Just Between You and Me, Brett Favre…

Posted in Confessions of a Female Football Fan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2008 by tigereye

What the hell could you possibly be thinking?

Dude, I’m not even going to go into the details about how you’re embarrassing yourself, because that’s been done so many times it’s like the kiddie pool at the Y: I have no desire to swim where everybody else has already peed. And I’m not gonna dwell on how low you have to have sunk to get sent to the Jets. The New York Jets, who suck so bad Miami got their single season win over them last year. They might get another. When you don’t retire, sometimes all it means is you’re about to meet the young, tough likes of Philip Merling and Glenn Dorsey, head-on.

I’m just thinking about how you must feel. Physically.

Dude, you and I are only a year apart in ages, and my legs hurt just now when I got up to go into the kitchen and get a glass of orange juice. All I’d been doing is sitting on them. That’s how it starts, you know — and I know you know — in your 30s, when all of a sudden the joints and bones and muscles that have got you this far wake up one day and look at each other and say, “I’m really tired of carrying her around. Aren’t you? Screw it, let’s take the day off.”

Brett, no one has hit me physically in about 25 years, and there are days I get up in the morning and have to grit my teeth and psych myself up just to run a mile. I don’t do anything like what would be required of me in the NFL. And it hurts when I come home sometimes. I’ll stiffen up sitting in the chair reading a book, or my calves will ache all day, and usually the payoff is worth it — I remind myself it’s the only reason I don’t weigh 300 pounds — but there are days when I, like my thigh muscles and my lower back, think What’s wrong with me that I do this to myself?

All that is before I even start the situps, by the way.

At our age, Brett, about all we can hope for is to get through the day with nothing starting to hurt, because these are the years when you can see up the road into your 60s and 70s and tell what’s going to ache like hell by then. I have years of lower back pain to look forward to — I can only hope the migraines have decamped by then — and like I said, no one the size of a MiniCooper has ever run full tilt into me and stomped my ass into the frozen tundra. There were times I wondered, watching you play, how or why you got back up when a stretcher must have looked like a good place for a nap. Not to mention a warm locker room.

Brett, as you get older, the new guys on defense just get younger. And tougher. And hungrier. They all want to be the next Reggie White, and one or two of them will. Do the Jets play Tampa Bay during the regular season? (I don’t give enough of a damn about the Jets to know.) When Gaines Adams pastes you into the grass, you’re going to flash back to those old story problems from grade school: if a guy who weighs about 220 comes at you at what looks and feels like 30 miles an hour, how long does it take you to start reconsidering retirement?

How long has it been since you just kicked back with a beer and watched a game? It’s not so bad. You can do it from a big ol’ easy chair the size of a linebacker. No one will think less of you for it. If anyone breaks your starting record, you’ll be collecting Social Security before they do it. You’re already a legend, man. Stay that way. Let it go. On behalf of Joe Theisman, I implore you, let it go.

I’m just saying.

I gotta stop writing now. You never know when carpal tunnel’s going to kick in.

At our age.


August 16, 1977: In Memoriam

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2008 by tigereye

I still miss you, Elvis.

Nothing That Hasn’t Been Said Already

Posted in Rants & Rages, Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , , on August 9, 2008 by tigereye

I will admit up front I’m not terribly conversant in the plight of Tibet, or the day-to-day lives of the Chinese people we’ll never see on the nightly news, or even the treatment of political dissidents. I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about those issues. Although I know enough to be troubled by them, I’d just make a fool of myself if I tried to post about them.

Also, the opening ceremonies were lovely. I didn’t get the full experience, and here’s the tacky reason why: the public radio show World Cafe was interviewing Coldplay about their new album and I wanted to hear it, so I listened to the whole show while watching the opening ceremonies with the sound off. This allowed me to hear a lot of good music I wouldn’t have heard otherwise, and also let me escape the voice of Bob Costas, whom I utterly despise. (Is there no sport this pompous bastard can’t try to ruin for me? Wasn’t the Kentucky Derby enough this year?)

My problem is this.

Dead tigers.

I’m Tigereye for several reasons. I think tigers are as close to divine as any earthly entity can get. Looking into the yellow gaze of a tiger is very much like what I imagine looking at the face of God to be: implacable, otherworldly, immensely strong and wise, fierce, possessed of a nature we can only think we understand.

They’re also the most beautiful creature on earth, and my college mascot, and as close to perfect a lone predator as can be found.

They’re killed by poachers so their bones can be ground up for “traditional Chinese medicine.” They were, and perhaps still are — I can’t bring myself to read much about this, to be honest — raised on farms in China for slaughter, so there would be less need for poaching.

