Category Archives: pirates

I’ve Lost Total Control Of My Life

Have I already written a post titled that? I feel like I have. And if I haven’t, I’ve absolutely thought about it.

It’s because I’m dying.

13 days until this rotation is over. Hopefully (all my fingers crossed) it’s a little easier afterwards. Just a few more classes and a practicum left to complete. 101 days ’til graduation.

Anyway, a few updates:
1) Ben came to see me while he was visiting his grandparents in Florida a few weeks ago and it was awesome and I miss him every day.
2) I survived my first hurricane. Even though it was just a category 1 and hit New Orleans and Mississippi way more than Mobile. My power didn’t even go out.
3) I have a new boyfriend. And he’s awesome. So awesome, in fact, that when I was bummed about not being at Beaver Stadium with my family on Saturday, he made it better. I had class all day (yes, on Saturday… it was a make-up day due to Isaac) so I didn’t even get to watch the game. But when I showed up to his house afterwards, he was wearing a PSU shirt, had DVRed the game, and had a case of Yuengling in his fridge. Even though he’s an Ole Miss fan and we’ve been officially dating less than a month. Seriously, one of the nicest things anyone has ever done in the history of the whole world. This relationship terrifies me but I’m pretty sure it’s worth it.
4) I’m kind of loving SEC football because it’s crazytown and intense. However, I know next to nothing about it. Case in point… three teams I thought were in the SEC that actually aren’t: Baylor, Florida State (I really should have known that), and Oklahoma (don’t ask me why I thought they were). Also, I still don’t care one way or another regarding the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry.

I’m so damn happy that football is back. The joy of watching someone catch a pass in the end zone is always way more intense during the end of August and beginning of September.

And a few of us got two parking spots for the USA/Nicholls State game this Saturday. First crazy tailgate of the year! Although, since I’m used to Pitt and Penn State games, this is gonna be a bit of a different experience. All you have to do to get parking spots is claim them and pick up the passes. Same for tickets. That’s unreal since I’m used to the competitive unavailability of these things. I mean, South Alabama is still Division I (as of this year, haha) but like half as many kids go here… compared to Pitt, at least (and its 1/3 compared to Penn State). Lord knows I’m gonna be drunk and cheering my face off though, so that part’s the same. I have school spirit in all situations.

Except when Pitt continues to embarrass themselves season after season. I will totally stand by a team to the end if they suck just because they suck (go Buccos). But Pitt sucks because they call terrible plays and throw terrible passes and fumble around like idiots. Consistently. Every season. I refuse to stand by that. If you’re theoretically supposed to be good but still end up sucking, that’s not ok. Get your shit together.

I’m kind of ashamed to have gone there now. Especially amongst all my SEC friends. I think I’m just gonna pretend that I’m not a Pitt grad from now on. If someone’s ever like “Hey Liz, didn’t you go there?” during the humiliating ESPN highlights (which I’m still boycotting, BTW), I’ll just be like “Umm… what?… No…” because that’s totally convincing and not shady so it’s gonna work.

In other semi-related sports news, I’m obviously absolutely happy that the Pirates might be able to slide into the playoffs… even though it’s actually been looking kind of grim as of late. I’d seriously cut off my left hand if it meant that this would come true though. Every time someone posts a status about being at a game or a picture of PNC Park, my heart breaks a little. Up until this summer, I’m pretty sure I’ve gone to at least one game a year since it opened. There are pros and cons to every major life decision.

And I know that on Sunday night when the Steelers play, I’m probably gonna put on my Polamalu jersey and curl up on the couch in the fetal position and be really freaking sad because it’s not the same.

TLDR: Despite not having posted for almost a month, nothing’s really changed.

Today In “Reality Checks With Marisol”

Me: I think I go through engineers and bottles of Red Hot with approximately the same frequency. I have to get a new one about once every 30 days.
Marisol: You’re setting yourself up for acid reflux and loneliness in old age. Since I have 7 months more life experience than you do, let me tell you something. Engineers are either socially inept, emotionally inept, or hate their jobs so much that it makes them bitter about life.
Me: But they’re so good at math and that’s so hot…
Marisol: Your taste in men combined with the fact that you’re still a Pirates fan is so pitiful that you officially have the unhealthiest habits of anyone I know
Me: Pretty sure the Pirates are in first place though…
Marisol: You need to stop masochistically holding out for miracles.

