How Facebook Made Me A Better

Mom.  Seriously.  Like, before Facebook, I was a thoroughly, unapologetically, underachieving mom.  Like when my kids were in preschool and these other moms would send in holiday-themed goody bags with candy and pencils and erasers and plastic whistles and other mini, made-in-China, destined-for-the-landfill tinker toys – and I didn’t bother.  Not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t have that over-achieving gene that keeps me up late at night cutting out special handmade cards and creating cute little taglines for each piece of candy I tied with color-coordinated ribbon.  Since Facebook, and its sister Pinterest, I am proud to report that I am diligently working hard on some very special Easter eggs, hand-painted with a toothpick and monogrammed with each dinner guest’s name in calligraphy!!  And – in lieu of the traditional Easter basket – I plan to sew Easter pillows for each of the kids with a felt silhouette bunny with a pouch (I realize bunnies don’t have pouches, but just go with me on this) for holding the candy.  A lot less room for candy, but less is more, right??  I’m sure they will LOVE them!

And, since all the other moms are so proudly reporting their kids’ crowning achievements, such as bike-riding, soccer goals, lost teeth, honor roll report cards, and …potty-trained at 18 months! … I feel right at home announcing that my 12-year-old actually set the table TWICE this week! (Uploading a photo as we speak!) And, while we’re at it,  I just know that my 7-year-old daughter is destined to be a tv reporter… she questions me mercilessly about my activities during the day while she is in school, whether I’ve seen my husband in his underwear, and if I think Santa is a real person… and next year I’m enrolling her in the high school debate team, since she argues exhaustively over the right to choose her own diet and declares nearly every obvious truth I speak to be invalid.  I’m SO PROUD!!!

Daughter.  I regularly repost those, “Share if you love your Father/Mother/Stepparent more than homemade apple pie!” posts.  I wouldn’t want my parents – any of them – to feel as if they aren’t loved by me, so I skip the phone call and just declare it publically every day! 

Family member.  And, while we’re on the subject of family… trolling my extended family’s personal pages, I can always be up-to-date on their whereabouts and activities.  Since my brother never calls or texts, how else would I have known he broke his back snowboarding  in Colorado?  Facebook IM gave me instant (inescapable) access to him, since I can see that he’s “online.”  And what kind of cousin would I be if I didn’t know Sheila was swilling at the All-Male revue last weekend?  

Wife.  There are so many Facebook pages with heartfelt cartoons, and photographs with meaningful and one-size-fits-all quotes … I will never run out of romantic things to publicly tag my husband with.  I mean, I don’t want to be outdone by all the other perfect lovers out there.  Why keep your awesome love just between the two of you, when you can share with the whole world??  Who has time for handwritten sentiments left on mirrors and car windows???  Why bother, when someone, somewhere, can say it so much better? And I know Todd feels the love with every push of the “share” button.  

