Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Catchement

It turns out that our backyard is the water catchement for the entire neighborhood. Any fluid H2O immediately drains into our yard. A couple of weeks ago (when the tremendous rainstorm hit) our yard turned into a swimming pool. And then a day later an ice rink. The dogs hated it. Charlie would tiptoe out into the water and then quickly head for high ground. What a wuss. That's him over in the bushes.

AATC: Torture or Euphoria?

Alex and I joined the Ann Arbor Track Club to help train for our marathon. For just 30 dollars a year (a family membership) we have permission to torture ourselves at the track every Tuesday night. There are about 30-40 other members in the AATC, including our friends Rachel, Dave, and Heather. I suppose it doesn't have to be torture, but for some reason I can't bring myself to not keep up with "the fast group" (of which Heather is a member). Last week we ran 3 6:45 miles and this week 6 3:17 half miles--it's been about 8 years since I ran that pace, and at the time I was following a hot rugby player around the track so it doesn't really count. What's great though, is after the workout. The knowledge that I didn't give up even though I felt like vomiting most of the time is somehow kind of euphoric. I think I'm glad we joined?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Riding the Bus

This January Alex and I discovered the bus.  It's awesome.  I don't have to brave icy roads and stupid drivers on my bike anymore.  In addition, I don't have to face the dressing dilemma.  In the winter, I'm always torn between dressing warmly for a bike ride and dressing appropriately.  I always choose wrong and dress warmly and then arrive at school dripping in sweat (and for those of you who are familiar with my sweat, you know what that means).  The bus stop is about a block from our house so it's quite convenient.  Plus, there are so many interesting people that ride the bus.  Just yesterday I met someone who was apparently afraid of water.  Maybe he had rabies.  I was waiting at the bus stop when I saw him approaching from down the street.  Much to his dismay, there had been a tremendous rainstorm overnight leaving behind tremendous puddles with tremendous amounts of water in them.  He was wearing sturdy hiking boots, but didn't want them to get wet so he carefully navigated his way around each and every puddle, no matter how small.  When he go to the bus stop he noticed a puddle in the grass directly in front of the bus stop sign.  Now, I'm usually quite content to wait for the bus on the sidewalk, but he apparently likes to stand directly beside the sign.  He stood next to me and stared at that puddle for a good 3 minutes.  He was shaking his head in disgust, like I might do if I saw a dirty diaper discarded in the woods.  Finally, he mapped a route out in his head.  As he made his way toward the curb I noticed he was also afraid of snow which of course was why his route had to be so complicated.  Anyhow, we eventually made it onto the bus.  Five stops later he attempted to disembark.  Unfortunately the driver had stopped directly over a tiny little rivulet of water draining down a driveway.  The man asked the driver to please move forward.  Note that moving forward involves re-airing the front tire, closing the doors, engaging the gears, grinding to a stop two feet later, de-airing the tires, and opening the doors again.  Thank god there was no water two feet down the drive.  I wonder who I'll meet next?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Folk Festival

Last weekend Alex and I went to the Annual Folk Festival. It's a two day fund-raiser for The Ark which is a non-profit club that promotes acoustic music. Alex and I saw Josh Ritter at the Ark and this Tuesday Joe Henry is playing (in case you are thinking to visit us here in Ann Arbor and want to coordinate with a good show, check out their calendar here). Anyway, the Folk Festival is a two day event with shows both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night (the night we went) featured, in no particular order, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller. Their show consisted of the four of them sitting in a half-circle on stage taking turns playing their own music as well as covering old classics with the rest of the group as accompaniment. It was really cool. Plus, before the big names came out there were 20 minute shows by more small-time folk artists. Some weren't great, but others I really liked. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings were awesome. One of their singers has a booming deep voice which I love. Here's a link to one of their songs that I liked best--the deep voice isn't as prominent in this recording as it was on stage, but I still like it. There's another blog with a better description of the show (as in, they remembered the names of all the artists) along with a picture here.