Adventures In Babysitting…

20 10 2009

When last we saw our hero he had just gotten a promotion at work and was coaching high school soccer at the same time. Both of them have been mentally draining and left him with a little creativity. And, not much will to live. But that’s another story.

Not that I need to get into too many details, but our soccer team has performed, a little less admirably than I’d like to admit. But since I’ve already brought it up (and following the Sienfeld guidelines, that once you start you have to finish) I’ll have you know that our team has pretty much sucked this season. In league play we have 0 wins to go along with our 0 goals. I’d take that a little more personally had our team not crumbled before our eyes.

Lets look at some season stats…
3 Broken legs
1 Broken Collar bone
1 Pulled hamstring
1 ingrown toenail that has the kid’s white sock red at the end of the game
1 pulled calf muscle
1 Outdoor sitting bench falling on a kids leg
2 kids who’ve just decided to not let anyone know where they are
220 cases of Swine Flu at the school (Now, they’re not exactly swine flu, and our own team didn’t have 220 cases, however, last Monday there were 220 students out of school for sickness. Yes, some were from our team.)

I’m not going to lie. In all my years of coaching that’s an impressive stat sheet. Like REALLY impressive. We’d love for us to have the ability to pull up some players from JV, however, they started with 22 and are down to 12. As the kids continue to drop left and right, I’m less and less inclined to believe my coaching abilities are what’s driving the team down and that the soccer gods pretty much just have it out for me for some odd reason.

Awesome. Season.

So, coaching has been a bit rough.

However, while coaching has been rough, the whole working thing has really began to suck the life outta me.

I was moved up into a “managing” position that is in charge of our reception area and our Kids club facility. You know, where over zealous parents can drop their spawn off for a little more TV babysitting so they can get their 30 minutes of cardio in.

Our front desk staff (which I was previously apart of) is generally of the same idea that our job, while not difficult, is the most boring job in the world. Standing for six hours at a time, while scanning cards so people can use the gym isn’t mentally challenging, it’s actually a mental assault on your brain that I believe, without any scientific proof, that makes you dumber. In fact, I’m really afraid that if the Gym in question put some time and money into training monkeys, we’d be replaced in a matter of minutes.

Alas, I have risen above this mental assault on my mind to be reminded, that indeed, the mental assault of dullness and stupidity DOES NOT end there. The aforementioned Kids Club is under my domain. I am in charge of the hiring and firing of all that enter that room, and all that are responsible for caring for the spawns of Satans that partake of the gyms services. Once I received my promotion, it was indeed my first priority to find someone to fill the spot of one of the girls leaving. Of course, the manager before me gave me a sweet 2 day window of finding someone.

I’m not sure if you know how corporate America works, but hiring someone in 2 days is damn near impossible. But, I did my best. I got another young lady who had previous experience working with today’s youth and had her fill out paperwork as fast as possible. I called around to some other clubs to see if they would be able to spare a couple of their Kids Club attendants to help out for a bit. For the most part all was covered and I felt pretty good about the situation.

Until the day of reckoning came upon our hero. (Still me.) One of the girls, informed me that she had an emergency and was unable to work one of the following days. I tried in vain to find suitable coverage for the Kids Club but to no real avail. Then the plan crept into my head, “just have one of the female personal trainers do it. She needs the hours.” I looked at her availability and noticed that she indeed was free most of the hours I needed covered. With her track record in having clients cancel on her, I figured she could cover, considering we only get one or two kids in the morning anyway. She agreed, and my life again was seamless and I was an awesome manager.

The thing about planning, is usually it gets fucked up. As is the case in this story. Apparently, our Personal Trainer had her client come in, and unusually we had two infants show up to be “watched” after. Seeing as how I was the new manager, it was now my duty to go back and watch these young children.

I got back to Kids Club, and to my delight the two children were calm and unresponsive. Of course, the minute their mothers left this all changed. Boy Baby decided to freak the fuck out and start crying uncontrollably. This prompted Girl Baby to start freaking out. Based on my extensive non-verbal communication classes in college, I deduced that this young Girl Baby was indeed freaked out by males and was having NONE OF THIS! She would shudder and shy away and begin crying. Well, this just egged on Boy Baby, and before I knew it had a fucking stereo crying contest in my ear.

