26 October 2007

So little time

Seems I have two wildly busy seasons anymore, with a whole lot of generic, though generally manageable, busy-ness the rest of the time. May is one of those periods: coaching two girls softball teams with games every night of the week, while coordinating the scheduling for the whole league, and at work I'm hiring and training our new summer rangers and shepherding in another busy summer season.

That other crazed season is right now. Though visitation is down at the park - October 15th usually marks the day that our numbers fall off the table - and winter's rain started in earnest late last week, our staffing is also down with the departure of the last summer ranger. Our winter ranger's hiring has been stalled due to bureaucratic foot shooting which, as of October the first, requires all new hires to clear a background check before they step behind the desk, a process that could take up to a month After all, we wouldn't want al quaeda operatives staffing our quiet visitor centers in the dead of winter. (Actually that wouldn't bother me as long as they don't call in sick on weekends and can properly count out the cash register at the end of the day.) For me, it's means more time hanging out at the VC than in my office (not always a bad thing) and trying to sensitively juggle the lonely desk time of the other permanent rangers here.

October is a two sport season for me as well. I'm in the last month of the soccer season with my under-10 traveling team, and just beginning practices for the middle school basketball team. Now, instead of sneaking out of work twice a week for soccer, I'm stealing away at 2:30 or 3:00 every day for one or the other team, whilst trying to keep up a respectable presence at work so I don't piss off the bosses or my coworkin' friends.

Speaking of soccer, our girls beat the league powerhouse yesterday 4-3. Yes, the team that went 0-9 last year with a goal differential around 7, the very same team that had gone 1-6-2 so far this season, knocked off a team that hasn't lost a game in two years. We found ourselves down 1-0 barely a minute into the game as our cross-bay rivals stormed our goal before our kids even realized they'd kicked off. It was 2-0 maybe 3 minutes later when our fullback tipped the ball into her own goal in an shotblocking attempt. And then suddenly it was 3-0 off a penalty kick forced by our other fullback raising a hand to block a shot in the goal box.

But the valiant Thunder eight charged back scoring on a penalty shot of their own just before the half. Beautiful passing and timely runs knotted the score at 3 a few minutes into the second half. Then, with 10 minutes remaining, a mid-field kick, intended as a pass but which became a shot, rolled painfully slowly under and past their falling keeper, its forward momentum sapped mere inches across the goal line for the game winner. The last 10 minutes were a flurry of runs and charges and shots as our opponents pulled out everything to avert their loss. Several great saves by our own keeper and a few direct kicks off the chests and faces of our own girls closed out the game...a most satisfying victory for these beautiful little 9 year old girls (not to mention their long-suffering coaches and parents). I should mention they were almost as thrilled by the homemade caramel apples post-game as they were by the win.

Ah, but back to the time crunch. On top of girls' sports and work, the baseball playoffs keep my ass firmly settled in the family room chair when I'm not on a field or in the VC. The Rockies have forgotten how to lose. And the Red Sox figured out a clever way to lose game 2 of their series. There are more games coming with at least another 3 games in AL, and perhaps only 1 in the NL. Then there's the World Series. And me and the Mrs still have to watch the last two episodes of the first season of 24!

I haven't been to the mouth of my creek in maybe three weeks. The rain, the trip to Arizona, work, meetings, annual stats, performance reviews, basketball, soccer, life, kids, dentists, have all conspired against me. Winter is here. We had two-and-a-half inches of rain last Wednesday so by Friday the mouth of the creek had burst open to the sea. More rain last night with a forecast of continuous wet through the end of this week. Perhaps this afternoon I can sneak out between showers to check things out. Perhaps, instead of writing this pointless screed I could've been walking out there by now.

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