Archive for January, 2008

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It is September 1st, 2009.

In January of 2008, I decided to walk around Lake Merritt a hundred times. January was a good time to decide this: it’s not crowded, there is easy parking, it’s cold, and most importantly, it’s overcast. The first few times were great. I saw a turtle and an Egyptian goose. I helped catch a tiny white dog and eavesdropped on several cellphone conversations. The last time I had a blog, it was initially driven by my walks around the nearby park and the dogs I saw there. Walking around a lake a hundred times seemed like as good a reason as any to start it back up.

At my freelance gig, the best freelance boss ever, Jess, started a blog to talk about her guinea pigs (in party hats!) and making jewelry and hot mayors. One hot mayor. We talked about how silly our respective projects were, and then she made some posts. That’s where she lost me.

I had done some reading about Lake Merritt (not a lake, and not a swamp either, but “tidal lagoon walker” lacks something and “lacustrine area walker” has the sound of disease and I hate the word “estuary”), and then about Egyptian geese (not native to Oakland, but Egypt), and then I might have had a side jaunt to the history of distance walking. Around the lake-like area I walked, composing blog posts in my head. A few times I even sat at a bench and took notes. I made it a couple dozen times, with nary a post, before the sun came back.

The problem with hats at Lake Merritt is this: there is a constant breeze over the water. Any hat that protects my face has a bit of a rim to it. The breeze catches the rim, and the hat either flips off my head or tilts back so that the sun is right on my face even if it’s tied under my chin and choking me constantly. I can handle about a minute of sun before I start to get small blisters on the tops of my cheeks. I stopped going to the lake. The blog sat still and empty.

That’s the story of the name. I found out just now that it’s also something in World of Warcraft. Never played. You can buy literal swampwalkers, big camo-print rubber boots to go kick duck ass with. Didn’t know those existed. There is a book by David M. Carroll about walking in an actual swamp. Maybe, at some point, I’ll make a page with a name that makes more sense. Considering that I just spent 30 minutes cropping every picture I have to see if it would be a good replacement for the default one, I’m guessing it’s going to be a while.


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