Major League Soccer, Time to Shine

12 Jun
La Liga Fans

La Liga Fans

The time has come for soccer to take its rightful place in the United States and its long- awaited return to triumph and popularity.  I wonder why it is that people continue to question the place of major league soccer, MLS.  The media may play a part in this influence, as financially speaking the big money rests in baseball, football (American) and basketball.  The sporadic location of soccer teams may be another, if a city has no team, then its citizens are not as apt to promote a sport.

The decline of soccer popularity in the United States has contributed to soccer fans turning their attention to the Premier league, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.  Now is the time to bring the joy back to US soil, now is the time to let soccer shine in this neck of the woods.

New York has already announced a second MLS team, giving the Red Bulls a competitor, and now it seems, maybe Miami will soon join in the excitement.

David Beckham is said to be considering club ownership in Miami.  The international friendly fixtures seem to draw a crowd and create frenzy among the local fans and then there is the upcoming International Champions Cup.  The idea of major league soccer in a town heavily populated with South Americans may prove interesting, at the very least lucrative, that is, if the introduction of a new team is managed properly.  The high profile name of Beckham may be the seal on the deal.

We will soon find out if another MLS team is born, in the meantime we can enjoy the game in limited release as well as in World Cup Qualifying matches, for it seems like the US Men’s Soccer Team has no intention of giving up its bid for World Cup 2014.

Now for those of you who still question the brilliance of soccer. Let me just recap my views on this fantastic sport, just in case you missed it before.

The game of soccer is magnificent to watch.  It is a game of skill and art.  The combination of immaculate fit, masculine, close to perfection bodies, as well as the skill to maneuver a leather, 28 inch, 16 oz ball across a grass field while 9 other set of legs quickly and assertively manipulate that same ball to their advantage is a sight to see.

That last minute crossing pass that seems to slow down time as it soars from the sidelines, down the middle to the perfect chip shot that floats over the goalkeeper’s head and just makes it swiftly under the crossbar to score the winning goal.

Since many of us, soccer fans, will say anything so that this sport is given a higher profile in the US, may I add for some of you ladies that are still on the brink of hesitation on whether to watch this wonderful game…

The game of soccer is an artistic endeavor and a sexy game as well.  When that tone, fit to perfection player immaculately and skillfully maneuvers a chest trap, you have to sigh at the tone chest rippling underneath the snug jersey, while the hamstring and quadriceps muscles peak from underneath those fantastic billowing shorts.

Of course, there are those of us who enjoy the game for its athletic and skillful intensity, but a little bonus fun never hurts.  Besides I believe that promoting a sport should be done in any way possible, just ask the folks in Europe; they know how to use this marketing strategy and do it very well.

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The Baffled Writer.

11 Jun

writing lists

I am always baffled by the reasoning of some writers to subscribe to some kind of formula for what sells.  Recently, in a creative writing class, I came upon future or aspiring writers, and I say this, for when asked what they write daily, most could only respond with the hope that when they figured out what to write about they would actually start writing.  That is a topic we will address on another day, but my thoughts on this will always remain faithful to the fact that being a writer does not mean being paid to write.

The fact is there is no guarantee that what you write will ever be read, let alone read enough to bring you an income, but does writing within a genre or about a topic that is “in at the moment” warrant success, I don’t believe so.  Yes, there are those that jump on the bandwagon of writing what’s selling at any given moment, but seriously how many of the vampire books published were really necessary and how many of those written were literary classics, or for that matter, even worth a 10-minute peek.

I say when looking for a topic to write about, use what you know, your own experiences or use what you long for, these are the things that inspire your words.  I try not to research the next fad, for then my writing does not come from the heart, then I will become one of those individuals who search for a story depending on what is selling.  I create stories from within, from the deepest part of my hopes and fears and from the simplest things on the surface.  There is no magic fairy dust sprinkled on my keyboard or on my notebooks full of words, it is just the sprinkle of the jumble in my head.

