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I just took this picture with my webcam (hence the rather craptastic quality):

 photo 130619-172903_zps4d0e9380.jpg


These are my feet. With skates on.

As some may know, skating is one of my loves in life. I took freestyle rollerskating lessons for thirteen years. I was quite good at one point, and starting lessons with my phenomenal teacher Ms. Jackie when I was 11 was a turning point in my life.

Last year, I developed a bone spur on the outside of my left foot. I already had a bunion on that foot that hurt me when I skated for long durations. Well, with the new bone spur, I couldn't fit in most shoes much less my skates. It hurt to walk. I didn't think I'd skate again.

The saying is true that you don't know what you have till its gone!

Well, the pain in my foot has subsided a lot lately. I asked Bobby to bring up my skates for me from the basement so I could try them on. They've been in the spare bedroom for a few weeks while I gathered courage. Silly, isn't it, that fitting into a pair of rollerskates could mean so much to a grown woman? I didn't intend to try them this afternoon. I saw the bag in the bedroom and figured I might as well leap rather than planning it and worrying all the while that I'd discover that I would not be skating again. My hands shook when I took them out of the bag.

But you can see the results. :)

(And I still have them on, which really freaked out the dogs!)
(Okay, take two. Yesterday, Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin decided to throw a hissy fit and black out right as I was proofreading the final paragraph of this post. And LJ only saved half of the draft. GRAR! Guess that's what I get being a Feanorian sympathizer who calls regularly upon a lord of Gondolin to aid her heretic efforts ...)

Happy New Year, flist!

The Rest under the Cut for Being Potentially Dull, Boring, and Rambly )
It's been almost six months since I last put on my skates. While part of me thinks that is completely awful, the reality is that for most of my years as a freestyle skater, when I was skating only with the White Marsh program, then I went that long between our final show and the start of lessons in September.

Still, it felt like a really long time.

I had gotten a call from Cindy--yes, the Evil Cindy from Deep Creek Lake--on Friday while I was at work. She tricked me by calling from her work number so that I did not know that it was her, and I answered. Yet it is good that I did because she was having a birthday party at Skateland and wanted Bobby and me to come. Bobby found it a bit odd that a grown woman would want to have a Skateland party; I was too enamored of the idea of skating again to pay much mind to this notion.

(And really, skating is the best way to interact with Evil Cindy. Why? Because I skate much faster than her. Yes, this might be mean that I went to the woman's birthday party and didn't even skate with her, but hey, we paid our own way in.)

So I went to Evil Cindy's birthday party--which wasn't really a party so much as a group of people agreeing to meet at a certain time to go skating--because I wanted to skate so badly. That, I told Bobby, is proof in itself of how much I love skating.

Skating! And Other Things.... )

Pic Spam!

Sep. 5th, 2006 08:25 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
Here are about two-weeks worth of pictures that I've been meaning to post. Sadly, more often than not, I fail to download pictures off of our camera because--now that we have wireless Internet--I'm too lazy to set up on the desk and plug into the USB hub. Yikes.

The first set is the much-anticipated fish pictures. Our camera is not very good, so I will take more if I get the SeaLife camera for Christmas. (I say "if" because--since the SeaLife officially arrived a week-and-a-half ago--it has been hidden at my inlaws' house until the holidays. So it is offically a gift, and I am therefore not supposed to know about it!)

Fish Pictures! )

Next are the pictures of our rink that I took on what might be the last time I skated there. This is only a selection of the best; I will post them all if the rink does in fact close, most likely.

Putty Hill Skateland )

Finally, Bobby and I went hiking yesterday on the Ridge Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park. This is just a selection of the pictures that I took, those that I think will interest people the most. All of the pictures (and an account of the hike) can be found in [livejournal.com profile] the_nautilus here.

Turtles, Toads, and Cicadas )
So. Skating.

I made the post two weeks ago that our rink had been sold to Baltimore County for conversion into an indoor sports arena. This Wednesday, I had my last lesson and my last skate at Putty Hill Skateland.

But....

A Tiny Bit of Good News )

Meanwhile, in other news, there's a hurricane a'comin'!

Well, it's a tropical storm, but it sounds funny to say, "There's a tropical storm a'comin'!" and slightly anticlimactic.

To those of you not on top of American weather (which is me, 99% of the time, and I freakin' live here), Tropical Storm Ernesto is marching up the east coast and has Maryland right in his sights.

