Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Biggest Fear

Many of you who are close to me know that my biggest fear, without a doubt, is the ocean. I'm not going to lie, I just laughed after typing such a ridiculous sentence. But it is true, sadly. This seems like a really random thing to talk about but I just saw this commercial on TV and it sparked this train of thought.

Seriously, just watching that video makes my heart start beating faster. I have always been scared of the ocean, and through the years I have come up with a few theories for why it is that I am so scared of it. Here is my attempt to rationalize this fear:

Reason #1: The sheer enormity of the ocean. It always blows my mind when I think about how much land there is on earth. A 3 day road trip might cover half of our country. I can't even imagine how much land there is, and guess what? There is 3 times more water than land on Earth. The oceans are HUGE! Just the thought of floating in the middle of something that huge creeps me out.

Reason #2: Not being able to see what is around you. And just think, everything around you is actually underneath you, making you pretty vulnerable. The size of the things swimming around in the ocean are huge and you can't even see them coming!

Reason #3: In the ocean, every human is just completely out of their element. The analogy that I always give to friends who try to ease my fears about the ocean is this. A person floating in the middle of the ocean is just like a fish laying in the middle of a huge desert. Anything in that desert that was in it's element that wanted to eat the fish would do so easily. Same goes for the person in the middle of the water. All it takes is for something that lives in the ocean to want to eat you and then, see ya.

I find myself always defending and trying to rationalize this fear to my friends. It makes for some pretty funny conversations even though I couldn't be more serious. Anyways, very random thought but just wanted to get it up here. Everyone has at least one fear like this, post a comment and say what your biggest fear'll spark some good conversation.

Also, my friends who are running the New York City Half-Marathon appreciate all the donations that they have been getting. They are now up to $3,793!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kings of the Week

After a whirlwind week, I'm back in action. You may notice that the background color of the blog has changed and the idea came to me through Nick Planeta's blog about his father, Steve, who is heroically battling pancreatic cancer. Purple is the official color to promote awareness for pancreatic cancer so I have joined Nick in switching colors. To stay updated with Steve's progress, check in at, and continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.

So since the last time I posted I have had a few new experiences. The first and major one is that I went to a Elton John and Billy Joel concert last Saturday night at Gilette Stadium. When I was asked by a friend if I wanted to join her since she had an extra ticket, I must admit I was a little skeptical. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the music of Elton John and Billy Joel, but mostly only when I am in the car with my mom and their music comes on Magic 106.7. It would be a blatant lie to say that I have ever been an adamant fan of either musician. I did end up going however, (in a gigantic stretch Escalade limo, pictures will be posted soon) and the concert was a blast. The two performed on stage at the same time and their pianos faced each other as they played each other's music and kept a great show going for about 3 hours. I never realized just how many songs of theirs that I am familiar with, but they played hit songs the whole concert, which was great. The traffic leaving Gilette was not so great though, as it took us about 3 hours to get home, but hey, when you're in an Escalade limo, traffic isn't necessarily the worst thing! It was a great experience, one that I am very happy I didn't pass up.

And now time to announce this week's "King of the Week," and this week we have a group of people who will share the title. Five very good friends of mine from high school, Eric Wilson, Ryan Littman-Quinn, Eric Forsythe (not pictured above), Aaron "King Ed" Edelman, and Sam Shoolman (in order from left to right in picture above) are going to run the New York City Half-Marathon on August 16th. This feat would be impressive enough by itself, but they are also running it for the second straight year in order to benefit the American Cancer Society. Last year, they were able to raise over $1,300 in donations to the ACS and this year their goal is to raise $5,500. Last I checked, they have raised $3,143 which shatters their mark from last year and is over half of their desired goal for this year. If you would like to make a donation, please visit their team page at: Any donation at all will help them to reach their goal and, more broadly, help the ACS continue to drive forward in its cancer research that is inexplicably important.

Also, I found a picture of exactly what my sister Shayla's billboard looks like. It is right off 93 heading into Boston and when you drive by it you can't miss it. She loves being a celebrity!

Until next time...

