Sunday, August 05, 2012

Olympic Commentary

I admit it.  I am an Olympic junkie.  I love it.  The fact that they only happen every four years makes it even more special.  Now you know I have an opinion on everything, and of course I have opinions about the Olympics.  Here are some of my rambling views.

·        Trampoline is an Olympic sport?!  Really?!  Are you kidding me?!  My seven-year-old cousin could do that!  She’s pretty good on a trampoline.  The IOC got rid of baseball and softball, but they put in trampoline?!  I’m still questioning this one.

·        Water polo.  Men in Speedos.  ‘Nuff said.

·        Russian gymnasts need to get over themselves.  Listen up, chickies.  You aren’t always going to win.  Suck it up.

·       Speaking of gymnastics, when did it become appropriate to pay judges for an appeal?  Does the mafia run gymnastics now?  What do they do with this money?  Seems a little shady to me.

·        Swimming.  More men in Speedos.

·        I love watching Debbie Phelps.  She’s awesome.  I love that Michael Phelps still gets all emotional even after winning 157 gold medals.  Shows you that his mama raised him right.

·        I didn’t like watching Ryan Lochte’s dad get all pissy after his son lost.  Shows you where this guy’s priorities are.  I was a big Lochte fan, but after all this I’m not so sure.  Oh yeah.  He also admits to peeing in the pool.  Major ewwwww factor.  Major.

·        Beach volleyball.  Not enough men in Speedos.

·        I wonder how many other swimmers pee in the pool.

·       Where does the 6’9” female Chinese basketball player buy clothes?  I’m pretty sure there aren’t many big and tall stores in China.

·       There is a U.S. volleyball player named Destiny Hooker.  Were her parents trying for a self-fulfilling prophecy?  Thankfully she got into volleyball instead of street walking.

·       Why aren’t the field events shown more on TV?  Last night we got a 15 minute analysis of a 10 second race.  Long jump got about three minutes.  I want to see pole vaulting.  Javelin and shotput are cool.  We need to see more of that. 

·       Do you think Michael Phelps pees in the pool?

·       There should just be a 100 point rule in basketball whenever the Americans are playing, kind of like the 10 run rule in baseball. 

·       Do divers pee in the pool?

There’s only one more week of Olympic fun to be had, so watch and enjoy!   

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What a Difference Four Years Makes

Four years.  1461 days.  Some things haven’t changed a bit.  Drew Brees is still the Saints quarterback.  Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are still swimming in the Olympics for the United States.  New Orleans summers are still hot.  But while some things remain the same, other things change a lot.  It was while watching the Olympics that I began to reflect on some of these changes.

Probably the biggest change for me in the last four years is where I’m currently teaching.  Four years ago I was part of a brand new school.  Our faculty excitedly moved things into a building that still didn’t have toilet seats.  I was now the veteran in a sea of fresh faces.  We came together to give kids the best education possible.  Unfortunately, things didn’t work out there for me.  I have no hard feelings or ill will towards anyone.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  Thankfully I had the courage to realize this and make a move.  I went to work at another brand new school.  At least this one had toilet seats.  It hasn’t always been easy, but my experiences at this school and my last one have made me stronger and a better person.  In two weeks I will begin my 15th year of teaching, my third at my current school.  I’m not really excited about it yet because I want my summer vacation to last a little longer, but I know I’ll be ready once I see those kids enter my classroom.  They make me want to be a better person and a better teacher.

The summer of 2008 was important in another way.  It was through a message board and a love of all things Twilight that I met some of my dearest friends.  We came from different backgrounds but shared a mutual love.  I spent many late nights on my computer during that summer, chatting and laughing with these amazing ladies.  Some friends have come and gone, but I have remained close to several of them.  It’s because of these ladies that I’ve visited Times Square in New York, auditioned for Wheel of Fortune, worn a tiara while grocery shopping, and posed in a bomb shelter in front of the World War II museum.  I can’t imagine my life without these friends.

Something else amazing that’s happened within the last four years?  The Saints won a Super Bowl.  Yep.  I never thought I’d live long enough to see that.  It was one of the greatest nights of my life.  Seriously. 

A lot has happened over the last four years, some good and some bad, but all of these things have helped me become the person I am today.  In 2016 we will have yet another leap year, another presidential election, and another summer Olympics.  I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for me between now and then.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bike Rides and a Mother's Love

Ummmm, wow, I haven't blogged in four years!  Where has the time gone?!  Well, I was thinking of this funny story today, and I decided to share it with the world.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.  OK, I don't always enjoy telling it, but it needs to be told.

Now, before I go any further, I need to give two disclaimers here.  One, my mom really is a caring, compassionate person.  She may not come across that way in this story, but trust me, she is.  Two, my mom will likely dispute every single detail in this story, but hey, she’s getting old and doesn’t remember stuff.  I was there.  I know what happened.  This is the true story.

Way back when, around 1984, my mom was a bike-riding fool.  She’d head out in the evenings on her bike, and we wouldn’t see her for a couple of hours.  She’d ride a minimum of six miles a day.  It was pretty impressive.  On one fateful day, Mom asked me to accompany her on her ride.  I think we both had a momentary lapse of sanity.  For Mom it was the fact that she asked me.  For me it was the fact that I agreed to go.

So we took off on that bike ride on a warm June afternoon.  Our local supermarket, Delchamps, was still under construction, and the shoulder of Judge Perez Dr. was slightly blocked.  (BTW, my mom still mourns the passing of Delchamps.  It was over 10 years ago, Mom.  It’ll be OK.)  Anyway, there were yellow barricades with flashing lights on the shoulder of the road, and they were connected with yellow caution tape.  I have no idea why Mom was riding her bike in flip flops, but she was.  As we rode, her flip flop caught on the caution tape and pulled down a barricade.  As I approached the downed barricade, I had to think fast.  Rush hour traffic was speeding down Judge Perez, and as anyone from da parish knows, that part of Judge Perez is like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Well, I didn’t think fast enough, and my bike hit the downed barricade.  I flew off of the bike.

Yes, I was lying on the side of Judge Perez Dr. during rush hour traffic on top of a fallen barricade as its yellow lights blinked underneath me.  No, it was not one of my shining moments.  OK, maybe it was considering there were flashing lights.  But I digress.

Mom realized what happened and came back to check on me.  In true My Mom Fashion, she expressed her concern as only she could.  She told me to get up and get back on the bike because I was embarrassing her. 

Luckily I wasn’t hurt too badly, just scraped up palms and knees.  I finished our bike ride, but after that I never rode with my mom again.  She loves telling this story. She tells it to everyone—new friends, co-workers, potential husbands.  Maybe this is why I’m still single.  Anyway, in her version, I’m the one who caused the whole thing.  She had nothing to do with it.  Sure, Mom.  You keep believing that.  It’s about time the true story is told.  And here it is.