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Climbing Again

I went back to the rock gym yesterday, for the first time since I fell and hurt my ankle. The ankle is mostly back to normal -- still weaker than the other, but good enough that I didn't think I'd hurt it as long as I didn't fall from a height again, and I pointedly ignored the bouldering wall so that wouldn't happen. I'd signed up for a Meetup group there, a different one than the one I tried last time. I liked this one better, I think. It's smaller, or at least a smaller group actually showed up. And they're very welcoming and make sure the newbies have someone to belay for them. And they seem more focused on learning and teaching, which is good for me.

But I got halfway up the first route, only a 5.6, and froze. It wasn't that I didn't see what I needed to do. It wasn't that my arms were giving out. Nope, it was just panic. I was seriously considering asking the guy to let me down, but that would have required letting go of the wall. He did notice that I wasn't moving and yelled some advice about where to go next, which I didn't actually need but did convince me to keep climbing. And... actually, it turned out I was past the hard part, and I got up to the top easily after that.

Then the second route kicked my ass repeatedly, and kicked a fellow newbie's ass repeatedly, and then a lady who was shorter, fatter, and older than me, AND had recently injured her shoulder, went up it like a streak of lightning and embarrassed us both. Oh well. The other newbie and I vowed to try again next time. Then we adjourned to the burrito place.

I'm definitely going back.

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  • Current Location Raleigh, NC
  • Current Mood pleased pleased
  • Current Music Humble Tripe - Anchors
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New Year's Traditions and Subsequent Lethargy

There's a tradition here of going hiking on New Year's. Actually, it might be tradition in a lot of places, but it wasn't in FL or WV, and it is here. I'm not sure if the state parks started it, or if they noticed that people liked to go hiking on New Year's and decided to accommodate them. Maybe some of both.

Anyway. New Year's hikes are a thing. Getting up early to watch the sunrise is also a thing. If Unitarian Universalists are good at one thing in the world, it is combining traditions. Therefore, a group of people from the local UU church get up extra early and hike to a good spot from which to watch the sun rise. Or, in today's case, watch the sky get slightly lighter as the sun rises invisibly behind a wall of thick clouds. I went with them this morning.

You'd think that, being wide awake so early in the morning, I'd have accomplished a lot today. Nope. I did make it to the grocery store and the post office (only to remember when I got there that it was closed because New Year's.) but that's the extent of my getting shit done today. Not off to a great start, really, considering my list of things I was going to get done on winter break. Winter break is almost over, and I have not made much of a dent.
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Bye-bye 2013

I spent the past week in Florida with my parents and various siblings. I was glad to see them but am now glad to be home. I feel like I should do something for New Year's, especially since it's a big deal here and they have this massive celebration downtown. But it's cold. And my head aches from driving all day. And I am way over on my human-interaction-in-the-past-few-days meter. Alone time is good.

Also I feel like being around people at midnight on New Year's is no fun unless you have someone to kiss. I do not. Do you know how many times I have actually had a date on New Year's? ONCE. In my entire life, once.

That thing that single people complain about feeling on Valentine's Day? It's never bothered me. But New Year's Eve does.

(Yes, I'm aware that I just went from complaining about not enough alone time to complaining about being single.)

I feel like I should do a summing-up-2013 post, but I don't have one. Stuff happened in 2013 but I'm not finding any narrative arc to it, you know? Maybe I will once it's safely in the past, or maybe it just didn't have one. I remember being stressed out a lot. That is unlikely to change in 2014.

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What I'm Doing With My Winter Vacation:

So far, not much.

Hanging out in Florida with the parents. This is going to be a weird Xmas; at no point will all my siblings be in the same house.

It was about 85° today, and I went for a walk at Morningside Nature Center. I somehow had never been there before, though it was on my way to work for *years* when I actually lived here. I saw a lot of pine trees. I also saw a humongous banana spider, which was... unexpected, in the middle of December, even for Florida.

Other than that, I have done nothing productive. Seriously, this stupid blog post is the most writing I've done all week.

This entry is crossposted at Dreamwidth, where it has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.
  • Current Mood awake
  • Current Music really bad TV
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Two Things

In the order in which they happened.

  1. The semester from hell is finally DONE! Test-taking, paper-writing, marching around a track with a weighted vest, standing in the rain and being lectured on hose sizes, questioning students about the identity of trees, making something that looked kind of like a project out of a single satellite photo and some handy software tools, grading exams, taking exams, making powerpoints, presenting powerpoints... All. Fucking. Done. I don't have all my grades yet, but the ones I do have are good. So I basically spent yesterday sleeping and doing laundry, and didn't get much further today. Tomorrow begins the Stuff I've Been Putting Off For Winter Break.

  2. I have a new niece! Adeline, my sister's third kid, was born Saturday night. I think this'll be the last one for a while. Everyone who wants kids has as many as they wanted. With the possible exception of my youngest brother, who... eh, who knows what's up with him. He's kind of nomadic and to my knowledge has never expressed interest in reproducing, but he's easily led. If he ends up with someone who wants kids, I'm pretty sure there will be kids. Anyway. I now have six nieces and a nephew. And I need to buy presents for them because I will be seeing most of them next week.

