Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's a Good Day!

“You are very good swimmer!” Square Asian Woman nods and smiles, the shower running full force next to her.
“Oh, thanks,” PP grins. “Today was a good day.” And it was. Being her birthday and all. She got her own lane. The pool was a perfect temperature. And now, compliments in the Shower. It IS her birthday at the pool!

“Yes. You are very good swimmer,” SAW repeats, then motions with her hands. Holds her right hand at about hip level, palm down, to measure height. “You swim very young?”
“Yeah, very young. Maybe 4 or 5?”
“Oh! That very YOUNG!”
“Yes, it is. I think I may have learned to swim before I learned to walk,” PP jokes, then thinks how maybe SAW may not get it.

But she does. “AHHH! Very Good!” she exclaims, beaming.
“How about you? Did you learn to swim very young?”
She shakes her head, embarrassed, “No…no….I swim as adult….”
“Good for you!” And PP means this. Thinks of her friend Miss WW who learned to swim when she was in her twenties having grown up in Toledo all her life with no pool? No swim lessons? No ocean? Or what?

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now. Miss WW did learn to swim and swims as obsessively as PP. Well, almost.

“You swim every day?” SAW asks.
“Nah, maybe 3 or 4 times a week.”
“Ah….very good.”
Shy now, SAW goes back to her shampooing, vigorously rubbing the suds all over with her puffy pink thingee. PP always thinks she wants one of these thingees. They seem to hold the soap so well and produce so many bubbles, unlike her feeble attempts to wash with her hands.

Oh, but this is off the topic of the story.

For after all, PP is a good swimmer. And this is a Good Day.
And happy birthday to her.

Maybe next year she’ll ask for a Pink Thingee for her birthday. If she's still a good swimmer, that is.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Make ‘Em Cry

As you all know, PP is a big fan of small children. She loves to hear their screeching in the pool, the showers, the sauna?


It’d been a hellacious swim. Not just because of the birthday party filling the pool at Hilltopia with 30 plus gleeful 6 year olds. (Though this was ultimately what set her off.)

No. She had to share a lane with Multiple Kickboard Butterfly Kick Man. (Is his name self-explanatory?) This resulted in the requisite washing machine wave action which every lap swimmer just loves to pieces. Turning to breathe and inhaling huge gulps of water instead of air.

After he got out, Flailing Swedish Accent Woman got in. PP likes her, but FSAW gets on her back, and does a mighty flailing Elementary Backstroke that can be lethal if you don’t watch out.

And So. PP was really looking forward to the QUIET of the sauna. The Birthday Party’s noise level is beyond description. Just imagine 30 plus hyper 6 year olds screaming at the top of their little lungs while bopping each other on the head with the brightly colored noodles. There was laughter. There was joking. There was crying.

You get the picture.

In the sauna, PP lies down, sighs in relief. It’s QUIET!

But not for long. She hears the echoing screams of several of the Party-Goers pile into the showers. Damn. Why the hell do they come in the women’s locker room? Why don’t they use the kids' locker room like they do in Oakland?

In Oakland, these kids would be toast.

“Here’s the Warm Room, Cameron, come on in here…..” The soothing mom voice enters the sanctity of the sauna. PP opens one eye.

Horror of Horror. Soothing Mom is bringing her 6 year old BOY into the women’s sauna! PP can’t believe it. But then she can.

Mothers know no boundaries.

PP rises, “You know, you can’t bring kids in here.”
Soothing Mom ignores her, “Sit down over here, Cam….”
PP tries again. She is NOT taking a sauna with a 6 year old boy!
“NO ONE UNDER 18 IS ALLOWED in the SAUNA!” She tries not to shout, but it’s a close call.

SM glances over at her, perplexed for a moment. Was someone actually telling her she couldn’t bring her kid in the Warm Room?


She doesn’t respond to PP at all. No apologies. No acknowledgement whatsoever of PP’s presence. Though she did hear her since she backed out, her arm around Cameron, “We can’t go in the Warm Room today, Cam. I….”

