Heartbroken

I’m a Texas Tech Basketball fan.  I start watching when I got to Tech in 1975 & have watched since.  There have been some pretty lean years (a lot of them) and some really good years.  1996 comes to mind.  14-0 in conference.  I’ll always remember Jason Sasser dancing down the scorer’s table.  I’l always remember Darvin Ham breaking a backboard on a dunk and getting his face on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated.  And last year’s team made it all the way to the Elite 8.

I elaborated in a previous post about this year’s team.  Picked 7th in the Big 12 Conference.   Not supposed to make the tournament.   No respect.

But our team & our coach decided differently.  They meshed, they worked, they embraced 4:1 (Four parts mental, 1 part physical).  They decided not to listen to the critics. And while they had some lapses over the season, mostly they won and won and won.  They still didn’t get respect or even notice but we noticed.   This was absolutely the best team I’ve ever seen.  We had a “star” player and he was great but his back up singers were all good.  Any one of them were capable of taking over a game.

Last night was the championship game. As usual, everyone had decided our team came in the wrong door.  Virginia won by about 7 but that is not indicative of the game.  It went to OT.  Game is over and asshat Virginia ran down floor alone to do a shiny dunk.  These boys were devastated.  We were devastated.

The officiating was horrible but I don’t put the loss on them.  It’s horrible in every game, in every sport.  Officials make it about themselves way too often.

I certainly don’t blame the loss on this team.  They played an amazing game and left every heart on the court.  I will be forever amazed by every player on this team.  And the Coach.   If they had more time.  If that last 3 pointer had fallen.  If, if,if.  Cannot take one thing away from team.

That being said, I’m not sure I have another season in me.  I thought about it all night and have been really confused on why this loss hurts so bad.  Sure I want my team to win but it’s more than that.

The state of Texas has traditionally had  2 “premium” schools…the University of Texas & Texas A&M.  We are probably 3rd.  We are certainly treated that way.  And I admittedly have a big old chip on my shoulder about it.  Tech is in far west Texas.  A long way from anywhere.  Snobs cannot imagine why anyone would come here.  But I chose it. I’m not sure moneywise I could have gone to UT or TAMU.  But certainly I never wanted to.  But their A team status gets them the stars and the expensive coaches.   And Tech got the leftovers.  Both schools are pretty certain if the back up the Brinks truck that our coach will be theirs.  I don’t think so and I hope not.

So back to my problem.  For years, our athletic teams have come close but not close enough.   The 1993 Lady Raiders won a national championship but that was a fluke.  In 2008 our football went 11-0 & was ranked #2 in the country.  They next week, Oklahoma dropped like 55 points on us.    And last night the team came up short again.  I feel like for 44 years of my life (and many more before) we have been on our faces, in the endzone.

They’re playing games.  I get that.  But can I get my hopes up again just to be disappointed again?  Do I dare believe again?  I’m not sure I have it in me.  I’ll always root for every Red Raider team forever and ever but I’m not sure I can invest my heart and soul again.

I’m raw right now.  Maybe by June I’ll be excited to try again.  And maybe I won’t.  We’ll see.

Pom & Cheer Squads and Meat Judging have national championships.  We have that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need a home…

Four years ago, I sold my last house.  I had an insane moment and moved to Las Vegas.  I went to dealer school and soon figured out that they don’t hire anyone full time and I could not make a living.  I was there 4 months.  And then I came home.  To no home.  I stayed with a friend for a couple of months, then 2 separate apartments over 3 years and now I’m in a duplex that I actually love. I actually hung pictures and I’m planning on planting tomatoes next month.  It’s already as close to a home as I’ve had in years. But it’s expensive and it’s not mine.

I’ve debated on owning again.  I was kind of over the joys of home ownership.  I have to hire almost everything done and that can get expensive.  And as a realtor I find that people hide problems.  I’m scared if I buy something that soon it’ll become a money pit.  But I also have not had a real home since 2015.  And I’ve lived off of profits from sale of last home for virtually four years so right now I can’t afford a home.  But that will change in a few months when I can start growing social security.    And today I realized I need a home.  Something that’s mine, warts and all.

