Ride it Out

Weather permitting, I push myself to take long bicycle rides on the weekends. Given our brutal weather in the Midwest, I was pretty elated to be able to ride 40 miles this past Sunday.  There is nothing like a ride offering decompression that lasts for half a day.

From a cardio point of view, I wasn’t fatigued at all. In fact, when I got to my half-way point at 20 miles in, a part of me wanted to bike all the way to Wisconsin.  My brother did that once.

Great Lakes Naval Base - 1/2 Way to 40 or Do I Ride to Wisconsin?

Great Lakes Naval Base – 1/2 Way to 40 or Do I Ride to Wisconsin?

He would pedal on his bike until the sun went down. He didn’t concern himself with how he would get home. However, it did hit him that he could not ride in the dark on a major highway – without a light.

In an age that offered no cell phones, he promptly found a pay phone at McDonald’s and called our father hoping that he would be home. Moments later, our dad said, “Found your brother! Come on, we’re going to Kenosha to pick him up – he rode his bike there this afternoon.” I was so impressed that he had gone 50 miles on a bike at one time!

Some people are baffled as to why I would choose to spend four or five hours of my precious weekend time on a bike. It’s a gift and as long as I can keep pedaling, I will do it. It’s time away to reflect and re-group.  Granted, I have climbed 2,109 stairs of the Willis Tower, twice. But, I digress.

When I turned around, Read the rest of this entry

How to Blast Past the Blues

Melancholia seems to be all around us these days and it’s easy to get sucked into the negative vortex.  Those who get served constant helpings of unwanted or undeserved mind screw soufflé can become frustrated or blue. I have no shame in realizing that I am disenchanted by people who represent themselves as sincere but are disingenuous.

Fear prompts the blues and insincerity is caused by fear.

To get past this yucky feeling, I rant! I say some inappropriate words but am usually able to put a funny spin on a disappointing situation. I can laugh at myself and have to. During moments like these, my writer’s block is no longer an obstacle because I can just write without distraction.

Last night, one of my lifelong friends gave me a pencil because none of my pens were working and challenged me to wax poetic. I laughed at the thought.  I hadn’t written poems since college. For inspiration, I took out my old book of rantings and ravings which included my touching Wiffleball Wonderland poem that I wrote about my childhood neighbors, but I digress. Over the next couple of hours, I just blurted out words. By the end of the evening, eight words came out: Read the rest of this entry

Life lessons at the gym and at work

I‘ve got a lot on my mind right now and it’s not whether to blow dry my hair straight today or let my locks return to their natural bouncy condition.

Years ago, a seasoned vet at my office said good morning to me and I didn’t return the greeting in the preferred manner. I just kind of nodded my head giving a greeting in non-verbal manner. He was beside himself that I didn’t say the phrase, “good morning” in return.

Well, here’s the reality, I did say good morning – in my own way. I wasn’t going to flagrantly lie to him and tell him my morning wasn’t good, if it wasn’t. Furthermore, it would be like telling the car salesman who asks, “How are you”? He or she is not really expecting a genuine answer. Okay, obviously there is more interest in my colleague asking me versus someone trying to make a commission off of me, but I digress. 

How do I know if I am having a good morning, really? The morning has just begun. Are you wishing me a good morning or are you asking me if it is a good morning? Years would pass and my lesson hadn’t been learned yet.  I would just nod and get reprimanded EVERY TIME. Every time he would say. “If the morning isn’t good yet, maybe if you say it is – it will be.” 

Finally, I ran into a manager at my local heath club. Every time he saw me, his enthusiasm brimmed through the question, “How are you today?” At first I just (you guessed it) did the nod. He just shook his head with his supremely muscular arms folded and a contagious smile. He knew he had a convert on his hands. Overtime, I started to smile and eventually one day I yelled, “Fantastic” before he even asked the question and he raised his fists in the air as if to say, “The Shrew has been Tamed!”  

Nowadays that former colleague of mine would probably step back in awe because “fantastic” booms from my mouth to anyone who says good morning to me. It puts me in a good place for the rest of the day and if I say it enough, it does seem to become real.  It’s kind of like that rush one gets from having avocado or working out and I feel kind of giddy. 

