First Ride into Seattle

1 12 2008

Date: December 1

Mileage: 20

December Mileage: 20

Year to Date Mileage: 482.8

My first bike ride into Seattle was, uh, interesting. I’ve never ridden in a large city before. Heck, I never even rode my bike in downtown Omaha. This was (and still is) all new territory for me.

Two weeks ago I rode my bike for the first time in Washington. On my way home, in the rain, in the total darkness that can only be the country late at night, I rode over a speck of glass. This speck proceeded to puncture my rear inner tube. I’ve never changed a flat before, but I managed. Unfortunately, managed just fixes the flat, it doesn’t do a good job of it. This came to be a problem about a week later.

Monday morning began with what can only be called fail. I woke with a start at 9:50 thinking my job interview was at 10. I double checked and realized it wasn’t actually until 1. I had a huge bowl of oatmeal with butter and brown sugar and began my day. I decided I would ride my bike to my interview instead of drive, that way I could save some money that would otherwise be spent on parking.  Well, I didn’t plan much beyond writing down the directions, wearing warm clothes (and packing a change for my interview) and I remembered both of my locks. The time came to leave, and I left. 3 miles later I threw my chain for the first tie. It turns out that when I changed my flat, I didn’t tighten down the nuts enough. So the tension from the chain pulled my rear whell forward just enough to cause problems. Iknew exactly what was wrong, but I didnt have the tools to fix it. So I would ride 2 miles, stop, put my chain back on the cog, ride two miles….

I finally made it to my interview. I got Vinny locked up and headed in. To my utter amazement, she was still there when I came back out an hour and a half later.

Then I rode up to REI to get my fender put back on and tighten my rear wheel back up. By the time I left, I was getting really hungry and it was drizzling outside. I figured I could make it back home before I got too hungry and the drizzle turned into a downpour.

I was wrong.

By mile 16 or 17, it was pouring. Hy hands were pruny and numb. My feet were so cold pedaling hurt. And boy was I hungry. I couldn’t stop thinking about food. In my mind, every downward stroke of the pedal wasn’t getting me closer to food, it was making me hungrier. The thoughts of carb rich foods were making me drool. Thanks to the rain dripping down my face the passing drivers couldn’t see the drool.

I finally got to within a mile of home when I passed a QFC. It was all over. I stopped. I dragged my soggy bike in the store with me. I bought noodles, marinara sauce, three candy bars, chocolate milk, whole milk, and a dozen eggs. Sure, I got some strange looks, but I didn’t care. I had hit pay dirt. I ate that first candy bar in three bites. (I’m not proud of this, but it was the tastiest thing I’ve eaten all year.)

The rest of the ride home was uneventful. I knew (once I had something in my stomach) that it was only a matter of minutes before I could dry off and put hot food in my belly.

The rest of the night is pretty much a carb induced haze of bliss.

Happy riding!


My Stepmom aka The Doomsday Goddess of Destructive Advice (rant)

25 11 2008

Shit happens. Problems can snowball to the point where they feel completely out of control. Take my car for example. When I moved out here, I had every intention of riding my bike full time. But it took my ex a long time to get it sent out here, and when it finally arrived, it had broken during transport. So my parents basically gave me their spare car. Well, it came with problems; what free car doesn’t? The windshield needs to be replaced. The alignment needed to be done about a year ago, so now the front left hub is worn and needs to be replaced. The windshield also leaked into the fan, so the heater now needs to be fixed. These aren’t huge problems, but talking to my step-mom, it’s the beginning of the end. Now she’s freaking out about HER money situation, which has turned into her telling me “I don’t know how on earth you are going to afford to live on your own in this economy.” Fuck. Leave me alone.

On top of her spreading the word of doom, they have decided this weekend (the weekend of ThanksforTurkey Day AND my birthday) is the perfect time to take my car away to get it fixed. Fuck fuck fuck. All I want to do is celebrate my birthday ON my birthday for once. I had plans to go out Friday with a friend. But he lives 50 miles away, and I am sure as hell not riding my bike that far. This is a problem that will need to be rectified asap. Otherwise the step-parents are going to have a very grumpy birthday girl on their hands this weekend. Yeah, so what. I will pout. It’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to. Fuckers.

But… I guess it won’t be the end of the world if I have to wait a week to celebrate. It’s just that every single year I get shafted when my birthday comes around. It’s so close to ThanksforTurkey Day that everyone all but forgets my birthday. Every.single.fucking.year. The only people that have it worse are people born right around Christmas and those born on leap year day, imho. Yeah, so I’m in a pissy mood. Bugger off.

So while my step-parents were lamenting the fact that they gave me a shitty car that needs to be fixed before I move to Seattle in 1.5 weeks, I decided to give my bike a quick once over. I figured the car would be out of commission for one or two days (NOT 5 days, anyhoo…) that I would keep up with riding Vinny. Well, it turns out that the other night when I was riding her home in the pitch black darkness that is the woods, I rode over some broken glass. But it wasn’t my easy-to-remove front tire that went flat. Nope. It was my I-have-no-idea-how-to-take-it-off rear tire that is now flat. I’m afraid that if I try to remove the tire and replace the inner tube (which is old anyhow) I will break the repair I just paid 30 dollars for to make my bike ridable in the first place. But if I take it into the bike shop (with the car I can’t drive) they will most likely charge me money to fix the flat (because everyone should get paid for work they do), and that’s money that I need to eat and pay my bills.

Fuckin fuck. I hate money. No one will take hand-knit items in trade anymore. And that’s pretty much all I have to offer at this moment. Any ideas? I guess I need to be an adult, pull up my big girl panties, and deal with it. Shit. Sometimes I really hate being an adult.

Back In the (Bike) Saddle

21 11 2008

Date: November 20

Mileage: 16.0

November Mileage: 16.0

Year to Date Mileage: 462.8

My bike has finally been put back together, tuned up, and I’ve stopped making excuses for not riding her. Yesterday I tried out my new handlebars for pretty much the first time. After I got them installed in Omaha, I ran out of chances to ride my bike, so I never got to try them out. Having drop handlebars is really different. I don’t feel as stable as I did on my old mustache handlebars, but I really do like having a variety of positions to put my hands in. It will take some getting used to I guess. My back brake doesn’t feel as tight as I’d like, and my front basket that I really haven’t had a chance to use yet isn’t even on my bike anymore. For some reason the brackets don’t fit. It was ON my bike with the new handlebars when I was in Omaha. When the bike shop shipped my bike, they took the brackets off, and now I can’t figure out how to put it back on. Fuck.

The ride last night was great. I haven’t felt that good in a long time. It even made my 6.5 hours of “work” at Walmart more tolerable. The ride in to work was almost exclusively downhill. 8 miles. Into the wind. In the rain. It was exhilarating. The ride home at 11:00 at night was, uh, not. It was uphill 8 miles. Into the wind (how does that even happen?) Through dark (pitch black) woods. And half way home, it didn’t start raining, it started pouring. The good news is that since it was so dark, I didn’t pay much attention to riding up the hill. I just did it.

Lately I’ve found myself consumed with thoughts of relationships and marriage. It’s unsettling to only be able to think of one thing all the time. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not in a relationship now, or if it’s hormones, or what. But it’s frustrating. Last night on my bike ride, I decided that I associate being in a relationship with happiness. And I associate marriage with solidifying a relationship. So what I am actually wanting isn’t marriage or a relationship, it’s happiness, and solidifying happiness in my life. By craving a relationship, by craving marriage, I am craving happiness. I am not sure if this is right or not, but it makes sense in a roundabout way.

The ironic thing is by thinking so much about how much I want to be in a relationship, the more I realize I’m NOT in a relationship. So I projecting this energy of NOT being in a relationship out into the world. So what do I get back, what’s projected back at me? NOT being in a relationship.

I have realized that I need to go through with what I came out here to do, instead of trying to divert my attention by thinking of what I don’t have in the first place. I came out here to be single, to find happiness within myself, to figure out who and what I am. I want to finish college, I want to bike long distances, and travel, and backpack and climb rocks and camp. I want to get back in touch with myself. If I spend all my time obsessing over what I don’t have, I will keep not having what I don’t have.

I do this to myself all the time, and it’s time to break the cycle. I start doing things for myself, start taking care of myself and looking out for myself, and then I begin to sabotage it by telling myself it isn’t what I really want. I try to convince myself I would be happier if my life had complications in it, that it would be better if things weren’t simple for once. I am afraid if things being simple, because then I will have to start thinking about myself again. And who really wants to think of themselves? Who really wants to look in all those little nooks and crannies of their souls, the places that are easy to forget about but also hard to clean out? But I will never grow into the woman and adult that I want to be, that I know I really am, if I don’t do a little spring cleaning in my soul.

In the knitting world… I finally finished the knitting of my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. All I have left to do is weave in my yarn ends, wash and block it, and then sew in the zipper. Yay! Pictures will be coming as soon as it’s finished (this week, I promise).

Well well well

22 07 2008

So I quit my job last week. I just couldn’t go in anymore. I know it was a shitty thing to do to my employer. But honestly, my head wasn’t in it. And I knew it was only going to get worse as time went on. I know me. Once I’ve mentally checked out, it would take a miracle or an act of the great beyond to check me back in.

Let me just say, I am down to 4 weeks and 5 days until the big move. I was planning on going to pick up boxes today, but it rained over night, and the boxes I wanted were left out on the curb. Soggy boxes aren’t very good for packing in. But I have a lot of stuff that I am planning on moving that could be packed away.

I have all my new bike parts in except for my new handlebars, and those haven’t even shipped yet. I am going to be getting nervous soon if those don’t ship. Cause once they ship, they still have to get out here, and then I need to drag everything into the bike shop and have it all assembled. I would do it myself, but I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t have any tools or a work stand. At this point, I don’t want to take the chance of doing more harm than good. I figure it should cost me about the same either way, perhaps slightly more if I do it myself as I am certain I would have to replace something that I broke along the way.

Anyhow, that’s about it for now. Hopefully I will have something more exciting to write about in the coming days.

