Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Quick-ish Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 123)

1) The weather was being singularly uncooperative the other day, so instead of hiking in the rain and hail, I decided to see about getting some more memory for my computer.  Turns out that they don't do that for ancient computers as old as mine (just over 2 years old).  So I wandered the shopping center and browsed furniture (I might actually get furniture!), and then I found myself in some clothing stores.  In particular, I found myself in White House, Black Market.  They have such pretty clothes there, it's just really too bad that I can't afford them.  But I decided to play dress up anyway and tried on a whole bunch of dresses just because they were pretty and I wanted to try them on.  I don't normally do that, and it was surprisingly fun!  Between the $150+ price tags, some "missing" fabric, and the fact that I don't really have any dress up occasions in my near future, I didn't get anything, but it was fun to try them on.  Some were pretty, and others definitely didn't fit my body type, but it's not a bad way to spend a little time.

2) Climbing last weekend was very fun.  I had a great group to work with, and I made it up the 3 routes I tried.  There was one that I almost gave up twice, so let me tell you, the top of that one was extra sweet!  On the rocks we were on, I was not worried about falling.  I trusted the ropes and I trusted the belayer (the person holding the ropes).  When I slipped, the worst that could happen was that I would land against the rock a little bit (which I did, so my knees looked special for a few days).  I was worried about whether I would be able to complete the route or not.  I can't wait to get back out on the rocks and try it again, but I'll have to settle for the climbing gym this week. Due to rain, the rocks are too slippery.

3) Rappeling was also fun.  (There are some pictures on fb if anyone wants to see.) It was REALLY cold that day, so that was an issue.  My harness won't fit over my winter coat, so I took my coat off to go down (the first time; I did it once more and decided I was enough of a pro -ha!- that I would leave the coat on the outside and just unzip).  That meant that by the time it was my turn, I was shaking from the cold at least, and I'm sure the nerves didn't help.  Standing on the edge of the cliff shaking, while you try to make your hands work... Good times!  It was safe, though.  You're anchored in while you're up there until you're certain that you're all set up for the rappel.  Then all you have to do is unclip the anchor and step off the edge of the cliff.  Easy, right?  For some I'm sure it is, but there is something that is not natural about standing at the edge and leaning backwards.  It's easier when you lean backwards, but it's hard to trust physics and ignore the natural instincts of the body to want to cling as close to solidness as possible.  Once you're over the edge, though, it's a good time!

4) I make no secret of the fact that I would really prefer not to be single. (Is there an award for the biggest understatement?  Or would it be the smallest understatement?  Anyway...)  However, there are perks, even to this, and getting a chance to go out and try rock climbing is definitely one of them.  I don't know how far I'll go with it, but at least I've gotten a chance to try it, and will likely do it some more this summer.  I know that married people and people with kids can rock climb, too, but clearly there are fewer obstacles as a single person.  My not-so-awesome prayer of thanksgiving after last weekend went something like this "Okay, God, that was pretty cool, so thanks for the opportunity to work that all out.  Not cool enough to have instead of a husband and children, but a nice thing for now."  It's true that I am more thankful than that prayer sounded, but there's a part of me that wants to be sure that He doesn't forget or think that makes up for it.  As if He would, but I am immaturity personified at times like this.

5)  So after climbing and hiking off trail, my legs have more scratches and bruises than they've had since elementary school!  I'm okay with it, and I couldn't help but grin at my battle scars poking out from under the dresses.  They don't hurt, and they're a sign that I'm playing harder than I have in years.  Actually, speaking of bruises, it turns out that I did not get a bruise from the pool ball.  I was kind of disappointed, to be honest.  It did make my knee click a little for a day, but luckily I know some PT's, so I was fixed up in no time!  For the one person that was actually curious (and who came up with some awesome scenarios, none of which were close- but nice try, M.!), I have to tell the story of the pool ball incident.  I was hiking with a group of people to this little "ghost town" area that was off trail.  It's not the type of ghost town that you picture, just where a little village used to be and where there are still the remains of a couple of buildings.  You find some of the expected refuse, like buckets, bathtubs, refrigerators and bedsprings.  Then there are the slightly more quirky items, like the VW hubcab and most of a pool ball.  Now, I'm not sure what really happened to the pool ball, but there was a chunk of it missing.  One of my friends said an animal ate it.  Of course I argued with her.  There's no way that an animal ate that, it must have been broken off.  In the middle of our faux argument, she picks up the ball and throws it against a rock to see if it breaks.  And the answer is that it does not break, but it can ricochet... Like into someone's knee, for example.

6) I am hopeful that I may finally have a place to live.  I turned in the application, but their system's down, so they haven't gotten back to me yet.  It is an apartment, and it's a little older than where I am now, but it may be better built than my current one.  It has a little fireplace, and the community has a sauna and a jacuzzi, as well as a pool in the summer.  Jacuzzi fungi of various sorts always creeps me out a little, but not enough to keep me out!  I'm thinking it'll be the perfect place after a long hike, or better yet, after snowshoeing.  I can't see the mountains very well from the apartment that I'll have (if I get it), but there is a good view. And (see above) it's a little easier area to move into and out of, so I'm much more motivated to look into a little more furniture.  Actually, for a few months at least I'm going to borrow a couch from someone.  It'll be nice to actually have a couch!  On the other hand, I only have one butt, so I only need one place to park it.  What'll I do with a couch and a chair?? :)

7) Those were all on the longish side, but now I'm running out, so I'll give you a break.  Have a great weekend, and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good Grief!

