Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Girl (not) on a Bicycle

So the Coal Cracker Classic is in 11 days.

I don't have a bicycle.

I could get a bicycle.

When Tom is at work I steal his new bicycle and ride it around the neighborhood. (imissridingsinglespeed).

When I'm on that bike, I know I can do it. I can compete in this race.

When I realize how close the race is and how ill-equipped I am, that's when I doubt myself.

I don't question my athletic ability, it's more so if I can get over my social anxieties of being in a large crowds.

When I made my declaration to do this race I didn't know what was ahead of me.

While a lot has happened, I still want to race. I just wish I had a bike that I could've been riding all summer.

We'll see. If I end up not participating, I will be the most disappointed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting Back On

There's an unwritten rule in the blogging world that it's not ok to reveal everything that goes on in your personal life. You want to intrigue your readers without sharing every detail of life's drama. I recently read an account from another blogger that summed it up perfectly. On one hand you have a blogger who basically shared their complete mid-life meltdown online and it cost them a lot of their readers. On the other hand you have the blogger that hides behind that computer screen telling themselves that everything is perfect because they say it is. Well dear friends, I don't want to be that person who tries to be squeaky shiny clean on the outside while I'm falling apart on the inside. I will admit a lot has gone on in my life lately, but if anything I think I had to go on a rough and strenuous journey to return to what I will find to be a rewarding and just path. Here goes.

Ive been in Allentown now for a month. I've been working successfully - loving my job and coworkers. I've been seeing friends here and there. My only downside is a lack of housing. There is no place here to call my own. I have been staying at friends' places, to which I am very appreciative. However something has been calling me back to State College and that something could be a number of things.

I left with the idea that this relationship was over.  There was never really anything wrong with us, but to me it wasn't quite right. All this boy ever did was try to please me, and I turned down every attempt because I already had made up my mind that it wasn't good enough. Since leaving State College we ended up talking more than when we actually lived together. I took some time out for myself to really figure out what I wanted, and it only led me back to him. Cliche I know, but you don't know what you have til you don't have it anymore. I know a lot of people don't believe in second chances, but I'm going into this again with an open mind and a better attitude. A relationship takes some work, and it's my own fault for not realizing what was right in front of me. I'm very excited to see him and give this relationship a go again. Tom's the greatest, most supportive guy I've ever been with, and that's a good thing.

Working at a pet store, while my pets are 175 miles away isn't very comforting. I miss them every day. I've been staying at friends' houses that have critters, but they're not my babies and so sometimes it makes it worse.

You know when you go away on a vacation and even though you could be having the time of your life, there still is no greater feeling than coming home and getting to sleep in your own bed? That's how I feel. I'm missing a level of comfort. I miss my kitchen. I've been eating fast food for the past twoish weeks. It's disgusting. I just want to make lemon bars and homemade salsa

I thought in coming to Allentown that I may have a chance to ride around a little. I have yet to acquire a bicycle but I've been able to ride Meghan's bike around a bit. IT SUCKS. Riding is fun, but boy do I miss my bike. I miss suspension and grip shifts make me sad. The Coal Cracker Classic is a month away and I'm hoping that in my return to State College I can get a bike and ride again. I also miss my Jane ladies like crazy, so it'll feel good to be a part of the bike world again.

A Second Chance.
I have to admit that maybe I wasn't quite ready to leave Allentown the first time I left. When we moved to State College I still had so many attachments. I've spent the last month and a good part of the summer catching up with friends, seeing old sights, and most importantly I've learned what I want right now out of my life as far as jobs and relationships go. It's about who I want to be, and I think now that I'm ready. I can begin. I'm leaving on Wednesday, and I can't wait to start again - maybe try things differently. I may have fallen a couple times, but I think I'm ready to get back on.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in Allentown

I haven't had much time to write as I've been busy adventuring and working in grand ol' Allentown. After I said my goodbyes, I had to figure out how to pack my car. I only brought things I thought I would need. I think I did alright.

Gardens are a necessity in my book.

Then I headed to Harrisburg to pick up my friend Amy. We hadn't seen each other for more than two years and it was a merry reunion. Amy was coming with me so that she could attend a friendly beach trip later in the week.

That's my Girl!

Now that we stuffed ourselves in the car we were ready for our journey back to Allentown.


We were lodging at the lovable James' house and made a nice night trip to a diner. Actually, we went to lots of diners in the past 2 weeks.

