Outfit Post: 7/7/14

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Top and skirt: Thrifted — Flats: American Rag — Earrings: Solano Stroll — Ring: Jewelry shop in Hallstatt, Austria

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Oh boy, Literary Stylings! My favorite! (That sounds sarcastic, but it’s really not.)

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I’ll be up-front with you guys, though; I kind of forgot about Literary Stylings this month, and this outfit isn’t directly based on any of the books I’ve read recently.

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But never worry, I can shoehorn a connection in anyway! To wit: I just finished a slim little anthology that Tia generously sent me, called Bikes In Space Volume II: More Feminist Science Fiction, edited by Elly Blue.

See? I’m a feminist! I have a bike! I’m technically in space! There you go.

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For real, though, I really enjoyed it. Most of the stories are quite short; the longest hits twelve pages, and the rest average something more like seven, and I think a few of them would benefit quite a bit from expansion. I particularly felt this way about the first few pieces–definitely good, but some pacing issues pulled me out of the story–but then I hit E.L. Bangs’ story “From an Interview with the Famed Roller Sara Zephyr Cain,” and my heart was totally won over.

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I do enjoy the very particular topic material, though (no surprise there), and some of the stories, like the aforementioned “From an Interview…” and like Maddy Engelfried’s “Midnight Ride,” feature disabled women and trans women as main characters, which is great! Other favorites of mine included “Winning Is Everything,” by Emily June Street, “Grandma Takes Off,” by Elizabeth Buchanan, “Bikes to New Sarjun,” by Jessie Kwak, and “Butt Dial,” by editor Elly Blue. They’re fun stories, and interesting; I recommend the collection if you have any interest in women, science-fiction, bikes, or all three. I’m going to check out volume one and then look forward to the publication of volume three. Who knows? Maybe I’ll submit a little something for the next issue!

Thanks for the book, Tia. You know what I like. ❤

EDIT: How could I have written this article and failed to link to a place where you can purchase Bikes in Space? Terribly neglectful of me. Go here to buy it and to take a look at other Elly Blue Publishing books!

Outfit Post: 5/29/14

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Top: Target — Pants: Thrifted — Camisole: Old Navy — Sandals: 6pm.com (Sam & Libby) — Necklace: World Market — Earrings: Gift

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I built this outfit around these earrings!

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These earrings which you can’t really see in either of these pictures!

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Ah, there we go. Bergie (past Bergie outfits one, two, and three) suggested an animal-themed outfit day on Twitter, so I started with these gorgeous, hand-carved earrings and worked my way down from there.

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I had to add an extra jump ring to the chain on this necklace so that it would be short enough to work with this neckline–you can probably tell from how uneven it is in the back, but whatever!

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Just call it a LIFEHACK or something, make it sound cool.

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Speaking of cool, I’m back on the bike! I actually have been for a few weeks since my minor accident–bikey’s a little squeaky but not much worse for wear. I ride whenever I have enough time in the mornings, and sometimes I swing by a park that’s halfway between work and home to sit in the shade and read a bit. I’ll try to persevere (with sunscreen) as the temperature continues to climb. At least in the mornings it’s tolerable!

Outfit Post: 1/4/14

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Tank top: Thrifted — Camisole: Old Navy — Jeans: From Tia (skinnified by me) — Oxfords: Payless — Belt: Target — Necklace: Gift (from Mexico)

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This outfit isn’t so much about style–it’s pretty nondescript–as it is about strength. I wore this on Saturday to fix the flat tire on my bike, and being able to do so successfully made me feel strong and capable. I’m not a physically powerful person, and I don’t have much desire to be, but accomplishing even a basic fix by myself was satisfying, as was getting back on my bike and riding it around the neighborhood. Looking at these pictures makes me happy!

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What do you wear that makes you feel strong or powerful?

Outfit Post: 10/10/13

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Dress: eShakti — Flats: American Rag — Headband: The Faerie Market — Belt: Thrifted — Bracelet: Hand-me-down

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Here are a few factoids (factettes? factlings? factatertots?) about me for a Tuesday afternoon:

1. I have the very bad habit of driving with only one hand on the steering wheel.

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2. I harbor a secret desire to get rid of all my clothes and make myself over as a gothy hard femme.

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3. Last month I bought myself a new bike for my birthday! I liked my previous bike (and I liked even more that it was free), but the back wheel was bent, and there were some other problems, and it would have cost about as much to fix it as it was to just buy the new one. Plus, the new one has the added benefit of sharing my name, so, y’know.

