Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Yep, life really is like a roller coaster ride

I will start this blog entry on a happy note because I must end it with sad news.

Sometime last week, my usual bout with Seasonal Affective Disorder took a turn from the February hide-in-bed-watching-movies-and-knitting-with-a-2lb.-box-of-SeesCandies-at-my-side stage to the coming-out-of-it-with-manic-energy stage. That is good news. I've been singing and dancing and otherwise jamming to spend all of this pent-up winter blues energy. (My favorite new song on my iTunes lineup is Chely Wright's energetic rockabilly remake of "You Never Can Tell.")

But the good news doesn't stop there. Back in January, still reeling from the November elections when my side got its butt emphatically kicked to the curb, and then learning of the school board's nefarious plan to shut down my daughter's elementary school, I decided I had had enough of always being on the losing side of everything. It was time to find a winning horse. What could it be? The answer came one day when I observed my hubby listening to yet another sporting event on the internet radio. Hmm. I seemed to remember that my alma mater had a pretty good basketball team. "Hey honey, do you know what's up with Duke this year?" "Oh, the usual. They're loaded as always, in the top 10, of course." A winning horse.

So I decided to become a fan. I googled the Duke basketball schedule and nearly every game would be televised, most on ESPN. I started watching. It was hard at first because I didn't really have a clue what was going on. I was a typical Cameron Crazy during my student years, but that was two decades ago. Since then, I have been worried about other things, such as trying to get people to stop driving so much (another losing horse). I didn't know the name of a single Duke player. But thanks to ESPN, I got up to speed in the past two months.

One thing I immediately noticed when tuning in was that Duke, despite its top 10 ranking, seemed to be the underdog in almost every game, according to the sportscasters. Even Dick Vitale (why is he at every Duke game?), who had previously given the impression of liking the Blue Devils, was very uncomplimentary about this year's team, except for J.J. Redick, who he keeps calling "the best shooter who has ever lived!" So I wondered if I had picked the wrong year to become a fan.

My doubts were answered this past weekend when I got to cheer as my team beat my hubby's team in the ACC Tourney semi-finals and then hung on to cut the nets down the next afternoon as ACC champion. Woo woo woo woo woo!!! As for the incredible J.J., everytime he makes one of those impossible 3-pointers, I want to start humming, "hey, hey look at me, I'm Mrs. Robinson." What a hottie!

So now my team has a surprise number one berth in the big show. Even if the Devils don't make it all the way, it feels great to be along for the ride as long as it lasts.

I have recently discovered another surprising aspect to this. Apparently, in the years in which I was completely ignoring sports, Duke turned into Carolina. How did that happen? Back in my day, Carolina was the most hated team in the world. It was ABC. Duke was loved! Now it's ABD. Apparently, the only place in which the Devils are cheered now is Cameron. Well, I may in a time warp, but I still remember how to hate Carolina. May they go down in Round 1!!!

Devastatingly Sad News

Even since I've been doing this blog, I've had a link to my friend's blog, The Cornered Curmudgeon. If you click that link, you'll see that there will be no more brilliant insights from the curmudgeon, now revealed as Bob Conn. Bob's death is a deep, personal and grievous loss to those of us who were blessed to know him personally, but it is also a loss for humanity. He was an uncommonly wise man. Our world was richer with his presence and it will be poorer with his absence. But I am resolved to do as a friend suggested at last night's memorial service -- that those of us who knew him live the rest of our lives as a tribute to him. It will be no easy task.

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