Monthly Archives: June 2012

Climbing Update: The Dangers

Short story:  This is really hard!

Long story:  I’m enjoying myself but worried that I may be falling behind the class.  I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again:  this girl is not naturally athletic and definitely not naturally coordinated.  Having either one of those things in place would probably help.  Being at the bottom of the class I’ve been going twice a week between classes to practice.  Practicing alone usually means bouldering (ie climbing routes that go across or up only a bit because you are not harnessed in) which I never thought I would like and found out that I very much like.  I tend to go late in the evenings at about 930 or 10 and climb until it closes at 11pm.  This is because I hate crowds and I hate people watching me climb.  Oh, and the endless birthday parties are worth avoiding as well.  
The way climbing works is that you can just jump on the wall and climb however you want OR you can climb a pre-set route.  The benefit of these ready-made routes usually marked by tape is that most require the use of at least one technique (often 2+) in order to complete it without cheating and these can help you get a lot better.  One of my go-to warm-up routes is a bouldering route called “Backstepper’s Walz”.  It is funny how you can show up one week nail a route or a “problem” (a very short route requiring a specific technique) and then go back a few days later and have to start all over again.  Bouldering can also be fun because the climbing community is generally full of friendly people who will offer tips and suggestions of what foot hold to try or what maneuver to use.  Last night I ended up out for pizza and beer (well….sprite for me) after finishing at 11pm with some MEC workers getting tips on the effective use of bear spray.
But this means I haven’t been practicing top-roping (climbing UP the wall with the harness and ropes) because I need a partner to do that.  Perhaps as I get to know more people at the gym this won’t be such an obstacle.
Also, as fun as it is, climbing has an unfortunate effect on my knees and makes wearing knee length skirts to work less appealing.


The Big Reveal

The proper title for this post may actually be “the-slightly-underwhelming reveal” as there is still barely a stitch of furniture in my place so the paint colours are all I have to show for myself.  It was mostly done about a week ago but then I took my sweet time with taking all the tape down and putting the light switch covers back on.  The colours are intense and, to be honest, it took me some time to be sure that I had made the right choice.  Now the place needs some art and some furniture.

A Great Day

The day started off a little rocky – the alarm sounded at 0830 for a run and I finally rolled of bed and into my workout garb at 10am.  However, on this run of mine, I found myself in the midst of the downtown farmers’s market that they have outside on the street.  It was love at first sight and I knew I would be back later that day.

So ShanWow and I met up in the real downtown later that day starting with the Edmonton Pride parade.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect considering what a circus the Toronto Pride parade was.  You know what?  It was endearingly small.  Not so small that there weren’t some fabulous floats with golden peacock drag queens but not so large that families couldn’t put their very own car in the parade to proclaim their love for the daughter’s wife.  What it lacked in size (and music…..come on, EVERY float should have some speakers) it made up for in heart and community spirit.  You get the feeling that not too long ago it would have been taboo to attend something like this in Edmonton.  This year, for the very first time, the premier of Alberta (a woman, of course 🙂 was involved in Pride and even made the opening remarks.  It gives me hope for this somewhat backwards province*.

A large company then handed out rainbow flags and all of the audience joined the parade and marched a few blocks to the party in the city square.  Those flags were addictive!  Something about a well-designed flag, ShanWow and I just could not stop waving them around.  I think ShanWow’s was still flying 3 hours later after a trip to the library.

The best part of the whole event was finding people just like me:  Atheists!  There was a booth at the mid-afternoon after-party hosted by the Edmonton Atheism Society where I had my photo taken with the flying spaghetti monster and was even touched by the noodley appendage.

Sadly I did not get a photo with purple gay Jesus who came complete with a purple crown of thorns and heels.  While his message is a bit off-target the costume is bang-on.

And what a better way to continue a great day with a trip to the library, Indian food (with gulab jamun of course aka Indian timbits), a drag performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray and GAMES NIGHT.  A completely fantastic Saturday.

*Does Canada seem to be getting more and more uptight to anyone else?  Thank the flying spaghetti monster for Quebec.  Now there is a province that tackles real issues, knows more-or-less what socialism is and is not made up of a mass of prudish public.  Canada is richer for having Quebec.  

Vertically Inclined

I decided to steal the punny name of my new (only) climbing gym to title this blog.  It is basically mandatory to include a pun in the name of any rock climbing gym.  For years I have wanted to try rock climbing on a regular basis and actually improve however I have never lived in a place where a gym was readily accessible nor have I ever been able to afford such a hobby.  Then came Edmonton.  The facility isn’t exactly close but, with a car, it isn’t exactly far either.  So I splurged on a 10 week class this summer that offers 2.5 hours of instruction once a week plus a pass to go and practice between lessons – the claim is that I will go from nearly zero knowledge of climbing to something called “lead” climbing where you hook your own rope and it hurts a lot more to fall all in 10 lessons. 10 LESSONS.  I’m terrified.  When I signed up I hadn’t realized lead climbing was part of it and, honestly, I had planned to NEVER do it and just stick to my lovely already placed ropes.

My arms are tired, my hands had trouble gripping the steering wheel to drive myself home.  The verdict:  this is going to be tough.  But, if I’m diligent with my (very necessary) practice sessions in between I should be able to make this work.