What happened today

I got out of bed at 3:45am, and met my friend outside at about 4:10am to drive to the airport.

I flew in an airplane to Chicago, where I met my cousins and then drove to Wisconsin.

We met with my brother and his friend at Devil’s Lake, and then hiked about six miles together around the lake.

We admired willingly the spectacular and deep-breathing-inspiring colors of the Fall, and awed at a Bald Eagle who flew over the lake for a bit.

We checked into our joined suite rooms, and then dunes down the street at an all-you-can-eat Mongolian stir-fry place, each eating more than we’d intended.

We gathered in the joined living area of the suite rooms, sipped digestifs, chatted about nonsense, played ukulele, practiced/learned some yoga and some acro-yoga, talked about nerd stuff, joked about my brother’s classmates back in college who argued about some terms in calculus, cracked up when my cousins began to argue about those terms in calculus, and consciously enjoyed our collective company.

I chatted more with my brother as he prepared for bed and I, unknowingly, was locked out of my room.

We laughed, and, eventually, I gained access back into my room with my cousins.

My cousin and I listened to voicemails from our grandparents, filled with wholesome delight.

I took the first good shower I’ve had in months (since the one where I’m living has been quite the nonsensical mess since I moved in there), and reminisced about Japanese onsen while I untangled a crazy knot in my extremely long hair.

I earned another badge in my Fitbit, because I walked over 22,000 steps today.

I stayed awake and in a good mood for over 19 hours.

I breathed easily almost the entire day, for the first time in a long while (it has felt, anyway).

I was myself, and so were the others, and we were spectacular.

I and we did good today, both grammatically correctly and incorrectly. ūüėČ

Post-a-day 2018

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My oldest brother, the eldest nerd of us

Another of my most beloved memories is the time my eldest brother and I went through the top ten logical fallacies together. ¬†He’s a total skeptic – not just in life in general, but he actually identifies as “a skeptic” – and we’re both total nerds, so, out of some conversation one day came the discussion of what a logical fallacy was. ¬†Utterly intrigued at how he explained them, I wanted to know more than just an example or two. ¬†And so, we printed out a list of the top ten most common logical fallacies people use in arguments, each with a brief description with the name of it, and he and I went through the list, one by one.

I would read the name of the fallacy and the brief description, and then I would see if I could come up with another way of saying it and with an example.  He would help me whenever I was unsure or stuck in my understanding.  It was a fun activity for the two of us, he getting to be the teacher of something he loved and I getting to learn something I found fascinating, and both of us getting to bond further with the other, not just in spending time with one another, but also getting to be nerdy together.

What I find most silly about this was that, as I recall, this was around my brother’s second or third year in college. ¬†That’s silly, you see, because that made me 12 or 13 years old. ¬†What 13-year-old do¬†you know who references logical fallacies in the middle of discussions, kindly informing the user of the fallacy that his or her point was, due to the use of the fallacy, invalid? ¬†Indeed, I don’t know any children at all who do that, and I teach high school. ¬†However, I believe that also was right around the time that I started reading a book on quantum physics (because I found what I had learned about it in a documentary to be fascinating, and so I’d bought one of the most popular books by one of the speakers in the documentary [whose name and book title I’d had to memorize carefully when I saw them at the end of the film, because the Internet wasn’t quite a thing yet then, let alone IMDb]).

So, to this day, I still love nerding out with my brother (though it happens with more family members than just with him, he’s the point of this brief trip down Memory Lane). I’m preparing to go visit him in just a few weeks, and I’m looking forward especially just to sitting around and hanging out with him, because the enthusiasm and excitement that arises in our conversations is always spectacular. ¬†Nonsense shared is never just a nonsense with us – something nerdy and smart inevitably arises from the stupidest and silliest of comments, making the nonsense oddly sensible and, usually, quite comical in the utter dorki-/nerdiness of it.

Post-a-day 2018

CrossFit Games

I don’t even do CrossFit, but I watched the end of the 2018 CrossFit Games today, because my brother was super excited about it, and he attended it all weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. ¬†Not even four minutes into it, I was balling. ¬†And, from that point onward, I continued having bouts of extreme tears all over the place until the very end of the Games. ¬†It’s just that kind of thing. ¬†I’ve done and been part of plenty of sports to be able to relate to so many of the feelings and situations and emotions, that I felt as though I could¬†feel their struggles and successes. ¬†Add the comments about how the whole goal of doing CrossFit is to be better as a person than one was yesterday, and it’s just a total tear fest.

