Category Archives: Uncategorized

On the Verge (Remix Edition)


According to the Bloggers Etiquette Handbook (if there really is one) I have to take this time to apologize to my loyal fans, who are hopefully still out there!  I took a break from blogging for a year. Traded in my keyboard for a cutting board and channeled all of my creativity into the kitchen. And though it has definitely paid off( just ask those who benefit from my culinary stylings), my inner Carrie Bradshaw was telling my inner Ina Garten to put the knives down and pick up the laptop again. So here I am, back at it. I bet you missed me, didn’t ya?!

I guess there IS a handbook!

I guess there IS a handbook!

A ton has happened this year. Engagements, weddings, babies, awards, marathons, promotions, moving homes. None of them happened to me. What has happened to me, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I survived culinary school with all ten fingers in tact. If you know me personally, you know that is a feat within itself! I followed up culinary school with a 3 month externship at a catering prep kitchen where I was one of the only native English speakers in the kitchen. Now, I have started my own personal chef business, RR Personal Chef Services (“Like” it on Facebook) and most recently began assisting cooking classes at Sur La Table. I’m sure you’re all thinking “Wow, she has done so much this year!”.  And though, yes I have and I am pretty proud of myself, I feel like I wanted there to be more. Which is probably another reason why I took a time out from typing.


I didn’t run a marathon, but I did marathon through 2 seasons of both Homeland and Suits in just 48 hrs respectively. I didn’t start working out as much as I told myself I would, but I did join a bowling team (where, no joke, I bowled a 30 one game. Yes, a 30). I didn’t have a baby, but a lot of my friends did and I now know more about swaddling and “Sophie the Giraffe” than most single ladies. I didn’t get married, but I did collect enough ridiculous dating stories to warrant a “Modern Love” article in the NYTimes Sunday Style section. I didn’t move apartments, but I have committed to keeping my current one in a slightly less “hoarder-esque” condition. I didn’t get a promotion, but hey, I hear my “boss” is a people pleaser so fingers crossed 😉

To be perfectly honest (& I guess that is what blogging is for) I never thought of myself as being the girl whose career was going the be the most successful facet of her life. But who knew that all of those “family dinners” I made for my friends or little treats I’d bake for my old co-workers would eventually lead me to being a personal chef. So, I guess what I considered as inconsequential events over the last year could turn out to be something more. Not that I’m about to be a professional bowler or CIA agent like Carrie Mathison. BUT one of those bad dates could eventually become a good one. Decluttering my apartment may help me declutter my whole life. All that baby knowledge…it’ll be out to use some day for sure. Until then, I’m just going to stop disregarding the little things that happen to me and start figuring out what I’m on the verge of next.

whats next



Happy Birthday to my sister
It’s about that time…
To show off our family forte
So here’s a celebratory rhyme
27 years ago
On a hot August eight
My little sister was born
Her name – Robin, Kate
With long brown hair and big blue eyes
She is beyond super cute
She’s smart stylish and funny
And has great dance moves, to boot!
She’s taking the fashion world by storm
From her desk at Valentino
When looking for something to wear
It is to her closet that we go.
Dressed in red and white-
She’s always cheering for Bucky
Sorry, Cuse knocked you out of the tourney,
Hopefully next year you’ll get lucky!
She parties at Coachella and summers on Ocean Ave
Always searching for “GLH”
Find it and let me know you have!?
Some  people still get fooled
By our similar ways…
Even though I’m the older one
She’s got way more greys!!
We walk alike we talk alike
We even have matching tattoos
When it comes to being the sisters Robin
It is hard to lose.
I’ll keep this short and sweet,
Katie isn’t always a fan of attention
But before I end this poem,
There is something I should mention
KJR, when it comes to siblings
I really lucked out
People want to be like us
That I have no doubt
Thanks for being my best pal
My dance partner and style guru
Thanks for being awesome
And thanks for being you!!

Happy birthday!


