While Wade Barrett celebrates wins, his family celebrates birthdays and anniversaries.
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Barrett: I know what I'm missing

Staple it together, Quakes fans, staple it together. While we, the six-points-up-on-the-rest-of-the-Western-Conference-so-take-that-all-you-naysayers-Earthquakes, were in Salt Lake this past weekend, thousands of music fans across the Bay Area were settling in to one of the better concert weekends of the summer.

That's right, my sister and her husband made the trip to Berkeley on Friday night for the Jack Johnson show at the Greek Amphitheatre, and from the sounds of it, were witness to a fantastic display of musical talent from Jack and a guest appearance from none other than that ole steppin' stone G Love. Haley followed suit the next night, and although G couldn't rock steady grooves for a second night, she had a great time as well. Also on the scene was Coldplay, who played to an enthusiastic crowd at Shoreline and left few disappointed with another great show. Man, what a sweet concert weekend! The real bummer about most of these shows is that they fall on weekends, which is not such a swell time for those of us on the Quakes to be able to make it. Sob sob, cry cry. I know. Not many of you have a whole lot of sympathy, and rightfully so. Pro soccer player is not a job title many folks have the good fortune to enjoy, and membership in the MLS Players Club is not such a bad thing. With that as my backdrop, I'll walk and talk my way through some of the coolest events I've missed, followed by the inevitable soccer reason behind each.

My high school graduation: Yeah, I missed my high school graduation. Some folks seem to think that is a big deal, but come on. Who really wants to dress up in a light blue gown and wear that cardboard hat. Not me. Instead, I flew to St. Louis, where PUMA was sponsoring a tournament for some of the best high school soccer players to showcase their talent. Hmmm, long-winded valedictorian speeches about having no regrets and how we're going to change the world, blah, blah, blah, or free PUMA gear. I'm about as shallow as a kiddie pool on this one, but it sure was a good time under the Arch.

My college graduation: Yeah, I missed my college graduation, too. This was a little harder to stomach; I made some really great friends at William and Mary and it would have been nice to share that day with them (and join in the post-graduation festivities, of course). My mom and dad made it, though, and stood in for me in quite a few pictures with Z and Lurch and Skip and Nelson and Lenny and the rest of the Graduation Gang. At the same time, I was starting and playing for the Clash in a league game and living out my dream of playing at the professional level. I don't remember who we were playing, but I have a strong recollection of winning that day, and feeling like I was pretty lucky to be doing what I was doing. Shoot, my diploma counts all the same whether I was there to pick it up or not.

Too many weddings to count: See previous journal entry entitled "Will not attend."

Cancun with Haley's family: Hale and her family have a timeshare in Cancun and make a trip down there every year. We've been together five years, and I may not have made the cut the first year because we had just met, so that means four trips full of sun and sailing and tennis and beach volleyball and pina coladas that I have missed the boat on. They usually go around March, which is during our preseason training. We are usually busy with friendly games and working on our fitness for the coming season. Come to think of it, that really is a bummer. I'm pretty sure I would trade two-a-day trainings for two-a-day mai tais.

And a bunch of other stuff, too: From my grandparent's 50th Anniversary party to the Angel Island 15k on New Year's Day 2003 to Haley's Super Hero 25th Birthday party, the list goes on and on. Staple those together with all the great memories I have from the corresponding soccer experiences, though, and you come out with a life full of no regret. See, I didn't need to hear the valedictorian speech to get the message.

Stapled,
Wade