Like losing her all over again

I know I haven’t been updating this blog but this was a story I needed to tell and I didn’t know where else to do it.

In the past I’ve written about Pearl, my black lab and how much I love her and her crazy ways.

Well back in March, the day before my 21st birthday and while I was studying for midterms I received a text from my mom saying to call her. I was working on some flashcards so I put my headphones in so my hands would be free while I talked to my mom. Well I placed the call, and I heard the words come out of her mouth “Pearlie passed.” My first reaction was denial, that what she just said didn’t come out of her mouth. I replied with a “what” and again she said it and from there the tears came. She told me how it happened and how the decision to put her down was made but all I kept thinking was it wasn’t real, that everything that was happening at that moment was a dream.

Two days later, I was on my home for spring break. I normally looked forward to going back home but this time was different. While I was on the bus heading to the airport a song got stuck in my head and it was one I hadn’t heard in a really long time; “Fire and Rain,” by James Taylor. A fitting song for what I was feeling. If you’ve never heard it before, here is a link. The lyrics that hit me hardest were the chorus.

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I’d see you again.”

For me those words rang true. When I left home at the end of winter break, I said goodbye to Pearl but I never thought it was going to be the last time I saw her in person. Yeah, I would facetime with my mom and force her to put Pearl on camera, and I would try to talk to her, despite knowing she was deaf by that point. But I was 2 days away from seeing Pearl again when I got the news that I would never seen her. Yeah I have pictures and yeah I have videos but those are just now distant memories for me.

When I did get home that weekend, it hit me hard. I walked into the house and I went upstairs and I was expecting her to be there even though I knew she wouldn’t be. It instantly brought me to tears. That whole week I was beside myself, thinking I would see her every time I walked down the stairs and one point I heard the doggie door swing, and I was expecting to see her walking through it.

Losing her was one of the hardest things I’ve had to bear but recently these feelings were all drudged up again and it doesn’t hurt any less the second time around.

Being an iPhone user, I wanted to update to iOS 8. I figured after updating my iPad that it would be no problem, however I was wrong. The update failed and I was forced to restore my phone to factory setting and the back up I had didn’t have all the photos that were on my phone, many of which were of Pearl.

I was lucky that the videos on my phone were recovered, those would have been even harder to lose but losing the photos and the stress I went through when I knew what happened felt like I lost Pearl all over again.

Losing a best friend is tough but losing them twice is unbearable, at least it was for me. I really hope that time heals my wound but for now its been reopened and it hurts.

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Goodbye, Orioles of 2013; on to 2014

Our season is over. We knew it after that 18 inning game in Tampa but Tuesday night made it mathematically official. Many have said it but I want to repeat it: 2012 spoiled us fans. We went from being a last place team to making the playoffs in the course of one season, and not making the playoffs this year feels like failure, but it is not. Prior to last year, I was four the last time the Orioles had a winning season so just seeing this team finish with at least a winning percentage of at least .500 is a good year. But before we were eliminated we lost a key player, Manny. His injury is not as bad as it looked but man did it hurt me when I saw it happen. Every Orioles fan was in pain watching that happen but the good news is he should be back by Opening Day, if not Spring Training.

Regardless of the postseason, we have/ had the best defense in baseball, shattering the record for fewest errors in a season and have a phenomenal fielding percentage. My guess is that we get at least 3 gold gloves; Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters I am about 100% sure will get gold gloves but JJ Hardy, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and maybe even Nate McLouth could also end up with some hardware. Davis will for sure win the Silver Slugger (and if Miguel Cabrera wasn’t a third baseman I feel Manny would as well) and I am sure Hardy will have a Silver Slugger in his trophy case this offseason as well. Davis will be up in the voting numbers for AL MVP, and Manny will surely garner a few votes as well) but that award will most likely go to Miguel Cabrera or possibly Mike Trout. Chris Tillman who has become the Orioles’ Ace of the rotation this season will probably garner a few votes for the AL Cy Young but will not win the award.

