Monday, October 28, 2013

Football: A Theological Perspective (A not-so-instant replay)

This is a rerun, a Monday Memory. Therefore, some of you have already read it. It's still funny. It's aged well. Enjoy

I spent the day with friends today and we watched football.
I hate football. I don’t understand football. Here’s what I know about football.
My history with football started in high school. I never missed a football game. I was there to watch the cheerleaders and smoke under the bleachers. I was there to go to the dance after the game. I was there to get out of the house. I was not there to watch football. I knew the object of the game was to carry the ball down the field to the goal place and that other people tried to knock the person with the ball down. Mud was part of the game. As was rain which caused the mud. But, from the bleachers, I could never find the ball. Never. Once in awhile, I would see some guy run down the field, chased by other guys, and I assumed he had the ball. Then he would end up in the mud and the cheerleaders would yell this:
“First in ten, do it again, we like it.” Huh? But they were cute when they did it and I was there, after all, to watch them. Did I mention I’m a lesbian? So when the cheerleaders said it, so did I.
(At basketball games they said “Get it on the rebound, rebound, rebound” and I knew what that meant. But “First in ten, do it again, we like it?” WTF were they talking about?)
Aside:  I graduated from high school in 1969. When I was twelve I went through confirmation classes in the Episcopal Church. I knew that the fact I would graduate in 1969 was funny for some reason but had no idea why.  What I learned in confirmation classes was this:
  • Parts of the prayer book did not really exist (The 39 articles. Have you ever seen them? I thought not.)
  • The Holy Spirit would descend on me when I was confirmed.
  • After that I could eat the body and blood of Christ which was actually fish food and wine.
So I get confirmed. Bishop Carmen had some sort of palsy and when he laid his hands on your head it felt like you were being attacked by a blender on high. Your whole head shook and then you were confirmed. For a long time I thought the Holy Spirit was part kitchen appliance, part bird. Then, after he finished shaking all our heads, he gave us a verse. The point of the verse was this: When we saw him, we were to say the verse and he would know which year he had confirmed us. (Stay with me. We will get back to football after this brief half-time show).
Now, remember this. We are twelve, so sixth grade. The girls had brand new breasts, the boys were still short, we were all, basically, morons. We already know there is something funny about the fact that we will graduate in 1969 but we have no idea what and our older siblings and friends refuse to tell us.  And Bishop Carmen gives us this verse: “Whatsoever he saith unto you do it.” But, he wants to make it easy and tells us we just have to come up to him and say, “Do it, Bishop Carmen.” Although we are not quite sure about the mechanics, we do know that “Do it” means sex. We also suspect that 1969 has something to do with sex and we find this quite funny. We spend the next several years looking for excuses to tell the bishop “Do it, Bishop Carmen.” Hell, we were twelve, we amused easily, especially if it had to do with sex, which we only understood in a clinical 5th grade health class sort of way.
Now back to football. By the time I was in high school I had a better idea about the whole concept of “doing it” and I even had an inkling about what made 1969 so dang funny. And there are the cheerleaders, for no reason I can understand, yelling “First in ten, do it again, we like it.” One of them is my next door neighbor whom I have had a crush on for years. She was four years older than I was, a senior when I was freshman, and beautiful. She moved like the dancer she was (she went pro with SF Ballet) and I have always had a thing for dancers.  So, between smoking under the bleachers and watching the cheerleaders, I’m pretty sure this particular cheer has something to do with sex. That whole “First in ten” thing is a freaking mystery and remains so for my entire high school career. But I was sort of getting behind the whole sex idea and if it involved the cheerleader next door, I was all for it. So I was pretty sincere on the whole “Do it again, we like it” although at that point I had no idea if I would like it or not.
