Category Archives for "Sports"
I’ve mentioned before that Mother Nature has been busy peeing all over our area for about two months now. Yesterday was no different and found us sitting for an hour and a half in the cold, pouring rain, watching Helena’s softball game. Any other year, the game would have been cancelled but seeing as how almost all of their games this year, as well most of their practices, have been cancelled, rescheduled and cancelled again for rain, I think the softball league was just bound and determined that everyone would see this one game through, even if it meant that the girls needed to grow gills to catch a fly ball.
But once the thunder boomed, it was over. The field horn blared, the game was called for rain, the kids swam off the field and everyone sloshed their way back to their cars.
Once we successfully reschedule all of these practices and games, I estimate that this softball season will end sometime in the spring of 2013.
I leave you with a post I wrote last year about Helena playing softball. And yes, I’m aware that Friday’s post was all about softball too. I’m sorry about that. But it was either softball or the ginormous abscess that suddenly appeared on the back of Helena’s ear and screamed SURPRISE and tried to hug me when I went to change her earrings earlier this week.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
Vertigo sticks and their relationship to softball. Or lack thereof.
(Originally published June, 2010)
Helena, my nine year old, has played softball for at least five years now and she’s doing pretty darn well. She even pitched a game this week where she struck out the first batter with her first three pitches.
I didn’t get photos of it because I was too busy programming all the Division I and II colleges for women’s fast pitch into the speed dial on my cell phone.
However, there are still moments when I feel like we’ve been transported back in time to her very first season, when the girls were clueless as to what to do, how to do it, why they had to do it whilst standing far away in a field where nothing ever happened and, most importantly, who could land the best cartwheel while wearing a glove?
Sometimes I wonder if Helena is really paying attention? Or is she mulling over the lyrics of Bad Romance and wondering what a vertigo stick is and why Lady GaGa wears big, wooden, bedazzled jock straps on stage? And should she ask her mom about it?
I’m glad she hasn’t because Lady GaGa confuses me. I don’t know why she wants anyone’s psycho or vertigo stick and while there’s some debate as to my possession of the former, I’m pretty sure I’m not equipped with the latter. I’d rather avoid the entire subject so I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to tell Helena other than HEY, I KNOW! HOW ABOUT WE DISCUSS HOW DADDY PLANTS HIS SEED IN MOMMY’S BELLY AND MAKES A BABY GROW INSTEAD? WITH PROPS? AND A POWER POINT PRESENTATION! AND THEN WE’LL EAT COOKIES!
Its just seems to me that sometimes, Helena appears … preoccupied.
You know … daydreaming.
Otherwise engrossed in other, more riveting activities.
Sometimes she’ll even do something that makes me break out in a panic sweat while envisioning her head engulfed in a swarm of creepy crawlies but then she’ll telepathically holler RELAX, MOM. I DIDN’T WEAR ANYBODY ELSE’S HELMET. I’M JUST I’M BORED OUT OF MY GOURD to calm me down.
Thank you, Helena. Now please stop touching your head because it freaks me out.
Sometimes, I simply worry that Helena just isn’t actively engaged in what’s happening around her.
But then, something will happen, such as a pop fly will soar overhead and travel in her general direction like a heat seeking missile and suddenly, my worries are lessened, my fears are alleviated and my concerns are put to rest because there is no doubt in my mind …
Helena is totally in the moment.
Softball season is upon us once again and you know what that means!
Time to get my panties all tightly wadded up into a bunch over helmets!
Anytime I can wad my panties into a bunch without having to actually remove them to pee or have sex or get a pap smear, I get all excited.
I have this thing about helmets.
Fine. I have a thing about most everything, like never walking barefoot on hotel carpets and never soaking in my own filth in a bathtub and always saying “God forbid” before mentioning anything unfortunate and always using my elbows to open the doors of public restrooms and …
How much time do you have?
But I especially have a thing about helmets.
