Monthly Archives: November 2011

Growl

Even the most perfect lives are at times absolute crap.

 

I am having a really bad day.

 

Woke up feeling great, tossed the comforter into the laundry because it was in need of a wash.  Sat down with some breakfast and opened up my emails.  Three emails of note today, alright not bad.  One was WordPress letting me know that I had a new follower, awesome! Welcome to my world of every little thing, Kuhan!  Another was the folks from the 6k that I’m walking in this weekend.  They had asked for stories on their facebook wall about why we were joined up to do the race, I posted a brief (very brief) bit about why I decided to do the race.  Well they are writing an article and were looking for some inspirational stories and so they emailed me to ask if they could use my facebook quote.  Of course!, said I.  Who wouldn’t want to be attributed in an article of some manner?  Awesome.

 

And then the third email, which started to set the tone for my day.  Eleven days ago I started shopping for a menorah for Hannukah.  I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get one down here, at least not easily or cheaply, so online I went.  None of the stores through Amazon would ship to New Zealand (of course), so I ended up looking at a 3rd party store.  I’ve had good luck with this store before and was pleased to give them my business.  Even more pleased when I saw that they did international shipping!  Fantastic!  So I found a menorah that I liked, some candles, and even some wax cleaning solution and candles for Shabbat.  And I put them all in the order and proceeded to check out.  I was informed at the check out and in the follow up receipt email that I would be sent a quote for international shipping in 2 business days.  Fine.  That should have been on either last tuesday or wednesday.

 

I finally get the email sent to me today.  And the shipping prices are more than the order itself.  Not only that, but this is for shipping that will have my order getting to me after Hannukah starts.  Not ideal, but the price is to be expected. I do live on the complete opposite side of the world.  But the fact that it took them 4-5 business days instead of the promised 2 is what has me irritated.  I have never once written a complaint to a company, but I did this time.  I ordered in advance of Thanksgiving.  The Two days was in the quote that they provided me and fell before the Thanksgiving holiday.  Even taking Thanksgiving into account, I should have received the quote email from them yesterday, not today.  I am tolerant and patient to a point, but do not offer something with unrealistic expectations of having them done.  Granted, they are probably busy right now and cannot guarantee two days.  However, they should then not include an exact time frame.  Or, perhaps, they should hire on holiday assistance in order to meet their stated obligations.

 

So I have asked that they cancel the order, place the money back into my account for the order that was on hold, and I will go another route to have a menorah for Hannukah this year.

 

A very good friend of mine offered to have the company ship it to him and then he would send it to me, and that it is a fantastic offer, except for a few things.  Number one, the company’s fastest shipping, even within the states, is still 10-12 days.  And the fastest to get anything down here is 4 days.  So cutting it close on the time line.  Second, there is a principle thing going on.  They informed me that I would have the quote in two days.  And I did not.  And frankly that has me irritated to the point that I no longer want to give them my business. And no potential end run will change that.  The company has disappointed me and I am going to exercise my right as a person in a free market and capitalist society to take my money elsewhere.

 

That started my day off on the wrong foot, and now, the little things just add up.  I tried to make a fairly tasty lunch, but found out that canned salmon apparently has bones in it.  So I spent twenty minutes digging through canned salmon pieces and refrigerated cheese sauce trying ti pick out the bones and vertebrae of the salmon.  Not pleasant.

 

And then, my laundry finished up and I went to hang out the comforter outside to get it dry and I swear the thing is dirtier than when I put it into the washer.  Sigh.

 

Alright, so that’s not a lot to call today a really terrible horrible day.  But it’s enough to make just a crappy day overall.

 

Here’s hoping the rest of my day gets better.  It kinda has to.

A New Cult

That’s right.

 

I’m joining a cult.  A new one.  One that only a few people know about, or are informed about, or even care about.  It’s a bit of a strange cult, especially for those of you that know me.  But bare with me and I’ll explain.

 

I am joining the cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

 

Who?  Well of course you would say that.  The man is not in movies, nor does he play sports.  He is a preeminent astrophysicist.  Some of you might know him because he has been on the Colbert Report many times, or you might have watched a Nova series that was narrated by him.  But most people will not know about Dr. Tyson.  And that’s ok, kinda.   But more people should know about Dr. Tyson.

