Friday, May 20, 2016

Mid-May updates

I have managed to stick to the cycling.  This is the second week where I have biked to work three days in a row.  I wasn't particularly happy about it though, especially as I had to do an uphill sprint at the very end of the trip to avoid being squashed by a bus.  My legs feel very heavy and "unhappy," though I'll have a few days off to recover.  In general, my overall cardio condition does feel better and I am starting to have a bit more energy.  It's a bit early to say, but I think my clothes are fitting a bit better, which is always a good thing.  Nonetheless, next winter I will have to find a way to stay more active, since this cycle of restarting the exercise regime gets harder each year.*  I think I need to find a better rec centre, as I really am depressed by the local one, and that is certainly part of the problem.

I did bike over to Front and Spadina Wednesday.  I saw that the photo murals were in a car park lot on the corner.  While the photos by Mickalene Thomas were pretty good (I had seen most of them before), the setting was kind of dispiriting, and I doubt very much most people could actually see them, due to the way they were set back from the street and the general rush of people (and cars) at that intersection.  Anyway, you can judge for yourselves.

After this, I went over to Robarts for the first time in many months.  While I was mostly there to obtain some articles on millennials and their driving habits (and whether we have hit "peak car" or not), I borrowed a couple of books on precarious work and the new economy (always a cheery topic).**  I also found out that the Engineering Library is closed all summer, and they won't be loaning out the books in the collection, which is more than a little frustrating.  I wish I had known that a couple of weeks ago.

In terms of my own reading, I have finished a couple of books on relativity, and am midway through the third one (Calder's Einstein's Universe).  I'll switch over to Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle next.  It's a little strange not to be reading fiction, but it's a good change for right now anyway.

I have one research project on the go, but in general I am trying not to take on too many other projects.  There are certainly things I could do, but then I find myself spread much too thin.  It would be better to take care of some things around the house (and plant some flowers that cats hate since they are using our front garden box as a toilet -- grr -- I'll be looking for lavender and rue this weekend).

I'm gearing up to submit some material to Toronto Cold Reads, and then to decide whether to work on editing my finished plays or to work on Straying South.  I probably should focus more on the latter.  Finally, I have to dig around in my email, but I had the name of a publisher that still puts out poetry anthologies, and I wanted to touch base with them with my idea of a transportation poetry anthology, since that is essentially ready to go.  After I make headway on these things, I can consider more academic pursuits.

* While it doesn't surprise me at all, it was interesting that the last two or three weeks, we've heard that most of the contestants on the Biggest Loser gained all that weight back.  How can you truly expect people to maintain such an intense workout schedule and still have a life and family.  I'm sure that if you paid me to do nothing but go to the gym for 2 or 3 months, I could get fairly close to my weight at age 25, but the "real world" intervenes for most of us.  Still, I am fortunate that I do live close enough to work that biking is a real option and it is something that I can make routine, roughly 3 seasons out of the year.

** I also borrowed Fox on the Fairway to see if the second act was just as bad as the first.  If anything it was even worse, with all kinds of secrets being revealed that were just cheats to the audience.  Out of nowhere we find that the waitress was adopted, and further surprises await.  I suppose some of these things happen in better farces, but usually there is at least some telegraphing of major plot twists rather than just springing them onto the audience as completely new information coming out of nowhere.  At least the better ones do this.  I might well have stood up and walked out midway through, it was so terrible.  So I am very glad we left at intermission.  On the other hand, I have to admit that I chuckled a few times while skimming Norm Foster's Office Hours, so perhaps I will go to that next year, though in general I am not a fan of his work either.
Mickalene Thomas
Mickalene Thomas
Mickalene Thomas

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