Coulda Been A Contender

Let’s get ready to RRRUUUMMMBBBBLLLEEEE!  Am I allowed to say that? Is it trademarked?  Don’t any of the 43 of you who read me tell on me if so. 

I got a lot of nominees for my soon-to-be-football team.  I’ve also done a lot of research on my own.  Did you know, by the way, that Googling the term “Hot Shirtless Football Players” will take you to some sexual sights designed for gay men?  Me neither.  Then I learned that Googling plain old “Hot Football Players” would take you to a bunch of soccer websites, and I got all distracted for a while looking at those guys and nearly forgot my mission.  Wow, soccer players are nice looking. 

Anyway, first thing I did on my own was have a look at the NFL site just to get a feel for the teams available to me, and I must say, some of the logos are plumb awful.  Right away I discounted anyone with a stupid logo which meant that the NY Jets & Giants, the Cleveland Browns, and the Buffalo Bills were knocked out.  Then I eliminated poor color choices which removed the Saints, the Buccaneers (any team that willfully chooses to clothe their athletes in pants that are African American flesh colored so that major chunks of the team look naked as they run down the field deserves to be cut), the Packers and again, the Cleveland Browns (how are they even a team?).  THEN I did the Googling which nearly got me arrested/fired and found some cuties which almost put the NY Jets & Giants and the Greenbay Packers back on the list; however, I defined standards and I will adhere to them so those three teams remain disqualified. 

From there, I dutifully studied all the nominated teams which included the following:  Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens.    I’m giving them all a fair look before making a final decision.  Here’s where I stand with my quest thus far: 

STEELERS:  I have a new work friend, the one who gave me the Steelers jersey to wear, and she invited me to partake of a Steelers game with her and her family.  I’m naming her Katniss, primarily because she seems kind of scrappy, like she could do some damage to your guts if you ticked her off, but also because she’s pretty.  Katniss took me over to her brother’s house for the Steelers/Raiders game, and we settled into the Steelers man cave for the afternoon.  I peed next to Troy Polamalu a few times (life size sticker on the bathroom wall),had snacks out of a Steelers helmet and off of Steelers plates, wiped my mouth with a Steelers napkin (which I was afraid would get me hurt as I felt that they might view that as a desecration of Steeler property), and finally, I smacked hands with a giant inflatable football player wearing Steelers gear every time a touchdown was scored. 

I also watched a video of this nature and was pretty enamoured of it:

Steelers Renegade

The logo is fancy, the colors look good on me, and Polamalu has pretty hair.  Also, that coach of theirs, Mike Tomlin, is a lovely man.  Still contenders. 

TITANS:  I had a lengthy discussion with a man I’ve named Thor (because I like the name Thor) about why the Titans would be a good choice for me.  His best argument is that being a Titans fan teaches us patience and perseverance.  This man is a high school teacher so why he needs more things to teach him patience and perseverance is beyond me, yet he was quite passionate about his fandom. 

I will have more chances to see a Titans game live than any of the other teams, plus I like the logo and the colors.  Blue is my favorite color, you know.  Still contenders. 

COWBOYS:  This team was nominated by two men, both of whom I trust absolutely, and that is saying a lot.  Coach has been a longtime fan of the Cowboys and follows them faithfully.  But in traditional Coach fashion, he gives the soft sell so he hasn’t done much to push me.  Quan also nominated this team, noting the appeal of the monstrosity they call a stadium. 

I really dig that Texas star.  The colors are lovely and I have silver eyeliner to match.  Pretty boys play for this team.  Still contenders. 

PANTHERS:  Lynnette and Freddie volunteered this team, simply because the QB is Cam Newton.  I’ve stared at his picture a lot.  It’s quite distracting as it’s my desktop photo now.  He sure is pretty.

Photo credit: GQ, of course

The team colors are gorgeous!  Cam Newton is gorgeous! His teeth are gorgeous!  (You know how I feel about teeth.)  Still contenders. 

RAVENS:  My experience with the Baltimore Ravens consisted of watching the movie “Blindside”, which everyone knows is about Michael Orr, a Ravens player.  Great movie, but I have a policy on all movies I watch: no scary movies, no movies that make me cry and no movies that make me want things I cannot have.  Blindside, unfortunately, violated my movie policy, giving me chapped cheeks because I cried so much. 

The colors are nice, the logo is nice, but the crying did me in.  Sorry, Ravens.  No longer contenders. 

RAMS:  I need to do more research here.  I am quite moved by the horns on the helmets.  Still contenders. 

BENGALS:  This team was nominated by another man that I trust, except he moved away to Atlanta so now I’m mad at him.  He makes the best enchiladas ever.  I like the colors, I like the logo, some hotties play for the team, but I’m going to have to pass.  No longer contenders. 

DOLPHINS:  This team was nominated by an old friend because she thought I would look pretty in the colors.  She gets me!  She understands what I’m going for here!  I’m going to have to do more research on the Dolphins.  Still contenders. 

A final thought or two.  While watching the Steelers/Raiders game, I saw the Raider who got knocked out in the end zone.  You guys, I loved watching this game. I loved the excitement of the fans (Katniss’s family).  I loved their dedication.  Football in general appeals to me. But when that guy got hurt and just laid there, my stomach was all up in my throat and I felt sick.  I prayed and prayed and prayed for him and was a hot mess inside until he gave the thumbs up.  Do I have the fortitude to be a football fan?  Still contending on that one . . . . 

Also, I think someone needs to make me some brackets for all this mess here.  I’m getting confused by my own self.  Coach?

 

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A Lesson For You On A Wednesday

You guys, I’m getting a little worried about Dammit Todd.  I haven’t seen him in a while (still never met the imaginary girlfriend either), and I just heard about the possible looming bacon shortage.  Dammit Todd once delivered a truly moving monologue on the versatility of bacon, how it’s smoky flavor contributes something to every single food group, how everything is simply better with bacon.  I challenged him on that, purchasing something called a Chocolate Bacon Bar, and offered it for a taste test.  His judgment?  Incredibly angry that I also invited others join in the taste test, thus forcing him to share the Chocolate Bacon Bar which he clearly did not want to do.  I guess bacon does make everything taste better. 

I hope he pulls through this devastation.  I imagine he will look gaunt and slightly emaciated once the ordeal is over but I have faith in his strength (and the support of his imaginary girlfriend).  Actually, I feel for all meatatarians during this time of famine.  Godspeed, men.  Push through.  I wish you well on this journey.

While I am on the subject of Dammit Todd and his absence from my life, I’m going to tell you calmly and sedately that my car broke again.  The most dramatic I will get about it is this:  THIS MAKES NUMBER FIVE!  IN FOUR MONTHS TIME! In this instance I could have really used myself some Dammit Todd as the fix required the jacking up of my car and the screwing in of some bolts onto some pan thingy or other.  But I found myself a replacement Dammit Todd who Ima call MacGyver (because something about that name implies being good at fixing stuff with baling wire and bubble gum, I don’t know why, do you?).  MacGyver manfully jacked up that car, whipped out an electric drill and drilled away on the pan thingy.  He hollered from underneath the car, “Gimme something plastic to screw this bolt into!” His (non-imaginary) girlfriend dug through her purse and handed him the first thing she found.

Use what you have, people.  That is today’s lesson.  Use what you have. 

Tomorrow we talk football.  Prepare yourselves.

 

My Loyalty Is For Hire

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated College Colors Day at work with a tailgate party, corn hole, game day music and bourbon.  And also, you know, college colors.  I may share more of that story with you later (you did note the bourbon, didn’t you?), but it depends on space and how wordy I feel at the end of the story. 

Anyway, College Colors Day got everyone at work in the mood for football which apparently doesn’t take much. These people are serious about their football, and about one hour after we celebrated our favorite college teams over lunch (UK, all the way, GO CATS!), everyone started clamoring about their favorite NFL teams.  Human Resources, the department I work in, began receiving email after email asking for permission to wear NFL gear on Fridays from now until the end of the season.  My boss, after two whole minutes of deliberation, sent out an email that read:  During football season, you are allowed to wear clothing in honor of your favorite college or NFL team on Fridays.  No Steelers, Gators or Ravens attire will be permitted.

What I know about football is this:  you want to score touchdowns, you don’t want to give the ball away, and football players can be hot.  I’m a fan of Kentucky stuff in general because my heart belongs there but last time I checked they didn’t have a professional football team.  I have never had a strong opinion about an NFL team, although I do remember liking the Cowboys when I was younger because my brothers felt quite emotional about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders (and in my mind, those brothers were the coolest people on the planet), and my Daddy-O taught Emmitt Smith in high school for one whole day in a photography class.  Otherwise, I’ve never given it much thought.

Now I want to fit in with my co-workers and I most especially want to the chance to wear jeans and sweatshirts every Friday for the next few months as I celebrate my team’s victories.  I just don’t know who to pick.  A co-worker, fast becoming one of my favorites, asked me if I would wear a jersey in honor of her favorite team if she brought it for me.  Of course I would!  You know what she brought me?  A Steelers jersey.  You remember who hates the Steelers?  My new boss.  Oh noes!  I sat at my desk, typing away like mad, when my boss, a raging Titans fan, saw me and said this: 

(indignantly) “Jimmie, what are you wearing?”

Jimmie:  (sheep facedly) “A Steelers jersey.”

New Boss:  (jokingly, I hope) “I’m going to have to write you up for insubordination.”

Jimmie:  (slightly defiantly) “Well, I have no loyalties.  This was the jersey I had, and this was the jersey I wore.  If you bring me a Titans jersey, I’ll wear that next time.”

And thus my job was saved.  

That following Sunday, I was invited to the Titans game.  I happily went.  I purchased my own Titans gear, thinking “You know, I live in Nashville.  We have our own team. These fans sure know how to party.  There is a lot of loyalty here.  Maybe I am a Titans fan.”  But then I watched the Patriots wipe the floor with us, and I watched us let them wipe the floor with us without a fight, plus I got sunburned at the game and we all know how much I love the sunburn look on me, therefore I have decided the Titans do not get my loyalty. 

What I’m saying it this:  I need a team, people.  I need to choose a team, all for me, so that I can have a football purpose.  I’ve kicked around some ideas for what is important to me.  If I want to invest in clothing, I could consider cost per wear and go with the Steelers as they have had more Super Bowl wins than anyone else.  But Ben Roesthenesligersnot is kind of a douchecanoe, so the Steelers may not work for me.  If I want to choose local flavor, I’d be all for the Titans but again, how can I support a team who merely tosses the ball to the opposing team and says, “Here.  You look like you want to win.  You can have the ball.”  Madre is especially partial to Peyton Manning so the Broncos are under consideration.  I do like Peyton Manning.  He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s cute.  But that is Madre’s team and I feel like I need my own.

I had a phone conversation with Jonquil about this, and also Ty, and we all agreed that I need to have some criteria for choosing a team.  This is what I’ve decided to look for:  teams with the prettiest colors (any team using the color brown is automatically disqualified) and teams with a hottie player.  I know that all you men and die-hard football fans (Woney and Kindle, I’m looking at you) will embrace my journey whole-heartedly and really help me determine my best choice.  Please send all nominees to my comments section.  Pictures are very welcome. 

P. S. I think I feel like typing more, so I’ll tell you the bourbon story.  First let me tell you about the CEO I last worked for, the man who was ultimately responsible for letting me go.  (This may not be a warm, fuzzy description.)  Physically, he is an imposing man.  He looks oddly like a human version of Shrek.  I like Shrek, kind of crabby, soft hearted, a bit like an ogre.  CEO Shrek fancies himself an Everyman, always wanting to relate to the little guy while still maintaining his status as “Boss”.  Often his conversations and speeches are peppered with warm anecdotes and “I remember when” stories.  He is partial to the sweater vest.  A nice enough man, certainly, but not one you ever get to know, and not one who can separate himself from the awkwardness of being the stereotypical engineer nor having the same veneer that sticks to all politicians.  He’s like a warm yet firm handshake that leaves you feeling like you just got played.  I don’t hate the man.  I’m not even angry at the man.  I can honestly say that if he were on fire on the side of a deserted highway and I drove by with an exceptionally full bladder, I would urinate on him to save his life and it would give me great pleasure to do so. 

Now let’s talk about my current CEO.  I hear rumors that he genuinely cares about his employees and I believe it.  He’s helped me open mail before, when I’ve been overwhelmed, and twice he’s moved boxes for me.  For our potluck on College Colors Day, he brought the following:   baked beans, O’Doul’s, beer pong, and pickles.  He also brought a bottle of bourbon.  His family makes it so it’s decent stuff.  He sold it for a dollar a shot (after lunch only, one shot limit) and he donated all the proceeds to charity.  He’s never once worn a sweater vest. 

Oh, how different is my life now . . . .

No!

Filth Flarn $%#!^&**^#!$%@ toilet!

The end.

%$#^&*^%!!!

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Guess what works now?  My toilet.  Guess who fixed it?  Me!*  You may think me pathetic for being as ecstatic as I am over a working toilet but its been five months.  Levels this high of ecstasy far surpass any harsh names  you throw my way.  Besides, sticks and stones and all that.  I am too happy, happy over a porcelain seat with water that runs through it.  Murphy, too, is quite charmed.  His drinking fountain has been restored. Five long months with no properly working toilet and/or watering hole will do that to a person and/or her recalcitrant cat.  I’ve learned more about toilet maintenance than I ever cared to know and now feel a little greasy under my fingernails.

Guess what else works now?  My garage door openers. Both of them.  Guess who fixed them? Me!* I learned, all by myself*, how to reset those suckers.  It only took two years and some swear words and a new battery and the realization that the new battery was in upside down.  Now they work great and I can get rid of the one I’ve been using all this time that is held together by a rubber band once used to hold broccoli in a bunch. 

Guess what else I don’t have to worry about for a year or so?  My hot water heater.  Guess who figured that out?  Me!* I learned how to drain the water out of it and look for sediment, all by myself.* Turns out my house won’t blow up in a fiery explosion due to lack of working water heater, at least for a while.  This is good news. 

This is one of the happiest nights of my life.  I squealed like a little girl and clapped each time something was fixed.  Sigh.  I can go to bed content, secure in the knowledge that I am a grown-up who can fix things.*

*with the help of a handyman that I hired for the evening.  BUT!  I hovered over him a lot, which is certainly not at all annoying.  I watched everything he did.  I downloaded the manual for the garage door openers and told him which buttons to push and for exactly how long he was to push them.  I chose the code for the wall mount and I chose which button he was to mash on the opener.  I read the instructions on how to drain the heater and I followed him and his bucket of water on every trip he made to dump it.  Finally, I mooshed on the potty gasket which was fine but in the wrong place in the toilet tank.  I DID A LOT! 

In other news, it turns out that Seamus likes tool boxes.  He was all loved up on the handyman’s tool box, kind of curved around it and snuggling.  I wanted to take his picture for you but he caught me and ran off in embarrassment. 

So, anyone want to hire me for some general home maintenance?  I’d be happy to come over** and tinker around with your broken appliances.  Just let me know.

