Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

I Knew They Would Break My Heart

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
 

Truth is, I knew the Bulldogs were going to break my heart.

I knew because it was the logical end to the worst year of my life, the one where i met disappointment and fear and pain at every turn. The one where i just slogged through 365 days in a row, hoping it would soon be over and sometimes not caring how.

It’s behind me now, the hell that i went through in the last year. I did the right thing, and the hard thing, and I walked out of my house one morning and knew my life and the lives of those I loved would be changed irrevocably forever. And I knew that I had to do it to save myself physically and mentally, and to have a chance at saving us all. It didn’t work, not the way I thought it would, but i don’t regret trying. I did it and it didn’t work out and the world did not completely fall apart, even though there have been moments where it felt like it would.

I made it through the weirdness of living in a basement for 9 months, the shared silent house split right down the middle in alternating nights at home and nights making myself scarce, through the cold division of everything two people put together over 18 years, the day we told the kids, the signing of the papers, the waiting, and the terrifying unknowns of where i would be living.  I lived through the constant deflection of my family’s worry, my fear for my children’s well-being.

I lived through the surreal and daunting prospect of buying a house before I was really ready, the packing, the moving, the friend who just didn’t show up for me when I needed them most, the realization that they never would, and the friends who did show up whom I can never repay and to whom I am forever indebted. I lived through the vomiting, the sleeplessness, the ulcers, the near-debilitating sadness and depression, the million ways i numbed myself with drinks or food or tv or sleep.

I lived through the mortifying shame and guilt and self-hatred, and through other people’s pity and “I’m so sorry”s, their tears and their questions. I lived through those last weeks, packing the bare minimum and dumping it into a new and empty house, all while my job went completely to shit, i worked weekends and nights, and I found out I would have to drive to my office in every day, adding ten to 15 hours to my work week, and that i had only a few months to work out my childcare arrangements.

I made it through an August that felt like one never-ending horrible nightmare, one I could not wake up from, one that to get through felt like barely keeping my head above water in an ocean of cement, my eyes constantly on the horizon. If I could just get there, I might be able to breathe again, and maybe sleep, and stop trying to not feel anything.

I dumped all the boxes in the new house, received my final divorce decree two days later, woke up the next morning and flew to NYC, where I spent the first 12 days of my divorce almost completely alone in a city where you are never alone. I came home, and I started putting things together, getting used to my new normal, our new schedules, the homework and the dawning realization that this is real and it is forever and something I loved very much is dead.

I lived through the first week without kids, a very weird Halloween, a child’s birthday party as a single mom, the carpools juggled, and the feeling of having to do every possible excruciating red tape insurance/governmental/financial/legal/household task I have ever done, in my whole life, all in a month. 

I lived through the first holidays –  Thanksgiving without kids, Christmas eve playing Santa all by myself, Christmas night with no kids for the first time since my son was born, and the New Year’s Eve sadness of being alone, of going home alone.

I have never felt so relieved, for a year to be over and a new one to begin. And I have been positive and healthy, a little bit more every day. I have been getting back on my feet. In 2018, I have already achieved something i did not achieve in all of 2017 (and most of 2016, for that matter); I have had whole days where I did not break down in tears.

I woke up new, on New Year’s Day. And I know now something that I doubted for a very long time. The truth is, when it comes to pushing through the pain and the stagnation and the fear, I am strong. When it comes to realizing and seeking and speaking the truth, I am one badass motherfucker. 

I knew there would be more hurdles and I knew i would clear them.

So, I watched with growing amusement that my bulldogs were gaining ground, that they might make the big game. I realized that it would be hilarious for them to make the big game. We had sent my ex to the big game in California a few years before (different team for those non-readers); we had agreed if my team ever went, we would make sure i got to go too. But that wouldn’t happen now.

