Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Update!

I said I'd post once a week, but clearly that is not going to happen.

My life is laughably boring at the moment.  I've been substitute teaching at my mom's school just about every single day then sitting at my parents' house or my condo.  My car is still not running so I don't go out even that often.  I've been staying in shape, but I haven't done any weightlifting which is not good because this is the time of year that I really need to be trying to build strength to avoid injuries in 2013.

There is literally no news for me soccer-wise and that makes me really nervous.  This time last year, I had a team in Allsvenskan telling me that I was 50/50 to be in their plans for next season.  I also had Haka saying that they would for sure make an offer to me.  Even though neither of those actually came to fruition in the preseason of 2012, they did give me a lot of comfort at this time last year.  This winter though I haven't heard anything from anyone soccer-related in the last six weeks.

A few months ago I sent my agent here in America an email telling him what I was hoping to achieve this offseason and where I preferred to play in 2013 and beyond.  I won't get into which teams/leagues I wrote about, though I will say that there was quite a bit of ambition in some of the requests.  Others were more measured, but there is no question that I think of myself as a player who can play in some leagues that probably nobody else outside of my family thinks I can play in.  My agent's response was something to the extent of, "That shit cray...but I'll see what I can find."  That was a long time ago and since then I've not had a single conversation with my agent or the agents who I have worked with so closely in Finland and Sweden.  I don't think for one second that they are ignoring me (well, the guy in Sweden might be) but it is still not great to not hear anything a month before all these leagues start preseason.  Fall-Spring leagues have the transfer window close in 5-6 weeks and that is not a lot of time to identify and evaluate a player enough to sign him.  However, I don't envision myself playing in a fall-spring league in 2013 anyway so I'm not too concerned.

In life news, I've got absolutely nothing to report, but I am going to post some pictures I've taken in the past couple weeks.  Not much has gone on since I've essentially become an average working joe over the past month or so.  The pictures are pretty cool though I think so I'll post them.

Just barely made it into the garage of the condo!

Amani in the bathroom.

My substitute classroom decorated by yours truly.

My mom and I outside her classroom.  She did a bit more decorating than me.

My sister and I.  She's wearing floral pants, but apparently I'm the one without style...

Trying to give Amani a kiss.  She's not having it!


Lucas Oil Stadium, home of my hometown Colts.  It's right in the middle of the city.  I took this picture from in front of the post office.

The "Christmas Tree" that is in the very center of the city.  The building in the background is the tallest in Indiana I think and I have no idea what its purpose is.
 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Year Abroad in Pictures

Hey guys and gals.

I really haven't had much to talk about since I've been back in America.  I want the blog to keep going though, so I'm promising from here on out that I will post at least once a week until I starts trials/sign with a new club next year.  From that point forward I'll resume my normal schedule of 2-3 posts a week.

I've been pondering doing this post for a few months now and I'm happy to do it.  It's more for me than for you to be honest, but I think you still might enjoy it especially if you've followed me for 6+ months.  This will be a picture post like the ones I have put up from my vacations.  However, the pictures come from the entire time I've been writing the blog.  They start in February and go straight through my last days in Valkeakoski.  I won't put up any photos from my vacations, but instead try to kind of tell the story of my season with just photos.  I'll try to put the pictures in order, but no promises.  Normal photos first and game photos at the end.  Without further delay...my season abroad in picures.






My contract with ESK is signed.




Ok maybe just one photo from my vacation to London.







 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Home Indiana

I bet you all thought I was never coming back.

 

I’m back in America, and damnit it feels good.  Home is exactly how I remember it: cold and boring.  As such I haven’t had much to say.  Pretty much I’ve just settled into my same routine as last year when I was home.  I just rent video games and watch tv all day.  I’ve only started running again this week and I am once again in TERRIBLE shape.  I didn’t run one step between the last game with Haka until this week.  I don’t mind being out of shape at the moment though, since I have 6-10 weeks before I start preseason again.

 

The reason that the window between now and preseason is so large is that I have no idea where I’ll be playing next year.  I have my main agent in America, but also an agent in both Sweden and Finland and I haven’t heard anything for next year yet.  I’m not antsy or anything, I’m just saying that we haven’t spoken about 2013 yet.  I’ve made it relatively clear to each of them where I want to play next year, but beyond that it’s up to them.  I’m willing to play just about anywhere so hopefully they’ll have something for me sooner rather than later!

