Thursday, February 02, 2012

My massive 2012 post

Well, here we are. It's 2012, and once again I am returning after posting just a couple times the previous year. I think it's just a trend for me; Blogger will just never become a "regular thing" as I already use too many other social media sites. Anyways, I'll just keep this area short as it seems like this year my first paragraph consists of me rambling about why I don't blog (fair warning: very long post). So...

Alright, well the last time I posted I was a junior in college. Obviously, I'm a senior now. Hopefully looking to graduate in the summer... if not, then we can thank my own stupidity for it. I still have no bloody idea what I'll be doing after I graduate, as I've decided that the food industry is not the way to go for me. The whole "healthy" craze that has taken over the food industry drives me insane. It's a very simple concept: if you want to eat healthy, DON'T EAT OUT!! Seriously, how difficult of a idea is this? You'll save money, you won't have to complain about the "horrible service," and you eat healthier!!! It's a win-win-win (as Michael Scott from The Office would say. More on this subject later). To get back on track though, right now I figure my best shot is to try to get a job at a corporation somewhere and work my way up. I don't have much interest in getting a job in the field of my major... sounds like a horrible way to spend time and money, but you know what, a lot of places just want the Bachelor's Degree these days (unless you are trying to go into a specialized field, such as medicine, engineering, etc). So, I'll be happy to oblige them. The best chances of me getting a job are probably back home, but if I could find a job in the town where I live now I wouldn't mind too much. I do love it over here... for one thing, it's nice to live somewhere that is growing rather than shrinking. Another is that the population is younger here since it's a college town. But we'll just have to see.

I have nothing really to say about the past NFL season. The Bears got the injury bug this year and it screwed them royally. The Super Bowl was a repeat of four years ago. Back then, I was rooting for the Patriots, and I rooted for them again this year. I hated seeing the Giants win again. I do not like the Giants. I do not like the Jets. I just do not like NY sports teams. I hate the Mets almost as much as I hate the Cubs, and that's saying something. I will occasionally root for the Knicks and Yankees (when the Red Sox annoy me enough), but not that often. It was somewhat eerie how the Giants-Patriots game played out almost exactly the same way it did as their first meeting. The best thing that came from the Super Bowl was that VW commercial with two of my favorite things: dogs and Star Wars!!

2012 is setting up to be a great year for movies. Let's see, off the top of my head, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Wrath of the Titans, The Avengers, Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Hobbit are just some of the films that are being released this year. Then the fact that The Phantom Menace was re-released in theaters in 3D is beyond awesome. I hate 3D movies with a passion, but this is Star Wars. I'm going to have the opportunity to see all six movies in theater, and I am very excited. Besides TPM, the three movies I'm the most interested in are The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, and The Hobbit. I'm very curious to see how the Christopher Nolan era of the Batman films ends. After a movie like The Dark Knight, there are going to be (most likely) impossible expectations for the film. Skyfall is probably getting a lot less publicity because of all the other highly anticipated films being released this year, but that's alright. I seem to be in a minority, but I like Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond. It's actually the closest portrayal to the original Bond in the book series. Sean Connery is still my favorite Bond (and probably always will be), but Craig is up there. And finally, there is The Hobbit. For years, we wondered if it would ever be made into a film. It's going to be a huge hit, especially since it's going to be released right before Christmas. I wouldn't be surprised if it grosses well over a billion dollars; Return of the King alone grossed 1.1 billion. At any rate, I'm probably going to be spending more money at the theater this year than I ever have before.

What am I watching on TV these days? Well, there is the usual Pardon the Interruption, Frasier, Cheers, and The Office, but I've also added How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory to that list. Last season, we had to say goodbye to Steve Carell on The Office, but I think it was time. The Michael Scott storyline had run just about as far as it could go. This year hasn't been too bad. They've had a few bad episodes here and there, but they've had some good episodes as well. I think the show has enough in the tank to last one more season, but beyond that, I'm not sure. How I Met Your Mother is a show I got into around last Christmas, and I began to DVR it last spring (I believe there are over 50 episodes on the DVR right now). I like this show because of it's format... it's a little different than most traditional comedies, because the basis of the show is set on flashbacks (most evident in the title of the show). So, there are a lot of nods to past episodes and character issues in newer episodes, something I like, as a lot of shows forget their past and create continuity issues (something not even this show has been able to avoid, but they do a pretty good job). The other show that I've become a huge fan of is The Big Bang Theory. I love this show. It helps that I am somewhat of a nerd myself, but regardless, the show is smart and hilarious. According to my roommate and our unofficial "third" roommate, I am the Sheldon of our group. I tried to fight it for a long time, but I gave it up eventually because they were right. There are quite a few parallels between Sheldon and myself, but I am not nearly as socially awkward as he is (though I do share his love of not going out) and obviously not nearly as smart. I bought the first two seasons after I saw a couple episodes, and I need to get the next two. For now though, I've relegated myself to watching it on TBS since they air it all the time.

