Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sydney is Officially a Rugger.

Em and I found this rugby jersey at Old Navy, and we had to get it - for two reasons. It's Triad's colors, and 2 was always my number in sports!!

I added in this bonus picture...of Sydney and Em's cat Holden. We seriously didn't pose them at all...however, they are the best of friends.

Sydney says, "I don't understand...what's wrong with interspecies love??"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rants, Frustrations, and Ridiculousness.

Fish n Chips -Spring Semester of Freshman Year

Today we played Elon and lost by about 75 points or so...yes, 75 points. Our team completely disintegrated right on the field. In the last game, I broke my finger/knuckle (Em stepped on my hand, completely on accident). So, it's been taped up and splinted (much to my discomfort and protest) for the past week. However, today was our last game, so I just taped it up and figured I'd play as long as I could. I made it about halfway through the second half before begging to be taken out. I tried so hard to stay in as long as I could. At halftime my hand was HUGE and already turning reddish-purple. I tried so hard...

I'm not frustrated because we lost this game. Elon is a very good team. I am frustrated because instead of working hard to not COMPLETELY embarrass our team on the field, the rest of my team decided that it was the right time to begin talking AS MUCH shit on the field as possible, they decided to play dirty and completely unsportsmanlike. May I mention that our own captain was yellow-carded and sent to the sin bin (like a penalty box) for KICKING a girl when she was on the ground.

First, let me explain...rugby allows for the players to basically govern the game themselves. If someone is on the ground with the ball, they're supposed to let go of the ball. If they don't, the other team may "accidentally step on them" ... which isn't technically allowed, but no ref would really ever call it that much because instead of slowing down the game and blowing the whistle, the ref just lets the players kind of punish the wronged person instead. It's a nice perk of the game - unless you're on the mistaken end!

This is no means for ANYONE to purposefully kick another player in the stomach while they're on the ground - ball in hands or not. All of the sudden, my team decided that it was time to start screaming obscenities at Elon - as if that would make up for our 76-0 loss or whatever it was at the time (It probably became 81-0 or something..) ... I understand competiveness..I am a very competetive person. But I don't believe in playing dirty.

On top of being completely ASHAMED to play with my team today, they really let me down. My knuckle has been broken for a week. It's still very swollen and painful. Yet, my team let me and one other player pretty much do all of the sprinting...there were some other people tackling, especially towards the end of the game, but I ran my ass off the entire time I was in there. I was aggressive, I threw the best passes I could with a broken hand. I did my best. And everyone else gave up once they'd scored 3 tries in the first 7 minutes of the game.

I'm not proud that I came out at the end of that game, and I'm not proud of my team. On top of everything else, our captain had words with Em today that made me VERY angry. It was completely uncalled for, and Em had NOTHING to do with our ridiculous loss, there was no reason to take it out on her. It was so stupid, and so immature. Em had just played an entire rugby game herself, and then CAME to OUR game to support us! And that's how you treat her? Yell at her for water like she's the watergirl or something? Fuck that. Em does so much for G Rugby and she doesn't even play for us anymore. It makes me angry.

Besides all of these complaints, I love rugby. Our team is just falling apart in front of me, and I don't know how to fix it. I know how it could have been prevented, but at the moment, we're pretty screwed. And unless someone does something soon...G Women's Rugby will only continue in this downward spiral...

Love everywhere,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

THON 2007: Many Hearts, One Home

$5,240,385.17 For The Kids.

Amazing. I wish I could have been there. Last weekend was Penn State's THON ... it's the largest run student philanthropy in the world, raising millions of dollars each year for the Four Diamonds Fund/Hershey Medical Center (pediatric cancer). Students at Penn State are dancers (even though there are literally over a thousand people who do other things involving THON that aren't actually dancing) and they dance for 48 hours straight. They raise money specifically for kids with cancer. When I found out that THON hit the 5 million dollar mark this year, I almost cried, I wanted to be there so badly!!

When Mr. Kane went to Penn State he danced at THON (the year they reached the 1 million dollar mark!) He said in one of his updates once on Liam's site that he never thought then, as a dancer, that he'd one day be a parent of a cancer child. Many kids and families from the cancer community attend THON, there are tons of activities and fun things to do!

Kids like Liam and Christi Thomas are remembered, and kids like Kendall and Penelope are supported and honored. Any child with cancer deserves some sort of recognition!!

Disclaimer: I finally filled my vicotin prescription today for my broken knuckle, and so I wrote this post while slightly psychedelically staring at this bracelet that Em made me that's all neon colors,...I don't think this last sentence makes sense anymore... :D
Love everywhere
Especially at THON

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Iron Man

Beautiful. Camden Yards- Baltimore, MD.

The Iron Man. Cal Ripken, Jr.

