Sunday

16 My 2021

This is the last day of the ACA DetermiNation Classic Ride; I have ridden my final ride for this, and I have to say, I am happy enough with my mileage. I am also kinda kicking myself (but not really) because I fell a bit short of a second goal set three days ago.

This was a virtual ride in which participants could select either per-determined race mileage or set their own; I decided to set my own. 200 miles seemed doable; if not for months of not riding much at all I'd have shot for 300, but I haven't been doing much and I knew better.

I hit 200 on the 13th, which was the 6 month anniversary of Max's death. I miss that little shit--I miss both of them--but he was not just my writing buddy, he was also the engine behind a lot of my fundraising efforts. Hitting that mileage on that day wasn't significant to anyone but me, I realize that. But it did matter to me.

Both of my parents went through cancer treatment, kidney cancer for my dad, lymphoma for my mom. My grandfather died from kidney cancer. I have several friends who are currently in treatment, many more who have survived. A few who have not. And both Buddah and Max were lost to cancer. Hank the dog probably had cancer--the vet felt a large mass on his spleen--but we'll never know for sure. 

This cause matters to me.

On the 13th, after hitting 200, I considered the notion that 250 was not out of the realm of impossible. That was a smidge over 16 miles a day, and I can do that.

Spoilers.

I did not do that.

I finished  few short, 240 miles done between April 16 and today...and I am not unhappy about that. There were a few days of not-riding when the Spouse Thingy took a week off work and we went off to do some fun things we hadn't done in over a year. We went to the Crocker Art Museum. We hit up the flea market for the first time in at least 5 years. We wandered around Costco just for the hell of it. And we ate out waaaay too many times.

We also played an insane amount of Animal Crossing and did a whole lot of nothing when it suited us.

And as a surprise to no one...I also bought a new bike, which really spurred me into getting the last 100 miles done.

The pretty orange bike I ordered last September was supposed to be here in time to do this ride, but it's been pushed back to January 2022. I was not surprised by this, nor upset, because it's a casualty of COVID...so many people bought bikes at the start of the pandemic and then ordered bikes they could no longer get in shops, that a domino effect began. The delay is because so many people are getting into cycling, and that's a good thing.

I was willing to wait, but then this bike popped up in a shop in Sacramento, and despite not really wanting a black bike, I jumped.

Turns out the black has shiny flecks in it, which makes it totally all right.

I have not canceled the order on the orange bike. Because of reasons. Who knows? 

And meandering way off topic. Which was I finished the DetermiNation ride, did 240 miles, and y'all donate a whopping $2000+!

Monday

19 April 2021

Grumble grumble grumble.


I should be excited.

Should be.

I am not. I am irritated. very irritated.

After my post about the bike I had as a kid, a friend found said bike on eBay and within a few minutes, I bought it. The listing looked great; it was a restored 1974 Schwinn Continental, same blue, same grip tape, same everything.

Restored.

It arrived today in a box that looked decent; no outside bangs or tears, perfectly acceptable condition, as good as other bikes I've taken shipment on, bikes with no shipping damage.

[Insert audible groan.]

I was not daunted by the idea of assembling this bike; it wasn't any more complicated than the last two and I didn't screw those up. So I carefully removed loose stuff from the box--the wheels and paper--and laid it down, and promptly said things off the Bad Word List.

Bent chain ring.

So I was already ticked off. But I began cutting all the zip ties holding the protective foam on, and it just got worse.

Lots worse.

But we'll start with the chain ring.

That's bent.

Very, very bent.

Bent enough that I don't think that with the chain in place, it will spin. But I decided not to completely lose my chit yet, because who knows?

Maybe I just can't see it well enough.

Ahem.

Maybe.

This "restored" bike was absolutely filthy coming out of the box. But worse than that...

Rust.

Lots of rust.

I didn't expect pristine because, face it, the bike is 47 years old. 

But I did not expect so much rust on a restored bike; I didn't expect pitted components.

