Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Dad Played Six Man Football

My dad was on the very first football team at his high school. My aunt has been sending me photos that have been posted on a reunion site. It's been really cool to see my dad in his younger days and I have gotten a kick out of reading the captions.

Their high school played six man football, and on further research this is what I found out about it from Wikipedia (if you're at all interested):

Six-man football was developed in 1934 by Chester Nebraska High School coach Stephen Epler as an alternative means for small high schools to field a football team during the Great Depression. (My dad played in the late 40's early 50's. He graduated in 1951).

Six-man is a fast-moving game played on an 80-yard long by 40-yard wide field (instead of the normal 100-yd by 160-ft field used in 11-man football. Furthermore, the game specifies a 15 yard distance from the line of scrimmage for a first down, instead of the normal 10 yards.

And apparently some smaller schools and private schools still play 6 Man.

At any rate, here are some of the photos, with the captions from one of the former players and a friend of my dad:

(My dad is the one you can barely see who's head is just about ready to hit the ground). "If you are wondering about a lineman going down field, in 6 man anybody could go out for a pass. Just one of the different rules. Photographer was George Hatch. He worked on the ice deck and then opened a studio in the [town's] Theater for a while."

"Our field, slight lack of grass. Dick T. carrying the ball (Coach gave him hell, cause he didn't have the end covered), and Chuck (my dad) about to Kill somebody. He weighed all of 135 pounds and was the hardest hitter on the team. Don't remember if we couldn't afford long socks or didn't like them."

This may be my favorite photo of the bunch. My dad is second from left, and is charging in mid-air. From what I've heard about him in his younger days, he was quite a scrapper.

John S. has just handed the ball off to Chuck (dad)... Coach got after me for not doing more of a fake, got after Chuck for the way he's carrying the ball and Don R. for staying on the ground. He didn't miss much.

On the left Jim B., John S., Chuck (dad #71) leading the way. You like facial expressions check these out. [Opposing team] had grass, but I don't think they watered much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tech Support Killed My Phone's Battery

Mike has his own computer. A laptop. Mind you he is a complete computer illiterate, but he likes to go online and check his email and download music and such. Of course I always have to go help him every time because he forgets how to do everything between sessions, but nonetheless he has his own computer.

When he got his computer we purchased a wireless router and I was pretty proud of myself for installing it and setting up a network. However, the rotten little router has been temperamental and inexplicably will lose the connection. I generally unplug it, let it sit a while, plug it all back in and we're good to go again. Not so this last time. I tried everything and we even called in our tech-savvy nephew to look at it, but it just wouldn't work.

Mike has been all worked up because he hasn't been able to use his laptop, so today he proposes that we go buy a new router. I am not willing to give up until I've tried everything, so I go online for troubleshooting, and the install guide, and the upgrade, etc. No luck. I finally decide to call tech support.

I end up talking to a nice East Indian fellow, and we go through a lot of unplugging and ip configs, and resetting with no luck. I am on the phone an hour by now, and he decides he needs to send me to a level 2 tech. The level 2 tech comes on with an even heavier accent, and away we go again...unplug, replug, ip config, ping something or other, connection status blah blah blah, and by the third time we do this I tell him, "Ok I'm done, I'm going to trash this piece of flip [router] and go get a new one. Seriously, I've had it." He convinces me to hang in there through one more attempt and to restart my computer and Viola! finally it works!

He explains to me that the computer wasn't communicating with the router even though the router was communicating with the computer. So the computer was sulking because it didn't like the router for some reason and it was saying "Lalalalalala, I'm not listening." or some such as I understand it, and somehow this dude in India was able to persuade it, or slap it upside the head via the phone line and get it to cooperate with the router again. It only took 113 minutes on the phone. By the end of the call my ear hurt, I was starving for lunch, and the phone battery was dying.

But it was successful and Mike can get online again now. It wasn't even 5 minutes before he was asking me for help, just like old times!

