MY BIRTHDAY — AND RANDOM STUFF

Yesterday was overwhelming. I have always gotten a kick out of sending birthday notes to others, but receiving them blew me away. The list was unbelieveable.   There were high-school friends and people I almost knew in high school who are now friends, people I met through business and haven’t seen in 20+ years, girls from every one of my sorority houses with the sweetest notes — some including memories that cracked me up, more notes from friends of Abbi’s ranging from junior high through college and her professional life who have become friends of mine too, author/writer friends who took time out from slaving over plot lines or spending the best weekend of the year at Book Passage’s Mystery Writers Conference….even one from an old boyfriend.

So many of us go through life assuming people don’t care about us; that we’re alone… when in reality, we’re buying into the crap others try to feed us rather than seeing the truth that we are important to people around us — or far away –and that our lives mean something. I was as guilty of that as anyone until recently. So thank you — so many of you — for the birthday wishes. They topped off a really great day.

 

Jump shift (as we say when playing bridge) — I’ve never understood how anyone can commit suicide. I’ve had some really bad times over the years, but there was always something in the back of my head that said I was giving up on the chance that everything could turn around the next day. You never know.

The only time I understand the concept is if someone is in such excruciating pain that prolonging the inevitable will only bring more pain and expense to those they love. In cases where everyone they care about is informed ahead of time and understands, I get it.

But the questions suicide leaves behind?

I went through this twice in my younger years. My daughter has had to deal with the all the angst it leaves behind. One of my girls from San Diego just went through her father’s suicide. She was a daddy’s girl. And so successful, beautiful, sweet, accomplished — she must have brought him so much joy. She’d been a cheerleader and dancer for years, won both All-American and National Championships, was in a couple of the “Bring It On” movies, had just graduated from college…..  How could anyone leave such a wonderful daughter — and a wife – and  friends with so many unanswered questions?

Why? What could I have done? Were there signs I should have seen? What did I do wrong?

Questions that will haunt their survivors for the rest of their lives.     I just don’t get it.

 

On a happier note — again, jump shift — FOOTBALL season starts in 48 days. It seems like forever. But so soon. I can’t wait.

I don’t understand all the jumping around in the conferences — how did West Virginia end up in the same conference with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State? And what will we do without the Red River Rivalry (OU/Texas) every year? But still…..bring it on. I, for one, am ready for this season.  Will Oklahoma State get even better? Will Ohio State come through for me? What’s going to happen with the Penn State program? And will USC be so over their suspensions that they won’t even let another team take the field? I’m betting we’re going to be hearing a lot of “FIGHT ON!” If they don’t win the national championship, I’ll be surprised. I’m not a USC fan, but this is going to be fun to watch.

And the pros. Since the 2009 play-off game when Minnesota gift wrapped and handed the national championship game to New Orleans and I drained every drop of purple blood from my body — after 41 years of die-hard loyalty — I don’t have a favorite team. But I still hate the Cowboys, and that’s all that really matters. I like Oakland. And San Francisco (because I’ve got two girls dancing with the Gold Diggers). And I’d really love to see the Rams come back to LA once the new stadium is completed……

I wish I still had season tickets to the Hall of Fame game at Canton Bulldog Stadium….what a weekend. It was such a privilege to see people like Y.A. Tittle and Sam Huff and Vince Lombardi inducted into the Hall of Fame. And how much fun it was to sit in that pre-historic wood stadium watching the first pre-season game of the year.  The only place I’ve been that was more awe-inspiring than the Football Hall of Fame was at Churchill Downs. Still gives me chills.

 

OK — another segue…….Today I saw a post on Facebook asking everyone on the east coast (Republican states) to let FEMA know how much they had lost in the storms this year — what they had to pay for a generator, how much food they lost (unless they were on food stamps, of course), damage to their homes, etc.  As someone who has gone through multiple tornados, tsunamis and earthquakes — and has had friends lose everything, my heart aches for them.

However,  it occurred to me that these are the same people who are going to vote for someone who wants to take away the medicare and social security I’ve (and they have) paid for/invested in through the years, eliminate Planned Parenthood and all the services (including cancer screenings) they provide free of charge, take birth control out of health insurance plans, and don’t give a flying frisbee about the homeless or veterans who can’t find jobs and end up on the street.  So I guess the message is, “Social programs cost the country too much money, people should just go out and find a job, and my money shouldn’t be used to help anyone else —- unless I’M the one needing the help.”  I’m so over the duplicity of politics.

 

And that’s my rant for today. Oh — except I read an article on the USA Olympic basketball team that said Koby Bryant is probably the team’s weakest link. I always love it when that bitchy little girl gets slammed. But that’s just me.  Isn’t it great that for the first time in history, three Olympic team players are from one NBA team — the Oklahoma City Thunder?

 

So, until tomorrow when The Mind of Ann will be wandering with the same zest, twists and turns as her new World Tour, be careful out there. Can’t wait to see what happens when I walk out the door today…..