Saturday, June 16, 2007

Heterosexism and such

I have a standing appointment to go the farmer's market with a certain male friend. The drawback to this, we have both decided, is that people assume that we are a couple, and so it makes trolling for hotties much more difficult. The farmers make comments like "Which of you does more of the cooking?" and such. And on Wednesday, we both went to the same "home buyer's seminar" (well, that's what they called it, even though we all know you can buy a house or a condo, but you can't buy a home) and, because we obviously knew each other and were talking before it started, the woman running the seminar asked, "And when are you two looking to buy a home?" I told her we weren't buying together and she said, "Oh," as if someone had pinched her.

Maybe we should get t-shirts that say, "Sometimes boys and girls are just friends."

At the market, I bought much wonder, including strawberries, Tuscan kale, beets and beet greens, scallions, ostrich meat, goat's milk feta and red new potatoes. Oh, I'm hungry. I should go cook.

Bike log:
Wednesday, 23.5 miles
Thursday, 28 miles
Friday, 15.6 miles on the recumbent
Today: 7.5 on pink and recumbent

Speaking of the recumbent, I had forgotten that it uses different muscles than the road bike, so my legs are like jelly today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

“The police were taking witness arias.”

My internet connection has disappeared, so my updates may be spotty for awhile. First, the biking update. (I know you don’t care, but I lost my calendar, and I like to keep track of it somewhere.)

Sunday: 19 miles
Monday: 17 miles
Today: 18 miles

While biking over to my friend’s house this evening to watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode “Once More With Feeling,” I discovered just how short my new pair of shorts are. Let’s just say I’m glad I prepared for bathing suit season this weekend. I was slightly relieved when I noticed that the woman biking ahead of me was wearing shorts as skimpy as mine and I couldn’t see her jewel box. Of course, I wasn’t exactly in a position from which I would have been able to see it, had her clothing or lack thereof revealed it. Don’t think I’ll be wearing these shorts much in public from this day forth. Thank G-d they only cost a dollar at St. Vinny’s.

The one good side to the whole shorts thing: wearing them reveals more of my legs. And since my legs are still so pale that they can double as a reflective surface, short shorts make me more visible to automobiles when I’m biking at night.

(Side note to Jim, if you’re reading this: I believe I passed you and your dog near Just Coffee, and I would have stopped to say hello had my shorts been a little longer.)

Here is one of many fabulous snippets from the Buffy musical:

Spike: “You’ve just come here to pump me for information.”
Buffy: “What else would I want to pump you for?” (Disconcerted look.) “I really just said that, didn’t I?”

Many times while I was waiting to leave my job in Pennsylvania, the intro song to the musical – "Going Through the Motions" – would go through my head for days. This whole episode is really a work of genius.

Note to Clare: The shoe entry is on its way, once I find a suitable photographer. I haven't forsaken you!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wait a minute, was I supposed to get married today?

I rode my recumbent yesterday for the first reasonable ride since I got it back from the bike shop. Alas, there was a problem with one of the shifters. This recumbent, a Linear, has a 3-gear internal shifter as well as a 7-gear external (chain ring and derailleur) shifter, resulting in a total of 21 gears. Ideally. But the internal shifter likes to act like a 2-gear shifter, skipping straight from low to high, or high to low, without pausing on the middle gear at all. And it was doing that yesterday. So I took it back to the shop. Guess I will be riding the road bike to church today.

Yesterday's total: only 11 or so miles. Friday's total was 8 on the pink bike and Thursday's was, well, I don't remember. Maybe 6 on the road bike. But it was against the wind, or perpendicular to it, almost the whole time, so I think that counts as at least 12.

