Friday, December 16, 2005

An Unexpected Who Dey


You can view a slideshow of the other photos I took standing in line by clicking on the above picture of T.J. Houshmandzadeh.


An Unexpected Who Dey

One Fan's Tale - I've lived in Cincinnati most of my life so I've grown up loving the Reds and the Bengals. This has meant a lot of heartache as far as being a casual fem sports fan goes. It's great now to say that you're a Bengal's fan and have their 10 - 3 record to shut up people who once would have laughed.

I live with a man who is not a big sports fan. I have never had to be a "sports widow" and compete with the sport-of-the-season for his attention. Maybe this is why, when it was obvious that new sheriff was in town (Marvin Lewis rocks!) and he decided to start following the Bengals, I decided I'd watch with him. I hadn't so much left the bandwagon, but I was walking beside it. Now I decided to go along for the ride.

It took me a full season to start understanding the finer points and nuances of the game. By mid second-season I was as well acquainted with the Bengals as any armchair fan could be and vaguely following the progress of our rivals. Most importantly, I had staked out my favorite player.

Touraj Houshmandzadeh, better known as "T.J." or simply "Hoosh" as he is affectionately called at my house, is a stellar player. He has the perfect combination of talent, energy, intelligence and attitude that makes him a joy to watch. Some players are more flashy (coughChadcough) and others get the glory (Carson and Rudy) and others are known for saving our ass time and again (God Bless Shane Graham).

Yet and still, Housh makes his presence felt by completing solid, exciting plays that make your breath catch. I've seen more than one defender back up at the sight of him coming. And he is the Duke of Juke. He has class and presence, yet other teams ignore him and his deceptively laid back attitude at their own peril.

T.J. is not afraid to put other guys in check when they get out of line. Everyone standing in line with me remembers a late hit from last season where T.J. not only bounced right back, ball in hand, but also tossed it back to the defender still on the ground. The message was clear: If you want the ball that bad, you can have it. But only after I'm done with it!

That was the day I became a solid Housh fan.

It also doesn't hurt that he is as handsome as the day is long with a killer smile that makes the ladies sigh.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when a Bengal's store opened up on my regular route to work. I noted the ingeniously simple name BengalStuff.com and hit the website the first chance I got and I got another pleasant shock when I saw that Housh would be singing autographs there on Tuesday, December 13.

While We Waited - Still, I nearly didn't go. With this Christmas thing and that work thing and this shopping thing, I nearly forgot about it. I was abruptly reminded while driving home on the 13th and seeing a line had already formed. Mind you it was already 30 degrees and I hate being cold worse than doing dishes and laundry, so I decided to skip it.

But when I got home, my man asked me if I was going. I stalled a bit and asked my daughter if she would like to meet T.J. She looked at me like I was crazy for even asking and said, "YES!"

So we each put on three layers of clothes and socks, bundled up in jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves and headed out. After a pit stop at McDonalds, we were on our way.

Empty handed.

We stood in line for half an hour before we realized that everyone standing in line but us had a jersey, poster, football or some such item for Housh to sign. We had nothing but a battered notebook and empty McDonald's wrappers,

Luckily Walgreen's was across the street. I held our place in line (which had grown exponentially since my drive-by) while my daughter played frogger with the Galbraith Road traffic, not once but twice. Her first trip netted us a Huffy Sports End zone football for $5.99. Second trip got us a disposable camera. A guy in line had a manila file folder full of picks his mother had printed out. He made a killing on them in line, first at $5 and then $10 each. We got one for $2 dollars because I could spell Houshmandzadeh correctly and knew his real first name.

So now that we each had something worth signing, the real wait began. And boy did it get cold. There wasn't much wind, but the temperature dropped as the sunset waned. We did a lot of stamping, dancing, talking and keeping each other's spirits up. It's amazing how well you can get to know complete strangers in line.

My daughter and I had arrived at 4:30. At 5:45, I mentioned that the website had listed the event start time as 5:30. The lady ahead of me in line told me the radio and newspaper spots had said 6:30! I nearly got out of line then, but I asked myself, "Are you a true fan or NOT?!" So I stayed.

It would be 7:15 before T.J. arrived in what I think is his own black Mercedes sports car. He exited the car chatting on a silver cell phone and waved to the cheering crowed, and then he went into the store.

I have no idea what happened in the store, but it took about 15 minutes before the line started to move. But when once it started it moved quickly! I was so pumped my feet started getting warmer from just pure adrenaline.

What I Said - As we started getting closer a lot faster than we had thought possible, we all talked about what we may say to Housh and how we would try to stay sane reasonable people who had actually seen a man before. I think we were kidding ourselves. We knew that whatever we said would be goofy, fannish, and maybe we were crazy. How many people would you wait three hours in the cold for to spend 15 seconds with?

