Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

I Need to Get Better at Snowboarding

I was surprised to discover that it was my shoulders and chest, not my calves and thighs, that were the sorest this morning, presumably from the push-ups needed to resume the sport.

January 7th, 2008 • 10:11 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Sports, Uncategorizable5 Comments »

Abbreviated Pie Day

Yesterday was quite eventful. Like ridiculously so. I woke up with the sun and started laundry (boring!) and bundled up in sweats, a bandanna for my head, gloves for my hands, and a jacket. Out the basement door I went, gathering random tools I’d left around the yard. It had been 3 weeks since I last raked leaves, but I was a slacker and never really cleaned up… Luckily, more leaves had made their appearance in that time.

I should have raked last week. It was crisp out, and the leaves were dry. But I looked up at the tress and seeing many full limbs, decided to put it off. The weather gadget on the fridge told me that I would be okay to leave them. It showed rain-free weather for the week.

It lied.

So, in my sweats and things, I clanked about the yard piling up wet leaves and wheeling them to the compost heap in the far corner of the yard behind the fence. The front yard was a pain in the ass, as there is no ramp-like device leading to the back yard, only a half-flight of cement stairs. The progress was slow, but once I finished with the front yard, I went in for breakfast and a moving of laundry.

BORING!

Yeah, yeah, okay, fast forward. Breakfast, more laundry, more leafs, more laundry, swiffering of the floor to remove the dirt I tracked in on my shoes, a shower, and lunch.

Coming out of the shower, I had made the list for the remains of the day:

  1. Get Dressed
  2. Eat lunch
  3. Clean up the kitchen
  4. Make a list
  5. Go to the grocery store
  6. Bake pie

But I got distracted by the soccer game. Stupid Revolution! Every time I bother to get interested in you, you lose an important game in ridiculous fashion. Come on!

I did eventually make it through that list, though while making the list, the phone rang. It was Mike’s mom. We briefly discussed Thanksgiving plans (who, what, where, and when – the why is obviously pre-established). But the gist of what mattered to me was that there would only be 10 people for Thanksgiving, someone else is already bringing an apple pie, and I shouldn’t bring 12 pies. Not that I would have, but I was going to bring 5. Six pies for 10 people is probably too many. So I cut back, crossing things off my in-progress shopping list.

It took all of the power in my being (and a failed attempt at a fourth pie) to bring myself to 3. That is, three I would bring. I was still intending to make a double batch of pumpkin, as Mike and I both love it, and pie dough recipes come in twos. So, pie dough, pressed cookie crusts, etc., etc.

Man, I can’t believe how boring this post is. I hope I haven’t put you to sleep. Go on, get. Read something else. This is silly.

Oh, and after pie, we had dinner and watched the Patriots trounce the Bills. Silly Bills.

Tomorrow I will finish pie-making by concocting many puddings and whipped creams. Okay, just two of each. Such an easy pie day!

November 19th, 2007 • 9:26 am • dinane • Posted in Food, House, Sports, Uncategorizable2 Comments »

Keep it Off!

I caught on the news last night that Youklis shaved the ferret off his face. I’m so happy for him! I mean, seriously, he just looks so much more human without that odd parasitic fuzzy growth on his chin. All season I’ve been begging him to get rid of it, and he finally has!

But then, just before we were heading to bed, a different news channel (that came on when we were done watching a TiVo’d episode of House) told Red Sox fans “not to worry” and that his “signature goatee” would be back in regular season form by spring training.

Don’t do it, Youk! Please keep shaving! You look so much better this way!

November 14th, 2007 • 9:20 am • dinane • Posted in Sports, UncategorizableNo Comments »

Yay!

The training staff duck boat had the trophy with them as they went bySo, yeah, this has been a good week to be a sports fan in Boston. I’m a happy happy girl. Last night was a bit rough on my nerves, but still, the Patriots prevailed (if by just being less awful than the Colts – I mean seriously – that game was a wreck). But still, our Patriots are 9-0, and looking to steamroll whoever dares to come our way after the bye.