LATE ADDITION* I just saw this video on one of the funny blogs I check everyday and had to put it up here. I have never seen anything like this, pretty funny...hope you like it...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pictures From This Past Weekend

Yesterday was a great day. I went to play softball with the law firm where I have worked the past 3 summers, Bromberg and Sunstein. They have a company softball team that I was a part of while I worked there and they invited me to join them yesterday and it was a great time. I got to see some co-workers of mine that are less of co-workers and more of friends.

I am very excited tonight to see a good group of friends from Colby. Everyone is getting together to welcome our friend who is moving to Boston to attend grad school. I love how my group of friends has succeeded in keeping in touch with each other and trying to get together as much as possible, they are some really great friends and I'm sure the night will be great.

As promised, here are some pictures from this past weekend. Some are of the U.S.-Haiti soccer match and one of my sister Shayla. I hope the weather stays this nice and everyone has a happy and safe weekend. Also, please continue to keep the Planeta family in your thoughts and prayers.
Until next time...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

To The Planeta Family

Earlier this week, I got some news that at first made my heart drop. My college basketball coach e-mailed the team, relaying the information that one of our teammates, Nick Planeta, had heard that his father (pictured above) was recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver and lungs. Over the past four years, Steve Planeta had become an icon of our team, somewhat of a hero. Whenever you would see him after a game he would greet you as if you were family and ask you about how everything was going. Nick told us stories about his dad and we all came to love him through these many encounters and anecdotes.

Steve definitely passed his character and demeanor onto his son, as I can easily say that Nick is the most heartfelt and genuinely kind individual that I have ever met. I first met Nick at Colby basketball camp the summer before our freshman year at Colby. We were both counselors and as his huge 6'7'' frame came toward me I was a little intimidated, but that didn't last very long as I soon came to realize that he didn't have a mean bone in his body. Nick was also my roommate sophomore year and then again senior year and we became very close friends. When I started thinking more about the unexpected news, the more I came to realize that my heart had no need to drop. Of course it is very hard to hear news like that, but Steve and the rest of the Planeta's have a sense of optimism that cannot be matched.

I am no doctor, but I feel sure in saying that with a positive attitude and a good deal of support from family and friends, cancer can be beaten. I have spoken with Nick on a few occasions since hearing the news and he has told me that Steve is in very high spirits and that "most of the time he is around his father, he can't even tell that the man is sick." Steve Planeta is a fighter, there is no doubt about that...just look at the picture above and tell me that that powerful, "I mean business" mustache combined with his history of martial arts training does not easily qualify him as such.

Along with his own personal high spirits and will to fight, I know that Steve has countless people supporting him. It has been a beautiful thing over the past week to see my team members band together and offer their support and prayers to the Planeta family. In my four years at Colby, I certainly felt as though Colby Men's Basketball was a family within the larger Colby community, but being an alumni of the basketball family has really given me a new perspective on just how special of a group these young men are. It really and truly is like another family that you can always depend and rely upon through thick and thin, no matter what.

And of course the Planeta's themselves. Nick's mom, Kathy, is a truly special woman as well. Their unbelievable kindness must have been one of the things that brought Kathy and Steve together, because just being in the presence of the Planeta's puts people at ease and you can't help but to think to yourself "man, what if everyone was as nice as them" when you walk away from an encounter with them. I have only met Nick's sister, Kasey, a few times but something tells me that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Steve has all the tools he needs to put up a strong fight and beat his cancer, but most importantly he has the love and admiration of countless people that will help him through this trying time.

Nick started a blog in order to make it easier for people to stay up-to-date with Steve's progress, whether you have met him or not, definitely check out this blog and you will undoubtedly began to know him through his son's words:

To Steve and the rest of the Planeta family, speaking on behalf of the Colby Men's Basketball family, our thoughts and prayers will most certainly be with you and most importantly, so will our unrelenting and optimistic faith in you. God Bless and we love you.

Until next time...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Great Weekend with Sun Ahead

Wow, what a great weekend! Not only did the weather hold up for the most part, it was also full of first time experiences that were a lot of fun. One of my best friends from high school managed to get some tickets to the U.S. versus Haiti Gold Cup soccer match held at Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots). The match didn't start until 7, but we thought it would be fun to grab some food and some beverages and get there early for some tailgating. We got there around 4 and ate, drank and played some parking lot soccer in the beautiful sun. After the U.S. Haiti game, Honduras was playing Grenada so the parking lot was full of fans for all four teams (well actually, only 3 teams...Grenada fans were nowhere to be seen). People were draped in their countries colors and a group of Honduran fans that were pretty close to us had a HUGE grill set up and brought many instruments including some hand drums and some plastic horns and whistles. Needless to say it was great being close to them because of the spirit that they had and they actually made some pretty good music together as a makeshift band.

