Tag Archives: Halloween

Warriors, Come Out And Play

15 Nov

Imagine running three and a half miles in the dust, over hills, on a trail studded with giant piles of steaming horse crap. Imagine scaling walls, swimming through mud, and leaping over open flames. Imagine enduring this ordeal with thousands of other sweating competitors, some of them dressed up as batman, ninjas, or a banana. Imagine, doing this for fun.

Welcome, athletes, to the Warrior Dash!

When Anthony first told me he wanted to run in Warrior Dash with friends, I had only a vague notion of the obstacles. I naively imagined him leaping over hurdles and high-stepping it through a checkerboard of tires. So I invited my friend Angela, who recently took up running as a hobby, to join us. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Anthony and some friends are going to run a race in October. It’s short and it’s supposed to be fun. I think it’s called the Warrior Dash. Wanna come?

Angela: Sure! Let me look it up online.

Me: Okay.

Angela: … This race involves jumping over fire.

Me: WHAT?!

Angela: Yeah. And a lot of barbed wire. And a blackout tent, and a mud pit, and two piles of fire.

Me: Oh. Well, do you want to come and watch? I’m not running, obviously.

Angela: No, I’m still interested in doing it. I’m just a little worried about the fire.

And that, folks, is why Angela is BAD. ASS.

The Warrior Dash is so popular that heats are scheduled on the hour all weekend long and each heat hosts five hundred people. They sell out fast, so while Angela registered for the noon heat, Anthony and our other friends had to sign up for the heat that started an hour later. When we arrived there were already thousands of people there, some covered in mud that was already beginning to crust and dry in the arid heat of the late summer sun. It was hot, hotter than usual for the foothills and hotter than it had been previously that week. It was only eleven in the morning and we were working up a sweat just standing there. The runners signed up for later in the day were going to have a rough time of it.

What sets the Warrior Dash apart from other obstacle course challenges is the light-hearted spirit of the event. Many runners wore elaborate costumes and everyone who participates earns themselves a t-shirt, a Viking hat, a medal and a free beer. It was a physical challenge, no doubt about it, but the emphasis was on fun. When I saw someone get stuck at the top of a 20-foot wall, the paramedics were arranging a way to get her down when she conquered her fear of heights and climbed down on her own. The crowd cheered for her ecstatically. This is what I loved about the Warrior Dash. The crowd could have looked down on her for getting scared. Instead, they cheered her victory.

After the race, mud-soaked competitors were invited to donate their shoes to a charity that would clean them up and send them to third-world countries where they were needed.

Before we even parked the car we started spotting costume after costume. Groups of people signed up to run the race a team all sporting themed costumes. Our friend Jaime, Alicia and her boyfriend all going to dressed in homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes. For whatever reason their heat was filled with people dressed as TMNT, despite the fact that none of the other heats seemed to have not so much as a non-mutant turtle costume. While I waited for Anthony and Jaime to run by I kept my eyes peeled for turtles and became disappointed each time that another competitor, dressed as a turtle, ran by.

I have to admit a small amount of jealousy for the mud-soaked competitors. Not that I wanted to be soaked in mud, because, uh, no thanks. But the race, as hard as it was, looked undeniably fun. Justin and I came along for picture-taking, bag holding, and moral support, and even he talked about running it with Angela next year. Just attending the event was hard enough for me. The standing and the walking was enough to make me stiff and sore and arthritic for the next two days. No Warrior Dash is in my future.

After watching the runners start the race flanked by plumes of fire, we waited for them in the spectator area where we could watch them scale two obstacle walls before witnessing the leap through fire and the slog through the mud pit. Angela climbed the rope wall with no problem. I saw many people skip this obstacle entirely.

Then she scaled the net climb with no difficulty.

