Friday, December 12, 2014
I heard a Michael Buble Christmas song on the radio the other day. I almost drove my car off the road and into a tree (on purpose). I don’t know why but I have an unnatural hate for the guy. I obviously don’t know him or anything about him. But whenever I hear his music a blind rage starts to burn deep inside of me. I literally want to break shit and hurt people (and I’m not an angry person – I swear). Maybe he wronged me in a past life. Maybe I’m jealous of his fame and fortune. Or maybe I’m spot on and his music is complete garbage. Fuck – just writing this post makes me think about him singing and that stupid (I’m so sexy) look he gets on his face. Thinking about him singing with that stupid look on his face makes me angry. Now you’ve done it Buble – you’ve pissed me off without doing anything at all. Damn it – why do I hate you so much? Clearly the only thing left to do is write a poem:
Buble, Buble I wish you’d go away
Your wife is super hot, though I thought you were gay
A smug look in your eyes, you think you’re the shit
But I cannot stand you, not one little bit
The awards that you’ve won I cannot explain
Your voice makes me sick, fills my soul with disdain
Your hair is just so, you are never clean shaven
You’re a miserable douche bag just like Cliff Clavin
Every time that you sing it makes my ears bleed
My hatred for you it grows like a weed
You’re a self-absorbed jackass there isn’t a doubt
But what is this deep seeded loathing really about?
I googled your name and it became plain as day…
You’re a maple leaf loving Canadian, eh?
And there you have it.
Friday, December 5, 2014
I’ve been having trouble getting inspired lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been distracted by football season or the holidays. Maybe it’s because nothing blog worthy has been happening. Or maybe I’ve simply run out of shit to write about. Any of these things are entirely possible but I suspect the problem may actually lie deeper below the surface. Images of people behaving badly are literally plastered all around us. Kim Kardashian attempting to “break the internet” with a shameless picture of her mountainous, bare ass on the cover of Paper Magazine (crave attention much?). Shia Labeouf allegedly getting raped by some random, unnamed woman at his existential #IAMSORRY “art” exhibit in Los Angeles (good thing he’s “not famous anymore”). Justin Bieber, well, being Justin Bieber (how did Canada’s turd become our problem?). At some point does it all just fade into white noise until we’re completely numb to it? Or to put it another way in this new age of big data, social media, and wireless mobility is unabashed douchebagery the new normal? Poor behavior is not just confined to celebrities either. Every night on the news we are inundated with images of people in cities and towns across America breaking and stealing shit that doesn’t belong to them in the name of social injustice (is the irony more palpable when I say it out loud?). I log on to my kid’s Instagram accounts and it’s a barrage of kissy-faced selfies and inappropriately clad tweens. I go into restaurants and see families glued to their “smart” phones and tablets instead of conversing with one another. It’s enough to make you shake your head and think to yourself, what the fuck happened? And how did we come to this?
I fear that we are now living in a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. God’s probably sitting up there on his throne looking down and thinking to himself, “What the fuck did I do? Those asshats are completely missing the point of human creation. What a colossal waste of the last 2000 years.” He’s probably got his finger on the release button getting ready to make burning sulfur rain down upon us. Perhaps if we immediately sacrifice all dickbag celebrities and throw away our cell phones we can avoid divine retribution and reverse our fiery fate?
And then it hits me – I turned 41 years old today. People are no more fucked up now than they’ve always been. I’ve just become more cynical and less patient at my advanced age. Holy shit – I’ve officially turned into a grumpy, old man. Happy birthday to me.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The other day I was talking to a woman in our community about club soccer. To the casual observer that might sound like a strange topic of conversation, but it’s something we soccer parents tend to talk about on a fairly regular basis (did I really just refer to myself as a soccer parent?). My daughter had recently switched clubs (which is not uncommon, especially in Southern California) and so had hers. The conversation began benignly enough as she explained that her daughter was unhappy with her old club, but then suddenly took a turn as she exclaimed that she had prayed to God and he “told” her which club her daughter should join next. I wasn’t sure that I’d heard her correctly but she noticed the puzzled look on my face and repeated herself, this time clear as day: “God told me which club she should join next.” My first thought was, “Holy hell – this woman is bat shit crazy.” My second thought was, “Wow, that’s pretty fucking self-absorbed to think that God has nothing better to do than advise you which soccer team to put your 10-year old daughter on.” I’m not sure why her comment elicited such a negative response in my mind. Perhaps it was her choice of words (God “told” me…). Really, why the fuck are you so special? God’s never said a word to me. I’m not even sure he exists. Or perhaps it was how comfortable she was making a statement about God in front of a person she barely knows. We’d literally met just once before and not everyone is open to having religion shoved in their face. I wanted to respond with, “Why on God’s green earth would He give a rat’s ass which soccer team your daughter plays for?” But I’ve been working really hard on implementing a personal filter (you see honey, I do listen to you) so I took a deep breath and looked at the bigger picture before responding. The reality was she meant absolutely no harm in making her statement. And for all I know she might have meant it metaphorically. So I bit my tongue and finished the conversation without ever acknowledging what she had just said. As I walked away and further processed what had just happened I found myself filled with mixed emotions.
