Past Story Idea #1

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Reader, how are you?? Hope you had a good Tuesday. 

I had this idea for a story about this college kid who is traumatized by his upbringing and how it affects his aspirations. It’s probably been collecting dust at my desk for the past four years or so. Let me know if it’s any good!

“Wake up freshie, time for class.”

The flashback dreams are getting too vivid as my creative writing professor wakes me from slumber.

“Rick, man, you were talking in your sleep again,” bellows my friend Rob.

“If I only I could do that in the comfort of my dorm room,” I say, rubbing me eyes awake. “Just been having some real sentimental dreams lately.”

It’s been over a decade since my parents got divorced and yet it’s as if my mind has been pondering over it heavily recently. Perhaps it’s a reflex of some kind, like when covering a sneeze or catching something that’s about to fall on the floor. My inner subconscious is playing heavily with me today.

“Mr. Martinez, would you tell us what article you found Wednesday on a current event and how that applies to this course?”

Damn Ms. Yarnow isn’t playing today! First week back from Winter Break and she’s not letting up.

“Well, I found an article about the ongoing relations between Cuba and the United States. How it applies to the class and how you emphasize studying other cultures is that the writer’s examination pertains to the Cuban perspective. Their current lifestyle and their emotions about the current state of the Cuban government. The writer makes you feel like you are right there with him interviewing these people.”

I’m pretty sure I perfectly bs’d my way through that answer.

“Very good Mr. Martinez,” she exclaimed. “Now, if you may be so kind as to not daydream in my class every five seconds you may validate how intelligent you just sounded.”

I’m not going to lie, but the way she looked at me just then was kind of a turn on.

“Rick, did you see that.”

“Yes Rob, I saw. Let me try to stay out of trouble this semester though.”

Little did I know that trouble this semester was going to a bit more severe and come with an unrelenting fury: my past and hopeful future were going to collide head on.

______________________________________________________________________________

When you have a vision set in your head, it’s hard to shut it out. That dream or hopeful feeling is greater than any drug rush or carnal endeavor can supply.

I’ve had this dream of being a media personality for as long as I can remember. My early years were marked by shy but successful events but even when I was young I knew that I’d be known outside of my immediate circle, that others from New York to California and across the globe would know the name Rick Martinez.

I can still remember when I was seven years old, dressing up in a Superman costume for one of my dad’s home videos. He’d play this villain from some far away land set on vanquishing me with some tickles and take downs. He’d always let me win those “battles” and I’d milk it up for the camera. Those were some memories that I truly cherish growing up.

Both of my parents fed me unconditional love and were there for me whenever I needed them.

They were just never there for each other in their marriage.

There were times I was doing homework upstairs in my room and I couldn’t get through one math problem or writing assignment without hearing some form of an argument starting up downstairs.

One time I sat near the top of the stair, just hoping and praying for the latest verbal spat to be over, wondering why two people could detest one another so much.

When those home movies were being shot, that was probably one of the only times they could stand being in the same room together.

As the arguments continued to worsen I thought this was a cyclical pattern that would last an eternity, that this was my new normal…..

That’s about where I stopped four years ago. If you like the story so far let me know. Maybe I may finish it!

David R. Cabrera

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Starting Up Again, Kinda

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November 2018.

I haven’t written an article or anything above 500 characters since I graduated college over four years ago.

That’s actually an exaggeration. I did have sports blogging gigs for about the first five months after I graduated college but I just stopped writing. I didn’t even know this WordPress page I created in college was still up.

It’s not like I gave up on a dream of sports journalism or any type of writing position. I honestly did not have the desire to pursue one because growing up, I honestly didn’t think to dream for anything big. I just lived in the moment.

From elementary school up until my college graduation, I was running on autopilot. I have great parents (and step parents) that supported me and made me feel like I didn’t have to overly worry about my future.

I would come home from school through my adolescence and college and retire to my bedroom/basement to either play video games or read. I didn’t dream about how my professional career would unfold. I never really had those conversations with my parents and it wasn’t their job to ask me what I wanted to do with my professional life.

