Friday, August 31, 2007

Good TV

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. I already have butterflies thinking about it. Tomorrow ESPN Gameday broadcasts from Blacksburg and the Hokies take the field for the first time since...

Well, since a lot of things. Since the events in April when a madman took so many dreams, and a nation associated the idea of "Virginia Tech" with "massacre." Since Michael Vick, someone who has done so much for the university and held a special place in so many Hokie hearts, was exposed participating and encouraging the cruelest of endeavors.

Due to these reasons I have mixed feelings about the Gameday coverage. When I first heard about it I was happy. It's always fun when Corso and Herbie are in Blacksburg. But now, I think the chatter is going to drive me crazy. There will be lots of talk of that day in April, of Micheal Vick and lots of references to "healing" and how the university "needs" this. How Hokie Nation can come together over....over what? Football? The truth is we came together long before that. They are portraying it like we have been a community in waiting. Waiting for football.

Hokies know that the healing begun long ago. That we have banded together in love and support, and are ready to move forward. That we have moved forward. Perhaps they will portray this tommorrow, but most likely they will bill the game as baptism. As a day of renewal.

Though I think that is oversimplyfying the matter, I must admit there is some truth. Especially for the Hokies so far removed from Blacksburg. Putting on the maroon and orange, cheering, drinking beer, high's about time we get to think of our school with laughter and smiles, with unadulterated joy.

But it won't be unadulterated, will it? The media won't allow it to be. It will be like April all over again, seeing a place I love tied to such horror and cruelty, and talking heads theorizing with sympathetic nods and bottled compassion. I'm sure there will be many tear jerking montages and profiles of victims and portraits of Hokie Spirit. But I'm afraid it will seem invasive. A private matter displayed for the nation to gawk at. Hokies will be poked and proded, tears will be induced, and emotional scenes will play out for a hungry public.

And the cameras will be there to capture it all.

(And I will be watching. GO HOKIES!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Keep it in park...

The past week Sam has been taking his new mobility for a test drive. Sometimes I wish he would just keep it in the garage. Because with any new vehicle, as you embark into the world...there will be dings. And he's gotten a few.

We've drawn first blood. Tooth and lip have met, and they aren't friends. It wasn't all that traumatic, but I realize it's the first of many. Especially since this kid cannot sit still...even for a second. He is cruising around, pulling up and taking steps he has no business taking.

He just lets go. Oh, he can't walk or anything, but he doesn't seem to know that. He turns, sees something and goes for it...and BAM! Thank god we have a new rug to cushion the repeated tumbles and trips. And he gets himself into the most precarious positions. He doesn't quite have the strength to balance, but I guess it's all a building process.

Sam's will has made an appearance too. He's starting to get touchy when you take something away, or don't let him go where he wants to go. And I know people always say this, but it's the things that he can't have that he wants the most. Like the remote...

No baby, the remote isn't a toy...

Yikes! That really isn't much of an issue anymore since one of our remotes broke. We took out the batteries and now he sits, content, gumming...oh wait, excuse me, biting the buttons. I was hoping that once he got it, he would lose interest, but no. The fancy, colorful soft toys cannot compare. And a close second?

my flip flop.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

To the dogs...

As I've gotten older I've enjoyed watching friends go through many life changes. I've been amazed at how often these changes seem to happen all at once. There was the 2005/2006 wedding extravaganza when it seemed everyone I know was getting married. Then the great baby explosion of 2006/2007. Now, there is a much sadder, more difficult cycle that has begun.

The "college dogs" are dying.

A few days ago I got the news that Forbin was being put to sleep. Forbin was a spirited little dachsund mutt J and his roommate adopted from the pound our Sophmore year at Tech. Though they both took him home, it was quickly established that Forbin's trust and allegiance was to Johnny. And Johnny, in turn, became Forbin's true Dad.

Forbin was a staple in our college lives, and for many years after. Forbin was my roommate and my pal as we all shared the house on Lee street. When Tubbs came into the picture, Forbin, like so many little dogs, showed no fear of the looming big brown spaz. Forbin was happy to show him the ropes and let him know who was boss and thought nonthing of it when Tubbs quickly doubled, tripled, quadrupled his size. Until the day Tubbs bit him that is...sorry about that Forbe. (Bones. There is no sharing amongst friends. Lesson learned.)

Now, after a good 17 years, Colonel Forbin was put to rest.

And today, I got the news that Naya, Tubbs littermate, will be put down today. I knew she had been ill, but it's just so sad. I look at Tubbs and realize it may not be far off for him. And Mrs. T's sweetheart of a dog, Tabby, is now deaf and getting a little rickety. I always knew they wouldn't be around forever, but it takes you by surprise when you see your once energetic and active companion become slow and aged.

As many of us are caring for our first children, we are saying goodbye to our first babies. The ones that showed us what unconditional love and companionship can be. Teaching us that responsiblity and trust are not a burden, but a blessing.

I know it's been said, but the love of a dog makes you a better person. Even as we say goodbye, they teach us about love and loss. It's too bad the final lesson has to be so hard.

Good-bye Forbin.