Friend.  Who, anywhere, can honestly say they don’t have at least 200 friends?  I have reconnected with classmates, childhood friends, Sisters, roommates, coworkers, friends of friends I used to hang out with, people I met in the doctor’s waiting room … and it’s all thanks to Facebook!  Where else can we hunt down people we have loved, and lost?  Where else can we send friend requests to people who wished we hadn’t?  And on Facebook, one doesn’t really even have to know the friends we can count.  I have friends on Facebook I will never meet in person… but who cares!**  One can’t increase the friend count once one has run out of “real” friends to add, right? And I think Facebook has made me way better at friendship than I could ever be, anywhere else.  Where else can I follow their daily activities like we were next door neighbors?  Where else could I lend support, a virtual hug, or just a simple “like” of their status, to make them feel special and appreciated??  Isn’t that what the comment section is really for?  Who needs to make face time when you can share a cup of coffee over instant messaging??  I can cover at least 23 friends a day, without ever having to get dressed or leave my couch.  Now how many can say THAT??!!
Writer.  Really, don’t we allaspire to be the next great Jodi Picoult?  But first let’s start with my blog, and I will share it every day on Facebook, whether it’s good or not because, after all… isn’t this how all great authors get started?  And, since everyone else is blogging and sharing, why not??  I have joyfully hopped on the wagon  of novice writers who all think they have something important to say, and that all of their friends, and the world, should be listening.  There are a handful of bloggers out there who really inspire me – to write with a least half of Jen’s genuine and side-splitting talent, or to write something more refreshing and less Crazybitch than that otherJen.  And, if my friends tell me they love it, which they almost always do because they’re my greatest critics, then I KNOW I’m gifted, right?  Note to self:  must practice begging my legion of fans to please like and share my blog so I can count my popularity in page visits. 
Athlete.  I ran before Facebook, but mostly after the children in a crowded department store or in a busy parking lot (though you can be sure I would have posted that in my status).  Now, with all the cool “groups” and apps available… I have my choice of being shamed, or bragging about how many miles I have run this week.  All the beotches posting their weekly mileage have pissed off the jealous, albeit lazy monster in me – and awakened a competitive beast I was sure died long ago in the 9th grade.  But…. if I can be serious for a moment, I did “brag” because it really was an achievement for me… however, having so many friends who run and post about it has often given me the extra motivation I needed to get out there and Do It, even when it was 28 degrees and the winds were blowing me all the way to Kansas (thanks beotches – I think you all know who you are – I love you ALL).
Person.  A well-rounded person – I can be all of the above and more.  I’ve aired most of my dirty laundry, and friends just can’t get enough!  And where else can I learn this much about politics?  How we were ever able to vote in a presidential election before Facebook, is a mystery to me.  I’ve even become an advocate for virtually every social cause known to man… and it’s so easy – just click share and post!  Save the African tree frog!  Burn the burqas!  I’ve become more driven to achieve more and more and more and… I’m gaming now!  Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga…and whew!  How the time flies!! 

I can’t wait to blog about my greatest achievements of 2013!! 
**Addendum – because I’m so damn nice and can’t bear it to be taken the wrong way.  There are a bunch of “people I will never meet in person,” although I would love to, who I have met on Facebook in what we refer to as the DOC.  Words cannot adequately express how meaningful it is to me to count you, my fellow D-parents and T1 adults, among my friends.  I appreciate your support, however virtual, I look forward to sharing posts with you, and commiserating in what only “we” can truly understand.  Thank you.**
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Find Gratitude and LIVE

Get your fire back. It’s not over until God says it’s over. Start believing again. Start dreaming again. Start pursuing what God put in your heart. ~ Joel Osteen
I’ll admit I have fallen into a bit of a slump lately… the cold weather – and earlier the ceaseless flow of ailments – paralyzing my meager running efforts, a general malaise that affects my mood like rain on a wedding – where I “feel” somewhat happy, but not fully content, and a certain degree of anxiety that leaves me feeling at once exhausted and jittery.  Perhaps it is too much coffee.  Perhaps it is something more. 

I’ve been feeling agitated by the constant flow of speeding vehicles past our house, whizzing by at 50 or more mph in a 40, that less than a tenth of mile becomes a 25.  I’ve been feeling uneasy by yet another legal issue that is, in essence, just business, but still requires my attorney.  Again.  I’ve been feeling pissed off by the interminable blizzard of “treats” at school, which not only present a health issue for my daughter, but places me in the unwanted and difficult position of either allowing her to “be like everyone else” and eat that crap that will keep her blood sugars well above 200 for hours, or saying “no” and making her hate her diabetes even more because she’s not like everyone else.  And a little perturbed that it’s going to be ME, the one who hates conflict and stirring the pot, that is going to have to throw the cauldron into the fire.

I’ve been feeling discouraged by the length of time it has taken me to get this far in my online coursework, and how hard it is to stay on target. (Word to the wise: never take an online course unless you have the discipline of dog with a bone.)  I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the things I want to accomplish, and by the way time vanishes like water down a drain.  I’ve been feeling the heartache of missing someone who should be able to come home every night, and knowing that sometimes the drive is just too much.  I’ve been feeling frustrated over the obstacles that make change seem so very far off.  And more than a little melancholy every time I remember how old I am.

Last weekend I went to Baltimore, where the other half of my family lives.  It was not a pre-planned trip.  I had already been there mid-week, because I really love visiting with the in-laws (under the cover of alleviating Todd’s strain of driving home two more days in a row).   I made an executive decision to drag my brother-in-law and his better half out to a local favorite pub so we four could spend some time together.  It was a nice evening.  Had some illicit foods and drank a couple of IPAs.  Life is going swimmingly for them, and it was a joy to see that.  I do so love happy endings.

