Mother/Son X Games 2011

15 05 2011

Earlier this year, I was contacted by PghRugbyRef. He wanted to know if I would participate in the Mother/Son X Games with his son, D, as D’s mom passed away. I was so honored that he thought to ask me, that I immediately said yes.

Not only was I really touched by the invitation, D and I go WAY back. When he was an infant, he was the first baby I held. And back when he was a toddler, I’d go to rugby games that PghRugbyRef was refereeing, and I’d watch D. D and I used to play with this huge yellow ball that had a smiley face on it. I don’t have a photo of the ball, or D and I kicking it around. (That kinda makes me sad.)

But, YES! Of course I would help out my buddy!

Today was the Mother/Son X Games. I was so excited!

We checked in, got our “team tags” and went off to play some games. Here is my recap of the games we played. If you are friends with me on Facebook, I’m sure you’ll see tagged pictures of me from PghRugbyRef.

  • Tug O’ War – we had to wait for a few more moms and sons for this one. I think we were 5 vs 5. I was the anchor at the end in the loop of the rope. The moms won the first one, we let the kids win the 2nd and on the third? I stepped out of the loop, and when I said “banana,” all the moms dropped the rope and let the kids fall backwards. Hahahahahaha!! So much fun!
  • Pumpkin Seed Contest – for this one, we grabbed a handful of “pumpkin” seeds (D and I agreed that they tasted more like sunflower seeds, but whatever) and had to stand near targets stuck to the ground and spit the seeds, one by one, onto the target. D beat me 1,500 to 900.
  • Outdoor Relay Race – well, this involved more action than I expected. We had to weave around a few cones, go across a balance beam, hop with two feet through 4 hoola-hoops, do 5 rotations with a hoola hoop, do two rounds on the dizzy bat… and then do everything back again to the start. Poor D fell on the balance beam. I thought I was going to, and stepped off of it a few times. (Cheater, I know, but I was wearing new running shoes that seem to have zero traction!)
  • Nature Trail Challenge – for this one, we were given a quiz to take with us. Things like how long is the Great Wall of China, what Pirate last won MVP and when, what we’d do with a million dollars (D? Buy flat screen tv’s. Me? Vacations.) There were also various activities on the trail. We were joined for this one by PghRugbyRef and D’s 4 year old brother, Q. And Q took part in a few of the games. So much fun! Stack metal nuts using a chopstick, try to bounce ping pong balls into a bowl on your partner’s head, tie different knots, (the knots? they were fun!!!!) and the killer? One partner holds a string and the other tries to hang five regular nails on the string. We failed bad at this one.  But it was a really great nature trail, and all the games were fun!
  • Water Balloons – your classic water balloon toss. Q joined us for this one as well. We did awful. Mostly because my tosses were terrible! (Sorry, D!)
  • Minute To Win it Games – this one was great! The games:
    • A Bit Dicey – balance 5 dice (die?) on a popsicle stick held in your mouth. We did this twice. We succeeded the first time, but had issues the second time.
    • Breakfast Scramble – reassemble pieces of the front of a breakfast cereal box that has been cut into even pieces.  We didn’t do so well on this one. Boo.
    • Nose Dive – D did this one. Put petroleum jelly on your nose, pick up cotton balls on a plate, and drop them on a 2nd plate. He did great!!!!
    • Office Maximus – knock over 3 reams of paper, using a ball made of random rubber bands. You got three tries. We both won this one. And Q was there to pick up the random rubber bands that ended up spraying about (thanks, Q, you were quite the helpful little brother today!)
    • Maybe Bottoms Up? I don’t know. We had to wear nylons on our waist, with a tennis ball in one of the legs, and knock over pop cans. (Guaranteed to be embarrassing pics for this one!)
    • Can’t remember… we had to kneel on sliders (little boards with handles and on 4 wheels) and weave in and out of a 5-6 cone course, and back again. We also did this one twice. D won the first round. I won the second. By seconds.
  • Snowball Fight! – for this one, the moms were on one side, the kids on the other. You had to grab a small whiffle ball from the mom basket, run to the kids basket, drop the ball in… Lather, rinse, repeat. Kids did the same from their basket… The moms won! Woo! (I have no idea how we won, but I was grabbing and sprinting and trying to watch the boys at the same time… I’m dizzy trying to remember it!)
  • Then we went onto Creation Station. And we did this one twice as well. The idea is you pick a card from the container. It has 4 pictures. You pick from a container of Lego’s and make your selected item… D and I both got each of our selections, each time. We even went back after visiting Minute to Win It Again.
  • Smarties Game – this was a mini Minute to Win it game… Bowl of Smarties. A straw. Remove the smarties to the napkin with the straw. I lost.