I made myself a tuna sandwich then went to my favorite Cake Wrecks blog and found these two entries: Fireman cake, and Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys. Honest to Pete, I laughed so hard I was snorting and had tears running down my face. I don't know if it was because I was so rummy from my marathon tech support session or if these entries are actually that funny.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sometimes They Get It!

Husband tells me tonight that he was talking to the nice young couple down the street from us and found out they're looking for a home to buy. He told them we were probably going to do a short sale with ours and they were pretty excited about it.

And guess what? He told them that they could look at the house... soon as he got clearance from me that it was ok to have people come look at the house.

Yes, he finally gets that I don't like nice people traipsing through my house without proper warning. And that it makes a much better impression on people when the house is in a semi-respectable state of cleanliness. Hallelujah!

So as soon as I get a day off, I'll get a shovel or a backhoe or stick of dynamite or something and clean the place up and maybe we can get it sold.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And They're Off!

To School!

Shelby is in 4th grade, Nat is in 1st. Now that Nat's out of kindergarten, she'll be going full days to school. It's going to be weird--for me that is. All my babies are officially in school full days. The end of an era of sorts.

Sis is a senior. She's not dressed up, because she's in Link Crew (hence the t-shirt), which is the group of kids that does the new student orientation (yesterday) and helps students find their classes and such today. She was very excited about going back to school because she's so social and involved with everything.

Sis had someone side-swipe her yesterday. She was heading back home from her orthodontic appointment and was in a left turn lane. Someone behind her got impatient and went around, and dragged their car mirror all the way down the side of her dad's truck. They never stopped or anything. She was pretty upset and called me, and I told her she needed to call the police and file a report. There's a nasty scrape on the passenger's side now, and she feels really bad. It wasn't her fault though. Unfortunately they weren't able to track down the other car.

At any rate, the house is too quiet, and I can't wait to go pick up the girls and see how they liked their first day. I'm happy about the teachers they were assigned to and am anticipating a good year for all of them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

3 Girls + School Shopping = Happy x Tired

School starts on Wednesday, so yesterday was school shopping day!

First stop TJ Maxx--lots of bargains there!

The dollar store makes big hats and ties. I don't know why.

Matching outfits that mom picked out.

Sis was tired and found lots of tops she liked but struck out with pants.

All three were riding in the cart at the end! People were looking at me a bit funny with my cartload of girls! Have you ever tried to steer one of these monster carts through Walmart? I swear, it would be easier to drive a Suburban through the store. At one point I found an empty aisle and started running as fast as I could (not that fast considering my size vs the weight of the cart, but still) and had all three of the girls screaming. Yeah, we're a fun bunch in Walmart!

Sis still needs pants, and Moo still needs a pair of shoes (everywhere we went there was nothing in her size) but for the most part we're ready for the big day tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Tomorrow I get a day off! Woo hoo! Actually I'll be off until Friday. I just finished doing two days of double shifts: snack bar from 10:30am-4:30pm, then waitressing from 4:45-10ish on Friday and Saturday then did another day at the snack bar today.

I feel like I've been living at work, but the snack bar won't be open during the week anymore (we'll just be doing Friday, Saturdays and Sundays and will be closed for the season after labor day), so I need to get as many hours in as possible while I can.

It wasn't actually too bad. The two jobs are different enough that it didn't feel monotonous. Waitressing is getting easier and I'm still getting good tips. I may end up double shifting again this weekend as one of the waitresses had a death in the family. I think as long as there's an end in sight it's ok, but I couldn't do this on a regular basis. Whew!