We headed inside for the game and our seats were close to the field, and basically right behind one of the goals. The U.S. scored first and the U.S. fan section erupted! We were at the end of the U.S. fan section with some Haitian fans right next to us and all they could do was sit in silence as we celebrated our country's first goal. Right after halftime, the Haitians came out on fire, scoring 2 goals of their own in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Haitian fans next to us went absolutely crazy. The rest of the game was very tense as Haiti held the lead into stoppage time at the end of regulation when the U.S. scored in the very last minute to salvage a tie. I used a whistle that I had purchased in the parking lot and joined in with the rest of the U.S. fan celebration jumping up and down and celebrating while the Haitian section immediately took their seats and planted their faces in their hands in disbelief.

That was the first ever professional soccer game that I attended live and to all the people who have already asked me how it was, I told them that it was the most fun I have ever had at any professional sporting event. No exaggeration, it was awesome. People were so passionate and at the same time I felt a camaraderie between our friends and the Haitian fans sitting close by. I can't really explain where this feeling came from but it was definitely there. I never thought soccer would become a mainstream sport in the United States, but after going to that game, I know it will become huge. It is just 1 or 2 American-born superstars (someone like a LeBron James of soccer) away from catapulting into the spotlight. I would strongly encourage everyone to try to get to a game if you haven't been and experience it for yourself, you will love it.
Yesterday held another first time experience in store for me. For the first time, I got to spend some one-on-one time with my sister Shayla (outgoing Queen of the Week). I picked her up and we went to go see Ice Age 3 together. Shayla is just so adorable. When I got to the house she could not stop running around and wanted her mom to finish doing her hair as fast as possible so we could get our movie trip underway. She practically jumped into her car seat and kept me entertained the entire drive to the movies with stories about daycare and telling me how excited she was to be starting school in the fall. She sat through the whole movie (just one trip to the bathroom) and didn't make a peep, she was so cute and well-behaved. I could not have been a more proud brother as we walked to the car holding hands. She loves her brother and her brother loves her very very much, I can't wait to spend some more time with her as she continues to get older.
It was a great weekend, and I will post some pictures once I get them on my computer. Also, I know I have been doing this a lot, but thank you again to the people who read my blog and offer their feedback to me. It is always great to hear that someone has been reading what you are writing and appreciates or is inspired by it. A few people have told me that they want to start their own blog but don't think they could keep it going for very long. It may sound corny but writing this has really inspired me to try new things and see new places. My posts aren't daily anymore, but in between posts I am always trying to find things I could write about and it really has made me realize not only how lucky I am to have the opportunities that I do, but also how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many people who love and care about me. The soccer game would not have been nearly as fun if I hadn't got to enjoy it with some really close friends of mine and Ice Age 3 just wouldn't have been the same without the company of my sister. So again, thank you very much for your feedback and I hope I can keep coming up with interesting things to write about! Any experiences that you would like to share, just let me know and I will definitely put them up here.
Out to enjoy this sunny, 80 degree weather!
Until next time...

Friday, July 10, 2009


Just returned from a little impromptu fishing trip to Maine yesterday and I can now officially call myself a fisherman! I went to visit my friend Mac who lives in Casco, Maine and we set out on a canoe to a new spot on the lake that he found where he had a lot of success earlier in the week. Within my first 5 casts I felt a bite, set the hook and reeled in a pickerel. I was very happy to have caught my first fish, but I really wanted to catch my first bass. Another 5 casts and there it was! As you can see it wasn't a huge one, but a bass nonetheless. I ended up catching one more bass before we headed back to shore and Mac pulled in about 7 bass altogether, including one that was pretty big, about 3 pounds. It was a great day with beautiful weather, a good friend and my first fish!

