Extreme Bocce

Until this very morning I was completely unaware that I had already learned an extreme sport. It didn’t cost me a thing. Well, except maybe for some dignity, but that’s minor.

Wikipedia has lots of brilliant information on extreme sports – the kinds of asinine activities that involve high levels of danger; speed, height, physical exertion, wild stunts, uncontrolled variables (rocks, ice, waves, weather, terrain), and of course the huge adrenaline rush one gets because of the very real possibility of injury and even death.

I am not a big fan of any of those things. But I was rather intrigued to discover links to such things as ‘extreme ironing’ and ‘extreme croquet’. It seems that it is possible to make almost any activity “extreme” by doing it in some bizarre location and throwing out all the rules.

Been there and done that! We have a Bocce ball game at our summer cottage and no lovely flat regulation court on which to play it. So I really do believe our version of it could be classified as extreme. The dangerous terrain consists of rolling hills and rocks of all sizes and many many trees. Add a lot of bugs to that, depending on the time of day. Mix in some unpredictable small children, slippery moss, low hanging branches, the possibility of encountering wood tics, and smoke from the fire which could choke and blind you if the wind direction is right, and I think we have a SPORT going on here, and not just some wimpy game.

Before you dismiss this activity as highly unlikely to involve injury or death, consider the amount of alcohol that it is possible to consume during one of these events. I’ve never been hit in the head with a bocce ball, but the possibility of such a thing happening is definitely plausible. And who knows what perils could befall the idiot stumbling back to the house in the dark to get more ice. There are no doubt many more hidden hazards that I can’t even wrap my head around right now. Perhaps if the sport had some kind of rules about sobriety I could pay closer attention to all its lurking pitfalls.

So what the hell do we need sky diving for? Come on. Live dangerously. Break out those bocce balls and yes, if you dare, bring it on!

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If I Could Be a Character From a Book, I’d Be Luna Lovegood

J. K. Rowling has said that the character of Luna took her by surprise, but that she was a lot of fun to write. “She’s slightly out of step in many ways but she’s the anti-Hermione.  Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways and Luna is likely to believe ten impossible things before breakfast.”

How can you not love a girl who wears a butterbeer cork necklace to repel Nargles? (Even though Nargles might not exist?) And shoes to bed in case she sleepwalks? And Dirigible Plum earrings which the Lovegoods believe enhance the ability to accept the extraordinary?

Luna dresses unusually, proclaims her strange beliefs openly, and often seems to be dreamily out of touch with what’s going on around her. When she is the target of ridicule or the butt of jokes, she remains patient and accepting, serene and composed. Her deeply held beliefs, no matter how bizarre, give her a certain dignity. She is very brave and loyal and a faithful friend.

Hermione and even Ginny are too much in the spotlight for me. I’d do better as a supporting member of the crew. I love Luna’s quirks and I love her spectrespecs. I love her wonderful habit of always stating the blunt truth about things and how very intelligent she is, and how perceptive.

“And she’s tough, Luna,” Harry observes, “Much tougher than you’d think.”

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