Perhaps I should have, but the listing did not mention these things.

I'd like to go back and check it, but once something sells on eBay now, the listing comes down.

Go figure.

The front wheel... =sigh=

No matter what I do, how tight, how loose...it's not straight.

I'm not sure it will ever be straight.

The quick release axle looked straight, but...who knows. By this point I am not surprised at all.

In any case, the skills to seat it correctly are apparently beyond my set and I don't have truing equipment anyway, so...

Yep.

Restored bike.

Yep.

[Insert more things off the Bad Word List.]
 

Now, if you don't look at it too closely, it's a shiny, decent looking bike.

But if you get close, oh holy hell.

It's missing the derailleur hanger, so I can't even get that in place.

Pretty sure that if I could get it on, and spin the wheel or move the pedals, the cables would snap.

Can it be made rideable?

Maybe.

Someone better than I needs to take a look at it, but my gut says I just flushed $500 down the toilet. $400 for the bike, $100 for the shipping.

I am trying to come up with the right words for an eBay review that won't get me banned...I'm not sure that even contacting the seller directly will do any good. If he sold this as a restored bike he doesn't give a shit what the buyer thinks. And now I question the reviews he does have, because they were good and they were why I took a chance.

Worst case, I clean it up and it hangs on the wall. But dammit, I really did want to ride it, at least a little.

Sunday

11 April 2021

Carmi wrote about his 28 year old Specialized Stumpjumper the other day, and it renewed in me the feeling of really missing my first "real" bike.

I mowed lawns all through 1974 and into 1975 to raise the money to buy a new bike; I'd had a purple banana seat bike (probably a Schwinn, but honestly I don't know) that I had coveted from 2nd grade on, but I didn't get it until 6th grade when I was really too old for it. That purple wonder was fun, but by the end of 7th grade it was mock-worthy and I took a lot of crap for riding a little kids' bike.

I began to covet something new, and all I wanted was a 10 speed. I knew there was no way in hell I would get it for my birthday or Christmas, so I asked if I could take over mowing the lawn. My parents had been paying the son of a family friend $4 a week to cut the grass, and were (surprisingly, to me, because that was "boys' work") agreeable to it.

So I cut the grass and was given $4 a week for it during months when it needed cut. By the end of 8th grade, I finally had enough to get the bike that I still desperately wanted, and in a stroke of luck the bike shop had it in a metallic blue that damn near made me squeal.

It was a 10 speed Schwinn Continental, very much like the one pictured, and I loved that damned bike. The color was perfect. The grip take had metallic flecks. It was so well balanced that even my 13 year old self could feel it I rode it everywhere until we moved from Texas to California, and once we were settled in a new house, I rode it as often as I could...which was not as often as I wanted, because school and real life gets in the way.

[It did prompt my dad to complain that I "never" rode it...I did. While he was at work. Somehow that didn't compute LOL]

When I decided to take history and English in summer school (for fun...yes, I was that kid) I rode it to school most of the time, though by then I had a driver's license and access to a car. There was something about being able to ride wherever I wanted, just for the joy of riding. For no reason or any reason; that bike was my first taste of teen-aged freedom and before I got my license, it was my way around.

I dragged it with me to Utah and BYU my junior year...where I sold it for $50 just before senior year.

Now, granted, at the time $50 was a decent chunk of change. And it was a matter of sell the bike or not eat for a few weeks, because money was super tight, but I have always regretted it.

I want that bike back.

Every now and then I surf through eBay, looking for one for sale from someone who will also ship it, but I haven't found one in good enough shape. But if I find it? Surprise, Spouse Thingy, I'm getting another bike.

I mentioned it to a friend online last night, and her reaction was puzzled. Like, isn't cycling a new relatively new thing for you?

Not really.

