Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few thoughts that are not my own.

For Christmas, my family got two baseball books. One was The Baseball Book from Sports Illustrated, which was the greatest thing ever, and the other was Home Plate Don’t Move, a compilation of baseball-related quotes. Here are some of my favorites.

“Any ballplayer that don’t sign autographs for little kids ain’t an American. He’s a communist.” –Rogers Hornsby

<----Angel Berroa is apparently not a communist. But wait! He's not American-born, either. Is there a third option? Either way, I suppose he's not a jerk in Hornsby's book.

“If you don’t think baseball is a big deal, don’t do it. But if you do it, do it right.” –Tom Seaver

“It ain’t bragging if you can do it.” –Dizzy Dean (Dizzy Dean, shown at right, sure could do it.)

“A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.” –Humphrey Bogart

“Correct thinkers think that ‘baseball trivia’ is an oxymoron: nothing about baseball is trivial.” –George Will

“A man once told me to walk with the Lord. I’d rather walk with the bases loaded.” –Ken Singleton

“Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.” –Satchel Paige

“It’s not what you did last year. It’s what you’re going to do this year. That’s more important.” –Albert Pujols (and people wonder why I WORSHIP this guy, despite my hatred of the Cardinals)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” –Rogers Hornsby

“All winter long, I can’t wait for baseball. It gets you back to doing the stuff you love and makes you wish the youthfulness of life could stay with you forever.” –Tommy John

“Baseball is dull only to dull minds.” –Red Smith

“I can never undertand why anybody leaves he game early to beat the traffic. The purpose of baseball is to keep you from caring if you beat the traffic.” –Bill Vaughan, columnist for the KC Star

“Baseball’s most delicious paradox: although the game never changes, you’ve never seen everything.” –Stephen King

“The losing streak is bad for the fans, no doubt, but look at it this way. We’re making a lot of people happy in other cities.” –Ted Turner

“The fans like to see home runs, and we have assembled a pitching staff for their enjoyment.” –Clark Griffith, an executive for the Twins

“They give you a round bat and they throw you a round ball, and then they tell you to hit it square.” –Willie Stargell

“The two most important things in life are good friends and a strong bullpen.” –Bob Lemon

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Last night, just a few nights after I got home for my first college Christmas break, a soft rain fell throughout the wee hours of the morning. The rain froze as soon as it hit any cold, solid objects, thus coating the entire town in over a half an inch of ice. Icicles line each cable of our clothesline out back; they run across each diamond and along the top of our chain-link fence.

The ice is beautiful, but it's a sinister beauty. The fact that there's a half-inch of the stuff means it weighs a ridiculous amount. My neighbors have a grand and quite mature tree in their front yard, which is at least 70 years old and stands over 35 feet tall. Well, not so much anymore. A great number of the tallest, grandest branches are now upside-down in the yard, and missed impaling the house's roof by only a few inches.

All day long, my dad's fire department radios have been squawking about power lines down all over town -- we considered getting out a map of the city and sticking pushpins in each location where a downed line or even pole was reported. I think that by now we'd have run out of either pins or space on the map.

To step outside is to subject your ears to a frighteningly loud chorus of sirens as crews scurry from one downed line to another, and of creaks and groans of branches and their coats of ice as they sway in the breeze. We have lost a few minor limbs and a bush in the backyard, but that's all so far. It's honestly a little scary knowing that at any second, my front porch could be crushed as a heavy branch above it succumbs to the weight of the ice.

Please pray that the rest of my family -- my Dad and my three older brothers -- can make it back to McCook safely tomorrow as planned, and that my front porch can be in one piece when they get here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Short note for Sunday

It's Sunday, which means church, naps, football, and PostSecret. I'm sure you've already heard of this site, but if you haven't, please make it a part of your websurfing every Sunday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On Christmas

In my previous post, I briefly mentioned my cheery Christmas mood. All I mentioned there was the surface stuff -- music, shopping, decorating. But to me, the very best thing about Christmas is the giving.

In today's fast-paced, self-centered society, it seems that most people spend at least 11 months of the year thinking about only themselves. Maybe this view is a little cynical, but it really seems that way. People stare straight ahead in stores, totally unaware of their fellow shoppers also trying to navigate the aisles. Kids in school hallways don't always take the time to hold doors or pick up things that others dropped on the floor. Moms let their kids scream and scream everywhere they go. And all that is a shame.

