Monthly Archives: June 2014

World Cup Fever ok yeah…I’m starting to get it

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Ok. I like sports. Admittedly, I’ve learned to like them more since getting married five years ago. Thank you husband.

I’ll also admit that I am not usually a futbol (soccer for those of us yanks) fan, but I have to say that I’m starting to get it. Yes the players are primadonnas. Yes, they come across as being whiny to someone who, say, loves hockey. Yes, it’s slow paced, but that’s where my complaints end.

I need to digress a little. I’ve been prepared for a future like perhaps even love of soccer by hockey. Really? Mrs. Emeigh, what the heck is wrong with you? How can hockey, something which most of you really know little about, even compare to the world wide juggernaut of soccer?

For a few reasons. I’m not a big knowledge on sports, but I can still manage to notice these few main points. Like hockey, there are a few similarities that draw me in every point counts, conditioning means everything, and every scoring attempt counts in a big way.

Scoring attempts. This is where most Americans get hung up. Who cares if there aren’t points reflecting the efforts of the athletes, you say? I want to see points in the powers of sixes and sevens. I want to see points into the hundreds. Why?

If there is one thing that I have learned from hockey it’s this. The effort of a player matched against the skill of a good goalie is greater than any number of dunks.

No guaranteed point can build the same kind of expectation and tension that four uncompleted scoring attempts can. Adrenaline has no choice but to course through your veins when being faced with the difference one goal can make. It has no choice but to continue when you watch, what could be an amazing goal, start to run its way across the field.

You watch with bated breath as the goalie deflects or misses something otherwoldly.

Soccer is a slow burn. It’s starts out slow. Then, as you watch, it builds. Unless you have the attention span of a two year old you can’t help but notice. Where many people only see a bunch of people running across a pitch, I see opportunities waiting to be had. Like baseball it’s a slow tactical mission that crescendos at its end.

One kick, one well placed foot in the right direction is all it takes to make or break a play or even the game, but that’s what I like to see. It doesn’t come from a pedigreed star who’s paycheck would make you cry but from a chance, luck, being in the right place at the right time. Everyone loves an underdog and any player on the team can have that underdog moment in a final minute or in an unlikely situation. It’s those situations that steal the breath from your lungs or keep it there waiting for whatever is about to come.

That I love. I love the unpredictability. I love the fact that every second, every play, every mistake counts and that it can make or break…everything. I can’t speak for all of my fellow Americans, but I can at least hope that some day they will learn to love that slow burn. There is no guarantee that points will happen only effort. The effort is what counts not the points.

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Truly Random Writing: The Grass

Seeing as I’m also someone who enjoys writing fantasy things for the fun of it, I’ll be posting random writings and things I’m working on. This little thing is something that came out of a rather interesting conversation had while walking my dog after dinner.

Apparently it is common knowledge that grass can become stressed and turn brown because of it. I, not being a lover of lawns, thought that perhaps the grass needed something to help relax it. This led the conversation to the topic of beer being used as lawn fertilizer which led to hipster grass, and then somehow to the idea of the grass walking away. Like I said. Random.

This little bit of writing below is what came out of that strange walking grass idea.

It all began the morning the grass left. Each individual blade stood, shook itself free of dirt, and, in single file, began to march away. Their tiny singular roots split and stretched in minuscule strides across the pavement. Carol didn’t quite know what to make of it, but since thousands of blades of grass marching single file down a street takes a while, she had time.

The first, and possibly most startling, realization she came to was that the grass had been alive. Well, obviously it had been alive. You know, it had been really alive, like, human alive. This is not something generally accepted as common knowledge. Second, if they were marching away, she’d done something terrible to make them decide to leave her. Third, even her grass couldn’t stand to be around her anymore. Apparently even her vegetation found her to be a bore.

Carol turned away from the spectacle of her militaristic lawn towards the window into the back yard. She’d half expected her azalea bush to have uprooted itself and started the process of rolling away or however it was that azaleas moved. Distantly she also realized that Tolkien had been more than onto something with the ent thing.

