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Text conversation from this weekend.

Friend:Dude. Have u seen Party in USA music video?
Me:Prob top 25 all time.
Friend::)
09:04 pm: constemplation
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quote
i’m dying to know
do you, do you like dreaming
of things so impossible?
or only the practical?
or ever the wild?
or waiting through all your bad, bad days
just to end them with
someone you care about?
and do you like making out
and long drives and brown eyes
and guys that just don’t quite fit in?
DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL
09:01 pm: constemplation
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SONG OF THE WEEK: “Such A Way” by Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

"the woman down the street from me / she’s got this daughter twenty years / with a sun-kissed smile / that the winter won’t go near / her hips could shake a mountain / and her lips could start a fire / and just like Nabokov all these men walk by / and as they do, they conspire"

(Source: Spotify)

08:42 pm: constemplation
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Show Elite the money…and the standings while you’re at it.

Elite came out swinging (literally) against the commissioners’ squad this week and did so with a bit of a chip on its shoulder.  Between the league officers’ inability to spell its team name correctly and their refusal to send out updated standings, Elite had a little extra motivation going into the contest.  They left no doubt as to who the top team in the league is, routing its rivals across the street in the regular season finale by a score of 24-4.

Sam R. was brilliant, tossing three shutout innings to earn the win, while Teddy hit for the cycle in his first game back from a two-month rehab assignment in Seattle.  ”Feels great to be back,” he said before leaving halfway through the game to play hockey.  ”Seattle was great, but this is where I belong.”

The win concludes an undefeated regular season for Elite, who will enter the league playoffs in two weeks as the number-one seed.  Elite has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs each of the past two years.  "Anything short of a championship is going to be a disappointing end to this season," Matt said after the game.  "I don’t think there’s a person in that dugout who doesn’t believe that."

Only time will tell whether Elite can make its dreams a reality.  Playoffs begin on September 5th.

12:21 am: constemplation
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Lord have mercy…for Elite has none

Man oh man, this was ugly.  In fact, it was downright hideous.  In an absolute drubbing, Elite Softball battered (pun intended) a far-inferior opponent by a final score of 27-4.  Perhaps worst of all, the game only lasted five innings, as the mercy rule came into effect due to the lop-sided score.

The highlights for Elite were many. Tyler stepping up and tossing a gem in place of Sam R, who sat out the contest due to extenuating circumstances.  Meg being knocked down by a teammate and taking several hard-hit balls to the legs, which may have earned her a trip to the Seattle facility.  Sam S and Gina spraying hits into the outfield gaps.  Matt adopting a two-legged wolf as the team’s official mascot.  And finally, people getting to practice new positions.

The lowlights were few.  In fact, there weren’t really any.  Matt took an errant throw to the rear end…and it serves him right for taking the extra base in a rout.

Elite improved to 8-0 on the season and is off until next Monday night, which also marks Teddy’s return to the team.  He suffered an injury in week one of the regular season and has since been rehabbing in Seattle.

10:06 pm: constemplation
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09:40 pm: constemplation
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never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion
MICHAEL JORDAN
12:32 pm: constemplation
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Elite ‘bats’ down allegations, wins seventh straight

While the PED (performance-enhancing drug) scandal continues to plague Major League Baseball, the MSCPA Softball League has been equally affected by PEB (performance-enhancing bat) allegations, with the latest addition to Elite Softball falling at the center of the controversy.  Josh’s bat, a modern-day Wonderboy, made its season debut against Elite’s bitter rivals in a 20-11 victory that could best be described as a slug-fest.

“The league utilizes ASA rules, and the bat is ASA-certified, so it’s legit,” Josh would later say about his lethal weapon, which was examined on various occasions by the opponent and the umpire alike.  Mike P led the offense with a grand slam as well as a 2-run shot, while Greg, Tyler, Kevin and Matt each added a long ball in the contest.

Elite was down 8-2 early, until its lucky charm, Katie, began keeping score in the second inning.  Seemingly on cue, Elite’s offense came alive and never looked back, outscoring its opponent 18-3 the rest of the way.  “We just needed to warm up and find our groove,” Katie said, deflecting credit after several team members attributed the turn-around to her.  And grooving they were, as Elite launched an offensive assault the likes of which its players had never seen.

“I had no idea a bat could do that,” said Meag.  “Mind blown.”  Of course, the balls that launched into the darkening Charlestown sky were also a reflection of the immense talent of this Elite squad, who improved its record to 7-0 on the season with its second win in as many days.

A night prior, Mike P’s relay throw to Mike H saved a run at the plate and stopped the opponent’s late-inning rally and, in the final half-inning, Bill scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly by Sam.  The low-scoring 4-3 affair was in stark contrast to Elite’s offensive onslaught on Tuesday night, but Elite continues to show versatility in its ability to win a variety of ways.

"None of us want another first-round exit from the playoffs this year," said Matt when asked of his team’s championship hopes.  "There’s one goal: A championship…that’s it."  With its eyes on the prize, Elite appears poised to make its dream a reality.

11:22 pm: constemplation
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Song of the Week: “Whatever It Is” — Zac Brown Band

I won’t deny that I’m on a bit of a country kick these days, but oh well.  It is summertime, after all, and when better to add a little southern twang into your musical line-up.  Best of all, I’m going to see these guys next week, and I am absolutely stoked for what I am sure will be an incredible concert.