I regret to say I have no photos of her leaping fire or treading through mud. The timing of the heats meant I had to leave in order to watch Anthony’s heat, but Justin followed her and got pictures, including this one, that I shamelessly stole from her twitter stream:

Afterwards, she cleaned up with a hundred other people in the one shower provided: a fire truck’s hose. She managed to change her clothes, but look at her hair:

While waiting for Anthony’s heat to run by we spotted some amusing costumes.

The 80s Aerobic group:

Fred & Wilma Flintsone… an amazing couple in their sixties:

A lady dressed as Mario:

Apollo:

A ripped bunny-dude:

A bunch of bananas:

Some convicts:

Reno 911 and whatever she is:

Tron:

Two Ghost Busters:

And my personal favorite, Colonel Sanders and a flock of chickens:

We kept spotting Waldos all day long, also:

Anthony’s group was at the end of line since we wanted to wait and watch Angela go by.

After seeing dozens of turtles run by (and I’m not just saying this, but their TMNT costumes were by far the best of the day), we finally saw our guys.

After they scaled the net wall Angela, Justin and I had to literally sprint all the way to the fire pits in order to watch them jump the flames. We barely made it in time for me to snap one of Jaime.

The fire truck shower kept reminding me of that Weird Al movie UHF, and the children’s show where Michael Richard’s character kept telling kids, “You get to drink from… the fire hose!” blasting the lucky kid right off the stage.

It’s a good thing that day was so hot, because the water was reportedly ice cold.

After we ate and everyone cleaned off we stopped Casa de Fruita for some pomegranate wine and miner’s hats and called it a day. The end.

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Scrapbook: Halloween Carnival

8 Nov

This is the last Halloween post I’ll inflict on you until 2012. Swearsies. I know this makes post #4 involving Isobel dressed up as our favorite witch, but at least this time you get to see my bestie’s son dressed as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I only got this one crappy photo of the full outfit, which was entirely handmade, freaking adorable, and easily the best costume at the carnival.

I should have switched to manual to avoid the focus problems but I was so focused on taking the damn photo before he ripped the hood off entirely that this is what I get.

In true nerdly fashion, Anthony and I dressed as Starfleet Officers for Halloween. I think we may have been nerdier than the family of five who dressed up as actual nerds for the occasion. Nevermind all that, though, because my husband would make a sexy starbase engineer. Set phasers to stunning, put it on the main viewer, and make it so.

What you may or may not notice about my costume is that although it fit around me just fine it was too short lengthwise, resulting in some rather hilarious highwater pants action and supposedly long sleeves that stopped mid-forearm. I spent the grater part of the night being uncomfortably aware of my crotch, as the inseam was an inch or two too short for comfort. The frustrating part is I doubt a size up would have fit me in that regulation Starfleet body-skiming way.

We were invited to this carnival because Angela’s Grandma was running the cookie decorating booth and there we discovered that Justin had an unknown talent for the frosted arts. He should really change professions, don’t you think?

He has a gift.

Aside from the cookies at the decorating table, Isobel was so content running around and ‘playing with kids’ that she didn’t think about the candy in her jack-o’-lantern.

Kingston found true love with his balloon.

And, in my final Halloween hurrah until next year, here’s a video Justin took of the kids decorating cookies while I tell an animated story to Angela. I think it was about Taco Bell.

Scrapbook: Sweeping at the Library

6 Nov

Last week my Mom and I took Isobel to the special Halloween program at the library. It was packed beyond anything I’d ever seen. A sea of toddlers and babies, bedecked in adorable costumes, squirming as we sang songs and motioned through finger plays.

Isobel normally loves interacting with kids at the library and wanders around gregariously among the children during story time. There were so many people that this time she stuck close to home and even sat on my lap. She kept saying, “I’m a little shy.” I’d conservatively estimate there were 75-100 people there that day.

While we waited for the library to open, she busied herself by sweeping up the leaves that had gathered by the entrance. She is such a clean, hardworking witch.

Little Big Links: Star Trek

3 Nov

The Star Trek Cookbook. Somehow, seeing Neelix on the cover is only slightly more appetizing than a photo of a replicator.

