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Quick recap of Day 5

So, quick recap:

Day 5, Match 1: Czech Republic vs Portugal -

This was a great match with chances by both squads. However, Portugal stepped it up especially with Deco. And I for one was jumping and yelling when Ronaldo got his first goal. With 6 points, Portugal should move on to the Quarters. But crazy respect for the Czechs.

Day 5, Match 2: Switzerland vs Turkey -

What a crazy match! Such an exciting and intense game! Then add rain! Give it to Turkey for playing every ball and never giving up. Unfortunately, for the co-hosts, they are pretty much out of the tournament. There's always Austria, right?

Cheers!

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Le mie scuse... Can I be honest?

Disclaimer: I want to apologize if I offend anyone, especially my friends who have a little more insight into what I discuss here on the world wide web. I value their opinions and don't want grudges or ill-will to be harbored by anyone (yes, against me especially). The way I see it is, this is my opinion; please don't bag on me for believing in what I say, and I am not trying to start sh*t or anything like that. Like I stated before, this is me "shooting from the hip."

So, I found myself at "McLaren's" last night (HIMYM reference; code name for the Irish Pub I was getting inebriated at) with a bunch of good friends with the sole goal of well, getting inebriated. After a Snakebite and Smithwick's (pronounced "Smith-icks"), the conversation came across the usual, sports, women (not girls, for those young punks), and of course, life after college. To set a preface on the gathered following, let me reference 'The Tudors' on ShowTime. So the drama is about the young Henry VIII and his impact on English history. It's filled with betrayal, politics, corruption, and lots of "hanky panky," especially with the King. Anyways, King Henry VIII's court is filled with people who is basically in favor with the him at the time which happens to be those who the King has fun with, who he trusts, and in secret, those who are basically trying to ride the coattails of the King. Course, fickle as the King is, his court can change at any moment and does many times during the series.

So, gathered at the Irish watering whole, our discussion was set on life after college because that's the stage that we were at in our lives. We discussed many a thing, but the controversial topic was routed in what I discussed a couple of posts ago about changing careers (reference: Sometimes Real Life is Real Enough...). Well, that post was based purely on the decision to change careers and a little into the psychology that goes into it. What we discussed is the "2nd coming" of influence in other aspects of changing careers (more specifically getting involved with clubs, societies, etc.) Not trying to be confusing, but trying to be "dead to real," we basically discussed the "King's" reasoning behind his edict of changing a certain society of influence.

If the above doesn't make sense, please hang with me and continue this journey into my mind and ultimately, my opinion on the matter. The "King" proclaimed he wants to make a change for the better; to revise some aspects to strengthen the foundation of this influential society.

Noble, yes.

Bold, very so.

However, like many societies that have come before and have fallen, the fact that remains is that people are disapproving of change and will not tend to welcome any change because it's not familiar to them. Resistance is common in situations like this, but, if the "King" believes in it, he will push his hardest and probably things will change (but the cavit in it is this: it will take some time before the changes are adopted and finally carried out). Let me pause here and remind everyone this is my opinion, nothing more.

Moving along, with that fact stated, I have some opinions I want to voice that will probably p*ss some people off. Here it goes:

1. Everyone has been part of something, may it be a club, sports team, league, etc., and have been blessed to have won a trophy, or done something great to be recognized and remembered. Well, that's awesome, but you take the same team or club and try to repeat what you've done that year before and most likely than not, it won't happen again. There are exceptions to the rule, so those are taken into consideration. My point is, well... what is my point? I guess I'm really trying to get at this: trying to make something like something else is trouble. We would like to think that a step family is like a real family (where real = you know, 1st family, I suppose; not a step family), but why do you call them a step mom or step brother then? Perhaps the ideals are something you want to reproduce; the love for each other, confidently trusting one another, etc. But, trying to make it the same experience as the 1st, is definitely out of reach. And, disappointments will ensue.

