I felt inexplicably exhausted after teaching today, so my ride today was nothing but the commute. After a long afternoon working in the office, I put my heavy legs on the bike and headed to the grocery store for a couple things. As I came up on Magazine from Nashville, I saw a parade coming down the street. A parade! Oh, that’s right–it’s Mardi Gras! I pulled around the corner and considered just reaching out for beads, but decided to practice safe paradery and get off the bike to reach out and collect my first beads of the Uptown parade season. I tried to move as quickly as possible, because this wasn’t a big one, and I’d happened upon the last bit. I also needed to get a picture for my blog. And also I had to get my helmet off for ease of stringing beads over my head. There was a lot going on. I fumbled in my bag for my cell phone while reaching out toward the marchers with the other hand. A guy approached me, I made eye contact, he put two long strings around my neck and I kissed his beery cheek, hoping he’d hurry along so I could get a picture. He did, and I took this one, and then headed straight to the grocery store to drop my beads (my beads!) in the bead recycle bin in the parking lot. I did my shopping, got on the bike, pedaled home while cursing the potholes on Camp Street, and settled in for the night. I love Mardi Gras.