Now, I will turn my attention to what will be my most in-depth topic (this could've had a post by itself): the Cardinals!!! I have to admit, I do not follow the Cardinals nearly as much as I used to. But around the first of September, I started to pay attention as they began their run on the Wild Card. By the middle of the month, I was beginning to watch their games again (I couldn't ever find a station that carried the radio broadcasts until the World Series, and by then it was too late). And by the last week of the season, I was watching every game in its entirety. I hadn't kept this close of the Cardinals since 2004. When Carp clinched the Wild Card with his absolutely dominating performance over the lowly Astros on the last day of the season, I knew we had a chance to beat the Phillies, who I must admit I gained a lot of respect for by not coasting through the final couple weeks of the season (although by playing hard against the Braves they unwittingly shot themselves in the foot). Working while the Cardinals played became a difficult task, as I just wanted to watch the games rather than take care of the guests that came into Olive Garden. I was working behind the bar when Carp and Halladay were engrossed in the pitchers duel that made Game 5, so I got to watch most of that game. And then I got off work around the 7th inning but I stayed their and watched the rest of the game. A lot of my co-workers were also rooting for the Cardinals, so we were all huddled around the TV watching the end of the game. I don't really have many memories of the NCLS, but I enjoyed seeing the Brewers arrogance get taken down a notch.

By now, I was pretty confident that the Cardinals had a really good shot at winning everything, but I knew how the Cardinals had played prior to September so I knew anything was possible. I have three memories in particular from the World Series: Games 3, 6, and 7. Game 3 was (as it turned out) Albert Pujols summing up his 11 seasons with the Cardinals. Then we had two games where I did nothing but yell at the TV. That put us at Game 6, which is greatest baseball game I've ever seen. I generally hate people who update their status's on Facebook every ten minutes, but over the course of the playoffs I had become one of those people by posting about the Cardinals. I will never come close to equaling the number of status's I posted that night. Let's just skip to the 9th inning. When Freese hit that rocket to right field and it went over Cruz's head, I made enough racket in my apartment for everybody in the building to hear (it's three floors and my neighbors are loud). I screamed myself hoarse only to see Josh Hamilton crush all of our hopes in the 10th when he hit the two run shot off Motte. I thought, you know, if we have to get beat, I wouldn't mind losing it to Hamilton, who I have a ton of respect for. And then when the Cardinals got the first run across in the bottom of the inning, I thought, you know, we can still do this. And up steps Berkman... Scream my throat out, Take 2. Then the Cards finally shut down the Rangers, taking us to the bottom of the 11th. Up steps David Freese, fresh off his two-run triple in the 9th. And wouldn't you know, he drilled Lowe's pitch into the grass in Center Field. The Cardinals truly were the team that would not die. I have never seen that kind of fight in a team before. I didn't want to go bed that night.

And as I was struggling to go to bed that night I realized something... I had to travel down to St. Louis for Game 7. I would not get to watch the game like I would have at my apartment or at home, but it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities you just had to take. I got somebody to cover my shift at work, leaving me, my roommate, and his brother to drive down there. We didn't get there until around the 3rd inning (and it was probably the 5th before I found a parking spot), but we were there!! And there were people EVERYWHERE. Besides the 50,000 in the stadium, there were at least another 10-15,000 roaming the streets and inside restaurants. One of the problems of having that many people roaming around was that there was no place to use the bathroom. Most restaurants were too packed to even get inside and there were only a few portable bathrooms outside the stadium, so there was at least a 40 minute wait to use them (not fun...). Anyway, we walked around the stadium a couple times and eventually settled in across the street from Mike Shannon's restaurant. When the Cardinals finally finished off the Texans in the 9th inning, the place went bonkers. I took a few videos and posted them to YouTube. Afterwards, we walked around a bit and even got in the stadium, but eventually decided we should head home. As we walked back to my car, we got to see one of the coolest sites ever: people were in their cars honking their horns with the windows down and pedestrians were walking down the middle of the road and giving high fives to the people in the cars. Getting out of St. Louis took over an hour, but we eventually got home around 5AM. I slept until almost 2PM (worked at 3PM), but I felt totally out of it at work that night (and the next day as well). However, I didn't and don't regret going down there. I will forever cherish that memory of being in St. Louis when the Cardinals won the World Series.


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