Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Play, Part Deux

I found a place to play and I felt I owed it to others to share the joy.

First off, let me just say that my gym sincerely rocks. It's a YMCA with two pools, one of which has a huge twisty slide and a lazy river. Now that's just cool. Recently, the coolness level has been upped by a zillion with the addition of this room they call the Strive Room. The name doesn't sell it, but I'm about to.

First, there are two Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) machines in this room. Yesterday, this really lovely man who in no way looked 54-years old - seriously, bald black man can get away with anything - played DDR with me. We played it at the slowest level possible so that I could finally figure out how to do it. I received a C-level, which is average, just like in school. This is a great improvement for me. I usually leave the machine wanting to cry as I suck so bad at it.

Next, and here's where it gets unbelievably awesome, they have this giant machine whose purpose sort of resembles that Simon game from our youths. 'Remember that game? The one where you have to follow light patterns and push the buttons? Well, this thing is like that only it's huge and you have to punch and kick the giant buttons surrounding you. It was so awesome.

Lastly, they had video racing games hooked up to actual exercise bikes. Now, I really suck at racing games. I am a good driver in real life, but I cannot keep the video car on the road for the life of me. Still, that was some serious fun pedaling my tush off while trying to catch up with my 54-year old friend who in no way looked 54. When the game was done, my legs were Jell-o. I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


A student asked me the other day, in my "professional opinion," if I thought kids should go to school year round so that Americans could be more competitive on the international market.

My "professional opinion" (as a college instructor who has no children) is that kids should play more than they do. Adults should play more as well. I can't find enough ways to play, particularly during this harsh winter. There should be more things for us adults to do than to go to the bar and drink. We need adult playgrounds, more Dance Dance Revolution machines. We need big jungle gyms and exciting swings (and I don't mean that in a sexy way).

No, I don't think kids should go to school all summer long. I think summer is a time for other kinds of learning. It's a time for reading langorously propped up on elbows in the sun. It's a time for picnics and swimming and sunburns and throwing rocks at bee nests and then running away. There should be more fun and more laughing and more enjoying for everyone. We can beat out China any old day. I'd rather spend that time trying to remember how to hopscotch.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lenten Swearing

Words, words, and more words. Sometimes they come at me like water raging down from a waterfall right into my wide open mouth. Other times, the waterfall is dry. Lately, words have been right and good and plentiful and I am grateful for it; I am even more grateful as I know their transient ways.

If I believe words are as important as I do, I ought to appreciate and respect them in all things. As Lent is a time in the Catholic calender to come closer to God, I thought I would take this opportunity to purge my sailor mouth, please God, and give even swear words the respect they deserve. This is to say that they should not be used with such tremendous frequency.

So, goodbye, you lovely, all-purpose f-word, you who have stood by me in my darkest hour, you who have filled my car with the sound of rage when I couldn't get out of my icy parking lot for the umpteenth time. Goodbye word that is a homonym for beaver's dam, you lovely word who when drawn out for full impact says what only you can say. And goodbye taking-God's-name-in-vain expression that I use to exhibit disbelief when I really am a believer.

I'll miss you all, but I'm supposed to be good at language. I should be able to come up with some replacements.

I'll keep readers posted on that front.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Snow Day

The Snow Day is officially a good day to write. I am under obligation to submit 3000 words to a couple of lady writer friends by Sunday. (Nik, that is your official reminder). I have written about a 1000 thus far and I'm feeling pretty good about that. I've also done the requisite applying and submitting for this week, but am looking for some recommendations on places to submit. I need variety. I need a new vision. I need the spontaneity that only someone else's list of journals can provide.

Suggestions? I'll be forever grateful.

The snow today is in competition with the horizon. It moves like it. It fills it.