2. Being grown up is not as much fun as growing up: The Ataris said it best. Being a grown up is definitely not as fun as being precocious and naive, but there's a time to grow up, even if you don't want to. Who says the college grad is ready for the real world? What makes their 4 years in college an indicator that they will fair well out of school? Majority of the time, those people are still learning and trying to figure sh*t out. That's why this blog was born. I admit that I am not the know-it-all. I do not have all the answers. I'm proud of that fact. However, I am not a kid. That I am proud of, too. I have enough wisdom to live my life to the best of my ability. Pushing towards the future is the goal, right? Not taking 2 steps back. Granted, those "old farts" going back to school for their MBA or what not is nothing to be crucified for. But, my point hovers over the question of 'are you going back to school to change careers (add more cash into your paycheck, etc.) or are you afraid to move forward and ultimately grow up?' It's a bad question, yes, I admit. And it's a question I would never want to ask any of my mates from college or from my list of friends, but I thought it and so, it came out here. Think about it.

3. If you are a regular reader, then you probably have picked up on religious references littered through my posts. It may not be as apparent as night and day, but, I do have a spiritual side. I grew up Catholic and am Catholic (however, may not practice it much). My mindset is set on the idea that I find God in all things. Simple as that. I don't want to dive deeper into this topic, but it helps set up my next point. Being a part of something is great, especially faith because, personally, I know my soul is taken care of in the afterlife. In addition, believing in a higher power is something that helps me get through the tough times and it makes sense to me. Perhaps it may not make sense to you, but that's you're thing.

Anyways, this type of belonging can be found in many things: adult sports league, bingo nights, drinking at the pubs, Saturday night line dancing, etc. Naturally, for those out of college, you would gravitate towards a sense of belonging not found in college, right? Taking the next step in the journey towards our demise (sorry for being emo here). I feel that I'm beating a dead horse, but I reiterate my point in #2: why take 2 steps back when you can walk forward? Unless an open moderator/advisory position beckons, why take a role often occupied by undergrads? What more do you have to learn? Isn't those positions suppose to assist us in how the real world and/or corporate world is run? Those examples should help us prepare for life after college. Right? I'll leave it at that.

Looking back at this post, I really don't want to continue because for one, I don't want to be seen as whining and two, I don't want to be starting sh*t with anyone. But, I trudge forward because I'm not ready to hop off my soapbox on this topic.

4. Self improvement is a trait I definitely believe in. I recommend always learning even after school is over. Pick up a book and expand your mind. Travel and soak in the culture of other countries and races. Not to call out 'hypocrite,' but what's the number one rule of trying to make a difference in the world? Take it to the personal level first. If you want to make a difference with recycling in your city, what do you do? You personally carry out recycling in your home, etc. From there, you can move forward into influencing the people around you and ultimately, your city, right? So, trying to change "the world" before you change yourself feels very hypocritical. I can go on and on about this, but I want to end at that statement.

5. Generalizations. I do it, you do it, everyone does it. We are territorial by nature. We will represent our ethnicities. We will represent where we live. We will represent what school we went to, etc. But to generalize about an entire population is b*llsh*t. I'm sorry, but it is. I will never say (for example) everyone who is a Nascar fan are hicks and cowboys. I will never associate a certain race with a certain sport, etc. I'm trying to be as politically correct as I can without stepping on anyone's toes because I don't want to deal with the repercussions. Please give me some leniency because I don't want to go there. But to say, we ALL are hard workers or we ALL support Barrack Obama is ridiculous. Who gave you the authority to speak for me or others? Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But, to take that right away and proclaim one opinion for the masses, that's dangerous. I am fired up about this because emotions are what gets people in trouble in situations like this. Fights start based on emotion and everything falls apart. You may say it's pride in whatever, but it really is emotion based on your own opinion.

6. Lastly, I want to discuss a person's worth. I want to believe that I am a trusting person. I believe in people and I hope they believe in me. I'll vouch for someone if the opportunity arises. But, let's see if we can agree on something first. A high school experience is different than a college experience, correct? In high school, classes are right after each other from a certain time in the morning until a certain time in the afternoon. College, on the other hand, is more flexible where you choose to have classes in the morning or in the afternoon, etc. Well, a person's worth is gained by knowing a person. And a way to know a person is to spend time with them and experience things with them, right? So, to vouch for someone based on your experience might not be the same feeling as another's experience. Does that make sense? I may have been a quiet, nerd in high school with some friends, but in college, came out of my shell and led a sports team to a trophy. Those in high school will have a different opinion of me than those on my college team, right? But, they are referring to the same person.

To finish up #6, I have to say that I try to live my life with worth. I am proud to be part of groups and societies and try to represent them well. Just like those sports athletes who are basically extensions of the club and franchises. When they make the news because of inappropriate behavior, you view the club in a negative way. It's just how it is. And again, generalizations resurface. When 2 groups are represented and a person makes a comment about one of the groups (citing them in a generalization), an emotional response is created. I'm not going to make a witty comment of treating each other with respect and whatever, I'm just trying to point out what's happening here. As a spectator, my opinion is found in this post. Emotionally, I want to side with one group, but what's the point? Grudges are formed and that's just not fun.

I want to end this post on a positive note, if I can muster it. I'm not trying to blame anyone or "taddle-tail." All I want to do is embody why I started this blog: try to figure out life. The best way for me to analyze life is through the events that I deal with. It's a window into what I go through and of course, my opinion on it. So, please take it as a grain of salt. If you don't agree with my opinions, that's all right. If you can take some wisdom from my discussions and apply it your own life, then I'll take responsibility for that. Are we at an agreement?

Yes, I am finished. Thanks to those who read the entire way. If you want to comment, I welcome any feedback.

On a happier note, I will post about Day 5 of the Euro 2008 tournament very soon. And a little teaser, Portugal took 3 points with 3 goals against the Czech Republic! I'm happy!

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Euro 2008-Day 4

So, I should be working on my online design classes and the deadline for this class is fast approaching, but guess what I'm doing? Blogging, yes, that's true, and I've been watching the Euro 2008 tournament happening in Switzerland right now.

Yes, I am a huge soccer/futbol fan and will try to convert anyone just by one or two conversations. I'm thinking of taking another approach at blogging. I do take some time into what goes into my blogs because I don't want to come off as ignorant or boring or whatever. Plus, riddled with work and online school and life, in general, my posts have been sporadic. Since I have the time during matches to blog, I'll blog and basically "shoot from the hip" and try not to sugar-coat the result. Not to say that I have been sugar-coating it, but who knows if American tv runs out of stuff to produce, this blog might become a prime-time tv show.

Right! Hahaha!

Anyways, a mini recap of the past 4 days of the Euros, in the eyes of a regular American fan:

Day 1, Match 1: Switzerland vs. Czech Republic -

The Swiss looked good the entire match. Sadness about Frei though, but they should have put this match away. Instead a crazy turn-off events for the Czechs to get the goal and end up the winners of this match. It's early, so can't write anyone off yet.

Day 1, Match 2: Portugal vs. Turkey -

I admit, I am a Manchester United fan and my favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo (ever since he dazzled me with his skills during the World Cup). So, naturally, I am a Portuguese supporter. Well, this match was quite disappoint since 3 of our shots hit the woodwork. No offense to Nuno, but he's got to step it up next match, in my opinion. We came away with the win and now are the top of the table (which is good since Germany probably will take Group B). Hats off to Turkey because they played good football.

Day 2, Match 1: Austria vs. Croatia -

I didn't watch much of this match, but watching the highlights; I'm kinda split between the penalty though Austria played well. But, the scoreline stands and Croatia took the 3 points.

Day 2, Match 2: Germany vs. Poland -

Wow! Germany looks really good! Podolski was amazing! Ballack was in the action and overall, the German team looks like a force to be reckoned with. I'll be happy if Portugal meets Germany at the Semifinals!

