Imaginary Letter to My Employer

Dear Employer,

Thank you for continuing to employ me during the pandemic. I sure do appreciate having a job and being able to pay my bills.

I recently decided to redecorate my home office due to the fact that I’m going slightly batty having spent the last year staring at the same walls.

Now that I’ve completed this redecoration, I’m sorry to inform you that I will not be able to return to the office even after the pandemic restrictions end. My home office is just too stylish, comfortable, and productive. Compared with the cramped, noisy, distracting, uncomfortable, and ugly corporate surroundings in the open floor plan office you insist on cramming us into, my home office is a little slice of paradise. (See attached photographic evidence.) Continue Reading >>

Bike Taxidermy

Back in 2010, I made these wings to decorate helmet for some of the events I did for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (now called WA Bikes, I believe). Turns out that the wings actually didn’t work well on the helmet — besides being heavy, they acted kind of like a rudder, which you don’t really need when riding. I took them off, but kept them.

Modeling Hermes/Mercury Wings

At the same time, perhaps you recall that I had a pink fork custom-built for my bike. There was a bit of a saga around it, but in the end, I swapped that fork out for a lighter, more comfortable carbon fiber version. But again, I kept the pink fork, because it was beautiful and unique. Continue Reading >>

A Month Gone, Already?

Gosh, this blog posting hiatus has lasted a little longer than normal. My initial thought was to recap what I’ve missed writing about in the last month, but honestly, in a way it’s been very little — much of the same, day in and day out. Work from home, school from home, see my parents in person, go for solo bike rides, watch movies, play games. Instead of a comprehensive review, let’s just skip straight to the highlights reel.

I trashed my parents’ car. Okay, that’s a bit strong, but in the middle of January, Dad and I took his car to go for a hike along a scenic but extremely narrow and windy road called Chuckanut Drive. He asked me to drive on the way home, and I agreed. We often trade off driving on daytrips like that. Not five minutes into the trip home, I misjudged where the passenger side of the car was and sideswiped the cement barrier. Nothing else happened; I kept the car under control and we proceeded home safely. Unfortunately, the brush with the cement barrier had deeply gouged both door panels. We paid the nearly nearly $4,000 to replace both doors. Ouch. Fortunately we’re good for it, but that’s certainly not how we intended to spend that money. Continue Reading >>

Lessons from 2020

I’ve talked before about my life as a recovering anorexic and perfectionist. One huge step in overcoming perfectionist/anorexic thinking came when I began to view failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than reflections on my value as a human being. Since starting to think that way, I’ve had many such growth opportunities, but never so many as in 2020.

With all the unexpected challenges 2020 threw at us came an avalanche of failures on my part. Oh my gosh, it was — continues to be — is — the greatest number of failures per day, week, month, or year probably in my entire life. I don’t say this as a way of denigrating myself, but to realistically describe the situation. I thrive and succeed based on routine, but even the words “routine” and “2020” hardly fit in a sentence together. Toss me into a new situation, like pretty much every day of 2020, and I’m pretty certain to fail at something in it. Continue Reading >>

A Day that Will Live in Infamy

Very few days I remember exactly what I was doing when a certain thing happened. I remember what I was doing when I heard on 9/11 that an airplane had flown into the first of the two towers. The days and weeks that followed stand out more clearly in my mind than many others, indelibly etched there by those shocking, traumatic events.

Add today’s attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters to that short list.

Before everything blew up, I was having not my greatest work day — I already cried once — but eventually managed to get on track and start accomplishing some real work. Then one of my coworkers sent me a message saying that protesters had started attacking the Capitol. I turned on NPR. Continue Reading >>

2020 Biking Summary

2020 ride summary: Look at that consistency!

Gosh, 2020 has been a year for riding (and everything). I started the year without biking at all: The first 18 days of January fell into the recovery window of my EIAE surgery. After the doctor cleared me to ride, I promptly quit running and delightedly resumed my regular bike commuting and weekend ride schedule. I felt out of shape, but thrilled with the apparent full functioning of my left leg.

I planned to spend the year pursuing my highest level of fitness since 2016, shooting for PRs and faster overall times. I could hardly wait to try Passport 2 Pain again with two fully functional legs! In a fit of optimism, I signed up for RAMROD, even though I’d likely ride it alone. This was my year! Continue Reading >>

Dismal Ride With a Dash of the Delightful

I don’t often regret my bike rides. Many times it comes to the point where I have to change into biking gear and I really don’t feel like it, but I force myself to change and go out, and by the time I get home I’m glad I did. Today was not one of those days. (If that doesn’t cue you in, I’m going to complain about my ride today. Probably you want to skip this post since I’m venting.)

Today nothing went wrong — no accident, no mechanicals, no reasonable weather complaints (saying “it’s cold” in December seems excessively whiny), not even a flat tire. But before leaving, the kiddo and I spent several delightful hours at the dazzling Tolt-Macdonald Park and we didn’t get home until midafternoon. I inhaled a couple pieces of cold leftover pizza and salad and hit the road. Continue Reading >>