Friday, July 31, 2009


The last time I was on roller skates was years ago before I upgraded to roller blades and then abandoned said blades, so at least 12 or 13 years. I've forgotten a lot in that time.

  • The only way to get anywhere to to get out there. Sitting on the sidelines and watching people fly by is unsatisfying at best.
  • You may fall, it's true, but more likely than not, you'll wobble, adjust, and move on, pride the only injury.
  • Let the glide take you, as scary as that feels to relinquish the illusion of control. You may not go in exactly the direction you wanted, but fighting it is an invitation to stumble or unbalance yourself.
  • Don't think; do. Skate, and don't stop to over-analyze because that too is an invitation to falter.
Of course I'm still talking about roller skating. Whatever else would I be talking about?

Now playing: Soul Asylum - Runaway Train (live)
via FoxyTunes

Monday, July 27, 2009


Earlier in the summer, some weeks ago, I started taking regular walks in the evenings. They started as rambling strolls through a local park. I got a pedometer and was excited to see how far I could walk, further than I realized I could comfortably walk. Then I started timing my walks and was more thrilled to discover how briskly I could walk. I try each evening to either meet my personal mark or exceed it, whether the walk is 2 miles, 3 miles, or 4 miles.

On these walks, I started seeing some familiar faces--the mother and father with the child carriers on the backs of their bikes, the son on dad's bike, daughter on mom's. The joggers. The husband and wife; he never waves, but she waves in spite of the walking stick she's got propped behind her head with her arms drooped over it.

They come and go. I don't see them every night I go out there, due in part to a number of factors--sometimes I only get out a few nights a week, sometimes I rush at the last minute and finish just at the cusp of dark, and other nights I head out early. But I see one guy just about every night I'm out there. He's a bit of an older gentleman, greying hair, always in the same almost-uniform--white T-shirt, black shorts, black sneakers, sunglasses and baseball cap. He seems grim, or perhaps just determined, perhaps out walking to ward off the threat of a heart attack. He never waved back when I did as we inevitably passed.

Until a week ago or so. I've been trying to build running into my routine. 45 seconds, and I'm winded. On a good spell, I can hit a bit over a minute before I have to stop. On one such evening, we crossed paths, him walking steadily, me running and running out of steam at that. I raised a hand in acknowledgment as I passed. I don't know what changed things, but now when we pass, he raises his right hand in a half wave.

Now playing: Ani DiFranco - Everest
via FoxyTunes

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dork badge, plz.

I gleefully bought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies almost as soon as I heard about it. I devoured it as a zombie devours brains: with relish (figurative, I might add, not literal). Zombies aside, it was quite faithful to the original novel.

I can only hope the forthcoming Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters will be as delightful. I shall find out when I purchase it in September.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I've tossed practicality to the wind if only for one crochet project: I made a doily.

Now it's back to more practical things. Still, it was an interesting experience and not a painful one as I half expected it to be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Piece of history

Thirteen--or possibly fourteen--years ago, I remember hearing my parents' voices drift up from the basement. They were up to something, and there was a sheet-covered lump which I was instructed not to look at in the corner room of the basement. I was actually a pretty obedient child; I didn't look. I was also the sort of child to be delighted with something perhaps not many other children would be so delighted by: a desk of my very own complete with a matching chair. In retrospect, I think it may have also had a lamp with a swively neck, but it's been long gone.

It was a simple, small affair, white top, black metal legs and shelves underneath. It wasn't much, but it was mine, and I got quite a bit of use out of it. For years, I did my homework on it--the last of elementary school, the bit of middle school I did under my mother's tutelage, and the high school I did through correspondence. In the high school years, I think, I moved my desktop PC onto it, still getting quite a bit of use out of it. High school became community college, which led to university and grad school. Still my desk was there, ready for use. I eventually moved the tower to the floor, leaving some room to sprawl my papers out as I worked. At the end of grad school, I got a laptop, conserving more space and allowing for greater sprawl and spreading out of papers, both my own and those of the students I was beginning to teach. Grad school ended, I continued teaching, quit teaching, then went back to teaching, and I did a bulk of my prep work and grading at that same desk I got as a child.

And mind, it is a child's desk. My knees haven't fit comfortably under it for a long time, resulting in some not-so-pleasant knocks if I got up too fast, and the scant cushion on the chair has long worn thin. I've been thinking for a while to upgrade to a larger, sleeker model. I made up my mind to do so, changed it, and reversed course yet again. I half-heartedly skimmed ads and perused floor models when I saw them. Nothing shrieked at me, so I let it go.

Until today. I found a desk worthy of my patronage. The chair isn't the first one I fell in love with, but it's cushier than the old one by far. I hope I get a good 13 (or 14) years out of this one too. And I also hope, given that there's a lot of life still in that old, small desk, that someone else will love it as I have.