What are we talking about today?

Normal topics suspended for the A to Z Challenge. It's all books from April 1-30.

If you're here from the A to Z Challenge hoping I'll comment back if you comment first: Sorry to disappoint, but that probably won't happen. I work full-time and I grad school full-time, so I can't give the time to blog commenting that I would like. I'll visit after the end of the semester, I hope.

27 June 2006

Falling down

Yes, my husband talked me into a Pilates class. And also yoga. I was using my gym membership for such dull things as the weight machines, stairmasters, and rock climbing wall, but it turns out there are even more exciting things to do there-- in the shape of yoga and pilates, apparently.

So, what happens when an inflexible, slightly overweight woman who can't even stand up without falling over takes yoga? As if we were in any doubt about my inner ear and its ability to keep my upright, I went to yoga to find out for sure that I have no balance. Haven't hit the floor yet, though-- many years of practise at catching myself are paying off. However, I have been practising at home, and I can now do the "tree" for almost two minutes before having to put my hand on the wall to steady myself. Unfortunately, we haven't done that one yet this week. After all my practise? Come on!

Also would like to report that after hovering at the same weight for months, I finally broke through my plateau! Hip, hip, hooray! Long may it last!

25 June 2006

Don't Walk

Okay, this may be a minor rant:

This is not a city that is pedestrian-friendly. To begin with, most of the sidewalks are on east-west streets. If you want to go north or south, you're on your own. And pedestrian crossings are a joke, where they exist at all. If you're lucky, the "Walk" signal will get you to the middle of the street (you know, just where the traffic turning left can run over you). And that's if you're lucky. Usually I get about three steps before I'm staring a flashing "Dont Walk" in the face. Very helpful. (How I long for the nicely planned pedestrian crossings in the UK...)

Cyclists are a little better off, because there are at least planned bike routes around. However, the city planners didn't take into account that cyclists might want to go, say, to the grocery store. Or the movies. Or the bank. Or anywhere but a public park, really. Which really strikes me as hilarious-- do cyclists only go to parks? Who needs a park if you are already out riding your bike? I don't know what I would do after riding to a park. Walk around and enjoy the... um... flatness?

Upon further reflection, riding my bike to the park would allow me a grand revenge on the mad ducks. Heh heh heh.

Anyway... mini-rant over.

Having said that, I will say for the umpteenth time that I do enjoy riding my bike. Much, much more so than I every enjoyed driving my car (I realise that sounds bizarre). Yesterday morning I went out to run some errands (actually I was comparing prices for a blender) at about 9:15. When I told Chad about my plan (stop at 4 stores + bank, buy from the cheapest) he said, "So you're just going to shop?" Imagine that-- I'm a woman who likes to shop from time to time. Alert the media. So when I told him that I was kind of excited by the prospect, since it's been ages (almost a year, actually), since I've done so, he more or less wished me well and sent me on my way. Hee.

Anyway, it was totally liberating to be riding around on my bike. I was getting some great exercise, enjoying a nice morning (sunny and not too hot, if you can believe that), and-- here's the best part-- I spent a grand total of $0 on fuel. The only "fuel" I really used was a litre of water. Which is good for me anyway. So, after I made 6 stops (I added a store, due to its proximity to a planned stop), I then went back to two of the stores I had already stopped at, to get a couple of different things. And I ended up getting the blender at Target (they've got a great sale going, by the way, if anyone needs a blender), which was both my first and last stop, since it's the closest to our house. Anyway, here's the point: I was out for about 3 hours comparing and shopping. Seriously, if I had taken a car, I'm willing to bet I would have spent the exact same amount of time. I'm almost certain of it, just based on past shopping trips with a car. So I was pretty happy.

And in other news, the US is out of the World Cup, Mexico is out (I usually support them as well, being as they are neighbours), and England is still in. Nothing is going my way in this World Cup. Although I do give all kudos to Ghana, they are doing brilliantly and I do always like to cheer for the underdog. Even if they did knock the US out.

22 June 2006

A (less than?) spectacular finish

Found this earlier and I was delighted.

Okay, so the US has exited the World Cup. Since I was technically at work, I didn't get to watch most of the game, and just had the "official site" window open to see live updates. The woman who sits next to me was, I think, less than amused at my continual groans of despair (although my small display of delight at our one goal did draw more interest my way). I did see the last 10-15 minutes, which was nice, although Claudio Reyna was not on the field by that point and he is the player I most enjoy watching. So, well done Ghana. We'll be back.

14 June 2006

Heading Home

We've now been in California for (nearly) a week, and it's time to go home. But not before getting our hands on some Carl's Jr. I am still in shock that Lubbockites are unable to appreciate the finer fast foods in life... but they are. Carl's Jr. has now come and gone-- twice-- in Lubbock. So we'll get it while we can.

The weather here has been great-- so nice and cool. Temps in the 60s-70s are a welcome change after 100s. But back we go this afternoon. And while it has crossed our minds a few times this week to move out here, the reality is I like living in an inexpensive place. And that's certainly not here.

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