Monday, June 30, 2008

Dog Gone It...

Hmmm... just when I think that there is (if nothing else) some peace in my family's world... Yeah, right. It doesn't stop. Went to visit the girls today. Terri was a little nervous because apparently a neighbors dog got out of the yard. I didn't think much of it until I saw the dog... One big mother of a pit bull with an attitude. Apparently, none of the neighbors knew that the new neighbor had a pit bull. So, the cops were called and when the dog finally goes back to the yard where he escaped from, the cop shows up and drives his cruiser right up against the double gate, so as to keep the dog in there. Plus, I was a little uncomfortable because the dog was huge and the fence wasn't very big. But the cop driving the cruiser gets out and comes and asks for some rope to tie the gates closed while we waited for the dog warden to show up. I give him some and the cop looks at me and says "hey, that dog's eyeing you up and down. You'd better watch your a** because he's looking pretty ticked." I smile and say back "yeah, he's thinking all-you-can-eat buffet... y'know what I mean?" The cop started laughing and we waited for an eternity for the warden to show up. The warden shows up finally and we show were the dog was, the fact that it had no tags or license etc..., the warden opts to contain the dog and drag it in to warden's vehicle. And right after that, the owners of the dog show up. They weren't too happy and the cop and dog warden both explained what happened and the fact that there were lots of little children running around in the neighborhood. Not in a rural area... but in the city in a block neighborhood... kids running, playing, riding their bikes... not an ideal place for an overly aggressive pit bull. But with the removal of said dog, maybe the neighbors will settle down a bit and get back to just being annoying... ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

(Getting Shot) Down To Earth...

I had to laugh... I was getting ready to interview a couple of the women football players and air it during the halftime of our last regular season game. I turn on my computer and right there on my desktop is a picture of my beloved, my best girl, my love... my gal pal. The player looks at the picture and says "Hey Mik, is that your girlfriend?" I smile and proudly say "Yep, she sure is" and the player says "wow, she's really pretty." I say "thank you" and as I'm preparing to get things going for the interview, this player coughs up a little gem: "Geez, she's really pretty. How did YOU get her?" The other girl football players bust up laughing hysterically and when the player realizes what she said, she freaked and says "oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. " Me, I thought it was funny. It also kept me grounded and not to get egotistical or to take myself seriously. And to be grateful for a great lady for me to love... and even better... she loves ME... woo-hoo!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When Transcendentalism and Banjos Collide...

