It’s almost here-I promise!

“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”  Erma Bombeck

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a man because in the South, all of us suffer for months on end.  From February until Labor Day (that would be the first weekend in September since my husband cannot differentiate between Memorial Day, Labor Day and Arbor Day) we suffer through honey do projects, months of college basketball and pro baseball until we arrive at last to the opening of college football season.  The sports gods provided us with a brief reprieve this year by throwing the Olympics in and ESPN has provided us with two weekends of Little League Baseball to get us to the end of our long, dark off season.

The people I truly feel for are the people trying to plan a nice fall wedding in the South.  Trying to select a date from September to November is torture because every Saturday is consumed by college football games.  I am reminded of my friend’s wedding in November some years back.  The football game of the weekend was Steve Spurrier’s return to The Swamp to take on the Florida Gators.  After the ceremony, everyone returned to the bride’s parents house for a reception tea prior to that night’s formal reception.  As the crowd gathered around the television, Coach Spurrier proceeded to spank the Gators which made for lively entertainment, especially since the majority of viewers were Gator fans.  There was a fair bit of sulking but my friend’s wedding was made all the more memorable by allowing her guests viewing time of their favorite team.

Fans of southern college football follow their teams with a passion not seen in other areas of the country.  How else do you explain the ability of a mediocre Tennessee team to pack 105,000 people into Neyland Stadium on a Saturday night.  Ask any Georgia fan over 40 who scored the winning touchdown over Florida in 1980 and they will, nearly without fail, tell you in great detail-here’s a hint, it wasn’t Herschel Walker.  Bear Bryant has been dead for nearly 30 years but his legacy endures forever in Tuscaloosa with crowds of fans donning versions of his signature hounds tooth hat.  Only in Florida do you understand what “wide right” and “wide right II” mean.  I would give the award for most crazed fans to the state of Alabama, where the hatred between Alabama and Auburn is palpable across the state-I mean really, who poisons trees in Toomer’s Corner and brags about it?  Welcome to college football in the South.

Our athletes are just short of gods for the remainder of their lives, despite their success or lack of success in the NFL.  We shrug off the suggestion that Heath Shuler was a draft bust only to recall with clarity that he set many Tennessee passing records, until some kid named Peyton Manning showed up.  Herschel Walker spent his USFL and NFL years as a journeyman running back but for Georgia fans he lives on as the 18 year old Freshman running back who decleated Bill Bates of Tennessee at the goal line for a touchdown.

But in the South there are the “also ran” teams of the SEC.  Despite going on to win two Super Bowls and two Super Bowl MVPs, Eli Manning could never push Mississippi to a conference title, although he was the conference MVP once.  Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are the annual whipping boys of the SEC.  Occasionally, Kentucky will put together a .500 team and Vanderbilt and Mississippi State will reach up and bite another SEC team in the butt.  For the most part however, its an annual blood bath between Georgia, South Carolina and Florida in the east, and Alabama, LSU and Auburn in the west.

So fear not college football fans for our long, dark winter is nearly over.  On Thursday night we shall all camp out in front of our flat screens to watch South Carolina beat the pants off Vanderbilt and proceed to overdose on college football all the way until Monday evening.  Happy College Football Season everyone!!!

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Ah yes, the smell of politics

“It is fast approaching the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job.”  Erma Bombeck

We have just finished the first round of primaries here in my quaint, little seaside village and man did it get ugly.  A personal friend was running for state government seat, someone I have known for twenty five plus years, who is an all around stand up good guy, along with his wife and kids….just really nice people, so this was kinda personal for me.  Imagine my dismay when my friend was being attacked in these ads with false and misleading information.

Let me introduce you to my little friend, the political action committee.  These PACs are like the back alley hit men of yesteryear, waiting patiently to take a lead pipe to the back of your knees to keep you from desired objective (or Olympic gold medal).

I’m reminded of a Pinterest funny that a friend posted a few days ago, “Whenever I’m extremely bored with life, I post a political status on Facebook and watch my friends battle it out like crips and bloods.”  Yep, that about sums it up.

But this is not where I reflect on my own political beliefs although I will interject that I find that neither side adequately represents whats important for our country at the national level,  they’re just too far detached from reality.

