Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Enemies & Disowned Family Calling Plans

Waiting for my phone to be repaired, I completed level after level of Angry Birds on a sample phone at the local U.S. Cellular store. The repair had been needed for nearly a year, but I never found the time until today when an unforeseen interwebs outage at work resulted in a freebie afternoon to run wild. Some spent the free time sleeping or shopping. I spent my bonus three hours getting the stubborn bird diarrhea washed off the roof of my vehicle and getting my phone fixed. Lesson: Don't park under trees.

A mother and daughter entered the store and the mother disgustedly told the employee that her daughter lost her phone. "No, she lost it," she repeated. At this point I really wanted to ask if they tried calling it, but I was engrossed in my game and another man's story.

While I was developing a clinical addiction to the cell phone game phenomenon, a gentleman who looked to be in his early forties entered the store. Being the nosy multi-tasker I am, I eavesdropped to hear about his dilemma as I fought off kids from using the phone.

"I need to change the password on my account," he explained to one of the representatives.

"I purchased two phones and gave one to a friend...a roommate of mine," he corrected himself. "He has since moved out and I gifted the phone to my uncle."

The uncle apparently isn't living with him. I was disappointed that the man couldn't use the word "bequeath" in this context. I didn't get the impression this was an amicable parting of ways. It seemed like a "you took my CDs jerk face" sort of situation.

Truthfully, I was surprised the roommate didn't yoink the phone. Maybe it was a flip phone. It musn't have had Angry Birds installed on it. I'd stay in a relationship, no matter how intolerable, solely to continue playing that game. The roommate disappoints me. Based on the large amount I know about this partnership, it seems his subtle va te faire foutre was to not write down the four-digit password for the voicemail box. The poor uncle now has no idea why people wanted to reach him. What if he won a time share in Florida? What if a radio station was trying to reach him about a contest he won? A long-lost Nigerian royal relative perhaps is trying desperately to contact him.

If I have learned one thing from daytime television it is to never, ever give a cell phone to a friend or family member. Sure. It seems like a great idea. Maybe it costs you $10 and you split minutes you'll never use. Win-win. You look like a big shot UNTIL you decide to rescind your gift and all your Joni Mitchell albums are missing.

The repair person called my name and gave me my fixed phone.

There are times I wonder what I miss while toiling away at the office. Then there are moments like these when I'm reminded how great it can be to spend an hour in the wild.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coping with Loss

Perhaps some of the fault is my own. The string of recent successful seasons has led me to believe Northwestern can be more than a stellar academic institution. Previously we merely had teams that were competitive in the BigTen, aside from a few of the aristocrat sports (lacrosse, tennis, golf). I still say we need to get a polo team if we are ever to make a true case for being the Ivy of the Midwest.

First, let me say that I love Northwestern. I love the education (and that expensive piece of paper) I received. I love our 'Cats. I love wearing purple on gameday. I love that I can go up to Evanston to watch the game, take a nap and still have the rest of my day.

The losses this season are tough to take. For a team that has moments of brilliance, looking like an unstoppable steamroller, there are equal if not more moments that counterbalance that image of dominance. I don't care to go into much detail, but how did we lose to Purdue? Against MSU a few weeks ago, the 'Cats looked fantastic. The offense was moving the ball and the defense had shut down the Spartans. Then it all unraveled in the fourth quarter. Then yesterday's game at Penn State only continued to reinforce the new style of play we can expect.

The Cardiac Cats can now best be described as manic. In past seasons, we would be down at the half and come out fighting in the second half. This season is the polar opposite. We come out of the tunnel fired up and destroy the opposition in the first half. Some times we play a strong third quarter, but ultimately we can't finish the games. If we can only play one strong half, could we make it the latter?

What added to the pain was viewing the second half at Kendalls with fellow Wildcat faithful. I watched the first half at home and figured it would be more fun to be around some people to celebrate JoePa's staying at 399. Minor note: we still get into the record books even if it is for being on the losing end and the biggest come back in JoePa's history as coach. Yeah us! The shrieks from the crowd only intensified the pain watching the finish of the game. At least at home I could have turned it off or not been ashamed to start openly weeping in public.

I am now forced to consider if some of the dismay lies in my expectations and hopes that the Wildcats do well on the playing field. Win or lose I will still cheer them on to victory, or an embarrassing loss. I will stay hopeful even if the scoreboard and reason tell me I shouldn't be. But I may have to hide Fitz on Facebook. We may need a break.

Go Northwestern Go! Or just for one half. Whatever you want to do.

Detroit--I hope you're ready for us.