I don’t allow Helena to use any helmet but her own. EVER.
I don’t allow anyone else to use Helena’s helmet. EVER.
And ever and ever and ever.
And so forth and so on.
Until the end of time.
It’s a residual effect from the PTSD I suffered almost eleven years ago, back when I was multi-tasking by lying to the nurses about passing gas (I just let one rip not ten seconds ago! I did! I swear! Ask the patients on the floor above us!), going over discharge papers, bundling up our newborn Helena and her diaper bag, and pressing a pillow to my abdomen in case my staples sprung a leak and my reproductive system exploded out of my stomach and splashed onto the floor. Nate was multi-tasking as well, having crammed himself into the corner of the hospital room with his back to me and frantically whispering to my mother on the phone and periodically stealing sideways glances at me.
I knew something was up. It’s female intuition. That, and the fact that Nate declared Something’s up as we were leaving. However, he refused to elaborate until we got home because I was already somewhat weepy and hormonal and he was afraid I’d change my mind about the whole second child thing, stuff the baby back up my bahoodle doodle and pretend the last nine months hadn’t happened.
We pulled into the driveway and the big secret became crystal clear when six year old Zoe ran up to the car, whipped my door open and excitedly shouted I HAVE LICE! WELCOME HOME, HELENA! CAN I HOLD HER?
I really don’t remember too much about those first few days after we brought Helena home. It’s pretty much a foggy haze of picking nits and live bugs out of Zoe’s hair one minute and then turning around the next to clean up bodily fluids which oozed out of both Helena and me, thanks to my leaky boobs. And vagina. And incision. It was just an endless stream of nits, bugs, poop, pee, milk, blood and pus. Then more nits, more bugs, more poop, pee, milk, blood, pus, OH MY GOD, HOW MUCH LIQUID CAN ONE HUMAN OWN?
All the while there was crying and blubbering and wailing and collapsing to the floor in big puddles of mess going on all around me. Not to mention Nate, Zoe and the baby were pretty emotional too.
It took back-breaking hours and hours of tedious patience and persistence and ultimately a doctor’s prescription but the lice were finally eradicated. As was my will to live. Which was no biggie, seeing as how the lice had taken twenty years off my life anyway.
For years afterward, I was hypersensitive to possible re-infestations and everyone knew that by simply walking anywhere near me, they ran the risk of having me yank them down onto my lap so I could go all Gorillas in the Mist on their heads with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers.
When Helena first started softball about five years ago, I slapped bright, fluorescent orange labels on her helmet emblazoned with the words “HELENA’S HELMET” and “I’M HELENA’S, NOT YOURS” and “DANGER: POISON” in big, capital letters. Helena soon asked if it was possible not to try so hard to humiliate her so I toned it back a bit and kept one big sticker reading “THIS HELMET WILL MAKE YOU LIKE BOYS” on the back with an admonition that she had better not share her helmet with anyone because I had spoken with Santa and he was totally on board and slept with one eye open in the summer.
Oh, yes I did.
I’m willing to bet that if Mrs. Claus had to stand for hours on end, pulling disgusting creepy crawlies and larvae out of one of her elves’ hair only four days after having a squalling, mythical creature ripped from her guts, she wouldn’t waste a second before demanding that Santa paint a big ol’ skull and crossbones on all 6,932 of their Little League helmets. Right after he slathered everyone’s heads with olive oil while yelling STOP COMPLAINING, AT LEAST IT’S EXTRA VIRGIN. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING, BLITZEN?
So don’t judge me.
Or Santa either.
Nowadays, Helena is older and wiser and by wiser, I mean she’s smart enough to know that if Santa stuffed coal in her stocking and smeared or otherwise ruined that stocking? The one that Yia Yia, her grandmother, her mother’s mother, slaved for days to make her after she was born? Santa would find an extra large can of Whoop Ass under the tree for himself, together with an industrial strength can opener. Wrapped with a big, red bow and tag that said Go Ho Ho Ho Yourself. Love, Yia Yia.
