A conversation between me and my wife last night:
Mrs. Dux browsing the Sunday adverts: You’re not going to buy this Halo 3 are you?
Duxup: Well it looks pretty good. I think I will.
Mrs. Dux: But we’re doing all this house stuff right now, can’t you wait a while?
Duxup: You don’t understand. The earth is being invaded! If I don’t save it who will!?
Mrs. Dux: Not if you don’t buy the game it won’t be invaded.
Duxup: No it was already invaded during the last game. Now I have to save it. See right there “Finish the Fight” it says!
Mrs. Dux: Fine then, I’m buying these shoes.
Truth is the wife overestimates my penny pinching nature. If she wanted the shoes I wouldn’t object. Chances are she’ll get to the store and say oh I don’t need these anyway. I’ll have to prod her to buy them.
House Hunting 2007
The house hunting has officially started.
The in laws are generous folks. Otherwise this process would not be going forward. I’m a lucky dux.
The wife, having a lot of time off (downtime for the theater), is meeting with an agent today. Will she end up being our agent? We’re not sure. We don’t know anyone who works in our area who could recommend and agent so this one was selected relatively blindly.
I am inherently distrustful of realtors. I’m sure there are some good folks out there but as I see it is in the realtor’s best interest to sell me the most expensive house possible, at the highest price possible, with as little effort as possible. Blech.
I managed to buy my last house without any realtors involved the last time but this was a transaction with folks I knew, and I had a handy lawyer. As much money as we saved the conditions are not the same and I don’t feel confidant enough to do it that way again with strangers.
Many open houses were visited by the wife this past weekend (I had a project at work). She has made a three ring binder and is taking notes on all of them. We do have two houses we’d like to go back and see again (one will be the first time for me).
As exciting as this is I’m also dreading the associated stress of such a process. It doesn’t help that I have been working a lot the past few weeks.
Back to the Minnesota Gopher Games
My grandfather obtained his alumni / faculty Gopher Football tickets in 46. He has held those tickets since then.
When I moved to town seven years ago I started attending games with him as it became more difficult for grandma to attend. After some campaigning by the aunts and uncles I earned the right to be the driver to and from the games.
Grandpa is 89. He cuts out the starting lineup out of the paper for each game. He brings along his handicap parking window tag so we can park in the handicap lot near the dome (aka. What I think is The Medical Examiner building parking lot). He always has his Gophers shirt, or sweatshirt, or both on for the game. Has his binocular around his neck. Tickets in his wallet. I carry the program (usually bought at the first game and stored in my car) that covers the rest of our roster.
I drive to the community where he and grandma live and pick him up at the front door of his place about 1.5 to 2 hours before the game. He is often out front chatting up the other locals sitting in the warm fall sun. It takes about 20 min to go from their place to get to the Metrodome. Grandpa likes to leave early, probably a mix of my habitual tardiness and Grandpa’s wish to get going early.
We get to the dome early but that’s not all that unusual. Many of the older fans are there early to watch the band march around and etc. We usually head into the dome right away. The halls are busy but easy to walk around when you’re that early game. Convenient as we have to walk around the student section and those young’n are more spry than grandpa… and I. We march over to the press box / faculty ticket owner’s area. We get our usual “dome dog and a coke” and stand along the wall where there are some spots you can scarf down your food without sitting in the tiny Metrodome seats. It might be the least exciting space for sporting on the face of the earth if not for everyone walking around wearing maroon and gold.
Many interesting people wander by, the local sports writers, former players, and a number (although thinning over the years) of people Grandpa knows from way back when. Usually we see Iris (or maybe Ivy, or dang I forget) and they talk about the old neighborhood where Grandpa lived and she owned a Dairy Queen. She said she thought I lost weight the last time she saw me ;)
After eating we head to our seats. Even in the “hospital waiting room” atmosphere of the Metrodome the seats are great. Just below the press box around the 45 yard line. Second row down, two seats from the end there are two seats that let you see the whole field. Football on TV is nice but there’s nothing like being able to see the whole play develop. I know some folks like to sit down low but I think those rows are at too sharp an angle to see the field just right.
There we meet some more people, everyone shakes hands when they meet. All are ages 65 to around Grandpa’s age. Down and to the left is a man with his wife whose name I’m not sure of. He looks a bit like a smaller and brown haired Jerry Van Dyke from when he was on the TV show Coach. He is always smiling and turns around to shake his fist in the air at us after a good play.
To my right is a man that it has taken some time for him to warm up to me. Sometimes he is alone, sometimes with his wife, sometimes with his son (who is probably twice my age) often pessimistic (but not without cause) and with a good eye for football. He knows every player, knows where they’re from, who their parents are, what they do well, and what they don’t do well. The man should work for the team as some sort of consultant. He and I often see eye to eye on what we’re doing right and wrong.
Behind us is a very friendly couple. The husband (kinda looks like Santa Claus) is talkative and jolly guy. He’s there to have fun. His wife also very friendly always asking Grandpa how Granma is doing and etc. I believe the husband was at one time head of the Education department at the U but I’m not sure. It could have been another department. I got their names a few times but I’ll be darned if I can remember. The wife recently confided in me that before coming to the first game this year her husband said I sure hope that young guy will be down there with the Doctor again this year. He’s the only one who understands my football.
I felt honored. The day she told me that the husband and I both would make a call that could have sealed the win for the home team early on. The new head coach . . . made a bad decision instead. The result was a lost game.
Grandpa was going to give up his tickets somewhere in the Mid 1990s. At the time their tickets were lower down in the same section. Grandma couldn’t make it as easily up all those horrible retractable seat stairs. Grandpa called to cancel and some lady on the line told him You’ve had tickets for how long? We can’t let you go! Hold on let me talk to someone. She came back and moved them up to their current seats.
The team, well stinks. At best in recent years they were a mid level Big 10 team who lost games at the last second in every way imaginable, and ways that you couldn’t possibly imagine. Now they’re in the transition to a head coach who has never been a head coach… ever. The team will be spectacularly lucky if it wins one Big Ten game this year.
I like the people around us. They’re not the durnk’n NFL nimrods I see when I’ve ventured to a Vikings game. Even in promising years nobody comes to the game raving about a Big Ten championship or even a respectable bowl bid. It will be rough for a year or two or three or more, but it doesn’t matter. These folks will go to the games anyway. They’ll still know most of the player’s names and origins and still ask me to look it up in the program to confirm all that info when they make a great or bad play and still sing the school song at half time. In any other world some college drop out who went to work on computers probably wouldn’t be socializing, laughing and cheering with the University crowd I’m sitting around, but it doesn’t matter. What we do, is just something to chat about once in a while. We’re all Gophers fans.
-I’d even consider picking up the tickets after my Grandfather can’t use them anymore but they’re faculty tickets and you can’t pass on such tickets. :(
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