"she got a gentle way that puts me at ease / when she walks in a room i can hardly breathe / got a devastating smile / knock a grown man to his knees"

11:14 pm: constemplation
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quote
standing in the rain so long
has left me with a little rust
but put some faith in me
and someday you’ll see
there’s a diamond under all this dust
TIM MCGRAW
12:17 am: constemplation5 notes
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Elite wins ugly, sits pretty in first place

It was not pretty by any means.  Multiple batted balls seemed to find a way to evade fielders’ gloves.  Swings were often closer to generating a breeze than making contact with the pitch.  Both teams looked sluggish from the outset of this 6 PM matinee.  But in the end, it was Elite Softball who emerged victorious yet again, proving it can win ugly by outlasting its cross-town rival by an 11-7 margin.

Meg and Marilyn shone for Elite in the contest, contributing 2 RBI and several key defensive plays at second base, respectively.  ”It’s pivotal that I’m able to rely on our second and third basemen to be there on force plays,” Matt would later admit.  ”I don’t think it’s any secret that my shoulder is killing me, and I’d much rather make the flip than the longer throw across the infield.”  Mike anchored the outfield from left-center throughout the contest.

Josh paced the Elite offense, adding a pair of hits and runs alike, while Sam was nearly flawless on the hill, with the majority of runs coming as a result of fielding miscues by his defense.  After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first, Elite allowed its opponent to tie the game a couple of innings later.  ”We need to stay focused and not get complacent,” Meg said of her team’s lackluster performance.  A showing like the one Elite turned in last night, against a more formidable opponent, may be too much for even this talented group to overcome.

Elite improved to 5-0 with the victory in taking sole possession of first place in its division.  ”If we can stay focused and get healthy, we’ll be there in the end,” Matt added.  ”…But those are two big ‘ifs’.”

11:40 pm: constemplation
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Elite weathers the storm, prevails in slugfest

The skies opened up in the bottom half of the second inning, and Elite Softball’s fourth game of the season quickly turned into an error-laden slugfest between two teams whose bats certainly outperformed their gloves.  In the end, though, it was Elite that prevailed yet again, outlasting its regional rivals in a 17-12 victory.

 Elite fell behind early, as the opposition led off the game with back-to-back solo home runs and added an additional three runs in the bottom half of the second.  Elite’s bats finally came alive, however, and they never looked back.  Matt added four hits, but it was the trio of Kevin, Greg, and Dave who delivered the major blows, adding a bases-loaded double, a three-run homer, and an RBI-double down the left field line, respectively.

 Marilyn had her breakthrough performance of the season, snagging a sinking line drive in right field to prevent an extra-base hit while also driving in two runs and scoring another.  Gina drove in a run and scored one of her own in the victory, while also adding a running catch in right field to preserve Elite’s lead in the fourth.  Finally, Meg worked a walk and later beat the throw at home to pad the lead.

 Sam settled down after some early struggles and, despite not getting much help from his defense, managed to grab his third win of the season.  “Our defense never makes that many mistakes,” he said, “but it was great to see the offense pick up the slack and get some runs on the board.”

 This was, arguably, the first time Elite has been challenged this season, and playing in back-and-forth games like this can only help to mentally strengthen and prepare this young team on its quest for a league title.  “That was the worst game we’ve played all year,” Mike would later say, “and we still won.”  Indeed, whether or not Elite would have had the fortitude in prior seasons to counter the punches its opponent threw tonight is debatable at best, and to see this degree of resiliency is proof of its continued improvement over the past couple of seasons.

 “We’re more of a team than we’ve ever been before,” said Matt.  And, one might argue, a better team as well.

12:25 am: constemplation
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SOTW: “Hide and Seek” — Imogen Heap

Slow rhythm.  Indecipherable lyrics.  Entirely unique sound.  And yet…just an absolutely amazing song.

"oily marks appear on walls / where pleasure moments hung before / the takeover, the sweeping insensitivity / of this still life"

12:23 am: constemplation
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A changing of the guard: Elite drubs former league champs

Elite Softball continues to live up to its namesake, as it kept its undefeated record intact Thursday night, defeating the league champs of just two years ago by a score of 13-7.  ”Being down four roster players on the day of the game made me nervous, as did the looming thunderstorms,” said Meg, “but the kids we called up proved themselves to be Elite as well.”

And so it goes for this never-say-die bunch who, despite an inability to stay healthy, just keeps rolling.  While its core team continues to mend, the farm system has grown into quite the crop of talent, if you will.

"When I was asked to play, I felt like I was being called up to the majors," said Bridget after the game.  And with Jenn seemingly always on base and Greg making Gold-Glove-worthy diving catches in the outfield, the future has become now for Elite.

Perhaps no performance was bigger on this night, however, than the one turned in by Bill upon making his season debut.  With Sam missing his first game in three seasons, Bill delivered a stellar pitching performance and exhibited a mix of off-speed and breaking pitches that kept the opposing squad off balance all night.

On a night that featured an epic sunset of orange and pink, it was the mighty green dot and its prolific offense that stole the show.  With Josh setting the tone at the top of the order and Bill and Meg contributing key RBI late in the game, Elite proved to be too much for its counterparts to handle in improving its record to 3-0 on the season.

The only trouble with winning, as one might draw from Elite’s history of early playoff exits, is the tendency to get complacent.  This team, however, hopes to not lose sight of the big picture and its championship aspirations.

Matt was seen walking gingerly towards the parking lot after the game.  When asked where he was headed, Matt replied, “To the bar…because my shoulder hurts, and there are some things in life even a McFlurry can’t fix.”

Maybe not…but winning can.

12:46 am: constemplation
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in a way, i guess, she’s right: i should forget it. but the thing about remembering is that you don’t forget. you take your material where you find it, which is your life, at the intersection of past and present. as a writer, all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come. that’s the real obsession. all those stories…
TIM O’BRIEN, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
11:31 pm: constemplation
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