29 December 2019

This year will go down in the books as a nice, quiet year, one in which nothing major happened that I can recall, and the one in which I developed an obsession with bikes. I bought three; one was a mistake and will be going up for sale soon, one is just outright fun, the other is versatile but is now inside on the trainer so that I have something to do on days when I'm too delicate to face the great outdoors.

This is the one I should not have purchased. Don't get me wrong; it's smooth and super functional, but it rides too much like my pink bike, and if I want that ride, I ride the pink bike. This one literally has fewer than 15 miles on it. Probably closer to 7 or 8.

I thought I wanted it for the better gear range than my Townie 7D (the little blue grocery-getter) but it turns out the Townie is like how riding feels when you're 10 and out just to have some fun. I tend to grab it when I'm out running around, avoiding the car. I wouldn't want to tackle a hill on it, but it's great for riding around town.

What I'm itching to get is a road bike. One that will be nothing but ride-to-ride, no fenders or panniers, no rear rack. Just the bike, to go as hard and fast as I can (which, admittedly, isn't very hard or very fast.) If I can sell the white bike, I'll put those funds toward this:

Trek Domane AL2, women's version in magenta. I want.

It's an entry-level endurance bike, and given that I'm not going to race or even join group rides, it's about as much bike as I'll ever need (want...that's a different story. I want a Domane SL5, rage red, but it's spendy.) I don't really have the core strength for drop bars (or at least for utilizing them effectively) but by riding them I should develop that core.

I'd like this one even more, but at $3000...nope
In the meantime, I've taken over part of the garage. On Monday the workbench I ordered will arrive and will join the bike mechanic's stand I already have, and the tools the Spouse Thingy got me for Christmas, and using the book the Boy gave me for my birthday, I will start learning how to fix things on an older bike that's been sitting out in the back yard.

That's the goal for 2020: learn how to repair my favorite toys, especially how to fix flats and broken chains on the fly, and then ride until my asterisk falls off.

It says something that my goal for the year has more to do with playing that working. But on the professional front: two volumes of Wick shorts, along with a bunch of other writing that needs to get done. And then begin the sculpting of the next series of books, which will jump forward several years...Wick's not going anywhere, but it's time for the next generation.

I'm gonna have a fun year.


19 December 2019

I have not forgotten that I promised those who donated to my 3 Day walk this year that I would make up the missed miles on my bike, in 1.5-2 days rather than 3. I will still definitely get that done, and probably would have if the weather and holiday errands had cooperated.

We've had--thankfully--quite a bit of rain lately. I am not so delicate that I can't and won't ride in the rain, but cranking out that many miles while cold and wet? Yeah, I'm not doing that. I have walked a lot of miles in the rain but riding feels like a different animal. I'll ride when it's cold, no problem, and I'll ride 5-10 miles when it's wet, no problem, but cold and wet for 60? Huh uh. I'm not delicate but I am a weenie.

The Spouse Thingy took the weekend of January 11-12 off because we were going to run the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco, but neither of us have gotten our pace down low enough to finish it, so that is likely the week I'll shoot for. That gives me a little more time to train--I can do the distance, but I'd like to not feel like I want to die at the end--and a little more time to figure out the logistics.

Yeah, that seat's gonna wedge itself somewhere...
I can do endless loops around town, but I think I want to venture out a bit, and for that I want to make sure the Spouse Thingy is available to rescue me should something happen. If I take to the back roads, I'll want him to follow in the truck, blinkers blinking, maybe a sign on the tailgate warning that there's a bike ahead, pass when safe. And if nothing else, I'll do loops around town, cut through residential areas, and pop back home every 10 miles or so just so he knows I'm not stretched out on the pavement somewhere.

I'll get it done, I swear!

Also...Happy 38th to the Spouse Thingy and me. We don't have a lot of pictures together because most of the time we're together somewhere without someone else to snap pix, but here's one taken by a random stranger who was nice enough to offer on our Disneyland trip for our 30th anniversary in 2011.

I realllllly want to go back. Even a short trip.

But to celebrate 38, I am going to sit here tonight and write, and the Spouse Thingy is going to work, because Real Life gets in the way...but we are going out to dinner at Old People Time--4 pm--because 38 should not slip by without doing something.


14 December 2019

File Under That Was So Not What I Thought...

I had to go to Walmart. No choice. The idea of Walmart this time of year left me sitting in the living room while I worked up the energy to battle the idiots in the parking lot, then dodge all the people not paying attention in the store, with their sideways carts and general not-giving-a-fuckery abounding all around. My only other reasonable choice was Safeway, but the one here is small and typically doesn't have half of what I want, and the meat choices kinda suck.

So off I went. I only had to dodge one inattentive idiot in the parking lot and scored a fairly up-close slot--though I don't care if I have to walk from the far side of the lot if there's a cart corral near. I got stuck behind three different not-paying-attention people who were crawling along down the center of the aisles, not realizing they were in everyone else's way. I managed to not bitch out several employees who had their collection carts (those giant things they push around as they collect groceries for online orders) in the middle of the aisles, sideways, making it damn near impossible to get by.

