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Breaking Patterns and other random shit

Wow, I really haven’t written here in a long time-and looking back at the last time I wrote here, things just seemed slightly simpler then. In reality they really weren’t: I knew nursing school was coming back to claim the rest of my free time that wasn’t being taken up by work, student org stuff, and the social life stuff too. I just didn’t realize it would take up over a year and a half of time! Besides not writing here, I didn’t post on FB or tweet as much, and trying to keep up with just about every one of my favorite sports teams became an exercise in simply checking the box scores the next day (I love my teams, but I love sleep even more). Was it all work and no play? Hell no, it was a lot of fun with some incredible experiences and probably some of the most rewarding stuff I’ve done over the last year and a half (Red Wings Alumni Game, Winter Classic, and Nick Lidstrom Retirement Night with some of the closest friends I have, traveling down to Crossville, TN for Alternative Spring Break, volunteering at the Heidelberg Project a couple of times, doing a bike tour of Detroit, being part of a PTK officer team that’s accomplished great things on many levels, and even running a 5K with two of my best friends-twice-and getting talked into signing up for a half-marathon next fall-and that barely scratches the surface of all the fun crap I got to do). I wouldn’t trade any of it, because I learned a lot from it and developed so many great friendships along the way. That doesn’t even cover all the amazing friendships I made in the last two years of nursing school either-we all went through hell and back together and I consider them all great friends that will excel in whatever they do. We’re going to be amazing nurses, and I don’t think that’s the least bit arrogant (I’m arrogant in a bunch of ways but I’m confident about that). By many accounts I’m lucky and I don’t think I’m taking that for granted.

Now if you think this is going to be another one of those “New Year, New Me” resolution posts, sorry (or thankfully depending which side of the fence you’re on) but it’s not going to be. Just not a big fan of them-yeah, I’ll always make the “lose more weight/be in a better shape than round” attempt, but they really don’t work for me.

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I hope you can read my chicken scratch.

I wrote that note a year and a half ago, and I still have it hanging in my cubicle at work. If I had to make a resolution, that would be it-I just want to be better than I was yesterday. Some days I am, and some days I’m not…but I’ll keep trying. I think overall I’m a good person, although my mouth tends to get me in trouble from time to time (and just about anyone reading this that knows me well is nodding their heads in total agreement). But I know I’ve got some patterns I need to fix, and I’ll get to that in a moment-once I spend a brief moment talking about the year that’s about to go walking out the door.

The great moments in 2014 were great, and there were plenty of them-more than I thought I deserve, but I’m appreciative and thankful everyday. I’ve got some of the most amazing group of friends that I can trust. There were definitely more wins than losses, but the losses were there and they’ll leave scars. I was lucky enough to have some really close friends and family to help out. Even when I’d end up ignoring their advice, they were there to pick me up when their advice turned out to be the right thing to do. I’m not completely innocent or without fault either though, and I guess now’s as good a time as any to see what patterns I can break.

For someone that has few problems running his mouth and making comments (even when he shouldn’t), my communication sucks in other spots and I need to change that (one of my best friends said it perfectly a few weeks ago: “You absolutely suck at communication”). There’s a few things I left unsaid, and I should’ve said them sooner-hell, or even just got around to saying it at all. That was a mistake, and I’ll learn from it. It doesn’t matter at this point, but it’s something I have to keep in mind for the future (and once again, you’d think someone that lets his mouth run free on just about everything else would have no problem making this happen but here we are).

One of the best things a close friend said to me this year was “Well you can’t read the next chapter if you keep rereading the last. Let it go. It’s time to move on.” I’d told her that I’d occasionally let an old relationship cloud what I do, and that was her response. I needed to hear that, and I’ll always remember it.

Anyway, if you’ve made it to the end of this rambling and scrambled post, I appreciate it. I hope your 2015 is absolutely amazing…because I’m pretty confident mine will be. I want that for you too.


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The one where Norm tries something completely different even though it’s been done at other places

I’ve seen this done at too many places to even begin listing, but here’s the general idea: type for 20 minutes whatever comes to mind. Once that 20 minutes is up, publish and go about the rest of your day. Might as well, it’s not like I’m exactly throwing posts up here at an alarming rate anyway. ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNND…start the clock.

