Some words, Between Me and You

I was on my morning walk today and on my playlist came up a song by Brandon Flowers called “Between Me and You.”   Brandon is the lead singer for the band The Killers, who have been one of my favorite bands the last ten or fifteen years.  But this song was off one of his solo albums, 2015’s The Desired Effect.   It came out in the Spring of 2015 and it got me thinking about that time, April of 2015.  It was just a few weeks before American Pharoah would start his run through the Triple Crown.  A few weeks before my 35th birthday.  And a few weeks after I called my last race as an announcer.

When I left Louisiana Downs in early April that year I drove back to Seattle, interviewed at Emerald Downs for that announcer job, and didn’t get it.  I was heartbroken and angry and figured my time in racing was done.  I deleted my twitter account, went off the map a little, and started driving Uber.  While driving people all around the Seattle area I would usually just put a CD in and play it at a low volume.  Well in mid May when Brandon’s album The Desired Effect came out, I bought it, and played it on a loop for weeks.  It was poppy, cheery, and wonderful.  But every time it got to Track 5, I’d turn it up just a little.  And when nobody was in the car, I’d turn it up a lot.   The song is called Between Me and You and there were some lines it that just punched me square in the gut.  I’ve always gravitated towards music that makes me sad as opposed to that makes me happy.  And this song made me so sad, but in the best way.

“All my life.  I’ve been told.  Follow your dreams.  But the trail went cold.”  

I was 35 and felt I’d come to the end of the line on my dream.  Every time I heard that lyric in the song I thought “That’s me.  The trail has gone cold.  What the hell am I gonna do?”   For the next six months the answer was I was gonna drive people around Seattle.  I’ve said before on here driving that six months actually made me really appreciate the blessings I had to call races for nine years.  I had an incredibly fun job for 9 years and got paid to do it.  How fortunate I was.  But at the time, I sure felt like a total failure.  And as I applied for other announcing jobs, Turf Paradise, Lone Star, Zia, and others, I kept getting the “thanks so much for applying, we got many terrific applicants and we’re going with NOT YOU” emails.   I just kept feeling worse about myself and my future.  I applied for all sorts of jobs in so many other industries.  It became clear that racing and announcing were probably over.  Then I’d go back to that song again.

“I was just too proud to know.  There’s a power in letting go.  I never thought that it’d be so hard.” 

There was a power in letting go.  I think sometimes in my life I’ve held on to things just because they’re familiar.  Racecalling became an identity and if I didn’t have that identity then I was a loser.  People wouldn’t like me or care about me.  The things we make up in our heads.  Truth is anybody who liked me before would still like me.  And those who didn’t, still wouldn’t.  Regardless if I was an announcer or an uber driver or a bum.

“And I feel like I got nothing to show for this life that I’ve been wondering “What am I supposed to do?   But I’m doing my best” 

Three years later and when this song comes on I still relate to the lyrics, even though the circumstances are different.  They aren’t job specific as much as trying to let go of other things in life that I’m maybe holding on to.   Accepting what is and what still can be.  Trying to find purpose at a different stage of life.   Letting go of the idea of certain things that I grew up always assuming would happen and maybe won’t.   Which is ok.  There is a power in letting go.

I remember reading an interview with Brandon where he said he never likes to say exactly what his songs are about, because he wants people to make them about what they want.  And I think that’s what I’ve done with this song.  It’s meant different things to me at different times.  And I’m sure next year and the year after that it’ll mean something totally different than it does now.   I’ve always felt music

 

Vlog of trip to Sequim, WA

One of my favorite things I’ve learned in the past year is video editing, and I love to do small Vlogs (video diary kinda things) of my various day trips.  Here’s one I did of my New Year’s Eve travels to Sequim, Washington.  While you’re there please subscribe to my Youtube Channel.   There’s lots of vlogs and other fun little things on there.  One of my goals in 2018 is to do more video stuff, just cause I really find it creatively fulfilling.