So, of course, after 37 years, the Bulldogs made it to a national championship. I could see it coming from a mile away. i enjoyed it, it helped me get through the first holidays on my own, and it was one happy thing in a sea of (mostly) pain. I started laughingly telling people that I wasn’t bothering hoping they would make it to the big game, but if they did make it, it would end in heartbreak. I knew not to bother daring to believe, because I knew it would not end well. I knew that the real poetic cap to my year was one last kick in the teeth.

And that’s just exactly what happened. There was no other ending that would have fit as well. Because every time that I have been down this past year, i thought, “This must be it. Rock bottom. This must be what rock bottom feels like.” And then something else would happen and i would just laugh hysterically that I thought it could actually be over, get better, that I might, just might, catch a break.

So, people will have to cut me some slack when I say that I am not quite happy and accepting of that loss yet. It wasn’t just a football game – it was wrapped up in a whole lot more for me. It sure would have been nice to have that game go my way, to have just one goddamn thing go my way.

The truth is, though, it would have been too perfect, too pat a hand, to finish it all off with a win. And now that loss is already in the yesterdays, with all the other losses I’ve experienced. Now I’m in the present, the today. i get to leave behind hope and expectation, and just take this new life one day at a time. I can leave the mistakes behind, stop looking forward with some endgame in mind, and concentrate on making each day good and seeing what happens.  I have a white, bright 2018 ahead of me, full of possibility and new adventure and challenges, and most of all of just being with myself, the me that I almost lost in the last couple of years, without all the noise of the crowd.

(But i probably could have done all that with a W, too. Just sayin,’ Universe.)

Recipe for a Good Weekend: The Five Bs

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I know everyone else says their Labor Day weekend was great, but I’m pretty sure mine was the best.

 

First of all, I have an 11 year old now. We took him and five of his friends to the G braves game. The main thing you need to know about the Gwinnett Braves is that THEY SELL BOILED P-NUTS AT THE STADIUM.

 

It makes me feel a little off-kilter when I see how big the boys have all gotten. . .

 

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

 

They talk. A LOT. Mostly about farts. They are at a crazy age where they are still little kids, and yet almost teenagers sometimes. They listen to REALLY bad music. I mean, really bad. They think it’s good. One of them went so far as to say, “Parents don’t get it. Pop is the music of the future.” And “Mary broke her middle finger. Now she can’t use it any more.” Me: “Use it for what?” Kid: “Playing the recorder.” So, these six stayed up til like 1 am, laughing, inhaling pizza, talking smack, and playing video games. And now my basement smells like puberty.