I wish I could give Johnny a hug.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Guilt tripping at TJ Maxx

I spent the morning rearranging the furniture and now I am eagerly awaiting J to come for lunch and check it out. He can be very particular about such things. I think I have an ok sense of design and style, however since Sam arrived, I'm a little more function over fashion these days. Moving the table has opened up a large area for Sam to play. I know J is going to say it's crowded and cluttered in the area I moved it to, but that space was just dead space anyway so...I hope he likes it. I'd really like to keep it the way it is now.

Perhaps I am feeling a little over confident that this new arrangement will fly after my victory yesterday? We got a new rug! I've been whining pretty consistantly about how we needed a rug in the family room to cushion Sams noggin when he topples over and takes a header. And like I said, J can be very particular about these kinda things. He doesn't just dislike something, he "HATES" it. He's the king of hyperbole when it comes to getting what he wants. "That is the most henious thing I've ever seen!", no I don't think that blue carpet is the "most henious thing" you've ever worked at WalMart in High School remember?

But J likes what he likes, and don't we all. It's just that his tastes tend to run extremely specific, and expensive. So yesterday I nearly broke down in tears when we argued about buying a $130 rug. 8x5 for $130 is pretty good. AND it was super cush. And after looking at a bajillion rugs online, J still hadn't found any he liked and the few that were ok were $600...which is just crazy. I knew this was our best chance so I explained how "Sam needs it", you know, so he doesn't knock out those new teeth or before he gets brain damage. So J conceded to get the rug that was lowest on the list of most henious things he's ever seen.

Mama and Sam's teeth are happy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And my Dad thinks I'm spoiling him by picking him up when he cries...

Last week Sam and I headed down to DC to visit my parents. It was a nice little break. Sam had an expanse of carpet on which to crawl and a large stash of toys to ignore while chewing on my flip flops. Now that we are home Sam no longer wants anything to do with any sort of containment. He has tasted unincumbered freedom and there is no going back.

And there was also one of these!

oh, and one of these!

Sam is doing his best to adjust to a world without large plastic bouncy things and his own private pool. I guess he's doing as well as one can expect. He doesn't seem to mind lack of plush carpeting as the floor seems to be the only place he wants to be.

I just feel bad that the floor is so hard and hairy. Ugh the dog hair. It's really a problem. I do the best I can with sweeping. I would vacuum more often, but Sam's surprised wide eyes quickly devolve into the scared cry. You know, the high pitch, face squinched, eyebrow furrowed, pleading to make it stop cry. And I don't have the stomach for it.

And our floor space is pretty small. That's really the trouble. At my parents he could crawl and crawl and get pretty far before there was any trouble. Here he has about 3 feet before hitting chairs and tables and TV stands. And I don't know if I've mentioned it before, he is not really a sit on the floor kinda baby. He is not content to plop down in one place and play. So we are spending much of our days hunched over, redirecting Sams exploration and removing dog hair from his pants.

Of course...he's not always wearing pants.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just call me wallflower...

I've been feeling a little down lately. My lack of friends around here has me bummed. I know a few girls, but the time it takes to really get to know someone seems daunting. The fact that I look at it that way reinforces the feeling that I haven't really clicked with anyone. And the activities we do tend to be overplanned and contrived. Not that I don't enjoy the excursions, but we are so busying doing stuff that we hardly connect. And I think my need for connection has done a number on my personal filter.

I'm spewing thoughts and feelings without really stopping to think.

I've always been pretty opinionated. However, I'd like to think that over the past few years I've managed to keep the idea that I could quite possibly, even probably, be mistaken about many of my beliefs. Or, at very least, I try to understand why someone may feel differently. I enjoy debating topics such as politics, religion and ethics. I KNOW. Never a good idea. Unless you know people really well. And, like I said, I don't. And like I also said, I lake to debate. Which probably comes across as judgemental. Or even worse, has me saying things for the sake of making a point, not because I honestly think it.

With my close friends, I feel comfortable diving into taboo territory...because I know they really get me. I want people to question me about my beliefs. It helps me to know myself better. And let's me realize when I'm not really thinking things through. I so miss the ability to freely discuss and be wrong. And disagree. And hash out the differences and respect those differences. These are not things you should do with people who don't already know you well. Who won't hold it against you or judge you...or at least, just a little. And I can't expect that from everybody. I suppose that's what makes true friends, friends. They are willing to listen to your bullshit, call you out on it, throw in some of their own and you still end up repsecting and loving each other in spite of all the self righteousness.

Oh, and this is all compounded due to my lame need for people to like me.

It's a problem.

So I'm going to start shutting up a bit.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sorry Honey, Wii're broke

I just finished setting up our home finances in a nice freeware program. Things are a little out of control around here. The move and subsequent "Home Improvement" led to a frenzy of purchases. For a couple months we were living as though our income is about 3 times what it is. We've gotten so used to whippin out the debit card and buying crap.

Well, we ain't no millionares and if we don't want the rest of our savings to disappear we need to get back to reality. The line between what we want and what we need has become blurred. Looking at how much we have spent at a certain big box store is making me break out in hives. Of course J doesn't really look at the money and he has been loving his Saturday morning trips to the sprawl. It's going to be a hard recovery having him go cold turkey. I think it's beginning to warp his senses...

Me: Ugh, I should go to Kmart and buy a bathmat. I hate Kmart.

J: You should go buy a Wii!

Me: Yeah. I'm not going anywhere. I think you should go...

No one ended up going, but the next day, J said I agreed to get a Wii. I don't think so.