"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer

29.9.09

Early hate

This guy is too big an asshole to wait for Thursday.

Toronto columnist Terence Corcoran was almost Jonathan Swift with this obscene twist of logic:
When car drivers cruise....on Saturday night, their metabolisms are more or less flat-lined. They just sit there, burning up little energy personally but paying for the cost of their automobile's carbon footprint via taxes and fees. Bike riders grinding up the same route burn up a lot more carbohydrates, which their bodies convert into carbon dioxide and exhale, adding to their carbon footprint. The volumes are small, but it all adds up, and bicyclists don't pay.


But this is mixed in with some legitimate gripes about rude and thoughtless cyclists riding on the sidewalk and blowing stoplights and such, so even if it was satire, it's just not very good. I'd consider it a wasted opportunity, in fact, since that behavior is no worse than any driver with orders of magnitude less liability.

And does the world need another BikeSnob? A conservative, pudgy, non-cycling Canadian one with no sense of humor, at that?

So I will state this is probably real, and nothing if not trolling for a reaction. And he certainly got one from looking at the comments.

I'll say this: no matter how much C02 cyclists are emitting directly and indirectly - through increased calorie consumption - cars get taxed because they carry so much liability amid their surroundings and create so much wear on the surfaces intended to be driven on, not to mention real pollution. I'd bet this guy certainly wouldn't argue to have CO2 declared a pollutant in any other context besides heaping hostility on cyclists.

The amount of money saved on infrastructure maintenance by every "one-less-car" is certainly worth the cost of the so-called "free lunches" given to cyclists. Not too mention, we're the ones offsetting all the demand you sedentary fucks are putting on the healthcare system. You think your premiums are high? Thank us cyclists for keeping the risk down where it is!

Teammate and friend "Bryce" commented to me, "
This is an odd and hostile twist on a common theme. There have been numerous op-eds in favor of taxing/licensing cyclists....that just because someone is on a bike that they must never use a car (or own property or pay sales tax) and are thus somehow freeloading."

And I don't own property or car. I guess that makes me some sort of communist. Bryce continues:

"Even if you pay rent in lieu of a mortgage (not a bad idea these days), you're subsidizing your landlord's property taxes and contributing to public infrastructure in a direct and measurable way. So no, you're definitely not a freeloader and yes, this guy can suck it. Anyway, it's never about who pays for what, with crap like this the subtext is always hostility towards cyclists."

There you have it. Terence Corcoran. What an asshole!

Michigan, again

We arrived at Mark's cottage in Three Rivers on Friday evening after a peaceful drive out, escaping the worst of Chicago traffic and nabbing some roadside Dairy Queen along the way.

I'd been waiting since late July to have a seat on that faded couch, kick off my shoes, breathe in the room's pleasantly musty scent of procrastination, and take that first nip of peppery-velvet bourbon. I sighed a long sigh, letting the last of the stressful summer and road cycling season drain out of my feet; allowing fall's cool breath to whisper on the back of my neck, and the warmth from old mismatched lamps, reflecting off of cloudy windows, to seep in through my pores.

We drank our drinks and played trivial pursuit and chatted the night away as the dogs' toenails clicked on the floor to the rhythm of Sam Cooke's voice. And when they'd stopped their curious pacing, contented sighs from the couch would interrupt our conversation occasionally.

The night got away from us. Soon it was 2:30am and the bottle was over half-empty.



I awoke on the couch feeling bloated and had a headache, and didn't even remember shutting off the light. It was still somewhat early, but I'd still slept in by my standards. We took a stroll through the woods up the hill to the clearing, letting Jack and Charlotte run ahead in a glorious breach of protocol for them, leashes nowhere to be found. The break in the woods at the top is the result of a bad storm years ago, Mark tells me. Huge swaths of trees needed to be cleared, and it's now a peaceful surprise, a grassy field dotted by manicured bush groves and a tree or two, after walking through scruffy and uncouth undergrowth.

Imagine hippie drum circles or an aboriginal dance party and what-not going on up there.



After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and a longer walk with the pooches, we took a moderately long ride as a prequel to Sunday's Century in Three Oaks, about an hour west. On the area's lightly traveled and beautiful roads (belied by the constant road kill - a veritable critter holocaust), we rode up and down constant and surprisingly challenging rolling hills, dodged the dead raccoons and feasting turkey buzzards, and stopped to the take the occasional odd sight, such as this huge red bard that was covered in deer antlers:



About an 90 minutes into our scheduled two hour ride - still outbound - we realized just how freaking big Chicago is...East Michigan Avenue?



