Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 2 of my music experiment

Yesterday I decided to listen to my 21 days and 11 hours of music from A-Z, no skipping songs, no listening to anything else (on my computer or ipod) until I'm done. This is going to be quite the undertaking, which I realized as I suffered through an hour of afroman. "Because I got high" is hour of that guy is just too much.

On the flip side, I've heard a few songs that I really like that I usually skip over, and even made me fall in love with a couple bands so far that I would usually rarely listen to (air, amon tobin). Somehow it seems like whatever music comes on, it always suits my mood, which leads me to the question of the day: Is it my mood that dictates the music I choose, or is it the music I listen to that dictates my mood? Obviously, it goes both ways, but I am beginning to think that music has a much greater influence on my thoughts and mood than I would have previously given it credit for.

I am going to bring a notebook on the bus tomorrow and continue my experiment during my 5 hour bus ride to San Francisco, writing about any observations I have. I'm also bringing my portable thoreau, I'm going to study a chapter of chemistry, then read an essay by thoreau, then study a chapter of organic chemistry, then thoreau, and on and on. I need to get ready for two midterms next week, but I also want to take advantage of the down time to read something just for me.

Today I got to talk to the president of the ADA (American Dietetic association). He was talking about the opportunities within the ADA itself, including being a spokesperson for the ADA. That position really caught my attention, and made me think about pursuing a career in Nutrition writing and communication. I will always love writing and journalism, and while I definitely want to work in a clinical dietetics setting for a few years, I could see myself writing for a newspaper, or a magazine, or even doing PR for the ADA or a nonprofit community nutrition organization.

The world of nutrition is rapidly expanding along with America's collective waist line, and it seems like possibilities are multiplying exponentially. There's always a part of me that wants to go to grad school and become a researcher for performance and sports nutrition, and I still want to get involved in health care, and I also want to write. I know I can't pursue any one career that encompasses all of those, but writing could always be a complement to whatever career path I do end up taking.

I am more excited now than ever before for the prospects of the fruits of my scholastic labor.

I'm about to ride to the beach with my friend Snails, today's weather has been absolutely beautiful, and I've been riding around town all day. I went to Cambria Bicycle outfitters, where they sold me a lockring to replace the one I bent, and installed it for free. I'm going to take a sixpack of some nice lager to share with the guy that helped me next time I'm in. CBO has always taken care of me, and the guys are all super down to earth.

I hope you all have a great day, best wishes from the bike path!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Free pancakes at IHOP

Tomorrow is gonna be awesome. I get out of class at 3, then there's a nutrition club meeting that Marty Yubrick (one of the few male dieticians, now working for a software developer in nutrition in healthcare) is speaking at, then I'm gonna ride really quickly to avila beach and back, then I'm having dinner with my uncle Roger, then I'm having free pancakes at IHOP.

Wednesday should be good too, out of class at 10AM, a meet and greet with Marty Yubrick, coffee with my swedish friend Maja at noon, then I'm thinking of riding to Morro bay, will definitely take a fairly long ride.

Then on Thursday I have class until 3pm, then I leave for San Francisco on the AMTRAK at 3:45, get in to the Ferry Building at 10:30, gonna ride around with Henry and maybe Sean at the island for a little while (hopefully it won't be raining) and then ride back to their house.

Seans birthday party is on Friday, Henry and I are gonna ride the 17 mile city loop in the afternoon, then dinner and afterwards Sean's birthday party. Saturday, depending on the severity of the hangover, might include paradise loop, a 43 mile ride up into Marin, which apparently has some pretty aggressive hills.

Then Sunday I leave from the Ferry building at 10:05 AM and ride a bus back to San Luis, and I'll be back by 4pm. I'm bringing my chem and ochem books to read on the train, because I am way behind in both of those classes and finals are coming up.

I haven't posted any philosophical posts lately, in fact I haven't even had many philosophical thoughts, been pretty busy going to school, studying and riding my bike, but I hope to dive back into my portable thoreau soon and see what nuggets I can squeeze out of life.

Take care fellow bloggers, have a good week!

