Day 192 – #AllRise

If you’re not into baseball, go ahead and tune away.


What is going on here? Is this real life? Are we on Mars? Is Judge from Mars? No one really knows, but suddenly the New York Yankees have a home-run mashing giant playing right field (seems … oddly … familiar …)

If the award was handed out today, Judge is the AL MVP and AL Rookie of the Year, a unique combination not found all that often. He’s not entirely out of nowhere, mind you — Judge was a good-to-great prospect — but no one saw this coming, likely including the Yankees. No one saw “AL MVP” in his future.

Judge is definitely hot, and so I hardly expect he’ll be the best player in baseball every year (caveat: Mike Trout is definitely better, and potentially one of the truly inner-circle great players of all time, but he’s not a Yankee so no one cares) but it is exciting to have someone smashing home runs like this.

And smash he does:

He’s like the Hulk:

The velocity of these homers is astounding. These aren’t arches — they’re cruise missiles. Judge is like a US Navy Destroyer, lobbing missiles from home plate against insurgents in the stands. No one is safe.

It remains to be seen how pitchers will begin to adjust to Judge (and they will), but it certainly looks like he’s going to be around for awhile, health permitting.


Day 191 – ‘The Man Who Sold The World’

When it came to my interest in grunge music, before April it mostly consisted of Nirvana, and in that only a few songs:

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Heart-Shaped Box
  • You Know You’re Right
  • All Apologies
  • The Man Who Sold The World

As I’ve grown up, that has changed (this blog has documented that fairly often). While I don’t necessarily view Kurt Cobain as a legendary performer, there’s no doubt he was brilliant, able to convey pain and frustration in beautiful and haunting ways. (It’s possible my view of him will continue to evolve, though.)

I say that in great part because of Nirvana’s historic “MTV Unplugged” performance, wherein the grunge rockers showed a potent, melodic and almost folksy side. Mostly bereft of hits, the setlist found Cobain, Krist Novaselic and Dave Grohl dipping into their catalog and even outside of it.

The top performance of the night was a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World.” I love it, and I think you might too.


Day 190 – Take heart

I worked pretty hard today, figured out a few things and made a couple mistakes, too. I don’t let those realities bug me too much anymore, because it’s all part of the process (unless I catch the building on fire).

Life is struggle, so embrace it. Embrace the difficulty of work, the challenge of the gym and the slow push of everything else. Just … grow.

But then, relax when that time comes too. Recharge the batteries, because tomorrow awaits, and you can best conquer it with rest.

Praise you, Lord. You provide. You have won, and won with total finality. This is over. Let that be our guiding light as we push through life. Take heart, friends — the war is won.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

Praise God.

Day 189 – Tunes on a Sunday night

Who doesn’t love some good tunes on a Sunday night? Well, I do anyway, and lately this song has stuck out to me.

I’m not the biggest Foo Fighters fan in the world, but I certainly enjoy their work. For me, “Everlong” is a great look at the heart and charm that make Grohl and the boys the band that they are. It’s a powerful song.

When the band kicks into that last chorus? Heck. Yes. I’d have been losing my mind in that crowd, and the possibility of experiencing the song live makes me consider getting Foo tickets in the future.

Day 187 – ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

John Hughes + MCU. Turns out, it’s fun.

“Homecoming” is a cute, light-hearted romp of a comic book movie, full of heart, lacking in monumental story (refreshing, a la ‘Ant-Man’) but packed with one-liners and charm.

The backstory, in case you don’t know: this isn’t Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield. Tom Holland, returns as the wallcrawler after a fun debut in last year’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Turns out, a 15-year-old thrust in a battle with the gods leaves an impact.

“So, uh .. when is the next, you know, ‘retreat’?” Peter asks Tony Stark, his mentor (terrible as he might be) and supplier of tech. Parker desperately wants to be a part of the team, but frankly isn’t up to it. He’s a kid, full of spunk, not so good at the fighting yet.

I thought that was a good choice. He’s really more of a Spider-Teen or Spider-Boy at this point, and I suspect as Marvel cranks out more with him, we’ll see Parker develop into the legendary superhero he becomes in the comics.

But for now, he’s a peg or two below Iron Man, Captain America and the others. That’s great — it grounds this movie and gives us a long look at the person Parker is. We see the values and moral code that make him the leading hero in Marvel’s catalog. One of the most enduring traits of the Peter Parker character is willingness to do good no matter his current predicament. He’s a good man.

The relatively low stakes of “Homecoming” provide another perk, too. The audience spends time in the life Spidey has, both the good and the bad. It’s a treat seeing him marvel at knowing Stark, hearing him brag to his buddy Ned (hilarious, by the way) about having fought Captain America and overall just be a kid knocking on the door of an amazing new world.

But, some of that is for another time. No Thanos today, boys. Just homework and awkward homecoming proposals.

Day 186 – A simple joy

Last night, after a hectic day of work for myself and a coworker (a fellow believer), the two of us decided to pray about it together. Right in the parking lot, moments after work. Instead of continuing to labor on, bearing the anxiety of new tasks, we simply approached the throne of Grace and asked for help.

I don’t have much else to say about it other than this … it was needed, cathartic and joyful. Oh, Lord. Thank you.

Thank you for simple joys and a light for the path.

Posts have been shorter this week, as I’ve been swamped with a project at work. Longer posts will return, that I promise. In the meantime, please enjoy another meme:

Day 185 – ‘Murica

Last night, I did a bunch of stuff in celebration of this country:

  • I played volleyball (not well)
  • I played ping pong (mildly well, still not well)
  • I ate food (I excelled)
  • I played more ping pong (previous accomplishments proved impossible to repeat)
  • I talked with great friends and Church family (I excelled)
  • Ate more food (Truth be told, I’m a prodigy in this department)
  • I watched fireworks.

Happy Fourth from me to you, and from President Trump to you:


Day 183 – Burn it down

A familiar refrain: I’m working harder on nutrition and fitness.

I’m never going to be a perfect eater. I snack and snack and snack, but if I rein that in enough, I can lose weight. It’s happened before. (I know. I was there.)

But if I don’t rein that in at all, no amount of gym work can fix me. I’ll be a mess. And lately, I’ve been that mess again. It happens, don’t get me wrong, but I’m sick of it.

And so, it begins again. The struggle, the battle, the fight to a healthier, prouder weight.

Tell ’em, Rock. Tell ’em what it takes:

See? All the time, focus. Focus on what you want to achieve and how you will do it. Let nothing — nothing — stand in your way. Fight. Fight. Fight.

More time in the gym, better calorie work, overall better nutrition. Quick walks at lunch. Salads, no fries; lean meats, avoid the breads. Vegetables everywhere. Whatever that end result looks like, make progress. Win the day. Absorb losses but don’t fall apart — pick yourself back up.

I don’t need perfect days. I just need better than lately.

Pardon my French, but damn it, I know what I’m capable of. It’s time to burn it down again.