Pretty sure she’s right. Sigh.

Done with engineers. But I’m seriously not ever attracted to any non-engineers. They’re good at physics too. Dreamy…

My mom’s gonna be pissed/heartbroken when she’s finds out that she’ll never get any grandkids out of me. Is it better to break this news to her before or after her upcoming 60th birthday? Let’s collectively decide that together because I can justify it both ways so I can’t come to a solid conclusion.

Ryan said he’s pissed that I’m not procreating with someone to produce our USMNT savior. Deal with it, bro. Was that ever gonna happen anyway if I’m exclusively attracted to engineers? They’re not known for their athleticism and would surely come in last place in that competition. It’s hard to procreate with someone if you’re not attracted to them.

It can be done but I’m not sure I’m really that willing to take one for the team (literally).

I came up with a better plan anyway. Lolo Jones and Daniel Sepulveda are more qualified to produce the type of individual who could lead us to a World Cup victory. Her speed and his kicking abilities? SOCCER STAR.

I’m all about helping Christian people find love since it’s apparently so difficult, according to Mary and basically every other seriously Christian person I know. Lolo Jones is devout and I’m pretty sure Daniel Sepulveda is too because I don’t think I’ve ever heard him publicly say anything without mentioning God in some way.

For all you non-Pittsburghers who are thinking “Well, that can’t really be saying a lot because how often is the punter on TV or doing a radio interview?”

Umm, I know this is gonna be really difficult to grasp if you’ve never spent a significant amount of time in Pittsburgh, but my response is… “Way more often than you’d probably ever expect.”

[Enter obligatory broken record statement about how much I miss that damn city]

So, anyway, someone introduce these two celebrity athletes to one another. It’s the most patriotic thing you can do. Give your children the gift of being able to witness a World Cup victory in their lifetime.

And Lolo Jones is nearly my favorite person right now, as you all know. And everyone’s trying to hook her up with Tim Tebow. Ick, that’s gross. Poor girl. This is a better alternative.

In other non-related news, my birthday on Wednesday was one of the best I’ve ever had. I could not have been happier. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve blown out candles that I forgot you were supposed to make a wish. It’s hard to have a party when your birthday is on the 4th of July. But my Bama Fam insisted that this happen and they organized it and invited my friends. So, we had a crazyfun day full of eating, drinking, celebrating America, and floating in the river. It was a sea of red, white, and blue bikinis.

And I got a bottle of birthday whiskey which we basically finished before being irresponsible with a small arsenal of fireworks. Then we headed out to the real fireworks and the bar.

25 actually is the best age to be.

1st & Goal

I’m straight up addicted to football.

And I never realized this until the relocation because football in Pittsburgh is a 24/7/365 sort of thing.

Even if it’s the offseason, people in Pittsburgh are still incessantly talking about it so it kind of never goes away.

In Alabama, it goes away.

Being in State College and talking about the Steelers with people who know shit about the Steelers has totally thrown off my “survive until the end of August” game plan.

In semi-related news, going a whole summer without at least one night at PNC Park is going to be the death of me.

I’m probably beating a dead horse with these posts at this point.

This is the theme of nearly all of them: I love Alabama, I miss Pittsburgh, I love Pittsburgh, I miss Pittsburgh sports, Alabama is definitely different from Pittsburgh, I’m happy with my life, I’m unhappy with my life, and/or what the hell am I doing with my life…

Give And Take

Nursing school is ruining my enjoyment of Euro 2012 so I’m super bitter and resentful right now.

Spain was amazing today but I could only passively enjoy the game because I was face down in a textbook.

However, I’m working extra hard to get stuff done so that I can fully enjoy the upcoming weekend in State College with my family and get extra drunk at my cousin’s wedding.

My flight gets in to Pittsburgh so late tomorrow (like almost midnight late). Then it’s a 2.5 hour drive to State College. Then I fly back in the early afternoon on Sunday… Another rushed trip home.

