Wednesday, November 23, 2005

One Season Ends, Another Begins

The 2005 Fall soccer season is over. Both kids played in the same tournament this past weekend, at different venues, of course. The little kids did well; out of their 8 games, they won 4, lost 2, tied 2. The big kids had kind of a rough weekend; they started out pretty good, winning their first game 2-1. It was so cold out there, it was unreal; it was 80 two days before, and it was in the 20s the morning we had to be out there at 7:15 - never fails. The reffing was horrible, again; there should have been at least 2 yellow cards and one red card, but the ref called nothing - NOTHING. The red card was after the ref blew the game-ending whistle; Rigo bent over to pick up a ball, and this goofy red-haired kid put his hand flat on Rigo's back and tried to push him to the ground, while the ref stood there and watched it go on. Rigo got up and pushed back, and the goofball backed off. But they were poor sports when we played them during the regular season, too. Then we had 5 hours to kill before warm-up for the second game, which we knew was going to be tough - we were going up against the state champs, a division higher than us, and they have 4 ODP players. And all of our new Athens people know them, so it was even more uncomfortable.

So game time finally comes, and of course, the boys have all been goofing around for a couple of hours, though they claim they aren't tired. The whistle blows, and I bet the other team had their first goal within a minute. We played pretty well the first half, holding them 3-1. Then our trainer, who hasn't been able to get to a game all season until now, talks to them at half time. Whatever he said to them totally whacked them out; they came out totally flat and lifeless. They ended up losing 8-1, they were all hurt, and we had the same ref we had had that morning, and he moseyed through most of the game with his hands in his pockets. It was really sad. Reffing did not help our game at all, but there were a lot of bad mistakes. My kid kept letting the forward get between him and the net - he'd think he was in one place, turn around to get him, and the kid would be off to the goal. At one point, my kid just totally plowed someone over, completely by accident, and he made the mistake of apologizing to him right then - the ref heard him, and blew the whistle; the kid took his free shot, and it went right in. So I think he knows now not to apologize for anything during the game - he can say what he wants when it's over, but during? If he'd not said anything, the ref, who saw it all, wouldn't have called it at all.

The third game went okay; we won it, but only by 1 again, but it was 1-0, and we got extra points for a shut-out; we made it to the finals, against the team that just beat our pants off the day before. Since we had some time again, and it was colder than we all thought it was going to be, I took the big kid and Rigo back to the house, let them eat and chill for awhile, did some housework that I wouldn't have gotten to otherwise, and then went back. When we got there, we found out they were behind by about an hour; great - they got all worn out the day before with all that time to kill. Finally, it was our turn, after the entire park watched the game on the field next to ours, which came down to PKs; it was very exciting to watch the bigger boys do that. We started the game, and I think our boys were pretty pumped up. At least we had a different ref, although from watching the game before ours, no more effective than our Saturday ref. The other team scored first, but then we came back and got our first one a couple of minutes later. And from then on, we dominated the game totally; the final score doesn't show it (2-1 them), but we kicked their asses all over that field. As usual, we had 4-5x more shots on goal, we just couldn't get any to go in. I think if we ever meet them again in regular-season play, we should take them. We know how to mark them now, because, in all reality, they only have 2 good players - one forward, #23, and one mid, #11, who is quite possibly one of the fastest players I've ever seen - he was everywhere. If we had our regular goalie in the net, and our back-up out there on the field where he belongs, we would've done better in both games against them. Hopefully our goalie's eye injury will heal perfectly fine, and it'll all go back together in the spring.

A couple weeks off, and then Indoor starts; both kids are playing (no one is playing basketball this year :{ ), but they are playing in different places. At least those are only 1 practice a week. Actually, that kind of stinks, because I really like having my Tuesdays and Thursdays quiet for a couple of hours each night - it's the only time I get anything done at home. And for the big kid, indoor, school (if he keeps his grades up and is eligible), and outdoor are going to overlap in February. At least it's all one sport, so we don't have to change clothes and shoes 42 times during a day. I think February and March are going to suck. Last year, we had to make special arrangements to have our indoor championship rescheduled, because our first outdoor game was away, of course, and all but 2 of our indoor players were on the outdoor team, too. And when we won, and the boys, specifically Tyler, went to accept their trophies, they were booed. The Mexicans did not like a team with all the gringos on it winning anything, even though we totally kicked everyone's ass, fair and square. Our coach, Ramiro, I think was really upset that his community did that to us, though, in reality, I could see how they wouldn't like us up there, taking the spotlight from them. Hopefully, we'll have a better reception this year. Our team photo is on the door, I guess because our team is a racially-diverse poster child.