Now for the offseason moves. I want to start with career Oriole Brian Roberts whose contract is up this year. I want to see him back, he will have to take a pay cut for sure but I can’t see him in any other uniform and he has enough left in him for at least a few more years and if this season was any indication he can stay healthy. We have the talent to replace him but I think the Orioles should give him at least one more year since up until last year he was apart of a team that lost year after year and due to injury he couldn’t play in the postseason last year, so I feel for him. The others with contracts running out this year are Alexi Casilla, Scott Feldman (acquired from the Cubs), Jason Hammel, McLouth, Mike Morse (acquired from the Mariners), K Rod, Chris Snyder and Wada (who hasn’t thrown one pitch for the Orioles since being signed).  Hammel is someone I am 100% ready to let go off, as is Morse, K Rod, Snyder, and Wada. I like Casilla and is a solid back up player and pinch runner, and Feldman can be a good addition to our rotation saying we don’t find other options. McLouth I personally feel like is a “must sign” although we have plenty of prospect to fill his spot, he is a solid left fielder and we don’t call him McLutch for nothing. Obviously these opinions are not all based on fact but rather feeling but you can’t sign a player solely on their stats.

For players we already have, I feel that Davis and Machado need restructuring or extensions after the seasons they just had. I want to see Wieters signed to an extension now rather than later and I don’t want Buck’s off the record prediction of Matt becoming a Yankee coming true.

Holes we need to fill. Pitching, well starting pitching a little more than the bull pen but pitching none the less needs help. Tillman is definitely a keeper for the rotation but the other 4 slots are mystery to me as of right now. We have options already with the team including Bud Norris, Zach Britton, Miguel Gonzales, Wei-Yin Chen, Steve Johnson, and Kevin Gausman (and possibly Dylan Bundy depending on how his recovery from Tommy John surgery is going), but I personally can not narrow down our 5 guys, not yet. I think the front office is going to try and sign another arm for the rotation, and definitely some for the bull pen but I don’t they know exactly what they are looking for yet either. When it comes to position players, I don’t think any players need to be signed or traded for because we have plenty of guys on the 40 man and the roster we used for most of this year seems to work.

Of course not being a part of the Orioles organization, well not yet at least, my opinions mean nothing and could be totally wrong in how the front office is thinking. Of course I hope I’m not entirely off base with these “predictions” but what do I know?

Now, 2014 won’t be easy. We still have to play in the toughest division in the league and we have some issues to fix, which I only talked about over arching problems but if you want to talk about end of season struggles RISP is a must (but I’ll leave that out), however I feel that we can continue to win and I hope to see this team in the post season once again.

Next season, the team is traveling to Chicago where they’ll face the White Sox and Cubs in the same week. I’ll be at least one of the games at Wrigley and I can not be more excited than I am now. I have mentioned it briefly in the past that I like the Cubs, my dad is a life long Cubs fan having grown up in a Chicago suburb, but this game I will be almost entirely for the Orioles. Let’s be honest; anyone think that the Cubs will still be in contention come late August. It’s the weekend before my final semester for college starts (I can’t believe I am that close to being done) so I think seeing the Orioles in the historic Wrigley Field is the perfect way to start it.

That’s all for now and hopefully I remember to keep up with the posts but I can make no promises. Thanks for reading.

Honor Society, No More

I normally don’t have two posts but today is worthy of it because of the two different things I want to write about. Although this post will be much shorter.

 I was having some issues today with almost everything making me cry but then news broke that gave the tears reason. The band Honor Society announced that they would disband and stop making music. This is one of my favorite bands so this was sad news for me and thousands of others who loved their music. I know that bands don’t make music forever, or most bands don’t, but this is the first band I love to break up, in a sense the members are still friends just not making music anymore.

 I love this band and always will, and I will never stop listening to their music, but I am sad to know that I will probably never see them perform live again. While I have shed tears today I will forever cherish the memories I have of these 4(now 3) gentlemen. 

