Day 100 – Talkin’ about playoffs

Anyone who knows my husband knows that he’s basically a sports nut. He’ll watch basically any competitive sport–curling, NASCAR, horse racing, boxing, golf, stuff that he really doesn’t even really follow, but is content to sit and watch if the opportunity presents itself.

Then, there are his teams–the Mets, the Jets, the Islanders. And between the baseball season, the football seasons, and the hockey season (that basically feels like it’s yearround), there is always some team that we’re following in this house. Baseball has just begun, so Stevie is obviously excited to see how his Mets are going to do this season. But hockey…hockey is where it’s at right now because the New York Islanders are in the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first playoff game tonight.

So here are a couple of observations I made today:

1. Apparently Stevie made the decision to grow a playoff beard this year. Somehow I missed the fact that he hasn’t shaved since the season ended (4 days today), and he informed me tonight that he’s not shaving until the Islanders either get knocked out of the playoffs or win the Stanley Cup. Yeah, you know there will be updates on this and probably some Skeevy Stevie weird beard pics.

2. Hockey is the most exciting sport to watch with my husband. Stevie gets a little nuts about all of his teams, but man, there’s nothing like hockey. Every time the Islanders score a goal there’s a lot of yelling and running around the room, arms extended to do the airplane. There’s also usually the tearing off of the shirt and flexing of muscles. I snapped a picture of the madness tonight when the Islanders scored the go-ahead goal in the 3rd period. Even Electra wasn’t sure what to think.

Obviously, this is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Project Life 365 – Day 29 – Red

There’s no denying my hubby is a sports fiend. Name a sport, and he’ll watch it–anything from football and baseball to golf and bull riding. Now, I’m not saying he’s a huge Nascar or PBR fan by any means, but Steven is the kind of guy who can appreciate just about any sport.

The guy can spend an entire afternoon watching Olympic curling. End of story.

Now, the sports he gets crazy over? Those would be football, baseball, and hockey, with basketball following closely behind. He is a diehard Mets, Jets, Islanders and Knicks fan. He’s a yelling, screaming, jumping, hat-throwing maniac when the big games are on the line, and he admits he always thought he was a crazy sports fanatic…

…until he met me.

Growing up, Steven never paid much attention to college football. Born and raised in New York and an abundance of professional sports teams, college football just never seemed very interesting. He might catch a bowl game now and then, but other than hearing the occasional Notre Dame score, few people in Steven’s little corner of the east coast really care about college football.

I’m pretty sure my football obsession is one of the things that sold Steven on marrying me…well a combination of that, and the fact that I love video games, Twin Peaks, The and the X-Files as much as he does. The first time he ever sat down to watch an entire Husker game with me, listened to my Dad and I analyzing the game on the phone during halftime, and watched me shout at the TV and leap up off the couch to scream and clap and cheer for my team, he couldn’t believe it. Then, when my family flew him to Lincoln to attend a Homecoming game against Missouri, he finally began to understand why we Nebraskans always say that we bleed Husker red.

He also says that marrying a Nebraskan girl is like marrying into the Mafia, so be prepared fellas. If you can’t handle a girl who dresses in red, flies her Husker flag, and can curse worse than a sailor on any given Saturday during college football season, you better just keep lookin’.

And since I couldn’t decide which pic I liked best–Smartassy Steve, Serious Steve, or Smiley Steve–I just used all three. My blog, my rules. 🙂

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Elf on the Shelf – Day 5

Last night was a big night for our dear Cosette–her introduction to Husker football.

Steven always says that marrying someone from Nebraska is like marrying into the Mafia. We’re serious about our football around these parts, and we’re fiercely loyal fans. True Nebraska fans bleed Husker red. Win or lose, we take great pride in our team. We tune in, without fail, every Saturday. We respect our opponents and cheer on our boys. We honk and high-five and holler “Go Big Red!” whenever we spot fellow Husker fans on the street.

Last night, we tuned into the Nebraska-Wisconsin game, knowing that it was going to be a tough one. Let’s be honest–it’s been a pretty tough season. Being leaders in categories like turnovers, opponents points off turnovers, and penalties doesn’t really bode well for a team’s season. Yet somehow, we’ve been able to pull off some pretty incredible come-from-behind wins and march our way into the Big 10 Championship game for a chance to play in the Rose Bowl. After barely beating Wisconsin earlier in the season, I’m not sure how anyone would have thought that it would be an easy win.

