Good Morning from Houston

It’s Saturday morning, and a fine one as far as I can tell. My daughter and I arrived at my brother’s home in Houston within minutes of each other around five on Friday. She flew in from Des Moines, Iowa, while I drove from Florida and, voila! Here we are.

For a good twenty minutes yesterday I wasn’t sure I was going to get here at all. My gps took me on some rabbit chasing adventure just outside of Beaumont, Texas, and soon I was bouncing along on backroads, some covered in gravel, some partially barricaded, and one completely blocked to traffic. It was obvious that the gps had lost its freaking mind and that I would most likely die alone at the end of this middle of nowhere dirt lane.

I sat and thought for a few minutes then realized I needed to backtrack and just find the damned interstate again. No need to get all melodramatic; although, part of me wondered what future archaeologists might conclude when they found my skeleton sitting upright in my Mazda hundreds or even thousands of years from now.

“Probably senile. Right age. Car had evidence consisting of junk food wrappers and plastic cups that once most likely contained diet Coke. I guess she didn’t remember her Mazda had a reverse gear. Poor girl.”

As I backtracked I realized that the gps had most likely tried to help me avoid some traffic issue on the interstate and didn’t factor in that roads around Beaumont, like the one it directed me to, had been seriously impacted by the flooding that accompanied last year’s hurricanes. Guardrails were warped and in some places lay mangled on both sides of the road, and there were places so degraded that I couldn’t drive on the correct side of the road without endangering my safety. Intense!

When I finally made it back to an entrance ramp for I-10 West, I breathed a sigh of relief and completed the rest of my journey without incident. I hugged my daughter and my brother and my sister-in-law, then we went out for drinks and dinner and more drinks and had just a wonderful evening dining alfresco in one of the best cities in the world.

I slept like a drunken sailor and am now up and ready to continue my journey, as my daughter, Ashley and I drive to San Antonio for the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball tournament starting tonight! Just to be safe, I’m putting Ashley in charge of navigation.

Peace, people!

Are the Planets Aligning or Am I Just Tired?

Yesterday I wrote about getting tickets to the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in San Antonio, TX. It was an impulsive buy, and I suffered some angst once I realized that I now had to plan a quick trip to San Antonio and find someone to attend the tournament with me.

My husband, Studly Doright, bought the tickets for me even though he knew his sciatic nerve wouldn’t allow him to drive 26 hours round trip, sleep four nights in hotel beds, and navigate the crowds at the Alamo Dome where the tournament will take place. He’s a helluva guy.

Our son lives in Dallas, not terribly far from San Antonio, and he’s a University of Kansas grad, so we called him immediately upon getting the tickets. He had already made some important plans for the upcoming weekend, so he was out. I was bummed. I didn’t sleep much on Sunday night wondering if I should even keep the tickets.

Then a couple of things happened. On Monday morning my brother in Houston encouraged me to come and stay with him and his wife on my way to San Antonio. I couldn’t say no to that.

And then my daughter in Illinois, who also studied at KU and is a die hard Jayhawks fan, texted me that she thought she could get relatively inexpensive plane tickets to Houston for the long weekend. She’d fly in there, Uber to my brother’s home, and drive to San Antonio with me for the tournament! I’ll drop her off at the airport on my way through Houston on Tuesday morning. And voila! I never dreamed she’d be able to enjoy this event with me, and I couldn’t be more excited.

All of a sudden my angst disappeared. The planets seem to be aligning because I slept like a rock last night. Either that, or I’m just exhausted from lack of sleep. Rock chalk, Jayhawks, baby! It’s on!

Impulsivity Bites

I tend to be impulsive. Scratch that. I tend to say impulsive things:

“Ooh! I NEED that (insert item here)!”

“Hey! Let’s buy that (insert item here)!”

“Honey! Quick! Tell them we want those (insert items here)!”

And I’m either lucky or unlucky enough to have a husband who caters to my impulsivity.

Last night as we watched the Kansas Jayhawks advance to the Final Four in NCAA basketball with an overtime win over Duke, Studly Doright received a text from a friend in Indiana, a Purdue fan who jokingly said something to the effect of, “Hey, do you want our tickets to the final four? We won’t be using them.”

Studly read the text to me and impulsively I said, “Yes!” I never dreamed he’d follow through. Well, maybe I did, but part of me still thought we were kidding around.

Now I find myself with two tickets to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. David’s back isn’t going to let him go, and our son, a university of Kansas grad who lives in Texas most likely won’t be able to join me due to previously scheduled engagements.

I tossed and turned all night, cursing my impulsive nature. My cats gave up trying to sleep with me, (I’m in the guest room these nights in an attempt to give Studly an opportunity to rest, poor guy) and they abandoned me for calmer locations.

But part of me is so excited. Attending any Final Four tourney is one of my bucket list items, and with the Jayhawks still in the tourney it’s too sweet to even contemplate. I just wish my Studly was going with me.

Peace, people.

