Monthly Archives: June 2005
I can say firmly without a doubt that until last night I have never watched the NBA draft. I watch the NFL draft every year like my life depended on it, but the NBA draft never really interested me. That whole lottery thing confuses me, so I just didn’t ever bother…and besides who puts their league draft on during a weekday and only has 2 rounds. But I digress….
Last night I watched for the pure pleasure of getting to see the 2005 National Championship Tarheels just one more time in the same place. People kept saying to me yesterday…how do you feel about Marvin Williams going 2nd instead of 1st. Ok…who really cares…1st or 2nd…he’s still going to the NBA. And whoever picks 2nd may be a better fit for Marvin’s talent and playing style. (Side Note: Michael Jordan–that guy who has retired 3 times from the NBA–was a first round #3 pick.) So at 7:30 instead of anticipating the Bush speech, I was watching ESPN; not all that uncommon, really. David Stern came out and gave the first pick of the draft and it wasn’t Marvin Williams. No big deal. It’s not like just because he isn’t #1 he’s not going to be picked at all. The draft continues and Marvin gets picked 2nd by Atlanta. Raymond is picked 5th by Charlotte. Sean and Rashad are still sitting there with no hat on their head. But I’m not nervous. They’re going to get picked. Around the time that the 13th pick (Charlotte) is on the clock, I think to myself, wouldn’t it be funny if Charlotte picked Sean at #13.
Then David came out and said Sean’s name for Charlotte’s second first round pick. I thought I was going to wake the neighbors (if they’d actually been asleep at 8:30). I was (and still am) so freaking excited about them getting to play together and getting to stay in North Carolina that I half way considered buying season tickets even though I’d never get to use them. After a little more research, I discovered that Charlotte and Washington are in the same division in the Eastern Conference and actually played each other 6 times this past season (including the preseason). Now I just have to find out if ticketmaster will sell me tickets to all the Charlotte games…is there a special package I can get?!?!?
Rashad McCants (another underclassman to declare from UNC this year) was chosen 14th, but sadly Jawad Williams (the only UNC senior to try out for NBA teams) was not chosen. Kennedy Winston (Alabama Basketball player) wasn’t chosen either. But they could still become free agents or go overseas and play for Italy or something. It worked for Dante Calabria (and obscure UNC reference I know). In any case, my first viewing of the NBA draft was quite eventful. And as long as Charlotte will have them (or can hang on to them) I’ll be excited to see Sean and Raymond on the same court. GO HEELS!
1994: Byron De La Beckwith…CHECK
(Rest in Peace: Medgar Evers)
2001: Thomas Blanton…CHECK
(Rest in Peace: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley)
2002: Bobby Frank Cherry…CHECK
(Rest in Peace: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley)
2005: Edgar Ray Killen…CHECK
(Rest in Peace: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner)
Today is Father’s Day, and I hope everyone out there took a little time out of their day to remember and honor their fathers. Just like I have many “obsessions” in my life that I can attribute to my mother’s influence, I have many “obsessions” that I attribute to my father as well. Here are the most important/most significant/most obvious ones I could think of (in no particular order).
Football, especially Alabama Football and Bear Bryant
The importance of Education and to never stop learning
Country Music (although I prefer the newer stuff and he likes the good ole’ boys)
Meeting and learning about new people
Always having a half to a full tank of gas in my car
Regular oil changes and general car maintenance
Always having cash on hand…even if it’s change
Being cautious with a little err of spontaneity
Belgian Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream
Never giving up
So maybe it’s a short list, but these are things that I LOVE/ADORE/OBSESS OVER and I can fully attribute their presence in my life to my father. Think about it…what things do you love that are a direct result of your father introducing you to them or teaching you about them?
I’m sure you can tell from my blog that I have some really random thoughts and every now and then things just hit me…my mind wanders and suddenly I’m daydreaming or off on some wild tangent that no one ever would have seen coming. So, it came as no surprise to me that the other day I walked smack-dab into a tangent. I pushed the button on the elevator at work on my way to my office. I noticed at the top of the elevator that the car was coming from the floor I was going to. Then, I think as pure entertainment for myself, I started thinking about the things that an elevator might say or think…if it could.
