Cycling under the influence

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know if something is really a “hot topic” or if it’s just interesting to me and people I know. Like, I was sort of interested in Colorado legalizing marijuana but I didn’t realize this was a national story until we went to Alabama for Thanksgiving and everyone asked us about it.

So, I don’t know if Denver Police enforcing DUI laws for cyclists is actually big news or if I just keep seeing it pop up because I am a Denver cyclist and so it’s something people I know are talking about.

One the one hand, it seems kind of obvious that you shouldn’t drink and bike. I’m always talking about how I have the same rights and responsibilities on my bike as I do in my car. That’s why it drives me crazy when cyclists go the wrong way on a one way street, or on the flip side when a red light won’t ever change for me unless a car pulls up behind me. You shouldn’t drive drunk; you shouldn’t ride your bike drunk.

But on the other hand, would you rather a drunk person get out on the road in a car or on a bike? I’m sure it’s possible to hurt someone while intoxicated on your bike, but my 50 pound cruiser does a lot less damage than my 2,000 pound Civic.

I’ve always felt a little funny about the fact that I will not drive my car with one drop of alcohol in my system, but I’ve definitely ridden my bike home from happy hour. If I had unlimited money, I’d take a cab home. (Actually I’d take an Uber home because I’m obsessed with their car service and it’s the best.)

I’m a stickler and very much a follower of rules, so I suppose it won’t sit well with me to be doing something that is technically illegal, but I probably am not going to start calling a cab to take me less than a mile in my neighborhood if I have my bike.

Also, don’t ever read the comments on any online article about cycling. They will make you hate everyone.

Election Day (Eve)

Today I met a real life undecided voter. I had an undecided voter in front of me in a swing state, shouldn’t I…do something? I listened to his concerns about both sides for a while, and then as a follow up I sent him The Economist endorsement. Because I had just read it and I thought it seemed fair and interesting and I like for folks to know I read The Economist.

I filled out my ballot this week and walked it to a drop box on Saturday. After hemming and hawing over some of the propositions and amendments, I ultimately followed the advice of a well-informed friend who I know shares my politics. Usually I’m that friend, but I was pretty lost this year aside from 2A.

The drop box was located outside an Early Voting polling spot, but they weren’t open. In lieu of the obligatory photo of my “I voted” sticker, please accept this photo of a sign outside the polling place.

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I stopped on my run this weekend to take a photo of these two competing balcony signs: Romney on the fourth floor, Obama on the sixth. I wondered whose sign went up first, and if they knew about each other. (I think the entrance to this building is on the other side). I’ve never put a sign for a Presidential candidate in my yard, though I did put up a Yes on 2A sign this year. I’m not sure yard signs have ever changed a mind, I think it’s a little bit more like hanging your college football flag up. It’s more about celebrating your own choice than convincing someone else.

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I’m getting entirely too moderate in my old age. I certainly hope that Obama wins a second term, but I almost feel a little embarrassed to admit that I suspect, if we end up with President Romney, we’ll be just fine.

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On the other hand, if 2A doesn’t pass and our libraries undergo further funding cuts, that might make me threaten to move to Canada.

Odds and ends

Chris and I went to REI last Sunday and he spent like 30 minutes trying on cycling jackets, looking for one to replace his current jacket, which is looking a bit tattered. He’s a tall guy on the skinny side, so we were both surprised when he kept having to size up to a large or even extra large. And I was really impressed that the jackets came in the usual neon yellow but also pretty peacock blue and…we were in the women’s section. Which explained why all the jackets seemed just a little tight in the shoulders and short in the sleeves.

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We have one of those things that lets you make your own sparkling water. Or sparkling anything, really. I love sparkling water, so Chris has been carbonating water and sending it to work with me in these glass bottles. I did not know they were beer bottles and I got some funny looks at work.

