12.11.14 – christmas music

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. And you know it’s that time of the year when there’s snow falling on my blog! It’s the best thing. I wish I could keep it around all year.

So one of the traditions my family has is that we don’t listen to Christmas music in the house until Thanksgiving Day. On that day, we play Christmas music while my mom and dad cook, and us kids set up the Christmas tree and put up the lights. This year, we didn’t get to do that (I’ll talk about it in a separate post). In fact, I didn’t even go home for Thanksgiving :( So to make myself feel better, I made a list of all my favorite Christmas songs.

I got the idea when I was having coffee with Chandra one day. I asked her what her favorite Christmas song was, and she made me guess, and I ended up going through an entire list of over 100 songs (it’s Sleigh Ride, by the way). I couldn’t decide on a favorite, so I made a list of my top 10. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Sleigh Ride - Boston Pops Orchestra
  • Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
  • White Christmas – The Drifters
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  • Christmas Time Is Here - Brian McKnight
  • O Holy Night - Pentatonix
  • Carol of the Bells – Home Alone Soundtrack
  • This Evenfall ’tis Snowing – Caspar Othmayr
  • Stille Nacht (Silent Night) - Vienna Boys’ Choir
  • In The Bleak Midwinter – Worcester Cathedral Choir

I tried to have a good mix of classics, choral, and modern songs, and I think I did a pretty good job. Here’s a link to the playlist if you want to listen to it!:  My Favorite Christmas Songs


11.16.14 – victory.

Brought the wood. Got the Boot.

The Hogs finally did it! An SEC victory after two years of competing in the toughest division in all of college football. It’s been a long time since Petrino’s fall from grace, JLS setting the program on fire, and Bielema asking us to believe in the program despite a 9-game losing streak to finish the year.

This season was different. This season, Arkansas stomped every non conference opponent like it belonged in the SEC West. The Hogs lost five more conference games, but all the losses were against top ten teams in which the Hogs were competitive (only 15 points between Hogs being 5-5 and 8-2).

The close games hurt. The Hogs were tired of moral victories. And last night, against #17 LSU, and breaking an 17-game conference losing streak, the Hogs won 17-0. It was destiny.

I was so ecstatic and emotionally spent not long after the victory. You know the worst part of it though? Haters.

This is a post dedicated to the haters. You’re not going to rain on my parade. Not on this team’s parade, and not on this state’s parade, either.

  • Bitter LSU fans – Sucks to suck! We’re no longer the worst team in the SEC West. You are. Because you lost to us. Oh, what’s that? We suck because we couldn’t win in the SEC? Then don’t lose to us. (Note: Most LSU fans I’ve encountered on the internet have been nothing but class acts, so you know I’m only talking about a particular 5% of the fans)
  • Arkansas fans who think they’re too good to celebrate – You can’t rag on the fans being excited “like we just won the championship” and storming the field because this victory was a long time coming. We won a conference game, we beat a ranked team, we beat our rival, we pitched a shut out, and we won. We deserve this.
  • Jealous A State fans – Still think you can compete with us? Care to revise that letter you sent to Jeff Long detailing which Arkansas/A State units had the head-to-head advantage? Because you literally lost to Louisiana Lafayette.
  • The SEC higher-ups who moved the Battle of the Boot away from Black Friday – The Battle of the Boot will always be exciting, regardless of how good or bad either team is. And you just missed out on it. Meanwhile A&M keeps losing. This is what you get for ditching tradition. Screw you.
  • People who hate Bret Bielema (Not you, Alayna) – He’s not the most eloquent, or cool, or anything of a coach. But he has inspired this team and this state to believe that we can achieve more than our doubters think. He is not the coach Arkansas deserves, but he is the coach we need right now. Our future is bright.

Now that I got that out of my system, I will resume my celebration! WPS.

11.1.14 – almost

Arkansas is the best 5-loss team right now. I know that might sound stupid, but I know it’s true and it helps me feel better about this year.

I’m just really frustrated right now, but it’s also rolled off my back as something I’ve grown to accept over this season. A 17-10 loss to the #1 team in the nation should be a good thing right? But somehow it’s not. We let something good slip away.

It’s like the football gods hate us. It’s a blessing and a curse to be in the SEC West. 2011 seems so far away, when we were the third best team in our division, our conference, and the country at the same time. Because that’s what being in the SEC West means.

Anyway, onto my thoughts for the game and the season thus far.

  • Grading our players – Our WRs are terrible and our TEs are awesome. When Hunter Henry is our clutch deep threat instead of Keon Hatcher, you know something’s wrong. Our defense is just as good as our offense, and our offense is just okay. Both have their good days and their bad. We just need to do well on both sides (and on special teams!) and we’ll finally get that W. Speaking of special teams, we need a better kicker. All our kickers are walk-ons. I miss Zach Hocker.
  • Almost doesn’t count – We were the closest to beating Miss State out of anybody else, but we couldn’t get it. If moral victories were a thing, Arkansas would be 9-0. But they’re not. Right now, Arkansas is playing pretty good football (especially against non-conference), but not being able to close it out against better teams is getting super old. I hate it. I think it really boils down to…
  • Our play calling. It’s awful – Can we just please fire Jim Chaney? He’s cost us really close games, namely Texas A&M and Miss State. He literally does the opposite of what the team needs to do–run when we should pass and pass when we should run. It’s dumb. Please leave, Jim Chaney. Despite his incompetence,…
  • Arkansas WILL win an SEC game this year - This team is trending upward every week. With how weak the East is, Arkansas could win that division. So far this year, Arkansas is 7-2 against the spread, and that is easily the best indication that there’s a dam that’s about to break. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when. And it’s very soon. SO,…
  • What’s missing? – The talent is there, the mentality is there. But the team just needs more discipline so it doesn’t keep shooting itself in the foot with momentum-killing mistakes on crucial drives. The Hogs haven’t put together a 60-minute game in conference play, and can’t capitalize on opportunities (we had so many chances to score on Miss State but somehow only managed one TD and a FG). This needs to change. When they find their answer, it will be sweet.

I have this bet right now with Alayna (Michigan fan). Whoever’s team ends up with fewer wins at the end of the season pays for dinner. Both teams are at 4-5 right now, but, while I think Arkansas is a better team, Michigan only plays one more ranked team (Ohio State) and Arkansas plays two (LSU, Ole Miss). In the event of a tie, I think it would be funny if (bowl eligibility pending) they end up playing in the same bowl game. I’ll let you know how it goes.

10.21.14 – me

It’s really hard to keep up with a blog. Sorry to all three of you who read this! But I haven’t forgotten, I just don’t think it’s good to force it if a post isn’t coming, you know?

I’ve been really busy so I’ll get you guys caught up some time, but that’s for another post. Right now I’m in a pretty introspective mood, so I’m just gonna talk about myself for a bit. Here are five things you should know about me!

I hate being alone. No scratch that, I don’t mind being alone. I hate doing things by myself. Like going grocery shopping or watching movies. I’m not sure why, but it’s been like that since probably junior high or so. To the point where if I couldn’t find someone to do what I was supposed to do with, I just wouldn’t do it.

I have a really short attention span. Maybe this is why I can’t keep up with a blog? Haha. But really. I can’t even get to the end of a YouTube video before wanting to change it. I have tried starting some TV shows, but I just end up being bored after watching the first ten minutes. It’s not you, Breaking Bad. It’s me.

I am hard on myself. I don’t like failing, and I really hate that I make the same mistakes over and over again. When I’m running late for work or if I accidentally hurt Chandra’s feelings, I spiral into this bad mood that ruins my entire day just because I’m mad at myself for not being able to get over being mad at myself for not being able to get over being mad at myself.

I have thick legs. Is that weird to say? It’s too often that I hear people ask, “Do you play soccer?” This fact is highlighted by how short my legs are. They really help for sports that require a lot of lateral movement, like Ultimate, basketball, and tennis. But I’m really bad at running long distances. Like really bad.

I am lactose intolerant. It’s true! Unfortunately, this means that I have to drink Swiss Miss instead of the real good stuff. And I always have to make sure that baristas use soy milk in my lattes. I can eat a few slices of pizza, one grilled cheese sandwich, or a quarter glass of milk before I have to stop myself. Fun Fact: My Fantasy Football team name is Legen Dairy. The team logo is a skull and crossbones with a cheesehead.

