Archive for September, 2011

The City of La Porte Fightin' Seagulls Disc Golf Team, last year

So this Saturday is the Disc Golf tournament in the annual Gulf Coast Sports Challenge, and once again I’m on a team with two awesome guys (Jamey and Isaac) who can throw a frisbee (sorry–it’s called a “disc,” not a frisbee) in a perfectly straight line, coming within feet of the basket while I fling the thing blindly in that general direction, aiming in the right direction about 30 percent of the time. For the third year in a row, I find myself outside in the muggy Houston heat, landing hundreds of yards short of the basket and freely throwing the damn disc in whatever direction the wind takes it. We’ve practiced once this week, and we’ll practice again tomorrow, and I can’t help feeling bad–not because I suck at disc golf, but because I truly, to the depth of my soul, don’t give a crap that I suck, despite my teammates’ enthusiasm for the sport and their sincere desire to win the tournament. 

I’ve never been what you’d call athletic, at least not in the team sports sense of the word. I was good at gymnastics when I was younger, and I’m a decent swimmer and a good skier. I’m also a pretty good dancer–despite my clumsiness I ended up with a good sense of balance and rhythm. But I run into trouble when you throw a ball or a bat or a disc into the mix and expect me to somehow make it hit a target or land in a net or a hole or (heaven forbid) someone else’s hands. In the sixth grade I hit a baseball backwards when I clearly had no business attempting to hit anything with a bat. I sprained a finger playing volleyball in the seventh grade. I was always the last one picked for any team sport, not because I wasn’t popular but because I was so, so bad at every sport I tried. In high school I took PE in summer school and stuck with simple things–like AP Calculus–during the school year. 

So why, pray tell, am I on the City of La Porte Fightin’ Seagulls Disc Golf Team? Because some twisted judge of municipal team sports decided that there has to be at least one female on every team–I guess because otherwise someone might complain about inequality–and I’m evidently the only girl at City Hall who will even entertain the idea of throwing a small disc at a small target far far away in the hopes that it will by some miracle of God make it into the basket. And our team Captain, Isaac, is superstitious, and he seems to think that because we came in second the first and second years that we can’t change ANYTHING in the subsequent years because it will break the streak. So despite my obvious inability to play, my total lack of desire to play well, and the dearth of competitive blood in my veins, I’m on the team. Luckily,  I only have to drive every third hole. 

So if you’re looking for me this Saturday you’ll find me at Burke Crenshaw Park in Pasadena, disappointing my team mates and  probably breaking a nail. And I’m sure we’ll come in second. I’ll fill you in next week, but in the meantime enjoy the lists and have a great rest of the week!

top 20

  1. Beautiful Bahamas. We'll be there again in a few months!

    making plans for (another) cruise to the Bahamas

  2. Castle on CBS
  3. skunk/possum face offs in the backyard
  4. the organizers of this past weekend’s La Porte Airplane and Auto Show
  5. candlelight dinners
  6. gold rush sundaes
  7. the promise of a cold front
  8. paying down credit cards
  9. Michael Buble
  10. Talk of the Nation on NPR
  11. sympathetic ears
  12. dress shopping for galas and holiday parties
  13. giving the benefit of the doubt
  14. wireless printers
  15. Jamey knowing how to configure the wireless printer
  16. the McSweeneys app on the iPhone/iPad
  17. The iPad game Enigmo. Keeps me busy through many a Council meeting.
  18. Jamey’s impression of Andy Rooney
  19. teachers
  20. my bed

bottom 10

  1. Furbie in the vet's office, hanging on for dear life.

    taking Furbie (or any cat) to the vet

  2. starting the week with a four-hour Council meeting
  3. exhaustion
  4. feeling in limbo
  5. all of the water evaporating from the lake at Burke-Crenshaw Park
  6. living with lousy career choices
  7. unsuccessful Priceline bids
  8. dropping the ball
  9. a wounded ego
  10. my favorite coffee mug, broken

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Not a whole lot to add to the general tops and bottoms this week, but a few notables: I was sick last weekend, as (eventually) was everyone in the Osborne household including the cats. Head cold notwithstanding, we hosted fabulous pianist and good friend Jace Vek, who performed with another fabulous pianist Heath Vercher at a concert at Lamar State College in Port Arthur. (Incidentally, Jamey plays both of those artists on his radio show and podcast, Audiosyncracy, which is how we came to know both of them). We had a really fun weekend, even though I was drugged to the gills the whole time, and the concert was fantastic. Last week was a rough one, with three very late (as in past-10-pm-late) nights and some pretty brutal days–thus the lack of blog post. This past weekend we both worked half the day on Saturday (I at the Safety Fair in La Porte and Jamey at a football game in San Marcos), and we spent Sunday in recovery mode, sleeping in super late and enjoying a day of unrepentant laziness. So far so good this week–hopefully it will stay that way! 

