Monthly Archives: August 2010

oh my goodness!

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ray & i are leaving for our bike trip in two days! two days! two days! aaaaahhh!
preparing for this trip has been long, stressful, and annoying, yet exciting. today we took a test ride on a city bike path with our loaded-up bikes:

my bike, all packed up


ray looking super hip! haha.

anyway. so. i am leaving pittsburgh for the longest time since i arrived in september 2007. i really, really need to get away from the cars and the dog poop and the awkwardness and the yinzers and the sameness of being in a city for three years. i know this trip won’t be easy, in the classic sense of the word, but i think it will be very necessary.
my front rack is hilariously janky, ziptied to my front reflector. i hope it lasts. my bike has been going through all sorts of breakdowns & i’m gonna be riding all the way to washington, DC in third gear! (that’s the largest, hardest chainring). pray for my knees. i don’t mind riding in third gear, my legs are strong enough, but it’s pretty hard on one’s knees.
also, last night at free ride, ray & i struggled to remove my pedal, all to no avail. this is important because i can’t bring my bike on a bus or a train unless i box it, and the only way to fit it in a box is to take the pedals off–which means i would have to ride all the way home! i’m hoping that a bike shop employee might have a secret magic trick to getting this damn thing out.
OKAY BORED READERS HERE IS SOMETHING THAT IS NOT ABOUT BIKES! i kind of want to go on a zine tour when i’m done with my new issue (fall-ish). are there any zinesters out there that might be interested in touring with me? i’m thinking like a week or two, five cities or less. i was thinking of maybe doing it entirely by megabus ’cause it’s so cheap and i don’t know how to drive. i think it would be fun, i love reading/performing, i need to have more adventures, i’m a pretty low-stress/fun travel partner, i admit to being a bit of a diva when i can’t have coffee with soy milk in the morning (although i am GIVING THAT UP for the next seven days, in the interest of touring the state by bike) but other than that i am pretty good at rolling with the punches. interested parties should email escape_well at yahoo dot com or leave me a comment!

oh, the dogs on main street howl, cuz they understand

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hello! i am finally done with work. it’s monday and i got enough sleep last night, woke up when i wasn’t tired anymore. a novelty. when was the last monday i did that? i don’t even know. memorial day? it’s such a simple thing, sleeping until you’re refreshed, but it’s so rare in the fulltime employment world. but i have forgotten that, when i’m refreshed, two cups of coffee can make me jittery and crazy. when i’m tired, two cups of coffee is what keeps me alive. so i feel a little crazed right now.
i’ve been re-reading old issues of “chainbreaker” and eating an everything bagel my siblings brought me back from new york (like five days ago, so it’s kinda stale & sucky, but i still appreciate the kind gesture, so i’m gonna keep on eating it.) it reminds me SO much of college, those long moneyless days, where i was mostly unhappy but took such joy in simple things. that was six years ago, my chainbreaker-and-everything-bagels-phase, my dreaming-of-a-long-bike-trip-with-my-lover phase. now i’ve made my dreams real. my lover and i are leaving for a 325-mile bike trip in a few days. mckeesport, pa to washington, dc! i am afraid my elderly, troubled bike won’t make it. but, options are few–i can’t exactly afford a new bike this late in the game, so i’m just gonna go for it, ovaries to the wall, see what happens. it’s not, like, a super-junker, but when a bike’s 12 years old and has probably 5000 miles on it, things happen.
i’m also folding zines for a big zine order and listening to a mix tape i listened to all the time in the summer of 2000. oh, ten years later. no longer listening to that tape on a walkman as i chainsmoke outside of mcdonald’s on a fifteen minute break from my job at CVS. so strange to think a decade ago, when it feels like it wasn’t really so long ago at all. the girl i kissed all that summer is now getting married to a man. the boy i kiss all the time now was a female junior high student in massachussetts ten years ago, and we each had no idea the other existed. so strange.
as you may have noticed, i changed the appearance of this blog. i think it’s an improvement. also, this summer has really sucked (because of work troubles and relationship woes dominating my life and headspace), but i put up a few pictures of the non-sucky parts on my flickr page if anyone is interested.

mini-update #4: two good things that came out of my job!

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so, blog readers, you’ll be happy to know that i’m leaving my gawd-awful job. friday the 20th is my last day! i have used this blog as a way to blow of steam for the more awful things that have happened; but here are two mildly sweet things from work. because it wasn’t all bad, and there are a lot of people and things i’m actually going to miss.

like this woman! this is one of my favorite co-workers, with a note that she put on her lunch one day.

and this is the union bulletin board in the break room. what a cute, simple explanation of why it’s important to stand together, and have things like unions and solidarity! as someone who grew up in a very pro-union family and who has a (perhaps excessive) affinity for cute things, i LOVE this (and i know at least one other person who will. ahem, jill!)

mini-update #3: strange day at the bike shop!

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so, if all goes well, i’m gonna be riding my bike to DC in a few weeks (!!). as a result of this, i have to spend a shitload of money on stuff like bike repairs, panniers, etc. anyhoo, i went to kraynick’s (pgh’s local crazy-old-man bike shop. it’s pretty amazing, a tiny little storefront in a rough neighborhood that is completely crammed with every kind of tool and bike part there is.)
i got old man kraynick to put a new chain & cogs on my ride (ray tried to get him to do this earlier, but was rebuffed! the old dude yelled at him and said he should just do it himself! now, i’m all for the DIY approach to most things, but i’m about to ride this thing at least 320 fucking miles! i want it to be fixed by someone who actually knows what they’re doing.) and i went to pick it up. he had the big-ass steel basket that i wanted in stock, so i dug through drawers of screws & washers & allen wrenches. i had to kneel on the dirty floor a lot (this detail is relevant later in the story.)
oh, does everyone know that i have long-ish hair now? men sure are a lot nicer to me now, as opposed to when i was a bristly haired dykey lookin’ lady. it’s hot as hell, so i wasn’t wearing much, and every socially maladjusted bike-fiend dude in there was talkin’ to me. not in a gross way, but i definitely got the feeling that they wouldn’t be so friendly if i was looking more dudely. just sayin’.
my favorite random man-conversation was when an old, bearded hippy looked at my helmet (which looks like a watermelon, and which i get many compliments on!) and said, “you know, i’ve often thought that we should make basketballs that look like watermelons. that way, it wouldn’t be so unusual to throw watermelons, and people would expect them to bounce!” i was just like, “cool!” and then he was like, “kraynick’s is a bicycling institution in pittsburgh. it’s been here since before time began!” and then old man kraynick said, “whoa, now, that’s pretty heavy.”

i finally got the giant-ass steel basket on there. as another bike-man said, “whoa, you can haul WICKED groceries in that thing!”

as i was wheeling my bike out, the hippie said, “now your bike’s a truck!” i said, “yeah, it’s about as heavy as a goddamn truck now!”

riding home, a guy at a gas station yelled, “nice knees!” to me. i was befuddled by this statement until i came home. all that crawling around on a greasy dirty floor really took its toll.

this picture doesn’t really do it justice, but my legs are really white and my knees were pure black. ha!

mini update #1: an introduction.

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hi. i know i haven’t been posting, mainly for these reasons:
1. i hate the internet
2. i’m writing a new zine
3. most of what i want to say involves my slow-moving heartbreak, and it’s not really appropriate to blog about it here, for many reasons.
4. i’m not sure if this blog is still relevant to my life
5. i’m busy.

but, i still do have a few things that i want to share. i’m dividing them into mini-posts so if you’re bored you can easily skip them. thanks!