 

~~~~~

And then there was this:

Oh, baby.

Oh, baby.

On Saturday, my sainted husband took the kids and dog to the lake, and Brett came and picked me up. Brett is my ex-husband from high school. I have known him since middle school, through high school, and into college. We have somehow stayed in touch, even though we have not lived in the same city (and sometimes country) since college. He is like family now. And the fact that he gave me first dibs on tickets (after his own family, of course) meant a lot. So, it’s not often that married folks get to spend an hour or so riding in a car, hanging out and chatting. And Brett and I got all day. (Luckily, we made it through the hellacious turn he made off of 316 into the gas station parking lot. There were squealing tires. Brett is very wild.)

 

So, we drove to Athens, parked at OMG-IT-WAS-SO-FAR. And then we walked. A lot. Fitbit says I walked over nine miles, which explains why on Sunday I felt rather similarly to the way i felt after running a half-marathon. And I didn’t even drink any bourbon while running that one.

 

What a beautiful (Hot) day it was for a walk in Athens. Oh, the people-watching. There is just not much like an SEC football town on a Saturday. So, we walked all the way from the intramural fields to North Campus. We found Brett’s cousins’ tailgate. (what the heck did people do to find each other before cel phones? I have trouble remembering.) They were gracious and gentlemanly and had lovely girlfriends (ah, to be 20-something again), and had ice and beer and . .  no mixers for the bourbon. That’s okay, it seems I can be charming when i want to – i sweet-talked some poor Clemson boy for Coke. He didn’t know what hit him.

 

Then Jason and his friend Brian showed up, and wheee! Seriously nothing better than a sunny Saturday, drinking bourbon, and people-watching with two of your oldest, favoritest people, and about 80,000 strangers.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

 

So, it came time to move on. Kickoff was at 5:30. Brett and I bade goodbye to our gracious hosts, hugged Jason, and set off to grab something to eat. I cannot begin to explain the crowds. We grabbed a hotdog from a corner vendor (flashbacks of my bachelorette party, anyone?), walked through the arches, and sat on the steps of one of the North Campus buildings and just watched people go by. There are old fans, and young fans, and couples, and the endless stream of ridiculous plays on the red and black dress. We finished up and headed towards the stadium. We took the scenic route and sat on the steps of Park Hall, just like the old days. I could have been sitting next to Kevin Fagan, doing the Red and Black crossword, smoking before class. Park has a great view, kind of up on a hill from the stadium, and the streams of people going by, and the sun hanging low in the west, and the sweet, sweet anticipation of kickoff never cease to wow me.

 

So, we headed towards the stadium in a bourbon haze, in a sea of red, and then we purchased the most trashy red and black t-shirts ever made. They are unable to be worn around children, or in polite company. (They cracked us up, and fueled by bourbon, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I am hoping that Brett will get a photo of Lucy wearing his, and send it to me. Brett and I both suspect we will get nothing but disapproving shakes of the head from our spouses, though.)

 

And then, a wave of people walking into the stadium, and to find our seats.

 

It's pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

It’s pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

 

Great seats! Okay, the good thing about the seats were the location, the view and the overhang, shielding you from the sun. The bad thing is that it was probably 95 in the shade, and then the heat was rising from below and it seemed to just sit up under the overhang. I was never so thankful for the free fan. Talk about a way to feel southern. Dress in the same colors as the other 80,000 people around you, drink bourbon on early 18th century steps, and then use a fan to cool yourself off.

 

Well, I declare, I thought Brett might have a heatstroke up in that stadium. He’s almost a Yankee now, living out there on the west coast. I guess he just wasn’t used to our heat. Bless his heart.

 

(That was my best Scarlett O’Hara. That’s all I got.)

 

So, then? The game. Brett and I spent the first half being uneasy and nervous. Dawgs just didn’t look too . . . inspired. Well, that all changed, and we got quite a show in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about that, because I believe in jinxes, and I’ve had my heart smashed to pieces the last two seasons, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for any outward emotional investment yet.

 

So, we got out of the game and rode the shuttle back out to the car, and drove back to Atlanta. All in all, it was a good day to be a Dawg.

 

 

~~~~~

Sunday, i woke up early, feet blistered, and packed a bag for the Lake. And i got there about 11. And it was, you guessed it, so hot. But i read on the dock, and the kids swam, and I drank beer with my two best friends, and I caught a bass and ate a persimmon and some berries right off the tree and vine, and then we at a steak dinner. And I watched the second half of the replay of the game, and it was just as good, and I got maybe a little excited, but JINXES. And then my husband and I did one of our favorite things, which is to sit on the dock, and listen to music, and gaze at the stars. (And a few fireworks across the lake.) The stargazing was not its best last night, a cloud covered most of the lake, but the Big Dipper and the moon were hanging low and bright in the clear western sky. It was hot and I had not showered, so i went swimming, and night swimming in the still lake, gazing at the crescent moon, with the faint notes of music in my ear is pretty damn near heaven.

 

I slept late (9? Is that late? I guess i am old.) I ate cold pancakes and drank coffee on the screened porch. And then Tiller and I rode the jet-ski, and we went to Goat Island, and it amazes/saddens me that she is so big now that she doesn’t even hold on to me when we ride. We did not see the goats, but boy was the lake busy today. And then i got back to the dock and i took Rollie out. Or should i say, he took me out. Yes, my boy is old enough to drive the thing, and I am just along for the ride. That is both wonderful and scary at the same time. (Still not old enough to take it out on his own, of course.) And my favorite part about that is that we get to have some time together, just the two of us, and we have fun, stopping to swim, and exploring the lake, and stuff like that.

