Posts Tagged ‘flat tire’

Maybe I’m Not Supposed

January 26, 2016

To be on my bike tonight.

The thought went through my head as I tried to turn on the head lamp on my handle bars.

That’s funny, I thought, I just charged this up completely last night and it’s dead.

Huh.

No front light to get home with in the dark.

And it’s one of the few things I know I will get stopped for on my ride, no front light is an automatic ticket.

I thought well, if I get stopped, I’ll just say I have it, but it burnt out and I’ll be replacing it when I get home, sorry officer.

Things go through my head quickly.

I also thought.

Huh.

That’s a weird bounce to my front tire.

It feels flat.

Or, I should say, it landed flat when I pulled it off the hanger in the garage at work, there is a kind of thud to it.

But I had just gotten the tire repaired last week, and had put air into the tubes this morning.

It should be fine.

I didn’t even bother to check it.

I just assumed it was fine.

It was not.

Then.

Oh shit.

I wonder if I’m going to have the same issue riding home tonight that I did coming in this afternoon.

I had my crank slip.

Not once, but four or five times.

The first time it happened I thought my chain had broken, but, no, I looked down and my chain was still on and I back pedaled and the crank caught and there was pressure on my pedals and away we go.

Sort of.

It happened a bunch more and I thought, hmm, maybe I should pop into the bike shop and drop the bike off.

But then it didn’t happen anymore and I just sort of forgot.

Then I was working and it was busy with the being Monday and cooking–triple batch of pureed broccoli soup–and being with the boys and a field trip to Flora Grubb for a new plant for the house and dinner and baths and stories, and next thing you know.

It’s time to bust on out and I have some place I got to be and get me out of Dodge.

Except.

The light.

The crank.

The flat tire.

I put my foot down slowly and sure enough, the pedal slipped through without any traction, basically just spinning the crank, but not turning the hub and moving the wheel.

Then.

It caught and I rode off.

No light.

Flat tire, which I wasn’t yet aware of, slipping crank.

I got to the end of the block and knew I was not riding home, now my brakes feel funny.

Well.

Duh.

The front brake felt funny because it was squeezing onto a tire that was fast deflating.

I hopped off, squeezed the brake, felt the tire and realized, Houston, we have a problem.

Fuck.

I texted a friend.

Then turned around and walked back to work with the bicycle.

Messaged the mom and said I got a flat, opened the garage, hung the bike and called for a car.

I had no profanity involved.

I was pretty calm.

I wasn’t happy about the state of bicycle.

However.

I wasn’t stupid either.

It was really obvious I was not supposed to ride my bicycle home and for that I am grateful.

Maybe that sounds funny to you, but it’s just such a nicer perspective to take, it’s God’s way of saying, “you’re grounded.”

Grateful I didn’t try to force the issue by riding my bicycle further out.

Grateful I can take a car back to work tomorrow before work and deal with the bicycle.

I’ll roll it to the shop.

Which, gratefully, is only two blocks away from where I work, drop it off and not worry about losing pedal traction, or having a busted light, or a flat tire.

And so it’s a little money out of my pocket.

Better that than having had an accident tonight.

No thank you.

In other news.

My hair is hella big.

I took a shower this morning before work and that basically undid the blow out.

I have big, huge, blonde, curly hair.

It’s rather fun.

And it’s very me.

Not pin up sexy, as I was compared to yesterday by an old high school classmate.

Nope.

But sexy, nonetheless.

It’s fun to be sexy and it’s fun to have so much hair, even after a good clean up cut.

It definitely acts differently and is a bit tender, breaks pretty quick, but, it’s soft and curly and big and blonde.

Sexy.

So there’s that.

And.

I got the Applied Spirituality class down.

I received an e-mail with a video from the professor who is teaching it remotely from Mexico.

I have changed my mind about doing the sonnet a day.

Well.

I may still try my hand at writing a sonnet a day, but perhaps not for the purposes of this class, rather, just for me and perhaps one or two of you.

The professor talked about deepening my spiritual practice and the fact is, I write a lot, that’s a huge part of my practice.

This blog and then my morning pages.

I write twice a day, anywhere from 2-3,000 words.

Sometimes more.

I also write gratitude lists and I have a prayer practice morning and night (and often times noon, you may think I have a small bladder, but I may just be taking a moment to catch my breath at work and have a word with the powers that be to get me through the day).

I also read spiritual readers, practice, never perfectly, spiritual principles, and do sitting meditation two to three times a week.

One of the things that caught my attention was the professors acknowledgement of the spiritual realm often being one where there are not words that adequately describe the experience.

I have tried.

I know what he means.

I feel that there are times when I am with the spirit of the Universe, when God is writing through me, speaking through me, I am the conduit, the words are not mine, they are God’s, the ultimate artist.

And then there are times when I just can’t seem to get the “i” before the “e” in that one word and why won’t spell check autocorrect this, and what rhymes with cantaloupe and I’m not in commune with God anymore, I’m just putting words on the page.

Something not word dependent, even though I am going to have to write papers to express the experience and post them up to the class for review.

I came up with a different idea.

And I am thrilled.

It feels easier and quiet and I won’t have to worry about producing, although, I guarnatee I will do the work.

I am going to color.

In a coloring book.

Yeah.

Whatever.

Coloring is considered a form of meditation and I have some great coloring books and some awesome colored pencils and it’s a way to turn of my busy brain.

To let God in through a non-verbal, non-written medium.

Oh.

There will still be writing.

Don’t you fret.

There will just be something else as well.

More will be revealed.

It always is.

And tomorrow.

I fix the bike.

Again.

Gratefully so.

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Flotsam And Jetsam

January 19, 2016

I don’t have an idea about what I am going to write.

Just a bunch of disjointed things floating around my head.

I have a flat tire on my bike, which is annoying and I am super lucky I made it back to the house before it went all the way.

I thought it was soft this morning, pumped it up, broke the pin on the valve and sort of went the whole ride wondering if it was going to go.

