25 April 2010

nice rack.

Today the Old Dutch encountered some guerilla knitting at The Flying Saucer.  Classy and cozy, just right for an overcast day.

17 April 2010

cute little cargo bike.

Last month I took my flat ODT tire to the shop (this was before Clever Cycles and Dutch Bike Co. got all hip to self-help tips. Got that damn thing off myself with phone coaching from Big Brother).  This picture was trapped in my phone until today. The Dahon handled the load quite well, and hey, I'm sure it added to my visibility... 

Seriously, this little bike is such a workhorse.

(Bicycle Therapy took care of the flat and the subsequent tweaks to the Old Dutch. I love that shop!) (and not just because they showed me the trailer for The Expendables)

easy living.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Everyone in my little world here- including myself- and many friends far away-- is in the midst of that last big thrust of effort before the end of the semester.  For me this includes not only unhealthy binges on reading, writing, and coffee, but also hiding books I don't have time to read, letting mountains of dirty clothes pile up to Everest-like heights, and of course, online shopping.  It is a time of extremes and immoderation.  Which is why it's nice when the universe sends me messages like this:

(via the amazing Friends of Type)

and this:

(brought to me fortuitously by putting my iTunes library on shuffle because you know I'm my father's daughter and I am all over The Eagles in my iTunes)
(I don't know about you, but their 70s mops bring me endless amounts of joy) (boys, take note!)

Best wishes to all y'all wrapping up the semester! 
Take a deep breath! The end is near... so get back to work!!!

16 April 2010

obligatory muppets repost.

My best friend shared this with me today.  I wasn't feeling particularly cheerless, but it still cheered me up.

Now back to reading about Hare Krishnas...

12 April 2010

some thoughts on #30daysofbiking.

I was thinking about this post and how it would be good for the end of the month, and then I was like no.  Victory narratives are good, but you guys already know I'm a champ.*  What we need around here is some process.  Nitty gritty process.  

I got on the Thirty Days of Biking train at the end of the worst week of cycling I had ever had.  I had been riding the folding bike for a month straight, I had witnessed an awful, head-mangling crash, and then I had to ride a bajillion miles over the course of several subsequent soakedawfulrainy days.  

Biking.  I was so over it.  

So Thirty Days of Biking came at a moment when I wanted little to do with bikes.  Literally, April 1st was a beautiful day and as I was headed out to a meeting, I was pumping up my folding bike tires, got impatient, jerked a valve and gave myself a flat.  So. over. it.  

Later in the day I found out about Thirty Days of Biking, and determined I had to get the Old Dutch back together.  I had to see if I couldn't reclaim some of the joy.  Because this blog isn't called Church of the Granny Bike for nothing, and I'm the kind of person who stops going to church if there isn't any joy in it.

So.  I had some work to do.  And my roommate did too, because that chain wasn't going to put itself back on.**

My first ride was at night.  The first thing I noticed was that I had gotten faster from riding that teensy bike.  The second thing I noticed was the way the wind felt against my face.  Feeling the wind on my face again-- in that special way that one can only feel on a big steel upright bike***-- gave me hope.  I might be able to enjoy this.

It's been a gift getting reacquainted with the Old Dutch.  Going out on it every day has challenged me to actually leave me house every day.  Did you know I can be kind of a hermit?  To meet my daily ride quota (just one!), I've actually taken the bike out just for fun.  I've been more prompt about doing errands instead of combining trips.  I've wondered why I wasn't riding my bike every day.  I've given in to urges to make banana bread, urges to circle around Swann Fountain, and urges to ride around in short short dresses in spite of the wind.  

It wasn't until today-- after I put the seat up a bit, and after somebody had manhandled the ODT in an effort to have it for their very own-- that I felt truly reconnected.  Hightailing it out of the unfamiliar neighborhood, I couldn't help but feel like I was on parade, showing the whole damn world that the Old Dutch Treat [!] is my bike, and that smile on my face is there because I'm having so much fun riding it.  

It was perfect.

*this blog is all about meeeeeeeee!
**I am now an expert at this.
***yep. if it's not steel, you can't have that feeling. sorry.

05 April 2010

bright spots stockpile, part 4.

I emailed a professor a couple of days ago asking for two book recommendations to round out a five book historiography* I'm working on (political networks of the early republic! so good!) and he finally got back to me today.  

With recommendations for seven books I should look into.  

I know that the expectation isn't that I read them all, but that's the difference between being an undergraduate and a graduate student, I feel. I will read them all.  My learning journey with this professor this semester has been so positive and enlightening and mind-stretching that I know the books will be useful and I want to go down that path.  I am happy that I get to be here, learning from such nice, brilliant people.  I am happy that I'm living a life where I can drop everything and race off to the library.  I am happy to have work that is so blissfully consuming and challenging.  I am happy, I am happy, I am happy.

*a paper that is a brief overview of a specific field-- like a multi-book book report, with more analysis.

04 April 2010

bright spots stockpile, part 3. easter edition.

Happy Easter! Right now my Easter observance consists of watching a neighbor eat Cheetos on her porch, and wearing a pink Easter dress while reading The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics. I hope that your Easter is similarly stimulating.  


And let's be real about the biggest bright spot of all today-- for me, the day's message of Resurrection, regeneration, and everlasting life is particularly comforting right now.  I also liked the message from our seder last night-- Dayenu.  It was a relief to find that the call to God that "It would have been enough" was inscribed on the hearts and history of an entire people. Dayenu. Dayenu.  We can be hopeful but still be at the threshold for what we can bear.


Big Brother sent this link my way. It's perfect because Easter candy is conspicuously absent from our house today.  I'm not sure who was responsible for that oversight, but an excursion to CVS feels imminent.

Because Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict has left a big hole in my heart.

And Postsecret, not to be outdone, made that hole bigger with a link to Peep Sushi.

03 April 2010

bright spots stockpile, part 2.

Last week I went on a shopping trip with my girlfriends.  An observant professor cancelled class for Passover, and suggested we spend the day at the library... or celebrating the Passover.  We chose to go to the mall instead.  Retail therapy is a good thing.

I'm a believer the fact that getting out of a slump starts with getting dressed and slapping on some makeup.  Today I decided to get ready for tonight's seder way early (see, we are observing Passover!) with some of the things I bought on our excursion.  Wearing a gold dress with gold eyeliner has me feeling like there's sunshine in my soul in spite of everything.

02 April 2010

bright spots stockpile, part 1.

I like the chorus to this song. Hearing this song yesterday was an unexpected bright spot in a much too wild string of weeks.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm going to stockpile bright spots and share them with you all this week...

01 April 2010

great expectations.

image via Friends of Type- basically a dream blog for typography lovers. Follow them on Twitter.

...expect everything.