Good Friday

Whew, it’s about time I got a paid day off from work. I mean, I worked four whole days this week! In a row even! Yep, “XYZ Corp” has a company holiday today, so I don’t have to go into work. 😁🤓😁

Last night I kept internally singing the song from “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” with the lyrics:

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

I’m not sure you could call what I did last night “walking” but for the first time since Sunday I moved from point A to not very far from point A without the aid of crutches. For the rest of the evening I used one crutch as well, a crutch. Be y steps, and I am a big baby.

I won’t go as far as to say that I am pain-free, but I am feeling better and wincing a lot less than in the past few days.

My lofty goal last night of going to IKEA and Target after work fell apart because I was just not ready to push myself that far. Because of this change of plans I also changed my dinner plans. Originally I was going to eat at Grindhouse Burgers on Piedmont because I like their food and I read that their business has been hurt by the I-85 collapse. However, I wasn’t ready to eat as soon as I left work and with traffic on my route toward home I wound up winding my way to Kirkwood and eating at Elmyriachi instead. This may be the sixth time I have eaten at Elmyriachi, ordering the “Tampiqueno” burrito each time, and yet to be disappointed. Unfortunately due to being on medication I had to abstain from drinking beer with my dinner. I haven’t had alcohol since Saturday. Weird.

The rest of my evening was spent at home either trying to move around as I said earlier, or searching for mindless entertainment to watch on my iPad.

Have your own good Friday today and a great weekend.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 29 Comments

Paulie The Sloth

Because of some event last Sunday my mobility has been severely limited. Even this morning I am unable to put weight on my left hip, and walking is still out of the question, though I feel as if I am improving at a sloth-like pace.

Once again I am blogging via iPad since my laptop is locked in the basement and I am still incapable of managing to the stairs to get it. It’s almost as if I never expected to debilitate myself on Sunday’s ride. Go figure.

Yesterday I hobbled over to Colony Square for lunch. I (incorrectly) thought it would be a shorter hobble than Crescent Avenue, and I wanted to mail my mother’s Easter card (which will most likely be late now). Thankfully crossing 14th and Peachtree proved to be not as challenging as I feared, but what a workout! By the time I got to Tin Drum I was sweating, and upon returning to my cubicle I was almost comically damp. I guess better to injure myself before Atlanta’s summer heat arrives.

By and large people have been courteous to me as a crip; they have opened doors, most have provided ample clearance for my hobbling, and one of my new coworkers carried my coffee cup to my desk. I have yet to encounter my Florence Nightingale however, perhaps that will happen today.

By the time I leave work tonight (weird to type that after nine months) I am hoping to be in a condition to eat dinner out after work. I have run out of leftovers, and have not had the strength to stand long enough to wash dishes. And, even with a tote bag getting things from point A to point B is a royal pain in the ass, especially if they are not completely sealed.

For me tomorrow is the start of a four day weekend, and if I hadn’t been such an idiot last Sunday I would be excited at the thought of getting out for some mileage on the bike in preparation for BRAG’s Spring Tune Up next weekend. I may wind up skipping STU completely depending on my condition. However, I will leave that decision until next week.

Hope your Thursday is a great one.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 32 Comments

Hiatus: The Ugly

When I conceived of doing these three posts, they were going to be lighthearted and self-depreciating, two of my specialties. At the time I had no idea I was going to once again detrimentally alter my life by falling on my bike and damaging my hip. The concept of injury never entered my mind, and why should it, since I was going out for a slow fourteen mile journey with a group of fellow sightseers. Ugh.

I can’t play along with my theme again today.

This post is just to say hello, “hello”, and to let you know that I still can’t put weight on the hip and will be calling to make a doctor appointment hopefully for this week. I am concerned about how little progress I am making. I walk to walk again, the sooner the better.

Off to take a bath. Do you really get clean taking baths? I mean you are literally sitting in your own dirty water…

Hope your day is wonderful.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 11 Comments

Hiatus: The Bad

This should come as no surprise, Sunday’s crash ending to my hiatus was the worst. Given how it occurred, it probably fits in “The Ugly” as well. Even with crutches my mobility is severely limited.

Because of my current discomfort this will be a super-short post.

