You’re not going to miss the Coliseum, Raider Nation; you’re going to miss the party

I’ve been putting this off for a while.

Now, as any writer will tell you, this is normal. Writers hate the writing process, and the easiest way to get a reporter to clean their house is to assign a deadline. We procrastinate by nature, and we’ve all convinced ourselves that we write better under the gun. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant: it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t know if pressure actually makes us better, and no writer has ever turned anything in early so we could test it. I guess we’ll never know.

Continue reading “You’re not going to miss the Coliseum, Raider Nation; you’re going to miss the party”

What does it mean to be a leader? (the second part of Spring Break dispatches)

(Ed. Note – A previous blog was about managing my coed softball team, and it was supposed to be part one. Then a lot of events happened, so it got delayed until now. Here’s part two:)

What makes a good leader?

This is something I have spent many hours thinking about. What makes a good leader? I can tell you exactly the first time this thought crossed my mind. Working at Lowe’s, in college.

Let’s start with a couple of hot takes:

Continue reading “What does it mean to be a leader? (the second part of Spring Break dispatches)”

Running out of gas, filling up on barbecue and overdosing on baseball

(Ed. Note – This is a special guest post by friend-of-the-blog Jordan Guinn. Get more of his acerbic humor on Twitter.)

Twice in the last three years I’ve been fortunate enough to take a week out of my summer to tour baseball parks across the country with Fernando. The trip involves a rental car, lots of energy drinks and many disagreements about whose playlist we should be listening to. 

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Spring Break Dispatches: Part 1 – Putting the Err in Manager

Note: My schools have split spring breaks, but I have enough free time to write a little. I am currently at the JACC Conference in Sacramento until Sunday morning.

Managing people is hard.

For starters, managing is not the same as being a boss. Any jackass can give orders. Delegation is a skill, but It’s also a luxury. Deep down, most of us want to be in charge and believe we should be.

But managing people is a different animal. Handling a diverse group of individuals, like a baseball manager, and leading them to success is hard. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise – not even me. Because if you had met me 10 years ago, I would have said being a manager is a piece of cake. Not anymore.

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‘For the kids, man’; on the challenge of a new semester and why I teach

For me, there is really only one reason to do anything in this world. The same reason Sammy Sosa used when he was caught with a corked bat in an MLB game in 2003.

“For the keeds, man. For the keeds.”

His excuse was that he used a corked (and therefore illegal) bat in batting practice to put on a show for the kids. Now, as someone who loves batting practice and has seen Khris Davis put on a show at the Coliseum, I don’t hate the excuse. Seriously, I saw Khris smash a suite window in batting practice once, about 425 feet from home plate. It was amazing.

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Do the Right Thing: On killing Hitler, making choices and immigrant family detentions

Before Nazis became socially acceptable again in recent years, they used to make the best villains. Surely, a legion of genocidal war criminals in snappy black uniforms were indefensible – they murdered millions of innocent people! They practiced ethnic cleansing! Who could defend these guys?

I bet I could guess. Continue reading “Do the Right Thing: On killing Hitler, making choices and immigrant family detentions”

A little about Venice; and a lot about my dad

(This was written March 22)

I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad.

It makes sense: the anniversary of his death was less than a month ago. But the strangest thing about my father’s passing is how long it took to affect me.

Maybe it’s the softness that develops with old age. Since I’m now an ancient 33 years old (the same age Jesus was when he was crucified), I’ve definitely started getting sappier. Like, cry-during-a-pasta-commercial sappy. OK, so that hasn’t actually happened, but there are a variety of situations that will result in tears now.

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50 Hours in Texas: A Quick Ballpark Detour

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a deals problem. It’s very difficult for me to resist a great deal, especially if it’s something I want. I own so many Xbox 360 games I will never play, simply because they were too cheap to pass up.

Well, that mentality got me into a little adventure last weekend. I was presented with a deal I simply couldn’t refuse: $78 roundtrip to Dallas from SFO. I’ve never been to Dallas. And I’m #blessed enough to have a great schedule; I only teach Mon-Wed. Continue reading “50 Hours in Texas: A Quick Ballpark Detour”