The year was 1998.
Or 1999. I’m not actually sure. But I was in second grade, and things we’re going great as a seven year old. I had class with a beautiful blonde, the girl I “liked”, I had just met a best friend in Ben L, and I was well on my way to being the “it” kid. I may not have been in the advanced spelling group, but I made up for it with my good looks and great personality.
Then, with one jump, everything changed
It was a typical weeknight in Upper Dublin. I was tarding out in my basement playing Don’t Touch the Ground. I hopscotched from pillow to pillow, making my way from the corner of the basement to the staircase; Until I hit an obstacle. The jump from the last pillow to the couch was too far. Seven year old Sam had to improvise. The computer chair was in arms reach, so I rolled it over, and got on. I had two options:
Standing at 3 feet 6 inches, and weighing 45 pounds, I pushed off the chair with all my might to get to the couch, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
As expected, the wheels slid and the chair came right out from under me. Instead of landing safely on the couch, I came about three feet short and smashed my arm directly into it. Oopsies.
I cried like a pussy for the next four hours while my parents drove me to the ER to have my arm checked out. It was a routine break, but I needed a full arm cast. So much for being the “it” kid. I suffered through the consequences like a man, and ~8 weeks later, the cast was off and I was good as new!
Then, with another jump, everything changed, again.
After getting my cast removed, I was back to being a badass. About two weeks later, we had indoor recess one day due to inclement weather, which could only mean one thing – midget jumps off the radiator! (For those unaware, this is basically where you pull your shirt over your knees so you kinda sorta not really look like a midget. The “jump off the radiator” part is self-explanatory.)
Being a natural leader, I tried to aid the kids who were too scared to jump off. One kid in particular was being a total poon. We got on top of the radiator, and were going to go down holding hands, but he bailed last second. Because I was holding his hand, I changed directions mid-fall, and alas, slammed my other arm on the ground, shattering it into a million pieces.
The Aftermath 2
I cried like a pussy while my next door neighbor’s mom picked me up from school and drove me to the ER. No words were spoken, just sobbing.
It was basically the exact same break as before, but in my other arm. What are the odds of that? I suffered through my 8 weeks, again, with a cast above my elbow, and sucked at life. While everyone was chasing girls and kissing on the playground, I was face down in the dirt under a tree until the recess lady blew the whistle.
It’s a miracle I even survived second grade, let alone became the man that I am today. Perhaps this experience shaped me for the better.
Gourlay already blogged about our 5 year high school reunion, but I’ll give my thoughts anyway.
What’s changed in five years?
Gourlay said it well, “The smart people are still smart. The dumb people are still dumb. The attractive girls are now attractive women. The tools are still tools.” I’d also add – the people you thought would get into drugs, got into drugs. I didn’t notice any ‘stupid’ kids from high school who turned into massive successes, or vice versa. A couple guys and girls got better looking, and a couple got worse looking, but it’s a bell curve as always.
I’ll take a step back – how have I changed? In all honesty, the biggest difference for me is that I drink more. In high school, I drank a few times a year. Other than that, my personality, friend group, and even looks (aside from no more braces), have remained steady.
The group as a whole matured a bit, but not much has changed.
Did I make any new friends?
No. I can confidently say I will not add or be added to anyone’s social group because of the reunion. I will not begin seeing any of the girls, or hanging out with any of the guys that I don’t already see.
But was it nice to see people?
Of course it was. I’m happy I went. I hit it off with a few old friends, talked about memories from grade school, and even picked up two numbers. One might get me cheap Sixers tickets (dude), and the other said they can hook me up if I go to AC (also dude).
Another five years?
This is where the pack will separate more. People will start being successful, being unsuccessful, getting married, getting divorced, having kids, aborting kids, etc. Most of us are too fresh out of the womb of college to have anything significant going on.
Until then, I have five years to prepare.
Thanksgiving was last week. I’m thankful for:
And that’s about it.
I’m 23, from Philadelphia, and I had never seen Rocky… Until this weekend.
Rocky is a known as a “classic”. I went in knowing that he ran up the Rocky steps, and screamed for Adrienne after his fight.
I actually thought the acting was decent. Sylvester did a good job as Rocky, and the secondary characters did enough (specifically Apollo). Rocky held true to character as a guy who didn’t have much other than a big heart and a small brain.
However, this movie, in my mind, is a 1 out of 5 stars, a no thumbs up, a 10% of a tomato. A classic underdog story? C’mon, a 5 year old could have written this.
There was little substance to the plot. Rocky and Apollo didn’t have much build up, Rocky and Adrienne happened out of nowhere, his training between Micky and Paulie was explained poorly, and the final fight was bizarre.
