The timing of GoGo Gear‘s email advertising their new kevlar leggings with removable knee pads was just about perfect. I had been taking my scooter back and forth across the bridge to Millvale, where Ed at Goose Farm Motorcycles helped me put on my license plate, then Geoff at Slagheap Cycles in the same space helped me attach my trunk because I was having compatibility issues. In mid-late November, crossing a river at night is a cold journey, and wearing regular tights under my jeans just wasn’t cutting it. After a particularly cold evening, I arrived at the coffee shop where Evan worked to soak up some warm beverage as he prepared to lock the doors. I checked my email and saw these leggings. They seemed perfect, but with a price point well above my budget at the time, having not quite shaken the shock of quitting my job.
Lifting Weights at Midnight
Clumsy but ambitious, with vegan recipes, health tips, and tales of mountain bike and hiking trails. I’m not a quitter, I just fall down a lot.
I’ve been collecting a lot of products lately during and in preparation for my travels to Vermont, Colorado, Race Across the West, and Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail. I’ve been testing for the past few months or so, and thought you’d like a peak at what I’ve been into and why. First on the list is:
Ye olde mountain bike season is again upon us! Bask in yea glory of semi-dry trails. Bow down in thanks of the trail gods who build berms and fill ruts. And yea, kiss the tire treads of they who rode all winter when the trails were soft and vulnerable, for they knew not of their own power to corrode. Let us give thanks to the sun, brief in the sky as it may be, whose vitamin D reminds us that yes, we do prefer to be alive (though for the past six months may have lost sight of that mission). Let us not take for granted this day of beauty, let this not be our day of rest, for rest will come soon enough—tomorrow (or later today) when it rains, or post-ride at D’s for veggie dogs topped with avocado and Sriracha slaw, and washed down with a pint of 1919 Root Beer.
There comes a time in every blogger’s life where she needs to look at her surroundings and make some assessments. Last night, I stepped on a stick that impaled my foot about an inch and a half deep, leaving just a teeny tiny mark but swelling my foot to about 150% its size. Then, I sliced my hand on a knife my friend Nick Anger made me, attempting lamely to hold it in my teeth like a pirate holding her sword. My eye has also been twitching for about two days.
It starts with running my finger across the 30 cookbooks, each focusing on a niche fad or flavor. Most of them healthy, most of them vegetarian. Many of them have tabs in them, pieces of paper sticking out as makeshift bookmarks, marking favorite recipes. Some are falling apart, while a few haven’t so much as been thumbed through, save for checking for a recipe among its pages before, defeated, placing it back in its hole on the shelf.
First things first…
I knew March was going to be a difficult month for me to keep up with the posts. So I’m *kind of* sorry I haven’t been updating very much. Does it feel better if I pass the buck and say I tried to get a few other people on board to write blog posts for me, and they never followed through? No? Hmm… How about if I regale you with tales of adventure in teaching adult writing classes, doing P90X at 2 a.m., and getting to see some of my favorite bands for free because I’ve been writing about them. I figured that one would win since I wrote it in a list of threes and usually that can make anything sound good. Oh well. I will say that I am letting go of some of my work obligations (and taking on some others, ssshhh) so I should have more writing time available to write to you fine folks here.
In the morning, the urge is to consume fresh juice. The process is arduous, so I usually revert back to the old stable of coffee and toast, or coffee and leftovers, or coffee and a Vega One shake (I realize that what I have for breakfast equates to that good friend you decide to unfollow on Instagram because her pictures of her breakfast are just too much, but bear with me). Simple sustenance. The process of juicing can seem overwhelming pre-breakfast. Just like a bear coming out of hibernation, I’m groggy in the mornings. Not mean, but impatient — especially with myself. It’s also worth mentioning that I typically only get five hours of sleep, to coming out of it feels like the final episode of X-Files when Mulder is in the prison cell and the guard keeps waking him up with “No Sleeping! Tell me what you know!” I mean, not to be dramatic….
It’s taken me a while to find time to update the blog. Posters, one of my many jobs, picked up, as did my writing work. It’s been hard to get in every P90X workout, and something that’s been causing me some contemplation is the purpose of the workouts, why I love this set of cheesy home exercise DVDs.
It’s been hard to get back into the groove of Pittsburgh living since my return at the beginning of the month. The over-stimulation of high speed internet, the constant noise and frustration of city life and a home under the highway, the smells and struggles of living in a working-poor neighborhood where the street never gets plowed because it will just pull up more chunks of concrete and cobblestone, the lack of structure, the demand for structure. Plus, my office chair just isn’t as comfortable as the one in my old studio at the Vermont Studio Center (poor me, I know). There have been so many positive changes that have happened not only since this past summer, but in the two weeks since I’ve been home, but it can be difficult to keep that all in perspective, to prioritize time affectively, and to stay focused on the real goals in life.
Today, however, the sun was out. Those who live in the Southwest may not take their sunshine for granted, but I sometimes feel that those in New England do. It may be more grey there in the winter than in the summer, but it’s a beautiful part of the world, and the sun is out more often than not, that cold blue winter sky that reminds you you’re on Earth, that feels so warm in contrast to the frosty snap of wind on your nose. The sun is a brief relieve that we in Pittsburgh so rarely get. Today, however, was cold enough to bring out the sun, and I was sure to make the most of it.
E. and I went for a cross-country ski adventure in Frick Park, taking advantage of the small amount of snow we received the past two days. I would never tell my poor Bostonian friends and family (except here, publicly, where I can’t be assaulted), but I am a bit jealous of all their snow. The grass is always whiter, I know, and I really do feel bad that they are trapped with inoperable public transit and limitless snowbanks that make driving perilous. That said, I will probably never get to use my snowshoes in the Pittsburgh area, and the inch of snow we have here now practically peeled off the grass with my skis like lint from a sweater with masking tape. On the hiking trails was a bit easier, since a lot of the snow was packed down. I had picked up my skis, boots, and poles last year at REI‘s winter garage sale for about $45 total, after I dislocated my shoulder and needed something active to do besides boxing or cycling. They were pretty much new, so they are a lot faster than E.’s old skis he bought off Craigslist. I found myself slowing down a lot (or attempting to) so that I wouldn’t run him over, or being a bit intimidated by the changing elevation that’s unavoidable in this area. Harder than that was going up, sliding back if my ski remained on the ground for a second longer than necessary as I waddled uphill. I only fell once, as I attempted to slow down and ran over a stick.