Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Enjoy Sports (for the non-sports fan)

Last week Danny and I went to a basketball game. I’m not particularly into basketball but I’m always up for doing something new and I can get into live sporting events the way I can enjoy a band live even though I know I won’t buy the CD.

My interest in sports is minimal. I’m proud when the team from my alma mater wins the championship. I watched Emmitt Smith on Dancing with the Stars and Tom Brady on Saturday Night Live. I usually vaguely know when something is “in season.” For instance, I know that if it’s Monday night and the TV is not turned on, it is not football season. I know that basketball season has rolled around when, during every commercial break, Danny tells me to flip to such and such channel to check the score.

Going to a Gator game presents a bit of a wardrobe crisis for me. See, EVERYONE wears Orange and Blue and if you’re wearing anything else you might as well be wearing a big sign that says “I don’t belong here.” I learned this the hard way a few years ago when I accidently wore the opposing teams colors to a football game.

The problem is, I don’t own anything Orange and Blue. So for last week's game, the best I could do was my jean jacket and a white shirt with orange letters that says, Nobody puts baby in a corner.

I got by. Mostly by virtue of my being a very good "copy clapper". When other people clap, I clap. When everyone makes a disappointed Ohhhhhhh, I make a disappointed Ohhhhhh. I blend right in. That is until some other copy clapper (or possibly drunk freshman) gets excited at the wrong time and makes me blow my cover.

“Why are you clapping? Our team just got a penalty.”
“Oh, um, well they’re taking it really well and I just wanted… to give them some encouragement?”

Danny thought that one of the players on the other team looked like the bad guy from an 80s high school movie. Which was, a) true; and b) exactly what I needed to actually enjoy the game. (It’s possible Danny knew I’d only be happy if I had something to make jokes about.)

So we joked about his spiky, gelled black hair, his scowl, his black wrist bands and Chinese character tattoo. He was sort of like a sporty version of the tough guy from Breakfast Club. I imagined him calling his buddies, amigos even though he doesn’t speak Spanish, and making up new words for cool like, Slicin’(as in, did you go to Tiffany’s party last night? It was Slicin’ bro).

Even his name, Ryan Amaroso, sounds like someone who belongs to a fake gang that’s gonna kick Ralph Macchio’s ass in Karate Kid. Danny said he heard him challenge the Gator forward to a skateboard-off after the game. (Slicin’!)

Our little game gave me a connection to a sporting event I’ve never had before. I was actually upset when Ryan scored. I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice person, but in my head he was the enemy of all that’s wholesome and good (or at least what’s wholesome and good in a John Hughes movie).

Now that I know what it takes for me to enjoy a sporting event, look for me at future match-ups, casting the players and coaches into stereotypical pop culture movie roles.

I may even buy something orange and blue. Something slicin’

P.S. I looked at this picture FIVE times before I realized Ryan is balancing a guinea pig on his head. Yeah. I can’t make this shit up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Excuse Me, Are You Going to Raise That Baby?

As someone who’s considering adoption, I can’t help but think of myself as lusting after someone’s leftovers. Instead of bringing out the loving, would-be mother part of me, thoughts of adoption instead raise a base and competitive animal instinct.

Friday night, my friend who does guardian ad litem work, was telling me about a sad situation in which a baby was being abused and will probably be removed from the home.

My immediate thought was not, how sad, I hope everything works out for that baby, but instead, WHO is taking that baby? Could I take that baby? How do I get in line?

I even said something to that effect before I could stop myself, and I immediately felt like the person at the dinner table who has finished their entrĂ©e and is now leaning over your half-eaten plate, fork hovering, mouth watering… “Hey, are you gonna eat that?”

Obviously I don’t want to eat the baby. But I felt like that person. “Hey, are you gonna raise that baby? Cuz I’ll totally take it if you don’t want it.”

Last week I was watching a show on about the Duggars. (The family from some Western state in the land mass between Florida and California that I call “the big blur.”) They have seventeen children. SEVENTEEN. Instead of feeling merely flabbergasted, I was mad. It’s not fair. Seventeen? I’d be happy to squeeze out ONE. Share the wealth people! SHARE—THE—WEALTH!

I have similar feelings about Angelina Jolie. Leave some adoptable kids for the rest of us will you?

I know this is a tad misguided and I have lost sight of the end goal. Really I’m glad that Brad and Angelina can open their ridiculously rich arms to give a couple kids the fab life; pimped out power wheels, designer clothes, A-list birthday parties, I am. But I am also a little desperate and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat (or a lot) bitter to have to rely on someone else’s biology to make my wish a reality instead of just hopping in the sack like most people.

But I feel this way partly because adoption seems a bit of a rat race. When I was talking to my guardian ad litem friend, I instantly felt competitive with whoever got in line ahead of me and was going to get that baby. I couldn’t help it, I was jealous.

The private adoption world is the worst. Wanna-be parents make websites hoping some knocked-up teenage girl will pick them to raise her baby. Every once in awhile I peruse these sites to check out the competition and I always want to gag.

It’s equivalent to what a single woman might feel if she joined a dating site only to find that every other woman on there is blonde, size zero and “okay with non-commitment relationships.”

Here are just a few samples:
Joe and Cindy Cooper from Arlington, Texas have been married six years (see pic of Cindy in huge white dress with 14 bridesmaids). We have a pool and go to church every week! Joe coaches his nephew’s little league team! We can’t wait to welcome a bundle of joy to our happy (and huge) home!

