Friday, November 2, 2007

situational awareness

I'm at work and I don't have any pictures and I don't have anything interesting to say at all. Well that's not true. I always have something interesting to say.

That's not true either.

Tennis season.....let's see, when did I last update? We went to Mesa, and scraped out a 5-4 win. It was interesting. That was the first week of October. None of us played particularly well, and that's really the last time anyone on the team got along with anyone else. I can't take a couple of those guys anymore. They're either bitching about life and tennis and how shitty our coach is or their calling me at 1:45 in the morning to prank my ass out of bed. I'm probably going to start killing people. I can't believe it's November already.

I'm playing a local tournament this weekend. It might be stupid. Playing some dubs with my little brother and some singles. The singles draw looks small and stupid and the doubles draw is a pretty tough round robin.

Liverpool......what to even say about you!? I get up early in the morning to watch you and you underachieve week after week. Fuck! The draw with Arsenal was all right; I guess it was only a matter of time before Arsenal's cumulative sexiness allowed them a goal. I was proud of the way LFC played despite being exhausted and physically broken down. It might be a rough month. I trust Rafa, but I'm pretty anxious to see what's going to happen. I hope Agger comes back soon because he is a bad ass and one of my favorites.

The Nuggets are looking OK, and that's OK. Melo and AI and Kmart and Camby and Nene and JR (if his head's right) and Kleiza and Najera.....good lord, everyone's looking good so far. We're 1-0 so I'm not complaining -- this isn't some sort of early season rant. But fuck yeah, Nuggets...come on. I'm going to the Nuggets-Bulls game on the 20th, and I'll be 21, and we got first row club seats for $40 (love that student discount), so I'm psyched in more ways than one.

That brings me relatively up to date. We've been having off-season "practice" so far but most of them have been illegal. Coach doesn't care much for NCAA rules, I suppose. It's a dumb situation. No string, no shoes, no uniforms, no new balls....whatever. I felt more legit in high school.

I'm just trying to keep my head above the water. I have four weeks of this semester left and then two more semesters at the most -- then I'm graduating. That seems exciting. I'll get back to you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


So our sick match the other day, the one where we won 5-4? Ya. Didn't count. Our newbie coach played Andreas, who was and is still currently ineligible according to the NCAA. Neat. And we play again Saturday and will probably be down two players for various reasons. Andreas will still be barred from playing and Kyle has decided that he has better things to do that day, more or less.

I haven't been doing much homework later. Been doing a lot of other stuff lately, like taking a few pics and playing a shit ton of tennis. Classes aren't even taking up that much time. I spend more time each week at work and tennis than I do at class, and I'd bet it's not even close if you actually figured it all out. But last night was very thought provoking for reasons that have nothing to do with any of that stuff.

My name is, as you know, not Jamison Parker. It is James Albert MacIndoe, and ya, it's a sick name. The James came from James Herriot, who is actually Alf Wight, the Yorkshire country veterinarian. The Albert came from my great great uncle named Albert McCoy, who died in WWI. And you know where my last name came from. But anyhow, I never knew much about Albert except that he moved to America with his parents and lived in Baxter Springs, Kansas, was drafted at the end of 1917 or so, and was shot and killed the day the Armistice was signed, November 11, 1918. I found out a lot more last night. And I know, I know, this is a sports/whatever blog, but this has been on my mind all day, so I'm leaning heavily on the whatever part.
My sister is teaching history at a local high school, and she is doing a WWI unit, so my dad dug up all of these old documents and letters that we have had buried somewhere downstairs. I'm gonna try to scan some of them, because they are amazing. Just the fact that we even own them is cool to me. I like history, historical things, whatever...not to sound generalized and cliche, but I like stuff like that. So having a 90-year old letter that was written from a trench in France is mind boggling. Albert literally started off one of his letters, "Somewhere in France..."

But anyhow, after reading just a few of those letters, and one of the letters that his family had sent him (not sure how we have that one...), I feel like I know a bit about him. He was not very literate, and I wonder how much education he had. His letters are really hard to read because he was a terrible speller. "Been fine" was "bin fine," and he never really used much punctuation. Most of his sentences just ran into each other, and he never capitalized his I's. His handwriting looks a lot like my little brother's actually, which is funny. And at the end of his letters he always signed "by by," which I assumed (and found out correctly) was supposed to be "bye bye." That's because in that letter that his sister wrote him (that we somehow have), at the end it says, "Pearl says 'bye bye.'" Pearl was my dad's mom. So that's evidently how that started. All of the letters were very sweet, and it was really sad to read them.

But the saddest letter of all was the letter that another soldier sent home along with a letter that Albert had written his parents, telling them that he had been killed. I didn't find that letter, but the other, what a job that must have been. He took the time to write this letter to Albert's parents, letting them know what really happend. I guess the Army had wired home that Albert had been killed in an explosion near the Meuse River in France about 1 pm on Nov. 11. This marine who wrote home told, very simply and eloquently, that he found Albert on the afternoon of the 11th and that he had been shot in the leg and bled out. He said he covered him in blankets, reported him to his officer, and made sure his letter and his money got sent to his family. Then the soldier said something I don't think I'll ever forget. At the end of his letter he said that he was just trying to do his duty, and hoped that it would bring some comfort to the family. He closed the letter and said, "Been here over 18 months. Expect to be here most a year. I remain a homesick soldier. Your's, Sgt. Leonard Pruitt"

That really touched me. It was the saddest letter I've ever read, and all of those documents brought such a strange sense of emotion to me that I'm still grappling with it. Plus, that letter could have been written yesterday!! It never changes!! People my age were in trenches in France, fighting people they'd never seen, never had anything against...they were just told to keep their heads down now and then and charge from time to time. But I digress.........

The letters. Those are 90 year old letters that were written from a trench in France! And now I have them and can read them and feel some of the same things that Albert's parents felt. It's amazing that just reading a letter like that can help me picture the man so much better. But somehow knowing that he was on kitchen patrol for a week while he was doing his basic training makes him suddenly very real. He's no longer just a name or a person. He's more than my middle name now too. And I'm going to try to honor that. I'm not sure how, but I want to. And I want to travel some more too. I found out through those documents that my dad's grandparents were both born in Scotland: he was born in Airdrie and she was born in Bathgate. I'm going there someday. I don't really even know why, but I want to.

Anyhow, I think that I am so drawn to Albert and that period in history because the first book that I ever had an emotional reaction to was about WWI. It was called War Game, by Michael Foreman. It is an amazing book, and completely describes my feelings on WWI and all wars. You should try to find the book and read it. It won't take long, but it will leave you feeling something, I'm sure of it. And the first poem that I ever had an emotional reaction to was also about WWI. "Dulce et Decorum est," and it was written by Wilfred Owen, who also died in the war. Just read it.

I guess I'm done spouting. Feel free to ignore anything I say.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

F'ing Broncos!!

Only the Broncos would do that to me! How about letting the Raiders appear to win the game, then call a time out, then let them donk the next FG off the post, then take the ball down and score! GEEZ. Good thing Jason Elam has been kicking game winners since I was a little kid! Anyhow, change of subject.

We played against Mesa State on Saturday and we won. It was pretty sick, actually. Kyle and I lost in dubs, Mitch and Andreas won (thankfully), and then Beau and Richie somehow lost at 1 dubs. So we were down 1-2 going into our singles matches, but we won 4 out of 5 to take the victory. I lost my first set 0-6, and then somehow rebounded and won 6-2, 6-0 after that. I clinched the victory for the team even! It was the first time I had done that, and I'm really glad that I pulled my head out of my ass. The guy I was playing is pretty solid. He was serving huge in the first set, and I was leaving all of my groundies short so he just kept teeing off. So at the start of the 2nd set, I just decided that I was not going to hit him another forehand, I was not going to miss anymore serves, and that I was going to be more aggressive by hitting deeper shots and coming into net more. I actually managed to do ALL of those things, and then I won. Tennis is really pretty simple when you aren't being a complete tool.

So I did what anyone would do after winning a match like that: Stayed out late even though I was exhausted and ended up paying for it all weekend. I haven't really been "sick," but I haven't felt well all weekend. Just really tired, feeling kind of crappy, and my stomach has been upset with me all weekend. Plus my mom's creation of what only can be dubbed as "fire and cheese" for dinner last night didn't help the situation. But whatever. I'm glad we won.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

another year, another...year...

