Monday, January 26, 2009

how many tangents can you *really* handle?

so i had a week of frantic wake-ups.  you know the ones--  the alarm is supposed to go off at 5:00 or 4:45...but you are so nervous that it isn't going to go off, that you are really up at 3:30.

that is what sunday was like.  last last sunday.  i had my minnesota track friends in town......... 

[tangent 1]  speaking of which, it was great having midwestern visitors.  it was like a little piece of home coming to me.  and it just made me want to move to minneapolis all the more.  minneapolis has not only a sweet track, but gwen lives in minneapolis and she just cracks me up over and over.  it was good to finally find someone crazy like me.  and by crazy i mean, do a ridiculous amount of research on a sport that you have never tried and become secretly obsessed over it. for gwen, that is speed walking.  for me, that is speed skating.  (note: both have the word "speed" in them.)  i don't even know how to ice skate (let along cross over step with longs blades!), but i think i'd be better at short track (as opposed to long track) speed skating.  and to be honest, that is probably how i got into track cycling...i wanted something a little bit more obscure than "road racing".  i had a bike for two months when i decided i wanted to do track racing..... you know what?  i think that palm reader was right, i research things too much to the point of over analysis.....

well, back to 3:30 am last last sunday.  i got the bright idea to wake up at 5am and bike to fremont for the early bird crit.  but of course i was afraid my alarm wasn't going to wake me up.  so as i was biking along at 6am down hesperian and doolitte, i realized that i am pretty stupid.  last last sunday was probably the most beautiful january day in history, and there i was biking in the dark and cold down contenders for the most industrial, ugly streets in the east bay.  but, in the long run, such a stupid decision was probably smart because i was nice and two hours warmed up by the time we finally started at 8:30am, a nice 5 hours after i awoke.  racing with the 3/4 men was very fun last last sunday.  it felt super smooth and everyone was very *quiet.*  key word: quiet.  this made me very happy and i didn't pop off the pack until the last lap, so i was pretty happy with hanging in for almost the whole time.

two days later (tuesday) i also woke up at 3:30. (non-biking related) this time, i didn't really have to be up until 4:30, to be at the oakland oracle arena for 6:00 for the inauguration viewing, but again, i was alarm clock nervous.  that morning, i was tabling and of course some idiotic food vendor was cooking bbq tri-tip at 7am, which of course was right next me, and was frankly making me nauseous.  then someone walked up to my table and said: "you are with a health organization.  where can i get some healthy food." and i think i told them: "there are some free jalapenos behind me."  (fixings for the nacho vendor...)  the event was good; the clinic folk were happy.  then as i was leaving this clinic guy from hayward had me participate in a 45 minute sage burning ceremony in the parking lot of the coliseum, which was cleansing, cultural, or interesting - pick your favorite.  but really i just wanted to go to sleep, but instead had to work until 5.

so last sunday (not last last sunday), i was planning on doing the early bird race again with the boys.  except i kinda wanted to go to track afterwards to play with annabell, so i figured i could drive into fremont, do the race, then drive from fremont to san jose, and get to the track.......  

[tangent 2]  so before the first early bird, i road with some roaring mouse guys and karla down from san francisco, across the dumbarton to fremont to go to the "early bird talk" where a bunch of people gave little talks about racing, etc.  it was very nice.  one dude spent a very long time giving advice on how to pack your car the night before.... having your bike in working order a week before.... etc., etc.  now, i am sure the little talk was quite informative, but it seemed a bit excessive at the moment.  but perhaps i should have heeded his advice. but, what he doesn't understand is that some people are adrenaline junkies.  like me.  i love the rush of packing at the last minute.  or of running to the bus.  ahh, spring to the bus......

