Hit Hit Hit!

This was the weekend of paintball and partying. Amazing how much you can fit into two days (and how much money you can spend). Diego mentioned his surprise that I enjoyed the paintball, and I admit I was surprised as well, but there's a pretty simple reason why. First of all, being a girl who hates guns, I had a good excuse to suck miserably, not be able to hit anyone, and hide behind a stump for most of the time. So, I didn't feel like I had not lived up to any expectations to actually be good at it. I mean, really, hitting targets (esp. moving targets) requires practice, so of course I'm not going to come very close my very first time. The guns didn't bother me, because what scares me about guns is the hard kick-back, which paintball guns don't do, and the fact that they shoot bullets, which paintball guns don't. I did get hit in the head twice, and it stung a little, but I got worse bruises when I used to fence than anything yesterday. One of our friends did get four shots in the back at close range, and she looks like someone drove a chairleg into her back - huge welted bruises. I got off lucky. Anyway, I wasn't scared out on the field because I treated it like a game in my mind - I didn't think about the fact that it was as close as I hopefully will ever get to what a real combat experience would be - I didn't think about what it would be like if the guns were real - it was a game and nothing more, and I had a lot of fun. Sometimes its nice being female because you don't feel that pressure to be macho and brave - people are impressed if you just get out there.

After the paintballing, we went to our favorite pub for food and beer, and after much beer, then went to another bar for pool and dancing, then back to our house for more beer. More beer was consumed than has been consumed by my friends in quite a long time, and worse hangovers were had today than have been had lately as well. Compounded by battle wounds from yesterday. Yeech.

It was a good time. I'm glad Diego organized the paintball, because my husband totally loved it. He was raised by Daniel Boone, so he didn't get hit at all and he brought down quite a few guys on the other side. And now I can add paintball to my list of things that I have done in my lifetime. I think the bungee jumping and skydiving and other things that involve heights, such as climbing up ladders, will have to wait til I'm a braver girl.


A few recollections

Birthdays are one of the times that we really stop and acknowledge the fact that time is passing. Of course, it never stops, but we often ignore the fact until we wake up and it's time to write a different number on the forms under Age:_______. Here are a few of the memories that pop into my head first when I think about my birthday.

- the smell of the homemade butter frosting, colored blue with food coloring, covering the Cookie Monster birthday cake my mom had made. The frosting just tasted like sugar, but it turns the tongue a great blue color. I have no idea how she got the cake into the shape of Cookie Monster. A cake mold probably, but it was very impressive. Looked just like him.

- a party at Aladdin's Castle arcade in the mall. I must have been pretty young, as this is the first co-ed party I remember having. A boy from my class who I had a crush on gave me a little stuffed zebra, which I treasured for years, even though I'm sure his mom picked it out and made him give it to me. It was a cool party, because they had a back room for birthday parties that we had reserved, and they had a big cake. And we played Pole Position. I guess that kinda dates me, eh?

- a softball game in Stevensville. It was raining and I was so pissed off to have to play softball in the rain on my birthday. I was in left field, and I wore glasses so I couldn't see anything because they were covered with rain droplets. Then, the rain stopped a bit, and the sun came out in that brilliant way it does when the rest of the sky is dark, and a big rainbow appeared out of nowhere. And I remember thinking it was so brilliant and magical that the sun and a rainbow had come out just for me on my birthday while I was stuck out in left field. No one ever hits the ball that far in 4th grade softball, so it was a pretty boring position. But I still remember that rainbow.

- my 16th birthday party at my house. I had a new cool boyfriend who dressed like he was in the mafia in the 1920's and wrote me poetry and brought me flowers. For some bizarre reason, I invited his entire drama class to a birthday party at my house (I wasn't even in the class, they had just shanghaied me into playing piano for the Pink Panther play they were doing at the time). It didn't really occur to me that all 20 or so of them would drive 15 minutes out of town up the hill to my house, but they all did. Many dandelion fights (they turn someone's face yellow if rubbed on it) and other insanity ensued. And some girls I barely knew gave me earrings with little pink dinosaurs with white spots.

