Thursday, April 30, 2009


The trees are filling in with green, giving the woods back their mystery. Gone are the winter days where you could look a hundred yards through the trees before the brown of barren tree trunks merged into an impenetrable wall blocking your sight. Now, saplings and branches, heavy with thick wet leaves steal the view just feet from the trail, making us feel like we're hiking through soft tunnels that sway with our passing. Last year's most stubborn and brittle leaves still cling to the highest branches, but are now starting to be pushed aside by new buds. One by one, they give up and release their grasp on their branches, falling into Spring.

We went for a walk last night, chatting here and there, but often just listening to the birds that have returned. A Red-headed Woodpecker flew up out of a bush near the trail, startling us both with his size. Jen paused to pick up a snail, and after looking him over, moved him to the side of the path where he wouldn't get crushed. We walked on, knowing that the storms would roll in the following day, forcing us inside.

They Got Jokes on the Bike Trail

This guy has overseen many of the miles I've ridden. You can find him along the trail just north of the underpass of 161 on the south side of Westerville.

He's handsome, talented, and I'm proud to call him a friend.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I, Bike Ride

I know where the missing neighborhood cat is.

I see single mothers sneaking cigarettes on their balconies in the early morning hours before their children awake.

I break all the spiderwebs stretched across the trail.

I can tell you how many times a couple indulged in safe sex in the Cooper Park parking lot by counting the discarded condoms.

I can tell you about coming out of a patch of trees to find the sun pulling itself over the horizon.

I know all about the chubby people sweating and gasping through their winter weight because I am one of them.

I can tell you that there are at least 7,542 rabbits between Easton and Westerville.

I can show you where young couples sneak into the woods to sit and be together near the river.

I miss the graffiti painted on the trail that told everyone "Kyle is gay!"

I know that there are an inordinate number of shitheads who drink Bud Light Lime and smash their empties on the pavement.

I see ducks swimming in streams not much wider than their own bodies and they seem just as happy there as they do in the largest of lakes.

I can show you where Jen and I found the tiniest snake trying to cross the trail, and how I prodded him out of traffic with my sunglasses.

I know who doesn't bother closing their blinds.

I hate that my bicycle seat has started to squeak because while I can't help looking like a fat guy on a bike, I don't want to sound like it too.

I know what bush he hides behind to sneak phone calls.

I like riding by the animal shelter at dawn and hearing that even there, with all the bored tenants waiting inside, the early morning can bring silence.

I know that the old man in front of me didn't used to have to walk alone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Past is My Future

They say real change isn't possible. We may make minor adjustments, have opinions that grow or shrink with our perspective, but at the core we remain who we have always been. Some would say that we remain what we were always meant to be.

For those of you who know me, you know I'm far from healthy, but I'm working on it. One of the more recent changes I've made was getting more picky about where I buy my meat (insert meat joke here…then insert a meat insertion joke behind it…then insert a meat insertion in the behind joke), and how the animals are treated during their short delicious lives here on Earth. So, last night I head over to The North Market to pick up some chicken and fish. Things were much slower on a Tuesday night than they are when I normally go on Sunday afternoons. At North Market Poultry and Game I got to speak with the guy behind the counter a bit about their farming methods and products, and it was evident immediately that this guy was passionate about what he does.

"OK, that's two chicken breasts split. Anything else, man?" he asked.

"Yeah, do you guys have any ground turkey?"

"Sure do, but it's frozen. Is that cool?"

"Well, what about this ground chicken here?"

"Dude, you've never had the ground chicken from here?"


"Dude, you've got to get this. It's so delicous as burgers, and you can use it instead of ground beef. Plus, it's cheaper than the turkey. Bro, get the chicken."


I liked the guy immediately. He was totalling my order and asked me if I needed eggs. I did, and he grabbed a dozen from the cooler.

"Dude, have you ever had our eggs?"


"Oh man, you're going to love these. You know, when you're baking or cooking or whatever, you can use any eggs you want, but if you're going to just sit and eat an egg…this is the one you want to eat."

His eyes lit up as he talked about the eggs, and it would have been funnier to me if he hadn't been so sincere. He was excited about what they had to offer, and he wanted me to be excited too. Here he was, some guy in his mid to late twenties, long scraggily hair, eyes a bit glazed, letting me know there are "every day eggs" and "special eggs". I had no idea there was such a thing as a "special egg".

He reminded me of characters from another time in my life. I was immediately transported back to being in school, in some stranger's house with two sacks of marijuana sitting on the coffee table in front of me while the dealer talked.

"This is good daily smoke right here. Dependable and smooth. The other here…well, it's more of a weekend smoke. You need to make sure you don't have anywhere to go for awhile if you're going to smoke that."

I always wanted the weekend weed, but never could afford it. It always bugged me that this was the case, and I told myself that when I got older and I had more money I'd only smoke the "weekend weed". That time never came, and I stopped smoking years and years ago.

