National Champions.

13 11 2012

Six years after our first trip to Nationals (where we came in 3rd) and many other trips (where we came in 2nd, year after year) My Angels finally won the National Championship today.

The Pittsburgh Angels are the Women’s DII National Champions!

The final match was played at 11am on Sunday in Ft. Myers, Florida. (the one time it’s close to my family…. I know!)

I opened My Living Room an hour early so that anyone who wanted to, could come watch. And come watch, they did. The bar was packed with some of the guys team, and former Angels.

Our lovely tech wizards, like PghRugbyRef, Calipanthergrl, UVA and FashionForward hooked up a second TV to the interwebz so we could watch the match on two tv’s.

For over an hour and a half, we all stared at those tvs, screamed, jumped up and down, (ok, jumping up & down was me, mostly) clapped and yelled at the tv. Every play. Every kick. Every pass.  Every set play. Every second of that game!

The second half was mostly defense, to be honest. But they held out.

And they won.

My former teammates and the newer girls, they finally won a National Championship. 8-0 against Severn River, from Maryland.

I’m so proud that I don’t even know what to say. I’m incredibly excited and happy for the team.

I’m also sad that myself and so many other “retired” Angels watched the game at My Living Room instead of participating or watching from the sidelines. But a win is a win.

And, after 6 years, my ladies came home as NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. I’m so proud to call myself an Angel, albeit an old one, today.

And all of us former Angels can claim a stake in that championship. If it wasn’t for our work, over all those years, this may have not happened. Right?

As one of my newer teammates posted to Facebook early on Sunday morning:

“All I can think about are the Angels before me. Everything they have done before me and taught me up until this moment. Hit hard, hit low and leave everything on the field. This morning we are a regular rugby team. By the end of the day we will be CHAMPIONS!!!!”

Thank you, Web Developer, for that. Us old girls appreciated it very much.

I love you, Angels. Cannot wait to see that trophy on the top of the bar. I have the perfect spot picked out!

Previous posts about my trip to Nationals as a player are here, here and here. (Lots of awesome rugby related videos at that last link, folks!)

Pittsburgh is proud to welcome you home. Well, at least the club and bar are… I’ve been working on the rest… In the meantime, check out this awesome video from Uncle Crappy.





Farewell to a mentor.

15 08 2012

I learned today that Mr. Frank Farina passed away early this morning.

Mr. Farina was the band and musical director at my high school, North Allegheny.

You can say what you want about NA. I know I’ve heard awful things, had people walk away from me because I went there. But here I am, college degree and back in school for another degree. Whatever. It’s just a darn school.

Back to Frank Farina.

When I first joined the marching band, whoo boy, was he scary. He stood on the auditorium stage and yelled. Are you a load (someone late to call time.)? I seriously hoped I wasn’t… He put you to place. He was demanding, but understanding. That man had a great heart. And I learned so much from him.

To stand in line.

To march.

To FEEL the music.

To DANCE, kind of like the Ohio University band did…

(I swear on my life, the day that the OU band came through my quad at OU, I cried, remembering what we did at NA) Especially because I didn’t have the time to devote to that amazing band. I wish I had, but I didn’t.

To LOVE the music.

To be the person you were meant to be.

To succeed in music. And life.

To be in multiple honor bands.

To try to quit. Have your parents tell you NO. And on top of that, to have Frank Farina, tell you no, you cannot quit marching band.

To give you another instrument. One you’d amazingly succeed with. A baritone horn.The euphonium.  One that Mr. Farina would challenge you to try out for an honor band. And you make it. And you have a solo. An epic solo, in your mind…

I still can’t decide if I love the sound of the clarinet or the euphonium more… We’re tied…

The one you actually tried to play in the symphony band at OU, because you loved the trust that man gave you, but couldn’t find the hours or place for practice…

I will always regret that last part. That I could not find the time or place….

I still remember practicing my clarinet when my parents would have liked to run for the hills over the noise.

I remember so many band camps. Yes, I know, it happened at band camp… But for most of us, those who I know? it didn’t. It was fun. It was hard.

I’d like to think I never let you down. I love music of all kinds. Really. And I love to dance, when I can…. It will never end. I’m now dancing in my seat to things my lovely niece loves… It will never end…

I will miss you so much, Mr. Farina. I can’t even put it into words. But my tears will make you understand. I play music in my mind, for you. As I have for years.

Thank you, Mr. Farina, for giving my music a voice and a path to follow.

I will come pay my respects to you on Sunday. It’s probably going to be a very hard thing for me… Alone. Thank god I’m a strong woman.
You leaving this earth is going to take multiple trips to the symphony or NA band stuff for me to be ok…





Big Sister Behavior.

30 07 2012

And I am a Big Sister. To Lili. And now, Little C is a big sister to G-man….

So… I’ve tried every time I see Little C lately, to help her be a good big sister. It’s hard. So hard.

Mommy loves you, but she has to re-direct most of her attention to your sibling, boy or girl. And those small little sisters or brothers? They need a lot of attention. If you’re three at the time, or five as I was.  It’s really hard to be a good big sibling, with only two of you. I know this. I lived it.

