Tuesday, October 31, 2006

a few years ago, i applied for a Ranger I position with the park services. I really wanted to become a Ranger I and hammer things into the ground and drive around in a green truck with rakes and shovels in the back but there were a few tests i had to take first. one involved marking out a fence with posts. I was given a tape measure and four minutes to calculate how many posts would be needed while three Ranger IIIs observed, holding clipboards and checking their watches every so often.

"You can start anytime," one of the Ranger IIIs said as i stared at the blades of grass beneath my feet, the dew on the blades of glass, the sun reflected in the dew on the blades of grass. "three minutes twenty seconds," they kindly reminded me. finally i figured i better look like I knew what I was doing so i paced back and forth like some high-stepping nazi, prentending to count out posts.

The Ranger IIIs gazed at me like "what have we here?"

So...all this to say i can imagine how much work and planning and calculating it must take to set up these cross courses and let me know if you need help for Surf City #3.

thanks for a great weekend.

Friday, October 27, 2006

looking forward to feeling better because i am sick, sick, sick of being sick and drinking this stuff

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

my ma- back by popular demand

my ma got busted yesterday and hauled off in handcuffs. petty theft and trespassing. she said she looked awful in the mugshot and complained about the number of fingerprints the police took.

four cops put her in a squad car with the windows rolled up and left her there for bit. she said they were "messing with her probably" because they were just sitting around talking while she was overheating. "it's bloody hot in here!" she shouted at them to roll down the windows. I told her she shouldn't get in their face. cops don't like that. i know she said "but i was starting to sweat".

she gave them hell at the station. chewed them out for just doing their jobs. "what good are you lot? what kind of justice is this?"

she said the cops must have been staking her out. waiting for her.
"yeah, i usually go in the morning but i waited to the afternoon this day". i thought of the cops sitting in their cars waiting for my mother. powdered sugar from their donuts falling onto their laps. bad coffee getting cold.

"did they put you in a cell?" i asked. had she become some gal's bitch?
"oh, no. they were quite nice" at the station. "let me out of the cuffs, too."
"that was nice of them." i said.

she said she could have been charged with a felony for the pipe she used because she'd picked it up on the property. perp with a pipe, i thought.
"they only charged me with a misdemeanor"
"lucky, i guess," i said.
she wanted to know how to spell misdemeanor. she wanted to look it up right then and there and see what kind of a crime it was.
"is it misc?" she asked.
"no, mis" I said. my mother: miss demeanor.
she read out loud the definition while I imagined her picking up garbage at the side of the freeway in an orange vest. it was not a pretty image -- orange's not her color.

her crime: trespassing on private property to feed a neglected and abused dog chained up in a backyard. her weapon: a plastic pipe to funnel dog food over the fence into the dog's bowl. guilty as charged.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Linda!

here she is in Kansas age three.

cute little thing sitting on top of
the doghouse.

the kitty looks
a lot like

and here's Linda all gussied up.

the perm by her mother, Minnie

the glasses by Catwoman.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 16, 2006

of bruises and endos

a fun weekend in Santa Cruz. my body is speckled with greenish blue bruises. I look a little like a moldy piece of white bread. But I did have fun. the cross clinic with Ben JM and Ann Fitzsimons was very informative. XBunny, Lilly Bella and I were put into in the experienced group since we'd all done more than one cross race. however, as we got in line to show our dismounts one at a time to BJM and AF, Lilly Bella and I were eyeing the novice group and thinking about heading on over there. I learned that i was doing practially everything incorrectly which is something you want to find out at a clinic. BJM explained how he sets up his pedal before the run up so that the pedal is right where he needs it when he remounts. Lilly Bella marvelled, "just like a master chess player." we nodded in agreement.

we got to preview the nasty parts of the course like that lovely decent into sand. Thanks VB and OV! we also practised the off-camber molehill section with the sharp left turn. I took a very bad line during practice and went straight toward the tape, under the tape, down the curb and over to the volunteer table where i was quite happy to see that my rice krispie treats were 75% devoured. Yeah!

During the race, Jeni and i urged each other on as best we could, while Wild Dingo (looking glamorous in a mauve beanie) offered encouraging words from the sidelines: "Marscat get up!" as I toppled face forward onto my bike trying to get through a narrow dirt channel. my last lap endo was a little annoying and scuttling through the dirt on all fours to get my bike out of Stella Carey's path was a little embarrassing but all in all it was...exciting.

