Sumo Tough Love Valentine Contest - Winners Announced | iLounge News


Sumo Tough Love Valentine Contest - Winners Announced


The Grand Prize Winner

I remember my first and only love. Her name was Emma. Em for short. Ah yes, Em P. Tree. We was like peas and carrots. I’d just sit there for hours listening to her. Something was wrong though. There was a… a distance between us. We searched for ages to find a solution. A few years ago, our solution was found. We discovered a counselor by the name of Ivy Pod. Her friends called her I. I Pod showed us how I could take Em with me as I traveled to work, the gym, and even on long walks. Em would whisper right into my ear instead of from a distance as before. Through an ill act of fate, however, Ivy Pod got caught on the wrong end of a automobile mishap and was missed dearly. Em P. Tree and I again started having problems in our relationship. Just a few months back we found a new counselor, Ivy’s daughter. She went by the name Nano and has helped us in the same way as Ivy and even got rid of some of the baggage that Ivy brought with her. Em P. Tree and I would love to keep Nano from suffering the same fate as Ivy Pod, so we have decided to attempt to acquire a bodyguard. We only want the best, so we a trusting a Sumo wrestler to handle the job. Please help Em and I protect our precious Nano.

By Kisan on 01.25.06 at 04:17 PM

The Runners-up

Everyone who entered will receive a Sumo nano flip case in red!

Grand Prize: (2) $200.00 United Airlines Travel Gift Certificates (retail value $200) (2) Tickets to a real sumo match at the US Sumo Open at the Los Angeles, Convention Center, California One night stay for (2) two at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California (retail value $229 per night) (2) Sumo nano flip cases, in red of course! (retail value $29)

100 Runner-ups will recieve: (1) Sumo nano flip case in red (retail value $29)

If you are not a registered member of iLounge, please remember to type your email address in the Comment form below. Any entries without an email address are not eligible for the contest.

Official Rules

  • No purchase is necessary to enter.
  • The Sumo Tough Love Valentine Contest will begin as of this posting.
  • Deadline for entries: Tuesday, February 14 at 11:59PM Pacific Time
  • This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • iLounge is not responsible for computer malfunctions, bugs or viruses, and causes beyond our control. iLounge has the right to terminate this giveaway at any given time without notice.
  • iLounge will not release any personally identifiable information to any third party other than necessary to deliver the prize to winners, and that the names of the winners will be used to identify the winners.
  • Winners will be announced and published here on Friday, February 17, 2006.
  • Prizes will be shipped by our sponsor Sumo Cases.
  • Associates, employees, principles, or relatives thereof of iLounge are not eligible.
  • All taxes are the responsibility of the winners.
  • The prize selected does not imply or express any endorsement from the manufacturer or any other relationship with iLounge.
  • iLounge reserves the right to modify these terms to comply with the laws of the State of California, to correct errors and omissions, or to ensure fairness as determined by iLounge. Such modifications, if any, will be posted at iLounge.
  • Any attempt to manipulate, interfere with, or otherwise alter any entries, other systems or services of iLounge will disqualify all those implicated and subject them to prosecution in the State of California, United States and/or other jurisdictions.
  • Your entry implies and expresses your agreement to these terms and your waiver of any other rights, related to such contests, you may have in any jurisdiction.


Related Stories



My freshman year of high school was awesome.  My class went on field trips to red river gorge for rock climbing, in addition to a week-long trip to nevada, arizona, and utah for camping and kayaking.  As I look back on that year this valentine’s day, I remember, however, that there was only one thing I truly regret, the end of my relationship with the girl I loved.  She was my first love since 6th grade, even though we hadn’t started dating until 9th grade.  We were best friends.  We laughed at stupid jokes, and even once had a conversation using funny noises and arm gestures to imitate a monkey flying into a pool of water.  This was indeed the best time of my life.  On the Red River Gorge trip, however, we suddenly seemed older.  One night, we were playing Spin-the-Bottle, and we landed on each other almost 15 times.  After the game, she pulled me over to the side and asked if I had felt any connection when we kissed.  “There was definitely a connection”, I said.  She then proceeded to ask me to date her.  Something in the back of my mind went off thinking ‘This is not a good idea…  You’re best friends, you’ll ruin your friendship…’, but using my head and not my heart, I answered yes.  One week went by of dating, and of course rumors were spread, and people asked if we were dating, all of which built up such peer pressure that it made us nervous to be ourselves.  Finally, exactly a week since the game of Spin-the-Bottle, she passed me a note in Geology class asking to break up.  She said that she’d rather go back to the way things were, so I told her I felt the same way, when, in reality, I didn’t as it hadn’t really hit me that we were breaking up.  That night I cried as the break up made its full impact on me.

One and a half years later, I emailed her with a full out apology of being such a bad boyfriend and that i really did love her a lot.  Since then, we haven’t talked very much.  At least, not like we used to when we were best friends.  Everyday, I regret helping to end our relationship, but I know now that the first love is always the hardest to get over.

Posted by Daniel Archer in Irvine, CA on January 17, 2006 at 7:42 PM (CST)


It is with incredible sadness that I put up this message about our 4.5 year old bundle of furry joy, our basset hound, Ceasar.  As you can see by this loving tribute I have maintained over the years, he really was so much more than a dog to us (visit his site at  And we are shocked and devastated to wake up this morning without him.

After months of trying to diagnose and treat cysts that kept breaking out all over his body, he was given a skin biopsy.  On June 30th we got the results and I was not prepared for this possibility….cancer.  The skin lesions were secondary so there was likely already a tumor inside.  It was hard to believe. He was so young and other than the cysts Ceasar was a normal happy boy.  We decided to examine all of our options including chemo.