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Our ‘Yes on 2a’ sign finally arrived! If you live in Denver you should vote yes on 2a if you like things like libraries and police officers. This is a pretty uncontroversial measure. Regardless of your opinions on the role of government in our lives, we all agree that libraries and police and roads are essential functions, and 2a allows us to have more of all that good stuff without raising taxes. Magic!IMG 3468

We are dog sitting two dogs this weekend, bringing our household total to three. Sadly I spent all day yesterday in bed fighting some kind of fever-y evil sickness. Dogs barking and wanting to play were not what the doctor ordered. (Chris was at work.) I felt much better today, so first thing we took them to the park for a good long romp.

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I was rather short sighted when I bought my MacBook Air two years ago and only sprang for the 32 gig hard drive. I have struggled with storage space ever since, and I finally decided to move most of my music and photos over to the iMac to free up space. It was pretty easy to copy it all onto an external hard drive and then from the drive into the iMac.

As a bonus, as the photos loaded into iPhoto, I got to see a rapid fire slideshow of that last five years or so of my life. It was fun to see really random photos I haven’t thought about in a long time. And not just…oh, that wedding! But also…oh man that really good breakfast I took a picture of with my phone. Or those suspenders I texted a photo of to a friend.

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Now I have a touch of the Sunday Night Blues. I definitely don’t live my life counting down to the weekend, but I always find myself lacking time on Sunday night and feeling a little stressed out. Like, I want to finish laundry, triage my work email, take the dogs for a walk, pick out clothes for tomorrow, make lunches for the week, fill out my mail in ballot, and go to bed in about three hours.

All I intend to say on the internet about politics for the moment

You know how you love or hate some celebrities? For no good reason? Scarlett Johannson is this person for me. And when I saw her speech at the DNC it made me like her even less.

I speak to you not as a representative of young Hollywood, but as a representative of the many millions of young Americans, particularly young women, who depend on public and nonprofit programs to help them survive

Okay, ScarJo. Except I’m not sure how you’re a “representative” of Americans who depend on public or nonprofits to survive since you get paid millions of dollars to make movies. But that’s not what really irritated me.

When I was a little girl, my mother—a registered Democrat—would take me into the polling booth, and tell me which buttons to press and when to pull the lever. Is that even legal? I remember the excitement I felt in that secret box, and feeling like my mom’s vote wasn’t just about the candidate, it was about our family—and all the families just like ours.

This last election, I finally got to punch those buttons for me, for real. I wore my “I voted” pin the whole day.

Per the internet, this lady is 27 years old. The idea that she “finally” got to vote in “this last election” is ridiculous. You guys know we vote for stuff other than who the president is, right? That we also get to vote for U.S. senators and congressmen, state legislators, city council members and school board members, mayors and governors, judges, oh, and also laws? And that we vote more frequently than every four years? Homegirl lives in New York; there are three opportunities to vote in 2012 alone. I mean, you’ve at least heard of the midterms, right?

The obsession with Presidential politics drives me bonkers. The President of the United States does a small percentage of the governing that affects your day to day life, but the campaign gets 90% of our collective political attention.

More than voting for a president, and really more than voting for any person, I like to vote for laws. Because laws have predictable behavior. Laws don’t end up having to resign because they’re banging an intern, and laws aren’t swayed by campaign donations or by lobbyists. Laws don’t get bogged down by gridlock in congress. Laws don’t seem really cool and nice at first but then end up supporting a moronic camping ban. They’re just laws. Once you vote for them, you pretty much know exactly how they will behave and we can, with large success, predict how they will affect us.

Which is all basically to say this:

One, you (we all) should stop obsessing over the minutiae of the presidential campaign.

Two, if you live in Denver, you should vote Yes on 2A because instead of kissing babies or releasing tax returns or brewing beer or fudging a marathon finishing time, instead of squabbling over who built what, instead of promising to do something to improve our roads, police force, and libraries, 2A will actually just improve our roads, police force, and libraries. (Without raising taxes. Magic!)

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It means if Denver has extra money collected from property taxes (and right now we do) instead of having to give it back, we can spend it to patch the crumbly holes in our city government left by the decrease in revenue from when the economy tanked. It restores services we lost from the recession.

And three, Scarlett Johannson is annoying.