Friday, March 28, 2014

You really don't want to #CancelColbert.

Disclaimer: I'm speaking personally, certainly not for anyone else. I'm interested in hearing alternative critiques of comedy, satire, race, and identity, especially in the context of Stephen Colbert.

I have better things to do right now than shout into the echobox of criticism and defense of Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA, First Lady of France. But as a longtime, avid fan of Colbert's satire and self-satire, I feel a bubbling of internet rage that I need to address.

This post by Jessica Wakeman summarizes the situation well, and has all the requisite video links. Colbert (in character) satirized Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, who didn't bow to #ChangeTheName pressure, and instead "created the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation" in a somewhat pathetic attempt at appeasement through poorly-directed charity. The Colbert Report brought back a clip of the show from 2005 with Colbert's intentionally racist character Ching-Chong Ding-Dong, and modern-day Colbert, after "reporting" on Snyder's foundation, introduced the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever. As often happens, Colbert's line from the show was tweeted (and quickly deleted) by the @ColbertReport account out of context, and inspired a knee-jerk #CancelColbert campaign, arguing that progressive satire punches up (not down), and that Colbert's sketch was blatantly racist.

In addition to Wakeman's post (The Frisky) linked above, here are some other smart responses I've read to the controversy.

Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post
Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel
James Poniewozik, Time
John Aravosis, AmericaBlog

To synthesize these writers, Colbert's sketch does punch up, though on the surface, punches down. Viewed in context with the reporting on Snyder and the Redskins, Colbert is creating a (fake) charity to make up for his unabashed use of an offensive character (Ding-Dong), paralleling Snyder's refusal to alter the Redskins in name or mascot, and creation of a charity he hopes will be a hush fund. The point is that it's racist, especially when viewed out of context with the rest of the program, and Colbert's long-running character.

When you explain humor, it becomes unfunny. I know. But the reason the Colbert Report works (at least for me) is that Colbert's character makes himself look bad in order to expose hypocrisy. One of the better recent examples of Colbert doing good was in his interview with trans* activist Janet Mock, who had previously been misunderstood and misrepresented by CNN host Piers Morgan. For a < six-minute interview, Colbert does a heckuva lot to make himself look bad, elevate Mock, and show how easy re-education can be, while remaining seriously funny.

The last thing I want to do is argue that one good deed makes up for a lifetime of poor choices, but I do think that Colbert's pattern of satire shows generally good intentions, and a clawing at boundaries of acceptable behavior.

My larger feeling about this whole #CancelColbert "shitstorm" is that even if Colbert's sketch and statements were truly racist, offensive-to-all, and grounds for outrage, he still should not be canceled. Even if that were the case, The Colbert Report is a site of progress, exposure, and bullshit-calling. Humans make mistakes. When pushing boundaries, there are often occurrences of crossing them. Offer a sincere mea culpa, listen, and move on. For Colbert to be canceled would be for someone who is truly trying to leverage his privilege for good to be silenced. That truly wouldn't help anyone. He doesn't even need to explain himself; the critics have already done that work.

While I wholeheartedly support the right, privilege, and obligation for activists to speak up and explain how they are wronged by media culture, Colbert is the wrong target.

And finally, this should go without saying, but sending Suey Park death threats or other forms of abuse on twitter is not even remotely acceptable.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My first errandonnée

I realize I need to change the name of this blog to something much more general, but I don't have the creative brainpower to do so. For now, bear with me.

I enjoyed coffeeneuring enough to get hooked on the accessible bike challenge genre. The errandonnée hosted by Chasing Mailboxes has a ton of rules, too, and lets several errands be completed in a single trip, as long as the total mileage is over 30 for the challenge. Here's how I completed it:

Day 1 3/7/14, total day's mileage=15.76

Errand #1
Category: work
Mileage: 4.84
Observation/lesson:

  • Many vehicle operators of the car and motorcycle variety run red lights at the 6-way intersection just south of the Fremont bridge. I also get honked at if I refuse to run the red light, but I stand my ground, feeling vulnerable on my road bike.
  • I learned how to use this bizarre type of bike rack outside one of the libraries, under an overhang.



Errand #2
Category: bike shop (hoping the co-op counts)
Mileage: 10.9ish
Observation/lesson:
  • Added cages & straps to my pedals, and learned how difficult it is to ride that way after only ever using flat pedals. Also learned how to change brake pads.
  • The Elliott Bay Trail is gorgeous at dusk on a mostly clear day
  • Bonus picture from the trip between UW and The Bikery. Seattle hills! 







Day 2, 3/8/14, 3.97 miles route 

Errand #3
Category: work (though a different work, so I'm comfortable using the work category twice so soon)
Mileage: 1.84
Observation/lesson: There's a lot of construction going on in my neighborhood, and it makes it harder to bike around.












Errand #4, QFC
Category: grocery store
Mileage: 1.47
Observation/lesson: QFC didn't have Cadbury creme eggs, which was a bummer, though good for my health/wallet. Also, I like to take pictures of my bike (even if they come out blurry). It's pretty.




Errand #5, the FedEx store
Category: store other than grocery store
Mileage: .66
Observation/lesson: If I can figure out how to get my left foot into the cage after pushing out, the cage/strap setup will work really well. The security of the cages is great, and helps for going uphill, even if it's just that my feet don't lift off the pedals all the time.





Day 3, 3/9/14


Errand #6, Pho Bac
Category: Breakfast or lunch
Mileage: 1.87
Observation/lesson: All veggie pho is magical.









Errand #7, Lake Union Park
Category: Personal Care & Health (because meditation counts!)
Mileage: 2.56
Observation/lesson: Sitting at the edge of a dock, leaning up against one's bike, and staring at a large body of water is quite wonderful.

Errand #8, Mighty-O Donuts
Category: Dessert or coffee (technically, this could have also been lunch, since donuts were my lunch--don't tell any real adults)
Mileage: from school/work, and I didn't count the to-campus mileage for this day since I had already used up the work category: 2.14
Observation/lesson: As soon as I change into pants appropriate for riding in the rain, the sun will come out. Also, it's better to ride in the sun with rain clothing than for it to constantly rain.











Errand #9, Seattle Public Library, University Branch
Category: Library!
Mileage: .91
Observation/lesson: The cherry blossoms are blooming! See how pretty they are outside the library?













Errand #10, Steelband rehearsal
Category: Community meeting
Mileage: 6.28
Observation/lesson: Playing pan, like riding a bike, is more fun when it becomes a fluid, physical motion, rather than a mental exercise.


Errand #11, the unnamed drive-thru espresso stand just south of the Fremont bridge that I pass all the time
Category: Breakfast or lunch
Mileage: 2.02
Lesson/observation: They have yummy breakfast burritos, and are very friendly.

(I actually put the burrito in my bag, and rode over to Gas Works park, and ate it there. Isn't spring the best?)

Errand #12, Lush
Category: Any store other than a grocery store
Mileage: 9.04
Lesson/observation: I learned a lot about hair and skin care and products. I could spend hundreds of dollars in that store.

Total errandonnée miles: 44.55

Woo! The funny thing about this challenge is that I would have done all of these things had there not been a challenge. It's an odd feeling logging and photographing "normal" life. Odd, in a cool way.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Transferable skills

