I suppose this post can't get to far along without bringing up steroids. Though McGwire has never publicly admitted it, we can safely say that his guilt is only as damning as OJ Simpson's homicidal tendencies and Michael Jackson's pedophile rumors.
I'm watching the 1999 Home Run Derby on ESPN. It was held in Boston. McGwire captivated the crowd in the first round hitting 13 towering bombs. Sammy Sosa was there rooting him on. The fans went crazy after each and every mammoth blast.
Knowing what we now know, or think we know, what can be said about McGwire's legacy? I know this, he was a great baseball player, he was fun.
Was it totally right what he did? No.
Is it disapointing that he never admitted to using perfformancing enhancing drugs? Absolutely.
I don't want to get into a long debate over steroids, baseball, cheating, Barry Bonds being a douche bag, I just don't want to go there.
I do want to address is this, whether McGwire gets into the Hall of Fame or not, (If I had a vote he would be in) he will go to his grave with the image of a user.
He was a nice man, he was a fan favorite, he brought baseball back when the 1994 strike all but pushed America away.
McGwire was good for baseball, steroids are wrong, but McGwire was good for baseball.
The home of the free and the brave. Brave enough to consume 68 hot dogs in 12 minutes Joey Chestnut, introduced as reigning champion, ate 3.5 more dogs than his rival Takeru Kobayashi.
It was truly a memorable one Chestnut again defended his title. A record breaking record topped his previous feat of 66 in 2007 (Joey ate 59 in 2008 which lead to a sudden death eat off win over Kobayashi)
I begin my fourth celebration each year watching the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. The founding fathers would have wanted us to remember their efforts this way.
God Bless America and God Bless the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
This morning I woke up very much under the weather. I opened my eyes and next to me was my glorious little daughter chewing on a fabric book. I smiled and closed my eyes for just a little bit longer. When I finally woke up there was a card waiting for me addressed "Daddy". The card read:
"Happy Father's Day Mister! I know its been a long time coming for you to celebrate your first Father's Day, and Olive is so lucky to have you for her daddy...Thank you for that, and for being the best Daddy ever."
There was more in card which I want to keep to myself, needless to say it was one of the most important cards I've ever received.
Tonight Brooke is at a candle party (I think a candle party is something like a Police video) so I get to watch baby Olive. Currently she's rocking in her swing sleeping away. She fussed earlier but overall she's been wonderful. I'm a pretty good babysitter if I do say so myself.
I've spent a little time thinking about this post. I got a text today that said "I'm going to put Hinckley to sleep this afternoon."
Sometime in 2001 Hinckley entered my life. During a Family Home Evening at the Santa Cruz church building a girl named Beth brought in a few kittens to give away. When everyone had left, Amy (Who I was dating at the time) was holding one of the kittens.
Amy named her Hinckley because she was little and Gray (We didn't know she was a girls yet) after the late prophet.
The first great gift that Hinckley shared with the world was ringworm. Kittens are adorable, they're little and fun to play fight with (their razor claws haven't matured). Everyone wanted to hold her and cuddle with her.
It started showing up, ringworm on my roommates, Amy's roommates, my friend colleen and her daughter (I never had the courage to admit that her daughter got ringworm from my cat).
My boss at the time told me one day that he had this bad rash on his stomach, which made me laugh because he said he didn't like cats.
When she was very little she would nestle herself into a blanket and suckle it.
Soon enough the cute kitten became a ferocious feline. She terrorized all around her by allowing them the opportunity to stroke her only to turn on them with ninja quick reflexes. Her adamantium claws would shred the flesh of any who would dare overstay their welcome.
Bear, my best friend, an 85 pound pit bull mix was terrified of this animal that was one tenth his size.
I know it was a hard day today as Hinckley was put to sleep. My hope is that she has a little blanket to suckle and an unsuspecting angel in heaven to absolutely tear into celestial ribbons.
This past weekend was wonderful in some respects and difficult in others. Brooke and I went to Santa Cruz with Olive. We visited Brandy Rose Sanders. We stayed at the Wilson, visited with Mikey and Alena. We got to even see mom Chidester.
Despite the recent hardship we now must face I needed to say how lucky I am. I am so blessed with an amazing wife and a breath takingly beautiful daughter. We face so much uncertainty right now. Seeing Brooke and Olive I have so much hope.
We had a long drive home on Monday. From Santa Cruz to Lake Havasu it's about nine hours. We drove almost the entire way without music or other distractions. When was the last time you spent one, two or even nine hours in a car with someone and not feel the need to fill the time with outside sounds?
We laughed, we talked a bit about how we're going to make it each month while having to send $2,000 of our income away. (Another story for another time) We spent sometime just talking about our life, how far we've come and what our plans are.
I loved it. Reflecting on it now I'm in awe of how perfect Brooke has been for me.
Tomorrow I swear I'm starting my goals. The biggest thing is getting started. My plan is to get my chubby butt out of bed at 6:02 am. I need to start these goals and get moving forward. I'm so tired of being a lazy biscuit. So here's to tomorrow, I swear.
Well today, and many days leading up to today, I've been facing myself. Please excuse me as this may end up being more ramble than content. What I'm trying to get at is I'm at a major crossroad in my life.
I am so happy with my new life. I have a loving supportive wife. She has been a relief from a long time of pain and hurt. She has been inspiring in my progression and I am so in love with her. I have a new daughter. I am so in love with her. She truly makes me want to be a better man every day. Ultimately these two are bringing me to this point in my life.
I've been listening a lot more lately. I've been hearing so much unhappiness and worry in the world. I myself have been worrying a great deal. Where are we going to be as a society if we keep going the way we are? Our financial, social, spiritual well being. Who's hands are we in?
I really don't want to put hollow words on a blog and be inspiring for a fleeting moment. I really want to do something good. I look around and I think to myself "What am I doing and what more can I do?"
I've decided that over the next several months I want to put in place goals that will reflect my desire to do something more. I want to put them into categories and work at each in an attainable manner.
First: Spiritual, I want to present myself to my Bishop, he being my spiritual leader, to let him know that I am living my religion to the best of my abilities. That means I am doing proactive and noticeable things, not because I am seeking praise or an outward recognition, but because I want to show that I am ready to exercise the priesthood again, hold a calling, and be worthy to attend the temple. I plan to pray daily, with more sincere intent. I plan to read daily, if just one verse of scripture personally and one as a family. I intend to attend and participate in all of my Sunday meetings.
Second: Family, I want to spend time with my wife in a quality way each day. I want us to be able to talk with each other without the distractions of job or tv or dog. I want us to set goals for our family and most importantly for Olive. I want to be able devote an ample amount of time to her and be willing to abandon all else when Brooke and Olive need me. I want to be able to sing to Olive at least once a day.
Third: Career, I want to complete the tasks assigned by my manager, mainly, complete my business routing and action plan. I want to work on engaging questions for my offices and develop relationships with all the staff in each office I call on. My goal is to have a comfortable working dynamic with my offices by May. I want to set goals to really determine the needs of all of my clients.
Fourth: Socially, I want to get to know new people in Lake Havasu. The dog park has been a great place to meet people. I want Brooke and I to ask a young couple to something social.
Fifth: Governmentally, This is a lofty one. Initially I want to contribute to my political party in Lake Havasu. I want to attend my City Council meeting and see how I can help in my new home. Greater still I am concerned with the state of health care in our country. I want to see what I can do to team with others to provide possible solutions. I have already spoken with old acquaintances about this and hope to move forward.
Sixth: Educationally, I want to set a goal to learn a new skill. I need to come up with a list of ideas in the next month and plan how to approach them.
Seventh: Health, I plan on seeing the doctor this April and I plan to improve my health based on his suggestions. I intend to exercise and eat more appropriately.
So that's a bit. Its a start a something bigger. I want to think long term. Hopefully I won't lose my steam.
This is just a short post to let you know that my daughter is here. Olive Michelle Barragan was born at 9:01 pm February 4th 2009 in Sandy Utah. She was 7 lbs 13 oz and 20.5 inches long. (She's already in the top 5% in Awesomeness)
We love her so very much and I can't wait to share more pictures and stories about her.
I am so eternally thankful that she has come into my life.
So it's 8:50 am on the east coast. I'm no where near the coast, I'm in Indianapolis. I've been here since the 5th of January training for Eli Lilly (not the cotton gin inventor). This morning we had three test covering Depression (100%), Fibromyalgia (100%) and Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain (70%, not so good).
So guess who'll be back tomorrow morning to hopefully pass the Fibromyalgia test?
Indianapolis hasn't been great, but it hasn't been that bad either. I've had some good food, and there's been a lot of learning which I am really enjoying. Really the hardest thing has been being away from Brooke. It sucks man. I want to just be home and to just know that I could waste a day just hanging out.
Oh, it's been cold here, it was -10 degrees last week. -10!!!! What the heck?! The wind chill brought it to a balmy -30. Which is awesome. I learned very quickly that you don't open your mouth when it's anywhere under -5. Good times.
We're moving to Arizona soon. In fact we just sent January's rent to our landlords. I'll miss the snow. Last year was my first real winter.
I grew up in Half Moon Bay and the only memory of snow was a childhood trip Tahoe where I destroyed some family's igloo sledding.
But winter of 2008 was just that, winter. We had snow and lots of it. The winter ran clear into May (the 15th we still had snow falling in the valley). As early as labor day it had returned.
I love it. I love the white, I love how it covers everything. I love getting crazy in the car on slippery roads.
Let's go over some of the highlights:
Sledding with the Ellermeier's (my first time since the Tahoe Igloo fiasco)
Snowboarding with Gordon and Craig Tovey (Gordon Peterson is the best instructor ever and both Craig and Gordon were so patient as I got it down)
The Park City commute (I loved pulling into work and watching people snowboarding and skiing down the slopes above our office)
Snowballs, snowballs, snowballs (I've made and successfully landed dozens of snowball deliveries to unsuspecting victims including a snowball which smacked Brooke right in the kisser one night before dinner. The result was a lot of laughing, a bit of crying and me making up for it as best I could)
Sledding with Craig Tovey last week (there's nothing better than watching two grown men ride and deflate inner tubes off ice ramps in the cold December evening)
Maeby's first winter and all the yellow snow (You know what else is awesome, when she poops I just cover it with snow and "ta da!!!" the poop disappears!)
Probably the greatest thing has been snowflakes. It wasn't until 1997 when I first saw snow fall. I was in Provo in the MTC. I was actually a little shocked at how small snowflakes were. (My only childhood memory of snowflakes were made of paper and they were huge by comparison)
I see the winter as a wonderful novelty. Worth the cold, the slipping and sliding. Hopefully in the future we'll be in a place where we'll have snow again.