Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't be fatuous, Turkey Jones

Tallulah w/ her bowling pin signed by everyone.
Last Friday we had Tallulah's 6th birthday party.  All I heard all month was how excited she was, "Mama, I am so glad you have a blog.   Cause you take us bowling and I get to have a bowling birthday party."  This effusive declaration was usually accompanied with a hug and some tag-line like "You're the best!"

Then I run into my friend at the kid's school, and she says, "So, I hear you're making Tallulah have a bowling birthday party because of your blog."

"What?" I ask laughing.

"Yea, I asked Tallulah about her party and she said all serious that she was having it at a bowling alley, cause of 'my Mom's blog' while she rolled her eyes."  Oh, that Tallulah!  She can really work a crowd.

So, yes, we did have a bowling birthday party at West Seattle Bowl.  And yes, she did love it...whether I made her have it or not.  We had three lanes filled with little kids and adults, all bowling, eating pizza and cupcakes and looking like they were having a pretty good time.  I even bowled a turkey!

Speaking of turkeys (can you believe that was my nickname in high school...Turkey Jones.  Or Crazy Legs Turkey.  We even had a song and dance.  Don't ask.)  Anyway, back to bowling turkeys.  Last Wednesday at Quartermania down at Imperial Lanes (we have been going every week), me, Amy and Bob all rolled a turkey!  A turkey is when you get three strikes in a row.  It was one super sweet night of bowling with all my our scores soaring high in the hundreds, and for me, a one and only event.

Last night at Quartermania, I totally sucked.  I got 104 the first game and said to Amy and Bob, "Well, at least now when I have a bad game, I still break a hundred."  I was so wrong.  The following two games I don't think I even hit 60.

It all went downhill right when this little 6 year old started bowling next to us.  His name: Poo Poo Head.  Turns out his real name was Elijah, but that's what it said up there on the screen, Poo Poo Head.  PPH for short.  He had to come to work with his Mom and she let him get some bowling in, and he wasn't half bad.  He scored higher than me.  I know, as cute and distracting as he was, it was not his fault that I sucked last night.  We all know it was the lesbian love triangle on the lane to the left.

And I had to leave before I found out who she picked.

Now go out and bowl, order yourself a white russian, come home and watch the Big Lebowski one last time, for Bowling month!

Monday, June 27, 2011

You are entering a world of pain

posted by Melissa
Blogging is like yoga.  If you don't do it for a little while (ok, for yoga a few months and blogging one week+) you really get out of the habit.  It is hard to get "back in the saddle" so to speak.  Other things in life take precedence, you know, like kids and cleaning all 16 window frames in the apartment (there was moss, yes, moss growing in the outside part of our windows.  Oh, to live in the great NW.)

It reminds me of a aerobics/weight lifting class I took once.  The teacher said, "Don't worry, if you don't like these muscles you're making in class, stop coming and they'll be gone in two weeks."

Our van.
See as yoga costs a lot of money, I am probably not going to be at yoga anytime soon though, as much as the people looking at my muffin top might like.  Jamie started his own painting business, right, I think I mentioned that before.  Well, it is super exciting and I know it is going to be great in the long run.  But in the "short run", i.e. right now, it isn't going so well.  The learning curve is great and it is extremely frustrating to him to have bid a job for a week, and have it take at least twice that time.  The past two weeks have been stressful, and frankly neither of us have had our two weeks (remember back to poker month) in a while.  It is this weird time of survival limbo where life takes the front seat, not either of our relationship needs.

So in a far reaching attempt to better our family, I started school again today for the 7 and a  1/2 week summer quarter.   Jamie kissed me goodbye and started off on his day to get this flipping exterior painting finished, for Christ's sake.  I am walked down our long hallway still groggy from the bowling the night before, and working on my second cup of coffee when I hear Lily talking to someone in my bedroom.

"OK, Papa.  I'll get her." She says.

"Immediately" is all I head from the muffled sound of the cell phone up to her ear ( I know, and now my daughter is getting brain cancer from the cell phone.)

What the hell is going on, I am thinking.  I know that is Jamie's voice and he just left a minute ago.  There has been no time to have any of the catastrophes I usually imagine happen when people call upset like that, you know, the kind where someone dies.

