Story Time: Drunk Golfing is the Best Golfing

Sometimes you just need a drink at 8am.  Sometimes that drink is at a golf course club house with your work acquaintances and a hot bartender who is going to feed you vodka like water all day.  Sometimes you’re a hot mess.

I’ve learned a lot of morals in my 25 years.  Things like; don’t swim after a fin in the ocean because you think it’s a dolphin that you want to name Cornelius and become friends with.  Or don’t go out on a rooftop in NY in January when you’re drunk and its covered in ice.  Or most importantly; don’t talk to someone dressed as a nun with no legs playing electronic ‘Wheel of Fortune’ games in a New York City hotel lobby.  I suppose those are stories for other times.  In this story the moral was…..um…..well how about I just tell the story and then we can figure out the moral together.  It will be like a team building exercise.

The company I was working for had a golfing event in Rochester, NY which was about an hour or so from Syracuse where I was living.  I will use code names as to protect everyone’s identity.  I drove out with my co workers, Dom and Queen Beatrice.  Dom was the Dirty Old Man of the group, hence my name for him.  You know this guy, we all know this guy; the old guy who is the most helpful person you know, but also has the most dirty jokes.  We all love this guy.  And I don’t feel the need to explain Queen Beatrice, mainly because I’m not 100% sure where I got it from.  We were playing in foursomes and our fourth was already there.  We’ll call him Babaloo.

We were early for our 9am tee time and walked into the club.  The bartender was just walking in and Dom was the first to break the ice.  “Welp, it’s almost 9.  Get me a scotch.”  Once he had ordered I knew I had to represent for the non AARP card holding members of the group so I ordered myself a vodka tonic.  The bartender was young, hot and serving me vodka.  The only thing that can be assumed from this point on is that I was going to be in intoxicatingly intoxicated trouble.  Say that 5 times fast…while intoxicated.

We had a phenomenal time golfing.  I hit things, I drank, I tanned, I flirted with my boss; it was a superb day.  After the first 9 holes we were all getting loose.  And by loose, I mean me and Babaloo were pulling 360’s down hills in our golf cart.  Throughout the day we indulged from the lovely little man driving around the course with adult beverages and stopping back to the club house to see my shot serving boyfriend.  Then it happened.  The tipping point came.  If I drink all day at a steady pace; I’m an all star, no worries.  But all of that went out the window when I met my match: The Travel Mug.  Queen Beatrice had brought vodka and cranberry juice to make our own cocktails on the course because we’re classy bitches like that.  She had decided to call it a day, knowing she had to drive us home that night.  So she offered me what was left, saying it wasn’t much.  She handed me the travel mug.  I assumed it was the pre-mixed cocktail and figured I’d just slam what was left.  I was parched and didn’t want it to get warm, ok?  What happened next was a series of Darth Vader breaths mixed with squeaking and severe eye watering.  I had just gulped down roughly 3 shots of straight vodka.  Oops.

After Queen Beatrice picked her jaw off the fairway she told me that was straight vodka. I thanked her for warning me by tipping over and falling directly on my ass.  After the game wrapped up we headed to the club house for a complimentary buffet dinner where they had give aways and speeches…I think.  The dinner portion of the evening is a little foggy.  I do remember heading to the bar to see boy toy bartender and do shots with Dom.  As cute bartender poured more lemon drops for me and shots of Jameson for Dom, I could feel my balance, speech and chance of keeping my job after this weekend all slipping away.  But I hung in there.  I’m Princess Champion, damn it.  (By the way, I did end up keeping my job.  I think it’s my lovable charm that saved me once again.) With Dom being the oldest on the team in the state and me being the youngest; it only made sense that we were the group’s alcoholics.  Once they stopped eating “dinner” and I stopped eating ice cubes and limes at the bottom of my cocktails we had to head home.  My sexy drink retriever gave me his number and I left with Dom and Queen Beatrice.  It took me a solid 20 minutes to remember we were in Rochester and had a drive home ahead of us.  Then it also hit me that I live an hour away from bar boy.  Yelping, “What city are we in?!” was my subtle way of figuring this out.  Needless to say; bartender’s napkin phone number went out the window.  The drive home would prove to be my kryptonite.  There was far too much vodka swishing around in my tum tum with far too much nothing else.  Every time we hit a speed bump it sounded like a water jug when it bubbles after pouring yourself a cup.  I believe I made Queen Beatrice stop at one point for something…or something.  Then I also believe that I got rid of the only thing in my system; vodka.  I did this by throwing up in case you couldn’t figure that out.  It was basically like someone spitting up water after they’ve drowned.  I bet Queen Beatrice was pretty happy I opted for a liquid dinner at this point.  I’m not typically a ‘sicky’ when I drink.  So this came as a surprise to me.  So now when I drink on a golf course for 10 hours I tend to avoid long car rides immediately following.  I’m not stupid.