"WHAAAA!!!!!! EERRRRGGGHHH!!!! ARRRGGGHHH!!!!" Cameron screeches at the top of his lungs.

It’s an Impressive Tantrum.

PP is quite pleased that she’s elicited it.

Her day is always satisfying if she can cause one child to break down in tears for no good reason.

Who was it that sang, “Make ‘em Laugh?” Wasn’t it Donald O’Connor in Singing in the Rain?

Well, PP has a slightly different take on the lyrics, “Make ‘em Cry! Make ‘em Cry! Make ‘em Cry!”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A New Mistake

Since PP is so pressed for time and focus and energy this quarter (What the hell ever possessed her to teach Research Writing of all things on top of her writing center job?), she’s just going to give a brief summary (this will be a good exercise for her) or a pivotal piece of dialogue (without context—see you can tell she’s been reading way too many woo woo research papers.)in this blog entry.

Why is she doing this besides her time crunch?

Aren't you all just dying to know what’s been happening at the pool and in Utopia?

“Are you okay?” PP asks, suddenly concerned when Dunking Under the Water in the Hot Tub Woman comes up for air, but can’t catch any. Coughs dramatically till PP and DL are forced to stop chatting about cats.
“Yeah,” she DUW grins, still choking. “I put my face right next to a jet and I choked.”
“Oh,” PP nods, thinking how this is just one of the many reasons she doesn’t dunk her head under the water in the hot tub.
“It was a New Mistake,” DUW shakes her head.
“A New Mistake?” DL’s eyes get big and shinning. “I love that!” she exclaims, then looks over at PP and starts to giggle and giggle and giggle and giggle.

“I have a good cat story for you,” DL announces as they walk the tread mills. (This isn’t the same cat story as above if that matters.)
“Okay,” PP nods as she watches the Millionaire Matchmaker snap her whip.
“You know how D got these two kittens. Well they’re not really kittens anymore….”
“They’re teenagers, right?”
“Yeah. That’s right. And one afternoon, D was in the kitchen and she noticed that the Tortie was chewing and chewing and chewing on something and you know what it was?”

“How was your swim?” DL asks as they climb into the hot tub, DL making ouch it’s so hot faces as she sticks her toes in.
“It was crazy cranky,” PP answers.
“Why? Was it crowded?”
“No, not really. But the lanes are so narrow that it can feel crowded and then when Sidestroke Giant Man kicked me, scratching my hand with his Big Toenail…”
“EUUUU!!! GROSSS! Where?”
PP stretches out her palm and turns it over, looking for some tell tail evidence. But frankly can’t even remember which hand it was at this point.
She points to her left hand anyway, showing DL a spot between her thumb and index finger. Nothing’s there.
But DL nods, “I don’t even know what Sidestroke is.”

“Sandy, you know what Sidestroke is, don’t you?”
“Yeah, sure of course.”
“It’s very relaxing, right?” PP asks as DL lies down on the hot utopia bench.
“Yeah, it’s that. But it’s also one stroke where you can keep your head out of the water. You don’t have to worry about that breathing aspect.”
“That’s a good point,” PP nods.
“When I was a kid, I literally had to learn to sink or swim. My dad threw me in the water and I dog paddled or sidestroked cuz these were two where I could keep my head out of water.”
“Wow!” PP exclaims, thinking this is pretty wild. “How old were you?”
“About 3.”
“Yeah, it’s like chopsticks. You learn to use them if you’re hungry.”
PP tells them about her experience in China when she had to use chopsticks her first night there and all the waitresses lined up against the wall of the Garden Moon Restaurant and stared at her, laughing and pointing.
“The White Devil,” Sandy nods.

PP just stares. Did she really say that? Should she say anything back?
Nah, cuz if she did, well, she would surely commit another New Mistake.

Mad as Hell!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Remember that line? Remember that movie? Network , right? What was everyone so ma...