i’m soggy for science

As I peered owlishly through my streaked visor and felt the icy rain soak through my supposedly rain proof clothing, I wondered if I hadn’t, long ago, traded in my common sense for an extra serving of pie. This theory would explain not only my insistence on doing things that most sane people gave up weeks ago, but also the size of my ass.

My bitter morning commentary towards commuters had a little more vitriol today, but it was also tinged with envy. Look at those fat cats in their warm, dry SUVs – why don’t you wreck the environment and have another sip of your delicious beverage, you selfish enviable jerks. Al Gore, who is undoubtedly drier than I, is shaking his fist at you for your inconvenient yet toasty truths.

I made it to work in one soggy piece, and once I’ve thawed I’m sure I will be fine. My insane commute gave me ample time to come up with some possible reasons for my continued stubbornness and refusal to give into the alluring yet smelly call of transit:

  • I am a true Soldier of Science, conducting experiments on the effectiveness of rain pants
  • Research for my new competitive sport: Extreme Hydro Scooting
  • Attempting to hide my severe inability to wake up on time behind a staunch loathing of public transit
  • Determined to take advantage of the new low gas prices, because spending $2.32 a week getting to and from work is frankly hilarious
  • Mental deficiency
  • Taking my “Mad Scientist” title a little too seriously; attempting to ascertain at which point my molecular structure will break down and turn into an absorbent, sponge-like material
  • Tightness of rain pants makes it feel like I am wearing an ass corset

So you see, it’s not just because I’m dumb as a soggy box of hammers. I have valid reasons for riding my scooter to work at the end of November. Scientific reasons. I’m expecting a grant from the government any day now.

urge to kill: rising

It’s a bad weekend to be a scooter.

When Ed came home from Insurance 101 yesterday, he took out the garbage because he is a good boy. He also took out the recycling, as new TVs come in a rainforest worth of cardboard. Free of cardboard, he stopped to look at his scooter for a second for no particular reason. Under his scooter, he found a shiny thing that did not belong. Curious, he took a closer look.

In a half-assed attempt to steal Ed’s scooter, someone had tried to punch his ignition and use a screwdriver or something to get it started. They pried up the panel covering the oil tank, trying to get into the seat. All failed. After chewing up the key hole something fierce, they then turned to Josh’s Ruckus. They had a little more luck here; punching in the ignition to a further degree and bending the shit out of the hole – but that’s it. Both scooters start up fine with some very minor cosmetic damage.

That’s a good thing, but there’s still that nasty feeling of violation; knowing someone not only touched your stuff but actively tried to take it away from you. My scooter wasn’t in the back, but I imagine Oscar would have been hit too – they didn’t touch Josh’s motorcycle because it is big and scary, and Shan’s scooter is STILL in the shop. All is well, I guess.

Oscar wasn’t free from molestation, though. This morning when I woke up, I looked out the window to see if it was raining. It was, but more importantly, Oscar was lying on his right side in the rain. I woke Ed up, and we ran outside to pick him up. It doesn’t look like he was hit, so we think someone sat on him and tried to move him forward, but since the steering column is locked, they lost their balance and fell over. He wasn’t pushed – there’s no damage whatsoever to his right side, and the only scratches on the left were from my slide down the hill last year. We righted him and he started up almost immediately. Oscar rules.

Fuck this neighbourhood, though. Now I’m up outrageously early, I’m in a shitty mood, and my foot hurts because Lemon attacked through my blanket. This is not an auspicious start to my Sunday morning.

change of plans

We didn’t quite make it to the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

There were some excellent intentions – we left just after 10am, giving us plenty of time to get to Horseshoe Bay via Marine Drive. It was a lovely day, and the scooting was great. Around 10:40, we arrived at The Intersection and confusion set in: to our left was Horseshoe Bay, and to the right was a sign saying “Ferry Traffic”. Ed was in the “well, we need to get to the Horseshoe Bay Terminal, so we should go to Horseshoe Bay” camp, whereas my logic and DPS told me that we should be heading right, following the sign. Since I was in the lead, my cuisine reigned supreme. We went right, and immediately found ourselves on the TransCanada.