Neener Neener

3 07 2008

Date: July 3

Mileage: 4.4

July Mileage: 8.8

Year to Date Mileage: 446.8

I have secrets. I shared a LOT of them on Ravelry today. It was very cathartic. I will not share them here, because I don’t trust you.

Poor Beagle

2 07 2008

Date: July 2

Mileage: 4.4

July Mileage: 4.4

Year to Date Mileage: 442.4

I took the u-b’s beagle with Loki and I on our morning walk today. Poor beagle. He is 11 years old, riddled with either tumors or cysts, and fat to boot. He’s been on a diet for a while, but he is just in such bad shape. We got three houses down from our starting point, and he starting coughing. Then he started wheezing. He panted the whole half hour that we “walked.” Walk is used very loosely though, as it is mostly ambling till we get to the next thing that stick more than 5 inches out of the ground, and than poor beagle pees on it. Then we amble some more.

Loki seemed to enjoy himself, it was a novel experience to have poor beagle with us. I doubt Loki got much expercise, but since the u-b is out of town, the beagle is extra pathetic. I figured he could use a little pick-me-up. Last night he even slept on the couch, I think he was waiting for the u-b to come home. Poor little guy.

Anyhow, I am back to having my “dropping acid” dreams, no more dreams with deep psychological meaning. I guess my brain doesn’t have to tell me things when I can’t escape into other thoughts anymore.

Last night was enjoyable. I stopped at the market and picked up some groceries, then went home and made dinner. I played with the puppies for a little while, made them dinner, and then had my own dinner. After that I watched a movie and knitted for a while. I learned how to cast on for magic loop, too! I decided to knit both sleeves at once for my tangled yoke cardigan, so I don’t end up with second sleeve syndrome. And since I was going to have to learn an ew technique to knit two sleeves at once, I figured I might as well learn the magic loop method.

My first trouble of the night came as I realized I had twisted my stitches when I joined in the round. Shoot. So I pulled both sleeves off and cast back on. Then my internet went down, so I had to restart the router for my wireless connection. While that was rebooting, I went through our Christmas stuff, taking my things that had sentimental value to me, and leaving the rest for the u-b (christmas lights, his ornaments). I went back upstairs, found a better tutorial through Ravelry, and tried casting on a second time. The first 10 rounds or so are very “fiddly”. I lost patience right around round 10, and decided I hadn’t twisted my stitches when joining, so it was a good stopping point.

Then I went to bed, and cast on for Shade. I am using Knitpicks CotLin in Key Lime, on size 4 brittany birch needles. I tend to knit VERY loose on non metal needles, so I went down 4 sizes to get gauge. I made one slight alteration to the pattern, and that is that I am doing a C4B on the top of the lampshade, instead of a C4F.

This pattern should result in a cute lamp shade when it is done, and I was fortunate to have the exact size lampshade needed. In fact, I had been thinking of replacing said lampshade for a while now, so this pattern will be perfect. But. This pattern is not very well written. I wouldn’t expect a beginner to cast on and make this without some difficulties. It doesn’t explain what a short row is, or how to wrap & turn. I already knew how to do these things, but someone that has never done them might want to research a little before they start. Also, the directions are vague. It seems like the author just assumes that you will know what she means. Fortunately, this was a free pattern. If I had paid for it, I would have been disappointed in the clarity of instruction.

It’s Official

30 06 2008

Date: June 30

Mileage: 4.4

June Mileage: 111

Year to Date Mileage: 438


Well, we had one of the talks we needed to have over the weekend. No, not the lesbian talk. I am not sure that I am ready to share that information with the un-boyfriend. But that should give you an idea of what we DID talk about.

I won’t go over the details, as that is private information between him and I. But what it boils down to is that we have mutually decided that this relationship has reached the point where it shouldn’t go on. We have reached the point where this is it. We both still love each other very much, but our life together as a couple is not working. Neither of us is really happy any longer, and we need to be able to move forward in whatever direction will make us happy.

For him, that means focusing more on his career in order to be able to advance to the next level. For me, that means moving back to Seattle. Yep, you heard me right. I am finally, after 5 years, moving back home.

I have never felt truely at home here in Omaha. I have always missed Seattle, and have always considered it my home. My last day of work is August 22, and my last day in Omaha is August 28. I will be travelling via Amtrak, first to Sacramento, and then on to Seattle. The trip should take about 4 days, with a 6 hour layover in Sacramento. Hopefully, I will be able to visit my sister for a little while I am in Sac.

This is huge, and I am very nervous about it. I have never lived on my own in Seattle. I am nervous that I will have trouble finding work if my job doesn’t transfer, and I am even more nervous about where I will be living if I don’t have a job. But for now, all I can do is start looking for a job online, figure out how I am going to move my stuff across the country. The un-boyfriend thinks I should groundship it via UPS, and my mom thinks I should rent a POD. I am more concerned with how to rent an apartment if I end up having to spend a lot on shipping my stuff. Living in Seattle is much more expensive than living in Omaha. Renting an apartment will probably cost twice as much as renting in Omaha. Argh, this is stressful. Wish me luck, there will be much more in the weeks to follow.

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