After a nice dinner at Mia Sushi on Eagle Rock Boulevard tonight, Mrs. Octopus and I continued our evening at All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock. Mrs. Octopus won two out of three games, with a high score of 134 in the second game. In my three games I bowled 109, 59, and 78. Not my best night of bowling.
All Star Lanes is a lot of fun on the weekends. It's full of families, teens on dates, groups of friends. It's got a bar, a full Chinese restaurant (The Red Dragon) attached to the bowling alley -- so you can get a beer and some dumplings to snack on while you wait your turn to bowl. After nine or so, they dim the lights and turn on the black lights and everything gets all freaky and day-glo. The music is good, too. I did a little Hammer dance to "Can't Touch This" and waved my hands in the air to "Insane in the Membrane".
The technology of bowling has come a long way since I used to go duck pin bowling as a kid. Everything at All Star Lanes is totally computerized. You get speed and direction information on your bowls, and goofy computer-animated sequences after gutter balls, spares, and strikes. The scoring (the rules of which are still sort of a mystery to me) is completely automated.
The one thing that hasn't changed is that you still have to figure out what weight ball, with what type of finger holes, works for you. You have to figure out how many steps you want to take before you release. You have to figure out if you stand straight on, to the right, if you're going to have a long windup, or a tight, compact motion. And you have to figure out why no matter how hard you try to make the ball go straight down the middle, it ends up going everywhere else.