I’m becoming a man

No, this isn’t a blog entry about sex. I am trying to get into writing non-fiction after all. Heh, I still got it.

So this morning, I awoke to go to a TOOL SALE with a couple of buddies from work. Yup, somewhere along the line, I managed to find a flyer for a tool sale right up the street from me. I don’t know who put this on my couch (I’m inclined to think it was Aaron, but would he have that kind of foresight to place a flyer for a tool show, something I would desperately be interested in, in sight where I’d see it?) but it was a godsend. I actually had trouble sleeping (because I was excited, not simply to enter a new realm of masculinity, but also because I was planning on staying in the new place the following day)

So what did I buy, and for what amazing prices did I receive these amazing tools? I’m glad I forced you to ask. I bought a Ryobi drill (corded), a 100-piece set of drill bits, a 45-piece allen wrench set (two portable sets – one metric and one SAE as well as identical loose units), a claw hammer (another term for just an absolutely regular hammer), a 25′ tape measure, a long-range lighter (think for lighting grills), a tiny keychain level, and a laser pointer that for some inexplicable reason makes noise whenever you activate it. Now, I haven’t done the official research, but I think these things would come to a pretty penny – maybe even a ravishing penny. But I paid just a hair over $50 for these things. While the tools look slightly used (my hammer already had slight chips on it – but hey, it’s a HAMMER right?), most of the things I purchased came with lifetime warranties.

And, not to brag, I actually now have the storage for these things. My new place is, as was deduced by a private panel of informed voters, the bomb.

I just reread this journal entry. I’m becoming alarmingly influenced by the writing style of Bill Bryson. I don’t think that’s bad thing.

Some random thoughts

And here come the bullets:

  • I’m moving starting this week. It’s a kick-ass 2BR place in Elmwood Park, above Susan. Sure, it’s more than I *should* be affording, but it’s simply too good to pass up. I’m thinking living alone will either make me very productive, lonelier, or likely both. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily.
  • I really like brunettes. As in REALLY like them. I noticed this when I combed through my MySpace, and changed my top 12 people to girl friends I thought had hot pics. They were ALL brunettes, and one redhead just got knocked off the list. Blondes, prove me wrong!
  • Now that I’m packing up, I’m finding great things that would be prizes for new contests on esoderek.com. I just gotta think up a cool contest now. Coming soon!
  • My visits-per-day has been going down. I really need to get Flash Dash up and running. Here’s the annoying thing – since Jay has been working out of sheer kindness, it’s hard to press him to work harder, you know? If anyone out there is ESPECIALLY computer-savvy and can create a program that can accomodate Flash Dash, or at least has interest in trying, let me know.
  • The Donator’s Tour II is in jeopardy this summer without sponsorship. I’m going to see what I can do to get myself sponsored, so that I can get out there for a few weeks again. It helped my game, and it was just plain fun.
  • I want to get a cat. Will I just kill a defenseless animal if I do? (I’m not home an awful lot)
  • Seriously, blondes, do something about Bullet #2.
  • I dislike Yankees fans greatly. Even my friends that are Yankees fans. I’m sorry, guys, but you just went down a notch in coolness. If a Subway Series happens, I think I’m secluding myself in my house and watching the games alone, with my phone off.
  • I own too many CDs, and I’m going to buy more next month. Someone help me.

West Virginia Open – Day 4

I love the fact that I bought an expensive digital camera specifically for this blog, and yet I seem to go out of my way to not take any pictures with it under any circumstances. I’ll just pretend that there’s nothing interesting to photograph at Paw Paw (a grotesque lie).

So with only one round left and a Super-tour A-tier event, I was on the third card sitting pretty in 13th place out of 45. I just didn’t want a first-out-of-cash (I have taken 5 already this year). We were playing the course that normally bites me in the tuckus, but I managed to school the first round in the rain. I started decently enough, but playing a bit more like my average self (missing putts high and left and not getting the good luck), but I was definitely holding it together. I was taking mostly 4’s through the tough holes, with some threes scattered about.

Then came the worst roll-away I’ve ever heard of (it rolled too far away for me to see). I threw a hole that requires a little left-to-right throw to land it on the top of a hill that slopes left. I threw and it nicked some leaves and caused it to hyzer to the left. Being on that slope is bad but not unmanageable. But apparently, if you PASS the ridge in the slope and then start to roll, it actually is more like a ravine than a slope. And if your disc rolls 300′ (no exaggeration, according to the spotter) you have nothing. True, I was only about 350′ from the basket on the drive, but it was going up a 45 degree slope with no discernable fairway. In short, I was screwed.