For a man of few words, here are a few words for the man…

Dapper-like the Don Draper of the new millennium.  As the financial world he works in gets more casual by the year, my dad still insists on wearing a suit and tie to work every day.  Casual Fridays are a sin.  My dad has a weekend “uniform”.  Nantucket red shorts and an awesome random t-shirt that he has picked up along his travels with my mom.  He accessorizes with his grey New Balance 990s and of course, Ray-Ban aviators.  A spritz of Aramis cologne, and he is ready to take on the world.

Cool– I mean, driving around in his Mini-Cooper with the top down wearing the aforementioned Ray-Bans, can you THINK of a cooler guy?! My dad likes indigenous beer.  Whenever we are away, he solely drinks the native brew.  He listens to great music.  I actually thank (and blame) my dad for my penchant for classic rock.  On long car family car rides, I don’t remember listening to Disney music or Rafi after the first 30 minutes.  We listened to The Cars, Huey Lewis and the News, and the 104.3 “Classics Countdown”.  I make fun of my friends for going to see Phish every night when they are in NYC for 4 nights, but when my dad does the same thing every March when the Allman Brothers play the Beacon Theater, I think it is the pinnacle of cool dad (and I even tagged along once).  And my dad went to camp, my camp.  No need to further explain how this sky rockets him up the cool scale.

Allman Brothers at The Beacon

Creature of Habit- If the world were to stop evolving, I think my dad would be okay with it.  Actually, if it stopped evolving 10 years ago he would have been MORE than okay.  He does not need technology.  He’s had a Blackberry for years, but still hasn’t mastered the art of BBMing.  If my dad has something to say to you, he’ll call.  And he does NOT believe in GPS.  I think the only reason we have it in our current car is because it was an automatic feature.  I can’t imagine my dad even bothered learning how to operate it.  Where ever he is going, he knows how to get there. I can guarantee that every time I take a picture with my dad, he has to make himself laugh.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.    The culinary world has grown leaps and bounds over the years, but my dad is still happy with having Cheerios for breakfast, pb&j with Fritos for lunch, and a hot dog & a beer for dinner.  And if I wander into the kitchen late at night? I know I can find my dad sitting by the light of the television dunking Oreos in milk in his terrycloth bathrobe. At our beach house I know if I can’t find my dad, he is most likely sitting outside on a lounge chair in lacrosse shorts with a Rolling Rock (his beer of choice).

Celebrity – And this is not just because he looks like Sam Waterston (and according to my mom, Adrien Brody in his younger years).  It seems EVERYONE knows my dad, or at least of him.  One thing my dad never has to worry about is people forgetting they had met him before (one of my ultimate pet peeves).  I don’t know what it is, but people get excited when they know my dad is coming around.  He has a few signature moves and phrases that keep him in the “Brilliant Highbrow” quadrant of the NY Magazine Approval Matrix.  He uses terms like “good fun”, “forward moving motion”, and “ascertain the situation” which are both mind blowing and  genius all at the same time.  He dances the “Dave Rave”, which is a modified version of the Electric Slide.  And then he has his wave-aptly named “The DavidRobin Wave”.  This wave, this GLORIOUS wave, will ensure no one will ever miss him. He stiffly extends his right arm straight into the air, holds his hand up so that all five fingers are spread as far apart as possible, and quickly shakes his hand using a quick side to side motion whilst his arm is still reaching as high as he can get it.  Believe me, he has never lost anyone in a crowd before.  This is going to become a world wide phenomenon-if it hasn’t already.


Ladies Man– And not what you are thinking.  I actually don’t know if my dad is that type of “ladies man”.  He’s been with my mom since they went to SLEEP AWAY CAMP, so he doesn’t have much of a history with the ladies.  What I do mean is that my dad, after living in a female dominated household for 30+ years, can pretty much successfully navigate his way through any situation the women in his life throw his way.  My dad doesn’t yell.  When there is a problem he will talk firmly in a very level voice (as to not add any additional tears to the conversation) and try to “ascertain the situation”.  My dad keeps up with the Kardashians and dances with the stars.  He may not remember every friends’ name, but he’s happy to sit and gossip about them at the dinner table.  And no man, I mean NO MAN, looks as good carrying a black Longchamp travel bag through Newark Airport than my dad.

