Archive for December, 2009

When I arrived in London I had possession of four bags, two of which contained 89.4 lbs of stuff in them by themselves. Traveling from Heathrow Airport to East Dulwich is no picnic, especially when you’re trying to transport a wheeled duffle bag, a giant camping backpack (bigger than dude-sized as the boyfriend said when he put it on), a little blue wheeled cart, a messenger bag and a cardboard bike box. The bike box wasn’t in oversized luggage and I discovered that it had come in on the flight behind me. This was glorious news! Instead of taking an extremely expensive cab, we were able to take public transportation all the way back home. It was an exhausting trip, especially as he had to wake up at an ungodly hour and I arrived at a slightly less ungodly hour.

The next morning we awoke to a voice mail message saying they’d tried to deliver it at 11:09 p.m. the night before. And thus began a five-day wrangle for my bike box, which also contained an afghan my mother crocheted, an awesome 70s pillow I found in the garage, a flannel duvet cover, four sweaters and various bike-related kit. It finally arrived two nights ago!

Apparently the box rated an inspection, as did the wheeled duffle bag, and I’m missing a present that I brought over for the boyfriend. Coincidence?

We made the popcorn and cranberry garland for the Christmas tree!

I wrapped the tubing, put in dropout spacers, did everything I could think of to protect this bike! And there’s my Mashton bag by Archie’s Grobags.

And aaaaaaall put together! We’ve been riding around in the cold and the rain since we put it together but it’s EFFING cold out and I think I might need more woolen layers before I can expect myself to ride every day. Still, it is so very lovely to be riding my bike again, terrible cold weather or no.

Found this video after hearing the song on BBC6 today.

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I’ll be back in baby’s arms this time tomorrow!

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Letting Yourself Feel Weak

I’ll start out by admitting that I have a problem with looking like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Of appearing foolish. This is neither a strange problem, nor an uncommon one, but it’s still uncomfortable because no one likes feeling weak or useless. The underlying feeling behind this, of course, is humiliation. But why is not knowing the answer to something, or appearing like you should know something and then revealing yourself not to know it so terrible? Why must it result in humiliation?

Case in point: today I tried to take my bicycle apart to pack it for returning to London. Of course, because I don’t have to do much maintenance on my bike very often (men like to take over in areas like that, or carpentry, or anything related to plumbing, or…), I did it ass-backward and ended up unable to remove the left pedal or either of the wheels. In the end, I even began stripping a nut on the rear axle. So I sucked it up, tried to put on a nonchalant face, and took my bike to the LBS where one of the mechanics took the wheels and left pedal off for me.

I was so mad! Why couldn’t I get it off? I was too weak (as the boyfriend noted lately, I don’t like to feel or have it implied that I am physically weak) to undo the nuts, but part of that was because I only had one spanner. Maybe I could have done it myself with two? Maybe not. Anyway, the point is that I felt stupid, and like I would be perceived as just another weak girl who can’t do mechanical things, and that bugged me.

But at least I see it and can trace it back to the original feeling behind it all, and can see areas that I need to improve on (gotta get those arms back in shape! and make the boyfriend let me do the work sometimes) so this will happen less frequently. Cos that’s all we can ever ask for. Some days we’re gonna do dumb stuff. And that’s OK.

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Irony of the day: wearing my pink Local Girls t-shirt, sporting two different shades of hot pink nail polish (hey, I was testing out ridiculous pinks) and complaining about when bike companies put pink stuff on women’s accessories.

Bike shipping box, fork and dropout spacers, even tubing foam wrap! procured from LBS and I am now ready to get my bike back to London. I’m so annoyed that I haven’t been able to ride my bike around but I just don’t feel safe riding in Clearwater. Besides that, everything’s ages away from everything else, and if I have to get groceries, forget it. The boyfriend and I together can basically manage any shopping run or random trip to the store but when you’re buying a flat of dog food or 20 thousand cans of soup for your grandma, it’s a bit different. So I have yet another reason I can’t wait to get back to London, besides all the kisses I can handle and finally sleeping next to someone again.

Ooh, cool happening of the day: ran into a good friend from my childhood at the grocery store! She even lives around the corner from my mom, with her two kids! Too cool.

Deep thought of the day: living with a hearing impaired person really teaches you about when it is and is not necessary to vocalize your thoughts.

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The boyfriend and I are having a somewhat non-traditional wedding, me not in white, no structured wedding party, a bike ride from the wedding to the reception, and so it was without fail that I had a non-traditional engagementwedding celebration party. By that I mean that my mother said, about three weeks ago, “Hey, do you want to have an engagement party?” and I said, “Hm, maybe?” and then it all just seemed to plop down, fully made, in a day and a half (Mom was on a cruise the week of the party).

