"Study hard, I'm going to try out for American Gladiators"

hola blogworld. i was going to wait until i got the pics from mi hermana to put up a post about nyc and christmas, but that may take a while so i'll go ahead and share the details from christmas and all the other usual stuff that makes it on here.

this year for christmas we headed to the greatest city in the world, which really deserves that title. mi madre got us a place right across the street from the united nations, and a couple of blocks from grand central right in the heart of midtown manhattan. it was awesome, we had a great view of the east river and the upper east side. i can't even begin to express how much i love visiting nyc. the place is always alive and there's an insane amount of energy wherever you go. this trip was a little bit slower paced than when i went this summer, but that was a good thing. we went all over the place: times square, empire state building, off-broadway play, liberty island, ellis island, carnegie deli, central park, the met, little italy, roc center. oh yeah, and mi madre got us a helicopter ride for our christmas present. a helicopter ride around manhattan. by far the best present i've ever received. it was insane, the world didn't even look real from the inside of a helicopter. it's expensive, but i recommend it to any ever going to visit nyc. mi hermana was kind of freaking out sitting in the front, esp when the pilot did a ten story drop without warning, but that added to a lot of the fun for me.
all in all this was a great christmas with the family. we did really good for being in the same hotel room for a week, and mi hermana did a good job of keeping up with two excited kids. every slice of pie (pizza) was awesome, every hot dog from the street vendors was great, it was cold but not unbearable (my forty dollar peacoat from ross was the best investment i've ever made) and it was a perfect push into the new year.
anyways, i love nyc, and i can't wait to go back again.

i met jon voight on the plane ride back from nyc. we were walking off of the plane at the same time and i mentioned to him that i happened to be watching a movie with him it on the flight. he asked what movie, and when i told him it was transformers he got really excited and we talked to the baggage claim about how cool the cgi was in that movie. by far the coolest celebrity i've met.

new years.
this year i have no new years resolutions. it's not that i'm anti-resolution, i just have enough stuff i'm trying to do already and didn't feel like waiting till january. that, and my resolution stuff is pretty typical; better shape, save money, more organized... (i'm yawning too). this isn't really noteworthy outside of me just trying to keep track of what was on my mind for when i read this later on (read: when my bestseller makes it to paperback).

the rocket.
a lot of people have asked me my opinion on the steroids issue and the involvement of one of my favorite players, roger clemens. i guess this is as good as any place to put my two cents into the mess. while i do believe there is a major problem with steroids in all professional sports, i do not believe that roger clemens is guilty of doing anything illegal, or unsportsmanlike. we have one person, under duress with plenty of motivation to drop a big name, with only his word and no evidence to back up any of his statements. clemens was also allegedly mentioned in a story leaked to the la times a couple of years ago, and that was proven to be completely false. i think this will wash out the same. at this point there really is no reason not to own up to using steroids, as pettite and several others have done. another point that seems to be missing in the mix is that at the time of these alleged uses, HGH was not a banned substance. only recently has this substance been banned. this also separates clemens from the bonds category, because he was accused of using substances that he knew were banned. clemens did own up to being injected by his trainer with b-12 and pain medication. this is a pretty common practice. the argument has been brought up that this is something unique to this era, and we bring up these magical days of yore when baseball players were elevated above doing anything shady, never mind that mantle would get enough shots to his knees before every game to take down a horse.
i guess my point is that we should wait until all of the facts come to light before we prosecute someone in the court of public opinion. are performance enhancers a problem in all sports? yes. do leagues need to crack down on athletes? yes. is every person accused of shooting up guilty? no. the more we head in the direction of modern mccarthyism in sports, the less likely we are to get clear answers.

i urge all of you to check out bethlehemstar.net. it's an amazing scientific look at what was going on during the time of Jesus' birth and death from an astronomical standpoint. even better, just spend the few bucks and buy the dvd. if you don't like it i'll pay you back.

i remember when i broke my leg a few years ago, the only thing that was worse than the pain was constantly having to tell everyone what happened. i made up stories about kicking in doors for swat teams, motorcycle accidents, steamrollers, and stampedes of wild elephants (in actuality i was outside playing with my dog). it seems like casts do more than help things heal, they draw everyone's attention and create an easy conversation piece. i recognize that people are going to ask about a cast because they care, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get old telling the same old story over and over and over.
there are a lot of things that get old like that. i've been to several funeral where people were glad i would talk to them about the baseball, or traveling, or anything that was a change of pace. in our youth ministry mafia meetings we have days where we make a 'no work talk' rule. a few of the guys here at church are very adamant about never talking about their jobs. i think it's an easy thing to miss too. you don't realize how much conversations start to echo each other, and then you wonder why you feel frustration start set in. i say 'you' here' because this is something i've heard from several people.
as frustrated as i am talking about the same single subject all of the time to certain people, i realize that i am terrible at this myself. kiddos that i don't know very well hear the same questions from me all of the time that scream of my lack of knowing them on a deeper level. the problem is, i only recognize this when i have been a victim of what i call 'tunnel conversation'.

do you ever scroll through your ipod and find things on there and wonder how they made it into your possession? i was looking through my album list and saw deana carter - did i shave my legs for this?' i'm sure she's great if you're into female pop country, but as for me, i'm completely bewildered. and kinda creeped out.

the same people that give me crap for watching wrestling every once in a while are superstoked about american gladiators being back on the air.

a while back i got a cd set of james earl jones reading the bible. i call it the king james earl jones version, and it's pretty awe inspiring. you should get it.

i'm tired of following politics. it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that the more i get interested in following politics, the more jibbberish that is thrown my way. i know where the people running for office stand on my major issues, and unless they change (which is the only thing that could possibly re-captivate my interest at this point) i don't particularly care to follow all of the debating, mud slinging, and grandstanding that is going to happen in the next few months. congratulations politics, you've completely bored me with your non stop rhetoric. i'll see you when it's time to vote. and by the way, i'm writing in gammons/kruk on my ballot.

well, i think that's enough ranting for this lunch break. i've got to get ready for a weekend of working on my truck, helping people move, and heading down to san diego.

one love, one heart.


Holly said...

It sounds like New York was amazing! I have never been there. I can't believe it. I hope when I go I get to ride in a helicopter and meet a celebrity.

OK Chick said...

You met Jon Voight-that's pretty cool! Oh and your NYC trip sounds fun. A helicopter ride would be awesome during Christmas.