Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bikey and costumey madness

Hey people.  Whoopdee-dooo!  It's Halloween!  Not that anything spectacular is happening around here, because it's also Wednesday (big whoop), and I polished off all the candy yesterday.  (No kids ever come anyway.  Our driveway is too foreboding.  Leaving the lights off is probably a factor as well.)  This has always been one holiday I really look forward to, but I'll get back to that in a sec.

This post is part bikey, part costumey, part we'll see what else burbles to the surface.

I told you guys a little while ago I was sort of bummed about not being able to recruit any girls to mountain bike with.  I still am, a little.  I've figured out it is probably partly because I am not good enough to ride with truly fast/expert riders, partly because for girls mountain biking tends to be kind of do or die.  Not many women who aren't very good/fast are interested in doing it, because it is hard work and there is a high likelihood of getting hurt at some point.  Another factor is that my trail is kind of a haul for anyone living in the cities, and rumored to be the most difficult trail.  Another thing I have to cop to I guess, is that I know I have a weird intensity to me, and tendency to be very direct that can be off-putting.  So yeah.  Basically I'm kind of a reject.

Have you noticed a part/party/contributing factors theme yet?  One seems to be developing.  How exciting.  Let's see what happens...  (spoiler alert-- it goes way off the rails by the tail end.)

Anyhow-- I'm not just going to roll-over and quit riding, because I do love it in the way you love bad boyfriends.  It's sure not always nice to me, and it seems I will never entirely figure it out, but the intermittent thrill of success and, well, *thrills*, is enough to keep me coming back for more abuse.  With this in mind, I decided to work harder on my skills.  I built a few little features in my yard to practice on.  Maybe this will help it to feel more fun again, boost my confidence.  Anyway-- it is for sure fun to whiz over this little teensy jump.  I'll gradually increase the size of things as my skill/confidence creeps up.

 Halloween Halloween.  How I have loved you.  Every year I begin thinking of what to be... pretty much before the current year's Halloween has even arrived.  Like, I started thinking about what to be NEXT Halloween, (like, Halloween '13) about a month ago.  I've thought a lot about what it is that appeals to me so much about costumes.  There is for sure an argument to be made for the whole "alter-ego" thing.

Another appeal for me is the creativity angle.  It's a way to be really free to express yourself that way, go wild.  I'm told by friends not into it that this is one of the very reasons they hate it--- lack of creativity/motivation.  There are, oddly, (to me) people who hate the whole deal.

 I think a couple more reasons I love it are that I feel sort of in sync, for once.  When you are in a costume, let's face it, everyone is looking at you, but everyone is looking at everyone else too, yet they have no idea who you really are.  This is how I feel a lot just in normal, walking-around life.  But on Halloween I feel weirdly included.  Also it reminds me of drinking in the way that there is always a possibility some way more fun version of myself may emerge, or some kind of outrageous illicit fun could bust-out that I could participate in.  Usually this doesn't happen, but the possibility itself is thrilling too.

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to go on a tweed ride.  This is where people dress up in kind of old-fashion-y clothes with a British spin on them and pedal around town, usually stopping at various pubs.  Costumes on bikes-- what could be more fun?   

We wound-up kind of wussing-out on the Minneapolis hipster night ride, but went on our own with a couple of friends the next day.  Yeah-- so what?-- our very own tiny tweed ride in Anoka.  My friend said she knew of a trail that went past an insane asylum and and a feral cat community where they all live in little houses people built for them in their own little kitty village.  Sign me up!!

It was fun-- the ride part was-- but Anoka sucks for pubs/good places to eat.  There are however, a bunch of biker bars apparently.  So there we were, amid throngs of leather wearing bad-asses and drunken post-vikings game bar-flies in our fancy-wear outfits on our bicycles.  We ate gross bar food and had a beer (pop for me) and that was about it.  As we rode away I tried to reassure the gawking biker chicks on the corner to not be intimidated by our *gang*.  Me and my friend rang our bike bells at them and made "Vrooming" noises.  They thought it was pretty funny.

That was fun, but I had 2 more costume rides to saddle-up for.  Remember last year's costume? 

 This year I decided to go with a space woman motif.  I began collecting components back in April-- mostly off Ebay and Craig's List.  I made the jet-pack...

And the helmet... Well...  The HELMET!!!  It became an obsession.  It became a work of art.  I hand placed I don't know how many bazillion 1/4" silver foil squares on the entire surface of it.

I wanted a mirror-ball effect, which it fell short of, but still...  It did come out pretty damned awesome.

 The first ride was another Minneapolis hipster adventure a-la facebook.  A rolling rave ride through the dark city streets, with possibly hundreds of costumed revelers, music, and multiple bar stops.  ~Head explodes at potential fun factor~

Dan was a Native American Indian.  Who was ready to party. 

This horrible but short video is of the mobile sound and light show that accompanied us.  It is nearly impossible to grasp the awesomeness of this without seeing it in person.  It is a bike with huge speakers mounted in the front and back, with a mixing board and computer on the back rack, and towing a trailer with 150 lbs of batteries in it.  When it rolled up Dan's eyes got huge, and he got a big old grin and said, "You never said it would be like THIS!"

The best part of the vid is how much fun a certain Indian is having.

 We are not the party animals we once were, plus I had to help blow leaves and dirt off miles of trail at 8:00 the next morning, so we just went to a couple of the bars.  Rolling through the dark streets as part of a roiling mass of rebellious, loud, barely controlled chaos was the kind of fun I've been craving for a long while.  People bopped along to the jammin' tunes; guys peeled off and busted tricks on curbs and concrete embankments; people on the street cheered as we rode by.  It was a taste of that wildness I crave but seldom get.

