Saturday, June 13, 2009


Things I did not know two hours ago:
1) Although they look and feel solid and outweigh their average user, most exercise machines are actually made of hollow bars and tubes of metal. They're pretty lightweight, and ordinarily that's a good thing. Ordinarily.
2) While aware that repeatedly stressing the same portion of anything will eventually deform or break it, I had no idea that the amount of force put out by the leg of an exercising human over a period of maybe a month was capable of creating sufficient stress.
3) Hollow metal hitting a concrete floor sounds like a gunshot when you're standing on top of the metal in question. It's also loud enough to be heard on every floor of a two-story building with a basement, although the basement's construction means it generally "eats" sound.
4) It cannot put a dent in cement - however, it also doesn't absorb the shock of more or less stomping full force on said cement. In other words, folks, it hurts when you land on it barefoot, and if you aren't hanging on you're going to fall over sideways.
I'm fine, aside from a really jumpy heart rhythm and a sore heel, but the machine's totaled. Good thing it was free. It's going out to the curb as soon as we figure out how to muscle it up the stairs.
And here I was, thinking the most exciting part of my day was locating some worthwhile stuff at a few garage sales.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Did I miss a bulletin?

Because lately it seems like more and more people are loudly and proudly proclaiming themselves to be willfully ignorant on several basic levels, and to be of the sort that would gladly meddle in my life when I couldn't care less about how they conduct theirs.
For instance, people who, when they hear about my choice of profession, ask whether or not I have to believe in evolution to be accepted. Aside from treating evolution as a belief, which is on a par with saying you believe in digestion, they act as though I'm going to glance side-to-side nervously, then lean over and whisper in their ear about instances of good True Believers being oppressed because they refused to believe in evolution.
I've discovered I have a hell of a talent for bullshitting when it comes to getting away from these folks as fast as possible without burning sneaker rubber or someone getting more than their pride hurt.
Then there are the folks I tried reasoning with about contraception at a pro-birth protest. Oy vey. I would have gotten further with the proverbial brick wall, and at one point I started looking around for a camera as a sign that this was actually going on a prank TV show or a sign reading "Every Sperm is Sacred." There's just no other explanation as to why someone would flat-out tell me to my face that the invention of the Pill "caused the idea of abortion."
(And I nearly broke a rib trying to not laugh when I explained that birth control and abortion had been around for as long as humans have been able to put two and two together. There are just some things you don't want to do, like douse yourself in steak sauce and then kick a Doberman in the nuts, or laugh at the kind of people who shoot OB/GYNs.)
Well, fine, let those ladies live with their delusions. Even my former Roomie, who, as darling as she was to me, insisted on being infuriatingly immune to logic, history, and any knowledge of what humans are like beyond the ideal that her religion promoted, and asked if I ever felt empty or incomplete due to my not giving a toss one way or another about religion.
The problem comes when they want to make sure I don't get to live my life the way I want to live it.

Grubbing in the dirt, Part #41792367

Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't one of those kids who walked home caked in enough dirt to add an inch of topsoil to the yard, so doing what I usually do around the house is sort of amazing considering how I hated getting dirty in elementary school.
Fast forward to undergraduate school at a university that's chock-full of...well, I'll save that for another time - and I'm the one willingly shoving my hands into trash cans full of everything except human body fluids and/or waste to fish out something that looks interesting. I apparently got a serious case of the "Oooh, Shiny" from a magpie, and finding everything from laundry money (seriously, how did several pennies, nickels, and dimes wind up in a trash can) to an extra load's worth of detergent in the bottle by just looking around does nothing to discourage it.
Over the summer, I've switched to occasionally looking in boxes dumped on the curb and mostly throwing around bags of dirt and sand while I look after the garden my family keeps trying to start in most of the yard. Potatoes are high-maintenance - you have to keep piling up dirt and sand or they won't actually produce anything - and really good for building upper body strength.
And now I just learned that I've been accepted into the community college's summer field school program. It won't even be a sleepaway field school, since it's so close to home. It'll be three hours each afternoon of shovel bumming at a chosen location, and cataloguing and otherwise learning how to properly handle artifacts in the morning.
I don't know if my rapidly darkening skin pigment comes more from being out in the sun so much or from the fact that I'm actually covered in dirt up to the knees and elbows until I take a power washer to myself.