That stuff is bananas...B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Okay, I'm going to warn you right out of the gate - September was some kind of surreal trip to golf heaven for me. Truly. It was like I died and went to golf heaven or something. Before I get carried away talking about it here instead of in the list where it belongs, I'll get on with the rest of the month's joy. Brace yourselves...
10. After many, many, many long years of having long hair, I have....dehaired. Despite the fact that I've sworn up and down that I wasn't ever going to cut it off, I cut it off. Well, not all of it.....but a lot of it. I'm not going to say anything more about it because I'm getting a huge kick out of the looks on people's faces when they see it for the first time. My hair was awfully pretty....but boring as hell. It was just a ton of orange hair that I wore up in a clip every day. I have a 'style' now. I'm all chic and stuff.
9. I like tennis. You all know this. While Andy Roddick bowed out of the US Open a lot earlier than I thought he would this year, I still enjoyed the bits of his playing that I got to see. That's not the good part though. Mostly, I like mens tennis. It's been a long, long while since I had any reason to pay particularly close attention to womens tennis. I mean, I follow it but not with the voraciousness I follow mens tennis with. It seems, though, that the girls are staging a comeback. First of all, Kim Clijsters is back. She retired a few years ago at the ripe old age of 23. She took time off, got married, had a baby, and has now returned to tennis. To top it all off, she won the whole enchilada. Not only is that good news because, for starters, I love the hell out of her but it was a big sentimental win for the mom athletes of the world. Usually becoming a mom ends an athlete's professional career. Not so with Kim Clijsters. So, you know, go moms! Secondly, there was no way you could get through this year's US Open without falling madly in love with Melanie Oudain. That could be spelled wrong. I don't care. Mel's a PEACH and she took the entire US Open by storm. She defeated a whole host of chicks who should have soundly beaten her, including Maria Sharapova and Elena Diementieva. It was like Chris Evert all over again.....a little 17-year old ball of cuteness who was just KICKING ASS. It was a joy to watch.
8. Every once in a while, a commercial comes along that really tickles me pink. Every time I see this particular commercial, I smile because, frankly, I just think it's clever as hell. Is it totally retarded of me to find joy in an American Express commercial? Yes. Do I care one little bit about this retardation? Nope. Here, take a minute out of your life to enjoy:
7. Okay, just watch. I don't care if you don't like football. Just watch:
I don't care if you like Brett Favre or not, that's just awesome. I love that man. Even though he's not with the Jets anymore, I still love him. Brett Favre, 40-year old quarterback throwing a 32-yard game winning touchdown on the run. You can't not love that. Well, you can not love it but you'd be an idiot. ;o)
6. My friend Nikki totally got married Labor Day weekend. We all donned our bright pink ball gowns and ushered Nikki's walk into the halls of marriagedom. Considering the sheer size and scope of this wedding, the day itself went off with very few disasters and almost no drama. Everyone was lovely, everyone had a nice time, and I got so drunk, I was a regular comedy routine. Like, more than my usual comedy routine. Plus, the groom has some really good looking friends. There's something very nice about being around a bunch of good looking dudes all dressed to kill. Somehow, I ended up learning the religious histories of both Turkey and Croatia during the reception, which in and of itself is kind of an odd tack-on for a wedding celebration but, hey, I'm down with it. Honestly, the two gentlemen in question who were discussing this topic in such fantastic detail were so good looking, they could have been talking to me about mushroom farming and I would have been fascinated. Good times, folks...good times. ;o)
5. Two days before the above-mentioned wedding was the obligatory rehearsal dinner. Coincidentally, the rehearsal dinner fell on the 30th birthday of friend and fellow bridesmaid, Yvonne. Since we were already dressed up and out of the house, a group of us took Yvonne out for some alcohol-infused fun in downtown Lockport. Let me just tell you now, downtown Lockport is no great shakes. It's not quite the sticks....but it's close. But, we found a fun little bar and we drank ourselves stupid and just had a grand old time. You know you've reached the fun quota when an inebriated girlfriend is stumbling in front of you saying "Mer! No more Jameson for Yvonne, Mer! No more Jameson for Yvonne!" There are a myriad of highlights I could list here but most of you wouldn't get it because, as is the case with most nights of drunken revelry, you had to be there. However, I will sum it up by saying that the ever-hilarity-inspiring Sarah gave us all aliases that night and it was the funniest thing ever, mostly because Sarah was calling herself "Joyce" and that's her mother's name. Her mother, the preacher's wife. The irony of that whole thing just kills me every time I think about it.
