Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Blacksburg to Boston

Tomorrow marks 3 weeks since I've moved from Blacksburg, VA to the Boston area. Before the move, I sat down & made a list of the pros/cons of each area. No sense in moving on if its not going to make you happy. A little snippet:

Blacksburg Positives:
Peaceful* minus shootings/guns
No traffic
Great Bike Riding
Youthful feel
Natural Scenery/beautiful with college town life
Cost of Living is inexpensive
4 hour drive to families
laid back
ability to save money & travel due to cost of living
walk to downtown in safety/stumble home
friends here
simplicity of life/ easy routine

Boston Positives:
The Phillipi
Cultural center
food options
public transportation
progressive politics
Major sports venue
Wandering ability
Entertainment options/music
Abundance of townships
Bike exploring
Bike riding easier/flatter
Better economy/more stable due to city
More educational options
More job options
Closeness to major airport
Diverse Culture/people
Water/ocean beauty
Cultural identity
Tons o bike shops
Novelty of new accents
Ice Hockey
Bike commuting

Blacksburg Negatives:
Rednecks/Jesus lovers/dumbasses
Conservative politics
Limited career opportunities
"island effect" of Blacksburg
Distance to major metro area
Limited ethnic food options
transient college population
repetitive entertainment
lack of diverse culture
Good Ol' Boy culture
Love of guns to the extreme

Boston Negatives:
Sensory overload - sounds, smells
Cost of living
bike riding stop & go
winter / short days
faster pace lifestyle
population density
Distance from WV/Travel
Distance from families
Commuting to work

20 days into the transition & I've logged close to 300 miles on the pedal bike already. I figured the riding would be difficult at best do to some super aggressive drivers, but my preconceptions are totally unwarranted. So far everyone has been very polite, courteous, and even very helpful. It seems having thousands of people on bikes makes drivers used to seeing & dealing with cyclists. Of course we'll see what happens when spring comes and the warm weather lowers the car windows of hatred. Just like the first robin of spring, as a cyclist you anticipate the first "get off the road faggot" yell, as lowered windows compels drivers to share their opinions with all who will listen.

Until then I will continue to enjoy Global Warming & the upper 40 degree weather of the Northeast. See you on the bike path, it's WICKED AWESOME !

Monday, November 01, 2010


Fall time blowing around the leaves & thoughts of old times past.
The cooling end of warm bike rides and the need for more clothes begins to creep in.
This time of year I wane the present and draw nostalgic.
Today with the crisp, dry air on my face I dreamed back to days of shortcuts.

The shortcut that reminds me of these days gone by is a small walkway behind my old middle school. The shortcut was a couple of railroad tie steps that led through an opening in the chainlink fence. Without this shortcut you would have to walk blocks to get to the connector street that the shortcut accessed. A perfect shortcut. A true timesaver, especially when you are only 13 and can't yet drive.

But if you really know me, the car is not my heartfelt mode of transportation. That pinnacle rests on trusty two triangles and two circles, the bicycle.
Once I discovered a shortcut by bike, my world got bigger and easier all at once.
Exploring by bike to find these shortcuts became an exciting adventure.

Travel up the dead-end looking Marion Ave and discover a small gravel cut that connects blacktop to sidewalk. When you are 13 years old and discover a whole new neighborhood, the discoveries just keep on growing. New streets look like foreign lands, both exhilarating and unknown.

Or travel up Belleview Ave and try to pedal the steep dirt path that connected to the high school saving a ride around the loop and a good 5 minutes time.

All these shortcuts, now 20 years old in my mind, are as fresh as the first day my old Nike's or old Huffy Sigma bike traveled over them.

So why the reminiscing about shortcuts? It could be that I have been talking to friends from 20 years ago and the fall time brought about two-hand touch football and the great times we had. Walking or biking to games as a group of best friends, shrouded in our beautiful ignorance of youth, not aware of what 20 years in the future would be like.

