Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: hockey

Tonight, while at the hockey game (We sucked, we lost) I had a very enlightening experience. And this time, it wasn’t the fights. And there were a bunch. Good ones.

I digress.

Early on in the game, I’m there playing on my phone, and I notice 3 people coming in to sit in the row in front of us. Normally, I will look and move on. This time, there was a young-ish man helping a woman down the stairs. Naturally, I started to wonder – what happened to this girl. Was she mentally handicapped? Was she ill with a progressive disease? Was she in an accident?

I resumed watching the game. Occasionally, I would notice this girl flirting with the guy that helped her to her seat. And I noticed a modest engagement ring. My mind? Oh, I wonder if she got sick after they were engaged? I wonder if she had an accident after they were engaged? Either way, I thought, what a lovely man for not “giving up on her”. I had no idea.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking “My arthritis is acting up. This rots.”

Jump to the 3rd period.

Our team scored (that in and of itself was a miracle – did I mention they sucked tonight??) and the woman – who, I might add, had never stopped smiling and enjoying herself – turned, smiled at me and shook my hand. Then she turned and did the same to Herb.

Then, in short succession, 2 pucks came flying into the crowd, very close to where we were sitting. I noticed the woman flinch – understandably under the best of circumstances – and sort of lean in to her fiance’. She turned around to me and took off her hat and lifted her hair. Right along her hairline, she had a horrible scar. It was somewhat faded, but still very visible. Then she took my hand and put it on her head. I could feel the lumps and bumps of where the bone healed.

It was a little off-putting, but she was sweet. Then she took out her phone, and showed me a text. This woman? She had been driving when she was 16 and was hit so hard by a drunk driver that to this day? She has no memory of the accident. Her left side was crushed and she still wears a brace on her left leg and left wrist. Her vocal cords were damaged, so she cannot speak well. She is now 30.

Then she showed me a picture of herself with her fiance’. They looked very happy. She pulled up another text. (These weren’t really texts. It was more like her story, saved to her phone.) Anyhoo, this one said that she and her fiance’ had been dating for 2 weeks, when he found out he was being deployed to Iraq. So he asked her to marry him.

I KNOW!!

I said to him that he was a really good guy! He said he was just a really lucky one.

I KNOW!!

She showed me a few more pictures and was all girly. It was so cute.

Then her story said she didn’t remember the accident, and would love to find out who did this to her. Her family knows, but won’t tell her. Her fiance’ said it was because they don’t want her upset or to do something to the guy. The other driver was only 17, so I guess it is hard to find out anything about him.

I find that part odd. I can see the family keeping all the horrible details of the accident itself from her, but the other driver? They didn’t do anything to him? That’s odd.

The fiance’? He doesn’t know who the other driver is either, because he didn’t know her back then.

So. What have we learned? This woman, at 16, basically had her life taken from her. And yet, she is out in the world, living a happy life, and engaged to a lovely man. Who met her 2 years ago.

He didn’t see the “damaged” her. He saw a lovely woman who obviously has a love of life. She is in love.

So, while I sat there whining to myself about my arthritis, this couple and their friend were out, living. Sure, she is still angry about what happened to her. Sure, she would love to do something to the guy who did that to her. But she didn’t let that stop her. And he didn’t let it stop him.

It was really beautiful.

So the next time, my arthritis is acting up, or my tea is cold, or I slip on the ice, I need to think about Kelly and Bob*. The next time things don’t go really my way, I need to think about this couple.

Things in my life could be SO MUCH worse. But in all actuality? I have it pretty good. Compared to some others? My life is a  virtual fairy tale.

Thank you Kelly and Bob for teaching me that tonight.

*not their real names

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Oh, hello! Come on in and have a whoopie pie. NOM NOM

I often find myself alone. I think it’s how I roll. And I like to tell myself that it’s ok. I’m ok with that.

But then I read other peoples’ blogs and see how introspective they are and how they face their “stuff” and move through it and come out stronger and, well, better than they were. And true to form, I start thinking about how I spend my time alone.

I don’t know if I can just sit. Just sit and be with myself. Not for very long anyway. I have to be doing something. Reading. Watching television. (Or at least have the TV on in the background.) Tooling around on the interwebs. Listening to the radio. Just anything.

Often, I find myself wishing to quiet the noise in my head. Just to ssshhhhhh. But I can’t seem to do it. I’ve tried meditating. I can last about 31 seconds. I’ve tried turning everything off and just hearing… nothing. But then I think of all the things I “have” to do.