 

Some people might have a bit of an inkling in their mind, some heresy that they remember the great Dr. Tyson being attached to.  Yes, he was part of the committee of international scientists that suggested the downgrading of Pluto from a planet to whatever it is that Pluto is now.   Ahh see, now I have your attention.

 

Dr. Tyson is brilliant.  And he is dynamic.  I say this in all respect to Stephen Hawking, who is indeed one of, if not the, most brilliant people alive on our planet today.  But Stephen Hawking simply, sadly, cannot grab hold of an audience and wrap them up in the rise and falls of emotional discourse like Dr. Tyson can.  If you have ever had the pleasure of even occasionally seeing Dr. Tyson on the Colbert Report, then you know what I mean, but allow me to try and explain a bit better.

 

Dr. Tyson uses the English language in a manner and style that is so unbelievably enticing, and he uses his body and his inflections and tone to help describe concepts and thoughts that are at times so foreign to normal human understanding, that it makes his listeners want to be scientists.  I am 30 years old.  I am fascinated with science, but I know deep down that my brain just does not work in the way in which science requires.  I cannot grasp the nuances, and the numbers, and the minute details.  But when I listen to Dr. Tyson speak, I want to.  I want to get into a white lab coat, climb into a chemistry lab and explore the workings of the world.  I want to know what it means and why it means.

 

Dr. Tyson is passionate about his work.  He loves his work.  He loves his job, his career, and more importantly he loves educating about his work.  He gets animated about his position.  He knows so many things, but he just has to find a way to describe them to you.  And he has the ability to do so.  He has a talent to take massively complex concepts that at times will boggle the mind of many lesser people and he can distill them down to the simplest of sentences, just to help get you there.  All while keeping the concept complex enough that it’s not dumbed down, but simple enough so that you can build off of it.

 

If there is a man better able to answer scientific questions and not treat the questioner like a child, I have not yet found one.  Sure, some of you will say Bill Nye.  Alright, I can see Bill Nye.  But I see your Bill Nye and I raise you Dr. Tyson.   Bill Nye is great for getting kids interested in the basics of science.  Water is solid, liquid, and a gas, and that kind of thing.  But if you want to get into the nitty gritty, the deep down reasons behind water, and the molecules.  If you want to take that child who now has the starting understanding of water and matter and the states of matter, if you want to reach down and grab that kid and hook them into the sciences in a way that will never let them escape?  If you want to do that, you give them Dr. Tyson.

 

So where is all this coming from?  Well I just spent an hour and a half watching a youtube video of Dr. Tyson being interviewed by Stephen Colbert at the Montclair Kimberley Academy.  It was an hour and half of absolute awesome. If awesome could be distilled down, it would be in that interview.  Look for it yourself if you don’t believe me.  I spent my time with my mouth open in awe of this man’s brilliance. I was laughing, I was clapping (Yes, I was applauding a youtube video.  Don’t judge me!), I was grinning from ear to ear.  If you don’t watch the entire video, and I promise you that it’s worth it, but if you don’t have the time, at least watch the last 20 or so minutes.  In that 20 minutes Dr. Tyson talks about the future and policy, and how to make our country, and the world really, how to make us a better fit for the future.  It’s worth a watch.  And a good serious thinking about.

 

So yes, I am in a New Cult.  Dr. Tyson, you have a new member.

My November

Man, what a month.

 

To start with, there was Nanowrimo.  National Novel Writing Month.  Although I’m starting to wonder if it shouldn’t be called something like ‘InNaNoWriMo”, Because the project has gone global.  Ooh, There we go, “GloNaNoWriMo”.

 

Now, for those of you that are reading this and have no idea what Nanowrimo is, I will gladly point you towards their page, there are links over there –>.  But allow me to attempt to define it for you.  Nanowrimo, affection called Nano in short, is a month long torture session in the name of literacy.  The idea is that starting on Midnight November 1, through til Midnight November 30th, participants will write a 50,000 word novel.  Yes. 50,000 words.  Take a moment and pause here.  Think about it.  That’s a lot of words, yeah?  But how many?  I mean, some people will look at that and think to themselves, that can’t be all that much.  Allow me to put it into perspective for you a little bit.

