Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arizona...the many levels of FAIL

So other than watching high school girls' basketball, drinking ridiculous amounts and eating horrifically, I got to experience the "great" state of Arizona. Here are the lowhighlights:

  • Arizona State undergrads: This is a special breed, here. It's widely known how much for Arizona State kids are, (after all, we did only get the "temptations of the flesh" speech twice when traveling for baseball--both trips down here), but until you have sat in a freshman writing class and heard the questions asked and the obnoxious tone in which it is really haven't experienced it. Also, Mill Ave. is soul crushing. Not unexpected on any count, but FAIL.
  • Immigration policy enacted: The greater Phoenix area has a great light rail system, which we rode to campus for class the first Tuesday of the semester. It was packed. The train operator was angry. Students didn't care. That was the good half of the journey...but then came the ride back to the car. Like many light rail systems, they have a security guard checking tickets. Fine. Officer Banuelos came and checked my ticket. Then she checked the ticket of the gentleman across the aisle. Then she asked to see his ID. Then she asked to see his green card. I shit you not. He handed them over like it was no big deal while I'm sitting there with my jaw on the floor at the blatant racial profiling by a Mexican. Hey, Banuelos...let me see your green card. Unbelievable. I hate the state of Arizona. EPIC FAIL.
  • Fender: Corporate offices for Fender musical instruments (guitars) are located in Scottsdale...which would be cool, but there is no store associated with them. So the address we found was simply a large office suite with a ridiculous amount of parking. Seriously. If I was their neighbor in the complex, I would be pissed. Mild FAIL.
  • Friday/Next Friday: Apparently no one has ever heard of these movies here. Regulation FAIL, but when considering that they hate minorities here, I'm going to chalk it up to that and rebrand it a strong FAIL.

While this particular post followed the formula of most of what I write, this vacation was actually awesome. After being sick the whole time I was home, it was great to hang out with Sarah (who is due for another guest post on the DL), hit a hockey game in which America's hero, Ilya Bryzgalov was between the pipes and to just check out for a while. That being said, I still got a little bit of work done to keep things moving, so I don't have to start from scratch when I get back tomorrow. Call it a win.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Brand Overhaul

Happy new year, readers!

If you read this, you know me. And if you know me, you know that 2010 was a year of major, life-altering changes. I left the comfort of a sizable office at DJA and the familiarity of coaching at Crespi to move north and become a cube monkey at EPR and join the staff of a new (to me) program at SJND. And just for shits and giggles, I decided that I would join the 7 p.m. Sunday mass choir at St. Joseph's just because when I went to mass, it appeared that they were lacking a guitarist.

As much as I squawk about how much I dislike NorCal (which I still do...let's not get carried away with this optimism stuff), half a year removed from this decision, I can look back and know 100 percent that it was the right call. That's right kids. If I had it to do over again, I would do exactly the same thing. In fact, I would have circulated my resume sooner. It's a moderately frightening thought, actually.

The weather up here still sucks. People still don't know how to drive. My apartment is still ghetto. I'm just getting to a point where none of that matters.

I'm operating under great people--at the office, on the field* and at the basilica. That alone makes it all worth it.

I came up here with friends few and far between but have been able to grow the numbers exponentially. My colleagues have been great, and both of the junior staffers I work with on accounts have been promoted (deservedly) from intern to AC in the time I've been here. The Pilots are a great group of kids with a solid amount of talent...cannot wait until March, because it's going to be game on. St. Joseph Spirit Ensemble is just flat out legit any way you slice it. Onus falls on me to do my part with all of them.

2011 is already trending in the right direction...time to be better manager, better coach, better musician and a better individual. With support from my growing network and renewed drive, I have everything I need to take it head on.

*Please note: Despite being the least tenured coach on staff, I consider only one coach my superior--the head guy. The JV coaches are cool...we collaborate, but we're kind of like church and state on game day. Same deal with the pitching coach. My qualifications are not questionable. The rest of the staff knows that.