We’ve Won the WWC Again…Let’s build on it

U.S. Women hoist 2015 Women's World Cup

Awesome! Not only did U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) bring home the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but they set records for number of viewers each game from about the round of 16 on…each game had more than the last.

Foxsports.com: Women’s World Cup Final seen by 26.7 million  in U.S.

Now, let’s see if we can keep momentum/interest in the women’s game going this time. The last time they won it, in 1999, the WUSA formed up and failed, followed by a couple more attempts to have a league. The latest league, the NWSL is based on a different structure that should be more sustainable, but it takes fans. It takes fans going to games and campaigning to have the league’s games broadcast on channels that aren’t hidden away in the bowels of the cable-only lineup.

I have high hopes for the growth, the enduring growth of soccer in the USA, especially in the women’s game.

Too stupid to stop

I’m a soccer nut, as I’ve written about before.  Play it, coach it, watch it, and now ref it.  And I don’t let minor injuries get in my way.  I strained my hamstring back in March/April.  I might have skipped one or two of the lunchtime games before I was back on the pitch.  I tried to keep my work rate lower.  I didn’t go full speed after balls…mostly.  I didn’t try to explode away from folks or chase them down…mostly.  Gradually, my hammy has gotten better.  It’s still not one hundred percent.  If I hadn’t been too stupid to properly rest it, I’d likely be at full strength by now.

Last week, in the gym, I made the mistake of doing the Nautilus overhead press. Now, I know that my body doesn’t like that machine so I used light weight on it.  Didn’t matter.  Something about that motion on that machine pinches something or forces my muscles to work harder than they should.  Walked away from one set with a pain in my left trapezius.  Because I didn’t push it, though, the pain faded by the end of the day.  Monday, I skipped soccer due to a bruise on the bottom of my foot and hit the gym.  I got into the Nautilus upright bench press and craned my head around to the right when the guy at the desk said something to me. Ow!  Left trap screamed at me.  I wasn’t even pushing anything at that time.  I finished my workout, mostly cardio.  Too stupid to stop…yep.

It’s Wednesday now and the pain is less and I can move my neck more without pain, but here I am, back at the gym.  Not smart enough to stop, but I avoided any exercises that would have any work for the trap…well, except seated rows…and I went light.  Trap actually feels a bit better after the light work and getting warmed up.

Note that I’m composing this from a stationary bike, which means I was smart enough to skip soccer today.

Music Monday – Many Thanks

As Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. happens in  two days (yes, I’m a day late for the Music Monday post again), I decided that songs of thanks were appropriate.  The songs I found don’t cover quite all of the things for which I’m thankful, but they cover a couple:  the love of my life and humor.

Here’s my short list of things I’m thankful for

1.  I’m thankful for my wife…who loved me when I was pretty darn broke and still loves me now that I’m, well, not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but no longer broke.  She accepts me for who I am…(the very few) faults and all.

2.  I’m thankful for my beautiful, creative, intelligent daughters who both love sci-fi and fantasy like their parents.

3.  I’m thankful to have/had parents who raised me well.

4.  I’m thankful to have a job, esp. one that I mostly enjoy that also provides me the opportunity to play the sport I love (see number six) a few days a week during lunch.

5.  I’m thankful for my in-laws.  They rock.

6.  I’m thankful for the friends I have that I don’t get to see often enough.

7.  I’m thankful for soccer…that I get to play it, watch it, coach it…and that my daughters like to play it.

8.  And, yes, I’m thankful for social media…for the Facebook friends I have (many with whom I have a bond that none of us really understood until years later) and those who follow and/or comment on my blogs.

On to the videos…these first two are for my number one…my wife, my anam cara.

Bon Jovi’s “Thank You For Loving Me”

Sly and The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”

Finally, a little fun for Turkey day with Adam Sandler.  While not quite as funny as his Hanukkah Song, The Thanksgiving Song is still pretty funny.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Drogba is a Class Act

I know there are plenty of folks who don’t like Didier Drogba…and there may be plenty of Chelsea fans who don’t like that he’s retiring and many who really won’t like it if he ends up with a club playing against them, but all things considered, he’s proven himself to be a class act.

It may have warranted an eye roll when he announced earlier this year that he was pretty much willing to go wherever he was offered the most money this summer when his contract with Chelsea is up, but he made his announcement and that was that.  He didn’t expect Chelsea to be the highest bidder and since the announcement of looking for the money, I’ve not seen an article about his departure until this week…after putting in the equalizer and then the winning goal in the shootout for the UEFA Champions League final.  Now his departure is all over the news.