Rikers in Space. Jonathan Frakes and Mirina Sirtis discuss a spin off sitcom from ST:TNG called “Rikers in Space.” via Metafilter.

Amazing Illustrated Star Trek Wallpaper. Wow. via Sophie and Paul.

The Hipster Star Trek Tumblr. “Galaxy Class Starship? I only live on fixed-gear space stations.” via @iasshole.

Star Trek on Regretsy. The first item weirds me out.

Locutus of Borg Cross-Stitch. Lord, grant me to know the wisdom when resistance is futile.

Hull problems? I feel bad for you, son. Geordie has 99 problems.

As if the above photo wasn’t enough, lyrics. NSFW.

TNG Season 8 on Twitter. “The prime directive is completely ignored when Picard really wants to ride a Centaur. Geordie sleeps through the whole episode by accident.” Parody plots of ST:TNG.

The Corgiprise. “And you might say to yourself: ‘Hey, is there a picture of a Corgi dressed up as the USS Enterprise?’ And the answer is “Corgiprise” & YES.” Via Misskubelik.

Thrifty Living: DIY Kiki’s Delivery Service Costume

31 Oct

This year is probably the last year I’ll have any say whatsoever in Isobel’s Halloween costume. I figure as parents you get at least two years, three tops, depending on where their birthday falls, to selfishly pick out a Halloween costume to inflict upon your little darling. After that you can prepare for the next ten or so years of haggling the sluttiness level of your daughter’s costume down to acceptable levels. For now, though, Isobel is still learning that the phrase “trick or treat” is a magical gateway to candy, and she had no problem working up enthusiasm to dress up as one of her favorite movie characters: Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Kiki is an adolescent witch spending a year away from home to gain independence as part of her witch’s training. She opens a flying delivery service and, through trial and error, learns to make friends and trust in her own skills and abilities. This is a great movie for little kids as it has no overly scary imagery or subject matter. It is one of three movies Isobel tolerates. (The other two being The Care Bears Big Wish Movie and the lovely documentary Babies.)

(You’ll have to excuse the mediocre photos. I took these while waiting for my mom to arrive so we could head on over to the Library’s Halloween toddler time. She would only hold still if she was actually watching Kiki, which means terrible lighting and a glazed-over expression.)

(Also, she insists the witch’s broom is held bristle-up. Insists. If you try to fix it she will say, “No, not that way,” and then turn it around anyway.)

Unlike last year I was able to find the right dress while thrifting which solved my biggest (and potentially most expensive) problem. We already had the broom so Isobel could “help” clean, and I made the bow and the radio myself. The radio is an old camera I found while thrifting. I used red duct tape over the case. I thought about adding dials by gluing plastic bottle caps on and decorating it with a sharpie, but that never happened.

I made the bow out of a red headband and some lightly wired ribbon from my boyfriend Michael’s (Arts & Crafts). I made a large loop, twisted it, secured it with a smaller length of ribbon, then attached it to the headband with a glue gun.

Since we are schmucks we ordered her an imported stuffed Jiji the cat for waaay more than I felt comfortable paying for, but I couldn’t find anything thrifted that fit the bill. Plus Anthony wanted to spoil her.

Isobel has no idea we are going trick or treating tonight. It’s going to blow her mind.

Thrifty Living: Tips for Decorating for the Holidays on a Budget

13 Oct

It’s been ages and ages since I participated on Pinterest, mostly because I’ve been busy and Pinterest is a rabbit hole from which my attention span threatens never to return. There’s just too much good stuff and before you know it I’d be sitting at the computer in my underwear with unbrushed hair shoving cheerios into Isobel’s gaping maw while she clamors for attention because I just have to bookmark one… more… pin…

But it’s Halloween and I love this time of year so I made a board for Thrifty Halloween Decorating Ideas. Now that we’re down to one income I’ve been thinking more and more about inexpensive ways to decorate, and celebrate, the holidays. This is going to become even more important to me as Christmas approaches, and I wanted to share my thrifty decorating philosophy.

