Why is it that bowling is so much fun? It's one of those games that people laugh at when seen on TV, and look at you weird if you say you have your own bowling ball or shoes. Yet, I've taken my team from work bowling twice this year, and we've had an absolute blast. There's something freeing about being in a bowling alley making a fool of yourself. Or maybe it's about the chance, or guarantee, of beating your boss. Or maybe it's just that we're all completely out of the element we normally see each other in. I don't know. But I think I'm going to have to make sure we continue to go bowling at least once a year.
Besides actual writers with published material for which they were paid, what is the difference between people who write well and people who aren't as good at it? Is it really just practice? If you write enough drivel, do you eventually learn how to write well?
I somehow doubt it. There is certainly some level of mastery that comes with practice, but much of the magic of the written word is conveyed by people with a talent for words, for the way they go together, and a willingness to try something non-standard and see how it goes.
Recently, I was at a party where I was mostly in a group with lots of people I didn't know. In these kinds of situations, I do generally get a little bit silly. It's also good to be able to read people's faces and feed off what they are enjoying, and what they are tolerating. At some point, one of the ladies in the group said I should write for this online magazine her daughter ran because they're always looking for fresh writers and I was cracking her up. I took the information about the magazine, but I could never do it. Writing is just a totally different skill than talking. I go back and read stuff I've written, and it bores me to tears. (I apologize to those of you that actually come to this page and read the drivel I put together.)
I know several people that really can write, and I am blessed to know them (and healthier for the laughter). I, on the other hand, will continue to write drivel until I can get it to be better drivel.
Last night we went to a party at a friend's house, and after a certain number of margaritas were consumed, the host decided it would be fun to put on the Discovery documentary Freedive, which my husband and I participated in last summer. When it was first filmed, it was very exciting, and the first viewing was a lot of fun. Watching it now, a year later, was just creepy. I hadn't rewatched it any in the last eight months since it first came out, and now it makes me want to cringe and destroy all copies of it. Thankfully, Discovery never made a version of the film for general sale. So the only copies that exist are the ones that our friends and family recorded. I think it will be tough to get them all deleted, but that is now my mission.
So, my husband finished grad school. This is a momentous event in life. Yes, it is a huge accomplishment. But even more than that, this has been a near cornerstone of our relationship for the last 7 and one-half years. I embraced the challenge, then I accepted it, then only tolerated it, and lately I have come to rely on it for our entire relating dynamic. I didn't realize this transformation was happening until he actually stopped being in school. He's not constantly stressed out. He isn't depressed and mopey. He isn't blowing me off.
He's actually spending time with me. It's weird, and I haven't figured out how to adjust. The thesis, with all its edits, was turned in on Friday. That night, we went to a party. This weekend, we went for a walk in our neighborhood, went to a movie, and had Sunday lunch where I wanted to eat. Monday night we went to the gym together and dinner afterwards. Last night we had friends over for dinner. This is so foreign that I don't know how to react. These are the kinds of activities I expected marriage to entail back when we entered this crazy ride. I think I'd given up that kind of life as still being possible.
It's exciting, don't get me wrong. I just haven't figured out how to process it yet. I'll get back to you when I figure it out.
I have to say I was a bit worried when Antoine Wright entered the draft after his junior year. However, so far so good for my team. Both Joseph Jones and Acie Law IV (as well as a couple of new guys) have stepped up to play well so far in exhibition and non-conference games. They're 6-0 so far for the season, with some great games in there. True, they haven't played Duke or Kentucky or even Missouri, and all but one of their non-conference games are at home, but they are showing the kind of promise that is enough to get me to look through the schedule and see which games I should try to get to. Hmmm...Texas Tech comes to College Station for the Big 12 opener on January 7th. That's a Saturday, and would definitely fit into my schedule. Is it too early to start planning for that?
Since it's cold now, I had to dig out my coat. I stuck my hand in the pocket, and found a business card that pointed out that I haven't worn that coat since a business trip to Michigan last January. That particular trip was one of my more interesting business trips ever, and decided to put it all down on virtual paper.
I got to town the evening before I was to visit the customer, and decided to go to a local Italian restaurant that seemed to have gotten good reviews. When I got there, I found that this was an incredibly busy place, and seeing as how I was a table for one (and didn't want to wait for food), I decided to sit at the bar and eat there. As I'm eating my dinner, a 60-ish fellow next to me strikes up a conversation. Seems he was the Drain Commissioner of the city, and I now know all about what this elected official does. He told me about the size of his staff and budget, and threw in that he used to be the mayor, but since the DC has more power, he prefers that role, and has been doing this job for nearly 25 years. In my I-haven't-dated-in-nearly-eight-years naivete, I still realized he was flirting with me. I pointed out that I was from out of state and wasn't one of his constituents, and was married (I think I made several unnecessary references to my husband to drive this point home), but to no avail.
We continued with some very interesting political conversation, since he was a liberal Democrat, and I'm more conservative, with libertarian leanings, and am not afraid to disagree with people. We talked for a while, and he bought my dinner (despite my insistence that it was a business expense for my trip). He bought me a drink, and then suggested we go to a bar across the street. I was intrigued by this much older man hitting on me, that I agreed. We talked about his family (his daughter is 10 years older than me), drugs (he thinks all should be legal, and has done his fair share), sex (he loves it, and he's good at it, by his perception), and more politics (drains and water control are surprisingly interesting if the elected official in question is passionate about his work). Then he talks about how in his free time he also runs a massage business, and his clients really like his technique. Especially his female clients. Oh, and he's brought some of them to the Big O just through massage.
I start to leave. He says he wants to see me again. He has to go to a wine tasting the next night, and wouldn't I come with him? He'd really like to give me a massage after I'm done working with my customer the next day. He gives me his card and writes his cell phone number on it. He says won't I please call him when I finish up with my customer the next day? I pocket the card, making yet another feeble comment about needing to call my husband and go to bed, and head back to my hotel.
Okay, so I know that's not really how that call goes. And I know that Texas doesn't get nearly as cold as it gets in other parts of the country. However, this is cold. And icy. So yes, we do basically shut down when it gets cold down here. But that's only because there's also precipitation, and almost never in the form of snow. So we have layers of ice across all the roads everywhere. You should have seen all the wrecks and fender benders I saw last night on the way home. Two to three accidents on every overpass that wasn't closed. New closures occurring all the time. I probably saw 15 emergency vehicles last night about 8pm in the 15 minutes it took me to get home. Kinda crazy.
My parents live in Dallas, and they were expecting an inch of ice last night with two inches of snow on top of that. Apparently, during the commute home yesterday, a semi got almost to the top of one overpass there, and freaked out...just decided not to crest the hill and go down the other side. He was concerned that he wouldn't be able to stop, and would cause a big accident. Probably the smart thing to do, but then all the cars behind him were stuck there. On the overpass. Would have been smarter to just not start up that overpass. Let someone else cause an accident and block the road anyway.