Anyway, later that evening I learned that Todd and I would be returning to Baltimore on Saturday for a funeral.  It seemed that one of his former, and valued, colleagues had finally lost his wife to cancer.  I had met Jim months earlier in, of all places, the liquor store we like to go to for “restocking.”  We were perusing the expensive liquors (translation: the ones locked behind glass doors) when we bumped into Jim, who hugged me like an old friend as we were introduced.  Todd asked how things were going, and to my shock I learned that his wife was in the hospital, fighting her way through round 4 of cancer.  He said he felt so guilty for being there, as she lay in the hospital, as he hasn’t left her side for weeks.   She wasn’t going to beat it this time.  He hadn’t known it then, the impact he’d left on me.  I walked dazed and glassy-eyed through the rest of the store, no longer interested in the craft beer I’d wanted to pick out.  What I felt was something stronger than words could describe, and I fought back the tears until we finally left the store. 

So we drove down to Baltimore to the most beautiful church, and we turned onto a side street in a beautiful historical neighborhood just around the corner. I heard the sound of bagpipes playing outside and momentarily regretted my decision to drop Zoloft 3 months ago.  And, damn it all – I’d forgotten to grab a handful of tissues to stuff in my purse.  I’m such a ridiculously emotional person.  I dug my fingernails into Todd’s arm as we passed the man in the kilt, silently chastising myself for feeling the wave rising within my eyes.  Don’t you DARE cry, you blubbering idiot, the damn service hasn’t even started yet.  The church was filled.  Standing.  Room.  Only.   We were directed to the balcony, where we were fortunate to get the last two seats – in the last row.  We couldn’t see a thing, which was a blessing to my overly, embarrassingly tearful self – I fixated on the back of this woman’s head and focused on being reverently detached. 

The bagpiper reprised Amazing Grace as he entered the santuary .  Then the reverend began to speak…and his mouthpiece wasn’t working, so all we heard up in the balcony was: “We… to… -ship… and… cel-… life… Jul-” and the little old lady running the audio board just a few feet from us began frantically adjusting knobs and buttons.  I wondered how long it would take the minister to realize what was going on.  This was one of those moments when I also have to focus on something other than the humor of such a scenario, lest I break into some silent, and highly inappropriate, laughter. 

The two reverends delivered a wonderfully poignant service, and through them I learned that they had not only married Jim and Julie in this very church, but had baptized their two children, and watched the family grow.  It was all going very well, that is, until Julie’s son stood up to speak.  I braced myself for the emotions.  It wasn’t too bad.  He described their last Christmas and how he wheeled his mother around as he helped her decorate the house.   Something about the tears rolling down her cheeks….  I don’t remember much more, since I was trying to swallow the lump in my throat, and began to really wonder why no one had thought to tell this woman in front of me, with 3 inches of white hair tipped in that weird unnatural shade of brown, that she was badly in need of haircolor. 

Julie’s daughter spoke next.  Going well, I thought.  Both children are grown now, and their eulogies were very touching.  I admired another woman’s hair and briefly wondered how my own hair looked.  Julie’s daughter’s words reached me still, blind in that balcony, even as I started thinking about my grandmother’s hair – still “brown” at 87 – and wondered how and when I would one day stop coloring my hair so that I actually looked like a real 80-year-old woman. 

 A daughter’s worship of a beloved mother, who gave her strength and wisdom and so much love, and how she couldn’t wait to one day be the mother that her mother was.  I guess this is when I thought of Ava, and how attached she is to me, and wondered how terrible it would be for both of my children, if I died so young.  And then I noticed the other women in the balcony, blotting at their eyes with tissues…. And then I had no other choice but to frantically start digging like a groundhog for a tissue in my purse, before the overflow hit my cheeks and the snot just inside the tip of my nose performed a slimy cliffhanger.  I pulled it together just long enough for Jim to take the podium.

