Tuesday, January 31, 2006


So I was thinking today (as I generally like to do each and every day) about how we build things up in our minds (i.e. fun things, big events), how we eagerly await those things, and when they finally arrive, they are good, even great, but never really as good as we thought they would be. Think about it: how many times have you wanted a certain day to arrive, and when it finally gets there, it is not quite as great as what you had hoped for. I think all of us can say that we experience this from time to time. But why is it that, when the actual event/thing arrives that we have anticipated for so long, it is not as good as time we spent anticipating it's arrival?

Take this blog, for example. You check this site everyday, in eager anticipation that I will have put up a new post. Thoughts of excitement and hope race through your head..."Did he post something yet? I hope he did. Maybe he posted a "Here's What You Did", those are my favorites. Oooh, maybe he mentioned me in the post! I can't wait to read it!." Yet, when that post finally arrives, you may think it is good, but the anticipation is taken away just like that, and you are left with nothing to look forward to.

For me, two personal experiences come to mind. First, I think of Christmas. The weeks before Christmas are the most exciting of the year, becasue you anticipate the arrival of Chrismas, yet when Christmas finally arrives, you don't feel quite the same. Why?

My other example is when I would eagerly await the release of The Lord of the Rings movies (I know, I am a huge dork). I was so excited the week before The Return of The King came out in theaters. Just ask Andy Henard; the night before the movie came out, we danced around the house yelling "The Return of the King comes out tommorrow! The Return of the King comes out tommorrow!" Then the movie came out, and it was great. They even played my favorite commercial of all time before the movie, which made it even better. But I found that, even during the movie, I was never as happy as I was when I was anicipating it's release.

A partial explanation of this is that I think the sudden removal of anticipation is what leaves us feeling like that. You think to yourself "In just a little while, this will all be over". And then you have nothing to look forward to. Also, I think that, in most cases, things don't turn out exactly like we imagine them, even if just the smallest thing is off. And it's that little thing that keeps us from getting the most from the experience.

In some cases I think lowering you expectations will fix this problem. For me, the best days are those when I expect nothing and get something. I expect 50% and get 75%. But when you expect 100% and you only get 98%, you're left with a bittersweet feeling.

I don't really have a point here, this is just something that I was thinking about today. The only thing I guess I can say to you is, enjoy the anticipation that precedes the arrival of a new post. And when I finally do post, read it expecting it to be terribly boring and stupid. That way, when it is just a little boring and stupid, or good, or super-great, then you will enjoy it a lot more.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Album Alert

So one of my absolute favorite bands, Sanctus Real, has a new album coming out in April entitled The Face Of Love. The first single from the album, I'm Not Alright, can be heard here (just look for "Featured Audio"). I think this song sounds fantastic and I eagarly await the release of the album. I would encourage you to check it out...you never know, you may like it too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A New Idea

So here's my new idea...I am going to make an entirely new blog that will only address matters related to sports. Of course, all other subjects will still be discussed here at Cooperstown. But I think that my thoughts on the Wide World of Sports deserves it's own seperate blog. Plus, I know there are readers out there who could care less about, so by putting all sports-related matters on another page, they won't have to worry about my posts being interrupted by anything sports-related. With that said, I am proud to present to you The Sports Page, which by the time you read this, will be set up and ready to go. I will put the link to the side so it will be easy for all to reach.

Just Some Quick Thoughts

A few thoughts between classes:

-I look forward to the annual Collegiate Conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville this February. It is always a very informative weekend, as well as a good time with friends. It was pointed out to me that Porter's very own Jon Canler is on the conference website. You can tell it's Jon by the redicluously swoll arms.

-Why are these teams still in the Top 25? Syracuse, Louisville, UCLA, Wisconsin? These teams have proven nothing.

-I am sick of hearing how great the Big East Conference is. They have 16 teams in the conference, of course they are going to get more teams into the tourney. UCONN is the only team I respect from that conference, no one else has proven anything yet. The Big Ten is the best conference in America.

-Why can't I walk on campus without getting blown over by gale-force winds? UK is the only place where I have this problem.

-Cats win last night, still people complain. We are not perfect, but a win is a win.

