jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Currently reading Freedom and Necessity, and enjoying it, as expected. One thing I hadn't expected: the print feels tiny. Unsure if this is just a natural result of Getting Old or if it's actually small. There doesn't appear to have been an ebook release, which makes me a little sad.

Gonna be a busy fall, bookwise. Just preordered new books from Kat Howard, Ann Leckie, eBear, and Steve Brust. Need to get on with that Great Big Dragarea Reread prior to late October. At least the eBear won't demand my immediate attention: reading Book One Of A Trilogy is a mistake I try to avoid making when the author is known to write bound book-fragments.

I biked for an hour and a half yesterday, going to a small get-together that may be the kind of thing I'm looking for. Mostly, a good ride, if overly sweaty, and tough going uphill. There's an exhilaration in a steep downhill, though, and a long gentle decline makes for a pleasant coast.

It occurred to me last week that my hip problem likely isn't just from wallet-induced sciatica. It's also possibly a result of babying my right ankle (and hence leg) for several months after I twisted it pretty sharply (CW: depiction of trauma, neither graphic nor permanent). So there's that.

Erin pointed out awhile ago that I do a lot of railing against the Confederacy (sometimes on FB, sometimes in person). I grew up hating everything about the South: the weather, the people, the history, the culture. I've mellowed on that a lot in the last decade or so, but Treason In Defence Of Slavery still gets me wound up. I think it's that it's a reminder of everything I hated about the South. Or maybe just that it's a part of my upbringing that's still acceptable to hate.

And in actual significant news, I've lost a friend over the breakup. One that I know of, I mean. I'd hoped for some compassion and understanding but it was not to be. I'm sad, and a little surprised, but only a little: she's prickly, far more invested in Emily's emotional state, and I suspect skeptical of the whole poly thing anyhow. (A conclusion I draw from sentences like "Since November I've watched you break up with Emily in slow motion.") Losing friends I care about doesn't get any easier. Especially not when they've been good friends and sources of support in the past. Oh well. She's not quite burned the bridge, I guess. She's poured gasoline on the bridge, offered me a book of matches, and walked away. Best I can do is not actually light the fire and be here if and when she changes her mind.

Overall? Still flailing around, still trying to sort out what I want my life to look like and how to make it look like that.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
The guy at MEC (Canadian for "REI") suggested a specific brand of bike basket (Wald), one that bolted onto the front fork in addition to hanging from the handlebars, so it had more support and didn't interfere with the cables.

I ordered one from Amazon last week and it arrived today.

I rode home awkwardly clutching the box with one hand because I had nowhere on the bike to carry it, which seems ironic.

Looks like it'll require specialised tools to attach, though, since my front wheel is 'quick release.' Also since I have basically no tools at this point in time. Guess I'm taking it into MEC on Friday. Maybe they can fix the shifter indicator that they broke a couple of weeks ago when it was in for a tuneup.

I /like/ having a bike. Very curious to see if I continue to like it when it gets cold and/or wet.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
And I'm still here.



Way back in the mists of time my then-girlfriend Steph made me a mix tape with, among other things, David Mallett's sublime folksong "Arthur". And Arthur, where are you now, we need you / We've been much too long without a leader. It took me an unconscionably long time to get around to picking up anything more by him.

I always thought of "Inches and Miles" as the quintessential Dave Mallett breakup song, and I guess it still is. And all things have endings, and beggars have their pride. For my money, though, "Fire" captures the end of a long relationship perfectly. But time here is frozen, the clock ticks no more / Just the ashes and cinders and smell.



Still biking, still getting out to yoga between four and six mornings a week when I'm in town. Prayer-twists are now absolute hell on my upper thighs, likely as a result of biking uphill to yoga. On the bright side I'm enough of a regular now that the teachers think it's worth their time to offer corrections. My flows and backbends seem to be working better. (It's hard to think of it as "worth correcting" when my traitor brain insists on interpreting it as "having been noticed doing something wrong." Always more internal work to be done, I expect.)

I'm still enjoying biking. I'm slower than most of the cyclists I encounter, which is okay with me, and I'm nervous on busy roads. But I like the wind on my face and I like getting where I want to go faster than waiting for a bus and faster than walking. I don't like overheating and feeling like I'm swimming in my shirt. July and more so August are going to be awful for that, I expect. But then it'll be fall again and things will be better.

I went to see a physiotherapist about my weird hip problem while biking. It seems to be a natural consequence of having favoured my right leg for ages, due to a long-standing hip ... "injury" isn't really right, but it's close enough, I guess. So I'm finally getting that taken care of, all manner of fun stretches and pokings and proddings and foldings.



Been starting to think more seriously about tattoos, again. Two data points doth not a trend make but this does seem to towards the end of a significant relationship. I think this time it's more to do with seeing all the gorgeously inked folks at yoga every day.

I can't remember how old I was when I visited Grandmother Taylor's old hometown, and the house on top of Crow Mountain where she grew up and, more relevantly, the cemetary. Must have been high school, but I remember it as being summer weather, which doesn't track with any time in high school. Maybe it was just winter in the south being as bright and warm as it is. Anyway, I've got a distinct memory of looking at gravestones of people I'm distantly related to and deciding simultaneously: that I wanted to be cremated and not left behind; and if I was going to have a markerstone I wanted it to have the epitaph from Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea on it:
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
That and bits of Richard Siken's Love Song of the Square Root of Minus One (especially blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible) have been rattling around in my head for months. I suspect they signify. I've got what might be an image in my mind, but no ability to describe it yet. Contacted one highly-recommended local artist; not yet heard back from her.



Taking a look at a potential place this evening. It's a shared basement, but it's in a great location (Cambie and King Ed), and it's cheap-ish and supposedly big-ish. The roommate seems alright if a bit more social/talkative than I like. She's also connected with several of the local communities that I'd like to tap into. It is possible that this will be exactly what I need and have been looking for.

It's much more likely that it will drive me nuts and I'll desperately need to find my own place in short order, but this will give me a couple of months to catch my breath anyhow. Not that there's likely to be anything findable. This fucken town.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
As of yesterday I've developed a sore spot on the inside/back of my right hip, at a contact point for the bike seat. Excuse me, saddle. I'm not sure whether it's a bruise or a stretched muscle. I'd been thinking "bruise" but this morning it started out sore and felt much more neutral after a five-minute walk. I can't figure out a work-appropriate way to stretch it, unfortunately. Ibuprofen it is. I'm not sure whether the saddle needs adjusting, or if I just need to adjust to it.

I'm taking the bike in tomorrow anyway to get a rear fender attached. I rode home yesterday through a pretty good rain. That's still a surprisingly pleasant experience: the rain keeps me from overheating, and not having glasses means I can see in the rain, which is neat. But the pannier and the back of my jacket are both mildly mudspattered, and I'm told a fender will help with the worst of that.

The other thing about biking in rush hour in the rain is that it feels ... unsafe? Unpredictable? Impossible? I get a sense that there's no way I can possibly be sufficiently alert to account for all the cars and the pavement and the weather conditions and whatever else. That it's only a matter of time before something unpleasant inevitably happens. That part is less thrilling.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The tops of my thighs are serious about letting me know that they have been Used. Yoga this morning may have been an error in judgement; even on a good day 'powerful pose' is the devil incarnate, and today even the prayertwists were rough. Hoping for good things from the "continue to work/stretch those muscles rather than letting them freeze" plan.

Had my first dropped chain yesterday. I turned to head up a steep hill, shifted down to low gear in front, and couldn't figure out why I was pedaling and still losing speed. Walked up the hill, took a look, and convinced it to reseat on the gear with minimal fiddling. YAY I FIXED THE THING.

First ride in the light rain this morning. (Not that Vancouver really gets any other kind.) Rather pleasant, honestly. Kept me cooled down, kept me alert, feet didn't slip off the pedals too many times. Suspect I'm gonna want a rear fender sooner than later.

I spent some time yesterday and today studying the city's map of surprisingly comprehensive bike paths. Makes me want to get out and ride the seawall. Or Stanley Park. Or, hell, just through some of the more pleasant and interesting East Van neighborhoods.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, um, yesterday I bought a bike.

This was not something I'd ever intended to do.

and yet, here we are. )

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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