Friday, January 23, 2009

Cooper Slap

It's been just over 6 months since my father passed away, and I'm just now starting to feel like I'm ready to write about him. The thought of NOT writing stuff about him has been stressful, because part of me thinks I need to somehow record all of the memories I have of him before they start to fade. Well, I'm happy to say that so far they haven't faded at all. They make me smile, cry, and laugh every single day. When someone isn't around any longer it's amazing how many things remind you of them.

There are just SO many things that make me think of my Dad, I could write a post every day this year about all of them and not be done. But one has been in the front of my mind the last few days, so I thought I'd start with it: the Cooper slap.

A couple of years ago I flew back home to Pittsburgh for a family funeral. My Dad picked me up at the airport. After I finally found him (silly me for not realizing that since a beer is cheaper than a cup of coffee in the airport I should have gone straight to the bar, even if it was 10:30am!) we headed out to the parking garage. As we were pulling out, he suddenly slowed the car down and gave me a light slap on the arm and said "Cooper Slap". He then pointed to the Mini Cooper we were passing, and said that he was updating the old game of punch buggy as Cooper Slap, and was trying to get it to catch on. I just rolled my eyes and shook my head, the standard reaction to many of the strange things that came out of his mouth on a regular basis.

Two days later he and my Mom were driving me back to the airport, this time at night. He was completely caught off guard when I leaned forward from the back seat to slap him on the arm and call out "Cooper slap" as a Mini Cooper passed us. Caught off guard, but then he was just beaming. He leaned over to my Mom in the front seat and said "See, it's catching on!"

Whenever I saw him after this, I was always looking for a Cooper, just like I used to look for punch buggies as a kid. I think that was one of my favorite things about my Dad--the way he could always help you find that silly, child-like happiness. That was one of the biggest traits of his personality (and believe me, his personality was BIG!) and definitely my favorite.

If you took the time to read this, I wonder if the next time you see a Mini Cooper the "Cooper Slap" will pop into your head. If it does, please take a minute to slap the nearest person. It just might catch on after all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are You Ready For Some...Baseball?

Since football season is over, I'm focusing on happier times and getting ready for baseball. (And let's all be honest: football season is over for everyone except Steelers' fans. The game won't even be worth watching. Plus once the Steelers win it'll be their 6th Superbowl, and the fans will be unbearable to deal with. Gee, you'd never guess that I'm originally from Pittsburgh, would you?)

I actually had to remind myself a few times this fall that the Phillies won the World Series, and that once that happened I should have known that none of my other teams would go all the way. I was looking up trips to the national championship game the week before PSU inexplicably lost to Iowa. Superbowl packages were being scouted out after the Eagles beat the Giants. The World Series win had me actually believing that more championship celebrations were in my future. Oh well.

I was over at the IronPigs stadium earlier today, and even though the field was totally snow covered, it made me a bit hopeful thinking about baseball season.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Camera

So it turns out that Santa is actually pretty good at picking up hints, and he left a wonderful Nikon D60 dSLR camera under the tree for me. It came with 2 dvds and a 1 inch thick manual, so it may be a while until I can do anything special with it. Back in the day I did have a fairly nice camera, so I should remember some things which I can apply to this one. Although half of what I remember involved choosing the right speed film and threading it into the camera. I don't miss that at all. At least changing the lenses seems the same.

Hopefully I will have many good photos to post soon. I'm sure there will be many of sleeping dogs, at least through the winter.

Luna was curled up in a ball sound asleep, until about 8 seconds after I got the camera out.