Or maybe the shortcuts I so cherished are a symbol to where life takes you. Sure, there are shortcuts in the game of life. Some truly timesavers, some leading to new horizons, some leading to dead-ends and a need to turn back around and reassess your position.

Some days I get lost in my thoughts of all those great years gone by. I think of getting in the car to travel back to my hometown Butler and getting on the bike to find my old shortcuts.

Of course I won't be travelling these roads alone. Like 20 years ago, walking in those old Nike's with my best friends Tom, Mike, and Rob, now I am also accompanied by my new best friend... and future wife. We'll cut down the gravel sidewalk, maybe have to hop a fence, and I'll tell her stories of fun times long past. I'll hold her hand while we walk up the steep dirt path by Belleview Ave.
I'll show her the old Butler High School and then walk on to the middle school. We'll walk around the building, and there it will be...the old railroad tie steps leading to the opening in the fence. The shortcut that brought all the memories back today. I'll smile and we'll walk the long way home, content in the thought that not all of life needs a shortcut when all you need is right beside you.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet July

A little over one day to go and July 2009 passes on into memories. Enduring this month of massive change has been my only goal and with less than 36 hours to go I think I'll make it through.
A quick recap:
Matt & Rhonda, my two bestest friends in Blacksburg move to Boston to start their careers (good luck ya chowda-heads!)
I spent an amazing week in london with Becky.
I spent 5 great days mountain biking with friends in West Virginia.
I spent over 3 great weeks with Nanda hiking and just chilling around town.
I had various weekend excursions to visit some friends and spend quality time talking and reconnecting.
I talked to friends from High School that I haven't spoken to in years.

All seems well and good, but yet as my Sweet July closes, I can't help but think how sad I am to see the times end with such dear friends. Yet I do not need to regurgitate all that was said in my previous post, instead I find it funny that my Sweet July has indeed been hijacked by my subconscious thoughts of Sweet November.

Over a month ago I watched Sweet November, yes, yes, that girly movie with Keanu Reeves & Charlize Theron. I can't believe I am admitting that in public, but sure the Capt. does have a soft spot for a sappy movie & and a good cry once in awhile. I can't always be the awesome ass-kicker I am, as I do have an emotional river buried deep inside, and only those with a special compass can find the way to sail down its caring current.

So with all the changes that July would bring, the joke was that this will be "Sweet July". Except I thought there would be role reversals & I would be Charlize Theron (man, if I was her I'd never get myself out of the shower) and Nanda & all my friends who are moving on in life would be Keanu, cause obviously like Keanu they must lack mental processing power since they are leaving Blacksburg and me! So like Charlize I would show them the errors of their life, shower them with love and good times, and they would by their own inclination, change their lives. OK, that's just a brief synopsis, really go watch the movie. (Maybe drink a bottle of wine, put on some candles, and get Enya on the music player; not that's what I do or anything. Just saying.)

So during the whole lunar cycle of July, my heart was slowly opening to the changes all my friends have shown to me. I became Keanu, except not as dumb, (though not by much), and maybe a touch not as sexy, but I'll leave that for you to decide; though I was quite the piece of eye candy when Becky & I went to Club Infinity, but that's a whole nother story. I have opened my heart to a even more sappier and caring side (what, how can this be possible you may be thinking, I mean come on, you were watching chic flics before you were "sappier", so now by that vein of thinking you are on the verge of getting your Man Card revoked).

True, True. But I still appreciate all I have learned. As much as I feel the need to vent that I miss my friends once they move on, that my heart feels like it is sitting on death row waiting for its excution at the end of July, I know that even though I may be losing the ability to see them in town, I can't lose the lesson.

My Lesson is simple, it's not anything new that has never been said before. It's simply tell the people in your life that you love them. That no matter how much you get lost in the sauce of the daily grind, their smile, their touch, their jokes, their laughs, their cries; they all truly mean something. Maybe not at that moment, but later someone will think about that moment and smile. Giving up control is what I learned. No matter how much I don't want life to change and people to move on, it's going to happen. I'm not saying its ever easy to deal with that loss, but remember don't lose the lesson.

