POSTED ON MARCH 19, 2008:
Grand Slam Week
Filled with taxes, roller skates and boobs, it was time well-spent
I've had a week of firsts; most of which I didn't choose for myself, but nevertheless defining my week.
First of all, this time change is killing me. Has it always been this early in the year? I don't think so. I can now safely say I'm much more of a "fall back" man than a "spring forward" dude. Thanks a lot, time change, because of you I'm going to spend every day until the middle of May needing a nap.
The second Governmental alteration that I was made aware of this week came about when I sat down to do my 2007 taxes. Yow! As far as filing taxes goes, being a Peace Corps Volunteer was much easier than this. You don't make enough money to file taxes as a Volunteer. It's an incentive I hadn't considered prior to last week.
I've done my taxes in the past, and I am fairly certain each tax line was explained with at least a brief instruction in the manual. 2007's instruction manual looked like it had been edited by several drunken and bored bureaucrats. Line 24's instructions were followed, quite logically, by line 33's.
"Cheers, Ted! I just deleted lines 25 through 32. Ha. Who needs instructions anyway?"
Me. I do!
I spent several hours yelling a medley of: "Are they serious? They omitted seven lines of instructions... Am I missing pages here... I thought the IRS was going to make this process a little easier."
After investing entirely too much time on a sunny, mild day, I broke down and used Turbo Tax. I still have my Oklahoma state taxes to do. Tennessee goes without a state tax and Belize isn't a state, so this is new to me. Maybe I'll drink a bottle of wine and white out some of the instructions before I begin the process.
For my final first of the week I need to lay this foundation: Tulsa is more arid than Belize. Thus, I ended the week with a bloody knuckle caused solely by the climate. My body is still acclimating itself to an atmosphere where clothes actually dry and skins need lotions.
Implants in My Life
I'm a man of balance, so I insisted on peppering these unpleasant firsts with some potentially pleasant ones. It was a risk, having never done any of these other things either, but I was willing. I could have just as easily gone and played ski ball for two to ten hours, but I have yet to locate ski ball in Tulsa. It's not something that's listed in the Yellow Pages. I'm okay with this, because new can be good too. All I have to do is think back to my first ski ball game. Pure bliss.
A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from Ms. Judi Grove titled "From the Baroness of Boobs." I clicked to read quickly after taking the subject in. Judi was inviting me to the Green Country Roller Girls "bout" on Sun., March 9, in Broken Arrow. I'd heard of Broken Arrow, so I checked and confirmed that its location was doable. I was already there.
Judi Grove is the co-founder of a Tulsa-based non-profit called Breast Impressions, Inc. The organization's mission is "to increase breast cancer awareness and fundraising to support breast cancer education, prevention and treatment."
On March 9, the Green Country Roller Girls (www.greencountryrollergirls.com) and the Northwest Arkansas Killbillies, with the assistance of local artists, were set to auction off painted plaster casts of breasts at halftime of the derby.
I've always been clumsy and known it, so as a child I shied away from activities that involved skates. On my first and only attempt at skating, I crashed into a pole and injured my hand. From that point on I stuck to sports that did not require wheels on shoes.
I had never been to an auction or a roller derby before March 9. It was one of the few sports I knew next to nothing about. I'd seen a few derbies on the television, but I never understood the game. To me it was just attractive women crashing into one another while skating. It was entertaining.
As I entered the Broken Arrow Roller Sports rink, I had a flashback to picking up my little sister at similar rinks in Tennessee. It wasn't a special rink, just one that had been transformed into a home for the future "roller bout." Fans from both teams held hand-painted signs suggestive of superiority. Green Country had cheerleaders adorned with green fros. Children had their faces painted. Judi Grove was sporting some pink and green highlights. I was ready for some skating action. We were all there to do our best to "smash breast cancer!"
As the first half drew to a close I was becoming comfortable with some of the rules of the game. I was also quite enamored with some of the girls' skating names. Syko Path just took out Blackzilla. It was about time! Thanks to Mellow Yellow, the best roller girl that day, I was closing in on fully understanding what it meant to score a grand slam.
During the halftime activities, I learned that Green Country was without one of their co-captains, Rosie the Wrecker. She was ill. Undoubtedly the score would have been closer with her presence. But Arkansas was up 91-35, so I am unsure if Rosie would have completely evened the score.
Halftime also meant colorful plaster boobs! Yay! I wasn't the only person looking forward to this. Based on the bidding the majority of people in attendance were interested in taking home some rock hard, vibrant breasts. The auction successfully raised $2,595, all of which went to the Young Survival Coalition of Oklahoma, for breast awareness.
I understood only 30 percent of what the auctioneer was saying. It wasn't solely my ignorance of auctions. The PA system at the event wasn't meant for auctioneers. It's a good thing I wasn't bidding on any of the art, because I could have easily bid $1,000 and not known it. Also, based on the auction, I have decided never to get into a debate with an auctioneer. They can speak five to six times as quickly as I can, so even if half of what they said was complete non-sense they would easily win the debate.
As the second half concluded, the Green Country girls found themselves down 139-62, but don't hang your heads, ladies. You can skate, you've probably done state taxes before, and your knuckles aren't bleeding from the climate, although they could be from that hit you took from Lynard SkinHer.
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