The one downside to my dad is that he has set the bar so INCREDIBLY high, that it is going to be virtually impossible to find a guy as great as him.  I guess for a dad of 2 daughters, that was his exact plan!  Thanks for being you, Dad.  Happy Fathers Day.


Life Under The Broiler

I know, I know.  No need to get irrationally angry with me.  I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few months.  But, blog followers, you should be happy that I have been so busy…or at least busier than I was during my 265 day weekend.  Here I am and I PROMISE to try and be more diligent about posting!  But I have to tell you, culinary school is no cake walk.  It is HARD-much harder than I could have ever anticipated.  It’s not the cooking part (because let’s be honest, this b*tch can cook!) it’s everything that comes along with it.

Firstly, no one thought to caution “Calamity Jane” over here about picking a profession that uses knives and fire?! Thanks.  I have learned (and unfortunately am still learning) the hard way.  Though I wasn’t the first person in my class to slice a finger, I WAS the first (and not surprisingly) to make a scene about it.  I mean, let’s be honest people, when dicing a potato (which I’ll get into shortly) and all of a sudden a sharp chef’s knife slices through the pad of your thumb, you too are going to make some sort of  high pitched yelping/yelling noise as you dash to the “first-aid corner”.  Truth be told, I have gotten much better about cutting more food than fingers, but then there are the burns.  For some reason (and we know I am NOT a brave person) I feel as if when I cook, I am invincible to heat.  Convection oven? Let me open you with a bare hand. Noodle stuck at the bottom of a deep pot? Oh, let me stick my whole arm into the pot to fish you out.  Flambe? Kidding, I don’t do that! My classmates have learned better 🙂

Secondly, I begin class at 8am every day Monday-Friday.  Well, we really start filing into the kitchen around 7:30am.  Fully dressed in our chef’s whites (THE most unflattering outfit of all time) we set up the kitchen, prep for the day ahead, and generally complain about how tired we are.  Some days we have a lecture before the cooking madness begins, but other days we get right into the thick of it.  I recall one day, by 8:07am we were all driving our chef’s knives right through the brains of a live lobster! I can only imagine that at 8:07am, you were still home watching Matt Lauer out on the plaza.  By the time we have prepared, plated, and eaten our assignments for the day and cleaned the kitchen, it is noon and time to go home.

Now, I know you are all thinking “out by noon?! There is no excuse not to blog!”.  And let me tell you, I have TRIED to blog.  I’ll sit with my laptop on my couch, and what I think is a blink has turned into a TWO AND A HALF HOUR NAP!  I’m not kidding. I don’t joke about naps-I am dead serious about napping.  I am a professional napper, so when I nap, it is nothing out of the ordinary.  Except when these two hour+ naps happen every day.  I didn’t bring it up with any of my classmates at first, because I am one of the oldest and I didn’t need to feel older than I already do.  But then, one GLORIOUS day, I was texting with one of my classmates after class when all of a sudden the conversation came to a halt.  I didn’t really think anything of it, but when I got to class I was busting his balls about it (as I tend to do).  I mean, you don’t leave a girl hanging!  He leaned down a quietly said, “sorry, I passed out and took a two hour nap”.  With the same excitement I felt the day I got into culinary school, I clapped and exclaimed (too loudly) “NAP!? ME TOO! I NAP EVERYDAY!”.  And then more nappers started coming out of the woodwork.  Everyone really embraced the nap.  Now, we talk about our naps from the previous day or how we are going to situate ourselves for the nap ahead of us.  I know most of my friends’ preferred nap times, so now I’ll never get an unanswered text!

Ok, now let’s talk about my true enemy.  The bain of my existence.  The thing that keeps me up at night.  The reason I shake in my chef clogs. MEDIUM DICED POTATOES.  I’m pretty confident in my knife skills.  Give me an onion, I’ll dice it.  Give me a pepper, I’ll julienne it. Give me a head of garlic, I’ll mince it into a paste.  Give me a rack of lamb, I’ll butcher it (apprehensively).  But ask me to medium dice a potato-the blood rushes from my face and I immediately am searching for an excuse to do something else.  Unfortunately, these 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1/2″ potato cubes haunt me and my dreams.  For some reason, I just can’t get a handle on them.  I mean, to the untrained eye, my tiny potato squares look pretty good.  But to me and my chef instructors, I can not serve rhombus shaped food (even though they will taste just as delicious).  I’ve admittedly gotten SO much better than I was in the beginning of school, but I still come home and do some practice dicing.  I can’t have any more potato based nightmares!!

