Saturday, January 31, 2009

Swimming and Reading (But Not Simultaneously)

The girls competed in their second swim meet ever today. We got up before dawn and drove to Mandan, found the Mandan Community Center, and stationed ourselves in the bleachers near one end of the pool. Having been to only one other meet previously, we assumed this one would be similar: start early in the morning and end early in the afternoon. We had plans afterward to go shopping to use some gift cards received at Christmas and return some "wrong size" gifts, to buy some groceries for our Super Bowl party tomorrow*, and then eat supper at a restaurant that we don't have in Dickinson.

Well, sadly, the swim meet started later in the morning than the last meet and didn't end until about 5:00 P.M. That's a long time to sit in a muggy pool area, and it felt like hanging out in a sauna wearing street clothes for nine hours. But the girls had a blast. They competed in some events that they hadn't last time and some events that they had, so for those we were able to compare today's times with their previous times--and they all shaved off seconds in each event! None of the girls qualified for the state meet, but they're improving. And Hillary, who finished first in two of her heats, came pretty close to qualifying for state . . . and that was even after waiting for several seconds after the race had started to jump into the water! (She looked at the scoreboard, saw the number of the previous event still listed there, and decided she needed to wait until she saw the number of her own event . . . which they don't post until everyone has jumped into the water to start an event! Now she knows, though.)

Susan cut out in the afternoon to get some of the shopping done while I stayed behind to cheer and sweat. Afterward we had time to use my gift card at Barnes & Noble and pick up shoes at Payless before eating at Grizzly's, making a final stop at Target, getting fuel for the vehicle at Tesoro, and picking up ice cream at McDonald's on our way out of town. (Shouldn't I be getting paid for all this advertising?!) Here is what I picked up at the bookstore (thank you, Cassie and Nick, for the gift card!):
  • On a Raven's Wing: New Tales in Honor of Edgar Allan Poe -- It caught my eye from a display in a center aisle. The book's editor, Stuart Kaminsky, invited contemporary authors to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth by writing new stories inspired by him or his work. I loved reading Poe when teaching American literature, and I like "companion" works--stories, poems, films, etc., inspired by an earlier story, poem, film, etc.--so I'm eager to start reading!
  • Robinson Crusoe -- Our family has been enjoying watching NBC's Crusoe (remember?), but none of us has ever read Daniel Defoe's book that inspired the TV series. That's about to be rectified.
  • Ballistics -- Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets, and this is his newest collection of poetry, so this was an obvious choice for me.

We looked unsuccessfully for a Scandinavian cookbook, too. Any suggestions, anybody?

*Our Super Bowl Sunday plans include snacking and, for supper, eating appetizer-y kinds of foods: stuffed potato skins, Buffalo chicken wings, vegetables in spinach dip, bruschetta, etc. We'll most likely eat all this while stationed in front of the flat-screen TV . . . watching a cooking show from Food Network or a home design show from HGTV, no doubt. We'll probably flip over to "the game" occasionally to see who's winning . . . or even who's playing.

P.S. See the poll in the sidebar to the right to register your vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment