Coldplay @ HP Pavilion

•July 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Before I got my bike this weekend (which i rode all day today, all over the city, just because i can), I went to see Coldplay @ HP Pavilion.  People love Coldplay, old people, young people, in-betweenies like me, white people, white people…..  and I am usually the first to hate on AC’s of all types (adult contemporary music, Slater, self-hate), but Coldplay is pretty good.  It is so fascinating to me that they are able to evoke a particular emotion throughout the audience, almost like puppeteering.  It was so interesting just WATCHING the audience and their reactions to different songs.  One minute they are jumping and clapping, the next minute, everyone is in tears.

Exhibit A:  The Scientist:

“Nobody said it was easy…… (sobbing and nodding), it’s such a shame for us to part…. (crying and post nasal drip)..Nobody said it was easy, noone ever said it would be this hard….. (wahhhhhh)”

Exhibit B: Fix You

“Lights will guuuide you home….. and igniiiiiiite your bones…. I will try…… to fix you  (aaand……..makeout).”

I remember my korean friend had a first date with her ex-boyfriend at a Coldplay concert, and SURPRISE! They got together after that.  I would argue that the Coldplay effect is more decision altering than the alcohol effect.  If the two were together, it is romance on a silver platter.  And if you can’t close the deal, you must be a treasure troll.  Brandon argues that instead of Coldplay manipulating people’s emotions, certain people actually USE COLDPLAY for it’s decision altering effects.  I can see that, some higher risk than others. (Luckily, I went to this show with my brother so I sidestepped this dangerous phenomena.)

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Bike Hunt 3: Introducing…..

•July 20, 2008 • 4 Comments

(almost $800 later with accessories)……my new Raleigh Cadent FT2 Performance Hybrid!

Although it may seem as if I have chosen performance over fashion, if you look closely, you will see that I subtly accessorized to up the anty in terms of fabulosity:

Buying a bike can sometimes be like buying baby gear.  I felt pressure to get the best products, similar to the pressure I imagine a new mother must get to buy the Baby Bjorn, because if you don’t, your baby may lose a chromosome or develop a lazy eye along the way.  But it’s really up to you!  I definitely had a couple “It’s up to YOU, but if it were ME, I would go with the …….(insert something expensive here)” and “It’s really a good investment to consider.” suggestive moments.

Another concern I had/have  is that it is made in China.  Apparently almost all bikes in this range is built in Taiwan or China.  But if you have ever shopped with a Chinese person, you will notice that they usually like to check and make sure the product was NOT made in China or Taiwan.

But other than that, so far so good!=D

To be continued….

Bike Hunt Episode 2: Goldilocks and the Three Bikes

•July 17, 2008 • 2 Comments

Yesterday after work I went to REI on Brannan St. to check out their bikes.  I was greeted by a pleasant young man, but 5 minutes in, he was off and referred me to his colleague, ABM (asianbikerman).  I had already said I wanted to try out the following bikes, the novara corsa (left) and novara transfer (right):

ABM looked at them skeptically and asked me what I was using it for, “just for fun,” or for serious commuting? Have you considered a road bike? And I said, “I understand a road bike is faster and lighter but I tried it, I’m just not a road bike type of person.”  Then he said “yeah, people have been coming to see this bike ever since it was in Dwell magazine.  Then he did the condescending quote two fingers hand motion and said, what do you mean you’re not a “road bike” kind of person?  At that point I just said, look Asian Biker Man with your asianbikermanlegs, I just want to try it ok.  The transfer (red and white on right) turned out to be TOO heavy.  I would not be able carry it up to the 3rd floor after a long day.  The corsa (booger green one on the left) was TOO ugly.  I asked if it came in other colors, and he laughed at me.  (Not the “oh how cute” laugh, it was more of a “this chick is so not hardcore like me and my ABM friends” laugh). I did not feel the “relationship” I felt at American Cyclery, so I said I would think about it.  Onward ho.

Today, I went to American Cyclery and met two more nice nice people James and Cory and I finally got to ride the bike I ride in my dreams: the Bianchi Milano Citta:

Obviously, I love the look.  It’s sassy, I’m sassy, enough said.  I like the stepover, so I can theoretically wear a dress, though not recommended.  However, this is an 8-speeder so I wanted to see how it was going hills.  I tried the little hill up arguello towards UCSF (which I also tested with the Specialized Sirrus) and I have to say, it was definitely more work on the Milano Citta.  But through the park, around Kezar Stadium, I got my Corinne Bailey Ray on, and it was a lot of fun.  Is it TOO Corinne Bailey Ray?  I don’t have to be the most hard core asian biker girl but I don’t want to be the weakest link either.  Am I the sass X 7 or a Phish and Chicks in the land of Jabbawockeez?   Although I love the looks, is it smarter to go for performance?

Which machine, reigns supreme?

I can’t handle the inner struggle.  Stay tuned…. the plan is to get one so I can ride this weekend!

Bike Hunt

•July 14, 2008 • 2 Comments

I have recently felt immense pressure to get a bike.  Contributing factors include sunny weather, rising gas prices, increased boredom of the gym, too much cupcakin’, causing too much muffintoppin’ and the increased popularity of the sport/mode of transportation.  And they don’t call them hipsters for nothing.

So since I have already sucked up (literally sucked up and buttoned) and bought myself a pair of skinny jeans,  I decided this past weekend to actively hunt for a bike.  I started at American Cyclery next to Golden Gate Park.  They have 2 shops, one for regular people, and the other one is for the intense people .  But everyone was really nice, genuine people.  Jim in the regular store, and Alan in the intensity2000 store, both very nice, they even taught me the fashionable one pant roll-up.  So I rode a couple hybrids and road bikes just to test the difference.  Here is my conclusion:

Hybrids are fun and steady, road bikes are fast, sexy, but uncomfortable.  It’s like a labrador retriever, versus a greyhound.  One is cute and cuddly, kind of fast, the other is super cool looking, super fast, but not cuddly.