 

So, i had to come home. Which makes me sad. When i was little, i used to cry about leaving the lake. I love it so. I still get sad to come back home. And now, back to the real world. The work week. The grind. But I feel pretty certain there will be a little Tuesday daydreaming about day drinking in Athens, 100-yard punt returns, fishing, swimming, and the stars.

Recipe for a good weekend: Boiled peanuts, Baseball, Bourbon, Bulldogs, and Bass.

 

*Photos courtesy of Brett Shell. It’s really hard to hold a drink while shaking one of those pom-poms and taking photos at the same time.

Part II, a.k.a. Shotgun Blast of Thanks

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I am thankful that I happened to come across a blog post i wrote two years ago on the Winter Solstice. I am thankful that I spent that lovely evening with my dog, Quint. I am thankful that I wrote about it, so I can remember what it was like to sit in the cold on the lake with him and watch stars. I am thankful I still remember what his ears felt like.

This year has been rough and a lot sad, and it has made me even more sad that I haven’t written as much as I normally do. This is part two of looking on the bright side, so that two years from now, I will maybe look back and remember the good things, not the sad ones.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

A day spent trying on hats.

A day spent trying on hats.

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

And girls drinking in trucks.

And girls drinking in trucks.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

Because it still makes me laugh every time I think of it. It is a cornucopia of laughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

And there you have it. One huge shotgun blast of thankfulness. My life is good. Really good.

Annual Temporary Annulment Day 2010

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

So, you might have heard a little rumor. It has something to do with me and a streak.

Four games. I would love to make it five, but I don’t see it happening. If it does happen, it will be amidst too much hoopla, and it will be bittersweet and contested anyway. Sigh.

Scratch that. I’ll take it.

There is something larger at stake, though. Not just four in a row in a House Divided. But my record at Auburn games. I have a bit of streak going there, too. I have never seen Auburn win a game in my presence.

I’ve been to a number of Auburn games, and not just games where they play Georgia (although those have been the sweetest). Auburn has lost every game I attended. I am the kiss of death. i am the black widow. One year i was the Blackout Widow. (By far the most beautiful Annulment Day yet.) Bama game last year? That was me. Unexpected loss to some crappy Florida team? (Florida Atlantic? Florida A&M?) Yeah, that was me too.

Cue Sympathy for the Devil.

The best thing about tomorrow is. . . well, duh. No children for a day of drinking. Second best thing? We have nothing to lose and they have everything to lose. Worst case scenario, I get really loaded, we lose catastrophically, and some really great Auburn friends rag on me for a day. I think i can take it. I mean, they took it the last four years in a row.

Plus, the look on my husband’s face while Bulldogs players and fans cranked dat Soulja Boy? No one can take that very magical, electric moment away from me. Or erase it from his memory. But just in case. . .

Sweet dreams, sugar.

This makes me laugh, even though UGA lost.

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

So, my fellow Dawg Brant and I decided to take it to one thread for the cocktail party. In real time, it went something like this.
(Copied text from Facebook, because I am too lazy to do a screen shot.)

Anne Palmer Johnson Brant and Annie’s Saturday Dawg Thread.
4 hours ago · Friends Only · Comment · LikeUnlike