We got a bit lost, missing a few turns, but the flat parts always seem to do that to you:



What would I do for a Klondike Bar? 57 miles, apparently:



We still had another 100 miles on tap for tomorrow, so additional recovery was needed:



And yet, with the great day so far, and all that was planned for Sunday, it's photo-ops like this that make getting out of the city entirely worthwhile:



Still, that 100 miles up tomorrow did weigh heavy on our...appetites:



Kirby arrived late that night, and after staying up a bit more chatting over a beer, we hit the sack well after 1am. The alarm was set for 6, and both Jack and I had a hard time getting to sleep. Jack wasn't quite sure what to make of the extra person in the room, and his toenails clicked all night long as he paced between Kirby on the floor, me on the couch, and Mark and Charlotte behind the closed door of the bedroom.

As I jumped blearily up to shut off the twitching, treble-y phone, I noticed he'd finally fallen asleep underneath my feet at the opposite armrest. Wake up, jerk.

Being in the far western end of the eastern time zone ensured it was dark for our 6:30 am departure to the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks, an hour west. We left Jack and Charlotte to entertain each other over a huge bowl of water.

After a pancake breakfast, we donned the spandex and met several friends at the start finish...



...and were soon rolling with the sun chasing our heels:



The Apple Cider Century is becoming a tradition among us, the perfect way to end the season with a fun, stress-free, yet hard ride. About every 20 miles is a rest stop with cookies, PB&J, soup, and yes, apple cider. There is every kind of rider imaginable, from roadies like us, wearing full kit and giving our sponsors their due, to more relaxed weekend warriors in Primal Wear jerseys - lots of beer labels this year - even a few culture warriors on fixies were spotted, and lots of kids and families.

There are many route options, ranging from 15 miles all the way to the 100 miler we were tackling. Jonathan and Lara in fact were towing their year-old son Jacques in a trailer, and rode with us for the first 6 miles or so before reaching their turn to continue on the 37 mile route.

Kirby admires gravity's work at the 2nd rest stop:



Over the course of the ride our group got a bit smaller. Evan was riding with us on his cyclocross bike, with wider, lower pressure tires, and we'd picked up a 15 year old named Sam from Chicago riding on a old, vintage Trek steel racer a few sizes too big for him. By mile 50 the day was taking its toll on them, and they started falling off the back on the rolling hills. We said goodbye to Sam shortly after the 2nd rest stop, and Evan would catch up to us as we were leaving the 3rd and final stops.

Kirby was having mechanical problems and took the opportunity the turn-off for the 75 mile option offered, and there was just us: myself, Mark, and Loukis.



Fatigue hit all of us pretty hard rolling out of the last rest stop at mile 82, but Loukis had the most strength. He relished the effort of going 100 percent on the hills, and only a few times was I able to muster the motivation to chase, fewer to beat him to the top. Mark has been out of racing for nearly two seasons now, and the lack of training was showing. After a modest push for Loukis and I up a steeper roller, we'd look back to see Mark hurting.

But in his fitter days Mark was one of the fastest guys on the team and a tireless worker. Most casual riders train for months, very focused, to just complete a century. Mark kind of just did this one. That's saying something. See? I'd say he looks pretty good for mile 98.5 (and dig that tailwind!):



Since I had my camera out, I thought I'd record the last few images of the ride:



As I snapped this picture:



...Loukis had been waiting patiently for me to put my camera away as the city limits sign approached. There is nothing more sacred to the Long Ride than the sprint to the City Limits Sign. Soon it was almost too late, and as I was still reaching into my back pocket, there was the sound of his chain dropping cogs.

"You son of a BITCH!" I roared with laughter, and scared the bejeezus out of a family of four as I tried to grab his wheel. But the sign was right there. The century was over.

Yeah, that was rude of me, but like I said, nothing is more sacred.

Almost.

There was the spaghetti dinner and ice cream afterward.

