Friday, July 8, 2011

Turtle Gazing at the Moon

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day! I will admit, though that I felt the most patriotic today, the 8th of July, when I watched the space shuttle take off this morning. It was just an absolutely incredible sight, and emotional as well. I definitely felt some tear well up but they were those of excitement, wonder and pride. Just imagine what must have been going through the minds of those astronauts as they listened to the countdown...

In other news, well there's a boatload of it. I'll try not to get too carried away. (I got carried away..)

On Saturday I did a GEARs ride up to some covered bridges, it was a perfect day and I made a new friend! Her name is Rachel and we have an incredible amount in common, not to mention that we live really, really close to each other! She is a nurse at the hospital in town. We've both been too busy this week to hang out so I'm excited to see her again tomorrow.

Painting by Noelle Dass
On Sunday, Chris and I went to the Arts and the Vineyard festival on the north side of the Willamette River. It was a huge craft festival and I was covering it for my next story. Chris came alone to be my photographer (and good thing too, his pictures were far better than I could ever dream of taking). I interviewed a handful of artists and we both were totally enamored by our own chosen painting in one's mine, a turtle by Noelle Dass. Can you honestly blame me? I mean really.

It was really neat to hear the stories of the artists and how the world of festival hopping is not an easy one..constantly having to find and apply to new festivals and pumping out new work to have fresh supplies for buyers. It's not easy, but they love doing it, doing their chosen art and seeing people appreciate it.

It was a beautiful day and my photographer did a fantastic job of getting some really great shots.

Photo Credit: Chris M. Scotti

We watched a folk music duo play their various stringed instruments and sing in harmony to wind up a nice afternoon at the festival.

I met my friend Holly at Prince Puckler's, a homemade ice cream shop and we enjoyed rich creamy goodness and she got me back on track with my knitting. I'd say I progressed since I last saw her (which is when she got me started), but I pretty much missed a stitch not five minutes into trying it on my own when I got home that it's been pending until today where she had me start all over! Haha, she just slipped the whole thing off the needle, not that it was much at all..three rows? But it had the essence of a bandaid being violently ripped off!

On my bike ride home, when I passed Washburn Park on Agate St. I heard jazz music so I peeled off to check it out. The whole field was filled with people out on lawn chairs and blankets and a band played on a concrete patio "stage" on the north end of the field. They were a brass quartet and I pushed my bike up and plopped down on the grass to watch as the evening slowly closed in, breezy and golden.

Monday Chris and I met up to do the Butte to Butte 10k! We tried to find Melissa (also in our program) who was also signed up to run..we imagined finding her at the start line. There was absolutely no chance, the crowd of 4,500 runners and walkers and their significant whatevers just did absolutely nothing to help us find our running-mate. Rude, right?

So after milling about for awhile and warming up, finally all the 10k runners lined (massed?) up behind the start line. We shoved ourselves in the mix. Then we waited some more...til' the shot went off and we smacked pavement. Like, with our soles I mean. Although when we faced Donald Street which should be called Donald Mountain, I sure felt like my face might smack pavement! After a mile of steep uphill, we were greeted by first a sign that said "Free Donuts Ahead!", I laughed, thinking it was a funny joke and hoping for water. Nope. Boxes and boxes of donuts piled on a table at the end of a driveway full of cheerers on. I didn't see too many runners opt for what might have been a wonderfully kind gesture in any other possible circumstance. I skirted around them, trying not to think about fatty sugary goodness forming a solid rock deep in my shell-shocked innards.

But truthfully, it was a great run. Chris left me in the dust about 20 meters in and for the rest of the race I watched people with longer legs and wider strides fly past me in a never-ending stream, even on the downhill! I felt great though, enjoyed the run, the people-watching; and smiling, waving and saying thanks to the almost constant presence of onlookers cheering us on. That was definitely awesome.

