June 4th, 2004

Fiona and me in the snow

mindsports and mindless bantering

I had planned to write yesterday but I've started getting up at a "normal" hour so I've been neglecting staying up late and I've been getting up at like 6. So, I wasn't able to write yesterday evening when I thought I would.

Fiona spent the day at the vet getting the works: a bath, a dental workup, and full physical. She's stilll sleepy (as usual), but she now smells much better than she didallbeit girly. I just have to tell myself, she is a girl you know.

I broke my routine yesterday and did even more nerdy things than usual. At the end of the schoolyear and after all physical sports get done, mental mind sports begin in earnest. A week ago, it was the Geography Bee. Sadly (sarcasm), I didn't get to watch the geography bee. Yesterday the headliner was the National Spelling Bee, which I watched, and the Math FInal (or something like that) which I did not watch for fear that I would either implode or have to write here that I actually watched it. The math thing was quite amazing, not by the type of questions asked (these were basic algebra questions) but by the speed that the young (most were about 12) that the young people answered the questions. Most had the problems solved within 5 seconds. Give me 5 times as much time and I'd have the thing written down, much less computed. Those guys, sadly, will be relegated to dorkdom I'm afraid. I already AM a dork so I didn't feel bad that I wasn't watching tennis on ESPN 2, but was watching, in my opinion, real sports o ESPN. Since they atually covered it on ESPN, I guess other people agree with me, that mental sports are indeed at least a bit cool.

The spelling bee was kind of cool. Those guys too, especially the winner who spelled autochthonous (which I had to paste here because I had no idea how to spell it or what it meant, it means indiginous), proably will also be dorks but I don't believe that there fates will be sealed as dorks. At least they'll be able to put sentences together. Math people aren't usually renowned for their communication skills. At the beginning of the final rounds, the second place winnner, after getting close to the final time limit, fainted on stage. He was out for about fifteen seconds, then got up and ... as if fainting gave him inspiration to spell the word, got the word correctly. Through the rest of the rounds, they gave him a stool and it didn't happen again.

I've always been a fan of mental sports, even though I haven't been the greatest at them. In eleventh grade, I tried out for Quiz Bowl and made it on "A team". In my school we were supposed to be all smart, so I didn't risk complete dorkiness by being on the team, but we were launched into the land of the cool when we made it to the state championships. Even though I knew lots of facts, they apparently weren't the "right" facts, so I spent most of my time benched until of course, they got a chemistry lightning round. I always thought I could have helped them more, but I was only the chemistry guy, and because most questions were history, music, and pop culture based, I watched as we sunk quickly. Of course there was the time that I missed vacuum in sixth grade and escapade in seventh. Those words I'll never miss.

I just was appreciative that there was a sport that I could participate in because physica ones were definitely out of the question for me, mostly because I didn't want to become a quivering mass of blubber caused by multiple fractures. There's nothing wrong with my mind; I can't break that easily.
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