It finally (slowly) dawned upon me that I didn't have to use the camera for just one pic of Housh. I could and should take pictures of everything and duh, didn't I just start a blog?! I wish I could say I planned it all along, but it was a very slow burn and when it hit me, I started snapping pictures of everything and anyone who would stand still long enough.

So what did I finally say to Housh. Well my daughter's turn came first and she was nearly speechless. I had to push her forward. The sheriff standing by had to prompt her to speak. It was hilarious but to her credit I think this is the most famous person she's met to date.

When my turn came, I found that I simply couldn't look into those gorgeous eyes for too long and speak at the same time either. Something of the mom in me must have taken over. I found myself staring at his hands because he had injured one of them a few weeks ago. Suddenly I worried about the toll all the signing would take. One hand (his right) did look a little thinner than the other.

So after all the things I wanted to say and thought I was say, what I ended up saying was: "Write lightly and take care of your hand."

Housh and the guy with him laughed. A genuine laugh. Then he signed my pic. I made the mistake of actually looking at his eyes again and it was five seconds before I remembered my camera. I almost didn't ask, but it was worth annoying him to get the pic. So I asked him to smile and snapped the header photo.

Then I walked away.

We said our goodbyes to our new friends outside. I snapped a few more photos. When I got to the car I asked my daughter what time it was. She said 8:16 and I wrote it down on the camera so I wouldn't forget.

We waited over three hours, mostly in the freezing cold.
It was over in seconds.

It was worth it.


***************************
To view a slideshow of the photos click here.
If your pic appears in the slideshow, I'll send you a print of the pic I took of Housh for free. Just email me. Sorry it took so long to get the story and pics up.

Who Dey!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

If you were in line with me last night...

Sorry, but I couldn't get the pics and story posted last night. I HAD to get my feet warm. But I will be posting the pics and the story of our dear T.J. Houshmandzadeh as soon as I get the pics back from Cord Camera!

Who DEY!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Power of the Pen (or the keyboard as the case may be).

Wow.

I really pissed someone off. I didn't think my own comments on another blog would piss someone off so badly that they would actually track back through my name link and post the following comment on my blog. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Check out the following:

hey dumb bitch,
great blog!
maybe you should not watch the j.r. show. nor read "her" blog.

focus on both of your shitty own blogs.

we don't give a damn about your lengthy opinions on blogs everywhere concerning "jr".


The "JR" in the post refers to someone called Joy Rolland, whom I've never met, spoken with, or as of yet, had a chance to watch her access cable show. But I made some comments in response to someone else's comments about her, none of which I will link to because it's just goofy that a perfect stranger would go to such lengths.

Although the comment was written in the third person, I'm fairly certain it was done by JR herself. I thought about erasing the comments, but I think I'll leave them up for posterity as evidence of the day that I pissed off a crazy person and led them to my blog. May others more sane follow.

Color me amused rather than insulted. And I don't think she really cares, but I actually appreciate the fact that she left the comments on my personal blog (since it was a personal insult) rather than my LSN blog which I regard as a tad more serious. However, neither blog is really ready for the world. I'm just beginning.

So thanks Joy. For making me realize that my words are important and effective (even it wasn't the response I expected). That even if only a crazy person reads them, I put it out there and maybe this blogging thing is worth the trouble.

And I think to myself...what a wonderful world.

Oh yeah.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

State of the Blog Address

As of my last post, I was scrambling to get my life back in order. Or so I thought. Because of the crazy situation that my landlords put us through, I'm back to Living With My Mother.

*sigh* Now any thirty-something living with their parents has to feel a little lame regardless of the circumstances. I will admit that my circumstances are a little extraordinary but that still does not change the fact that I am 34 years old with my man, my teenager, and two dogs and we live with my mom.

It's working out a lot better than I thought. And I've found that when you have a roof over your head, food on the table and family that loves you, your life is never really as out of order as you think it is.

Besides you can only be sad, hurt and angry so long before you realize that life and time are going to keep moving whether you participate or not. What seemed to be major problems just a few weeks ago are slowly sorting themselves out.

We are going to break down and put our boxed stuff in storage, the garage just wasn't big enough. Besides we need the garage for the dogs, because it's heated and winter is here.

We found a nice man who is willing to store the furniture until we can sell it, or he will try to sell it for us at a public auction he holds every year in February.

So, with the realities of getting out of the old house being met, the home situation working out, and even my job not being stressful, I have time to get back online every now and again and see what's going on in the world.

I originally started this blog to post what I think about the major news and political stories of the day, but most of my experience writing is short stories and fiction. Now when you write short stories and fiction, you have to be observant, you have to do reasearch, confirm your facts and then find a way to convey your message to your readers in a clear, concise way.

I don't want my blog to be a work of fiction but I think those same skills will come in handy for what I intend; a blog with my own opinions about current events. However this blog, is turning out to be highly personal. It's so tempting to write everything. All you have to do is sit and type and let the words flow and my fingers tapping the keys are a comfort. But I want the political section to be a tad more organized.

So, I'm going to let this blog, Deb Lite, be my personal blog. And I'm going to start another blog for my political thoughts and views. Each day's post will feature
one bit of Local News (for me that's the Greater Cincinnati Area), State News (Ohio) and National News (with major global stuff thrown in for a relish, but I think the task I've set for myself is daunting enough.) I guess I'll call it LSN - One Woman's View of America.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Emergency - Everthing Must Go

Earlier, I posted the message below on Craig's List - The situation is pretty urgent so if you're interested please call my cell 513.884.7726.

Why We Are Moving - The Saga

I lost my job in June. We managed to stay in our rented house as I akreay had a second part time job but a major part of our income was lost. In August I had to have emergency surgery further straining our income with medical bills and lost time off the job.

While I was still recovering at my mother's home, our electricity was cut off because our landlords never completed certain electrical repairs to the house. We could not make the repairs because we do not own the house and our renter's insurance does not cover liability for the work that needs to be done.

Even if we could have found a way to get around the legalities of spending money we didn't have to make repairs to a house we don't own, we were stopped in our tracks when we recieved service papers stating that the house is being forclosed on anyway. Despite the fact that their mortgage was $500 and we've been paying them $795, the landlords have still managed not to pay for at least as long as it takes to be brought into forclosure status (I'm told six months).

So, we're moving in with my mom. We'll hang in at her place through the holidays and build a new place together in the spring. Meantime, it's been two months and I don't know how much time I have to get the furniture out of the house. It's great stuff, I just don't have any place to put it.

(This post has been updated to reflect current events and has been greatly changed from the original content.)


What we're selling.

Craig's List - Furniture Post
http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/fur/112697500.html

Craig's List - Car Postings

'97 Mercury Tracer
http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/car/112700101.html
'93 Chevy Lumina
http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/car/112699302.html

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My Last Post

My last post was pretty much just a rant about things that have been going on in my life and a mish-mash of my pretty pissed off and cynical opinions about some of the major American news issues of the day.

What I'd really like this blog to be is not just pissed off rants and raves, but my actual thoughts and opinions without all the cursing and just plain pisstivity.

So, let me back things up a bit and explain a little bit of how I got to this point and place in my life.

After a pretty happy childhood and rocky but typical adolescence, I graduated from Hamilton High School and went off to Jackson State University in Mississippi on a half music scholarship. After a year spent pissing away a pretty damned good opportunity for a college education, I spent a few years floating around, blaming my parents for my failures, performing fairly well in the low end jobs I took and finally deciding for lack of anything else better to do to go into the Army.

In November of 1991 I entered the U.S. Army and in December I found I was pregnant (a little too much saying goodbye to the guy I left behind). In either late February or early March I was discharged and before you could say "Drill Sergeant" it was July and I had a daughter on my hands.

Now when you have a kid you can do one of two things. Take care of them your damned self or foist off your responsibility on someone else. I did a bit of both. I took excellent care of my daughter, but I stayed home with my parents.

I did eventually move out on my own and a few years later ended up in a long-term relationship with a guy I'm still with (it's been eight years). In this interim I worked a lot of entry-level secretarial gigs and been a temp at damn near every office building in downtown Cincinnati and also the Blue Ash, Sharonville, Fairfield, etc. I've had a couple of long-term gigs and as mentioned previously, I just got fired from my most recent one in June.

However, I digress. In the mid 90's three things happened. First, my long-term relationship guy, (whom I'll call David until I tell him I'm writing a blog and get permission to use his real name) and I settled down in a major way. Secondly, after we'd been together for a couple of years when one Valentines Day he skipped the chocolates, cards and crap and got me something I really wanted: my very first PC of my very own. I'd already discovered the internet from my various jobs and at the library but having it in my own home was the stuff dreams were made of at the time.

Lastly, I discovered Harry Potter. The book series was interesting but the disovery of the online communities, message boards and chat rooms, talking to people around the world in real time made a huge impact on me as it did to many at the time. I mean here I was two years removed from the projects and suddenly I was participating in the digital revolution.

From the message boards, I learned HTML. I went from message board speak to building and administering websites. I learned quickly and fond that people would actually pay me to build and maintain simple business websites for them. It's always incredible when you can get paid for doing what you love.

And I began to love computers and the internet but I was still enclosed pretty much in my own insular world.

