Sunday, March 20, 2011


The kitchen project is moving along.  Slowly, but moving.  The walls have come out smoother than I'd any right to expect them to, and the gray primer on the walls right now makes the kitchen look very different than it has in the 12 years I've (mostly) lived in the house.  The stained and polyurethaned wainscotting, trim and doors will be painted white to match the rest of the house, and the walls will be red.

Every time I paint a room, I ask myself why I don't paint rooms more often.  A room with a fresh change of color remains a little treat to the eyes long after the color should cease to surprise.  That compounded treat is well worth the time spent painting, and the process of emptying and refilling offers a great opportunity to purge crap, as well.

12 years in this house, and I've painted 4 rooms, the front hall, and the three secondary stairwells. Also, both bathrooms have been re-papered and otherwise redecorated.  Now the kitchen and pantry.  And that leaves the dining room, parlor and master bedroom untouched.  Anyway, that's not so bad, numerically, but it's still a third of the rooms unchanged since I moved in.  Seems odd, when I look at it that way.

Note to self:  Paint my next place more often.  A little change of color can be a very good thing.

Still no progress on finishing Juli's bike -- or starting Carol's.  The weather is changing fast (I've no snow at all in my yard, now), and I need to set some time aside for that work.  But I think I'll be busy with paint for a few weekends, yet.

Happy spring everyone.

All for now,


Sunday, March 13, 2011


I worked out on the rollers yesterday morning (21.2 over 15 miles), but am not going to today. I've been working on my kitchen the past couple of days.  Just a quick spruce-up before I re-list the house in April.  The trim is down, the wallpaper is down, and now I'm patching the walls up, and replacing sections of the wall where the horse hair plaster has come away from the lath.  Then the whole kitchen will be freshly painted, and that'll be that.  Except that I have to do the same to the pantry.  Either way, it's not a huge amount of work, and my hope is that it'll make a difference in selling the place.

I was completely exhausted last night and had a hard time getting up this morning -- thus the no riding today. Working in the kitchen is giving me plenty of exercise, and I don't want to fall asleep at dinner tonight (going out with a friend in Cambridge -- it's restaurant week in Boston).  I may tackle a couple of bike projects if I have time though.  Just quick ones -- trim down Juli's kickstand, mount the rack and bottle cage holder on her Schwinn, etc. The snow is melting very quickly, now, and we may have a weekend soon where an outdoor family ride will make sense!

While I've been working, I've had a lot of head time.  And one thing I took away from yesterday is that I don't like working on my house anymore.  Most of my house projects over the past dozen years have been solo, but I didn't mind so much when I was married -- first, because I was working towards making house better for us, and then later because it was an escape.  But I'm only working on the house now to make it more appealing to someone else, which isn't nearly as much fun.

But apart from grumbling to myself about the house, I've been mulling over the notion of being all-in.  I'm not all-in to the house, because I'm essentially waiting to leave it behind me.  And I've realized that I haven't been all-in to other aspects of my life for a while, either.  Instead, I think I've been waiting for something.  For my next thing to come along, maybe.  For Allyson to come back.  For the house to sell, as I've said, or for the divorce to finalize.  Waiting is a very passive activity.  Not all-in at all.

And that's not really like me.  I've always been a fairly intense person, and I've lived/worked/played with intensity.  Not self-destructively, just intensely, and I generally throw myself into whatever it is that I'm doing, working to exhaustion and starting over the next day.  But not lately.

I understand how I got where I've been, and I do think I've made great strides this year to upping the intensity back to where I'm used to it being.  I feel much more in life, now, than out of it.  And that's good, because being all-in is the only mode I've ever been happy in.  This waiting bit has really sucked, by comparison.  Even more than that, the others in my life need me to be all-in.  My kids, my friends, my employer, my dog, all the women I've been meeting out for dates -- everyone.  They don't need someone taking up space, they need an active participant -- someone ready to give it (whatever "it" is, in each case) their all.  If I can't do that, why bother?

Last May, I realized I needed to start living again.  And now 9 months later I think I've figured out that it's not just about living -- it's also about how I live.  Let's see if I can do a little better than that in turning up the intensity...

All for now,


Friday, March 4, 2011

Five Weeks Gone

Gosh, where did February go?  One minute I was talking about fox words, and suddenly it's March.  So what have I been doing with myself?
  • Riding:  Well, indoors.  And not as much as I'd like.  Still, the activity has been good, and I've logged 20.8 mph average speed sessions both of the past two Saturdays.  I hope to match that tomorrow and Sunday.  My left knee complains, but not as badly as last year -- not at all.
  • Fretting:  We had a ton of snow in January and early February, and ice dams and their consequences have been on my mind.  One of my sets of anti-ice dam wires was ripped off the roof.  By falling ice, I believe.  I have some indoor and outdoor repairs to do, now, that I hadn't planned on.  It happens...
  • Dating:  I've met some really nice women, and had some nice evenings out.
  • Hosting:  I've hosted friends for my first dinner party since I moved back into my house nearly two years ago.  I was exhausted, but I enjoyed the cooking, the company and the sharing of food and wine.  The exhausted part came from some travel (still pretty tired, but my sleep schedule is back to normal), but it was still great fun, and it feels good to continue making connections and expanding my social circle.
  • Traveling:  I've been to France on a business trip, and taken a quick trip to Versailles while there.  I've said it before and probably will again -- it's no wonder they cut Louis' head off.  The place is obscene.  I really enjoy working with folks at our French HQ, too.  There's a different dynamic, but it's interesting learning the ropes.  And though they operate differently than the organization I'm part of, it's not worse -- just different.
  • Tinkering:  I've picked up another bike project!  More on that another time, but it's really just a simple bearing overhaul for a friend's wife.  This is her High School bike.  Nothing fancy -- a Fuji and more or less equivalent to Juli's Fuji, but a perfectly serviceable all-rounder.  She's an athlete, and should get a sportier bike for the triathlons she does, but this'd be a great bike for a rack and a basket for family duty.
  • Renovating:  I've made some progress on some house projects, getting the place ready (again) to go on the market again (again).  Fun stuff, in the sense that I haven't done anything of the sort in a good while, and possibly not too much work.  Possibly.
  • Contributing:  I've signed up for the PMC, and now have to a) get in shape, and b) raise a pile of cash.  Yeah, I'm fast on my trainer, but that's not going to translate into stamina and speed on a 160 mile ride.
  • Thinking:  I've given a lot of thought to where I am, how I got here, what I need and what the people in my life mean to me and why.  And I feel pretty good, honestly.  One important realization in all of that was that having different social goals for myself doesn't mean changing my standards or expectations (of myself or others) -- it just means living within those standards to different goals.  And my heart is big enough to care for lots of different people in lots of different ways, I think.  The exploration has been fun so far (see the dating comment above), and I'd like to think it'll remain so.
  • Parenting:  They're always there.  And they're wonderful.  And I think they're going to be OK, honestly.
  • Working:  Too much to do.  Not enough time.  No different than most anyone, I know.
11 months ago this Sunday, I drove home from NJ, hopped on my bike on a 70-degree day and later walked Jake in shorts and flip-flops.  Time flies, as they say.  I'll try to get more up here in March.

All for now,