Monday, February 21, 2011

The 'nix Is Out

It's not really been discussed at great length but it's become clear to me that we will not be headed back to Phoenix for the next stage of our life.  I'm feeling rather torn about this.  When I first found out we were headed to the 'nix back in the winter of 2005 I was relieved that it wasn't Cleveland but still not exactly happy.  I'd never been to Phoenix at that point aside from the random layover and my impression of the city was not one that paints the city in a positive light.  Funny thing is that many of my preconceived notions of the place held true yet Phoenix has something amazing that makes up for all of it's shortcomings, mountain biking and loads of it.

Before we moved to Phoenix I though myself a pretty good mountain biker with a solid set of technical skills.  Turns out I didn't know shit.  What natives were referring to as cross country was gnarlier than nearly anything I'd ever seen before and light tech seemed completely unrideable.  I rode alone a lot at first working on my skills and endurance getting a little better.  I soon found people to ride with, seemingly more every day and every time out I would get pushed a little more.  Eventually what was unrideable became mundane and bigger and more technical challenges were coming my way on a regular basis.  I got myself into a few races, performed poorly, but for me it was epic.  WOR, TOWM, 24ITOP, they all felt right.  I rode myself silly in the 'nix and the surrounding areas, it was fucking great.

Two years after we swept into town we blew out again like we were never there. When we moved, the time was right, I was itching to get to Seattle and away from the desert.  Much of that had to do with my hatred of my shitty 'nix job, the start of another brutal summer, and the longing for green and gray (it's a PNW thing). I knew I would miss the riding (and Matt's Big Breakfast, of course) but I didn't realize how much.  Don't get me wrong, there's some seriously epic riding around Seattle including what is among my all time favorites, the Snoqualmie Middle Fork, but the catch is that it's all around Seattle, not in or actually near exactly.  Every good ride destination is a day trip, not an afternoon away from the house or an after work excursion.  Those kinds of bike activities exist in town but cater more to the fixie hipsters or the 8" monster travel no pedal bikes that I'm a bit scared of even if I could afford one.

As we move into the next stage of our life, and the first one in a while that's going to be considerably more stable if not completely permanent, I'm feeling wistful for the life we had carved out in Phoenix. I know however that it wouldn't quite be the same even if were headed back.  I'm a little sad about it but I know that even though we won't be going, I can always visit and might just have to start doing that on a more regular basis, my parents are now living there after all.  Now I just need to get a S&S frame built...

Porter's gonna think on it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Rachel's baby boy Sullivan finally made it into the world early this morning.  He was born sometime around 1:00 weighing in at 8lbs 0oz and measuring 20" long.  Even though the kid has nothing to do with me, I have a feeling that my life somehow just became more difficult...

Solid work Rach.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The First 100 Days

...of my diet that is. At least that's what I was going to write this post about, it was going to be funny too. I was going to cover how I've been kicking some diet ass, down twenty something pounds, how the last two days have gone to shit, how my new found addiction to diet soda all stems from our time in the 'nix and is the one thing keeping me from falling off the diet wagon, and how even though I'm making great progress I'm getting my ass handed to me in Ballard's Biggest Loser.

However, I'm not going to tell you about any of that, instead I'm going to tell you about my night. Around 12:15 I got a call from Rach that her water broke and contractions were coming 5 minutes apart. She wanted to know what cab company to call and would I look up her number. Yeah, re-read that shit. I'm for serious, that's what she said. So I gathered up the family and we headed up to Shoreline to get Rach and drive her down to Ballard where she's to have her baby. By the time we get to Ballard it's past one and I'm pretty damn tired. Michele heads in with Rach and instructs me to wait for further instructions. Just about the time I'm about to fall asleep in the front seat, Michele send me home with the boy for the night.

We get home and the kid is still completely out and I'm in a bit of a quandary. If I strip the kid down and dress him for bed he's sure to wake. I could just leave him in the car seat until he wakes up, but that didn't quite seem right either. So I ended up putting him down in the bed next to me and tried unsuccessfully to fall asleep next to him. I was too worried that I might roll over him or something that I just couldn't nod off.

Jump ahead to 2:30, the kid is up and hungry, I've been awake all along but most certainly hadn't planned ahead. It takes me :15 to get some breast milk thawed and ready for consumption and by this time the boy is really letting me have it. We sit down on the couch and the kid starts eating, at this point I'm so tired I can hardly keep the bottle where the kid needs it and I'm starting to slip into sleep as he puts away the bottle in record time. The problem is, the kid doesn't like it when I sit and has chosen this moment not the let it go. So, it's now three in the morning I can hardly keep my eyes open and I'm walking laps around the house with the kid strapped to my chest in the Moby wrap and he just will not fall asleep. This is what we looked like at 3:45:

Finally at 4:00, he's out and I can set him down in the crib and go to sleep. I walk into his room and ever so gently set him down in the crib, making sure that I don't jostle him in the slightest. I'm desperate for sleep and I can't have this go south. Thank you Jeebus he's down! I slowly crept out of his room and into my own, slip out of my rode and under the covers. I was home free, until I heard it. It was the unmistakable sound of and infant dropping a deuce. I closed my eyes tightly and gripped my pillow, I didn't care if it went past his diaper, his outfit, and destroyed his bed. If he did wake up from it I would happily throw it all away in the morning and somehow try to explain away the new Pack-N-Play to my lady the next day.

It was not to be, after the longest thirty seconds of my life the wailing started. I was up again in an instant, maybe if I was fast enough he'd go right back to sleep, yeah right. I think it's important now to note that I had my phone on my person or very close to it this whole time since I was awaiting updates and Michele and I had been texting back and forth all night (hence the fairly accurate time line) and the volume was full bast to ensure that it would wake me should I be asleep. After a long thirty minutes of trying to coax him back to sleep I'm finally ready to set him down again and wouldn't you know it, just as I'm laying him down, text from Michele, right next to his head too. Yeah, he woke up.

Thankfully I got him back down in a mere fifteen minutes this time and I was able to sneak to bed until 5:00 when Michele got home and woke me up to ask where he was and when he needed to feed next. Fuck.

Anyway, my whole point is not really to bitch about my night so much as to explain my new found admiration for my wife. At night it's my job to put the kid down after his last feeding however long that takes and once I'm in bed he's no longer my problem since I don't have the required equipment to deal with his late night problems. My wife on the other hand, starts early, works long hours, gets home late, and doesn't get much sleep all in the name of taking care of Porter (or P-Monster as Paul has so dubbed him) and I. It's hard thankless work and even though I can often be cranky after dealing with the kid all day I really do appreciate all she does.

Typos, poor sentence structure, and errors in this post will be fixed once it's been reread with fresh eyes so please don't judge too harshly until then. Oh yeah, and as of this writing (19:10 PST on 02/09/2011) Rach's baby still isn't here.