We had an appointment with an oncologist at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph scheduled for July 11.  Unfortunately, over the July long weekend Ceasar stopped eating and became lethargic.  He was admitted early as an emergency on Tuesday, July 5th and they kept him overnight in the ICU.  That evening I was given an update on his condition.  There was no change.  He still wasn’t eating.  They were giving him antibiotics and fluids.  There was actual hope that he wasn’t feeling well because the lesions were infected.  Regardless, they were prepared to start him on chemo the next day after they finished the tests and determined exactly how bad the cancer was.

At noon on July 6th, I was informed that what they found was unexpected.  During an abdominal scan it was discovered that his intestine had ruptured.  So instead of finding any large tumors and beginning chemo we were faced with the choice of emergency surgery to repair his intestine.  There was no guarantee that the cancer had not caused it. Although they found no primary tumor he did have it in his blood, which is leukemia.  So even if he survived the surgery it could re-occur. 

We couldn’t put him through that.  Surgery was one thing.  But to still have to battle cancer with chemo when he finally recovered was another.  So we made the heart-wrenching decision to let him go.  The vet wanted us to come right away to say our goodbyes since she was unsure how long he would last. 

She lead us into a really nice room with a loveseat and a chair.  It was filled with framed photos of their pet patients.  And they brought Ceasar in so we could have some private time with him.  After the description of his situation I was expecting him to be carried in and for him to not really know we were there.  So I was shocked to see him walk in….and when he laid eyes on us his tail starting wagging!  At first I thought, oh my goodness they are wrong, look at him he is going to be fine.  But his brave face only lasted a minute and soon he laid down on the floor.  He gave us each lots of kisses and then we lifted him up onto the loveseat for lap puppy.  Just as if we were home.  When the time came the vet brought in a fleece blanket to put on the floor and the euthanasia was performed right in that room.  We stayed with him until the end.  Ceasar left us at 1:45pm, July 6, 2005.  And we are forever changed.

Ceasar, you are in our hearts forever.

Posted by Melinda Mason in Irvine, CA on January 18, 2006 at 4:22 PM (CST)


Last year was the first Christmas I spent with my girlfriend. The same night that we exchanged “I love you’s” .... she also gave me my first iPod. It was a mini with my name engraved in the back. It was a very special evening.

Well, I work out a lot. I am a marathon runner and a triathlete. I use(d) my iPod everyday. Everyday! Multiple times a day! I loved it. Not to mention it reminded me of my girlfriend.

About a month ago, I tossed all of my workout gear (that was in my workout bag) into the laundry. I was not paying attention and my iPod went along with it.

The iPod is strong enough to handle my sweat, but it was not strong enough to handle the washing machine. It is ruined.

The sad, yet ironic thing is .... after I destroyed my iPod, my relationship with my girlfriend has taken a turn for the worst! We are currently taking a break. Hopefully we will work things out. If we don’t ... I guess the positive thing will be that I don’t have the iPod to remind me of her!

Thanks for letting me vent!!!!

Posted by Matthew Brereton in Irvine, CA on January 18, 2006 at 7:30 PM (CST)


We never thought we’d end up like this.  Hiding from management, sneaking behind the backs of friends.  She, lying to her parents, quitting the company.  We’re not children.  We’re not even teenagers.  Heck, she’s no longer even in her twenties!  Yet we lie.  We lie to virtually everyone we know.  I’ve met her parents.  Of course under false pretenses.  To this day they think I’m a friendly, helpful ex-coworker that happens to be around to help on the day she moved into her own apartment.  I’ve met her sister and her neice.  They think I’m a friendly ex-coworker that “just happened to be on 32nd Street” at the exact time that they arrived there.  What a coincidence.  It’s wholly believable being that the population of Manhattan is a mere 1,537,196.  Between every lie, there exists one truth and it rings louder with each passing day.  We love each other.  We love the city.  We love our iPods and we love to travel with them.  We could grow to love Sumo if given half a chance.

Posted by James O'Melia in Irvine, CA on January 18, 2006 at 7:37 PM (CST)


My freshman year of high school came around at full swing with so many new experiences its hard to recall them all. New school meant new friends and there was a girl who just plain stood out from the rest of ‘em. Me and her talked on and off as we had one class together and soon became really good friends. The talking went on for weeks and months and finally the school year went by. That whole year I had become her best friend and listened to every dilemma in her life whether it’d be family or relationships with guys. I even remember at one point helping one of the guys she was mad at but was going out with as he was a friend of mine, but still feelin’ the pain inside knowin’ I was puttin’ myself down even further.

Summer finally came and we got to talk even more and hung out a lot. Still I was the best friend or rather the brotherly type. That part I didn’t know until her birthday rolled around. I took her out to the movies, her friends came along and she told me she wanted me to sit next to her. I took that as a good sign and decided I’d tell her that I had a crush on for the longest time. We were watchin’ ‘War of the Worlds’ and right before the climax with Tom Cruise, I slowly blurted it out word by word, and watched her stare at me for a minute. She didn’t say a word. We left the theater and then gave me a huge hug and told me it meant a lot to her that I hung out with her on her birthday. After a few days of ignoring each other, we talked as if it was the first time we met, casual and nonchalant. I knew she didn’t like me the way I had hoped she could.

Summer was almost over and I didn’t want that tension around so I played around a story that I liked another girl (totally false) just to fix the situation. Our relationship got a lot better and by the start of my sophomore year things were finally seeming normal. Homecoming’ came around and seein’ as she didn’t have a date yet, I decided to leave some flowers in her locker. Little did I know that that brought me back into the same old situation and now she confronted me about my feelings for her. Things didn’t go so well between me and her for a few months.

