Friday, April 15, 2011

Lenten episodes, part 3 - A cleansing bike ride

Wednesday morning there was a freak downpour that coincided exactly with my bike commute to work. That is, the rain only lasted 30-40 minutes, but it was exactly the 30-40 minutes that I was riding to work.

It was sunny when I left the house. On the radio, they said a 50% chance of rain. I thought nothing of it. The sun was shining! Plus, one day last week there was a 50% chance of precipitation, it didn't rain at all. Anyway, I was planning on meeting friends at the new Mission Cheese shop after work, so I wore my Mission-appropriate skinny jeans.

Well, I guess it was lightly sprinkling though sunny when I left the house. As I got to the more difficult part of my ride, it started raining harder. I was just far enough away from home and it was just late enough in the morning that I didn't want to turn back.

The rain got harder as I got up the hill. The way the drops were hitting the ground and bouncing, I wondered if it was actually small hail. Hail! On my morning ride to work?!

Towards the top of my ride, I knew I was getting drenched. It was all downhill from there, so I just kept going. Without fenders, my butt got unpleasantly wet. The freak downpour mocked my usual rule of thumb: Don't go anywhere with your ass wet. Think about it.

Then the rain became a full-on downpour as I got to the flat part of my ride. I was riding more slowly than usual because I couldn't see! Not only were the raindrops hitting my glasses, but the raindrops were hitting MY EYES. I cautiously coasted along, lightly riding my brakes, squinting and blinking half-blind. But whenever I pedaled, the upstroke of the pedal squeezed my water-logged skinny jeans legs and flooded my shoes.

At the rate and volume at which I was screaming, "AUGH! OH MY GOD! AAAAUUUUUGGH!" one could have thought I was having a good ol' attack of the Holy Spirit and a soul-cleansing baptism. Which, I suppose, is nicely timed for Holy Week or something?

I got to worked completely soaked. My co-workers gaped at me as if I were crazy. All I could say was, "It was sunny when I left the house!"

So I switched from my wet softshell jacket to my dry hoodie, peeled off my skinny jeans in exchange for scrubs, and squished around in wet shoes all day.

I hung up my jeans in a sunny window (because it was sunny when I got to work!) above a heating vent. Of course, you can't just leave unlabeled stuff in the hallways at work. It could be considered trash and just thrown away. So I left a note:

Yup. Classy. That was a long day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lenten episodes, part 2 - Freak accidents and survivor's guilt

Continuing the last break-up story from the last post:

A few friends were over at M's house to keep her company and give her consolation food after her recent surprise break-up with J, who acquires a new nickname at the end of this story.

I ended up leaving M's house with my friend B at around 1:30 A.M. We walked a couple blocks to the main drag where we waited for our respective cabs As she was still having a cigarette when the first cab showed up, she let me take it.

And then The Horchaccident happened to the cab that she took.

I have been feeling some odd survivor's guilt since that happened. If only I had taken that second cab; I wouldn't have had to go anywhere near that intersection! I can't blame myself, of course. There was nothing I did to make that car run that red light.

Last Friday, I brought her my last jar of lemon marmalade, a loaf of sourdough (not homemade this time), and a big chunk of gorgonzola. Again, stinky cheese heals all wounds. B and I bonded over stinky cheese. Good times.

This past Sunday, I crashed a fantastic dinner back at M's house, cooked with love for B. When I left at 10-ish, I announced to the living room, "OK, so, who's going to walk me out and make sure the karma cab doesn't come get me? Any takers? No?"

Rationally, I know that the accident wasn't my fault. Naturally, M and B are blaming J, whose break-up was the reason we had been at M's house that night in the first place.

Rationally, it's actually the fault of the driver who ran the red light.

Nevertheless, it's easier to blame J, henceforth known as the Kneebreaker.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lenten episodes, part 1 - Breaking up, while hard to do, is sad and sometimes necessary

I have started riding my bike again, so the Bikeless Chronicles are on hold until next winter.

However, Lent got off to a wacky start, so I'll blog about those dramas instead of my bikeless transit woes.

So far this Lent, I have witnessed three break-ups.

1. Ash Wednesday

On Mardi Gras I went to see Devotchka in concert, and it was excellent, of course. I got to bed at around midnight. Then Dear Husband's phone rang at 2:00 A.M. It was a request for him to go over to A's house because she had just broken up with her boyfriend, and he went psycho, showing up on her doorstep completely plastered at 1:00 A.M. She was home alone because her roommate was out helping another friend who had had a roofie slipped into her drink.

I know, right? Crazy!

So my husband went over at 2:00 A.M., as the cops were leading the psycho ex away in handcuffs.

The husband came home a few hours later to wash the cat allergens off of him, and then he got another call. The dude got out of the drunk tank and showed up at A's house again. The husband went over to sneak her out of the back door and drive her to work. Later that day, she filed a restraining order against the ex.

2. Long-distance

One of my best friends is going through a generally amicable break-up with a really good guy an ocean away. Although they are each really good people, they're not good for each other in a boyfriend/girlfriend-type relationship right now, and that's okay.

3. Out of left field, and yet not

A few short months ago, M started dating J. J was a self-proclaimed man-ho. While they were best friends for a good three years, we all had a feeling that when they started dating, an ugly break-up would be a big looming possibility.

Surprisingly, J broke up with M, not because of some man-ho ways, but because he was in a depression rut and pushed everyone away, including his three years' best friend and three months' girlfriend, M.

Now, I know that the depressed mind isn't exactly rational, but, man, you don't sever ties with a major part of your support network when you need it the most!

A few of us went over to M's house to keep her company and bring her consolation food. I brought over some meyer lemon bars, sourdough bread, and tallegio stinky cheese.

Stinky cheese is the best glue to mend a broken heart, of course.

There is more to this story, but I'll get to that later.

* * *

I like my lack of relationship drama. I really like being able to be myself with my husband, and I like that he can be also be himself with me. While it may be difficult to watch my friends' decisions play themselves out in non-ideal ways, they are still my friends, and I care for them very much.

Friday, April 8, 2011

bloggers' dialogue with the Vatican?

The Vatican Invites Catholic Bloggers to Dialogue.

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is opening a new avenue for dialogue, this time with Catholic bloggers.

The pontifical councils for culture and for social communications are inviting bloggers to the Vatican May 2 so the Vatican can “listen to the experiences of those who are actively involved in this arena” and “achieve a greater understanding of the needs of that community,” said a press release sent out this morning.

The meeting is pretty much open to any Catholic blogger, but the fact that there are only 150 seats in the conference hall and that the Vatican is looking for a mix of languages means the Vatican will be making some choices. The press release said the Vatican also wants a geographical mix and diversity based on the kinds of blogs out there: institutional and private, multi-voice and personal.

Heh, yeah, they wouldn't want to dialogue with me.

I'm pro-women. I'm pro-gay. I'm pro-birth control. I'm pro-choice. I think divorce should be allowed. I think priests should be allowed to marry. I don't believe in papal infallibility.

And that's not even core doctrine!

I don't believe that Mary and Joseph never got it on while they were married. I have major issues with Paul. I think John was drugged out and a bit off his rocker. I don't believe in transubstantiation.

I'm just a really bad Catholic like that.

But I really dig my church and my friends at church. I think it would be great if we could love our neighbors, even the gay ones.

Yeah, the Vatican would not want me at their bloggers' dialogue.