I remember writing birthday cards and random notes for my parents and friends and they would tell me I had a gift but that’s just personal compliments. I just thought they were being nice to me. Especially growing up with a speech disability and being self-conscious about it, writing was and has always been something that I can use to express what I’m feeling and feel somewhat intelligent.

I always had the innate gift to write but I just never thought to transition this skill into a paying career. 

All I know is that as I lay in this bed writing all this, it just feels like riding a bike (even though I never really learned how to ride one). There’s just a comfort doing something that comes naturally to you and that excites you.

I need to remember that sentence when it comes time to talk to my daughter about career choices in about 10 years. I’ll be almost 40 by then, wow! 

Matter of fact, I think I’m going to keep blogging. Should you ignore this post and think this is random nonsense, that’s fine with me. Should you read this random nonsense and actually want to read some more, that’s fine with me too.

Here’s to me writing again, kinda.

David R. Cabrera

Patriots vs. Redskins: Quick Takeaways

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After five years of waiting and waiting (more like not feeling the need to go to a game) I attended a Redskins game, albeit their preseason opener against the New England Patriots August 7.

To my disappointment I didn’t get to see Tom Brady in action against a rejuvenated Redskins defense and Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson run with Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ first team offense.

Nonetheless there was a lot to take from this game, a 23-6 victory for the Redskins.

1. RG3 a work in progress on pocket awareness

For his strong words this offseason about how he became famous because of his arm instead of his legs, Robert Griffin III still looked like a young, uncomfortable quarterback under center. On the second play of the game, he had newcomer Andre Roberts running unguarded across the middle of the field but decided to check it down to tight end Logan Paulsen for a four yard play. He never really looked past his first read, mainly running back Roy Helu Jr.,  the other times he threw on the 12 play drive, which ended in a Kai Forbath field goal. Hopefully having Garcon and Jackson back for the next game will give RG3 a little peace of mind.

2. Defense looks strong-for now

Having said that, it’s a little different playing against Ryan Mallett than it is a three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Mallett was erratic at times and made some ill-advised throws. Those were issues mostly brought upon by the Redskins front four, along with linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. Kerrigan was a force in the run game and on his sack of Mallett, Orakpo absolutely bull dozed left tackle Nate Solder. Both players already are benefiting from defense coordinator Jim Haslett’s freer scheme. The secondary didn’t give up a ton of big plays, but it’s still early. More impressed with the line pressure than coverage play.

3. Ryan Grant can get open

All that was said about rookie wide receiver Ryan Grant (Tulane) leading up to this game was true. Guy looked smooth coming out of routes and almost every pass play that I saw, he was open or had considerable separation on a defensive back. Can see that he is still building a rapport with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in particular. Cousins had two consecutive opportunities to hit Grant for a touchdown on the Redskins’ last possession of the first half but failed to even get the ball near him. As the weeks progress, look for Grant to get more opportunities (hopefully) with the first team.

4. Third running back spot competition getting very interesting early on

We all know that Helu Jr. is the backup to started Alfred Morris and judging by his performance against the Pats, his job is safe for now. Coming in, all eyes were on second year man Chris Thompson and his versatility. He didn’t disappoint as he had some nice runs in between the tackles and showed his catching ability outside the backfield. Undrafted free agent Silas Redd was strong as well, breaking off some nice runs in between the tackles and showing a bit of shiftiness as he broke upfield on a couple of runs. The guy who impressed me the most though was Lache Seastrunk. So much burst goes into his runs. Didn’t really bust it inside the tackles that much but his ability to juke defenders on the outside and still gain positive yardage made up for that. Reminded my friend Matt of LeSean “Shady” McCoy. Can’t say I don’t agree with him. Stay tuned.

5. I’m only drinking water during games

I’m sorry, $9.50 for a beer and $12 for a fries and chicken tender combo?? C’mon FedEx, we know you can do better than that. Luckily I wasn’t really craving a Coors or a Miller Light.

 

Coming soon

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I know I haven’t posted anything in like a month, but graduation and a tremendous life transition can take your mind off blogging a little bit.

