Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spy in the Cab

Can you all believe that November is essentially over? I honestly have no clue where the time has gone this year. It's crazy.

I have some business to take care of before I get into the thrill that will be today's entry.

First, Ben O. over at the Procrastination Station asked how the craft show went. Yeah, that was a bust. I sold one scarf – to my friend's mother. I was pleased. My friend said that there were two other people selling scarves and although lots of people checked them out, she said she could tell they were knitters, because they were inspecting the stitches and yarn and such. I've done it myself, so I can't complain. The good news is that my friend sold seven of her felted purses (they're beautiful and I'm surprised she didn't sell more). And since I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm doing another show with her on Friday at her church. She was in charge of the tables, and she says there are no other scarves, so I'll be sitting in a suburban church hall (gymnasium) on Friday night (I know how to party) hoping to sell a few scarves. If I don't, I'll sign up for a table at my own church's craft show for next Saturday. And if that doesn't work, I'm posting them here, so you can all marvel at their beauty and beg for the opportunity to buy them. ;-)

Second, Beth, the Gardening Knitter expressed an interest in seeing my handiwork. That can be done (not all of my scarves on there) at my site. Once I get them back, I'll post more. I need better lighting in my house though because the colors aren't coming out right.

There hasn't been a whole lot going on in my life this week. Work has been great fun (lots of 2-4 hour meetings which will wipe a person out). I never even got a lunch yesterday. Hell, I didn't get any breakfast either. I was surprised I had the energy to do a full hour on the elliptical with no sustenance all day. The weather has been fabulous (but that's supposed to change midway through today), so instead of going to the gym, I've been walking outside. Last week Tuesday & this week Monday I walked up to Kroger (pretending I live in Europe or SF by buying only a few items at a time), it's about a mile each way – maybe a little more than a mile. Then Tuesday I walked 2.5 miles outside. I did my 7-mile loop a couple of weeks ago and didn't enjoy the blisters, so I decided to be smart this week. I still got blisters which didn't make me happy. I might have to switch to my new New Balance shoes when walking as opposed to ellipticalling.

I don't have a lot of Christmas shopping to do which is nice. I got the Little Brother (LB) this year which sucks. Don't get me wrong, I *love* my LB, but all he wants is a gift certificate to Circuit City (or Best Buy, but I object strongly to Best Buy as they suck in the whole "I want to help you buy that television you're obviously looking at" department) to buy computer supplies. I’m knitting Mom's present which I hope to have done this weekend. I just finished Grandma's birthday present (Dec. 10 she'll be 88 years old – she's so damn cute), then it's on to my niece's poncho. I made it for her a couple of years ago and it wasn't fabulous (more cape-like than poncho) and although she didn't care, her mother wouldn't let her wear it, so I got it back and am taking it apart and going to start again. *sigh* I asked my niece what she wanted for Christmas and she shrugged. I said, "if you don't tell me what you want, you're going to something educational." She said, "I like educational toys. But I would like my poncho back." You can't argue with someone who actually wants your knitted goods.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Kay at the West Virginia Surf Report entertained us with stories of school gym classes and asked for our reminisces.

I went to Catholic schools from 1st to 12th grade and if you know anything about Catholic schools in the 70s you'll know that they weren't really big on the less academic subjects. We didn't have music, art or gym teachers. We had homeroom teachers who did all that, along with their regular academic subjects. Now, picture my 5th grade homeroom teacher, Sr. Humiliana. Yup, that was her chosen nun name and she was at least 80. She didn't just still wear a habit, she wore the old habit. The old habit was floor-length, had a white rope tied around the waist with knots in it (no clue, don't ask) along with a rosary, and the high wimple. The high wimple had a white hard material which stood up off the top of her forehead a couple of inches and around her head and under her neck. That was covered with the same lovely black fabric as the habit. She also moved as fast as a tortoise. Now, please remember that she "taught" us gym. We had it once a week and on gym day, girls were allowed to wear shorts under our uniforms (but no other day or you got sent home). The ritual was that we'd take our jumpers and ties off in the classroom and we'd go to the gym in our shorts and white blouses. We must have also changed our shoes, because they were ANAL about street shoes on the gymnasium floor. I'm amazed we were allowed to do this in the classroom with the boys, but we were. Boys didn't get to wear shorts, they just took off their ties and put on their tennis shoes.