Creative writing is just that, being able to share whatever you may want with anyone or no one in particular.  I am always inspired by certain music; the lyrics share the emotions of the artists, emotions put into words that inspire some kind of reaction.  If you are searching for answers, look no further than what stirs your imagination, what topics move you to question the future, what daily concerns cause you to crawl into bed with a glass of wine and be introspective…these hold the answer to the question, what shall I write.

A little Music just for Fun.

 

Sorry about the accompanying video (a little geek moment-Highlander fan)

 

 

And for everyone’s enjoyment 😉 (Rocky Fan as well)

 

The Path Towards Tomorrow

10 Jun

Michigan

Sometimes it takes just a flicker of something that catches the corner of your eye to allow the imagination to take root and the fruition of something exciting to emerge.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

Enjoy the day, enjoy the moments, for in the shortest of seconds you may be inspired by the color of a flower, the laughter of a child, or even the scamper of a squirrel.

mackinac island, black squirrel

Close your eyes let the wind caress your senses and let the possibility of creation work its magic on your yet undiscovered words.  Like the kite that strives against the wind, let its strength empower you to keep moving forward and pushing into the unknown.

Michigan mackinac island

For there is sometimes fear for the path ahead, but without the choice of pursuit, there will be no answer, there will be no success.

Michigan

What Must I Write…

4 Jun

romantic tulips

How do I know what to write? An odd question at best, for the answer drifts somewhere in the realm of your imagination, so many times that question has been posed and allowed to grow with irritation.  How can there really be one way to respond, whether writing for fun, for work, for a future you have dreamt once upon a time, whether a student, a teacher, a curious bystander of thoughts unanswered.  The question is not what, but when and the answer is anything you want and now.

To those of you distraught with the notion of subject, genre or platform, I say step back, look at the full picture, and wait until the words appear by themselves.  Writers come from all walks of life, from all over the world, and some actually get paid for their work, while others may only fathom a day when the world allows them to spend the day thinking and jotting anything interesting that may arise.  Write what you like and believe that there is no recipe when it comes to success, the universe is full of surprises and our passions may escalate to wonders never imagined.

I write because it makes me settle the thoughts in my head.  I write what I want.  Some may say there is a formula for a writer; however, I argue that sometimes that thought process keeps us from progressing to the next step.  Take one day at a time, write whatever may come and somewhere in the jumble of words, you will figure out the place for you, figure out the words that are meant to be shared with others.  I enjoy so many different things in life.  I could not eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch for too long of a time, so why must I write about the same thing day in and day out.  Of course, there are those of us who can, and I say I am glad for that as well.

For those of us who worry that we are not following a formula written for writers by writers, fear not and remember these words….

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.

– Matthew Arnold

A Future Full of Oranges

3 Jun

 Seville, Spain winter

Sometimes it takes just the smallest push to get you flowing in the right direction.  It may be just that one moment when you wake, the one moment that makes you attempt a bit of what you have set out to accomplish, the one small turn of a head that pushes you in another direction.

It may be a grasp of something unexpected, sometimes that bite is sweet, and sometimes its bitter, but it leads us toward an unpredictable bend in our lives.

The thing you never expected to give you hope, the little nudge that helps lay out the path of things to come.  We may question our dreams, but when we abandon them to the wind, they roar through our lives until we imagine how our touch can quiet the noise and settle the fear.

The smallest gesture of the pursuit of something untried may lead us to great endeavors or small accomplishments that bring us back into the grasps of a future worthy of failure, a future worthy of success, a future that cannot be, unless we take that one small step and grasp for what we do not know.

Sometimes it is hard to imagine what we cannot see, hard to picture what we want without thinking about the work to be done.  Work that may not lead to success, but if we stop trying, if we succumb to living without the possibility of dreams accomplished or tried, we cease to live the life we were meant to enjoy, the life we were meant to explore, the life that awaits in the future…

Lake Michigan

Reach for it with the strength that one small step can change the course of all to come.

The Beauty of Nature: Motivation at its Best

2 Apr

How can we hope to find meaning when we are so disconnected?