When we got to my apartment I had one last task I would be faced with.  I had to get my golf clubs up the stairs to my 2nd level apartment.  I convinced Queen Beatrice I’d be fine on my own.  I can be very persuasive, although also very wrong.  I got on the first step and immediately was dragged backwards by the clubs and fell, once again, directly on my ass.  Attempt two looked painfully similar.  This wasn’t going to work.  But I’m a thinker; an idea woman.  So, I took out each and every club and carried them upstairs separately and the bag also.  It took roughly 6 trips and 30 minutes but, ahoy!  I made it!  It was so exciting that I’m using the word ahoy!  It was still only about 10pm at this point and I was supposed to attend a surprise party.  I decided to take a quick power nap on the couch and then make someone come get my drunk ass and take me to the party.  This power nap of course turned in to me sleeping until around 2:30am and being woken up by my roommate when she got home from work.  I was confused, I was thirsty and I had 16 missed calls / texts, give or take, asking where I was.  I had to respond before drifting back off to dreamland and wasn’t really sure what to say.  But decided honesty was the best policy.  “Sorry I missed your party.  I was drunk golfing in Rochester for the past 10 hours and then passed out.  I understand if you want to find better friends.  Love, Amy.”

So I guess there are a few morals I could take away. I’ll tell you what my biggest moral take away was. I’ll also let you in on the real “kicker” of the night. Remember my struggle to get the golf clubs upstairs? My moral of the story is to always, always make sure you walk around the corner…………..

to the elevator.

I think I failed life.

My Day With Ginny

I have accomplished many great things in my life. I have……hm……give me a second….

I have performed in shows. I have been told I have the best white girl crip walk in my suburban middle class hometown. I have been given prestigious titles such as “Class Clown” and “Night Surfing Champion of The World and Most of The Universe” (that one may be self-proclaimed).

And teachers assumed I would never amount to anything……Suck it.

But none of these “achievements” are as glorious as the goal I am aiming to achieve now.  Ok, I may be overplaying this a bit. Let’s get to it.

I want to spend a day in a forest baking cookies with Ginnifer Goodwin and a group of well behaved magical elves.

I know what you’re thinking. Trust me, I do. And I thought the same thing for awhile; how could I possibly find enough activities in the forest to span over the entire day!? Let me share…

First Ginny and I (we’re good chums now at this point so I can call her Ginny) will meet up at the forest’s edge with the elves. We’ll begin our day at the crack of 11:35 am. I will name each elf based on their appearance and demeanor then we will be on our merry way. After a fun walk skip through the woods we will come across a field where Ginny and I decide to have a frolic. The elves will set up our baking station in the trees while Ginny and I pick daises and prance about the field singing whimsical songs about fairy tales which we will make up on the spot.

Next, once the elves have assembled our baking station we will begin! We’ll bake all sorts of glorious cookies in fantasy blumpkin shapes. (I’m unsure what ‘fantasy blumpkin shapes’ are, but I really like them and am determined to figure it out) Once they’re done the fairies and nymphs come out of the trees to dance in the wind because they see Ginny and of course want to be a part of this magical day.

All of this singing, cooking and eating will obviously tire us. So we will all take happy naps in the field. I’ll most likely spoon with the elf I inevitably name Lord Snugglekins.

After our naps it will be time for pictures! Ginny and I will take pictures with bunnies and chipmunks and squirrels who all comply of course because of Ginny’s magical powers over all that is cute in the world. We will take a good mix of posing with the animals and also some action shots. If you’re wondering why I want the variations it’s because we need a good mix for the photo album…don’t be silly. Eventually, the elves will join but they will not…I repeat will not…make this about them.

And alas, when the day is done we will walk skip back through the forest to civilization. The fairies and nymphs will fly back to the forest after accompanying us on our journey back. The elves will disperse and go back to their elf families and elf homes which I envision to be a combination of miniature Santa workshops and Smurf mushroom houses. And I’ll tell Lord Snugglekins I enjoyed our time together but we should just stay friends.

Then it will be time for Ginny and I to part ways. We’ll make plans to tag each other in all the pictures and look into booking a recording studio for our fairy tale improv songs. I’ll gush over what a great actress she is and what a fan I am and thank her for spending the day with me. She’ll ask for my number and email to keep in touch but then giggle because she knows she can just send a hummingbird or a forest fairy with a message. Then we live happily ever after knowing we have lived a perfect day amongst magical elves, forest fairies, pretty daisies and fantasy blumkpin cookies.

The End

 

Dear Ellen – Help Save the WPS!

I think it’s time we stopped playing games, Ellen.  Yes, I’m talking to you Ellen DeGeneres.  It’s time to stop playing hard to get and making us swoon after you.  It was cute at first, but it’s time to acknowledge how badly you want to help out women’s soccer in America.  

