now you're home free at last! | ride report - week of 5/4

May 7, 2015

ride report

My first trip to work with my shiny new engine! ("New" being relative, when comparing things from 1989 to things from 1999 which was still 16 years ago omg.) The day cooperated by blessing my ride with a warm, sunshine-glittery morning. I try to commute on the bike as much as possible, in part because I still get the jitters before every time I ride.

Am I nervous? Am I excited? Am I going to nearly be hit by a train? (That happened once! Look away, mother!) Should I hit the bathroom before I leave? I should hit the bathroom before I leave. All valid ruminations on why I have the jits! Regardless, my strategy for conquering my nervous condition has been forced immersion, via as many miles as I can manage — it's mostly working.

I chew gum. It actually helps; I don't know why. However I only have tangerine sherbert flavored gum and it's absolutely terrible and it feels like someone has emptied a garbage can into my face. I chew it anyway. No, I have not bought a different flavor of gum. 1) I have more of this left. Look at it, it's right there crumpled up in the bottom of my bag already! and 2) I'm sort of forgetful. Stop interrupting.

My bike is, like everyone else in our house, grouchy about waking up first thing in the morning. Though the new engine corrected many other strange things about my machine (the alarming clacking sound, to name one), it has retained its unconquerably awkward t-dubbiness. Cold-blooded starts are one of many quirks common of an already quirky species. It's not particularly annoying as long as you know that it likes to be babied a bit while things are still dewy.

Waking her up is a process. First, you gently pull out the choke and start her up. Then you wait as it guzzles down fuel like a man stranded in the desert dying of thirst, crying his own invisible tears and drinking his own pee. And you wait. And wait. Also, wait. And when the rate of idle finally starts shaking you at such an alarming velocity that you think you'll tip over and careen wildly into the nearby garbage cans, then you can try to push the choke in and ride away.

...Or it will stall and you'll have to warm it up wait some more.

The post-major-repairs inaugural ride to work finally well underway, nothing has happened of consequence other than a million old people being directly between me and everywhere I want to go. I reach deeply into my zen place. "It's cool man, this is the perfect time to practice your clutch control," I coach myself. "Highway to the friction zone!

(I don't think I actually thought that last part in my head, but I should have. I just I thought of it now and it's super.)

Much to my irritation, the plague of creeping near-death drivers is a theme that will continue throughout the rides of the week. I am now quite skilled at doing the hipster weave at an aggressively moderate rate of speed.

When I finally spot an opportunity to slip past the slowest toyota sedan in the world (congratulations on your winning achievement!), I book it up through the gears until the cool morning air is beating against my cheeks and I can finally breathe in the open space. I particularly enjoy going from second to third on the new engine, and the bike pulls forward with a satisfyingly dramatic lunge. It almost makes me feel a little bit cool. Yeah man, alllllright.

I look over. I make eye contact with that police officer I just now noticed staring at me. He nods.


September 5, 2014

birthday one
birthday two
birthday three FOURRRRRR

dear jude: five

September 3, 2014

baby you're a firework most horrible caption ever

dear jude,

Today, you turn FIVE!!!!!1!! FIVE!!!!!1!! must be screamed near or at the top of the lungs (yours, not someone else's) with seven exclamation points and one number 1, which is a joke that probably won't hold up when you read this in twenty years. If you have any idea what I'm talking about right now I fear for the future you are now living. Best of luck on your endeavors in the United States of AnonyChan.

I wish I had something more deeply revealing and emotional to tell you about the fact that you are turning five, but I don't. Today we celebrate the beginning of the sixth year since your birth, and each year has been infinitely more awesome than the one that came before.

You were born! Congratulations, that was a thing that happened.
One: Sure, okay. You were an alright sort of baby.
Two: YES. Shambling around with words and stuff. I accept.
Three: Walking talking human status achieved.


You started official fo' real school last week, and returned home with universally glowing end-of-day reviews. Despite a few nerves in the days before ("Will my teacher have lots of anger??" "Uhh.... that's pretty unlikely?"), on the big day you walked yourself into the building with giant backpack in tow and did not look back. I also didn't cry, because that's for sissies.

At the conclusion of Kindergarten day one, you sat next to me on the couch and asked, "Can I go to bed now, so I can wake up and go to school again?"and I said, "SHIT YEAH YOU CAN." I didn't really, I probably said something banal and momish like,"Okay honey. You have a great nighty-night time smoochie boochles cupcake anteater."

Just kidding, I said, "SHIT YEAH YOU CAN."

I have heard almost no other details about whatever is going on inside your little socialist training facility other than that you "like it a lot," which is a completely satisfactory response. However midway through the week you did let us know in no uncertain terms that you do not care for this nonsense called "Music" "Class."

"UGH. Music Class. We had to sing an alphabet song and it was stupid." 

"Stupid is a boring word. What's a better, more descriptive word you can use that will tell me more about why you don't like the alphabet song?"

"The alphabet song is LAAA-AME."

"Ha ha ha ha ha okay. It's real! You're really my child! Mine! All mine!"

"...You're just mad because you don't know the alphabet, aren't you."


/End scene.

I think wistfully sometimes about the past, when it felt easier to dig up poetic musings about our growing love and the emotional impacts of parenthood and all that other mushy bullshit. —But then I remember that that was mostly because you couldn't talk yet and I had a lot of time to kill, staring off into space while you wobbled around babbling about nonsense.

Early motherhood offered plentiful opportunities for reflection; mid years motherhood is the going and doing. It's a shift into a different mode of operation I fully support (if not a lot less poetically) because it also signals the transition into our relationship as two humans who can actually talk to each other.

Without question that has been the most rewarding part of your development, and it was what I have most yearned towards (and feared) about parenthood: What kind of relationship would we have? Would we be close? Would we be funny? I think we have a solid foundation for the bigger years and bigger problems ahead; flexible enough to take the daily hits of life drama and yelling, strong enough to erase them at the end of the day.

weirdos buying pliers camp chit chat

I mean fingers crossed and all that jazz. I haven't had a lot of anxiety, as far as parenting goes, but relationship-building has been a repeat offender, always looming over my shoulder with one villainous eye open, waiting for you to grow up and never speak to me again. I worry about it, is what I'm saying, but I suppose it's not a thing that is going to be fixed by worrying one way or the other and I should stop immediately if not sooner.

Irrational mom-quirks aside, I think we're in a pretty good place. I like you. I like being around you. I hang out with you on purpose, and plan to continue to do so, you're not one of those ass-butt kids at the playground who dope around with their mouths hanging open, we take turns being Dry Bones when we play Mario Kart, etc. If all my best dreams come true, this is you and me.

I am endlessly proud of what a kind, ridiculous*, confident human you have already become. In fact I think my job here is pretty much done. It's all washing socks, making sandwiches, and high-fiving from the sidelines from here on out.

Five. Here we go.

thanks bye,


*"Ridiculous is when something is half stupid, half hilarious." - the jude
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