Yea I’ve come to know the wish list of my father
I’ve come to know the shipwrecks where he wished
I’ve come to wish aloud among the over dressed crowd
Come to witness now the sinking of the ship
Throwing pennies from the sea top next to it
And I’ve come to roam the forest past the village
With a dozen lazy horses in my cart
I’ve come here to get high,
To do more than just get by.
I’ve come to test the timber of my heart Oh, I’ve come to test the timber of my heart
And I’ve come to be untroubled in my seeking
And I’ve come to see that nothing is for naught
I’ve come to reach out blind
to reach forward and behind
For the more I seek the more I’m sought
Yea, the more I seek the more I’m sought.
And I’ve come to meet the sheriff and his posse
To offer him the broadside of my jaw
I’ve come here to get broke
Then maybe bum a smoke
We’ll go drinking two towns over after all
Oh, we’ll go drinking two towns over after all.
And I’ve come to meet the legendary takers
I’ve only come to ask them for a lot
Oh they say I come with less
than I should rightfully posses
I say the more I buy the more I’m bought
And the more I’m bought the less I cost
And I’ve come to take their servants and their surplus
And I’ve come to take their raincoats and their speed
I’ve come to get my fill
To ransack and spill
I’ve come to take the harvest for the seed
I’ve come to take the harvest for the seed
And I’ve come to know the manger that you sleep in
I’ve come to be the stranger that you keep
I’ve come from down the road
And my footsteps never slowed
Before we met, I knew we’d meet
Before we met, I knew we’d meet
And I’ve come here to ignore your cries and heartaches
I’ve come to closely listen to you sing
I’ve come here to insist
That I leave here with a kiss
I‘ve come to say exactly what I mean
and I mean so many things.
And you’ve come to know me stubborn as a butcher
and you’ve come to know me thankless as a guest
will you recognize my face when God's awful grace
strips me of my jacket and my vest
and reveals all the treasure in my chest
I left Houston last Sunday for vacation, and it's been a pretty great eight days off. Paragraph-style, it would take forever for me to write, re-write, and eventually discard....so here's the vacation recap, bulletin-style.
Houston to Big Spring is a good 7+ hour drive. Nothing makes that drive fun, not even twittering song lyrics every couple of songs. (And if you don't believe me, you can ask anyone who followed along).
Killed my first bird last weekend. Not with a gun, but with my windshield. Somehow, driving no faster than 75 - 80 mph, I managed to clip a bird who was swooping too low for his own good. I'm used to dodging deer on Highway 87, but birds?
For Mother's Day I helped usher in the apocalypse by getting my mom an iPhone. Mom doesn't have a debit card, but now she's got an iPhone. If she gets a Twitter account, I highly recommend stocking up on canned goods and bottled water.
Had a great time hanging out with the kids. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to say "kids" much longer. In less than a month, Forrest will officially be a teenager and Reagan will hit double digits in age. Can't say it enough though, they're great kids.
Don't tell Fort Worth this, but I kind of missed it a little bit after driving up on Thursday and all around the mid-cities area on Friday.
Had fun catching up with several bank friends and Bethe on Thursday, crashing at Larry and Rachel's that night, and then out to Curt and Amy's on Friday. No way I could ever fit in every one of my DFW friends, but for the time allotted I had a good run while I was in the area.
Apparently there was an earthquake in Euless on Saturday? Come on, Texas, I don't care if it was just a 3.3. That whole "no earthquakes" thing is one of our advantages in the Texas vs. California debate.
Now it's Sunday afternoon and I just got home from the comparatively speaking "short" four hour drive from Granbury to my little corner of Houston. That first pile of laundry that waited patiently all week for my return is now ready to move over to the dryer, and I have assorted errands to run before dinner with the branch at 7:00. Oh, and speaking of running I should probably get some exercise sometime soon.
It's been a great vacation...and even though I could probably use one last day off to do little stuff around the apartment, in a weird way I almost miss work. Almost. Hard to describe, since I'm not particularly looking forward to the coming week for at least a half dozen reasons, but after eight days of playing it feels like I should go be productive for a while.
(I reserve the right to take back that entire last paragraph by as early as Monday afternoon.)
The music started. There was a certain kind of mood. And I thought there would be words. And there were, but they weren't adding up right. So I moved them around. More music came and went. I traded most of the words and sentences and titles and tones for new ones. Then I moved them around some more. And I still wasn't happy with any of it. Frustrated, I closed out the tab. Stubbornly, I returned to it a few more times over the next couple of hours.
Now it's 1:41 in the morning and I'm out of ideas. Out of words. For tonight, at least, I suck.