A few years ago I wrote a post off of not over analyzing things and just going with the flow…yeah, I don’t think I’ve succeeded in that regard. I tend to talk myself into or out of all matter of things, and in hindsight a bunch of those situations I probably should have acted differently than what I actually did. I’ve let people and things ultimately slip away because a lot of the time I was too concerned with rocking the boat. A lot of it has to do with confidence, and for me it’s been hovering right around middle (between arrogance and no confidence at all, probably closer to the latter-and if you’re a visual person I’m sorry but my graphic capabilities wouldn’t help you much anyway). I can say I’ll fix it but it’s not easy to do, so all I can say is I’ll try to be a bit better everyday.

It amuses me that I looked up whether it was ‘over analyzing’ or ‘overanalyzing’.

I got to hangout with some good friends last night at the Tigers game, and these are all people I’d met through the wonders of the Twitter world (enfuerno!). We’re all Red Wings fans too and that’s how we all officially met (H2H, fuck yeah!), but getting to know them is even better. There are pics at a few spots, and I took some too-once I figure out how to post them from my new phone there will be more too. It troubles me that my new phone (my first foray into the smartphone category) may be smarter than I am. I actually think it’s mocking me-‘haha, I know stuff but I’m going to hide it from you until you figure it out, sucker’.

Anyway, back to the friends thing: a Wings loss in the second round would’ve driven me nuts, but having the opportunity to vent about it with a whole lot of like minded (and some not like minded) on Twitter made it alright, cathartic even. Now we’re all witnessing a Red Wings team gearing up for a new season in less than a month and you can tell that same whole lot of us are ready to go. It’s fun. It also makes me wonder how beneficial Twitter or other Social Media outlets would’ve been in earlier times (and if not beneficial just downright hilarious).

H2H2 is going to be awesome.

No more over analyzing…more acting.


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The NHL Playoffs and Logic, aka “Yeah right, I’m wearing the Yzerman jersey today”

Based on careful and precise research (read: noting of friends’ tweets and status updates), I’ve come to the conclusion that hockey fans are the most superstitious fans on Earth. I knew it way before that, but since Facebook and Twitter weren’t around then I obviously couldn’t use them for my official observations (never let it be said that I don’t take all matter of research seriously). To be fair, I’m one of you.

Everyone knows about playoff beards, but that just doesn’t work for me. The first time I tried a playoff beard was in 1998, and it was a patchy mess for about two to three weeks before I was asked to be a pallbearer at a funeral and had to shave it. Red Wings ended up winning the Cup that year anyway, so for the sake of anyone I know that would also be the last year I’d attempt a playoff beard. So my hat’s off to you if you can pull it off, and don’t mock me for not doing it: it’s for your safety.

Of course, there are other ways that a superstition manifests itself. I know of some ladies that are growing out their leg hair for the duration of the Red Wings run, and a few that are giving up sweets (and I’m glad for them, the only place I want to see a lady with a beard is at the circus…and I don’t even want to see it there). I’m not immune to this; back in 2008 I wouldn’t play NHL 08 within 24 hours of a Wings playoff game (bear with me, played it before the Wings/Stars Game 5 WCF game and we all know how that turned out). That year I also wouldn’t break out the Yzerman jersey for wear unless it was a big game–yes, I wore that jersey for both Game 6 of the WCF and Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. Yes, that carried over to 2009, and the routine was successful…until June 12 (and that’s all we’re going to say about that).

Now deep down inside, I know full well there’s simply no way what I wear, what I do or don’t do has absolutely no bearing on whether the Red Wings win or lose, on whether Jimmy makes that save or whether Zetterberg gets the hat trick. Even when I used to play, I knew deep down inside that the order I put the pads on, not stepping on the lines, or circling the net 3 times had no bearing on my performance…but it was comfortable. So yes, even though logic tells me otherwise, I will wear those grey sweatpants and my orange Extra Pulp t-shirt from Threadless that I wore before Game 2 tomorrow as the Wings play Game 3 against the Coyotes. Whatever works, dammit–logic doesn’t apply during the playoffs, and I know I’m not the only one. The Scotch I drank during Game 1? Didn’t drink it during Game 2…ah, crap.

