melaniesuzanne: (Me at SPWF2014 (by John T Riley))
September: The beau and I started off the month at a Labor Day party with his friends. What a fun group of folks! And almost to a one, they pulled him aside and told him not to screw up and lose me. I take that as high praise, heh. Our party host is breeds fish and provided the beau with some of the fish and plants in his own aquarium. Unfortunately, one of those plants came loaded with snails and those snails were beginning to take over and become a true scourge. Enter assassin snails! The beau added four to the tank and we watched them completely ignore the scourge snails. I named the big ones Altair and Ezio (characters from the Assassins' Creed franchise); the little ones were Chicken Little and Nico Rosensnail (because this snail jumped Chicken Little fairly soon and I thought it was eerily reminiscent of the Formula One driver, Nico Rosenberg, who nearly took out his teammate during the Belgium Grand Prix). I was vexed by the lack of annihilation in the aquarium until we began to notice dozens upon dozens of empty shells littering the sand. Oh ho! They were wiping out the scourge under cover of darkness like any good assassin would do. Eeeeexcellent.

I spent the next weekend at the Summit Point race track in West Virginia with the beau, his dad, and their karting club. When the beau wasn't warming up or racing, he and his dad were futzing with their karts. I spent most of my time reading in the shade in my reclining camp chair and listening to the roar of souped up engines of the car racing club which was sharing the track. It was actually a pretty enjoyable weekend and the track is in a gorgeous location.

I also got back on my bike and rode the 30 mile route of the Backroads Century. I was kind of nervous about it since I'd be riding alone, but I signed up with a group and more or less kept up with them. Towards the end there, it got pretty tough but another lady kept cheering me on and I, her. I'm really glad I did it.

The other big events of the month were Wizard World Richmond Comic Con where I debuted my Flame Princess cosplay and participated in my first costume contest and Steampunk unLimited, both of which received their own posts. I checked off another post-WLS bucket list item with a photo shoot at Atomic Cheesecake Studios and got my pin-up and burlesque ON. Oh my goodness, that was SO MUCH FUN. And the pictures were stunning.
    snail


Toms kart


burlesque

melaniesuzanne: (I'm on a bike on OBX 10/5/11)
Famous last words, heh.

The weather was GLORIOUS on Saturday and I couldn't in good conscience stay indoors or merely get a mani-pedi so I grabbed my trust Lily bike and took off for the trails. Because the sun beat down pretty mercilessly -- despite the cool temps -- I chose to head east on the W&OD trail which has more tree cover. As I approached the Sugarland Run Trail exit, I decided to change my plan and explore that particular set of trails.

The one and only time I've been through that area was when Scott and I explored during a fair day last December (or was it January?). Except for where I had to cross Elden Street, the trail area is completely wooded but not a close wood which would be stifling. The trees are tall and thin and the breeze coming through was lovely. Not much in the way of wildlife beyond squirrels. I overtook one jogger and passed another jogger and two cyclists in the secluded woodland (which is in the heart of Herndon, VA).

The trail system isn't well-marked and I wound up taking lots of off-shoot trails into neighborhoods which meant I had to retrace my path to get back on the route. Due to the trees, lots of areas of the trail are littered with leaves. It was in one of these areas that my adventure came to a much more exciting and painful conclusion.

A carpet of leaves hid broken pavement and I hit my brakes too hard as I lost control. I went over the handlebar and landed on the right side of my face and body. The bike then landed on me. It took a few moments for the initial shock to abate and then I wrestled my bike off me. I lifted my head and noticed some gruesomeness. )

I phoned a few friends and finally found someone at home. [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl was my savior. I pushed my bike about three-quarters of a mile out of the trail system to get to an actual street where she picked me up and rushed me over to Reston Hospital's ER. That stay took about three hours, I think? I got a CT which seems to be pretty standard after a bike crash and because the doctor worried I might have fractured my right cheek/orbital or jaw and x-rays of my right shoulder, ribs, right pinkie, and right knee which are all places with significant road rash/torn skin and where I winced when the doctor poked me.