Beemie Award for Best Fight goes to @goofonroof and @racetrackandy

The final award!  Andy Asaro has proven to have what it takes to win multiple Beemies.  Namely, picking fights.  We all have to have our talents and when it comes to fights on racing twitter, Andy is king!

This one happened way back in the spring/summer time I believe and it started when Andy posted something about a controversial dead heat.  Andy commented on the situation and Vic questioned it.  And we’re off…VicAndy

Ok, so just a disagreement at this point, nothing too crazy.  Cue Andy…

Vicandy2

(Yeah it was Saturday afternoon and I was waiting for an Uber).

But Dipshit gets us started.  Really any good twitter fight always needs to cross into swearing before it really gets going.  Vic tries and takes the high road and Andy…..well…

vicandy9

Oh my.  Now we’re getting personal.  Now we’re rolling.

vicandy8

Vic’s keeping it calm, but his passive aggressive jabs are just stoking the fire that burns in Asaro!

vicandy11

Poor Ray Paulick being dragged into this affair.  Now Andy goes to the mystery files from Jack Liebau at Hollywood card!

vicandy12

Now Andy goes after Vic’s current employer.  Getting ugly now folks.  By the way, 100% chance that DM i have in the above picture is someone telling me about this Vic/Andy fight.

vicandy6

So then Vic finally brings out the Blocked card!

vicandy3

And Andy comes right back with a “I blocked you first” which is key.  He who lands the first block has the last word!

All in all it was a good fight and while there were some great fights throughout the year, between the swearing, the anger, the allegations, and the blocks….this one is this year’s winner.  Thanks everyone for watching the Beemie Awards!

 

Beemie Award for Favorite Follow goes to @looochracing

2017 really was the year of the Loooch.  Ron Paolucci was everywhere.  Winning races all over the country, buying and selling horses, even guested on my podcast (listen here) .

But nowhere did Loooch shine more than on twitter.  Whether it was taking on the Blue Bloods of the Breeders’ Cup

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 8.15.33 AM

or hobnobbing with celebrities

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 8.12.06 AM

or being a good human being

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 8.12.51 AM

or my favorite, posting inspirational photos to his haters

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 8.13.27 AM

Loooch was the best thing on twitter this year, so that’s why he wins the Beemie Award for Favorite Follow!  Congrats Loooch!

Mike Joyce Award for Handicapping Bravery and Excellence goes to @downthestretch7

joyce

This prestigious award is usually voted on by you, the racing fans.  But the Russians hacked the election process so I was forced to award this on my own.  But really, there was only one option.  For years, twitter has known @downthestretch7 as #BetWithKevin, the top clocker in horse racing.  Well his handicapping in recent months has been on a heater like few have seen.  His clients have all been raving about his picks.  He gave out Always Dreaming as his A++ work horse pre-Derby.  It’s just been the year of Bet With Kevin.  So now, he’s rightfully won the award named after a great handicapping hero to many in racing, the Mike Joyce Award for Handicapping Bravery and Excellence.  If this doesn’t jinx his current hot streak nothing will.

These photos are all from just the last couple of weeks.

 

Beemie Award for Best Unintended Pun goes to @Charli125

pun

Ol’ Snoop Dougie McPherson shared an article about Quarter Horse jockeys using a “machine” aka “buzzer” aka “battery” aka well you get the picture.  Well him and Charlie Davis started talking about it, and when Charlie responds with a great pun, totally unintended, I cracked up #NothingShocksMeInThisSport.

So for your unintended pun work Charlie, you’ve earned a Beemie Award!

 

Beemie Award for Best Humblebrag goes to @JoeT_OnTheSide

joethumblebrag

Joe T is one of the best long shot handicappers I’ve ever seen.   He will single a 60/1 shot like it’s nothing and go 12 deep the other races.  I think something like that happened for him this year.  It also happened around the time a lot of the tax rules were coming into implementation, so Joe obviously had questions.  But anytime someone posts about a $14,000 score without including the word BOOOOOM! it comes off like a humblebrag.  Joe T you’re a Beemie winner!