Location, Location, Location.

The first thing I did was select the areas I was going to decorate. In addition to having a limited budget, I have a limited amount of storage space for decorations. And anyway, I don’t have the energy to give my house a Halloween makeover every year–I just want to imbue it with a warm autumn spirit.

Handmade.

I prefer small decorations that are easy to store and are fun to look forward to every year. Even with my small budget I was able to add two pieces to my autumn stash: dishtowels and magnets.  (A few people wanted to know where I bought the towels: I ordered them from Zen Threads on Etsy. I love that company can’t recommend them enough.)

Some years I can’t afford to buy anything from Etsy, but when I can I do because it’s an investment I can use and enjoy every year. Especially now that Isobel is older. I remember how important pulling out those yearly decorations were to me as kid, and even now when I visit my parents a wave of nostalgic happiness washes over me when I see my mother’s black cat wreath hanging on the front door.

Some other really great handmade Halloween accessories on Etsy right now:

Candy Corn Bunting

Pin-up Witch Magnet

Super Cute Ghost & Pumpkin Magnets

Spider Hand Towel

Fancy Skulls Towel

Crocheted Pumpkin Towel Set

Use What You Got.

I used some things I already had from previous years, and since I was bored of them I used them in a new way.  I turned a metal sign into a huge fridge magnet, for example, and that was enough to make me happy. I also used stuff I already had in other parts of the house. Thrifty home decorating TV shows use this trick all the time and the homeowners are always thrilled. Something old feels new again, and it costs nothing.

Nature’s Gifts.

Decorating with nature is the ultimate thrifty option, and it comes with the benefit of being an enjoyable way to ignite a curiosity of the natural world in your children. We collected acorns this year, but pine cones, seed pods, dried berries, and, of course, leaves are available nearly everywhere, and they are free.

If you notice from the photo above, the acorns we gathered not even a week ago have mellowed into a deep brown, and their hard shiny shells remind me almost of coffee beans. So beautiful. I found this silver platter while thrifting and thought it perfect for storing the seeds. Larry, Moe and Curly, my paper skulls, look on, unaffected by autumn’s splendor.

I like just putting the beauty of nature on display, but you can take this one step further and turn them into crafts:

Acorn Magnets

Acorn Photo Frame

Preserved Leaf Garland

Crafty.

Other than adding spiders to some thrifted doilies I haven’t done any crafts this year. (Unless you count turning a metal sign into a huge magnet, which I don’t.) Crafts, however, are awesome.

See the nature crafts list above, plus:

Spray-Painted Pumpkins

Make ‘potion jars’ out of terrariums

DIY Luminaries

Lace pumpkins

Spray Paint can turn regular objects into Halloween decorations

Thriftin’ is Easy.

I bring up thrifting so often you probably think it’s my go-to solution for every problem. And you’d be right! You’d be amazed what you can find secondhand. I like to find stuff that’s not meant for Halloween specifically, but thrift stores save seasonal items and bring them out specifically for shoppers looking for decor at a bargain. Even the doily spiders were found in a thrift store! My favorite, of course, is still the skull specimen display created out of a thrifted cheese dome. Holiday decor is a pretty big deal at thrift stores. I once saw a fight break out two feet away from me because two customers saw a ghost-themed wall hanging at the same time.

I hope this post has inspired you to find thrifty ways to decorate. Have your own thrifty Halloween links to share? Share them in the comments! I’d love to add them to the Thrifty Halloween Decorating Ideas board.