Lots of fun pics and vids at Ippoc's site and she stayed up way past her bedtime to post them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

food thoughts

i've made rice krispie treats with m&ms for the cross clinic today. i made them last night after 1.5 mojitos. I recall pouring m&ms in with abandon. we never had these as a kid. yes, we were deprived of many good food things: PopTarts, all things Oscar Meyer, hotdogs, kraft cheese. My mother fed us cows tongue and other recipes she found, i believe, in National Geographic. i didn't mind the tongue or the finnin and haddock in milk sauce which concealed little bone harpoons that always seemed to lance my brother in the throat when swallowing. but this does not do my mother's cooking justice. Here, here! my mother is (and still is) a damn good cook (and may one day read this blog). my brother says he grew up hungry and everytime we eat over at my mother's Linda says she goes home hungry. now i understand what my brother was talking about. we were never to open the refrigerator, it was off limits like the medicine cabinet or the liquor bar -- not that we had either in our house, but if we did, i'm sure they'd be as secure as the pentagon. so where am i going with this little post? goodness knows. it's already 7:29 am and I must get my rear on the road and get to this here clinic. oh yes, i'm bringing rice krispie treats with 10lbs of m&ms. i hope people like them. the last time i made something for a little social gathering it was a super dark chocolate cake with super dark chocolate frosting. It was so super dark brown it was black. It looked like a glistening piece of charcol sitting in the middle of the table. an enormous black hole sucking in all my attention: i would make small talk (which I don't do very well to start with) and eye the hunk of coal to see if anyone was sampling it. people were not. they were eyeing it and veering in the oposite direction. i must go learn cross techniques now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

crazy love

VB put it so perfectly..."cross is like abusive relationship love"

i'm already telling myself it'll be better next time, it won't hurt so much, i'll be stronger, i won't let it get to me... I CAN TAKE IT!

i'm trying not to notice all the bruises...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

dine and dash

today Linda and i went on a short ride up to the junction of Mt. Diablo from the north side.

On the way back to the car we stopped at an Indian restaurant just off the bike path.

Since there was no place to hide our bikes, the management let us roll them through the dining room (hello, hello) past diners nibbling on tandori chicken.

we ate a hearty meal while in our Bella gear and bike shoes. twenty minutes later we were back on the bike path riding to the car.

ah the good life.

Friday, October 06, 2006

tour de cafe

i'm so bored at work today. the atmosphere here this cold grey friday is so dead that it feels a lot like a morgue, not that i've ever been in a morgue. i decided to go get something to eat to appease my boredom which I know is wrong, wrong, wrong. on my way out the door, i find my banana in my bag and eat it, thereby ruining my appetite and making my quest for food even more wrong. Ah well.

there's this nearby cafe that i love at 6:30 in the morning. linda and I go there as they are just opening. it's empty, they play Aretha Franklin, Al Green and i sit and read my paper in quiet. any time after 7:00 it's packed with students with their laptops. every table occupied. the noise-level is horrendous, like being inside the engine of a 747, not that I've ever been in one of them either. and on top of the general chatter, tap-tap-tapping on laptops, urgent annoying cell-phone calls that simply have to be made in the middle of a noisey cafe, the clatter of cups, saucers, spoons, the management feel the need to have background music. Arrrgh.

I try a new cafe around the corner and because I have only $4.34 on me, limiting my choices greatly, I tell the guy behind me that he can go ahead as I haven't yet made up my mind. Of course he orders a latte which takes the woman behind the counter about 2 hours to make. finally when I think the latte is complete she asks the man if he wants Vanilla. the man doesn't understand what she is asking, so she has to repeat it. Vaneeela? she says. The man still doesn't understand it. I want to jump in and say "she wants to know if you want some frickin vanilla" but I do not. I leave and go around the corner to another cafe.

I like this cafe, because it's always empty and the owners are friendlier than hell "How are you?" the owner who is seated at a table reading the paper greets me. he gets up and goes behind the counter to take my order. there's not a soul in the place, per usual, and I wonder if I am the first customer of the day. "What can i get you?" he asks. A quick glance at the glass case, however, and I know i'm gonna hit the road without making a purchase. i really don't want anything he has to offer, but he has sad green eyes and his wife is seated behind him slicing tomatoes for sandwhiches which probably no one will purchase today. i consider purchasing a chocolate cake disguised as a muffin out of sympathy for his dying business but i do not. i tell him, i'm just looking as if I'm shopping for a new pair of shoes and leave.

I return to work. Linda calls and asks if I want to meet at Saul's Deli. Why yes I do!

Monday, October 02, 2006

my family

I met up with my family this evening to celebrate my niece's birthday. Mia turned two about a month ago so we got together to celebrate. all the family was there, my older sister, my younger sister, my mother, my brother's girlfriend and Mia . Linda decided not to come because both Mia and Christy had been sick and she didn't think she should be around them. The little party at my sister's place was nice. We chatted and opened presents. We ate cake and sipped wine. We took family pictures with all of us together, crammed on the couch. It was nice and enjoyable but when it was over and we said goodbye, I wanted nothing more than to be back home with my little family in Berkeley: Linda, Daisy and Minnie.