I mean, it's fun to hear all the newby-advice and get those teachable moments, and no one needs to be stopped so I can say "Yeah, I started riding pretty young" because 1) new bike tech is new to me, and 2) cycling now means something different than it did then, and the terminology is different than it was 40+ years ago. I did take several years off more than once and in between the Continental and more recent acquisitions, I had a lot of really crappy stuff barely worthy of being called a bike. But I did ride.

I stopped what, 8 years ago for a bit after passing out on a ride. But then came the screaming pink electric that gave me the confidence to give it another real go...and here we are, just a little obsessed (and right now angry with myself for taking a break just long enough that I am out of shape again.)

I'll probably never find that Continental again, and that's all right. I remember how it made me feel. And I have a bike on order that's coming hopefully sooner rather than later, that shows promise in being today's version of that Schwinn, with that feeling of freedom that comes when zooming down the road. It's not top of the line, but it's all I need and all I really want.*

Now all I need is to win the lottery so we can move somewhere close to safe, accessible bike paths. Because drivers? They suck, and I hate sharing the road.

*Oddly, no, I don't want a carbon bike. In fact, I ordered a bike a couple months ago because it was available before this one is supposed to arrive and it was at a great price, but realized after I placed the order that it was a carbon frame. It went back the same day it arrived, box unopened.
 


Friday

9 April 2021

My hair has not grown nearly as much as I would like and while I can see it's gotten a tiny bit longer, it feels like I'm still damn near bald and I want my hair back.

Ignore how stuff is sticking up all over; I have helmet hair here.

Now that St. Baldrick's is over, they've received all the funds--including an uber-generous one that had to make its way from overseas via the mail--I'm looking to the next event.

Oh, as an aside...y'all donated over $7000. I am so freaking grateful I can't begin to express it.

But the next one...yes, I am jumping into something with both feet firmly planted on the pedals of my bike, and will rack up as many miles as I can from April 16 through May 16. Officially I'm supposed to do 109, but I think I can best that, despite not having ridden much at all since late September.

After I finished the Great Cycle Challenge (which I will do again this coming September) and Buddah got sick, I sort of...stopped. There were a couple of short rides in there, times when I thought, hell yes, I'm back at it, but I just needed time to stew in my own grief, gain a few too many pounds, and find another way through it.

I haven't really watched any TV since Max died; neither have I done much reading. I know why: my lap buddy isn't here to curl up and help me watch all the things and read all the words, and it's just been uncomfortable. But once we changed his room from Max's Room to our own little game cave, I felt myself sliding away from all the feels, and into some sense of normal.

Doesn't mean I don't miss those furballs as much as ever, because I do, but I distracted myself enough from their absence that my brain began working on the story line to the book I'd been planning before, while just having some fun.

We each have our own Switch, run our own islands, but visit each other when we're playing at the same time. The number of ridiculously stupid things we do to each other--


--like blocking him on a toilet so he can't get off of it, or chasing each other with nets and axes, makes me laugh so hard sometimes I kinda want to throw up. It is stupid, but it's stupid fun.

And it helped.

And thusly did I get back on the bike today, and while I felt every bit of it because I am now out of shape, it didn't feel like the Great Big Awful and I am looking forward to the next ride.

Which brings me to the next event: the DetermiNation Cycling Classic to benefit the American Cancer Society. I did this one last year as a virtual ride and enjoyed it; this year it hits home because I have friends who are actively trying to survive treatment for breast cancer, lung cancer, and brain cancer. Both my parents survived cancer--kidney cancer for my dad, lymphoma for my mom--and it doesn't escape me that it could be in my future.

Even so...we all need something to fight for, this is mine.

Last night I chatted online with a friend who asked, reasonably I think, why I didn't just raise the money. Facebook makes it easy. It's not like I have to do anything.

But I do.

I believe in sweat equity. In giving something back. In doing something that isn't necessarily easy, earning back those donations.

So I will shave my head every year.

I will ride the miles.

I will put one foot in front of the other.

