Gorgeous day for a run here in the TC. Sunny. A little breezy. Not super warm, but you like it a little cool when you’re exerting yourself.
I added some tracks from TCWC‘s winter concert with Bruce Henry to the “Chex Mix” and took off. I started with the big finale from the show, “Still I Rise.” The awesomest performance in the history of the TCWC. That one that nobody knew we could really do. That one.
And I followed it with the rest of my favorite tracks from that show, which lasted me about as long as my (not very long) run.
I don’t know what I looked like to whoever may have passed me on the street, but I was rocking the F out. Anticipating all those great entrances and key changes and the band breakdowns and remembering what a joyful experience it was to perform that concert. Didn’t matter the tempo of the song. I was consumed by every one and it propelled me through my run. I wasn’t even thinking about my body; I was entirely in my head.
We had our end-of-the-year Twos and a Fews party last night (Alto 2s, Soprano 2s, and a few other folks), so I’m all about choir this weekend. The fatigue from the last concert has subsided and anticipation of a choir-less summer has me back celebrating the fun parts.
Oh, and the Twin Cities Women’s Choir is on Twitter now, so follow @TCWC for news and behind-the-scenes type stuff. Not as much news now that we’re on summer hiatus, but I’m sure I can come up with something periodically.
I wrote this a year ago (and neglected to publish it), but it still holds true.
I’m anticipating severe choir withdrawal. I’ll still be seeing some folks for bike rides and at basketball games. And then, you know, there’s that girl that I’m totally into. But it’s quite a high to come down off of. Having rehearsal every Wednesday totally gets me through Hump Day, ya know?
Some friends of ours hold a Twos and a Fews party to celebrate the end of the season. “Twos and a Fews” means Alto 2s and Soprano 2s (because one of them is an Alto 2 *w00t* and one of them is a Soprano 2) and some assorted guests like various choir management types, partners, and the cool kids from the Ones (as if).
Yesterday we had our last “rehearsal”-slash-retreat in which we go over the spring concert and the whole season and have ice cream and sing a couple songs for fun. But Twos and a Fews feels like the real end of the season. It’s sort of a relief to have the free time, but it doesn’t take long to start jonesing for the next season to start.
Related: Our director, Mary Bussman, just had a lovely write up in the paper from her hometown of Stewartville, MN (I have no idea, it’s up north somewhere). Sounds like they’re just as proud of her as we are. I wonder if everyone in Stewartville had a little crush on her like everyone in the choir does. It’s a phase. We all get over it. She’s charismatic like that.
“I like pretending that Hillary or Obama in the White House would significantly change my life as a black woman in America.”
All last summer when I — actually, we — essentially spent weekdays at the Eden Prairie house, four miles from where I work, and spent weekends at the Uptown apartment, I said to myself that I should bike to work. Just once, at least. It’s four miles for cripes sake. How hard can it be? We have pretty nice facilities at work (which no one else uses) so if I want to take a shower and go the whole nine, I can.
I never did it last summer. But I did it today! This week is Bike Walk to Work Week in the Twin Cities. A lot of the festivities are focused around the downtowns, and while we have great trails all across the metro, the infrastructure is a little better closer in. But, like I said, I live four miles from work.
One of my co-workers is an avid biker. He bikes to work nearly year round. Only the most extreme weather and the possibility of having to go to our other building 20 miles away keep him from biking in. His route to work takes him near where I live, and he’s pretty familiar with this whole area. He recommended a route, and I took a dry run Monday evening after work.
So this morning I suited up and… I just did it. I told Missy last night that it didn’t really seem to be a big deal, but there were a bunch of little things that added up to overwhelming. One was not having a route, which I took care of. One was the fact that it’s not that easy of a ride. It’s short, but it’s not flat. One was riding with traffic, especially since folks out here in the ‘burbs are less used to sharing the road. As I listed these off, I totally thought I sounded like I was making excuses.
It came to the point where there’s only so much prep I can do and I really needed to just shit or get off the pot. So I rode in this morning.
I got a pair of bike shorts for my birthday that aren’t spandex (they kind of look like hiking shorts), so I wore those with a long sleeve shirt. The shirt was a cotton blend, not a tech fabric, so it was a tad warmer. It’ll probably be hot when I ride home. Yeah, I didn’t layer. Oops. My fingers were chilled at the beginning (it was about 50 degrees this morning), but they were fine by halfway through the trip. I packed my work clothes in a backpack. I kept my same shoes and socks on, since I don’t have clips and special shoes and just wore sneakers. I had my bike bottle in its holster, and I brought my morning coffee in a thermos.
