Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Yesterday I got a call from my old coach, Coach Wolfe. I have a message on my phone that anyone who reads this blog is as sick of as I am (Except my mom. I love you mom.). In the message I request a pep talk. I guess Coach Wolfe called to give me that pep talk that I've been waiting for. It couldn't have come at a better time either, I was kind of feeling down. His message went something like this "hahaahahaha!" It really took me back to my old little league days.
Coach Wolfe was a great man. He was as tall as steeple but as gentle as a flower. He had long hair and always wore sunglasses. I thought he was kind of a hippy. He usually didn't get very mad or make us work harder then we wanted to. He would give us pep talks about just having a good time and always making sure we wore a cup.
All of this stirred up some nostalgic feelings and somehow I ended up at this baseball diamond up the street. I sat in one of the old dugouts with the chain-linked fence and looking out I could almost see all of my old teammates running around on the field. Reed was catching, Eric Halstrom was pitching, and I was way out in right field. I liked playing in right field. I didn't know that it was the least important position. As a matter of fact, Coach Wolfe often praised my incredible hustle in right field. He'd frequently yell that to me. "Hey Brian," he'd say," great hustle out there in right field. Way to go man!" To this day whenever we play baseball, I trot out to right field knowing that its my zone. Nothing can get by me (of course not much even gets to me).
As I was sitting out there I remembered an old pep talk my dad gave me. Our team was losing and it was only about the 3rd inning. We all sat on the bench feeling dejected. My dad looked at me and said, "What are you doing? Its only the 3rd inning? The game is just getting started, you can't beat yourself now!" We did end up losing but I learned an important lesson about working hard. I think that's why I kept going back to baseball year after year. Even though I didn't have any talent, even though I was a scrawny little noodle armed kid, even though I felt like dying every time I struck out, I wanted to learn how to put in effort and not give up. Well, it was either that or the snacks they gave at the end...

Monday, March 17, 2008

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately

Yesterday (Sunday) I went on a long drive. I told my roommate Rob before I left. It was one of those long meandering drives wherein one seeks to better understand oneself but seems to only find that they've wasted about half a tank of gas. It was pretty enough though. I let the 89 take me where it wanted. That was to Scofield. As I was driving, I was reminded of this Hemingway story where the guy is out in the middle of nowhere and he just starts swearing out loud, just because he can. Its kind of weird to be old enough to do that (if I wanted to). I sat out by this old mine for quite a while and took a nap and just thought before I turned around to go. All in all, it was a fairly nice getaway. I guess I just needed some time to think.
When I got back, everyone wondered where I had been off to. I told them, but I think it would have been funny if I had ended up just driving off to Mexico and starting fresh. Maybe cut my hair and
grow a beard. I think I'd probably end up working at Senor Frog's or selling chicles or something. I guess its better that I came home. If I hadn't , you guys would all be seeing this on the side of milk cartons in a couple of years

Last seen Age Progression

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You Remind Me of a Girl That I Once Knew

This week I realized one of my old goals. To be an usher, nay, a head usher at stake conference. The prestige, the power, the respect, and, above all else, the usher badge. I remember thinking as a boy, that only the select best must be chosen after rigorous testing. Oh how I dreamed to be ranked among the tall sentinels that stood watch over the important proceedings. It was they who kept order.
I realize now that those dreams, as most of my other childhood
dreams, were erroneous. Being an usher usually depends on whether or not you showed up 10:00 minutes early. I was designated an usher thusly.
Weird Guy: Hey do you wanna be an usher?

Me: Me? o.k.
It then became my job to be in charge of the "upper deck." This meant that I had to sit as far away as possible from the speaker.
The weird guy told me that it was "my show" up there and that I needed to take care of everything. I think I got way too into it. I was handing out hymn books and telling people to please be quiet, at one point I asked some people to leave (not really). I really wanted to go talk to people afterwards but I knew that a good usher never leaves his post. Instead, I made sure that all of the chairs were
put away and picked up every piece of trash.
It was as i was putting a pen in a location where someone could easily locate if they came back that I realized that being an usher sucked. Ushers are usually guys that aren't married but are still young enough to stand for an entire meeting. Looking back, all of the guys I ever saw usher any stake conference were weird. As I left the conference alone, I made a vow: I will never again be an usher... unless they let me keep the badge.