Spring fever has begun creeping up on me yet again, with its usual symptoms of restlessness and agitation. I'm digging through cds and pulling out old music for a change of pace, having flashbacks in my mind's eye to summer bike rides and the scenery that accompanied them, and itching to hit the road for far away places. The winter's chilly grip is loosening, leaving me with a need to sweat. A hike in the woods or flowing yoga routine just won't cut it, I need to get out on my bike and really make my body work.
More compellingly, I want to get out on my bike, the first I've had that feeling in months. Knowing that the weather's oh-so-gradually warming up means it's time to get the bike cleaned and ready. I won't spring-clean my apartment, but I will give the bike a thorough going-over-- removing the chain and lovingly wiping down each link, polishing up the frame with a bottle of aptly-named Bike Lust, cleaning and adjusting the components to the best of my ability. This year, inspired by #4 of the How to Ride a Bike Forever manifesto, I've decided to remove the computer from the bike. I'll be doing this with a high level of trepidation. Despite riding statistic-less for the majority of my life, I quickly became addicted to entering those numbers on a log. None of them were particularly impressive by "serious" cyclist standards, but my left-brain was tickled pink by logging, reviewing, comparing, and analyzing. But I feel strongly that it's time to get back to right-brain riding for at least a while, so left-brain's just gonna have to handle its numbers withdrawal as best it can. Besides, getting all those wires out of the way will make cleaning the bike just that much easier.
On the subject of the increasingly run-down looking apartment that I hate to clean, it's becoming a major source of dukkha. After re-painting half of the place a few years ago and then having the bathroom somewhat professionally remodeled, I'd been planning to begin tackling other things in increments-- new dishwasher and refrigerator, then new flooring in the kitchen and sunroom, finally finishing the re-painting job... But $12,000 of veterinarian bills over the course of 2008 completely side-tracked those ambitions. Meanwhile, the list has continued to grow even as the money has shrunk. While I was in Vegas on a 10-day business trip last summer, the cats tore down a chunk of wallpaper in the kitchen, which means that room's just that much closer to needing a complete remodel. A crack in some small component of the furnace is being monitored at bi-annual maintenance checks, in the hopes that it won't necessitate a whole unit replacement for a few more years. And, more recently, I came home to find that some numb-skull left my storm door unlatched while distributing menus for a pizza place that I'll never call. The wind apparently then caught the door and blew it back against the wall of the building, yanking the retracting door closures out of the door frame and breaking the wood of the frame. I should be glad it didn't shatter the glass of the door, but as I picked screws, bolts, and other assorted parts off the ground, all I wanted to do was punch the un-thinking doofus in the face (for which I'll certainly spend another lifetime in samsara, if the whole Hindu/Buddhist reincarnation thing really holds water).
The houses we lived in when I was growing up always had the same hodge-podge, borderline decrepit feeling my place is beginning to take on. My father is a fairly competent, energetic handy-man, but he's also easily distracted, never fully completing any of the projects he begins. I'm in some sort of handy-person limbo, myself. I can swap out a door-knob or hang a curtain rod lickety-split, but was flummoxed in my attempts to remove and replace a worn-out kitchen faucet. And my only excuse for not getting back to re-painting the rest of the apartment is pure laziness. Painting's fun for about two hours, and then I can't take it anymore and want to just go play. I'm to the point that I feel like I need to begin sketching or writing poetry, just so I can absent-mindedly look around the place and shrug, using the excuse that I'm too busy being creative to worry about mundane things like the appearance of my home. It would be better than this feeling that I'm too broke and/or lazy to do anything about it.
Fuck it all, I'm outta here. It's flipping cold outside, but the woods are calling.