Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Like a bran muffin in the geriatric maze of elderly bowels, I am moved.

The newest chapter of my life has officially begun, and I’m please to announce that I am snug and warmly pleased to call my new apartment home. The building is teaming with hipsters doing hipster things like listening to big band jazz first thing in the morning, or baking while wearing a secondhand, vintage apron. The ladies living upstairs wear floor-length caftans and scarves in their hair. The men sport those skinny-leg jeans, smart button down shirts, and aloof intellectual expressions. That’s right, I live among those my best friends mock (and I like it).

This is very different from my previous apartment, with the sounds of yelling toddlers echoing in the halls and the malodorous cocktail cloud of fish and gym socks hanging in the air. There was a hardness to that university space, a modernist severity that just didn’t suit my personality or purposes. I feel as if I’ve found a structure that fits.

I’ve been very busy in this new space. I now know how to properly hang and fit mini blinds. I now own my own ratchet screwdriver and wonder daily why I didn’t own one before. I’ve potted flowers and herbs in big pots on my deck. I’ve learned to ride my bike like an aggressive commuter – taking on traffic even while sandwiched between two metro buses because my city’s bike lanes are in the center of the street. Riding to and from work is my favorite part of the day, mostly because I feel like a cross between Lance Armstrong and Tina Turner: A damn fine cyclist with badass legs.

This assuages, to some degree, how my month-long break from climbing has made me feel as if I’m starting all over again. Between my conference travel and the wall’s closure for maintenance, I’ve lost some of my gains. Going back for the first time just a few days ago was tough – I had to make peace with limitations all over again. I found myself struggling to complete a 5.6 I had climbed many times before. I struggled at the overhang all over again. It wasn’t a good climbing day.

That being said, I am learning to be patient with my body and to appreciate its need of regular care and investment. I’ve been a nonsmoker for 60 days now – that’s 59 days longer than I ever thought I’d be – and I’m still setting training goals. I’m still working on recipes. And heck, I’m still waiting for the cable dude to hook up my Internet and TV to the rest of the world (Friday? Please, Technology Gods, can it be Friday?). It’s difficult to be witty and charming when clacking away in a fishbowl-style library computer area (thanks, creepy dudes for your unseemly behaviors involving your hands and nether regions that made officials restructure this study area to subdue your Grabby McFeely tendencies), so I’m looking forward to working from home.

Other developments:

A student has offered me a cat named Lebowski. I’m thinking about adopting the dude.

I’ve realized ice cream plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s emotional health.

I’m now even more convinced that BBC’s Top Gear is the greatest show on cable Monday nights.

I think I’ll end with that – mostly because my climbing partner for the day is waiting for me. I’ve got to get back at that 5.6 before I give up on this climbing gig completely.

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