Open the wine, get out the tissues, and have a good cry.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One Month and Many Lives Lived

One month since I last visited this time waste called the blog. In a span of a month I went to London, Bruxelles, Blur Concert at Hyde Park, crashed on the pavement, bid farewell to my two best friends from Blacksburg, dorked out on a Scooter, spent 5 days Mountain Biking in WV, and other numerous activities I cannot dispel to the public. Yes, I've been busy & rightly slow. Going into it, I knew the month of July is going to be a test and so far I'd say I'm getting a solid "B-" on it in keeping my head above water.

The Test is keeping myself from sliding into a slump of self-pity over the pain of life's changes & how it hurts when friends move on in their lives. Already I've had to say goodbye to Matt "Stickado" and his wife Rhon"DD"a, my two best friends when they lived in Blacksburg. Now that they are gone, I feel a large piece of me is missing. I always knew that I loved both of them, dearly not queerly, and the day that they would move on in life would be a total suckfest. That day has now come and gone, and the suckfestness has become apparent. I miss you Phillipi'.

Seeing good friends at the 2009 Slatyfork Shuffle in WV is always a good pick me up. My buddy Pat helped put it all in perspective like only he can. We were talking about life changes (he & his wife just had a baby girl 16 months ago), about my relationships with women, and how I seem to be to emotionally focused on the lows, like I prefer the comfort of sorrow.

As we sat on a picnic table in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest drinking beers Pat, in his aged wisdom said:
"So let me get this straight Dan? You are a single guy that just got back from Europe. You have heart pains cause the women you like are not readily available. You have pictures of you smiling with beautiful women at all these amazing places you go. I'm not saying marriage isn't great, but really, be careful what you wish for."

And the way Pat lifted his one eyebrow as he said "be careful what you wish for" was the sign of a married man politely telling the young, single man, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT?!?!?! Touche' old friend, touche'!

Still, I do miss all those who I can not be with. This has been a great month and a month of growing changes. So to all my friends who waste 5 minutes of their lives to read this babble, I do think of you all & I love you all.

Monday, June 15, 2009

By The Power of Grayskull...

I have the Power.
If you don't know where that's from, you are too young to be reading this!

Just like the homo-erotic cartoon that was He-Man, I too have the power, well at least for 10 seconds. I better be more clear, 10 seconds in cycling, not in the bedroom ladies, that's more like 44 second power.

Who Wants to Grab My Sword?
This weekend after a nice 3 day beer & tequila induced rest, I finally got my butt back on the road bike. Not to sound proud at all, but I have been feeling good on the bike. My diet has me hovering right at 150 pounds, full of leafy green goodness and fish & pasta. My natural fruit protein smoothies are a nice substitute for fat ass ice-cream & they taste oh so yummy. I'll share my power protein with you.

Buy 1 pound of fresh strawberries (about $1.50 fresh vs $4 for frozen strawberries). Freeze the strawberries. Once frozen add 5 ounces of fresh frozen strawberries, 1 cup of low fat Probiotic yogurt (whatever flavor you like), 3 ounces of Homestead Creamery Milk, and 1 scoop of Designer Whey Vanilla Protein. Blend in the Blender (add ice if you want more like an ice cream consistency) and enjoy! Pretty soon you'll have 10 second power capable of blowing by Cat 2 monkeys while still being an alcoholic Cat 4! Who says you can't have your cake & eat it too! (Well don't eat cake fat ass, you're supposed to be a cyclist, eat a smoothie). At least this way you can rationalize all the alcohol you drink.

So back to gay He-Man. I've been mountain biking a lot lately & it has helped my with my leg speed, spinning madly up muddy mountains. So this translates nicely to the road, spinning up those gears like you would in the forest on short power climbs were you still need to remain seated to apply even, fast pressure to the pedals.