I calmly (not because I am calm, but because I am barely awake and nursing an impending hangover, the kind that hits you hard right around 11am.) take the call.

"A bus hit our van.  The entire front bumper is tore off.  Our van is fucked." Jamie relays.  "I need you get dressed and come out here right now.  I just need you."

yet, another beautiful view.
 Get dressed?  Why not, just come out right away?  I assume he said to get dressed because right before that I had on a tank top and yoga pants and apparently that was not enough "coverage" for him.  Really, I am running around looking for a shirt because you are uncomfortable with my cleavage showing at 7:30am?  Who cares?

"OK, I'll be right there" I answer.  "Were you parked in a bus zone?" I asked quietly.

"Yes, I was." he sheepishly admitted.*

(*About a year ago, Jamie parked in the same exact spot and a city bus took off our side view mirror.)

To his credit, the paint marking the bus zone is very worn and looks like it stops right before where he parked.  But, still.

I get down there, and sure enough, the entire front bumper is totally torn off.  A Metro worker is writing up a report and Jamie and I are planning our day/week accordingly.  We call all the appropriate people and take off the bumper completely.   I go back to the apartment to tell the kids and I hear a scraping sound outside.  It is Pete, our neighbor and Jamie's first employee, dragging our bumper up the sidewalk.

Levi thinks it is the coolest and wants the bumper on his bedroom wall, while Lily is devastated at the embarrassment of her already humiliating ride to school.  Tallulah is just excited to go to her outdoor Seattle Forest Kindergarten camp, clueless to what the fiberglass hunk is on our sidewalk.

Sometimes we learn our lessons the first time.  Sometimes we don't.  Does that make us bad?  Does that make is good?  No.  It make us human.

That is life.  Sometimes you roll two turkeys in one week (gurl, yes is did) and then can't get a game over a hundred.  And sometimes you learn you form and keep rolling those turkeys.  Week after week.  But I bet you don't get there in a month.  Or maybe even a year.

My guess is Jamie may take a while to master this "owning his own business" thing.  But I think he'll get the hang of it.  I think he'll roll a few turkeys of his own and the Baumgarts will be alright.

But some mornings, it can be hard to see the strike at the end of the lane.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Urban Achievers - So very proud we are of all of them

posted by Melissa
Happy Fathers Day!!!!

Everyone with their Wedge/Ryan "Moose"-stache.
We started the day with yet another attempt at making it to Maltby for the All-Star games.  This time by 8:00am.  And this time with an extra 11 year old girl.  It was a rainy drive, and about 3 minutes before we arrived at the field I got an email on my smart phone that the games were cancelled again.  I hesitated telling everyone since we were so close and if we showed up, at least the coach would see that we were on time, yet again.

I did speak up, my consciousness not allowing my to lie when I was soon to be asked what I was looking at my phone for.  Jamie didn't believe me.  He said I was pulling "an Uncle Ian" and pulling everyone's leg.  I denied that.  He was even more convinced.

We pulled into the Maltby Fields and sure enough, there was Coach Ken waiting for us to inform my husband that the games were indeed cancelled, again.  I was secretly happy that the coach saw that, had the game been on, we were on time.  Again.  If we had made a U-turn when I saw the email, no credit would have been due to the Baumgarts.

We decided at that point to make it to the Mariner's game for father's day.  Turns out the cheapest tickets were $60.00 today.  We had us and 2 extra kids, bringing the total without food and beer to $420.00.  Yes, I did just pass my math class.  And no, I don't think that is in the Baumgart's budget.

So, Jamie had the great idea to bring the game to the Baumgarts.  We set up our apartment all stadium style.  We tried to create bleachers, that didn't work.  But we did make a snack seller carrier and fake money for everyone to spend.  We had a board with our prices for hot dogs, beer, root beer and the all important Mariner's food "Rally Fries."  We decorated the TV armoire with Mariners regalia and an Ichimeter, that we updated during the game.  He got to #82 hits today.

We even had a shell game with some bowls and a fuzeball ball during a commercial, just like on the jumbo screen during the breaks.  We sold candy and had a raffle for a Mariner's jersey.  It was a super fun afternoon.  And best of all, the Mariners WON!  We took the series and beat the best team in baseball!!!!