With some good throws, I managed to 7 the hole, but it put a dent in my decent (but not stellar) round. I was only one or two off the first time playing it (which I was happy with) before that round. I managed to pull myself together and finish off the round strong, including a 2 on the very tough hole 16 (only a 15′ putt too!) and ending the round on the hardest hole on the course, hole 2, with a 4. Very happy. I ended with a 68 – not as good as the rain-round, but certainly better than expected especially with the bad luck I got.

Where did that put me? Right on the cash bubble. I just saw another first-out-of-cash to add to my list. But when it was announced, I crept into the cash as last-cash. Now, that might not sound like much, but we’re talking an A-Tier event featuring 10 1000 rated players (who should, if the ratings were 100% accurate, beat me by 6 or 7 strokes A ROUND). I even ended up taking out J.G. and Bryan Gawler, who are both past winners and usually in the fray of it.

In all, I took home $110, but that really was nothing compared to finally cashing at a pro event, and at a tournament as fun as WVO and at a course as humbling and difficult as Paw Paw. It felt like a win, to be sure. There are rough unofficial round ratings in, and I apparently shot 1011 (my highest ever), 983, and 962.  Those seemed accurate.  I don’t think they’ve vary much.

In general, there were two aspects of my game that saved me: my putt (surprisingly) and my backhand roller (which seems to have solidified itself as the best shot in my bag).  The luck petered out, but I’d still say I was “lucky” over “unlucky” for this tournament.  I always say, if you play well, you’ll get the good breaks.
The WVO atmosphere this year was not like in past – the partying was minimal before Sunday with the miserable weather taking precedence. I was supposed to play some music, and when I went up on the stage to play, one of the guys jamming told me I was “totally ruining the groove.” It just left me with a weird sour taste. I seem to only like the WVO party atmosphere if I myself am getting wasted, which I wasn’t. We ended up taking an early leave at 11pm and got home just before 4am (not a smart idea, by the way)

But the cabin and the people there made the trip great, as well as some good golf, and a good cheer when I went up to accept my first pro money. Whether or not they are all my friends, there’s no doubt that the disc golf community is certainly very supportive of me.
That might be the end of disc golf for me for a while, with work kicking into full gear tomorrow. As always, we’ll have to see.

West Virginia Open – Day 3

As some back story, last year I played Paw Paw as a pro and came in 4th from the bottom. One of the courses, The Whipping Post (the slightly harder course), resulted in me not throwing a single par – I threw two birdies and the rest were 4’s or worse (I think the final score was a 73). And this was where I started. I played my card with none of the top pros, and several people I didn’t know. Turned out to be a nice group. We start on the very difficult hole 9, a long winding wooded hole and a tough three. And I 3 it. Okay, the curse was broken.

In fact, I damn near destroyed that curse. My putting was IMPECCABLE. I did not miss a single putt the whole round, including a few beyond 30’. And this was considering we had steady cold rainfall the entire round. My drives were on, my game was rock solid, and I even took a flukey circle 6 on a hole. I ended up carding a fantastic 65, a good seven strokes better than my best score ever on the course. It was good enough to put me on second card in pro. That’s right, top ten in pro in an A-tier event. I beat Mitch, as well as several top pros. It was like I stepped in awesome juice.

After a quick nervous lunch, I step out with Bob Graham, Mike Hofmann, Tyler Horne, and Shawn Breske – all golfers who are much better than me. My goal was simply not to embarrass myself. And after six holes, I was beating everyone on the card. Again, it was the putting – EN FUEGO. Still hadn’t missed. In fact, I didn’t miss a putt until the 9th hole of the second round, where I dinked a 20 footer. By now, the weather had warmed up 20 degrees and it was sunny. Perfect disc golf weather. I had let a few strokes slip, but I was still hanging with the big boys. My backhand roller game was top notch, and my putting was strong. I had a bad hole or two near the end, and ended up carding a respectable 66. (Our card shot 63, 64, 65, 66 and 80). So that means I’m still in this thing. Mitch ended up coming ahead of me, but I’m still likely going to be third card or so. My surprisingly good play has resulted in me going back to the cabin tonight and getting a good night’s sleep. I’ve got to play well tomorrow, after all.

Not much drinking, and I’ll be sleepin’ like a baby. Like a narcoleptic baby.

West Virginia Open – Day 2

While waiting for Jeannie to show up at Jeff’s, we hauled off to Roland Park in Acron, PA to blitz through a quick round before the hurricane started. It was a nice, short course with a surprising demand for many different types of shots. Despite some rain, I played the entire round in just my Crocs. I shot very well – after hole 20 (it’s a 21 hole course and we skipped one) I was beating Mitch by one stroke at -4. But then I went OB on the last hole and he birdies, beating me by one. But it made me feel good nonetheless.

