Sunday, November 22, 2009

The View from Club Seats

Lambeau Field is sacred ground. It has been consecrated in the blood, sweat, and tears of great athletes since 1929. Only a handful of them have played in my lifetime. I always get choked up whenever I first see the field every time I walk into the seats for a game...the light green color of the grass, the Green Bay and Packers lovingly painted in the end zones, images of past championships up on the Jumbo-tron.
But today's game was different. For the first time I watched a Packers game inside while at Lambeau: yes, I had Club Seats.
Talk about a different game experience! First, we had a parking pass and actually got to park in the Lambeau lot. We had an exclusive entrance to the stadium where the security pat-downs were not nearly as invasive as they are in general seating. Then we had an exclusive elevator that whisked us up to the 6th floor (I had no idea there were that many floors at Lambeau) and we were escorted to our seats. We were in the third row in what looked like a really really big living room with stadium seats. There are a maximum of six rows so it's not like there's a bad seat where somewhere is suffering by not being able to watch the game. We had a menu and waitress that took our food & drink order and served it to us. Then we sat back in really comfortable, padded seats and looked through tempered glass at the game below. The radio transmission was piped in play-by-play. At first the crowd was a bit subdued, we couldn't hear anyone near us singing along with the National Anthem, but as the game got underway and the Packers started scoring, there was hooping and hollering just like we were outside...almost.
We couldn't hear the G Force drum corps. We couldn't hear the music before kick-off. We couldn't hear "Go Pack Go" pumping from the speakers and 69,000 people shouting along. We all eventually screamed and cheered, but I didn't feel like Donald Driver was pumping his fists for me. I didn't feel like the defensive line, arms in the air, waving toward the crowd to make some noise, were doing that for me. Because they couldn't hear me. Other fans, sitting in padded seats, with carpet under our feet could. Other fans, who were wearing only tee shirts because it was an ambient 74 degrees in the Club Seats could. (Granted, it was a balmy 54 degrees outside, but still.) But roughly 69,000 other fans could not hear me. I was not a part of that crowd, that mob, those fans.
If I had a Lambeau Field "bucket list", (and I don't, really) one of the items on it would be to watch a game from the Club Seats (or better yet the private suits where the food is brought into your own little living room)and I can now cross that off of my imaginary list.
The next thing on my Lambeau Bucket List? Being on the Jumbo-tron. What is yours?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Thousand Paper Cranes

Stunning emerald eyes betray the passage of time we are toasting tonight… I saw you last, in the late summer haze, not even a whisper of autumn in the lazy trees, then.

This prison holds all of my memories. Shabbier now as the shadow of hope wanes above us. After twenty years, our Mother-Guardian moves to the young who desperately crave her.

The fireworks explode and the sparks fall to the earth around us. In spite of myself I weep like a child for the past.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Memory of You Haiku

Motherfucker. What
I thought, given. Unwrapped presents.
Only left: burnt remains.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7

Conceived 25 Years After Michael Ryan
by Kristine Sack

It was 1970, and it was August.
The annual county fair had come again to Shawano, Wisconsin.
The Viet Cong wouldn't give in and the Americans shoved on.
My father picked up my mother at her parents' house,
Wearing a leather fringe vest and bell-bottom jeans,
Not picturing the grunts fighting in the jungle
Whom he would soon join.
Maybe after the music from the grandstand stopped
They drove to the lake and
Watched the stars from the backseat of his Dodge convertible,
While The Beatles sang from Abbey Road on the radio
And they both hummed along. My father,
his new degree hung on the den wall, was drafted,
So if he was frightened maybe she held him
Under the stars by the lake,
The chill in the air drawing them closer.
So when he kissed her, maybe she sensed his need
To leave something of himself behind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6