I had SO MUCH FUN today. Even the running (hello, as D pointed out, I play rugby, I should be fine… I nearly died after the Snowball Fight sprints!)

But really, it was more fun than I can remember having lately.

D is a great, fun kid. I love him. I always have, to be honest.

And Q? Good grief is he a hilarious little one. Hysterical! He’s a good little boy.

When I was leaving, he shouted to me, “Was nice to see you!” “Hope to see you again soon or at next year’s Mom/Sons X Games!” He’s a character, that one.

PghRugbyRef, I am honored that you asked me to be there for your son. You have no idea. I was so proud to be with D today.

I had the best time with the boys (both of them!) I love your boys so much! They are both such wonderful kids.

You are a wonderful father, A. I’m impressed, not that I haven’t been the whole time, but today was excellent.

If you need me next year? I will be there.  Also, like Q said, I need to come see your boys more. Really.

Thank you. SO much.

I was so HONORED to be asked. It was a day I will never forget.





Chalkboard. Kinda…

29 01 2010

Ok, so I’m not entirely happy with the way this turned out. But it’s only because matching the red of the table cloth material wasn’t quite as easy as I imagined.

However, this will work…

So, I hate the red & white side… But I dig the chalkboard side. And it will work.

This little placemat/chalkboard thingy, plus the sack o’ lunch is the birthday present for a wonderful little 4 year old whose birthday party I am attending & helping with tomorrow.

You’re wondering why is a person my age going to go to a 4 year old birthday’s party? The answer is, I volunteered to help because her mom is a good friend.

And because, after you spend an afternoon hanging out the then three year old little lady, you find out that you are officially known as “the girl with the ponytail” , and you find out that she inquires as to whether “the girl with the ponytail” will be attending events she’s going to… Well, your heart kind of melts a little bit into a nice puddle.

And when you realize that she’s very much like you were as a kid? Okay, and maybe now…  Particularly the “oh, hai, here’s my heart on a platter” part? At that point, you want to be friends with that little girl forever, and help her realize how freaking fantastic she really is.

Happy Birthday, A. I can’t wait for your party & I’m glad we’re friends. 🙂





Blogging 101…

12 10 2009

Today’s guest is UncleCrappy. He is one of the first friends I made “in real life” when I first entered the blogosphere. Since then, he and his wife, @MrsCrappy, have become very, very good friends.

I really can’t even put into words what their friendship means to me.

Without UncleCrappy’s involvement, I would never have become a Polar Bear, I wouldn’t have had my birthday Mokah (and two spares in the fridge!) and the coolest hat in the world would not exist.

Without the both of them, the Angels wouldn’t have two awesome frequent spectators, I wouldn’t have two new sweet OSU tshirts, and without a doubt, my last night at My Living Room would have been significantly less enjoyable. Besides, they are the only two people I currently know who appreciate a tshirt with this on it:

cats eye

When I set out to ask people to guest post for my blogversary, I asked people who are my friends or family outside of blogging. And I’m glad to include UncleCrappy & MrsCrappy in that group.

(excuse the timing thing. PodCamp was Oct. 10-11. I wasn’t able to post this until now.)