So, what *is* that? What is it in my head that I am afraid to face? Why can I not turn off the television instead of watching repeats of shows I’ve seen 13 times at least? Why, if I do turn off the TV, do I immediately pick up a book? Why, when I finish said book, I *immediately* pick up another one, without allowing myself to let the first one settle? Why am I afraid?

Why am I afraid to look too closely? What happened that I can’t, or won’t, face? What if there is nothing that I am not facing? What if I am just so vapid that I don’t actually have deep thoughts or a hidden past? What if I actually run out of questions to ask or my question mark key breaks? (Just seeing if you are still reading…)

I don’t know the answer. I certainly won’t come up with it now, while I have TweetDeck on in the other tab, the hockey game on the television and my brother texting me updates from another hockey game. Maybe I’ll be able to spend some time this coming weekend cogitating on my dilemma. I just know that I don’t want to live my life afraid. If something is holding me back, I want to face it and to get all the great things that are coming to me. Life is full of wonder – I just don’t want to be full of wonder about myself.


Oh, hello! Come in and have a sandwich.

I was raised a Catholic. But this is not a post about religion. I don’t like to talk about religion with people. It’s too squishy a topic. Too much chance for people to get really pissy and offended.

So, Lent starts tomorrow. Or as they say in the church “The Season of Lent”. It always starts on the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, the Wednesday also known as Ash Wednesday. Now, being raised in the Catholic church, having gone through all the sacraments, years of Catechism, one would think that I would have some idea as to what the meaning of Lent is. But sadly, no. I know it’s something important, but I’ve got nothing.

Anyhoo. Growing up, we always had to “give up” something for Lent. I think it was a way to sacrifice and an attempt to make life better. Basically, we always gave up candy. I remember having a shoebox, into which went every piece of candy and gum I got for the next 40 days. “The Season” ended on Easter Sunday with a candy gorge. So not the point, I know, but that’s what happened.

Then in college, I absolutely lived on Tab and Reese’s. (Yes, Tab. Don’t judge. It’s awesome!) So that year, I gave up soda. Tab, Diet Coke, everything. Nothing fizzy. At Easter, the sister gave me a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke. It was so GROSS!! (Try that experiment – go several weeks without soda, then have some. You’ll be off soda.)

A couple of years ago, I gave up drinking. (I KNOW!) For the most part, it wasn’t difficult. Except at hockey games. I love a beer at the games. That part sucked, but I made it through the 40 days with no problem.

This year, Herb and I are going to give up drinking, EXCEPT at hockey games. No hard alcohol. No wine. No beer. Easy peasy. But I am also going to give up chips. Well, salty snacks – chips, Cheetos, etc. It seems to be a weakness, so as a way to improve my health, I want to add to the “this is what I’m giving up” list. It should be interesting while I’m PMSing, but it’s only 40 days. Right? RIGHT?

At this point, for me, Lent has nothing to do with religion. It’s sort of like New Year’s day – it’s a way to jumpstart a self-improvement plan and get remotivated. Any excuse to start over, right? Rewrite the path you are on.

Wish me luck.


Oh, hello! Come in. It’s the last day for donuts, so take two. The next snack will be *gulp* good for you.

So, just like every single other blogger, I am going to look back to see what I accomplished over the last year. But unlike ever other blogger, my introspection will be fascinating, I’m sure. You know, like watching grass grow.

2009. What can we say about this year. I’ll be ending this year the same way I ended last year – at a hockey game. It’s something I love to do. It will get me out of the city before all the real craziness starts. I’ll take it.

2009 was the year I came out of my shell a little bit more. I joined Twitter, which, in all honesty, is the ultimate time suck/chat room. It’s silly. It’s stupid. It’s fun. It’s make-believe. I noticed the other day that I have tweeted more than 6,100 times. And of that? 99% have been silly and fluffy. But I got some laughs from it, so I’ll keep doing it. I can Tweet something that is authentically me and if someone doesn’t like it, I can click “unfollow” and eliminate the judgement.

I also started this blog in 2009. I had thought about blogging for years. I even attempted to do one before. But I didn’t ever tell anyone about it, or do it with any idea about how it would go. (Clearly, I know what I’m doing now. I’m practically fluent in blog these days. *heh*) I started this one with a lot of trepidation, a lot of fear, quietly. I didn’t know if anyone would read it, or if anyone would like it, or comment, or re-visit. And while my count of people who have visited my site is low by some standards, and my comments section has the honor of a few regular visitors, I am flattered and a little bit giddy about every single view that is listed. *Someone* is reading. And for all the times I have looked at it, whether to reference a previous post, or just to “check the stats” (don’t judge me), I still have had what I consider a huge number of visitors and I want to thank each of you.