From there, Jeannie arrived and we bid farewell to Jeff and Alicia – but I’m still really grateful for their needless and rather spur-of-the-moment hospitality. It’s always nice. We immediately head the wrong way. Good job us. Then at around 7:30pm, we hit our cabin, the lovely Bird’s Nest in Berkeley Springs, WV. It’s a great cabin with full amenities and, better yet, it’s not a hurricane. Bob and Kitt were already there and Doot and his girlfriend Maureen showed up shortly after us. Tired and wet, we decided to hit the booze early, and drank until 2am. We tried to play a game of “15”, but it ended after it was decided that Jeannie was too drunk to exist. And with that, I headed off to bed to play Paw Paw!!!

West Virginia Open – Day 1

Well, *technically* this wasn’t the first day of the tournament, but I’m a bastard and I like to give misleading information. I killed JFK. Anyhow, Mitch and I got late word of a Ween and Flaming Lips concert in Allentown, which is almost immediately on the way to Paw Paw, WV. Thanks to Jeff L. for that tip. So we drive out to Jordan Creek (which I’ve played once) and played a really quick round. I shoot decently, though nothing spectacular, ending up at +7 (to Mitch’s +3 and Jeff’s +8). My putting is still on. Woof.

Then we booked over to the concert to see Sonic Youth be all old. I would have taken pictures, but it wasn’t worth it. Ween came on first and played the best show I’ve seen them play to date (I have seen them two other occasions). Highlights included hearing Touch My Tooter live, as well as a new song called, I assume, “Leave Deaner Alone”. It was about as un-state-fair-like a song as I could imagine. It caused some parents there to say oops churlishly. I might have misused that word. The Lips came on, and I’d never seen them, and their show lived up to the hype. Tons of theatrics, streamers, confetti, dancing Santas and martians, and some great songs. While they didn’t play any older songs (I was jonesin’ for They Punctured My Yolk), their version of The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song was great. It was WELL worth the price.

Finally, we stop back to Jeff’s and meet his wife Alicia, and I instantly fall asleep. Good start to the tournament.

MSDGC – Final Day

Well, it’s officially over, and I have come to the conclusion that Marshall Street is perhaps not my place to play good disc golf. As in at all. It was ugly. If I take luck into account, it was the worst tournament I’ve played since becoming pro, and possibly the worst tournament I’ve played in the past two years. The reason I specify luck is because I didn’t particularly play so horribly, but I played poor (to be sure) and also couldn’t get a good kick until halfway through my last round, where I got a few here and there.

Things I walked away with:

– Marshall Street is a great time, and had the weather not sucked the proverbial monkey (mid 50’s and raining), it would have been ever better.

– Jason and Steve (and Lick and Kelly for that matter) are absolutely nuts.

– Even when you putt great (this was, bar none, the best putting I’ve ever had for four consecutive rounds) you can still throw like crap.

– I may have been the only one to throw 3’s on hole 1 and hole 11 at Maple Hill Airplanes (they’re very tricky and long holes).

– All the money I made from that 3 on hole 11 (Luke Butch put up $20 if anyone could do it) went to paying all the bets I had made with people. I paid $11 to Cromwell, $4 to Shanest, $10 to Jeff Cahill, and $2 to Flick. It was a slaughter of my wallet. Fortunately, because of poker and caddying, I still came out ahead, but with a bruised ego.

– If I make a qualifier tournament, I will be back next year.

MSDGC – Day 4

And with 11 holes, I took myself out of the cash. In a word, it was ugly. The first round was at Pyramids, where I’ve only played the long layout once. I don’t recall doing so well there the first time. So I start on a few birdie holes, and I manage to throw a birdies. After seven holes, I’m -1 (which ended up being the hot round for the day) I’m putting well still and I’m holding my own. Then I proceed to vomit all over the course. I carded three consecutive 5’s, primarily on bad luck, compounded with bad play. Then I pull out a tough 2 on an 80′ uphill jump putt. And then I card a 3 on my nemesis hole. So I’m feeling good going into “the Airport Hole”, probably the toughest hole on the course. And I end up 6ing that sucker, completely killing my momentum. I ended up +12 for the round, which is pretty miserable.

After lunch, I go over to Maple Hill, the layout where I threw a -3 for the Qualifier round. And I would have loved to do that again. I think by my tone you can tell that I didn’t. I started 3ing the hardest hole on the course, birdieing (spelling?) the next, and then 3ing another hard hole. Huge start. But like the morning round, I fell apart, taking a circle six on the next (easy) hole. I slipped on the teepad. Here’s where it gets funky, because I played a very hot round all in all. My putting has been better today than in any tournament and, aside from straddle putts, I have only missed two in the circle, and I’ve probably made 5 or 6 outside. But I’ve had a bucket of suck in terms of luck, and I had a few bad kicks. But to throw a 58 on that course when you’re playing well is just a sin.

