Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Very Long Week

I'm so glad this week is over, it was a long one. I'm still dealing with my grandfather's death, which was compounded by the anniversary of my father's death this week. You never know when a wave of sadness is going to come over you.

Sunday: coffee got knocked over into my laptop. Panic. Left it drying overnight. Well mostly, had to email some files so I could do work on Mr. TVP's ancient imac.

Monday: Kid woke up sick. Scramble to attempt to find replacement for my work day at preschool. Laptop still not quite right, right half of keyboard not working. Use frustrating old i-mac. Have to take sick kid with me to drop off snack at school. Long day with kind of sick kid. I actually was able to get some work done, though. I knew he was sick because he willingly took a nap.

Tuesday: I wake up with kind of sore throat. Kid still has too runny a nose to send him to school, plus he slept in which is sign of illness, he does not like to waste precious time sleeping. Go to Apple store and find repair options. Take time to mull it over and run into friend, who takes our picture. She tells my kid that it was not his fault that he was screwing around and knocked my coffee over. I guess that's better than the reaction of the Apple employee who said "he wasn't drinking it was he?"

End up replacing keyboard, with caveat that the optical drive will probably go out. Pick it up later on the way to a school meeting.

Wednesday: kid still has really runny nose. Take him bowling for the first time. A lot of fun. Since when did they get these fancy ramps for the kids? They don't have to even push the ball down the alley? He almost got as high a score as I did. I enjoyed playing with my leopard ball and black & white saddle shoes.

Discover that several keys on my keyboard are not working. Most notably the right-side apple key that I often use for shortcuts. Still haven't had the time to go back to the Apple store as of Saturday. Don't want to drag the poor guy there again. It is crazier there than usual with all the iPad nonsense.

Thursday: Mr. TVP promises to come home really early so I can go bike riding. Did I mention my mother aka my free babysitter is out of town? K. and I go to the "Plant Museum" (Conservatory of Flowers) to see the garden scale trains one last time. Baby doll came along. We even packed him a bottle. Bonus! Thomas was there.

I never got that bike ride. Instead of early, he comes home really late, almost bedtime due to job site issues. I was frazzled to say the least.

Friday: Took K. to Marin to visit with his cousin and my sister at a fancy playground. Good time and it was a beautiful day. Despite that good start I was not thrilled that not only did Mr. TVP and I not get to go out he had a meeting and didn't come home until after 6:00. I also discover by way of getting out of breath coming up from the laundry room that the little bug is moving into my chest. Yippee.

Today I went for a run first thing, and later went on an excursion to take some photos. Got some knitting done on the bus, too. It was nice to be alone.

I'm sure next week will be better. We really did have some fun this week. And I got some good knitting in. But, I am just not cut out for twelve hours with a 3-year-old who doesn't nap. I have no idea how single mothers do it. Really. Especially old single mothers.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cinderella Classic 2010

I just got back from riding the Cinderella Classic. My first time was 1998, haven't done one in about six years. It is a metric century for women only put on by the Valley Spokesmen club. The relatively flat loop winds around Livermore, San Ramon, and Dublin. Lots of livestock and wineries (and horse trailers).

I guess I kind of kept my training a secret, inasmuch as not blogging about it is secret-keeping. I had some reservations that I would be able to do it. Mainly, having time to train and the means to get a new road bike. But my husband put up with the increasingly long Saturday rides, and someone paid me back some big bucks, so it came together.

It was rough training though. It was hard to get rides in during the week. It rained a lot. I got sick. And my pink bike is heavy (and so am I). I got the road bike only a month or so ago and was nervous about getting it tweaked just right.

Today's ride was not as hard as the first time I did the Cinderella on knobby tires in the freezing cold, but it was pretty hard. It was cold and the wind was strong. I look forward to reading other blog posts about it. The best part was spending the night alone in a motel last night, with a king size bed all to myself.

66.5 miles. 5 hrs 50 minutes on the bike. Total time 6 hrs 40 minutes. This was easier at 29 than it is at 41!

Now to figure out which other nearby metrics (or less) I can do this year.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jurassic Park

I have a thing about birds, I don't like them. Well, I like blue jays and hawks which is weird because the jays are mean and the hawks kill. But generally I don't like birds, they're prehistoric, like little dinosaurs. Cold-blooded and calculating. Except ducks. I like them.

