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    At Brunswick 51

    I basically grew up in the bowling alley.  My parents bowled in leagues and when I was old enough, I bowled with them.  I think I knew how to keep score (back when it was still done with PENCILS) before I was about seven.  At any rate, here are a few memories from the lanes:

    • My folks had a friend that happened to have crossed eyes.  Somehow, my mom didn't know this fact.  Enter embarassing moment when my mom said, "Look at me when I'm talking to you!!"
    • Ah, another mom story.  She was twirling around because she had a cute skirt on.  Twirl, twirl, twirl, twirl, thud.  Oops.  Sorry poor guy walking by that took one to the nuts because mom wasn't looking.
    • Can't leave out dad.  He had false teeth and thought it was funny to scare kids by popping them halfway out.  Yep, all good till he lost hold of them and they fell out on the floor.
    • Once I was spinning around the hand rail/pole thing and cracked my head on the bench.  You know those fiberglass monsters?  Ouch.
    • I loved (and still do) pinball.  When I walked up to a machine that had over 20 free games on them with no one around, I thought I found heaven.  Yep, until the biker dudes came back and found that I played all their games.  Scary moment.
    • Remember the game Joust?  First played at the bowling alley.
    • I learned how to carry a steaming hot cup of coffee the length of the lanes without spilling it.  And I learned that the best way to have coffee is light and sweet.
    • The manager's wife was my gym teacher.  The manager kinda looked like a skunk.
    • I was a pirate at the Halloween party at the alley but I had twisted my ankle a couple days prior.
    • I had a Snoopy ball and bag and hot pink and white bowling shoes that looked like high top sneakers.
    • When we turned 21, we went there to shoot pool and drink beer.  And play the jukebox.  I swear I have all my teeth.

    There you go.  Memories from Brunswick 51 Lanes and Lounge. 

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    The vacation recap

    So I'm a little slow in posting this.  I'm okay with that. 😛

    There were photos.  I mean other than the random ones that I posted from my phone.  Of course, they're in my Flickr account.  A lot of them will look similar since I found the function on my camera that takes a bunch of pictures in a row.  I tried to keep those ones toward the end and keep the more interesting ones in the front for your viewing pleasure.

    • Friday – Typically, we wouldn't leave until Saturday morning, but we got the word that the house was ready so after work we packed up all of our stuff (why can't we ever travel light?) and hit the road.  iPhones make for great timewasters especially when you can play with the GPS.  I'd guess it was close to 10 by the time we made it down to the Keys so there wasn't much to do but unpack and rest.
    • Saturday – Good morning, RAIN!  You suck!  You kill outside plans.  But Lovey's mom cooked for us and damn was it good.
    • Sunday – The plan was to go out on the boat.  Some friends were coming down and we were to make a day of it.  Guess what?  Good morning, RAIN!  YOU STILL SUCK!  Good evening Lovey's mom.  You make the most fantastic dinners.  EVER! (do I really wonder why I can't lose any weight?!?!)
    • Monday – It's still raining.  But you know what's fun in any weather?  Knocking down some pins!  Yeah, bitches, we went bowling.  I LUUURVE bowling.  I can't help it.  I practically grew up in a bowling alley and knew how to keep score before I was 10.  Later on, I bowled with my folks in a league.  Good times.  But I digress.  COSMIC bowling!  Yeah, I was p-s-y-c-h-e-d (psyched is what we wanna be, get psyched, alright Leps, get psyched).  I donned my bowling shoes (just noticed that cafepress has a gajillion bowling shirts!)

      and found a ball that wouldn't rip my arm off and got set up.  Let's just say that these particular lanes haven't necessarily been well taken care of.  If you've been bowling or watched it, you might see folks slide on that last step before releasing the ball.  Yep, tried that and damn near fell on my face AND broke my knee off.  Damn you humidity.  Know what else humidity does?  Warps lanes.  Oil might help the situation but I think there was only one small patch on the entire lane.  I'm about a 150 average (on the Wii, lol) and maybe about 120 or so when I was bowling for real, so bowling under 100 didn't please me.  Oh, and when you hear the ball bump over the warped part of the lane, over the music, I might add, it's just time to throw in the towel and finish the pitcher.

    • Tuesday – Would you believe it was a little rainy?  Apparently it hadn't rained in months before we came but thankfully it could rain for three straight days on our vacation.  Oh well.  At least I got to sleep in and drink the pineapple/mango/Parrot Bay combo all day.
    • Wednesday – Let's hit the road to Key West!!  We stayed in the most awesome place!  Their pictures don't do it justice.  We rocked the "private suite".  It was like a little apartment.  Schweet!  Last year, we walked everywhere.  This year, we came better prepared with our bicycles.  Much easier to stop back at the hotel when it only takes a couple minutes. Hello frozen drink containing grain alcohol, bourbon, 151, vodka, lemonade and grape juice.  And hello delicious food!
    • Thursday – Giddyup!  Continental breakfast, chillin in the pool, laying around, riding bikes, taking pictures, SWEATING!  So, so hot.  Nighttime bars that included live music and a ridiculously drunk local that I have a picture of but am too lazy to upload.
    • Friday – Back north to Key Largo.  We must chill on this last day and chill we do.  There's nothing like the freedom to do nothing.  Ordered subs from a local place that ROCKED!
    • Saturday – Home again, home again.  It's always nice to go on vacation but it's just as nice to come home to the familiarity of my own bed!

    And that's it in a nutshell, kids. 

     

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    QotD: Naughty or Nice? Complete badass.

    Have you ever secretly unwrapped a gift before the big day? 
    Submitted by Red Pen.

    When I was just a little thing, I used to think that it was so cool to be able to sneak in and out of places and no one ever knew that I was or had been there.  As the perfect cat burglar, I was the queen of finding out what we were getting for Christmas long before Christmas morning. 

    My parents either weren't the best at hiding presents or they just flat out didn't try to hide them which is more likely considering the other things that they never tried to hide.  So every year, the presents were in the back corner of my dad's bedroom closet and every year, on a Sunday night, when my parents were at the bowling alley, the recon mission began.

    League play started at 7 and the lanes were about 10 minutes away, therefore my mom and dad left at about 6:30.  (I didn't find out until later that there were pre-bowling preparations such as getting coffee/beer/chicken wings/etc.  Besides that, my dad was VERY against shoing up on CP time.)  For an agonizing 30 minutes, my brother and I sat around the house, just waiting for the clock to strike 7, for the pins to start falling, for the tape to be slowly and carefully peeled back.

    At the stroke of 7, we entered the sacred closet.  We both took a mental picture of how the presents were placed in the closet so we could return them in the exact same manner.  One by one, we would take them out of the closet.  My brother, always more excited about Christmas than I was, he always got better gifts, but I digress, would pick out a couple things that he just HAD TO KNOW about what was in the box.  With my super steady 11 year old hand, I would carefully peel back the tape without ripping any paper and unwrap the box enough so that we could see the treasure inside.  After all was said and done, I would carefully rewrap everything and place it back into the closet.  After a while, I had gotten so good at it, that even if I ripped the paper a little, I could put it back exactly where it was and place another piece of tape on top so that it looked like nothing ever happened.

    All that practice growing up and nowhere to apply it in the real, grownup world since being a cat burglar might pay the bills, but there's no health insurance.  Now that I have a daughter of my own, I don't even put the presents under the tree until Christmas eve and we keep our bedroom door locked.  :-) 

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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