equality & recipes

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This photo was taken shortly after Charlie moved to Atlanta from Florida. I added the black stripes up at the top to symbolize Equality. Yesterday, was a big day with the Supreme Court ruling. Yeah, it’s a step forward but still it doesn’t affect Charlie and me because we live in a State that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage. (We’re still going to elope to New York City and get married) But, I’m looking on the bright side of things – things are changing. Change is good. We’re both happy that this came about right before our official one-year anniversary. Yep, one year and how it flew on by!

On another note, we’ve been cooking a lot lately. We practically eat spinach on everything and the amount of raw veggies that we consume in a week is pretty good. (I would hope the veggies would offset the beer consumption but we’re working on that) Some of the staples I constantly try to keep in the fridge are the following:

Red and Green peppers

Fresh jalapeno

Cilantro

Spinach – a sea of it

Red Onions

Limes – bags of them

Fresh Garlic

Spinach and Sun dried tomato wraps

In the cabinet I like to keep cans of sweet corn, black beans, garbonzo beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans. These all go very well on salads as well as this bean salad we like to make:

Mexican Bean Salad

We make a batch of this salad weekly to put in veggie wraps, on top of a spinach salad and just to eat by itself. It’s a refreshing summer salad. I don’t use quite that amount of olive oil it calls for – I cut the oil in half and add just 1/4 cup instead of the 1/2 cup.

Charlie planted three tomato vines and they are going gonzo crazy producing right now. I’ve been making fresh Pico de Gallo every day since they have been growing. Some of the tomatoes fell off the vine while they were still green so I’m going to try to make this Baked Green Tomato recipe. 

Right now I’m thawing chicken for the grill tonight. One of the things we’ve been doing is making up our own marinade with stale beer. (I know it’s shocking that we would have stale beer) We had this growler we didn’t drink all the way down and the lady at the growler place said to take old beer and make marinade out of it. I think the beer was a stout (think the dark beers would be the best for marinade) I took the leftover beer and poured some of it in a ziplock bag with the chicken and added a touch of vinegar and BBQ sauce. Oh my – it was good!

These are some of my top favorite things right now. Fresh tomatoes you just can’t beat. In the summertime all I want to eat are salads. Next week, Charlie’s son and daughters-in-law are coming up and staying through the 4th. We’re going to throw a pork butt in the slow cooker, make that bean salad, I make a spicy cold slaw salad (let me know if you want the recipe for that – it’s really killer) and potato salad. I’m running the race while they are hopefully not blowing up the house putting in the new hot water heater.

The week is almost over and on to the weekend! Have a good rest of the week! If anyone out there has their favorite summertime recipes please share!

meeting & meme

I got to sleep in this morning although the dogs pushed the door open with their noses and bounded in to wake me up but before they could leap onto the bed they realized that I was in the bathroom and went running in there instead. They always act like I’ve been away for years when they come in to get me up (the rare days that I am the last to leave the bed).

I padded into the kitchen to pour coffee, dogs leading the way. I wasn’t going in until after my “meeting”. Charlie was on the phone with her friend, B, from Florida. I find it amusing now that since we’ve gotten internet in the house that she has her office and I have mine. I went back to mine and sat down at the computer only to find a FB message from Charlie in the other room.

She was off the phone and wandered in while I was studying (for the meeting) when just as we decided to take the dogs for a walk it started pouring down rain. I don’t know why is it that every time I have to put on a suit it has to rain.

Flash forward to a bracing shower, Charlie doing my hair (she loves to blow dry it and make it all feminine looking) and almost falling and killing myself in the carport. Finally, I was ready to drive downtown.

I knew where I was going as I’d been there [several times previously] for meetings. I drove down and parked in the Underground parking deck – all the way up on the roof. I got out and looked out over downtown Atlanta. I was just above The Underground. I took pictures and texted Charlie. The rain had let up and it was sunny already. I had time to kill before the meeting. I decided to go down and walk around a bit. I walked up the street away from the building I was supposed to be in an hour. I did go down into The Underground. It had been years since I’d been there. Much had changed. I doubted if I would go there again even when the stores and kiosks were open.

I finally went into the building, going through the metal detector putting my briefcase on the belt. I walked through no problem and went up on the second floor that overlooked the tropical atrium below. I texted Charlie. The DOMA decision had been thrown out. I felt it was ironic given all this change in history on the day of my meeting. Perhaps other things would change after this day, too. It was time, I took the elevator to the sixth floor arriving 15 minutes early and sitting in the waiting room.

