Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hopeless Wanderer: Hold On To What You Believe (Yeah I've Used that Title Before)

So the past week has been a blur, as is par for the course anymore. Some things seem to be falling apart while others that I expected to crumble have built themselves up.

Crumbling? This'll be the downer, but there is something better after, so yeah. A church is the people, not the building. But it helps to have a building. We still have a building, but things like the plumbing are slowly coming undone. We have it fixed now but it's kind of like that kid kicking the back of your seat -  you know he's there, but he still kicks to let you know he's there. It's a reminder to appreciate it. Perhaps it's just a dismal way of looking at it, but that's the way I see it right now. Perhaps it's merely teenaged cynicism.

Now for the happy part.

I can now say that I have an Eagle Project proposal done. And that proposal has been signed by everyone. I talked about this last week, but it wasn't really official yet. I had to approach the school board.

Approaching the school board was simultaneously the most relieving and terrifying thing I've done for this project thusfar. Basically, I stood in front of the school board for about 15 minutes and explained my project, and fielded questions. I was well prepared from years of sitting in the back filming these types of meetings, as well as the dedicated checking and double-checking of our assistant principal. What it came down to was this: I had a vision, I wanted to make that vision a reality and what stood in the way were the approvals and a money gap. I asked for some money for landscaping and permission to use it, which I got. Unanimously.

If I weren't in my scout uniform and in front of the board and on camera, I would've just screamed. This thing that we've refined and refined and refined is going to happen. After months of prepping for this, it happened and now we are moving forward with it. So what did I do? I thanked the board, and promptly left the room, and celebrated. Then I talked with the assistant principal, and again screamed. So I'll keep up to date here on the progress, but honestly, this is great.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Keep The Earth Below My Feet

So It's Summer. With summer comes the changing of the guard - from the class of 2014 to the class of 2015. Notice the title of the site? Yeah, that means us.

It is surreal to think that the class of 2014 is graduating. They were always 'that grade ahead of us' that I never liked on the whole. Over the course of the past few years, I was fortunate enough to meet a large portion of the class, and am glad to call a few of them my friends. Nevertheless, time marches on.

I have been within and without since finals, and that is mainly because of the combination of finals cramming and getting these approvals for the Eagle Project. After nearly 6 months and over a dozen meetings with the Principal/Assistant Principal, the first, preliminary paperwork is approved by them. I can't talk much more than that yet, which is kind of frustrating because I like being relatively transparent here, but I still have approvals to go before anything moves forward. Such Paperwork. Many Unwow.

Over the course of the first week of summer (7 days) I was back up at the high school three times. The first was graduation, because it was indoors (read: auditorium, and I work auditorium events). When I got there, however, they informed me that it was outsourced, the boards were moved, and there was no place for me to go. So I snuck into the LGI control room, turned off all the lights and watched from there. It seems like a lot of issues in my everyday life could be fixed with simple communication. Oh well, such is life.

On Friday, two days after getting out of school, a few friends and I went mini-golfing, and then harassed Greg at his place of work, Dairy Queen. It felt a lot like one of those scenes in a movie, you know the ones, where you're playing music, laughing, and having a good time. The music of the night was everything from whatever the heck the 'Church Clap' is to Mumford and Sons' "Below My Feet". I've learned to really like that song. Not exactly sure why, but it (followed by the Monster Mash) provided the soundtrack to our adventure.

Here's to Summer, and here's to getting everything done and SENIOR YEAR.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Of Bucs and Ducks Part Two, with Some Stars

Thursday night I was fortunate enough to be able to watch The Night Before Our Stars, the TFiOS premiere thingy. For the unaware, TFiOS is The Fault in Our Stars by the great JayScribble, a man who I was fortunate enough to meet while he was writing the book that became the bestseller and now amazing movie. Going in, I wasn't exactly sure what to think: it was a movie done by a not-crazily-star-studded cast about a book that was pretty deep. The amazing team at 20th Century Fox brought it to life though, and it was probably the most faithful and best executed book-to-movie translation I've seen. That being said, I still haven't seen many movies.

