Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wannabe Playing SkeeBall!!

When I first ‘made it’ in the city, one of the first things I needed to get done was to join with the ‘Queen Beans’, go to different events, dine at the best restaurants in Boston and join in every social group possible. So back in July of 2011, when I was sitting on the Red Line to work, I picked up a Boston Metro with the front page article of a SkeeBall machine and the title “Skee-Ball: Hub Letting The Good Times Roll” and a blurb about a free ‘skee’ event to be held at The Greatest Bar. I thought to myself, “cool! This would be great to join!”

As I made my way up to the 3rd floor of The Greatest Bar, I saw about 40 people had showed up to see what this SkeeBall League was all about. The SkeeBall machines were kiddie cornered in a nook and the concept of the game looked very much like the days of softball pitching, roll the ball down the middle of the lane and hit one of the targets from 10, 20, 30, 40 , 50 and two 100’s in the corners…easy enough. As I started to attempt to show off my (non)SkeeBall skills, I saw a face I very much recognized; Alexis, a high school classmate. She had told me the story about how her and her husband Duke originally played on a SkeeBall League in North Carolina and wanted to bring the league to Boston.

After a few more rounds of trying to get a score above 200, I was hooked and wanted to be a part of the first SkeeBall League in Boston- only problem was, I didn’t have a team of 3 to join. I had mentioned to Alexis that I was interested in joining the league but didn’t have anyone to join a team with- that’s where the two best SkeeMates came in to play. Alexis had set me up with a great couple, Zach & Heather to be my teammates- we had connected immediately.

Well, cut to this past Thursday, countless PBRs, trophies & hundos later, “Skeeson 6” had finally gotten underway. Over the last 6 Skeesons, there have been many changes; a lot of the original teams from Skeeson 1 are no longer around, faces change just about every season, team names are also different each time and the original “SkeeBall Bartender”, Billy is no longer around to hand me my Bud Light Limes (which never tasted the same since he left). But there are three things that haven’t changed: Zach, Heather and I are still one awesome team, we always have the best team names (The QuinChelSkees!), and I still have yet to average a 300 in one game.

Starting off in week 1 of a new skeeson, it’s always fun to see some familiar faces and new ones and scope out who’s the ‘team to beat’. Every skeeson, my teammates and I are always up for our own personal challenge of beating our previous averages and hope to score above a 900…something that the top teams would call ‘a very bad evening’ and something we would call ‘epic, epicness’! This season should be one of the more interesting seasons; the two top teams of the past 5 skeesons are no longer and there are few rooskies (newbies), to be on the lookout for.

As for me, well, I have 3 goals for the skeeson:
1.   Average 300 in at least one game
2.   Add another trophy to my collection
3.   Try and create cool skee name: JanelleSkee, Nellskee or 

Actually, I think Janelle works just fine.

Here we go-skee!!                        Check out SkeeBoston!!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Night at the Ballet

A few years ago for a birthday present, my boyfriend bought us tickets for The Nutcracker, a childhood favorite that I haven’t seen in years. Not only was I surprised of the great gift, but I was even more surprised by the fact he would actually sit through and entire ballet- and see men prance around in tights and women twirl around and walk around on pointe. It wasn't until the end of the first act that he realized that there was no talking in the ballet, just dancing and hand gestures to see what the people were talking about.

 Cut to this past week where I asked him to join me to the ballet again. I had received a pair of free tickets to see Coppélia through the Boston Ballet and since it was free, I had to attend. Knowing I had one chance to get this right, I cautiously asked him if would like to join me, dinner would be prior to the show, there is no talking during the ballet, the story is told through dancing and if we, (he), really couldn't take it then we would leave (since they were free tickets, it would be okay). Surprising, this route went well and he said ‘yes’ without me having to negotiate the night.

The night of the ballet, I made reservations at Back Deck Restaurant, a place I knew he would like since it resembles a summer night on an outside deck and there was a good selection of ‘off the grill’ food. I went with the grilled chicken breast and he went with the mixed grille, a great selection for him since it included an array of meat like a cheese plate. I also suggested he have a few drinks before we went in, so he would be more loosened up for 2 hour ballet.

Once we got to the Opera House we picked up our tickets at Will Call where I was quite surprised to see where we would be sitting- Orchestra Center, Center Row- not too bad. Since it was a Wednesday night, it wasn't a completely sold out crowd, which worked very well in our favor since no one sat to either side of us, we were able to have some good leg room. The only problem we had the entire night was actually knowing what Coppélia was actually about…there were no words spoken so would we completely understand what’s going on?

Luckily the Playbill had a section that explained what each Act was about, where in turn I would explain it to the boyfriend so he’d understand why the actors were prancing around on stage.

The ballet lasted a little over 2 hours and was produced beautifully. A part of me has always loved ballet and ballerinas, how they can move and dance so gracefully on stage has always amazed me. I sometimes regret not keeping up with dancing when I was a kid, but to be honest, my feet and dancing didn't mesh well together, they worked better on a softball or soccer field. They only part better than the ballet was that my boyfriend stayed for the whole show, and even gave an applause at the end…although it only lasted a few seconds since we had to leave and beat the rush (his idea, not mine).

I had left the evening dancing on air, or at least trying to leap around the sidewalk without falling on my behind. It was like a scene right out of ‘Sex and the City’…actually I think that was in one of the episodes where Big took Carrie to the ballet, and he hates the ballet. I had accomplished the impossible: a night at the ballet with the boyfriend, and have him stay awake and in his seat for the entire show- I did well.