This isn’t even the best part. As mom of Boy Baby was leaving, she left me with one little detail of her sons life that she felt I needed to know. Her son was in fact teething. Fucking awesome.

I come from a large family, and I’ve had my siblings go through teething. It’s not their fault they cry constantly without end keeping you up all hours of the day and night, shit hurts, I get it. I mean your gums are getting ripped up and all you’ve got is this fucking binky(pacifier). If it was cool to give them booze, I bet not one kid would complain about teething.

Boy Baby was in hysterics, as I held him in my massive arms trying to comfort him. As the pain got to him, I couldn’t help but notice that his mouth was wide open (along with his nostrils) and not only did I have baby slobber running down my shirt and onto my arm, but I believe it was a mixture of snot and slobber creeping down his face. As I got a tissue to try and stop the massive flow of snot from the Boy Baby’s nose, I feel as if I angered the beast even more. He wailed out mostly in pain, but mostly because he, along with myself, no longer wanted to be at the gym. It was fucking nap time, and for the love of all that is good an holy, he was letting me know.

It was about this point in the story that I called the front desk to get the mothers of these children. I did my best. I’ve taken care of my brothers and sister many times. I called upon this prior experience to try and soothe the raging beast. My options were not working. I did all I could, save for having boobs, and breastfeeding.

The mothers came, and retrieved their spawns, and apologized because “they’re usually not like this.” I said, no mam, it was my apologies they couldn’t get a full workout in. As the mothers left with their respective spawns I took it upon myself to find the nearest Hand Sanitizer station and proceed to take a bath. However, looking upon this Hand Sanitizer station, I came to notice one fact about hand Sanitizers. They ONLY kill 99.9 percent of all germs.

99.9 percent.

Which means, that that little Snot Nosed/Drool Machine Germ Host that I had cradled in my arms to comfort was carrying the .1% of germs in the world that was probably going to either make me sick, or indeed kill me.

Toss up.

It also clued me into another realization of my life…

I’m going to be an “awesome” dad.

Until next time…

Email Me

Baby Seals…

4 10 2009

I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything. And I know that makes me a terrible person. I understand. I know some of you may be really pissed. Then again, I know most of you could care less. It’s not like I’ve gotten an angry, “dude, why haven’t you posted in a long time” email. But then again I’m not angry at myself. I’m just disappointed.

It seems as if my life has been pretty busy. I would like to tell you guys how fulfilling my life has been right now with travel all over the world, or a new girl that I spend all my time with, or about the research I’ve been doing on curing cancer, or all the volunteer firefighting I’ve been doing. However, if I were to do this, I would be lying. Turns out, my life is pretty much the same as it has been. Although two developments have kept me pretty busy.

The first development is that I’ve been “promoted” at work. You see I use the term loosely. I mean, I did get more money. I do now have a staff that works beneath me (that’s what she said! Can i do that on my own blog?) I get to hire and fire. And let it be known, I will go Ari Gold style when I get to do my first firing. Now, the downside to this promotion, is I actually have responsibilities. As of late at The Gym I’d been doign a night shift which consisted of me turning off the TV’s, locking the doors and going home. It was pretty glorious, aside from closing at 11pm every night. I even kinda became a book worm. It was nice being able to sit at the front desk, scan a card, and sit back down and read my books. Not bad for a days work.

While work is plodding along the biggest thing that is taking up my time is coaching High School soccer. In my vain attempt to be a lot more cool with the Europeans I decided to start coaching some soccer. (The attempt for raising my status with Europeans came when one so lovingly commented on one of my previous posts. So I vowed to become more hip as it were with Europe.) (Of course, this isn’t exactly all true, because I’ve been coaching soccer for over 8 years now. And if it were any REAL attempt to raise my status in Europe, I’d start calling it futbol, but that as we all know would make me sound pretentious. And I can’t have that.)

