Bad Day

I was having a moderately bad day. It was not an earth shaking monstrously bad day - just your average not so great day where the worries and what not of life seem to have piled up especially high and obscure happiness. 

And so it was that I found myself walking my dog wrapped in a pale shade of blue and frustration that I bumped into my neighbor walking her two dogs.

We greeted each other and since we had just both started out - continued our walk together. I inquired about her new born twins, and she told me about the difficult time she was having, between bed rest, exhaustion with the newborns, lack of sleep, isolation, and dealing with family.

I didn’t talk about my frustrations or challenges, it was actually nice hearing about someone else’s challenges. It was nice being a friend and being reminded that an excellent cure for unhappiness is being nice to someone else.

Tags: life lessons

Airline Safety

Flying home from Seattle last week I realized that I no longer pay attention to airline safety instructions. Remind me again, in case of emergency is it still wet your own pants before wetting someone else’s?



… waking up to NPR I heard this story about immigration. This may sound simplistic but why are we bothering with border security?  It brought to mind building sand castles when the tide has come in…  Even the most obstinate child must eventually concede to nature, either out of acceptance, boredom, or because they are called in to dinner.

In general the border seems terribly expensive stupid and ineffectual. In general I’m not a fan of manmade economic frictions especially when I think at the core they are racist, xenophobic and discriminatory… Instead of a 40% effective barrier - I would think that the ~ $8,000 per illegal immigrant caught would be better spent creating economic opportunities and improving infrastructure in Mexico and South America.


Don’t tell me to relax: An open letter to the dude who suggested I relax after he tried to strip the disc

Setting the scene: We are on offense and I crash through the cup for a quick dishy back from the cutter. I catch it and just as I turn around to look up field a defensive mid, a big guy with at least 100 pounds on me, lunges at me and grabs the disc, his momentum carrying him backward.

I hold on to the frisbee and as he tries to pull it away. I shout “Foul”  stopping play and resetting the stall to zero.

“Relax!” He tells me, his tone sounds almost affronted.

I look at him a bit perplexed.

I am relaxed as a handler it’s my job to be relaxed.  Then his teammate informs me that the tie always goes to the offense. Thanks random dude. I have been playing for twenty years and I’ve known that rule for twenty years. Perhaps you should remind your teammate who won’t step off.

The thing is, it’s not the first time a guy has told me to “Relax” in a game. I used to think it was my tone, that being “loud” was jarring because it goes against social feminine norms and was often confused with being angry or strident. Point of fact I’m loud with my calls because I want to be heard and stop play efficiently. I’m not going to change that – other people’s perceptions are their own problem.

But even if it’s not the same old sexist BS (and trust me as sick as you are hearing about it, I’m just as tired dealing with it) I have to wonder, why the h—- should I relax - ever?

Of course there is the obvious point to be made that telling someone to relax is like telling them to smile, in that it generally produces the opposite result.

If I’m not relaxed there are usually two reasons. The first - and my favorite- is that I’m balling, my adrenaline is pumping and I am playing with all the passion and intensity I can manage.   It’s a glorious high and if you know what I’m talking about well I doubt any empathetic soul would encourage another to give that up by “relaxing”.

The second reason that I may not be relaxed is that I’m a bit scared. After twenty years, playing at a variety of levels of co-ed - I’ve been rolled and seriously injured by other players who are so intent on making the D they didn’t think twice of running through me. (Note: I’m not blaming all or most guys on injuries. There are plenty of clumsy women who make dangerous plays, it’s just that the negative consequences of a male dangerous play tend to be greater.)

To play co-ed recreationally (e.g. not elite club) I concede a lot, I rarely go up in crowds of guys and avoid running into blind spots i.e. cutting into the lane as they look back for the disc.  Hearing a guy’s footsteps bearing down on me from behind as I go up for a deep throw – physically makes my muscles contract. I can push through and be as mentally strong as I can be but my body has a memory of its own. It’s felt the impact of so much mass and momentum, the strain and the pop of ligaments and tendons rearranging themselves. My body is smart and it won’t let me forget and while my brain has itemized its risk appetite, my body reminds me that I don’t like pain. 

All that to say perhaps instead of suggestion a woman “relax” you might consider that it may indicate that you are playing in physically intimidating or dangerous manner. (In my opinion the former is only acceptable at the highest levels of co-ed and the latter never is.)   Perhaps instead of offering meaningless suggestions you should check yourself and gracefully accept that to play co-ed as a male there are some concessions you can and should make – otherwise there is always Open.

"If you have someone who you think is the one, don’t just sort of think, your ordinary mind, and think, ‘Oh, OK, let’s make a date, let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land at JFK, and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport."

Bill Murray’s advice for young lovers. (via nedhepburn)

(via datebynumbers)