Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Question of Socially Accepta...bility...ness?

As I was leaving for work this morning, I passed this dude who was walking his dog on my street. He was what you might call "large and in charge." Which is fine. But clearly, bending over was a bit of an effort for him. I say this because I noticed him come up to a tree that was hanging lower than he was tall, and rather than duck under the branches and go on with his life, he started breaking off the branches so he could walk under them without bending. And then he was dropping the branches in the tree owner's yard. Which made me wonder...
  • Is it socially acceptable to break someone's tree?
  • Who is responsible for the portion of the tree hanging over the public sidewalk?
  • Is it socially acceptable to leave the broken branches in someone's yard?
  • Or, if the city is responsible for the sidewalk portion of the trees, should you throw the branches in the street, which the city, I assume, is also responsible for?
  • But if you throw the branches in the street, and the city people come by and see them, does the owner of the house now look like a littering dipshit, and do you want that on your conscience?
So tell me, what is the socially acceptable way to deal with a tree or bush or other form of plantlife that is encroaching on your walk? As someone who prefers the sidewalk over the street, I've spent many a walk or run wondering about that.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Overheard at the Bees Game

Dave and I went to the Bees game Saturday. There's always an interesting crowd. Including big, leather-clad, ponytailed biker dudes. One of them was wearing a vest, and the image on the back prompted this conversation:
jess: What is pow mia? I've seen that vest before and always wondered...

dave: Its an acronym that stands for Prisoner of War Missing in Action. See how it says, "you are not forgotten" at the bottom. Its referring to the Prisoner of War.

jess: Oh. I always thought that image on the back looked more like a prison.

dave: Prisoners of War are in prisons.
In case you haven't met me, I'm an idiot. Thank god Dave loves me anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

We're Famous . . . at Least in the City Weekly

Sports | Kickin’ It Old School: Adult kickball leagues relive the days of recess—only with beer

By Geoff Griffin
Posted 06/19/2008

The remarkable growth of the Utah Capital Division of the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) is pretty easy to explain according to league president Beau Brosius: “It’s like having recess and then having beers. That’s the whole appeal.”

On Thursday evenings in the spring, summer and fall, more than 200 men and women on 13 teams—mostly singles in their 20s and 30s—gather at Liberty Park and Bennion Elementary School to play co-ed games of kickball complete with uniforms, refs and team names such as “Little Lebowski Urban Achievers,” “Crazy Pitches” and “Multiple Scorgasms,” before heading off to The Woodshed, the division’s “official” bar.

And yes, they play the kickball you’re thinking of, the same game you last played in fourth grade where somebody rolls you a big red rubber ball, you kick it and then run the bases under pretty much the same rules as baseball. The big difference between fourth grade and now is what happens after the game, which includes what beverages you can obtain and the increased knowledge about the opposite sex you’ve gained (or maybe not) in the 20 years since you last played.

WAKA, the national organization the Utah league plays under, claims nearly 50,000 players in divisions in 27 states. WAKA, which bills kickball as a “co-ed social sport” with a playing pool made up of 50 percent of each gender, sends out press releases touting all of the married couples produced by kickball (the Salt Lake City league recently produced its first engagement) and emphasizes that one of the ingredients for the sport’s growth is “a whole lotta beer.” Every division is required to have an official bar, and part of every player’s registration fee goes toward paying for beer at the end-of-season blowout party.

A significant number of players in the Utah Capital Division are transplants whose work or education brought them to Zion. For them, kickball provides the answer to the eternal question: “How do you meet people in Salt Lake City if you don’t go to LDS Sacrament Meeting?”

“This is sort of the transplant, non-LDS magnet,” jokes Hanna Huegel, the league’s social chair. She moved from New York City to Salt Lake City where, “I didn’t know a single person”; now, “all of my friends are from kickball or one degree removed from kickball.” She notes that the Salt Lake City league “has a different dynamic” in that relationships developed through kickball tend to extend to other areas, and there are more friendships between teams.

WAKA began in 1998 in Washington, D.C., and gradually found its way to Utah in the fall of 2006, when a former D.C. player moved to Salt Lake City, put up flyers and a posting on Craig’s List and had enough people respond to form five teams of 15-22 players. That group included those who’d already been gathering as friends for several years to play “pick-up” kickball games. In less than two years, the league has expanded to 13 teams, and there is talk of forming a second league in Sandy in the near future. Players can sign up as individuals or in small groups to be assigned to teams.

