Why do I hate Dook?

Well, there is this article that sums it up nicely.

“Now I realize that school spirit is a pretty goofy thing to some people, but I’ll tell you something: I hate Duke with an infernal passion undying. I hate every leaf of every tree on that sickening campus. I hate every fake cherub Gothic piece of crap that litters the buildings like hemorrhoidal testaments to imagined superiority. When I see those Dookie boneheads shoe-polishing their faces navy blue on television, squandering their parents’ money with their fratty elitist bad sportsmanship antics and Saab stories, I want to puke all over Durham.” ~Ian Williams

That excerpt pretty much says it. And y’know what? The older I get, the more classy I may get about the rivalry, but the more I also detest that place with a passion. Oh yes.

The loss tonight was heartbreaking, shocking. It was also the most bizarre thing I’ve seen in a while, with our player accidentally tipping the ball into their net, and causing them to be within one 3-point-shot of the win. Stunning. I sat in silence for a solid 3 minutes afterward before remembering I had to be somewhere. I left finally, but not before changing into black to mourn for the game that was so close and so good and yet so terrible.

March third? Watch out.

Here come the Tar Heels.


Thinking — come back home

” … But sometimes when the springtime comes,
And the sifting moonlight falls —
They’ll think again of this night here
And of these old brown walls,
Of white old well, and of old South
With bell’s deep booming tone,
They’ll think again of Chapel Hill and —
Thinking — come back home.”
Thomas Wolfe, class of 1920


Today I received a phone call and an email from the Alumni Association, of which I have not been a member this year for the first time since I graduated. They’ve been sending me monthly letters inviting me to come back, but when we redid the budget this year, my membership was, sadly, one of the things that had to go. I miss getting my Alumni Review magazine and I miss having my calendar with scenes from around campus, but really it’s been okay.

Yesterday (or maybe Monday), I was looking at the current rates online and filled out the “Lifetime Membership” form… except for the payment bit. I wanted to see just how much it would cost to simply buy a lifetime membership (in comparison to paying every year, for instance), but I couldn’t afford it so I closed out the page.

It seems I forgot that I’d signed into my account first and clicked the “renewal” button, which I suppose triggered the system… and generated a message to the membership coordinator who wanted to let me know that there was a “problem” with my GAA lifetime membership payment and would I like to resubmit? This made me laugh, and I emailed her back to let her know that I simply cannot afford it right now and did not mean to trigger anything like that in the system.

But it got me thinking about Chapel Hill in the autumn, which is my favorite time of year there, with the cool breeze and the leaves crunching underfoot and the excitement of the football game on Saturday and the smell of basketball around the corner, of lying in a sunny spot on the Quad or falling asleep in the library, of the while columns of the Well flanked by the red and orange and brown of Old East and Old West.

And yes, of Thomas Wolfe, and of how thinking does bring us home, no matter the distance.



Two more UNC quotations that I like.

“What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well, or the bell, or the stone walls, or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming. Our loyalty is not only to William Richardson Davie though we are proud of what he did 200 years ago today. Nor even to Dean Smith, though we are proud of what he did last March. No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is as it was meant to be, the University of the people.”
-Charles Kuralt, J-School alumnus, at the UNC Bicentennial in 1993.

“The biggest fallacy about this whole Carolina-Duke rivalry is the 8-mile thing, as if proximity somehow indicates similarity. It’s like assuming East and West Germany must be comparable since they were close to each other. Duke fans believe spending 196 hours in a tent indicates passion and devotion. Carolina fans believe 196 hours in a tent indicates a telling lack of other social engagements.”
-Adam Lucas, Tar Heel Blue columnist


Fall Habits Die Hard

It’s a funny thing that you go to school every fall for the first 18 plus years of your life and then you wake up one day and school is done. I mean, not for teachers and professors, but school is different for them, too. It’s a hard rhythm to break and it’s enough to give you a sort of strange feeling in the fall when other people are going back to school and you’re not.

Of course, it gets lessened every year, but I will say this is the first summer that I haven’t looked into grad school just so I could be going back to school. I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have a real reason to get another degree except that I really like going to school and learning things, but liking school isn’t enough justification for thousands of dollars of debt in the form of student loans when there’s no reason (career-wise) for it.

But still… Autumn means campuses and football (and eventually basketball) and reunions with people you haven’t seen all summer and I suspect there will always be a part of me that has an urge to pack up my car and drive to Chapel Hill. I understand now why “Homecoming” is always in the autumn.

navy life, updates


We opened the last box yesterday, so I guess we’re officially unpacked. Of course, there are some things that are going to stay in storage for a while, but I don’t really count those. It’s been a long week, and I’m glad that I’ve gotten down to the organizing and cleaning and decorating stage. I may take all week on that, but it’s much less stressful.

Today I had to have a plumber come at 8am to scrape out all the caulking around the tub and shower because it got mold behind it, and then put fresh caulking on all of it. It took him a good hour and a half to do that, and it’ll be 24 hours until it’s dry, so I can’t shower again until tomorrow around lunch time. Fun fun. Then, about a minute after he left, the doorbell rang and he was back to tell me that I had a flat tire. Sure enough, the back right tire of my car is flat. It feels like another valve stem leak. At least it’s a different car this time, but I’m getting tired of tire issues. Wow, bad pun… Anyway, I’m heading over to the on-base auto shop in a little while to see if they have tires in stock. I hope they do, because I have to be able to take J to work in the morning.

Nothing else too exciting happened this weekend. We went to a divisional party with the people from J’s shop, so I met most of them. They seem nice enough, but most of their girlfriends weren’t overly friendly. It doesn’t help I’m a good deal older than most of them, I’m sure.

