Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Today I got up and brushed aside any thought that I did not want the day to begin.

I did not begin the morning with writing a blog post.

I did not go for a morning walk. I ran instead and on a different path.

I immediately mailed a package that had to go out east.

I went shopping for a gift. You have no idea how hard it is to get myself to do that.

Thankfully, we have Little Luxuries on State Street. Still, what to get...

Madison July 05 166 the person is really into tea, so maybe these tea tiles?

Madison July 05 167 She's really in love with New York...

Madison July 05 168 ...and she has just come back from London.

No, I think I found something better. All wrapped up now. Only it doesn't quite fit in Mr. B's pouch.

Madison July 05 175
(BTW, I seriously think disloyal Mr. B has a crush on that red thing there, in the photo. He's looking all modest and shy, but really, I think it's all about her now. Ah well, he'll come crawling back when Ms. Crimson turns up her red nose and heads in the opposite direction)

The entire time I was in my office I did not turn on the computer.

On the way home I did not pick up a bottle of wine for dinner.

I took out all the mail from the mailbox, not just the stuff that looked potentially interesting.

I even opened mail that had little windows on the envelope.

I broke down with my habit breaking resolve when the afternoon light started fading. You guessed it, I biked down, as usual, for this:

Madison July 05 178
a late latte

the competitive spirit and the edge of capitalism

I would not make a good capitalist: I never caught that overwhelming desire to beat out the other guy in the marketplace. The more, the better! Oh, you’re better at this work stuff than I am? Good, good! Let me watch you excel! I’m all for excellence. I hate mediocrity in work life, social life.

But then we come to sports and games. Here, I play to win. If someone is likely to beat me, then I wont play, I’ll change sports, games, anything, but I will not sit there and watch someone overtake me.

It has been a struggle these past weeks dealing with the hot shooters on bikes who routinely pass me. With their bulging body parts tightly held together by a stretchy fabrics, they whiz by and leave Mr. B and me in their sweaty trail. I make a point of speeding when I sense one of them behind me, but on hills, I am a mere a shadow of their might. So I avoid hills.

I read Tonya’s account of playing War and I was with her all the way: do not surrender, no, keep at it! Beat the brains out of that little squirt (even though he is your sweet son).

Another one: when someone unfairly beat me at chess recently, I subsequently spent nearly an entire overseas flight figuring out my strategy, just in case in the next decade or so I’ll find myself again in a game of chess with someone.

And I read how the two blogging runners are now comfortable at five mile runs. Whaaat??? Damn! Gotta up my own circuit so that I am at 5.5. Never mind that I am almost twice the age of one and my leg length falls four inches short of hers and his (I pay attention to these things!), so that I have to take more steps. And I have post-war-baby-tortured-by-pneumonia lungs. Resolve: add more hills, walk less, run more, feel better.

What’s with me anyway? If I ski with someone, I wont admit that I don’t much care for black diamond hills – I’ll hit the ice-covered slope and close my eyes. I’ve broken my nose doing stupid things on skis and I gave my once-little girls a total Clue complex by always always playing to win and gloating when I beat them at it, even though they were like 5 and 8 and I was 36.

I’m sure it’s all tied up with my displacement, abandonment, and uncertainty about life. I’m sure years of analysis would not help. Somewhere along the way I must have concluded that if I don’t push myself, if I don't figure out a clever strategy, my plate will be empty while everyone slurps down the last bits of cake. I'll lie deserted in the gutter, feeble in mind and body and rot.

So, off I go to pick up that extra half mile. Oh, and I beat the crap out of a racing biker this afternoon on the South West trail.