14 December 2008

hard work

I just wrote all day long, and now I'm exhausted and hungry and I could use a drink and a nap and some water (I'm currently drinking a lot of water) and I'M TIRED.

Holy shit.

This doesn't feel bad. It doesn't feel bad at all. It's very strange.

12 December 2008


Oh, hello.

ONE DAY after I posted about all the things I've done with my bike, I jumped on an eastbound Wilshire bus, rode to Figueroa, hopped off, checked the address of my friend's birthday, and then noted, calmly, that my bike was missing.

And by "missing" I mean "no longer with me" as in "still on the bus." But it took me a while to realize this; my mind cycled* through assuming someone had stolen it in front of my face, to thinking I had left it unlocked around the corner, to realizing that I had just done something really quite dumb. Then I became significantly less calm.

[* Sorry.]

It takes three days to process items left on the bus. It was late enough that I (and the MTA) consider it lost on Wednesday. Wednesday + 3 + weekend = Monday.

In the meantime, I'm taking the advice of this guy and focusing on the things I can control:

Adding non-advertising work to my design portfolio
Getting better sleep
Changing my health insurance
Replacing these jeans

And taking the eponymous Squeaky Nishiki in for a re-fit:

Removing the fenders
Replacing 27" wheels with 700x23 wheels with a fixed hub
Removing the rear cassette
Adding an appropriately-toothed rear cog and lockring
Removing 1 front chainring
Adjusting/replacing brake levers
Removing some chain links
Raising the seat post and replacing the saddle

... But I'm not going crazy with the re-fit. I might leave it on a bus, after all.

08 December 2008

new developments on my bike

In order of appearance:

A couple months back, I bunged up a brake lever. I replaced the pair with in-line levers. (They're housed on either side of the stem, not on the drops.)

Old bartape plus a missing tube plug meant new sets of both. Experimented briefly with white bar tape, but a.) eh and b.) it got filthy in three minutes. Back to black.

I'd been riding with my seat too low. I didn't notice because I was focusing on the difference in riding with drops. A new seat post let me raise that sucker a good three inches, and suddenly I have a lot more power.

I went from 27" wheels with 1.5-inch diameter inner tubes to 700s with 23mm diameter inner tubes. A smaller, thinner wheel gives the frame more space and highlights the fact that it's really quite small (49"). Raising that seat made the bike look downright dainty.

I got the wheelset (or half of it) for doing some work for a fixed-gear shop, and so I was paid in fixed-gear parts. The rear wheel has a flip flop hub. So I flipped it. I'm learning how to trackstand.

New lights. Because when someone points out that those gummy Knog ones look like cystic outgrowths bulging from your seatpost and stem, you can never ever wash that imagery from your mind.

My bottle cage got in the way of hiking my bike onto my shoulder to take it up and down stairs. I've been doing more of that lately, for one reason or another. Off it goes.

My brakes screamed bloody murder. I replaced the brake pads, and now we're good to go ... downhill. (A fixed-gear bike negates the need for brakes, but I'm keeping at least the front one as a backstop. Maybe it's not so hardcore. I'm okay with this.)

And there you have it. It's like a whole new bike.

mind-blowing conversations

Tim: "Why don't you teach dance?"
Katie: "... Yeah, why DON'T I teach dance?"

I was a dancer, in high school and a little after. A serious dancer. Performing-lead-roles-at-the-age-of-15 serious. Missing-prom serious. I wasn't going to take the SAT because I figured I wouldn't need to. (Then I won a National Merit Scholarship and figured maybe I should.) I quit at 20 to study architecture in New York City, a city with which I had fallen in love during my dance training.

In the spirit of using the whole caribou, so to speak, and forgive me for using the phrase "using the whole caribou," not to mention the phrase "so to speak," wouldn't it be nice to put some of that training to use? I mean crap, I trained for years and at some damned fine schools. And what am I doing with that? Nothing. Wasteful, really. And selfish.

Thanks, Tim, for pointing that out. No really. You're awesome.

(He is.)