Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome To Sulandia

Hey people.  Thanks so much for checking out the new digs.  It would be awesome if you'd follow or subscribe.  (It makes me feel appreciated.)

Main differences between Sulandia & The Slaghammer?

1) Absence of the word slag, which is apparently irresistible to Britts.
2) Tabs.  Notice them at the top.  The art one will get updated every once in a while, and others may appear w/o notice.
3) Fresh start.  The old blog started as an "internet presence" thing for the writing.  This is just for fun, to connect with people and just be myself.

Tell me what you guys think.  On to the first post!

My Memorial Day weekend actually started Friday, but don't be jealous (much) (okay, go ahead) because I'm working today (Mon.)  (Probably.  A little anyway.)  I took a couple of cool folks on a little kayak trip down the Miss.  Up by me it's not gross yet.  It's still a young river.  As I waited around in my backyard for them I looked around at all the illuminated green and listened to the birds and thought, "I will never regret a moment of this day."  It was perfect.

Sat began with a mission.  Remember my big out of the box weekend where I shot arrows and guns and drove a motorized bar stool and rode a motorcycle?  And it made me decide we needed to get little Honda trail bikes?

Well, here is the one we decided to get for me, but, typically for us-- it was five hours away in Ely.  ~road trip, road trip, road trip~

The drive was pretty.

We saw a gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Cambridge.

Once in Ely, things looked very "up-northy."  It's actually a very cute town, with lots of shops and restaurants, kayaks on car roofs, and guys with bushy beards and bandannas.

And a cool old theater.  I wish people would re-open these and show old movies.  Like "Now showing at the Way-Back Room!"


When we got to Honda Guy's place, we found out he's a chemical engineer who works at the Cryogenic Dark Matter Research Lab which is underground, in MN's deepest mine-- the Sudan.  Dark matter research-- in the Arrowhead, on the Iron Range-- ~weird~.  I guess the mine protects their equipment from cosmic rays.  (Not kidding.)  This is his dog who wanders up and down the street being fed by each neighbor along the way. 

This cool old bike was hanging in his garage.  You know how I like cool old bikes & stuff.

Everything went great until we tried to leave town.  The car began mysteriously shimmying whenever we accelerated.  The guys spent a couple hours trying to figure it out.  Honda Guy nicely helped us out and lent us tools etc.  Eventually we decided it was safe to attempt the trip home, even though it was still messed-up.

While waiting around I did find this piece of cool rust in the street.  Not a total waste of time.

When we finally got home, we had just enough time to have a beer by the river.

The next morning, we went mountain biking.  WEE!  My goals haven't changed about wanting to get faster and being able to ride all the features (rock gardens, stairs, etc), but the intensity has lessened.  It's now more about having fun and staying safe (pretty safe.)  I'm taking the pressure off. 

No one will be impressed by me no matter how *good* (for me) I get anyway.  Last year, after I got my feet wet, I think I suffered from delusions of grandeur, wanting to get to be good enough that people would be like *wow*. 

I used to get mad at myself for being a chicken, or not improving faster, or not being in better shape.  That's all just egotistical B.S.  I'm trying to catch that kind of thing now-- ego stuff, trying to focus on the moment and other people more.  Now when I ride I try to give myself a break.  I just say ~"wee!"~ a lot and enjoy the ride.  I'll keep improving just by continuing to do it.  Fun is the whole point. 

This is the dreaded dead snake I've been riding by for over a week and complaining about on the mtb forum.  I've never ever seen a snake over there, so this was rather alarming to me.  ~EEP~

False alarm-- root.
In the afternoon we decided to mess around with the new Honda, which Dan says isn't as nice as the first one we got and is kind of pissed to have to tune on a bit.  I rode it up and down the driveway one time before going off it and onto my face and elbow.  The dirt all over my nose and mouth doesn't show up too good in the pic, but this was post-crash.  Dan couldn't stop laughing.

He made fun of me for wearing my bike helmet, but I was glad I did.  As the ground was racing towards my face all I could think was, "Oh no, not again!"  Then-- blam.  "Ow."

I'd planned on getting a helmet kind of like this, but maybe chrome because they're so visible.  This whole motorcycle thing is so out of character for me and kind of scary.  So much so, that at times when my writer brain goes off on a tangent about "what if I ever have to go on the lamb for some reason" I've thought becoming a motorcycle chick would be the perfect cover for me because it would be my absolute LEAST likely mode.

Dan thought I should get one like this and I laughed.  "Oh right-- for my little Honda that can't go over 48 mph."

Now I'm thinking one like this would be more the thing.  Dan said if I'd have fallen on pavement how I did in our sandy driveway I'd be missing teeth and have no skin on lots of my parts.  I'm rather attached to my skin and teeth.  I don't like this idea at all.

The take away from this incident for me, is that anytime I watch someone else doing something that scares me (Dan had just zoomed around rather impressively) and my first reaction, beyond being scared is, "I should just quit being such a wuss/baby," I get into trouble.  Usually the people I'm watching have more experience and actually know what they are doing.  I want to be all daring and awesome, but I tend to want to start off at a gallop.  Much as I hate to admit it, I should listen to my fear, even though it makes me feel like a big WUSS.

See?  Even that-- I'm chastising my fear even as I'm admitting it's trying to save my butt.  Me = hopeless.  But I am learning.

I spent the rest of the evening whining about getting hurt.  My elbow burned like crazy and the back of my leg where the bike landed on it hurt too.  He took me for ice cream, (how else do you placate a big baby?) and got me these "lucky lights" candy cigarettes.  Apparently I need the luck.

  After taking this pic he goes, "There's nothing funny about smoking you know.  This isn't funny." -- Which made me laugh for some reason.

I guess as much as I want to be a "light bringer" (positive force for good, all around good-egg type), there is still part of me that carries the fire, and my inner teenager still gets a kick out of subversive fun.

It sure seems like a lot has happened since last Thursday.  ~Whew!~