And I missed the fleeting excitement of the Pirates being in first place. Although, people barely get excited about that anyway because they know it’s always a short-lived occurrence.

I knew about it, of course. But I wasn’t home to experience the moment. We at least always raise our Yuengling drafts in celebration.

And I have no idea what’s going on with the Steelers leading up to the 2012 season because I’m not around people who talk about it constantly and don’t have time to keep up with everything.

Also, sometimes I get a whiff of something that kind of smells like the hospital and then I can only smell the full hospital smell until that instigating smell goes away.

My quality of life is in shambles. This better be worth it. Once I land an ER job, I’ll be ok with the suffering. But right now, everything about the nursing school experience sucks.

Worst To First

This is the greatest 6 minutes currently on YouTube.

It perfectly captures one of the most incredible stories in the history of all sports.

It made me want to jump up and down on my couch with my Terrible Towel.

And that shot at 2:14 is BEAUTIFUL.

Also, I never heard the Ave Maria part before.

And at 5:24, when the guy says, “I think it made Pittsburghers proud to be Pittsburghers,” my eyes welled up.

Now I’m homesick as fuck. For real. This is like a Mary level of homesickness.

I just wanna watch some KDKA before bed.

The wedding is 33 days away. And I cannot wait to come flying through the tunnel and see the city pop out in front of me. And spend the whole weekend downtown surrounded by lifelong yinzers.

The “32 or pregnant” thing still stands.

I cannot possibly settle down in any other place. My love for everything that comes with being a Pittsburgh resident overrides anything else that may be attractive about living in another place. I don’t even care that it just snowed.

It is the only place that’s ever felt like HOME.

And I will forever be proud of my ferocious love for the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.

I don’t care that this is actually the most annoying song on the entire planet. It makes my chest hurt from homesicky happiness. And given any opportunity to do so, I will forever be singing it at the top of my lungs with every other Pittsburgher around me.

And the most amazing feeling in the world is that moment when you’re surrounded by people in Steelers gear after a critical touchdown has been scored and everyone is whipping their Terrible Towel around like they never have before. NOTHING can beat that. Absolutely nothing.

To everyone else, we seem crazy. So go ahead and judge us. But I will unashamedly uphold the time-honored traditions of Steeler Nation. It’s been part of my soul since birth.

Let me remind you… It’s not crazy. It’s sports.

Post update: text conversation with my dad

Dad: I don’t do Facebook. Can you email me the URL for the Franco YouTube?
Me: Haha yeah. How do you know about it if you don’t have Facebook?
Dad: Word is passing around the family.

Hahahaha. That is so my family. If you want to know why I am the way I am, look to this as insight into what it’s like to be born into a family of Steelers fans.

What’re Yinz Playin’? Rundown?

The new Pittsburgh Dad episode references one of the greatest games of all time: Rundown a.k.a. Hot Box a.k.a. Pickle a.k.a Stolen Bases (I’m sure there are other names, too).

I really think we played it at least once a day in the summer. The best times were after dinner when my dad would play with us. Sometimes Rascal (RIP, puppy) would run off with the ball if you didn’t catch it. Sometimes he would get in the way if you were running and cause you to get out.

Equipment:
– baseball, softball, wiffle ball, any ball, something to throw
– sometimes baseball or softball gloves depending on the type of ball you use
– 2 things to use as bases (cones, clothes, pizza boxes, etc.)

People:
– min: 3
– max: 500
– ages: 1 – 92

Rules:
– Runners run between bases, try not to get out, and count the number of times they safely reach a base
– Throwers throw and try to get the runners out

It really is like Great Depression era fun. Simple and economical. Kinda like stick ball. Actually, easier than stick ball because it requires less players and no stick.

Later this week I’ll post more simple/easy/hella fun/inexpensive games like Spud which is perhaps the greatest game to be played with a kickball other than kickball itself. You forgot about it until now, didn’t you? You’re welcome.

I actually missed my true calling as a summer camp athletic director and need to get this out of my system. Expect a flood of old school competitive activities to come your way. The benefits are that you all can maximize your summertime fun. Relive the glory days and whatnot.

