partial recall

Did you know the College Board publishes several actual full-length SAT tests along with detailed answers and scoring guides, which can be used as practice?

I didn’t.

But, with Keaton in the middle of her senior year college admissions push (holy crap, what?) I started wondering: How well could I score on the SAT if I were to take it today?

So I scrolled through one of the practice exams quickly the other evening while laying in bed. I don’t exactly remember, but I suppose it was always just reading, writing, and math – and there never was science or anything else. I’m pretty sure that I’m only more literate than I was as a highschool senior, so I doubt I’d do too poorly on the reading & writing bit. It’s more a curiosity re: how I’d do on the math part. How much can I remember without having to look things up? Y’know.

I might do it. That’s the kind of spare time I have again and I love it.

longtime foe

I’ve written about it before, but intentional exercise, with a simple goal of, well, exercising, has always been an odd tar pit for me.

I feel all two left feet, like I know nothing, like I’m the most stupid beginner, uncoordinated without hope of improving. Might as well be dancing – the way it’s intimidating and I’m pretty certain un-learnable for me. Because I feel like I’m doomed to doing it wrong, I doubt its efficacy.

The only way I’ve ever been able to successfully translate exercise into improvements in fitness if when I keep it dead-easy: simple cardio on a regular basis. Something like forcing myself to get on an elliptical for 40min/day or something. The Peloton is good for this, I found the content engaging and the mechanics easy enough and I could make it a habit.

But, even still, it wasn’t something I was doing because I enjoyed it. I guess there are lots of things we do but not because we enjoy them: brushing our teeth, getting a colonoscopy, cleaning the kitchen after a meal (OK I actually really do like that last one). I just hear people talk about how much they enjoy exercise, how it gives them almost a “high.” Let me be clear I had never experienced that before. Exercise was always work-because-I-have-to.

Six months ago, though, I transitioned out of a Peloton slump and onto an actual bike, five days a week, commuting the ~6mi to work and ~6mi back. I wrote about it here.

It feels almost a risk to type it, but, people – riding my bike to and from work is one of my favorite parts of my day. When I’m not able to ride, because of weather or other circumstances, I honestly miss it. I mean, it’s definitely exercise: I get sweaty and huffy-puffy and my muscles feel taxed after. But it’s exercise I’m truly enjoying, which is something entirely new for me. I’ve always had “physical activity” I’ve enjoyed, things like hiking or kayaking or taking walks, but this is the first time I’ve truly looked forward to what I’d think of as habitual/regular exercise.

New stuff… and it makes me happy. Excited to hit the year mark and keep going.


A bit cooler for sunrise this morning, the ride into work should be nice. I think the time changes soon, no more waking sunrises, and I’ll have to leave the office while there’s still daylight or get lights for the bike.

Spent the past several days in Pittsburgh with my buddies for our annual guys trip, which we call Dickstack (yes we are permanently 14). Pirates game, Warhol museum, way too much food. Was supposed to be a Springsteen show but he cancelled. Had a fantastic time.

At work I’m working on some of the most fun, most fulfilling work I’ve tackled to date. I enjoy the challenge and am hopeful about the return. But I’m also weary of becoming too intoxicated with all that, as it’s just so easy for me to let “productivity pride” take over.

Love always.

venus fading

Been having more dreams I can remember upon waking lately. Has been a while, although I wouldn’t have noticed had I not started remembering again.

And while they’ve not been blue or anything, they’ve definitely had all the elements of a good story, including romance and passion. I’m in bed with an old love, I’m watching a woman I know do things not meant to be watched.

But also I find myself nude (aside from a do-rag on my head) taking a dump in a bathroom only to notice that I’m somehow in the bedroom of the grandmother of my childhood best friend. She’s still asleep in bed and here I am taking a naked shit in full view.

Sharaun says something rude so I walk, and walk, and leave and walk. I find a huge unrealistic tree house.

Those kind of dreams.

one thing or another

There’s water under the kitchen sink. Damn.

Let’s pull everything out and climb down there in that cramped space and probably hit our head a few times and crane our neck and see if we can figure out where it’s coming from.

From the disposal. OK I’ll replace the drain gasket. Still leaking.

And, y’know, I’ve not been doing a very good job keeping up on the house to-do list. There’s that tear in the screened-in porch panel I’ve been meaning to patch, I even bought the patch material like two months ago. I need to replace the screen door handle, too… have the parts for that sitting on my workbench in the garage. Both cars, and the RV for that matter, need an oil change. And shit, man, have you seen the bedside drawer in the guest room? What, we just put all our random stuff in there now? That’s gotta get cleaned out.

Sometimes piled-up things like this feel oppressive, and I find myself in an agitated state, feeling behind and negligent… wanting to fly into a fury of productivity to “clear the list” and feel better about keeping up. I think this is why I’m so anal about keeping a tidy house. When I see clutter around, it makes me feel that much more overwhelmed. I have a hard time sitting down and relaxing if there’s shit everywhere, and it’s easier for me to ignore that tear in the screen panel if the place where I spend most of my time is neat and tidy.

Seems to be leaking from the body of the disposal itself… like it’s cracked or compromised. I have some leftover silicone sealant/adhesive in the garage. I’ll slather that around where the water seems to be weeping out, let that dry, and see if I can stave off spending $150 on a new disposal.

One thing or another.

a smile and a fist bump

They cleared out a homeless camp that was in a patch of woods I pass daily on my bike ride to and from work.

It was just one person “living” there. There are a few one-person camps I pass on my route, tucked away off the bike trail and main roads. Some hidden better than others, having taken several rides right past them before I glimpsed them.

I’m better at recognizing the signs of where a camp might be: worn trails off the asphalt and into the bush, or has been: cleared brush and multiple “No Trespassing” signs. I know where most of the regulars stay or hang around during the daylight hours.

The camp they cleared away was fairly established. Had a tent with a real mattress, held off the ground on a platform of pallets. Had camp chairs and a line of suitcases. Had a stand mirror and traps strung around as makeshift walls. Had several shopping carts of stuff.

I only saw the resident twice in six months of riding, but one time he was panhandling at the corner and he gave me a smile and a fist bump.

Sleeping rough in the city, even if it’s in the woods, especially in Florida, must be challenging. I don’t envy those in that unfortunate position.

Hope that dude found another place he can tuck into and have some sense of safety.


628am, back porch

You know that dream?

The one where you’re in college again and, like, months into school you remember there’s a class you’ve forgotten to go to the entire semester. You went on day one, but just completely forgot you were even in the class after that. That feeling; a sudden and pointed guilt because you can’t believe you could screw up so bad.

Sometimes I have that same feeling in the waking world. Not often, but occasionally, the thought will just hit me that I’ve not spoken to my mom in forever. A wave of shame and sadness descends; how could I be such an awful son? When was the last time I even called my mother? What kind of cruel uncaring beast of a son just forgets to call his mom?

The kind whose mom has been dead for years, I guess. That kind.

The brain is funny like that.