“Oh goody…another customer…and just when I was about to nap.”
“Good grief…I just came from the 3rd floor…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be…believe me.”
“Read the sign people…it says MAX 2,000 pounds…not tons.”
“These people know just how to push my buttons.”
“Oh sure…Uncle OTIS gets to work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and I’m stuck here in Duluth…nothing ever happens in Duluth that has to ‘stay’ in Duluth.”
“Now if I can just get myself stuck these people will have to hit the alarm and those HOT firemen will come and pull my doors open, again.”
“NO, KID…it’s NOT fun to stop on EVERY floor.”
I’m sure I could come up with many more, but that’s all I’ve got for right now. Any additions of your own???
I see tons of people every day who I don’t know anything about except that on that particular day they are riding the bus or the metro to wherever they’re going (work, home, play) or they’re walking around Union Station or the Pentagon. Every now and then I’ll wonder (on my way to or from work) what that person’s story is. Everyone has a story…even if they think they don’t. Call it nosy or call it human interest, but I love to hear, read, learn about other people’s lives. As a result, I’m a huge fan of biographies and autobiographies. I work in a place with some pretty important people; major power brokers who have amazing life stories to tell about how they got to where they are now. But some of the most amazing stories I’ve ever heard come from people who have very little power (according to society’s definition).
I’m not an extrovert (contrary to what most people might think). If I’m around a bunch of people that I know, then extroverted tendencies do come out, but put me in a room where I know no one and have to mingle…oh I’m horrible…your classic wallflower. So, I don’t necessarily see myself actually walking up to one of these people that I commute with every day and saying, “tell me your story.” They’d probably call metro police on me and have me committed. But, still, I wonder: what do they do?, where are they from?, are they married?, do they have kids?, are they happy?, do they know God?, could they use prayers?, what are their hopes and dreams?, what did they want to be when they grew up and are they actually doing that?…in short, what’s their story?
I don’t believe in regrets or what ifs. I don’t like to question myself about what I should have done or said. I don’t like wondering what someone would have said if I’d just asked the question I so desperately want answered. So, why is it so hard this time? I’ve never EVER had a problem asking guys out or telling a guy that I’m interested in him. But something’s holding me back this time. I really think that “something” is the little voice in my head telling me that he’d never in a million years say yes so why bother. It’s not a fear of rejection. It’s more of a why put either one of us through the uncomfortableness of the conversation of me telling him I’m interested if I “think” I know the answer already. Of course I don’t know for sure that he’ll say no, but that little voice inside my head isn’t usually wrong. I know I’m probably counting myself out before I even get started, but after nearly 16 years (I was 11 when I first asked a guy out) of asking people out and getting turned down, I’ve gotten pretty used to hearing that answer. In fact, I’ve probably heard just about every form of the word “no” there is to hear. But really…if you’ve only ever heard no are you supposed to just stop asking? What if that one time I decide not to ask is the one time that “no” becomes “yes?” See…there’s that what if that I hate! This is never an easy thing to decide. Because really no matter how many times you tell yourself that you’re ready for both answers…yes and no…are you really? There is usually that little pang of emotional hurt that I feel at the onset of the “no” answer, but honestly this time I’m more prepared for the “no” answer more than I am for the “yes” answer. I mean really after all this time…what would I do if I got a “yes?” It’s quite the leap of faith to put yourself out there and lay your heart on the line not TRULY knowing what the other person will say, and I’ve never had a problem taking that leap of faith before. Could it be that I’m afraid he’ll actually say, “yes?”