Ann and Bobby Davis from Rockville, North Carolina are a fun-loving couple (pic of Ann and Bobby frolicking with hay bales) Ann can’t wait to home school our precious angel from god! We look forward to summer vacations at our beach house and barbeques with grandma and grandpa next door!

How can I possibly compete with that? Put my name into Google and the very first picture that comes up is not one of me quilting a baby blanket. I’m breaking the law, handing out free Morning-After Pills on the street. And there’s more, pictures of me in a hoard of women, busting into someplace with picket signs or standing on a corner demanding abortion rights. In one of the pictures I’m handcuffed, and in line to be loaded into a Department of Homeland Security paddy wagon.

I’m not embarrassed of those things, I’m quite proud. But it doesn’t exactly paint the picture of quiet family moments ‘round the hearth. Our families live four hours away and there is no summer beach house. I think I’d make an awesome parent, and Danny too. I just resent that I have to convince someone of that.

Here’s what our page would look like:
Stephanie Seguin and Daniel Gimenez (Yes, we’re married! But Steph kept her name to shake off patriarchal tradition!) We have an excitable dog (she loves to love!) and a yard full of cat poo! We can’t wait for family outings to science-fiction conventions and protests of the many forms of injustice! (see pic of Steph being dragged across pavement by police officer.)

I do hope that Joe and Cindy Cooper of Arlington, Texas find their precious angel from god. And I know that adoption is an opportunity to turn a bad situation good. I’m sure (or hope) that the guardian ad litem baby will be delivered out of an abusive house and into the waiting arms of people who want to love her so much they dreamt of her before they even met her. And I’m happy for them, whoever they are (even if I’m still jealous). Maybe one day someone will feel the same about me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Anatomy of a Chubby Runner

I can’t even believe I am willingly putting this picture on the internet. It just goes to show how far I will go to get a laugh, even if it’s at my own expense, which it usually is.

Here is one of the pictures of me running in the half-marathon. It was taken by the photographer they hire to capture you in your moment of glory. But we all know from previous blog posts that these images are never the Chariots of Fire snapshots that exist in our imaginations.

Let’s take it from the top shall we?

1. Hair shaped like Cap’n Crunch’s hat is the epitome of high style on the road.
(I forsee this being a new trend a la “The Rachel”---women all over Gainesville will be saying to their stylists, “I’d like the Cap’n Crunch please, as seen on that chubby woman who ran the half-marathon last month.”)

2. The glasses say, “Yeah, I can run 13 miles, but I don’t see so good.”

3. Neck muscles that could run for governor of California.

4. My left hand is saying---I give up, I ain't gonna do shit but limply hang here.

5. Meanwhile, my right hand seems to be threatening it’s cohort… "I’m the CLAW bitch! I’m gonna getcha!!! I got six fingers and I’m a comin!”

6. My bosom (that's right, I said bosom) looks like someone has (poorly) stuffed a scarecrow to make it female, except they ran out of stuffing and got drunk and couldn’t balance on the ladder and so they did a lopsided, shitty job.

7. I just wanted to point out that one of the sweat stains on my chest looks like Florida and the other one looks like Africa, taking a poo, that it hopes will drift across the Atlantic and land on Florida.

Monday, March 3, 2008

File this under: What the F*#k?

This product, Heavenly Handfuls Li’l Monkey Hugs, speaks for itself really, and what it says is…there are people in this world who seriously need something better to do, like planting a tree instead of collecting creepy, fake, baby monkeys (apologies to any readers who collect creepy, fake, baby monkeys.)

However, if you DO NOT have anything better to do than adopt miniature, posable, hand-applied mohair versions of other species’ offspring, by all means order now.

This raises another question though. Don’t you have any better uses for your $29.99 (plus $5.99 shipping and handling)? There are starving children for chrissake; oppressed people to get elected; award winning movies to see; pedicures to get; Sushi to eat.

The product description informs us that “Baby Jingles” is dressed just like a real pampered human baby, “Mommy’s Little Monkey” tee and matching cap, wee baby shoes with tiny little jingle bells. NOTE TO READER: If I ever dress my real pampered human baby in a Mommy’s little monkey tee and matching cap, PLEASE KICK MY ASS.

According to the ad, "Baby Jingles" is a whole new way to fall in love with babies. Which begs the question, who was tired of the old way? Who was sitting around thinking, you know what? I don’t think people love babies anymore. Let’s create a whole new way to fall in love with babies…a tiny posable monkey dressed like it has asshole parents who put bells on its shoes, and put a hat on it but no pants. Now that will make people love babies all over again.

The ad also guarantees my satisfaction for 365 days. I am tempted to buy "Baby Jingles" just to return it. This will be my reason:

To Whom it May Concern:

I bought "Baby Jingles" in the hopes of falling in love with babies. The ad promised a playful newborn monkey who just wants to be “babied.” But it turns out she doesn’t want to do anything but piss in my fruit bowl and throw feces at me when she’s mad. I can’t even get her to play an organ grinder. "Mommy’s Little Monkey" is a real pain in the keister and I want to send this little asshole back to the jungle where she belongs.

Yours Truly,
Swimming in Feces in Florida

Now, I don’t want to step on any toes. The people over at http://www.collectiblestoday.com/ have many other fine products; a Thomas Kincaid night light collection, Disney Princess porcelain bells and a complete line of “Faithful Friend” Dog Themed Tote Bags (which does not include a Jack Russell Terrier tote. Possibly because they realize Jack’s would rather eat the bag than be seen around town with it.)

And just in case you’re still interested, Baby Jingles has a whole line of brothers and sisters coming down the pike. What’s a collection of apes called again? Oh yeah, a shrewdness.