Monday, March 29, 2010

How I jinxed my team, busted my bracket, and ended my dreams of winning a bacon scented prize package.

Saturday started out like every other Saturday--with a panic attack over my soccer line-up.

After the Xanax kicked in I decided to forgo my usual habit of wearing one of our team jerseys to the game and instead opted to spend the entire day in my new KY shirt, hoping to send waves of good karma into the universe, all the while feeling like it was just frosting, because there was NO WAY Kentucky was going to lose, especially to West Virginia. I mean seriously.

Soccer went long and I missed tip off, arriving home just 3 minutes into the game. Kentucky had a lead so I figured it was safe for me to make a quick run to Costco. Besides, Costco + My Kentucky shirt = more good karma. When I got to Costco my radio told me the Wildcats were ahead by 5. Not a mile, but okay.

After a quick sample lap (I took my husband to Costco with me-possibly my gravest error of the day) we returned to the car only to find W. Virginia had pulled ahead by 5. I wasn’t worried. By the half we were only down by 2 and I was sure after a rest and a pep talk the boys would be back to taking care of business.

I could not have been more wrong. The 2nd half of the game will forever been known to me as “The 3 point drought of 2010”. It was painful to watch. Painful I tell you. Even more painful were the texts from my little brother.

Him~Are you watching Kentucky get beat?”

Me~I’m dying over here. My stomach is hurting watching this. What are they thinking? I just got this new KY shirt.” ~Can we analyze comment this for a moment? My stomach hurts? What are they thinking? My new shirt? I’m a little surprised I didn’t mention the bacon lip gloss they were cheating me out of.

A little while later-

Him~“It’s over. Put that shirt away for a few weeks” ~ If he thinks just putting the shirt away is going to make people forget all the trash I’ve been talking, he clearly underestimates my ability to talk trash.

My reply~ “I know…….I can’t believe they can’t hit a freakin’ 3 point shot” Because if I were there…..look out, my 3 point skills are crazy!

And finally-

Pouring a little more salt in my wounds……

Him~"Wall is out. This is over”-------Oh, is Wall out?! My TV must be broken, I hadn’t noticed! Thanks!!

That’s when I instigated a period of text silence until I sent this final reply~

Me~"I’ma go drown my sorrows in ice cream. This loss could cost me 10 or 15 lbs.” Not to mention an autographed picture of James and the naming rights to the Sun.

I can’t help feeling like this is my fault somehow for getting all cocky and making that run to Costco instead of remaining in front of my television willing them to win.

It was fun while it lasted. Now I will lend my support to W. Virginia, which I'm sure they will appreciate. I’m not gonna get a shirt or anything, but if they could beat Duke that would be nice. I don’t know why. I don’t really have anything against Duke, I’m just trying to sound like a tough guy. Is it working?

~My brother is a Kentucky fan too, but, apparently was not as emotionally invested in this tournament as I was.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Crazy Just Keeps on Coming

I hate to be all braggy, but it turns out, I’m some kind of basketball predicting Svengali or prodigy or something. It’s true. As proof I offer you this~

Of all the participants in James’ famous Seize the Bacon Challenge, after 2 rounds of play, I am #1. #1!!

Believe me, I’m just as shocked as you are. It’s nothing short of amazing….or divine intervention....or darn good luck. You decide. Whichever it is, I'll take it.

In other basketball related news (because I know you just can’t get enough) I had to get a new Kentucky shirt. It seems now that everyone is seeing Kentucky for the champions I told you they were, whoever it is that has possession of my shirt is either keeping for themselves or keeping it to annoy me. Either way, I’m sure you'll agree I had to have a new one before tonight’s game. So I ordered one. (It’s just like my old one; I’m superstitious faithful like that.)

I got an e-mail from UPS assuring me that my shirt would arrive yesterday, just in the nick of time. Then I waited all day (I know-my life is so full of thrills, try not to hate me). Finally at 5:30, when I still did not have my shirt I checked the tracking number online and was informed that my shirt had already been delivered. What?!

Believing that my husband and children must be playing a (not too funny) prank I began to interrogate them.
“Are you sure I didn’t get a package?” and “Did Dad tell you to hide it from me?” or “If you really want one I’ll get you one of your own but I NEED that shirt.” And finally “you won’t be laughing when you have to spend the evening in the chokey mister!”

