Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy new stuff, and things

I'm going to be in Dallas, and likely not anywhere near Blogger, for a few days, so before I go, I'd like to do two things:
1) Wish you all a happy new year. So...happy new year! And thanks very much for reading my blog
2) Revisit some of 2007, because it was the most eventful year of my life. Here we go!

I had shoulder surgery two days after New Year’s. It sucked. What kind of idiot starts a year that way? However, having that operation meant that, in all likelihood, the rest of the year would be a whole lot better.

I spent most of that month either in physical therapy, or sitting in my room hating my life (or getting sick on campus buses...when the label on a painkiller says "take with food," they mean to take the damn thing with food. Don't disobey, or you might also get sick in a public space. Not pretty.). It didn’t help that my best friend and wonderful roommate had to move out, but my beslinged arm and I made it through to…

Typically my least favorite month of the year, but some cool stuff happened. Well, cool stuff happened on Valentine’s Day, but as far as I can recall the rest of the month was a waste. On Valentine's Day,
1) My physical therapist told me I could quit wearing my sling. I had grown a little bit attached, as it was a great conversation piece when I met Ryan Shealy for the first time. He and Ryan Braun signed it, so of course I still have it.
2) My brother proposed to his wonderful lady friend, and she said yes. (Yay!) More about them later.
And then Spring Training started! Yay again!

March Madness followed the typical custom of being Husker-less, but I participated in a pool or two nonetheless, and made a few bucks. The tournament kept me happily occupied as I waited for Opening Day. I think I probably went to school and stuff too, but that wasn’t important.

Here is a random picture of my roommate's cat in a box, to break up the monotony of the offseason.

April 2, 2007, was one of the happiest days of my life. Is there a way for a baseball nut to adequately describe the joy that comes with Opening Day? Before this year, I had never been able to make it to KC for the opener, but this year I said, “To hell with classes!* I’m not missing another Opening Day!”
So to Kansas City I went, along with two of my brothers and two of their friends. The weather was perfect, the BBQ was perfect, the game was perfect. Gil Meche made his Royals debut, and dominated the Red Sox. Manny and Papi went a combined 1-7 on the day, whereas the Royals worked together to score 7 runs. On that day, and only on that day, the Royals held a slice of 1st place in the AL Central. It felt wonderful, while it lasted.
April was also when I started my job with the O-Royals, which is the best job I’ve ever had, and I never want to give it up. I wonder if there’s an upper age limit for Powerade girls...

*This move resulted in my VisLit professor almost failing me. I think it’s because he hates me, America, and baseball…a lethal combination.

The school year ended, and my grades were decent. I finally moved to Omaha so I didn’t have a 55-mile (each way) commute anymore. At the end of the month, I jumped off the dugout onto the edge of a step and sprained the hell out of my ankle. It didn’t break, but I wish it would have.

I have a whole new appreciation for athletes who have to be on the DL a lot (I’m looking at YOU, Ryan Shealy). It sucks, even if you don’t actually play a sport. Not that the boys had many home games in June, because that was College World Series time at lovely Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Because I was stuck in my house (or, again, in physical therapy, because the 20 weeks I did it for my shoulder weren’t enough for the year) resting the stupid ankle, I only made it to one game – the perverted-sounding Beavers/Eaters matchup. After the CWS, I finally got to return to work for the Powerade Power Team, after 32 days of sitting in my room hating my life (see a theme here?)

Scott Elarton gave up a bunch of home runs in the first 2 innings of the game on my birthday, so the O-Royals did not win for me (those jerks!). But I did get to wear a festive lei, so all is forgiven.

To make up for all the time they’re on the road during the CWS in June, the O-Royals played at home almost every day in August, and I worked every single game. I am not complaining about that; given a choice between working a game and having a day off, I’d take working 10 out of 10 times. Remember the proposal my brother made in February? The wedding was in August, on the one weekend in which the O-Royals were on the road. What splendid timing! The wedding was wonderful; everyone in both families was happy to welcome new members into the fold, and I was thrilled to finally have a sister after two decades of life with four brothers and no sisters.
August was also the month in which I got to meet Mike Sweeney. See, it always comes back to baseball.

The O-Royals were done for the season, so I moved back to Lincoln for another year of schooling. School is kind of lame, so I won’t bore you with the details. It was especially hard to transition from the fun and glamorous baseball life to the dull existence of a poor college student.
During September, Nebraska’s football team and fan base were excited to see what the super-hyped ASU transfer Sam Keller could do for our offense. He (and the rest of the team) looked mighty fine against Nevada (who, by the way, got in a bowl game despite being so thoroughly crushed by a Nebraska team who didn’t even have a ghost of a chance to get a bowl game. Silly, eh?), but started a steady decline after that, including an almost-loss to Ball State (who also got a bowl invite).

I don’t remember if anything happened in this month. I watched the MLB postseason and went to Husker football games, and I think that was all. Oh, my favorite sportswriter – the reason I even want to be a sportswriter – told me at some point during October that he thought I was a decent writer. That was pretty significant. I may have printed that e-mail and showed it to everyone I know. Unless that would be pathetic, in which case I totally kept my cool and went about my merry way.

Another boring month. Baseball ended, Nebraska’s football team was doing poorly, which led to the happy (for me) end of the Bill Callahan era. At least I had a new year of Nebrasketball about which to be excited. It’s head coach Doc Sadler’s second season, and many of the most ardent Nebrasketball fans are sure it’s the year in which Doc will lead us to the promised land, the Big Dance.

I grew up in a tiny town in the southwestern part of Nebraska, but I do consider Omaha my town too. So when, at the beginning of December, tragedy struck in an Omaha mall, I felt it too. That’s not supposed to happen in my town, right? After that, my petty hatred of winter seemed pretty small.
Now Christmas has come and gone, and it was awesome as always to spend time with my parents, all of my brothers, and my sister-in-law. On New Year’s Day, I will be going to Dallas for the national conference of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). If you are the praying sort, I'd appreciate a prayer or two for safe travel, and open hearts, and such.
Meanwhile, my dear brother is traveling through Europe, mostly in Italy. Color me completely jealous.

Yep, that was my year. I'm sure I left a thing or two out, but I hit the main points -- gaining a sister, meeting Mike Sweeney, and Opening Day. After reading that, you either "know" me a little bit better, or you feel like you've wasted your time. To ensure that it's the latter, I'll leave you with a random thought about Mr. Gerard Butler.

I think Gerard Butler is handsome. Very, very handsome. But I don't know that I would recognize him if I saw him on the street; he looks like a completely different (but still devastatingly good-looking) man in every movie in which I've seen him. In this photo, he's standing next to a poster of himself, and he still doesn't look like himself. How does he do that?

All right, if you're still with me after all that, I thank you for sticking around. Let's see what the heck happens to this site in 2008; I am hoping for good things, and maybe a few new readers (tell all your friends!), and that enough baseball happens in my life that you never have to hear my musings on Gerard Butler, ever again.

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