Medium Diced Potatoes

Yes, I do realize that up until now, this entire blog post has been all complaining.  But for those three reasons I’m complaining about culinary school, (one more minor complaint.  People, I’m not taking COOKING CLASSES.  I’M IN CULINARY SCHOOL.  Major difference) there are a million reasons why I love it.  Firstly, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing.  There are few things in the world that make me happier than cooking.  I know it sounds silly, but cooking to me makes me feel like I’m making magic happen.  I sometimes can’t believe that I take these raw ingredients, cut ’em up, cook ’em up, and BOOM! Something deliciously magical is on the plate in front of me.  I know it isn’t really magic, but it’s the closest I’m ever going to come to being Hermoine Granger.  Secondly, I love my instructors.  Specifically, the one we just had.  She was a feisty, take-no-bullsh*t, foul mouthed, chef.  Basically, she is my personal Oprah.  What she says, I believe.  What she does, I want to do.  If it were possible, I would want her to adopt me into her family (sorry Mom and Dad).  But really, she made me feel more confident in the kitchen and that I actually CAN do this!

And really, the BEST part of going to culinary school is my class.  I love them.  Yes, we butt heads.  It is hot in that kitchen and there are clashing personalities, but I could not think of another group of 14 people I would rather see every morning.  My biggest fear about starting school was that I wasn’t going to make any friends (I know, I literally had bigger fish to fry, but I couldn’t help it).  After the first day, the fear was quickly quelled.  We were all in the same boat.  We were all at the same start line running towards the same finish line.  We were all there wanting to cook.  And that is what brings our motley crew together.  Well, that and our disgustingly raunchy (for 8am) “get your head out of the gutter” brand of humor.  And I’ll be honest, not everyone is best friends, but I think (or at least hope) we genuinely respect each other.  I want everyone in my class to succeed.  I really hope to see them one day on The Food Network or on the cover of Food & Wine or on the list of James Beard Award Winners…and I hope they wish the same for me.

Our Motley Crew

The other evening, I was hanging out at my friend’s apartment when they commented on how I’ve become a little “tougher” since I’ve started school. Through all of the burns, cuts, arguments, and medium diced potatoes I have grown a thicker skin, but I could not imagine being happier than I am now.    And hey, as they say…if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!


What better way to bring my blog back into the world than posting about the person who brought me into the world!?

There is not doubt that I am my mother’s daughter.  Besides the fact that we could be mistaken as twins in the right light, a lot of who I am (for better or worse) I got from my mom.  She’s the one who taught me to never back down from a good fight-even if I may be wrong.  She taught me to accessorize my H&M dresses with Chanel ballet flats.  She taught me how to fake-break in the passengers seat**.  My mom taught me the arts of gossiping and napping. She taught me how to set a perfect table and host a dinner party (yes, you mom, not Ina).  She taught me how to appreciate flannel nightgowns and early bed-times. My mom taught me my camp alma mater.

My mom was the one taught me how to tell a good joke…but we are both still working on how to take one 😉  She introduced me to the wonderous world of prime-time television.  My mom taught me how to use my new iPhone/iPad and seriously kicks my ass in Words With Friends every time(I wish she would teach me her secrets).  My mom taught me how to pick out the perfect birthday card.  She taught me how to be quick and witty…and just a little bit bitchy.  She taught me how to look out for myself.  She taught me how to make brisket.  My mom taught me how to really laugh…and punctuate it with a snort!

Mom, you are the Goldie to my Kate.  The Demi to my Rumor.  The Tori to my Stella.  The Theresa to my Gia. The Beyonce to my Blue Ivy. The Kris to my Kim. The Blythe to my Gwenyth.  The Hilary to my Chelsea.

