Thursday, April 16, 2009

world of work and water

This is one of those intense activity times. Days slip by and I realize I haven't posted. Or I started a post and didn't finish it and it now seems irrelevant. Or I wonder what I meant by some cryptic message to myself that I left so I'd remember to do or say or type "X," whatever that may be.

For the most part, the activity right now is good and it is keeping me busy. No complaints. Just noticing.

Dragon boat practice is going really well. We did our warm-up exercises, had a shortened practice on the water, and then went to an alumni MissFit Dragons paddler's home near the dock to have pizza and watch the video of Tuesday's practice. For the large number of rookies on the team and this early on the actual boats, not bad. I am loving the dragon boats. We had our first mock race on Tuesday, as well, (just against ourselves) and that felt great. It was good to get a feel of the route and a sense of what that will be. The races are across the river, not up and down it as we all are practicing. We are allowed to do some of these mock races, even against other teams, within specific guidelines. Right now we're just doing it with ourselves. (That's me standing in the back, not falling in!)

Which has led me another new but related activity: kayaking. I have purchased my first kayak. The dragon boat captain and my trainer, Nikki, convinced me that inflatables were actually safer because they bounce off the rocks rather than hard sided ones which can crack. Okay; I'll take that. So I bought a Sevylor Tahiti self-bailer (!!) and a paddle and a dual-action pump. And a patch kit. I will be going out on my first trip on a level 1 "whitewater," which seems to mean it's slow moving and not really much if any "white" about it. Yay. It's predicted to be 70-75 on Saturday. Nikki is watching the levels, right now it may be iffy as to whether we can do it; the water is perfect right now, but dropping 100 feet per day. Apparently we need a little rain or some snow melt-off or we might not be able to make that run.

The first kayak trip which was scheduled is mid-May. The one this weekend was a last minute wouldn't it be fun kind of deal. So the mid-May one is a lesson and a kayak trip on a level 2.5. Still safe and not too much, I'm told. Still, "it would be a good idea to have a helmet" I was told. So I've added to my growing stash of outdoor water sport equipment and bought a Pro-Tec B2 Wake helmet in Gloss Punk Pink. Huh. I wonder what else I need?

On Tuesday one of the long time dragon boaters and frequenter of many Miss Fit Adventures asked if I'd blown up my kayak yet to make sure there were not leaks. While that makes perfect sense - I hadn't thought of it. I just assumed, since it was new, that all would be well. I inflated it Tuesday night and left it in a room where the cats don't go. I checked it yesterday and all was still well and I didn't hear any hissing. So I deflated it and folded it up, but there is no way I can shove it back in to the bag it came in. So, from an overhead conversation on Tuesday, I know I need to search out a bag to carry and store it in, especially when it will be wet and I need to drive it back home in my car! Oh, the things one has to think of *smile.

On top of my watery adventures, I am into the second week of my second Lit Star Training class with Ariel Gore. I have another assignment due tomorrow, which isn't done and from which I am procrastinating by writing this blog! Oh well, I will get it done and turned in.

Also on the writing front, I am involved in the layout group for an anthology of quick writes from the winter session of the Lit Star Training. I have been helping with some of the other planning. This has been an intensive project for a few weeks, but it feels like it is coming together well. Christi stepped up to be the lead for the layout and is doing a marvelous job; we call her our Layout Queen Bee. And I have named Jenny F our Resource Queen for her speedy and very helpful research on a couple different publishing options we were looking at. Lesia did some marvelous in-depth work earlier on about a couple of the primary places; Jenny found some great side by side comparisons of features and other information presented in a concise and easily accessible way. This will be a nice little square book of prompts and writings.

I am also excited and nervous about the upcoming reading and launch of the Alltopia antholozine on April 25th. I've written about that before - and it is almost here.

For the work front. Things are still going well and I'm pleased. A couple of long-term situations are coming to an end. I am doing VRS part-time, which provides a foundation that allows me to be a little less stressed about the freelance work I'm continuing to do. I am also teaching one internship course at Portland Community College this term. So I have enough work right now and I am grateful. I do have to get my basic powerpoint slides done for the summer program by the 25th (yes, I will be returning to Greeley, the land of cattle and beef - see July '08 posts for more information).

Oh - and I am just starting preparation to interpret "Frost/Nixon" on April 30th. I have already read the script and done some preliminary work; I will be seeing it for the first time tomorrow night.

And, speaking of night, it is time to sign off and get some sleep.