Well, as I told Bobby, it's not the first tropical storm we've lived through and it certainly won't be the last. Tropical Storm Floyd arrived precisely on my eighteenth birthday, tore the state to pieces, left my family without power (and water too, since we lived in the boondocks and got our water from a well) for eight days. Personally, I think it was a portent of things to come: Dawn turns eighteen with the legal power of an adult, and one of the worst storms in decades ravages the state. Perhaps it's Mother Nature's way of shouting, "Look out, here she comes!" Funnily enough, there was a possibility of a tropical storm to arrive also on my 21st birthday too, but no luck on that one.

They are predicting five to ten inches of rain for us. (That's about 12 to 25 cm for you sensible Metrically-inclined folks.) The path takes the storm through the center of the state rather than up the coast, which is good for Ocean City, which was formed by a hurricane and often predicted will die by one. It's not so good for historic Ellicott City, which is at the mercy of the Angry Patapsco, but ten inches shouldn't cause the river to overflow its banks. I think we got at least that earlier this summer on the crazy weekend when we returned from Puerto Rico.

I'm hoping not to lose power. If I lose power, I lose Internet. Oh the travesty.... But if you don't hear for me for a while, chalk it up to having my technologial luxuries temporarily out of commission thanks to Ernesto.
...the skating rink has been sold.

It has been sold to the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks to turn into a sports arena. And not the kind that will allow skating.

Poopy.

I had a lesson tonight, a special class focusing on stretching and holds. Next week, I have off for a week. The week after, I will skate on that gorgeous wooden floor for the last time.

How can I be sad over a stupid skating rink? I am, though. Cheesy as it sounds to say, freestyle rollerskating--and Ms. Jackie, my teacher--saved me in a lot of ways when I was younger and hopelessly geeky and hopelessly insecure. I am still hopelessly geeky, but I've grown a spine in the last fourteen years, and a lot of that had to do with Ms. Jackie slowly proving to me that I was not a worthless freak, after other teachers and peers had spent the prior five years convincing me that I was.

I was talking to Shannon tonight; she is one of my teammates, the best skater I know, and relatively close to me in age. As the two old married ladies, we tend to hang out and talk. We both remember a time before rollerblades when kids still skated and going to Skateland Putty Hill was such a treat. She admitted to having her first kiss right over in the corner. I remember being a Girl Scout for a year (just to go to horse camp, which ended up really sucking), and we would always have our parties at Skateland Putty Hill. I had secretly looked up to this eccentric girl in one of the other fifth grade classes, and she was in my troop, and we skated together during couples, holding a scrunchie between us instead of hands because she was afraid of looking gay. Silly? Yes. (And sadly homophobic too, though we were only ten at the time and certainly didn't know better.) And when I started freestyle skating, it was some distant dream to skate on the open wooden floor all by myself at Skateland Putty Hill. Well, I did that in June. If this was a novel, I'd say that was a fitting conclusion to my fourteen-year freestyle career.

I don't know what will become of us. I think that Ms. Jackie is trying to find us a new home, but skating rinks are closing and being torn down and replaced by sports arenas all the time now. There are very few places left to rollerskate. There are even fewer that offer freestyle programs. I could return to White Marsh...but no. That program soured me so much, and even though I know that the teacher is different and more motivated, it will never compare to Ms. Jackie's program. (And the floor is terrible. I've become spoiled.)

I'd intended to take off this autumn from skating because of dive training, but I'd hoped to go back eventually. Poopy.

I rather wish this was a movie. I could get all of the Freestyle Fanatics together, and though we are mostly mediocre skaters, we would have enough heart to put on a show so spectacular that people line up around the block to see it and raise enough money to buy back the skating rink from the county, and everything would end happily. Heck, while I'm living in Fantasyland, I might as well write myself doing a triple jump into the script.

Poopy.
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I have promised you all a post about my ten-year anniversary and skating show yesterday....

So Here It Is! )
On Thursday, Bobby and I drove up to Hershey to see Stars on Ice. It was awesome! I had lots of skating skill envy, to the tune of "Why can't my camel spins look like that?" and "Why can't my footwork be so awesomely cool?" But then I don't practice for hours everyday either. (Rats.)

It seems that spring has finally sprung in Maryland. (I say that now. Next week, we'll have a foot of snow! 'Tis Maryland....) Yesterday, Bobby and I both took off from work since we'd been out late the night before. We went hiking on the McKeldin trails again, basically the same hike as last week, but this time we knew where we were going and we chose trails that kept us alongside the water at all times. It was perfect hiking weather: in the low 80s F, with no humidity, and just a bit of a breeze. In a few weeks, we'll be getting into the 90s F with 100% humidity and "Code Red" air warnings...then hiking is out of the question; it's uncomfortable if not dangerous. So we eke what we can out of this time of perfect weather.