Winter break was fast approaching and I still had feelings for her and didn’t want us to be in the position that we found ourselves in. We straightened things out and I played out a new story with a girl who she didn’t know and that seemed to have mended our relationship. I’ve even helped her through a relationship with a boyfriend who finally treats her as well as she deserves to be treated. By the end of my sophomore year our relationship seemed to fade away and our best friend relationship seemed to just be a title and not a bond. We talked less and less, practically never hung out anymore.

Valentines Day is right around the corner and for the past few years I’ve brushed off all potential relationships just cause of her. I didn’t want to miss out on any potential opportunity with her, but I’ve finally realized that I’ve been in denial all along. The end of my senior year is fast approaching and with our future college lives and the split up of schools, things won’t end like they do in fairy tales. Her boyfriend and she are still together and I know that whatever small chance I had, I blew by becoming the guy friend she can always rely on.

Posted by Omar in Irvine, CA on January 21, 2006 at 1:11 AM (CST)


I was dating a girl off and on during the second semester of my sophmore year in college.  Over the summer (during which I traveled extensively) I decided that I would seriously persue a relationship the following semester.  Needless to say, she told me that I was “like a brother.” To be blunt - I was devestated.  This was in October.

Then she dated a friend of mine….

I had decided to swear off dating for awhile; to focus on my studies and check back into the dating scene in a year or so (during grad school).  I made it till Februrary.  My best friend had graduated, but his fiancee was still in school (now my second semester junior year).  I asked him for permission to go to the Valentine’s Day play with her.  (I wanted to go with a friend, but would ask a potential date.)  That night (Februrary 13), she brought a friend.  This friend worked in the costume department on campus.  I was in a production that semester….  To make a long story short, the friend and I were dating in about 8 weeks and have now been married for 3 1/2 years.  My best Valentine ever!

Posted by Matt in Irvine, CA on January 24, 2006 at 1:14 PM (CST)


IT WAS THE DAY. THE DAY AFTER 5 MONTHS OF SAVINGs. The i was going to buy my first ipod photo 20gb. i was so happy i couldn’t sleep the night before. mi mom promised me to take me to the apple store. it seemed like an eternity to get their but after a 30min ride i finaly got there. i ran as fast a i could the store i got in line and paid 350 w/ a case becouse i wanted to keep it perfect. i couldnt wait so i opended it in the car it looked soooo cOOL!! i was realy happy and since then hes been one of my favorite friendes. if take to school and everywhere its like my good luck charm…

Posted by rob in Irvine, CA on January 24, 2006 at 8:34 PM (CST)


I remember my first and only love. Her name was Emma. Em for short. Ah yes, Em P. Tree. We was like peas and carrots. I’d just sit there for hours listening to her. Something was wrong though. There was a… a distance between us. We searched for ages to find a solution. A few years ago, our solution was found. We discovered a counselor by the name of Ivy Pod. Her friends called her I. I Pod showed us how I could take Em with me as I traveled to work, the gym, and even on long walks. Em would whisper right into my ear instead of from a distance as before. Through an ill act of fate, however, Ivy Pod got caught on the wrong end of a automobile mishap and was missed dearly. Em P. Tree and I again started having problems in our relationship. Just a few months back we found a new counselor, Ivy’s daughter. She went by the name Nano and has helped us in the same way as Ivy and even got rid of some of the baggage that Ivy brought with her. Em P. Tree and I would love to keep Nano from suffering the same fate as Ivy Pod, so we have decided to attempt to acquire a bodyguard. We only want the best, so we a trusting a Sumo wrestler to handle the job. Please help Em and I protect our precious Nano.

Posted by Kisan in Irvine, CA on January 25, 2006 at 7:17 PM (CST)


Love it seems like just a word, but when you talk about the love for a pet it’s more than a word. I had a pug by the name of mugsey and he passed about 2 years ago. he had a hard life , he was injured as a puppy ao he had a deformed right front leg and he was still 100% percent loveable he was the love of my life , so giving asking for nothing put kisses in return, he grew old over the last 5 years and his black hair begun to turn gray and he started to lose teeth, he had begun to be that slow old dog that my mothers pit bulls just used to run over and play so ruff with and about too years ago my mother was out of town for work and it was about 8 in the morning and i heard the worst cry from outside which wasn’t normal. my little sister was the first to run outside, she found a large trail of blood that lead to the side of our house and there lay my love mugsey , bleeding and shaking in a pool of blood. the 3 other dogs (pit bulls) were no where to be found. the other dogs had attacked mugsey for no apparent reason and left him at the edge of death. My heart was broken my childhood dog is in the worst pain i have ever seen. we picked him up and brought him in to house and he lay bleeding in our arms. we drove him to the vet where they had said our brother, my best friend, my childhood/teenager companion, may not survive. i told the vet i don’t care what the cost is he needs to stay alive i love him and he is my world he has seen me and my sister through the hardest parts of our lives and he is my family. They put mugsey on a iv and the vet said that he was in severe shock and that they would need to keep him over night. My heart whepped ....i was so angry that my mother dogs who have never ever shown any agression to dog or human had done such a thing. The next morning the vet had explained that the wounds were repairable but poor mugsey was still in shock…..they gave us a option to take him home and let him pass in our presence and at his home instead of leaving him in the hospital to pass. we took my brother home and that evening he passed and i felt like a part of me left with him that night , so our family decided to have him cremated and we have him in a large urn on our fireplace as well as a giant stuffed pug that lays on my bed at all times with his collar on it. so that i can be reminded that he will be with me always.

