Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksclimbing 2008

This Sunday we'll celebrate, drink, climb and eat,
if you can't be there we'll assume your at home beating your meat.

The WSP climbing will be sick once again,
Luke's homemade grog will make us all grin.

There's a football game on starting at seven,
but the West Saint Paul funmeter will go to eleven.

The air is crisp and the bird has been shot,
missing Thanksclimbing is something you should not.

We all know the holiday season is upon us when it kicks off with the annual Thanksclimbing festival in my garage. This glorious 2nd annual event features food, climbing and fun. There were many sick routes climbed at the West Saint Paul International Climbing Facility and fun was had by all. We fired up the deep fryer and consumed more than one bottle of beer in an effort to properly offset the physical activity the climbing provided. Some highlights of the evening were as follows:
  • Best dressed: TJB for his throwback climbing tights tribute to the eighties.....their appearance was brief, and we all needed a shower afterward.
  • Rowdiest guest: The dog, who broke a bottle of beer on the floor in a drunken fit of rage....nice, who invited the deaf and blind dog, anyway? However there is some debate that Al actually dropped his beer and then blamed it on the senile dog.......
  • Best Food: Smorrissey's mini corn dogs gave the event a state fair like feel
  • Most Unique Beverage: Noll's 'Simpler Times' beer. Correct, we had not heard of it before either. Top shelf could be overstating it a bit.
  • Biggest camera: Once again, defending champion, Jevidon, edges out everyone else, combined, with his Canon Hubble XJ57R unit which provided superior images of the event.
  • Topless Climbing Contest is taken by Al who just edged out TJBs more "primitive" look. However, if there were a contest to clog the shower drain, TJB would top the podium.
  • Best Dead Animal Brought to the Party: Luke takes it with the beheaded and skinned unidentified fowl in a grocery sack. Nobody knows what happened to the fowl, but there are theories that Noll, in a maddened vegetarian relapse snuck out the back door and consumed it raw under the deck of the house. Reports have not been confirmed, but the fine taste of meat has.
By the end of the night all hands and arms were pumped, lungs were white from inhaling chalk dust and the recycling bin was markedly more full than when the night started. Thanksclimbing to all, and to all a good night. Click on the images for the Thanksclimbing gallery.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Continuing Education........cont'd

This week I was privileged to view a video of numerous individuals carrying out, in our instructor's words, "rituals of birth." Up to this point, I was pretty chill about my whole attitude of "take it as it comes down the pipe," because I really think that a lot of people have given birth, so we can probably handle this. This doesn't mean it will be easy, but doable. Well, after I see this video, it's like the shit hitting the fan that propels the engines of the space shuttle.

Quick summary of the contraction/birth rituals I saw:
1. Lady dancing and talking in tongues with her husband in the hallway of the hospital. The good news, my wife hates dancing, so this is not very likely, but if it does I will have some sweet tunes loaded up on my ipod.

2. Fat lady(not because she was prego, I do have a conscious) naked, except for a sports bra (funny term for her clothing) getting hosed off in the bathtub as she moans and rocks on her knees in the tub. This shifted me into second gear freakout thinking pregnancy could be more like some sort of weird cult. Do I bring a watering can or a wetsuit in my luggage?

3. A naked couple giving birth in a giant tub of water. Quick summary: naked, paranoid husband, who probably feels weird getting videotaped in the bath, is comforting his wife as she moans and gets coached by some old lady. My thoughts: I have a bathing suit I look pretty good in, do I bring it to the hospital? Wife doesn't let me bathe with her now, so it's doubtful on day baby is being born. I will bring swimcap and Boundary Waters Barbie to play with, just in case.

4. Lady moaning and rhythmically flogging her husband senseless during contractions. Now, this is what I expect from the experience. I can take this sort of physio emotional abuse for a day. I won't hold it against you, but I probably will never fully understand. This reaction is not much different than my personal views on putting down the toilet seat or invaders from space: it's not that I don't care, but I just don't understand.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Continuing Education

I attended the first day of birth classes in preparation for having a baby girl in February. My theory was that we could surely learn all of this on Youtube or Google but that is without doubt simply my blind faith in trying to not cut into my Monday Night Football schedule. My first impression: Sunday school with vaginas. Our sweet teacher is seriously the church lady with a bunch of weird, contrived and sometimes disturbing props, pictures and stories. Her thin frizzy hair, flower dress and lunch lady shoes will certainly not make anyone start humming the Van Halen tune 'hot for the teacher.' Upon entering the room there was a lovely sign on a tripod that we learned is our mantra for the course. The sign reads: Women are made to give birth, trust in yourself. Seems like a weird mantra for me, but I rolled with it, and will continue to do so for the next 5 weeks! This sign, seriously made me wonder if Michael Scott would come strolling in for some kind of intervention, but I was not so lucky.

Well, the two hours flew by like a root canal in a burning airplane; and after watching a riveting demonstration of a plastic doll shooting out of a knitted sweater sleeve I was really starting to learn. I believe the sweater was the uterus, the cuff was the cervix and doll was the baby. (If you need more detail on any of those terms, your probably not old enough to read this blog.) Of course, this came after she told us about how you don't need any drugs when you give birth and chased that act with a picture of here 9 pound grandson at birth!!! Seriously, I'm not the one giving birth here, but if you asked me to blow a bowling ball out my butthole it's likely going to be a tough sell with out a lot drugs, 128 beers or a louisville slugger to the melon to persuade me on the idea. I just kept reading the mantra......

We then laid on the ground to practice relaxation with the lights off and soft music in the background. We couldn't look at each other because we were going to die laughing which kind of reminded me of my first yoga experience. I was well behaved and didn't cut loose a giant fart, which would have been pretty sweet (see Ryan Broshar), and I could have easily said I was just relaxing my entire body. I restrained myself from raising my hand about 237 times over the course of the class as there were so many opportunities for lighthearted remarks and off color comments. As my wife says, I am just a 5 year old in a 32 year olds body. Good times.