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.