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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Friday, December 28, 2012

Heaven gained another angel today...

I've written before about my friend Ali and her battle with stage 4 cancer. Ali was diagnosed just before her 38th birthday with lung cancer - and no, she was never a smoker. Ali's doctors didn't think she'd make it 6 months. She turned 40 a couple of months ago.

This afternoon, cancer finally won. Ali's battle was inspirational to so many people. She made us all believe that cancer could be beat, and she worked so hard to raise over $50,000 for lung cancer research. She made it nearly 2 1/2 years after her diagnosis, to include more than 6 months in hospice care when the doctors said there was nothing else they could do for her.

Ali, you will never be forgotten. Your life served as an inspiration to so many of us, and so many of us are better people for having known you. There's a new star for us to wish upon tonight, and there's a new angel watching over all of us.

Rest in peace, sweet Ali.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There are no words.

What kind of a sick person opens fire on babies? That was my first thought upon hearing about the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut on Friday.

I've been thinking about what to write about this all weekend, and I just can't get past these babies. My fiance says I've been acting weird lately. If lately is since Friday, I agree. I have no children, but I have 5 and 6 and 7 year old nieces and cousins and future nieces and nephews. I have friends with children this age. And it affects me. It makes me sad, that there are people so disturbed in this world that, for whatever reason, they would do something like this. And there's nothing to really say.

I thank those who have refrained from putting the focus on the gunman, and instead have focused on the victims. Some have speculated that these people do things like this to gain a notoriety they've never been able to get. If that is the case, I wish we'd stop indulging it. Stop saying his name. Instead, say the names Emilie Parker, Noah Pozner, Ana Marquez-Green, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung, Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Jack Pinto, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt, and Nancy Lanza. THESE are the names that we should be saying, that we should be remembering. Not his.

So yes, I've been quiet the past few days. I've been a bit moody. I've been reflective. I've been trying to process. I'm not sure if its working. It just doesn't make sense. None of these shootings make sense, even the ones where there have been children among the victims. But there's something different when young children are the intended victims.

Perhaps that's why when The Voice opened its show with the below video, I felt the closest to crying that I've felt in the last 4 days.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those families affected by the horrific events in Connecticut last week. I cannot, and never want to be able to, imagine what you are going through.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Productivity. It feels so good.

Hooray for me! I'm on it this year!

OK, that's an odd way to start out a blog post. Let me back up.

I've always been a fan of Christmas cards. I love getting them, and I love doing them for friends and family. Most years I'm pretty good with them. But 2 of the last 3 years I was not. At all. Christmas 2009 Matt and I were both unemployed, and I was trying to figure out moving and getting a new job. So not so much in the real Christmas spirit. I don't think we even really decorated our apartment that year - we both went home to our respective parents' houses and had a nice, depressing Christmas. Christmas 2010 we were past all of that - I was fully employed, back on a good track financially, and Matt had joined me up north and we decorated our apartment and all was good. That year, we made our first joint Christmas cards, complete with pictures of us and the cats. Because no matter what anyone says or how many people call me a crazy cat lady (which I'm not, I have 2 cats that are as much Matt's as mine these days), the cats are part of the little family we've built. We sent out a ton of them, and were so proud of ourselves. Last year, we didn't make them, we bought some, and I did a bunch, but not as many as I normally would have - mostly just family and really close friends.

But this year, I'm back on it! We ordered cards, complete with pictures of us and the kitties again :) Not gonna lie, part of it is that we're in the throes of wedding planning, and it saves me on postage to send the Save the Dates with the Christmas cards. Because with a semi-destination wedding, we want to make sure people have plenty of time to plan. Or something.

So last night, I figured I'd get started on the cards. At least addressing envelopes and stuff - I'm budget-conscious enough that I didn't order fancy address labels, or make a fancy stamp with the return address, or anything like that, so I hand addressed everything. Maybe for the actual invitations, I'll go a little fancier, but not at this point.

Anyway, I made it through my entire list, to include a few people that were added along the way. There are a few folks I'm still waiting on addresses from, but I was WAY more productive than I anticipated being. All I've got left to do now is buy stamps. And seal the damn envelopes. That's my least favorite part. I think I can do it with a q-tip or a sponge  and water, because nothing says awesome quite like licking 50-some envelopes...

So yeah, hooray for me! I'm on it this year! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A word to CBS Sports, and a word to Trent Steelman

So, USNA adopted this "Exce11ence" motto, using the number 11 to represent the 11 year streak of beating Army that would happen if we won this year. I think its kinda lame, but the good news is, we won!! This was probably the closest game in years, a little too close for my comfort, and frankly, we only won by luck. Well, luck, and some good defense.

Army only scored one touchdown, and were held to field goal attempts on the rest of their possessions. They missed one of them. We were up 17-13 with only about 2 minutes to go, but Army was driving. And it was looking good. They were at 1st and 10, or maybe even first and goal - near their own 10. They had plenty of time left to score. But their quarterback fumbled on a handoff, and we recovered the ball with just over a minute to go. And we won.

Army's quarterback, Trent Steelman, started this game all four of his years at West Point. And he lost all four. That sucks. It sucked to lose twice while I was there, but at least we won the other two. He was understandably upset about it. I laughed a little the first time they showed him crying. Even posted on Facebook that I almost kinda felt sorry for him. But then the cameras never left him. Through the end of the game, the two alma maters, and after, they kept showing this poor kid crying. SERIOUSLY CBS??? Who OKed that? There was so much else they could have been showing - the celebrations on the Navy side, even some other upset Army players if they really wanted to go there.

I'm thrilled that we beat Army, but that was uncalled for. It was bad enough that we kept getting stuck with Verne Lundquist and his equally douchey counterpart whose name isn't even worth remembering. All they do is talk crap about the Academy players - they did it during Notre Dame, where it was obvious where their love was. But to do it during Army Navy, and then cap it off with the completely classless humiliation of a young man who has already done more in his life than these two a-holes will ever do? Uncalled for.

No matter that I wear shirts that say Beat Army, and have a sign in my house that says Beat Army, and yell Beat Army at the end every time I sing my alma mater. This rivalry is unlike any other - Navy doesn't hate Army the way Florida State hates Florida. Army doesn't hate Navy the way Texas hates Oklahoma. We love and respect each other and each others' teams, players, and fans. However, I think its pretty safe to say that Army and Navy can unite together and maybe not hate, but at least strongly dislike, CBS Sports and their choices at the end and following the game on Saturday.

Trent Steelman, you played a great game. Everything said you should have won. Luck was on our side on Saturday, but that does not and should not discount the fact that you obviously left everything you have out there on the field. I'm proud of you, your team, and to call you a brother in arms.