Not So Summery Vacation

Once upon a summer there was a girl who wanted to travel all over the world. She wanted to go to Berlin or Paris or Napal, but the only place she went was to the hospital. For some thing inside her wasn’t doing her much good, so she needed to get that something bad removed. 

She tried, like most do, to wish away the hurt, but things didn’t get better that way. So she decided to go see an expert to make the pain go away.

The first doctor that she went to was a complete waste. He had scheduled the surgery to happen in the wrong place. It’s important that doctors get their facts right before it’s time for you to go up under the knife because you don’t want to wake up and have an arm where your knee is supposed to be or discover that your eyeballs are now upon your feet.

(Remember: A good doctor should listen, a good doctor should be kind. However, even the nicest of doctors will give you a shot in the behind.)

The second doctor she went to turned out to be great. She made the girl feel comfortable and listened to where it ached. And came the day of her surgery, she was less afraid because she now had a doctor that made her feel safe.

They gave her some medicine to help her sleep, which knocked her out before she could count to one, two …Then the next thing she knew her eyes slowly opened and the great doctor had already fixed the parts that were broken.

The girl received orders to get plenty of rest so she spent days in her pjs lying in bed. Everyone thought it sounded like such a good time, but all the girl wanted to do was go play outside. She wanted to dance, but she had to lie down. She wanted to play tennis, but she couldn’t move around. So she settled for sitting on the sofa and eating ice cream while watching other people do fun stuff on the TV.

At times the girl couldn’t help feeling bored. Although, she did get out of doing her chores. Her parents made sure she took care of herself (no scratchin itchin stitches). A couple of weeks later, she was given a clean bill of health. The girl couldn't believe how much better she felt inside. So happy she was to go back to her regular life.

And come the next summer she was just like all the other girls who spent their days traveling all over the world.


Chicago: Art Imitating Life

Mavs Trip #10 continued
April 21-23

Here I am in Chicago, Illinois continuing the journey of places that I have once lived, but can't remember. Normally during my trips, I listen to music that I feel represents how I think the city feels or how I feel, but all I want to do is watch TV shows and movies filmed in Chicago. There's one in particular - The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. It contains so many Michelle elements: great architecture, a man who could build a house, time-travel/Quantum Entanglement, Jane Austen's book "Persuasion," a scene from the film Notorious with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman and an awesome Nick Drake song. I'm strangely mesmerized by that film like I am this city. I think if I'd grown up here I wouldn't be much different from the person I am today. Chicago is an urban wonderland located near the water filled with lots of parks and art. There are things to see everywhere. So like Alex in The Lake House, let me show you the city except I'll do it through pictures.

Exhibit A: Chicago from looking up. 1. The skyline taken while descending into O'hare. 2. The lakefront view from the apartment I am renting 2. The city view from the apartment I'm renting 3. A closer look at the beautiful building detailing.

Exhibit B: Chicago from looking down 1. - 4. On my way to Millennium Park via Michigan avenue. The tops of the buildings are so ornate. What is it like to construct something so high in sky? Do the people who have worked on these beauties feel an enormous sense of accomplishment?

Exhibit C: Chicago from looking at the ground. When I see all the different types of building structures around the city, all I can think of is Cameron Diaz asking "is this art deco or art noveau" in There's Something About Mary. I have no clue, but they are art unique and art spectacular.

Exhibit D: Chicago from looking all around 1. Is this a sculpture of a mom and dad playing basketball with their kid? I say it is. After all art is subjective, right? So "Family Playing B-ball" it is. 2. Record store mural by Navy Pier. 3.-5. "The Bean" in Millennium Park 6. I never knew how smart Marilyn Monroe was until I read a couple articles on her. Sometimes things aren't what the seem.



Exhibit D: Chicago from looking out. Lake Michigan, you deceptively look like the ocean. A walk by the lake/fake ocean was of course on the list of things to do. The wind, oh my gosh, definitely "whips your hair back and forth, whips your hair back and forth."

There was a risk and a reward associated with choosing to go to a NBA game during the last week of regular season. However, when the schedule gives you Chicago in late April (an event that will most likely never happen again), you can't pass up that opportunity. The reward is a great time of the year to visit Chicago (it actually is still cold 50s-30s, but the sun is out), and the risk of the Mavs resting players for the playoffs. Dirk played to my relief. But after an 8 point first quarter by the Mavericks, I wasn't sure if this was such a good idea. The Mavs did show some urgency and made the game interesting. For that, I am grateful.