I have written various pieces about my quest to work with Ellen DeGeneres and how it is a journey that began years ago.  (see “Dear Ellen: Will You Be My Disco Dance Partner” and “Are You There Ellen DeGeneres? It’s Me, Amy” in previous blog entries) Now it is taking on a new form though.  I am still 110% (eh, maybe 118%) behind my idea to come on as a correspondent for The Ellen Show doing sketches and interviews surrounding women’s soccer but there is a bigger issue at hand now.   There may not even be a professional league left next season.  So there is a large group of fans who do not want to see this league fail doing everything they can do to help it succeed and continue on as a prosperous league.  There is an old expression; the pen is mightier than the sword.  Personally, if I owned a sword and knew how to use it I’d be charging in on a horse, Knight-style demanding a league.  But I do not.  I know how to write…kind of…so that’s what I’ll do.
The Women’s Professional Soccer league (WPS) is in need of a 6th owner for a new team in order for the league to continue running.  Many of us fans are reaching out to a certain celebrity, Ellen DeGeneres to help save the league and become an owner.  I have a list of reasons why Ellen should get involved.
1-      Ellen is the greatest human alive. WPS is the greatest league alive. Done deal.
2-     Ellen showed support for the US Women’s National Team this summer during their run at the World Cup.
3-     Ellen would be an entrepreneurial owner; designing the uniforms with some Ellen flare, choreographing an opening number for the team to enter the field, hiring an English DJ to entertain during halftime AND she could instate an opening monologue into soccer. (Which I suppose I could fill in for her here and there on that one.  Hint, hint.  Wink, wink.  Subtle, subtle)
4-     Ellen would be able to turn a whole new viewing audience onto women’s soccer.  The viewers are out there, but without the proper marketing, exposure and air time they will never be given the opportunity to become true fans.
5-     The world without WPS would be far less bright and would leave great sadness behind.  This would cause Ellen to have to start working overtime in order to bring more laughter and light into people’s lives where there is now a giant gaping black hole of WPS-less existence.
6-     I used Arrested Development as an analogy in my last blog about saving the WPS.  Portia De Rossi, Ellen’s wife, brilliantly acted in Arrested Development and portrayed one of my favorite characters, Lindsay Bluth.  Brilliant yet under rated show / brilliant yet under rated league.  We saw what happened there; Ellen can’t let it happen to the WPS too!  Brilliance needs to be rewarded.
7-     The WPS and Ellen are both all about good causes.  The WPS has been a strong supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness through “Project Pink” games and also various other local causes amongst the communities they play in.
8-    Piggybacking off #7…one of the teams, the Western New York Flash, held a dog day where they teamed up with the local ASPCA to find homes for animals and also encouraged dog owners to bring them out to the game.  Ellen is a HUGE advocate for animal rights and an animal lover.  The possibilities are endless in the amount of good Ellen could do through a team.
I could probably make a list to 100 if I had the time.  (Or the attention span)  But you all get the picture.  Ellen DeGeneres and the WPS would be a perfect match and I hope we get to see it happen.
Ellen, if you’re out there: Please consider this. If you need to make a pros and cons list I am more than happy to swing by your pad and speak with you.  We can make a list, have some coffee, dance, me you and Portia can go shopping, maybe play a prank on Taylor Swift…we’ll make a day of it.  After thinking about it you will see what a great opportunity this could be.  This league inspires young girls and shows them that they can succeed and live their dreams.  It inspires adults to stay active and get into shape by seeing such strength and endurance displayed.  It inspires parents to teach their kids to be healthy and active and it gives them role models for their kids to look up to.  This is a league with talent, skill, entertainment, endurance, aggression, grace, poise and it’s filled with athletes who possess all of those things plus a level head on their shoulders who are all smart, kind, and beautiful and they are idols to many.  Please help save this league and give it hope for the future. 
Call me up when you’re ready to sit down and discuss.  I’ll be by the phone in my Ellen wig dancing over a coffee table anxiously waiting. 

Also take a look….


http://www.womentalksports.com/savewps
Check out this site for sure. Great organization helping to put the word out there and gives instructions on how you can help!


http://www.change.org/petitions/us-soccer-to-sanction-the-wps-for-the-2012-season
Another way to help…a petition you MUST sign started by an awesome dedicated fan!


http://www.change.org/petitions/us-soccer-for-womens-professional-soccer-sanction-the-league-to-be-division-one-under-ussf
And yet…another way to help! Another petition! SIGN!

The Story of Faith Single

I will now tell you the tale of Faith Single. Faith was a young girl with great ambition. Everyone knew her as a strong, independent, athletic child with big dreams. The summer when she was 10 years old she went all the way to the World Hopscotch Cup. But sadly, she lost to a small Japanese girl who had the wind on her side that fateful day and brought the gold medal back to her nation which needed some good news. This was a hard loss for Faith to accept, but being the driven young girl that she was she moved on and continued her training. Then one day she received a call from an after school program saying they wanted her to come be a part of.  She had gone through a pretty horrific hip surgery somewhat recently that threatened her whole hopscotch career. But she was ranked the #1 hopscotcher in the whole world and was not about to give that up. So while still recovering from the injury she wasn’t sure if she should engage in this after school program. Although the World Hopscotch Cup wouldn’t come around again for another 4 years, she had a chance at the Hopscotch Olympics the next summer and didn’t want to risk injury.

In the end she realized by attending this program she may be able to inform and educate more children on hopscotch and get them to become fans of the sport in the U.S. The program was called “Dancing With The 6th Graders”. It was sponsored by a local company, A-B-C (All Biased Company). They were overly accepting to some kids in the program, but very harsh to others, so I suppose it was a fitting name. It was a program that encouraged younger kids who had no extracurricular activities to keep them occupied. It gave them a chance to pick their careers…I mean school grades…back up and on track. Faith knew she didn’t need help with any of that because she was very driven, goal oriented, and at the top of her hopscotch career. But knew it would be a great challenge for her, since a fear of hers was dancing with the older kids.