Not because anyone necessarily expects it of me--y'all have been amazingly kind when I've fallen short before--but because it's the right thing to do. It shouldn't be as easy as asking for donations; there needs to be something, anything, and it should require effort on my part.

Ask just about anyone who has done a 3 Day walk on behalf of breast cancer. It's a party atmosphere and the participants have fun, but, y'all...it's hard. Harder than anything else I've done.

Well, except maybe for getting that tumor yanked out from the underside of my brain. That was a different kind of hard.

"Have you ever added it up? All you've raised?"

Nope. But I have a ball park idea and that's good enough. The real thing is that number isn't mine; it belongs to you people out there, the ones who have supported my whims and given me reason to shave, ride, and walk.

I appreciate it like you wouldn't believe.

And my hair still isn't growing fast enough.


19 March 2021

 

Tomorrow is the official St. Baldrick's shave...but it's being held inside a mall, and I am not fully vaccinated (1st shot done, tho!) so I opted for a virtual. Done at home, in the back yard, with a clipper set that is not ideal.

Not ideal as in...ouchy. Very ouchy.

This year, thanks to your generosity, I raised over $2200...which mean that DKM had to cut off 12 inches of her hair for charity (pics at the bottom) so y'all get a 2fer!

I gotta be honest. This year it felt kinda...meh. It's just a hell of a lot more fun done at the bar, getting a drink before hand, and watching as the crowd grows and participants get rowdy. Last year's shave was the last normal thing the Spouse Thingy and I did just before everything shut down...the upside to this year's lonely shave is that it marks the very beginning of life getting back to some sense of normal. He's fully vaccinated, I will be next month, the Boy will be by the end of this month, and our DIL should get her first soon.

So. I didn't want to skip this year, so the back yard it was.


Do I look thrilled? He was threatening to leave it like that.

And this is when I realized how bad the clippers are. It's like getting stabbed in the head with toothpicks.


This is as short as we could get.


Look closely, you can see a couple of places where it got me.


Any further hair will have to be taken off with shaving cream and a razor. I'm waffling on that. This actually is as short as I've been at a couple of the events. It's about the same length as in this picture, taken right after my first event 8 years ago.

They didn't make me bleed tho LOL

Last night a friend asked me--she does pretty much every year--how many more years I'll do this. And every year I'm not sure. Because I hate this, I hate the looks I'll get, I hate how cold I'll be, I hate everything about it.

BUT...I do it by choice. And too many people don't have that choice. I went into this year with someone specific on my mind, someone who has just started chemo for breast cancer, and it breaks my heart because she absolutely does not deserve this.

Neither do any of the kids for whom St. Baldrick's raises research funds.

I'll do it for sure until I reach year 10. And unless something happens that thins my skin out too much for it to be safe, I'll probably keep doing it.

Because I have a choice. And this is the least I can do.

Y'all...give mad props to Michelle--DKM--because she had a choice, too, and she did not have to do this to help me bump up donations. 




That's a lot of hair!

When we're both fully vaccinated, I'm totally taking her to lunch for doing this.

Also because I miss having lunch with her, but also for this!

Again, y'all THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Tuesday

2 March 2021

Toward the end of February last year, the Spouse Thingy and I sat in the local Cenario's Pizza, discussing the news as we waited for our medium half-pepperoni, half-bacon pizza. The topic was, of course, COVID-19 and what to expect, and his take was simply, "This is going to be bad. Really bad."

I'd had an inkling and an impulse: already on its way from Amazon was an 80 roll case of toilet paper. We'd just bought a multipack of paper towels at Costco. What we pondered as likely to happen as the virus permeated the U.S. was centered more on a crush of people clearing out food stocks in grocery stores than anything else. And while I admitted it was a knee jerk reaction, I told him I wanted to get a freezer to stick in the garage, and to make a just-in-case major grocery store run.

We bought one the next day; it was stocked by March 5th. We had enough for a month; if things went to hell, we at least had everything we needed for a month. It felt like we'd gotten ahead of the curve. He still had to go to work, but I was fine with staying home for a few weeks. That was not a big deal.

