Monday, April 18, 2011

My Apparent Issue With Balls

Yep.  I have some problems with balls.  It all started in high school.  With my gym teacher. 

Yes.  You read that correctly.

Now please remove your mind from the gutter and read below.

Two Ball Stories

Story One

So my last year of gym we had a semester of tennis, and a semester of archery.  Tennis was first, and I couldn't wait.  I loved watching tennis on TV, and I never really had the chance to actually learn how to play.  And now we were going to have an entire semester of it, and wasn't that going to be so exciting?

I already knew that I was going to be so very good, that I had planned on going and buying several new tennis outfits with those cute little skirts.  And I imagined myself going to Wimbledon, and all the sports commentators would talk about how I had been such a late starter, but yet here I was playing against Steffi Graf for the championship just three years after I started playing. 

I obviously had a very high opinion of my abilities to pick up new sports.  The problem was, although my heart knew I was absolutely supposed to be an overnight tennis sensation, the rest of me didn't. 

So over the first few weeks of gym class, the hour went like this. . .

1.  Get bucket of tennis balls and a racket.
2.  Look around for a partner.
3.  Wonder why no one will make eye contact with me.
4.  Tell myself it must be that they are afraid of the talent that is sure to come pouring out of me at any moment.
5.  Be paired up with someone who has some tennis talent already.  This person does not want to play against me, but the coach makes them.  I again reassure myself that they are actually afraid of what they must surely know is coming.
6.  Serve the first ball.
7.  Walk over to the net and get it.
8.  Serve the next 6 balls.  Watch as they fly over the fence.
9.  Serve another one.
10. Walk over to the net and get it.
11.  Hit the remaining bucket of balls, and then call over the coach to tell him that I have hit all my tennis balls over the fence.
12.  Watch as coach mutters something under his breath (Surely he didn't just say the "f" word, did he?), and wait patiently as he retrieves all the tennis balls he can find.  He usually comes back with one or two less than I started with.
13.  Wait for the person across the net from me to serve to me.
14.  Hit the first 7 serves over the fence.
15.  Hit the next two serves into the net. 
16.  Go and get the ball.
17.  Hit the remaining serves over the fence.
18.  Tell the coach we don't have any tennis balls left. 
19.  Repeat of step 12.

And this would repeat until the hour was over, or until the coach couldn't find any more tennis balls.  The coach spent an inordinate amount of time with me and my partner of the day (well, OK, just with me), trying to show me the way to hold the racket, how to swing, how to serve, etc etc.

By the way, I'm not kidding.  This is all true.

But I didn't care.  I was learning how to play tennis.  And I was stoked!  If, by some complete miracle, I did manage to keep one in play for a (very short) volley, I'd end up doing a celebratory dance as though I'd just scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl.  That's how excited I'd get.  Because I was learning!  Wimbledon?  Get ready cos HERE. I. COME.

About a month into the semester of tennis, my gym teacher came up to me while I was picking out a tennis racket.  I remember being irritated because someone had already grabbed the one I had been using for a while.  And I remember that I had been planning on asking the school if I could take it to Wimbledon with me.  I kind of considered it "my" racket now.  I was just scoping out the other students to see if I could negotiate a trade of some sort when the coach came over and asked if I could step aside and chat with him a moment.  Since I was pretty sure I knew what he was going to say, I smiled as humbly as I could, and said, "Oh, sure.  No problem."

I stood there and gloated as the other students grabbed rackets and tennis balls.  The coach got them all started, and then he came over to where I stood.  I smiled at him again as he came over and stood in front of me.


"Yes coach?" 

"You know you're failing, right?"



That wasn't what he was supposed to say!!!!  How can I be failing?  I'm going to Wimbledon in three short years!  I need all the practice I can get!  This is ridiculous!

I looked at the coach.  I actually waited for him to say, "Just kidding!  Get out there and show me what you've got!"

But he didn't.

Instead, he said it again.

"Carolyn.  You know you're FAILING, right?"  And yes.  He said the failing part louder. 

