I Pay Rapt Attention

Sunrise, Swimming, and Summer

Posted in Eccentricities by Zoelle on August 12, 2008


Today in the elevator, a well-groomed woman of no more than 35 turned to me, having just barely squeezed between the closing doors, and said

“Everything works so much better early in the morning, don’t you think?”

Now this struck me as rather contrary to what I normally hear- the usual gripes about the pain and suffering of any time before 10 am (or noon, if it’s the weekend.) Nothing is open. The commute is crowded. Coffee is required before social norms are conceivable, let alone followed.

And while I like my sleep just as much as the next gal, after a second, I almost saw her point. While I couldn’t find a seat on the BART this morning, I didn’t find myself wedged inside the throng of questionably clean and always cranky people who swarm the train around 8:30 every day. By virtue of the early hour, the elevator was desolate and lonely (besides that resolutely cheerful woman) and so I didn’t have to stop on every floor. Note that there are 27 floors in my building, and you’ll understand why that’s exciting.

But those conveniences aren’t the only reasons that I’ve recently come to appreciate the morning a little more- there’s also the matter of sunrise. And breakfast.

For whatever reason, my mother (whose house I’m stuck in for only 3 more days…) has been forcing entry to my room every morning at 6 am for the last three weeks, and dragging me on pre-dawn hikes. And while this annoys me to no end (I have a 9 to 5! I’m tired!) and I’m mostly sleepwalking, by the end, the sun slides across the valley as we’re descending some suicidally sloped hill, and the dying grasses flush golden, hemmed in by dying wisps of fog. It is one of the most beautiful sights I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, and I get to see it every day

Dawn is worth the pain.

Also, then I’m awake enough to make breakfast. I am a new convert to the cult of breakfast foods. All of my life, I’ve avoided eating prior to 11 am. My teeth were freshly brushed, I wasn’t hungry, it didn’t seem worth it. And yet I’ve always loved omelettes and scrambles and oatmeal and pancakes- I just ate them for lunch or yes, even dinner. There’s a reason Denny’s is so popular, people, and it isn’t just the milk shakes. But being awake so early works up an appetite, and so I’ve been enjoying that too. It’s been nice.


When I find something I like, I tend to research it to death. This is just a sad fact of my life. It started with Jelly Fish when I was 10 (and yes, I can still tell you all about them. Seriously.) and has continued through everything from bathroom graffiti to egyptology. 

Well, I’ve got a new one. The Olympics has ruined my life. I spend hours online searching for swimmer bios, reading their blogs, trying to figure out how those crazy commentators can tell when a swimmer is “hurting” or when they have weak body position. I’m resisting the urge to do the same for diving. I now know all about Michael Phelps and his totally adorable bulldog Herman. Ryan Lochte? Check. You name one, I’ve probably read as much of their life story as is available. It’s pathetic. It’s nonsensical. It’s endlessly entertaining.

At least it’s not like I’ve got a thousand things to do.

…Oh wait.


It’s ending. This isn’t an acceptable turn of events.


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