Payout Night

Tonight was the payout night at our bowling league, followed by a potluck and a no-tap bowling game.

Last week, which was the final competition week, we arrived in first place. We needed to win two games to get a clean first place standing (71 points). We needed one game to get a very probable first place standing (69 points). If third place won all three games, they’d end up with 70 points total, so they were the unknown.

There was a study done on Olympic winners. Gold winners are the happiest, bronze the second happiest, and silver the least happy. Second place thinks about how close they were to first, while third place thinks of how close they were to not placing.

This might explain why one half of team we were against ended the night saying, “Yeah, you lucked out the first game, you know that right? I sucked and that’s the only reason you won. What’s ‘Hanmi'[our team name] mean? Huh? HANdicap is Most Important?”

“No, ‘han’ refers to Korea, and ‘mi’ refers to America. Korean-American.”

“Oh, well, your name should be handicap is most important.” (Yes, so says the man whose partner has the highest handicap in the league…)

We finished the season with 69 points. They ended with 68. Third place ended with 66.

Guess it sucked being silver.

Bowling in the Ball and Chain League

Good Man and I are back to our Ball and Chain league on Friday nights. We’ve bowled three weeks so far. The first week I did terrible (88, 83, 114), but we still won two out of three games and the series. The second week I did much better, and we won all three games and the series (obviously). Last week we won two out of three and the series.

About half of the people are returnees from last year. But the most obnoxious team from last year hasn’t returned. They were horrible to bowl against. They cursed all the time, berated themselves no matter how much they were winning, and held up the games by getting up to smoke, chatting with uninvolved friends, getting beer, etc. I had already decided that any week we played against them, we’d just pre- or post-bowl, so I was happy to see they haven’t returned.

It’s also nice to have our standing Friday night date back. It’s one time during the week that Good Man can’t log on to do work!

Team Hanmi, Bowl On!

Tonight we had our last week of bowling league, which means we found out our ranking and received our payout and special awards.*

Good Man earned a magnet for a 150+ game. I earned magnets for a 150+ game and a 400+ series.

I also won the award for the Most Improved Average (Female). I increased my average by 16 pins, which was the most of anyone on the league. That award came with a magnet and a small cash prize.

(Side: My true average is 115.19. Good Man’s is 115.69. I caught up!)

Our league has ten teams. As a team, Team Hanmi ranked eighth for our highest handicap game score. We scored dead last for team scratch game, scratch series, and handicap series. With those rankings you might expect we’d be lucky to break into the top five for points.

Well, we took second place!

팀 한미 화이팅!!

I was shocked. I thought we’d take third, but not second. We were close, though, because we were only ahead of third place by a half a point.

After we got our awards and cash payout, we played a fun no-tap game. In a no-tap game, if you get nine pins on the first ball, it counts as a strike. We were playing so that if your average was 140 or under, eight or nine pins counted as a strike. If your average was over 140, nine pins counted as a strike.

We were playing in a friendly competition for top two individual prizes. Neither Good Man nor I did well enough for either, but his high score was 222 and my high score was 274. We were bowling against a strong bowler who scored three perfect games in a row with the no-tap scoring. It was a lot of fun to play that way, and a nice way to end the season.

I’m really glad we joined a bowling league, and I wish I could join one this summer. Alas, it looks like I won’t be joining another league until next year’s Ball and Chain league returns!

*A note about terms for non-bowlers: a game is pretty self-explanatory. A series is your total score of three games. Scratch is your raw score, and handicapped is the score after they add your handicap.

At league, awards can be earned for highest average, most improved, if you score over a certain game or series, etc. Many of these awards depend on your average. For example, someone with a 200 average would not get an award for scoring 150, because that’s just not impressive. As far as I know, the United States Bowling Congress sets the criteria for the awards.


Tonight was our last competition night of league. Next week we find out the standings and the prize money is handed out.

