Sunday, August 26, 2007


I'd say it's been a lazy work-filled weekend. I'd planned to catch a screening at the AFI on Friday, but I stayed too late at work and wound up going home instead. Boring! I did stop at Union Station on my way home, thinking that I might catch a movie there. My timing was bad so I got a burger instead and I think the waiter tried to pick me up. He asked how I was enjoying my visit and seemed pleased when I said I wasn't visiting. He asked where I worked and when I told him, he asked for my card. I honestly answered that I didn't have one with me and he didn't push. He seemed sweet but I wasn't interested.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour so I'd get a good night's sleep in prep for my first soccer game on Saturday. Right, did I mention that I'm joining a soccer league? I went to a practice a couple of weeks ago and it was fun. I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but I enjoy it. I've played soccer in pick up games a handful of times and it's always been fun. Until my recent shoulder trouble, I never considered joining a league. But, now I have, and our first game was scheduled for an hour into a heat advisory!

The game was at 12:30, so I ate a big breakfast around 9:30am and then drank water. I know you can get sick running around in that heat, especially on a full stomach, but I also needed fuel. I was fine, as it turned out. We played two 25-minute halves (instead of the normal 45-minute ones) and it was exhausting. Well, anytime I ran, it was exhausting. The rest of the time it was just hot. I was a fullback (?), which is a defensive position and involves relatively less running. I did ok. Our team only had one sub, so I played the full 50 minutes. We had one break for water between halves and that was it. Actually, it was a good warm up for future play. While I was tired after the game (and very red in the face), wasn't sore. Today, I can feel my legs a little, but that's it. I have some hopes now that soccer will work out well for me. Oh, and we won! I was very far away from the goals but enjoyed the vicarious thrill of scoring. I'm also pleased that we managed to win after playing with nine players (instead of 11) for the first ten minutes against a team with four or five subs. I can beat myself up for low skills and lack of speed but I had enough stamina to play the entire game and I feel good about that. I even made some good defensive moves--so there!

Now I have kickball on Tuesdays, soccer on Saturdays, and I was just invited to join a fall softball team that plays on Sundays. This is all very good. It doesn't quite replace rowing but if I start going to the gym again, I'd be in great shape. And maybe I can join an indoor soccer league for the fall/winter, if I continue to like it.

Another thing I did in prep for soccer was buy gear. On Thursday, I got out of training early and decided to run some errands with the flexcar. I planned to go to the Modell's near my place and then swing by Frager's (the hardware store) to buy yard work equipment.

Modell's was huge and mostly filled with football equipment. I was able to find what I needed: shin guards, soccer socks and cleats. I have a pair of softball cleats but they give me blisters if I run in them, which I learned when I wore them playing ultimate Frisbee. When I was looking at the shin guards, a young guy tried to help me. He saw me holding the socks and said, "We have a lot of socks on sale over there…"

I said, "Thanks, but I think I need special socks for the shin guards. Do you think these will work?"

He looked at the long, men's socks I was holding and the shin guards I'd picked out, "Yeah, I think you need those underneath."

"Um, I think you wear the socks over the shin guards, but I don't know."

"I don't either. Let me asked." He slipped away and found someone to ask. He came back and said, "Yeah, they do go over."

"Ok. Thanks!"

The whole kit and caboodle was only $40 and change, not bad.

Today, Sunday, I took it easy. My only scheduled activity was yard work. I'd decided to grill myself something for dinner as sort of a reward for making the yard more pleasant. I'd put out a call to the neighbors asking for some helping hands. I got no response. Boo on them. I wonder if I'll get any thanks for my efforts.

I didn't rush into the work though. First, I puttered, put up some laundry and then went out for coffee and a movie. I wasn't going to spend the whole day in the yard! Last weekend I put in about an hour, another half hour on Thursday, so I figured I'd do an hour today and maybe finish.

I planned to cook a small steak and some potatoes. I worked for over an hour, pulling and cutting ivy and other weeds. When I started to bag up the detritus, I turned on the (gas) grill to preheat. When I was done with the bagging, I put on the potatoes and went inside to take a shower. When I came back out, I put on the steak. The timing was perfect! Also, there's nothing better than cooking outside on a hot day. No heating or smelling up the house and minimal clean up. I was very pleased. I'll have to use the grill more often. Now that the back is more presentable, I may. There is still a little further work to do--some stray weeds and cutting back--and it needs a good sweeping, but it's so much better. It's crazy that no one can be bothered to lend a hand when it's a total of three hours work so far with maybe another hour to go. Argh. Of course, if I'd done a better job maintaining things, it would have been even less work. That's what I get for going on strike. It's hard to feel like I'm the only person who gives a damn about any of it. Sigh.

Anyway, overall, it was a productive weekend. The bills are paid, the laundry is done (mostly), the yard is under control and I'm very tired. Perfect!

Grateful for: hard work.

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