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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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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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My goodness, what a long two weeks I just had!  Working at the haunted house 6 days a week on top of my real job is exhausting.  Patrick is working late at his job tonight and I just realized this is the first time I’ve been home alone in a loooong time.  But now the season is over (well… 2 more days but they are easy and fun), how did that happen so quickly?  You should see our laundry mountain, it is a little terrifying!

Also my post-Halloween body does not understand why there is not sugar coursing through my veins right now.  I’m trying hard to remind myself that when you don’t walk around for 6 hours a night in the cold you don’t need an extra 700 calories a day.  I am still making monkey bread muffins for next weekend though: yummy yum  I just can’t resist. 

I can’t resist posting this either:

photo by Tom Quigley

My dear friend Emily is visiting this week from Belgium.  She’s an international student/exchange student coordinator there, which sounds like a super fun job.

rocking out, as usual in 2002

Eastern State provided us all with free tickets to something called Lucha Vavoom.  From what I’ve surmised it’s an adults-only-Nacho-Libre-esque variety show with crazily costumed people and lots of audience jeering/cheering.  Obviously I can’t wait!  Saldy no cameras are allowed in the venue but I’ll get Pat to snap a few pics on his phone for me, bwahaha!

Na-choooooo!

Now that I have some free time again I’m looking forward to getting back to writing/blogging and bike riding (if the weather stays mild).  But tonight it’s time for R&R and some hulu.com 🙂

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Yesterday I was down-in-the-dumps.  I didn’t get enough sleep the night before (Philly is so HOT in the summer!), work was annoying me and I probably didn’t have the usual amount of caffeine flowing through my veins.  My mind turned poisonous: “We’re never going on this trip,” I thought.  How could we ever save enough to finance our year-long vacation?  Our savings account is growing, sure, but it’s such slow going and we’re not even a third of the way to our goal.  I grumped.  I pouted.  I wanted to throw a tantrum but refrained, mostly because it was too hot for that kind of thing.  Then my darling hubby gave me some much-needed advice: “Snap out of it.” 

He was right, of course.  And I did snap out of it.  I remembered that our goal is not impossible.  We are working hard to make it happen, even if that means taking some time to get there.  So I decided to write this entry more for myself than anyone else.  To remind me, when I’m peddling through the French countryside, trekking along the Great Wall, sampling wine in Italy and cruising down the Nile that I didn’t let my doubts overcome my ability to succeed.

Along with saving for our big trip we’ve also been tucking away a little something-something for our upcoming trip to Hawaii.  The majority of the trip has been paid for by Pat’s promotion at the haunted house last fall but we knew we’d need some “fun” money.  We also knew we didn’t want to take too much away from our monthly deposit into the around-the-world savings.  So a gallon of Sangria later we had the perfect solution:

Cocktails and Moonlit Nights....

Behold, our DRINKIN’ JAR!  After seven months and many, many quarters, dimes, nickles and pennies our little buddy is nearly half-full.  We even throw some small bills in there when we’re feeling especially generous (or when Pat thinks about the Long Island Ice Teas he wants to drink ON A REAL ISLAND).  I can’t wait to count it all up in September!

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Thank you, Patrick!

Patrick finished our beautiful blog illustration today and I am very excited to unveil it.  Doesn’t it look great?  Just two long-haul truckers out to explore the world!

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Hello world!

This is the first blog post in our freshly created Rollin Round the World blog.  In 2012 we will set forth on a grand adventure– circumnavigating the globe on our bicycles!  2012 may seem like a long way off but we like to be prepared.  This blog will allow us to share our travel plans, side trips and research we are undertaking.  Once we leave American soil it will serve as a connection to our friends and family back home.  No one knows where the future may lead but it looks like we’re going to have a lot of fun on the way!

We have very recently made an incredibly important investment in this trip: the bikes!  Patrick and I set off on a chilly Saturday to see what there is to see in the way of touring bikes in Philadelphia.  After a hearty breakfast at Famous Fourth Diner we headed over to Breakaway Bikes on Chestnut street.  I love Breakaway because everyone there is so friendly.  We got some good advice but decided to keep our options open.  Plus they didn’t have any bikes in stock to test.  So we walked a few blocks over to Trophy Bikes, another fantastic bike shop, and that’s where we found our new best friends: 2 gorgeous Surly Long Haul Truckers.  After a test drive we decided that, in our price range, we wouldn’t find a better bike for our needs.  I’m still getting to know my new bike, it is much different from my road bike, but I can tell that we will get along just fine.  Patrick calls his “sexy” and that’s all there is to say about that.

Stay tuned for more updates, news and maybe even some pictures!

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