Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's this all aboot?

Let's go curling!
or What to do in Windsor, Ontario year round

This week Eric got a phone call one of the few people we actually know out here in snowy-even-in-springtime Michigan, inviting us out for the weekend. Ana is one of Eric's friends from college who just happens to be living out here, about an hour away. Usually when we get together, it is your standard dinner and drinks fare, but she had something else in mind. Curling. Yeah, I said curling.

It turns out that there is some radical underground curling movement going on that I have been sadly left out of. Ana's company sponsors a group of young professionals and they host little outings; this week's outing was to Roseland Golf and Curling Club, for a rousing bout of bocci on ice. Well, not quite bocci, but that's the best comparison I can come up with. You know by now that I am not exactly an athlete, nor is my darling husband, but the beer was free so we were all about it. We got a quick lesson from the most limber kid I've ever seen, and then we curled for almost two hours. Here are a few things I learned, for those of you who want to try:

- Curling isn't only for retired people. While the elders were there in force, there was also a big group of young people hanging out and getting hammered, which I'm not sure is a great idea when you are sliding around on ice.

- You must wear good shoes. Since I'm not about to spring for a pair of professional curling shoes, and neither are you, you need to wear a pair of shoes with super sticky rubber soles. You need one foot to grip the ice, the other gets wrapped in packing tape to create a glider. If you can't grip, you're going to fall on your face.

- You are going to fall on your face. Unless you have perfect balance or luck, which I apparently have, since I miraculously didn't fall once. So proud! I saw many people fall, however, including Eric at least 3 times. The winner of the evening was this poor kid Tim, who literally scissor kicked both legs up into the air before landing sprawled out his belly. I'm sure it left a mark.

- You are going to suck. For at least a while anyway. You'd think a sport that is played by old folks would be easy, but it is way harder than it looks. We sucked something awful for at least an hour. Then we started to get the hang of it. Don't get me wrong, we still sucked, but at least we were getting it.

In the end our team won by a slim margin, and I only bruised my right knee a little. It was a pretty good thigh workout, and lo-and-behold, it was pretty damn fun. We're thinking of getting some other friends together to go again, and maybe we'll improve our skills a bit. At least it's an alternative to bowling!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Loco for Gocco!

I'm officially an addict. I ordered my PG-5 months ago, with plans to print our wedding invitations, but got sidetracked by work, moving, and life in general. This past week I had February break, and of course Eric had to be in the Fatherland the whole time on a business trip! It was his birthday Tuesday, too, so he had to celebrate it alone. Actually he was stuck with a few colleagues, so he may as well have been alone. Pobrecito! Since I was also to be alone for the week, I took off for my mom's house with my gocco in tow, and within two days, we were running like a well-oiled machine. All of the invites and one side of the RSVP cards are finished, and we had too much fun printing them!

It was so easy, my nephews could have done it. It took a bit of playing around with pressure and inking to get the effect I wanted, but once we had the hang of it we flew through it. For anyone interested in the process, there is a simple tutorial here with step by step photos to help you out! The lovely Bonnie did the graphic design work for me, don't you just love it? All of the paper was ordered from Paper Source in butter, because their selection and pricing rocks. The Riso inks are Japanese purple and pastel pearl purple, in case anyone is dorky enough to care.

Not only did we work on invites, but we bought the fabric for my gown and put together the mock-up pattern. Well, my mom did that part! I just had to stand there like a dummy while she draped muslin over me. Now I know how those models on Project Runway feel! I'm in love with the pattern and fabric we are using, and the modifications will make it even better. I'm was nervous at first about the whole gown thing, but now I am so thrilled that I'll have something so personal. Nothing like a little mother-daughter bonding over stick pins and tape measures. (I won't even get into the horror of being measured everywhere! I'm not 20 anymore!) Two major things ticked off the to-do list, sweet! Next thing to do, find musicians for our mini-ceremony. I'm thinking two or three people, maybe guitarists. Or someone who plays jazz flute?