We interrupt this thesis-blogging procrastination (I said I'd do it every week, and have ignored this for 3 or 4 of 'em...sorry) to take stock of what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Kris Shaffer tweeted the other day asking about possible non-PhD options for Music Theory MA grads. I have a lot of thoughts about this, so I'm answering publicly. This is the first time I'm really organizing my thoughts about post-grad options other than "find job doing something I can stand behind," so I welcome comments from across the board. I'm pretty much mentor-free at the moment, and post-ac careers are taboo subjects in my corner of the academic world, so feel free to step in and offer some suggestions. As someone in year 2 of a terminal MA program in musicology, I'm often asked what I'm going to do with my degree. The only thing one would actually "do" with a musicology MA would be to go into a musicology PhD program. Even though I once really wanted to do that, I've changed my mind*, and I'm looking to enter the aptly scare-quoted "real world" and find a job so I can have some version of the middle-class bougie life in which I was raised. With the economy being what it is, I doubt it'll happen that way, so I'd like to at least get by, but with a much healthier work/life balance than I currently have. So when people ask me what I'm going to do with my degree, I tell them I'm going to hang it on the wall. (Sometimes they laugh.) I'm thinking now about what I'm going to do with my education, including the education I get from my TA duties. I have some additional cards in my hand from a paid research internship at the Library of Congress, and my current job as a teaching artist at the Seattle Symphony, though I assume anyone actively planning to do something non-academic has some sort of non-academic professional experience in one area or another.

It seems the most successful way to go about getting a job after a master's degree in the humanities is to do temp work and apply widely. Since I was very young, my mother has (rightly) told me that it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you like your co-workers. I can't tell if this is new, but my generation has been told time and time again that we can do whatever we want (we can't), and that our work should be fulfilling and challenging. Elizabeth Keenan has been writing and tweeting about this sort of stuff a lot. Without engaging in the "having it all" debate, I'd like to propose that a job can be amazingly fulfilling and challenging, or it can be tolerable and allow room for exploration of hobbies and relationships (of all sorts). With that in mind, the temp-and-apply-widely advice feels less like settling and more like exploring. Thanks to the ACA, I won't need to worry (much) about health insurance, and saving/investing can happen when it happens.

So, what kinds of jobs will I get? I'm not sure, but I'm betting no employer will be looking for someone with a bachelor's and master's degree in musicology. Still, I have a set of skills that I've acquired/refined since beginning my MA in late September of 2012.

  • Organization 
    • With a department structure like mine (and lack of colleagues in my degree program to double-check anything with), I've been the primary person responsible for making sure all my boxes are checked.
    • I've TA'ed for a 200-person lecture course, and been responsible for these crazy things we call add codes. Distributing them to everyone trying to get in the class (with varying degrees of English proficiency) over email, and keeping track of students' grades is a lot more difficult than I assumed, but I figured out a system and it worked.
  • Project Design & Managment
    • Twice, I've designed and taught my own writing class, having no prior experience solo teaching (especially for a full-term), and little training for the assignment. Writing a syllabus, planning each class, and seeing students' progress through a full term of a writing class has been a huge learning experience, even if it has caused some of my work to suffer. Which brings me to...
  • Prioritization
    • You just can't do everything, and still do it well. Grad school has taught me how to pick my battles and spend time where it would best be spent. I've come to think of this as non-medical triage.
  • Self-awareness**
    • Landing in a new program can be a lot like starting a new job. You think people know you based on your application, but they really have no idea (and they've probably forgotten your application by the time you arrive). Being in a new program means figuring out who you are and what you bring to the table, and how to do it while working effectively with other people.
  • Research and Thinking
    • This is what the humanities are about, and I think employers get it. I won't link to one of the many pieces I've read about how millennials don't know how to think, but I'll say that all of my colleagues excel at thinking independently and problem-solving, even if we disagree with one another.
    • While the type of research I do as a grad student is pretty specialized and doesn't have much application beyond the academy, I've had some opportunities to do musicology for the public, and it's been really great. Thinking about presenting work to diverse populations forces you to think about what people are are interested in, rather than what is innovative scholarship. Tailoring research to reach diverse groups seems like a pretty transferable skill!
    • I'm good at finding stuff! I used to be decent at it, but I've gotten a lot better at it now that I have nobody feeding me sources or ideas.

I'm sure there are more buzzwords I could throw out about skills I've acquired in my MA program, but this seems like a good place to start. Like I said, I would welcome feedback and comments. I won't be job hunting until the summer, so we'll see how these things pan out eventually.

*This could be a long, heartfelt post on its own, but probably won't be.
**This could be a multi-volume book, but probably won't be.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coffeeneuring trip #7 and wrap-up

I can't believe this is my final report for the Third Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge. I've really enjoyed participating in it, and using it to explore my city and to challenge myself to go places by bike.

Here's a recap of my first six trips:

  • Trip 1, 10/6
    • Location: Starbucks in Magnolia
    • 9.32 miles
    • Grande Passion iced tea


  • Trip 2, 10/13
    • Location: Caffé Umbria, Pioneer Square
    • 6.37 miles
    • Soy latte






  • Trip 3, 10/20
    • Location: Great Harvest Bread Company, Lake Forest Park (my first out-of-city coffeeneuring trip!)
    • 30.87 miles
    • Drip coffee, some sort of delicious savory pastry




  • Trip 4, 10/27
    • Location: The Bagel Deli, Capitol Hill
    • 12.14 miles
    • Drip coffee, an everything bagel with scrambled egg, cheese, and tomato (and a half-dozen to go!)





  • Trip 5, 11/3
    • Location: Mighty-O Donuts, Tangletown/Green Lake (if you don't consider Tangletown a real thing)
    • 10.5 miles
    • Drip coffee, pumpkin spice & french toast doughnuts (organic, vegan, non-GMO)


  • Trip 6, 11/9
    • Location: Empire Espresso, Columbia City
    • 14.89 miles
    • Soy cayenne mocha, sweet potato bar






  • Trip 7, today, 11/16!
    • Location: Neptune Coffee, Greenwood
    • 22.49 miles (all in jeans & boat shoes, might I add) This brings the coffeeneuring total mileage to 106.58.
    • Some sort of fancy pour-over coffee that was tasty but a bit cold, and an egg & cheese breakfast sandwich (at around 2pm)

It was too loud and crowded to be productive, so I thought about going to the Greenwood library, but I ended up heading north on the Interurban trail, and wound up in Shoreline (no longer Seattle, in case you're keeping score). It was going to start getting dark soon, so I decided to head back down toward home, stopping at the Broadview library to cross it off my self-guided "visit all SPL branch libraries" challenge, and pick up a novel. When's the last time I read a novel? Summer. Maybe it hasn't been all that long. There's a few spots on the Interurban where it's actually a trail and there's these flipbook art installations. It's hard to see, but each sign is roughly the same image, but moving toward something different. Public art like this is a reason to love Seattle. 

One of the installations
As I was heading home, it was getting dark, and I knew the ride would be mostly flat and downhill. I started without anything warm on--just jeans and a relatively thin cardigan. Piece by piece, I ended up in gloves, a hat, and a scarf. I never ended up needing my zip-up hoodie, though!
A tired coffeeneur
Coffeeneuring has been a whole lot of fun. To be honest, I had hoped it would be a community-building experience. It probably could have been, but I've been way too busy these last few months to make it happen. Many of my coffeeneuring trips were done before or after work, so I was fairly limited in availability. I'm just glad to have used it to drink good coffee and have an excuse to go to different places. Thank you for organizing this challenge, Mary!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bloggin' the thesis, day 1.

I've been enjoying bike blogging, I have a MA thesis to write, and they say blogging your dissertation can be amazingly helpful. I make no claims that an MA thesis even holds a candle to a PhD dissertation in terms of amount of research, length, and tendency to life-suck its author, but they're both independent, long-term projects during which very few people care what it is you're doing. I really enjoyed writing my undergrad thesis, and I was pretty self-motivated to do the work for it. Still, having a real human to check in with once a week who was genuinely interested in my project and academic development probably helped quite a freaking bit in getting the project done. So as I've had a tendency to do since moving to Seattle for grad school, I'm outsourcing interpersonal communication to the internet (because the guinea pigs, while wonderful and cuddly, aren't a great academic sounding board). Each week, on Wednesday, I'll publish a post here about what I'm doing or finding interesting as it'll relate to my MA thesis. Wednesday works for two reasons: 1) I thought of this today, a Wednesday, and 2) Wednesday was my favorite check-in day in college, both for cello lessons and research-y meetings.

I'm genuinely interested in my topic, even if I see its life in my hands ending with a ProQuest submission this spring quarter. It seems that some people in my internet circles think I have a cool topic, and might be interested to see what's up (and even comment? That may be asking for too much). Really, I need a bit of accountability, and to at least have the possibility that I'll be writing for people interested in what I'm doing for reasons other than being on my committee.

*     *     *

I got into musicology in the first place because classical music and the United States have a very strange relationship.* Learning about that relationship sheds a lot of light on classical music as a conglomeration of genres, and also on the US and its capacity for taste-making. I'm interested now in how the US is musically constructed through Coplandia, music that sounds like a watered-down version of Aaron Copland's populist ballets and chamber music. It works through film music history, something I didn't think I would find interesting but am now seeing as a gold mine. For me, the most self-aware instance of this was in John Williams's "Air and Simple Gifts," for Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.
Barack Obama was the first president I voted for, and though I was out of the country for his inauguration, I sure as heck knew about this piece when I returned. Anne Midgette rightly pointed out that this is hardly a new composition, but rather a really transparent copy of Copland's treatment of "Simple Gifts" in Appalachian Spring (1944), and also a musical exaggeration of Obama's campaign message. Before the "Simple Gifts" melody enters (in the clarinet, just as Copland had introduced the melody 65 years earlier), and after it ends, there is a generic post-Romantic film music sound. It's not the Americana of Coplandia, but it is tonal, palatable, and accessible.

My project has several angles, and I haven't entirely figured out how it will play out. I'm more interested in the body of commercial music I'm calling Coplandia than in Williams's "Air and Simple Gifts," and see the two existing in a sort of type/token relationship. One step in figuring out how everything comes together is exploring the compositional sources of Coplandia, and their work in constructing part of the American classical music canon. I'm thinking about the way that canon gets gendered in a seminar this quarter, and currently preparing a project on masculinities in mid-century American classical music. That'll be the focus of my next post, where I'll hopefully be able to explain why gendering of this particular canon matters.

———
*Actually, that's a lie. I got into musicology because I wrote a hermeneutic analysis of the scherzo movement of Beethoven's A Major cello sonata for a music history class, and found that super fun. Don't ask me why.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Coffeeneuring #6

I went to Empire Espresso in Columbia City (they don't have a functional website, but here's their blog that is marginally organized). My ride was just under 15 miles round trip, but check out the elevation changes throughout. I've heard people say that South Seattle gets the short shrift on bike infrastructure, but I rode with sharrows/protected lanes/quasi-neighborhood greenways almost the entire time. The real barrier to biking in South Seattle is geography! Oh, the hills. I had no idea what the best route would be, so I tried a different suggested route each way. The way down was nice on 31st, with a great view of Lake Washington/the Cascades, and occasionally even the Olympics. Getting to 31st on Yesler was fun--big hills! I got off and walked part of it in the ID, but otherwise made it up & down in low gears. There were some interesting green boxes that made me not have to drive parallel to streetcar tracks (is there a streetcar there? was there? will there be? I don't know), so that was nice.  I should have taken pictures, but I didn't. I didn't enjoy the last few blocks on Rainier, but having read this post on privilege, taking the lane, and such a few days ago with regards to that same road (though I only was on it for a few blocks, not the entire way from i-90). On the way back, I took Beacon Ave until I saw signs directing me downtown, and then through the ID (stopping at Uwajimaya, because it's the best), back up 4th, through the Seattle Center, and back home. Next time I'm heading that way, I'll do Beacon both ways--fewer dramatic hills. I'm actually surprised by how not exhausted I am, but I'm sure I'll feel it later.

Details
Empire Espresso
8oz soy cayenne pepper mocha (light on the chocolate)
sweet potato bar
14.89 miles round trip

Only one more trip to go!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coffeeneuring trip #5

I had planned to do this trip a few weeks ago, but got delayed. I finally made it to Mighty-O Donuts in Tangletown, home of non-GMO, organic, vegan doughnuts. I clearly live in Seattle, in case that wasn't evident. This is the kind of vegan food you give to your omnivorous relatives and don't tell them it's vegan until after they're done licking their fingers. Oh-my-goodness. I had one french toast and one pumpkin spice, and they were great. The french toast was just delicious, and the pumpkin spice actually tasted like pumpkin, not just cinnamon and nutmeg. The coffee wasn't great, but I more-or-less expected that. I didn't care; I was there for the donuts and to see if I could ride up Stone. I also finally bought a Bicycle Benefits sticker ($5, sold at any BB participating business), which made one of the donuts free. I wasn't very productive during this trip, which I'll attribute to the small, loud-ish shop, and the weak wifi signal. Worse things have happened! I still have 2 more trips to do, and 2 more shops in neighborhoods I rarely visit but really like on my list. Hoping to get to them for this challenge!



Ride details:
10.5 miles, from home back to home. My usual route to Fremont (which is part of my daily commute) includes Dexter, but I wanted to save myself that hill, so I went the extra block or so over to Westlake and rode through the parking lot. I got honked at by a middle-aged woman in a SUV at the corner of 34th and Stone for existing on a bike and trying to turn left, waiting for the red turn arrow to turn green. She threw up her hands once we stopped (for the light), and I gestured that I was turning left and the light was red anyway. These things shouldn't bother me, but they do. I rode up Stone, which was a long, but not too steep, hill. I welcomed the flat road once I got to 45th or so. I didn't expect 55th over to Keystone to be a hill, though. On the way back, I took part of the new(ish) Wallingford Neighborhood Greenway, from Meridian back to Stone on 44th & 43rd. I like the idea of these SNGs--lots of signage directing bikes (and peds too, but not primarily) through quiet neighborhood streets instead of taking bike lanes (or not!) on busy arterials. They work well in north Seattle because of the low density--they wouldn't work so well downtown, or in busier cities. Crossing Wallingford Ave was a bit awkward, as was turning left to go back down Stone. Otherwise, I'm a fan!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Coffeeneuring #4

I write this with sore knees and a sense of mental & physical burnout. It's been a hectic two weeks. Last week's 30-mile coffeeneuring outing was the only free day I had had in weeks, and I needed to burn off a lot of energy and see lots of pretty things. This weekend, I didn't have a free day, so I decided to build coffeeneuring into my grading and writing flow. Writing this blog post is one also built in there somewhere.

I gave the pre-concert talk for this weekend's Seattle Symphony concerts, so I've been busy there. I showed up to the first one with helmet hair, then got smart and didn't ride my bike on Saturday. Today (Sunday), I rode very slowly, and only from home. I was determined to go coffeeneuring afterwards, despite this terrible knee pain I've been having lately. I think I pushed it too much last week, speeding up and down Eastlake/Fairview between UW and downtown so many times in addition to my normal commute. I've also been playing with seat height, but it hasn't seemed to make anything better. Maybe I'll pop into the shop and ask for advice. If I have time.

Today's trip included a stop at Benaroya Hall for the pre-concert talk, then it took me to 15th on Capitol Hill. Even though it wasn't the best route, I opted to try the Broadway cycle track from Pine through its northern end at Denny. I like cycle tracks. We should have them everywhere. I headed over on Thomas to 15th, and had to walk from 12th. I didn't have the energy to sweat up the hill.

Coffeeneuring details:

The Bagel Deli on Capitol Hill (best bagels in Seattle, fwiw)
Drip coffee
Everything bagel with scrambled egg, cheese, and tomato
My route
My tweet

They played The Velvet Underground and other Lou Reed solo stuff the whole two hours I was there. When I was leaving and I bought some bagels to go, I expressed my appreciation to the cashier, who told me they started the marathon before they knew he died. Eerie.