T.J. is quite a natural at the plate.  We are signing her up next year!
Then after that we all headed down to Miller park to play our own game of baseball.  We met some other stragglers playing their own games of catch and batting practice; and we asked them to join our clan in a lively game of baseball.  No teams, just one person up at a time, everyone else out in the field.  Everyone was playing together, cheering each other on and having fun.

It was a great time.  All day.  A day I think the kids will always remember.  But who knows about them.  I know I will always remember this Father's Day.  It was a day that Jamie loved and he deserves it.  He is such a good father and works hard for his family.  I love you, Jamie.

Speaking of fathers, thank you Dad, for being a part of who I am today.  For inspiring my love of Math and for talking my ear off when I got in trouble.  I loved your stories, even though at the time, I wished you would just stop talking. :)  And a shout out to my brother, Ian, you are a great dad.  Your girls are  lucky to have you.

So, no bowling today.  But baseball.  All baseball.  All good.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Enjoying my coffee

This morning we were supposed to get up at 6:30am.  Levi had an All-Star baseball game in Maltby, WA and we had to be there at 8:30am, sharp.  We are always late to this kind of thing.  I feel like that big failure of a family that can't get their shit together, ever.  Kids are always fighting; Lily bossing the yojnger ones, Levi busily coming up with every clever excuse in the book and Tallulah, annoying both of them, just by being alive.  And everyone is always waiting, and thinking... "hmm, Where are the Baumgarts?"

So, I was determined to get there on time.  Ken, the head coach, is serious about the all-stars.  Frankly, so am I, and I wanted to prove it.

I admit we were a little leisurely about the morning.  I got up a bit late, the girls slept in, and Levi sat in front of the computer blankly playing video games instead of getting his own water bottle filled up.  On the other hand, the leisure could have been fueled by the fact that I felt somewhat together because the important documents were printed out and copied: Levi's copy of his passport and the medical release waiver.  But the directions...not to be found.  I couldn't even find the email I had read earlier in the week with the address and the link to the famous Maltby Cafe.

Go Senators!
I finally figured out where the game was, printed directions and slapped together five peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  A little slim of the peanut butter because, of course, we were out.  Had to scrape the sides of the jar for five sandwiches.  Sweet.  Lunch is going to be great.

As we are leaving the neighborhood, we look at the clock; we have just over 40 minutes to get there.  The Google maps directions say it takes 35 minutes, but the coach said to give yourself an hour because one of the floating bridges is closed this weekend.  Things were tense.  A lot was on the line.

Then I look at the dashboard, the gas light is on.  Fuck.  I click the buttons that tell us how many miles we have left to go - 0.  We have zero miles to drive until we run out of gas, according to the Toyota Sienna.  I look at the directions - 30.5 miles to Maltby.  And we have not a minute to spare for a gas stop.

We once saw a show that claimed you could drive like 50 miles after the brain of your car said you only have zero.  The Baumgarts were going to put that to the test this morning.  Rain pouring down, miles in front of us, we drove on.  And on.

We made it!  and NINE, yes NINE minutes early!

The tournament was cancelled due to the rain.  Life's triumphs and life's disappointments all in one.

How bout that form!  wow.
Jamie and I revelled in the glory of it all, the kids rolled their eyes.  Tallulah asked for another doughnut hole.

So, we decide to get some gas and drive on over to the West Seattle Bowl.  On Saturday morning they have "Breakfast and Bowl."   It was awesome.  Something about being at a bowling diner  reminded me of the above quote from "The Big Lebowski."  But without some guy yelling about Vietnam.  We had a very reasonably priced breakfast ($46.00 for five before tip and taxes.  And that included coffee, five breakfasts, three hot chocolates and a design your own bloody mary) and three free games of bowling for each of us.

I didn't bowl very well at all.  Just breaking 100 once.  But I forget to tell ya'll, on Wednesday night, at AMF Imperial Lanes Quarter Night (also a great deal) I bowled a 150!

I am feeling a bit sick, been napping and watching movies the rest of the day.  Possibly run down after finals and taking all that effort to be on time this morning. Man, that felt good.  We were Early!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Up Yours Blogger

Fuck you Blogger. Fuck you too Google. And Fuck you Internet Explorer 9. Somebody please get me off of these platforms before I fucking jump.

