2009 (My Year)

I’m going to attempt to explain my 2009 through events and songs. Some months are going to be a challenge….. but here goes.

January- Dead and Gone Justin Timberlake and TI (performed at the Grammys). The something annual Grammys happened. Interesting performances. Arsenal acquired Andrey Arshavin, although it was a close happening with a storm and the transfer deadline. I changed my Facebook profile picture to honor the new arrival.

February and March- I have no songs or any memory of anything important happening.

April- Boom Boom Pow Black Eyed Peas. Enough said.

May- No Surprise Daughtry. I finished and presented my graduation project. Finals stress started. Arsenal ended their season.

June- Knock You Down Keri Hilson, Kanye West, Ne-Yo. My junior year ended. I survived finals. Brasil beat the US in the Confederations Cup 3-2.

July- Best Days of Your Life Kellie PIckler and Summer Nights Rascal Flatts (My country liking started to kick into high gear. Kellie Pickler is a result of Phily). Missions trip to Philadelphia with Vision for Youth. I joined the Army. July 24, 2009. And going into the beginning of August, I spent some time in North Carolina with family. Tomas Rosicky started training with Arsenal again after 18 months injured.

August- New Divide Linkin Park. Finished up enjoying my summer. Arsenal started the new season.

September- Down Jay Sean. Start senior year.

October- I’m Alive Dave Matthews Band and Kenny Chesney and Falling for You Colbie Caillat. I turned 18.

November- Smile Uncle Kracker. I watched the Macy’s Parade.

December- Live Like We’re Dying Kris Allen. Spent Christmas in Ohio with family. Now I’m writing this.


Mountains and Flat Land

Drivng along 80, my nose was pressed up against the glass. I don't think I had ever seen 'mountains' so big and plentiful. It was mind boggling to see all the rock insides, the heights, and the valleys. Being from flat land with grass and wind, it was amazing to see so many trees. And rocks that were many times bigger than me. This was a magical new place.

Okay, I was eight. And I had seen mountains before. The ones called the Rockies in Colorado. But it was awe-inspiring to see the 'mountains' of Pennsylvania.I think it was a sort of shock to moving to a new place. Pennsylvania was something new and different.

Pennsylvaina is 10 years old to me now, but the mountains are still amazing. That one stretch of 80 is so beautiful and breath taking. Now, going back to flat land is more inspiring than it was 10 years ago. It's kind of nice to be able to see for several miles without having a hill in the way.

I guess my take away is that things look different in different perspectives. Moving forward and going backwards are a part of life. It just takes time and practice to know when which direction will be the most amazing and helpful.


The Sing-Off

Last night, I got to watch the finale of The Sing-Off on NBC. Because my TV was being stupid last week, I couldn’t see the previous episodes, but I was impressed. Kudos to Nota, who won the competition. I watched for three main reasons, all good ones in my opinion.

1. I love watching music specials

2. Natasha Bedingfield was performing

3. Nick Lachey was the host. I feel bad for the guy. He’s so talented, but the only gigs he can land are hosting special programs.

I was especially impressed by the Beelzebub’s performance of the Black Eyed Peas’ Where is the Love. It was an impressive a capella take that sounded almost like the real version.


Writing a Paper

Sometimes, I don't alwys like the fact that my mom teaches English. Other times, like tonight, it's the greatest thing in the world because she has so many of the texts that I study in school. Currently I'm studying Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. We have a paper due Monday and I was working on it tonight. I needed some line numbers and was planning to get them from the online textbook. Unfortunately, theat website is down until 2 AM Monday morning for scheduled maintence. That would have meant that I would have to get up really early Monday morning to finish my paper. But, since my mom has an incredible amount of things that I study,we have Canterbury Tales. So my paper is done. And I can sleep on Monday morning.

Arsenal played Hull City today. They won 3-0 with goals by Denilson, Eduardo, and Diaby.Next game is against Aston Villa on December 27. That's gonna be an important game. And a close one. Maybe some of our injuries will be healed by then.


Was It Santa? (Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (A))

This weekend was an encouraging one for Arsenal. Chelsea, top of the table, drew with Everton (who is supposedly getting Landon Donovan on loan. A good match, I think.). Manchester Unijted lost to Aston Villa. Manchester City drew with Bolton. Tottenham lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers on a strike from former Reading player Kevin Doyle. And despite the fact that I'm feeling a little bit sorry for Liverpool this season, Arsenal and Andrei Arshavin's goal made them lose.

Arsenal is now three points behind second Manchester United and six points behind first Chelsea. They also have an extra game to play. People were saying Arsenal hadn't a prayer for the title this year after a few losses and struggles a few weeks ago. But it's not over until it's mathematically impossible.



It seems like some pretty crazy stuff has been going on lately. It has to deal with me and Wal-Mart.