Finally, a woman came out and took me into a room with three other people. I sighed inwardly – only four people on the panel. I can handle that. They had a series of nine questions. At least it isn’t ten, I thought.

Time stood still and I found myself counting down the questions. Only eight left, only 3, two more. Then, my questions – already prepared. This was the time to form connections with the team. Then, it was over. I walked out into the lobby and waited for the elevator to take me down. I glanced fleetingly at the view of the buildings downtown from the lobby before stepping on the elevator. I texted Charlie, I’m out.

So, I think it went well. Cindy tells me that my job now is to think about if I would want it if they offered. I already know the answer to that. So, in the meantime to take my mind off of this I am going to do a Meme that I stole from Maria. (I know – I promised I’d never do these but it’s a special circumstance right now)

1. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book.

That’s an easy one – GO Dog GO! I loved that book. I even have a miniature version of it on my bookshelf at home.

2. If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be?

It would have to be the mansion that Vince, Turtle and E lived in on Entourage. This would be the place they lived before they accidentally burned it down because Turtle threw a joint off the roof and it caught on fire.

3. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?

I think it was something like 64 hours. My roommate in college and I had been up pulling an all-niter to get a project done. My girlfriend at the time had just gotten tickets to see The Cure in Chicago and insisted we all go as soon as we turned in our projects. So, we did. What a weird weekend that was. Being sleep deprived is much like being on drugs. It’s amazing that we made it back alive.

4. What is your favorite Barry Manilow song.

Seriously? I don’t think the words favorite and Barry Manilow even go together.

5. Who is your favorite muppet?

This is a bit like the Barry Manilow question. I would say none of them as I wasn’t a fan of the muppets.

6. What is your favorite website?

This is a hard one. I mean, probably the one I spend the most time on is FaceBook. This morning waiting for the SCOTUS decision I kept checking FaceBook because it’s really my news source. Plus, there’s Candy Crush that I vowed never to get addicted to but I have which leads me to –

7. What habit are you proudest of breaking?

That would be smoking. I battled it for years. I can safely say now that I have no cravings for smoking of any kind anymore.

8. What is your favorite school supply?

Any kind of pens – I am a pen whore.

9. Who is your favorite television attorney?

Such an easy question – Patricia Hewes played by Glenn Close in Damages. If you haven’t watched this series I highly recommend it.

10. What was your best bargain at a garage sale?

I’m at a loss on this one because I rarely go to garage sales. I do go to thrift stores and recently I purchased three pairs of Banana Republic jeans for $3.99 each.

11. What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles?

This would have to be when Charlie and I drove up to Indiana with the dogs to visit my family around Thanksgiving.

12. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was just starting a new job and was in my bosses office. He had the TV on and said something had hit one of the towers. We watched his little black and white TV and in horror saw the second plane hit the other tower.

13. What is your favorite tree?

It would have to be a magnolia tree. But, not the Southern kind that has big leaves but the Saucer kind with smaller leaves and pink flowers. My mother had one in the yard and was always wishing it would bloom before another frost hit every year. Most of the time it would be too cold when it bloomed and the buds would freeze and it would never bloom. But, years it did bloom I would always get a picture of it.

14. Most interesting biography?

I don’t really read biographies. I have read some autobiographies. The most recent being Life by Keith Richards. It’s amazing what he has seen in his life – where he’s been, what he’s done. It was enjoyable.

15. What do you order when you eat Chinese food.

This question is making me hungry just writing it. Chinese food is a rare, guilty pleasure. I rarely eat it because it has so many calories and the MSG always makes me sick. When I do have it, I order some kind of Lo Mein. I love noodles.

16. Best costume ever worn?

Again, I’m at a loss because I don’t wear costumes. I don’t like dressing up at Halloween. I prefer to be a spectator not a performer when it comes to this holiday.

17. Least favorite word.

Hard to choose. I have several. I recently read somewhere about words that make a person sound insincere or even stupid. One of them was “actually” in a sentence. For example, “Actually, there is some truth to changing your oil every 10,000 miles can save your engine.” And, “sincerely” isn’t really sincere. Like, “I sincerely hope that you will reconsider going to the movies with us.” How about “Seriously”? “I seriously doubt that there is life on Mars.”

18. If you had to be named after a state, which would it be?

Well, I know what it wouldn’t be – I-da-ho. I think it would either be Indiana after my home state or Arizona. (and, speaking of which did anyone see the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy?)

19. Who is your favorite bear?

What bear? Like I know several? I have a teddy bear I sleep with so I guess that’s my favorite.

20. Describe something that happened to you which you have no explanation.

I can’t think of anything. I’m at a loss on this one, too. But, if I do think of something I will get back to you on this.

