Archive for the happy places Category

A New Year, A New Start

Posted in family, Happy New Year, happy places, life with tags , on January 1, 2014 by hendu

First off, I hope that all of you had an enjoyable holiday season.

OK, now that the formalities are out-of-the-way, let’s get down to it.  I have not written a post since mid-March.  It’s really too bad because maintaining a blog was something that I really enjoyed doing.  I enjoyed connecting with a variety of people and I loved that I was able to give readers a glimpse into my world.  I wish I could sit here and explain to you why I stopped.  I don’t think there was one  specific reason but more of a bunch of little things that tended to take up my time.  Maybe it was a little bit of laziness.  Maybe it was a little bit of disinterest.  Maybe a lack of passion.  Whatever it was I felt like it seeped into my life as well.

This past year wasn’t great.  It wasn’t horrible just one that I’d like to move on from.  We lost a grandfather, a grandmother  and a father this year from our extended family.  Losing loved ones is always difficult.  Losing three in a year can wear on people.  Those weren’t the only reason 2013 was less than ideal.  Professionally it wasn’t great.  Now, I still have a job so nothing is that bad, but it just felt like I didn’t get enough satisfaction out of my job that I have in the past.  I still love what I do but for some reason this year just didn’t seem enjoyable.  Maybe it was burnout.  I had a tough time trying to get that work/life balance thing going.  There were times that while I was at work all I could think about was stuff at home and vice versa.  That’s not fair to my family at work or my family at home.  unfortunately it became just a job, and that’s the last thing I wanted to happen.

For some reason, I felt less passionate about things in my life.  I know for a fact that my passion for baseball became misplaced and I do know why.  After three years of coaching three sports at the high school level, this past spring I was done.  Basketball took so much from me.  We had a lousy season.  The varsity won 5 games and my jv team won 0.  0 games.  That tends to make a long season even longer.  I felt like I lost the passion to coach.  That most definitely carried over into the spring and the baseball season.  I’ll be honest with you, I felt I sleep-walked through the season.  Felt like I just went through the motions and I hated it.  Not only do the kids deserve better but I also demand myself to be better.  That’s why one big change has me not coaching basketball this season and I really can’t wait for the baseball season to start.  (BTW, six weeks till pitchers and catchers report for the BoSox and ten weeks till we start our season).  I felt like that lack of passion seeped into other parts of my life.  I felt less excited about football season this year.  It didn’t help that Michigan, UCONN and the NY Giants all had less than stellar seasons.  To me, the games became more like work than enjoyment.  They tended to feel more like “have-to” events then “want-to” events.  That never was the case before.

I think that can all go back to my original point: a lack of passion for the things I love.

It wasn’t all bad though.  I was able to earn and coach my 1st year as a varsity high school coach.  A longtime goal of mine.  Now, it wasn’t in the sport I thought it would be (baseball) but in the unlikely sport of girls soccer.  My passion for coaching came back during this time.  I felt like I fell in love with it all over again and it came from girls soccer!  While not the season I had promised to the girls or had wanted for myself, it was so very rewarding.  We finished with the best record in 10 years.  We had a girl set the single game scoring record.  We had our goalie make 2nd team all conference and I felt that we built a foundation of success that I hope continues into the future.  Even writing this now, I am getting excited about the possibilities come this fall.  The other event that helped me rediscover that passion, the Red Sox run to an improbable World Series win.  I rediscovered my love for the game and for that team.  That Sox team was so much fun to watch play the game.  They played it like kids and not like spoiled millionaires.  You had guys on that team that ate up baseball everyday.  Guys would go to games on their off day.  It just showed to me what you can get out of something if you put 100% of yourself into it.

I know going forward I need to stop worrying about so many little things.  I feel I let the minutia of everyday life put a damper on all the things about life.  I didn’t like that about me.  I didn’t like the way I was around my family.  I felt like I let that attitude get in the way of friendships.  Overall, I just felt that 2013 wasn’t the best year of myself.  I am willing to try to fix these things this year.  Try to rediscover my passion for my job, my family and other outside ventures.  try to let little things slide and enjoy my time off more.  Try to reconnect with longtime friends before they become one-time friends.  Call these what you will.  I’m not saying they are resolutions but just things in my life that I’m not happy with.  I think I need to get back to being what makes me, me.

That includes more blogging so better get used to it :)!!


Not a Bad Day at Work

Posted in coolest jobs, happy places, nbc30 with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by hendu

 I love my job.  I wake up every morning excited about what I do and where I go.  I can’t imagine working anywhere else.  There are days like yesterday though that I am totally thankful for.  How many of you can say that one of your all-time favorite actors came into your workplace?  Thursday I had that opportunity.

Chazz Palminteri and myself in our control room.

Yep, that is Chazz Palminteri posing with yours truly.  He came on our news at 11 to promote his one-man show of “The Bronx Tale” at Foxwoods. 

