A blog that used to be about things

Monday, April 22, 2019

Bowling Notes - 4/16/2019 Week ????+1 of Flamigo Bowl Craft Beer League

Before practice, Noah made up his missed games from last week. He became worried about fatigue, which is a legitimate concern but not at all what I saw as I watched. I saw a lust for the lanes that flourishes in a competition like this. I saw Spring personified: a whole team's rebirth and fiery passion for victory. We can all feel the change in the weather; the change in the atmosphere. Is that all that is changing? What if everything we knew about our world was changing with it? What if all concepts of normalcy, all concepts of what life is to be about, were also changing?

On April 16, 1943, Albert Hoffman picked up his research on an analeptic he had been working on 5 years prior. He got a bit of the chemical compound on his fingertips. He went home where he:

"lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After about two hours this condition faded away."
And so, after two hours of gazing directly in to the chaotic disorder of reality, Albert Hoffman returned to his "normal" life. If only we were all so lucky.

Game 1

Iced by the other team's refusal to appear. This could backfire on them, though, as it gives Noah time to rest his arm. Eventually the opposing team decided to go forward with only two players. We're used to these sorts of games, though. Any delay of pace we can adjust to, and drink to. If Flim Flam thinks they will beat us through a simple delay they have obviously not been paying attention to our attendance in the league. And of course, they do know this. They know that we aren't going to let a 20 minute delay beat us. Travis is smart - he and I went to a Magnet school.No, Flim Flam is going to get us off our game somehow, by coming up with a reality altering concept like BRINGING A DAMN DOG TO THE BOWLING ALLEY?!?!? The appearance of this small toy poodle (??? unsure of the breed) brings a very French Bohemian quality to the bowling alley. 

The game is an hallucinatory mish-mash of stimulus and introspection. Equipment breaks routinely. Teenagers show up in the next lane to judge us. This absolutely unpredictable blur of incongruous events is was life is all about. This is what bowling is all about.

Game 2

The first game took its toll. We started this game either stunned by the tumultuous atmosphere or enthralled with the vivaciousness of life in the bowling alley. Either way - pins weren't dropping. It was not a total loss, though, as there were glimpses of success. Fleeting images of a successful game of bowling. Or, were they just hallucinations? Had we fully descended into a lane of madness? The boundary between real and unreal had quickly unraveled during Game 1, leaving us rudderless and full of doubt. The only truth was in the pins.

Game 3

As the games march on we learn to adjust. Adjust to the lane conditions and to the poor conditions reality was in. We just have to bowl. Universal forces were at play, though, and were determined to continue their assault. As the game began, the equipment malfunctioned and continued to malfunction about every other bowler. If a rhythm was our only way of making sense out of this fantastic scene then the bowling forces were determined to keep us senseless. Savage Garden is playing on the jukebox. Irreality continues. THE DOG FUCKING PUKED! We have fully stepped over from normal night of bowling to a George Herriman-esque parody of a seedy bowling alley. Any attempts to reign the night in are beyond futile now. As futile as an attempt to keep a dog in a bag.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bowling Notes - 4/9/2019 Week ???? of Flamingo Bowl Craft Beer League

We are bowling in the Palm Room this week. The floors are slicker and there is a distinct aroma of cleaning supplies along with whatever they were used to cover. The atmosphere is very different from the main room. Separated from the larger crowds, the Palm Room brings out a much more cerebral game. There are not as many people milling around, taking in the sights and sounds of this glorious sport. There is no crowd to show off for. No feedback outside of the pins. In the main room, the crowd can buzz appreciatively about an almost picked up 8-10 split. In the Palm Room, only the lanes do the talking. Your more introspective bowlers appreciate this lack of attention. They relish in it, as there are no distractions. Just lanes and pins. But even the most experienced on these meditative bowlers knows there is danger to this seclusion. The lack of distractions can allow for better focus but can also lead to over-analyzing your mistakes. No outside stimulus to blame a poor roll on. No unexpected sights or sounds to explain a poor release. Without these distractions a bowler is left with no choice but to doubt their approach or their technique. And with this doubt comes The Fear.

Once The Fear gets in to you it can quickly spread through an entire team. Maybe we don't belong in the Palm Room, where the game's every movement is exposed? Maybe we are not the artists we hold ourselves out to be and are instead no different than a dog batting around its favorite toy?

In bowling, every week is a test, but some tests you never get a chance to prepare for.

Game 1

Brandon and Rich were both thrown off by the slicker floors. Noah was absent completely. All of these disruptions to the routine create a perfect opening for The Fear to take root.

Brandon was able to salvage something in the last few frames, but The Fear had definitely gotten hold of Rich. He felt rushed. Pressured. The Fear was with him, whispering to him that his mortality mattered more than the lane ahead of him, providing him a glimpse of an exit from The Fear's grasp, but only if he could get there in time. His game could not recover.

Game 2

Once The Fear is in you, nothing comes easy. The heat that was once a mild annoyance turns in to a sweltering blast, like the hot breath of a gytrash that has marked you as its next victim. The heat begins to penetrate every pore in your body, clearing way for The Fear to root through your memories. Now armed, The Fear knows best how to exploit you, best how to feed. The Fear knows what hopes still linger in your tortured soul and can now present them just out of reach. If only you weren't bowling right now, this could be yours. Rush through this frame, ignore Don Carter's advice for a proper approach. Ignore the hours you have spent perfecting your art. The Fear is now all you know.

Game 3