As I spent an outstanding, stress-free Sunday here in the great suburbia of New Hampshire watching Curt Schilling and the Sawx battle the Yankees, football, catching up on a couple phone calls and just overall doing nothing while also something, I realized that the summer truly is over.
And what a few months it was.
I consider the summer to officially begin when the hockey season officially ends. For those of you not familiar with my winter travails, I work in the front office of the most-attended minor league hockey franchise in North America. From October through April, I work a regular schedule during the week, plus 40 home games that tend to get in the way of a regular social schedule more than not. Throw in the constant events that we do and life outside of work pretty much screeches to a halt and I find myself justifying why I do what I do to my friends, family and mainly, myself. But it’s my choice and I’ve stuck with it for four years. Next week begins our exhibition schedule and a turn of the calendar that is usually dreaded more than driving through the Big Dig at 4:30 pm on a Friday holiday afternoon.
If the past few months are any indication though, I’ll have enough great memories to get me through the cold winter. Here’s a little look back at what blog fanatic Clyde called “Summer of Nase II,” coined from the ‘Summer of George’ jokes from Seinfeld:
—Saw nine Major League Baseball games: four in Fenway Park, one in Yankee Stadium, one in Los Angeles, three in San Francisco. Wow. I’m a baseball fan but even I couldn’t have predicted this luck. I got to see Schilling, Martinez, Schmidt, Bonds, Ichiro, etc., etc. Some people may think that baseball is too slow and boring, but for me, nothing beats sitting outside and just relaxing at a game. It’s phenomenal, made even better by the people I saw the games with. While it’s awesome to experience a game anyway, it’s made better by the company that you keep.
–Made two trips to California: This is something else I could have never predicted, having to pay zero to fly to two parts of Cali twice after never having been there ever. The first was a gift from my cousin and her husband to hang out in San Francisco for a week, while the second was a work trip that myself and a friend extended into a vacation in Los Angeles. I written about this before, but California made me open my eyes to how much is out there to see and experience. These trips helped me become more comfortable about possibly moving on to the next stage in my life than ever before, which is a very good thing. More on this a bit later…
–Learned how to play poker: Yep, the fast-growing disease known as Texas Hold ‘Em made like Vanilla Ice and grabbed a hold of me tightly. I haven’t gone all in (pardon the pun) on online poker yet, but it’s coming. Thought about trying it out? Do it. It’s easy and you meet a ton of new people if you get in the right social circles. I actually played for a couple hours in Vegas and held my own which made me feel even more confident about playing cards. It’s fast-becoming the new golf in that you can get a group of friends together, play for a while and socialize for a little money. Hold ’em tourneys are popping up all over the place and I’m glad I learned when I did. My ultimate goal is to play in the World Series of Poker before 2010…who knows? (Anyone was to pass around a hat to help me raise some money? Anyone?)
–Speaking of…: I went to Vegas. That sentence should speak for itself.
–Made the round of visits, avoiding all weddings: Ever plan out your visits and always miss someone? I actually saw everyone I wanted to, with zero wedding time logged. Seriously, I felt like buying a ring myself after all the weddings I attended last summer. I was invited to two, but was unable to make it because of the afore-mentioned trips. (Married couples that invited me that are now reading this: no, I’m not talking about your wedding which I loved: the vows, the bride, the old ladies dancing to 50 Cent at your reception…) What a win-win!
–Attended NASCAR for the first time: I wrote about this in detail for last week’s blog, but it just seemed like a nice way to cap the summer: hanging out with 90,000 friendly race nerds. Vroom vroom!
Throw in the good weather and the normal fun stuff and it was a damn good summer. But there’s always stuff you miss…
no golf: I still haven’t really learned to play and was severly hindered by a slipped joint in my lower back which made the mid-part of the summer very irritating. Things are better, so I hope to get a few swings in here before the courses and ranges close. Next spring though? It’s on like Super Bon Bon.
no real progress on any book projects: this one frustrates me more than anything because I have the time but not the right motivation to do it. I bought the laptop and I just need to push forward…no more f’n around. I think I might switch priorities up though and strictly focus on what I call ‘The Blonde Theory,’ which was a pure stroke of brilliance by two of my good friends. What is it? Stay tuned…
That leaves me here, typing away at 10:11 on a Sunday night in a light retrospective mood. I think what this summer has taught me is that it’s ok to look to the future and start thinking about what could be next, to not settle just because it’s the right formulaic thing to do and that moving on is just what it says – moving on. I could rattle off a bunch of cliches, but in the end, the conclusion is still the same.
To me, I’m at that stage that all of us find ourselves at, actually very similar to a poker match: make a bold move or stay pat. The roads and houses are littered with people who have chosen not to take a big risk and now regret their choices because of it. Others are happy with just staying in the stream and not hedging too much to the left or right, avoiding detection and not raising any red flags. Myself? I’m not any type of rebel and hardly could be considered as someone that lives life on the edge (like those who actually tell people they are. If you have to tell others that you’re extreme, you’re not. Go drink a Mountain Dew and litter or something.)
What I do want is to be noticed and start breaking out and that trip out West showed me that there’s a lot of places to head to. Am I taking a nomadic trip across the U.S.A. in search of the American holy grail? Hardly. What I am doing is taking the first mental and spiritual steps toward a decision that will happen, whether I want it to or not. And you know, I’m very ok with that.
(Sorry if I got too deep there…I feel I should break out a dick or fart joke here for those totally lost.)
Thanks for reading,