My future sister-in-law went into the “fake” Demetrios store in Tampa this past weekend for one of the other bridesmaids to try on the dress. While she was there, she talked to the store manager about the experience I had up here at Macy’s. The Tampa store manager called the corporate office and spoke with the Southeast Regional Director about it all (VA is included in this region). The regional director was outraged by the experience I had, and although I didn’t know the woman’s name that “helped” me at Macy’s, I did give a pretty good description of her to Janet. The regional director believes she knows who it was and told the Tampa store that the woman would be dealt with.
This morning I woke up in a little bit of a funk…a little off. I couldn’t figure out why. I mean I got a perfectly good nights sleep, but still I was a little off; a little unfocused. Then I got to work, looked at the calendar, and realized exactly what it was. Twenty-one years ago today, I lost the very first piece of my heart. I was 5 years old. As a matter of fact, it was 2 months exactly to the day before I turned 6 when my maternal grandmother passed away. There are lots of things I remember about that day. They are mini-snapshot movies in my memory that I see quite vividly. It still hurts…that kind of emotional hurt that you can actually physically feel in your heart. She and I share middle names and it’s something I’ve always cherished because it feels like I have a special part of her that no one else could ever have. I had to learn at an early age what death was all about, and it certainly wasn’t easy. I didn’t understand everything, then, but I did understand that she wasn’t coming back, that she couldn’t hug me, that I wouldn’t see her smile or hear her laugh. I think about her often, but I think about her a lot more on her birthday and on the anniversary of her death. Most of the time when I think about her it’s for selfish reasons like wishing I could talk to her about some boy I like or wondering what she’d think of me all grown up and independent. Would she be proud? Would we be close? Even though we may feel her life was too short, I always try to think about the idea that God called her home all those years ago because her smile had lit up this world as long as He saw fit and that He needed that smile to light up Heaven. I’ve felt her presence many times during my life…during highs and lows…during graduations and other milestones, but no matter how many times I might feel her with me spiritually, it never takes away the pain of June 10th and how desperately I wish just one more time that she could sit next to me, laugh with me, hold my hand, and smile.
Every year on June 1st, the back of my mind starts it’s wheels to turning, and they don’t stop turning until November 30th. You see, I grew up in Florida. For 18 years, the time from June 1st to November 30th was a “dark, walk-on-eggshells” kind of time. Then I moved to Alabama for college and then to Virginia for the “real world.” In my 27 years of life, I have never (knock on wood) been through a hurricane, but I sure have lived in fear of them. The closest I ever came to experiencing one I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade. Hurricane Floyd reared his ugly head and was actually headed straight for us, but at the last minute, he changed his mind and clipped the southern tip of Florida on his way out to the Atlantic. Hurricane Andrew had his sights set on making a treck across Southwest Florida from Homestead, but he changed his mind, too. This kind of stuff makes you numb by about the time you turn 10. In fact, when Hurricane Isabel threatened the DC Metro area a couple years ago, I really didn’t flinch. I went into Hurricane preparedness mode and started handing out pointers to everyone. Whether you’ve been through one or not, in Florida you’re conditioned to know every preparedness step there is. Isabel turned out to be a lot less interested in us and a lot more interested in Richmond and the Virginia and Maryland coasts. Then, the 2004 Hurricane season arrived……..
I didn’t expect it to be as active as it was. You never really do when you’ve been through as many uneventful seasons as I have. You see, I grew up in a town that I’ve known about since 1981, but not too many people outside of the general vacinity knew about it until last year. I grew up in Charlotte County: Hurricane Charley’s landfall point. The season didn’t stop there, and unless you lived under a rock last year, you know that Florida seemed to be the prime target for all the storms. Go figure…I make it through 26 years of life before a Hurricane ever seriously threatened my home town and then in one year at least 3 storms were, at one time, headed straight for it. I wasn’t there for the storm, but my family still lives there and they survived along with minor damage to the house. In the grand scheme of things, they were lucky. Thousands of people are still living in trailers waiting for their new homes to be built, and here we are at the beginning of a new hurricane season……..
