Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Walk in the Park

Hello. My name is Emily, and I am directionally challenged.

Nevermind my years of claiming that my dad has a great internal compass that I must have inherited. I have none of that. The boyfriend has been right all this time. I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag with a map.

So, it was my birthday, and I decided to take a half day off of work. I mean, if you're not going to slack on your birthday, when can you slack? The day was beautiful. It was definitely cold, but sunny...I didn't want to spend the afternoon doing chores, or running errands…so I decided to take my dog on a long walk through Fort Harrison State Park.

I know, I know. Emily is boring. Whatever. It's my birthday and I'll walk my dog if I want to.

After about an hour or so, my knee started to ache, so I decide it's time to head home. As we exit the woods (from the meandering path we had chosen to take) we were on a paved trail, faced with a sign listing three pieces of information:

<--Harrison Trace-->
<--Delaware Lake
Duck Pond-->

I remembered passing a lake on my way in, but seemed to recall the lake being called "Franklin Lake." I had made certain to pay special attention for just this occasion – I didn't want to get lost. It was certainly Franklin Lake. Besides, I 100% remembered passing the entrance for Duck Pond.

My decision made, I headed left and immediately came upon a jogger dressed in blue from head to toe. As he passed us heading in the opposite direction, he said a cheery, "Hello."

How can you be "cheery" and "jogging" at the same time? I have no idea.

As we continued, I started to feel like perhaps we were heading in the wrong direction. Call it a hunch. (A hunch based on the facts that nothing looked familiar and all references to "Duck Pond" seemed to have disappeared.) Nevermind - it's a state park. I can't get THAT lost. Eventually, I'll see something that will look familiar.

My "hunch" was solidified into certainty when we suddenly came upon a familiar cheerful jogger heading towards us. "Hi again!"

DAMNIT! This is a loop. All of a sudden, the feeling that I was going the wrong way made sense. That's false advertising. "Harrison Trace" should be renamed "Harrison Loop." I demand a change!!

Now the big question. Soldier on, or turn back. I had walked (limped) for about a mile now, and it been about 30 minutes since I told the boy I was heading home. I certainly couldn't sit down and wait for rescue (though that was what my knee voted for.) I'll soldier on. It can't be much further, right?

30 minutes later with my knee locked up completely, I was by Delaware Lake where my car was parked. Apparently aging had affected my memory – but, I mean, I can understand the association…Delaware and Franklin – they were both presidents, right? Right?

When I had FINALLY seen the lake from the trail, I refused to take any more turns and headed straight for it. As I passed the last turn on the paved trail that I refused to take, I saw the sign that I had originally been facing…about 50 feet away.

On my way out, I checked the map. "Harrison Trace" is a loop two miles in length.

Ashamed, I called my dad to admit that even though I'm an excellent navigator with a map in hand, I do not have any of his inherent directional capabilities. He commented that it was a shame that I hadn't had my mother with me.

"Why is that?"

"You could have just gone in the opposite direction she did and found your way with no problem."

Well, at least I know it comes from somewhere...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thus began 2007

I just exchanged Christmas gifts with my friend zlionsfan.

First, let me explain zlionsfan. He is my super-genius friend - seriously, if you have a question that you need answered, you call him and he can tell you. He's my savior when things were horrible, and responsible for my interest (obsession) with football. He's a techno-geek, and also very fond of video games (though not online games. He says that if he ventured there, he might never leave the house, and he does have to work to support his habit .) Back in the day, when I didn't feel up to being social, we would play video games for 14 hours at a time - usually MarioKart. I wish I were kidding. Those days have passed, but I still like to play certain games on occasion.

But I'm not a serious video game fan. I like silly fun games like Mario, PacMan, and Frogger. Back when the PS2 came out, I bought zlionsfan's PS1 and have been perfectly content playing Frogger, Tekken, and PacMan for 5 years or so. I get to see the new video game systems courtesy of him, but I'm not interested enough (and I'm cheap enough) that I never buy them.

Zlionsfan, for his part, plays all sorts of new games...but he's always willing to play Mario Party, or Frogger, or Mario Kart, should we make a video game play date. I think he's just excited to share his obsession, on any level, even if only for a little while. Me? I just like the competition. When we exchanged gifts this week, I got to see the new Wii that he bought. Very cool. We played Wii bowling, and I got to see the avatar that he had made for me. My avatar was incredibly short. Whatever.

So for Christmas, zlionsfan gave me his old Nintendo Game Cube. My birthday present was MarioKart. Sure, I'm way way way behind the times, but I was delighted.

I called the boyfriend and said, "It's on."

I swear, if someone had tape recorded the sounds in our apartment last night, it would have been rated R for language. In between yelling at the dogs to GET OUT OF THE WAY! There were comments like,

"You SLUT! I can not believe you just did that!"
"Really? Watch me do it again....aaaaaaand again."

"Nooooooooo!!! I can not BELIEVE you just won."
"Awww. Did I just beat you on your favorite track? Don't you have tons of experience with this game?"
"Shut up! Replay!"

"Did you see that blur? That was me passing your slow ass kart....goddamn you! I hate those stupid bombs."
"Muahahahaha. When I just passed you, it was like you were standing still. Like you had gone through an explosion or something."
"I hate you. I'm moving out tomorrow."

I foresee a decline in housework. We already laid down the "No MarioKart unless both of us are home" rule. The boyfriend protested, but he's already a better driver than I am, so I have no pity. (my only advantage is that I know the tracks better than he does....and that advantage will only last so long...)

Still, just to make sure, I have the game with me today. No cheating allowed . It's not that I don't trust him,'s just that after the beating he got last night (23 wins to 13) I think the temptation might be a bit much....