 

Remember back in school, when you had to do those reports and write papers for classes?  Remember how the teachers would usually give an arbitrary length of pages, say 3-5.  Well, I just did a quick calculation and 4 pages of my novel this year is just about 2500 words.   Ok you math majors and thinkers out there, c’mon.  Yes.  So essentially what you’re doing when you participate in Nano is writing 20 4 page papers.    Want something more?  OK.  Remember back in 11th grade, doing that first research paper?  It had to be over 10 pages but no more than 13, remember?  My research paper was 11 pages.  The first 11 pages in my Nano novel comes in just over 6600 words.  So how long, in page length, is my novel this year? Well, in size 11 font, single spaced (which no report ever would be when getting turned in at school) my novel is 87 pages long.

 

Yes.  Eighty-seven.  Want to know something dramatic now?  I finished my writing on the 13th of November.  Take a few deep breaths, put your eyes back in your head.  Better?  Yes, I wrote 50,119 words in just under 2 weeks.  Now mind, I did not do much of anything else those two weeks.  I do not have a job, or school, or anything else really to take my focus away from writing.  But there you go.  Still think it can’t be done?  It can.

 

If you want to know more about this program, or the parent Non-Profit organization that runs it and other programs throughout the year, go check out http://www.nanowrimo.org  and you can find out all about the program, the Office of Letters and Light and more importantly their Your Writers Program.

 

Now, Nanowrimo was not the only race that I was going through this month.  I had something else happening as well.  Trying to get my visa application finished and into immigration before the end of the month.  And I am happy to report that it has been done!  The visa application for the next step in the process has been submitted to the Immigration new Zealand officials and now, we wait.  Four to six weeks we wait.

 

What else has happened this month?

 

Oh right!  E and I had our anniversary!  It’s been two years and life honestly couldn’t be better!  Two years.  Holy crap.  Time has flown on by.  We went out to dinner to a place we’ve been meaning to go (mongolian barbecue, nothing too fancy shmancy) and just spent the night in together.

 

We got invited to a wedding, which was absolutely fantastic!  Such a beautiful day, a gorgeous couple, and a perfect wedding. And a great day out with friends afterwards.

 

Oh, and Skyrim came out!  Heart this game so much.  So very very much.  Hehehe.

 

And one other thing…

 

Oh, right, Thanksgiving.

 

Now, as you might be aware there is no Thanksgiving down here in Kiwiland.  In fact Turkey is not one of the easier/cheaper to purchase meats.  And since we weren’t having a huge gathering of people, instead just the two of us, we went with a chicken.  One whole chicken.  Now, I did a few searches online and found some people suggesting butter under the skin of the chicken.  I had seen the cooks on Masterchef do this as well.  So if they’re doing this, and the cooks online are doing this, then why not, right?

 

So I took some butter, maybe 3-4 tablespoons worth, and softened it to room temperature.  I mixed into this butter herbs and spices (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and nutmeg) and then stuffed it into the chicken, just under the skin that covers and coats the breasts.  I then took another 3 tablespoons of butter and shoved them into the cavity of the chicken, along with fresh rosemary and marjoram.  And then, because I felt there was simply not enough calories, I shoved another tablespoon of butter under the skin again.  One tablespoom on each breast.  Then, your hands are coated in spiced herbed butter, and you rub them all over the outside of the chicken.  All over.  Coat it in the thick creamy yellow goop.  Then salt and pepper on the skin.  Then into the oven it went!

 

Let me tell you, this chicken was the most scrumptious, delicious, juicy chicken.  Even the leftovers 2 days later were still moist and juicy and so flavorful.  I had to do some serious work at the gym, but let me tell you, so worth it.   So very very worth it.

 

Now, I’ve seen other posters with their posts of ‘what I’m Thankful for’ all month.  And I’ve been trying to figure out the answerto that question all month long.  I really have.  And It’s hard to really come up with anything that warrants a post.  Because to be honest, the best answer I can give is, “I am thankful for my life.”  And I am.  I am thankful for everything I’ve been through to get to this point.  I am thankful for the hardships, the heartaches, the ups and downs, everything.  I am in such a good place right now, in such a happy spot and blissful state of being that there is little else that I want, need, or crave.  This is my life, and I am happy.  So for all of that, I am thankful.

 

 

So, quite a month, eh?  So what’s happening next month for me?  Well, the first sunday in December I have a race!  That’s right, a 6k walk/run through the city.  Should be fun!  It’s my first time doing anything like this ever ever, so who knows what will happen.  But I do know that I will enjoy myself thoroughly.  Hannukah starts on the 20th this year, and then Christmas to follow.  And on top of all of that, I should be hearing back about my visa application by the end of the year and then, finding a job.