Happily, nothing on me was me was broken and my chin required twelve stitches. As of Saturday night, the swelling started. My right knee looks like I have two patellae and my right cheek is HYOOGE. As of this morning, my chin is swollen into my neck and my right cheek was starting to bruise. I'm going to have SPECTACULAR bruising as the scrapes fade. The stitches should dissolve in a week or so and the doctor thinks the resulting scar will fade in a year or so.

I'm leaving my bike dismantled for a while (had to take the front wheel off to get it in [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl's car) so I won't be tempted to ride before I'm healed and before my bike shop can check her out to make sure she's not broken. I'm very sore, dull surprise, but will live to ride again.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
...then I'm going to act like it's autumn. I have swapped out my typical capris/crops for actual (slightly too big) jeans and added a scarf to the ensemble. Oh, how I love scarf weather.

Perhaps I'll take the bike out for spin after work. I really should start bike commuting again, but I've gotten spooked about playing in morning rush hour traffic for some odd reason. I'm not sure if it's my worry about my depleted stamina or what, but I'm afraid. Of course, the way to overcome my fear is to face it head on, and yet... I'll prep my bike tonight and see how I feel in the morning.

Things at home are as peaceful as can be expected. We are rarely in the house at the same time and that seems to be for the best. My friends have kept me busy over the past week with a trip to the Prince William County Fair, a sushi dinner, and a home-cooked meal. Every one of you are precious to me. I'm not sure what's going on this weekend; maybe I'll go to the zoo or explore Skyline Drive or any other number of low-cost adventures.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
My four month surge-versary was Monday and things are going pretty swimmingly. I've been in a stall for a few weeks now, but my surgeon doesn't want me worry about it. In fact, when I said that I should hide the scale, he said I should throw it out the window. I panicked that I've lost my 60% of weight (which is the average for gastric bypass), but he assures me that I have another fourteen months to go. Yes, the loss will slow, but it will continue.

I really should have taken measurements at the start so I could see *that* change.

As mentioned elseweb, during my check-up yesterday, my surgeon asked if I watch "True Blood". When I said yes, he replied that I'm starting to look like Sookie. Heh. I think the only things Anna Paquin and I have in common are our blonde hair, dark brown eyes, and funny noses, but I'll take the compliment.

In related news, I have FINALLY organized the HUMONGOUS pile of too big clothing which have been languishing in the craft room. The pile was huge. )

Sooo... I think I'll host a "come take my gently used clothes" day in the near future. Maybe 10 Aug? ([livejournal.com profile] reedrover come on over any time after work if you don't want to traipse up here on a Saturday. I'm free every evening but the 6th.)

My stamina is improving with the assistance of extra protein. I'm able to ride my bike about six miles before I need to break for half a cheese stick or a few swigs of a protein shake. Last night's ride was juuust shy of eleven miles and I was pretty weak and shivery by the time I got home. Happily, bounced back pretty quickly and am looking forward to getting back on the bike (if the storms hold off) or my toning video (if they don't).
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
As promised, I took a bike out for a ride. Only one ride, unfortunately, as the urge to nap after work on Friday overwhelmed me. But, Beatrix the loop frame made a triumphant return to the streets of Sterling sporting her new Basil double pannier. Since she's so heavy (45 pounds of pretty blue steel plus the added weight of accessories), I thought I'd make it a nice and slow ride to Target and back. But after loading her down with my purchases, I decided to explore the new Pacific Blvd cut-through to Sterling Blvd.

One lane on each side is blocked with construction barrels and it was pretty nice having my own personal "bike lane" once I got past AOL. I did note the wide asphalt walking path for future rides when/if that cut-through becomes a heavily traveled route. The rise of the Sterling Blvd bridge wasn't too bad; although Hubbyfink was impressed by my determination when he drove that route later, especially considering how heavy Bea is compared to Lily the hybrid (~25 pounds) and Circe the road bike (~15 pounds). I didn't have any trouble until I crossed Shaw at which point my options were to ride amongst car traffic on the boulevard or take the gravel shoulder. I chose poorly the shoulder and experienced one of the more terrifying bits of two-tenths of a mile I've ever ridden. Let's just say that Bea's narrow tires aren't terribly happy on big chunks of gravel. I am happy to report that we stayed upright, although it was close a couple of times. At Glenn Drive, I ducked onto the office park's streets and cut through the bank parking lot until I got back on sidewalk and side streets until I got back to my neighborhood.

I'd ride that 6.3 mile/131 ft gain in elevation route again, but on the hybrid and not loaded down with cargo.

Hubbyfink and I spent an hour or so in the community pool yesterday and talked about triathlons. He's participated in one and I'd like to do one if only for bragging rights. Although, I feel that this will be more my speed. ;)

So anyway, he mentioned a mini/sprint triathlon coming up in August and I thought I'd see how many meters I can swim. With my head condom swim cap and goggles in place, I crawled 50 meters and thought my heart would explode. Hubbyfink cheerfully coached, "Now do that seven more times and you've got it!" I was panting too hard to even glare at him. He did say that my form was very good. I then impressed him with my backstroke (another 50 meters). He admitted that his backstroke was awful, and boy he wasn't kidding. It was mean, but I couldn't stop myself from laughing at his floundering and splashing.

I feel daunted by the 400 meter swim of a sprint triathlon -- even moreso than the mile and a half run (I don't run; I even have a bumper sticker with that sentiment) -- but considering that only a week ago I could crawl only 10 meters, I'm counting 50 as a victory.

This-n-that

Jun. 7th, 2013 10:14 am
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
**Hubbyfink is recovering amazingly well after his surgery. As of today, it's been a full month since the tennis ball-size rock was removed from his head. He still fatigues easily and the deafness in his left ear is going to be permanent, but he is otherwise back to himself. He'll be home for another week and I'm trying to convince him to go back for half days when he starts back at work. He'll have to check with HR to see if that's allowed.

**The Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association went SO MUCH better than I'd expected. [livejournal.com profile] carthew and I started our route about 90 minutes prior to the official start time so as to beat the forecast blistering temperature. We rode fairly slowly -- somewhere in the 9 mph range -- and took lots of water and rest breaks. That was good for me in that it reined me in and kept me from pushing so hard that I couldn't finish the ride. We rested for 45 minutes or so at the turn-around point and then rode even more slowly with more breaks on the ride from Vienna to Reston because that route is mostly uphill. I was so jazzed when we got to the finish that I danced around like a crazed weasel, cheering on other riders as they cruised down the finish line chute.

A few photos. )

Our little team raised nearly $2,047 (thus blowing away our $1,500 goal) for the American Diabetes Association. GO, HULA BEARS! And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated to our cause.

**I have begun shrinking out of my shoes as [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl promised. Ack! I also have a humongous pile of clothes for donation in the craft room. HU-MON-GOUS. They're mostly 18s and 20s and 2XLs. I need to throw some of winter coats on that pile as well. I can't think of any body local who would need those sizes, but if you're local and COULD use some of those sizes, give me a holler and we'll set up a time for you to dig through my clothes. I'm going to put out a call on Facebook as well. This weekend will be for inventorying the clothing in preparation for donation.

**Related to the shoe- and clothing-shrinkage, I have officially hit the two-teens. Eeeee! I haven't been in the two-teens since early 1997. Seriously. I remember living in Annandale with Tansey and going to Weight Watchers because I'd hit 215. I am beyond thrilled. BEE-YOND.

**Today is the 6th birthday of my twin nieces: Anne and Emily. It's hard to believe that they're SIX! They're going to have a surprise Merida-themed birthday party tomorrow. I can't wait to see their faces. :)

**Last, but certainly not least: HAPPY FRIDAY!
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
Yes, I actually rode a bike today.

I'd registered for the Sterling pit stop about a month before we knew about Hubbyfink's surgery which means I'd assumed that I would actually be riding to work (and that I'd have time to grow strong enough from my own surgery to make the five mile trip). We'll handwave that I'm telecommuting until at least Memorial Day so that I can keep a watchful eye on the recuperating 'Fink.

