Looking Out Over the Water From the Bond Street Pier in Fells Point

The bottom half of the picture is blue-grey water and the top half is gray clouds with just a sliver of blue in the foreground. The picture is divided by a line of buildings across Baltimore's harbor.

I sprained my ankle really badly the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I do all sorts of stuff with my body, but I didn’t sprain my ankle running or riding my bike or doing weird stuff at the gym. I sprained it walking down my own front steps, just a slip, my ankle bent all the way sideways, me in a lump on the sidewalk in front of my house. Ankles are tricky joints–like teeth and knees, a real design problem–and over six weeks out, it’s still a little swollen. Bodies, man! They are so good at giving us challenges and forcing us to listen to them, whether we want to or not.

So I listened, and I stopped running, even though I was over halfway through with my running plan and really into the steady three-day-a-week groove. Running is really hard for me, and I love the challenge of it and the way it makes me feel in my body, but nope, my body said no. But what if it’s time to say yes? I love running when it’s cold out, especially since I hate riding my bike when it’s cold out, and I want to be outside every day. Running is hard, but it is also so easy for me–strap on a sports bra and some tights, a shirt, and a hat, lace up my shoes, and I’m off.

Continue reading

OMICRON IS THE COMMON COLD Graffiti on the Maryland Avenue Bridge over the JFX

Picture of a cloudy sky at sunset, light orange and pink at the bottom and stretching up to clouds and light blue sky. There is graffiti on the bridge in the foreground that reads, "OMICRON IS THE COMMON COLD."

It snowed on Sunday, which I know made lots of people really happy, but for me, snow on the ground means no biking, and I hate no biking. I know, I know, I could still bike, and many people do, but when there’s ice, braking and turning can toss you right off your bike, and I do a lot of those things while riding. For me it’s not worth the risk, so I just wait out the day or two for warmer temperatures that make the roads safer for me.

Continue reading

The Steven Muller Building and Space Telescope Science Center on San Martin Drive

My gym started a “challenge” in November. If you went twenty times between the second week of November and the new year, you would get a free hat. I signed up for the challenge, because I’ve never met a free hat I didn’t want to take home with me, even if I will never wear the free hat. When I signed up for it I wondered what would get in the way of this free hat for me. The last gym challenge I’d signed up for was at the YMCA, six years ago. I missed the free shirt because my dad was killed by a driver, and I had to leave town for the last week of the challenge, a couple days short. What would it be this time?

Continue reading

Blue Skies with Light Clouds Above North Montford & Preston Streets

Two weeks ago Tuesday I was heading out of my house to see a friend read poetry at the brewery just a few steps from my house. I was running late but feeling good, and I hopped quickly down the front steps of my house. I must have missed a step or something, because all of a sudden I was collapsed in a heap on my front sidewalk, unable to get up. I sprained my ankle, badly, but I didn’t know that in the moment. What I knew was that I was hurt, and I was scared, and I wasn’t sure what to do.

Continue reading

Yellow Ginkgo Trees at Centre & Guilford

Bright yellow gingko trees on a busy street against a background of a brick building and blue sky.

This semester has been a slog. Energy levels reached end-of-the-semester levels by midterms, and the joy of being with each other in the classroom, while still there, has been dampened by the part where we’re still in a pandemic, we’re packing our days as if we still don’t have the commutes we lost last year, and we’re all overwhelmed by the energy it takes to pay attention without being able to turn our cameras off for a minute. It has been a great semester (though it’s not over yet), but it has also been an incredible amount of work–intellectually, physically, and emotionally. Still the best job ever.

Continue reading

Close Call at N. Eutaw & Saratoga

Monday’s ride started like every Monday ride: I meant to leave the house by 7:45am but it was 7:51 by the time I was on my bike. I rode west and then south and then west and then south along the Maryland Avenue cycletrack, ringing my bell and saying good morning to the many pedestrians waiting for places to open between 25th Street and North Avenue. I waited at the red at North, got passed by another cyclist when the light turned green. I rang my bell and shouted “ON YOUR LEFT” in my passive aggressive attempt to get other people on bikes to let me know when they’re about to pass me.

Continue reading

Sidewalk Closed Sign Along Druid Park Lake Drive

A scene of road construction with the sidewalk blocked off. There is a fence on the right and a busy street is on the left.

I canceled my Monday classes because I could tell we all needed a mid-semester breather, even if the institution thinks we can hold off on that until the end of November. How can I tell? Well, I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, and many of my students are too. Attendance is off, and those who come ready to participate sure do a lot of participating to make up for those of us who are struggling to keep our brains focused enough to pay attention. We are doing great considering, and we needed a day to catch our breath.

Continue reading

Looking Out Over Herring Run Park from Lake Montebello

The top half of the photo is cloudy skies and the bottom half is grass and trees with road construction heading through the middle.

The weather is perfect, but that didn’t mean I felt like getting out of bed on Sunday and doing anything other than sipping coffee and reading books. It’s cool enough to snuggle into sheets and quilts, and I didn’t want to get out. But I did want to ride my bike, and my ladyfriend reminded me that there’s nothing I like more than riding a bike around in weather like this, so I best get to it. So I did.

Continue reading

Looking Out at the Water from Fort McHenry

Bike handlebars in the foreground against a background of blue sky with wispy white clouds and darker blue water.

I have been feeling all out of sorts lately, and guess what? It’s because I’m still adjusting to teaching on campus, inside, with masks, as the pandemic continues to rage. The daily death toll is still beyond what I can really fathom, and it’s awful. I know that I am largely protected from severe illness or death by my now three Pfizer vaccines, but I still don’t want to get COVID, and I still don’t want you to get it, either. And I think in-person learning is important, and I’m happy to do it on a fully vaxxed and masked campus.

Continue reading