Freewrite I: Seed “Wind”

A new type of blog post that I want to try: The freewrite.  This is inspired by Dr. Milliken from my English 150H class, back in undergrad.  The idea is just to write without censoring yourself or making any edits on the spot.  So, I’ll try it in the blog.  Let me put a few parameters on it so others can follow along…

Rules of the game:

1) Each freewrite post that I have will be seeded by a word or phrase.

2) The beginning of the freewrite should address the topic that I chose.  The topic could be chosen based on something that happened that day, or that is on my mind.

3) Wherever the freewrite goes, it goes.  Just like a conversation, the end of the freewrite may be completely off-topic from the original one.  The backspace key is not allowed, even to correct spelling errors.

4) Each session will last 15 minutes without interruption.  I have a timer, and if the alarm reaches 0:00 while I am in the middle of a word, I will immediately cut it off.

Today’s seed is “WIND.”  Ready… set… GO!

The wind was very harsh today!  Although it was nothign like the Wrigley Field Road Tour, it is still daunting to bike in the wind.  This is especially true on the Dahon, which has more rolling resistance and girth than the Trek.  That’s OK, though, because sometimes a variety of effort being expended is good for you.  Furthermore, if there were no wind, there would be no tailwinds!

And about chicago being called the Windy City?  Yes, the weather is often windy, but it’s not due to the weather that it is called that!  It’s those windbag politicians!  Indeed, Omaha is on the list of the 20 windiest (weatherwise) cities in America, and Chicago doesn’t even come close to that list!  The relative lack of tall buildings and windbreaks in Omaha is probably having something to do with it.

Tall buildings, I do say.  It gets to me that I fear heights, because it seems that I am frequently on a high floor in college.  Wehether that has something to do with the perception of my height in the academic world, or just a coincidence, I have no idea.  It all started when I was on a high floor of the dorm at Kansas in eighth grade.  Hmm… there didn’t seem to be much wind while I was there… just oppressive heat as we walked to class each day!  Of course, I was probably just spiled rotten with the weather in Lincoln and having a car to get around.  How things can change once you try walking more freqeuntly.

The wind blows toward anyone who can follow this–and I admit that this freewriting tends to get a little big rambling.  Of course, the spelling errors and potential grammatical errors can irritate me, but following the rules is important.  Dr. Milliken said htat he wrote his thesis in English using free-writing techniques, alhtough it was probably more directed tha nthe stream of consciousness I am using here.  Yet, streams of consciousness sometimes have significant literary merit.  UGH–now I have to remember when William Faulkner “vanquished” me back in tenth grade iwth “The Unvanquished.”

Rewind another few years, and another “wind” association pops up.  Windemere!  It’s a song by James Swearingen, one of many that I enjoyed playing and listening to.  Even today, since I found an MP3 of it, it appers every so often on my list of songs, and nostalgia reigns when I hear it.  The good times of being the teacher’s pet in Mr. Schulz’s class, “Look up before makign an entrance or everyone may be in a different part of the world,” “We are not playing blastissimo,” and all the other gems.  Oh yes, and the spelling error “EVRY DAY!” that he never corrected.

Did I mention that today was windy?  It was gale-force at times, which reminds me of the time in seventh grade when we took a field trip to the landfill in Noth Lincoln.  I don’t remember many of the details, but like all field trips, it was fun to partciipate in, even if the weather nearly made3 me blow away, literally!  The wind was so bad, thatlater that evening as we headed to Omaha for the first seder, we eluded a truck that had been blown into the bridge near L Street, and had strewn its cargo over the interstate.

Why do they call a person “winded” when they are out of breath?  Normally you hear of people having the wind in them, but they say “winded” to mean “out of wind?”  Let’s see… so people are “watered” when really parched?  Or “snowed” when it’s the January thaw?  The use of words tends to be inconsistent, and it makes for good jokes.  Another one: staying constant must be “creasing.”  Why?  There’s “increasing” and “decreasing.”  And I could go on with other words like “whelmed,” but that’s another topic for another day.

There goes another gust!  Or maybe it was just an L train.  Of course, sometimes the sound of an L train whizzing by up here sounds like a toilet flushing.  That’s at leasrt how Mom sometimes heard it when I have my window open while talking on Skype.  Even if that is not what it is, it’s fun to say that is what it is.  This time, I definitely hear an L train.  And the dinger on the elevator.  I wonder if it’s a Chicago thing for the “up” to have a single “ding,” and the “down” to have “ding-ding”.  It’s that way in Engelhart, in Tech, and in the Embassy Suites at Ohio and State.

And that, of couse, reminds me of “NO WAKE” and the riverboat tour during my first visit


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