Being a summer camp athletic director really is an art. Whoever invented the game of “Dodgeball in the Racquetball Room” is actually a freaking genius and they deserve the utmost respect, admiration, and gratitude because it’s the greatest game I’ve ever played and I sincerely mean that. Also… Hoopla: the most inspired Quidditch interpretation I’ve ever come across.

If I was a summer camp athletic director, I would owe so much of my ingenuity to those who came before me. I wish I had taken a short life detour and spent a few years of my twenties actually doing this. Oh well. No going back now.

I guess I could still invent new games for you all but there would be no way to test or tweak them. So, I’ll just post the old ones. The timeless ones.

Also, today when I was exhausted from nursing school and thinking about how I should have done anything but this, I thought about what my dream job would be. My first thought was “I want to get paid to run.”

Any kind of running would be fine. On a treadmill, on a track, on a trail, through the woods with no path, up and down stairs, through the snow or mud or sand or swamps… whatever. Obviously, since running offers no service or product to society, this could never be a real job. Unless you’re like a pro-athlete runner. But there is NO WAY I could start that so late in life and with my average level of athleticism.

So anyway… my next thought was that I could coach running. But with no real experience or expertise, the closest I could get to that would be teaching P.E. Not my cup of tea. Full-time teaching was never something I considered as a fitting career option for me. Although, I would love to have a whistle. And be able to blow it for the purposes of controlling large groups. Whistling really loud and yelling “Bring it in, people!” on a daily basis is kind of a dream of mine. More sadistically, I’d like to have a whistle to blow while controlling ruthless running drills like suicides. That makes me sound like some kind of Hunger Games dictator.

Anyway, since running or coaching running wasn’t gonna happen I decided to see what would happen if I Googled nursing and running together since nurses do everything. For real. If you have a nursing degree or are on your way to one, think of your dream job (or way you want to make money, no matter how ridiculous it is) then Google it with nursing and I guarantee there will be a job for you. Case in point: astronauts and nursing.

Well, after a brief internet search of  the “running + nursing” combo, this is what I found: Certified Fitness Nurse

HELLS YES.

I definitely wanna work in a hospital for awhile and gets lots of experience working in different units and all of that. But when I’m ready to settle down a bit and stabilize my life and work a more regular schedule, certified fitness nursing is where you’ll find me. It can easily fit into my overall public health goals.

I have a passion for the cause of decreasing rates of diseases like hypertension and Type-2 diabetes which are basically preventable and/or more manageable in the vast majority of cases and the saddest part is that they’re unfortunately correlated with a poorer quality of life and shortened life span. Conditions like these are a huge burden to the healthcare system as well because they’re associated with so many health complications. They also disproportionately affect people with lower socioeconomic status the most (for various reasons).

Prevention is where it’s at. And the best way to prevent stuff like this is through good diet and exercise. That’s where my role as certified fitness nurse will come into play!

Then after I get the hang of that, I’m going to start a non-profit to promote good diets (with access to affordable healthy food) and increased levels of exercise (with access to fun an inexpensive places to play and work out) for all kinds of people everywhere. I’ll petition professional athletes (and other rich people who like sports) for financial support and endorsements. Once this thing is up and running, I’ll become head athletic director and invent new games so that people can continue to enjoy exercise forever and these games will be spread throughout the non-profit’s facilities nationwide. I’ll have a team of unpaid interns to assist me because innovation is best performed in groups. I get to have a whistle during trial/pilot sessions.

I think that’s a good plan. It was quite spontaneous. Literally just created as I typed it up. Michelle Obama is my inspiration.

Speaking of internships, lil brudder applied for a summer internship with the Pirates. If he gets it, that’s badass and I’m going to be 500 kinds of jealous. I don’t know how many people apply for these things but I think he should get the position. I’m pretty sure he’s the only Pirates fan who’s still 100% loyal/optimistic. I try to be, but I have my off days. He never has an off day. This is a recent Facebook status of his:

Pirates runs scored=18 (worst in MLB by 10 runs )
Pirates runs allowed=25 (2nd fewest in MLB by 1 run, Fewest in division by 9)
bats just need to get going!

