Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So, how was your summer?

Hey people.  Man, has it really been 3 months since I typed those words?  I just haven't felt like I had anything that interesting to say.  Who am I anyway?  There is nothing that special about me.  I started a blog because I wanted to be a writer, and you are supposed to create an *online presence* if you are serious about that.  Now?  Now i have no idea why I do it.  There doesn't seem to be much point at all.  But hey-- here we go.

Last night I tried racing again, an "alley cat race", which is where you navigate finding your own way to various checkpoints throughout the city as fast as you can.  The reason this interested me was that it was a women only race, and at night.  I love doing rowdy strange things in the dark.  What can I say?  (Here is the tee shirt I got.)

I wasn't going to ride Penny, because with her small fat wheels she'd probably be too slow.  So I decked out Hula in racing silks (my purple skull streamers).

I even rigged up a small speaker under the handlebars, and taped my iPod to the center of the post so I could have rolling tunes.

It was pretty out of the box for me to sign up for this.  I didn't know anyone who was doing it.  I don't know my way around Minneapolis.  I don't see so good in broad daylight anymore, much less at night.  But I still yearn for adventure, and love to ride bikes, and wish like mad I had a pack of oddballs like myself to hang out with doing strange things but I just don't, so I pushed myself to do this even though there was a high likelihood I'd feel isolated and insecure.

I don't have any cool shots of me racing, so here is an *artist interpretation*.  You can see some actual pics HERE, I am actually in about 5 of them.

I did feel insecure, but there were a lot of friendly women who helped me not to feel like a total reject at least.  A fast group of 4 gals let me hang on their back wheel and take advantage of their knowledge of the city.  I was riding harder than I ever have in my whole life and felt like I was in an action movie.  We broke a lot of laws, and I don't know how many cars almost hit me.  I was always pulling up the rear, so unless I wanted to be lost in the dark in Mpls, it was keep up or be left for dead.  It was a total rush zooming through side-streets and alleys, skirting along train tracks and around buildings, through (public) gardens (on a path)-- I didn't know where the heck i was about 90% of the time, just registering-- "Oh- crossing the river again" or "hey-- there's the sculpture garden" or recognizing random places as we sped by.

The results aren't up yet, but I'm guessing we finished somewhere in the middle of over 300 entrants.  I could never have done this race on my own.  If you don't know your way around town you would be totally screwed in this race.  Also, my bike was WAY clunkier than the others I saw.  Most people were on very svelte looking bikes with skinny skinny tires.  I also brought my pack for the back of mine stuffed with diet cokes, waters, food, a jacket etc etc that made it ever heavier.  So I was working super hard to keep up.

There was a cool after party at a (bike) frame shop.  They had kegs and a DJ and stuff.  Ridiculously, right up until the end of the race, I pictured myself morphing into a new version of myself in this setting where no one knew me-- a version who would be wild and gregarious and bust moves in the pit and stay out super late.  But alas.  I was the same old introverted me, and left before the party even got into full swing, because I was physically wiped out, and drained from trying to be social for so many hours in a row, and, amid all the tatoo'd, fit, fabulous masses, I felt OLD.  Awesome for having participated, but not comfortable shaking my ass with a bunch of 20- 30 year olds.

When I got home, Dan took pity on me and gave me a big massage.  I slept in the next morning, and he made me a waffle.  It's nice to have a *home team*. 

So... what else have I been up to?  There has been a tiny amount of pal-ing around with Trusty Pam, but not nearly so much as in the past because she has gone over to the dark side and become a full-blown roadie now.  We get together when we can though.

There was a bit of swanning around this summer too.

I've been doing art at a sort of relaxed pace that I'm definitely picking up now.

I am still in love with how rust mixes with paint.

This is a funny picture from the state fair.  It exemplifies what I don't like about *the art world*-- someone apparently had some point to make, and people are all crowding around it to see what the deal is.  Most were just confused.   It just feels really pompous.

