Saturday, April 24, 2010

(Ice) Hockey in Hong Kong

SB's team won their playoff in a nail biting overtime.  To add to SB's joy was the fact the the former captain of the Princeton team, who had recently retired his professional career, was the star of the opposing team.  Princeton was very similar statistically to Cornell in both hockey and lacrosse and there was a lot of rivalry with Cornell just barely bypassing Princeton in both sports.  Cornell fans liked to cheer "Princeton's in New Jersey," at the opposition.

SB played lacrosse for his university but he always wished that he had played hockey instead.  More than a few of his teammates have commented to me that it is a shame that SB did not learn ice hockey until he was a teenager because he had the raw talent and even now in his late 30's is a menace on ice.  I hope they don't tell SB this too much because I think that he regrets this also, and more than they know.

I enjoy watching him play because he gets so much out of playing.  He loves this sport and always eagerly awaits my critique of his play, always looking to improve.  "Don't let Princeton get you on your back foot," I told him before the match, "you need to stay on your toes and keep some momentum."  And he did just that.  "Remember that you have some time so don't rush the pass," I cautioned, and he did that, too.  He had a spectacular game, made even more so by the quick changes he had to make because this team was full of speed whereas the semifinal team played a much more physical game which SB excels at. 

Their game was even shown on the local television sports show.  It also shows me looking bored out of my noggin.  I tried to explain that I was not bored but trying to temper down my jubilation because the girl next to me was cheering for her boyfriend on the losing team and I didn't want to seem like I was rubbing it in.  Instead I just looked disinterested.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

How did I even have a chance?

I was raised by parents who were deeply devoted to an institution that is prejudiced, self righteous, ludicrously unaware, and hegemonic. My mother's devotion waned considerably in my late teens when she went to university and got herself educated. My father still goes to church alone every week and takes every opportunity that he has to make feel feel rotten about not doing what he tells me to. I know that he is blinded by religion but I sometimes get frustrated with him. Especially when this kind of thing happens:

According to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone: "Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. That is the problem."

How did I turn out so normal when I was raised under these kinds of truths?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

too mitey for me

While on one of my food forays that occur when SB is out of town and unable to hold me back I picked up a jar of Vegemite. Having heard all the praise from various antipodes I thought that this was going to be a marvelous surprise. But the surprise was on me.

It is awfully...strong. And as someone who likes offal and sweat inducing Sichuan hotpots that is saying something. The taste was very, very, very salty and a bit of something that I had never encountered before. Yeasty?

I then looked for recipes that included Vegemite. I tried it on eggs. I tried it with cream cheese. I tried it with cheddar sandwiches. I tried them on almost everything in my refrigerator.

I am beginning to sound like a bad simulacrum of Dr. Seuss.

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them
here or there.

But I digress.

My point is, what do I do with this Vegemite? Can any Vegemite lovers explain to me the allure and tell me how to consume this murky substance so that I can enjoy it?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I prefer coffee

NPR was reporting on the movements of political figures already gearing up for the next presidential election. Among them, Sarah Palin. You betcha. At a recent convention with her not at all racist teabaggers, she gave her usual contradictory comments on how she was a firm believer in the US Constitution and yet we should all consider bringing "divine intervention" back into government. Does anyone remember that little bit on separation of church and state? It's one of my favorite parts. She also said a lot of stuff that amounted to gilded nothingness.

"Aargh!" I shouted, "How can anyone follow her? She is so...gimmicky (that's just the tip of the iceberg)!"

"Well," said my dear partner, "she did give away caribou jerky at the last convention. That sounds wonderful." On a side note, Odysseus was right about men being slave to nothing save their stomachs. Forget espionage and blackmail; the key to world domination is through the belly.

has introduced the Sarah Palin drinking game. Take a shot at the mention of the following words and you will be feeling no pain at the end of Palin's speech:
  • Alaska
  • Ya know
  • Also
  • Real Americans
  • Freedom
  • Socialism
  • Hard workin'
  • Gosh
  • Hockey mom
  • Taxpayers
  • Big government
  • You betcha
  • Founding Fathers
  • Revolution
  • Change

These photos can be found at the Huffington Post.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gone Home

I have recently returned from a trip back to Texas. I was given a chance to tell my beloved Uncle Jon how much I loved him so I went.

Uncle Jon had been receiving treatment for cancer for the past eight months. His last round of chemo ended in December and we had hoped that he would be cancer free but it returned in January. He was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in early March but then I received the news that he had developed an infection in the hospital, which is not unusual since your immune system must be nearly wiped out prior to the marrow transplant and hospitals are unfortunately teeming with nasty little viruses and bacteria from all the sick people that are being treated.

I telephoned my aunt Jane for an update and she said that they had taken Jon home. I immediately assumed that it was to get him better before the next attempt at a transplant but then she told me the news. "No honey, your uncle Jon is not going to get better." Then she told me that she loved me and hung up the phone as she broke down crying.

48 hours later I arrived in San Antonio. I told SB as I was leaving Hong Kong that in a weird way it felt as though I was going home to die myself instead of Jon. I guess this makes sense when I look back at the statement because Jon and Jane were my second set of parents and in a lot of ways my life really began when I went to live with them for the summer and stayed for seven years. They took me in, nurtured me, supported me, and understood me in a way that my own parents could not. I relished every moment that I spent with them. Even now I can hear Jon's big, booming laugh and see the wonderful sparkle of his eyes. So being without Jon is a death of sorts.

He was the one who always pulled the family together and as we all came back home to be with him all his children, biological and otherwise, promised to gather again as we would have in his lifetime. It was what he really wanted, to have his loved ones close to one another.

I am grateful that I made it home in time, that I was given the opportunity to tell Jon how much he meant to me, that he was a parent, a mentor, and a dear friend. I was able to hold his hand and tell him how my life was and how loved he was. I sat and told him about my job, SB, everything that had happened to me in the past few months. I sat up all night with him, giving him kisses and holding his hand until it was time to wake the rest of the family because he was leaving us. I fluctuate between being comforted and traumatized about the end. I won't detail what happened here other than he was a man who always wanted to live. Always and yet when he had to go he was only concerned for us.

My friend Barbara told me that when her husband died, an elderly neighbor passed away that same month. She bitterly thought to herself that this man had lived a long, full life while her husband was young. It was not fair. She knew exactly how I was feeling.