), it’s good to have a reason to watch Cincinnati versus Kansas City or Seattle versus Arizona, or whatever damn 1 o’clock game we get instead.

And that feeling, second only to seeing your actual NFL team do something great, when one of your players breaks free for an 80-yard touchdown or an IDP grunt comes out of nowhere with three sacks and a fumble recovery? Euphoria.

…until you check the score and see that you’re still losing by 60 points and your opponent’s quarterback hasn’t even played yet. And even then, you think, Maybe…just maybe…Brandon Jacobs will run for 300 yards and two touchdowns.

Oh well. Maybe next year.

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Doing Work

They say the key to being a writer is to write consistently, every day. Not that I’m one for following rules like that. (I say the key to being a writer is to have someone pay you for the things that you write, heh.) But I do think writing in volume is important to learning how to listen to yourself.

I wrote the previous paragraph on Monday, in my PJs, working from home to finish a feature that I had, as usual, over-researched and under-…started. Volume aside, probably for the best that I concentrated on the feature rather than finishing a blog post that obviously had nowhere to go but tedious.

So Tuesday morning was exhaustion–and trying to write when you’re written out is hard, but fortunately I got tons of practice in college. Like a marathoner. (I mean, I’m guessing.) Push through the pain, there’s a little euphoria in every step, every noun-verb agreement and decisive period. And when you finally get to the end, it feels so good.

That? Is where I’m at now: Today I sent that 2,000-word story to art–a mercifully short turnaround after turning it in yesterday afternoon–plus an 18,000-word database to art. And just for funsies, polished off a 300-word intro and a 250-word department. Write that volume, bitches.

Rushed home in time to make the 6 o’clock workout:

Finished in 43:20.

It’s not boasting, exactly; I’m just psyched. Writer’s high. Wednesday was good to me. I’m-a try to keep it going.

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