On one hand anxiety makes me feel like I'm on fire; I can feel every hair sticking straight up and my body temperature goes through the roof. But it's so paralyzing at the same time; I just want to run into a deep, deep hole and stay there, hoping the world will just fall away before I feel that I'm forced into making one more decision. This is the existential angst that the great philosophers and therapists have talked about: one of the "life themes" that cause psychic dissonance is freedom and that's what this situation is about. I have the freedom to take responsibility and be an adult and write out my bills and call to explain why they are late, but I also have the freedom to crawl into bed for the entire weekend and do nothing about them. Not that I have a ton of bills to write out, but when I write out the check to my current employer for my insurance premiums, it's just one more reminder that I'm not well enough to be working there full time yet, that there are rumors that grow by the minute as to why I haven't been back yet and when I will be, rumors about what my job will be when I go back...things that are really no one's business except mine and the HR rep's. So why is it all so interesting to people that will not be affected by however this plays out? There a BIG difference between the need to know a piece of information to complete a job and the want to know a piece of information, just for the sake of feeling "in the loop." I feel really uncomfortable going to the grocery store near the office because I'm afraid I'm going to run into someone who will report back to HR that I was out of the house when I should be barricaded in, suffering with my "disability" that is keeping me out of work. I know that that is not logical or valid thinking, but after getting my hand slapped for being on Facebook in the first weeks of my short term disability, my impression is that their expectation is for me to be at home quietly rocking in a corner. And anyone that knows even a minimal amount about treating depression and anxiety has to know that social interaction is a good, therapeutic tool and that going to the grocery store is healthy because it means I'm facing my fears and working to get through them. But there in lies the rub: how much is known about depression and anxiety in the common Human Resource professional? This is a medical disease, not a moral disease and the judging is making my symptoms worse. Not to mention decreasing any happy memories I may have had from this employer. And that's the sad thing, because I have many happy memories from there and have enjoyed working with a lot of the staff. I thought this was the second best job I'd ever had, after working for St. Mary's in Milwaukee - that was the best job I've ever had. But who know how this will all end. I'm going to write out the bill and send an email as to why it's late. Needless to say some things have been on my mind lately - my dog's health for one thing. And I can explain some of that but there's no need to go into details. See, I do have more control over some of this than I originally let myself belief.

And the weekend is coming, the weather is supposed to be warmer and I'll get to spend some quality time with my husband.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3

So one of my assignments from my MD was to go out to places where I may run into co-workers during the day. I have this blinding anxiety about going to the grocery store because if someone I worked with saw me there, that would get reported right back to HR. At least it has before when "I was doing something I shouldn't have been doing while out on a medical leave." So you can understand my trepidation about going to Wal Mart during the lunchtime rush hour for some casual grocery shopping. But I did it!! I left my house right at noon and got into Wally World at about 12:10pm. I made my way down my list that my husband helped construct as he usually does all of the grocery shopping. I didn't get all "gussied up" but I wasn't wearing my pajamas either so I felt comfortable in my apparel selection for the afternoon. Just as I was walking down the main aisle to find a check-out, I heard my name behind me, just a whisper of, "Kristine." I turned around and there was one of my totally kick ass friends from work running in to get some soda for her desk at work. We hugged, she told me I looked good in that way where there are a few pauses in it, which I completely understood because as I said, I wasn't red-carpet material today. So we chatted for a few minutes and I briefly told her what my mission was and she said she was proud of me for getting out today, and we parted ways. She was in the "Less than 20 items" category and I definitely was not.

By the time I pulled into my garage I was exhausted. I had brought along all of my canvas tote bags so I didn't need to pack any of my groceries in those plastic non-bio-degradable horrors and I had about 50 pounds of groceries to pack on my back like a work mule, but I did that too.

I have my final group presentation tonight for my Theories class which I'm of course not really looking forward to, but I'll go and get it done and will have done excellent work.

By continuing to do the chores I don't really want to do, I find myself feeling just a little better for having done them. I still don't feel well enough to dress up in my red-carpet formal, but jeans and a sweater will suffice for most of my upcoming social engagements and I can handle that for now. The red-carpet days will come again, they always do. It's just not today.


Monday, November 2, 2009


It's been a few days since I've had the time and inclination to write anything. After dealing with all of Peanut's medical issues last week, I needed some time to just not think about that all the time and whenever I sit down to write, my feelings for Peanut is the first thing that is going to come spilling out.

This time change is goofing me up internally because I've been up since 6:30am CST and I haven't been up voluntarily that early in months! It's nice to have the house to myself though; it's quiet and I can sip some apple cider and curl up with a quilt and do my own thing for few hours until Peanut and Angel figure out that I'm not in the bed and come looking for me.

Given the fall weather that had blanketed us so heavily in October, I'm going to include an appropriate poem that was written 20 years ago on my first trip back to Appleton after spending my first three weeks as a student in Madison. I can name the other people mentioned in the poem, but won't do that just to keep the images vague. It's no fun if you're expecting a story but you get a movie and the cast of characters is filled in. I think this was published in the Foxcry literary magazine, but that could just be wishful thinking on my behalf. It's 20 years old, but I can see my current writing style buried within it.


Going Home in Autumn

We -
All four of us -
In his brother's tan 1979 Celica
with torn upholstery
and long strips of metal that blew off when driven too fast,
Rambled back toward Home
On that burnt yellow autumn afternoon.
Those colossal elms and oaks and their dying, adorned limbs
Arched over Highway 151, County E, State Highway 26.
And two of us:
Our insulated down jackets wrapped around our heads for make-shift pillows,
tried to sleep.
While the engine rattled the car
and tires rolled over cement cracked by seasons of frost.
We opened the windows to clear out the cigarette smoke
and our hair whipped our faces.
All I could hear was the speed of the tires
cutting through the singed leaves
and leaving behind white farm houses with beaten down corn fields
exposing worked earth...
Leaving them behind in the shadows of mid-day sun,
Because we were going Home.