spring bike ride 21

Postcard from the real world

This weekend  I decided to put aside deadlines and to-do lists, to take a break from the real world and spend some time in . . . well, the real world.

The weather was beautiful. I wish you were here.

I thought about how you would use your words to describe the beauty of the day and the freedom of the experience in poetry and prose, or how your cameras would capture better images.

I thought about telling you of this place , which I am not alone in thinking of as “Mayberry,” where the people are friendly, the children are always outside playing — riding bikes or skateboards, sailing, swimming, practicing lacrosse or basketball — and how even the teenagers politely wave and say “hello;” how the dogs are fat and happy, as dogs should be, too content to run away, too secure to feel threatened by strangers; how the local policeman sits watching to make sure things stay as they should be  and how he too smiles and waves, unless you’re breaking the speed limit.

I thought about how I never got around to writing about the lemonade stand, and how eagerly I await its next impromptu appearance to see how its sun-kissed, freckle-faced, giggly entrepreneurs have grown since last fall.

I thought about describing the landmarks — the Thomas Point Lighthouse and the U.S. Naval Academy and upcoming Commissioning Week, or telling you about the local competition between sailboaters and powerboaters out there on the open water.

I thought about how some of you would understand the experience of having forgotten how steep a certain grade is or how much farther 10 miles is to pedal  after a long winter indoors, but the feeling of wind and fresh air and sunshine is more than worth the achy muscles.

And I thought about the amusing theories you might have about the fat goose sunning itself on the pier and whether figgy pudding would figure into any of your theories.

Upon closer inspection, it appears s/he was armed and dangerous. I'm lucky to be alive to write this.

Upon closer inspection, it appears s/he was armed and dangerous. I’m lucky to be alive to write this.

But mostly I just  thought . . . about things like dandelions and buttercups, driftwood and rock walls, bonfires and magnolia trees, and fat, sunbathing geese . I breathed fresh air and I took pictures and soaked in enough sunshine to get myself through what threatens to be a rainy week, back in that other so-called  real world.

Wherever you are, I hope your weather is beautiful and your real world is as pleasant as a Saturday bike ride  in April.

artscape 07222012 088

Artscape: Free food tastes better.

Baltimore held its annual Artscape festival this weekend.  The fun included a flying rhino, men loitering in tutu’s, women in roller skates on the flying trapeze, a mechanical chicken, crocheted portable toilets, art cars, oversized portions of extremely unhealthy food choices, a giant banana car, the Weinermobile, and even an opportunity to scribble a little graffiti (can you guess which is mine?) .

My daughter picked up a poster for her study area.  Her mother approves of the lyrical message.

SmartFood gave out free bags of chips and popcorn. When we got to the table, they were temporarily out of stock. The angry / hungry crowd swelled, but we waited. . . because her sweetheart says free food tastes better.

Tensions grew in the sweltering, popcornless heat. Eventually boxes were delivered. But it was a harrowing five-minute wait that I shall never forget. Until Thursday. I am sure he appreciates the sacrifice we didn’t actually make in the potential Snack Riot of 2012 to get him some free chips and popcorn, because that’s the way he is.

One of my favorite parts is the festival-goers themselves. Undeniably one of the best people-watching events of the season.

If some pictures appear small, click your refresh button and they should appear in full size. I don’t know why that is. Mercury is retrograde.

Ojo de Dios!

It takes a tough man to ride a mechanical chicken.

When rhinos fly. . . .

“I got no words.” — The man standing beside me when I took this shot.

Nice bag!

A marriage of marketing icons. (The “Natty Boh” (National Bohemian beer) guy and the Utz (potato chip) girl).

This car burns incense (except in Oregon and New Jersey).

Words of wisdom (lots of them).

Extreme hood ornaments.

Ants were a big theme. I do not know why.

“What’s up?” (One of his alleged phrases)

Groovy idea.

“That looks like the (stuff)!” — Woman who asked about the cheesy bacon chips.

One quasi-hippie + one magic marker = one bad pun.

My graffitti close up.

The crowd admires my graffiti.

Him again?

Air guitar

$1 to see the giant man-eating chicken. Or is that giant man eating chicken? I didn’t spend the $1 to find out.

For Sarge and Lorna, but mostly Sarge.

. . . and you thought that last picture was “awwwww” . . .

Motivational advice for law school.

Hot dogs.

Even more impressive in person. Fabric art by Jamie Langhoff — www.seeinginfabric.etsy.com

It’s not over ’til you’ve seen the roller-skating trapeze act.