So not only did I get mutilated in all my side-bets (so far, I owe Cromwell about $6), I didn’t make the top 64 to make the “A pool”. While that takes a little of the pressure off, it also makes me feel like a mullet.

And so, I earned my new haircut.

MSDGC – Day 3

Well, my cash streak continues, but in an unlikely way. It did NOT, incidentally, continue by me being a 3-pete Hold’em champion. I made it to the final table, but was knocked out 9th, fourth out of the cash. I was very pleased with how I played – although it was a bit more conservative than normal. I folded the strong hand several times throughout the night, but that’s certainly better than calling while being the weaker hand. There was some drama, but really, the flops I got never matched my decent hands, and I got rivered out a few times. What can you do?

Another way I did not earn any money was playing disc golf. Because it was miserable day weather-wise, I didn’t throw a disc all day, which is questionable before a tournament, perhaps. Instead, I watched the skins games. There, Courtney Peavy (very good disc golfer) asked me to be a caddy since I was planning on walking with the ladies group anyway and she absolutely hates playing without a caddy in the rain (and it was bucketing fo sho’). I said sure (or fo sho’). Apparently, there’s an unwritten rule that caddies should get a “fee” for caddying if the player cashes. I think that’s silly, but then again, I would never use a caddy. Courtney won the most skins (11), accounting for a nice chunk of change – $550. My fee was $55. I rejected it twice, because, like I said, I think the entire ordeal is quite silly. She relented, so I made some more money. That brings my total to $147 for the week so far. And since I paid for this tournament in January, I’m still considering this to be a killer payout.

I start tomorrow at Pyramids on hole 18 with two players I’ve never played with before. MSDGC, here I come, hopefully well rested (I am at a hotel because our tent is officially a sponge.

Marshall Street – Day 2

Alcohol – what a miraculous invention. Something must be said for being able to properly function after having what I’ll describe as a “plethora” of alcohol. And it seemed to do the trick – but I’m seriously getting ahead of myself.

After about a billion comments about my hair (which can be seen here)

I decide to practice Maple Hill. This is a course I’d never played before, but apparently I watched the MSDGC DVDs enough to recognize nearly every hole. I think that’s a testament to how lame my social life is. But I digress. I step onto the very famous hole 1 (taken in photograph form by yours truly)

And I proceed to throw crap, although my discs stayed dry. For a round of the shorts, I shot +3, which wasn’t really great or horrible. I only three four bogies, so in that the round was solid. But one birdie is NOT good. It got me ready for the Birdie Skins qualifier.

To explain, there is a skins round that you need to qualify for by placing in the top 4 of a small mini-tournament. At the beginning, any bookie would have decided that I was a long shot at best. “Dark horse” is another term. “Not a chance in hell” also sounds familiar. I shot four birdies in my first six holes, taking a lead on such good pros as Mike Hofmann and Sjur Soleng. I did throw a few bogies and ended up carding 8 birdies for a super solid -3. I felt good about that, even though I was 4 strokes off qualifying for the tournament. I wasn’t upset – I was already ahead in money for the weekend.

Dinner and alcohol commenced, and I was ready for more poker. Early on, I got rivered out on a big hand (I had 2 pair and the guy only had an open-ended straight draw) and of course I lost out on the last card. But I was unfettered, as I like to be, and I came back to win my second game of cards in a row. I’m already $100 ahead (which was the cost for the big Hold’em tournament tonight). We’ll see how that goes.

And now I might play the other Maple Hill layout. Or go in the hot tub. Or take a nap. Really, there are alot of good ideas out there.

Marshall Street – Day 1 (one entry)

There’s a certain legacy about Marshall Street. I’ve heard the gamut of compliments: from it’s a highly competitive tournament to it’s the greatest party ever to it’s simply a must-not-miss event. Unfortunately, I’ve missed it both years previous to this, and I’ve only ever been up to Pyramids (one of the two courses that constitute Marshall Street) a handful of times. Already, I know the Southwick’s hospitality to be insane, which is fitting, since they are, by all counts, insane.

So I pick up the Mullet from the airport and we make good time up to good ole’ Worcester MA for the tourney. Of course, the tourney doesn’t start until Saturday. As we pull up, they’re starting a game of poker (it was already around 10pm at this point) Since I’m registered in the Hold’em tourney, I figured it’s good practice. And wouldn’t you know it, I pull the victory out, thanks to some favorable flops and a clever slow-play of a full house. I’ve cashed $40, and I’m still two days away from the tournament. Plus I’m eating a FREE pie, so that’s sorta like double cashing.