-Gonzaga's last 3 wins include: 92-80 win over Loyola-Marymount, 84-75 win over San Fransisco. 64-64 win over San Diego. Again I say, what has this team done to earn the #7 ranking in the country? They are barely beating crappy teams. What boggles my mind is that #8 Illinois is 17-2 (Zaga is 16-3), with both losses to good teams (and 17 wins against good teams). I know the polls mean nothing, but come on, how can you say that a team in a crappy conference with more losses is better than a team in arguably the best conference who has less losses?

-My pick for 2006 NCAA Champs is Michigan State. I said it at the beginning of the season, and I am repeating it now. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Justin Tapp says he wants me to post more because he needs the distraction. Well buddy, if my blog is your distraction, than you got it.

Tapp is easily distracted by such things. I have vivid memories of him "studying" for his GRE, with a highlighter in one hand and an X-Box controller in the other. Even when I would be playing the X-Box or watching TV, he would sit there watching me instead of prepping himself for the test. I would say "Shouldn't you be studying?" and he would say"I am studying." That's called denial, Tapp.

I can picture Tapp now, sitting at the computer, with his wife on the couch talking to him. She is telling him about her day; he is engrossed in my blog. She says "Honey, are you listening to me?" and he replies "I'm listening." Of course you are, Tapp. Of course you are.

So now I become an enabler to Tapp, giving him the distraction he has requested from me.

What can I say of the week up to this point? Things have been pretty mundane. Yesterday morning and afternoon was spent in class. In French we did some rediculous excercises where we got out of our seats and pretended we conduissions nos voiutures (were driving our cars). It was high school all over again. In English I listened to some dude do an article presentation in which he tried to sound way smarter than he was. I started laughing, but I looked around and saw that no one else was laughing, so I stopped. History of Jazz was uneventful. Developmental Psych was BORING, because it was the same introductory crap I have heard a dozen times now. "What is a variable?" "What is science?" Come on, seriously. Monday night was spent doing homework, with intermittent breaks for some TV watching.

This morning I was at work. I was so bored that I dustmopped the floor. Some customer (no joke) asked me if it was a good idea to change socks every day. Some lady asked me the usual question "Is this all the shoes you have?". That particular question usually doesn't bother me, but when you ask in the sense that you are implying that you have a bad selection, it is a bit irritating. I am now waiting for my history class to start. After that, my plans are as follows: call Matt and meet him at Penn Station for "2 for 1 Tuesday", call Chris and tell him I am coming over to his house, walk into Chris's house and pray that Cody has his clothes on this time, watch the rest of the UK game, watch Scrubs, watch Law & Order: SVU, then take it to the house. It should be a solid evening.

So nothing exciting has really happened this week thus far. Ah, but we have 4 more days left, something is sure to come up. I now realize that I need my own distractions. But where will I find them? Maybe I will create some for myself. Maybe my sub from The Station will be extra tasty. Maybe UK will play the best game of the season tonight. Maybe Rondo will drop 81 points on the Tigers. Maybe Cody will be naked when I arrive at his house this evening. Maybe Scrubs will be even more hilarious than usual. Maybe Stabler will slap the crap out of somebody tonight. I must keep hope alive.

So here's to you, Distractions of Life. Thanks for giving me happiness from the smallest and most unimportant things in life. I'm a simple man, and I'm glad you recognize that.

I hope, Tapp, that this was distracting enought for you, as well as the rest of the readers. Ironically, it was for me, as I should probably be reading or something. Have a pleasant evening and a swell Wednesday.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My Resolutions

I had a bad weekend. When I have bad weekends, I tend to think a lot. Thus, I did a lot of thinking this particular weekend. These are the things that I thought about this weekend, and the resulting decisions I have made:

-I am going to coach a youth soccer team this spring. And by coach, I mean start a dynasty. I am going to take a bunch of kids (probably 11-12 year olds, but we will see) and I am going to turn them into an offensive juggernaut and a defensive beast. Our motto will be "OFFENSE STARTS WITH DEFENSE". We will be in shape, we will be fundamentaly sound, we will be aggressive, we will execute, and we will win. But most imprtantly, we will have fun while we do it. Because winning is fun, and losing is not.

-I am going to be a better role model.

