Looking Back…Football

Football

Gasping for air in a silent panic, I look upward scared for my life.  Players huddle all around, murmuring words I can’t discern.  After what seems like an eternity, I am gently ushered off the field by Coach Burns.  I realize the air was knocked out of me from an opponent’s forearm to my throat, slamming me to the ground.  From the stands, I see my father’s steady blue eyes, coupled with worry and encouragement.  His look is all the assurance I need to keep going and shake it off.

I have no idea what in the world I was thinking when I joined the boys seventh grade tackle football team at Nisqually Middle.  Somehow my experience playing co-ed intramural flag football in fifth and sixth grade led me down the adolescent path of no return.  I was the only girl on the team creating a big “to do” for all involved.  Dad, in his supportive way, said, “You can do anything you set your mind to.  If you want to play football, have at it!”  Mom, on the other hand, wondered why I wanted to play, was shocked dad was giving the okay, and quietly resisted.  The school administrators, Mr. Bykerk and Mrs. Hendrickson, held a special meeting with my parents “to discuss my safety.”  I was mortified when they brought up an even more personal topic, “how I was going to protect my chest?”  They assumed it was an equal rights issue.  That wasn’t my agenda at all!  I just enjoyed the sport, thought I had some skills, and simply wanted to play ball.  How was I to know the decision would create turmoil on many levels?

Someone, I don’t recall who, came up with the plan that I could be the kicker.  I’d be part of the team, but avoid any real contact.  Mom liked the idea, since this seemed like the only way for me to avoid getting hurt.  That weekend dad and I went to the field at Timberline HIgh to practice punting and placekicking.  I couldn’t figure out how to kick the ball at the correct trajectory nor any reasonable distance.  Dad would say, “You give 100%, so will I.  You give 5%, so will I.”  The implication being I wasn’t trying very hard.  In reality, I couldn’t kick the football to save my life!

Practice and tryouts started the following week.  I remember the endless drills of wind sprints, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, drop downs, and the like.  What was I doing?!  I thought I was going to die.  Immediately, I desperately wanted to quit.  Dad said, “You started it, you finish it.”  Dammit, I knew there was no way out.  It was as if my decision set in motion a row of dominos, one bumping into the next; unable to be stopped, out of control.  I’d have to suck it up and stick it out, no matter what was in store.

Towards the end of the week final tryouts and cuts were made.  Due to my lack of kicking skills, it was obvious the “safe” position of kicker wasn’t going to be mine.  If I were a boy, I probably would’ve been cut.  Basically, the coach had to keep me, which at the time, I was completely unaware of.

Since I was just as tall and big as the boys, I wound up being assigned the position of offensive right tackle.  Granted, I had no clue what that meant or what I was supposed to do.  Here I was, an ignorant, passive spectator now required to be an active participant.  Really, I was oblivious!  I had no idea what the function of the positions were, nor how to execute plays.  I distinctly remember Sauceda, the running back, yelling, “Make a hole and get out of the way!!”  I finally got the message when he literally ran over the top of me, his cleats digging into the back of my calves leaving a trail of square indentations.

I was officially part of the team, number 38, offensive line.  Ironically, I didn’t know the line of scrimmage I was supposed to hold, drew another line in my life.  A line of separation.  Being the only girl on an all boy team created a divide that couldn’t be explained.  The girls treated me differently, because I was now one of the guys.  While I was putting on shoulder pads and cleats, they would be dressing down into shorts and t-shirt for volleyball.  Degrading comments such as “where’s your cup?” often permeated the locker room.  Their cold words had the stench of a skunk, which lingered with me even though the source eventually went out of sight.  To the boys, I was like a sister.  At the start, they hesitantly welcomed me.  In the end, protected me like their own.  I was officially a member of their circle.

This intangible division continued into high school, as the only girl on the golf team freshman and sophomore year.  I felt like there was something different about how I interacted with my peers; a disconnection I couldn’t explain.  I now realize the words and actions of my peers weren’t directed at me personally, rather towards the unique situation.