We honestly thought a month was about what it would take. If everyone did what they were asked, the curve could be flattened, and it would be just weeks.

Sure.

Here we are a year later.

Who'd've thunk it?

But hey, at least we had a lot of toilet paper to get us through the first 6 months or so. And now we have a spiffy garage freezer. And some stuff stuck in the back that will likely never get eaten.

Right now all I want is to get the vaccine. I am jealous of those who have had both doses. Happy as hell for you, but jealous.

Eyes forward, folks. The light is there, it's just moving toward us a little more slowly than we'd hoped.

Sunday

28 February 2020

 Oddz-N-Endz #868,859,392x33.01


It looks like I was the only one who registered for St. Baldrick's this year at the venue I prefer...so they've moved me to another one a little later in the month. The problem I have with that event is that it's indoors, at a mall, and I refuse to step foot inside a mall until I'm fully vaccinated, and there's zero chance I'll even have my first shot by then.

So...it looks like I'll be doing a virtual shave. I still need to contact the event coordinator to tell her that's what I'm doing (and why) and beg to get my t-shirt regardless (because it's all about the t-shirt) but I am still doing it. But at least this way I also have a couple extra weeks of hair growth to shave off. The Spouse Thingy can man the clippers and we'll just do it in the back yard. We had to do it this way a few years ago when I was took sick to attend in person...well, I could have gone but that would have seriously been a dick move on my part.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

The bike did not stay in Max's old bedroom very long. The weather is improving and I pulled it off the trainer so I can ride outside on my favorite bike (though the one is still hanging on the wall because it's freaking art.) Mostly...it seemed like a better idea to turn that room into something for both of us, not just me, something that would get used more than I would have used it for indoor riding (which will still be done, but next to the treadmill in a front room, where I had the trainer set up before.)


We've both developed a serious addiction to Animal Crossing. Initially, one of us played it on the TV in the living room while the other used their handheld Switch, but we're old and the screen on the Switch is kinda small. The answer clearly would have been to take turns, but we also discovered we liked playing at the same time, spending time talking and making fun of each others' player characters.

So we did this...set up two TVs in the spare bedroom, dragged two chairs in there, and thusly it became the gaming room, though right now the only game is Animal Crossing. I'm pretty sure that will change over time; we own other games and the way this is set up we don't have to play the same one at the same time. 

Mostly...I really needed this room to not be Max's bedroom anymore. It didn't matter if it was the bike room or not; I just needed to get to the place where I didn't look in and expect to see him there. I also still look to the top of the TARDIS closet, expecting cat ears to poke up, but there's not much I can do about that. We need the storage space, and I'm too lazy to paint it again.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

And a little bit of truth... I am not as okay with the cats being gone as I believed I was. I thought I was ready to get back to work; I managed about 50 pages but stopped because my heart wasn't in it. I thought I was ready to get back on the bike, but I took a couple of really short rides and just kinda of didn't after that.

Right after Christmas, like the day after, I started having some serious heartburn, and it escalated into some serious abdominal pain. I ate Tums like candy, and learned quickly that I cannot eat Tums like candy, lest it morph into making me think I'm heading into a bout with colitis. The worst of it woke me up every night, feeling like someone had plunged a hot knife into my stomach; I discovered quickly that eating helped the pain abate, allowing me to get back to sleep, which made the Spouse Thingy think I had an ulcer.

I'm stubborn. It took me far too long to admit I needed medical intervention; instead of making the Spouse Thingy sit on hold for half a day to get me an appointment, I messaged my doc through the portal system, and by that afternoon I had his opinion: hyperacidity, based on the symptoms and the fact that I had started to wean myself off Prilosec last year.

Given the stress of the last half of last year, I picked a bad time to try to get off that. He put me on Pepcid AC twice a day with Gaviscon as needed, and suggested that I try that for a bit and if it didn't work, then see him in person.

