Four kinds of cold

This is a summary of my Thanksgiving weekend. Four days, each with some contrast of warm people and cold temperatures.


I’d been toying with the idea of getting back into running. I’d stopped due to a hurt knee: I think it was a brisk September evening when there was still some light at six or seven pm when I was feeling especially swift, and decided to keep pace with some taller runners on the trail. About a minute after I turned around, my left leg gave out like a pillar of liquid; I scooped it up to get my shivering self onto a 61 downtown. At the stop, someone asked to try out my Lumia (es la mia, si?); I handed it to him as I realized that there would be no more 9 mile runs for quite some time.

On Thursday, I had a lot of time and needed to create some calorie deficit; I decided to bike down Eastlake and run around once I’d reached lake level. It would also be a good opportunity to try my new hiking minipack, and the bikeshare access meant that I wouldn’t be stranded and freezing on a day with uncertain bus service.

I biked down, surviving the Boren downhill and not getting too confused at the bike lane that abruptly ends in front of REI — I even took a helmet! Really, this was sitting on a bike and sliding downhill, rather like every other form of transport but with more wind and less suspension.

I soon realized my mistake: the backpack just didn’t fit. It was too long, and even cinched as tightly as possible, would not stay around my waist. I could have realized this in my apartment and should have known that a unisex adult backpack would be too large. I wasn’t going to run with this backpack.

That calorie deficit, however, wasn’t going to create itself, so I decided to do some sightseeing on the bike. It was nice! I got to see places that were too spread out and boring for me to ever walk through, e.g. the UW sports area marshland giant parkinglot. I’d also heard of this mythical “childrens hospital”, so went that way.

Biking on a day with very few cars on the road gave me more confidence that I would not (certainly) die / be maimed: I felt 95% in-control? I was a very confusing-looking rider, since I was dressed in running shorts + windbreaker and wearing an athletic-looking backpack — everything was slightly incongruous. My thigh tops suffered.

[as contrast, the calorie deficit was filled with Szechuanese food from 7*. Heat indeed.]


Friday was rainy. I had to get to my gym (Kinetic 6 Fitness) in Fremont, which I’m pretty good at, except downtown was sealed off for demonstrations? tree lightings? The bus towards downtown was rerouted to Stewart, at which point I caught a SLUT to Westlake immediately behind a 40. I had time, that one was late, it has already pulled away and another one was coming, so I ducked inside Whole Foods.

#blacklivesmatter #notonedime was on my mind but I was bored and felt awkward, standing around in the food court and not consuming anything. What does my awkward self do in this situation? I go to the soap display, sniffed each of the soaps, and then bought 3 bars because it was on sale (3/$3). I felt kind of lame about spending money for comfort, but then I realized that for the price of a latte, I would instead be supplied with humanely-manufactured, glycerin-included, naturally-scented cleanliness for years. Slow-release white foam, if you will.

My attire was strange on Friday too! Same running outfit + fleece + shell, but these flat, matte-black sneakers with a thin white outsole and minimal lacing, much like a Clarks Desert boot with the styling of a black cloth kung fu slipper. These sneakers are my only shoes without holes, and are also so ill-padded in the heel that I have no choice but to land on my forefoot, even when walking.

I do the workout (it’s arm day, yay), then try to get home. I waffle about whether to change into the tights and dress I brought, and let laziness win. Someone from the class makes fun of me for fussing with my raincoat as I grimace at the raindrops. “It’s not so bad, look! [feigned screams as he goes out]”

I decide to go via Aurora, so go up the hill towards the troll, and take the stairs up. I knew there was a way to get up there without stairs but couldn’t remember at the time.

So the stairs are well-drained, but the top landing is a puddle 3” deep. I thought about shimmying across on the railing, then decided to just run through it in as few steps as possible.


A car drives by and I am hit by water so heavy it was opaque — the puddle was not only in the stair landing but also in the road, that car had no sympathy / didn’t see me, and because this was at the top of a bridge, there was nowhere to duck. Full body rinse, no shampoo.

I worry about catching cold. That’s what happens when you’ve been hit with cold rain, right? Then I remembered that I was warm and glowing from exercise, in polyester bottoms, and bundled in fleece with my shell on top. I’d made all the right decisions. A bit of hand-squeegeeing and toweling off with my tights, and I was basically dry.

[that evening: dancing at Om. My friends are incredible dancers. There is an American Waltz move called the waterfall.

Then I went home and read a mediocre dystopian novel (“The Unit”): the protagonist enjoys ballroom dancing and other lead / follow practices that have become illegal in egalitarian society (author: swedish woman). She and other childless folks live in a permanently warm isolation compound called where they exist as test subjects and organ farms. “Never Let Me Go” x “50 shades”, oy.]


It snowed, and I woke up randomly at 8. Breakfast is a kit kat and somes coffee, rushed, because I wanted to be outside and take photos of the snow before people stepped in it. It was very windy! Snow had stopped falling from the sky by morning, but it was still blowing from bough to bough. I’d unwisely removed the hood from my jacket the night before. I really needed that hood, but I pressed on.

I warm up when I climb into the shelter of the water tower at Volunteer Park, and suddenly, it’s 9:50. SHIT. ballet started at 10. I’d decided to take a ballet class because I felt like that’s where dancers learned to be pretty, and I felt like my dancing had stopped being pretty.

It turns out that the backpack fits ok if I’m wearing a thick jacket. I arrive at ballet very thick-thighed and heaving from my 0.05-marathon (1.3 miles!). I remember that ballet is very down on thick thighs. I don’t quite warm up until I eat a breakfast sandwich at Cafe Argento.

[that evening: singing! what a lovely time. We hit one mixolydian mode one which, to me, feels like sunshine.]


Queen Anne stair climb urban hike with Eric + flock! Olympics, Cascades, Baker, and the adorable round mound of Gasworks. I’d shed my jacket for the climbing portion only to have to zip it on tightly by Mitchell Park.

[afternoon: creole brunch food at Toulouse Petit with Jason, then karaoke with Daniel + friends.]

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