Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Spandex, Herbs and Dogs

1. Holy Spandex! Last week I bought a) a new swimsuit, b) bike shorts, and c) spandex shorts all in one evening. The swimsuit had to be exchanged the next day and the diaper-laden bike shorts were returned at the same time. No diapers for me, sorry. Saddle soreness isn’t an issue for me, only a little discomfort where my underpants end. So I’m going with the diaper-free spandex shorts. The only problem with them is that they tend to ride up, but I’m thinking of ways to fix that. Swimming with a good suit, goggles and swimcap rocks!

2. Hbar. More of the staff know who I am and are treating me well–plus my ‘owner discount’ rocks, too. At a brunch party on Sunday, I felt like a quasi-celebrity when Chris announced that I was a new Hbar owner. I didn’t know most of the people at the party and they apparently all love the place and thought it rocked that I own part of it. Previously they were impressed with my cooking/efficiency in the kitchen, so adding the lawyer, Hbar-owner, bikey girl to the equation made me feel uncomfortably cool in their eyes. The group was really cool already, so being the center of attention for a while felt unjustifiable and odd.

3. Flirting. I got my share of flirting this weekend. Two cool boys who I have been getting to know seemed particularly flirty. They are both nice, greenie, bikey boys who garden, compos and cook. Nice.

4. The Julep. Last week she was my commuting bike and then on Saturday I took her for a ride that ended up being longer than I expected. Most days last week we got about 20 miles in a day and then Saturday we went 50. We did well, although I could sort of feel it in my knees–not pain, but awareness. In the next few weeks she is going to get some upgrades: new chain (Kevin says so), bottom bracket (too ‘crunchy’ either an overhaul or a completely new one), smaller rear cog (now that I’m more comfortable riding her, she needs to be geared higher), bar tape (maybe), streamers and some sort of new pedal system (I’d like either barefoot pedals or clipless–maybe a jerryrigged campus-style combo is in order).

I really like riding her, and when I rode the Bianchi this week, it feels like cheating–and makes the need for bottom bracket improvement more evident. The coolest thing about the Julep is that I can easily rider her while holding things in my hands. I rode to brunch with a potted mint plant in my left hand (I swapped the front brake to the right side). Normally carrying things causes near-catastrophies, but since I don’t need my hand to slow down, this wasn’t a problem at all. I bet it looked weird when I stuck out the mint plant to signal a left turn, though.

5. Kids and dogs. At brunch a four year-old girl ‘adopted’ me. Kids do this pretty frequently, as do dogs. I’m not comfortable around either of them, yet they seek me out and try to win me over. It’s weird, because there are generally other people around who’d love to get the attention. This girl was clinging to me and even tried to kiss me as she reluctantly said good-bye (sorry, not on the first date). Dan and other were laughing at me because it was so obvious that I was freaked out by random kid affection. One guy however wouldn’t believe that she wasn’t my daughter based on her behavior. This struck me as crazy, but I guess I am old enough to have a four year-old. Weird.

The scariest point was when the kid and I were outside on a porch and the neighbors dog saw us and charged up the steps. Normally I would hide behind whomever I was with in this situation, but instead, I nervously put myself between the child and the dog. God–it was horrible. Apparently I have a wisp of maternal instinct. The dog owners just lazily yelled her name and, ‘don’t worry–she’s friendly!’ and ‘she’ll just lick you!’ Fuck that. She is charging at me and not listening to your commands. I hate dogs off leash. Why can’t the owners understand that some people are afraid of dogs? Or, even if not afraid–don’t want to be licked, sniffed, humped or jumped up by strange dogs? Leash ‘em!

6. Gardening. I transplanted my herb seedlings outside on Sunday morning after weeding the plot for about two hours. Fun stuff. However, this morning I noticed that something has been digging around in the area and a lot of the plants have been trampled or uprooted. Maybe it’s the second floor dog. I’m also re-seeding the area with additional herbs, so hopefully some will survive. I’m very excited about my little herb garden and look forward to tending to it.

7. Starved Rock. We leave in three days. I am so excited!

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