Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Medical Scare


bout a month ago, I felt a tingling in my left hand. Do you know that tingling sensation when your foot starts to get some feeling back after it has fallen asleep? That's what my hand felt like even though it had not fallen asleep in the first place. I slapped it with my right hand a couple of times, but it wouldn't go away. I shook it and tried to ignore it, and after about 10 minutes, it disappeared. An aberration, I thought. But it happened again a few more times the same day.

The next day, it reoccurred. And the next day and the next. It seemed to occur mostly after I had been sedentary for a period of time, like when I woke up in the morning, or getting up after watching a DVD. I had heard that heart problems were often associated with a sense of numbness in the extremities. Well, the numbness wasn't in every extremity, only left hand, but it was enough to worry me. If this continues for a week, maybe I should see a doctor. But it disappeared as quickly as it appeared after 5 days.


Maybe I've been working too hard. Maybe I should cut back some and say "no" to students sometimes, I reflected. When a student wanted to have a party at the sensei pad, I relented. I mean, I do enjoy students coming over, and it's so hard to say "no" to them. When they ask me for letters of recommendations, I always oblige, but I do tell them to give me three weeks notice, which is my policy. This way I can pace myself and not be burdened with too much work at once. But occasionally, a student will demand a recommendation immediately, and disregard my standing policy because he decided to apply for something at the last minute, even deflecting accountability by claiming he would not go home for Thanksgiving just to wait for my recommendation. As if it were my fault? But I put up with it. So even when I try to pace my work, I can't. Teaching is a calling, someone once told me, and he wasn't kidding. You gotta love it to do it.

So, what stress? I just allowed the tingling left hand fade away into the recesses of my memory and returned to operation normal... well, normal for me, that is.

But this past weekend, I'd been feeling out of sorts and on Monday, I got a rude awakening. Around 7:30 AM, I jolted up from bed with a sharp pain in my chest. It felt like someone was stabbing a screwdriver into me from inside. I thought I perhaps slept in a strange position, so I stretched my hand over my head and tried to go back to sleep again. An hour later, I felt the same pain again. Just as intense. I felt kinda nervous but I tried to sleep again, but the pain did not subside completely. There was a slight pinching pain, with the periodic stabbing around the left side. I nervously tried to get back to sleep and got in a few restless winks until I got up at 10 AM. I got up and rubbed my chest--actually, it was more like probing it, trying to figure out what the heck was wrong. I did some work, got ready for school and left around 2 PM. The intense stabbing sensation had subsided, but the pinching sensation persisted. As you can imagine, I was rather beside myself.

At school, I held office hours and took care of business with a few students, prepared for class and lectured and discussed for 75 minutes the theme of transience in the Hojoki by Kamo no Chomei. Throughout, I felt the pinching pressure along with the slightly subdued stabbing sensation within my chest, but I tried to put it out of my mind. I'm not so sure how effective I am as an instructor under these conditions, but I guess you'd basically have to drag me out on a stretcher to keep me from my duties.

After class, I usually putt around the office grading or preparing for class the next day, and I stayed until about 8:45 PM before heading home. After dinner, I finally decided to tell Musubi-chan what was going on. She gave me that look I am so accustomed to now--at once frustrated and worried. Why don't you tell me these things? Well, I'm more Japanese than I want to believe. My dad was like this. No matter what was happening with him, he would never tell anyone: ulcers, back pain, hernia. We always found out after the fact. Sometimes after he had been treated. Well, I wouldn't go as far as him, but I do have a tendency to hold back information unless until I'm sure I know what's going on... as if I were a doctor! Hahahahah!

She told me to go to bed early and relax, which I did after I did some writing on a Bruin Forum--it is, after all, rivalry week! And I didn't get to sleep until, oh, 4 AM? M had long gone to sleep, and I was still dealing with that pressure against my chest and the occasional piercing pain. I went to sleep hoping that maybe a good nights sleep would get rid of the pain.