I’m still not sure that I want to do CrossFit myself, but it was really neat to watch the nonsense that was the final round of the 2018 CrossFit Games.

Post-a-day 2018

Middle School Men

I used to fake a friend’s name in middle school. ¬†I did. ¬†To clarify, I faked his name in writing. ¬†I didn’t know how it was spelled, and I never worked up a way to find out (and to remember) how to write it.

Traditionally, I always wrote people’s names clearly. ¬†Sure, my handwriting was sloppy and small and almost always in cursive. ¬†However, I took the time to write people’s names, oftentimes in print, and much better than my standard note-taking, squinty script. ¬†So, when it came to this one friend’s name, I faked a sloppiness that was not my own.

See, regularly, when he wrote his own name, he connected the last two letters together somewhat, making it unclear as to whether it was a hurried -an or -on at the end of his name. ¬†It was a somewhat irregular name, and so I had no basis for comparison. ¬†Plus, the pronunciation didn’t help – there were plenty of foreign-like names that had an -an sound like a US English -on. ¬†(Take Han Solo for example.) ¬†To top it off, the first note he gave me, whenever he signed his name, I couldn’t tell which way his name was spelled. ¬†And, since I saw it that way first, that was what stuck.

I had heard how people spelled his name wrong all the time, and I had seen it spelled by others both ways.  I was not about to make that same mistake.  Therefore, I just threw in a stab of Рand I say stab casually, but it truly was painful for me Рsloppiness whenever I wrote his name in particular, and no one ever had to find out.

(Until now, of course, but that is beside the point.  These sorts of things mattered among young people learning to become friends in middle school.)

It was kind of funny, really, remembering all of this tonight. ¬†It all came to me, because of something similar about slightly illegible writing, but, because it was from middle school, I ended up with the song “sk8r boi” by Avril Lavigne in my head (a middle school hit). ¬†As I thought about the song, I happened to notice how my middle school was somewhat the reverse of the “sk8r boi” scenario. ¬†The nerd-esque boy in the ever-present UT jacket that seemed to conceal any shirt he ever wore – oops… I digress – now, he seemed to want me (and everyone knew it). ¬†I semi-wanted him, but I declined because he was¬†not the cool kid, so to speak; he didn’t have the skater boy edge to go along with his book brains. ¬†(I didn’t actually like the skater boys at my school either, but my brothers roller skated and skate boarded a little, and their general coolness was my standard for what was needed in a desirable guy [and still is], in addition to brains.)

I somewhat cared about what all my friends thought about him, but that totally wasn’t my reasoning. ¬†I just didn’t actually have a crush on the guy. ¬†We were classmates, and I had a blast going back and forth in contest with him over having the highest grade in class (math class for sure, I remember). ¬†But he didn’t have what I desired – he was just a half package, so to speak, not the whole thing. ¬†Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve felt about most any guy I’ve known. ¬†Perhaps that’s part of why I’ve never really been in any kind of dating relationship – I’m only looking for the whole package. ¬†Anything less is fine for a friend or acquaintance, but not for dating.

huh… not quite where I expected this thought line to go tonight… ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018

Nostalgia in a sniff

On my evening walk today, I was struck by what I believe must have been the smell of someone’s dryer sheets. ¬†Each time I passed it, I was brought instantly back to swim team days. ¬†Actually, I was brought back to specific swim team evenings. ¬†Somehow, the smell, combined with the warm air and the setting sun, reminded me of Monday night swim meets, and, more specifically, the movie nights to follow (once I was a little older).

Those movie nights are probably some of the best evenings I’ve known. ¬†We always had dinner at this one local restaurant after every meet (I think they gave use free kids meals with our team suits on). ¬†And then, afterward, the older kids would go over to someone’s house and watch a movie together. ¬†Eventually, I was approved to attend movie nights, though not many my age ever went. ¬†I just had an older brother, so I had an early in, so to speak.

At the movie nights, I had not a care in the world – swimming was behind me, and I got to hang around with my brother and other cool people. ¬†(Hey, they were all cool in my mind, because they were older and better at swimming, and because my brother liked them, and he was totally cool.) ¬†It was often at this one family’s house where the mother always made cookies. ¬†I’m not sure how it happened – though it in no way surprises me – but I ended up being her helper of sorts.