Her coffee sat forgotten on the kitchen table nestled cozily in front of the kitchen window. Carol pushed her glasses up her nose and decided she’d had enough. She was not going to be walked out on by her own lawn. In a furry teal bathrobe and bare feet, she marched herself out into her driveway. By this time, the neighbors had begun to notice the spectacle of her traitorous lawn.

At the end of the driveway, Carol stopped. Her hands pressed themselves into the ample girth of her hips. Her watery blue eyes darted back and forth behind her large framed tortoise shell glasses.

“What exactly do you think you’re doing?” Carol demanded in what she thought was a mothery voice. She didn’t actually know. If grass would walk out on her, it isn’t exactly a stretch that men would too.

The grass shivered. Bristled and recently shorn tops folded and bent. A herd of grasslings stopped and turned to face her. Carol couldn’t see any faces, but thought that if they’d bothered to turn around they must have them somewhere. Her lawn had paused. It now stood half emptied. The top half was only dirt. Carol had her lawns attention, but she wasn’t exactly sure what to say next. Silence stretched between them.

“Go on. Get back onto my front yard.” Carol didn’t think it’d work, but she thought she’d give it a try anyway.

Not exactly sure how’d I’d like this to end. I might just file it away for later. If, for some strange reason, you have a suggestion for how this should end, I’d be more than happy to write it.

Well…I used to be a blonde

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This is going to be a quick one since I doubt most people are super interested in my hair. Part of my preparation for moving to Japan was to get my hair color as close to natural as possible. One, I didn’t think many Japanese stylists had experience coloring blonde hair. Two, I had no idea when I’d get my hair cut. Three, I didn’t know if I’d be able to afford getting it colored. With all of these things in mind I decided to just get my hair as close to its natural color as possible and to get it cut in a way that would be easy to manage and let grow out.

Now, since I popped out of the womb, I’ve had really light blonde hair. I knew it was getting darker. I just didn’t think it had gotten quite this dark. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised since my Dad’s hair did the exact same thing. There went my hopes of being that super exotic blonde girl in Japan. I’ll just be another Brunette/Dark Blonde person in Japan. At least I still have blue eyes.

Thank you genetics….I’ll miss being a toe head.

Just Michigan Things: Going to a Tiger’s Game

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I’ve sort of made an unofficial list of things that I wanted to do before going to Japan. Considering that I’ve spent most of the last few years in Texas, there are a few things that I’ve not been able to do as much as I’d like. The first thing on our list, besides drinking Vernors and being able to call things pop again, was to go to a Tiger’s game.

I’ve been asked to talk about Detroit, so I’m planning to do a little bit of that was well while I’m at it. Before you go to a Tiger’s game there are several dining options available to you in downtown Detroit. One of our favorite places is Lafayette Coney Island. It stands next to American Coney Island. At some point the two brothers who originally owned American fought over something and they split. That’s where Lafayette comes into this. Though American is bigger, Lafayette, nothing more than a tiny hole in the wall, is often packed. There was even a line when we got there.

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It’s a place straight out of time. Tiny counters line and equally tiny space. The stools are squat and the space between them and the counter suggests a time when people must have been shorter. I had to sit sideways and even that was a bit hard to manage. At the front, or back, depending on where you enter, there are a few scant tables.

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There’s a menu, but generally anyone who comes there doesn’t need it. You order a coney with everything. You can get water. If you’re feeling super Michigany, you get a Vernors. It’s ginger ale for those of you who don’t know. It could and probably will be the subject of its very own post at some point. You could get a beer, but why bother.

Coneys are a staple of Michigan food. It’s simple. It’s a hot dog with creamy greek style chili, bright yellow mustard, and fresh onion. It’s almost impossible just to pick it up. Eventually everyone needs a fork. Eating your coney dog with a fork is almost like a right of passage. I could spend a lot of time on one simple restaurant, but this was only lunch.

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The nice thing about going across town a little ways is seeing all of the amazing buildings. I didn’t manage to capture as many pictures as I would have liked. Below is a picture of one of the last remaining original theatres. Even though it’s seen better days, it’s easy to get a glimpse of just how beautiful this city once was and the city is littered with buildings just like it. It’s a monument to the type of architecture that ran rampant in the early parts of the twentieth century. The biggest shame in all of it is that so many of them have been so little cared for that they won’t stand the test of time.