Well, at least I’ll remember it all.

So what’s working for you?

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The Top 5 List

This is something I actually started over at in my blog there a few weeks ago, and I just have a feeling that all two (or less) of you that read this might enjoy it too…anyway, read on.

After watching the movie “High Fidelity” again a few nights ago, I decided to reread the book…and still love it. Since I know everyone in some form or another still does them, I’m throwing out my own for discussion. Agree, disagree, fine by me. Here are some of the lists I’ve come up with so far…

If a movie were made about me, these are the Top Five Songs I’d want the movie to open with:

1. Average White Band – Pick Up the Pieces: It really doesn’t get much better than this. Opening credits with this song rolling in the background? Too damn cool.

2. Foo Fighters – Cold Day in the Sun: This would just be fitting.

3. Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now: For a song like this, the movie would have to be a little bit more action packed…maybe more of an ER in the early years kind of thing.

4. KT Tunstall – Hopeless: Upbeat, but also fitting…maybe.

5. John Mayer – My Stupid Mouth: The movie could play out like one of those Hugh Grant romantic comedies with this one.

up next, here’s a list that I was sure that phenom would jump all over…WAS sure. 😉

Top 5 songs I’d want played if I were an MLB player coming up to bat list.

1. Dave Matthews Band – The Best of What’s Around: Because the pitcher, fans, and everyone else need to know that I’m parking the ball in the rightfield seats when I step up to the plate.

2. Tomoyasu Hotei – Battle Without Honor and Humanity: Because I think any player of Asian descent has to have this song played at least once.

3. Chevelle – An Evening With El Diablo: Song is awesome.

4. Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize: Great beat.

5. Tool – Jambi: Just because it’d be cool to hear Tool at a ballpark just once.

More lists to come…as I come up with them. The only problem is I’ll think of a topic, fire off a top 5…and then never write it down and forget about it all together. I need to work on that.

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That number ring any bells? You’ll find out soon enough…

After watching Michigan State and UCLA play one helluva college basketball game for the middle of November (the #1 team in the country, losing most of the game to #11 MSU, came back and won 68-63–they didn’t even lead in the game until there was 30 seconds left), I was still wide awake. Since I wasn’t in the mood to play Guitar Hero III or NCAA 08, and figuring out how to make a Genesis emulator work with your PC was too much to try to figure out at 1230 in the morning, I decided to go old school.

Yep, I hooked up the ol’ NES.

Having not played the thing in years, I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t work anymore. Those concerns easily went away after I popped in Tetris, when after doing the usual tricks to get the cartridge to work on came the familiar music from [i]The Nutcracker[/i]. I originally put this game in first because I wanted to hear the music that Cal’s band used a few weeks ago (I put the video in my youtube thread, check it out), but realized that music was from the GameBoy version. Oops–still played it for a good 20 minutes.

Next? Super Mario Bros. I was never really good at that game. Still suck at it.

Next? Tecmo Bowl. You know it–played three games of that bad boy…and still want to play more. I forgot how dominating Bo Jackson truly was in this game–there’s only one designed play for him and he busts tackles like no one’s business. Cleveland, Dallas, and Indy all felt my wrath early this morning. No stat keeping and this game was still as fun as I remember it being…and I think it’s funny that the current Lions GM was a linebacker for LA back when this game was made. I think he got more picks in the three games I played than he ever got in his career.

Ninja Gaiden followed, and I honestly have no idea how the hell I beat that game all those years ago without any saves.

Lastly was Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, still my all-time favorite game from the NES (that code ring a bell now?). Surprisingly I beat Tyson on my first try at him (only needed 5000 points to get a decision, I always remembered), and got that mark with about 10 seconds to spare in the last round. Then I played from the beginning and made a fairly decent run before sleep finally decided to bless me for the night.

After the last few weeks–natch, months–of what seemed like pure hell, it was good to go back way old school and just play for fun. Crazy what used to entertain us back in the day…today I think it’s gonna be Ice Hockey, Blades of Steel, Double Dribble, and Contra (anyone remember how that code went?).

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