Tickle Spots.

[[my thoughts on the game yesterday: I spent the last 45 seconds with my head between my knees trying to will my pulse down to human levels, while Sarah Darras relayed game action to me.  Maybe this was a bad trip to take for my first one by myself with the team that wasn’t for a tournament or a blowout? But I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t leave the arena at all! I just…ducked and covered, according to Speedster on my Twitter list.  And happy 19th birthday, Stef Dolson! I feel old.]]

So.  Tickle Spots.

Get your mind out of the gutter, first of all.

This is about those things in life, no matter how small, that make us warm and happy inside.  The feeling of total contentment.  So why the name out of a bad 80s porn film?

When my nephew gets his diaper changed, I usually am recruited to distract him from the business going on down south.  As my sister goes about the business of changing and cleaning him, I make funny faces, kiss his head, and do all manner of things to keep him from screaming.  That should be the job title.  Aunt Employed to Stop The Screaming Child.

I make it a point to tickle him at some point of this exercise.  With my palm, I rub his stomach and use my fingers to squeeze in a bit (but only a bit; I don’t want to grab him).  I then singsong as I tickle, “I’ve got your tickle spot! I’ve got your tickle spot!”

Slowly, he’ll start to rock back and forth.  And then, the most beautiful smile breaks across his face.  If I wanted to be cliche about it I’d say it’s akin to the sun over the hills.  But in plain speech, it’s really freaking cute.

This ‘tickle spot’ really hits home for me.  In a world filled with congresswomen getting shot, people taking the value out of important works of literature (Huck Finn, anyone?), and of course Jersey Shore, there should be something out there worthwhile for people to smile about.  And let’s face it – the amount of time I spend stressing out over absolutely nothing would be better spent thinking about my tickle spots.

So, in no particular order, here is my list of tickle spots.

– the feeling you get when you complete a difficult exam, and then get it back and see you got an A.
– Sitting back in the morning with a cup of coffee (decaf, dammit…) and catching up on my TV shows.
– Flopping back in savasana and letting good vibes wash over me.
– The sun breaking through trees in the early light of day.
– When my hair behaves.
– Nailing kakasana (crow pose) and shooting back into high plank without feeling like my bones are going to snap out of my wrists.
– Dangerously high heels.
– Dresses covered in sequins that fit perfectly and go great with aforementioned high heels.
– Magazine Day at the post office!
– Laying on the beach eating handfuls of cherries (and spitting out the seeds, careful to avoid hitting seagulls…unless they deserve it) with my toes buried in the sand and sea salt in my hair.
– Laughing.  The real, gut-throbbing, ear-ringing laugh you laugh when someone really close to you says something scandalously inappropriate.
– A great movie with Kettle Corn popcorn (aka the only good kind of popcorn, ever)
– Cat naps.
– Writing something and sitting back to go “Wow, that’s good.”
– Having something really worthwhile to say in my graduate seminars.  It means I’m holding my own with bigger, brighter minds.
– Pages beneath my fingers.
– Indian food.
– Tumblr memes, despite the fact that they suck my soul out through my eyes (as well as a good 2 to 3 hours of my day, if it’s something really fun I’m into)
– Animated gifs to convey basic emotional expression.
– Really big hugs from people who care about you.
– Green smoothies with lots of kale and almond milk and banana.  Don’t knock it till you try it.  It’s delicious.
– Biking.
– Neil Gaiman novels.  It’s like living in a fairytale.  A Gothic, twisted fairytale.
– that part of a pedicure where they put those hot stones on your shins.  Ohhhhh man.
– the moment where my mom says something funny and me and my sister look at each other when Mom can’t see, and we laugh quietly.

I will probably be adding to this.  But I figured I should stop for now, seeing as this is turning into quite a random hodgepodge.  But I have places to go and things to do.  Check back later for a review of the film I’m seeing today, as well as thoughts on the football game this evening.

The Barista

PS.  Thanks to all who texted/tweeted/commented about yesterday’s game.  It was truly an awesome experience, once I managed to get my blood pressure down to a manageable level.  South Bend is like something out of A Christmas Story.  I kept expecting to see Flick outside with his tongue on a telephone pole.

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