my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And now, last weekend

Hm. Friday. Oh, how about Tuesday? I'll post about Tuesday.

I have an account on It was my sister's, and she met a great guy and they have been doing great lately, so she offered the end of August to me. I took it up, changed it (scary how easily you can become someone else, changing your location and birthdate and, I think, even your gender!), and posted it and my photo.

I sent a few "Interested?"s, got two clear NOs, a couple of non-responses, and then got a serious email from an interested gal. Made the date, met with her Tuesday. K had asked me if I had plans and I stammered. She asked later if I had a date and I, being an honest and straightforward answerer-of-questions, affirmed that I had.

The gal was late. I found myself wishing fervently that she or I had screwed up the time and she was not coming. She had gotten a little lost. She and I chatted and I felt no spark whatsoever. She is very, very busy and I'm not sure how she is going to fit anyone in her life. In any case, she was articulate and resourceful--and had Googled me! Found out tons of stuff on my, including my current resume (hosted at a friend's site) and my old dog-training page (which I am stunned to find still up, as I am no longer paying for that account). (I still get emails from tearful folks whose dogs bite, nearly always way worse than Max ever was and I usually end up honestly counseling them to put that dog down, sadly.)

After I came back, K said she wanted to date me exclusively. We emailed a bit on that and decided to meet Weds evening and talk it out. I came up with some ideas of what I thought it would look like and we hammered out an agreement. We were both very happy.

So Friday was my first Red Placement session (for some Red folks plus those of us whose last names fell in the end of the alphabet). I was so nervous that I was jittery. K talked me down. I had G stay with a friend that night and we headed down with plenty of time to spare. Somehow, I talked way too much in the dressing room and was barely dressed when someone said, "We have 5 minutes to get on the ice!" Threw on the rest of my gear/clothes and headed out. Skated my freaking ass off. Got incredibly sweaty by the end, especially as we scrimmaged and folks started quitting and heading out. Played the last part of the scrimmage with no subs left. I think I even scored a goal. Felt awesome!

Went home, picked up G, put him to bed, and went to bed.

Saturday, G had another soccer game. K headed off to do church stuff. After G's soccer game (which was a blowout, the hard way, but they played so hard, we were all so proud!), we went to my local yarn store for a taste of their closing-doors 25%-off sale. 3 hours and $200 later, I emerged to bright sunlight. We headed home. I checked my email and the friends who were going to go to the Webster St. Peanut Butter and Jam Festival had gotten tired of waiting and were already there. We parked behind their car and headed up to Webster, running into our choir director, her husband, and another guy from church on the way. We finally found the friends at the kids' area and headed over to a pinball-machine-filled Airstream trailer. G loved it. The games were set to autoplay (no $ needed) and he had the best time.

We parted ways with our friends and got some lunch, splitting a bratwurst and me enjoying the potato salad (G was not interested) with thin slices of apple mixed in. We walked around a little bit and headed home to pack up.

That night, we camped at the Oakland Zoo! We did a Sundown Safari, for which we needed our tent & sleeping bags but no cooking equipment. G was so excited--and then so tired! He wanted to skip all the nighttime stuff (which was especially cool, including peering into the alligator tank and realizing with a shock that the alligator was right there on the other side of the glass). We stuck with it as long as we could, him even petting the huge snake (boa?) that they had to offer (I passed), and then when the African drumming was offered, we begged off.

We slept incredibly well, and were getting up when someone walked through announcing that breakfast was in 20 mins. And then, a few minutes later, "5 minutes!" We hurriedly dressed, me in a turtleneck as it was still chilly, and set off for breakfast. Predictably, I was covered in sweat in moments.

Breakfast was really quite nice! A reasonable spread including eggs and sausage. I had been feeling a little under the weather, so drank two big cups of hot water (tealess tea!) while G enjoyed a hot chocolate with his by-then stone cold pancakes and syrup. Then off we went to some exhibits, where we learned way more than I've heard in the past 6 yrs of being a member, ending up in the elephant enclosure.

The previous evening, we'd talked about "enrichment" for the animals--things they eat, as well as things that challenge them, sometimes combined. We'd colored a paper bag and then stuffed it with hay and some goodies--apple biscuits (the zookeeper pipes up, "Yep, you can eat them, if you like!") and dried pears. We rolled the top and taped it down with duct tape.

So the next morning, they had brought all of the enrichment up to the enclosure (big and small tubes, big and small paper bags, and boxes) and each family was to choose their item and place it in the enclosure. As well, there was some hay to put out and other goodies.

Then I couldn't stop sneezing. I think it was the hay, but I sneezed and sneezed till I thought my head would explode and then rushed us out of the enclosure. Thankfully, it stopped.

We waited around a bit and ooh'd and aah'd while watching the elephants find and shred the enrichment. The grocery sacks were devoured whole whereas the boxes were ripped into with no ceremony whatever. Some bags and boxes were whipped around to break them open, sometimes on their own foreheads! Too funny. G and I happily recalled the elephant eating the entire watermelon. This was such a treat!

We packed up our tent and made the first trip down to the car. On the way back, we found a Zoo stroller and were able to load all of the rest of our stuff into it. G played a bit on the play structures just outside the lower gate (which, I swear, have been there since I was a small child!) and we went home.

At home, I was feeling too tired to unload the car just yet nor think of making lunch for K, who would be arriving soon, and poom! she arrived, son #2 in tow. He is a tall, good lookin' kid with killer eyes (which runs in the family). We had had our order at Wienerschnitzel messed up, so had a few extras, which they were able to finish off. As he left with her car, we said good-bye, and I put out my hand for a warm handshake. He said something charming about "Aw, we can hug," and gave me a nice hug. What a sweetheart.

So we got cleaned up and dressed and headed out for an ordination on the Peninsula. It was my first time seeing her robed up. She looked so good. We stayed for 1.5 hours and it was barely half over when we had to leave in order to get to the second Red tryouts session. I arrived in makeup and a dress and got the expected catcalls (hockey players are so funny). It always amuses me to juxtapose extreme femininity with the masculinity of hockey.

Red tryouts seemed to go well, but you know the answer to that anyway. Oh, well, it felt good. Andrea, Heather McJedi, and Jena went with us to Hot Pot City, where Liz met us with the always darling Val. I got to introduce K to HPC and Toffee Crack in the same night. An excellent time!


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