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Anyone who is familiar with youth sports can tell you that some parents take it way too seriously. In Soccer, football, basketball, baseball are the typical sports that kids participate in. At each of these events one can usually find some parent (or parents) that are taking the game way too seriously. In an attempt to live out their dreams of athletic excellence through their children, these parents push their kids to extremes, argue with refs, lobby coaches to play their kids more, and generally take the fun out of everything. However, as a little kid who wasn’t very good at sports, I always took solace in the thought that the odds of becoming a pro athlete were so dismally small, that none of the kids who were pushed so hard to excel would end up going to the JC (cause they focused on sports instead of grades), they would end up getting menial jobs, never move out of Sonoma, and eventually become a crazy sports parent themselves.

I was right.

The interesting thing is this: I have found that crazy sports parents also apply to cycling! Junior (18 and under) cyclists are rare, as competitive cycling is not a major sport for little kids. Yet they are out there racing! Juniors look so funny on their miniature sized bikes, but some of them are really fast! They also have one thing in common, a crazy mom. These women are typically overweight, unintelligent, and wearing a lot of floral print. I don’t know where they come from, but I can’t imagine that they had dreams of being a competitive cyclist as young girls, and are trying to live that out through their kids.

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Mary’s Pizza Shack, known to locals simply as Mary’s, is a Sonoma culinary landmark.

The original shack opened up in 1959 I believe (as they just had the 50th anniversary). Back then, it really was a little pink and white shack on highway 12 in Agua Caliente. That location is now gone, and there are now a bunch of Marys’ all over northern California. However, my mom still remembers going into the kitchen to stir the sauce for Mary herself, getting made milkshakes, and getting paid a nickle for every piece of silverware she retrieved that had fallen under the porch. Good times.

Marys, it seems, has always been a focal point for Sonoma’s teenagers. This is probably because of the infamous free bread stick basket. Every non-school night you can see many Sonoma teenagers rolling into and out of Mary’s for free bread sticks and to use the bathroom.

I really love Mary’s, and I probably eat there an average of 4 times per week (when I am in Sonoma). What I love so much about it is the familiarity. I know every person on the staff, and they know me (many are high school students). I know everything on the menu. Its just like in that show ‘cheers’. Being a regular can feel really good sometimes.

PS, the food is excellent. While many people hate on the pizza, I love it. The garlic fries are fantastic. They have great hot sandwiches and hamburgers. The soups, salads and bread sticks are also all excellent. You really can’t go wrong with good ‘ol Italian cooking. Most importantly, however, is the crown jewel: Ranch Dressing. I have heard from cooks there that some nasty stuff goes into the ranch, but I don’t care, I put that stuff on everything.

marys

When my mom was little, her brothers were very close friends with a boy who lived across the street from them. Young Pat McKenna’s mom died when he was little, and his dad was an alcoholic, so he was essentially raised by my mother’s parents. Pat inherited an unknown fortune and a big ranch from his father when he too died. Now, Pat lives on McKennaRanch with his wife and two children. While in no way related to me, they are treated essentially like family. Their ranch was a really fun place to play as a little kid, and eventually i started working there over the summers between school years. Now in my 6th season on the ranch, I have worked from picking up rocks to advanced jobs like irrigation work, pruning, tractor work etc. While the ranch is my place of employment, it still has elements of the magical wilderness that captivated me as a little kid. It seems much smaller now, and I have travelled across it many times, I am amazed to constantly find new things.

Aside from the house, the ranch has the following cool things: Pool, fort, organic farm, vineyard, orchard, pack of dogs, turkey, wildlife, creek, pond, fields, hammock, greenhouse, fountain, croquet course, rock walls. The terrain is extremely varied, and there is a great deal of wildlife to be found. I have seen foxes, coyotes, all sorts of lizards, amphibians, and birds. The house next door has beautiful horses. Inside the house, Pat has set up the dining room withbookshelves, huge cabinets filled with hundreds of awesome old lead toy soldiers, all of his historical reenacting gear (uniforms, guns, swords, accoutrement’s, etc.).

I wish so badly that I lived there. i think that keeping the ranch running would be a very fulfilling life. I could always try to marry Pat’s daughter and inherit the ranch, but I think I’ll settle for working and visiting this amazing place instead.

Rancher

Here’s me at a typical day at work.

Super Glue

This stuff is my new favorite cure-all. I have discovered that most small cuts are easily remedied by putting super glue on them. The kind of cuts I mean are small, but deep, and can sting like crazy. They take forever to heal for some reason. Showers suck with them. But now, I just clean them out and close them with super glue, BAM, taken care of. I have used super glue in the last few weeks on paper cuts, sharp-metal-related cuts, bad hangnails, opened blisters any many more lacerations. While ineffective against a scrape, a small annoying cut is now a thing of the past.

One More Thing

I also really really want to hear Anna Dwyer sing! I am told by her family that she is quite good, but the is also secretive about it. On multiple occasions I have just entered a room after she has finished singing, or just left a room as she was about to start. Drat the luck.

Goals in Life

Certainly I want to be happy, healthy, fall in love, have children and other boring stuff like that. However, I also have some goals in life that some people think are very unique. The list is constantly growing, shrinking, and generally evolving.  Listed below are some of the things I plan on doing before I die:

Push Model Tanks Around on A Big Map: In old war movies a bunch of generals move model soldiers, tanks and planes around on a table with a big map on it. The figures represent real armies I’m sure. While I think that today they use sonar and satellites instead of models, it still looks awesome. I wouldn’t even care if the models correlated to anything real, I just want to be surrounded by serious looking guys in uniforms with tons of medals on them while I do it.

Fanned and Fed Grapes by Beautiful Women: Laying by a pool, being fed grapes and fanned with a palm frond by gorgeous babes in bikinis just has so many things going right with it.

Statue of Me: 10x life size minimum. I want it to be someplace cool like Times Square, next to the Hollywood sign, on top of the Great Wall of China etc. Also, I should be riding a horse and carrying a sword.

Host Royalty: The ultimate display of fanciness, having the Queen over for dinner just sounds like a totally badass thing to do.

Never Pay for Sex: If I can’t earn it, I shouldn’t be having it.

Get in a Fight: This may be something that a lot of people have already done, or something people want to avoid, but I really want to get into a fist fight. I don’t care who it is with, I don’t care if I lose, I just want to land a few good punches on some dude’s face with my bare hands. However, winning would be sweet.

Vanity Fair Photo Shoot: I know it sounds totally gay, but having a photo shoot in Vanity Fair is something that affirms one’s status as a national icon. Plus, Paul Rudd did it, and he is a total pimp. Hopefully, Annie Liebovitz will still be alive and clickin’ by the time I am bestowed this honor. She rules.

Make a Really Tough Decision: Im talking pull the switch, push the button, launch the nukes tough. I want someone to say, “Mr. President, we need those codes now!” and for me to know that millions of lives hang in the balance. There is no one to turn to, no third option, and I have to decide NOW or we are all doomed. I know I will make the right choice, this moment is the entire purpose for my existence. Heavy, I know.

If I think of any more, I’ll add them!

Women

My friends and I have been discussing relationships/members of the opposite sex lately, so I thought I’d lay out a few ideas. Women are complicated, fickle, frustrating and generally drive me insane. As the old saying goes: You can’t live with ’em, you can’t shoot ’em.  What keeps me going is the idea that eventually I will meet a nice, cute girl who doesn’t turn out to be some kind of wacko.

While it is currently summer break, and my love life seems to be on hold due to lack of viable prospects in my hometown, it’s never too early to start planning for the next semester.

One idea I have is to play the odds. If I go after totally hot, perfect 10’s, I am probably going to get rejected approximately 95% of the time. while that sounds bad, my belief is that the 5% that I get will be worth all the rejection.  This seemed logical to me as I began to play it out towards the end of the last school year, that is until I stumbled upon one important aspect of women: The Crazy-Hot Scale. I saw it on a TV show a while ago, and didn’t pay it much mind. As I began to go after mega-babes, the truth was soon revealed, that the hotter a girl is, the crazier she is too.

So true! Also,

cat scaleFrom Comedian Demetri Martin: “This is very autobiographical. This is the cuteness of a girl versus how interested I am in hearing about how intuitive her cat is. You see, the cuter the girl is, the more I’m willing to hear about the cat. ‘Oh really? Yeah, he’s very intuitive.’ But you’ll notice, at a certain point, I don’t care how cute you are. I don’t wanna hear about your fucking cat anymore. I hate your cat. When you leave the room, I try to get it. 
 

Cat-related craziness is just one of the many types of female-craziness that there is out there to encounter!

So now the choice is to seek hot girls and risk craziness, or keep my hopes up for a nice girl who also happens to be highly attractive. I guess I’ll just keep an open mind and see what happens.