(from home this time!)

Music: “Survival in the Streets of Sincerity” (from the “Hellsing” OST)

The 4th Quarter of 2017 is already here! It still feels like a couple of months ago that I made the retail joke on Facebook about getting twitchy-eyed whenever “4th Quarter” gets mentioned this time of year.

1200px-Flag_of_Puerto_Rico.svg

Puerto Rico:

Irma, Jose, Maria – 3 major hurricanes that have hit the Carribean this summer. Puerto Rico dodged 2 of them, but could not dodge Hurricane Maria, with San Juan taking an almost direct hit. At one point, the entire island was without power and most of it was without water. 

In the Carribean.

During the Summer.

Money and supplies have been raised and gathered by celebrities, organizations, and sports figures, for the people of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Government released shipping restrictions on the island, but even this can’t be done by your our president, without him opening his mouth and causing controversy:

New York Times article

We are 254 days into the Trump Administration. I am through with him, his administration, and the vast majority of his supporters. I am tired of the defending of his actions, speeches, and tweets. I am tired of hearing about how “bad a leader” Hillary Clinton would be if she had won; I am especially tired of still hearing about her emails. I hate how he can criticize San Juan’s mayor, dare to criticize kneeling NFL players, and openly mock reporters who call him out on the BS, with no condemnation from his supporters…. but was next to silent on the Charlottesville incidents (until his hand was forced) and has been silent and/or coy about Russia. A human-shaped pile of garbage.

Back to Puerto Rico: if you can, help these folks out, also. The Houston folks saw the generosity of some folks in this country after Hurricane Harvey tried to flood it out; Puerto Ricans – U.S. citizens – need the same generosity shown to them.


Story Time: UofL Basketball

Louisville v St. Francis Brooklyn

Unless you’ve been out of the country, without TV and radio, or in a coma, you’ve heard that the FBI has started to release their findings on a 3 year investigation into the corruption in NCAA College Basketball. 3 assistant coaches at various schools have been arrested on federal bribery charges. Other coaches and assistant coaches, as well as staff members, have been fired or resigned.

This includes the University of Louisville.

Head Coach Rick Pitino – “coach” in name, only because of some legalese in his contract – has been put on Unpaid Leave, indefinitely. Athletic Director Tom Jurich – who should have been reprimanded for some of the crap he pulled with the Marching and Pep Bands 10 years ago – was put on Paid Leave, indefinitely.

It has been a very wearying time for UofL basketball fans: the mounting scandals with the team (and the University), the national media scrutiny, and the scrutiny of anyone who’s a fan of other schools (or, more annoyingly, the “I’m too cool/too grown up/too educated for SPORTZ!” crowd) is enough to wear you out, if you let it. It also has eroded a lot of the fandom of long-time UofL fans.

So, instead of throwing my 2 cents in about all of it, here are a small handful of my favorite moments that directly come from being a UofL basketball fan:

1986, the day after Louisville’s national championship win. I was living on 34th street, near Broadway, in the West End – the predominately poorer, predominately black section of Louisville. I remember getting home after school and seeing car after after car driving down Broadway, onto 34th. A lot of them were honking their horns, waving some kind of UofL gear out windows or driving with flags on the side of the cars. Me, my younger sister, and older brother were out in our front yard, watching them go by. I remember waving (and getting a lot of waves in return); so were a lot of the neighbors. I was a little too young to completely understand how much UofL basketball meant to everyone down there but it’s something I’ve never forgotten, 31 years later.

2005, NCAA Elite Eight. I was in UofL’s Pep Band and we were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my first (and only, so far) trip west of St. Louis. UofL was playing West Virginia University. If you get a chance, look up this game on YouTube – it saves me from trying to describe it. ;-).
WVU’s fans were pretty cool, their Pep Band was pretty friendly, also. The game itself was nerve-rackingly awesome. I completely lost my voice, right as the game was ending. It was a beautiful city and a great overall trip!

