Does anyone else hate my new template? I'm not sure, but I think instead of growing on me, it's shrinking. Or growing mold, instead of something good like carrots or affection.
Speaking of growing! Me and my neighbor/coworker/awesome friend K finally put together our square foot gardens this past Sunday. This is 2009's battle plan against the voles -- planting vulnerable plants inside 8-inch-tall, 4-foot-square boxes, with unchewable steel mesh bottoms. If the voles are brave and determined enough to clamber over the sides, that will mean total WAR. I'm not sure what we'd do. Add a huge mesh cage that goes over the whole thing? Affix broken glass with mortar along the edges, or that spiky anti-pigeon stuff? Perhaps a tiny electric fence? K and I are fairly tender-hearted, but watching our plants last year get destroyed by unseen, under-earth predators has hardened us. We are ready to draw blood if this doesn't work.
I am going to use the rest of my garden space to grow the kinds of things the voles didn't eat last year (mostly flowers and herbs). So far in the box I have planted seeds for lettuce, chard, carrots, and peas. I actually made a second, small, 12-foot-high box -- a cubic foot -- garden just for growing carrots.
In other news, I've been going to the gym regularly, doing cardio stuff and then some hand weights and crunches and crap like that. I went overboard and played a new-to-me Gameboy Advance PS for many hours this last weekend, and now my shoulder and arm is killing me, so I am laying off the upper body stuff for now.
I am getting more familiar with my gym. For instance:
Almost everyone at my gym is already in great shape. There are a few really buff women who I see all the time (naturally, since they're there all the time -- one of them was sighing about going to the gym twice a day to train for some unnamed competition).
Strangers will make friendly small talk with you in the locker room. Even the girl with the perfectly smooth, tanned skin and the dangling, crystal-encrusted bellybutton ring will talk to you about how she's got to put on more makeup before she "gets out there." ("Huh" I said neutrally, as I pulled on my old, holey t-shirt and $10 target shorts.)
It turns out I am NOT the only one on this planet still using a relatively-ancient iPod.
I have been doing the "high interval" heart training routine on the elliptical (in which you alternate three minutes at a high heart rate -- for my age/weight, this is 147, according to the machine -- with then three minutes at a lower rate, 119 for me). In order to slow back down to the lower heart rate, I have to go so slowly that the machine thinks I have actually left the room, and the screen says "WORKOUT PAUSED" for a second, until the machine realizes that I'm still on it, moving, just very slowly. Fuck you, elliptical machine.
My gym has a kid's room with some kind of two-story crawl-through play structure (like you might find at a McDonald's). This room is apparently enough of a draw that kids have their birthday parties at the gym. These parties always involve pizza, which is delivered to and served at the little juice bar area in the center of the gym. Smelling hot, fresh pizza while you are wheezing away on the elliptical machine? Not so helpful. It makes me alternately nauseous and starving.
Anyway, there's a bunch of neighborhood association leadership stuff that I did and am planning but I've already written too much for one post.