Viking Bocce

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I am back in Atlanta after spending a week in the hills (near where FDR died in the arms of his mistress) with some of the other folks in my scholarship program. Though I’m not totally sure what that particular retreat is supposed to accomplish other than making all of Emory’s merit aid recipients tremendously fat on southern food, I am in no way complaining. There was muscadine ice cream! And viking bocce!

It’s called kubb. No, really. It was insane, as games invented in cultures that don’t have balls are wont to be.


The basic premise is that you divide into two teams. Each team takes six foot-long wooden dowels and attempts to chuck them underhand so as to knock over five stubby little blocks on the other team’s side. After that, they attempt to knock over a taller block (the “king”) in the middle of the field. It is not difficult to understand once you get the hang of it.

It is, however, really difficult to play. The other set of teams seemed to have no problem throwing the dowels with stunning accuracy, but my team and our opponents were definitely the JV kubb team. In the time the other team played three rounds, we managed one.

However, because our faculty supervisor was similarly not-that-competative, he humored me enough to look up YouTube footage of the kubb world championships. We took a break to watch a bunch of drunken Scandinavians playing competitive lawn darts, because that is what technology is for.

Though I still think the game would be much improved with the addition of whiffle ball bats (fling the blocks down with the power of your overhand!) it was a pleasant way to spend the few hours we had in between our gigantic Southern breakfast and our gigantic Southern lunch. (In between gigantic Southern lunch and gigantic Southern dinner, I napped. One has to conserve energy.)

Other highlights of the weekend included hanging out with the child that I baby sit for while she showed me her “apathetic dinosaur” dance and discussed her dissatisfaction with the ending of Black Beauty (she feels that it is insufficiently clear). There was also a terrible dance contest between some friends and myself. I wore a fez and was roundly judged by some freshmen, as is my way.

I returned home today to swap out clothes in preparation for housesitting (and catsitting, thus the photo) for my parents while they are galavanting around Italy for a week. (Super jealous.) I was glad to have the excuse to head out, as in the three days that my room was unoccupied I appear to have picked up quite the infestation of fleas. Just the welcome home a girl dreams of–literal ankle biters.

This weekend, though perfectly pleasant, was a nice reminder that I’m kind of completely done with my investment in my university. Folks were having very passionate debates about university policy, and I cannot bring myself to care because I will not be there in a year. I think that that’s healthy. I cared very much when I was younger, and now I am focused on other things. Perhaps my mood will shift as the year wears on/I recover the blood I lost from fleas.

Until then, I’m going to cuddle with my parents’ cat.

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