On the one hand I was annoyed. What’s the deal with people giving God credit for every little thing that occurs in their lives? Are they really that weak? Like a bunch of pathetic leaves blowing around in the wind with no free will? Isn’t religion really just a convenient way to explain the things we can’t possibly understand?
On the other hand I was a little jealous. Maybe it’s a comforting thing to feel so completely connected to something so much bigger than you. What the fuck is the point of all this if when we die we simply burn out like a candle? Although there is a certain tidiness to that methodology. Perhaps when God created humans he hard-wired us to actually need religion?
Can you tell I have a lot more questions than answers on this topic? My parents both had negative experiences with religion growing up, so they made a conscious decision to raise us without religion. This provided a blank canvas to practice whatever religion we believed in when we grew up. Or did it? Without a foundation to base things on I find myself caught somewhere in between those who believe blindly in the words of the bible as gospel, and those who view religion as yet another flawed construct of man. This often times creates moral dilemmas in my life (like dealing with awkward religious statements made by people I barely know).
In the end, after careful consideration of my encounter with the club soccer Mom, I concluded the following: Fuck it, if it makes you feel better and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, why not be outward with your religious beliefs (and make all the crazy statements you want to about your conversations with God). Who am I to judge?
And if the team God hand-picked for your daughter doesn’t win the state championship, I’ll bet the team who beats them is going straight to hell.
The Quinsey Blog
Thursday, September 25, 2014
I have two teenagers. Just saying that out loud makes me cringe. My daughter recently started 8th grade and my son high school. Every morning when I drop off my son on my way to work and study the scene, it brings me back to when I was in high school (a long time ago). I look back fondly on those 4 formative years but only in retrospect can I view them with objectivity. I was what you’d call a late bloomer. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was rife with insecurities. High school can be a tough time when you’re caught halfway between boyhood and manhood. To put it another way I looked like I was 12 from the beginning of my freshman year to the end of my senior year, and most of the time I acted like it too. I was very hung up on other people’s opinions of me and craved the mythical stereotype, popularity. To that end I wasn’t always as nice as I should have been and probably made most decisions for the wrong reasons. Everyone hits an awkward stage at some point but I’m fairly certain that anyone who dated me in high school must have lost a bet (or was at minimum as equally insecure as I was). I considered myself an athlete but didn’t exactly excel in athletics (try playing varsity football at 5’7”, 130 lbs. – thank God I grew in college). In summary I wasn’t exactly the catch I thought I was at the time. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. I had a great group of friends who I keep in touch with to this day. I had some wonderful teachers who impacted me more than they’ll ever know. And right, wrong or indifferent, my experiences back then contributed to the person I am today (and my life doesn’t exactly suck ). With the hope of steering my children clear of some of the same mistakes I made, I offer the following advice (in no particular order of importance):
• Keep things in perspective. You have your whole life in front of you. Don’t do anything stupid now that could jeopardize your future.
• Live in the moment. Those Friday night games under the lights are the closest you’ll ever get to playing in the NFL. Treat every play like it’s your last, and enjoy every second.
• Protect your body. Teenage boys are evil and should never be trusted. (A quick message to the future teenage boys who’ll date my daughter: Every morning when I go to the gym to lift weights, I’m thinking about you during my heavy sets.)
• Develop habits that will lead to a strong work ethic. Most of the shit they teach you in high school you’ll never use in real life. But good old fashioned hard work will serve you well for the rest of your life.