Posted by rockystars in Irvine, CA on January 25, 2006 at 8:18 PM (CST)


It all began at a company christmas party. We were introduced by a mutual friend and that night we drank, danced, and sampled everything the dessert buffet had to offer. At the end of the night we decided to see each other again. Over the next two months we’d be on many dates, drinks, dinner, bar
bingo. After I got over the fact that he talked about himself alot and that he mulled over his words too much, I decided I enjoyed his company and that I was having fun. One night, I invited him out for
coffee to see where he stood with our dating status. Apparently he was having fun too and we decided to keep it that way. Two months later we were still having fun and I was feeling like I would like to
kick our dating up a notch, to relationship status. I was waiting for friends and I decided to give him a call. Following a brief amount of small talk I asked, “How would you feel about taking things to a more serious level?” It only took a few moments until he replied with “I think I’d like to keep
things the way they are.” I said, ok, hung up and deflatedly met my friends. The next day I decided I needed to cut my losses and find someone who wanted more than to just have fun. We went to dinner the following week, and halfway through my stir-fry I said, “I can’t continue doing this.” The rest of the
meal We talked about taking a break or if we should just end it on a good note. Before we went our separate ways, we decided it was best to leave it as friends. I was upset but I had a two week vacation in Hawaii coming up that would help ease the pain. I returned from my trip feeling light and happy. After unpacking I checked my email only to see two emails from him. The first asking about my
trip and the second asking if we could catch up to tell him all about my vacation. I decided it was slightly strange but then remembered how we decided to stay friends because, after all, we had fun
together. I emailed him back saying I needed a few days to get back into the swing of things. After a few days I suggested a day to meet up and take a walk around the central park reservoir. During our stroll I regaled him with tales of Hawaii and as he was catching me up on his two weeks, he said
abruptly, “I need to tell you something…” He then laid bare all his feelings for me. He said that in my absence he realized how much he missed me and decided there’s no way he could he lose a girl who finds beer breath a turn on. I was relieved to see a bench and promptly sat down, as the information
was a bit overwhelming. I was charmed and wary. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give us another try or just move on. I finally said that yes, I would try again, for a probationary period. He had two weeks
to prove he was serious. To my answer, he jumped up from the bench with a loud “YES!” and a huge grin.

It’s been two years and he has, may times over, proven that he was serious. We also have never been back to the restaurant where we broke up.

Posted by Julie L in Irvine, CA on January 27, 2006 at 11:52 AM (CST)


I have a great story for you… I was a Junior in College and it was January 1st, 2000 and Alabama was playing Michigan in the Orange Bowl. I was at a friend of mine’s house watching the big game. During halftime I jumped on his computer to check my email and goof around. I saw a name on his buddy list that said “MissBama2B”. I said “Allen.. who the heck is this?” He said.. Oh it is some girl named DeAnna she seems pretty cool… You should say hello. I said hello to her and we started IMing back and forth. The conversation got pretty good with us realizing that at one point we had gone to middle school at the same school. I didn’t know her since she was a couple of years behind me, but it was neat to find someone that close to me on the net. I grabbed up the phone and gave her a call right then and there. I went back to the back room and chit chatted with her for a while. Things were pretty good with her for a while. I was very busy and didn’t have time to date much so we just talked on the phone for about a month. Finally February came and we decided that we had to go out. We had a fabulous time together and we went out like 5 times in one week. It was awesome. Sometime in early March she got cold and rather distant when we went out one night. Of course I didn’t know her very well and I figured that she was just in a foul mood and tired from work that day so I didn’t think anything of it. Well the next day she wouldn’t take my calls, nor return them. Come to find out she was actually dating someone else at the same time! I was rather pissed to say the least, but I didn’t care.. I felt a real connection to her and wanted to date her still, but she had no interest. It ended right there and I felt rather bitter towards women in general. Fast forward 9 months later and I am in the middle of a semi-decent relationship (odd since I hadn’t dated anyone for almost 2 years and here was 2 relationships in one year). De Anna gives me a call one night in December and says that she was sick and remembered how nice I had been while we dated. She was lonely and wanted to just talk. Well, we talked for a while and things felt great from my end. I was busy still since I was now a SR in college and was working on my recital. I talked with her a little bit over the holidays and not much happened. In January we decided to start dating again.. January 2001. A little over a year after we first met we started back dating. We went out a lot to begin with and then started really getting serious around February. Things were great. We realized that during those 9 months we weren’t together we were missing something.. Well we found it together. August 2001 we got engaged. I graduated college in December, 2001 and we got married on March 23, 2002. Here it is January 29, 2006 (6 years after we met….) 5 years since we got back together and almost 4 years since we got married and it has been the greatest 4 years of my life. We have had rocky times, but most newly married couples do… We have had rough times with sickness, surgery, and lots of other things, but in the end we both love each other so much and personally I am so glad that I picked that name out of the AIM list that night. What a miracle! In 4 years we have lost a total of 380 pounds combined (we both have had gastric bypass), and I have finished a Masters degree and almost completed a Ph.D. I am teaching for a University now and she is a happy stay at home mom to two wonderful dogs! :) I can’t imagine what my life would be like today if I had not met MissBama2B that fateful evening.. Or even what my life would have been like had she not called back in December of 2000… Those 9 months without her were not fun and I don’t ever want to spend another day apart from her.