They all swore that, although they are getting a bit concerned about my obsession (my children are such exaggerators), none of them had my shirt. That’s when I figured out what must have happened. Of course, the UPS man had STOLEN my UK shirt. I immediately got online to file a formal complaint, as I pulled up my account information I noticed that the delivery address and my actual address were not the same. Turns out, I’m not as thorough at one in the morning (when I ordered the shirt) as I am at 5:30 in the evening (when I convinced myself there was a conspiracy afoot). I had sent it to my former address.

Luckily they know me there and I was able to arrange a pick up. Can you imagine if my shirt had been turned away and returned to sender?
Safe, sound, and ready for tip off.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lemme ask you a question.....

Why is it that when Target charges $30.00 for a pair of pants I feel like I'm being ripped off, but a similar pair of pants at the Gap seems like the bargain of the year?

This has nothing to do with that.  I just find it amusing. Please enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not that it matters who wins or loses, but......

I honestly had NO idea what I was getting into with this whole "bracket" thing.  Yesterday was the single most nerve wracking day of my sports watching career (please note~I use the term "career" very loosely).  The problem\thrill of picking a winner for every game is that yesterday I had 16 favorite teams.  16 times I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the final score.........Well, more like 14.  Kentucky kicked some poor sad Buccaneer trash (100-71) so that wasn't really a surprise, and I was secretly hoping Kansas would lose even though I'd picked them to win, I kind of wanted to just take the loss and be done with them. (Is that unsportsmanly?) 

Last night I saw this little old man wearing a Jayhawk shirt and I almost gave him the stink eye.  This is why I don't play sports.  That whole business about having no physical coordination is just a cover.  The truth is, unchecked, my competitive streak gets ugly.  It's embarrassing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Further proof that I am just a tiny bit loony.

This morning I woke up and the first thought to pop into my little brain(even before "I wonder if we have any cold Diet Mt. Dew) was...."I wonder if it's too late to make changes to my brackets?"

You guys--- I don't know anything about basketball!!

I mean, not enough to pick winners and stuff.  I do have a favorite team, and I do watch them play (sometimes), but I don't don't even know for sure how many personal fouls puts a person out of the game (I think it's 6, but I'm not certain).  I'm just a woman who got caught up in the madness!

On Sunday I happened to watch Kentucky (barely) beat Mississippi State, then James threw down his Bacon Challenge and before I knew it I was reading up on teams and picking winners and talking trash to my brother's employees. (Over the phone. To people I've never met. Through my brother. I. am. crazy.)

I don't care so much about winning the bacon flavored lip balm (though you have to admit it's a nice prize), but once I commit myself to a challenge I take it very seriously (this by no means implies that any actual knowledge of basketball-college or otherwise-was using in determining my bracket selections.) I'm even considering moving a TV into my office so I can keep score while I work (just KIDDING Karen! Sheesh!)

I have to say, I do find it odd that so many people think that Kansas can beat Kentucky in the final, I mean, seriously.... What in the world is a Jayhawk anyway?

ps~it's not too late, you can still pick winners here. 

pss~I've decided to leave mine alone and go with my first instincts, even though those instincts were driven mostly by team colors and places I might like to vacation someday.

psss~If one of my kids left my Kentucky shirt at your house can you call me? It's missing and I'm going to be needing it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

You know what I like?

Books that are compilations of essays.

Or blog posts.

Or shopping lists.

You know why? Because you don’t have to read the whole thing at once. You can pick it up, read a few pages, hopefully get a good laugh, and get back to it the next time you’re waiting in the drive-thru line at Jack-in-the-Box. Super convenient. Also, when I have a never-ending migraine I don’t remember anything I read, which sucks if I’m reading a novel, but it’s okay to read a short story or two and not remember. I mean they’re short, you can read them again later. It’s like recycling.

I have no idea where I’m going with this.

Oh…. were you wondering if I’d come across any good books lately? Funny you should ask, in fact I have.

A few weeks ago I was at Borders and I found this book- Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, by John Scalzi. It’s a collection of blog posts, which, yes, I know I could have gotten for free by going to his blog and wading through the archives, but lo I am trying to single handedly keep my local Borders store in business so I bought it.

I’m glad I did. It fits in my purse and is quite clever.

