Day 775

Friday, February 27, 2015

Up at 4:45, to the gym at 5 but only for the jacuzzi and showers.  Steve and Dorian were there, disappointed that I wasn't playing but hoping I'd be back Monday.  I hate not playing.

Returned home at 6, and went to Starbuck's and Arizmendi with Alice before she headed off to work.

I worked at Varinsky today and interviewed Alissa's daughter Veronica, who's 13 and went on a 3-day urban hike with her dad over the Christmas holidays from Berkeley to San Jose.  She took pictures of all the dead animals she saw along the way.  I want to write some kind of story about this. I love the details this kid comes up with.

I'm plowing through this book:

I'm particularly interested in how the dog is presented, what the dog thinks and says, and whether I buy it.  I don't buy this voice at all, but what do I know.  So many people love this book.  I'm unable to lose myself in the dog's psyche.  All I hear is the writer writing.  I think it's well written but nothing special, and the humans in it are not that compelling.  I'm also not into race cars and I'm sure there's an underlying profoundness to the story that captures the human condition in a way that I'm completely missing.  I'm halfway through and hoping to finish, but unless I race through it within the next day or so, the odds of finishing are slim.

There are several other books I'd like to look over, including Farley Mowat's The Dog That Wouldn't Be.

Day 774

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Up at 6:15 and two hours of writing before Varinsky from 9-2.  Then Wendel from 3:30-6.  Picked up Alice from her Chiropractor session and went to Mariner Square for the last mixed doubles night before the playoffs.  Darlene and I are still the top seed, but we have our work cut out for us in the playoffs.  There are several great teams this season and we struggle against two in particular.

Unfortunately, tonight I tweaked my arm and might have pulled a muscle or tendon that makes any forehand shots a little bit painful.  I won't play tomorrow morning and hope a weekend of rest will take care of it.  I also pulled a muscle in my lower back toward my right hip.  Dang, I hate these nagging injuries.  I might not have warmed up long enough before tonight's play.

I came home at 9:30 and watched a little TV with Alice before bed.  

Day 773

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Up at 4:00, to the gym at 5, racquetball and Insanity until 6:45, then home to an hour's worth of emails, bills, etc., then Varinsky and Wendel, but since there was nothing to do at Wendel, I went home, wrote for two hours, then watched a doc I've been waiting to see for months, now on HBO:

Well, it's very good.  Along with Glenn Greenwald's book "No Place to Hide," it exposes the degree to which our civil liberties are merely words on a page.  It might be time to consider reading Franz Kafka's The Castle and The Trial.  They seem appropriate these days.  There is something to be said for losing oneself in the endless distractions of the present, the TV shows, engaging books, entertaining movies and daily rituals that keep us far removed from the profound and core tenants of our society.  There's a theme I see growing inside me, the battle between the truth and the illusion of the truth, and the power illusions carry over human beings.  Perhaps I should add some Joseph Campbell into my Kafka mix.  I've always been drawn to the congenial, properly groomed monster, the Hannibal characters roaming around with such style and grace, the monsters who can't possibly be who they are, because their image is so contrary to the havoc they leave in their wake.  Howard Zinn might also be necessary.  What is America?  What does it stand for?  The truth.  Freedom.  Liberty.  Moral authority.  That's what we're told.  That's what we're sold.  We're the good guys.  Always.  But in Citizenfour, it's so very clear who the good guy is.  That's what makes this documentary so stunning.  And chilling.  I know what the illusion is, but what is the truth of America?  Is our core really that rotten?  I have never been one to take that position, but I sure hate hypocrisy and abuse of power.  Unfortunately, we live in a world in which some would argue there's no such thing as abuse of power.  The only rule, perhaps, is to use whatever power you have.  So much to think about these days, along with so many distractions to keep us from thinking about anything.

Day 772

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I finally crawled out of bed at 5:20 and hit the gym for a short practice session and Insanity Pure Cardio.  I was finished by 7:30.

I came home and wrapped up final edits of True Colors.  This version of this novel is officially behind me.  Now back to Dogs in the Fog. 

