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.

15 June 2009

No, seriously, it was scary.

This morning, that song "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" came up on my iPod. In the midst of the varied advice, the man says, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

So, I did: I tried riding my bike with no hands on the way home.

Now, I've been working on this little skill off and on (a few seconds at a time) for a couple of months. Today, I tried the whole of the one street that I ride on that isn't busy, which amounts to about six blocks. I think the best I did was nearly a whole block before having to grab the handlebars and adjust. Which, given my natural senses of balance, grace and coordination, is nothing short of miraculous.

I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to pick up on this; my cousins could do it, my friends could do it, my husband does it very well (neighbourhood kids stop what they are doing and stare in awe when he rides by), but I've never been able to. Until now.

I'll keep practising-- but now I have to find a new thing that scares me to do tomorrow. Perhaps I'll stare down a spider.

13 June 2009

Less than stellar, alas.

I started the year off with three fantastic races (5 mile, 1/2 marathon, 10K), followed by two that were, um, less fantastic.

But that's okay.

I really, really wanted a PR today. I have been looking forward to this race for about six months, with the hopes of getting my time down to 1:02:00 (that's a 10-minute per-mile pace). The past few days, I had eased up a bit and decided I would be just as happy with 1:02:30, which is about 20 seconds faster than my current PR.

I finished in 1:03:45. Or, about one minute slower than my current PR. Bummer.

So, after a few tears at the finish line (that's become a recurring theme for me, anyway) and a growl for anyone who dared asked me if I met my goal (sorry about that!), I have recovered. We have at least two more 10Ks before the year is out. Plenty of time to hit that magical 10-minute pace that I've been looking for.

So, on Monday, it's back to work.

07 June 2009

French Open Glory

I love tennis. A lot. I can't play, of course, because that would require hand-eye coordination, but I love to watch other people play. Especially when those people play really, really well.

I would have loved another Federer v Nadal final. I'm still not tired of watching those two play each other. But I found that I could equally well love a Federer v anyone final. And I had my eyes glued to the screen, not wanting to miss a moment. I was standing in the middle of my living room for the last game, to better facilitate the exuberant jumping that occurs when Roger Federer wins things.

Part of my love for tennis comes from the moment common to all sports: the reaction of the winner. I loved when Roger fell to the ground in tears after winning his fifth Wimbledon. Even better (if there is such a thing) was Rafa climbing into the stands to embrace his parents after winning his first Wimbledon. And today, Roger screamed as he fell to his knees, rejoicing in the moment, before hitting a ball into the stands. I love the reaction.

And I'll probably be smiling all week. Can't wait for Wimbledon. Also, before next year, I must learn French.

02 June 2009

Please click here...

... to have a look at Beth's blog and the cause she is championing. Pretty good cause, I'd say. And, you get a chance to win some pretty yarn.

In the middle of our street

So we went for a walk Sunday afternoon.

It was, as most (all) of our walks are, for a purpose; we needed laundry detergent. So, out the door we went. I was struck, for the umpteenth time, by how much of my neighbourhood I miss by driving. There are geese in just about every yard (not the mad geese, by the way; these seem to be more docile) around the park, which provides many opportunities for amusement, although possibly not for the homeowners. I saw a couple of pretty angel statues in the yard on the corner for the first time; I've driven past there hundreds of times and never seen them.

And to get to the store, we went through two different church parking lots just as everyone was leaving. Two different denominations, two different groups of people, don't know us from any other John or Jane (or Chad or Susan) they might see, and do you know what happened? Everyone who we got near to smiled and said hello.

I fail to see the advantage in driving.

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