Well, it’s that time of the year again… the end. 2018 has come and gone and 2019 is just a few hours away, and let me just say, it’s been a banner year (insert adequate amount of sarcasm). Justin Timberlake released an album that no one listened to, a British prince married the girl from “Suits”, and Saudi Arabia gave women the right to drive, which they continue to refer to as “progress”. However, even after all of that, some people had a pretty rough year.
It's kind of become common place on social media to declare that the coming year will be better than the previous. I first remember seeing this trend as we approached the end of 2015. But when the much anticipated “Batman vs. Superman” film was less than stellar, topped with the deaths of David Bowie, Carrie Fischer and a number of other beloved celebrities, people looked to 2017. Then when 2017 didn’t fare much better, it was all about 2018, and now, not so surprisingly, people are all too ready to welcome 2019.
Maybe you’re one of the people who are looking to rip off your 2018 rearview mirror and drive on into 2019 with some hope of self-improvement. If that’s you, then keep reading, and if that’s not you, then keep reading.
History is full of great quotes, with even greater stories to go along with them. One such quote I ran across this week was the story of Union General John Sedgwick. During the Battle of Spotsylvania (I know, that sounds made up, but it is a very real place). General Sedgwick was quoted as saying, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance” in reference to confederate soldiers that were roughly 800 yards away.
This quote by itself is fairly lackluster, I understand that. However, what makes this noteworthy is the fact that it was almost immediately followed by General Sedgwick getting shot in the face by the aforementioned confederate soldiers.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit a church while I was on vacation. The service was different, but not unusual except for one thing. About halfway through the pastor’s sermon, an amber alert started being sent out to everyone’s cell phone. Now, if you’ve never had the pleasure of receiving an amber alert, let me fill you in: You receive a message, that usually appears much like a text, giving information such as the name of the missing child, where they we last seen, and a description of the vehicle they might be in. However, instead of using your text ringtone, you are startled with a frightening noise I can only describe as being similar to the “most annoying sound in the world” Lloyd makes in “Dumb and Dumber” (look it up, it’s a great scene). It’s the most startling, unnerving, and haunting sound you’ve ever heard, and EVERYONE got the alert, all at different times, ALL at full volume. No joke, this went on for about thirty minutes.
If you are a Cleveland Indians fan, your fondest memory is probably watching Jake Taylor bunt, allowing Willie Mays Hayes to score the winning run of the World Series. An event only overshadowed by the fact that that was the ending to the 1989 blockbuster “Major League.”
The other, and more real, major event, being the time that a player crawled through a ceiling to retrieve a bat.
The story goes that during the second game of a four game series against the Chicago White Sox, White Sox manager Gene Lamont was tipped off that Indians’ batter Albert Belle was using a corked baseball bat. Under the rules of Major League Baseball, a manager may challenge one opponent's bat per game. Lamont challenged Belle's bat with umpire Dave Phillips, who confiscated the bat and locked it in the umpires' dressing room to be analyzed after the game.
Indians’ manager Mike Hargrove, knowing that the bat was most likely corked, was quite worried. But relief pitcher Jason Grimsley knew exactly what to do, and it wasn’t to sit tight and let things play out.
Do you remember the scene at the beginning of “Return of the Jedi” where Luke is about walk the plank, and be forced into the Sarlacc pit, but last minute he spins around grabs the plank, throws himself back up and then goes hog wild with the lightsaber? If you don’t, just read the question again, but this time more as a statement.
Are you all caught up? Good, so one day I’m at the public pool, enjoying life, when suddenly I find myself on the diving board (for a more accurate mental picture, I’m wearing a Power Ranger life jacket, but that’s not as important). I’m trying to figure out what sick move I’m going to do, and I’ve got it narrowed down to a front flip and a cannon ball. Now if I do the front flip, there’s a ninety percent chance I’m going to hit the water with my back and that normally stings, but my cannon ball wasn’t the tsunami inducing force it is today. And then it hit me. Luke. Skywalker.