Sunday, August 26, 2012

football season is upon us...

(Pictured here, Geoff in Green, #21, headed straight for the QB, number 3, right before he pounded him).

I'm not too excited about the Pats and Pretty Boy Tommy, this year for some reason. I am looking forward to Geoff's team, though. It's a mom thing. It's a pride thing. If he was in theater or band or a ping pong league I would be equally excited. I love this kid.

There is a small problem though. He's a Sophomore, and they have him playing on the Freshman team. Why? He hasn't been able to figure that out. But then again, he's probably been told exactly why but he isn't HEARING the answer so he says "Coach H hates me and wants me to suffer and burn in eternal hell for something that I did last year" (His words). We told him Coach H doesn't hate him and want to ruin his life, there has to be a reason. So we ask him... what did Coach H say to you. How did he explain it to you? And he can't give an answer because whatever the answer was or is, he didn't hear it. He is building his own mystery, and painting a house of blues.

I am positive the reasons are valid. Perhaps he is not ready to play with the older guys. There isn't a JV team this year, not enough kids. So there are freshmen, and there is Varsity. And he perhaps doesn't have the maturity.

Or, they don't have anyone big or strong enough to play defensive line? I saw the freshmen. I can't believe how small and wee they are.

I emailed and asked what the deal is, but have not gotten an answer. I don't want to be a nag to the program, I just need to know the answer (whatever it is, I accept it) so I can help him manage his disappointment. So I am hoping someone gets back to me. He wants to quit. He doesn't want to go and play or work out or be there. And it shouldn't be that way.

There was a scrimmage yesterday, evidenced by the photo above. The V team looks really good. Lots of excellent football for so early in the year. Doug and I sat with a mom of a Senior, and she said her son went through the same thing his sophomore year. He played on the Freshman team and hated it. But he did what he was told to do, followed the instructions. It was his second year playing football ever (Geoff had 3 years with the youth football league), so she said she thinks they perhaps thought it was necessary for him to get more fundamentals. Another dad said his son had the same thing. Both boys are seniors, and were out there making plays and doing great work. I watched the boy belonging to the woman next to me soar through the hair with the ball and rotate  to get just another yard. Great work! Great football!

The dad next to us said that he remembers his son had to suit up for his own games AND for the varsity games. Even though he never played in a Varsity game during his Sophomore year, he was required to be there. Dad said that it was frustrating, and his son wanted to explode with rage, to be giving up his Saturdays and his Thursdays (Freshmen play Thursdays) to go to a stupid game and stand there and do nothing. But ... two years later he feels his situation paid off.

There are some pros to this, if you ask me. First, the Freshman Coach is the same one as last year and Coach Matt really gets Geoff, and is kind of a great mentor to him. I love that he can work with him again. Also, games are on Thursdays, and Doug works from home on Thursdays. Last year he had a couple of games he missed because he was in Boston and couldn't just leave at 2pm to get over there to the game. So if Geoff's games are on Thursdays -- it will be great for daddy! Trying to see the silver lining here in all of the possible non-silver lining stuff, on Geoff's part.

My only real issue is the fee. If I'm paying the Sophomore Fee of 400 dollars and he's playing Freshman ball... I think that's bullshit. I really do. If he only gets to play one or two plays a game for 400 bucks, I'm going to be irritated. This is seriously the ONLY thing Geoff does aside from Boy Scouts, the only thing he wants to do, and if it is going to cost us an arm and a leg and all we have is anger and disappointment over it... hmm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deliberately Vague

Oh, I know you are reading my blog. I see your visits. Hi. How many times do you need to visit per day? Thank you for driving up my hit-count. If nothing else, I like that.

i am small, but i am not alone. so many others are with me... if what we could do would be this powerful and beautiful you would stand no chance in the face of us. Eagle and sparrow both, God's eye is on us all. Friends, fly with me. I need you. Let's go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

and, good bye Hermia

So, I just got home from a long long long session meeting at church (why is there so much business that needs to be done? can't church just be church and do its own self-management!?) And I'm exhausted, and I sit down to have time with Doug and I look immediately to the cage in the living room, and there she is on her side dead.

I am fucking devastated. I should have taken her to the vet yesterday to see if she had something that could be cured after her sister died on Saturday but I did not. I was saying "I need to write a check to my lawyer for 2000 dollars and I have 200 dollars in my checking account so ... what the hell am I going to pay a VET with?" And she was eating, and she was pooping solid poops which looked fine to me, and she was drinking, I saw her.

And she's fucking dead.

I can't even.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shadows and perceptions

I just dropped off Doug's Jeep. The brakes failed... he'd been adding break fluid to them but ... now they barely work, and I do mean barely. Luckily the garage is literally visible from our house and I never had to speed up with traffic coming behind me. I managed to coast into the lot and hit the emergency brake to stop it.

On the very short walk home I looked down at my shadow. My hair is very long, and it was "out" as it were, not pulled back in a scrunchy or restrained in any way. There was a slight breeze, and my hair was aflutter. The sun at my back gave me the perfect perspective of this Birth of Venus-esque vision of my tresses.

Suddenly, I was reminded of a similar scene when I was perhaps a sophomore in High School. I was walking in downtown Huntington Village NY, my hometown, and my shadow-hair looked ... awesome. Bouncy and carefree, it looked as if my hair was just flowin' in the breeze, like I was right out of some Marshall Tucker Band song, or perhaps Dan Fogelberg would write a tune about how lovely my locks lilted.

