Sunday, January 22, 2012

Biting the Black Ice

First of all, I would like to inform you that we have returned from Iowa.
And second, I would like to say that it was in no small part due to the icy conditions.

With those to little premises set up for you, I will now tell you about how I lost to black ice. I mean, my black flats (with no grip) put up a valiant effort when confronted with slippery villain (see what I did there?) but there was no real contest in this. It's like what would have actually happened if Aaron Carter had played Shaq. Jam or no jam, I fell on my ass.

Let's start from the beginning, shall we? Wartburg College, beautiful even when snow-covered. Tournaments held there are fantastic because you don't actually have to walk outside. You could, but why when it's below freezing and there's the chance that you will get snow in your flats. So not worth the wet nylons. Keep in mind that in order to make use of these ingenious walkways, you have to climb stairs. Just to the second floor, but if you think about it, that means I would rather climb stairs than walk outside. Chew on that one for a bit. Consequently, my lack of outdoorsy adventures for the day are relatively limited, as are my perceptions as to what is actually going on (weather-wise) outside. So when the time comes to pack up and move back out to the vans, the ice came as a bit of a surprise.

A parade of speech kids is a lot like a caravan of camels. Except replace the camels with humans wearing suits and either flats or heels, and replace the sand with invisible ice. The amount of luggage remains the same (granted they are usually briefcases and giant leather purses and not burlap wrapped duffels in brightly colored woven blankets, but the principle is the same). The point is that we are typically wearing shoes without grip, and carry lots of awkwardly shaped things. Oh and when you put us in a line we tend to bob our heads in unison. (I don't know if that's an actual camel-trait or not, but it sounds authentic.) Anyway, in this process of making our way to the vans, two things happen. 1) Everyone realizes that it is slippery. 2) Several people promptly fall on their butts.  To be clear, I was not one of the people who suffered such a fate here.  There were members of my team who will probably suffer my mockery for sometime, but I was not one of the unfortunate ones here. These were very classic feet-pulled-out-from-under-you kind of banana peel falls, where it's just to good to not be caught on home video.

Fast forward. Trip back went without incident. Laughed a little, heard some awkward songs, talked about the tournament-usual things. Get back to campus, unloaded, allowed into the building, finally have to grab my suitcase and get back to my dorm. Allow me to describe what my one-person caravan looks like. I have my wheeled suitcase (green to bring out my eyes), my speech bag (crammed with the things that everyone needed at the tournament but only one person brought), and my suit bag (like a treasure chest... bag...) On good days, I will put my speech bag on top of my suitcase and use the wheels to my advantage. Then I will just casually sling my suits over my arm and head on out.

If only life were that easy.

I made it down from Beck, through the Campus Center without incident. By the time I made it on the last outdoor bit, I was feeling pretty confident. Big mistake. Never over estimate your likely hood of making a fool of yourself.   So I'm shuffling along, making my way any way that I can and doing pretty well. The sidewalks are practically death traps, but I'm relatively well balanced and in no bigger hurry than hypothermia. Then all of a sudden, I'm sitting instead of standing. Bam (not jam). On the frozen water covered cement. Suitcase and speech bag in a very non-portable position, and my suits nearby. Of course, I had let out this pathetic squeal as I fell to my humiliation. And the sad trek to my dorm continued as I picked my bruised ego up off of the cement, and recollected my accouterments. The rest of my journey was less than eventful, but I'm sure you loved that little retelling of my failures and imbalances.

Of course, the thought occurred to me, "Why in the world would you publicly declare your failures for all to freely search on the internet?"
Well, self, I don't know.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mistress Minnesota

Who decided that living in Minnesota was a good thing? I've just gotten back from a beautiful time abroad in a lovely temperate climate and been lucky enough to go to Texas for a weekend, and suddenly mistress Minnesota gets jealous and turns to ice. How rude. And it's not even the frozen water kind of ice we're talking about here, it's just the kind of cold where without having any congestion what do ever your sinuses feel like the a time bomb. And when the inside of your skull freezes, you know it's a bit chilly. And now that it has snowed several inches I had the lovely reminder of the Gustavus snow management. Yippee.

The basic summary of that paragraph rant is that mistress MN is having her rotten revenge with me. What a cruel world.

In other, potentially more interesting news, the most recent tournament, that of Hell Froze Over, went splendidly. It feels wonderful to be back in the loving black book cradling/VA toting arms of the forensics community. What stunning people. And, the other good thing is that I have the opportunity to travel with these stars for the rest of the semester. Be jealous.