21. If you could travel anywhere in Africa, where would it be?

Nowhere. I have no desire to go to Africa. There’s so many other places I would prefer to go to and see. Africa would be last on my list. If I have to answer this question it would either be Cape Town or Johannesburg. I’ve spoken to several people who say both are the most beautiful places in the world. Some say Cape Town hands down and others say Johannesburg.

22. What did you have for lunch yesterday?

A spinach salad with our Mexican bean salad on top. Yummy! I frequently eat salads for lunch during the week.

23. Where do you go for advice?

My best friend, lover and fiancé, Charlie.

24. Which do you use most often – the Dictionary or Thesaurus?

It would have to be the Thesaurus. I have spell check on my computer but I constantly use the Thesaurus to look up words.

25. Have you ever been snorkeling or scuba diving?

Snorkeling – I have a medical condition that doesn’t allow me to scuba. I’ve snorkeled reefs down in the Cayman Islands. I’ve also snorkeled with the sting rays at Sting Ray City. They are beautiful and docile creatures.

That’s it, folks! I hope you got through ok. Have a great rest of the week!

cold showers

Charlie’s slated to taking cold showers…………….

………..but it’s not what you think. It’s because the hot water heater decided to go out. I knew this thing was on it’s last leg last year but did I replace it – nooooo. If it ain’t busted, don’t fix it is my motto. Except when we don’t have hot water for a week. One of Charlie’s sons is coming up next week for the 4th to install it for us. At least it will cost me less than if I would have had it done last year and paid 2k for that and installation.

This morning I decided to run at work and then hit the shower at the gym. I ended up running somewhere around 4.8 miles – almost 5. It’s the farthest I’ve been in awhile and I need to get my mileage up for the Peachtree coming up. When I got back to the gym I realized that I only had about 15 minutes to shower and get dressed to get to the office.

I came in with my face red from exertion. [Funny, I’m mentioning that word and cold showers in the same post……]

I have a “meeting” tomorrow that I’m preparing for. I was a bit down about it yesterday until I started putting together  materials for it. Then, it gave me some confidence. Tonight and tomorrow morning I will study for it. I’m just putting it out to the universe – if it’s meant to happen, it will.

In the meantime, I will leave you with an article I found Ten Health Benefits of Cold Showers.

[No] PRIDE

I had a pretty good weekend. I was originally supposed to work but found out my class didn’t make so Charlie and I had another weekend to chill together. Her and Ellen were going to run the PRIDE race that weekend and I decided to join them since I was off. Early Saturday morning we got up to feed and walk the dogs before Ellen picked us up.

I thought, “At least we get to do something in this town to celebrate PRIDE month.”

This is a huge contention with me.

Ever since Atlanta did a bunch of work on Piedmont park one year when we were having an extreme drought our pride got pushed to October.  First, it was Halloween weekend. People were saying, “How appropriate that the freaks get their PRIDE over Halloween weekend when the freaks are normally out.”

I was not amused.

I wanted the hot weather.  In June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots. Not.F-ing.Lame-@ss October.

So –

-since our city is lame-@ss and we can’t have PRIDE when every other city does we go run the PRIDE race. At least there’s that –and, don’t think I won’t wear my t-shirt over a long underwear shirt in October for our late PRIDE.

And –

-it would have been SO appropriate to have the real PRIDE this past weekend. [The weekend, historically, that we’ve had PRIDE in the past] The weather was great and we have the decisions of the Supreme Court ahead of us this week. We could have all been out rallying for same sex marriage, federal benefits and all that jazz.

Don’t get me wrong – as much as I want this thing to happen I think it will fail. I don’t have that much faith in our Supreme Court. I think the California thing will pass, sure. But, overall having federal benefits and making same sex marriage legal across the board – no. I mean, interracial marriage only just passed in Alabama in 2000!

 I would, however, love to be proven wrong.

So, with all that aside – we’ll see what happens this week – we ran the race and everyone did great! The first mile was really tough. It took us straight up a hill beside the Botanical Gardens and I thought I was going to die. I finished with barely enough time to hit the bathroom and get back before both Charlie and Ellen crossed the finish line. I got pictures of both of them finishing. Afterwards, we hung out and drank lots of water and ate some really bad greek yogurt that they handed out. Ellen and Charlie loved it -me, not so much – I felt the same about that as I do about PRIDE in October.

Sunday, we took the dogs down to the park again and ended up at Park Tavern having beers and queso while the dogs laid in the cool gravel. Later, we went home to finish up the day sitting in the carport having beers and talking. The breeze felt good coming through and I relished another weekend off with my love  – PRIDE or no pride – we had ours.