Thank you,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life by Miss Tallulah

By Amy Baranski

Miss Tallulah.
Earlier this month when I was not bowling, I was hanging out with Miss Tallulah, Melissa's youngest, drawing pictures with crayon.

She was playing the teacher and I was the student. Miss Tallulah would tell me what to do, sometimes sweetly, sometimes with a gale force wind. I crammed myself into a small desk, and I mean small people, and got to work, hoping I'd be spared detention.

First was math. Then was drawing.

After I completed my math assignment (which I decided would be to write the number six in numerous ways) I started on a portrait of my teacher. This required me to look up at her every now and then. Tallulah saw me doing this and scrunched up her nose. "Wait. What are you doing?"

I told her I was drawing and continued. She eventually got up to check my progress and said, under her breath, "That's pretty good."

"Sometimes she gets real tired." --Miss Tallulah.

I finished coloring in the lines of her jumper and she swiftly grabbed the paper from my desk. She studied it intently and opened her eyes a tad wider. "Wow, there's a lot of ways to make six."

I love playing teacher student!

Miss Tallulah decided to draw my  portrait. Her first attempt ended up a crumpled ball on the floor. The second however made it to my refridgerator, and now to this blog.
Yes, the older I get the more I look like a pirate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Birthday Bowling Bash

By Amy Baranski
I grabbed a game before the guests arrived.

Ah birthdays. What to do? Who to invite? Why do I suddenly feel like I have no friends? Will my friends like each other? Why do I still have zits at this age? Do I really have to go out in public looking like this? What’s the meaning of life? What the fuck am I doing anyway?

Birthdays, if you’re lucky, are a bottle of expectations and reflections, chased down with a group of well meaning, and hopefully equally tipsy friends. 

Sorry dudes, not here to  make friends.
So, this year I took a different approach to beating my birthday blues. I grabbed the reigns and decided to host my own birthday party. I decided to throw a Birthday Bowling Bash at the Garage bowling alley. Who knows when I’ll be able to treat my friends to a good time again? Besides, it was going to be my way or the highway. I’m a little type A if you didn’t already know that.

You will have fun damn it!

In all seriousness, treating my friends to beer, pizza, and bowling put the pressure off me to have fun. Instead I got to see everyone else in merriment which then rippled back to me.

Inga checking out the prizes.
My friend Jason was SUPER skeptical of this approach. “That’s insane!” was his response when I handed him a drink ticket. “You’re insane, Baranski!” But after I laid out the fact that three prizes were at stake for the highest bowling scores of the night he just looked real serious and yelled to the room: “I’m not here to make friends, people.”

Of course, this was the perfect hook for Melissa, who was gunning for prizes before the party even started—maybe a hangover from Poker month? Wouldn’t you know they were head-to-head on lane 20. The rivalry ensued. Jason bowled a freak 141 and eventually walked away with the grand prize which included a vintage bowling bag; sixer of Miller High Life; pretzel rods; and $20 to the Garage.
Inga Muscio made my cake!!

I was so happy that the bowling made for a great icebreaker between my friends from different worlds, or different parts of my world. Of course, I have to thank Melissa who is, after all, the Party Doula.

I did not bowl well, but it was refreshingly distracting with so many people. The rest of the prizes included:
  • Second Place: A copy of the Big Lebowski – this went to Dan.
  • Third Place: American Apparel t-shirt with bowling pins silk-screened on it – this went to K-Dogg.

 Note the right leg.

The group was in favor of a last place prize, which would have gone to Jaga, my Polish friend who may have only bowled one game in her life. Her wind-up (and yes it was a wind-up) and release was one for the ages. The pictures don’t do it justice.

Special party thanks goes to my husband for driving me there, Inga Muscio who MADE ME A CAKE!!!, Tom for keeping diligent score, everyone for partying hard, and of course Melissa for choosing bowling month. Looking forward to many more frame with you all.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lotta strands in the ole Duder's head

posted by Melissa
Things on my mind:

I never updated on the therapy vs. poker experiment.  It sorta worked for a bit.  I found out the when you want to be "princessed" (i.e. treated like a princess) for 2 weeks, you should probably have a concrete idea of what that means.  Otherwise, you will never get what you want, likely because you have no idea what the hell it is in the first place.  (ps...I have no idea where this princess thing came from, and am more than a little bit embarrassed to be writing about it.)

