Saturday, July 16, 2005

thank God for the left

when working at home, i commonly sit on an exercise ball instead of in a chair. actually, sit may be a constrictive verb- i perch, rock, cross my legs, hover, and bounce. initially, this switch was made to strengthen my back and decrease the pain i induce by carrying too much weight in my bike bag. as a strategy it has been quite successful, though carrying less weight would be a more direct solution.

those who know Elise, my cat, know she is demanding and tenacious as a snapping turtle. we have a little routine when i am working that i will call 'jump, obstruct, launch and repeat' or JOLR. the gist is that Elise jumps up onto the desk, stares implacably at me, crosses to obstruct my view of the monitor, walks across my keyboard and sticks her whiskers in my nose or ear. i heft her up and launch her across the room so that i can work. she lands, waits a second and starts over again. this may go on indefinitely and dramatically decreases my productivity. i have tried a number of approaches to dissuade her, without effect, and have resigned myself to the ritual.

yesterday, as i sat catching up on work, we ran through about 7 cycles of JOLR before hitting a snag. Elise is an ungainly cat and bits of her commonly ooze around my hands when i lift her. i was precariously perched cross-legged on top of the ball when Elise decided to install herself on my shoulder. i lifted her up in my hands as usual but her weight shifted unevenly and i was concerned she would not land squarely when i tossed her. i tried to adjust my grip as she tried to regain a perch on the keyboard.

suddenly we were both so very much shorter.

but how could this be? the ball had not shot away from us and i had not tipped over. if Elise had punctured the ball, a slow or even fast leak could be expected. but we were flat on the floor in far less than the blink of the eye. hmm. i angled my butt up to confirm the flaccid remains of my ball was beneath me. Elise blinked, offended, and wandered off to the bedroom. perhaps it was just luck. but the ball had split circumferentially along a seam. instant deflation. instant terminal velocity-as Einstein had postulated.

as i had been lifting her up on my right, most of the impact was borne by the left side of my bum. tomorrow i suspect i will have a match for my biking bruise.

after all, 9.8 m/s is awfully fast for descent onto hardwood.


Anonymous said...

I've always found Chinese quatrains singularly pleasing as a means of expression.

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me with the topics you cover. And find time to research. I might not agree with you but you make me stop and think and realize I don't know beans about most of what you are talking about. Ah ignorance.