 

Hope everything is well with you and yours!  Have a great holiday season, I’m sure I’ll be back at some point!

A Blogroll!

I don’t usually do this, but I think I might just start.

 

I’m still getting used to this whole new world of blogging.  My first blog was on blogger at least 6 or 7 years ago, back when they really were nothing more than online diaries for those of us that just absolutely failed at writing in a real diary.  It seems that I have remained stuck in that thought process and have not yet moved on into this whole new world of blogging where every blog is one thing and every post revolves around a central theme.  I’m a little confused on that whole situation.

 

Just like I’m confused with blogrolls and just what they are, and posts linking to other people’s blogs and things, but here we go.   Gonna try something new and exciting!

 

I have just found this blog, From Scratch Club.  And just going through a few of their posts, I am in love with these women!.. The most recent post was up on Freshly pressed and it was the cranberry, maple, ginger preserves my god I want to lick my screen!  From there on, it was inevitable. I got sucked into the posts and am still going through them like a mad woman.  Including the recipes/instructions for how to make your own body scrubs!

 

I am in love with this! And I am sure that I will keep reading through their posts and stealing… borrowing their ideas to show off down here in Kiwiland!

 

So who else do I read on a regular basis? Well, that depends entirely on my mood!  And who has something written.   I absolutely adore Dionne over at Try Anything Once, her stories are outstanding, her drive is an inspiration, and her photos are phenomenal.  Also, her daughter Taylor is quite amazing. 

 

I have started getting into a bit of a writing circle what with Nanowrimo being this month, and through that I have met some darling young ladies who are rather fascinating to follow.  Fee, over at The Land of Man-Eating PIxies is an energetic young woman with possibly far too much caffeine, but a brilliant and bright outlook on life.  And then her friend, Sarah (who is apparently called Fishy) over at Comfy Sweaters, Writing, and Fish.  They are both lovely girls and up and coming writers.  Look out world, these girls are going to tear things down!

 

And of course, there is the blog of a school friend of mine.  We met when we were both nine or ten, I can’t remember, when she moved in next door.  We made fudge together from my American Girl’s Cookbook, when we were little and we went to school together.  Now, We’ve both hit a stride and time in our lives when everything is up and running and going in a good direction for us.  It has been fantastic to read her blog, follow her on her races, and catch up on everything that is happening in our lives, even though we’re hemispheres apart.  So here is to Andrea, over at Run, Eat, Date, Sleep.  It’s mainly because of her inspiration and success and encouragement that I am on the path that I’m on towards being a healthier me.  Also, it’s all her fault that I’ve got a 6k walk coming up in two weeks. All her fault. 

 

I read other blogs too on occasion, but these are the ones that I go back to every time that I see something new, and every time that I want something different.  Just a few of the people out there in the world that help me be me.  I hope you enjoy their blogs, and I hope you take something away from this all. 

 

More about my general life and the happenings there in next time! But for now, This is it!

Insomnia

So here I am. 1am on tuesday morning.  And I’m still awake.

 

What could possibly be bothering me?

 

My Nanowrimo is done (unofficially and more about that later), my FBI paperwork came back clean and healthy (like there was really any doubt), I have a game plan for where and when and how to go through and finish up this visa application (ugh tediousness).  There really is nothing overly heavy weighing on my mind.

 

Except.

 

Well, I’m still unemployed. Which granted at this point is planned until after I get my new visa and then I can look for things that are not ‘temporary’ or ‘contract’ but I can actually get full time work.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am ok with being unemployed.    And I still have no idea what it is I would like to do.  Call centers, retail, go back to school?  Maybe a bit of this and a bit of that?  But all of that requires some soul searching.  And I just am not good at soul searching.  Especially if it involves any form of meditation.  My brain just refuses to slow down.

 

Also, I am thinking about the whole ‘what next’ part of my writing.  I have no done my 6th Nanowrimo. I have now hit my 6th mark of 50,000 words in so many years.  My world and my plot are coming together better now than they ever have before.  So what next?  Do I move on? do I try to finish up? Do I gather all of my previous writing and notes and details on this subject and scour them for details, information, bits and pieces and then put that all into notes on Scrivener (awesome program btw), and actually honestly attempt to write this book?  Or books?  Do I have the willpower to sit through, sift through, all of my writing over the years, trash what is crap and keep what is good, build on the rest and actually come out ahead with a story that maybe somebody somewhere will want to read?   Do I have this willpower?

