Michigan Football

I Remember

Hi! How was your Thanksgiving weekend, readers? And for my neighbors to the north, hope you were able to cash in on some of the US’s “Black Friday” deals … or do you even have any sales like that for the day after the US’s Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I’m just being curious.

My Thanksgiving weekend was good: Got to spend time with Hubby’s family on Turkey Day. And on the weekend, managed to eek out a few great savings from Black Friday; both locally and at the “big box” shops. But the point is, I managed to check off a few people off my Christmas list.

More importantly, my favorite college football team managed to win the all-important “Biggest Rivalry in College Football” game. AND we got to watch the game at a bar & grill, hanging out with my two cousins.

These two girls — the youngest of my Dad’s nieces (and close to 20 years younger than me!) — have seriously been the support I’ve needed this past year while dealing with my Dad’s passing. Maybe it’s because, like me, Dad had played an important part in their lives; many times being the father-figure that they’ve needed. And as we talked throughout that day, I somehow managed to remember how much my Dad’s passing has affected them as well.

I forgot how my Dad would stick up for them if their mothers (my Dad’s sisters) gave them problems. I forgot how Dad would manage to sneak them some cash when he thought no one was looking. I forgot how much he loved to play with them, and as they got older, joke around with them. I forgot.

So to my two cousins, who miss my Dad as much as I miss him … know that I remember and that I’m forever grateful that you two always manage to check up on me when I need it most.

******

And Rain? Don’t worry, my darling kitty. I didn’t forget about today either. I can never forget the day that I lost my first and most favorite kitty in the world. Hope you’re up there keeping Dad company ….

 

Hail …

Whew. What a football game! And I swear … that 4th Quarter nearly gave me a heart attack. But what a way to kick off the first-ever “Under The Lights” game at Michigan Stadium.

And I’m so glad we were there. Except …

Except on the ride home — while basking in the afterglow of an underdog win — I suddenly felt a pang of sadness.

Today, Hubby & I decided to visit Dad. But before then, we decided to head to one of our favorite Detroit-area pizzerias. As I “checked in” to the restaurant on foursquare from my iPhone, I felt another pang of sadness.

While at the cemetery, Hubby and I had our usual “conversation” with Dad; telling him about what has been going on, even though we knew he could see us from above. We told him about the amazing come-from-behind Wolverine win. And we told him about eating at one of his favorite pizzerias for lunch.

And as we told him about these thing, I felt the tears roll down my cheek. Because I missed him.

I missed how we used to go to Pizzapapalis for special occasions like Father’s Day 2010 … the last time I “checked in” on foursquare at that restaurant.

And I missed how Dad never failed to call me after such exciting football games (or any other sporting events) to tease me that he was there at the game … even though we both knew he was just watching the game on TV while sitting in his recliner.

It amazes me how much one can miss silly things such as these … when you know it won’t happen again.

Thanks for the Wolverine win, Dad …

Yada Yada … and Then Some

See? I don't think my niece, Kairi is ready for Fall either!

Sad but true … tonight was the first night I stepped outside my house since Labor Day.

It’s a good thing Hubby made it a Dinner & A Movie kind of night, otherwise I would have likely stayed at home in my pajamas as I had done all week long.

What can I say? I love working from home … well, at least when I’m not traveling for my job. And seeing that I’ve spent the past few months “grounded” at home, doing all web-based “virtual training” all day in my home office … sometimes I see no reason to step out of the house.

I guess it’s also a good thing it was a short week.

But seeing that the weather in Metro-Detroit has been pretty much crappy since Monday, it’s probably best I stayed away from the annoying drivers who can’t seem to figure out how to drive in the rain.

I mean … really, people. We live in the Motor City, we should all know how to drive like mail carriers: Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet — yada yada …

As if I don’t have enough to whinge about, here’s my biggest gripe for the day: Today I put on a pair of jeans for the first time since May. Although I was (very) grateful that they still fit (whew!), I was more upset that this meant we were one step further away from summer.

Can you tell I don’t want the warm weather to disappear?

I don’t know why I’ve been feeling like this lately. I mean I truly love Autumn and everything that surrounds the beautiful season … but it’s almost as if this year I’m dreading it.

I’m beginning to think that it’s not that I no longer like the coming season, but rather I don’t like thinking about what comes after the leaves fall from the trees and the bitter cold starts to settle in. After all, I’ve never been much of a Winter person.