Other “bad” things to occur were my inability to get the ITP Estate repaired, my inability to lose significant weight, numerous stints of poor health or inexplicable afflictions, shattering the screen of my iPad Mini, and not taking photos

A quick veer from today’s theme:
Yesterday’s first day at work was fine. I have concluded that doors and crutches don’t mix; there are three doors between my desk and the bathroom door. I was taking to lunch at Tin Lizzy, which meant that I had to crutch my way there and back. In the parking lot there is no elevator on the third floor; I was informed of this after crutching the length of the parking garage and had to crutch back to my car so I could drive to another floor. I cannot ascend nor descend stairs well on crutches.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 35 Comments

Hiatus: The Good

Long-time readers of this space will remember when the last three posts of any given year outlined “The Good”, “The Bad”, and “The Ugly” for that year. In order to have some content over the next three days, my first three at “XYZ Corp”, I’m resurrecting this concept and applying it to my hiatus which started the day before my birthday last year, July 21st.

Here we go with “The Good”:

Travel
While I didn’t go as many places as I thought that I would given the life of freedom awarded to me for the past nine months, I did manage to get around a bit.

It didn’t take long for me to travel, on my birthday I boarded a school bus headed to Iowa for RAGBRAI. With the exception of chipping my tooth doing something really stupid, I had a remarkable time riding the southern route from the west of Iowa to the Mississippi river.

The other big biking trip occurred just a week after the end of RAGBRAI when I flew up to Vermont and did six days of riding, two of which included two of the hardest climbs that I have ever attempted (both of which I failed to ride up completely). Keep in mind that I am an old man who is at best a mediocre rider, so it’s not like I was attempting these while in the Alps. Much good beer and camaraderie was had in Vermont. In fact, I may be seeing my roommate next week as he will be in the Atlanta area, and, I would be traveling to New York to ride with a couple of other participants if I hadn’t gone and found a job.

I can’t forget my fun trip to Colorado, the night I spent at a hostel in Denver, as well as the days in Winter Park, and the two nights in Fort Collins. Had the Winter Park lodge not charged me for “damages”, it would have been a primo trip. The hash had promised to reimburse me, but the payment never came through PayPal and I couldn’t be bothered to follow up again.

I was also able to make trips to Raleigh to visit the Raleigh Royalty, and down to Florida to visit my mother.

The trips I didn’t make will be mentioned tomorrow in “The Bad”.

The ITP Estate
Wait, this was good? But you didn’t fix the plumbing!

I know. I know. However…

I was able to reconfigure and create a useful home office. I am using the home office right now as a matter of fact. In doing this I also was able to give away four, yes four, pieces of furniture! A few weekends ago I got rid of a dresser, a wood chair, and a CD shelf. This weekend I lugged one of two huge bookcases (inherited from Jeannie, the note-writer referenced last week) to the curb and it was gone in a matter of hours. Of course I added two new pieces, a coffee table and a small office desk, but I’m still at a net-negative.

This weekend also saw me shredding some old tax documents to free up more space in my filing cabinet. As paper documents continue to disappear there may be a time in my future where I lug my big four-drawer filing cabinet to the curb. One of the benefits of still having it however is that it is locking, which is minor deterrent for theft.

As I mentioned a few times during my hiatus I drove a lot of things to Goodwill and to recycling center; this work is ongoing but at least I am finally making headway.

Another “improvement” which occurred was updating my home security system. Gone is the twenty-year-old panel, installed was a new fancy-pants panel and sensors. As I mentioned when it was installed it wasn’t the smoothest of installs and the salesman was a huckster, but overall I am now pleased with it.

It almost feels as if I my life is somewhat manageable again.

Cooking
I’ve rediscovered the joy of cooking. Of course this means that I’ve also rediscovered the drudgery of washing up afterward, and should get my plumbing fixed…

While I didn’t work through my cookbooks nor did I discover many fantastical recipes, I did cook up some of my favorites, used my immersion cooker to sous vide up a ton of pork loin, and made many breakfasts. Win. Win. Win.

I’m hoping that the location of “XYZ Corp” will allow me to continue to cook dinners. I really think the commute to/from Perimeter Mall killed my love of cooking.

Exercise
I may have lost a few pounds, may have.

My exercise logs show a tendency for exercising in streaks, many weeks I exercised almost every day, and many weeks I didn’t exercise at all. Of course a lot of the interruptions, as will be addressed in the next two days were caused by my health.

I’m pleased to say that I think that I’ve started getting my money’s worth from my LA Fitness membership. I hope to continue this trend even though I will be riding MARTA to the new job.

Video Watching
Wait a minute, you’re say sitting on your ass watching “tv” is a good thing?

Yep.