Outfit Post: 7/9/13

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Shirt: Gift — Capris: Goodwill — Sandals: Goodwill (Aerosoles) — Earrings: Gift, from Greece — Bracelet: ABC Store

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I’ve started riding my bike again!

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What’s that? What do you mean, you didn’t know I’d stopped? Well, I did.

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You may or may not remember when my bike got stolen and I got a new bike for free under slightly unusual circumstances (thanks, campus PD!). Well, I rode that new bike roughly twice and the back tube went flat, and then it took me until last weekend to get a new one and fix things up.

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But I did, finally, and I’m riding again! It’s kind of amazing how out-of-shape I feel after not riding for a couple of months, but I just have to remember that it’ll get easier again. I do genuinely enjoy it, although I may not necessarily enjoy the 95+F weather I’ve been doing it in.

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I don’t remember if I ever showed off the new bike around here, so here it is! I’m still getting used to it–I feel very tall, and also the handlebars are so wide it’s hard to get it through doorways–but I’m glad to have a new (to me) set of wheels. Before you know it, I’ll be mowing down pedestrians with the best of them.

Outfit Post: 2/4/13 (26 of 30)

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Top: Goodwill (Wet Seal) — Long-sleeved tee: Target — Skirt: Goodwill (H&M) — Tights: HUE — Shoes: Swapped — Ring: Monterey Bay Aquarium — Earrings and pendant: Hand-me-downs

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but my bike was stolen a couple of weeks ago. I’m not terribly surprised, given that it was locked outside my building at work for a week and a half while I was too busy after-hours to go pick it up (and it was locked with an ancient cord lock besides), but still. I hope the person who took it really needed it, because of all the bikes in the world to steal, a crummy old Schwinn isn’t much of a score. (Although it did have newish lights on the front and back, dangit.)

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In a strange turn of circumstances, however, I may be receiving a free, new-to-me cruiser this afternoon–I can’t quite believe it, so we’ll see if it’s still available when I go to pick it up after work. Maybe-thanks, Public Safety!

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Now I just have to get back into the habit of riding, since I’ve had to drive to work for the last couple of weeks. The route from the new house won’t be all that different from the old one, but I still have to give it a test ride to see how much longer it takes me.

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I also have to go buy a new lock–I know most people recommend a U-lock for better safety than a cord lock, but I’m thinking about investing in a TiGr lock. Mike got one when they were Kickstartering the idea and has nothing but good things to say about his, so I’m considering it. Any alternative locking methods I should look into, bike-riding friends?

How To: Switching Bike Seats

One of the really rough things about being human is that we’re often shaped differently. To buy anything off the rack is to typically be uncomfortable in some way or another. This is especially true for things like athletic equipment, such as bicycles! A friend of mine a while back gave me her bike seat when I complained about my old one, but when I installed it, I realized that it was definitely the wrong seat for me. It’s one of the slender seats, which is better for bike riders who do not have upright bikes, but instead bike for speed. I do not ride for speed, but comfort. So I waited, since winter was coming, but then the weather got to be so nice and I got a bit of spare loan money in, so I bought a new seat. I didn’t take that many pictures of the process, but it’s not too difficult. The first step is to get the old seat off.

No more saddle! I had to unscrew it, which took some time. After loosening it up with a wrench though, it could be finger twisted off quite easily.

Here’s the old saddle, and the assorted bits that kept it on the center pole. Oh, and the remnants from my old bike like that vanished. Whoops. So after getting the old seat off, the first bit is pretty easy: set the new seat on and screw it down as much as possible with your hands.

Now, you have to adjust the nose of the seat. My new saddle is noseless, because I did quite a bit of reading before purchasing this sucker. The front part of a saddle can cause serious damage to both dudes and ladies(though the damage is a lot scarier for dudes: reduced sperm count, etc) especially if you ride frequently. As a commuter, I decided to value my junk a little higher, and get a comfort seat. This meant I had to tilt it back a bit, because otherwise it feels a bit like you’re going to slide right off the front of the bike. I actually tightened the seat down all the way before figuring out that the front was pointed too far forward, and had to loosen it up again and whack the back of the seat down, and then tighten it up again.

I’ll write up a review of my new seat when I get a chance to do a proper commute or longer ride, but since switching seats, I’ve discovered my back tire is flat. Bicycle, why you gotta be like that? Hopefully the snow will hold off long enough for me to ride it to the shop to get a new tire installed, since it seems to be a slow leak at least!