Today, Helena has a simple, small “Helena” placed discreetly on the lower back of her helmet and when that helmet is not on her head, it’s securely zipped in her equipment bag. And if anyone asks her to borrow it, she simply smacks them in the shins with the bat and hollers I JUST SAVED YOUR LIFE. MY MOM WOULD HAVE AIMED HIGHER.
So, the whole potential lice scenario is pretty much under control where softball is concerned.
Except for one thing.
One small, ever so tiny, little detail.
This is Helena’s helmet.
The one that has her name discreetly written in the back.
The one that sits upon her head and no one else’s.
The only one she wears during a game.
Except when she is the catcher.
Because then, she wears this helmet on her head.
The team helmet.
Which has no one’s name on it and, at some point, sits upon everyone’s head when they play catcher too.
If Helena starts going to school smelling like tossed salad, you’ll know why.
You tested for your green belt last week, sweetie.
As if you forgot! As if you need me to remind you! As if I simply like to hear the sound of my own typing!
Maybe on that last one.
Don’t judge me.
It took good balance.
I’m not sure where you got yours from but if my frequent shouts of FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHO’S STUPID IDEA WAS IT TO TILT THE EARTH ON A FREAKING AXIS ANYWAY? when I was trying to hang up vinyl lettering on your bedroom wall was any indication, it didn’t come from me.
It took dedication. Like going to the dojo twice a week. And breathing in all the stink. And making sure your t-shirt was clean every single time so that the fresh stink of sweat didn’t overpower the stale stink of feet.
You were pretty dang dedicated too, pumpkin.
It took good listening skills and the ability to ignore the crazy lady with the camera in the audience calling out Helena! Over here! This way, sweetie! Can you hear me? I’m over here! I’LL COME OUT THERE AND TAKE A PICTURE IF I NEED TO, DON’T THINK I WON’T. You’re doing awesome, poops!
Selective hearing is underrated.
It took good form. And the ability not to pass out from touching your nose to sweaty equipment and breathing in the scent of the 4,987 sweaty noses that were there before you.
This might be a good time to fall to my knees and thank God that He didn’t birth you with the same issues as He did me.
How you got so lucky, I’m not sure. Maybe He was cranky on the day He birthed me. Maybe He wasn’t getting enough action. Or fiber.
Just curious … if I didn’t capitalize “he” when I refer to The Big Guy, would I burn in Hell for all eternity?
It took great aim.
I must say, I find it ironic that you manage a blind strike upon a relatively small target from behind with pinpoint accuracy yet you still manage to miss the ginormous sink directly in front of your face when spitting out toothpaste.
Kind of like how I can point my camera right at you and totally miss the hat directly in my line of vision, the gray and pink one that is screaming I AM AN IRRITATING DISTRACTION THAT WILL SOON CAUSE YOUR LEFT EYE TO TWITCH. YOU JUST DON’T KNOW IT YET.
I pity the fool that tries to get to second base with you when you’re thirty and just starting to date.
It’s always a little unnerving at the end of testing, isn’t it? Did you do enough? Was your form excellent? Could you have done better? Did you make it? Did you fail?
OH MY GOD, WILL WE STILL GO OUT FOR PANCAKES AFTERWARD?
The pressure was unbearable.
Probably for you too, sweetie.
This. This right here. When you look down and catch sight of your new belt.
I swear I swell up with so much pride, I look like I’m retaining the Colorado River.
Just call me Hoover Dam.
So so so stinkin’ proud of you, peanut.
My baby is half way to black belt.
About another year and a half, maybe two years to go before we can do our part to perpetuate an urban legend and find an imaginary registrar’s office to certify your hands and feet as lethal weapons.
In the meantime, it means another eighteen to twenty four months of letting your face get within millimeters of having a plantar wart explode all over it.