Enough football. I’d like to reminisce about the Sox! (At this point, I can hear what remains of my readers clicking to close the tab they were reading this in, but I don’t much care).

It was weird this time. Almost surreal. I was just reading my old Live Journal entries about the 2004 ALCS and subsequent World Series. Nothing brilliant on my writing’s account, but definitely a different frame of mind. The roller coaster ride that was the 2004 post season played out in my overabundant use of exclamation points. Talk of the apocalypse, due to the lunar eclipse that coincided with the final World Series game, fueled my brain with anxiety and excitement. The day after the game, I published this:

After the game last night, the phone rang twice with people making sure we were still alive. First Paul, who I think was genuinely concerned for Mike’s and my well-being. Then my Dad, who called to tell me that the weather was taking a turn for the worst, and I better go buy an arctic parka, because Hell had frozen over. Once Mike came down from super-huge-crazy shock to simply super-huge shock, he called his Dad to make sure he was alive. The entirety of Red Sox Nation had been holding their collective breaths for 86 years; it may not have been particularly healthy for everyone to breath at once.

I’m going to say this once more, and leave you to let it sink in.

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series.

–my LJ, 10/28/2004

The winning home run hitting outfielder (Kielty) and the outfielder of the future (Ellsbury)Now this year, my Dad was actually over our house during the final game of the World Series. There was some anxiety, due to the closeness of the score, but nothing we all couldn’t handle Mike didn’t do his nervous lap around the house between innings, and there wasn’t an apocalyptic eclipse to check out. The announcers weren’t incredulous, and the history making ALCS wasn’t nearly as history making as it was 3 years earlier. And I’m pretty sure Red Sox nation had only been holding it’s breath since sometime in September when the Sox had some difficulty with the concept of winning a game. Far less oxygen deprivation, and we managed to sleep that night, if not until long after our excited lungs had calmed down.

Curt Schilling and his family (Schilling's shirt says 'We did it again!')Plus, Hell is already frozen.

It’s weird to think that a giant victory could be any less sweet the second time. It may even be sweeter, but the bitter taste in our mouths had been washed away by a bunch of idiots only three years earlier. So the delta along the sweetness scale just wasn’t as great. It’s not that we haven’t opened our hearts to the new dancing fools (heh… Papelbon…), it’s just that we’ll never forget the original idiots.

We did it
Again

–T-Shirts being worn by a number of players and others on the parade boats

For sure, but it’s just not as concise.

DiceK was more than a little bit excitedNow, you may have noticed that I chose to add a smattering of pictures to this post. That is because I am fortunate enough to work right in Boston. And I was fortunate enough to have the parade go right by our office. And I was fortunate enough to have a boss who not only allowed his employees to skip out of work for a while to watch the parade, but who was the first to go outside and stake his claim for a good view. I took a huge number of pictures, most of them bad, but I wanted to share some of the good ones. The whole thing was super exciting. And I am super lucky to have experienced it.

Lucky for you, I’ve only picked out 4 pictures to show you here. If I catch you in person, I may put you through the entire slide show!

November 5th, 2007 • 2:56 pm • dinane • Posted in SportsNo Comments »

*Sigh*

Boston.com couldn’t help but barrage me with pictures of yesterday’s devastation. But I couldn’t take it. So I did what any good Boston sports fan would do, and turned my attention directly to the Red Sox. But before I could count up the days until pitchers and catchers report, I saw this story.

Goodbye, Trot. We still love you.

Aw, man!

January 22nd, 2007 • 9:12 am • dinane • Posted in SportsNo Comments »

NO Carry On!

I had one hell of an interesting experience on Saturday.

When we were growing up, my dad always sung the UConn fight song to my sister and I. Usually during bath time. But anyway, as a result, I have the damn thing memorized. And that came in quite handy at the new stadium the other day.