I had no fear, though. There were signs, signs that said “Ferry Traffic take Exit 4”. Heavy construction on the highway meant the speed limit was 50 km/h, easily handled by even the wussiest of our gang. Eventually, though, the construction ended and the speed limit shot up from 50 to 90 – no worries, we’ll just ride on the shoulder until exit 4. We were doing an inordinate amount of backtracking, but signs don’t lie.

Exit 4 loomed ahead, and this is where shit got weird. All along we were told to take Caulfield Drive to the ferries, which is fine – except at the exit, another sign said Ferries were to the left and Caulfield Drive was to the right. Well, fuck. We stopped to regroup, and as no one wanted to ride the highway again it was decided that we needed to head BACK to Horseshoe Bay, and take the ferry from there. We made our way through mystery neighbourhoods and expensive houses, winding down secret roads and barely visible “no exit” signs. Finally, we found ourselves back on Marine Drive .. at Lighthouse Park. Our little detour set us about 16 kilometers from where we needed to be. Super!

We did the drive again, this time following the Horseshoe Bay sign at The Intersection. There were signs all around that said “Ferry traffic this way”, so we followed them to find ourselves in the middle of Horseshoe Village. We rode around a little longer, then illegally parked so Ed could dart into the ferry terminal and ask where the hell we were supposed to go. In a group of four, in a village 4 blocks long, we couldn’t find the damn entrance to the ferry and it was infuriating.

Turns out, there was a good reason for that – we weren’t at the ferry terminal. I mean, we were, but for foot passengers only. There was no way for vehicles of any kind to get on the ferry from the Village; you were supposed to take the TransCanada to Exit 4 and turn off at Caulfield Drive meaning I was right all along (this is important, honest). Well, fuck. None of us wanted to backtrack along the highway again, so at this point (around 11:15am; we had missed the 11:10 sailing) we decided to change our plans and spend some time in Horseshoe Village instead. It would save us the cost of the ferry, the need to backtrack, and we’d get to hang out in a cool place for the afternoon – not too shabby. I still want to do Sunshine Coast at some point, but it’ll just have to happen later. Maybe in August. Yes, August.

I’m glad that my DPS didn’t fail me after all. I was seriously worried when it looked like I had led us all astray, and Ed was being a little vindictive about it – but my faith in my directional abilities held strong, and I pledge to always listen to my inner compass because it is never wrong, even when it looks like things are bad. So there.

Sunday was for cleaning – I went through all my drawers and closets, and filled three garbage bags with stuff for Goodwill. My underwear drawer is pristine – things are folded and organized, and my bras are filed by colour and newness. There still isn’t a hell of a lot of room in the closet, but it’s better than it was – you can walk around the bed now, and it turns out we actually do have a floor.

This is just the beginning, I’m afraid. Ed’s parents are coming for their first visit ever over the August long weekend, and I’m feeling about nervous about the state of our apartment. It’s getting there, but there’s still a lot of clutter that needs to be sorted and dealt with. Shouldn’t be a problem. We’re the only people I know NOT going to Pemberton next weekend, so I’ll have plenty of time to clean while everyone else is out having (expensive, loud, sticky, yucky) fun.

bad time for holey underwear

Things that go through your head seconds before you’re turned into road paste:

  • Oh shit, this is going to hurt
  • You could have worn the cute lacy pink panties today, but you HAD to wear that old, holey pair that says “kiss me” over the crotch – classy
  • Fuck, this is my favourite sweater – if they have to cut it off my corpse, I am going to be PISSED
  • Wait, I’m going to be a corpse – I guess I won’t be needing that sweater

I was almost killed this morning on Marine Drive, by an oblivious woman in a red rental car.

Scenario: I was behind her in the left lane driving down Marine. I was behind her for 3 or so blocks, enough to note that a) she was driving a new red Cobalt, b) it had stupid looking brake lights, c) it was a rental car from Enterprise, d) I wonder if she’s going to pick someone up or if that’s actually her rental car. Right around Marine and Mackay, I moved into the right lane. All was good. I scooted along happy as can be, doing my usual scoot n’ scan – watching the traffic around me as well as the road ahead. Right before Pemberton, I noticed the red car out of the corner of my eye. It looked like it was getting closer. Sure enough, the lady decided at the last second that she needed gas RIGHT NOW and moved from the left lane into the right lane – into ME.

