How to play volleyball in 30 easy steps

1. Play volleyball in high school. Only in gym class and only because you have to.

2. Don’t play for 15 years.

3. Wait until someone is very desperate and posts on facebook “Looking for a girl volleyball player or our team forfeits.”

4. Volunteer your services.

5. Warn team that your technique consists of ducking when the ball comes close to your head.

6. Warn them again when they say it’s all good.

7. Watch the women’s olympic volleyball for tips on how to be awesome.

8. Try not to be terrified at how intense they are.

9. Wear yoga clothes because you don’t own any volleyball clothes.

10. When it starts to rain, wonder if you can back out.

11. Breathe a sigh of relief when rain stops and you see a rainbow.

12. Tell the guys to look at the rainbow.

13. LOOK at the RAINBOW guys!

14. Meet other team members.

15. Try to look confident.

16. Take off flip-flops and step onto the court.

17. Resist the urge to build a sand castle.

18. Stand in one spot for the first 10 minutes.

19. Wave your arms around like a fly is bothering you.

20. Hit the ball by accident.

22. Serve something awesome.

23. Win the game.

24. Feel like a superstar.

25. Go out for drinks.

26. Discover fried pickles.

27. Drink half a pitcher of beer.

28. Wonder if people can tell you’re tipsy.

29. Go home and de-sand.

30. Pass out.

When lawn-bowling becomes an extreme sport

I come from a large family. My mom has 3 sisters and 8 brothers, so I grew up with a lot of cousins. I think the family motto is “Any reason for a party is a good reason.” We used to have family olympics when I was really young, then we had a golf tournament. I played for a few years, but then I decided I didn’t like golf so much and I volunteered to baby-sit all the kids while everyone else played golf. It worked out well, because the kids and I hung out by the pool all day, then went to the party when everyone else got back all tired and sweaty. Now, we have a lawn-bowling tournament every August.

This is brilliant for many reasons.

1. You can play while holding a drink.

2. You don’t have to be any good.

3. You can talk while playing.

This year about 75 people were there. That’s most of the family. Some people were missing.

These are a few of the lawn-bowling courts. Or fields. Or whatever. I think there were 10.

It was HOT. So hot that the weather channel had an extreme heat warning and was telling people to stay indoors and avoid any outdoor activity. I have never been so hot in my entire life, except maybe the summer I went to Spain.

There was a big tree that gave off a lot of shade where everyone collapsed after a game to cool down a little. Someone also thoughtfully brought freezer pops and water guns so we were all wet and full of sugar. The kids kept pretty cool in the turtle pool.

Here are some of my favourite moments of the day.

This face. I don’t know what she’s doing or thinking, but it’s hilarious!

My partner and I. We didn’t win, but that’s ok, we didn’t really want to. The winners had to keep playing and we just wanted to crash under the tree. I’m all wet because I thought I could outrun all the kids after I sprayed them with water. They got me back.

Dirty feet from the water fights and the dry, dusty dirt that seems to be everywhere!

Trying to get a picture of six toddlers. It was never going to happen.

It was an awesome day. I really do love my family. There are a lot of kids and babies, and that’s my favourite part. I love seeing everyone and catching up on their lives. Many of my relatives told me they read my blog, which was great! My uncle Ray really wanted me to start a yoga session so he could be featured in a special post. Hi Uncle Ray! Even thought it was hotter than the surface of the sun, it was the perfect day.

Also, on a side note, I’m thrilled to report that this is my 100th post! I’m so happy it was a post about my family.

My favourite part of Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t what you think it is

Unless you’ve been living in a tree eating roots and berries because you were hiding from someone lately, you’ve heard of Fifty Shades of Grey. Chances are, you’ve read it. If not, you still know what it’s about. You know. Everyone is reading this. Even my parents! I just read all three books in four days. To be fair, I am on holidays all summer, so taking four days to read a trilogy is acceptable. Also, I did go out and talk to people. I did not become a hermit. Well, not completely.

My introduction to this series came a few months ago in a little story I like to call:

Fifty Shades of Embarrassed

I was talking to my friend Lisa about books. We were discussing The Hunger Games when she asked me if I had heard of Fifty Shades of Grey. I hadn’t. I figured it was a teen lit series, because that’s the subject we were on. A few days later, I went to a bookstore where I saw a huge display for said book. Remembering our discussion, I was curious, so I picked it up. (The book, not the display.) I opened it to a random page and started reading. Well. I was expecting a love triangle between a vampire, a tribute from district 12 and a wizard. What I got was a scene from Sex and the City. In detail. I turned Fifty Shades of Red, slammed the book shut, put it back on the shelf and looked around to see if someone had seen me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude, but it wasn’t the Bella and Edward like stuff I was expecting. You know, when they allude to what will happen once they can’t stand the sexual tension anymore, then you turn the page and wonder where all the good stuff went.

Of course, very few books are pefect. I’m actually not that picky, but there were a few things I would change here. I invite you to read the next little story called:

Fifty Shades of Annoyed

A lot of things bother me about these books. Ana Steele was a virgin. Of course she was. How very Harlequin Romance of her. I could go on and make a list here, but I think useless rants are probably bad for my karma, and I really want to do a headstand one day, so I need all the good karma I can get.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for. My favourite part:

Fifty Shades of E-mails

Yes, the books are erotic. Yes, they’re different. Yes, Christian Grey has the appeal of Ryan Reynolds, with a little Voldemort darkness thrown in there and a kinky side that surely counts for more than one of his fifty shades. But what really stood out for me were the e-mails between Christian and Ana. The whole book could have been written in the form of these e-mails, if you ask me. Kind of like an epistolary novel of modern times. Small things like subject lines and the way they would sign off made what could have been a boring I’ll-just-skim-over-this-part-quickly part of the book into a brilliant dialogue between the two otherwise not so relatable characters. Ok, maybe it’s possible to relate to Ana. Sometimes. But Christian? I don’t know. But hey, if reading about Christian’s Fifty Shades was all “This is like reading a biography of myself!”, all the more power to you.

A few months ago, while I was stopped at a red light, I saw this. I think someone found their kinky shade.

Laters, baby.

Full moon yoga

Last night was a full moon. I love full moons. I love the stories that go with them. They usually involve werewolves, but I remember my grandmother saying that my hair would grow more during a full moon. Scary stories, which I love/hate because I’m a big chicken, always happen during a full moon. I also think the pull of the moon has an effect on us. Maybe this is all the time, but when the moon is full, there’s no ignoring it. It’s like it’s saying “Hey! Remember me? I’m cool, I’m important. Don’t believe me? Ask the ocean.”

Other people must have realized how amazing and underappreciated the moon is, because last night, I went to a full moon yoga class. And this wasn’t just me doing yoga on my balcony trying not to fall over the under-regulation-height railing while trying to get a good look at the moon through the branches of the huge tree that will one day fall on said balcony and crush me if I happen to be on it. No, this was a class at the beach, where almost 500 other people were present.

I went with my mom and my sister and it was quite special. The girls from lululemon were hosting the event, so there was a lot of attention to detail. Candles and tiki torches lit up the area so people wouldn’t walk on other people’s mats, because that’s just bad manners. Also, it’s gross. The invite, and by invite I mean the facebook event, said to wear our whitest and brightest. I decided to go with my new hot pink pants. I love these pants, as they make me feel like a cross between Strawberry Shortcake, Super woman and the pink power ranger.

See the white spot above us? That’s the moon. It was a little cloudy, but only enough to make to moon look spooky, not hide it completely.

Amber, one of my favourite teachers, was leading the class, so I knew it would be awesome. I was hoping for some moon salutations because, well, do I really need to explain this to you? However, everyone was pretty close together, so moon salutes would have meant walking all over everyone else’s mat. (See above for why this is bad.) It was a new experience doing yoga in the dark. Not pitch-black, or I would have been scared, but nighttime-at-the-beach-in-the-city dark.

Some of my friends from work were there. Apparently. Maybe I didn’t see them because it was too dark. Maybe they didn’t go and just said they did, because, really, there’s no way to check. I can’t imagine why they would say they were going, and then not go, however. Unless they needed an alibi for something. Then they’ll be all “Ask her, she was there too.” And then I’ll either have to lie and say I saw them or say they were never there. Then someone will catch me in my lie, either the police or the people who caused my friends to need an alibi in the first place. I’ll have to run away and live in a tree somewhere and eat roots and berries to stay alive. That’s too bad, because I’m a picky eater and I don’t care much for roots and berries.

Wow. I didn’t realize how dangerous that was.

As you can tell by the beautiful, professional photos with the photographer’s name and website on them, I didn’t take these pictures myself. I tried, but mine were all dark and blurry and twilight-zone-y. These were on facebook and they’re way better than mine! You can check out the website to see more.