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The Blog is Back

At the urging of some friends, I have decided to compose this blog post to update my friends and family on my current condition, as well as the journey I have taken over the past year.

This particular entry has been a long time in the making. It has been almost a year since I last entered the Lounge; my last post was on August 11, 2011. I did not plan this long hiatus; I just kind of fell off the face of the earth for a while.

I was last on facebook on September 9th, 2011 (I checked). I feel terrible, as I constantly get email reminders from facebook that I have notifications pending. However, most people that know me well are aware that you’re about as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to get a response from me to an email, or text message, or wall post, or tweet, or whatever else the kids are into these days. I don’t mean to be a jerk, it’s just I often forget to respond. I’ll literally look at a text message or email and think to myself, “I really need to respond to this, but I’ll do it later.” I then proceed to move on with my life and by the time I get back to responding, its hours later and I decide it’s too late to respond. Anyways, that’s the process that goes on in my head and I apologize to all those who sent me messages and emails and posts and such. I think I have upwards of 120 friend requests I still need to attend to. Again, I apologize.

For those of you who don’t know, I incurred a somewhat traumatic injury in the opening game of my (first) senior season. In the third quarter of our opening game against the University of Oregon, I suffered an injury to my ankle and leg. I will spare the details of the injury, as they are somewhat disconcerting. Let’s just say that an x-ray of the inside of my left leg now looks eerily similar to something you would find in Wolverine from X-Men.

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Like this, but an ankle.

The injury was a pretty devastating blow. It required immediate surgery and my season was over.

My poor mom drove all the way back from Oregon overnight to be there for my surgery. She has perfect attendance for all my surgeries. She’s yet to miss one; an astounding feat considering the number of procedures I’ve had. Thanks mom.

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After the surgery, I headed to my grandparents house in Santa Cruz, California. They set up a king sized bed right in front of the TV, and my family did their best to accommodate my every need. Needless to say, despite my family’s hospitality, this was a pretty miserable time. I found myself completely uninterested in the recovery process. I lost nearly thirty pounds in three weeks and consumed a diet that consisted of pizza, taco bell, and pain pills. I spent the days watching reruns of Man Vs. Food, and played NHL Live 2010 all night. I don’t think I slept more than an hour or two a night for a couple weeks.  The time I spent at home is a blur to me now; A foggy haze of (legal) prescription drugs and junk food.

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Man Vs. Food in the background. I wasn’t lying.

Eventually I got back to school. I had missed two weeks of Grad School, and I didn’t know if I was even going to stay enrolled. I really didn’t care to do anything. I literally started to look like a junkie for a while. Ultimately, I decided to stay in Grad school. I figured I had to stay in town to properly rehab my ankle so I wouldn’t walk around like Dr. House for the rest of my life, thus I might as well stay in school. It took some time, but I eventually got caught up with my classes.

Things got pretty dark there for a minute. It was pretty difficult sitting on the couch when I was supposed to be out on the field.

I was very disheartened with the situation.  I needed something that could help me get through the difficult times. So I decided to follow the lead of many great men before me. In times of difficulty and depression, the great men of history have been able to turn to one companion. No matter how difficult the situation, this companion provides relief and comfort. So as many great men have done when they found themselves in despair,

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I grew a beard.

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The beard is an “almost universal symbol of experience and strength,” (Cynics, William Desmond) yet it has also come to represent apathy. In ancient days, a strong beard showed wisdom and courage; however my beard was definitely less wise and courageous, and more apathetic.

It is so satisfying to have a prominent beard that covers your face. It seems to protect you from all the depression around you. It swallows up your pain and spits it out. It can be a trusted companion in times of misery. A faithful ally who is there to lessen the devastating blows that life can often throw your way.

Every man’s beard is different and distinctive. Uniquely shaped and grown to become a personal expression of each individual. As you can see from the picture, my beard was not going to win any awards. Many men would be able to put my beard to shame in less than half the time that it took me to develop it. However beards, as with many things in life, cannot be measured by their shape or breadth, but instead must be evaluated by the effort involved, the meaning, the sacrifice. There is nothing better than a playoff beard sitting proud upon the face of a hockey player who has just won a Stanley Cup. The beard tells the story of commitment and sacrifice, determination and hard work. It is the epitome of triumph over struggle, the essence of perseverance.

Once my beard had run its course, it was time to move on. All great bearded men will eventually find themselves torn between the course, rugged comfort of a manly beard and the dapper, suave appearance of the clean shave. The only viable option is compromise. And the only compromise is of course, the mustache.

