Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bicycle Jousting - Check!

Does it make me a bad person that I was a little disappointed that no one got knocked off?

And is it bad that this was the first thing I have used my bike for in well over a year?

I'm guessing the answer to both is yes.

Oh well.

In any case, we had a lot of fun. We had 10 jousters, a gaggle of judges, a handful of kids, and a few random spectators throughout the match who both enjoyed what we were doing and were a little in disbelief.

What is bicycle jousting? Well, it is like Medieval jousting, but instead of horses you use bikes, and instead of big wooden poles you use pool noodles.

While pool noodles were a good idea, they bent easily and didn't make for the kind of epic challenge I had envisioned. Which, thinking back, was probably a good thing.

I should mention we dressed up a little bit. Sir Gawain Gretzky and the Princess.

Harry Potter vs. Dr. Claw (or something like that)

Han Solo vs. Red

Teen Wolf vs. The Blue Bullet.

Pink Peddler vs. Crazy Man

Yep, it's official. I have the best friends ever.

I should mention, that finished my 30 Things to Do Before 30 list. Only a little late. Thank goodness I received that extension.

And because I know you wanted to know what it feels like...

YouTube Video

Monday, January 2, 2012

Finish a Video Game - Check!

I will keep this brief, as I have posted quite a bit while playing through the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess = Conquered.

And I mean all of it - all Poe souls collected, bugs harvested, heart pieces found, end credits watched. Truly, it was a wonderful game.

The best part, though, was getting to hang out with our friend Grant while going through the game. In the words of the late Phil Hartman, good times.

Grant has moved on to bigger and better things out in Hollywood, and we wish him God speed and all the best. Grant, you always have a spot on our couch.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Paintball - Check!

Yes, I realize my birthday was six months ago. Yes, I realize I went paintballing six months ago. But, for story purposes I have chosen to ignore those facts. You should try ignoring it, too; it's fun.

Two things you should know about paintball.

1. It hurts like the dickens. Don't believe people when they say it really doesn't hurt, even if those people are playing in shorts and a tank top. Your nerves aren't like theirs. It's going to hurt. Thankfully, the pain is brief* and only serves to up the adrenaline for the next round.

2. It's fun as all get out. It really is as fun as it looks, and the bruising only serves to bond you to your friends more. If it were cheaper (and closer to my house), I think I would go more often.

I first got interested in paintball while on my 8th grade camping trip. My super-cool math teacher had odd welts on her arms, and when I asked her about it she nonchalantly mentioned a paintball trip with her friends. I was hooked; I knew this was something I had to do.

My friends in high school would play paintball in the woods, but they were all too chivalrous to hit a girl. Or so they said. Time moved on, and 17 years later I still had not played paintball. Thankfully, my husband and friends now don't seem to have the same issue about shooting wads of paint at me at high speeds.

We had an awesome time, the 15 of us, playing capture the flag, cops and robbers, and other mini-games. A video I will include in a post about my birthday has some clips of paintballing, but for now I will leave you with the pictures below.

My jacket - notice the dead center shot. That was the first time I got hit, by Jon. I had five shirts on, so that didn't really hurt. The thigh shots were what killed.

*Unless you are shot at point blank range, maybe in the knee or hand. Sorry Andrew, sorry Jeff. My bad.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grab zee Oocca!

More Zelda tonight; finished the "City in the Sky" board. Definitely my least favorite so far. Matt and Grant played most of it. Yes, we got the double claw shot, but everything was gray/ washed out/ hazy. Blah. Plus, there was much time-consuming vine climbing. And spinning platform-fans that were impossible to get from one to the other, even without the motion sickness they caused. It was all more annoying than difficult.

But, we got to glide while hanging onto the bird-like Oocca, so there was much yelling of "Grab zee Oocca!" I'm not sure Matt and Grant found it as funny as I did, but it made the board more enjoyable for me. We also got to tightrope walk as a wolf. And, the end guy was pretty cool. We were all glad when it was over, though.

I should mention Matt got me a Zelda wallet for my birthday. Love him.

Yes, I know the paintball post is LONG overdue. And so are my thank you cards. I'm sorry about both. Both will soon be taken care of.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finish a Book Series - Check!

There is a reason I don't read - I can't stop. Once I start a book, or heaven-forbid a series, I will read until I finish*...whether that means forgoing sleep, food, friends, whatever. I'm dead to the world until I have read every last word.

Sure, I may go to work, school, dinner with people, etc., but my mind is replaying events over and over from the book and I cannot get closure until I have finished it. Making me not very good company.

I've found ways to compensate over the years - I read smaller books; I read only on days when I have nothing else to do (not very often); I read the last chapter about 30 minutes before I know I need to go to bed or look up the plot on the internet.

But it doesn't matter.

Because it's not about the ending - it's about every single little detail that got the book there.

Because I love to read; and reading a little only makes me hunger for more. Growing up I think I read over 100 books during a particular summer break.

Because the people in the books become so real to me, even if books aren't connected but have the same character, I want to know what's going on in their life now (hence my Nancy Drew collection).

And it's these things and so much more that give me my irrational "fear" of Barnes & Noble.