Quick update

It's been a few days. Been on a few more rides, total of about 110 miles last week, topped off with a great rainy day ride to Pismo, Shell and Avila beaches, and then up to Port San Luis. a 35 mile ride.

Rode to Lopez Lake on Saturday (thats the ride I couldn't finish a couple Sundays ago) and kicked it's ass.

I'm really struggling in Chem right now, mainly because I spend hours on the road and not enough hours studying. After the ride yesterday I made a big pot of pasta with some red sauce made with mushrooms, zuchinni, green onions, yellow onions, garlic, cabernet, cayenne pepper, crushed red peppers, paprika and italian seasonings, shared it with Jason (one of the guys I rode with), great post ride meal. I burned an extra 6000 calories this week from biking, but I definitely ate enough to compensate haha. I get back from long rides and munch on anything in sight for hours.

My friend Steven and I are going to the cal poly wheelmen (club racing team) meeting on Wednesday, I'd really like to start road racing. Anyways, heres a picture I took on the way to Lopez Lake, my friend Polka got a flat so we all stopped for a break while he fixed it, it was nice to have a little bit of rest, since it was at the top of a pretty big hill too:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bike ride to Avila

So all day today I had been planning on taking a ride to Avila beach, I was originally going to leave after class at around 10:30. I locked my keys in my apartment when I left for class though, which means I had no way of locking my bike up, which means I skipped class (not risking getting my shit stolen). I miss too many lectures.

So instead of being in class, all this morning I was just riding around the church parking lot across the street from my apartments, did 7 backwards circles in a row, got a 3 pedal stroke wheelie in, and got better at doing leg over skids (throw my leg over the handlebars, lock my other leg and skid)

After that I got lazy, and sat around studying for Ochem all day until 4, when I decided I needed to get that bike ride in that I had been planning all day. It was a beautiful day, clear skies for miles, and the beach wasn't windy at all. I rode pretty hard to Avila, posted up on the beach and hung out for about 15 minutes:

As I was sitting there listening to Computer vs Banjo in my headphones, I thought... this is the perfect moment to enjoy a beer, a hard ride, a sunny day, a beautiful beach... too bad I don't have one. But then just for the hell of it I checked in my backpack and found a PBR that had been chillin' in the side pocket for months, popped it open and enjoyed the warm, frothy goodness

left my apartment at 4:00, Got to avila at 4:40, hung out and rode around a little until 4:55, then rode back, got to my apartment at 5:35, and after all the mashing around trying to beat the sunset back to my apartment it was chow time, my Mom came on Monday for lunch and brought me a fresh baked loaf of whole wheat bread, so I cut off a couple slices and toasted them, double stacked two of my new hummus burgers, threw a couple slices of my 5 pound brick of cheese on, some fresh onions and bell peppers, squirted some mustard, and enjoyed. It was DEE lishous. And with a banana (and two fudge chocolate chip cookies, also gifts from my mom) for dessert, it was the perfect post workout meal.

I'm going to try and get a solid bike ride in at least every other day, I definitely have the free time, might as well get in shape and enjoy the great outdoors (I love the long rides, nothing clears my mind better than being on my bike for a couple hours... except maybe snowboarding but I can't afford to do anymore of that this year)
I was guided to the realization last night that I'm pretty selfish. Usually when someone tries to call me out or show me something about myself with good intentions, I burn them and walk away.

But I have been selfish in most of the friendships/relationships I've been in for awhile now. I'm setting out to change that. A big part of it is being too negative, not being encouraging stuff like that. Anyways that as neither here nor there.

I made another batch of veggie burgers, used eggs this time, helped them stick together, also added orange bell peppers and zuchinni chopped up in there. Oh and instead of pinto beans I mashed up garbanzo beans so they have a pseudo hummus flavor to them.

I'm going on a bike ride to the beach and back right now since the weather is so damn beautiful.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

at 11:11 I said the words "I wish I could live the past 3 years of my life over again".

Back to San Francisco

I am going north to my favorite city on February 26th or 27th if all goes as planned. I'm going to try to sell my computer monitor to fund the trip.

I will be taking the coast starlight train (amtrak) up there, getting dropped off at the ferry building, aKa the island, aKa a sweet biking spot, at around 10pm. I'm planning on kicking it around there for a couple hours before I ride to Sean's house if it's not raining.