I walked with a dance to my step, imagining that I too must look as wonderful as I perceived my hair to look! Grinning and happy, I felt like I must be gorgeous today.

Until I walked past a store with reflective glass in the window and realized, sadly, I looked like crap, I looked ridiculous, possibly like a maniac or a psycho. My hair wasn't gorgeous, it was long, stringy, tangled and sloppy looking. I stopped my bouncy jaunt and resumed walking like a normal human being.

And today I remembered that, out of the blue, for no reason.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's a hard world for small things. Guinea Pig number 3...

In the course of events in this blog and this family life, long time readers know we've had some guinea pigs.

First, you will perhaps remember the saga of Oreo, Jess' first guinea pig.  Oreo met her untimely demise when Geoff decided to give her a bath because she smelled funny. The thoughts of this family event still break my heart and make me cry.

After a while, Jess wanted to try it again and we went to the pet store and shopped for a new pig. One stood up in the cage and sang to her, and we knew he was ours. The kid at the pet store didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, so we named it "Gordon," after the Barenaked Ladies song "Steven Page is Having a Baby." He sings, "And if it's a boy I'll call him Gordon, and if it's a girl I'll call her Gordon. I just like the name Gordon."  We thought that was perfectly appropriate. Turns out Gordon was a boy after all... our vet checked him out for us.

Gordon lived a good long life and was super cuddly and friendly and always wanted to be held. He loved the backyard, the dogs liked him. He ate flowers and grass and sat on the table while we did arts & crafts.

He got sick one day and the vet told us it was scurvy and a respiratory infection. She gave us antibiotics for the respiratory infection, and a prognosis that was not so good.

Geoff and I applied amazing veterinary care for several days to keep him comfortable and happy. We fed him and watered him with an eye dropper, we hand washed him since he could only lay on his side and then he'd be covered in pee. He could not poop, so I had to assist him with mineral oil and a Q-tip.

The lengths we went to for that pig, I tell ya.

He died one day before we left for church, and when we got home he jumped into my hands when I reached into the cage. We rejoiced.

But Zombie guinea pig didn't last much longer... he died shortly thereafter.

A couple years ago, Geoff asked for some more guinea pig love in his life so I decided to stop by the pet store and see what they had one Christmas eve day.

The pet store lady told me they were from the same litter as she held them in her hand. They were curled up together, so sweet and small... a black and white one and a tortoise colored one with a rosette on her head. I doubted they were really FROM the same litter, but they were the tiniest and they were together. So they came home with me.

Geoff named them Helena and Hermia, from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  If you know the characters, one is plain and thinks no one loves her. The other is more beautiful and beloved... He decided the one with the rosette on her head would be the "more beautiful" one, and the other one, black and white and ordinary in appearance, would be the lesser beauty... so the character names seemed fitting.

Over time, they became backdrop to our story. They were always there, they would wheep wheep wheep to me when I walked in the room because it became clear almost immediately that I was the primary feeder and care giver. Neither of them liked to be held. They would run like crazy all over the cage to avoid being picked up, and once caught, they'd fight. So we stopped trying to hold them.

Geoff used them as his pets in the Pet Care Merit Badge for Boy Scouts. Our last guinea pig, Gordon, loved to sit in the grass and eat dandelion stems in the yard. Geoff figured he'd set these girls down in the grass and talk about them. Both of them ran like LIGHTNING out away from the circle of kids. Two guinea pigs, on the loose.  

We'd talk to them, we'd spend time with them, we'd clean their cage. I think I talked to them every day.

This morning I came to talk to them, and Helena was on her side breathing heavy. I picked her up, she was struggling to breathe... I held her and Doug got a towel. Geoff came down and held her as we researched in the Google machine what could possibly be the problem. We didn't even have to discuss it. We have no money, a vet visit for a one pound guinea pig is a lot of money. If she made it through the weekend, which I doubted 99% she would, I'd bring her to the vet but we decided that the best course of action was to hold her and make her comfortable.

She was so soft.

Geoff went upstairs and I held her, stroking her and helping her when she pooped by cleaning it up with a paper towel. She didn't last longer than an hour. I'm kind of relieved that she went fast because I don't think that I could have made it through the weekend holding her and patting her and stroking her.

So there you go. Three guinea pigs in eleven years have met their demise in our house. Hermia is left, with her tortoise shell coloring and her rosette upon her forehead. I'm horribly worried that she is next, because whatever this was that took Helena came fast. She was fine last night.

To quote the movie Raising Arizona, "It's a hard world for small things." And right now it is a hard world for me. I'm very sad.

Monday, August 13, 2012

barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain...

When I was in 7th grade, I saw a report on some news show about this guy who played guitar and piano. He was high energy, wrote great songs about the mean streets, laughed a lot on stage, had a bunch of fantastic players in his band.

Instant love.

I remember going to my best friend's house to play, and told her about the news program I had seen. I reenacted something he did, where he was playing his guitar and jumped up on the grand piano and laid down on his back with his legs flailing and kicking around.  In doing so, I broke her bed when I went up in the air and landed on my back... and boy did we get in trouble.

Tonight he is in Boston, sound checking for his show at Fenway Park. My friend J is listening and commenting about it on Facebook, torturing me. Making me completely jealous. I've never had the honor of seeing him live. I would love to. I would really love to.

Instead, I have to live with the memory of breaking my friend's bed, and listening to his music in the summer time, drinking beer in the soft summer rain while hanging out with my best friends on the mean streets of Huntington NY.