Saturday, October 24, 2009

grandma bergstrom's 90th birthday

i've never really known my extended family. while most of them come from the great state of california, my family has always called texas home. this has always made us kind of the social outcasts of the group (jealousy is an ugly thing). because of my parents jobs growing up, our vacations were always limited to one day excursions, which always eliminated trips to see family. weddings always meant the visit of an aunt or two for a day, but a real family reunion is a foreign concept to me. so when i heard that everyone was getting together for my grandma's 90th birthday, i made sure that me and amber would be there.

the trip started right after amber's flag football game (which if you haven't heard about, you NEED to read the previous blog!) the game left us in high spirits, but a little drained. we drove with my brother and his family in their 12 passenger van, and i had promised to drive through the night since i'm a night owl anyways. unfortunately the excitement of the trip left me unable to sleep soundly when i needed to, and i quickly started to fade behind the wheel. my wonderful wife saved us all by fighting her own urge to sleep and talked to me throughout the night.

a short ten hour car ride later, we found ourselves passing sacramento. we made a quick stop at my other grandma's ranch and got to see about a million hummingbirds. it was pretty cool. we then continued our journey to the bergstrom family reunion. we met up with my immediate family at our hotel, said hi to everyone, and then quickly crashed in our room for a short nap.

before too long we were up and on with the day's activities. i had to say goodbye to amber as she and the girls went off to san francisco to see wicked. the guys had planned to play some basketball at the church, but a wedding ruined our plans, so we just went back to the hotel and watched some tv. but we now turn to field reporter amber bryson, who brings to us the story of the women and their crazy adventures. amber...

Thank you Scott! So, there were I think 17 of us. It was me and all of Scott's sisters, aunts, cousins, and mom. It was kinda sad grandma didn't make it and a couple cousins, but it was still a good sized group of girls. We took the San Francisco Bart all the way from Dublin/Pleasanton station to the Civic Center station. Riding the Bart was fun besides getting a little motion sickness from sitting backwards. :) We had to get off the train at one point to grab a quick dinner and then back on, which caused a little worry when we lost a couple people in our group. They were found quickly though and we were on our way again. :) We made it to the theater all in one piece and found our seats. I really did love Wicked. It was fun, entertaining, the music and singing was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the fact that I could barely keep my eyes open to watch it, I was just a little tired...:) It really was a good play though, and I'm glad I got to go. The ride home was a long one and the train was a lot more crowded, most of our group had to stand. But again, we all made it back safe and sound. :)

thank you amber. isn't she wonderful? we now turn to ollie williams with the weather. ollie...

it's raining sideways!

sounds rough ollie. do you have an umbrella?

had one!

where is it?

inside out, 2 miles away!

is there anything we can do for you?

bring me some soup!

what kind?

chunky!

thank you ollie. now back to our top news story. amber returned to the hotel very late, and very tired. she had been up all thursday, didn't get more than 30 minutes at any one time all night because she was worried about me, and then was up pretty much all friday with family. my poor wife. :(

well we slept in pretty well saturday, had some breakfast, then watched the texas- oklahoma football game (hook em horns!) after that, we put on our yellow shirts (that was my family's color) and headed to the park for pictures. we found a beautiful spot and took some great pictures. then we had some excitement that i'm not going to get into here, but if you want a good laugh, send me a text. all i'll say is watch out for those frisbee golf players. :) that night we got together at a local pizza place for some good food, good games, and good company. we sang happy birthday to my grandma and celebrated the life of a woman who has raised a pretty good family, if i do say so myself.

we were up early sunday morning and headed off to church. as a surprise for my grandma, every member of the reunion, roughly forty of us, got up and sang 'teach me to walk in the light' as a special musical number. sunday evening found us at cousin brenda's house for dinner and goodbyes. we left the next morning and were home monday night.

although the vacation was way too short, it was very enjoyable. it was nice getting to know all those unknown relatives. i hope we can do it again before grandma hits the century mark.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

winning isn't everything... but it sure is nice

the ball seemed to hang in the sky forever. with it hung all the hopes and dreams of the team. the win rested solely upon the hands of mrs. amber rose bryson...

what a game it was. one for the ages. a tightly contested battle between two equally matched teams. the msw babes' stellar defense had been suffocating all night long, only allowing one fluke touchdown when a receiver slipped behind the safeties. other than that, the girls shut down their opponents completely. their lone problem was in finding their offensive rhythm. deep into the second half of the game, the girls had yet to get into the endzone. that was about to change.

the girls stood at midfield, fourth down, less than three minutes left, with the game on the line. our qb dropped back to pass, but feeling the pressure of the rush, decided to scramble for the first down. after narrowly avoiding two or three tackles in the backfield, she pressed the turbo button and ran all the way for the tying score. exciting. but that only left us with a tie. we wanted the win. so it all came down to the extra point.

amber lined up wide to the right. she knew their zone defense had holes, and she knew where they were. on the snap, she ran a short fade and sneaked into the back corner of the endzone. the qb had hoped to run it in, but seeing amber all alone, she let the ball fly. the ball seemed to hang in the sky forever. with it hung all the hopes and dreams of the team. the win rested solely upon the hands of mrs. amber rose bryson.

she did not disappoint.

amber's extra point catch gave the babes of msw their first lead of the year. but the drama wasn't over yet. the girls still had to play some more defense before this one was over. the girls quickly intercepted a pass and returned it for a td, but then threw an interception on the extra point try which was taken all the way back for three points. this gave the ball back to our opponents who were only down four points. there wasn't much time left, but thanks to a few too many penalties by our team, our opponents were able to drive all the way down the field. half a yard from a touchdown, our opponents took the final snap of the game. to no suprise to anyone, the amazing defense of msw stepped up once again and forced the incomplete pass for the win.

the crowd of 50,000 stormed the field in celebration, carried the team off on their shoulders, and the fan riots went on through the night. well maybe not, but at least one proud fan stormed the field to kiss his hero, his wife.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

one flew over the cuckoo's nest - ken kesey

i will always remember one of the first lessons taught to us in my college psychology class so many years ago - while only a select few can claim the privilege of earning the diagnosis clinically insane, the fact is that we are all crazy. i couldn't help but consider this as i read this thought provoking story of an "institute of psychology" and the colorful characters that call the asylum home.
the conflict of the story resides mainly in two characters. first, the big nurse, who has for a long time been the head of this particular ward of the asylum, and who has grown a bit corrupt with the power of her position. her opponent for the story is mcmurphy, a good ole southern boy who likes to gamble, enjoys drinking, and loves to fight. he is a newly committed patient who quickly decides that he doesn't agree with the way things are run and will do his best to change it. this power struggle grows more and more severe until the shocking climax.
i must say that i was captivated by the book. unfortunately, the book was very graphic and mature in it's content and i must not recommend it to any impressionable readers. it is most definitely not a bed time story for the kids. but it is an interesting study of psychology, the abuse of power, what drives men to give up on trying to function in society, and what could possibly inspire them to come back.