This whole trip is to go up for Sean's birthday party, with the lovely benefit of being a nice holiday to my happiest place on earth.

Got new clips for my bike, because my old ones were broken (they lasted a little more than a month), so I bought metal ones that'll stand up to my abuse. I can do 3 backwards circles now, but can only ride away from 1, and not all the time. I really want to be able to pop up and whip out of them but that'll be a ways down the road. Still having trouble learning wheelies, I'll get them one day I'm sure.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ugly Duckling, or: When will the swan come

proof positive that I'm unattractive, or at the very least the worlds least photogenic person.

good times good times.

Went trail riding on our fixed gear roadbikes today. That was interesting, bent my deep V back rim, which is a bummer, got a flat, also a bummer, chain came off on a downhill trail, had to run into the hillside to stop myself, cut up my leg, bummer.

But the ride was amazing. All those bummers can go to hell in a handbasket, because I had a great time today.

Did three backwards circles in a row, did my first legover skid (even if I did hit a parked car, it's still my first)

and I think I made a breakthrough on the wheelie front.

And I'm actually making friends down here, which is awesome. Good day. Yesterday was good to, forget that it was valentines day, focus on the fact that it was a great day in it's own right.

And have a wonderful, peaceful and safe night


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, or: Home made vegetarian

I realize now I should've taken pictures of them while I was making them, butttt

I just made some delicious veggie burgers.

Ingredients are:

1.5 cup Rolled oats
(toasted for a few minutes in the oven)

Half an onion, diced
1.5 cups mushrooms
one clove chopped garlic
(sauteed in a small pan in butter, until the onions changed color and the mushrooms were soft, but not too small)

1/2 container firm tofu
1 cup pinto beans
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
A sprinkling of crushed red peppers
(mashed these together, then added the toasted oats and mixed them up)

Added all the sauteed ingredients, mixed them up well, shaped them into 6 patties, and sauteed them in butter, I ate one and refrigerated the rest.

Toasted some whole wheat bread, threw on some spinach, and topped it with a little mustard, made a great early dinner.

Next time I think I'm going to add some more crushed peppers, or maybe a couple dashes of tapatio, for a little kick. I was also thinking that some pine nuts would go really well in them, maybe some brown rice as well. I'm also thinking it'd be nice to have them hold together a little better (though they did okay) and add an egg.

Loved the combo of the brown rice and tofu though, and the oats added a great flavor AND texture element.

I have half a package of tofu left, and a bunch of beans/oats, so I might make another batch and tweak things a little bit next week. I also just washed all of my dishes (they had been piling up) and my kitchen is much more zen.

next step: tackle my room, very much NOT zen.

Just thought I would share what I'm eatin' these days.

I also found an easy recipe for crepes made with bisquick, I'm thinking about making those for brunch on Sunday.


p.s. I think my ex may have turned into a woo girl. woo.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weight loss

So in the past few months I've added a few pounds around my midsection, not happy about it.

I've already taken some steps towards a healthier lifestyle, and I'm hoping to be able to get back in better shape. Food journals here I come.
At what point did I stop trying?

And how long will it take before I believe in myself again?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've realized in the past 24 hours I have a couple rules:

if you step out on:
my friends
my family
my bike

you step out on me.
nuff said.

funny though, I take more offense to those things than I do to someone talking shit about ME.

Please take a couple minutes

In these rough economic times, our state is cutting many aspects of our budget, including many millions of dollars already cut from the CSU budget this year.

Help make it stop. Go to this website, write a little bit about your own situation, about why accessible public education is vital to our states future and urge your legislators not to cut the CSU budget any more:

Here's what I wrote:

My family falls into that all too large crack of making too much money to
qualify for ANY kind of financial aid (well I qualified for enough
unsubsidized loans to cover my tuition, but none of my other living
expenses) but not enough to pay for my school.

This is an especially grueling issue for California families and students,
since in California cost of living is much, much higher, so someone who
doesn't qualify here might be lower-middle class, while if they made the
same amount of money in Montana (I use Montana as an example because I
have alot of family there), they would be VERY well off financially, and
not struggling as my family (and many of my friends families) are even
though according to the blind FAFSA they are perfectly capable of sending
four kids to college on their own dime.