Gym class itself consisted of whatever lame activity Sr. Humiliana came up with. I remember once gym class that was all calisthenics – jumping jacks and such. Another time we had these boards that were maybe ten inches square and wheels on the four corners and we had to scoot ourselves across the gym floor in some sort of relay. The trick was NOT running over your own hands. I vaguely remember one day of dancing, but I don't remember if it was square dancing or not. I think it was 5th grade when Kathy Nelson kicked a ball directly into my chest from about a foot away and knocked the wind completely out of me. I remember being very scared because I simply could not breathe. I forget who did what but I obviously eventually started to breathe. Another favorite grade school gym class was kickball. It's weird, I had 8 years of gym class in grade school and I can remember 5 or 6 distinct classes.

High school was the hell for gym. First, in Michigan by law you have to have so many years, but at my school you could get out of all but one year of formal classes by participating in sports (intramural or interschool) and normally you took gym in 9th grade, but I had too many classes or something, so I didn't get a gym class my freshman year, so I had to take it when I was a sophomore with all freshmen. So embarrassing!

And it's even more embarrassing when you know that I’m completely unathletic and uncoordinated. We started the year with Archery. That actually wasn't too bad and we got to go outside. That was followed up with volleyball which was when I realised that I actually suck at volleyball although I will play (quite badly) occasionally. After volleyball was racquetball which wasn't too bad until the day I took a racquet to the side of my head. I remember getting to sit on the stage for the rest of the class, so it might have knocked me out for a second or two. This took up the first half of the year. I had no clue that I would shortly be looking back with fond memories at racquetball. The girls' gym teacher at my high school was the gymnastics coach (she wasn't exactly svelte, so it's hard to picture her doing anything gymnastically, but I never actually saw her participate, so maybe she was one of those teachers who can't "do," so they teach). Anyway, the second half of the year was entirely gymnastics which doesn't sound bad until you remember my complete lack of coordination. She handed out a sheet of paper and each activity you completed you got a certain number of points. You had to get so many points (the number 9 is sounding familiar) to pass. Yup, I damned near failed gym, while there were girls who had close to a hundred points. To this day I can tell you what I accomplished – I was able to complete a somersault, a backward somersault, a forward roll, and very badly done backward roll, just don't ask me to do any of these now. I have never in my life been able to do a cartwheel or a round-off or anything other gymnastic-y thing. This, however, was not sufficient points for me to pass, so I hooked up with a bunch of girls and we got extra credit for forming a pyramid. I was on the bottom because having me even one row up would have jeopardized the whole thing. God, I hated gym class. I probably would have taken another gym class to get the credits needed to graduated except most of them were gymnastics or other things I couldn't do to save my life, so I played one or two years of floor hockey, intramural soccer and possibly basketball (although I find this very hard to believe because I can't make a basket to save your life).

The funny thing is that in college my then best friend convinced me one term to take aerobics (it was called dance exercise) at the fieldhouse. I again proved my lack of coordination by being completely unable to follow the teacher that entire first term, but eventually I figured it out as I took her dance exercise classes for a good six years (I worked at the U after I graduated – it didn't take me 6 years to graduate). I kind of miss Peggy Foss' aerobics classes. Omigod! I remember one term where these girls showed up to take the class and they were obviously there just for the credit hours (probably for their financial aid) because they put less effort into it then a little old lady walking across a street. I mean, I would be sweating within 10-15 minutes of the start of class whereas they could go the entire class with nary a hair out of place. In fact, one of them showed up one day in a WHITE sweatsuit with the big red No circle on it and the word "Sweat" in the circle. And trust me, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sweating to beat the band. They certainly never needed to shower after class. We did some crazy-ass routines in that class, but once I figured out she did everything in either 4s or 8s, I was fine. I'll never be on a dance team, but I was eventually able to follow her routines. There are songs that to this day make me think of Peggy and her aerobics class: We Built This City by Jefferson Starship (or whatever the hell they had changed the name to by that time); a Dire Straits song; and, Venus – was that Bananarama? The routine for We Built This City was one of her worst ones. I think we all dreaded that one.