ATL

dropping bikes and crying – two separate instances but all the same

All I f*cking wanted to do was go out and have beers and Mexican food with my love last night and unwind.

Work has been h*ll lately. If you read Professional Growth II you would know and that appointment that was supposed to happen yesterday got kicked back another week which, among other things was f*cking with me, too. I just wanted it to be over with so I could stop getting my hopes up of ever getting out of there.  Yeah, that’s been messing with me a little bit, too.

SO – back to Mexican food. Yes, I wanted Mexican food. I had only a salad and a yogurt that day and was starving. But, I failed to realize it was $3 margarita night. The place has the.best. margs – hands down. We love to go there and sit at the bar and talk to Ashley and Scott. Ashley keeps the drinks coming and provides endless entertainment. The last time we were there she was ripping up a t-shirt to wear to [another bartender] Justin’s show. Scott is a server and is always coming over to entertain as well.  

“They used to put 3 bottles of tequila in that mix but people were getting really drunk so we cut it back to two.” Ashley said one night when we commented on how buzzed we were good the margarita’s were.

But, last night they were nowhere to be found. Both probably smart to choose NOT to work since it was a madhouse. A madhouse of crying babies and adults who had had waaay too many margaritas’s already. [And, it was only 7!] Plus, we had brought the dogs which meant that we had to sit in the pitifully small area outside the fenced patio in the blazing sun.  We got there and two women, a baby and their German shepherd had taken the middle table in this area and had spread out. There were about a thousand building blocks on the ground where the baby had probably thrown them. The poor dog was lying in the small bit of shade under the table panting and there were at least 3 stools along with a highchair shoved around this table the size of a large pizza box.

We took the table closest to the door. The door that the server went through every 3 seconds.  The door that Sadie went through to the patio like she was going to make herself at home and beg everyone for a tortilla chip – which, she probably would have gotten. The door that was directly in the sun and I immediately started to sweat. Charlie left to go to the restroom and I waited for the women beside us to leave. They had started packing up which took an immensely long time to do. You could have packed up a camper trailer to pull across the United States to be gone for a month in the time it took her to pick up all the building blocks, put the kid in the stroller, box up her food, finish sipping the last dregs of her margarita and pay the bill. I kept pulling Sadie in from the patio, Bailey kept wanting to go visit with the woman’s dog and I had a feeling there would be a fight because the shepherd did not look amused and like they wanted any company.

The women finally left and I said, “Let’s get that table in the back corner – we have more room.” So, we unleashed the dogs, grabbed a water bowl, moved the beers and menus to another table. Just as I sat down and said, “I’m so over this”, the busboy literally stuck a basket of chips in my face and said, “Oh, sorry.”

This was the part where I wanted to dump the basket over his head and walk out.

But, I was so hungry I started eating them. Charlie sensing my mood got quiet. Sadie kept going out in the parking lot driveway to get what little shade she could and every time a car drove into the parking lot I had to pull her back into our area. There were two women at the table next to us on the patio and one had a screechy voice. Charlie had texted, That woman’s voice is getting on my nerves.

“This sucks. I want to leave.”

“Why don’t you take the dogs back home and come back. I’ll wait here.”

So, I drove the dog’s home and came back. I so wanted to have a better attitude by the time I got back but I didn’t. I was so angry about everything that was going on at work. I wanted us to be inside in the dark, air conditioned bar having drinks and talking. But, no – I got back and went off on Charlie about something and then ended up crying. Which, I hadn’t cried since this time. I f*cking hate crying – especially in public places.

She patted me on the shoulder and held me. I tried not to make a scene. We talked and I felt better. She was like “You just need to let it out when you’re upset, babe.”

I know but sometimes I just have to explode to make that happen.”

She rubbed my shoulder. I felt better. The tacos we ordered sat on the table uneaten. I ordered another beer. Maybe the evening was looking up. Then, a group of girls sat down at the table beside us (the one we had just vacated to go onto the shadier patio) and I heard, “Hi, Lanie. How you doing?”

It was Teri. I said, “Hi” none too friendly and turned my back to her only facing Charlie. I poured half of my beer into her glass and we finished our conversation.

I always tell my motorcycle students that when they’re out riding in the real world and accidentally dump their motorcycle that would be the time all their friends will show up.

“You’ll see people you haven’t seen in years just show up out of the blue and help you pick your bike up.”

For me, crying in public is the equivalent of dumping the bike – and, having one night stands and ex girlfriends show up with a Kleenex.

Draining the rest of my beer I said, “Let’s go.”

