Archive for July 2010
I don’t really want to get into my past week right now for multiple reasons. It has just been a rough one, for whatever reason, but my friends have helped and it’s good to know that I have ones I can call on when I’m in need of a smile. Some of them don’t even know they’re making me smile, but I hope they know deep down it’s good to know they care.
So instead of reviewing my week, I’ll just list five random things about myself for this entry.
- I keep a journal, but I rarely write in it, and when I do, it usually doesn’t make much sense. I’m sure I will look at my journal years from now and know that I am indeed a bit mad.
- I get easily obsessed, especially when it comes to physical changes. In a way, it’s good, but it can easily get ugly when I stop understanding my own limits and I push myself right past them.
- I don’t mind being around cranky friends, as long as their crankiness is not directed at me.
- While being critical of myself, I find that I am overly accepting of others’ flaws to a fault.
- Finding and keeping girlfriends is a never-ending failure. The ones I love the most live too far away to be of any use to me.
Things have gotten a bit derailed lately, but I am somehow back on an even keel and back on track for more than a few things in my life.
1. Up and down
I weigh myself everyday and I record my consumption. That might sound a little bit crazy, but it keeps my weight under control and helps me stay aware of my body. Recording everything is really helpful to me, but it’s not for everyone. I can also safely say that my weight is headed back down again, much to my pleasure. I also gave blood yesterday and found that my BP, HR, and HGB are very much back in the healthy range again.
2. More scheduled stuff
I like scheduling my life. It’s one of my quirks. I like to fill up my calendar in advance with activities, even if one of them is "stay home and relax tonight!" This week, I’ve completely packed my dance card with social activities and I love it. I guess it’s one of the signs that I truly am an extrovert. Being with others makes me feel energetic and excited.
3. Back to basics
I usually buy myself a loaf of french bread at least twice a week and end up eating a lot of it myself at home. One of my laziest meals is simply a hunk of bread dipped in salted-peppered olive oil. Yes. I totally eat that as dinner some nights, but this week I decided to buy sliced bread instead and work on cooking myself real dinners. The best part about having sliced bread at home is that I make myself sandwiches for lunch (instead of just eating a plain hunk of bread). This week, I’ve been making the old standby: PB&J. I’m quite stingy with the J, but it’s how I like it!
4. Emails and phone calls from a special someone
Franny’s away on business travel this week and next, so we’ve been keeping in touch through email and phone calls. I am not one of those girls who mopes around because her man is gone, but I also have to admit that I miss him terribly. It’s all the little things like coming home to someone, or knowing that he’s just down the peninsula from me during the day. I love my freedom, but I also like the stability that he gives me.
5. And of course the friend bit
What is a Five on Friday list if I don’t mention how much I love my friends. Seriously, they’re the best. J invited me to dinner at his place, which meant I had a tasty and healthy dinner along with some very lovely company. I’ve been hanging out a lot with A, doing maintenance on our bikes, watching movies, riding, and cooking dinner. He gives me another good reason to eat a healthy, tasty meal instead of my usual spartan fare, not to mention he also rides bikes with me, so it’s a good excuse to be active and move my legs. I love boys who help me stay healthy and stimulate my brain too.
It was early afternoon when he left on a plane to travel around to the opposite end of the earth. He rang his sweetheart as he sat waiting near his gate after having checked his bag, gone through security, and eaten lunch. And now he had some time to kill, so he rang her to say goodbye and tell her he was safely through the airport rigmarole that was required nowadays.
The first few times they parted ways like this, she would be in tears, wishing him a safe flight and also playfully cursing him for leaving her again, but things were different now. They’d settled into a comfortable routine of the last-minute goodbye phone call where she asked if he’d had a chance to eat anything before arriving at the gate and he reminded her of a few tasks at home that had to get done while he was away.
There were no more tears and everything was far less emotional than it had been when he’d first started travelling. It made everything easier for both of them, but she still had a small voice in the back of her head that thought that this might be the last time they spoke if something happened on his flight. The chances were quite slim, but something could happen, and she knew it was important to tell him she loved him and remind him to notify her when he arrived. She could never quite settle her mind until she knew he’d arrived safely and would quietly worry while going about her daily life until she heard from him.
Saying goodbye one last time and repeating, "I love you, and I miss you," she hung up the phone on her end. She imagined him sitting at the busy terminal, watching people hurry past trying to make their planes. There were probably a number of other business travellers in workwear with their sleek black luggage that was packed with just the right amount of clothing and that fit just perfectly in the overhead bin or under the seat. Maybe there were also some summer travellers eating over-priced fast food from the airport vendors while their children ran amok or watched the planes outside through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
It was very quiet in her head as she stared at the phone for a minute after hanging up with him. She felt a twinge in her heart and thought of all the things he would tell her when he finally rang from his destination. He’d tell her about the weather, the cab ride to the hotel, what he ate for dinner, maybe how nice the room was. Meanwhile, she’d share what she did with friends, the latest news about the cat, and what she ate for dinner. Then she would tell him that she missed him and to not work so terribly hard and to call her as much as possible. He would tell her how much he missed and loved her and then he would think about her while out shopping and pick out something to bring back that would make her happy.
And so it went.
Yes, I have been massively afflicted with the bikey life and it shows.
1. The weekend ride
My friend C organised a bike ride up to Fairfax this past weekend and it was pretty great. Such a good chance to leisurely ride up and chat with friends. Then a simple dinner at home with a friend. What a great way to spend a day.
2. This much closer to riding the Trek again
I ordered and received the new wheelset and finally got the gear cassette in order and bought a new tire for the rear. Last night, I tried to mount the rear tire on, but unfortunately I pinched the tube and didn’t have another tube to pop in instead. Today I’ll go to a bike shop to get a replacement tube and then I’ll try again tonight.
3. Bike commuting with J
After a not-so-positive experience on a long bike ride with me, my friend J seems to be warming back up to biking again. He’s been commuting with me 3 out of his 4 workdays this week, so it’s nice to chat on the train in the mornings. It really makes me so happy that he’s giving it a shot and enjoying it! I hope he keeps it up and continues finding it more and more enjoyable.
4. Buttery friends
This past week was my second time riding with the Butterlap crew on Wednesday night. I really enjoy this ride because it’s hill-filled and fun, and not too difficult. It makes me feel good at my fitness level too, since the hills don’t kill me. Plus, I’ve been meeting more and more great people on the ride.
5. Helpful friends
I managed to convince my friend to help me with my bike in exchange for a home-cooked meal this week. I still don’t have the bike quite ready to ride, but it’s that much closer and it’s nice to have friends who are willing to help me out in exchange for experimental cooking (brand new recipe I’ve never tried before). He changed out my tire and tube for me (menial labour I can do myself, but I’d rather cook instead) and loved and complimented the dinner I made. That was icing on the cake.
Franny Fran is off on a business trip until the middle of next week, so I’ve been staying super busy and over-exerting and over-exhausting myself. I will not be surprised if I catch cold at some point, but so far so good (knocks on wood). So… this is what I’ve been up to in the past week packed into 5 points.
1. Small dogs petting session
J and I went to a weekly outing of small dogs (under 20 lbs). Yes. I love dogs. I got a TON of petting in and I was so happy the rest of the day! Plus, it was a gorgeous morning out on the beach and a trip to the ocean is always a good way to start the day.
2. It’s time to rumble
I hung out at the Quake City Rumble, which was pretty damned awesome and fun. It was also really hot. Yeah.
I didn’t race, but I convinced a new friend from the train to come too, so we got to hang out, take photos of the bikes and the boys, and drink beers in the hot hot sun.
3. Road trip north
Franny and I took a little road trip to Ukiah, a completely random spot I saw on the map along 101. The whole plan was to go to the Ukiah Brewery (everything was organic) and drink some beers. Then we were going to stop at Hopland on the way back to visit the Mendocino Brewing Company too. It was a hot day, but a nice drive up. The country views up there are really gorgeous. I don’t know that I would want to do any hiking or anything, but it was a nice trip out of San Francisco.
4. A very buttery crew
I finally got to ride Butterlap on Wednesday and boy was I pleased with it. The route is ridiculous fun and goes up and around all the hills I love in SF. It was the first time I’d ridden my bike up to Sutro Baths though, and that felt like a good accomplishment too. Plus, the group was just so fun to ride with and very friendly. There are lots of regroups and no one gets dropped.
I liked the route a lot, but you definitely cool down a bit too much during the regroups. It was a chilly night and I wanted to keep riding. I may start doing this without the group with minimal stops to challenge myself. Plus, the route is just plain pretty and the views are nice.
(Sorry the photo is so large… I got it from my Tumblr and I can’t figure out how to resize it through email posting.)
5. Basic bike maintenance
My bike has been feeling a bit sluggish, so I decided it was time to service my bottom bracket (that always sounds so dirty!) at the Bike Kitchen. If you don’t know what the Bike Kitchen is, it’s a cooperative, volunteer-run bike maintenance shop. They have a ridiculous amount of tools and volunteer mechanics who can help you maintain your bike. You do all the work yourself, and it’s a great way to learn how to fix your bike yourself. I’m a huge fan of this place.
I’ve taken bottom brackets apart before, and it gets easier and more familiar the more I do it. I took the cranks off and removed the bearings, cleaned the whole system, and then put it all back together. Now it feels like butter and I’m so glad I did this before going on the weekend ride to Fairfax.
It was also a nice bonus to have dinner with my cutiepie afterwards too. I feel fortunate to have a friend like him, not to mention he’s absolutely adorable. I hope we stay friends for a long time.
So we backtrack a little bit to January 2008. I haven’t yet started taking photography classes yet, but Fran has bought me a Hasselblad from a coworker who wants it to go to a good home. I’ve never shot medium format before, so I waste a roll learning how to load the camera and I use my digital SLR to meter for me. I don’t know how to develop black and white film yet, so I slowly work my way through the 20 or so rolls of colour film that Fran’s coworker included with the camera (and ALL the accessories). I become good friends with Henry at the lab and he knows me as the girl with the Hasselblad. I swear off 35mm film and begin only shooting medium format. I think it makes me more of an artist, but really I just like how it slows me down and makes me think more about composing each shot.
I remember being very excited about not having a job at this point. I miss my friends in Boston intensely and we text each other often with random photos of what we’re up to and also short messages of… uh… snark. (We were never really the encouraging types.) Fran and I are living in a giant apartment complex and I hate every moment of it, but I do relish the fact that we finally have laundry right in the flat with us instead of in the basement that is down 3 flights of stairs. The cat adjusts well, especially since I am home all day and she gets to spend a lot of time with me and in sunny windowsills. She seems happy in California, which pleases me greatly.
Fran and I take trips to random places that I have never even heard of before, like Half Moon Bay. I wonder quietly to myself why it’s called that, for the shape of the bay from above or if the view of the moon is wonderfully fog-free from there. Everything is so new and I want to go everywhere and try everything. I somehow manage to retain this feeling of excitement even into the present day, but the radius of our travels has enlarged somewhat since we’ve been to most places that are nearby.
I go to the gym everyday and run 3 miles on the treadmill at a moderate pace while watching whatever is on TV. Most days I will be there alone, so I turn off the TV and listen to my music instead. I find the TV incredibly boring, especially in the middle of the afternoon. I think it’s a depressing reminder that I am home in the middle of the day and not at work like everyone else, but I very much enjoy the ability to go for a run whenever I want.