But then comes December. Is it just me, or does everyone really seem nicer around Christmas? Yes, I do hear the horror stories about mad shoppers who try to kill each other. But aside from those incidents, it does seem like people are willing to take a little less time for themselves, and a little more time for others. If you need proof, look at the Salvation Army's donation tree in your community, where they add more lights as people donate more money. I've been watching the one in Lincoln grow brighter. I've seen the one in Omaha too, and by the time Christmas finally arrives, the tree is so full of lights you can't even tell there's a tree under them.

On my floor, we had a "Secret Santa" with a $10 limit. Nearly every girl I've talked to has gone over that limit, because they like to give. I agree; giving is way better than receiving.

The beauty in giving is that you can keep doing it forever; there's always someone who can receive what you have to offer. And the beauty of giving in today's society is that it's easier than ever. A few mouse clicks at the Child's Play website can give a sick kid something to do while in the hospital. (While you're at the Child's Play site, read some of the stories of the struggles they've had in making room for all the donations. If you ever wonder about whethere there are good people left in the world, these stories offer plenty of hardcore evidence that the answer is a resounding YES.)

I love the way Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated talked about charitable giving in his December 4 column:

It was the alltime no-brainer. Skip lunch; save a life. Buy the Top-Flites instead of the Titleists; save a life. Don't bet on the Redskins; save a life. Nothing to research. No government to topple. No warlords to fight.
He was talking about Nothing But Nets, a campaign started by SI last year to fight malaria by giving mosquito nets to kids in Africa. And he's right about the giving -- many of us have a ton of ways we can get rid of some expenses and add a tremendous amount of happiness to someone else's life, or even save lives directly.

And with the power to give that much, how can I help but to feel a tinge of Christmas cheer?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A few new things

So it's been a while; my bad. A few things since last posting....

The Big XII Championship game:
The game was last night in Kansas City. As you probably already know, Nebraska lost to Oklahoma, 21-7. Talk about underachieving on the offense. Man, that was a disappointment. However, it was a heck of a fun trip, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, if for no other reason than the pregame atmosphere.

It was a lot like a Husker home game, with Nebraska fans outnumbering Sooners at a ratio of about 6:1. We got to the parking lot at around 3:30 in the afternoon and the lots were already packed with massive RVs and people who obviously spend a lot of time tailgating. Barbecues, TVs, tents, and space heaters were everywhere, and everyone was in a pretty swell mood. I think that Husker fans were for the most part kind to the poor outnumbered Okies, because that's just how Husker fans roll.

It's funny how easy it is to get free stuff when you're a college chick. In order to be offered free beer, for example, we merely had to stand around for about 2.6 seconds. Some older folks near us actually fed us their barbecued wares for free, which was great because of course, food in the stadium costs about a million dollars.

The weather was pretty nippy, but really it wasn't bad. Some people would say we got bad seats -- only 10 rows from the top -- but I think they were absolutely awesome. We could see everything on the field very clearly...there's a good reason people put press boxes high up rather than at field-level! Our feet got pretty cold, but we survived without the loss of any toes, so it couldn't have been that severe, right?

Turns out Nebraska will take on Auburn in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. I'm unbelievably psyched for that. I don't know if I ever mentioned it here, but I got sick to death of the way ESPN drooled all over Auburn all season, when they're really not all that amazing. If Nebraska brings their A-game, they can smoke 'em easily. So basically, the defense can play like they did in the 3rd quarter last night, and the offense can remember what they did all season rather than do like last night.

Other Husker happenings:
The volleyball team rollllllled in their game last night, with a 3-game sweep over Northern Iowa to get into the NCAA Sweet 16.
The Nebraska men's basketball team didn't fare so well, taking their first loss of the regular season at Rutgers, 75-73. They'll be fine, as long as they pick up a win in Oregon this week!

Happy yummy Christmas feelings!
I love the Christmas season. Now that it's finally Advent (for all ye non-Catholics, Advent is the 4 weeks before Christmas in which we prepare for His birth), I can really get into the music, the decorating, and the shopping! It's a wonder my finances ever recover from Christmas; I love to give presents, and I've never met a charity drive I didn't love. But I always bounce back somehow.

I always love the first Sunday Mass of Advent, though. We get to bust out the Christmas music, and it always makes me giddy. I can guarantee I'll be in an unflappable good mood tonight. Off I go to go put up our room lights!!