(parenthetically speaking)

a random gal’s random thoughts about nothing and everything in general

The Bicycle Thief: The Sequel March 11, 2009

Filed under: mishaps and mayhem — jillb @ 2:55 am

In case you didn’t happen to catch Dragon’s comment on my post below about former First Couple Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter getting their bicycles stolen recently, I thought I’d share a quick update with you.

Turns out some friends of an acquaintance of mine who own a local bike shop actually gave those bikes to the Carters. Apparently, the Carters had brought their old bikes in to the shop for repair, but the bikes were so shabby looking that the owners decided to give them each a new set of wheels.

And now they’re gone! A precious gift stolen in the dark of night by some heartless Schwinn snatcher. It shocks and saddens me.

Luckily, thanks to Jon Stewart, the Carters are back in the saddle again. Hopefully, he thought to throw in two bike locks as well!


The Bicycle Thief March 6, 2009


Jimmy Carter saving energy by using good old-fashioned pedal power.

Somebody stole Jimmy Carter’s bicycle. True story.

I was watching the Jon Stewart show a few weeks ago and he had the 84-year-old former president on. They discussed, among other pressing topics, peace in the Middle East and the recent inauguration of Barack Obama. Strangely enough, the two seemed to have a genuine rapport. Carter seemed especially tickled when, at the end of the interview, Stewart gifted him with two new bicycles to replace the ones belonging to Jimmy and Rosalynn that had recently been stolen from The Carter Center here in Atlanta.

What? Someone actually stole Jimmy and Rosalynn’s bicycles? Does this strike anyone else as odd? I mean, how is it even possible? Don’t the Carters have constant Secret Service detail? And wouldn’t The Carter Center be zipped up as tight as a drum with security cameras everywhere? It just seems so … implausible.

My sister-in-law actually works at The Carter Center, so I asked her about it a few days later. She wasn’t sure, but she thought the bikes had been taken from a small storage shed somewhere on the grounds where they stored lawnmowers and stuff like that.

I tell you, these are either the dumbest or the smartest criminals on earth. I’m leaning toward the former, mostly because I wonder if they even realize what they got. I mean, do they even know the bikes they took belonged to the former President and First Lady? If so, how much do you think they can get for them? Are we going to see them being hawked on craigslist one day, in an ad that might read: “One pair gently used bicycles once owned by Prez and Mrs. Carter. Men’s bike is a red 10-speed sporting a Habitat for Humanity sticker. Ladies’ bike is green and has a woven basket handy for carrying peaches”?


Don’t Eat the Babies! February 27, 2009

I mentioned in a previous post how I saw this beautiful fox by my old office one night. It was totally unexpected, and the fox and I literally sat there staring at each for a second or two before he scampered off. It was a surreal moment, like something you’d see in a movie. In fact, I did see it in a movie. In the 2006 film The Queen, there’s a poetic scene where Queen Elizabeth (played by the wonderful Helen Mirren) is stranded in the Scottish wilds when she comes face to face with this huge stag she and her cronies had been trying to bag for years. Alone with the beast, she realizes its strength and beauty, and you just know from that day on that she could never shoot such a magnificent creature.

Lunch for a fox? Say it ain't so.

Lunch for a fox? Say it ain't so!

Well, I don’t know what made me think of it today, but I starting wondering what that little fox ate. What does a 20-pound carnivore roaming around in a sea of office buildings survive on? Granted, there are turtles and squirrels and fish and things in the wooded area and pond back behind my old office, so maybe he makes his dinner out of them. But there are also a few stray cats that make their home there, as well as several families of geese. The fox wouldn’t eat the kitties, would he? And, god forbid, he wouldn’t dine on the baby geese, right? The adorable goslings that brought a smile to my face whenever I’d see them waddling around, often causing a small traffic jam as they’d leisurely cross the busy road out front? I know it’s the course of nature, the call of the wild, if you will, but please, PLEASE, tell me the fox doesn’t eat the babies!!


Will Write for Food February 23, 2009

Alice doesn't work here anymore.

Alice doesn't work here anymore.

I got laid off from my magazine job last week. I was fairly calm and resigned to the fact at the time, but then, the next day, it happened: Detached from my co-workers and hours removed from the assurances it had nothing to do with me but was strictly because my position was being eliminated, I began to have huge pangs of panic and self-doubt. Huge.

I felt like the girl who’d just been dumped by her boyfriend. I worried, Did I do something wrong? Had I not done enough? Were they, as the saying goes, just not that into me?

Because if my company liked me and respected my work as much as they said they did, wouldn’t they have found a way to keep me on? Would they really let a little thing like money stand in the way of such a meaningful relationship?

The sad truth of it is, no matter how great your old employer insists you were, it’s hard not to take something like being laid-off a little personally. I’m over it now, though. The wave of insecurity and second-guessing myself has passed. Because if there’s one area of my life I do feel pretty confident about, it’s that I’m damned good at what I do. Or that I at least try as hard as anyone you’ll ever meet. So don’t worry about me; I’ll be fine.

That said, anybody looking for a talented writer and editor—full-time, freelance, or otherwise? My ex-employer will even give me a good reference. Promise.


wardrobe malfunction January 23, 2009

Don’t ask me how I managed it. Because I honestly don’t know. I mean, I don’t think I could manage to re-create the scene even if I tried.

At work the other day, I somehow managed to get the collar of my shirt caught on the hook on the back of the bathroom stall door. And the more I tried to free myself, the more hopelessly attached to that damn door I seemed to be.

What’s worse was that it was like 5:40 and the whole mad dash for home had already started, so the number of potential rescuers was dwindling fast. Add to that the fact I didn’t have my office key on me either, so even if I managed to escape, there was a good chance that they had already closed the doors and I wouldn’t be able to get back into the office to get my purse and car keys. Locked out of the office because I got stuck in the crapper—it could only happen to me!

My only hope was that one of my female co-workers had a long commute and a small bladder and would have to make a pit stop at the bathroom before they left for the day. But even then, how humiliating to have to ask a co-worker—someone you see for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and have to sit across the table from in meetings and stuff—for help freeing yourself from the toilet.

Luckily, I finally managed to twist and contort into the exact right position and was able to free my shirt from the door. And thankfully the office door was still open.

364834350_9f9a881816_m1This latest episode is just one of the many reasons I never buy nice clothes. I swear, no matter how careful I am, I’m always ripping a sleeve, breaking a zipper, losing a button. But mostly I either shrink things or stain things. I promise you there’s not one stitch of clothing in my closet that doesn’t have something wrong with it. So I’ve basically given up on trying to look presentable. And as a result, I have nightmares that any day now Stacy and Clinton from that show What Not to Wear are going to jump out and surprise me and tell me that someone has recommended me for a much-needed wardrobe makeover. To which I’ll respond, “Bring it on. Just don’t expect the clothes to last more than one wearing, because, as sure as the day is long, any new garments I get will surely suffer the same premature death.” Hmm, maybe that’s why they call those things we put our clothes on hangers, because they want to hang themselves after all the pain and suffering.