Monday, September 18, 2006

back from connecticut

well, i'm back home safe and sound from connecticut. the road signage continued to be woefully inadequate at almost all times. the interstate freeways themselves, because they are under federal guidelines, were adequately marked. however, getting onto them from the state and local roads was occasionally a very dicey game.

yesterday was the gay pride parade in dallas and i rode my motorcycle. i'd affixed a texas flag and a us/pride flag to the back. my girlfriend had attached a us flag and a banner for her motorcycle club, so we got to lead the group out with our flag display. i picked up a passenger. she was some cute kid who had turned 19 just the day before and had ALWAYS wanted to ride on a motorcycle, etc. her girlfriend rode along as a passenger with my girlfriend, so that was some nice symmetry. it was slick and rainy and there was junk all over the street that various floats ahead of us had tried to toss at the crowd and then missed. how you could throw and miss a wall of people 4 feet from you, i don't know. but i assure you, there was plenty of flotsam atop the oil slick atop the water-slick streets. it made some of those parade maneuvers a bit scary. it was my first time carrying a passenger, and i was terrified that i might drop the bike in a turn or hit a string of beads just as i was braking down a hill and slide right into the antique car in front of me. anyway, i survived. and photos seem to indicate i was smiling:
I'm smiling!
that's me out front looking at the camera. in the vee between my flagpoles you can see my girlfriend laughing out loud at something. now, back to the trash on the street question - how can you throw something at a crowd like that and MISS?!?!
here's another picture. it's a little blurry, but it's got a much better angle:
it rained on us all day long, which was a mixed blessing. the temperature was cooler than our daytime average, but then... we were all wearing wet underwear and socks. really, nothing dampens my mood quite like wet socks and underwear. hunger and cold can make me really cranky, but for general mood funk - wet socks and underwear are the ultimate trigger.

the photographer noted that she'd never seen my hair braided up like that before. it's really just gotten long enough for that quite recently, since i'm growing it out again after having donated it to Locks Of Love. i think i've only worn it braided 4 times this year. braiding my own hair is one of those phenomenally useful skills i picked up along the way rather by accident and didn't appreciate the value of until well after the fact. the other two skills i count in that way are typing and the "roll step".

i rebelled against taking typing when my mom "suggested" it my freshman year of high school. "but moooooom! i'm not going to be a secretary, i don't need typing!" you almost have to be a freshman in high school with no understanding of how an office works to comprehend how much scorn i heaped on the words 'secretary' and 'typing'. needless to say, i've used my typing skills nearly every day since then and couldn't be more grateful to my mother for insisting that i learn.

the "roll step" is something you learn in the marching band. it's a way of placing your heel and of rolling your weight along the outside of your foot as you walk so you don't jounce along and break your teeth off with the mouthpiece of your musical instrument. if you like coffee, and have ever tried to walk back to your desk with a hot mugful, you realize the application immediately. until i made the ridiculous mistake of trying to wear women's dress shoes that matched my business attire better than they matched my lifestyle, i never spilled hot coffee on my fingers as i passed through the office. the "roll step" requires a reasonably flexibly-soled shoe with a relatively low heel on it. a glorious open-toed black franco santo with a 2" heel on it does NOT work with the roll step.

the hair braiding thing i owe to the air force academy. my hair is a giant mop which is not, under even the best of conditions, militarily uniform. nobody has the time or inclination to braid their roommate's hair every day, so my roommate showed me basically how she did her own and left me to adapt the technique for myself. i practiced a lot while reading history texts and eventually my hair got long enough and i got good enough. again, it's something i've used so often since then that i can't begin to imagine getting through my rugby career, my surveying jobs, or my professional career as an alarm-over-sleeper without it.


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a question of "missing" when you throw things into that crowd. I think with the number of hands all surging towards the precious nickel's worth of beads, it acts as sort of a paddle that bats them back into the street. Although, I will admit that some of the "tossing" was really weak. The worst of them? Surprisingly the people on the softball float. Hmmmm......
Also, where I was standing, the gentlemen on the third floor balcony were throwing stuff down to the people on the street.

Anonymous said...


You are so much fun!! You should sell your words by the pound, you know. . .

I love you. Can't wait for a chance to actually sit & visit. My lunch plans firmed up today and I'm having dinner with Will tonight, but I'll try to call you this evening.