Valleyfair Picking Up
Well for a while there, it was a tough time at Valleyfair. I was feeling like I really didn’t belong there anymore, which I probably don’t… I mean, I am like four years older than everyone else. But the last few days of work have been very encouraging, even though I found out I am pretty much slated for the outer full-time for the next few weeks. I didn’t expect to be in the area very often, but once or twice over a three-week span would have been kind of nice. But I’ve pretty much made the outer my home and that’s fine. Some of the co-workers who have stood out recently include rookies Andrew Meyer and Igor Cyran. Just about every day I have invigorating conversations with them. Also, names like Alison Mishur, Tessie Nelson, Krista Sullivan, Neal Colford, Neil Plekkenpol, Tom Clasby, and Kevin Partyka have been nice to work with. Not that I dislike working with anyone, but those people have stood out over the last few days. I’m also realizing how my hours have gone down lately. I only put in 32 last week after going home for that wedding. This week hasn’t been much better, and next week I’ll be off four straight days.

Chris, Amanda Visit Cities
Remember that old roommate of mine from DSU, Chris Ahrendt? We haven’t heard much from him lately, but he did make a brief appearance here in Burnsville this week. Chris and his girlfriend of two years, Carol Irvin, were in town to take in Valleyfair. Chris stayed with us here at the apartment Thursday night while Carol’s parents suggest she stay at a hotel. It was very late when Chris arrived, so their visit was brief. But he and Carol used a couple of my free passes and visited the park Friday. I came into work around 4 and ran into them on their way to the waterpark. Since I was also on my way out there, we walked and chatted for a few more minutes, but again time was a factor. The two departed after their stay at the park and were back home late Friday night. Long before Chris ever arrived, Amanda Geditz was in town for a two-day stay. She had consecutive days off from DQ, and what better way to spend free time than here in the metro area? She arrived Wednesday after we got home from work. Thursday after I got off work, we made a trip out to the Mall of America where we ate supper at my all-time #1 restaurant, Famous Dave’s. I salivate just thinking about it. Amanda thought I was nuts as I sampled all the BBQ sauces with a knife while waiting for my food to arrive. After devouring the meal, we went to the new Tom Cruise movie War of the Worlds. It was okay, nothing too great. It had its moments. Friday afternoon before work, we went out to eat again and looked for a random restaurant. Well, we found a random one. We decided on Bililmbi Bay, a Hawaiian place in Apple Valley. I had some weird rum BBQ mango chicken sandwich which was actually very good. Amanda then left when I left for work.

Random Stories | Today’s Topic: Me Becoming Angry in Intramural Sports
When there aren’t competent officials on the field/court when I’m playing sports, things usually don’t go well for me. Intramural sports are meant to be more fun than competitive, but somehow, I tend to take things too far and throw a tantrum. I would say that more often than not, I am on a bad team and we get beat bad every game, and I end up getting angry. While I’m known to be very laid back in everyday life, things get a bit more heated when my dignity is on the line. Here are the four worst stories of me becoming irate in intramural sports. These made me mad just typing them.

4. It was 2002, and the Valleyfair intramural softball league was well underway. One day, the two Games teams played each other in an exhibition game when weather cancelled the real games. There was the Wolfpack, Justin Springer’s team of all the best players; and there was Yellow Snow, Luke Katuin’s team of the next tier of players, which I was on. Springer was always a good friend, but when he stepped on the softball field, he was there to win. In this exhibition game against friends, Springer hit a slow grounder to short, where one of our girls was unable to throw him out. Springer didn’t stop at first. He made a big turn for second, knowing our female middle infielders would never be able to catch him in a rundown. After reaching second, he took off for third, where we threw the ball away and Springer scampered home. The Wolfpack were blowing us out, 20-0 or something. The next inning I singled and took third on a hit. Already angry with Springer laughing it up in the field, Patrick Lynch hit a grounder to short. Liz Burke fielded and fired home, where I was bound and determined to score, only Ben Volberding was standing right in my way. I dove head-first into him, jarring the ball free. I scored, but my face went straight into Ben’s baseball cleets, and my face was bleeding profusely. Liz Shaw and Angie Crow led me to a water fountain where they dug the dirt out of my wounds. We lost 25-1 or something like that.

3. The Valleyfair softball league may still be going today, but after bad behavior from numerous teams and players in the ’03 season, the league was cancelled. Phys Plant, Security, and Waterpark teams were constantly bickering with each other and the umps. Our bad games team, The Greatest Team Ever Assembled in the History of the Universe in Any Sport, wasn’t much better. There was an awful Human Resources girl who was constantly on my case about everything, at work or away from work, and she stood and observed every game very carefully for inappopriate behavior. She was there for one reason only, and that was to act big and look like she was in charge. One game, our terrible team was losing thanks to some very sloppy defense. As the pitcher, I was throwing strikes and the Waterpark team was hitting pop-ups and easy grounders, but our defense failed us every time. Finally, after I caught a pop-up and was personally was responsible for recording all three outs in the half inning, I angrily threw my glove at the fence, only to have this HR girl leap out of her seat and get in my face. “That kind of behavior is not acceptable! You can go home if you’re going to act like that!” she screamed. I stared her down and took my seat on the bench while teammate Dan Martin picked up the argument as our team lost 30-0.

2. In DSU intramural basketball freshman year, our fourth floor team consisted of me, Brandon Hanson, Eric Bischke, Nick Youngworth, Kevin Forshey, Sheldon Schwab, and Nalo Cabuyaban. We thought we had a decent team, but a team of cocky upperclassmen were destroying us one night. With under two minutes to play, the score was 125-30. They wanted to beat us by 100, and I was bound and determined to not let them. As the clock ticked down, I hit a layup to make it a 98-point game and keep it from being a 100-point loss. The other team had one last chance to score. I stormed down the court and tried to block their shot, but one of their cocky guys, laughing all the while, literally tripped me and then stepped on my neck while his teammate ran around me for the layup as the buzzer sounded, giving them the 100-point win. They all were laughing and celebrating on the sidelines with the ref, no less, when I got up and jumped in their faces, yelling a stream of profanities. Nalo pulled me away as some of them started talking back. Oh, good, a team full of actual DSU basketball players won over some freshmen by 100 points. That’s really a lot of fun.

1. I’ve never been quite as angry as the time our Valleyfair volleyball team was playing in 2003. A good friend of mine, Sara Sorell, was the ref, but friend or not, I was sick of her bad calls. Every time I touched the ball I was called for a lift. The first couple were legitimate. My hands probably weren’t together like they’re supposed to be. But after that I made damn sure to have my hands in the proper position. Still, every time I touched the ball, the whistle blew and I was called for a lift. After the ninth lift of a single match, I lost my cool and stormed over to Sara and got in her face. She told me I was still hitting with my palms up. I kicked sand at her and left the game, causing my team to forfeit. “Ryan, get back here!” yelled my teammates. But I had had enough.

Thank God this year at DSU I played on some very good intramural teams. With all our winning, I was never tempted to get angry. Remember back to an earlier Log, I mentioned that I at one point had lost 50 consecutive intramural sports games between Valleyfair and DSU. So our championship co-ed softball team and runner-up men’s softball team helped things immensely.

Well that’s all I have for today. I’m about to go to work here on Sunday afternoon until midnight. Tomorrow, the 4th of July, will also be spent at work. I open, but after 5 I’m off for the day. What I’ll do, I have no idea. Carpenter Bash is just five days away!