First with Wal-Mart. Frustratingly, they have changed their music download system so that they no longer have the best price for music. I probably won't be downloading from them anymore. Our wonderful local store has downsized their Gatorade selection. They used to have such a wonderful selection of flavors and types. Now they don't really have anything I'm too crazy about. I was buying Gatorade today because I had some money on a gift card to burn. The blue frost kind in case anyone was wondering. I go to check out, and handed the lady my card. She went to swipe it, and drops it dwon a crack behind the swiper thingy. She then unsuccessfully spent several minutes trying to retrieve it. Finally, she just put in the amount as paid for and let me leave. I'm not too angry because the cost of the Gatorade was roughly the amount left on the gift card.

Now on to me. For two successive days, I have managed to put articles of clothing on backwards. Yesterday, my t-shirt ended up on backwards and inside out. I had something over it, so it didn't matter. I noticed 10 hours after the fact when I took off my sweatshirt and saw the tag in the front. Today, I put my shorts on backwards. Again, it didn't really matter because I had  sweatpants on over them. I wonder what I can manage to put on backwards tomorrow. Nothing, I hope!

UNO Style

Two days ago, I had future soldiers. That wonderful time almost every week where I get to go down to the recruiting station and train in something Army style. We were doing PT. And we were doing it Army UNO style.One of the Sgts would pull a card from the UNO deck, and we would have to do a specific exercise based on what came out and a certain number for howevermany was on the card of the Sgt decided.Running. Push-ups. Sit-ups. Flutterkicks. Lunges. And we were doing all sorts of variations of these fun things. It really was a good tyraining. As I train there and on my own, I see me getting better. Things getting a little easier.And that's what future sldiers is all about. Learning it now so it's not as challenging later.


Christmas Teddy

I have this teddy bear that only comes out at Christmas time. I’ve had him since 1994, but he doesn’t have a name. I guess when I was littler it was exciting to just have an extra stuffed animal, but now the excitement is more in getting him out of the box. Teddy is a tradition, and some traditions aren’t worth breaking.


Keep That Head Up

I guess really, this post could go one of many ways. Especially considering how Arsenal has been doing recently. I will say this: I am spoiled. I’ve gotten used to supporting winning teams. My Phils, quite possible the biggest losers in MLB history, have been doing great things recently. My Arsenal, known for being boring, known for not always being top of or near the top of the table, have been losing horribly despite doing well in recent years.

I hate to complain, but there’s really no way around it. How can you explain a 3-0 loss to Man. City in the Carling Cup?

One could blame it on injuries; there are several key players who will be out for a while with injuries. Blame it on lack of focus. The Carling Cup shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but a 3-0 loss can’t be denied. Something is off. I choose to blame it on the fact that I’m spoiled. I’ve gotten un-used to losing. I’ve lost the beauty of the game: the pure enjoyment of the perfect sport. Why else would the Carling Cup matter so much?


Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea

It wasn’t exactly a happy day at the Emirates today. I guess the fact that it was raining should have made that clear. But I got my hopes up anyways. And Arsenal, as usual, let them down. I saw the first half of the game online, and it was decent play. After the game, I made the mistake of going to the Arsenal board on Facebook. Big mistake since almost all the topics had something to do with us losing, how we’ll never win anything again, and we’re such a crap team compared to Chelsea. About the only thing I considered reading was the topic on the ref’s not doing a very good job reffing. I agreed with that, and it seems to be a common theme among EPL watchers this season.

I’ll move on to more happy things. Tomorrow is my last day of Thanksgiving break. It’s been a good one so far. I got to watch the Macy’s parade, I ate a lot of food, and I haven’t done much other than nothing. It’s nice not having projects to work on for school. Christmas season has started, and although I don’t like the crowds when shopping, I think it’s gonna be a good holiday season.


Holiday Music

Today is Thanksgiving (duh). So I finally feel comfortable focusing on Christmas. A lot has been advertised already, and three of my local radio stations started Christmas music before today. I will cut one slack because they started just yesterday.
But anyways, I figured I would discuss my favorite Christmas songs. You know, those ones you can't get tired of hearing when Christmas music is an already limited selection of variety. Here goes:
-Anything by Mariah Carey. And there's several by her.
-Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by *NSYNC
-Santa Claus is Coming to Town Bruce Springsteen style
-The Twelve Pains of Christmas
-The Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler
-Snoopy's Christmas

There may have been a few I've forgotten, but I think this is a pretty comprehensive list. Now go sleep off the turkey.


Lieber Deutschland

So much has been going on in German soccer the past few days. One item is more light hearted, while the other is incredibly depressing.

Bayern Munich player Miroslav Klose is basically being quarrantined because of the swine flu. His twin sons contracted the gol ole H1N1 and they're being careful. Klose can't train for a few days until this clears up.....

Now to the depressing thing.

Hannover 96 and German national team member Robert Enke committed suicide November 10. Parked himself in front of a speeding train and killed himself. I was shocked to hear the news, and it makes me more depressed the more I hear about it.

Enke had been working for first goalkeeper position for many years, and once Jens Lehman retired, he got the job. He spent time at several major clubs including Beneficia and Barcelona.