"Um.  But I'm really trying."

"Oh.  I know.  Believe me.  I know you are."

"I really REALLY want to learn how to play."

"Right.  I get that."  Silent stare for a moment.  Then, "I'm going to give you a choice."

Oh?  Maybe some after school lessons?  Cool.
"You can either continue to try and learn how to play and I'll have to fail you, or you can SIT OUT THE REST OF THE SEMESTER AND I'LL GIVE YOU A 'C'."


I was dumbfounded.  I didn't know what to say.  I had never wanted to learn a sport so badly in all of my life.  It was unfair!  I'd been cheated! 

I stood there for a minute and pondered the two choices.  Then I heard:


My last Wimbledon dream went down like a flaming heap of dung as I heard the teacher say that.  I sat out the rest of the semester.  I was only allowed to get up and hit a ball if another teacher or staff person came out.  But I must admit.  The flame had gone out, and it wasn't nearly as exciting to hit those balls over the fence as it was before.

Story Two

This story is much shorter, but no less important.

When Jamey and I were dating, he played golf occasionally.  And when he knew he would be playing, Jamey would go to the driving range a few days before, buy a bucket of balls, and hit golf balls.

One time, he invited me to go.  And I was all excited because I knew, in that exact moment, that I was going to become the first female to win the Masters.  Or whatever tournament it was where you get that green blazer.  After all, I look awesome in green.

So off to the driving range we went.  I could hear all the talk in my head.  Everyone pointing and talking about how incredible it was that I could hit a golf ball so far and so straight.  Even in 40mph winds.  And with a putter!  They would say I could make the ball go wherever I wanted it to go. 

We get to the range, and Jamey buys two buckets of balls.  He hands me one of the golf clubs, and the smallest bucket.  We set up side by side.  I watch him hit a few, just to let myself get a feel for the whole thing. 

Then, I set up my first ball on the tee.  And I swing.  And I'm looking for it.  And I'm totally amazed.  I can't even SEE it!  It must be going so far, and so fast that. . .


"Yes, Jamey?"  (Still scanning the horizon waiting for the ball to drop.)

"What are you doing?"

"Looking for my ball."  (He doesn't sound amazed.  He sounds. . . perplexed?!?!?)

"Did you look down?"

"Huh?"  So I look down.  There's a ball sitting on the tee.  Weird.

"How'd that get there?"  (Back to looking for the ball I hit.  It's bound to land any minute now.)

"That's your ball.  You never hit it."

"What do you mean?"

"Your club didn't make contact with the ball."

"Oh."  Now I'm perplexed.  I look down again and think to myself that it must have been a fluke.

I hit it again.  And I immediately look down to make sure it left the tee.  But it's still there.  And I repeat this over and over again.  And this becomes my experience at the driving range.

1.  Swing the club.
2.  Look down to see that the ball is still there.
3.  Swing again.
4.  Repeat steps one through three several times.
5.  Swing the club.
6.  Look down.  The ball is not there.
7.  Look out about a foot from the tee.  There is the ball.
8.  Reach out, pick ball up, and replace on tee.


I hit one ball the whole afternoon.  Jamey finished his bucket and then hit my bucket of balls (minus the one I had been using all afternoon.)

He never asked me to go back to the driving range again.

It's things like this that made me switch to blogging.

Happy day everyone!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oopsie! I Made a Mistake and I NEED Some Suggestions!

Yes.  I made a mistake.  And I thought I'd share it with you all.  Because I'm nice that way and want to make you all feel better about yourselves.

My mother has a lovely little saying that I'd like to think is true about myself.  But it isn't.  But it might be for my mother.  Her saying goes like this:  Once I thought I made a mistake. But - I was wrong.

So here is my mistake of the moment.  Because I make LOTS of mistakes. 