A week later...yeah, I think he was right.

But still...it was just another symptom of the last six months of 2020. I stopped doing things I enjoyed, at first because my focus was on Max and making his roller coaster ride a bit less intense, and then on Buddah, and then on Max again, but I just couldn't get back to those things. Without riding, I wasn't moving much, and we both indulged a little too often in foods we normally don't. Initially I think we were both pleased that we hadn't succumbed to the COVID 15...instead, we discovered the Grief 15.

I thought I was okay. I can barely talk about the cats without choking up, and the physical symptoms of being weighed down with that grief have pretty well convinced me that I'm not. I will be, but I'm not. I just have to let myself take the time I need.

Part of that was finding something I truly enjoyed, something different, and if it's a stupid video game that takes up far too much time, that's fine. We're having a great time playing it, and a better time playing it together. 

He visited my island AND HIT ME WITH AN AXE!
 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Not having my old routine isn't helping anything, either. Most of my writing woes aren't tied exclusively to Max not being here, sitting on the arm of my chair, while I work. I was so used to hopping on the bike, riding anywhere from 5-8 miles, stopping at Starbucks for an hour or two while I wrote, then riding home, taking another 5-8 miles. I could get out and ride, stop somewhere to sit for a few minutes, and then ride back, but it's not the same.

I am looking forward to getting fully vaccinated, everyone getting fully vaccinated, and being able to ease back into the routine that worked for me.

Until then...I'm not going to beat myself up for not writing or riding as much. Though...I have noted lately that the story I started working on has taken better shape in my head. Enough shape that I keep thinking I need to sit down and craft a schedule: housework, write, play, ride, play, write, make dinner. Because if I don't start a schedule soon, it's going to be: surf online, play, lunch, play, make dinner, play. Which isn't bad, but...at some point I probably need to expand my daily tasks.

At some point.

That's probably not today.

24 January 2021

Sometime in 2019, we cleared stuff out of the spare room, jammed a sofa and love seat in it (and really had to jam them both to get them through the door), covered them with blankets, and declared it to be Max's bedroom. He needed a space of his own, away from Buddah, and it took approximately 1.4378 minutes for him to accept the offering and to take his first nap stretch out on the back on the loveseat.

Eventually he decided that the back of the sofa was the best spot, because he had a better view of the hallway and of Buddah if he was on his way in. That didn't happen often, though. Buddah seemed to understand that the room was not his, and the few times he ventured in he took the furniture on the opposite side of the room. With only a few rare occasions, it was the neutral zone.

Max loved that room so much that it made the hassle of getting the stuff that had been in it--a treadmill, for one--out and the furniture in totally worth it. It was a comfortable, safe space, and in his last month he rarely ventured out.

This week, it was time to take the sofa and love seat out. I found them both to be uncomfortable (but I and also picky) and I was honestly tired of peeking into that room, expecting to see a sleeping kitty on the back of the sofa. The blankets were long gone, and I'd sprayed them both with Kids & Pets in November so they didn't smell anymore; where once I thought we'd have to trash them, they seemed good enough to give away.

We pushed them out--it was a hell of a lot easier than getting them in, for some reason--and put them outside, on the driveway. I put a notice up on Facebook on a local page, offering them up, and within an hour someone texted, wanting them.

I didn't really care who took them or why they wanted them, for resale or personal use, it didn't matter. But this person...a teenager about to move into his first apartment, who had literally nothing to put in it. It made me wish I'd had more to give the kid, but mostly, it suddenly mattered that Max's treasured sofa and loveseat were going to someone who really needed them.

The room is no longer Max's bedroom, and I somehow managed to easily make the switch in my head. It's now the bike room, with one on the trainer and one hanging on the wall, with room on the floor for another if I ever have a reason to bring another into the house. 

I filled his space with a Dammit Machine.

I can hear his exasperated little sigh from here.