What we didn’t expect, however, was the total slap-in-the-face shellacking that Wisconsin so deftly delivered. It was an ugly, ugly game, but, as always, we watched through ’til the last second ticked off the clock. And while we Husker fans may not be smelling roses in our immediate future, we’re still proud of our team.

Poor Cosette, though. What a way to be inducted into the Husker family! While I needed a stiff margarita to get me through the game, she drowned her sorrows in chocolate, and covered her eyes when she couldn’t stand to watch.

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And since Cadence had to go to bed before the game ended, Cosette made sure to leave a little something for her on the table so she wouldn’t feel left out…

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So, when Cadence woke this morning, she hustled Electra down the stairs, and then immediately went to check on Cosette and see if she’d made it back safely from her nightly North Pole trip.

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Cadence spotted Cosette immediately and greeted her with a warm “Good Morning!”

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And she was tickled pink when she found the note and the candy Cosette had left just for her.

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And after all of this, we’ve come to a very important realization…Even after an evening of ugly football, a little chocolate therapy goes a long way! 🙂

Yard Work, Romano-Style

Ah, I love the fall. Seriously, everything about the fall. I love football and stews and oversized sweatshirts. I love the fact that temperature has fallen below the “Holy Shit It’s Hot” level where it has been since Easter. I love the rich colors and the fact that I finally get to over-indulge in Halloween candy again since I’m now a parent (because let’s face it, if you’re single and childless and eating fun-size candy bars out of a plastic jack-o-lantern, you should probably seek some sort of counseling).

But, what I think I love most about fall is the turning of the leaves. There’s just something about all the rich, warm colors that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. And as a kid, I always loved raking the leaves, because that meant spending the better part of the afternoon jumping in them, throwing them, piling them up at the bottom of the swing set so my friends and I could run through our very own Funhouse-style gauntlet and dive into the ginormous leaf pile at the finish line.

At some point in adulthood, yard work tends to lose a little bit of its luster. Instead of wasting away an entire day building obstacle courses and then raking and re-raking piles of leaves with Energizer Bunny-like energy, the only race is really just the race to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can tackle some of the other chores on the weekend To Do List–do the laundry, grocery shop, watch some football. I think spending a couple years living in the Arizona desert made us forget just how many leaves actually fall in the Fall.

Thousands.

Seriously, several thousand have already fallen in our backyard alone. We just might reach a million by the end of the weekend. Oh, and a thunderstorm is supposed to blow through, so we’re likely to get most of our own leaves and a large share of our neighbors’. Thank goodness we managed to get quite a bit of the clean up done already.

I gotta say, working with Cadence made it fun again. I mean, seriously, how can yard work be a chore with this kid around? And yeah, it helps that her Daddy was having just as much fun as she was. So, this is how we do some yard work, Romano-style…

First, you need some bubbles and some swordplay. Cadence was trying out some of her Jedi Mind Tricks…

Then, you better run, because Daddy’s got the leaf blower…

Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Time to get a little serious…

And a little dramatic…

And then dive right back in…

Now that’s what I call a good day of work…

365 Project – Day 360 – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

“Everything ends badly. Otherwise, it wouldn’t end.” – Tom Cruise, Cocktail

There are a thousand different reasons for a relationship to end, but the one I never really understood was infidelity. I mean, if you’ve gotten to the point where you are even considering someone else, then I imagine that your relationship is already over. So, what are you waiting for? Why cheat? Why not just put an end to one relationship before you go diving into another?

I don’t know. Call me crazy. Maybe, it’s because I was always the one being cheated on, and know how badly it hurts to be betrayed, that I could never bring myself to put another human being through that kind of pain. And luckily I finally fell in love with a man who felt the same way about it as I do. There is nobody else that either of us want. Even when Steven and I get on each other’s last nerve, we still know that we are a perfect match and wouldn’t risk doing anything stupid to mess up the great relationship we have.

Plus, I made sure to tell him, way back when we started dating, that I was done with unfaithful jerks and if he ever decided to cheat on me instead of just breaking up with me first, he could rest assured that I would throw all of his worldly belongings on the front lawn and light them on fire. And yes, that includes every disc in his X-Files collection, his drum set, and every last piece of Star Wars memorabelia.

What can I say? Karma (and an angry ex) can be a real bitch.

But if you’re not quite the setting fire type, you can always take a page from this ex-girlfriend’s playbook…

If you can’t destroy all of his worldly posessions, you can at least hit him where it hurts and give him one big nationally televised middle finger as a parting Christmas gift.