• Be patient with your parents. Despite what we look like on the outside, we still feel like teenagers ourselves on the inside. We don’t have all the answers but we’re doing our best, and regardless of what you think we still know a hell of a lot more than you.
• Never attach your self-worth to someone else. You’re too good for that, and nobody’s worth compromising your identity for.
• If it doesn’t come from the earth it’s not for you. Experimentation is part of growing up (although I hope you’ll abstain until your thirties). There’s some scary shit being manufactured out there these days. Stay the hell away from it. A good buzz is never worth dying for.
• If you wouldn’t be comfortable saying it in person, don’t say it over text or social media. Technology is not an abstraction layer for bad manners.
• Don’t stress. It may not feel like it now but the next 4-8 years will be the most stress free time of your “adult” life. Breathe. The little things have a way of taking care of themselves.
• Put your phone down and take a look around. There’s cool shit happening all around you that can’t be experienced on Instagram. Blink and you might miss it.
• Don’t ever let the opinions of others define you. So what if you didn’t make first string? Keep grinding. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Nobody will determine your ultimate destiny but you.
• Despite what your friends say being a “YouTuber” is not a real profession. If you ever want to make money and move out, you’re going to need to come up with an actual plan.
• Spend time with people who make you happy. You know those friends who constantly create drama in your life? You don’t need em. Life’s too short. Move on.
• Choose the Right (borrowed from my Mormon friends). Doing the right thing won’t always be the popular thing. When in doubt ask yourself two questions: 1) Would Mom be okay with me doing this? 2) Would Mom be okay with me doing this right now? If the answer to either question is no, abort.
• Pay attention to the ugly ducklings. At some point their exterior will catch up to the beauty that’s always been on the inside, and you won’t want to miss out on that.
• Don’t buy into Dogma. Be an independent thinker. See all things with an open mind and form your own truths.
• Your attitude will determine your altitude (borrowed from Big Willie on Master Chef’s grandma - yes I watch that show - don’t judge me). You can’t control everything, but your attitude is something you can always control. Positivity is contagious.
• Don’t be envious. Not everyone peaks in high school. And if you really think about it, why would you want to?
• Be sure to buy into all of the current fashion trends. Otherwise you won’t have anything to look back on in 20 years and laugh about.
• Be kind always. The world outside the walls of that high school is filled with enough hardship and disappointment already. Let the next 4 years be a sanctuary of kindness and goodwill.
In closing I’ll leave you with a quote from the great Dr. Seuss himself:
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains. So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Monday, August 11, 2014
I stare into the mirror as I rub Rogaine on the widening bald spot on the top of my head, surrounded by a well-defined crown of gray. I apply moisturizer to the skin beneath the steely eyes that peer back at me, studying the fine lines and subtle spots of discoloration which hint at 40+ years of exposure to the California sun. I use my “As Seen on TV” body trimmers to first shave the hair off the top of my back and then the hair which grows oddly inside of my ears (and my wife said they were just another stupid impulse buy – best $20 bucks I’ve ever spent J). I glance down and study my torso trying to figure out where those extra 10 pounds are hiding. I strain to read the clock across the other side of the room, first squinting with both eyes and then closing one eye at a time, but it’s a fruitless exercise as the numbers are too blurred to make out. As I turn to walk to bed a dull pain hits both ankles and then shoots up my shins as I remember the overly ambitious workout the day before. As I lie in bed pondering my mortality the memories rush through me like rain. And all I can think to myself is, “Holy shit, how the f*ck did this happen? And where the hell did the last 20 years go?” My mind has somehow tricked me into thinking I’m still 20 years old on the inside, but my body cannot lie – I’m every bit of 40 years old on the outside. The teenagers stirring just down the hall are another bold affirmation of this bitter truth. I lie there a while longer. I surmise that this is the point in my life where I’m supposed to freak out. After all, based on current mortality statistics I’ve now reached the halfway point of my time on this earth. Which can only mean one thing: it’s time for my mid-life crisis! (queue the angst-filled heavy metal music)
As everyone knows a proper mid-life crisis must include several key elements:
1) I need to cheat on my wife with a much younger woman.
