The League

I haven't watched this show since its Season 7/Series Finale in 2015, but it's been on my mind more as of late. I think if a show, or any art for that matter, can imprint itself in the memory so well that you can't view life the same as before it, then you've got something that's really special, even if it's only special to you. Things change people. Or, at least, they should. I know I continue to change, and I believe for the better.

I had two different friends (who do not know each other and who have different general interests) recommend this to me within only a few months. I took this as a sign, and my wife and I began watching it shortly thereafter. We actually started Season 1 sometime in 2015 and finished Season 6 only weeks before Season 7 aired. Are we fans of the show? You betcha, gosh darnit.

If you'd like a bit of information about this show before you go all in, I will tell you this: It's about a group of adult friends who grew up together and have always played fantasy sports, namely football. In fact, every season of the show coincides with an NFL season. I know, I know. You're thinking, “But I don't really care for sports, let alone ‘fantasy’ sports.” I agree with you. I'm not a huge sports fan, and I've never had any bit of me interested in pretending to create my own team. (If that's your jam, good for you!) You're in luck, though, because what I just described is just a backdrop to the show's hilarious characters, their palm-to-the-face shenanigans, and their never-ceasing ball busting. If this show doesn't have you laughing, then there may be no hope for you.

By the way, don’t Google "ball busting..." I'm referring to it as a phrase described as general "male" banter meant to demean and taunt friends. Oh, and there's a woman in this group of friends, and she's just as bad as the men.

Get a taste of what I'm talking about (The League, not Google's search of "ball busting") with this video from YouTube. I'll be the first to admit that this clip might not be the best this show has to offer, but it was really hard to pick only one, and one that incapsulates the show as a whole. Also, there are a lot of clips that are even less safe for work or children than this one. The clip is from Season 1, Episode 1. (Here's a direct link, in case where you're viewing this does not support embedded players.)

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Randomness, Yo

Here's another new section idea for the 'Dump.’ It shouldn't need any explanation, but what fun would that be? Basically, the section consists of random micro-thoughts that I don't go into length talking about. Pretty basic. Will this be the last time it appears? Tune in to all future posts to find out. I repeat, ALL future posts.

For whatever reason, my brain has evolved or devolved to the point where I can't think of the theme song for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without hearing it in my mind sung in a voice that sounds like a dramatized impersonation of Richard Nixon.

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I can do a pretty good rendition of Sméagol/Gollum. So good that I creeps out and bothers my wifes's's withs it. On the most recent trip to my parents, my toddler son was being difficult for me as I tried to change his diaper. So, I went into a little impromptu skit that had my wife, my son, and my dad laughing hard. I was pretty proud of myself. (The precious was the poops.)

Have you ever had someone say to you, "How are you doing today?" Or, another common greeting, “What's up?" Sure, you have. There are many variations, and you and I have probably heard them all. However, what really greases my goose is when the person asking doesn't actually want to hear your response to the question they've posed. Well, don't ask. If a simple 'hello' suffices, just say hello. No need to act like you care if in fact you don't. And really, most people don't.

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Waxing, Both On AND Off

I have started participating in my son's karate class. When he started karate last September (2017), the teacher made it clear that any parent could join the class for no extra charge. Since then, I have been watching the class and practicing at home. At first, it was to make sure my son was practicing correctly. Then, I started to like the idea that we were learning something together and that whatever belt level he moved into, I would technically be at that level, too. I don't have a uniform or a belt to show my ranking, nor do I have a ranking within that organization’s database. All the same, it's been fun learning a martial art and doing more physical activity as a byproduct.

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Since last September, especially after I made “5 Minutes Of Karate A Day” a goal at the start of the New Year, my wife had encouraged me to participate in class. I have to admit that I was a little unsure about being out there on the floor. Those not in the class sit in folding chairs against three of the four walls in the room, watching. During the second session, when my son advanced from the beginner’s classes to the returning classes, I saw that more parents were joining in. I had some extra encouragement from a fellow karate parent who also partakes in the class with her daughter. And, after I joined in at the beginning of my son's fourth session, even more parents started to as well.

I'm glad I started participating in the class for at least a few different reasons. I think my son focuses better and seems to be more inclined to practice. It's easier for me to remember the moves we learn in class to replicate later, you know, 5 Minutes A Day. And lastly, even if it only took a small amount of courage, I decided to put myself out there, on the floor, and join in with the class.

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Shine That Spotlight, You Crazy Diamond

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It's not always easy to pick just one person to Spotlight in each issue. During this go-around, I've decided to share a friend of mine with you who is all-around talented in the arts. He is a visual artist, a musician/songwriter, and an author. One of the reasons I thought about sharing him with you now is that I'm currently reading his debut book, The Black River Players. I should probably mention who I'm talking about. His name is J. Thomas Richards, but I've always known him as James. I’m not quite done reading the book yet, but I would be surprised if it didn’t continue to keep me absorbed into the pages of its tale.

You can find James on Twitter @loosemeatnoose.
Learn more about and purchase the book at Amazon.

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From Small To Big

This video is about the power of small changes, regardless of how much you think you are capable of, regardless of how smart you think you are. My life has been heading in a direction like this a lot this year—taking small steps to reach bigger goals. Well, it has been for years, considering very little happens on a whim in anyone's life. We are the accumulation of many small choices compounded over time. BUT, this year especially, I've been tweaking more small things with GREAT purpose.

I think one of the biggest aspects that has accelerated these changes this year has to be the goals I set. Of course, these goals were in turn accelerated by other factors before them. Where I'm headed, or rather the direction I'm aiming for, is down a path that may be humanly impossible. Maybe it just seems impossible right now, but I am keeping the mindset that it is possible—I just haven't figured out how to accomplish it, yet. I don't want to “vaguebook” or speak in riddles, but I also don't want to get ahead of myself, so this is what you get. I have big plans and it all starts with small, calculated steps. Even if I don't fulfill this self-designed prophecy, I'll still be better off and happier for the effort and what I do achieve along the way. Love the process and the outcome will be amazing.

The video below is a little longer than the ones I tend to share, but if I didn't think it was worth the watch, I wouldn't share it. (Here's a direct link for those that want to open it up at YouTube.)

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