See, I was looking on this afternoon because I was "watching" a show while I was on the treadmill at the gym today.  But I wasn't listening to it, because I had my headphones plugged into my iPod so I could listen to music instead.  And text my friends.  I do that all the time.  HGTV is the easiest to watch and follow what's going on for me, because you can see what the gist is of what they are doing without having to listen to what they are saying.  Besides, it's better than watching the Food network like all the skinny girls do.  That's totally unfair.  Let me see. . .let me watch a show about a bunch of delicious looking, fattening foods while I am trying to lose weight, get fit and eat healthier.  Just. Doesn't. Work. For. Me.  Plus, I like multitasking.

Anyway, so HGTV was on, and I was watching these people get a total home makeover.  And I was totally jealous.  Because our home should be on there.  I couldn't understand why these people were.  The mom and the older daughter both had expensive looking fake nails.  They had on designer clothes.  And the mom had an engagement ring the size of Wisconsin.  (I have no idea why I just picked Wisconsin.)  And the house was enormous.  It totally looked like they could pay for their own home makeover.

And I was thinking about my house, and the fact that the kitchen looks disgusting, etc etc.  Plus it looks like I am a professional interior designer for nursing homes.  My house has on a big BC outfit.  Just like my own BC outfits.  (If you haven't been following my blog, you can look up BC outfits.  I've talked about them before.  I don't want to talk about them anymore, because frankly, I still wear them a lot and it just makes me sad.)

So I went online when I got home and tried to look up the show so I could see why in the world HGTV would pay rich people to redo their homes instead of pathetically poor people like myself.  And I couldn't find the show.  But I did find this:  

Do You Have an Ugly Kitchen? Selected Homeowners Could Get a Free Remodel!

And it had a link, and I got all excited.  I clicked on the link, and it asked for an email explaining why you wanted a makeover, pictures of the ugly kitchen, and contact information.  This is the actual email I sent:
To: HGTV Peeps
Subject:  If I Spend One More Minute In My Ugly Kitchen. . .
So here's the deal. I hate my kitchen. Seriously. We moved to this house three years ago because we needed a REAL neighborhood for our son Joshua. So he wouldn't grow up thinking he was the only child in the WORLD. We had just remodeled our previous house. We had a GORGEOUS kitchen. It had real cherry cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, beautiful wood floors and a spectacular backsplash that my husband slaved over. It really was a dream kitchen.
Then we moved.
And I threw up in my new kitchen.
OK, not really. But I wanted to. Because it's ugly. It's not, like 1960's/70s ugly. But the back splash is poorly done. The melamine cabinets are gross, and they are starting to delaminate. The floor is a putrid ceramic tile that is not only ugly, but was also put in very poorly. So poorly, in fact, that you feel like you are walking on the ocean because it's so WAVY. Oh. And the dishwasher doesn't work.
And my husband and I just can't face another renovation. I spend lots of time in here every day. And it depresses me. You don't want me to stay depressed do you? I mean I'm nice. And kind of cute. And I'll even make it look uglier if you need me to. But you must help me. You must make me not depressed. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE ME HAPPY. And to not want to throw up in my kitchen anymore. Even the dog throws up in here. I think he is depressed too. Look at him in the pictures and tell me you don't want to help him. If after looking at his picture, you don't want to help us, our nausea will be on your consciences forEVER.
So please help me. And the dog. We want a pretty, bright, lovely kitchen. This kitchen is big. And blah. And has so much potential. But its homeowners (my husband and myself), have neither the time, money, nor patience to see another kitchen renovation through again without some serious help. And Joshua is only five. And child labor is illegal. Oh and if it helps, my husband is super cute and very handy and could be very helpful to you. Just sayin'. But he won't let me hold a paintbrush. But I can hammer and stuff.



Carolyn Davidson

Honest-to-Gosh Princess and Domestic Goddess

Follow my Blog. Or Else.