The problem here is that my wife is actually hotter now than when we first met, and I’m still over-my-skis in love with her (seriously). Besides what the hell would I do with a much younger woman J?
2) I need to rush out and buy a ridiculously over-priced vehicle.
(insert gratuitous braggy comment here) The problem with this item is that I already own two J.
3) I need to go on a 3-day Vegas bender and lose an obscene amount of money.
The problem here is that my wife and I already do this four to six times a year. But we prefer to call them “weekend getaways” (bender is such a dirty word J).
4) I need to quit my dead-end job and pursue my wildest childhood dreams.
The problem here is that I actually like my job and it pays better than anything else I’m qualified to do. Plus playing professional football kind of went out the window when I graduated high school at 5’7”, 135 lbs., with limited athletic ability (thank God I grew another 2 ¼ inches in college. What? When you’re only 5’9”, every ¼” matters).
5) I need to acquire a mild drug problem.
The problem here is that I already drink a lot (and alcohol is technically a drug) so some might say I already have a mild drug problem. Don’t worry kids, I drink the normal amount for any 40 year-old who’s awesome J.
6) I need to lose weight, dye my hair, get a fake tan, whiten my teeth, and buy a whole new, “younger-looking” wardrobe.
The problem here is that just thinking about all that stuff makes me tired. No thanks – I’d rather just embrace being an old guy (and take a nap).
And there you have it. (Mid-life) Crisis averted.
Don’t take this post the wrong way. My life is far from perfect. I have more flaws than the policies of our last two presidents combined (just ask my cougar wife J). There are countless other people who have accomplished far more at 40 years old than I have. And my journey has certainly not been without plenty of detours and bumps in the road along the way. But I have my health, I’ve been blessed with a loving family, I’m surrounded by great people who I enjoy spending time with, I live in one of the greatest places on earth (Southern California), and I’m completely comfortable in my own skin (even though it’s significantly more wrinkled now than 20 years ago). So I have a hard time not appreciating even the most mundane details of my largely ordinary life. It’s like one of my favorite quotes (see below) from one of my favorite characters (Lester Burnham) from one of my favorite movies (American Beauty) of all time. The line is delivered posthumously at the end of the film after Lester’s wife has a mid-life crisis which inadvertently kicks off his own mid-life crisis, which ultimately leads (indirectly) to his untimely death. The film is admittedly dark and Lester Burnham is indeed a very flawed man, but his message (and the film’s message) is actually quite beautiful if you really take the time to think about it.
“I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… You will someday.”
-Lester Burnham (American Beauty)
I think most people (myself included) have a little Lester Burnham inside of us. There’s nothing glorious or overly distinguished about my life. I’m not rich & famous. I haven’t made any significant contributions to the world (outside of my children). Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis probably don’t even give me a second thought. But just like Lester Burnham, I choose not to focus on the things I don’t have, but rather on the things that I do. Life is a gift. There’s beauty all around us. Our time on this earth is fleeting. Be sure to enjoy every stupid little moment you have left.
And above all else always remember that no matter how bleak or dire things seem in your life, it could be worse, you could be Canadian.
What? This is still the Quinsey Blog after all J.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
This marks the 200th post of the Quinsey Blog. Someone once commented that they don’t know why I spend time writing on this blog when it’s only viewed by me and my 29 like-minded followers. While there is definitely some truth in this statement, my response is that I don’t do it for other people, I do it for me. The Quinsey Blog is the place I come to collect my thoughts, to creatively express myself, and most importantly to get stuff off my chest. At least that’s how it started out. Someone else (besides my wife) recently told me that my blog is VERY offensive. While I don’t mind the criticism, I felt compelled to revisit the archives. As I read through my historical posts all I could think was wow - I said some pretty hurtful stuff (especially towards fat people). I can only surmise that at some point an alter ego was inadvertently created and took over this blog for a period of time. That alter ego then took the Quinsey Blog in a direction I never wanted it to go. Now that I’ve had some time away to regain perspective, I can assure you I’ve got nothing but love for everyone (including all you wide bodies out there J). Moving forward I promise to keep the alter ego at bay. You will now see a new, enlightened version of the Quinsey Blog with more tolerance and less cynicism. But first please allow me to get a few things off my chest:
· Have you seen those ridiculous shoes w/ toes built into them? They’re like the CROCs of the sport’s world. They may be comfortable and they may give you extra traction, but boy do you look like an asshole wearing them.