Nature restores to our senses that which has lost its importance.  The beauty of the world is before us to see, it awakens what was once believed lost.

Take a moment and look out the window,

Walk with laughter along a road you have not traveled,

Image

Open your eyes, allow the light to show you the way.

The need to restore your place and grasp the swiftness of life is beheld,

In the green of the grass,

 The blue of the sky,

The breezes of the west,

The rain from up above,

 The strength of a mountain,

Image

The beauty of the sea or a mere glance at the sun

Image

Nature makes us whole, brings us back in one piece, and gives us energy to continue on paths unseen.

A writer’s world is a peculiar sphere.

The nature of doubt is always just on the horizon, acknowledge it and continue towards the unknown with eyes wide open for whatever may come.

Fall Colors and Dreams Today

30 Oct

Fall is my favorite time of the year; it may have something to do with the beauty of the colors that surround us, the serenity before the cold, long winter nights, or just the prospect of change.  I have allowed Fall to usher in a break for all the stresses of the year, once winter sets in I like to shut off, and then I wait until the arrival of Spring, which reawakens ambitions and brings forth new opportunities, new agendas and the idea of something bigger and better on the horizon.  This year, however, I have taken a step backward and reassessed the nature of looking toward the future, towards Spring as the jumping board to a new prospective.

The future is ahead of us, and unless we take charge at the very moment we conceptualize an idea, a plan or a dream; the reality will never manifest itself. The future is actually in the present, this is something new I am trying to install in my thinking pattern.  Unless we start the process of pursuing whatever it is we want for ourselves at this very moment, it may never come to pass.

There is no time like the present, today, to readjust the path of our lives, rethink decisions, reawaken hopes and dreams from years past, or the ones buried deep in our hearts and bring them into the shadows of our present existence if they are ever to make their way into the light of tomorrow.

How many times have you looked to the past and realized that you had plotted your future in a different manner, and yet, here we stand in that future, now the present and nothing has become of our plans, our dreams, or they are in the process of manifestation and yet are not quite there yet.  We must have the strength and the reassurance that with hard work we can one day take a minute, look back, and realize that we have everything we wanted.

Of course, life brings with it trials and tribulations, unforeseen occurrences that throw us as far off our paths as we could ever imagine.  The  journey is part of our existence; we must learn to make it part of who we are, not run away from mistakes, grievances, or situations out of our control, but make them our own, make them part of who we will one day become.

I will take control of my life today, not wait for the coming spring, the start of something new; my new will start today.  One little step at a time may one day bring me the future, and in reality, it will be my present, but it will be the present I hoped for.

How many times have you wanted to do something different with your life, even if that means bringing a hobby into the realms of the universe that are visited by others.  How many times have you looked to the dreams of your past, the ones you made while in university or as a child and hoped to have the strength to make them your dreams once again.

If we as human beings stop dreaming, stop propelling our tasks into tomorrow, into something bigger and better for those around us, then we stop to exist.  We must try to stop being afraid of what will happen, what people will think if we try something new or admit to something old, and yet not forgotten.

Whether it is the urge to give back to the world and you do it only in the comfort of your own neighborhood (remember no one expects you to take a flight to a 3rd world country and make a difference, it starts closer to home).  Whether you have always wanted to get into immaculate shape, take those dance lessons, dreamt of doing a marathon; start small, you may not become an Olympian, be on the cover of shape magazine or be cast in the Nutcracker, but you will become healthier and happier.

Whether it is the hope of love that keeps you moving forward, remember you are not alone; there are plenty of us on the same trajectory, reaching for what may never come to pass, yet with every breath urging its reality.  Whether you have a hobby of writing, painting, photography or anything of this sort, always remember in the future, the present of tomorrow, the hobby may become more than that if only today you put the power from within to work and start one day at a time.

To make change for tomorrow, we cannot think about the future, only concentrate on today and in the present decide to alter what we must to become the person that we want.

And let us not forget that we can still enjoy Fall and all its wonders, especially all the baked goodies that this time of the year allows us to feast upon.