 
 have something for me sooner rather than lat
they' to play next year, but beyond that it' Finland and I haven' rBaBack to regular life.  For those that care, I’m moving into a condo this week and for the first time I will be living alone in Indianapolis.  It’s actually a condo that my dad owns, but nobody’s living there so I’m claiming it.  Maybe it’s a bit sad that I’ve lived the winters with my parents every winter since I graduated, but oh well that’s life.  I can blame the economy, right? J  Really though, the economy pretty much put the dagger in the heart of the newspaper industry which is where I would be most qualified to work with my degree in journalism.  As a result, I’ve had to work a series of odd jobs over the past winters that make playing soccer for low pay not seem like such a bad profession.  I’ve been a door-to-door cable salesman, a door-to-door window salesman, a “picker” in an Amazon.com warehouse and a substitute teacher which is what I’ll do again this winter.  Those jobs don’t even include the summer of 2010 when I quit Crystal Palace Baltimore and moved home not knowing if I’d ever play professionally again.  That summer I went to bartender school and then worked as a car salesman for two months.  But that’s all in the past; The point is that I am moving to a place of my own and I’m happy about that.  I love my family, but maybe it’s better to be a few miles away rather than under the same roof.

Me with my niece and nephew, who clearly aren't as excited as I am.
 

You might be interested to know that I’ve been recruited to be a ringer in my local indoor soccer league.  My best friend invited me to play and I’ll be starting that sometime this week.  Maybe I can win some silverware this winter!  Jokes aside though, it’ll be good to actually touch a ball and play some competitive games, no matter the level.  Last winter I didn’t even see a soccer ball for the entire three months I was in America.  I might also join a basketball league just to get a different type of fitness.  If I manage to save a bit of money from working as a sub teacher, then I’ll head down to Tampa to train with some people who I know down there.  Right now, I don’t have the money to stay anywhere that costs money, but I know how important it is to get training in before I head back across the pond so I’ll find a way to make it happen.

 

That’s about it.  My life in America is more fun for me, but far less interesting for you readers.  I’ll try to be more consistent with my blog posts than I’ve been so far, but honestly if I don’t have anything to say then I’m not gonna post anything.  See ya!

 

The meme:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vacation: Essaouira and Casablanca

Sorry I missed yesterday.  I was terribly sick and in the bathroom at Celia's house all day.  I won't say any more on that because I'm sure you don't care.  Now, I'm back in Finland for a few days before I head home to Indianapolis in America.

The next photoset is from our one day in Casablanca and Essaouira.  We had a good time in those two places, particularly Essaouira.  It was just nice to get out of Marrakech which I didn't like at all.  No more talking, on to the pictures!


on the bus to Essaouira
Essaouira souks

from the top of the old fortified city


Me with my Neven Subotic jersey on.
Mosque Hassan II, Casablanca



Place Muhammed V Square

video
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vacation: Marrakesh

I'm back in London after a lengthy Moroccan vacation with Celia.  The trip was fun, and I'm self-aware enough to know that absolutely nobody cares about the details of the trip.  People do seem to love pictures and videos though, so I'll post dozens of those over the next few days.  I visited five cities and spent a half day in the mountains, so I'll cover those over the next 3-4 days.  I'll make up for not posting for 10 days by posting something each of the next few days.

The first photo/video set will be from Marrakesh.  This was by far my least favorite of the places we visited.  Marrakesh is a great city, but it is filled with hustlers and people looking to bother you or rip you off at every turn.  There seems to be no place in that city that a tourist can go and not be hounded to buy a souvenir or meal at a restaurant or a taxi.  In addition, Marrakesh was the first city we visited and our naivety was exploited.  Taxi rides were about €4-7 each in Marrakesh, where we agreed to a price before we got in.  In every other city, the taxi drivers simply turned on the meter and we never had to pay over €1.50 for a taxi again.  The same ripoffs happened to us with our first dinner and first purchase in the shops.

That's all I care to talk about Marrakesh.  If you want to know more then there's a thousand ways to do so.  The last thing I'll mention is that we stayed all but one of our nights in various riads, which are centuries-old houses in the old town of cities that have been redone into B&Bs.  The riads were very nice and I'd recommend them to anyone going to Morocco.  However, they are often in sketchy looking areas.  Even though there is absolutely no danger in Moroccan cities, it feels very dangerous because of the narrow streets of the old town terrible lighting.  Now on to the photos!  A couple videos at the bottom too.

My first purchase.

The main square.

Stop!



Marjorelle Garden


Celia just HAD to test the cactus.




The Royal Theatre

some sort of tombs

main square at dusk

twenty minutes later

Eating a snail.  Sorry buddy.

These dicks tried to charge us €50 for this picture.  We gave them €3, which was still too much.

Kotoubia Mosque


what a stud.

train station

Royal Theatre again

Menara

Dinner at the riad.
video
video