By the way, if you like this blog and want to know when new posts are up, you can click the handy “sign me up” button on the right, and you’ll get an email every time there’s a new post. I promise not to sell your email to spammers, or send you pictures of celebrities or my cats. In fact, I promise not to send you any email apart from blog post notifications, which will technically come from WordPress, not me. As of this posting I have exactly one subscriber, so you’ll be among the elite. Regardless of whether you subscribe, enjoy this edition–and have a great rest of the week!

top 20

  1. The Birthday Boy, Sevrin

    My nephew Sevrin, who turns FIVE this week. He’s awesome.

  2. quiet evenings
  3. RAIN
  4. lemon drop martinis
  5. planning for fun trips
  6. fabulous house guests
  7. Irish Breakfast Tea
  8. supportive colleagues
  9. sleeping in
  10. the return of television
  11. surround sound
  12. Helen Mirren’s performance (and everyone else’s) in the film The Debt
  13. positive people
  14. happy children
  15. Shel Silverstein
  16. living by the water
  17. Conde Nast Traveler
  18. palates
  19. The new fall clothes. Hopefully one day it will be Fall enough in Houston to wear them without boiling to death.
  20. frozen Thin Mint cookies on a hot September evening

bottom 10

  1. Insomnia. I’ve had it since I was a little girl, and it just sucks.
  2. conspiracy theories
  3. night terrors
  4. the fact that my cat Furbie seems to be scared to death of me
  5. unfair judgements
  6. late night meetings
  7. discouraging feedback
  8. never-ending piles of laundry
  9. Health insurance.  I’m grateful to have it, but must it be so complicated and inconvenient?
  10. ozone action days

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I can't find a credit for this photograph, but it perfectly captures how I feel about this summer.

The summer of 2011 is, for all intents and purposes, over. Good riddance to it. This was the longest, hottest, most miserable summer I can remember, and it departed with a fitting amount of drama, distress and unbearable heat. Two weeks before Labor Day weekend the East coast was hit with an earthquake. Then Hurricane Irene came roaring to the North Carolina Coast with an impressive amount of hype and an equally impressive (and sad) amount of devastation that extended all the way to New Hampshire. We saw the hottest temperatures in recorded history in our area the weekend of August 27 – 28. And it all came to a fiery denouement on Labor Day weekend with evidently the entire state of Texas burning to the ground

Natural disasters and weather-related grief were compounded this summer by work distress for both me and my husband, political turmoil on the local, state, and national levels, and the prolonged illness and ultimate demise of our family pet, George. And then our personal denouement: the death of my beautiful, sweet, wonderful paternal Grandmother, Eva, who passed away on August 22 at the age of 91 (you can read more about her in my non-list blog posts). Summers seriously don’t get any worse. 

I, for one, will be very happy to wave a not-so-fond farewell to this summer. Our weatherman is promising more reasonable weather this week. It looks like the east coast is getting a handle on the flooding and other aftermath of Irene, and hopefully the remaining hurricanes this season will avoid land and keep to themselves out in the ocean. My family and I are all moving on the way our Grandmother would want us to, and it looks like we’ll finally see some much-needed relief.

So…here’s to lower temperatures, stability, and happier times ahead!

Top 20

  1. A blessedly cooler forecast

    cooler temperatures at last

  2. saying goodbye to the summer of 2011
  3. My family. I love them, and was so happy to see all of them.
  4. my sister Kellie, who had to celebrate her 32nd birthday in Utah in the midst of funeral arrangements
  5. my Grandpa Dean
  6. looking forward to seeing our good friend and awesome musician Jace Vek this weekend
  7. the beauty of the state of Utah
  8. hanging out with Jamey’s sister, daughter, and father
  9. My adventurous aunt JoAn and Uncle Don. They’re off to Europe this week to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary
  10. Celebrating my own 11th wedding anniversary–I became Jamey’s wife on Sept. 3, 2010.
  11. my awesome neighbor, Gavin, who cleaned my cats’ litter room as an anniversary present
  12. the film The Help
  13. one of my favorite authors (Laurie R. King) celebrating the release of her new book (Pirate King) with one of my favorite organizations (826 Valencia)
  14. Moscato d’Asti
  15. the baby raccoons at Jamey’s dad’s house
  16. outlet malls
  17. my office mates, who left me beautiful bright flowers and a lovely sympathy card on my desk when I came back from my grandma’s funeral
  18. online bill pay
  19. new opportunities
  20. brunch

Bottom 10

  1. Photo by the Austin American Statesman

    out-of-control brush fires

  2. natural disasters in general
  3. this whole long, hot, miserable summer
  4. rudeness
  5. small minds
  6. dead plants
  7. mosquitos
  8. cobwebs
  9. traffic
  10. the end of a long lovely weekend

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