Maybe it’s because Autumn means I’m one step closer to Thanksgiving … to the weekend when my beloved Rain passed away. To when my Dad first entered the hospital that first week in December. To when he passed away.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be a year very soon. Yet it almost seems a lifetime apart. There are some days I’m perfectly okay with things; okay with getting on with my life.

But then there are those other days … days like this past week … where the emotions are still so raw; so painful to even think about. And although those moments don’t happen as frequently any more … when they do, they seem so much more intense.

In any case, I know that time doesn’t stop for grief. If there is anything that dealing with the emotions of Infertility has taught me is that life keeps moving on despite the all hurt and pain.

Too bad it only took me ten years to discover this. <smirk>

So here’s what I plan to do to keep moving on: Tomorrow I’m gonna enjoy going to the Big House for the first night-time Michigan Football game. (Woo-hoo! Go Blue!) And Sunday we’ll go watch Hubby’s younger cousin peform with his HS Marching Band at one of the small-town parades. And Monday? I go for my first guitar lessons.

So yeah … maybe getting myself (and keeping myself out of the house) will do me some good.

In the mean time … maybe this video will inspire me to embrace Autumn in Ann Arbor …

(Not so) Serious Rants

Pictures from Football Saturday

Well, I can’t believe the last week of October is already here. It seems like just yesterday that it was Labor Day weekend and Hubby & I were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.

And even though the past two months felt like they’ve flown by … when going over the blog posts I’ve written during this time period, it feels as if the end of August was a lifetime away.

Yes, I did not deal with certain events during this interval very well. And to some extent I’m still not doing so hot. But I think I’ve come to the decision that there isn’t much more I can do that would make things any better or any worse for me at this moment. As my Hubby is so fond of saying, “It is what it is.” In other words, accept it and move on.

This coming Saturday will include a family function that … I’ll be honest … I’m a little apprehensive to attend. However, I will do so only for the love of these children and for the love of family. I’m not exactly sure how the rest of the family will treat me, but I will make the effort to be on my best behavior. I have a feeling I will be full of anxiety for the duration we are there, but perhaps the little white magic pill I’ll take before heading out the door will help. Thank G*d for modern chemistry.

In addition, I’m already expecting work to be extremely busy this week. (Okay, so when is it not busy?!) The Process Improvement group I’m part of is presenting it’s results from our first session to the big-wig execs tomorrow, which means that I should find something other than jeans to wear to work. And yes, I am lucky enough to work for a company that sees the value in promoting casual work wear (which includes jeans, in our case). And I think it’s great as a Health Insurance Company, that they did this to help promote exercise, activity and overall healthy living. But crap … I haven’t worn “business-wear” in years. Not since the days of being a “stupor-visor.” Do I even fit into any of it? Somehow methinks not.

Anyway …

This past Saturday, Hubby & I spent the day in Ann Arbor doing a very typical Midwestern-y Fall Activity. Well typical for those that enjoy watching sports. We spent the day watching the annual “Battle for the State” game; the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State football game at the Big House. We were expecting it to be a very cold and wet day, but the weather gods apparently decided to be kind to us instead. Unfortunately the sports gods weren’t too kind to my team, as we lost. It was an exciting game, nonetheless.

Oh, and I just happened to snap a picture of this:


Yep, that’s right some of the University of Michigan students supporting “Oba-den” (uh-huh … I like combining words).

It’s seeing those things that remind me why I enjoyed college life so much. Those were the days where I felt I could make some sort of difference in the world. The days where I felt invincible. Not that I’m not contributing to society and making a difference in this world right now … I think I find myself more invisible these days than invincible. In any case … the picture ROCKS! And I’m so surprised that there weren’t too many “McPalin” supporters at the game; especially because I have this image of the rich, older U of M alumni being more Republican than Democratic.

Anyway (as I continue to babble), on the 40-some minute drive to Ann Arbor (and afterwards, as we were stuck in post-game traffic), Hubby and I were listening to a couple of NPR podcasts we downloaded onto our iPod. One of the podcasts came highly recommended by a co-worker/NPR-listener/friend of mine, as it was an episode of “This American Life” that broke down the current economic crisis in terms that everyday people could understand. And while searching for that episode online, Hubby found another episode aired in May of this year and was actually the predecessor to this October episode.

The Wolverine fan in me is still trying to understand how Sparty is the most favorite mascot ...

