The only common feature of your disfunctional relationships is you.

So maybe I'm the jerk, and not the guy running the light. When you're this pissy this often, maybe the only attitude to change is your own.

Current beer-scale: fucking high.


I think I'm more tired than even I realized this morning; my "on your left" at the fullerton light wasn't the friendliest coming in to work. Then again, if the guy rolls through the last light, what's he thinking stopping when the light's about to change and blocking the lane with people rolling up behind him?

That whole intersection pissed me off today, between that guy and the chick who passed me just to slow to a crawl as soon as she was directly in front of me. Who knows, maybe I'm too big to see around from behind and she just didn't realized there was a bottleneck coming up. Then again, if you've ridden that with any regularity you know that there's usually some people stopped and taking it slow might be a good idea. If she hadn't had the other guy in front of her I might not even have noticed but it was just that kind of morning.

Or maybe I'm just a dickhead too. When something that simple is bugging me that much, there's probably more to it than just being tired. And yeah, I feel pretty wore down this morning. But it's not like I'm sprinting into work and getting there exhausted. I'm trying to take it easy in the morning and enjoy myself to the point where I'm ready for a good day at work. There was some bike rage starting to form by the time I got there though, not a pleasant feeling. Some time away would probably do me good right about now.

Some place I'd rather be right now.

Current beer-scale: 6.5


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, summer in Chicago. Where streets are opened back up after a music festival and smell like a toilet for days, where one-lane boulevards turn into two-lane highways of wrigleyville gridlock. Where if you go to the dog beach long enough, you're bound to see at least one mauling.

Seriously, it's my favorite time of year whether Lincoln smells like the French Quarter or not, but that was some scary shit. If you go to any dog park enough, chances are you'll see something unpleasant eventually. That was way beyond unpleasant though. People screaming, everyone else on the beach freezing, it was kind of like a reverse shark attack. I don't know what started it, but seeing someone have to grab their dog while it's still attached to another dog is not something I ever want to see. Eventually the dogs separated and everyone seemed to be more or less okay, but that seemed pretty hairy for a few minutes there.

Still, I love summer in Chicago to the point where I made the mistake of taking a longer ride home yesterday, through path and Cubs traffic that didn't end up being too bad. I forgot that Irving goes two lanes west-bound after games and found myself between them, since there wasn't any room to ride curbside. It reminded me of my very first ride home from work, where I was so freaked out about traffic on Diversy I didn't know if I would ever bike again. This was a piece of cake though, even having to stop a lot more down southport to get home. Weather and days like that totally make riding with the pelaton worth it. I made a note to savor rides like that so I have them stored in November and December.

Current beer-scale: 3.4


Relax. Just b/c he's driving a hummer doesn't mean the guy is a total knob.

Okay, so he seems to be in a big hurry and almost clipped that guy turning left. You haven't caught up to him yet. Don't freak out.

Well, he might block the bike lane for a second but don't worry, he's just passing really quickly on the right.

Oh, he's decided he might not have room for his ridiculously large inferiority complex, I mean SUV. So he's stopped...right...in...front...of...me...(slamming on my own brakes as I literally almost catch up to him face-first).

Ah yes, honking his horn to get the guy who can't turn out of his way. Brilliant. Then peeling away, through the yellow turning red that I was hoping to catch as well if his dumb ass hadn't taken up the bike lane. Thanks guy. Sometimes, you can judge an idiot by his hummer.

Current beer-scale: 6.7


Sigh. Not every day can be "Dark Knight" exciting, but hopefully this Thursday or Friday can be second-time exciting. Which, I admit, isn't quite as good but would still be a blast. Someone asked me how I liked it this morning, and all I could think to say was "I'm kind of sorry I can't see it again for the first time. It was a blast." Somehow I think the second time will live up to expectations though.

And if it doesn't, I can't complain. The wife actually suggested going again once we realized our Thursday dinner plans might not work out. Which just blows me away, b/c we were going to make that dinner our second anniversary dinner since we don't have to work the next day. But with other weekend plans shaping up and possibly giving us reasons to move dinner to the actual date, she made her suggestion. Just another sign I married the right woman, and now kind of feel pressure to make that extra clear when we do end up going to dinner.

