Monday, March 26, 2007

The city of brotherly love, or not?

One of my friends brought a group down to Philadelphia this past week and listening to them talk about the "sketchiness" of the city had to make me laugh a little bit. I've been here about 10 months now, Nic about a year, and I must admit there are some things that I now truly like about Philadelphia: Wegman's, the park behind our house, all the cool stuff to do, our church, etc. I also discovered that Nic & I both can serve as pretty good tour guides around the city and that my friends is worth a pat on the back. However as with every good thing there is always a bad, and this weekend also clearly pointed out some disappointing facts about Philly. For instance point in fact- Independence Hall, sure it's great that our founding fathers signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution there, which don't get me wrong I'm most grateful for, but the entire 20 minute tour consisted of two rooms, all that buzz for one building, two rooms? Now maybe that's because I grew up in the great state of Virginia, where the majority of American history was made along with some pretty influential leaders including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, so excuse me if a two room building has nothing on Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg.
And then the kicker- Sunday afternoon while grocery shopping I witnessed a fight between two customers, now this would not be as alarming if I hadn't already experienced this before in another Philadelphia retail store. I couldn't help to think in my mind as this was all happening-is saving 3 minutes in the checkout line really worth a ride in a cop car? Apparently in Philadelphia my friends the answer is yes.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Little Brother

This Friday night I'm going to get to go to my first NBA basketball game courtesy of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania. They've hooked us up with three free tickets so that April and I can take our little brother Isaiah down to the Wachovia Center to see the Sixers play the Celtics. I'm not a huge NBA follower (outside of my fantasy basketball team - which will make me watch for every stat accumulated by Andre Iguodala at the game), but I do understand that neither of these two teams has much at stake at this point in the season. Still, thanks to BBBS, I'm excited to go experience something I probably wouldn't see otherwise, while hanging out with somebody I probably wouldn't know otherwise.

To me, that's been the greatest part of being involved with the BBBS program. Although April and I could have probably found a way to become involved in the lives of some Philadelphians, Big Brothers provided us with an easy and very accessible way to show love to a kid and a family. I'm the kind of person who sometimes needs that kind of socially acceptable device to overcome the awkwardness and uncomfortability I feel when trying to establish something new and somewhat radical for me (especially a relationship). I'm thankful for the vision of people who saw the value in building bridges for timid people like me to befriend those outside of their everyday lives. There's a part of this city I would never even begin to understand if it weren't for Isaiah and his family, and I know that it has enriched my time here already.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Treadmills kick my butt

So I decided recently that I really should establish some sort of physical goal in my life, since I've never ever done that before in my life and with the encouragement of several friends Nic & I have decided to run a 5K. So in my head the thought of running a 5K sounds so fun and exhilarating but I'm learning the training part of it isn't so pretty. Take for instance tonight when running 14 out of 30 minutes on the treadmill made me feel as if I was about to lose my dinner. Yet somehow in the end I always manage to feel better about myself despite the nauseating feeling I felt only moments before. Why is that? Nic & I were talking on the way back about setting physical goals and health goals and suddenly I realized that's why all the pain melted away in a matter of seconds. We are designed to have a purpose/goal for our lives, and as small a goal as running a 5K may seem it makes me realize the importance of the bigger picture. I am worth something and I am put here for some purpose.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March Madness

I remember growing up watching the University of Cincinnati Bearcat basketball team on TV with my family as often as I could. Sometimes, we would get tickets to go to one of the games. I even remember getting my first UC jersey (it was number 3 - Damon Flint). I don't know if I've ever been prouder of an article of clothing.

My aunt lives in Louisville, and had a friend who had season box seat tickets to the University of Louisville basketball games. For a couple years in a row, she was able to get the tickets for the Cincinnati at Louisville (who were two of the best teams in Conference USA at the time) game so that my family, some of my friends and I could drive down for the night, see the game, then drive back late so we could get up for school in the morning. There isn't much better for a kid who is a basketball fan than to get to watch a game from great seats and get free catered food in the process.

I remember listening to a Final Four game on a small hand held radio during a wedding reception once. I can't remember whose wedding it was, or who was playing the game, but I remember it turning what would have otherwise been a boring event for a kid into an exciting night.

A couple of years ago, when I was living close to Washington, DC, a good friend of mine gave me an extra ticket that he had for the ACC tournament at the MCI Center. I got to watch three or four games of some of the best teams in the nation playing. More importantly, I got to hang out and catch up with a good friend for a day.

It seems like I have a lot of good memories revolving around college basketball. Watching the exciting games in the tournament this year brings them back. Sometimes, I think April gets annoyed at me when I'm completely sucked into some of these games, even though I have no real interest in either team beyond what I've picked in my bracket. She tries her hardest to get my attention, but there's really not much point if there's less than 5 minutes left and the score is within 10 points. I just got so excited that I was yelling at the TV during the Washington State vs. Vanderbilt game. I think I can name at least 7 players on the Virginia Commonwealth team from this year. I can't think of anything else that demands my attention and draws me in like a good college basketball game. There's something about the pressure and the passion that are combined in these games that leave me at the mercy of my television like no other program can.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Silly Sleet

So it's sleeting like crazy now in Philadelphia why I'm not sure seeing as it's March 16. I guess the only good part is that Nic & I both got home from work early. Nic is currently watching basketball and surprisingly enough I'm interested in it as well. We decided to do a bracket pool for our bible study so suddenly I now have a reason to be interested, I never thought I'd say this in my life but for once I was actually sad Duke lost. It's a funny thing being married I can honestly say I'm a much bigger sports fan now, I bet I could name one NFL player from every team or more importantly I know all the major QB starters, who knew fantasy football would mean so much.
We decided(probably more myself than Nic) to start this thing just to keep people posted on what's going on with us. We were down in Blacksburg last weekend for Becca & Logan's wedding and it made me miss our friends and the wonderful state of Virginia greatly. I also realized I've been terrible at keeping up to date with old friends, so here goes nothing. Oh yea I've attached some pictures from the Self wedding too!