Today I went to the skating show of my old skating group, the group where I started skating fourteen years ago.

Musings about Skating Show, Old Group, and My Surprising Lack of Nostalgia )
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My leg was still sore yesterday, but I put my foot down (gently, so as not to hurt it further) and declared that it was not forcing me to miss another skating practice. I would simply take it easy and work only on those skills which I could do without pain, even if they were simple things that I've been doing for years.

When I arrived at the rink, I nearly had a head-on collision in the parking lot with my long-time skating friend Rachel, with whom I skated a duet last year for the club's exhibition and am skating with again for the exhibition this year. Rachel can rarely make Wednesday practices, so I was excited to see her.

She was talking to our instructor Ms. Jackie when I came in, so I sat down and put on my skates. Eventually, she came over and greeted me with, "Hi, Dawn, I quit."

Since we were skating a duet again this year and were almost finished learning the number, Ms. Jackie made the executive decision that I will skate it solo.

It's not like I haven't skated a solo before. Nine of my thirteen years at White Marsh Skating, I was a soloist (including last year.) I don't skate there anymore, or I would have been a soloist this year too. And in a way, a solo is much easier than skating with someone else. You have more freedom to improvise, to let loose, rather than being concerned with matching your partner or groupmates. You don't have to be as concerned with your positioning on the floor because there's no longer a chance of colliding with another skater or moving in opposition to each other.

But this isn't White Marsh; this is the club, and I am not one of the top two skaters here. Quite the opposite. There are at least six skaters (of twenty-four) who are better than me.

And only one of them is a soloist: Shannon, who has been skating for twenty-five years and is simply amazing.

In the past, our club groups for the exhibition have been determined by where we learned to skate. Rachel and I learned at White Marsh, so we were put together. The other girls who were considered "advanced specialist" were from Gardenville, and so they skated together, and there's like eight of them. And they are generally better than we lowly White Marsh skaters with our subpar instruction. (I only wish I was kidding about the "subpar" part.)

So I really don't deserve a solo.

However, it seems I'm having one.

On the upside, the camel-sit spin combination is a definite now that I don't have to worry about whether Rachel can do it. And other places where we would normally just "spin" (because Rachel isn't much for spins), I can add other funky variations to it.

So I'm excited. Nervous, yes, but mostly excited. And I'll miss Rachel.

On a slightly related note, I think that skating actually helped stretch out my leg. I feel much better today, even though practice exhausted me and I was really sore by the last time Ms. Jackie called, "One more time, from the top!" I didn't do any jumps but worked on my non-strenuous spins and footwork and holds. Lots of spirals and edge stuff. But it felt good, and now that my leg knows who's boss again, maybe it'll stop hurting.
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Skating!

Feb. 23rd, 2006 11:04 am
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
After talking with [livejournal.com profile] tarion_anarore about all the atrocious Olympic skating falls this year, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. You know, "Eeeew...he tore his Achilles! Oh my! She slammed right into the wall!"

I was feisty, though, so it's good that I did. And I had the practice of a lifetime. If I could practice like that every time I skate, I would be ten times better than I am.

Skating Rambling...including how to do the proper arm position for jumps, if you've ever aspired to know this! )

In other skating news, the women's figure skating concludes tonight. Kimmie Meissner is in fifth! Fifth!! She goes to school ten minutes from where I grew up (if I lived a half-mile north, I would have gone to her high school) and so is a bit of a hometown hero. And she's sixteen years old. And does a triple axle. Eegads!

(It depresses me, though, to think that I've probably been skating longer than her...and I'm nowhere near as good. It really makes me wonder how things might be different if I'd picked ice skating.)
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This was President's weekend, and so I didn't have to work yesterday. This weekend was simply wonderful, wonderful because I got everything pressing done that I needed to do and even had time for some idleness, to read and watch Olympic skating simply because I wanted to, not because I had to. I got a good deal of writing done too, in finishing the Carnistir chapters (which turned out longer and not as crappy as I expected) and working a bit more on my NaNoWriMo novel. Jenni is playing some of the NPCs in my original RPG [livejournal.com profile] themidhavens, and chatting the past few days to get her caught up on history and the like has awakened my Midhavens' muses. (My NaNo novel is based in the world that I use for the RPG campaign.)

Weekend Rambling )
This is my second attempt at this post, after LJ ate the first. Really. I understand the need for maintenance, but can you not eat my long posts? Or even my sorta long ones?? I'm a paying customer, here!

Grrrr....