I sincerely hope that UncleCrappy had a wonderful birthday yesterday, and that he & MrsCrappy enjoyed seeing Wilco. Again. 🙂

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At Podcamp Pittsburgh on Saturday, I’ll be leading a discussion about blogging 101 — the basics about getting started, why you would want to do such a thing and what the potential benefits are.

(I’m still not quite certain how I got roped into this, by the way. It was very early when @pgha contacted me, and she promised rum balls. A moment of weakness, certainly…)

I have lots to say to whomever shows up to my session. I plan on being honest, and I will disclose that if you’re into blogging for the long haul, it’s going to be aggravating as hell once in a while. If you’re trying to come up with regular posts, you’re bound to hit the wall, over and over and over.

But the other side is the rewards. For me, the biggest is a group of friends I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet if I hadn’t been involved with social media. And that group includes AAA.

AAA first showed up on my blog just before OU played at Ohio State last fall; she mentioned that her football loyalties were similar to those of Mrs. Crappy and me — proud Ohio University graduates who have the good sense to follow Ohio State football instead. We started talking a couple weeks later, mostly on Plurk, about her beer festival, which was coming up in November. She was kind enough to set aside a pair of tickets for Mrs. Crappy and me, and on the night of the festival, we headed over to Station Square.

(To be honest, UncleCrappy won his tickets on BurghBaby’s site for her 911 raffle!)

Let me be honest. After listening to AAA rant about the festival and the agony of putting it together for a full month beforehand, I was expecting to be confronted by crazed woman, twitching and barking orders, when we arrived. Instead, I found someone who, although busy, was calm, relaxed and pleased with how things were going. She also seemed very happy to be meeting some of the people she had been talking to online for the first time.

That portended well for what was to come. As I read through this blog, I kept coming across references to a person I couldn’t quite see. Shy? Maybe. A loner who had trouble trusting others? Hm — maybe at some point in the past, but that wasn’t the person I was getting to know.

It’s occurred to me since then that I’ve been able to witness a pretty significant change in AAA. Maybe that was the person I met last November at Station Square, and maybe, through Twitter, Plurk and this blog, she was discovering a great group of people around Pittsburgh who were willing to accept her. After all, that’s what happened to me.
Here’s the point — all this stuff we do online has the potential to be powerful and, in fact, life-changing. And I don’t think I know anyone who’s benefited more from having a blog than AAA. The person I’ve come to know in the last year isn’t the person I was reading about last fall and this blog is what led to the change. That’s good for her, for me and for the rest of us.

Also, I got the coolest hat ever out of the deal. So there’s that, too.

Congratulations, AAA. Hope you stick around for many more.





Fantasy Football

10 10 2009

Today’s guest is @Calipanthergrl. She is one of my closest friends, and I love her for putting up with all of my situations, rugby and non. Calipanthergrl also joined me in my first few forays into Tweetups and the Yinz Team. She had no idea what she was getting into, and neither did I. But I am pretty sure both of our lives are slightly more entertaining because of it! I would also like to note that besides my family, Calipanthergrl is the ONLY person I willingly talk to on the phone. Ever. For hours on end sometimes.

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“I didn’t know they gave out rings at the Holocaust.”

‑ The Hangover (2009)

The other day, I was browsing the cards created by the fine folks at Someecards.com and came across this one:

ecard

Hilarious, right?  Sadly, the only person I could think to send it to was … myself.

I love coming up with ridiculous names for my fantasy football teams.  Past years have yielded “Sugar and Spice” (I was the only girl … had to rub it in), “Mischievous Badgers” (As in, “I like to imagine Jesus as a mischievous badger …”) and “Bluegrass Princess” (Hey … I was the only girl again).  And I’m usually pretty good.  I even have the trophies on my Yahoo profile to prove it … look it up.  I’ll wait.  (Ironically, in spite of my love for MCBB, my performance in NCAA basketball brackets has been quite dismal … don’t judge!)

