Positive > Negative

A topic has come up a few times recently that I want to talk about. On a daily basis I interact with two people more than anyone else, Mark and Wacker. Now, the three of us live together, go to practice together, go to the library together, so this should is not surprising. Lately we have talked about the fights that we have gotten in. Off the top of my head I can think of multiple times where I have been legit angry at Wacker; the library water bottle fiasco, the Travis Pastrana debate, tasting foods at Wismer for a reason I cannot recall at the moment last year, the list goes on. I can also think of multiple times that Mark has been angry at Wacker; the time during beer pong when he pegged the beer can at his face, either time he beat the poop out of him on a weekend night.

Now the natural third thing to think of would be, when has Mark been angry at Sam or vice versa? Mark and I have talked about this over and over and cannot come up with one significant time that either of us have been mad at each other.  This means one of two things. A) Wacker is a grumpopotamus or B) Mark and I are the greatest roommates to ever live. While I don’t think B is a bad choice by any means, I think A is the bigger player in this case. Wacker gets legit upset with either me or Mark on a daily basis. Just today, Mark told him to stop playing Trials so that I could play because he likes it when I play. Wacker was pissed. Also today, we said that Brittany Murphy was in 8 Mile and Mark started humming a song from it. Wacker was pissed.

While we are all very close friends, Wacker seems to be more stressed out and negative than any of us. Don’t get me wrong, Mark and I can both be sad or moody too but it doesn’t seem to happen as often. Wacker recently lost his hair due to our bet and is struggling to take a positive from it. When people tell him it looks good he says “They’re just saying that because they’re supposed to.” When I tell him he’s being negative he says that he’s not being negative, he’s just telling the truth. He also absolutely REFUSES to read this blog because he doesn’t like the idea of my Analytics going up 1 tick each time he visits, are you kidding me? He said recently that everything was going too well for it to keep up and that he knew it was going to come crashing down. That is not the ideal attitude. The glass isn’t half empty with him, the glass is completely empty. It should also be noted that I feel comfortable writing this about him because we are such good friends. For whatever reason we seem to get along pretty well after we argue about something.

I guess the point of this post is for me to tell people to be positive. With Wacker as my example I have witnessed the effects of long term stress. In fact, I’m sure he’d be pissed if he read this and even more pissed if me visited from his own computer to read this. Mark and I have begun a conscious effort to turn the negativity around and maybe it will work but we’ll see. Having a positive mindset throughout the day will make it go by a lot faster and will emphasize the good things. Nobody likes being around people who are moody or negative all the time, it brings down the whole vibe. Try not to be that person. Not saying that Wacker is always that person, we all take turns it seems, but one of us has had more turns that the others.

Alabama Shakes – Hold On

This song is courtesy of my brother Jeff. I think this song is really damn good. As he put it, they sound a lot like Dr. Dog which I agree with but the singer is obviously a big soulful black woman as opposed to a little white dude. She can really sing though. I really like the guitar player throughout the whole thing especially in the chorus. I think the lead singer is cool too. She’s not your typical front man/woman. She’s big, not necessarily attractive, but has her own swag/style and she loves it. She also rocks out on the guitar as well. I haven’t listened to much else by them but I will in the future.


I was doing some reading for class today and something about the US constitution came up. It was in regards to the first amendment and about the intention that the framers had in mind. I sat for a second thinking about what they intended but then started thinking about the thing as a whole and was absolutely baffled. The constitution was created exactly 225 years ago today by a group of guys who we are mostly familiar with. They laid down a set of universal rights that every man should have that we are also pretty familiar with.

What I want to know is why the hell do we still follow this? I mean, I’m okay with some of them obviously, freedom of speech and whatnot is all good. But the idea of having a present day court case decided by what is “constitutional” or “unconstitutional” seems ridiculous. First off, no one knows what these guys had in mind when they wrote this thing. In all honesty they probably didn’t know. They left it vague so that people could interpret it for themselves. The men who drew up this document were from a world that is pretty much non-existent anymore. Women had no rights, black people were slaves not citizens, the light bulb wasn’t even invented yet. To think that we’re taking orders from them is a bit outlandish.

I’m not saying that if we abandoned the traditional constitution we would come up with a totally new set of radical laws that are completely unlike what we know today, but as things have evolved I feel like the people of today know more of what is fair and not fair compared to the people of 225 years ago. We pretty much have a group of guys who’s job it is to interpret the constitution, why not just make up our own? Obviously what those guys did was revolutionary and they started this country but things change.

End Crate Race

The crate race is over. The event itself was a success. I was designated to wine and I think I did a pretty good job. I don’t even remember the end of the race which has to say something (either I drank a lot or I’m a light weight, we’ll go with the former). I was cruising through cups of wine like they Natty Ices. In all honesty I can’t really tell you what happened about anything after 8:00. I pretty much hit a point in the race where I said to myself “I have a decision to make, I’m pretty drunk right now and if I ease off now I can probably recover by the end and have a normal night, OR I can drink a lot of this wine right now, help the team win the race, and ruin the rest of the night.” I chose the second option.

From what I’ve heard I just sat on the couch for a long time after the crate race. People thought I might throw up but I didn’t. They put me in the trashcan and Richie got naked and pretty much sat on top of me which is funny I guess. I was just as gone as I could possibly be. Slade said I wasn’t making words very well and that he was hysterically laughing any time I tried to speak. Satchel came up here and carried me down to his room. I don’t really know how I got back up here but somehow I did. *Also, Slade told me that something incredible happened. I sneezed 17 times in the span of about a minute. I can only imagine how funny this would be, a super blacked-out Sam having a sneezing fit.

People put me to bed and were trying to keep others out of my room. This worked for a little bit but eventually Satchel came here again with a marker and drew all over me. I can’t even be upset about it this time because I absolutely had it coming. When you pass out before 10:00 you deserve whatever you get. I woke up to my door absolutely smashed, my glasses broken, and the top bunk off of the frame. Lance absolutely demolished our door trying to get in last night. I have no idea how my glasses broke or how the bed frame got messed up but that was the least of my worries. I made it to 10:00 practice after a full night of sleep and got through 8 miles without too much trouble. I would drink tonight but unfortunately I have a test tomorrow so tonight will be a library night. Also, somehow after starting Jay Cutler and Greg Jennings on Thursday I’m winning my fantasy game.

Second/Crate Race

I’m posting a short update here. We had our second meet today and it went pretty well all around. The weather was pretty much perfect for racing so and the course was fast so I figured today was a good day to see where I was actually at. Mark ran really well the whole way and finished 8th in 27:24. Initially I thought I would be close to him but in reality I wasn’t at any point really. I went out behind but still decently fast (5:40 then 11:25). At 3 miles Vince was 20 seconds ahead of me so that was my goal. I started working and going into the fifth mile I was 5 seconds back. It took me a while to catch him but I did with maybe 400 to go. I passed and closed pretty strong (5:20 for a net downhill last mile). Looking back I think I ran a smart race but it was a little to conservative. My third mile was really slow and my last mile was too fast. I was definitely happy with it but I think there was ~15 seconds in there had I run the race a little bit better.

Wacker actually had a good race and ran a near PR in 29:43 but it was well short of what he needed to keep his hair. We’ll take a before/after session.

It’s 6:30 and in 30 minutes we have a crate race with Sig Pi. It’s a 30 of Natty Light (gaye), a fifth of Smirnoff 80 proof, and a box of Franzia. 8 track and field members versus 8 frat guys. As Satchel has put it, they’re bringing their B, possibly C team. I’m designated for wine which is good by me. I can do wine or beer but keep me away from the shots. I imagine we will win. We lost last year by a matter of minutes but we have a different team this year and I think we’ll be good to go. I’ll post tomorrow with the results/how the night went. I imagine I’ll black out immediately after but I will hopefully snap back into it before people actually start coming over. That would be ideal, but we all know that won’t happen.

The Finale

Wacker and I made a bet well over a year ago that will conclude one way or another on Saturday. The bet was this: If I beat him in 10 consecutive races, he has to shave his head. On the contrary, if he could beat me just once I would shave my head. If I DNF or am sick and have to limp it in for a 37 minute 8k it counts as a loss and I have to shave my head. I have 9 straight victories and the next race in the series comes this weekend at the Misericordia invitational. This bet was not supposed to take this long to complete but it has for two reasons. Wacker was hurt for cross country last year so he didn’t get to run every race. I was hurt after the first indoor meet and missed all of indoor as well as outdoor. This has been a long time coming but the inevitable is finally here. One of us is getting a haircut very soon.

I’ve been sick this week so hypothetically I could still feel it on Saturday and have a potential blow up which would suck. However, Wacker has been struggling with gashes in his head so I guess we’re on an even playing field here. At this point I have to imagine that if Wacker rolls up on me with a mile to go in this race, there is simply no way I will lose. That doesn’t even seem like a possibility. It just won’t happen. To have come this far and lose it on the last race would be a fairytale ending that no one would want to see except for everyone but me. Regardless, we will see what happens in only 23 hours. Get your popcorn ready.

Del Val
Sam – 30:00.99
Wacker – 34:03.92

XC Time Trial 2012
Sam – 17:47
Wacker – 18:08

5000 Bow Tie Classic
Sam – 16:01.40
Wacker – 17:04.63

Sam – 30:09.10
Wacker – 33:29.90

Sam – 27:30.93
Wacker – 32:06.83

Paul Short
Sam – 26:56
Wacker – 33:08

Sam – 27:26.99
Wacker – 29:42.50

Del Val
Sam – 27:34.19
Wacker – 30:01.01

Time Trial 2011
Sam: 16:28

Textbook Disaster

I have attempted to order a textbook online twice since I’ve been at Ursinus and both times the experience has been a disaster. I can’t recall all of the details from my first adventure but essentially 3+ weeks went by and they kept saying we’ll look into it and I just asked for my money back. Fortunately they refunded me.

I’m in the midst of another bad experience. I ordered a book on 8/28 to save ~40 bucks and it finally arrived today 9/13. This would not have been terrible except for the fact that it’s not the book I wanted. It’s some ‘Ecompanion’ where the content in this book is just a bunch of open pages to do exercises that correlate with the actual text book. I will acknowledge that all of the blame cannot be put on them. I should have read into the order a bit more but I cannot believe anyone would pay $50 for the book I received, it’s an absolute joke. I would bet any amount of money that people encounter this type of mix-up all the time. The company probably does this on purpose so they can reply to the email I just sent (about returning the book for my money back) and say “Sorry, we have a strict no refund policy.” I hope that’s not the case but I fear that in a matter of hours I’ll be out $51.66.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be a jew (no offense), just fork up the extra dough to make sure you’re getting the product you want and that the process goes as smoothly as possible. I’ve learned a lesson like this before when I bought the CVS knockoff brand of Clear Care contact solution. It was probably the most dissatisfied I’ve ever been with any product ever. From then on I vowed that I would pay the extra money for the brand name that I know will work. You live you learn I suppose, though hopefully this lesson will be free of charge as opposed to $51.66.


*** I have since been emailed back and my wishes have been granted. This was part of the email they sent,

“Your satisfaction is our #1 priority, so we make it simple for you: 30 Day, from shipping date, money back guarantee- 100% refund on the book purchased.”

I just have to send it back with a note saying why and they give me my money back. That makes me happy, I can live with this company despite the fact that they sold that godawful book for $51.66.

Run Down

I’ll start by saying running has been going really well lately. I ran a workout on Monday and it was easily the best I’ve felt all season. The last mile was a 5:04 in Hunsberger after a ladder which has to be good for sub-5 on the track so at least I know I can break 5 in a mile right now. I can feel my back at any given moment but it never bothers me when I’m running and when I do feel it it’s not too bad at all. I don’t think I’ll jump up to 70 mile weeks or anything quite yet but I can hit over 50 pretty consistently so that’s definitely a positive.

However, yesterday and today have been terrible. I haven’t posted in a few days because I’m sick. I’ve had a fever, a sore throat, and a headache for the past two days and have struggled to do anything productive. I go through phases where I’m either boiling hot and sweating like a mofo or I’m freezing cold and have to bundle up in a sweatshirt, blanket, and jeans(!). The worst of it all is my braces are tearing apart my lip right now and no amount of wax in the world will make it feel okay. I just feel like balls all the time. I’ve woken up at 6 in the morning for the past two nights and it’s just miserable. This is a bummer because I had to miss my second straight tempo-run today and I really enjoy tempo-runs. I have work to do but it just doesn’t seem realistic that I will go to the library and get it done. I’m not one to skip class or ask for an extension but if things keep up I may have to. I know I’ll end up doing my work tonight but it’s just not going to be pretty.  Last time I wrote a paper while sick this was the result (short version),

Sam: unfortunately the paper suffers from two serious, almost fatal flaws.  The first is that you really are very weak on the facts.  Each of your sections—especially the first and the last—suffers from very serious historical inaccuracies and misconceptions. In terms of historical accuracy, the paper is an F.  This problem is amplified, however, by the fact that you really do not discuss the IDEAS themselves as much as you  should—and when you do, there are inaccuracies there too.  You really do not explain liberalism, capitalism, or Marxist-Leninist socialism very well at all. Also, it’s clear that you are not using Rampolla carefully, because both your footnote and bibliography entries are mostly incorrect. You also need far more in the way of primary source support. D-/F”

Hopefully I’ll feel better shortly but until then this blog will likely suffer.