I slammed on my brakes, with the aforementioned thoughts going through my head. I was too busy braking and trying to stay upright to honk. The road is lumpy at that intersection, and I almost lost control of Oscar while trying to keep out of the path of the car. I was certain I was going to crash into her rear passenger door – she was about an inch from my front tire when I managed to slow down enough to keep from hitting her. I was also sure I was going to end up under her car – if I hadn’t been able to keep Oscar upright, I probably would have slid under her rear tire.

She turned at Pemberton, then into the gas station. I too turned into the station, thinking she was terribly embarrassed and wanted to apologize for nearly killing me. I live in a dream world, though – the woman drove her rental car up to the pump, rummaged around in her purse, and got out to fill her tank.

I scooted up beside her, and waited until she got out of the car. The moment she was completely out, I let loose: DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW CLOSE YOU CAME TO KILLING ME? YOU CHANGED LANES RIGHT INTO ME! WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING! YOU ALMOST KILLED ME!

Ever seen a person look like this? :O

She had absolutely no idea I was there. She had no clue she almost hit me, almost killed or seriously injured me, and almost needed that rental car insurance. NOW came the shock and horror I had expected moments earlier. She apologized, of course – she was so sorry, so very sorry. I slammed my visor down in disgust and rode off, aware and pleased that she was now getting stares from the other cars that had stopped in the area.

I hope I ruined her day. She certainly ruined mine – I *hate* starting my day out with near death experiences.

I am very proud of myself for three reasons, though:

  • I kept Oscar upright and myself alive
  • I didn’t swear when yelling at the woman who almost killed me
  • I didn’t kick her door panel in when I pulled up next to her (I probably would have if it wasn’t a rental)

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my Wednesday brings.

scooter trip #1: victoria

That was just awesome.

I’ve dreamt of scooting in/around Victoria for a very long time, and we just spent four days doing exactly that. It was amazing – roads I’ve traveled a thousand times before take on an entirely new dimension when you’re on two wheels instead of four. Hell, we ended up in places I’d completely forgotten but somehow instinctively knew they would make for incredible scooting – and they did. While I could have easily spent another 3 or 4 days just riding around with a big silly grin on my face (as was noted by my riding partners more than once), I am wholly satisfied with how our trip turned out.
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nice people make things easier

Last night, Ed and I were driving around Kitsilano when his scooter fell apart.

I wish I could say that we were surprised, or that it was the first time something like this had ever happened, or that we were going to be fully reimbursed/receive a fair exchange for the faulty part, but nope. Ed’s had a horrible series of luck with his Dio, and last night was just another notch in the “time to go to Richmond” belt (the shop moved to Richmond last year).

We were riding along 4th when there were vibrations and clanging and other bad noises coming from the Dio. Ed pulled over, and CLANG! his exhaust pipe fell off onto the road. The bracket had snapped last month, and last night the vibration caused the pipe to break at the weld and fall apart. Fan-fucking-tastic. It’s only a two month old, $200 part that just decided to break – add that to the $250 console that just decided to stop working a few months back (and has yet to be replaced/refunded), and you’ve left a pretty great impression in my mouth about it all.

The Dio couldn’t be ridden without an exhaust, so we were sitting on the ground thinking about how we were going to deal with the situation. Normally we’d ask John Josh or Shan to bring the Delica around so we could pack up the scooter, but they left a few hours earlier for a weekend of camping. We don’t know any people with trucks, it was past 9pm, and we were 16km from home. Hooray!

Ed started asking people who walked by if they knew of anyone in the area with a truck, thinking perhaps we could buy a ride back home. No one had one, but one guy said “I just live down the street, and I’ve got some tools – do you want to bring your bike over and we can take a look?” Ed took him up on the offer, and they were off.