Then promptly forgot about it as I had an early day at work and the minute, I mean the second I brought my bike over from my descending place–I usually land a few minutes early and stretch (this did not happen, I did not realize, only in hindsight, that my tire’s low inflation point probably spelled out a slower ride in, I was a little surprised to see I didn’t have as much time as normal to get into work mode)–it was go time.

But I also was surprised by an old friend driving past in his car who stopped and chit chatted me for a few minutes.

I could feel the boys watching and as soon as I wheeled my bike over and opened the garage I could hear them banging on the windows and doors and chanting my name.

Now.

That’s the way to come to work.

Can you imagine?

Going into work and all your co-workers are banging on the doors and walls because they are so excited to see you?

It’s rather amusing.

As were some ridiculously cute bon mots from the boys today.

“Carmen, do you know what’s always in season?”  In response to a question asking for berries that are out of season.  “Ice cream,” the five year old said and wrapped his arms around me.

I got lots of I love you’s and I missed you’s and loads of hugs and snuggles.

I read them a lot of stories this morning and then we went out and did the park and also Crepehouse for lunch.

Today was a holiday at school so I was there much earlier then normal.

I’ll be going in at 9:30a.m. tomorrow and working until 6p.m.

I did 10a.m.-6p.m. today.

Extra hours on the week and some extra cash in the pocket.

I’ll probably grab a car in tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain as well, so it wouldn’t have been the most optimum day for a bicycle ride in anyway, but it is annoying to deal with the tire.

It’ll work it’s way out.

The day is long, but it did go by quick, for which I am grateful.

Glad that I can help the family by coming in early, but I do like my routine, although having just come from a school weekend I am used to getting up a little earlier than normal.

Anyhow.

It is what it is.

It’s a full week too.

Lots of work, doing the deal, meeting up with ladies, old and new, and then getting a new hair do this weekend.

Although last night my hair looked so good I almost thought about canceling the appointment.

Almost.

I haven’t had my hair done in a bit and it will be fun.

Things feel like they need shaking up for me and a hair geographic usually does the deal.

I also inevitably get asked out on a date.

Jesus.

Why the hell haven’t I done my hair sooner?

Heh.

Ah.

Dating.

Okstupid is still a disappointment.

I do wonder why I keep the profile up.

I don’t have any other profiles anywhere so I suppose that’s why.

But it is inevitably disappointing when ever I check it out.

I got lots of sweet comments yesterday on the new tattoo on my social media spots and that was some nice ego massage, but no dates arose from it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Freud, psychoanalytic theory and my own patterns.

I was told a few weeks ago by my person that I get to continue to be powerless and also that I get to stop romanticizing what I can’t have.

The old unrequited love trope.

Been there.

Done that.

But it continues to resurface.

When I look at the last two men I had romantic dates with they were both coming out of divorces with two girls.

And the guy prior to that.

Another recent divorcee with a kid.

I wonder sometimes if I am not trying, in some desperate way, to rectify the past, to somehow make wrong that right (oh holy shit is that a Freudian slip!), er, make right that wrong, of my parents relationship.

“Believe someone when they tell you who they are,” I was told.

“I’m just coming through a divorce and we have a kid and I still live at the house,” bachelor number one.

“I’m not available for dating, I’m not over my ex-wife,” bachelor number two.

“You are magic!  But I should tell you I’m in the process of getting a divorce and my wife and I haven’t told the girls yet,” bachelor number three.

Ugh.

Martines.

The repetition compulsion, according to Freud, the insanity, according to people I trust and who tell me like it is, it to continue like this–repeating the same thing expecting different results.

Now.

Granted.

All of these men are good men.

And one of them became an extraordinary friend.

I have no complaints about these experiences.

I have, in fact, prayed and practice forgiveness of self all over the damn place.

But as a friend spoke with me tonight and reminded me, gently, this is about me.

Funny thing too, we weren’t exactly talking about dating, but it was about relationships.

So.

This is about learning, even if it feels like something I keep having to learn, about letting go, surrendering, and trying something new.

I have been trying to get back out there.

Even with school.

Even with my heart still on my sleeve.

Even with my head in the clouds about how to do any of it.

With kindness and compassion for myself.

I watch people all over the place date and commit and do the deal and I think, hey,  I can do that too.

So.

I may fall down.

And it may only be practice.

And.

Ugh.

As much as I want to say something else.

Here goes.

I’m single and available for dating.

And.

I’m taking suggestions.

Double ugh.

Haha.

They will probably be the same ones I have already tried.

But fuck it.

I only I have this one life.

And it’s too sexy to waste.

Weird Wednesday

July 9, 2015

Like so weird.

I don’t know exactly where to start and I feel a bit off kilter.

Sad.

Annoyed.

Excited.

Anxious.

Happy.

So many feels.

Dude.

Ugh.

Starting in no particular order.

Blew a flat tire on Oak just as I finished navigating the Wiggle.

I had the oddest feeling that something was up with my bicycle too, and for a moment I thought, is it at all possible that she popped my tire.

I mean, it was the weirdest feeling, like someone had sabotaged my tire.

I know I sound paranoid, but I had just had a disconcerting run in with someone at a cafe and it was so odd how the entire interaction went that I wondered if she had.

But no.

That’s nuts.

No matter how uncomfortable I was, no one purposely popped my tire.

Every other Wednesday after work I meet my person, one of my people–it takes a village–at The Church Street Cafe before heading out to my usual Wednesday night thing.

I pulled up right on time to see a prime spot to park my bicycle and I headed inside to grab a cup of tea and see if he was there.

Nope.

But someone else was.

Someone who I wouldn’t have even noticed except that she waved at me.

I didn’t recognize her at first, except to recognize that it was someone I knew from around the way.

Oh.

Then I did see who it was.

My ex boyfriend’s friend.

“Hey you!” She said exuberantly, “it’s been a long time!”

I smiled, “it has, months.”

I was half way to the counter to order my tea, “nice to see you,” and I turned to place my order, but I was hijacked back into the conversation.

“OH!  Just so you know, I’m meeting ____________ here,” she said emphatically.

I stared at her in question, “um, ok,” I said with a half-smile, “that’s not really any of my business, but thanks.”

I turned.

“Well, I’d want to know,” she said to me, “if it was me, I’d want to know.”

I looked back at her as I headed to the counter, “that’s about you, not me.”

Then I ordered my tea.

Great.

My ex is on his way here.

What are the fucking odds?

Then I thought, who cares?

It’s well past, it’s well over and I’m meeting my person and it’s a public place.

The weird thing was the person who was relaying all the non-essential, none of my business information was someone my ex had told me he was no longer in contact with.

What the hell are they doing hanging out?

My brain wanted to go on an expedition.

NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I reminded myself.

After which the thought came, where is my person?

Oh.

A voice mail, he was running late, but soon to arrive.

I got settled at an outside table.

There was nowhere else to sit and I figured, might as well get it over with, and be right out front and be seen.  I don’t need to hide, even if it was only last week that I got a horrendous load of text messages from my ex in regards to my apparent exorcism of him from my life.

Not my timing.

Not my schedule.

Then again, nothing is on my schedule.

Never has been.

Besides, I figured his friend was busy texting him to let him know I was a clear and present danger.

Ugh.

And right at that moment.

A dear girl friend I had not see in months walks down the street.

She joyfully greets me, I say nothing of the weirdness happening and focus on connecting with her and being present for her and her accomplishments, a new relationship, the news she can go to Burning Man, and her congratulations on my acceptance and scholarships to graduate school.

“Girl, you are just glowing, you are so beautiful, look at life just opening up for you,” she hugged me.

Well.

That was nice.

And it gloriously helped to pass the time until either my person was going to show up or the ex boyfriend was.

My person showed up first, so handsome, strolling down the street in pressed linen shorts and a gingham pink checked shirt with a cashmere sweater draped over his shoulders.

God.

I love my person.

I got a huge hug, my girlfriend got a hug, we had us a little love fest in front of the cafe.

My girlfriend left so we could get to doing the deal and just as my person was settling down in front of me, guess who decided to interject into our conversation?

Mmmhhmmm.

You don’t know this since you read my blog of a piece, but suffice to say, I just paused there, searching for the right word, a word that is not unkind, but perhaps indicative of the actions of the person and no, I can’t find a nice way to put it.

She interrupted us at the table mid conversation, not to say anything to me, but to talk to my person.

My person said hello, then turned to me and raised his eyebrow as she turned away from the table.

She ignored me, she stepped to the curb.

A silver car screeched around the corner and she sprinted across the street, hopped into the car and then it peeled out.

Screech.

Pause.

Big pause.

In the writing, I usually don’t stop, but I did there for a moment.

And.

Now.

Shifting gears.

Point of view totally changed.

Is there anything wrong, Carmen?

No.

I just had a really good talk with my friend who helped me put a lot of stuff into perspective.

In fact, I don’t even know why I was upset, expect that the old tropes, the old ideas, the old, “I’m not enough” or the old shames came back and really, that’s just an old fucking story I tell myself to feel bad about who I am or what I am and there is no need for that.

There is nothing wrong.

It’s all manufactured misery.

My life is amazing.

And I got to end my evening holding hands with someone who means the world to me and be myself.

Yeah.

My life.

It does not suck.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

I am ok.

And the weirdness.

Well.

There isn’t any.

It’s all pretty much.

Wonderful.

Ah.

Perspective.

Thank you for rescuing me from the bad neighborhood I stumbled into.

My own head.

When I Put It Out There

June 4, 2015

I get results.

I wasn’t expecting results.

To be honest, I was being a little flippant with my blog last night.

But.

Ha.

What do you know.

I got asked out on a date.

A friend of a friend on Facebook.

Which is not my first Facebook date, I’ve been asked out one other time, and hooked up via messenger with another guy for a few months a few years ago.

But I will say it was my first time being asked out by someone who can’t figure out how he knows me.

I figured it out fairly quick and as of yet, have not said anything about the probably correlation.

I’ll wait until we meet up for coffee on Sunday and see if I’m correct.

And it was also pretty cute how he did it and he did read the blog and it was the first post of mine he ever had read, never followed me before, so that was surreptitious.

I got a few interesting suggestions from the blog as well and despite being a little loathe to go there, I have had Match.com recommended to me enough times that I believe I will also give it a whirl.

I did, about a week ago, start a profile, but I got annoyed with the questions and hopped off it before really completing anything.

Perhaps it is now time to go back and finish.

What I realized last night, after I was blogging and I was messaging back and forth with Mister Facebook, is that I either want to go on a date a week, like I have tried before, or I take myself out on a date.

That way I am getting out and enjoying San Francisco, and it’s environs, and not feeling like I’m just living to work.

Despite loving my job and the boys so very much.

Today we had a little adventure at the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.  We visited the painted turtles and said hello to the Crested Gecko and played with recycled instruments and made noise and had a little parade and when we went to leave the woman at the desk asked the boys if they wanted to hold the gecko.

Oh my god.

Such cuteness.

“THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!” My five-year old charge said as he stroked the soft tummy of the little yellow gecko.

Nanny for the win.

My job is something I am super grateful for, but so too is my life, and I do want to make sure I am having fun.

I am focused on enjoying this time before graduate school wreaks havoc with my schedule and my time.

I still can’t quite imagine how it’s all going to go, but I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Right now is about staying in the moment.

Living, playing, dating.

Riding my bicycle.

Then walking it.

I blew out my rear tire on the Pan Handle.

I had just crossed Masonic and all the sudden it went.

I started walking and trying to figure out what to do.

Too far from the Mission to turn around and go back to Mission Bicycle and have taken care of.

Too far from home to walk there and change it myself.

Close to 7p.m.

Is there anything open?

I started running a mental map through my head and immediately came up with American Cyclery, fingers crossed they would still be open.

If not I was going to hop on to the 71 Noriega and get it home that way.

But they were open and the piece of glass that the mechanic pulled out was epic.

