Play more

I like to do good things, and part of that is following through when I commit to doing them. A few weeks ago, I took the LetsPlay pledge and promised I would dedicate more hours per week to getting out there and playing. I realize that this does nothing to ease world hunger, bring peace to the middle east or save the manatees, but I believe that children are our future. And that copyright laws are lax when it comes to blogs.

So aside from throwing Lessi around the backyard (funny digression: she now throws her baby dolls around while yelling "parkour!"), I actually engaged in more active play recently, despite the fact that I just landed a new job (finally! I might add). Some highlights:

Midget Racing

Never has there been an activity where I've had to follow up with "no, it's not that at all!" more so than when I told people I was taking Fury midget racing. I know there's no running and jumping involved, but the point is we're getting out there and his heart rate increases. Also, he realizes that it's like Xbox, but a million times better.  I'll buy that for $10 a lap!  Not for too long, but the point is I'm willing to, in theory.

Certification and racing lessons are actually highly affordable, so I made the mistake of getting all excited for Fury to join the race circuit. Turns out once you're certified, you have to buy your own race car, trailer and something to tow it with (I don't think the Volvo will cut it). Hey Fury, there's this really cool game on Xbox...

Fishing

If I had to pick one activity as my hands-down favorite thing ever in the history of the world, it would be fishing. When we lived in LA, that was the most conspicuous void in my life. At our new home in Northern CA, I can fish any of a dozen places within a 20-minute drive. Heaven isn't too far away. Like I said, lax copyright laws make the blogosphere go 'round.

There's actually a nice regional park and reservoir 15 minutes away that's perfect for a  spontaneous pre-dinner trip. I've taken Fury fishing there a couple of times.

The first time we went, I had no idea what people were catching there (or even if we could catch anything at all without a boat). When we got there, these two old guys were also setting up to fish. While Fury and I caught nothing, one of the old guys caught this delicious bass:

I made Fury pose with it for a picture because you can't do that and not immediately dedicate the rest of your life to catching one like that for yourself. At least not if you share my genes.

I caught this on a business trip. Yes I bring fishing equipment on business trips.The next day, we went out again. This time, we brought his friend from across the street, who had never fished before. Also, due to the lack of rain, the shoreline had receeded about 20 yards, which meant to get to water we had to trudge through ankle-deep mud. When you're 10, mud trumps the prospect of fish. Also, dad spends all his time crawling in the mud looking for shoe that you lost after the mud pulled it off and the hole resealed itself.

You can't get mad at genuine mud-covered smiles, though.

Running

Shortly after I started working again, I decided I needed more structure in my life after so many months of improvised living. I decided to start running again. I also thought it would be nice to bring Fury along, since I leave the house for work before he gets up and return an hour before he goes to bed. This might give us some good bonding time while staying healthy. Two birds, one stone. Then I realized that both dogs would probably enjoy the exercise as well. Four birds. Then one day his buddy across the street decided that it might be fun to run with us, too. Five birds. Today, another neighbor kid joined us. This stone is like a ninja stone, killing birds as far as the eye can see. They say jogging is a sport of quiet solitude. They don't live in my neighborhood.

I guess what I'm saying is play can be pretty much anything, and no matter how busy you are, you can still squeeze it in if you put your mind to it. But if you still need more motivation, how about a 10-foot parachute, like you used to play with in gym class? I'm giving away three of these, and they each come with:

  • 1 sand bucket
  • 1 jump rope
  • 1 carton of sidewalk chalk
  • 1 "Let's Play" frisbee
  • and a few cheat sheet things to kick start some play ideas

To be entered to win this stuff, I'd love it if you took the Let's Play Pledge (676 other people can't be wrong!), but you don't have to in order to win (just leaving a comment will suffice, if you want to get technical). The guilt, however, will eat at you whenever you look at that colorful parachute.

In the end, all I'm asking you to do is play more. Is that so bad?

(oh, forgot to mention... I will accept entries up until Wed, June 6, 10pm PST)

(WAIT! I meant Wed June 13! I expect you to play, not build time machines. Leave it to Zakary to point out when I AsianFAIL)