During my nine months of freedom I managed to watch all seven seasons of “Parks And Recreation”, four seasons of “Chef’s Table”, two seasons of “The Mind Of A Chef”, the three seasons of “The Great British Bake Off” available in the US, two seasons of “The Amazing Race”, as well as various other tv shows and movies.

To watch all of this content I made good use of my Netflix, Amazon, and library memberships.

Bad That Can’t Wait For Tomorrow
I had signed up for a bike ride that toured Civil War battle sites that occurred around the ITP Estate. There was a part of me that didn’t want to go, that wanted to sit around and watch the end of Paris-Roubaix instead, but I had signed up and the weather was beautiful so I decided to do it. I rode my bike over to Oakland Cemetery where the tour started and everything was going great. That is, until we left the cemetery and I attempted to jump the curb onto Memorial Drive at too acute an angle and with not enough speed. I fell. I landed hard, directly on my left hip, the opposite hip that I injured six years ago thankfully, but still hurt like hell. I was able to slowly ride home but while getting off the bike at home I realized that I could put no weight on my hip, so I couldn’t walk. It being Sunday meant that there were no places I could go to buy crutches. Thankfully I was able to contact Terri and get her to bring hers over to the house. I am writing this on Sunday and am in a lot of pain. I went to an urgent care where they took X-rays, nothing is broken nor fractured, but it hurts a lot. Tomorrow I will start my new job by showing up on crutches. What a way to make a first impression. And so much for getting exercise by walking back to my car, at least for a little while.

It’s now Monday morning. I got more sleep than expected last night though I am awake at 5:00am. I still can’t put weight on my left leg and my chest is bruised. Getting ready for, and going to work is going to be interesting. Why did I have try to jump the curb?

Hope your day is all good.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 19 Comments

The Last Hurrah

I’m keeping this short today because it’s my last day of “freedom”. Also, things related to this space will change drastically next week; I may not be able to blog as routinely, and I certainly won’t be commenting and responding to comments as thoroughly as I have. Such is the life of a new employee I suppose.

Half Day Of Awesome, Half Day Of Sleep
I was a machine for awhile yesterday. With the exception of going to LA Fitness I did everything else on my early agenda.

I had an enjoyable lunch at OK Cafe with ITP Readers Barb, Steve, and John. As you can see from this photo I opted for a healthy lunch:
OK Cafe Lunch
as long as your definition of healthy follows in line with Ivanka Trump’s definition of “complicit”. I ate the chicken fried steak, fried green tomatoes, a baked sweet potato, and a corn muffin. It will come as no surprise that I wasn’t very hungry last night.

From lunch I dropped off Steve at his office and then fought my way to the lavanderia in Chamblee.

Once done with laundry I drove down to Brookhaven where I went to Costco. In cleaning out my briefcase recently I found nearly $30 in Costco money, which I promptly spent on Gatorade, cranberry juice, fig bars, and cans of chicken breasts.

My desire for productivity ended in Costco. It was around 3:30pm and I decided to drive straight home to avoid as much traffic as I could.

Upon returning home I started watching Netflix and promptly fell asleep for a few hours.

You’d think that a multi-hour sleep during the afternoon would make it impossible for me to go to sleep, and you would be partially correct. I finally gave in at 12:30am.

On My Last Day
Shortly I will be headed to Kroger to buy some groceries for a dinner that I will be making tonight. I will be taking this dinner over to Betsy’s to hang out with her and Gary, and hopefully finally watch the final episode of Top Chef.

Rumor has it that I will be riding the Tony Serrano ride tomorrow. I’m not thrilled about how cold it will be tomorrow morning however. If I intend to ride tomorrow I need to get the bike off the trainer and tune it up for a ride.

Rumor also has it that I will be riding on Sunday, this time with Urban Explorers of Atlanta on their “Battle of Atlanta” tour. This is the tour that literally rides down my street! The only downer that has occurred with this ride is that the agenda has changed so that lunch is now a picnic in Grant Park. Though I’ve picnicked often as part of dates, I’m not a fan of picnics, especially if I have to carry my lunch on a bike for a few hours beforehand. I may just opt out of the picnic portion and do my own thing. We’ll see.

Okay, that’s all the time I can budget for today. I will attempted to write a blog on Sunday night so that you will have something to read during my first day at “XYZ Corp” on Monday.

Have a great weekend all.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 30 Comments

Lunch Is On

Like the Kong from Donkey!