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About St. Baldrick's...it looks like they're going to have some in-person shavings, but unlike previous years, they'll schedule appointments. So, it won't be the party atmosphere and the bar might not even be open (and they reserve the right to change the date) so now I'm waiting to see when the appointments open up, and I'll snag one.

But. BUT.

Michelle DKM has made an offer for my fundraising goal. If I hit $2000, she's going to cut her hair--cut, not shave--and donate it to Locks of Love (or another hair-collecting group, not sure.)

So it's a two-fer. I shave, she cuts, everyone wins.


I realize I'm fundraising for two things at the same time, but...these are the only ones for this year. Both benefit children's cancer research; one involves my embarrassment for a few weeks, one involves sweat and effort for a month. And the donations are tax deductible.

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I've been excited and relieved to see so many friends online are already getting their COVID vaccinations...and a little jealous. At the rate CA is going, I won't get one until mid to late summer, and that's the group with health issues. Gotta admit, I was disheartened to realize it could take that long, and I'm not really counting on the distribution to improve unless Pfizer and Moderna ramp up production and the government figures out exactly how to get it into peoples' arms. 

Right now it's such a shit show that it feels like I'm stuck at home for a lot longer, and it's getting to be a bit much even for an introvert.

I hope that with a new administration some major improvement is coming, but I'm not holding my breath.

17 January 2021

'Tis the time of year when I start contemplating what events I want to participate in. I'm registered for the 3 Day but the timing of that means there's a 99% chance I won't go. 

This year I think my focus will be on children's cancer charities. 

In September I'm doing the Great Cycle Challenge again. Same goal, 300 miles in 30 days.

This is a for-sure thing because it's done virtually so I don't need to worry about it being canceled because of COVID (though I seriously hope we're all vaccinated by then and life will be mostly normal...)

300 miles is my bare minimum goal; I did it last year so barring injuries or illness there's no reason I can't do it again. And if I get close before the end of the month, I can bump it up.


Also on tap is St. Baldrick's. This will be year 8, but there's a significant chance that it will be a virtual event, so I'll likely self fund this one (donations will not be turned away, though!)

The date on it is tentative, but they're hoping for in-person options...I'm not holding my breath because the odds of enough people being vaccinated are low, though I still hope the numbers go way down before then.

Other than that...we're really just wanting enough normalcy that we can do something for our anniversary this year. The plan was Disneyland but with the changes they're making I'm not counting on that either. It might be seriously packed for a long time after they reopen, and I'm just not interested in a packed park.

We'll figure something out. There are other fun places to go.

Friday

15 January 2021

January is half over and I have ridden a grand total of zero miles.

Ya…it has not been a great start to a new year. I am just now feeling better, but I’m also 99% sure I have an ulcer, which isn’t helping anything. The pain from that is not too bad during the day, but I wake up every night after roughly 4 hours feeling like I’ve been stabbed with a hot poker. The pain goes away if I get food into my stomach, so I’ve been taking a snack to the bedroom at night, and when I wake up, I eat.

It works.

And yes, I know I need to see a doctor. I’ve been putting it off because, ew, doctor-office-cooties, and also…my brain settles on the worst case scenarios and it has decided that if I go, I will leave that appointment with 72 different types of cancer and an unwanted mutant puppy.

I’m giving it through the weekend, and then yes, I will see him.

+ + +

For a lot of the time I was feeling like crap, I also did not feel like working. Or reading. Or doing much of anything. I was pretty sure that the day I dove into a good book and then pounded out several pages on the next Wick book (yes, it goes on without Max, but I suspect it will still be his book, because…Max) that I was on the upswing.

What I still haven’t done, though, is ride. But I think today will be the day, if not heading outside, I’ll get a slow start inside. The bike is up on the trainer, ready to go—I checked the tires last night and made sure the TV was signed into Netflix—I just need to get my ass on it.

+ + +

He was a cinnamon donut freak, too...
Something stupid but also kinda major… I ate cinnamon toast last night.