We kind of only watched “Hook”, with the occasional stray to “Star Wars”, at the movie nights, even though they happened every week. ¬†But no one seemed to mind that we watched the same thing over and over again. ¬†(“Hook” really is a spectacular film, you know.) ¬†Since I pretty much could quote the whole movie, I didn’t mind checking out the cookie-baking setup off in the kitchen one night. ¬†I ended up actually making and then serving the cookies during the movie from then on out. ¬†I went in and out of the movie, only hanging in the kitchen when I had a specific task to undertake, so I still saw most of the movie. ¬†But I got to do something extra, fun, special, and useful, too. ¬†Plus, everyone loved me for bringing them warm cookies that the mom and I had made. ¬†And, what made it even more special, was that I was hanging out with my older brother and his friends – I¬†qualified to be with them, and they weren’t opposed to my being there. ¬†ūüôā

One movie night in particular, as we left the house, I felt like I was in a wonderland, because flowing white surrounded us in the warm wind – someone had wrapped the house during our movie. ¬†Sure, it was toilet paper hanging everywhere from the trees in the front yard, but it felt like magic. ¬†There was something about those movie nights that just made life seem easy, free, and happy. ¬†I think that’s part of why I still love “Hook” and “Star Wars” so much, and I regularly have a desire to watch them (and always feel really special whenever I do actually watch them).

Yeah, those were really good times. ¬†Thanks, whomever, for your dryer sheets this evening. ¬†ūüôā

Post-a-day 2018

Work your nerd

I found out today that my brother had felt unease about his nerdy knowledge on various topics. ¬†Quite frankly, I had always admired him for said nerdiness. ¬†Whenever he was interested in a topic, he’d do what he could to learn as much as possible in a short period of time. ¬†And then, if it was something that he really enjoyed, how continued to learn about it in the years that followed, becoming ever more the genius on the topic. ¬†Possibly the best part of it to me was that these often were topics that had almost nothing to do with his work or schooling – it was purely things that interested him. ¬†Nowadays, he is still the same about it all, though he definitely has certain topics on which he could be considered an expert after so many years and hours of study and work dedicated to them.

I guess, growing up, I just didn’t know his world of friends and classmates and, eventually, colleagues, because I was so much younger than he was. ¬†I had no idea that¬†they didn’t know about his nerdy areas in his life, too. ¬†They apparently only knew about his cool, chic, sporty side (from what I understand now). ¬†He, it seems, was afraid of being rejected for his knowledge and studies. ¬†Now, though, he has begun to embrace his nerdiness, and publicly so (think social media, etc.), and he has been discovering how much respect exactly that aspect of him; especially since he is cool, chic, and sporty, but loves knowledge and nerding out over certain things. ¬†He is discovering that he had no need to be insecure about his interests and knowledge. ¬†Plus, despite the fact that the public has been responding really well to his nerd side’s being exposed, he already knew that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of him anyway – that’s their own business, not his. ¬†What matters is what¬†he thinks about himself. ¬†If he is happy with who he is, then there is no reason not to express that in his life. ¬†So, he started finally expressing himself, nerdiness included. ¬†Now that he has been doing that, he has also found that people are grateful to him for sharing himself and his passions with the world. ¬†Super duper win-win, I say. ¬†And I am proud of him doubly, for keeping up the nerdy knowledge, and now for sharing it with the world. ¬†ūüôā

Post-a-day 2018

Floor Hockey Rockstars

I had forgotten until recently that I used to play street hockey with one of my brothers. ¬†We just would rollerblade together and pass the ball or puck to each other, or practice rollerblading with the sticks as fast as we could and then with the sticks and ball/puck. ¬†It was fun. ¬†And, you see, I remembered this, because I was trying to figure out how I had been so good at floor hockey in gym class in ninth grade, even though I had never done it in school before then. ¬†And I thought of that memory, because I saw at the YMCA the other girl in that freshman gym/health class who was really good at floor hockey (and definitely more intense about it than anyone else), which had been our first sport of the school year. ¬†Her name is Kristina. ¬†It was really good having someone else in that class who enjoyed sports for the sport of them, and who was naturally good at most sports, and who didn’t get an attitude about any of it. ¬†We didn’t really become friends outside of that class, but she’s always held a little sweet space in my heart and memory because of our initial floor hockey awesomeness bond. ¬†ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018