July 29, 2005
all about bikes
So. Ever since Cheesepuppet mentioned the Xtracycle, a Sport Utility Bicycle, I've been obsessed. Reading the website. Remembering seeing one (without any info or context) at Alder Creek and thinking, how cool is that?!?. Thinking, who cares if it makes my bike longer?, my bike is already too long for the public transit options. Man! It's too cool.
I've been rather obsessed of late on how I can do more non-car travel, using the scooter, maybe with a trailer, and the bicycle. The real trick, however, is that I need to become fitter so that traveling more by bicycle becomes a possibility rather than a tantalizing but far off dream. Right now, riding on flat areas is fine, but even slight inclines are tough.
I think about all the biking I did as a teenager on a single-speed cruiser. And then I realize, yeah. And I was running cross-country and track then, and I weighed 100# less. Sigh!
When I saw Hanna the other day, we talked about Bridge Pedal, which is coming right up. Damn! I really want to do it! And I'm really not in the shape to do it! Am I really going to be okay with walking my bike up the bridges? Somehow, I doubt it.
Awhile back, I was trolling through the new riders' discussion at Team Estrogen and found a post called Listen up new riders... learn how to spin... and save your knees!, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Of course, you can't spin if you don't have clips or toe cages or something to keep your feet glued to the pedals, and of course, I don't have clips or toe cages on any of my bikes (note to self: take some to g00dwill).
Anyways, when I was exercycling while watching the Tour de Lance the other day, I got it. The exercycle has foot straps. I spun rather than mashing and it was really rather fun, and rather easy to go rather fast. Wuhoo! Now maybe that's an addition I need for the townie?
My evangelizing about bike riding has caused (I like to think, at least) a coworker to get a bike, and today was her first bike commute to work. Wuhoo! I heard her in her office (across the hall) telling someone about my bike commuting, so of course, my interest was piqued.
By the time I got across the hall, she was demoing her bike tire repair kit, and her guest asked her if she really needed that. "Well, you have one, don't you, Vicki?"
Well, no. I went on to tell her that I have never in my life had a bicycle flat, and I've never carried a flat kit either. I've done rides across Detroit, more than half of a double century, and tons of training rides of 40 miles or more as a teenager, and never had a flat.
So. Talk me into it, guys. Tell me your bike tire horror stories, please!
I mentioned Jonathan's blog the other day, and then he goes and moves it. Can you believe it? Yeah! I gotta say, he's moved to a much more superior situation. http://bikeportland.org/ is the new address, and it showcases his photography (how I know him) as well as his bike advocacy. Great stuff!
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".
— from the Team Estrogen Forum
July 28, 2005
This morning, I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed. I just woke up in a fog, and I haven't really been able to lose it. All things in time, I suppose.
Yesterday, here in Portland, it was hot. 93 degrees. Hey, laugh at us all you want, but that's hot for here, and it makes me cranky. I got together after work with my pal Hanna, who as a bonus had a movie pass for Saint Ralph. She had seen it at the Film Festival, as had another pal, and both had raved about it.
So it was nice to catch up with her for a few minutes before beginning my arduous commute home.
One thing I learned is that I like riding downtown. For some reason, that's fun. Dunno what that's about. Once I hit the bike path, the real work began. I did better on the early hills but really started tuckering out before the last hill, and ended up walking up it. "You almost made it," a kindly woman said encouragingly. This is the first time in, well, a while that I had to walk that hill. Oh well.
I did notice that I'm becoming more confident on the bike. I'm still not at the point where I feel confident or comfortable standing on the pedals, but I am getting more confident with the riding in general.
My sweetie made me a burrito (the most delicious burrito ever, or should I say, Evar, just because it irritates Scooter?), and then I ran downtown to meet up with Hollie to see the movie. Being the geeks we are, we were both excited to see a movie about marathoning (kinda). And AC—did I mention air conditioning?
The audience was filled with runner types, and before the movie ran, we had a talk from the Team in Training coordinator, and a couple who lost a child to leukemia. So I'm fighting back tears before the movie even starts. Great!
I loved the movie—very heavily Catholic but not religious, funny and touching, beautifully lit, and then there's the impossibility of a 14 year doing the Boston Marathon. While I think this film has legs, it's especially meaningful to marathoners, especially the sort of unlikely athletes like myself.
The look of the movie was beautiful. Hamilton, Ontario is Canada's Buffalo, NY—a working-class industrial town—but the camerawork illuminates both the grittyness and the beauty.
So, yeah, I liked it.
July 27, 2005
A Portland bike blog
My online pal Jonathan writes a bike blog for OregonLive, the online arm of our local newspaper. His entries for the last week are very interesting, including an op-ed about Lance's leadership (and the lack thereof in American commerce and politics) and this great description of a bike demonstration here in Portland:
Naked ride protests St. Johns Bridge
Last night a fun-loving group of Portland cyclists rode across the St. Johns Bridge sans clothing to make a statement about how vulnerable cyclists will be if ODOT (Oreg. Dept. of Transp.) goes through with their non-bike-friendly bridge remodel plans.
Here's a report of the ride:
the ride went off to rousing success. 14 free-spirited ciclonudistas took a lane on the St John's Bridge and refused to be cowed by fossil-fueled, death machines.
It's going to be another scorcher today.
Last night, I got home and got on the exercise bike, and watched the end of the Tour de France. Or at least, the end of the race. I hear Lance talked, but I didn't get that far. It was so unbearably hot in the house that being on the exercycle was kinda pleasant, as it threw hot air at me.
Then I went to pilates. It was hot there too. I was fine til we started doing kneeling exercises—at first I thought, I'll just work through the discomfort. But then I realized that the knee that I scraped on Saturday was bleeding, so enough of that...
Came home, mainlined some water, went to bed.
This morning, I was moving distinctly slow. I got really excited about seeing the end of the TiV0ed Tour de France, where Lance Speaks! But TiV0 must have thought better of it, because it was gone. Gone! I started to feel the tears welling up, and if I wasn't on a medication that keeps me from crying on a daily basis, I would have been bawling. Gone!
It seems silly, doesn't it? I know he won. I saw him cross the finish line, and I saw hours of coverage. I just wanted to see the end. And I didn't!
I should have just got moving, but instead I watched a 30 days on a conservative Christian man going to live with a gay man in the Castro. Boy, again, I could have been bawling. I could have been bawling. It hit home so hard. Especially seeing the PFLAG parents talking about their kids, which seemed to turn a light on for our prototagonist. And I always cry at PFLAG parents—oh, to be accepted as you are, unconditionally! I could just start sobbing!
Somewhere in there, I got the Pretenders' Stop your Sobbing stuck in my head.
I got on the bike, took the books to the library (4 minutes!), and then rode to work on a new route. I switched out of hard gear only for stop signs and stop lights, and I felt great, though completely and entirely covered with sweat by the time I got into work. I forgot to check the odometer to see how far I had gone, but it was nice to have a new route, with new houses, and new cars, and new flowers, and new animals, and yes, new bicyclists.
That's it. Everything's good—I'm just trying to stay outta the sun.
July 26, 2005
Run Hit Wonder Race ReportLook! A race report! Finally!
I was rather cavalier in preparing. No body glide. No sunscreen. Though I did wash my feet and wear my wrightsocks. I got downtown about 40 minutes before the race will start, and already there is a sea of orange. Orange everywhere you look. I go to the coffee shop where I'm supposed to meet up with some coworkers, and there's Mela. She's looking for someone she's supposed to meet, too.
Unlike last year, the whole lining up at the start line is a big mess. There are all these gates up, so you can't cross streets, and so no one can get where they need to go. But somehow, the race starts. And some time later, we cross the start line.
The first band is immediately after the start—the Donnas. I manage to hear their last 2 or 3 songs (they only play a 25 minute set!). We dance like crazy, then head on down the road.
I spot a TV camera and shout, Free Katie! So the anchor/journalist/pretty face decides to interview me. I think it was for a latin american network as we had a some language difficulties. If you happen to see my fat ass on TV, please let me know!
We head down Salmon Street, a slight downhill. There's a guy at the side of the road with a Run, Run, Run!!! Live Stong sign. No, I didn't mistype that, that's what it said!
We make the turn onto Naito. Nina Sky is playing, I continue on. Not my style. We turn onto "Marathon Drive", a street that is included in each and every downtown race, and then up Glisan. In the park blocks, I stop for Fountains of Wayne. I'm shocked to see they're all in their 40s. Something about this creeps me out. So when someone asks for their hit, and they reply, if you were in better shape, you would have heard us play it, I move on. Quickly.
Pass the Chingy stage. S/he is long gone. Amble by a water stop and recognize the water offerer as a local restaurant owner/chef. I stop and chat with him for a few minutes—I had had some of his buttermilk fried chicken a couple of days before, and it was good—rivaling my own.
Then, I approach the Aquabats stage. The Aquabats are still playing!?! How is this possible? Why is g-d so kind? Oh, they say something from the stage about how they can't get off the stage until the last person comes through. So I stop and dance.
Mind you, I don't know the Aquabats from Adam, but I already love their silliness. They're all dressed in matching outfits, wearing belts with a cartoon superhero.
To my left is a couple with a baby in a jogging stroller, and the male half squats to give the infant a bottle. Suddenly, the Aquabats singer begins making up a song about the baby drinking her lunch, and the band falls in behind, and they continue singing about the baby, and I am beside myself with joy. Dude, how cool is this?!
After several minutes of this song, the couple with baby move on... and I'm the only one left. Me and the photographer. All of the sudden, one of the guys on stage yells "Cops! It's a riot! You better get going..." And I look behind me, and there are the cops, the cops that are following the last person. Who would be me. And they obviously aren't interested in watching me dance to another Aquabats song. Oh!
So I wave goodbye, and suddenly the guys on stage are yelling, hey, you're the best! You're a winner! Let's give you a shirt! I, of course, doubleback for that, but in fact, they have no more shirts. So they offer me towels. And bottles of water. Nah! But I'm grinning ear to ear.
Now, I'm DFL, and I need to change that. I have a little more than 2 miles to go, so I pour on the speed. Except I'm tired and my legs don't want to go. Go anyways! And I do.
I am so ready to be done when I hit the finish line. It's rather cruel—there's a downhill, then an uphill to cross it. Then you have to walk a block to get your medal, another block to lose your chip, and yet another block to get some fruit. But Mela is there, waiting for me. Oh my g-d, the best friend evar! We stop into the Joan Jett concert, and we're both in that post race stupor. We go get some breakfast and suddenly, the water is the best water Evar! And this is the best pancake evar! And Mela's car? The best car evar! The best AC evar! And the nap afterwards? Well, you know.
I'm pretty happy with my time. When you consider that my best 10K time is 1:30:50, and that I probably spent 10 minutes each at the Donnas, Fountains of Wayne, and the Aquabats, well, I did pretty damn good.
Age: 275 / 276
Place Overall: 4523 /4534
Sex Overall: 2479 /2490
I finally feel back in my groove.
Yesterday, I was coming out of the doctor's office when I passed by a little old lady waiting for a ride. She was probably in her eighties, maybe older. As I was unlocking the scooter, she walked up to me and said:
I like your bike!
I do, too, thanks! I said, somewhat lamely.
It looks like fun.
The evening was just about perfect. We went to Powells Technical Books, then to a record store, then out for Thai, then to Reading Frenzy, then to gelato (I know, I feel like a poseur, but here, we don't have a lot of ice cream but we do have a lot of gelato), all via scooters. Then we got home and camped on the couch with the animals and the laptops and our stuff, and had a romantic evening in front of the fans.
This morning, I somehow awoke with a spring in my step, got my act together and then took it on the road. Okay, maybe not that good, but I watched a little bit more of the final stage of Tour de Lance, and then walked into work.
My sweetie announced to me that he plans to walk to work 4 days a week. It's so relaxing and enjoyable, he says. I had been trying to tell him that, and I am so pleased that he's in on the secret.
Anyways. Nice walk in. Cool and sunny. Several black cats, one who ran away, and another that ran up to me. I even got in to work early, and started getting things done...
July 25, 2005
I am going to write a race report about Run Hit Wonder, honestly. In the meantime, here's the pics.
July 24, 2005
25K BenchmarkAh, I love when I start an entry on one computer, and I think I saved it to the server, and then, umm, obviously I didn't. Yikes.
Anyways. I made it to PFit on time!! I started on time!! and a block in, I tripped over a rock and landed on my knee! I didn't really hurt myself beyond my pride and getting a good bit of road rash, but I sat there for a second thinking, man, this is not an auspicious beginning! Then I got up, brushed myself off, and started walking again.
Intestinal distress struck next, about two miles in. I was going to try to make it to my office, and then it was clear that my body was not going to cooperate. Dammit! So I stopped at a cafe where I often eat breakfast—they weren't even open yet, but my regular waiter let me in.
Okay, that crisis was averted. Walk walk walk. On the Springwater Corridor, I spot my feral cats. The tiger kitten and one of the blackies were curled up together and the tiger was panting. Oh dear.
Walk walk walk, take pictures, walk. Suddenly I have this sharp pain in my toe. Ack! Did I just get bitten by something, through my sock and shoe? Walk walk walk.
Cross the Sellwood Bridge. Curse the Sellwood Bridge. The Sellwood Bridge needs to be replaced, and there is a very narrow sidewalk on one side. Try to share that with other runners/walkers/bicyclists, and you are bound to be very annoyed very quickly. Cyclists can't be in the road there—it's too narrow and dangerous. Ugh.
Get off the bridge. Run into a PFit volunteer who's checking on us stragglers. I tell him I'm taking pictures and not to have anybody wait on me, and we have a nice chat. Then I get to the aid station where everyone makes sympathetic noises about my knee scrape. I had forgotten about it at that point, but the sympathy makes it flare out in pain!
Walk walk walk. See a PFit volunteer who is in a lotus position, appearing like she has attained enlightenment. Impressive. My left hip begins to hurt.
It's all about my left side. Left knee scraped, left big toe bitten, now left hip killing me. I decide I'll make it to the Streetcar and call it good. That should mean I've walked about 12 miles or so.
I start the ritual IT band freakout. Oh my g-d, what if this is my IT band?! What do I do to make it happy again? Ack. River is beautiful. Path is beautiful. Small dogs, beautiful. The sun shines in the sky, and everything is beautiful. Oh, the little brass beaver statue! It's beautiful... oh, my intestines...
So I hurry up and make it to the motel across from my sweetie's work. Their bathroom is so beautiful. I love the foamy soap! I love the hot water. The bathroom smells of serenity.
I hobble out, and see the Streetcar heading up the hill. I consider following it, and then I just sit.
Maybe an hour later, I am finally back at PFit central. The volunteers here are camped out, with several people reclining in the SUV, and one on the parking lot. Some older folks walk by and give us the, oh, teenagers, when will they ever grow up? look. We're waiting for the last person. I learn that only one of them knows my first name, and another argues that the V should stand for Vespa. That becomes my nickname for the day.
I jump on the scoot and go on a mission. But there's no sign of the last person. Did she just go to her car? Is she lying injured somewhere? We know she was in Willamette Park, looking and feeling fine.
I go back and chat with John, and he says that yes, she generally goes directly to her car. Yikes! I really feel for the folks who are in charge, wanting to support everyone, yet many people never really checking in at the end. Did they just take the bus home downtown? Who knows?
I mention about my hip hurting and what can I do about my IT band, and someone kindly explains that the IT band makes your knee hurt, not your hip. They think the problem might be glutes overuse. Me, glutes overuse? Certainly you're thinking of someone else!
The rest of the day is a blur of retail therapy, picking up my Run Hit Wonder packet, and Tour de Lance. It's hard to believe that it's all over on Sunday—no more Tour this year, no more Lance other than over and over and over again in commercials.
July 22, 2005
This morning I am achey and headachey. I'm sure sharing the room with a feline maniac had nothing to do with this. I have never ever seen Follette behave this way. She's everywhere, she's into everything, she is totally behaving like Nigella, our destructobot—except that she appears to only do micro-naps.
I wonder if it's the painkiller, or the anesthesia wearing off, or if she really was in that much pain? And, to cue one of those awful songs from my childhood that gets stuck in my brain, how long has this been going on?
I'm torn between walking and riding. I need to make a decision, quick!
July 21, 2005
all I want for xmas is my two front teeth
Well, it ended up being seven teeth. She now has five left. And what's even scarier is that it was cheaper than the low-end of the estimate, because all of those teeth just came out.
She now has one fang. One.
Cats are so odd. Follette's forgiven me, she's in love mode, and she is super active right now—much more active than we've seen her. I can only take this to mean that her teeth were hurting her A LOT, and that we somehow weren't getting the message.
My glutes were super achey today, I'm sure from my emulation of Jan Ullrich on the climb up to Holladay Drive yesterday. So I had the bright idea today of walking while alternating glute squeezes, and holding in the belly. I walked all over downtown, and I went and sat for awhile, and when I got up to resume walking and squeezing and holding in, my belly started cramping in this insane way which made me concerned that I might not manage to walk back to work. But I did. I'm achey. No pilates tonight, not that the whole sick-cat-taxi-service didn't cut into my time anyways.
What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be. The larger your ambitions, the more dependent you will be on your ability to overcome and learn from your mistakes.
—Scott Berkun, How to Learn from your mistakes
good behaviorFollette is in for dental surgery, which perhaps explains why my teeth hurt. I drove in, so I could drop her off and come immediately to work. I am the enemy, the car! Though I thoroughly enjoyed watching the bike commuters coming in, especially one with finely muscular arms. And I enjoyed blasting the radio.
Last night we were meeting up with Mela at a restaurant, so I tried to get out of work on time (it's hard to leave work, hard!), and I pedaled like crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy to make it home. And, I cut 5 minutes off my best time. Amazingly, I never walked the bike, and once I'd get out of breath, I'd try to do some flat spinning til I caught my breath. At one point, I was intensely aware of my glutes—they were on fire! And then I looked down and my skirt was on fire. No, just kidding. Just my muscles!
So I got home and drank about 35 glasses of cold water, and tried to anticipate some issues. Like, I don't want to overeat. So I put containers in my purse. I don't want to eat too much. So I look for the fiber stuff, and in so doing, clean out half of a cabinet. All good.
So we had a good dinner, I did bring some food home, we ran into some foodie friends, and I got to try out a new brewery afterwards. I conveniently forgot that I was avoiding beer until after they had left, so, I stopped in for a glass (not a pint) of stout, and then got myself out of dodge.
I've been doing lots of cleaning both at work and at home. It feels really good. It's amazing to see the plastic fake-wood veneer on my desk, and I admit feeling a bit more in control. I need to make a run to G00dwill—I've got enough to fill the backseat, and the trunk. Pretty good!
July 20, 2005
Pick myself up, dust myself, back on the horse.
After all that morning optimism, it all went to pot. I created for myself a perfect opportunity to slag myself and feel sorry for myself, and I fell. So I did the only reasonable thing. I closed my office door, had a good cry, and listened to the ip0d.
I went to mat pilates, and that was very good. Very good. Very hard. I tried very hard to do everything and to do it perfectly. By the end of class, my hair was all wet, and I was all achey and tired.
I drank lots of water, but no beer, and it felt great to hit the bed.
Today, I'm going to ride the bike. Hopefully head in early, and do some exploring down the Willamette Greenway before going in.
July 19, 2005
Okay, today, I start again. Clean slate. Here we go!
I forgot, entirely forgot, that walking gives you the gift of time and observation. It gives you the time to really look at things, and the time to really hash stuff out.
This morning was sunny and cool. We opened up the house and turned on the fans, filling the house with chilly, sweet smelling air. This was particularly nice after having had a good night's sleep with the AC on, and Follette locked in with us. She ate a plate of wet food, and then snuggled like a fiend with us. Brilliant!
I managed a high-protein vegetarian breakfast -- fake sausage! Yay!! And while I left home late, I still walked and got into work on time. I was on the lookout for feral kittens, which Sweetie had mentioned that he had seen. But no such luck. I did see some new additions to a cool backyard, a lone breadseed poppy in a weedy front yard, and a cool old house with a massive second-floor sunroom.
I am always housing obsessed, and right now I am thoroughly garage and sleeping porch fixated. Garages are easy to find... but sleeping porches, not so. The other night I scootered by a cute house for sale, and low-and-behold, it had a sleeping porch. And was $600K. Oh well.
So, anyways. Clean slate. I walked in at a 16 minute/mile pace. Leisurely, but nice. I had thoughts of including some jogging, which I ignored. I feel like I've screwed up enough walks with that sort of thing. I need to do that, but it needs to be secondary.
Today I recommit myself to healthy living. Exercise! Eating decently! Aiming lower on the food chain! Damn straight!
July 18, 2005
Follette has some badass gum disease. Two teeth will need to come out, and hopefully, a couple can be saved. She has one ugly mouth. You'd never know it from watching her meow. Poor kitty. So, Thursday will be the big day that she will go under the knife, and I'll cough up $1K that I don't really have.
I know good oral hygiene is good for pets. And I'd get more behind it, certainly, if it didn't cost so much. But let's face facts, at $400 for a teeth cleaning, ack.
I of course want to go buy expensive things. I've been thinking about replacing my old powerbook, which is beginning to show its age. It no longer enjoys ejecting CDs and DVDs, and everytime it refuses to give up a borrowed platter, I start sweating. Its 10 gig harddrive, once-upon-a-time huge, is now always almost full, and I spend a lot of time pulling things off it, hoping to free up more space.
So, I decided this weekend to call the powerbook store to see what it would cost to take care of these things. $400. That, or I could get somebody's teeth cleaned. At what point do you say, I'm spending bad money after good (or whatever that phrase is. What is that phrase?).
It's hotter than hell outside. 91 according to the gadget on my browser. That seems a little cool. I was broasting on the scooter.
Hey, but if you're thinking about doing Bridge Pedal Sunday, August 14th, St@rbucks is offering a coupon for $3 bucks off. Not bad!
How can it already be almost August? How is this possible?
done, yet to do, and undone
I had planned on walking in. Nope. Not this morning.
We did go to the International Beer Fest, and had a lovely time. Drank some really good beer.
We didn't go to the Rally from Hell at all.
I did watch a pile of the Tour though, and seeing George Hincapie win yesterday's stage filled my heart with joy.
And my sweetie has been walking to work, several days last week. I'm so proud of him.
July 15, 2005
It's been an interesting day so far. We're at the beginning of a warm streak again, so this morning was sunny and warm. I got going early enough to make breakfast and walk in, but my stomach revolted about part way in, so I ended up on the bus.
So I was actually in early again. Soon after my officemate came back from getting coffee, she mentioned seeing another of our coworkers, who pointedly refused to speak to her. So I go down to get coffee, and guess who I run into? I'm expecting I'll also get the cold shoulder, but no. We must have had a 10 minute conversation, very friendly, very nice.
I was pretty damn excited about going to Queen Bee yesterday, and the visit lived up to my expectations. Their world headquarters/hive is in industrial SE Portland. I love older industrial areas—for whatever reason, they fascinate me. The camera was running low on batteries, and wasn't very happy about taking pictures, though that didn't stop me. I stopped into their offices, checked out their sale and one-of-a-kinds, and came away with a lotteria belt in avocado (I couldn't believe it—it fit me—beautifully!) and a pink Little Bird Wonder Wallet. I also ordered a Flit handbag.
I just felt jazzed walking out of there. They are doing such cool things there. And in such a cool building!
I just looked at my pictures, and it seems I didn't capture the part that was the most compelling to me. Offices that are on the exterior hall of the building, like Queen Bee, have plaster walls to about hip-high; above that is glass. So the sunlight that comes in through the office windows, the exteriormost part of HQ, pour through the glass wall into their interior hallway, and then into their construction area, and then through glass walls into the hallway that I entered from. I don't know why I'm finding this such an incredibly cool thing right now, but I loved that. So much glass. So much light.
There's a building for sale or lease in NW Portland that I'm totally enamoured of. It has three walls of almost full scale windows, and one side with windows along the roof line. In my mind's eye, I can see a restaurant, with the kitchen area behind glass walls on the mostly solid wall, and the dining room in the windowed area. That way, the light from the kitchen is the light from the dining room and vice versa. There are also huge garage doors—can you see the potential?
I keep trying to figure out how I could make something like that so. Oh my gosh, how cool would that be? I want to live in that sort of space!
July 14, 2005
Who can trust a people who celebrate a jailbreak?
Margaret Thatcher once said of the French, "Who can trust a people who celebrate, as their national event, a jailbreak?"Okay, I am decidedly cranky now.
I ended up going over to the restaurant and saw that they had essentially set up a fun fair outside, with people selling lavender, people with info about flights to France and renting a car there, French linens, etc. I saw all this and the zoo around it, and I thought, no thanks. And then I saw the whole roast pig lying on a table. It looked fake, it was so perfect. But it was real. And I thought, no thanks.
So I went inside the restaurant, and was told the only food available were the sandwiches sold out front. Oh, you just go to the tent where they sell the tickets, and then you go to the table and order your sandwich, and then you go to the table where they have the beverages, and then you go and find some place to sit.
Ugh. So after waiting 15 minutes for the ATM, I crossed the street and went to a taco truck, and sat at Forecourt Fountain and ate my lunch.
It's as well that I received such an underwhelming response, as I don't want to drag my coworkers to something like that. But I am feeling hurt and a little bent out of shape about it.
But, there is a bright spot. I'm going to Queen Bee, the makers of my new beloved purse, this afternoon. And, I'm going to the Internation Beer Festival, early, before it becomes a zoo, tomorrow.
Joyeux Fête Nationale de France!
Hey everybody, it's 14 juillet! Wuhoo!
I have this attachment to Bastille Day that I can't explain. I really like the idea of it. So, this morning, I watched the Tour and was pleased to see a Frenchman win today's stage. I've invited seven of my coworkers to lunch and have heard from 3 of them. Sigh. Looks like A) it's not a priority and B) I'll be lunching alone. Oh well, like I care. I do, but I don't mind eating alone.
Last night we checked out a new comfort shoe store and bought two pairs of really cute shoes. I'm testing one of the pairs out today and they seem to be winners. But the best part was buying a new purse. It is so damn cute, and cool, and locally made! I immediately came home and checked out their web site, and then wrote them to see if I could come by and check out their seconds, one-of-a-kinds, and sale items. I'm going to call them in a little bit—I'm so excited! Like a little kid!
In other words, if you don't really know when you're off track, you don't have a viable directive. The question "How will I know when this is off-purpose?" must have a clear answer.
—David Allen, Getting Things DONE
I don't know what I want. I mean, I have some general ideas, but ugh—the big picture is dauntingly cloudy. I know that as long as I don't know what I want, I'm drifting, and out of control. What to do?
July 13, 2005
Salmon Street Death March
I just got back from doing the Salmon Street Death March with my coworkers. They are always quite entertaining to walk with, and going to the top of Salmon Street always raises my heart rate.
The route is almost 3 miles out and back, from the Salmon Street Fountain, up to the Washington Park Pillar. The death march aspect is the tremendous hill starting at 18th going up to the park.
As we were coming back down the hill, I thought about the Tour de France. No, really. I actually watched it last night, and over and over and over the announcers kept announcing that the riders were doing a downhill (downmountain?) going 100KMs an hour. Which is, 61 miles an hour. Which, you know, is pretty incredible.
That makes me want to roll into a fetal position. You know, to hide, not to go more easily down a hill.
We passed the farmers market—always a crowd scene—and then I took a picture of the metal things that go around trees, and I'm just sorta blissed out on the post-walk thing. We pass by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre and one of my coworkers sticks her head in the doorway and shouts Free Katie!
Can't take 'em anywhere...
So, not surprisingly, I was not early for work today. Sigh. I was unable to wake up, and then I websurfed, which is like a snooze-button for me—I can waste so much time. Yikes.
One of the things I wasted time on was this thread on Ask Metafilter:
You're married or single, have no kids, hold a regular job and are out of school. So what do you do in the evenings after work?
I'm not looking for a new hobby per se, just trying to figure out what my peers spend their time on after the work day is done. These post work evenings of nothing to do but fiddle around with one of too many hobbies, zone out infront of the TV, and end up drinking a bit too much are starting to get to me.
It hit a big chord for me because I feel like my evenings get wasted a lot of the time. TV, websurfing, and beer. Sigh. So I guess this means I should figure out what I want to be doing, rather than just falling into the couch.
I'm listening to Getting Things DONE now. As I do this while I work, I'm just listening to parts of it repeatedly, hoping that some will percolate through my destroyed brain cells. One thing that David Allen mentions is visualizing success. To reach a goal, you need to know what that goal will look like. Right now, I'm feeling rather diffuse and squishy, in recovery from the last super-stressful work period. What would success look like?
I did some visualizations for the Gorge Marathon and that worked out pretty good.
This whole picture-taking thing has kinda taken me by surprise. I love taking pictures. And strangely enough, I am suddenly getting all these (okay, 2 or 3 over the space of as many weeks) Portland bicyclist contacts on flickr. It's so totally cool! And I am so totally not worthy. It makes me all very excited.
In related news, a few weeks ago, I bought a tiny digital camera. It was cheap, and it is super small. You know, because my regular digital camera (which fits into my tiny purse) was too big. I recognized the absurdity of that when, the other day, Sweetie and I were going scootering, and I slipped my regular digital camera into my pocket. The regular digital camera fits in my pocket.
My original digital camera, the Mavica, fit in no pocket. The thing could be used as a weapon. So this is all rather absurd.
Anyways, new tiny camera takes lousy pictures. What surprises me is that I thought it wouldn't. You know, take lousy pictures. I still need to figure out all the features on the damn thing, but my press-the-button pictures are all out of focus, and have weird discolorations. I can't imagine I'll put really much more effort into it than that, so perhaps it's time to see if it can find a better home.
But the pictures don't look too bad if you look at them really small. Here's a pic of the new addition to my beloved pink bicycle, now with chrome—I think it's quite stylish.
Oh, and 17 minutes today. Damn I love riding that bike though!
Oh, on the way in, I saw another Electra rider. She was on a mint-green Hawaii cruiser! Swwweeeeeeet! Wonderful color, wonderful bike.
July 12, 2005
lots of pictures
I had a triumph this morning. I got up at the usual time, and I got into work 40 minutes early! Wait, there's more! And, I cleaned house a little, I even ate breakfast, and I cut flowers for work! So I have a vase of roses, crocosmia, buddeleia, and rosemary! Wuhoo!
Since getting to work, I've been doing some housecleaning. Going through email, going through paper stacked on my desk, going through the files in my drawers. I've found some loose ends, and tied them up. Tremendously satisfying.
I have a lot of things going through my head right now, but not a lot that I'm doing physically. I need to get physical. Hopefully, mat pilates tonight. Hopefully.
July 11, 2005
My new raised bed!
First with a layer of cardboard and newspaper. Then landscape cloth. And then, the strawbales.
Phase two will be adding additional newspapers to block weed growth where they didn't end up, or where they got moved, then adding a thick layer of barkdust.
Phase three is adding gravel to the bottom, then yard soil (from the sideyard, where we're putting down pavers, then amended potting soil. And then plants!
Yesterday was a day of super productivity! I went through half the drawers in the bedroom and got rid of half the stuff! I then started washing stuff—laundry, dishes, animals that got in the way. It was great!
After brunch, I stopped by the finish line of STP (that's Seattle to Portland, a bike event involving 8000 cyclists and over 200 miles [30 of those uphill]). I am so throughly proud of people who can do this sort of thing, and I hope someday to join their ranks.
Though, to be honest, it was all a bit daunting. The crowd was overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly expensive bike and expensive bike clothes, and of course, overwhelmingly bike physiqued. So I wandered around, the fat lady wearing an empire-waist dress (wu, way to look unattractive, VJ!), enjoying looking at the tents and cyclists and stuff.
A ride down Hawthorne revealed a painted outline where a pedestrian was hit and killed last week. There have been 8 pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in Portland this year, and the last couple weeks have been bad: a bike messenger downtown, a cyclist crossing a street to ride on the Springwater corridor, and now this visiting pedestrian. I was glad someone had stenciled the spot, but I admit, I learn about these things and part of me just never wants to leave the house again.
Anyways. Then in the evening, Sweetie and I put together the spot for the strawbale raised bed. I've even taken a picture, which if I can ever get it out of my camera, I'll post. Exciting stuff!
July 9, 2005
Another example how not to do things
You know, it's bad enough to have bad days during the week, but a person shouldn't ought to have them on the weekend. Oh well.
I think for the last couple nights I've had heartburn that I've slept through. On one hand, that's great, but on the other hand, I feel so crappy after a heartburn episode. I'm thinking I should see the doc about this, because an episode means that I'll have a couple of days where I feel really worn down, like I've got a bad cold or something. I'm really tired of this, and I'm sure this isn't helping my esophagus any.
Anyhow. Very groggy this morning. Got to PFit a couple minutes after the faster walkers left, but I got my tukkus in gear and started walking. 9 miles today was the route. I was wearing the heart rate monitor and paying attention to it. A 20 minute 60ish% warm up, followed by racewalking form at 65-70%. Sounds good, doesn't it? The recipe for success.
And then, I started thinking. Man, I have to stop thinking on Saturday mornings, it's really doing me more harm than good. Even though I knew that doing intervals had really screwed up last PFit walk, even though I knew the PFit Saturday walks are long slow distance... even though. I convinced myself it would be a good idea to gallowalk today.
Gallowalking would be fine if I was in the cardio shape to do that, but of course, I'm not.
The walk went out to the waterfront, then over to the Springwater Corridor. My heart rate monitor started acting funky tout suite. I'd be racewalking hard, panting, and unable to get the heart rate about 64%. Or, I'd be jogging, and the heart rate monitor would be stuck at 62%. Or 92%. Whatever!
And jogging. What a bright idea. I didn't wear my kevlar bra because it rubbed me raw but good in several places during the Half, so I was just out in one of those shelf tank things, which, well, let's not go there. So I'm shuffling, hoping I'm not flopping around too much, considering the real potential damage if one or both hit my face. And I still feel like it's going to put the kibosh on me.
