Jun. 29th, 2016 02:11 pm
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I've been walking approximately 1.4 miles from my apartment to Archives/Navy Memorial every morning since the first Monday in June. I skipped the rainy mornings and I was sick two days, but that's still a great deal of walking. There were evenings when I walked home, too.

Today, I walked the 1.4 without the cane. I may need it again tomorrow, if it turns out that I overdid today, but right now, I'm cane free for the first time in nearly two years.
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1) My concussion turns a year old today. I still occasionally have words just stop, but all the other symptoms seem to have gone. This isn't what most of my parents' generation describe as "getting old" which seems to be the feeling that the right word is "just on the tip of my tongue," but a literal blank wall where I can't remember any words related to the topic for anywhere up to a minute. I don't like it, but I'm really grateful everything else has gone away and hope never to be concussed again.

2) [livejournal.com profile] neotoma73 was very kind and saw Now You See Me 2 with me last night. I know the rating at Rotten Tomatoes is only 38%, but I loved it and grinned all the way home. Visually it's very stylish using objects as framing devices to give an impression of an eye. One of the big complaints in the reviews is that the illusions aren't really shown, but talked about afterward. The biggest misdirection sequence is all visual, though and it's beautifully done. I felt exhilarated after watching it. There's also a very nice line in subtle foreshadowing throughout. In some ways, I feel like the critics didn't pay attention and then got cranky because they missed stuff.

3) I've started really walking again, just this week. I've done the 1.3 miles between my apartment and the Archives metro stop four mornings this week and did the 1.7 mile walk home from the movie last night. I iced my foot when I got home and had no more pain than usual on my walk this morning. I hope that I can keep this up.
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First bit: Please go read [livejournal.com profile] ladyofastolat's post titled Of the Rings of PowerPoint and the Third Age. Everyone has been to the type of meeting she describes at the beginning.

Second bit and/or bob: As always, I like to commemorate an anniversary on this day. This is the date my father got back from his last tour in Vietnam. He swears he'll get over the jet lag soon. I'm lucky that he's still with us, but after 40 years, I still remember greeting him at the airport with "We just heard that Da Nang fell." His answer was, "Then that's the end." By the end of April, he was right.

Article which prompted everything below is here.

I'll start by saying that I don't have children. However, like most of us, I was a child at one point, and I remember growing up.

When I was 5 I went to kindergarten. The school, Ashlawn, was three or eight blocks away depending upon the route. My mother walked the three block version, which included a short trip through some public greenery on the edge of the playground, for about a week before school was due to begin. The night before the first day of school, she asked me if I wanted her to come with me. I replied that I was a big girl, and I walked to school by myself.

Part of me regrets not having her walk me to school the first day, mostly because she never offered again. But I also remember how proud of myself I was for being "a big girl."

Mom made certain I knew all the smart things: never get in a car with an adult you don't know, never tell anyone where you live (other than a policeman if you're lost), come straight home. I took these to heart. In late October or early November, it began to rain while I was at school. I had my rain coat, boots, and umbrella, so I was prepared, but no one realized how windy it was going to be or how much the temperature would drop. I began to walk home. My umbrella blew inside out as soon as I got out of the trees and the wind felt like it was going right through me. At the first of two street crossings, a woman stopped and asked if I wanted a lift home. She knew my name, but I didn't recognize her -- not for sure -- so I told her that I didn't take rides from strangers. I completed my route home.

The woman, whose name I don't think I ever knew, had called Mom as soon as she got home. Praised her for training me so well, and warned her that I was still over a block away and very cold and wet. Mom says she debated whether to come get me. She didn't. Instead, when I got home, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup were waiting to warm me from the inside out. Mom was never big on praise, but that day I got a lot of it -- especially for turning down the ride.

We moved to London just before first grade. Because the bus stop was on a busy street near a three lane roundabout, Dad walked me to the bus stop every morning and Mom picked me up from it every afternoon. But there were still things I did on my own, ranging from walking two blocks to the pillar box to post letters to deciding what books I wanted to read. (I attribute being able to read at a 10th grade level at age 7 to the fact that neither parent tried to censor my reading.) Third grade, I was in small town America and walked my little sister to kindergarten every morning. We walked to the bus stop in 4th and 1st grades. We walked to and from school -- a mile each way -- from my 5th - 8th grades. We also had a paper route, went to summer camp for 10 weeks every year, and were allowed to go to the movies by ourselves. With my paper route money, I bought theater tickets. I saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir standing room only when I was 12. I went to see plays, too.