But I was wrong, of course. At 7 AM, I woke up with the same intense stabbing sensation from the previous day. I seemed to have figured out that the stabbing sensation was more severe when I slept on my left side, so I tried sleeping on my right. The stabbing sensation seemed slightly less intense, but nonetheless painful enough to wake me up periodically. I decided that the best position was face up, but even then there was still that nagging pinching sensation. Finally, M insisted I call the doctors, and I reluctantly agreed. I called the clinic I usually go to--Vienna Family Clinic--and told a triage nurse over the phone my symptoms. She told me to come to the clinic and they ran some tests on me including an Electrocardiogram--EKG. Well, I talked to the nurse practitioner--are there no more doctors?--about my symptoms, told her about the tingling fingers of the previous month, that I'm turning 50 pretty soon--Shit! That's right!--and that my mother had a heart attack at 59 which is young for a female. She had a very serious look on her face as I talked to her, but then she looked at the EKG readings and said they looked normal. In fact, most of the symptoms I mentioned deviated from the typical symptoms of heart trouble. Pain is usually centered in the middle of the chest, not to the side. The pain is not a stabbing pain, but heavy pressure, as if someone was sitting on your chest. And the most intense pain occurred when I was at rest, and not while I was active.

Whew, thanks Doc. Glad to know I have a few more years left. But what is this pain, then.

The nurse practitioner looked at me and said, "It's like this." And proceeded to puff out her cheeks. Huh? "What you probably have is gastro-intestinal. Basically, you have gas trapped in the upper left fold of your large intestines. It bloats out, forcing the intestines to expand, and you get that stabbing sensation." Oooooh, I have GAS! I didn't know whether to be relieved or embarrassed. "You should be happy that it was nothing. Had it been a cardiac issue, that would have been worse." You think?!?

M expressed the same attitude as I told her the news in the waiting room. Better to have gas than heart disease. Can't argue with that... I think. But I forgot to tell her the treatment, which might have altered her opinion. I had to go to the drug store and get an over-the-counter remedy--for me? GasX. Apparently this will breakdown the gas in my intestines and allow it to move on down its normal path until it hits daylight... or something like that.

All's well that ends well...

UPDATE: In case you were wondering, that's Musubichan I'm talking to in the comic strip...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good Morning, Bruin Nation

Another post from the Bruin Forum. Yes, Martha, it's another sports entry.


orning fellow Bruins,
I'm sure there are a number of you who automatically come here to BG when you turn on your computer in the morning. So I thought I'd leave you guys a wake up message: Four more days!

As you drink your coffee, check out the story in the Daily News. Apparently, the pro scouts have been spying our very own Drew Olson as a legit prospect.

Did you know that there are statistics for "points responsible for"? Well, with 30 TD passes and 1 TD run, Drew Olson leads in THIS category as well with 186 points, 18.6 points per game. He is personally responsible for 3 thouchdowns a game. Is that freakin' great or what?!?

But I guess it doesn't matter what kind of numbers you put up. If you wanna be recognized by the pundits, you gotta shmooze with celebrities like superstar Nick Lachey. Maybe Matty (Matt Leinart) is cuter than Jessica Simpson. There is, obviously, no accounting for taste.

Anyway, before you head off to work, one question: Do you have your Bruin gear on? Are you wearing your true blue T-shirt or sweatshirt when you step out to pick up the papers? Going to work? Going to the office? Then are you wearing a light blue (may I suggest french blue) dress shirt and gold tie to the office? If you match it up with a pair of khaki pants, you'll be in our home colors. Me? I'm wearing my UCLA baseball T, and I take off my UCLA script baseball cap only when I take a shower... and then, only when I wash my hair. (The wife is waiting for the mothership to return the real Gdub back to earth.)

Anyway, just checking.

Today is TUESDAY, and I just wanted make sure that we all go out and... REPRESENT!

Go Bruins, Beat $C!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rantings of a Bruin Lunatic:

Okay, this IS a football post: This was originally posted on a Bruin Football Forum. If you're an SC student, you may want to skip this post


ome Bruin think we will lose. They are entitled to their opinions, as rationally analytical as they may want to be. But reading their comments got me thinking about how I feel about this game, this rivalry, our school, and how I want to be. And I've concluded that every year, during this one week, I become totally out of touch with reality...