Tonight Good Man and I bowled against a team we really enjoy bowling against. The previous two times we bowled against them, we won two games and took four or five points. Tonight we won all three games (and took all seven points, obviously).

Even more exciting—my scoring! I scored a 155, a 130, and a 120, making it a 405 series. My previous best game/series was 151/381. I had hoped I’d get a 400 series at least one this season but had basically given up. And when I wasn’t trying, I made it!

Bowling and Counting Down

Last week at league I scored a new personal best of 148 (my non-league best is 167). I also went over my average series, bringing my average up by one pin (I think). I beat Good Man’s series by 15 pins or so. It’s funny how he’s competitive when he’s beating me, but when I beat him, he’s suddenly in it “for the teamwork.”

I bowled again on Saturday and Sunday. Each day I ended up with one game in the 140s, one in the 110s, and one sub-100 game. Well, I am nothing if not consistently inconsistent.


My grad class ended last night. Thank God. The class got lengthened (tacked on a week) while the due date for assignments got shorted (due a week earlier than originally due) which made me Very Unhappy. Still, the class was worthwhile, and when I get my grade, I should be eligible to actually teach my students by the county’s endorsement. The state endorsement will take one additional class to obtain. I’m looking forward to the break from my classes.

One Excitement After Another

I took a personal day today, making a three-day weekend on our legal wedding anniversary. It ended up being a great day.

We stopped at the bank and got $100 in quarters for laundry. I sorted through the quarters and found the last quarter I needed to complete my Philadelphia mint state quarters collection. (Yes, I am a dork. I’m OK with that.)

We also stopped by a thrift store. I’d been in there Wednesday and had seen some trenches in great shape. Good Man tried them on and I learned he has gorilla arms, so no trenches for him. But while we were there, I found a lilac leather coat for $10 and a tan leather trench for $25. I want to learn how to sew leather, but I don’t want to learn on the fabric I want to sew with. I considered how much cheaper it would be to use thrifted leather to practice sewing on. The trench had more fabric but a lot of annoying white top-stitching and shaping. I decided to get the lilac coat because it would be easier to take apart, and I’d get larger fabric pieces from it.

Trick Box
I also found a $2 trick box that I couldn’t open. Good Man said it would be impossible to open. It took me 45 minutes, but I finally figured out the ten steps needed to remove the lid. I was rather excited and pleased. Good Man tried to act unimpressed, but I know he was proud of me. That $2 was some good entertainment. Now I just need to decide what to keep in my trick box.

At bowling, we went up against the team that is at our level. Their team handicap is 194 and ours is 190. We were the ninth and tenth teams for several weeks and had joked that it was a race to the bottom.

We won one game and the series, taking home three points to their four points. I bowled a personal league best of 136 (old best was 128) and a series personal best of 366 (compared to 332). That would probably get me Star of the Week for this week—except I picked it up for bowling a series that was 10 pins over average last week. (That isn’t that impressive since this week I was 63 pins over average.)

Star of the Week

I’m not sure how that happened since our opponent last night also earned it and we’re in the same division. You can only earn one Star of the Week, and I’m pretty sure most people in league earn it by the end of the season because of that.

If you win Star of the Week, you can compete in the Star of the Month tournament. You can compete each month until you win Star of the Month. So people say the Star of the Week thing is just a money-making scheme. But the monthly competition is only $8.25 for three games, which isn’t a bad price at all. You’re trying to beat your own average. So why not do it?

The league secretary told us that sometimes nobody comes in for the month, and sometimes the one person who comes in for the month wins. She said there was one guy who actually bowled below his average, but since he was the only one who bowled that month, he won. She looked at Good Man and said, “I’m not talking about you.”

Good Man had gone in on President’s Day, paid the $8.25 and bowled three games. He did go over his average, but he figured since he hadn’t heard, he must not have won.

Right before we started bowling, they came over the intercom and announced, “Ball and Chain League, [Good Man] won Star of the Month, come on up [Good Man], Star of the Month!”

Everyone started clapping and I caught the secretary’s eye. She said, “He won!” and pointed to his name, written on the board above the entrance.

Good Man looked at me and I said, “Go up, go up to the desk!”

“For what?”

“I don’t know, go up!”

He came back blushing, with a plaque in his hands. Now he’s eligible to bowl in the Star of the Year tournament in May.

Star of the Month

The Bad Luck Team

As soon as the league secretary approached us tonight, I knew what was coming. “Not another postbowl?”

“Well, yeah, they called and the guy…something with work.”

“Every even week, we get a postbowl. Are we the Bad Luck Team?” I joked.

She nodded, “It does seem to happen in every league, that there’s one team who always gets postbowled against.”

It’s not nearly as fun to bowl without another team to cheer with. But we did win two out of three games and the series against the team we should’ve lost to, the team who’s so good they don’t even have a handicap. And the first team that postbowled against us, we won most of the games. So maybe postbowling is better for us. Ha.

Good Man and I did OK tonight. He was one pin short of +1 over average and I was two pins short of the same goal. Good Man also scored a 153, his best league game so far.

Schooling the Ball. A Little Bit.

At league tonight we went up against a team I’m been looking forward to going up against, because the wife and I have chatted before league most weeks.

While I didn’t “school that ball” as HL suggested, I did do a lot better than last week, when my three games were 73, 107, and 110. This week I decided that no matter what happened, I was not going to let the game get to my head. I bowled a 102, 116 and 114. Not great, but since my league average is 99, it was great for me at league. Good Man bowled 100, 125, 122 and his league average is 118, so he did a little worse than usual.

The team we were up against didn’t do as well as they usually do and once we factored in the handicap, we ended up winning all three games.

The lanes were drier than last week, but the ball return on one of the lanes kept getting stuck, which was really annoying.

I had no idea when we signed up for league that there was prize money for everyone. Even the really bad teams. Last week we voted on prize distribution options. We haven’t found out which option won the most votes, but even if we’re the absolute worst team, we’ll end up with at least $130 as a team at the end.

167 Thoughtful Forks

Good Man brought me a half a piece of cake.

“Thank you, can I have a fork?”


“How should I eat this without a fork?”

Good Man stared at me. “Thoughtfully.” He left the room, “You are not like MacGyver. You are not really American.”


We had a really nice weekend. Yesterday we met Diana and Min Gi for lunch. We attempted to go bowling but the place near Diana’s place is always running leagues and nothing was open. We ended up relaxing at their place, the menfolk watching some Korean documentary, the womenfolk bitching about No Child Left Behind and the plight of education in America.

In the evening, we had dinner with Diana’s parents. Diana’s parents have sort of adopted us. We spent Christmas Eve at their house, for example. One day, Good Man and Min Gi went sailing with Diana’s Dad. Diana’s Mom gave me quilting hints when I told her I was making Dad a denim quilt.

Anyhow, Diana’s Mom called it a Valentine’s Day dinner, and Diana’s sister and boyfriend came as well. We had food at a great Korean restaurant (which Good Man loved, since he’s been craving Korean lately) and shared first date stories. A very nice day and evening.


Today, Good Man and I tried bowling again. Although we had coupons for AMF, we went to the Bowl America. Since we are league bowlers ($1 discount per game) and we were wearing red (one free game each, for Valentine’s Day) the total cost of eight games came in at under $18. Not a bad price at all.

I won three out of four games and beat last week’s personal high score! My new personal high is 167!

Now. Why can’t I do that at league??

Star of the Week

The team Good Man and I were supposed to go against tonight is going to postbowl, which was fine with us since their average is over 440.

I did worse than last week (a trend) and Good Man did better (a trend). I did figure out midway through the first game that one lane was hanging right and the other was bowling straight. Once I figured that out, I got a bit better.

Good Man found a certificate waiting for him since he bowled a game which was 49 pins over average last week. He took it in stride, but I was completely amused and very proud of my STAR OF THE WEEK husband.