Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Point/Counterpoint: When Are You Going to Finish Writing Your Damn Guest Blog vs. When I'm Good and Ready

The Onion news often has articles called Point/Counterpoint which delve into two sides of an issue. I thought it would be fun to write one of these about soccer coaching with someone, so back on Sept 27 I asked my ex-boyfriend Jim to guest blog about it for me, since he has been coaching his sons for many years and I am a newbie coach for my daughter. It didn’t turn out exactly the way I planned, but here are the results.

When Are You Going to Finish Writing Your Damn Guest Blog

By Cathy Collis, victim of recent ACL Reconstruction knee surgery

So sometimes, people ask other people to do things, and they, like, just don’t do them. I’m not talking about any one particular incident or anything, just putting the idea out there. Like let’s imagine for a second that someone has recently had knee surgery, and they’re battling through doing even the basic necessities of life, like showering and stuff, and then someone else with perfectly good knees and all the time in the world to go for bike rides breezily agrees to guest write something for the first person's blog—can you imagine the relief that provides for the original person, knowing they don’t have to write their own blog for a week? Considering they are on some seriously addictive painkillers and are not supposed to operate heavy machinery? But wait! Then he doesn’t do that thing. Months go by. He uses lame excuses, like work, and his kids having the chicken pox, and coaching soccer.

Clearly the original person should have known better than to ask the kind of person who would make plans to take his girlfriend to Olive Garden, and then later bail on those plans by saying he felt sick—only for the girlfriend to find out later that he was fine and at the pub with his buddies for a guys night thing. Even if that thing was 18 years ago.

Just saying. Hypothetically.

PS. Does anyone want to buy some leftover painkillers?

When I’m Good and Ready

By Jim Martell, ex-boyfriend

First of all, I am a beautiful, flawed middle-aged man with a host of emotional disabilities and only the most tenuous grasp on my sanity, but I am fairly sure that when my doctor tells me I am not supposed to operate heavy machinery he is not referring to a computer keyboard. In any case, I am easily overwhelmed when I have multiple tasks concurrently on my “to do” list. I become paralyzed, curl into a metaphorical ball and proceed with none of the work, regardless of impending deadlines and negative consequences. The one thing I always show up for is my soccer coaching duties: coaching kids is interactive, physical, and (at this level) uncomplicated. Frustratingly, my younger son’s routine on game days is as follows:

Pre-game: “Do I HAVE to go to soccer todaaaay?”

Half-time: “Is it almost OVER? I’m sooooo tired!”

Post-game: “I’m glad THAT’s over for another week!”

Why is his immediate reaction always avoidance? He’s not the best player on the team, but certainly not the worst. It fills me with dread at times that he would rather “not do” than “do.” I worry that this lack of engagement will spill over into all aspects of his life, that he will never develop a healthy enthusiasm for anything, and that I am failing as a parent by not instilling in him a sense of urgency to get going on something. Anything.

My suspicion is that he is probably feeling just like his dad: overwhelmed. But he doesn’t have a family to feed, a house and yard to maintain, bills to pay, teams to coach...or a guest blog to write. On the other hand, he does have school to attend, homework to do, extracurricular lessons, chores, personal relationships to maintain with his family and friends. Maybe on Saturday mornings, he just wants to be left alone to have a rest. I know how he feels.

I can never get everything done, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to get anything done. I feel like everywhere I look, I see someone whom I am letting down: wife, kids, boss, friends...I just cannot seem to spring into action. But at least now I have obliged my ex-girlfriend by spending fifteen minutes on this. That’s got to count for something, even if it probably doesn’t make up for the Olive Garden thing.

Sure wish I had some prescription painkillers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lentil Salads be Damned!

Walking by a newsstand the other day I saw a magazine called Fit over 40, and since I reached that milestone relatively recently, I decided to have a look at it. It’s filled with earnest looking women in their lululemon gear, grinning idiotically as they do various yoga poses or grip tiny stainless steel weights. (So this is my demographic. I hope they don’t miss me.)

I flipped right through to the end of the magazine, so I know there was no page in it with a gasping woman bent over, leaning on her knees in the driving rain, while wearing an ill-fitting yellow pinney, as I would have been at soccer six months ago. I should point out that in this particular memory I was also smiling idiotically, laughing really, but it’s because I had just run down the wing and done a splendid cross to Ron, who headed it into the net, and since it was his first goal since he had started playing with us, he was so excited that he was jumping and whooping it up like a kid.

The Fit over 40 healthy lentil salad recipes also don’t compare to the two pints I sometimes used to knock back after soccer either.

So…the only thing that's comparable between 40 year old me and the 40 year old women in the magazine is the smiling.

But now really, who was having more fun?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alternate Tweets for Cristiano Ronaldo

So, I just joined twitter and decided to follow, amongst other famous people, Cristiano Ronaldo. In case you didn’t know, he’s rather attractive, the world’s highest paid soccer player-- he has over a million followers-- and is the most boring tweeter in the world.

I’ve only been on there for a few weeks, but all I’ve seen him post is plain-old boring blah stuff (“going to bed before a big game”), self-promotional fluff (“buy these new cleats I designed” or “check out my new Armani ad”) or scores (“Real Madrid 2, AC Milan 2” ) Yawn. Granted, he is amazing at soccer, but he can’t be amazing at everything-- so now I like to imagine him as some kind of cro-magnon caveman in front of the computer monitor, his pretty face contorted into a buck-toothed guffaw while he picks up his keyboard and his mouse and slowly bangs them together while trying to tweet. (This image I have was solidified when I read about that fact that his son was the result of a one night stand he had with a waitress in New York, whom witnesses say he seduced by walking up to her directly and saying only one delightfully romantic line: “Me, you, f-ck, f-ck”. That’s a direct quote. I’m serious. Look it up.)

In any case, shouldn’t he spice up the tweets? Doesn’t he have some obligation to entertain those millions of followers? He could at least expand them by using the full 140 character limit. He’s got to tweak those tweets. To that end, I’ve written some suggested alterations for him to try out.

Instead of :

“Check out my new cleats...”

I like:

“Buy my new Ronaldo cleats. You won’t play better, but if you do buy them, I’ll be able to buy that 4th Ferrari I’ve really been needing.”

Instead of :

“Heading to bed before the big game”

I like:

“Spent the day counting the $ I’ve made, but couldn’t finish--so I pushed some piles of eruos together to make a pillow and fell asleep.”

And of course, instead of:

“Real Madrid 2, AC Milan 2”

I like:

“I use only four words to say the score, and I use only four words to score with a woman. Impressive, no?”

I’m still working on one for the Armani ad. Here it is. I was thinking something along the lines of:

"Check out my new Armani ad. Maybe you can tell me why I'm doing crunches while standing up."


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This is a 3 minute movie I made from the transcript of an actual conversation I had with my husband Steve about sports. The program strips all the nuances and sarcasm from my delivery so I come across as a stone cold biatch, but I think it's okay because I got to make myself look like Keira Knightley. Also, I got to force Steve to wear a tie which he would never do in real life.