NFL Temper Tantrum

So last night, Sept. 5th, was the season opener for the NFL. In NFL tradition, the Super Bowl champions played in that game and the Ravens did. The other tradition is to have the SB champs open at home, which is what didn’t happen. Why not? Well according to the NFL writers and PR personnel, it was the Orioles fault and only their fault. I like the Ravens, I grew up a Bears fan but I do like watching the Ravens, but I am a baseball girl through and through and the Orioles are my number one team, so this really pissed me off. 

If you don’t know already, I am college studying Public Relations, so even if I weren’t an Orioles fan the tweets from last night would still have pissed me off. More specifically it was the tweets that came from @NFLPRguy. Brian McCarthy, an obvious PR rep for the NFL was tweeting last night shortly before the start of the game interacting with one of the members of the Eutaw Street Report, and Orioles related online publication. Going by the twitter handle @AStetka, Andrew, refuted every claim that McCarthy had made, but in response this guy, whose job is to aid in the imaging of the league, made condescending remarks and continued to put all the blame on the Orioles, ignoring the role that the NFL played in making the decision to have the Ravens open on the road. In my opinion, this man should lose his job over these tweets because he did more harm than good with his responses, when he probably would have been better off not saying anything at all.

Of course McCarthy was not alone in these remarks. Another NFL PR guy made similar comments about it being the Orioles fault, and various NFL.com writers, and an ESPN writer, made the same comments. One of the NFL writers even had a tweet that said “This weather delay, brought to you exclusively by the Orioles’ inferiority complex.” (@AlbertBreer). He made few other jabs at the Orioles but this one I think highlights the mentality that these NFL people took over this game being in Denver vs. Baltimore.

The decision to move the Orioles game was not their sole decision, the White Sox and MLB Players Association both also had to agree to a new arrangement. The NFL could have had the game on Wednesday, as they did last year to accommodate the Presidential Debate, but they said that it interfered with Rosh Hashanah, which I learned is not only an on going holiday but the NFL had a full slate of games on it last year as well. So to give full blame to the Orioles is not only inappropriate but also wrong.

I don’t know if there is much more I can say on this matter but I will say that it was appalling to see a man currently in profession I hope to join upon graduation, sports PR, forget all the education I assume he had and act the way he did on twitter.

 

The struggles of a college student

This post is not so much about budgeting and trying maintain frades and social life, no this is a post about a University pissing off a good portion of the student population with they claim to be a small change.

I have taken on a roll as one of the people leading the charge against Bradley University and Aramark Food Services who, on the same day that tuition was due, announced that they were changing the meal plan system, and no changes even needed to be made. Previously, we paid an amount and in return received a certain amount of meal plan dollars, to be used any dining location on campus, quick cash, to be used on campus as well as locations surrounding campus, finally there was an overhead line item allowing some wiggle room for the school. At the end of each semester, whatever money we had left on our meal plan account rolled over to our quick cash account and at the end of your time at Bradley you received whatever money you had left in your quick cash account, in a check. Personally, this system was a draw to the university because it was not complicated and I did not feel like I was being cheated. Now, the system still involves the same items as I stated but now there is a meals system where each week you have a set number of meals, to only be used at the dining halls on campus, and these meals do not roll over week to week. Also, no matter how much meal plan dollars you have remaining on your account, only $100 will roll over into quick cash. Finally they removed the overhead line item, which is the only explanation for them keeping our money.

Students are feeling cheated of their own money, and for others like me, forced to eat in the dining halls. I should mention that students like myself who live in the dorms are forced to purchase the meal plan. As of this moment the facebook group has almost 500 members (abut 10% of the student population) and the petition that I started has 130 signatures. The group was started Sunday and the petition was started last night, Monday. We are hoping to gain much more support not only from other students but also parents and faculty. As of now I am working on forming a letter to be sent along with the petition to both the University president and the food service representative. I don’t expect change immediately but I hope that changes WILL be made and the students listened to.

