bunt sign

March 26, 2000

Motivation comes harder when I have no compelling reason to take a walk. The post office isn't open on Sunday, and that's my usual excuse to get out the door. Since I'm doing it mostly for my health, I'm not sure why I think I have to have a destination before I can start moving.

It almost didn't happen. I got up late, then spent most of the morning working on a new site design for April. I got so involved with that project that it was almost noon before I realized that I hadn't even opened the drapes yet. That was a kind of a spur to me, to convince me that spending the whole day inside would be a waste of this lovely spring day.

So I grabbed the book I've been reading and headed out, with no particular place to go. I had a thought of finding a place to sit and read for a while, but I hadn't gone far before I regretted carrying the book along with me. It's one of those bulky trade paperbacks, and at that point I just planned to keep walking until my legs told me I'd gone far enough. Then I'd head back.

It wasn't exactly a perfect spring day. There were enough clouds to filter the sun and keep the air cool, and the breeze had the slightest Arctic nip to it. So it wouldn't have been a great day for some activities, but it was wonderful for walking, as long as I kept moving and stayed in the sun as much as possible.

I'd been thinking about this on my regular weekday walks to the post office. I'd been thinking that some of the side streets might be worth exploring on a day when I didn't have to be anywhere at any special time. And this would have turned out to be a longer walk, if some of those streets had gone all the way through to the next parallel street, instead of just ending.

The route I ended up taking is similar to my usual one, but with even more churches, plus a couple of chiropractic offices and a veterinary clinic, along with the county's rural legal assistance center and the city pumping plant. And having walked in a circle for half an hour, I ducked the back way into the park that's only a couple of blocks from my house.

It was a quiet day at the park. There weren't many people to be seen, except for those who were exercising their dogs. In fact, I saw almost as many dogs as people throughout my walk today. They have a dog run at the park that gets a lot of action. I did sit on a picnic bench and read for a half hour or so. As I arrived in the park, I'd been disappointed that there wasn't a baseball game going on. They use the field there for high school and youth league games, but it was idle today. I considered sitting in the bleachers with my book but picked a more secluded spot.

On the way home I was cheered by the sight of kids on bikes and skateboards, men working on their cars and women working in their gardens. I don't mean to promote any stereotypes, but that's what I observed. As for me, I was happy to get out of the stale air in my house and see that there were indeed other people in the world.

I tried to keep track of how many times I crossed Spring Creek on my circuitous route, and it seemed that I walked across it three times. But that wouldn't make it possible for me to get back home. I had to look at a map to realize that one of the bridges I'd crossed had been over a minor tributary of the main creek.

Street names in this part of town have a predictable relationship with the landscape. It's funny how many of them take two words describing geographical formations and combine them. We have Spring Creek Drive, and Rock Creek Drive, not to mention Glenwood and Brookwood and Millbrook and Leafwood and Woodlake. There's Rockmeadow Place and Knolls Hill Circle.

I have nowhere to go with that observation. I was just noticing.

Since I like almost every movie I see, I'm going to find it hard to quarrel with any of the Oscar winners tonight. I do think that Michael Caine was rewarded for his long and sometimes distinguished career, rather than anything he did in The Cider House Rules, but I was glad to see that wonderful movie pick up a couple of awards. And maybe now John Irving will see fit to adapt his own books for the screen more often, since no one else has been able to do it as well.

For a while there, it looked as if The Matrix would turn out to be the most honored film of the year. That might have been an embarrassment for the academy, especially since they have consistently failed to recognize the genius that is Keanu. But American Beauty cleaned up in the big ones, and that's okay with me. Besides, the winners all gave gracious speeches, and that's what I'd be thinking about if I ever got to vote.

I would have liked to see two of my favorites, The Green Mile and The Sixth Sense, win something, but most of the movies I've ever truly loved haven't even been nominated. Lifeguard, for example, and The Reivers, and Just Tell Me What You Want.

As for the Oscar show itself, well, four hours is a long time, but I could have watched for six. The producers managed to make it seem tighter than usual, and Billy Crystal kept things entertaining throughout. I always love the montages, and the opening segment zeliging Crystal into various Hollywood relics was fun. Some may regret the elimination of choreographic extravaganzas, but I do not.

This was a good year for me and the movies. I've made a point of seeing more films than ever in the last few months, and so tonight's show was probably more meaningful to me for that reason alone. I've seen no less than six different movies that won awards tonight, which I'm sure is a personal record. But it's one I'll try to beat next year.

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