In life, I like to think I'm a realist. As a college insructor, I cannot hype up my students too much. I try like heck to maintain an even keel so they get neither too high nor too low when it comes to a variety of things: grades, graduation, the job market. It can be a downer, especially in this economy, but I have to let them know what to expect, but at the same time be encouraging. In general, I am like this in my private life, even with my expectations for our Bruin football team.

But there is one time when I throw caution to the wind. There is one time when I want to believe with all my heart, regardless of the odds. That time is THIS WEEK. SC is ranked #1. Leinart is first team Pac-10 QB. DO was not a finalist for the O'Brien Award. Bush runs for more than 1000 yards. Crap! Lendale White ran for a whole bunch too. SC vs. Texas will be the game of the year. The Fiesta Bowl MIGHT choose Oregon. Blah, blah, blah.

BIG DEAL. Every freakin' year, I wait for this game, in the hopes--no, in the belief that we will beat SC. EVERY YEAR I believe. Many will think I am living in a dream world. Some have called me a Pollyanna--Beta for one, I think. A SC fan called me idiotic. Well, you know what? I don't care. Because I believe in the Bruins. I believe in the Blue and Gold and UCLA and all it stands for. I believe that UCLA is BETTER than SC in every way. EVERY WAY: Academics, research, environment, girls(!), closer to the beach, Westwood, Royce Hall, John Wooden. Which SC student want's to party in South Central? NOoooooo. They all wanna go see a movie in Westwood, our backyard! So why not in football? Well, I believe we are better. EVERY YEAR I believe we are better. Since the mid 60s, I have been disappointed a number of times. I knew we were better, but we lost anyway. But the following year, I believed all over again. Because I feel that I must. I feel obligated to show my love for UCLA unconditionally. And my love for my school is expressed though my confidence in them. EVERY YEAR. Yes, maybe I'm a fanatic. Maybe I'm a few marbles lighter than your average Bruin.

But consider this: Bruin football version 2005 was supposed to be middle of the road. Pre-season, maybe 4th or 5th in the Pac-10. I wanted to believe--desperately--that we are better than this. I wanted to believe that we could eek out 7--dare I hope 8--wins. Then we beat Oklahoma. Woo hoo. What a game. Then DO and company mount comeback win after comeback win for 4 consecutive weeks. It was amazing, wasn't it? If nothing else, did not those four games tell you that this is a special team? That against the odds, it was okay to believe in this team? Ok, ok, so the defense ain't so special, mostly. But the team, THE TEAM was special. You had to feel it, didn't you? Man, after the Stanford game, weren't you delirious? I hadn't felt so high since 1984 on that night at Mom's when... um, nevermind.

So haven't these Bruins, version 2005, given us something we as a group haven't felt in quite a while? Given that, shouldn't be be rooting for this team 100%? Shouldn't we believe that they CAN and WILL beat $C? We didn't believe they'd be 9-1 at Thanksgiving--unless you're related to Nostradamus--but they did it. So who knows? Express your passion for the Bruins. Let's give them our support and our confidence.


We are the Mighty Bruins! Hear our mighty roar!

Go Bruins! (insert your own 8 clap here)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I Love My Alma Mater

A non-sports UCLA post


aku says he loves MY love for UCLA. Well, you gotta love your alma mater, right? I feel for students who are indifferent about their school. I LOVE my school. And Merrow Mistral, your youngest's choice of college? Brilliant!

Anyway, everyone who reads Onigiriman knows I love UCLA football. While this occupies a significant part of my love affair with the University of California, Los Angeles, it is not the only part. For starters, I received a solid education at UCLA. As a self-proclaimed slacker during my youth, I had to go to a community college before I could even entertain thoughts of going to any four-year college. Yes, the O-man was pretty much a slacker during high school. Once I realized why God put women on this earth, I couldn't concentrate on anything else--with the exception of music, maybe. But studies? Fergit about it! I worked part time to earn money for the sole purpose of meeting women and going on dates. Yes, I was a jerk. Yes, I was stupid. But I was young and impetuous and I enjoyed life to its fullest.

The drawback, obviously, was my academics. Thanks to all this fooling around, I didn't study one iota and failed to make the grades to go to a four-year college. I wrote about this previously, I believe, so I won't rehash. Suffice it to say that it took me a few years to realize that school was actually important and I had to start from scratch at a community college. I went to East Los Angeles College, and the work was not too hard. In fact, I was surprised at how much I could learn with relatively little effort. I became an A student, graduated with honors and found myself at eligible for UCLA.

But I quickly learned that the amount of studying I did to earn good grades at ELAC would not come close to satisfying any of my goals of excelling at UCLA. I was rarely in the top 10 percent of any of the courses I took, even though I studied day and night. During my ELAC years, I would work 30 to 40 hours a week and enjoyed a full social life even as I earned "A"s in physics or anatomy or English. But at UCLA, I cut my hours to less than 16 hours--two full days on Saturday and Sunday--so that I could focus on studying all day and all night. The little money I made barely covered my tuition--it was admittedly very inexpensive back then--and books. Indeed, my greatest cost was gas and parking. I have distinct memories of counting pennies in my pocket to see if I could afford a 35-cent cup of coffee at North Campus. I often felt miserably poor.

But I never questioned my school of choice, nor the sacrifices I needed to make in order to make the grade. I befriended the better students in class, learning that I would only improve by hanging out with the good students. Fortunately for me, hanging out with the good students in Japanese courses--I majored in Japanese--equaled hanging out with the cool students... well, as cool as Japanese majors could be, I guess. I mean, there were no jocks in our group, but we did have our share of cute young ladies. And my best bud was a manager on the basketball team, so we sometimes got in earlier than the other students to get good seats to watch a game in Pauley Pavillion--free for students, of course.

When we weren't in class or shooting the breeze during lunch at North Campus, we were often next door studying in the University Research Library (URL). It housed the "Oriental Library" (I wonder if they've ever renamed it?), so we often studied there as well as find our research material. During midterms and finals, we'd be there until 11 PM, scurry to get coffee at North Campus before it closed, then returned to study. By 1 or 2, I'd be beat and drive home, often giving a friend or two a lift back to their apartments. We were often fried, bug-eyed from the studying and frazzled from the caffeine. But we helped each other and supported each other.

Of course, studying wasn't the only thing we did. One October, we decided to indulge in our beer drinking ways and had a Moon Appreciation (tsukimi) Night at a friends apartment, where we all wore yukata or kimono and partied all night. We'd sing karaoke, dance to music, or some of us would go into the corner to play mah-jong until the wee hours. When I could afford to get off work, I'd go with my friends to football games on Saturdays and when we won, we'd go to J-town and eat and drink to celebrate until the bars closed. We once dragged one Japanese sensei to J-town, and she was very impressed with the camaraderie we manifested.

I attribute these friendships--many of which are still active--to UCLA. Not just because they were formed there, but because of the environment the school fostered to enable many of like minds to find each other and to develop relationships. Interestingly enough, I was among the very few who actually majored in Japanese. Most of my friends majored in fields as diverse as linguistics, communications, fine arts, economics, and English. Most took some Japanese, but not all. And we were ethnically a relatively varied group--Japanese, Chinese, Korean, White, Latino, a reflection of the campus itself. It was a fun and exciting time for me, and I treasure every moment I spent there.

I will never forget my alma mater.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!


ately, the life of the O-man has been quite challenging, from immigration issues, to financial concerns, to stacks of papers and quizzes to grade, to students demanding a letter of recommendation right now or I will be preventing them from going home for Thanksgiving--I will write about soon since I can't quite quell this particular demon. But there are a couple of things that I am grateful for, things that allow me to maintain hope, remain sane and continue to post--albeit more and more infrequently--here on Xanga.

  • I am thankful for the friends, especially the old ones, I got reaquainted with at our reunion this past summer.
  • I am thankful for having a job--this is nothing to take for granted lately.
  • I am thankful for the my health and the health of my family, friends, fellow Xangans and students.
  • I am thankful for M's love and care which I so selfishly indulge in.
  • I am thankful for our relative peace in this post-9/11 world.
  • I am thankful for--and this is the most important because they bring a smile on my face, they have offered me excitement, but most importantly they have given me hope. They have taught me that no matter how badly you are disrespected, no matter how low the opinions of others may be, you can strive with great effort and succeed in the endeavor of your choice--I am truly, truly thankful to the 9-1 UCLA Bruins. Everyone and his uncle picked UCLA to be middling, no better than a .500 team. And yet that have generated so much excitement and hope around Bruin Nation. Thanks Bruins! (You knew I had to work that one in, right? I'm such a Homer)

Eight clap!
U (clap-clap-clap)
C (clap-clap-clap)
L (clap-clap-clap)
A (clap-clap-clap)
U-C-L-A fight fight fight!

Woo hoo! Gooooooo Bruins!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Do We Look Like Rodney Dangerfield?!?

Another UCLA/sports post--


here are a number of post season awards for leading athletes in college football. Admittedly, UCLA has had few players to bag about these past few years. But this year is different. Drew Olson has had a phenomenal year. Here are the highlights:

  • 30 touchdowns (#1 in NCAA).
  • Only 3 interceptions (tied for #1). 10 -1 ratio; phenomenal!
  • Currently #1 in the NCAA passing efficiency at a 172.5 rating, outpacing Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn.
  • Completed 67.7% of passes (#5)
  • Avg. 9.03 yards per attempt (#6)
  • 2909 total passing yards (#7)
  • And most importantly, team leader #1. Drew Olson's leadership has led UCLA to 9-1 going into the $C game. Given MD's and ML's tremendous leadership and contributions to this team, this is saying a lot.

These are Heisman worthy numbers. So what happens? Drew Olson doesn't even warrant a finalist selection for a second tier QB award--first tier would be the Johnny Unitias Award. This is indicative of the fact that we are not even on anyone's radar. When EVERYONE talks about Texas and SC in the championship game as if this was a done deal, it means we aren't even a freakin' speed bump on SC's road to the BCS title game.

How many more people need to dis us? This is totally unacceptable.

It is time to man up. Coach Dorrell! DRew! Mo! Marcedes! Havner! Page! J-Lo! KERR! Dudes! We definitely need to kick some ass. We cannot simply out-score SC, we gotta bury them. This is the ONLY way we can garner any kind of respect from the stupid pundits of college football. Okay? We need to get angry. We need to get emotional.

Do I sound pissed? Hell yeah! Damn, I have spittle spewing from my mouth as I read what I'm writing. I'm freakin' foaming at the mouth. Coach, give ME a helmet. I'm ready!

Go Bruins!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Uwakimono: That Cheatin' Heart


es, I have cheated. It is not a nice feeling. The guilt is unbearable. How could I do this? How can I be so self-centered and selfish and betray my true love... I must make this confession to somehow relieve the pain, racked by guilt as I am. They say confession is good for the soul, but I fear the retributions of my loved one, my one and only....


Blame the Bruins. They made me do it. They play heart-stopping games that are at once excruciating and blissful. Down by double digits in the 4th quarter in four different games, only to come back and win in the last minutes, twice in overtime. It is heart-wrenching--Will they win? Do they have it in them? My hands are balled into a tight fist, slamming my thighs when things go poorly. I jump up, hands raised, in my best imitation of Notre Dame's Touchdown Jesus, howling in joy. It is intoxicating and I am inebriated and--if I wasn't already--addicted.

As a result, between grading and writing letter of recommendations that some students think take only a few key strokes to produce (yes, I'm still perturbed; I will write about it later if I cannot exorcise this demon), I have been spending most of my free time on a Bruin Football board. It is fun to read and respond to those who have a similar interest in football and it allows me to release the emotions I have pent up within me to those who share my passion.

