Wednesday, December 13, 2006


picture of grace and Kristi Yamaguchiness

So I'm sitting here, a tad nervous, because my feet are in the tub, soaking. And what would happen if my computer were to slide off my lap? I don't think I'd get electrocuted (doesn't one need to be connected to a power source for that?), but I know that my computer would be kaput.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Tonight E and I went ice skating at the National Sculpture Garden. Since we're from the land of ice and snow, and I had at least four years of ice skating lessons when I was younger, you'd probably think that we'd kick ass. Well, not to disillusion you, but we don't.

We rented our skates from the surly girl at the counter, stuffed our bags and shoes into a locker, and timidly stepped onto the ice. I was pleased to see that it was covered with a hearty layer of shavings, thereby making the demon ground less slippery.

E got her ice legs sooner than I did, and before I knew it, she was off, and I was clinging to the boards, hobbling and wobbling. I left the boards after a minute or two, but never lost the "head down butt stuck out" pose that frightened skaters tend to adopt. The lights strung around the rink were beautiful, and the delightful strains of The Beatles were filling the air, along with shrieks and swears from panicked ice-goers. And it was so neat to skate in the shadow of the National Archives. I'm such a sucker for D.C. shit.

As we went around and around the ice, I began to realize that it felt suspiciously a lot like exercise. We were even on a track. Kept repeating the same route. Not getting anywhere. I began fantasizing about having a river of ice run through the city, to at least shake the whole thing up a la Hans Brinker. E was in her full-out running speed mode (in her "I'm trying not to fall" way), so I decided to heed the burn in my legs, and take the road less traveled...along the edge.

Eventually she met up with me, and we decided to try our hands at skating backwards. We started off not going anywhere, but gradually began to get moving, in an entirely ungraceful manner...but it got the job done. Life is all about taking challenges, right?

So then she went around the whole rink backwards, with me as the first line of defense against rogue skaters, and then I gave it a shot. We realized that "All You Need is Love" had been playing nonstop for the past 15 minutes, so we decided to try to make up a lame skater routine to accompany it.

As I was waddling backwards past a guy and a girl, the guy interrupted me. He said, in all niceness and seriousness, "Hey, how do you do that? We're trying to learn to skate backwards!" I pretty much laughed in his face, but then told him my advice. It was, as follows: Just wiggle your butt a lot. And bend your knees. And put pressure on your toes. You get the idea.

So we skated backwards with him and his girl for a while, eventually coming to a stop and making chitchat in that making new friends in the sandbox way. After we covered the where we all work, where we're all from, and where we all live topics, E coughed a little awkwardly, and we skated off, all cool, of course.

"All You Need is Love" was still playing as we took to the center to practice our twirls and figure eights, ignoring the daggers being thrown at us by the scary hockey guys who actually did know how to twirl. And my twirls were not so much twirls as they were mediumish circles.

And speaking of scary hockey guys. As an FYI, for all of you single girls on the prowl, The National Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink is not a place to meet guys. The guys there were either on a date with their girlfriend, or on a date with their boyfriend, or on a group date with girls. There were lots of dates going on, couples falling in love, etc etc. We know, because we took pictures for about five blushing pairs (oh, I'm just jealous. They all were cute). I did have a moment with one guy...I was skating backwards, and he somehow ended up behind me on the boards. Had he been there? Did he spiral out of control? I'll never know. But I bumped into him, and he put his arm around my waist, and he apologized. I think he needed something sturdy to hold on to.

On one of our final runs, "All You Need is Love" was still playing. As I passed by a girl, she was in the classic scared skater stance, but with her arms also airplaned, and she deadpanned, "All I need is a shotgun."

Love, love, LOVE the photo. :)

And the story... especially the sandbox line.

Sounds like fun. I personally have never been on ice skates in my life: am I missing out?
Oooooo ice skating! I really want to do that at some point this winter..I've never been. Heldref ice skating/hockey team? :)
traveling chica, meet your instructur:
I don't get it Chris...? I'd skate around and around a milkcrate is that the deal?
tc: For reals?! I know this is stupid, but I thought that everyone in cold country knew how to ice skate!! You should definitely try's a humbling experience. (not that you need a humbling experience!!)

jamie: the image of a Heldref ice skating/hockey team will never cease to make me crack up, even in my darkest days. Thank you!

bub: how thoughtful of you! And you totally accidentally created one of those "if aliens looked down at us, what would they think of our cars?" scenario, or a little time capsule of sorts. SEE YOU ON FRIDAY!! (Crap! Yankee Swap gifts! Crap!!)

TC: Little kids learn how to ice skate by pushing a crate in front of them, thereby avoiding falling and knocking out their cute little teeth. I love that you didn't know that, and made up your own method. That's so neat! I wonder how many other things like that exist between us? We should do a word association game!
Look at the education your blog provides me!

I had no idea... I've never been on ice skates, honestly. Weird, I know, but truthful. I'll let you know if I take up hanging out with a milkcrate.
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