-I am not going to be one of those UK fans who I see and hear on blogs and call-in shows who complain about every little aspect of the team and who give them absolutley no credit even when they win. Honestly, I think it hurts the players and our recruiting.

-I am going to be more assertive.

-I am going to speak my mind.

-I am going to prioritize better.

-I am going to bring back "2 for 1 Night" at Penn Station. A couple of years ago, Andy, Troy, Matt and I hit up "The Station" nearly every Tuesday night for the best deal in towm. It's time to bring that traditon back.

-I am going to talk less and listen more.

-I am going to start getting ready now for indoor soccer spring session. That way, I will be in shape and better able to punish my opponents.

-I am going to continue to dominate my English class all semester long. We had our first assignment, in which we had an article to read and we were supposed to take a point from it and go our own way with it in a 5 miute presentation. We were NOT supposed to summarize the article. Well, that's what everyone did anyway. HERE'S WHAT YOU DID STUDENTS IN ENGLISH 330: The professor said to not summarize the article. So you summarized the article. That's what you did. Seriously, they are all English majors, and I was the only one who got the assignment right. And might I say, my psychological analyisis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was a big hit, especially with the professor.

So those are the things I have resloved to do. I also have a funny quote from Jason Lamb:

-Kristen Lamb: Jason, do you want the rest of my pizza?
-Jason: EAT THE PIZZA. Seriously, who eats 9/10 of a pizza and then offers the rest to someone else. Just eat it.

I would also like to inform you that me and Hillary Evans are friends again. You see, she called me a "goofball" a while ago, and that didn't sit too well with me. But I have forgiven her, and we are best friends now. Right Hillary?

I leave you now with a song that I really like by one of my favorite bands, Sanctus Real. The song is called Closer......

I'm not satisfied in this lifetime
I'm following you to the other side
There's nothing that can change my mind
You're all I need
You're the only tie that binds my heart
Away from you I'm falling apart
We need to be closer than we are
You're all I need

So what can I do to get closer?
I know there is more my heart can bear
I give you control 'cause I need you
To take me there

Like a bird flying south I'm seeking you out
And there's no rope that can tie me down
I'm running home, I'm a slave set free
You're all I need

I am waiting
Draw me closer
I am waiting
Make me stronger

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thoughts From The First Day of School (again)

First let me say that after Tuesday night's basketball game, I don't think there is any need for a post-game evaluation. It is obvious that we are not capable of playing as a team right now, and until we can figure out how that works, (i.e passing and not dribbling, putting pressure on the ball, passing, not taking stupid shots, passing, getting the ball in the post, passing, setting screens, passing, passing, and passing) we will go nowhere. My only other comment is START RAVI MOSS , or as I like to call him "THE DEUCE". He plays better defenense then Sparks, and he is shooting better than him right now. Moss has earned it, Sparks has lost it. It's time to reward this kid.

Now onto my thougts from my first day back on campus after Christmas break:

-The day started with French 201. Let me preface this by saying that I haven't had a French class since my junior year of high school. Well I walk in and immediately the professor starts talking to us in French. I'm thinking "Hold up, can't we at least go over the syllabus in English?" At first, I had no idea what the crap anybody was saying, but as time went on, it all started coming back to me. The cool thing about this class was that we got to choose a French name that we would like to be called for the rest of the semester. I chose Thierry (pronounced Tee-airy), naming myself after world-class French soccer superstar Thierry Henry (it seemed fitting). Then we did the whole "notecard" thing where we fill out a notecard full of info for the teacher, including something interesting about ourselves. This is always a problem for me, as I am a pretty average guy. I don't have any huge abnormalities. This particular professor asked us to tell her something that she would never guess about us. I thought about saying that I had killed a man once because he stepped on my shoe, but I don't think that would have gone over well.

-Next came Text and Context: Frankenstein. I knew that I was in trouble when the teacher walked in asking "Is it hot in here to you all, or is it just because I am going through menapause?". There were some very creepy people in that class, one of which just kept tapping his pencil non-stop against his arm while flashing people dirty looks. He kind of reminded me of Tapp except with long, nappy hair, and a lot more neurotic.

