25 September 2008


Dear friend at tennis class:

The etiquette advice we received on the first day of class is not meant to be all-inclusive. For instance, it did not include anything about ball management, and we all know how important ball management is to a smooth game. If you need things spelled out in detail, let us add a point #5 to this list.

5. Extra balls should be kept in a pocket or ball clip, in your hand, or against the fence. In other words, it is not okay to regularly keep an extra ball in the sweaty bosom of your tank top. Especially when the ball belongs to someone else. For one thing, it looks ridiculous. For another thing, yuck.

23 September 2008

simple pleasures

Here are some reasons why, if you are ever in Lawrence on the last Saturday of the summer, you should pull yourself out of bed before dawn and go straightaway to Monarch Watch's annual monarch tagging event at the Baker wetlands:

-everything (including gigantic, icky spiders and their intricate, icky webs) will look enchanting when the sun rises and the dew glistens like crazy.

-you will see monarchs in unbelievable quantities. and you will be amazed that in all your life you had never really noticed how lovely they are.

-there aren't too many things more precious than seeing a toddler chase after a butterfly with a net, and there are few things more hilarious than seeing your husband do the same thing. there will be a few good laughs at the expense of random strangers. do you need a lesson on how not to take yourself too seriously? then boy is this the saturday morning activity for you.

-if your timing is just right, you will be nearly trampled by two large male deer. this will be alarming in the heat of the moment but will provide a great story for later. so, all things considered, still a perk.

-you will stalk and catch butterflies for hours, and it will never get old. you will still oooh and aaah at each one. to the end of the day, you will still giggle every time you throw one back into the air and watch it fly away to Mexico.

19 September 2008

30 days has september

September has been the Jekyll and Hyde of months. The first couple of weeks were gloomy. Constantly cloudy. It rained non-stop for a solid week, and last Friday we capped off the fun times by hunkering down in the basement during a tornado warning. I'm more of a desert creature, you see, and I thought I just might go insane if I had to go another day without seeing the sun.

Then, just as I was about to start a campaign for the removal of an entire month from the calendar, September revealed itself as, oh, basically the most perfect time of year imaginable. This last week the weather has been spectacular and the days have been full of so many good things. Kansas sunflowers. Khaki and brown. Pumpkin-flavored things. Fall sports. Bike rides. Apples. Outdoor shopping. Hay. I dislike hay immensely because it makes me sneeze, but it looks so pretty all golden and rolled up like that. I like driving with the windows down at night - it feels fabulous. I like listening to acoustic singer-songwriter-type music, and thinking it's the perfect soundtrack for September in the midwest.

September can stay for awhile longer, don't you think?

09 September 2008

untapped talent

I have only played tennis a handful of times in my life. My earliest game of tennis involved only me and took place in my back yard. On the lawn. With a badminton racquet. It happened this way partly because there was not a proper tennis racquet to be found at my house growing up, but mostly because, let's be honest, I wouldn't have known the difference if I had found one.

Yet somehow I always felt, always knew, that given the proper equipment and some quality instruction, playing tennis could be my life's calling.

Yesterday was page 1 of a humorous story called Lex Takes Group Tennis Lessons. Note to self: start looking for new calling.

In the meantime, the class is hilariously fun, in an odd sort of way. But when it's over, I should probably look into badminton as my possible purpose in life. Or perhaps something that does not require me to swing a racquet of any kind.

Done anything mildly embarrassing to bust out of your comfort zone lately? I'd love to hear about it.