Mar 18, 2007
So much to report, so little time and space. After 15 days and nights away from home (and away from a high speed internet connection; I'm so spoiled and addicted) we're home. It has been an extraordinarily trying and emotional time.
We stopped in Lexington on the way to Florida and visited with my youngest. She turned 21 the following week. I know everyone is tired of my saying how proud I am of her, so I'll simply wish her Happy Birthday.
We also stopped in Tennessee and met, for the first time, a long-time blog reader, Sally. Sally is an older transgender woman just beginning her transition. She is in her upper 70s and has been on hormones for a few months now. It was a delight to meet with her. Sally, I look forward to continuing reports and I really appreciated your meeting with my Girl and me. And, thanks again for lunch.
Two days later, after a fun, cold, and I'm sure soon-to-be picturesque detour through the Smokies, we arrived in Spring Hill Florida to visit my mom and step-dad. I was at once heartened and dismayed to see Mom. I think our presence there helped lift her spirits and perhaps even her health. Her appetitite returned temporarily. But, it was short-lived. We stayed through last Saturday (a week ago) and then began the journey home.
Along the way, we stopped in to see the Girl's dad, my first introduction. He was very nice to me and seemed to accept me with no questions. As we left, he hugged me and said: "Take good care of my little girl". So, now I've met all of her immediate family. I like them all, and I am pretty sure they all like me (when we got home, I had a birthday card from her mom, addressed to "My daughter Denise").
We headed home through Nashville where we stayed overnight and went to see our Detroit RedWings handily beat the number one Predators (and they beat them again the next night, taking over the number one slot in both our division and in the NHL). It was a lot of fun as we were dressed in our Wings shirts amidst all the Predators fans.
The next morning, as we continued north, we learned that my mom had taken a serious turn for the worse. After pulling over in the first rest stop in Kentucky we pulled out the laptop (using a Cingular Wireless card) and looked up flights back. Basically, none of them got us in before the next morning. So, we turned the car around and drove back to Florida, arriving at 1:30 in the morning after 14 hours in the car.
We stayed another two days, as Mom showed signs of (physical) improvement. She has lost her will to live and would gladly accept an injection that would put her out of her pain and misery. At this point, I think I'd personally administer it. Why do we allow people, with terminal illnesses, to suffer like this if they don't want to keep fighting? The last day we were there my Girl and I went to breakfast and I simply could no longer maintain. I sobbed through breakfast, right in the middle of the restaurant.
I have never left anything unsaid between my mother and me. She knows how I feel and what I think (about everything!); I know the same about her. Nevertheless, the thought of a "final" conversation with her was more than I could bear. How can I not have her to call any longer? She has always been the first person I turned to when I had news (good or bad) to share. Still, I wanted to have that conversation. I wanted, once again, to tell her how much I love her and how much I appreciate the life she's given me. I didn't get that chance this trip. When we got to the hospital, visiting hours were nearly over, and she was surrounded by people. I hope I get one more chance.
Two more long days in the car and we got home about midnight last night. My sister, still in Florida, called to say that Mom is out of Intensive Care and in a regular ward. I don't know how much more of this she can take. I don't know how much more I can take.
Jan 27, 2007
Serena Wins it all!
I've said many times how much I love tennis, especially women's tennis. Last night, the Girl and I had the pleasure of watching unseeded Serena Williams thoroughly defeat the #1 woman's tennis player in the world, Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open. (Photo: Getty Images)
Unseeded and lacking match practice before the tournament, Serena Williams signalled her return to the top echelons of women's tennis with a stunning 6-1 6-2 victory over world No.1 Maria Sharapova to claim her third Australian Open crown on Day 13.
It was thrilling. I have to confess that, contrary to my normal bent, I felt only marginally sad for Ms. Sharapova. I really wanted Serena to win. And, she really wanted to win. There were repeated comments about how out of shape she was, about her long lay-off from tennis and even her mother-coach said Serena was "rusty". She was a well-oiled machine last night.
GM, I know you're not able to pay much attention to what's going on in the world and the blogosphere right now; but I know how much you love tennis also and I just wanted to tell you I thought about you and your mom last night. I hope all is improving.
Jan 23, 2007
Finding the strength inside
Wow. Unseeded and ranked #81 in the world, Serena Williams, two-time Australian Open Champion, just became the first unseeded woman in 30 years to advance to the semi-finals. Her match with Israeli Shahar Peer (seeded #16) was phenomenal. The full story is here. (Photo by Getty Images)
After their first set, which Serena lost 3-6, I thought she was in real trouble. She seemed to be not moving well and even lethargic. But, then she reached down inside of her and overcame her amazing and fun-to-watch opponent (we will see more of this teenager (currently serving in the Israeli armed forces)). The decisive set was won 8-6 after Peer was within 2 points of winning the match. I don't know where Serena found the strength, but it was awesome.
I'm really looking forward to the rest of the tournament. Of course, on the men's side, there's no stopping Roger Federer, who has yet to lose a set.
Jul 10, 2006
My Girl has come up with an idea for our contest. We are going to have two trophies made -- one for tennis and one for golf. Each September, sometime near Labor Day, we will hold our own personal Golf and Tennis Tournament and the winner will have her name inscribed on the trophy. Tennis will be decided by a 3 set match and golf by playing 18 holes. We picked September to give us the summer for preparation and tune-up.
