A man’s best friend

My friend, Reece, enjoys a nice afternoon in the early spring with his dog. Dog’s are commonly referred to as man’s best friends, and it’s easy to see that with Reece and Roscoe. They’re a tandem like no other.

According to Wikipedia: The statement that the dog is man’s best friend was first recorded as being made by Frederick II, King of Prussia, referring to one of his Italian greyhounds as his best friend.

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1-800-HOTLINEZING, Why Knicks Fans Should be Enticed Now and Excited for a Bright Future

WATCH Bleacher/Reports 1-800-HOTLINEZING video at the following link…

http://amp.twimg.com/v/6f2126d6-2e29-4abf-8e72-49aee29f2da1

That video was incredible. So witty yet truthful. “You use to boo me on my draft day, said you wanted Okafor…” “I know when that hotline zing… Porzing-God will be a thing”

Another year, another lost season for the New York Knicks and their beloved fans. Nonetheless, Porzingis has given us something to marvel at. As Knicks fans, we always seem to hoping for the future… Thinking that we will be back in contention in a couple years, every single dreaded year. Each season is frustrating, but we can’t be anything but happy for our future now. We finally had a draft pick last season, and we actually didn’t fuck it up. We have a 19 year old, 7’3” monster who can stroke it from 3 and send shots back with the best of them. The scary part is, he’s only going to get better. The future is bright now, we have a legit franchise corner stone to build around.

In order to progress and move this team even further forward, I think the Knicks and Phil need to cash in on Carmelo Anthony. His knee injuries continue to linger and his value will never be higher. If we move on from him now, we can continue to develop Porzingis more smoothly, get assets for the future, and give ourselves even greater financial security situation. And maybe Carmelo can they championship he’s always wanted.

In the scenario where we don’t hang on to Melo, there’s still hope. Carmelo Anthony, although still not a completely unselfish player in my eyes, has improved his all-around game as a basketball player tremendously. Perhaps maybe due to recently fired coach, Derrick Fisher, and the team’s triangle offense. Our young cornerstone (Porzingis) agreed by saying, “He’s doing it all. He’s not only scoring. In other areas, he’s at the top of his game.” Porzingis couldn’t be more correct in his statement, aside from the dominate scoring presence that we’re all used to, he has never collected more rebounds (7.8 per 36 min) or handed out more assists (4.2 per 36 mins) than he has this season. He also holds the third-lowest usage rate of his career at 29.6 percent and never has assisted his teammates’ at higher percentage than this year (21.2 percent).

Additionally beyond Melo’s develop, the Knicks have cap-room for this summer. The Knicks went with a very affordable lineup for the 2015-16 campaign after not getting a star in free agency last year. This was largely due to the lack of attractiveness of the franchise. No highly touted player on the market wanted to join the Knicks after being one of the worst teams in the association during the 2014-15 season. They will have 20-30 million in cap room at there disposal for this upcoming offseason, depending on whether or not Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo opt in to their current deals. With Kristaps’s ceiling being as promising as it is, and the Knicks still having Carmelo Anthony, free agents definitely won’t overlook broadway as their potential new home. In my opinion, Mike Conley obviously makes a lot of sense. And it’s already being speculated. A proven winner, and a very underrated point guard would do wonders for the team. The closet thing the Knicks had to good point guard in awhile was Linsanity, and we all know how short-lived that was; his turnover problems were also not recognized enough. Conley’s durable, having played in 85% of his games throughout his Memphis career, and is efficient on both sides of the ball.

So moving forward, the Knicks can either plan for the future by sending Melo out and continue their rebuild. However, this may be unlikely due to the countless reports of Melo saying he does not want to be traded. Or they can try and nab Conley to get the most out of Melo’s ever so quickly closing prime. We’ll have to see what direction Phil takes his team in the upcoming future. With Porzingis though, there is definitely hope for the future; it’s just unclear when it will be our time to contend. Hopefully soon enough though, it seems like it was ages ago when the Knicks were sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings, as the second seed, only to eventually get knocked out by the Indiana Pacers earlier than desired. Us fans will just have to kick back, drink some beers, and utilize our constant but aganizing wait and see approach. At least we can watch Kristaps…. GO KNICKS!!!

 

 

 

 

When your Bound to be less than Thrilling Saturday Night takes a more than Undesired turn into an Unforgettable Awkward Story

As a high-schooler, when you agree to babysit from 6pm-11pm on a Saturday in a town 30 minutes away, you’re not expecting much of what my peers would probably call, “a sick night.”

When babysitting children, you obviously can’t go out to a “rager,” consume alcohol, or doing anything a typical party crazed kid would want to be doing on the weekend after a boring week at school.

That’s just the truth about babysitting. And this story isn’t about babysitting, but if anyone was wondering I actually do not mind giving up a Friday and or a Saturday to do so. For the record, I made 175$ doing so last weekend, and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Now for the story, finally:

I was babysitting a 7 year old in Rowayton, CT, who was like no other 7 year old I had ever met before. This little guy had quite the collection of M rated video games for his xbox; game titles, with much in appropriate content, such as Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Call of Duty, you name it. On top of that, he had an 11 o’clock bed time along knowledge and usage of many curse words I’m familiar with.

With his face buried into his TV and full focus on whatever game he was playing, I stopped and told him I was going to retrieve my computer from car. Like the idiot I can be, I forgot the keys to my car keys inside the house, and just realized once I got outside to my car.

I walked back to the door in the brisk weather and struggled to get the door open. The door had either been locked or was most impossible door to open ever.

With no way to open the door, I began to knock. 5 minutes went by…Then I rang the door bell 3 times. Another 5 minutes went by…

At this point, I’m thinking to my self, “Where the f*** is this kid? It’s crazy cold outside!”

I then began to yell his name, “James! James! Dude! James!” Another 5 minutes went by… In my head, “Are you f***ing kidding me!”

My best guess was that the kid may not have been able to hear me (likely bullshit), or the more likely scenario, that he must have been too “sucked in” to his video game.

I had to find another way in. So, I walked around the left of the house to look for some back doors. The first door I tried worked, but it had a small couch in front of it, I couldn’t turn back at this point. It was so cold, and I had been outside of the house for around 20 minutes now. Squeezing through the door, I found my self in a random bedroom. The first door I opened was a closet, the next door I opened led to a staircase.

Atop the staircase, was a lit candle in a bathroom then another door. I was so confused by a lit candle being left in the house… What parent’s would leave a hidden burning candle in their house?  My senses began to tinker that something was wrong.

Ignoring my senses, eager to find the child I was suppose to be babysitting, I climbed up the stairs. Parallel to the bathroom, I reached for the door in front of me and opened it. BEHOLD, right in front of me, two adults, butt naked. Yes, I opened the door to two random adults fucking, lucky me. Making direct eye-contact with the guy, I awkwardly murmured, “Holy Shit. I think I’m at the wrong house.” With a monotone response, the stranger replied, “Yeah, leave.”

As quickly as possible, I closed that door, trying to forget what just happened, I flew down the stairs. I didn’t know what to think. I was in-between thoughts of wait did I really just see two people fucking and did those two people that I saw fucking think I’m a burglar or something.

I was back in the bedroom I started in, and went right out the door I came through. Completely rattled, I decided to not try anymore doors along the rest of the outside of the house. I walked back to the front door and hoped James would come get me this time around. This way I wouldn’t have to worry about finding two random people having sex.

I didn’t wait at the door long, before James got up from his video game and let me in. FINALLY.

Wondering if I had just walked into a random house, I asked James a couple of questions. After we talked, I discovered that his house is an apartment; Apparently, someone named Steve lives in the apartment side with his girl friend.

It was so nice to meet you Steve! And Girlfriend!

What can I say, always expect the unexpected I guess haha.

On 11/08/08, 7 years ago, Marks the date of my Moms Death Anniversary. How I spent the day with my family, and how I finished my college essay that is directly correlated to the day

Instagram from the Day

Instagram from the Day

https://www.instagram.com/p/91dYxbQJl8T0BHlEfYljP_6Z2jO6hw7yClsbE0/?taken-by=offzapcrap

Yesterday, marked the seventh year anniversary of my mom’s death. This is a date on the calendar that is not highly anticipated, rather just well noted and never forgotten.

Even though it’s sad to think about the day you lost someone you loved very much, it’s nice to have day to rejoice, remember, and reflect on those fond moments you shared with that person you are longer with. Sometimes as people, especially today and where I’m from, are either too focused on where they are currently, where they are going to be, or where they want to be. Although its important to enjoy the present and plan for the future, no one should ever forget and or neglect to look back at the past. Whether it be, what someone and their life used to be like at a certain time or people who hold or held importance that were with you along the way. Our past is what shapes us into everything that we are in present day. Its what reflects someones life and what makes each every single person who they are.

On the anniversary, 11/08/15, our family honored our beloved mom by paying respects in multiple ways. At 11:00 am, we (my sister, brother, and father) all attended a mass where our mother is honored every year at our local parish. With the exception of my self, our family doesn’t attend church too regularly. My dad and step mom, are always referring to our family as, “EC Catholics,” with the EC signifying (only) easter and christmas. Because we don’t all go together too often, it really just felt good to do something like this as a family. After the mass, we stopped at a local flower store, Compo Flower, and my father and sister purchased a nice bunch of yellow flowers to take to her grave.

