Exhilaration

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While at work the other day, I needed to make a quick trip to the post office. I was without a car (I usually take the bus to work) and the closest post office was about a 30-40 minute walk from my office. Luckily, we have a bike program at work and one of the bikes was available. I looked at the route and realized that there were bike lanes the entire route. I grabbed a helmet and decided to give it a try.

It had been years since I had last ridden a bike. I had never ridden a bike in bike lanes along busy roads. At first, I was worried about looking like a dork with the helmet. However, I threw it on because I, as an adult, understand the necessity of safety gear (I’m very lucky that my lack of safety gear as a youth did not result in any long term injuries). The next hurdle for me to overcome was the apprehensiveness I felt riding a bike along busy streets. The first time a car drives past you doing at least 35 mph is an eerie feeling. I was able to adapt to this situation and this feeling. After a few minutes, I found something unexpected: I was enjoying myself. I could feel the wind and a smile slowly crossing my face. It was a joy to just be riding, to be doing something I haven’t done in years, something that harkens back to childhood. I would ride my bike all over my hometown as a kid, literally from one side of town to the other, and I could feel traces of that freedom, of that exhilaration.

I’m now considering the purchase of a used bike, probably off of craigslist, just something to get me back on the road, to get me into it.

Disney Planning

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Ashley and I have been planning Max’s first trip to Disney World. And by “Ashley and I have been planning”, I really mean “Ashley has been planning”. She has taken the initiative with this and it will be her first trip to Disney World as well. She accuses me of not being excited for our upcoming trip and she points to my lack of outward excitement and my lack of assistance with the planning. She is wrong; I am very excited for this trip.

I am looking forward to seeing his reaction when we tell him about our trip. I cannot wait to see his face light up as he explores the parks, to feel his excitement as we ride the rides together, and to see the inevitable smiles as we meet different characters. I have been to Disney World before, but I was so young I do not recall any of the trip, so I can only go by stories passed down to me from family about whether or not I had fun. Max is nearly four and we both feel as though he is old enough for this to be a memory for him as he ages. I only hope that it will be a positive one.

I would love to pretend I am a rare breed (we all like to believe we are unique). However, I am not really all that special. I can be fairly pessimistic during vacations (I would be very comfortable with Eeyore). I do not know if Max picks up on my pessimism yet, but I am fearful that he will start picking up on it soon. I am trying to improve, but I am scared that my sometimes sour moods will ruin our Disney trip. Maybe that is why I am not as outwardly excited as Ashley would like; I am distracted by concern and worry. If the happiest place on earth cannot break me from sour moods, what can?

Christmas 2017

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Max received his very own pair of ice skates for Christmas. He had been taking lessons, a parent and tot class where I was able to skate alongside him, throughout the autumn. He seemed overjoyed when he opened them. Luckily, there was a small ice rink constructed on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for the season and this allowed us to take them for a spin on Christmas day. This was also the first time that Ashley was able to skate with us. We were able to skate three-aside, holding hands: Max in the middle, a chain of arms and hands. As we were skating around the tiny sheet of ice, I felt the warmth of Max’s hand in mine. I could see the sun setting on the beach. I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life.

Fleur-de-lis

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While attending school in Louisville, I observed many fleurs-dis-lis (⚜️) throughout the city. I had seen the symbol before (most notably used by the New Orleans Saints), but I had no idea what it meant. As part of my bus commute research series, I decided to take a look and see

a) what the fleur-de-lis symbolizes
b) why it is associated with Louisville

What is a fleur-de-lis?

The fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily and is commonly used as a decorative symbol. Apparently, many saints are often depicted with a lily, which is why I often associate the fleur-de-lis with a religious connotation. It seems tied to French history and is often associated with the French monarchy, but it is often seen in other coats of arms across Europe.

Why is the fleur-de-lis associated with Louisville?

Basically, places that saw strong French settlement during European settlement adopted this symbol. Louisville was one of these areas (many settlements along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers were strong French settlements, which is why the fleur-de-lis is popular throughout these areas). It also seems likely that the fleur-de-lis is chosen to pay homage to French contributions during the Revolutionary War. This symbol is so much a apart of Louisville’s identity that it is included in the Louisville Metro Seal and the Flag.

Extract from Plato's Republic: On That Which is Correct Politically

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Smart and funny.