What's a good second anniversary surprise? We actually already exchanged gifts, and by "exchanged gifts" I mean picked out something we thought we'd both enjoy and ordered them online. A blistered thumbs up to Guitar Hero III so far and Veronica Mars' third season. Now that I think about it, maybe we should have saved both of those for next year's anniversary, but oh well. Something to think about for next year. Whatever we end up getting, the process has worked so far.

This kind of thing is a lot easier to handle working downtown. The only thing I really miss about working directly downtown is being able to kill an hour or more (usually more) walking around looking for gift ideas. Or reading every graphic novel in borders. But when you can visit every conceivable type of store in a matter of minutes, shopping gets pretty easy. It's easy to surprise someone with something you've picked up at lunch. My surprise options are slightly more limited these days; it's hard to find that something special when all you really have a chance to stop at is walgreens.

One more random thought and I'll call it a day. Unbelievably, our anniversary is also the dog's birthday. Well, maybe not "unbelievably" b/c we arbitrary decided this two days before our wedding as we were getting ready to host a pre-rehearsal dinner casual bbq for people already in town. Anyway, that's her on the left. We adopted her on the 1st of October and she was about nine weeks old, which translates to around the end of July. So we decided what the hell, let's just make sure everyone gets presents on that day next year, and it's her birthday now too. I don't know what's harder to believe, that I've been married two years or that we've had that turd of a dog for nearly three. Amazing.

Current beer-scale: 6.8



I don't think I've stopped smiling since walking out of the IMAX last night, and that even included dealing with the horrendous Navy Pier crowds and waiting for the pathetic fireworks show. That was one of the most satisfying film experiences I've ever had; at times during the film I couldn't believe how note-perfect the dialogue and performances were. I was completely awe-struck at points, and that doesn't even include the IMAX-induced vertigo from people jumping off buildings or zip-lining through the neighborhood.

Even afterwards, having a beer and waiting for it to get late enough for the fireworks to start being able to sit back and go over the scenes that stuck out to people was fantastic. To have a (jeez this is sounding a little too AICN) communal experience like that about a film I was already excited about was fantastic. My expectations were pretty high going in, and I was not disappointed. I was still hearing the main theme in my head on the way to work this morning and loving the entire ride. The highest possible praise for this film, and if you love Chicago or just love film in general, see it on IMAX.

Current beer-scale: 3.1


Since today is my Friday I feel like I can start to get a little excited about "The Dark Knight" this weekend. It kept coming up this week and I kept trying to ignore it. Even at softball on Tuesday, everyone was comparing when they had tickets for and who got to see it first (someone with a preview show tonite actually won, very impressive). I was starting to feel like not-quite-such-a-nerd until I realized everyone comparing tickets was female and only cared about Christian Bale, while I only cared about Batman. Hey, you can't win them all. And actually, when Batman gets this much buzz, everyone wins.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


Nothing like a ride on your old bike to help you appreciate what you've moved on to. I already loved the new ride but today just reinforced that feeling. Frankenbike wasn't exactly a perfect bike, but it got the job done and there were moments where I was very fond of it. After about a week on the new ride though, jeez oh man does Frankenbike pale in comparison. It probably doesn't help that I didn't clean or lube after riding out to drinks in the rain last week, but I don't remember it feeling that bad just a few days ago. I guess I'm getting spoiled.

Current beer-scale: 2.5


An elegant (commute) for a more civilized age

Is it possible for something to be advocated for without becoming a political issue in the current climate? If it's not (and I'm thinking it might not be), then is it worth splitting the idea of cycling, commuting, or just bikes in general into left and right, blue state/red state?

People are funny, and probably have every reason imaginable for biking. The benefits are legion. Easier than owning a car. Faster, even, for the lucky few. Better health, more exercise, or even improved body image. IT'S FUN, way more fun than grinding your teeth stuck in traffic after a day at the office. I know people that bike just as a way to feel better about their carbon footprint in general. That last one though, sounds suspiciously close to making biking "an issue." And issues have a way of turning people off. That's an awfully fine line to walk, between advocacy and politicizing.

Bike culture is hard enough to get a novice into. When someone is cramming the idea of lessening dependence on foreign oil via riding your bike, your bike can lose even more of it's appeal sometimes. Which is really too bad, b/c more bikes would be good for just about everyone (including me and my often bad attitude).

I've heard the argument lately that bikes are a more elegant way of commuting, that if more people biked instead of drove there would be less congestion on the roads (debatable), leading to less road rage (also debatable) and a more relaxed society in general (unbelievable). All I can think about when someone brings this us is Obi-wan showing Luke his lightsaber for the first time, which for some reason makes me laugh. Now, it's amazingly easy to take that image and run with to a point where you're also seeing, say, the Bush Administration and their big-oil policy makers as Darth Vader and the Emperor, and biking advocates as lone idealists pining for a simpler time which could be brought about using their more elegant way of doing things. But the fact that it's so easy could suggest just how easy it would be for biking in general to become yet another issue that gets split up between the extremes of the two parties, something for liberals to rave breathlessly about and conservatives to get red-faced making fun of. And I don't think that's going to do anyone any good.

Does biking really need to get any more "holier than thou" at this point? Can arguing that biking is a more elegant way to commute do anything but increase the snob factor here? I sincerely doubt it. Boy I sure do complain a lot about something I claim can be fun and enjoyable. I'll try not to make a big issue out of it.

Current beer-scale: 3.6


hydrate Hydrate HYDRATE

Must...drink...more...water. Pub crawl tonite, cubs game tomorrow. Pedal slow, don't sweat, stay hydrated. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated.

Don't barf.

Current beer-scale: 6.4, but working it's way up.


Dear ponytail;

My apologies for not yelling out my "on your left" this morning. I was enjoying my new bike and thought my chipper greeting would be loud enough but still friendly. Why be a jerk about it when I can spread some good vibes? Unfortunately I did not see your earbuds until I had already passed, before you started shouting.

Ah, the shouting. I understand it can be aggravating to get passed seemingly without warning, but not everyone chooses to wall off one of their senses while they're surrounded by thousands of pounds of machinery going much faster than they are, and in your case, much MUCH faster. In the meantime, I will delightedly scream my "on your left" at anyone I see with a ponytail for the near future, in the hopes that it's you. Please don't let it spook you.


Current beer-scale: 8.5


I have a new toy, and my commuting enjoyment has gone up several notches this week. I have yet to come up with a suitable name, or decide if I'm enough of a geek to even name a bike other than the painfully obvious Frankenbike. Outside of a long-ish first ride in the burbs on Saturday, I haven't really had time to get an impression other than "Woo hoo! This bike is fantastic! Green light! Pedal! MOVE!" Let's just say it's the smoothest fun I've ever had on two wheels and leave it at that.

The threat of more rain today seemed to keep some people off bikes and honestly, I'll never understand why more people don't bike in the rain. Yes it's wet and yes city rain isn't quite the cleanest thing you could get covered in, but it beats the heck out of temps in the high 80's with humidity to match. Which, if you think about it, is what you're going to get for Chicago summer anyway. Rain or sweat, you're soaked either way. After gritting my teeth through a Chicago winter, I can't really complain about 80's and humid mind you. The rain is just refreshing.

Current beer-scale: 8.4; seasonally high due to a lack of softball this week.


Seasonal-affect was in full swing this weekend, with a second beer brat on Friday enough to make me sit back and savor the entirety of summer and great weather. I'm just now starting to come out of my sausage and beer enduced coma, but let's just say I was in a happy place this holiday.

Current beer-scale: low


where'd everybody go?

What the hell people? There's a little rain in the forecast and you pack it up for the day?


You know what? I shouldn't say anything. Let's pretend this never happened and maybe it will happen again.

Current beer-scale: 3.2. A couple post-loss rounds at Castaways did wonders.