I can’t wait.  But I’ll have to wait.

 

 

Where Corn Don’t Grow

Several years ago country singer Travis Tritt recorded  a song called ‘Where Corn Don’t Grow’, written by Mark Alan Springer.   The song starts with a young man, talking to his farmer dad about wanting a different life, somewhere a long way from where he grew up.  As most of of have discovered:

Hard times are real
There’s dusty fields no matter where you go
You may change your mind
‘Cause the weeds are high where corn don’t grow.

I’m a Texas Tech basketball fan.  I started when I got to the school in 1975 and while I have not had season tickets every year, I have more years than I have not.  Football season to me is what we have to suffer through to get to basketball season.  I’ve seen some pretty good teams over the years.

In 1996, the last year of the old Southwest Conference,  Red Raiders were 14-0 in conference.  That year was also the last regular season played in the old Lubbock Coliseum, AKA the Bubble.   I remember Tech player Jason Sasser dancing down the scorer’s table after the last game.  And that was the year Darvin Ham broke a backboard in a Sweet 16 game against North Carolina.

We got a new Arena for the 1997 season.  Voters just decided to implode the bubble soon.   The very last game played there was a “throw-back” game this year.  It was a good building.

coliseum

And in 2001, Tech hired legendary coach Bob Knight.  He’s known for his temper.  He’s rude and crude.  But also a genius when it comes to basketball coaching.  I never lost a sense of pride when they said “Texas Tech Basketball Coach Bob Knight”.   My season ticket is on a corner up behind/beside the bench and I could some hear some more fervent time outs and it was amazing.    He coached some great guys and made a Sweet 16 appearance.

When Coach Knight retired, we had a few other coaches that did ok but nothing great.  We did not always win but I don’t remember a losing season.  My memory might be faulty.

In 2016 Tech hired Chris Beard.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas, the only bad thing I can think of to say about him.  He’s coached around everwhere and was a Bob Knight assistant coach, a job he credits greatly for helping him develop his coaching style.  He’d accepted a head coaching job at UNLV when the Tech job came open.  He loved Texas Tech, loved Lubbock.  His daughters were here.  He came home.  That simple.  And he promised us a top tier team and he’s delivered, big time.

In 2017 our senior loaded team went to the Elite 8, losing to eventual National Champions Villanova.  It was great.

At the beginning of the 2018 season, things were projected to be grim.  We’d graduated our seniors, lost one freshman to the NBA.  We had 1 veteran senior(Norense Odiase), 2 seniors who’d transferred from other schools (Tariq Owens, Matt Mooney) and 2 sophomores starting (Jarrett Culver, Davide Moretti).   They were picked to finish 7th in the Big 12 which is even worse than it sounds because Big 12 only has 10 teams.  Some national basketball heads did not even see them making the NCAA tournament. But guess what:

They won the first 10 games of the year

They lost to Duke by 11 in December in Madison Square Garden.  The game was way closer than it sounds.  Game fell apart during last couple of minutes but Tech was ahead for a little while.  Big game, big arena, nothing to be ashamed of.

They were co-champs of the Big 12.

Ranked as high as #8 in polls.

They lost first round of Big 12 Tournament.  Not a surprise.  That tournament is in their heads.  They never do well there.

And they earned a #3 seed in their bracket.  And proceeded to beat people they weren’t supposed to.  Northern Kentucky.  Buffalo.  Michigan, Gonzaga.  And poof, they are in the Final Four, for the first time ever.  And they have a big shot.

To quote Coach Beard, Texas Tech is going to the Final Four.

four

The Elite Eight game last night was amazing.  The announcers were clearly pro-Gonzaga, the number one seed.  They still could not believe Tech was there.  How the heck did that even happen?  And they kept waiting for Tech team to fall apart and they didn’t.  They never, ever gave up.  As a person who saw every game this season, I wasn’t surprised.   Team plays for each other.  They play for coach.  They play for pride.   They play because Coach told them “‪Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.‬”

For the record, my bracket died a violent death earlier but I did have Tech winning the Final Four.   And I’ll admit I picked with my heart, not my head.

