Let's talk bikes for a second. I've been getting acquainted with Whitey Heidi. We're getting more and more comfortable with each other though it has certainly been a transition. That bike wants to fly. For all my friends who know that I'm old school, hell yes I'm wearing a helmet on Whitey. In fact, I get all geared up for her in fancy padded pants and snug long-sleeve jerseys. Oh and the clipped shoes. Every time I leave the house in my get-up I ask Husband, "Do I look like a total douche bag or just a little like one?" He says he thinks it's hot, but saying such things is in his marriage contract. Good on him. I've reported before that I don't feel vulnerable on Loops, my commute bike, but it's another story on Whitey. Cars notice you much less on a bike that cooks. You're more of a surprise, like, surprise! I'm going 20mph too! Also, the bike is so slight. That feels very vulnerable to me. I've been on the tentative side around a lot of cars, but in less busy areas I try to open her up and my heart rockets to my throat at what she can do. I realized I could climb a hill all day long, but I don't know how to go fast. I grew up commuting on bikes in cities my whole life and I've watched for doors, I've watched for eye contact with drivers, I've watched for cars backing up, pulling out, turning left, and I've watched my speed. Learning how to go fast on a quality bike will be my biggest learning curve.
I've been hit on a bike by cars twice in my life; once in junior high, once in high school. In junior high I was actually doored when a guy was peeping out a garage sale that he had parked for and he swung his door wide open right as I came by. The strain -- I let out a long, wind-sucking grunt -- kept me from flying over the door. I told the guy I was fine and shakily I went on my way as my front wheel wobbled around lopsidedly. In high school, a woman turned left into me as I rolled through the intersection. She braked pretty good almost in time and I was only knocked down. She was a mess. She threw my bike in the back of her convertible and frantically lectured me about how I needed to be aware for myself AND for drivers. She drove me the half mile more to school. I didn't tell her that she hadn't given me enough time to be aware for the both of us. I couldn't wait to get out of her car. My mother was pissed that I didn't get any money from her. So, yea, I'm more tentative on Whitey than I thought I'd be, but she and I are working that out.
The other thing I've learned on my rides is that the seat that came standard with Whitey is a motherfucker. Wow. I've unaffectionately named it the Pooty Killer. It ain't killing my booty. No. I think I've had bike booty for a long time, but the aggressive positioning of the road bike coupled with the steal rod they call a seat kills the pooty, y'all. Whoa. I just ordered the saddle pictured. The below photo will give you more indication why this should ease what ails me. Hello Female-Friendly Friend:
So, about work: Mitch and I do all the buying and selling for a huge account in Arizona. He works in-house at the client's office in AZ and I work the magic from Cali. Every year our Big Client holds a Holiday Cookie Off, and every year Mitch volunteers me to bake for it. He tells them, "Oh yea, we got this. We'll represent and kick all y'all's cookies' asses." And then he'll IM me on the side and say, "Right? Is that cool?" Hell yea, Mitch. We got this. This year I made some Rose Water Pistachio joints from Veganomicon and my own Gingerbread Creams. I tried to recreate a vegan oreo filling and sandwiched it with gingerbread cookies. To Die! I fed ex'ed them out on Tuesday and the Big Client's warehouse promptly lost the box on Wednesday. Sigh. I have visited the Big Client's warehouse before. It's 100,000 square feet. I'm not joking. They have programmed robot/tractor things to retrieve product from rows, off pallets. So, I guess cookies could get lost in there. I think the "ATTN: MITCH" part threw them off. Ooo, Mitch was hot over it. The running joke for the last few months has been the Big Client's warehouse. They lose our product all the time. They'll say, Nope, didn't get that order. And we'll say, Isn't that your signature on the fed ex website? Pissing match then ensues. But when they lost the cookies, that sent Mitch over the edge. It's one thing to lose the cables and screws and credit card swipers and other stupid shit we sell to them, but not the cookies. Come on, not the cookies, guys.
Out here in Cali, we had the company holiday lunch yesterday. The lunch was in lieu of the killer parties we've had in past years. It was still fun and a little wild. We just can't help ourselves because though the event was scaled down dramatically, they still opened the bar unlimitedly. That's all brokers need; a little gas for the tank. In fact, the filling up started at the office when one of the top sales guys gave the owners and other big shots each a bottle of Patron. After a couple shots at 10:30 in the morning, you couldn't keep one of the owners off the intercom. That's always fun. He sang a little, talked to individuals over the speakers, said some personal stuff about himself. Then called us all into the conference room. Lindz, Rob and I groaned. When we schlepped into the conference room, thirty paper cups were filled with two inches of Patron. The Intercom Owner handed me a cup and said, "Oh just drink up." I said, "Hell no." He laughed and gave me the smirk he always does. He loves my spunk, he's always telling me. I said, "Yea, spunk this." He laughed harder.
Margaritas were pounded at a record pace at the restaurant. Rob and I bet the over-under on how many drinks certain people would have at lunch. I bet over four, but four was the most consumed in the hour and a half. I hate losing a bet! One guy ordered a rum & coke and he was immediately interrogated as to why he didn't get a high-end Margarita. He said, "I'm just keeping it real," which is a ridiculous thing to hear from a 30 year old guy. Another broker yelled across the room, "Yea, real high school!" Oh we're a funny bunch. One sales guy asked a buyer what the word "arroz" was on the menu. He said, "What's this 'aarrr-zz'?" Oh my man, we fell over on that one. I said, "Hey, what do Spanish Pirates eat? AARRRR-zzz.!"
The drinks loosened the lips of many. The most damaging thing that was tossed out there like a moldy brick was the fact that one of the owner's hair-brained ideas was costing the company tons of money. One guy slurred to another, "Just take a guess at how much money we lost in this deal so far?" He was tapping the back of his hand on the other guy's arm, "JUST GUESS!" he yelled. I bet you didn't guess $800k. Because I surely didn't. Rob and I eyeballed each other from across the table and our lips curled up. "I didn't need to hear that," he said quietly. I said loud enough, "Well, that's where our party and bonus went. Great, thanks!" One of the guys involved in the deal yelled over, "Next year, we'll be taking you guys to Hawaii for Christmas! As soon as everything hits." "I've heard that before," I said. "Until then, you'll be riding on all of our backs as usual. Awesome!" They laughed. Oh, they love my spunk.
Then a flying napkin fight commenced which evolved into an intra-table sugar packet war. Good thing there was no music pumping over the speakers or table surfaces would've been cleared, and god knows what would've happened.
Sigh. I told Mitch this morning, as I tell Rob and Lindz all the time, I appreciate him and our partnership. The three of them are some of the finest folks I've ever worked with so that keeps me going. I also told Mitch that I've got nothing else on the horizon so I should just shut my damn mouth and remain thankful for what I have.
Happy Holidays almost!