· Would attractive, young ladies please stop calling me sir? I realize I have wrinkles, gray hair, and a noticeably widening bald spot on the top of my head, but I honestly feel no different than when I was 18. I swear every time I hear the word sir I die a little on the inside.
· You know those assholes on the freeway who spray washer fluid on their windshields at 80 miles per hour right in front of you (inevitably every time you’ve gotten your car washed)? Yeah, I fucking hate them.
· Speaking of self-centered assholes how about the people who take an excessive amount of time de-boarding planes? Yeah take your time buddy, there’s just 300 people behind you eager to get off the fucking plane. No worries though, we’ll wait.
· Fact: Just because you own a Prius doesn’t make you an earth-loving environmentalist. Quit judging those of us who drive single digit MPG SUV’s and just admit the truth – gas is expensive and you’re fucking cheap.
· If I see one more person post a yoga-posing picture on Facebook I might lose my mind. We get it, you’re flexible. Quit showing off.
· I read recently that Donald Sterling is now the most hated person in America, over-taking the title from Justin Bieber. That’s a mistake in my opinion – he’ll be dead in a couple years. With Bieber we have a whole lifetime of hate in front of us. Zac Efron has muscles and a mild drug problem – there’s a teen idol I can get behind. Bieber’s got the body of a 12-year old girl and a shitty attitude. Put a shirt on and go fuck yourself, Biebs.
· Attention all cross-fitters (especially the ones who work out in the park by my house): Cults come in all different sizes and shapes. Just sayin.
· Irony: Have you ever noticed how old people take their time doing everything (driving, ordering food, having a conversation, etc.)? You’d think given the relative short amount of time they have left they might want to speed things up a bit.
· Can we all just admit that minivans are the sweatpants of the automobile world? Quit rationalizing how convenient they are for carpool and just admit the truth – you’ve given up.
You didn’t really believe all that sensitivity crap I wrote at the beginning of this post? The Quinsey Blog – keepin it real since 2008.
Monday, May 19, 2014
As I get ready to start my new job (which is a higher-paying, more strategic, working for better people position by the way – everything happens for a reason J), I thought I would reflect upon a highlight from my previous role. Until recently I was a first line sales manager at a huge corporation. My team consisted of 35-40 some odd folks. As such I had to hire and fire people on a fairly regular basis. The process for getting hired as a sales rep on my team was in a word, extensive. Prior to a thorough background check, you had to interview with 3-4 levels of management. Each level could/did introduce a test or series of tests you had to pass in order to make it to the next phase. Start to finish the process took no less than 8-10 weeks. At one point I had a candidate who had made it all the way through to the background check, which meant he’d already invested 8-10 weeks of his life in the process. Unfortunately he’d lied about his previous year’s W2′s (yeah, we checked that shit), so he was turned down for the job. What follows is the e-mail he sent to my divisional vice president (2 levels above me) upon learning of his rejection. Let me preface the e-mail by stating that throughout the entire interview process this guy seemed completely normal. I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent but the rest of his e-mail is verbatim:
I’ve been told you want to pass because the W2s are inconsistent. What the heck is going on over there? You guys didn’t see that coming when a guy starts over a couple times the last few years?
Look I know the quarter sucked and you can’t afford to take a perceived risk but I need you to step in here and give HR an out.
How the hell are you guys struggling with the BEST technology? I’m looking at my baby and God knows that office needs some energy and I know I can make a difference. I’m 1 step from showing up and throwing elbows because I’m the best guy for that job and I’m not Fucking around.
I’ll be in there before everybody and leave after everybody and lunch is for pussies.
Don’t you want guys with serious responsibilities who can’t afford to lose? You have the best stuff for Pete’s sake. What’s the problem?
Have me back in Joe or I’m showing up anyway man.
Wow. The first thing I thought was, thank God we didn’t hire this lunatic. Then a few questions immediately came to mind:
* Did he really think sending a crazy, profanity-laced e-mail to the divisional vice president would reverse our hiring decision?
* I wonder if he’s related to Charlie Sheen? #Winning
* Should I be concerned that this dude is going to show up at the office to inflict bodily harm upon me?
* Hmmm… Lunch is for pussies? That’s hilarious. Clearly I’ve just found the title for my book.
People never cease to amaze me.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
If you watched the ESPN coverage of Michael Sam getting picked by the St. Louis Rams late in the 7th round of the NFL draft on Saturday, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you starting to cringe don’t worry. I am a big fan of the gay community, I have several gay friends, I am a huge supporter of gay marriage, and I believe very strongly in equal rights for all. Yes, I realize this is a VERY sensitive subject, but I’ve never been one to shy away from sensitive subjects on this blog. That being said what I witnessed on Saturday was a bit over the top in my opinion.I get it. Michael Sam is the first “openly gay” player ever to be drafted to an NFL roster (or any roster of the 4 major U.S. professional sports for that matter). This was no doubt a huge moment in the history of sports and society as a whole. Just like it was a huge moment when current NBA player, Jason Collins, came out in public about his homosexuality. I truly hope this encourages more athletes (past, present, & future) to come out and be comfortable with their homosexuality (Mike Piazza – I’m talking to you J). I obviously have no problem with any of that. You are who you are and should NEVER be ashamed of it under any circumstances. What I do have a problem with is how ESPN covered it. It was in a word contrived.
You could tell they’d been waiting all day for it. When the end of the 7th round finally arrived and there were just a handful picks left in the draft, you could visibly see they were sweating it (just think of the missed ratings opportunity). But then the Rams selected Michael Sam with the 249th pick in the draft and it was game on (queue the gay parade). They first showed footage of a gay bar in West Hollywood erupting with jubilation (stereotype much?), and then cut to Michael Sam getting the call from Rams Head Coach, Jeff Fisher. He was overcome with emotion which was actually quite touching. At first he innocently kissed his boyfriend (a scrawny, little white guy – didn’t see that coming) which was no big deal. But then things took a turn and got decidedly awkward. The uncomfortable silence of the ESPN commentators said it all. Michael Sam fed a piece of cake to his boyfriend (like they were at a wedding) and then smeared it all over his face. They kissed several more times, rather inappropriately for a family show in my opinion, and then proceeded to lick the cake off each other’s faces. What the hell? I know what you’re thinking but it’s not because it was two dudes. Seriously, I would no more rather see AJ McCarron (drafted in the 5th round) lick cake off his hot girlfriend, Katherine Webb’s face, or Johnny Manziel (drafted in the 1st round) lick cake off whatever random stripper’s face he’s dating this week, than see Michael Sam lick cake off his pasty boyfriend’s face. It just simply wasn’t an appropriate time or place for it. And had it not been Michael Sam (the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL) and his boyfriend, ESPN never would have shown it. As I watched in disbelief it struck me as a very shameless thing for ESPN to broadcast in that moment.
Maybe I don’t understand the complexities of this issue because I’m not gay myself. Or maybe what they showed on television was completely tasteful and I have some deep-seeded homophobia that I need therapy for. Both of these scenarios are entirely possible if not likely. But I think the point Michael Sam and Jason Collins are trying to make by coming out is that they’re no different than anyone else in their respective sports. They are men and they are professional athletes first, who just happen to be gay. If this is indeed the point they are trying to make, ESPN sure didn’t help their cause with the display they put on Saturday. Congratulations to Michael Sam for realizing his life-long dream of playing in the NFL (assuming he makes the team), but moving forward can we please put the focus where it belongs, on the football field?
Friday, May 2, 2014
This post is recycled from 3 years ago. It was only up for a day so I’m re-posting now. At the time I was managing my son’s little league team and a board member of our local little league asked me to take it down. Apparently it was not a good representation of league values. Well, my son has since retired from little league (and so have I), so they can censor me no more. Please enjoy J.
It’s a new record. Just 3 practices and 2 scrimmages into the season and a mom has already blasted me to the league president. Excerpt from her e-mail: “John Quinsey is not what Little League stands for. He is only about himself. In fact, at the parent meeting he said winning is extremely important to him. That should of told me something right there.” We haven’t even played our first f*cking game and she’s already threatening to pull her kid from the team. What can I say? I’m the Bobby Knight of little league baseball. The ironic thing is that 95% of the people who have played on my teams over the past 9 seasons have extremely positive things to say about me and even give me rave reviews on my post-season parent evaluations (I know because I read them). It’s that misguided 5% who make all the noise and do their best to paint me as the bad guy. I love coaching little league baseball and I love being around the kids, but man do the nut job parents drive me crazy.