I started with the song because if one of Coach’s favorites and it is an anthem for this team.  Tech is not respected, on any level.  Other schools think Tech is where anyone, especially athletes,  come because no one else wants them.   Lubbock is in the middle of nowhere.  No mountains.  5 hours from a major city.  Airport with virtually one airline.  Not exactly true but close enough.   Wind and/or dust practically every day.   But it is a community full of the best people in the world. A place where  In some ways we are exactly where the corn actually DOES grow.    Not a fancy city but enough.  A place where a whole lot of people come home to when they discovered the bright lights sometimes just block out the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies

Cookies

I’m saving this video for myself and anyone else who might want to see it.  It shows some easy ways to decorate cookies.  I’m not the most creative person on the planet (I have a right brain)…but I think even I can do some of these….

Hit him again, Smitty!!

Well, it’s Oscar night. It’s the night Hollywood hypocrites set aside to dress up in $20k dresses, pat themselves on the back and bash Donald Trump.  “Stars” I’ve never heard of win awards for movies I’ve never heard of.  Not really a surprise since I’ve kinda had it with Hollywood people forcing their stupid opinions on us.  I’m kinda with the guy, whoever that was, who said we should throw money at them and tell them to dance, show monkey!!   It’s probably obvious but I didn’t watch.

I did see 2 movies at the theater last year: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindenwald’ & the last ‘Mission Impossible’ movie because it was free on my birthday.   I found Fantastic Beasts confusing and it will take several viewings to understand everything that went on but I still like the Nifflers.   MI is never as good as the 1960’s TV series, mainly because there is no Martin Landau.

I did tonight, though, go to the theater to see a movie–Roman Holiday, from 1953.  It is Audrey Hepburn’s movie debut and it is amazing.  She won an Academy Award as a princess who takes a break from her royal duties by sneaking out and having a day on the town.  Along the way, she unknowingly meets a journalist, played by handsome Gregory Peck.  She introduces herself as Anya errr…Smith.  He figures out who she is and sees a big payday.  He is joined by photographer Eddie Albert (a movie stealer–someone who outshines in every role).  Together the three of them tour Rome for the day.   I don’t like spoilers so I won’t go any further about the story but trust me: it’s wonderful.

Some other facts that I find interesting about the movie:

1. It won an Academy Award for it’s writer.  Thing is, the guy who won didn’t write it. It was awarded to a writer named Ian McClellan Hunter but the movie was written by Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted because he appeared on a list of Communists in the 1950’s.    Hunter fronted for him to get the script filmed.  Things were later rectified & Trumbo finally got credit.  Sadly, it was in the 1990’s, after Trumbo had passed away.

2. Gregory Peck was a big star and Audrey Hepburn was a nobody when this all started.  I don’t understand it all but apparently billing order is important in Hollywood and a name above the title is a good thing.  It was supposed to have just Gregory Peck’s name above the title but apparently after the movie was finished, he went to his agent & the studio & told them Audrey Hepburn’s name should be above the title too because, in essence, only an idiot would think he was the star of this movie.  It was a class act and the right thing to do.

3.  My post title comes from a line by Irving (Eddie Albert) missing the picture the first time Ann (Audrey Hepburn) beans a guy with a guitar.  “Hit him again, Smitty!”

4.  I own the DVD.  Yep, I still have the DVD’s and a player too.  I know with streaming they may seem out of date but I find streaming limited and love old movies.  I’ll keep them.  That being said, I paid $10 to see it on the big screen tonight and it was worth every minute.

5.  I used to go to the movies a lot but now find it expensive, full of children and frankly most of the movies are crap.  Even if there are good ones, I don’t want to support Hollywood mentality by giving them my hard earned dollars.  I will Red Box occasionally and have been known to pay for a stream but I get around my boycott by pretending that I’m paying Red Box or Amazon instead of Hollywood.  But even with all of that I find myself missing the movie theater.  In a movie called ‘The Majestic’ which started off pretty good and then got strange, there is a line from the aforementioned Martin Landau (love him, probably the reason I saw the movie) who is an old man that owns a classic theater.  I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember all of the quote but its something like “Why would people stay home and watch a box when they could come here?”