-Lunch break. I chose Chic-Fil-A today. As I was standing in line, I heard a girl say very loudly to another girl "Ha! I smacked your a**!" to which the other girl replied "No you didn't, I smacked your a** first!". I turned around to see several girls trying to smack each other's rear ends. It seems they were playing "Booty-Smack", a new game that is sweeping the nation's youth by storm. I thought I had left all this stuff behind in the high school lunch line, but apparently not.

-Next came the class that I had been eagerly awaiting all day, History of Jazz. It did not disappoint; this class is going to be fantastic. The only funny thing that happened in this class was someone coughing during class, and the guy next to me saying, in an inappropriately loud voice, "Are you alright there, buddy? Can I get you some water or something?"

-Finally, my advance developmental pyschology lab. We only stayed for 15 minutes, so nothing cool happened. But it is going to be a good course.

I have one more class that hasn't met yet. Me and Sok are in it together and I sure it will be a blast. My schedule seems pretty solid, but it will probably be more work than last semester. Oh well. I guess it's good for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pre-Game Evaluation

So tonight is Morris' long-awaited return to the court after being suspended for 14 game. I have tickets to the game and, despite Saturday's poor performance, I look forward to the game. I have been patient with UK year, mostly because I know that having that inside presence makes more of a difference than most people think. Thus, here are my pre-game expectations:

-Obviously, Morris will get the ball and get it often. Look for all offense to go through him.
-I expect HUSTLE. The last several games, there has been NO hustle on defense.
-I expect better ball-care.
-I expect more passion from the players.
-I expect Sims and Rondo to have big nights due to Morris creating space in the lane.
-I expect a big win.

Three years ago, UK was in the same situation they find themselves now. They were playing lousy defense, not moving the ball around on offense, and showing no passion or hustle for the game. They went to Vanderbilt one cold January night in 2003 and found themselves down by a dozen at halftime.

Then came the second half. UK came out guns blazing and clicking on all cylinders. They huslted. They jumped into passing lanes. They passed the ball well. Tehy got easy baskets. They took good shots. And I have never seen Tubby so excited about his team as I did that night. We outscored Vandy like 40-12 or something that half. Something changed that night. The players finally got it. and from that point on, that team played with a passion and a purpose that I have never seen before in a UK team.

I hope Tubby shows the footage of that glorious half of basketball to his team before the game tonight. Maybethe players will finally start to realize that the coaches know what they are talking about because, after all, they have been involved with the game of basketabll before any of the players were even born. Things can change tonight. This team has plenty of talent, as JTapp so wisely noted. It's all about execution: knowing the other teams strengths, weaknesses, and taking the appropriate measures to exploit them. It's about hustle: playing 40 minutes of solid D. And it's about passion: showing that you actually care about the outcome of the game and not just your stat line.

I expect big things tonight. I will report back after I get results.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm Wasn't Discrminatin', I Was Just DOMINATIN'

Well I just home from a visit to the Kastle Roadhouse, and I really had the itch to play some NCAA 'O6 dynasty on XBox, but my brother is currently occupying that TV, so I can't really do that at the moment. So I thought I would blog for a bit.

-I know a lot of you out there hate USC, but I kind of like them. Yet I found that had a hard time choosing who to cheer for last night. I really like Texas (especially Vince Young, that was a special performance last night), but I also like USC (especially Reggie Bush. Did anyone see him point to the sky when he went to the sideline after scoring that TD?). I said at the beginning of the season that I was going to pull for Texas. But over the season USC grew on me. I was torn between the two, but since everyone who I was watching the game was pulling for Texas, I went against the flow and pulled for USC. Yet I am kind of happy Texas won. I guess I'm just an emotionally conflicted individual.

-I started a new dynasty with USC today. I simulated through the first two seasons and am now playing the third season. USC's future players a real, that is all I am going to say. And if NCAA 'o6 prophecy holds true, Florida will be next years National Champs, and Chris Leak will take home the Heisman.

-So.........UK basketball. All I have to say is, Morris is back Tuesday night. And I am happy.

-Well Matt Woodyard is back in the blog scene, and that makes me happy. Everyone has a favorite blogger, and it just so happens that Matt Woodyard is mine. I would encourage all of you to check out his blog.