It’s certainly different from quiet car time with my podcasts and coffee. I left the house about 10 minutes earlier than usual and got to work at about the same time. No calm ease into the morning. But also no traffic frustration. In fact, car traffic along my route was much less than I thought it would be. I was pretty jazzed by the time I got to work. A little bit from accomplishment and a little bit from adrenaline. When I sat down at my desk I didn’t really know what to do with the energy.
So that went really well and, you know, maybe I’ll try it again tomorrow. Here’s what went well this morning:
- The shorts are awesome.
- Drank some water before I left and while I rode.
- Putting the coffee in the thermos kept it nice and hot and I don’t have to worry about a mug spilling.
- I got my stuff together the night before and got out the door in a timely fashion. This may not happen as much as I get used to it and the novelty wears off.
Here’s what I’ll do differently going forward:
- Find a different solution for carrying my gear. At the very least, I could take a smaller backpack, but it’s the backpack that gets me all sweaty so if I stick with this I’ll look into getting something to strap onto the bike.
- Remember that I’m just trying to get to work and back, not do my big workout of the day. Especially on the way in. My instinct was to really push it, and I don’t need to do that. At least not yet, since I’m not accustomed to that much riding.
- Layers. I know this. I’m used to doing it for running. I just need to actually do it.
- Investigate the shortcuts. There are a few spots where I could be cutting through someone’s parking lot.
- ADDED: If my clothes are damp when I take them off in the morning and I stuff them into my bag and then stuff the bag into my cube closet, they’ll still be a little damp when I go to put them back on in the afternoon.
- ADDED: Must remember about lunch. Can’t just run across town for eats with no car. Plan for Co-worker Lunch Friday or remember to bring something.
I also signed up for Bike2Benefits, a Metro Transit program encouraging and supporting bike commuting. They’ve got a little tracker thing, and lord knows I loves me a good chart and some calculations. Any little bit of encouragement helps.
I declare my first bike commute a success! Assuming I don’t die or bust a tire or bite it or something on the way home.
Apparently iPhone 2.0 includes all the features (namely MS Exchange support) that RIM thinks makes Blackberry a superior device/service. And when that fails, RIM’s sticking to the keyboard as its point of differentiation. Again, the only thing keeping me from an iPhone is the carrier. I hope the Pearl lasts me until the iPhone has been freed from the shackles of AT&T.
About a month ago, mostly unprovoked by anything in particular, I said to Missy that if I have to take on any additional commitments beyond what I have now, something is going to have to give. I already feel strapped. I am approaching the limit of my capacity to do stuff. These are my current commitments:
Missy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The j-o-b isn’t changing over the next year at least. I already feel like I should give more to Metblog. Race in the Workplace, while it isn’t a huge commitment, always ends up taking more time than I think it will (which is fine, but I need to manage that better). I really like being back in the habit of posting here and I’m still deciding what to do with my other domain, especially since the job hunt will be upon me before I know it.
What’s different is choir. I’ve been asked to consider a couple of expanded roles. Which I would loooove to do. But I don’t think I can do both. I know I can’t do both and keep up with everything else. I might choose one extra choir duty instead of both.
Right now I’m going with the “let it simmer and something will come to you” and “ask Missy” methods of figuring out what to do. There’s probably some objective method of weighing my goals and priorities vs the amount of effort required. I have to reconcile the internal “what’s immediately satisfying and fulfilling and enjoyable” vs the external “what will do me and/or others good in the bigger picture.” They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but they’re not always the same.
Regardless, it’s gotta be quality over quantity. I know this in my head, but it pains me! I hate feeling like I’m letting somebody down. Maybe I’m not actually. And I’m sure whatever gives, the parties I’m responsible to will understand. I do like everything that I’m involved in. I just can’t do it all.
Background: When I left my first job in Minnesota in 2002, I got in the car and drove around the country until my severance ran out. I took the trip in two legs: East and West. Apparently at some point I decided to drop the emails I wrote to my iVillage peeps (many of whom I was meeting for the first time on the trip) into this here blog. So those posts will read like emails to people you don’t know, but it’s a quick and dirty account of how the trip went.
The trip lasted from July to September of 2002 and ended with me returning to my parents’ home in Detroit. Swirlspice.com officially began shortly thereafter. And everything after that is in the archives. Not that I expect anyone to read through 5+ years of posts.