In fact, I realized as I watched him pull it out with a needle nose pliers, that I probably ran over that piece of glass yesterday riding.

My wheel felt funny last night coming home.

I inflated my tires this morning and I think what happened was when I bumped up over the curb crossing Masonic that the pressure from the wheel finally hit the tube and the glass popped it–I have Gatorskins on my bicycle, nothing is 100% puncture proof, but they are damn close–normally rolling through glass is not a hazard.

But this piece was huge.

Grateful to have it taken care of.

And still make it back to the hood in time to sit down and work on my spending plan for June and add up my expenses from May.

Pretty much right on track.

Even without having yet received my federal income tax return.

I await it eagerly.

I have had visions of many things in my head to spend it on.

I’m leaning towards a new mattress really hard.

Like a nice one.

Who knows if this dating thing works out I may well want a nicer bed.

Ahem.

I am not going to go there as fast as I did with the last guy.

Take it slow is going to be the method to stave off the madness.

I’m going to go on dates and meet more than one guy and when that doesn’t happen, I’ll take myself on dates and make sure that I meet someone new or talk to someone.

I can explore my neighborhood some more.

Find new coffee shops to hang out in.

Hike around the Sutro baths, which I have never actually done and they’re pretty damn close to where I live.

That could be a nice little bicycle jaunt for me, especially now that the tire is fixed.

The guy I’m meeting with on Sunday is a bicyclist too.

“How have we not met?” He questioned me after I shared some of the things I like to do for fun, many of them a pretty close match to his own lifestyle.

And yes.

I did the Facebook lurk and checked out all the photos, he’s attractive.

“Your hot” [sic]

One of the last texts I received before heading off to be last night.

Even if the date bombs that was nice to hear, as well as the fun of chatting with a new person.

I think I’m ready for this dating thing again.

Who’s next?

Back in the Saddle

September 16, 2014

And it was just like riding a bike.

Except.

Well.

YIPPEE!

It was my bike.

Yes.

That is correct.

I am back on my bicycle.

I mean, I did go for a brief ride last Sunday, Noriega Produce and back and also to the Safeway at Fulton and La Playa, but a real ride, nope.

Not until today.

I did the same ride.

However, first I had to change the flat tire from yesterday.  As I suspected the running out of coffee was the prompt needed to get me into motion.  I was determined after I ground up the last of my beans this morning to fix the flat and go hunter gather some more coffee beans up.

I had a meeting beforehand and some reading to do and that was done and plans were made for some more of that in the future.  It is really quite nice to be back in the routine of making time to see other people for an hour or so once a week and do some reading and gaining of perspective.

It really is the bright spot of my life.

I also did some writing and some meditation prior to the bicycle tire change out.

I finished those two things up after my guest left and decided the best thing to do was to make some lunch, because I know better than to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, and that it would be helpful to have food in me before doing anything mechanical.

Not that I haven’t changed a flat tire before, I have, it’s just that there’s something about it, that does make me want someone else to do the work.

There is often a part of me that wonders why in the hell do I bother?

How come I put in so much time?

Then I remember, oh yeah, my life was awful and the only way it got better was showing up and doing the work that other people had suggested I do.

And there’s only more work to be done.

I want to rest on my laurels and I want you, nebulous you, to change my flat tire.

Really, it’s not too hard, you can do it.

Um.

I mean.

I can do it.

And I did.

And there was a solid feeling of accomplishment about it.  This is a bike I have broken down and packed up and carried across the Pond, yeah, the big one, to Paris and back, I have reassembled it, changed other flat tires (sometimes putting said tires on backwards, oops, but still), yet there is a thought, false, that I cannot possibly do it again.

That it’s too hard and that it’s something to push-off and put aside for another day.

But.

Today is the day.

I felt it.

I wanted to be on my bike.

It did not hurt that the day was glorious September in San Francisco weather at its absolute finest–clear, high blue skies, no clouds, scant breeze, mid 70s–and it was just hollering to me to take advantage of it.

I opened up the door to the garage and the sun poured in.

I flipped over the bike and propped it against the wall in the garage and used my handy bicycle 15mm wrench and lever combo to unscrew the bolts on the front wheel.

I examined the valve closely and determined that it was indeed broken and I had to replace the entire tube.  I set down the bolts carefully to make sure I did not displace them and got the old dish towel out of my linen closet to use to wipe down my hands.  I used the lever and pulled the tire, a Gatorskin, off the rim.

Then I pulled out the old inner tube and tossed it in the trash.

I opened up the new tube, unscrewed the valve and put a little air in the tube to help it line up with the rim (rims which I still love but can see perhaps replacing with a new set up in about a year, maybe some Halo reflectors or a mirror rim from Velocity), then I slipped the Gatorskin back onto the rim.

Then the tricky part.

Getting the tire back into the rim.

I took a minute.

It took me a while longer than a minute, but not more than five or ten.

I kept rolling the tire between my hand and the rim and it just wouldn’t catch.

I was about to give up.

I thought, well, I can still take the tire over to Swell, the local bike shop at Irving and 42nd, but give it one more go.

And then it just caught.

I levered the tire onto the rim, rolled it through my hands to make sure that the inner tube was not pinched between the rim and the tire, and then I put it back on the front fork, screwed it tight, flipped it over, inflated it, and voila!

Good as new.

I did feel deeply satisfied.

It’s a small thing, but I like that I can change my own flat tire.

I washed up and headed out to the grocery stores.

It was beautiful, the sun shone down, the water on the ocean glittered, the breeze blew, my feet were connected and I felt surer on the bicycle than last week, and my ankle, though stiff, felt capable to do the job.

After my second trip, the most important one, the one to get coffee, I also realized that I was going to be able to ride my bike to the Inner Sunset.

I could feel it.

It was going to happen.

I think I was actually more nervous about how my quads would feel after not being on my bicycle for three and a half months and riding up the incline on Lincoln from 46th Avenue up to 9th Avenue.

The quads held.

My ankle held.

I did it!

Nothing hurts.

Well.