Walking out to the parking lot two more people stopped me and said Hi. One was a distant friend of Ronnie’s (I think tht’s who that was in the cowboy hat but I don’t know) and the other an acquaintance. I just hurridly waved and kept walking to the truck.

Hell, crying in public you have EVERYONE show up. I couldn’t wait to get home and sit on the porch and sip beers with Charlie. Something we should have just done in the first place. F*ck the Mexican place and f*ck margarita night I’m never going there on $3 night again. I work enough I can afford the xtra $2 per drink. Next time no dogs and the dark bar so if I do feel like crying then people will have to get through Charlie – which, I know they won’t 😉

 

[yawn]

early-morning-run

Today was the second day that I got up at 4:30 a.m. to go run. The weather has been getting increasingly HOT here so the evenings are starting to not be an option for running.

Oh, why don’t I used my 1-hour allotted PT time, you ask?

You want the short answer or the long-winded one?………………..

Ok, I’ll give you the short one – my boss is a d*ck. But, I won’t get in to all his d*ckiness in this post. Get ready for a password protected one in the future that all of you that previously requested the last password/protected post should work on.

Anyway, yes – I got up again at 4:30. I knew the first day would be the hardest and it was. I think if I hadn’t kept dreaming about getting up that early and waking up every hour to check the clock I probably would have just rolled over and gone back to sleep. This morning, however, I bounded out of bed because when the alarm went off it was an AC/DC song that blasted. It practically gave both me and Charlie heart failure.

I signed up to run this 5k this weekend. It has a special incentive of a free beer at the end. Of course you know I always have to have beer incentive. I also got a Peachtree Road race number for the 4th – which, is the biggest reason I’m getting out of bed and running in the a.m. I’ve ran that race before and it’s not easy for a 10k.

Despite the early hour I love running at that time. It’s still not really cool by any means but it’s quiet. No traffic. I get back and towel off and make my lunch for the day – which, is usually a salad. After drinking water I pour a cup of coffee and go take a shower. I can actually take my time in the mornings instead of hitting the snooze forty-million times and get up late and have to rush around.

My running goals are to get through the peachtree and be able to do a few more 10 k’s and work up to the Peachtree City Classic. Yeah, that’s a bit of working up to do as it’s a 15k. 

In other news – well, there’s a lot. More on that later! Hope you’re having a great week!

 

dot, dot, dot

Well, I had a fairly good class this past weekend. Looking at the roster at the beginning I wasn’t too sure. We had a bunch of older gentlemen (one being 72) who despite surprising me with their abilities to pick up riding in just a short weekend they were probably the most directionally challenged people I’d ever had in a class. I wondered how they navigated their cars to the grocery store but maybe their wives did that.

Saturday night Charlie and I went out to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. Both our favorite bartender and server were working and after awhile we texted Opie and she came out and joined us. It ended up being a wild night – I won’t tell you what the next morning was like when I woke up but I downed a 5 hour energy shot while straggling in to work. Paulette was working the other range and said, “So, you get into the tequila last night?”

“Oh my Goddess, yes.”

But, we’d been really good lately and had stayed in most nights making dinner. We both decided we need to cut back on the alcohol during the week and exercise more. I’m hoping to run the Peachtree Road race on the 4th and really need to train.  But – the weekend wasn’t over just yet. That night when I got home from work we texted Cindy to see if she wanted to join us for a drink. Cindy kept going back and forth, back and forth. We were like “Come on, already!” and she finally met up with us in Lil’ 5 points. We were at Front Page news sitting on the covered patio by the bar. It was an overcast night and we could feel the cool breeze coming in. We were laughing about crazy texts – why do some people put “…” after everything? I was reading and saying “dot, dot, dot” and the women at the next table were even laughing.

“I just had to say you are cracking me up.” The woman said.

“Oh yeah, she’s very funny. She’s a writer and is always coming up with stuff like this.” Charlie

“Well, it’s funny as sh*t.”

We had drinks and then walked down to the Wrecking Bar. This place is owned by a woman I used to do bootcamp with and I’d never been there. Walking in, I took in the stone walls in the basement of this huge mansion. The bartender was a bit rude when we first sat down. We had asked if they had any flights and how many beers came on it and he replied six. Cindy said oh most of the beers on the menu then.

“No, there’s ten.” He replied, walking away and not taking our order.

 I sighed – I’m so weary of rude men. I have to work with two of them during the week and I’m just so over it. I almost suggested that we leave.

“Well, that wasn’t a good start.” Cindy

“I know – that guy’s being a d*ck.” Me

Finally, another guy came over to wait on us. He had a gravelly voice and was helpful and nice. The other guy, Brian, must have told him he couldn’t deal with the three old lesbians and sent him over. We finally decided on a stout, amber and pilsner and I got an IPA after I finished an awesome amber. I totally recommend this place to try their specialty brews – just don’t sit in Brian’s area.

Cindy was talking about her ex – one of the K’s from K&K who we hung out with a few weeks ago when we went to Dry’s house.

“They never invite me anywhere. I know of two instances they all went somewhere together and never invited me. I found out from [name of a stupid flower] – who got invited to go as well.” Cindy

I knew who [stupid flower] was from a past relationship (when I dated B for you Fruit on the Bottom readers) and couldn’t stand her. Like Dry she’s a crotchety old woman.

“You know – I just do not get that. Why they want to hang out with them?”  [I mean, really – Stupid Flower and Dry – what a combo]

“I don’t know but I’m so over hearing about all these parties or things they’ve done with other people and I was never invited.”

“Gosh – I know exactly what you mean. That’s what I went through with Alana and I finally said, ‘F-it’. Me

“Yeah, Lanie always tried to get together with her and I met her and she seemed nice at first then I started to see a pattern where she’d only text Lanie when her gf was out of town, she was bored and wanted to meet up at the joint for a beer. “ Charlie

Alana had just texted me an hour earlier when we were up the street saying she was at the joint trying to watch the Braves game and they didn’t have sports south. I had read it, looked up at the TV above the bar and saw the score was 8-0, Braves. I almost texted it back to her and then thought, “Nah, she’s not worth the time it takes to text that.”

I’m done with trying to figure out why people do the things they do – chose to spend time with people that don’t seem very nice, be rude to some obviously new customers or just don’t invite, reply, email, fb message, call or text anymore. I’m done carrying the ball alone. I kicked it off to the other team and if they don’t catch it and run with it then game over. Which, reminds me – I had an Atlanta Falcon in my class this past weekend who didn’t show up for class on Saturday -must be nice to be able to burn $250 on a whim. The dirty bird flew the coop.

 

friday shorts

TGIF – even though I work this weekend but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel since I’m off next weekend.

Some good news is that today our friend, Cathy had some good news from the doctor. Charlie just called to tell me that. We all have our fingers crossed that she’s going to continue to do well and be on the mend.

Some news of the weird is remember Slimy? (If not I invite you to go read) It’s been almost two years since our one initial, only and last date. I remember right after we went out she friended me on FB but when I realized she was a freak  not dating material I put her on “restricted” on my FB. (Although, even restricting anyone I still think they see the same damn thing everyone else does) So, I eventually unfriended. This was probably over a year ago. So, this week I get an email from Pinterest saying she she’s now following me. All I could think  was stalker!  I went on there and blocked her. I mean, am I wrong here? It just seems weird to me that suddenly after almost two years she starts following me on another social network. Weird.

Speaking of restricted and then unfriend I unfriended my boss on FB. I’m starting to really separate him from my personal life. Although, he doesn’t seem to separate anyone else from his because we have to hear about it all the time. I’m so sick of it. I’ve applied to many jobs this week and am still hoping things shake loose on that end.

It seems that the tomato vines that Charlie planted are growing like two feet a day. Soon we’re going to have fresh tomatoes.

Charlie and I went to see Augusten Burroughs talk about his latest book; This is How. I was both excited to meet him and surprised when I did that he was not exactly as I imagined him. Photos of himself he looks like such a “butch” looking guy but his voice is slightly effeminate. But, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. His lecture me laugh and think about some things. One of the things he mentioned about his book is this: If anyone out there has been hurt by someone and is waiting for some kind of closure, apology, or even acknowledgment of their wrong doing then stop waiting. You don’t have to have any of that to move on. Create something beautiful out of the tragedy and move on. It was so insightful, I thought. It made me want to read every bit of his book. After his talk, Charlie and I raced to the table that was selling them and she bought me a copy and then got in line to have him sign it for me. We even had a picture taken together and I was so nervous – even as much as when I had my pic taken with Karin Slaughter. So, that was the highlight of the week! I met a famous person. Well, famous in my book.

Last night Charlie and I went on a double date with Paulette and TC to the shooting range. We’re still doing a break-in of the pistol we bought. Paulette just bought a really nice .380 that we shot and Charlie’s in love with. Afterwards, we went out to our fav pub on the corner for dinner and talked to a really nice bartender and went home and watched the latest season of Dexter – anyone out there watching it right now? We’re only 5 episodes in but I’m curious what your take is on it? (Comments welcome but no spoilers)

Well, that’s all I’ve got this Friday afternoon. Have a great weekend and I will catch you next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

bucket list

I worked this past weekend with Pete and I have two bff’s that just started to teach – I’ll call them Sherre’ and Ricardo. Sherre’ was working the other class with Paulette. Neither one of them are much of a fan of each other. I have no problem working with Paulette but she is frigid. I can see where newbies working with her can be a little scary. She’s not a good teacher at all.

