Posted in Pop Culture

Sports Fan

On any Sunday in the fall months, my father could be found passionately talking to the television screen. Of all the sounds I heard in house, this is what was the loudest. Add his fist making repeated contact with the coffee table and you got the message that this was his alone time. After football season ended, he directed his attention to “Showtime”, aka the Lakers, being led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. And even though he wasn’t a huge baseball fan, the memory of sitting on the hard concrete in front of Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland watching the World Series on his Watchman (oh yeah, thank you 80s technology), is one that has stuck with me. By the time the water show Fantasmic! had begun, my family and I had waited at least two hours and everyone surrounding us was captivated by the game.

I am not a sports fan. Football, basketball, baseball, etc., are not something I care for. I only watch golf as a sign of my love for my husband (Tiger can suck it). I don’t get having a favorite team, even if I do watch the Superbowl (for the halftime show and commercials, of course).

But I do have a love of sports in one area of entertainment, as a result of having a sports fanatic for a Dad. Sports movies keep my attention like no game on ESPN can. The drama, the David and Goliath dynamic, and even the lack of promise that the hero will win (Rocky) keeps me looking forward to the newest one.

I was reminded of the love this weekend when my hubby and I sat down and watched Ron Howard’s Rush. For those who aren’t aware of it, Rush is a Formula One racing film that is set in the 1970s. It is about the relationship between racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). It was so good. Not just for the race scenes (which were phenomenal) but the complicated friendship the rivals had. I can’t recommend this film enough. Here are a few other favorite sports stories that will keep me planted on the couch on any given Sunday afternoon:

Invincible: The story of NFL player, Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg). There is nothing like a good underdog movie.

Fever Pitch: Yes, it really is more of a romantic comedy. But you can’t deny the devotion of Red Sox fans, as portrayed by Jimmy Fallon and friends.

Jerry Maguire: The breakdown of a sports agent (Tom Cruise) and finding his way back to the heart of the game is awesome. I love Cuba Gooding Jr. as arrogant and spoiled NFL player Rod Tidwell.

Warrior: Not only did this film put Tom Hardy (aka, Batman‘s Bane) on the map, but it showed heartbreak in the masculine world of MMA fighting. It is the story of two brothers (Hardy and Joel Edgerton) and the eventual match that puts them in the ring together.

Those are my picks. If you have a sports movie that you love, let me know! I would love to hear about it.

Rush movie

 

Posted in Word Therapy

Casey

As I wake up each morning and make the trip out to the garage, I see two things that make me think of her: her cranberry colored bowl, accented with cornflower bones, and her medicine. Oscar goes outside and runs to the side of the house, looking for his sister. At night I turn on the backyard light, still expecting to see Casey  laying on the concrete.

Our Casey was always meant to be a Wilson. In February of 2003 Curtis and I were in our first purchased home, a condominium, in Anaheim. We both wanted a dog and made the decision to adopt a mini dachshund from a breeder (Please educate yourself before adopting or buying a dog)  in a small town not too far from our present day home. Soon after that Curtis’s sister informed us that she had taken Casey, her 3 year old black lab/pitbull mix, to the Orange County animal shelter. She couldn’t keep her any longer and felt she had no other options.  When Curtis informed me of this we headed down to the shelter to save her. As soon as she saw us she recognized us, which made me so happy. We took her rambunctious self home and decided that we would try and find her a new home while we fostered her. 

We ended up finding Casey a home with a sweet family that had lots of room for her to run and children. But after they took her home I immediately regretted it. Even as I swept up the wiry dog hair that had taken over our tiny place since her entrance, I knew that she was already a part of our family. So when they called us a week later to say they couldn’t keep her because she chased their cat (who would have thought?!), I was so happy to welcome her sweet puppy face back into my heart. 

When we brought Oscar and all 3 pounds of him home at the beginning of April, I was nervous. Casey wasn’t a huge dog but at 60 pounds she could dominate him in one fell swoop. We kept Oscar in a crate for a few days to be safe. But that didn’t work when all he did was whine at night. We gradually brought them together when we were sure Casey wasn’t going to eat Oscar for a mid morning snack. To our surprise, Oscar became the boss of Casey. He would attack her head, nip at her tail, and even try to hump her leg any chance he could (before and after he was fixed). They were the funniest pair, racing through our barely 1000 square foot condo at top speed, like they were chasing the moving rabbit. They fought at times and even drew blood. But they were brother and sister above all else. 

Casey was a good dog. She loved to cuddle, play, and I couldn’t have asked her to be any gentler with Curls and Red. But, holy hell, she was a runner. She had slowed down in the last couple of years in her life, but for the first nine years that she was with us, she would bolt any time she could. You leave our front door open enough to let the light in and Casey would be gone before you could take a breath. We had many times where I thought we had lost her only to have my knight in shining armor of a husband bring her back. My favorite incident was my 32nd birthday. I was six months pregnant with Curls. My parents had come down to take us out to dinner and we were all walking into our rented home in Costa Mesa. They knew Casey was a runner but still let their guard down for that millisecond that she needed to dash out into the late evening. It began an hour long chase where Curtis ran after her on foot through our neighborhood, trying not to attract too much attention. She thought he was playing a game and would let him get just close enough to give hope, only to take off again. He was finally able to tackle her to the ground on somebody’s front lawn. I hated that hubby had to chase her like that but it still makes me laugh when I picture her running with glee. 

In May of last year Casey started to go downhill. Part of her face started to atrophy and a growth appeared on her right shoulder. She had lumps before that we had removed but this one was different. It felt like a rock. We were afraid to have her put under to have it taken out because of her age. But when she lost vision in her right eye, I knew deep down she wasn’t going to be around for much longer. 

Curtis and I had the “When do we put her down?” conversation. I begged to put it off and promised to keep an eye on her. I had never had to do this and couldn’t understand how anybody could be expected to just say, “Yep. She needs to die now.” I understood the logic. You don’t want the animal to suffer. But I couldn’t (and still can’t) think that I am not killing her myself. Shouldering that responsibility hurts so much and I only hope that I can forgive myself for sitting there and holding her while the veterinarian injected her with enough anesthesia to stop her heart. When the vet checked her and let me know she was gone, I didn’t believe it. I kept waiting for her chest to rise again. 

It has only been a few days since we lost her and I know it will get better. I try to give as much love to Oscar as I can, hoping he knows that he still has us. I want to get him somebody new to boss around but right now the thought just breaks my heart all over again. His sister was the sweetest animal I have ever known and nobody will ever take her place in our family.

Casey Girl

I love you Casey.