I’ll be posting something later on this week, so be on the look out for it!!

-D.R.C.

P.S. It’ll most likely be on my trip to Italy last month

Personal Branding Links

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/dcabrera490

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Klout: http://klout.com/#/DCabrera490

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VisualizeMe: http://vizualize.me/DCabrera

Bit.ly: https://bitly.com/u/o_1u3j3qkrd9

Creating good content for your site

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One of the topics for my seminar class this week was creating good content for your site.

Creating good content depends on who your audience is.

If your audience has varied interests, you can play around with what you want for your site.

If they have selective interests, maybe two or three things they are interested in, then you have to narrow your focus. You have to figure out how much you post about each subject. Which one holds more interest with your audience, which one holds the least amount of interest.

I came across this site that helps you figure that out and much more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223752

Give it a read and apply it to your site.

You never know who is reading!

 

Wizards a game away

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With my roommate hogging the TV playing Call of Duty, I really haven’t been able to watch the Washington Wizards’ first round series against the Chicago Bulls.

Highlights on ESPN.com and NBA.com have helped ease the pain a little.

Sunday April 27 was Game 4 in the series and once again, I was nowhere near a TV watching the game.

I was covering a doubleheader of the Delmarva Shorebirds and I didn’t get done until 7:30 that night.

Watching the highlights on ESPN.com, you could tell the Wizards were playing inspired basketball. They started the game up 14-0 on the Bulls for goodness sake!

Trevor Ariza was hitting 3 after 3…Mr A3za as he is going to be affectionately known in D.C. for the rest of his life had it going all game long.

John Wall was pushing up the ball almost at will.

Bradley Beal was getting through the lane and making pull up jumpers like it was practice.

The Bulls just looked helpless. They did cut the lead to 6 at one point in the first half, but the Wizards were able to take it to another level and keep them at arms length for the rest of the game.

This has been a competitive series thus far so the Bulls still have a chance come Tuesday night (April 29).

But to get dismantled like that in a game they needed to even the series going back to Chicago does not bode well for them.

Wizards will close it out, in exhilarating and min-heart attack fashion, in Game 5.

 

 

 

D.C. Sports Fandom: Wizards Edition

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After tonight’s 102-93 over the Chicago Bulls, the Washington Wizards are three games away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since May 2005.

That’s almost a decade without any real playoff basketball success for the Wizards (don’t count the three other first round playoff exits during the Big 3, pre-gun Gilbert Arenas case era as successful seasons).

Watching that 2008 debacle against the Cavaliers, even though it went to 6 games, was terrible. That Wizards team was completely outgunned with Gilbert and Caron Butler being out and LeBron James was crab dribbling his way to greatness with the Cavs (obviously he’s gotten a little better since then).

Then came the four years of just painful, awful basketball that made it really hard to be a Wizards fan. The lottery was almost beckoning them to come back every year.

This 2013-2014 season has been a huge reprieve for the hometown team and its fans. John Wall made his first All-Star team. Bradley Beal wasn’t getting hurt every five minutes. Marcin Gortat ended up being one of the best offseason acquisitions by any team all season. The team just jelled.

They finished in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and got matched up with the Bulls.

Everyone in America, not counting the DMV, was picking Chicago to win the series with one media pundit suggesting a Bulls sweep.

Now, tonight was just one game and you don’t prove the haters wrong after 48 minutes. They did have to come back and win it after all.

I think the Wizards can make some noise in this series, especially by stealing home court away from Chicago. They can’t come back every game to beat the Bulls and Wall and Beal obviously need to play much better than they did tonight.

The X-factor for this series is Nene. It will be him and Gortat vs. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Gortat can limit Boozer on both ends all series long but Noah might have a game or two or three where he is on fire, particularly on the offensive glass (noticed I didn’t say anything about points) and Nene will have to match him. Hopefully Nene is 100% ready to do that.

So, my question to all my Wizards fans and NBA fans is: should the Wiz Kids be trusted in this series? Can they put aside all the bad luck D.C. sports has had since who knows how long and win this series?