Back to Athens. Back to school. Back to the blog.
I spent almost six days in Seattle and had an absolutely glorious time. Everything I love about Seattle, I soaked in: Stacy – her birthday celebration at Hotel 1000 and Palisade, among other things. My friends – an amazing fundraiser for Mo Erickson in which we drank, laughed, cried (some of us drunks, at least), started trouble and raised twice what Mo had been expecting. Add that to a great lunch at the Deluxe that took almost three hours. The weather – it was perfectly sunny and warm, then a little cool and cloudy. The food – oysters at Elliotts, prosecco, wine, halibut cheeks, steamer clams, griller prawns and fresh green beans from Pike Place Market. And the random: fantasy football draft, free poker and an incognito Starbucks on 15th.
I love Seattle.
And now I’m back, and the next page of my life is officially turning.
The page turned when I returned to Athens and Mary and Blair had officially “moved out” of the upstairs bedroom. I bought a TV (a 26-inch LCD on sale from Walmart, baby!), moved the furniture and made the entire upstairs “mine.” Well, mine until Mary and Blair come back for a visit.
The pages keep moving, too. It seems like EVERYTHING is an adventure!
First, shortly after I got home — via a red-eye flight and hour-and-so drive from Columbus to Athens — my mome and I went to pick Kirby up from dog camp (where it costs a ridiculously-low $84 for six nights and seven days!) We drove out to Stewart, Ohio. I’m not even sure if you can find Stewart on a map. I parked, paid the family, fetched Kirby and, uh, steam was pouring out from under the hood of my car. Yes, that would be the ’98 Camry I just bought for $2,900. I was told by a mechanic, when I had the car inspected, there was a small crack in the radiator, but that it was on the TOP of the radiator and I should just check my fluids. Well, after the steam stopped whizzing out of the red-hot radiator, the fluid was gone, needless to say! We contemplated calling Triple-A, but weren’t even sure where we might tell a towtruck to find us! So, we called my dad. Long story short(er), we got the car home, I got it to the mechanic the next day, bought a new radiator and we’re rolling again. Good times.
I mentioned not too long ago the assignment for my graduate assistantship was up in the air, all over the place, nowhere. Well, it was settled — FINALLY. After being told I was teaching News Writing, then Fundamentals of Online Journalism, then that I would be a TA for Journalism 101, I am back to teaching my own section of News Writing. And, of course, this is another long story, but in essense, I made friends with a woman who was assigned something she wasn’t all that hot on and we convinced the powers that be to swap us! (That gal is Ashley Furrow and you’ll read all about her in a forthcoming post.)
Now, with three days left until school starts, I have to throw together a plan, a syllabus and try to conceal my overflowing excitement of getting this show on the road!
Speaking of my excitement… football is underway! Wow, what a first day of games! The Ducks were nearly held scoreless in a loss, LaGarrette Blount belted a Boise State d-lineman and was suspended FOR THE SEASON! The Huskies play tomorrow night, and the Steelers open the NFL season Thursday! Ahhhh, I love this time of year!
I was telling my mom at dinner two nights ago that this is usually my busiest week of the year with season preview stuff rolling off the presses, and the first game advance and all that… but your hard work is rewarded on Saturday when you FINALLY get to see the finished product — both your work in print, as well as the team on the field for the first time.
Two people I want to quickly mention: 1.) My brother-in-law, Brian Haines. Brian is a GA football coach at West Virginia and he has to be popping at the seams. The Mountaineers open their season tomorrow at home against Liberty. The game should be a slam dunk, but I can only imagine how excited he is. Knowing how hard he has been working, I wish him the best. 2.) Three summers ago, I wrote a story in the P-I about a handful of Huskies football players doing some pretty heavy summer workouts at a boxing gym. The workout I witnessed was grueling. The guys there weren’t anybody surprising — quarterback Jake Locker, workhorse fullback Paul Homer, the inspirational Juan Garcia, Darin Harris trying to return to health after a back injury. Then there was one guy whose very presence did surprise me: walk-on offensive lineman Greg Christine. Christine’s school wasn’t paid for, nor was he going to step on the field. Yet there he was, sweating, fighting, working as hard — if not harder — than the other guys. Greg was always pleasant, quiet with us reporters, but then again, it wasn’t like we were asking him to talk much to us. I just liked him. He worked hard, he wanted to improve and he was a nice kid. This week, I read in the Seattle Times that not only had Greg earned a scholarship, he cracked the two-deep in camp and will likely start at left guard. That”s a great story for someone who seems to deserve it. Good luck to Greg Christine!
Lots more to come. I’m BACK, right?!