Just like recess back in the day, kickball games begin with a rock-paper-scissors throw to determine home team. Each team has 11 players in the field, and at least four of those have to be of one gender or the other. While there is definitely a power component to the game that favors those with a Y chromosome, Heugel says, “a lot of times it’s easier to bunt and keep the ball low to the ground. The size of the ball, bunts and speed even things up pretty quickly.

“It’s one of those sports where guys aren’t necessarily better than girls.”

Clarence “The Head Ref” Willardson says telling your co-workers you play kickball can often draw snickers, “but once they come out here and see it, they ask, ‘How can I join?’” Brosius reports that every season, the league picks up new recruits from people who just happen to walk by and see the games in progress.

“You don’t have to be all that athletic to play it,” Willardson says. “A lot of people come for the friendships. There are some guys who are all about the game, but there are some teams that can’t wait for the game to get over so they can get over to the bar and grab a beer.”

Although the league has a traveling trophy—sort of like a mini-Stanley Cup—things rarely get too competitive because, as Huegel puts it, “Nobody played in college. Nobody had a kickball scholarship.” And at the other end of the spectrum, “There are no kickball power-parents.”

Whoever ends up being better, Brosius says the end result is always the same: “We compete against each other for five innings, but then everyone goes and sloshes beer mugs together.”

WAKA Utah Capital Division

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Letter to the Parents Who Think it is Socially Acceptable to Take Their Children to see Iron Man

Dear Parents,

I don't mean to be a Complainy McWhinerson, but why do you bring your children to movies? I love children. Everyone who knows me knows that. But I prefer them not at movies.

I mean, Iron Man is loud and action packed. Babies might not like the loudness. In fact, it might make them cry. And then you have to walk back and forth in front of everyone. And that's just not very polite.

And if your children are of talking age, but the things they continue to say throughout the entire movie consist of, "what's that mean?" and "what's happening now?" and "is he dead?" then they might not be old enough to handle a movie like Iron Man.

I'm just saying. There are probably plenty of teen-aged girls in this valley who would be willing to babysit for a few hours for not a lot of money. And netflix is pretty affordable, if you insist on watching movies with your kidlettes. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm nearly positive that the Larry H. Miller theaters have specific movie times when you can bring your kids with you. Maybe try that. I would be so grateful.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Long Overdue Post: Baby Mouse

Dave doesn't think I blog about him enough. So I will. A while back, Dave read an interview in Esquire with Kelly from The Office where she talks about the ten things men don't know about women. I guess this is a regular feature in Esquire - where a famous girl says the ten things she thinks men don't know about women. Or something along those lines.

Anyway... Dave read Mindy Kaling's list and really took to heart the suggestion that you nickname your girlfriend something smaller than a bread box. He's taken a particular liking to "Baby Mouse."

And so have I.

For example, it was raining when we were leaving for Vegas and I was complaining about having to walk through the parking lot and Dave said, "I'll just put you in my pocket and protect you from the rain, Baby Mouse." How cute is that? For reals.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Long Overdue Posts

I just want you all to know that in the past few whirlwind-ish months of my life, I have been neglecting my blog not for lack of blog fodder, but because I had neither the time nor energy to type anything that was unrelated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah. But life appears to be slowing down, and I have a list in my brain of the things I've been meaning to blog about.

For example, on rainy May 1, I was driving from one meeting to another, and saw this:Dos Equis. All over the road. I guess this is what happens when you forget to close the back of your beer truck. My favorite part of this scene was the crazy looking, toothless, homeless lady who parked her shopping cart in the gas station parking lot to help the pony-tailed, incredibly distraught looking beer truck driver pick up the bottles off the road. He was trying to pick up a box, fill it with as much broken glass as he could, and sweep the rest to the gutter with his foot. She was picking up one half bottle at a time, and carrying it over to the driver to hand it to him. Hilarious. I was actually thankful the long red light for once.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

With Much Appreciation

Dear Este,

Thank you for making pasta. The fusili with alfredo and ham is my favorite. Because I'm silly.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Overheard on the Lazy River

boyfriend: Hurry up!

girlfriend: Its the lazy river - you don't paddle!

Overheard at the Bayside Buffet

german mother, to waitress: We would like two orange juices and two hot chocolate milks.

young boy, angrily to mother: NEIN!

german mother, to waitress: We would like three orange juices and an extra glass so we can share them between the children.