Friday, March 27, 2009

No Videos Allowed?!?!

Donkey basketball was a success and I was hoping to have a wonderful video to share (think Chariots of Fire in the background, slow-mo shots of defecation, intense zoom ins of be-helmeted players)....but, alas, no video cameras allowed. We brainstormed that it could be either because of PETA, insurance, or so that no one would steal his business idea. I imagine Donkey Basketball is a niche market and you can't afford competition.

My donkey was taller than expected so I actually rode. I was given a tame donkey as I was the only female on my team. I was also told that since my male teammates were all heavier, they couldn't ride this donkey, so I couldn't have a sub. So I played 16 straight minutes of intense donkey basketball. I wish I could say there were great moments of intense riding, shooting, passing, or blocking....but in my helmet, I had limited peripheral vision so I couldn't even see the players who were actually shooting, passing, or blocking. My memory is of riding in a circle because my donkey refused to go left. He interpreted every movement of the reins as "Right" and he also instinctively knew where Bryan was in the crowd, so he would walk over there so Bryan could say encouraging things like, "Go near the ball, Lauren," or, "Your team is over there Lauren."

I think the best moment was at school the next day when an elementary student went out of her way to compliment me on her way out to recess (picture stocking cap covering half the eyes looking straight up at me, huge snow boots, and mittens):
"Nice job riding your donkey, Mrs. Ressler."

"Well, thank you."

"You were funny."

"Well...thank you."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lesson Learned: always ask to see the waiver FIRST

Donkey basketball is sort of an ambiguous phrase to me. Is it children riding stick donkeys while trying to dribble? Is it a longer variation on HORSE? Surely it couldn't mean literally riding donkeys and playing basketball. Surely I didn't say yes to this.

The student council is sponsoring Donkey Basketball this week, and being the young, new teacher I said, "sure!" when asked if I would play. When I said yes, I did know that it involved real donkeys, but my thought was, "this is a traveling show...plenty safe...pretty simple....sit on a donkey and try to avoid getting the ball thrown to you" (kind of like my high school basketball career without the donkey).

What I didn't know was that the waiver read like an article in "News of the Weird" or whatever that little column of random news was called in your newspaper.

"Each donkey is selected for its ability to either buck, duck, walk, or run. Each is different. Be advised that YOU MAY FALL OFF, BE BUCKED OFF OR DUCKED OFF YOUR DONKEY AT ANY TIME and this is part of the game." (get this: emphasis NOT mine)

Before signing I had to ask a veteran teacher about this. I was told that, due to my height, I'll probably be able to sort of "coexist" with the donkey and walk above him rather than really ride. This would make both the donkey and me happy.

That satisfied me. I signed and now I'm ready to "hover" over my donkey as I try to avoid any contact with the basketball.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I didn't know Canada had hours!

My sister is in town and today we FOUND CANADA!

It started with a little touring of the town and it turned into a quest. We headed north in pursuit of a Port of Entry sign for an excellent picture to prove that, yes, we do live this close to Canada. Upon seeing that we were a mere 31 miles away, we pressed on.

It was a good geography lesson for me and it helped my sister to assimilate after her train ride (it seems that if you take the toil out of the travel, you lose your ability to grasp exactly where you are).

Perhaps most interestingly, we discovered that Canada has hours....9am to 10pm.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Goodbye Turtleneck

These thoughts were inspired by a sight at the gas station in Cando. Gasing up next to one another were a set of snowmobilers in full snow gear and a pair of bikers in full leather gear. It was the meeting of the seasons: winter and summer...a.k.a. spring.

I have my own version of this strange meeting, this odd juxtaposition that takes place for about one week every spring. Come mid-March, each morning as I pick out my clothes it's the "Can I pull off the turtleneck for one more day?" question. And I get my answer the first time I see someone debut their flip flops (and a legitimate flip flop debut - the people who wear them out of season don't count. I don't care if they have sherpa lining). That fuddy duddy feeling of being over dressed for the weather cures me of my need to wear turtlenecks for about 7 to 8 months. I haven't seen a flip flop debut yet, but I have a feeling it's on the way.

I wonder if snowmobilers feel fuddy duddy when they see motorcycles?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Motivated by Losers

The only tv show that I have faithfully watched this year has been The Biggest Loser. I used to think it was a really bad concept for a show, and I don't know what made me sit through the first episode, but since then I've been hooked. Quite ironic that one of my favorite lazy pasttimes has become watching other people work out.

The show is really motivating, though. I faithfully watch for 2 hours and think, "I could do, wait, I SHOULD do that." Bryan will watch with me and comment on the stupidity of the challenges or the annoying qualities of the host (Alison has a really awful way of narrating the challenges that grates on us). But, the motivational aura of the show gets to him, too. We finished last night's 2 hour lazy fest with a discussion of possibly buying a treadmill. Now, when that will happen, I don't know....maybe we'll research treadmills next Tuesday night during the exciting reunion episode!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Does North Dakota equate Felt Hat?

I got a pretty good laugh out of this: My sister is taking the train to ND next weekend and says I'll know it's her by the hat. --->
In other news, I have been impressing myself with my growing repetoire of what I'll call "Kitchen Accomplishments." By this I mean that I have discovered (with the help of the internet and wedding gifts) how to make many things that I didn't know you could "make," such as:
Whipped Cream (thank you hand mixer)
Seasoned Bread Crumbs (thank you food processor)
Steak Marinade (thank you Thunderstick blender)
Up next, bread and corn pancakes (thank you Shelby...if she agrees to spend her upcoming weekend in the kitchen)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Distinct Smell

Mitchell came to visit this weekend and became our first guest in a long time (since New Year's I think). His first comment was that our house has its own smell like most homes do. He said it wasn't a bad smell, just a smell. I couldn't tell you exactly what the smell was, either, because I had gone out of my way to make the place smell good - it could have been the Febreze on every surface that had cloth (or material that could pass as cloth....i.e. the cat), the Plug-in scented oil (the kind that switches scents every so often), or the Special K bars. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't trace what our house smell was. Hopefully visitors to come will be more descriptive about the smell.

The visit was a success with the activity of choice being napping/sleeping in. I think Mitchell left with that wonderful feeling of catching up on sleep after a few weeks of a busy college schedule. And Bryan and I don't have the busy college schedule to blame for our sleeping; we were just trying to be good hosts.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kitty Gets a New Home

As life in our condo in Cando seems to (sadly) revolve around our cat, it seemed fitting that the first post should feature our itty bitty kitty becoming acquainted with her new kitty tent (complete with a fashionable kitty camo design).