And your husband will fail, through no fault of his own.  (I can't believe I admitted that last part.)  Men need lists, whether it is for the grocery store or for treating you like you want to be treated.  And this is especially true if you are making up a new word for what you want, it's not like he could even look it up in the urban dictionary.

OK, I just looked up "princess treatment" (because it was the closest thing I could find) on the aforementioned urban dictionary.  Holy shit, I had no idea.  And no thank you, Jamie.  My two weeks is about a lack of touching, and licking.  Ok, TMI.  Moving on.

Beets and Collard Greens, grown from seed.
I also forgot that I wanted to mention in May that I continued on with last May's topic, Growing our own food.  I replanted my little garden plot out front.  It seems to be doing quite nicely and I even have room for more plants.  More lettuce?  Kale again?  So far I have sugar snap peas, sun gold tomatoes, beets, collard greens, spicy lettuce mix, dahlias, a sunflower or two, bee's friend flowers, thyme, sage and marjoram. 

On the bowling front:  Jamie and I went to the Garage on Saturday night to try and get a game of bowling in.  The place was so packed that we never did get a lane.  The frustrating part for me was that there were empty lanes.  It's just that people were chatting or eating and not bowling, but paying for the lane.  

On the upside, we heard lots of good music, Eazy-E "The Boyz in the Hood" being one of my faves of the night.  I learned that the lyrics are "talking that trash we'll pull your card."  I always thought they were working in a car shop or something and they would come and "pull your car."  Like tow it or literally I pictured all these gangsters lifting the front of some big ass car and pulling it down the street.  Wow, all these years, singing Eazy-E all wrong.

My school quarter is almost over.  And unlike my lyrical rap skillz, I hope to do much better when it comes to remember the quadratic formula or naming ionic compounds.  I have finals this week.  I do love math and chemistry, but today I'd rather be outside in the sun.  Or at the bowling alley.  Or reading a novel, or poetry.  Or maybe cleaning out my closet and doing laundry.  Or blogging.  I just have to sit my ass down and open the book and get to work on some problems.  Once I am there and in it, I do love it.
And finally, I have been thinking ahead for the blog.  Next month is reciting a classic poem.  I have a few in mind.  Wondering if you all have any ideas?  So far I am thinking: T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" or something by H.D. or Denise Levertov or Shakespeare.
Who are your favorite poets?
(damn Blogger, I cannot get this centering to change, it is not an artistic touch, more a technical ineptitude)

There you have it, a tiny glimpse into my mind, at the moment.  And now onto studying, if I don't get an A in all three classes (and fine, I'll settle for an A-) I know I'll be disappointed.  Wish me luck!


Friday, June 10, 2011

The bums will always lose!

That is Lily, right after he nailed a split and scored herself a spare!
posted by Melissa
What to do when your five year old is whining and you have 45 minutes left til your son get done with his All-Star baseball practice?

Go Bowling, of course!

Me, Lily and Tallulah got a quick game in down at Imperial Lanes this evening.  I bowled my best game yet for the month, 121.  I know, it isn't stellar, but it is my best. (And the bumpers were up, they don't have the kind that can pop up for the younger players and go down for the big people.  But I didn't use them, I swear.)

There it is, my high score.
Now last night, that was a different story.  It was Amy's birthday bash at the Garage.  She reserved two lanes and had drinks and food and we got to bowl for four hours.  It was super fun, and I am sure Amy, the birthday girl herself, will fill everyone in on the festivities.  But I should confess about my own personal defeat.  Both in the light of prize winning, and in my own high held winning stature (in my head.)

I started out strong.  And people noticed.  Jason, the guy I was following in the line up, was pretty good.  And after those first two frames, he was feeling like he just might have some serious competition.  Well, from the third frame on, and for the next two games, I quickly nosedived and displayed my true bowling colors.  I sucked even more than usual.  Perhaps even bowling a game less than 50.

Needless to say, I did not win first prize (a lovely vintage bowling bag, filled with Miller High Life & pretzels and a gift card to the Garage.)  No, I didn't win that awesome prize.  Nor did I win second or third.  I kept throwing the ball to the right.  And I didn't have small thumb holes or anything to blame it on.  I had nothin.