- dinner at Shadow's Keep in Missoula, a restaurant far too fancy for two teenagers who had to split a dinner in order to afford eating there. It's on top of a big hill with an incredible view of the lights of town below. And we got lost on the way up there, due to my incredible navigation skills, which are still with me today. We were giggly because we were about to spend more money at one time than we ever had before, especially on something like food. It felt like we were pretending to be James Bond and his girl. That was my first experience eating snails - they're good with garlic butter sauce. They taste like garlic butter sauce. We split the steak and lobster, which was incredible. That was also my first experience with lobster and it was good. Dessert was a chocolate cake with Jack Daniels sauce, and I was sure we would get in trouble for ordering it, being too young to drink JD and all. Absolutely delicious though. That was a pretty incredible experience for some kids accustomed to McDonald's and the local mini-mart for our meals out. I remember feeling like we weren't really supposed to be there, and even though we were dressed very nicely, somehow they'd figure it out and kick us out or something. They didn't. Our charade of being all grown-up was probably pretty funny for the waitstaff though.

- more recently, on a girls' night out for my birthday, standing against the wall at the Back Door (Back Alley? something like that) club in Seattle, fighting off scary men by flashing my wedding ring (god I love being married) and consuming a long island iced tea the size of a 7-11 big gulp. You think I'm kidding - it was at least 36 ounces. I remember the walk from the bar to the car being completely hysterical, and I was so impressed that someone had remembered where the car was parked. How can someone remember such a thing in a big city like Seattle? Walking was also an impressive skill, that I had some trouble mastering. What a great bar, you only have to buy one drink and you're done for the night.

- every year since I've met that guy who's now my husband, he's managed to hide something somewhere, make up some story, or surprise me a day early with a birthday present I wasn't expecting. He keeps life fun and keeps me looking forward to the next birthday (even though he called me an old woman this year, which I will forgive him for I suppose). And he keeps me stocked in lotions and things that make me smell good, since he knows smell is not only my favorite sense, but I could probably be a professional perfume tester, I have such a sensitive sense of smell. He is my favorite person in the whole world, the best person ever to grow up with, eat lobster and snails for the first time with, move away from home and go through college and then that first real job with, and now to move across the world for more adventures with. And there will be many many more to come.


It's official

Well, we are officially moving to Japan in July. I was accepted to JET. It has not really registered completely yet, although it's slowly sinking in as we're starting to make real solid actual plans now. Although, not everything is finalized. My husband is a JET alternate, which means there is a chance that a placement will open for him as others turn them down or back out, but we may not know until the last minute. Many alternates do get placed, so the chances are good, but we've decided we're definitely going either way. I won't find out where my placement is for another several weeks, but once we know that, he can begin looking for other jobs in the area as well. It kind of puts a damper on the excitement, but we'll work everything out in the long run. It's going to be a very long and a very very short next few months. It is truly incredible to me that my very first visit to a foreign country (other than Canada) will be to move there to live. That's wild. And very cool.



Must have more...

I think you have to have flash for this to work, because my home computer wouldn't run it, but I just spent the last five minutes madly popping virtual bubblewrap and I feel much better now. Almost as satisfying as the real thing. Thanks to Andrea for sending it to me at a time that definitely requires bubblewrap!



I have no problem with tattoos or piercings, but this is just a little too icky for me. Especially because I deal with so much eye irritations daily from allergies and contact lenses, I just can't imagine doing this. Or why you would want to - it would just sort of look like you had something in your eye. I don't know that people would figure out that it was supposed to be there.


I'm not complaining

OK, not that I'm complaining, because I don't want this to be one of those web diaries where someone just bitches about their problems. And I know - my life is great, and I don't have any actual problems, like the ones that are really actually bad. However, I haven't updated in a zillion years because I've been following that rule, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Not that I have anything bad to say about anyone, just about WAITING for the stupid JET letters or e-mails or whatever they're going to send us that will decide our fate for the next year and it seems like everyone else except for those in Seattle have already gotten. Or about the fact that the weather is beautiful and I've just been notified that we have mandatory overtime until we get caught up at work. Or about the fact that OT is fairly useless, considering I cannot concentrate at work at all, or accomplish anything, because I am too busy checking my e-mail every five minutes (you think I'm exaggerating - ha) to see if JET has sent anything.

I want some vodka ice cream.