Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zack, the Smiths and a Gift Card

I’ve lived in my house for three years. Apparently, some guy named Zack has also lived in my house for the past year. Or at least Bill and Annie Smith (not their real names) in Overland Park, Kansas think he lives at my address. They send him a lot of cards – thank you notes, just for fun cards and yesterday, I received Zack’s birthday card.

Obviously for me to know what kind of cards they send, I open them. The first time I received one, I “Returned to Sender,” but not since then. They keep on coming and I keep on opening them. It’s like reality TV, but through the mail.

I’m not proud of my actions and suspect it’s illegal for me to keep opening Zack’s mail. But now I’m genuinely interested in how he’s doing. Zack got a new job last fall (Attaboy card), gave the Smiths Big 12 Tournament tickets (thank you note), and he had a birthday this week.

Until yesterday, there was nothing of value in the cards besides sweet sentiment. But in the birthday card there was a Plaza gift certificate for $50. Hmmmm. I like the Plaza. I like gift certificates. I could head to Anthropology and no one would be the wiser. Or I could put the opened card and GC in a larger envelope, send it back to the Smiths and let them know they have Zack’s address wrong. Except then I’d have to own up to receiving his mail for the last year.

Several people have encouraged me to spend it, with them of course. A bottle of wine and appetizers on me. But I don’t think I can. Not because I’m some sort of morally superior person. (Clearly not, since I’ve been opening his mail.) It’s because Annie has old lady handwriting. So I think of her going to the Plaza to get the card, sending it to Zack and never receiving an acknowledgment from him. That would be sad.

Or maybe it’s the whole karma thing. Sometimes I hate karma.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


My college transcript came in the mail today. My dad doesn't read my blog, so I'll admit it - I did not apply myself in college. Twenty years ago I would have argued that point (and probably did), but at age 38 it is clear - I was an underachieving undergrad.

More appalling than my grades are the classes. It is amazing Drake awarded me a degree at all. Of course, I did pick the school because there was no math requirement for a journalism degree. I'm not kidding.

Some of the classes I received A's in: History of Rock and Roll (taught by a morning DJ who let us go after 45 minutes), Drugs in Society (where I learned what works best for treating hangovers), Deviance (what?) and Intro to Theater (clearly, I missed my calling.)

Classes I earned C's in: Intro to Economics (8 a.m. on MWF is just stupid), Logic and Critical Thinking (I have no recollection of this class), and Intro to Women's Studies (how does that happen when you're a girl?).

My grades also reflected how much fun I had each semester. Fall of my sophomore year yielded a 2.80. That was the semester I dated a bartender. Spring of senior year was my best with a 3.83 (Dean's List - woo hoo), but I was a recluse and ready to graduate.

I certainly could have tried harder. My classes could have been more challenging. Maybe I could have even earned a scholarship. But I didn't. Instead, my well-rounded college experience - and that also refers to the Freshman 15 - included learning important social skills like: a Long Island Ice Tea is not really ice tea, never accept a mat juice shot on your birthday, flannel covers a variety of sins and even if you don't remember ordering Domino's, you still have to pay for it.

I miss college.

(And if anyone finds my use of parenthesis, commas and dashes not punctuationally correct, you know what college to blame.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Yesterday was my first outside ride of 2011. True cyclists will find that ridiculous, as there has been ample opportunity to get outside before now. Just not for me.

I’m a ideal-weather cyclist. Criteria for riding outside includes: sunny with no chance of rain, winds less than 15 miles per hour, a location of either the downtown airport or country roads and the time of day must be low traffic. That leaves me with approximately eight hours of outdoor riding time per year.

They say cyclists fall into two categories – those who have wrecked and those who are going to. I’ve only had one minor incident, which was hitting a road-closed sign because I wasn’t paying attention. (It’s easy to space out riding 80 miles on a 3.7-mile loop.) Fortunately, the injuries were minor. So that means the big wreck is still looming. This fear leads me to riding indoors on the trainer more often than not.

Boyfriend, who is more cyclist than triathlete, finds this absurd. He does a ride self-named “Urban Attack", which includes high traffic downtown roads. No, thank you.

Anyway, last night was 25 miles in moderate wind. Nothing too difficult, though I was super tired afterwards. I rode harder than I should have being my first time out because I hate being passed on the loop. (Not that I didn’t get passed, I just hate it.) I did spend some time reeling in a dude riding while wearing compression socks and that made me strangely happy. And the two cheese enchiladas post-ride made me even happier.