Wii vs. Real-Life: There Is a Difference (Who knew?)

Did you guys know that Wii bowling is a lot harder than real-life bowling? I think some small part of me knew this at one point in time, but kicking ass at Wii bowling had so inflated my ego that when we went bowling with our friends Jessie and Tim last month, I was a little shocked to be reminded just how much harder real-life bowling is. And what a harsh reminder it was.

When I Wii bowl, I dominate. I score high, get multiple strikes, and even look cool doing it.

As it turns out, none of these things happen when I am real-life bowling. I am lucky to get one or two strikes in three games (that’s 1 or 2 strikes total, not per game), I look like a total dork (see photo), and I absolutely do not, under any circumstances, score high. In that first game we played that day, when I was all Wii-cocky (sounds dirty!) and sure of my mad bowling skillz, I certainly did not dominate. Would you like to know what my score was? It was a 23.

Let me say that again: My score, for an entire game of bowling — that would be 10 whole frames — was 23. I think out of those 10 frames I managed to keep the ball out of the gutter maybe 6 times. Oh, it was not pretty. Not pretty at all.

I did better in the next two games. I think my scores were 120-something (due completely to luck, not talent) and 60-something, and I even managed a couple of strikes. Probably because I stopped pretending that I was Wii bowling and actually tried to apply some real-life bowling skills. But the gutter balls were still frequent, and the dorkitude was still extreme.

The scores, of course, were not the point of the day. We had a lot of fun, and laughing at my 23 score only added to the good times. We split a pitcher of soda, ate a really gross pizza, and enjoyed hanging out with friends we don’t get to see nearly often enough. Of course, we could have done all of that in the comfort of our basement with the Wii, and the only differences would be inflated rather than deflated bowling egos and delicious rather than disgusting pizza. But then we wouldn’t have my 23 score to laugh at, now, would we?

Wednesday-Bensday! Special Bits-and-Pieces Edition

Because I can’t think of a coherent narrative to string the remaining parts of the “Origins of Ben” story together, and because I don’t want to be posting pictures of pictures for many more weeks to come, today’s Wednesday-Bensday! is going to be a bit more random. There are a few more things I want to share with you about our first weeks with Ben, a few more pictures (of pictures) to show, and then next week we can return to present-day digital images of the little guy I like to call Silly Face.

Thing the First: Ben is terrified of trashcans, especially dumpsters.

Like, terrified, you guys. We learned this pretty quickly after bringing him home. Since we lived in an apartment with no yard, one of us always accompanied him, poop bag in hand, to the little bit of grass near the dumpster where we instructed him to “go potty.” (Oh, the convenience of a dog who goes on command!) Everything would be fine and good until we had to throw the poop bag in the dumpster. The dog would not go near it. He pulled so hard on his leash, trying like hell to go in the opposite direction, that I always had to stretch my arm as far as it would go to toss the bag into the dumpster.

This fear doesn’t seem to have been a phase, either. To this day he is terrified of most trash cans. Household trash cans he will tolerate and keep a safe distance from, but he still tugs and pulls at his leash whenever we walk by a dumpster.

This fear is kinda nice, in a way, because we don’t have to worry about him getting into our kitchen trash and making a huge mess. But it’s also puzzling. What in the world happened in the first few months of this dog’s life to make him so terrified of trash cans? What kind of things did they do with trash cans on the farm where he grew up? Did they have full-sized dumpsters near the puppy barn that were emptied weekly? Because the sheer noise of that would likely be enough to instill a life-long fear in Ben. Or was it something more sinister? Feel free to post your own Trash Can vs. Ben theories in the comments.

Thing the Second: Ben is possibly part cat, part gazelle, and part goat.

The cat in him? Evidenced when he perches on the back of the couch to keep watch over the neighborhood.

The gazelle part? Clearly evidenced by the way he bounds through the yard much like a gazelle would bound across the savannah.

The goat part? Take a look at these pictures from Ben’s first bath (especially that one on the far left) and then try to tell me he’s not part goat.

Thing the Third: Ben spent many of his early days in a play pen.

Being renters, we needed a puppy-proof place to leave him when we left the apartment, and even though he slept in a crate at night, we felt really bad locking him up in such a small space all day. So Tim went to the thrift store and bought this play-pen that he lined with a tarp and some newspapers to make it a suitable hangout for a not-quite-house-trained puppy. It was a good temporary solution for the 2 months we had left on our lease; it kept Ben out of trouble when we couldn’t be there to keep an eye on him, and it was cheap enough that we had no problem leaving it by the dumpster when we moved out of the apartment and into our very own house.

Oh, and it also helped me take one of my favorite Ben pictures of all time.

Don’t forget to get your extra dose of doggie cuteness with Rufus, Ted, Gus, and Zapp!

Work Out Wednesday: Crunch Time!

Hello, all you awesome GaGA participants! Anna was going to post this today, but she is busy training her replacement before going to her Awesome! New! Job! so y’all have to put up with my writing again this week.

(Secret note to Ben: Don’t worry, little guy, your post will be up later today — I promise!)

I just opened up Anna’s Master Spreadsheet of Awesomeness, and holy crap have you guys been busy! I am seriously impressed.

Let’s start with last week’s top 5:

  1. Operation Pink Herring — 1,450 (No, that’s not a typo. This newly-engaged chica spent all of last week walking and hiking around Barcelona. To say that I am jealous would be a gross understatement.)
  2. Kat — 450 (Sure, it’s 1,000 less than OPH, but still very impressive!)
  3. KM — 410
  4. Alayna — 365
  5. -R- — 335

Anna and I were active for 215 and 275 minutes respectively. Deidra went back to school last week, which kept her a bit too busy to workout, but she is already making room in her schedule for more activity this week. Plus, I think it’s fair to say that OPH worked out enough for the both of them, don’t you think?