At this point, it’s around midnight, and someone suggests playing some glow golf. Sounds like a good idea to promote injury, so I’m on board. We play Pyramids shorts, which is the course I’ve played most, so I at least know where I’m throwing. I end up tossing a +7, which was better than it seems on paper. I threw some great shots with a disc I had never used and didn’t lose it. Mitch threw a -1, but I came in second, edging out the Yeti (sorry for the pun, Yeti).

So about 3:30am, I decide it’s time to go to sleep. You can’t beat 50’s in terms of temperature for camping. You CERTAINLY could beat the 50’s in terms of decades, though. Golly gee, those years blew chunks.

Something I’ll Find Funnier Than You Will

In perhaps the funniest moment of disc golf I’ve witnessed in a while, Steve Vann accomplished something that I’ve never seen before in the history of disc golf. (And I apologize for poor picture quality – the following pictures were taken with a camera-phone, the only thing we had available.)  So we step up to hole 1 at Rutgers and it’s a very easy high hyzer shot, less than 100′ long. I even point out to Steve the route:

You want to go around that and around the tree behind it. Well, Steve was paranoid about this lamppost, and he was having a bad round to boot. So what does he do? Not only does he throw it at the lamppost, he ACES the lamppost. The disc even stayed in the thing. I’ve never witnessed anything like it. Nor have I heard Steve ever laugh that hard. Ah, disc golf…

Happy Birthday to ME!

As a birthday present, Webmaster (and awesome bowler) Jason has set up my blog so that it is now fully interactive.  This was not done because of a deluge of interest in this type of blog – rather it was done more or less to placate Marsha, Mitch’s girlfriend.  She hounded me during my Donator’s Tour to have a place where she could post comments.  So there you go.

Big things in store with this blog, though – since it is now interactive, that means there will definitely be more contests very soon, and I’m beginning to think I may try to obtain sponsorship next year for a second Donator’s Tour (thanks goes to B.O.B. for the idea, which should have been simple enough for me to come up with).

Thanks Jason!


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Kevin’s Wedding – Day 4, 5, and part of 6

I start with another picture of Kevin and I. Because I didn’t want to oversaturate yesterday’s entry with photos.

The day started late, around 11:30pm. Which is just as well, really, since I was in need of sleep. After trying to figure out what to do with Domo, which in itself is an hour’s process, Will and I headed out to play some disc golf. He’d never played a single hole, and I wanted to add a new state to my repertoire. We headed out to the Oak Grove (Hahamongna Park) Course in Pasadena, which we’re told was the first permanent polehole in the country. With all the word I’ve heard about SoCal disc golf, I expected a wide open course with no particular challenge. This course, however, was quite challenging, especially for me who likes to throw fairly high (it had many low ceilings). The views from the teepads were exquisite, as you can tell from this picture.

And this picture.

And this picture.

As you might be able to see, Will has very good form for a first time player, something that surprised me, though only a little. We had, after all, played a whole crapload of frisbee growing up. He had some natural skills, and I sorta hope he takes the Beast we found on the course and goes out again to play.

Anyway, after that, we get back and meet up with good friends Brian and Julie, who are such good friends that I, in no way, took any pictures of them. Oops. From there, we headed out to Sardo’s, the heralded karaoke bar in LA that houses Porn Star Karaoke every Tuesday. There, I managed to croon out, to an underwhelmed crowd, Weird Al’s “You Don’t Love Me Anymore”, and capping off the night with the more-popular “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake. I think the two highlights were a couple singing a song from Avenue Q and before the song was even halfway through, the whole crowd was literally screaming “porn!” at them, and Will doing a Beastie Boys song entirely on his own, with me only helping on the chorus. Oh, and I was quite surprised to know that I still knew all the male words to The Time Warp.

After getting a few hours sleep, we awoke to try to plan going home. Lynly dropped Susan and I off at the subway station at around 11:30PST. We took three trains and a bus to even get us to LAX. Public transportation is not very, what’s the word, worthwhile in LA. We get to the airport at around 1:30, more than two hours early. In fact, when we got there, we found our flight would be delayed an hour and a half, giving us ample time to drink at the bar at prices that are The Price of a Bottle of Wine for One Glass of Said Wine. This delay was bad. If everything had worked out EXACTLY perfect, we would have just caught the final train home once in Newark.