I knew that what Jim had to say would send me into the kind of body-quaking tears that are caused by the attempt to “hold back” the hysteria.  Jim is apparently a gifted speaker, and I could see where the children drew their ability not only for Herculean strength but also for eloquent monologue.  He acknowledged each and every one of the people inside that church – as they sat here today because Julie had touched their lives in some way.  He recalled a conversation he’d had with her months ago, as she laid in that slow wasting of cancer’s clutch, where she asked him – “how can you kiss me?”  And his response – “how can I not?”  I felt every muscle in my body tense against the wave of grief I felt for him, and for her, and Todd glanced at me and squeezed my sweaty hand.

He told us of his nickname for her, Do,  “just d-o,” because Julie does what Julie wants to do.  In essence, she lived her life solidly and fully.  She was active in life, family, and community.  There was nothing she couldn’t do, if she wanted to do it.  I won’t ruin such a beautiful, and heartfelt eulogy with my lame attempt to further paraphrase it.  Jim loved this woman, whom I never had the fortune to meet, so fully and completely with his whole being… that it would take a lifetime for him to forget, if he ever could.  They were true soul mates.  They lived an American-dream kind of life… introduced by mutual friends, falling in love, getting married, having children, leading fulfilling lives, surrounded by friends and family, for 20 some years… and unfortunately plagued by 17 years of intermittent skirmishes with cancer.  Not any more an unusual life or better than anyone else’s.  Just an enviable life.

Todd said he always admired Jim’s ability to express himself clearly.  And that day, he said he finally “understands.”  Jim always speaks directly from his heart.  And then he said, “the way Jim loves Julie, is the way I love you.”  He could not have understood that until we found each other again… that that kind of love is once in a lifetime, irreplaceable, and… ultimately, aches in the deepest reaches of one’s heart.  And suddenly, I understood it, too.  There is no one else.  No one.

And so, in reflection, I realized the gift that Julie left behind in all of us who attended her funeral that day… was the gift of knowing what true love is made of, but more than that… the motivation to live better, more completely, and never forget to acknowledge our many blessings on earth.  It’s kind of cliché, like all those Facebook posts such as “you don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need.”  Knowing that no one person’s life is perfect, that we all have challenges to face and internal struggles, no one has “everything,” and that life is way too short.  Our choices lie in how we use the time we have, and how we accept what is, and how we aspire for more.

Julie was 50 years old.  How will you use your time here?


“We all have choices, …. And it starts when you decide.” ~ Remi, Ratatouille

Type 1: Know the Signs!!

Lately it seems Type 1 diabetes has been in the news, the worst kind of news:  the reports are of new cases only diagnosed after a child has died.  It seems implausible to me that this could happen, and I really don’t like to focus on the negative of anything, but the fact is… it has happened.  How could it get that far?  And more frightening of all… how could a physician, any physician, miss the signs?  Or, at the very least, consider all of the possibilities?  That just one finger stick and a tiny spot of blood could rule out this chronic and debilitating disease?

