Bike Woes

As mentioned previously, I bike quite a bit… My bike likes to misbehave, and at inopportune moments. By that I mean, it misbehaves when I’m in front of other humans so I can make a mockery of myself and have witnesses to prove it.

Yesterday I took my bike into a bike shop (the same from this post) to get the brake cables replaced. I had been biking down a slight downhill road on my way to brunch when I realized that my brakes weren’t working. Like, at all. I immediately entered panic, but survived like a champ (brunch is always my priority). I dropped off the bike and bike-man told me that he’d text me when it was finished and to arrive before 6 p.m. sharp.

Of course he didn’t text me, so I called and ran over to the bike shop. It’s a 15-minute walk, but me being me and leaving at the last minute, I had to run about five blocks and endure the usual macho Salvadorian gazes and whistles. I arrived at the shop, winded and sweating profusely. I managed to pay and was enthusiastically wheeling my bike out of the shop when cute cashier-boy says “Um… actually the exit is this way. The front door is locked.” Bumbling and clumsy, I swung my bike around, smashing into his foot.

“Oops! Sorry!” I felt my face get red. The older cashier-man propped the back door open for me as I crashed into a pile of racing bikes in an attempt to get out quickly. “Sorry! Sorry!” I peeped and walked out, face raging hot. So I guess grace is not one of my strengths.

Television

I am obsessed with television. I know, I know, television turns your brain into Jell-O. It’s not like I don’t like reading–in fact, I love reading. But I also love television. In my household growing up, I didn’t have cable. I would go over to my friend’s houses just so I could watch their cable TV. My friends would want to go play Barbies or do each other’s hair, but all I could think about was watching some mind-numbingly good Nickelodeon.

It has been a while since I’ve published and I apologize. Work and other tedious things got in the way. And sometimes when I get home after a long day at work, I just want to plop on the couch and watch some bad quality shows such as Kim and Kourtney Take Miami, or my most recent favorite show, The Long Island Medium. I hate to confess this, but I watched the Long Island Medium for a good two hours last night, and cried the entire time.

It’s not that I don’t read–I just love me some TV. I guess that’ll teach parents a lesson: don’t restrict television-viewing time too much, or else it will have the opposite effect when your kids grow up!

Pedos

I have been slacking in posting quality material, I know. Well, won’t you know it, I am about to change that this very instant. Yes, at personal sacrifice, I’m going to post about something that generates universal laughter: farts. I am a lady and therefore do not emit natural gas. Naturally, this story is about a ‘friend.’

So my ‘friend’ worked as a Spanish teacher at a summer language immersion program, aka Spanish camp, for high school kids. At this camp, the teachers and counselors live with the students, teach activities, and give grammar classes during the day. There is a tight schedule every day including a siesta right after lunch.

Siesta is a particularly valuable time to counselors who work at this camp, or so I’m told by my ‘friend.’ It’s time for them to recharge during forty-five minutes so that they can continue laboring in the hot sun, or spending entire nights planning out lessons and fun learning activities. One day, she was particularly tired, and told the girls of her cabin to wake her up when siesta was over. She fell into a deep sleep, without any dreams and some drool on the pillow.

Minutes before siesta was over, she farted. She farted so loudly that she woke herself up. Thankfully she was facing the wall, and her face was hidden from the rest of the girls in the cabin. Embarrassed, her face turned red and she did what any self-respecting woman would do: she pretended to be asleep. Just two minutes later one of the girls in her cabin shyly called her name and said “Siesta’s over…” She pretended to sleepily wipe the drool off her face, nonchalantly said, “gracias” and rolled back over onto her stomach. Damn those frijoles they served for lunch!

Bumbling Series Three

Sometimes I don’t explain things. That sentence, for example. Let’s see how I can explain. I got out of a professional development meeting a few months ago with a woman (same government agency as Bumbling Series Two), and was starving. I had arrived late to the meeting, she had taken forever to get out of her office, and the meeting ran later than I expected, so by the time I was out, it was already 2:30pm and I was ready to eat. This particular organization is housed in a building that has a fab cafeteria (or so it smells like it), a small-scale bakery, and is well-connected to the metro. The woman I met with asked me if I were by chance headed to the metro. I said I was, since I was running late as per usual, and she escorted me out. On our way out, we were chatting and we passed the bakery. Which has delicious pastries. Did I mention that I was starving?