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Anne Palmer Johnson Which I am pretty sure is a jinx. Murray fumble.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Let me start by saying…FUCK!!!
4 hours ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
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Anne Palmer Johnson Verizon thing v. annoying.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Hunker down you hairy dogs!
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley I like this thread idea. You’re a smart one, Annie.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Ugh
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson I think it’s a jinx.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Dude, you’ve got to be kidding me. Should we go to silence and see what happens?
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Rollie’s a jinx: Just asked what a turnover was. Rt before boykin dropped it.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Duct tape him.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley No more passing for Murray.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Yeah, let’s try silence til 2nd half. sigh.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Erik Tamplin It’s because I’m watching. Will turn it off.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Whatever works.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Damn it, Tamplin!
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley I’m halfway crying right now.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Lisa Palmer Thomas They’re com in’ back, Annie. I can feel it!
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Ken Womack Gators’ total offense vs LSU – 243 yards. Gators’ total offense vs UGA in first half – 248 yards. Thought you’d like to know.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Lisa Palmer Thomas Wow. That was cold.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Lisa, Ken is a total sweetheart. All the girls say so.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley ?3 points. Can do better than that.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Ken, another stat I am loving – 15 uga turnovers in last 4 and a half games against UF. Just sad.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips Yes!!!’. (Virginia voice)
2 hours ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
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Jason Billips F yeah!
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson I wish y’all could see the dance I just did. It was real good.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Erik Tamplin Can I turn it back on?
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson That hurt. Better turn it back off Erik.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Erik Tamplin Sorry bout that.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Aj green.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson AJ fuckin green!
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips Wow. AJ with 3 defenders!
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips Think I spotted Miss Piggy in the 2nd row behind UF cheerleaders
2 hours ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personYou like this.
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Anne Palmer Johnson OH GOD. I am about to cry.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley Here’s that sick feeling again.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson ?[breathing into brown paper bag]
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips Pass the bag
about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
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Anne Palmer Johnson Thank you god for dawg kickers.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Need bag back again.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips I want this so bad
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson WLOCP overtime? I might not make it.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Brant Rackley What the fuck?! Medic!!!!
about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
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Jason Billips Annie – u ok?
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Jason Billips I promise to say my prayers and brush my teeth
about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
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Anne Palmer Johnson oh.dear.god.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Also? Whatever happens? Murray is a badass.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
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Anne Palmer Johnson Not sure if this thread was good or bad for the team. At least it wasn’t a woodshed event.

Oh, The Anticipation

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Not ashamed to say I got a little choked up watching this.

I cannot WAIT.

The Bigass Bulldog Birdhouse Birthday

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Why, yes . . . yes, I did get a $100 dollar Georgia Bulldog birdhouse for my birthday. Funny story behind that, which I will get to in a moment. But first, I have to say that I had a lovely morning, getting to sleep late, which for people with kids means eight a.m. (Screw you, childless folk.)

I woke up to Todd and Tiller climbing in bed with me (Rollie had already caught the bus), and Todd doing a darn good version of The Beatles’ “Birthday,” with Tiller grinning like a cheshire cat and a cup of coffee materializing on my bedside table.

Coffee. In. Bed.

Then I was informed that I should finish my coffee get dressed and go downstairs. I did, and I found this:

Hundred dollar Georgia Bulldog birdhouse with hydrangea and cards.

Hundred dollar Georgia Bulldog birdhouse with hydrangea and cards.

I was a little caught off guard. That is one big ass bulldog birdhouse. Did the Tiger husband really buy me a bulldog birdhouse? Is this a joke? (Also, let’s be honest. While I am a bulldog fan, I don’t want to be those people. You know, the ones who have UGA everything. That being said, if those folks at the lake ever die, I am so going to try to buy their huge Bulldog statue they have in front of their cabin, right on the lake.)

We opened the very sweet cards from the kids and Todd, and I oohed and aahhed over the birdhouse and the hydrangea. I asked Todd, “Am i really allowed to put the birdhouse in the yard?” It seemed to pain him as he replied, “yes, baby, you just tell me where.”

“Where on earth did you get it?” I asked.

“Echo’s garage!” Tiller replied with glee. “Echo” is what Tiller calls Mr. Echols, the old man who lives next door to us. Some things you just don’t correct, because they are too cute.

I stared at Todd and then the truth came out.

Mr. Echols likes to show us stuff in his yard. He has a friend, who made him a couple of birdhouses, huge wooden deals, kind of more on the side of what Todd and I call, “Country Christian” or “Ducks in Bonnets” style than cool and funky folk art Finster-style birdhouses. Meaning, not exactly what I would choose, but neat enough.

So, Echo was showing Todd the birdhouses and telling him about the friend who makes them, and all the different styles he makes. “He also makes Georgia Bulldog birdhouses,” he said.