**with my handyman, naturally

I Could Use A Little Calamine Lotion, Please

This morning I was having the epic struggle of “do I get out of bed and go to the gym at 5:30, or do I lie here and get porkier whilst sleeping an extra hour” when Murphy decided to stroll across my body.  (He is currently still housed with me. We are trying some new things to see if we can’t all get along without him whizzing on everything.)  He had just put his foot, claws retracted, on my leg when Seamus sneezed, causing Murphy to spaz, dig all million of his claws into my leg and use that traction as the springboard to launch him off the bed and into the window. So if you are wondering if I went to the gym at 5:30 a.m., yes, I did.  I said a lot of bad words first, though.  A very pleasant way to arise. 

There is a new character at my gym I’d like to share with you.  I’ve seen him a few times now, always in the same outfit which consists of tiny little short shorts, a miniscule tank top and royal blue Crocs.  I got behind him on the indoor track a couple of weeks ago and thought he had an odd approach to exercise as he was mincing around the track at warp turtle speed.  When he started high stepping on his toes, sort of swaying his hips side to side, I got the giggles.  I lapped him and noted that he was wearing sunglasses at the indoor track which could possibly explain his strange walk if I were willing to stretch that idea.  When I was approaching him from behind a second time, he suddenly threw his arms up into a ballroom dancer’s pose and began twirling.  My giggles instantly changed to fascination as I watched him practice his steps all the way around the track.   He seems quite talented and he seems to take it quite seriously.  All I can do is applaud him and be slightly jealous as I have all the grace of a thundering elephant. 

I haven’t talked much of my other outdoor activities lately although they still exist.  I choose to flag in my participation of those activities in high summer, see, because I am prone to sunburns and unflattering cheek flushes when I’m overly warm.  Basically I look like a human tomato and I don’t care how you cut it, that is not a good look.  I am not a fan.  I do whatever I can to avoid that look.  Plus it’s been so humid lately that it almost isn’t worth the trip out of doors for walking/jogging as I’m pretty sure breathing in the water we call air down in these parts will give me pneumonia soon. 

I have another Very Important Reason for avoiding the outside in high summer.  In case you are wondering, I am the model of safety when I am outside performing my calisthenics or what have you.  It isn’t that.  I know the dangers of being a lone person in the out of doors with no defenses other than a can of pepper spray.  I always stay on the marked path and never pick up rabid stray animals.  I also don’t waller around in poisonous leafy flora yet do you know I somehow contracted myself a nice case of poison ivy?  Or poison something.  I have no idea where I got it although the Greenway would be the logical assumption.  If I could smoosh all the affected parts of my skin together, it would be an area the size of a dime yet I feel as if I am dying a slow, painful, itchy death.  I wake up itching. I go to bed itching.  And because I am a grown up and can do as I like, I have scratched all the skin off my arms and now look like I have a case of weeping eczema.  I don’t care that it is only a dime-sized area of skin, it is killing me.  (I realize this might be a tad dramatic but it itcheeeeeessss. <whine>) 

I’m going to distract myself from the itching by telling you that Daddy-O and JiJi gave me a new pink pocketknife for my birthday.  It excited me to no end.  However, no sooner than I opened it, hadn’t even gotten the box fully torn apart yet, when Daddy-O said, “Quick, someone get the first aid kit!”  Seeing as how I bifurcated my finger within the first five minutes of owning my first pocketknife, and seeing as how I dropped the electric sander on my naked toe last summer, essentially filing the nail polish off that toe in one quick swoop and cracking the nail in a clean break, and seeing as how I contracted the raging case of poison something by touching nothing that was leafy and by barely going outside, I call that a fair statement. 

I was going to have a stellar ending for this, really wrapping it all up and bringing my point home.  But y’all, I just read over all this and have concluded that I am an alluring package.  I don’t get why I am still single.  Do you?  <scratch>

A Bit Of Prose About My Greenway

“An Ode to my Greenway” sounds so much nicer but we’ve already covered the bit about my talent not extending that far.  I’m just not that good, so today I have titled this correctly.  I shall write prose for you about a walking path.  And I shall include pictures.

