It’s way too late, and I have homework that I need to do for class tomorrow, but I almost have an excuse. Tonight I put the finishing touches on a little gift and wrapped it all up to mail out tomorrow.
A little late night arts & crafts is okay from time to time, but one mustn’t make a habit of it.
Halfway through the evening I was confronted with this little alien, who somehow found its way into my home.
I placed it under a glass and watched it pace for a few minutes, before it settled into a shifting three-legged pose.
I tried to feed it a little bit of a medjool date, but it wouldn’t even look at it so I let it go outside.
Now I really need to start my homework. Good morning all.
"If You Rescue Me"
Watched a few little bites of Science of Sleep the other night, and this song has been stuck with me since. According to those in the know it’s just a modified cover of Velvet Underground’s After Hours. I like the cat version more though, so that’s what I sang.
Chanson des Chats.mp3
One of the three classes I’m taking this semester is Intro to Machine Design. In a nutshell, the professor takes us through all the stages of building a machine, from listing specifications to design analysis, project management, construction, and ultimately testing.
Right now we’re working in small groups to finalize our concept designs, and we’re just about to start making scale models. Yesterday my partner showed me a catalog from an extruded aluminum framing manufacturer, and it got my head swimming with ideas. So today Brad & I met up for a while to talk about designs for a framebuilding jig.
We put some ideas on paper, and I now I’ve got some questions to ask my Mech professor about the materials. Soon soon soon.
Tonight I worked on trigonometry homework for a few hours, and then rode over to the library to borrow a chemistry textbook to do my homework for that class. Spending the time and getting my homework done is giving me a king of satisfaction that I’ve never tasted that much of before.
I haven’t written any music for a few weeks. I have learned some new covers this weekend though. I’m debating now wether to go to bed and be a happy shiny person in class tomorrow at 8am, or if I should record something for you. We’ll see.
"then go FASTER."
If you’re looking to go long-term with this (I am a cycling coach btw) then be prepared to understand that cyclocross is the most anaerobic thing you will ever do on a bicycle, bar none. Translation: if you do not like pain, don’t bother. Cross is the only discipline I can think of where you start out in a full sprint, then go FASTER. You’re essentially sprinting into and out of every barrier section, every turn, every change of surface… pretty much everywhere. There’s no respite. If you think this sounds fun, well, it totally is, but then I’m a pain addict adrenaline junkie. Also, don’t think that just because the races are short, that by definition they are easy. The funniest thing I’ve ever seen is aerobic athletes from other disciplines who are all like “oh hell, thirty minutes?! I can do ANYTHING for thirty minutes!!!”. Yea, okay Geronimo, tell me that on your fourth lap, when your legs feel like cast iron pilings, that 18” hurdle feels ten feet tall, that measly little 10’ runup looks like Mt. Everest, and all you really want to do is find a quiet corner to go lay down and die… or puke, your choice.
-How do you train for cyclocross races?
Tonight there was a gathering at Ryan’s house. He’s dropped out of school to do journalism work in Burma, and he’s leaving on Tuesday. We all talked about his plans, his unknowns, his hopes.
We ate chocolate cake and drank. MaMuse played two songs, and I played two songs for Ryan after most everyone else had left. I stole a copy of his visa photograph and stuck it in my wallet.
The group reassembled at the Tion warehouse, which I guess is now “The Frame”. There was music and lights and people dancing with their arms moving in long slow waves. All I wanted was some Mogwai/Microphones style noise to drop in onto the melodic Zimbabwean performance.
I regretted paying all of $15 for admission, and carefully peeled back the perforated adhesive on my “non-removable” glow in the dark wristband. I gave it to Julia so she and Robert would only have to pay $15 to enter, instead of $30. We had all been told it would be just $5 at the door.
“That’s like paying $7.50 each, not too much.”
“Yeah, that’s the price of a bad movie.”
I came home and set my new alarm clock for 7. Tomorrow I’d like to sprint my single speed up Humboldt before heading to the market. Then in the afternoon it’s schoolwork in the library. After that I dream of recording some music, but we’ll see how my luck turns out.
Now I go to bed, my lips are sticky from small exotic candies.
Weekend to Lassen.
The other night, feeling all wrapped in words, I pined over the telephone to Xue.
“I wish I had a diary.”
“But you do,” she replied, “it’s online.”
So here we are. The last couple of months I’ve felt like I haven’t had the time to write here, but the things I’ve wanted to write about continue to flow in from one side and out of the other. For example, over Labor Day weekend Brad, Ryan and I rode north from Chico to Lassen National Park and back. We left Friday night after nine and weren’t back in town until at least ten on Monday night.
The first night we rode up to Inskip, taking full advantage of the full moon. It was bright enough that lights were rarely necessary to see the road. We climbed until maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, when I decided to quit. We pulled off the main road onto a small dirt stretch, made some dinner, and slept as the sun started to lighten the sky.
Saturday we hit the dirt seconday roads leading that wind between Inskip and Butte meadows. I was happy to be running 35c tires, but wish the Panaracers had a bit of shoulder tread to them.
We arrived by lunch, and happened upon a BBQ rib cook-off at the Bambi Inn clamper bar. Free meat, potatoes, and bread for all. Beers were bought for us. We rode on through the afternoon and another moonlit night until we reached a campground just south of the park entrance. Big fire that night, plenty of fuel.
We spent Sunday in the park, climbing, swimming, descending, eating.
It’s a beautiful stretch of road that snakes up and over those mountains. Traffic was forgiving on the way up, and completely absent from our descent to the Manzanita Lake campgrounds. We almost got booted from our unreserved campsite though, and I nearly froze to death, but we made it through the night.
The next day was long, fast, hot, downhill, and long. From the North entrance to the park on 44, we rode all the way back to Chico. There were some amazing views coming back into the valley, some wicked 15% grade descents followed immediately by 10mph turns, and a handful of flat tires. It was thrilling to wake up at the base of a mountain and watch it fade beyond view by late afternoon. What’s more exciting is the notion that this kind of trip is so easy to embark upon. I want more.
See the whole photo set here.