And this is why we “D-parents,” as we often call ourselves, are so eager to educate and get the word out.  We don’t want to hear any more tragic stories of diagnoses that, had they come soon enough, would not have ended this way.  So it is with this heavy heart and good intention that I share this very simple information with you… and implore you to share it with everyone you know, too.  Most people may never have to use it, but – as more and more new cases of Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in children today – more than 15,000 every year *– someone, somewhere, can benefit from a little bit of knowledge.  That someone may very well be someone you know.
FACT:  Type 1 diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is an autoimmune disorder that comes on suddenly.  It cannot be ignored, there is currently no cure, and the individual who develops Type 1 WILL need insulin to survive.
FACT:  Many cases of Type 1 in children come as “surprise” – there can be a genetic factor, yet researchers also cite environmental factors, as well as viruses, as triggers.  In many cases, there is no other traceable family history of the disease (unlike Type 2 diabetes).
FACT:  Type 1  diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, is often misunderstood by the general population, and is frequently confused with Type 2 diabetes.  They are NOT the same.
FACT:  Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, is a serious but often preventable emergency that can arise from high blood glucose levels in the body.  Undetected high glucose levels can quickly progress to difficulty breathing, shock, coma, and even death.*
FACT:  People don’t die from Type 1 diabetes; they can die from complications of Type 1 diabetes including, but not limited to, hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar that went untreated), and DKA.  These are the two most serious issues Type 1s face.
            The children I read about in the news recently died from diabetic ketoacidosis.  Their parents did take them to a doctor for symptoms they were having, but those physicians either missed the signs, or didn’t consider Type 1 diabetes in their assessment.   The tragedy in all of these cases is that a simple finger stick test would have confirmed or ruled out Type 1 diabetes.  One finger stick, to test blood glucose levels.  Or, a urine test, which would have measured ketones (acids found in urine, related to high blood glucose levels) and thus, diagnosed diabetes.
My daughter had DKA at diagnosis.  Her blood sugar in the pediatrician’s office the day I carried her limp, vomiting and rapidly-breathing 2-year-old body in after a week of marathon drinking and urinating:  416.   She had large ketones.  She spent 36 hours in CHOP’s PICU, the first 8 being monitored for signs of coma.  Your, or your child’s, blood glucose reading, if you took it right now: mostly likely, 70-80.
Please, please, please share these symptoms with everyone you know.
SYMPTOMS of TYPE 1 DIABETES:
  • Extreme thirst (as in, your child cannot get enough to drink)
  • Frequent urination (as in, your child is constantly in the bathroom, or saturating diapers more than several times a day)
  • Drowsiness, lethargy (as in, your child doesn’t want to get up, and is very very tired, or sleeping a lot)
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss (as in, your child looks thinner than usual)
  • Increased appetite (as always hungry/eating, but still losing/not gaining weight)
  • Fruity, or sweet-smelling, breath
  • General feeling of unwell, or, in some cases, obviously ill in combination with any of the above mentioned symptoms
I want to point out that my daughter had all of these symptoms (the first 2 for a week before the others occurred) except that she was NOT ill before the symptoms began (the son of a friend of mine WAS sick with an unrelated illness prior to developing symptoms) and she actually exhibited a decrease in appetite. By week’s end, she was very ill and had developed the more serious signs that brought us to the doctor.
SYMPTOMS of DKA:
 
Symptoms as listed above but progressing to:
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pains in the stomach
  • Vomiting or feeling nauseous
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Fever, warm, dry, or flushed skin
  • Stupor, unconsciousness

 

Many of the above symptoms mimic symptoms of other illnesses, like the flu.  This is why it is important to know the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, and pay attention to your child especially if he/she does not appear to be “getting better.”
Which brings me to one more symptom the resources don’t mention that I want to add to the list:
YOUR gut feeling that something just isn’t right There’s no wrong in overreacting where your child’s illness is concerned.  The old adage, “better to be safe than sorry,” could not be more important.
Know the symptoms.  Share the symptoms.  You could just save a life.
Thank you.
**This post was written 4 years ago, and I wanted to add that the above symptoms can happen to ANYONE. NOT just children. A friend of mine was misdiagnosed a couple of years ago with type 2 diabetes, and the medical care she was receiving wasn’t improving her health. She lost almost 40 pounds. Today, she lives with Type ONE diabetes, AND wears an insulin pump. **
*Sources:  JDRF, and the ADA’s Complete Guide to Diabetes.
More information can be found at www.jdrf.org
*** This post is no way intended to be medical advice. Please consult your physician.

Junior Junk Drawer

Does your kid have a “junk drawer”?   I took a break from transcribing this morning to have a look at what my 7-year-old has been hoarding in the top drawer of her bedside table.
  •  A journal my mom gave her, which she has filled with hundreds of words (which I have not read….. what kind of mother do you think I am???), and a pencil crowned with a heart shaped eraser marking where she left off.
  • A 7-pack of mini bottles of shimmer nail polish, one bottle is missing. Hmmm…. I find this curious, given that I have a rule for nail polish use limited to bathroom or kitchen.
  • An unopened can of Play Doh.  No one in this house has played with Play Doh in 3 years.
  • A pack of 4 mini pens in purple, green, pink, and orange.
  • A mini notepad promoting breast cancer awareness.  Must be another Nannie cast off.  
  • A deck of playing cards I haven’t seen since we lived in the old house.
  • A box containing Staple’s talking  “That was easy” button.   Yes, they really do exist, and yes – your kid could potentially press this button enough times to make you want to throw it into oncoming traffic outside your house. 
  • 2 Strawbery Shortcake notepads from McDonald’s.  Unused.
  • One of my old demonstration mirrors from my Mary Kay days.
  • A furry, plush Hello Kitty zippered purse.
  • A mini, unopened can of generic “Wonder Dough.”  (A leftover from one of those Supermom goody bags.) 
  • 6 Tegaderm films, 2 IV-Prep wipes, and 1 Unisolve medical adhesive remover wipe. (You know you have diabetes when…..) 
  • An i-Carly change purse.
  • A pair of American Girl doll ice skates.
  • A headband matching a SpongeBob nightgown she hasn’t worn in 2 years.
  • A pair of American Girl doll purple Capri pants and matching shoes. (At this point I had to look for the doll, to see if she – unlike the majority of Barbies living here – actually has pants on.)
  • A plastic sliding Christmas puzzle.  (And, judging by its appearance, has never been played with.)
  •  A book of Pokemon stickers. (The Pokemon phase is, thankfully, over.)

