Or: I Just Took a Long Walk in Sandals

November 13, 2020 2 of 8

Okay this all starts in August of 2019. Phoenix and I went to Pedernales Falls State Park for a star party. On the way, we stopped at a Walmart that has a Subway for sandwiches and picked up some socks.

The socks initially felt pretty comfortable. However, at some point I noticed that the socks were too tight and made my feet actually hurt. I treated the pain by giving my feet days off by wearing sandals without socks. When the pandemic started and we were locked down, I didn’t get a chance to go shopping for new sandals and I thought that the last pair of sandals I had from 2018 were going to be the last sandals I would be able to get until 2021. So I’ve been wearing my athletic shoes with the tight socks and putting an adhesive bandage over the sore spot and toughing it out until i can get my act together and get some new socks.

Then, just the other day, I found that they still make my sandals, so I ordered five pairs (enough to get me through the pandemic and maybe even into 2022). Since I no longer have to preserve this last pair of sandals, I decided to give my foot a day off from those socks and wore the sandals.

After all, I reasoned, I was going to be walking on a broad, paved path and so the sandals would stay on well enough and give me adequate support for that walk.

Then I misremembered where the path went on the Leon Creek Greenway and ended up in OP Schnabel Park, which is a very nice park, but isn’t where I wanted to be.

I wandered around in the park for a while trying to see if there was a way out that wouldn’t require me to walk all the way back the way I came. I use Pokemon Go as a map of park trails, and Pokemon Go said that there was an alternate route, so I decided to try it.

It was an unimproved dirt trail, but it led the correct direction, so I kept going.

And then I found a steep, rocky, downward, I don’t want to say “slope” because that kind of downplays the steepness of this. Not really a dropoff either, because it wasn’t quite that steep, either. I don’t know. Is there a word between a slope and a dropoff? It was, like, steps, maybe? But not that regular.

Anyway, I don’t really like going downhill at all. I tend to cling to the railing when going down stairs. Up? Up is okay. Down, not so much.

So here I am, in sandals, of all things, trying to climb down this rocky stair/slope/dropoff thing. Fortunately the trees closest to the path were pretty small, so I used them as a railing. I checked my phone at the bottom of that slope and I was (fortunately!) still going the right direction and so I kept going down the unimproved what is now largely rock trail until I finally got to the regular paved path I was looking for.

On my way back to my car, I then continued my project of taking pictures on the Greenway looking for shady areas. It was overcast today, so I don’t know if the movie will really emphasize where the shady areas are (and there were shady areas!). I hope to post the movie once it’s done, but that won’t be for a long, long, time. In the last two weeks, I think I’ve done about 1/3 of the Leon Creek Greenway and 0/3 of the Salado Creek Greenway. So, assuming that the Salado Creek Greenway is about the same length as the Leon Creek Greenway (I think it’s longer), that’s at least a 12-week commitment.

So you’ll be seeing the movie on January 25, at the earliest.

Our Gratuitous Amazon Link today is The Dragonfly Season, the second book in the Streetlights like Fireworks series by David Pandolfe. I’m very sorry that Pandolfe has apparently stopped writing, because I really loved this series and also his Jump When Ready series. If he Googles his name and finds this comment, I really would love to see more from you, Mr. Pandolfe!

Content Creators: The Bloggess

November 13, 2020 4 of 8

I’m trying to remember when I first discovered Jenny Lawson, who blogs at The Bloggess. I believe that one of my friends (Leta, maybe?) linked to And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles.

I dug around on her site a while and found her to be hysterically funny and, like the very best funny things, every once in a while, Jenny will post something that hits you right in the gut. Often these gut punches have to do with Jenny’s mental health. Jenny has a mental illness and she is very frank about her struggles.

She did a TEDx Talk about her mental illness and she had a panic attack in the middle of it. Jenny lives in San Antonio and the talk was at the Empire Theater. I hadn’t gotten tickets because, well, time got away from me. It turned out that I walked right past the theater that day and I came *this* close to seeing if she’d gone on already and, if not, if I could’ve bought a ticket. And I’m very disappointed that I didn’t because I’d’ve loved to have been one of the people there who gave her a standing ovation.

She wasn’t there to see it, because her anxiety made her run off to the back as soon as she was done. But I’d’ve happily ovated her standingly.

And I’m not the only person who loves her. She opened a bookstore here this year, Nowhere Bookshop on Broadway in Alamo Heights. Well, I say “opened,” but they’re only open for curbside service right now. But she also started a virtual book club this year and she expected maybe 50 people. Last I heard it was over 1,000. There is a $10 setup fee and then you get charged $25 per month plus shipping (and sales tax if you’re in Texas) for the books. If the book is more, the book club eats the difference and if it’s less, they send you some kind of extra thingy, like a bookmark or a pin or something. Some of the books are autographed and two have come with little bookplates with the author’s autograph on them.

If you want to join the club, the signup page is here: The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. A number of my Gratuitous Amazon Links are book club selections.

Speaking of Gratuitous Amazon Links, what’s up next? The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd, apparently. I have some recollection of this series, but since I read them four years ago, it’s not so crisp and clear. This is the first book in a trilogy, also called The Madman’s Daughter, which is about the adventures of Juliet Moreau, the daughter of Dr. Moreau from The Island of Dr. Moreau. I will soon be posting the other two books.