Also, my plan to take a road trip is starting to materialize and Mac said he thinks he can join me. We only have two definite stops as of now, New York City and Chicago. If anyone has suggestions for places to go, I would love to hear them.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Gilette Stadium to watch the Gold Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Haiti. I have never been to a professional soccer game before so I am really excited and the fact that I am going with a bunch of high school friends of mine makes it even better.

I am off to start working on my first law school assignment that I received in the mail yesterday, I can't believe I am going to be starting so soon. I am very nervous about starting but a good kind of nervous, let's call it nervous excitement. I will be sure to take some pictures at the game tomorrow and share them on here when I get the chance.

Until next time...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Let's Go, Cel-tics! Let's Go, Cel-tics!!

Yes!! The Celtics made their first big move of the offseason yesterday when they agreed in principle to a two year deal with none other than...Rasheed Wallace! Here is the ESPN video that will get you up to speed on the situation:

'Sheed is all but ours unless he pulls a "Hedo Turkoglu" on us and decides to unexpectedly sign with another team after agreeing to sign with us in principle. Hedo Turkoglu (formerly of the 2009 Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic) agreed in principle to a deal with the Portland Trailblazers, who were desperately seeking a big-time scorer who can create his own shots to work alongside the young core of strong players that they have in Brandon Roy, Greg Oden (whenever he's not injured) and LaMarcus Aldridge. At the last minute, however, Turkoglu re-negged on the deal and instead decided to sign of the Toronto Raptors.

The Turkoglu incident kicked off this year's offseason into fifth gear and the Celtics did not disappoint with aggressively pursuing and signing the 4-time NBA All-Star, Rasheed Wallace (his last all-star appearance coming in 2008). I am really excited about this move which seems to up the ante to the Lakers who just signed the explosive Ron Artest. Rasheed Wallace, who is known for his short temper (often a league leader in technical fouls), also comes with many years experience and playoff success with the Detroit Pistons. I really believe that 'Sheed will tone it down with the help of KG, The Truth and Ray Ray. 'Sheed's passion for winning will be a great addition to the Celtics next season, I can't wait to march back to the NBA Finals and take down the Lakers...their fans are starting to rival Yankees fans in my mind. Enough said.

So before I go, I wanted to show you some pictures of 'Sheed that will definitely fire you up if you consider yourself a C's fan.

And 'Sheed's alma-mater: The University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
Until next time...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fenway Tonight!

So right before I left to go fishing I hear from my friend Adam Choice, whose new blog I told you about in my earlier post today: He told me he had an extra seat to the Sox game tonight, so it looks like I'll be catching the Sox live at the ballpark for the first time in this hopeful 2009 season. Thanks a lot, Choice and I'm starting to believe more in Karma...
...and no, I didn't catch anything today.

Until next time...

Seize the Day!

I hope this morning's sunshine is a reliable indicator of what the rest of this weekend is going to be like. So, remember last week when I told you I got my first ever fishing rod and I was hoping that I could do some serious work with it? Yeah, well I haven't caught any fish with it yet and it's really starting to get to me. I have been fishing Spot Pond in Stoneham, Mass., but today I am going to switch it up and head over to the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, Mass (shown above). As you can see there are 3 places that I can fish at this reservation. I think I am going to start of at the medium sized body of water in the middle, Silver Lake. I have read a few reviews of the fishing at this location and apparently there are bass (largemouth and smallmouth) to be had. I might try some new lures as well, but what it comes down to is the fact that today, I need to catch a fish. I mean, skills like this may come in handy real soon, since the constant rain seems to be signaling some sort of apocalypse. When that time comes, and if I survive, I'm going to need to know how to catch myself some dinner!

In other news, I have recently become addicted to the TV show, Lost. I have heard a lot of great reviews of the show from friends and since being stuck inside, have watched my share of movies so I figured this would be a welcomed change of pace. After watching the first episode, I was hooked. I really like the way there are multiple flashbacks and flash-forwards in the show which not only keep me engaged and interested in the unfolding, mysterious plot, but also each flashback tends to shed light on the personal history of a single character, what their life was like before the plane crash and what kind of personal baggage they have brought with them to the island. I am 5 episodes into the First Season and cannot wait to continue watching. If you have never seen this show, check it out on the next rainy day (probably later tonight...I'm not kidding, more thunderstorms in the forecast). You can watch full episodes for FREE, at:, just click on "Free Episodes" and then "Lost," you can even watch them in HD!