A quick glance told us that the pipe wasn’t fixable, and that a new exhaust had to be fetched before we’d be leaving that area. Ed had given his old exhaust to a Dio buddy who had the same problem weeks before, so it’s not like we had a spare lying around – we had to wait until the shop opened up in the morning and get a new one. House Guy offered to let Ed wheel his Dio into his garage, but I had a “better” idea that involved my scooting home, picking up tools and a lock and the car, and driving back to Kits to fetch Ed. We locked his scooter to some pipes outside the house, thanked House Guy, and drove home.

Today we drove to Richmond so Ed could pay another $200 for a new exhaust (go on, ask me what I think about that arrangement), then we drove back to his scooter to put it back together. It didn’t take long and soon Ed was on his way back home on the Dio, with me driving the Mazdabator. The new exhaust works well enough, and our trip next week may not be in jeopardy after all – it just cost a lot of money to fix and was yet another stupid frustration in the saga of Ed’s scooter.

House Guy and his band of merry neighbours were great, though – if he hadn’t offered to lend a hand, we’d have had to leave the Dio unattended and unlocked in Kits and just hope for the best. He offered tools and advice and a secure Dio home for the night, which was just awesome. Thanks, House Guy! You were the one bright spot in this otherwise steaming pile of crap!

I am beyond grumpy about the amount of money Ed has spent on shitty scooter parts, though. The two exhausts and the console come to $650, and all he has to show for it right now is the new exhaust ($200) and a generic stock console (worth about $50, tops). So far he hasn’t been offered any refunds or exchanges or even store credit, and the store owner is out of town for another 2+ weeks. It’ll be interesting to see if he does anything for us this time.

some fun now

It wasn’t a long weekend, but it sure felt like one. In fact, I don’t remember what we did Friday night. I don’t think it was anything special – there may have been arguing – but the rest of the weekend was great, so that’s okay.

Ed and I slept in on Saturday, then decided to take advantage of the epic weather and scoot all over the place. We ended up in Steveston and wandered around a pier for a little while before exploring the farms and dykes in South Richmond. The weather was glorious, and the ride was very enjoyable (even with the massive insect on a kamikaze mission into my collarbone mid-ride). We stopped in at Scooter to talk upgrades, went to my favourite toy store for some stickers and goodies, and came home to eat fish n’ chips and watch the first game of the Stanley Cup finals.

Saturday was great, but if anything, Sunday was even better. Shan, Miranda, Ed and I went to the Pink Pearl for some dim sum, and it was fabulous (although still not as good as Don Mee in Victoria, but since nothing can compete, they’re in a class of their own). We dropped Miranda off at home (because if she came to our place, she wouldn’t be able to pee), and Ed and I went outside to work on my scooter. We FINALLY installed the new turn signals and tail lights, and I gave Oscar a bath and stickered him up the wazoo. He looks awesome. The new lights are glorious, and the fancy tiara does a lot to hide the scratches on the front fender from my tumble last year. Yay for new scooter parts! Yay for nice weather!

I even got sunburned – my boobs and arms are red and tender. It’s been so long since we’ve had any real sun that I forgot about the burning and the cancers, but from now on I’ll be covered in 750SPF sunscreen from head to toe.

Today is not as much fun as yesterday. In addition to that whole “back to work” thing, I have to give a presentation this afternoon to the CEO of the lab. That is scary, and I do not want to do it. I am much better at sitting in a corner and being unobtrusive; giving an Important Presentation (that I created) is scary and so very official.

If I get through the presentation in one piece, I think I will have earned some ice cream.



a very bad idea

I’ve had some astonishingly bad ideas in my day. There was that time I saw a break-in happening across the street and tried to get closer so I could watch; that one time I decided to give up sleep just to see what would happen; that other time I thought it might be a good idea to skip a week’s worth of birth control then take them all at once. And just today, when I decided to ride Oscar into work even though the forecast called for rain – that could definitely count as a very, very bad idea.

I think my first clue that perhaps I am not as smart as I claim to be came when water started dripping down my legs and pooling in my shoes. I squelch when I walk. The ass towel I made so many jokes about last week would come in very handy right now; I am soaked all the way through and getting my chair soggy. Wet denim is very heavy, and I am unfathomably uncomfortable.

