by Jinryu

“You’re going to find, the longer you live here,” explained Terminator, “that that’s what’s going to happen.  Exactly that.  That you have no time for anything, and that the only way you can make time for anything is by cancelling something else.”


It’s remarkable how true that is.  I wonder how this transition came about—it just kind of caught me off guard when I was thinking of playing a bit of Prince of Persia and said to myself “Well, I don’t really have time today.”


Let me tell you: when I want to play a videogame, usually I make time.


But it turns out that it wouldn’t be possible that day.  I had laundries to do, dishes to do, and I had to head out to work in a couple of hours.


The other week, at the end of my 8-day tour of duty at the hospital, I ran into a ‘situation.’   I had run out clean underwear on the night of the 7th day.  So, for the night of the 7th until the midday of the 8th, I was basically wearing sweatpants around the apartment commando style.  I couldn’t very well go like that to work, so I had to do some last minute laundries and drying.


Well, my timing was slightly off as far as waking up on time and all that, so, by the time I needed to start leaving the apartment for work, the dryer wasn’t done yet.  So, I had to open up the dryer prematurely, put on a pair of smoking hot (literally) boxers and then roll out to work.


It’s really different from the days when I was in school.  You know when you’re in school, you just kind of focus on school and it occupies more of your time than anything else.  You tell yourself that when it comes to exams or when it comes to papers, you can put everything else on hold for the time being to take care of that.  If you live with your parents, it’s easy—like magic, you go downstairs and find dinner waiting, and if you’re lucky your laundries might even do themselves.


Nowadays, not only isn’t there dinner waiting for me in my apartment kitchen, but if I don’t find the time, there won’t even be any food in the fridge.


Not that I’m complaining.  I like this whole thing, of the ‘independence’ and all that.  To me, it’s sort of like a game of the Sims, and yes, I realize the irony of me saying that my life is like a game of the Sims.  I have fun with it, all through successes and failures.

I changed my bike on Wednesday.  I’m talking about my “Golden Fixie,” the one that had a gold frame.

I was out drinking on Tuesday and rode home somewhat tipsy at about 3AM Wednesday.  Well, the problem was that when I got back to the apartment, I just went about my usual routine– I saw [Terminator]’s car parked in front of our place, so, as per usual, I made a turn in, jumped my bike up the curb, and drove my bike straight to the front door.

It was dark, and a friend and I had downed about 120$ worth of alcohol in shooters between the two of us.  Getting home on auto-pilot turned out to be not without it’s hiccups.  Turns out that [Terminator] had moved his car one house over, so I wasn’t actually driving into our front yard– I was driving into our neighbor’s yard.  Problem with that is that the neighbor’s yard has an one extra high step on their walkway.

I didn’t even see it coming (it was, as I said, dark) and I slammed my front wheel into the step.  I don’t remember how fast I was going, but the step was about 8 inches high and I hit it at an angle.  I was pitched off my bike.  Managing to do a flip through the air, I cleared the handlebars landing arms first and breaking into a roll, flopping onto my back and looking up at the clouds in the night.  I wasn’t hurt.  But I was damn annoyed as I heard my bike clatter above me a moment after my body hit the ground.

I lay there for a bit, just sorta dumbfounded at what had just happened.  “Who put that step there?” I thought to myself.

I heard what I thought was [Terminator]’s room AC, and raising a hand up towards it, just cried out “[Terminatorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr]!” in my drunken stupor, as if I expected someone to come out and help me.  When nobody came, I sat up, annoyed, and realized that it wasn’t my lawn.

Groaning, I dragged my bike up and went next door to my place.

The next morning I was getting my bike ready to head downtown to get some groceries, since [Vittek] was going to be coming over for dinner.  It was upon riding out into the street that I realized that the headset of my bike was completely twisted.  The headset was about 20 degrees off alignment with the wheel, which isn’t so bad because that can be easily fixed, but the stem itself was damaged, leaving the ideally horizontal dropbar headset about 15 degrees crooked from the horizontal.  The bottom bracket was also making this unpleasant grinding noise with every stroke of the pedals, and something in the streeting was rattling as if there were some loose bearing or something.

Before doing groceries I made a detour to the bike shop downtown (on Murray and Ottawa street, if you’re interested) because that place has traditionally done me great service.  Not only did they sell me Golden Fixie in the first place, but for whatever minor repairs, like the last time the headset ring was loose, or when my rear wheel was suffering from some bad wobble due to an untightened axle bolt, they always just took it in and fixed it on the spot, for no charge.  It’s hard to find places that give you service nowadays, so when I do find the odd small business that treats me right, I do go back even if it might be more expensive.

Anyway, I asksed them for an estimate to fix the bottom bracket, replace the damaged stem, and replace the steering set with a new set of bullhorn “pursuit” handlebars– the initial estimate was 125$, and that wasn’t including whatever parts it might take to fix the bracket.  For that price, I asked, could I just trade in Golden Fixie and pay the difference for a new bike?

So that’s what I did.  The new bike, I’ve decided, will be called Warthog, because it’s got the same color scheme as a military vehicle (albeit a fictional one from Halo).  The new bike cost me Golden Fixie as a trade in, plus 200$.  Sound pretty steep, I suppose, considering that when I bough Golden Fixie, it cost me about 320$…but anyway.  Warthog has a lot better components.  Instead of steel cranks and plastic pedals, I’ve now got alumnium alloy parts, for one thing.  The stemset and the headset are new parts isntead of slightly rusted refurbished ones, and the paint job is a nice olive green matte finish with a single yellow echelon to indicate my rank, or something.

Lets hope my new bike lasts me longer.