Work wise, I bid farewell to the age of the Leg Jiggler, and ushered in Smiley. The Gas ‘n Sip became the Gas ‘n Stuff. I don’t remember anything huge happening, although I’m sure that at some point through the year, something huge happened and I was traumatized at the time. I’ll take my memories, or lack thereof, as they stand now, thank you very much.

I also, most recently, spent some time wallowing in my grief that Madame X is sick. She seems to be doing a teensy bit better, but I have also (mostly) wrapped my head around the fact that she may be leaving my life sooner, rather than later. I can (almost) say that now without sobbing violently. Big steps for me.

Oh! I almost forgot that 2009 was the year in which I shredded the credit cards. I still have balances that I am really trying to pay off, but no new debt. YAY me! It’s really hard to live without a credit card, can I just tell you? I almost wish I had saved one, but I’ve met me. And it was all or nothing. And all was the only real option. Now I really think about what I buy, and whether I need it, or can afford it, or can still pay my mortgage if I buy it. It’s made me appreciate that which I do buy so much more.

So 2010 is about 14 hours away. I’ve already written about the regular intentions that I foresee. I have been tossing it around my brain, too, lately that I may actually attempt to read…. wait for it…. the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments. I’ve read parts of it. But never all the way thru. I think before I can say it’s great or sucks or somewhere in between, I should read it. I foresee it being a full year’s project. I’m sure there will be a lot of it that I don’t understand or “get” but that’s okay. And who knows. After that, I could move on to the Torah and the Koran. Who knows. I might as well learn about the religions that are affecting the world most these days.

The other book that I want to get through this year coming is War and Peace. I want to see what all the fuss is about. And if it will really take me 42 years to get through it. I’m not skeered….

And, speaking of skeered, I would like to make 2010 the year I faced my fears. But more in the way of you know when you are asked to do something and you immediately say “Nope, can’t.” or start sweating or curling into a fetal position while whimpering? Those kinds of fears. Public speaking. Figuring out what happened in my early thirties that has virtually erased a number of the years from my memory. Something must have happened, however uneventful. What was it? Those types of fears. Not the “I’m afraid of bugs and heights” types of fears. I’ll save that for another time.

Will I achieve success with these intentions? I think I already have by putting them in writing. And however far I get in the reading of either the Bible or W&P, I will have made the start. Better than looking at them and thinking “Someday…”

So, 2009 was pretty uneventful in a lot of ways. And I’m starting 2010 with big goals. I hope that this time next year, I will be able to check off at least some of those as “Wins”.

And to you, my lovely, wonderful readers, I wish for you a 2010 of wonder and joy and health and laughter and love. I hope you all get what you ask for from the Universe and that it makes your life full and fabulous.

And however you are celebrating this evening, do it with loved ones, safely, and fully. I want to see all of you back here next year.

xoxo


Oh, hello! Have some trail mix. Sorry, I haven’t been shopping in a while.

Well, so much for posting more, huh? Honestly, though, even as scarce as I have been lately, I still manage to post more frequently than others…. just sayin…

And so, another year is drawing to a close. Was it everything you hoped it would be? Did you stick with your New Year’s resolutions longer than it took you to write them down? Was it full of good, joy, and happiness? Or were you challenged with sadness, loss, and grief?

I know people who fit any, all, and none of those classifications. I hope your year, as you sit and reflect nurse your hangover on January 1st, finds that you are in a better place than you were one year ago.

My year was relatively stable. Of course I had the usual intentions of ending the year thinner, happier, richer, and more in love than I started it. The one intention that I did manage to keep, and it is not difficult, is to read a greater number of books this year than last. I have managed to do that for several years now, and will continue to do so.

This year’s NYE plans are the same as last year’s. I’ll be at a hockey game, then home before all the drunk, crazy people get behind the wheels of their vehicles and attempt to kill people drive home to the next bar.  I’m all for having a cocktail and having fun, but when your “fun” impedes my ability to be safe? Then, you suck.

Another of my intentions for the upcoming year is to rid my home of everything that I don’t absolutely love. If I haven’t used it, worn it, looked at it, thought about it, or needed it in the past 12 months, I will be either donating it or trying to sell it on eBay. (If it doesn’t sell on eBay, it will be going into the donate pile.) I’m sick of moving “things” from one room to another. I’m clearing the decks, so to speak.