Instead, we fly in, arrive at 1:30am EST. After getting my luggage, it was just after 2, long after the trains stopped running. So we wait around until 4:30am, take two monorails (bringing our train count up to 5) to get to the train station. We take a train to Secaucus Junction only to find out the train we want doesn’t depart until 7am (two hours later). So we take a different train (#7) and get into Hawthorne where Susan’s brother dropped us off at my apartment a little while ago.

The wedding was great, the awkwardness was minimal, and I had a great time. I now just need a backrub like it’s going out of business, if backrubs could ever do that. Kevin, thank you and good luck.

Kevin’s Wedding – The Wedding

That was a wedding unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. And as a note, any pictures that look larger here will NOT have the ability to be enlarged by clicking on them, because I stole them from Kristen’s private collection.

It was at some place with a totally bizarre name like the Inn at the Seventh Ray. In fact, that might have been the name. It was actually quite a quaint little outdoor setting.

It had a fountain.

The future Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Gibert – until I told him to marry Angela instead of the fountain

I was sat at a table with Kristen and Jeff, who are good friends from home, and there were shenanigans to be found. Here is photographic evidence of such.

Also enjoying shenanigans were Will and Lynly.

The entire ceremony started about 45 minutes late, which was interesting because the ceremony and reception together were four hours long, the length of time they had the place. So the wedding was short and sweet – with quite a few light moments. During the ring exchange, the priest (I’ll use that term because I don’t know what affiliation he belonged to) says “Please wear this” and both Kevin and Angela repeated it as a beg or a plea. Very good stuff. Then Angela started ad-libbing… “as a sign that you’re my property.” Good stuff.

There was no drama on my part at the wedding with any of the people on my “awkward” list, though it wasn’t exactly something I feel like doing again anytime soon. Well, I did shoot Kevin in the chest.

Of course, they had their typical things – the vows

the talking to tons of people

the cutting of the cake

the first dance.

the little later in the first dance

But I’m saving the capitalizing moment for last. Their reception ended in likely the greatest moment I’ve ever seen in a wedding. Kevin and Angela had chosen music from their Ipod collection as fodder for the reception. And as their last song, they chose the Mountain Goats “No Children”. They each took the microphone and crooned out the lyrics to the song (which you may remember is #2 on my top 113). Now, “No Chidren” is a song about a couple who are the brink of self-destruction. And not only were Angela and Kevin singing it, they had quite a few people singing alone merrily: “I hope you die, I hope we both die.” After the song, Kevin kiddingly asks, “who wants to hear it again?” And there is a huge cheer. So I push “back” on the Ipod and we hear it again, with more people singing the lyrics. It ended in applause and a kiss, how all weddings should. But I will leave you with the lyrics that we crooned out:

I hope that our few remaining friends give up on trying to save us.
I hope we come up with a failsafe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us.
And I hope the fences we’ve mended crumble beneath their own weight,
And I hope we hang on past the last exit; I hope it’s already too late.
And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here someday burns down,
And I hope the rising black sun carries me far away, and I never come back to this town
Again. In my life. I hope I lie and tell everyone you were a good wife.
And I hope you die. I hope we both die.

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow, I hope it bleeds all day long.
Our friends say it’s darkest before the sun rises – we’re pretty sure they’re all wrong.
I hope it stays dark forever, and I hope the worst isn’t over.
I hope you blink before I do – I hope we never get sober.
And I hope when you think of me years down the line, you can’t find one good thing to say.
And I hope if I found the strength to walk out, you stay the hell out of my way.
I am drowning, there is no sign of land,
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand,
And I hope you die. I hope we both die.

Kevin and Angela, I wish you the best of luck. You are, as Kevin’s mother described, “my type of people.”

Kevin’s Wedding – Day 2

My life flashed before my eyes last night, only it took about 8 hours and came in the form of spirits from my past ala A Christmas Carol. So at about 6 I get thirsty and finish off the wine that I started the night before. Will and Lynly come home and Lynly makes the executive decision to sleep and not play Dash at Kevin’s, but will meet up with us afterward at the Whatever Ranch (I forget the exact name). As a note, nothing happened last night as it was supposed to. We get to Kevin’s and there is a plethora of people there, very few of whom I know, but most of whom I should.

Now, I’m gonna make a tangent. I often tell people the story of meeting a famous person last week. I’m not one of those people who’s overcome by celebrities. In fact, I am the one who will often make a celebrity chuckle. But I’m often EXPECTING celebrities (like when I volunteered at the Tony’s – John Lithgow thought I was quite humorous). But when Stephen Colbert randomly came to my workplace to see his daughter in an OPEN REHEARSAL, I was completely unprepared for him, and greeted him with a vacant stare and a slight whimper. I don’t do well with surprises. At Kevin’s, I was entirely prepared for Doug, with whom I have great animosity, and I was fully prepared to bring my fake grin and have a pleasant evening. I was even prepared for Caroline, my ex, who ended up dating Doug, but she didn’t show. I’m still entirely unsure if she’s going to be out here for any of this. However, when Pyscho Rachel strolled in, a girl I hadn’t spoken a word to in about 9 years, the Ghost of Christmas Gutpunch came and just laughed in my face. All in all, it went by pretty uneventfully, but it did require me to get an extra bottle of wine.

