Tag Archives: biking

7 Reasons Why You Should Vote For Me This November

Or, 7 Reasons Why We Ought To Just Bypass This Whole Democracy Rigamarole & Make Me Queen of America

1. I will improve the education system by requiring courses in personal finance, practical life skills, and apprenticeships.

Look, I’m a liberal arts proponent. I’ll save my more detailed arguments for another post, but in a totally simplistic summation, liberal arts courses educate the soul as well as the brain. Which is great, right? Yay souls! However, as you’ve no doubt spotted, we also have bodies which must be fed and clothed and sheltered. This means that upon adulthood we are obliged to enter the workplace, establish financial stability, and manage a household. Many of us, alas, struggle mightily to acquire the essential skills for this independent life (I’m recalling the house I shared with four dudes right after college—sweet mother!) and that’s  just dumb. Being a grown-up is something we all have to be good at, or our lives suck, and that suckitude seeps into other people’s lives, so WHY aren’t we teaching students this stuff before it’s too late? Thus, I will decree that high schools require classes in budgeting & banking, home maintenance & domestic tasks, and basic car repair; additionally, colleges must facilitate at least one year of practicums or internships for each student as a degree requirement, regardless of major. After a few years, America will be peopled with competent non-idiots who can cook a healthy meal, write an interoffice memo, change a flat tire, treat that stubborn stain on the living room carpet, and contribute to a 403b like CHAMPS.

This is how I remember that house full of boys. Possibly a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Photo from here.

2. I will legalize pot, tax and regulate it, stop putting petty criminals in jail, give the economy a boost, and use the resulting extra moolah to add bike lanes to all major roads and highways.

See what I did there? I solved, like, a mofobillion problems in one fell swoop. No more spending millions arresting and prosecuting people who grow, deal, or smoke pot. Fewer people in prison. More jobs as a result of a brand new industry. More tax revenue. Paper made from sustainable hemp instead of irreplaceable rain forests. More oxygen. Once our bike infrastructure was complete, there’d be more bike-riding, less dependence on foreign oil, better fitness, fewer carbon monoxide emissions. EVERYONE WINS. Except fools who ride bikes while high. They can pay giant traffic tickets to support my next initiative: spay & neuter all the stray animals!

3. I will legalize gay marriage. 

This one follows on the heels of the previous point. I don’t smoke pot, but I don’t see why the heck the government should tell me I can’t. As a legal adult I have the right to drink alcohol and use tobacco, so why don’t I have the right to use marijuana too? Why does the government get to pick and choose my freedoms here? It’s illogical and annoyingly paternalistic. In the same way, I’m not gay, but you can bet your sweet aspercreme I don’t want the government telling us who we can and cannot marry. I mean, are we seriously starting down that road? In my mind, the purpose of a government’s existence is to protect the rights, health, and safety of its citizens and provide support for infrastructure, education, and economy. Private, personal choices like choosing a life partner, deciding how many kids to have, what career to pursue, what beliefs to subscribe to, what clothes to wear—those should never be under the purview of the government. Ever. When such things do become regulated we enter freaky 1984 territory. Have you read that book? Not to spoil anything, but it ends with rats chewing off people’s faces. Just FYI.

Haven’t read this? You probably should.

4. I will put all (government-employed) teachers, police, fire and rescue workers, librarians, and politicians on the same salary—starting at $60K a year for entry level. 

Actually we’ll probably need some sort of sliding scale that takes cost of living into account. I doubt even 60 thousand cuts it in some places in California. But anyway, everyone gets what is essentially the same rate of pay with incremental raises to keep up with inflation and merit raises if warranted by good performance. First of all, people in these occupations deserve a decent wage. Secondly, politicians shouldn’t be making any more than anyone else in civil service. And maybe, just maybe, this equalization would discourage typical politician types and actually attract real people to elected positions—people from diverse backgrounds and experience with an honest interest in improving government. Seriously, is anyone else completely sick to death of old rich dudes with law & business degrees? Can we, like, get some more ladies up in here? Also, how about some architects and preschool teachers and car mechanics and programmers and chefs and air traffic controllers and nurses? Probably a few farmers would be good too, plus it never hurts to have a librarian around.

5. I will establish a national holiday dedicated to making, decorating, and eating cupcakes.

This one speaks for itself.

cupcakes

I personally will celebrate National Cupcakeapalooza Day by making and devouring these pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Click the picture for my recipe 🙂

6. I will pass a law giving fathers paid paternity time.

Why is it that dudes get the total shaft when it comes to having a baby? Um…I’m pretty sure they’re not getting any sleep those first weeks either. Plus it’s crucial for them to bond with their new spawn just like moms. I hate hate HATE that dads get no respect, like they’re somehow useless in the parenting process. That stereotype haunts fathers their whole lives and it starts the day their kid is born. Ok yes, moms have boobs full of milk. Right. I know. But I don’t understand how that translates into “Only Mom can care for baby, meanwhile lameass Dad over there is zero help at all so he might as well be at work.” I’m pretty sure there’s more to handling a new baby than breastfeeding. Also, marginalizing a father’s contribution to the family unit is stupid and sexist. Enough with that rubbish, America.

