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A whole bunch of bowling videos…

October 22, 2012, 10:09 PM

I realized tonight that I had never shown you some funny bowling videos that my friend Matthew and I had made a while back.  Matthew and I will, as I’ve demonstrated before, go bowling from time to time.  We always have a lot of fun, but considering that Matthew is a far better bowler than I am, the object of the game for me is to see how close I can come to matching his score.  I’ve discussed our first time doing ten-pin together and our first time doing duckpins together before, but I never showed you our second run of each style.

Now on the first time for each, I wasn’t sure how the various bowling alley operators viewed photography, plus I was concentrating a bit more on what I was doing.  After all, I had not done ten-pin in seven years before our first time bowling together in 2009, and then neither one of us had ever done duckpins before when we did that in August 2009.  Now, I have come to realize that the operators of these bowling alleys really don’t care if you’re taking videos and stills of yourself (plus I’m just using my phone here rather than my real camera), plus I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable with the whole bowling thing overall.  Additionally, there’s a certain fun part of acting in front of the camera in these sorts of situations.  After all, there’s a certain bit of structure to these things, because you know the general idea of the afternoon, i.e. throw the ball and knock down some pins.  But how one gets from A to B is where the fun comes in.

This first bunch of videos was from December 3, 2011, when Matthew and I were doing ten-pin at Bowl America in Reston.


The first throw of mine on film.  I can’t promise that I won’t swear on camera (in case I miss), but then I hit a strike.


Matthew and I switch places, and I film him for a frame.

Then after that second video is when I remembered to set the phone to record the videos in high definition.  That’s the main advantage to filming with my phone, after all.  My real camera doesn’t do HD video, but the model immediately after mine does (it figures, wouldn’t it?).


I realized that I had a tough act to follow from my first video, where I threw a strike.  Going into this video, I fully expected to be disappointed at the end of this frame, since I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to do that strike again, nor get a spare like Matthew did.  I figured lightning wouldn’t strike twice.  I was definitely surprised by the result.  And I will swear on a stack of bowling balls that I cannot really bowl like that in real life.  Truth be told, I think those were the only strikes that I threw the entire night, and Matthew beat me by a pretty good margin.


Matthew and I switched places again, and I got him doing a frame, which ended with another spare.

Then a couple of weeks ago, on October 7, Matthew and I did duckpins at White Oak Lanes.  I really like White Oak Lanes.  It’s kind of a hole in the wall and easy to miss – thus why it took me five years to actually find it, despite knowing of its continued existence for much of the time I’ve lived in Montgomery County.  For those wondering, the facility is in the basement of the shopping center, on the west side (closest to New Hampshire Avenue) of the same building that Giant is in.  The entrance is really easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.

But unlike College Park, which has put in automatic scoring, White Oak is still fully manual as far as scoring goes.  I like the manual scoring.  Automatic scoring can make bowling something of a mindless activity, and so I like the additional challenge of counting all of the pins accurately and then remembering all of the particulars of scoring bowling.  Plus remembering that 10 = X (with the next two rolls’ counting twice), 5 + 5 = / (plus double counting the next roll), and 3 + 3 + 4 = 10 (and no bonuses).

And I was at it again, playing it up for the camera.


A few things to notice here.  First of all, we’re cheating.  We put the bumpers up, because our performance in our first game, with the bumpers down, was dismal.  Of course, this frame was dismal, too, despite the bumpers.  But this is closer to how I really bowl.  Don’t let those strikes from the earlier game make you think I’m a great bowler.  I’m also amused about how, around the 1:10 mark in this video, I did that move that shows that I suddenly realized I was blocking the camera’s view of my roll.  And considering how badly it sucked, I think I could have safely spared the world from seeing it.


I’m sure you really wanted to know about my starting to feel a little funny during the second game, but yeah, I started to feel a little off.  That happens occasionally now, and once I eat something, I’m fine again.  Since I didn’t want to have bowling alley food, I ended up splitting a bottle of iced tea with Matthew to take care of that in the short term (we would have dinner later).  It worked, and I wasn’t feeling woozy anymore.  Then that second roll could best be described as “saved by the bumper”.  Seriously, my throw was hideous, but then it bounced off the bumper and I ended up hitting a spare.


What am I doing on the ball in the first three seconds in this clip?  That amuses me to no end.  But then I threw a strike.  And then I start complaining about how much of a pain it’s going to be to score.

Of course, the thing that you’re supposed to take away from that last video is this:

Doing something with my hands on the bowling ball

All right, Internet, make me famous.

So I would say that Matthew and I definitely have fun together when we go bowling.  Though we totally need to space these things closer together than ten months between bowling sessions.

Postscript: And of course, the thing about duckpin bowling that Matthew and I had to figure out really quickly is that you don't hold the duckpin ball like a ten-pin ball. With no finger holes, you have to hold it from underneath, which changes the whole way you do things. When I tried to hold it from the top like a ten-pin ball, I ended up losing my grip on it.