Monday, November 30, 2009

Benjamin and Cousin Ariel

Yesterday was a beautiful day and with Benjamin's cousin Ariel in town, we took advantage of it after a little indoor soccer.

Basement soccer with Real Madrid vs Barcelona on in the background

We moved outdoors as it was a beautiful day

Benjamin working on his free kick

Park time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Early Thanksgiving

Today we celebrate!

Last month my Mother in Law Aida was diagnosed with meningioma.
Meningioma is a form of a brain tumor that is on the surface of the brain and lodged between the layer of the skull and the brain.

Aida had successful surgery on October 21st, the tumor was benign and post surgery she spent a month at a rehabilitation hospital recovering and re-learning how to walk and use her left arm and hand again.

It is with great happiness that I report today that she was released from the rehabilitation hospital and is home safe and sound. Once we got to our house I was going to use her wheel chair to wheel her to the front steps and assist her into the house but she insisted on walking up to the front door with her walker. She said she wanted to walk into the house and she did.

I have much respect for Physical Therapists and Nurses now. The dedication I saw from the hospital staff during the time Aida was there was simply incredible. Today there were a lot of tears shed as Aida was hugging the folks she got to know there over the past month. She called this her graduation day. We dropped off a lot of baked goods with the staff and Benjamin made a card.

I felt sadness for the people there in recovery who not as fortunate, the one's who can't talk or do much with out assistance, the one's with cages to keep their head steady and neck in place. The one's with a longer recovery road ahead of them. These are someone’s grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers and husbands too. Today I was near tears watching them for the last time today. We are extremely blessed.

This was a difficult time in all of our lives and Aida has been through a lot. I am very happy she has progressed and is not in pain anymore. She still has some work to do in regaining her strength to walk properly again. We are hopeful she will do so. She had a lot of love, support and prayer to guide her along the way. All of us thank you very much.

This was our Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday is as wonderful as ours.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ben Olsen to Retire from D.C. United

An end of an era as Ben Olsen has decided to retire from D.C. United. Post writer Steven Goff reports the news here in his Soccer Insider column.

I remember taking a road trip to Chicago in May of 1998 to see D.C. United play the expansion Fire at Soldier Field. This seems like yesterday. In the game Olsen, a rookie at the time, scored his first professional goal in United's win. Watching his enthusiasm on that team of veterans reminded me of a puppy hanging with the big dogs and I knew we had something special.

The honors in his career were numerous, but unfortunately so were the injuries. In his career Olsen played in 221 games for D.C. United and was a representative of the U.S. National team during the 2006 World Cup.

There is no replacement for him or what he meant to D.C. United. It's been a pleasure watching him. He had heart and he always gave his all.

So here's a big thank you from this fan to Ben and I wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his life. I do hope he stays connected to D.C. United and the sport at some level.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Benjamin's Holiday Show

Benjamin told me tonight his class is working on their music for their annual Holiday Show on December 10th. Every day he has a half hour of Music and he said one of the songs they are working on is Santa Claus is Coming To Town.

Of course we broke out the iPod and listened to Bruce Springsteen's version, then thanks to Google I found this from the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank NJ on December 22,2008. Enjoy!

One more from London, December 19, 2007 with the Big Man

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

I had a ticket to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band last night. It has been a rough month for me personally and yesterday was a very difficult day. So I definitely needed this show. Bruce is always clutch when one is down and inside I knew he would come through with a fantastic show. And what a show it was.

I had a great seat in the lower deck to the side and stood with the audience the entire show. He played the entire Born to Run album which was incredible and of course I lost it when Clarence did his sax solo during Jungleland. Couple other tunes where I was thinking about things and I lost it too. Overall I laughed, cried, sang, chanted, bounced up and down and had a fantastic time. Every emotion I had was on display last night.

It is always a thrill to see Nils and Bruce dueling with their guitars and last night they put on a hell of a show during Prove It All Night. The energy Bruce and the band have just continues to amaze me. This show was just what I needed last night. I am still in awe of what I saw and have no voice now. Thank you Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

The setlist:
Outlaw Pete
Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River

Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Stand on It
Seven Nights to Rock
Growin' Up
Pink Cadillac
Lonesome Day
The Rising
* * *
Hard Times
No Surrender
American Land
Dancing in the Dark
Higher and Higher

The Washington Post review here

Ted Leonsis, the Caps Owner was at the show too. Here is his blog post

PS-I didn't take these pictures, cameras were not allowed and these were on The Washington Post web site. I *wish* I could have taken them though.