summer_jackel: (Default)
Overly sugary energy drinks have become a mainstay of my time on the bike trainer; I find them somewhat wretched, but I crave them while I pedal. Well, I decided to try a new Rockstar flavor, and apparently didn't engage my eyeballs very well, because it wasn't until just now that I noticed it was GRAPE. Yeah guys, it's true, I actually spent money on Rockstar's version of grape soda. There's no excuse; I was emotionally calm and completely sober when I performed this act.

It tastes like some kind of Lovecraftian monster strangled to death in the Berkeley pit and left to putrify in a glass jar for a couple of weeks in August. With caffeine.

For the love of dog, save yourselves, don't ever try this stuff. I'm going to drink it anyway. That'll teach me.


Mar. 10th, 2011 04:41 pm
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woo, I think I can ride 4 hours today, but it will hurt. Here's a meme from [ profile] a_rowan_dryad to distract me!

1. Make a list of 5 things that you can see without getting up.
a. Psittacus erithacus erithacus
b. Clawfooted bathtub on deck
c. Original artworks by 6 different people
d. Damp plum blossoms with dew drops on them, shining in the fading light
e. chickens in coop outside

2. How do you style your hair?
I tint it purple, but I am too lazy to keep it vivid all the time, so the effect is usually subtle, which is fine with me. I use Manic Panic, uh, I think it's Plum Passion?---the reddish one, not the blue tint. The reddish purples fade attractively, the blue tinted ones do not. I wash it daily if I will be seen in public and every other if I'm just going to be outside being grimy; my hair is very fine and it isn't pleasant, otherwise. I don't really style it much, just brush it, but when dancing I like to keep it in a ponytail with a silk ribbon.

3. What are you wearing now?
I am pedaling, 3 hours shooting for 4. Spandex bike shorts and top. Over 3 years after the breakup with Kestrel and our last tandem ride, I just took my good bike shoes to the shop to have the cleats changed to the same style as my road bike. Baggage much? It was necessary; I had ridden my MTB cleats literally to shreds and ribbons, but I forgot how nice my good cleats feel.

4. What's your occupation?
Complicated, but attorney, solo practitioner.

5. What do you hear right now?
Something techno, and Nikola's occasional whistling.

6. Who was the last person you hugged?

7. What is/was for dinner?
Hm, interesting question. I will want a nice meal after this ride, and dance class later. Maybe Chili's.

8. What's the last tv show you watched?
I'm pretty sure it was an episode of Buffy, 2 weeks ago. I am re-watching it with Kyn; we are still in season 1, but thankfully almost done with that. I just scored a used copy of season 5, which is my favorite overall season. Now I have all the Buffy but season 7 (gloat gloat) and I'm not sure I need that.

9. Dog person or cat person?

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
Summer Jackel (Middle name to first, surname mod)

11. What was the last thing that you bought?
2 bales of alfalfa hay, this morning, which I brought to Dancer and Equinox.

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
First Socotra Island, and then Ethiopia. On the way back, somewhere with snorkels and tropical fishies, and after that Florida before home. What? That isn't cheating, is it...?

13. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don't know. There are a lot of possibilities and hopes, but there are also many variables.

14. Favorite book?
Ha. A few that come to mind are the 'Myth of Sisyphus' by Albert Camus, 'Always Coming Home' by Ursula leGuin, and 'Deerskin' by Robin McKinley.

15. What are you doing this weekend?
A couple of friends may or may not be visiting, so weekend plans are pretty up in the air.

16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
I already can play the fiddle, which is my first choice, but I wish I could be much better than I am. If it has to be a different instrument, it would be guitar. EDIT: I would love to be able to play Irish bagpipes really well. I do not want to have to learn to play the pipes, however.