Back to my friends political race, I woke one morning and did my usual internet reading-national news, local news, yahoo, then Facebook.  An overnight article posting for local news talked about the latest ad that was going to be starting and the comments were dumbfounding.  People were calling my friend an anti-semite and any other vile comment they could think of.  I just couldn’t believe it.  Enter your back alley hitmen, the political action committee.  Today’s controversial political ads are run by PACs, not the campaign itself and it continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Which leads me to my next rant and why I’ve had to swear off the 24 hour news cycle.  Some of you may know that I am a home health nurse by trade, which means I go into people’s homes, take vital signs, review medications, and teach people about their disease.  One particular patient I was seeing was constantly battling high blood pressure and was in a constant state of low level agitation.  I thought and pondered on what could be bothering him until his wife lashed out one day while I was there and said, “Its that damn Foxnews, he keeps it on and watches it all day….”  Huh, well looky here, I might have an answer.  As we went through the education process of what high blood pressure was, what the long term effects to his health were, etc., etc. I challenged my patient to turn off the damn TV.  I told him (its my time and my job so I get to make the rules) that he was allowed 30 minutes of national news per day and 30 minutes of local news.  It was time to go back to the old traditional news gathering method of the 6 and 6:30 p.m. news.  For two days, he was to swear off Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, and no internet news.  Also, no Boortz, Limbaugh, or Hannity (see above for rules of job).  I told him that if I’m right about my suspicions, he’ll see a 20 to 30 point drop in his systolic blood pressure (top number).  You would have thought I just shot his dog by the look on his face.  “I can’t do that, I have to know whats going on, what will I do all day?”  “Read a book, do a puzzle, do something but if you want me to keep coming and help you get to feeling better, you’re going to have to meet me half way.”  Begrudgingly, he did as instructed.  I contacted the wife later that evening and she said he was pacing around the house like a tweaker looking for a fix, but she held firm.  When I returned to a quiet house two days later, I found him calm and relaxed and his blood pressure was lower by 20 points.  To confirm my suspicions I let him go back to the 24 hour news cycle and the same problem repeated itself.  So we discussed it again and basically I told him “look, being plugged in to this 24 hour news cycle is bad for your health, turn it off, its making you crazy and damaging your health.”  He agreed and by the time I discharged him he had kicked his news addiction.

More and more I am coming across people, mostly men, who are plugged in to this 24 hour news cycle and its making them ill as snakes.  I personally had to detach myself from all of it after the last election cycle because I was becoming mad, constantly.  It made me an unhappy person.   Once I figured it out, I myself, swore off of Fox News, Boortz, Limbaugh, and Hannity.  I was powerless beyond my vote and contacting my congressman to make a difference, so why expend all this energy.  I find myself occasionally checking in to see what stupidity has occurred but for the most part, I’ve gone back to the 6 and 6:30 news cycle.  All I need to know is right there in that one hour of time.  Each morning I check foxnews.com to make sure that we haven’t declared war on another third world country and that the world is still spinning as it should, but for the most part, I’m done with it.

“The beatings will continue ’til moral improves….”

Finally, A Muse

And if she were alive I’m not sure whether she would be pissed or flattered.  While remembering Phyllis Diller yesterday, she passed away at age 95, I was reminded of an author that I think my writing resembles and that is Erma Bombeck.

I’m not all for creating stories with plots and characters and all that unnecessary stuff.  I find that real life provides all the entertainment I need.  Beginning in the 1960’s, Erma Bombeck told the true story of what being a wife and mother was like.

I have not read any of her books in some time but its on the short list of things to do as her quotes will be the inspiration of my blog posts for awhile.  So here’s to you Mrs. Bombeck, I hope they didn’t bury you too close to the septic tank.

Ramblings from an Aspiring Writer

Since I won the Writer’s Den contest I have been trying to digest all of the information I now have access to.  Daunting to say the least.  But after a few weeks of reading and some failed attempts at obtaining some freelance work, its time to punt and reset the offense for another drive.

I freely admit that I started this odyssey in the content mills, and like a jacked up tweaker, I went cruising for a fix yesterday.  You see, yesterday was a bit of a challenge for with with multiple rejections from anonymous submissions over the last few days.  I don’t know why an email destroys my confidence so much.  Those that know me personally know that I have no lack of self confidence.  So why do I let this bother me?  I have no idea.

I decided last night to step back and devise a more concrete plan of action and write it down step by step.  Including my required reading before I set forth.  But for today, I must go forth and heal the masses in my own unique way.

On a different note, I just returned on Tuesday evening from a whirlwind trip to the mountains with my mother and daughter.  I’ve decided that my mother is my grandmother reincarnated, constantly fluttering around, piddling with her (non existent) household chores, washing dishes constantly and washing loads of laundry the moment they hit the floor.  It makes me a bundle of nerves because at any moment I feel she will wheel on me and scream “Why aren’t you doing anything?”  We drove to Highlands one day along the most narrow, seat sucking route I’ve ever experienced, including the times rock crawling with the Jeep club.  Once there I realize that it wasn’t much different than being in Florida with all the Atlanta yuppies fluttering around (apologies to my Atlanta yuppy friends), BMWs, Mercedes, and Land Rover’s were plentiful parked along the street.  Sorry mom, I’ve got to get out of here.  My daughter stayed gone most of the time with her cousin, cousin being a loose term defined by the distance kinship of her mother and I.

Off to see patients, hope you all have a wonderful day!