 

Do I have the willpower to keep up with the weight loss?  I can tell that I’m losing weight because my pants are slowly starting to come off around my waist.  But my hips are still the same size they were, so no real loss there.  Also means no new pants.  Just have to keep fiddling with the old pants.  Can I really keep up with this? Can I lose enough weight so that when I head back to the States next year to visit, mom and I can go shopping for new clothes for me and I can actually maybe not wear the ‘fat girl clothes’?  How much willpower do I really have stored up?

 

And is it even willpower that I need? Perhaps what I really need is ambition.  I don’t really seem to have any of that.  Ambition.  It’s a funny word.  In some cases it is a strong, positive, encouraging term. In others it’s dirty, nasty, unkind.  And it seems to be difficult to balance the two levels perfectly.  What is a good level of ambition? And how do I get there?  Now that I think about it, Ambition seems to be the core of most of my problems.  Yeah, I know, First world problems and all that.

 

But really.  I never had many ambitions as a kid, or even as a young adult.  To be happy and to be loved for who I was were about the only things I was ever determined to secure for myself.  And, well, now I have those.  And I’m lost.  I have no real ambitions.  Dreams, sure I have those aplenty, but ambitions?  To be a writer who can tell her stories and have people want to read them.  That could be one.  That’s about as close to an ambition as I have.  But I am still very unsure of how to necessarily achieve that goal.

 

I’ll have to do some more thinking on this.  I’ll get back to you.

 

But for now, It’s almost 130.  My mint tea is just warm enough to drink while still being hot enough to be soothing to the rather unhappy stomach that I have now (i think it doesn’t like peanut butter anymore), and I’m hoping that a few minutes of window shopping for a new menorah is going to be enough to settle my brain and calm my whatever it is that’s keeping me awake.

 

So good night, good morning, and have a pleasant day.

Clarity

So yesterday’s post is what most of my friends would call ‘a hot mess’.  And I’m sure it got some reactions from pretty much anybody that read it.  Today, I’m a bit more focused, less emotional, and more informed.  So let me try this again with a bit more clarity.

 

First, yesterday was the most emotional I think I’ve been while writing a blog post and I think that came through in the writing, but in case that it didn’t, let me put this here.  That blog post was a purely emotional response to something that I will explain a bit later in this one.  And if you can read that post and not sense that it is not a logical thought out, reasoned essay, then you have been spending too much time on the internet and you need a break to readjust your compass.

 

Second, Abuse is wrong.  Any form of abuse.  Any form.  No, even that one.  It is wrong.  And the appropriate consequences should be taken.  Sandusky has been arrested.  The President and Athletic Director and Coach Paterno have been fired.  And there is a grand jury investigation, and i’m sure many other investigations as well, going on to find out even more of the truth than what is being reported.  Only once that is done cane the final appropriate actions be taken.   Should JoePa have not only reported what he was told, but also have followed it up?  Absolutely.  There is no doubt in my mind that in his position as head coach for a team of young men, he should have not only reported it, but followed up and pursued the charges until something was done.  He didn’t, and so he has been fired.

 

And he should have been.  That was the correct decision.  But, it’s still not a happy one.

 

Please, spare me your moral outrage for just a bit and go with me, ok?

 

Coach paterno has been the coach at Penn State Football for something like 60 years.  He has helped thousands of young men stay in school, complete their education, and move on to different and better lives, whether that was academic or professional sports.  He has, overall, been a force of good and positive change in the lives of thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands.  For those of us that grew up watching Penn State Football, there was no difference between the team and the man, between the Lions and the Coach.  In a world of sports where soon everything became about the promotion, the money, the getting to the pros and how big and fast and strong you were, in some ways, Coach Paterno was still one of the ‘good guys’, the ones that encouraged going to classes and doing things the old way.

 

Yesterday, and the days leading up to that, everything along those lines came crashing down.   This man that we had known all of our lives as a ‘good guy’ came crashing off the pedestal.  A friend of mine and I were discussing it and we came to this somewhat decent comparison.  It was like finding out that Batman liked killing, that cheetara was sleeping with Mumra, and that Splinter suddenly developed a taste for Turtle Soup.  And that the Green Ranger was actually a putty.   There was one last vestige of brief nostalgic childhood innocence left in a sport that has changed even since I was a child.  And this week that was destroyed before my eyes.

 

So yes, I was emotional yesterday.  I was a five year old that just got told about Santa and the easter bunny and the tooth fairy.  I was that seven year old waiting backstage at a WWF event and seeing the Ultimate Warrior without his facepaint for the first time, or learning that the Undertaker really did have pupils.  It was a crushing blow to one last moment of innocence.

 

But, since this is the internet and the moral compass online is often set to Black or White, there are few areas of gray.  But I am going to stay in one.

 

I am sad to see the legacy of years of coaching and good tainted, tarnished and ruined by this.  I am sad to see the man that so many of us have grown up loving get tarred and feathered.  But I am outraged that the abuse has happened, did happen, and that so many victims had to live through it.  I am outraged that nothing more was done to protect children that were in the charge of not only the coaching staff, but also the university as a whole.

 

It is possible to be both.  Emotional reactions do not necessarily have to contradict logical reactions.  And most people are capable of feeling more than one thing at a time.

 

I got a comment on my blog yesterday, that I did not post up.  The commenter did not seem to be incredulous about most of anything that I wrote.  Of course I was accused of being a man, of having blinders on, and of being clueless.  Which, only one of those things was untrue yesterday.  I am not now, nor have I ever been a man.

 

But what the poster seemed the most incredulous about was my insistence on Beat Nebraska.  And reading back over the post, I think I can see why.   I was a bit rambling.

 

But let me try and clear things up.  Even without Coach paterno on the field, there is one thing that this football teams needs to do.  And that is on Saturday, they need to Beat Nebraska.  With or without Coach Paterno, they are still a football team.  They still have a game on Saturday, and they have a record to uphold and protect.  It was going to be inevitable that Coach Paterno not be on the sidelines one day, and even then the team has but one goal.  Win the game.

 

Now, they have even more of a reason to do so.  Football is life in Happy Valley, and now for the students, for the community, life goes on as it should, while the investigation goes on as it should.  And there is still going to be a football game on saturday.

 

But life in Happy Valley will never be the same.  Saturday mornings will never be the same, or as almost innocent as they were.  And for that, for that I am sad.

 

 

Go State!

Beat Nebraska

I can’t quite think straight. And I’m sure that a lot of this reaction is due to the lack of sleep that I’ve been going through.

 

But I am sitting here at my computer, reading the headlines coming out of Happy Valley, PA, and I am crying.

 

I am crying for the boys that were abused.  I am crying that one last thing in this world that was actually still viewed as good and mostly pure has been tainted.  And I am crying for Joe Paterno.

 

Joe Paterno has been the football coach at Penn Stated for as long as pretty much anybody can remember.  He has won 409 games and has surpassed everybody around him.  He is a giant in college football and a giant in real life.  Loved, respected, and adored by fans, team members, and alumni alike, there was always an old question of ‘When will he retire?”  And the answer almost always was, “When he’s damned well ready to.”

 

Sadly, reality has a way of breaking into even the most safe locations left to us and smashing everything to bits.  If you have not heard the story yet, if you do not know what has happened, I will be brief.

 

Jerry Sandusky, often considered to be JoePa’s #2 at Penn State and the heir apparent until 1999, has been arrested on several counts of sexual assault and misconduct with underage boys.  One such assault, as reported from the grand jury investigation, was discovered in a Penn State locker room by one of the assistant coaches.  This was reported to Joe Paterno, who then followed the procedures in place and reported it to the Athletic Director and University president.  Who then, did nothing.  Well, they banned Sandusky from the showers, but he was not fired, and he was not reported to the police.

 

JoePa did what he was supposed to do.  He got a report of abuse, he passed it up the line, and that was his responsibility.  But sadly, he did not follow up.  He did not push for a result that protected his players and his school.  And he is now paying the price for that.

 

I am not condoning or excusing Joe Paterno’s failure to report this abuse further than he did.  He should have done something.  He was the coach and his players, his ‘kids’ were in danger.  Yes he did what he was supposed to do, but he could have, and probably should have, done more.  And he didn’t.  And for that, I and I am sure many others, are deeply sorry.

 

I want to express my feelings of sorrow and empathy for the boys and their families who are living with this, and have been for some time.  Nobody should have to go through that. Nobody.  But also in my mind and in my heart is always thoughts of JoePa.