-This message is to Hillary Evans: My brother told me that you think I am a goofball. That's not cool. But I will still read your blog, because I'm made of rubber and you are made of glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

-This message is to Troy Woodyard: GET A JOB.

-As I mentioned before, this past Tuesday night was especially significant for me (see previous post). It did not disappoint except that Stabler was never taken hostage on SVU. NBC.com lied to me. But it was still a great episode.

-So I've got another "Wes Cooper Dunbar High School Story" for you. This one time, I was on an intramural basketball team with some friends. Well, we played this all-girls team one Saturday morning. So I asked myself "Wes, you know you can dominate this team. Do you want to go at it full strength and look like a jerk by beating the crap out of them or do you want to be the nice guy and take it easy and just have some fun out there with your friends?" Well, to make a long story short, I blocked 20 shots that game. I was pitchin' those fools left and right.

-In my free time I used to play co-ed rec soccer many years ago. No offense to any ladies who read this blog, but I hated playing with girls. They play dirty. They grabbed my shirt. They grabbed my shorts. They grabbed clumps of skin on my arm (but who can blame them? Right? Right?????). They kicked me in the shin. They kicked me in the knee. They kicked me in the groin (no joke, that really happened). I would fall down in pain, but the refs would pay me no heed. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for blocking girls basketball shots during that intramural game.

-It's been a good Christmas Break for me, hangin out with all my friends and what not. Even thought Christmas break has lost the luster it had when I was a kid, it was still good times. I know we still have like 5 days left, but I felt the need to say that........Well, Conan is on. Gotta go. Later kids.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Return Of Tuesday Nights

By the time most of you read this it will already be Tuesday January 3, 2006. I say to you now, this date has more meaning than you know, for it is the return of the great Tuesday night festivities that Chris Smith and I affectionately term "Tuesday Nights". Original, I know. At any rate, many moons ago (I was in my first semester of my junior year of college) Chris and I began watching Scrubs and Law & Order: SVU together every Tuesday night. It was the best of times, let me tell you. We would pick up some Long John Silver's, take it to the house, then laugh through a new episode of Scrubs, and then at 10 watch as Stabler and Benson regulated on criminals on SVU. Later, The Office was thrown into the mix. And, dare I say it, occasionally we would even watch Gilmore Girls before it was time for our shows to come on. Those were excellent times.

But for various reasons, Tuesday Nights were interrupted. School, work, things of this nature. Those were dark times. But, tonight, the darkness will give way to the glorious light that is Tuesday Nights. Hear this: UK game at 7 pm, new season of Scrubs at 9 and 9:30, and new SVU at 10. Holy crap. What is better than this? I can't think of much.

So get ready, it's gonna be a crazy night. This season of Scrubs should prove to be the best ever, and rumor has it that Stabler gets taken hostage on SVU. I would encourage you all to tune in, as you can be assured that you will not go away dissatisfied. I never am.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

My Soundtrack

A month or so ago I posed the question "If your life had a soundtrack, what would be on it?". I got some interesting answers from a few of you, and I appreciate the responses. But I did not give an answer myself. I felt that this was not something to be hastily answered. So I gave it much thought over the past month or so. And now, after much reflection and deliberation, I think I have arrived at an appropriate response.

Before I reveal my playlist, I must explain. First, let me tell you what this soundtrack is not. It is NOT a list of my favorite songs. That would serve little purpose. It is also NOT a chronolgy of my life in musical form. That would be too hard. Instead, this soundtrack represents many of the feelings, emotions, experiences, etc. that have been a part of my life. Each song means and represents something different. I carefully selected songs that would cover the broad range of human emotion that myself, as well a the rest of us, have experienced. The result, to me, was quite amazing.

Why do I do this? Well, one reason is that this is a creative way to express myself. The second reason is that I take myself too seriously. Either way, it is something I wanted to do, because it is both fun and refreshing. And after it was finished, I burned the playlist onto a CD for my own personal enjoyment. It is a fine piece of work to be sure.

So here it is. Make of it what you will. I hope you enjoy it.

1) Where To Begin by My Morning Jacket. This song speaks of being lost and confused in the world, like being on a road and not knowing where it is taking you. How many times have we felt like this?