Todd replied, “Oh, Anne would love that!” Being polite, you know.

So, a few days before Christmas, Mr. Echols pulled Todd aside to show him my new birdhouse. That’s right. He just went ahead and had the guy make me the birdhouse. FOR A HUNDRED DOLLARS.

Todd had already bought me Christmas gifts, and he didn’t want to hurt Echo’s feelings, so he decided the birdhouse would be my birthday gift.

And what a gift it is. . . I will never look at that birdhouse without thinking that my husband, the Auburn Tiger, is sweet enough to just cough up the hundred bucks so as not to hurt Echo’s feelings, and that he loves me enough to put up a bigass Bulldog backyard birdhouse for me.

Already this birthday is pretty bitchin.’ Thanks, Toddler!

Attention! Very Last-Minute Addition to my Christmas List!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I want, I need, I love this.

I have to have it.

This makes no sense unless you watch Friday Night Lights. It is my favorite show. I don’t currently really watch it, because we don’t have it because Comcast sucks donkey dongs. I don’t understand why, but it is on a channel that we don’t get, and so I have been going through life trying to avoid at all costs hearing what is happening on the show until the new year, when Friday Night Lights will be on my very own television in my very own house.

At the lake my parents have satellite and they for some reason get the show, which is funny, because they don’t watch it. But I guess I set it up to record it while I was living there, and it recorded some of this season’s episodes. There were five of them from the new season on the DVR this weekend. There were some missing, presumably because my parents were watching CSI Special Crimes Mentalist Victim Unit Criminal Bones Minds Miami and the message mentioning that it was going to record Friday Night Lights came on, and Dad said, “What the hell is this shit?” and selected “Cancel Recording.”

I stared guiltily at those five episodes in the guide for a while. I was obviously at a precipice. I could walk away from the cliff. I realized that I should walk away.

Except that I might have accidentally watched four episodes of it before i realized that. (I was kind of like Saracen when he opened the box in that fourth episode that I wasn’t supposed to watch.) And I would have watched the fifth, but i had to nerd out on some stars.

I just couldn’t help myself. It is shameful, but I love that show so much, I even taught my kids, who are already confused enough by football allegiances, that my second favorite team is the Dillon Panthers. And now Coach Taylor has gone across the tracks to coach football at the other high school in town, East Dillon. The Lions, in case you are wondering, as my kids will when they find out my allegiances will change to from Dillon High to East Dillon.

So, when I read Melanie’s Fashion Friday edition I Can’t Feel My Face post on Big Mama, and came across her #7 choice, well, let’s just say i never knew that there was a hole in my t-shirt collection until I saw it. I have to have it.

My poor, poor confused children will have to deal.

Clark Griswold, Robert Gibbs, Bartimaeus, and Jesus

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

No, this is not the beginning of a joke. It is the only title i could come up with for this post that covered it all. It started out that I was posting about Todd’s high school friends’ husband’s light display, and veered off into a discussion of my Mother-in-law’s failed dreams for Todd’s future, Todd’s 20th high school reunion, and a Houston minister’s sermon, inspired by one of my blog posts, wherein the Minister compares me to Bartimaeus and Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. (No laughing.)

You try and give this post a better title . . . .

Yes, I know Clark Griswold. Or, at least, we’ve met. He’s married to the girl Todd was supposed to marry. You know, if my mother-in-law had gotten her way. Her name is . . .well, we’ll call her “G.,” and she and Todd went to school and church together growing up in Auburn. Their parents are friends and Todd’s mom worked at the church, and his mom finally told me one day, not long after Todd and I married, that she always wished that Todd had dated G. G was sweet and Christian and smart and exactly what Peggy thought she wanted in a daughter-in-law. I think maybe she thought some of this goodness would rub off on Todd. She must have told me 30 million times that Todd used to get in trouble in school. (I think she still holds a grudge about the wringer she was put through due to Todd’s behavior, and now that I am a parent, i understand.) G would tell her that Todd always had the smartest answers in class, and my MIL was just baffled by his behavior. G could see the goodness in Todd! She was perfect. I believe my mother-in-law also secretly coveted an arranged marriage for Todd’s younger brother and G’s younger sister. None of this came to pass, of course, because I am a complete and total Maneater, and we don’t often practice arranged marriages here in the South, even in Alabama.

