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Daily Grind

I sat down wanting to write about so many different things but the moment I put fingers to keyboard everything flew right out of my head. I’m tired, but things are good. Mike’s two classes are going really well. He gets to watch his Anatomy professor cut dead people up into little pieces and I’m only a little bit jealous. Not that I want to see people being cut into little pieces. I don’t mean to the give the wrong (and super creepy) impression. But I have always wanted to dissect a human cadaver, so yeah, I’m a little bit jealous.

Thank you very much to Dori and Kim for donating to support research for Epilepsy! You girls rock my world. If I can convince eight more of you to donate five bucks each, I’ll have reached my very reasonable goal of $100. Come on guys! You can do it! End Epilepsy! Donate $5 HERE.


I found this picture the other day while I was sorting through old photos on my computer. I haven’t played airsoft in AGES. It has literally (not figuratively, literally) been months. You like my gun? You know you do. It’s a – um, I have no idea what kind of gun it is. It’s an airsoft gun and it’s rad. My brothers are playing WWII reenactment airsoft this weekend. Ty pointed out that it’s just about the geekiest thing we could ever do because it involves playing dress up. Mike and I aren’t playing because we don’t have 1940’s outfits yet, but we’re putting them together. We’re going to be partisans and I’m going to dress up like this woman:

skirt gun

I can’t imagine the courage it must take to pick up a weapon and fight for your country. God bless our troops. That said, there is something pretty remarkable about a woman in the 1940’s who’d take a gun off a dead man and fight in the resistance. That is some serious nettle. I have no idea if I could ever be that woman, but I can spend an afternoon pretending to be her.

Kids dress up like super heroes, grown-ups dress up like war heroes. Er. Geeky grown-ups dress up like war heroes.

Mike and I are trying out the various fitness clubs in our neighborhood. We’re getting guest passes at all the gyms and hopping from one to the next every week. Last week was Spectrum, this week is LA Fitness, next week is 24-Hr Fitness. We’re trying to decide which one to join, but so far, I’m just thrilled to be getting back into a consistent work-out routine. We haven’t had a good, solid routine down since 2008, so this is a little overdue. Our workout consists of twenty minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes of abs and calves, followed by thirty minutes of weights. We’re on a three-day split; Sunday legs, Monday arms, Tuesday back, Wednesday legs, Thursday arms, Friday back, Saturday rest. It’s kicking my ass. I can barely walk  up the stairs. I can barely lift my arms over my head. It hurts to sit down, it hurts to stand up, it hurts to breathe. But it hurts so good. I love the feeling of sore, hard-worked muscles. It makes me love my body and how strong it is. Mike is a relentless coach, upping my weight when the exercise is too easy, coaxing me through an extra five reps at the end of a set. I love working the machines together, changing each other’s weights, counting each other’s reps, spotting one another. It’s the only real time we spend together during the week so it feels sacred. I’m a little nervous I’m going to get giant man-muscles, but Mike promises that no one will ever mistake me for a dude. He better be right or else I’ll have the man-muscles to make him sorry he was wrong.

Work is good – it’s busy and getting busier. I feel like I’m spinning a dozen plates but for now they’re all spinning happily away. I just have to keep them going nice and steady. I’m hoping to spend a little time this weekend writing more about Bolivia. It seems so far away now. I am eager to get all my memories down before they evaporate. There are also half-a-dozen projects I’d like to do around this place, and of course, a husband I’d like to spend some time with. And there are chores, too. And lots of pictures I’ve been taking and meaning to post here, but haven’t gotten round to yet. I just want an easy weekend filled with nesty things. I’ll do a project or two, write a little, do a few chores, maybe read a little. What are you doing this weekend? How’s your week? I’ve been talking all about myself. Now tell me, what is new with you?

Are you serious?


Photo credit: Kirsten Thupancic, Ph.D., S.I.L.

This photo is awesome because it was taken before I’d ever played airsoft, back when the thought of crawling on my belly through sage brush at nine a.m. on a Saturday morning made me cringe.

Best airsoft moment this weekend? There were two.

1.) The battle in the trenches. I had this one guy pinned down for like, ten minutes. I’d pop up over the trench and spray him for five or six seconds, then drop back down to wind my mag. He was doing the same thing, but he was hiding behind a bush so I had a better chance of getting him than he had of getting me. I never did get him, but I didn’t let him out from behind that bush, either. He did, however, nail Mike, but I didn’t find that out until we debriefed over dinner at the end of the day.

2.) My team was occupying Goat Town and four guys from the other side had infiltrated one of our buildings. I was hiding in a structure not twenty-five feet from them and I nailed every. single. one.  OMG I cannot believe how much I love airsoft.


My brothers have gotten me and Mike into a game called airsoft. What’s airsoft? It’s simulated tactical warfare.  Mike played one time and then it was the only thing he and my brothers talked about for weeks. Weeks. Finally, on the day after New Years, Mike dragged me along for a game. And when I say “dragged”, I am not exaggerating.

“But I could go get a manicure today!”

“You’re playing airsoft.”

You guys. I could’ve gotten a manicure that day, but instead I spent the entire day with my brothers, their kids, and my husband, running around like maniacs, shooting at each other with BBs. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun.

In actuality, there is very little maniacal running around involved. There is, however, a whole lot of belly crawling through the underbrush involved. We play at Warped Ops, this brilliant airsoft field with trenches, a city, a town, and everything. It’s amazing. The field is big enough that if, for example, you are looking down at the town from a hill above when someone gives you directions, you will very likely lose your way once inside the town because everything looks completely different from inside than from above.

Last weekend my team, Green Team, had to steal a bucket of water from Goat Town, which was occupied by Tan Team. I was covering a group of soldiers who were covering the guy with the bucket. We were making our way to the well, under enemy fire the entire time, and one by one all the guys around me were getting hit. I ducked into a hut to take cover for a minute and found Sergeant Louise aiming his M16 towards enemy fire.

“Where’s the bucket?” I screamed, my heart racing.

“Frankie’s got it! Three o’clock!”

I peeked around a broken wall and saw Frankie running alone towards a pile of old tires, the bucket clutched in his arms. “I’ll cover him!” I dashed out of the hut. A spray of enemy fire whizzed over my head and then I saw Frankie go down. He screamed, “I’m hit!” as the bucket rolled from his arms toward enemy lines.

I dove for it and somersaulted into the tire pile. I sat up with my face in the tires, trying to make my body as small as possible. The stack of old tires formed a perfect airsoft shield around me. Bullets bounced off of them, but I was untouched. If I could just sit there long enough, the guys firing at me would likely get distracted by something else, and I could make it to the well and back in time to win the game. I peered over my shoulder, watched two more of my teammates go down.  A third threw himself into the tires beside me.

“Dude! When the firing dies down –” A glossy white BB smacked him right between the eyes.

“You’re dead! Respawn!” He crouched lower behind the tires, cradling his Thompson to his chest.

“It’s cool! I’m just gonna chill and catch a breath!” He shouted over the noise of fifteen fully automatic airsoft rifles firing thousands of rounds at us.

“Respawn! Get out of here! They’re not gonna stop shooting if you don’t call your hit! You’re dead! Dead men tell no tales!” I moved to see if anyone was covering us and took a spray of plastic pellets in the Iron Face. And that was it. I was gone.

You guys, protecting that bucket from Tan Team was the highlight of my week.

That sounds really weird, doesn’t it?


From left: Frosty, Jack, Lady MacDeath, Warspite, Cricket, and Coyote.

Yes, we have Airsoft nicknames. You know you wanna come dork out with us.