Archive for February, 2011

February 24th, 2011

» 24 Books: February 2011

So, February wasn’t nearly as good as January reading-wise — but I was also sort of consumed with trying to get back in a regular riding routine and packed to move to a new apartment. (Aside: For the most part I hate moving. I hate packing and unpacking, I hate the weeks of dread before the actual move that I spend thinking about how much the actual move is going to suck, I hate the actual move. I hate the uncertainty. It’s such an act of hope, moving, believing that the next place is going to be better in some way. I — really didn’t mean to go here, so just: life is confusing lately, but I think this is going to be a good thing. I’m not looking forward to moving, but I’m excited to actually be moved.)

Jocey lent me Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle — well, a long time ago. A really, really long time ago. And it sat in my pile of books to read. And sat. And sat. I finally picked it up this month, and it was just perfect. Utterly delightful and charming, very Jane Austen-esque. There’s something that happens toward the very end of the book that made me literally laugh aloud and bounce in my seat a bit at a coffee shop. Highly recommended, especially for Austen fans.

I didn’t read any other books this month, and had I don’t even know how many audiobook holds expire on the library shelf because I just haven’t made it in — but I have one more thing I’m going to count: Savage Love. I’ve heard it mentioned on and off over the years, but never read it myself. I know, I know, I’m the last one on the bandwagon. But this month I read through all of the online archives. All of them. A dozen years of Savage Love. 630 entries. I think that counts for at least one.

2011 Book Count: 8
January: 6
February: 2

February 18th, 2011

» Bali: Sat 27 Nov 2010

We have a leisurely poolside breakfast with books again on Saturday morning. The plan is to hit the internet cafe, ATM, and art shop to snag those paintings, check out at 11, then go grab lunch before our car at 12:30 to Toya Bunkah.

Unfortunately at the internet cafe I ignore the tiny niggle of doubt and plug my camera’s memory card in via USB. It is immediately infected with a virus that makes it look like the card has been wiped — though the properties still show over 2GB of data. We spend a ridiculously long time trying to sort it out, hampered by computers whose mouses quit working (I get a nasty shock trying to change to a new one), whose USB drives don’t work, and whose processor is taken up by two mysterious, unstoppable tasks. We finally get all the pictures copied over to a harddrive and try to format the card in my camera. It erases all the pictures but unfortunately not the virus. In the end we put all the pics back on the card and bring it to a photo store to have them burned on dvd.

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February 18th, 2011

» all downhill from here

Apart from some time in Missouri and England during college, I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life. Minnesotans are stereotypically nice, polite folks who love their outdoor sports. We even find ways to do them during our long (long, long) winters to keep from going batty (though a lot of them are a bit batty themselves: ice skating, broomball, that tidy teapot sweeping one whose name now escapes me…ah, curling!). Pretty much everyone I know outside of my immediate family skis, or has at least gone skiing at some point in the past. Me? Never. Not even cross-country.

Admission: The thought of skiing kind of scared the crap out of me. I’m not super athletic or coordinated, I’m easily embarrassed, and I really hate falling down. Not that I fall down a lot, but I have a real fear of it. So, a few years ago I put skiing on my bucket list. Every so often I — it’s not exactly right to say I choose it because it’s not such a studied, conscious thing, but — every so often I find myself having decided to do something that scares me. It just feels right; it feels like I need to push that envelope a little bit. Leap out of that airplane or scuba dive or take Everett over the bathtub jump. The past three winters have started with me declaring my One Winter Goal: Go Skiing. And the past three winters I have not come anywhere close to going skiing. So this winter? I said I am not going skiing! I’m going tubing. So, of course I haven’t gone tubing or sledding at all — but yesterday? Totally went skiing.

* * *

And wow, I started writing this post on Monday, and here it is Friday. I meant to talk all about skiing, about how weird and hard it is, about lying in bed that night feeling like my feet were still sliding (similar to how I felt that time I went to Valley Fair and rode the Wild Thing a dozen times in a row, and couldn’t sleep that night because every time I closed my eyes I felt like I was falling, and so I laid there for hours worrying I’d given myself some weird permanent case of roller coaster vertigo). I wanted to talk about falling down again and again, about just lying there laughing helplessly with my legs all twisted up, about not getting it at all but trying anyway, about getting up again, and again, and again. I can’t ski, not at all; my legs were shaking after the first thirty minutes, but I kept cheerfully, doggedly trying for hours. I felt at a complete loss the entire time. I’m glad I went. I kind of want to try it again.

(By contrast, last night I could not for the life of me get a leg yield that was prompt, correctly flexed, square, and forward — I was always losing one of those things. Poe never really felt soft enough. I felt like an utter failure and left the lesson near tears. So, being cheerful about being terrible is a work in progress, I guess.)

My body has been re-living Sunday since then. I was so sore early in the week that it was waking me up in the middle of the night whenever I turned over, my muscles aching and my back popping like bubble wrap. I feel old. And good. I’m moving in about a week (ugh, the packing), and my new apartment has a pretty awesome work-out facility, plus I will have NO neighbors beneath me (Yay!). I’m really looking forward to getting back into an outside-of-riding exercise routine. Hopefully being fitter next year will help me not suck so much.

February 10th, 2011

» Bali: Fri 26 Nov 2010

This morning we snag the raised pavilion by the pool for our breakfast spot, and have the mie goreng (a stir-fried noodle dish), fresh fruit, and tea/coffee. After a leisurely meal we take a stroll around the resort, exploring all the hidden little passageways.

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February 8th, 2011

» Bali: Thu 25 Nov 2010

I’m sitting on our front porch looking out at the morning sun on the rice paddies, listening to the coo of birds and the far-off brash cawing of roosters. Someone has brought around fresh hibiscus flowers for our door and the little shrine next to it (and tried to arrange a cab or shuttle for me), and the main concierge has just come through sweeping the stone walkway (and asked if we want to go to a program today). It is kind and helpful but I admit I’m a little weary already of walking down the street to the constant call of “Taxi?”.

Two — pigeons? something that coos loudly — have recently come walking past on the stone pathway, and paused just in front of the turn-off for our cottage to have a little dance/fight — circling one another and periodically leaping a few feet off the ground in a flurry of beating wings.

An older man just came with our day’s fresh offering, which he set on the little shrine and sprinkled with holy water; he also lit a new stick of incense and tucked it beside the offering’s woven bowl. It was all quite casual & everyday — as he asked if we wanted to arrange a program for today.

Despite lashings of sunscreen I’ve managed a bit of a burn on my neck and shoulders — always the way. At least I remembered to bring aloe!

In life in general lately I’ve been doing an unusual amount of worrying about the future. My resolution for the rest of the trip is to try to let go of that, to embrace the spirit of Bali and live just in this moment.

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