[tangent 3]  so this one time i was in downtown san francsico making my way to the transbay terminal to get on the geary/38L. i did this every day for 2.5 years.  so i knew all the bus drivers: shades, hat guy, bitch lady... (i had names for them all).  some bus drivers are heartless and they are at the stop, close the door, and move up literally 2 feet to stop at a red light, and won't let you on the friggin' bus, even if you knock on the bus door.  (i.e. shades and bitch lady)  now, some bus drivers are nice and open the door (i.e. hat guy), but this particular day bitch lady was driving.  i hate her.  hate is a strong word.  but i hate her.  she has no heart and is mean.  so when she pulled this shit on me, literally closed the door in my face, moved up a foot to a red light and wouldn't let me on.  i was PISSED.  that day she shouldn't mess with me and make me wait 15 more minutes in the friggin' cold.... so i was going to show her.   so i started sprinting to try and beat her to the next bus stop.  i ran across the street, across mission, and was bolting down fremont like a crazy woman, dodging in and out of tully's coffee drinkers--the sidewalk was just too difficult to maneuver, so i jumped into the street after a few buildings,  in and out of a few cars, dodged in front of another bus, to make it to the bus stop which is located in the middle of the street on an island.

now, at that moment i felt more victorious than i think i ever felt in my life.  (except perhaps a soccer game i played in 7th grade, but that is a much longer tangent...).  as i stepped on the bus, i showed her my pass and really wanted to pump fist at her and yell: "WHAT?!  WHAT?!"  and then raise my arms and run down the bus isle, expecting everyone to be cheering and giving me high fives for beating the bus lady at her own game.  

except that didn't happen.  

i merely showed her my pass, and panted to the back of the bus, and was mad all of the single window seats were taken.  then i moped that there is no collective spirit on big city buses, and i continued day dreaming about what it would be like if there was collective spirit on big city bus lines...and how things would be different.....  

and, so, yeah, i like the adrenaline rush, even for stupid shit.  but that whole story was meant to make another point: i am good at timing.  yeah, i often push the limits, but i rarely fail.  that is because i am really fast.  and i am best under pressure.  i almost always know just how much i can push the limits so i can still have some time to spare.  except last sunday. 

[tangent 4]  so i started this acne regimen, dan kerns acne regimen, which takes a lot longer than i anticipate.  i met dan kerns at a bbq a few years ago, and i am happy to now be supporting his "3 step products."  addressing my acne was my new years resolution.  superficial: yes.  but i don't care.  so far, i am very happy with dan kerns regimen.  and imagine, had i not been a lazy butt saturday night, i could have been playing cards with dan kerns himself.  i am actually very sad i missed this opportunity, because he is now like a celebrity that i think about twice a day - morning and night - so i am very sad i didn't know he was going to be a the card party i was supposed to attend.  i didn't attend because i wanted to sleep a lot because of the race the next day.  and then, ironically enough, the time his regimen takes prevented me from leaving on time.  

anyway, it takes a long time to rub in two pumps of benzoyl peroxide.  and then i forgot i needed gas. and the gas station i went to was out of gas or something.  and then i got off a exit early in fremont and had to remember how to weave the city streets.  and blah blah blah. (OF COURSE i should have just gotten up earlier! but that doesn't make for a very good blog entry....sans dan kerns acne regimen and 38L bus lady)  

so it was 8:10, i pulled in, and the race started at 8:30.  so i had a nice 2 lap warmup.... which is almost as good at 2 hours.  

now even if i did have a 2 hour warmup, i don't think it would have prevented me from getting dropped after 1.5 laps.  yeah, how do you go from one week from sitting in nearly the whole 50 minutes...and the next week, you get dropped 1.5 laps in.  i blame: a) me, b) the wind, c) me not being pushy enough in the wind, d) men (obviously.  that should have been the first one).   so i popped off, then got back in.  made it a whopping 2 laps next time. popped off.  made it 2.5 laps then popped off.  and then the race was over.  so, needless to say i totally sucked balls.  and then a mentor tried to be all supportive cause i was a girl and say: "good job" to which i replied: "no it wasn't."  and then continued on with my thought: "i need to grow some!" but i didn't know that guy, so i actually only said that in my head.

my track time i'd like to say was much better, but i don't think it was. i had one really good start.  actually it was awesome. pete billington said so.  and pete scares me, so i will believe whatever he says.  so, i would say there was a quality 12 seconds of exercise yesterday, and about 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 33 seconds of mediocrity.... which is better than 2 hours, 57 minutes and 45 seconds of mediocrity... so one must stay optimistic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

maybe it's maybelline

(as promised, i am catching up on blog posts)

things rarely work out.