Fast forward. I never went to a single game in college because I was too busy being a hippy and doing that whole sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll thing. Yes, I did it. And I liked it. After college, I went to a New Year’s Day party some college friends still hold today, some 30 years later, and we played an annual game of flag football. However, since these were mixed teams, flag meant the guys tackled the girls into the mud. Sort of as if we were still in sixth grade only in our late 20s. Morons. Some guy on my team tackled me. You read that right. ON MY TEAM. And my glasses broke so I had to sit out. I am blind without them. That is the only time I ever played football, I was tackled in the first 30 seconds, and couldn’t even see the rest of the game. If I remember correctly, there was a bong involved.
Another fast forward. I meet the beloved Jenny who actually likes football. I make it clear that I will not watch football with her and she decides that she will watch only the Super Bowl. Or maybe the Rose Bowl. I get those two mixed up. So once a year she goes butch on me, watches a football game complete with yelling at the TV which I patiently explain cannot hear her, and I go in the office and do something else.  For about 13 years this works just fine. Then our kid, the Divine Miss M, decides to be a cheerleader. She makes the squad freshman year and by senior year is star of the show and team captain. Suddenly I have to go to football games. All the time.
I no longer smoke, you can’t get under the bleachers anyway, and I’m still there to watch the cheerleaders. There is no bong involved although I wish there was. But Jenny is determined to teach me to like football. So start the endless repetition of the FACTS OF FOOTBALL, listed below:
  • There are two teams.
  • The home team wears white. This means that if we are at home, we’re the white guys, if we are not at home we are the blue guys. Except Maggie’s school always wears blue so one of my certainties flies right out the window.
  • Each team has two lineups, one for offense, one for defense (finally I know why there are always so many guys just standing around)
  • On the far side of the field, the one I can’t see because I am blind, are two, or maybe three or four, guys with orange numbers on sticks.
  • The number guys move around depending on where the ball lands and they flip the numbers to figure out many yards the ball went. This has something to do with the white lines on the ground if it isn’t too muddy.
  • There is still something called “First in ten” and I still don’t know what it means. Or maybe it’s “First and ten.” Either way it’s meaningless to me. Jenny explains it every game. And every game I forget. Did I mention the brain injury?
  • The game still consists of about 20 minutes of action and three and a half hours of standing around.
Every week she explains this (or something close to it) and every week I have no clue. (You have to know that one of my daughters played soccer year round for almost two decades and I never understood offsides either) (and, I find out, football has offsides as well but I have no idea what that means either) (However, I’m pretty sure that football offsides and soccer offsides are not the same but it doesn’t matter because I don’t understand either.) I watch the cheerleaders.
(Note: I am no longer interested in the cheerleaders in that way because they are now young enough to be my children. In fact, the one they keep tossing in the air is my child.  And that would be, well,  icky. Not too mention illegal. And I am married (although apparently that is not legal either since I’m married to a butch-wannabee named Jenny.) And, in case you forgot, my name is Susan which means we are both women. That whole lesbian thing. And don’t ask me which one of us the guy, you moron. The whole point: NO GUY!)
However, today I learned something about the mysteries of football. One problem with live football is that they run, they fall down, the stick guys move, and everybody huddles, slaps asses, and then they stand around until they do it again. Like I said, little action, lots of standing around. But in televised football they can fill the “standing around” time with instant replays. Endless instant replays. Endless instant replays of instant replays. So you can’t even figure out where the game ends and the replays begin. Makes it all so much clearer to me.

