Archives for December 2013

An Exciting New Form Of Anxiety!

I don’t even know what to say about my bloggy absence the last few weeks. Oh, I’ve shown up a handful of times, but I will be the first to confess that I’m way off my bloggy game. And I could rattle off all the reasons – which pretty much look like everybody else’s reasons why they are struggling with such-and-such during the so-and-so – but the two biggest factors are that work has been all manner of lively and, um, I have never known the very particular brand of stress that comes from trying to write a book during the holiday season.

Y’all. The new book is the most fun when I really get to sit down and concentrate and talk to the words and let the words talk back to me (I know that sounds crazy, but if the shoe fits, etc.). The problem right now is time. Because yes, there’s work. And there’s also the errands and the cooking and the whathaveyou. And there’s also a ten year-old in this house who has decided that nothing is more fun than throwing the football over and over again in the afternoons, and if you think I’m passing up that opportunity then you’re probably relatively new to these parts so I should just say, Hi. Welcome to my blog. I am just a little bit crazy about college football – to the point that you might feel concerned for me at times. A few days ago, in fact, I told Melanie that I was completely unprepared for the ways that A.’s interest in football would delight me, not to mention that I have apparently stored up a significant (and perhaps disturbing) amount of knowledge about the technical side of football over the last 20 years of watching Game Day, most SEC games, and SportsCenter.

No kidding. Yesterday afternoon these words came out of my mouth: “Listen. I can’t stress this enough. If you have your arm up that high when you’re throwing the ball, a defender will knock it straight to the ground.”

When I told Melanie about it, she laughed and then said, “Well, that’s true. And be sure to remind him that nobody has ever figured out how to defend a wheel route.”

See? We really are two peas in a pod.

Anyway, the football has been a bright spot (except when A. tackled our neighbor, B.) (B.’s a girl) (she got him back later by grabbing his leg when he was trying to score and forcing him into a near split), but the writing time has been slim, and I’m starting to feel the strain of that a little bit. Plus, until today the weather here has been damp and gray and drizzle-y, and for me that’s pretty much a recipe for wearing nothing but yoga pants and over-analyzing everything and embracing the melancholy, so to speak. It’s all fun and games for a couple of days, but by day three I’m not much fun to be around and also there may be some crying because I HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS.

But today the sun came out, so this afternoon I found a place where it hit the pavement and I just stood there and squinted my eyes and begged it to stick around for a few days. We will see, I reckon. And I’m going to try my best to get some writing done over the next four or five days because I think some forward progress will do my heart some good.

So. That’s what’s going on here. I hope y’all are having a great week. And I hope you know that I am mighty grateful for your patience with the reliably unreliable content right now. It’ll get better soon, I think. Or at least I hope.

Y’all be sweet.

Love,
Coach Taylor

(Really, I still just want to be Tami Taylor.)

(But I may have to get myself a shirt that says “Coach” for when we’re playing outside in the afternoons.)

(MAYBE EVEN A WHISTLE.)

(I will be sure to keep you posted.)

Rustled Feathers

Listen. It has been a week. It hasn’t been a bad week at all; it’s just that my work usually gets super hectic between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and YES. That has certainly been the case so far. But in the words of Shawn Mullins in his hit song from 1998, “Everything’s gonna be all right. Rockabye. Rockabye.”

I have no idea why an old Shawn Mullins song just popped in my head. The brain is a strange and wondrous thing.

So.

A couple of days ago I accidentally published a post that I had not in fact edited (I am an obsessive over-editor; in fact, the only reason I don’t continue to edit posts from, oh, 2006 is because I won’t let myself read them…the temptation to edit would be too great). I thought I would get that post edited and then put it on the blog again, but alas, I have not. Maybe next week. And telling you that wasn’t even the reason why I started this post tonight.

Because.

The reason I started this post tonight is because I just watched this week’s episode of Survivor.

STOP READING RIGHT NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS.

THERE ARE ABOUT TO BE SO MANY SPOILERS.

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

All righty. Let’s talk about it.

Hayden is my favorite. I think he’s kind and loyal and it’s kind of endearing that he doesn’t do so great in the challenges. I very much appreciate that Tyson has played a brilliant game, but I haven’t loved the in-your-face aspect of it (I’m gonna eat all the food, I’m gonna talk about how delicious the ribs are while the rest of y’all rub blisters on your hands trying to win immunity, I’m gonna be lazy because I can, etc.). And I like Gervaise, but in this last episode he didn’t do himself any favors with his attitude at tribal council. Too much pride on display – and too much smack talk way too soon.

Anyway, Hayden needed a big move, and my word did he and Katie ever make one. It didn’t work out exactly like they hoped (I was sad for Katie), but it gave me some hope that Tyson winning won’t be a foregone conclusion. If Tyson makes it to final tribal council, I think he’ll win, but maybe – just maybe – Monica (who is tough as nails, isn’t she?), Ciera, and Hayden will join forces before that happens. It seems like Ciera has decided to shift loyalties OR see to it that Tyson and Gervaise make her some guarantees. There was a moment at the end of this last tribal council when Ciera looked at Tyson and said, “Don’t glare at me” – and oh my word, I laughed so hard. Because I know he has the immunity idol, but I also think he knew that she meant business.

One more thing: I’m ready for Tina to get back in the game. I don’t know if she’ll make it off Redemption Island, but I think she’s a phenomenal Survivor player. She’s unflappable – one of the few players who is relentlessly upbeat and positive.

Are y’all watching? What do you think? Is there any way to stop Tyson?

Every Dawg Has Its Day

Okay. First of all. The Auburn / Alabama game. Let’s just go ahead and talk about it. Because while I had every intention of writing exclusively about the State / Ole Miss game in this post, Auburn had to go and do something that I did not even know you could do – catch a missed field goal and run it back for a touchdown – and in the process they turned the state of Alabama upside down and gave sports fans the most memorable game-ending moment ever.

Seriously. I’ve never in my life seen anything like it. Probably never will again.

And while I know there are countless GIFs and write-ups and recaps all over the internet, this video has to be my favorite reaction.

“HURRY! HURRY! HURRY!”

Isn’t that adorable? I don’t know Nana, but it’s probably no surprise that I want to be her when I grow up. And I think I’m gonna give “HURRY!” a try in State’s bowl game. Might be a nice change from “COME ON, NOW, SON!”

And speaking of State.

I woke up really early Thanksgiving morning – around 5:15, of all things – and I decided to go ahead and get out of bed because I needed to cook a ham and get packed before we left for Mississippi. I sat down at our kitchen table with my coffee around 5:45, and the sun was just starting to peek over the trees.

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When did I get so sentimental about the sun, exactly? And how have I become a person who chases sunrises and sunsets?

I have no idea. But I know that it makes the 19 year-old version of me laugh REAL hard before she crawls back in bed and goes to sleep for the next 14 hours.

It was around 8:30 or 9, I guess, when we left Birmingham, and by the time we got to my parents’ house, lunch wasn’t too far away. We picked up Martha (she was wearing the sweater we gave her for Christmas! the gray one with the roses all around the collar! she looked perfectly darlin’!) before we drove out to my cousin Paige’s house for our big Thanksgiving meal. This is the part where I’m tempted to show you a picture of all the food lined up on the bar in Paige’s kitchen, but I’m not going to do that because I know that most of us have probably consumed more than our fair share of holiday delicacies over the last few days, and I’m afeared that the sight of one more congealed salad or casserole dish full of dressing – delicious though they most certainly were – will send some of you over the culinary edge.

So I’ll just say that the cooks outdid themselves this year and leave it at that.

Sister and I had decided that we were going to leave for the Egg Bowl around 3, so after lunch we visited for a while before we changed clothes (it was 28 degrees in Starkville Thursday night, so smart layering was critical) and headed north for the ballgame (D and my BIL understood that Sister and I were long overdue for some quality time at Davis-Wade Stadium – not to mention that my friend Daphne had offered us two really great tickets – so they stayed at my parents’ house while we made a beeline for Starkville). We traveled a different route than we normally do since we were leaving from Paige’s house, and there were a few times when we got so tickled because as a general rule, folks who drive trucks on two-lane Mississippi highways are accustomed to what I would call a slower travel pace.

I, on the other hand, was ready to GET ON WITH THE FESTIVITIES, so there were a couple of times when I managed some passing maneuvers that would’ve made the Duke boys proud. I wasn’t careless or reckless, mind you. Not at all. But when you’re on a hilly, two-lane road, time is of the essence when you’re trying to get around a Ford F150 that’s traveling at the breakneck speed of 35 miles per hour. GIDDY UP.

Once we hit the four-lane part of the highway, though, we made great time, and we got to Starkville right before sunset. We met Daph, her hubby, and her older son, and after we’d added layers 4 and 5 to our ColdShield ThermaProtection (I totally just made that up) (I don’t even really know what it means) (I just know that we looked like we were planning to do some dog sledding), we walked over to the stadium.

And I’m not gonna lie. When we were on the way to our seats and I looked out over The Junction, I felt like the night held some promise.

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Oh, did it ever.

The Egg Bowl is one of those games where you’re always mindful that anything could happen. And when State missed a potential game-winning field goal in the last two seconds, it was a little bit of a let-down to think about overtime and what if we lose and THIS WHOLE THING SHOULD BE OVER RIGHT NOW.

But then DAK PRESCOTT.

And then DEFENSE.

And then PANDEMONIUM.

Sister and I must have stayed in the stadium for at least 30 minutes after the game, and all we could talk about was how much fun it was and how much we needed that and how sad we would’ve been if we had watched the game on TV and missed seeing it in person. It was such a blast.

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And I know it’s just football. I know it’s just a game. But I can’t think of anywhere I would’ve rather been on November 28, 2013 than in those seats at Scott Field with Daph on one side of me and Sister on the other – and all three of us with cowbells in hand. I’ve always said that the Egg Bowl in 2009 was my all-time favorite football game – and it may well be since D and Alex were there with me, too – but I am here to tell you that Egg Bowl 2013 is running neck-in-neck with it. Because SWEET MERCY, THAT WAS SOME FUN.

So now I’m home in Birmingham again, and Sister is back in Nashville, and Thanksgiving is over, and December is here. There are some Christmas trees in this house that are demanding my attention, and the next couple of weeks are shaping up to be a little on the lively side. But you know what? I feel like I’m ready. Because this past week I had time with my people, and I had time to write, and I had time to travel, and I had time to watch some mighty good college football. That 17-10 ending to the Egg Bowl just made all of it even sweeter.

Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving – and Happy December to you!