I’m going to link to his blog here, but really you should buy the book, (at your local Borders store if at all possible. Sorry, I’m just not a fan of Barnes and Noble. Sorry.) You can take it with you to the DMV, to your doctor’s appointments, and if you have one of those headlamp thingys, you can take it when you are forced, heaven forbid, to take your kids to see the next Chipmunk movie. (Oh how you’ll be thanking me then!)

My favorite quote so far~
“If you want me to treat your ideas with more respect, get some better ideas.” I’m thinking of having t-shirts printed. They’d make great gifts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing up in the desert is stunting my children's development.

As you know March Madness is upon us.  You do know that, right?  Then you must also know that March Madness has nothing to do with those crazy messages I left on someone's answering machine yesterday (I'm sooo sorry about that, I hope your grandma wasn't in the room when you played them, and if she was I hope she didn't recognize my voice) even though at the time I was mad as a hatter.  I'm better now. Mostly.

Anyway, like I was saying, March Madness. There are a few things every child learns growing up in Kentucky.  How to gig a frog, how to make good gravy, how to bet a trifecta, and that college basketball is king.  I realized today that I have not passed any of these lessons down to my own children. I mean, we don't even own a frog gig.  This morning I found out that my son didn't know there was a difference between NCAA and NBA, and when I sent him this text-"Kentucky by 1 in OT." He replied-"What's OT? Do u think they will win?"

It's obvious I have some work to do. We're making playoffs a family affair this year and when basketball season's over I'm going to teach everyone how to make fried chicken with homemade gravy.

*On his blog, James is holding the 1st annual "Seize the Bacon Bracket Challenge". So, if you like college ball and you like bacon (honestly, who doesn't? It's truly a winning combination.), you should really head over and try to win the excellent prize package he's offering. (Darcy, this has your name written all over it)

Friday, March 12, 2010

There are times when being right isn't important, this is not one of those times.

Because we are quite refined around here we like to debate important issues like peace in the Middle East, the global economy, and naturally, whether the correct term is “butt-naked” or “buck-naked”.

This last topic, you probably won't be surprised to learn, has been hashed and rehashed many times. Mostly because I’m right and my husband can’t accept defeat. (It's kind of pathetic to be honest.) During one particularly intense investigative session we each surveyed 5 friends then researched it on the internet, finally concluding that it was indeed (like I said) “buck naked”

As in buck skins, which are nude colored and were worn by early Native Americans, spawning the saying “naked as a buck” which was eventually shortened by my red-neck friends to “buck-naked”. Also, I present to you the fact that George Costanza picked the porn name Buck Naked. Surely that counts for something.

I thought this was all settled and water under the bridge until a few nights ago when my husband sent me this picture-

Now the pot has been stirred up again. Wouldn’t you know, Cosmopolitan is one of the few journalistic sources my husband finds credible.

So, which is it? Buck or butt? Or is nakedness not discussed at your house?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A couple of quick items~

1. OkGo-This Too Shall Pass
I saw this on James' blog first. It's awesome.  I've watched it like 20 times.

2. I continue to be constantly amazed at what kind of freaky freakishness people are into.
Be sure to click on the gallery of images of GROWN MEN wearing the Zentai suit.  Freaks I tell you. FREAKS!

My favorite quote from the article~

"But Ben saw something else—something he didn’t even know his life was missing. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After a couple of weeks of bringing it up, I convinced my girlfriend to let me buy one. Finally it came in, I put it on… and I felt free.”" 

Are you kidding me?

Today is National Grammar Day.

I'm going to go bake a cake.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I guess we DO live in Fairville after all

There are times when I want to just keep my kids home until they no longer need me to tell them what to think (Like that day's ever going to come!). Sometimes it’s because I want to protect them from bad stuff and meanies, but more often it’s because I want to protect them from all the good intentions and  protection
being forced on them out there in the cold hard world.

I try, really I do, but it’s come to my attention that in my zeal to teach my children to suck it up because life is hard there are a few important rules I've neglected ~

1. We’re all winners. Even if we whine at practice or refuse to run during the game. Winning isn’t about being the best. It’s about showing up.

Example~My daughter, as you know, is playing soccer. Unfortunately her team has won zero games. Which honestly, as a parent I’m okay with (as a coach it’s killing me, but that’s another story). You can’t always be on the winning team. In fact, being a loser is a situation most us have to deal with everyday (I don't mean you guys are losers, I just mean, you know....). It might shock you to find out that, apparently, there is a movement underway to keep this a big fat secret from kids. Naturally no one wants to admit it. If you ask them they'll say “I always tell my kids, life’s not fair and blah blah blah” and a bunch more crap that they don’t mean, as evidenced by their actions, which everybody knows speak louder than words. Duh.