So after 3 days of heavy boozing and one day of recovery, I managed to put out my highest 10 second power to date, 1182 watts for 10sec. Some lightweight "Climber" jokers would be happy to see 1182W as their instantaneous max power. My fat ass has now held that for 10 seconds. That's enough power to run a vibrator for 30 minutes *
*(not confirmed)

1339W max, 1182W 10 seconds... all the more reason to not tow my fat, wheel-sucking ass to the line.

Friday, June 12, 2009

No No, You're Doing it Wrong

I may be going to Hell in a Bucket, but at least I'm enjoying the ride.

Tonight the Capt found himself back at the Floyd Country Store where clogging & flat foot dancing are the name of the game. All it takes is a big smile (fueled by booze) and you can meet all ages of nice ladies. I danced with a nice lady with questionable dentistry, Rhon"DD"a, and a nice lady who tried to undo my two left feet & teach me how to Two Step.

And then it dawned on me... I'm doing"it" all wrong. All the nights spent in downtown Blacksburg hitting on clueless college girls was wrong. There are plenty of good, old fashioned country ladies who can appreciate a cocky guy from NJ & the Marines. Seems to be a good combination of testosterone and sexual innuendo.

Yet, through all the clever banter and cheesy smile, I know at the end of the night I still am a semi old fashioned guy. So I go home and follow the Vincent Vega method of ending the night with some morals.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Doors school of love

After weeks of slacking I dragged my sorry ass back to yoga. My legs, back, shoulders have become so tight after not stretching for over a month & I have started to feel the ill effects on the bike. After a winter of yoga twice a week, I felt more balanced & stronger on the bike. But with the warm weather I wanted to ride more than before muscle maintenance & in one short month my body went to imbalanced hell. So I go back to yoga....and remember why the hell I liked going so much.

Sure the stretches & poses feel good, but thats not the reason. Nope, its the hot as girls and women in class. I finally spoke with my yoga dream girl, though the conversation was more a friendly formality than the envisioned coolness I thought it would be. Somewhere over the course of my aging 10 years, I lost the easy game I had back in school & college. Being schooled in the Jim Morrison school of love was much easier when I was carefree & young. My pick-up line was some stoner smile, rock n' roll, and booze. It worked quite well.

Somewhere responsibility, work, & maturity have sucked the fun out of the old Capt_phun. I used to not give a fuck, I still kind of don't, but not with the reckless abandonment & sexual prowess I used to purvey. Which leads me to some thoughts. I need to either:
A) start drinking more
b) start drugging more
c) hit myself in the head with a hammer till I have the mental awareness of the carefree 22 year old I used to be
d) start drinking more
e) just throw it out there with the ladies & stop fearing rejection
f) start drinking & drugging more simultaneously

I think I'll go with all of the above, minus C.

I know one thing. I need to go back to summer school, summer school of The Doors that fueled that confident romantic that used to be a charmer. Old friends from back in the day can attest to the drunken skills I used to have... so Jim where have they gone? I recall the easier days when the conversations were as simple as you told me they would be. Something along the lines of:
Hey what's your name?
How old are you?
Where'd you go to school?
Well, now that we know each other a little bit better,
Why don't you come over here and make me feel all right!

Oh Gloria, come on back...

You took me home, To your house.
Your father's at work,Y our mama's out shopping around.
Check me into your room. Show me your thing. Why'd you do it baby?
Getting softer--slow it down, softer, get it down. Now you show me your thing.
Wrap your legs around my neck, Wrap your arms around my feet, yeah.
Wrap your hair around my skin.
I'm gonna huh--all right, ok, yeah.
It's getting harder--It's getting too darn fast, etc.
Come on, now, let's get it on. Too late, too late, too late, too late, too late,
Make me feel all right! G-L-O-R-I-A!

doors gloria