This is why I have been EXTREMELY grateful for the public education I am
receiving, and I would hate to see others unable to attend a university
because of budget cuts. This is our future at stake, and I say that as an
individual as well as a member of a society and emerging generation that
is up against incredible odds right now. Please help us achieve our goals
and continue the tradition of higher education in order to secure our
states future.

I also took advantage of our states incredibly helpful community college system, attending Gavilan Community college for two years, completing my general education and graduating with an AA in liberal studies before transferring to Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, and as a former community college student I also know the importance of that program to millions more in our state. Please take all of these things into consideration as you work on cutting the state budget.

Monday, February 9, 2009


One of my design ideas for a flier for our next alleycat. let me know what you think


First SLOfixed alleycat (race) went off without a hitch, it was really small, about a tenth of the size (as in riders) as the SJfixed alleycat that happened yesterday, and our prize was a sticker, theirs was a wheelset haha.

But anyways everyone that came out on Saturday night had a great time, I brought donuts for everyone, Mark won. I ended up being out until 2am just riding around with a few of the guys from slofixed, crashed out a little bit later. I woke up at noon to go on the Sunday ride, made the mistake of hopping out of bed and directly onto my bike, did not pass the kitchen, did not collect breakfast or drink any water.

Got to the park to meet up for the Sunday ride, the only two other guys who show up are Mark (the guy who won, also on the cal poly wheelmen cyclist team) and this guy Frank, both in their cycling shorts/underarmor/windbreakers, and I'm there in my khaki shorts and a t-shirt. I almost dipped out at that point, sensing I wouldn't be able to keep up. But off we went, embarking on a 17 mile ride to Lopez Lake.

I made it there, and we were making good time, fastest pace I've kept on a long ride, killed me over the few small hills. We posted up at a vista point over the lake, taking it all in for a few minutes before we headed back. I made it about five miles back before I got super dizzy on a long hill climb and my legs just gave out. I made it to the top of the hill somehow, and told Mark and Frank to go on without me and called my neighbor who came and picked me up. Lifesaver.

I was super bummed, the first time I've ever NOT finished a ride, and I felt dumb for not coming prepared. Ah well, it's a mistake I can easily learn from.

Joey is sandblasting my frame for me this week (the new trek frame) for $5, and I'm going to get it powder coated eventually, I'm thinking blueish silver with some metal flake in there.

Off to class now, just wanted to tell you about my weekend. Oh and I'm all bruised up from the festivities haha.

Friday, February 6, 2009


EDIT: I was all proud that I wrote an entire post on my cellphone, but never went back and read it until just now. I really slaughtered the english language. I'm gonna go ahead and blame it on the tiny screen and ghetto keyboard, and fix the errors now. Anyways.

I love seeing seagulls fly overhead. Its what made me so optimistic the evening before last as I was showing my truck to a couple of potential buyers.

The reason I'm so happy whenever seagulls fly overhead is because in a town like this, a few miles inland of the coast it means rain is on the way. Those simple, common birds have learned that its easier to weather the storm just past those coastal hills, or else they just come to keep us company while we enjoy the cleansing rain.

And the rain is so refreshing. It has the potential to purify the soul, and this week in particular it was a symbol of new beginnings. As I take the first steps to rid myself of the dark clouds in my life, another kind of cloud has come along and made my future seem brighter.

This is the happiest I've been, in a long, long time.

It seemed strange watching my car driving away from me yesterday evening, but it was a passing feeling that quickly yielded to joy. I went directly to the bank, deposited the cash from the transaction, and fulfilled a few of my financial obligations, experiencing a completely undue feeling of accomplishment. But I can't help but feel better knowing that I'm trimming the fat of excess from my life. It has inspired me to live a life of minimalism like the men whose words I have aspired to for so long.

I am fully aware that the road ahead is a hard one as I continue on my journey to freedom. Freedom from debt, personal freedom, the freedom that comes with being a more confident and stronger man.

