I'm not dead

I just haven't blogged in a good long while. It's not because I don't love you my dear, dear readers. No it's because nothing really interesting has happened to me. Life's little complications have come and gone with nary a reason to rant, or rave. Sure my Twitter account got hacked and as a result @allenbrand has been suspended until they can rationalize that perhaps someone with an account for over 2 years and over 12,000 updates isn't a spammer but instead just a victim. Apparently that takes 30 days minimally despite it being the most blatantly obvious miscarriage of justice this side of Rowe v. Wade. (I have no idea what Rowe v. Wade is. I am assuming it has something to do with using a rowboat or swimming).

That's really it though. And when your Twitter account being suspended is the biggest event in your life.... well you're just pretty danged boring and there is no reason to blog about anything.

My room is approximately 130 degrees right now. Is that blog worthy? No? Dang. I was really hoping I could make this less boring.

So here is my to do list for the remainder of this week. Maybe there is something interesting in here.

1. Karaoke tonight with Rachel, Jon, Dean, and some other fine folks I don't know. Should be a great time. I wonder how long I can withstand Jon's torture before I cave and sing.
2. Work, work, and more work. I work every day this week and as a result, I am going to most likely miss out on an amazing party being thrown by the Pearce Sisters this Friday. It's days like this that I miss driving. Have fun ladies.
3. Saturday has officially been booked by Dean. I have no idea what we are doing but it's going to be fun, relaxing, and great to see her more regularly since she is moving back to Seattle.
4. Mancakes. I have already conquered the 12 egg omelet at Beth's. Now it is time my stomach took a road trip. Portland here we come. 1 small stack of mancakes. Each one is 13" around and about an inch thick. One would think such a magnificent feast would cost the blood of your first born child, but no! You can have 3 mancakes for the low price of $4.50! How can I not at least try and feast on this beast?

Yeah that's all I have. For the most part my goal is to stay cool, and out of the heat while still having fun. Hopefully I will succeed. And if not, well there's always next week.


I love my job part 590543

Alright I often talk about how much I love my job and how great it is, and today I would like to tell a short story about something that I got to do because of my job that I would never have been able to participate in otherwise. For at least the last 2 years, the Seattle Mariners have put together a little thank you for their front office employees. They gather all the players and coaches put them in one of the Safeco Field conference rooms and put together an autograph signing prior to a game. The only stipulation is if you attend you must get a signature from everyone. Absolutely everyone, from Lee Tinsley to Ken Griffey Jr. it doesn't matter what they sign just that they sign something. this truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity because while it has become somewhat of a tradition you never know if management will decide they don't want their players to do this because it takes their focus away from preparing for the game or some other excuse.

Last year I was able to get my boss to have my favorite player, Adrian Beltre, sign something for me, which was a real treat. This year though went above and beyond.

A few months ago my boss received an email with the date and time of the signing (July 11th, 2:00) saying that he was invited along with a guest to attend. Of course I figured he was going to attend, I just started thinking about who I wanted to get a signature from again this year. When he RSVP'd that it would be him and a guest, I was curious who his guest was so I could maybe ask them from a signature or two as well. So I start talking about it with Wes and I ask if he knew who he was taking and he kinda knew what I was hinting at and so he just said "Allen, would you like to be my guest?" with a mischievous smile on his face. I really couldn't tell if he was joking or not but I still said yes. He then said he was planning on selling the pass but that he would really like it if I went with him.

I was ecstatic and pretty much talked to everyone on the staff about how I was going and how great it was going to be. I wouldn't shut up about it. I'm convinced that they were all both really jealous about me going and really annoyed that I kept talking about it. thankfully I was kind enough to return the favor that Wes and Brent did for me last year by offering them one signature. Sure I lost some of my favorite players in that deal (Kenji, Lopez, and Felix) but it was still the right thing to do.

I looked forward to the July 11th date with the glee of a child awaiting santa on Christmas. I made lists of who's signatures I wanted, what I wanted them to sign, and how I would handle the people I didn't really care that much about (I love ya Chris Woodward but I really couldn't care less about your autograph). I debated on what I was going to get signed by some of my favorite players right up until the day of the event. I knew the vague details of what I wanted: a Game used bat, 3 baseballs (one for the players I don't care about, one for the bullpen, and one for the managers. apparently I'm too OCD to just put them all on one ball), photographs, mini batting helmets, and the absolute must have: a framed photo of Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro celebrating Ichiro's game winning Grand Slam earlier this season. After my discount everything totalled a little over $250 but again completely worth it as the value on most of the items immediately increased once pen was put to it (though I would never sell them, it's how I managed to convince myself to buy them).

