These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

see tom fall. see tom fumble. see tom cry

'm not a fan of sports, really. i try not to get involved in watching them. i get caught up in the game and i eventually choose a side (even if i don't car who's playing) and i start getting rowdy, excited, cussing (if the team i like is losing) or i leave when things get too much.

dawn says i'm too competitive for my own good. she's right. i would've made a poor coach for a sports team.

inevitably, though, i got dragged into the super bowl. but i made a promise i was going to watch only bits and pieces, say halftime score, fourth quarter score and i guess that's it. i had nothing at stake, really. the cowboys were out (bums), despite having home field during the playoffs.

so here's this powerhouse team (the pats), rolling over teams. crushing them, ridiculing them. 18-0 going into the big game. 12-point spread in their favor. they've got brady, moss and a bunch of other lads who generally kick ass.

on the other side we've got the giants. fifth seed in the playoffs. wild card team. took a few final games to make the playoffs. hardly giants. but they beat tampa bay in florida, kicked the cowboys ass in texas and made fools of favre and the packers in wisconsin.

two weeks ago the matchup was set. nobody gave the giants a chance. everyone i knew said no way. but something told me they weren't going to roll over and let the pats kick them around. after all, they lost by only three points to the pats in the regular season. not much of an upset there.

the pats were full of hubris, playing with too much confidence, i think. they did have a monkey on their backs: an undefeated season. it means nothing if you go to the super bowl and lose. big f'ing deal getting there and coming out with nada.

the giants, on the other hand, had nothing to lose and everything to gain. they knew they were underdogs. they knew america wanted the pats to go undefeated and claim the record held by the 1972 miami dolphins wouldn't it be nice to come along and steal their thunder? and steal they did.

i watched a bit part and saw the score was 7-3. before halftime. same score. leading into the fourth quarter, same score. i decided i couldnt' take it and took a looooong shower, even decided to clean the shower on a whim to kill more time. by the time i got back, the score was 10-7 giants but the pats were within a few yards of scoring. and score they did. 14-10. a little more than 2 minutes left. i was sweating but decided t keep watching. and then the little manning brother did his thing. he didn't fall. and when plaxico caught that pass in the end zone, i was elated. but there was 35 seconds left. three time outs. i was a little scared. but after the giants defense whipped brady around, it was done. i breathed a sigh of relief.

i'm getting worked up simply writing about this now.

most people would think me foolish to root for the team who beat the cowboys. but they were so much the underdog that i had to root for them. and they did me proud.

next year, when they play the cowboys -- if i'm still watching -- i think i'll still root for the cowboys, though. but if the giants play the pats, it's the giants.

really, no, i don't like sports. seriously.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

my arms feel like jelly

hmmmm, it's feb. 3, right? yes, yes, it is.

we're still supposed to get snow during this month, right? i thought so.

what's that? you say february has the second-most snowfall during the witner season next top january.

so i have 20-some odd days left of possible heavy snow? yes, you probably do.

what about march? oh, we do get some snow in march, too. maybe a bit in april. who knows with all of this green hosue stuff and global warming.

all that said, it's official. i'm tired of using the damned shovel to clean off the drive way. i'm generally pretty cool about the snow and shoveling. i actually like it. there's something to say about having a clean drive way. at least i think so.

but this year it felt different. i think because there was no gradual snowfall leading up to heavier snow. we had some, but not much. then we got pummeled with snow. and more snow. and still more snow. it kept on coming in four or six inches at a time. that's all good and all, you know, so we'd get our annual snowfall of about 69 inches or so. it looks like we're heading for it.

all of the heavy snow had taken a toll. there were days when it was piled up high between our house and lisa's. i had to make sure the drive was wide enough for the car. make sure the area near the sidewalk and drive way was clear. and most importantly, make sure the entrance into the drive was clear. and this last is the worst.

once i 'd just finished clearing it when i heard this machine rumbling toward me. i looked to my left and saw a big, honking snowplow pushing my way. i stood there helpless as it roared on. it came up on me, pushing it's growing pile of snow forward gettin me wet and piling it up on the driveway i'd just cleaned. i set to work, cursing at the driver, who i'm sure chuckled as he passed.

today was a little different. not much snow on the drive. but the plow did make its way through the streets. so we had a substantial pile lining the entrance into our drive way. i set to work on it. it was tough, though. the snow left by the plows is heavy and wet, unlike the snow on the driveway itself. you can't really slide the shovel along the asphalt or concrete and get it off the drie. you have to scoop it, as if you were scopping up dirt when making a hole in the ground. i did the best i could and managed to make the entrance clear enough to get in and out of without any problems.

suffice to say, i'm bushed. my right arm feels like crap because it's the arm i make the force with to push the shovel into the snow.

snow god, have mercy on me.

a hot time in the old town tonight

well, not in holland, anyway. still ahot time.

tonight was mig's 48th b-day extravaganza. a party was thrown in his honor in plainwell tonight. it was at the place where denise had her's last year. nice place, especially with los banits playing.

we headed down there with mark, which we were glad to have along for the ride and company. we were joined by steph and david at the table. we all squished together and chatted up.

mig and denise danced around near us when the music began. denise was her usual wild-time self. wouldn't have it any other way. the rest of us chilled.

but as luck would have it and request. i knew i had to produce. i had to do the jig i did last week while at steph and david's house. it was an irish jig. then there was the skating pantomime to think of, too.

after a few dances, denise motioned me to go up and dance. she's a good dancer. i am not. as it was pointed out by mark, "i didn't know you had white man blood in you." yes, i suppose i dance likea white boy. not my fault.

and so it turned out that the jig was on. denise and i started up and we did it in unison, to the chuckles at the table. later when steph and denise were up there doing some really cool dance moves, denise tapped me to go up and dance between them. well, i went up and did my 'white boy" thing. then the three of us did theirish jig. it was good. dawn sat patiently at the table with david and mark as her husband made a fool of himself. she's a good woman.

on another occasion, we were sitting and this older woman kept putting her hands on mark's shoulders. she did it repeatedly while she danced behind him. we urged him to get up and dance but he stayed at the table. turns out he didn't know who she was. it seemed she was into him. a match made in heaven. could've got lucky, old chap.

mig and denise were dancing on another occasion and she pulled me up. maybe it was one of the times i've alrady talked about. mig had to go piss badly. so he left us dancing. well, the song went on and on and on and on. my legs ere jelly and my "white boy" moves kicked in. lovely. thanks, mig.

good times, though. nothing like chilling with pals. dawn and i are lucky to have good friends who enjoy silliness.