kitchen table


sock wrestling, fork in the head & other past times
October 5, 2006, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Darn Kids, friends, funny fun fun, the Farm

sock wrestling alex
Sock wrestling my former camper, Alex. In Germany! (Photo by Zeb)

In preparation of yet another weekend away with friends–aren’t I spoiled?–I’ve been thinking of all the fun games we can play at night, or as my pal Sean said, “When we have nothing left to say to each other.” I don’t think that’ll happen but I’m still bringing Scrabble, Boggle, and Cranium. I’ve also been racking my brain for other games, ones that don’t require a board or dice or a deck of cards. Enjoy:

1) Sock Wrestling. This game is played with two people, both of whom are wearing socks. To make things as fair as possible, each player should wear socks of equal length (i.e., knee-high, ankle, trouser). In actuality though, the only rule of sock wrestling is that a player cannot pull his or her sock up once his or her opponent has begun pulling it down. Otherwise, it’s a free for all.

The objective is to get your opponent’s socks off before they get yours. I like to call it the scrappy-est of scrappy games. It is perfectly okay to employ the following “tactics” to one’s strategy: biting, pinching, tugging, rubbing, chewing, flipping, punching, throwing, tripping, banging, faking, crying, yelling, screaming, and flailing. This game was taught to me by my friend Abi.

2) Fork in the Head. Games similiar to Fork in the Head exist under other names with slightly different rules. This version can be played with as many different people as you’d like and is somewhat casual in its rules. For instance, there does not have to be a particular order in which each player proposes nor is there a limit to the number of proposals a player issues.

Getting on with it: each player names two people–living, dead, or fictional, it doesn’t really matter–and the other player must choose which person he or she would rather have sex with. A player must choose one person or, if the selection is too gross, he or she may utilize their single pass for that round (a round lasts the entire length of the game, usually the day or evening). When a player wishes to pass, he or she answers, “Fork in the Head.” There is a possibility for players to add twists to their proposals by stating, “His/her way” or “Your way,” meaning that either the chosen character dictates the details of sex or the player gets to decide how it all goes down.

Potential for disturbing scenarios is high so choose wisely and consider your guests when picking this game. It is also recommended that the occasionally softball is thrown to a player who is obviously becoming disgusted with the game. If for instance, you propose “Geraldo Rivera or Ann Coulter, their way,” try the following during the next round: “Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, their way.” This game was taught to me by Carissa.

Share your own games–share! share!

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friends who menstruate
August 9, 2006, 9:22 am
Filed under: Buffalo, Feminism, friends, Gender, the Farm


Lauren & Sara, mural on Massachusetts Ave

Since moving back to Buffalo, in mid-March, I’ve acquired quite the collection of guy friends. Previously, the close, male friends in my life were more often than not ex-boyfriends or former lovers but now I’ve got a lot of men in my life with whom I’ve never been sexual or romantic. It’s good–not that it was bad before–and a change that I appreciate.

However, I’ve been craving women.

My college had a 3:1 ratio of women over men. Factor in my English major and women studies’ minor, and I easily had classes that were entirely female or contained less than four men. Since I graduated, the adjustment to a more normal ratio of the sexes has been slow; the adjustment to the ratio in the political business has been difficult. Where are the ladies? Why am I one of three in a room of 15 people? In work, in play, I’m missing the space created by women in a room together.

This weekend my dear friend Lauren, whom I met on the farm, visited Buffalo with her girlfriend, Sara. We ate food, drank beer, sang songs, talked politics, and laughed loud enough to welcome stares. It was wonderful. I talked with them over our diner breakfast about my lack of women-friends in Buffalo, about the general transition from the college bubble to a world where folks have a different education than me, and the significance of it all. They told me about another friend of theirs, one they were visiting after me, who said she was excited for their visit because she needed to be around people who menstruate.

I totally understand.



Loads of bull
August 3, 2006, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Darn Kids, the Farm, Uncategorized

When I worked on the farm, in its educational program, the visiting kids would always be obsessed with the bull. The first summer at Hawthorne Valley, he was a giant named Leroy. The second summer, and that following fall, it was Odysseus:


Photo by my friend Zeb Millett.

During our Thursday lunch, when the herdsman would eat with us and answer questions from that week’s group of kids, the bull was the center of the conversation. They wanted to know about why there was only one bull, how old he was, if it was true that he gets angry if he sees red (not true), why he was so dangerous, and on and on. One of my favorite questions though came from a fourth-grader named Lucas. He asked Farmer Dan, with quite a bit of sincerity, if Odysseus ever had to defend the herd from wild coyotes or a lone wolf. I almost choked on my organic apple juice.

Anyway, check out the farm in yesterday’s New York Times.