When we arrived at the grave, in an effort to make the grave and its surrounding landscape more ascetically appealing, we used gardening tools on the grass and wipes on stone. We then took a couple pictures with someone of us and gorgeous tombstone. We then gathered together, and my dad guided us in prayer with kind and thoughtful words. With small tears and feelings of sadness, we all returned to the car and had completed paying our family respects for the day of anniversary.

When I returned home from the cemetery, I jumped into focus, and started to finish my college essay. After a couple hours, I had finally completed the important assignment. After completing it on my own, I attended my last college essay conferencing session, where I received feed back on my final product and applied the finishing touches to my piece. I’m still shocked by how ironic it is that I finished my essay today, on the date of my mom’s death anniversary. My entire essay was written about how my mom’s death shaped my life, and it is so fascinating to finish an essay about that, on the day when it happened in history. Major nostalgia. Beyond that, I can’t think of a better time to have finished it and share with everyone.

I’m very happy with the pursuit and product of my essay. It’s everything I could have ever wanted it to be and I couldn’t imagine writing it on anything else. I was so passionate in writing this essay it never felt like I was writing for the common application. My essay reflects how an important life event shaped my life and made into who I’m proud to be today.

Essay:

I don’t remember much from fifth grade, but I will always remember what life was like when I lived with my wonderful mom.

When my siblings and I were even younger, my mom was previously sick with breast cancer. After some time and a courageous fight, she was completely cancer free. Unfortunately, this did not last forever, and during fifth grade the cancer returned and was substantially worse. Visually, our mom started to look a lot different. She ended up losing all her hair and had a surgery that removed her breast implants. Despite these obvious signs that our mother wasn’t in good health, her good spirit and her daily attitude would tell you otherwise. She lived every day like it was a blessing to be alive, even as a cruel life-threatening disease was making her more and more ill.

Eventually, it got even worse. My father spent endless nights at the hospital, and my siblings and I were watched by our close nanny. We would go to visit my mom sometimes but she was at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the distance was inconvenient. As a young boy who wanted to see his mom more than anything in the world, it was so frightening to see her there in poor health, especially surrounded by confusing and scary machines and IVs. I developed a strong hatred for the hospital because it stole our mom from us and was full of despair.

One day, my dad shared with me what ended up being the worst news I’d receive for the rest of my life. I struggled to breathe in the midst of emotions and tears, holding my father as tightly as possible. Vivian Elortegui Zapfel died on November 11th, 2008 after a long fight with breast cancer.

My world changed completely. In a town like Westport, a child can count on his mom to be there for him whenever, whether it be giving him a ride to school, cooking his meals, or helping to organize his life. Through the grief, I started to realize how much I had relied on her. My dad began to do more than he did before, as did our nanny, but they could not do what my mom had done for me.

As time moved forward, I began to develop more independence and responsibility. That year, I learned how to make different foods, do laundry, organize rides to events, as well other  things. When I got to middle school, I immediately adjusted to the increased responsibility and homework. Without a mom around, and a dad frequently at work, I had no one hassling me to finish my school work. I did not let myself escape reality and responsibility, because I knew better than that; it’s not what my mom would have wanted nor something I would have wanted for myself in the future.

I’m by no means happy that my mother passed away, but it’s something I will always hold responsible for shaping my life. Losing her is the hardest thing I’ll ever experience, and because of that nothing scares me. For the last seven years, I have known what it’s like to have the person you love the most in this world taken away from you: a person who holds incredible importance in your life, and a person you can’t imagine life without. I learned that life continues, and anyone’s loved ones who have passed want nothing more for you than ultimate success and happiness. Over time, I developed a lot of self reliance skills that have begun to guide me to the goals I want to achieve in this life. I have learned to take nothing for granted and appreciate everything I have while I have it. I want to revive my mom’s spirit every single day, by treating others with kindness and love, in the hope of generating as many smiles as she did.

I hope you enjoyed reading it and are wishing me luck when it goes out in first college application (Colorado Boulder) on November 15th.

Senior Football Struggle

First reaction and lessons: Things don’t always go as expected. Nothing is promised in this life and the world will knock you down and surprise you in ways you can’t believe. And there will always be bullshit.

Last winter at a basketball game, I had a long conversation with my position coach. He implied that I was going to be the starting middle line backer and more or less the “captain of the defense”. He then went on to ask me, “Can I trust you?” I assured him he could.

Going through the rest of the winter, I began practicing and starting at the middle linebacker spot throughout our 7-on-7 scrimmages over the weekend. Toward the end of the winter, and our final couple 7-on-7 games, my head coach revealed to me that I was going to slide over to the outside linebacker position in a starting role.