But I digress. Where were we? Oh yes, finishing a book series.

Earlier this week I started reading The Hunger Games, and today I finished the trilogy. A very good series, full of action and giving one things to chew on. I'm looking forward to talking about them at my new book club. For their sake, I will refrain from making any comments on the plots of the books here.

The books are geared toward the young adult audience, but I think people of any age would enjoy them. They are a pretty quick read; even though they are almost 400 pages a piece, the words are pretty big, the lines spaced out, and the margins wide. But wait until you have some time, because once you start you won't want to stop.

And make sure you have all three at one time. I'm just saying.

Or maybe that's just me.

*The somewhat recent exception to this is the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I started reading what I thought was an eight-book set that turned out to be a 12-book set. And these are mammoth, 1,000-page, small print books. After being dead to the world for a few months of reading them intermittently between work and church and trying not to ignore my husband, I did the unthinkable...I stopped half-way through book nine. This is an excellent series, and I want to finish them someday. The original intent of this item was to do just that, but I don't think I'm ready to pick them back up yet. Besides, I read the last chapter; I know how it ends...**

**That was for you, Tiff. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do Things to Earn 3 Girl Scout Badges - Fail.

When I was making the master list of 30 things to do before I turned 30, memories of my sisters' Girl Scout badges floated to the surface of my mind, and I thought, "Y'know, I've always thought it would be such fun to be in the Girl Scouts; I bet I would enjoy 'earning' a few badges!"

I also thought, "Earning badges involves doing things like learning to make knots and growing a lima bean into a blooming plant; I bet I could do a few of them pretty easily in six months."

And VOILA! This item was added into my list.

Well...while I still believe I was right in that Girl Scout activities are fun, they involve much more than I had anticipated.

Every single badge (that I could find details on when I looked into starting this item in February) involved completion of six things, such as an interview, a report, an experiment, an experience, a diorama, etc.†

For example, let's say I wanted to get a "space" badge - not only would I need to go to an observatory, I would need to interview an astronaut, go to Kennedy Space Center, create a solar system made up of m&ms, write a paper comparing and contrasting the galaxies in Star Wars and Star Trek, and discover, name, and map a currently unknown volcanic crater on Io (a moon of Jupiter).* All of these things are both fun and hands-on learning experiences, but are a bit time consuming.

And while the Scouts have regularly scheduled events that help the girls get all things completed, as well as "how-to" guides, me by myself found it a little difficult to complete three of them in six months.

Subsequently, this will be one of the items on my list that I did not complete, and do not intend to complete unless it is as a Scout leader helping my girls (if I have them) one day to earn their own. Thus, I am marking this one as "failed" instead of "rolled over" for my next list.

While I did not 'get' any badges, I did earn massive respect for anyone in Girl or Boy Scouts. Not only have they done many varying things, they have learned a lot and have a leg up on their peers in being ready for the business world. I think this world would do better to have more Scouts.

†I am certain not all badges involve all of this, but the ones I found did. And, admittedly, they sounded like a lot of fun. However, doing them would have ended up taking most of the 6 months I had allotted for my list and there were other things I wanted to do.

*This particular badge with these requirements is completely fictitious; any attempt to earn it should not be made. However, I would like to note that I have gone to an observatory, talked with an astronaut, and been to KSC within the past year; I made an atom out of m&ms in middle school; I have gotten into SW/ST comparison discussions multiple times; I at least knew Jupiter had a moon named Io; and I have friends that worked on the space shuttles.**

**Come to think of it, I wish it were a real badge; I would have earned it. Well, except for the mapping of Io. Too much work. Any of my geek friends out there have any ideas for other fun badges? We could have our own club.

List Extension Approved

My birthday was this past weekend, and as you may or may not have noticed, I had only finished 26 out of my 30 things to do as of Friday. Because I wanted to finish what I started, and as the application process was pretty simple, I filed for an extension to complete my list. I received the following response:

Dear Self:

I am in receipt of your application to extend the deadline for completion of your list of 30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30. Based upon your dedication thus far in checking things off of the list, combined with your desire to have more grace for others and yourself into your 30s and beyond, your extension request has been granted.

I hope that with this extension comes a desire to continue to seek out fun and different ways to spend your time. Live each day as if it were an adventure and a gift from God, because it is.

Most sincerely,

With this extension, I hope to check off the final four things from my list within the next month. I am trying to decide what to do next with the blog; all suggestions are welcome. I had an amazing birthday with family and friends (which I will be blogging about to some degree soon), and one of the gifts was a journal with a few suggestions for my "40 before 40" list, so I know that will play into the next iteration.

For those that asked, here are the things that I have not yet finished/blogged about (yes, there are more than 4; I gave myself a buffer):

_ Paintball (did on Saturday; blog coming soon)
_ Bicycle jousting
_ Finish a book series
_ Do things to earn 3 Girl Scout badges
_ Watch every movie that won "Best Picture" since 1981, allowing for up to 3 exchanges with older winners
_ Skeet shooting
_ Go surfing
_ Finish a video game (imminent)
_ Read the entire Bible
_ Make a pinhole camera
_ Get something out of a claw machine