Euphoria Definition Pronunciation: \yü-ˈfȯr-ē-ə\ Function: noun Date: circa 1751
a feeling of well-being or elation

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Uncle

My Uncle Jay hit a HUGE milestone yesterday, he won his 500th win in 25 yrs of coaching college basketball.

From this week’s Southwest/Downtown Journal:

Coach Of The Year
By Jim Walsh

By the time you read this, Jay Pivec will, God-willing, have notched his 500th win as a college basketball coach. His squad, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Marauders, play two games this week. At press time, Pivec was set to notch win number 500 on Wednesday (Jan. 23; 8 p.m.) against Anoka Ramsey in the MCTC gym on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Alas, junior college basketball doesn’t make for the sexiest sound bite, so forgive ESPN if they don’t acknowledge the achievement. Likewise, even though MCTC is by far the most ethnically diverse community college in the state, the local sports media will likely devote more coverage to Kentucky expat Tubby Smith’s 400th victory than to the story of a city kid who stayed in the city and in the game he loves in order to help other city kids -- and chalk up 500 victories in the process.

“Whatever stories out there that are bad about things, you could find in every one of our guys a good story,” says, Pivec, a 52-year-old father of four, looking out the window of his home on Penn Avenue at the hockey rinks of Armatage Park. “We don’t have failures. We have guys who might go south for a little while, but we tell them if they work hard in our program and do what we tell them to do, after they leave here we’re in their corner for the rest of their lives. And when you make that kind of contract with people, and you deliver on that, it’s all good, man.”

The fact is, Pivec would rather talk about all the kids (or “knuckleheads,” his favorite term of endearment) he’s coached over the years than himself, which is part of the reason his story remains somewhat underground. MCTC has no sports information director, no publicist, and Pivec was raised not to blow his own horn. Still, he’s got a lot to say – about basketball and life, as so many great coaches do.

“A lot of our guys have never been told the truth,” he says. “And, as most of our players can attest, I can get in their faces. Painful honesty. No problem at all. And when you vest in someone’s life like I do, they become more than a point guard. They become more than a power forward.

“These are city kids with city problems. Now, what does that mean? Health care. Transportation. Finances. Economics. Shelter. Food. Family. We tell these kids, two (o’clock)-to-four, that’s your utopia. That’s practice time. It’s gotta be the best time of your day.”

Over the years, several of Pivec’s knuckleheads have gone on to play Division I, II, and III ball. And while the temptation here is to weave a feel-good story about hard-luck kids who find a Father Flanagan figure in Pivec, the fact is that he’s a hell of a coach who has a connection to every Minnesota (and beyond) basketball coach on every level. Many of whom are on his cell phone speed-dial.

“The other night when the Timberwolves lost (blowing a game at Denver), I left a voice message for (Wolves head coach) Randy Wittman. I said, `I was all set to congratulate you on a great win, and then… That wasn’t your fault. You’ve got some knuckleheads.’ He texted me back, `I appreciate it.’”

Pivec attended St. Thomas The Apostle grade school and Southwest High School, and got his start in basketball at the KCYO. After a stint coaching at Northern Montana University, he has been at MCTC for the past 18 years. He and his wife of 26 years, Mary Louise, raised their kids in the city, because they believe in it and because they wanted their kids to know people from all walks of life. Which is why to this day, Pivec doesn’t pine for the bright lights of a more high-profile coaching job.

“It’s odd,” he says. “My family all lives in the Twin Cities. My mother’s (been in) Catholic Elder Care for the last nine years with Alzheimer’s. Father Michael O’Connell at the Basilica is a good friend of mine, and a spiritual leader. I get paid very well. I work for a wonderful administration at the college that understands what we do and has been very accommodating and doesn’t get in the way. I work in one of the greatest cities in America, maybe the world, even on a three-below day.

“So when I get the scale out and weigh it all out, and when jobs come along – and they have come along – none of ‘em are better than the job I’ve got.”

Now comes the pay-off; a milestone rare for any coach at any level. But to hear Pivec downplay it is to hear a guy who obviously knows the secret to the universe: not individual success, but people and connections.

“This is my 500th win, it’s my 25th year as a head coach, and you just sort of go back over your life and… it’s been every winter in a gym. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. Sometimes you get tired of the road, or the weather, but you never get tired of the kids. What’s more important to my team is winning the next game. These kids are aware of it (the 500th win), but I make it clear to them: they’re not playing for me. Nor should they be. That’s not how our program operates.”

And how many fans will be in the stands for the coach’s milestone?

“It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve got brothers and sisters in the city, and they come to as many games as they can get to. I have no idea. Some ex-players, maybe. Then there’s the hardcore (basketball) junkies who are looking for a good game. And that’s what they’ll get. They’ll see good basketball.”

Not to mention –shhh—a slice of Minnesota basketball history.

My Presidential Candidate - So Far.

Found an excellent website to compare and contrast our democratic and republican candidates for the 2008 elections. Go to:

I decided this would be a good weekend to read up on my candidates and to share this link to my family and friends to (hopefully) get them into the elections rather than wasting your time on your American Idol candidates (laugh laugh) ;) .

Since this is my blog and as my mother said to me the other day "I love that you're so passionate about your beliefs - but watch what you say", I'll tell you where I stand with this years candidates and why:

Mitt Romney (Ex-Gov.) ; Not only was he born on March 12, which happens to be my birthday...but he stands almost dead on on a lot of issues that I believe are important.

  • Stem Cell Research - Against. He believes existing cell lines and adult stem cells have just the same scientific promises.
  • Abortion - Pro-Life.
  • Health Care - Health Insurance available to all Americans, not through our government - but through market reform.
  • Immigration Reform.

I have some more reading to do for both parties and I'll update you all with my views.

P.S. Don't watch too much American Idol, it may rot your brain ;) I kid I kid.

A Day Late Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Received An Applause Today

Yep, in Starbucks. It has been a LONG three weeks since I've had a Iced Venti light-ice, no whip White Mocha and today - I broke through. My local Starbucks staff was in aw that I hadn't been there in over three weeks, that they gave me a round of applause. How pathetic.

I quit caffeine all together on a Doctors recommendation of "I need you to quit drinking caffeine, its ok every once in a while, but NOT everyday, this will worsen your condition".

Blah. I love my coffee. No --- I'm infatuated with my coffee.

Do you think Starbucks enhances their coffee with some sort of drug, that all we can do if we don't drink it, is think about it? I do. Some sort of coffee crack or something. I can taste it right now. There's nothing quite like the creamy, bitterly-sweet combination streaming down your throat in the early morning hours. YUM! GOOSEBUMPS!!

Now hurry, rush to your nearest Starbucks, that I know is a block away and pick up a cup of joy.



Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bank of Amercia to Rule The World???

I'd have to start this blog off by saying, HOW HAPPY I AM to see Countrywide Home "Loans" go up into flames. Many of you who know me know actually why I say that, you others that don't know the whole story behind me and my days at Countrywide, well - tough. But lets just say it was unpleasant and how much of a joy this is for me to see.

Friday was a huge annoucement that Countrywide had imploded and Bank of America would be buying them out. (Buying them out = BANKRUPT!). This wasn't quite the surprise for me, or for anyone in the mortgage business, the BIG surprise was that it was being sold for a mere $4 Billion!!!!

In 2006, we funded $4 billion in ONE month!!! HA! I'm so happy to see them suffer!!

Here's a good news article to read in regards to the "buyout / bankruptcy".

Two words for my old employer: GOOD RIDDENCE! Now, go eff yourself. :) CONGRATS Bank of America!!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Sunday Night Show

I'm usually not one for new shows - I like to stick to the basics, my usual, no changes.

Never have been good at changes...

Cashmere Mafia is on right after Deperate Housewives (Anyone know what happened to Brothers & Sisters?). Its a Sex in the City Clone.....Or pretty much darn near close. Four older women, different hair colors, significant others - who manage to meet for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just for drinks once a week..... Sounds pretty familiar doesn't it? Featuring Lucy Lui as Mia , plays a career driven (love it), sextrist vamp who just got engaged to her close co-worker (thats all I've gotten so far in the pilot - still have about a half hour left).

Full of scandels, affairs, EXCELLENT fashion - this is the filling of the void we've had since SITC left us. HOORAY!!

On ABC Sunday nights at 9 p.m. - Check your local listings!


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Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Very Cool Website

One of my Christmas presents that I received this year, is from an AWESOME website called: What Woot consists of is - a website that sells ONE item a day-after that day- Poof! Its gone! How cool of a concept is that? It isn't just expensive items that not just anyone can afford, but decent priced, bizarre items that no one thinks of.

Check it out! I'm always logging on in the morning to see what they've posted. (or sometimes at night, b/c they update it at 10 p.m. mountain standard time - - for all you Arizonians)



Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

3-2-1........HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope everything had a GREAT & SAFE New Year.

I have an optimistic feeling that this year we are upon is going to be one of the best!

Remember not to take yourself too seriously, enjoy what you have at the moment, don't let love get the worst of you, celebrate life, celebrate what you believe in and don't hold back.

I'll leave you with a little recipe for the year to come:

Recipe for a Happy New Year - Anonymous

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.
Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing— don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Cheers to 2008!