17. How are you?
Can you be a little more specific? But pedaling strong, and happy.

18. What are you doing tomorrow?

19. What are you looking forward to?
Seeing Kyn at dance class tonight. Showing Coba at the obedience trial in Petaluma, in 3 weeks.
summer_jackel: (Default)
It's 11:59 on Sunday. I've been pedaling for an hour and a half, and it is raining for the first time this season. I always take this as something of a personal holiday, suddenly emotional things are hurting less than they have in 4-5 years, and I'm pretty happy. Miz Kaya, the Best Parrot in the World, is begging me for another spray-bottle bath, but her feathers are still soaked through from the last one.

The collie floats up when I take a break, and I pet him and feel something odd. Bliss Like Chaos, can you explain why you are wearing Mardi Gras beads this morning? There was a party that good last night and you didn't tell me?
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Oh man...I just rode close to 4 1/2 hours on a trainer after 4 days off the bike...ride started off slow, but then I got really strong. Now I have the post-ride euphoria and hunger and there is really good chocolate cake and ice cream in the fridge. I SCORE.

There is a special kind of hedonism reserved for those who suffer for the sake of greater pleasures later.

Also, in the area of how COOL is nature, check out this glacier bleeding primordial ooze.
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The cat is humping my bathrobe. No need to say which one if you are familiar with my cats. That one. With all the spots. He's not just casually doing this, either; no, there's some concentration going on, and he's been at it for about a minute and a half. I didn't know that a gelded cat could get an erection. At least he doesn't spray. Geez, man, not on my bathrobe, ok? Can't you get a room or something?

And then I think, wait, who am I to judge my kitty's expression of his unique gender and sexuality? (And he expresses it, let me tell you). Maybe I should get my noisy bike trainer at 7:00 at night out of the bedroom and give him some privacy. Wait, though, it's still my bathrobe, I get a say.

Now he fell asleep on it. Aww, kitty.


Speaking of pedaling trainer at night, wow, I forgot the effects of being rested in the sense of bike training. This has been a year of heavy emotional stuff...Kestrel and Lucy moved out a little over a year ago now, Kestrel and I called it off for good only in May...and the most useful method I've found of working through it is riding the hell out of my bike, mostly on the trainer. It's actually been really great fun and I feel wonderful, but the result is that I put in as much time and intensity as amateur racers. (I'd be an awful racer, though...lack of balance and handling skills would kill me. MTB may actually suit me more).

So when I haven't ridden for a few days...and there were only 2 major rides in the last 2 weeks...I get so rediculously full of energy that I can't sit still. I was just agro all day today, so I got home and hopped on a bike, and am now much happier at hour 3.5. Riding is a scream, and I have been pounding at the trainer for a good three hours with no sign of being tired. I'm peaked! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Coba is curled up next to Jezebel's ruff. The housefox is using the wolf's mane as a pillow. It's true. They can't be photographed because they are asleep behind my bedroom door, and moving that would wake them up, but oh awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I'm really happy to see that Jez is accomodating so well to the collie pack. For a couple weeks after Pryderi's death, she spent a lot of time in her kennel, in a surly mood and generally avoiding us. She's the last of my wolf pack, and has never been without another of her kind, but she seems to be really comfortable playing and snuggling with these colliepupthings now. I'm glad; I want her age to be happy.


Listening to a whole lot of Tori Amos right now. What weird and awesome music. Got to make sure I don't blare it at my neighbors at 10 p.m, as my sense of musical volume does weird things when I pedal. Although blaring Tori Amos at my neighbors (hey, they play country loud...) is kind of conceptually funny.


That cat is still sleeping on my bathrobe. His bathrobe? Well, at least until I wash it. Nice that he doesn't want my underwear like the puppies do.
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OK, how cool is it that Santa Rosa is apparently home to a steampunk event? This would be the Handcar Regatta, (, a way keen rail-based kinetic sculpture race with decided steamy styling. Unfortunately, it was a very hot day, so I only stayed for a few hours, but it was a very fun-packed couple of hours. Lots of bicycle-based craft and a pervasive pro-bike/bike activism atmosphere, which was also lovely. Also, really delish fair food, but then this is Sonoma county, after all.

Chaos was extremely well behaved, although he got a little bit overwhelmed at the end, mostly because of the heat. But he enjoyed himself too, and politely met a lot of people and dogs, most of them also polite. It pleases me very much that his overwhelm behavior is to lay down quietly behind me and occasionally hide in my skirts, and also that he likes to drink water out of a bottle, a feat that impressed several people. I love my collie, and not just because he's the ultimate neo-Victorian fashion accessory.

Nobody knows he's a collie, though. I get this about Coba, too...approximately 8 people out of 10 who approach me about either of the boys say something to the effect of, "What a beautiful dog! He's Australian Shepherd and...what?" Nope. Purebred Collie (or Sheltie). No Aussie anywhere. Like Lassie, only blue. And no, it's not a new thing. They have come in that color (and Tri, which must exist in at least half the population if a breed comes in blue merle) at least since they were first exhibited in 1860; the sables were originally the weird new color and can all trace directly back to one dog. Of course, this was also before they were crossed with Borzoi to make them what they are now. Today I got the most interesting 'what is your dog' comment I've heretofore received; some lady asked me if he was an Afghan hound. I was totally amused. But it's true: anyone who has looked closely at sighthounds can see the influence clear as day in a certain snout.

So, here we are.


cool kinetic sculptures! )
summer_jackel: (Default)
I. My dogs are weird.

I usually lock Jez in the kennel at night, but I am getting a little more lax about Jez in general. At 10 (Jezebel is 10? Dear gods, when did that happen?) Miz Wolfie has slowed way down. When they were young, I was always aware that my pack could probably get out of the yard in about two minutes if they were motivated, for instance by the appearance of a dog they didn't like and might therefore want to eat, and supervised them accordingly. Still, when I woke up to the slightly concerned realization that I'd left her loose for the night, it was a far cry from the oh shit panic that same moment might have inspired when I was 25.

This morning, I was just mildly relieved to note Jez still asleep in her doghouse and all of my chickens yet living and unmolested. On closer inspection, the only thing out of place was an almost-empty bottle of kennel disinfectant in the doghouse with her. Thankfully unchewed, although I'm sure that she planned on it until she stopped to smell the thing. Dude, Jez, of all the forbidden items in the whole place that you could have appropriated for your illicit destructive pleasure, you chose the soap?

I should be grateful.

My dogs' friends are weird )

Pedal Lust

Sep. 2nd, 2009 03:43 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
This is actually not a bad thing to look at while one is riding a trainer. No really.

I want it. Want want want. That. I mean, look at it. It's titanium. With gorgeous filigree. I'm not going to; no way can I justify such a purchase. But it would be so swift and light and delicious to ride through the damp redwood roads. We can conveniently ignore for the moment that I mostly ride a trainer. Bicycle or fetish object, you decide.

Aren't I going to be due a mid-life crisis in a few years, or something?

Adopt one today! and Adopt one today! and YAY, Adopt one today! is a deep-sea dragon, my favorite species yet, also Adopt one today! and Adopt one today!. Oh hey, there's a Adopt one today!, too.
summer_jackel: (Default)
BIKES I hop on the trainer for a couple hours. It's funny, but riding a bike does stuff to me. Makes me fitter and prettier, obviously, and is a great anti-depressant, which explains not so much why I pedal like I do, but how much. The more subtle, but pervasive, effect is that I feel normal-to-tired when I have ridden recently, but give me a few days off and suddenly I am as full of spazz and boundless energy as my conure when he hasn't been let out of his cage for too long. Sometimes it takes me a moment to remember why I'm behaving wierdly, eg. 'Why am I so conurey at the end of a work day? Oh yeah, I'm all rested. Go spin for an hour so ya sleep tonight, Jackel.'

It's a shame my balance and handling will never be what I'd need to maneuver in a race or century ride, because I'm getting strong. Anyone local need a tandem stoker? :P I took an actual road ride (gasp) this weekend, and I was tearin' it up, although because apparently Kestrel scavenged the magnet off my front wheel, disabling my bike computer, I have no idea how fast I was actually going. Frustrated kvetch gotta get a new one now, PITA. It felt fast, anyway. Grumble.

