I currrently feel as though I have multiple small children, although what's really happening is that my near-teenager, my husband, my 25 year old daughter and her boyfriend are playing Cabela's Big Game Hunter on the Wii. This, if you're not familiar with the game, is a sound that's up there in the Ten Most Annoying Noises in the World. It's a repetetive, yet random, series of bangs! coupled with this ticker-clicking noise from the counter that's tracking your points, mixed with a four note electric guitar rift that belongs to no music known to anyone and then an occasional comment from a person off screen, whom I can only assume is supposed to be your hunting partner. If there is such a thing. I know nothing about hunting, so there may be some technical term for that person. The funny thing is, no one playing knows anything about hunting either, so the running commentary among them is pretty entertaining.
This is the second day of our trip to visit Casey here at her home in Oregon. Yesterday, we met her and NB (the New Boyfriend) at a hockey game in Portland. I have never been to a hockey game before, and was really looking forward to going, as was Jack. I had an idea in my head of what it would be like, but it wasn't like that at all. Still, I loved it, and I'm pretty excited to go to another game as soon as I can. I'm mostly just impressed with the skill and agility it must take to even play the game, let alone play it well. I'm sure it's ten times harder than it looks, and it looks impossible. And never mind the game, it would take me a month just to learn how to hop over that wall in all that gear without taking out someone's eye or ending up in a turtle flop on the ice. I loved that part, where they all changed players. It was like a little bit of synchronized ice dancing right in the middle of a manly man's sport.
Oh, and the fighting! I had to ask if it was real, or if there was a touch of WWF in there, because it happens out of nowhere, for no reason that is apparent to a beginner like me. One minute they're all skating, and the next, there are helmets and pads and sticks on the ice and two or more guys are tearing each other up, and the refs are just standing there, doing nothing about it. Turns out it's pretty real. It's better than a goal to get the crowd riled up and then the fighters get huge applause as they glide into their respective penalty boxes. Evidently, they're like Beta fish - they have to have separate boxes or they'll kill each other. Normally, I'm opposed to any kind of fighting as sport - I think things like cage fighting are frightening and insane and sort of sick. But this, this spontaneous pounding mid-skate, was surprisingly fun to watch. Maybe because it only lasts a few seconds, and maybe because I witnessed none of the legendary bloodshed hockey is known for, I don't know. Whatever, it might be my new favorite sport.