Friday afternoon we received a call from our aunt (yes, the one who introduced me to JayScribble, KDKA, The Spring Standards, and the list goes on) who tells us she has four tickets for that night's baseball game against the Brewers. Section 20. So I googled a map of the ballpark and realized these were behind the dugout seats. That established, donning a giant rubber duck shirt, and using my knowledge of bus schedules, we [being my brother and I] added Tyler Smith of Carlynton Tech to the mix and began the adventure.

Public transportation is always an adventure: they are usually late, and always a bit hectic. Friday was no different. I had told Matt and Tyler to bring exact change because it makes life easier. Tyler brought exact change: $2.50 in quarters. He's never been on a Port Authority Bus before.

We make our way to Gateway Center in the midst of the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I want to go back and see what's there, perhaps that can be an adventure next week? Irrelevant, T time.

We made our way onto the T and to the North Shore Station right outside of PNC Park. After a bit of trial and error with the ticket booth, and security* we made our way into our beautiful ballpark. It was a free shirt Friday (where, in case you couldn't tell by the name, they gave us free shirts) sponsored by of all places, Point Park University. C'est un signe.

I have been to PNC park a few times for various reasons, and every time I am struck with just how beautiful that place is, and how clean it is for being a sportsball arena. After meandering about trying to figure out where section 20 was, we made our way to our seats. We were escorted down, down, and down some more. I was half expecting to be kicked out or something, but no. Three rows back from the dugout.

The View from my Seat... Gotta Love Pittsburgh

The game was fantastic, the city amazing as usual, and who sat in front of us but Frank Coonelly, the freaking PRESIDENT of the PITTSBURGH PIRATES. My brother convinced him to take a picture with us:

That's me, the big dork on the left, and FRANK COONELLY on the right.

Apparently Seth Meyers was at the game because he is a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. Seeing as anything was possible, I sent him this tweet:
and its followup:
I received a bunch of texts during this game because, apparently I was on ROOT sports' coverage of the game with my duck shirt twice. Later on, I was tagged in this by my aunt:

Seth Meyers didn't come, but it was still a fantastic night. There were fireworks, loud noises, ballpark fries, pierogi races, and to top it all off we had fantastic seats. The Bucs won, which I chalk up to wearing my Duck Shirt to the game and some spot-on pitching by Brandon Cumpton.

Thanks to our aunt as always, to the his All-Yellowness the Giant Rubber Duck of Pittsburgh, wherever he may roam.

*Every time I go through security which was a lot in NYC, I am paranoid because I always have some metal on me. It's usually a belt buckle or something strange like that, but I never seem to be able to make it through a metal detector on the first try without forgetting like a quarter or something strange like that. The people at these places are really understanding and kind, but I always feel bad that I'm slowing the process and making their lives harder by wearing a belt or something stupid like that.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hopeless Wanderer: No Real Way Out Or In

There are few worse feelings than being caught in the middle - and that's of anything really. Caught in the middle with no real way out or in. It seems when I'm there I end up digging myself deeper.

At school, people have been telling me that this is the end - the end of junior year, the end of WCHS as we know it, the end of a lot of things. I can't bring myself to believe that, honestly. Yeah, it may be the end of an era, but it is simultaneously the middle of another, and the beginning of a new one.

To the theme of this year, yesterday we debated what it means to exist, and what corruption is. Now, we weren't talking about how governments get corrupt, we were talking about the corruption of people. As with anything, the follow up is naturally: what does corrupt even mean? What does an uncorrupt individual look like? And then, Jake said the thing that shattered the glass ceiling: knowledge is corruption.

I have written this post over three or four times. I could list a litany of reasons why, but ultimately it boils down to a lack of time, lack of creativity, and a fear. I can't exactly explain what that fear is, but I know it exists and hasn't been the best.

I'm hitting the publish button on this one because I want to be rid of it. See you Friday.