Was It All the 1s in A Row or Something?

1/11/11: People outside “the bubble” seemed très occupés or surtout agacés or something. Nothing I could do, except probably be less annoying. I admit I can be annoying at times, but really, I haven’t done anything out of character. And people’s reactions are what they are.

Awesome things that happened today:

It was 1 degree this morning. Fahrenheit. It’s more impressive as Celsius: -17.

I blushed for nearly a full 75 minutes because someone decided to call on me three times throughout class AND decided to administer un intérro, after which that someone graded the quizzes one at a time as we stood in line to turn them in. In conjunction with my flushed face, I may have gotten close to 100% with the bonus question. The only reason I don’t know my exact score is I was too scared to look over the professor’s shoulder while she held her mighty red pen. I did notice that there weren’t giant slashes as on some other quizzes, but instead tiny slits, maybe indicating half-point deductions. And maybe there were two of those. Again, I was scared to look, so I’m not certain.

Part of that classroom experience today was my changing seats in class. I was no longer in the front row, but me câchais behind a new friend who served her mission in Madagascar. And the instructor, with her sixth sense, could tell I was hiding. But I was relieved when she pulled out the photo class roster and starting calling students au hasard. It’s just a little stressful when I’m 1) at the top of the alphabet and 2) the teacher knows who I am for a different reason than 1).

Oh, other awesome things:
1) I had lunch with a good friend, and our parting always results in a big hug.
2) I found out about some submission conditions for some symposia where I’d like to present.
3) I made a new friend in another class who is quite cute, but in accordance with my luck or style, this will not progress beyond a platonic level.
4) I realized I like William Wordsworth quite a bit, although I wasn’t entirely sold on him during the assigned reading this past week.
5) I felt extra alert during classes today. Relaxed situations intermingled with rigorous intellectual training seemed to be in perfect proportions. It was cool.
6) I helped coordinate a Free Club reunion. If you’re not already a member or otherwise haven’t been introduced, don’t worry about it.
7) I had fun text conversations with some friends. This is nothing new, but it’s still awesome.

Now, let’s see what tomorrow brings! Hopefully, more of the same.

I Want to Ride Your Bicycle

While sitting at the park this afternoon, I managed to read, listen to music, take pictures, and people-watch all at the same time. I sighted a few runners, observed their form, thought about how much I miss running. Then I got over it and went back to whatever I was doing.

A while later I caught a bicyclist in my periphery. I usually notice the bike first – what kind it is, the pedals, the gears, the handlebars – and if I see the pedals are clipless, I try to see what kind of shoes are attached, then I can’t help but notice the legs that are attached to the shoes, etc. YOU know.

This guy rode a red mountain bike, which looked old, but sturdy. He was bald, and it crossed my mind how much he looked like Mr. Locke from Lost, but younger. He seemed a little older, but not too old. I guess like his bike, except more attractive.

Before I realized I was actually staring at him so I could quickly look away, he found my eyes and smiled at me, and we said hello to each other.

He rode past me and stopped to rest a few benches away in the shade. We looked at each other, and then I sent the following text to some friends: “A guy rode on his bike into the park. We said hi to each other. If he tried picking up on me, I might let him…”

I went back to my book, all the while acutely aware of the bicyclist ogling me. I took a drink from my water bottle and happened to glance at him drinking from his. I sat a while longer, pretending to read, watching people walk by me and adoring their cute babies.

The bicyclist remounted his bike and rode past me again, and he told me to have a good day, and I told him to take care, and I thought that was the end of it. I “read” for a little while longer and saw that he stopped at a fountain behind me, about 75 feet away. I could feel his eyes searing the top of my head.

I checked the time and decided it was time to go. I packed up my things and started walking toward the car. I ended up walking in front of the bicyclist, and I smiled at him, then all of a sudden I got really shy and turned away onto the path that led to the car.

As I neared the park entrance, I turned my head to the right and saw the bicyclist riding next to me. He asked what my plans were. I cleared my throat. I asked him to get off his bike, and I would tell him. We stopped at the gate.

He gently pushed me against the threshold, and before I could breathe, he leaned down and kissed me. The breeze from the river blew through my hair. His hands barely held me; it was his warm, soft lips that paralyzed me, except for my arms which pulled him closer.

Without breaking, we fumbled our way to a bench, and our mouths continued to work together. His stubble tickled my face. I liked his hands holding the back of my head, the small of my back. All of my senses drastically sharpened, except for my sense of time, and perhaps, my common sense.

Just kidding! We did chat for a moment when he pulled up beside me, then he just kept on riding.

And I went home.

May’s Inability to Stop Listening to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

I guess we could call Thursdays “May’s Music Thursdays to an Obnoxious Degree.”

One song in particular from Raising Sand, “Stick with Me Baby,” puts me in something of a mood. I say that word with a raised eyebrow and slightly higher voice, trying not to blush. Still I don’t know if you know what I mean. Maybe you do.

This is an Everly Brothers cover. I mean, you remember the Everly Brothers. My first experience with them was in third grade. Mrs. Hamlin played “Bye Bye Love” for us. Maybe she was teaching us about harmony, and maybe she was a huge Everly Brothers fan. The Everly Brothers were musicians I’d definitely groove to.

Everybody’s been a-talkin’; they say our love wasn’t real
That it would soon be over; that’s not the way I feel
But I don’t worry, honey; let them say what they may
Come on and stick with me, baby; we’ll find a way
Yes, we’ll find a way

[Instrumental]

Everybody’s been a-talkin’; yes, the news travels fast
They said the fire would stop burnin’, that the flame wouldn’t last
But I don’t worry, honey; let them say what they may
Come on & stick with me, baby; we’ll find a way
Yes, we’ll find a way

[Repeat & fade:]
Come on and stick with me, baby

Raising Sand version

Robert and Alison sing this song very tenderly. None of it loud; almost whispering. They harmonize the entire song, with the drums softly pulsing, the melody following the same four-bar loop. I love how the ends of phrases slide up and taper just so. This is a song I could turn down the lights and slow dance to. 

It has to be on repeat, though, being less than three minutes long. Darnit, Everly Brothers.

There I am, in his arms, my head resting in the crook of his neck, our hearts matching the beat, my arms around his shoulders; his around my waist. Our bodies gently swaying, our feet barely moving. I forget to breathe, I forget where I am, except he turns to look at me and smiles. And I melt. And we return to dancing, except we never really stopped, seemingly anchored to floor but somehow floating.

Sigh.