After enough awkwardness, we took off to the Spelunker Ranch, which had a line a hundred thick. So we went to another bar, whose name I don’t think I ever got, so I’ll call it Marv. Will started me off with a shot and I had a Red Devil, which was made about as incorrectly as I have ever witnessed. All the sudden, I hear “Derek?” Erin from 40 Hale, as I knew her back in college, was there. She was a girl that either lived at a place with alot of my classmates, or was just there ALL THE TIME. She informs me that Jaime Parker is gonna stop by. Jaime Parker was my ‘BFA Buddy’, the guy who was supposed to show me the ropes of college. Great guy, haven’t seen him since college. So it was a happy reunion of sorts, with just a few more drinks. It was pretty late still, and I hadn’t yet thrown up in someone’s front bushes.

So I decided to do so by Kristen’s house. That lawn has been christened. At around 3am, I finally nestle into my futon, with several other people, but I’m almost sure they left before I awoke. It is now time for donuts and putting on a suit. Last night was something else. Today will likely be ‘something’.

And now, Jay, here’s the fine suit you bought me:

Kevin’s Wedding – Day 1

So I get to the airport early with Susan for our 7:35pm flight, since apparently airports don’t like people walking in and just boarding their planes haphazardly (they are Japanese and would like you to take off your shoes first). So we get there two hours early and pop off to an airport steakhouse to eat and drink inappropriately priced food. Then we get to the terminal about 30 minutes before boarding was supposed to be begin. As it turns out, “boarding” was a process that involved not making any forward progress towarsds our plane. In fact, we didn’t actually sit on the plane until around 7:45pm, which you will realize, if you have a shrewd memory, was ten minutes after we should have left. Apparently, as it was explained over the PA system, the plane had to be “thoroughly checked” after it’s flight “from the Dominican Republic” for “drugs and other such stuff,” as the pilot calmly told us. Then we wait for the adding of “100 gallons of water” and then “some extra luggage that still hadn’t been loaded”. This took about an hour, putting us over an hour behind schedule. Then, after about a half hour of sitting in the plane, waiting for our turn to take off, the pilot calmly informs us that “we are now about fourth in line”

This stupidly pointless story cut short, we were almost two hours late taking off. The flight was over five hours in length, and I slept for exactly zero minutes of that flight. However, for about an hour of the flight, we got to witness a sick lightning storm to our right. I tried to take good pictures, which was difficult considering it was a) very dark and b) my camera doesn’t seem to like the dark. I managed to snap a few decent ones. Then I remembered (at the tail end of the storms) that I have a movie function, which seemed to capture quite well the lightning. However, this was at the point when there was one bolt every six seconds, as opposed to the five a second that we had been averaging.
Two fuzzy and unimpressive pictures of a clear and impressive event:

Anyway, we flew in and I slept well. Will and Lynly live about two blocks from the famous Warner Brothers watertower, captured here in the poorest lighting conditions I could find.

Today, I got up and kicked around for a while, only to eventually get out and go CD shopping – there’s a very great used CD WAREHOUSE called Amoeba where I bought 6 CD’s for under $35. I’m going to spare you what they were, because most people would laugh at me. I did manage to land me an album with 4 accordion players. And it was free. Life in CA isn’t all bad. Tomorrow? I’m stranded at home, so expect pointless updates on www.esoderek.com.

The PA tour

So out of the blue, Amanda texts me, prompting me to forget entirely that I had even given her my number. She asks if I want to go out and play Nockamixon, a course I’ve never played, and I jump at the opportunity, especially knowing it was going to be a thousand degrees outside. So I drive out for two hours and, after a few wrong turns, get to Nockamixon State Park in PA, a course I’d heard great things about (and one of the worlds courses last year). After the ‘long time no see’ hugs, we get underway and start on hole 6, which is a MONSTER dogleg left hole with a billion trees. I have a short drive, missing the landing zone, and then two fantastic up shots, putting me within 100′ of this difficult par 5. And then I can the shot with 2 newbies looking on. Good way to start.