Thanks Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

**Something of note: my mom did NOT teach me how to drive.  Yet ONCE I drove over a curb, and since then she has only been in the car with my a handful of times in 14 years**

From The Kitchen With Love

I love food.  I do, I’m sorry.  Judge me all you want, but out of all of my vices (and believe me, I have a number of them) food would be the one I could never give up.  And I’m not just talking about outlandish meals from 4 star restaurants.  I’m also talking about rye bread & butter, scrambled eggs, pb&j, noodles with parm cheese, roasted chicken. I can’t remember a time in my life where I DIDN’T love food (I mean, just check out the size of my derriere).

Food isn’t just about how it tastes.  It’s about a feeling it gives you. With one bite, one look, one sniff, food can fill you with a flood of emotion.  Food can bring back memories you sometimes forget are there.  To this day, every time I walk passed Scoop du Jour (nee Dreeson’s Donuts) in East Hampton and get a whiff of the fresh donuts being made I am instantly sent back to being 6 years old, sitting on a bench, eating a fresh cinnamon sugar donut with my Poppa during the early hours of a summer Saturday.  I can feel the warm sun on my face, the bench wood slightly pinching my chubby thighs, and the light film of grease and sugar on my fingers.


The love extends past just eating, I’m a lifelong food tv junkie.  Before there was the Food Network, I would watch “The Frugal Gourmet” with Jeff Smith (on which my cousin Paul made an appearance) on PBS.   I was entranced by the chef’s soothing Pacific Northwest accent and the magic of his cookery.  I remember watching once with my Poppa (who I credit with teaching me to love food) and we later replicated the recipes we saw on tv.  I remember how exciting it was to watch this meal come to life.

The Frugal Gourmet

And then came the Food Network.  Oh, the mighty Food Network.  It isn’t confirmed, but I think I can pretty much guarantee I was one of the first viewers the network ever had.  I would watch every show that channel had to offer–except for Emeril. I just can’t get myself behind the “Bam!”.  Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals” was like a gift from heaven (before she became an annoying sell-out).  I was hooked on that show like it was crack.  I would stay up late at night watching “Good Eats” and learning the science of food with Alton Brown.  And the original Iron Chef!! Oh, who cared if it was in Japanese and had weird translator voices, it was GLORIOUS!!!

The irony in all of this is that as much as I loved food, I never cooked.  EVER.  My mom never needed a sous chef when we were growing up.  Yes, we would occasionally bake cookies and banana bread but it was few and far between.  I was an expert in making cheese-eggs and turkey sandwiches, but that was the extent of my cooking experience.  If you don’t believe me, ask my college roommates.  Senior year, I would make the BEST reservations and take out orders Syracuse had ever seen.  I don’t think I ever used anything in our kitchen.  I was more familiar with the woman who picked up the phone at #1 Kitchen (the greasiest Chinese take-out that ever existed) than I was with our toaster oven.  I always wanted to learn to cook though.  There was a part of me that was yearning to know how to do it.

Dinner is served

And as fate would have it, I DID in fact learn how to cook.  During my “freshman year of life” I had my first real boyfriend.  He knew of my desire to cook and I even tried to make one (not so successful) meal for him.  Even though, like the meal, the relationship wasn’t successful he left me with two of the greatest gifts I had ever received…a George Foreman Grill and a gift certificate for an “Intro to Cooking Techniques” class.  After a year of putting it off (mainly because I was nervous about not knowing anyone in the class), I finally signed up for this 5 week cooking course.  HOLY BAJESUS!! I was hooked.  Addicted.  Obsessed. I could not get over the fact that I could actually cook.  And I was pretty good.  It was NOT as hard as it looked.  Even after a mandolin sliced the tip of my finger off, I could not wait to get bandaged up and back into the kitchen.  Cooking gave me a rush I had never felt before.