4. I mentioned last month that I'm way into the HBO show, True Blood. Great show. Anyway, the show is based on these books - the Southern Vampire mysteries. To date, there are nine books in the series. I downloaded all nine in eBook form and read through the lot like a house on fire. They are simply AWESOME! They're just as good as, if not better than, the Twilight books. The overall theme is very similar (boy loves girl and girl loves boy but boy happens to be a vampire) but where the Twilight series leaves its adult readers hungry for the behind-closed-doors smut, the Southern Vampire Mysteries books deliver! It's like reading a good mystery, a comedy, a love story, and a romance novel all in one. And let me just say this to my fellow True Blood fans who have not read the books.....if you like Eric on the show, you're going to LOVE him in the books. He's better in the books, if that's even possible. I want one. An Eric, I mean. If anyone has the line on where I can get my own Eric, please fill me in. Price is of no concern.
3. The Golf Channel and Cobra Golf ran a rather fun little contest called the Play With Poulter contest. Basically, you go online and submit your email address as your entry and if you win the grand prize, they send you to some resort in Florida and give you a rental car and spending money and some rounds of golf at some big deal golf course down there, one of which is played with Ian Poulter. There were also second, third, and fourth place prizes that got you various things like Cobra drivers and irons and whatnot. I saw a commercial for the contest and entered almost immediately. Like, I put the TV on pause and ran up to my computer to enter....and I entered every day for like three weeks. How could I not? A chance to play a round with Ian Poulter? OF COURSE I'm going to enter that contest. I didn't think I'd win but, you know, I entered like mad. So, a week or so ago, I get this message on my answering machine from some dude at the Golf Channel saying that I'm a potential winner in this contest and I need to validate my identity. I nearly passed out. He didn't say what prize I was the potential winner of.....just that I was a potential winner. Needless to say, I called and validated my identity. Also needless to say, I didn't win the grand prize. If I had, there's no way it would end up as number three on this list. However, I did win a prize. I won a brand new set of Cobra SZ graphite shaft irons. No joke. Ian Poulter, my second favorite golfer in the universe, had a contest and I won part of it. I know it's not like he's personally giving me some golf clubs but I'm totally taking it that way. Ian Poulter's giving me golf clubs. I'm not nearly a good enough golfer to rate the level of golf clubs I won but I don't even remotely care. :o)
2. To add to the golf wonderment, I actually got to see Ian Poulter, and his wonderfully ridiculous trousers, in person. The BMW Championships - the third stop in the four-event FedEx Cup Championship series - were held at Cog Hill in Lemont and I totally went. Let me just say, like my trip to the US Open was a couple of years ago, this trip was a life-altering highlight of truly epic proportions. Almost biblical proportions. I'm not kidding. First off, let me give you a little background. As I'm sure none of you are surprised to know, I spent an entire day at the tournament following Sergio Garcia around. Unlike Tiger Woods, you can't just walk into any sporting goods store and purchase a hat or a shirt or whatever with Sergio's logo on it. The only person in the world who wears Sergio's logo is Sergio. He has it on his golf bag, on his golf towel, and embroidered on the back of all his hats. Here, look:
See that S thingy on his hat? That's his logo. It's a new addition to the Sergioverse. Honestly, it took him long enough. Here, this is a better look at it:
See? It's all clever. It's a big S but part of the S is made up of a G for Garcia (or, if you're me, G for gorgeous but whatever). Right, so, anyway, you can't just get stuff with that logo on it to show your support. So, like the crafty little bugger I am, I got a hold of the logo and had it put on a shirt. Almost the entire front of the shirt was the logo and then on the back, it said "Sergio!" in big red letters. Subtle...that's me. So, I put on my Sergio shirt and trotted myself to round two of the tournament at Cog Hill. Sergio was teeing off from the 10th hole that day so I motored myself over to that tee and waited. After a few minutes of standing there, Sergio emerged and was standing with his caddy about three yards from me. On the outside, I was cool and