Monday, August 4, 2008

I've been playing softball since I got here in SoCal. But it has lost the challenge I crave so much. A big ball comes floating, slowly to the plate. Stevie Wonder would probably be able to hit it. I've grown bored of softball. I wanted a new challenge. I found it.

I signed up for baseball, a sport I haven't played since I was a 160 lb weakling in high school. Now I am a 215lb muscle head and I am at the cusp of 35 years old. Now that is a challenge I can wrap my arms around.

Yesterday I was called upon to be a replacement player on a team in Hawthorne. I was under the impression that it was a 35 and up league. My kind of speed. But when I got there, I met all mid twenty somethings. Can you say, oh shit? I did.

Game time: The manager put me at number 9 in the batting order. So I had to wait 3 freaking innings to have the baseball thrown at me. That just gave me too much time to wonder what the hell I was doing.

The third inning came and it was my time to make that walk to the plate. It was a slow walk, the deadman walking as I like to call it. I was so nervous. I just did not want to embarrass myself, so I was hoping he would just hit me with the ball.

First pitch - BALL. Oh my God, that thing was coming fast. Why the hell is he throwing golf balls at me.

Second pitch - BALL. Thank goodness. I am glad it was a ball. I had no idea where that was going. The spin was so weird. On the bright side, I saw the spin of the ball.

Third pitch - STRIKE. I saw that one a lot better. I just didn't want to swing. Three pitches and my eyes are adjusting already. Damn that pitch was fast though. "Why is he throwing golf balls, blue?" I ask the umpire. He just laughs.

Fourth pitch. Oh man, it is coming right down the middle. To hell with it, I'm swinging. CRACK! Whoa....what the...wait...did I hit that? Run look up to see the ball has landed in front of the leftfielder. My first time swinging at a baseball and I got a hit.

Man, this is going to be easy. My thoughts were already wondering to my first pro contract. I was wondering who was going to be playing me in the movie. It can't be Tom Cruise, he's too freaking small. Maybe Vin Diesel. Of course they would have to give him and anti-tan.

Well let me tell you. That first pro contract will have to wait. I struck out on my next two at bats. I swung at two sliders that looked like they were coming right at me. But they didn't. They curved so far away from me that I almost dislocated my shoulder. He was back to throwing those damn golf balls again.By the way, I am writing a story about this. This is just a preview.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yesterday my girlfriend and I were invited to a cookout - barbecue as they are called in The South - by a friend of mine. The problem was another friend of mine that I had soured on was going to be there. See, him and I started out pretty tight. But the more my girl and I hung out with him and his significant other, the more he started to send off some seriously bad vibes. He was constantly making little sexual jokes about my girlfriend. At first I ignored it and we continued to hang out with them. But after awhile all I wanted to do was stomp him into the ground, so we stopped hanging out with them- except on softball nights. Needless to say I was hesitant to go yesterday.

I swore to my girlfriend that I would try really hard to ignore and have a good time. Well it actually went really well. We all got along, we even mixed it up in the pool in a physical but friendly game of water basketball. Afterwards, all of us sat around the pool swapping stories and laughing. It does show me that I can interact with other people without constantly thinking about committing violence on others. Yet another step in the right direction - I hope.
I've had five of my articles published on within my first month writing for them. Finally, I'm starting to get some feedback too.

My Fourth of July was uneventful as always. My girlfriend and I went and watched the fireworks that were listed as being shot from the Queen Mary. Well I live almost across the street from the Queen Mary so we went down to the beach around 8:45 pm and carved out our little spot on the sand. We had great seats to be able to watch the fireworks that we thought were going to come from or somewhere within the vicinty of the Queen Mary. Well at 9 sharp the fireworks started way over to the left of us. It appeared they were coming from Seal Beach. Still, it was nice sitting down there on the sand at nighttime, watching the fireworks show. We were surrounded by lots of people but it was still so peaceful. I love the beach at nighttime. Sitting there at that moment, I was the most relaxed I had been in a long time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One of my major fears has always been crowds. I've never been to a concert in my life. When a place is crowded; I avoided them like Nicole Ritchie avoids food. Well Sunday I went to a Dodgers game. I sat in the field level, which was crowded. I didn't leave; I didn't get uncomfortable; I didn't get nervous.

Then yesterday, I had a luncheon with a lady about possibly working for me in the future. Normally, I avoid eye contact; I mumble incoherently and stutter like a mad man. But I actually did good. I felt in control and confident.

I also ended up at another Dodger's game again last night. That is two games in a public place in three days. That is a huge step for somebody with my affliction.

On a side note, I have an opportunity to join the organization The Toastmasters. They are a group of people that help overcome shyness. There is one here in Long Beach that meets at 7am on Wednesdays. I got in touch with the director and he told me to come by. I want too, but I just can't seem to kick myself out the door to go.