Ricardo is seeing Sherre’ (I won’t get into that too deep but just know that it is very complicated) and he decided to show up and help out with both of our classes and get a little time next to Sherre’. Ricardo just got hired to work there and like Sherre’ is new to the rider coach world. I had seen him around and just about every time Sherre’ works a class he would show up and help take the bikes out and set up then later bring her lunch. I think I even said something in passing that she had him trained pretty well.

Pete and I had a class of 11. The very first night when we’re going around the room doing introductions and telling why they’re here one middle-aged woman stood up and introduced herself and said that riding was on her “bucket list”.

Ok, I freaking hate to hear that. Riding a motorcycle for the first time is not a “bucket list” item. It’s a choice, a decision, a passion. Not an item that you cross off of a list. Bucket list items are like visiting the Grand Canyon, taking a knitting class, seeing the Red Sox play in Fenway Park, visiting Washington D.C. those things. Not riding a motorcycle.

So, Saturday rolls around and bucket list rode just like someone having riding on a bucket list would ride – THEY CAN’T. Not at all. Bucket list continuously couldn’t take off and would stall out every time it was her turn to perform an exercise. I told her to take three steps before putting her feet up and ride because she would continuously gun it putting her feet up and stall almost falling over. Once I told her to power walk, she took that to mean to walk 100 feet before taking off – that is if she didn’t stall it first.

We also had a young woman, Elizabeth, whose father wanted her to learn to ride. I just love family pressure, too. They don’t actually want to be there but some family member or spouse wants them there. This girl looked like she’d rather be shopping and having a pedicure. Which, when you really think about it is a FABULOUS idea – hell, I’d rather be doing that if I didn’t really want to ride or need the money. Yes, your Ridercoach has had it today and is leaving to go shopping and get a pedicure – bye! See ya! And, she rides off into the distance never to return. That’s what I thought about after picking her up for the 3rd time that day.

Then, we had another woman, Debbie, who isn’t doing too bad – pretty good, in fact- much better than a few of the guys. I had one foreign guy who had no comprehension of the English language who loved to go fast. His take off’s s*cked but he could ride fast so I’m sure in his mind he was a great rider.  I pictured him getting on a CBR650 and launching himself under a tractor trailer. I coached him a lot on speed, how it can work against you, etc. I don’t think he understood a word I said it got through, to be honest. I still see him as a danger to himself.

By the end of Saturday I was tired from picking up Elizabeth and wanted to choke bucket list. The last exercise of the day was Maximum Braking. The second part to this exercise we stand in the braking shoot and call the riders down and soon as we give a stop signal they are supposed to downshift and stop as quickly as they can. Well, I should have known bucket list would go rouge on this one. I called her down and she gunned it popping it into second without squeezing the clutch. This motion caused the bike to lurch forward. I could see a look of panic on her face. She gunned it even more and tried to squeeze the front brake as she pulled on the throttle even more. (I had been coaching her all day to no avail not to cover the front brake) The noise caused her even more panic. She was heading straight for me. I simply stepped out of the way yelling “squeeze the clutch”. She headed for Paulette and Sherre’s range. Fortunately, they were already off their range. By the time bucket list got stopped she was in the middle of their range. I made a signal to Pete similar to cutting my own throat meaning I was done and to end the exercise.

By the end of the day I had my mesh pants on even before the Impairment video was over with in the classroom. I was done, stick-a-fork-in-me, done!  I couldn’t wait to get out of there and climb on the Ducati and ride away. As Pete was wrapping up I was putting on my jacket and grabbing my helmet. People were filing out. “See you tomorrow.” Just then Bucket List approached him. I heard an emotional “I just don’t know if I’m cut out for this.” I let him deal with it and walked out. I would have told her that no, riding a motorcycle is not a bucket list item and if she only considered doing this just to cross it off some list then she had wasted both of our time.

The next morning we’re taking out the bikes and setting up the range. Ricardo and I are joking around when I see bucket list out of the corner of my eye approaching. “Uh oh, here she comes.”

“I don’t think I want to continue but wanted to talk to y’all about it.”

Since Pete had initially dealt with her the night before after class I rode out and told him “Hey, bucket list wants to quit go talk to her.”

