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How Did This Happen?!?

Shock and condemnation. The radio crew found out that I have never ridden a bike, not even a good beginner road bike. Is there another adult around who could say the same thing? The crew doubts it and they are bound and determined to remedy my newbie status. I am not sure who started it, but all of a sudden a bunch of road bikes for beginners appeared at the station. I could take my pick. Not knowing what was likely to keep me steady and stable, I let others decide. “Let’s all go outside and see,” I exclaimed. “I need help and that means more than one person holding me up.” They could walk me around like a dog and pony show. If I succeed, the laugh last will be on me. “Don’t you know, Mallory, that we all chipped in to buy a beginner bike.” It has your name on it so you will never mistake it for anyone else’s. Of course, none of us at the station ride beginner bikes! Maybe you won’t for long, but it is a good way to start, they all chimed in.

What fun. The crew was going to air a segment on me learning to ride, or crashing to the ground as the case may be. It was inspired by this review at http://www.onroadandmountain.com/best-road-bikes-budget/ external. There were a lot of laughs as I teeter-tottered about the parking lot. I love the bike and fully intend to master its every move. How did this happen that I got left behind when every kid on my block was learning to maneuver. Were my parents that oblivious? Did I not drop huge hints, like for Santa Claus to come with a bike in tow? I suppose I would have outgrown any and all bikes at this point, but now is a good time to start in a non-threatening manner. Adults seem to be less agile than kids so it isn’t an easy lesson. I am a bit athletic. Why shouldn’t I learn super-fast?

The bike was a good choice as it fit my size perfectly. It was as if I had been measured to fit—the height of the seat, the distance of the handlebars, and the size of the pedals. Perfect match! You can get anything custom these days, even a beginner bike. When I am adept at hitting the trails and clocking time on the road, I wonder if I will need to graduate. I heard someone mumbling that they thought the bike was be fine unless I wanted to be a mountain downhill racer. I was no daredevil. I couldn’t see everyone coughing up more money for another model. I would be on my own. So be it. I think I am going to love getting around on my two-wheeler and parking it whenever and wherever I want. No more wasted gas, no more car repairs, no expensive car insurance, and no more hand car washes I don’t have time for. A bike is the answer to my prayers. Who knew?

Gear up for Summer

When summer draws near, my mood becomes cheerful. It is not that spring is so bad, but it does rain and get cold. True summer waits until June when the weather starts cooperating and your thoughts turn to picnics in the park, vacations to the lake to go fishing, and beach outings. I like to gear up for summer plenty in advance. There are many things you have to buy to take with you. I like to be prepared so if I get a last minute invitation to join friends at the shore, everything is ready and in good order.

I have friends who hate the beach and it astounds me. They don’t like the icy cold water, the burn of salt on sensitive skin, and the incessant skin-destroying sun. They don’t like the caked on sand that can’t readily be brushed off. I think they are crazy. They are missing the roar of crashing waves and the joy of body surfing or even using a board. They don’t know how much I relish eating a grilled hot dog as I watch all the passersby. People watching is one of the pleasures of summer. I always marvel at how little attire people wear. Getting a tan, however, is a status symbol and you have to go often to get a nice golden tone.

I am Sunny and part of the radio team. I certainly plan to cover all the cool gear you can take to the beach. Many people love a big umbrella to give them sun protection. They enjoy the shade after they have been swimming for a couple of hours. Then there are those soft terry cloth colorful beach towels, one more outlandish than the other. A beach chair is a luxury if you don’t mind toting it. It makes for comfortable sitting so you can eat without reclining and maybe even read a book. But don’t forget a nice big beach cooler external for your snacks. If you don’t want to buy the fare provided at the stands that grill hamburgers and hotdogs, you can pack what sandwiches you like. You can also keep your beverages nice and cold all day long. I am not sure ice cream will last as I haven’t tried, but I know you can buy it from the vendors street side.

So make yourself a check list now that it is close to beach time. You may forget something important like an iPod for music, sunglasses, and sunscreen. These are essentials you can’t do without. Sunscreen is becoming a must for most people who want maximum protection and won’t be sitting under the umbrella the whole time. Why go to the beach if you don’t walk along the shore or swim out to the buoys? So I hope my beach theme on the radio show will help others get ready as I already am. I try to talk about things of common interest and as far as I am concerned, the beach is included.

