If you live in the Greater Vancouver area and suddenly feel like a little black storm cloud is following you around, it's because a) you live in Vancouver. If there aren't storm clouds now just wait 5 minutes and b) I'm radiating an intense level of grumpiness because tonight is the Neko Case concert in Urbana and I'm not there. Perhaps, in some branching-worlds universe, some alternate-dimension Arley is putting on her skinny jeans and trying to apply mascara without stabbing herself in the eye and causing partial blindness while humming "Maybe, Sparrow" in anticipation of a night of musical awesomeness. In this universe, however, I'm laying in bed, watching an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" that was boring the first 2 times I saw it, and contemplating taking off my skinny jeans because they're aggravating the swelling around my hip.
I was, however, not willing to stay in bed playing "Margaret Vs. Pauline" (the only Neko Case song that I know how to play) on guitar while wearing a red wig in order to give myself an imaginary concert experience. Instead, I decided to bite the bullet and go swimming at Canada Games Pool. I've written before about my various bizarre experiences at Canada Games Pool (most of them involving getting a special glimpse of the man business of various elderly patrons), so you can understand my hesitation. But since our backyard pool has been shut down for the winter and my hip was too sore to do any land-based exercise, I steeled myself and hoped that my orange-tinted goggles would act as blinders to whatever strip-teases were going on around me.
I am happy to report that I had no X-rated encounters. I am also happy to report that I did not kick anyone in the head (either accidentally while swimming or out of a misplaced sense of rage at missing the Neko Case concert), that I did not pass out in the jacuzzi (though Lord knows what raging infection I will develop) and that I got my lap-swimming in even though it's possibly the most boring activity in the history of the world since you don't get the adrenaline rush of beating anyone, you don't get to listen to music and you basically feel like a goldfish without the benefit of the whole "3-second memory" thing. (God, that last sentence was a little Victorian-esque).
I must admit, however, that I've been spoiled by months of swimming in my home pool. Not only did I have to wear a proper bathingsuit, but I had to shower in front of old ladies (luckily, my athletic career stripped any sense of modesty I might have naturally possessed), navigate slippery tiles, find some place to put my locker key (I attached it to my cane), find some place to put my cane, get the side-eye from other swimmers as I tried to find a free lane, and get changed while having some young girl checking me out and not liking what she sees. Just getting in and out of the pool was more exhausting than the laps!
At the end of the day, however, it was mission accomplished. I put my hip through its paces with only mild-to-moderate aggrevation and burned off some of my seething disappointment. Now, it's off to Steph's to eat my weight in pizza. (Hey, I worked out today!)