Wednesday, March 30, 2011

and i'll eat out of containers while standing up

I should warn you now that this yet another post about bikes.  I've been taken over with a sort of mania, but there's also something about this that just feels right.  It's like I've gone back to something I never should have let go of.

I flirted with bikes three times over the years since my childhood when riding my bike was a nearly daily occurrence.  When Momma and I lived in Charlotte I was able to retrieve the last bike I'd owned in Atlanta, and I was soon riding quite a bit.  Then one night, after riding home fairly drunk from somewhere, I forgot to lock the bike outside our apartment door and never saw it again.

The next bike I owned was purchased from a coworker about six (maybe, time is a blurry sensation at best for me generally) years ago.  It was a cheap bike from a big box retailer.  It rode like shit and sucked then and still sucks now sitting in the garage with its rusty shit wheels.  I rode it around the house approximately ten total times over the course of a week and then never again.  I wish I had that twenty bucks back.  Fuck!

The next bike was last summer when I lived in the Fort.  It was also a big box bike, but my mindset then was in a different and more biking places friendly sort of place.  I used the bike a lot and then sold it to my ex landlord as I moved back to the house I'm now in.  While I'd enjoyed riding the bike to work from the Fort I didn't think I'd ever ride a bike from this house to downtown assuming it was just too far.

And finally my sweet red bike that I love but might replace tomorrow.  It's actually today by the time you are likely to read this as it's after eleven o'clock here.  Regardless, I do now ride this bike that far often enough, and I've ridden it plenty of other places too.  And I actually love riding this bike even though we're on city streets and it's made for narrow trails and dirt berms and jumps over the rough spot

Since I've begun riding the bike I've slipped into the edges of a thing that could be mania twenty years ago with no Momma, Big Brother, and The Boy.  But that's not the world I inhabit, so I'll gladly enjoy the tease of it and try to be smart about stuff.

And apparently I'll start contacting some guy on Craigslist about his early '80's Schwinn with the newer "comfort" handlebars, and I'll have asked if he has the original set.  And that whole tomorrow thing, yeah, I'm gonna wait for him to call and go look at the bike in the evening.

With any luck Momma will be there, because really the bike would be for her.  If it's a good size for her and is in good condition and she wants it she gets it.  In the day and a half since I found it and thought about her wanting a bike (she's mentioned it before) I've tried to have her in mind, but I keep looking at it.  It's kinda like seeing a boy at a party that you like, but you know he's straight and interested in your friend.

It's really not like that at all, but I want the bike now that I've been looking at it and thinking about it, and I feel bad because I don't want the bike I already have to find out.  That can't be good.  And I still want to ride him on the street tires I might also go look at tomorrow, but then would I ever ride him how he's meant to be ridden?  Would I ever take my beautiful mountain bike mountain biking?

Maybe I'll just keep buying bikes until I'm crazy early '80's Schwinn guy.  Yeah, that's the best idea yet.

don't never mind the bollards, srsly

Alas the rain again could also be a title for this post.  As promised, the rain has once again moved into my stormy little slice of heaven.

To be honest a weather forecast isn't the same as a promise, but lately, if it involves rain, it kinda seems like it is.

I find excuses not to ride in the rain.  With a few adjustments I could take most of the issues out of the problem, and I know that at some point I'm going to have to just do it.  I've done it before, and other than a wet butt for a while it wasn't so bad.

My newest fixation is bike tires.  One day, when I can actually have a nice day off, while the kids are in school and I have the time, I'm going to look into a new pair of tires for my bike.  It would be a great joy to me to take the bike out and ride to the bike shop and ride away with tires made for asphalt.

Have I mentioned that it's a mountain bike?  It's older, but it's a great bike and it rides well, but I can't deal with these tires anymore.  I have knobby mountain bike tires, and that makes perfect sense for a mountain bike.  But right now, it isn't really a mountain bike.  It sees the ridges that make this town so much fun to bike through, but that ain't the same.