I’ll say this about Nockamixon – it’s a great course when it’s properly kept. It was not, however, properly kept, as Amanda lost two discs and we got more cuts, bruises, and spider attacks than I’d care to count, although it always was met with a hilarious whoooeeeeing noise by Amanda, who I discovered early does not like spiders. There are many great holes that I could see had promise amidst the shin-high weeds. I mean, here’s one of the views from one of the baskets:

And here’s a beautiful hole which is completely misleading in terms of what the entire course looked like when we played it:

I ended up playing quite solid for me, after a lousy four rounds at the Skylands Classic NT. I ended up shooting a 53 on the 14 holes they had (remember, the course is a pro par of 68 for 18 holes, so I would have been right about there).

After getting hopelessly lost for a while and many u-turns and a passing rainstorm later, we ended up at the Little Lehigh course, which I’d heard even better things about. In fact, we were going to play Jordan Creek, which I had played before, but good friend and fellow Faction Member “Horrible” Pete Lambdin called me and told me to hit up Little Lehigh, which I for some reason thought was a temporary course. It was definitely worth the trip – a predominantly wide-open course with great use of the trees and winding rivers and roads.

In helping Amanda look for discs, I fell on some slippery rock (mental note – don’t wear Cons… like ever) and came down hard on my elbow and hand. And though I was in a great deal of pain, I putted like a FIEND for the rest of the round. On the whole day, I made three or four putts outside of the circle (including two outside of 60′) and was literally hitting every putt I had. It felt good, after having my putting fail me so miserably as recently as two weeks ago. Here was a hole where I drove 70′ short and canned the putt (one might argue that it’s a deuce-or-die hole anyway)

More hyzer!!!
It wasn’t all golf in humid uncomfortable weather, however. We managed to sneak off and take some interesting shots. Here is one of them.

And now, possibly for just Amanda’s sake, click HERE for another similar pic which I really like, even though it was entirely accidental.

Little Lehigh was definitely worth it, much better groomed, and quite enjoyable. I managed to shoot a +1 I think when the scores were added up. I don’t know what that would be equated to, but it felt pretty close to a 1000-rated round. Considering I was playing at 60% (not driving full because of my elbow), I’ll certainly take it.

Definitely worth the trip to PA for those two courses. And now, I’m off to CA for a wedding, and you can bet your sweet tuckus that I’m bringing a few discs with me, “just in case”.

Skylands Classic Day 3

Here’s a picture of a tree I like.

Now the disc golf recap.

And the tournament finished much in the same way it began: unimpressive. Round 3 was my favorite layout, and I proceeded to shoot a 61, worse than I’d done on that course in over two years. Absolutely nothing worked properly for me – my drives, ups, or putts. In fact, when I did get off a good drive (such as my consistently-good backhand roller), I would ended going PAST the basket and not giving myself anything to shoot at – a case of a drive being too good). It was abysmal. It was rated a 935, which is still incredibly generous, but it was a good 5 strokes worse than I had done last year.

Well out of cash possibilities, I wanted to just play round 4 without being a whiny bitch, something I had apolgetically become the previous round. And I start off with the miserable crap I’d been throwing the whole weekend. Tom “Dub” Kim gave me at least five “come ons” when I shot a terrible shot that was uncharacteristic of me (normally). At the last minute, I managed to snag three birdies and salvage a 59 on this layout (the same as last year), but it was at least respectable.

I learned a few things at this tournament, though:

– My most consistent shot is my backhand roller.
– Barry putted like a putz the round I played with him (he must have missed 5 easy putts) and yet he still shot only one off the course record. Why? He didn’t miss a single drive. Not one. As much as I usually say my drives are the strength in my game, they’re not. I probably “miss” about 25% of my drives by ALOT, and probably 40% by at least a little. I need consistancy with my drives, whether if I’m trying for a lot of distance or not.
– How well (or poorly) I do is still exactly proportional to how good my up game is, not how good my putt game is.
– A few people this tournament said I played to quickly or commented at how quickly I play (Mitch has also told me this). It got me to thinking – if I ALWAYS played bad, then I can blame the quick play. But when I play in twosomes casually or threesomes in tournaments, I usually play well at my quick pace. I think a problem is in larger tournaments where I have 5 in my group, there is alot of starting and stopping. And to just get up and play as fast as I do after sitting is not allowing me to even get past the rest period. When the pace of the tournament allows, I can play like I normally do. But I think for my mental game, I need to slow down when the whole pace is slowed down. I will try that soon.
– 5 birdies for 4 rounds will NEVER win you a tournament, especially if three of them come in the last six holes out of 72.
– The consistency I found while on tour has NOT carried over.
– My arm hurts.

Like I posted yesterday, when Jon sends me his handiwork, I’ll display it here or link to where it can be accessed. He really is a wizard with the lens and button.