Wednesday, June 25, 2008

while the presenter and the organizer and the guy from the front row
fiddle with the projector,
a big woman in a small metal chair
by the exit
holds a slice of pizza
it hangs limp and sweaty
like a tired dog's tongue

the black olive
lodged on her chest
rides the wave of her contented
i am pretty certain
she'll be the first to bolt
once the pizza's eaten.

and i
i am putting on my best show
of interest
loading up my paper pad balanced on my knees
with chunks of wisdom, sage cutlets
of technological insight
but the fan above is unimpressed,
it will not clap
just whirs,
shuffling the air, knocking
listless flies off course

i wish these chairs would screech
but they just emit a dull low rumble
and the beige carpet only sighs
when it's trodden on

i think of all that i have not done
and will never do
the hours wasted, the days torn
like the calendar beside the light switch
june ripped in half

as i
place big black bullets
beside a list of next month's

the sun strolls in late
slides down the wall
and collapses
by the garbage can.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

we had a lovely party at the track -- thank you!

and here's hoping Rick heals up quickly.

picture courtesy of linda's iphone and the MOMA.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

i think i want to live up in nevada city.

the riding is fabulous, the temperature divine (at least last weekend)
and the swimming holes are spectacular.

the mocha fudge ice cream cone dipped in chocolate wasn't half bad either.

(pic by bunny)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

there is no putty for this,
no nudge to change the shape of life.
there is only steel, hard iron
and grit to seal the hole.

but i've loved our days,
fruit falling at our feet,
poppies orange as the sun
to devour at our ease

we have been as light as cotton candy
as heavy as rum
walking in the sun with only our thoughts
skipping around us like children, peeking
through the cracks
to the ocean below

sand is hot and the ocean roars
stay, play, time is short
but the barker calls,
step up! step up!
and freedom is lost
in a ticket's ride.
oh but i've loved our days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

linda says she's putting all my annoyances in her mental garbage can. it's a trick our favorite therapist, Eike, taught her.

she thinks i don't listen, i don't pay attention.

that i don't wear my thinking cap enough.

on our ride last night in the beautiful balmy evening warmth as we were sailing down tunnel i said to linda, "i thought we were going to ride to Grizzly?"

she shouted, "it's filling up!"

"where's the cap?" she asks. "always, always wear the cap."

reminds me of my conversation with a certain sanchez. we were discussing our habit of losing things, getting lost, etc that happens with a frequency that we're used to but others are not.

"i make mental notes," she said. "but i lose them."

i do too. i try not to. i think put the note there. remember the note is there. and while i'm thinking hard about where the note is, i lose my keys.

my mental notes read: the cell phone is under the bed, check you turned on the burner under the kettle, not the empty saucepan, if you leave that wheel behind the back of the truck like that, you're gonna drive over it.

"why's that woman waving at us?" i asked linda as we were backing out of the parking lot after watching a crit a few weeks ago. "she's awfully friendly."


"it's filling up!" -- linda and her garbage can. starting to wear on my nerves.

she says i'm not normal. and how does one defend one's normalcy? shouting, "i am normal!" just sounds crazy.

but what's normal? is linda's habit of saving every box, packaging container, plastic baggie normal? i don't think so.

"we might need it," she says of the box from her Giro helmet purchased in 1990 that i found stuffed in the back of the closet.

"for what?" i ask.

"for something," she says and takes the box and puts it back in the closet.


i got dressed quickly this morning. i pulled on my fabulous orange pants that have traveled up and down the central valley and a white polo shirt with a Tour de France emblem. kinda dorky but the shirt is comfortable and, i think, goes with the orange pants.

i was walking to work, trying not to drive the one mile, wearing the back-pack that linda gave to me, when i caught a glance of myself in a window.

the back pack is from our trip to France. Big old Tour de France logo on it matching my shirt.

some kid seeing me might think who is this crazy old Tour de France lady?

but it was an accident, the TdF overload. a freakin accident. these things happen, we don't plan them. yeah from a distance they might look a little looney, but they are accidents!

"hey kid, it was just an accident!"

and that's my point: accidents happen. mental notes get lost. bike wheels get run over.

too much Tour de France shit gets worn.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

we always go to sattley a day early and do our prep out on the course.

cows stared at us while we fidgeted with our tt bars. i have a new giro tt-helmet and i tried that on. we did our efforts. we stopped fifteen million times to tip our tt bars a little up, a little down.

it makes no difference. we are so not aero. but we try. we really do. still it's so nice out there.

i really love sattley. the blue skies, the green, green fields, the brown barns about to topple, the quiet, the wind.

last year we stayed in loyalton.

"the most depressing place on earth," linda likes to say of loyalton. we ordered a margarita the color of engine coolant at the loyalton inn last year. i remember the bartender patting the outside of the jug before making our drink. "sorry, a little warm," he said. and i remember the restaurant menu splattered with spaghetti sauce finger prints like a crime scene.

so this year we booked a room overlooking a river 15 miles up 49 from sattley in sierra city.

we got a beer and a glass of wine and sat out listening to the river. "i like this place," linda said several times, which made me happy. i liked it too. i especially liked leaving the glass door to our deck open at night until i began thinking about carey staynor who killed those three women on vacation a few years back.

so i was torn. i really liked listening to the sound of the river. but i was also rather fond of having my head attached to my body.i mentioned to linda that i'd seen a guy with a scraggly beard carrying a paper sack about the size of an ax enter the room next door to ours.

"i think you ought to shut the window now," linda said.

to take my mind off the ax murderer i tried to think positive thoughts about racing the tt the next day. i saw myself aero and fast. i broke the course down into segments.

once you get to the forested section, you'll be at mile four, only twenty miles to go. once you get to the slight rise after that, you'll be at eight miles. only sixteen more miles to go...

i went back to thinking about the murderer. more pleasant.

we survived the night and woke up with our heads intact. we ate breakfast at a cafe up the road.

"you all going on a hike?" the waitress asked.
"no there's a race in sattley."
"oh, how long?" she asked
"twenty-four miles,"
"oh, not so bad, then," she smiled.

and then we headed out onto the winding road, fifteen miles to sattley. it was lovely and calm and i thought how i might like to just have linda pull over and let me off with my bike so i could go for a nice ride instead of doing the tt when something caught my eye.

a lone Sidi shoe lying off the side of the road in the gravel.

"look someone's shoe," I said.
"oh wow. we should get it, it might belong to someone," linda said and pulled over.

i trotted down the road and i picked it up. i examined it. it looked strangely familiar -- my size, my color, speed play cleats.

"you know this shoe looks just like mine," i said once i got back in the car.
"check the back seat," linda said.

sure enough this was my shoe. i must have left it on the back ledge of the truck and it had flown off yesterday and had spent the night alone on the side of the road. and the other was missing.

oops. my bad.

so while linda estimated the shoe size of every possible NorCal Nevada District Time Trial 2008 entrant, I was pleasantly thinking -- whoohoo, no time trial for me!

when we got to the course, however, Marsha Kirschbaum had my other shoe. she'd found it lying out on the course where we'd warmed up. and when linda checked her iphone once we got into range there were several messages, all with the same urgent theme from Nancy:

we have your shoe. don't worry. we've found your shoe. call us. we have your shoe.

so, in case anyone was wondering -- it is possible to out laura laura.

Monday, June 02, 2008

a pic from last friday's hoedown at hellyer.
linda's familiar riding behind peter bohl's moto.

she says she likes to bump the rollers once or twice -- just to feel it, so it don't scare ya.

Ken Conley (