Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Some people think I'm crazy for leaving balmy Vancouver for Champaign-Siberia (okay, some people think I'm crazy for reasons that have nothing to do with where I'm living). Yesterday morning, you could count me as one of them. I woke up at 5:45, stumbled outside to the skating rink I call my sidewalk, and got into my car to go to practice for a morning of kicking ass, taking names and generally laying the smack down.

The ass kicking, name taking and smack-down laying, however, did not come to pass. Why? Because my car was stuck firmly in inches of frozen mud. I tried to go forward: no dice. I tried to go backwards: no dice. I rocked back and forth in my seat trying to jar my car loose with the force of my body: no dice and I looked completely ridiculous. I got out and tried to poke the mud with a stick, then with my cane, then with the toe of my shoe: nothin' doing. I got out and tried to push my car out of the mud: my hip zigged, my body zagged, and I realized that trying to push my however-many-ton car on the ice would be a great recipe for dislocating my hip replacement, falling to the ground, freezing to death and being eaten by squirrels before anyone found me.

As I tried to free my car, two neighbourhood dogs serenaded me; (I suspect they were singing along with the Destroyer CD I've had in my car for the past 3 months, since their howling was remarkably similar to the "oooooh....yeah" part of "Self Portrait (With Thing")). Soon, a neighbour came outside and got into his car, giving me a nod, the kind of nod that says, "Yes, I see you, oh disabled chick trying to push her car out of the mud in the dark and failing miserably, but you might have noticed that it's cold outside and I am wearing fancy shoes and also there's the small fact that I don't give a shit....but best of luck to you!" I gave him a nod that I hoped conveyed the message of, "look how friendly and helpless I am, but seriously if you don't help me I will smite you down with the force of my death glare I am not even kidding motherfucker." No dice. The neighbour drove off and his dog continued with the Dan Bejar impression.

There was only one recourse: to give up on the whole "going to practice" thing and trudge up to the local mall, which contains my gym, and which smells perpetually like urine, no matter where you are in the mall and no matter what time of day it is. Instead of playing basketball, I rocked out on the elliptical machine while watching several old ladies mall-walk back and forth in front of the glass, which was strangely the same as watching fish in a fish bowl.

So, yes, life in Champaign-Urbana is not without its challenges. It's a good sign, however, that I can walk up to the mall, work out, walk to Starbucks for a chai latte (oh, chai lattes. You are like sweet, milky Prozac to me), then walk back to my house. It wasn't too long ago that I was inching my way along the street in my bare feet (because I couldn't lift my leg high enough to wear shoes) and having to take a 2-hour nap after half a block. It's a good thing that I have made progress, since if I had to walk barefoot in these parts I would be already minus a few toes. Yay for Progress!

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