Back to being a class act, though.  When asked about leaving after helping Chelsea win the Champions League title and receiving the Man of the Match, he blew off the question and had nothing but praise and joy for his team…that they’d endured a long season, a tough season where they changed managers midway through, that they’d turned things around with the new manager, that they accomplished the unexpected in beating defending Champions League champs FC Barcelona and then taken the title when considered the underdogs.  There was no me in his words or his manner, because he’s still a Blue.

Need more proof, here’s a quote from his interview with the BBC on the subject of Fernando Torres:

“It’s been difficult for him [Torres], but he has showed he is the man.  Next season is going to be his season and I will try to speak to him. We have a good relationship. We don’t understand why we didn’t play together more, but that’s the past. Torres is the future.”

Still no “I’m the man and they’re going to have a tough time replacing me.”  It’s about what the club means to him and how the much maligned Torres is coming along and needs to be supported and that he expects good things from him.

I can’t say I’ve not seen games where he seemed to be ‘diving’ or where he’s committed some overly aggressive fouls, but for the most part, he played hard, but fair for Chelsea for the whole eight years he was there.  He’ll be missed by the Blues!

Kreativ Blogger Awa…err, Web Circle

According to the majority of the sources I’ve found, the Kreativ Blogger Award began simply as Kreativ Blogger when Norwegian Husfrauas Memoarer came up with the idea to create a web circle of sorts in May 2008.  Why does her nationality matter?  Simply because it explains the spelling of Kreativ.  She created the original logo by cutting and piecing together fabric (below right) and gave it to four fellow bloggers.  I say again, I can find no definitive, primary source on this, just what I’ve found on other bloggers’ posts about the Award.

The design of the logo has since changed, including the addition of ‘Award.’  It is really still more of a web circle as bloggers who’ve received the “nomination” accept the award by creating a post (which I’m doing now) in which they thank the person who nominated them (thanks Drow Queen), list ten things about themselves, and then list bloggers (I’ve read this is supposed to be as many as six) to “nominate” (both of these lists are below).

Original Kreativ Blogger logo Current Kreativ Blogger Award logo

Ten Things About Lorwynd

1. I’m a guy
2. I’m a married guy
3. I’m a married guy with kids
Are these supposed to be interesting things about me?  Let’s try again…

1. I am married to my anam cara and best friend (yes, they are the same person) and we have two (mostly) wonderful children.  Of course, if you’ve read my blog at all, you likely already know this.

2. I Love Soccer!  –I love playing it, watching it, coaching it, reading about it…again, you may already know this.

3. I’m the best singer in the world…with my radio blasting and the car windows up.  I love music and my favorite artists include Bon Jovi, George Michael, Keith Sweat, UB40, Billy Joel, Chicago (70’s version please–want the horns), Elton John, KISS, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.  Lots more. Can’t stand (as a rule) the crap they now call hip hop.  Don’t confuse that with Rap–Old Skool and even some Gangsta–I dig LL, Ice-T, Sugar Hill Gang, Fat Boys, Run-DMC, Eazy-E.  The stuff now is simply drivel over top of a dance beat.  Fine if I’m in a club…because only the beat matters then.

4. I live in the 80’s.  Not literally, of course, although I did a lot of growing up over that decade.  In my mind, it’s (almost) always 80’s time.

5. As I grow older, I find I have less and less patience for people, especially the increasingly large number of fidiots out there.

6. Big surprise here:  I’m a geek!  I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was about 13.  My current group has been together since 1997 or so.  We’ve had a couple of people move into and out of the group, but we’ve got a pretty good group and I don’t see us quitting the gaming any time soon.  R.I.P. Gary Gygax! I do a horrible job of keeping up a blog about it here:  Stuck in 3.5 Ed.

7. I’m a geek, parte dos!  I work in the Information Technology industry.  I play computer games…Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), Neverwinter Nights, Diablo, etc.  I hate being in an area where I can’t access the Internet by phone or laptop.  Even if I never actually bust out the laptop on a trip, I always take it…just in case.

8. I’m a romantic.  I like a lot of “chick flicks,” “romantic comedies,” and “romance non-so-comedies.”  The Holiday, Shakespeare In Love, Pretty Woman, among others, are part of my DVD collection and I can’t help watching The Holiday every time it’s on TV.  My favorite movie version of Dracula is Francis Ford Coppola’s, which was initially subtitled “Love Never Dies,” because it turned the story into a love story.