I’ve been coaching at my current school for nearly 5 years. Enough time to see freshman grow up (use the term loosely) and become seniors and go on to play some college soccer. I’ve also seen kids grow up and completely waste their lives on drugs and failed attempts and being porn stars. (the second half of that statement isn’t true.) However, regardless of talent, or regardless of life’s offerings after high school, one thing they all have in common is soccer, and our annual beach trip.

I get excited for the beach trip every year. I really do look forward to a weekend, molding young minds and continually getting bigger laughs for “that’s what she said jokes” than with my current group of friends. If anything this trip essentially feeds my ego, and indeed reminds me how cool I am. Not that I’m looking for that from high school students, it’s just kinda cool. That’s all.

The make up of this team is a bit different than in years past. In years past this team of athletes was made up of predominantly white students. However, as years have gone by and the socio-economics of our neighborhood have changed so has the student base. Now, our team is probably 90% Hispanic. Which is fine. It’s good to be exposed to different cultures. As I was on the hour long trip to the beach. We as coaches are given the task of driving a van load of students to the beach. It just so happened, I was given a van load of all Hispanic kids. And like most kids this day and age, they have iPods and wanted to listen to it. I’m pretty hip and cool so I felt that I may know some of the songs they would play. However, they all had an inside joke, and for the first 20 minutes of our trip, a mariachi band was seated in all six speakers of the van. They thought this was funnier than I did.

After our drive, and trip to the pizza joint, the boys were all fed, and ready for some chillen at the house. And by this I mean, eating all sorts of crap, and seeing who could burp the longest/loudest/special words. We have little control over this, because were in the other room going over individual goals one at a time. (This year was indeed really tame, as we got reports after the fact that one group started playing strip poker one year.)

The next day we focus on team bonding and generally trying not to talk too much about soccer. The coaches start up a bbq, and lament on the fact we have no booze. Sometimes we’ll walk by a bar with outdoor seating, and sling curse words at the people enjoying a frothy beverage. Our blood pressure and stress level also rises during these months of coaching. After a day spent, surfing, watching college football, visiting some bumper cars, we settled on the beach for a bon fire and s’mores.

Two of the boys, decided it was a cool idea to dig a “hole.” That’s right. Just a hole. For no apparent reason. It reminded me of the Friends episode where Joey digs a hole. However his hole would be used for medical purposes when Monica was stung by a jellyfish. We had no jelly fish stings on our trip. However we did have some need for medical attention.

Youth of today are rumored to always stay inside and never venture out and enjoy life. This is obviously not true for my group of soccer students. Apparently they play a game called Fugitive. It’s fairly simple in it’s premise. One group defends a location. The other attempts to get to that location. If you get tagged, you’re mission was unsuccessful, and you have been “caught.” We decided that after it got dark we would play Fugitive on the sand dunes and attempt to get back to the house.

My team, it was determined, would be attempting to get back to the house. As the leader I dubbed them the Navy Seals. Now I’m not sure if one of my Hispanic players didn’t hear me, understand me, or just plain wanted to piss me off, for he insisted on calling all of us Baby Seals. “Lets go Baby Seals.” Baby Seals! I’ve got a plan.” His all time classic quote came after discussing the boundaries. “Yo, Baby Seals, I got one thing to say about the boundaries… FUCK THE BOUNDARIES!” This quote brought me great joy, in seeing as this particular player is all of 5’3, and possibly 100 pounds. We all had a good laugh.

As darkness surrounded the playing field I got my team into position as we made our assault on the house. All of us began creeping quietly toward the house in silence. If I didn’t know any better I’d say I had a team full of silent assassins moving in for the kill. However I had my team, and I knew at some point they’d fuck up.

As it turns out, I waited patiently in the sand dunes and crept slowly toward the street. It must have been 10 minutes I slowly crept up patiently awaiting any sign of movement or sounds. As I inched closer to the street I heard a member of the opposing team coming my way. As he got closer he heard a twig snap beneath my feet. We both took off running.

About 40 minutes before the game began the head coach stated, maybe we should just play in the streets because that would be safer. This idea was quickly shot down because the dunes around the ocean were hilly and provided some cool cover for all of us. One of the other coaches, actually suggested, lets keep it in the sand dunes because running around the streets at night is not safe for anyone. Especially kids wearing all black trying not to be seen. As our head coach realized he had been out voted, he opted not to play but been the man guarding the aforementioned boundaries.

