Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Found My Match

When I was a kid, right about the age of 12 I bet, my mom said I should collect something. We were sitting at Wendy's with a burger, fries, and frosty. I had no idea this would stay with me for a lifetime. That is a true story, and this was my first pack.

Turns out whatever I was searching for all those years has been here all along. Just glad we both finally figured it the same time.

For those of you who know me it may have seemed like I was never satisfied with anything.  Yes, I knew what I wanted and I wasn't overly interested in settling. Again, you can blame my mom. I had a tall (so to speak) order and some of you said it not possible. Shame on me for listening.

Mom always said, a girl can do anything a boy can do...better. I'm not sure this is what she had in mind...but HANDS UP! Mom was right. Damn that Title IX women's lib shit. The girl doesn't have red pigtails but I'm telling you if she did I'd still love her!

She is smart and witty and fun and sensitive (don't tell her I told you). She enjoys being outside, she writes, she listens, she pretends that she's not.  She knows the value of good beer, eats oreos off the floor (really, don't tell her I told you), sings off key, and makes up her own words. She likes to drive, knows how to use a prehistoric map, listens to ABBA, and can quote John Hughes.

She is there when I need her and lets me help when I can (although she phrases it more like an order and I let her because it makes her feel like she doesn't need me -- when I know she really does). She has a really cute dog, an awesome house, and should be pulling up any second.

I know she didn't think this when she woke up, but I really can't think of a more perfect day. Hi Dear, how was your day, can I get you a beer?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Horror Trailer

CUT! Parker heard the news that we were cutting back due to my recent employment situation. Not wanting to miss a meal, she decided to try her hand at writing/directing, you know to bring extra money in.

Unfortunately things went horribly wrong during the dress rehearsal of her latest masterpiece. We had ourselves a near fatal kite incident in the office today. It began with blood curdling screams and ended with actual blood. Yet another inconvenient distraction in the workspace called home.

It wasn't her fault. I heard the kite attacking her from the living room to the kitchen. Then came the screaming. At first I thought she was rehearsing, but the screams were loud and real and unstopping. When I entered the room I saw the kite flying across the room...We had gone over NO BALL PLAYING IN THE HOUSE, we had never honestly discussed flying a kite. Noted.

Like a fool I ran to her aid. She promptly repaid me by impaling my finger with her fangs. And then continued her drama routine. It may have been overly dramatic. When it was all said and done all that had happened was she had slipped her paw through the plastic handle. She then proceeded to act like Janet Leigh at the hands of Anthony Perkins. It's not like the string was wrapped around her intestine and pulled tight.

Later we will review the fable of the little boy who cried wolf. Right now she is resting comfortably and I am planning a life with one less finger, just in case it turns black and falls off.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hi Jack!

Well that is odd; when I parked the car there it was gold and now I'll be darned if it don't look silver. It's true, the Honda with the bike rack I put in that spot had been replaced with a similar one. The most notable difference not being the change in color but the fact that my personal effects were no longer inside AND my key did not work. Honestly I didn't try but I suspect it would not.

As a cyclist I naturally assumed my car had been stolen immediately. People don't TOW bikes. I wouldn't really expect a company you were representing at an event to tow a car either but you know what they say about assumptions.

Let's just skip to the retrieval process shall we. First let me say AAA gives you 4 miles in which to tow a car on their basic plan. And it's not like we live in the expanse of the country, surely one could find a place to tow a car within 2 miles! Alas my car ended up cross town, which on a rainy dreary day is much further than it sounds.

Lucky for me I turned down the cab ride and hitched a ride with my boss. And as we stood there waiting to pay the fee to have my car relocated 14 miles from where I needed it to be it occurred to me I had no ID on me. It had likewise been towed with my car, which was nowhere in sight.

Again, lucky for me, that guy in the cap (upper right corner) had his, which they readily, without question, accepted as permission to simply release MY car to HIM for a mere $168.  Apparently any Tom, Dick, or Jack can drive off in my car, no proof required. Again, without question, a quarter mile down the road, I walked into a lot and reclaimed my unlocked car.

1. Next time, ride a bike. 
2. Never assume a company 'has your back'
3. If you are short on cash and need a new car, hang out in a parking lot, follow a tow truck back to the lot. Write down the make and license number of a car you like. Turn it in with about $200 cash and tell them your wallet was in the car, car, no monthly payment!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Grounds For Divorce...Already?