9. I’m a poet.  I don’t know if that has any relation to number 8.  I’m also a writer, just not a published one…yet.  I do have a couple of poems published, though.

10. To a certain extent, I care what other people think of me because I don’t want to be a complete social pariah, but over the years I’ve gotten to where I don’t really concern myself with what people think of me.  Five to ten years ago, I’d never have admitted to a few of the things in this list.  I’d also not post on some of topics that I do out of concern that I’d offend someone.  Now, if you take offense, too bad!  Okay, if you can articulate logically why I shouldn’t have said something the way I did, I’ll listen to you, but you won’t necessarily change the way I feel or get me to apologize or retract anything.  Sorry.  I guess I’m not PC.

That’s it.  10 things.  I don’t have to tell you any more now and I think that’s enough for now.  You can learn more about me by reading past and future posts…if you’re interested.

Other Blogs I Find Interesting

Serious Pixie.  She writes about Faeries and gaming and reading and has an advice column on writing on Amazon.com

M. Christine Weber’s Reading Lair.  The blog part of her site where she discusses books and recipes.

Cathy V’s Living Life Out Loud Feels Good.  A positive, motivational, inspirational blog.

fTastic.  A friend of mine’s blog where he posts on whatever crosses his mind, plus posts with his photos.

Wanna Get Published, Write! (shameless plug of my own blog). This is where I post poems, stories, quotes about writing, reviews of books, and track the books I’ve read, among other reading and writing related posts.

Lastly, Drow Queen’s The Burned Hand. No, it’s not just because she nominated me. She has funny, thoughtful posts, as well as posts about how she deals with some of her afflictions.

Injuries…

Dontcha hate it when you pick up an injury and it’s not even while playing the game???

Today, as usual, I was playing soccer at lunch when I missed a shot…yes, I know, I couldn’t believe it either.  I shagged the ball, kicked it back to the goal, and began to head back to the field at a brisk walk.  The ball had already headed back toward our goal and I was watching the field rather than where I was stepping when “Wham,” I stepped into a small hole in the field behind the goal, resulting in pain in my left knee.  When I tried to put pressure on it (walking) at first, it half-collapsed and had a shooting pain.  “Great,” I thought, “I’m playing in an adult league and my first game is this weekend. I was able to walk it off and went back down to our end and played keeper for a few minutes, eventually working out the kinks and playing in the field again for the last 10 minutes or so, albeit a bit gingerly.

It hurts a little now when I go up and down stairs and at other random times.

Ah, well, I can’t play Wednesday do to a work commitment so, hopefully, this will turn out to just be a little twinge.

I hate it when that happens…and it wasn’t even during play…grrrrr!

Soccer…it makes me happy

I posted as my Facebook status earlier tonight that it’s going to be a very soccer-filled spring because I’ll be coaching my daughters’ team (starting this week) and I’ll also be playing for the adult league team that I’ve only managed to play for two seasons over the last two years.  It almost didn’t work out again this season, but the league we’d been playing in for almost two years was only able to field three teams in the premiere division and so my team moved to another league.  Why does the league affect my ability to play?  The league we’re now in starts their Saturday games no earlier than noon so I won’t have to risk missing half the season because I’m coaching my daughters games on Saturday mornings…the league we’d been in has two start times before noon on Saturday which don’t work for me.  I got the email this evening that we’d switched leagues and was registered in less than ten minutes…can’t wait.

Playing three days a week during lunch is great, but it’s different.  The intensity is more reserved (for most of us) because we all have to go back to work and because no one’s playing for a title.  The level of play isn’t quite the same either so I’ve noticed myself getting a bit sloppy, especially in my shooting…not squaring my hips to the goal, getting over the ball, and driving it…too much leaning back.  I won’t make the first game due to prior a commitment so I have two weeks to buckle down and tighten up my game before I step on the pitch for a real game again.

My daughter looked at me like I was silly when I finished registering and started doing a happy dance about playing.  She just doesn’t yet realize how much I love this sport, especially playing it.  My wife knows, though, which is why she puts up with me and my soccer.  She knows how upbeat my mood is all morning on days when I have a game.

I hope one day my daughters have a hobby, job, etc. that makes them feel like I do about soccer…it’ll just be a big bonus for me if it turns out to be soccer for them.

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