24.9.09

Thursday Hate

This is more Thursday Pity. MacKenzie Philips accuses Papa of years of incest in her new book, and says that she appeared on the Today Show in 2008 while high on smack. I read once that John Philips’ dog got into his bag of mescaline. The dog ran around in circles for three days, he said, and then stared at itself in the mirror for 12 hours. “That dog was more human than anything else…”

Speaking of shitty pet owners…

I hate it when other dog owners see you coming and cross the street to avoid interacting with you and your dog. This is almost always accompanied by the dog(s) acting like a complete asshole, because a) the owner is using one of those fucking retractable leashes, and b) they do nothing but give halfhearted “stop it!” and “settle down!” instead of actually correcting the dog while it jerks them all over the sidewalk like Malachi does to Linda Hamilton in “Children of the Corn”.

“Outlander!!! I have your woman!!!”

Jack just walks along, nonplussed with a only a slight bit of ear-perk, probably just as turned off as I am by the other owner/dog’s behavior. It’s just so fun and cool to see your dog meet a new friend and have a good interaction. It’s so easy to spot owners who have no desire or clue of how to instill acceptable behavior in their pets. And it’s even more pathetic when they eschew valuable interaction with other pets altogether rather than dealing with the responsibility.

23.9.09

Hump Day

Bike-to-Work pants. $90 seems pretty reasonable for such a "hip" piece of clothing that's a) actually useful and b) American-made.

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I thought the logic was fairly sound...I wonder what happened? I guess now the threat's over since there aren't 44 days in September, and 8 years later Daley will still be mayor (and Olympic-less).

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If you listen closely, you can actually hear the sound of roadie gravitas "cracking" in two. Eat your heart out Padraig. (Is there any beer left?)

22.9.09

Makes perfect sense to me

As of today, flavored cigarettes are now banned, nationwide. They're considered gateways to teenage smoking. Cloves, too.

Except menthol is still legal. And it's illegal for teenagers under 18 to buy cigarettes, anyway. No word on whether this law will actually be enforced.

And smoking, the chief cause of preventable death in the U.S., is still legal.
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So are wine coolers.

20.9.09

Action Jackson

First cross race ever today.

I can't believe I waited this long. Today was the most fun I've ever had on a bicycle. It was as though I had died and woken up in Brussels.

I arrived at Jackson Park around 11 am, after hemming and hawing over whether to subject Jack to 15 miles in the Pet Ego trailer, and let him out with tail wagging to take in the scene: the men's 3s and women's 1/2/3 races had just started, cowbell was everywhere, floating on the early fall breeze, along with the scent of Bill's pancakes on the griddle, and the bass of Sean's Euro-dance party from his DJ perch.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

Greg's course was pure inspiration. Once the opening sprint had decided the leaders, the sand of the softball infield punished any too slow to be up front. From my perch at the third set of barriers in an earlier race, it looked like a distant cavalry charge from an old western movie, or perhaps CNN footage of a tank procession from the first Gulf War. A huge plume of dust arose, through which you could barely see legs, arms, and wheels flailing everywhere as racers lost their footing.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

From there it was into the brush and trees of the far stretch, snaking and winding, dodging whipping branches from the shoulder in front of you, where riders must have felt like Alice chasing the rabbit into the forest and down into the hole. Then the real technical fireworks started.


(photo by Gavin Gould)

A barrier just past a hard u-turn, followed by another sandy one-eighty, and then it was through the gauntlet - four or five team tents (Pegasus, Cuttin' Crew, Tati, Courage) - sweaty and screaming among the metallic scent of beer foam and clanging cowbells, they egged you on until you fell over the event horizon...

...the carousel was a work of genius. I wish I could've seen it from above - it must've looked like a ballet. The course swirled in upon itself, seemingly to infinity, before doubling back out. Surrounded by fans and racers, a sense of vertigo overcame as you passed the riders coming in or out on the other side of the tape. It was almost hypnotic as you coasted in, trying to hold your line in the tightening spiral.


(photo by Bloomington Cycles)

Your reverie was then cracked wide open as the pitch kicked up and a series of tight turns - over soft dark sand from old charcoals and around trees - led to the next set of barriers. The jump back on the bike while pushing uphill was too much for many riders. Huge gaps opened up and poor technique was taken advantage of, as next was two stretches on which to really get some speed, interrupted by another miniature vortex of swirling tape.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

Some easily rode and hopped over the three uphill log barriers after the long sweeping turn, others not so easily. Others ran it, and made up a place or two each time. Then a final hammer swing down the straight and open stretch to the line, if you still had the legs.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

I'd made it the whole road season without going down once, today I crashed three times on the first lap. Perfect planning. Passed the sandy infield, I closed the small gap to the leaders while on a brief stretch of pavement, before going down hard on a left turn back on the grass. The shifter was banged inward and the bars crooked, and I'd instantly lost about 20 places. But everything thankfully still worked so I just got back on and rode as hard as I could.