Anyway, the weekend was a busy one, as evidenced by the lack of posting as well as the time it took me to answer emails and comments. Besides making ice cream pies and watching the Stupor Bowl, I had lots to keep me busy.

It's Gonna Snow! Dawn Got a New Shirt! )
Comcast...ARGH! )
Skating! )
Today.... )
...sort of. :)

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King's birthday and a State holiday, so I'm not planning to be back completely online until Tuesday. Hopefully, I don't have too much work waiting for me there. Hopefully, the joint hasn't fallen down around our ears while I was gone! (Johnny the Boss kind of sucks at my job, so we'll see.)

More Stuff )
Before embarking upon the weekend recap, here's a meme that I gakked from [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic:

Describe me in one word - just one.

Comment to me, then post this entry to your Live Journal and see how many strange things people think about you.

What can I say? I find this one intriguing!

And now for the weekend.... )
Yes, as some of you know, I am again without Internet at work, for the third time in four months.

The first time, some nit put me on the wrong server and my boss was on vacation, and so it didn't get resolved for a week. The second time, the DOC landscapers chewed the wire with a lawnmower. This time, some eejit took the turn coming around to our building too quickly and crashed into the pole.

So if I am long in replying to comments or emails, this is why. Sorry :( I'm not sure when it will be fixed. They had a guy in a bucket working on it this afternoon, but that doesn't necessarily mean resolution.

Other Stuff )
But as you can see, I am not.

Randomness Involving Breakfast, Bees, and Ice Cream...A Day in the Life of the 'gund! )

Being as I have people on my flist much more knowledgeable about canon than I am, I wanted to pose a few Silmarillion questions.

The first came from a discussion [livejournal.com profile] aramel_calawen and I were having earlier, in Chapter 16 of AMC. (Although it has nothing to do with AMC.) I remember, a while back, being privy to a conversation about the nature of Eöl's and Aredhel's marriage.

According to someone in this conversation, Tolkien originally envisioned that Eöl forced Aredhel into marriage. Of course, this idea was eventually rejected.

Problem is, I don't know that I've ever seen this in HoMe, but I don't own but a few volumes and have precious little reading time to devote to studying old versions of The Silmarillion. Most of my HoMe reading occurs in bookstores, standing in the aisles, drooling over books I can't afford.

Has anyone ever heard of this idea? Or (even better!) have a source?

Second question: I have heard numerous people reference the fact that Finwë was not one of the original Elves from Cuivienen.

Intuitively, it has always seemed to me that he was, and I have never seen anything to dispute this. (Although, as most of you know, I am no canatic.) I asked this question over at the Henneth Annun Yahoo! list a few months ago, and I got a few responses from people who believed--as I did--that Finwë was Unbegotten.

Is there any evidence to the contrary? Because I have heard people speak quite definitively to their opinion that he was not, and they seemed certain of this canonically, not just as though it was a fanficcer's whim.

I realize that Olwë and Elwë were brothers, but so were Manwë and Melkor, and Irmo and Namo, but they were "brethren in the thought of Eru" (or something like that).

Any thoughts?
Weekend Randomness )

Skating!

Sep. 11th, 2005 01:56 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
I started skating today!

Skating )

Today is 9/11 and, while the people who lost their lives on this day four years ago and their families are in my thoughts today--as they are every day--it is a beautiful day, and I feel that I am finally moving on.

Not moving on to forget. Not moving on to ever grow less relentless in my support of those who work every day to see that 9/11 need never happen again. But the sun is shining, I started skating, the Ravens have their first game this evening, and it is my cousin's first marriage anniversary, and I will spend more time today smiling than crying.

Which, were I ever lost in an attack like 9/11, I would want for those who live on without me.
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Here I am, writing my entry in WordPad again because they have our network mucked up again. The inefficiency and incompetence of this agency never fails to astound me. I can (occasionally) access LiveJournal and even reply to comments and the like, but whenever I try to open my Comcast email, IE freezes and loses connection with the network. Gah!

On top of that, our Sweet Connection at home has been defunct since Thursday. They are supposed to be coming out tonight to fix it, but we have been without all Internet and cable television service since then. I shudder to think of the *piles* of email I have waiting to be read....

Hopefully, by the time I finish this enty, they will have everything fixed. Hahahaha...yeah right....

So, in the meantime, I will write my entry in WordPad and stop complaining. (At least they haven't figured out how to f*** up WordPad yet.)

Skating! )

~oOo~


The piece of crap DPSCS network seems to be working temporarily. Hopefully, this is a good portend. Apologies to anyone trying to contact me who might be experiencing a delay in the reply. :(
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