7. I will regulate health care even more. YES EVEN MORE!

Let me preface this by saying that I know jack about health care policy. Seriously, I just don’t even know. I’m shamefully uninformed. That being said, here’s how I’d do it. Everyone gets health care. Every single ever-loving soul in this whole big country, no matter where they fall on anyone’s “deserving————>undeserving” spectrum. Healthcare companies could remain private, there could still be competition between service providers to keep costs low, everyone could have the opportunity to use the provider of their preference, blah blah blah. Premiums would be deducted from pay checks like a federal tax. Those between jobs could still get affordable coverage by paying providers directly. Retirees or people receiving unemployment/disability would be covered by Medicare or Medicaid-like programs. Kids and non-working spouses would have policies under the working household member. And that’s that. Everyone’s covered. Everyone gets the best treatment available. And this Queen of America sleeps a little easier in her bed at night.

This is how I imagine myself as queen.

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4 Reasons Why I’m a Jedi Master*

Or, 4 Reasons Why My Life Is Slightly Less Higgledy-Piggledy Than It Might Be Otherwise

1. I made my own bike bag.

So all the bags out there for bike racks are either 1) panniers, which I don’t want because that’s just inviting a lot of weird balance issues, or 2) fugly. Come on. Why is everything black and utilitarian? Fashiony ladies, help me out here. Start designing some cute bags for the back of my cute bike. In the meantime, I had to make do with my own modifications to this tote bag, which is the perfect size and shape for the back of my bike. It’s insulated like a cooler, it’s nice and tall with lots of outside pockets, AND it has a crossbody strap. I can toss all my Autumnalia in there and just take the whole bag with me once I arrive at my destination. All I did was sew a couple Velcro straps to each corner and it works like a dream. Is the stitching neat and even? No. Did I separate my fingernails from the nail beds trying to push a needle through that tough fabric before I was smart enough to use a thimble? Yes. But, you know, it works. That’s the important thing.

Kindle, phone, keys, bike lock, change of clothes…everything fits.

2. I recovered the cats’ old scratching post.

Dear Piglet, Monkey, Turkey, and Cricket: Your beloved scratching post has been restored to you. Please stop shredding the armchair. Please. With tears in my eyes, y’all. Seriously. Love, Autumn.

scratching post

Piglet enjoys the new post (after spending three hours attacking the sisal rope I was trying to wrap it with and making the whole process hideously difficult).

Anyway, I originally made this post a few years ago. The design is pretty simple if you want to do one yourself. The cats wear out the covering after about 18 months and then it needs to be sort of rehabbed, so this is the third time I’ve done this. But the structure itself is still going strong! Here’s some basic instructions if you want to build your own:

Make sure to wear gloves—sisal is ROUGH on the hands.

3. I embroidered this.

If you’re a cataloger, you’ve probably heard this slogan before. I find it’s a helpful reminder not only for the finicky work of cataloging (which requires that you interpret half a dozen complicated standards and formats with incredibly lengthy documentation), but also just for life. Stop freaking out so much over all the tiny details, guys. Be more like me. Be zen.

Sadly, I did not follow this advice when I took three dozen photos trying to get the best angle.

4. I cleaned out the car.

I don’t really have a picture of this or anything. I just felt like you needed to know.

*When I say “Jedi Master” I really mean “DIY goddess.” Same diff.

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3 Reasons Why I Love My Bike

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Don’t Miss My iPad One Little Bit

1. My bike is comfy.

The Electra Townie is designed so that you can sit upright rather than having to lean forward. No more back aches. Plus it has a nice wide seat, an ergonomic handlebar, and a very smooth ride thanks to top-notch materials and construction.

Who needs Angry Birds Space on a bigger screen anyway? ::stifled whimper::

I’ve ridden miles and miles without any discomfort (well, any serious discomfort—there’s no bike in the world that can manage to give its a rider a completely pain-free posterior, alas). In short, the Townie is worth the extra money, even if it means selling your beloved iPad. Which I did. Willingly. No regrets. At all.

2. My bike is cute.

I just need streamers and beads on my spokes and I’ll be all set.

Just look at that dreamy color! It’s like the bike version of a Creamsicle. Plus my wicker basket is très chic, and I have a little bell that goes ring-a-ling-ding. [Translation: Get out of my way, you stupid pedestrian, how dare you amble along in the exact middle of the path looking at your phone and listening to music with giant headphones on!? I will run your ass down fool!]

3. My bike gets me out in the sunshine.

We booknerds have a tendency to retreat into the dark recesses of our homes and develop nocturnal habits. I used to go weeks at a time without getting a good dose of the outdoors. This isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a prissy fussbudget. During any sort of outside activity, I get this creeping feeling of misery, starting with the onset of sunburn and dehydration during which my blood sugar drops and my head begins to ache and my mouth gets all parched. Next I get bitten by insects and my clothes start sticking to me and a film of dusty grit adheres to my sweaty skin and my hair gets plastered on my neck and my face feels like it’s on fire and my sunglasses keep sliding down my nose. By that point I’ve entered the sneaky hate spiral and the day is a wash. But a bike ride, by contrast, is a pleasantly cool adventure. I adore cruising around town like a boss, feeling a balmy breeze on my face as I take in the scenery and chart new routes on the fly. The husband and I have discovered all sorts of cool places this month that we had no idea existed, and last week I saw a muskrat. IN THE FLESH, people.

Wook at his widdle self. Just swimmin’ along, all like, doo-de-doo-de-doo, here I go being a muskrat.

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