Now, I have to post this video that I saw on another blog, that seriously had me laughing for quite some time. Watching this video once simply does not do it justice, you should watch it a few times to really appreciate how funny this man is and the hilarity of the dance moves that this guy is not only trying to pull off but successfully pulls off as he goes forward at a church service to give his offering.

My favorite parts of this video are his entrance to the front of the congregation, which is just simply magical. Also, starting at 0:09 seconds (you will definitely be able to pick out the part I am referring to) and then his extended exit back to the end of the line which starts at 0:44 seconds (when he finally deposits his offertory envelope) and continues until the end of the video. Black churches seem to always be the target of social mockery because of the preaching voices of their ministers and the verbal interaction that the congregation has with God as they participate in their service, but seriously what church would you rather go to? I'm not making any sweeping religious statements here at all, but I think most of us would rather go to a church that provided some kind of entertainment rather than just sitting the pews with our hands folded politely in our laps. This is what being happy to be alive is all about! Anyways, I just really enjoyed that video and thought I'd share it with you all.

Off to the great outdoors for me, but I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend and the weather can hold up for tomorrow, our great country's birthday. And before I go, another one of my good friends just started up his own blog recently so check it out:! Adam and I played basketball at Colby together for the last 3 years and we played against each other in high school as well. He is a very talented basketball player and also a very bright individual.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Queen of the Week

This week's queen of the week is none other beautiful little sister, Shayla. The picture to the right was taken from ( and is one of two pictures of Shayla that the company is using in a new advertising campaign. Another of Shayla's pictures is on display on a billboard in Inman Square in Somerville, Mass.
Shayla, who is 4 and a half years old, has always been a fan of the camera. Ever since she was little, she loved to have her picture taken and totally loves the attention. I remember when she was littler and I would aim a camera at her, even the camera on my phone and she would stop whatever it was she was doing and pose for a picture with her big, wide smile. She definitely knows that she is cute and hams it up whenever an opportune moment to be photographed strikes. My other little sister Safiya (pictured to the left), who just turned 2 this past March, was supposed to be in the picture with Shayla but didn't find the camera to be as intriguing as her older sister found it to be.

It has been very funny and interesting to watch Shayla and Safiya's relationship as sisters to grow into what it is today. When the news came that she would soon have a little sister, Shayla was very delighted and would always ask in excited anticipation when her new sister was coming. Shayla has been very good about sharing the spotlight, which she loved to have all to herself, and the two of them are inseperable. It is so funny how Safiya will do everything Shayla does no matter what. If Shayla takes of running, Safiya takes off behind her and although she is much slower, still runs as fast as she can, laughing the entire way to reach her sister.

Now that I am living back in Mass., I have gotten to go over to my Dad's house and see them much more often, which has been great. Shayla is getting to the age now where I can take her out to the movies and get to spend some quality time with her. Whenever I am around her, I cannot help but smile because she is just so cute and has brought a light into my life and continues to bring a great amount of joy to my life every day. I can't wait for the day when I can take both her and Safiya out for a day of fun, just the three of us. It warms my heart to know how much Shayla asks about me and how happy she is to see me every time we get to see each other. When I visited them on Father's Day, Shayla and Safiya ran over to the front door when they could sense that I was about to leave and sat in front of the door, refusing to let me go.

So this week's Queen of the Week is my sister, Shayla and I know in her 'thank you' speech she would mention her little sister, Safiya, as the "honorary Queen of the Week." I have gotten a view nominations for this weekly feature and I appreciate them very much, I already have the King/Queen of the week lined up for next week and it is a great one, for sure! Another quick 'thank you' for all of the positive feedback I have been receiving. It is always great to find out that one of my posts really hit home for somebody and that they appreciated it. Keep reading and tell your friends!
And, I'm sorry Red Sox Nation but I have to post this video, before I end this post. I stopped watching the game last night after the Sox were up 4-0 and looked like they had the game in complete control. I was sadly, sadly mistaken. The only reason I am posting this is because today the Sox had a comeback win of their own of the Orioles, beating them 6-5 in 11 innings. Helps to ease the pain, just a little.

Until next time...