On Commitment and Some Ideas on How to Get There

Okay, I think there's a post that says I just signed up for BlogHer. They do a monthly challenge called NaBloPoMo, which involves blogging daily. Since my goal is to get into this habit, and since I'm horrible at follow through, I decided I just had to commit.

So, accountability. I hope you will nag me if I forget (or decide) not to blog. I find that in most things, a deadline and someone to yell at me if I miss it are essential. Maybe it was my twenty-plus years in journalism, but I do best when I know I have to produce.

Another reason for doing NaBloPoMo is that it happens in November, the NaNoWriMo month, and I'm just not up to NaNoWriMo right now. I've done it before, produced my first published book that way, and know that I can't handle it this month. It's just too much. Besides, I've got a book to get done and ready for December publication. But I figure a blog post a day is doable.

Of course, committing to doing a blog post every day means coming up with content everyday. To that end, I'm giving each day of the week some possible themes that hopefully will help me come up stuff to say. Or, I could just rant about politics, but some of you get enough of that from me on Facebook.

I won't share all the themes with you. You want to be surprised don't you? But I will tell you that the theme chosen for today is Memories. This means I'm going to be lazy and repost an oldie but goodie from another blog I had. Watch for it. It's the infamous Football and Theology post which had some folks snorting beverages.

BlogHer: Glad to be here but confused

I've just joined BlogHer because I want to do NaBloPoMo, but I'm so confused. 
  • How does this blog link to my existing blog?
  • If I post in my existing blog, will it show up here?
  • The login screen says I don't have a token, but it logs me in anyway?
If anyone out there has a clue (and I suspect most of you do), please fill me in.
Thanks, and glad to be here

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

Over there at the right side is button for the Sunday Sweets and Smiles challenge. In this challenge, you are supposed to do a collage of things that made you smile durring the past week. So here goes.

First off, there is this little girl. She really knows how to rock those tap shoes and her wild abandon is contagious. Something I need to emulate.

Then there's this Halloween costume that appeals to the book lover in me. Announcing the Diction-Fairy:

Photo: I think I found my Halloween costume! The Diction-fairy! Thanks to Children's Reading Foundation for sharing this one!

And this:

Other things that made me smile:

  • Finding out that one of my daughters has applied to the Teach for America program. It will be a significant cut in pay for her for a couple of years, but she will be an awesome Math and Science teacher. Not to mention giving her more time to spend with my gorgeous grandchildren.
  • The awesome people who helped us get our house ready for the open house.
  • Sandra Bullock in Gravity. The movie is one of those roller coaster rides that careens from one horrible situation to another, but hey, it's Sandra Bullock.
  • Pinterest. Boy did I have fun pinning things this week.

Other pleasures of the week:

  • Finished Clive Cussler's Spartan Gold
    • I'm not sure about this series, the Fargo Series, although I'm willing to give it another chance and read the next in the series. No, it does not involve any wood chippers.
  • Read James Patternson's Third Degree
    • Third in the Women's Murder Club series. I'm loving this series. Great fun, although this book had a disaster in it. However, if someone had to die, I'm glad it was her and not the others.
  • Started Rita Mae Brown's A Nose for Justice.
    • Have my tastes changed? Or is it just that after reading Cussler and Patterson, Brown's books are just too tame? I'm going to keep going and maybe I'll fall in love with this new series. However, so far it is not up to the Mrs. Murphy series, nor is it Six of One or Ruby Fruit Jungle.
  •  Found eighteen one dollar bills in my freshly washed jeans, the jeans I just took to the laundry, and my coat pockets. A windfall.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's Getting Serious Around Here....

I know, I know. I slacked off on blogging. But I was busy getting ready. Ready for what? Well, everything, of course.

So here's the news:

  • Jenny put in her retirement date. It will be official on February 28th. If I have my way, we'll head out on March 1st. Anybody want to help me plan a party? We'll need to use your house since ours is now tiny.
  • The big house is up for sale. Chase Bank has confused the hell out of us by telling us the house has been foreclosed on (it hasn't); sold at Sheriff's Auction (nope, wrong there too); and then telling us to do a short sale. Okay. We can do that.
  • Bob the Realtor (I'm sure he has a real name, but I don't know what it is) is having an open house on Sunday. If you want to buy a 2400 sq. ft. house on a half acre with a creek, lots of trees, wildlife (even when I'm not here), and beavers, come check it out.
  • Of course, because of some minor accidents backing the RV into the driveway (where a lot of those trees seem to live), the RV has to go into the shop for a couple weeks so we had to move back into the house that we may or may not own, may or may not sell, and therefore we may or may not find ourselves homeless. If that happens, we'll call you.
  • Why you ask? Well, the trailer was supposed to go to the shop two weeks ago. Actually three weeks ago. But three weeks ago there was a lot of rain and we couldn't get it out because the place we have to turn it around to head in the right direction was a muddy swamp. The same one we got stuck in back in June. Then two weeks ago, after the first round of the rainy season, we discovered that, although the dealership TOLD us the problem with the slide was fixed, it actually wasn't. One slide is stuck in the out position. We've been waiting two weeks for the dealer to come and get the slide in. (We tried. My job is to push the button. Jenny's is to lift the slide and push. Didn't work. Nor did it work when our friend, Mark, came to help. And Mark can fix almost anything.) They were supposed to come today but didn't although they had a good excuse. They have promised to be here tomorrow. After that, it will take two weeks or so to get the repairs and upgrades we want done, and then we will move back in. Since by then the rainy season should be in full swing, we plan to be completely out of the house and living in an RV park. No more trees in the driveway or swamps for us.
  • I'm not having surgery on my ankle. Although the doctor hasn't given me the final word yet, I've made up my mind. Yes, it still hurts some, but it's getting better. PT says the tendons are curling and I think that's cute so I'm just going to leave it that way. I'll probably end up in a brace, because I feel a bit unstable, but that's fine. And I'm DRIVING again!
  • I need to take some photos. The house is pretty much all packed up, the RV is loaded (mostly), we've been living in it since August and love it, and the only camera I have is my cell phone. Does the big crack on the face of my phone matter?
  • The dog loves to be wherever we are, the cats love the RV although it has never actually moved with them in it, and the vet says we should just put them in their carriers and put the carriers in the RV. That way we don't have to listen to them howl. Works for me.
  • Winter has attacked my body with all its evil. I have fibro in case you forgot and that makes me a human barometer. From October to June, I hurt like hell. Then I have about two weeks of comfort, then it starts over again. Part of the reason we're going RVing. I need to be gone from here during the rainy season (and this is's all rainy season).
  • Oh, and I had the flu. For two weeks. I'm still coughing. You should have bought stock in Robitussin a couple weeks ago.
  • Meg (aka Circus Kid) is home from circus school in Italy and decided to stay in PDX to work and do some advanced circus training. Yes, Portland is a hotbed of circus arts. Who woulda thunk it? She's teaching at Night Flight and, I think, Circus Project, and performing almost every weekend. She's also helping us get ready to go.
  • What else? We spent the month of August in Bend, and it was HEAVEN. We're really going to like this ongoing camping business.
  • The trailer has a name. Now Jenny doesn't agree but she's come up with nothing better and I write the blog, so the fifth wheel is officially Calamity Jane. (No offense to our friends named Jane).  CJ has had more than her fair share of tree incidents, odd events, and all, so it fits. Plus she's a bitch to backup. To be honest, though, I've only backed her up about two inches and driven forward about four feet. I intend to keep it that way.
  • My second book should be out by Christmas. At least that's the plan, and I've told my fans so I guess I have to get it done. If you haven't read the first one (it's a series) it's called Blind Leading the Blind and it's a mystery. Click on the link to the right (when I figure it out) to buy your very own copy, or go to Powells and have them print you a copy while you wait. You can also go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble if you prefer an e-book. It's funny and sexy, well-written, and gets good reviews. How can you go wrong with a couple of neurotic lesbians, one a blind psychologist and one a defrocked detective, who end up raising a 15-year-old girl. Now, if you've raised daughters, you know that right there is a set-up.
  • This is my busiest indexing season but Jenny has convinced me to retire as well. Since I start getting social security in January, I'm all for it. Between her SS and pension, and my SS, we should be just fine. The nice thing about this is that I can say no to indexing jobs that are creepy, weird, or stupid. I love it. And if the clients beg, I raise my rate. If they bite, I MIGHT take the job. Otherwise, I just chill.

So, hopefully, on March 1st we'll be heading for California. We'll spend a few weeks in Palm Springs so I can get warm and drink gin and tonics with my cousin, after a leisurely drive, then we'll either take Rte 66 to Chicago or go across the South, ultimately ending up in North Carolina to see family and then New York State to see friends. I'm ready. We'll head back through Yellowstone where our middle daughter and her family will join us. We should be home in time for the two weeks of September summer.  Can't wait.