No Varinsky today, but worked at Wendel from 3:30-6, then came home and chatted with Chris from 8-9 and Alice afterward.

I finished Pete Carroll's book Win Forever and there's a concept in his philosophy that's so good I really want to adopt it.  He's a believer in endless practice to the point where winning is inevitable because of all the work and preparation that went into preparing for competition.  That's why his team is so confident and relaxed.  I really like that a lot and can see applying it to everything I do.  What an amazing coach!

Almost finished with Bosch.  Just two more episodes left!


Day 771

Monday, February 23, 2015

Up at 4:45, at the gym by 5:10, then played solid all morning, winning four singles games to 7 and three doubles matches with Steve.  After racquetball, I did my Insanity DVD for 40 minutes, then showered and got out of the club by 8.

From 8-3, I took care of a lot of things, namely the final read-through of True Colors, an hour's worth of reading, cleaning, catching up on emails, taking care of my cable situation, and taking two sweet naps.  I didn't work at Varinsky today, but went to Wendel from 3:30-6. 

Back home, I had dinner, read over a few more chapters, then watched a documentary on Netflix:

I knew I would like this and I did, very much, especially the old clicks with Johnny, Merv, and Mike.  Paul Williams was everywhere and so likeable and funny.  This was a sweet documentary.

By 9 I was ready for bed.  I FaceTimed Alice, did the dishes, brushed my teeth and was out by 9:30.

Day 770

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Up at 4:45, laundry, shopping, gas at Costco, and proofing a few more chapters in the a.m.  Prep for Oscar party in the afternoon.  Things are under control, kind of.

Found this on the Barnes & Noble remainder shelves for a mere $16.  Mega Score!  I actually bought two, one for the winner of my Oscar party tonight, and one for myself.

The ceremonies started strong, but the jokes were so lame and things just spiraled for NPH from then on.  A pretty boring Oscars, which is what happens when you don't  have top-tier comedians moving things along.  Also, the commercials...oh my god, it was so ridiculous that I'm not sure I can watch another live broadcast of the Oscars again.  Better to DVR and watch 3 hours later.  It would only take 20 minutes to watch.

The pizza was good though!  Rhonda ended up winning the Beatles BBC book.  Congrats, Rhonda!

Richard Young choosing which Star Pizza to devour!

Day 769

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Up at 7, racquetball from 9-12 playing Tyrone and losing in a tough match by one point.  I was ahead in the tie-breaker but T went on a roll.  I should have taken my last timeout to break up the momentum.  Still, it's nice to know I can compete on T's level.  We had some amazing rallies.

Came home and took care of a laundry list of chores and items I'd neglected.  Watched the latest Real Time with Bill Maher, an episode of Bosch, and finished up Win Forever.  Went to bed around 8:30.

Day 768

Friday, February 20, 2015

Up at 5, more queries out, went for coffee with Alice before walking her to the carpool line.  Varinsky from 9-2 and Wendel from 3:30-6.  Came home and read Pete Carroll's book the rest of the evening.

It's very positive and full of great tips on staying mentally focused.  These strategies work!  Went to bed around 9:30. 

Day 767

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Up at 5, sent out three queries, read, reviewed a few middle chapters of True Colors, then went to lunch at the Can't Fail Cafe with Tony and Tim.

I met Tony at the SCBWI conference in NY.  He and Tim work at Pixar, just across the street from Varinsky.  We talked non-stop about movies, directors, the Pixar masterpieces, and some must-see You Tube videos.  It was a great lunch.

Worked at Wendel the rest of the afternoon, then picked Alice up from her chiropractor appointment.  I went to Mariner Square for mixed doubles, then came home to R&G beef for dinner (yum!).  In bed by 10:30.

Day 766

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I woke up at 4 this morning and sent off the query I'd written over the weekend to the one agent I would love to get.  We'll see what happens.  My track record on queries isn't nearly as good as I'd like it to be. 

I played racquetball from 5-7, then came home and finished watching The Staircase.  I went to work at 11 and wrapped things up at 2:30.  Wendel later today.