Faith still had hopscotch duties to fulfill so she knew it would be a hectic schedule, but she was ready. If anyone could do it…Faith could. She began training with the 6th grader they paired her up with; a foreign exchange student named Max Chsmerszdaodsahzmdwoskey. Max and Faith looked perfect together, it was a match made in heaven. But they butted heads quite often. They were both very stubborn and competitive. It was in fact their greatest strength and weakness as a team. Her practice schedule was hectic and she was doing everything she could to keep up with school work, hopscotch training, DWT6G, and also making personal appearances on local sports shows for her hopscotch career.

I won’t go into details on every other couple but they included Vicki Rake, who had experience on the stage in the town’s production of Hairbrush; a musical based in the 1960’s about a young girl who didn’t fit in.  She also had her own local children’s day time talk show speaking with at risk 7 year olds. Then there was Sob Parnashian, a boy who’s actual name was Rob but every nicknamed him Sob because he was always crying about his 3 older sisters getting everything. (Also because he was a son of a bitch) But the girls sure did swoon over him because of a certain physical asset that ran in his family. There was also a flamboyant young fellow named Larson who made all the costumes for everyone, a happy-go-lucky kid named Shaz who was always singing Sonny and Cher songs, and a tall awkward boy who played basketball but everyone knew he was crazy after he changed his name to Betta Universe Olive Branch. Then there was RJ, a very brave boy who was hurt while fighting off bad guys and bullies from the playground and everyone loved and respected him. None of the kids other than Faith had much of anything going on outside of school. So they had plenty of time to rehearse for the program while Faith worked diligently to balance her hectic schedule. At times she was ridiculed for not practicing enough for DWT6G which was false. To an athlete, like Faith, this was hard to hear because she knew how hard she was training.

The teachers who would be running the program were all quite different. One was an elderly British teacher, Ben, who didn’t condone any type of modern dancing and absolutely hated everything and everyone. Then there was an Italian man, Juno (not to be confused with the pregnant Ellen Page character, although the way his moods changed, he may have been pregnant), who was very animated in his critiques and slightly creepy about it. Last was Berry Ann Inababababa, who seemed to despise strong girls with a good head on their shoulders. There was something about a strong beautiful young girl that just made her sick.

Throughout the program it became very apparent that the teachers wanted Faith gone. If the judges didn’t like you, the rest of the kids on the playground would determine if you got to stick around for the next week. Luckily, Faith was extremely popular. Her fans called themselves “Fingles”, a fun play on her name. The Fingles were 200% behind Faith and vowed to help her because they all admired her so very much. But the program was breaking her spirit. Faith was proud and very competitive so when she received such harsh and unprovoked mean criticism that other kids weren’t receiving it was hard for her. Also, A-B-C never gave them much time to shine or highlight their big, fun moments together as a pair. Since they were sponsoring the program it was up to them to help the children network themselves for playground votes. But they made it an uphill battle from day 1 for young Faith. She and her partner Max were both very outspoken so they found themselves in detention quite a bit from voicing their opinions to the teachers. But this made their fans like them even more! It was refreshing for the other kids to see someone standing up for themselves and not just playing the safe, PR friendly, brown nosing game of reality competition sho…I mean…playground politics.

One day Faith’s hip injury starting acting up. She knew she had to power through so barely spoke of it but did need to seek some medical attention. That same day RJ got a boo boo. The teachers were very concerned for RJ’s boo boo. While there was not one mention of Faith’s hip which was literally being held together with staples and anchors from her surgery, they seemed overly concerned with RJ’s boo boo. RJ wanted to continue on, he didn’t want to be coddled or told he could not continue. After all, he was a strong boy who was a hero to many. But the teachers insisted on coddling him like a newborn baby. Later, Faith had two great dances but the teachers were determined to stop her that day. If she made it past that day it meant she was in the final 3. They were irritated by this strong, independent, athletic and beautiful young girl. They weren’t used to dealing with children who stood up for themselves and they wanted her gone. So they gave her some very harsh criticisms and made it very clear to the kids on the playground they shouldn’t be voting for her.

Alas, the teachers got their way. Faith was banished from DWT6G. This made some of the Fingles very upset, but they knew it was for the best. This program was breaking her down and she did not deserve the unwarranted and at times offensive comments from the teachers. She went out there, faced her fears and proved a lot to herself, to her fans and to her critics. Faith inspired many people, giving them hope, lots of hope…tons of hope. And also showed that athletic girls can be beautiful and graceful and rock a ball gown like it’s no one’s business. Her fans were also excited, knowing that her leaving DWT6G meant she would be able to focus all of her time now on the 2012 Hopscotch Olympics. It was time for Faith to go back to doing what she was born to do. She inspired, entertained, and captivated the town during her time on the program and it was a journey she will never forget.

The 2012 Hopscotch Olympics should prove to be an epic event. Faith Single is going there with a mission; a mission to bring the gold medal back to America where it belongs, just like she did in 2008. Faith: Thank you for your courage, strength and ability to be an amazing role model to not just young girls, but people everywhere. You are a beautiful girl with more talent, charisma and poise than most people could ever dream of and you carry yourself with an air of confidence and pride that is admirable.