“Why me? You’d be better – you’re a woman.”

Pete obviously didnt know me as well as I thought because I would have told her to go take an underwater knitting class and be done with it.  

“No, you’d better. You talked to her last night. She’s going to expect you to talk to her again.”

“Well, it’s not in my nature to talk anyone out of quitting.”

“Fine with me. Whatever.” Just you talk to her dude. It’s too early in the morning to deal with crying women. So, after practically a 20 minute conference with bucket list she finally quit on her own decision and walked out. I was thinking she could have just hit the snooze button, rolled over and gone back to sleep instead of showing up, making a production of it before ultimately quitting and wasting 20 minutes of our time – but, that’s just me.

I was sitting in the classroom talking to Debbie about bikes. She had spied Paulette’s Boulevard she wanted to sell outside. I was trying to sell it for her. She said that her husband said she could only spend $3,000 on a bike. I thought that was reasonable until –

“Yeah the reason I got into this was he got a Harley and started riding and I wanted to ride my own bike. I got tired of riding on the back.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this.

“We were having problems and he went out behind my back and bought a Fat Boy.”

A Fat Boy is a twenty-some THOUSAND dollar bike. (Oh, my bad – they start out at 16,999 but I bet that doesn’t include tax, tag and title) I thought that was interesting – Mr. Harley husband pays that much for a bike but won’t let his wife spend the $4400 that Paulette was asking for her bike.

What a douche bag, I thought. I bet he’s having a midlife crisis and is screwing around on her – or will be.

“Yeah, it took me awhile to get on that thing with him. I was so p*ssed at him. But, finally I did and we took all these rides together and it was great.”

I still wasn’t convinced that he wasn’t a royal douche bag.

“The kids love to see him all decked out in his leather. They say, ‘Daddy’s so sexy in his leather.”

Uh huh. I bet Daddy is. I bet he’s seeing a Hooters woman on the side thats half his age. Yeah, well you’re in the right place, Debbie. We’re gonna get you your license and the bike you want before he divorces you. Then, you’re going to go out and ride on your own and meet all these other men who will treat you nice and ride with you. In fact, your next husband will buy you a Harley.

I know….. I have a huge imagination.

Towards the end of Saturday I saw a glimmer of the light bulb going off and a slight smile on Elizabeth’s face. She rode much better on Sunday and we only had to pick her up once and since bucket list quit the class was going much smoother. We rolled into the skill evaluation – four exercises that you are graded on. Debbie was bragging that riding the box (limited space maneuvers) was her best one. I was timing and grading with Ricardo over my shoulder and Pete reading directions. Debbie rode into the box and did her first turn beautifully staying within the lines but then after turning saw her husband and two sons standing up on the hill watching. She freaked out, hit the gas heading towards the fence narrowly missing it and going onto the other range. (Paulette was so over my people riding onto her range by the end of the weekend) She finally stopped and bent over her handlebars crying.

“What the f*ck…..”

“I’ll go talk to her.”

She was crying because it was her best skill and she messed it up because when she saw her husband and kids she got nervous. Later, she told us she had no idea that they were going to be there. Pete started towards the hill to tell them to leave but before he could get there they walked off and left.

“Debbie, just ride the swerve. It’s ok.”

She rode down and swerved perfectly and then parked behind the rest of the line. She was still crying.

“Man, that p*sses me off!”

“I know. If we’d known they were there we would have asked them to leave.”

We finished the eval and Debbie passed with flying colors. I walked up after they parked by the barn and dismounted.

You passed, lady.”

She hugged me. “Thank you so much!”

“Wasn’t me –you did all the work but I will tell you one thing.”

“What?”

“Your husband cost you 8 points – that’s almost half of what you could have missed. You tell him he owes you that. You tell him you want that bike.”

Yeah, you tell that f*cker.

We went inside and took the written test. My foreign guy was struggling. I wondered if we’d have to give him a verbal exam. Everyone else had finished and were hanging out in the break room. I looked outside and saw storm clouds rolling in.

I hope we get out of here before that hits.

I was on the Triumph but suspected when I took it that morning that I’d be riding home in the rain. It wasn’t new for that bike. When I first got it every time I rode it it rained. I called it my rain bike. Finally finished we walked outside with our gear to load up and leave when it broke loose. I hugged Pete and yelled it was good working with him (I had my headphones on) and took off. By the time I got home I had water swirling around in my boots and soaked all the way through to my underwear. Charlie was sitting in the carport when I pulled up and I undressed in there.

By the time I was sitting down for a beer the sun had come out and the rain was gone. Just in time, I thought.