Posted by Michael Bell in Irvine, CA on January 29, 2006 at 10:10 AM (CST)


It all happened on a chilly, rainy day in april (2004)when me and my youth group went walking for a stroll through scenic forests paths in the shawnee forest. We had been having fun the whole day and we were tired. Well, on our way back we saw two strange figures running off through the woods and we just thought it was two goofballs running around trying to freak people out. And of course it was. My youth group and I decided to go after them just to kill time and have some fun. We sneaked around the woods almost an hour when we they finally stopped, So we snuck up on them as quiet and sneaky as we could, and when they least expected it, we all jumped out at them and scared them to death!! They ran so fast we couldn’t see them 2 seconds later. But when they did I saw something white fall out of one of their pockets. I walked up to it and picked it up, and I didn’t even know what it was! I was so stupid!! Later on the way home I got it out and showed everybody. And my best friend Derec knew what it was! It was a fourth generation Ipod! I asked my friend what it did and he replied that it played music and is the best Mp3 player in the whole wide WORLD! But My STUPID LUCK On the way out of the bus I Drpped it and it BROKE into little pieces everywhere! I was kicking myself in the BUTT all Month but I finally decided to save up and buy me one. So I did, but it took me like five months cause my job is horrible! I finally got it on the Apple website September 2, 2004. I had it about three months when my STUPID LUCK HAPPENED AGAIN! And how ironic it was, I was at work and I was four stories up and I had it in my shirt pocket, I leaned over and it…. FELL! I was CRUSHED! Well I finally thought I was Over Apple and all its glory when I seen the new 5th Generation come out and I had too have IT! I already had money that I was saving so when I got home for work I RAN to my computer, got on the Internet, Got on the Apple website and ORDERED IT! I Received it on November 2, 2005 and I still got it. I am happy how it works and how it looks and I LOVE that I Got a SPECK TOUGH case for it. It’s AMAZING.

BELIEVE it or not My storie is TRUE!

Posted by Whitley Bales in Irvine, CA on January 31, 2006 at 11:19 PM (CST)


The Day My Bliss Was Torn From My Hands
  Well it all started on one vivid fall day. The wind had a small chill to it and the sun was hiding its’ warm rays behind a thin layer of clouds. The squirrels were gathering nuts for the winter and the leaves on the trees were starting to change colors. I was in the twelfth grade and I was just trying to finish my high school days. Then my life was suddenly turned one eighty when I was shot down by the glare of a young lass that would change my life forever.  Before her wondrous eyes met mine that faithful fall day I never knew how painful it was to have someone rip your beating heart out of your chest and crush it right before your eyes. As the days of my high school years grew to an end I felt I had to due something to catch this beauty that would soon be my girlfriend, so I hoped. As weeks passed my thoughts became cluttered with images of this earth angel. So I started to think of a way for her to notice me. I tried to get to her by getting to know her friends and by golly it worked great. We had fun together in so many ways. But as the time past I found that the time we spent together changed a little every time. We started hanging out in groups and as we progressed through the year we found each other as being the only two people left in the group. We soon realized that the time we spent together brought us closer. So I thought it was time to take the next step in my plan. I would ask her if we could be more than just friends. This would be one of the hardest challenges I have ever faced in my life. I was going to ask the girl of my dreams to be my girlfriend. I started to think why she would want to even give me a chance but then I remembered the times we spent together. We had such great times why wouldn’t she want to continue in this direction.  The days went by and I drove my self insane by questioning every little detail in stead of just taking that first step and seeing what the out come would be. I replayed this moment we shared on the ice of the local skating ring in my head over and over.  We were excited and very much unprepared for what we were about to face. This was a first for both of us.  As we walked in to this room where you could see every breath you take in front of you as your toes all went numb and worst of all, your lips turned a light shade of purple.  I soon gave up the warmth of my jacket to try and get her to realize that I cared for her. What a mistake that was. As we skated around and fell an uncountable amount of times on the ice that would sooner or later numb the pain.  I felt that this could be a great chance to try and show her how I felt so I took a risk and as my earth angel fell to the ice one more time I rushed over and reached out my hand to help her up. As she rose off the ice she never let go of my hand the rest of the night. My soggy pants began to dry and my rear end never met the cold of the ice again, nor did hers. That memory screwed with me every waking moment. I didn’t know whether to think she did it because she wanted to hold my hand or if she just was tired of falling and just needed support. But I guest I finally convinced myself to just go and ask her the question. For that next day I asked her to the dance and if the night went well I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend. I began to feel sick as I came to realize the dance was only two days away. I started second guessing myself, and before I knew it those two days turned into an hour.  I was on the door steps of her house And As I reached out to press the door bell I felt a sudden tidal wave of sweat rush over me. I was scared because it was going to be a big night and as the song of the door bell filled the house I could hear a sudden rush of footsteps descend down the stairs and then the door swung open my face had a sudden look of joy that was soon wiped off by the disappointment of her younger brother, who was the one to answer the door. Before I could say a word his mouth opened up and these exact words bolted out “Jo Is not ready yet do you want to see my pet turtle, Carl

Posted by Derek in Irvine, CA on February 1, 2006 at 1:42 AM (CST)


A Life-Changing Game

When I was 16, our family, parents and nine children, moved from Columbus, Georgia to Andalusia, Alabama. I was devastated to change schools and homes, but my dad kept telling me that God had a plan for my life. I doubted it, but I let him think that I believed it.