Oh, yeah, the Mavs won the championship last year! What an amazing run it was. Every fan has a different reaction when it comes to winning it all. For me, I was very happy for the Mavs, but strangely inside I felt unsatisfied. I've spent years watching, hoping and seeing someone else's ultimate dream come true. It's my time to make something happen.

Now the playoffs are back around. I have to stock up on my acid reflux medicine and start turning down the TV sound during games again (I am much more at peace watching a game when I don't have to listen to national announcers). Chicago is looking like a contender. I say that because they've won games without Derrick Rose this year. Last year, it seemed like Rose was 75% of their offense. That's way too much. Especially, when teams start double teaming. There was a play during the game when the crowd urged Rose to shoot, but he saw a mismatch with Loul Deng and a smaller Mavs defender. He recognized that and gave him a ball. No matter how good of a shooter you are, that is what good point guards do. It's the little things that make you a champion.

Sunrise v. Sunset We begin and end much in the same way. It's the stuff in between where the difference is made. It's the hopes. It's the dreams. It's the mysterious schemes. It's the journey we must make. It's the path we're scared to take. It's the sign, the opportunity or note we receive when we have given up hope. It's the obstacles, the pain, the heartbreak when we feel we've lost everything at stake. The stuff in between matters much more than we know. All the events that happen when the sun goes to and fro. - MM

I definitely feel like I could have used an extra couple of days to explore all of the city. It would be nice to see it in the summer time. Chicago, you have made an impression on me. I'm very happy to come from the future to see my past home.

P.S. Ladies, I was amazed by the men in the streets of Chicago. So good looking, and they know how to dress. It was a paradise of men in layered clothing (coats, leather jackets, hats, glasses and one in a bow tie). My theory is that they don't have a car payment, so they can afford to spend money on other luxuries. Well spent gentlemen. More men in Dallas should bicycle or take the DART.

Chicago Playlist on Spotify
I Just Want To Celebrate - Rare Earth
We're A Winner - The Impressions
Otis - Jay Z and Kayne West
Shame - Jill Scott with Eve
The Light - Common
Chicago - Clueso with Stuba Philharmonic
Mitnehm - Clueso with Stuba Philharmonic
Muzzle - Smashing Pumpkins
Boy or Girl - Burning Hotels
Ladyfingers (Americruiser remix)  - Luscious Jackson
I Don't Care - The Donnas
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
Molotov - Seeed
Roxie - Renee Zellweger from Chicago
Luck Be A Lady Tonight - Frank Sinatra
Living For The Weekend - Hard-Fi
I Wanna Be Your Lover - Corinne Bailey Rae
Countdown - Beyonce
Around the World - Daft Punk
Dress You Up - Madonna


Oklahoma City - Past. Present! Future?

Nash Trip #10
March 7-8, 2012

Be gone month of February. You were seriously a pain in my lower abdominal area. For the past weeks, I had a day without heat, a crashed hard drive, a broken cell phone and an illness that I was almost certain was appendicitis. My Mercury wasn't in retrograde. It was disintegrating. But Mercury, you and I, must keep on. We will not let life make a dwarf planet out of us. We've got things to do.

This year the normal Nash/Mavs trip will be separated, but will have a theme all to its own as I'm visiting cities I once lived in, but do not recall. First up, a trip to Oklahoma City to see the Phoenix Suns. Ironically, the Mavs play the Thunder two days before. However, I know now that the decision to not attend that game was for the best for I had a follow-up doctor's appointment the day after that game.

I believe this season will be the last of my Nash/Mavs trips. I will have visited all but two cities on the list of U.S. I want to see. The last being New York and somewhere in Hawaii. (Yes, it's quite shocking that haven't been to New York, yet. ) Throughout the years, I feel like I have been my own Henry Higgins to Eliza Doolittle, and I transformed myself into a traveler leaving me to ask, "What am I to do?" "I'm not fit to be a flower girl  for this lifestyle anymore." I've gone to a city on my own; I gone to multiple cities; I've left the country. So the only thing left is to leave the continent; and if I see the Mavs play in Germany next pre-season, my coursework will be complete. Am I certain this will be the last one? No. Although, it seems fitting at the moment.