Sa got Mike and I tickets to the UConn vs. Cincinnati game. It was quite the adventure. She was mostly interested in getting us to come with to the pre-game parking-lot tail-gating bash. Apparently, all of the ex-band members get together and have a themed tail-gate for every game. There was a Mexican day, which comes up in conversation from time to time as being a very drunk day for my sister. But this week was apparently Thanksgiving. Someone brought an entire turkey. It all went.

We, of course, did not get the theme memo until after we’d hit the grocery store on Friday. We just went for some standards and got a couple different kinds of sausages and rolls to put them in. We also picked up a six-pack of girly beers and a twelve-pack of Coors Light.

We arrived in the grassy muddy lot at around 9:30. In the morning. Yes, we did intend to eat sausage and drink beer that early. We joined up with Sa’s group, and trust me, we were not the morningest of morning people among them. There were definitely some people already half drunk, and the turkey was almost completely picked apart. The next car over had a beirut table set up behind it, and games were definitely in session (though I did hear one guy claiming to be too old for early games).

At first, I have to say, it was terrifying for me. My sister’s roommate wasn’t there, and her closer friends seemed to be hidden (though one of us had talked to her on the phone only minutes before). I finally caved and took out a girly beer. (In case you care, we chose raspberry non-beer-beer.) Soon, two things happened. My anxiety calmed, and Sa found Phil.

Phil was definitely the captain of the tail-gate party. He owned the grill. He manned the table. People asked him if they could have a beer (in that case mostly because he was sitting on the cooler…). He was also a pretty nice guy, and very accommodating to our theme-free additions. In fact, he was particularly impressed by Mike’s choice of cheese filled sausage. Many people were, in fact, and the entire package was eaten rather quickly. The kielbasa didn’t take that much longer to get scarfed down either.

As I was finishing up my kielbasa (something about cheese in a sausage feels… wrong… to me), my sister asked me an unusual question. My answer was a skeptical yes, and soon we were both holding cranberry-jello shots. Oh the craziness of it. The girl who made it was very nice to me and gave me a vague approximation of the recipe. Two cans of cranberry sauce, two packets of cranberry jello, orange rum, orange juice, and vodka (amounts unknown, but probably enough to total the required liquid for the jello). Let me tell you, it was quite delicious.

Soon, it was time to pack up. We trodded our chairs and water back to the car, after donating the rest of the “silver bullets” to the college kids. My sister and I were finishing up the last two girly beers as we walked from her car (which, by the way, needs new brake pads NOW) to the stadium. We gulped down the last drops as we got to the kind police officer directing traffic. Across the street and in.

We had to go in through separate gates, as my sister is still a student. We passed each other in our attempts to meet in the middle, but cell phones eventually sorted that out. Bathrooms were visited, and our seats were claimed.

See, my sister had no intention of letting us go off to the middle of nowhere to watch the game from the last row. Apparently, no one gives a rat’s ass whether or not the students are the ones sitting in the student seats. The student seating area is all open seating, and apparently all of the alumni hanging out at that tail-gate all just squeeze right in with the rest of the crazy students.

Behind the saxophone section.

Oh, right, I forgot to mention, we were sitting right next to the band. My sister is in her fifth year of a five-year program as a string-centric music education major. Her freshman year, she was a member of the color guard, just like she was in high school. But apparently those girls annoyed her (she has a shorter fuse than I do), so she decided to pick up a marching instrument. She told me the other day that she picked the baritone horn because it was a C-tuned instrument that wasn’t a trombone or a flute. The trombone frightened her and she apparently has a mental block that prevents her from changing the pitch on a flute.

Anyway, throughout the game, my sister ran off to visit and hug various people. Mostly boys. I’ll get over that eventually. She introduced me to her accompanist, who apparently also plays xylophone in the band pit. And somewhere shortly after that introduction, my sister caught a T-shirt that was shot out of some kind of slingshot or something (I didn’t actually see it fired, I just saw her arm snatch it out of the sky).