There were other crashes at seemingly every corner, and finally, one epic bottleneck just before the second set of barriers at a u-turn. I just pushed my way through the tangled mass of legs and wheels and continued to try and make up ground. I ran up the log barriers each time, and picked off a rider each time as well.

On the second lap I got a licorice hand up from Seegs, but on the next one I declined his offer of the $5 bill wedged in his plumber's crack. As well, by then things had stretched out considerably and I was able to take all the turns at speed and my comfort level, passing a lot of other riders anytime it straightened out.


(I passed on the dirty bill...photo by Nikki Cyp)

I can't imagine doing this for an hour as the Pro/1/2 fields do, for closing in on thirty minutes at the end of the fourth and final lap, I was about to lose the bratwurst I'd eaten two hours earlier. I had a piece of licorice caught in my throat, dirt in my eyes, blood on my shin, and snot stretched across my cheek and huge grin as I crossed the line 17th.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

Thanks so much for Newt and the team for providing me with the bike to ride this season.

All around me it was evident these people had been waiting nine long months for this day. There was laughter and screaming, smiles and hugs, cowbell and bass. A first-class event to kick off the 2009 Chicago Cross Cup and cyclocross season in pure style.

And my team had pulled it off with barely a hitch. I've never been so proud to wear the white, black, and red of XXX Racing than today.


(Photo by Nikki Cyp)

18.9.09

16.9.09

Hump Day

I'm shameless, I know...

Bike-cop beats bus driver...

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Car-free day, Tuesday, September 22

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5th Annual Dick Herron Memorial Bike and Walk, Sunday, October 4

14.9.09

Rode.

It’s time to take 2009 out of the oven and go to work on it with a knife and fork. It’s well-done and ready to serve.

I write with sadness and a bittersweet taste in my mouth today, as the campaign has ended on the same personal chaos it began with in March, but that is that and I only mention it for the cryptic irony and to backlink one of my favorite compositions.

Yet, based on my goals, my third year racing was a huge success, and I was very happy to be part of XXX’s meteoric rise on the coattails of so many epic performances. Not the least of which was the state road race championship jersey captured Saturday by none other than Seth Elliot Meyer; adding to the impressive pile of skins already accumulated by the team this year.

Looking back

I say goals, but my goal was just one goal, singular…to upgrade to Category 3 by finally putting together some successful finishes, to get up and out there to support the team’s new-found profile. I knew a breakout for me was lurking somewhere out there, I only needed to believe in myself and learn to risk failure.

April and May did not bode well while I grappled with my risk-aversion, and it was frustrating to be passed by newer team members on their way up the ranks. At Hillsboro I seemly had learned nothing and let myself get shelled even earlier than last year. Early season crits at Vernon Hills and at The Midway only enforced my questioning approach to racing, and in late May I sat in a hotel lobby in Muscatine, Iowa questioning whether I even wanted to continue at all.

The very next day I was standing on the podium for 3rd place having led out Seegs for the win. I got another point for 6th place in the second race.

It was a procession of podiums and top-10s for the next two months, at Winfield, Soldier Field - with the equally infamous Pepsi Max girls and my ill-advised sandbagging tirade – and Superweek. By the end of July, I’d gotten my gotten my upgrade and was once again – happily - at the back of the pack.

Racing 11 times over nine days during Superweek took a lot out of me. After finishing July by doubling up in the 3s and Masters 1/2/3 at the Chicago Criterium, I told Coach Randy I needed some time off for just a long mileage weekend. Which then took me into a rest week, after which I felt even worse and I sat out Downers Grove. I ended up not even racing again until this past Saturday’s Tour of Willow Springs, the State Championship Road Race.

Saturday, September 12


We’d all done our homework, reconnoitered the route, and knew full well that Luke was targeting this race before he upgraded to Category 2. We were set to patrol the front, chase down anything threatening, and wait for Luke to try and get off. The uphill finish played well to his established strengths, and in the event of a group finish, my race ended at the foot of the hill, after stringing it out to prevent the late attacks and swarms.

