Monday, October 31, 2011

My Wife’s Various Run-ins with the Law This Weekend

Saturday evening I walked (by which I mean “staggered”) off my flight from London and checked my e-mail.  There was a note from Progressive thanking me for processing my claim for the accident I was in earlier that day.  Since I was in Europe earlier that day and the only accident I’d been involved in there was some bad curry, I realized that something must’ve happened with the Mrs. HTF.  After she picked me up I learned that a lady had caused a car accident which involved her running into the side of the Honda Civic my wife was drving.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, except for my car.  Traci told me how the lady had at first denied hitting our car at all – that story changed when my wife called the police.  Apparently, Traci got along quite nicely with the officer and all was good.Police_Man_Vector

On Sunday morning on the way to church we drove around a corner and saw a car off to the side turned totally upside down.  Clearly, an accident had just happened.  I pulled over and in full-suit ran up to see if the people were ok.  I pulled out a male & female teenager – both were dazed, but unhurt.  They both seemed to be ok except that the female was accusing the male of driving badly and bumping into her during the crash.  As a fellow-male, with a few years of experience, I told him that he should get used to being accused of things and quickly apologize.  He just looked confused.

When the policeman showed up he checked out the accident and then saw my wife.  Confused he said to her,

“You again?”

Yep, it was the same police-dude from the day before.  Traci explained that this time she was a really innocent bystander.  I thought the irony was kinda funny. 

So I’m hoping that my wife is able to avoid accidents today . . . but it is Halloween.  Maybe I should dress up as a cop…

Friday, March 04, 2011

New and painful forms of exercise for the inflexible

Yoga is something other people do.  It’s usually those ladies who can pick up an apple with their toes and put the thing in their mouths, while standing on the other leg and listening to music that would not only put most humans to sleep, but would render small animals quite dead – from relaxing too much.  Well, this is what I thought about the yoga crowd.

And then the Mrs. HTF miraculously got me to go get my Yoga on with her a the Y.

There were only like 7 people in the room and the instructor, Lydia, (I remember this name mostly because I cursed it in my mind a few times) immediately sensed that I was a newbie.  I guess I have that look of “guy who thought yoga was a creamy breakfast food.”  She asked me about injuries and since I didn’t even have a mat, gave me her backup.  But I couldn’t help by notice the tone of her voice as she talked to me – it was like I was asleep and she was trying to influence my dreams without waking me up.  At one point I almost poured water on my head to make sure I was actually awake.  She talked like that for the entire hour – I can only assume she has no children.

The class started off fine, but I was quickly, and painfully reminded of how inflexible I really am.  Balance was special too.  Standing on one leg while holding & extending the other in front of me totally blew my mind.  I only crashed into my yoga neighbors like 6 or 7 times.  I also had to get used to the total silence in the room.  Lydia is the only one allowed to talk I guess, and I had a sense that if Downward-Dog-Yoga-PoseI said a single word or made a noise that the group would collapse on me and pummel me with their mats – quietly.  During one pose, bizarrely named, “Downward Dog” I glanced around thinking I was doing it “right.”  At this point Lydia (can you tell I remember this lady’s name?!) walked softly towards me, grabbed my hips and lifted them in the air.  This was both confusing and painful at the same time.  At the end of class was my favorite pose – which I’m sure has an unpronounceable name – where we just laid on the mat and closed our eyes.  I totally nailed that particular pose – there was no need for instructor intervention.

A few days later a buddy took me to a Pilates class – so my experience with new and painful exercise techniques grew even more.  I’ll spare you the details, but lets just say that when that class was over I thanked the instructor and she said, “Don’t worry, Pilates is much harder for men than women.”  After which, she smoothed out her hair with her left foot and did some texting with her right foot while doing the splits and lifting a smallish Honda over her head.

So if I left you with an impression that I didn’t like this stuff, that was wrong.  I actually did dig it, and you know that by the fact that:

I went to a Yoga class by myself a few nights later.