So once again, I followed the lead of the great men who have gone before me……

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I transitioned from a beard to a mustache.

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And a handsome mustache at that, if I may say so myself.

I don’t know if it’s something I should admit, but my mustache is somewhat shy. And by shy I mean, non-visible. I had to go out and pick up some Just for Men Beard Gel to help it out. I would not recommend doing that because that stuff burned my face.

My mustache was a good friend. As the quote says, “a man with a mustache is never alone.” Sean Chandler. The mustache’s stay was short, but its time was sweet. R.I.P.

And with one swift blow from the razor, my facial hair journey ended.

Though my facial hair was gone, the journey continued. We will continue the quest to recovery in the upcoming posts. So stay tuned.

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Best Player Down

Welcome back,

Today is a sad day in the lounge because my main man is moving out of the house. He’s off to join the real world. A world filled with responsibility, work, taxes, bills, and all that other stuff.

You know how there are some people who are just better than you at absolutely everything? It’s the most frustrating thing because no matter how hard you try, you can’t beat them. You can never get ahead. Whether it’s an Iron Chef cook-off, a drag race (my pick-up vs. his Mitzubishi Galant), or even an epic battle in Mortal Kombat; you just can’t win.

Well, sadly, I’m this person to Jared Jackson. Poor Jared can’t seem to beat me in anything. I’m always a step ahead. No matter how hard he tries, the only time he wins is when I let him.

Despite the lack of serious competition, Jared has had a significant influence over the years. If it weren’t for him, I never would have seen such cinematic gems as Repo Men, Human Centipede, and Jennifer’s Body (I’m pretty sure all of these movies were nominated at some point for the worst movie of the year award).

In all seriousness though, I would like to wish my friend the best of luck in all of his future endeavors. It’s been a great run.

As Jared once said, “Best Player Down.”

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Movie Flashback: Part II

So last night I did my movie countdown from number 10 through number 6. These movies are classics; I’m talking VHS and VCR’s. Back before DVD’s, when you could hear your VCR rewind, and you had to slowly fast forward all the previews so you wouldn’t miss the start of the movie.

Tonight, I give you…drum roll please…the much anticipated top 5.

 

#5- Angels in the Outfield

“We can’t win, that would be a sin, we even lose the games before they begin”- best line in the movie. It’s epic when Mel Clark strikes out Kit “Hit or Die” Keysey in the championship game; he didn’t even have an angel with him.

 

#4- The Sandlot

This is the ultimate growing up movie, and almost every scene has a great quote:

“You’re killing me Smalls.”-Classic

“He had kissed a woman, and he had kissed her long and good.” –I’m pretty sure that every kid that watched this movie had a huge crush on Wendy Peffercorn.

“Hero’s get remembered, but legends never die.”

This movie also had the best trash talking scene from any movie ever made. I watch this clip like film, so I can bring this kind of heat on the gridiron.

 

#3- Space Jam

What can I say? When you put Michael Jordan in a movie, it’s bound to be great. But this movie didn’t stop there; they added multiple NBA Hall of Famers, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the rest of the Looney Toons gang.  This movie also had the best theme song ever made.

 

#2- Cool Runnings      

I’m pretty sure that at one point in my life I could have recited this entire movie from memory. After watching this movie, my dad helped me and my brothers build our own push-cart using some 2×4’s and plywood. It was the coolest thing ever, complete with lawn mower wheels and a steering device. We could fit all three of us in the cart and roll down the street in style. The push-cart had some serious speed too—all we were missing were some dreadlocks and Jamaican accents.

“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time…Cool Runnings.”

 

#1- The Mighty Ducks (The whole trilogy)

I put all three Mighty Ducks into one because this franchise would have taken too many of the top spots. The movies of my childhood; The Mighty Ducks. There’s not much to say. Watch the movies and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

 

Thanks for joining me in this nostalgic journey through my childhood. I’ll catch you later back here in the Lounge.

-Zach

 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Movie Flashback

Hey,

Welcome back to the lounge.

This is a blast from the past episode in the lounge…

I was watching TV this weekend and The Mighty Ducks came on. It could be one of my all-time favorite movies so I couldn’t resist watching it. Then I walked into my house today and my roommate was watching Beauty and the Beast (no judgment here). It took me back to my younger days, and I’m not gonna say that I didn’t watch it.

These movies got me thinking about the movies of my childhood. So for my next blogs I decided to make a list of ten of the most influential movies from my childhood, and by influential I mean the ones that I liked the most.

