Saturday, November 7, 2015

not as conservative as I used to be...

 A group of 15 from work went to a Chinese restaurant last week to say farewell to some friends. We all ordered a dish and shared them on the lazy susan.  There were a few Chinese people in the group, so some dishes weren't familiar to me.  One is particular looked a bit like a translucent sponge.  I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't try it.

Day after day we plead with the kids to eat the [generally delicious] food on their plates.  The current list of non-eaten foods includes marinara sauce for spaghetti, any soup, any stir-fry, most vegetables, and so on.  So there I was (without them, it should be noted) and I ate only what I wanted.  But in my defense, there were about 7 other dishes that I tried.  I was a bit full when I learned that the dish was cow tendon.  So maybe not so gross.  But why eat meat-like products when meat is available, right?

 At the end of the meal, about 1/3 of the food remained.  I was happy to walk away and let it be thrown away.  But a number of us decided to box it and take it home.  Perhaps because I'm in middle age, but experiences like this are jolting me lately with the question:  how did I end up here?

In this case, I wondered, how is it that I'm much less conservative than my coworkers?  After a bit of self-reflection, I have my answer.  The kids have done their utmost to grind it out of me.  We put food on their plates in the hope that they'll try it.  They don't.  I request them to try it.  They don't.  I say, why don't you try some?  They generally don't.  I say, how about eating 3 bites?  They eventually try 1.  Then I have to decide if 1 bite is enough [to get dessert later, my only negotiating chip] or if I want to push for all 3.  Sometimes a child takes a bite but something is wrong with the food so she spits it out.

And we do this every night.  For years now.  There is no end in site.  So I'm calloused about throwing away food.

Maybe you're wondering if this attitude has affected our home energy usage?  Well, I'm much less passionate about it than I was.  So I'm currently not pushing hard.  However, I think we're still doing okay, as this month's data shows.

 For the last 3 months I owned only 2 bikes (for me, plus the tandem).  I sold one of my 1980s Treks to a student through craigslist.  While perusing same list recently, I saw a bike that spoke to me.  It was loud, it was funky, and it was cheap.  It can fit pretty large 26" mtn bike tires.  So I could ride this cheaper bike when the roads are lousy and salty, leaving the fancy blue bike to remain clean in the garage.

I waited about a week before contacting the seller.  Was it still available?  You bet.  So within the hour I was driving it home.  Within a week, I took off some parts and put my spares on, plus some new barend shifters.  Behold, the purple GT:
 The frame is purple (like Clara's and Janny's.  Only Jill doesn't have a purple bike now).  So are the stem, platform of the rear rack, and the bottle cage.  I put some neon bar tape that Jill had hand-colored about 10 years ago.
Call me shallow or materialistic, but I went from dreading the upcoming winter to looking forward to it.  Ride on!