Well school is up and running, tennis is sputtering along, so life moves on, I suppose. This year is hard to read so far. I am just taking 12 credit hours because I only need about 30 to get my degree, which is sick (thanks, England!!). It's really nice having a kind of laid back schedule, but I guess it's just the honor student in me that gets a little restless when my classes are inconsistently brilliant and shitty. Like I will have some moments of enlightenment, and then I will go to my next class and sit and not have anything happen. Such is life.

Tennis is a glorious pain in the ass. We have a new coach this year, don't know if I ever got around to talking about that. The old coach was great because he simplified the game and talked shit about everyone's mom. He was also amazing at tennis. But he's gone to New York with a lady and a swank country club, so we have "Tom." He's OK, but not really. He is really enthusiastic about the game and the team, but his promise of "more structure" has really not held up. He came into the season wanting to make major changes to my game, which has been OK until more recently. We tinkered with my forehand a bit and that was OK because we made a solid improvement and I've been hitting better lately. But yesterday the coaches decided to completely alter my serve motion (again! what the FUCK!?) so it's been a bit of a bungled couple of days. I was really confident two weeks ago, and now I'm searching for it again. We played against Metro State last weekend in Denver and we play against Mesa this Friday. I'm looking foward to it I guess...shit.

It's just been kind of a weird year so far. I'm in a pretty good groove as far as living is concerned...for me, life centers around getting to school, eating, getting to practice, eating, doing homework and then sleeping. It works for me, I guess. Life has been odd since getting home from England, and I really really REALLY want to go back, but I gotta finish this piece of my life first...ahhhhhhhhhhh

Been taking a few random pics too. Still trying to do the "let's look at something in an unusual way today" thing. None of these are too special but whatever. I'm taking a photography class that is filled with overachievers with $2000 cameras too -- no offense to good photographers...I just don't think that these people are that great at what they do...............

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tennis is tricky -- searching for that spark

Recently, Pete Sampras was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Beach. Pretty nice, I guess, if you like that sort of thing. A lot has been made about how he was inspired by his 1992 loss to Stefan Edberg in the US Open final. I lost a match last night. Instead of feeling inspired or sparked or anything cool like that, I just felt pissed off. I was playing a men's open singles match in a tournament against some guy that lives here in Pueblo. He's OK, not a bad player. Good backhand, not much of a forehand, solid spin serve, really damn fast, covers the court well, very unpredictable, makes some amazing gets and shots. So really, since I didn't play my best tennis for more than 20 minutes, I should not be too upset with that loss. It was 4-6 in the third. It was OK. I guess now that I'm typing this I feel that I'm not satisfied with OK, but I'm still more mad than anything else. It's all about a lot of growing up to do, I hope.

I won the first set 6-3 and then got lazy and then got complacent and then started pressing and then I lost. It was annoying. I feel like I should be past that point at my career. I have been playing tennis for a while now. I haven't played much singles lately though...I feel like I am rationalizing to myself. It's an annoying feeling. But oh well. I have two doubles matches tonight and I want to play well.

I couldn't concentrate last night and I think it's because of everything that's going on at my house. I don't feel like complaining about that right now though, so I won't. But I want to be able to concentrate. Oh what do you do when you feel like you should be past something but you're not!? It's very troubling. Some nights you have it and some nights you don't. I'm in repair. I'm not done yet but I'm getting there.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Some more England

I put about 660 pictures on facebook last night and it took me three hours. You all are lucky that I'm not burnt out on uploading pics yet. So here are a couple more. I will put some more pictures of London up soon...I'm pacing myself.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Back home...forget to tell you I left!!

I have been to England. I am now home. You are pretty smart and probably figured that out already. I took a lots of pictures -- 700, to be precise. I am not, however, going to put them all on here. It was more difficult than you might think, picking the best ones to throw on here. One of the first ones is a pic of me and my mates at Wimbledon, which is a whole 'nother story. There are just a couple pics of London up right now because there are too many to choose from and London is a lot bigger than my capability to explain it.

I am still processing everything, and I have been home for exactly one week. God DAMN it was an amazing trip. I think the thing that amazed me the most about England is that it is actually real. The country exists -- it is a place in the world other than Colorado. It's not in the United States. It's not in Pueblo county. It's far away and really unbelivably cool. I wish I was there.

Anyhow, the pics ended up in order exactly opposite the way I intended, so be courteous and start at the bottom. And yes, I will post more in a bit.