January 29, 2010
- seen twice: a man on rollerblades, jamming out HARDCORE on air guitar
- a man sitting by the river rail, playing guitar, who, when I passed, sang a song about jogging
Is 2010 the year I become a Real Runner (No Kidding This Time)?
Lately, I'm sort of consumed by running. It isn't even so much that I'm running a lot: just 10-15 miles a week, which typically looks like a couple 3.5-milers. It's more that I'm thinking about it all the time, and planning my days to include it, and dreaming of races and meeting new running friends and participating in the Urban Adventure Runs.
NB: two of my browser tabs right now are pointed to half-marathon race pages.
People who see me on a day-to-day basis would probably be surprised to know that I'm not always like this. They've seen me as a pretty die-hard runner since I ran the marathon in '07. But the truth is, marathon training was the closest I ever came to being a consistent runner. In reality, I go through spurts (several weeks to a month or two long) of running, followed by weeks of not running, followed by periods of running once or twice a week. Followed by guilt. I self-identify very strongly as a runner but it doesn't always pan out in practice.
This sort of enthusiasm bubble has descended on me before. Last spring, I thought, "This is really it, I'm going to be a runner for real now, I'm going to keep it up." And then inevitably life descended and I gave it up for awhile. I'm unwilling to declare it this time. Too afraid of jinxing it.
But seriously. Yesterday I signed up for a mid-March 15K. I'm eyeballing an April half. The difference this year might be my strong desire for friendships outside the theater, which seem to be a luxury well beyond my reach. I'm so busy, between work and the barn, that it's nearly impossible to pursue new hobbies or find, for instance, a book club. Running appears to be my way in.
Also, have I told you I'm kind of fast? I didn't know this until I bought my Garmin.
January 21, 2010
January 19, 2010
- Hands-on music repair and binding
- RICOH Users Group (yes, that's right -- a special session for people who use a specific kind of copier)
- Rental agencies behind the scenes
- Advanced Proofing and Editing: A hands-on, in-depth session with an editor for a major publisher
- Large Format Photocopiers
- Correcting parts and creating errata lists
- Opera Roundtable (YAY!)
and of course my favorite:
- Scotch Tasting
Cosi is in the full swing of rehearsals downstairs right now. On Saturday we'll have the orchestra start, and then it's off to the races. I'm a little ashamed to report that I haven't nearly the drive to immerse myself in Mozart the way I did with Philip Glass. I'm sure it will creep up on me, the way these shows often do, and by the end of the run I'll be engulfed despite myself. I suppose there are so many people who already admire Cosi that I don't feel responsible for making sure it's sufficiently loved.
January 18, 2010
OK, OK. Maybe a little something. Cookie reared the other day, in our first ride since early December. How's that? Rearing is considered one of the more dangerous and disrespectful behaviors a horse can display. It was one of the few things I'd never experienced. It turned out to be way easier to ride than bucking, although to be fair she wasn't exactly pulling a black stallion*. Her front hooves only got 2-3 feet off the ground, which was enough to get the message (eff you, lady) across. I didn't get unseated and we rode for another 20-30 minutes -- long enough to get MY message across (you might be 1000 pounds but I'm still in charge).
On Saturday she bucked halfway down the rail but it was a spook, not an attitude problem, and once again I managed to keep her between me and the ground.
* I think The Black Stallion is one of the worst books in the classic horse canon ever. EVER.
January 13, 2010
Then to up his creepiness factor, he doubles back. He lingers for a good long while ahead of me until I am forced to run past him again, and they he stays behind me for awhile. I mean, really, buddy? Really? I begin calculating what I'll do in the event that he really won't leave me alone. It's three weeks since my last run, so I'm kind of just blowing the dust out; at any rate, regardless of my fitness level, I can't outrun a cyclist. Then again, it's mid-afternoon in a relatively public spot on the river.
He approaches again from behind.
"Seriously, I could watch you all day," he says.
"Then it's a shame for you that I can't run all day," I respond. He asks how far I am running; I say 3 1/2 miles; I am pleasant but don't make eye contact. "That's far," he says. "I couldn't do that."
He pauses. "Well, keep it up, it's working for you," he throws in, and then bikes off for good.
Final tally: 40% awesome, 60% creepy.
2. Tuesday night, feeding horses. The Bobcat we usually use to haul hay is inexplicably full of manure; I find this out when, groping in the pitch-dark hay barn, I stick my hand wrist-deep into it. Half a bale of alfalfa is down; the grass hay is all over the place. The hay knife, which is white and easy to spot in the dark, is missing; in groping around on the ledge I nearly hack a chunk of my finger off with another knife that happens to be floating around.
Without the Bobcat I'm forced to load hay into the wheelbarrow, which can only accomodate 8-10 flakes of hay at a time: enough to feed about 6 horses. It is a slow process. When I'm finished with the upper barn, I begin to work on loading the wheelbarrow for the lower barn when I realize I've used up the whole bale of alfalfa, and there are still 10 horses to feed. The most accessible bale is 10 feet up. No stepladder. I begin to tap into my arsenal of swear words. I rummage around until I find the hay hooks, and then empty a nearby feed bucket and turn it face down on the ground near the stacked bales. A feed bucket is less than two feet tall, so I still have to reach overhead to pull down the bale. I can't get a good angle because I'm terrified to stand in front of them, lest they crash down on me and pin me. Finally I settle on standing at the front of the stack and attempting to haul the top bale off laterally. I struggle to get any purchase with the hay hook -- I'm reaching too far up to be able to swing with any gusto -- and when I finally do and begin to pull, four of the bales sway.
