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Category Archives: I don’t know how else to categorize this

These Dawgs won’t be put to sleep

Butler University has an enrollment of under 5,000 students, yet almost everyone in America has now heard of it.  Unless, of course, they don’t watch sports or have been living under a rock.  For those people, Butler is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Last year’s NCAA tournament was unlike any other for the Bulldogs.  In Butler’s history, the basketball team had never made it past the Sweet Sixteen.  But in 2010 the Dawgs upset team after team and made it all the way to the Final Four.  The icing on the cake was that the Final Four was held in Butler’s hometown.  The days leading up to and surrounding the tournament, the whole city rallied around the Bulldogs.  Everywhere I looked, someone was either wearing a Butler shirt or yelling encouragement for the Bulldogs.  Even the GooGoo Dolls, who were playing a free concert downtown as part of the Final Four festivities, cheered, “Go Butler!”

Fred and I watched the championship game at his parents’ house.  We were on the edge of our seats the entire game, Butler nipping at Duke’s heels for the duration.  Then came what is now the infamous half-court throw by Gordon Hayward.  My friend Tony’s Facebook status after that moment summed it up best, “The air pressure in Indy dropped significantly as everyone gasped simultaneously.”

Sure, we were disappointed, but we were still very proud of the Bulldogs.  I was especially proud that they were so close to winning because it showed, like the rest of the tournament, that we could run with the big dogs.

Few thought that the 2011 tournament would see the Bulldogs play in it, let alone go all the way to the championship again.  Butler’s regular season was less than perfect, and they were the second seed in the Horizon League, yet they got a bid to play.  Many were shocked when they upset 1-seed Pittsburgh but the shock grew to excitement with each game the Dawgs played.  It was blissfully unbelievable for a team that, two years before, hadn’t made it past the Sweet Sixteen, to be playing a second national championship game.  Again, Indianapolis rallied around the Bulldogs.  The line at the Butler Bookstore wound throughout the space.  People were waiting an hour just to purchase some Butler merchandise.  The morning the team left for Houston (it was early morning, too, long before the sun was set to rise), a thousand people showed up to Hinkle Fieldhouse to send them off.

The night of the championship game, Fred and I went to a pub in Broad Ripple, an area of town not far from campus that is popular with the college kids for all its bars.  The pub was full with people wearing Butler gear, every television turned to the game.  Together we ate, drank, and yelled at the screens.  The closer we got to the end of the game, the more heads I saw bowed in the bar.  It was a tough game to watch, with or without alcohol.

Again, for those of you who don’t follow sports, Butler lost.  Bad.  It wasn’t like last year, where we were so close that one basket could have made a difference.  “Take me home and hold me,” I told Fred.  We both needed consolation.

The next day, I read an article online that made the Butler pride shine again.  After the loss, the locker room was somber, as one would expect.  The seniors were especially taking it tough.  But they literally pulled each other up, embraced each other, and reminded themselves that they are a team unlike any other, whether they win or lose.  The game isn’t about who missed what shot or who got fouled out; it’s about selflessness.  It’s what makes the Butler Bulldogs stand out from the other teams and what got them to two national championship games.

I am a Butler Bulldog and I will always be proud to be one, whether my team makes it all the way to the championship game or doesn’t even get a bid into the tournament.

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30 going on 60

Fred and I both graduated from Butler University.  Some of you may remember that around this time last year, they were playing in the national championship game.  We had a fun, though nerve-racking, time watching our alma-mater go from Sweet Sixteen, to the Elite Eight, and then coming home to Indianapolis for the Final Four.  There were times watching those games that I spent in the fetal position, partially covering my eyes out of fear of Butler losing.  Most of the time, Fred and I watched the games at bars in town (hopefully I didn’t embarrass him too much), except one weekend at my cousins’ house and the championship game at Fred’s parents’ house.

Now, Fred’s dad loves watching sports, but only if it’s a nail-biter of a game.  He wants it to come down to the last second, if possible.  If one team is too far in the lead, he’ll go off to bed.  So, he was very delighted during the final game against Duke because it was so neck-and-neck.  Even though Fred and I were about to have simultaneous heart attacks, he had a grand ol’ time.  Butler lost and Fred and I were heartbroken.  Fred’s dad was happy with such an exciting game.  The year before, when the Colts played in the Super Bowl, we also watched it with Fred’s parents and the Colts lost.  Between that and the Butler game last year, I am convinced never to watch another sports game with his father (unless I don’t care about the outcome).

Yesterday’s game against Old Dominion was a nail bitter, literally an at-the-buzzer win for Butler.  Fred and I felt years taken off our lives after watching it.  I’m sure tomorrow’s game against Pittsburgh will do the same.  Last year was an awesome ride and here’s hoping to another one this year (with a win in the end this time).

 

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Bettering the (grammar) world one person at a time

I realize I’m not the world’s greatest speller nor am I perfect when it comes to grammar, but I do know quite a bit. I’m like Ted on How I Met Your Mother, always correcting his friends to the point of driving them crazy. (The episode that best explains this is Spoiler Alert.  Hilarious.)  My tendency to correct people got worse after living with a self-proclaimed grammar Nazi who taught me the difference between lay and lie.   Now I can’t enjoy Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars without screaming at the stereo but I know I am better for it.*

About two years ago when Jess was visiting, she kept saying “further” and I kept correcting her to “farther.”  It got to the point that she was so irritated she said them both in sequence and then glared at me, daring me to correct her.   I bit my tongue as I’m sure she would have gouged out my eyes if I hadn’t.  Well, a few weeks ago our parents were visiting Jess and they went out to the putt-putt course.  At one point after Jess hit her ball, Mom said, “Could you hit that any further?”  Jess replied, “Farther.”  Victory is mine.

Now I’m doing it to Mom.  Last night (and a few times before that) she asked for some Kleenex.  I told her I didn’t have any, but I had some Puffs.  “Isn’t Kleenex a generic name by now?” she asked.  “Nope,” I replied.  “It’s still a brand.”  Fred and I have had this talk many times as it frustrates him, too, when people use the incorrect word.  (I suspect that it irritates me more than him, though.)  “I’m going to Google that,” someone may say when really he’s using a different search engine all together.  Like Kindle does not equate all e-readers, Google does not equate all search engines and Kleenex does not equate all facial tissues.  Maybe if I correct Mom enough to the point of her wanting to write me out of the will, she will stop asking for the brand when she means the generic.  I may be out of the family but the world will better for it.

*If you don’t know, he should be singing, “If I lie here, if I just lie here, would you lie with me”.  If you need an explanation why, then go take an English class.

 
 

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My apologies

I just wanted to write a quick apology for not posting much lately. I’ve been sick with a nasty cough and fever and it has rendered me practically useless. I have some drugs I’ve been taking so hopefully things will get back to normal soon. Until then, feel free to reread your favorite posts and share them with friends.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2010 in I don't know how else to categorize this

 

Who needs books?

I love to read. I love holding a book in my hands and feeling the thickness of the pages. I get a sense of accomplishment when I feel the left side of the book get thicker. The sound of the pages turning and the smell of the book, whether it be new or old, add even more sensation than just sight or touch.

With the different versions of e-readers out there, though, the need for actual books is becoming more and more moot. And since I work in a bookstore that sells one of these types of e-readers, I’ve heard a lot of different opinions.  People can generally be lumped into one of these 3 categories:

Hardcore Book Fanatics
There are some people who flat-out refuse to read books on an electronic device. Books to them can never be replaced and a book is more sensational than any e-reader out there. (Perhaps the future versions of the nook or Kindle will have sounds of pages turning and even go so far as to extricate a smell of fresh ink on parchment. Older books can smell of mildew and simulate tears in pages.)  Still, the HBFs will always turn up their noses to such things. Paper is the way to go for them, no matter what.

The Minimalist
This group of people is the exact opposite of the HBFs. They, like my boyfriend Fred, want as little stuff around them as possible. The thought of having bookcases filled with books makes them shudder. If there is a way to have all the books they want on one small device, then they are for it. Of course, the more functions the device can do the better. These people are more likely to buy an iPad than just an e-reader.

The In-betweeners
This is the group of book lovers who believe that reading is a wonderful thing to which everyone should have access. They enjoy reading a book but they are not opposed to electronic reading. These people will have both an e-reader and a bookcase or two filled with books. Reading and literature are so important to them that it doesn’t matter the format as long as they’re reading something.

I’ve thought a lot about e-readers ever since I’ve had to start selling them. At first I thought of myself as an HBF but now I see myself as an In-betweener. I like the idea of having fewer books to lug around when I move and of being able to take just one item full of books on vacation rather than 3 or 4 heavy books. But I also enjoy the different sensations an actual book gives. I like going to author events and getting autographs – something you can’t do with an e-reader. However, the e-reader is a good idea for someone like me who is usually in the middle of 4 or 5 books at the same time. If I take my e-reader to work or on a vacation or even while going over to Fred’s, I have the option of which one I want to continue reading. Without the e-reader, I have to take just one (the fewer the books, the lighter the purse).   What if later on I’m not in the mood to read that but one of my other books instead?   In short, I believe that both books and e-readers are good. I may always favor books a little more, but e-readers have a good pull as well.

Now I just have to wait for some birthday money* before I can get my e-reader (from my store, of course).

*It’s in December.  Cash is preferred.

 

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It’s not all fun and games

Marketplace on NPR reported today about a 1970s board game called “BP Offshore Oil Strike.”

The game’s goal is to drill for oil and be the first player to make $120 million.  There are hazards, though, like oil spills, which set the player back a whopping…(everyone put their pinky to their mouth and say it with me) $1 million.  

People are marveling at the similarity that the game has to today’s tragedy in the Gulf.  Could the makers of this game have known 40 years ago about the disaster that would strike?  (Perhaps they were descendants of Nostradamus.)  I personally don’t believe in supernatural foreknowledge but this huge coincidence still turns my head.  I also wonder if now people will start putting more faith into the answers that the Magic 8 Ball gives them.

Picture a bunch of tweens sitting in a circle at a slumber party, the Magic 8 Ball in the center.  Little Susie picks it up and while shaking it, asks, “Will I marry Jacob Black?”  Hopeful and with bated breath, Susie turns over the Magic 8 Ball and the white triangle slowly emerges from the blue-dyed water.  “All signs point to yes” it reads.  Susie and her friends squeal with excitement.  It could happen, they figure.  After all, a 1970s board game “predicted” a BP oil spill.

 

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Choose your cemetery based on the hilarity of its signs

The city in which I live has a pretty big cemetery in the middle of it.  Despite living here for over a decade, I have yet to set foot inside it.  I’ve been told its gorgeous but if there are rotting bodies, count me out.

This particular cemetery has had a few brow-raising messages on its marquee lately.  The first:

One would think that a cemetery would not be concerned about safety in the slightest.  The less safe people are, the more business they’ll get.  Perhaps it’s a ploy.  Maybe they tell people to wear dark clothes, that the best rides are late at night down busy streets, and that helmets are for losers.

Then there was this sign:

This is my favorite cemetery.  What’s yours?  I can just imagine reading on my news feed, “Bob Smith posted on Cemetery’s wall, ‘I’m not feeling too well and I keep coughing up blood.'”

What sign will be next?  Here are a few options I’m throwing out there.

How to Stay Healthy Seminar – Sponsored by Philip Morris

Alcohol: The Elixir of Life

The Raw Diet: Eat More Raw Meat

We’re Plotting Your Demise

Get the Latest Tweets from Our Residents

 

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