I had to put out a call for Emergency Pants. Luckily for me, Miranda was around and had to go out this morning anyway, so she is answering my desperate plea for help. If she wasn’t available, I would either a) have to go home (not really an option since I have a full schedule today), or b) call Ed and ask him to go to a Lululemon or something and buy me some yoga pants. This is not fun. I wish I was warm and dry.

To be fair, it started out as a light drizzle. It wasn’t until I was almost at the bridge when it started to rain for real, and shortly after that a fucking STORM blew through and the deluge started. Cars were pulling off to the side of the road on the causeway because the visibility was so poor and there was just so much water everywhere. Not me, though. Armed with little more than my “rain” jacket and good intentions, I kept going through the Calgary-style rainstorm on my scooter. What else could I do? I wasn’t going to get any wetter, and I was ¾ of the way to the Lab.

I am going to bring some Emergency Pants into work tomorrow.

drunk with alcohol

Scooter woes – Oscar’s battery is completely toast, even with a recharge. I hadn’t received the call that my ordered battery was in yet, so I called the shop today to inquire as to the whereabouts of my goods. I can still kick start Oscar, but it’s not ideal to have a completely dead starter – if the new battery doesn’t fix it, I will be sad and poor because it’ll mean a shop visit to figure out what’s wrong.

The Yamaha shop, however, seems to think that I am a total drunkard. I called in and gave the parts guy my name, which he gave back as “Lush? L-U-S-H …” as he typed it in. I’ve gotten many variations on my name by people who can’t hear my mumbly voice, but I’ve never had my name mistaken for Lush before. Funny!

If there was ever a day I wanted to use the “working from home” card, it’s today. Yesterday was brutal with the paint fumes, and at 3:45 I couldn’t take it anymore and had to leave. I knew the second coat of stinky, stinky paint was going on that evening, so the Lab would be even worse today. Alas, I am here – there’s a new guy starting today, and it’s part of my job to abuse him mercilessly until he weeps. I can already feel my throat being all angry with me, and I am not looking forward to the remaining 7 hours of my day.

However, it’s both Friday and payday today, so things could be a lot worse.

Update: There might be something to that drunkard thing, after all – we just got an email at The Lab saying there was FREE STUFF over in the party area. In addition to some books and a plastic kaleidoscope, I scored a 4-pack of apple cider. I am going to drink the paint fumes away!

ridiculous shoes

.. will be the death of me.

Shopping with Miranda on Friday was perhaps a little too successful, and while I didn’t do nearly as much damage as she did, I came home with more shoes than I left with. I am continuing my endeavor to learn how to walk in things with a heel, and to this end, I am now the delighted owner of these:

They are ridiculous, and I am absolutely in love with them.

Also fabulous are these:

I can appreciate the irony of my being catty about a massive shoe sale then spending my day off buying shoes, but I frankly do not care – CUTE SHOES! Hooray!

The rest of my weekend was much lower key than I had originally planned. Saturday morning saw Ed and I at the Tomahawk with Miranda, Reilly, and Darren – after which we parted ways so Ed and I could do some scooter stuff like get some oil for him (fail) and a new battery for me (win). We were home for the afternoon, where my plans to do some cleaning fell away to the siren song of my bed – I napped. When I woke up I found that M&R had spent THEIR afternoon buying a friggin’ giant car, so obviously a celebration was in order. We scooted to The Eatery for some good times, then perused the bookstore (cheap books make my pants tight in a wonderful way). Clearly, we are a wild party.

On Sunday, I did nothing. I wanted to go to the 420 celebrations at the Art Gallery, but a minor anxiety attack in the morning made those plans seem like a very, very bad idea. Instead, Ed and I rode around the North Shore for a while to break in his new cylinder and to pick up my new Pokemans. I wish I could have laughed at the seething mass of humanity, but it just wasn’t in me. There was more napping, a little bit of cleaning, and lots of video games – a normal weekend, ‘round these parts.

If the weather would hurry up and be warm already, I could spend a lot more time being fabulous outside.

Hey, are down comforters evil?