Dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge

Let’s face it. I do more stupid shit in one day than the Dalai Lama does in about three incarnations. Some days I take that as a point of pride. Some days I take that as a source of shame. Most days, it’s just an objective statement of fact.

So when I type the sentence: “Hey, I played in a dodgeball tournament on trampolines last week,” I really don’t suppose I’m surprising anyone at this point.

Blurry cell phone team photo courtesy of random bystander who was evidently wracked with a vibrating case of the DTs.

I think the more surprising sentence would be: “I didn’t get hurt at all while playing trampoline dodgeball last week.” (Which wouldn’t be totally accurate. I mean, I had a little tramp burn on my left knee. And my groin was sore as hell. But if you wanted to read about burning tramps and fiery groins, you’d probably be reading a whole different blog. So I’ll just let those slide.)

This is clearly a very cerebral strategy session. You guys don’t even have any idea how complex and tactical this game really is. I’d say it’s like playing live-action Risk (but it’s really more like playing live-action Hungry, Hungry Hippos).

When we played it, trampoline dodgeball was sort of a combination of regular dodgeball and this. Our version was more bouncy and fall-downy than regular dodgeball, but less flippy and douchebaggy than that YouTube clip. Sort of a happy medium.

See? That’s me in the background fixin’ to unleash the beast: 35mph-worth of Southpaw Thunder.

In the end, we played three matches. We beat the team we should have beat (Boulder Tap House – their dodgeball skills are better than their wait-staff skills…but not by much). And we lost to the two teams to whom we should have lost (Air-Maxx’s staff team and one of their regular league teams).

And I’m okay with that. At this point in my life, I really don’t want to feel like I have enough idle time to invest in the practice it would take to beat the in-house staff trampoline dodgeball team.

My, what big eyes you have!

So Corinne and I drove down to Maple Grove today so she could have Lasik eye surgery. Rationally, I know it’s a common, simple surgery. The doctor doing hers had already done over 20,000 of them. (Seriously? I don’t think I’ve tied my shoes 20,000 times.) But it’s surgery. It’s innately scary.

Now, I’ve seen my wife angry. I’ve seen her excited. I’ve seen her curious. I’ve seen her lots of different ways – but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her scared. Kind of cute, actually. She rambles pointlessly. Just a bit. It was okay though, the Valium helped. (Helped her, I mean – not me. When the nice lady came walking around the lobby with the little cups full of Valium, I was hoping it was like butlered hors d’oeuvre. No such luck.)

Whatever. I was there for love and support. And, to that end, I knew I wanted to document this momentous event in a blog post, but here’s what the HIPAA Nazis at Lasik Plus greeted me with:So, instead of graphic photos of Corinne having her eyes surgically altered, please enjoy this lovely photo of some of the many fine magazine choices available in the lobby.Oh come on. You know me better than that. You know I’m not going to let The Man stand between me and journalistic integrity like that. So check out this totally covert shot I took over the top of my magazine:You can tell that’s Corinne by the shoes. Look, I can prove it:In the end, the shot I should have gotten to truly demonstrate the impact and significance of this moment was a photo of my beautiful, make-up free wife, with a delightful combination of tears and eye drops rolling down her cheeks in the little post-op check-up room as she realized that, for the first time in her life, she can see with nothing but her own eyes. That’s the shot I should have taken. (But there’s no way I’m going to try posting a tear-filled, make-up-free photo of my wife. Even I’m not that dumb!)

Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

Pretty much every year, Corinne and I head out to St. John’s on an autumn afternoon to take a walk through the fall colors. And pretty much every year we literally drag some kids with us to get some photos.

It’s a grim family joke – whose turn is it to be a miserable crab this year? Someone will be sick. Or hungry. Or tired. Or hurt. Or entertaining Aunt Flo. Or just inexplicably, inexcusably, unjustifiably grumpy. Guaranteed.

In fact, I think we might have blown it off last year after truly wanting to put a bullet in my (or 2 or 3 boys’) brain two years ago.

But this year we were at it again because (SPOILER ALERT!) we really felt like we could check off some great Christmas photo gifts for grandparents and/or co-parents.

And it went wonderfully. We got a ton of really fun pictures. And each one tells a story.

Jake & Josie: The Newlyweds

This one says: “We both have to work on Saturday. But we can meet you there on Sunday … after church … and letting the dog out … and some clothes drama … and, wait, we should have something to eat…. We’ll be there a little after 1:00.”

Erin. Her laugh is infectious.

This one says: “A personal, meaningful gift for Mom that’s not going to cost me anything? Yeah, I can stand to hang out with you guys for a little bit for that! I can on Sunday, but I work at 3, so I’ll need to leave by 2.”

Quinn. He had no idea we took photos of just him.

This one says: “Hey, I’m gonna go to the Renaissance Festival on Sunday, okay? WHAT?! Whatever. When push comes to shove, I’m a great kid and I’ll be there with a smile on. But I AM going to slap you REALLY HARD, right across the face, as part of a super-funny knock-knock joke. So happy last day of Slaptember!”

Molly. She does like her photo taken.

This one says: “I’ll be there. In fact, I’m going to get invited to go to the movies on Sunday and I won’t even ask, because I know this is important to you and Corinne. And I love you, Dad.”

Josh. He smiled for everything today. Couldn’t ask for anything more.

This one says: “I don’t want to be here. I REALLY don’t want to be here. But I understand. This matters to you. And it won’t take all day. And it will be something nice for Dad and for Grandma and Grandpa. So I’ll come along. And I’ll smile. And it will be real. Cuz I love you, Mom.”

Claudia. For a girl who doesn’t hold still, she’s proving to be quite photogenic.

This one says: “Yeah, yeah, yeah! Take my picture! No, hold on, let ME take the pictures! Hey, Kyra’s here in the woods! Wait – my stomach hurts.”

One heckuva family. In the best way possible

And this one says: “It takes time. And there may never come a time when every part of it will be perfect. But sooner or later we’re all coming to realize that – on some level – we ARE a family. On some level, we’re all coming to realize that the people who are loved by the people I love somehow matter to me. Their happiness makes someone I love happy. And their sadness makes someone I love sad. By the transitive property of love, I guess that makes us family.”

We’re one lucky couple.