Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The wind commenced blowing one day in February and has not stopped. The juniper started blooming around the same time. So, besides the pollen which has saturated everything i own including the pillows where I rest my weary head, the wind has blown in piles of fine dust and has prevented any serious biking or hiking, or walking that one would normally do when the temperatures rise and the sun comes out. If I want to continue to eat pasta at this rate, then I will have to break down and go to the gym for the next few weeks until spring rage passes.

Here's the grand pronouncement of the day: I'm going to ride in the Santa Fe Century, a 100 mile bike ride in north central NM. No, I'm not going to ride the whole thing, probably the 25 or 50 mile loop. We'll see how the gym thing goes.

Just like any hobby there is a wide variety of very expensive bike accessories and gadgets. Since I'm really just getting into cycling I don't want to spend a lot of money to keep up with the cool kids. Sure, I'd like to have the super comfy harlot-wear padded, non spandex shorts and some izumi shoes and a nice camelback hydration pack but I'm also not going to drop several hundred bucks all at once. A few weeks ago, when I declared my midlife crisis on facebook, a friend recommended a red Buell bike instead of a MGB convertible. Wise advice.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Notes on Houston

Mockingbirds in the spreading branches of the Live Oaks. Their ever changing song competes with the tropical notes of the grackles. There are layers of sound in the fog. I have strong coffee and watch the sparks tumble down the concrete from the construction site across the street. Later, I learn that coffee protects the liver from cirrhosis. This is good.

1927 recording of Gershwin playing the piano for Rhapsody in Blue while I write this in my hotel room. More longing in the opening clarinet notes than I've ever heard. It would be a good soundtrack for the exhibition hall; the medical people being wooed by the sales reps.

First dinner on the patio this year; humid breeze, cigarette smoke, happy hour beer. We toasted Erika's engagement and our first meeting in a year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

If ya can't get love, have pasta and red wine

and jazz.

I'm off to Houston on Wednesday for continuing education. I haven't actually put my suitcase away from the last trip. Don't call it laziness, call it efficiency. All I have to do is throw some underwear and an iron into the bag. And my other stuff...

Wanda is going to be upset with me, but I think traveling is going to save my sanity this year. It such a great thing to be able to move freely about the country. This is the first time in my life that I've had the income to be able to travel without giving anything else up, like eating and paying rent.

I'll be meeting up with my lovely friends from PA school Alicia and Erika. That's going to be fabulous. I haven't seen Alicia since graduation and Erika since late summer (even though we work for the same company).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shakin' the Groove Thang

Salsa dance classes started a couple of days ago! Hooray for Adam, my dear friend and dance in structor and his very non-white-guy-from-Vermont hip shakin'. Seriously though, it's really good to get out of the house in the evenings, be with other humans, and move my body. I was starting to talk to myself and pretend that Wanda the wonder-shepherd was talking back. Not good.

The interesting thing about dance class is that there is one man; the intrepid Vince, a friend from PA school and now work. Why are men apprehensive about dancing and/or learning
to dance? There is nothing sexier than a man who knows how to lead on the dance floor. That sort of confidence and intimacy leads to other types of confidence and intimacy. If you know what I mean. Most women love dancing and are willing to look silly to learn how to salsa, ballroom, electric slide (well, maybe..) or two step.

I think men get impatient with learning and intimidated because it can look complicated. It's really not. Like most things, if broken down into the basics, dancing is not difficult. It does require surrender, though. Surrender to music, rhythm and a certain level of emotional intimacy. This can be scary. See "Dating Rule #2.

To me, skiing is scary. Riding a porch swing without a seat belt high up over a bunch of ice and snow followed by hurtling down a steep hill at high speeds while balanced on two waxed sticks. Um, right. Even while wearing heels, the odds of an injury more serious than a mashed toe are pretty low. However, I know some pretty athletic and graceful men who ski on a regular basis and are very good at it who are terrified of the hardwood. And by that I mean the dance floor. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Men have no idea how many romance points they get for knowing how to dance. Even making the effort and being able to laugh at yourself for missing a step will make your girl happy. And if the girl is happy...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Trails

Tuesday I attended the funeral of my father's older brother, David "Dutch" Baumeister in Paxton, Nebraska. He died last week at home, surrounded by his wife, children, and brothers. His wife, Joanne, did everything in her power to make his passing easy and painless. I wish I had some photos of him to share.

My Dad is the extrovert of the three brothers who grew up on that northern prairie. He's always cut his own path, tilted windmills, and talked a blue streak. Uncle Dave was darn close to silent. He kept his thoughts close and didn't like being the center of attention. But he was the bass player in a band and restored classic cars. He and my father exchanged pictures and sculptures of birds; Dad likes ducks and Dave collected eagles. All over the house that he and Joanne shared were eagles, soaring over rivers, mountains, and trees. He was a quiet romantic.

David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a month ago. He carefully considered his funeral arrangements. His meticulously restored cars were to be in the procession from the church to the cemetary. The music he chose was singular; "Ghost Riders in the Sky", "Ring of Fire", "Kalijah", "Islands in the Stream". All his favorites.

The church was packed with family. There aren't many Baumeister's left but my grandmothers family, the Emme cousins, were all present. My youngest brother Aaron was a pallbearer. Its so strange to see him as an adult; father, husband, and man. I brought Katie along. She hadn't met that side of the family before. My father drove Dave's pickup and his son in law drove the chevy convertible down the main street of Paxton to the cemetary. The American Legion Honor Guard gave a 21 gun salute that startled us all.

The next few hours we spent in the basement of the Lutheran church. The Ladies auxiliary had prepared a midwestern spread of ham, scalloped potatoes and green jello salad with plenty of iced tea. No Lutheran luncheon is complete without green jello salad and iced tea.

A funeral is as good as a family reunion. Cousins and family freinds who hadn't seen each other in years were telling stories and catching up. Katie played with my nephew, EJ. Both of them were gorgeous and charming. My stepmother, Kay was gracious and definitely out of her element. It was just so much fun to watch.
So thanks, Dave, for bringing us all back together on a grey Tuesday. I think it was exactly the party you would have wanted.