Saturday, November 19, 2011

Whiplash from Work--Saved by Spandex

Last month I wrote about meeting a guy on the train who grew up near me and had his first marriage end because of a "Honey-Do" list.  He was a king on the road and a chump at home.  He finally decided he liked the road life better and left home.

The Army works in reverse, at least as far as opulence.  My most popular post ever was "Home Sweet Trailer Home" with more than 2000 page views followed by "Flying to Camp Garry Owen" with more than 500 hits.  Living in a small metal trailer in the relatively luxurious CHUs of Camp Adder was way better than the tents at Garry Owen, but both were far worse than home.  So there was no doubt I was ready to return to my home and family in Lancaster and leave Iraq.

But last week, I had the biggest hit of travel opulence I have had in quite a while.  In one three-day trip to New York City I went to:

Lunch and a seminare at the Gotham Club (Once J.P. Morgan's private club)

Then a black tie banquet at Gotham Hall:
Lunch the next day at the Yale Club:
And in the evening, the Union League of NYC:

So what kept me from being swept away by my surroundings?  The best part of my trip to NYC was not inside these buildings but the three rides I took from my hotel at 39th and 9th Avenue to and across the George Washington Bridge and back.
Every morning I was up early and wearing spandex bike clothes to make this 22-mile ride by different routes:  on the west side bike path, through Central park and up broadway, along the river drive (not the highway!) and mixes of these.  So at each event I was pretty sure to be the only guy in the room wearing spandex from collar to heel.

The last event, at the Union League, was called Socrates in the City.  The organizer, Eric Metaxas, said that all who attend these meetings are part of a UFO cult that wears spandex unitards.  

Little did he know, I own two spandex unitards--for time trial races.  

I bet he doesn't even own one.

And so it is very hard for me to be completely serious about the occasional luxury my jobs affords me.  I used to live in CHU and wear spandex pretty much every day.  

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975 Today a friend asked and I were talking about politics and how refugee problems have led to wars in the p...