Lord, oh Lordy, it’s been awhile!
The blog has been down. The podcast is dead. My mid-section grows and my hair is thinning. I’m looking more and more like Peter Boyle without the sex appeal. Fortunately, my fair Irish skin has gotten every ray of UV in the 801 and my forehead is a beautiful, shiny red apple. I’ve decided that bathing is for the weak and have taken to wearing the same sweat-drenched Pearl Jam shirt for days on end. I smell like the working end of a dumpster and if it wasn’t for Erin’s nagging, I wouldn’t see the inside of a shower.
Mothers! Lock up your daughters!
Quick update to what has kept my attention away from bar BS and booze related tragedies. For starters, I conned myself into thinking I was a journalist. I was pulling more than my fair share of game coverage for the paper of record for the great state of Utah for most of the spring portion of the school year. Big mistake (I used the word “of” five times in one sentence). Hacky writing is what gives you a false sense of grandiose self-worth.
In all seriousness, I had a great year writing prep sports for the Trib but it came blissfully to an end. With the kids on summer break, I was able to put away my knapsack of reporter tools and go back to doing what I am best at—poor home improvement projects. With a great home comes great responsibilities (I think Ironman said that) and I have let the house fall into disrepair. Time that should be spent in the office working on blogs, podcasts and books have been sidelined for landscaping and the initial steps to remodel the upstairs of the house.
Once again, much like pretending to be a reporter, I am doing a reasonable job of playing make-believe with a tool belt stretched around my beer belly.
A quick note about the school year and writing high school sports—it was an amazing experience. Seriously, everyone should have to do it once in their lives. Having the chance to cover heroic performances and tough breaks that come up short has been awe inspiring. Sitting on the sideline and talking with coaches, parents and the athletes was rare opportunity to gain an unprecedented insight to the lives of young people on the verge of taking the next step in their lives.
Some are off for LDS missions (just kidding! Most of them are going on missions) and others are heading into college. Some at 17/18-years of age are more composed and brilliant than I ever had been and others are condescending pricks that should have their bloated ego-filled heads popped with a needle of self-reflection. Most are incredibly polite, kind and giving where others are scared, nervous and incredibly uncomfortable with both me interviewing them and living in their own skin. A rare few are out-and-out cool and an even thinner percentage are genuinely funny.
As a whole, they compose a cross section of youngsters that will eventually turn 21 and find their way into a bar that I am tending. Please God make sure they have proper ID before they show up.
I got to work with talented people and have an editor that is equally sarcastic and smart but mostly, I did it on my own. I felt like Marion “Cobra” Cobretti except the only crime was my inability to file on time or spell the protagonists names correctly. Now that I think of it, anybody who thinks Cobra is a good movie is over qualified to write high school sports providing they do it over a phone. But I digress. Being alone out in the field and shaking the foundation of athletic departments is wonderful knowing that the worst that people can say to you is “Hit the bricks, Creep-O!” or “no.” In all honesty, hearing “no” is more painful than anything I’ve ever heard.
Nobody likes to hear no.
With the pens and scorecards locked up for the summer, I’m back to fiddling around in the yard. We’re lucky to have a house that is the desert equivalent of Sleepy Hollow. Nothing beautiful grows but we’re filthy rich in alien-like weeds and genetically mutated bees that can carry away a goat if enough of their buddies grab hold. Anything that we touch turns brown and those things left to their own devices grow with such monstrous speed that it reminds me of the Genesis project from Wrath of Khan.
Oh, anybody who doesn’t think Star Trek II is the best movie should never write high school sports.
The only thing that is growing like my pants size is the hops in the garden. Remember the graphic sex-thing in the remake of Evil Dead? That’s how they’re growing except with less raping power. They have overtaken the garage and have asked Erin’s mother out for dinner. Crazy beasts with thorny bines that cling to the ropes hung from the garage and with a hunger for more sunlight and more of everything. I left a 6-foot party sub out in the garden and they ate in three weeks. That’s not true. I ate the party sub…by myself…on Tuesday…all of it. Frowny face. But they did glare at me and pass judgment as I inhaled the sub.
So much for a party.
So, with a summer with no travel plans but tons of home improvement projects, I will be back to writing the blog and putting together a podcast. Not that anyone is really asking for a podcast but since I have all of this fancy equipment and loss the receipt to return it, I figure I should make an oral record of my nasal-drenched voice and put it on the interweb. I think my brother Pat is along for the ride. He’s just like me but funny and a family man. I got all of the looks because he looks like a molting Wookie. Kinda gross.
Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Podcast? That sounds like fun. Did you count how many movie references he made? Too many should be the answer—hashtag hacky.