Unfortunately, this year’s fantasy football team ‑ My Grandmthr’s Holocaust Ring … gold star to me for coming up with that one, btw ‑ is currently 1-3 with little to no hope of improving.  And we’re not talking, “Oh, I’ve lost a couple of close ones” bad.  We’re talking 1-3, blown out of the water, suck.  And to be perfectly frank, I didn’t see this coming.

How much of a departure is this from my previous history?  Well, right after our draft, I had the opportunity to catch up with an old law school classmate and good friend.  Over the course of the conversation, he said, “I told my wife you were on your way to your FFB draft [when you called last night] and she asked why you weren’t in the same league as me.  I told her it was because you always beat us.”  I kid you not.  That happened.

The other reason I’m taking this particularly hard is that I had the first pick of the draft.  I’m going to let that sink in for a second … THE FIRST PICK!!!!  Yes, I retardedly passed on Adrian Peterson to make the only homer pick I’ve ever made – Lfitz – but I primarily blame the 90 second limit on draft selections.

90 seconds.  That’s all.  The upside?  We finished a 10 team, 16 round draft in just under an hour.  If you’ve played FFB before, you know that’s unprecedented.  The downside?  Everyone essentially just takes the best player available because there’s no time to analyze everyone else’s picks, block moves by other managers or even assess your own team’s roster as you move through the draft.  So now, I have a team that by all accounts excelled in 2008, but has been a veritable no-show in 2009.  Would I be undefeated had I selected Peterson?  If I had had more time to talk myself into stupid picks?  If half of my roster hadn’t gotten hurt in the pre-season? Maybe.  Maybe not.  All I know is that I’m sitting here with the same record as the Detroit Lions and with virtually no hope of making the playoffs.

With apologies to Jim Mora … “PLAYOFFS??!?!  Don’t talk to me about playoffs!  Are you kidding me?? I just hope [I] can win a game!”

*Sigh*  I guess in fantasy football even the best players have off years… that’s certainly the case for my FFB roster.

*Author Note: My lone win came in week 4.  So, after a perfectly abysmal start, things might finally be looking up after some tweaking to the roster.  Given the way things are going, though, I’m not taking my hand of the panic button quite yet.

B-T-dub: I would like to thank AA for inviting me to write my very first blog post.  I’m so glad you shared your blog with me and that you’ve introduced me to the Pittsburgh social media crowd.  Here’s to many more years of writing about rugby, Little C and whatever else comes your way!   ~CPG





Friends…

17 12 2008

Anyone who knows me knows that I while I do have a big group of friends, I don’t have any one or two or three that I confide in or hang out with on a regular basis. Rather, I have many groups of friends. So many so that I can’t count how many. Not that I see or talk to any or all of them very much…I kind of operate in a solitary manner. I prefer it that way most times.

But I do have some good friends who have given me some solid info over the years, and who have always listened to me when needed. In fact, one of them gave me the song that helped me get this post together… KB. She rocks. She knows this.

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In the back of my mind, I have this list. A list of what I hope people think of me. It’s part of that “doesn’t everyone have a conscience thing?” I won’t go into what is on that list. If you truly know me, I probably answer your phone calls (bonus!!!), and that means that have known me for a while or you know me well. As such, you probably know my full range of offerings and craziness. And you still like me. So I thank you.

What I’m starting to realize is that the more I am myself – which is happening more and more lately – the more people take me up on my offerings of help as a listener, confidant, goofball,  carrier-of-heavy-things… All things I love to do and can do well…

I have some friends, a few actually, who are either going through some tough times right now or how have been… And I’m really glad to be here and help them as much as I can… Some of them take advantage of what I offer, there are others who don’t, but honestly I’m here for all of them. And I probably always will be. It’s in my nature. And I’m quite happy to do so.

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So while I am mad, angry and hurt that my friends, new or old, are facing tough times. I hope that I can always be here to help them. And I’m glad that those new friends would be there for me too. It’s quite exhilarating. Honestly. So to those friends thank you – first and foremost – and secondary, I am glad to be here to help. 🙂