Despite my doubt, God did have a plan. One evening after school I was playing softball in a kid’s yard down the block. This guy had a huge back yard. There I am standing at the plate with a bat in my hand, ready to knock the cover off the ball. Suddenly, a pulpwood truck drives up on the field, over the pitcher’s mound and points the headlights toward home plate. It stops for a moment, the motor dies, and the guy whose yard it is, hustles from centerfield, over to the truck, yelling and shouting, fists pounding on the door, demanding that the driver move the truck. The door opens, and this tanned “hunk” steps from the truck, looking like Paul Bunyan, paying no attention to his brother. He struts into the house, shirt on his shoulder and that brown curly hair blowing in the wind. It was love at first sight!

I was taken aback, left, and walked silently home to Grandma’s house, without saying goodbye. I walked into the house, where Granddaddy was cooking supper, and Grandma was still working. I never spoke, but went right to the shower. Granddaddy asked if I was sick. I don’t know what I said, but I do know that I was in love with this pulpwood guy. He later became my husband of 30 years. I know now that Pete Mitchell was God’s plan that my daddy talked about for my life.


Life was pretty great after 30 years of marriage. We had married young and raised each other. Pete was 49 years old and I was 48. It had been a blessed, loving, happy marriage, raising three children and having two grandchildren already. It took work and compromise, and being in the company of each other came so naturally. There was no strain, no feeling the need to entertain, just living and loving, sometimes struggling with finances or problems, but always coming together with support for each other. The last two of our three children had gotten married that summer. They had their spouses and their lives now. Pete had said: “Well, we’ve gone full circle, baby. It’s back to you and me, right where we started. We’re not gonna’ work so hard. We’re gonna’ travel. We’ll ride Amtrak out to Los Angeles to the Gene Autry Museum and do a little sightseeing on the way. Yep, We’ve gone full circle, back to you and me.”

That was the beginning of October. By February 13, we had gone full circle back to only me, myself. Pete was dead, gone, deceased from this earth. I had loved him as a part of my own soul. He was a loving, hard-working husband who treated me and the kids with love and respect. He was always doing “random acts of kindness”. He was my friend, my love, my confidante, my spiritual bosom buddy.

How could I live without him? How could the sun even rise without him here? How could the world go on when the centre of the whole universe was gone? My heart was racing. It was hard to breathe. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I sobbed until all the muscles in my body ached. I lay down across the bed and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke in a panic. I recalled the dream I had just awakened from. It seemed so real. I wondered where Pete was. He hardly ever got up before me. Maybe he was in the kitchen making coffee or outside piddling around. Then it hit me that he was gone. It wasn’t a dream. He was dead, gone, his soul departed, passed on - all of the euphemistic ways there is to say it, but none hurt any less. I couldn’t get air in my lungs. I gasped for oxygen.

I jumped up from the bed, threw back the covers and ran to Pete’s closet. There were his clothes, hanging there neatly. Khaki pants, jeans, dress pants, plaid shirts, white shirts, his coveralls - after all plumbers need coveralls when they have to work outside and in unfinished houses and cold buildings. He had worked hard all his life. He had to drop out of school because of poverty, he had hauled pulpwood for a while, then luckily got a job as a helper with the only plumber in his little small hometown in South Alabama.

Then I remembered that he lay alone in a casket, buried under the cold dead ground at the cemetery. He didn’t need coveralls there. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to die instead of him. I implored God how He could have taken Pete and left me to cope without him. It wasn’t right. I screamed. I yelled. I beat the walls. I took a chair and threw it into his closet, knocking half his clothes off the racks. Ashamed of myself, I went over and moved the chair. I gently, tenderly picked up the fallen strewn clothes and hung them back up. As I placed the hangers on the rods, my eyes caught a glimmer of red cellophane paper. What was that, I wondered?

I reached up on the shelf above the hangers and pulled down a heart shaped box covered with red cellophane. I knew what it was and my heart burst with grief and sorrow. It was Pete’s box of candy for me and I remembered that this was past Valentine’s Day, February 17. He had bought this for me and was giving it to me from the grave. There was a card attached that said “To My Honey”, with a pictures of some bees inside. In his crude handwriting, which was never beautiful to anyone except me, he had written, “To my dear wife, I love you Baby. Love, Pete”.

It was at that moment that I went down on my knees with my face to the floor and sobbed until I was weak. But as I sobbed, it was like a fog in my mind had moved out and I could think clearly for the first time since I saw him take his last breath. I knew there was hope that I would see him again. I knew I had to live a life so that I would be with him where he was. The heart shaped box reminded me that there was someone else who loved me even more than Pete did and he had sacrificed Himself for me so that I could see Pete again. He had given me hope and victory over death.

It’s been hard to live without Pete, because I had been married to him two-thirds of my life. I honestly believe that Pete is one of my angels who look over me. He left this earth 12 years ago on February 11, but he still lives in the face of our children. His generosity lives in the mission of my son who recently went into the ministry. He lives in the loving arms of my grandchildren who cling to me and make me feel so needed. He lives in the face of the students I teach, because children naturally bonded to him and he loved them dearly. He lives in every sun that rises and every moon that sets, and one day when God is ready for me, when my work on earth is done, I’ll be with Pete again.

Posted by Pearl Watley Mitchell in Irvine, CA on February 1, 2006 at 1:48 AM (CST)


A love of nine years can be pretty tough to loose.

This is the story of how I lost my dear cat, Jenny.

This past summer, I had left for a wonderful week of camp. I missed my kitty soooo much, but I always look forward to coming home and having her sniff all the new smeels I track in. This year was different though.

