To each his own. To me my own.

Sports

SuperFood Sunday

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve looked forward to today for a long time. Alright, for maybe a week or so. Superbowl, you may ask? Absolutely. Well, what it stands for anyway. I have to admit, I couldn’t care less about the actual game (if our Panthers ever go again, I’m sure that’ll change). To me, Superbowl Sunday is about everything that goes along ‘with it’.

Commercials. All those funny commercials that when asked about on Monday I can never remember (clears throat). Lazing around my jammies all day long with a nice hot fire blazing. The musical acts – I could take or leave Madonna, but I simply can’t wait for Blake and Miranda’s duet of ‘God Bless America’. Never to be last on the list… my chili.

Oh, chili – let me count the ways I love you. I cherish each and every ingredient that goes into making a love-filled batch. You see, I couldn’t use these ingredients in my old life because it wasn’t permitted. Now that the rules are out the window so to speak, consider it no holds barred. It’s not just meat, beans and a seasoning packet anymore, baby (meh). How ’bout starting out with some kickin’ seasoned ground beef, 2 different kinds of beans, couple cans of seasoned diced tomatoes, diced garlic, onion, habanero and bell pepper, hot Rotel, hot chili powder, and towards the end of it’s cooking life, a nice little half-bottle of cayenne pepper? Hey, if this sounds bland to you I’m always open to suggestions. Being that I’ve had chili-making policies to follow all of my adult life, you could say I’m a ‘chili rookie’ of sorts. Oh, and mustn’t forget the sour cream, grated cheese and jalapenos upon serving time. And the ‘Tostitos with a hint of jalapeno’. And the cornbread. And the Hawaiian rolls. Oh and pay no attention to the wine in the background. It’s, um… just for looks.

Prior to the main course, we’ll have Queso for an appetizer. How I do love that Velveeta and HOT Rotel. Have I mentioned I like it hot?

Happy Game Day to those of you who watch – I hope you enjoy it in your own special and memorable way!


RIP, Dan Wheldon

It was the finale of the year, the Indy race at Vegas Motor Speedway. Little did anyone know how it would end. It was to be a day in which Indy racing would lose one of their very own… english driver Dan Wheldon.

Anyone who follows any type of racing knows what ‘the big one’ means. It translates to worse-case scenario, a bunch of cars getting together – usually with injuries, sometimes even a fatality. Early on in lap 13, the big one happened. There were fifteen cars total, and it was one of the worst wrecks I’ve ever seen. It immediately took me back to 2001 when Dale Earnhardt died in NASCAR’s Daytona 500.

As many others did, Keith and I spent the rest of the afternoon awaiting word on the condition of the most seriously injured driver, Dan Wheldon. Already considered a veteran in the sport at a young 33 years old, he was respected and admired by the young guns. He was a two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500, this year as well as 2005.

When a car gets covered up with tarps after a wreck, you just know it’s not good. The commentators tried to tell the viewing audience at home it was covered ‘to keep all the parts intact’ – their attempt at a diversion. After about an hour we sensed the outcome, from the heavy feeling in our stomachs to the drivers’ faces when they came out of their drivers meeting. They tried hard not to show their emotion, while the media continued their job of shoving cameras in their faces. About two hours after the initial crash, the word finally came that everyone dreaded. Dan Wheldon had passed away from unsurvivable injuries in the wreck.

It was respectfully decided the race would not continue. The emotional drivers requested a five-lap tribute to Dan, which the officials quickly granted. They lined up in perfect formation and drove three-wide for their tribute, while bagpipes played in the background. It was very emotional to any and all who were watching – but I can only imagine how it was for those who knew him.

The speeds these cars reach is nothing short of amazing. I know it can happen… and these men and women know exactly what it is they’re signing up for. Even if you don’t follow racing, a tragedy like this sends a stark reminder that we never know when our day will come. On any given day, any one of us may be the one to get in the car, buckle up, and simply not come back home. We are never promised another day.

May you rest in peace, Dan. You sure had a lot of people who looked up to you.

Dan and his wife, Susie. © tampabay.com

Indianapolis win. © foxsports.com

Dan and one of his two sons, Sebastian © thestar.com

Indianapolis 500 win, customary milk drink. © huffingtonpost.com / AP


Tribute to Number 3

Happy Race Day, everyone. Hope everyone who watches enjoys… and may God be with all the drivers and keep them safe.

