Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Red Cabin Sunset

Red Cabin Sunset

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants would receive gifts from their superiors. Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day off. In Britain, it was a custom for servants to collect “Christmas boxes” on the day after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. – Wiki

Our Boxing Day started all too early. Anne’s ducks started a-quacking just when I thought that I had another hour or two. I had gone to the dentist last week and took the opportunity then to schedule appointments for the boys. Unfortunately, the only time that was available was at 8 AM on Boxing Day. I placed their appointment cards in their Christmas stockings. Our snow never really materialized, except for a light dusting. If it had snowed like it was originally forecasted that would have provided legitimate cover to cancel, rollover and go back to sleep. So, the boys and I trooped out to West County. Afterwards, I felt so bad that I sprung for breakfast at Bread Co. There I apologized, but Dave said, “I don’t blame you, Dad, I blame Mom.” He probably said that because she wasn’t there. Dan chimed in with, “I blame Obama.” 😉

As tough as it was for me to haul myself out of bed, it had to be tougher on the boys. They were heading out to a midnight showing of Les Mis, when I was headed to bed. We had all enjoyed a great Christmas dinner and the four of us, plus Joanie had sat around the TV and watched my Christmas DVD, Premium Rush. This is the Joseph Gordon-Levitt bicycle messenger movie, set in Manhattan. It was in theaters last August and Dan, Anne and I had seen it then, but I really wanted to see it again. Joanie hadn’t seen it before, but kept asking for plot developments to be explained before their time. We ended up playing with her.

Anne had a couple of doctor appointments of her own this morning too. They were a visit with the knee specialist and some hand PT. This is some of the continuing fallout from her bicycle accident last month. In the movie, Premium Rush, numerous bike accidents are dramatized. Without exception all of the accident victims are up and riding again, often within seconds. Even Gordon-Levitt’s climatic crash doesn’t slow him down. His real life accident, where he had crashed through the back window of a taxi during filming didn’t stop him either, although, he did have to go to the emergency room for that one.

Speaking of the emergency room, the bills for Anne’s initial emergency room visit are in now. It is a good thing that we have good health insurance. In addition to the medical bills, several letters have appeared, all offering to pursue liability claims on her behalf. Some computer program must have scanned Anne’s accident report, found in it the keywords, “bicycle”, “car” and “accident” and decided that there might me a case to pursue here. It was a parked car.

Our Christmas was lovely. We were all together, we all received nice presents and our dinner was quite the success. This year, we decided to kick it up a notch. Anne found a Emeril Lagasse recipe in the Saturday Evening Post. We made a turkey roulade with peach and sage gravy. Our deboned turkey was stuffed with the recipe’s dressing, rolled together and tied up with string. Accompanying this dish were sides of roasted potatoes and a pomegranate and pear salad. Joanie brought a delicious selection of cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory. Yum!

Anne-drenalin Rush

A Citizen of Bike Nation

‘Adrenalin Rush’, that’s my moniker for the new Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie, “Premium Rush”. In messenger parlance, a rush order is worth twice the price, a premium rush order is worth four times the going rate, or about thirty bucks in this case. I’ve watched plenty of bike races on TV, but even Tour de France coverage only holds my attention for a few minutes. That was the challenge of this movie how do you hold an audience attention about bicycling for 91 minutes. The movie’s plot is dirt simple, get from point A to point B. Just like a Tour de France stage, but it’s not the getting there, but how you got there that makes the difference in this movie.

Levitt plays bike messenger and law school dropout, Wilee, as in wily coyote. In between points A and B is Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), a NYPD police detective that the LA Times aptly coins as ’50 shades of crazy’. Wilee is a true-blood fixie. A fixie is a single speed bike that requires the rider to constantly pedal. Wilee eschews brakes; they’ve been nothing but trouble for him, “when you’re going 50 down Broadway, your bike is so stable.”

As I said it is not about the getting there, but about the how that this movie pirouettes about. Director David Koepp and co-writer John Kamps create the journey that makes this story worth telling. Don’t get me wrong, there is no message with this movie. It is like a rollercoaster ride, fun in the moment. Like I said, It’s not the getting there, but how you got there. So get there to the theater, anyway you can.

PS – Yes, the photo with this post is a repeat, but isn’t she so lovely that seeing her photo again is twice the charm?

2 Wheel News

Lance, Say It Ain’t So

Our local bicycle shop, Maplewood Bicycles, made the national news this morning. The local NPR affiliate, KWMU, had a story aired on the nationally syndicated business show, Marketplace. This story set the stage for the durable goods statistics announcement, later in the day. Mike Mosblech, a Manager at Maplewood Bicycle was interviewed in the article. Mosblech spoke of bicycle shortages due to the recession. “No one wants to be caught holding the bag.” The definition of a durable good is a product that is designed to last five years. I wonder in some of my bike buddies know this. Some of them buy a new bicycle every year. You know who you are. 😉

The big news today was Lance Armstrong’s no-contest plea to the doping charges that have been leveled against him. Has he just grown tired of these charges that have dogged him since his return to cycling from his bout with cancer, like he claims? Or, has he finally been cornered? I’ll let the reader decide for themselves. I’ve always been a fan and remain so still. This will void his seven Tour de France wins, but if you look at who was number two through those years, almost to a man they were also found guilty of doping. Lance’s Livestrong Foundation will likely suffer. This is a shame since it has raised a half-billion to fight cancer. Nike has announced that it will stand by its man, so then will I. Sports heroes are men and women and just like everyone else, they have their faults. If Lance was a cheat then so was everyone else. The question still remains, was he the better cyclist, or just a better cheat.

Anne and I had a Friday night date night tonight. Dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then a show. We ate and watched at the Galleria. We saw “Premium Rush”, which opened tonight. “Premium Rush” is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s NYC bicycle messenger movie that I’ve been waiting for all summer and it was worth the wait. In messenger parlance, a rush order is worth twice the price, a premium rush order is worth four times the going rate. This movie rounds out the trifecta of today’s two-wheel news. It rates more than just a paragraph in this post. You’ll be hearing more about it soon. Until then, don’t walk, don’t even run, but ride as fast as you can (safely) to your local neighborhood theater to see this movie.