Friday, feelin’ cocky.

Today I complete five months of riding my bike to work. I’m feeling pretty full of myself about it. I’d wanted to start for yeeeeeears but something always held me back. Mostly a legitimate fear of riding through the Posey Tube, an underwater tunnel that connects my home island (Alameda) with Oakland. Bikes and pedestrians share a *very* narrow walkway that slopes downhill for about half a mile. You’ll get going super fast, brakes on the whole way, sweaty-palming it because if your handlebars catch the guardrail, you’re gonna flip into traffic going freeway speed. If you need to pass anyone, you have to stop and squeeze by–often one person has to swing their bike over the rail for this to work. If someone’s pushing a shopping cart through the tube, you’re not getting past them. On top of all that, it’s fucking helluv loud and stinky.

But my PTSD around taking AC Transit got too bad in November after I was attacked for the second time. First time, this crazy man punched me between the shoulder blades as he got off the bus. No reason. Maybe I was in his way. I didn’t expect anyone to do anything, but no one even fucking said anything to me about it. Unbelievable. Second time, maybe a month later, I brushed a woman’s arm with my tote bag as I squeezed past her. She turned and smacked my ass. I lost it. (And I know better than to engage.) I turned around and yelled, “Don’t you spank me! I am not your child!” Of course she got up in my face and threatened my death. No one around us reacted. I had stopped reacting. (I really do know better than to engage.) She eventually got off the bus, still screaming, “Bitch, come get some of this…I’ll kill you, bitch…” And again, no one made a comment. No one said a thing. Amazing.

So fuck you, AC Transit, your surly drivers, your erratic schedule, and all your crazy-ass riders.

Now I ride my bike to a free shuttle driven by a wonderfully koo-koo dude named Rafael whose classic Friday afternoon goodbye isĀ  “Have a great weekend guys, ride safe, I love you!” Can you beat it? No stinky tube, no crazies besides awesome Rafael, no one has attacked me in over five months, PTSD lessening steadily, thigh muscles rock hard, sense of superiority over all the suckas in their single occupancy vehicles high, and I feel FUCKING PUNK ROCK.

Here’s a photo of a ranunculus!

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Aw, we’re learning and growing

Happy Friday from someone who *hates* to update her blog.

I hate it so much I feel my body clench up at the thought. That’s ridiculous, because I love to write. I just don’t want to write the damn blog.

I think it comes down to expectations. Like I think every stupid blog post should be the one that catapults this sucker to viral infamy. If the thoughts crossing my mind aren’t up to that standard, why bother committing them to blogdom at all?

Dumb, right?

With no better reason than that I need to update the damn blog, here’s what’s going on in my thoughts this Friday AM. Lately sometimes I feel old. Don’t get me wrong, I still text with my thumbs and go to rock shows and spend a lot more time thinking about my next tattoo than about retirement planning. But I’m grumpier about almost everything than I used to be. I’m hitting critical mass on how many friends and acquaintances I’m willing to juggle. And sometimes I feel like I’m no longer learning.

This makes me sad. Learning is fun. It’s fucking exciting. It’s sexy. Reading this article reminded me of that feeling, and made me think specifically about how we continue to learn to shape our writing craft, years after we think we’ve got it nailed. For me those leaps of learning come from reading a kick-ass book and seeing something new a writer has accomplished, something that makes me jealous enough to try emulating it.

Here are a few recent reads that made this cranky old grump feel awesome about learning again: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Orphan Master’s Son, Wintergirls, Winter’s Tale, and The Birthday of the World. Don’t let me forget The Sugar Frosted Nutsack.

Here’s a photo of a cactus flower!

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