February 17th, 2004


Long Version (Part One)

My weekend actually began Thursday night, when I enjoyed a family gathering at my mom's house after work. My brother and nephew were in from Chicago! It was fun seeing them both, and playing with the little guy.

13 months old. He walks quite well as long as he is holding onto a finger. On his own, he can stand and balance for awhile. He only takes a couple of steps before he plops down, deciding that crawling is much simpler and more efficient.

After meeting F for a quick sundae and staying up far too late, Friday morning I got up earlyish and spent more time with the bro' and nephew. We all walked to Nellos, where we got to enjoy the adventure that is dining with a baby. It went fairly well, although we confused the waitress. "I've never seen a baby who prefers daddy to mommy!" No, I'm not the Mommy, I'm just the Aunt.

Then it was off to Traverse City for me and my sis'! The drive started out nice, but it got weirdly icy halfway up. Lots of gusting wind blew snow onto the road, which solidified in patches of ice. You'd be driving along fine on a clear road, then all of a sudden you were driving on solid ice which had come from nowhere! It was bizarre. Took some extra time, but finally we made it safely to G's house.

G warmed us right up with her southern hospitality. She showed off her amazing stairwell mural, then the rest of her lovely almost-100-year-old house. Downright charming. The Lebanese food I'd brought as a hostess gift was received with delight, then there was wine, bread, cheese, pate, chicken, rice, and Scrabble to be enjoyed into the night.

In the morning we drank coffee and got ready to skate. Dress, hair, makeup, tights, pants, jacket, and I was ready to go. The competition went pretty quickly; there were only two teams.

We skated well. It felt a bit more sluggish than usual, but we presented well and skated cleanly. I felt good about things. It was really dry, making breathing very difficult. A couple girls felt pretty sick afterward. I was keeping an eye on one of my teammates, so I didn't see the other team skate.

There was only one other team, but we beat them. This is important since this is the team that beat us back at Fraser, our first competition of the year! We have now come in first 3 times since then, which I believe sends a strong message to the judges. It also gives my team a strong boost of confidence, which we will need at nationals in 3 weeks.

For those that were wondering: my knee held up well. It hasn't really gotten better, but it's no worse. I'd say it's at around 60% of its prior capacity. It doesn't feel great when I skate, and it doesn't have the stroking power it once had....but I have not hurt it worse. It has been holding me up and doing what it needs to do, getting me where I need to go! I'm able to do almost all of the necessary footwork. It's doing a good job, I'm proud of it, I give it ice and advil when requested, and I'm sure we're going to make it through nationals just fine. That's all I ask!

Fire Test

My office building had a scheduled fire alarm test this morning. Not a fire drill, just a test of the alarm equipment -- so we did not need to leave the building. They had handed out fliers to each office notifying us prior to the event, plus they posted signs in all the doorways, so that it would not worry anyone when the alarms went off.

As it happened, I was running a bit late this morning because I had stopped to see my favorite barista on the way to work. I entered the building just as the alarm-test began.

I climbed the stairs to my fourth floor office like I always do. As I walked up those stairs, with the alarms wailing and the strobe lights flashing, wearing my heavy coat and carrying a bag over my shoulder, I felt vaguely like a firefighter. Bravely climbing up the stairwell, burdened down by heavy equipment, noise and chaos all around, heading into the middle of danger while everyone else fled from it....

Except that, well, I don't think a real firefighter would have been carrying a Starbucks cup in her hand.