Sunday, October 30, 2011

New thing #4: Rugby playoffs

We traveled to Detroit today to watch the Division III men's rugby playoffs. It felt a little like old times when every weekend was spent at the soccer fields, but now rugby has become The Boy's passion. The day was beautifully crisp and clear - a great day to "bleed and breathe rugby". To be honest, I don't understand much about this game. The Boy played a few games in a pick-up league last year,  but never had a win. This year he is on an official team with funding, a coach, and a winning record.

The Boy plays Hooker for the Oakland University team. He's the guy in the scrum (huddle) who is propped up by the other players so he can use his feet to "hook" the ball and win possession for this team. Ranked fourth, the OU team faced the first place team in the semi finals this morning. As games go it was fairly mild - a couple bruised ribs, a knot on the head, one guy nearly lost a finger - and OU dominated the play. They shut out the first place team and moved on to the finals. There the men played hard and with heart, but when the final whistle blew they were down three points. It was a bittersweet end to a great season, as a young inexperienced group of players formed a brotherhood on and off the field. They took the loss with grace and are already looking forward to the next season. I'll be right there cheering them on.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New thing #3: Zumba!

I was getting bored with my workout routines, so I decided to try a Zumba class at the gym.  Zumba is described as an hour-long mix of dance and cardio. Now, I'm not the most graceful person - I once fell off the sofa and broke my wrist - but in the spirit of New Things (and with my bff along for support), I headed to the class. 

The first thing we saw were some jingly sarongs that you could wear in the class. I passed on this since the last thing I wanted was to draw more attention to my clunky moves. The class was filling up quickly so we grabbed some back row real estate while I surreptitiously checked out the other Zumba-ers: 
   > Any men? (no
   > Anyone older than me? (yes
   > Anyone fatter than me? (yes)
OK, good to go. The instructor arrived and gave us some quick tips - work on getting your feet right, then move up to your hips and lastly your arms. Cue the music.

What I quickly discovered is that Zumba is really just good old aerobics, only faster and more aggressive. It's angry aerobics. Oh yeah, I got this. After all, I hadn't had a snack in a while, so I was kind of cranky. And as a veteran of Billie's Hilltop Bouncers, the aerobics couldn't be a problem, right? I actually did pretty good following the first routine, although every time I did a turn I caught my reflection in the mirror. It reminded me of the time I found a leech stuck on my foot and jumped around frantically trying to shake it off. 

About six songs later, soaked with sweat and out of breath, I checked the clock to see if we were done. 15 minutes had gone by.  Yikes.  But I survived the class and the two hours of foot cramps that followed. And you know what? I loved it! I will definitely do this again. Maybe next time I'll even wear the jingly skirt. 

I'm really glad I took the time to try something new. It's what this 'New Things' experiment is all about!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New thing #2: Corn Maze

I've been to several pumpkin patches and haunted hayrides over the years, but never walked through a corn maze. So as the sun was setting over a beautiful autumn sky, we headed to Bowers Farms in Bloomfield Hills. They have 3 separate mazes, each containing 6 checkpoints. You can play a game by finding clues at the checkpoints that will help you solve a "crime" against poor Farmer Joe, who apparently was the victim of an Animal Farm uprising. A downpour the previous day had turned parts of the mazes to muck. The sun had set by the time we got there, which made it more challenging. It's really hard to see muck in the dark.

We began with the llama-shaped intermediate maze. I mostly followed everyone around singing the Llama Song until we found the checkpoints, where my job was to use a hole punch to mark off the clues on our game card. We navigated through pretty quickly and moved on to the advanced maze. This one sort of resembled a dog wearing a hat. My sense of direction is usually quite good, but trying to make your way around in the dark while avoiding Stephen King's corn children is pretty challenging. My sister and I distracted ourselves taking really bad pictures with our camera phone while the rest of the gang looked for elusive checkpoint #6. We finally found it with a little help from Sis, who took a photo of the checkpoint map. The crime was solved; it was time to relax with a little hot cider by the bonfire before heading home.

So that was my corn maze adventure. It was fun, but I probably won't go again. And I'll leave you with some random observations:
  • Hardly anyone can resist making the goat noise when they see baby goats. 
  • The Post Bar runs a shuttle bus to this corn maze.  Really?  That's a good idea?
  • Corn fungus is as gross on the corn as it is in a tortilla as huitlacoche
  • This is what I look like when I'm lost in a corn maze:

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    New thing #1: My Blog

    When I was a freshman in high school, I started a journal. I wrote pages of teenage drama about the boredom of living in a small town, the frustrations of feeling like an only child with 7 parents, and the unfairness of my life because I longed for a boy who loved another girl. I carried the journal around with me in case inspiration struck. But one day at school, disaster struck instead, when a teacher with a propensity for pop quizzes made us clear off our desks. The journal slid under my chair, and I walked out of class without it. A few days later, a friend spotted it making the rounds - girls reading it during Trigonometry or study hall and then passing it on to their friends. The only saving grace was that I never identified myself in the journal. Thus began my motto "If it's personal, don't write it down" (along with the obvious 'don't take pictures' and 'never ever videotape').

    Today we have the internet and this thing called blogging, "a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links". Well there you go. My short-lived journal never had a Web link. So now I've officially created my first Blog, which I'll use to track new experiences. Occasionally I'll link them to my Facebook account. (Yes, I realize that FB is basically a blog, but it's not the same. Since this is MY list of new things, I get to quantify.)

    This time I'm looking forward to sharing my personal journal. Partly because I've learned to focus on the positive things in life. And partly because I realize if you don't care what I have to say, you're probably not reading this anyway. Unless you're wasting time in study hall.