i realize that most of my audience is older than me and already know that, but in the off-chance that i do have some youngins reading this, i hope you all wisen up and learn this lesson sooner rather than later. and not just learn the lesson, but really internalize it.

you see, i always know things won't work out as i plan - at least in the cerebral... but there is that hidden optimist in me, that although i try to shove in the high school locker, that bitch always manages to sneak out-- leading me to make bad decisions-- leading me to think: yes i can! when in reality i should be thinking: no fucking way! now i am sure i can point to my hidden optimism leading me to a couple of life successes, but really, i think more often than not it bites me in the ass.

and nothing seems to remind me of this more concretely than working on bikes.

i can recall when i first got my motobecane - R.I.P. - and i thought it was a good idea to fiddle with something called a "derailleur." This was my first bike with more than one gear, and one month later on a friday night i find myself totally defeated with a broken bike. i spent the next saturday taking apart that derailleur and figuring out all these weird screws and finally decided that this one particular screw was stripped and that is why nothing was working. this is after at least five hours, mind you. i walk into the bike shop, with said screw in hand, and i can remember the look on the poor mechanics face vividly. he looked at me like i was a hobo (because i probably looked like one) and said: "i'm am really sorry to tell you this -- because you don't look so good -- but we don't have that screw. it is too old." it can't be good when the mechanic tells you you don't look so good. i left defeated, walked to my friend's house who opened the door in shock, because i apparently had bike grease all over my face. i think i finally got the screw and fixed the thing...after probably using a full bottle of GoJo.

that was merely one story of many -- of me thinking i can fix my bike. it doesn't seem like it should be so hard. it isn't like a car with electrical work. it seems easy... until a simple fix turns into many hours later with grease all over the living room walls.

so when i picked up the shoddy aluminum frame, of course i figured i'd be able to swap all the parts off hernando's bike...and use that carbon fork i won in goldsprints...

so of course when friday night rolls around, i am not surprised that i have been at fred's apartment for many, many hours (at least i solicited some help) and have made little headway, except getting two cable housing end caps stuck in the downtube. for two hours i lay under the bike trying to get it out.

so let me review some devises tried...
needle nose plyers, the obvious. too big

spoke. i was hoping the bent part of it could drag it out, but it wasn't terribly handy.

next came the dental pick. like the spoke, it had the rounded part, but it was a bit more extreme and sturdy.

there were a few other object in there.. but then came....

the maybelline eye brow tweezers. now, these weren't mine, as you all know, considering i am definitely bushy eyebrow girl. these were fred's-- and i don't think he plucks his eyebrows, so these must either be for old man nose hair or ear hair. anyway, ideally these would be good because they are considerably smaller than the needle nose and have a similar gripping capability. however, unfortunatley, they are made for plucking hair, not end caps, and i bent the tweezers pretty good and then they got stuck inside my bike for a good fifteen minutes.

long story short is, i only got one end cap out. then the second flash light died and i called it quits. the second one wouldn't come out. at least, not by me. i spent 2 hours and couldn't get it. it was definitely time to get some help.

so when it took tim brennan approximately 20 seconds to get it out, i felt like a pretty big moron. and then he spent a very long time fixing everything else that was apparently fucked up. i think i am now a banned customer at paradigm cyclery after the headache i caused. and all that headache i caused tim...all because i actually thought i could fix something -- HA! when will i learn?

Monday, January 12, 2009

less bell, more steering

so i should have listened to the crappy palm reader in ohio: you need more vitamin c. of course it is early january and i have a cold. i expect about 5 more in the next 2.5 months, cause that is usually how i like to spend the early part of the year: slutting around from cold to cold.

this of course begs the question of why did i go to a palm reader in ohio, when there are far more psychics per capita in the greater oakland and berkely vincinity. to which all i can respond is: touche.

i will blame it on being bored. you now how it is: you are at the coffee shop drinking weak ass ohio coffee...and you are thoroughly depressed reflecting on how life in ohio is so depressing after just hearing a bunch of sad stories... and in walks the palm reader doing ten dollar readings, and that seems like a good way to spend a half an hour...