It was fall, 2001. I spent nine hours a week in class as a Sport Management graduate student, half an hour a week doing homework (Sport Mgmt doesn't = Rocket Science), and 30 to 40 hours a week working as an Intramural Graduate Assistant for the Campus Rec department at Baylor. My Intramurals experience deserves its own memoirs blog (or two, or thirty) but my Tennessee story starts with the scholastic side of my stay at Baylor University.
Halfway through that Fall 2001 semester the administration in the Sport Management department cancelled a few of the classes slated to be offered Spring 2002. Like the Ethics of Sport class that was my last course requirement, to name but one. And just like that - BAM! - I was told not to worry about taking any classes in the spring and to start looking for an internship, post haste.
Fast forward to December. I'm in Boston for the job fair held in conjunction with the baseball winter meetings. As in Major League Baseball and every level of the minor leagues. After several rounds of interviews with a handful of minor league teams I accepted an offer with the Tennessee Smokies, located just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Fast forward to February, 2002. I'm sharing an apartment with two of the other three interns (Joe and Justin). We lived off of Kingston Pike near West Town Mall on the west side of Knoxville. The commute to work was about 40 minutes on I-40, driving across town and then out to rural Kodak, Tennessee. The stadium sits at the intersection of I-40 and Route 66 (yes, that Route 66). Dollywood was fifteen minutes away in Sevierville. The Lee Greenwood Theater wasn't far away either. Somehow I never went to either.
I digress. We car-pooled most days to save money, not that spending an hour and a half day in a car with each other was always the most pleasant thing, since we already lived and worked together. Plus Justin is easily the worst driver I've ever ridden with, and that's including Driver's Ed. Without exaggerating, I can remember at least three times when he nearly killed us en route to or from work. Joe and I volunteered to drive most days, especially after we found out that Justin had taken to carrying a ten gallon drum of gasoline in the trunk of his car. It was full. This came after he managed to run out of gasoline a couple of times. Seriously, who runs out of gas multiple times in a few months span of time?
Again, I digress. I was 23 year old sports fan working for a minor league baseball team. Most people thought I had a cool job. And in many ways it was. I saw a baseball game every night, in and around working various jobs around said baseball game. One day game in May I was the bat boy after two kids called in. I was older than half the guys in the dug out, but there I was running fresh baseballs out to the umpire every few batters. I designed parts of our official program and season ticket holder guide, supervised the press box, wrote some press releases.....and pulled the tarp every time it rained. To be fair, the entire front office staff from the GM down to the interns was the tarp crew. Rainy nights sucked, because you wouldn't get home until midnight or later. We had Fireworks Fridays, and one night I helped run the show - basically cueing the music to the fireworks so that the explosions were in sync with the songs. Speaking of music, I ran the stadium sound for a few games when the usual guy filled in for the Public Address Announcer. I played the at bat music, the "Let's Go" crowd chants, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch, and all the usual songs you hear at a sporting event. As you can imagine, I had fun with that job. The quarter of the season I spent in Stadium Operations, notsomuch. Those days I power washed the stadium seats and cleaned popcorn spills and vomit off the concourse.
Graduation Day at Baylor was in late May. I wasn't there to walk the
stage and receive my diploma (we had a home game that day). But it was
just as well, by then I knew I wouldn't be pursuing professional sports as a career. Internships, by definition, have some degree of "grin and bear it"
built into the experience, and it was no different for us. For one
thing, the hours sucked. If there was a game that day, you showed up
to work at 8:00 AM and left about an hour after the game ended,
anywhere between 10:30 and 11:00 pm. If the team was out of town, it
was a typical work week with maybe an afernoon off here and there. And
we saw what we had to look forward to: Group Ticket Sales. Across the
board, that's pretty much the entry level job in professional sports.
Spending the day at your cubicle in a headset, alternately cold-calling
previous customers and returning voicemails and various sales leads.
For me, it wasn't exactly the pot of gold at the end of a rainy day
The season wore on and the four of us rotated through our turns in the Media Relations, Tickets, Promotions, and Stadium Ops departments. We've all heard the "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" line from graduation speeches, etc. Well, that's not always 100% true. So I started asking myself, "What's next? What happens in September when the season and the internship end?" So when the team was out of town (every other week) or when I couldn't stand my roommates another minute (every other day) I would escape to the local Barnes and Noble or Borders and plan my next move: backpacking around Europe.
The Smokies' baseball season ended a few days into September. Thankfully, we missed the playoffs. My Chevy Cavalier was fully packed and I began the long drive back to Texas. A week after that my backpack was fully packed and I made my way through the relatively short line for Customs at Gatwick Airport just outside of London.
But that, my friends, is a blog for another day. Thanks for allowing me this 8 billion word stroll down memory lane.
This PSA was included in a recent mentalfloss article (note: if you don't spend half an hour a day at mentalfloss.com, there's something wrong with you). It was my favorite of the 237 billion anti-drug PSAs I saw as a kid.