I’m a horrible person

So, yeah, I think the title says it all. I have not had a post in a really long time and that is mostly due to an overwhelming semester but partially due to not remembering to make a post. And if people really are reading this, I apologize but I don’t think I had any regulars so I am okay there. 

A few details to catch up. I currently only have 3 semesters remaining of my undergraduate degree. I don’t currently plan on going to grad school, however if I do, it will be on the East Coast. For the start of my summer, I had gone to Ireland the first half of the trip was study abroad but the second half was simply a vacation with my mom. It was my first time in Ireland and I absolutely loved it and really want to go back. 

Now, it is baseball season and damn do I love it. Of course I gave up on the Cubs quickly, and hopefully they can show some life sometime in the near future. The Nationals were pre-season favorites to win the World Series, but they are not playing like it right now. They will need to play some serious ball to even make it to the playoffs at this point. Now the Orioles need to step it up a bit. They have amazing offense but it seems that when that starts to slump, the pitching also falls apart. Starting pitching is finally looking like something to be proud of. Tillman is just been a true Ace for us, and our supposed Ace, Hammel, has the highest ERA of all our starters. As of now we are in the playoffs as a Wild Card, but I don’t think taking the division is out of the question. Davis was on a tear prior to the All-Star game, which he was a starter in his first appearance, and Davis is what stands between Miguel Cabrera and a 2nd triple crown. Since the All-Star break, Davis has not been so hot but I think this slump won’t last too much longer. Then of course Manny Machado, he is a shoe-in for the gold glove at 3rd and although he only has 1 double in July I still believe he can break the season record.

Personally, I am currently spending my summer writing. I previously had a novel in the works but I now have two after having another idea come to me on the flight back from Ireland. 

I will try to write a little more regularly, but I can make no such promises because I am completely unreliable when it comes to this thing and I know how busy and forgetful I can be.

 

So until next time, whenever that may be.

Orioles FanFest

Today, January 19th, was the Baltimore Orioles’ FanFest and my first time attending. It was a great day but it started with sadness. After waking up and beginning to get ready for the day I receive a text message from MASN informing me that the Hall of Fame manager of the Orioles, Earl Weaver or the Earl of Baltimore, had past at the age of 82. But it couldn’t have been a better day to celebrate his life. Upon the news, the Orioles organization was already shifting things around at FanFest so that Earl’s life would be included. As the day went on it was fantastic even with 18,000 other people walking around. I watch the players and coaches recall the magical 2012 season and answer questions from the fans and got to see some of my favorite current players walking around. I did get tickets for two autograph sessions that included Chris Davis and Adam Jones. For both sessions (that were back to back) I waited in line for more than 2 hours straight. First up was Chris Davis session, also in this session was Miguel Gonzales and Brian Matusz, who I discovered that without his hat on is ridiculously cute. I got Chris Davis and I could tell he was ADD, first he couldn’t decide to where to sign on my shirt before saying, “I’m gonna sign the bird’s face.” While he is signing a volunteer notices my nail, which I had painted orange, black and white, and when I show Chris Davis he proceeds to say, “Cool, I don’t do my nails.” He was way funnier in person than in his interviews. Next was the Adam Jones line and the two guys with him were relative unknowns compared to Jones. Despite knowing many stories of how great Jones is he was really quiet and spacey but for a guy who’s signature is mostly loops, he signs very slowly. Now that the autograph sessions were over my mom and I proceed from the convention center to Oriole Park at Camden Yards where they were giving free clubhouse tours. BEST IDEA EVER. We got to walk through the weight room, the locker room, pass the batting cages and into the dugout and on to the warning track (we weren’t allowed to walk on the grass). Having only ever being in the stands before this, it was awesome.
So as today ends I can’t be happier if with the sadness of today (in addition to Weaver, Stan Musial passed today) I really hope I can go again next year.