Monday, July 28, 2008
Mm-hmm, that's right. You can all be jealous now.
In September, Jeremy and I are going with the Cougar Football team to Waco, Texas to play Baylor. It will be a quick trip, but super easy for me, because I'll just be getting on and off of busses and planes when I'm told. Oh, and did I mention that it's a chartered flight? My favorite parts (besides the DirectTV in every headrest) are the "get off the plane and straight onto the bus on the tarmac," and the "never wait in traffic because we have a police escort" parts!
October/early November will take me to L.A., Corvallis, San Jose, and Phoenix. I'm hoping I can send my dance team coach to one of the first three, because that's a lot of travel. But I've never been to Phoenix!
Then, over Thanksgiving weekend, I'm going to Honolulu, Hawaii with the team as well. The football game is on my birthday. So yes, I'll be spending my birthday in Hawaii. I guess the downside is that I'll spend Thanksgiving Day on a plane. Oh well, such sacrifices must be made. We'll be there for a full day on Friday, and I'm going to make the MOST of my one-day vacay in Hawaii. (Thursday and Sunday we're travelling, Saturday is the game)
In December, my whole side of the family is going to Nashville, Tennessee for my cousin's wedding.
Then, in January, I'm taking the Crimson Girls dance team to Orlando, Florida for the Universal Dance Association's Collegiate Nationals Competition. The competition is INSIDE Disneyworld Resort, and preliminaries are on the Indiana Jones outdoor stage.
Okay, I'm done bragging. I just feel incredibly blessed by my job - it has taken me some truly incredible places. (Last year: Wisconsin, Tucson, L.A. (twice), Seattle (twice), Eugene, San Jose (twice), Vegas, Denver, and Charlotte, N.C.)
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Well, turns out, Jana Bieger is just an alternate. Here's the actual team:
So I was pretty close. This is the article on the team selected by Martha Karolyi.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
SO, I found a solution. Well, two solutions, actually. The first is a line of "Tuffie Toys" that you can find at Petco. These are really tough squeaky plush toys that are almost impossible to rip apart. Reggie has the cow.
The second is "Egg Babies." Basically this is for dogs who are obsessed about getting the squeaker out of their plush toys. Reggie's fish comes with five eggs that you stuff inside its pouch, and then he has to work to get them out. Then he feels like he has accomplished something, and I don't have to clean up the stuffing for a half hour, and the toy's not ruined!! It comes in other animals too, including an alligator, a turtle, or a hedgehog. I found it in Vancouver, B.C. and paid way too much for it. It's affordable on the website above.
Here's Reggie with the Fish. :) Mom and Corrie, there's the "new" living room rug that you haven't seen yet. Yes, I even vacuumed it.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It Isn't Just a Game
By Rick Reilly
When I was a sophomore in college, working on the town newspaper, a professor took me aside and said, "You need to get out of sports. You're better than sports."
I still get that crap. "So when are you going to graduate from sports and go write for Time?" strangers will say. "You know, do something important?"
I stamp my feet and hold my breath and insist that sports is important and worthy of my devotion. And they go, "Why?" And that's when I look at them like a poodle at a card trick. But now I'm ready with my answer.
I love sports because . . .
- It's about loyalty and passion and family. We love the Vikings because Grandma loved the Vikings, and nothing and nobody is going to make us switch. Sports isn't an escape from life - it's woven into the fabric of it.
- It leads to instant parades. How cool is that? Name anything else in life that galvanizes a city to pull off a parade involving 500,000 people with two days' planning? And then the guys in the parades do jigs in kilts.
- It's the best kind of reality TV. That's real blood. Those are real tears. There's no director hollering, "Cut! Effects!" I was covering the NBA once when Seattle's 7'2" Tom Burleson fell hard under the hoop. No foul. As he was running downcourt, hand to bleeding mouth, he suddenly whipped something that hit me in the chest and plopped onto my notepad. It was his tooth.
- It gives us a sense of place. Even if there isn't a single Indianapolis Colt from Indianapolis, the players live there, they eat there, they take out their trash there. They carry the flag for our town and our friends. And in the era of one-Starbucks-per-parking meter cities, sports gives us Wrigley, Fenway, and Lambeau. Remember that the next time they want to tear down your stadium and put up a damn Invesco Field.
- There's no back door in. If you're Aaron Spelling's daughter and you want to act, you get to act. If you're a Trump, you get to build. But nobody in sports makes it onto the field because he caught a lucky sperm. Jose and Ozzie Canseco were identical twins. Jose played 1,887 major league games. Ozzie played 24.
- And sports doesn't care how you did last month, either. If you're Derek Jeter and you stop hitting, it doesn't matter how many Visa commercials you've done, you're toast. And yet Flavor Flav still puts out CDs.
- It turns hardened people to mush. Truck drivers weep over it. Nurses are overcome. Tell me the last time the ballet did that.
- The No Way That Just Happened moment seems to happen every 20 minutes. Fifteen laterals to win at 00:00; 41-point 'dog whips No. 1; kid overcomes cancer to clinch World Series. The notion that anybody can become president is pretty much dead - but in sports, anybody can still grow up to beat Michigan.
- It encourages good, healthy hating. If I'm an Auburn fan, I can hate you, an Alabama fan, from the bottom of my hater, and it's alright. I can seethe about it and write blogs about it and boo about it without getting arrested or hit with a restraining order. Who knows where all that hate would go without sports?
- It's cheap. With HD, who needs tickets? We've all been the guy who spent a week's salary to go to the game and ended up wishing he was back on the couch eating queso dip with his buddies. (That's another thing: Without sports, would there even be queso dip?)
- It's black and white, there's no gray area. Every night there's a winner and there's a loser and nothing in between. There's no waiting to see the third-quarter fiscal report. It's open to zero interpretation. I've never been to a game yet where, at the end, the ref announced, "O.K., Cleveland won 14-13, but the Cleveland coach was blocking his deep-seated childhood need for validation. So, actually Buffalo is the winner." There's a score and it's fair and clean and easy to understand. Except for figure skating, of course.
- It's new all the time. A Rolling Stones concert is the same 80 nights in a row, but an Avalanche-Red Wings game is a new, epic novel every time.
- It gives us something safe to talk about at Thanksgiving without upsetting Aunt Harriet or causing Grandpa to storm off in a huff. It's not religion, politics, war, or money. Sports is a way in. One of the best emails I ever got was from a 25-year-old: "Thanks for writing what you did about the RedSox. It's the first time I've been able to talk to my dad in five years."
So bite me, professor. Thirty years later, I still don't think I'm better than sports. In fact, it's been the other way around the whole time.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
1. It seemed like finally someone was making the movie about how unfulfilling it might feel to be a superhero, and how costly the damage could be to the city.
2. And with Will Smith on board, the previews looked hillarious, and I thought they had the potential to make a well-done "spoof" movie about a reluctant superhero.
It turns out that this movie is way more serious than it's preivews suggested, almost a character study of the Hancock character. I was a little disappointed, because I had been wanting this to be a comedy (there's some good laughs in the first 30 minutes) and got something completely different.
There have been plenty of bad reviews of Hancock, but I disagree. I liked the movie, even though it was not what I expected. Despite the negative reviews, Will Smith once again wins out with his 4th of July release date (see Men in Black 2, Independence Day, I-Robot, Bad Boys II) - Hancock has already made $104 million. I agree that he is probably the only truly bankable movie star alive today.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Jeremy's start group - males 29 years and younger. (1/2 mile swim)
Starting the bike leg. (11 miles)