Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hockey Hockey Hockey

To the left is a tee shirt belonging to my son James -- I love this tee shirt, and I aways smile when folding it. (He is, at 14, too old to wear it now, I think, but occaisionally he sleeps in it.) This little stick figure is saying something that every hockey player says at least a few times a week, when friends ask if they are free for a movie, a walk downtown, or to just hang out. Hockey kids always have hockey. It is a sport that takes over your life (player and family).

With this season almost over, I thought I'd share a funny essay I found on the web about hockey. Parents...you get it!! (courtesy of www.hockeysource.com).


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You Know You're An Avid Hockey Fan If.......
  • Your idea of serving breakfast is giving each of your kids a fork and dropping an Eggo in the middle of the table.
  • You reprimand your children with "minors," "majors" and "misconducts."
  • When you come to a traffic signal and the light turns green, you stop.
  • When you come to a traffic signal and the light turns red, you get really excited and chant, "He shoots! He scores!"
  • Instead of duct tape, you use hockey tape to fix everything.
  • You call a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame a "pilgrimage."
  • You went into a bank because it advertised "Free Checking"....and walked out disappointed.
  • You can pronounce anything in French, yet you have no idea what it means.
  • Every time you hear a siren you wonder who scored.
  • You're not allowed to play chess simply because the first time you played, you misunderstood the meaning of the word "Check."
  • Everything in your wardrobe is your team's colors.
  • Your closet is divided into 2 sections: HOME and AWAY
  • You make biscuits in dimensions of 3" by 1."
  • You burn the biscuits black.
  • You play a game with one of the biscuits.
  • You deck the guy who says, "Check, please."
  • You own a Zamboni.
  • You keep your Zamboni in the garage while your main car stays in the driveway.
  • Your calendar only runs from October to June.
  • You wonder how you will get through July, August, and September.
  • When someone says, "two minutes" you respond, "What for!?!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

NASCAR Family








 
There are two sentences that I say all of the time these days, to the point where I can see them etched on my tombstone. These two sentences are, "Can you get me your keys?" and "Can you move your car?"  I say these phrases so often because we have four drivers living under one roof (a roof that only two of the drivers currently pay for). Our oldest sons are both living at home right now, and although we rarely see them, they do have cars, which they park here when they are unconscious at night in their beds. We also co-habitate with our fourteen year old, who for now only has a bike. For now.

Each evening we show the logistical and strategic acumen of a Nascar pit crew. If you put a headset on my husband and slapped a few logos on his sweatpants and tee shirt, he could pass for the real thing. Our conversations go like this:

Fred (holding clipboard): "Okay, I'm glad we're all here in the family room. Please enjoy the pizzas I paid for. Now. Let's discuss tomorrow's driveway strategy. I have to be out at 8:30, so I need for my car to be in Slot 1. Anyone leaving earlier?"

Me: "I am going to the barn at 7:30 to see the horse, so I need Slot 1. But, I have not been able to locate my keys since about 4:45 this afternoon. Everyone keep an eye out, could you? Last known location was my purse, but I can't seem to find that, either..."

Matt: "I can take Slot 2 because I can go in late to the office - I'll be leaving about 9. If anyone moves my car - the keys will be under the driver's seat - can you not move the bath towel hanging from the passenger-side window? My window just fizzled out on that side."

Young Fred: "Has everyone forgotten I'm a landscaper? I need to be moving by 6 AM! Slot 1 is mine, and I am recommending Slot 2 for Dad, 3 for Matt, and 4 for Mom. Did I get that right? Oh, and my friend Bob is coming over tonight to watch a video, so if he parks in Slot 1, is anyone leaving?"

James (14 year old): "I will probably want a Shamrock Shake around 9 PM tonight. Can Mom have Slot 1now if she parks curbside when we get back? Then Bob will still be Slot 1 when we get back. And Mom can stay curbside and take me to school on the way to the barn. Right?"

Needless to say, you only want Slot 4 (closest to house, in or near garage) if you are suffering from the flu, are under house arrest, or have lost your keys and have little hope of finding them, therefore depending on rides from your family. I am very familiar with Slot 4.

Gentlemen and Lady...start your engines!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bailey In Da House!

A few weeks ago, one of my close friends asked me to babysit someone very special when she went away for a yoga retreat in Mexico. This special someone is fourteen years old, weighs a little over two pounds, and is balding, almost toothless, and wears very cunning little winter sweaters, and tiny fleece hoodies. I immediately answered in the affirmative to my friend's question, because I happen to love this little heartbreaker as well. This is how Bailey, the most fabulous Yorkie who ever lived, came to hijack my life, my heart and my home for a week.

When my friend Christine dropped Bailey off, I marveled. This little dog came to party -- he arrived with much varied and discriminating accoutrement that any self-respecting baby would be proud of. In came his set of stairs (carpeted), to enable him to jump on my bed, a duffel bag full of sweaters, diapers, creams, ointments, medicines, and packages and packages of Pupperoni, and Himself, entering our house with a dismissive sneeze and a warning bark, aimed at my three dogs. This bark said, I am here, and woe unto you should you cross me. I am old, and I have earned your respect.

Bailey had a few issues. Firstly, he needs to be coaxed to eat. Bailey is in kidney failure, and is not very hungry anymore. So, he must be enticed, which includes placing tiny morsels of food in a row on your bed, or lining them up on your rug, or pretending to eat them youself, saying "yum-yum-yummy!" and then offering the delicacy to Bailey. If the mood strikes, he will eat it. If not, he will look the other way, as if your insult is too great to bear. He also needs to wear diapers occaisionally, which attach to his hind end with velcro. His velcro frequently gets caught on various and sundry things; many times during the week he was velcro-ed to me, I would find. Had I dropped my hands he would just hang from my sweater like a pom-pom.

Bailey also got IV fluids every other day during his stay, which  were administered by the vet. I would bring him in wrapped in a soft baby blanket, and he would be coo-ed over by the technician as they disappeared together behind the big medical door. Bailey would come back to the waiting room all wrapped up again, looking for me with his sparkling, still-clear eyes. Well, I like to think that, but Bailey is always looking for Christine, his real mommy.

Bailey has to sleep with people -- this is non-negotiable. It would be easier for Obama to wrangle out of his interest in health care. So, Bailey would snuggle between my husband's head and mine, on yet another blanket. Then, we would gently cover him, and then proceed to worry and fuss over him all night. "Is he breathing?" I mumbled at 2 a.m. one morning, to which my husband shot up in bed, blearily saying, "Oh, no, did I crush him?" I would wait to feel Bailey stir beside me, and then cover his tiny old legs with my hand, and try to sleep again. It reminded me of when the kids were young. ("Only, babies can't jump out of bed and run away!" my mother pointed out one morning on the phone. Good point. Bailey can.)

So, what are the pay-offs to watching Bailey? Well, he loves to snuggle, and will follow you anywhere on stiff little legs that seem permanently straightened. He loves to give kisses - his tongue hangs out of is mouth due to tooth loss, I think, so even when he's not giving a kiss, sometimes he is. And to see that little face when you walk through the door is to feel a ray of sunshine shining just for you.

Bailey won't be here much longer; his time here is almost over. He has been loved and treasured by my friend, so I am comforted to know he lived his days well. It was an honor to take care of him for a week, and I will mourn when he passes. My husband found a tiny, faded hoodie with the words "Rock Star" emblazoned on it in our laundry basket, and I got choked up. I will remember the special trip back to caring for dependent, defenseless little lives in the middle of the night - my own babies, long ago. I enjoyed Bailey's puffs of breath in my ear in the dark of night that said, again and again, in steady rhythm, I'm still here.