Day 765

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Up at 4:45, at the gym a little after 5, then a quick jacuzzi before 40 minutes of Pure Cardio and 16 minutes of Cardio Abs.  After a good workout, I showered, jacuzzied again, then left the gym at 7:05 and came home to more queries, a rejection, breakfast, and my to-do list for the day.  Work at Varinsky starting at 10, ending at 2, then Wendel staring at 2:45, ending at 6.  Came home and began a six-hour documentary before talking to Chris at 8.

Howard brought it up at work today and owned the DVDs, so I started watching.  I wasn't aware of the Michael Peterson case at all.  Watching it, I found the denial on the defense team fascinating.  This guy is very creepy.  Justice was served here, I believe.

Talked to Chris, which was great, then Alice, which was wonderful, then continued watching The Staircase before falling asleep on the couch.

Day 764

Monday, February 16, 2015

Up at 4, at the gym by 5, and hit the jacuzzi first before 30 minutes of my Insanity video, my first Insanity day back since the Stockton tournament two weeks ago.  It felt good doing all those crazy exercises.  Tiger and Dorian were both ready for some racquetball by 6, so we played a couple games of cut throat and finished at 6:45.  I hit the showers and jacuzzi again.  By 8 I was back home and ready for a full day of writing.  I gathered all my queries materials together and started the long process of sending them out.  The intro paragraph is unique to each agent, and it takes about 20 minutes to figure out what to say and how to say it.  I sent out five today and hope to send out another five tomorrow.  If I can send out a few each day, I should get through my list by the end of the month. 

I finally watched the pilot of Transparent, which I'd heard was phenomenal.  It is.  Bosch and Transparent, both on Amazon.  Amazing. 

Day 763

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I wrote from 12:45-3 a.m., then finally fell asleep around 3:15.  I slept until 7, then got up, showered, and wrote until 10:45.  We went out for lunch with Alice's cousin Elaine and her family, and Bill and Vicki.  We ordered four chicken wings at San Tung, along with a few other dishes.  So delicious!  We dropped Austin off at Montgomery Station, then came home around 2:30.  I took a nap for 30 minutes, then read the rest of the afternoon.  We also watched an episode of Season 2 of Selfridge.  I love the detail of this show. 

We had dinner, then watched 60 Minutes (so so so sad about dear Bob Simon)...

 ...then we watched an hour of SNL 40 (Alice laughed so hard at Alec Baldwin's Tony Bennett impersonation on Celebrity Jeopardy...I love seeing Alice laugh like that!), followed by the latest episode of Downton Abbey.  I was out by 10:15.

Day 762

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I have this song happily playing in my head, thanks to my sweet, wonderful Alice!

I was up around 6 and continued revising until around 9:30 or so, then got ready for the day.  I drove over to Alice at 10:30.  Alice and I went to Ocean Beach for a few hours.  It ended up being a perfect day!

Ocean Beach, San Francisco

Two happy city folks on Valentine's Day!

Without even trying, Alice is so adorable!

A perfect afternoon at the beach!

Day 761

Friday, February 13, 2015

Up at 4:15, a few emails sent and off to the gym.  I'll get back to my Insanity routine next week.  Today it was racquetball until 6:30, then to the store to buy flowers for my sweet Alice. Worked at Varinsky until 2, then came home and revised, and napped, and revised again until 10 or so.  I caught an ad for Amazon's new series, Bosch, so I checked out the pilot before bed. 

Oh, I like this series a lot.  LOVE this new series.  Bosch is based on the unrelenting LA detective in Michael Connelly's brilliant, long-running series.  The production is beautifully realized and so well cast.  It's right up there with Hannibal.  With 9 episodes remaining, I'll have to pace myself, though I have a feeling that once my queries are out, I'm going into binge mode!

Day 760

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Up at 5, the first sustained night's sleep I've had since returning home.  I must have too much going on in my head.  A big week next week with queries, queries, queries, going out.  It'll be nice to have that done so I can return to Toss and Dogs in the Fog.  Wrote from 5-9, then hopped in the shower, had breakfast, dressed, and made it to work on time (10), but just barely.  I was there until 2, then hurried home for an hour convo with Sara N., which was wonderful as always.  Quickly packed my racquetball gear, then headed to Wendel for a few hours of work, then Mariner Square for my mixed doubles league.  Darlene and I are still in the number 1 spot, but there are a few teams we always have trouble with.  Finished up at 9:30, then arrived home at 10.  Called Alice, had some soup, then hit the hay at 10:50.  Long day. 

Day 759

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Up at 3.  My regular routine is still a bit out of sorts.  I revised a few scenes for an hour or so, then got ready for racquetball.  Brian was there along with Steve and Glenn.  Tiger arrived later.  The doubles games were intense and fun.  I came back home at 7:15 and Alice had already left.  I continued revising until it was time to go to work.  As much as I enjoy my time at V and W, and as thankful as I am that I have an income to sustain me while I get things going with my manuscripts, I still look forward to the day when I can stay home and writing all day.  It's been months since I've been able to do that and I really miss it.  I'm so productive when I have the entire day in front of me.  Work was fine at both places and I came home around 6.  I talked with Jill for an hour or so, then revised another hour before talking to Alice, then going to bed around 9.  I think my head's still energized from NYC last weekend. 

Day 758

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I didn't sleep too well last night.  I woke up early, like around 2, and couldn't really fall back to sleep.  I may still be on NY time.  I got up around 4 and worked on scenes in True Colors.  I wrote until 8, then took care of a few things before getting ready for work.  I worked at both Varinsky and Wendel, then met Alice at 6.  She had a chiropractic appointment at 6:30 with Heidi on Grand Ave.  I hope Heidi's able to help her.  She's had lower back issues for years, a form of piriformis in which the muscle is too tight and pinches against the sciatic nerve, causing pain that runs from her behind to her foot.  She hasn't been able to play badminton for years, which is sad.  We bought these really nice racquets a couple of years ago, but haven't used them much.  After Alice's appointment, I took her to Mijori for some delicious sushi.  We came back to my place and watched about 30 minutes of a PBS documentary about the Edwardian Period in England before calling it a night around 10. 

Day 757

Monday, February 9, 2015

I slept in until 6, then headed back to Oakland.  I didn't go into the Varinsky office today.  Instead, I unpacked and started revising chapters, queries, and my synopsis of True Colors.  Nicole called me around noon and we talked for about 90 minutes about the issues she's facing with her parents' chaotic implosion that has been hitting new lows of late.  Ahh, the joys of dysfunctional family life, addiction, and personality disorders.  I've hooked up Nicole with Ziegler and that is a very good thing!  I went into work at Wendel for a few hours, then came home and talked to Chris for an hour about my weekend in NYC.  I was so tired by 9 p.m. that I actually fell asleep on the couch halfway through Bill Maher's Real Time.  I must have been tired because I never fall asleep when watching Bill Maher. 

Day 756

Sunday, February 8, 2015

SCBWI saved one of the best keynote for their final day.  James Dashner, author of the Maze Runner series, was very funny and very authentic.  He was a real writer, full of real war stories and endless pain and suffering, along with excitement, movie deals, advice for writers, all those things I've come to appreciate in a writer sharing his or her tale of how they got where they are.  I really enjoyed this one and plan to pick up his book eventually.

This is one cool cover.

I could have stayed for more SCBWI action, but wasn't aware my flight would eventually be delayed 3 hours.  I left the Grand Central area around 1, boarding my NYC Airporter bus just a block from my hotel and arrived at JFK around 2.  I hung out at the Jet Blue terminal until 7:15.  Finally, I boarded my plane and we were off to SFO.  I kept reading Middlemarch all the way back home and I have to say, I've fallen in love with George Eliot.  It certainly doesn't hurt that I imagine her as Mary in Downton Abbey.

