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

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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.  🙂

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.  🙂

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.  🙂

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.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

How do You shave?

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is the time my brother, sister, and I bonded over shaving legs in the living room.  You see, our dad’s house used to be a duplex, and so the upstairs and downstairs had the same floorpan, giving the girls – the upstairs lots – our very own living room.  It was normal circumstances for us girls and maybe a girlfriend of one of theirs to hang out on lazy afternoons and evenings there.  Occasionally, our bother would join us.  On one particular night, my eldest sister had decided to allow me to shave her legs for her, while we watched some television show.  I was around eight or ten years old.

In my panic of doing it, worried that I would slice open her leg or something, my brother joined in on the adventure, to show that it was definitely doable by me, since he had never shaved legs, but he was able to do it safely.  And so, he shaved her left leg, and I shaved her right, while she lay on the rug in the living room.  Such beautiful sibling bonding time.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Unpacking & Unboxing

Three and a half thoughts:

1.  I spent my afternoon today opening and sorting boxes from Japan.  I finally have the much-needed winter clothing I’ve been wanting the past month and a half.  Good thing it was almost warm today.

2.  I was happily surprised that almost everything I brought back was totally practical and useful and something I really like.  I was worried that I wouldn’t like loads of it all.

3.  It’s interesting to me how Japan no longer feels like a sort of adventure.  It actually surprises me when people have big reactions to the fact that I was there, living there.  It feels the same as saying that I buy vegetables at the grocery store – it’s just something simple and everyday.  I lived in Japan… and so do millions of other people.  I know that it isn’t the regular deal for people around here; I’m clear on that.  I just mean that it feels so not special to me specifically.  It almost feels more unique that I floss my teeth every day (sometimes more than once a day), than that I lived in Japan.  I guess it’s just old news for me now. So does that mean I need some new news, then, if only for myself?

1/2.  Wait until you see the tubs of kimono that I have…!  (Doesn’t that sound like ice cream or something?)  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Asian-English teatime with the bff sister

This evening, by a wonderful unfolding of events, I ended up having tea with my best friend’s little sister.  As my best friend’s little sister, she holds a sweet spot in my heart.  What’s more, the fact that she’s the first person I’ve seen go from little kid, singing nursery-rhyme-type songs, to a mature young adult (and soon full-blown adult), makes that spot even sweeter.

As we sat in the tapioca teahouse, drinking our warm (Taiwanese style, I think – at least, that’s what a friend of mine saw constantly while in Taiwan, and which we haven’t seen much elsewhere) bubble tea, our attention somehow turned to the menu on the wall.  Naturally, we hadn’t thought anything special of it when we actually were looking at the menu to order earlier on, but it was suddenly relevant to our conversation, so our attention turned to it.  She is studying Mandarin this year (since August), and I’ve just moved here from Japan.  So, we have some common ground on understanding Chinese characters.  (For those who don’t know, Japanese kind of stole the characters from Chinese, and adapted them a bit, so loads of them look exactly or almost exactly the same and have the same or very similar meanings.)

We joyfully pointed out that “ice” was on the end of each name in the ‘Snowy Drink’ category, and that “little” was next to one other character on the “Snacks” sections – likely ‘little meal’ or ‘little food’.  Something like that.  And then we discussed how we were scouring the menu, picking out little pieces that we understood.  It was like a fun little puzzle that we were putting together, piece by piece… one that we know will take months, even years, but the timing of which doesn’t seem to bother us in the slightest.  We’re just excited that we’re able to make the little sense of it all that we already can.  And we aren’t even using the same language to do it, technically, making it simultaneously that much sillier and that much more awesome.

So, we got to enjoy one another’s company and be nerdy language-lovers together, while sipping warm asian versions of English tea (Earl Grey) on a cold, cold night (for Houston, anyway).  Blessings abound when open our minds and schedules to them, it seems.  And I am grateful for this one in particular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017