After that class I couldn’t stop cooking.  I would test out new my new skills and recipes on my friends.  I would bring treats into the office for my co-workers to sample.  I’m more than happy to offer to bring a dish to a friend’s party or a holiday meal.  I voraciously read cook books and mark off recipes that I dream about making.  I reserve Sunday afternoons for cooking.  I’ll not only cook for the day, but I’ll be in the kitchen for hours prepping meals for the week ahead. Cooking’s calming and exciting all at the same time. And I guess I was pretty good at cooking, because every time I would debut a new dish I would get compliments and rave reviews.  At first I thought it was just because people were just being nice, but then again, we are in New York…people aren’t that nice!  The more I would cook, the prouder I was at what I had accomplished, yet I never thought that I could turn this into anything except a hobby.

Reading material

Then, July 7th happened and I was let go from my job.  I spent MONTHS trying to figure out my next move.  I loved event planning, but I would hesitate when applying for any opening I would find.  Maybe I wanted to go into non-profit?! But no, I wasn’t qualified for even the most elementary of positions.  Teaching?? I toyed with that idea for a bit, but then realized I would probably want to drop kick a kid out the window the minute they bothered me.  Back in January, in a fit of vulnerability and despair, I went to my Dad’s office for help.  I sat in a little conference room with him hysterically crying (I mean, I ALWAYS cry).  What was I supposed to do with my life?! Where did I fit in?! Did I have the skills to do anything?!  After he let me “woe-is-me” for a few minutes, he said “What do you honestly want to do?”  Honestly, I just wanted to cook.  “So let’s do it”, he said.  I left that meeting with my dad, motivated, invigorated, and ready to take on the culinary world.  I set up a meeting with an admissions counselor, and within a week I was enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education’s Culinary Arts program. And as of tomorrow at 8am, I will officially be a student in culinary school!!! HOLY SHITBALLS!!!!

My goal is not to open a restaurant.  My goal is not to become a celebri-chef (though, I would totally kick Rachael Ray’s ass in ratings).  My goal is to make people love food the way I do.  To be able to create the feelings, emotions, and memories for others that I cherish so much.  And I’ve actually started this venture, even before school started.  The  fates aligned (I’m telling you, I believe strongly in karma) and I have been cooking part time for a family here on the Upper East Side.  I prepare 6 nights of meals for a couple who once solely relied on a cookbook full of take-out menus.  I love cooking their meals as much as they love eating them. What an incredible feeling to know that I am doing what I love and people are enjoying it!

When I lost my job, I constantly heard “everything happens for a reason” and “this is a blessing in disguise”.  And as hard as it was to hear then, those words could NOT be truer than they are today.  I am about to embark on something that I could only dream of before.  There aren’t many people that are truly doing what they love.  And not to rub it in, but after tomorrow, I can say that I am one of them 🙂

My New Uniform

Orange Madness

The ball is tipped and there you are.  You’re running for your life, you’re a shooting star. And all those years no one knows.  Just how hard you worked, but now it shooooooooooooooooooooooooows… 

Could Luther Vandross have sung a more inspirational song? I think not.  Today, bloggies, begins possibly my most favorite sports event of the year…the NCAA tournament.  I love college basketball.  Specifically Syracuse basketball. Seriously love.  I know that I write “I love this” and “I love that” pretty often in this blog, but if you know me in real life, this is NO JOKE. I often change my Facebook profile picture during the the season to reflect my love for the team. When it comes to college basketball I will stop at nothing to watch the game.  I rearrange my already packed DVR in order to watch live.  With my fellow fan friend Laura, I usually watch most games.  If we aren’t together, our texts during the games are epic.  And when it comes to March Madness, my common response to emails about future plans is “I can not commit to any plans until the bracket is released”. Nothing comes between me and my love for the Orange.

Have you ever been to the Carrier Dome for a basketball game before?  Well, put it on your bucket list, sports fans.  It is an incredible place to watch a basketball game.  On my 19th birthday, while all of my other freshman girlfriends were going through the rush process, my 3 guy friends took me to a Cuse V Seton Hall (ironically, my hometown team) basketball game.  Though I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on during the game (seriously, it has taken me 12 years of fandom to figure out the significance of the 2:3 zone), the feeling in the Carrier Dome that night was electrifying!  They don’t call it the loud house for nothing.  The building literally rocks during the entire game.  Otto runs the perimeter of the court and the sea of orange fans chant “F* ’em up, F* ’em up, GO SU!” Even the Dunkin Bright halftime show gets more applause than some Knicks games I’ve been to. I was addicted!