No sooner had I gotten back from the bank than the rain came back again, just a drizzle at first. I rode to bike night with a few new friends, and felt at one for a short two hours with hundreds of people I normally have nothing in common with, all flooding the downtown streets of San Luis Obispo, as if to say: we're here, and we're very much alive. As bike night came to a close, the rain came back in full force. I reunited with the friends I had arrived with, and we made our way to 7-11 and warmed up over a cheap cup of coffee (or in my case hot chocolate).

The ride home through the pouring rain might once have been a miserable half hour for me, but surrounded by friends, breathing the refreshing cold night air, and feeling the cleansing rain rinsing away my worries, I realized: this is what it means to be alive. And as all such nights end, I parted ways with the group, trudged up the steps to my apartment, dried my bike, and made my way to the warmth and comfort of my bed.

As soon as I woke today, I paid in full a few of my debts, showered, shaved, washed my face, and stepped out to take the bus to grocery shop for the first time in weeks. The rain was still here, like a good friend visiting for the weekend, and as I soaked in the warmth from the rain and the picturesque view of palm trees and waterfalls falling from rooftops that greeted me from my front door, I couldn't help but look straight up to where the rain was coming in such a hurry from and smile. The weather is an eternal metaphor.

That leads to now, sitting on the bus just now arriving at the first set of stores, armed with clipped coupons and a mission to find the best bargains that I can. And as I take those first steps off the bus, I can't wipe the smile off my face, a broken man with a mission, a newfound sense of purpose, and a smile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday, or: The first step from beneath this great shadow

I am exhilerated.

as of tomorrow I will no longer own a car. Thats one of the most exciting prospects I've thought of in awhile. In all honesty I've wanted to live car free since 2005. That was when my dad convinced me that I would need a car living in LA going to BIOLA. So I took out a loan on a car I couldn't realistically afford. That ended well. Actually, come to think of it, that was the first thing I ever owed money on. It's only gone downhill from there.

How poetic that it was a car that drove me into this hell of a mess, and it's selling my car that's letting me walk away from it. At least take a couple of baby steps.

Here goes nothing, and everything.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quick prayer request

A good friend of mine is having surgery today to drain a throat abscess that is almost completely occluding the airway.

Please pray for her, it's a low risk surgery, but it's still scary. Please pray for a safe surgery, a speedy recovery, and that the infection didn't affect anything else.


Tuesday, or: Money troubles

I just spent half of my net cash.

on a grande soy mocha.

All I have in my fridge right now is a bag of onions and a half tub of margarine. In my cupboards, I have bisquick, flour, potatoes, some spices, a few bags of pasta, a few boxes of mac and cheese, and...well... thats about it.

If you couldn't tell, that presents a problem, since I can't make the bisquick without milk, or really anything with the flour either. The mac & cheese that I can make comes out watery since I don't want to waste my precious margarine, so I use it sparingly, and without milk I'm forced to make the sauce with water (I just don't strain it all the way).

You may ask yourself, how does someone get to this point? By never saving any money, and using credit cards to cover unexpected expenses, and then neglecting to pay them down. Then you end up with a black cloud of debt over your head, no way to pay it off, and your landlord breathing down your neck.

True, I did just buy a bike for $50, so the fact that I have no grocery money is nobodies fault but my own, but that would only have forestalled this predicament by a week or so. And I'm going to sell my other bike once I fix up the new one, for around $200 so it's an investment really.

This isn't me complaining, it's a cautionary tale. Be wise with your money, or you'll end up like me. And hang on to a job when you have it, no matter how much you hate it. You'll wish you could go back to that dead end retail job in a heartbeat when you run out of money for the bare necessities.

I have no idea how I'm going to make rent this month. I'm selling my car, I have two people coming tomorrow to look at it. I'm most likely going to sell my laptop, and my monitor, and just use my old desktop piece of crap computer. May have to sell my camera. Refuse to sell my bike or my snowboard though.

I've been emailing my resume to ever job listing I can find online, handing it in to stores all around town, and hitting up all my friends to see if they know of anyone hiring. I'm to the point where I'll take a job at a fast food place, regardless of how much I hate them, just to get back in black (and no, not like ACDC)

This whole problem could be solved if my parents would cosign on a student loan to cover my outstanding credit cards. I've already cut them into shreds, and the second the balance is paid down I'm going to close the accounts. This is no way to live.