First, please don't tell the girl. Girl: please log off immediately, I think I smell smoke, you should go check it out. But when I got up today I wanted coffee. Now I know she told me where the filters were, I can see her holding them when I close my eyes. I just can't remember from where she pulled them.

So I dug deep for my McGyver skills. Okay, and second, it was already used so I didn't waste an IKEA napkin. You see the girl loves IKEA napkins, goes on and on about them. So I thought, these things must be industrial good. Good enough to run coffee through, or so I hoped. Take that Bounty.

Now somehow the girl is going to find this out. I have NO idea how but she will. And then I will get the eye. Maybe even, "Baby, I told you where the filters were..." She did. I admitted that above. She gave me a novelette of items to remember about co-habitating in her house. I've got the internet to work but I'm not even going to try the TV and that's sad given my background. But it's not my fault the boss says I'm untrainable.

But they were IKEA napkins! I bet it even says, can be used as coffee filters right there on the packaging. They didn't catch fire. And I did the dishes and picked up sticks. And dinner, did you want your sauce on top or on the side?

You shouldn't have given Boi the day off (again). Baby, I unplugged the coffee pot as soon as it was done. Just like the novelette says.

ooh. I just found the filters.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Love Is: A Blade of Grass Times a Yard

Oh man, do I feel like this one. We do this on occasion with each other. Today we did it on the phone, but it wasn't as much fun. We could maybe skype except I'd have to wait like an hour to see it. Some things are slower outside the city, and clearly this is a country dog.

Ripley doesn't have a care in the world. She is like a 10 year old boy, perhaps that is why we get along so famously. And I was worried. She's better than that dog in the movie I like, what was it...Wendy and Lucy...hmmm, now that's weird.

I love when she runs off with the neighbor bear, okay it's not really a bear but after a third beer I wouldn't want to be faced with it and a real bear and asked to choose. It's as big as a bear. And they are like the cutie boys in the neighborhood who do everything together.

See, that's what I'm talking about. Put More Play In Your Day. No nay sayers, I do not regret my decision. I don't make decisions that lightly. And for once (maybe twice) I am answering my heart. Lucky me, my heart and my head are on the same page.

After just one day of freedom, I can see more clearly what I sacrificed over the past two years. I am glad to have that necessary period behind me. It put me where I am today and that can easily be defined as HAPPY. See Picture Above.

No one seems to be buying my 'want to see more sunsets' answer. Too bad for them. They look at me worried and sad and I am thinking the same thing back at them. It's bad enough they commute to work in a car, but to sit in that dungeon staring at that box is just too damn much.

What about money, they worry. I'll be fine. I have what I need and I need what I have. It's good. Let me just ask you to do one thing:  Define RICH.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thanks For That

Did anyone hear the national anthem? Oh man those were the days. Then to bars or hash and home to bed. Because people accuse me of being too cryptic too often let me spell this one out for you loud and clear:  I  J U S T  Q U I T  M Y  J O B.

I have no clear goal. No definite plan. Not true. The plan was to quit TV. I gave myself 2 years. Those years are up. In life I set a goal and then I do it. Gives you something to work for, something to achieve, something to overcome. I'm focused that way. Goal met. Plan enacted.

And let me put it to you this way. I could continue to eat out of plastic containers that melted in the microwave and contain the same leftover disappointment I ate three days in a row while straining to hear the thoughts in my head as the cleaning crew mops and vacuums around me AS I AM EATING....or I could eat fresh healthy food I just made in my adult bake oven.

I could continue to work 15 hour days with just enough time to shower and go to sleep before getting up to do it again. I could continue to be sad and lonely, uninvited to parties and family functions because I have to stay and watch really bad TV go by. Reality shows of people living while I...sit. I could continue to never dream of a different life because it will never come....

Or  I  C O U L D  Q U I T...which did I mention, I just did. 16 years of service and I just faded to black. No reception for me, no cake, no thanks for your service. Just leave your card with Tom and get the hell out. Okay, cool. Really, I'm cool with that. Amazing how getting laid off can change a person. And then Q U I T T I N G in the end. Et Tu.

Welcome, brand new life. I have been waiting for you. Let's go have some fun...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Believe It Or Not

It wasn't quite a Jake Ryan moment but it was close enough. And it makes perfect sense to me that this biker chick would prefer a pickup to a Porsche any day.

My girl thought it might rain on me today so she decided to surprise me and pick me up at work. It was quite a surprise. She lives 150 miles away.

That's right she drove 2.5 hours just to drive me home from work. She blamed the dog. Like Ripley said, hey mom I feel like squeezing my ass in the cab of your pickup where I'd like to sit still for about two hours. Turns out dogs can't tell time. She sat still for around about two minutes. Now that you mention it, I don't think dogs can't talk either. So this had to be her crazy idea.

She thinks I think she's crazy. I don't. I think she's pretty amazing. I could list all the reasons why here but I bet you don't want to hear it and she already knows. I'm not sure when I became one of those couples, but I'm not complaining, feel free to gag at my happiness, I don't mind at all.

Right about now you're saying, I don't know what this has to do with a bike. But you did see how she picked me up above right? Bike. Truck. Whisked away. And besides I'm on the ride of my life, so there you have it.

To recap, my Jake Ryan drives a truck not a sports car and who knew, answers to She not He. If you don't know what I'm talking about you're either decades younger than us or you had your head in the sand during the 80s. She got it right away. Damn Mom, Got my headgear on!

Monday, March 5, 2012

WhEN Dee Bell Tolls

If you know me, you can see today is a momentous day; change is at my fingertips. This is a commitment. Strap me in and call me a driver, I got me my first EZ Pass!  Get down, turn around, go to town, Boot Scootin' Boogie.

If you are one of those lucky drivers who wound up behind me at a toll booth on 95 or the Bay Bridge, I regret to inform you your free ride is up.

Some of you know I've been a hold out for the EZ Pass not only for my union ways to keep the man (that's a little m) in manual labor but also because I like paying for the guy behind me. It's a simple, unexpected, inexpensive gesture in the sea of a bottlenecked traffic jam. It's the least I can do. Besides I'm about to cut you off as the lanes narrow.

But today as I sat at the MVA with my lottery ticket in hand awaiting to yell BINGO when my number was called, those generous days faded. See, I'm prepared to make the trip often. And in my rush to watch the sun set I don't have time to slow down and pick through cash. EZ Pass GO!

Oh, and of course there's that issue of my new NPO salary. I'm giving away free bikes, I can't be paying your tolls any more. I'm sorry, I really am. You should have thought of that the past decade while you sat at home watching free TV, tipping your paperboy and giving a little something extra to the mail carrier at Christmas. 

Okay, now can someone please help me with this plastic contraption? I've taken it out of the package and read the directions but I can't seem to find the handlebar bracket.  Does that come separately or can you only mount this thing on a Bell helmet?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Name That Tune

I am not even sure what to say about this. This might be one of those times when the picture is worth a thousand words.

So I was biking the CCT this fine delightful morn when I came upon quite a clatter. Now for those of you following the blog you may have guessed that Santa came early this year...or maybe a little late, depending on if your glass is half empty or full. Mine is quite full thank you very much (wink Santa), but this clatter: NOT Santa.

I also looked around for Jeff, my talented Buggy Driver of Bohol who can name a leaf, tree, the chirp of a bird, or buzz of a chainsaw at the drop of a hat. Alack, alas, I was left to my own devices to identify the gas powered howl interrupting my peaceful pre-spring roll.

And there it was on the edge of the trail. A most disturbing find. I mean I had just come from a remote village where an afternoon ride could find a man in a dirt path pounding a huge rock with a smaller rock making even smaller rocks BY HAND to place in the muddy holes in the road so my bike wheel wasn't swallowed by Boholian muck. Thank you dear Sir. And can I just tell you I became a 29er fan fast?

Anyway, back here in ubercivilization....refer to picture above. That is a man with a gas powered auger...GAS. POWERED. AUGER. Cycloning holes in the mulch to plant pansies. CYCLONING. MULCH. PANSIES.

I hear pansies are tough but ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME? Exactly how high do gas prices need to climb before you will pick up a trowel?  I mean really, I think you could do it by hand...