The downside to this, of course, is that I have spent even less time on Xanga. It started with reading my subscriptions less and less, and now I hardly even post, because I have been cheating on you, my Xanga. I'm so sorry... Well, maybe not that sorry.

The good news is that the next game is the last one. It is the big one, basically our bowl game, the game against the the University of South Central in Los Angeles, an area closely associated with Watts. It might be more familiar to you as USC. South Central is our rival and nemesis, and this is the biggest game of the year for us. Even if we were to end up in a prestigious bowl game, nothing would rival this game for raw emotion: anticipation, fear, anxiety, pain, hatred, bliss... Oooooh, I'm already excited, and the game is still two weeks away! Hahaaha. I am pathetic.

In any event, I have a little more time, despite the fervor, and so I hope to be a bit more faithful to your, dear Xanga...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Being owned

I think some of my students think they own me... Perhaps I should not be so accommodating anymore. This probably conveys the impression they can ask anything of me and then get upset when I can't.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Open Letter to the LA Times

Bill Dwyre
Editor, Sports
The Los Angeles Times

Dear Mr. Dwyre,

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I always believed that the LA Times was the epitome of news coverage and the voice of public opinion, a kind of Vox Populi if you will. This, of course, covered all aspects of the news, from politics to business, from entertainment to sports.

As an avid sports fan who no longer lives in Los Angeles, the LA Times online has been my link, my umbilical cord to things in my home town. However, I am sad to say that one of your writers has tied a knot in this lifeline. Sports columnist, T.J. Simers, has demonstrated a partisanship that does not reflect the LA Times I once loyally read. In an article posted November 13, 2005, he states, among other biased comments, "From my vantage point — as an objective, die-hard Trojan fan until they lose — the Bruins just might be one of the worst 9-1 teams in college football history. Frauds, if you will; at best, great escape artists at the expense of other bumbling and stumbling Pac-10 opponents."

Yes, I graduated from UCLA. Yes, football is "only" a sport. And yes, I realize that Mr. Simers column is an attempt at humor. But that does not excuse the kind of insults and vitriol he spews at a group of young men and their coaches who play by the rules, who play with heart and sincerity, adn have amazingly surpassed the expectations of even their most loyal fans. His mud slinging is something I might expect from a student writer at the Daily Trojan, but not from an LA Times writer, and certainly not approved by the LA Times sports editor. Has the LA Times relegated itself to college pranks and fraternity hazings?

I am saddened and disappointed by this devolution of the LA Times, and hope that someday you will again feature writers like Jim Murray who treat sports and its teams with decency.

Sadly Yours,


Thursday, November 10, 2005



Sunday, November 06, 2005

Shiri pen-pen


an, oh, man. Did we ever get spanked. UCLA lost its first game of the year. 52-14. Fifty-two to fourteen. To team that was 2-6... I guess all those games of playing poorly at first, only to comeback to win finally caught up with us. I guess we were not as good as we thought we were. But we're still 8-1 and still in position to do well.

I still can't figure out this team. They play poorly, then they play incredibly well. Does this mean the players are mediocre, but the coaches know how to turn them on late in the game? Or does it mean the coaches aren't coaching well and the players finally figure out how to fix problems on their own and come back to win? The announcer on the TV broadcast said during the game that the players know hos to fix things themselves. Does that mean that the coaches can't do it? This is worrisome.

Still, I gotta believe that the players we have are good enough to play anyone. They've proven that they can play with good teams. Cal and Oklahoma are two examples. Even the defense has shown that they can do it... sometimes. I hope this game serves as a wake up call. So that they can go into the last two games of the season and play at the level they are capable of.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Warning: This is a sports entry...


ast week, the UCLA Bruins played a horror flick against Stanford. For three quarters, they were dying a horrible death. The first two possessions went three and out--that means they could not get a first down in three tries and were forced to kick the ball back to the other team. Meanwhile, Stanford slowly built a lead. They are no Jason or Freddie, but they were scaring the living daylights out of me. On their first possession they drove down the field for a touchdown. In the third quarter, they scored 10 more points--one TD thanks to a fumble by Mo Drew--while the Bruins barely scored a field goal in the second quarter. By the fourth quarter, it was 17-3 Stanford. I was watching the game peeking through my fingers.

