Sunday, September 25, 2011


In general, I dislike the phrase 'slippery slope', because it is an obnoxious catch phrase that politicians use to defend inequality and promote their own agendas.  And if politicians are allowed to use expressions like 'slippery slope', and 'Wall Street Vs. Main Street', and 'vaccines give you disabilities', then where do we draw the line between personal opinion and politics?  It's such a...slippery slope...oh no.  Perhaps I will use the visual image of a domino effect instead.  I need some kind of metaphor to describe how my love of football has developed and grown over the past few years, with little personal control or choice.

Throughout the first 18 years of my life, I don't remember ever seeing a professional football game.  I saw high school games, but Friday nights were mostly about band.  College games would be on at home sometimes on Saturdays, but not something I really paid attention to.  Sundays were for church work or woman's work.  But this all changed when I came to college.  Can anyone describe the rush of a first home college game?  I was in love.  As time passed, I progressed from following just Mizzou to the Big XII and beyond.  I realized that because I'd missed some critical years hating kansas, I had to hate them extra hard now.  And my first bowl season...oh my.  I never realized how much fun the holidays could be with some friendly smack talk. 

When Matt and I first started dating, I still hadn't moved on to professional football.  He just thought I was so darn cute he didn't even mind that I knew very little about one of his great loves.  When he took me home to a Chiefs game and I met his family and loved ones for the first time, I figured out that if I was going to be serious about Matt, I would have to be serious about football.  But my beginnings as a good-intentioned girlfriend morphed as I started to love the sport for the love of the game, not just for the love of Matt.  I do draw the line at Madden, though.  Never will I love Madden.

Now, many of my fall weekends are devoted to football.  I don't watch all the games.  I nap, I read, I grade, I nap, but I'm also spending time with family and following the scoring.  While I initially got involved in fantasy football because I liked the challenge of coming up with a clever team name, now I am an active researcher/drafter/participant.  (Thanks Wes Welker, and I hate you Jamaal Charles.)  I can even follow along on the Red Zone channel.  I have opinions, and after a few years, I vocalized them.  Sometimes I even watch a game when Matt isn't home.  I get excited for drafts. 

It's been quite a transformation.  The downside is I get to experience the heartache of being a Chiefs fan, and knowing that they have to lose today if I am going to carry on another week in my survival league.  Is it worth it?  Yep.  Maybe.  I will have slipped too far if I get a team tattoo, but I think the slope has bottomed out at a good place. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Death Threats

When you are a high anxiety person (like me) and are exceptionally clumsy (also me), maiming and death traps lurk around every corner.  And it turns out that when you buy a house, you can hire someone to come in and tell you all about the many dangers of your future home.  Some of these items even I'm not worried about - the inspector was pretty concerned about the 1/8 inch difference between the tile in the kitchen and the wood floors in the dining and living room, but not even I could trip over that.  We acted on other recommendations, though.  Getting the radon situation mitigated was probably a good choice.  Some issues we didn't even need the inspector to point out.  The stairway upstairs has a low doorway, so we have to watch our heads.  The basement stairs are narrow and rickety, so we have to watch our steps.  I knew I had to be careful there...but so far, I've had a few near - death experiences that had nothing to do with anything I'd been warned about or figured out on my own.

Venomous Serpents:  One of my earliest childhood memories is of being terrified of snakes.  I can't say for sure if I have a diagnosable phobia, but truly nothing frightens me more than those slimy, slithery, harbingers of death.  So imagine my dismay when I was peacefully walking with my dog in the backyard and heard a deadly rustle - it was a foot long, black snake wriggling away from us.  I screamed.  Now the neighbors think I'm crazy, and every stick, leaf, and walnut lying on our lawn startles me and makes me shiver.  I should point out that not only did the dog fail to defend me, she didn't even notice. 

Poisonous Spiders AND Fire:  We were spending a lovely late summer evening sitting on our new deck furniture, when a monstrous spider started to descend right in between us.  I'm not exaggerating about the size of this beast, it was intense enough to make Matt jump too.  Brave husband that he is, he started to attack it with our nearest weapon, a can of bug spray.  The spider was undeterred.  Matt's mother then handed him a lighter, hoping to burn the creature to death.  A second's hesitation reminded us that bug spray + flame = probable house fire.  So Matt defended us with a shoe.

Drowning:  We have an old house with a stone basement.  We were advised to buy a dehumidifier to keep the slight dank odor out, and dry things out in the event of a heavy rain.  So on our weekly trip to Lowe's, we decided to pick one up.  And after some debate, we ended up going with the big daddy 70 pint model.  And it's a good thing we did.  We started running it on Saturday afternoon, and as of Tuesday, we had emptied it 3 times.  That's 210 pints, or 26.25 gallons.  As of this evening, it's still going strong.  That's some serious moisture seeping into our lungs.

Dog Suicide:  No one has ever accused our dog of being brilliant.  But I also didn't think she was dumb enough to try to off herself.  However, within 15 minutes one evening, she tried to end her own life no fewer than five times.  She squeezed out the front door, and gleefully ran across two streets straight to the defensive German shepherd that lives in his backyard and would have thought she was a snack.  Fortunately, the shepherd's owner so what was going on in time to pull her animal inside, which then inspired ours to run back and forth across the street like a fate-tempting fool.  My father-in-law tackled her to the ground in the front yard.  It was not pretty. 

I guess the moral of the story is thank goodness for insurance.  And does anyone know where I can take out a policy on my dog?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This has been a really, really big month.  We bought a house!  It's basically the best house ever.  I got a new job - also basically the best ever.  But with all this new awesomeness comes great responsibility.  Even more than usual, there's always some project to complete, something to clean, and something to grade.  I recently checked the time to find it was 8:30.  I was ready to go to bed and had assumed it was after 11:00.  I'm hoping that I adapt to this new schedule soon, or else I won't even be able to stay awake for local news.

The theme of this post is adaptation.  I'm adapting to some areas of middle school (the kids, extra-curriculars, a later start) better than others (missing my high school colleagues).  Some of us (me and Matt) adapted to our new home much better than others (the dog, who freaked out for a solid week). That being said there are still a few tricks to our house I have yet to figure out.  Part of this is because the house was built in 1940, and it has lots of little quirks which I love - part of the charm of the place.  Part of this is my failure to adapt to a new home. 

I can only lock the front door about 50% of the time.  I can't get the lock just right.  Sometimes I go back in and lock it from the inside, and then leave from the sun room, which isn't terribly convenient.

I'm not sure where all the light switches are yet.  I'm always fumbling around and slapping walls where I think the switches should be, especially in the kitchen and the office.  I go into the office everyday, and everyday I hit the wall on the opposite side of the door.  Embarrassing. 

There are two lights in the bathroom.  One is a regular, pleasant light.  The other is a blinding beam of burning white light, which sears the eyes and heats the skin.  Unfortunately, this light must be turned on in order to have the only outlet in the bathroom work, which I require for my electric toothbrush and hair straightener.  This light is one of the causes of another problem - my leave the house time has increased by a good 15 minutes.

Every morning after I fumble around to find the lights and get dressed, I stare at myself under the bright light in the bathroom.  I see flaws I didn't know existed in nature.  The light shines like a beacon on every overlarge pore, chapped lip skin, and errant eyebrow hair.  I smear powder over my nose, trying to cover the gaping holes in my face, only to see each individual fleck of powder reflected back at me.  Putting on make up is an entirely new experience, as I can see every little blonde eye lash I have, and every spot where eyeshadow and eyeliner aren't quite blended.  After this morning ritual, I head to the kitchen to make my lunch, where I have to remember the hidden light switch and remember which side the fridge opens - it's the opposite of any place I ever remember living.  Then if I can lock the door on my first try, I can leave, if not, several more minutes pass.

The good news is my pores and I overall love the house.  It's beautiful and wonderful and perfect, and I can't wait to finish decorating it and have people over to sit on the deck.  I just wish it wasn't teaming up on me to try to make me late.