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Skating, kids, etc

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Drove up to Santa Rosa today for college friend G's birthday party.

Spent most of the drive up listening to a new version of my driving-singalong mix CD, which I would post as an iTunes playlist except that half the music on it isn't available in the iTunes Store. It's a bunch of my favorite songs, focusing specifically on ones I like to sing along with while driving. Happy/sad/cathartic.

Part 1 of the birthday party was at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which may have been where I learned to ice skate. I don't remember for sure, but the rink was there when we lived there when I was a kid, so it's at least plausible.

I haven't been skating of any kind in years, and haven't been ice skating since, oh, possibly '92 or so. I enjoy it but was never any good at it. When I was a kid, skating consisted of keeping my left foot on the ice (or floor, for roller skates) and pushing with my right; it wasn't until after college, at a roller-skating party that I vaguely think Laura may have organized, that someone taught me how to push with both feet, alternating.

Anyway, it was fun, except for the part where I fell and banged my knee. Not serious, but still a little painful, eight hours later.

G&M's younger son, B, decided he liked me last year during an Exploratorium trip, and I like him too. He skated with me for a little bit, then zoomed off around the rink; I pointed out that he was a lap ahead of me, and he zoomed off again. Each time he lapped me, he held up fingers (in a friendly way) to show how many laps ahead he had gotten. When they told us to reverse direction, I thought maybe that meant that I was now four laps ahead of him, but no. When he got ten laps ahead of me, he won, and celebrated by towing me halfway around the rink. Then we did several more rounds of "racing" in which his goal was to get three times around in the time it took me to do two; he won handily at those, too, of course, despite his protestations that he was all tired out from the earlier ten-laps-ahead race. (In case it's not clear, this was all charming; we were both having fun.)

The rest of the afternoon and early evening were at G&M's place, featuring homemade Indian food, pie, and a treasure hunt with clues. (Some clues that the kids were unlikely to figure out on their own; others that the adults were unlikely to get on their own; a nice way to keep it cooperative.) At one point, one of the clues said "Money, a.k.a.," so we started coming up with other words for "money," and one of the other guests immediately offered "spondulicks" and "dosh." I had already suspected they were my kind of people, but that made it definite.

Later, B was tossing me a tennis ball, and I caught it with my hands touching at the wrists in a way that reminded me of a Venus Flytrap, which led to about ten minutes of my tennis-ball-eating Venus-Flytrap hands making growling noises and attacking the kids, to shrieks of delight.

Anyway. Good party.

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Man, I miss those guys. :^\ Convince them to come to Acadia? :^)


In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that I often just yell out "spondulicks" at random moments. It was only a coincidence that it happened to be a plausible answer at the time.


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