Friday, February 11, 2011

A Good Beginning

Fade in...thumping music...Ne-Yo...Beautiful Monster. Camera pans up a pair of legs that go on forever and then pulls back to the gorgeous woman attached to them. She sits at a bar and nurses a martini, two olives. Close-up of the glass...then her face...then the glass.

Images of a club. Camera flits between patrons, and then rests for a long moment on a bearded man alone at a table. He drinks a beer in a tall pilsner glass. Close-up of the glass...then his face...then the glass. Camera searches the patrons again, this time stopping on another lone man, blonde, drinking something pink. Close-up of the glass...his face...the glass.

Back to the woman. She scans the room as if looking for someone...plays with the olives in her drink. Close-up of the drink and her long, manicured fingers stroking an olive.

A handsome black man enters the club. His clothes suggest money, lots of it. He wears a hat and slides his finger down the brim. The beautiful woman at the bar watches him all the way over.

"You waiting on someone?"

"I think he cancelled."

"His loss."

His eyes follow her fingers on the olive. The bartender sets a straight bourbon on the bar. Close-up of the glass. The amber liquid reflects the club's funky lighting.

"Classical or R&B? Fate or Free Will?"

She smiles with the glass at her lips. "Neither. Hard core rock."

He shrugs. "R&B. Free will."

"What if I had said classical?"

"Then I would say you believe in fate. Very structured. Each note and chord building to an inevitable end."

"Isn't that all music?"

He shakes his head, almost in annoyance. "R&B follows its own path..." His eyes follow a path down her long legs. Then he looks up suddenly.

"Excuse me for a moment."

He takes two steps forward, levels a 9mm at the bearded man. Two shots...head, heart. Turns amid screams to the blonde man. Finger on the follows the bullet to the heart, then the head. Changing it up. Whirls around to the bartender. Head, heart.

Finally, he turns to the woman, now cowering under the bar. Change to her perspective, looking up the barrel of the gun to his face. His finger moves almost imperceptibly.

Cue theme music."Out here in the field..."

The rest of the show was meh...Adrienne Barbeau was the villain...but it was still meh.

I watched the whole thing, though. A good beginning will do that.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why I'm a Steelers' Fan

Here in Central Kentucky, most of us don't have a dog in the Super Bowl fight. We have a few transplants here and there from Western Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, but by and large, most of us are just rooting for the team whose players we like...or whose attitude we like...or whose city we like...or whose colors we like.

I was in that boat last year when the Colts played the Saints. I love Peyton Manning, but I wanted New Orleans to win after all they'd been through in recent years. You can read my dithering here. In the end, I was thrilled for the Saints.

No dithering this year. I'm a Steelers' fan through and through. The third entry I ever posted on this blog was on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago. Here's to you, Pittsburgh!

You can click on the link, but I've gained enough new readers in the last two years that it's worth recapping here.

My fandom comes not from the team itself, but from a community.

A Neighborhood called Speers Hill
Bruce coached for the California University of PA Vulcans from 1993-1997. (You need to click on that link just to see Vulcan, god of the forge, hammering the big This necessitated a move from Kentucky to southwestern Pennsylvania. We bought our first house together in a neighborhood overlooking the Monongahela River called Speers Hill.

Cal U was a losing program when Bruce was hired. If you've never lived with a professional coach, you don't know that losing programs require way more hours at the office than winning programs. Bruce often worked 18-20 hour days.

I was six hours from anyone I knew. It snowed 96 inches that first winter. I was alone 20 hours a day with a baby and a toddler. Yep...Bruce had moved me to hell and it had frozen over.

Sometimes, it really did feel like hell when young son was howling in my arms and eldest was running in circles around me repeating, "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama" and there was no hope of relief. Bruce wasn't coming home for hours, and my own mama was eight hours away. I remember sitting in the floor crying, wondering what I had done to deserve my fate.

Then, I met Tim and Carrie who lived next door. And Billy and Sandy who lived down the street. And Shelley across the street. And Shelley's eccentric dad who lived down the street. (He had "sweet" and "sour" tattooed over his nipples during the Vietnam War. He had a pool, so he displayed his tats on a regular basis.)

Suddenly, I wasn't alone anymore. Carrie's teenage daughters babysat when I needed a break. She and I worked in her garden. All the kids in the neighborhood, including mine, swam in her pool. I went back to school to get my teaching certificate, and Shelley gave me a break at the daycare she ran.

Billy and Sandy had Steeler-watching parties every single Sunday during football season. I went to the parties alone until the college season was over. The adults passed my youngest around and my eldest toddled after the older kids. I got to interact with grown-ups. When Bruce's season was over, he joined the party.

My social life revolved around the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steeler (the correct pronunciation is actually "Stiller") fans are the most rabid fans I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I'm sorry Kentucky basketball fans. Your devotion is but a pale imitation of theirs. I have seen furniture thrown off a deck when the Steelers lost. I have seen my neighbor mow down his wife's rose bushes in the middle of the night because he was in a fugue state over their Super Bowl loss (f'n Neil O'Donnell and his four f'n interceptions). I have seen guns fired into the night sky after wins.

My neighbors foamed at the mouth over their Steelers. And because I had grown to love and rely on my neighbors, I began foaming a little bit. The infamous night of f'n Neil O'Donnell's four f'n interceptions, I was screaming like a lunatic at the television right along with everyone else.

Tonight, I will be screaming like a lunatic in support of my Steelers. Bruce will call Tim and Billy to make man-noises in support of the black and yellow. My heart will be with my good friends in Speers Hill, and at the end of the day, it will be a fun Super Bowl because I care about the outcome.

Here's a little video enjoyment, made more even more awesome by the fact they start with DEFENSIVE highlights! Here we go, Stillers, here we go!