I haven't worked on my cross stitch in weeks; I was going to work on it on my birthday, but I pretty much did nothing but lay around all day, and cook my own dinner, as usual. DH offered to take me out for dinner, after I made a point of reminding him it would be nice if I didn't have to cook, but I didn't figure it was in the budget by then, so never mind. I have been working on beads a lot. I finally got my amber/gold Ornelas done - that set turned out very cool. My HR person here at work wants 5 necklace/earring sets for Christmas presents; I have one complete, one 90% done, and the beads for the other 3 sitting there. Since I have to clear the table for Turkey Dinner tomorrow, it'll be a few days before I get back to them. My co-worker wants a set for a friend, too - I guess I'll cut her a break and just charge her the cost of the supplies. I am still waiting to get my group buy order; our buy lead has been absolutely swamped at work, with some horrible AOL failure that has her working 16 hour days. One of my eBay sellers said they were having all kinds of problems the last couple of weeks - she had no idea if she had rec'd a payment from me, then she had to find the invoice, and then her e-mails to me were missing the attachments - all kinds of fun. Our buy lead wanted to have everything shipped by this week - there have been no updates in over a week, so I have no idea where she stands - some were done/shipped, some were packaged (I was neither of these) and that was 2 weeks ago. I hate not knowing where things are, especially when I'm waiting on stuff needed to complete something. But I also just ordered my boxes, so nothing's moving until those get here, regardless. Thanksgiving being a little earlier this year helps, too - it's a whole week before December starts, so I'll actually be ahead after 4 days off. If only I had some shopping done - I'm usually close to done by now - I haven't done much at all so far. I am absolutely dreading having to go to the mall. And trying to find something for my parents? That's always such a chore.

The new Harry Potter movie is out; hopefully we'll get around to going to the Imax version of it this weekend sometime. Big kid wants to go Thanksgiving night - I don't. Maybe Saturday sometime. Last year, we went to the Gladiators hockey game on turkey night; that was fun, and they have a game then this year, too, but we were just there a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I'll start getting the Christmas crap out early. I'm not really looking forward to putting the tree up Friday; my next tree will definitely be pre-lit, though those totally don't have enough lights on them for me - 1000+ for 7 1/2' tree, people. The lights in the neighborhood dim when I turn my tree on. It's always nice when I'm done, but it's just so much work; it used to be fun, but now it's just work. Maybe I'm just more bah-Humbug than usual.

On the bright side, we are officially out of the old building today, and in the new building when we come back to work on Monday. My new office is so cool; it's twice as big as the one I have now. No windows, but being so low on the payscale here, that's to be expected. Our desks are cool, too - a nice u-shaped workstation with rounded corners; goodbye, government-surplus desk with the sharp corners that I am constantly banging my leg into. I am still wondering if they are going to supply us with stuff to hang our calendars and such up with; 3M has those removable sticky hangers - I'll get a few at Wally World this weekend and try 'em out. I would think, in a brand-damn new building, that they would stipulate that kind of stuff right up front, and supply the appropriate stuff to accommodate us. I just doubt the facilities folks have gotten that far yet - I think the buildings got done too fast for them. Of course, as many people as are involved in this whole process, most of which are from our California office, it's a wonder anything's getting done, besides having our Christmas Party menu changed, for the 3rd year in a row, by someone who won't even be there. For whatever reason, regardless of where we have the party, we must change one item to green beans every year, as per our California HR department. I certainly hope that drops the per-person cost drastically for them, because otherwise, why in the hell do they care what we eat? People just have to meddle, I guess. And where is it written that the poor red-headed step-child division must eat green beans every year? Is that a punishment of some sort? Hey, I didn't work for Scientific Atlanta, ever - I don't deserve to be punished for what they did - working for/with S-A people is usually more than enough punishment - see my boss. Eh, whatever.

Happy Turkey Day - Invite a Native American to dinner, and apologize profusely for what your European ancestors did to them. And enjoy your meal!!

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