2013 NCAA Championship Game: UofL vs. Michigan

Two things made this a top moment with UofL basketball: the win itself and the company that I got to see the game with. I got invited to watch the game downtown with some great college friends, most of which I hadn’t seen in person in over 5 years, at that time. The game was well-played and full of drama. The sports bar that we were at was LOUD. Even the couple of Michigan fans that were there looked like they were enjoying the atmosphere. However, once that game clock got to 0:10 left, and 99% of the bar started counting down to zero… then that ROAR as we all realized that UofL finally made it back to the top of the college basketball world…. it was hard to describe. 🙂 I had to leave the following morning at 3:50 AM for a 17-hour bus trip to Minneapolis; staying out til 11:30 PM and not getting home until near midnight was well worth it!

It is a shame that that 2013 Championship is, for the moment, wiped from the record books, but that doesn’t take away from the fun that I had watching the game. As for today, I’m in a weird mix of disgust and anger (with Pitino, his staff members that are alleged to have funneled $100K to a recruit’s family, Jurich, and the UofL school Administration, minus the Interm President), betrayal, and a almost-need to support the guys on the team that play for the University of Louisville but were not involved in this mess. It is going to be a very strange basketball season for us Cardinals fans.


On more pleasant notes:

School

  • Fall Break for school is this Thursday and Friday… but it is not really a ‘break’. All of my classes are online, so the physical part of driving/walking/busing to campus for lectures/labs/recitations doesn’t apply. Plus, I’m a 3rd Shifter, so any window for hanging out with friends is extremely small, if it exists at all. 
  • This has been a very tough semester for me to do HW or study, for some reason. A lot of my non-Programming or Database/SQL HW is happening at work; the studying happens at home, when I can get a few moments of distraction-free time. Despite that, I am holding onto 3 ‘B’s and 1 ‘C’, heading into this week and Midterms next week. Unlike last semester, I feel like I can pull them all back to ‘A‘s by the end of November. The tough one will be Network Security: there is a ton of information for that class, but not as many graded assignments left, compared to the other classes. Let’s see if the next 14 days are the start of something great with the Fall 2017 semester…!

Other

  • I think I am going to change my strategy on apartment and car shopping. I have based my apartment hunting almost solely on how close a potential apartment sits to a bus line. I have not had much luck finding anything that was either: 1) in my price range or 2) vacant. I think I’m now going to focus on price, more than bus convenience. If I have to walk 8-12 blocks from a bus stop, so be it. The one thing I will still keep an eye on is which bus will get me to work, from a potential apartment, and won’t make me late or have to kill over an hour downtown. Right now, I’m looking at New Albany and Jeffersonville, Indiana (cheaper, larger apartments; buses don’t run as often to Louisville, or as late as other routes), Jeffersontown (same situation as So. Indiana, but even further away from Downtown), the Highlands (expensive but centrally located, with a few different bus options), Old Louisville (top choice: 4-7 different bus routes; could walk to work, depending on where the apartment is; minutes from Downtown), or Germantown (‘neighbor’ of the Highlands). As for car shopping: that gets cranked up as soon as possible.
  • The nationally recognized St. James Art Fair starts on Friday, lasting through the weekend. For the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve gone with a good friend to it (it’s become a tradition with us, of sorts). I’m not sure if either of us can go this year – her, with school; me, with work and school – but we’ll see. There are hundreds of awesome pieces of art, crafts, and nick-knacks to see, as well as food and drinks, information booths for groups like Actors’ Theater and the Louisville Zoo, and the opportunity for people-watching.
  • I’m pretty excited about Halloween! As I’ve gotten older, Halloween has gradually become one of my favorite holidays. I love horror movies, I like spooky music, and I might get a chance to hang out and party with friends: why not combine the 3?
    This year feels like a ‘make up’ for a few previous years. Last year, I missed everything about Halloween weekend, as I was not only on 3rd shift, but I was only working weekends. A couple of years ago, my glorious idea of a ‘Sharknado’ costume was such a frustrating flop (esp. at work, IMO) that I trashed it before going to a party that I had to leave earlier than planned (the joys of no vehicle). This year, I am off work for a party that I was invited to (yay!). I don’t have a costume idea, yet. Regardless, it should be a great time on that Saturday before the 31st- can’t wait! (Also, any other get-together/party/horror movie night invites would be the cherry on top, so to speak)