He’s also the richest self-made 21-year-old I’ve never met. He’s been getting zero financial assistance from my parents since he was 18. This was his choice also. They would help him through college if he wanted it. But he doesn’t need it because he’s so freakin’ rich because he’s a hard worker and smart with money. He bought himself PSU football season tickets last year (and they weren’t the cheap seats, either) and still had tons of money left in his bank account. Way more than I’ve ever had in my life. Resourceful and responsible are good adjectives to describe him, I guess. Since he started this road to wealth at a pizza shop, he knows how to do bitch work and will gladly do it. He also has mad people skills (everyone adores him) and knows the ins and outs of communication stuff since that’s his major. Basically a PR guru in the making. He’s also an incredibly talented amateur sports photojournalist and he’s really experienced with other types of media stuff (like video editing and whatnot). Super athletic and loves sports too. No matter what internship task was presented to him, he’d excel. Obviously, if it were my call, he’d be hired. And not just because he’s my brother.

To finish off a lengthy stream of consciousness post, here’s a little something for your pre-bedtime entertainment: Steelers vs. Ravens

Lord Have Mercy

Sunday was essentially everything I’ve ever wanted a Sunday to be. It was exactly how life should be lived.

Rachel’s mom was wearing a shirt that said, “Alabama girls know that sometimes all you can say is ‘Lord have mercy!'” I love southern moms.

For a good portion of the day, we just sat on their pier and fished but didn’t catch anything because it was the middle of the day. But it was still a damn good time. We were drinking a little too. A mix of quality beer and cheap beer. Like Blue Moon followed by Busch Light (which I’d never had before in my life) followed by Sweetwater 420 followed by PBR. It was 89 degrees and sunny. Love.

Then we ate. Every backyard BBQ I go to down here is amazing. The food is better than any BBQ place you can go to up north. We had magically delicious wings, ribs, and burgers. And the best baked beans I’ve ever had in my life. And hushpuppies and fried okra. And a ton of other stuff but those were the highlights. Plus, it’s just nice to sit at a big table full of people and feel happy to be alive.

As far as I can tell, all southern dads have their own “secret BBQ recipe” that they’re super proud of. It’s so funny. But damn, that pride is totally justified. You don’t know how good food can be until you move to Alabama.

Then we went blackberry picking. The goal was to get enough for a cobbler. Unfortunately, we didn’t. But the experience was still a dream come true.

I stepped on the edge of a fire ant colony by accident and got stung on my foot and ankle couple times. The ants are kind of hard to remove quickly. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I imagined it would though. But the little red bumps are still outrageously itchy 4 days after the incident.

I love new experiences. I’ve had a lifelong uneasiness about fire ants because they always seemed really vicious on the Discovery channel. But now I know that they’re no big deal.

One activity I refuse to ever experience is noodling. Rachel’s dad asked me if I wanted to do it and I was like “No way.” Then he said the banks were full of catfish and tried to convince me it wasn’t that bad. Clearly the man doesn’t understand my aversion to live catfish. I do not want any part of my hand or arm to be inside of one.

I can’t wait to see a gator in real life though!

Here are some pictures that I took with my phone from the pier. Rachel’s parents live up a creek about half a mile from the actual river. Their place is really nice and the decision to build a house on the creek and not the river was a good one, I think. It’s so quiet and peaceful. But if you want to get to the river, you just hop in a kayak and you’re there. Added bonus: they’re only 30 minutes from the beach.

That’s Cricket. She gets super alert and barks like crazy whenever people come past in boats, canoes, and kayaks. She’s the queen of that part of the creek and won’t even let other dogs get on the pier. It’s hilarious.

Long story short: I want every Sunday of my life to be a backyard BBQ with fishing/drinking in the sunshine and blackberry picking. I have really minimal/simple needs.

I want Alabama and Pittsburgh to somehow become the same place. Or for teleportation to be real. Because then I could do things like wake up at my Alabama river house, go to the Buccos home opener (I miss PNC Park already) and end the day at Belve’s, then be back to sleep at my Alabama river house and go kayaking the next day.