2,131 consecutive games.
Growing up, there was no greater excitement and anticipation in my life than the days when I would wake up, put on my Ripken #8 Jersey, and eagerly await the words "Okay, let's go" from my Dad. We'd drive to Baltimore, and the 1 hour ride would feel like 3. We'd park at the special parking lot for people with season tickets, get into the ballpark an hour before everyone else... walk up and down Eutaw Street, checking out the stores, smelling Boog's BBQ, and we'd wait where the flags are (If you look at the above picture, its right underneath where the "2131" banners are). If you stood there during batting practice, the batters aimed their homeruns at you, and there were always balls flying around. I remember it took until I was atleast 11 or 12 to be able to look over the brick wall.
I had the opportunity to see Cal Ripken Jr. play so many times... He is my childhood hero, and although I have other heroes now, he pops up in my mind every once in awhile. He is an amazing man, father, and baseball player. I followed his lead and my official position in softball for years and years was shortstop, even though Cal moved over to Third later on in his career. His achievements are awesome- I don't know if many MLB players can say they've achieved the status of Cal Ripken Jr. My grandparents were so lucky...they were given tickets to an Orioles game by a friend one random day in September, 1998. They went to the game on September 19, 1998, and the next night, watching the next game of the series on television, they watched Cal Ripken announce the end of his streak, and he did not play the game. They had attended the last game of his streak, and no one in the stadium knew except for Cal Ripken himself.
The Baltimore Orioles may not be the Boston Red Sox, or the Yankees... but they are my team. They produced one of the greatest baseball players of our time. The Orioles may be less than mediocre, especially the last decade or so. However, they have loyal fans, they have a rich history, and a beautiful stadium.
4 months before Liam died, a friend of the Kane family met Cal Ripken Jr. When asked to sign a ball for Liam, Cal asked about his cancer. When he was told that he'd relapsed with a rare and aggressive childhood cancer, he signed the ball "To Liam, the true Ironman." and signed the baseball. I'll never forget that until the day I die. Even if Liam never completely understood or appreciated that statement, that baseball connects my two biggest heroes, and they are both amazing human beings.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"He's here but not here, he's gone but not gone."

Superman, age 4.

Em and I watched the movie Ladder 49 last night. I went into it not really even knowing what it's about, I didn't even think it would be a sad one! Little to my knowledge, I was needing a good cry anyway ;) By the end of the movie, I was of course sobbing ... I even made it to that uncontrollable point where everything starts to make me cry, even when Em is tickling me or doing something funny.

Words really can't describe how much my heart hurts when I look at this picture of Liam. It's like, I can close my eyes and see myself in that room with him that night, taking that picture. The picture was taken the same night that the little movie was taken, in my last post. They are precious little things.. materialistic, yes, but they are some of the only things left that I have to remember Liam by. Does everyone feel like when they lose someone? Liam's dinosaurs that I have - there are two of them. His green squishy dino was his favorite, and his mom had to get rid of it because of the material it was made of - it was too easy to hold germs. So she gave it to me and asked me to keep it until Liam was in remission. Sadness sets into my body when I remember that story... Liam never reached remission. The other dino that I have is the one that was set up with all of the other dinosaurs under Liam's casket at his viewing. We were each allowed to take one. I'll never forget that image...Liam's casket with his beautiful, tiny, 5 year old body filling it, and all of his dinosaurs having a "meeting" underneath of him. Liam left us in true Liam fashion - right during a dinosaur meeting.

There is a little girl who Em and I discovered through caringbridge (a website that provides families w/ a webpage for their child, to keep family and friends updated). Her name is Katherine, and she lives in Greensboro ... she's four. She has been fighting Neuroblastoma for a little over a year. I e-mailed her mom and told her that I'd love to help her with anything she needs, she has three other kids (ages 10, 3, and 1) and she really has her hands full trying to cure one child of cancer and raise three others. She emailed me back and was really excited to hear from me, she wants to meet me and she said Katherine would love to meet me... I'm excited to have another little kid to love, but I'm so scared. When her mom emailed me back it just felt so scary, I almost don't want to meet the little girl, I'm scared I'll get attached...

Enough for tonight.
Love everywhere,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Hope This Works...


and i'm really proud of myself for figuring out how to post this on here...now that it's posted i can figure out how to post all of my amazing videos (haha).

Monday, February 12, 2007

So we laughed, compared notes. We had a drink, we had a smoke, she took off her overcoat...

It's been awhile since I've stenciled anything, but Em and I felt crafty all weekend, she's knitting me a hat, and I used hemp to make her a necklace on Friday night, but I decided I needed to be a little craftier - so I turned to stenciling, which I used to do all the time, but I just ran out of people to stencil shirts for, haha. I never really make them for myself. Anyways, Em was looking through a bunch of stencils online, and she decided on this design. She came up with everything except for the actual cutting of the stencil and stenciling. It was a double team effort :)

Man I really miss quality TV like Rocko's Modern Life ... Ren & Stimpy, and shows that used to be on Nick back when it was awesome. Television now is just a load of reality tv and mediocre sitcoms. (Except, of course, for House and Grey's haha)

SO, how is everyone out there? My life's been interesting the past couple of days. This weekend was pretty relaxing for Em and I, which was a nice change of pace. Friday we hung out at my house and watched a few movies, Saturday we had a rugby game- UNCG vs. Guilford College - except that Guilford didn't have enough players. So they got some of Triad's players (the team that Em plays for... it's like what you play once you graduate college, like a women's club team.) So I ended up playing against Em, which was a first. After the game we made our way over to the Blind Tiger, the rugby bar, but there was a weird vibe and the older guys claimed that they were going to be carding, which is weird because I've never been carded there once. So we peaced out, and met up with a bunch of other girls on the team. We decided to go out and see Hannibal Rising ... it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be- just gory. And really sad, actually. But it was good - I recommed it. It makes Silence of the Lambs seem a little more... sensible, or something.