perhaps the quality of the palm reading would have been a bit better in the bay area, but i did learn a few things about myself:
  1. i have a good spirit.
  2. i will have a long life
  3. i have a lots of acquaitances, but very few close friends
  4. i am very happy in my job and home life
  5. i like to help people
  6. i am extremely intelligent and analytical, sometimes to the point of over analysis
  7. in spring (probably march) 2010 i am going to find the love of my life.
  8. i will have two children.
  9. in may of this year i will move.
  10. and, let's not forget, i need more vitamin c.
i realize this is my first post in 2009. and so i must tell you my quads have been very constant at 61.5cm.

my mom always tells me, what new years day is, is what the rest of my year is like. so i like to have little motos for my year, based on my january 1. well, actually i just started this in 2007, so i will review.
  • 2007: paying for mistakes of 2006. i got really wasted new years eve 2006 and was so hung over, i was still hung over on january 2nd and called off work.
  • 2008: doing better than everyone else. my roommates didn't like this year moto. but i wised up on new years eve of 2007 and awoke feeling excellent, when my roommates were not feeling excellent.
  • 2009: feeling like crap for no good reason. i had no reason to feel crappy, given my non-eventful new years. one can of Olympia beer, "it's the water" could certainly not have such an affect on someone. so, perhaps i could also call it: 2009: it's all in your head. i did go on a nice bike ride with karla later that afternoon and then made a feast of a dinner with her, where we came up with some extensive genius ideas revolving around finer things. so i could call it: 2009: realizing my inner genius. but then i went home and checked my email and got some blast from the past new years day confessional, which almost ruined my otherwise nice bike ride and dinner. but, given that it was new years day, and i didn't want this to be a precedent, i quickly hit "archive" and decided i would just avoid it all together. so, thus i could call the year: 2009: flushing the toilet when old shit gets stirred up. as you can tell, january 1, 2009 truly went through the gammit of themes. for now, i am going to use a catch-all, that being: 2009: the 21st century on speed. but, of course, the verdict is still out.
i have lots of posts to catch up on. i realize this is my first blog of 2009. and now that i am getting started writing this post, i realize i have already filled too much of the page and still haven't gotten to any of main stories that i meant to hit. and so, i realize i cannot cover it all in one blog. so, here is a quick list of fun near-future blog posts.
  1. curves denim, not quite keirin cut. (this blog post will discuss how i went to curves with my mom when i was home in ohio and my experience in a curves class. it will also discuss how curves makes its own jeans. lastly, the post will conclude with a story of how i bonked during my last day of savage revenge)
  2. the finer things. i will write about dinner with karla and discuss our fun plan for 2009.
  3. maybe it's maybelline. (this blog post will detail how i got a new bike and then fred and i probably broke it by getting something stuck in the internal cable routing. it will then detail all the creative tools we used trying to get it out)
  4. random fun facts (this blog post will probably not get written, because other things will likely come up before i get to it. but if nothing happens in the next 3 weeks, i will include some fun-facts of january, which may or may not include some buck hunting fun, getting my ass kicked royally riding with some roaring mouse guys & karla, and my extreme envy of pete billington's shoes.)
and, just because i haven't really written about biking at all, i am going to display a picture of my neices on their first bikes. i think they are both ready to be velogirls, considering how much they like pink. that, or they are ready for that cinderalla ride, with those tutus. (and just so you all know, if i have two kids like psychic said, i am totally going to make them butch.)

and just to bring it back to the title of the post, which i did not so skillfully weave in at all... less bell, more steering.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

shameless self promotion

i promise a real blog post will come soon. but, in the meantime, please buy your ticket today!

tickets can be purchased at the box office or here on ticketmaster.

several thousand tickets are sold and we are trying to fill up the Oracle Arena. i am sitting in section 113, so if you call the box office for your ticket you might be able to get by all the clinic people. hope you can make it. bring everyone you know. the event will be over at 10am (perhaps earlier). very BART accessible. also free parking. and did i mention $5 tickets? please purchase in advanced!