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A Rivalry that Gets Into Your Blood November 7, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, sports, Uncategorized.
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Hail to the Victors, Valiant
Hail to the Conquering Heroes

Tonight my husband and I attended the reception and Michigan preview of Emmy-award winning George Roy’s HBO Sports documentary Michigan versus Ohio State: The Rivalry, at the Michigan Theater. The film premieres on HBO Tuesday, November 13 at 10:30 p.m. EST.  Among noble company (we sat near the late Bo Schembechler’s family during the screening), former players and coaches and others involved in making the film, for an hour we watched a tribute to what can only be called the greatest rivalry in sports history. If you’re wondering how we ended up there, it’s because my husband (UMich BSEE ’92, MBA ’00) is also in the film.  (He has 14 minutes left, according to Andy Warhol.) The film was excellent (and not just because my husband is in it), a fine work of documentary craftsmanship that got to the history and the heart and soul of a rivalry that gets in the blood.

Hail! Hail, to Michigan
The Leaders and Best…

There is something about Michigan football. An alumna “by injection,” I have caught the sickness. Our toddler knows the fight song and chimes in on every “Hail!” raising his right hand accordingly. The Wolverines are my adopted team, as my alma mater didn’t have a football team. (I know; it’s perilous.) Watching Michigan football gets into your blood, your skin…it is…enveloping.  And the rivalry itself is deeper than any other, no other rivalry can touch it…not even those of the Crimson v. Bulldogs or Army v. Navy can.  Roy captures this essence in the film…showing how for both teams and fans alike, regardless of the rest of the season, it’s all about one, specific game on the third Saturday in November, the last game of the Michigan and Ohio State seasons.

So, decked in our maize and blue, on Tuesday, we’ll be watching the film again, but on the small screen instead of the silver screen. And next Saturday, we, along with thousands of other faithful Wolverine fans will be wearing maize chanting “go blue!” while watching yet another chapter in a century-old football rivalry legacy, and singing loudly:

Hail to the Victors, Valiant
Hail to the Conquering Heroes
Hail! Hail to Michigan
The Champions of the West!

 

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Papa gets busted! November 7, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, toddlers.
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Busted by a toddler, that is. The other day, in the midst of raking leaves and doing what was probably the last mowing of the year, my husband came inside to grab something to drink and go to the bathroom. Our son loves the bathroom, so as soon as he hears a bathroom door open in our house, he comes scampering to check out what’s going on. My husband and I have turned “bathroom interruptions” into toileting preparation. After covering the toilet, we let our son do the flush and say “bye, bye.”  He takes great delight in this “job.” Then we wash hands.  Well, this time, Papa had finished and flushed, but before the boy caught up with him in the bathroom. As Papa started to leave the bathroom, he was encountered by 30-some-odd inches of child, pushing him back into the bathroom. Pinning him between the door and the sink, our son grabs his step-stool, pushes Papa aside, places the step stool at the sink and gets on it, motioning to the faucet.

I hear my husband laugh and say, “Well yes, you are absolutely right, Papa should wash his hands. I guess I’ve been busted.”  And wash they did.

Note: My husband does usually wash after using the bathroom. 😉

And that’s why they’re called “clips” November 6, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, writing/editing/blogging.
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Sunday, I had two articles published in my local paper. Unfortunately, this time, they weren’t also published in the paper’s Web content, so I had to break out the old tools of the trade: the exact-o knife, scissors and glue and go through the painstaking process of spicing and gluing them to 8.5 x 11-inch sheets, scanning them, saving them to PDF and uploading them to my server. 

As writers, we get so used to modern technology…our fingers not as strong as they would have been in days of yore, since we type on ergonomic laptops and not on steely Underwoods; we have voice recorders and don’t need to know that ancient language of short-hand; and most of the time, we can just hyperlink to our clips with just a quick click or two.   The technology that I take for granted, today, I appreciate to its fullest, finding that even with what I though was a steady hand and good tools, I no longer have the same clip-creation skills that I did a decade ago. I’m just plain out of practice, because physically clipping is rare. 

And yet, we still use this term to describe our portfolio of articles, a relic of earlier days in the writing world.  And now, I remember why.

So what’s a girl to do when she really needs a clip that doesn’t look like a third-grader’s collage? Why you contact your editor, and see if they can provide you with a PDF of the page, as I learned from the trusted wisdom of a fellow member at Absolute Write.  

And strangely enough, ask and you shall receive. In less than an hour, I had my clips, as professional as I’d imagined, looking better than they do on the newsprint–shiny, new unclipped clips to add to my virtual portfolio. 

Tough Love… November 5, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, toddlers.
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My darling boy does everything to the fullest. He is a living example of the old Irish proverb that says, in part: 

  …dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you’ve never been hurt … .