I monitor the National Hurricane Center website every day during Hurricane Season: watching for storms, checking their tracks, and praying I don’t see a track heading for my home nor anyone else’s home. Today, the first Tropical Storm was named for the Season. Allow me to introduce Arlene. Hurricanes are by far the deadliest storms out there. Each hurricane carries with it all types of weather except for snow. When a hurricane makes landfall it drops rain, wind, hail, and even tornadoes along its path, making it difficult to know what to expect next. Arlene isn’t expected to become a Hurricane before she makes landfall (currently predicted somewhere around Gulf Shores, AL or Orange Beach, AL about mid-day Saturday), but considering how much prediction actually became truth last year, I’ll reserve the right to be skeptical. I’ve never been all that afraid of things in my life, but if I had to make a short list, hurricanes would be pretty close to the top.
With that said…May God whose only Son quieted the storms Himself watch over this world during Hurricane Season, and should any storm become deadly and destructive, may God be with the people in the storm’s track.
I think the last time I actually got to do NOTHING on Saturday was February. Even then, it was because I had bronchitis, and my doctor ordered me to. March, April, and May were especially busy with planning church events, having church events, etc. Now, June is shaping up to be just as busy. Take, for example, this past weekend.
SATURDAY: My friends, Bryant and Darla, are moving to Texas this week, so we had a going away party for them on Saturday. It was scheduled from noon to 5, but I could only stay for about 2.5 hours. Around 2:30 I left to go to Ian Kerby’s 2nd Birthday party. (Side Note: I accidentally forgot my camera or I would have pictures to show you of this adorable kid and just how much he is loved. I especially need a picture of him on the motorcycle [power wheels type] his mommy got him while he was wearing the orange Harley Davidson shirt I got him. All he needed was a temporary tattoo on his upper arm and he would have looked perfect.) After Ian’s birthday party, I left to go to the bowling alley in Chantilly to chaperone the Teen Hang Time. I love the youth group at our church. They are some of the nicest teenagers I’ve ever met, and half of them don’t act like teenagers, which is really impressive to me. By the time, I finished at the bowling alley, some friends of mine decided we needed a late dinner. So, we did that and then I think I got home around 11:45 or so.
SUNDAY: I got up for 1st service at church and then started the summer quarter in my Bible class. I “teach” the seedlings class, which is the 0-12 months group in the nursery. So basically we sing a bunch of “Bible themed God made everything” songs to keep their attention while the parents are away at their own Bible classes. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve got a whole new crop of babies to play with this quarter. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but I’m REALLY excited about having Sam Drown in my class. He’s the most adorable, happy baby I’ve ever met. Anyway…after Bible class, I met up with my small group (Bible study group). My previous group was getting too large, so we decided to split. This past Sunday was our first meeting after the split. My group now meets at 2pm, but this first time we had to meet up after Bible class because a few of us had an obligation that afternoon. We went to IHOP for an organizational, “what do you want out of the group” meeting over pancakes and STUFFED FRENCH TOAST. It’s the little things like stuffed french toast that make me smile. After IHOP, I went to the Senior Banquet for the graduating high school seniors at our church. (Note my adoration for this group above). I started doing lock-ins with the teen group about 3 years ago and, so this is my first group that I really got to know. Sammie Young was the speaker (see my entry on Sammie from May 21st). He did a fantastic job and almost made me cry. Then they showed the slide show of each of the graduates from birth up to Senior picture. That did make me cry. Next, they handed out gifts. Finally, we could take pictures. I took tons, but I haven’t had a chance to upload them for this site. After the banquet, I got to go home and relax. The beauty of the 2pm small group is that I will get to go home and relax for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
So that was my weekend…jam-packed as it might have been. It was rewarding because I did have a good time, but boy am I exhausted: emotionally and physically. I don’t really like saying good-bye to anyone and this weekend I had to say good-bye to Bryant and Darla and start thinking about saying good-bye to the seniors who are going off to college. But I did get to see a 2 year old open some really awesome toys and hang out with the teens while they bowled. It’s give and take I suppose, but I really just want some sleep. 🙂