In short; you’re a beautiful independent individual riding Solo. Thanks for giving us Hope.

Serious Ponderings From a Child of the 90s

I feel there are so many unanswered questions circulating in the universe that deserve to finally be put to rest.  I for one stay up at night pondering such topics unable to sleep sometimes.  Some are not mysteries, but debates that will never definitively be settled  either. But I feel talking about them may someday lead to answers.Mystery #1: Where did Judy go?
Yes, you are correct…I am speaking of the younger sister on Family Matters who suddenly disappeared.  We all remember Eddie, we all remember Laura, but what happened to younger sister, Judy?  We all remember the hard hitting serious episodes of Laura getting hooked on ‘pep pills’ to fit in with the cheerleaders and when Eddie was beat up by the Dragons gang.  But where was Judy’s after school special episode?  That’s right, we never got to see one before she up and vanished.  The only theory I can come up with on this one is that there is some sort of vault where forgotten characters go to never be seen again.  Let’s all just hope Judy, Minkus from Boy Meets World and each one of the Becky’s from Roseanne (every other week) are all safe and happy together in the Forgotten Characters Vault.

Debate #1: JTT or Zachary Ty Bryan?
A question as old as time…who was cuter?  Johnathan Taylor Thomas or Zachary Ty Bryan?  They played brothers on Home Improvement which made it all the more juicy.  Brother vs brother.  Who would win? The cute little shaggy haired one with a funny personality or the older, blonde athletic one with a mullet that made girls near and far quiver.  As they got older on the show it just kept getting harder and harder to decide.  As they got hotter, the younger one got more and more odd looking, emphasizing the beautiful features these two had to offer.  I myself was torn for quite awhile before officially going “Team Zachary”.  I realize putting this bold statement out there could affect me in the public eye, but I have to be honest.  But I do believe there will never be a clear cut verdict in this debate amongst the masses.

Mystery #2: What in the hell is ‘Mmmbop’ about?
From the chorus which is nothing but noises and sounds, to the verses which are not only confusing but also slightly depressing to the ending where they just keep asking questions…none of it seems to make sense.  The first verse basically says you will see a lot of people but only one or two will stick around and then you’re going to have lots of pain, lose all your hair and they are unsure who will still care about you at that point.  Then they make melodic gibberish for a little while and then they become metaphorical with a flower reference before more harmonious gibberish.  As a child listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on a Saturday morning I would sit with fingers crossed praying for this song to be #1.  It had brainwashed me with its happy go lucky feel but it has also left me wondering for over a decade…what is the secret they speak of in the song?  What is the true meaning of the song and the secret?  The line goes, “It’s a secret no one knows.” And I believe it remains true to this day.  Well done Hanson, well done.

Debate #2: Britney or Christina?
I’m sorry Christina, I don’t even really consider this one a debate.  Even though Britney went bat shit crazy after awhile, she wins this one for me.  I can still do 93% of the dance moves to classic jams such as Baby One More Time, Oops I Did It Again, Crazy, and Sometimes. I even scouted a location to do a re-creation of the Sometimes dance sequence on a pier somewhere.  Christina, as much as I loved Genie in a Bottle and those bright orange pants you wore in that video, I’m sorry, but Britney comes first. I feel this one needs no further discussion.  If you disagree then I guess that means I will not be sharing my Capri Sun with you at lunch tomorrow and you can forget about being in my Sometimes redo music video.  So talk to the hand.

There are so many more unanswered questions out there that I don’t have the time to go into right now. But briefly I’ll leave you with a few more to ponder: Where was that music coming from every time Sam climbed in Clarissa’s window? How exactly did Urkel’s port-a-potty machine turn him into a guy WITHOUT glasses? Jessie Spano: The drug moments, where did it all go wrong? Who was responsible for the creepy idea of Uncle Jesse singing the Beach Boys classic “Forever” to his naked twin babies in a music video? In Sister Act 2 was it Frank K because his last name began with a K or was it Frankay? How does Homeward Bound get every single solitary person who watches it, to cry?  Who was appointed to research Lori Beth Denburg’s Vital Information, and how were they so stinking smart? Some of these may never be answered and we will have to live with that. So for now, I put these topics to rest although I do intend to continue my research. I will file this research into my Lisa Frank trapper keeper and ponder these mysteries while sipping on a blue kool aid and feeling the cool, calming snap of a snap bracelet against my wrist.  Until next time, thanks for reading; you’re all that and a bag of chips.

Lauren Cheney – 007 Spy Mode

Is she a forward? Is she a central midfielder? Is she an outside midfielder? Is she an exotic breed of athlete unusually good at everything she is tasked with? Yes, yes, yes, and most definitely yes. Lauren Cheney is the exotic animal I am speaking of. The 2011 World Cup was the first of her career and her performance blew all expectations out of the water.