I made tres leches cakes from a recipe found via the rabbit hole of cooking blogs, and 101 Cookbook’s Caramelized Onion Dip, which people went absolutely nuts over, and also her Hummus en Fuego, which did not end up being very fuego-y due to not adding any red pepper flakes to the Cuisinart. We had fruits, very delicious rum punch and a concord grape/lime juice/vodka drink that I sort of made up after having drunk a number of them at the Chinatown Brasserie in NYC. There were meatballs (never forget to make meatballs, they are always a hit), Sam’s Club appetizers, a giant Greek salad, little cheesecakes, Brie, and what else? Gosh, lots of food.

Lots of food, lots of booze, lots of friends; some of my buds from college came down from Tallahassee and I managed to have a playful scuffle over the last of the beets in the Greek salad which resulted in a bloody mole on the neck for me courtesy of a bracelet on the other contender. How is it I frequently manage to wrestle people roundabout the first time I meet them? My buddy the Weasel has been doing Brasilian Jiu Jitsu for a few years now and potentially made me interested in the form. I have been used to being able to hold my own in wrestling matches before, but maybe those boys were pulling their punches or just weak upper body-wise and have had my ass handed to me in a couple altercations in the past year and want to again surprise people with my strength.

Several of us had raging hangovers the next day, complements of the sneak-attack drunk that certain liquors early in the evening and certain beers later in the evening provide.

A few days after the party, after having eaten my way through part of the leftover tres leches, the argument went thusly:

Angel on shoulder: “Yes, the cake may be delicious but if you don’t stop eating it you won’t fit into your wedding dress.”
Demon on other: “You have a waist cincher and a month and a half, it’ll be fine!”
Self: “OK, but I’ll just eat the squishy bottoms and the maraschino cherries.”

Having accomplished that goal, but made myself a little sick doing so, I tossed the rest. Finito.

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Driving to St. Petersburg to pick up my mother, sin cell phone because I do not currently own one, I become disoriented and forget whether or not I am supposed to take the 66th Ave. exit or another one or what and stop to find a pay phone. Walk into diner, no pay phone. Walk next door to motel, no pay phone. Walk into Wing House (knock-off Hooters), no pay phone. Move car, walk three buildings down, find pay phone at gas station. Pay phone eats two quarters. Walk into gas station, am offered use of their phone. Mother does not pick up phone. One voice mail later, proprieters ask what’s wrong. When I tell them that I’m just visiting, no cell phone and lost trying to pick up a mother who constantly leaves her cell phone somewhere she is not, they ask where I’m trying to go. They confirm directions I already knew, and tell me, “You can’t change the person,” and “my mother does the same thing!” and we laugh, and then I walk back to the car and continue on my way to pick up the mom.

Turns out she saw the call but did not recognize the number. I need a cell phone!

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Americans will remember the Alka Seltzer commercial where the dude wails that out but in this case, it is not I, in bed at night with heartburn but in the chair, in the afternoon, surprised that I have consumed an entire tub of Kozy Shack chocolate pudding. I have been on a mission to eat as many American delicacies (read that as “junk food”) as possible before I head back to an island nearly entirely devoid of such wonders as the aforementioned pudding, Little Debbie Snacks, decent peanut butter, Moonpies (oh! moonpies! Mom bought me a whole case of them to take back), Steak N Shake’s chocolate shakes, Checkers cheeseburgers, seasoned fries and milkshakes (inferior to those at SnS), Chick-O-Sticks, Miller High Life beer, and various other items. My hit count is pretty high, at present, and I’m sure that other things will spring to mind in the next three weeks.

Yeah! Three weeks left ’til I return to Ol’ Blighty! And then a month until my wedding! OMG, I finally understand why people say that weddings are stressful, but ours is less because of guest list/seating snafus than it is due to having roughly two months to plan it while both participants are out of the country. The boyfriend (neither of us likes the term “fiance/e” but both are happy with husband/wife) is on a 20 day tour with The Raveonettes as backline technician! Apparently this means setting up amps, tuning guitars, and if someone breaks a string on stage, handing them a new guitar and then quickly restringing & tuning the first one. I was really hoping to be back in England by the beginning of next week but who could deny their love the chance to tour with a rock & roll band? They are in Denmark right now. As soon as he begins posting on his tour blog I’ll be sure to add the link to my blogroll. One thing that I think is wicked cool is that some of my friends are going to be at the show in London on the 18th! Crazy, but then they head to Barcelona before finishing on the 20th and heading back to England.

Florida is expecting some crazy weather soon, especially the Tampa Bay region, which is lovely, considering that the temperature is expected to plunge (oh darn) and give me rain through Saturday, the day of my wedding celebration party. At least we have a decent-sized area inside, there may be no need for the screened-in porch to be made use of.

I made totally delirsh stuffed green bell peppers last night, who wants the recipe? Not for vegetarians or vegans.

Alright, time to get hand sewing on a wedding dress. I have a lot to do before 22nd December!

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