Wake Forest Basketball

As a Wake Forest graduate I love me some Wake Forest basketball. They have been pretty pitiful the last few seasons, so it doesn’t have the same excitement that it once had. It seems weird to me that the more recent grads and current students see football as the more successful of Wake’s athletic programs given that when I was a student they were fighting it out with Duke for last place in the ACC every year. On the other hand when I was a student Wake was pretty much at the height of their basketball program. Tim Duncan was in his senior year when I was a freshman, and they had a string of really good years. Those days sadly seem to be long gone right now. I, however, am not a fair weather fan and still cheer on my Deacs.

As I mentioned in my previous post I was in North Carolina for work this week. I stayed around to visit my friends Teresa and Brian. As it happens Saturday was Wake’s home ACC opener against Virginia Tech, so I of course wanted to go to the game. Teresa just started a new job and had to work, but Brian and I went to the game. Even with a fairly sparse crowd that included a decent number of Virginia Tech fans there’s still nothing quite as exciting as an ACC basketball game.

Since their current pitiful state has resulted in very few of their game bend nationally televised this year I had only see them play twice prior to this game and they did not look good. They looked the best I’ve seen them play so far this year at least during the first half. The second half wasn’t so great and they let Virginia Tech come back from what was at it’s height a 12 point lead to take the lead in the last two minutes. Wake did manage to pull it out in the end and win the game, but they sure made it a nail biter. I expect the issue with second half to continue because they don’t have a very deep bench and the players just get tired from having to play so many minutes.

I am happy they won the one game I am attending in person this season. hopefully it won’t be like last year and be the only conference game they win. The only ACC game they won last year was the game against Virginia, which I was at. After they won again today my friend Teresa said my attendance must be their good luck charm and that Wake should invest in some plane tickets and tickets to the game for me. I’m looking forward to watching some college basketball over the next few months. It’s one of the only good things about winter.

Sweet Tea

One of my favorite things about The South is sweet tea. For you Northerners out there let’s get a couple things straight. Sweet tea is not the same thing as serving someone unsweetened iced tea and then adding sugar or some sugar substitute to it. If the tea is already cold then the sugar won’t dissolve in it. The sugar must be added to the tea while it is brewing and the water is hot. Essentially sweet tea is tea flavored sugar syrup. Thus it is also unlikely that there is enough sugar on the table to create the appropriate ratio of tea to sugar. Sweet tea probably has more sugar content than soda if that’s possible. When I was in college I used to see them make the sweet tea, which involved pouring an entire 5 pound bag of sugar into one of those industrial iced tea urns you see it restaurants. That is how much sugar is in sweet tea. Given how much sugar is in sweet tea it’s probably a good thing I can’t get it where I live and it has to remain a special treat when I visit the South.

It is my firm belief that sweet tea is the true delineator of the North from the South. Maryland is technically in the South because it is below the Mason Dixon line. There are many reasons that Maryland is not really a Southern state but in my mind none so telling as the fact that you can’t get sweet tea there. If you order iced tea in the South you are automatically going to get sweet tea unless you specify that you want it unsweetened.

I have been in North Carolina since Tuesday night, first for work and now visiting some friends. I have been drinking sweet tea at most of my meals to take advantage of getting while I can. My body will probably be super excited when I get home and return to drinking nothing but water instead of what essentially is a glass of sugar (but that’s what makes it so tasty).

Skype

I live in Baltimore, but none of my family lives near me. My parents and grandmother are in Florida, and my sister, brother-in-law, and niece (soon to be nieces) live in Arizona. My in-laws are similarly spread around the country. My parents-in-law live in California. I have one sister-in-law in Rhode Island and another plus her husband and their twins live in Manhattan. I obviously don’t get to see them on a regular basis. Skype has been a wonderful tool to be able to keep in touch with them, especially the little ones. I mainly Skype with my sister to see my 3 year old niece at this point. The twins are still a little young, but definitely in another year or so it will be a great tool to keep in touch with them.

This Christmas we were out in California with my husband’s parents, but thanks to Skype I got to see the nieces and nephew on Christmas. For some reason my sister and her family had not yet opened the Christmas gifts we had sent them long before Christmas, so last night when we Skyped with them I got to watch my niece open her Christmas presents from us. I sent her copies of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny plus a plush Knuffle Bunny. I had taken those two books out of the library over Thanksgiving when they were visiting and she had me read them to her over and over again so I decided they would make good Christmas gifts. My librarian heart was filled with joy watching her get so excited about receiving books as presents. Skype is also good for reading stories to her, which is something I often do. Even though we have no kids of our own we keep a couple of children’s books in the house for that very purpose. Even though my family is far flung, Skype helps them feel a little bit closer.

Cute Cats for a New Year

What better way to start off your new year than some pictures of cutie pie cats. You’re welcome.

 

The Roku clock screensaver is Charlotte’s favorite TV show. It’s the only thing she ever pays attention to on our TV screen.

 

Our couches came with a ton of pillows that we usually just leave piled on the floor. One of the pillows made it’s way off the top of the pile onto the floor, and Scout has decided it is her new bed.

Happy New Year’s Hampden Style (Updated with new pic)

My husband and I throw a New Year’s Eve party every year. Incidentally New Year’s Eve is also his birthday, so I always make sure to try and celebrate that as well as ring in the new year. As I alluded to in a previous post, 34th Street in our neighborhood plays a fun part in our New Year’s plans. The owner of the house who started the Christmas light tradition on the street extends his holiday cheer into the New Year by also being the mastermind behind what is now a Hampden New  Year’s Eve tradition. I don’t have a picture of it, but every year he dresses up as Baby New Year. Imagine a hefty man with a handlebar mustache dressed in nothing but a diaper, baby bonnet, and sash that says Baby New Year. He was rather elusive last night so none of us got a picture this year. He also has set up in front of his house a little ball to drop at midnight, which you can see in the picture below. (Full disclosure the picture in this post is actually from 2 years ago. I didn’t get any from last night that show the ball.) Don’t see the ball? It’s that tiny little round thing to the left of the street light. Almost as awesome as the ball the drop in Times Square every year, I know. It’s a really fun neighborhood thing. About a quarter to midnight you just see people streaming out of people’s houses and bars from all over the neighborhood heading down to 34th Street. People start to disperse pretty quickly once it’s over too. I think the warm weather we’ve been having encouraged more people to come out last night because it was definitely the most crowded I have ever seen it. Someone was also setting off some highly illegal fireworks at midnight which added to the festivities. Thanks to all my friends who came out to help me celebrate and ring in what will hopefully be an excellent 2012.


 My friend Tracie sent me this photo from last night after reading this post. It’s a great picture complete with the lit up 2012 and Happy New Year sign. Thanks Tracie!