Location: Oregon, United States

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More stuff

Today is the last day of school. Of course, the kids are like, "Psych! Freedom!" and I'm more like, "OMG, what am I going to do?" I never feel good about summer with the kids at home. It is a battle every day to do something other than veg in front of a screen. Good thing there is a pool nearby, it is my only hope. But even then, that only lasts for so long. Sigh. Time to put on my armor, grab a crowbar and begin prying people off the couch.

Okay, enough of that. Now for an update about Martial Arts Class. It is FUN! The classes we were taking in MN were all about form and memorizing different steps. This class has that as well, but we get to spar with people our own size and belt level as well. We are learning to do "take-downs", which is essentially throwing someone on the floor. This is my favorite thing to do, especially when I'm the one being taken down. I can't help but laugh because it is so fun. Probably not a good learned response if I were in a "real" situation where someone wanted to hurt me, but I'm sure I will figure it out. In the meantime, I'm learning to breathe out, keep my chin down, and my guard up. Fun!

Pokemon. Did I mention that I have been sucked into the vortex? There was a pre-release party, where you could go, pay a fee, get twice as much merchandise (cards) than you could normally get for that amount of money, make a deck out of the cards you got, then play the game all day with various other players. It was genuinely fun. Many of the same people were there that had been in Salem for the regional tournament, although they left their costumes at home. Two sure-fire signs that I have achieved Pokemon geekdom: 1.) I received a "booster pack" at the end of one round, which is essentially 8 - 10 cards in a foil package. As I looked through the cards I had gotten, I found one that is relatively rare AND worked well with the deck I was constructing. My jaw dropped and I audibly gasped, then realized what I had done, looked around, and realized I was among friendlies that would understand my glee. Still, what a dork. 2.) After playing my deck all day at the tournament, I could see the gaps that needed to be filled in order to make my deck stronger. We came home, and William and Stephen and I looked at all the cards they had collected over the years in order to find some to make our new decks stronger. They had a few cards that would help me, but what I really needed were some "supporter" cards (don't ask, just go with the flow here). The only way you can get those cards is to either buy them online via ebay, or buy more booster packs or Level X decks. Suddenly I realized why the kids are always saying, "I NEED this new deck" or "I NEED to get this pack of cards". Because if you don't get them, your deck sucks and you always lose no matter how well you play. And that is only fun for about an hour. And I'm looking at my birthday money and thinking, "Is this really how I want to spend my birthday money? Really? What about the garden?" And I bought a tin with a Level X in it (a bargain, because now I have something other than a sandwich baggie to carry my cards in). Cool.

A note about Sasha, our dog. Last year, she shed all summer long and was quite ill. We did all sorts of interventions trying to figure out what was wrong and finally decided it was allergies. Long story short is that we've had her on a limited diet of Duck and Potato for over a year now, and she is FINE. Whew! This dog has been an interesting creature in our household. The first thing she did when we got her (two days after Sundae died - I was NOT ready for a new dog. I loved Sundae) was to go around the house and find every tennis ball that we owned. Sundae could have cared less about a tennis ball. Sasha LIVES for tennis balls. At first it was cute, but by about day three all we wanted to do was find the "off" button on her. Oy! We did find the off button eventually, all you need to do is hand her the ball and say, "Go lay down" and she will. The other thing is, that she picked Paul to be her favorite person and he has responded in kind. He lets her on the bed, in the middle, stretched out to full length. This was never tolerated with the other dogs. He baby talks her, and pets her and grooms her. She seeks him out when he is home, following him to the bathroom while he gets ready for work, bouncing a ball on the floor in hopes that he will blow off work and play with her instead. She ignores everyone else when Paul is home unless they are cooking in the kitchen or opening a door to the outside (maybe they are going to play ball without me!). At night, when we kiss the kids goodnight, she makes the rounds with us, jumping on the bed and snuggling with each child. She even knows the order, often going to Thomas' room before we even know he is ready. In the morning, when my alarm goes off, she flops her head up next to me so I can pet her and come awake slowly. This is my favorite part of the day and the best way ever to wake up. She is turning out to be a great dog after all.


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