I wish I had listened to the head coach. As I took off in a dead sprint, I quickly came to realize, that not only was someone chasing me, but this ground was not level by any means. I felt that if I could make it to a certain point I could crawl down and he would zip right past me. I was running at full speed, reeds of grass whipping by my waist and the footsteps of a faster man behind me.

And then it happened. I placed my right foot where I thought land would be. Turns out it wasn’t. Apparently there had been a rock pit about 20 yards from my initial mad dash and I had found it. I landed on a rock knee first, and came to a crashing halt of rocks flying everywhere. Most of them were the size of flat rocks you might use to garden with. Regardless, I was in the middle of it on my back. You would have thought, my first thought was “man I hope I’m alright.” It wasn’t. It was however “man, if I lay still enough, maybe he’ll run right past me and I can still make the house.” Apparently he didn’t run right past me, but he had indeed heard me hit the rock pile. He had caught someone and he knew it. As he approached I could hear him say “I so got you!” But to his dismay, he hadn’t gotten any of his teammates. Just one of his coaches. Laying motionless in a rock pit. Wounded like a trapped Rhino on an African poaching show. He stood over me, looked down in disgust and said…. “oh. Its you.” and walked off.

Later on that night I regained myself and made it back to the house. There was the assailant with a broad smile and a package of fruit snacks in his lap. Victory was his.

As I sat there in the house, with an ice bag on my knee I realized that not only did he not ask if I was ok and left me to die, he in fact had NOT actually tagged me. A thought, that I kept to myself, as I was safely inside the house.

Victory was mine.

Until Next Time…

Rain Up My Shorts…

15 03 2009

I suppose as of late I’ve been writing of the happenings of the world around me, and not much of my life. Reason being I suppose is that things are not going as well as I’d have hoped.

I’ll sum it up, because the details are boring, and down right sad.
Finding work, has become very trying. I’m now almost completely broke and getting close to selling my beautiful baby, my car.

However, in the last couple days I’ve actually had some fun even with my “No Fun Embargo of 09.” (While the No Fun Embargo of 09, basically consists of my trying to to spend any money, I thought I would come up with a trendy name like the newscasters do with, well, everything.)

So in my NFE 09′ I have literally tried to do as little as possible for saving money purposes. No going to friends houses, no movies, canceling Netflix, the gym (this is important) and generally honing my World of Warcraft skills to great heights.

My family, with whom I live with in either noticed my NFE 09′ for my dad mentioned some friends of his get together each Saturday morning for a pickup game of soccer. Now, in my lifetime I have known a couple of things.
#1. Playing soccer since I was 4.
#2 The Red Sox since I was 8.

This 2 things are a constant, and pretty vital part of my life. Soccer makes me happy. Playing or coaching. With me in the funk, I quickly jumped on the chance of getting together for some weekend Shenanigans. (Shenanigans is capitalized because it is St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.)

Upon arriving, I quickly realized that I was indeed one of the youngest people out there for some soccer. It was apparent much later in the game, that though I was the youngest, I was probably the most out of shape. 2 straight hours of soccer after weeks of an Embargo can almost kill a guy. Especially me.

I love to think I can draw the line between having fun and being competitive, but I can’t. Not with soccer. I have to win. I have to play hard. It’s just in me. There are a couple of things I do really well in life. One of them is soccer. (Another of them, I would brag about, but I don’t think it’s the smartest thing to do in regards to an open forum and public ridicule. Plus, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a “good game” like I’ve been accustomed to receiveing in soccer for my other skills. But hey, a self high five is still a high five.)

So not to brag, but I scored two goals and felt great. I had a blast. One thing that I can always count on to put me in a better mood, is playing. However, at some point the endorphins in my body decided they had had enough of pushing adrenaline through my body and I realized I am indeed 30, and have been sedentary for a couple weeks. I felt shooting pains in my right foot and couldn’t think of why. My quads were burning, and my back was killing me. I came home and quickly downed 600mg of Ibuprofen and grabbed a heating pad.