Eventually, the game itself began. UConn didn’t look so bad at first. They had a good opening drive, and scored and everything. Also, during that drive, I came to understand a couple things about marching band that I never knew before. They are not allowed to sit throughout the game, unless a player is injured. They play some kind of something after almost every play. And, even though there were dedicated people with this job description, they really were the cheer leaders. It was loud.

I liked it.

There was a complex set of rules as to who picks what is played or chanted and for how long. Some guy on a headset was in charge of making sure no rules were broken. The drum line occasionally started up a chant on their own. But mostly, it was the drum major, making peculiar hand signals for short cheers and writing song titles on a white board for the long ones, who got to make the decisions. Even when the band started chanting for their favorite song, the drum major did not give in. He just appended his response to their subordination to the bottom of the white board. Much to wide disappointment, there would be no “Carry On my Wayward Son” that day.

We watched the half-time show from up where my parents’ season tickets are. My dad is a member of the alumni society, so they have tickets around the 45 yard line, and also get a catered meal before every game. My sister is definitely band-people. The half-time show seemed more important to her than the game. Also, she was in shock that the Huskies were winning after two well-played quarters.

We got some snacks on our way back to our seats… I mean… locations where we stood to watch the game. The cheering and chanting resumed. The most amusing one was the red-zone cheer: “Stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!”

The game was going so well… until the Huskies missed a point after, allowed Cincinnati to tie the game, fumbled, and let them win. Apparently, this is not abnormal. My sister claims that she was more upset in the first half because she knew that the winning attitude would only make the eventual downfall that more painful.

Stupid losing.

After the game, we did something I did not expect. We climbed up to the second tier at the fifty yard line, and watched all three of the season’s half-time shows strung together. Band people. You know, if I’d have gone to a high school or college with a marching band, I can almost see myself as one of them. But as someone who’s never marched holding an instrument or flag, it is a little foreign to me. After the show was over, the students on the field and the alumni (and my sister who quit band this year because it doesn’t fit in her schedule) all joined together, arm in arm, to sing the alma matter. Oh how cute.

My anxiety was returning, but that’s okay, because we were about to be on our way home.

My brain is still today singing, “Connecticut UConn Huskies, symbol of might to the foe…”

November 27th, 2006 • 9:11 am • dinane • Posted in Family, Music, SportsNo Comments »

Singing is Good For the Soul

The music minister at church emailed me earlier this week asking me to please come to choir practice this week. Now, here’s the thing. I live 45-50 minutes away from church now. On weekends. On a weeknight, during rush hour, it can be anywhere from 70 to 120 minutes. When I told him I was moving, I said I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Thursday rehearsals any more. But he asked so nicely that I decided to go.

I am definitely glad I did.

I saw some of my church friends that I haven’t seen in months. Church kind of shuts down in the summer. Not actually, but no one goes every week during the summer – including me. So we were kind of all glad to see each other. It was nice.

But it’s the singing that really does it for me. There’s something about singing that brings up my inner being. It connects the real me with the world. And singing about God… that just cements it for me. It’s awesome.

I felt really good when I left rehearsal last night. Rejuvenated, even.

I think this will be a good fall-winter. The play, church, a job I don’t hate, a garage to protect Haley from the snow (half the time), and snowboarding.

Yes… snowboarding. That old thing. Mike has wisely decided to go back to skis, but I don’t give up so easily. I will conquer the J-bar, and then the chair lift, and then… you know… stopping. Actually, maybe I should conquer stopping on a snowboard first.

Anyway, I have word that Dave and my sister both want to try to learn, so I won’t be falling down the bunny trails all on my own. In fact, Dave and my sister should both get involved in buying the necessary snow gear. A thing could be made of it. I totally know what people need now. First, and foremost, a helmet. And wrist guards. Who cares if you get cold, but there will be no more hospital visits!

