Archive for January, 2009

wind sculptures in the snow

I had the funnest (I am aware that’s not a real word) spin class this past Monday morning and it wouldn’t have happened without my JoJo.  Usually we go to class Monday nights, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to that class.   My 2nd colonoscopy was scheduled for Tuesday so on Monday I would be on a liquid diet.

Anyway, JoJo happened to see that our favorite instructor was going to be subbing for someone else’s class on Monday at 9am.  We both had the day off for MLK Day so I figured PERFECT, I’ll get in a good workout before I’m weak from not eating all day.

Great idea in theory, but when my alarm went off at 8am I didn’t even hit snooze, I turned it off.  When my phone rang I ignored it.  10 minutes later I saw that it was Jojo who’d called and I listened to her adorable little message - she was whispering so she wouldn’t wake up her husband - letting me know she was leaving soon and offering to give me a ride.  I figured I’d already decided I wasn’t going, but I wanted to call to thank her for the offer.

As soon as I heard her voice I knew I should go and actually wanted to go.  She was already at Porter but was willing to come get me if I could be ready in 5 minutes.  HA!  Have you met me?  I can’t be ready in 5 minutes, it’s not in my nature and gets in the way of every instinct I have.  I don’t know if I’ve always been this way, but there’s something about the getting ready process that I get stuck in - I think I may enjoy it more than going out.   In any case, despite my half-asleep state, or maybe thanks to it, I was able to break the natural laws to which I so desperately cling and was ready in 8 minutes.  I even brushed my teeth and gargled mouthwash.

In order to fully understand why I was so excited to get a ride to the gym, you need to know that it had been snowing.  A lot.  For a few days straight.  When I went to bed on Saturday night it was snowing.  When I woke up Sunday it was still snowing.  It stopped for maybe 3 hours on Sunday and started right back up again around 8 that evening.  And I may have lived up here long enough to be considered an honorary New Englander, but the sheer volume of snow we get still surprises and thrills me.  Nashville’s Snowbird would declare Davidson County schools closed for three months if it saw what I was seeing.  It was a beautifully untouched winter wonderland out there.   BUT it would require quite the trudge to get to the gym, so a ride was enormously appreciated.

We arrived with plenty of time, found the bikes we liked and started riding before class started.  The view from our spin studio is of Porter Square T-stop at the intersection of Somerville, Massachusetts and White Avenues.  We were looking at snow piled almost a foot high along the metal arms of the traffic lights and atop every single pole and parking meter.  There were also approximately 70 icicles and icicle groupings big enough to see from two blocks away.  The natural light and view are what make this studio so special.

I noticed that the wind sculpture outside was thoroughly shellacked with snow in exactly the form and shape of the sculpture.  It was also standing stock still, not turning even an inch, as though the snow weighed the whole beast down.  I pointed it out to Jo and hoped we’d get to see the snow slip off during class.

The wind sculpture at Porter looks like three big red metal hot-air balloons.  Here’s a link so you can see it for yourself:  Gift of the Wind.  If I’d had my iPhone w/me in class I’d have taken a shot it gloriously snow-covered.

The first snow to drop were the piles along the streetlights.  They fell in huge, rectangular chunks and exploded on the street below - very satisfying.  After a while the sculpture started to rotate and the sun began to intermittently peek through the clouds.  Throughout class we watched the snow slip off the wind sculpture and smash to the ground like a small avalanche.  The whole class and Jon were all in on it and we were whooping and squealing whenever some more would fall.  It was amazing.

All this went hand in hand with the fact that I felt great.  Physically I felt like I could easily have done a double and mentally I was filled with childlike joy and pleasure at the snow show.  It was all kind of surreal and awesome.

As I write this I’m trying to see it from a 3rd person perspective.  I can imagine someone might consider me dramatic or overly sentimental, but I’m all about the little things.  If I’d stayed in bed I would have missed it all, so thank you so much, JoJo.  <3

mouse in the house

For the past few weeks I’ve noticed Lucy sitting in one of two spots in the kitchen and not moving.   I’ll leave the room with her like that and walk by half an hour later and she’s in the same position.  Like she’s waiting.  Chris said he saw her unmoving for most of the night one time.  What gives, stupid?

Obviously I’m the stupid one because it finally dawned on me that I must have a mouse.   Suddenly I remembered a conversation I had with one of my downstairs neighbors months ago.  She’d told me they had a bad mouse problem and I was so surprised because I’ve never seen one in my apartment and I’ve been here 5 1/2 years.  But I have a cat.  The last time I had a mouse was when I lived in the South End years and years ago and I didn’t have Lucy yet.

Three cheers for the cat - another thing to love about my furry, crazy-lovey little critter.  And I don’t mind the mouse because I’ve not seen it and it definitely keeps her occupied.  After all, she’s 14 years old and you know what they say about keeping the mind agile as you age.  I’m sure that applies to cats as well.

game show host

I don’t remember my dreams every morning, but sometimes I wake and I just can’t believe what my brain put together.  Rarely do they have a straightforward storyline.  If there’s even a semblance of one, there are too many discrepancies and disjointed moments like how-the-hell-did-I-get-from-the-kitchen-to-the-back-of-that-bus-like-that to relate it to anyone else.  The gaffer on the movie of my dream has one hell of a big job to clean up.

But the other night I had a strange one wherein I’m climbing these white wooden stairs outside a house and it’s raining.  I see this wee orange cat mewing and crying and soaked.  In the dream I’m aware of a backstory to this kitty, that it’s always been skittish around me, but because of its circumstances it lets me pick it up to bring it somewhere dry.  I look around and there are even more cats and I realize I already have a squirrel in my arms.  It’s acting very sedate and I remember thinking, ‘cool!  I get to have a pet squirrel like I always wanted!’  I put the orange cat down once we’re under an awning and it looks up at me and says, “You should be a game show host!”  and starts laughing in this weird, cartoonish high-pitched yet scratchy voice.   The other cats (about 4 total) all start laughing too and saying, “Yeah, YEAH, he’s right!  She SHOULD be a game show host.”

That’s about all I can recall.  Normally I can make some sense of my dreams, can figure out why certain people or characters make appearances, what specific events are being symbolically played out and what my brain is trying to work out.  Those are all well and good, but the above-described dreams are the real gold.  Seriously, come on!  What the hell does that mean?  Who knows?  Who cares?  It’s funny!  That’s all I need.  Absurdity and humor, preferably mixed together in the cocktail glass of my skull.

But that one’s nothing compared to the dream Chris had the other night.  We each half awoke long enough for him to tell me about it and fall back asleep.

He was driving down an empty street when he came upon a lion.  He couldn’t drive around it, it was lying in such a way as to block any egress.  So he stopped and sat in his car to wait it out.  The lion got up and came toward his car, then climbed up on top of his hood.  As it reached the top of the passenger compartment the roof buckled and he said the noise was so loud and so real, he was stunned his brain could create that noise.

The lion continued down on top of the trunk of the car and moved on off the back.  When it was a safe distance away Chris said, “Yeah, so I got out and I lifted up the front end of my car to see what damage the lion had inflicted.  I looked and saw my struts were made of bacon.”

I love how everything in dreams is dismissed as normal.  Not only did he have to stop because of a lion in the road, but the lion climbed over his car and he was worried about what it did to the car so he simply got out and lifted it up like it was a coffee table and, oh, some of the cars parts are made of bacon.   I laughed my ass off.  I love it.