(true story – I caught a girl copying one of my poses in the most recent class.  At which point I laughed, … silently)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That Mysterious Box of Cables

I’ve learned that I have a severe weakness for electronic gizmos that do, well, stuff.  In fact, most times that I find myself in a “shopping” environment I gravitate towards anything electronic and will attempt to buy gadgets that I already have, except the newer ones with more “features” and or blinking lights.  I don’t think this weakness makes me particularly unique, in fact, what I think it makes me is:

A guy

My dad is the same way, so I guess I could blame him a bit, but I look around and well, most dads are that way, so he’s totally off the hook.  Still it’s fun to reminisce about the attic in my parent’s house which became a graveyard for printers, scanners, fax machines and mysterious cables that no one cablescould reasonably identify.  All guys have a “location” for those cables and cords that came with the electronic stuff.  The vast majority of these cables won’t ever get used and will, in fact, probably never leave their plastic wrap and/or twisty tie.  This is only partially because we don’t really know what they all do.  It’s also because the odds are off the charts that we already have a cable exactly like the one that came with the “new gadget.”  The Mrs. HTF asks me frequently to “organize” (by which she means throw away) the plastic tote that houses my cable stash.  I’ll poke around a bit and then put the lid back on realizing 3 things at roughly the same time:

1. I don’t know what many of these even do or which gadget they came with

2. In spite of #1 – it’s guaranteed that someday, somehow I will desperately need one of these things to save the world and/or to transfer video

3. I think there’s a game on the TV I need to watch now

Of course, this is a totally rational reaction to the problem.  I’ll probably address it later by spending a crazy amount of money on a newer version of whatever that comes with cables that aren’t compatible with the older version, thus rendering those old cable obsolete.  Too bad I’ll never be able to ID the old ones, but that’s beside the point.  Now I have something newer to play with.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It looks WAY easier on the TV…

I remember after Christmas break in elementary school that lots of kids would show up proudly displaying their “lift ticket thing” attached to their oversized winter coats.  This sticker was of course earned after their parents dropped some serious coinage at a ski resort.  Living in Kansas, this also meant they’d traveled a bit to find actual mountains.  Despite going to college in Utah, home to many a ski lift, I never went skiing on purpose (I’m assuming you don’t count trying to stand on a sled as it rocketed down a hill… not one of my more graceful dismounts). 

skiing20DEC-6A few weeks ago we found ourselves at a ski “resort” up the road from my wife’s childhood home.  It was my first time skiing on, well, snow, so I was pretty apprehensive, but since I was going to take lessons I took some solace in knowing that there would be athletic teenagers there to teach and help me.  This understanding was shattered when the Mrs. HTF revealed to me that the lessons we’d booked were just for the kids.  She was to be my “athletic teenager.”  This was semi-ok because, well, how hard could it be?  You just stand on these fiberglass things and pivot to avoid the larger trees, right?  Outside the lodge I put the skis on for the first time.  That part was the highlight of my morning of skiing.  It was all “DOWNHILL” from there.

The first task was making my way over to the lift and generally moving around a bit.  The ground was flat, but I was averaging roughly 2 inches per hour on the 30 foot walk to the lift with my skis on.  After several minutes of serious effort I let Traci know that I’d be removing my skis and would watch happily from inside the lodge.  This was where she put her ski-boot down.  She was not going to let me quit.  (I suspect this was partially driven by the amount of money we’d spent for me to go 6 inches on my skis.  But I’m sure there was some tough love in there too)  She made me fight through the panic and we somehow got on the lift.  I liked the sitting part.

skiing20DEC-192On the dismount from the lift I immediately fell down – this was a clear, and foreboding sign for the rest of the morning.  Getting up was WAY harder than I’d expected, but I got lots of experience as I matriculated my way down the hill.  Now it should be pointed out that the Mrs. HTF scores about a 7 on the patience scale.  There are limits.  She did a pretty miraculous job of getting me to not just get on the lift, but also to make my way down the mountain as well.  But it should be stated, I’m quite certain she thought about leaving me on several occasions.  Each time I fell I consistently couldn’t figure out how to put the skis back on.  She’d help me out, but after the 20th time, the frustration was so palpable that I’m pretty sure thought about stabbing me with a ski pole and calling it an accident.  Still, she stuck with it and somehow I made it down.  But here’s the thing…

Once I got down I realized that I actually liked it skiing20DEC-171AND I’d figured out how to stop, sorta, so I didn’t collide with Deadly Alaskan Tree Monsters (good name for a rock band).

From then on it was relatively smooth, though not graceful, sailing.  My kids picked it up really quickly, especially Sydney.  At one point, and I’m not making this up, she literally skied in a circle around me while I went down the hill.  We went back a few days later for night skiing – yep, I liked it that much!  I’m sure I still look goofy going down, but I love it anyway and…

I have one of those sweet sticker lift ticket things on my coat!!

PS – Thank you, Traci for teaching me to ski AND for not leaving me to be eaten by confused moose

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