I never met G. in the many years Todd and I have been together. G’s parents came to my wedding and we would see them around town when visiting Auburn. I even met G’s little sister at one point. But no matter how often i heard about her, I never met G until Todd’s 20th reunion. You know the one. Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary for President Barack Obama was there? It was the one where I got bored and pretended to be one of Todd’s absent high school friends after his sex change. Yes, I am now probably on some kind of CIA/FBI list for impersonating Robert Gibbs’ high school classmate.

So, I finally met my competition, G., and her husband, Clark. And it turned out we hit it off, and now we are friends on Facebook, and she reads my blog. She even used something she read on my blog as inspiration for one of her sermons. (Certainly a first.) Yes, she is a preacher. Or minister. Or whatever she calls herself. I am not sure. We grew up calling the person who did the sermon ‘the preacher.” If you are so inclined, please listen to the whole sermon, as G. is really a great writer and speaker. My mention in the sermon comes in about the last fourth of the sermon. I must add that she did me great justice in the sermon, because I am certainly not as compassionate as she makes me out to be. It did make for a great sermon, though!

So, with all of this high drama, I barely had a chance to get to know her husband at the reunion. I wish I had. I really want to know the man that has the vision to create the following light display. No, I am not an Auburn fan. But I married into an Auburn family, and I do have an appreciation for the fanatical desire to stamp a team logo on one’s house in large, bright, multicolored, musically-coordinated lights to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.

And I just love G. all the more for being a Minister in Houston whose house looks like this during the Christmas season.

2009 Lights On Merrimac Ridge Animated Lights from Merrimac Ridge on Vimeo.

Thanksgiving Followup

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

So, Todd didn’t cry after the game. I know I promised Iron Bowl, Part II, but I am all out of witty comments. Here is the abridged version:

We left the game, and “borrowed” a couple of cokes. We hitched a ride back to our car with Ned’s mom, Gwen. We parked at Todd’s old Jr. High and I got a good laugh out of him on his old stomping grounds. We went to Iain and Noelle’s to watch the second half. We went home and pigged out on Thanksgiving dinner and went to bed REALLY early. We got up the next day and went to the park with Todd’s dad, Todd’s brother, Wade, and our niece, Luci. We played. We left and went bowling. Todd won. The Auburn bowling alley is pretty darn good people-watching, too.

We went back over to Iain and Noelle’s to watch the Georgia/Georgia Tech game, and I came close to killing Matt, because he kept on switching over to LSU/Arkansas. There were eight people there, and ten dogs. yes, I said TEN. Quint came too. He was nervous, what with all the butts to sniff and nudge, and the fact that Iain was cooking ribs, and a couple of the dogs got into the grease under the grill, so they smelled like ribs, and a little bitch named Lela didn’t like him one bit, and kept growling at him. There was Lela and her brother, who was well-behaved and so i can’t remember his name, and T’s puppy, Coden, and the four of them finally settled down on the couch with Lela’s Daddy Matt and me. A brown dog love fest. There was also Casey, Sammers, and Ginger, along with Bodhi (spelling?) and Omar. Wait. Maybe that’s nine. Or I’m forgetting a dog. Oh, Butters from next door! Ten!

They all slept around and begged ribs, and at one point, I thought they were gonna eat T and Matt for sure.

All in all, v. fun. Then we got home and slept late, and there were no kids there when i got up, because they went to Sunday School with my in-laws. Then we ate Cracker Barrel after church (which we didn’t go to, but we met the kids and in-laws after) and then we sat in Thanksgiving traffic on the way back to Atlanta.

(Mouse over a photo for the caption.)