As far as the requisite “get thinner/healthier” intention goes, I’m sure there will be some form of that on my list. But that goes hand-in-hand with my learning to accept who I am over what I look like intention, so I think “Get healthier” will encompass mind, body, and soul. I’ll still be me, just an improved version of me.

So, what will your goals/intentions/resolutions be for 2010? Are you sticking with the traditional ones? Or are you going to stretch your boundaries a little and do something new?


Oh, hello! Lovely salad today. Dressing on the side.

I used to be fun. Honest.

Back in the day, I would get dressed up and go out with my friends. We’d drink, and dance, and laugh, and pick up boys (who wanted to be men.) The night would be considered young at 10pm. Heck, we wouldn’t even leave the house until after 10.  That was back when people could still smoke in bars – you’d come home reeking of cigarettes, and need to take a shower. Sleep (or pass out) for a few hours, then start making plans to do it all again.

But, somewhere along the way, my fun got broken. I’ve been trying to figure out what happened to it, and when, but the thought of going out and being jostled in a loud, too crowded bar holds all the appeal of the cats chewing my toes off. Maybe it’s a function of getting older, or the after effects of being betrayed by the above mentioned friends, or the result of acquiring more mature friends, or being more choosy with who I do consider a friend, but my fun seems to be gone.  (I know I previously described how I suck at the whole “I wanna be your friend” thing, so I won’t go there.)(Okay, just one thing about that – if someone calls to go to lunch or dinner or whatever, and I am not *completely* sure they are among my handful of friends? I experience something that can only be described as a mild panic attack. Seriously. WTF is wrong with me??)

Now, it seems that “going out” is more around the happy hour time frame. A lovely night is home, with a book. Dinner out? I’d love for it to be done by 8pm. Bed? On a school night, I like nothing more than to be in bed by 9, reading. Weekends? It’s later, but still not the crazy early morning hours of the next day. It’s a very low-key, comfortable existence.

But the more I think about my fun and what happened to it, I realize that what I have really *is* just an existence. Sure, it’s comfortable, it works (sort of), it’s somewhat lonely, but I’m not really *living*. I do have fun when I go out with my true friends. Or when I go to the hockey games with Herb. I really do. But how do I get out of my head, stop over analyzing every word/look/gesture with the ones who haven’t forced their way in. (And let’s face it – they do have to force their way in. And for those that have? Thank goat they did. I cherish them.)

Maybe once I stop expecting the worst from people, or suspecting the worst of myself, I will be able to find the instructions and fix my fun. I just hope that all the years of sweeping it into the corner, and moving it from one apartment to another, from one state to another, and finally to this house, haven’t permanently crushed it. I suspect the pieces have been pretty disintegrated and crushed, but maybe not irreparably harmed. Hopefully, with a little bottle of self-love, a healthy-sized box of kind words, and a final rinse-off of trust, my fun will re-emerge as some shadow of its former self. Maybe then, I will be able to water it daily, play it good music, feed it good food, and have it return stronger than before.  To be clear, I have no desire to relive the crazy days of leaving the house at 10pm and driving home (usually drunk. I know. You don’t have to say it. I KNOW!) several hours later. But I do want to not be suspicious of people and their motives. I do want to know that I have something to offer/contribute. I do want to hear myself laugh until my tum hurts.

I miss my fun. I hope it hasn’t given up all hope. After all, I did keep it with me for all this time, despite my neglect. That should count for something, right?

 


Oh, hello! Have some chocolate covered potato chips.

I LOVE HOCKEY!!

There. I’ve said it. I should clarify that I like hockey live. Hockey on television is boring. I think it’s because of the tedious announcers.

For the past 4+ years or so, Herb and I have had half season tickets to our local AHL team. There are 40 home games, and we have tickets for 20 of them.  We get the same seats every time. Ours are located right behind the penalty boxes. They are great seats.

Our team, the Pirates, used to be the farm team of the Mighty Ducks. But for whatever reason, they broke ties, and that group of young men went to play in Iowa. (?? I know!). Last year, we became affiliated with the Sabres. It was sad at first, but the new team was so good! They play well together – like a real team. There is one player, Nathan Gerbe, who you would not initially think of as a professional hockey player. He’s only 5’6″, which is very small for a hockey player. But he is AWESOME! He’s zoomy fast and never backs down from anyone. It’s  great to watch him play. Then there is the goalie – Enroth. He is phenomenal. And he’s only 21.  It’s astounding.

We have a game tonight. They started the season out not well. But we’re hoping for a win tonight. We both have our fan jerseys, and I have my pom-pom. I can’t wait.