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In Memory of Kelly Calabro


Collage photo from http://www.teambeerhockey.com

Early this week, Leif and I were stunned to get an email from our old hockey team in San Jose, Team Beer mentioning that captain Kelly Calabro had died. Details were sparse (and still are), but he collapsed on the ice, and even after CPR and defibrillator attempts, he couldn't be revived. We weren't able to fly back to San Jose on such short notice with Peter, but we've been thinking a lot about this even this week, and were bummed to miss the memorial service last night. We were able to attend the Celebration of Life event tonight using a Skype video/audio link (thanks to Thad for setting that up for us). It was really cool to not only see all the old and new Beer members who attended, but also other hockey players who had never even met Kelly (other than running into him on the rink).

What was weird too was that the same night, at the same rink, just a few hours before, another guy, Brian Kobata, had died as well. :( Here's the Mercury News article: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_11770229

Yesterday we went to Old Chicago for lunch, and while I don't drink Guinness, we both toasted a beer in his name (his team beer name was Guinness).

Toasting to Kelly

Thad wanted us to say a few words tonight, and while I did try to write something this afternoon, I ended up not really using it and just speaking from the heart. This is what I was going to say:

"Kelly always said "once a Beer, always a Beer", and anybody who's ever spent anytime on the Beer team can attest to how true that statement is. Leif and I have played on a bunch of hockey teams, but Beer is the one that we not only remember the most, but remember the most fondly. Kelly embodied the Beer spirit - loyalty, friendship, a sense of humor, and fun. It didn't matter if we won all of the games, or none of the games - he'd shrug and say "anybody for a beer after the game?" and it was all good. He was the biggest on the team, and I was the smallest, and you bet I was happy he was on my side. I loved being out with him because he was like a wall - easily moving the other team out of the crease - you felt a certain level of comfort having him around. Although he was quiet, he welcomed anybody and everybody into the Beer family with open arms. Once after we won the season at Rollin Ice, we all went out for pizza and beer. Leif's family from Sweden was in town, and Kelly not only insisted they come along, but also attempted to make conversation with them (even though they didn't speak English very well). That was the kind of person he was.

From Denver, Colorado, we raise a Guinness in honor of Kelly, wherever he may be now."

Team Beer photo circa 2000
In the team photo, he's the furthest to the left in the back row.

Guinness, we'll miss you.

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I Know the Best People

I have a confession to make.  From the moment I was a little kid, I was a tomboy.  Not only was I (and still am) a sports fanatic, but I'm one of those who just always got along better with the boys than I did with the girls.  I hate shopping, I hate makeup, I don't feel like spending hours getting ready for something, I'd much rather talk about who's going to win the Stanley Cup than Paris Hilton's lack of talent.  In any case, my best friend (besides Leif) is a guy, and that's ok.  I definitely have female friends, but I've never felt like I "fit in" properly with any of them, but again, that's ok.  I still consider some of them good friends, but I'm definitely not going to be the first one on anyone's call list for stuff.

I say all this just to put things in perspective, and also to say that my becoming pregnant has given me more in common with my female friends than I ever had before. Even though I still refuse to go on pedicure runs with them, they've all (and I'll add that "they all" includes all my neighbors including those I am not necessarily very close with) made themselves available should I have any questions on babies or pregnancy, they've given me very much solicited advice, and have generally made me feel like I fit in somewhat. :)

Cool package I received...2 things have happened recently to make me realize more than ever that it's the quality of the people you know, and definitely not the quantity.  First, today was a random, ordinary day - nothing exciting was going on, and I was counting the days (2 months) until the baby would arrive.  Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and it's the postman with a package from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  As I do the tech support for them, sometimes I'll get random things in the mail, but I definitely wasn't expecting anything.  Imagine my very pleasant surprise when I opened the box, and found a load of baby stuff in it!  Washcloths, onesides, burp cloths, an outfit, hats, socks, hooded towels, and a really soft blanket.  Paula, Kayce, and Stacy, you guys are the best, and it was so cool of you to send this to us!

The second thing hasn't technically happened yet, but I still feel very grateful.  A few months ago, I was talking to one of my neighbors, Mariela, who informed me that I absolutely had to have a baby shower.  I really didn't give it a whole lot of thought, until later on she informed me that not only did I have to have a baby shower, but that she was going to put it together for me.  Honestly I didn't know what to say.  Not only did she handmake all the invitations (with stamps, scrapbooking, and ribbon!), but apparently she's going overboard in decorating her house (which she won't let me see until Sunday), and several other neighbors (we invited the whole cul-de-sac) have volunteered to bring various food dishes (all homemade), and help decorate.  For these people to do this for me, the local tomboy who's never really had any close female friends, is just fantastic, and words just can't describe how much I appreciate having these people in my life who will go above and beyond for me.  

These aren't the only people who've helped out a lot during this pregnancy. As an example, Brien and Beth Wankel sent us a whole box of baby clothes that their kid grew out of. Granted a lot of them are for the summer, but there's definitely a bunch I can use as well!

So yeah, I'm probably doing a "hormonal rambling" on this post, but it's ok, I'm allowed to, I'm pregnant, dammit. :)

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