The Wolverine fan in me is still trying to understand how Sparty is College Football's most favorite mascot

Now, I can’t claim any prior knowledge (other than what we typically hear in the daily newscasts) on exactly why our country is in such economic turmoil. However, I can tell you this. The more I listened and learned, the more I found myself getting angrier. Seriously. Nothing says “Let’s make more money off the poor so we can get richer” like listening to some of the stories told.

And the fact that none of these financial “schemes” (for lack of better word) have been regulated?! Well … it totally pisses off the RN Case Manager in me that works for a Health Insurance company where … anything and everything (in terms of dollars and cents) is scrutinized by the government. Okay, so I totally understand that regulating health care is a matter of life and death. But really (in my humble opinion), by not regulating our financial market at all … well crap! We’re letting strangers bet on our livelihoods. And when you think about it, that’s what these financial people are doing … gambling with our lives!

Okay, I will get off my high horse for now. But again, I strongly recommend you listening to these podcasts. There’s a 95 cent fee to download the podcast from the website. Or you can always listen to them free directly on the site.

Oh, and while I’m on the whole NPR thing. Here’s a little tidbit I heard on the radio this evening. Apparently there is modern version of the “New Testament” coming out tomorrow that supposedly is very “pop culture”-ish. The little bit I caught talked about having images in it like Co.ca.Co.la and Gandhi. But the best part was hearing this girl say, “Can’t have a bible without Bono!”

And with that crack of lightning (from the heavens above) … I’m “Audi 5000“!

Tagged

So I was officially “Tagged” by kcmarie waaaay back at the end of December. I figured I probably should finally get around to doing it. Apparently there has been some “rules” that have been posted since I initially got tagged, so I figured I would add it to my post as well.

The Rules:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  4. Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the fun begin!

Ummmm … Let’s see. Six non-important quirks about me.

  1. I brush my teeth with my left hand. Which would not be any big deal except that I’m right-handed in everything else. I’ve tried switching hands many times, but for some reason I always revert subconsciously to my left hand.
  2. I always have to sleep with one foot, preferably the right (told you I was a righty), outside of the blanket. Even if I’m lying on the side, I always have to have a foot out. It could be freezing cold in our bedroom to the point that my head is even under the covers, but I absolutely have to keep one foot on the outside. I’m not quite sure the reason why, but it’s just something I have always done. Sometimes I think that my mind is telling me that I must always be ready to move or get up at the spur of the moment.
  3. Back in high school, I was nicknamed the “Human Jukebox” because I would always know the words to any song. Friends would spit out two words to a song and I would literally know what song they were talking about. Unfortunately, that “talent” faded once I got into college because suddenly my mind had to be filled with the other “useful” knowledge it was supposed to contain in order for me to graduate with my Nursing degree. Apparently though, my “talent” has started to resurface because I’m suddenly being approached by co-workers who say I should be on that new TV show where I’m supposed to complete the lyrics. Yikes! I’d have too much stage fright!
  4. Speaking of high school, I was voted “Class New-Waver.” I mean, come ON! How 80’s could that get?! Personally, I would have thought that I would have been “Class Goth” if there was ever that category back then. But then again, we’re talking Catholic school here. I guess it was because even back then, I only wore black (Thank God no uniforms in high school at that time!) and supposedly listened to what was considered “alternative music” back then. Seriously though, I think God got back at me for wearing all that black in high school, because once I got into the Nursing program in college all I was allowed to wear was white. Grrr …
  5. I took piano lessons for close to ten years when I was young. I loved playing the piano, but I hated the lessons. Probably because I never was able to really “read” the notes as quickly as you would think someone taking lessons for that long would. Instead, I had a tendency to read the notes slowly, learn the “melody,” and then memorize it so I knew when something “sounded” wrong when I played it. It used to drive my piano teacher INSANE. What I wish I would have known then was that there was a specific method of teaching piano, called the Suzuki Method, that relied mostly on listening to a song over and over again in order to learn the tune. Then I might have found another instructor and might have continued taking lessons.
  6. I’m not a particularly active or “fit” person, but I love watching any type of sports. I think it comes from living in a city that has all the major pro-sports teams (hockey, baseball, basketball, football) and great universities with good sports programs. Hubby & I are BIG University of Michigan Football Fans and are actually pretty lucky to have season tickets every year. The funny thing is that Hubby actually is a U of M alumni, but do you think that we EVER went to any of the football games when he actually attended the university? Nope.  In fact, I never had any inkling that Hubby was a sports nut until after we were married. Which is when I really started getting into sports. Never thought I’d see the day when I actually knew what the referee’s hand signals actually meant …

So that’s it about me. Six quirky things you never wanted to know.