A little surprised and frustrated at first, I asked him what the consensus was for this decision. He commented by saying he thinks it would be best for the team. Without fight, I replied by telling him I was willing to do whats best for the team, even though, I would rather be in the middle position.

I then rationalized, who cares. Inside or outside linebacker, I will still be a starter on our team’s defense. Things could be a lot worse.

Fast forward, past winter and early spring workouts, near the end of my junior school year and the football team takes the field for spring practice. After a week and a couple days of brutally hot practices, we have our spring game. In this game, I was the starting outside linebacker in our teams 4-3-4 defense. When the game concluded, I was pleased with my performance, in my first audition at my new position, as was my coach.

After a long summer of workouts, football camps, and personal training, we have our last preseason camp.

To my surprise, and the rest of my teammates, our coach was utilizing our nickel package, which consists of 4 linemen, 2 linebackers, 5 defensive backs (4-2-5). In this package, my position, strong outside linebacker, is removed for another defensive back. Last year, we utilized nickel in obvious pass situations for better coverage.

After the first practice, we spent the entire time in this nickel package. This resulted in me getting no first team reps, acting as the primary backup for the starting middle linebacker. In my confusion, I asked my position coach what was going on. He informed me that we were just working on this package in this camp to get a better feel for it.

Three days later, camp was complete, we jump into our first defensive practice and we’re using this nickel package for our primary defense. Practices later, filled with frustration, I have a conversation with my coach and he insinuated that 4-3-4 wasn’t going away completely.

Weeks later, and a scrimmage later, 4-3-4 couldn’t be more out of the question. And so could me being a starter on our defense. Contrary to everything I was told previously, I find myself in a back up role on the defense. Given no chance to fight for a position, and doing nothing to show the coaches I’m not a capable player, sometimes it feels as if I barely exist anymore.

I have a role of as the primary backup linebacker backer and a 4 way special teams player. Better than nothing with the special teams, but I was starting on one of them as a 155 pound sophomore in my first ever varsity game. I did not play football till my senior year to be a special teamer. And there’s been practices where my position coach has failed to even rotate in the backup for linebacker. However, most of the time it’s just very limited repetitions compared to the starters.

Being put in this position hasn’t been easy. Sometimes I find myself at practice saying, “fuck this, fuck him, why am I here?”

When I look at the big picture, there are many different ways to handle this situation. I can say this sucks and quit. I can say this sucks, play and give less effort. Or I can do whatever it takes and work even harder then the guys who are in front of me.

I opted for the the third one. It’s wasn’t easiest, but how could I opt for anything else.

I’ve dedicated my time to varsity football for the last three years. To get to my senior year and quit…because I didn’t get my way? That is not the person I want to be remembered as. That would be pathetic. I can’t just give up, especially, considering how long the season is, and the fact that we haven’t even played our first game yet.

Beyond difficult, I find my situation peculiar. At this point, I almost find my self anticipating two players to either play very poorly or get injured. It’s hard to think that way; when it’s two of your teammates. I don’t exactly think that way because I would never wish that upon anyone, especially not one of my own teammates. However, I just keep waiting for an opportunity where I can prove to the coaches that I can and will be more dominant than those two. No way of knowing when or how that will be sucks. But what can I do it’s beyond my control.

However, what I’ve done, is try to outwork my competition. While they roam around before practice, I get the other backup linebacker and go right into our optional but highly recommended pre-practice drills. Once the starters realize we’ve started, they typically jog over, and often go through the drills with us. Then, when practice concludes, and most of the team goes into the locker room (including the starting linebackers), I go to work. Every single day after practice I begin with conditioning. I run gassers, which is running sideline to sideline there back twice. I do two of these. Then, I usually head over to the footballs sleds and work linebacker drills on those for 10-15 minutes. Then, I either do quick abdominal work or the pre practice pass drop drills or combination of both. When I come home from practice I then work on more footwork. I get my step ladder out and go through different movements for 10-20 minutes.

Right now, I’m happy with the extra effort I’ve been putting in. I’ve assured my self that I won’t get tired if anyone in front of me becomes fatigued. And I’ve worked to ensure my skills, technique, and footwork is always improving, rather than plateauing. Although I think what I’ve been doing is great, I can’t be satisfied, and I need to find ways to keep improving. I think the next step would be trying to do a little bit for school in the morning, finding more ways to get in the weight room, and watching a lot more game film.

Hopefully everything will pan out. After all we still haven’t even played our first game, there’s still a lot of season. I hope my hard work will pay off and have me ready for whenever my opportunity may be.

For anything in life you want or desire, I’ve always thought this quote is perfect…

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” -Theodore Roosevelt