So, The Nana fed me some info that C wasn’t being so nice at bedtime.

I told The Nana I would withhold the Big Sister Date. It’s really a big deal for Little C and I. It’s an EVENT! But Nana said withholding stuff didn’t work.

So, I sent Lili a message. If Little C continued her behavior, I would cancel our  Big Sister Date. It’s our day, to go eat lunch out, go the playground, spin stories and have a blast… I honestly did NOT want to cancel it, but if she continued biting and hitting? I would be a bad Aunt to let this go.

I would cancel our date. Not only our date, but A BIG SURPRISE I had for C.

Turns out, Lili told Little C about this message.

The response was not what I wanted. I talked to Lili today… She said when she told Little C, she cried and thought I didn’t love her anymore. Lili told her there was nothing she could do, ever, that would make me not love her. (that is 100% true) But that I wanted her to be a better Big Sister…

It makes me sad that Little C thought I wouldn’t love her. She is the human I love most on the planet. I told her so, earlier tonight.  And she told me she was a good girl all day today!

I can’t wait to see her face, running to me, in the Ft. L airport on Wednesday afternoon. It will be the best feeling ever, to hug her. And then to hug her brother. My tough guy, G-man. Or my monkey. Good grief, that boy is going to test my endurance it seems.

And then to hug my sister.

And my girl, Little C and I, we will have our date… because she is a good girl. A very good little lady.

Then, I will give them my surprise. It’s not someone in person. It’s just me and someone who really wants to tell G-man happy 1st birthday!





Big plans. On a Tuesday.

3 07 2012

Today, I had BIG PLANS.

I was going to haul myself, and my car, up to Wexford to get an oil change. When my parents lived in Cranberry, it didn’t seem like such a long and far drive. Now that the ‘rents are solidly in Florida? And I’m firmly in the city? Going to Wexford is like the worst thing ever. But I like my car, and my oil changes are paid for through my car payment, so it was Wexford, pay way too much for an oil change that I can’t afford, or lose my car. So Wexford it was.

It just so happened that a few things collided nicely:

  1. I would be in the North Hills.
  2. I wanted to see Brave.
  3. PghRugbyRef wanted to take his boys, D & Q, to see Brave.
  4. I love hanging out with PghRugbyRef and D and Q!
  5. PghRugbyRef was on a vacation week! Movie it is!
  6. I wanted to swim.
  7. PghRugbyRef wanted to take the boys to swim.
  8. I love to swim. Duh.

So plans were set. I’d get my oil change. I’d meet them at the theater. We’d see Brave. We’d go to North Park pool and swim and slide until they kicked us out!

Woooooo! It was going to be the best day.

It ended up a great day, but not the way we planned, unfortunately.

Thankfully, my oil change was relatively painless, in that it was done way earlier than I expected. (BTW, have you seen the new digs at Baierl Chevrolet? ALL OF IT? It’s pretty freaking nice. The tech guys you see when you check-in are now in AC in a nice little room with the cashier. And the waiting room? All I can say is fancy. At least in comparison from last time…)

Anywho, I had some time… So, I went to Target and the mall… Had lunch. (Went to see a friend who doesn’t have a name here, but who happens to work at the mall… Randomly I chose to look in the window, and there she was! Yay!)

Then went to meet the boys.

We got our refreshments (Holy CATS, $4.75 for a *medium* Sprite?) and went into the theater. The theater we went to is the one I went to for my ENTIRE  youngster life. I saw ET there. I know that for sure… And so many other movies that I can’t even remember.

We got our seats, annoying people who wouldn’t be quiet sat behind us, and they kept getting up and pulling on D & my chairs. Annoying. But whatever. We enjoyed the movie. D was quite good at sharing the popcorn with me, and even hit my arm and handed me a tasty piece of Starburst candy! Yay!

And I’ve heard a lot of people not happy with Brave… I’m not entirely sure why. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the movie. I won’t give ANYTHING away.

What was extremely strange for me? The Scottish accent. I still don’t hear it when my mother speaks to me. (I still hear it in the videos, like I’ve said before.) But I LOOVE that accent. And pick it up in a second, it seems… But  I have not been to Scotland, in, OMG, 24+ years? Maybe more. That was the last time I heard SOOOO many people speaking with a Scottish accent… Until this movie. OMG I love to hear it… So, yeah, I loved that part… Agh. And Aye. Oh! and “I dinnae.”

And so much more.I do wish that Merida would have said “Mum” rather than “Mom.” Because my mom called her mother Mum and that’s what I call mine when I remember to…. She’s my Mum.

So, after our fun at the movie, we got up and started talking about all the fun we’d have at the pool. Until we got outside. It looked like there would be a storm coming. But we still drove to North Park…

When we got to the pool, people were heading out. No lifeguards in the seats. No one in the pool. TOTAL SAD FACE.

So anyway, when we realized the pool was closed? We went to the playground!