Looking back, I believe playing football paved a specific path for me.  I’m able to travel with a quiet internal strength and persevere.  The lines of scrimmage are either held strong or broken through.  In this unpredictable game called life, I’ve learned how to play and determine my own victories.

Wine Lines, Updated 02/20/16

Similar to “Quotes From the Felt,” I’ve been recording lines said while out wine tasting.  These can be from my friends, winery employees, or conversations I ear hustle.

As the day goes on, conversations can get rather saucy.  Lots of innuendo, double entendre, and shenanigans.  Consider yourself warned…

February 20, 2016 @ BR Cohn, Kunde, and Girard:

  • Wine, food, and friends I’m soooo ready!
  • As the youngest, I’m use to the hump
  • He was pissed on?  No, they were pissed.  He was shit on though.
  • Myriad?  Really, you’re throwing that down this early in the morning?
  • Oaky and buttery just the way I like it
  • Smart Ass Saturday, what can I say?
  • Guess all you have to do is make a crack about paprika
  • Once you’ve go red, your inhibitions you’ll shed
  • I like em over 100 yrs old
  • What’s the best advice you can give a girl getting married?  Don’t.
  • Wine will help with marriage, it’s a great lubricant
  • He somehow got nervous and had a big ass shit in the middle of the cubicles
  • The gouda with the gouda is amazing
  • Gouda down
  • Gouda, gouda, honey, prosciutto is the way to go
  • Does a cave a tunnel make?
  • I never got basil til I moved away from home
  • Thank god you don’t have a nut allergy
  • Fake man buns shouldn’t exist, but they do
  • Denim shorts still exist?  Umm hmm, check it out x2
  • He looks like a freeze dried Hulk
  • She’s ditching her husband for the Shake Weight
  • Last time I left cheese in my thingy
  • I’m covered, but I’m not Coverdale Page
  • Umm, who are you?  I’m AT&T.  Oh, well, I’m Verizon.
  • I judge wine by how it starts.  So foreplay is important to you?
  • Omg Wolverine is at the bar!
  • It was like dirty sock-a-way
  • I need a vent on my face.  I feel wine warmth.
  • I feel like I have purple lips, purple lips, and purple teeth
  • I see lots of red and it is not wine
  • “Perfect” One Direction, is my theme song
  • That’s the best line “does your mouth remember the taste of my love” Ed Sheeran

Me and Wine BarrelsOak Farm

October 17, 2015 @ Macchia, D’Art, and Oak Farm Vineyards:

  • I have a buckle up my butt
  • No!  I don’t know what a Yeti 110 is
  • You’ll see a whole new level of fury if you…
  • I have a summer and a winter pair of windshield wipers.  WTF, of course you do!
  • I’ll be licking that off later
  • Pour some brownie on me
  • I should’ve brought it to bring it
  • Everything’s better with sea salt
  • That’s a party in your mouth, but that one’s a high school dance
  • I you was a bag of chips, you’d be a bag of Frito’s or pork rinds
  • Omg, this thingy has a knob!
  • If I have to repeat this tomorrow, I’m going to bed now
  • When a dog is looking in your eyes, it’s giving you an endorphine bath
  • Riddle me this
  • I have a bush and I know how to use it
  • I have a knob in back, can you turn it on?
  • Oh sheep!
  • That’s naked pool party wine
  • You had us at naked
  • Oh no, he’s a pervert, he’d probably join you
  • It’s like the Beatles walking picture.  Umm, yeah, Abby Road.  No, the Beatles walking picture.  Abby Road.
  • Take the topper off and let me have more
  • You bread blocker!
  • Do they have a slurred smile?
  • I didn’t even get to touch the remote until 2009
  • If I was Gene Simmons, I’d get so much out of this glass
  • It’s not a walk of shame, it’s a stroll of success!
  • That’s not my cheese
  • Shove that on your pie hole
  • I did the pre, but not the thee
  • They have room to have huge whatever
  • Look, I’m a cone head!  That’s so in right now
  • That’s worth a magazine circle