This is another shot from the state fair, of the sidewalk.  To me this is beautiful.  

My efforts to recruit a tribe of girl mountain bikers to hang out with failed.  I created an online group, tons of people joined.  Girls in the south metro use it as a forum to hook up for rides, and that's great, but they all live and ride really far away from me.  I've taken a whole bunch of girls out who wanted to learn how to mountain bike.  They all did it once.  I'm not sure if it's me, or if it's just too hard and intimidating or what.  There was one girl who rode with me a few times, but her life with her 4 young kids sucked her back in.  So I'm a unicorn again.  No playmates.

I tried road riding once, but thought it was boring, and I still don't like the idea of riding on streets where half the idiots are on their cell phones.

I have managed to convince Dan to go kayaking a few times.  That is a strange activity for me.  It's almost like when I get on the water a little valve inside me goes "whoosh" and lets a bunch of stress out of me.  I'm not always in the mood for that, because sometimes my mood makes me feel more like burning that away on two wheels, but I've never been on the water and regretted it.  It's always "ahhhh" inducing.

I spent a good part of July slaving at the trail, getting dirtier and sweatier than i ever have in my life (I say that every year, but it always seems true).  I was going to take a series of *after* pics from my trailwork days, but my vanity kicked in.  Also I completed chainsaw training so am officially all lumberjacky now.  I even have *my own saw* ( not really-- it's the park's ) called "the barbie" because it's smaller than typical.  

The other day this guy came by when i was working outside at my shop.  As I was admiring it, it began to, well, die... basically.  I picked it up and it revived a bit and clung to my finger.  At one point it seemed it's head wasn't fully attached anymore (which was rather disturbing), but it rallied again and sort of started cleaning itself or something.  But it was obvious it was kind of shorting out.  I moved it over onto some grass.  By this time it wasn't grabbing anything anymore, so i kind of propped it on a few stems of grass.  I thought if it was in its last moments, it would want to go in a nice peaceful setting, rather than in some giant alien's hand, probably freaking out.  

Things like this seem important to me.  It's weird because death doesn't really disturb me much-- and this didn't disturb me either, it just seemed... significant.  My beliefs are too expansive for any religion I know of (my God doesn't hate anyone), but I def believe everything/one is energy-- a ball of life that exists, body or no body, forever.  I think everything/one was created by (no better word for it, sorry) God, even if the process used to do that is a scientific process that is sort of cool for us to discover and pick away at.  Even this little tiny thing; it wasn't an accident.  It was made, on purpose.  I don't know why it was here, why any of us are, but the fact that we spend some time here in these bodies seems like something to respect, like if we don't, we're somehow missing out on something.  I can't really explain this.


Lowrah said...

You did AWESOME during the race! I know we beat you up a little, but know we were all hurting. That's the fun of it sometimes, you know? =]

Super glad I met you, super glad to have been able to cut up Minneapolis with you. You're welcome to hang out with me/ Grease Rag at any time, Sue.

You're a champ!!

pseudosu said...

It was a fun and tough challenge Low. I have wanted to bike *as fast as I can* for a long time, and usually don't have a good excuse to, or a destination (esp in town). Babes was very hard, but it felt great to be able to do it. Thanks for letting me hang with you guys!

Maery Rose said...

I've had a tweet conversation about chickens with someone from GreaseRag. They do sound like they do some cool stuff and I wanted to join but yeah, they look young & I'm pretty sure I couldn't keep up.

I don't know about other people but not mountain biking for me comes down to no time. I barely find time to ride my bike at all. If given a choice I'd like to get into kayaking but again, not enough time.

My hope is that there is snow this winter and skiing!

Leigh Anne Farrell said...

I enjoyed the entire post. You are always awe inspiring, because you are doing just what you want to do, and dammit, you're so good at it. The end of the post was lovely concerning the dragonfly. I'm that way to.The older I get, the more introspective, and alas, introverted. I like my company so much more now than I did ages ago. Best to you..... L