Aftermath

Our dorm has nice hardwood floors. I guess it is old enough to date back to an era when that was standard material. Now you are lucky if you get ugly linoleum or maybe some well-worn carpet. Wood has an aura of luxury about it so whoever made that long-ago decision did us all a big favor. You can always toss a throw rug over it for warmth and style. People try to spruce up their rooms and each person has an individual approach to giving it personality. The main recreation room is the same: all solid hard wood. The staff keeps it in prime condition and it is always shiny and buffed. It is almost a crime to use the room and create scuff marks and scratches. But we have mixers and this is the best place to have them as the room can hold dozens of people. Also, if you spill beer or wine on the wood, it is easy to mop up. Mixers can get a little rowdy and it takes a toll on the floor. We try to be on our best behavior so we don’t have to hear about it from the powers that be. The last mixer had its problems and this time it was the food that was strewn about on the lovely wood floor.

My friends and I were in charge or organizing the event. This included cleanup duty. This is never fun. It spoils the magic of the night’s socializing. However, in the wee hours of the morning we got out the school’s vacuum designed for hardwood floors external, and proceeded with the cleanup effort. We were pretty tired to say the least. We had been drinking and now sleep was calling our names. It took a while as the floor is on the large size and there was additional cleanup of abandoned plates and paper cups. Don’t people have the sense to use the visible trash cans put here and there strategically for such use. I think a little lecture to the dorm residents is in order before the next party. Either I need other volunteers to tidy up or I need people to be more respectful of the dorm environment. It doesn’t help to limit the beverages and snacks because there are always those types who talk while they eat and use emphatic hand gestures. Then the food goes flying.

I don’t want to complain too much as dorm mixers are the staple of our social life and we love them. We try to invite different people to meet new friends. Our dorm has gotten a good reputation for its mixers and we get many requests for invitations. But if there is a particularly clumsy guest, he or she will not return. We expect a modicum of decorum, even if we are students. I might do a radio show on the subject so everyone can benefit from exposing the problem.

Garage Sale to High Class

I am Mallory, a radio station intern. One of my favorite shows on TV is about flea markets and finding special finds that you can refurbish and repurpose for your own use or resale at another venue. It is a challenge and you have to be really creative to make it work. An old classroom desk can become a nightstand. A wooden chest can become a coffee table. Wood frames are great for making mirrors and TV consoles from another era can become an updated wine bar. The sky is the limit and the more bizarre the item, the better. People want something out of the ordinary at flea markets. They count on other people to do what they cannot do themselves.

This sort of thing appeals to me because I am taking a class on interior decorating which I adore. While it covers everything from practical and conservative to modern and playful, I kind of go for the more extraordinary. Hence the interest in recycling old things. In fact, one of the course assignments was to find a garage sale cast off and repaint it with a paint sprayer external to give it new life. I looked for something rusty and dented so the transformation would be dramatic. I wanted something that could become useful and to which color could successfully applied. After making the rounds of the flea markets, I saw many suitable candidates. I set my eyes on small table and chairs that was probably used in a small garden or on a patio. It was white and had a rusty patina all over. It needed some real love.

I sanded down the table and chairs and started thinking bright color. This little set could go in someone’s small apartment kitchen. And who wants white? How boring. What about giving it a surprising pop of color. I chose royal blue and found just the right shade to load the paint sprayer. I didn’t want to manually apply the paint with a brush as you get streaks and an uneven texture. It doesn’t look professional but a bad do it yourself job. So the paint sprayer was the answer for perfect application. You just have to have a steady hand and some manual control. I relished the job. The results would be dramatic. After the class and I had received credit for the project, back to the garage sale the set would go. It turned out fine. The paint sprayer gave it a perfect coat of shiny blue paint, but at the last minute I decided to change the seats to yellow. Now it was a two-tone set and bright and gay. Someone could paint a design on the yellow chair seats if they wanted to customize them to match their existing kitchen décor. I liked them plain so you could use print napkins or decorative plates. The color scheme is appealing and should be easy for people to like. Class project: big success.