Incidentally, that ride was to Armstrong Redwoods SP. What a sweet ride. Nice enough roads, few/slow cars, old growth redwood trees, good distance from home. In the winter, when there are fewer tourists, it will be even nicer.

So some friends of mine are fostering a Nanday conure. I am so going over there to love on her and steal her and make her my very own NOT steal her because not only am I already one parrot over my ideal capacity, I have heard a Nanday vocalize. Thankfully, I still have my hearing after this experience. Still, Nandays are up there on my list of top four birds I love but can never, ever keep. The others, for the curious, are the sun conure, lovebird (I vacillate as to preferred species between black-masked and lutino peachfaced)) and B&G Macaw. All would make fantastic pets for deaf people. (I have sometimes wondered if parrots are statistically more popular pets among the deaf; it would make so much sense).

Going even farther afield, birds that are on the list of parrots I would love and can realistically see myself keeping, but almost certainly won't unless my situation were to change drastically, are white-eared and painted conures, Princess of Wales parakeet and the big one, African grey. I yearn for a grey and really love their neurotic little personalities, and I'm just arrogant enough to think I could do an adequate job of keeping one. I don't have the space, and I think it would decrease the quality and amount of time I could spend with other pets, so this will not happen.

On the other hand, I do think I need another laying hen; I am supplying enough eggs to friends to justify her. I may raise a couple of chicks this year after all.

Only one certain loss so far, a cutting that was in one of my worst rockwool cubes. The cube split, and I think that exposed the wounded end of the cutting to air, dooming it. So, my fault. The other rockwool cuttings, those in perlite and the 3 in willow water have not wilted at all. Both potato grafts are still alive but look shocky and wilted; sadly, I give them a slim chance of rooting.

Shameless little cur. I tossed my undies in the hamper---the one with the smaller slats that I hoped would deter dainty and unerringly accurate little muzzles, dammit!---and no less than a minute later emerged from my bedroom to see Coba trotting off with them. He dropped them immediately, and turned tail for the doggie door as quickly as decorum would allow. If I could have got that second on film, it would have made a hilarious LOLdog; fluffy little sheltie pup wearing an incredibly guilty look of GUILT on his face (the blue eyes are especially expressive on this) and a black thong in his mouth. Yeah, Coba. I saw you. Drop it, furball.
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This came from several. I am pedaling away (hour 2; I'm shooting for 5) so go ahead and ask me stuff; it will give me a welcome distraction. I'm resisting the temptation to re-write this, but:

The problem with Livejournal is that we all think we are so close, but really, we know nothing about each other. Hence, I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Then post this in your LJ (if you want to) and find out what people don’t know about you.

This evening, I am going to a big concert with lots of loud, exciting music. This is really not the kind of thing, as a quiet introvert with a severe aversion to crowds, that I often do; I am, however, looking forward because big shows can be fun. My hair is freshly dyed purple, and after the ride, I should be the appropriate mix of mellow and fierce to appreciate this event. (Which is the Harmony festival, for the interested, and will feature Cake, the Dead Kennedies and, apparently, techno of various stripes until 3 am).

Yesterday, I visited [ profile] kynekh_amagire, [ profile] selasphorus and [ profile] eclipsegryph for the purposes of good company and a bad film that was clearly necessary to see; Mega Shark vs. Giant Octoups. The title really tells you all you need to know. I'll just add that its script would be darkly brilliant if it was written by a ten year old (like the meme!) and was notable for astonishingly skeezy unrequited-threesome-love between the young couple and her middle-aged mentor. The kind of thing I usually howl "you're poly! Go for it!" at the screen, only this time the thought is kind of eeeeeeew.

The real reason to visit, though, was to corrupt their very souls with the insidious cute that is Shetland Housefoxes. It's all part of a diabolical master plan. On their part, Rogue and Coba had a lovely outing with Woe-Collie Luck, although Rogue is taking her new role as alpha female amongst my dogs...I'm not even kidding you, Jez wouldn't do it, sheltie is queen...perhaps a little too seriously. Rogue, you don't need to herd him in his own house.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!


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