I predict that we will each win our respective sport's trophy in this first year -- as it should be. I will win the tennis trophy, she will win the golf. No biggie in that prediction. But check back next year:
BOTH trophies will bear MY name! :)
Jul 06, 2006
“It’s time. It’s enough,” she said. “I just want to move on to my next life, spend more time with my one and only, my animals and devote more time to my businesses. And I'm running the Rainbow Card, which raises money for gay and lesbian organizations in the U.S. through the rainbow endowment. I want to spend more time on that. But, most of all, it's to spend more time at home."
I love Martina. She is grace and charm and competitiveness. She is an out and proud lesbian and she is 50. In addition to the 18 grand slam singles titles, she attained the rank of #1 in the world as both a singles player (with 170 career titles) and as a doubles player (with 131 career titles, including 31 grand slam titles). Damn, I'm going to miss watching her play. I had the very great pleasure of seeing her play in person a few years ago. I had courtside tickets, but wasn't able to get her autograph, darn it.
On a somewhat related note, I'm excited about the Wimbledon finals. My Girl and I watched part of the quarters last weekend. In a rare event, all 4 top seeds made it into the semis, which were played today. This Saturday, The Girl and I will be glued to the tube as Justine Henin-Hardenne takes on Amelie Mauresmo for the title.
But, even more exciting than that -- she invited me out to play tennis this past weekend! She will be good if she practices (which she swears she's going to do). I've promised her something really special if she can manage to beat me within one year (not that we're competitive or anything...)! :)
I heart tennis. (kind of like GreyMatters!)
May 17, 2006
One in 18,411. Those are the odds of getting hit in the head by a major league foul-tip on May 16, 2006 at the Detroit Tigers - Minnesota Twins baseball game, and then getting an autographed baseball as a souvenier.
I beat those odds. The paramedics were very nice to me. The guy two rows behind me that caught the ball as it careened off my left temple took a picture of me with an ice pack on my head and holding his prize. A few minutes later one of the Tigers employees came up and gave me a ball autographed by Jeremy Bonderman (Pitcher).
We stuck around for another 3 innings before my headache got the better of me. The Tigers were winning 7-3 when we left; they won 7-4. They are now in first place.
I think next time we go (on The Girl's birthday in August) I'll bring a glove. :)
Apr 27, 2006
A bucket o' balls
I finished my only in-class exam yesterday. It was 30 binary-answer questions (a recap of a statute/case and then we had to decide if it was upheld or struck down). We were given 90 minutes to complete it. Most of us were done within 20. I'm fairly certain I got them all right -- but, then, I'm just as certain everyone else did, too. This class (Church and State) was a good class, however, most of the grade comes not from this silly in-class exam but from a 4,000 word limit paper that we have to write (that's about 17 pages, double-spaced). That paper has been kicking my butt. I've put in many hours into it -- far more than a 2 credit class deserves. Yet, it has forced me to really learn Establishment Clause jurisprudence and that's a good thing. Too bad I can't really learn this stuff during the semester!
Afterward, the Girl and I went out into the beautiful, sunny afternoon and each hit a large bucket of golf balls. I am now to the point where I can actually connect with the ball 95% of the time. I even hit about 10-15% of them straight. I've only been using a 7 iron and a 7 wood so far (why mess with other clubs until I can actually learn how to consistently hit the ball?) and the ones I connect well with go about 150 yards. Not far, to be sure, but it makes me happy. What a silly, silly game. Yet, it is so much fun when you actually do remember everything (keep your knees slightly bent, keep your arm straight, hold your hands just so, keep your head down, don't twist your wrist, follow through, etc., etc.) AND are able to relax enough to strike the ball well. Those few occassions are what keep me swingin'.
OK, I still have to finish that C&S paper, plus my Politics of Identity paper, plus I pick up a 48 take-home exam tomorrow. My brain will hold no more!
Oct 28, 2004
I've said many times that I'm not a big sports fan (ignoring the Denver Broncos, which team I seem to be hopelessly stuck on). I didn't even know the World Series had started let alone was ending last night. But, I just read a nice article about their sweep and the ending of their long-time drought. This article says they are the first team to ever win 8 games in a row to take the title. That has to be special for the team and for the fans. Congratulations!
Sep 12, 2004
I've noticed that it's quite a bit harder to be ambivalent when you attend a school like Michigan where it seems that everyone is obsessed with this game. So, despite my natural disinclination to follow the game, I did actually hope our team would win against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (which, incidentally, being Irish and raised Catholic, was my favorite team while I was growing up). As BOTH MLS and IrishLaw point out, my hopes were dashed yesterday, 28-20 (though I did not watch the game, because I was watching the USOpen -- much better sports entertainment!).
Sep 08, 2004
Studying -- NOT!
(Original post: 9/8/04)
Law school should give breaks for special sporting events that capture your undivided attention, against your will.
[UPDATE] The remnants of Frances are still haunting me. Rain from the storm has reached New York and has delayed Agassi and Federer's quarterfinal match.
[UPDATE 2] In consideration of my study needs, Andre dropped a heartbreaking 5 set match to Federer. Thanks, Andre, but you shouldn't have.