AWOL Weekend

This weekend lived up to the hype for sure. Tom and Jeff came over on Friday night to party. They were sober when they arrived and everyone else was drunk so we went into my room and played quarters for a bit to get going. I was already pretty drunk but I was pushed over the edge when we did a couple Banker’s Club shots. I blacked out for a little bit and don’t really know what happened. I was only out for a little bit as I remember the end of the night pretty well. Reimert was unfortunately dead by midnight so the night ended early but it was still a good time I think.

Tom, Jeff, Mark, and I headed over to the field house for 10 o’clock practice. Tom was baffled that we would go for a run after drinking and we got to talking about how fast we could run at that very moment. It wasn’t realistic that we would race a mile but I suggested a 200 and everyone agreed. The four of us lined up for the race, Mark and I was in proper running attire while Tom and Jeff had khakis on. I had no idea what I would be capable of but that was the fun of it. The race went off and I surprised myself by actually winning. My time was 27.4 which was roughly what I would expect, Tom was second, Mark was third, and Jeff was fourth. Little did I know what I was in for.

We left for our run and right off the bat I felt like balls. I was really dehydrated and my plans of a 10 mile run were reduced to making it to the water fountain (4 miles out). Everyone was hurting and we made it there going roughly 8:30 pace. We turned around and it was game over. They took off at 8:00 pace and I just couldn’t keep up. Vince was kind enough to run with me to ensure that I made it back. I told him it was unnecessary and I would be fine but I was wrong. We were three miles away when I was reduced to a walk. We took the road back as opposed to the Perk to shorten it but it didn’t matter. We would jog for 5-10 minutes and then walk again. At one point I walked into a tavern and asked for water because I was absolutely dying. The last 3 miles were covered in about 45 minutes. It was the definition of a death march.

Once I was back at school I began my recovery. I had to be in top form for the AWOL concert that was only hours away. I chugged some Gatorade, ate some food, and was eventually good enough to drink again. Mark, Liz, Jamie, and I drove to Stortz Tools where we met up with Tom, Jeff, and Laura. They were given the grand tour and they loved it. We pounded a few Natty Ices along with some Banker’s Club shots and were on our way to the concert. The concert was awesome. There was a lot of crowd surfing and mosh pits which was cool. They didn’t play Knights of Shame which was a bummer but it was still a really good time, Aaron Bruno puts on a very good show.

We drove back to Ursinus where the party was just getting started. Gourlay ***was invited and fortunately showed up for the second consecutive weekend and although not too much happened throughout the night it was still a very fun time. I don’t know how it happened but somehow I blacked out. I was completely fine for the whole night and then at the very end I was just destroyed. We went to 10:00 practice again where it was only me, Mark, and Vince but the run went much much better than the day before.

Today is a recovery day but I actually have a decent amount of work to do which sucks. I will most likely not be going to the bar tonight. All in all the weekend was great.

This Weekend

This weekend will have two very unique and hopefully fun events. The first is tonight. Both of my brothers are coming up to visit me for the first time ever. I don’t really know what we’re going to do or if I have any good plans to entertain them but it will be fun either way. They’re showing up between 8 and 9 so the party should get going shortly after they arrive which will allow a good amount of time to get drunk. I don’t party with my brothers very often and I’m not sure why. Sure here and there we’ll drink, Tom and I both were on the verge of blackout one Friday night when we were home and that was all because of free-throw shooting contests. Jeff was the person who got me to drink for the first time ever at PJ Clark’s house. We have a small list that I’m sure will grow with Laura’s wedding but this one will hopefully be one to remember. I just have to make sure I don’t pass-out early, that’s the only thing.

The second unique event is a concert tomorrow. Tom, Jeff, Mark, Gourlay, Alex, and I will be going to the free block-party concert where AWOLNATION and Imagine Dragons will be performing. Mark and I have been looking forward to this for quite some time so I’m pumped. I have only been to one concert drunk so I’m looking forward to this one especially. Hopefully things work out where we can find a way back to Ursinus for the night (the concert ends by 7 or so) but if not that’s okay I supposed. It’s not often that we have both days of the weekend to drink but we’re certainly taking advantage of this one.

Have a happy weekend everyone.