***Just so you know, I have not really hurt myself today except a couple of scratches and bruises. Therefore, this cracks me up.  

So today I managed to scrape my hands and knuckles a little bit.  That might be acceptable if I'd done it hiking or climbing or something like that (little scratches from bushwhacking are perfectly okay).  But, no.  I managed to biff it on my way out of church this morning.  Full out on the side walk, and of course I'd chosen to wear a skirt this morning.

It's crazy how much time you have to think on your way down.  I caught my foot on a crack in the sidewalk, and I knew I was going to stumble and that it would be ungraceful.  Then I realized it wasn't going to be a little stumble, it was going to be a fall.  My main concern before I hit the ground was "There's no hiding it, of course someone is going to see this."  Got to love our pride.  I don't care if I'm injured or not, just as long as no one sees it!

Anyway, at first I was really embarrassed, and then I was really amused and had to let some people know.  My old grad school roomie had the best response.  She sent me a text that said "You do know you're only supposed to sip the communion wine, right?"

And that's not even my best story about getting banged up today.

Later in the day I got hit in the knee with a pool ball.

While on a hike.

No lie!  I wouldn't kid you about something like this, mostly because I lack the creativity to make it up. I'd tell you the story, seeing as how it is not nearly as embarrassing as a face plant in front of church, but I'd rather let you live with the mystery for a little while.  Seriously, if anyone comes up with a good story as to what could have possibly happened, I will give you a prize.  A real one, too, not just a virtual pat on the back.

So that was my Sunday.  How was yours?

Friday, May 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Climbing Edition

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 123)

1) Today (Thursday), I went to the climbing gym.  I have a rock climbing class next week, and an acquaintance very kindly offered to teach me some things.  I took her up on it.  It's true that I'll learn it all next week, but I have a feeling that all at once will be overwhelming, and I thought it might be easier to take her up on her offer.

2)  So, this is my first time ever climbing with ropes and harnesses and stuff.  Yet the thing that almost kept me home had nothing to do with the climbing part.  No, it was the part about doing something new with people I don't really know. (Those of you who are lucky enough to be extroverts- this probably makes no sense to you, and I can't explain it.  Fellow introverts, can I get an amen?) Two scenarios usually come about.  1- I get really quiet. 2- Verbal diarrhea.  Unfortunately, with the nerves, it was the second option.  As I left, I marveled over the fact that technically my mouth is under my own control, so why didn't I stop it??  One of the great mysteries of life, I guess.

3) I had so very many opportunities to turn around.  First, I almost backed out by not driving down there.  Then I couldn't find parking.  Finally when I got there and got signed in, it was almost the final straw.  Let me just say, when you get a day pass and have to rent all the equipment... Holy expensive!!  I really don't need another hobby to spend money on.  I have enough of those already.

4)  That being said, though my introvert anxieties kept me distracted for a while, the more we talked and the closer I got to actually having to climb, the more nervous I got about the climbing part.  I stood there looking at the top of the wall so very far away and tried to think of more questions that would keep my feet on the ground without me actually having to chicken out.  Finally, though...

5) I did it!  The very first one was easy with really easy hand holds, mostly like climbing a ladder.  The worst part is looking way down and telling my partner that I was ready to lower, and she yells back up that I have to let go of the wall first.  Umm, do I have to?  So I let go of the wall, but I'm clinging to the rope, and then she tells me that I have to let go of that as well.  Dang it!  She said I did really well and looked really relaxed.  Did I?  Well, that's nice.  Now if someone had only informed my mouth that I was relaxed; I don't think I've had that dry of a mouth in a really long time!  It was like someone had sucked all the saliva out.  Speaking was a bit of a challenge at that point (unfortunately, I got over that later.  Why, oh why, couldn't the dry mouth have come at a better time to save me from myself?)

6) I also learned how to belay. (That's where I hold the rope while someone else climbs. Someone's life is literally in my hands, and I think it was nearly as scary as being on the wall myself.)  The first time, my friend had someone else come over and watch me while she climbed (you know, to make sure I didn't drop her).  The person that watched me didn't say much, but when he left, he said it looked good, and that he'd climb on that belay.  My friend said later that's a huge compliment coming from that particular person.

7)  My favorite part was learning how to tie one of the knots.  My friend was trying to show me, but she was having a hard time teaching me.  So she has someone else come over.  He tells me to make a loop with the rope.  He says to picture someone I don't like and imagine the loop is their head.  Then I'm to wrap the rope around their neck and poke them in the eye with the end of the rope.  Bloodthirsty, but effective!  After that, I got it right away.  No, I don't actually hate anyone enough to picture them while I do it, but the overall mental picture made it super easy to get the knot.

All in all, the whole thing still scares me a bit, but I find that I already want to try again (in theory, anyway... staring up at the climb right before you do it is not as fun).  Anyway, head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes, and have a great weekend!