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Archive for December, 2010

Was it the warm sunshine on my face or the drowsiness of sleep not yet shaken that caused me to doubt the ferocity of the trolley tracks?  Am I getting overly confident?  Should I start having an extra cup of coffee before I leave the house to help widen my eyes a bit?  I have come to the conclusion that the answer to all these questions is: NO.  No, I am not a distracted cyclist, unsafe or half-asleep behind the handlebars (well, most mornings anyway). 

NOT a bike-friendly zone

It’s just that dang, those trolley tracks are wily!  Yesterday morning I was riding down the center of the tracks because my street STILL has not been plowed from the snowstorm.  I heard a car coming from behind and decided to bail across the trolley tracks– taking it at a 45 degree angle, of course.  My front wheel cleared but those slippery rails were not ready to let go of me yet.  The rest is all a blur– it ends with me on the ground wondering what just happened.  A quick inventory to make sure all my bones were still in one piece, that my super-awesome gloves held up to the impact and that my bike was okay and then back on the old steed.  I’m sure the guy chillin’ in his pickup truck across the street enjoyed the drama.

The weird part about all the unfortunate incidents I’ve had on my bike is that I can recall the moments leading up to the crash and the aftermath but never the crash itself.  It’s those few seconds where I’m airborne, my bike going one way as my body catapults the other that my brain simply does not record.  I wonder if the memory part of my brain shuts down so the “oh, sh*t!” cortex can have full usage of my neurons.

So I live to ride another day.  My once healthy fear of trolley tracks is now bordering on nervous mania, I actually got off my bike to walk across a tricky intersection on the way home.   Today I am sore, a little bruised but otherwise in one piece.  As always, I am glad I was wearing my helmet and that my guardian angel was somewhere in the vicinity at the time.

Get a bicycle.  You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

-Mark Twain

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A Couger No Longer

Today is Pat’s birthday– Happy Birthday, honey bun!  Now we are both 27 and I am no longer an old lady.  I think the 26 days between our birthdays are Pat’s favorite days of the year– he gets to brag about his youthfulness and being with an “older woman”.  As per his birthday wishes we are spending the day playing video games, eating blueberry pancakes and going out for a meat buffet later tonight.  Seriously, it’s a restaurant that serves dinner in the style of Brazilian gauchos… who apparently ate their meat with a side of meat. 

Strawberry Explosion cheese cake

Doesn’t that cheesecake look divine?  It’s of the no-bake variety, which I’ve never made before.  So I hope it’s tasty!  There is a swirl of strawberry/strawberry jam mixture in the middle, mm mmmm!

The “blizzard” kept a lot of visitors away from my work the past two days… luckily the sun is shining today and I know parents are probably sick of being cooped up with their kids.  I’m sure it will be crazy busy tomorrow.  I also hope the city clears the streets a little better so I can ride my bike again!

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Take 5

I never watch her show (we don’t have cable) but I do like Rachael Ray’s magazine and my favorite feature is the “Take 5” section.  She challenges readers to make a recipe with 5 ingredients or fewer, the freebies are EVOO, salt and pepper.  Last night we had my take on the Take 5 (har har): Cheesy Baked Potato Soup.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cans Campbell’s cheese soup
  2. Milk
  3. 4-5 red potatoes, chopped
  4. Bag frozen broccoli
  5. Bacon (thick-cut is SO GOOD!!)

Follow the recipe on the can for cheese soup (1 can soup + 1 can milk)– using the ingredients above will yield enough soup for 4 dinner-sized portions.  Add the potatoes and broccoli.  Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Meanwhile, fry the bacon, drain on paper towels and then crumble.  Season the soup with salt and pepper and top with crumbled bacon.  Serve with crusty warm bread and say mmmm!

thinking about taking a trip

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“Got snow tires on that thing?” the elderly business man asked me as I unlocked my bike from outside Whole Foods.  I raised my eyebrows, “uh, yeah, something like that!”  Mushing a loaf of bread into my bag I double-checked that my blinky light was blinking, tightened my helmet strap and cautiously set out into the snowy streets.  Slowly, slowly I made my way down 21st street.  Traffic was crawling too; it seems like this city becomes gridlocked at the mere mention of snow, let alone a dusting

Lunar Lander dreaming of a white Christmas

Feeling confident that the roads were damp but not slick I moved at the slow speed of an inefficient evening commute.  I hit my stride on Walnut street, sliding past a snaking line of red tail-lights.  I was the only cyclist in sight as I cut south and west toward home.  I remembered my coworker telling me as I left be careful, I saw two guys on bikes wipe out.  Even Pat warned me to walk if it was slippery.  As I got further from the heavily travelled streets of Center City I realized that their warnings were probably good ones.