I wore a cute tee, flippy denim skirt, and madras sneakers and rode Beatrix the loop frame. To say that I stuck out amongst the lycra set is an understatement like whoa. But I spoke at length with the Bike Loudoun organizer and got information for Loudoun County's bicycle coordinator. I want to start a campaign to get a light installed at the W&OD and Sterling Boulevard like the one at Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn and Catoctin Circle in Leesburg. Playing "Frogger" across four lanes of speeding traffic is a harrowing experience, I assure you. The BL organizer suggested I contact my district supervisor, but he is a schmuck who, like most of the county supervisors, is less than sympathetic to the needs and wants of cyclists. But somebody's got to get the ball rolling and that somebody can be me. I also spoke with a representative from the DC-area Tour de Cure who snapped a photo of me since I'm a team captain.

This year's swag in Sterling included a reflective arm band with LED, blue Bike to Work tee (prettier but less visible than last year's neon green), and a slightly-larger-than-last-year's Bike to Work water bottle.

After snapping a couple of photos for inclusion on my bike blog, I headed back home to start my work day. I did give a low-riding recumbent cyclist the thrill of seeing the bike shorts I wear under skirts when a breeze caught my skirt as we passed. Good times.
melaniesuzanne: (measure by measure)
I'm doing fine. Still need to take my one-month-post-surgery photos (tonight, tonight). I've discovered that my pouch doesn't care for scrambled eggs or humus. Bizarre. Of course, I don't have much to use as a vector for humus since I'm just under two weeks from raw veggies. It's also bizarre noting how my tastes have changed. I'm not that wild about red grapes anymore -- I could eat those all day long before -- but I can't get enough honeydew melon and canteloupe. What?? And cooked spinach. I don't like cooked veggies, or didn't before my surgery.

So. Weird.

Got cleared to ride my bike last week and set out for a shopping trip via bike on Saturday. Oof, my butt callouses have disappeared. I'm still feeling a little sore, but I'm looking forward to the next ride. Maybe next week I'll be up to a bike commute.

Occasionally, I have a touch of buyer's remorse, especially when I crave something that I can't eat yet. Like last night, I reeeeeally wanted pizza and a margarita. But I realize that was for emotional reasons because I'd had such a rough day at work. Still working on the emotional/psychological side of this process while my pouch takes care of the physical part.
melaniesuzanne: (Blossoms by upsa_daisy)
When I left the office yesterday, I called Hubbyfink to say, "If I didn't know that you were home, I would sneak my bike out for a ride." He's been keeping me off my bikes until the surgeon gives the all-clear. But I succeeded in cajoling, wheedling, and bargaining into a teeny tiny ride on my city bike -- the one with the almost stock upright posture. I PROMISED to stop if I felt any pain and that I would walk up hills and that we would ONLY go to the Route 28 bridge and we wouldn't even climb the bridge (which is a pretty short climb on the eastern side) and that I wouldn't ask again until after I saw my surgeon next Tuesday. I even promised I'd wear a helmet.

"That wasn't even up for discussion," he replied dryly. But then he aired up my tires, I adjusted my darling new helmet (must take a photo!), and we took off!

People usually smile when they see my pretty blue step-through bicycle with its floral basket and yesterday was no exception. I did feel a bit like we were Biker-Guy and Just-Beginning-to-Ride-Spouse, though, since Hubbyfink looked more "biker-y" in shorts and a typical helmet while I was still in my work clothes and flats and wearing a small, if adorable, planet on my head.

Okay, okay, what I call my "city helmets" aren't planets but they certainly aren't sleek like my vented helmets.

I felt good when we turned around at Orbital and then started to tire as we crossed under Church Road. I huffed and puffed as I pushed Beatrix up the grassy hill between trail and neighborhood and then huffed and puffed again as I pushed her up the Holborn hill. Hubbyfink graciously pushed his bike up that hill instead of leaving me in the dust.

When we got home, I was jelly-legged and felt like I just ridden a 20 miler instead of the paltry three miles of our excursion. I don't feel bad about that, though. It's slightly farther than my first ride with Hubbyfink on C.C. the green monster. Baby steps. Oh, and the ride wore me out enough that I'm not tempted to sneak out tonight when Hubbyfink is at HMA practice. Tomorrow night, though... (I merely promised that I wouldn't ~ask~, not that I wouldn't sneak out when he wasn't home.)
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
No, no. I'm not on the bikes yet.

