fun weekend of round ball on the ground, soccer in the Cincy area as the boys from Lexington decided to go ahead and win the whole damned tournament. in roughly 280 minutes of soccer, the allowed one goal and that was in the final to the current Kentucky State Cup champion Kings Hammer Academy…nice slice of revenge to beat them soundly, 3-1. but more importantly, an apt birthday present for a kid who has truly put in one hellacious amount of soccer work over the spring and summer. this shot serves as the final photo of year 13. a gold medal around the neck, a smile at the car door, a twinkle of something accomplished in the eye. what you can’t see in the photo is me, behind the camera, proud, happy for him and his team but with a twinge of sadness as the moments of boyhood continue to dissolve right before my eyes. he grows in every way, every day.
happy birthday to us.
it’s one of the oldest cliches in the world really, “you have to have goals!” it’s a mantra that is delivered to kids day in and day out as we try and give them a reason to want more, to achieve more, to do those things we didn’t, wouldn’t or probably, couldn’t do. this cliche is never more overused than when putting kids into a competitive sports environment. it’s as if adults have unlocked the key to athletic prowess and that key is the act of setting goals. i’m no different, totally guilty of these mindless cheerleading sessions that are meant to motivate, sure, but also some sort of batch of statements you make that cement your place as “parent” by extoling some life-lesson we assume a child is too simple to pick-up on his own and i guess we also take for granted that we are telling a kid something that a coach, trainer or any number of feel-good stories that accompany Olympic, NCAA, or just about any other sports broadcasts have failed to mention.
so, then after you have asked a kid to have some goals, to work hard, to do their best, to strive to blah, blah, blah and they do some of those things and they begin to achieve goals they have set for themselves…then what? do we just follow along the same path, again? do we just say, “hey, good job, set some more goals and go get those and do things and stuff and succeed and go, fight win!”? there’s got to be something more we do right? i ask because athletically, academically and even socially i see that goals were set by the boys in my life and they met some of them and they are still growing, changing and maturing and sure, not all of their goals have been met and hopefully they have a stack of truly great things they want to get to in their lives, but how to you nurture a willingness to succeed? and is a large percentage of it totally out of a parent’s hands, my gut says to some extent, yes. you hope you have somehow given them enough to be self-motivated or that just their resentment of your blathering on and on about goals is annoying enough that they are motivated just to shut you up.
either way, here’s to a boy who has had some goals for himself on the soccer field. he achieved one by playing high school soccer in 7th grade and another over the weekend by starting on the Varsity team as a Freshman. i don’t think he’s done setting or achieving yet–but i won’t take any credit for either. he’s doing it. i’m just trying to take some pictures as it happens.
varsity tackle. Saturday, August 10.
i have to tell you, big festivals are really no way to enjoy bands, music, beer, food, soil, water or casual sex. maybe i am just old but i find myself staring at the damn video screens instead of the stage, i just cannot connect to the bands. spoiled by a youth of booking bands, playing in a band, eating with bands, and generally being bored with bands before being blown away by bands who were literally sharing my sweat, spit and spite the whole festival thing ultimately leaves me a little cold. not that i don’t appreciate the whole overpriced flea market appeal of it all but $10 Sierra Nevada’s and taco truck lines sure ain’t for old punks. give me a draft, a chair and a band i’ve never heard of within throwing distance, in a room of a couple dozen enthusiastic know-it-alls and i’d be more tickled…you know, just how we used to see The Black Keys. i’m guessing, inside, the boys in the band feel the same way.
Patrick Carney @patrickcarney of The Black Keys on a video screen at Forecastle Festival.
Seeing the unseeable
Filling down the void,
We’re not what we used to be
We’re not really boys.
–Unconsciously Screamin’, In a Priest-Driven Ambulance, the Flaming Lips
somehow 25 years has passed and things have changed, and things have samed. there’s always been music that mattered, hidden in the cracks of existence, in the lowest, in the best and the most mundane moments that i have been. if you took all of it, shook it out, there would be bands and musicians who probably meant the most, who were the pieces in the soundtrack in the made-for-TV movie that is my little life. the Lips would be there.
hey, i just heard that the US got beat by Mexico. no, not talking about in the Gold Cup or any of that. i am talking about for the title of fattest, most obese, most likely to belch then fall over dead. ironic how poverty now leads to obesity instead of starvation. explain to me again how fresh food is too expensive for normal humans to eat yet factories can pump out completely processed shit for much less than we can get it from a farmer? job creators to human cremators. makes little sense. sigh.
rain or shine, darkness or light, pack yours for recluse and potential weather of extreme-style conditions.
As Spring makes its less than subtle shift into Summer. So goes soccer, bypassing Summer with Fall as the goal. Club, school, new teams, new players the only constant is a ball, some form of grass, real or otherwise and of course, a boy.