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!

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.

College Mascots

Studly Doright and I have lived in five different states, and have adopted a “bloom where you’re planted” mentality.

When we moved from Texas to North Dakota we learned to enjoy knoefla soup and rivel. In Kansas we learned to pronounce Arkansas incorrectly, and in Florida we learned to value SPF 90. In Illinois we learned the value of a college mascot.

We’re Texans, Studly and I. Having grown up near Lubbock, I was convinced that Texas Tech was the best university in the nation and that Raider Red and the Masked Rider were the absolute best mascots anywhere. They’re still close to the top of my list.

   
 
Studly was more of a University of Texas guy, so I accepted Bevo, as well.

   
 When we moved to North Dakota I attended the University of Mary in Bismarck. So I had a new mascot in my life, the Marauder:

  
From North Dakota we moved to Kansas and fell hard for the University of Kansas Jayhawk mascot. Both of our kids attended KU and Big Jay is a dandy mascot. There’s even a Baby Jay:

  
After Kansas we ended up in Melbourne, Florida, but didn’t form an attachment to any of the Florida college teams during that four year period. But when we moved to Mahomet, IL, just outside of Champaign, we quickly adopted Chief Illiniwek, proud mascot of The University of Illinois.

  
Unfortunately, the Chief’s reign as the Illini mascot ended shortly after we moved to Illinois. I promise we had nothing to do with his demise. Eight years after the end of the Chief the U of I still has no mascot. That makes me sad. I understand that Native American groups found the portrayal of the chief disrespectful, but shouldn’t we have had an alternative in place? 

We currently live near Tallahassee, Florida, the home of two universities: Florida A&M and Florida State.

FAMU’s mascot is a rattlesnake.  

   
Not exactly a cuddly mascot, but I love it! 

Florida State has Chief Osceola and his faithful steed, Renegade.

  
I understand that the Seminole people have an agreement with Florida State University that allows FSU to use the likeness of one of the most famous Chiefs in history as their mascot. It’s sad that the University of Illinois couldn’t have worked out a similar agreement with the Illini.

At any rate, Studly and I are enjoying our new mascots. Soon I want to attend football games at both FAMU and FSU. I need to see what those mascots look like in action. 

Peace, 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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