And now we come to the bottom of the drawer…..
  • A broken ankle bracelet.
  • A pair of plastic tweezers, clamps,  and scalpel. (Accessories to an anatomy toy my mom bought her, with rubbery organs and stuff that are removable – thankfully, she never did, because I’d never be able to figure out how to put all the organs  back in where they belong.)
  •   2 Barbie shoes that don’t match.
  • “Girly” legos.
  •  A mini (teeny tiny) digital camera.  (It really does work, although I doubt she’s ever taken a picture with it.)
  •  One – count it – ONE Reading Phillies trading card.  (And it’s not even a player, it’s manager Steve Roadcap. Which, by the way, opens up a whole other line of questions… like, is he a real person?  What kind of name is “Roadcap”?  It’s like his ancestor stepped off the boat from fumff—land and when they asked his name he just picked two familiar words and slapped them together.  Wham! Name’s Roooaddd…uh,…. cap.)
  •  A tiny rubber rat.  (Most likely hijacked from one of her brother’s junk drawers.)
  • A silver plastic ring with a crown on it.  (A cupcake topper from one of those hundreds of infamous school birthday treats.)
  • A rubber Justin Bieber wristband.
  • A glue stick, nail file, 3 orange sticks, and a nailbrush.
  • 2  frou frou hair bands with sparkly, dangley ribbons on them.  Never worn.  (Another of those items she refuses to wear, but won’t part with.)
  •  4 crafty necklaces she made in PRESCHOOL, 3 years ago.


And, I’ve saved the best for last.


Ugly rubber teeth (which, by the way, would look better on the toothless wonder than the 3 rotting brown teeth  I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend).  She swindled these out of Todd over a year ago during a grocery trip while I waited in the car.

And all of this, was only in the top drawer.  There are 2 more below it.

A Seussical Ode to Bowling

Today is the day!
A tournament of balls.
All men and 1 woman
Come to throw in these halls.
It is loud, very loud – 
Like the rolling of thunder,
Though not earth and clouds,
But 10 pins falling under.
Old men, young men
And those in between.
Tall ones, short ones
Fat ones and lean.
Not a spectator sport,
Or athletes on tv.
This isn’t a sport
Groupies group up to see.
No cheerleaders cheer,
No shouting of mothers.
Just a whole lot of high-fivin’
From this weird band of brothers.
The smell of oil and sweat
Fills this great hall of halls,
Only scattering pins echo
From red, white, and blue walls.
There’s beer! We have beer.
And big pitchers of water.
Bring your son and your mom,
Great granddad and daughter.
So come one and come all,
With your balls drilled, un-oiled.
Come with precision and speed
Before the lanes be spoiled.
You don’t need a new shirt
Or some fancypants’ shoes,
Or a mouthful of teeth,
Or a pill for your blues.
Cause there’s no better place
For showing style, skill and grace.
Entertainment is waiting,
At a grass-growin’ pace.

This is what I composed on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, during a 6-hour long bowling tournament.  I embraced my love for my husband and rose at 4:45 am on a workday to drive 2 hours with him for his tournament.  What I saw that day was both eye-burning boring and hilariously entertaining, and provided me enough blog fodder for a year.  Whether it is entertaining to anyone else, well… that remains to be seen.  He wanted me to read it aloud to some of his teammates, but I – in a rare show of shyness – refused out of fear of embarrassment.  I dedicate this to my Nana, who shared a birthday with the great Seuss, and probably never picked up a bowling ball in her life.