When I fist saw her, she had a big red gash on her forehead!! I though maybe she got into a fight with another cat…... or worse my dad had hit her(she had bladder problems and would constantly go to the bathroom around the house instead of the litter box, my dad did not like that!!). I was a bit worried, and then my mom told me she had done it herself. The vet told us she was very anxious. We didn’t need a vet to tell us that. When we first got her she was scared from being in a shelter for months and at such a yound age. So any ways, she was ok for about the first two days that I came home. My parents had taken her to the vet when I was at camp, so one day we got a phone call from the vet. First thing in the morning as I wake up and come out of my room, my dad looks at me with red eyes that you can tell he has been crying. Jenny is sick. There is nothing we can do. Her liver was failing, and my dad was on strike at the moment so an expensive surgery that had less than P success rate was out of the question. I go upstaires and my sister and mom are crouded around my parents bed. Jenny is under there, no doubt in pain, and all we can do is cry. She would not eat, she would not let us hold her, she just wanted to be alone. She was like that for three more days. The night before we had her put down, we took her out from under the bed and lay her in her basket. It was her favorit place the sleep the day away. My sister, still hopeful, tryed to feed her some canned salmon. She licked her finger with juice, but nothing more. In the morning, we let her have one more nap in the sunshine, hugged her to peices, and then my parents took her away. It was really hard to get closure because it was not like she was taken from us suddenly, we knew she was dieing and we couldnt stop it, and she was in pain. I could not function after she was gone. I was to afraid to tell my friends. I did not want to do anything. Finally, I went up to my grand parents summer cottage for three weeks to try and distract myself. It’s hard to believe that a pet you have grown up with since you were six is just gone, and you can’t play with her, or hold her. The first night without her, my dad made me and my mom go on a walk to calm our selves, and when we got home and she was not there at the door of the basement, waiting for us to come home…..... it made me realise that she’s gone. This is the toughest love I have ever had to endure. R.I.P. my baby Jenny.

Posted by Knitting_Teen in Irvine, CA on February 1, 2006 at 7:11 PM (CST)


A reading from one of Chelsea’s letters dated January 10, 2006.  This was written after discussing to her about how I do not trust her in recent weeks.  Notice that this is just one week before the break up.
Chelsea and I were together for a year and almost seven months.  On January 17, after coming home from my math final, I get a call from Chelsea.  She wants to break up because she sees me more as a best friend or brother rather than a boyfriend.  Of course, this came as a shock to me and I begged her not to take this path.  One thing for certain was, I would not be your friend after dumping me.  It was me for all or not at all.  She was not swayed by my pleas for changing her mind.  I cried for hours.  Hours became days.  In my moment of sullen, I visited several websites dealing with relationships and suicidal thoughts.  During the day, I jogged around my neighborhood.  At night, I snuck out and drove for hours.  I set a new record for how fast I have driven my car on Sesnon.  I played chicken with the cliff at the end of Sesnon.  The only thing keeping me from going through with it was the thought that I may live.  I called all my friends, but what they said would not even stop the bleeding from my eyes.  The only person capable or stopping it was the one who started it. 
On Monday, I kept my eyes and mouth shut to block out the reoccurring voice in my head.  On Tuesday, I came up to you asking for a second chance.  By the end of history class, you said there was a 90% chance of getting back together.  I wanted to hang out after school, but you lied and said you had Choir practice.  I went to the girl’s basketball game and watched so I see you cheer.  By the way, Mara, you played a great game.  Then that night in bed, with your voice in my one ear, you told me that we would not get together.  Another very depressing moment.  Yesterday at lunch, you finally told me the truth…. You are leaving me for one of my friends.  Richard Morgan, the kid I always suspected you having a crush on, was your new love.  You admitted to lying to me for weeks about liking him.  You also told me that on Saturday, he and you made out; then again on Tuesday afternoon when you were supposedly at choir practice.  At the end of the lunch, you were crying to be back with me.  I decided to forgive you if you stopped seeing Richard.  Then after school, I saw you at his locker smiling while starring at him. 
I hope you feel guilty for the rest of your life.  I hope you and Richard do not last long.  But whatever you do or say when you come back in weeks, months, or years, will EVER persuade me to love you again.  I talked to 3 of your 4 parents, and everyone understands this and wishes for my best.
We did have several moments I will never forget.
1)I will never forget the memories at the park under the autumn trees where we read to each other stories. 
2)I will never forget the time we kissed for the first time on July 4th under the bursting fireworks. 
3)I will never forget the hours of working for your family’s computer problems as well as all the money I have spent on you. Probably amounts in the thousands.
4)I will never forget the love we shared or at least the love I felt and the love you faked. 
5)I will never forget my first head from you ended with regurgitation.
6)One thing that I will take to my grave is how much I went from loving you to hating you in just a few days.  It must be a world record.
Because of the great family I have, I can get through this.  I will not only get through this; I will get the best feeling I have had in months, freedom.  I feel like I am Cameron from Ferris Buelers Day Off.  He stood bravely at the knowledge of the hell he will receive from his father.  I feel reborn with new understandings.  Don’t get too involved with a girl at this age.  Never mix friends with girlfriends.  Don’t trust blonds and/or cheerleaders.  And whenever I fall like this, the most I learn is how to pick myself up.
The next few months will be difficult to rid you of my mind.  The least you can do is not hang with my friends and not talk to me, as I will not talk to you either.  Your problems are yours so don’t try to involve me.  But looking from here, I can see the blue skies and my true love awaiting my arrival.  Someone without your faults, with everything I love in a woman, and an undying love for me.  I would never kill myself over you, as you are not worth it and I know… my life is going to be a good one.

Posted by IceDog in Irvine, CA on February 4, 2006 at 12:44 PM (CST)


After going through a tough divorce, I swore that I would never fall in love again.  But one night in a poetry class I met Megan and my life totally changed.  We laughed together and loved together for six months when my world came crashing down on me.