And yes, I'm sitting with my feet up!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This Is From My County's Local Website:

Traffic Advisory...Buffalo on Right Hand Side of Road
08/13/2008 09:06 AM ...Even by [our] County's wonderfully rural nature this is something that doesn't show up often. We are used to seeing Cows, Deer, Horses and other animals show up in reports but this morning a Buffalo was reported wondering on the Right Hand Side of the road in the Ridge Road area. We also heard rumors of a large group of Conestoga Wagons making their way...Just kidding about the wagons...The Buffalo part is legit so please use caution in the area.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mormon Swear Words

So what are your favorite "clean" swear words? Or, do you not swear at all, clean or otherwise? Or maybe you curse like a belligerent truck driver? Where do you fall along the cursing spectrum?

As for me, I am a fluent (and frequent) clean-curser. Very rarely does an occasion arise when I feel compelled to use an authentic curse word. I don't ever think, "Oh I'll use this curse word for this occasion", they just seem to spill out randomly, but I definitely control it to a certain extent.

My own personal favorite and a Lesley original is "Oh, farts and darts!". I don't use it often, but it's great for releasing frustration, and it usually makes me and whomever is with me laugh afterwards.

I use the old stand-by's quite often: "ding-dang it", and the ever-popular "gosh" "darn" and "heck". However, I prefer "flip" and all it's variations (flipper, flippin' flip-head, what the flip, etc) to "fudge" "freak" or "fishsticks".

My mom would often use, "For Cripe's Sake" and "Criminy", and she was fairly liberal with the "D" word. Usually she would check herself halfway through and say "Dammy Sammy!" instead, a phrase I too find quite satisfying when things are going haywire.

Once in a while she would use a real swear word, usually the one referring to excrement, and when we heard it we knew she was genuinely P-O'd, but usually when she said it, it meant that something had gone terribly wrong in the kitchen. One time in particular I heard her use it, and found that she had splashed boiling hot water on her hand while making Jell-O. You can imagine how badly that hurt and I personally think it called for a string of curse words, but she obviously held back.

My dad uses the Lord's name in vain quite often, along with nearly all the old standards, but he feels that a man should never use the F-word in front of a woman. It really offends him if it happens even though he may use this word himself when he's around his guy friends.

I guess my most questionable phrases may be "Holy crap", "Holy flip", and "God Bless America". I'm also known for telling the kids that they are in "deep dog doo".

How do you feel about swearing? Is using "Flip", "Cripes" or "Dang" just as bad as what it is replacing? Inquiring minds want to know. Leave me a comment about your clean swear words, or lack there of.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Good Night

I may be the only 44 year old who has never waitressed or made a pot of coffee. Well, all that has changed now, people! I have been initiated into the wonderful world of food service!

Tonight was my second night training as a waitress at my place of employment. I've worked the snack bar most of the summer, and spent 3 nights busing tables a few weeks ago as part of the learning process towards waitressing.

The powers that be at work want to train me to do everything, so that I can be the go-to gal wherever they happen to need someone. I told them I need as many hours as possible (since the snack bar will close after Labor Day) and this is apparently my ticket in doing so.

Last night was my first night waitressing so I shadowed the head waitress, and towards the end of the night they gave me 2 tables of my own--both "two-tops" in dining lingo, meaning two people were seated.

Tonight I did more shadowing and learned more about the prep process. They entrusted me with 4 two-tops tonight.

Ok, so this maybe the phrase that comes back to haunt me, but the bussers at our lodge work a lot harder than the waitresses. Waitressing is a lot about paying attention to the details, and timing things and staying organized, but busing is a lot of hard work, and a lot more clean up and a lot more just physically tiring. I'm not saying this is the case everywhere, but where I work it is; they give the bussers a lot of responsibilities.

At any rate, I had a pretty terrific night tonight. From the sales on my tickets I should've gotten $28 in tips, but at the end of the night, the hostess handed me $45. All of my tables left me a $10 tip and one left me $15. But the best part was that one customer wrote "We love Lesley!" on their receipt. That made my whole night! I think that I'm getting a lot of "it's only her 2nd night, encouragement tips" but heck, I'll take it! I wonder just how long I can milk the "I'm new" angle though?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Belly Dance and Mormonism

A couple years ago, I had a discussion with my mentor and belly dance teacher Shara, about how weird I felt as LDS and a belly dancer, and that I felt like I had to keep those two aspects of my life separate from each other, that if people from my church found out I was a belly dancer I would be ostracized and conversely, if the group of women I danced with found out I was LDS, they might think differently of me (especially since Wicca is fairly prevalent in the belly dance community).