Day 3, Match 1: Romania vs France -

With all the hype of Group C = Group of Death, I was really disappointed with this match. Granted, Chivu played well for Romania (I'm an Inter Milan fan), but why did France look so, out of sorts? Ribery, where were you? Anelka, I respect you (not because you batched your penalty kick at the Champions League final) because you're a great player, but did you leave your game back in England? To top that, Trezeguet wasn't even included in the squad. I'll stop b*tchin now. But, nil-nil is better than no points at all.

Day 3, Match 2: Netherlands vs Italy -

This match made me lose motivation to do anything for the rest of the afternoon. I was stunned. I got love for Ruud and Edwin (the best goal keeper in the English Premier League), but wow, the current World Champions looked pathetic! Del Piero should have started, in my opinion. Where was the defense? Furthermore, what happened to the passion? Okay, switching gears. I still think Ruud was offsides, but apparently UEFA rules that the player out of bounds wasn't allowed to be out of bounds, so he counts as the back line. Whatever. But, Sneijder's brilliant strike is something I'll remember as one of the greatest shots so far. The Netherlands look dangerous. But, I hope to not count Italia out.

Day 4, Match 1: Spain vs Russia -

One word, TORRES! El Nino made an awesome pass to David Villa. No ego present; no smugness here. Laid it off for Villa and what a superb goal! And then for Villa to get a hat trick! Spain is silencing their critics in a big way! Russia played well, but of course, was overshadowed by the talent of Spain. P.S. Nice header, Cesc!

Day 4, Match 2: Greece vs Sweden -

The match looked pretty even at half; chances for both, but no finish. Then out of nowhere, Ibrahimovic with a strike across the body! Such power! Of course, I wasn't routing for the reigning Euro champs since they beat out Portugal in the 2004 finals. Sweden played a good match. Greece isn't out, but that much more difficult from here on. We'll see how this group ends up.

So, that ends my recap. Yes, my online classes will suffer since it's basically 2 matches a day. I'm crazy excited, but trying to be a grown-up as much as I can, I need to work on classes a little at a time. Maybe after lunch! Haha!

Until tomorrow!

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Somtimes Real Life is Real Enough...

Why is it that the Friday before a 3-day weekend is like the BEST day in the world, but come Monday night, you wish you'd have taken more time to {insert task here that you neglected to do}? For me, that's sleep. Getting enough sleep was something that was quite elusive during college and now in the real world, you'd think that you'd have enough time to 'lay your head to rest', but then the little voice in your head keeps egging you to not miss out on your life, etc. So, is it a catch-22 or just one of those incidences in life where being the "grown-up," you have to choose? I think the reasonable answer is the latter, but for a newb grown-up, the easiest to blame is the stars and destiny.

But, blaming the stars or destiny is a pretty human cop out. So, what are we left with? Pardon my phrasing to all the female readers, but we are left with "manning up" and dealing with the choices we make. Pretty poetic, huh? But, if you're like me and I'd like to think I'm a normal human being, then you're pretty much "shooting from the hip." The decision we choose is based on your upbringing, a feeling we may have, 'peer pressure' from peers, etc., and/or societal norms. And, that's all we have to go on before ultimately making a decision that we hope is a good choice, but we don't truly know until time goes by. Seems like how it should be. So, pressure is mounted on making the decision, and all our intuition, feeling, etc. is wound up in trying to decide the correct choice which we try to reassure ourselves in our own minds.

It's something that we tend to do without much coaching since that's pretty much how human we are. It's not unlike deciding which door has the expensive Italy trip or the 2008 Nissan Altima, where we use whatever means necessary to justify that choosing the door to our right is the correct decision may it be you're right handed, eenie-meenie-mino-mo, or using the studio audience's cries for help. Either way, we're leaping without seeing the bottom. More often than not, this is the case and it's always going to be scary whether or not you've made tons of decisions in the past or not.

