Bits of String, A Penny, and Some Lint, or, Things I Found In My Mental Pocket
by Nicole Freire
Greetings Edhatians! How was your Halloween? Are you tired of candy yet? Guess what I just had as a little snack? Three small packages of Whoppers, two little bags of candy corn, and a small box of Junior Mints.
I know, I know, I'm going to totally spoil my next meal. Besides, my tongue is starting to hurt from all the sugar.
There are all sorts of new developments here at Chez Freire, and inside my brain, that I need to catch everyone up on, so when I mention it again in another column (as I am wont to do, especially given my Swiss cheese like memory) you won't say, "What is she talking about now?" You can say instead, "Oh, yeah, I think she mentioned that already". See how it works? A miraculous system I've developed.
A Big Announcement
My husband, after 11 months of unemployment and much hand wringing, HAS A JOB. A REAL JOB.
(pause for general cheering and merriment)
He even had to go and buy new shoes! We are all in a semi-delirious state here at Chez Freire, mostly due to the fact that we celebrated by eating copious amounts of Mexican food to celebrate, and also because we are sort of freaked out. Yes, the job is wonderful news. He likes his work, his commute isn't awful, and sometimes, to his great delight, he has to wear a hardhat and special goggles and earplugs. He sent me a picture of himself from his phone; wearing said hardhat and the look on his face said it all.
But we had all fallen into a state of suspended animation here during the Time Of Great Unemployment, and now we all have to adjust to the new paradigm (I know how ‘paradigm' is pronounced, but every time I write or type it, I say. ‘pair-a-dig-um' to myself). We're all a little superstitious (ok, I am), and the kids are alternately ecstatic but haven't lost their automatic fear and it's accompanying, "Can we afford that? Isn't that expensive? Should we be buying Mexican food?"
Anyway, thank you for all your support and prayers and offers of babysitting and stuffing $20 in my purse when you thought I wasn't looking. Thank you to my parents for their love and support and thank you to all friends and family. And thank you to Ed, who has promised me a new t-shirt (ok, he didn't promise me a new t-shirt but he was very nice to my family during these hard times).
That's Great, But What About The Purses?
Well, you readers are crazy for purses. I loved the pictures you sent in and the apologies you tried out on me were hysterical. No one ever needs to explain to me why they have so many purses or bags or handbags. Nothing to be ashamed of.
And the winners? As purse crazy as you all were, nobody wanted to add to their collection. So both purses went to charity. Feeling better? Good.
Where I Mention Bicyclists And They'll Probably Get Mad At Me
For the last few Saturdays, I'd been driving up 154 to take an art class with my mom. I love my mom and the class was fun, but Holy Smokes, do I loathe that frickin' road. Driving up was so-so, but driving down? Well, let's just say that driving back to Santa Barbara on 154 was the only time I have found Lamaze breathing useful. I'd come home, kiss the driveway, and run inside to lie on the couch and take some Xanax.
Now, I know that riding 154 is something serious bicyclists love to do - the kind who wear spandex and have skinny wheels - but why? Every time I passed a cyclist, my blood pressure went sky high and I'd find myself chanting, "Don't make any sudden moves, just don't move at all".
You make me nervous, is what I'm saying. And I give you LOTS of space. But I have some real questions for cyclists. I spend a lot of time driving Cathedral Oaks Road, to school, and to work, and then back to work and then to the orthodontist, and then to school and work, and then to the dentist, and blah blah.
What I want to know is this: I've been on that road every time of day. And I see the spandex cyclists at various times, all different hours. Why are they there? Do they have jobs that are super flexible and let them take hours off during the day to ride? Are they lottery winners? How can you fit all this biking into your day? I assume some of you are on teams because you are wearing the same jerseys - does your team pay you? Are you guys taking your lunch hours to ride? Does it take a long time to change in and out of your clothes, especially if you are pressed for time?
This is what I'm thinking about while driving. Unless I'm driving to work, then all I'm thinking about is, "I hope I get a good parking spot, I hope I get a good parking spot. Where will I park if the good spots are gone?"
Anything Else You'd Like To Share?
Are you on goodreads.com? Why not? It's a fantastic site and no, I receive nothing for mentioning them. For fanatical readers, or people who just love to hold books to their noses and inhale, goodreads.com is a great resource. You can keep track of what you've read, what you have already read, and make lots of lists of books you want to read. You can also write reviews. I don't do that very often, only for books that I found awful and then I must share that because, god forbid someone else pick up, "The Messenger" and try to read through that dreck.
Also, I have new black boots, courtesy of my Dad. Big black boots. They come up to my knees. No spiky heels - I'm too klutzy for those. But they have serious bottoms, heavy on the tread. There are also a few faux buckles on them. I am totally intimated by these darn boots. What does one wear with boots like these? I know I need to wear them so they'll be broken in, but man, what do I wear? I don't think I have the wardrobe of someone who has big boots. I have the wardrobe of a timid woman. Do I have to wear tights when it's cold? Don't the tights dig into your waistline? What about skirts and boots? Do I need special pants?
Suggestions are more than welcome.
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Nicole Freire is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.