Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A few notes on June

Life has slowed down to a fairly luxurious pace these days. My main question of the day is: do I swim before the water polo team practices or after? Usually it's after, which explains the lovely tan-line that is developing, despite my efforts to remain as pale as I possibly can (and that is pale!). Also, after weeks of procrastination, Michael and I got our butts back on the saddle after a month-long hiatus from biking (we do not cycle; we bike). The good news is that the Angeles Crest Highway finally re-opened after a massive mudslide dramatically closed it off about 15 months ago or so. After a bazillion dollars in repair, it's now a great place to bike, if you can handle the crazy elevation gain and the equally crazy descent. And sharing a fairly narrow road with lots of traffic. No super crazy rides for us - but we did gain something like 2,000 feet in 5 miles. That was painful on the bike!

A few other highlights these days:
- Gus is wearing the cone of shame which we find very entertaining! I know that we shouldn't, and we are mainly thankful that he has made such a great recovery. He started to lick the stitches and on Sunday, we noticed that two of them had come out. So, we 'coned' him. He doesn't seem to mind the cone as much as we thought that he would, but he does run into walls and eating is more of a challenge than he would like. He should get the stitches out on Friday, and then he will be a 'free man', more or less.

- I have enjoyed some pleasure reading these days, although I really need to crack a few more challenging books this summer to stimulate my brain cells. However, I would definitely recommend Just Kids by Patti Smith, This Is Water by David Foster Wallace, The Private Patient by PD James and am currently reading Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré.

- Along the same lines, Michael and I are watching movies rather than TV shows (although we do watch an episode of Law & Order once a day thanks to our DVR). A few notable movies we've seen recently: Mother (not to be confused with a 1996 Albert Brooks film), is a Korean suspense thriller that was sharp, intense and quite bizarre at times; Flame and Citron, a movie about the Danish Resistance during World War II which was good but definitely not great and seemed to want to be a gangster movie at times; Dr. Zhivago, which definitely fits into the "epic" category, all 3 hours and 20 minutes of its sad, sad story; and last but not least, Barton Fink, a movie that I probably haven't seen in 18 years or something ridiculous like that and that I should watch at least once a year now that I live in the LA area. It is SUCH a great movie! Best Coen Brothers' movie? I'm still a sucker for Miller's Crossing, but this one might actually trump it.

- We enjoyed another weeknight out on the town with a family friend who also works in the "Independent School World". We ate mediocre Thai food and swapped lots of shop talk. There are times when I fantasize about quitting my job, but then these moments make me wonder if I could ever enjoy anything as much as working with teenagers, school curriculum and program development and talking about crazy colleagues!

- Mentally packing for our trip to the East Coast! We leave next week for a bit of a whirlwind tour of DC, NYC and Rhode Island. I am mixing business and pleasure as I do have a workshop to attend in Delaware, but we also plan to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the urban chaos of NYC and the peaceful sleepiness of a small Rhode Island beachfront town.


kilax said...

Your trip next week sounds awesome!

I am far behind on reading blogs so I don't know what is going on with Gus but am happy he is well :)

So, when you climb 2000 feet in 5 minutes, do you sit on your bike the whole time? I always have to stand on my bike when the climb gets so tough I cannot turn the pedals.

Kristina said...

Thanks for the well wishes about Gus.

So, 2000 feet in 5 minutes- that would be a miracle for me!
As for climbing - I try to keep my butt in the saddle as much as possible. Getting out of the saddle gives you way more power but it also uses more energy and is harder to sustain.
That's my experience, and although I'm hardly an expert, the literature I've read does recommend staying seated as much as possible.
Also, it took me ages to get used to the clipless pedal system, but I can't imagine climbing without it! It gives you way more power!

Anonymous said...

I am so envious of your upcoming trip! I love is one of the most beautiful places ever. Please let me know if you a good hotel recommendation there!

Poor Gus...the cone does not look very appealing. I'm glad he doesn't mind it though! Seeing animals in pain just kills me.

Have a lovely time! And if you are looking for more reading material I highly recommend "Secret Daughter." It is fantastic.