Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sammy Days

It was brought to my attention by, well, me that my last post had a lot of simple errors. This is why it now appears as a new post in case any of you loyal readers were confused.

HAPPENINGS: I got a chance to catch the last half of the Gator football game this weekend. It was a fun time at our dear friends, Brian and Sue's, apartment. There we were, four UF alumni and a dog named Three-Hole Punch, cheering on our Gators from the opposite side of the country. I felt like I was back in Gainesville for a little bit, and it was nice. Three-Hole Punch peed twice in the apartment that night. I think she was just really happy about the win, and so were we.

I slept till 1:30 PM today, something I have not accomplished in a long time, possibly since high school when I would often take what my brother and I refer to as "Sammy Days" (much needed and deserved self-appointed days off or half-days from school which I suddenly feel the need to go into further later in this post). I am not sure. I cannot specifically recall the last time this happened. It was shocking and strange to see those numbers on the clock. Immediate feelings included disgust and shame, which later in the day slowly turned into self-satisfaction and ultimately pride. This might explain why I am still awake and writing this blog at midnight when I have work tomorrow.

Oh Sammy Days! In case you don't know me very well, "Sammy" comes from my last name and was a nickname that my brother and I both had in our respective high school years (although him more than I). Some people didn't even know my brother's name was Brian (since everyone called him Sam so much), while Sammy was mostly just the name people called me when I was playing sports since it was easier to say than my full last name when I was getting yelled at on the court/field. Anyway, the Sammy Day was invented by him sometime around 9th grade. I believe it was officially named years later, closer to when I would begin to use it as my own. A Sammy Day would be taken when stress began to build at school. In high school, my brother (who is four years older than me) and I both played almost every sport, we participated in lots of extra curricular activities, and we both made good grades. I don't remember what time school started, but I remember having to wake up at about 6:20 AM every morning (and I did NOT primp...I cannot stress that enough). There were mornings when I would wake up and be in the car in under a minute. With a busy schedule, late nights socializing, and staying late at sports practices/games, I would need breaks. Here is how it would work for my brother for his four years and then for me for my mine:

NIGHT BEFORE: Tell mom I am really tired, and not really feeling well. It didn't take much. We always knew she understood that we were taking on a lot, and we were smart enough not to let it affect our grades.

REALLY LATE NIGHT BEFORE: Make sure mom calls the school office. My mom is from Puerto Rico, and in case you don't know, that means she stays up really late. She would call the office and say I would not be coming to school the next day. This ensured that no questions would be asked since no one was there to take the call. Also, the late night phone call would make it sound more convincing, like I really was sick.

DAY OF: Sleep as long as possible. I think my record was 3:00 PM. Usually it was more like noon. I would eat some yummy food, watch daytime TV, maybe take a trip to the DQ down the street. It was never time wasted. I really made it a point to actually relax and savor the time I had that no one else did. It was almost like I need to take time off when no one else could or else I would always be tempted to be a part of whatever else was going on.

AFTER SCHOOL: I would definitely make it in if there was a practice of some sort, but if there was nothing going on, I would maybe go to the gym and work off the DQ before I grabbed some dinner.

A Sammy Day was never taken on a test day and certainly never taken on the day of a game (since you were not allowed to play if you were not there for at least half of the day). I probably averaged about one or two Sammy days each month. This may seem like a lot, but it felt perfect to me. My grades never suffered, and I was always rested if I really needed to be. It may sound irresponsible of my parents to allow something like this, but I think they just really knew what we needed, and I would be happy to work something like this out with my kids someday. If I change my mind about this, however, I may erase this blog.

THOUGHTS: We got to talking about cruises. Are they a good idea and why? I think there is much to be said on both ends.

Pro Cruise:
*the ports
*tropical drinks (acceptable for men as well exclusively on cruises, e.g. Chris Ramenda and his pina coladas)
*unlimited food
*hot tubs

Cons for cruising:
*not being able to get off the boat
*boredom at times
*cheesy 80's decorations (mostly on Carnival Cruises)
*touristy port stops - rare to get in any real exploration
*terrible comedians
*sharing dinner table with people you don't know
*general lack of choice and interesting things to see/do

I think it just depends what you are going for. I have been on a few cruises in the past few years, each a very different type of experience. I have been with my family and also with my friends. While neither time felt similar to the other, they were both enjoyable. It would be a challenge to pay for a vacation of the same length and enjoyability with the money it took to pay for one of these cruises. However, it can be argued that they are not always the most memorable or enlightening types of vacations. I have been on weekend trips in California that I remember more clearly than the actual locations/food/activities from cruising. Anyway, I am finished talking about this. I don't even get vacation until I have been working at my new job for a year. What is the use?

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