Over the past couple of years I have become enthralled with Lauren Cheney’s play. She plays with a sense of knowledge, composure and talent. If the team finds themselves behind in a game Cheney never seems to lose her cool. Some young players put into those situations (for that matter, veteran players as well) will start making bad decisions. But Cheney seems to play at her best in these situations. She keeps her head in the game and continues making solid choices. Somehow she makes you feel excited and calm at the same time. She is an engaging exciting player to watch.  But when you watch her circulating around the pitch you have an overall sense of calmness knowing she is controlling the game. Nothing seems to phase her and that is exactly what you want from a central midfielder (or outside mid or forward, or whatever she decides she is that day). I don’t know how she does it; but it kind of freaks me out.  She’s the most exciting / calming player to watch.  It’s the only time I ever want to jump around cheering and also kick my feet up and sip on a cup of Trader Joe’s chamomile tea at the same time. Her voice is actually very calming as well now that I think about it. She should do relaxation tapes. (Yes, I just said relaxation tapes. Totally representin’ some cassette tapes.) Lauren, if you’re out there we need to talk. You + me + my 1996 cassette tape recorder = GOLD.

Next I need to talk about her shot. In my piece on Heather O’Reilly I mention Lauren Cheney when I speak of their “cringe-worthy shot”. They both have a shot that no one can rival as far as I am concerned. Cheney has an ability to release a shot so quickly that if you blink you will miss it. You don’t even have to blink to miss it. In fact if you blink you have probably already missed two of them. If she has the ball at her feet and is within 40 yards of the goal, no goalkeeper is safe. If I were a goalkeeper and saw Cheney 35 yards out with hunger in her eyes I would just run for the locker room. There are only two options at that point; she is either going to score on you embarrassingly easy or take your head off with her shot. One of the best examples I can give is in an international friendly they played against Mexico earlier in 2011. It was in stoppage time in the 92nd minute, the game still tied 0-0 and after a series of passes from Heather O’Reilly to Abby Wambach, Wambach laid it off for Cheney. She took a couple touches around a defender and then from around 30 yards out cracked a shot that makes me sick when I watch it. As the ball hit the inside of the net on the far post the crowd erupted and Cheney had scored the game winner. That shot to this day gives me chills and forces me to make a ridiculously embarrassing face because I cannot contain myself. The way she took control, stepped over the ball, took aim and just released that ferocious strike is something she can do on the drop of a dime. And when she does it, it’s one of the most beautiful things in all of sports. Some people weep over the site of a beautiful sunset. They can’t control their emotion seeing such beauty. Normally I would point and laugh at those people, but Lauren Cheney has showed me the light. I understand now what that feels like and what a true thing of beauty is; it is Lauren Cheney’s perfect shot. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still laugh at those who cry at sunsets, but I can understand where they’re coming from now.

Aside from her breathtaking shots Cheney has a lot to offer all over the pitch. And I do mean all over. In the 2011 World Cup she was not a regular starter for the US yet. But head coach, Pia Sundhage, in her infinite wisdom and vision saw something in Cheney and decided last minute to start her in the left midfield position. Cheney, being a forward or sometimes an attacking central midfielder was about to show the world what a sensational and versatile player she is. From the first moment she stepped on the field to the last; she was nothing but consistent, fierce, composed and skilled. The thing that impressed me most was her involvement in everything. It was like she was in some sort of 007 / Charlie’s Angels spy mode. Every time you thought you knew where she was or what she was doing she would pop up somewhere else. With her athleticism, endurance, and knowledge of the game she was able to be everywhere she needed to be and then some. I think at one point I even heard some 007 Bond music playing in the background as she snuck up on defenders and darted around the field like a top secret spy. I was waiting for her to start doing some spy moves; somersaulting behind other players, popping up at the opportune moment to release fire on goal.  If we needed her help defensively, we had it. If we needed her help offensively, we had it. If we needed her connecting the defense to the offense, we had it. I think at one point she was even up in the booth giving commentary in the middle of a play before jumping back on the field to send in a cross just to rub it in that she is in fact supernatural and can do it all.  If Pia Sundhage had asked her during the World Cup to play left midfield while covering right back and also making some saves in goal from time to time – all while juggling rubber chickens on a unicycle for comedic affect she could have done it. There is no doubt in my mind that whatever she is tasked with she can do with poise, composure and beauty.

When I look to the bright future of women’s soccer in our country I look mainly at four names (although the list doesn’t stop here; as we have many talented, young athletes who will be sure to wow us for years to come. Tobin Heath, Amy Rodriguez and Ali Krieger to name a few).  But my four I am closely watching are Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Lauren Cheney. We also have a stacked list of players with more experience who still have long careers left of the beautiful game as well. But out of the newer players I see Morgan leading us in the scoreboard. I see O’Hara leading us in connecting plays and being the work horse that never gives up. I see Becky Sauerbrunn taking over for the remarkable Christie Rampone when she retires as our steady central voice of reason in the defense. And I see Lauren Cheney leading us in controlling the pace of a game; knowing when to sit back and connect plays and when to step up and take the game into her hands and make magic happen. (And also to put immense fear in goalkeepers everywhere, of course)

Lauren Cheney is not only a phenomenal player but she has a phenomenal story behind her as well. Cheney is an inspiration and has an indisputable major success story. On and off the field she is a wonderful human being. On top of that she underwent open heart surgery at 3 years old. Now at 24 she is an Olympic Gold Medalist and vital part to our National Team. Her heart has been through a lot but each time she steps on the field she puts every ounce of that heart into how she plays and leaves it all on the field. Inspirational is not a powerful enough word for Ms Cheney.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lauren Cheney is going to lead us to ample victories in years to come and be a main asset to our US Women’s National Team in every major competition. There is no doubt in my mind that Lauren Cheney will also someday put a hole through a net from her blistering shot. Her composure, her shot, her versatility and her skill on the ball are all things of beauty and cannot be replicated. If they could be, I would advise looking into cloning.