But what I did have for today was a little bit of schooling.  I watched this you tube video, a bowling tutorial of sorts.  I only watched the beginning, but it improved my game already.  Today I started farther back, gave myself more room to make bigger steps toward the line.  It was awkward at first, but I got much better scores.  So here's the video, and I'll watch the rest too.  Maybe by the end of the month, I'll break 200!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

This Aggression Will Not Stand, Man

posted by Melissa
Tuesday Afternoon:  West Seattle Bowl

Tuesday and Thursday from 3p-6p West Seattle Bowl has their Happy Hour.  Bowling is $9.50/lane/hour, which is a great deal.  Much cheaper than the $3.50/per game/person at the AMF Imperial Lanes.  So, I decided that would be a cheap and fun family way to get into some bowling this month.

Everyone was in.  We just needed to load up the minivan and pick Jamie up from work in Queen Anne on the way.  No problem.

Wrong.  Turns out it was a big problem.  Jamie didn't finish work until 4:30p, and when we picked him up and realized there was no quick way from Queen Anne to West Seattle, the complaining ensued.  Levi "didn't even want to go bowling in the first place."  Lily's "life is terrible and she hates it" and this traffic filled hour long car ride led her to angrily ponder out loud "why her life is worse than everyone else's" and of course, the inevitable "it's all because you had Tallulah and ruined my life" answer to why her life sucks so bad.  No matter what happened or where we are, or even if Tallulah is just peacefully sleeping two seats away from her like she was that afternoon.  It's all Tallulah's fault, and therefore inherently mine since I brought her into this Lily-Hating-World.

We get to West Seattle, hastily pull into a parking spot and rush into the lanes.  It is now 5:30p and the league bowling starts at 6:15p.  45 delightful minutes of bowling ahead of us.  Except by this point the kids are "starving" and between my bowling and hurrying them to their turn we devour a basket of fries and some delicious nachos.  But hey, it's Happy Hour, right?  Everything is $2.00 off the menu price.

Wrong again.  Happy Hour for the food and beverage is only in the bar.  When you are bowling, everything is full price.  Even the PBR's.

Jamie won the game, Levi came in second.  Seriously, maybe Tallulah even beat me that day.  This time I am blaming it on the ball.  I think I need a 9lb ball, but the 9 pounders have thumb holes that are too small for the middle joint on my thumb.  So, I bowl with a 10lb ball.  And it is totally making me lose.

After the bowling, we drove down to White Center for pizza at Proletariat Pizza.  Jamie is looking at a job there for his new painting company and the woman said to him, "When you come look at the job, bring the family and get some pizza, you might as well get something out of driving down here."  So, I thought we were getting a free pizza pie.  Is it just me?  I totally thought that sounded like an offering.

Wrong again.  We had to pay.  And while it was a great place and the pizza was really tasty; light, flavorful sauce and airy, thin crust...I was pretty bummed when I looked at our back account the next day.  It did get me to White Center though, which I was always sorta repelled against.  And I loved it, it felt comfortable.  Again, unpretentious.  Lots of families and "normal" people.  You know, like me.  Probably all losers that think themselves winners, my people.

All those wrong turns cost us a lot of money.  Not so cool when you're husband is trying to start his own business and you are unemployed.  And I would say that it least it was fun, but really there was a lot of complaining and fighting the whole time.

But I will say that there were fun moments.  Watching the Tallulah roll her ball down the lane and hit some pins, and turning around with a big cheesy grin on her face.  Leaning on Jamie as he put his arm around me and gave my head a kiss while we watched Lily bowl.  Seeing the young owner of the pizza place look up and smile at me while making dough, carrying her baby on her back in a backpack.  Lily, delighted to inform us that she had been to this pizza place before and had a pizza piled high with arugula on top.  Levi saying thanks and giving me a hug for no reason.

Life is full of fighting and complaining, and sometimes I can be so upset by that that I miss those touching moments.  I am glad I had the sense enough, although I didn't think it at the time, to pay attention and see the moments of joy.