All together, we were active for a total of 3,395 minutes this week. We are so awesome.

The ever-helpful pie-chart breakdown:

The standings for the month as of January 20 are as follows:

  1. Operation Pink Herring — 2645
  2. KM — 1555
  3. Kat — 1391
  4. Alayna — 1125
  5. -R- — 1027

Anna, Deidra, and I are at 736, 945, and 950 respectively.

The grand total of activity minutes thus far in January is a whopping 15,536. Y’all. That is a lot of minutes!

Last week we discussed potential prizes for the month’s winner(s). With your help, the three of us have come to an agreement on what the prize(s) will be. Trust me, it’s going to be Awesome. I’m going to keep the decision a secret for now, but all will be revealed next week: prize(s), winner(s), and some other awesome stuff too.

This week, answer me this: Of all the ways you’ve gotten active so far this month, what has been your absolute favorite form of activity? For me, it’s my Monday night Tap class. What’s yours?

I’d also like to send a shout-out to all the non-GaGA readers out there. I get the feeling that you’re a little jealous of how much fun we’ve all been having this month, am I right? Well, have I got news for you! This Friday marks the beginning of a new month, which means the beginning of a whole new round of GaGA — and we want you to join us! Everyone’s minute totals will reset to zero on the 1st, so now is the best time of all to join the fun. You’ll have just as fair a shot at winning an Awesome prize next month as everyone else, and participating is as easy as working out and sending the occasional email. Getting active has never been so AWESOME!

Leave us a comment or shoot us an email — mondayminutes [at] gmail [dot] com — and let us know that you’re interested. You know you want to!

Terrors of the Night

Long-time readers may remember that I went through a phase a while back where I was constantly having gut-wrenchingly horrible nightmares. They were so horrible that I often woke up and had to crawl across the bed and lay in the safety of Tim’s arms for several minutes before I was okay risking a return to the land of slumber. And even then sometimes my head hit my pillow and I was catapulted right back into the terror I’d just been trying to escape.

Thankfully, the nightmares stopped. I don’t know if my stress level decreased or what, but my subconscious decided to give me a couple of years of terror-free nights.

Lately, though, the horror has been creeping back into my otherwise peaceful slumbers. The nightmares aren’t as bad as they were 2 years ago, but they’re bad enough that it’s always a bit of a relief when Tim’s alarm goes off. (And, for the record, a 6 AM alarm should never be a relief.)

After the jump are some of the fun scenes I’ve been thrown into in the wee hours of the past 4 mornings.

(Speaking of jumps, about a week ago I dreamed that there was a lizard/spider suddenly crawling on me. I was so frantic to get away from the lizard/spider in my dream that I actually jumped out of bed. I woke up with my feet on the floor, my torso still on the bed, and Tim saying “What the hell was that?”)

(WARNING: Some of the material after the jump is not for the squeamish. I’ve left out the worst of the details, but even some of the cleaned up versions are pretty bad.)

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Heels, Shiny Red

A long, long time ago, as part of NaBloPoMo-07, Britt and I played a little game. And I lost. As the winner, Britt got to choose one item off of my “I Have Never” list that I, the loser, would have to do. Britt’s choice? I would have to buy a pair of Shiny Red Heels.

Now, at first, this didn’t seem like much of a punishment. I mean, I lose a game and all I have to do is go shoe shopping? Wow, Britt, remind me to let you win games more often!

“But if you think shoe shopping is so much fun, why have 2 months passed without any post about new Shiny Red Heels?”

Well, there are a few reasons. I could easily blame the whole holiday shopping season which resulted in a very limited cash flow and not a lot of time for extra-curricular shopping. But what it really comes down to is this: The reason I have never owned a pair of Shiny Red Heels? I don’t really like Shiny Red Heels. They’re just so flashy and . . . fancy and . . . shiny.

Now, if I worked in an office that required me to wear something fancier than jeans and flip flops every day, I might have had an easier time finding a nice pair of red heels. And I also would have had an easier time justifying the expense because I’d be able to break it down to a very low cost-per-wear number.

But here’s the thing. My office dress code is very casual. And while I tend to wear red shoes every day with my jeans when it’s not flip-flop weather, these red shoes are just plain old oxfords that have neither shine nor heels.

Still, though, I thought maybe I could find a pair of red heels that would work for me year-round. I could wear them with the nicer pants that I usually wear with boots in the winter, and I could wear them with skirts in the summer. But the “Shiny” factor just made all of the possibilities far too fancy looking for me to pull off in my casual work environment.

So I started shopping for Shiny Red Heels, keeping my fingers crossed that Britt would be okay with that. And I did end up finding a couple of pairs of pumps (one was even shiny!) that I really liked. But then I discovered a whole new problem: I have fat feet. Now, I’ve always known that I have wide feet. I never realized, however, that my feet were actually fat. Never, that is, until I tried on a sexy pair of pumps and my foot fat bulged over the top of the shoe where it hit the excess fat in my foot right above my fat toes. This is hugely attractive and all, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the shoes.

While I pondered what types of exercises one could do to eliminate excess foot fat, I stumbled across an adorable pair of red polka-dot sandals. They may not be year-round wearable, but they will look darling with skirts and dresses in the summer, they aren’t too fancy for my casual office, and as an added bonus, the actual heel of the shoe is shiny. Also, they were on sale for the exact amount of the gift card I had for the store I was in. I believe that is what is called a Win-Win-Win situation.

And so it is that after 2 months and several hours of shopping, I am able to present you with my new (and adorable!) Shiny Red Heels:

(Please excuse the messy toenails. These fat feet only get to splurge on pedicures in the spring and summer when they don’t spend all their time hidden inside socks and slippers.)

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