Mary, Mary, Mary.  Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.  Downton Abbey is really just a sophisticated version of the Brady Bunch, complete with its own whiny Jan (Edith, for the love of God, please, please, please get a grip!), which is perhaps why I love this guilty pleasure so much. 

By 11:45, I was back home with my sweet Alice, a better writer for my efforts and hopefully, one step closer to finding my brilliant, well-connected agent who can take me where I want to go. 

Day 755

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Today was full of keynote talks, breakout sessions, gala dinners, and for me, naps.  I was tired after yesterday and came back to my room a few times throughout the day for my signature 20-minute power nap.  They never fail me.  I'm like a new person after them.

The Chrysler Building is one of the most beautiful in the world!
 The first keynote was at 9 with Anthony Horowitz, writer of dozens of books for children.  He talks as quickly as he undoubtedly writers.  He was engaging and entertaining in a very British sort of way.  I liked him.

Next came a panel of editors talking about the children's book industry.  Apparently, things are quite good.  The sky isn't falling from kindle sales and children still seem to love books.  No surprise there.

My first breakout session was with Jordan Brown, editor at Walden Pond Press.  His talk was called "When a Manuscript is Ready for Submission."  The room was packed.  I listened attentively, but couldn't wait to break away and sleep for 20 minutes, which I did the moment his talk concluded.

This was when I had my first of two sandwiches at the Cambodian place on 41st Street and 3rd.  I had the chicken sandwich and it lived up to it's four-star rating on Yelp.

My next talk was at 2 in the Regency Room of the Grand Hyatt, listening to Margaret Raymo, editor with Houghton Mifflin, talk about being an editor.  She was very real and down to earth.  I liked her.

At 4:15, I listened to a very interesting keynote by Kami Garcia, author of the Beautiful Creatures series.  I don't think I heard a single obstacle getting in the way of her meteoric rise to the top.  Many there were many, but didn't hear one.  Lucky her.

I went back to the hotel, rested again, then hit the gala at 6, hanging out with my CA buds for a few hours, eating, drinking and chatting until 9.  By then I was totally done for the day, and headed back to my room for good.  I went to sleep by 10:30.  A long, busy, fruitful day.

The Chrysler Building Rocks!

Day 754

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sometimes luck comes my way.  I don't often feel as though good fortune falls from the sky, but when it does, I recognize it.  Today's activities involved optional morning and afternoon writers' roundtables in which seven writers are matched with an industry professional (either an agent or editor) for two hours.  Each of us brought the first 500 words of our project to be discussed among the table in fifteen-minute intervals.  All table assignments were random.  I was assigned to table 23 in the morning and table 2 in the afternoon.  My industry pro was Tina Wexler, an agent at ICM.  I was familar with Tina and certainly familiar with ICM and Amanda Urban's list of literary giants.  I'd read many interviews and writing tips from Tina in the past, so I was eager to meet her in person.  I was delighted with her.  She was charming, positive, very smart, and very real.  I couldn't have asked for a better roundtable experience.  The other writers were also pleasant, insightful, and fully engaged in the morning.  I was the only male at our table, which only added to my good fortune.  Also, nearly half the table was left-handed.  I'm not sure I'll ever forget "Brett's Chickens" in my lifetime and its quintessential 16-point font.  The range of writing went from nervous newbies to potential future stars.  Brittany and her mirror twin Nicole, whom I sat with during my afternoon roundtable, impressed me with their use of language in capturing the struggling breath of their protagonist.  I checked out their website, which simply reinforced my suspicion that these two young writers have a great deal of talent and will have their day if they keep doing what they're doing.  I sat next to Pat, a very nice picture book writer who showed me pictures of the reading dog she uses in schools to encourage kids to read.  Her writing had a wonderful rhythm and even flow.  The morning flew by.

Prior to the morning workshop, we listened to three agents talk about the business:  John Cusick of Greenhouse Literary, Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency, and Rosemary Stimola, who needs no introduction.  This was a great panel.  I enjoyed listening to all three agents talk about the business.  Molly and John were fun together.  John is naturally funny the way Kevin is funny.  Very quick and witty.  Molly seems very with it and passionate.  She's based out of London, which is interesting.  I enjoyed this panel very much.