My ankle is stiff and my thighs are a little sore, but really, not bad at all.

Really quite happy.

“This month, dancing, no excuses, you can ride your bike, you can go dancing,” my friend said to me as we parted this evening.

I can see it.

Maybe not this week.

But if I can get back in the saddle.

I can get back on the dance floor.

It is good to be more myself than I have been in months.

Grateful for the healing.

And for the patience to let myself heal.

And for knowing that tomorrow I won’t be riding my bike.

I know to not push too hard as well.

One day on.

One day off.

Until I am fully back in the groove.

No need to kill myself.

Besides.

I will be picking up my playa bike from Cole Valley.

And that’s a ride of an entirely different sort.

Be on the lookout for my purple pennant.

As I ride again.

 

 

Trying To Figure It Out

September 15, 2014

Is not helping my sense of relaxation.

I just clicked through a number of “secret San Francisco spots” and things to do and thought, meh.

I’ve pretty much done that been there.

It’s the big guns I have not done.

I have not gone to Alcatraz.

I really can’t quite bring myself to go, to tell the truth.

I do love taking photographs of it when I have ridden past it on a ferry-boat at night or sunset, its a spectacular piece of spooky and eery and beautiful, but I have not ever really hankered to go visit the Rock.

I have never walked the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am not about to start tomorrow.

My ankle still sucks.

Still.

Half way to full healing, not walking in a boot, no crutches, but still aches, still gets swollen, still needs attending to.

Speaking of which, I am going to pause and prop it up with some frozen peas now that I am thinking about it and take a few ibuprofen for the swelling.

Ah.

That’s better.

I have not ever been too keen on walking the bridge, though, I have done it numerous times on my bicycle.

Which I was going to ride today, not much mind you, just to the grocery store and back.

But.

I blew out the valve on the inner tube trying to inflate it.

I have to change out the tube and I just didn’t feel like doing it to justify an eight block round trip bicycle ride to Noriega Market.

Although I will probably change my tune tomorrow when I go through the last of the Stumptown Holler Mountain coffee in my cupboard.  That will dramatically increase my odds of fixing my flat tire.

I was going to be lazy about it and just wheel it up the road to 42nd and Irving where that little local bike shop is, but then I was like, really?  I have the tube, I have the wrench I have the pump.  The time it would take to walk there and back I could probably change it faster and it will be free.

That’s one thing to do on the morrow.

I do have someone coming over for an hour tomorrow to do some work and catching up.

I am getting lots of that.

“You’re going to graduate school in San Francisco!?  You got a new job in the Mission!?”

“YAY!”

Some one I do some work with was over joyed to hear my news when we met at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine on the Dolores/Mission border.

Over joyed that I am not moving or going anywhere but staying here in SF for graduate work.

It was lovely to catch up, it has been about a month since I have done the one on one work and I have missed it.

I’ll get more this week.

But aside from that, not much is happening until Thursday.

After 1 p.m. tomorrow I am wide open.

I called and left a message with a friend of mine who occasionally has Monday’s off, perhaps we’ll kick it around the city.

I have a possible lunch date on Wednesday.

Tuesday I will say goodbye to the little guy in Cole Valley, pick up my playa bike, and hand over the key to the mom.

Bittersweet to see another story close.

But excited to have a new adventure happening soon.

In the Mission.

“Are you going to move back to the Mission?” A good friend of mine, who lives in the Mission, asked me this evening when I shared the news of what’s happening next in the life and times of moi.

I wish.

Unless y’all can come up with a spot for me, that is no more expensive than what I pay now and I get as much room and access to laundry.

I mean.

I would in a heart beat.

It is going to be a big commute to get to the Mission from out here.

I can do it.

I have before, but it’ll be about an hour and a half commute every day on my bicycle.

Maybe not that long, but about.

On a good gravy I am going fast day, with good traffic, and not really obeying traffic laws, I can make it to the Mission in about a half hour.

But I will probably give myself 45 minutes to make the ride.

I don’t want to die.

And this does bring me back to my other thought, my scooter.

I would love to use it.

I don’t think I am going to though, I can’t afford another injury on it.

I just cannot.

But I also don’t want to have a vintage Vespa collecting dust if I am not going to use it.

I think I am going to head to a couple of scooter places on Tuesday (SF Moto is closed on Mondays otherwise I’d go tomorrow) and see if I can trade in for a new model, I have been checking out the stock on their website and there seems to be a lot of options.

The commute won’t be quite so daunting on a scooter.

I’ll be getting on my bicycle until that sorts itself out.

I figure another week of taking it easy on the ankle and fingers crossed, I’ll be up and at ’em for the new job commute starting a week from tomorrow.

There’s not really a good MUNI connect between here and where I am working in the Mission, two transfers and some walking, I would rather spend the time on the bike and go slow and get there, it’ll be faster no matter what anyhow.

Of course, this is all unnecessary commuter speculation right now.

I don’t have work to go to until Friday when I am doing a date night for the parents of the new family and Saturday afternoon when I get to see my little guy in the Castro who started up pre-school while I was away at Burning Man.

Until then.

I shall ferret out some secret San Francisco treasures for my “staycation” enjoyment.

Wish me luck!

Sunday Sounds Like

February 3, 2014

Soup.

Sleep.

The slip, slap, slosh of rain pattering down from the sky.

Sunday sounds like going slow.

Taking care of the small things.

Fixed the flat tire on my bicycle today.

I was going to take it into the shop, but the weather was so wet and cold and drear that I found myself balking big time at going out in it.

The idea of taking my bike into the Mission then wandering around in the wet waiting for it to be taken care of, then hanging out all day long until my commitment at 6:30p.m. just sounded yuck.

Wet and cold and yuck.

I mean, I like hanging out in the Mission, don’t get me wrong, but I did not like the idea of getting my bike back and then riding it around in the Mission on Super Bowl Sunday in the wet.

No thank you.

Not that it would have been all that bad, most folks were inside watching the game, but, yeah the day called for something else and when the person I was supposed to meet also texted to cancel meeting, I said, screw this, I am staying home today.