Today I went for a walk on my Greenway.  I remembered that I wanted to share it with you because it is one of my happy places and lately, I’ve thrown a lot of negative at you.  That isn’t me, not always, so today I’m giving you a positive.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Today is was misty and slightly messy.  Isaac has done his work on Tennessee.  Some twigs are down and a few plant stalks are bent. That’s it really, that and the rain.   When I began my walk, the sky was gray and the mist was coming, so I was hopeful that I would miss the most of the bad weather.  Unfortunately, by the end of my walk, I was rain damp and my hair was a giant sticky mess. I didn’t care. 

I’ve been walking this Greenway for maybe five years now.  I’ve met lots of fantastic people there.  Remember, there was the woman with the giant corkscrew curls who prayed all the way up that one giant hill.  Speaking of that hill, I took Madre to the Greenway once and I warned her about it.  I told her it was rough.  “It can’t be any worse than the one at home. I’m fine.”  I kept my peace and when we walked up the first section of that hill, we were both huffing and puffing pretty good.  “That wasn’t so bad,” Madre said, and then we turned the jack-knife corner and she saw the rest of it.  “Damn,” she huffed and we trudged on. One of these days at the top of that hill I will suddenly notice that I have a Beyonce booty and I will know that I got it because I drag myself up that hill far too much for my liking. 

There is a Mexican man that I see on the Greenway often.  He wears the exact same outfit every time he walks, a white polo shirt and khaki shorts.  When he sees me, he places both hands over his heart and throws them out to the side like his heart is growing.  He doesn’t speak a word of English.

There is a giant slab of a man named Jeff, who is cu-u-u-u-t-e!  So cute!  He’s nice, too, and he walks the Greenway literally every day.  He never misses, even in the rain.  One day he saw the Mexican man give up his heart to me and he said, “Be careful, Jimmie.  You are an easy girl to have a crush on and I don’t want you getting hurt out here.”  Jeff is happily married, as far as I can tell, so no big ideas anyone. 

There is a man I saw today who was doing this strange giraffe-like walk, kind of stalking and jerking his knees backward with every step.  It was weird.  He was puffing air in and out of his cheeks, like a locomotive and I couldn’t help but think that he was doing far more damage to his knees by walking in such a stiff manner than doing any good for his body.  On the other hand, there is a woman I see who runs like a gazelle, kind of on her toes and hopping.  I’ve seen her body change over the years and her figure is quite nice.  This is why I want to run, people. 

My favorite Greenway person is the 70-ish year old man who does this shuffling run for six miles or so.  He blows past me whether I am running or not, which is always a surprise as from a distance it really does look as if he’s just slowly shuffling along and next thing I know I’m left in a cloud of aftershave.  It is disheartening to know I will never get as fast as him.  He wears his trucker hat perched on top of his head, his striped athletic socks pulled up to his knees and his shorts just as baggy as a teenaged boy’s.   I admire him.

I’ve seen more deer, rabbits and snakes than I can count.  The path meanders along the lake and when the sun hits the water just right, you can see fish floating near the surface.  I’ve seen an otter doing the backstroke.  I see turtles paddling around all the time. 

In the summer, the honeysuckle is potent.  Everything is so GREEN.  In the fall the leaves are gorgeous.  You can hear the deer rustling around in the morning.  When I was going through the heartbreak, I would walk on that path, watching my breath puff in the cold morning air, and a doe would come out of the woods and just stare at me.  There was no fear. I could get almost close enough to touch her.  There was comfort in that although I’m not sure why.

A walk on the Greenway was a lovely way to begin my Labor Day.  Afterwards I went to the gym and nearly broke my legs doing lunges and squats.  I’ll have a night out with friends later.  And in the middle of all that, I, glamorously, spent the afternoon on my hands and knees cleaning the grout in my kitchen.  Nice, no?  But I really wanted to share my Greenway with you, my happy place. 

Happy Labor Day, everyone!