I was having some medical problems and I asked Megan to drive me to an appointment to have some gall bladder testing done.  I remember the drive there but I don’t recall anything else but waking up at home hours later with Megan and her mother with me.

They explained to me that the doctor told them that I had a rare terminal liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and that I was dying.  I was devestated.  I was new to the town that I lived in, had just fallen in love with Meg and my world came crashing down.

The next day, I thought that I would wake up alone and be forced to deal with all of this on my own.  But, when I woke Meg was there and she looked at me with her pretty eyes full of tears and said, “I was here yesterday, I am here today and I will be here tomorrow.”  I had never met someone that dedicated.

So, now I wait for a liver transplant but my chances are rather slim because I am also a cancer survivor.  Megan and I know that I may not have a long life but we refuse to stop living and loving.  It has been almost three years since the bad news and last year I proposed to her in front of over 100 people at a poetry contest.  We will have a fairytale wedding this April 22.  We refuse to let my illness hold us back.

Megan taught me that love is pure and real and full of passion and I don’t know how she does it.  I will always love her.

That is real love.  That is passion.  That is the fire of two dedicated hearts.  Every Valentine’s Day with her is a true celebration!

Posted by Ruben Porras in Irvine, CA on February 5, 2006 at 12:23 AM (CST)


My Love Story by Dave

I have lost my iPod.  Yes that is right my iPod.  It is killing me everyday that I am with out it.  iPod and I were inseperable.  We went every where together. iPod was even with me when I got married.  In fact I had the photographer take pictures of me and iPod together and then some of me and my wife and iPod.  Life was great, unitl the fateful day that I was running errands for my wife.  I had gotten home and had so many things in my hands, iPod was nestled away in my pocket and I everything else is a blurr after walking thorugh my front door.  I thought I had set down iPod next to iBook.  When I went back to look for iPod it wasn’t there.  I can’t find it anywhere.  I have torn through my whole house, my car, and even shovled snow out of my yard.  It has been three weeks since I have had iPod.  I dont know where it is. I hate thinking that iPod is out there wondering the streets with out me, all alone and cold. Does someone have thier grubby little hands all over my iPod?  Did some one iPod-nap it?  I don’t know, and it is driving me crazy.  I have even made up wanted/missing flyers and posted up at work. 
I miss iPod.  iPod was my everything.  So if you see a lonely iPod wondering the streets looking lost, tell iPod that I miss it and I want it to come home, where it is safe and warm.

by Dave

Posted by Dave in Irvine, CA on February 9, 2006 at 1:00 PM (CST)


Summer 1977….My cat Rocky…beloved , smart , sweet and super silky jumps into a 1974 Nova parked next door to our neighbor’s house. Of course, I can kick myself because the whole “our gang” cast of kids including myself is out playing in the street with sticks and dirt and plastic horses and someone in brown plaid pants and a blue windbreaker casually mentions…hey..I think your cat just jumped in that car’s back seat. Nooooo..apparently I was too busy riding my plaid bannana seated Holly Hobby bike to pay attention. So, the day passes by as summer days do and my Mom asks me if we have seen Rocky. My brother and I looked at her…Rocky ? Rocky who ?  Oh, you mean our beloved cat who we adore and is the king of his little castle in our home ? “Oh yea…I think the fat kid in the brown plaid pants that we only play with because he brings his green machine said he saw Rocky jump in Mrs. Morrisy’s car”.... Holy smokes batman !! It then sank in to my pea sized brain…Rocky is not here and he took a ride with the neighbor’s friend!! Here come the tears….me , Mom , my brother…my Dad just looked at us.  Two weeks pass by…no Rocky…we looked everywhere…then one afternoon on my way home from school I walked up the walkway to our front door and ROCKY IS SITTING THERE !!! I opened the front door and found my Mom sitting on the toilet that faced the entrance this day she doesn’t close the bathroom door. Claustrophobia ?  MOM !! Rocky has found his way home !!  There she sat, underwear and bellbottoms around her ankles..My GOD, IT’S A MIRACLE !! she was crying and praying…Italians have a flair for the dramatic.  So, little Rocky Rooney made it home and we loved him, sqeezed him, and watched him around cars for the rest of his little life. He was our little Valentine that day and it was also the day my Mom flashed her antipasta to the neighborhood in celebration of his return. Good Times.

Posted by LISA PAGE in Irvine, CA on February 10, 2006 at 10:04 AM (CST)


The Perv and the iPod: A Valentine’s Day Story
By Jen M.

Last February 14th I had an unusual Valentine: A man jerking off on the subway. Now, for several stops, I hadn’t noticed my admirer and when I finally did, I panicked, screamed and quickly ran to the next cart to jump of the train at the next stop. While getting off the subway, the unthinkable happened: I dropped my Pink iPod Mini down on the track between the cart and the platform. YIKES! To make matters even worse it slid directly under the third rail. More upset about the iPod than the perv, I called security, described the suspect and asked them if there was anyway I could ever get my iPod back.

After several calls to maintenance and 45 minutes of waiting in the Philly Broad Street station, two men with a ladder and a flashlight appeared like cupid’s angels. As the men climbed down into the——-dreary tracks, I realized that they were about to stop the 6 O’clock Northbound train! There would be hell to pay! At first there were only about 5 people waiting to go home, obviously drained from just getting off of work. Then there were 10, 15, 20 and growing. I stood with my head hung low. My Valentine’s Day had been ruined and I was about to drag all these people down with me. Great.

“What is taking so long?

Posted by Jennifer McCluskey in Irvine, CA on February 11, 2006 at 12:12 PM (CST)

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