So, what about you guys? Any good or bad gym class memories to share?


At Friday, 01 December, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Gym class was a series of embarrassing horrors. Middle school was the worst. There was the red welt on my stomach from an over-inflated volleyball from playing dodgeball (lasted about a week), spraining my thumb playing catcher during softball week, farting on a wooden floor while doing sit-ups (You really can't help it. Worse though is that someone was holding my feet. At least I wasn't the only one.). The absolute worst was the 8th grade because it was a co-ed class and the teacher liked to use me as a class leader (I still can't figure out why, other than my charming personality). I would often lead exercises or activities. We were doing an aerobics stint for a while and I had to lead stretching exercises in front of the class while wearing short shorts (it was the 80's) and a jockstrap. Nothing more embarrassing as leading the splits with short shorts in front of Shelly M. (my major crush at the time). She later broke her back during the gymnastics portion of class (missing the mat after vaulting over a horse). She had to wear a back brace for quite a while. I was extremely lucky that I wasn't someone else though. There was this one kid who got his privates snapped with a wet towel in the showers and an ambulance had to come. It was even worse than it sounds. I was the only sophomore in my high school gym class as well as I was a transfer from another state. It was pretty embarrassing being the only guy not knowing how to play football among younger kids. Football seemed to last for 2 months while volleyball (which I loved) and badminton (ditto) seemed to last for 2 days each. I remember the anxious dread of square dance week in middle school. We absolutely hated it, but we got to dance with real live girls and hold their hands if even for just a sweaty moment. I still have nightmares about gym class to this day. Thanks for reminding me! ;)

At Saturday, 02 December, 2006, Blogger Sal said...

Picture it I'm a freshmen weighing all of a buck 18 with all the other honors nerds playing baseball against the remedial students. They nicknamed me muscles, it wasn't nice, but I did actually make it to first base (with the entire waterpolo team, but this is another story). Sophomore year we got to choose our gym class, I upgraded to fencing; I loved the costume.

At Thursday, 07 December, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most embarrassing thing about gym class was the horrible, awful gym suits they made us wear. I'm talking about junior high here. I was a late bloomer (as in, didn't get a "figure" until 11th grade), so back in 7th to 9th grades I still looked like a kid. A little kid. Short, skinny, undeveloped, buck-toothed and insecure about it. A very cute, popular boy once said my measurements were "zero, ten, six" and I was devastated. You get the picture. Anyway, the gym suits must have come in only two sizes: large and extra huge. They were a one-piece shorts and top thing with an elastic waistband. The top was striped like something an inmate would wear. And mine was about four sizes too large and made me look even tinier and more child-like than ever. The horror!

The only thing worse than the gym suits were the extremely huge and ill-fitting band shirts I had to wear on football game days. We were supposed to tuck them in, which was difficult since mine hung down to my knees. I think they only came in mens sizes. Like being in band wasn't nerdy enough, I had to wear a shirt with three miles of shirttail tucked in my pants lookin' all bulgey and horrid.

At Thursday, 07 December, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jason - I don't know if there wasn't a pommel horse at my school or if I had just been smart enough not to try it.

Sal - Muscles? Kids are so nice, aren't they?

Fermicat - Oh dear God, maybe I was better off in Catholic school wearing my shorts under my jumper.


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