I didn’t want to interrupt her to tell her I wanted to get something at the bakery, although it would’ve been convenient as I was pressed for time.  So I just let her escort me out and I feigned walking towards the metro while subtly tracking her movements. When she cleared out of sight I walked back towards the bakery. I was about to walk in and pounce on a few buttery pain-au-chocolate, but alas, she herself had walked into the same bakery and was contemplating what to get. I would have totally waited until she had finished up paying to go in and purchase a cheese danish, but she took so long, dilly-dallying about what to get. Jeez woman, at least I’m fast with my pastry-purchasing decisions! It was a pretty creepy move, spying on her, but tell me that these types of things never happen to you (and I’ll call you a liar)!

Bike-Granny Sock Mishap

On my way to work this morning, I biked through a large, six-lane intersection. This was around 9AM, so there was crazy traffic on all sides. I managed to miss a light and stopped at one of the intersections, waiting impatiently for the traffic to pass and the light to change. I was counting down the numbers on the pedestrian crossing sign on the opposite end of the circle,  and finally saw the light turn from green to yellow. I hoisted myself back onto the bike seat, and began to pedal, thinking that I could beat the car behind me. I slammed my foot down enthusiastically, only to miss the pedal completely and lose one of my flats. Did I mention that it was raining? Did I mention that I was wearing grandma socks? Not only did the entire world see my grandma sock sans-shoe, but it also got soaked as I backtracked to pick up my fallen flat, defeating the purpose of wearing them entirely. Boo.

Bicycle, Biicycle, Biiicycle!

I discovered an unused bike in the closet in my house a few weeks ago, and have begun to bike everywhere. I am now biking to work, to happy hour, and back home (sort of–after a few beers, pedaling becomes difficult). I love my bicycle, it is the greatest thing–I get my much-needed daily dose of exercise and get to save on my transportation costs.

As of late, biking has been a bit… difficult. The bike is in great condition, but sometimes pedaling gets hard to the point where I had to pedal while going downhill. At first I dismissed it as my being out of shape. But then I thought, one shouldn’t have to pedal while going downhill. I showed up at brunch today red-faced, gasping for air, sweatier than a whore in church. Let’s just say my bike and I weren’t in a good place at that moment. I made a friend help me sleuth and as we lifted the rear of the bike and spun the wheel, we saw the problem: the wheel did a half-spin and stopped. Looked like the brake pads were too close to the wheel, halting it. Plus the cute metal casing on the top of the wheel was touching the tire, wearing it down.

After brunch, I decided to walk my bike back home and on my way I stopped by a bike shop to get the ‘official’ diagnosis and suggestions…slash flirt with bike shop-man and get him to fix it for free (my best friend did this throughout college and I swear, she never paid for a tune-up #TrueStory). So I haul the bike in, bat my lashes, and brightly flatter the man to get his expertise. This man, who looks super worn from working on bikes all day, places my bike on a rack that suspends it in the air, as I explain that the back wheel won’t turn. He grasps the back wheel and spins with enthusiasm–and the damn thing spins as if it were brand new! Ragged bike-man looks at me like I’m a crazy person. Thanks a lot, bike.

Chunky Monkey

So, no Bridget Jones spoof would be complete without some weight issues, right? Well, I have plenty of that. I am getting … chunky. I am on the petite-side in general, but as of late I have kind-of, sort-of let myself go. Perhaps part of that is being single and not caring about how I look. I swear, I look like a homeless person at work. We had a gala to work last night and a few days ago my coworker said to me, “You know you have to look nice for that, right?” I suppose all he had ever seen me in was stretchy pants and flip flops.

Who has time to work out? I don’t. I work until six or seven-ish, and as soon as I step foot in the door, time goes by twice as quickly. I think I usually just cook, eat dinner, wash dishes, take a shower, and then boom, it’s magically 1AM. I ain’t got time for workin’ out, and my tummy is feelin’ it for sure. DC is also has a huge happy hour culture, which is a really wonderful (and horrible) thing. Wonderful because I love a drink after a long, frustrating (or short and stress-free) day at work, and horrible, because I am slowly but surely (actually quite quickly) developing a mini buddha-beer-belly. Ew.

As I was sitting at last night’s gala, after having eaten the entire three-course meal, two cheese cake petit fours, a fruit tart, and a chocolate-covered strawberry, and found myself unable to move. I knew that if I moved I would rip the cute cocktail dress borrowed from my friend. I managed to slouch back in my seat and I swear to you, I. felt. a. roll. On my side. It would be great if I was getting fatter in my boob and backside areas, but unfortunately fat seems to be populating my stomach and muffin top spots. The roll did it for me. I’m going to start eating healthy, biking daily, doing crunches, drinking less beer, and joining a gym… as soon as I finish the homemade chocolate chip cookies, half-eaten bag of Doritos sitting on the counter, six-pack of Modelo Especial sitting in my fridge , and stop spending money on clothing to actually pay for a gym. Yep, as soon as I do all of those things.

Grandma Socks

I wear grandma socks. I do. They are great. What are grandma socks, you ask? They are the nude-colored, thin, nearly sheer socks that you wear while wearing flats. Plenty of people go sans-socks when wearing flats–but for some reason it grosses me out. Perhaps because the average human sweats one cup of sweat per day. You read correctly, one cup. Ew.

Yes, my friends make fun of me because my grandma socks always manage to peek out of my flats. Sigh, it’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make to keep from sweating in my flats. Yuck. At any rate, every time I stick my grandma socks into the washer, I seem to lose one of them. I swear, they fly off to the parallel universe of lost socks, never to return again. Solution? I hand wash them. Yesterday morning, I hand washed a bunch and hung them outside to dry and ran off to run errands.

I got back to my house, to see my landlord (who lives upstairs) washing the patio and back yard. I walked upstairs to greet him, smiling brightly in satisfaction of accomplishing so much on a Sunday morning. As he informed me that he had moved my drying rack full of granny socks to the side of the house so they wouldn’t get wet, my smile quickly disappeared. Oh wow, how embarrassing. I am just relieved I didn’t have any granny panties drying out there, too.

Violence

As you may have noticed, I keep my blog pretty superficial and ditzy. But like I’ve mentioned before, I’m actually semi-intelligent and in fact not a neanderthal. Living in DC and working in government relations/ public policy, I’m in touch with political happenings pretty frequently. As of late, I have noticed so much violence in the news (or it might be that I started reading the news more often), that I’ve decided to stop ignoring it and talk a little bit on the subject. More specifically on the happenings of Boston and gun control.

Boston was terrifying and jolting. I heard of the news on a call and the office immediately turned on the big screen television for breaking news. As very vaguely hinted in my past (emotional) post, some very intimate family members passed away suddenly last year. Now, every time I hear an ambulance whiz past, or news of an accident, I sort of freeze. Call me hyper-sensitive.

I have a cousin who ran the marathon in Boston–she goes to Boston College. Thankfully she had finished early and was well on her way home when the first bomb exploded. After hearing the news, I immediately called up all of my family members in an attempt to get her phone number. We hadn’t spoken in years, something that weighs down on me since I promised myself to try to keep in better touch with family. When she answered, surprised and happy to hear from me, I sighed loudly and sunk into my office chair. “Thanks for calling,” she said bewildered, several times.

The Newtown victims are similarly heart-wrenching stories, stories that our lawmakers appear to have forgotten about or lost interest. As tragedies seem to occupy the news these days, I can just feel the public fear creeping in slowly. But for me, so does anger. I feel so profoundly saddened for the families that lost their friends, sons, daughters, grandchildren from these horrible events. The lack of response and action from our government frustrates, and quite frankly, enrages me. We need to do more than pray for the families and friends of the victims–we need to take action as citizens, as neighbors. I remember walking along Boston’s own Quincy Market and seeing the chilling words:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.