I’m not burying the lead today: OK Cafe, 11:30am meet up, food, friends, fun. So far I have a headcount of five: Barb, Steve, Debbie, John (aka HamWithCam), and yours truly. Anyone else planning to attend please let us know in a comment so that we can save you a seat.

On Pins And Needles
I’m not going to lie to you, yesterday’s weather had me on pins and needles all day long. Hell, it lasted late into the night as I left during Ben Sollee’s encore so that I could avoid getting caught in the late night barrage of rain that rolled through Atlanta around 10:30pm.

The concert last night was fantastic. I’ve seen/heard Sollee perform four times now, each time in a different configuration. Last night it was solo Sollee as he took the the stage with only his cello and mandolin. Opening for Sollee was a fourteen year old, I’ll pause here to let that sit in your brain for a second, young lady from London Kentucky named Madison Parker. With skills and lyrics well beyond her years Parker belted out original songs, and joined Sollee on stage for two of his final tunes.

I’d consider returning for Sollee’s second show tonight, but I have too many other things that need to happen today. Oh, one other thing I heard last night… Hank, who invited me to join him at the Lucky’s in Brookhaven, informed me that he was told that the Lucky’s in Emory has reopened with a limited menu due to the size of the kitchen; as long as they are serving beer I’m happy.

Busy Day In My A
Though I have skipped the trip to LA Fitness that I put into my schedule yesterday, my day is shaping up to be a busy one. In addition to the aforementioned lunch meeting I will be heading to Brookhaven/Chamblee to go to Costco, Lowe’s, and perhaps the final load of laundry that I will do in my favorite Chamblee lavanderia.

With the new gig in midtown and with a renewed interest in riding Marta, it seems incredibly impractical to make the journey to Chamblee just to do my laundry. The lavanderia was conveniently positioned between work and home when I labored near Perimeter Mall and during my hiatus I had all the time in the world so I could make the journey and eat lunch or dinner near there, but now, especially with the I-85 collapse, it no longer makes sense. Sayonara lavanderia.

Let’s get this started!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 26 Comments

Not Again

Last night my right eye started to bother me. As I was preparing to go to bed I noticed that my eye had started to swell, just like it inexplicably did about this time last year. Last year’s swelling was also the cause of the chalazion that I had removed, and caused me over a day in pain while recovering, in January of this year. I am sincerely hoping that another chalazion doesn’t occur due of this year’s swelling because I really don’t want to experience the pain of recovering from another chalazion removal. I have been attempting to limit the swelling by taking allergy medication and applying an ice pack, so far I’ve not had a lot of success. 🙁

This was certainly not the experience I was hoping to have during my last week of freedom.

I hope for a better Wednesday for you.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 17 Comments

An Unprepared Return To German Class

Tonight I start German B1.4 and I am wondering where the last two weeks during which I was going to study daily in preparation for tonight have gone. At least I’ve gotten a lot of other things done, right?

Derailed Going Through My Books
Yesterday I started the KonMari method on my books. You’d think that this would be a very easy process because all I needed to decide is whether or not I truly thought that the book in question will be of use to me in the future, but it was not.

In one of the books I found a Father’s Day card, obviously not written to me, when it fell out of the sleeve of the book. In another book I found this message about which I had forgotten:

First Christmas
Given that this was our only Christmas together, she was unfortunately wrong about this.

I’ll attempt to go through my books again today.

I have to say that this house cleaning has been a cathartic experience for me. Today is trash day for my street so by tomorrow I will have an empty recycling bin that I will start filling again.

Baseball Is Back
While doing my chores yesterday I listened to the Mets game through the MLB app. Oh, they beat the Braves. Listening to a day game on the “radio” was a great way to spend my day. I actually attempted to listen to the game on a real radio, well, my ancient Rio Cali mp3 player that has and FM tuner in it, but failed. One of the humorous things that happened when I went to use the mp3 player was that it had a technology podcast on it, from 2005!

My Blog As My Memory
Over the weekend I watched one of the newly-released comedy special from Dave Chappelle on Netflix. At the end of the episode I started thinking back trying to recall if I ever saw Chappelle perform back in the olden days. I remember going to The Tabernacle for a comedy show with my friends Stacy and Andy. I remember Stacy being pregnant and wearing a t-shirt that said “It’s not mine” on it. I remember having second-row seats. But I remember nothing about the performance.

My lack of long-term memory is not a new revelation for me. See also: the nearly fifteen-year-old note I found in the book yesterday.