I guess this is where I’m supposed to tag other people. Oh geez, I don’t have THAT big a circle of friends, but I’ll tag hope548, courtney rose, and sheila. Good luck, gals!!

Trusting Myself

I’ve been feeling a little off for the past week and a half. It started out as something simple, like feeling even more tired that I usually already am on a given day. Then I had this horrible headache that just wouldn’t go away. Towards the end of last week, I just felt like I wasn’t thinking or acting or generally functioning right.

Mother Goose & her Ducklings
at the Local Strip Mall

The last time I felt this way was back in March, and even back then I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling “off.” It wasn’t until a friend pointed out to me that it was the yearly “anniversary” of my failed IVF attempt. This friend, who is also a nurse, had a theory that the body can “remember” when certain past events come up during the course of the year. And though I might not have consciously remembered that March was the month that I failed to keep my little embryos tucked inside of me, my body certainly did. Or, more accurately, even though I may have been trying my best to FORGET the horrible emotions I felt one March, my body wasn’t letting me.

Initially, hearing that information made me angry. After all, we’re talking about the same body that has “betrayed” me. This is the same body that failed to carry a baby, let alone successfully create a life all on its own. So now I’m supposed to recognize that my body was reminding me of a very agonizing time in my life? And I’m supposed to trust my body, or more precisely, trust that the emotions I’ve been feeling are valid and not simply “crazy thoughts”? That hopefully, by remembering all the pain I went through that month, I will be able to move away from it? I wanted to chuck that theory out the window. Yet … the interesting thing was, once I acknowledged that the memory of that cold and lonely March was why I was feeling so funky, my fogginess started to clear.

Rabid Wolverine Fans

So what event was my body trying to remind me of this time? Well, almost a year ago while sitting at home watching the big University of Michigan vs. Ohio State football game in Columbus, OH on the TV, our phone rang. Now, if you’ve read my previous blog, or if you just really know my husband and I, we are huge Michigan football fans. And every year, the game against Ohio State is the biggest game of the season. So when the phone rang, we let the answering machine pick it up. What we heard on the machine was my SIL telling us her great news … that she and her husband were pregnant. And, well … we all can just imagine how well I took that news.

It isn’t just the news of my SIL’s pregnancy that one day in November that has sent me into some sort of emotional vortex. Really, I think it’s what that day symbolizes. It’s the day that I believe I hit absolute rock bottom in my infertility journey. And it was also the beginning of a year of incredible lows and lowers.

Apparently, this past week, my body has been telling me to remember that point in my life. To acknowledge where I was a year ago this coming Saturday. There are still some days I wish I could just forget that this past year has ever happened. However, I now recognize that I do have to look back and remember just so I can move forward towards whatever direction in life I’m supposed to take. Maybe it’s my body’s way of telling me to forgive “it” … or rather, to forgive myself … for not being able to bring my own flesh and blood into this world. And maybe, in some strange sense, my body is telling me to learn to trust my instincts and my overall self again.

No "Boo-ey" Fan

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. I’m absolutely bummed that Michigan lost to Appalachian State, 34 to 32. I’m really sad that this loss has ruined their chance to get a National Championship this year. But I am NOT giving up on my “boys.”

I mean, just because the Wolverines don’t have a prayer in winning the National Title this year does not mean their season is over or a total loss. What about the Rose Bowl? What about the Big Ten title?

Hubby & I were at that game and knew, as we were watching it, that the defense wasn’t ready and that Chad Henne was having a pretty bad game. But we’re not so much angry than we are more disappointed at Lloyd Carr and the rest of the team. Did the team think this was just going to be a “blow-off” game since Appalachian State wasn’t even in the same division? I would have thought that Carr would be more proactive in enforcing that this game was to be treated like any other game; whether they were playing against a Big Ten team or not.

The next morning, Hubby and I were discussing the game. He made a comment to me that he was not a “boo-ey” fan. I immediately said to him, “Neither am I. I’m not like some of those other fairweather fans that swing back and forth, much like a ‘buoy’ does with the sway of the tides.” Hubby laughed and said, “I really meant a ‘boo-ey’ fan … you know, a fan who just boo’s the team when they’re not doing good.” Talk about taking a more symbolic approach to it!

Regardless, Hubby and I are neither “boo-ey” nor “buoy” fans. The Michigan Wolverines will always (and forever more) be our team regardless of if they win or lose. GO BLUE!

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