On Thursday, violent windstorms swept the Midwest. When I was riding in the morning, it was vigorous -- maybe 15 or 20 miles an hour at times -- but not nausea-inducing. Later in the morning, the Minneapolis airport shut down, and air traffic control grounded flights in Chicago. That afternoon, my friend fiddlefaddle called me every five minutes with nerve-wracking updates from just west of here, the most stomach-churning of which included a kayak that speared a pine trunk. I reneged on my Thursday evening commitment because I did not want to be in transit when the monster hit us. But it never did. We got a spit of rain.

I start paying for COBRA tomorrow, but only for the next 20 days. Insurance with my new employer kicks in on July 1. Perhaps this is why I've gotten fewer marriage proposals lately; the men in my life don't see any reason I would marry them, other than for pragmatic reasons.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

This isn't my wife. This is my girlfriend.

A lot of people treat a trade show like a grown-up version of summer camp. It's their chance to get away from their families and pretend that their lives back home aren't really there. They create alternate relationship webs with people they see once a year, or a few times a year, on the trade show circuit.

For instance: At dinner last night, a man who my boss has known for years through trade shows introduced his companion to her at dinner. My boss smiled and said, "It's so nice to finally meet your wife."

His reply, "This isn't my wife. This is my girlfriend."

My boss gave a somewhat stunned smile.

"Really," he said. "No joke. My wife doesn't know about her."

"Oh, yes," said the companion. "And I have a husband, but he" -- she pointed to the man I've been discussing -- "isn't him."

And then there was the man who was sitting next to me. He was quite flirtatious in his conversation with me, though I at first did not know if this was his way of interacting with the world at large or if he had a specific ulterior motive. As he continued to sip his wine and inch his chair closer to mine, I began to discern the answer. When he began to whisper asides to me and took the liberty of touching my knee under the pretense that it was a somehow acceptable alternative to tapping someone on the shoulder, I knew it.

He was, of course, wearing a wedding band.

He said I was an excellent conversationalist and he would love to spend more time listening to my dry, cynical wit. He wanted to take me dancing in Downtown Disney. I said, "Given your observation of my cynicism, I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I have absolutely no desire to spend the rest of my evening in a place called 'Downtown Disney.' I will not be joining you, but I hope you have a lovely evening."

My father thinks that all men adore me. While he understands that I can't adore them all back, he thinks I am, perhaps, a bit insensitive to the effect that my charms have on them. But I do think, in this case, my father will think my suitor deserved the sting of rejection.

Monday, June 4, 2007

No spinning teacups for me

So it doesn't look like I'll get a chance to go to Disneyland at all while I'm in Anaheim -- not that I expected to. But I am envisioning a future for myself in which I become a frequent business traveler and start buying souvenirs from airports and hotel lobbies for my neglected children, who have been left home to be cared for by my overworked and equally neglected spouse.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Free swag

Unlike fiddlefaddle (whose offline identity I am wondering about -- oh, won't you let me know, fiddlefaddle?), I am unable to take advantage of free swag at this tradeshow, because my employer is running it and thinks that taking swag would be bad form. I am, however, allowed to taste as much food as is offered me and, given that this is a food tradeshow, that's a lot. I think I tasted at least 30 different cheeses today, including several excellent varieties by a Dutch company called Polder. Yes, it's not made in Wisconsin, but it's still good.

Don't worry, I haven't forsaken Wisconsin, even though I really liked a blue cheese from California called Original Blue. The Limburger from Wisconsin -- the only Limburger made in the United States -- was scrumptious.

Friday, June 1, 2007

I guess people get a little punchy at tradeshows

Heard on a United Airlines flight yesterday: Two flight attendants talking amicably with a customer about how Continental has much roomier seats in economy class.

While it is, in fact, true that Continental's row spacing provides more leg room that United's does, I expected United employees to have more fear about losing their jobs than yesterday's discussion proved. Perhaps United's worker-ownership model truly did have a long-lasting empowerment effect.

P.S. My co-worker just decided that her life calling is to obtain a Wienermobile of her own and use it to drive people from cocktail party to cocktail party. I guess people get a little punchy at tradeshows.