This weekend, the toxic smog of heat, humidity, and forest fire smoke that has been choking Seattle finally broke, and I actually felt semi-human again. Yesterday, I trundled over to the gym for a workout, and this morning I actually felt like taking a swim for the first time in over six months. Swimming is about the healthiest thing I can do for myself; the problem is, this wonderfully stress-reducing and strengthening activity became associated in my head with a routine and punishing chore during the time I was swimming four times a week strictly for weight loss. That’s the problem with iron discipline on the workout front: Exercise quickly loses its appeal as a pleasurable activity and becomes a boring, painful grind. Every time I thought about swimming, my brain rebelled. I don’t want to waste my precious free time doing something I associate with a chore akin to cleaning the bathroom or filing bills. But, for the first time in ages this morning, it was rainy and cool and the air was clean, and I thought, “a swim would feel good.” And indeed it did, even though I can tell I’m pretty out of shape. I may have healed my sour feelings about swimming enough to actually start going in the evenings again. I’ve been too sedentary over the summer, and during the last few months, I’ve seen first-hand the terrible things that can befall the human body. I want to be in gratitude for my body’s strength, for the fact that I can feel pleasure in the physicality of swimming, the cool water, my arms and legs pushing against its forces, the buoyancy of my bones, the satisfying exhaustion afterwards. In spite of how much I complain about its limitations physically and aesthetically, my body is relatively strong and healthy. I want to enjoy that state for a long as I can.
It is Mr. Typist’s sacred sworn duty to calmly and efficiently dispatch of any and all spiders found on the Typist premises. (I’m pretty sure it was in our vows.) Last night, I walked smack into a gargantuan, evil, plotting spider in the bathroom. Mr. Typist dutifully showed up for the assignment, but then proceeded to botch it completely. I was cowering in the bedroom when I heard a series of “Uh-ohs”, “ah…shoots” and “what the hells?” Never a good sign. I poked my head in nervously to see what was going on. Apparently, he had “lost track” of the spider. Lost track?! “What if it crawled into your towel?” I ask nervously. He wiggled the towel lackadaisically and shrugged, seemingly oblivious to the dire state of emergency we were in. “Can you please take the towel outside and shake it out? All the way out?” I begged. “He could be in there.” He sighed, and I left to go sweat it out in the living room while he did battle. Ten minutes later he came out and sank wearily onto the recliner, defeated. “Listen,” he said didactically, “I’m pretty sure the spider fell down between the toilet tank and the wall and got stuck. He isn’t going anywhere. He’ll die in there. Is that good enough?” It most certainly was not good enough. In fact, the whole story sounded very fishy to me, but I let it go after asking him to put the plug in the bathtub (to block Spidey’s army of minions from creeping up through the drain) and to bring me my socks. I didn’t need that thing busting out and skittering over my bare feet.
I’m a die-hard (and long-suffering) fan of a long-running podcast called “TBTL”. They send out a weekly newsletter, which I usually read in full, but this week, I rolled my eyes when I saw it was mostly a series of videos containing dance scenes. I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike of anything musical, and dance scenes I find particularly irksome. But I went ahead clicked on each video and watched them in full, and it turns out, they were all captivating. I especially loved this one from a band I never heard of named, “Here We Go Magic.” I know it breaks all of my rules, but the dancing lady robot is pretty irresistible.