I decided at this moment I would find out what was wrong with my right foot. I removed the sock from my foot, and low and behold, a gigantic blister on my foot. It was at this point I remembered I had signed up to do a 5k (3.1 miles) the very next day. I am an idiot.

The Mighty Blister

The Mighty Blister

I awoke at 6:30 am the following day pulling my legs up and placing them onto the floor. It was at this point, I could HEAR the wind howling and the rain hitting my window. I was not a happy camper. I pressed on. I met up with my friend JDub and off we drove downtown to tackle the mighty 5k that was in front of us. Now, if you’ll remember earlier in my post, I have stated all of my medical ailments, and in addition to that I haven’t trained for a 5k. The only training I’ve put in lately, is sprinting down the stairs whenever my mother orders pizza or brings home fast food for lunch.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sure I was in peak physical condition for the task at hand.

The rain and the winds came down as we grabbed our numbers and headed to the starting line. It was packed with tons of people, and tons of…… kids! That’s right. Kids. When people generally ask me if I like kids, my answer is usually (unless they’re hot) “I like kids. Just not yours.” So imagine my displeausre to be surrounded by a bunch of kids. And seriously, what kind of parenting book state you should take your kids out into the pouring rain and wind and run around for 3 miles. In my parenting book that’s just a bad idea. In my day, we had Nintendo World Class Track Meet (complete with Power Pad) to get our running in for the day. And look how my generation turned out.

The race started and the mass herd of people started heading out down the course. I’ve seen City Slickers a couple times and can only compare the start of this race to the cattle drive at the end of the movie. Half a mile into the race the crowd seemed to disperse a little bit. It was here I decided to make my move. I picked up my pace, leaving JDub in my wake and passing people left and right. I felt really good about myself and the run.

Fast forward to about 2.2 miles into an uphill run. I. Am. Not. Happy. For whatever reason every kid that was entered into the race decided, not only to pass me, but to jump into every muther effing puddle I was near. Imagine the shock, when not only did I have to deal with rain coming down upon my head, but indeed flying UP MY SHORTS! It’s a good thing I didn’t go commando. And let me tell you boys and girls, the water was COLD. Really cold. And it would happen roughly every .25 miles. Running minding my own business when all of a sudden… HOLY BEJEEZUS!! Not only did this increase my pace but also my disdain for children.

As the end of the race approached I felt good for the simple fact that even though I really wanted to walk, I didn’t. I persevered to the end. In fact, I felt good enough to start my “kick” and finish strong. However, my legs had other ideas. I picked up the pace and my legs felt like potato sacks filled with bricks. Each step was like taking a weightlifting class in high school, you know, where you added to much weight in case the hot girl was looking. Well, she wasn’t and my legs were dead. I saw the end and it was within my reach. However with 50 yards to go, there was a complete standstill at the end. You see really smart people who finished ahead of us, decided to take of their timing strap RIGHT THERE AT THE FUCKING END! Creating a gigantic cluster fuck and killing my time! You bastards. As we all waited my legs yelled at me for just stopping. Not a cool down jog, or even a walk. I went from running at a fast pace, to stopped. My legs were pissed. As was I. My time was effed.

I cooled down and finally met up with JDub after losing her like a little kid at Disneyland. However, oddly enough (not really) I found her standing near the Beer Garden line. Go figure. I looked around and realized, that I in fact did not want beer. So we went to the sponsoring bar and kicked back Jack and Cokes. Thats right, 3.1 miles. 9:00 am. Sunday. Jack and Cokes.

It’s how I roll.

Upon finding my race time later that night, I’m quite ok with my time. 37 minutes (which I would think is closer to 35 minutes considering the log jam at the end. And considering my propensity towards Carl’s Jr, Little Caesers Pizza, Dairy Queen Chicken Strip Basket with Gravy, that is a pretty good time)

I Barney Stinsoned that 5k and made it my bitch.

Of course after seeing one dude did it in 15 minutes, I felt highly out of shape. That dude however was probably driven by the fact that the winner wins his/her weight in beer. I can’t say I like beer that much.

Until next time…