Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The bike ride

This past week I bought a bike. She is an easter egg blue Kona, which they have nicknamed the "Honkey Tonk." As soon as I brought her home, Ben's bike let out a huge whistle, which I immediately scolded him and told him "she's a lady." Well ten minutes later they were making out, so apparently she is not quite a lady. Anyways, it's great having a bike again. Every bike I have ever owned (except the beautiful Schwinn Ben gave me) has been stolen: Huffy White Heat=stolen; Raleigh=stolen; Trek=stolen on a Sunday morning in front of the Heathman; so when I bought it I made sure I got a top of the line lock and a pit bull to tie to the bike when I'm not around.

To break her in, we thought that a ride out to Redhook Brewery on the Burke Gilman was in order. I mean if you haven't ridden a bike in ten years, why not try for a 50-miler your first week? So yesterday we geared up and headed out. A quick stop at the bike shop and once to use the bathroom and we were on our way. The ride was lovely: warm, sunny, light breeze (except on the way back), and mostly rode along the water. We made it to Redhook after only one wrong turn and sat on the patio with our well deserved beer and a lunch, joined by Ben & Mellena, and new baby Keira. Blissful.

Then came the ride the back, where I literally met the devil himself...or the devil's torture tool. See picture:
Once I got back on my bike I knew I was in trouble. It's not really my butt that hurts, but these bones I never knew existed. I mean does this thing even look comfortable? No. Is anyone's butt that small. Not in my family (no offense to anyone). 

After a mile back on the trail with my full belly I tried every possible way to sit, or not to sit, cursing the maker of this stupid seat. And I know it was a man (no offense again), because no woman in her right mind would design something this poorly. If it was designed by a woman, comfort would be the number one priority. Think tractor seat size (where you actually use your natural cushion back there), lined with faux fur, and a least two inches of mattress foam (think Posturepedic), with a possible massage option once you really needed it. But no. I have a three inch wide piece of brick that the bike guy told me "well it's just that you haven't ridden in a while," and my husband said "give it a chance, you'll get used to it." Uh-Huh.

I'm no dummy. What I've learned is that anything over 20 miles requires padded shorts. And anyone who questions me, I double dare you to do the 50 miles on the devil's torture tool listed above...then you'll be happy to join my padded butt gang.

Overall, great trip and I love the bike. The adventures will really begin now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sent from my mother

 Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I've ever written."
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree..
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others.. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. (Drink the wine too!--that's for Booie)
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Week in Review

The past eight days have been pretty intense, and I am thankful that the last week is coming to an end. The week started with Ben getting his wisdom teeth pulled. The surgery went well, but the recovery has been a little prolonged. (Squeamish people skip to the next paragraph). Basically what both Ben and I have learned is that you don't rip-out your blood clots thinking they are gauze. First, your wife grows very faint at the sight of all blood, and it causes the healing process to be painfully extended.

Then there was my birthday. As most people, I love my birthday, but this year it was not full of all the bells and whistles. A chipmunk-cheeked husband (poor guy), 900 degree weather, two final papers, and missing the man who sang me happy birthday for the first 27 years of my life, made ringing in 28 different, to say the least. 

Finally there were the last two papers of my first year of graduate school. Coupled with the first two scenarios described, it's been more of a pressure cooker than past quarters.

What I have learned from this week is that sitting at the computer causes a few things:
1. If you don't keep training for the triathalon/marathon, or do any exercise what-so-ever, you not only become stressed, but coupled with eating your weight in good-n-plenties, learn that once you put "real pants" on (real meaning no elastic waist band), they will probably be a little tight..maybe more than a little.
2. After a week of a sore mouthed husband, he is not the only one wishing it would heal.
3. It is good to have someone edit your papers--high heat and extreme conditions make your thoughts a little muddled.
4. You need to set a timer to remind yourself to do important things like eat (for those of you who know me, it is extremely rare when I forget to eat), and finally,
5. Try not to forget the real world. The laundry spilling out of the closet, no non-beige food in the fridge, and the dead fly on the floor should all be red flags that you haven't taken your eyes off the screen for a while.

Tonight, Ben is taking me out to really celebrate my birthday, and for being done with school. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the summer with my two little credits, a part-time job, and somethings I have been missing for awhile: fun and friends.

Happy Summer!