If you’ve never seen the Bronx Tale, please find a time to watch it.  It is a remarkable movie.  If you like the Godfather trilogy, Casino and other mobster movies, this will become one of your faves.  Even if you don’t enjoy those types, thee is enough in this movie for you to love.  At its core, the movie is about the relationship between a boy and his father and the difficulties of what life throws at you.  I can’t speak anymore highly of a movie. 

He also starred in The Usual Suspects as a cop listening to Verbal’s story of the robbery gone wrong. 

Normally I don’t get worked up over guests on our newscasts.  We’ve had some pretty big stars but this is the first time that I got all giddy over one.  It’s not every day you get to meet one of your favorite actors that starred in two of your favorite movies.  I don’t have many rules in life, but when al that comes together, you gotta get a picture with the man.

What a great guy and what an awesome day.  It was one of the best moments in 11 years working at the station.

I can’t wait to see his play at the Casino in a few weeks.

Yeah, so how was your Thursday???

Bottle It Up

Posted in Avery, baseball, basketball, East Haddam, happy places, spring, summers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by hendu

Man, I wish I could bottle up this past weekend and save it for later in the year.  I know there will be a sat/sun when it’s miserable out and how great would it be to take these two gems out?

The weather was perfect.  Not too hot, no humidity.  Nice breeze off the river and great sleeping weather. 

It started off with my JV team getting its fourth win of the year.  I gotta give these kids a lot of credit.  Considering that we only have 6 or 7 kids at practice, they come out on game day ready to go.  It helps that the reinforcements that come down from the varsity play just as hard knowing that these 7 strictly JV kids need them to perform well.  It has been a blast coaching them so far, and to be honest have exceeded my expectations already.  Of course, I’m greedy now and want even more success for them.

The rest of Saturday involved a lot of lying around and relaxing.  Something that was much-needed.  We were able to eat outside for the first time.  The night wrapped up with our first trip of the season to the local ice cream shop.  It can be dangerous to have one within walking distance but the giant Oreo ice cream sandwiches are soooooo worth it.

Working this shift you tend to forget what a great night’s sleep is.  It’s impressive what sleeping from 10-7 back-to-back nights can do for ya.  In two weekend nights I got as much sleep as I normally get in almost a week.  Is that healthy???

Sunday could not have been better.  It was cool enough in the morning to mow the lawn then the afternoon was sunny and breezy enough to spend outside playing in the yard.  Once she got used to the feel of the grass, she loved crawling around in it.  I think this girl will love the sun and grass, just wait till we get her to a beach. 

All in all, a great weekend. 

Now what does it say about me that it was this good even with the Celts and Sox losing all four games they played??  It never even got to me. 

I know, I’m scared too!

The Grind

Posted in 24, Avery, football, happy places, television with tags , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by hendu
Boy, last week was long.  It had been a while since I worked a five-day week and it was tough.  I got spoiled by those three and four-day weeks.  I don’t know how people do it. 

Ahhhhh, Aruba

I think I want to become a professional vacationer.  People can hire me to take their vaca’s a week ahead of time and I can research what places to eat or see.  It could be a great thing. 

Thought I was golden after the Jets game on Saturday, then all my predictions went downhill.  I never took into account the fact that the Eagles and Patriots wouldn’t show up for their game.  Silly me, I thought the NFL playoffs were a big deal.  I guess those two teams are bored with making it every year.

That loud noise you heard and the smoke you smell is coming from the wreckage that was the “Jay Leno Show.”  I think “crash and burn” will now be replaced by “lenoing”.  What a train wreck.  I have an idea for NBC brass:  local news for an hour at ten, Leno form 11-11:30 and Conan at his normal time slot.  Hell, it can’t be as bad as before (at least I hope not.)

Saturday was the six-month mark and what did we do to celebrate:  we gave Avery her first taste of real food.  For the record it was carrots and she loved them. 

The bad thing about this week:  American Idol starts.  Now I’m stuck hearing about this gawd-awful show till May.  Good god I want to stab out my eardrums with a q-tip!!!  Good thing Jack is back on Sunday!!!!

Another Year Passed

Posted in family, happy places with tags , , on September 16, 2009 by hendu

I was thinking this morning driving in.  That’s one of the benefits commuting at 3am.  No cars and a half hour of free time.  Just me and my thoughts.  So like I said I was thinking what’s gone down in the past year.  As I was going through all the highlights, it came to me:  It was a pretty damn good year.

September: Got to celebrate my wonderful wife’s 30th birthday.  Also got my first set of UConn tix that led to three more years of games with great friends.

October: Was able to watch my youngest brother’s last high school soccer season.  A couple great friends got hitched to each other.  Seeing the Celts hang #17 in the rafters.  Went to Aruba with Nikki to celebrate her birthday only to come home with a greater gift.arubas1216638147_423917_6751656

November: Found out we were going to be parents.  Really no more you could ask for.

December:  Was able to tell both sides of the family in person about the pending addition.  It was really cool to see all the reactions.  That really was the best present.

January:  Spent a nice long weekend with the fam in the Poconos.  Went skiing for the first time in years and realized how much I missed it. 

February:  Nothing really big sticks out here, but it’s the worst month of the year.  I guess the best thing is it lasted only 28 days.  God, I hate this month.

March:  The start of Spring and baseball.  Everything just seems better during this month.  I always look forward to our first High School practice and what led to a really fun year.s1171934806_488221_1898174

April:  I think this was the month we finally found out the sex of Avery.  the big thing that stuck out was the crazy amount of practices we had because of all the rainouts and cancellations.  Boy, was my team ready for anything.  My oldest brother met a great girl and I have never seen him happier.6660_562037640389_48807370_33259291_3339773_s

May: Even though it was a rough month of work, to find out I survived the round of cuts was a huge relief.  A lot of really good employees lost jobs, but in a very selfish way, it felt great not to be one of them.  Even though, for a brief moment the thought of a change in careers crossed my mind.  I’m thrilled with sticking it out.

June:  The month of showers.  Both weather and baby.  Yea, it was really rainy but we got hooked up with all that we needed.  Very blessed to be in such a gret family and to have awesome friends.  A rough ending to our season, but I’ll remember the four years we had with those kids.  516725752_6v4AV-S-2They became the winningest and most succesful group of baseball players to pass through our school.  They set the bar for all other student athletes to attain too.  My step-dad was able to retire from the force and let me tell ya, retirement suits him to a tee.  Watching my youngest brother graduate high school.

July:  Wow, what a month.  5360_1198159792109_1171934806_586270_3351464_sBaby born.  Family reunion.  New building debut.  Two more friends getting married. 5889_1189942864697_1112121100_30596535_3212462_s5535_104681747830_722152830_2345403_1321053_s5213_1191951007066_1477125088_509714_585206_s0803091559 All in a matter of a week and a half and all lived up to expectations.  One of the best two week stretches in my life and one I will always remember.  Being able to play golf all the time with my oldest brother.  He may not realize it, but I love being out on the course with him, just playin’ and talkin’.

August:  Getting used to being a Dad.  Introducing Avery to all our friends.  Knowing that if Nikki and I were able to get through that rough stretch, anything is possible and nothing could come between us.

September:  Sending my youngest and last brother off to college.  The start of another football season with UConn season tix.  Another year in the books with the hope of another great one around the bend.

All in all, a pretty damn good year.  Not a lot of drama.  I’m sure a few things happened that slipped my mind.  Really can’t complain too much.  It’s a good life with good friends and good family.  8526_133919388076_566863076_2475971_4574100_n

Falling in Love, Again

Posted in Avery, family, happy places, Nikki with tags , , , on September 15, 2009 by hendu

I thought that once I met Nikki, s566863076_1030603_5381that was it.  I had found my one love. 

Then, Averyavery came along and I discovered a whole new level of love.

Then, yesterday happened.  A new love entered my life.  With beautiful dark and tanned skin, a gorgeous shape and makes me feel oh so comfortable.  I feel that Avery and I can lay with her for hours.  What’s nice is, I am alone with her for a few hours before Nikki gets home.  The best thing, Nikki is fine with it.  She’ll sit with me for hours watching all sorts of sports and never complain.  I don’t know where she has been my entire life but I am head-over-heels happy that she is here to stay.   Ya wanna met her????  Well here she is:

She's a beaut!!

She's a beaut!!

Youth Revisited

Posted in baseball, happy places, memories, summers with tags , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by hendu

Ever sit back and daydream about your childhood? 

About long summer days with no cares in the world? 

How going back to school was the most stressful thing you ever had to go through.

Since these next two weeks are filled with happy parents and upset kids, it got me thinking a bit:  What were your favorite childhood games? 

To be 100% honest, a facebook post by one of my current baseball captains set my wheels in motion.  He posted a video on “Four Square” that you can see here: , and one on “Kickball” that I found here:

Kickball was where it was at. Never played much four square.   My personal favorite though:  Wiffleball. 

Hours upon hours of wiffleball.  We would start at 10am and go through till you couldn’t see the ball anymore.  Every summer we completely tore up our friends yard(much to his Mom’s chagrin.)  When it got too hot, we rode our bikes to the lake and our rope swing.  There we would cool off and probably put our lives at risk more than once.

We took the game seriously too.  Kept stats.  Had all-time records.  Everyday someone fought over a disputed out call or home run.  We modified our bats with electric, duct, grip or any other kind of tape. 



We all had our trusty sticks and we took great care of them.  We were, in a word, obsessed.

For years that was my summer:  wiffleball, swimming, riding bikes and more wiffleball. 

To this day, I still look for houses with a yard big enough to have a wiffleball field in.  I think it is the last part of me that still holds on tight to my youth.