So, this morning, I stood at the fridge wondering if this random Wednesday was a big enough occasion to indulge in a "special egg". Fuck that, I decided. I'm a middle class white male living in a condo I'll never be able to sell and I spend my days in a cubicle that I can't see over the walls of. I'll never indulge in "weekend smoke" and will have to find other indulgences. If that doesn't rate Special Eggs on a Wednesday, I don't know what does. I may have traded my weed for eggs, but in the end I don't think there's that much difference in the two. I'm such a different person than I was back while I was in school, but I still want the elite purchase.

I cracked two beautiful brown eggs into a Pam covered skillet this morning and felt special.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bike Gang Bitches

I have this program on my blog that notes when someone visits it. It also tells me where the person is from, and how long they were on my site. It's always been cool to me when someone stumbles across my little page and decides it's interesting enough to check out, even if for just a few minutes. Let's be honest, most of the shit here isn't interesting in the least if you don't know me…and even that's a stretch. Most of it's a bit boring.

So, you can imagine how cool I think it is that I now have a regular West Coast reader. Whoever you are, Mr/Mrs California, it's nice to have you along. You can stand proud with my Ohio, Indiana (thanks to Facebook), random Canadian, and steady Minnesota readers.

The other funny thing is that this service I use also tells me if the person came from a search engine, and if they did, what they searched to find me. In addition to band names that I've used (Dead Confederate, Miniature Tigers, etc) and the thing I wrote about the recent death of Lux Interior, the biggest referral to my site has been Google searches for, and I quote, "Bike Gang Bitches".

At what point in your life do you ever sit down and say, "I need more information about Bike Gang Bitches. Where should I look?" I did my own Google search for Bike Gang Bitches, and while I won't go into detail, I will say that I'll never be the same. I can only imagine people's disappointment when they come to my site expecting to be blown away by the massive volume of Bike Gang Bitches material, only to find a blog about me listening to records and washing my dogs.

After seeing some of the other sites out there, I'm disappointed with myself.

So, if you're reading this, and you're not ashamed to be known, drop me a comment to let me know you're around. I'll try to accommodate any reading preference you might have, even if that means including more info on angry half naked women on motorcycles. It'll be tough on me, but I'm here to serve.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Wife and the Roach

Last Halloween, Jen and I did some shopping in one of those Halloween USA stores that pop up in strip malls each September. We picked up a couple of things for her to wear to school, and spent twenty-five hard earned cents on a fake rubber cockroach. Jen quickly admitted that it creeped her out, even though she knew it was fake. In fact, she had a hard time reaching into the bag to pull it out. This, of course, gave me an idea.

When she found roach waiting on her phone when she reached to grab it the next morning, she screamed. I found it on the soap in the shower soon after, and laughed. She found it in the fridge on her favorite salad dressing, and screamed. I found it the next day when I was pouring cereal into a bowl (she swears she washed it), and laughed. This continued, off and on, for months.

A few days ago, I came across the roach, neglected and waiting for some fun. I found a small container of grapes Jen had packed for her lunch, and nestled him into place amongst them so she would come across him later that day at work. She called me that afternoon laughing.

Then, the roach disappeared. I didn't see him for days. Until, that is, the day the following picture was taken. She said she opened it, placed him in with his head poking out, and then sealed him in with a bit of super glue. She's a good wife.

Excuse the blurry pic, but you get the idea.

Monday, April 6, 2009

C'mon People, This Job is Difficult Enough

Winter's Return & Spring's Training

The rain from last week had brought the earthworms out of the soil, and they lay stretched across my parking pad and sidewalk, bloated, drowning, and stinking. Today, the local news said we're expecting snow, and I imagine I'll get home tonight to find white crusted earthworms scattered across the pavement.

The cold weather is supposed to stay a few days just to make room for more rain by the end of the week, so immediately my hopes of bike commuting are gone. Ah's early. The actuality of Spring will finally catch up with the calendar, and when it does, I'll be ready.

Spring was in effect this weekend at least, and we milked it. Saturday we had to go do SAT testing in the morning. I managed to finish reading No Country For Old Men before the first half of the test was over and had to run out to the car for my backup book (another stupid vampire book in the series I can't stop reading). After the testing, we headed to my brother's house to hang out for the afternoon. We wound up taking a hike through their local park that afternoon (that's my brother in the first pic, looking like he's ready to strangle mother nature and curse the sun) and heading out for lunch afterward. It's painfully obvious to me how much worse of shape I'm in than I was just last fall. This fact was demonstrated yet again when we went hiking the next morning down in Hocking Hills (second pic). Still, I survived.

After the hike I went over to The North Market to do some meat shopping and loaded up on some dead cow at Blue's Creek Farm. They were really cool, taking lots of time to answer my questions (animals are free range, free fed, are taken to slaughter weekly and put down using a .22 or stun gun) even though the market was packed. I hit up The Fish Guys for some salmon to grill that night, and then stopped to grab a piece of baklava on my way out. Then it was more shopping before making dinner (the aforementioned salmon along with steamed broccoli and a small spinach salad) and watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in Seven Pounds (not bad).

This morning I had the idea of hiring Kevin Smith to come in and play me for a week since I really can't afford to take a week off right now. If he put on a bald wig, muttered sarcastically and just clicked away at his keyboard and mouse all day, I don't think anyone would notice he's not me. Wonder how much that would set me back?