It’s post-race now, but I wanted to share a pic of the heartwarming tribute by fans on lap three. All hands were in the air, it was really something…

©DOUG MURRAY, REUTERS / February 20, 2011


‘de Main Event

The sun has finally shown it’s beautiful face, and the weather is balmy. No need to even leave the house, we have all we need here. A big crock-pot full of my world famous chili has been cooking on the counter since this morning – and tonight’s main event: Superbowl Sunday. I’ve always found it hilarious that the Monday after the Superbowl is the most called-in day at work. Knowing this, I personally would have to drag my half-dead self in no matter how I felt!

Hope everyone has an awesome Sunday and enjoys the main event, the what’s-sure-to-be a kickass halftime show and those commercials too! 🙂


NFL Sunday

It’s a warm beautiful October day underneath a Carolina blue sky. Simply optimal conditions in which to catch an NFL football game.

Our Carolina Panthers are having the worst year yet at 0-5, but I’m trying not to let that dampen the ole spirits as we head into game day. We will be without our top receiver Steve Smith and starting safety Sherrod Martin against the Chicago Bears. The Panther injuries just aren’t letting up this year.

I just found out a little bit ago that a friend’s teenage son was thrown 30 feet from the back of a pickup last night and is seriously injured, on a ventilator. I’ve not been able to concentrate on anything else since I’ve heard. Please keep James in your prayers… I simply cannot imagine what his mother is going through right now.


True Olympians

I have enjoyed the Winter Olympics so much. This year’s winter games seem to have captured my attention in a way they never have before. Unfortunately the tragedies in this year’s games, starting with the luging death of Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvili – will forever be embedded in our minds. My thoughts and prayers still remain with his family and his grief-stricken mother and father, and many friends, family members and fellow Olympian athletes. He has been described as a real joy to know.

The word perseverance has forever been redefined for me. One hell of a lady, this Joannie Rochette is.

The Canadian figure skater has made the biggest impression on me. Most of us know the story by now. Her parents arrived in Vancouver Saturday night, and her mother had a massive fatal heart attack just hours later. Joannie was forced to make the decision whether to skate or not for her Olympic dream on Tuesday.

She made it well-known from the very beginning that her mother Therese was her inspiration and backbone in figure skating. In a January interview with the Monitor, Mrs. Rochette described the approach she took toward her daughter Joannie’s skating. “I always encouraged her to have confidence in herself, to believe in her dreams, to consider the progress that she has accomplished over many years,” said Mrs. Rochette, who conducted the interview in French, via e-mail. “But in periods of great stress, I also have the necessary distance to remind her of a rule she knows well: above all, skate for herself, for her own pleasure.” Later in the interview she says of her daughter, “The hurdles she faces motivate her to rise above them. Joannie has always been naturally determined and persevering.” In 2008, Joannie wrote of her mother, “Even if it requires quite a big deal of humility at 22 to admit you need more of your mother, I expressed it and she drives from home to St. Leonard once a week to come supervise with her unique eyes my training.”

Knowing her mother would insist on her to, Joannie made the decision to skate –  her father has stood solidly by her. Last night, she gave the performance of her life in the ladies short program, and held all it together right up until the very end. Watching the raw emotion of her and her father in the audience was, well simply agonizing. My heart breaks for both of them – here is an only child who has just lost her precious mother, and a husband and father who has just lost the love of his life.

I shed a lot of tears watching her last night, the very last performance of the female skaters. It must have been torture for her to have to wait that long to perform. I found my tears still abound as I watched her on the news again tonight, as well as when I came across these pictures of her performance that I’m posting the link to here. Please, if you haven’t already seen, click through them.

I would love nothing more than to see this young lady take home the Gold. No, I’m not abandoning my country. Aafter witnessing her performance last night I honestly believe she deserves it. With her determination and perseverance, I honestly will not be surprised if she takes the prized metal home with her.

Determined and persevering. It is with respect and admiration that I use her own Mother’s words.

Update 2-26-10:

Joannie got the Bronze metal. 🙂


Let’s go racing on ♥ day

Valentines Day. The day of ‘love’. Now there’s a difficult word – or can it be considered a state of mind? If you have it, hold onto it and cherish that which you love, the one that loves you. Think about those harsh words before they pass through your lips. It’s true what they say, you can’t take back the words once they’re spoken.

This is the best Heart Day I’ve had in a very long time. I had breakfast cooked for me, complete with fresh strawberries cut into little hearts. 🙂 I have to admit this breakfast blew the one I cooked yesterday morning right out of the water.

And so it begins. Today is also considered the superbowl of racing, the Daytona 500. I’m actually looking forward to it today, since I’ll get to watch it on a big-screen plasma with surround sound (obviously not mine). When given the choice of staying home and watching it on my 25″ regular television or the aforementioned one at my guy’s house, well that’s just a no-brainer.