Thrifty Living: Halloween Decorations

5 Oct

At first I was going to feel really weird about this post. I mean, it’s technically fall, and people are already pulling out their sweaters and knee-high boots (even me), and, until this week, the weather’s been in the mid-90s. I ditched the sweater halfway through the Farmer’s Market and wished I would have left the boots in the closet. Living where I do, in the middle of California, our spring and autumn seasons are brief and our summers linger way after they’ve worn out their welcome. Fall doesn’t really get going until December, and the only way we ever get a White Christmas is if we have a heavy fog.

Nature must have felt my sincere desire for autumn weather, because this week our highs dipped into the low 80s and we actually had cloud cover and a breeze. And a rumor of rain, but hoping for that just felt greedy.

Isobel and I decorated the house together over the weekend, and we had a blast doing it together. I didn’t even bother decorating the house during her first Halloween, and between the kittens and Isobel’s teething, it just wasn’t safe to decorate for her second.

This agate mushroom bookend set is normally in my bedroom, but I pulled it out in the living room along with this candle I found while thrifting. I just don’t think I can give either of them up.  I’ve tried (though, admittedly, not very hard).

By far my favorite decoration this year is my skull specimen, which I put together for under $5. You might remember the cheese dome from the Monkey Giveaway. I found that at a thrift store quite awhile ago, searching for the perfect use for it. Besides displaying monkeys, of course. Duh.

One porcelain skull from my boyfriend’s later, and we have a lovely skull specimen.

Isobel still thinks they are pirates, and she likes to walk up to this one and say, “ARRRRRR!” before giving it a huge kiss.

I decorated the outside of our house, too, but I did a pretty ghetto job. You see that thing under the sign? That’s a Valentine’s decoration I put up nearly three years ago. I just kind of shoved my metal Halloween sign over it.

Our gnome is representin’ the holidays in his costume. I should probably name him. And then give him clothes. Or is that just for House Elves?

The kitchen is coming along. I wanted to take everything off the fridge so I could rearrange things, but Isobel got very upset I moved her Isobel magnets, so I just shoved everything to the bottom. I bought magnets for the Trick/Treat sign so it’s not hanging by ghetto magnet hooks. I really should find my wine bottles for the top of the fridge, too.

I like having a set of holiday magnets. My mom had holiday magnets for my sister and I when we were little, and it was a fun tradition for us.

A little garland never hurt nobody.

And I love my new kitchen towels.

Isobel helped me decorate the sideboard, too. She kept telling me that “the pirates were sleeping,” which was kind of creepy. Yes, they are sleeping. Eternally.

I found these rose-shaped pine cones last year and I’m kicking myself for not writing down where we found them. I’d love to collect more. Dried berries and autumn leaves were also collected last year, because our leaves haven’t even thought of dropping off yet.

I inherited this glass pumpkin from my Nana. I keep thinking of fun things to fill it with: pine cones, candy corn, acorns.

I’m sure everyone’s seen the adorable doilies-as-spiderwebs on Pinterest? I saw them a couple years ago before Pinterest but only recently found doilies. They came already mounted on these lovely metal hoops. I just added the spiders Isobel put in my basket while thrifting. I was like, “High five, kid! I totally needed those.”

I found this owl in a thrift store the day an identical one in my shop sold. The one I was selling was painted a solid, glossy black and I very nearly closed the listing so I could keep the owl and the painted candle sconce for my own Halloween decorations. Part of me wants to keep this guy as is, part of me wants to paint him black, part of me thinks I should sell him because I don’t need another project right now. For the timebeing, at least, he’s part of my Halloween display.

You may have noticed that I don’t like gore or scary decorations. (Though what’s scarier than the skulls and their not-so-subtle reminders of our mortality?) Well, I’ve never been a fan of gore, but I have saved the truly scary, the deeply frighting, absolutely horrifying for the end. Behold! My scariest Halloween decoration of all!

I should do something about that.

After the holidays.