Lunch involved grabbing something somewhere and meeting the California crowd inside the Hyatt lobby.  I had an orange chicken dish which was okay.  This was before I discovered the awesome Cambodian sandwich shop on 41st.  It was a treat meeting new writers and illustrators from California.  SCBWI is known for its welcoming personalities and that was certainly the case at lunch.

My afternoon roundtable was with Sarah Barley, a YA editor at Flatiron Books.  Again, my table was full of strong voices and positive energy, though Sarah was perhaps more blunt and to-the-point with her criticisms, which is exactly what one might expect from a professional editor.  Her points were exact and on the mark.  She was very good.  I could feel myself losing steam toward the end of the day and was having trouble focusing on the final two or three openings.  During our break, I ran out and got some tea.

The day ended with an editorial panel called "How to Incorporate Revision Notes into Your Manuscript," with Jordan Hamessley at Egmont, Kristin Rens at Balzer + Bray, and Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse.  I appreciated their insights and sensitivities toward their writers.

My California gang met for dinner an hour later.  There were maybe eight of us and we ended up eating at Junior's at Grand Central Station.

I really enjoyed hearing Tony's war stories at Pixar, Freeman's highs and lows in the self-publishing world, and Anais's life in the NY film industry for seven years with her husband.  After dinner, Anais and I had a very pleasant conversation over Blue Moons, capping a wonderful first day at the SCBWI conference.

Day 753

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Up at 4, out the door at 4:25, at SFO Park & Fly at 4:50, then my Jet Blue gate at 5:15.  A very easy morning with no traffic and few people up this early at the airport.  I've chosen two books to read during the 4.5-hour flight to NYC:

Brown Girl Dreaming came up as a two-week electronic library loan, so I'm reading it on my iPhone, while Middlemarch has been taking up space on my Kindle for a couple years.  I'm embarrassed to say I've never read any George Eliot (one of my many holes), but after a few chapters I found myself thoroughly engaged.  Talk about smart and lyrical.  Brown Girl Dreaming is a different kind of lyrical.  I'm not the verse type, but I am the good writing type, and this is truly fine stuff.  I whipped through BGD pretty quickly.  I can see why it's received all the acclaim and attention.  It's wonderful.  But Middlemarch...this hits me deep in the pocket, like pure Dickens stripped of excess nonsense.  I feel grownup reading this.  Needless to say, the flight when quickly.  The good news with Middlemarch is I still have 90% left!

I arrived at JFK around 3:15 p.m.  I took the NYC Airporter for $16 to Grand Central, which was fine.  Traffic was a bit thick in spots, but otherwise a non-issue.  I arrived at the Westin Grand at 4:30.  Check-in was a breeze.

I'd paid for my room back on the Monday after Thanksgiving, aka Cyber Monday, which is actually a great day to book a room in New York.  The conference rate for the Grand Hyatt was around $250, but I paid $187 for an upgraded corner room with a view overlooking 41st Street and free wifi. 

It was great.  I love those Westin beds.  I unpacked, then took a walk around the area, including Grand Central Station, where I ate at Shakeshack and played with new Apple devices at the Grand Central iStore. 


It was cold in NY but not ridiculously cold.  I took several pictures of Grand Central Station while trying not to get in anyone's way, but that proved to be impossible, which was why I found safety from the ledge atop the iStore.  I love the grandness of Grand Central.  It lives up to its reputation.  I stayed at least an hour, soaking in the rush hour vibe and the rhythm and impatience of its frantic commuters.  I headed back to the hotel around 8 and watched TV until 10, then crashed.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 752

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Up at 4:45, racquetball until 6:50, then home for breakfast, packing up for NYC, and taking care of last minute business.  Looking forward to the next few days and non-stop thoughts about reading and writing.  My kindle's loaded up and I'm ready to go.  I don't know why, but it takes so much longer to pack when I'm packing light than when I'm throwing more than I need into a suitcase.  I will be taking two pairs of my new Cole Hann's because their so comfortable and cool.  I love these shoes.

