Some complaints

People I know. Some have ridiculously rigid opinions about everything. Others are just too fussy. Others are just weird and I don’t understand their opinions at all. Some talk about their children all the time. (I know. I talk about my children all the time, and I used to even more.) Some people try to get you all worked about something, and then it turns out that they are mad at someone else, and what they really want is to get you involved. Uh, no, thank you. Or they have some weird issue and they are looking for an ally. Also, no.

Other people’s complaints. Some people complain about the most ridiculous things. Sometimes they complain the most when they’re actually happy. Then you feel like you’re ruining their happiness if you try to fix whatever they’re complaining about. Really, they are just happily complaining. Don’t try to stop them. Do hide in the shrubbery when you see them coming if you’re not in the mood for pointless complaints. (Contrary to what you are thinking, this is not me.)

The gym. I wish Robbie ran the fitness class instead of Al — his instructions make a lot more sense. He leaves you with a number of exercises that you understand and can do and feel like you’ve gotten somewhere. Al just makes you do all these pointless things like exercises before you get out of bed in the morning. Really, he could just say — wiggle around a little bit in the morning — and leave it at that. I just want to do things that will make me stronger, plus more flexible, plus fitter. I don’t really want to think about it. I do like Al, though, which makes me feel bad about wishing Robbie would come back.

My foot hurts and I’m hungry and I’m cold. The good thing is that I have a fleece. I will put it on.

See? I complained, and I fixed, and now it is done.

Also, I think lunch may take care of the hungry problem. Which may, in turn, take care of all the rest of them, too.

All right, then. Feeling better already.

Tomales Bay

tomales bay

So we went kayaking over the weekend.

It was kind of fun — looking back on it, I’m glad I did it.

At the time, though, it felt kind of like a death march. Part of the problem was all the gear you have to wear — wet suits and spray jackets and spray skirts. I’m used to kayaking at my mother’s, where you put on your bathing suit and some shorts and that’s it. And the kayaks are stubby and pretty stable, and it wouldn’t matter if you fell in anyway, since the water is warm. I’m wondering if it’s not possible to have some of that feeling out here. We saw people going across the bay on paddle boards (one with a dog!), which makes me think it might be possible — as long as you don’t fall in and then freeze to death.

The other thing is that we went a long way — all the way from Heart’s Desire Beach to Hog Island, which seems to be about 5 miles if you go straight, which of course we did not do. So we probably kayaked at least 11 miles, if not 12. That seems pretty far to me.

We say jellyfish and pelicans (white and brown) and seals and cormorants and sea anenomes.


It felt a lot like the lake from Swallows and Amazons. It’s long and narrow. You can actually camp along the western shore. It would be fun to camp there, and then spend another day heading out to look at the island — to spend some time poking in and out of the little coves. We were lucky in that it was pretty flat — I’m not sure how fun it would be if it weren’t flat. It would probably be fun to poke around with a little sailboat, too.

On that pretty inadequate map above, we went from right about the s in Inverness to around where the bay widens out some distance about the T in Tomales. Pretty far, right?

Anyway. We kayaked on Saturday, and I spent much of Sunday recovering on the couch. But I’m glad we did it. I just wonder if there isn’t a way of going less encumbered by gear. Maybe I would be happier in a less confining kayak. I don’t know — I’ll have to investigate.



So, we had a meeting about our kayaking trip last night and, judging from all the gear we had to pack it’s going to be intense. I mean, we’re just going for a few hours — not a week. I’m the sort of kayaker who likes to go in my bathing suit and a life preserver and a hat. Is a wet suit really necessary? A spray skirt? Maybe so, and it’s probably good to know all that crap.

Really, I should know all that crap and then it would be possible to go kayaking around here all the time.

I keep thinking of M. We are going kayaking with the organization that hosted her favorite camps when she was little. Our meeting last night took place down at the marina with all the little dinghies she and N used to sail in every summer. They also took rock-climbing, and M took kayaking, although I don’t think N ever did. M was the one who always had to go out and rescue N and the cousins when they’d taken the kayaks out at my mother’s house and swamped them. She was the one who could do tricky maneuvers like rolling over like an eskimo, and getting back into a kayak from the water. M was also the one who would never play a team sport of any kind. I found a picture just the other day of her, age probably 8, sitting on the dock with N and a cousin with the water sparkling behind them. M is wearing a blue two-piece bathing suit which reveals a deep tan and a surprisingly muscular stomach.

Unrepresentative photographs

(photo from 2010)

I am excited because I’m going kayaking on Saturday. We shall see if all this working out has made me stronger, or just more likely to lie in my kayak and hope it drifts to a pleasant place.

I have to say that if I were put in a kayak right now, it would be the latter. Even picking up a pen feels like it’s beyond me at the moment.

I think I’m also suffering because we had one guy who told us to do one group of exercises and now another guy who wants us to do different stuff, so I’m doing both and it’s a bit deadly. I’m sure that will all settle down.

Anyway. Don’t mind me while I lie like a crumpled spider on the floor.

Thanks —

So —


So —

Summer doldrums have hit.

I ought to go to the pool, I don’t want to go to the pool, I really should go to the pool — that sort of thing.

So, anyway, I think I’ll head off to the pool.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day and I will get a lot done.

Anything is possible, right?

Okay, then.


Okay. Trying to pick it all up again.

I got home from Seattle and quickly had a dinner at our house, a baseball game, a party, and another dinner at our house to contend with. It was all fun. I am still recovering. I stayed home yesterday to do things like, oh, laundry, dishes, washing the floor. I’m back at work today, still trying to remember what it is I do every day.

Okay, it’s starting to come back.

This weekend I’m going kayaking, which I’m very excited about.

I am on an all-Swedish-detective-novel diet as far as reading goes. Very satisfying. They drink a lot of coffee. which was somehow appropriate in Seattle. Not inappropriate here, either. And so satisfying — if Irene Huss is having a cup, I can have one, too, right?

In fact, I’m drinking a latte right this very minute — and yet I still have the very strong desire to crawl under my desk and take a quick nap.

Maybe if I really do start going to bed at 9:30 every night? believe me, I’d be happy to.

Okay, that’s all I got.


I am back from Seattle.


Seattle was great. I’ve got some good pictures. It is beautiful, not that I got out much. I had nice meals out with friends I only see at conferences. The conference was good — for the most part our meetings were productive and our sessions well-attended. We’d asked a guy to speak without knowing much more about him than that he was local and writes an interesting column. Some of us had dinner with him the night before, and he turned out to be just a lovely, nice, funny guy. And then his speech was amazing — even very cynical people I know enjoyed it.

So that was good.

I like the Pacific Northwest. For one thing, Seattle is very far north — about on the same latitude as Bismark, and well above even Maine, and even Quebec. I think it really does remind me of North Dakota in that respect — the very long summer days and the beautiful light. It is almost possible I could live there . . .

In any case — the conference went well, and I am glad it went well and is over, because now I have about 50 billion other things to worry about.


(Dahlia’s from the farmer’s market. Radiant.)

The Gym

I signed up for an after 50 fitness class. I’ve been twice, now, and it’s really fun!

It meets at 8, t-th, in the Auxiliary Weight Room. It really is like I’ve joined a secret society. The gym itself is like that early in the morning — all kinds of people awake and out of their houses and following the gym protocol — walking down the winding halls with intent. But the class is even moreso. It’s a little club, and they all know each other, and a lot of them are retired librarians! That is where they’ve gone! (It seems like the class has been going on for a while, and another woman and I are just the latest recruits. I’m so pleased to be a lot stronger than her — although she is probably 15 years older than me, so perhaps I should not be so proud. She’s more flexible, though.)

Anywhere, they are all very kind and encouraging, and there’s a guy who showed us how to use all the equipment and how much weight to lift.

It’s quite fun, although I am feeling a bit exhausted this morning.

I kind of can’t wait to go back.