I decided to walk my bike the last block home, no need to risk a tumble when I’d made it that far.  Pat greeted me at the door with a steaming mug of vanilla rooibos tea laced with some raspberry schnapps– toasty! 

A man and his cheese

Today we spent the whole afternoon running errands in the city.  I love the bustle of holidays, fa la la la laaaaa.

Christmas bike

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Happy Belated Birthday to me!  It was a wonderful birthday weekend… my hubby and I had all kinds of fun out on the town– dinner, drinks, photography, more drinks, bike rides and then a few more drinks to round it out.

Birthday mocha

27 isn’t really that huge of a deal– no new privileges, no jokes (yet) about being over the hill, no fuss.  And yet it still feels like I’m standing on the cusp of something really, really big.  I remember turning 17 and thinking to myself, “all right, this is it!  One more year and I’m an adult!”  I was excited and scared and also a bit relieved that I had a full year to prepare for the rest of my life.  It was the same feeling then that I have now though, a feeling of that year being… different.  I made new friends, pursued new interests and got to know my true self a little better.  I hope that this year provides me with the same opportunities.  A coworker, who is very much into the significance of the zodiac, assured me that this year is going to be OUTSTANDING for me.  It probably helps that he is a Sagittarius, too and we are notoriously optimistic (to a fault, even).

So here I stand, in the midst of my twenty-somethings, eagerly awaiting my year to come.  I don’t know what it will bring, but I do know that I can make the most of whatever life throws my way.  This year I want to challenge myself to these goals:

  1. Remember that I am the captain of my own destiny (most of the time…)  Find and utilize resources that will help me move in the direction I want to go. 
  2. Along with #1, realize that no situation needs to be permanent.  Again, use this year as a time for research and self-reflection. 
  3. Be the best wife I can be to my husband, who supports me and loves me more than any rational man really should.  Continue to be good to him and to our relationship.
  4. Open myself up to the possibilities of unexpected twists and turns.  The anniversary of John Lennon’s death was the other day and I felt like I heard the same line from “Beautiful Boy” everywhere I went– Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  Make sure I don’t get so focused on goals and plans that I forget to admire the life I have NOW.
  5. Have FUN!!!!

Hmm, that seems ambitious enough, don’t you think?  I hope that when I turn 37 I feel the same sense of wonder, excitement and urgency for my years to come that I do now.  To a new year, to a new age, to being 27!

My destiny requires a big propeller!

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Today I rode my bike to work in the POURING RAIN.  The only other time I’ve purposefully ridden my bike in the rain was when it drizzled on our way to the movie theater.  As you can imagine I feel pretty tough after this little adventure. 

I woke up to the din of a downpour and my cat’s daily pre-alarm-clock reminder that he prefers early breakfast.  Drats, I thought to myself.  I hate riding the trolley, it smells like moldy foot, and I wanted to get home quickly after work because my weekend started at 5:00 pm today.  I hemmed, hawed and fed my scoundrel cat.  Finally I accepted that my work wasn’t going to magically appear next door so I pulled on my goloshes, zipped up my new rain slicker and headed out for a soggy commute.

feed me or I eat your face

Helmet on, blinky light blinking away, I toned down my normal “bat- out-of-hell who is also cautious” driving style for something closer to “gutsy grandma”.  Aside from the coastal flooding along 38th street that turned into a wall of water (thanks to a speedy SUV), I enjoyed most of the ride.  No other bikes, lots of great sloshing noises and the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t have the ride the stinking trolley home.   

So I may not be the most hardcore biker– I’m sure some bike messenger out there is rolling his eyes ironically at me right now– but I’d say today… top 10% at least. 

Splash!

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