I didn't leave home until 8 or so, and arrived at Alice's before 9.  I set the alarm for 4:00 with the intention of leaving for SFO by 4:30.  I could use more sleep.  In the spirit of my packing light theme, all reading material will be in the form of electronic devices on this trip.  Not my favorite mode, but I can't argue with the efficiency of reading books on my iPhone.  Time to sleep.

Day 751

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Another busy, jam-packed day, though I didn't get up until 7:15.  Varinsky from 10-3 and Wendel from 3:30-6, followed by updates to my social media sites and some packing for NYC on Thu.  Never enough time.  To bed by 10.

I have to say, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are two class acts.  Listen to what they have to say about the Super Bowl, the opposing team, and the future.  Inspiring!

Pete Carroll post-Super Bowl Press Conference

Russell Wilson End-of-Year Press Conference

Day 750

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tough day.  Feeling the post-Super Bowl blues big time.  Big time!  Damn, that was cold-blooded.  I'm sure in the long run we'll all become richer, wiser, smarter Seahawk fans as a result.  I guess.  I hope.  It's not like we haven't endured suffering before.  But this unfortunate play was brutal.  Pete Carroll went from hero to zero about as fast as the best can fall.  Still, throughout, he's one class act. 

Day 749

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Spent all morning and afternoon preparing for my annual Super Bowl party and this one was certainly memorable.  It was a great game from the beginning, but those final 24 seconds will haunt me for a while.  What a bitter way to end an otherwise spectacular Seahawk season. 

Got my colors on!

Extra guac this year!

The gang arrived around 3:15
Even Alice was into it...sort of.

Rodney in the house!

Thanks for the awesome scarf, Richard!

Things were looking so sweet, and then....

Pete Carroll is still a hero to me.  Russell Wilson is still an amazing athlete.  But those last 24 seconds of Super Bowl 49 won’t go away easily, if ever.  It’s hard to believe such an exciting, amazing up-and-down season can come down to one final play that went so horrifically wrong.  So this is how Green Bay felt two weeks ago.  Wow.  I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  I keep telling myself, it’s only a game, it’s only a game.  Yeah, I know.  It doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, and yet I’m in such a funk.  What a heartbreaking loss, especially when the setup was so perfect for a massive victory Seahawks style.  Russell Wilson’s god is one wicked jokester.  That’s life in all it’s unrelenting unpredictability.  Our Super Bowl Free Roll was fun while it lasted, but those last 24 seconds…yeah, that’s gonna take some time to recover from. 

Day 748

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time for the big Stockton Super Bowl Shootout, one of the most enjoyable one-day events of the year.  Steve Basham and I played it last year and this year we were ready to claim the trophy as our own.

We started our trip at 6:45 a.m.

Bag ready to go!

 We arrived in Stockton at 8 a.m. and our first match was ready to go.  I played a new young gun who was fast and full of energy, but I managed to take care of business in two games.  The second game went just as well.  My third match was a struggle.  Bill, whom I've played a few times, had some great serves and I lost the first game 4-11.  Luckily, I rallied in the second and took it 11-4, creating a tie, but because he'd lost one of his games in a previous match, I moved on to the semi's.

Steve and I getting ready for some doubles action!

In the semis, I played a guy from Reno named Jerome, whose serves were amazing.  I couldn't get to them.  I lost the first game 9-11, won the second 11-6, then lost the third 4-11.  He was good.  Steve played him in the finals and it also went to a tie-breaker, but Jerome held his own and came out on top 11-10 in a real nail-biter.  Great playing by both guys.

Finalist Steve and Champion Jerome

Steve, Jerome, Michael
 Our doubles matches began in mid-afternoon.  We played strong the first few matches, but tanked in our last match against players from our own club, Ramon and Gary, losing badly and knocking ourselves out of contention.  Which was fine because by 8 p.m. I was done.  Great times and also great seeing some familiar faces I hadn't seen in a while.