First ride of the “season”

With the weather looking beyond gorgeous this weekend, I filled by bike tires with air and went for a ride yesterday. I set a comfortably slow pace, and rode for about 90 minutes, getting in 16 miles.

First, that’s the furthest I’ve ever ridden. Second, that’s the longest I’ve ever been in the saddle. My butt didn’t even hurt until I sat in an auditorium for a couple of hours later that night. This morning, of course, my butt-bones are achy and my legs still have that happy tingle.

The cool thing was getting to see parts of Terre Haute I hadn’t seen before. I got lost on my way up the trail — I took what I thought was the trail, but that ended abruptly at 25th Street — and ended up getting to ride through a lot of residential areas until I found the real trail.

Also very nice: being comfortable on my bike for the first time. Especially since I got this bike shortly after my accident, I’ve never felt comfortable riding on streets. But yesterday was good. I was able to weave through traffic safely, use appropriate hand signs, make left turns, etc., with no problems. Of course, I wasn’t riding on the trafficky Wabash, either, but there was steady traffic.

I think I just fell in love with my bike all over again.

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Getting things done: choices

Months ago, Elf Sternberg quoted Scott Westerfield who quoted Raymond Chandler as saying,

[T]here should be a space of time, say four hours a day at least, when a professional writer doesn’t do anything else but write. He doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor. But he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks. Write or nothing.

Whether it’s writing, classwork, or drawing, it comes down to the same thing. I found myself floundering just last night, wheeling and dealing with myself: I’d ‘promise’ to get up early and work, just so I could relax now and get some sleep. But I knew I wasn’t likely to actually get up early. Bargaining took up time in which I wasn’t working or relaxing. Sitting around thinking about doing it doesn’t get it done. It doesn’t even (in this case) make creative advances. It just ups the stress.

Finally, it came down to a choice: am I going to work, or not? I finally just opened LyX, opened the relevant research paper, and just looked at it. Here it was. There was nothing else to do.

And I did it. Two hours of research went easily, quickly, and painlessly once I got into it. Same with cleaning my kitchen that night (some of Korn’s Untouchables got me through that). I didn’t even miss the sleep all that much in the morning.

I feel like right now my home is mired in wheeling and dealing and bargaining with fading willpowers and nothing is getting done. Not just the important stuff is slipping. Everything is.

I’m tired of it. I can’t fix anyone else, but I can choose what I’ll do and make what I want to happen happen. I’m 22; I have plenty of energy to spare.

Locs, part deux

About a month ago, I started down the journey to locs again. The comb coils from a couple of months back hadn’t worked, but this time I tried a technique I hadn’t seen on the internet: I just rubber-banded my hair into sections. They looked like little puffs (or even bantu knots) for a while, and I got a lot of Matrix comments.

About a week ago, there was enough growth for me to start latching, although I needed to keep the rubber bands on. I latched. Yay.

I couldn’t get them clean, however. I workout almost daily, and I just couldn’t shampoo enough to get the roots clean (the roots, not even the part that was knotting up!). Clarifying shampoos, etc., were no go. It was becoming a stressor.

So I took them out last night.

I’ve got a few ideas as to how to start them that might work better (smaller sections, for one, so the roots are easier to get at), but it’s going to be a minute before I try again.

Right now, where I am in my life, I need a wash-n-go style. I don’t need to care about fundamental things like why my hair won’t get very clean; I just want clean, healthy hair.

So I’m rocking my little afro again. Locs are going to have to be patient for me.