So in the two bike stores I rode, the lab and the greyhound:

Left is reliable and really nice $575 , the bottom is sexy super skinny and $200 mas.  Both fun to ride, but the bottom one goes so fast it scares me.  But scary is kind of exciting, no?

Ok so after that, against the recommendation of my pro-biker consultant, I went on to Craig’s list.  I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it, the chinese in me makes me anxious at the thought of paying retail for anything.  Are the extra couple hundred bucks worth the peace of mind?  I’m starting to lean towards yes…. but who knows.

So far I had 2 craig’s list excursions.  One in Mill Valley where I met a nice 61 year old cat lady who bought a “couple year old” bike from craigs list a “couple years ago”.  It was actually an older model 54cm Sirrus sport (just my size), and it looked nice and vintage but it was too sporty, the chain fell off, I had to learn about tire pumping, it was a little rusty, I ran into a stop sign and ate it, scraped up some ankle….. yada yada yada, anywho it didn’t work out.  And it made me realize I was more comfortable with a hybrid.  Stability over sexy.

Today after work “Alex,” a Russian lady asked me to meet her at the corner of a carwash and Geary to try her bikes.  I told her, I had never heard of “Performance” brand and she insisted that they have good components.  It was pretty ok, a little  bit of rust for $140.  The second bike was nicer, newer, a periwinkle with a basket, but more cruiser-esque.  I want a lab, not a poodle, so I said no.  I said I would consider the first one, but part of me just wants a shiny new bike.

Although the hunt is fun, it also makes me quite anxious.   It is not only an investment financially, I’m told I need to “build a relationship” with a shop, other bikers, join the SF BIke Coalition, take safety classes, get the gear, start wearing tight pants…..  it’s a lifestyle change.  I’m either IN or i’m OUT.

I want to test these in the next week, I feel like they are very me:

I think the one on the botttom is especially fabulous:                    

Fatty McMuffintop=(

•June 28, 2008 • 2 Comments

After three weeks of sitting on my butt stessing and studying (a mutually inclusive term would be sedentary snacking) I gained 8 pounds. EIGHT.  Holy quocamole.  According to Wii fit, I am normal, but ALMOST overweight.  However, I am sure I would have easily tipped over had I not rounded my 5’5 1/2″ frame to 5’6″ and justified a “heavy clothes” deduction with the fact that I was wearing a denim jacket.  Unlike some of my more spritely friends, I never had room in my pantalones for the unexpected growth of the transient food baby (and even less room for a permanent one!), and I am not down with pants that “just button.”  If I’m muffintopping, it’ NG, and just plain unacceptable.  Also, I can’t be buying new pants because a) I’m poor and b) I’m vain.

Unfortunately this has coincided with common quarter life worries.  I’ve graduated, I’m working now.  What is this money, you mean I don’t have to pay it back at 6.25% interest?  What is a 401K?  What is responsibility?  What’s next, am I expected to get married? Have babies? Move to the suburban neighborhood with the best school district for the sake of my future children? Then traumatize them because they are actually not smart but I made them go to school with a bunch of smart kids so they develop complexes, and I ruined their lives?  Am I hitting that slow down in metabolism and will I keep getting fatter forever and people won’t be able to tell if I’m pregnant or if that is my normal appearance?

(These thoughts are normal right?)

Therefore I have put myself on a low carb diet.  This has worked for me in the past but I’ve modified it to allow myself fruits (sans bananas)  and bits of carb food (e.g. salad toppers, beans) Cucumbers are now replacing chips.  Celery is the new french fry.  So, if you run into me anytime soon, sorry if I’m cranky pants.  It’s a common side effect of celery overdose.

AC Slater has a book.

•June 9, 2008 • 1 Comment

Mr. “All-American Cheesecake” himself: Now and then.

Wovovee, he looks EXACTLY THE SAME.

Thanks for the heads up, Gina, turn up the AC!

I think Jesus spoke to me today.

•June 5, 2008 • 3 Comments

Deep inside (well, not that deep) there lives a fat kid. This kid told me that it was ok to go to Genki on Clement Street in the middle of the day, by myself, and get myself a deliciously warm and crispy nutella and banana crepe

Exhibit A:

(reenacted from google images, not my hand)

Inside I knew, getting a crepe by yourself midday, is like taking that first drink, at home, by yourself, watching the Hills. It can only lead to mushy brain, mushy tushy, and mushy life. But against my better judgement I studied a little at the Danube to wash my hands of the impending guilt, and stealthily darted towards Genki under my giant dark sunglasses.

With my textbook in my left hand and the crispy sweet delight in the other , I happily walked home….. that is until the mid-crepe shift. The mid-crepe shift is the action that requires us to use the other hand to shift the crepe up out of the holder, because the holder is blocking the next bite. (Similar to the paper wrapper around an ice cream cone). Right before crossing the street I mid-crepe shifted too aggressively and I remember it like it was 15 minutes ago….. my crepe fell to the ground in slow motion. That strange man voice that says “noooooooo!!!” in the movies played in my head. Then another voice said, “Aileen, just let it go. It’s Clement street, it’s dirty, don’t even think about it, it was not meant to be. You are better than this, I will not let you fade into the background. Fatty mcbutterpants no mas. No mas….”

The shame……

*edit* Why does it seem “more ok” to partake in excess (drugs, alcohol, crepes, buffet) in groups? discuss.