What I need is a tire built for the asphalt, and companies are apparently making tires specifically for people turning mountain bikes into commuter bikes.  That's what I'm doing.  Apparently I'm not starting something new.

I just love the way this bike works, and I love how he and I work together.  I also decorated him tonight.  That's right, I just called the bike he.  Whatcha gonna do about it?  The only other thing I've done to the bike was to add lights and adjust the seat.  I did also put a reflective sticker on the front before riding home from work one night at the insistence of a coworker, but that thing is gonna have to come off.  It's probably a not bad idea, but it's ugly, and I need to have a real light up there anyway if I'm riding at night.

I also mentioned a decoration.  Two days ago, preparing for an all out grocery procuring blitz, I was sorting through the shopping bags to see if they were all there when I discovered the skull.  It's a small metal skull that was part of a skeleton that has hung from the rear view mirrors of the last three cars that Momma and I shared.  It stayed with me in the Honda when Momma moved on in her own car world.

I found parts of it when I cleaned the Honda out after the "accident" and didn't remember finding the skull.  I seem to remember some other random parts, but I'm not sure now what I would have done with them since.  I grabbed the shopping bags when I went to the impound lot that night and apparently didn't completely empty them out when I finally sorted through the bags later.

I'm kinda excited about the tires idea.  I can feel the knobbies working against me I think.  Also I want the rain to quickly fall and then move along.  I get that it's spring in east TN, but seriously, I've kinda had enough this year.  I'm ready to move along.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the ill

When I mentioned my interview today I neglected to have the future vision that would tell me that today would not be a good day for it.  I had no way to know that The Boy would wake this morning sick.

He's actually been at least a little sick for the past week.  He's had days that he felt fine, and we assumed he was over it.

After school yesterday he ate a snack and did his homework, but then he lounged on the sofa complaining that he was tired.  He fell asleep and wasn't hungry when I got pizza, and he only woke to watch Big Brother play Zelda.

He asleep now, his arms pulled inside his shirt.  He's just cold enough for that, but he doesn't want a blanket.

I've tried to call hoping to postpone the interview, but no one is answering the phone just yet.  The Grandfather is here finishing up some of the plumbing begun yesterday, and I'm sure he'd be willing to be here for the time I needed to run, but at the same time I feel bad not being here should something arise.

There's also the part where I haven't yet told my current employer that I'm looking elsewhere, and in fact I wasn't looking elsewhere.  This interview fell into my lap, and if I didn't think it was likely to be a good opportunity I wouldn't bother.  I also did not pick up a few hours today when the current employer called earlier to ask if I could come in at noon.  And with my luck someone from work would very likely see me across the square at the other restaurant, and that would surely begin some tiny amount of drama.  Restaurants are fueled, to some small extent, by drama, and I'm not willing to fan those flames just yet.

So I have just over an hour before meeting the people, and I'm not really sure what to do.  I'll probably wait till noon and hope someone answers the phone then.  Or I might ask The Grandfather for the favor.

i dunno, maybe

Writing a much different post I suddenly realized that my bike is in the trunk of Momma's car which is at her house with the rest of the car.  And I'll see her and the car before I need the bike again.

The Grandfather Who Owns The House did some plumbing and some lawn mowing today.  I did a small amount of mowing and told him I'd finish tomorrow.  I should have time, assuming I can get either of the mowers to work.  I know he'll get them working, but he's uncanny that way

I wish my bike was here.  Even though it doesn't matter.

I also have a surprise interview tomorrow.  A guy I used to work with works across the square at a much different restaurant which is apparently about to lose a couple of people, so they're looking for someone, and this guy remembers me from about a year ago.

There's a whole love/hate relationship, hopefully entirely one sided, between me and my current place of employment.  I've been underpaid most of the time I've been there.  At the same time I've been passed over for all sorts of perks that I think could have at least been offered to me.