Okay that’s all. I’m not tired yet so maybe I’ll work on that update post. Maybe.

9.9.14 – 11 albums

It’s always fun to participate in those monthly challenge-type posts, and here’s one I found on FB: 11 albums that have had a lasting impact on me! This is the music throughout the years that made me who I am today. It’s hard to put it in a specific order so I’ll just list them chronologically.

  • Nobuo Uematsu – FFX OST (2001)
  • Jason Mraz – Waiting For My Rocket To Come (2002)
  • Dashboard Confessional – A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar (2003)
  • Linkin Park – Meteora (2003)
  • Black Eyed Peas – Elephunk (2003)
  • Lifehouse – Lifehouse (2005)
  • John Mayer – Continuum (2006)
  • Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007)
  • Ben Rector – Into the Morning (2010)
  • Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops and Hooligans (2010)
  • Eric Whitacre – Light and Gold (2010)

So yeah, there’s a little bit of everything in there from when I first started developing my own taste for music to maybe stuff I wouldn’t listen to today. Seeing anything familiar?

8.11.14 – oligopoly (comcast sucks)

There’s no intro to this one because the following videos will explain, better than I can, how terrible cable companies are. Here are 5 YouTube videos that will show you just how much Comcast sucks.

  1. The first honest cable company
  2. A parody but you question if it’s really a parody because everything they’re saying is true so maybe it’s just a documentary 
  3. Comcast subscriber isn’t allowed to disconnect service
  4. Comcast doesn’t want customer to record the phone call
  5. And last but not least, South Park gang tries to unsubscribe from their cable company

I don’t have Comcast, but I’ll never do business with them. I have TWC and they’re probably only slightly less terrible than Comcast. I pay way too much for a service that won’t cost them much more to upgrade. I’m very bitter about that, and I would not be sad if these corporations failed.

8.7.14 – how to become a runner

I am not very good at running, but last year my boss somehow convinced me and my coworkers to do the Tough Mudder with him. We trained from June to September, and I was able to get up off the couch and do 11 miles of running, jumping, swimming, climbing, and everything else you could think of.

I never knew it was possible, but with the help of my girlfriend (she runs like all the time), here are some tips to get yourself in tip top shape for running!

  1. Pretend you know what you’re doing – My high school tennis coach once told me that the number one rule of playing tennis is you gotta look cool. It’s a funny joke, but there’s also some truth to it. Part of it is dressing the part. Get yourself some nice shoes and comfy clothes (maybe even an armband for your phone, more on that later) so you can feel good about yourself while you’re out there. Not only that, but it will also help prevent injuries that could easily be avoided. The other part of looking cool is just doing it right. Just keep your head up, mind your manners on the trail, and don’t quit. This is just something you’ll have to get used to.
  2. Ease into it – Let’s be honest. There’s no way you can do a 5k right off the bat unless you’re already fit. Don’t expect to automatically be good–your muscles and lungs will need some time to adjust to the activities you’re putting them through. You can start by looking up training schedules (C25K is a really popular one, and there are millions of others that are just a google search away).
  3. Listen to music – This is just to help you get into the right mindset. You can make a playlist that will pump you up or you can just pull up your favorite upbeat Pandora/Spotify stations that are already custom made for exercising. If music isn’t your thing, it’s ok. I’m actually listening to podcasts during my runs. Whatever the case, it just helps the time go by faster and gets your mind off of thoughts like “I’m so tired”.
  4. Track your progress - I mentioned earlier that you can start with a training plan. It’s up to you whether you want to set goals, but I think it’s a good idea to know that you’re at least doing better than when you started. Personally, I use RunKeeper on my phone. It tracks my progress as I run and tells me my pace and stuff. I can look at a list of all the activities I’ve logged and check how I’m doing week-by-week.
  5. Stay hydrated – Okay, guys. This is important. Not just for running but for life. Drink water.

Please note that I’m no expert on running. I’m not averaging 10-minute miles nor do I consider myself a runner. But these are just a few things that helped me get on the right track, so if you’re really serious about it, you should do some additional research online. Hope this list helps!