Friday, May 22, 2015

Got another bike, I am calling it James Murphy

Soma Smoothie ES. 2010. 60cm. Kept in great shape. It's big, it's light, drop bars, amazing parts. It's kinda perfect for everything I need, and I got a great deal on it from a nice guy named Jake.

Parts info:
Fork: Soma Classic Curve Road 57- Tange Infinity CrMo steel. This has a very long steer tube and a bunch of spacers. I kind of like it weirdly high, but I can always cut it down later if I want.
Shifters and derailleurs and brakes: Ultegra 6600 group. (Ultegra parts are usually on bikes that are way too nice for me.) 3x10 speeds. (You may think you only need 5 or 7 or 9 speeds; you're probably right, but for some reason, number of gears correlates with part quality these days.)
Cassette: 11-28 teeth. Wipperman chain, which I guess is a good German brand.
Wheels: Velocity Deep V Rims + Ultegra 660 Hubs. Handbuilt wheelset with wheelsmith DB spokes. Have I mentioned how this bike was a good deal and way too nice for me?
Tires: Continental GP4000 Tires
Handlebars, stem, seat post: Ritchey WCS Logic 2. 44cm wide bars (which seems to be wide enough for me), 90mm stem.
Saddle: Brooks Champion B17 Narrow.
It's almost too nice; I think I've overshot "good enough" and gotten up to "theft target." Oh well.
Ideas for the future: put on fatter tires (Jake recommends the 33mm Jack Brown from Rivendell), some center-pull road brakes (for longer reach), and bigger fenders.
Naming: James Murphy. This feels exactly like the kind of bike James Murphy would ride. Pretty cool, pretty fast, pretty trendy, but just a little gawky (e.g. the stack of spacers). A bike for someone who has kind of always wanted to be more "punk" than he is, but is actually a nerdy white guy from the suburbs hitting a new decade, and is okay with that. It's practical and sharp and fun.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

On making lifelong commitments

Wow. Those are words I don't say very often.

I mean, ever. When have I ever made a lifelong commitment to anything? Almost never. I mean, I think I might have accidentally gotten confirmed in some kind of Christian church before I knew what I was doing; whatever. I cannot think of a single thing in my adult life that I've said, yep, I am pretty sure of this until I die.

Until Saturday. I asked Tati to marry me. She agreed.

This was staged ceremony, as we both knew we were going to, but I guess ceremony gives you a little bit of something to hang on to when you're jumping through huge flaming whole-life hoops. And a way to note that the flaming hoops are there and that you've passed through them. I just googled and read the whole wikipedia article on "liminality"; you should too, it's fascinating. But I digress.

Here are some things that I'm feeling:

- elation, that someone this wonderful thinks that I'm worth spending her life with. Geez, I'm kind of a curmudgeon already, and I'm only 28. But she's not only cool with it, but excited! And how amazing she is, too! She's endlessly optimistic, upbeat, brilliant, charismatic, beautiful, and full of love like few people I've ever met. Sorry to gush, internet, but lifelong commitments means I'm allowed to.

- thankfulness: that I found this wonderful person. That we are now walking in the glow of each other's majestic presence, and aren't even old yet. (Ana Ng is just clever and humorous, as "soul mates" are of course nonsense, and relationships are more built than found, but there's a significant amount of finding, and that person you find does have to want to build a relationship with you!) And I have so much empathy for people who think they won't ever find this person. I hope that this serves as a data point of "love is possible and worth it."

- excitement: the world is our oyster as few worlds have ever been for few people! We share goals; most notably, immediately, we're off to San Francisco in a couple weeks, to start our new careers as Value-Creating Winners in Tech Wonderland Disneyworld 2.0. (and/or, finish a PhD sometime. yes.) And that's just career-wise. Don't want to plan out our whole life, but we'll begin our odyssey, sail around the world, share the same space for a minute or two.

- optimism: there's some old quote I've lost in the sands of time, something like "you can look at this whole big mess of life and you really only get one choice: to say 'yes!' or 'nah.'" Tati, more than anyone I know, looks at life and says yes. And when I'm around, I'm saying yes too. She's got such a positive effect on me, and that makes me sure, as sure as I can ever be, that she and I will have a great life together.

- love: ok this is just a big catch all but sometimes you can't put more specific words on feelings, and that's okay.