Monday, February 7, 2011


Had an early Sunday dinner with Nebraska, her two youngest girls, and HER MOM at Olive Garden. It was fun and I really enjoyed Mom and the chemistry that was present. Way cool.

Told Mom that I really like Omaha and that the people here are friendly and she would second Nebraska’s comment about how friendly folks are in town. I essentially replied with ‘the tour stop is new but the rodeo is still a rodeo’, as her daughter took a slight dig at my curt attitude with people. Mom understood and that was that with for the topic of my making friends.

One of the other noteworthy observances I made was Nebraska's ‘tween’ daughter and her phone. The scene was right out of a Microsoft commercial, as she would send texts or update her Twitter or whatever it is kids are doing nowadays, semi-oblivious to our group. To me it was endearing. All in all, it was a winning experience, even if I wasn’t at my best before the dinner.

I had received a text to confirm my participation and I was mainly ready… but the grey of the sky nearly was matched by the grey that was hovering around me. Had I not thought of the opportunity to meet her Mom and spend quality time outside, I have canceled. But it went swimmingly and her Mom was very inclusive when making reference to me. That was even cooler than cool… it was ICE COLD!!


One of the biggest reasons I like the Steelers now (when I was a kid it was because they were the perfect blend of the best of their chief rivals, the Raiders and the Cowboys) is that they are the embodiment of something I call ‘conceptual continuity’. There was a graphic during a pre-pre game show that showed that the Steelers, who were a losing franchise for most of the early years of their existence, turned a corner with the hiring of their Hall-of-Fame coach, Chuck Noll, and has built on the formula, adding to but not subtracting from, for the past 40 years. There have been more glamour franchises with mini-runs to repeat championships, from the 49’ers to the New England Patriots, but as far as being enduring, you would have to prolly go back the Montreal Canadiens of the 50’s to the 80’s to find a sports franchise that has stay near the top of its profession for any length of time (or you could bring up Man U or the New Zealand All-Blacks if you want to mention international team sport dynasties) with the same formula that made them a success to begin with.

Trading IM’s with Nebraska after the Packers went up 21-3, I told her that (unlike several of the Super Bowls in the mid-80’s to 90’s that were lopsided and dull) that the Steelers weren’t out of it and if any team could come back and make a game of it, they could. And that is exactly what happened. After the score tightened, I felt as if I could see the momentum shift, the same forces that pulls on the moon and causes the tides to go in and out, only there would be one final shift as the game was not immortal. But whoever won would be.

Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay quarterback of whom it was said of by the Packer’s organization, that more was learned about him the day he was drafted than any other item or skill in Rodgers possession. Highly touted the year he came out of college, Rodger’s would mysteriously slip in the draft, costing him not only millions of dollars but esteem and prestige among players as well. But unlike other draft day shockers, here was a young man who kept his composure and when his name was finally called showed the maturity by appearing as delighted to have been chosen 24th as if he had went earlier in the draft. You could see that quality in his play throughout the game and most definitely could see it in the game’s final quarter.

While the Packers were the betting favorite, the game was still ‘pick ‘em’ to me. Kind of like the second fight between Jose Luis Ramirez and Edwin Rosario back when ‘valley girl’ look was popular and you had to carry an umbrella to keep from being hit with jheri curl activator hitting you!

In the first match, Rosario, who was not only the champion but the anointed next big thing, would win a closely contested decision. Ethnic rivalry and boxing politics compelled the both of to fight a rematch in short order.

The fight developed very similar to the first bout between them. Rosario would come out and land a scorching right hand that knocked Ramirez down for a count. After Ramirez rose, he would be pummeled for the rest of the first round as well as most of the 2nd round. But the veteran of over 90 fights with 84 victories in those matches, would not be distressed, instead, gathering his composure to rally and stop Rosario in the 6th or 7th round to win the lightweight title.


… is back!

Along with ‘Glee’, two of my favorite shows have returned to air. I watched the ‘… as Liz’ marathon last night AND early this morning on MTV! The affluence of the shows characters makes it a little more of a stretch to identify with them but as much as I like ‘Glee’, the show is becoming a guilty pleasure where the emphasis is on ‘guilty’ and not on the ‘pleasure’ part.

Teen dramedies used to have a stronger root in realism than ‘Glee’ does. It lacks a sophistication that not only fails to rival the shows of my youth, ‘James At 16’, ‘My So-Called Life’, or the sitcom ‘Square Pegs’. Watching the season debut after the game, it felt like a Tea Bagger’s version of how a multi-cultural society operates. The show has slipped into parody of itself as it re-invents solutions to social problems.

With Jenny changing her Face Book photo to the Jenny I crushed on in high school and who would crush on me later in Korea, I remember the feelings that I had wanting to be noticed and hang with the ‘A-list’ kids in school. Perhaps it is just me but the show has seemed like the vision some mildly-liberal conservative dreams of what the mutts of their ideal society must have been like as teenagers. The writing has become as clueless as Sarah Palin when it comes to the show being relevant to  anything in society today.

It is late and I am getting sleepy. I am having problems leaving comments so I will look at my settings on Explorer and hopefully I will get that taken care of. The winds are blowing… and I find that relaxing.


Toon said...

"Glee" is a mess, but it's a mess I hate to miss. Love Beast!!

Have Myelin? said...

I've never seen "Glee" but I have my guilty pleasures too. Hmmm... I once watched "toddlers and Tiaras". It's soooo bad, but like a massive train wreck you stop and gawk.

I think "Glee" is out of my element since I'm deaf. But that doesn't mean I don't love music but I feel lost in musicals. =P

LceeL said...

I'm so glad you hung in there and took up the invite to dinner. Better yet, I'm glad you had a good time.

As for 'Glee' - never seen it. But I hear it's 'good'.

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Glad you got to meet Nebraska's mother. She sounds like a real person.

"Glee" is a bit over-the-top for me and I can't watch it for more than a minute or two.

As you know, I was rooting for Green Bay. I am a huge Clay Matthews fan. His family is a football dynasty. They are both great teams.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I'm in a grey mood of late, too, Mark. I think winter is getting me down. I hope your mood lifts.

Glad the Olive Garden dinner went so well.



That corgi :) said...

glad you enjoyed dinner with Nebraska and family, Mark; it sounded like a nice dinner! I was with you about the Steelers; they have always been my team (after the Chargers that is), but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

hope you are doing as well as you can :)


Beth said...

so so glad you had a great time with Nebraska! and as far as Glee goes, ...well, I've never made it through a whole show. and I've never seen Life as Liz....but maybe I should, huh?

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

It was an excellent game, even better since Packers won. Glad you had a good dinner with Nebraska et. al.

Beth said...

I'm glad you took the plunge despite your initial reluctance, and got out for a nice dinner with Nebraska and family. Sounds like it was a positive experience!