Posts Tagged ‘bike commute’

I Can’t Believe I Said That

July 2, 2013

And oh, yeah, I said that.

My friend looked at me in the car, “what was that, I have never heard you talk like that before?”

I got flustered.

He was cute.

And then it hit me and I was embarrassed and I was also, OMG, more does get revealed!

When I am flustered I get big and loud and over the top.

“Oh yeah, I don’t do that anymore, bottle of Beam and blow jobs in the bathroom, and bags of coke, I’m all done with that,” I said rashly at the counter of Trouble while I was waiting for my Americano.

I couldn’t even blame the caffeine, I hadn’t gotten my coffee yet, unless you can pin it on the fumes and I was willing to try, but I hadn’t even realized what I was doing.

I have never, fyi, given someone a blow job in a bathroom or drank a bottle of Beam (I mean I have done the aforementioned, but not like I said it, not that way, not like it was Springbreakers gone wild or something).

It was only in hindsight that I saw what I did and why I said it.

The hindsight came really fast, like just maybe an hour later, after we had dinner at Judalicious, which was really good.

Raw vegan food.

And even though I am not currently practicing a vegan diet, I still like my veggies and it was scrumptious.

I am really going to like this neighborhood, I know it.

I got to see the progress on the studio, it’s coming along, I am excited, I am going to have my own little space, my own place to nest in.

“I so want to nest right now,” I told my friend, “I have absolutely nothing, but I also don’t want to have to move anything yet.”

“Slow down.” She said, “but if you do come across something you can put it in the garage.”

I had an offer on a love seat that friends of mine have let me use before when I was living up in Nob Hill, but the space was a little smaller than I remembered (still plenty big for me, just perfect actually) that I declined it tonight.

However, my friend, who will be my landlord, has a small chaise lounge in the garage that I can use and a little table with fold down leaves that I can use for my kitchen/writing-table.

Now all I need is a bed.

And bedding.

And towels.

And kitchen supplies.

And, oh, all of it, but that will come, I am not going to focus on that.

For the moment I am keeping tabs on the BART strike and whether or not I am going to be stuck in the city for the duration of the week.

My house sitting gig here in Cole Valley ends tomorrow.  I will nanny out of the space and at 5:30pm I will be free to go. I have some commitments to cover, after which I was planning to head to BART.

I was expecting to be in the East Bay tomorrow night and then to a nanny gig in North Oakland on Wednesday morning, then stay overnight at Graceland, regroup and head back in on Thursday for the holiday weekend and take care of some sweet kittens up in the Castro Hills.

I don’t think they’re going to allow me to bicycle across the Bridge.

So, if the strike is still on I may end up cancelling my gig on Wednesday and staying in the city tomorrow and Wednesday nights then heading over to the Castro house sit.

Or something like that.

I don’t really know.

I am certain, however, that I am not the only person affected by the strike and I am also certain that should I have to cancel my nanny gig in North Oakland they will understand why.

They had to cancel bringing the little girl into the city today.

I was supposed to have had one charge this afternoon.

Instead I was in charge of listening to a dear friend.

God it felt good to check in and chat and have coffee and tea and conversation and be real about life and who we are and writing.

We’re both writers.


I listened to him, he listened to me, we swapped tales, we hung out, it was great.

I love my friends.

“I know what that was about,” she said, “you were putting on an act, you’re big and tough and brave, but you know…”

“I am a fucking cream puff,” I said, and I blushed.

I literally blushed.

I was ashamed.

Not so much at what I said, I have said worse, but that it took me so long to figure out.

“Dating advice and writing advice,” I asked my guy friend.

“Which one first?” He replied, then paused, “dating first, because the writing thing will be easy and short.”

Which it was, bless him.

He gave me some insights, a lot of which I already knew and some that made sense, like getting out of my routine and doing something completely outside of my comfort zone, routine is good for me, the writing is really important, my recovery is tantamount, and I get stuck doing the same things all the time and not meeting new people.

“You wear your heart on a sleeve,” he once told me about my blog.

And it’s true, I do.

There are times I don’t want to be so vulnerable and I don’t want to talk about what is going on with me and there are things I do not write about here (that goes in my morning pages and nobody reads those, nobody.  Fuck, I don’t even read them.  I write the three pages and then shut the notebook and don’t look back, the act of doing is the relief, I shake all the crap out of my head onto the page and clear the decks for my day, I don’t need to go back and sift through the shit, I just need to clear the channel).

“Oh, my god, I see it,” I said, the blush fading off as the shame lifted and I saw, possibly for the first time, ever, what I do when I find some one attractive to me.

I get brash, I am brazen I say things loudly, overcompensation for myself, for that tender heart, and in essence I believe, it is an instinct that I have of protecting myself.

Because he thought I was cute too.

I puffed myself up, rolled into a fetal position like a little hedgehog and sent out verbal spiky prickles of don’t touch me.

I am a total softy and I don’t want people I just meet to see that.

I don’t want to get hurt, but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t let myself get past that.

I am going to have to if I expect to actually date men.

I need to be vulnerable.

Nobody wants to date a loud mouth, at least I don’t.

I want to be my authentic self and if that means I come across as shy, or soft, or vulnerable, then fine.

I am a cream puff.

So be it.

At least I didn’t eat any today.


Those Are Some Nice Wheels

May 18, 2013

He said to me as I walked into the room.

“Do you know anything about three speed internal hubs, I got an old Raleigh I wanna convert”.

“Well, I know what an internal hub is and I know Strumey-Archer makes one, but I don’t know if they’re compatible with Raliegh’s,” I replied.

“Oh, now, don’t get all technical on me, I don’t know what that is,” he said trying hard to continue engaging with me.

“Neither do I, I just know the frame I’m riding, really can’t help you out with more than that,” I said and sat down, becoming very intimate with the contents of my coffee cup.

“Nice rims, nice frame, what kind of bike is that?” He asked me last night as I was slipping my feet into my Hold Fast straps (big sticky super strong velcro straps that are great for fixed gear riding foot retention).

“Mission Bicycle,” I replied.

“They don’t make their own frames do they?” He asked getting a closer look at the back rim, the rim that I get a lot of attention for, whether on BART, in San Francisco, where they are a lot more common, or when I was in Paris.  It is a Velocity NMSW (Non-machine side wall–which means there is no braking surface and the rim is a big brick of color) Classic Purple rim hand laced with black spokes and a black hub.

“No, the design is their own, but they do not do the manufacturing,” I said and looked for the traffic coming up behind me.

“No helmet, eh?” He looked at me aghast.

“Nope, stopped wearing one when I started working there and watched a TED Talk on the futility of helmets and how the car lobbies want bicycling to appear more dangerous than it is so that fewer people will consider riding their bikes and stay in the ‘safety’ of their cars.” I said.

“I didn’t wear one in Paris either, and the traffic was a lot worse than this, actually, almost no one wore helmets in Paris.” I finished.

“Safe riding,” he said “you may change your mind.”

I may.

What I am thinking, however, is that I may change my gear and flip my wheel over to the other side.

I have a flip-flop hub on my rear wheel.

This means that I can take it out of fixed and ride it in free or coasting.

I finished the dog-sitting/house-sitting in North Oakland and I geared up to ride back to Graceland with a load of stuff in my bag.

My knees were sore when I got here.

I also went back out to get some groceries down the road at the Food Maxx and they, said knees, do indeed feel tender.

I have heard that riding in fixed gear for extended periods of time can stress your knees.

My knees are pretty much crap as it is.

If I am going to be making an hour and a half long bicycle commute on a pretty much daily basis, I may need to investigate going back to riding free versus fixed.

Despite loving how it feels when I am sailing down the road or banking a tight turn to the right.  The connection is so sexy, so a part of my body, the bicycle stops feeling like a machine between my legs and just an extension of my person.

The other thought is that I may just need to get my bike legs back.

I walked a ton in Paris, but I did not do that much biking.

Here I will be biking all the time.

I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of walking outside of Graceland proper for very long.

I can do it, I did it before when I was house-sitting here before the move to Paris, but at night I feel better on my bike.  And it is so much faster.

If I leave Graceland it will be on my bicycle 95% of the time.

I will see how my legs feel in another week.

Of course if I go dancing tomorrow night I know my knees will hurt, but man, it is generally worth the stiffness that follows the next day.  I won’t be dancing in heels, those days are gone, just my Chuck’s, but I still have some sore legs whenever I go out and break it off.

Partially as I have little restraint when it comes to dancing.

Hell, I have little restraint when it comes to anything, especially those things that bring me pleasure.

More is the mantra.

I have learned to winnow down some of those desires.

I tend to not drink coffee after 6pm.

Although I am often tempted and once in a while do succumb.

I don’t have sex with strangers.

Although I contemplate it often.

The thoughts aren’t bad are they?

Good thing I am not Catholic, I would be in the confessional all the fucking time.

I don’t eat sugar any more.

But man I do appreciate the smell of a bakery.

I do.

On my last walk with the dog today I headed out down San Pablo–I had an interest in exploring the San Pablo Flea Market–and I was across the street from Donut Farm and I could smell the goodness wafting across the road.

I stayed across the road.

There are a few things that I used to ‘appreciate’ as well, but not all smells and experiences bring me that visceral pleasure.

I do not like the way bars smell.

That rank mixture of old booze, vomit, and urinal puck just don’t do it for me.

Or the smell of pot.

Although, truth be told I never liked the smell of pot.  I’m allergic and I just find it offensive.

I used to enjoy the smell of a cigarette and once and awhile I still will catch a drift of one and even eight years later, I can enjoy that rich buttery tobacco smell.

However, more often than not, I no longer appreciate the smell and I am grateful that I don’t smoke anymore.

Fuck, I certainly could not get up and over the few hills I tackled yesterday on the bike.

Most of Oakland is flat, but once a week I will be heading up and over a few.

I don’t mind.

I made it up and I made it down.

And I have already noticed the change in shape of my legs and my bum and my tummy too–you use more stomach muscles than you think–in fact, if you are riding well you should not use your arms to prop you up.  The core muscles in your middle are more important.


This is a ramble of a blog.

Happy to be back at Graceland, inside, bicycle parked in the hallway, groceries in the kitchen, fresh-cut flowers from the yard in a vase by my bed.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

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