Archive for June, 2008

Bicycle Jousting

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

It turned summer on Friday and we spent half the day in our pajamas blinking squinty-eyed at the bright light and rotating through morning naps and coffee. Saturday was equally brilliant and we went to the park to check out some bicycle jousting.

We arrived early and ate lunch, played with Ronin on the swings, and then found some slackropers to harass. I haven’t slackroped since Texas (when I was a lithe 11 weeks pregnant) and basically, I suck pretty embarrassingly now. I know that after an hour of playing around, I might recover some of my former glory (which is to say, marginally less wobbly but not anything you’d shell out the big bucks to go see) but in front of an audience, I stepped up, ripped out the crotch of my [PRE-PREGNANCY!!!!!] jeans, made some vague excuses about having not done it for a while, and preoccupied myself with Ronin, who had finally decided to unleash Poop Diaper 1.0 on the day. Somehow she managed to deposit nearly every bit of leakage into Joshua’s front jeans pocket. It was pretty amusing. Joshua was sort of flummoxed that he had poop in his pocket, particularly since sitting in the bottom of the pocket was the cell phone. We hoped nobody would call us.

Bicycle jousting was highly entertaining. We watched people start to gather decked out in their SCA gear and driving tricked-out Portland bikes. One guy had a sweet chainmail hoodie and was on a seven-foot tall custom BMX bike.

They took over a set of basketball courts using eight-foot PVC pipes fitted with large conical points made of foam and duct tape. One guy served as the referee/announcer and there were various guys acting as hecklers, snatching away poles if they were dropped and forcing the jousters to chase them down to get them back. Jousting, of course, has two players ride swiftly at each other armed with their jousting poles with the objective of poking the opponent off his ride. It might be considered dangerous. At this tournament, safety gear was clearly optional. Some wore football helmets and elbow pads, others were naked.

The first few rounds were fairly benign. Two wobbly cyclists rode toward the center and batted inexpertly at one another with their long poles. One usually fell over right there and the other would recover and swerve dangerously away, the victor of the match.

Here’s a blurry cell phone shot of Daryl Hall and John Oates duking it out (it’s a crummy shot but you know how celebrity photos are). Oates: “I will kick you and your pathetic solo album’s ass!” Hall: “Get the hell away from me you mustachioed mulleted freak!” Sadly, yes it has come to this.

The Hall and Oates tournament was a bit boring actually, mostly because they couldn’t seem to either hit each other with the jousting poles or if they did, knock one or the another off and end it already. They spent long minutes riding their bikes around in circles, chasing one another with poles, the hecklers dashing around making a nuisance of themselves. Finally I think Oates won but I had lost interest because a whole herd of naked bikers invaded the park, sporting various wacky props and a very loud sound system.

We cut out early to change Joshua’s pants, rescue the cell phone, and catch a bus to another bike event (because it’s stupid to drive to a bike thing, but we don’t have a baby carrier for the bike). Unfortunately, we missed our bus and then the connecting bus was taking forever and so we gave up and just went for Indian food (Tandoor Indian Kitchen), which was awesome as usual and halfway through, Ronin released Poop Diaper 2.0 and ruined Joshua’s second pair of jeans for the day.

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[Here is a pair of BMX/recumbent jousters swiftly dispatching one another.]


Friday, June 13th, 2008

Well, it’s been awhile since anything of substance has been posted and there are a few reasons why. One, my father visited and so we were awash in visiting activities. Two, Joshua checked out season II of “Six Feet Under” from the library and I have to say, our evenings are obsessively full these days.

Cliffhangers are really harsh on those who are not used to television and its trickery. Every night we watch one or two (two usually—the only reason we watched only one once is because there was a car accident right in front of our apartment and we had to pause and watch that instead) and have to force ourselves to go to bed. Because OH MY GOD! What is UP with Keith and David? Will Nate ever tell Brenda he has a freaky rare brain disease and may drop dead at any second? Is there anyone on this show that is not totally fucked up in a major way? Also, how can we get the next season PROMPTLY??

In other news, we have a baby and stuff.

Oh I’m kidding—she keeps on with the changing daily thing and there’s a lot to say that probably would put anyone but the grandparents to sleep. Her sleeping habits have gone back to mostly normal aside from the fact that she (cough, and Joshua) now gets up at 6am instead of 7am [Edited to add: Did I say 6?? Try FIVE FREAKING O’CLOCK OHMYGODSLEEPSOMEMOREWILLYOU???]. We can also finally read stories to her and she seems actually interested in the book/paper/colors/ceiling fan long enough that we can usually finish a short cardboard book before she starts squirming. Before about three weeks ago, she would not tolerate You. Sitting. Period. Standing was acceptable sometimes and bouncing/rocking/moving/pacing/dancing was fine but the moment you sat down while holding her, even if she was in a deep sleep, she would start to spasm and fuss and scream. It’s pretty damned marvelous that she’ll let us relax a bit these days. We still have to limit our down time but it’s a start. Also, the “eh-eh-ehs” have been replaced by a frustrated/exasperated cough sound. She used to only do it when she was pissed and gearing up for some serious baby voltage but now she seems to have decided that coughing is fun and does it whenever she is bored or of course frustrated at anything. Or maybe she has contracted some awful coughing disease (and we are terrible parents). We are still only 90% sure that she is only play-coughing (for example, she never does it when she is occupied or engaged in anything else, only when she is bored or pissed).

Oh and also? It is mid June and finally we have had a day without gray dreary rain.


Monday, June 9th, 2008

Taken a couple of months ago, but the dogwoods are still blooming.


Saturday, June 7th, 2008

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Strange Flowers Mountain Laurel

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Does anyone know what these are? Thanks Ilana!

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell