Twelve Days of January

Chicky Choppy

With both of my hands opened flat, I pushed Russ hard onto the bed.

He jumped back up and stared at me.

What the fuck, Jenn?”

I was walking out of the bathroom just as he leaned over to straighten his pillows while making the bed.

I couldn’t resist.

It was right there.

So I said…

I couldn’t resist. It was riiiight theere…”

Russ hunkered down and put his dukes up.

“Listen here, Chicky Choppy.”

A little smile broke across his face.

“You do that again and I’m gonna eff you up!”

Then he flicked me in the forehead.

I curled my hand into a little fist and gave his butt a quick jab.

Russ has called me a lot of things over the years, but never Chicky Choppy.

It instantly reminded me of a popular biscuit in South America called Chiky. I ate a lot of them when I went to Nicaragua. They are really good…

He said the name Chicky Choppy was what the kids in Russ’ neighborhood called an adult whose last name they couldn’t really pronounce. Chicky Choppy was their version and it stuck. He wasn’t sure why it instantly came to mind in that moment when I shoved him onto the bed, but it lent to the silliness, and we both laughed.

A Slow Roll

My weekend started Friday with a little bowling in the afternoon. It was an office party and I had only planned to stop by. I thought they were meeting at a bar. I didn’t realize it was a bowling alley too. Totally dating myself, I thought the name, “Lucky Strike,” was a reference to the once popular cigarette. (They’ve been defunct forever, and I’ve never smoked cigarettes, so why that came to mind I have no idea). A bowling alley never crossed my mind.

Besides, who would have thought a bowling alley could be tucked away on the second floor of a building, just below the movie theatre on the third?

I tied the ugly shoes on and off I went. I am not a good bowler. A severe right drift is not ideal when jumping horses, and not when you’re bowling either. I hit zero pins my first roll. Then I hit zero pins again. I reasoned there wasn’t enough time to correct my flawed style, so I triaged the situation. I shortcut my shortcoming and just moved over to the left a couple of feet before rolling the ball.  Starting on the left side, it eventually reached the middle and I hit a few pins.

My other problem, besides lack of straightness, was I bowled too slowly. On the screen that showed everyone’s scores, it also displayed the speed of everyone’s ball. Mine was a lot slower than everyone else’s.

I thought to myself, “Wow. You bowl the same way you rode cross-country, and the same way you run, haha! Talk about your default mode. That’s a BIG one.” I sped things up. That helped as much as moving to the left side of the lane, which is to say it helped a little—enough to get on the board anyway.

Surprise bowling was a great kick-start to the weekend.

Wine Time

Friends and I had actually planned to hike on Saturday, but it turned out to be overcast and windy with patches of misty rain. When we arrived at the hostess’s house, by unanimous consensus we decided we should check out a couple of wineries instead. (How easily we are swayed off track! Sometimes groupthink really works out, and I love my friends for it!).

I was hoping to go to the one we went to last year, but we started with one newly-opened. The winery was busy. We did a flight tasting…and it was not good. The only thing “forward” in the wine was the watered down, bland taste. It was very weak. They did have one good red, but it was an average table wine. They sold it by the bottle for $41, which almost made me cough up the one good tasting we tried. We left after that and went to the winery I loved.

We skipped the tasting and grabbed a couple bottles of wine, and cheese and crackers. It was delicious. This only proves my point more. Russ, if you’re reading this, you have to admit my theory has some merit.

This is exactly like when we eat at a new restaurant and are disappointed, when a great restaurant, like the few we know and love, are waiting right around the corner. Let’s just go where we know the food is good and the service is good and bypass the disappointment altogether.

I’d rather pay for one excellent meal than ten shitty ones.

(This also translates to my time is too valuable, to me, for setting myself up for disappointment. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.)

I learned the hard way, this is true of shopping as well. If I want a certain pair of shoes, or a coat, or whatever, I’m better off accepting the cost and buying it, then trying to be frugal and buying a knock-off.

You know what has happened every time??

I hate the knock-off, I’m stuck with it, so I end up giving it away. Then I go buy the item I really wanted in the first place. Not that I shop that much, but Frye boots are a good example of this. Turns out it’s less expensive to just get what you want.

So just go buy the damn boots.

The Twelve Days of Yoga

I made it to yoga all weekend and doubled up on classes. Classes were a little light on Saturday, but Sunday was like a mass exodus. I warmed-up in child’s pose, with my forehead pressed against my mat, trying to breathe a little life into my limbs. When class finally began Sunday morning, I looked up and realized there was hardly anyone in the room.  The space was practically empty. This was surprising.

Ahhh,” I thought to myself. “So this is how long it takes for New Year’s Resolutions to wear off! Twelve Days.”

That didn’t take long.

Now I know what follows the Twelve Days of Christmas.

It’s the Twelve Days of January.

Maybe it was due to the beautiful day we had. Anyone would have been hard-pressed not to be called outdoors by the beautiful skies and perfect temperatures. I’ll find out what the status is tomorrow, now that it’s a bit cooler and grey, and more like winter.

The Little Things

I didn’t go to yoga today because I ran first thing instead. It’s been a week which always guarantees a smooth, easy, pain-free run. It’s like eating a big, fat chocolate brownie knowing the calories will go right through you and not take the scenic route to your hips. You get all the satisfaction with no negative consequences.

We all know… it’s borderline euphoric. (And that it happened when we were in our teens, or early twenties). Anyway, my run was a bit like that. Pretty awesome.

Except for a couple of people.

Once, on my way out, and once, on my way back in. It never ceases to amaze me. People who walk around on the sidewalk clueless. There are a couple narrow sidewalks due to flower beds and tree plantings. I saw a guy with his back pack walking along, sort of taking up the entire area. There were a couple joggers in front of me, who moved to the other side of the mulch beds, to run on the curb. I followed suit, except then the guy takes a hard left and cuts me off. I jumped into the street so we didn’t collide. I heard “sorry” as I passed, but I’m pretty sure not only was his backpack blocking his vision, but he was wearing ear buds and had no idea I was there.

Ok, no harm, no foul.

However, on the same stretch of sidewalk, there was a lot more foot traffic running back towards home. That’s when I saw her. The girl with two, little, fluffy, white dogs. She was walking on one side of the narrow sidewalk and the dogs had their leashes stretched all the way across to the mulch beds. I kept running along. I thought to myself, “Surely she’s going to contain her dogs and pull their leashes back??”


There was audible screaming. (Her, not me). The dogs cowered down when they heard my sneakers skidding to a stop right in front of their noses. Well, she yanked them back then, and rather abruptly.

What are people thinking?

(I would like to point out that it’s this behavior, the lack of spatial awareness, that leads to dog owners, such as this girl, stepping onto an elevator and not noticing their dog or dogs haven’t actually made it on as well. Have you seen the news recently? The elevator goes up, and the dog goes up by its collar from the first floor. At least until it hits the ceiling, anyway. I don’t want to think about what happens after that.)

Yesterday, running errands, a group was congregated right in front of the door to the restaurant. They had obviously just eaten and were saying good-bye. They blocked the entire entrance. I went around them to get inside, took my time picking out several greeting cards in the gift shop, and when I came back out, they were still there, blocking the entrance.

All of this begs the question.

When we can’t share a sidewalk, or a bike lane…when we can’t share space….

When people are only concerned with themselves and nothing else that’s happening to the other people around them….

When we can’t even do the little things well…

How will we ever do the big things well??

The big things start with the little things.

It’s time to get started. 





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s