||[Mar. 20th, 2017|05:22 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
A week ago, I set up my bicycle trainer in the condo as an attempt to get more regular exercise. Sub-freezing weather and low motivation was keeping me from doing much outdoor riding. During that week, Danae was understandably a bit put out by my stuff having taken over a lot of the living room (I had a big [musical] keyboard on the dining table as well). I feel a little silly taking the bike back outside after only a week, but it was in the low 40s here today; warm enough to not have to put on gloves and thermal underwear. I didn't ride nearly as far as I thought I might; I am sadly out of shape compared to last year. But it was so satisfying to be out riding fast on smooth tires and clear roads. I'll make that as close to a daily thing as I can.
Piper is recovering well from her hip dislocation. She doesn't seem to be in much pain, and this morning she pooped for the first time since the emergency vet visit on Thursday. I was starting to be concerned about that. We carry her everywhere: at outside time, I carry her from spot to spot and set her down until she finds somewhere she deems appropriate for her needs, then we go back in. When I'm alone with her, she has to be in a crate so she doesn't move around. She whines about that a bit, but has been fairly accepting overall. She's getting lots of attention from Danae and I when we're around and have time and that seems to mollify her.
I did go with Posi to Minneapolis this past weekend. We were visiting for the wedding of a family member of his. I really enjoyed meeting said family member and his now-wife. She is a doctoral student of neuro-psychology, and there was a heck of a lot of conceptual overlap between her work and the linguistic and cultural sub-fields of anthropology. We talked briefly about the nature of perception and language, understandings of faceblindness as an absolute vs. a spectrum (and confusion thereof), and other interesting things. As we talked about language, I thought of the Pirahã, who I'd learned about in the linguistic anthro class I took and asked her whether she knew of them. It turned out she'd just taught about them the week before in her class! They're the sort of people I'd love to be social with if we weren't six hours away.
We ate at the Wisconsin Dells both on the way there and the way back. The dells look so sprawly to me these days. I feel like they're being homogenized, losing their distinct character. A few things are left that I get the sense have been there for decades, but so much seems new and indistinct from other touristy areas. I commented to Posi that I wish I could have an experiential knowledge of the dells fifty years ago, before the influence of the interstate highway system and concomitant urban reorganization happened. Though he couldn't give me that, he did tell me a lot about what the place was like thirty years ago when he was there with his family as a kid. It was so nice of him to talk to me about those experiences, and listening to him was a treat.
I'm still having trouble concentrating on reading. I started Jeremy Black's Maps and Politics, and then a biography of Robert Moses, but it's hard to spend much time at a stretch with them. I have a vague feeling that it has something to do with learning to tear through a minimum of a book a week for grad school, but I'm not sure. It's a little hard to get myself to sit down and slowly take in the text rather than dash through for highlights and then dig into particularly relevant bits. (Posi suggested I read a children's book or two to remind my brain that there are other ways to read. The idea is strange, but somewhat appealing.)
Instead, I've been concentrating on learning some music. I got my keyboard from my parents' place, printed out some sheet music for a few songs from games that are dear to me, and have been making some slow progress with them.