I use every swear word I can think of.
Figuring that there's no other option, I grunt and heave and knock a bunch of bales to the floor. They're scattered everywhere and have to be moved. Have you ever seen a 120-pound girl move a 100 pound hay bale? In the dark? In the mud? When she's pissed off? I'm sorry for you if you haven't. I made up expletives just for that circumstance.
January 12, 2010
I put my ear to your ear and listened
to the echo of your dreams.
That is the ocean I want to dive in,
merge with the bright fish,
plankton and pirate ships.
I walk up to people on the street that kind of look like you
and ask them the questions I would ask you.
Can we sit on a rooftop and watch stars dissolve into smoke
rising from a chimney?
Can I swing like Tarzan in the jungle of your breathing?
I don't wish I was in your arms,
I just wish I was pedaling a bicycle
toward your arms.
-- jeffrey mcdaniel
January 10, 2010
my motto this year: simplify.
yup. that's it. simplify. I know, it doesn't have quite the heft and ferocity of 'choose adventure.' but maybe this year I am after some kind of quiet grace. the truth is, my year of adventure was busy, and expensive. it was marvelous and messy and loud; it did not apologize for itself; it was unkempt. it has left behind a wake that I've spent the last ten days trying to set to rights. I am overwhelmed by the number of things in my life: material things; things to get done; things wearing me down. I would like to be lighter on this earth. less scattering, less mess, more focus.
say it with me. simplify.
[shhh, let me tell you a secret. I am not through with adventure, hooo boy, no. I am still going to choose it; after all, the idea of a year of adventures was to change the entire terrain of my life -- not just for one year, but forever. adventure, I have not abandoned you. I have retreated only for a moment; long enough to get my bearings, straighten my affairs, perhaps take a shower ... and then pounce.]
January 9, 2010
Cristina shows up on this little blog a lot.
Of course, that's partially because she is my roommate.
Also, we work together.
But of course, I work with a lot of people, and plenty of people have roommates they never hang out with.
Cristina started working at the opera at the beginning of our 2008-2009 season.
A few weeks after that, I wrote in my journal, "I think Cristina and I are going to be fast friends."
Totally, totally right.
Let me tell you about her. She is awesome. She will drive you to the airport at 4 in the morning. She will make the coffee in the morning. She is up for a late night drive to the food carts. She even makes a good hangover buddy.
She's pretty. She lets me borrow her clothes sometimes. She listens to me even when I'm chatty. (Which is all the time).
We are celebrating her birthday in style today. I can't tell you the details because it's (sort of) a surprise.
love you, lady. I'm so glad to know you!
January 8, 2010
sorry about that. I put the new year on hold for a week. I had to set my priorities. there was a party.
last night was the company holiday party -- hollywood theme. costumes were, of course, encouraged. after struggling to think of something to do, the lady gaga idea struck me in a flash on monday afternoon. I spent the next three days bent over my desk, folding origami tulips, chaining them together with very thin wire, and then affixing them to my dress. not to mention finding the perfect fishnets, and pinning the dress up to be impossibly, scandalously short. and finding a wig with good bangs.
after tomorrow (another celebration, of a different variety), maybe then it can be 2010. until then, I'm in some sort of complicated limbo. time has ceased to exist so long as the parties last.
January 1, 2010
1. jodi picoult: my sister's keeper
2. michael shaara: the killer angels
3. jon krakauer: under the banner of heaven
4. mary roach: stiff: the curious life of human cadavers
5. harper lee: to kill a mockingbird
6. gabriel garcia marquez: love in the time of cholera
7. richard russo: empire falls
8. anita diamant: the red tent
9. lisa tucker: once upon a day
10. david wroblewski: the story of edgar sawtelle
11. lydia miller: love in infant monkeys
12. judith ortiz cofer: the meaning of consuelo
13. azar nafisi: reading lolita in tehran: a memoir in books
14. mark rashid: whole heart, whole horse
2. lydia miller: love in infant monkeys
3. judith ortiz cofer: the meaning of consuelo
4. azar nafisi: reading lolita in tehran
5. mark rashid: whole heart, whole horse
6. james crumley: the last good kiss
7. tao te ching, stephen addiss & stanley lombardo, trans.
8. anthony crossley: training the young horse
9. norman mailer: the executioner's song
10. richard brautigan: an unfortunate woman
11. madeleine l'engle: and both were young
12. neil gaiman: american gods
13. kate douglas smith wiggin: rebecca of sunnybrook farm
14. jeremy butterfield: damp squid: the english language laid bare
15. ronlyn domingue: the mercy of thin air
16. anna gavalda: I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere
17. sloane crosley: I was told there'd be cake