Monday, October 10, 2005

Family Style & REI

Paul was diagnosed with tonsilitis and was feeling really crappy. I went over to his place on Friday night to make pumpkin soup with him. Poor boy.

Luckily he woke up feeling much better on Saturday morning. Yeah penicillin! Saturday was another Family Style with Chris and the rest of the vegans. This time there was a twist: the event was being videotaped for a segment on cable access. If the segment goes well, our fun Family Styles will become a regular program. Weird.

The event starts with people biking to the organic Green City Market farmers’ market. My job was to pull the trailer where the videographer sat. The glitch in the day was how long we spent at the market. We were introduced and our conversations were taped before we began the process of shopping for ingredients. It was cold outside and I was outside for almost four hours in a skirt and no tights. Brrrrrrr. Finally we got back to Chris’s place and spent a long time with my feet warming under Paul’s legs on the couch. Since he was sick he completely bundled up and was only mildly cold towards the end of the market.

I love the cooking part of Family Style because I get to be a know-it-all, smarty-pants about cooking stuff. Not in a bad way, but people always ask for my advice on cooking and cookware issues. The menu was:
fresh greens with citrus vinaigrette, raisins & pecans,
cold pesto potato salad,
spelt pasta with curried tofu & olives
cupcakes

We were also supposed to make a tahini quinoa dish, but we ran out of time and belly space.
After leaving Paul’s place shortly after 8:00AM, I got back home around 5:30. John was getting ready to ghost ride a bike up to a party. The Thunderhead Alliance is having a conference in Chicago, and we are hosting several people at our place. Thunderhead is an umbrella group of biking advocacy organizations. At our place is Christine from Santa Rosa, Dave from Wisconsin and Eric from.......?.

Later Paul and I rented the Virgin Suicides. I’ve seen it before, but we had both just read the book. This was our first movie rental together.....aww. I think it is pretty cool that we went this long without the urge to rent a movie because we have more interesting things to do. However, since Paul was still sick, Family Style took so long and neither of us wanted to spend time outside in the cold again, we decided that snuggling under a blanket and renting a video was a fine way to spend the evening.

Sunday morning we slept in, made breakfast together and the biked to REI. It was sunny and brisk outside. Very nice riding weather. Paul bundled up again, but I just wore yoga pants, a muscle shirt and arm warmers. By the time we got to the suburbs, I had removed even the arm warmers, and my legs were toasty in the black yoga pants. Damn, do the suburbs suck.
The street numbers appeared to be random, many buildings didn’t have their numbers posted, traffic was heavy, there weren’t sidewalks. Blech. We got trapped in some sort of residential cul de sac hell, as we tried to detour the wide, busy commercial shopping corridor hell. We joked that we might die as we searched for the REI. I’m pretty sure something horrible happens if you let the sun set on you in the suburbs.

We found the REI and were disappointed because it was only one story and small. I hoped there would be a climbing wall there. No such luck.

Paul bought a tent, bike tubes and some heavy biking mittens. I got a backpacking pack, shoes and toe/hand warmers. I expect that these little warmers will save me a ton of misery during slow winter Critical Mass rides and during long winter rides. I’m hoping that with the neoprene booties & toe warmers that I will be able to use my clipless shoes for long winter rides – especially the Frozen Snot Century. I could have easily stayed for another hour, but we wanted to get back to Chicago before dark.

This was a low-key, but totally fun weekend. I didn’t consume a drop of alcohol, nor inhale a whiff of smoke. It felt good to get out and ride at a fast pace without becoming a ball of sweat. We rode out there at about 18mph and then we had some tailwind on the way back and flew into Chicago at about 20-21mph. So fun.

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