But I need to fix my bike.

Sunday sounds like self-sufficient.

Or nearly almost self-sufficient.

I had to ask the housemate’s boyfriend for a hand with the tire just at the very end.

I pulled out a tube from my stash and got my tire lever and went to the garage, flipping my bike up side down I ran my thumb along the wheel looking for an obvious, ah there, piece of glass.

It was huge.

Definitely from a beer bottle, brown glass, and I am fairly certain it was from the smashed bottles I tried skirting around on my way home from work Wednesday.

I remember hearing my wheels crunching through it and silently hoped that I would make it home without incident.

And I did.

Of course, only to get the flat the next day.

I took off the wheel and stuck the lever in between the tire and the rim and pried the tire off the rim, pulled the tube, tossed it, and got the tweezers out.

I pluck the piece of glass out then took a damp cloth to the interior of the tire and made sure there were no other offending bits hiding out in there.

Then I put a little air in the tube, aligned the tire and the rim and got them back together again.

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, look mom, I can change a flat!

Until I couldn’t get the last bit of tire onto the rim, that’s always the tightest part, and I hollered up the stairs for a pair of guy hands.

The housemates boyfriend ambled down and lent me a hand, then polished  a bit of the chrome on his Harley Davidson.

My brain went to, when will I be doing that?

Maintenance on my bike?

I don’t mean my bicycle either.

I suppose I should rephrase that, bike connotes motorcycle and well, that’s not quite where I am going, although the principle in pretty similar.

Because Sunday also sounds like scooter.

I got a reply from my friend about his Vespa and he said, let’s talk, I am sure you can get hooked up with the scoot!

I hadn’t heard the text ping in and when I did see the message I did a double take, then yipped out loud with glee.

Oh, hello scooter town.

I will need to talk with him and see if the old offer stands, the price, the paying it off in installments and the whatnot of owning a scooter.

I will need to take the licencing class and I will probably have to get insurance, not certain about all that stuff.

Or what that all costs.

But Sunday also stands for spending plan.

Which I did this early afternoon after fixing the tire on my bicycle (I will still be replacing the tire, it’s got punctures and cuts and really should be replaced, but I will do that on a day when it’s not raining, possibly Friday since I will be in the Castro for work), tallying up my expenditures from the month of July and writing out the plan for February.

I have a good idea how much income will be coming in having confirmed Fridays for the month as well as a full day on Wednesdays, I can pretty much count on a steady income for the month.  Knowing how much I spend and what I can save and where there is wiggle room is great.

I love having a plan.

I don’t always stick strictly to it, but knowing how much I spend, where it goes and what my expenses are really gives me a lot of freedom.

Like, I don’t like how much I have been spending eating out.

It’s not a lot, but I have been eating out one to two and occasionally three meals a week.  I used to never do that.  But living further out and having a different map of places I go to do the things I need to do makes it that way.

More home cooked meals, more soup.

Made a white and red bean soup/chili today with corn and diced carrots, carmelized onions and garlic, and pan sautéed organic chicken breast meat.  Then cooked up a big pot of brown rice.  I will have beans and rice and chicken for my meals all week, good solid protein, nice hot meals to have at work.

A bowl of that and an organic apple equals a happy girl.

“Wake up and smile,” she told me on Saturday, “it will change your day.”

I did that today.

I really woke up and smiled.

It made my face feel a little off, like I was crankily moving muscles that did not want to move.

I felt stupid doing it, but I take suggestions, so I tried it.

Hmm, might be working.

Try that again.

Still feels silly, but yeah, better.

Then I drifted off a few more minutes of sleep and woke up at 8a.m. on the nose and grinned.

I mean grinned.

Goofy as hell.

But it did work.

Felt good to do that and to take the nap in the late afternoon as the last of the rain dissipated, a soft splash, a tiny patter of drops falling from the eaves, the burble of a pot of beans simmering on the stove, and the sound of yes, I will say it, myself snoring.

Ha.

I startled awake with a little snort.

Sunday, we did ok, didn’t we?

And now I am ready for the week.

Soup made, scooter plans unfolding, bike wheel fixed, rest had.

Sunday sounds like self-care.

And serenity.

Grounded!

January 31, 2014

But Mom!

I don’t want to take MUNI to work.

Not that.

Please, never that.

MUNI and a cab this morning to make it on time.

I left the house to discover my bicycle had a flat tire this morning.

Time for a new tire.

Two new tubes in less than two weeks equals new tire.

I did not have the time to dig out my gear and change the flat, I could, I have, I will, but this morning there was not enough wiggle room to change a flat and then get on my bike and get to work on time.

So, I hopped the N-Judah to 9th and Irving and then popped out, MUNI was not going to get me there on time if i took it all the way, I was going to  have to transfer at some point and it would have been another half hour, and caught a cab to work.

Cost me $15 to get to work today.

Could have been worse.

And as I have been writing about these last few weeks, it really does seem that I am to take a little time off my bicycle.

Tomorrow is likely going to be the same.

I probably will take MUNI all the way to work, I am in the Castro and I have a slightly later start.

I could get up, change out the flat and run the route.

But there stands a good chance that I would just blow out another tube.

This front tire is the original tire on the bicycle, which means it’s about two years old.  The tire has been ridden hard and long and well, through the mean streets of San Francisco, Paris, and East Oakland.

Time for a new one.

I will probably go in on Saturday when I have more wiggle room in my schedule.

Drop my bike off at the shop and buy a new tire.

Go to dance with my girl friend in the Mission and pick it up afterward.

I do have some places to get about to tomorrow, but I actually have enough time between when I get off work and when I need to get to 2900 24th Street in the Mission to be able to walk it comfortably.

Which is what I did tonight.

I finished with my nanny gig in the NOPA at 5 p.m. and took myself out to an early dinner at Herbivore, then over to a local nail salon and got a manicure.

I was due in the 7th and Geary neighborhood at 8:30 p.m. and just walked it.

I walked past places I rarely see.

I had memories of long ago and far away.