Older…

  • I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
  • You know you drank too much wine when you’re teeth are purple.
  • When I die, I want to wake up in Rhone.
  • That’s missing another world (Chardonnay w/out oak)
  • What is it?  It’s a Chardonnay fortified with Everclear (Chardono).  It’s a mind eraser.  Do I want to go there? Yes.
  • Well, it’s a romance language (Italian)
  • Port tastes like liquid candy.  That’d be a good porn name.
  • I just got a cool breeze where I shouldn’t.
  • If he wants you to make tortillas in the morning, then we have a problem.
  • What are you doing? Get your hand off my button!!
  • Remember what you had in your mouth.
  • Go wash your Smurf hand.
  • After 6 beers you’re full.
  • That’s moanable!
  • Look at that crack pipe on that bottle of wine!  I wish I had my cigar lighter.
  • Do you need sunscreen because that was so tannini?  My knees don’t tan.
  • My falsies almost flew out!
  • We have lays in the car, do you want one?
  • Don’t go sticking your nose in the backside, unless you’re a member.
  • Better than wicker.
  • Ed vs head
  • I felt them to see if they were real.
  • Quick, make it go up!  (window)
  • You can take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy.
  • Alejandro would be Lady Gaga; Fernando would be Allah
  • That’s the first snort of the day.
  • Are you from Texas?  No.  Aren’t you wearing a cowboy hat? Umm, no, it’s a fedora.
  • Pinky vs. Piggy Toe
  • Would you just push out and be done with it. (door)
  • Would you trim before you crop that shit? (pic for IG)

This list is as of February 20, 2016.  I’ll update periodically and repost.

Get Ready to Get Ready

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A habit of mind revealed itself during a moment of hectic frustration—when I was getting ready.  It seems like I am continuously in the mode of preparing for one thing or another either physically or mentally.  This could be in preparation for an event, meeting, or outing in order to establish my image; at least one that is a desired projection.  

I’ve realized that my behavior creates more work or unnecessary stress.  For example, I had an appointment to get my hair cut, so I went through all, and I mean ALL of the steps to arrange my hair just so.  I thoroughly shampooed, conditioned, blow dried, straightened, and styled all of the strands upon my head.  Moments later, all of that labor was completely demolished in the shampoo bowl at the salon as remnants of my scrupulous style swirled down the drain.

Why do I choose to put myself through such agony?  Perhaps it is a cautionary or preventative step to subliminally communicate to my stylist, “This is how my hair looks, so you best not waiver from it!”  I’ve had horrendous hair cuts in the past, which resulted in tears and return visits to the salon for correction.  Am I taking steps too far?  Does a stylist even care if their client’s hair is clean before they start to snip, snip?

The same holds true for my car, especially when taken in for service.  I make sure that it’s nice and clean inside and out—a message that I’m responsible and have expectations; don’t botch the job!  I didn’t bring in a junker, so don’t turn it in to one.  Again, this is based on previous negative experiences where one simple visit for service turned in to taking up residency in the waiting area as the new problems were diagnosed.  

Am I the only one that goes through such laborious pains to get ready?  I do the same for the dentist, doctor, nail technician, and hotel room attendant.  What is this all really about?  Am I trying to save face, is it misdirected protection of some kind of expectations, or some mumbo-jumbo mind game I’ve concocted?  Part of me doesn’t want to create more work; it’s like I want to make their job easier, even though I’m paying for the service. 

How I’m perceived by others has become a quiet undercurrent for intentional behavior.  In the end, does anyone even notice, let alone care?  Seems like I’m always getting ready to get ready.  What a waste of time!  Time to continue working on letting the insecurity go and display confidence in myself.  I am good enough. I am worthy, just as I am.

~D. Thompson        

Sunday Reflection Quote, 7/26/2015

to-be-yourself-in-a-world-that-is-constantly-trying-to-make-you-something-else

Sunday morning (well, evening) #reflection #quote…I continue to discover and reveal who I am regarding my personality, goals, and desires. Up to this point, the majority of my life has been lived for others–their expectations, filter, and box.

Lifting the facade and breaking through has been liberating in a multitude of ways. For me, a weight has been lifted, a bunch of pressure extinguished, and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.

Being me, just me, wherever the setting may be is rewarding and a variety of doors are opening. Exciting times!

#RalphWaldoEmerson #Sunday #myownstory #whynot #keeponkeepingon #goals#mindful #happygirl #genuine #connection #justmebeingme

Carry On or Checked?

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A colleague shared when she and her husband travel, they always carry on their luggage and never check.  They even did it for their two week honeymoon to Costa Rica.  She was pretty proud of herself as she was able to get away with sneaking a razor through security; her go to item.

How can this be?  How could just one carry on per person be enough for a two week trip, let alone any trip?

When I travel, I typically check at least one bag plus a carry-on or personal item like a purse or satchel.  I’m a heavy packer as I hate to make decisions regarding what I’m going to wear and like to have options.  Depending on the trip, clothes are needed for day, evening, beach, golf, exercise, and unexpected changes in the weather.  The “be prepared” Girl Scout has been ingrained to the nth degree.

The bulk of my space is shoes, because I’m obsessed with matching and if my shoes don’t match, it’s a mental grind for the day.  For me, brown can’t go with black; silver can’t go with gold; pink can’t go with red; and patterns must be accompanied with solids (in general, avoid stripes).  Who knows where these whacko bazingo rigid rules of mine came from, but they are hard and fast occupying the space between my ears.  Hence, the bulk of my closet, shoes, and handbags being black with a splash of either silver or gold–not both.

I have a mental block of being casual (probably from being raised by a very formal Japanese mother), so wearing sneakers for the day just doesn’t seem proper.  I remember a friend in high school asking if I ever wore tennis shoes.  My reply was yes, in PE.  One might contend this is a ridiculous mindset as in reality comfort would be more of the goal, as no one really notices and I shouldn’t care what others think–but I do.

I’ll be in Chicago later next week for a conference.  When packing, I hope to focus on function and comfort.  Granted, I plan to go out and see the city each evening, so I’ll need some nice heels, or two. I’m also going to limit a large portion of toiletries.  Just one panel of eyeshadow, rather than several (neutral colors).  Sunscreen and one multi-purpose lotion. Hairspray, but mini bottle.  Leave the hair dryer at home and use the one provided.  One handbag (for all outfits) and one day bag for the materials.

This will be a packing challenge.  Perhaps I’ll realize less is more and it’s the comfort of the simple things that truly matter.  However, I’ll still be checking my luggage; there’s no getting around that!

~D.Thompson

Sunday Reflection Quote, 7/19/15

SMRQ July 19

Sunday morning #reflection#quote…Intentionality was the focus this week, while at the same time chucking fear in the fucket bucket.

Opportunities and experiences have been previously squelched due to being in my own way.
Checking self-doubt and insecurities at the door allowed me to do or say things that I normally wouldn’t. The result is liberating and heart warming. I am beginning to realize I am worthy; worthy of so much more.

I look forward to continuing to get out of my own way regarding #relationships#golf #fitness #writing #poker and #life in general. Good things are ahead and I actually believe it!
#intentional #courage #patience #goals #whynot #getoutofmyownway #stopandsmelltheroses #keeponkeepingon #myownstory #sunday #sundaymorning

Shoes

Shoes2 WP
By LaLaPalooza

Back in my moccasin and penny loafer days in high school, my best friend asked if I ever wore sneakers.  She said this with a hint of judgment meaning “Don’t you ever dress down?”  I didn’t, unless I had a specific purpose such as playing a sport, or wearing grubby ones for yard work or camping.  

However, there was a short stint during middle school where wore sneakers on a regular basis.  They were a navy blue pair of high top Converse, which was a big to-do for my family to purchase.  Mom wanted to know why a girl would want such “ugly boy shoes.”  Dad was concerned about the quality of canvas and the price tag attached.  After much cajoling, the box made it home.  I wore my Cons almost daily with pride.  Those shoes were a snapshot capturing a moment when I finally got my way and satisfied a longing for “Cool.”  For once I was wearing something name brand and I felt in sync with the style of the time.  The Cons made it about three years through the wear and tear of a teenager.  By the time they were reluctantly placed into the garbage, there were small holes, random doodle designs, and crossed out names of crushes dancing along the sole.  

A pair of indoor soccer shoes used for just one season from several years ago still occupy the farthest corner of my closet.   I can’t seem to part with them.  They represent a time when I played games at 10:00 at night, sweated profusely, and felt that athletic high.  I had war stories to share the next day of jammed toes and ripped fingernails from being slammed into the Plexiglas wall and bruises worn with pride.  They reflect a time of aggression, release, and belonging to an unlikely team of all female elementary teachers.

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Inhale, Exhale

Insecurity is

psychological cancer.

He starts small,

then begins to fester

eventually contaminating essential emotions.

Insecurity hides

beneath layers of armor:

keeping the in, in

and the out, out.

He’s a reinforced wall,

doesn’t protect or contain.

Insecurity sings the blues in solitude—

he slowly develops

deep down within the soul;

telling a different story

with each change of venue.

Insecurity speaks in monotone—

same words

silently drone on and on.

Insecurity is

an invisible prison of mind

hoping to resurrect

the true, original self.

He inhales,

inhales a toxin of particles,

eventually poisoning the whole.

Contentment is

simplicity at the core.

She’s a ladybug

strolling through dewy blades of grass.

Contentment sings a lullaby—

carried on a breeze,

she calms the tense

rejuvenating the fatigued.

She’s an ancient artifact sought by all,

fiercely protected once found.

Contentment eludes many;

embraces a lucky few.

Contentment is

the ultimate destination,

but may not be recognized

upon arrival.

She doesn’t announce her presence.

Rather, Contentment

slowly reveals herself over time;

a freckle that magically appears.

Contentment is the utopia of being,

sitting on a pedestal

for only the willing to see.

She exhales,

exhales a purity of freshness 

cleansing the soul.

 

                     

Daniela Thompson: 4/2015; 7/2015

Image Is Everything

In poker, each player has a table image.  Some based on how one plays such as tight-aggressive or loose-passive, while others are established by personality or physical appearance.  Perhaps the perfect formula is a combination of all three.  As a relative newbie to the game and a female at that, I’m constantly in the mode of analyzing my competition.  At the same time, I’m becoming more and more aware of my own actions and appearance.  This reflection has evolved into a guiding force for decisions made at the table and how I react to random distractions or intentional antics.          

Take for example, a night I played 3/6 limit at the Grand Sierra.  An elderly man joined the table at about 12:30am and occupied seat three.  In a gentlemanly way, he gave a nod to the players at the table along with a “good evening.”  With the nod, we observers couldn’t help but notice the stark white cap with brown bubble lettering perched atop his head that read, “If there’s TITS or TIRES, There’ll be Problems.”  Now, that’s quite the bold hat to wear at the table!  The oddity was the image of the hat contrasting with the conservative looking man – western style button up shirt, tightly groomed wax-tipped curled mustache, and quiet demeanor.  There were a few quick comments– “Takes some balls to wear a hat like that!” and “Where did you find such a hat?”  The man’s response, “What’s the big deal?  It’s just a hat.”  Indeed.  Read More »