In case you’re unaware because you’ve been in a coma and forgot to visit here this week, SHAME ON YOU. AND WAKE UP. I’m giving away $100 worth of Harry Mason eargasms! Everyone who enters gets a little eargasm too! Click that link and your ears will kiss you with tongue.
Moving on …
This is the soundtrack to my family’s ski excursion last Saturday. I’m tentatively calling it People Who Design Ski Boots Are Douche Waffles Who Should Be Strung Up by Their Genitals. I like to play it over and over again in my head as I imagine myself whipping that bunny hill’s ass and nailing it to a wall and sometimes, if I try really hard, I’ll forget the part where I regress and cry like a girly baby girl and beg to go home so I can stuff my king-sized comforter into our brand new front loader because shoving dirty bedding into technology doesn’t require skill or stamina and sounds like a lot more fun than strapping two ton steel moon boots to my feet and walking around like a myopic arthritic hobbit with three broken knee caps who just paid $150 for the privilege of careening off a cliff and slamming into a tree.
There’s a whopping 25 tracks on this album. Right now it’s free but ten years from now, I’m going to release it as a “Best Of ” collection and I’m penciling in Kevin Cronin to co-host a 3AM infomercial with me on the Bravo Channel to hock it for three easy payments of $19.99 plus shipping and handling. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. If you ordered right away, you’d get another one for free! Just pay extra shipping and handling! I’ve scheduled Kevin now because I believe it’s always good to be prepared way in advance. For instance, I’m having my leather micro-mini skirt and sequined tank top dry cleaned as I type and I’ve got Mike Reno and Loverboy on standby, just in case REO Speedwagon can’t get a day pass from the nursing home that day.
P.S.: If you hear any laughter in the background of this record, I will deny, deny, deny until the cows come home but only because I worked really hard on perfecting these lyrics while subjecting myself to more failed attempts at athleticism over the years than my family cares to remember without therapy and I don’t want anything to detract from their brutal honestly and vulnerability and negatively impact my potential sales.
It’s not because I want anyone to think I might have wound up actually enjoying myself during this whole ski ordeal. Certainly not.
People Who Design Ski Boots are Douche Waffles Who Should Be Strung Up by Their Genitals
The four of us were sitting at the table eating dinner the other night when Nate broke the deafening silence with a loud Hey! Let’s go skiing on Saturday!
And instantly, there were screams and shouts and a cacophony of Really really really?
and Can we, can we, can we, can we?
and No way!
and I can’t wait for this weekend! Ugh, why is it only Tuesday today?
and Whooo hooo!
and HOLY JESUS IN BIRKENSTOCKS, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. HAVE WE MET?
I’m still dealing with the psychological damage I sustained the last time I tried to slide down a mountain on shiny, obscenely long, metal toothpicks.
There’s not enough Xanax in the world, people. Not nearly enough.
So while I’m trying to drum up some enthusiasm and put on a smiley, brave face for the kids who are excited as hell about the whole thing, I can’t help but be jealous of the rest of you who are probably doing something fun on Saturday, like bludgeoning yourselves into comas with cast iron skillets.
Speaking of my brave, smiley face, please don’t forget it. You know, just in case you have to give a description to the state police when I disappear after catching air and inadvertently flying off the snowy edge of western New York and plunging into the depths of Lake Michigan.
This is me, taken on one of the only two good hair days I’ve had lately.
Excuse me while I stare at this photo wistfully as I’m pretty sure that after Saturday, I will never have a good hair day again.
Can corpses have good hair days?
I wasn’t looking forward to turning 44 this year but now that I’m likely to perish on Saturday, I’m thinking that there are worse things than slamming into my mid-forties.
Like, say, not turning 44 because my dead, frozen carcass remains buried in a snow drift atop a mountain where it was left to rot after being impaled by its own ski pole while trying to get its bulky, uncoordinated, athletically-challenged ass off a ski lift with anything remotely resembling grace.
Remember me fondly.