Reports say that Enke was very depressed and suffered because of confidence issues due to being moved around a lot. His two year old daughter died a few years ago because of a heart defect.

Enke left behind a wife and adopted child.  He also left behind grieving teammates, friends, fans, and shocked people like me. Even I didn't really know about Enke until his death, its a hard thing to swallow. Guess the only way for everone to go is forward.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/12112009/58/bundesliga-klose-quarantined-swine-flu-scare.html The klose link.
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11112009/58/bundesliga-enke-death-confirmed-suicide.html You can get more info on Enke through this article......


Wolverhampton 1-4 Arsenal

Today, I was lucky to see about three minutes of this game. I wish I could have seen more, but the internet stream wasn’t working well. All I really did see was Gallas get a yellow card.

It definitely was an interesting game. The first two goals were own goals by Wolverhampton. The second was reminiscent of a goal by Arsenal earlier in the season that wasn’t an own goal. Fabregas scored just before the half ended, and Arshavin scored again in the second. Wolverhampton scored late in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. I got twelve hours of sleep, which was nice. I did homework and future soldier stuff. We went to Dickson City and ate Burger King. It was a typical Saturday. I’m probably gonna do more homework later. It’s nice to be able to slow down and not do as much as during the week. I’m afraid I don’t really have some deep insight to share about this. I will say I find it very enjoyable to listen to Arsene Wenger speak. There’s something fun about trying to understand him through his accent. This goes for any other Arsenal player who doesn’t speak English as their first language.....

Here’s a link for some Arsene Wenger quotes. Some aren’t all that profound, but most of them are great, even downright hilarious.



Alice's Restaurant and Gofrette

How my mind works sometimes....
Gofrette is a Canadian tv show on the qubo channel. I've never seen an episode, but I've seen the advertisements for it. There was a can of garbanzo beans in our cupboard. This reminded me of the fact that Gofrette has a cousin named Garbanzo. This prompted me to say 'garbanzo' like Gofrette does. My dad then took the opportunity to look at me funny and I had to explain myself.

While still repeating 'garbanzo' to myself, I thought of the Guthrie song I've only heard a few times. "Alice's Restaurant". It's an old, interesting song that is very hard to explain. In short, it's about this dude who gets arrested for littering. The chorus gets stuck in one's head very easily. lyrics here: http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/alices.shtml

On other things, I was very disappointed that Manchester United equalised in their CL game. It was a 3-3 draw with a Moscow team. A Moscow player got a soft red and I believe that was what caused Manchester to equalise.
Arsenal plays tomorrow. Hope it goes well. Gael Clichy has a stress fracture in his back, so he won't be around for a few weeks. Kerian Gibbs is supposedly his replacement, so hopefully he'll perform well. It's a season of the young'uns stepping up when older members of the team are injured.......


Are Mixed Feelings like Mixed Nuts?

Fall is a season I’m not sure if I like or not. I have definite opinions on the other three, but I’m just not sure about the fall. How about I give my feelings on both sides of the issue.


-It’s getting cold

-The leaves are dying

-Dead leaves means a lot of leaves to rake

-It’s getting dark earlier and light later

-It’s cold


-The dying leaves look nice when they are still on the trees

-The air smells nice and smoky

-It’s the perfect temperature in the afternoon/early evening

-When the temperature is nice it’s nice to go running

I just don’t know. What’s your opinion about this strange season? I need a little help deciding.


Arsenal 3-0 Sp*rs/Sc*m

Today was a London derby. Arsenal FC versus Tottenham Hotspur. I can gladly say that Arsenal won. Spurs are Arsenal’s arch-rival. Please don’t ask me the history. I just know that it goes back a long time (today was the 145th derby) and I’m not supposed to like Tottenham. I guess this is how hatred like the Celtic/Rangers rivalry continues. At first you don’t understand, but as you go along, your dislike grows and you truly believe your cause……

But back to the game. It was spectacular. Robin van Persie scored in the 42nd minute. Cesc Fabregas scored in the 43rd minute while most commentators were still reviewing van Persie’s goal. Van Persie scored again in the 60th. Manuel Almunia was back in goal replacing the decent newcomer Mannone. It just seemed to be an all around good game for Arsenal and they finished the day with third spot on the table, just ahead of their friends the Spurs. I might sing a few anti-Spurs songs, but they aren’t very nice so I won’t.


The Beckham Experiment

I’m not much of a fan of David Beckham. I consider him on my list of least favorite players along with Christiano Ronaldo. But reading the book The Beckham Experiment changed my point of view some. Becks may not be totally to blame for the problems surrounding him.

Grant Wahl followed the Beckham story around since before Becks actually got to the LA Galaxy. He interviewed many key players in the saga, including Beckham himself and Beckham’s not as famous teammate Landon Donovan.

The book chronicles David Beckham’s attempt to crack the US soccer market wide open. It explains the good, the bad, and the ugly about everything that happened.

Based on the first half of the book, I gained a bit of sympathy for Beckham. There were other forces besides him getting him to the US, and those interests did not always look out for what would be the best for Beckham.

The problems in the second half of the book, I would like to place the blame more on Beckham. The forces present in the first part of the book weren’t as prominent, and it seemed like Beckham gave up on soccer in the US.

Yes, Donovan, US’s most famous player, slams Beckham at times for his lack of leadership or work ethic. But he also is complimentary to him at times. He is not totally anti-Beckham. He’s just a lot closer to seeing the problems and not idol worshipping a famous man.

I still don’t like Beckham as much as a lot of people. But Grant Wahl’s book has given me an insight on the going-ons of David Beckham in the US. The story is still not complete and it’s ending is anticipated.

Definitely a book that I was looking forward to reading. I thought it would be a bash Beckham book, but it turned out to be a book with amazing insight to a sticky situation.


something to think about

A CL Game

I haven’t written for a while. Arsenal was on break for international games, so I haven’t had the reminder to write. Saturday, Arsenal beat Birmingham 3-1. Birmingham was promoted from Championship at the end of last season. Championship, where my poor Reading is not doing so well this season.

And today was a typical me stunt. I knew Arsenal was playing Champions League this week. CL is usually played on Tuesday or Wednesday. I thought they were playing a Wednesday rotation this week. Guess who was wrong! It’s not the first time it’s happened. But Arsenal drew. 1-1. The other team scored in the last minute to tie it up. Lucky break for them. Cesc Fabregas scored the goal for us.

This week is spirit week at school. Administration cut our dress-up days, so the student body just kind of organizes our own. Yesterday- lumberjack day. Today-depending on who you were, it was pajama day, boy scout uniform day, or tribal Tuesday. Officially it starts tomorrow with super-hero day. Thursday is nerd day for seniors (not planning on doing it). Friday is blue and white day. Pointless days made not pointless by the fact that if you dress up you don’t need a collared shirt.

Victoria Concordia Crescit. Victory comes from harmony.


Live Free or Die Hard

I just saw this movie for the first time last night. (Yes, I am a little behind on my movie times, but what can you say for a person whose favorite movie was made in theearly 90's?)

Bruce Willis amazed me once again. Mindless, yes. Quick-paced, yes. Stunts I've never seen done before, Absolutely. I like this movie for several very stupid reasons.
1. They disrupt a helicopter's flight with a fire hydrant.
2. One car lands on top of two others, barely mising McClane.
3. A car blows up a helicopter.
4.McClane shoots himself to kill the bad guy.

It's hard not to love something like that. And except for some language, the lines were as funny as in his previous Die Hards.


I Got Wet Today

I think yesterday was the first day in my life I ran two consecutive miles. I survived. I guess its my fault for joining the army and having to do PT at future soldiers. I can say that I have now used icy-hot for the first time. It's kind of weird to feel it when it's cold, but it works.

It was raining today. Really hard. I didn't know that until I got out of the house and the door was locked. Somebody got soaked waiting for the bus................

I have to wait a few weeks for Arsenal to play again. International breaks. World Cup qualifiers. It's gonna be fun.......
p.s. underdog Nebraska beat Missouri 27-12. Sweet victory.



I think I might be one of the only person I know of who reads the liner notes in CDs. Sometimes it’s hard to read the small print, but nuggets of wealth can be found. It’s always interesting to see which songwriters and musicians get around to a bunch of different people. It can also be interesting to read what an artist writes on a personal note.

I was reading the liner notes in Colbie Caillat’s CD Breakthrough and I found this written inside:

Hi! These songs are about growing up, experiencing life, love, making mistakes, and learning from them. I recently learned something about myself. For a lot of us, when life gets hard to deal with & keep up with, it becomes easier to give up on & let go of. I found myself doing that a lot & I was slowly falling apart. But…I woke up from it. I realized I wasn’t happy settling for less or letting myself become someone I wasn’t supposed to be due to laziness. I had to Breakthrough my fears, my insecurities & my self doubt. There are so many battles that we all have to go through in life that are for us to learn from, we grow stronger from them. I just learned this. I want to remind myself & everyone out there that we have to Breakthrough all the little things we tell ourselves we can’t do because we are scared and just step up & do them. This record is about becoming the person you want to be, having will power & letting nothing hold you back. So try not to let great things pass you by, start making things happen that you really want in life! I hope these words help you, if you are in need of them.

Kind of a lot to read, but those are encouraging words. Sometime reminders come fro the randomest of places……

Arsenal 2- 0 Olympiacos

This was a Champions League group stage match. It was played at Arsenal’s home ground Emirates Stadium. van Persie and Arshavin scored the goals, respectively. Vito Mannine was once again the keeper. I have a feeling the young guy will be getting some good experience. Rosicky started for a good portion of the match. I will say I was surprised to see Raul Bravo on the Greek’s team. I guess I thought he was still with Real Madrid, but I guess he isn’t. It wasn’t the most exciting game of the night. Fiorentina downed Liverpool 2-0 in another CL group match. My Championship team Reading FC managed to beat Preston North End 2-1. Maybe Reading is starting to get their footing back after such a good season last season and losing Kevin Doyle to newly promoted Premiership side Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Fulham 0-1 Arsenal (A)

I was thinking about what I write about, and I feel like I’m imitating Nick Hornby. Nick Hornby, the brilliant man who wrote Fever Pitch, and several other fiction and not so fiction books. Fever Pitch is about Hornby’s obsession with Arsenal. I want you to read the book, but I will say that he relates Arsenal matches with different periods and events in his life. Kind of like how I do it.