In the last mile there was a man playing a big standing xylophone, a band playing either Under the Boardwalk or a song from the Little Mermaid, I can't remember which. As the song faded behind me, a second band was set up and playing a couple blocks down from the first! When I could finally see the finish line in the distance, I went into a sprint and somehow held it til the end, almost not able to stop in time at the crowded bottleneck of runners ahead. You can actually watch me come in at 1:01:20-something in this can scroll/fast-forward to 1:15 and watch me narrowly avoid running into the camera...

We were given bagels and water and energy drinks and I went and sat on a picnic table on a hill overlooking the final stretch and watched the never-ending flow of runners come in.

Melissa found me! But then she went to find water and we didn't see each other again. Chris found me! We watched for awhile and then pretty much walked the opposite of what we had just run (minus the hill) back to my house where he parked his car. It made for a good cool-down!

Later in the day we met back up for food and fireworks. Before we got to the fireworks, though, as we walked through campus I saw three guys playing soccer on one of the fields and after seeing if Chris was game, we walked up and asked to play with them! It was so fun, we played for around 45 minutes with these guys, two of which had arrived not long ago from Dubai. They were all really good so Chris and I made sure to let them know that we'd be "so much better" (pahaha..doubtful!!) if we hadn't run 10 kilometers that morning. Finally on the verge of cardiac and what I'm just going to call body arrest, we limped off after shaking hands with our new friends and heartily agreeing that it was a pleasure to play with them.

We joined some fraction of Eugene on the bike bridge above campus and saw some far off fireworks there and then decided to walk (limp) over the Autzen Stadium (yea yea, go ducks) to watch what ended up being a great show and we were able to get real close!  I think I blacked out from exhaustion after that. Buuut, t'was a super long but super fun day!

Monday Suzi had us interview (gah!) students around campus. That was nervy (I use this word in place of nerve-wracking, not gutsy, just sos you know). Nevertheless, it ended up being really fun and I loved hearing how they responded to my list of questions about what they thought of the news, if it was trustworthy, how they obtained it (tv, internet, paper), how much they followed it, etc. It was fascinating! Asking random people questions is fun. I did get some heavily annoyed looks when I came up to a table or two, though, and backed away pretty quickly to search for friendlier faces. I talked with one guy from Saudi Arabia who was working on his English so it was hard to get him to exactly understand my questions but just hearing a bit about him, assignment aside, was really neat and I would have stayed longer if I didn't still have more interviews to do.

This week we started our Newspaper Editing class with John Russial, who use to be an editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer which is famed as one of the best edited papers. The class is really me. So I'm the dork of my group that really gets a kick of spending an hour editing articles, what of it? I'm not saying that means I'm good at it, though. It's not easy! We have to not only check for grammar, punctuation and spelling, but also fact check. Now that is not easy and is very time consuming (or consuming of my time because I always seem to be the last one to leave after the clock has struck end o' class). I'm learning tons about AP style..which is basically a way to keep your publication standard between articles and authors, as far as making sure everyone complies with a single certain way of abbreviating, punctuating, etc. even if there are more correct ways than just one. This way your publication looks more professional, less haphazard. There are a lot of rules though, and they're definitely not all intuitive.

Did a GEARs ride on Wednesday! It was super windy and we were heading straight into it for probably 10 or 15 miles. This wasn't a particularly long ride and the entire way home had the wind at our backs but I sure was wiped out by the end of it. I was still getting through the soreness from the Butte to Butte and my legs were pretty much down for the count when we finally wheeled back into Alton Baker Park. Sterling, a 70-something man with a long white beard who had remarked on my pace a couple of weeks ago brought me some old clip in pedals of his that he had promised to bring. I was really taken by his generosity, as these are not cheap! It'll be great if I can hunt down some shoes now that aren't over the top expensive. This way I'll be able to pedal more efficiently, getting forward motion not only on the downstroke but the upstroke as well. Course, how many times I'll topple over for not unclipping in time to catch myself on a stop is yet to be determined but I'm betting I might be cursing those pedals for the week or two of trying them out...!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you are some busy girl! I remember when I was learning to knit, I think I deknitted more than I knitted. But once you get the hang of it, it can be very meditative. And you end up with neat stuff to wear. If you knit with a fairly unprocessed wool, your hands get really soft from the lanolin.


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