At 15 I went to boarding school. I found out much later that my parents had signed the permission slip for me to smoke. They figured I might try it some time and didn't want me to get in trouble for it. Beyond that, I was shocked when I wasn't allowed to attend an evening movie or go to a restaurant on my own in downtown Richmond. I found a friend who was willing to see the Olivier Wuthering Heights with me, fortunately, and I had to fight to be allowed to attend the Nutcracker on my own at the Richmond Mosque (theater name, not religious establishment).

In Belgium, at 17, I discovered the Musee du Cinema. I saw Il Trovatore standing room only. Hell, I went to Paris for the day by myself (six hours each way by train which left me about seven hours to explore the city). Not one thing I did there was something I'd done before. But I was trusted to figure out public transportation on my own, trusted to call if I had a problem (pre-cellphone: I think we used tin cans and string back in the Dark ages), and trusted to stick to the schedule I'd discussed.

One of my fellow alumni came up to me at the reunion I attended and said, "I didn't appreciate you enough. You were the only one of us to go out and have adventures." He also thanked me for introducing him to Gilbert & Sullivan which became a lifelong love of his.

The thing that I want to emphasize most out of all this: the crime rate was much, much higher back then. Washington DC was the murder capital of the country when I was going to the theater on my own at age 12. If it was an evening performance, my parents would pick me up afterward, but if it was a matinee, I was trusted to find my way home. I was trusted to buy ingredients for the dinner I was cooking from the time I was 10, even though it involved crossing a major street with no cross walk. That's what I remember most, being trusted. And that's what I worry the kids today aren't getting.
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I have a bone riser (a condition that occurs prior to a stress fracture) on my left fifth metatarsal that is causing me considerable pain.

I have a hot, heavy protective boot to wear. Since I still am recovering from the sprain on my right ankle, I'm in a brace, but bone riser takes precedence for which side I use the cane on. To give you an idea of the pain level, wearing the hot, heavy boot on a day with high humidity felt soooo good compared to the pain without it.

I can't take anti-inflamatories as they might interfere with bone healing. I can't walk beyond absolute necessity (take the bus a block from my house rather than get my half mile walk to the metro, etc.) for 3 weeks. The boot is so thick that I, who wear sandals in the winter, have to wear a thick soled close toed shoe with it.

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Song 1 is a new art work on the exterior of the Hirschhorn Museum. This is an article about the technique which is very visually oriented.

I walked by the museum in the evening last week, and I saw what I thought was the Mockingjay symbol from The Hunger Games projected on the building and thought the publicity for the movie had gone too far. Then I saw the article on Song 1. On Wednesday night, I walked past in the early evening and saw the work -- or at least 10 minutes of it. It's moving. I don't know why. I was fascinated by the areas where the images meet and, in some portions of the film, herringbone into each other. Many of the images, in the portion I saw, concern traffic, and it was interesting as a pedestrian to watch the movement of the cars on highways from a distance.

The various renditions of "I Only Have Eyes for You" are beautiful and add something touching to the work. It was odd to see the projections on the mall side as I was walking. There are windows on that part of the museum, so the images had voids in them. Walking to the Air and Space Museum side of the building gave me a full image with two seams at the edge of my vision for the herringbone.

I may revisit this after I've seen it again, or stayed for the full 45 minutes to view the whole. It's fascinating.
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Part of my daily walk to work is straight up Capitol Hill on the Senate side of the Capitol grounds.

Usually I see joggers and maintenance people. Occasionally, there are school groups. One morning, there was about twenty senior officers from several branches of the military -- a very colorful group in their Class A uniforms with ribbons on their chests.

This morning, I was wished a Merry Christmas by a gentleman with a hand-lettered sign reading "Trust in Jesus." He shook his head and said, "The healthcare bill just passed." I think he was surprised when I punched the air and grinned.

Just a morning walk through my city.

I feel good

May. 5th, 2008 10:45 pm
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I walked home from Chinatown tonight. It was still light out when I got home too. Yes, I'm still on a cane, but I loved every minute of my walk. Well, except for the rat by the Department of Education. No, I'm not referring to the Cabinet Secretary.

Walking the city is how I learn it. Washington DC is one I know fairly well, and it's easy to landmark, so new routes and connections are always happening.

I'm still trying to figure out what city planner I need to hurt for putting The Hard Rock Cafe right next door to Ford's Theater.

In my perambulations I came across a group of people fighting with Roman short swords and shields. I asked "SCA?" and got the answer, "Among other things." I've made my first contact with Atlantia.

The Chestnut trees should be blooming by early next week and the magnolias are loaded with blossoms. When they come into full bloom with the humidity the scent is going to permeate the city. I won't be surprised by sex in the street.


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