Cast of characters

In all reality, I got lucky. I don’t know why I decided to apply to graduate schools last fall. I didn’t really want to go back to school, but I guess I wanted options.

After returning from Christmas in Florida, I — along with most of the other employees at the Seattle P-I — realized we were soon to be short one option: Working at our beloved newspaper. I felt like I had just gotten to a respectable place as the beat writer for the worst BCS team in the nation, and then I was at an unemployment meeting being talked to like a third grader from a woman who probably couldn’t even get a job teaching third graders. (Our Mariners beat writer was in this meeting with me.)

It isn’t a sad story, though. Woe is me, I lost my job.  Nope. Hell, everyone was losing their jobs, and not just reporters. The day Barack Obama was sworn into office was an incredibly foggy day in Seattle. You could only see several yards in front of you. I thought it was  a perfect metaphor. Right about that time, I learned I was accepted to Ohio University with full financial support. It took the sting out of being denied acceptance to Stanford. (It didn’t sting. I didn’t expect to be, honestly.) I waited to see if the University of Maryland would make me a deal, but I knew it wouldn’t match full tuition, a decent stipend and -gulp- free room and board.

My parents don’t live near D.C. They live in a little brick farm house on a hundred useless acres in the heart of Appalachia. That’s right… I was going home, a place I hadn’t lived in 17 years, a place I spent the better part of my first 18 years scheming to escape and, as luck would have it, a place fully occupied.

I have a few weeks here before school starts and, typically I want to be more clever, funnier and all in all a better writer, but the truth is I’m exhausted after babysitting an 8 month-old today and I just want to go to sleep in the three-quarter-sized bed I used to sleep in as a child. But before that, meet the main characters in my story:

Vain as I am, I’m your lead character, Molly Yanity, a 35-year old former sports writer. Originally from Athens, Ohio, I left for the West Coast at age 18 and never looked back. (Well, aside from an early glitch or two.) I moved to Seattle sight unseen in May 1998 and fell in love with the Emerald City, its beauty, diversity, culture and excitement — and most especially people like Michelle Boline, Casey Caldwell and a few others I’ve known since the get-go.  I have a girlfriend, Stacy, who I left behind in Seattle. Because she’s a private person, she won’t be a big character in this, but I love her and miss her so much that it’s unrealistic to think I won’t write about her at all. So, pencil her in, too! I’m a sports fanatic and hate that I’m not a college football AP top-25 voter any more. (Though many Wisconsin fans are probably thrilled I’m off that panel.) You’ll probably read way too much about the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Washington Huskies and the West Virginia Mountaineers (my brother-in-law is on the coaching staff.) And I’ll surely bitch about baseball’s handling of steroids, the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates and Mid-American Conference sports.

My mom is Deeder, and she’s about the most fun person you’d ever want to meet. She enjoys a good time, and she has a knack for creating one herself, so that’s a good thing. She is smart, funny and puts up with more bullshit than I could fathom. Mom is a fifth-grade teacher, loves the beach and  I’d have to think long and hard to come up with any major character flaw. She is a bit obsessive over weight/food, but it creates more humor than angst — even for an overweight gal like myself. Everyone loves Deeder, especially me.

Joe is my father and he drives me insane. Already, and I’ve only been here a week. He’s inconsistent and that is the thing that drives me the most insane. You never know what you’re going to get. It was hard to grow up with, and now it’s just downright annoying and bothersome. It’s one thing to respect and love someone — and I both love and respect him very much — but, it’s another to actually desire one’s company. I’m working on that… well, actually, I just go to my room and read, or act otherwise occupied. But, it’s half Dad’s house, so don’t think I’m not appreciative. I am, just in a stay-away sort of way.

Mary is my 25 year-old sister. She is currently living in the bedroom adjacent mine with her 8-month old daughter, Blair. Mary just got a job with an insurance firm in Morgantown, WVa., so she and Blair will be joining their husband and daddy, Brian, in the next few weeks. On one hand, it’s great she is leaving — for her family’s sake and for the sake of emptying out the full house by 40 percent. On the other, it stinks because  the place doesn’t really feel all that full, believe it or not. And, well, everyone just wants to be around Blair — the first neice and grandchild — and the little doll just smiles all the time. (She makes dealing with Joe easier, too, I might add.) For example, Blair barfed on me, shit while I was changing her diaper, peed in the bathtub while I was bathing her and insisted upon crawling around her room while I was trying to put her to bed. And I loved every minute of it! At least they will still be relatively close by. Mary and Deeder are exceptionally close, so I can’t imagine Mary and Blair won’t be a big part of the story over the next year.

There is also Kirby, my 3 year-old mini dashchund. She has attitude, she’s a pill, she’s cute as hell and I love her to death.

Now that the outside farm dogs have stopped barking at deer and the crickets’ screech is lessening (or maybe I’m just getting used to it), I’m going to sleep.


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