I didn't realize just how scared I am of birds until yesterday. Background - we live in a top floor flat. You enter the building through a gate. You can either go up the steps past the first flat to ours or through a locked door to into the basement. There is also a back stairway down to the garage. But there is a door locked from the wrong side, so coming down the back you can only get into the laundry room and out the back door, not to the garage or front gate. It is pretty convoluted, and my greatest fear is getting trapped in the garage without my keys because you have to have one to get out.

Yesterday as K. and I rounded the corner to our front door, I noticed bird poop and chips of paint on the steps. There's a skylight at the top of the stairs so I thought that maybe it broke open and a bird was sitting there. Wrong! There was a bird flapping around and chirping, trapped in the stairway. He had been crapping himself in fear and pecking away at the skylight. We dashed in the front door and closed it firmly.

Panic immediately set in. We were trapped upstairs because there was no way I was going back out with the bird. And I had laundry to do! Plus I was worried about it freaking out and dying on my doorstep. And my fear of birds is nothing compared to my phobia of dead things. I freely admitted to my kid that I was scared of birds. He said he wasn't and that the bird was signing us a song. I let him think that the tortured squeaks and squawks were music and not a harbinger of death.

Now I have been "swooped" by starlings protecting their nest in the past. Since it was outdoors, and funny behavior, it didn't really bother me, I could escape. One block I lived on was particually bad. We may have sat in the parked the car and watched others get swooped for amusement. But this was different. The bird was panicked and I was trapped. I kept picturing a scene from The Birds ending with me leaping out a second story window.

I called Mr. TVP for advice. He said I could either kill it or try to lure it out by opening the back doors so it would feel the breeze and head in the right direction. It seemed weird to potentially lure it into the basement, and I didn't want it to die down there, but I wasn't thinking straight. So I hatched a plan to go down the back and open the backdoor and the two aforementioned interior garage doors. I would also venture as far up the stairs as I could with bread crumbs, leaving it a trail to freedom.

The first snag I ran into was the fact that my keys were in the front door, on the wrong side. No way was I opening the door even an inch to to reach out and grab them. The bird could have pecked my hand off or come into the apartment. And then he'd really be trapped since I have all our windows double locked due to the kid. And the back stairway is closed in by chicken wire (to keep pigeons out). But I had to have a key in to get to the front stairs, so I grabbed all our spare keys and jammed them in my pocket. Then I grabbed a piece of bread.

Next obstacle was the grill on the back door step which I had to crawl under and around. (We don't use the back stairs because they are creepy and you can see right into the neighbor's kitchen. Plus, the pigeons.) Managed that and got to the bottom of the stairs face to face with the door that is bolted from the other side, which I had forgotten about in my panic. At least I had my cell phone, so I made a panicked call to my downstairs neighbor. I explained the situation and she ran down the front stairs and let me into the garage. She agreed that birds are scary.

I opened the back door, propped open the interior garage doors, and laid a trail of crumbs down the stairs. As I was calling "here birdy, birdy", a dark figure came through the gate. I jumped and then was relived to see it was Mr. TVP dressed all in black, not a giant crow. Luckily he was nearby and had decided to come home early. I guess he didn't understand from my call where the bird was because he asked why I would want the bird to fly into the basement. Sigh.

I showed him my bread crumb trail and explained my plan. He shook his head, sighed, and asked for a shop towel. I asked him not the kill the bird. I pictured him wrapping it up and setting it free outside, but I didn't think he could catch it since the ceiling height is ten feet up there. All of a sudden he is yelling to shut the garage door. Which was kind of hard since I was cowering all the way in the back of the laundry room.

As I dashed to close the door, he announced the bird was gone. It had walked out the front gate. Amazed, I asked him how he did it. He said he flapped the towel around and shooed it down the stairs. Genius! Some comments were made to the effect that a pick-up, country music, and a cowboy hat do not a city kid transform. Whatever.

I later exulted in my freedom with a trip to the grocery store.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Just got back from a road trip for my grandpa's memorial service. The Easter Bunny found us in our motel room, thank goodness. The Easter Bunny may be a girl. We're not sure, but there's an awful lot of rouge there.