They’re also killed so various nations of cowards and idiots can have tiger skins as status symbols. Or shot in canned hunts by rich scumbags right here at home. Or so menus in China can boast of serving tiger penis.

I can’t even begin to properly express my hatred of anyone who would kill a tiger or profit from its death. I’ve seen a photograph of carcasses on a “tiger farm” and hope I never see anything like it again. And I wish the most dreadful things upon everyone involved, in as many lives or incarnations as they may have, because it’s the kind of callous, greedy sin that should follow someone forever.

I also see dead dogs and cats, who were fed poisonous food so some plant-owning prick in the U.S. could save fifty cents a ton on wheat gluten from China. One of the things that upset me the most about last year’s pet food-related deaths was how much of the food was store-brand or inexpensive: for some of those people it was all they could afford, and they fed it to their pets out of love and responsibility, and the dogs and cats died. Organ failure is as horrible a death for animals as it is for people, and those people had to watch their pets suffer and die because of the naked greed of businessmen in two countries. Veterinarians had to euthanize hundreds of animals, some of which they’d known and treated all their lives. It’s a hard process for everyone at the vet’s office, just like it is for a family who fed their dog what they’d always given him and watched him die from it.

I see black pools of farm-raised shrimp while the shrimpers in my state, who have pulled fresh sea critters out of the water for us all their lives, go broke with a better, safer product. To put it eloquently, this sucks. They’re not commercial farmers with government subsidies at their disposal — they’re guys who can’t pay their mortgages if morons all over America keep saving ten cents a ton and buying antibiotic (and God only knows what else) -ridden shrimp from China, frozen and gray by the time it gets here.

Lest anyone think I’m concentrating too much on wildlife, pets, and seafood, I also see that one guy in Tienanmen Square, standing in front of a tank.

That’s what played on the screen in my head while I watched a spectacular opening show and watched my President enjoy it.

Piles of slaughtered tigers, old women and children weeping over dead pets, guys 200 miles away from me getting up at 3 a.m. to get on the shrimp boat, and one unspeakably brave man with a flag.

I wish I was a different person and could put all this out of my head and watch Tyson Gay outrun the world, but I can’t.

I’m going to be watching as much of Animal Planet’s “Puppy Games” as I can find.

TigerEye for the Straight Guy

Posted in Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , , on August 5, 2008 by tigereye

We can’t save them from themselves.

All we can do is tweak, and politely suggest, and then strongly recommend, and if these means of communication don’t work, steal.

As an example, I offer the Muumuu.

The only men who should be allowed to wear those oversized sleeveless shirts — the ones that expose vast savannas of armpit hair, and the occasional male nipple — are athletes. College and professional athletes. At one point I limited this kind of shirt to Michael Jordan only, and there are days when I think I should have stuck to my guns, because while this look is borderline acceptable on, say, Vince Young, it would be a mistake on one of those truck-sized linebackers. On any other guy who earns a regular old living, they look less like t-shirts than muumuus, puddling around the shoulders and hanging, usually, somewhere between the knees and the crotch.

John has one of these shirts.

He would have two or three, because his dad bought him a package of them a few years ago. These gradually came home with me. I considered this salvage an act of mercy, not of theft. Someone might see him in the yard, after all, wearing one, and then they might see me leaving his house and perform simple addition: guy + muumuu + girl = woman that just doesn’t give a damn about her man.

Besides, I couldn’t steal my dad’s sandals, so I had to take action somewhere.

Muumuu #1, which was red but had faded to an unsettling pink, became an all-purpose cleaning cloth, which I soaked in Tilex and used to scrub the hell out of the shower and sink. The pink turned gradually white and then the Tilex disintegrated the cloth altogether within two months. (I love Tilex. Try killing a spider with it sometime and you’ll see why. It disintegrates EVERYTHING.)

Muumuu #2, which was electric blue and hadn’t faded at all, became a kitty bed for one of my mom’s outdoor strays. I think it’s still at her house, tucked around a hot water bottle in an old doghouse she outfitted on the back porch.

Now there’s Muumuu #3, which is t-shirt gray. I’d become almost immune to Muumuu #3 until last weekend, when John went to get a paper and stayed to chitchat with the gas station attendant, who must have been thinking “He’s wearing a muumuu. Poor guy. He can’t possibly have a girlfriend, but why doesn’t his sister or mother say something?”

Bear in mind, I don’t steal the muumuus and leave him shirtless. I buy him t-shirts all the time. I think the muumuus are the only t-shirts he owns that I don’t provide, and eventually I’m going to have to have a serious talk with his dad, unless of course I learn his dad has a muumuu around the house too.

I think Muumuu #3 would make a good all-purpose dustcloth, unless anybody out there’s got a better idea.

Buried Alive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 30, 2008 by tigereye

Hi, Spike fans. It’s still me.

No says to tell you she’s still up to her ears in work. This one client of hers keeps sending her stuff to do, and she says they pay her as if they think she’s good at her job, so she’s trying to keep up with them. You should see her. Notes and papers all over the bed and that squawking paper-eating “printer” thing I hate (I’d pee on it if I could jump on top of it) cranking out more every day.

I can’t even get rid of her for very long any more! She was supposed to go see that movie with Mulder and Scully in it tomorrow, but I saw her email someone and cancel. She’s not even sure she’s going to see Furry Guy this weekend.

Now I ask you, how am I supposed to play Texas Hold ‘Em on the internet if she’s working on the box-on-the-lap all day and half the night?

Also, I saw her eat two pieces of pizza at lunch and she never offered me a bite. Not one. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to go chew on the most expensive pair of shoes I can find.

Guest Column…

Posted in KittyMonster with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2008 by tigereye

So, most of you have heard of me, right?

I’m Spike. I live with No. That’s what I call her because that’s what she’s always saying to me, and you human types sure like the sounds of your own names, so she must be No. I’m the three-legged dog-mauling survivor she talks about, and most of what she says about me is true. I have kind of a bad temper, but so does No. I have sharp eyes, sharper claws, and I can still jump more than 3 feet. If I still had that back right leg, she’d have a hell of a time keeping me out of her own treats, let alone mine.

Anyway, No’s up to her ears in work this week. I know because I sit and listen with her while she works. (You didn’t think I hung out to be nice or something, did you?) She thinks I’m sleeping, but really I’m listening to those meetings she types up, and using the information she hears to buy stock in a couple of those businesses. Remember, No might have signed a nondisclosure agreement, but I didn’t. I’m a cat. We wouldn’t make promises like that even if we could.

So while she’s working, I thought I’d amuse you folks for a while. I’ve met a lot of you on the net. I like that Little Fluffy Cat (is she single?), and Wanda trips me out, and Ina’s always talking about birds — I could do that all day. You seem like an interesting crowd of people, and most of you are cat people.

Anyway, here are a few of the things No talks about and looks at and does when she’s not on the box-on-the-lap:

TV. No watches some interesting stuff. She’s kind of got me hooked on The Closer and Saving Grace, and there’s this thing with people dancing that’ll do to watch until football season rolls back around and I can keep up with all the Tigers and Panthers again. She also looks at some guy in glasses who cooks and another guy in glasses she calls Keith, who talks about that politician O-someone she likes so much. I hope Furry Guy knows about this Keith, because she talks about him the same way Wanda talks about Orlando Whoever.

Music. Uh, No’s kinda weird on this. She listens to all this instrumental stuff most of the time when she’s reading. If I hear the music from WALL-E one more time I’ll bite her. Zero 7’s pretty good, though. She listens to better stuff through that red and black thing she attaches to her ears: it plays Mary J. Blige and Kid Rock (aw, c’mon, I’m a tomcat, what do you people expect?) and two different Bruces, and lately some girl singers named Missy Higgins and Carrie Rodriguez. I wish she’d put U2 back on, though.

OK, listen up, ’cause I need your help on this one. No doesn’t feed me enough. Seriously. I know, she goes on about how I’ve gotta stay on this diet because a cat with a missing leg can’t get fat, but you people oughta see what SHE eats. Chocolate chip cookies! Fried-ice-cream-flavored ice cream! Orange pineapple juice! Furry Guy cooks healthy stuff for her, but it doesn’t last all week, you know? And I know she’s told you about the government and how they took away her favorite ice cream (though she seems to have made up for them), but they put her favorite Lean Cuisines back, so looks like she could eat more of them and less of the Whale’s Tail chips. The government guys are real, by the way. I bit one who was trying to steal her Eminem CDs. I happen to like rap. See the tomcat comment above.

No wants me to vote this year. She wants me to register as Spike T. Eye and vote for that O guy she likes so much. He does look like a nice guy. The old dude is supposed to have a bunch of pets, but he looks like he wouldn’t tolerate a cat in his lap for very long if you ask me. I’m sure he’s nice and all, but No says if he wins whatever he’s trying to win, we’ll both starve. So vote for O! You heard me, people! Vote for O and tell No to unhook the red and black thing from her ears and freakin’ FEED ME!

Peace. Out.

Postcards From the Road

Posted in Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by tigereye

I just had a FANTASTIC time visiting friends. Lots of them are known around WordPress World, though, so I’ll leave them — and myself — their/our privacy and focus today on another aspect of the trip, which is Road Trip World.

I love road trips, personally. I have an immense collection of CDs, not just the bought-at-the-store kind, but many homemade discs. I play around on iTunes and create theme CDs. Hey, some people knit, some smoke, some watch TV: I make theme CDs. And I haul ’em all with me, so I never have a moment of silence on a road trip. Silence = death, especially when you’ve been driving for 8 hours straight and might doze off going 80 around a West Virginia curve.

Here are a few observations:

West Virginia, to my complete and utter shock, has the best drivers in the world. The only place that comes close to it is California. I was astonished to see people riding in the correct lanes for their speed, truckers staying where they’re told (the far right lane, thank God), drivers using turn signals and moving over to let others merge… I didn’t expect this from West Virgina, which previously only existed, in my mind, so we crackers from SC could make fun of somebody. I only experienced ONE asshole driver with a WV tag. I have no idea how this is accomplished, but I don’t care. As far as I know, the WV highway patrol could be pulling over lousy drivers and shooting them, then dumping their cars down the mountainside. If this is the case, someone please let me know, because it means there’s work for me in West Virginia.

Along with West Virginia, Virginia is the most beautiful place I’ve seen on the East Coast. Rolling hills, untouched mountains, towns few and far between… It was like looking at the U.S. the way it should have been left, before we came along and paved/electrified/billboarded/tunneled through it all. It was beautiful, but at the same time very sad.

If anyone had told me there was more farmland in Ohio than in SC, I’d’ve said they were smoking something. But it’s true. Instead of our ubiquitous tobacco and hay and peaches, there were acres and acres of corn. I felt right at home, like any minute now I’d see a sign that said “Tigereye’s Hometown, 17 miles.” And the Amish country is lovely.

Back in the Carolinas: Ludacris is right. MOVE, BITCH, GET OUT’ THE WAY. Jeeeeezus H. tap-dancin’ Christ, why does my state produce such total morons? The worst drivers in the U.S. are from Florida, Georgia, and, unfortunately, SC. There were assholes driving the speed limit in the left lane, assholes tailgating me when I’m speeding 20 miles faster than I should be, assholes who drive slowly until you try to pass them… I understand road rage. It’s why I don’t keep a weapon in the car: I’d be overly tempted to use it. Well, a real weapon, anyway — there’s always the tire iron. But really, I’m tired of being embarrassed for my home state. CAN’T YOU IDIOTS DO ANYTHING RIGHT? You vote red and you drive badly and you fly a goddamn Confederate flag — I belong here like flour in a torte.

I am the palest person alive. I saw five states’ worth of people to prove it. In a photo y’all won’t see, I’m posed beside a mannequin that’s only slightly paler than me. This hair sure does show up vividly, though.

In a hotel room in West Virginia, I stepped out of the shower to find a wolf spider crouched in the corner of my bathroom like a tumor set free. For those of you who don’t know, wolf spiders are black or gray, hairy, and they JUMP. He stayed still a while, and I dried off and went away. I returned to the bathroom twice and there he was, still in his corner. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t kill him because I didn’t have any bullets, Malathion, or hydrochloric acid.) Then I discovered, on my third return, that the only thing worse than having a wolf spider in your bathroom is coming back to the bathroom and not knowing where the wolf spider went.

I brought two lovely pairs of shoes and schlepped around all weekend in my ratty Birks.

Virginia and North Carolina have the cleanest rest stops I’ve ever seen. These things are important. I only encountered one stop, on the Ohio turnpike, that was actually worse than a single man’s bathroom.

MapQuest’s new slogan should be: Close Enough. It took me off the highways and into Amish country, and while it was a scenic route, I prefer an all-70-mph course, thankyouverymuch. I then discovered MapQuest doesn’t allow you to select “mostly highways” as a planning option, although you can opt out of highways altogether. To which I say, WHAT THE FUCK?! I’m supposed to get from SC to Ohio using all back roads? How does one do this without taking a hot air balloon, pray tell? Also, MapQuest gave me a few key wrong directions, solved by my own sense of place (I know Columbia is south of Charlotte, for one thing) and the assistance of one of my hosts, about whom I will say Kevin No Last Name Officially Kicked MapQuest’s Ass. He got me onto the turnpike and knocked at least an hour off my trip.

A hotel drink machine stole a $5 bill from me and I was so incapacitated with a leftover migraine I didn’t feel like doing more than glaring when the manager told me to piss off. It’s a chain hotel, though, which means it has a website. Dude, all you had to do was be nice to me and give me five bucks — I did it all the time in retail. Now I’m home, healthy, and havin’ a grudge. Just wait.

 I came home to 6 work assignments, 135 emails (about 40 of which I didn’t delete), a cat pissed off at me for boarding him, and a thermostat on 77. You know you’re back in the Carolinas when the temperature is over 101 and the gas is under $3.90.

I miss my friends, though. I’m ready to do the whole trip again, this time without the spider.