Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Many Moods of January (In Only Two Weeks)

Winter didn’t arrive in Cincinnati till almost the second week of January and I made the most out of the first fourteen days of the year. Even with the unseasonably warm weather we only managed to get one bike ride in. It was not a long ride, nor an exceptionally eventful one, but a ride just the same.

During the first two weeks of the year the “mood-o-meter” around my house pegged at both extremes, exuberance and despair. OK, maybe not that dramatic, but let’s just go through the ups and downs one at a time.

You know from my previous post that we hailed in the New Year with a wedding. Having the whole family in town to croon Auld Lang Syne at midnight was a treasure to behold. We celebrated with the Bride and Groom, taking full advantage of the open bar. Overall, the feeling on January 1st was jubilant, albeit very sluggish.

January 2nd wasn’t so jubilant. As a matter of fact it took a major downturn when we went to fix a leak in the ceiling only to find the stack pipe corroded along the entire horizontal section. The house is over 100 years old and we don’t know when the plumbing was added. Between the house shifting over the years, the shoddy pluming work, and sitting vacant for several winters, water had apparently pooled in the old cast iron pipe and, well the rest is history… I will spare you what the bathroom looked like after he pulled the pipe and just show you the pipe itself.

January 3rd was a Sunday and covered a range of emotions. My mom, who had adored Mary, the
Blessed Mother, had passed away in 2015. As a sort of tribute I have been going to St. Mary’s Church to keep a candle lit as a vigil to her. The Church was beautifully decorated for Christmas so this Sunday’s Mass was a glorious yet solemn affair. Per our traditional ritual during the season we bid God and Mom fairwell for the week and headed to Taft’s Ale House for football. Our Bengals were triumphant and on to the play-offs.

After Sunday the week fell in line with post-holiday humdrums. Even though the temperatures were tolerable, the days were too short to delight in any cycling after work. Instead, all I could do was watch and re-watch my year in Strava. 

Friday, January 8th was an up day and the office crowd was all abuzz about the record PowerBall lottery jackpot. Everyone had different plans for when we won our riches. Rescuing dogs, buying cars, and building estates to name a few. The heavy burden of buying the office numbers fell on me. How could I face my colleagues if I failed to pick the winning ticket? Fortunately I was spared the agonizing embarrassment because, once again, there was no winning ticket sold. Read all about it on our company blog here.

January 9th was another day that covered the spread of the meter. In the late morning the weather was pleasing so Velo Junkie and I went for a ride. The nice weather also brought out the tailgating camps around Paul Brown Stadium. People had begun consuming alcoholic beverages at 1:00 for an 8:00 game. Oy vey.

I reluctantly ventured downtown and across the river to Carabello’s Coffee. Honestly I was worried about the hordes of football tailgaters we might encounter downtown. Much to my dismay, my fear was confirmed when a large group of disrespectful, jersey-clad, inconsiderate, party-goers crossed the street against the light, forcing Velo and I to brake in order to avoid a collision. Luckily, my super-hero reflexes kicked in and the catastrophe was thwarted.

I rode the Salsa with my new, shiny fenders because there was still a bit of standing water about. We had a peaceful lunch before heading back when we came across a herd of wooly mammoths gracefully grazing on the side of the road.

After an uneventful yet enjoyable ride Velo and I needed to eat dinner and get ready for the evening. We had tickets for the Bengals’ game against the Steelers. The weatherman was predicting heavy rain and falling temps. Good thing we have a cycling wardrobe for all weather of which several layers fit nicely under the team gear.

The game started slow. The mood turned dark when the Steeler’s scored. There was a whole lot of hugging and yelling when the Bengal’s moved ahead. Ultimately the game was decided by the officials, the Bengals were out of contention, and we were drenched to the bone. 

January 11th cast a melancholy mood across the globe when we found out The Goblin King had passed from this life. R.I.P. Mr. Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, and your many other personas.

January 12th was no brighter. The world is full of heartless idiots and, try as we may, we sometimes cannot impart compassion. My state has no recourse for animals left chained in the cold. With temperatures dipping into the single digits I tried to get this man to take his dog in. I contacted the SPCA who paid him a visit. I lay awake that night praying for his poor, freezing pup and gave each of my pups an extra hug. I can only presume he took his poor pit bull in because he survived the night. My sister saw him back out on his chain the next day.

January 13th – Nine years ago today I met Velo Junkie, my partner in life, love, and cycling. He has a way of making me laugh. And, even though I wonder what I did to deserve this crazy person, he always serenades me with some romantic ballad of which he has morbidly twisted the words.

Tonight was no exception:
(To the tune of “Danny’s Song”)

Even though our eggs are runny
Doesn’t mean our food is funny 
Tell me every day our bread is gonna be all white

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