The bar scene I could do without.  It was the riding around I loved.

Here is Hula photo-bombing my helmet.

 After we decided to pack it in,  we had to navigate back to where we left out car, and weren't really sure where we were, and we were dressed as a space-woman and an Indian.  I made a wrong turn and we found ourselves back in the hood where we used to live-- North Minneapolis.  I kept stopping to check my phone, but the helmet made my head feel like it was stuck inside a Lazyboy-- I had no peripheral vision, and couldn't hear, and Dan is deaf in one ear so couldn't hear me.

I'd just get the phone out and light it up, and drunks would begin stumbling towards us like zombie moths.  They are harmless in the same was as zombies-- they are slow, uncoordinated, not smart, and generally, unarmed.  At least-- no guns.  So I'd frantically poke at my phone and when they got within about 20 feet we'd take off again.  Eventually we found the car, and even this part was fun in that adventurey way I enjoy.  Dan also had a blast.

The next day was the Halloween mountain bike race at the trail.  I've gone from hanging about surreptitiously spying on the racers to racing, to riding around not racing but just having fun, to helping run the races, so there would be no bike involved for me this year, which was kind of a bummer but oh well.  There was no way I was going to get my spacewoman outfit all filthy, so opted (lamely) for a black cat outfit I made years ago.  It is perhaps the only non-slutty black cat outfit in existence and therefor should probably be placed in a time-capsule or something when I die for the good of woman-kind.

I was in kind of a crappy mood that day, which was really *off* for me.  But this made me laugh my butt off--- Cool Trail Boos Rich as Evil Knievel.  (The cute wolf or whatever in the background is Mrs. Cool Trail Boss Rich.)  (Kristen)

I think I was just a little *funned-out*, and I was pretty fried from working for 4 hours before the event even started too (which I offered to do, and didn't mind, even kind of liked-- but I did get kind of dragged-out and am apparently an old lady now about going without much sleep.  My former party-animal self is spinning in her grave.  She probably is still passed-out and completely oblivious come to think of it.)   

Part of my out-of-syncness was also because it's just been a rough few months.  Nothing is wrong, it's just been harder than normal to drag myself back up out of the crap.  But I am working on it.  And it's getting easier.  But at times when I know damned-well I'm supposed to be having a butt-load of fun and I'm not because... just because-- it makes me extra crabby because it points-out how out of sync I am.  (What a piece of work I am.)  But it's part of my complicated fabric of life I guess.  Work in progress till the day I die probably. 

One thing I enjoyed watching at the race was this kid (blue fleece) who was hell-bent on creating a jack-o-lantern with a flaming (from the inside) face.  He attracted all the other kids to his project because kids are natural pyros.  It was interesting and hilarious watching them experiment.  "It needs a marshmallow"  "It needs some ashes"  "Do pumpkin guts burn?"   The main kid was like some kind of beautiful mad-scientist.  Probably one of the most beautiful kids I've seen.

 There was the usual pumpkin massacre which was fun, and I still watched and video'd some of it, but I didn't feel it.  It wasn't wild and exciting like other years.  It was just me.  Being out of sync.

This sounds like it was all a bummer or something and it wasn't at all.  There were parts that were really fun, little moments where I had a good laugh or a nice small visit with a friend, and all that counts.  It's just that it all takes place in this kind of fog of blah that is very difficult to rise above.

So what am I doing about it?  I'm trying to find fun.  Riding my bike.  Going running.  Being in the woods and purposely noticing how cool it is to BE IN THE WOODS.  I'm paging through the faces of people I love in my mind and feeling my love for them.  I'm trying to get out of my head and do things for other people.  I'm making art.  I'm making plans with friends.  I'm making myself think about how lucky I am and making myself feel gratitude.  All this is a way back.  It just takes a while, but it always works, eventually.

I already feel tons better than I did about a month ago.  :)  This did not go where I thought it would, but kind of like night rides when you are dressed as a spacewoman, lost and being pursued by drunken zombies-- you just have to roll with it and find your way home.


strugglingwriter said...

I've been sick all week so I'm just reading this now, finally able to get my brain to talk with my fingers to do the talky-talky. Love you pictures and costumes (that jet pack is my favorite bit, I think). Also love your drive to keep biking.


Maery Rose said...

I've felt that same frustration lately of being out of sync, I should be having fun but I'm not, or this is good so why aren't I happier? And not doing stuff because I don't feel like doing anything, no energy, angry at myself, blah, blah, blah. Decided this morning that I need to ignore what I feel and just do the things that are important to me. Push my way through the yuck. We'll see how it goes.

Awesome space costume by the way!

pseudosu said...

Pushing your way through the yuck is a super important strategy for me. It actually drives me to do activities I'd otherwise wimp out on. There is some credence in becoming too busy to be depressed, also it forces you to keep social.

Heidi the Hick said...

Wow, I just don't even know what to say, except... You must be an incredibly good hang. I mean, occasional bouts of un-synced blahs and heavy intensity included, even the non-fun sounds like fun to me!

Brains like ours, the world just isn't always sure what to do with us, but we're here so we make the best of it! That space woman costume is fantastic. I want to do that. I made an astronaut suit for my son when he was in kindergarten. But the jet pack! I totally missed out on that. Well done!!!