However thanks to this space I was able to find out that I blogged about seeing Chappelle on June 19th, 2006.

Good times. Good times.

Make it a great Tuesday, at least we know the weather in Atlanta will cooperate today…

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 25 Comments

Planning My Final Week Of Hiatus

It’s official, I start working again next Monday. My bank account will be the happiest for this return.

I am scrambling to complete tasks before ten hours of my day are allotted to work-related activities. By this time next week I am hoping to be proud of the things I’ve accomplished over the past nine months, as well as having a better feeling about the ITP Estate and my relationship with it.

Zero Mile Post
The I-85 collapse finally affected me in the form of no parking at MARTA when I went to take the train downtown on Friday. CUE TINY VIOLIN!

On a glorious day to be outside I met up with a large group of folks at Alma Cocina for lunch before we all hoofed to the Zero Mile Post. The food at Alma Cocina was really good, and given their downtown location was fairly priced. I ordered the chips and salsa sampler ($8) to share with my compadres and the carnitas taquitos ($8) for my lunch.

As if seeing the origin of Atlanta, nee Marthasville, nee Terminus, was not exciting enough, we were informed that Atlanta Beltline architect Ryan Gravel would be joining us at the marker as he had never had the opportunity to see it.
Urban Explorers of Atlanta at Zero Mile Post
(that’s Gravel in the doorway on the left)

After seeing the Zero Mile Post about half of the crowd walked over to Park Bar for a beverage.

It was nearly 4:00pm by the time I finished my beer, time for me to walk to MARTA and head north to Arts Center where I’d meet up with Hank, who works near 17th/Spring now, to walk over to Atlantic Stations for happy hour. Originally there were to be eight of us at happy hour, two bailed due to the traffic caused by the I-85 collapse, one was sick and couldn’t make it, and one mysteriously never showed up (which is not unusual for her). Four of us went to Yard House. Four of us sat for ten minutes with no server. I asked a server clearing the table behind us to please get our server. Five minutes later four of us left Yard House and enjoyed happy hour at Meehan’s.

Tech Me Out To The Ball Game
Saturday didn’t start out all that great, not because I had a hangover, but because as I went downstairs to ride my trainer my right knee started hurting again. I bailed on my workout.

Once a year I see a Georgia Tech baseball game with my friend Hank, and Saturday was the 2017 edition of this tradition.

Hank and I met up at The Barrelhouse for a few pre-game beers and lunch. I drank Monday Night Slap Fight and ate a delicious hamburger. I’m sure the cooks have changed, but I was pleased to see that once again when I ordered my burger “medium” that it came out with a pink center. Bravo, Barrelhouse. Bravo.

After libations Hank and I meandered down the hill to the baseball field, where we watched a decent game. Hank is a Clemson alum, so the game’s outcome was not how he hoped (it was the only game in the three-game stint that Tech won), but we had fun. I joined Hank and his family for dinner at Raku Ramen. I have seen a lot of ramen while binge-watching The Mind Of A Chef and Chef’s Table, so I was excited to eat some. Not seeing much in the way of ramen that thrilled me I ordered a bowl of Yaki Udon with beef. My meal came out nearly five minutes later than the rest of the table’s food and when I saw that the noodles were certainly not udon noodles, I may not be Japanese but I know the difference between thick udon noodles and the skinny ramen noodles in my bowl, I decided to shrug my shoulders and eat what was presented to me. I probably won’t return to Raku Ramen.

Happily Surprised
On Saturday morning I placed three pieces of furniture — a bookcase sized for CDs, a wooden chair that used to be my desk chair, and the dresser I mentioned last week — on the street in hopes that someone would claim them before the rain hits today. By my return on Saturday night the bookcase had been claimed, but the chair and dresser remained. While out doing yard work (!) yesterday, don’t get too excited I just cleared the carport area of leaves an pollen, someone drove up and took possession of the rest. These pieces of furniture served me well for many years and I’m pleased that these pieces have new owners.

I spent the rest of my Sunday cleaning, organizing, binge-listening to “S-Town” (not as interesting to me as advertised), and watching the first episode of this season’s The Amazing Race.

My Monday Agenda
On my agenda for today is some grocery shopping, and a trip to the library to return a book. Later today I will also be doing a KonMarie on my books, gathering up the ones that no longer spark joy (read “I realize that I will never read” in this case) and boxing them up for a trip to Goodwill some time this week.

Hope that your weekend was grand, and that you make it a great Monday.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 17 Comments