Thank you, Lauren for being a true hero, a role model on and off the field and a brilliantly skilled athlete for us to marvel at. All this talk has gotten me pumped up so I am going to watch some YouTube videos of her highlights. Anyone who wants to go weep at a sunset be my guest…but I’ll be here weeping at the beauty that is Lauren Cheney’s play. And will most likely do so curled up in the fetal position unable to move from the severe cringe-worthiness. If no one hears from me for a few days please send help. Thank you.

 

New Hampshire or Bust

Chelsea Handler is one of my favorite comedians. Not only because she makes fun of Angelina Jolie and drinks more vodka than any human ever should, but also because she makes fun of Tori Spelling and drinks more vodka than any human ever should. I have gotten to see her perform her stand up live 4 times and loved each one.

I heard Chelsea would be performing in New Hampshire and decided it was a must that I be in attendance. I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to go by telling them they were going. So we bought the tickets, booked the hotel and hit the road from Syracuse, NY. It was me and my friend Rhac (Yes, pronounced like ‘rock’ and yes, his real name) and our friends the super couple, Shaun and Evangeline. They were one of those couples that were either super fun or super lame. So Rhac was there as my safety in case the lame couple showed up. I mean, his name is Rhac- you know he is a good time. We were planning on getting into town the night before the show, spending the following day exploring New Hampshire, go to the show that night and then drive back the next day. The plan took a detour when we found a fun moose statue and Santa Claus. Let me explain.

We were driving through Vermont, right on schedule to get to our hotel in New Hampshire around 7pm when Rhac noticed a moose statue he wanted to get a picture with of course. Rhac and I had been drinking for most of the trip already while Shaun drove. So we were basically like drunk children wanting to take every detour possible that seemed fun. We turned around, took some pictures with the moose and then tried to get back on track. But since we are all directionally impaired and in backwoods Vermont where there is no service for our GPS we did not. Instead we asked some guy for directions and while walking back to the car Santa spotted us. There was a tavern across the street and a man who looked like Santa Claus (if Santa was from the sticks and it was the off season so he trimmed his beard a bit). He was wearing jeans, a white tee, and American Flag suspenders. He called out, “What are you doing? I’m drinking! You should come do the same!” I’m not one to disobey Santa, so we adhered. It was a stereotypical small Vermont town. Everyone in the bar knew each other and accepted us like we were all old friends. Right down to Kathy the bartender and all of the beer vendors there who got drunk with us giving us free swag. We barely spent a penny with all the free drinks we were getting and also walked away with shirts, beads, beer buckets, and lots of stories from Santa Claus. We came to find out Santa’s name was Bob. We also came to find out Bob was a bit of a creeper which still to this day taints Christmas for me a little bit. I’ve never had so much fun with a bunch of strangers in my life. Evangeline was the responsible one to step up and say she would stay sober to get us to New Hampshire. I think we had all forgotten we still had to get to New Hampshire.

So after a night of drinks, taking 100’s of pictures with the locals, singing to classic 80’s jams on the jukebox, free swag, and creepy looks from Bob; we headed to New Hampshire. When we got there Rhac and I went to check in. Rhac was wearing every shirt we got at the bar, his sunglasses, and a Bud Light bucket on his head. I was sophisticatedly dressed with about 3 pounds of beads around my neck, Land Shark sunglasses and Hawaiian leis around my head. We got checked in, Rhac got the keys and I hit on the bell boy. Successful check in for sure.

The following day we took it easy and just drove around the town finding some little diners and shops to go to. We got back to the room with some time to pregame and get ready for the show.  Chelsea was hilarious as always and put on an amazing show. Heather McDonald opened for her and was funny as always too. I had gotten to see Heather open for her when I saw Chelsea in New Jersey too.  After that show I asked Heather for her autograph by brilliantly saying, “I have a book and you should sign it right now because you’re funny and I like your face.” I shouldn’t be allowed to meet famous people. They were doing a book signing after the Jersey show and I was convinced if I met Chelsea she would see what a talent I was and hire me for her show. I decided I would wing it and say something fabulous off the top of my head when I met her. I had brought her book to get signed but they were only allowing people to get signatures who bought the book at the store that day. Mine no longer had the book cover on it and was obviously not bought there. So I forced my boyfriend to buy one so we could get in line. Then we found out they were giving post-its with the correct spelling of your name to make it easier on Chelsea. So they only gave Jarrid one since he bought the book. I kept asking for one but that miserable woman was not budging and kept saying I couldn’t get the autograph since I didn’t buy the book there. So we moved up in line a bit and then I noticed my nemesis, the angry lady, was gone. So I grabbed Jarrid’s book that was bought there, went back to them and told them that the lady that was there before didn’t give me a post-it after I bought my book and that she should probably be fired due to a bad attitude and a slight lisp. It was a success. I got my post-it. When we finally got to Chelsea the fabulous thing I came up with was, “I lied to get in this line. Here is a post it with my name on it – It’s for you! I didn’t buy this here.” Then I spilled all the ice out of my empty rum and coke that I forgot I was holding and told the security guy to take a picture for me as I threw my camera at him. This is why I can’t have nice things.