Once Wes and I got there we found out the details of how it works. There are 17 tables. Each table has generally 2-3 players or coaches at them. You start at a randomly assigned table and rotate through numerically. Wes and I started at table 3, and ended at table 2. Simple. Concise. Trouble first started when they announced that about half of the players were stuck in traffic from the Sounders game that started at 1. Just another reason why I hate soccer. So they pushed back the start time to 2:15. Then as if the flood gates had opened the players and coaches began to filter in. Well all of them except our table. No they were another 10 minutes late so we kinda caused a log jam of sorts behind us. It took about 2 hours to make our way through all of the tables. Everyone was nice and polite, Mike Sweeney took time away from his DL stint to sign for us which was unexpected but cool nonetheless. He was seated with Griffey and proceeded to show extra attention and praise to the parents and children that attended, which was great to see. Carlos Silva also took time to join us and sat with Felix. most of the pitchers sat together actually and they had their own brand of fun. On more than one occasion I saw them throwing sharpies at another table full of pitchers. Very cool.

One last story to tell happened at the end of the event, Erik Bedard, who has a reputation through the press as a bit of a stick in the mud, was seated with Russell Branyan. As the clock ticked towards warm ups, Russell turned to Erik and tried to rush him through the last bit of attendees. Erik, who for those unaware is a starting pitcher which means he only pitches every 5 days and his next scheduled start was Sunday, turned to Russell and said "why do I need to hurry? I've got nothing better to do. you're the one with a game to play." Too funny.

Like I said this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so glad that I had the chance to participate in. I can't thank Wes enough for allowing me to go with him. So thank you Seattle Mariners for reminding me that sometimes working for a baseball team has it's perks.


I just...

deleted my movie blog. I hadn't written on it in forever and if I am going to be honest with myself I probably wouldn't. I liked the premise for my movie blog, old movies being reviewed instead of the movies of the now, but I came to the realization that it is better suited for a column on a blog instead of a whole blog. I just couldn't quite think of topics to write about and because of that it also effected a bit my writing on this blog. You might not have noticed it but, to me at least, it was there. Maybe Mom N Pop Video Shoppe (I really love that title) will be back, maybe it won't. Either way it was fun while it lasted.

On a semi-related subject I bought a new blu-ray player that can play my netflix instant queue. I'm not going to lie my kids* are going to have to be pretty awesome in order to supplant this as my greatest achievement.**

*when I have them.
** I'm kidding of course. No kid will ever be as awesome as this blu-ray player.


Readerboards and constant questions

I live across the street from a church. It's one of those churches that utilize the McDonald's style reader boards to try and encourage people to either attend their services or just give people a little something to think about. I won't lie I usually read them since my bedroom perfectly overlooks the church and I laugh at how silly or absurd they are. A couple weeks ago though they had one up there that actually managed to get me thinking. All it said was "how do you want to be remembered?" I read that every day for about 2 weeks before they took it down and pondered that very question over and over again in my head. What about me do I want people to remember? What will I do to insure my legacy? What will people think about when they think of me when I am gone? I asked all these questions and I realized that what I wanted to be remembered as and what I thought I actually would be remembered as were two different things.

How I want to be remembered:
Funny, caring, loving, sincere, friendly, honest, creative, hardworking.

How I think I would be remembered as of right now:
Funny to a point, loud, harsh, brutal, liar, clever, quitter, that dude who twitters too much, sweet when no one is looking.

Now I know that's a lot of my perception and not how people think which I am sure i will get some reassuring comments that I have it all wrong but my question is how can I get my perception of my behavior to better fit what I want it to be? I can start by being nicer to the people that I love. I can try and not be as mean to everyone. I don't need to make others look bad just to make myself feel better. I need to be honest. To everyone. About everything. I need to stop feeling bad about the decisions that I made in the past just because they aren't traditional or what everyone else thinks is my potential. Speaking of that word I hate, I need to start living up to my potential. At work, at church, socially, and personally. After all if all these people that are close to me see so much of it in me it obviously is there and I need to actually realize it might actually be there and I need to stop selling myself short.