That one house on Spruce Street and Geary.

How the hell did I end up there?

Late night with the bartender at Hawthorne Lane, a pit stop at the house for some fueling up and then off to the after hours somewhere down the line.

I remember the cracked porcelain sink, the dying spider plant on top of the yellow fridge in the kitchen, the detritus of sloppy room mates all too young and too self involved to clean, the stash of toilet paper some one had stuck behind a ratty towel in the bathroom.

Yuck.

Then there was 4141 Geary, the Kaiser Permanente office I spent a lot of time at when I was going through a really difficult time in my life.

It was basically where I was officially diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression.  Where they told me that just because I could be so glib about my child hood abuses did not mean I had any healing around them.

The further admonition to find a good therapist to help with the PTSD and the ACA issues.

Jesus.

Then the psychiatrist who prescribed for me and finally the last visit I had over three years later when I went off the meds and was “released” back into my own recognizance.

Just kidding.

Cheap Pete’s Frame shop.

Where I bought the frame that houses my diploma from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Where it turns out I had not graduate in May of 2002 because a grade on a paper I turned in for missing a final was never reported.

Fiver years later I was directed to make some amends and get my diploma.

Boy was that a shock to find out when I spoke to the woman on the phone that I had actually not graduated.

I was missing one credit.

What?

I found out what class, contacted the department, the department notified the Bursar’s Office, and three weeks later, there she was, my diploma in the mail.

“I am going to suggest you frame it and hang it on your wall,” she said to me over coffee at Muddy Waters on Valencia and 16th.

Ok.

Cheap Pete’s.

Walked by Arguello, remembering my friends old apartment there and many nights hanging out and being stupid.

Drinking coffee way too late at night and then going dancing.

Riding around in his Mercedes-Benz convertible with the top down, the heat blasting, the music loud, the stars splattered over head and the city our oyster.

It is amazing to have a history of my own in this city.

I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else.

Now, we could split hairs, technically I lived longer in Wisconsin, but I am thinking the same city, not the same state.

Although it’s not much longer, when I do the math.

I was in Madison for ten years before I came to San Francisco.

Splitting hairs here.

San Francisco feels like home because this is where the most important thing that has ever happened to me happened.

Where I have grown up.

Where I have learned and re-learned and learned some more about myself, my needs, my faith, my spirituality, my sexuality, my friends, my love for myself and for others, where the majority of my closest friends reside, where I am most at home.

Geary is not my favorite stretch of San Francisco and I don’t plan on going and hanging my hat there any time soon, but it was a good re-acquaint with the neighborhood.

Sometimes I need to get grounded, slow down, see the scenery on foot and get really fucking grateful that I have the life I have been given.

Even when I have to take the MUNI it is a blessing.

Especially since I haven’t puked on the bus in over 9 years either.

See you on the train in the morning.

I’ll be the one all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

 

Dinner & A Movie

January 9, 2014

I had an unexpected end to my work day with the mom coming back early and an electrician tearing apart the kitchen.

No dinner for me at work today, plus a late end to my work shift, and a “I’m not sure where to go” mentality had me running out the door with a low-fat string cheese stick in one hand and an apple in the other.

I jammed out on my bike thinking I would make it over to 5th and Irving and see some folks at St. John of God, but well, the Universe had other ideas and what do you know, I thought there was something funky with my front tire this morning.

Flat.

I hopped off the bike looked up the street secretly crossing my fingers.

Yes!

American Cyclery was still open.

I trotted up the street to sneak in my wheels before they could close shop and had a nice chat with Tyson Mitchell, the owner of American Cyclery, while one of the mechanics pulled off my front tire in less time than I could adequately ogle the new Brooks saddles they had in stock.

We talked bicycle commute, the new passing law (which maybe one in thirty cars this morning which passed me may have actually abided by), wherein a vehicle has to give the bicyclist three feet, biking over the bridge, when tourists get in the wrong lane and end up going through the tunnel and onto the freeway headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge, and various other bicycling related odds and ends.

I snacked on my string cheese and ate my apple, but that is not a sufficient dinner for me, while the tube was changed out.  The tire is still good, although getting close to its end and it’s been a great tire, Vittoria Rubino, the original front tire on the bicycle, and I did not have to replace it, just got a charge for the tube and not even for labor, and a discount!

I sent him a Facebook message thanking him and I think I am going to go YELP him.

Not something I do often, but they were great and man, working in a bike shop is not the way to get rich, you got to have passion for it, so, whatever I can do to help, I will.

My night routine already thrown I waffled as to what to do next as I hopped on my fresh fixed bike and my stomach grumbled at me for more food.

I decided to hit it home.

I would be too late to go where I had intended and too early for anything else unless I sat around the 7th and Irving neighborhood for another hour and a half and I just did not have it in me to do so.

Home.

I came back, made up a little more food, a cup of tea and down loaded a movie.

Yah.

Date night.

I even know where the sexy stuff is kept.

I could get lucky.

I could also just go to bed a tiny bit earlier then I have the last few nights as I have been up a little later and a longer nights sleep is nice.

I say that now knowing, like I do when I say I am going to take a nap today, that the scenario is unlikely, but hey, it’s a nice thought.

Other nice thoughts happened today as well.

When I realized this morning that I was trying to make busy work for myself when there is no need to do so.

Ah, you sneaky little habit, isolation through being too busy, you almost got me.

I have been embracing the career nanny angle, and what do you know, it’s really nice.  When I am absolutely in there doing my job and I don’t need it to be anything but my job and I am not obsessing about how I am not making a career from writing or what ever else I can scheme up, why, I am having a great time at my job.

The naps today helped.

I had nap time where I actually was able to sit and read the New Yorker and have tea and do a little writing.

I only had one charge in the morning.

And then my morning writing brought clarity.

I was looking over the City College course catalog last night trying to figure out how I could cram an American Sign language class into my schedule, maybe Thursdays if I move some stuff around, when I realized I was trying to make myself busy.

Fact.

I “speak” enough sign language right now for my current employment.