On Sunday Em and I took Sydney to the barkpark, and she was acting weird - she has some weird scrapes on her butt that we're not sure about. I made an appointment at the vet to make sure she's doing okay - however, they very well could be from the SIX bags of unpopped popcorn that she ate last week - kernels, butter, and all. Gross.

I'm getting sooo excited for our Florida vacation... Em's aunt and uncle are letting us stay with them as long we want - and now that we don't have a rugby game on the Friday night of spring break, we're going to leave that Friday morning to drive down. At some point during the week that we're there we're going to spend a night or two in Miami, which should be BOSS (<-- hehe ;D ) So I'm really pumped. Suzi and Elliott are going to take care of Sydney, so she'll be living with them for the week. She'll like that SO much better than being boarded...she loves Mattie and Fenway :)

I guess that's about all I have to update about. Except that...everytime that I think my life can't get any better..it does. Happiness is so much more than I ever thought it was.

Oh...something that's been bothering me for awhile. Kim, one of my housemates - babysits for a lesbian couple here in Greensboro. They have two sons - Jackson and Jacob, who are sooo cute (actually, I get to babysit for them in a few weeks since Kim can't!) Anyways, one of their mom's plays rugby with the women's team that Em and Suzi play for. And Kim was telling me a few days ago about how the YMCA won't let them join for a Family Membership. They can only get individual memberships. This makes me pretty damn mad... now, I see the Y's point I guess, and they are the "Young Men's Christian Association" ... but Christina & Martha and their kids are JUST as much of a family as any other family I know... I'm really angry about this. I don't understand what the big deal is. Dan - do you know anything about the Y's stance on things like that??

Time to finish some laundry-
Love everywhere,

Monday, February 5, 2007

The World Spins Madly On.

There was a balloon release last November. For Liam. It was right around the time I started this blog, and so the first post I ever made has pictures of this same day. I've been thinking about Liam a lot more than usual lately. I think about him a lot, but lately he's been on my mind almost at all times. It's hard to believe that he would have been SEVEN years old this June. That seems so old... I wonder what he would have been like. Liam was always so tiny, and young, and fragile to me. He was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at age 3, and passed away when he was 5. That's a big percentage of his life that was spent battling cancer and living in hospitals.

On Saturday night after our game with Duke and the social afterwards, Em and I laid in bed for hours because neither of us could sleep. No reason, I think we were both just pretty wired. But we talked about cancer and NB for a long time. It's really awesome that there's someone else who's interested enough in NB to research it and read about it with me, and now I have someone to discuss it with. Honestly, if you begin to read about Neuroblastoma, and you begin to read the statistics, it's absolutely mindblowing. When diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, the survival rate is around 30%. If the oncogene is MYCN amplified, your survival rate drops to around 20%. That is how Liam was diagnosed. If a child with any Neuroblastoma (Stage I, II, III, or IV) relapses, the survival rate is a DISMAL 0.5%. ZERO POINT FIVE PERCENT!?!?! The only reason that it's not 0% is because doctors must leave room for "miracles", special cases, unsolved mysteries, etc. Basically, to relapse with Neuroblastoma is a death sentence.

I could go on for hours but I'll spare you the boring read.

It's been awhile since I've requested thoughts or prayers for anyone, however there is a little girl, her name is Penelope. She has relapsed NB and she is in a lot of pain right now. Her parents are trying to make her as comfortable as possible, and they're having a hard time as well. Here's a picture of the sweet girl-

Christi Thomas with Penelope London

I'm a big fan of this picture, because Christi Thomas is one of my heroes. I know I've mentioned her before, but sometime soon I'll dedicate an entire post to this AMAZING girl. She died on September 19, 2006. Exactly 10 months after Liam. It was hard because when I first met Em, Christi was rapidly declining, and at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). I tried to play it off because I didn't want Em to think I was weird, haha, but inside it killed that Christi Thomas, a hero to the NB world, was slowly and painfully dying.

I kick myself everyday for never visiting Christi while she was at CHOP last summer. I was in the area so often. Christine, while she was in a coma, was at University of Penn Hospital, which is connected to CHOP. I even went next door to CHOP with Rachel and everyone and we attended this little shindig for kids who were stuck at the hospital. (Face painting, sand art, tie dying, etc.) I guess I was just pretty focused on Christine's situation, and making sure that my sister was okay and all of the leaders.

Okay, time to start some studying. Two big exams tomorrow.
Love everywhere,
Stay Safe,