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Omaha! Omaha!

Friday, January 31st, 2014

We have to talk about the Denver Broncos. We just have to.

Let me preface this by saying that historically, I was never a fan of a single team in any sport. As a child, my heroes were singers and the cast of “Full House.” After 6th grade, I never played organized sports. In fact, I loathed physical activity – because give me a spot on the couch with the VCR and a bag of makeup. I joined the marching band so I didn’t have to take P.E., because I literally would have rather worn a plumed hat than sweat.

I got it in my head at an early age that I wasn’t good at sports – so why pay attention to them?

But in 2010, a fateful thing happened: I moved to Denver. It was the beginning of Tebow-mania – and love him or hate him, that guy made Broncos games worth watching because you never knew what was going to happen. It could be a disaster or it could be magic, and the city spent a couple of seasons on the edge of their stadium seats, never quite sure which they would witness.

One night in November, I had been shopping at the Park Meadows Mall and was heading through the food court on my way to the car. As I walked toward the doors, I noticed that the game was playing on a few big screen TVs and that everyone – EVERYONE – had stopped in their tracks to watch. Without knowing what was going on, the electricity in the air was obvious even to me. I found myself drifting toward the game, and was quickly enveloped into the crowd. And in the last 6 minutes of that game against the Jets, I watched as Tebow led the team to come from behind and score two touchdowns for a Broncos victory.

And the crowd literally went wild. There at the mall, absolute mayhem broke out, strangers were high-fiving me, the noise level was off the charts, and I even saw a man shed some tears. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a sports fan – all of a sudden, I was a Denverite.

And just like that, I was paying attention to football.

Becoming a Broncos fan proved to be a turning point for me in my Denver tenure. Up until that point, friendship had proven difficult and I was checking Craigslist for apartments in different cities just about every day. I was lonely and felt displaced. But all of a sudden, I had a point of connection with the people around me. It’s like the Broncos had been a foreign language, but now I knew some of the words. I had something to say to the grocery checkers, my next door neighbors, strangers at parties. And suddenly, in this city in which I previously had zero investment, I started to gain some traction.

I’ve now lived in Denver for over 4 years – twice as long as I lived in Nashville, which is bonkers and hard to believe. I love this city and my life in it. There are a few things to which I attribute this sense of Denver becoming “home”: buying a house, obviously. Getting a bike, because it’s easier to feel connected to the people around you when you’re passing each other and breathing the same air, as opposed to next to someone else in a car. Adopting Foxy, because a dog is the very best excuse for conversation with strangers. Spending every possible minute I can in the mountains. A job that most days, I really love.

But before all of that was the Broncos, a team that has been more and more fun to root for over the past few years (Peyton Manning, we love you!).

I’m sure there’s a girl in Seattle who would say that the Seahawks have had the same effect on her life, but that girl isn’t me. So despite the hundreds of people in my Facebook newsfeed who are cheering on the other team, on Sunday you’ll find me unapologetically in orange and blue.


Catch-up confessions

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned.  It’s been 7 days since my last blog post.

But maybe you’ll have mercy if I tell you that plenty of life has been going down around these parts.

For starters, my friend Carl (SHOUT OUT) came to Colorado to visit, and stayed at the Hooker House for a few nights (sorry Carl, you probably don’t want that sentence written about you on the internet). Carl is one of my favorite people, and we spent a good deal of time a) talking about life, love, and other mysteries (not this), b) sipping quaffable beverages, and c) watching YouTube videos. This cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is my new favorite thing, and has inspired me to learn the song on guitar myself. I’m getting semi-okay at it.

Speaking of “Fast Car,” I got an $80 speeding ticket in the mail. One of those cameras caught me. Rats.

My friend Greg (SHOUT OUT) plays keys for Allen Stone, and they swung through Denver last week for a show. Holy. Cow. Allen Stone is the most ridiculously soulful singer, born to perform, with one of the greatest voices I’ve heard. If you haven’t heard his stuff, check it out – “Sleep” is a favorite.

The Handy Graham (SHOUT OUT) slept on the couch on Saturday night, and yesterday morning, he, Becca, and I drank coffee, ate eggs, and, well, sang “Fast Car.” Just another morning at the Hooker House.

I’ve never been a fan of a sports team – ever. But the Denver Broncos have won me over. I live three blocks from the stadium, so they’ve never been easy to ignore – but their last couple of games have sealed my interest. I’m paying attention. And as foreign as it feels, I think this makes me a “fan” of something – I mean, other than music and books and food – something sporty.

I will finally, finally be getting my Subaru back today. It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve held the precious steering wheel it in my ever-loving clutches. If anyone ever tries to steal my car again, so help me, I will use my Cuisinart blade against them like a Japanese ninja star.

Tomorrow, I’m telling Denver “peace out” for a few weeks, as I’ll be traveling to Nashville for work and then Kansas City for the holidays. This will be my last trip to Nashville for a long time – stay tuned for some ch-ch-ch-changes.

Friday fun facts

Friday, July 15th, 2011

What do you do when it’s Friday, and you have no real brain space or time, but you still want to say things?

You just say them.  All in a row.

Like this…

I got a haircut.  No more mermaid hair – although, correspondingly, no more dead head.

