Sunday Salon: A Break From the Storms

I know this title is cliche, but that’s what this weekend represents for me, both figuratively and literally. Professionally, things have been terribly stressful lately and this weekend has allowed me to sleep in, put aside some of that anxiety and try to recover. Literally, it’s been a beautiful weekend in southeastern Michigan, a nice break from all the rain we received last week and the storm we’re due to receive this week.

This weekend is also about trying new things. Yesterday Joel and I headed up to Rochester Hills, where Joel tried out track cycling for the first time at the Bloomer Park velodrome. It is what it sounds like: bikes going around in circles on a track. The curves, however, are banked a nice 44 degree angle, making it slightly terrifying. Joel did great though, and it was a nice way to spend a warm, sunny Saturday morning.

Tonight it’s my turn as I head to my first roller derby practice. Yes, that’s right: roller derby. I never thought it possible either, and I’m more than a little nervous, but I think I can work up the courage to do it. One of Joel’s co-workers is on a team and we went to see one of her “bouts” about a month ago. I thought it would be fun but instead of merely having a good time, I loved it. I loved the physicality, the people, the outfits. I loved how these girls celebrated their femininity and sexiness — with their short shorts and fishnet stockings — all the while beating the crap out of each other. It’s actually not as violent as I thought, but it looked like a whole lotta fun. Plus, I need a way to meet young women outside of work. I’ve lived in Michigan for nearly a year, and while I’ve made great friends, I still feel very isolated, my closest friends being Joel and my cats. Also, I hope roller derby provides me with the outlet I need to work out some of my work-related frustration and simmering anger. And lord knows I need the physical exercise.

I’m just nervous about actually being able to do it, as I haven’t roller-skated in years. Plus, I know I can be unbearably shy so I’m hoping I don’t completely close down.

Luckily, my reading schedule has been hopping along at a good pace, bringing me the relief I needed during two very hectic weeks. I started and finished Out Chasing Horses by Per Petterson, which was good but a little slow. I don’t know if I gave it the attention it deserved, so consumed as I was with work stress. But the language was remarkable and the images brilliant — a definite recommendation if you’re a fan of literary fiction. I’m now almost finished with When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, a book I desperately needed to take the edge off. I just loved David Sedaris — as I think every right-thinking person does — and I was psyched when I picked up his latest book, in hardcover, at my library’s book sale for only $2. Plus, I think it will provide a good buffer before I begin on my major summer read: War and Peace. That’s right, I’m doing it. We’ll talk more about that later.

Until then, enjoy your Sunday!

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