And it was raining. Whatever. A little bit of water never hurt anyone. Nor did it hurt us….

North Park, near the pool, is not just ONE Playground! It’s like 3 or 4. Which worked for us. We swung on the swings, D & I. Played X&O’s with Q (he won every time!!!) Encouraged D to try the “monkey ovals” again & again!

And had a generally good time.

The guys I was with, all 3 of them? GOOD GUYS! I had such a great day!

I need to re-schedule the pool time with PghRugbyRef, because he’s a good dude, and holy cats, are his boys GOOD BOYS. I can’t even begin to tell you.

It was a great day. Just wait for pics from when we finally go swimming. I have no doubt D & Q will do things that are photo worthy.





Tomorrow, attending a wedding.

22 06 2012

It’s summer. It’s the season of weddings. I don’t often get invited to attend a wedding with a friend or on my own…

But a few weeks ago, I got an email from PghRugbyRef, who comments here often, when, and if I post… And asked me to attend a wedding with him tomorrow.

So tomorrow we are off to a wedding at the Phipps Conservatory. And then to a movie, Rock of Ages (since there is so much time between the wedding & reception,) and then to the reception, at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

I’m pretty sure we’ll have a blast. I’m looking forward to it!





Gecko.

25 05 2012

image

See that itty, bitty, tiny gecko on the window? At the bottom. He’s really tiny…

That little dude welcomed himself into my parents home the other day when they went out to get their morning newspaper. He just ran right in. As if he lived there.

I don’t even assume I live there as much as this little dude did.

(Knowing NONE of what I just said….) My mom randomly said, ‘Oh, if you see a gecko, let us know. We think one wandered in.’ Gee, thanks mom. Can’t wait to go to sleep…

The next day, papa and I are hanging out, and I happen to look to the window, and there he is…

I said, “Dad, you may want to see this…” And Papa jumped up, told me to go get the broom… So I did, (I always do what Papa tells me. It’s the best decision. Ever.)

I won’t tell you what papa did to get him. I’ll just tell you I used Clorox wipes to clean up…My dad did NOT make a mess… I just felt the need to clean…  You can blame that on what papa did, or the fact that I use Clorox wipes every other minute at clinical… Your choice…

Whatever your choice and decision, the little gecko is gone. If my Echo was still alive and in the house, she would have trapped it, and presented it to Papa, as a gift. NOT. EVEN. KIDDING. It’s only right that Papa trapped and dealt with it in the same room that Echo still lives on……….. Nana and Papa know what I mean with that statement…

Good lord, I miss my Echo…





DJ Cannonball

28 04 2012

Oy my. This was hard. I tried it from so many directions. So many angles. How to write it. But this is it. A great friend of mine is leaving Pittsburgh. And I’m seriously crying over it. I can’t imagine my life without him.

JB has been an amazing friend and supporter and, duh, DJ, for me… How can we live without him?

He was one of my regulars back in the day when I worked on Sundays. And a fave to play 7s with at practice…

Tonight is JB’s going away party at My Living Room, and I’m not going to be there, since I worked all day and am still trying to recover from the sick-fest I experienced this past week… And I work tomorrow, too. Ugh.

But I have to say good bye, in my own way… So here we go…

I don’t remember the actual day I met JB… It was so many years ago. But we were immediate friends, I know that. How can you NOT love him?

Good grief. Pittsburgh is losing a great human being. I will miss you so much, JB.

Anyway, JB, I want you to know these things:

You can ALWAYS make me smile. Not many people can do that. That’s truth.

Thank you for being such a great friend.

Thank you for apologizing to me the one and ONLY time you ever had to. I appreciated that, very much so.

Thank you for somehow making people back in the day to apologize to me when they needed to. I still have no idea how you did that, but I appreciate it to this day.

Thank you for visiting me on Sundays back in the day at My Living Room. There were days you were the only customer.

Thank you for the “Nice Hustle” x one million. Pretty sure that’s an accurate count. Right?

Thank you for the “What’s wrong, Clairebear?”

Thank you for my wrestling belt and DJ’ing my “Last night at My Living Room.” I cherish that belt, btw.

Thank you for your cheesy (aka gorgeous) smile that I got to see not only on TV, but in person, many times. Thank you for not hating me when I teased you about the “cheesy smile.” And for knowing it was honestly a compliment. I will miss said smile. So. Much.

Thank you for calling me Clairbear when you see me. (apparently I like when you call me that. You’re the only person allowed to. Just saying.)

Thank you for being such a strong person and having faith. It makes those of us who know you stronger. Truly.

Thank you for being you, JB. You are an amazing person. I am blessed to have known you for these ten or so years.

You’ve made me a better person, Jon. I love you for that. I will miss you so much.

You should probably thank me now no pictures in  this post… I WISH I had a scanner!

Nashville is lucky to have you. I hope they realize that, quickly. You are good at what you do.

I may call you. If I do, you know I need to hear “Clairbear, what’s wrong?” there’s your warning.

Good luck, sir. I love you so much.








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