So, yeah, I see good things ahead.

This was an odd post.

Who cares.

September 8th, 2006 • 8:19 am • dinane • Posted in Music, Religion, Sports2 Comments »

Circus Bus

Today was doomed from the start.

I was running late. This happens a lot. I know, I know, I have no one to blame but myself. But anyway, I was running late. And when one is taking the bus to and from Boston, one does not have the luxury of running late. The bus I take in the morning is the only real option for me, the next nearest route is almost a mile away (which isn’t really a problem) and doesn’t start running until after 8:30 AM (that’s a problem). The bus I do take has stops just a couple blocks away from my apartment. However, it only comes three times in the morning towards Boston, and three times in the evening towards the suburbs.

Anyway, I was running late. And as I get when I’m running late, I start to panic. First sign of panic – I consciously chose the red shirt, then grabbed the blue one. Second sign of panic – For the life of me, I could not attach the right strap to my bra (I have this “convertible” thing from Victoria’s Secret that is very comfortable, but all detaches from itself when it’s not on for no good reason). The signs continued from there.

Much to Mike’s dismay, I haven’t put away all of my laundry yet, so my jeans were downstairs. So here I was, grabbing at a couple hair ties and running downstairs wearing a half-detached bra, red t-shirt, and underwear, but no pants. Good thing we got those drapes! I pulled on my jeans, and realized that I didn’t have my jersey. Right! I forgot to tell you – Mike and I have tickets to tonight’s Red Sox game.

I ran up the stairs, and on the way decided I’d probably be cold if I only wore short sleeves tonight. So as I entered the bedroom, where Mike was still peacefully sleeping, I pulled off the red t-shirt. I threw it on top of the blue one on the shelf in the closet, whose light was still on, and then pulled my long-sleeved red Red Sox shirt over my head. Turn off the light, run down the stairs, snag purse, run down the stairs.

Some part of my deranged panicked mind decided that I had no time to put on real shoes, or even Birkenstocks. As I slipped my feet into the ready flip flops (my podiatrist would so kill me if she knew!), I looked down and saw that my shirt was on inside out. “No time!” I thought. Then I came to my senses and redressed myself. Out the door, lock the door, run.

I looked at my cell phone as I ran down the hill to the main road. It was one minute past the start of the bus route. I really have no idea where the bus actually starts. I originally thought it started at the school at the foot of the hill I live on, but it turns out that that school is not the only thing in the area that shares a name with the bus route. But with the bus having left it’s starting point only one minute ago, I thought I’d probably make it. I slowed to a trot and when I reached the bus stop, I bent over to roll up my jeans (which were dragging on the ground – they weren’t meant for flip flops).

It was at this point that I realized that I had forgotten my baseball cap (it is such a good thing I put my game ticket in my bag last night, or I’d be seriously pissed off right now). But it was far too late now. I was fairly certain I hadn’t missed the bus. I can see the street from the hill once I pass around the leasing office. I would have seen it go by if I had missed it. But I knew I was already pressing my luck. The bus arrived just as I pulled a dollar coin out of my purse.

As I dropped the coin into the device that collects coins at the front of the bus, the driver pointed out the new schedules. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d be done riding her bus by the end of this week (and hopefully this was the last time – Maaco better not have lied to me), so I picked up a schedule and sat down. I scanned the schedule and found nothing had changed. I turned it over and spotted the fare chart. Oops! Apparently I’d been underpaying for my bus ride every time. I didn’t mean to! No one corrected me! I’m sorry!

Normally, I have a bit of breakfast as I leave the house in the morning. If I’m driving, it’s a granola bar and a string cheese stick. And on the bus, I’ve been bringing some wheat crackers and cheese. My panicked brain didn’t let me stop for ten seconds to pick up so much as a fruit leather. So instead of eating breakfast, I occupied myself with attempting to tame my conditioner-free hair (that’s right, panicked Diane didn’t condition her hair today either).