To Leave, or Not to Leave, that is the Question

25 Oct

I went out of town a few weeks ago and left the pups with my parents.  I had to struggle to get out of the door; the pups have a little habit of grabbing the bottom of my pants as I exit; their specialty is putting up a great show in regard to their sadness over my departure.

I feel very lucky that my parents like my dogs and are always up for watching them when I am out of town, fortunately I have never had to board the little guys, either they stay with my parents, or they go with me (on vacations only, no business trips allowed).

For those of you who are not that lucky (one of my best friends had to recently board her brand-new puppy, I applaud her for being so calm about the process; I would probably have burst into tears), boarding your pets comes with its own set of problems, especially if you have pets like mine, and they have any kind of irritable bowl syndrome or are just plain finicky little beasts.

Remember the key to your successful trip and your pets successful ‘waiting it out game’ is always a solid plan, one that will make your pet feel secure and healthy while you are away.

If possible, leave your pet with a family member or a close friend, or possibly, if the pet is used to being alone for longer periods of time is to leave them at home and have a  trusty individual feed your pet and visit them a few times a day.

Another option is a pet sitter; this may be the least stressful for your pet, there are services that match you and your pet to a reliable house and pet sitter.

For those of you that have no other option other than boarding, there a few things to remember; always bring your pups own food, never pay extra just to have the boarding facility throw in their choice of food (even if it is more convenient), your little one will thank you.  Try to bring your pets bed, favorite toys, even feeding dishes, as the familiar smells will comfort them, especially in the evenings.  Another small, but rather important thing to remember is to give your pet something with your smell on it, an article of clothing you may not miss too much or maybe even a slipper.

The boarding facility should always be able to explain to you in detail what your pet will be doing all day and allow you to tour the facility at a moment’s notice.  The best way to choose a boarding facility is by word of mouth.

The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are not an emotional wreck when dropping off your pet; they will feel your tension and suspect something is wrong.

(Of course, that is easier said than done, I am a bigger mess when leaving my pets, than they are.) 🙂

Politics, Destiny or Writer’s block?

23 Oct

I have been in a slight writers rut lately; some excuses seem to be the ever persistent; not having enough time.  However, lately a most annoying hindrance has found its way into my life; that of election year.  You would like to know how this little matter can possibly get in the way of my writing ideas, habits and all around lifestyle.  Well, for some reason, or another, I find myself surrounded by family members and friends who seem to have excessive opinions, a hunger for debate and an all-around penchant for disturbing my writers chi.

I understand the importance of elections; I take part in them, am very well-informed and very set in my political outlook.  I do not understand the turmoil that has settled upon my mind.  The thinking process necessary to form coherent sentences has taken a siesta, and in its place a plethora of jumble-jumble thoughts have taken root.  I find myself questioning people in politics (of course I have always done this, but now it is tenfold), the idea of resting my future in the hands of individuals who just happened to fall into office is a little mind-boggling.  I have a friend that is working on his PhD in political science, mind you; he has been working on it for almost ten years, but his ideas and thoughts about the governing world are out of this world :), but alas, he will never become a senator or governor, let alone president.  Why, do you ask, because it does not seem to be in his destiny (in his pocket book either).

We may possess all the brilliance in the world, have the most creative ideas and be full of life and possibility and yet, destiny never peers down on us, sending rays of ‘there they are’ in our direction.

Thoughts like these find their way into my mind, and all else fails for a while, the blinking light must be quenched and the engine restarted, hopefully come November 6th all will be right with the world, my creative writing world, of course.

In the meantime, UEFA Championship League matches (Hala Madrid) are once again upon us,

Chasing Mavericks is out in theaters this weekend (a little surfing madness to calm the nerves),

Not to mention that Skyfall is nearly here, James Bond is the perfect fix for my unsettled brain.

Oh and for all my fellow writers National novel writing month is just over a week away, to get us all back on track.  Catherine, Caffeinated has a great little article about the madness of writing in November.

