Tag Archives: Las Vegas

KNIGHT UP! Why I love the Vegas Golden Knights

 

KNIGHT UP! Why I love the Vegas Golden Knights

People say that sports can change a person. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to play the game to be impacted by it.

As I write this, the Vegas Golden Knights have just swallowed up the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A joyous day, to be certain, but only halfway to the goal.

Regardless of whether our beloved team takes home the #CupIn1, they are forever in my heart.

I began to follow the Knights back when they were just a hope. I read every article I could about the quest to bring hockey to our desert community. I listened to the pros and cons and everyone who argued it would never happen, but I admired and respected the way the process was handled. They had me at Bill Foley.

Everyone knows what has happened since then. We were awarded a franchise. We got a general manager, a coach, and the most adorable, hard-working, talented group of misfits to fill the roster. We got a broadcast team (I love the broadcast team equally as the players) who brought hockey into our homes. If it were not for them, this post might not exist.

You see, while all the stars were aligning for our Knights, I was a full-time caregiver to my dying mother. I rarely left the house, particularly that last year when I drove less than 500 miles – the entire year! It was my greatest honor to care for my mom, but even a caregiver needs something to smile about every now and then.

Enter the Knights. I had something to cheer about, because I knew what the outcome would be for my mom. But the Knights. Who knew? Even if they lost every single game, they still would have earned my devotion. On game nights, if mom was awake, I’d sit by her bedside and give her the play-by-play. Mom wasn’t much into sports, but she heard the enthusiasm in my voice for our team, and she lovingly went on the journey with me.

Las Vegas was hurting when the Knights began their season following the mass shooting of October 1, but they embraced the city and we hugged them right back. It’s been a mutual healing experience.

For me, personally, I don’t know how I could have gotten through these past few months without seeing my hometown team on the ice. Mom has since gone to that big hockey rink in the sky (well, honestly, it’s probably a movie theater), and I’m still cheering #GoKnightsGo in my living room. I’m not sure what I’ll do in the off season, but hopefully it’s a short one this year. And next year, I plan to actually make it to The Fortress for a game.

I grew up in Detroit (Hockeytown) and I lived in San Jose during the birth of the Sharks, but never have I ever been so grateful for the Vegas Golden Knights. Whenever I needed them, they were there. On the ice, or online.

Oh, that Twitter account! Sassy is thy middle name. Smart, funny quips morning, noon and night. How often it’s made me laugh out loud. I rarely start the day without searching for the latest updates on my Knights. Keep giving me those GIFs of William Karlsson’s hair flip, Marc-Andre Fleury thanking the goal post or doing the wave, or Jonathan Marchessault mugging for the camera. They are the GIFs that keep on giving. The Twitter account is in a league of its own.  

And it’s not just the official Twitter account that keeps me in stitches. The whole cast of characters, from our bright yellow Gila monster mascot, Chance, to Bark-Andre Furry and his beautiful singing voice heading the #DogsoftheGoldenKnights, to the newly minted Goal Post, The VGK Flamingo, and the limitless other superfans. I spend each day in harmony with them. And who couldn’t muster a smile with the shade throw-down between the Kings and the Sharks. 

As a writer, I can always disappear into my latest creation as part of my grieving/healing process, but it’s a lonely experience. The Knights have a strong worldwide community, and I’m very lucky to be part of that.

This last year has been a journey, to be sure, but as you see, sports can change a person – for the better – and I’m forever changed thanks to hockey and our Vegas Golden Knights.

Duck Crossing

Duck CrossingI grew up in Michigan and although the state is not the land of 10,000 lakes like Minnesota, there’s certainly a lot of water around. Water attracts ducks. Ducks are birds. Birds are fun to watch.

It seems I’ve had a life-long love of birds. As an adult, I had the pleasure of sharing my house with my fine feathered friend, Jake’, whose tale I tell in my book Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion.

I’m told that as a young child, i used to sit on the neighbor’s stoop and sing the theme song to the Chilly Willy cartoon. I still love penguins, probably always will, but I had to look on YouTube for the tune.

Growing up in Detroit, we could see Canadian Geese from time to time as we were so close to the border. But, periodically, ducks have been part of my life.

I attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, and one activity every student can recall is feeding the ducks on the Red Cedar River. Springtime was particularly joyful, watching the Momma ducks taking care of the little ones and teaching them the do’s and don’t’s of life.