Called my surgeon yesterday to complain about my lack of stamina and he told me to rein in my activity. Fft. Yes, I knew that was the answer but it doesn't mean I have to be happy with that response. However, I think that my new protein supplement -- Atkins Advantage -- is tastier and has more protein per serving than the supplement I used before. I'm almost kind of sad that I have to give it up next Sunday.

Last night, I pulled out the front basket for Lily the hybrid bike and a garland of silk lilies. Scott gave me the stink-eye and asked what I thought I was doing. (He wasn't out of line; I have been whining at him to let me ride my bike and he's been good about saying no, not even the low and slow Kate the beach cruiser.) I was merely prepping Lily's accessory for when I can ride again. Tonight I'll adorn Beatrix the city bike's basket with yellow and peach roses. (I've been lax about removing the holly garland and Christmas lights from her.)

Oh, and speaking of riding, I have my three week appointment with my surgeon on the 23rd and I will ask at that time when I am cleared for getting back on two wheels. I really want to participate in the 10-mile route of Paul's Ride for Life, but as that'll be only a few days after clearance (hopefully!), it may be too much. We shall see. I'm still riding in the ADA Tour de Cure in June. I'd planned on the 43-mile route, but I'm going to pull back to the 14-mile Fun Ride (with an additional 12 mile or so ride to and from Reston). If you're local and love riding your bike, please consider joining my team: Hula Bears which is named in commemoration of our dear [livejournal.com profile] tirloch who passed away last March. The event is well-staffed and a total blast!
melaniesuzanne: (Spring)
Saturday was absolutely lovely. I practiced my uke a bit and learned a few more chords. The transitions to and from G are coming along except for my middle finger trying to jump onto the ring finger's string. There was some cursing, but no tears. I also worked on learning the bluegrass and Calypso strums. Fun!

In the early afternoon, I cajoled Hubbyfink into going on a quick (for us) bike trip to the post office and grocery store which ended up with us cruising through neighborhoods and along the bike trail. I met girlfriends for dinner and was flattered by the flirting of an adorable waiter/bartender. My single girlfriends were less than enthused about the smug-married getting all the attention, but I guess it's easier to flirt when you know there's nothing to come out of it. After dinner, we indulged in shopping therapy at Ulta (yay, makeup!) and Target (yay, everything else!). I grabbed a spring headband for each of us to wear as we cruised up and down the aisles. We looked like a bunch of lunatics, I'm sure.


[livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee, LJ-less Kim, moi, and [livejournal.com profile] psalite


Sunday was not so great, unfortunately. I awoke with Scott's cold, bleagh. I spent the day on the red sofa of AWESOMENESS and burned through back episodes of "Enlightened" via HBO On-Demand and introduced Hubbyfink to "The Jerk". He questions my taste in movies, and this one was the absolute cherry on the cake of what he calls "effed-up movies". I blame my parents.

Bedtime was super early for me. In fact, I almost crashed half way through "The Walking Dead", thinking I'd watch it later this week on the DVR. But I soldiered through and crawled into bed, fortified with a healthy dose of Nyquil, for a not-as-fitful-as-expected night. I still feel like crap, but I'm upright crap and have gotten quite a lot accomplished in the office. I lament that I'm too unwell to bike commute, but warmer days are ahead and I can go two-wheeled again before too much longer.
melaniesuzanne: (une souris)

  • Work is still eating my brain. Happily, the panic attacks have stopped but some grumpiness and trepidation remain. Work is work.

  • No biking because it's freaking cold outside. I feel like a complete wuss for allowing the weather to cow me, but it's coooold. I'm rethinking this whole move-to-a-cooler-climate thing.

  • Ukulele-playing is progressing. Using the DVD which was included with the kit is making things go more smoothly. I've corrected my posture while adopting poor habits elsewhere. Tuning has become easier and I've learned how to tune the other three strings off the A-string. For some reason makes the chords sound SO much better than using the tuner for each string individually. Don't know what's going on there, but if the instrument sounds better, I'll run with it. I practiced for a couple of hours on Saturday and then for an hour on Sunday until my hand seized up (Saturday) and I got too frustrated with the fingering (Sunday). Late last night, though, I picked the uke back up and as I strummed VERY lightly so as not to disturb a sleeping Hubbyfink, I finally got the transitions between C, C7, F, and G7 down. I started working on G, but got frustrated and am currently letting my subconscious chew on it until tonight's practice.

  • The iPad no longer frustrates me. After [livejournal.com profile] whitebird noted that Apple products are application-focused rather than file-focused, I let go some of my obsessive filing needs and started enjoying the gadget. I've been loading it up with various forms of media and have already filled about half of the 32G (28ish, actually) of memory. Obviously, I do not have my entire iTunes collection on there.

  • Actual Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love.

  • And speaking of music, I've been quietly fan-girling over Beecake. It started with "Please Stay" from the recently-released "Blue Sky Paradise" and then I got lost in their debut album "Soul Swimming". I do hope there will be some east coast US dates in the nearish future. They've played DC (okay, Arlington) before so there's precedent.






Back to having my brain sucked out.
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
Local cycling ladies: the next installment of Upon a Bike's Women in Cycling Seminar Series is tonight at 7pm at the Vienna branch of Spokes, Etc. Tonight's class focuses on nutrition and weight management. Here's the blurb from Upon a Bike's site:

"Many run, bike, swim, etc to lose or control their weight. But do you know the facts? We'll discuss calories and food groups as well as how nutrition and eating ties into cycling and weight management."

Hope to see you there!
melaniesuzanne: (Lego: Pippin)
Biking: Hubbyfink and I hit the trail Sunday afternoon and wound up riding to Kerry & Jill's house in Reston. The east-bound trip was pretty easy with bright sunshine, temps in the mid-50s F, and a light tailwind. The west-bound trip home was a slog with a 23mph headwind. Oof. With that kind of wind, coasting is almost impossible. We took turns as each other's wind break and had to make several rest stops to catch our breath and stretch complaining leg muscles. I'd normally be disappointed that a mere 17 mile ride took so much out of us, but eight miles of resistance makes up for the lack of distance.

Lego: Completed the "Barrel Escape" set from the Hobbit series Saturday evening. I have just one more set to assemble: "Goblin King Battle". At that point, I'll have the full set of dwarves and can set up little vignettes including the full Unexpected Gathering. Also that point, we'll be out of Lego sets to assemble until the additional Lord of the Rings sets come out this year. Hubbyfink may tear into the Star Wars sets, though. I knew we'd go nuts if we starting getting sets.

Also? How can my spell checker not recognize "dwarves"?

Home organization: FINALLY put away the ornaments and Christmas tree. Oof. I dislike leaving Christmas decor out past Epiphany but, between taking advantage of being outside on warm sunny days and illness/malaise in between, neither of us had the motivation to attack the tree. (We did pull down the outside decor on Epiphany, though.) The living room looks so much better being put back to rights.

Non-standard: Hubbyfink and I took Monday off and toured the "Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe" exhibit at the Walters Museum in Baltimore. It was a fascinating exhibit and showcased artwork I'd never before seen. I felt a sense of wonder and of shame at the same time, and am very glad that I got a chance to see the exhibit.
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
Local cycling ladies and those interested in bicycling:

The Vienna branch of Spokes, Etc is hosting a series of seminars focused on women and bicycles. The Women in Cycling classes are free, an hour long, and open to an unlimited number of attendees. I've registered for the three classes which are as follows:

  • The Bike: How It Works and How to Buy One - Thursday, Jan 10 at 7pm - "Knowing how a bike works and what its parts are called will make not only your buying experience easier, but also will help you troubleshoot mechanical problems and will enable you to speak in the same language as your mechanic. What's the difference between a mountain bike, a hybrid, and a road bike? Why would you want one over another? How do you decide what size bike you need? Come find out! Short lecture and a lot of time for discussion."
  • Cycling, Nutrition, and Weight Management - Monday, Feb 4 at 7pm - "Many run, bike, swim, etc to lose or control their weight. But do you know the facts? We'll discuss calories and food groups as well as how nutrition and eating ties into cycling and weight management."
  • Ride the Roads with Confidence - Thursday, Mar 7 at 7pm - "Ask many new, aspiring, or even experienced cyclists what they most fear and the answer will often be 'riding on the streets.' But the fact is experienced cyclists have fewer crashes despite riding far many more miles--and actually have a lower crash rate on the streets than on bike trails. Why? Because they know how to properly negotiate and ride with vehicular traffic. But you don't need years of experience to do the same. Through education you can learn how to ride and where to ride on the roads to maximize your safety. You can also learn what are the most common pitfalls that lead to crashes and thus avoid said pitfalls!"

You can register for just one, two, or all three, and registration is FREE. Come and join me in getting more knowledgeable about bicycles!
melaniesuzanne: (une souris)
Hubbyfink and I had a VERY nerdy New Year's Eve which consisted of BBC America's "Doctor Who" marathon interspersed with the Lego "Lord of the Rings" video game. The game can be played either as a solo adventure or a cooperative venture. We've been playing co-op and having a fantastic time. Yes, we could have gone to a couple of parties last night, but we decided that staying home and being nerdy was our preferred way to ring in the new year.

I did not make resolutions for this year. HF and I decided, instead, that 2013 would be the year of learning useful skills such as first aid, CPR, orienteering, and the like. I'm usually prepared with gloves, an umbrella, wet wipes... I should put something actually helpful into my head.

I realized as I typed up a 2012 retrospective on my bike blog that my riding slacked off considerably at the close of the year. Was it the weather? Was it my overall health? Was it my love for driving my sweet little car? It's probably a sum of all three. My time spent in the saddle will improve and I want to ride farther afield this year.

Work is going to be stressful and exciting this coming year. My team has been transitioning into new responsibilities and roles and we've been drinking from the proverbial fire hose for a couple of months now. I won't panic. I won't. I'm going to OWN this thing.
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
Christmas is coming;
The goose is getting fat.
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny
Then a ha' penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha' penny,
Then God bless you!


The Muppet version of that has been running through my head for the past week. You're welcome.

Despite being done with all Christmas prep aside from addressing a few more cards, I still feel like a ball of stress. I'm not sure what that's about. It might be that a friend has asked for assistance with something but I'm already committed to something else at that time and I feel guilty about not being there. It could be that this time of year is just stressful and I'm feeling empathetic towards others. It could be the political BS which has cropped up since Friday.

The weekend was pleasant enough. On Saturday, I rode my bike for errands including a stop at the post office for more stamps and the grocery store for more cat litter. I have now successfully carried a 20-pound container of litter on my bike. And let me just tell you that I could feel that extra twenty pounds as I climbed the last hill for home. Oof. People were in good spirits, though, waving and smiling and being polite to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.

Yesterday found me on the trail and I rode the twenty miles to Leesburg and back. The air temperature was in the high forties, but with the overcast sky and slight breeze it felt much colder. My belly and breasts were freezing to the touch when I got home. That was weird especially since my arms were warm. I thought the extremities were supposed to get cold to warm up the core... Last night, [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee, [livejournal.com profile] psalite, and I drove through the Festival of Lights at Bull Run Regional Park and strolled through the winter carnival. We rode a hayride through a small section of lights and the ferris wheel. I tried to ride one of those drop ride thingies, but I was too big for the harness thingie to lock me in. That was disappointing and I made light of it without being too embarrassed. Needs must get back on the fitness bandwagon and lose the girth that I lost on Jenny Craig and have since regained.

It looks like Scotland outside my window today. Bleagh. And despite the ball of stress in my belly, I'm still in a good mood. I've got peppy tunes on my ipod and plans for getting sweaty with a workout DVD tonight.
melaniesuzanne: (Batty by bitsy_icons)
This is my brain.

Id: I want cookies!

Ego: We don't need cookies.

Id: I WANT COOKIES!

Ego: All right. We can have a cookie if we ride our bike to get it from the grocery store.

Super-ego: You don't need a cookie. You need to do crunches, squats, and eat some celery.

Id: COOKIES!

Ego: Look, I said we could have a cookie if we take the bike instead of the car. Not only will we get a teensy bit of exercise en route, we could also ride around the neighborhood and look at the new Christmas lights that have been put up since the last night ride.

Id: COOKIES AND LIGHTS!

Ego: There. It's settled. Saddle up, body.

Super-ego: I think we should ride to Leesburg and back for that d@mn cookie. It's only twenty miles...

COOKIES )
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
At the beginning of this week, it had been almost a month since I was last on my bike. Shameful. Shameful, I tell you! But that doesn't mean I haven't been tweaking my bikes. Oh no...

So, remember when I used to fret about being taken "seriously" because I'd personalized my bike? Allow me to condescendingly pat my past self on the head and mutter, "There, there..."

Read more... )

I love that the (inch wide) tape is translucent enough that the manufacturer's stickers still show through. This project took the better part of six hours; although, I'd taped the seat stay and chain stay before the Backroads Century in September. During that ride, Max, one of my favorite Spokes-people, passed me and complimented my "unusual" bike before we recognized each other. He laughed and said that he thought it looked like an Ariel, but he'd never seen one with that paint job. Heh. I told him the red polka dots were to help me learn to love hills. Maybe now that the whole bike is polka dotted, I'll actually get there.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Saturday was my fortieth birthday and it was a busy, busy. I slept in, of course, and after dismantling the cemetery in the yard, I jumped on my bike and rode west. My plan was to ride forty miles for my fortieth year. I fell short by three and a half miles, unfortunately. But! I made a quick grocery stop on the way home and rode with fully loaded grocery panniers for the last couple of miles. That's got to count for something.

I was pretty tired when I got home but I eventually rallied enough to make a Seven (minus one) Layer Dip for [livejournal.com profile] flonzy and [livejournal.com profile] azpapillion's party. I rushed through my shower and ironing of my costume and took my time applying the sugar skull makeup. It took a full hour and because I am a doofus, I forgot to take photos. Bah.

The party itself was a TON of fun. Nearly everyone was in costume and looked fantastic. Flonzy spent all day slow roasting ribs and the BBQ was to. die. for. The side dishes were yummy and the cake that [livejournal.com profile] carthew made for me received rave reviews for both looks and taste.

Cake! )

Sunday wasn't a good day. The pain that I'd been experiencing last week abated some on Saturday and came back with a vengeance Sunday morning. I woke up just after 3am and spent the next four hours crying on the sofa. It got so bad at 7am that I woke Scott -- who wasn't wearing his hearing aids and was on another floor -- with my sobbing. He bundled me up and took me to the ER where I got an antibiotic and a shot of dilaudid. I finally slept comfortably and he took a woozy me home. Mid-afternoon the pain was back and the prescribed percocet didn't touch it. We went back to the ER where another doctor ordered a CT which showed nothing physically wrong. I spent the rest of the day alternately wincing and crying. Good times.

Monday and Tuesday was the storm. I worked from home -- mostly because I wasn't going to drive on percocet -- and Scott was chased out of his office early afternoon on Monday. The power never flickered but the wind was pretty frightening. On Tuesday afternoon, I saw a neurologist who ran an EEG and a nerve test. Aside from a little carpal tunnel in my right wrist -- which I developed in my 20s -- the nerves seemed okay. He suggested I see an orthodontist to rule out my teeth causing the pain.

Wednesday was my day off. I set the ghosts back out in the yard and tree, added a few new elements, and carved pumpkins. Trick-or-treating started just after 6pm and wrapped up at 8:15pm. It was a really light night. Normally we have trick-or-treaters knocking on the door until almost 10pm. I was happy, though, to turn out the light at 9 and slip into PJs for a couple of hours before bed.

Today I'm back in the office and looking fabulous because this happened. )

And I love it!

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melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

August 2015

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