It was about this time that PBS aired the documentary called "The Mormons". Shara watched it and came across this little tidbit about dance and Mormonism:

There is, in the Mormon faith, a kind of celebration of the physical which I think is a little bit outside the Christian mainstream. When the Saints moved west to Utah, one observer in the 1850s noted that they had schools in most every block but that every night, the schools were converted into dancing schools. And he observed with some displeasure that Mormons taught their children that they should go to school but they must go to dancing school.
And I think that there's a connection between the place of dancing in Mormon history and the concept of an embodied God. Because we believe that God the Father, as well as Jesus Christ, are physical, embodied beings, that elevates the body to a heavenly status. And I think there's a kind of exuberance and celebration that is, in many ways, a result of that same collapse of sacred distance that was so central to Joseph Smith's thinking.
Instead of denigrating the things of the body in order to elevate the things of the spirit, Joseph always argued that it was the successful incorporation of both that culminated in a fullness of joy. And so dancing, I think, is in many ways, just an emblem or a symbol of a kind of righteous reveling in the physical tabernacle that we believe is a stage on our way to godliness itself.

Belly dance has had in the past, a reputation as a "dance of seduction" and the old stereotype of the sultan with his scantily clad harem dancers is still what a lot of people conjure up when they hear "belly dance".

Our church in particular is very conservative, especially when it comes to dressing modestly, but is a belly dancer's costume any more scandalous than a ballet dancer or ballroom dancer? For the most part, we belly dancers are revealing a lot less, but because of the bad rap our dance has gotten, people often assume we're doing something shameful.

Shara would always tell me, "Dance is an expression of your soul". That has helped me feel good about blending these two aspects of my life, and being proud of both of them.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Notes on the Bellydance Festival

Notes from the festival:

Belly dance is really becoming more of a dance for women-by women than the nightclub cabaret dance it used to be. It has truly evolved into many different forms. I like that it is a dance that any and all women can feel comfortable engaging in. With that said:

Some women really embrace their size and show it off. My hat is off to them. It can be a little shocking at first to see a very large woman dancing and showing her bare mid-drift, but then when you see them dance with confidence and skill it changes your whole perspective. And it also helps me be kinder to myself. If a 200+ woman can be confident and happy in her skin, then I shouldn't be picking my minor flaws apart and feeling bad about myself.

I should've used self-tanner, but if I take the above paragraph to heart, I can embrace my blindingly white skin that is devoid of any pigment whatsoever and show it off and be proud of it. (But next time I'm using self-tanner.)

As a former cosmetologist (I wish I would've kept my license current, dumb, dumb, but I digress...) it bothered me that so many people put so much effort into their make-up and costumes but didn't do anything with their hair. There seems to be a stereotype that belly dancers have to have long flowing hair, and I saw a majority of women with the long flowing hair who put it in braids, then brushed it out right before performing so that they had long flowing frizz. I think just simply leaving it straight (or straightening it) or putting some big loose curls in it would've been much more flattering and up to date. There were a couple women who had naturally tight ringlet type hair and this is the exception. Their hair was beautiful left in it's natural kinda frizzy state.

On the other hand, the true tribal girls had hair that was more like a work of art than a hair-do.

Costuming is an art in and of itself. One tribal group came out and I swear they were wearing their entire costume closets all at once. They had harem pants under several skirts, several belts and sashes layered over that, then coin belts, several tops with a fancy costume bra on top, layers of necklaces, earrings, then whatever was left over they used to wrap in and around their hair. I can't even imagine what all that weighs, let alone how long it takes to assemble! Truly remarkable. (The photo below shows a typical troupe's costuming, not necessarily the one I'm referring to).