But back to New Hampshire – we watched the show and were on a funny high. Afterwards we walked around looking for a fun spot to spend the night at and came across a group outside of a place that had some live music. It was a super chill bar with a really funnlive jam band playing. Rhac and Shaun are both huge jam band fans and I can tell you with 100% confidence if one of the band members asked them to go home with them they would have. I have never seen two grown men turn into groupies so quickly. While they threw their unmentionables on stage obsessing over the band I had my eyes set on Purple Shirt. This is still what we call him because none of us remember his name. He looked like a hot modern day Greaser minus the literal greasy hair and cigarette pack wrapped up in his sleeve. He was playing pool and kept looking over so I decided I would give him the privilege to buy the rest of my drinks that night. Purple Shirt hung out with us the rest of the night while we danced and partied with the band who Rhac and Shaun had of course become friends with. After the bar closed we headed back to the hotel where we kept the party going with some more drinks, pizza, and a giant kickball that had appeared at some point. Somehow we didn’t break anything in the hotel room from our drunken kickball / soccer game we were playing until around 5 am. When I woke the next morning I was lying with my head off the foot of the bed, Rhac was sleeping in the desk chair, and the room looked like a tornado hit it. A giant, drunk, tornado. This is the effect Chelsea Handler has on people.

It had been a great trip but it was time to go home. The ride home was a bit tamer than the ride there of course. We each had to take turns driving due to the lack of sleep and liver function. People always ask me what bars we went to and if we ever went back and the answers are – no idea and no. I would love to know the names of those bars so we could revisit them but sadly I do not. Hell, I can’t even tell you the name of the town we were in, in Vermont. But I can tell you that road trips and Chelsea Handler put together are always going to be a really, really great time for you and your friends and a really, really bad time for your liver.

Cheers Chelsea.

Crikey! A Spider!

Code red! I repeat code red! Red is the worst one right? That’s the highest threat level, correct? If it isn’t, please insert the correct color and then send help. I was about to do my usual superman dive into bed under my covers to go to sleep when I noticed a giant spider all up in my business. He was just chilling on my bed, looking up at me, taunting me like the little bastard spider that he is. This is especially disappointing tonight though, more than other nights. It was a cold rainy day in Los Angeles today and I have been looking forward to snuggling under my covers all day. And now this little prick is trying to ruin that for me. For he knows that I only have three fears in life: Snakes, alligators and spiders. I knew what had to be done. He must die.

So I grabbed a shoe and once he made his way to my head board I swatted at him with all my might. I missed with all my might. He scurried away and I could no longer see him. I can’t go to bed knowing he is still alive in my room though. So now, we are forced into war. I shall hunt him until I am the victor. I will not rest until he is dead. Well, except for right now where I am sitting out on my couch writing this. I decided to quarantine the room and assess the situation. I also had a craving for some crunchy peanut butter. But now it’s back to business. I think my best approach will be to equip myself with a shoe in one hand and a frying pan in the other. For battle armor I will of course put on my soccer shin guards, a helmet, and a golf glove. I also think I should narrate this adventure to find him in an Australian accent. (Side note: I should totally be on Animal Planet or Discovery channel) Now that I think about all this, I should quite possibly look for my sanity as I look for the spider. As you can see, I may have lost that at some point a long time ago. Either way, I’m off to battle. I shall return upon my victory.

Ok, so it’s now the next morning. I fell asleep. Let me fill you in on the epic battle that occurred. I crept into my room, battle armor on, frying pan and shoe in hand narrating my every step in my Aussie accent. He was hard to find, a worthy opponent. But nevertheless, I found him. I took the mattress off my bed frame and found him hiding like the communist coward spider that he is, under my bed. I had a major decision to make; shoe or frying pan? Shoe had failed me the first time so I tossed it aside and clutched the frying pan. As I kept on with my narration I noticed it turning slightly western. I went with it. So with my western accent and frying pan; I moved in. I will spare you the gory details, but that there spider ain’t never comin’ back to this here town again, ya hear y’all?

The battle was won. The commie spider is dead. (Yes in case you missed that, at some point I did decide he was a communist) Time of death: 3:56am. After I had won, I did a quick little “USA! USA! USA!” chant of course, put my mattress back on my bed, and got my cozy comforter back on it. Taking my battle armor off I felt accomplished…proud…brave…and sleepy. So I triumphantly did my superman dive into bed, curled up in my comforter, and drifted off to a spider free dreamland.

Side notes:

To all communist spiders trying to infiltrate my apartment– This is a warning. You do not want to meet the same fate your friend did. My frying pan of doom and I, will end you.

To all who bet money on me finding my sanity– You lose. Sanity: still at large.

USA! USA! USA!