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Look everybody. It’s Canada. Everyone say hi Canada!

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My favorite of these buildings stands just outside of the Detroit Opera House and right within view of Comerica Park. It was at some point scheduled to be torn down, because everyone loved it so much it was bought up simply so that it could continue to stand there and be looked it. It’s of course the art work that saved it. More and more that’s starting to be true.

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I would talk a bunch about the actual game, but then I’d have to talk about how I wanted to burn the bull pen that game. We won and that’s what really matters. I also got to spend some time with my good friends. It was a great day in a great town with great people.

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Post Office Fail (or how a tiny piece of paper managed to get lost in a distance just over twenty miles)

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Before I left Texas, there was one last piece of paperwork that I had to send off. It was my Certificate of Health form. I made a point of filling it out, copying it, and sending it off into the loving, careful arms of the U.S. Postal Service. Unfortunately, I did not realize that those arms were also greedy and randomly selfish. They decided to keep it. They must have found me interesting or…something.

My favorite part of all of this is the distance my poor little form had to travel. My former address actually was a Houston address though it was about twenty minutes away from downtown. The place is was going to was in downtown Houston. Apparently this distance is just too little to be bothered with by the postal service. Maybe if I’d tried to send it to somewhere far away like Alaska they’d have tried a little harder. Alas, it was not the case.

I did not discover that this was aproblem until about five thirty last Wednesday. I was up in Mt. Pleasant. This is two hours away from where I am currently staying. I don’t have any doctors in that area that I am familiar with, and, to make things worse, it was after office hours at most doctor’s offices. At the urging of Adam, my husband, I called an office recommended to me anyway. Surprisingly they were open, but they were booked until August. So…that wasn’t going to do me any good.

They did happily inform me that across the hall from their practice was an urgent care facility that only took walk ins. They opened at nine. If you’ve never been to a walk in clinic, you don’t know the time gamble you could be making. Either it’s a ghost town, or you end up waiting for hours on end. Knowing this I decided to exit the bachelorette party I was attending and partially throwing so that I could be home in time to sleep and only have to get up in order to run to the clinic.

Two hours and a lot of loudly sung Disney songs later, I managed to get back to a sort of home base for the evening. The sleeping part didn’t so much happen because of the bachelor party happening at the house.

Groggily, I got myself out of bed and dragged myself the ten minutes to the clinic. To my great relief there was no one waiting when I got there. Within minutes I was in and getting poked and prodded as is necessary of an exam. The one thing I was not looking forward too was my Tuberculosis test. I’d already gotten it done once, and I wasn’t looking forward to getting poked with another needle quite so soon.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows one thing about me. I do not like needles. The thought of any one person coming at me with a sharp piece of metal for the sole purpose of sticking it into my skin is not a pleasant one. I was willing to be calm only because the previous test I’d received was about as close to painless as can be achieved. Oh, and before I forget, the first thing she had to do was circle the test place with a large permanent black marker. A wonderful addition to someone who is going to be in a wedding the very next day.

I did not know that I had signed up to be poked by nurse ratchet. I told her that I was nervous around needles. Her terse response was to look at the wall. I did. I was expecting the gentle needle poke from before. Nope. Not even close. She jabbed the tiny needle into my arm first once then twice. Then she plunged the plunger as quickly as possible and yanked it out sucking skin and blood with it. I stared at the much larger hole in my arm than the last time. It didn’t just sort of bleed it bled. When I asked for some gauze, she laughed and simply replied, “Oh, man you’re a bleeder.” Thank you I was not aware that I was bleeding.

The rest of the physical was perfunctory and short. Except for when the doctor asked me why I’d ever move back to Michigan, there was nothing really interesting about it. I paid, got my paperwork later, and left. Thankfully I’m good at being aware during pictures. As of right now, there are no big black rings showing up in the pictures. Here it is below. It is extremely faded compared to how it used to be.

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