Oh just came back from a very long and exhausting bike ride on Greenie (Sara's trusty bike). We went from Duval Villa, down 27th street to Lamar, along the disc golf course and Pease Park, down Lamar and across the (terrifying- narrow emergency sidewalk, zooming cars on the left, deep big water on the right) Bridge to the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. I followed it east until I could go no further, passing the Austin Rowing Center, under rumbly I-35, a few community centers, a sportsfield, and ending up on Robert Martinez St. Whew! I'm starting to like "East of 35" more, or at least appreciate some of its redeeming aspects. It's easy to discount something you know very little about, especially if you have adopted a few of other people's ill opinions and formed an unfounded, unquestioned little world in your head.
Also, good thing the weather was excellent: it was what-it-feels-like-outside-just-before-a-storm-breaks-out for the 4 hours I was outdoors. Austin, I love and thank you for being so friendly to joggers/runners/bikers/people who transport themselves the old-fashioned way, by muscles and bone. We are people and are able to do many things without the help of machines.
On the way back I took a dead-ended shortcut through a quiet neighborhood park. There was a stranded turtle that I almost missed, but I saw the poor guy, took pity on him and proceeded to pick him up and throw him in the lake, wherever the thing was. He lost no time in kicking out his clawed arms and legs, insisting that I leave him be. I thought "turtles need water, right?" so I set my bike and backpack down, picked up the little guy who decided to quit and gingerly inched down a steep ravine to get to the shoreline many feet below. (I'm glad the water was in fact so close because I had reservations about putting him in my backpack, lest he pee/drip pondwater on my pristine condition books and Bible.) He started getting really antsy and freaked out again when he heard his fellow cousins plopping down in the water off the nearby log, so out of surprise and sheer inexperience in handling living creatures, I let the critter go. Unfortunately, my uncalculated toss was pathetically short and he skipped off the rocks once before entering the lake. I think he made it though (I waited a bit, nothing floated to the surface?).
Greenie pulled through and found the way back on the trail (I really had no idea where I was going the whole time), thankfully, and I felt myself fading fast. Then I had myself a Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar. We stopped at Starbucks' on 5th on our way back so I could replenish the excess calories I had just burned and read a sermon out of Benjie's book, entitled "Weary of Doing Good." It was short, the way I like my sermons, and I wished it had been titled "Why Do We Do Good?" It is a question must ask ourselves sometimes. Bikers + downtown isn't as perilous an act as it seemed in my mind, I decided after seeing a living example come down the street, so we did forgo taking the Lake Austin and then the Intramural Fields buses back home. If only there was a mode of transportation between a car and a bike; I wanted to see so much more of the city, but my energy supply only allowed me to crane my neck at all the many side sights. They're worth a future investigation. I did venture into Pease Park, however, and found there a charming little neighborhood, a very woody field, and a Hansel-and-Gretel style park building (public bathrooms, so I gather). So I got finally home and took a cold shower, only because the hot water was out again but this time the situation was much more manageable (as opposed to 8 in the morning and sick). I like to explore cities. It makes me so happy when the world is my playground!
p.s. bad news, my typos have morphed and now I find myself involuntarily typing "bbuildings" and "bbbad" in the very manner of Kristi-speak. Ack!
I watched the movie Hotel Rwanda tonight. I didn't cry, but there were many parts when I thought "what the hell what the hell." Movies (and art) are for civilized people who have had all their basic needs met, and then some. It's weird and paradoxical watching a movie about real things. I don't get the critics' reviews that only expound on Don Cheadle's superb acting ability or other technical aspects of the film. I really don't know. People can argue and debate about the amount of blame the UN/US/France/Belguim etc. deserve for letting this atrocity occur, but the fact is that it happened and some more genocide is going on in Darfur right now. Why can't we wrap our minds around it? What are we supposed to do? How do we care? How can I turn away and go shopping, lust after things/people, listen to poppy music, think about new hobbies, get-togethers, and all that excess? I don't know. God help us/ Jesus come soon