By the way, things really are f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c. I have my inner circle of real, quality friends.  The ones who call me out on my bad behavior, protect me when needed (perhaps with white lies which I call second kid syndrome but I digress again), encourage me to do and be better and laugh at my somewhat errant wordplay. We

Read the rest of this entry

Three Years of Believing and Achieving

Holy cow! Three years of blog magic. It’s here. I never thought I would be ranting and raving for over 4,380 days – wait, isn’t that 12 years?  Sorry, work on the brain, I was multiplying by 12 all day. 1,095 days…much better.

I have been neglecting my blog lately – actually all four of them…will get back on track. I haven’t done a free write in forever and it’s therapy for me so nobody really wins when I don’t write.

I have made some great blog friends over the years and I have enjoyed learning from them and getting their positive feedback – thanks for encouragement! For awhile I was trying to do the post-a-day thing and realized that was not practical. It was nice to have a topic given to me but it seemed forced.

Some points of interest: I’ve had Facebook fallout from not knowing how to direct someone  to the canned salmon, crabby opticians making my glasses look crooked for important events, constantly doing alumni outreach for my various events, and climbed the Willis (nee Sears) Tower two times with some intense Insanity workouts mixed in.  I have the coolest photo Read the rest of this entry

Frozen Waterfall

This year’s winter has not only caused a waterfall to freeze on the gutter of a neighboring building, it has frozen my voice in writing.

Frozen Waterfall Clinging to a Gutter

Frozen Waterfall Clinging to a Gutter

I am hopeful for a big thaw so I can ride my bike and play some tennis. During my hibernation, I have encountered some impressive customer service.

ZZZZZip!

This morning, after three years of holding onto a long jacket with zipping challenges, I took it back to LL Bean. The associate took the jacket and said, “Let me teach you how to zip this jacket.” 

Oh boy. could he more condescending?  Actually, he was being helpful and I watched in delight as the zipper went up the jacket with ease.  “Let me try!!”  The zipper was fine, it was “operator error”.   Embarrassing, yes. But it’s more mortifying to not be able to zip my jacket when I am trying to leave some place in public!

LL Bean does receive complaints about their zippers. My guess is that many of those zippers are a double zipper like mine and perhaps there are frustrated users who just need to be properly taught how to zip the jacket.  Something I thought I had learned when I was five… I was wrong!

I left wearing Read the rest of this entry

Finding the Right Pair of Glasses

“Your face is off.” That is a memorable quote from my visit with a feisty little optician in the fall of 2011.

Flash forward to almost two and half years later. I am gazing upon the eye-glass frames at a different store, eagerly wondering what fantastic frame will bless my face while I play tennis and take my refreshing bike rides to the Chicago Botanic Garden when it is NOT 0 degrees outside.

I remark to the optician, “I really like purple.”

She handed me an ugly maroon/bruise colored oblong goofy-shaped frame and said, “Here, these are sporty.”  I gasped at the not only ugly color but the incredibly unflattering frame shape. I put them on and looked like Mrs. Magoo. Read the rest of this entry

When Snow Day Becomes Tow Day

Snow is beautiful to watch as it falls down without gusty winds. I love walking in it, especially when the Christmas lights are still out.

The snow seems comforting at night, especially with lights along the way.

The snow seems comforting at night, especially with lights along the way.

This morning, my efforts to ge to work were thwarted by the deep snow in the alley.  Then snow becomes a pain.

Years ago, Read the rest of this entry

2014 – The Year of Fabulous Views

Riveted readers – a year ago I put together a short and simple wish list for 2013.  How did it go? The results are in blue.  Read the rest of this entry

Christmas on Cleveland Street

Last year, a friend of mine alerted me to some amazing lights not too far from where I live. There are many light sequences – each in synch with a different song that can be found on a radio frequency. I took some stills last night and some are below.

Elvis is singing "Blue Christmas"...appropriate..

Elvis is singing “Blue Christmas”..sigh!

The lights dazzle!

The lights dazzle!

Read the rest of this entry

Christmas Light Delight

Last night, despite the frigid weather, I covered up in warm clothing so I could walk around town to complete my annual mission of capturing Christmas lights on film. The slabs of concrete were slick with ice and crunched as I spotted various delightful lit up displays. I waited for my blurred lenses to de-fog and used my fingers (slowly transforming into icicles) to snap some shots.

Starring...star lights!

Starring…star lights!

Classic Christmas Feel - with a wreath, of course!

Classic Christmas Feel – with a wreath, of course!

Love the wreath and all of the color!

Love the wreath and all of the color!

Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 179 other followers

%d bloggers like this: