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QotD: What are your fitness goals? What is helping or preventing you from accomplishing them?
My friend Finn pointed out that the bikey types of San Francisco often dress as though they're going on A! Serious! Trek! when they're really just commuting cross-town. I try to keep a fashionable edge while having a safe ride. Most people give a gal in a skirt more room to move on a bike than they do most bikers. Fair? Maybe not. Adorable? For sure.
Safety Third! Wear your helmet. Unless you don't.
Truth: I don't always wear my helmet if I'm only going a few blocks (sorry, Mom!) but having a helmet like this one from Nutcase is fun and functional. Plus, they say "I Love My Brain" on the back. Thanks mucho to Arsie for the heads up on these rad brain-pans.
Portability: Bringing your shiz.
It's good to ride with friends. Make sure they're safe, secure, happy, and have snacks. Especially in an awesome Timbuk2 bag that I was given to dog/road-test.
I made a homemade basket rig from a Goodwill basket and belts, that doesn't quite work without supporting brackets. Still futzing with this.
and got a different bike basket/purse. It's a basket! It's a purse! Photo and awesomeness courtesy of Boneshaker Bags:
Hawt! A study in microclimates.
Here's a way to bike in a dress or in nice jeans in SF: WEAR LAYERS. Arm warmers. Leg warmers. Awesome socks. Anything that can be pushed around, pushed down, taken off, or re-adjusted for the voyage from fog to sun.
Today's the feast day for the Virgin of Guadalupe, who I've always felt a special connection to. When I first moved to the west coast, I stayed a while in Tucson for a meditation retreat. After wandering around the San Xavier Mission in a sort of daze, I went to talk to the people in the gift shop, because I wanted to bring a little bit of it home. I'm not Catholic, I haven't even been to church since I was a kid, but this! The Virgin was a saint I could understand - flaking paint and gold and christmas lights and tin foil. A woman, from the Americas, and with cheap incense and lots of pure devotion. This sort of religion seemed more real.
Dang it, I've been working on this post for two days and I keep deleting it by accident.
Four jobs I've had:
1. Waitress/bartender/hostess: everywhere from fine dining to dive bars.
2. Webgirl: Virginia Tech Athletics, Enews.com, Yoshitoshi, Seven Networks, and Six Apart.
3. Rave flier girl: yall, I would do anything to move to San Francisco, and this job proved it. This was the most humbling experience I've ever had, and I'm not just talking about getting flashed by a crackhead. This deserves its own post.
4. Clown/singing gorillagram/Pink Ranger/Statue of Liberty: I made $20 an hour as a 16 year old to go get in a costume and amuse some little (and no so little) kids.
Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. The Vertical Ray of the Sun
2. Lost in Translation
3. Return of the Jedi
4. Spirited Away
Four places I've lived:
3. Portland, Oregon
4. San Francisco
Four TV shows I love:
1. Six Feet Under
2. The Daily Show
3. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
4. Anything on VH-1, but I am especially held rapt by "Behind the Music" marathons.
Four places I've vacationed:
1. Every Civil War battlefield, I think. Thanks, Dad.
2. Europe: most notably a week in Amsterdam, where I discovered the Blue Note shop in a random alleyway. I thought I had died and gone to Record Store Heaven.
Four of my favorite
dishes meals. C'mon, if you're only giving me four, let me choose the pairings.
Four sites I visit daily:
4. NetSuite (boring accounting software stuff)
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Golden Gate Park with Stella Lou
2. someplace sunny with the requisite sandy beaches and cliché fruity drinks
Four people who don't have time for this meme, but I'm tagging anyway:
It's been a while since yall heard one of my stories of Things I Do That Are Dumb, hasn't it?
Well, I moved this weekend. And let me tell you, I'm never doing this without movers ever again. The books alone are worth the price of having two burly dudes come late, overcharge me, break things, and leave well-tipped. Movers, I love you. Kisses! Next time, overcharge me for another hour - I DON'T CARE. I got to keep all my friends and I was done in three hours.
I also got a new bed frame from Ikea. And so I am putting it together, by myself, with power tools, because I am She-Ra Woman Power. Except a lot of those little bolts and screws are missing. And so I hike down Clement to the hardware store, pick up more bolts, and then they ALMOST work, like, are just a teensy tinsy bit smaller than is comfortable for putting my whole ding-dang bed together. But I improvise! And then I hit the last bit, which is of course a screw that will not go in, and I try and try and it's getting dark, and I try some more, and the super-nifty cordless screwdriver is making a noise, and the dog is all "shut up already", and I touch the screw to wiggle it back and forth to see why it won't just do its screwy little job and hold the darn frame together already and OW OW OW THE SCREW HAS MELTED.
My fingertips are all shiny now, though. AND! the bed is together. Let's see if the bolts hold, and maybe I won't crash to the floor in the middle of the night.
or: Things I Learned in a Week Away from All Yall Lovely People:
I have not only forgotten what used to be mad parallel parking skillz, but also forgotten how to drive like an east coaster. Merging onto Key Bridge was suddenly an exercise in Frogger. Damn, I'm a woos.
My two surviving uncles are exactly like Statler and Waldorf. If you have a Very Serious Function to attend, in which you, by all means, are supposed to be quiet and respectful, do not look the uncles in the eye, because they will lean over and crack a joke and then you will dissolve into a giggle fit, which you have to try to hide by looking as though you are just crying very hard. When, in actuality, you may have sprained some internal laughter-related organ. And then you will cry some anyway, and that is just how this family deals with a tragedy. Oh, and add eleventy-brazillion bottles of booze and forget to drink any water.
My friends have an incredible sense of humor and I've missed them all terribly, especially Culocho, who is not only funny, but super-hosptiable as well, sharing both couch and pug-as-space-heater.
Hello, pulled pork BBQ. And hello to you, mac-n-cheese. Ooo, is that another hot wing there next to the chili dip? And HELLO, cheese grits and grilled shrimp. *snarfle*
The drive from Chicago to Detroit has many more strip clubs than Starbucks. Some of you may think this is a good thing, but honestly, on a road trip, I know I need more latte, less fake boobie.
I am so, so glad to be home.
I'm traveling back east somewhat unexpectedly for my uncle's funeral. I'll be flying into Chicago early Saturday morning and driving over to my cousin's in Michigan, in a town that is in the middle of approximately nowhere. Good times to be had in flyover country, yall.
So we're all gathering for the death of man we admittedly thought was an asshole in life. It's a lesson in "you love your relatives, but you don't necessarily like them". However, a funeral is never actually for the person who died, since they're past the point of caring. It's for the rest of the family to process what's happened, and disliking the person doesn't make that any less important. The folks who are coming are the sarcastic, wine-quaffing, pun-making part of the family, including my cousin's new in-laws, so it could actually be some fun, in a macabre Six Feet Under sort of way.
It's such a strange thing to suddenly speak and write about someone in the past tense.
I am, like my dad and zillions of other folks, a born procrastinator. I will put off things until the last possible minute, then rush around flapping my hands to complete whatever it is I’m supposed to finish. I particularly do this with things around the house, like sweeping under the bed (arr, there be monsters here!) or actually putting all my chargers in one place so’s I don’t lose them.
I realize that this is a draining way to behave, that until you can get all your little ducks in a row, you can’t really relax, but I always get a little rush off of the last-minute hustle. Trying to take a different approach, I made a list of things I needed to do, and tried to do them all before the week was out - and to actually get something different accomplished each day. Really, so many of them were a matter of spending five minutes, or an hour, and now I am obviously a better person than all yall.
The things I’ve needed to do that have been completed since Saturday afternoon:
Like many of my co-workers and friends, I was not particularly fond of high school. Hence, when my 10-year reunion invitation came, my first thought was ”meh.” For God’s sake, it’s being held in the same place that we had our senior prom.
Our high school was actually a secondary school, so we all started in the same building in seventh grade. During that time I suffered through the usual middle school hurdles: eating lunch on the playground outside, nose deep in books that were completely unrelated to my classes, crushing on older boys with girlfriends. (As you see, I have changed not at all.)
High school began, and ended, on an uneasy truce with the popular kids. I wasn’t actively disliked is the best way to put it. I had learned a few social graces. I listened to some pretty cool music courtesy of a friend recently returned from England. I quit choir and drill team, read even more books and went out dancing. I played lacrosse and painted set pieces. I hung out with the other freaks and geeks and we counted the days until we could leave for college or points beyond.
So, reuninting with my high school classmates - at least the types of people who would come to a reunion - isn't something I'm really into. Ethan said it would be great just for the experience of seeing all these people from the view I would have now. But really, anyone I liked from high school I've either already talked to, or could easily find me, and a couple of people did, via the reunion website and Classmates.com. I have no problem being found, it’s part of who I am - I’ll tell you anything if you ask me and a lot of times when you don’t. Hence why you read this here blog.
But not everyone is like that, and those people possess more common sense than I do. But a lot of people I would have liked to say hi to have completely disappeared off the map. The freaks mostly. It surprises me time and again that not everyone is Google-able. There were a lot of us who the other kids just didn’t know what to make of, who loved art but hated art classes, who chose taking the F over reading Faulkner, who are out there and simply don’t want to be found, or still just don’t care what other people think.
I've always liked that about my friends.
Surprising to exactly no one who is from there too, the author is from Virginia.
Define yourself; don't let anyone else do it for you. I am not the fragile, languid debutante of a Tennessee Williams play. I don't know if I could even pass for a steel magnolia. Perhaps I resent the old stereotypes because, even while I don't aspire to them, sometimes it'd be easier to wedge myself into one. But I know where I come from, even if I'm not exactly sure how-or if-I'll get back.
And if someone thinks my accent isn't Southern enough, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.