Monthly Archives: September 2011

Locked Out

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I love sports. All of them. I love baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, tennis, rugby, and football – especially football. But there is one really huge part of sports, well professional ones at least, that I really don’t like.

I hate lock-outs. It drives me crazy that already overpaid athletes whine like spoiled brats and take their balls and go home until they get what they want. There was a time when athletes could be respected and looked up to. It was okay to know that an athlete was your child’s hero because they weren’t being arrested for DUI’s or domestic battery or brandishing weapons or  – well, whatever mess they get themselves into. But now it feels like they are more an example of what not to do and be…..

So today I read about the upcoming basketball lock-out. Baseball did this a few years ago, football did it this year….. This is getting ridiculous. I love watching them, but I feel like I’m just a contributor to their arrogance and sense of entitlement. No person deserves to get paid what they do, especially to play a game. What kind of example does this set and what message does it send to our kids? It seems to be saying that teachers and doctors and trash collectors – the people who take care of us on a daily basis and prepare us for the future – aren’t anywhere near as important as an athlete. It’s sickening really.

So I’ve decided to take a personal stand. I’ve decided that if the NBA can’t get it together and if these silly lock-outs continue – I’m not going to watch a single professional basketball game this season. I’m not naive enough to think that it will really matter. It’s not like they’re going to miss a single spectator, but still….at least I will know that I’m taking a stand. I’ll go to the high school games and I’ll watch the college games…..truth be told, they’re more fun anyway.

I’m just done supporting entitlement and arrogance and basic brattiness. Now, if  you’ll excuse me, I need to check in on my fantasy football team…….

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Superglue Surgery

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Confession time. Sometimes I get these really horrible cracks in my heels. I don’t mean a little dry skin or a scrape. I mean a deep fissure in my heel that bleeds and cracks open further every time I take a step. Imagine a Ballpark Hotdog. Now imagine putting said hotdog in a microwave for a wee bit too long. The way the dog looks when you rescue it from the cooker? Yep, that’s more or less what happens to my heels.

So yesterday I woke up with a crack in not one, but both heels. They weren’t to the horrible stage yet so I did what I thought was best – I soaked and sloughed and lotioned them until my feet were so slick and greasy that I had to put on socks just to keep from picking up every strand of dog hair on my carpet or from slipping as if I were on a sheet of ice in my kitchen. I figured they would still be a bit tender this morning, but I really felt like I had caught it in time. But alas, I did not.

This morning we did a trial run of waking the kids up early and such as they start back to school tomorrow. So up I jump out of bed, ready to put on smiles and administer tickles to anyone with a grumpy morning face when to my dismay as I took the first step out of bed I almost crumbled from the searing pain of flesh being freshly opened on the bottom of my foot. I won’t bore you with the mundane details of the day, but just know that I accomplished all tasks whilst on tiptoe. It hurt too much to put my feet down.

I mentioned my dilemma to my mom. Let me say this first….my mom has diabetes and therefore has extensive knowledge of how to care for a wide variety of foot ailments. Our conversation went something like this:

Mom: “Do you have any superglue?”

Me: “Um no, no I don’t. Should I?”

Mom: “Yes. You need to pour alcohol down in the crack and when it dries you need to superglue the skin closed.”

Me: “Um, what?”

Mom: “It’s gonna burn like hell. You may want to send the kids outside when you do it.”

Me: “Are you sure there’s not another option??? I don’t like the sound of this at all.”

Mom: “Lol. Not that I’m aware of. That’s what Pam [her doctor] did to me except she took a scalpel and trimmed the skin around it first.”

Me: “Um, well…..”

Mom: “So…are you going to do it?”

Me: “Oh I suppose. It’s that or have Jake carry me everywhere and that’s just not very practical.”

Mom: “No, no it isn’t.”

After dinner we trolleyed off to the grocers to get superglue and a set of brass balls…..I found the superglue.

Jacob and my 13-year-old son held my leg in the air as I perched on the side of the tub and they poured peroxide into the fissures on my heels. I chickened out on the rubbing alcohol. I didn’t have any, I forgot to buy some and I was NOT about to waste my Jameson on this adventure. Mom wasn’t lying, it burned like hell. The superglue was no better. Whatever agent is in that shit that makes it stick like that burns.

My alarm is set for 6am in the morning. I have to get up and be cheery so that my kids are happy and excited about the first day of school. I guess I’ll see then if all of this was worth it. I’m still a wee bit afraid to put pressure on my heels. So for now, I’m tiptoeing off to bed. Sweet dreams.

Quiet Hope

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I do not know these people. And no, I’m not a stalker. But, I was at the park the other day and this little couple took up a seat near me. I was there with Jacob and the kids….the kids were playing in the creek, Jacob was reading…..I was reading, watching, listening….soaking it all in.

Something about this couple just drew me in. I found myself trying to steal glances at them. I wanted to watch them. They had a quiet solid presence about them. They just sat. In this picture I captured the moment when he draped his hand on her shoulder – I love it. The whole time we were there I didn’t see them talk but I did see him whisper something in her ear once and she chuckled and smiled. I would love to know what he said.

I don’t know how long they stayed there, they were still sitting and watching when we left for home. But, they’ve stayed with me. I find myself wondering about them. I wish I had introduced myself to them. We’ve been back to the park several times since then but I haven’t seen them anymore. That sweet couple made a lasting impression on me – by doing nothing other than being. When I think of them I imagine a lifetime of joys and sorrows, children, grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren, successes, failures, road trips, quiet home-cooked meals, vacations, fancy dinner parties, retirement……..and love. I could still see the love in their eyes that aging bodies had not diminished.

I want that to be me.

Help Wanted

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I’ve decided that the most wonderful job in the world would be that of a food critic. Think about it. You would get to travel all over the world seeing exciting, interesting, exotic places and then get paid to eat the food! You would partake in every type of establishment from elite gourmet restaurants that normal people can’t even get on the waiting list to get a reservation for, to little hidden hole-in-the-wall dives that only locals that grew up in an area know about. You could sample every type of food imaginable and get paid to do it! I’m really envious of these guys.

Maybe it’s because I love to cook. I really love to cook. I love trying new dishes – sometimes things that I would never have even thought of but that I find in some little obscure cookbook somewhere. I’m always looking for new ideas and combinations. My favorite thing to do is to find a recipe and get a general idea for what I want to happen and an idea of basic ingredients and then start playing with it and adding and deleting things until I have something that is really wonderful and uniquely my creation. Little twists are fantastic!

I think maybe I’ve been watching too much Food Network. I used to watch all the cooking shows – you know, the “how to” ones where you’re instructed on how to cook things in under 30 minutes or how to feed the 5000 for under $10. Those are great for what they are, but imaginative and inventive are not words I would use to describe them. I have new favorites now. Cupcake Wars, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, Ace of Cakes, Heat Seekers, all the versions of Iron Chef and anything that stars Guy Fieri. Every time I watch Cupcake Wars I think it should be me tasting all of those cupcakes…… I’m pretty certain I could affect a haughty accent, take a bite, savor it and then comment on things like fluffiness, lack of flavor, ingredients that don’t work well together, poor artistry on the frostings…..and occasionally throw out a positive comment to make them think they have a chance. How did these people land these jobs??

I’ve been scouring the want-ads lately. I keep hoping…….. But so far, I haven’t found any that are searching for a person to travel the world, eat in decadence on a daily basis, sometimes appear on television to report opinions and get paid a measly three figure salary. So if any of you out there have any connections……let me know……I’m available to start immediately.