Here's the Central High School 2016 Lip Dub! Maddie does not make an appearance. Oh, how far high school video production has come since I helped film and produce my senior class video in high school. It's like comparing a Model T to a 2017 Corvette, is what it is.
And here's a recent video about the importance of Matt's career field.
Since hell has frozen over and TWO CLEVELAND TEAMS have continued into a post-season in 2016, it's probably high-time I wrote about my beloved Cleveland Caveliers. Especially since Game 2 of the ALDS starts shortly. (!!!)(Go wINDIANS!)
Somewhere in this house is my charter member card to Richfield Coliseum, which I earned for attending the first game played by the Cavaliers there in 1974. (It is currently in a "safe place" but I intend to tear things apart this winter until I locate it again). Needless to say, I was raised a Cavs fan: Richfield Coliseum isn't even standing anymore but my love of the team is. My list of favorite players through the years is long—though Mark Price, Larry Nance, Hot Rod Williams, Craig Ehlo, Brad Daugherty are all favorites from another era. I went through a terrible breakup with LeBron when he unceremoniously left for Miami, just like so many other fans did, and he had to earn his way back into my heart (which he did when I got all weepy after watching this—OK, OK, I still get weepy watching it—and decided to forgive him his trespasses, for he was young and foolish in 2007). I am forever indebted to the current crew for bringing so much happiness to northeast Ohio. I totally get why there will no doubt be a whole bunch of babies born this year named Kyrie.
We didn't miss a single playoff game despite gymnastics, final school projects, or moving prep while living in Alabama in 2015. The girls caught the basketball bug and could talk Cleveland Cavs with anyone, so we were all understandably heartbroken when the curse kicked in yet again and Cleveland came up empty-handed in the post-season. But any true Cleveland fan knows: water under the bridge. We return, wide-eyed, open-hearted and hopeful despite the scar tissue caused by so many years of heartbreak. So when the NBA season kicked off again last fall, we once again made a point to watch every game we could that aired on TV, and even some on Apple TV. Note: watching a game on Apple TV is a totally different experience, because they leave the cameras running the entire time so you can see all the weird and wonderful stuff that happens during halftime. Ha. I believe it was in March or April that I experienced my first true pangs of anxiety about the playoffs—like, we actually have a chance here. But I mostly kept my mouth shut, because, experience.
And then there was no denying it: the Cavs were on the playoff path once again. It took a thousand planets to align to watch the games because of gymnastics, work, travel, Matt's two month head start to Cheyenne last spring, and moving prep. We phone-called through a few games but no one missed one. My nagging pangs of playoff anxiety turned into full-fledged panic, but the kind of panic that comes from riding a wild, nearly out-of-control roller coaster. The good parts. Down with Detroit! Down with Atlanta! Down with Toronto! With every game, we were more on edge. Well, Matt was way more zen about things somehow—I suspect it is because he is not a charter member of the Richfield Coliseum, and only came to be a Cavs fan in the mid-1980s. But I was an absolute basket case.
Moving during the NBA Playoffs presented a huge problem, but we solved it by keeping one of our two TVs out of the moving truck. HALLELUJAH, because our things did not arrive when they were supposed to arrive but we could watch no matter what. The problem of what to do if the series extended into Matt's three week trip to Alabama (which I was to attend the second week of) was looming. The girls were headed to the Karahalises for a week, who promised that while not NBA fans, would guarantee access to a TV and an empty schedule in case of a game 7. Which, in all honesty, was not looking promising at the beginning of June:
Game 1: Golden State wins.
Game 2: Golden State wins.
Game 3: Cavs TROUNCE Golden State. (whew!)
Game 4: Golden State wins.
No team had ever dug themselves out of a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs before. While my hope was tested, it was not lost.
Game 5: Cleveland wins.
Game 6: Cleveland wins.
OH MY GOSH. YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME. Game 7 will be watched in Colorado Springs, CO and Montgomery, AL.
Game 7: My flight was scheduled to land just before the game was set to begin. Matt picked me up, we skipped dinner and screeched into the hotel parking lot just in time to catch most of the first quarter. I was nearly sick with nerves. SICK.
Here is where I will note that I have never really understand the charm of watching old professional sports games on TV. I could care less about watching the Superbowl from 1975, or even worse, highlight reels from The Drive, The Fumble, The 9th Inning of the 1997 World Series, or The Shot. (You can look those up if you want, though if you're a Cleveland fan, you won't need to). I apologize, for now I get it. I could watch Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Championships every week for the rest of my life and never get sick of it. It's a wonder we didn't get kicked out of the Maxwell AFB visiting quarters, because, well, it was an angst-ridden and then rowdy party we threw that night. It was hard to focus on what had happened—because I was bawling. I will admit it: I bawled about basketball, friends. 93-89 bawling. UGLY bawling.
Deb sent me this photo, taken at the moment I burst into tears of joy. There were some very excited Dillow girls on the other side of the country. Even Deb and Greg got into the game, because who couldn't? It was the greatest game in basketball history. HA! We called my parents, the girls, had another friend from New Mexico call, texted furiously with friends, lit up Facebook with friends who were equally shocked and joyous... it was a good night that I will never, ever, ever forget. LeBron was undone, and so was I.
Anything is possible. 123—hard work. 456—together.
I lost my words these past few months. It isn't that there haven't been stories to tell, but for many reasons both serious and ridiculous, I haven't been telling them.
And I miss it.
Blogs are dead, people say. Maybe so.
Matt tells me to just tell a story, any story—in the tradition of the old days of Simple, it doesn't matter where it lands on the timeline. Chronology is for other people, right?
So. In an attempt to find my words... at least a few of them... here is a random PSA. The closer you live to Hatch, NM or Pueblo, CO, the more useful it is. But it's still worth remembering no matter where you are.
A few months ago I was hurriedly making dinner in the 45 minutes between Bee gym pickup and M & G gym pickup—I don't remember what I was making, but it had green chiles in it. I was chopping them up, being very careful not to slice my fingers off in our poorly lit Albuquerque kitchen. Bee was starting homework, Matt wasn't home from work yet. And then somehow MY EYE CAUGHT FIRE. Like, I was immediately blinded, shrieking in pain, waggling a knife around trying to find the counter. I know through an unfortunate experience with Slap Ya Mama in Louisiana that pepper residue in one's eyeball is painful, but this? This was 8000 times worse. Maybe even 27,000 times worse. All I could think was "but I always buy mild peppers!!!" (which, by the way, was completely irrelevant since by that point I'm pretty sure both my eyes had caught fire).
Bridget was properly freaked out, especially since chile pepper oil is invisible.
And just at that moment, Matt walked in about 7:35 pm from a long day at work and an hour commute to discover me writhing around trying to put water in my eyes without actually touching them.
Sometimes it pays (ok, usually) to be married to the Sunbeam of Knowledge, or at least someone who is good at googling things fast. He went to work and found that milk! Milk in my eyes would cure me. He grabbed the milk and a dish towel and tried to make me a milk compress. I grabbed the milk and just poured it on my face. And because of the miracle of science, my eyes stopped being on fire. JUST LIKE THAT. Like, instantaneous relief. You know how when you stub your toe you feel it for an hour after the initial pain? None of that. Just, fixed. I would tell you to try it out, but I think that would fall into the category of a Very Bad Idea. I was shaky in general from the whole hoopla, but my eyes were fine. I went to get the girls and marveled at my non-fiery sight the entire way.
It's possible that everyone in the world knows that pouring milk on one's face will cure pepper-related disasters, but just in case you didn't know... now you do.