The pups, of course, do not seem to feel my pain.  Their mind is right where it should be, on the topic of sleep.

Soccer International Break: The Rain of World Cup Qualifications

17 Oct

My nerves on the edge of betrayal, the love of the game intertwined with the reality of what is to come, the calm before the down pour that brings joy, disappointment and the wonders of a sport alive until the very last seconds; turning dreams into a different reality.

The future is swift, history created in one moment; the honor of World Cup champions hangs by a very fine string.

La Roja beats strong, the heart of a defender with nothing to prove looks to the sky and gives thanks for the honor to score for a team that etched their glory into a past never forgotten.

How is one to decide the path that lays open for creation, wide with anticipation, and long with possibilities.   The clouds roll in and allow the magic of water to flow, encompassing the green below, mixing tension and fear with determination and hope.  Can the ripeness of what could happen, be picked with certainty?

The strength of a four-point lead, allows the wondrous sprinkle of sunshine to bring joy to those that never give up.  The fog rolls thick, one hundred ways in which one man brings a smile to the faces of many, but within the raindrops, the win cannot be achieved, yet the applause will remain forever to keep.

A sparkle of aspiration for countries long forgotten, lost in the shuffle striving to be found, looking for a moment of glory.  The monster of the south, with the help of a number ten legend, showing the unstoppable hunger to find the splendor of 2014.  A country which has yet to step up to the game, make their own mark on the name of football, a European foundation that has yet to stronghold its existence in a country with youth on its side.

The love of a country, the rain of the past, makes way for the forthcoming mistakes that lead to a rebirth of a people full of love for the world, the strength to overcome a sodden mess that makes way for a glorious contribution to a game that will continue to keep fans cheering in their seats for its unpredictability and wonder.

A game of magic that leads us to shout for the past to make way for the future; rays stream through the cloudburst.

(Some of my favorite Groups)

GROUP A
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Belgium 4 3 1 0 8 1 10
Croatia 4 3 1 0 6 2 10
Serbia 4 1 1 2 6 5 4
FYR Macedonia 4 1 1 2 3 4 4
Wales 4 1 0 3 3 11 3
Scotland 4 0 2 2 2 5 2
GROUP C
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Germany 4 3 1 0 15 6 10
Sweden 3 2 1 0 8 5 7
Republic of Ireland 3 2 0 1 7 8 6
Austria 3 1 1 1 5 2 4
Kazakhstan 4 0 1 3 1 8 1
Faroe Islands 3 0 0 3 2 9 0
GROUP F
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Russia 4 4 0 0 8 0 12
Israel 4 2 1 1 10 5 7
Portugal 4 2 1 1 6 3 7
Northern Ireland 3 0 2 1 2 4 2
Azerbaijan 3 0 1 2 1 5 1
Luxembourg 4 0 1 3 2 12 1
GROUP H
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
England 4 2 2 0 12 2 8
Montenegro 3 2 1 0 9 2 7
Poland 3 1 2 0 5 3 5
Moldova 4 1 1 2 2 7 4
Ukraine 3 0 2 1 1 2 2
San Marino 3 0 0 3 0 13 0
GROUP I
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Spain 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
France 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Georgia 4 1 1 2 2 4 4
Belarus 4 1 0 3 3 8 3
Finland 2 0 1 1 1 2 1
GROUP MATCHES
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Argentina 9 6 2 1 20 7 20
Ecuador 9 5 2 2 12 9 17
Colombia 8 5 1 2 14 6 16
Venezuela 9 3 3 3 8 9 12
Uruguay 9 3 3 3 16 18 12
Chile 9 4 0 5 14 18 12
Bolivia 9 2 2 5 12 14 8
Peru 9 2 2 5 10 15 8
Paraguay 9 2 1 6 6 16 7
GROUP A
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
USA 6 4 1 1 11 6 13
Jamaica 6 3 1 2 9 6 10
Guatemala 6 3 1 2 9 8 10
Antigua and Barbuda 6 0 1 5 4 13 1
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