Let me net it out for you lady. Do I really think that winning is extremely important? Hell yeah, I do. Face it - the only people who believe in the adage, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” are LOSERS. Life is a zero sum game as I see it. Every time somebody wins somebody else has to lose. If we don’t teach our kids how to end up on the right side of the equation from the very start, we’re setting them up to fail plain and simple. To me little league baseball is the perfect opportunity to instill a winning attitude at a very young age so that’s how I play it. Am I hard on the boys? Sure - sometimes. Do I expect excellence at all times? Yup - always. Does every player on my team end the season a stronger player than they started out? Absolutely - no question about it. I figure I spend @ 10-12 hours a week of my time managing my baseball team, so the last thing I deserve is grief from the parents. Shit, you should be thanking me for helping do your job for you. You don’t like the way I manage my team? Step up and get your own team. Otherwise just sit in the stands with the rest of the “unable to volunteer” box checkers and shut the f*ck up.
Not sure if your kid got on the right little league team this year? Here’s a quick quiz for your kid’s manager to see if he/she is doing their job properly:
Question 1: It’s the bottom of the 6th with the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game. Your worst hitter steps up to the plate. Do you a) let the kid swing away and risk a game ending strikeout or, b) give him the take sign and hope for a game winning walk?
Answer: Neither - you call a time out and tell him to wear one.
Question 2: A parent approaches you and politely suggests that her son should be playing shortstop instead of right field. Do you a) put the kid at shortstop or, b) lie and explain that right field is an important position too?
Answer: Neither – you tell her if she dares set foot in your dugout one more time to help little Johnny open up his juice box, he’ll spend the rest of the season on the bench where he deserves.
Question 3: Johnny misplays a fly ball in right field which costs you the game and he bursts into tears. Do you a) pat him on the back and tell him, “It’s alright – you’ll get the next one” or, b) spend some extra time with him after the game teaching him how to properly catch a fly ball so it won’t happen again?
Answer: Neither – you approach him with a disgusted look on your face and say, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
• If he/she answered (a) to 2 or more of the above: Quit the team immediately – your manager’s a spineless wimp who has no business coaching little league baseball, and is more than likely raising the next Princess Boy.
• If he/she answered (b) to 2 or more of the above: You’re in good hands – your manager’s a solid guy/gal who should be commended for their commitment to youth sports.
• If he/she answered (neither) to 2 or more of the above: Congratulations – your kid’s team is clearly going to win the league championship which is all that really matters.
Monday, April 28, 2014
It’s been 16 months since I gave this thing up. I started a big, new important job and couldn’t afford the public exposure. Well, I was recently fired from that big, important job so it seemed like an appropriate time to finally break my silence. A lot has happened in the past year plus. The Chargers won a playoff game, Obamacare failed (surprise, surprise), I celebrated my 40th birthday, and oh yeah, I got fired. It had nothing to do with my performance (I actually had one of the best earnings years of my entire career). There was simply a regime change and I wasn’t aligned with the right camp. I now know firsthand that dirty politics are alive and well in corporate America. It’s all good. I’m like that post-apocalyptic cockroach basking in the sun amongst the rubble. I’ll survive and move forward, better for the experience, and look forward to the next chapter of my career elsewhere. Onward and upward, one door closes and another opens, right? But more importantly than any of that stuff, you’re reading this post which means the Quinsey Blog is once again alive and well. In this go-round the frequency of my posts will be reduced significantly (once a month will be the goal) and my tone will have changed a bit (I’m older and wiser now that I’m in my forties). I’m also going to work on being less mean and offensive (at the request of my lovely wife – happy 16th anniversary honey). But rest assured you’ll still get my unfiltered (and invariably inappropriate) views on a wide range of topics. Welcome to the first post of the Quinsey Blog, version 2.0:
The Greatest Generation to the Laziest Generation
My kids are always asking me a bunch of questions I don’t know the answers to (my state school education rearing its ugly head). My standard response has become, “Google that shit” (go ahead and hand me the father of the year trophy now). 30 seconds and a quick web search later they always have the answers to their questions, and usually a bunch of other useful information as well. The other day after once again muttering my catchphrase response, it hit me. The reason our children’s generation seems so damn lazy is because they are. But it’s not their fault really. Advances in technology have made being lazy a perfectly acceptable practice. In the new world order of social & mobile, lazy works.