I'm really getting to know a lot of women in the greater belly dance community, from vendors to dancers to teachers. It's really neat.

The festival was just a wonderful mixture of sights and sounds and people and I'm still digesting and absorbing it all. I can't wait to do it again next year.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Too Much Fun!

We had a total blast at the belly dance festival this weekend.

What a mix of amateurs, professionals, young, old, fat, slim, tall, short, black, white and everything in between! One troupe in particular was the most diverse group of women ever put together on one stage. It was really fantastic.

I traveled with one of my troupe mates and we shared a motel room on Saturday night. A few days before leaving she confessed to me that she was bi-polar, but not to worry, she was on medication. I knew she seemed highly emotional at times, so this explained why. It did make me a bit nervous to be committing myself to a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, 2 full days of festival watching, and a night in a motel together, but other than a brief meltdown before our performance, she was fine and we had a good time together.

At one point I was shopping and trying on different items and getting her opinion, and when I was going to put something back because it wasn't quite within my budget, she threw down a $20 and said, "Here, get it! This is the upside of bi-polar, you may as well take advantage of it!" I had to laugh. It was very sweet of her though.

Our troupe is really a mix of women in itself. Two are school teachers, the other a medical transcriptionist, the teachers are both 50, the other, 55. They tease me about being "the baby" of the group.

Of course we have our bi-polar one, and then another that I describe as "spit on a skillet" because she's everywhere at once and always working on getting us into the next festival, always wanting to work on something new, always full of energy, and often indecisive. She along with the bi-polar one are known for pre-performance panicking.

Then there's the other teacher and I who are pretty much cut from the same cloth. We're quiet and reserved, mellow and even-tempered. I think the four of us are a pretty good mix actually. We kind of even each other out.

I like this group of women even though I've been dancing with a different group for the last 5 years. My other group is not motivated to travel to festivals, or work on new choreographies, or even take the occasional workshop or class. I feel they are in a bit of a rut. My new group and my old group get together on our weekly dance night, so maybe we can start motivating them to start branching out instead of rehashing all our old stand-bys. We'll see.

I no longer get super nervous before a performance. I just try to keep it all in perspective and enjoy myself. Of course taking off my glasses so that I can't actually see the audience also helps! About a third of the way through the choreography that we had worked so very hard on during the last month, it hit me--here we were actually performing our dance, and we had reached our goal! That was a really cool feeling!

At any rate, I had a wonderful time, acquired a couple more costume pieces and some new music, and came back inspired and with renewed excitement to dance.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goin' Tribal

Tomorrow I'm heading out to the bay area to a belly dance festival. I have gone to this festival 3 years in a row now, but this year I get to perform! The gals I danced with at Rakkasah got a dance spot at this festival for us.

All of 5 weeks ago we chose some music, divided it into 3 sections, each took a part and choreographed it then brought it all together in our twice weekly rehearsals. We had one more gal join us, and we are all really happy about our choreography and how it all worked out.

We are dancing to Theivery Corporation's Illumination, and then will have 2 duets to fill our 15 minute time slot.

This festival generally lands near my birthday, so it's becoming my traditional annual weekend get-away. I'm so excited.

Our costuming for Rakkasah was more of a gypsy inspired theme,

this performance is more Tribal. My costume is: red harem pants, black skirt, tribal tassel belt, silver coin belt (I'm bringing two because I can't decide which one), coin bra, black stretch velvet top, silver necklace, bindis, and a gold chiffon veil for the duet I'm doing.

I've got my false eyelashes and bold make-up packed already.

This is basically a bunch of old ladies (at 44 I'm the youngest in our group) playing dress-up, but don't tell anyone! We are having waaayyy too much fun!