Back to Arsenal. Fulham is a decent team. I respect them, a mid-table team who puts up a decent fight. Arsenal scored courtesy of Robin van Persie, the Dutchman who sometime has trouble making it in. Vito Mannone, a keeper I had never heard of until a match late last season, was keeper for Arsenal. Almunia and Fabianski are both out because of injury and/or illness, so Mannone got the job.He seems to do a decent job. Tomas Rosicky came on in the 69th minute for Arshavin. Hopefully Rosicky can work his way back up to starting consistently instead of coming on as a sub.

Today was a decent day. It started out sunny enough. Now it’s raining. I got three hours of outside work in today. Upon getting home, I cleaned up, did some chores, and did nothing else really productive. We went to Dickson City to do the usual weekend shopping. We ended up at Borders, and before I got there, I was considering buying something. Their music selection is now horrible. Their prices were always high, but now they don’t have hardly and CDs worth buying. And I feel they don’t have as good of a book selection now either. It’s because they’re moving things around. Picture me being confused and wandering around the store to find where they relocated the sports books section. Very disappointing.

I’ll get off my small soapbox now. I’ve got homework to consider doing, music to listen to, and sleep to catch up on.


Season Opener

I don’t really watch a lot of TV. There are a few shows I like to catch when I have the chance, but really, the only show I watch as a dedicated fan is NCIS. Tuesday was the season opener. What fun it was to dance to the theme song even they didn’t change the opening from last year. I was impressed with how the show was put together. Using Tony as a narrator, they used a lot of flashback to bring viewers up to date on the few months they were on break.

Usually with a show, I get really antsy and am always checking the time. Tuesday, I didn’t check the clock until 8:45. That’s a lot longer than I normally go for checking the clock. The next show up was NCIS:LA. I had an early day Wednesday, so I only stayed up for the opening credits. The beginning looked good and I can’t wait to learn LA’s theme song.

Next week will come quickly. And then I can find out all the drama that will continue with the return of a certain person.


Arsenal had a mid-week match this week. A Carling Cup match. Le Boss (ie Wenger) usually fields a younger side to give them some experience. This match was against West Bromwich. A Championship team. One step lower than Premiership. Arsenal won 2-0. A West Brom player was sent off several minutes before the half. Arsenal had the game in the bag from there.

It’s been an average week. There have been moments of craziness and moments of calm. School has been school. The usual tests, quizzes, and actually being there. Wednesday was See You At The Pole. It was my last year for SYATP. It’s kind of sad. No more getting up ridiculously early to eat breakfast with my youth group at McDonalds. No more showing what I believe by joining others to pray in front of my flagpole. But I can show my faith other ways. It’s just an end of an era.


Baseball cards, music, and soccer.

Arsenal won yesterday. I don't really have much more on that subject than those few words. I believe a Carling Cup match is scheduled for mid-week, so I'm kind of looking forward to that.

I got a new CD yesterday as well. Colbie Caillat's new one Breakthrough. You can definitely tell that it is by Caillat. She has a distinct style that makes her stand out from other artists. It's definitely an album you should check out.

Finally, a passion that has not been discussed by me here yet. Baseball cards. I've loved them for years. Recently I downsized my collection, but I saved several hundred that are special to me. Some of those cards are the 1989 Donruss set. I'm not sure why, but I really love that set. It is my goal to one day have all of the cards in the set. I think it will take a while to get there. But eventually, I will.


Standard Liege 2-3 Arsenal (A)

This game kind of represents my life this week. Crazy. Hectic. A few glimpses of sanity. This was a Champions League group stage game. At the end of the first half, Arsenal was down 2-1. I only saw the score at that point and resigned myself to a loss. But when I got back on later, Arsenal had taken the lead. I was not too impressed with Eduardo, but he’s been a little iffy so far.

Monday night was just a little crazy. Tuesday was chaotic. A bazillion different things were happening and it was rather stressful. Wednesday was the first night of AWANA, so we had to be there early. Again, a very stressful day. Today was supposed to be even more chaotic because of future soldiers, but that got cancelled because the heavens were opening forth and pouring out its guts.

So now I just have somewhere else to go later and a boatload of homework to do. I can see it being very crazy. Tomorrow is going to be about the same.


But I have managed to stay alive. I will live to fight another day. Even if my shorts get put on backwards again, which happened this morning. Thankfully I caught that error before leaving the house.


Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal (A)

I am less than happy about the result of this game. We should have beaten Mancity easily. Adebayor scored. Again. I guess this time the 4-2-3-1 couldn’t beat the 4-4-2. Manuel Almunia scored the first goal. I don’t think that when a ball deflects off of a keeper, it should count as an own goal.

Sad as this result is, there is happy news. Tomas Rosicky played Premier League Football for the first time in 20 months. 20 months being injured and recovering. That has to be hard.

But anyways, Rosicky came on as a sub in the 54th minute as a sub for Denilson. And he scored a goal in the 88th minute. Talk about making an impact.

I am so happy that TR7 is back. I think he will make a positive impact on the Arsenal squad.


A Big Red Locker

At my school, seniors get the nice, big, red lockers.I waited for three years for one of those lockers. Now that I have one, it doesn't seem as big as it did before. In fact, I think I would rather have a small cruddy locker. I know how those work and I find it easier to organize my stuff in a little locker. Maybe i just need some time to get used to a new format and be thankful that I'm a senior.


A Holiday (of sorts) Weekend

There are two reasons why I like holiday weekends. For some holidays, there are more reasons, but these are incredibly general.

1. Radio stations play more music. All the good DJs are on vacation. All the newbies aren’t very good at talking yet. And people would rather listen to music when they are just relaxing.
2. Radio stations play older songs. You know, the ones that people forgot about. There’s nothing better than cranking up a classic. Unless you didn’t like it in the first place.


Let’s go back to the summer of………………………. whenever that song came out.


I Think I’ve Lost Mobility In My Left Hand

I just spent 2.5 hours doing summer school work. That much writing makes your hand do funny things.

The Euro assignment is so much easier than the calc because it’s only 2 chapters of outlining and a reading a book. I read the book earlier in the summer and have one chapter left to outline.

Calc is kind of a different story. The assignment is to take notes on the first chapter and do the assigned problems. It doesn’t help that I’m having a bit of trouble remembering the material and the trouble spots I had in pre-calc are coming back to haunt. I take that back. Some of the trouble spots are from Algebra 2. Thank goodness the back of the book has some answers and I can use them to figure out how a problem works.
I didn’t mean to procrastinate on this stuff. I’m known for procrastinating, but I’ve been working on starting things earlier. There is exactly one week until I have to walk back into my school. I think I can get all of this stuff done.

On a different note, I read a story about firemen having to come to Cesc Fabregas’s place. Neighbors called because there was smoke coming out of the place. It turns out that Captain Fabulous burnt his dinner. Bad. But the story made me laugh just as much as the one about the footballer who called the cops because he thought burglars had stolen stuff from his place. It turns out nothing was missing; it was just so messy he couldn’t find stuff.

I think I’ll be done for now. All that work makes a person hungry.


Manure 2- 1 Arsenal (A)

I am in a sulking mood. I am slowly coming out of it. Yesterday was an abomination. Go look at a review of the game yourself. I’m not even going to begin to explain it.

Abou Diaby should be ashamed of himself. An own goal when we were tied! He lost the game. What happened to the focus we had the first few games?

We always receive too many cards at Old Trafford. Always. I can’t explain it. Tottenham are our deepest rivals by many, but I think the Arsenal and Manchester United are out for blood even more. Why is the refereeing always so poor?

Coach Wenger was sent off the pitch shortly before the game ended. There had been a disallowed goal and Wenger kicked a water bottle. The refereeing association is going to issue Wenger an apology. Wenger made these comments after the game:

"I just kicked a bottle of water. I did it because I was disappointed, not because I thought it wasn't offside. The fourth official called the referee over and he sent me off. I don't know what to say. I didn't even know where to go. I didn't know you were not allowed to kick a water bottle, although it was a good kick."

I think Wenger should get quote of the season for that. The last line is wonderful.

I will eventually get over this game even though strange things always happen at Old Trafford. Next week is Manchester City. I hope we can kick some Adebayor and Toure butt.

Source for Wenger’s quote: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/30082009/58/premier-league-managers-wenger-explains-himself.html



Where has summer gone? It’s almost the end of August. It seems like it has flown by so quickly. I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was dreading the few weeks of boredom before my adventures started. I even had a few adventures I wasn’t planning on having.

I think this is a summer to remember. I learned so many different things, experienced so many different things, and was reminded of so many different things. I’m going into my last year of high school. At the beginning of next summer I will basically start my adult life. It wasn’t really where I saw myself several months ago, and I have to give up some dreams to do it. But I think it’s where I need to be. Greater things will be accomplished.

It’s rainy and cloudy today. Just like just about every other day this summer in NEPA. But I think I will enjoy it like I enjoyed all the sunny days. I don’t have much summer left, and I have a lot more I can do with it.


7 Albums

Here are the 7 albums that have in a way, shaped me as a person. It’s like the best of the best of my CD collection. It’s what has inspired me and made me dance. These are in a way, why I am the way I am. And they’re in order. #1 means it’s the best. Maybe you should listen to them.

7. Backstreet Boys- Backstreet Boys. Although I didn’t get the album until recently, the Backstreet Boys were a part if my early musical years.

6. Coldplay- X&Y. Personally, I think this is Coldplay’s best album. It’s an album that makes you think.

5. Switchfoot- The Beautiful Letdown. Again, another album that makes you think. There’s also a few songs that can help me get through a long day.

4. Bruce Springsteen- The Rising. The Boss was one of those people I grew up listening to. A lot of his stuff is really meaningful, but this 2002 album is the one I can most relate to.

3. Kelly Clarkson- Breakaway. Great tunes. Uplifting music. And it doesn’t hurt that half of the album was a hit on the radio.

2. Billy Joel- Stormfront. I think I can safely say that I was born listening to this album. My parents used to listen to it a lot. I still like to give it a listen. I know I didn’t start the fire…..

1. Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten. I didn’t know music could fully capture you until I got this album. Bedingfield was/is my first true musical obsession. I don’t know if I really have enough words to describe this artist and album.

Honorable mentions:
Daniel Bedingfield- Gotta Get Thru This
TobyMac- Welcome to Diverse City
Steven Curtis Chapman- Declaration


Arsenal 4-1 Pompey (H)

I don’t have a lot to say about this because I wasn’t sweating this game like I did with Everton last week. I think Portsmouth is a great team, but they aren’t quite as good as Arsenal. They are 0 for 3 so far this season. I listen to the Arsenal podcast before every game and they usually interview a journalist who follows the opposing team. Jordan Cross, the journalist they interviewed basically said that Pompey is gonna have a long, hard season and aren’t doing so hot right now. I would like to say kudos to Pompey for putting up a fight even with all the trouble they’re having.

William Gallas scored another goal today. That’s the third he’s credited with in three games. Two Premiership and one Champions League. I just have to sweat the Celtic game Wednesday and Manchester (Manure) United next Saturday. I think I can do it. Those are gonna be the real tests.

I guess today’s a pretty good day.

p.s. Pompey is short for Porstmouth.


Future Soldiers

I have Future Soldiers today. I’m not too sure what we’ll be doing, but I’m excited to go. It’s a lot of fun to go and hang out with others who have the same goal. We’re all at different points in our journey, and everyone is willing to help. It’s kind of like a big family. The camaraderie is cool, because at least for me, I barely know these people. It’s also helpful to prepare with PT or learning the basics before leaving for basic.

Last week, Army played Navy in ultimate football. It was supposed to be straight Army vs. Navy, but because of people issues, I ended up on a mostly Navy team. It was just fun to go run my heart out and have fun. And there’s nothing better than going up for a ball against the station commander who has a foot and a lot of pounds on you.


These Words Are My Own

One song can change a person. I know from experience. I’m going back to the summer of 2005. A Saturday night in early July. Open House Party with John G. was playing on the radio. His guest that night was a young British singer. I had heard her song before, and to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. But I guess I hadn’t really listened that well.

The singer’s name was Natasha Bedingfield. She was promoting her recently released CD and Open House Party was one of the stops. I had tuned in just when they were interviewing her. They were taking listener calls, and Bedingfield sang a few lines of the song to them. I was impressed. There was talent in that voice. From that moment, I was hooked on Natasha Bedingfield’s music. I listened for ‘These Words’ as much as I could.

By Christmas 2005, I owned her CD. I thought it was pure brilliance. She wrote/co-wrote just about every song on that album. I was in love with every song. Then, ‘Unwritten’ became immensely popular in the spring of 2006. It had actually been released in the fall of 2005, but took its time becoming popular. Everyone knew who Natasha Bedingfield was then. Since then, she has released two more albums, had another hit, released a few more songs, and gotten married.

Lots of people say that Natasha Bedingfield is a favorite. I can say that she was my favorite before she became famous in the US. It’s kinda nice to be a fan from the beginning instead of jumping on the bandwagon like everyone else. “That’s all I have to say. Can’t think of a better way. And that’s all I have to say. I love you is that okay?”


Arsenal 6-1 Everton (A)

I don’t know what I was so worried for. Arsenal did just fine today. My pre-game nervousness was a little worse than usual, but I think I was afraid Arsenal would pull a stunt only they know how to pull and lose.

It was the first game of the season. A new beginning. And I’m not sure if we are weaker or stronger than when we finished last season. Emanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure were sold to Manchester City. (Adebayor actually scored three minutes into City’s game and Toure played in their line-up too) Thomas Vermaelen was brought in from Ajax. We have Andrei Arshavin- a good buy since last January. Eduardo is back from his horrific injury. We have Fabregas.

But the injured list is still a little long. Theo Walcott should be back in a few days, I think. Fabianski is gonna be out for a few months. So is Samir Nasri, with his broken leg. Tomas Rosicky is having hamstring issues right now. I guess a few more weeks after 18 months is bearable.

I’m just gonna have to wait to see if the opeining day result is going to set a precedent for the season. If Arsenal can continue to win big and keep the goal difference high. It’s a different team from last year. I have heard Wenger has changed the strategy a bit. But Arsenal has a history of being boring. Of letting people down. People are complaining that four years without silverware is too long. Maybe this year is the year to end what is in my opinion, a small drought.

