April 18, 2012

Aerials, Anchors, & Little Helpers

It simultaneously feels like time is flying and we're super busy, and that we're not doing anything at all.  I'm trying to remember everything that's happened since my last post.  At first, I didn't think it was much, but the more I think about it, it's kind of a lot.  Not all of it is interesting though.

Remember "Mark"?  He came over for a bit yesterday.  It was absolutely gorgeous out.  Just the right amount of sun and heat and breeze with no humidity.  He spent some time attempting to catch the cats, who had never been around children before.  They were understandably wary, but surprisingly well behaved.  They even ended up taking treats from his hand, though we had to help him hold still enough that the cats didn't start.  When it seemed like the cats had had enough treats, Sarah told me how much "Mark" loves watering plants.  She was not kidding!  I think he watered my tomato about 20 times.  It's a good thing I wasn't putting much in his watering can.  I had a little one hiding in the cabinets that I never use, and I was filling it up on the balcony from my big one so his wasn't too heavy.  After the big one was empty, we tried telling him he was done and the water was gone.  And then he discovered the cats' water fountain and attempted to refill the big one himself.  It would seem he doesn't quite understand water flow yet ;)

SFriend - 08
"Mark" attempts to refill the watering can.
DS has been taking me to Birdsboro Rock Quarry, which is now a sport climbing place and lake.  I've never been a serious outdoor climber, and what little I have done was mostly top roping.  I had some things to learn about proper technique for clipping and cleaning the anchor.  It makes climbing quite a bit scarier, because you typically have further to fall than you do with a top rope.  It took two trips, but I've learned enough that I can do everything.  Now I just need to work on my outdoor climbing skills (outdoor climbs are a bit harder than indoor ones typically) and my nerve.  It's really exciting stuff, and I love that DS and I have a physical activity that we can do together again.

In an attempt to motivate ourselves to keep working out, Sarah and I have decided to run a 5k this summer.  I've never run anything before.  I'm a horrible runner.  But I have noticed that in the year since I last visited a real gym I've gotten significantly better at it.  Not to say I'm "good", but by comparison, definitely better.  I'm nervous about the idea of running anything at all, though this race is not typical.  It's called Color Me Rad, (seems almost identical to The Color Run) and you can walk or run or anything you want.  It's not timed.  You wear white and get hit with "color bombs" which dye you all kinds of crazy colors.  I think it will be a lot of fun, and it seems like the perfect way to try out a 5k.

Monday DS and I checked out a gymnastics studio which recently put up a rock climbing wall.  We weren't expecting the wall to be very big, but we did have hopes about the studio equipment.  It was advertised as Open Gym, and their website indicated that they provide instruction on vault, bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.  Floor exercise alone is huge in terms of space.  Unfortunately, this place was tiny.  It had a bar, but it was for small children.  The trampoline wasn't much bigger than those individual ones people put in their houses.  I was pretty bummed, as I was looking forward to playing around with stuff I haven't had access to since high school.  But there was a slackline, which is harder than I imagined, and a mat laid out for a line of tumbling.  A few of us were attempting aerials.  I used to be able to do one, but it would seem that now I have trouble trusting my body to make it around without killing me; my hands kept reaching for the floor at the last minute.  It's a very strange thing to have muscle memory for things your body can't do anymore.  I remember in exacting detail how to do each aspect of a back handspring, but if I tried one now, I'd most likely break my neck.  I have dreams all the time about doing gymnastics.  I miss it a lot.

Oh, and I got my new glasses today!  Hooray for being able to see again! :D

April 09, 2012

"Trapped Princess in the Tower"*

or: How I Spent the Day Locked on the Balcony

It was not my best day.  Certainly not my worst, but still, not very good.  The locks on our doors only have key holes on the outside.  The inside has L-shaped door knobs, and a twisting thing for the dead bolt and lock.  The one mechanism serves as both options.  When the switch is vertical, the door is completely unlocked and openable from both sides.  At horizontal, both the door knob will not turn and the dead bolt is thrown.  When you unlock it, by default it slides into a position between these two.  Here, the door knob will turn from the inside, and the dead bolt is open, but the door is still locked from the outside.  This is how our locks are most of the time we're home.

