Saturday, December 24, 2011

Open Letter to the Random Person Who Just Bought Me a Latte at Starbucks

Thank you to the random person who bought my tall Latte at Starbucks. Anymore, it is a big decision for me to spend $3.18 on a coffee so your act of generosity meant a lot. I feel bad I didn't even bother to look at you up there in the car ahead of me. I did look at your car, a Black Malibu. I looked at your car because I couldn't help but noticed how long it took you to order, creep up to the window, and pay. I wondered what it would be like to live in a world where one had so much free time that they could drag out buying a cup of coffee. I pulled right up on your ass after you paid to encourage you to move forward a little faster, went to pay the Starbucks guy, and he said you bought my coffee. I'm touched but I feel like a prick.

I'm really not a prick. I was all worked up over trying to get Emilie the perfect Christmas gift. She wanted a guitar which seemed simple enough. I haven't looked at guitars since I was her age but I work with so many techs that play, I thought I would be a guitar expert in no time. They all went into so much detail that I was lost. I guess I know how they feel when they come to me for advice on buying a bicycle. I was told what type of tuner to get. I didn't even know what a tuner was. I thought you just tuned the E string with a tuning fork then tuned all the other strings based on that. The techs laughed; that's how they did it 30 years ago. And going into Guitar Center was stressful. The salesman knew I didn't know what I was talking about and that I have no passion for guitars. He rolled his eyes when I asked about the $79 guitar and he explained why I needed to drop over $200 on one. I guess I now know how it feels going into a bike shop when you aren't that into into bicycling. $200 was more than I could spend so I looked on Craigs List and found a perfect Fender acoustic guitar across the state. I know it was a good deal because in the time it took me to drive there, he sold it to someone else.

And while I was waiting behind you at Starbucks, my sister emailed me and asked if I sent out a Christmas letter. She has really been pushing me to send out a letter this year, she even sent me a list of addresses. My sister has much more social grace than me so no, I didn't send out any letters. I tried. Nothing that has happened this year looks right on watermark paper framed in a holly boarder. I know, I tried to spin it.

But don't you worry none, random coffee buying person, it is good now. I got Emilie a kick ass Fender acoustic guitar and I'm starting to work on my Christmas letter for next year which I promise will be every bit a vain as any letter I received this month. The free coffee just adds to my optimism. Thank you again and really, I am sorry for pushing you out of my way; I hope you put it in context.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I have been doing an indoor Thursday night group ride in an effort to break up the monotony of riding alone in my apartment and to encourage myself to ride harder than I have been. My motivation when riding alone seems to be waning and I don’t want a repeat of last season, or the one before that, or the 14 previous seasons. It’s helping. Possibly.

Allie said I am always riding. Clearly few, if anyone, I race against follows a more half ass, low volume training plan than me but her observation hurt so I’m making an effort to only work out when the girls aren’t home or when they are sleeping. Waking up at 4:00 to go to the gym is fun and all but I’m averaging less than five hours of sleep a night. When the alarm goes off, I feel like Prometheus being woken up by an eagle pecking at his liver.

Prometheus, for anyone who didn’t pay attention in their junior high Greek Mythology class, was the Titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. This pissed off Zeus so he chained Prometheus to a rock where a giant eagle would peck out his liver every day. His liver would grow back at night just in time for the eagle to come back and peck it out again. I think Prometheus did what he thought was right, it’s just that most decisions have unanticipated consequences.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Losing a Child to Adolescents Part II

Kevin and I made plans to ride today. Crazy nice weather lately (that is, no significant snow and my Camelbak doesn't immediately freeze solid) lulled me into thinking this was a realistic plan. It's raining so I will ride the trainer instead. I find if I ride indoors by natural light and with a fan blowing in front of me, it is every bit as good as riding outside.

Who am I trying to fool; this sucks.

Emilie and Allie and I went skating yesterday. It was nice. Em seemed more interested in the hockey players than in skating. Two years ago I saw I was losing her to adolescents so I suppose I don't have the right to be distraught.

Allie went to 6th grade camp last week. She came back with a fear of snakes and an appreciation for indoor plumbing.

And her first boyfriend.

We had a good time skating last night. I have skated with Emilie before but this was my first time with Allie. She had to hold my hand the whole time so as not to fall on her ass. I remember when she insisted on holding my hand all the time.