Monday, August 31, 2009

Tennis Etiquette

I just came back from watching a high school tennis match that my brother Jeff played in. The problem is, I cannot imagine a worse display of etiquette, tennis or otherwise, from the opposing parents and coaches. Usually I have to get after my mum and dad for things like this, but today they did fine.

The main "ridiculosity" I'll call it was the opposing coach. Each time she chose to cheer for her player came after an unforced error from my brother. Now, it would be one thing if she had applauded winners from her own player, that's understandable. But no, she did not. Often, when Jeff would hit it into the net, I would hear clapping and some variation of, "Good job, way to go Vlad!" I can maybe see a parent doing something like that, oblivious or unknowingly, but a coach? I almost had to leave the courts to stop from going over to her and backhand slapping her. Coaches should know better than to cheer unforced errors from opposing teams. The worst part is, when her player hit winners I heard no clapping or cheering. And it that weren't enough, the parents were insufferable as well.

The parents of Vlad seemed to think that we were there to cheer for their son, and that he was the most fantastic thing. I heard the mother say to my mother, "He really needs a win." Oh really? Well guess what, we could give a crap lady. We want Jeff to win! Then of course, they would make the inane noises when balls were close, question obvious balls and all other manner of inane-ry. But in addition to all of the small faux pas that are largely excusable, the mother of the opposing player had the nerve to say one simple sentence that I did not believe I would ever hear in high school tennis. She said, near the end of the match, "All right now Vlad, finish him." FINISH HIM? EXCUSE ME?!? Ma'am did you just say finish him? What is this, a game of high school tennis or are they playing Mortal Combat? I still can't believe the gall of that woman. That had to be the most rude and inconsiderate remark I have ever heard from a parent. She's lucky I have some level of restraint, or she would gotten a dressing down right then and there from me, maybe a punch in the ovaries to boot.

Anyway, I had to say that to some audience just to get it out of my system. Be it Alex, who is probably my sole reader (btw thanks!), or the 13 Brazilian spam bots. Actually, that's not fair, I have a sporadic international readership, no inkling as to why though.

Oh, and Jeff lost his match, it was close. The tennis was great though, really good playing by both sides.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

... ... ...Abraham Lincoln

Haven't been able to run in over a week due to a silly hip flexor strain I sustained during softball. From slowpitch softball of all things, not soccer, not from running, from making a stretch from first for a force-out. How silly. I suppose it didn't help that I tried to play soccer and re-injured it, then re-injured it again when trying to run on Thursday. Needless to say, I'm not a fan and I would certainly not recommend that anyone get one. It may look appealing at first, especially since it's fun to say flexor, but you don't want to open up that can of worms. Now a can of beans is a much better thing to open. Or peaches. I would recommend opening some of my Grandma Split's baked beans. She doesn't mix in any hip flexor strains to her recipe. However she does mix in pineapple I think, which is far better, and some bacon, which is best. Even better than bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica. Things that are also better than Battlestar Galactica and beets, IMHO, include Stargate SG-1, flannel sheets, wall-sized Periodic Tables, "Jordan, Jesse Go", potatoes and Spanish-English pocket dictionaries. Translating the Periodic Table from English to Spanish, using the pocket dictionary, is the second best thing, followed by rainy summer sundays. There are few other good things worth mentioning.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I'd really like my hip flexor to be back to normal so I can start running/playing tennis again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SG-1 completed

Well, tonight I finished watching Stargate SG-1, seasons 1-10 in order. Nate and I started it during school and this evening I finally completed season 10 and the Behind the Mythology episode. The only things left then are the Ark of Truth and Continuum movies. Now none of this is particularly interesting in itself of course. I just think it's kind of strange how attached people can get to a television series. (I know I'm not alone out here. On an unrelated note, the same thing happened with Scrubs.) With absolutely no basis in reality, the characters still grow on you to a somewhat ridiculous extent. I think at this point, if I saw Michael Shanks on the street, I would walk up and expect him to know me. I guess my point is that visual media in the form of a lengthy series is powerful and a poignant form of storytelling. Drawing the line between life and production is harder than we might expect. This is also me sulking because they had to cancel the series when they did (I really missed Colonel O'Neill in those last couple of seasons).

Side note: I expected Michael Shanks to be brilliant because Daniel Jackson is brilliant, but in the "Behind the Mythology" segment none of the things he said made sense nor contributed meaningfully to the topic being discussed. It seemed like he was just saying things as a kind of filler. If I find out that Amanda Tapping can't tell a wormhole from a black hole, there will be hell to pay.

To Atlantis!!

On second thought, I should have titled this: "Look at how big of a nerd Steve is and laugh at him please."

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well, my summer research fellowship is finished. I'll probably update soon with a general overview of what went down. Most likely for posterity, maybe for the 1000's upon 1000's of people that read this.

I have two weeks now to do next to nothing. Today was a great start. Brian gave me an amp and speakers that they had no use for anymore, so I've been working on getting it set up with another set of speakers we have, and my record player/ipod/computer. Got a great start today with a trip to Radioshack and picked up "the Unforgettable Fire" from the Corner Record Shop. Tomorrow will hopefully be devoted to getting it all online and set up in Jeff's room (he'll be taking care of it while I'm gone at school). So that's fun.

The best part of today though was softball tournaments tonight. It was by far my best night of the season. During our first game, I had a two singles, a double and an unassisted double play. I bring this up not to be a boring snooze-brag, but to point out how uncharacteristic and statistically impossible such a performance is for me. We did win the first game handily, but the second game was a disaster. We were mercied by our other church team, I re-injured myself and didn't make it to base. This was punctuated by my last out where I watched as the ball dropped in as strike with no swing from me. Awesome. I guess all good things must come to an end. It was still a very enjoyable season and I think I'll remember this game for a while.

Finally, tomorrow morning our Japanese student Moe (Moy-ay) will be leaving. She is part of a Jr. and Sr. High handbell choir from Japan that toured the Midwest this summer. They were in Hudsonville since last Tuesday and put on phenomenal performances. Moe is a small girl but she plays the biggest bells they have. She throws around these massive bells so quickly and with such precision (most songs were from memory), it's reallllllly amazing. I'm convinced she has the arms of an NFL linebacker. Anyway, we will all be sad to see her go.

Well, that's all I have for now. It had been a while though and it feels oh so good to write things even if they are quite trivial and esoteric. Domo arigato.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


This summer has proven to be a fulfilling one thus far. I've taken up running/jogging and have been reading like I used to before college made it a chore. The work is also more stimulating than any work I have done before. Progress is measured in the creation/reading of papers and establishment of new procedures rather than square feet of carpet cleaned or classrooms restored. I think that working with a computer during the day has given me a new love of things that don't revolve around transistors or pixels. Truly this has been a learning summer, perhaps this will continue, or more likely, I will run into an unforeseen and painful roadblock that shakes my very core. Anyhow, I have enjoyed the months which have transpired and hope to wring some last productivity and progress from the remainder. ¡Vive el verano!

Also, we went to Michigan's Adventure today. Even though it rained, a good time was had by all.

Also also, never trust the driver of a white Saturn Ion (He is most likely a poor driver who thinks that the lane going around a busy entrance is for him to enter, in order to let people that don't want to turn, use the turn lane to pass him. Though I prefer not to pass judgment, it should be noted that such a man is an idiot, and his car naturally stinks of ignorance.).

Also also also, I apologize to responsible drivers of white Saturn Ions. You should give one of your own a talking to. Teach him how to not be terrible at driving. ¡Ay chico! Soy serio.