If you have ever prayed, “Dear God, please can there be a movie that combines “The Sandlot” and “Signs” and “Independence Day”?” then guess what.  Your prayer has been answered, and it’s called “Super 8.”  I LOVED IT.

I’m taking the first week of August off of work.  No plans – except to climb as many mountains as I can, and do fun things, and turn 29 years old.

Tom Petty is proof that a man doesn’t have to be attractive to be sexy.  That is just the strangest phenomenon.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to a professional lacrosse game.  I’m never quite sure which sport is lacrosse, and which is rugby, and which is polo.  I feel like all involve grunting?  Time to do some research.

I don’t think I know anyone in Denver with a truck.  Does anyone in Denver have a truck?  (I know – that is the question that every truck-owner doesn’t want to answer.  Except I’m SO nice, and I make very good cookies.)

Lately, I’ve been missing Seattle so much I can barely breathe.  I haven’t been there in almost a year.  This is so wrong.

But it’s pay day.  This is so right.

A short post consisting entirely of baseball-related idioms

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I’m far from a major leaguer, but I don’t think I’m off base in saying that today I’m throwing you a curveball.

This may come out of left field, but today, I’m in a bit of a pickle. It seems that the Natural me is taking a rain check, so screwball me is pinch hitting.  The Natural me is on deck for tomorrow, but until then, it’s a whole new ball game. I’m hardly batting a thousand, but I hope I’m at least in the ballpark.

This whole thing is probably hit or miss, and now I’m down to the last out. But it ain’t over til it’s over, and there’s still a chance I’ve knocked it out of the park. Be sure to touch base and let me know.


Friday, August 8th, 2008

It’s finally here: 08.08.08. How cute. If I were the marrying kind, perhaps I would choose to have a wedding on this oh-so-memorable date. But you know, I’ve always loved October. Maybe I should shoot for a wedding on 10.10.10. It’s a Sunday. Consider this my save the date – groom to be interpolated later. Maybe I’ll be like the presidential candidates, saving the grand REVEALING of their running mates until the last possible second.

Surprise, Mom. It’s Mick Jagger.

Today marks the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. I’ll be honest: I have not been excited in the slightest about this summer’s Olympic games. There has been so much controversy, from political tensions to riots at the torch relays to steroids to the revoking of Joey Cheek’s visa… Why should I get excited? There’s not exactly a lot to celebrate in our world right now.

But this morning on the Today show, I heard that out of the 205 countries that are participating in this summer’s games, 87 have never won a medal. Not one. Ever. For the overwhelming majority of the athletes who will march into China’s National Stadium today, they have no chance at winning; rather, this is the achievement – simply to be there. We might not ever know their names or their stories, but they have worked and toiled and sacrificed for years to reach this point. And that is worth both my attention and my accolades.

I understand that Michael Phelps has the very good chance at winning 8 gold medals in the various swim-events. And wouldn’t that be amazing? Making him, an insanely ripped man in a Speedo, the most decorated Olympian EVER, in all of history? However, always one to root for the underdog, part of me wonders if anyone might have the chance of beating him. Because wouldn’t THAT be even MORE amazing?

It could happen, you know. Because for some absurd reason, Phelps is currently sporting some Fu Manchu action. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t swimmers go to great length to SHED all of their hair? Anyway.

I’ll be watching tonight, if for no other reason than the fact that my Word of the Day from is:

vexillology \vek-sil-AHL-uh-jee\, noun:
The study of flags.

It’s a sign.

– – – – – – – –

And finally, as a follow-up:

Turns out I was wrong:
I am dark enough for beige.
I stand corrected.

And just like that…

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

… all of my wildest underdog Disney sports movie dreams came crashing down.

Bracket racket, and "2"

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Yesterday was momentous, as I filled out my first-ever March Madness bracket.

The night before this happened, I was on the phone with Graham, asking, “So, this whole March Madness thing? Is it basketball? Why is it ‘madness’? Who plays? Everyone? And then each team that wins plays another team? Until one team wins the entire thing? What happens if you fill out your bracket with the right predictions? What do you win? Is this important at all?” Clueless.

For several years now, I have been invited to join the Clader family bracket, but have ignored the invitation. Because really, who cares, right? But not this year. This is the year of The Living Big, meaning that I need to do things that I normally might not do. March Madness bracketing is a perfect example of something I might not normally do.

Hannah sent me an invitation to join the bracketing mayhem, and I painstakingly filled out my prophecies. My process went like this:
a) Look at the two teams.
b) Read the names silently to myself.
c) Say the names out loud.
d) Choose based on phonetics, and whether or not I had ever heard of the school before.

There are a lot of colleges that I just didn’t know existed.

In the end, I wound up with Georgia winning the tournament. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I like the sound of the word Georgia, and I definitely knew that it existed.

Bonus feature:
After finishing the bracket, I had the opportunity to enter something in a box labeled “Tiebreaker.” What were they asking for? A number? A yes/no? A person’s name? I went with my gut instinct and answered “2.” That sounded good. As it turns out, “Tiebreaker” is asking for the total score in the final game. So no, Annie, most likely, the answer will not be “2.” I think it’s safe to say that I will not win.