I was sure I was going to get a kitchen makeover.  I started dreaming about telling Jamey we were going to get to finally redo our kitchen.  And for FREE!  Then I realized that they asked for contact information.  So I emailed them.  Again.  And this one had my original email, but at the top I included the following:

Sorry - I was so excited about the possibility of not upchucking in my kitchen anymore, that I forgot to give you my contact info:


And of course I included my contact information just like they asked.  Are you thinking that was my mistake?  Actually, it was a mistake.  But not the mistake.  Here is the description of who they are looking for, for this lovely kitchen makeover:
Magnetic Productions is currently searching the Los Angeles, Denver, Oklahoma City, New York City, Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth areas for fun, outgoing, enthusiastic homeowners who have ugly kitchens in need of a makeover for a new television series!

The to-be-announced project features kitchen design remodels in various towns and cities across the country and the show is scheduled to air later this year. Homeowners with great personalities and who are willing to turn over creative control to a design team could get a complete kitchen remodel — for free!

Please send an e-mail with your contact information, what you hate about your kitchen, along with photos to *******.***


Sounds great right?  Yes.  Yes it does.  Except now I need to figure out how to move my house from out of VIRGINIA to somewhere in Los Angeles, Denver, Oklahoma City, New York City, Chicago or Dallas/Fort Worth.  Any suggestions?
Happy day everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mojo Ransom - Part One

They struck again.

The people who have my mojo, that is.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you need to read this.  Then come back here.

I opened up my email the other day.  And this is what I found:  (Oh - and with a new email address.  Sneaky little kidnappers, aren't they?)


From:  ToyHawk88@*****.***

Subject: ransom instructions, PART I

Bake one dozen cookies. Fresh. From scratch. None of that crappy grocery refrigerator gunk. While still warm, gently wrap in a periwinkle blue, 14" by 38" pashmina. Tie with a 4-foot long feathered boa, melon green. Place in an extra large Thalhimer's shopping bag, circa 1992, using organic cotton batting for cushioning. (to be continued) (Read your blog. You want creativity? Well, you mess wid me, I mess wid u.)


First, may I just say, in all sincerity. . .


Whoever you are: I love you.  In a totally creepy, stalkerish kind of way.  Just sayin'.


So after I laughed my ass off, I mulled it over for a few days.  Because really, you shouldn't rush into this stuff.  You could get hurt, or not think of anything good to write back at least.  So after mulling, I realized I had a few questions.  So Mojo kidnapper dude (or dudette):

1.  Are you still wanting plain old chocolate chip cookies?  Or are you now interested in my scrumptious molasses ginger cookies that will make you weep with happiness?  And if I'm gonna go through all the trouble of baking you fresh cookies, you better not keep changing your mind.

2.  Do you want me to save you some of the raw cookie dough too?

3.  What if they aren't hot by the time you pick them up?  I mean, I'm not sure how to keep them warm.  I know pashminas are lovely, cozy things, but let's face it.  They'll only hold in heat for so long.  Will the deal be off if they aren't hot?

4.  Speaking of pashminas, those suckers can be quite pricey.  Can it just be a periwinkle blue long-sleeved shirt I found at Target in the 50% off section? 

5.  The Thalhimers bag is proving to be quite the challenge.  I've looked on Ebay and posted it as a wanted item on Craig's List.  If you don't believe me, then look at this.

6.  What about that Matchbox car?

7.  Does organic toilet paper count for bag filler?  It's cottony.

I thought I was all done, but I have one more question.  Can I bake more than one dozen of the cookies and just eat the rest myself?  No one but you and I have to know about that part.  I can eat them all while my family is at work or preschool.  And I can stick Quincy in the yard.  (shhhhhhhhhhhh)  And actually, I wouldn't have to really put Quincy in the yard.  He's kind of dense and probably wouldn't notice it if his mommy ate four dozen cookies in one sitting.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or questions I should be asking?  Oh dear - I just thought of something- like, the most important thing that anyone does when a loved one has been kidnapped.  Ready?


I mean I'm right, right?  Of course I am.  OK.  So I will wait along with all my lovely readers to see what the second part of the ransom demand is.  (I'd twiddle my thumbs and whistle while I wait, but I suck at whistling.)

Happy day everybody!