Have a good weekend!

Outfit Post: 10/6/11

So I’m wearing this as I’m typing this and I’m going to post when I’m done. Boy do I miss having a backlog of outfits to pull from. Maybe I’ll do an album review or book review some time this weekend for the inevitable day-that-I-can’t-take-pictures. O_o Also, finally showing y’all my huffy!

I bought my bike at the working bike co-op here in Chicago last summer for $60. She isn’t the fastest or the prettiest or the most well taken care of bicycle, but she get’s my three miles to campus and back every day, despite all my complaining. And when the day comes that I have a grand to replace her, I will, joyously, but I have no doubt I’ll keep her for winter, when nice bikes get hidden away so as to avoid rust.

Just FYI: I love my helmet. I’ve been wanting to paint it since I purchased it, but always shy away, for some reason or another. I’ve also swapped out bags: this is my top access messenger bag. It works pretty well, though it slides to my side sometimes.

Today was better. I know I’ve been down a lot lately, and even though I took the midterm and it blew so hard, I feel like things are getting better. Not sure from whence this optimism came, but I’m holding onto it. Besides, I have a phone chat with a lady who works at a San Matteo Educational Game company regarding a summer internship tomorrow, so I’m pretty excited about that!

I really do love this skirt. It’s brightness just put a bounce in my step. :3

 

 

21 of 30: Tia Fall Down Go Boom

So, today was a day. These are the last pictures you’ll ever see of these pants whole, because my bike tire got caught in a railroad track and I fell. Ugh.

So. Yeah. I’m kind of busted up today? My left hand has some gorey stuff going on so typing is less than awesome?

So. Yeah? If you’re curious about the damage, I’m going to hide the picture below the cut.

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Why Mia Might Actually Bike to Work Now That She’s Moving

If I’m being honest, I could give a hundred thousand explanations for why I don’t ride my bike as often as I could. I’m too busy, I’m too tired after work, I don’t have friends or anywhere to go, blah blah blah. But that’s all kind of nonsense. I don’t ride my bike very much because I’m lazy, and I’m lazy (partially?) because I don’t ride my bike very much. In an effort to pull myself out of this whirlpool of string cheese and despair, I vow that once Mike and I move to our new digs, I will make a valiant effort to ride my bike to and from work every day, barring freak hailstorms or buffalo stampedes.

See, the thing is: biking to work where we live now isn’t a viable option. Or at least, not a very viable option for a novice biker like myself.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

(Shut up, I did my best with my resources, and those resources just happened to be MS Paint.)

Point A is home and Point B is work. Where we live now, I can either take Route 1 and ride along Very Scary Main Street #1, or take Route 2 and ride along Very Scary Main Street #2. Or go a million miles out of my way to take a less-busy street, I guess, but these two options are the only ones I’m really considering.

Our town is not a terribly bike-friendly town by any stretch of the imagination. The main roads often don’t have bike lanes, and if there are bike lanes they’re usually filled with charming things like broken glass and animal corpses. Our town is not generally known as a safe, fun place for walking/riding down the street (I believe it’s in the top 10 most dangerous cities in California, however you quantify that sort of thing), and it can be worse along these roads. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m a paranoid worrywart who won’t leave her own house. I’m definitely not. Ignore the fact that I whited-out all the street names on these maps so that you may not find me and kill me. Aaaanyway, I’m definitely not crazy about going on long bike rides alone. To the library down the street, yes. To Winco, not so much. (Oh god, now you know that I live in a city with a Winco. My stepdad was right, everyone on the internet wants to hunt me down and put my fingers in a jar.)

However! Gaze upon the route-that-will-be from our soon-to-be new living space!

Not only is it a shorter ride, it’s mainly residential, and therefore I will be less likely to be hit by a car going 20+mph over the speed limit. Now, I know residential doesn’t automatically equal safe (oh god I’m going to get kidnapped and hamstrung oh god), but being able to ride in the street without a constant fear of being flattened is nothing to sneeze at. So, I’m going to cheerfully give it a go, and hopefully it will work out! I know this will probably look pretty laughable compared to some bike commuters’ routes, but baby steps. Baby rides. I will do this.

(I intended for my overly-paranoid asides to inject humor into this post, but they kind of read as sincere and pathetic. Maybe because someone I know was recently assaulted while walking home? That was late at night coming back from a bar, which is not a situation I frequently find myself in, but still. That’s genuinely terrifying and makes it harder to Think Good Thoughts about humanity. Stay safe, people.)