My first two years at school, the team wasn’t so great.  And then…and then came the 2002-2003 basketball season.  Carmelo.  Gerry.  Hakim.  Kueth.  Jeremy.  Love love love love love.  This team.  This glorious team.  As I spent the winter of 2003 studying abroad in London; the Syracuse basketball team was making its way through the regular season, the Big East Tournament, and through the field of 64 to find themselves in the National Championship game.  The other abroadies and I would hang out at the Sports Cafe in Piccadilly to   watch all of the games.  After each ulcer-inducing gut-wrenching game, I remember screaming into my pay-as-you-go cell phone every night to my dad after each win “We are a second half team! I knew we were going to do it!” 

That championship game night is something I will never forget. Since the game started at 2am London time, we had made special arrangements that the Sports Cafe would stay open for us to watch.  Decked in head to toe Syracuse gear, we all filed into the bar where they set up a huge screen for us to watch the game.  A tense and exhausting few hours to say the least, when Hakim Warrick blocked Kansas’ game tying shot to win the game, it was all worth it!! We ran through the streets of London as if we owned them-and we did as it was 5am!  People jumped in the fountains, we screamed through the streets, we called our friends who were celebrating on Marshall Street.  WE WERE THE CHAMPIONS!

But being a Syracuse Basketball fan isn’t always sunshine and championships.  This year alone we dealt with the Bernie Fine allegations and the double suspension of (not so) Fab Melo. Billy Edelin was suspended in 2001 for misconduct with a female student (then disappeared off the face of the earth).  Arinze Onuaku suffered a (basically) career ending injury during the 2010 Big East Tournament.  We prematurely lost players to the NBA draft: Jonny Flynn, Wes Johnson, Paul Harris, Carmelo Anthony-probably Dion Waiters this year.  And let’s NOT discuss the excruciating loss to Vermont in the first round of the 2005  tournament.  I am STILL trying to recover from that game.

What, or should I say who, gets me from season to season is the man himself, James (Jim) Arthur Boeheim.  He is my spiritual leader.  He is my true center.  If he wanted me to join a cult I’d say “where’s the kool-aid and matching sneakers?”.  He is the glue that holds the team and it’s fans together.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter what political party he is a part of, I would vote Boeheim for President.  He is the 3rd most winningest (is that a word?!) coach in college basketball and the 1st most winningest in my heart.  The team line-up changes year to year, but he is the one constant the Orange fans have.  His coaching style is like a dad…tough love.  He’ll sit a player in the “punishment chair” after a horrendous play, but then highlight their strength of character in a post game interview.  He’s taught the players that it isn’t about the individual, it’s about the team.  He genuinely loves Syracuse and Syracuse genuinely loves him.  Not to mention the fact that his face looks like it’s made of silly putty and his side-court hand gestures have made me believe that his wrist joints don’t exist. 

On a personal note (well, this is my blog, so it is ALL a personal note), the biggest Robin family March Madness nightmare is slowly becoming a reality.  My beloved Orange could possibly meet my sister’s Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16 round.  For my father, I think this would be his own personal hell.  He will be democratic and wear gear from both schools, but without a doubt he will not pick up a phone call from either of his daughters, and will probably watch the game alone…in a closet…trying not to root for anyone.  For me, if (when) Syracuse beats Wisconsin it will be my own personal victory.  Take THAT admissions office in Madison!!

At 3:10pm today, Syracuse tips off against UNC-Ashville in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.  And even though we are ranked #1 in the East Region, it is not going to be an easy road to New Orleans for us.  Taking the Big East Defensive Player of the Year out of the equation is genuinely a frightening thought, but as the experts have said all year, our bench is “deep” and we will fill the gap that the wonky eyed Brazilian has left us with.  Hopefully (Rakeem) Christmas will come early for us Orange-folk, and our team will shine as bright as Rudolphs nose!  I hope the path to the championship game is paved in orange, but no matter what happens in the tournament, I will ALWAYS love March Madness and the Syracuse basketball.  Just remember what Luther sang:

And when it’s done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew…