Friday, July 29, 2011

Smack Talk, Shuttlecocks, and Ducks

I enjoy games. Not a whole lot will make me happier than playing Yahtzee on the patio on a summer day. I also really like Jenga.

I am by and large not a competitor as I do not have an athletic bone in my body and never really get psyched for the big game. Badminton is about as badass as I get. Plus, shuttlecock is a hilarious word.

Invite me to play a board game, cards, or trivia though? BRING IT ON.

My trash-talking, ready-for-action self is ready for the cut-throat competition. I turn into a different person. One who uses phrases such as IN YOUR FACE! and PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT! There are other phrases loudly expressed but I can’t really think of them when I am not under pressure during an intense game of cribbage.

My best girlfriend Jillian is similar. She’s even more competitive and also has a knack for talking smack. Our cribbage games are interesting to overhear. We almost got into fisticuffs once over a game of Trivial Pursuit. If Jillian ever reads this: I am still right. Luckily, our friendship survived and we were able to carry on with our games.

Camping and Cribbage

Bobaloo is awesome and will play Yahtzee with me. He’s not such a fan of the trash-talk so I keep it to a minimum. Cooperation, not competition.

We also have had a two-year rock-paper-scissor tournament going on. He has consistently won EVERY game for the last two years up until a couple of weeks ago. I won, and the smack talk began. It went on for a good half hour or so. Yep. He wins 100 times; I win once and won’t shut up about it. He reclaimed the title last Sunday so my victory was short-lived. He is a quiet winner. Never bragging, never rubbing it in. Dignified.

Then something happened. Something unprecedented. The 4th of July duck races.

He won the first race (well his duck did).

He cheered his duck on.

Pictures were taken of the winning duck.

We even held a ceremony for the duck: Bobaloo won a tee shirt. We celebrated the duck victory hard (with a pitcher of beer).

He was a proud champion.

He was happy as a duck in water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gimme Shelter

There weren't a lot of boundaries when I was a kid. There were a few rules to be followed and with the rest, my parents just kind of hoped good old common sense would kick in.

My dad has always been weird about safety. Safety Dave. He was a boy scout. If you take me camping, I'll be really prepared.

I will have my raingear and maglite, promise.

If you count from a flash of lightning to the next thunder and divide the seconds by five that is how many miles the lightning is from you.

I was three when I remembered hail for the first time. It broke the kitchen window and I sobbed when dad went outside by the tree to take pictures of the ice stones. The front steps were AstroTurf and the railing was wrought iron.

There, you can feel a storm coming. The barometric pressure makes your bones feel peculiar. The sky becomes eerie and the clouds develop into worrisome formations. Colors change. I am afraid of storms. My heart drops down to the pit of my stomach and I worry.

In the warm months of Minnesota, the tornado and thunderstorm and flash flood warnings are a fairly regular sound. Then, a lady's voice comes over the emergency broadcast speakers and tells you to seek immediate shelter.

This was a Safety Dave rule. Get home, get in the basement, have flashlights, listen to the radio, or watch the weather report.

My brother David was always in the garage watching the storm approach, the clouds change, and the lightning. I wanted safety. Sometimes my mom and dad were home. Sometimes I was alone. Sometimes I was with one brother or the other or with both. Thunder so loud it would reverberate in your chest. I waited storms out in the basement.

Weather can be terrifying. Especially, when you're a kid.

Colorado monsoon season is happening. Almost every afternoon for the past couple of weeks there have been thunderstorms. Rain, hail, lightning, thunder, fast water, etc.

The storms come in and roll out quickly here. Sirens don't go off very often.

Still, when the rain begins and I am rattled by the claps of thunder and the lightning I cannot help but want to go home and get in the basement. I don't use the phone or shower when there is lightning either.

I know I am safe. I keep myself safe.

Why are some fears more difficult to outgrow than others?
Do you watch the storms come in?

Monday, July 11, 2011


I like to be above the notion that women are mean and catty to one another over things insincere. When I am out and about, I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. Some days and in some circumstances this is easier said than done.

When a woman looks awesome, I tell her how awesome she looks. There is no way and no need to try to measure how my this-and-that compares with her this-and-that.

It happens all the time.

For a number of years I was very sad, insecure, and extremely thin. When out, it was amazing how insensitive people could be to someone they did not know, about an issue that was none of their business. Their words damaged what little confidence I had.

Time has passed. I am physically healthy. I wish I could say past issues are gone for good, but every once in a while they creep back into my awareness of not being good enough and not measuring up.

Words hurt. Yesterday a woman told me that I was gorgeous, BUT, I should really drink more water for a better complexion, do stomach exercises, and suck in my tummy. She went on about my flaws for a fair amount of time. I said nothing. I drew in each mean word and said nothing.

She was a stranger that I had only met an hour before.

She crushed me.

I am ashamed I sat there and spoke with her any longer after her words; I am angry I didn’t tell her to shove it. I am irritated that at twenty-eight this shit still bothers me.

I am embarrassed that I went home and cried.

And now I am blogging about it, because I cannot let it go.

One person’s words wrecked me yesterday.

My skin has gradually gotten a lot thicker in the last few years. I can deal with the vicissitudes of life a lot better now.

I have always been easily hurt by mean words, a little vulnerable. Maybe that is something that shouldn’t change.

I am not sure I want to become unfeeling or desensitized to meanness. That would imply that it is okay to be unkind. And it’s not.

I used to have a treasure chest Got so heavy that I had to rest I let it slip away from me Didn't need it anyway So I let it slip away. -Neil Young, Silver and Gold

Friday, July 8, 2011

Right on Target

MapQuest is made for people like me. I love it and do not feel comfortable going somewhere I have never been without having directions printed out. Also, I do not have a phone with internet or a GPS navigator so directions are a necessity. I can manage okay when people tell me “ go right” or “take a left at the stop sign,” but when people start throwing around words like “West” or “North” I freak out a bit because my sense of direction is pretty poor. This is especially frustrating in Colorado where every Smart-Alec feels the need to remind you that the mountains are always West.

This simple little reminder makes my blood boil for three reasons:

1. You cannot see the mountains at night.

2. Some of the roads go diagonally.

3. You cannot see the mountains in the city.

4. This “friendly” reminder is always said with a bit of condescension.

Also, I have just noticed that when Bobaloo is driving I always look out the passenger-side window when riding in the car; I never look forward and never pay attention to where the car is headed. Therefore, I never really know where I am or how I got there (insert life metaphor here).

This is where Target comes in.

He left and I was alone in a new city for the first time left to my own devices and sensibilities (or lack thereof). The one place I knew how to get to? Target. I took a drive to Target and was able to find Subway and the hardware store from there. From that point forward all I had to do was remember where things were in relation to Target. Why this was easier than finding things from home, I have no idea.

After a year we moved to the City of Golden. Do you know what makes Golden awesome? The Target is attached to the mall! Same story, different town. Again Target was located in such a location that it was easy for me to remember which highways or major roads were by if they were heading towards Target or away.

Maybe I should just get a compass.