But sometimes, his love does hurt.  After his bedtime stories tonight, he scampered along my husband’s prone body, who reached to give our son airplane rides–doing chest presses with all 32 inches and 27 pounds of boy.  When the airplane rides were over, our son straddled his papa’s belly as if riding a horse and proceeded to bounce, bounce, bounce.  With every “oomph!” groan and wince from my husband, our son giggled harder and tried to bounce higher, until my husband was finally able to unleash the tickle monster.  With squeals of glee and pure unadulterated delight, our son wiggled, giggled and screamed, slapping both hands upon my husband’s cheeks with a great “thwack!” leaving two small red spots to form in their wake.  Of course, since papa’s facial expression was so funny (to our son, anyway), he did it again. “Thwack!” and then leaned in to kiss papa on the nose.  So a couple of fading pink spots later, a fleeting belly ache, some sore ribs, and a great rush from all of the laughter made this kind of tough love worth every moment.

Babyhood…going, going… November 3, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
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…gone?

My little guy will be 21 months old in a few days. In every way, he is a full-fledged toddler. He has moments of “showing his two” as we call it in our house, choosing to avoid the phrase “terrible two” within his earshot. But most of the time, even when “showing his two,” he’s an absolute joy–curiosity overflowing, trying new things, asserting his independence and sense of adventure. Each new discovery becomes a rediscovery for us, sometimes something we hadn’t looked at before or in a long time, and certainly not from the perspective that is uniquely his. (more…)

GreenBlog 2: Eco Bags and other musings November 2, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, parenting & family, politics.
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Earlier in the week, my husband sent me an e-mail with a link to an article and thread at the New York Times on-line. The article was about the New York City council efforts towards reducing and eliminating waste from plastic shopping bags. Not as stringent as the recent ban implemented in San Francisco, it does add Manhattan to the growing list of municipalities trying to take action.

Back in September, like many others on the “eco beat,” I wrote an opinion piece for my local paper (see my clips) about eco bags as an alternative to the plastic shopping bag offering cost-effective ways for the average person to do it. So you can see why my husband sent me the link. What he didn’t realize was the monster that he’d created by doing so. (Actually, he probably did realize it.) I had to jump into the conversation, as the topic was met with both commendations and condemnations. (more…)

GreenBlog 1: Review–FrunchyMama Magazine November 2, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Green & Frunchy, Nablopomo, parenting & family, writing/editing/blogging.
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The first issue of FrunchyMama Magazine has just launched! I, for one, am really excited about this new publication. It is filled with information about the issues that are relevant to parents/families who are interested in natural, earth-friendly, green and organic lifestyles. FrunchyMama Magazine contains articles about consumer issues, alternative health issues and general lifestyle issues. The magazine also features a teen column, a dad’s column and first-person mama stories as well. FrunchyMama Magazine should be a welcome compliment and resource for anyone looking to start, continue or enhance a greener, more natural way of life. (more…)

Goals & Networking November 1, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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I just posted my list of goals for November at AW, where a bunch of us regularly list our monthly goals in the JHS (just hit send) challenge.  I tend to be a list-maker anyway, so starting to do the JHS list came naturally for me. What’s great about it, aside from the camaraderie and encouragement from others, is seeing your goals and being held accountable for them. Not that anyone’s going to tie you down and beat you with the type-bars of an Underwood, but posting them live for others to see is different than having your personal to-do list on a sheet of paper or in the computer.  It’s a different kind of networking, but an experience that’s value can’t really be matched–especially when you work from home and you meet up with your colleagues at virtual water coolers and break rooms.  When you share your goals, like we do at AW, you can draw inspiration from others as they accomplish their goals, receive feedback and encouragement, and learn not to sweat it if you miss your target because of other assignments that come up or when the realities of non work-related life “interfere” with one’s professional goals at a given moment. (And sometimes, when that happens, it ends up being fuel for some really good writing.)  I’m sure that some reading this are thinking, “but aren’t a lot of you going for the same assignments, targeting the same publishers and editors?”  Sure, we probably are, but that’s not the point. Even if what we write is similar or targeted for similar markets, your ideas are still your own, and once you submit, it’s out of your hands for the editors, agents and publishers reading your work to make their decisions. But I also think that we realize that by sharing goals (and sometimes work) and supporting one another, we only become better writers. 

In October, I had a list of 26 goals, of which I accomplished 20.5.  I ended up succeeding with four additional things that weren’t on my original list, and the 5.5 that I didn’t make, I knew would end up moving to November’s list.  November will be a challenge with 28 goals, including doing NaBloPoMo for the first time.  But, I’m ready to look November in the eye and say, “Bring it!” 

p.s. this is my first official NaBloPoMo post. Woo!