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I have defeated my nemesis

Yeah, I was going to update this thing regularly, wasn't I? Should have known that good intentions were no match for the late-semester insanity. One day I will learn not to sign up for more classes than I actually need. Or, y'know, I'll graduate without having learned that lesson. Except one of the problems with doing it is that I keep putting off working on my project. The one I need to finish to graduate. So... yeah, I guess I do have to learn it.

But it's hard because professors keep announcing interesting and relevant-to-my-field classes after I've already registered and arranged my schedule to accommodate TAing and that required course I've been putting off every semester.

I'm still not sure if I'm planning on graduating in the spring or in the fall. I should at least finish my GIS certificate this spring, and I could theoretically finish the whole degree, but it might require more discipline than I actually have. But I don't have much time to worry about that when I'm still behind for this semester.

BUT. I PASSED THE FUCKING PACK TEST. So I can do prescribed burning next semester!

Which will give me even less time to study.

Yeah, I need to drop some classes.
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Some weeks I almost seem to have a social life, if you squint.

I have actually (1) had events on my calendar that weren't classes, and (2) gone to all of them!, for the past several days.

I even had a date on Wednesday. It turns out she's more than ten years younger than me, which is a problem not so much because of the actual number as the fact that she seems to be in the same place and have the same issues as me ten years ago. And... you know, I was there. I don't want to revisit that vicariously.

So I told her that the age difference made me uncomfortable, and she was completely cool with that and we both relaxed and hung out and chatted and it was fun and made me almost regret that I'd said it. But, I made a responsible decision, and how ridiculous is it that that is the best I've felt at the end of a date in years? Anyway, no second date, but if I run into her it shouldn't be too awkward, which I was worried about.

The other things were a seminar at school, which was for a different department so not technically a class I had to go to, and a panel by local SF/F authors at the library, and a board game night with the young-adult group from church. This is a very active social life, for me.

But this is "stay home and don't talk to anyone" day, to make up for it.
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Weekend, yay

I went to the gay pride parade at Duke yesterday, which was quite entertaining. It's a lot bigger here than in Gainesville, and has a lot of related stuff going on. Like most large events around here, pride weekend is really a very spread-out assortment of lots of small events with a common theme, scattered over the Triangle. I was going to go to a few of them but I just went to the parade and ran into some friends and went to a cafe and hung out for a couple hours, and decided that was enough socializing for the day. And definitely enough walking.

The multiple-scattered-events arrangement makes big events here very accessible. The costs range from free outdoor things to big sold-out-way-in-advance concerts. You don't have to have a ton of money or a lot of time or even more than vague curiosity to enjoy some of the festival, but if you're really into it you can fill your entire weekend. It also means that more than one big weekend thing can happen at once; right now it's both pride weekend and the international bluegrass festival and someone with time on their hands can easily go to parts of both.

I don't have much time on my hands, and I'm still limping too much to make it worth walking all the way downtown and back, (I could drive, but I'd have to park almost as far away as my house is, so why bother) so I might miss the bluegrass festival. I'm off the crutches, and my foot is shaped like a foot now, albeit a colorful one, and I can sort of walk on it, but it adds extra pain and walking time and planning-routes-to-avoid-stairs time to everything.

Also, it has me a little worried. I'm taking a fire course this semester, and it ends with my old nemesis, the pack test. I had a training plan all worked out, increasing the weight in my vest by 5 pounds per week. Last week was supposed to be 15 pounds; this week was going to be 20. Obviously, I didn't practice at all last week, and this week's practices will probably consist of limping three miles with no timer and no weight vest. So there will be at least two weeks where I have to increase it by 10 instead of 5, and that will suck.

Still going to pass it. Technically, I'd pass the class itself even without the pack test, but if I don't pass the pack test I can't volunteer for prescribed burns and won't make job contacts, which is the whole point of taking the class. But really not looking forward to those increase-by-10-lbs weeks. And really really not looking forward to the test itself.
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(no subject)

Went to the student health center, got my foot X-rayed and poked at. It's not broken, though still swollen and colorful. I even managed to jam it into a shoe this morning. I also have crutches -- a vast improvement over the piece of pipe, and also an improvement over just limping around with nothing to lean on at all, but so slow. I had no idea how much walking I did every day until I had to do it with my arms. Or how big the NC State campus was. I think I covered two miles yesterday, and that was with driving to campus and parking in the pay lot. Two miles is a long way on crutches if you've never used them before. Possibly even if you have; I don't know. I do know that my shoulders are sore today and I will be taking advantage of the bus system now that I can actually get in and out of buses. (Some of them have those high steps.)

Otherwise, things are normal. Running behind in school work, as usual. Forgetting things, procrastinating, doing a half-assed job at the last minute because I didn't give myself enough time. But I've done that all my life, so, you know. It seems unlikely that I'll change.