Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is It Really Super Bowl Sunday if I Don't Get To Watch It?

Today will be the first Super Bowl I have not been able to watch live in 27 years. You see, I'm still in Charlotte at the Youth Ministry Conference. My flight home takes off at 6:20 PM Eastern time this evening. Yup, exactly when kickoff happens. I arrive at 8:45 central time which will probably be at about the 2 minute warning.

I bet you are wondering how I know that the last Super Bowl I was not able to watch live in it's entirety was Super Bowl XVII (that's 17 for those of you who have issues with roman numerals). Well, I was 12 and my father had recently purchased a van. Not a mini-van, I'm talking a van with captains chairs, a couch and the whole bit. For reasons i can not explain to you, he decided about an hour before kickoff that he wanted to pack up the family and go for a ride.

You what?

So, we all loaded up and drove to who knows where. The thing you have to understand is that we rarely did this as a family. There was a time or two where we'd pack up and go to Tyler for roses or something and we'd complain the whole time but even those were planned trips. This spur of the moment thing was really insane.

As I'm whining about it, I realize, we have a little 8 or 10 inch black and white tv in the back of the van. I say little but the whole thing was actually pretty sizable, it was just the screen that was little. So, as we drove to nowhere, I'm in the back holding the antennae trying to get a signal.

I remember watching the Dolphins run a kickoff back for a touchdown through the snow and static in the first half and just hollering at my dad, how are we missing this? We did get home in the 2nd half to see the Redskins clobber Miami but I'm willing to bet if my dad was looking for a peaceful drive in the country, he must have contemplated throwing me out the window.

Prior to that game in 1983, my first memories of Super Bowl Sunday begin with Super Bowl XII in 1978 when the Cowboys beat the Broncos. My parents were rooting for the Broncos that day, I don't remember caring very much. The next year the Cowboys lost to the Steelers and I remember being interested in that one a little bit more but most of my memories of that game are from highlights. Catch the ball Jackie!!!!!

Super Bowl XIV is the first one I recall sitting down and watching every second of. It was 1980, I was 9 years old and it was the Rams and Steelers. It wasn't much of a game but I watched it and a monster was born.

If you've paid attention to this site and/or listened to the podcast you know my dad and I had the honor to go to the Super Bowl, #38 in 2004. Ever since then on Super Bowl Sunday I think to myself, it's 9 AM, we were eating breakfast. It's 1 pm, we realized I ran out the battery as we got out of the car.

I'm guessing today I'll be thinking, it's 7 pm, should be the end of the first quarter, wonder what's going on.

It is just a game and I'll be fine missing it, but this time I have no one really to holler at about it. Maybe I'll give my dad a call before we take off and blame him for old times sake.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What To Do When You Don't Know What to Do?

The internet and I go way back, not Al Gore back but I've been typing away at the internet for well over 15 years now. I started posting on message boards on CompuServe. I was a regular frequenter in the TV forums discussing shows like My So Called Life and Seinfeld back before the entire world realized it's greatness. I'd go into the music forums where I met a still to this day dear friend while discussing who else but Bruce Springsteen. I'd go into the sports forums and would you believe I talked hockey a lot? I even found a friend there I still talk to from time to time.

That progressed to what is now called a blog that I was doing for back in 1997. All the stories were about the Cowboys and man do I wish I still had some of those, I think a few of 'em were pretty good.

For the last 6 years I've been doing this site, and it's original intent was to put stories from newspapers around the country up on a daily basis. These were the stories that at the time I was basically e-mailing to my friends who I thought would be interested in them. I thought the blog would be a better way to do that. Except we didn't call them blogs then.

I would editorialize from time to time but not really all that often, it was mostly stories of the Cowboys/Rangers, with some tv news and a Bruce story thrown in. Oh yea, it had a picture of the day as well.

Last year when news came down that my wife and I were having triplets we started the Holy Crap! We are having triplets blog. I can't tell you how much we have enjoyed that site. We would both post long rambling thoughts about what we were going through during the pregnancy.

Once the boys were born I kind of dropped off that site and Angela became the main contributor. I was always posting my thoughts and fears mainly, it seems most of my writings on that site were about things that concerned me. Angela's have always been more about reporting the facts and telling upbeat stories.

Once the boys were here I just didn't really know what to post there. I'm still really not sure what to post there.

2 months later I lost my job. It is very hard to describe what that did to me. It was devastating. I had worked with Madacy for 16 years and not only was it a job I enjoyed it was a job I loved (still do) with all I had. Selling music has always felt like the job for me. Even though Madacy wasn't hawking the new Pearl Jam album, it just felt right to me that I had a gig in the music business.

It's something I had always wanted and it was really all I've ever done. As the music business began it decline I knew it was very possible I wouldn't be doing that forever but for some reason I kept hope alive. The thought of doing something else or worse yet, the thought of people telling me I couldn't do anything else was just something I didn't want to spend that much time with.

When the hammer fell on me because Wal Mart is just the latest outlet to basically get rid of music I really felt destroyed. For the first week I could barely look at my boys. Every time I did I teared up, hell, I'm tearing up now just thinking about that week.

As I tried to figure out how I was going to support the 5 of us, we packed the family up and headed to Angela's grandparents house in Louisiana. It's a trip I didn't want to take but I couldn't stay in the house anymore. The house was my office and I couldn't fathom just sitting on the couch as the office stood empty on a work day.

Knowing what I know now, it seems that getting laid off when I did was the best thing for my family. I still haven't recovered fully personally but what it did is really hard to measure. We got to spend a great week with her grandparents in what turned out to be a month before her grandfather passed away. We were there really on his last week of complete health. A few days after we left he entered the hospital and never left.

The fact that he got to spend a week with our boys is something Angela and I will treasure forever.

It took me 5 months to find a job. 5 very long months. 5 very quiet months. I got one legitimate phone call on a resume. It's hard to express the feeling of knowing that not only does no one want to hire you, no one even wants to talk to you.

As the money got tighter and tighter and the rejection stung more and more, getting to hang with my boys and Angela everyday was amazing. Believe it or not having infant triplets is hard work. Really hard work. But being there every day playing with the boys, holding them, feeding them and just watching them grow has been amazing.

Today ends the 5th straight day I've gone without seeing them awake. We left them with a sitter Sunday evening, when we returned they were in bed and I was on a plane to Jacksonville before they woke up.

This has been a long hard week only seeing them awake through iPhone videos Angela sends me as often as she can. We did a video chat yesterday that was cool but it was also sad as they kept reaching for the computer where my face hovered.

Monday I began my new job, I am now a division sales manager for Buffet-Crampon. If you need a woodwind or Brass instrument and happen to live in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona or Utah, I'm your man. I can't tell you how great it is to be among the ones drawing a check again.

I've been nervous for a bit about the gig but in 3 days of training/sales meetings at the home office I know this is a job I can do. I'm not exactly sure how long it will take me to get past the learning curve but I know I can be good at this. I'm anxious to really get going with it.

I've spent the last 2 days in Charlotte, North Carolina at a youth ministry conference. Yes, you read that right, youth ministry conference. I would have never guessed that either. There are still 2 days to go (and yes Virginia I am going to miss the Super Bowl) but so far I've been very surprised by the amount of good information I feel I can bring home to our church.

Anyway, the point of this long rambling post is that I'm not sure what will happen with me and the internet. I really enjoy this site as it was but I don't see anyway I can continue doing it as it once was. I stopped posting daily because I was paranoid a potential employer would find it and not like what I was doing. I'm not worried about that now but I know I won't be able to find the 30 minutes to an hour a day it took to update it the way I liked to.

I don't think my ramblings really belong on the triplet site but as you can tell, I still like doing those too.

So, who knows what I'll do but I think you may see more here (and perhaps on the other site as well) than you have the past 5 months. Probably not as much as I'd like but as often as possible.

So, until next time...