About five minutes into the quarter, Marcus Everett, a wide receiver, trying desperately to gain extra yards, reached out with the football toward the first down marker. I pound the floor with fists tightly balled up. It's not a loaf of bread! I scream at the TV as my mind conjures unwelcomed zombie-like images of Wendall Tyler. Frightfully, presciently, woefully, inevitably, and promptly, he fumbled it to Stanford. Why do characters in a scary movie do exactly what they're not supposed to do? Don't open that door. Don't go into the basement alone. Don't hold the football like a loaf of bread. Aargh! With such a short field in front of them, Stanford easily score another touchdown making it 24-3. That's a 21 point lead--twenty-one points! I stare at the TV, certain that UCLA will lose its first game. The Bruins are dead. Long live the Bruins.

M was tooling around the house all the while. She told me yesterday that she was actually afraid to talk to me, I was so quiet. Usually, I'm making a ruckus, rooting our boys on, cursing the referee for a bad call, something. But there was nary a peep out of me. She said that she thought I'd bite her head off if she had said something to me. I'm sure I wouldn't have, but I was truly frustrated, disgusted with the performance of my beloved team. I was sealed off from the rest of the world, suffering an insufferable sight. They're gonna lose, I warn myself. It's only a game, I try to convince myself. 7-1 is not so bad. I mean, no one thought they'd play this well this season. 7-1? No, not bad at all, I try to comfort myself.

In silence, I watched Stanford kick the ball back to UCLA with 8:26 left in the game. That would be the last half of the last quarter of the game, an insufferably long time to endure the pain of watching my team lose. A frustratingly short time to score three touchdowns just to tie the game. And then the horror flick really kicks into gear. The Bruins go into a two minute drill, setting up plays in a no huddle offense. Drew Olson leads the bruins down the field to a touchdown in one minute and twenty-two seconds. Huh? 24-10. What happened all of a sudden? The dead aren't really dead. Th... th... they're ALIVE! Aaaaaaaaaaah!

A cry of glee emboldens M to enter the living room. "We finally scored," I said as I kept my eyes glued to the TV. We kick off to Stanford, but the defense stops them cold. Three and out. There ya' go, that's just what we needed... Again, Drew leads a no huddle offense from their own 28 yard line and, boom! scores another touchdown in three plays. That's 72 yards in THREE PLAYS. 24-17. We kick the ball back to Stanford and they manage one first down, but soon have to punt it back to us with more than two minutes left in the game.

"Woo hoo!" I scream, as I give M a big hug. "They're alive! They're alive!" Well, the Bruins march down the field for the tying touchdown and when they go into overtime, I'm incredibly confident. "We've won," I tell M, unafraid of jinxing the team by making such a prediction. I mean, they were already dead. How do you kill a team that was already dead? Turning me into a prophet, the Bruins hold Stanford to a field goal, then immediately score a touchdown on the second play of their possession. UCLA 30 - Stanford 27.

What a Halloween of a game. They scared the living bejeezus outa me.

Anyway, they are now 8-0, ranked 7th in the AP poll and 5th in the BCS. No one, I mean NO ONE thought the Bruins would be in this position. But we have two more games before the big showdown against our nemesis. The team we love to hate... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today, we play Arizona. They are near the bottom of the Pac 10, but that doesn't mean they are not dangerous. Washington State and Washington ARE at the bottom and we had to comeback against them as well. No team can be taken for granted and I hope our boys are focused and ready to play a team led by Mike Stoops, brother Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and the defensive genius who developed the great OU defense. UCLA will have their hands full. I hope they resist the urge to look ahead.

Go Bruins!