I settled into my seat, and selected some Holy Cole on my iPod. She has a soothing effect on me, and I figured I probably needed that. I leaned against the window, and watched the regulars come on board. There’s this group of ladies that sits up in the front of the bus every day. They appear to be bus buddies. They aren’t the only people I see every day, but they are the hardest to miss. They chat with the driver and each other, talking about who knows what (I have some seriously nice headphones), but they’re always happy and usually laughing.

As we pulled up to the entrance of an apartment complex near the end of the stop-and-go part of the route, they noticed something flitting about. There was a moth on the bus. I pulled off my ear phones to take in the scene in its entirety. One lady freaked out, squealed, and tried to bat at it with the pile of schedules she had initially sat on when she got on board the bus. The others teased her for being afraid of a silly little moth, while she insisted it was huge. One cool and collected lady picked up a schedule, opened it up, and unceremoniously trapped the moth against the window. *SQUISH!*

“We got your bus dirty!”
“Sorry!”
“Poor little moth.”
“Eww! It’s under your shoe!”
“It’s dead already, I don’t care.”

I couldn’t see the driver’s face, but I could imagine the look as she shook her head and said, “This sure is the circus bus!”

Obviously things like this have happened before.

Things calmed for a little while, and we were just finishing up the route. This is one of them North Shore routes. They all go about their business, zig-zagging back and forth across various towns, and finally hop on the Tobin Bridge to finish the trip into Haymarket. The Tobin, however, has been going under some road construction. Some seriously annoying road construction. The kind that really puts a damper on your commute. I hit that traffic the day they started the construction – it was the day I brought my car in for an estimate. It was ridiculous! Usually, there’s like 4 or 5 cars waiting to pay the toll in each lane. It doesn’t really slow anyone down at all. But with the “paving project” going on, a 20 jaunt to the city is more likely to take 45.

Anyway, the bus usually comes around at the route 60 rotary – that’s where it gets on route 1. I was, and still am, pretty sure that from 60 west, 1 south is the first exit off the rotary. (Tom Tom would say, “cross the roundabout, first exit, us [not U. S.] one sa-ooth-bound.”) I thought maybe I had gotten confused and we were still back a couple rotaries (we probably hit more than 4 on the route), because here we were, taking the second exit.

I was puzzled, but continued to drift in and out of day dream state. I finally realized that, indeed, we were off the route! I pulled off my headphones just in time to hear the driver say something about ignoring the people waiting at the stop because we were “out of her jurisdiction.” The signs told us we were headed for the airport!

The friendly gentleman behind me noticed that I had emerged from my musical cocoon. He told me that the driver said she was trying a different way into the city, in order to avoid the Tobin. We’d be taking “the tunnel.” I immediately thought of the poor lady who died in one of the tunnels not too long ago. My brain slipped back into panic mode, and I wondered if Mike would even know that I was on the bus that got destroyed by another ceiling collapse – my bus wasn’t supposed to go through the tunnels!

Luckily, there wasn’t so much traffic out by the airport, and we were soon in and through the Sumner. I was relieved that we were taking one of the old tunnels. That seems wrong. But seriously, the big dig frightens me.

We followed the signs to Government Center, and were soon out on surface streets. Of course, this is Boston, and it’s not a blizzard, so there was road construction. And directing traffic around the construction was a cop, complete with reflector suspenders. The special ed ladies at the front of the bus started imitating the motions of the traffic cop, and it caught his attention. As we were stopped, our special ed driver opened the door, and the cop came aboard to take a bow. I’m pretty sure the entire bus was laughing now. No one was upset, we were actually arriving in Boston early!

As we got off, I heard someone say, “That was the best bus ride ever.” There were no children on the bus this morning.

August 31st, 2006 • 8:40 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Sports2 Comments »
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