My availability has been fairly limited the entire time I've worked there, though I have ample hours that I can actually work.  For what it's worth, I was also the only one with kids most of time that I've been there other than the owner who has both kids and grandkids.  There is now another employee, not too bad of a guy, who easily skated into the job of other main kitchen person second to the kitchen manager.  I'm not sure of his exact title, and I don't know what he makes.  He also has kids, but I won't get into his story.  I am, however, glad that I only parented children with a single other person.

I really don't know much about the place I'm visiting tomorrow.  I know a little, but I've actually never been in.  My going out to restaurant time has kids in it 90% of the time with the other ten being bar food when that's all that's open.  I did treat myself to Mexican recently, but that was lunch one day before beginning the picking up of kids from school.

 The guy I know talked as if I could show up and have a job, but I have to keep in mind my availability as this place isn't open most days, and that's been my schedule for a couple of years.  I've gotten more hours while Momma gets nights which have been better for her.  It's worked, and one of us is almost always able to be with the kids.  She's willing now to switch her own availability some, and that would certainly help if I decide to take the job.

Of course this does nothing to help my getting-out-of-restaurants-maybe thing I've been thinking about, but maybe it'll be good until I get to that point for reals.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

dirty water legs

Other than the distance from my current home to work, I'm loving riding a bike.  There are those times, however, when Momma's car is available, and I take it.

I can't easily move around with the kids on a bike.  Big Brother has a bike in the garage that needs to get pulled out and dusted off.  One good thing about this house is that we're really close to his school, so whenever we get around to getting him to do it he can ride his bike.

Sunday night saw me making my first ride for the hell of it.  I toured a local greenway with a couple of coworkers, we even forded a stream, but we weren't supposed to be there, so don't tell anyone.  I rode approximately twenty miles that day.

I don't know if that's a lot for people who ride bikes, but right now it's a lot for me.  I'm used to doing ten at most, the distance to and from work, and I wonder if it's a lot or if it feels like a lot jumping from a car to the bus to the bike in such quick succession.  My last drive in my much beloved Accord was 1/9.

And I'm also wondering lately if there are more people riding bikes lately, or am I just now noticing so many because I've suddenly joined them.  I've always seen them and been a little jealous.  Riding my bike stands out as the best times I ever had growing up.  I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I've missed having a bike since the last time I really had one.

I have to congratulate myself again on such a great purchase in a bike, though I'm already wanting to do some slight modification.  What I actually want is a new pair of wheels and more roadworthy tires, though I don't want a skinny tire by any means.  And I want to be able to slap the mountain bike tires on at a moments notice.

Speaking of which, I want to actually put those mountain bike tires to their intended use as my weekend is upon me.  There's a local park with three loops designed for different levels, and though I haven't see it yet I'd like to think that beginner one has my name written all over it.  I'm not yet convinced it's within biking distance, and I haven't really tried to find anyone that would/could ride who would also have a car with bike toting capabilities.  Also, it's possibly supposed to rain again tomorrow.  Again.

Okay, it can't yet rain again tomorrow, but it can rain again, and I think I heard to expect it to do so tomorrow.

And with that I should probably just stop.  I just noticed the time and thought that it's a good time to be riding.  It's beautiful out right now, and just cool enough to be really nice.  I'm going to go stand in it and enjoy a cigarette.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

and doggone it . . .

One of those things happened tonight on the ol' Fb as I was reminded why I deleted so many friends so long ago.  A teacher from my high school years made a comment that was slightly politically charged, and I said something to disagree.

He said something about Obama being our first black president and being half white, and I corrected him that Clinton was actually our first black president.

He of course then pointed out that both were bad people and wrong, so I commented that I was rolling up my pants.

I took myself away from the debate, but I made sure to do so in a slightly passive aggressive way.  Now maybe I'm prejudiced when it comes to me, but I think that shows a touch of class.

Friday, March 04, 2011

more forced trip greening

I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize, but I've been doing it wrong.  I shouldn't be surprised that once again I've been missing the obvious.

Honestly, it's not necessarily a sudden realization.  I've been a little bit stubborn about, and it's kinda stupid when I admit to it.

