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maura @ 9:08 pm

At times like this I’m glad I have a picture on my camera I’ve been meaning to upload:

I took this picture last week — it’s of the big jello mold art in the Willoughby Windows that I mentioned, one of my favorite things to walk by in the mornings on the way to work. After I wrote that post I searched all around Flickr, thinking that someone had to have taken a photo of the big jello mold on a table, but I couldn’t find anything. So here it is for your delectation.

I should probably join Flickr. I don’t know why I never have, just hasn’t occurred to me, I guess. I don’t take that many photos (though I do take more now that I have a phone w/a camera) and I’m not sure that I would ever remember to upload them. But it would be nice to add to the pool of Creative Commons-licensed images out there in the world, so maybe I’ll take the plunge soon.


moving, watching, working, sleeping

maura @ 11:10 pm

So, I bought a bike. It’s funny, I’ve wanted a bike for ages, pining after the ones I walk by on the street, and then I finally get one and I don’t even mention it. Partly that’s because I haven’t ridden it as much as I’d like. We got them (one for Gus too, a used one for $40!) in late July but have been so busy that we’ve only really ridden them a couple of times. Gus essentially taught himself how to ride his. It came without training wheels: he just jumped on and pedaled away like he was born cycling. This past Sunday he and I rode the entire loop in the park, 3.35 miles!

Even though we haven’t ridden much I love my bike. Love love love it. It’s an older, used girl’s bike in pretty good condition, with 3 speeds and both coaster and hand brakes. It’s sort of a cloudy gray color, nothing fancy, but very dependable. Solid, you might say. I have yet to ensticker it but rest assured that’s coming soon.

I am still a little nervous about riding it on the street, but it’s getting better. Today was a work-from-home day and I decided to take my lunchtime to do a trial ride to work and back, about 20 minutes each way (so fast!). There’s a good route from here to there with bike lanes on most of the streets, and other than the occasional pesky van or delivery truck parked in the bike lane it was pretty easy. I even stopped to practice locking the bike up. I do admit to a tinge of nerves, still, when I think of leaving the bike locked up all day while I’m at work. I hope that it’s too old + boring to steal, but what if not?

On the bright side, I am already making a list of the bike accessories I will need to get. The bike has fenders (a plus), but I could use a rack over the rear wheel with those awesome folding side baskets to hold my bag + stuff. And a bell, of course. And maybe one of those gel seat covers, oooh, squishy.

“But,” you may ask, “whatever will you do with your scooter?” Never fear, there’s still a place for the scooter in my transportation stable. I’m not really prepared to ride the bike into Manhattan, so when I have meetings I will bring the scooter instead. And one good thing about the scooter is that I can fold it up and bring it to my office, so I don’t have to worry that it will get stolen. On the other hand, since the wheels are plastic it can be nearly unusable in even a light drizzle.

Maybe changing it up a bit is the best way to go: a couple of scooter days and a couple of bike days each week. Sounds like a planonus.

les tags: , ,

bernice runs for her train

maura @ 10:38 pm

Wait, I was going to tell you about bicycles, wasn’t I?

I’ve wanted a bike for a while.* For green reasons, health reasons, fun reasons. But I haven’t been able to get myself to buy one. Partly it was a money thing: when we were on our eXtreme library school budget it didn’t seem properly thrifty to buy a bike. But there are other reasons too.

* I had a bike in college, but I didn’t use it for transportation as much as for health/fun rides along the lake between Hyde Park and the Loop. It’s a beautiful ride (and easy, too). But then the bike didn’t fit into the Uhaul when we moved east after college, so it lingered in the Midwest until Jonathan’s stepfather finally gave it to Goodwill (with my blessing!).

Reason #1: Can’t seem to find the time to go to a bike store. This is kind of lame, but bicycles are complicated and expensive, and it seems like it would take several time-intensive trips to a bike store to get one. I guess if I really wanted one I would make the time, right? Which leads me to…

Reason #2: See above re: complicated. I have a hard enough time doing maintenance work on the house and the car — it’s just not something that interests me. And I would feel bad about spending money on bike tune-ups when I could (theoretically) DIY.