The weather has been hot lately, but it’s starting to rain more often now that we’re fast approaching rainy season. That means the sunsets have been very pretty with the clouds and there are rainbows on a regular basis. I love the ones that stretch across the entire sky. They come in all different heights and intensities. It’s beautiful. I’m also learning where to go to find certain wildlife, and sea turtles sunning on the beach is my next goal; apparently the Hawaiian green sea turtle is the only one that will come onto the shore to bask when not laying eggs. I also learned that the two turtles I saw on my birthday are a mated pair that live down in that little cove and that they’re always there. ^_^I’m loving the sea turtles. ^_^

Oh, and Late Night with Roy was Friday night and I’ve been itching for basketball ever since. I miss Late Night… At least the Daily Tar Heel posted a video online!


A Weekend at the Hill

We spent this weekend in Chapel Hill (Thursday to Saturday night) and had an awesome time! Thursday we drove up and met my brother between classes, then hung around campus while he had his last class and then spent the evening with him. Friday we got up and walked to the Caribou Coffee on Franklin (where I wrote the previous entry) and then had lunch on campus and poked into several of the buildings so I could show J where I took classes. I got a couple of books at the bookstore and a new t-shirt.

Friday afternoon we met up with my brother (after classes, again) and had Yogurt Pump (yay!) and then wandered down to the Dean Dome to look for tickets to the Alumni basketball game. It’s an all-star event every year and sells out immediately, but we were going to try and buy tickets off the street anyway. Through good timing and good fortune, we bought face value tickets ($20 each, as opposed to the $80 most people were trying to get) and sat in the lower level corner on the 8th row off of the floor right behind the bench! I’ll post photos. It was amazing. We not only saw members of the 2005 championship team and the 2009 championship team, but we saw Jerry Stackhouse and Antwan Jameson and Vince Carter (who is amazing to watch) and Phil Ford was coaching. Then Roy Williams and Dean Smith got there in time to watch and were joined by Michael Jordon who was there to be honored since he’s getting inducted to the Hall of Fame. The whole thing was just… wow. OH and we got to see the 2009 championship team come out for the unfurling of the banners over the seats. There are six now. ^_^

Saturday we watched the first episode of College Gameday of the football season then had lunch and went to the Basketball Museum. We saw some of the new 2009 memorabilia, including signed basketballs. Then we took the bus up to Franklin Street and went to the Sugarland bakery. We made it back to the Old Well in time for the Well Walk (the football players get off the bus at the Well and walk through a crowd of fans all the way to the stadium) and got to hear the band play and generally had a fun time. We had no trouble getting tickets to the football game and had a great time watching the Heels beat the Citadel. Then the basketball team had their ring ceremony at halftime, so we got to see that, too. We hung out with my brother a little longer after the game, then drove back to Raleigh to meet up with some company.

My aunt and uncle from TN were visiting to see us before we left, so we spent yesterday and today with them. We taught them how to play Apples to Apples. ^_^ It was nice visiting with them. I don’t think we’ve seen them since the wedding… Today we went to Pullen Park in Raleigh and rode the carousel and the train (which was much faster and wobblier than the one at the VA Zoo). It rained the rest of the day, so we stayed around the house, which was nice, too.

Anyway, it’s been a long, full, fun weekend. ^_^ Again, I’ll post photos as I can.

navy life, Travel, updates

Kitties got planes!

This week has been full of highs and lows, but I’m definitely in a good place at the moment (Franklin Street in CH!). We went to the NC Zoo on Tuesday, which was a lot of fun. I haven’t been in years, and they’re really working on modernizing their exhibits. They have the wide open field exhibits with chain link around them, which are great for the animals in terms of space, but not the easiest to see or the prettiest. It was nice, though.

Wednesday we spent the day trying to get ourselves plane tickets (which we did– we’re flying on September 17 at 7am, routed through ATL and then direct to Honolulu) and trying to book the cats to go with us. You’d think adding the cats would be easy; we’ve had them listed on our paperwork since day one and it’s easy enough to have them as “checked baggage” (they can’t ride in-cabin to HI because of the quarantine). The hang up happened over the temperature outside. Hawai’i has very consistent temperatures and it’s always 88 degrees F in September… and animals can’t travel if it’s going to be above 85 anywhere during the trip. We tried changing schedules (so they’d arrive early morning or late evening), tried sending them cargo, even tried Pet Air* and just couldn’t find a solution. There were lots of other factors involved so that the cats couldn’t really wait a month and come later that I won’t get into here, but it got very frustrating.

Anyway, we finally were told to try Continental (by two people, including a woman in the military office at Delta) and we called them yesterday… and the cats are flying! Continental has a pet-dedicated service that is climate controlled so they can send the cats to Honolulu without temperature restrictions! They’ll arrive about 2 hours before we do. Yay! FWIW, Continental is comparible cost-wise to checking the cats as baggage on a regular flight.

With that huge piece of relief, we headed up to Chapel Hill to spend the first part of the weekend with my brother. We hung around campus with him last night and today we’re up on Franklin Street for coffee, window shopping and maybe lunch, then will head back down to campus for the afternoon. We’re going to try and get tickets to the Alumni basketball game tonight and we’re going to the season opener football game tomorrow, so it’s looking to be a great weekend. ^_^Photos at the bottom behind the cut!

*Pet Air = waste of money! They charge twice as much as sending them via regular airlines and they don’t get a dedicated plane– Pet Air only signs them up with regular carriers for you. It’s worth the savings to call the airline yourself.

Continue reading “Kitties got planes!”