So, surprise surprise when I feel my left IT band start to complain. Oh crap. Oh crappity crap crap. I thought, come on, Vic, dig in and be strong, but it only got worse, and then I thought, oh yeah, I could dig in and get injured. Cool. Not.
By that point, I was downtown, with maybe a mile or a mile and a half to get to where I had parked la scootera azula, so I grabbed a couple of freebie zines, and took the streetcar back into NW.
The streetcar was about half and half tourists and residents. Most of the residents appeared to be coming from the PSU Farmer's Market, carrying bundles of lavender. Oh! I want some of that! The tourists were plainly marked with tourist maps given out by the Visitor's Association or Powells.
And I sat there in my skort, wearing my pink and black bad kitty socks, reading about a Chinese divebar that will be closing next week, and options for other Chinese divebars to go to. Ah, Portland, my Portland!
But. On the bright side, I did have encounters with wildlife. I saw a mallard duck with little striped ducklings, and I saw a feral cat family. Two black with redbrown undercoat "adults", and four kittens, three jet black, and one tiger. Someone has left food for them, but they are very very shy. Most of the time, the kittens hid under the blackberries, but occasionally one or more of them would come out, or cry out. The runt was a little black guy, who was very low-energy compared to his sibs. I was happy to see him nursing when I left. The other kittens were active and about twice his size, which is to say, miniscule. The "adults" were twice the kittens' size, also tiny. Adorable.
I told Sweetie about the cats, and he was like, "oh, I want to catch them, and take them to be fixed, and then put tags on them that say 'Leave me alone! I'm feral and fixed!' and let 'em go again." I love this man so much.
July 8, 2005
Fast Flat 2005
Fast Flat 2004
I've posted one of the pics that I'll probably buy today from this year's race, and beneath it is a picture from last year's Fast Flat. I really look a lot different! Thank g-d the perm grew out! But moreover, it's really nice to see the difference in proportions. I must be doing something right, though it frequently feels like I'm not accomplishing anything at all.
I spent my early morning going quickly, surgically, through my magazines. I have a bit of a magazine problem, and I store them in a wooden fruit crate on its side. The magazines fill it, and are loaded haphazardly on the top, easily 4, maybe four and a half feet high.
I cut the pile by 2/3s this morning, and I could/should have done more. I had a full paper grocery bag of newspapers afterwards, and a shoulder bag full of magazines to redistribute at work and the gym that I could barely lift. I put the remaining keeper magazines back in the fruit crate, which is divided into halves—and they come about halfway up one half. I'm very pleased.
Next comes my office! (I hope!)
I was catching up with Neca's blog yesterday when I saw her entry about Breaking Away. That was a big movie for me. It came out while I was in high school, and I got serious about cycling soon afterwards. Though, serious about cycling for me didn't mean joining a bike club, getting bike clothing, getting a new bike—I was so young and naive that I really didn't know anything about bike culture.
I had a single speed bike. I had a boyfriend who lived in another Detroit suburb, so he and I would ride out to see one another—about 25 miles. Luckily, Hines Drive, a parkway, went from near my community to near his.
Now that I'm thinking about this, I think driving straight to his house was about 25 miles. I wonder how far it was via bicycle? Anyways, riding to his house, or to the punkrock record store which would let you rent records (it was great!!), took me about 4 hours. For some reason, I think of my teenage self as being really speeedy, and when I did the math yesterday, well, ummm, 6 miles an hour is not exactly speedy. Damn it!
Anyways, I continued cycling after we broke it off, just about every day after school. I'd ride down the 275 bike trail for a couple hours, stop at a diner and have dinner, and ride back home. Glorious. I remember that being so... necessary. I loved it. And then I signed up, with the ex-boyfriend, for a double century on Belle Isle. I don't know if he finished. I got to 105 and called it good. I was riding the single speed bike, wearing shorts, pink tights, and a tshirt!
I may not have been fast, but I did have fun.
Combat your doubt with truth
I like to say, 'Combat your doubt with truth,' and all those ordinary days are the truth. Because you ran those ordinary days, you can use those truths to combat your doubt.
—Sylvia Ruegger, Canadian marathon recod holder (2:28:36)
July 7, 2005
The six song meme
Jon tagged me with the 6 favorite songs meme the other day, and I've been dragging my feet. How can I come up with six songs? How can I come up with only six songs?
- Sickness - the Decemberists (originally by the Donner Party) -- the song is id'ed as Donner Party cover
This song is totally new to me in the last couple months, but I love it. I'm a big Quasi fan, and Quasi's Sam Coomes was also in The Donner Party. I had never heard the Donner Party, but obviously I need to march right out and buy their Complete Recordings. His wittiness and total pop tunesmithing, makes this melancholy totally happy. He and his ex, Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney) were also in Mötörgöat, who I never saw live, but I still love the name. Mötörgöat!
- LambrettTwist - Quartetto Cetra
So damn infectious. I love all the folks twisting on their scooters. It's true that this wouldn't be as powerful without the visual. And so?
- Braided Hair - Speech & Nina Cherry
This comes on the iP0d and I have to put it on repeat a couple times.
- Bittersweet Symphony - Coldplay with Richard Ashcroft
I liked this with the Verve, but hearing the version performed at Live 8 the other morning had me dancing around my kitchen. Brilliant!
- Casino Queen - Wilco
My lord, you're mean!
- Ana Ng - They Might be Giants
Okay, the video figures into this one too. I suspect if it wasn't so industrial-soviet, I might not like it so well. But it does get stuck in my head like no one's business.
16:10! 16:10!! I made it to work in 16:10! For whatever reason, I only hit one light, so I was able to keep my momentum up. It was beautiful!!
Last night I rode home, and I really tried, when I'd get tired from an uphill, to do a little spinning to bring my heart rate down. So I'd ride in little flat loops, on the easiest gear. I'm sure I looked like a total freak, but as I've proven before, I only care a little bit. Better that then Somali men saying to me in halting english, practice makes perfect. Yow.
I had the really cool experience of trailing some folks who were actually riding my speed. There was a woman wearing a blouse and bike shorts, who looked like the usual spandex rider who just about blows me over by passing me so fast and close. She confused me by slowing way down after we crossed Broadway. Whaaaa?!
But she was waiting for her friend, a punkrock girl in a vintage dress with two braids down either side of her chest. We all ended up taking the neighborhood route, which is steep then flat, steep then flat, but with much less bike and car traffic. I was really rather thrilled to have kinfolk, even as I didn't talk to them, and they didn't talk to me.
The evening was spent in the front yard killing things. I took some pictures, but unfortunately, there was no before picture, and then, I didn't unload the camera last night.
Basically, my goal was to cut a keyhole to the front yard raised bed, and then start cutting around and in it. It's tempting to take a scorched earth approach, but I love my ferns, crocosmia, mock orange, and banana, and I just want to kill everything else. We had a couple of volunteer trees, and lots of nightshade, clematis, damned wisteria, and boston ivy taking over and totally overwhelming the box and the yard.