2) Yellow by Coldplay. To me, Yellow is about dedication and commitment. Chris Martin writes about what he would do for those he cares about. It is important that we show those that we love that we would do anything for them.

3) Fallen by Sarah McLachlan. This song is about the times that we mess things up. I can't count how many times I have screwed things up in my life, making the wrong decisions in the wrong situations. None of us here make the right decison every time, and this song says that perfectly.

4) Mr. Brightside by The Killers. Simply put, this song is about jealousy and pain. It's about the times that you have been angry at someone on the inside but still cover it up with a smile on the outside. It's about the bitter feeling of jealousy that stings your heart when life gives someone else what you wanted, and you are left holding the short end of the stick.

5) My Hit And Run by Third Eye Blind. This song is about surviving a motorcycle crash. But more than that is about being thankful for the time that you have been given on this earth. And it is about, in that moment that your bike crashed and you are flying through the air towards possible death, who you really care about, as their images flash through your mind. It speaks of not taking the time you have and the people you care about for granted.

6) Anchor by Lifehouse. I like this song becasue it is the perfect analogy for the role that God plays in our lives. When God is our anchor, when we rely on him for everything we need, nothing can wash us out to sea. He is our foundation and what we must turn to in all situations that come our way.

7) All Kinds Of Time by Fountains Of Wayne. This song takes the few seconds that a football quarterback has after recieving the snap and making a decison to throw the ball and turns it into one of my favorite songs. I think this song really speaks to me becasue, when we step back and look at everything around us, and think about all that we hold dear, it can turn even the most pressure-filled situations into the best experiences.

8) Io (This Time Around) by Helen Stellar. This song has only a few words "This time around you can be anyone", but they have a lot of meaning. God gives us a second chance when we screw things up, and the next time that situation comes up, we can be the person He wants us to be. This is just a cool song.

9) The Hardest Part by Coldplay. The crucial part of this song is when Chris Martin says "Everything I know is wrong, everything I do just comes undone, everything is torn apart, and that's the hardest part". Words of frustration to be sure. But this is how I feel many times: I don't understand what is going on around me, and everything I try to do in life seems to "come undone". Things that I once thought were constants in life are no longer there, and things get torn apart for seemingly no reason at all. But on the flipside, it is in these very times that I need to trust God to take care of things, because He understands what I do not.

10) 21st Century Kid by Jaime Cullum. This song is about all of us really, growing up in the 21st century where we have so many different paths we can travel. Most importantly, it speaks of letting your voice be heard among the noise and chaos of the world we live in because, believe it or not, people will listen.

11) Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional. We have all had those guys or girls over the years that we have "liked", so to speak. This song is about all the vivid memories that the mind holds of time spent with those people. It reminds me of those memories every time I hear it.

12) Blind by Lifehouse. Regrets are something that we all must deal with. This song is about such those regrets. Often we regret something we have said to people, but more often I think we regret not saying things that we should have said to people.

13) Going To California by Led Zeppelin. This song is about change, something I have had to deal a lot with since my first days of college life. Change is inevitable, and more than often it is for the better.

14) All I Want by Sanctus Real. I like this song because I think it shows what our focus should be in life: glorifying God in all that we do. It talks about taking all that we have and giving it back to God, because he deserves all that we have.

15) Iris by Goo Goo Dolls. What I hear in this song is a basic need of all humans: acceptnace. We all want to be liked, and often times we are afraid for the world to see what we are really like, when in reality they are feeling the same things we are.

16) What It Is To Burn by Finch. This is a song about pain, something we all experience. But it is in those times of pain that we often learn the most, as we are most vulnerable and willing to be helped. Pain is an essential part of life; but we learn from it and move on.

17) Bitterweet Symphony by The Verve. The feeling of bittersweetness is one of those strangest things you can experience. It's feeling sad while being happy, experiencing pain while feeling joy. This song deals with those contradictary feelings, as well as feeling the need to change but the desire to stay the same.

Well that is my soundtrack. I really have nothing else to say about it except that I hope you enjoyed it. My goal was to take both the negative and positve things of life and balance them into the list, something I think I did a pretty good job of. Let me hear yout thoughts.