It was a promising course and at the whistle the field seemed itching for knockdown, drag-out battle. The neutral rollout up the long, snaking, 3-tiered climb to the line was anything but, with riders going off the front as others yelled for them to cool it. I couldn’t believe my ears as I actually heard carbon and metal hitting pavement behind me.

Once at the top and the race live, Liam was immediately off on his now trademarked flyer and I waited for fireworks to begin. And waited. And waited.

I sat second wheel for the next two laps as half-chases and his own fatigue reeled Liam in. Up the hill and again no selections were made. On the 2nd and 3rd laps there were a couple of fairly vicious attacks I chased – one of which was strong enough to give me an “oh shit” moment that we might actually get off (I’d promised my 4-man TTT partners I’d save my legs, and I owed them that) – but the effort was over soon enough and the pack was back.

Then things really settled down. Oncoming traffic was heavy and the roads were narrow. The yellow-line rule was zero-tolerance and it was being taken seriously by the pack. There just wasn’t really much room for anyone to get clear, and with large field size and despite the hill, the race just wasn’t that hard enough.

On the final lap in the backstretch I sat midpack chatting with Shane about cyclocross for a while, when he casually asked for some room so he could move up on the widening shoulder as Turn 2 approached. I jumped on his wheel, and with Kirby on mine, I was back, just off the front, where I needed to be for the upcoming group finish.

Burnham increased the pace and was driving it a bit, then the elbow wagged, and when nobody pulled through I took the front and drove it harder. It was a lot earlier than I’d marked it, but I didn’t want to be late for the jump.

Kirby pulled through as we went by the cemetery, when two riders went off, and it looked fairly threatening. Kirby screamed “reel it in! Give me everything you got!” I floored it for about 200 meters and just before the hill I died. The move was back, the pack accelerated, and I was done.

It was all just motions and ritual however. The truth is I could’ve been going 17 mph instead of 27, and nobody would’ve jumped until the hill, or the group at least. The climb itself would neutralize anything that went 100% from the bottom.

I missed it all as I came in behind Kirby in my small ring, lazily winding my way to the line at the top, past another crash. The strategy had fallen apart, perhaps doomed from the start, and no one was near the top-10. A Bloomington rider took the jersey I believe.

Sometimes, things just don’t work out as you’d planned. That’s racing - the big lesson I’d learned this year. That, and no matter the outcome, you need to smile and count your blessings: that bike racing isn’t your job, and nothing makes a beer taste better than when it’s enjoyed after riding your bike as hard as you can on a beautiful afternoon such as this.

I relaxed with the neighbors that evening in the driveway over wine and grilled salmon and soon went to bed. The 6:30 departure for the 4 person team time trial was early.

Sunday, September 13

Our goal was teamwork, winning was “out-of-scope” as they say. Jeff had only been back outdoors on the bike since the beginning of August after suffering a broken collarbone and a stubborn rib back in May at the track. While the amount of fitness he’d gained back over the short amount of time was admirable, his redline was still far below ours. Keeping the four of us together – with everyone still getting what they wanted out of the race, leaving everything out there in the cornfields of Utica – would be a battle in itself.

A heavy fog blanketed the area, and the start was pushed back 30 minutes, and then an hour, before it finally began to burn off. Our start went from 10:11 to 11:11 and we waited around, drying off the condensation from the bikes, and eating extra food to account for the delay.

As the clock counted down for us, the fog was gone and sunlight shined brilliantly, with a brisk wind in our faces. I was nervous, as I always am before TTs, especially team events. The first time I did this race in 2007 it was traumatic and wonderful and as defining to me as a person than anything I’ve ever experienced. So much of your outcome depends on how you pace yourself at the beginning, you are wracked trying to make sure you start perfectly, and keep your adrenaline in check, but not holstered.

Trying to strike this balance while accounting for Jeff’s fitness proved our undoing as a group of four. We had a good pace going out, doing about 25 mph into the wind, and we made sure he was taking shorter pulls. But into the cross winds, the echelon was trickier, and the work was taking its toll on him. Between turns 2 and 6 we alternated from cross- to tailwind and adrenaline kept pushing us other three at an unsustainable pace for him. Around mile 9 Jeff was gapping in the draft and even pulling through was too much.

As we were trying to reset the rotation so he could sit on the back, at bit of chaos ensued as our 2 minute men caught us and we came apart. Jeff was fatally gapped and at mile 11, he cut himself loose and three of us where on our own for the remaining 26 miles. It was tough seeing him go. Last year he drove the group like a beast on the shortened 50K course; we finished together and averaged over 27 mph.

