Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Vacation From My Regular Life

As you well know, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from the constant stream of blogging that once paraded across your RSS feeds and computer screens. While I was blogging, I had to absorb a lot of information, reading feeds, reading, watching cable news, yelling at Wolf Blitzer, the regular.

I found my eyes and my mind becoming fatigued at all of the intake, so I did what any other responsible person does when they become fed up with their (non-paying) job: I took a vacation. Unlike most other people who go to exotic locales like Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo, Dollywood, Omaha, Branson, and Burma, I decided that I didn't need to leave my comfortable surroundings at home in West Virginia. Yes, that's right, I took a media vacation.

For one week, I watched nothing relating to the content of this website. I read nothing about Hillary, Barry, John Edwards, Fred D. Thompson, Rudy "9/11" Giuliani, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, etc. Nothing.

So, while Buddhist monks were getting their shit ripped in Burma, Britney Spears was losing her kids, and Rudy Giuliani was figuring out how many ways he could refer to 9/11 in a minute, I was kicking it, reading, watching soccer, learning how things are made, and gaining a fuller appreciation for women's volleyball.

Taking a media vacation is a lot harder than you think it would be. For someone who reads a lot of news even on vacation (read the daily paper when I was in Jamaica), it was awkward to step away from the news all together. After about three days, it became easier. But, those first three days were like getting cut off from heroin. I had withdrawals, twitching for a fix. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. I had to physically train myself to stay away from the stuff.

Now, after a successful experiment with my mind at a new ease, I have turned on the news to find that I've missed absolutely nothing at all, and I'm just as critical of the news as ever. Britney Spears is still a mess. Rudy Giuliani's still an asshat. Fred Thompson's getting by on the fact that he was the DA on Law and Order, bringing nothing substantive to the party. The only thing that has changed is that Lindsay Lohan's now out of rehab. Oh, and Black professors are being threatened at Columbia. If anything has changed about me, I now have a fuller appreciation of women's volleyball primarily because it was on everyday, at least five times a day.

I always dug women's soccer. The 1999 Women's World Cup sealed that one for me. I watched the WNBA for years. I stopped after a while because the game wasn't as good as on the college level and just seemed like slightly advanced college ball without the collegiate passion. I watch track, so I know about Allison Felix and Sanya Richards being complete beasts on the track. So, I have a history with women's sports.

Women's volleyball is one of those sports that, for me, popped up when I would come for Christmas vacation from college. There were a lot of girls running around in short shorts, wailing on a ball, and yelling a lot. Frankly, I had no idea of what was going on. The only things that I was sure of was a) I had played volleyball before and knew it was really hard and b) those girls's shorts are really short. They have like JUST enough ass coverage to keep it from being obscene to the FCC and NCAA. I also knew that it left me conflicted.

On one hand, there are these girls who are amazing amazonian women. They are six feet tall (and taller) with the grace of a swan. It is a thing of art to watch these women float across the court, jump into the sky, and pound the crap out of the ball. They hit with such intense force that it blows the mind. As well, they do it so smoothly and have fun. It's telling of an athlete when a girl hits a ball right on another girl's head and proceeds to smile and laugh after the point with her teammates. That's cold blooded, but so awesome at the exact same time. As you can realize, there's nothing inherently conflicting about this.

The conflict arises in the fact that while these girls are doing all of this, it's hard to pay attention because the girls are playing in ridiculously short shorts. Daisy Dukes might be less revealing than these shorts. So, while you're watching these girls show fantastic athleticism, there's also a recognition of the fact that these girls are a) really fit and b) really quite attractive. So, while I totally respect their athletic abilities, I feel like a pervert watching them running around the court kind of scantily clad. In reality, this aspect is the thing that you first notice: the sexiness.

As my week went along, I eventually got past this (it's still there for sure. I'm straight, this is what happens) and got into the reality of the sport: a fast-paced, exciting sport. I don't root for anyone, but it becomes clear to see that these women are more than bobbing ponytails in short shorts. They are legit, amazing athletes who spend a lot of time becoming awesome and having fun while doing it. I just wonder if there's a legit reason for the girls to be wearing the short shorts. And, for the record, I would still watch if they didn't. The game's really quite fun.

And, with that piece of insight, I end the report of my media vacation. In the end, I've gained some new found critical skills, a greater piece of mind, and a new fall sport to watch when the Ravens are getting taken behind the woodshed on Sundays (I told you it's on all of the time).