Minimalist Challenge, Puttin’ on the Ritz Day 26

Last night Studly Doright and I were watching the University of Kansas basketball team play Texas Tech for the Big 12 championship on television. It was a great, too-close-for-comfort game, and Studly worked up a powerful hunger while cheering for the Jayhawks.

Late in the second half he asked, “Do we have any snacks? I feel like I need to eat something if we’re going to win this game.”

Rather than throwing something at him or telling him to get his own damned snack I hoisted myself out of my chair and went in search of some munchies. The first likely snacks I came upon were several boxes of Ritz cheese crackers and a few more of the peanut butter version.

We don’t normally keep these on hand, but I recalled buying them in preparation for hurricane survival last summer. There’s nothing like a Ritz cracker to see you through the dark times, am I right?

Before asking Studly if the crackers would fill the bill for his snack I thought to check the expiration dates. November 17, 2017, was stamped on each box. So while they didn’t get to fulfill their destiny as snacks, the crackers were pressed into service for today’s minimalist challenge.

Twenty-three packages of Ritz crackers plus three of the boxes in which they were stored makes a total of 26 items for February 26.

I found Studly another snack, and the resulting energy revived him enough to power the Jayhawks through to a two-point victory over the Red Raiders and KU’s 14th straight conference championship. I doubt they’ll publicly thank us, though.

My Bracket

I spent all of ten minutes completing my bracket for March Madness. To all my friends outside of the U.S. this has to do with college basketball and who’ll be crowned the best of the best in a 64* team tournament. 

I don’t pay a ton of attention to college basketball during the season, so I have no idea how one team will match up against another. We have friends who get all technical and look at statistics and rosters. Not me. 

I root for the Kansas Jayhawks. Regardless of who else is in the tournament or what their season record has been I always choose them to win the tournament. Even if they weren’t IN the tournament I’d probably have chosen them anyway. Now that’s loyalty. Or stupidity.

Frank Mason, our stud guard.

Rounding out my top four I’ve got Duke, Gonzaga, and North Carolina. 

I’m curious to see who else is into the bracketology surrounding March Madness. Who made your top four? Here’s a printable bracket–better late than never, eh? http://media.kansascity.com/livegraphics/2017/jp/2017ncaamensbracket.pdf?v=4

Peace, people!

*four teams have to play into the tourney, so technically it’s 68 teams. Sort of. It’s all very confusing. 

Cheech and Chong on Basketball

During the Elite Eight round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament it seemed fitting to dredge up this oldie but goodie.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Cheech and Chong’s Basketball Jones.


Lyrics

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
Got a Basketball Jones, oh baby, oo-oo-ooo

Yes, I am the victim of a Basketball Jones
Ever since I was a little baby, I always be dribblin’
In fac’, I was de baddest dribbler in the whole neighborhood
Then one day, my mama bought me a basketball
And I loved that basketball
I took that basketball with me everywhere I went
That basketball was like a basketball to me

I even put that basketball underneath my pillow
Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep at night
I need help, ladies and gentlemens
I need someone to stand beside me
I need, I need someone to set a pick for me

At the free-throw line of life, someone I can pass to
Someone to hit the open man on the give-and-go
And not end up in the popcorn machine
So cheerleaders, help me out

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, oh baby, oo-oo-ooo

Oh, that sounds so sweet, sing it out
C’mon coach Booty, Red Blazer, sing along with me
That be bad, honky, yeah
I want everybody in the whole stadium
To stand up and sing with us

Oh yeah, sing it out like you’re proud
All right, everybody watchin’ coast-to-coast
Sing along with us, Bill Russell, sing along with us
Chick Hearn, sing along with us
Chris Schenkel, don’t sing nothin’

Oh, it feels so good, gimme the ball
I’ll go one on one against the world, left-handed
I could stuff it from center court with my toes
I could jump on top of the backboard
Take off a quarter, leave fifteen cents change
I could, I could dribble behind my back
I got more moves than Ex-Lax I’m bad

I could dribble with my tongue
Here I go down court, try to stop me
You can’t stop me ’cause I got a Basketball Jones
Here I come that’s my hook shot with my eyebrow
Yeah, I could dunk it with my nose
I’m, I’m bad as King Kong, gimme the ball
I’m hot, I’m hot as, I’m hot as, I’m hot as, uh uh, uh, uh, uh

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones
Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones
Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones
Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones
I got a Basketball Jones, Basketball Jones

 

Peace and hoops, People!

March Madness

Would Naismith get a kick out of

All the fuss surrounding his game?

Sixty-four teams (not counting the play-ins)

Split into compass directions:

Midwest,

East,

South, and

West.

I spend hours painfully

Using logic and following

Instincts, tracking down

Statistics and looking at

Home court advantages.

Jayhawks here, Wildcats there.

Duke, Gonzaga, Georgetown,

Longhorns, and Bears.

It’s hard to keep my heart from

Ruling my head, but

My bracket fills rung by rung

Until the ladder has but one name

In the center box. 

A champion!

Iowa State, the Cyclones,

A three seed to win it all.

The perfectly completed bracket.

Of course, they fell to a fourteen seed in

Round one.

Dammit.



Peace, people!

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