Especially considering the fact that I have fallen prey to the same vice I have protested with words for so long. I, who practice vegetarianism to draw attention to the excess of our society. And hear I am, with evidence of my excess all around me, and the consequences knocking down my door.

I am determined to go back to a more minimalistic existence. If only this lesson didn't carry such a heavy cost. The biggest regret I have is betraying my parents trust, since they have been helping me out with tuition and some expenses, and yet I am still blatantly irresponsible with my money.

I guess this is just one more reason I'm such a winner. You know, I've got so much going for me...

Anyways, I'm hoping I don't end up bankrupt and homeless at the end of the day, and I fully appreciate now more than ever that that is a very distinct possibility.

All I want to know is, what the hell happened? I used to be such a good kid.

Wish me luck, cross your fingers, think positive thoughts, and PRAY for me.

This has the potential to turn me back into a praying man (and that disgusts me too, that I would only turn to faith when I hit rock bottom)

I really am depraved. Anyways, I'll probably regret posting this for everyone to read later, since the only people I've told so far is my parents, but say lah vee.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, or: Why am I still tired after 10 hours of sleep

From an old account of mine:

I looked for a door in the mirror this morning
prescriptions and band-aids stood in its place
I searched for an exit as I stared at myself
myself regarding the backwards me: he receded
all feelings of self awareness disappeared
and in that moment I considered existence
this episode seemed like a dream I'd had before,
but now less frightening than when it was subconscious
reality shook out a realization that was absent in sleep
being nobody is nothing more than being someone with nothing to say
not knowing how to express uniqueness I struggled to speak
I choked on my silence; my feet gave way beneath me
my knees stung on connection with faded linoleum
until finally my tongue tumbled out and words,
burning, crisp, necessary, inconsequential words
spilled onto the piss stained floor in a puddle

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, or: one helluva ride

My gear ratio is officially too high for hills. went on the slofixed sunday ride, ran over a wire, got a slow leak, stopped and pumped up, stopped again, Joey stopped with me, finally went flat, stopped and changed tube, bought a 24 ounce gatorade, chugged it, started riding hard, regretted chugging, joked about my maglight saran wrapped to my handlebars, lost my maglight, regretted using saran wrap, rode halfway up a huge hill, walked my bike, started riding again near the top, view of morro rock from the top kicked ass, joked about my high gear ratio, started riding, rode fast downhill, polka skid like mad in front of me, smelled polkas rubber (literally), rode through a eucalyptus grove, rode up a smaller hill, mashed down a bigger hill, rode through another eucalyptus grove, big hill, walked the bike, talked to kerry, rode down the last big hill to the beach, spinning all the way, skidding like crazy at the bottom, walked around beach, sharp rocks everywhere, found a limestone, licked my finger, stuck finger to limestone, "show and tell" everyone about limestone, make up a fake scientific explanation about it, everyone tries it, rode back up the giant hill, walked most of the way with kerry, back of the pack, got yelled at, "DOGGY STYLE", down a hill, up a hill, down a hill, up a hill, down a big hill, foot came out of my clip, glad I had a front brake, stopped at shell, chugged a chocolate milk, ate a banana, sipped on a big water, eric had arizona, jason and steven smoke cigarettes, I realize how nasty cigarettes are...again, take off down the road, leading the pack, keeping a good pace, get passed, don't feel like riding hard anymore, no bike lane for two miles, caught up with the leaders of the pack waiting at the turnoff, skid stop, skid stop, still going to fast, slam front brake to try a stoppie, do a massive stoppie, keep going forward, whip around, fall into the ditch, come up with my arms up, the entire biking community was laughing at me, not a good ride til I hurt myself, nice easy pace back into town, rode with kerry again, i think i creeped her out, rode back to my apartments with joey, jason and eric, watched third quarter of superbowl, made mac and cheese, ate entire box of mac and cheese, fell asleep, woke up two and a half hours later, chugged some water, need a shower, good day. start again tomorrow.