Think about it. When we were kids there was no internet. If we needed to do research on something we went to the library and used the Dewey Decimal System (remember that shit?) to locate books on the topic. We then checked out a huge stack of literature, lugged it all home, and went to work. If your parents were rich you probably had a set of Encyclopedia Britanicas which saved you a trip to the public library. At my house we had only the “A” edition. Some dude was selling them door to door, and there was a promotion where you could buy the “A” edition at a deeply discounted price. The hook was that you’d find your first encyclopedia so useful, you’d order the rest of the alphabet at full price. But the joke was on the Britanica people as my parents had no intention of ordering any other editions, and from that point forward I wrote term papers (I’m not sure they even call them that anymore) on topics starting strictly with the letter “A” (to this day I can recite a comprehensive list of little known facts about the aardvark). For the current generation of kids, research is literally just a couple clicks away. If you need to write a term paper (or whatever they’re calling them now) you simply hit an easy button called the internet. Where’s the learning curve in that process?
There were also no cell phones when we were kids. If you wanted to communicate with someone you had to dial them up on a landline or gulp, a payphone (if you’re under the age of 20 and want to know what a payphone looks like take a trip to your local museum). You usually had to talk to their parents first and explain who you were and why you were calling (I know, so embarrassing). When kids today want to communicate with someone they simply type the word “Hey” into their smart phone and hit send (welcome to the death of chivalry). What ensues is a broken “conversation” full of partial words and ambiguous acronyms (am I the only one who finds acronyms just plain lazy?). The written word is an art form that our children’s generation will never fully appreciate. I’m sure the “classics” are still part of their academic curriculum but with all the information so readily available on the internet, why would they even bother reading them? I would next talk about e-mail and how it didn’t exist when we were kids either (we actually had to write a thing called letters – visit the national archives in Washington DC for examples), but texting is so much easier than e-mail why would our kids even trouble with it?
And of course there was no social networking when we were kids. In the old days it took real effort to keep in touch with people. Now a days you can go for months or even years without any form of communication, and still know exactly what’s going on in someone’s life (albeit a sanitized, egotistical version of it). At what point did meaningful human contact give way to self-promoting Instagram posts and gratuitous selfies? For those who prefer no human contact at all, today’s generation of introverts can choose the virtual reality of gaming. It’s no coincidence it is now a multi-billion dollar industry. When we were kids all we had was Atari or ColecoVision (think VHS versus Beta), and it was pretty tough to get lost in games like Pacman and Donkey Kong. Although I do have to admit I can still play Galaga for hours (trying unsuccessfully to beat my wife’s high score – she’s got a gift J). In the virtual reality created by today’s video games, why would our kids ever feel the need to take a break for the real thing?
The point is today’s generation of children have so much technology at their disposal (the internet, cell phones, social networks, video games, etc.) that it’s become too easy to get completely immersed in it. New applications for iOS and Android are literally being developed faster than people are being born. Some technology is indeed a blessing in the convenience and flexibility it brings to our personal lives, and the productivity gains it delivers to our professional lives. But where do we draw the line when too much technology becomes a curse? And how do we prevent our children from becoming complacent and lazy as a result of it?
The term "The Greatest Generation" originated from Tom Brokaw's 1998 book of the same name. It refers to the generation who overcame the Great Depression and went on to fight in and win World War II. The productivity of those who stayed back on the home front also made a decisive contribution to the war effort abroad. In the book, Brokaw wrote, "it is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced." He argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the "right thing to do." The term “Laziest Generation” originates from this blog post written by me today. It refers to the generation of kids currently being raised buy us 30 & 40-somethings. It’s most notable contributions to society include LOL, angry birds, selfies, and the participation trophy.
Only time will tell if the Laziest Generation can overcome the crutch they’ve been provided in the form of “progress”. The one thing I do know for sure is that if my kids turn out lazy it will definitely be my fault. For every time they do something stupid my wife says, “They got that from you” (and my clearly flawed DNA). Welcome to the shallow end of the gene pool. It feels good to be back.