Snapshot

31 Aug

Staying at home isn’t all dusting the furniture while wearing pearls. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

* I had the very great pleasure of being interviewed by Amanda of She Has Moxie. In it I explain what it means to be a cross between June June Cleaver a and a Viking.  She asked me the hard-hitting questions, such as “What the hell are you doing with your life?” and “So your point is…?” And I try my best to answer in complete sentences. Amanda is dedicated to uncovering stories about women who create their own path, and her whole blog is a fascinating, inspiring read. I highly recommend it. You should also follow her on twitter, as she is a fun gal who has made Follow Friday more than once. Go here to read the interview.

* Since staying home with the baby I’ve been keeping very busy. For the most part I’ve been able to stick to my WAHM Schedule but there have been times where that has been an impossibility. That’s okay, though, because one thing parenting has taught me is to roll with the punches. Mostly I’ve been trying to put together suitable storage for all of my Etsy goods, clean out and revamp my closet, and put things together for Isobel’s Big Girl room. I work on it when my schedule allows.

* We recently took a family trip to Yosemite as a family,  and although we had some great moments we decided we weren’t going to attempt something like that again until she’s older. The next day Isobel was so exhausted she passed out on the floor two hours before her regular nap time in the midst of playing “cook.”

* My migraines have been back with a force lately, and I’m feeling haunted even typing those words. For one thing, it’s something of a taboo to even mention the frequency or severity of headaches among my friends that get them. If you’re having a reprieve, it’s a sure way to attract them. If they’ve been making you their vomiting, darkroom-dwelling bitch, they will linger. But I’ve been getting them in stretches of four days at a time again and it’s making me desperate enough to consider getting pregnant just so I’ll get that 2nd trimester break from the pain. I kid! Mostly!

* Halloween is coming! Anthony and I love dressing up so we usually start preparing in August as far as choosing costumes and putting together ideas. This year we’re going with a group theme but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s going to be awesome except for the part where I must completely disrobe to use the bathroom.

* Speaking of Halloween, I’m in the midst of writing a huge post about costume inspiration for babies and children. If you have a blog post about your kid’s previous Halloween costume and would like to send me the link, I’d love to include it in the round up. I want to get as many ideas together in one spot as I can, especially handmade costumes. Contact me here, or via email, or even on Twitter and I’d love to add your link to the post.

Follow Friday – It’s Not a Euphemism

5 Nov

It’s been a busy week — Halloween, the Election, and the Giants won the World Series.  Aside from that, Anthony’s been out of town on business quite a bit and I’ve been single parenting while suffering through a sinus infection. I really can’t complain, though, as much as I’d love to: my Mom and Anthony’s grandma have stepped up to help with Isobel and I am forever grateful.

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jtymann Write a service where people can post 140 character messages about themselves w/ and open api. Trust me. #tweetyour16yearoldself

louispeitzman Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to sign your college diploma. …Yeah, it’s an autograph—let’s go with that. #tweetyour16yearoldself

robogirl The Internet was on the fritz for a good 15 minutes! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. Not really, but it did kind of suck.

MeganBoley Is there a Roomba that specializes in cat puke?

wawoodworth Apparently, my brain’s screensaver mode is just to loop Spongebob Squarepants’ song “Best Day Ever”.

blankslate There’s about 10,000 reasons why being gay is awesome and kids don’t need to kill themselves. It doesn’t just get better, it gets fantastic

RonSupportsYou Tina Fey: “Calling Sarah Palin (as Fox News does) “Governor Palin” is like calling me ‘Dairy Queen Employee’. I was once, but I quit.”

hopelarson Maybe print is dead, but at least when you finish a book, there isn’t a string of obnoxious comments on the last page.

theRratedBull I prefer to buy ribbed toilet paper. You know… for her pleasure.

thejohnblog Keep your friends close, but keep anyone who uses the term ‘frienemies’ as far away from you as possible.

fierceflawless Therapy today! Guess which of you I’ll be talking about. #oversharewednesday

chickenscottpie FUN FACT: If you vote for a guy who openly calls for the repeal of the Civil Rights Act, it is legal to hunt you for sport.

sarcasmically I feel like I’m in an episode of House, sans the scathing commentary of attractive doctors. Oh wait, I guess I’m in an episode of E.R. then.

simontarr The people have spoken, and they have said “DERP.”

heyrenees I was looking forward to retiring in California and becoming a stoner granny. Thanks. A. Lot.

