Thursday, October 16, 2003
An Actual Procuctive Day

I never realized what a difference having two days off in a row made until just now. I had Yesterday off and I spent it sitting around the apartment, watching DVDs and surfing the 'net and frying up a veggie burger and drinking some beer and watching some baseball (Yay Sox! Bleh, Cubs)

Today I got up and showered and did a sinkful of dishes, then headed down the street to catch the G3 bus to Georgetown. On the way I read some more of DeLillo's "White Noise," which I've been working my way through in fits and spurts of late (my reading of late has been sadly piecemeal). At one point I noticed a rather large woman who'd gotten on a few stops earlier talking to herself. It wasn't the kind of idle muttering to oneself, the vocalization of an internal monologue, which some people can't help (not that I'd know anything about it). It was one half of a fully realized conversation, the kind of thing you hear from unwashed homeless people. This woman was having a conversation with the voices inside her head. But when I looked over at her I realized that the voices were being transmitted to her head by a little cord running from the celphone in her hand.

What happens when the cord vanishes? Modern technology has made sane people all but indistinguishable from schizophrenics.

In Georgetown I walked over to the Bicycle Pro Shop. At long last I was to complete my delayed testridings. At first I wasn't sure I would at all, since the shop was out of aluminum Crossroads in my size. But I decided to give the cromo model they had a ride to check for comfort and position. I got to embarrass myself in front of a line of cars stopped at a red light, still being far from 100% on going from a full stop-- especially going uphill. But as soon as I got going it felt just right.

As much as the Larkspur struck me as better constructed, with better components, I had felt that it left me with too much of my weight on my hands. This felt perfect.

(It's interesting to note at this point that the Specialized Crossroads was the bike I had settled on after merely researching prices and features several months ago. Of course the test rides were wise, but they didn't change the results at all... with the exception of adding about two months to the process.)

I was all set to leave and call back to see if they got any aluminum models in when the salesman asked why I was so set against a steel frame. Was it rust, or was it weight? When I answered weight, he told me that in the lower-end models like the Crossroads the weight difference was at most 2 pounds. And since the bike in question was last year's model, I could get a very good deal on it (about as much as I'd probably pay for a similar bike used)

Good salesman.

I realized, while walking my bike back to the bus stop, that I only have two modes: overly cautious and fuckit. It's like the sticky faucet that you want to turn on just a little bit, but the torque required to get it to move at all sends it all the way open as soon as it overcomes the friction. But I wasn't gung ho enough to ride the bike home, as the salesman had suggested. I didn't feel up to the necessary and inevitable level of frustration (and, in all honesty, humiliation... as much as I hate the thought that the opinion of passing strangers means so much to me) such would involve.

Besides, I made enough of an idiot of myself trying to figure out how the bike racks on the DC buses work. For some reason I thought you lowered them, laid the bike down on them, and put them back up. The bus driver had to come out and show me. It didn't look too stable. "That's an unusual bike, right? Because it isn't fitting." "Unusual? I don't think so..." "Well, I'll let you ride with it like that, but I don't make any guarantees it'll stay in."

I'm beginning to wonder if he was just giving me a hard time, because it stayed in fine. But I rode in the front, my stomach tightening at every bump and curve, picturing it in my head-- my brand new bike goes flying off, gets crushed under the wheels of the bus or goes right through a car's window. Once it became clear that no such thing would happen, I was still paranoid about someone just taking it off the bus and walking off with it. But it made it home safely. I finally own a bike.

After I dropped it off at home, I went to the store and bought groceries for the first time in about a month. Then I cooked myself (and D.) dinner for the first time in forever. Marinated and fried Thai tempeh with a cilantro peanut sauce and bell peppers. Sadly, I could not find any tamarind paste at my local supermarket, so I had to substitute Green Curry Paste. It worked very well, and I already have ideas to make it better next time. Cooking has been on my mind rather a bit of late, as has been writing. I know the root reason for both these things, but you're just gonna have to guess.

If you have an immediate guess for any random thing being especially on anybody's mind... yeah that's probably it.

Then I drank more (D. had requested I buy some mint at the store so that we could make mojitos) and watched the hopes and dreams of Red Sox Nation once again crushed by the hated Yankees. Blast and dangnation!

Apparently I can only be productive after a full day of Slack. I need more two day weekends!
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