Reason #3: What if the bike gets stolen? Would I have to get 3 million locks? What about the seat? I see some bikes with no seat — are they stolen or taken away by their owners for security reasons?

Reason #4 (possibly the most neurotic reason, certainly the most important): Brooklyn streets are full of cars driving recklessly. And, for that matter, they are also full of hardcore cyclists biking in a hardcore manner. I am not the world’s most graceful person. Reckless cars + hardcore cyclists + 1 klutzy cyclist who hasn’t really ridden a bike in nearly two decades cannot possibly = a good, safe commute.

But it’s getting too hot to walk every day. And it would be nice to have the commute be a little shorter, thus freeing me up to not take the subway home.

Enter: my new xootr! 0 learning curve. Can be ridden on the sidewalk. 100% fun. Also 100% dorky, esp. when I wear my orange helmet (yes, I know this is blue, but they don’t seem to have orange anymore). Jonathan said: “you look as cool as if you were riding a Segway.” And he’s right!

Just to really drive the dorkiness home, yesterday on my way to work I passed a little boy who exclaimed to his mom, “wow, cool!” Yes, even the first graders think I’m cool. AWESOME.

les tags: , ,

in the corners of your mind

maura @ 9:37 pm

I did a hugely stupid thing today: while running to get the bus (wearing slip-on shoes and dragging the folded umbrella stroller beside me, duh) I tripped and did a giant face plant right on the sidewalk. My hands are abraded, my arm has a few scrapes, my knee is angry red hamburger, and my nose + mouth area looks like I got into a fight with sandpaper (and lost). Sigh. What a klutz am I. A friend/neighbor even walked by when I was sitting there on the ground, cleaning myself up with wipes. O, the embarrassment.

Then I had to surrender the day and sit at home with ice on my face + knee, ditching Gus pickup (Jonathan did it, I didn’t just leave him at school forever!) and our afternoon playdate, too. Sigh. I think I have the beginnings of a black eye, too. Gus said, “Mommy, your face is yucky. If I had those owies I would cry. I do NOT want to have those owies. No no no.” Thanks, kid. Luckily he followed it up with an offer of a hug to make me feel better.

And then he insisted that I paint the the toenails of my right foot with his blue nail polish (I’d already done the left foot yesterday). Yes, I recently purchased my son his first makeup: a bottle each of blue and pink nail polish. A little (boy) friend of his at school’s had toenail polish on recently, and Gus has been mighty envious. Of course, he is completely deprived in the makeup department, since I don’t really wear any (except face powder, which he occasionally asks to use and applies with a completely straight, serious face. It slays me.). So I bought him some nail polish. He’s been carrying the bottles around ever since, proclaiming his love for them. He prefers the blue, because it’s his favorite color, but pink is his second favorite.

Meanwhile, I am remembering from high school that, man, I hate nail polish. As my friend IMed me this morning, makes me feel like my nails can’t breathe. I’ve consented to do the feet but there is no way he’s getting that on my fingers, no way in hell.

Between the wretched heat (in the upper 80s with matching humidity here all damn week), some general grumpiness and today’s sidewalk mishap, it occurs to me that this has been a pretty crappy week. EXCEPT for the most excellent new Ivy CD, which Jonathan gifted me for my bday last week and which I really, really love. There are a few tracks that are kind of eh, but the good ones are really, really good. Of course I am doing that thing with music that I seem to not be able to stop doing lately, which is listen to it over and over and over again. Then stop, and move on to a different CD. Obsessive, much?

That’s pretty much it from my world. Tomorrow we are supposed to go to the Poconos with some friends/neighbors for fun + nature, but I might have to call it off if my face hasn’t improved. Drag, too, as I speedy-ordered a new bathing suit for river swimming, having been possessed by sudden and insane vanity this week. Which of course is probably why I did the face plant. See, it all makes sense now!

les tags: , , ,