You go girl!

And to the big fat cheater, I sure hope that other girl was worth it. Dumbass.

365 Project – Day 315 – Why I Am Proud to Be Nebraskan

If you’ve turned on the television or radio, or opened a newspaper in the past five days, you’ve probably heard at least a little something about the sex abuse scandal going on at Penn State. Our media has been doing what they do best this week–taking a negative story and horrifying the general public with all sorts of speculations and worst case scenarios while reporting just enough of the truth to keep everyone tuning back in for more.

Yes, there were unspeakable crimes that took place at Penn State, and I truly believe that these initial allegations are only the tip of the iceberg. But I don’t believe that the 24/7 media coverage is doing anyone any good. Instead, it has only managed to create an atmosphere so unstable that students ended up rioting and some peoople were speculating whether Nebraska players and fans should even travel to Pennsylvania for today’s matchup between the Huskers and the Nittany Lions. Hell, some people even questioned whether the game should be played at all.

But personally, I am glad that the game was not canceled. Like the first Major League Baseball game played by the New York Mets following the 9-11 tragedy, the Penn State family needed something that could bring them together and start them on the road to healing. And today, I believe they found that something.

Husker fans arrived in Happy Valley, not quite knowing what to expect, and yet they did what Husker fans always do…they greeted their hosts with warmth and humility and looked forward to a day of football. Even from my seat here in my Lincoln living room, I could feel the emotion as the Penn State players started their slow march onto the field. And then, something extraordinary happened.

This first YouTube video was captured on the cell phone camera of a Penn State fan attending the game…

And here is a video a clip of what we saw on the televised broadcast, as the players and coaches and staff came together on the field before kickoff. And for those of you who don’t know the man leading the prayer, that’s Ron Brown, Nebraska’s Running Backs Coach. Not only did he share a very powerful message with both teams before the game, he also wore blue to support the Penn State “Blue Out” to raise money and awareness for child abuse.

And finally, a clip from one of the AP reporters who got close enough to record some of Ron Brown’s inspirational words as he shared them with the players, coaches, cheerleaders, staff, and press that gathered around him at midfield…

And if these links done work or for some reason you can’t view the videos, just go to YouTube and search “Nebraska Penn State pregame prayer” and you’ll find them.

Today, more than any other day, I watched my team with a renewed sense of pride. Ron Brown was right. All eyes were on this game today, and both the Huskers and the Nittany Lions played their hearts out on the field and showed everyone who was watching what being an adult and being a team is all about. Growing up is about learning to face what life throws at your with grace. It’s about doing what’s right, even when what’s right is not popular. It’s about doing what you can to help others in need and standing up for what you believe in. It’s about overcoming obstacles, facing adversity, and never, ever giving up.

It’s hard to hear everything Brown said in that short video, but a few of the reporters that spoke with him afterward asked him if he could relay some of his message, and he said:

“I said ‘Why us? Why us, lord? Of all the years. Joe Paterno left Brown University and came here in 1950. Nothing changed here forever. Then all of a sudden, it all changed this week. Why this week? Why Nebraska? Why this Penn State team?’ We can’t control those things. What we can control is our attitude, our spirit, that we bring to this game. There are a lot of little boys out there, watching this game, trying to make sense out of life. They are asking, ‘What is manhood?’ May we demonstrate to them what manhood is, to come out and play the game of football, with ferocity, with passion. I thanked God for choosing our teams to play this game. We were the little boys who grew up playing football. This was our moment to show the world. There are a lot of issues out there, a lot of questions, regarding child abuse. What we can do, on this field, is show them what respect is, respect for each other, respect for God. And then I asked God for his hand of safety. A lot of people didn’t know what was going to happen today. They saw people rioting the other night. They wondered what might happen today. They thought this place might explode. I felt like God held his hand of healing over the stadium today. I know some people may not understand that, but I think there was a reverence in the crowd today. A respect for one another, for the players, for the game. I think that’s what we saw today.”

Like Bo Pelini said in his postgame interview, what is going on at Penn State is much bigger than football, and a lot bigger than the game that was played on that field today, bigger even than the moment when the two teams came together and bowed in prayer and the more than 100,000 fans in the stadium fell silent. I may not be an overtly religious person who goes to church every Sunday and prays on a regular basis, but I know the hand of God when I see it. Something happened in Pennsylvania today. An important lesson was learned. A ray of light began to shine in the darkness. Today, like every other day, I am proud to be Nebraskan.