[8/52] February 29, 2012


Dear Reader,

Happy Leap Day. Or something. If you really are into Leap Day, you should definitely watch 30 Rock’s version of it.

I must confess something. I’m a champion procrastinator, and I’ve been doing things to avoid writing. So i made myself write at least a draft before sleeping.

I think the problem is I don’t know what to write about. My topics are too general, and it’s like writing a weekly column, except I’m not in any particular section.

The other problem is that I have been reading quite a lot. All the time spent reading is time not spent on writing.


I’m going to write about what I read. Ha. Actually, it’s been a good reading week. I finished Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner and was sad to have finished it. It was more Austenian than the novel that preceded it (Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook collector), complete with sparkling and witty dialogue. I kid you not on the last part.

Then I decided to read Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Oh my goodness. This is the book that should be read in winter, under a comforting blanket, with a roaring fireplace, a furry dog at your feet, and a mug of hot cocoa at your side. And of course, there’d be snow slowly falling outside your window. This stuff is made of winter fantasies, although it’s really just beautiful descriptions of Alaskan wilderness. The book is based on a Russian fairy tale but reminded me of the movie The Sweet Land. Just replace the midwest with Alaska and that’s how I would describe the novel– an Alaskan version of The Sweet Land and a fairytale. I kept thinking about the novel afterwards, thinking about symbolism, about women and children, about marriage, about families, about love, and how the novel isn’t really about one of these subjects but many things.

I was also sad to have finished that one. So I got another book and finally finished using up my book gift card (my favorite solstice gift). It is generally a sign that I should get the book when I read the sample, laugh so hard that I cannot eat (I was having lunch), and cannot help sharing that funny part because everyone should know it and laugh as hard as I have. So I moved on to Sheepish by Catherine Friend, and made sure I was not eating or drinking anything…and finished it in an evening. Oops. It’s a memoir about sheep farming but it also talks about wool, the history and the weirdness and the eventual world domination (did I just say that? I meant that the whole world would be eventually covered in wool). So if you are looking for a quick entertaining read, this is a good one.

So. Back to the problem board of, whatever shall I read next?

Right now, I’m sampling The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. So far, they look promising. I just have to remember that I don’t have to finish them in one sitting, though I can’t tell if that’s really my fault or the book’s.

So my week was fairly exciting. A little too exciting, really. There was a Migraine (with capital M) and while I successfully kept my food in this time, it kept trying to rear its ugly head over and over. Part of this is because we have a completely wacky weather system. Monday, we had snow, though most of it melted by noon. Tuesday, it was a high of 70 F or some such. Wednesday, it was a high of almost 80 F. Friday, we had a tornado warning and a slightly violent thunderstorm. The weekend it was windy and cold (50s). Calling the weather mercurial might be calling the kettle black.

At least the weekend wasn’t too bad. On Saturday, we got to see Luchadoras in their third show. In case you don’t know what Luchadoras is, it’s ladies’ mexican wrestling. Or rather, a show of ladies’ mexican wrestling (not that it matters). It’s generally pretty fun and you get to contribute money to a good cause. There are colorful masks and gold lame hot pants a-plenty. There are also some very tall women (one combatant was 6′ 4″ – no joke. She towered over her opponent, quite literally). Also, reading their biographies (in the link above) makes me giggle quite a bit. They also had interesting breaks in which 6 grown adult women fight for a mask (no, really). They were going to do the same, giving 2 gift bags to 2 girls, except 6 girls stepped forward and were in the ring before anyone could do anything. I think it would have been fair to have the 6 little girls fight for the bags, too, but I guess no one really wanted to see a crying kid.

On Sunday, we went for a short bike ride before settling ourselves somewhere on Ninth Street to watch the Derby. Basically, it’s a bike race in which cyclists ride around the entire Ninth street block for some X number of laps (called a criterium). There were collegiate races, kids’ races, and finally, category/purse races (anyone can join, pay a fee, and whoever is the fastest gets the loot. The purses ranged from $100-500). It was a lot of fun, and it was nice to have Ninth St. closed off to traffic (something they should do more often), and the kids’ races were kind of hilarious (they didn’t even do laps).

I did felt like a diabetic border collie, though. Let me explain- it comes from a story that Mr. Yum told me a long time ago. He had a friend of a friend who had a diabetic border collie. This was unusual, because most border collies are neurotic and very high energy and require at least 3 hours of constant exercise. One of those exercises is flyball, in which the dog has to run and jump over hurdles, catch a ball from a ball spitter (like a tennis ball training machine), and race other dogs back to the start line, running and jumping the whole time. The diabetic border collie did not have that energy drive and wasn’t neurotic. If I remember correctly, he was just basically content with 2 walks and a lot of lounging around. So his human would take him to flyball races, whether to cheer other dogs on or out of curiousity, and the dog would sit and watch and wonder why anyone else would do that. Now I know how that dog felt! Most racing bikes are not under the aesthetically pleasing category, and let’s not even talk about lycra ( grown men wearing pastel polka dots! having the word “gyro” all over your thighs! the colorful and supposedly aerodynamic booties! Actually, the booties made me think of Hermes, the messenger of Greek gods. I would not be surprised if there were little wings on the ankles…). Then there is the racing factor, which is sort of cool and sort of…pointless (it’s really either for money or for the numbers on a scoreboard) and kinda dangerous (going at 30-40 mph at corners with about 200 other cyclists all around you? No thanks). Still, it was fun and I took way too many pictures. Oops.

So that was an exciting weekend. It looks like the next one might be busy- we are having guests…

Til next time!

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