Greetings from the land of Appalachia... I was asked by my gal pal to go with her to a wedding of a friend she's known since childhood. This friend lives in Colorado but was coming back home to her country roots to get married. She was marrying a guy from out there. The key element to this whole entry is found in the last two words of the previous sentence. Out there. Okay, first things first. I'm a midwesterner and I come from the city and grew up in the hood. Drug dealers, prostitutes, gangs.... you name it. I now live just outside the city in a small area outside of town. I've gotten to discover a little bit of small town life and have come to embrace it. I have learned to have a sense of humor about all things small town. But nothing, I mean NOTHING... prepared me for what I was about to experience. The things I experienced, I've seen before... but the way they were brought together, it had me scratching my head and I was floored. I began to be convinced that perhaps the Second Coming might be arriving a little earlier than I thought... I know I know you're saying “Mik old son, what could possibly be that warped that it freaked you out so bad?”
I'll try and set the scenario in the most positive way possible and try not to sound judgmental. Up in the hills of the western part of Appalachia, in a rural tiny hick town on a small farm. Out in the grass field is where the wedding is going to take place, okay? No big deal, I've been to and shot video for outdoor weddings that took place on a farm. Not a problem. Out by a big tree, the chairs for the people were situated to face the tree which was going to be the focal point of the event. I was able to get my gal pal over there in her wheelchair. I am introduced to all of her friends from her school days and all of them are just knockouts. I mean very very attractive. Even my girlfriend looks at me later on and says “aren't my friends all pretty?” Now right there is a land mine waiting to detonate if ever there was one. Knowing my gal pal, it was an innocent question. But to me (and any guy on the planet), it was one I wasn't about trip over and set off. After all, I am a guy and we are always brought down by questions such as this one. So in an endeavor that required quick thinking and as much energy as my little brain could muster in such a short amount of time, I had to come up with something charming and sincere. Time was the critical element here. Either I took my time to say something thoughtful, and get her wondering if maybe I was taking too long to answer and WHY was I taking so long. OR if I said it too quickly, that maybe I was thinking more about them than I was about her. Thankfully, my radio reflexes came into effect. I took all of three seconds. Perilously close to taking too long, I looked my beloved right in the eye and smiled and said with as much firm warmth as I could muster in such short order: “yeah, I guess... but you're still better looking than any of them. Easily, I got the best of the bunch.” Jackpot! My gal pal got a big grin that lit up the entire place on such a oven-like day outdoors. “I love you” she mouths to me. I return the sentiment and exhale a massive sigh of relief through my teeth and my smile. WHEW! Disaster avoided. I was a little touch and go there for a brief moment. I mean, c'mon, nations have gone to war over questions like this... I don't know how I was able to leap frog this land mine and keep the compass pointing in the right direction, well, actually I do. It was really simple actually... It comes down to one irrefutable fact: I love this woman.
Okay so now back to the wedding... I saw some small children waving bright-colored strips that were on a stick. For some reason, my head began to think of the whole “age of aquarius” naturalist thing and I didn't give it much thought. I began to hear music playing that seemed to come from the general area of the tree. So I looked over in that direction and saw a speaker near the tree. The wedding party began to make their way towards the tree. Everyone seems appropriately dressed. At this point, I'm still thinking that this will be a traditional wedding. The gal pal is chatting with her friends and I'm just taking the whole thing in. Seems nice enough, what could possibly happen out here in the sticks?
Well, uh, as the gal pal and I get settled in to our spots, the music playing is weird. Not as inhippie chants, but rather as in bluegrass banjo. Now in the middle of Appalachia, I would consider this normal. Weird, but normal. Most all of the crowd were in their 20's and 30's. I seen the wedding party walking two by two from the farmhouse over to the tree in the field. The banjo went slightly out of tune and it was only then I realized that there was a real live bluegrass quartet playing behind the tree. As the bridal party make their way to where the tree was, I noticed the guy performing the wedding was listed in the program not as a minister, reverend or preacher. Those are standard bible belt terms. But this guy was called an 'Officiant'. The 'Officiant' welcomed the groom and bride to the tree, (apparently, the tree had no comment) and from the beginning of the ceremony until the end of it, the bride and groom stood facing the gathering with the 'Officiant' standing between them. They chose to have elements of Quaker, Buddhist, and a few other isms that I don't recall. The readings were from some transcendentalist author who said we needed to become 'one' with the trees. To 'breathe in' so as to inhale all of mother nature's goodness. To 'breathe out', so as to release all the irritants that keep us from embracing nature and all it has to offer. HUH???? We came all this way, got all dressed up to come have yoga meditation??? UGH... The entire service was all about referencing nature. The 'Officiant' had on a robe with leafs on the front of it. So once the nuptials were completed (with bluegrass banjos serenading us to the very end), we head over to the big tent to sit down, eat and whatever else the evening may have held. Well, I look over at the steel containers that held the evening's feast. No idea what the meal was going to entail. Pork? Beef? Sassafras Roots? Well, as it turns out, we didn't find out. They had the invocation for the meal where (finally) there was an actual reference to God.... They then proceeded to toast the bride and groom. Now where I'm from, that usually falls to the maid/ matron of honor and the best man to do that. Well, here, virtually EVERYBODY stood in line to toast the new husband and wife. And to make matters worse, the father of the groom decides to insult more than half of the crowd there by making a political joke that was very insulting. Beautiful... UGH... I finally looked over at one of my gal pal's friends and commented “Y'know, I don't think there's really any food over there. They're having everybody toast them so that the rest of us will leave before they eat.” Her response was: “I don't think I could bet against that.” And with that, my gal pal decided that she had enough. We departed the wedding and had a much more satisfying dinner... we went through the drive thru at Dairy Queen for chicken strips and a nice evening together at home. Laughing about what transpired in the afternoon... I wasn't sure what to call this experience... Hillbilly Hippies? Deliverance meets Sex In the City? Pinch of granola between my cheek and gum? Ahh... enough already!!! HA!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Just Winging It...

Hey folks,
Sorry it's been a while since my last entry. Lots going on with yours truly. Keeping busy mostly. Was a little under the weather and then my car had a little hiccup but I feel better and the car got fixed so I'm out and about again. Down to one more game left with the women's football team. I like the girls and the coaches both as they are pretty cool people. But I'm tired of sitting through such lopsided losses. The last couple were pretty tough. 76-0 and 41-0... I've got 2 weeks till the last game of the season and then I'm free. woo-hoo! I went and visited my sisters yesterday and of course I was put to work for a little bit. They asked me to put in the air conditioners in the windows so I said sure since it was no big deal. It's been pretty hot around my neck of the woods lately so I can appreciate the desire to remain cool. The breeze off of the lake where I live has helped in dealing with the summer heat. No complaints from me about the temps though. Everybody and their brother come out to the beach and walk along the pier so it's nice to see that there are people who enjoy the water and have fun doing the little things.

P.S. Um, I'm not going to say much about the Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup, but to simply say a big YEAH BABY!!!

P.S.S. That's Red Wing team captain Nick Lidstrom carrying the Stanley Cup in the parade in downtown Detroit where over a million people came out to see their champs... oh by the way, did I mention they won the cup??? YEAH BABY!!!