I haven’t been able to bear the idea of it since Max died. Every time I thought about it, the memory of him jumping onto my lap and eating it from the other side slapped at me, and I just couldn’t. He was a little freak where cinnamon was concerned, and the last time I’d had it was towards the end for him; as much as it had to hurt to get up on the loveseat and then make his was across the arm of it, onto the footrest of the recliner, and then my lap, he could not resist.

And yes, I let him take bites. I would have given him anything at that point.

I honestly thought I would gag on it and could have gone the rest of my life without it, but… yeah.

The Spouse Thingy has been the same way with chicken salad. He hadn’t been able to open a can of chicken because that was his thing with the cats…he got the chicken and they got the water with little bits of meaty goodness floating in it. Buddah got to lick the mayo spoon.

I don’t think he’s had any since Buddah died, but this morning I noted there was a chicken and mayo-smeared bowl in the kitchen sink.

It made me happy.

And also a little annoyed because the dishwasher is RIGHT THERE.

+ + +

All right.

Off my asterisk to actually do things other than drooling while watching TV.

I have lottery tickets to buy.

Saturday

2 January 2021

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, per se, but I did set some goals, and one of them was to start the year with a bike ride. Long or short, it didn't matter; I wanted to set the tone of the year by whittling away at my mileage goals, and hit at least the same number of miles I did last January.

The first time...and the sickest I have ever been
You might remember that I have a history of colitis, and it raises its ugly head at the least opportune times (and if you remember this, you might also recall that Max tried so very hard to guard me when it hit, even growling at the Spouse Thingy to keep away from me.)

Yeah...it reared its ugly head again right after Christmas and I've been battling it since. It's not as bad as it was the first time (which led me to the epiphany of why some people just want to die, which helps with some empathy there) and certainly not super horrible, but I am so many levels of uncomfortable and nauseated that it's keeping me from doing things I want to do.

Getting on a bike yesterday, even inside, seemed like a bad idea and one I would regret. So I watched reruns of Doctor Who, leading up to the New Year's special, and did a whole lot of nothing.

I thought I was on the upswing last night and would be on that bike today (inside, because I am delicate and it is raining) but Thumper's Raging Intestines (I still think that should be a rage rock band name) decided I would not sleep anywhere near what one might call well, and that the first hour of my day after finally getting up would be spent nauseated as hell.

Still...I don't feel nearly as sick as I did July 2012, when I missed the Avon breast cancer walk because I was laying in a tight ball in bed, feeling sorry for anyone who'd ever felt anywhere near that bad. This time I can remain upright (though I've taken a few naps because that's how I deal with not feeling well) and I have an appetite, but no energy to prepare food so I've been eating a lot of crap.

No energy to work, either. Or to start on clearing things from Max's bedroom, because it's about to become a Dammit Machine room, and y'all know how much he would have liked that. [insert evil laughter]

My view will be the same, absent cat barf...
Only one Dammit Machine this time. I'm taking it over for my bike, and hanging a couple of my lesser used bikes on the wall, because why the hell not? I'm still so glad we turned that into a space for Max when we did, and it will be a royal pain in the asterisk to get the sofa and love seat out of there again, but I'm not one for major shrines and it's already time to change it.

Also...the sofa stinks. The love seat stinks. Max dribbled a lot in the last few months through no fault of his own, so we're just getting rid of them. They can be cleaned, sure, but...hopefully we can donate them or give them away.

So. Maybe tomorrow I can ride. I want to say I feel better right now, but I thought the same thing about this time yesterday and it went to chit. So.

I did get up this morning to donuts on the counter and dinner already cooking in the Crock Pot, which meant I didn't have to go to the store today, and the Spouse Thingy didn't even know I'd had such a crap night.

Fingers crossed that next week is better. Spouse Thingy gets his 2nd COVID vaccine, so even if I feel better, he might not...not even going to make real plans.