Today was a good game.



Shaq, Meet Tony Hawk

The past week or so it has been like a lost and found in my room. Several things I thought were gone forever were found again. This is where Shaq and Tony Hawk come into play.

Let’s start with Shaq. Shaq was my favorite basketball player when I was little. He was just cool. When LEGO put out special NBA sets with mini-figs and a card, I bought several. One of those sets included Shaq. A few months ago, I was organizing those mini-figs and Shaq was nowhere to be found. I resigned myself to the fact that I probably left Shaq somewhere and moved on with my life.

Last week, I was doing major cleaning that didn’t really work and BAM! Shaq appeared in a box of papers. He must have fallen out of his box when that box was being kept in the box of papers.

Now, let’s talk about Tony Hawk. Two years ago, there was nothing I liked better to do than play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on the Gameboy Advance. Rune Glifberg was my favorite character to play, and I get a rush from making him rack up a bunch of points. But one day, Tony Hawk disappeared. I searched high. I searched low. I wished I could ollie and grind just one more time.

While cleaning, I picked up a rolling under the bed box. What falls out but the Tony Hawk game! I had rolled the box places several times, but the game was stuck in a crevice by the wheel and fell out when the box was picked up and its captor loosened its grip.

I’m only writing about this for one reason. Rune Glifberg recently won a medal at the X-Games. Then two of my favorite possessions reappeared. I thought for sure they were gone forever .Some people I know would disagree with me on this, but I am a believer in luck, and coincidences. I try not to because my rituals before and during an Arsenal game never seem to work, but I can’t help it. Shaq, meet Tony Hawk. You guys were lost, but you magically reappeared.


Not the Usual Crowd

When I was down at MEPS (A long story in itself that I’m not going to get into. MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station.) I ended up hanging out with the smokers and druggies. Even though I don’t smoke, I was reminded how much I enjoy hanging out with that crowd. These guys are so much more friendly and chill. They don’t care who you are. “Smokers/druggies” are more accepting than “non-smokers/druggies”. They don’t judge you if you do or don’t do what they do like the “nons”. They are more willing to admit they have problems and talk about them.

I can just imagine Jesus eating dinner with the tax collectors and other sinners like he did in Luke 5:27-32. One might have said something crude. Another would elbow him and be like, “Dude, Jesus is with us. We aren’t talking like that.” The first guy would be like, “Right,” and sheepishly grin and not say much more after that. The reason I can imagine it is because I’ve been in similar situations. Most of my school friends know that I don’t talk or act like they do and try to tone some stuff down when I’m around.

I enjoy being around those people because they aren’t afraid to be real. Jesus wanted to be with the people who wanted and openly needed to be with him. He would have gotten nowhere if he stayed with the Pharisees and argued with them the whole time. No problem is ever solved by staying with people who say there isn’t a problem. I need to be where the problems are. MEPS was a good reminder of that.

You May Be Ryan Howard, But I Think I’m Shane Victorino

I am a Phillies fan. I also just spent a week in Philadelphia on a mission trip. The Phillies and Philadelphia. They just can’t not go together. It should be illegal. Just about everyone in Philadelphia I talked to said they liked the Phillies. They also said their favorite player was Ryan Howard. To me Ryan Howard is good, but he comes in second as my favorite Phillies player. Shane Victorino is my number 1 Phillies player. While I was in Philadelphia, it seemed like I was Shane Victorino. It seemed like everyone else was a Ryan Howard. They were hitting grand slams and winning games. Then there was me. Not as popular, not as powerful, but still able to play. Ryan Howard is good; all teams need a few of his type. But I came to realize that teams need the Shane Victorinos of the game. Those people who aren’t always in the spotlight, who stay quiet and serve, who are consistent in doing small things to help the team win.

Let me expand in a slightly different way. Bruce Springsteen once said, “Some people get a chance to change the world, and other people, they get a chance to make sure the world don’t fall apart.” When I was in Philadelphia, it felt like I was watching my team change the world and leave me behind. I lost sight of the fact that I was helping to make sure that some kids worlds didn’t fall apart while I was there. I didn’t lead anyone to Christ or have a bunch of “spiritual” conversations. I didn’t change people’s worlds in that way. But I kept some worlds together so that someday, those worlds could be changed. Playing soccer endlessly, throwing Frisbees, showing kids how to make bracelets or box with gimp, chasing a 3 year old who had a basketball. These activities didn’t seem like much to me at the time, but now I can see I was just keeping worlds together.

I was talking with my sister, and it was interesting because she was seeing me as that Shane Victorino and world-keeper together and I was seeing her as a Ryan Howard and world changer. We were both frustrated because we wanted to be doing more of what the other was doing. Not everyone can be Ryan Howard and change the world. Some people need to be there to be Shane Victorino and keep worlds together. The little things DO count. And my doing little things helped my team accomplish bigger things.