I went back home the slightly long but very scenic and pretty flat way, through Interlaken Park, across the Burke-Gilman to Fremont and down Westlake. I take Dexter usually twice daily if I'm just going between home and school, but I wasn't in the mood for the hill. I'm so in support of a Westlake cycle track--it's nerve-wracking that the entire route is an active parking lot. I'm still pretty new to biking, and already strangely comfortable riding with cars. But there's no reason why we can't have a more connected infrastructure system for bikes. As this city or any city gets denser, it becomes more difficult to get around by car. Why not encourage people to leave a negligible footprint, save a ton of money, and get some exercise on their journeys across town?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

coffeeneuring #3


Guest Coffeeneuring Blog Post Questions, prompted by Chasing Mailboxes.
1) Where do you live?
Seattle, Washington, on the south slope of Queen Anne.

I cannot ride up the hill to where I live (just above Aloha street), in case you were wondering. Twice, I've ridden up the north slope on 3rd west. Both times, it took everything out of me. The second time, I got passed by a jogger.
2) How did you decide to coffeeneur?
I saw it posted by the Seattle Bike Blog, and thought it would be a great thing to do to combine activities I already do and love. 
3) What bike are you using as your coffeeneuring bike? What makes it a good coffeeneuring bike?

My coffeeneuring bike is my only bike. It's a Kona Hoo-Ha that people who know about bikes give me lots of compliments on. That's a good sign, I suppose. I bought it at Recycled Cycles in May, and I love it. The poor thing tried to kill me a few times, but we're over it. I think. Like its human, my bike is a feminist machine.


4) Where did you choose to coffeeneur for this coffeeneuring trip?

I went to Great Harvest Bread Company in Lake Forest Park, Washington.




5) Is the coffee shop beautiful and the coffee delicious? Tell us a little about your coffeeneuring locale.

It's more of a bakery than a coffee shop--my coffee was drip, out of one of those press-down carafes. It was pretty good for something like that! Some of my coffeeneuring trips are for the coffee, and some are for the ride. I really didn't plan on going here, I just took the Burke-Gilman from Seattle to the West Sammamish River Trail until I got to the Redmond library, and then over to the transit hub (approx. 30 miles from my home, see map here), and stopped when I got hungry and there were businesses around. I got lucky and ran into the Lake Forest Park farmer's market, where I ate some samples, and bought a salted caramel macaron and an amazing pink lady apple.

6) What other types of riding do you do besides coffeeneuring?
Almost all of my riding is commuting. It makes me like my day a whole lot more, and feel better about having to be stuck sitting still for most of the time that I'm at my destination. Over the summer, I did a bunch of fun, casual rides with friends. Now that school's in session, it's harder to find time.
7) What else did I forget to ask you that you want to share?
I coffeeneur in jeans. Usually. This time, I wore padded shorts, and threw on a pair of cotton H&M tights over the shorts--it worked perfectly!

I also got my first and second flat tires this week. Here's what happened for the first one. When I replaced the tube (on my own, thank you, internet), I messed up and put the tube back on the rim, not into the tire, so the tube folded over on itself. Two and a half days of commuting later, I got a pop/hiss flat, which I later patched, and it has been holding up well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coffeeneuring #2

I had to combine coffeeneuring with errands & going to work, and I didn't want to go on too much of an adventure this weekend. I have longer trips planned for weekends when there's more time & energy.

My second trip was to Caffè Umbria in Pioneer Square. I'd been once before, and it was amazing. It was a classy joint, so I knew to dress to impress (by which I mean "no clothing with words"). The weekend crowd was a lot more relaxed--lots of folks stopping by on their way to the Seahawks game. Also saw a Seattle by Foot group finish their tour with some espresso.

This is the delicious soy latte I drank while knocking out not nearly enough on my to-do list.

I tweeted to make my presence known, and I mapped it (with the detours to Uwajimaya and work included).

If anybody in the Seattle area is linked here from Chasing Mailboxes, I'd love to coordinate some trips!