Since the entire purpose behind my buying a ball was so that I didn't hurt my wrist on my hook, poly didn't sound like a particularly useful solution.
I met the Bowling Ball Guru, Ted Klonowski [cue fanfare]. What a nice guy! I told him my tale of being a very infrequent bowler who enjoyed the occasional Rock 'n Bowl2, but who had quite a bit of hook and was disappointed/physical pained trying to play with alley balls3.
He immediately recommended the Columbia Reactive Scout. It wasn't too much more than the poly, and has quite a bit of hook. The reviews I've since read on it confirm this, and then some!
I opted for a twelve-pound ball. It feels a little bit heavy, but not too much, and I think I'll grow into it nicely. He had them in stock, so he offered to measure and drill it right there on the spot4. I wasn't thrilled with the colour (this muddy reddish-black pearl), but he said he only ordered those in the one colour, though he'd be happy to order another colour if I were willing to wait... I said "no, colour's not really that important; it was just a preference thing..."
<tangent>While the rational part of me thought "oh, what difference does the colour make-- I'm just being vain" at that time, the more I think about it, the more value that colour really has to me. Colour is an important element in symbolism, and touches each of us on a very deep level; a level not entirely understood or even noticed on a conscious level. I guess I'm rethinking my thinking on a lot of levels these days."Hold on a second!" he said as he dug through his stock, "The vendor goofed and sent me a green one! Would you prefer that?"<subtangent1>As far as personal colour preference goes, I'd always been most fond of blues and purples. Over this past year, however, I seem to be slowly changing over to green. Although this was not a conscious choice, I'm very pleased. Green is a colour of vibrance-- of life, of movement, and of cycles.</subtangent1>So I'm finding that I choose a lot more green these days, in everything from clothes to my livejournal. I think it's a good thing :)</tangent>
<subtangent2>While the artist in me would enjoy seeing our paper money in a variety of colours, I can think of no better colour than green for something that, in our best interest, is to be kept moving and cycling from person to person.</subtangent2>
We now return you to Ldy's original train of thought.
Would I, would I!!5
He measured my hand, and drilled the ball for a precise fit. If I throw it correctly, it makes this wonderful little "PWOFP"-ing sound when I release. And because hand size and hole size will change with temperature, he will adjust the hole size free of charge until Christmas.6
So, yeah, I've got this cool green pearlized sparkly ball with a three-piece core and reactive coating, drilled-to-fit. Oooh, baby. And as you can see, it says "LDY" in nice yellow lettering above the holes :)
I actually took it out to play last night. I wasn't feeling very good, but I was feeling 100x better than earlier, and really wanted to try my new ball.
I played terribly :P Some of this was likely due to my physical state (sick), and some due to the fact that I was experimenting with everything from my hook to my approach7. A lot of it had to do with the fact that this ball does not hook at all on well-oiled lanes, only drier ones. I thought that would be perfect for late-night bowling, but the lanes, of course, were a veritable oil slick for once! :P Oddly enough, the hook was incredible when I played left-handed (for kicks-- I don't usually play left-handed, and don't play very well that way). I need to figure out what I'm doing with my right hand that I don't do with my left, and somehow undo it.
I'm restarting my cycle of learning, taking a few steps back so that I might take a giant leap forward at some point in future. How appropriate. :)
So now, I'm still kinda sick, and my shoulder hurts like hell. But ultimately, I'm happy with my choice.
It's not easy being green, but I wouldn't want to be any other colour right now :)
1 Surprise, surprise.
2 "Get one of these poly balls-- no reason to spend more money"
3 "OK, that's a good reason not to buy a poly ball-- they've got no hook at all!"
4 Good thing I took him up on it, as I was in no shape to return yesterday! Considering I only get a half-hour for lunch, he's pretty speedy :)
5 Harelip, harelip. *cough* Besides, green is so much better than the blue I was considering in the poly-- as inspectorjury pointed out, blue balls are not necessarily a good thing.
6 He can't really do much about the hand size, can he.
7 I've always employed the three-step approach. I tried the five. I was informed that, had I not had a bowling ball in my hand, I'd have been granted honorary membership in the Ministry of Silly Walks. (Heh!)
K We stopped by the Union Inn after Rock 'n Bowl, and I received the second-most-interesting business card yet. It reads:
"Hello! I am a NON-Psychotic, NON-Rapist, Non-Axe Murderer with Manners, a Job and an IQ above 120. Might I be permitted to say hello?" [and no, I don't know why he put emphasis on not being a psychotic or a rapist, but not on not being an axe-murderer]
And on the reverse:
"If yes, please proceed to response #1. If no, please proceed to response #2. 1. Why, thank you. I am [NAME], but my friends call me Elvis. [PHONE#] (Just in case, no meaning implied) 2. [in red]. Most sorry for the inconvenience. Please do have a most prosperous day."
When M told him about my geekiness and my plans for building my next computer, he asked for my hand in marriage. I declined.