It just didn’t make sense to me. One day he’s on top of the world running up the Art Museum steps, and the next he’s crying to Adrienne that he doesn’t have a chance. Why the hell was this guy screaming out for her at the end anyway? Maybe the volume wasn’t up enough when I was watching, but I couldn’t even tell if he won or not. When the credits started rolling, Hayley, Amanda, and I looked at each other and SMH’d.
If I could go back and watch a different movie instead of wasting two hours on Rocky, I would.
I watched another movie this weekend for the first time – Reservoir Dogs
This, was a good movie. The story telling was clever, the acting was great, and the plot revealed bit by bit which was exciting. It’s not based on action, it’s based on dialogue and story telling. It’s the way Taratino goes about it that makes it good, along with the acting. You’re never bored, and you quickly see the relationships develop between characters.
This movie is a 4+ out of 5 stars, a two thumbs up, an 80%+ of a tomato. A five year old would have no idea what’s going on. I’m aware they’re completely different, but comparing this to a movie like Rocky makes me think “Why would I ever want to watch the former compared to the latter?”
If you haven’t seen Reservoir dogs, you should watch it. If you haven’t seen Rocky, you probably already know enough about it anyway, so save yourself two hours.
Yesterday I ran my first ever marathon. Here’s a breakdown
Thoughts going in
Preparation was fine except for the fact that the lines to the porto-potties were a mile long and I didn’t feel like waiting. I had a feeling I’d have to pull off and go #2, but I didn’t mind. More on this later.
I found Bogdan before the start and decided I would run with him. His plan was to run 1:25 for the half and hopefully 2:50 for the full. I knew this was a little fast, but why not?
Bogdan and I were incredibly consistent, and having someone to run with made the task much easier. We came through the halfway point in 1:23:40 and I actually felt good, or so I thought.
15 miles in is when the wheels began to fall off. Our steady 6:24 average was a bit too quick. My next five miles were around 7:00 pace, still respectable, but once we got to Manayunk, the wheels finally fell off.
Gina joined me for a few miles right when I was dying. My mind was 100% coherent, but my legs were giving up. She did her best to encourage me, and it was nice to have company for a mile or two, but it was too late. I was toast.
The Death March
The last six miles were a death march. I was that guy. I passed no one and got passed by everyone. People who were struggling would look at me and think “Well, I’m not doing great, but at least I’m doing better than that guy.” I walked twice for 30 seconds each time in an attempt to loosen up my legs, but it was useless. I pulled off at 24 miles to take a diarrhea, and when I turned to wipe, my whole arm cramped up. I couldn’t even wipe properly because of how broken down I was.
There was no finishing kick, there was no glory, but I did complete my first marathon. The time was a pedestrian 3:05:15 or so. I would have never guessed that slow, but that’s what I get for going out fast.
I’m not sad or disappointed in any way. In fact, I’m personally pleased, for three reasons mainly.
1) I got my first marathon out of the way
2) The atmosphere was great, and it was a lot of fun to be a part of
3) This was a very useful learning experience for when I give my next serious marathon a go.
Bogdan – Although I ultimately died because I went out too fast, it was great to have company for 15 miles. He finished strong, and came in right around 2:50, an impressive time, so kudos Bogdan.
Gina – For running with me in Manayunk.
Mom. Tom, and Laura – They came out and cheered me on for my first. Although they only saw me a few times, giving them my gloves and long sleeves 6 miles in was clutch. Thanks for the support.
Hayley & Scott – Both completed their first half-marathons in very respectable times. It’s nice to share the agony I’m feeling right now with two others.
Chuck – Killed it. Ran 2:28:15 and got 17th place overall. I been keeping in touch, and knew he was in great shape, and it was good to see it all paid off. An inspiration for my running.
Jeff Centafont – For calling me the night before as a source of encouragement, volunteering at mile 18, and wishing me well as the train was headed off the tracks.
Mile Splits – For Those Interested
Mile 1 – 6:30
Mile 2 – 6:19
Mile 3 – 6:19
Mile 4 – 6:25
Mile 5 – 6:23
Mile 6 – 6:24
Mile 7 – 6:25
Mile 8 – 6:24
Mile 9 – 6:14
Mile 10 – 6:30
Mile 11 – 6:13
Mile 12 – 6:25
Mile 13 – 6:27
Mile 14 – 6:26
Mile 15 – 6:26
Mile 16 – 6:44
Mile 17 – 6:59
Mile 18 – 6:58
Mile 19 – 7:04
Mile 20 – 7:27
Mile 21 – 7:57
Mile 22 – 7:33
Mile 23 – 8:41
Mile 24 – 8:41
Mile 25 – ~10:40
Mile 26 – 8:49
This is a thread idea that comes up on 4chan a lot and I’m a big fan. Here’s a few I thought of for myself.
I wipe top to bottom for the first wipe every time, then bottom to top for the rest.
Now here are some paraphrased examples from the thread I was reading last night.
Anyone care to share something that they do?