#10- Lion King

Two Words: Hakuna Matata

#9- Milo and Otis (I know it was released in 1986, but cut me some slack)

This movie takes me way back. By far my favorite movie when I was a little fella. “Such a great big world, it’s all set up, for a curious cat and a pug nosed pup.” Play this movie, give me a juice box, and I’m ready for nap time.

#8- Homeward bound

The closest I ever came to crying in a movie was when Shadow got stuck in the pit by the railroad tracks. That’s tough stuff. Get up Shadow!!!

#7- Balto

Based on a true story; Half-Dog, Half-Wolf: Full Stud.

#6- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

Animated films don’t get much better than this. After watching this movie, I wanted two things: A cowboy hat and a sling shot. Also, Wiley Burp could be my favorite animated character of all time.

“I don’t know what’s out there beyond those hills. But if you ride yonder… head up, eyes steady, heart open… I think one day you’ll find that you’re the hero you’ve been looking for.

(I couldn’t find a clip of that line, but I did find “The Lazy Eye.”)

  

I just wish I had a VCR so I could watch all these movies. We’ll hit the top 5 tomorrow.

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur: Part II

Welcome back to the Lounge,

A special thanks to the 4 people who read my last blog.

There are a lot of things that can get in the way of trying to be a dinosaur. It can be anything from the people around you to the circumstance that you’re in.

The people you surround yourself with play a huge role in your ability to follow a dream. Some people will tell you you’ll never make it, while others will be tell you to go for it. A great example of this is the movie Rudy. Rudy’s brother, Frank, couldn’t make it, and his bitterness caused him to hate on Rudy’s dream. On the other hand, the janitor has Rudy’s back.

When Rudy tries to quit the team, he gets called out by the janitor.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to surround myself with people like the janitor, or like the dad in Stepbrothers; someone who will help me not lose my dinosaur. I’m trying to stay as far away from the Frank’s as possible.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best;

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Good Stuff.

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur.

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur: Part I

Welcome back to the lounge.

We should put some chairs in here or something (It wouldn’t take many chairs to fit the people who have actually been here; I think my mom is the only person that subscribes —thanks mom, love you).

Anyways…I decided to do a two part series for my next blog: Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur.

You know how there are some people who never give up on their goals no matter what? I truly admire those people. Those are the success stories that people love to hear; the stuff of legend. Those are the stories that movies are made about (a lot of movie references in these posts, so bear with me).

Look at Rudy. I get so pumped at the end of that movie because the kid finally made it.

Kurt Warner was bagging groceries for $5.50 an hour. But he was determined to make the NFL; and in 1999 he finally made a team. He became a starter, won a Super Bowl, a couple of MVP’s, and the rest is history.

The never give up attitude is what we love about the Rocky movies. The dude gets beat down in every movie, and though he may not win them all, he never gives up, he keeps moving forward, keeps chasing the dream.

One of the most poignant scenes in any movie I’ve ever seen was the end of “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He finally made it. What makes that scene great is seeing all the struggles Will Smith’s character went through to get to that position.

A lot of people will give up on their dream; they’ll lose their dinosaur.

(pardon the language)

You can’t lose your dinosaur. You can’t give in to the man. Sometimes you have to go against conventional wisdom, throw caution into the wind, and do what you are passionate about.

The key is, never be afraid to chase a dream. Never lose your dinosaur.

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Doing Work (as a team)

Welcome back to the Lounge, it’s been a while.

It’s a given that at some point I was gonna have to do a blog on teamwork. Teamwork is essential in almost all aspects of life, so I’m obliged to have a blog post about it.

There are so many sports examples of teamwork. One of my favorite movies is “Miracle,” the story of the 1980 U.S. hockey team. The best part of the movie is that the U.S. team did it right; they took players that would fit well together instead of the best individuals.

“I’m not looking for the best players; I’m looking for the right ones.”

That’s good stuff.

Any time you’re trying to successfully do something, you have to bring together the right people. In any company, it’s not necessarily about bringing in the best people; it’s about having the right people. It’s about having people that share a common goal, and can work together towards that goal.

If you’re starting a company, you should surround yourself with people that fit well within the company culture, understand the goals and objectives, and work together to make the company great.

If you’re trying to rob a casino, you should probably get some pretty skilled thieves.

 

If there is one thing that has been reiterated to me throughout college; it’s the importance of teamwork.

As Henry Ford said,

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.

-Zach

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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