Speaking of fun and joy....Happy Birthday Amy!!!   See you tonight at the lanes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You're out of your Element

posted by Melissa
Sunday night:  The Garage

before: when I still felt like a winner
Amy and I headed out for our first night of bowling this past Sunday, to the Garage.  The Garage is a local Cap Hill Bowling/Billiards/Food kind of place.  It is retro and clean, unlike the tradition bowling alleys that are a little bit dirty and truly of their time, not made to look like yesteryear.  We spent the first ten to fifteen minutes trying to decide if we wanted nicknames, or our real names.  We chose nicknames, and so that took quite some time to come up with just the right names for ourselves.  Something witty and funny, but not trite or childish.  I know, hard for us.  We begrudgingly settled on Bunny and Maude, from the Big Lebowski, in the sake of time.  I was Maude, Amy was Bunny.  

We were on lane 9.  We were asked to go to lane 8 or something but I pouted a bit and whispered to Amy that I preferred 9.   Amy spoke up and asked, the check-in person obliged.  Ok, all set to bowl.  Our table adorned with two "Nutty Lebowski's" (the Garage's nod to the White Russian of the movie's lead character, the Dude's, drink of preference) we ordered a pitcher of Miller High Life as a back up and got rolling.
mmm, still a winner

Amy looks like a pro, her ball softly hits the lane, her right foot lifts to the left in back of her after her on-target release.  I, on the other hand, stiffly drop the ball with a thud and bite my bottom lip in hopes that the tighter I bite and the more I scrunch my nose, my ball will magically roll down the middle of the lane.  Instead it seems to sit still as if on one of the flat escalator things in the airports, just sitting still but somehow moving down the lane, often time much too far to the right.  Or left.  I am an equal opportunity gutter bowler.  

and not so much.

Needless to say, Amy won every game we played that night.  Still, I had a great time, talking and bowling. Talking some more.  And talking some more.  We walked home that night, and I had that same feeling I used to get walking home from the Sweatbox (well, except, this time I had been drinking, not sweating my ass off...both of which admittedly can be disorienting.)  The feeling was that of being satisfied with my life, where I live, what I do, loving my family and friends.  

Monday day:  AMF Imperial Lanes

The next day I awoke with a sore right forearm, on the underside.  I guess in my Anatomy & Physiology class this summer I'll relearn just what muscle that is.  After my Algebra and Chemistry classes, I wanted nothing more than to go bowling again.  So, I texted Amy and she rearranged her schedule and came along.  Truth be told, I would have went alone.  I wonder what that would be like.  

Imperial Lanes, what you expect a bowling alley to be like.
Anyway, the bowling alley down there, just off Rainier is quite different than the Garage.  I can't say I prefer one over the other for the aesthetics of the interior, but I can say that I felt good there.  It was comfortable, with its lack of pretension.  Again, Amy was the winner for each game.  And I felt even more stiff as I awkwardly took my three steps up to the lane and dropped my ball.  My arm hurt, but my leg hurt too.  Bowling, who knew I would get a workout?

Amy and I dreamed of opening our very own bowling alley.  And I reminded her that we already know how to write a business plan for that!

More bowling to come...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mark it, Dude

posted by Melissa
Moving onto bowling month.  I have so many reasons I am looking forward to bowling month.  I have dreams of playing in a league and letting my life revolve around bowling, using the F word five times in every sentence, and drinking white russians all day.  I won't be able to pay my rent, but I'll get involved in some rich guy's attempt to fake his wife's kidnapping.  No wait, that's The Big Lebowski.

A shot from the Big Lebowski.  Great movie.

My Grandmother used to bowl.  I think my Mom bowled for a bit.  I think my aunt did too.  Somehow as a child growing up I developed an affinity for the sport.  I have done some bowling here and there, but I want to get serious.  I want to score my first 300 game.  I am sensing a pattern.  Yes, you're right, a winning pattern.

Let's just hope that bowling is something I have a natural talent for, unlike poker.  No. No, wait, I am not giving up on poker yet.  Still willing to let the winning catch up to my imagination on that one.

A new bowling photo will appear as soon as Amy and I make it to the lanes.  Most likely this weekend, since I have tons of school work and it sounds like Amy is pretty busy with her work too.

Any great bowling stories or memories from you all?  Love to hear 'em.

And in the meantime, if you haven't seen The Big Lebowski, go and watch it.  In honor of bowling month!