 

He was always going to retire when he was ready. When HE was ready.  That could have been this season, it could have been five seasons from now.  But because of this scandal.  Because his #2 could not keep his hands to himself, and because the school’s administrators cared more about protecting the school than protecting children, JoePa gets no say in when he retires.   He has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.  Providing that the school’s Board will let him stay that long.

 

There was always going to be a sad day in Happy Valley, and pretty much everywhere that Penn State Football fans were on the day that JoePa said he was leaving.  It was always going to be a day with some high emotions and possibly even some tears.  But to have it happen like this.  To have the terms of his retirement dictated by events outside of the Man, it is heartbreaking on a whole new level.

 

This weekend is Penn State’s last home game of the season.  They are playing Nebraska.  Some many years back there was a bit of a kerfuffle with the BCS and Penn State and Nebraska and the National Title.  Both teams were undefeated. Both teams were considered to be the best in the country.  They never played each other, so nobody could hold the complete title.  And the BCS, considering that Nebraska was a bigger school, or came from a bigger conference, or whatever, Nebraska was given the National Title.  And since that year, there has always been this driving force to “Beat Nebraska”.

 

And this weekend, the kids on the Nittany Lions have the chance to do just that. To Beat Nebraska one last time for JoePa.  And I hope, in my heart, that they can do it.  That they beat those cornhuskers solidly into the field and then they celebrate in Happy Valley one last time with their coach.

 

Their coach. Our coach.

 

It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I am sitting here crying about this. It’s a bit strange to me that I am crying about this.  But here I am.  Typing this and barely able to see the keys through the tears.  For the boys that were abused.  For the Coach that is leaving in a way that nobody ever thought he would, and for that one last bit of innocence that had been left.

 

JoePa did not do everything that he could to help protect the kids under his charge, and other children as well.  He knows that, he admits that and has apologized for that.  And I in no way am excusing him, or the authorities of Penn State for what they did or didn’t do.

 

But Joe Paterno, JoePa, deserves a better exit from the sport, and the school he has spent most of his life at, than this.  He Deserves, or deserved, the right to control his future and retire when he wanted.  To not be pushed out in shame and disgrace.

 

That is why I am crying.  Because all the good that Joe Paterno has done in his life, all the kids that he has helped through school and beyond, all of that, will now forever be tainted by this.  His legacy will have an asterik by it forever.  And that is crushing. Devastating.  And depressing.  Again, I am not defending him for not reporting to the police, but he has done so much good in so many other ways, to have this be what he was remembered for…

 

You are loved, respected, and adored Joe Paterno.

You are, for all intents and purposes a good man. A solid man. A role model.

You have been the face of football in central PA for at least two generations, and you will be remembered.

You will be remembered as a kind man, a tough but loving coach.

You will be remembered, respected, and loved.

 

Go State! Beat Nebraska!

Some Thoughts

it’s been a while hasn’t it. yes, yes it has. So what have I been up to? Well I’ve been working on my novel for nanowrimo of course.

Last night i hit 35,000 words written in this years novel, and I’m hoping to be finished by this weekend with the full 50k.

If you’re not sure about nanowrimo, or what it is, or what the big deal is, there are links over there —> to help guide you along the way to enlightenment.

Other than sitting and writing an overage of about 5,000 words a day, nothing much has really been happening. I am at a standstill until I can get my visa paperwork turned in and find out my next status. Then, i can move on from there. I’m not sure to what, but I will find something.

Some other thoughts:

It’s been two years since he said that he loved me. It’s been two years since he stumbled to recover after that slip up. it’s been two years since he said it again, with more confidence. It’s been two years since I said it back. It’s been two years since that night of giggling and crying. It’s been two years since we realized what the other meant. It’s been two years.

And every day, in every way, I thank everything that I can think of, God, Fate, Lady Luck, Destiny, and Donald Duck. every day I think everything with every part of me that I found you, and that you chose me.

It wasn’t supposed to happen, I shouldn’t have fallen in love. It wasn’t supposed to happen, I was going to be myself for a while. But you came along with your funny face, your not so funny jokes, and your oh so brilliant brain and swept me from my feet. I tried to resist, but the pull of fate has been just too much.

I am blessed, I am lucky, and I know that I am loved.

So thank you, my heart, for two years of happiness. For two years of joy, frustration, and two years of love. Thank you for everything you are, and everything you have helped me to be. For two years of us, and looking forward to many many more.

I love you.