TheNextMartha Words used to find my blog “Glue gun stuck to butt”

superchunkband Boehner crowd chanting “USA” – they think these elections were between us and other countries! Awesome.

FrankConniff If I see one more millionaire TV pundit say Obama shouldn’t have passed health care, I’m going to need more health care.

danforthfrance I dunno how many election jokes I have in me. What’s the Twitter equivalent of weeping?

BOOKSTOREHULK IF BOEHNER LASTS LONGER THAN TWO YEARS, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN.

OngoingBS Hey Christine O’Donnell, go home and masturbate. You’ll feel better.

wordlust Footsie seems like a lot of fun till you try crotchsie.

AmandaStretch Thanks, Twitter, for suggesting I follow myself! I AM pretty cool.

goodinthestacks When I went to library school, I never envisioned myself counting money so often. #youseemerollin #somequarters

danforthfrance Tunt #LeastPopularBabyNames

RootsAndZest Vulveena #LeastPopularBabyNames

thejohnblog Not enough ‘Eye Of Newt,’ huh, O’Donnell?

DaveHolmes I’m watching election results on Fox News, with anchors Cheerleader Who’s Forced To Talk To You & Little Boy Going As Newsman For Halloween.

FrankConniff Don’t feel bad, Christine O’Donnell – Today is the first day of the rest of your life as a Fox News employee.

unschool Teen to his brother: “We are so close, we can even finish each others’…” His brother: “…sandwiches.”

kellyoxford There aren’t any girl magicians because we burned them all.

God_Damn_Batman Don’t blame me, I voted for martial law.

inversejaik @exlibris I prefer a third-party false dichotomy.

gt733 I think my twitter stream has finally gotten to the point that lets me experience paranoid schizophrenia without actually suffering from it.

yowhatsthehaps Apparently it is not appreciated when you greet the people at the Allergist’s office with, “SUP, NERDS!”

kerrianne I spy a spam-looking email that’s not really spam. Written in all caps. From my mom.

mordicai I’m prettty sure that Earth’s first contact with alien life involved an infectious noological meme-creature. It would explain the Macarena.

davidlubar If you have any friends who think the earth is 6,000 years old, remember to warn them that voting is a sin.

highlyirritable You’d think my kids would know by now not to leave me alone with their candy. I kinda lost respect for them today.

simontarr Just took a civic doody.

alwysabridesmd I like that Twitter thinks I should follow @CourtneyLoveUK. I like to think I’m the buttoned-down, less heroin-y poor man’s Courtney.

MrBigFists There is a reason text is typically left justified. In most cases, it’s a mistake to align with the right.

badbanana The “I Voted” sticker. A real-life Foursquare badge for old people.

WhyIsDaddyCryin it’s Pants Optional Friday and my dog’s eating a waffle!! BTW that’s not code for anything, my dog’s really eating a damn waffle.

Tweetin4Palin Can’t wait 2 see if my candidates won cause I’m influency or lost cause I’m persecuted by media bastards. Either way, hellooo TV talkin’!

jgquinton Since the title ‘pro photographer’ is abused to being meaningless, I’ll just wear a cape and call myself ‘The Illuminator”.

badbanana Last night of political ads. A sad time for those of us who enjoy black and white photos combined with ominous piano music.

tinastullracing It might look like I’m doing nothing, but at the cellular level I’m really quite busy.

lafix Let’s hope San Francisco wins it all tomorrow, too.