Decisions, I suppose, make us who we are. It's like those "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books that I read when I was younger. After each couple of pages in the book, you'd have to choose a path and each path was designated with a different part number. Each decision got you closer and closer to the end of the story, may it be a happy ending or death. Good times. Ultimately, you'd make decision after decision and let's say die. Then you'd start over and start making different decisions hoping you won't end up dead in the end. But, just like fate and destiny, you'd make another set of decisions and still end up at the page that describes your death.

You can take is as, 'whatever happens happens' or the idea of the Greek Fates with their delicate ribbon or string that is our life. They spin it through over and over until they snip it and you're dead. Well, we don't think that way in real life. But, it's basically a good idea of real life. One day you're living you're life and the next, you could be dead. I'm not trying to be negative or anything like that, but the truth of the matter is that we don't know what will happen tomorrow. We make of life how we want to make it; and we live it by making the decisions and choices to the best of our abilities.

I have a friend that told me his story which sounded like a lot of other people's story. It's about changing his mind about his career path, even after the how many years spent in college and the money put into the education into that one career, only to be leaning towards something else. What makes us change our minds? Were we not fully committed into it at the beginning? Most people will answer that they were. So, the fact of the matter is that we got bored then. Right? People get bored of things all the time. Careers on the other hand is a dangerous thing to be unsure about, but most kids in high school (except those lucky few who know what they want to do and/or decided to follow in their parent's career path) won't be fully committed to what they want to do. They'll have some "idea" but who says it'll be what they really want to do or what they'll really be good at?

That balance is a pretty interesting line to walk. Some people are gifted with skills and talent, but others, not so much. Who says that they can't be the athlete like the savant over there? With a lot of determination and hard work they'll achieve it, however, not as quickly as the savant. Or, the not so great artist with the great ideas unable to communicate his ideas takes classes in art, etc. while the guy with talent to draw doesn't have ideas to put on the page. But of course, the exception to the rule is the genius who has both, creativity and ideas or talent and skill; the whole package.

But, most of us, myself included are the ones described in the first example. We wish we were the savants or the geniuses, but we aren't. And so, we push forward trying to achieve our dreams with hard work and sweat. Which brings me to my friend who is deciding to change career paths. It's a difficult decision, yet easier to make earlier in life. But nonetheless, it's difficult and you find yourself at a loss for words and unsure what to do. Because who says that they'll stick with that career path? So we're in a circle of questions and decisions which will ultimately get us where? Who knows for sure?

I guess as a final note, I reference what I mentioned before. Most decisions are like leaping without seeing the bottom. Our parents worked their *sses off for the betterment of their children and they instill in our minds to follow our dreams. There comes a point when you decide to stop being indecisive and letting it be. A few friends were knocked into reality by an unexpected pregnancy or other economical issues. I would hope for now that deciding to change careers is more of a long-term choice instead of a "kid" look at it; i.e. it's boring to sit behind a desk for 8 hours. Ultimately, we hope to achieve what we set out for and if we falter, then that's a part of life. You get back up and keep on pushing, right? I think that fighting attitude is something that should never be lost, even after failure and bad luck.

Leaping without seeing the bottom. It's both an exciting and intimidating statement about decisions. But, I think the key to it all is how you react and shift to the result. Will you give up and be satisfied with what you have? Or will you keep staying vigilant until you reach your goal or you can't fight anymore?

That decision is up to you...

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Muy Caliente!

This is going to be a quick update. Well, not really an update, just me venting.

IT'S DEFINITE; IT'S A HEATWAVE!

Yeah, 104 degrees yesterday when I was leaving work. And, 100 degrees when I got to Desiree's place. Damn!

You could chock it up to 'Global Warming' or whatever, but one thing's for sure; if this is an indication of what summer holds, then it's going to be a summer filled with frozen yogurt, shorts, and air conditioning charges.

More of an update later on. For now, stay cool, slick!

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