Friday, May 21, 2010

in the face of defeat

This morning in yoga, Clio instructed us to take wheel pose with the backs of our heads against the wall, our hands on blocks. She told us to start stepping our feet toward the wall as we walked our hands up the wall. I did as I was told, but I wasn't sure what I was trying to accomplish. Clio hovered over me as I moved upward.

"There you go!" she encouraged. "You're almost there!"

I was three-quarters of the way up the wall, and Clio was cheering me on, but I was confused.

"What am I working toward?" I asked, my head hanging upside down through my extended arms, glasses askew, palms pressed flat against the wall.


"Oh." My eyes were fixed on the white wall behind me. "Sometimes I forget."

"But more immediately, you're trying to stand upright."

"Just stand up? I can do that."

I walked my hands a little higher, lifted my chest and head out of the bend, and there I was: standing. Clio smiled and clapped, beaming, a proud parent.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

game day brain

Whipity Pow / Rocky Mountain Rollergirls / Photo by Jay Vollmar.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about Whipity Pow's thigh this week. I don't want it for myself, but it's an incredible thing to behold.

David Foster Wallace on tennis great Roger Federer:

"Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform -- and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled. "

Recently, there was an episode of Radiolab about limits. During the segment on limits and the human body, Jad and Robert interviewed Julie Moss about her legendary second place finish in the 1982 Ironman Triathlon. It was really insightful to hear the analysis of how our brains deal when we push our bodies.

Anyway, here's Julie Moss shitting her pants and crawling to the finish line:

I was hanging with some Brits the other night, and the roller derby thing worked its way into the conversation.

In her adorable accent, the Girl Brit asked, "Is that the sport where the angry girls on roller skates hit each other?"

"I'm not angry," I said. "I'm just determined."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

U.S. Roradabi: fight formal and trippings are forbidden

Did I mention that I have a game coming up? I do. Buy your tickets in advance because it will probably sell out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

about my not-so-new roommate

If you have a roommate, you should probably keep your pants on. Even if you think your roommate is gone for the day -- all the way in Orange County, which is practically another planet. Even if you've finished a five-mile run, and your pants are sweat-soaked, and you've just peed, and you're about to hop in the shower, which is running. So, really, what's the point of putting your pants back on while you pluck your eyebrows with the bathroom door wide open?

The point is that your roommate might return unexpectedly -- with your weekend house guest in tow -- and for a split second things will seem normal because you're still wearing a tank top, but then he'll glance down and look! No pants! Someone will say "Oh my god." Front door and bathroom door will slam in awkward unison.

I've known Lei since we were teenagers. We went to high schools on opposite sides of town, but we'd run into each other at Food Not Bombs feedings (which, at least in Tempe, AZ in 1996, was more about having a picnic in the park than it was about feeding the homeless). Lei didn't talk much at FNB meetings. He was the bespectacled Asian kid who showed up and doled out scoops of couscous to the gutter punks, kept his mouth shut, and then disappeared as mysteriously as he came. He seemed like a weirdo, and I vowed to make him my friend. I didn't really succeed until after he'd moved to Berkeley for college and I started writing him letters. Eventually, I'd make frequent trips to the Bay Area, and we'd hang non-stop in Phoenix when he'd come home for the summer and holidays.

We lived together during the two years we were in grad school, both at U.C.L.A. getting our master's in information science. And all these years, he'd never seen my beaver. So is our friendship fundamentally changed? No, of course not, but I do think it's funny considering our old pact. When we were in our early 20s, we agreed that if we were both single at 30 (or was it 31? or 32?), that we'd marry each other. And here we are -- around the designated age, living together again -- and Lei catches a glimpse of my ladyparts and we're both horror-stricken. So, marriage? Seems laughable, but I should point out that he's become my emergency contact for every piece of paperwork I fill out these days. Maybe we'll just wind up common law.