Then September 11 happened. Actually the 2000 election happened first. Everyone black person I knew was bitterly opposed to George W. at the time. It's a shame to say but at that time, I was still at the stage of voting whoever my mom told me too. Yes, I was over 25 and voting how Mama said. But voting how Mom said was easier than forming a political opinions of my own. I wasn't interested in such things much anyway beyond soundbites and media buzz anyway.

Then September 11 happened. And George W. was promising revenge and honestly and truly I was all for it. I didn't care what Mama said. My daughter's biological father had been on plane to New York. His landed earlier in the day before the horrible tragedy occurred, but I will never forget the panic and fear I felt that he might be one of the fatalities.

Yep, after September 11, I was 100% behind George Bush and anything he wanted to do to catch the people who could perpetrate this monstrosity on our nation. I remember crying for heaven's sake during one of his many speeches in the days afterwards.

Two things would change my mind. The first was the term "sand nigger". The first tiem I heard those words spoken together, I knew that I needed to do some serious reading. It dawned on me that although people in Afghanistan may not be of African Descent, they certainly are brown-skinned. The only book I'd ever read about anything to do with Afghanistan was a fictional work by Ken Follett called "Lie Down with Lions" which was made into a pretty poor for-TV movie. So I went back and read it again and then I headed back to the library where I'd discovered book obsession as a child and internet obsession in my twenties.

I read many articles and books that in addition to "Lie Down with Lions" enlightened me to one fact. However pissed off at these people we may be now, whatever weapons they were fighting them with, we had sold them. I learned the meaning of the "Iran-Contra" scandal and how The Good Old USA, far from being the past-arbiters of slavery but damn we're the good guys now, had simply extended their treachery to every part of the globe imaginable and however unimaginable, people like me, who had their heads buried in the sand, weren't helping matters either.

I was kicking myself for ever history class I ever blew off, for ever Civics lesson I hadn't paid attention to and for the chance at a college education I had squandered. I knew that I would have to read more, pay attention to everything the media said (and didn't say), and that I would have to make up for my lack of education.

So, now you know. I'm not an expert on anything. I simply read. I draw conclusions, jump to conclusions, espouse an idea or just plain rant, only to have to rethink and redraw and rejump. I'm growing, changing, evolving.

A little late perhaps, but better late than never.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

So, what am I thinking about...

Karl Rove...George Bush is a lying pile of crap. He promised he would fire whoever had to do with outing Valerie Plame. Lying pile of crap the both of them.

William Bennett...god what a loser. Why doesn't he just apologize already and quit trying to clean it up. He fucked up. And Phil Heimlich is an ass for supporting him. Around these parts (Cincinnati) Phil will be remembered as the man who stood behind Bennett wanting to come to UC after Bennett made his shameful ass comments.

Harriet Myers...another Bush fuck up who'll probably get on the damned Supreme Court of the United Friggin States just because she was his personal lawyer. Why do I bother living in this damned country sometimes?

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina...damn, just damn

The Baby that will never be....
In August, I went to the hospital in crazy mad pain. I found out I was pregnant. Half an hour later I found out the baby was trapped in a falopian tube so there would be no baby because they'd have to remove the tube and the baby. I went to sleep, had some surgery (I guess that's what they did because I was asleep) and woke up less one left fallopian tube and no longer pregnant.

Earlier this year my dad died and I got fired from my job of two years (more about that another day). There's this chapter in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book (The First Four Years) called "A Year of Grace" where her only born son dies, they lose their crop and the house burns down. I feel like this has been my year of grace.

I know my house hasn't burned down but I'm moving back in with my mother ("I" means my 13 year old daughter and this guy I've been living with but no I have not yet married him and I never might for the past 8 years and if you do the math, no he's not my kid's father (he lives in Chicago) ). My mother has MS, we just lost my dad and she thought I was might to die. She asked me to move back in with her. I couldn't tell her no.

Microsoft...is this the beginning of the end of the Evil Empire? Are they really evil or just plain greedy and not so stupid. If this end of Microsoft's reign is it Year One for Google. One day we'll quite using B.C. and A.D. and start using B.M.$. and A.G.

Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy...I wish they had a hot black chick on the show but at least Alfre Woodard can ACT which is more than I can say for all the rest of them except Brie and the girl who play's Terri Hatcher's daughter. And why doesn't that pretty girl tell that guy she's pregnant? Ah well.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Deb Lite

If you're like me, you hear the same soundbites over and over on all the major networks. Then you run to the Internet for a bit of background. Post some rants and raves (maybe even some intelligent sounding mishmash) on a few sites of choice. You may even go back and argue with a few people.

I don't know jack about jack. I just want a place to type out what I think, write, wrong or indifferent about all the most recent stuff. Just one woman's opinion.

And so you've got me.

Deb Lite.