I tossed everything I needed into the cart and was surprised that I was in line in under 20 minutes.

The lines were long, though, and there was no avoiding that and no point in getting upset, so I stood there with my arms resting on the cart handle, wishing they had better magazines to look at while I waited.

I was behind two other shoppers, and someone quickly got into line behind me. Two someones, as evidenced by their conversation. I tried to get lost into my own little fog, until their voices filtered through, so I listened because what the hell else did I have to occupy my time?

"We are so excited," woman number one said. "Newborns! I love newborns!"

Woman number two asked about the due date. "It must be soon, right?"

I turned a little to (supposedly) look at the gum selections available and to ponder whether I had any Altoids at home or not, and snuck a peek. They were both older, so I made the assumption that one of them was about to become a grandma.

"The doctor said she could pop anywhere from five days before or five days after the due date. Today is the first day it's possible for her to give birth."

Now, I admit, I thought that was strange. I'd never heard anything so specific in regards to someone's due date. Usually it's a ballpark estimation, and the baby gets there when it gets there. Hell, the day before my water broke, the doc told me it would be another week, and that was normal because...first babies and all.

"Well," woman number two ventured, "do you have everything ready, just in case?"

"We are SO ready! We've been ready for WEEKS."

As one would. When babies are coming, you get things ready in case they decide to come a little early. I imagined there were tons of toys that the baby wouldn't be able to play with for months, because...grandparents. I began wondering how they would handle birthdays this close to Christmas--it sucks to be born this close to it, enough that my Christmas-Day born cousin celebrated half-birthdays instead.

"She's going to have the best stall space in the entire stable!"

You know that stereotypical old-record scratch you hear in movies and TV every now and then?

I swear my brain made that sound loud enough for the entire store to hear.

Somehow, I don't think the newborn is going to ever care about being born this close to the holidays. So, party on, random strange ladies behind me in the store. I hope your foal is born soon, without any undue excitement, and that it's everything you hope for.

I'll be over here, reminding myself that things aren't always as they seem, and I need to not assume even when it seems obvious. And laughing, just because.


4 December 2019

At first, I thought it was a joke.

Oh looky! Peleton is fat shaming women! Hahaha that's so funny because she's already fit!

But then people kept weighing in (no pun intended) and it hit the forking news, and I sat here wondering what the hell is wrong with people.

It's just a commercial.

That's it.

In the minds of way too many people, though, there's a backstory. Obviously, this man thinks his clearly-fit wife needs to drop a few, so he gifts her with the most horrendous of things: a method by which she will, by God, work hard until she looks better for him. And it's obvious, because she looks terrified as she gets ready for her first Peleton class, and because it's super funny to document one's humiliation, she's creating videos of it!

Hahaha no.

Look, if we're going to assign some imaginary backstory to something only intended to sell merchandise, let's take our clues from the commercial.

Listen to her tone when she says "You got me a Peleton."

OMG you listened to what I wanted for once!
That's a woman who has wanted one. Her other half didn't just pull a whim out of his ass; he's not trying to body shame her. She wanted it, didn't think she would get it, and is happy.

She did not say, "You got me a Peleton?"

She did say, "You got me a Peleton!"

She was surprised, but a happy surprised. (Oh for you who keep saying, but maybe she was just acting surprised...well, yeah, she's an actress and was paid to act happy and surprised. I think she nailed it.)

Okay, we move past that part. So now she's getting ready to use it for the first time, and she looks a little nervous.

That means she didn't want it and is only doing it because he says so!

My butt's gonna be on fire after this, isn't it?
Have you never undertaken something new that scares you a little bit? Put me on one of those bikes for my first live class, I'm going to look like that, too. I looked like that before I set foot out the door to train for my first 3 Day. I looked like that at the opening ceremony. I have been that nervous about something while also being super excited to start it hundred of times in my life.

She didn't know what to expect; that workout looks hard. So yeah, she was nervous.

But she's making videos to track how her body changes and she's not even fat!

People track what they do for a lot of reasons. Why does it have to be for weight loss? There is never a point in that commercial where anyone says anything about weight. Why can't she just make videos to see how she changed over the year? Not body weight. Perhaps body composition. Perhaps thriving confidence. Perhaps to remember how much she feared but absolutely loved this gift she received.

Or maybe, just maybe, it's nothing but a freaking commercial with no social judgment intended, other than what the Internet Social Justice Warriors attached to it.

And if you got your shorts in a knot and began nodding your head in agreement with the SJWs and started grunting, "Yeah, Peleton bad," while tearing them apart online, congratulations.

You did exactly what was intended.

You're online talking about it.* You're putting their name in front of even more people. You're giving them the free advertising they were surely counting on.

Yes, their stock took a 9% hit yesterday, but it will surely rebound and will surge past its December 2nd high as more people admit to their SOs that yeah, they actually do want one, and as people decide that they either want to get one for themselves, or use it as their gift to each other for the holidays. And that is effective advertising.

*Yes, I am fully aware that I, too, and doing exactly what they wanted. Go me.