At the beginning of soccer season we were given an order form from the league so that each parent could buy a trophy for their child. These forms had to be turned in before our second game, way before we had any idea just how much losing the season had in store for us. There were two sizes- big and bigger. I spoke to the other parents. I asked them if we really needed trophies. I mean, what if we don’t win? And is that why we’re playing anyway, to win a prize? Couldn’t we just have a party at the end of the season and celebrate the joy of working together toward a common goal (get it?)? I’m new to all of this. Surely, I thought, these reasonable adults must feel the same way I do.

No, they did not, in fact, feel the same.  Some of them looked at me like I was nuts (I get that a lot) all agreed, trophies were a must. And snacks. Oh my good golly. One week the designated snack person forgot the fruitroll ups. I don’t know who was more upset, the kids or the parents. First thing Monday morning we got an e-mail from the team mom reminding us of the “refreshment schedule” and letting us know how disappointing it is to play your little heart out for 40 minutes and have no snack waiting for you when the game is over.

Deep inside I know that David Beckham is in it for the Rice Krispy Treats.

2. Bad stuff only happens on TV and in video games. And if by some chance bad stuff should happen to actually happen to us, we should try not to talk about it. LOOK AWAY!

Example~ Our school district has a great program called Art Masterpiece. Parent volunteers go into classrooms and present a work of art from a famous painter and tell the kids about it. It’s an excellent way to introduce the kids to a variety of artists and styles of painting. But… (you had to have seen that coming) during the training they ask us to try to avoid discussing the artists’ lives (or deaths) if they could be considered controversial.

As I see it there are a couple of problems with this approach- A. We’re talking about artists. They’re odd (mostly) and depressed (mainly) and B. Kids want to know why. They’re curious little buggers by nature. Without fail I am asked by every class, why did the artist paint this, and how did he or she die. I do understand the district needing to be cautious, and of course I think you need to know your audience, there are things you can say to 6th graders that you wouldn’t want to say to a kindergarten class. I’m not a complete fool. So far I’ve been able to skim over the death question. Until last week. The painting I was presenting was a Rothko. In my mind there is no way to separate Mark Rothko’s state of mind from the way he painted. We talked about his depression and the fact that his work becomes progressively darker, but when the inevitable question of how he died was asked the teacher quickly shot me a look and interrupted me to say “We don’t know. Why don’t you look it up with your parents?”

Really? There’s nothing wrong with having them look it up with their parents, but would it have been so awful to tell them that he had killed himself?

Let me tell you a little story. Yesterday my daughter told me that a girl in her class told everyone that her mother is a stripper and said she could show them how to pole dance if they wanted her to (thankfully they all said no and played tag instead). The thing is, my daughter wasn’t asking me what a stripper was, she already knew, and she knows she doesn’t want to be one. Kids understand more than we give them credit for. Finding out that a man took his life because he was mentally ill should not, and probably would not come as a surprise to them. Not everyone dies from natural causes and old age.

3. Planning ahead is not a requirement. If by some stroke of terrible bad luck you are NOT a winner don’t worry. We won't bring it up, because you shouldn't dwell on the negative things life throws your way and best of all-You can have a do-over!

Example~Last year my son had a math teacher who let all of the kids retake any test as many times as they needed until they had the grade they wanted, and all homework had to be turned in not the next day but-BY THE END OF THE QUARTER!! I wish this were the exception, but unfortunately, I have heard there are several teachers at the Jr. High with this same policy. Imagine my son’s shock (and awe) when this year his math teacher was one of those old fashioned turn your work in on time and study for your tests sticklers. I’m not making any excuses for my kid, but in the immortal words of Dr. Phil~ “You teach people how to treat you.” Or in other words, honestly, why on earth would any kid turn something in on time if he could turn it in at the last minute with no penalty?

Look, I want my kids to feel good about themselves and to be protected from really awful things and you betcha I want them to keep trying if at first they don’t succeed, but I also believe that they need to know that success is generally a result of hard work and things don’t always go they way we hope they will and above all, that their actions have consequences.

Most importantly I hope they learn to sing a happy little tune, because I never did and I think it would come in pretty handy.