The speed picked up and back into the wind my pulls shortened considerably; I was feeling yesterday’s efforts. I’d pull through strongly, only to start pedaling boxes 20 seconds in, glutes and calves giving into pain before my heart rate redlined. I didn’t have speed on the bike (no powertap hub on the race wheels) so I was going on feel alone. William was taking equally or slightly longer pulls than I and I imagined the road race yesterday was hitting him hard, too.

Chris on the other hand, pulled forever: up hills and through turns, only to regain the pace immediately after. His pulls seemed 5 minutes long, and our pace never dropped. He was definitely on form having hit the podium in both individual TT events the two previous weekends, and had fresh legs from sitting out the road race.

He was definitely in the driver’s seat from the final two turns.

We never dropped below 30 mph back on the homestretch and I could taste vomit in my throat. Mashing the bottom cogs for as long as I could, I’d pull back and barely make it on. I could hear William screaming to stay in the draft behind me, and there is nothing so interminable as the time from when you first catch a glimpse of the start tent until you finally cross the line.

An hour twenty-five. Ish. Around 26 something miles an hour average speed.

I retched a bit and dropped to the small ring, and took a 10 minute cool down to the far stop sign past the parking lot and back. Back at the car, my glass-bottle-real-sugar Coke had warmed in my bag, so I asked the organizers if they’d mind it in their cooler for a few minutes.

I changed, absent-mindedly picked the salt out of my chin whiskers, and chatted up the other teammates. Randy, Peter, Ed, and Jacques had put in a stellar time of 1.20.ish, despite Randy’s crash at turn 4, from brand-new pavement to a chip-n-seal, almost loose-gravel surface. He was covered in gauze and netting, Charlotte’s handiwork, and his brand-new custom skin suit was covered in blood stains. Jacques reported that immediately after getting up and being asked, “are you ok?!” he replied, “we’ll see when I get back on the bike.”

They won the Elite division with the 5th fastest time overall. Four more stars and stripes pelts to the stash.

This is without a doubt my favorite event of the season, and I hope to do it with these guys again next year. Jeff will be back, and William and I will bring fresher legs, along with the never say die ethos we always have. Chris and his never-ending motor will certainly be welcome.

I walked back to the cooler to retrieve my Coke.

It tasted incredible.

11.9.09

The Quiet Man

The quiet man rocked his creaky chair
While the sun set just a bit earlier that day.
A dead leaf landed in his wispy hair and
He stared at his boots for something to say.

The porch’s faded color matched the dying grass,
Splinters and rusty nails that bit like the cold.
His coffee was bitter, his mood like brass,
He did not want to say goodbye to the old.

The spring mornings had seemed endless.
Damp grass and shade trees beckoned
Drenched in the sun’s golden excess –
That led to the lake, to swim with friends.

Dragonflies and fishing reels buzzed a music -
Summer songs to dance and steal kisses
And the last of the green on the popsicle stick.
Over campfires and crickets, the reminiscence.

It was sleepiness that finally led them to dreams
To dive into blackness, and surface again
The cool waters on hot days of delighted screams
To strip off their clothes and run in the rain.

From behind the screen, his daughter’s voice,
“Dad? You okay out there?” He just sighed.
It wasn’t as though he had any other choice.
So he sipped and rocked as summer died.

9.9.09

4.9.09

Hello sunshine

I'll watch a sunrise
Growing upon the grass
Sneaking through the curtains
and straining through the glass.

Hello sunshine.

Brushing your lashes
Lifting your cheekbones
Coloring your lips
In rhythmic, stirring tones

Hello sunshine.

AR Friday

You see a lot more when you slow down.

That house. The Victorian gaucheness of it, or maybe the yard's immaculately trimmed hedges.

The way traffic treats you the same whether you're moving at 30 miles and hour, or just 13.

Did you realize the deer in the forest preserve were that big?

What is it about hairy (bigfoot hairy) bodies that make you want to tan on a picnic table in a nutbag Speedo?

That shiny, black '72 Eldorado has been parked there all summer, actually.

And these...?...taste so much better:

3.9.09

2.9.09

Hump Day - Le Dog House

Does your dog speak French? "Tres bone!!!"

(apologies to Rob)