No one is asking me to get better at it.

Further, I don’t have a job I am trying to get.

Yes, I am interested in getting more proficient, but I don’t have to right at the moment and there are better things I could do with my time.

Like, I don’t know, be available to be asked out on a date, or hang out with friends.

“More of this,” my friend said, leaning over the bowl of bean soup I had placed in front of him, “more spending time with my friends.”

Yup.

I know what you mean.

But I am not about to give up the blog, nor the morning writing and I have a few other “habits” that are absolutely not going to change, so I don’t have that much more wiggle room in my schedule.

To pick up an additional thing to squeeze into my week is silly.

It’s crazy making.

And I am crazy enough as it is.

When I realized this.

Well.

Shit.

More serenity.

I marveled at my day.

I was not anxious.

I was not hanging out somewhere in the future, I was right there smelling the wetness of mulch underneath the trees in the Panhandle, I was right there holding my charges hand, happy to be outside in the air, scented with rich loamy earth and bright eucalyptus.

There was so much of nothing being wrong that I almost got worried.

Then I laughed to myself, this is what it’s supposed to feel like.

Just this.

Simple and serene.

I did not over react when I got a flat tire.

I did not freak out when the kitchen was inaccessible.

I just sort of drifted through and did the next action in front of me.

I like this way of living.

Mellow.

“It’s a little sleepy on this side of town,” Tyson said to me as he rung up my tube, “but I have been living over this side for years now and love it, I’m actually in Marin now, it’s a different vibe, slower.”

It is.

And I am down with it.

That Blows

May 24, 2013

Literally.

I got a text this early eve as I was finishing up with the nanny’ing asking if I would be making an appearance at the Grand Ave thingamabob.

Nope.

Blew a flat tire this morning on my bike heading into work.

Thanking all the bicycle gods above that it was just a three block walk from the BART station and the gig I was heading to was also just five blocks from BART.

Had it been any other way I would have been royally screwed.

I couldn’t even get upset.

I had an inkling this was going to happen.

I have not even done any investigation with it yet, I don’t know if it’s because I ate some glass or hit a big divot and blew a pinch flat (what happens when your inner tube is “pinched” against the rim of the tire–mostly happens with the tire is under inflated).  Doubtful that it was the latter as I had filled up my tires right before heading out for the commute.

I took it as a sign from the Universe.

Take it easy today.

Slow down.

Walk.

There would have been a time that I would have freaked out about this.  Today was not the day.  I did not feel stressed, again, fortunate to be as close to the BART station as I was, and I knew that whatever happened I was going to be just fine.

I texted my employer and let her know I had blown a flat tire and would be possibly five to ten minutes late.

Of course today was the day when she was on a tight schedule.

But, again, there was nothing for me to do but pay for the train ride and climb the steps to the platform with my bicycle over my shoulder.

Good thing it only weighs about 20 lbs.

As it turns out I made it to work three minutes early.

That is something I learned to do a long time ago–over compensate for the time it will take to get you there.  Also, under promise.

If you say to a table waiting to be sat in a restaurant, “that will be fifteen minutes,” and then it is “twenty-five,” you have automatically got your hands full with pissed off customers.

Nobody wants to wait longer than they are quoted.

I remember when I worked in restaurants and always pushed this home with the hosting staff, over-estimate the table time.

In the reverse, if you quote 25 minutes and the wait is 15 minutes you have saved yourself a lot of hassle and the customers are always happy to get seated in less time.

I had hopes of repairing to Manifesto Bike shop in Oakland at 40th and Telegraph today, but the monkey took a super long nap and the day was too tight to relegate that time to pushing the stroller, one-handed, and either carrying my bicycle or rolling it along on the rim.

I know the rim is super strong, Velocity B43, but I was not inclined to push my time.

I decided one of two things will happen.

I will either fix it myself tomorrow or I will take it in to the shop in San Francisco on Saturday.  There is the possibility that the tire is done, especially if I hit a good chunk of glass and if that is so I want to get a new tire.

I’ll pick up a Randonneur puncture resistant tire.

If the tire is not punctured I can fix it myself.

It will be a little messy, it’s the back tire, so I will need to take off the chain.

However, this too is a good thing.

I have been contemplating since I have been doing a longer bike commute flipping the rear wheel over to put it into a free rolling gear instead of having it in fixed.

I prefer to ride fixed, but it will be easier on my knees.

I have had a bit of knee tenderness since I have been riding so much more and for much more extended periods of time.  I don’t want to blow my knees out.  If I can save them a little trouble I will do so.

Even if riding fixed gear is “cooler”.

Having knees that work, in my book, is much hipper.

This too rolled through my mind as I waited for the BART train, I realized I was not upset that I had blown out the back and that it was the perfect excuse for me to take off the wheel and flip the hub.

God doing for me what I could not do for myself.

I also had the scheduling stuff get worked out.

I will show up where I need to show up, on time, since I will be able to have my bike on BART during morning rush hour, I just need to not exit at the Embarcadero (or get on at Oakland 12th or 19th–look at that!  ‘Fortunate’ to be at a less desirable BART station) and ride in the back cars and I should not have any problems.

Yeah, I don’t want to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get there on time, but it is just going to be for one day a week.  At least for the time being.

When their nanny is done in August that will change.

Who knows where I will be at that point.

I really do adore the hell out of Graceland, kittens, and roomies and sunshine, oh my; but holy shit, it is a commute and a half with where it is.

The part-time gig for my friend is in the city, although I should be able to do a lot of it remotely, and eventually, the majority of my nanny gigs will be in city.  I would be working three days a week in SF and two days a week in North Oakland.

It may make better sense for me to be located in the city.

I do not know how or where or if that will work.

I am just leaving it up to the Universe.

I am always taken care of, even when things don’t go the way I planned.

Who knows what holy terror I missed not being on a bicycle today?

Like the poor guy that died after he got hit and then dragged by a garbage truck on his bicycle today in San Francisco.

No thank you.

Happy to slow down.

Slowing down is where it’s at.


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