June 20, 2009


Today I decided to spruce up the wardrobe just a little bit and make like it’s summertime by purchasing a couple of pairs of shorts. I was recently accused of wearing too many variations on the camo shorts so I decided to go for something different. At first I considered something in a plaid, but I stopped wearing plaid years ago when I sat on someone’s old couch and disappeared from view, prompting others to think I had become a floating head (damn that trendy jumpsuit) so I moseyed on over to the local Army and Navy store and took a look at “work shorts”. Don’t think skorts because they’re not and luckily they are not slanged down to worts.

Anyways, I hate shopping. When I was being built for this life they left out the shopping option when they installed the gay gene. Whilst I enjoy people watching very much, I like it for just that: my sitting back and watching people go by. I don’t want to actively participate in the mayhem associated with shopping, I actually want someone to shop for me (hence the aforementioned plaid incident in the early 1990s).

The first order of business was to find a Father’s Day card. The small section in the card shop was jammed with people pawing and grabbing at the cards with one particular woman yakking on the cheap flip phone wedged between her head and shoulder as she went on and on about some sort of work-related business that she was going to take care of on Monday whilst reading touching cards to express her love for her father. Not only was she very loud but she was separating the cards from the envelopes and putting things back in a generally disorganised fashion. The anal retentive side of me kicked in and I subsequently kicked her (um, accidently) and stepped on the back of her left shoe. She didn’t notice until she tried to turn and walk away.

Mission accomplished (selecting the card, not terrorising Miss AT&T), I finally got to the Army Navy store and made my way through the Carhartt section. Wearing Carhartt clothing is a badge of honour for my rural side of the family and something that I quite frankly enjoy. I like the feel of this particular brand of clothing and the practicality of it, hence the aforementioned work shorts.

I ended up purchasing three pairs in muted colours (but not all the same colour). As I stood in line at register 2, the kind cashier kept trying to direct me to other registers, even though there were others behind me. “You can go through register 3! Register 1 is open! You can even check out at the service desk!” Apparently I am scary but I stood my ground and made my way through register 2.

One thing that I have noticed whilst being out in public lately is that there are a lot of screaming kids on the street. Now I don’t mind that kids are out and about, after all it’s their world too and they need the interaction for proper socialisation, but lately there’s a lot of unhappy kids in a set radius around me. A meal at the diner was interrupted by a kid who propelled himself through the diner by latching onto the legs of the other customers. There were three kids screaming in various departments of the Army Navy store. I suspect they were trying to out scream each other as they shared their dismay with the situation.

I know how they felt.

Cosmic Bowling.

139.365, originally uploaded by iMachias.

Tonight Earl and Jamie came up with the idea of going bowling. And not just any kind of bowling, but Cosmic Bowling, complete with capital letters. We invited our friend Tony to join us.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t been bowling since 1979, efforts on the Wii notwithstanding. It has been 30 years since I was last seen in a bowling alley, more specifically the Strike ‘n Spare in Mattydale (outside of Syracuse); my Uncle Gary took my sister and I along with our cousins Jean and Heather for a Saturday afternoon.

I have two traumas associated with bowling. The first is that I come from a family of good bowlers; both Grandma and Grandpa City (and all of their siblings and relatives) were in bowling leagues. Grandma always watched bowling on Saturday mornings and early afternoons; she would often remark that I should become a pro-bowler if I really intended on making it in life. So I always feel some of lineage commitment pressure when I am handed a bowling ball.

My second trauma is that I broke two lanes that day 30 years ago when I was at Strike ‘n Spare because I had a habit of not waiting for the pinsetter to do it’s thing and would end up chucking the ball into the little rail thing that tells you not to bowl. I think there was a reason that Uncle Gary never took us bowling again.

So while tonight’s bowling adventure was fun, I have to admit that I really, really suck at it. I think I bowled a 49 in the first game and a 50 in the second. Earl was giving me pointers such as start with your right foot, don’t hop and for god’s sake don’t throw the ball like a shotput again! I seem to have this roundhouse approach to my bowling stance and tend the launch the ball like a backhanded frisbee throw. At least the little extra hop I used to do when I was a kid is gone. A bonus of the evening was that my ball didn’t jump lanes and usually ended up in the general vicinity of the pins.

After a post-game snack at the Denny’s where people are routinely shot or stabbed, I am pleased to say that I had a really good time with the guys tonight. I’m actually looking forward to going bowling again some time and maybe even knocking down a few of the pins.