calm. On the inside, I was going completely out of my mind bananas. While chatting with his caddy, Sergio kind of scanned the surrounding scenery, noticed me, and did a triple take. I'm not kidding you, the man did a triple take. He looked dead at me and I kind of put my arms out and smiled like "tada!" so he could get the full effect of my shirt. Now, he could have been a jerk about it. He could have gotten all pissed off that some random chick was walking around wearing an unlicensed version of his logo on a shirt. He could have....but he didn't. He looked at me and gave me a HUGE smile and said "hey! Where'd you get that?" I said "I had it made just to come and watch you play!" He said, "just for me?" and I said, "just for you." Sergio smiled all big and pretty again and then said "that's the best thing I've ever seen!" Okay, let me just take this moment to tell you....I think I was born right there in that moment. The earth moved. The angels sang. Sergio noticed me, and he talked to me, and he was happy to do it. I put a lot of energy into being a Sergio Garcia fan. To have him take notice and be appreciative really made the past decade I've spent loving him worth it. And that was just the beginning. I followed his group through all 18 holes and got the pleasure of seeing him shoot a really good round. He's been in such a slump this year that seeing him have a good round and actually being there in person to witness it was an enormous treat. There was an even more enormous treat but I'm saving that one for later.
There were other highlights to the tournament as well. I also went on Sunday and got to see Ian and Sergio together because, as the gods who love me would have it, they played in the same grouping on Sunday. I saw lots of golfers that I love, and got some autographs, and talked to some of them, and just had an absolutely banging time. Literally, buying those tickets was the best money I've ever spent.
1. Okay, first, look at this picture:
You know what that is? That's Sergio Garcia's golf ball. Not a Sergio Garcia golf ball, his actual golf ball that he actually played a hole with. How did I get it, you ask? Ebay, you wonder? Oh no. Not ebay. Sergio GAVE IT TO ME. That's right. You read that correctly. He gave it to me. Not tossed it into the crowd and I caught it. Not dropped it and I happened to pick it up. He literally put it in my hand and gave it to me. That Friday that I spent following his group, he got a birdie on the 17th hole. I was standing right by the walkway the players take between the 17th green and the 18th tee and when Sergio came through, he saw me, smiled, came over to me and said "here you go" and put the golf ball he'd just pulled out of the cup right in my hand. Literally, I had to sit down for a second. A little group of people sitting in chairs at the 17th green turned and looked at me and said "did Sergio just give you his golf ball? Oh wow! That's so great of him! Congratulations!" I cried....literally. Not all out bawling or anything but I definitely teared up. It's not every day that someone you're a huge fan of shows you that kind of appreciation for all your efforts. I'm sure he's handed out thousands of his golf balls to fans in galleries all over the world. Doesn't matter. He gave ME a golf ball. He smiled at me and gave me his golf ball and I could have died right there on that spot and been totally good with it. For the 24 hours following, I was like Gollum with his Precious. I just kind of carried the damn thing around. I actually fell asleep on my couch that night holding it. I carry it around in my purse with me. It's one of the best things anyone's ever given me. It's even got cracks in the coating where his club made impact with the ball. Honestly, I still kind of can't believe he did it and I was there when it happened. I tell myself "hey, Mer, Sergio gave you his golf ball" and I don't even believe myself. It's that good. I'm going to say it again just so we can all be a part of it....Sergio Garcia gave me his golf ball. :o)
Needless to say, it's been a damn fine September. I don't know if I can think of a September to match it. As a side note, that whole thing with Sergio giving me his golf ball happened on September 11th, which is usually kind of a hard day from me. New Yorker that I am, September 11th weighs a bit heavily on me....but not anymore. Any time I think of the sadness that is 9/11, I can counter it with the pure bliss that is Sergio. God bless that man. God bless him right down to his little Spanish toes. And God bless all of you, whether you have little Spanish toes or not. :o) Until next month, my loves! Toodaloo!