Freshly showered, belly full and ready to go green shortly. For me, this always signals the beginning of Spring. Only thirty-five short days away from the official first day!


Surf’s up in Hawaii

Quicksilver Competition Pics ’09
Probably seems like a continuance of yesterday, and I guess it is, in a sense – just not about dreams. The ocean and marine life are however my favorite subject, so I could talk about it to no end. As long as I have my internet access with which to do my research, so as not to appear an idiot. Hope that generates a LOL, regardless of it being at my own expense. 🙂

The past couple of days, I’ve been consumed with the story of the huge waves that are hitting Hawaii. Because of these colossal waves, the Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau competition was held for only the eighth time since the contest’s inception in back in 1984. The surf had to reach a 30-40 foot height wave requirement in order to even put that contest into place again. As I would expect, the spectators amounted to more than 20,000 for the event. Several beaches in Oahu and Maui were closed due to fears of possible tourist drownings, with the island officials warning them of the possibility of being swept out to sea.

As I’ve said before, the ocean is my favorite thing in the world. Favorite place in the world, state of mind, yada yada. But it will always demand respect. From the danger of it’s own strength, down to the perils the life that resides in it brings.

I love Shark Week on Discovery. Most recently, there was a special on the Nat Geo channel that I wanted desperately to see, but missed – so my boyfriend dvr’d it for me. It involved the capture and release of a gargantuan Great White. The platform created off the side of the huge vessel was suited especially for the temporary capture, as well for a successful release. My God, the hours it took just to tire that thing out to even attempt to ‘land’ it on the platform. The hook that was required to make the catch…. well, that’s a whole other story.

I can’t look at a surfer without these magnificent animals creeping into the old thought process. As I look at the pictures from the above link of the Quicksilver competition, I find myself creating scenarios in my head of what could happen. My Mother and I used to be fearless while in the sea, often venturing beyond the breakers and hanging out on our floats for hours. I had a couple of friends who had the fearless trait along with me when it came to venturing a good distance into the ocean. We honestly didn’t think a thing about it, it was like being in a pool. Was it courageousness? Absolutely not – it just never entered our head that it could be dangerous. Not sure why, really, at that time…. because I do think about it now.

Those who know me already know I have the utmost respect and admiration for professional surfers. They are a special breed. Fearless, adrenaline driven, dedicated and well – something I’ve always wanted to be. Simply said.

26-year old Greg Long won the competition. This is just a small piece from his post-competition interview, but it’s the piece I most love: “It really is about the wave and celebrating the ocean. It’s what we do: go out there and ride big waves. The respect and camaraderie in the lineup you don’t find in too many places in the world, and this event really encapsulates everything that’s great about surfing: the friendships you make in the water and looking out for one another.”

With that, I’ll leave you with another very interesting website I found, link below. The part you’ll be directed to actually details shark attack incidents from this year back, the ones around the Hawaiian islands anyway. For each incident, it lists important details such as depth of the water, clarity and what the person was doing. I’ll be keeping my eye on it to see if any new attacks were reported during this most recent competition in Hawaii.

http://www.hawaiisharks.com/incidents.html


NYY Fan Base

I read a status on FB this morning (from a family member no less) that read: “All these Yankees statuses, sheesh!! How many of y’all are actually from NY?!?!?! I know of only a few”. I’m thinking, and your point is….?

Prior to 1995, ‘our’ Carolina Panthers did not yet exist. Back then, the general consensus around here resulted in the locals being either Cowboys or Redskins fans. Throw in a few Dolphins fans for good measure. Try telling of these people they weren’t a true fan – seeing as how they weren’t originally from Texas, Washington or Florida! Laughable. Furthermore, if you were to ask these same people today – the majority would still speak of their ‘original’ team with fond regard. This is called being a fan. It’s what being a fan is all about.

I’ve been a Yankees fan for longer than this almost 30-year old individual has been an adult. So why does that particular comment bother me? I guess it’s because a comment like that insults the integrity and the pride I feel and hold for my team. If you have years invested in following ‘your’ team, why would someone even touch on insinuating your intentions for following that team would be for anything less than genuine reasons?

I live on the North/South Carolina border. This area has not yet been lucky enough to score their own MLB team. That said, many of the people with roots here are Atlanta Braves fans. I do like the Braves myself – but MY team is the Yankees. If I WERE a Braves fan though, would it make me less of a fan since I am not from Georgia??

Hell no it wouldn’t.

So, here’s to the 27th World Series Championship, Yanks – very well earned, might I add. I’m so proud of you. Much love sent from your fan here in South Crackylacky.