Zaius13 I understand the local sportsball club was victorious in what was apparently an important sportsball match. My geophysical area is superior!

shinyinfo I don’t mean to brag or anything but Michelle Obama just sent me an e-mail reminding me to vote tomorrow. Shelly Shell and I go way back.

not_CNN If I go through life never having to jump through a window while shooting two guns simultaneously, than all of this has been for naught.

TheRedQueen Twitter is mostly my outlet for complaining. It’s cheaper than therapy.

zombiesitcom Jumped into a taxi last night, told driver to “follow that cab.” He turned and said “I’ve waited my whole career to hear that.”

LaurelKS HELLO BURLINGAME I AM INSIDE YOU

FrankConniff I’m sure Cat Stevens performance at Stewart/Colbert rally made all suicidal young men with elderly girlfriends smile.

pistolval @exlibris my humble modesty is just one of my many, many great qualities.

lilpyrogirl Yes, I really was at waffle house at 3am…eating bacon…in a peacock costume…drunk.

CanuckMackem My wife said I’m too immature and if I don’t grow up it’s going to erect a barrier between us. Ha ha ha, erect.

pnkrcklibrarian My name is Lisa and I’ll be your instigator this evening.

shinyinfo There comes a time in every young librarian’s life where she has to shave the balls off her sweater-vest. #NotaEuphemism

Go Speed Racer

2 Nov


For my friend Zack’s birthday a bunch of us met up at an indoor racetrack in the Bay Area to celebrate his continued survival by wearing costumes and racing small, dangerous cars around a track. I was hesitant to sign up to race because it all seemed very official. The sign said this place was go cart racing for adults. You had to wear their racing suits and purchase something called a “head sock.” You had to take their safety class and understand what all the little flags mean.

 

And this place was filled with serious racers. Of which I was most certainly not. I’d never even driven a bumper car and my day to day ride (when door handles are not exploding in my face)? Is a Buick.

I can’t even drive a MarioKart properly.

But Angela was down and I figured if I was going to try it, I should try it with her.

After we registered we were asked to enter nick names that would list our positions and times for those following the race. I chose my twitter name, exlibris, but realized my mistake after it was too late to change it.

 

If I could do it over again, I thought, I would have named myself “head sock.”

And then I actually drove the course.

When I was all done I thought to myself, I have finally realized my true racing name:

Captain Slow.

 

 

Basically driving a go cart is not unlike sitting on a self-propelled lawnmower that is two inches away from the ground. It coughs and sputters and apparently has no power steering so two days later and my armpits are still so sore from the experience it can feel the strained muscles as I type.

The track marshals could tell I was a total newb. I knew this because before they even started my car one carefully leaned down to me and said, “Your neck brace is on backwards.” The giant helmet blocked my view so entirely that they had to put it on me correctly. Thank god I was at least able to buckle myself on my own. Adjusting the straps is no problem for someone who knows how to operate a car seat.

Being around other carts made me nervous so, being the courteous go cart-racer that I am, I let everyone go ahead of me. I had fun once I was by myself and could take the turns as fast as I wanted. I found it to be a bit like ice-skating: it’s easier when you are going fast and more challenging if you try to do it slowly. The trick with going fast, of course, is that loosing control is frowned upon and crashing into other drivers will get you pulled into the penalty box.

Speaking of crashes, I bumped into the tires twice and made it through the race incident-free until some agro racer guy slammed into me at the end. We were going around a corner when he lost control and I was in the middle of the turn so I couldn’t do anything but just watch him slam into me. Oh well. Once they pulled me free of the track the race was over any way. I hope I messed up your time, sucker! Making you lose is a victory in itself.

I’m glad we got to keep the head socks, though, because 1. ew, the idea of sharing head socks makes me barf deep in my soul, and 2. now Isobel has two ninja-masks for her dress up chest. Sweet!

Isobel had a great time running around the arcade area and pushing all the buttons on the rides. The best part was when Heidi let her play with one of Zack’s giant balloons and she thought she’d take it dancing.


 

Happy Birthday, Zack!