I've never really thought too much about the balcony door locking from the outside, even though I've accidentally locked myself out of the front door once before by forgetting to double check the funny lock. The lock on the balcony door for the most part just keeps the door closed for us, since it's pretty warped from all the times the ceiling has leaked over it.  Actually closing the door is usually difficult.  We've lived here nearly 2 years now, and never once have I had to worry about the status of my balcony door lock.

I went out on the balcony today to check on my plants as usual.  Felix joined me.  I was in pajamas, no shoes or socks, just a thin pair of flip flops to keep the rust off my feet.  We must have been out there for 2 minutes when a gust of wind from the open bedroom window slammed the door shut.  With it half locked.

It was some time between 2:45 and 3.  It was windy, and a little on the chilly side for no socks and short sleeves.  The balcony floor is metal.  DS wasn't due to come home from work until 6:30, and both my phone and keys were in the house still.  Felix and I reluctantly settled in for a long wait.

There were two things regarding this experience for which I was grateful:  It wasn't raining, and there's a shower curtain folded up on the balcony for emergency plant protection.  That shower curtain was my only protection from the wind, and I did my best to curl up in it so I would freeze.  The plastic kept Felix from wanting to curl up with me, which is too bad, because I was still fairly cold even with the wind protection.  She also was very offended that I was not letting her back in the house, and she spent the 3.5 hours I was stuck out there crying.

I attempted to sleep some, but mostly only managed a sort of meditative state to pass the time.  I also spent a lot of time watching the clouds, which wasn't so bad, and watching people either walk their dogs or walk/run past.  I couldn't see any clocks from where I was, so I tried to judge the passage of time by the way traffic changed and how many cars were parking, or how many people were in the easement next to the interstate playing with their dogs.

Felix and I were both very relieved when DS came home and freed us.  We were hungry and cold and in need of bathrooms.  The rest of the evening has been spent huddled in blankets and vegging on the couch.  For both of us.  Perhaps it's not so unusual for her, being a cat and all.

So note to self:  Always fully unlock the balcony door before going out there, just to be safe.

*My special thanks to Monkey for putting my day into words that gave it a sense of whimsy.  It somehow made it better.

April 03, 2012

Busy Busy

So much to do lately!  It's all good stuff, but it's piling up in a way that's verging on stressful.  I need to work on time management!

Saturday I walked around with Bri downtown to help her find a new apartment.  It was chilly, and a bit damp, but I haven't been seeing much of her so it was nice to have time to talk.  Also, we found an adorable studio downtown with great views of the city.  The landlord is letting her paint.  Exciting!  DS and I also picked up a new climbing rope and a helmet for me.  Outdoor climbing is so close.

Sunday was climbing gym day.  We were there for several hours, and I managed to completely exhaust myself.  It's a good feeling.  Also, I on-sighted a 5.8 climb.  Whoo!  I love how you always know how well you're doing in climbing because of the rating system.  As we were walking home, we were asked by Sarah and Bri to join them for dinner at a place right by our house, so we changed quickly and met up with them.  And then after that we hurried to Dan's house to watch the premier of Season 2 of Game of Thrones (omg so excited for this season).

Monday I went to a regular gym with Sarah.  We scored a Groupon deal that got us 20 non-consecutive visits for just $15, which includes all their classes and tanning and sauna and everything that's there.  It's a pretty sweet deal.  We ended up being there for 2 hours, and I was completely surprised by how easily I was able to jog on the treadmill.  Afterwards we went back to her place so I could work on her couch some more.  And when it was time to go home and I was still working on the same cushion, I got exasperated and asked to steal a cushion so I could work on it at home.  I had a quick dinner with DS and then met up with Bri again to help her move some stuff into her new apartment.  We measured all the walls for reference, since she'll have to pare down some of her furniture in this place.  When I got home I used my drafting skills to draw it all out to-scale for her.  And then I spent some time watching Star Trek: The Next Generation while I pinned fabric for a couch cushion.

Today I have an eye doctor appointment.  I'm excited to finally be able to get glasses that aren't scratched up from hurricane...  I think they've been giving me headaches, so I'm looking forward to alleviating those.  I have a lot of house chores to catch up on since I haven't been home much.  More couch to sew.  Possibly measuring Bri's furniture.  And First Friday is this week, so I've been trying to find time to work on making new things to sell.

So much happening!  It doesn't make for very exciting blog posts, but what can you do.  The rest of the week and weekend are looking busy also.