6. If I were giving ‘Roman Holiday’ stars, I’d go with 2 million.

 

 

Cemetery

I’ve spent more time having cemetery conversations this week than any other time in my life.

Last week, on the anniversary of my mother’s death, I went down to put down flowers.  She’s buried in a family plot with my dad, my sisters and various others.  And I noticed there is a small marker, about the size of a shoe box, at the end of one of my sister’s grave.  It looks homemade and had initials JMS on it.  My sister’s headstone only has her maiden name (the m part) but not her married name (the s part).  Her husband killed her in 1970 and my mom purposefully left her married name off.  She had a 2 year old when she died so I assumed he’d put it it there.  But he didn’t.  After checking with the small town funeral home and cemetery association, where it came from remains a mystery.

Several years ago when one of my uncle’s passed away, my parents and one of my dad’s sisters went together and bought 16 plots.  12 of them are now occupied.  2 are reserved for me and my nephew.  And this started with my cousin who lived in New Mexico all of her married life asking about the 2 on her parents’ side.  Odd that she wants to be buried in my hometown (not hers) but she wants to be with family.  I talked to my nephew today to make it very clear that I would not be using mine.  I want to be cremated as cheaply as possible and have my ashes scattered.   I told my nephew he and his wife could go there …he could surprise her with that info in her Valentine’s card!!  I’m buying a small marker with a Texas Tech Double T on it to show I existed.

I hope this is our last cemetery discussion ever.

Bread

Not sure exactly when it happened but bread is supposed to be our enemy.  With low carb, Atkins,Keto diets bread is one of the many things we are not supposed to eat anymore. I try not to eat too much but bread is still my friend.

When I was a little girl, my mom made biscuits every day but when she discovered they came in a can the homemade’s went away.  And there was a standard loaf of white bread in the breadbox for sandwiches and toast.  So when I had a home of my own, that’s what I ate.  But as I try everyday to eat better, I try to eat less and better bread.  I used to laugh at my sister who always had multi-grain, brown gross bread full of crap but I’ve actually found a bread full of crap that I like.  But it does not fit everywhere.

So I have trolled Pinterest and found bread recipes and have decided from now on I’ll make my own.  What I’ve found mostly is Artisan breads, the loaves in the bakery section of the grocery that are $6 a loaf and turn green in 3 days.  And they are not sandwich breads but I don’t need to eat lunch meat either so that’s ok too.  I made a Rosemary bread which turned out really well except I found I don’t like Rosemary.

Today was an interesting bread day.  I found a great sounding recipe for Honey-Cranberry-Walnut No Kneed bread.  Looked simple enough.  7 simple ingredients. Top of the recipe says 15 minute prep, 45 minute bake, 1 hour, easy peasy.  So yesterday I think I’ll start.  But as I read the directions, in step 14 of 20, it says “after letting dough rise 12-18 hours…” and I’m like, um, what?  So at 10pm last night I’m putting bread together and leaving oven on all nigh so I can put the bowl on top hoping it will be warm enough for bread to rise.   I have to get the dough which is pretty wet out of the bowl, onto parchment paper and put a little flour on it to make the crust crispy & let it rise 45 minutes more.  Then I bake in a covered Dutch oven for the 45 minutes.    So it looks good and tastes pretty good although it’s chewy as hell.   And the texture looks strange but it seems done.

Normally, I’d try an iffy  recipe again but I don’t necessarily see that happen with this recipe.  Easy enough to mix but 12-18 hours to rise?  Seriously?  Maybe I’ll try again some day but probably not soon.

Funniest thing is one of the steps in the recipe instructions tells me to put on oven mitts before pulling a pan that has been in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes out of the oven.

Next:  French Bread (normal rising time)