It's nowhere near done, but I got enough done that it's visible that I did some work, and that was terrifically satisfying. I had a wheelbarrow load that was as tall as I am to go back to the yarn debris pile! Afterwards, we sat outside on the stoop and enjoyed the evening. A lot of our neighbors were out, also enjoying the warm, humid weather.
I am resisting the urge to freak out. Sweetie told me to turn on the TV, and I did, but I am resisting the urge to compulsively check the news or run over to the windows that face the FBI and see what they are doing. Though even as I write this, the urge is overwhelming.
I thought about taking the bus in just because. And then I thought, if there are any hijinxs, any trouble at all, the bicycle is better. And the bicycle makes me feel better. And it gets me to work in a record 16:10!
Nancy Toby has a new blog: Lanterne Rouge: Celebrating the last-place rider in the General Classification. Because you couldn't hang on his wheel for thirty seconds. Similar to last summer's DFL, I'm looking forward to this giving me a different perspective on the good ole Tour de France.
This is the first year I've tried paying attention to the Tour, and I'm finding it a little overwhelming. I'm TiV0ing 5 hours of coverage a day, which is an awful lot to even just fast-forward through. I'm feeling exhausted just writing about it, and it's just TV for cripes sake!
July 6, 2005
A good day!
You know, sometimes you get off work, even when it's been a good day, that you feel tired. Maybe everyone on your block blew up fireworks until 2am the night before. Maybe you just didn't wake rested. Maybe you hadn't worked hard enough in the race to actually collapse from exhaustion. Maybe it was warm and humid, and the animals were acting erratically.
A person might be forgiven, then, for considering not going to their mat pilates class. Wouldn't it just be nice to have a quiet dinner at home, do some yardwork, and early to bed? Rather than rushing a snack, running across town, and then needing some wind-down when I get home?
Well, I went to mat pilates, and inspite of the instructor swearing up and down, right, left and center about how we were going to have class tonight, at 10 til it was just me and one other person. No sign of the instructor, no sign of anyone else. At 10 after, it was still just the two of us, so I went to a new yarn shop and picked up some yarn.
Disappointing! Here I had gotten the gumption to go, and, I get nada!
I gotta get serious about this walking thing. I need to figure out step one, but I'm not entirely sure what that will be. I expect it will have to do with heart rate training.
I biked in this morning. I really missed doing it over the last couple days. It took me 17 minutes! At least, if you don't count being stuck at stoplights. Wuhoo!
I'm wearing a new skirt, I'm being very productive, I'm feeling relaxed—all in all, a good day!
July 5, 2005
It's a PR! Closer than I would have liked, but still, I'm really really pleased given how little preparation I put into this. Wuhoo!
Today, my hips, my butt and my obliques are killing me. I guess I musta done some racewalking or something....
July 4, 2005
Sauvie Island Fast Flat Half report
So. I went into this unprepared. Basically, I've had one significant walk, 12 miles, last weekend, since doing the Gorge Marathon a month ago. I haven't been religiously hydrating, and in fact, I went for a 90 mile scooter ride the day before AND had a beer. I didn't even carboload.
But this didn't stop me from thinking about PRing. I had a plan. Try to maintain a 16 minute mile pace for the first 7 miles, then 15 minute miles for the next 5ish miles, and then all out from there. Was this doable? I didn't know but I figured it wouldn't hurt me too much to try.
My last PR was at Freescale, with a chip time of 3:35:27, and a total pace of 16:27/M. When I looked at that this morning, I only remember seeing the clock time of 3:41:05.
I scooted out to Sauvie Island, about a half hour north of Portland (and within the city limits). The parking was primarily on grass, so I parked my scooter on the road leading by the Howell-Bybee house, and chained it up to a "No Parking at any time" sign.
I went up to the tents to say hi to Celia, and a park ranger walked right by me with his big silver sheriff's star. So I said to him, "this is more begging forgiveness than asking permission. I have a scooter, I can't park it on grass because it might tip and unload all of its oil, and I've parked it on the road by a No Parking sign."
He looked at me quite kindly and said, you know I can't give you permission for that, and if someone else parks along there, I'll have to give all of you citations. What about parking in our park staff lot. Well, okay! So I did, and managed to get to the start line on time.
I was wearing my g@rmin, and for whatever reason, I have it set on miles per hour, so I tried to keep it around 3.8-3.9, and I'd look at the time when I'd hit milemarkers. Generally, I hit my target times and was feeling pretty good.
The first third of the route is primarily shade. It plays havoc with the g@rmin, but I love shade. So, I'd fill my bottle at aid stations, have a schluck of gat0rade, and move on. My plan was to stay well hydrated, and do a fair amount of peeing. So far, so good.
The second two thirds of the course are unrelenting sun. Sauvie Island is 30,000 acres of farming community and wildlife reserve, and it really is flat flat flat. I did not wear a hat (dumb!). That's one of the few in-the-race things that I would do differently.
Swallows were very hard at work eating bugs, and diving down right in front of us. Lots and lots of bluebirds! Lots of cyclists.
I didn't really try to talk to anyone, and I was kinda rocking out on the iP0d. I'm not generally that antisocial, I just wanted to get out there, get it done, and go home. But one person I interacted with multiple times was this 11-year old. When I first came upon him, it was maybe mile 4 or 5, and he was looking pretty bedraggled. I would pass him, when the time came, and he would almost always start jogging until he was several blocks ahead of me. His walking pace was pretty slow though, so I always caught up with him without trying.
It's that old, I can't let the fat woman who's my grandmother's age pass me! I understand that, that's okay.
At one point, around mile 8 or 9, I had to hit the portapotty, and when I came out, there he was. He was looking worse. Not like he was about to collapse, but he obviously hadn't counted on this being hard. I said to him, how ya doing? I'm fine, he says, not convincingly. It's warm out here, isn't it? Yeah, it is. Then I walked ahead.
I was achy and not having a super-great time, but I was keeping to my goals, and anxious to finish and be done with this. I was revisited by that old demon, the one that asks why the hell I'm doing this? I could be sleeping in, I could be going out to breakfast at some hipster, trendy spot, and instead I'm walking around in a giant circle, on a 13 mile path that seems like it's never going to end, in the blazing sun.
It's harder to answer that voice when you're pushing it, and you're not feeling as strong as you'd like.
Around 10 or 11, I saw a crowd gathered on the course. Oh shit. Runner down. One of the marathoners had collapsed of dehydration and was in shock. I stopped to see if there was anything I could do—I had an almost full bottle of water, lots of gu and endurolytes. But the people on the course had things all in hand, calling an ambulance, giving him water, etc.
That kinda knocked the ginger out of me. After that, I just couldn't really push it. I tried, but I couldn't push the image of him out of my head, and I was thinking about all of the gambles that he might have made that brought him to this. I kept trying to pick out walkers ahead of me and try to catch up with them, but my heart wasn't in it. Soon after, the iP0d played "When the spell is broken", and so it was.
I regained my senses and forwarded the ip0d. Then I walked by two folks seated at the end of their driveway with a hose with spray attachment. Wuhoo! I'm feeling better!
And then we turned the corner, with a mile and a half left, and something inside of me snapped, and I took off. I actually passed some runners—admittedly, runners who were walking, but still. It probably helped that we were going up the one steep short hill on the course. As I turned the corner to the finish line, with its steep downhill, I actually ran, crossed the finish line, heard them call my name and raised my arms with joy. A man gave me a water bottle and a teenager my medal, and I gravitated to the shady hill where lots of folks had collapsed.
I collapsed too. For the first time after a race, I laid down, took off my shoes, noticed the dirt and grass all over me and didn't care. A woman came by and congratulated me, and said she had never seen someone so happy to cross the finish line. You had such a huge grin, she said. I laid there, drinking water and watching passersby forever, or about a half hour.
Walking again was a test, but I got my strawberry shortcake, chatted with some folks, and ran into my ranger again, who unlocked the gate so I could get out. He was so nice. Yeah!
After some breakfast out and an ice bath, I had a luscious nap. Yeah!
According to Sweetie, at 10am this morning, the thermometer on the shed read 87 degrees in the sun. Supposeably the temperatures were only in the 70s, but man, they sure didn't feel that way.
I thought I PRed. Not by much, but by something. But, now I'm not sure, and won't know until I see the results.
Now I'm achey, but I feel better than after the Gorge—I was afraid I'd feel worse.
Either way: if I can do this well relatively half-assedly, what could I do with a little preparation?
July 2, 2005
Myths Over Miami
This is an incredible story. It has nothing to do with exercise or transportation or Portland.
Captured on South Beach, Satan later escaped. His demons and the horrible Bloody Mary are now killing people. God has fled. Avenging angels hide out in the Everglades. And other tales from children in Dade's homeless shelters.
By Lynda Edwards
Published: Thursday, June 5, 1997
guilt and general not feeling well
I've missed PFit again. Sigh. Heartburn last night, again, and thus I feel like run-over crap this morning. I should have just gone, and done the twenty minute rule (do I still feel bad after twenty minutes?), because usually once I get started, I do feel better. But I guess I didn't even have the shovel this morning to dig in and get it done.
Maybe part of it is my feeling that my coaches think I'm not doing enough. Hell, I think I'm not doing enough too. The time I went out to coffee after missing PFit and the chilly reception I got from my coach just made me think—why am I bothering? I watch the boards, I try to be helpful there, I do the set-up and take down. When I'm there.
In the end, I can't base doing this on externals. Who cares what the coaches think? I want to be there. And I want to not feel shitty. As a combo.
July 1, 2005
It's been kind of a weird 24 hours. I went into therapy happy, and came out weepy. I came back to work and was tremendously productive. Then I rode my bicycle the three blocks to the MAX, to take the train up to my neighborhood, since I have such a short window between work and pilates.
I learned something. While my bike fits nicely on the bus racks, taking it on the MAX is another altogether. It's simply too long. If I hang it from the ceiling hook, the chrome fender is rubbing the ground. If I try to gracefully take it down so I can leave the train, it requires everyone around me to change positions.
I had a nice conversation on the train though, and a pleasant ride back to the house. I put the bike in the shed, and thought—I should get the scooter out, so I can just run in the house, change into my workout gear, and scoot?
I learned something. One, the scooter is really long. (Is this a trend?). Backing it out of the shed is treacherous. I don't know if some motorcycles have a reverse gear, but my scooter doesn't. So, I straddle-walk the 350# behemoth behind me, down a ramp, and past the car. Except, I don't have the angle right, and the scooter's exhaust is right up against the car's front bumper.
I couldn't go forward, because I couldn't push the bike up the ramp. I didn't have my scooter keys, because I only bring the keys I need. If I had had my keys, I could have turned it on, and driven it back up. But I didn't. I was stuck at a 90 degree angle, one side up against the car, holding the damn scoot up. No one was home. None of my neighbors were outside. I was, as we say, screwed.
So I did the only thing I could think to do. I laid the scooter down. Mind you, you never ever ever want to have a motorcycle on its side. The life fluids of the machine can easily drain out. Just add a cigarette and you'll have an big explosion. Or not.
I ran into the house and grabbed my car keys, moved my car, and lifted the motorcycle back up. I didn't even think about its weight or my form—I just did it. So it was on its left side for maybe 2 minutes, probably less.
I then ran back into the house and called the scooter shop. Rob picked up the phone and held my hand. I told him what happened, he asked questions, told me what I should try, and said that most likely it was going to be fine, and if it's not, to call back.
So I went out and checked the tiny rivulet of fluid. It was already dry, and I couldn't smell anything. So, I tried starting the scooter. It was flooded. While I figured this probably wasn't a big deal rationally, it felt like a huge deal. And I needed to have gotten to pilates ten minutes ago!
So I drove to pilates, all the while wondering if I had completely screwed up my scooter, and why didn't I insist on pursuing the garage idea rather than a shed?
Pilates was good. Hard. Lots of making perfect little circles. The woman who had instructed the ball class was there, and seemed bored all through it. I can't imagine being bored. Even on the exercises where I can do an entire set, it's work, hello!!
Jill and I chatted a little bit, then I went over to the Salvadorian tacqueria to pick up some pupusas. I had never been in, so I was pleased to see that the place was packed full of people. I ordered and then sat down and watched the telenovela on the TV on top of the fridge. There's something about men acting agressive and women acting catty and looking very european and expensive that is very satisfying. I also listened in on a conversation at an ajoining table.
The table had seven women, all reasonably young moms, most with infants in tow. They were having a great time, and I was loving the spanglish, how conversations went from spanish to english to spanish to spanglish effortlessly. I really wanted to join them. If only I spoke spanish!
I collected the pupusas and came home. Sweetie had started up the scooter -- it was running fine. And he had had a tuneup, with new tires, taillight and rack added on his scooter, and he said it handles 100% better. I can't wait to try it out.
So in the end, we had a nice evening. We ate the pupusas, which were really good, and watched some awful TV, and hung out with the animals.
I was hoping to spring out of bed like I did yesterday, but no. And then I found that my beloved dog had pooped by the backdoor. Lovely.
We have the strangest dog. We don't walk him very often because he becomes a nervous wreck, so we usually just let him out into the back yard. Very infrequently, he will just run out and poop, on his own, but most of the time, you have to tell him to poop, and make sure that he poops. Yes, we have a dog that poops on command, sorta.
But if you just let him outside and you don't make sure he poops, well, maybe he won't.
This is the second poop by the door incident. And it might not be the dog. It might be the world's largest cat poop. Yeah, right.
So I decided to do 15 minutes of my favorite form of gardening, killing weeds. My backyard butterfly bush is completely covered with blackberry and clematis, so I set out to kill a small section of it. And it was a small section, but so thoroughly satisfying to make it so.
I rode the scooter in—no problems. Hurrah! And the weekend looms. I'm looking so forward to some free time, some walking, some scooting, and a race!