Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Fending Off the Snarkies & getting going on symposium...

I’m home in Brooklyn tonight instead of with the kitties – somehow I ended up with no gym clothes up there & seeing as we are going into our weekendless 2-week work marathon as we finish up the budget, I have to have gym clothes ‘cause stealing time for an hour workout here & there is the one thing that is going to keep me sane through this. I’ve basically been a potato (albeit a potato that walks a couple of miles after work just because I HAVE to do something & walking’s one thing I CAN do in casual office attire) for the last week & between that, overwork & some other loose ends in my life needing to be tied up (I think they are now, not in quite the way I would’ve liked but in a “shrug, oh well” kind of way which I guess is ok) I can just feel myself getting crankier day by day. Kinda like Tuna Girl, my favorite funny/poignant/sexy/tough/warmhearted military-wife&mom blogger – she was feeling very very sad on Monday (her husband’s deployed & far far away right now so she’s more justified than me anyways) – then she realized she hadn’t hit the gym for a long time, so she went & the next day’s post wasn't so sad. Naturally she’s still missing her Tuna Man but just working out made her feel a bit better. If a good workout can help a person handle having her husband halfway around the world, it should be even more effective for getting through a little plain old hard work.

I actually got a bit snarky on NYCKayaker, our local kayak listserve, today – I think I refer to this early early on in this blog, like on Day 1, one of the reasons for starting this blog were a couple of back-channel comments that made me get very self-conscious about posting the sort of long emails I used to regularly. Anyways, Ignacio had a very good story on his On Kayaks blog (Monday 4/4/05 post) that I wanted to post because it was a very vivid example of a situation that almost inevitably would have involved a paddler dead of hypothermia-abetted drowning had the paddler not been wearing full winter-paddling riot gear, carrying a waterproof VHF radio and possessed of a very cool head. It was also a perfect opportunity to slip in a little mention of the fact that the air is warm (oh my god, Spring is FINALLY here, I went for a walk on my lunch hour AND a walk after work and all my windows are open ‘cause it is GLORIOUS out there…) but the water’s still cold. Spring is actually the worst time for small boat accidents involving improperly dressed people – in these first reliably warm days, you tend to get this rush of people who pull out the boats that have been sitting in storage since October and go out for a spring paddle – dressed for the air temperature, not the 44 degree water. Fall in like that & you’re kind of in trouble. People die.

So I had this good impulse to kind of mention that when I posted the article in On Kayaks – NYCKayaker goes to a wide range of people & is therefore a good place to drop that hint. But then I was doing it fast & in a bit of a bad mood from all the work & messed up my good impulse with a stupid whiny crack about why I didn’t post much any more…it’s not that it wasn’t true, it’s just that I, er, phrased it “I’ve been trying to STFU after getting a few too many back-channel comments about egotism”…well, about 30 seconds after I sent that I was, like, “Why did I go and do that? Just because I’m in a bad mood doesn’t mean I need to slop it all over NYCKayaker”. Ironic, in fact – the whole reason I got so self-conscious & quit posting after the egotism comments in the first place was precisely for the same reason I sent an instant “sorry, I did not really mean that” – although I don’t think my ego is exactly overinflated (in fact sometimes it’s all I can do to coax it out from under a rock), it did make me realize these things go into all sorts of total strangers’ inboxes & why should I inflict my excessive verbosity (or angst, or unresolved residual irritation or any of that) on them?

So anyways – I’d already planned to come home after the gym clothes tonight (left the kitties stocked up w/lots of food & water & gave them tuna instead of cat food & catnip & lots of cuddling last night by way of advance apology) but that totally clinched it.

On a happier note - I did get my application to teach at the symposium faxed off today, so I have now officially applied (I’d talked to both organizers on the phone & they sounded OK with me but I hadn't sent 'em the piece of paper with all my info on it yet so nothing was official). I also squeezed in a little bit of research today – found a good article on paddling.net – it’s not long, but really goes into the nitty-gritty stuff & what it did do that was quite valuable was got me thinking back on things like – oh, like how I handled it the year I had to do a non-stop Manhattan circumnavigation (swim escort - 28 miles, slowly, an 8 hour day or so) during, er, that time of the month. Owing to the fact that people reading this blog are “mixed company”, I will spare you the details but suffice it to say, I hope the gentlemen paddlers realize they have it pretty darned good in this respect. Thhhbt.

Plus Mrs. Kayak Boy is going to loan me the Kayaking for Women book - she promised me that it's not really as bad as my first impression & I promised her I wouldn't throw it away. That should also be helpful. Thank you Mrs. Kayak Boy!

Have to close this with something I saw in the paper yesterday & was going to post last night except that I got so amazed at all the TV advertising. This is great news, except that I can’t believe surfing in the Rockaways was something that could get you a ticket in the first place. Jeeze. How much does that say right there, in and of itself, about how weird and bass-ackwards NYC’s approach to recreational water use can be? (Pua will appreciate this – go check out her comment after my first post on the symposium if you don't know why, it's great!)

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