But now that I live in Las Vegas, one would think duck sightings would be at a premium here in the desert. Well, perhaps, but I’m blessed to live not too far from one of the few lakes within the Las Vegas Valley.

When I want to take a more scenic route to my destination, I drive by the lake to see where the ducks are. After a rain shower, it always cracks me up that they choose to waddle over to the curb and drink from the puddles in the street rather than the beautiful lake they inhabit.

I’ve had the opportunity to stop traffic to allow a family of ducks to cross the road to safety, reminiscent of my days at MSU. Why they choose to hang out in the rocks across the street from the lake, I have no idea, but they do.

Unfortunately, that can mean trouble for the ducks. From what I understand, birds mate for life, so the loss of a spouse can be heartbreaking.

I’ll never forget the time I came cruising around the corner to see a duck on the grass, wailing at the top of her lungs, surrounded by her duck friends. I looked into the street and discovered that her loved one had been struck by a car and would never come home again.

Birds are such fragile creatures. If you’ve ever had the chance to hold one, you can see they’re practically just skin stretched over a small skeletal structure, plus their feathers. Yet, they have so much heart and bring us such joy.

I cried that day. I knew what that little duck was feeling. I was also impressed with how the duck community rallied round to try to calm her. So much happens in this world that we just don’t always see.

One of my favorite movies – that also makes me cry – is Fly Away Home. It’s based on a true story about a young gal who rescues a family of Canadian geese and not only teaches them to fly but shows them how to migrate south for the winter – all with the help of her Dad.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s great for family night. If you have seen it, maybe it’s time to pop some popcorn and enjoy it again. Don’t forget the tissues. And watch it all the way to the end.

Birds are amazing creatures.

Introducing the Diana Diaries Series

The Diana Diaries Series follows the life of Diana MacKenzie, a successful marketing manager in Silicon Valley. She falls in love with a very special Chris Christensen, who she believes is the love of her life. After their marriage and subsequent divorce, coupled with a failed economy, Diana aims to rebuild her life in the new home town she’s grown to love – Las Vegas.

Destiny Drop Book 1 in Diana Diaries SeriesThe first book in the series, Destiny Drop, takes us on that journey of the initial rush of new love and business success followed by Diana’s challenging attempts to rebuild her life by working in retail sales. Many people, both men and women, can understand Diana’s frustration at being underemployed and coming to grips with surviving on a much smaller budget. Shockingly, Diana is also exposed to some personalities she could never have imagined.

The end of Book 1 finds Diana still struggling, but with a strengthened resolve to re-imagine her life in Las Vegas. Book 2 moves her life in a positive new direction while Book 3 completes the main story arc.

More books are planned in the series.

Vegas Vision

Happy July, y’all!

We’ve been sweltering over here in Vegas with more than a few days of 110 degrees plus! Of course, we desert rats can handle it, no problem, but if you’re from out of town here for a visit, be sure to take precautions. Drink lots of water, stay out of the heat as much as possible and know it will be over in just a couple of days.

For my article this month in Luxury Las Vegas, Two of a Kind, I had the pleasure of speaking with several local notables regarding the future of Vegas. I wanted to understand what is the vision for our fair city. I got some great responses and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!

Join us for Life Choices: The Event

LifeChoicesBooks

As many of you know, I was honored to participate in the anthology, Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion. I wrote a chapter on how to find success through friendship. You can purchase your copy here.

Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion was the third in a series of Life Choices books. A new one will be out in the spring, and I’ve just submitted a chapter for that. All together, there are nearly 100 authors participating in this series, all sharing their stories to inspire  you to a better life.

In March, Life Choices comes to life during an extraordinary weekend in Las Vegas. Life Choices: The Event will be held at the Tropicana Hotel March 23-25, 2012. Many of the authors will be there either to speak or to meet with you personally during a variety of events. Here’s a quote from the website:

If you are looking for a totally fresh way to improve your life… If you would like to learn how to build your self-esteem, organize your time, solve your problems, create abundant health, and live a life of joy and happiness, this is a must attend conference. 

Keynote speakers include Judi Moreo, Jeff Civillico, Anne Abernathy, Casey McNeal, Tim Goodenough and Aimmee Kodachian.

I hope you’ll join me in attending this extraordinary event. Register now at www.lifechoicesevent.com and use Speaker Code PYPCM. Come with your friends and spend a few extra days enjoying what Las Vegas has to offer.

See you there!