My bike ride to work is about five miles.  I don't ride that everyday, and I don't make the round trip every day that I do ride.  The day that I bought the bike is the last time that I rode the bus and the only time the bike has ridden the bus that I know of.  Momma has been generous with her pity and her decisions to give me a ride to work, and depending on our schedules, sometimes we're both going to and coming from downtown that it just makes sense to take the ride.

My average time to or from is about thirty minutes.  The bus also takes about thirty minutes.  It stands to reason that a combination of bus and bike would be the best way to go rather than to add a five mile bicycle commute to a body that isn't really that used to the exertion.

But for whatever reason I didn't reason it out quite like that.  I saw a savings of the fifty dollar for a month bus pass.  Also, there isn't a bus on Sunday that will get me to work on time, and most Sunday's I'm scheduled at either eight or nine.

I don't dislike either the bus or the bike.  I appreciate the usefulness of the bus and will begin using the service again.  I love the bike, and I love riding, but I really am not in the physical condition to chew that big bite I bit.  Sunday's will have to be my suck-it-up-and-take-it day, and honestly, I'm going in to work brunch, which I truly hate, so I'm already sucking up and taking.

Perhaps I'll work some other deal to make my Sundays less hurtful.  There has to be a way.  But until then I'm going to make my other days slightly easier if not as cheap.  I'm going to find the balance between where I get on and off the two conveyances, trading each for the other at my whim.

There's also some thought about moving closer to town.  Everything I want or want to do is that direction, so it only makes sense.  But that's another post for another time.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

the bf's

First I should point out that none of what I assume about this couple can be proven without talking to them, and I'm far happier making assumptions than getting to the truth.

Second, we do in fact refer to them as the "bathroom fuckers."  And, keeping point one in mind, this might be totally inaccurate.

There is a couple that visits the place I work.  They came in regularly for a while before taking a break, but we've been seeing them again.  They always ordered the same sandwich that they want ready at a certain time.  They meet in the very back dining area, the one that's essentially in the kitchen, at the farthest table from the front.

My guess is that they are cheating on their spouses with each other.  I can't prove it, but there's a certain something about them that gives them that air.  Do I suspect cheating because I've developed a sense, an ability to recognize it?  Or am I just an ass that likes to assume the worst.

After several months in which we didn't see them we nearly forgot about them.  Sure, occasionally someone would remember or mention them.  Perhaps they'd be the butt of some joke or the topic of a "remember when" sort of conversation.  Restaurants change rapidly on the inside, and something that you've grown so used to that you completely take it for granted can disappear and be forgotten in a moment.

This couple, while ordering and sharing the same sandwich each visit, doesn't want it split and put on separate plates.  According a to one server the separate plate thing was tried, but the bathroom fuckers put the sandwich back onto one plate and disregarded the attempted good deed.

And now they're back.  He dresses sort of normally, but she dresses a bit nicer than you'd expect for an office drone.  Yesterday her tight top and fairly short skirt seemed to beg for attention.  They sat with their heads together, and then, when no one was looking, the couple was gone.

They weren't too far gone, as they'd left stuff on the table, so we knew where they were.  They were in the bathroom again.

We discussed in low whispers what we could do to learn about them.  I suggested someone try the old ear to the glass to the wall trick to see if we could hear anything, but no one really wanted to be that guy.

Eventually she exited the bathroom and retrieved her stuff.  She pulled on a jacket and left wearing a look that was difficult to read.  Had she just been penetrated in our bathroom?  Had she performed for him?  We waited until he made his exit a few minutes after her.  He had a whole other look about him, and he walked away with what I'd describe as a forced nonchalance.

I can't say for certain that they fuck in our bathroom.  I sent a server in as soon as the man left, ordering the server to do smell check "for spunk."  Yeah, I know that's nasty, but it made me laugh both then and now, so I'm sticking with it.

Apparently there was no  spunk odor, and we still can't prove anything, but we'll still call them the "bathroom fuckers."