So I grew up for a couple years in Oklahoma City. Those two years had a profound affect on me for two reasons: 1. We got our dog, Whiskers, here. He was great. 2. My parents enrolled me in a pre-school that taught French. I know only a few words of French now, but I think it helped me figure out how much I loved learning. My favorite story my mom tells of me is how much I loved puzzles when I was little. She said she would buy them, and I would figure them out so quickly. Then she started to buy harder ones, and then I would cry if I couldn't solve them. That sounds like me. I'm working on writing and illustrating some children's books now (terribly, manic pixie/anthropologie girl of me), and this place has something to do with that.

Speaking of children, it's completely heartbreaking when you go to the Oklahoma City Memorial and see the little chairs representing the kids that lost their lives during the bombing. It's so quiet, and the air feels different. If you ever go there, yes, you can walk on the lawn.

If I described Oklahoma City in one word, it would be community. A high school kid walking down the street said to my dad, "Hello, sir. How are you doing today?" What? Where are we? Oh, my dad is with me as my personal guide and chaperone in case I start to feel under the weather again. We went by the old house we used to live in and drove around the neighborhood.

The Oklahoma City Thunder would be my 3rd favorite team in the NBA if I believed in such things. But how can you have three favorite anythings? It seems ridiculous, and it dilutes the actual meaning of favorite.  Regardless that team is simply hard not to like. They are also the team "Most Likely To Make Me Yell At My Own Team." "Give Serge Ibaka a head fake."; "You know Nick Collison takes charges."; "You can't leave James Harden alone."; "Don't let Russell Westbrook drive."; "Kevin Durant..." Well, never mind, there's no stopping Kevin Durant.

I definitely recommend seeing a game here. The Thunder fans are great. Things opposite from Dallas: 1. Hardly anyone left the game early 2. The women could talk to the boyfriends about the game (a wonderful change) I can't emphasize enough about how much I love going to road arenas. I'm like a little kid in Disneyland. I can't stop smiling and looking around. At this moment, I don't know how I'm going to break the habit of going to these games as stated earlier. You should have seen my giddiness when I made my Nerf Ball shot on the 1st attempt in the stands as Steve Nash was at pre-game shoot around. (That's right, Steve. You aren't the only sharp shooter in the building.)  The rotation was a thing of beauty.

Oddly, the Dallas Mavericks played the Thunder on Monday, I'm here on Wednesday to see the Phoenix Suns play the Thunder and then the Suns go back home to play the Mavs on Thursday. My three favorite teams! Umm, correction, I'm mean my favorite team with one of my favorite players, a team with my other favorite player and then a team with a bunch of players I casually like. There's a difference. The Suns were ready to play. I thought they were going to come away with a victory, but not so much. The second unit couldn't keep up, and there were some costly turnovers and mistakes. Serge Ibaka, you're a man after my own heart with all those block shots and helping people out in the Congo. But I dare not call you my third favorite player, as my dance card is full.

I don't know if Steve will leave the Suns, but if he stays, there needs to be some changes. I don't think it's very fair to make the oldest players on the team do all the heavy lifting. It's not right to ask Steve to run the team, make sure people get their shots and have to compensate for any lack of offensive production. It's also not fair to make Grant Hill guard Kevin Durant, Dirk, Lebron, Blake Griffin and Kobe. Chip in young people. Don't make me have to go all Gisele up in here. Marcin Gortat is very good and much improved. However, Polish Hammer, put the ball in the basket with one blunt strike more instead of little finesse taps. And please don't ever use the zone against OKC again. Dallas has the parts that match up for it, but Phoenix does not. Kevin Durant shot right over the guards and that Blipster James Harden was even more wide open.

All this said, I want Steve to come back to Dallas. We've got young, athletic finishers, he can run the pick and roll with Dirk to his hearts content and our bench is kind of awesome. Not that I'm trying to get rid of anyone on my team. I'm just tired of giving all the Mavericks the evil eye (except for Dirk) when they do something against Steve. Because when Dirk and Steve are on the court together, everyone else comes in third place.

You're up next Mavs. See you on the road.

OKC playlist - (available on Spotify)
Window Are Rolled Down - Amos Lee
King of the World - First Aid
John Saw That Number - Neko Case
The Muse - Laura Marling
Love Interruption - Jack White
Creepin'In - Nora Jones w/Dolly Parton
Oh La La - Brigitte
Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks
Just a Girl - No Doubt
Friend Crush - Friends
Cameo Lover - Kimbra
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall - Coldplay
I'll Take Care Of U - Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie from XX
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Use Me - Bill Withers
Mercury - Bloc Party
Somebody That I Used to Know (Bibio Remix) - Gotye w/Kimbra
Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
Options - Gomez
3 R's - Jack Johnson