seasonal obscenities

my morning commute is fun, but it can be harrowing at times. today was no exception - i had no fewer than 4 close calls on my way in. one or two of them were my fault - i was not paying attention and was irritated at lights for being red - but the others were caused by drivers being inconsiderate. like when the bus decides to pass me just as the road narrows and cars are parked in my travel path, forcing me to move left. or the jackass whose boat was hanging out into the intersection long after the light had changed.

being that it's halloween, the phrase which popped into my head to yell (i usually don't actually yell, i just mutter, or think rude things at drivers) was not the usual "eat a dick!", but the more seasonal "eat a VAMPIRE dick!"

i don't know where i come up with these things. i think that riding with other aggressive riders makes me more inclined to ride like a bat out of hell, which will probably come up and bite me in the ass someday. until that day, though, i just keep in mind: rubber side down!


tessa says

i need to update my blog. so here it is, blog update. :p

she's probably referring to something specific that she wants me to post about, but i think i'm going to be oblique about it and not say anything direct. ha! take that, tessa.
in other news, life is good, the weather is getting cold but not too terribly rainy, and i have a shitload of work to get done in the next week. it's coming along, but essays refuse to write themselves. which is kinda frustrating, especially when there's other stuff i'd rather be doing.

also in other news, my cousin krissy got engaged over the weekend! congratulations to her and her fiance, corey. i think they'll probably make it. he is a great guy.


it's wet

and suddenly october is half over, and november is quickly approaching. it's been wet, warm and wet, the last few days, and we've had some decent winds too. this is what happens in seattle during la nina, evidently.

i'm really falling in love with this city all over again this year. it makes me very sad that i will probably be leaving it in less than a year.

we've entered a season of lots of work, work and stress. it seems like it happens every fall, things just get busy and hard. but at the same time, i'm really enjoying life, and trying to live every moment of it. it's put me outside on my bike a lot, but at the same time it's keeping me from a lot of the work that i need to do.

but for now, i'm going to go enjoy the fact that i can sleep in tomorrow. one of my favorite things, sleeping.


reduce carbon!

so i just had an extremely nerdy revelation: all this talk of "reducing carbon" is, well, accurate.

we want to reduce carbon. as in, the opposite of oxidizing it.

now, i don't know how many of you remember high school chemistry and the concept of REDOX, but i'll try to make it simple. When we're talking about carbon (which cycles throughout the atmosphere, from plants photosynthesizing CO2 into sugars and other organisms breaking it back down), oxidation is the process that animals do (breaking it apart from other atoms and attaching it to oxygen), and reduction is the process that plants do. Anything that takes energy from carbon-based materials, be them hydrocarbons such as those found in gasoline, or simple sugars or even proteins that animals eat, is oxidizing the carbon. It's outputting CO2. Processes which remove CO2 from the atmosphere (which, last time I checked, all the environmentalists were advocating) are reducing carbon.

So Al Gore is right when he says that we need to reduce carbon. We need to reduce more carbon than we're reducing right now, that's for sure.



why is it that when i most need to write, i am least motivated and least able to focus on writing? i know it's not panic time yet (which may be why i'm not particularly focused yet), but i still know i should be working on many of the things i have due in the next couple of months. instead, i just sit here staring at my keyboard, noticing just how dirty it has become (designed by highly trained engineers at apple, it seems, specifically to collect dirt and crumbs and skin cells) and not allowing it to be a tool in the formation of my thoughts into words.



So I rode in my first cyclocross race today, and I have to say: it was EXTREMELY fun. Aside from the fact that I had to haul myself out of bed at 7:15 this Saturday morning, it was a good time. My friend Matthew races too, and was nice enough to give me and my bike a ride to the race (up in Kenmore) so I didn't have to leave hella early and ride my bike there.

Cyclocross is a different kind of bike racing: instead of riding on pavement, you're riding on grass, dirt, gravel and even occasionally sand. Plus there are barriers, where you have to dismount and jump over (with your bike) and get back on and ride, all without stopping. I'm not so good at this part yet, so I did end up kind of stopping a little on the remount a few times, but I am getting the hang of the dismount. Not that I'm fast, but it was mostly just hella fun. The barriers and the varied terrain of course make CX slower than road racing, but the top performers are often the same people and are by no means less fit than road racers. Also, at this one at least, there was a beer garden (bonus!) and Matt offered to buy the first beer for anyone in our bike club that rode and finished the race (double bonus!) So after my race (which was first) and the mens' equivalent race (in which a few of my friends were riding, and which was second) we all stood around in the beer garden heckling and cheering on the later, faster, better racers.

The best part about doing a CX race is that you can eat whatever you want afterwards. Because really, spending 40 minutes (which was how long my race was; i think i came in around 39:00) at or near your maximum heart rate, riding a bike up and down hills and running and jumping barriers is a good workout and burns hella calories.

I ended up finishing 8th out of 15 women in my category; not a bad showing for my first race. My average lap time was 9:35, while the women who won were closer to 7:30, but... like I said, being my first race and being as out of shape as I am (trip to HI, no bike...) I think I did pretty darn well.

After the race, Matt needed to stop at REI, so I tagged along and once again demonstrated my inability to enter that store and exit without spending over $100. OTOH, I picked up some much-needed gear (floor pump; front light; new tubes) and only one overpriced fun gadget - a heart rate monitor watch. So now, if I'm wearing the chest strap sensor, I can see what my heart is doing at all times, and make my workouts more efficient. Hopefully the fun gadgetry will make me more inclined to actually work out, rather than just riding with my beerbike club twice a week. I can see CX being a really fun way to keep in shape this winter... and who knows, after a few more races, I might actually get faster.


i love seattle

because only in seattle can four semi-randomly selected members of a given bike club, standing around enjoying tropical drinks in chilly weather, discuss the latest xkcd comic and not have to explain to a single party present either the nature of the webcomic (because everyone reads it) or the joke (because everyone has experienced the ballmer peak, firsthand).