Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Entomology and the Workout Mix

An hour and approximately 18 minutes and 23 seconds ago I stepped outside and glared at the sky, a dull gray featureless shroud incessantly spitting cold wet misery. I squinted my eyes shut and grumbled my way across the parking lot, pulling the hood of my dirty white coat close around my face to try and take the bite out of the wind. I passed several other Eskimos on my way, also bundled up tight. Their backs were just as hunched, their faces as scrunched as my own, but I felt no kinship with them. We played tug-of-war with Ohio, each of us trying to hold our warmth close into ourselves against forces that would suck it away. Why did I leave my room? When will this snow stop? Karmi says it's going to snow all week. What am I doing?

Five minutes ago I stepped out a different door, into a different snowfall, a different Ohio. I saw the snow catching in the lamplight as I crunched my boot into the sidewalk, and I had to take off my headphones. I stopped to listen to the muffled stillness of heavy snowfall, the odd way that snow sounds are simultaneously dampened and amplified, and the crunch of my boots into the soft white. Flakes clumped together and swirled gently down through the yellow glow, a few of them drifting to rest on my upturned cheeks, and I let them linger until they melted on my skin. I sucked a lungfull of brisk air into my nose and let it bite before blowing a misty cloud around my face. I paused under that tree at the corner of North Quad, the one with the twisted branches, and admired every sparkling twig. For the first time since it started snowing this Friday, I looked at the clean softness of Oberlin in February and smiled. Though I'll still never be a Northern girl at heart, for now, Ohio, you are beautiful.

What is the source of this dramatic difference in perspective? I went to the gym. Why does an hour of sweating, rock music, and moderate pain make you feel so fantastic? I do not know. But I like it.

Other Questions:
-Why are my "Angry" and "Workout" playlists interchangeable?
-What should my new Workout Mix be?
-How can I get a cardio workout in my room every time I need to go outside?

So obviously I am back at school. I should have known when Daniel and I drove through a literal blizzard getting here that it would be a shock to my sensitive southern system. Still took me by surprise.

Enough about the weather.

A lot has happened in my life recently, and some of it is awesome. I moved into Keep co-op. That's one of the awesome things. Oberlin co-ops are student run cooperative houses, where everyone in the house has a house job (like cleaning showers or stocking toilet paper), and people take turns cooking and cleaning up the kitchen. Because all decisions are made by consensus, people living here feel real ownership and pride in the quality of the house and take care of it (and each other). I love the community here, it is very supportive, and the energy is palpable. Right now I am missing a jam session in the lounge to write to you (that's ok though, because there will be another one tomorrow. And probably the night after that, and the night after that...). All the food so far has been vegan and delicious. I've had at least ten vegan orange ginger spice cookies in the last two days. My room mate, Karmi, is awesome, she wants to be an entomologist (study bugs, yeah I looked it up) and bee keeper. She brought an art book with her that is full of beautiful drawings of shells and jellyfish, and when I came in to meet her she was listening to one of my favorite albums. We sang in harmony before we knew each others names, I think that's a good sign. Our room is very welcoming, and stocked with tea and chocolate (hint hint visit me).

In other news, I recently turned 21, or "twenty-fun" as Helena likes to say. I have celebrated this about five times, with another party planned this weekend (The Feve, Saturday night for you Obies, everyone is invited).

Highlights of Turning Twenty Fun
-playing a bright green aluminum upright bass with a string band
-getting tipsy enough to be the only ones dancing in the bar and not care
-inviting the bartender to "surprise me"
-toasting to things like "seventh chords" and "indulgent aunts"
-being at a show where yelling "yeehaw" is completely appropriate

So that whole class thing, which goes along with the whole Ohio thing, means I have to go do homework. Then hopefully I can get some of that sleep stuff, which I hear is pretty great.

I hope you are doing so much better than well and fine and ok. Hugs all around. Write me a comment.



Anonymous said...

I still love your writing style, you just have too many talents! Glad to hear you're enjoying your co-op rooming situation, it sounds fun. I was worried about you guys driving in that weather, glad to hear you made it! :-/
Stay warm and keep up the good work! Miss you, Mary Isdahl :-)

epee4fun said...

Sounds like the keep is working out great for you. Glad you had the opportunity to get into that house. I knew it would be perfect for you!

It was so great to see you over winter break, and to finally see you play some bluegrass even if it wasn't with the Belles.