Monday, August 22, 2011

Enjoy Watching A Sport That You Don't Care About

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When I was eight years old, my dad took me to an I-Cubs game, a rare sporting event in my childhood. The I-Cubs are an AAA team that is the testing ground for the major league team, the Chicago Cubs. During the third inning, I turned to my dad and asked him when the game was going to start. That, in nutshell, describes my relationship with baseball.
            When I was twelve, I decided to join little league. I didn’t really know anything about baseball, but the concept was simple: hit the ball and run around the bases. Basically it was kickball with more danger. The first meeting was at a public park with dozens of kids. Granted, the neighborhood wasn’t too nice and I did notice that the grounds and fencing were a little shabby. What I didn’t notice was a drug deal happening on the corner as we were dividing up into teams. Needless to say, I didn’t get to go back. My baseball career ended before it had even started.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spend The Night In A Police Car

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University of Iowa Police
            Officer C G has been a police officer for six years, but we’ve been friends for more than a decade. In college we worked together at the parking department. In fact, my wife trained him. In my five years working the student job, I jumped back and forth between being a cashier and a student supervisor. At the end of my tenure, C became one of four managers in the department. While he was technically my boss, I never saw him in that manner. This is not a slight towards him, but more his position. He was just doing the full-time duties of what I did. I got paid to sit in an office with him and watch movies or play poker on a homemade table fashioned from an overturned garbage can with a board on top of it. This was a stop-gap job for C. The occupation that he really wanted was that of his father, a police officer.
            At on a Tuesday night, C and I met in the parking ramp that housed the University of Iowa Office of Public Safety. This encompasses three branches: Security, Police and Fire. As I approached him, C was standing at the cab of his truck wearing mesh shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. Inside the station, I waited in the lobby, a small area with several plastic-backed chairs, a counter filled with pamphlets about last year’s crime statistics, rape victim advocacy and paperwork for pressing charges. While I was sitting there, C got a privacy form for me to fill out. The entrance wall was glass, giving me a sense of self-awareness. People could watch me as they stood outside this wall. I assumed that someone was watching me from behind one of the glass partition windows labeled “Records” and “Police”. C came out of the office and handed me a sheet of paper, telling me to fill it out while he got ready. On one side was a waiver, absolving them of any liability. On the other, there was a confidentiality agreement. That being said, all names have been fabricated to protect their identities.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Relax With Straight Razors

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            I don’t know a single person that enjoys shaving, outside of prepubescent children. To me, shaving is bi-weekly preventative maintenance. What does it prevent? It prevents me from looking unkempt, disheveled and homeless. Although I had never heard of a hot towel shave, I was excited when my brother-in law, Mike offered to treat me to one. It was the last bit of maintenance on his wedding day. While there were four of us (Mike, his dad, Big Mike, my dad and myself ) that participated in the shave, only two of us (Big Mike and myself) were full participants, as to the fact that the other two were sporting a full beard.
            The place that we went to was called Floyd’s. In my mind, this immediately gave an old-timey feel. I imagined a small, dusty, dirty shop with only three barber chairs. The kind that has a pedal that you pump to raise the chair and a second pedal to release and lower the seated. This metal chair would also have a knob next to the hip of the person sitting down that allows the chair to lay flat.
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