NOTABLES; beard, smirk, cake, See Jane Ride Gear!

Our next adventure consisted of swimming, as the temperatures were HOT HOT HOT. I tagged along with Amy and Andrew, and headed to Glen Onoko to play in some waterfalls and the Lehigh River.

Watching out for rafters and rapids.

When Sunday rolled around my group of friends set out for Seaside Heights, NJ. We had a fun day of hi-jinks, sand, some alcohol and an overall good time.

Pretty sure this is my first Photobomb.

Balconies = Pimping

We went out to The Garfield Hotel and had a nice dance party to a cute little acoustic act.

Amy and Andrew invented dancing in 12,000,000 BC

I visited more friends upon our return to Allentown. I made sure to see Michelle and the kiddos! Because the weather was ridiculous we decided to run in the Kutztown University fountain and Meghan came too.

Smile for goodness sakes!

I also got a job at Petco and am having a good time. On my way home one day I came across this little lady and we played and played. I've been having a hard time not having critters around.

 This is Reeses.

Tom tells me that Vali and Murphy are doing well. He tried to get Vali a kiddie pool to swim in, but everywhere is sold out. Hope you're all out either adventuring, or staying cool. I started shopping for (cheaper)bikes, and am trying to help with some trail building for the Coal Cracker, however the weather is a little too much. However, the fellas did recently put up the video promoting the race.

Right around the corner! CAN'T WAIT.

My bumming around trip in Allentown has taught me a lot of things, all while having tons of fun and spending time with some really great people. I have another chapter coming up, and I'll be sure to share it soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Turning the Page

Many factors have recently contributed to my decision to move back to Allentown. I had planned to do this towards the end of summer, however, I find it pointless for a couple of reasons. If I'm applying to jobs that were posted recently, then telling them I'm available in September will not get me that job. Companies that are posting openings now mean that they are hiring now. It's also pointless to try to get another job to hold me over til I move, and Sheetz was not something I enjoyed doing. At all. Did I also mention how impulsive and impatient I am when it comes to having an idea or plan, but not being able to execute it? I felt like if this is what I plan to do then it makes the most sense to just go, and do it now.

I leave for Allentown tomorrow, with the plan of bumming around at friends' houses until I find a stable job, feel it out for a while and then get an apartment. I'm willing to feel displaced for a bit in hopes of finding a better outcome. I could tell you all about why State College didn't work for me, but I feel like in the weight of things Allentown just makes more sense, so I go. It's not that it was bad here, just that Allentown may be better. That's a risk I'm willing to take. I'm scared to death to do it, but I am optimistic about what may happen.

This past week started with me feeling completely gung-ho about everything involving my new life. Where I would work and who I will live with and what will happen when I get to Allentown. It wasn't until July 4th where Tom and I had all day to lounge around and do nothing that it hit me like a brick that I would be leaving behind a lot of good things here. Some of you may know that I've been going through relationship issues.  Tom is a great guy, but not so great for me. I love him very very much and it pains me so much to leave him, even when I know there is someone out there who might be more compatible for me. I live my life completely revolving around love. It's what drives me. So even though we didn't work out so well, he still means so much to me. I decided to write him a thank you for everything he's done for me, and for being an all around good guy. We talked a little bit about it yesterday and I feel sad, but comfortable in turning the page on this part of my life.

Now feeling rushed in leaving I wasn't sure if i should try to jam in some quick goodbyes, or whether I should just go my own way and try to make a clean cut. The easy thing about leaving is I didn't really make too many friends here. I saw JC at the dog park and said my goodbyes. I visited Rachael yesterday and got to hang for a little. I saw my froggy crew one more time on Tuesday. I technically couldn't leave til my last paycheck came in the mail, so with a couple days free in between my last day of work and leaving, I thought, I must go on one more ride with the Janes.

Wednesday seemed perfect and I rsvpd to go - the only obstacle being my own mental deterioration. My whole world has been turned upside down with this move. I'm not emotional, or depressed, just incredibly anxious, nervous, like a panic attack waiting to happen. Anyone who knows where I'm coming from can tell you that it's pretty hard to stick with your regular obligations when you're just waiting to freak out. Feeling out of control is the last thing I want to feel.

I woke up from a good afternoon nap, got in the car and headed to the farm to meet up with the girls. I was on time, nothing wrong, but feeling so uneasy that I kept wanting to turn around at every light. I drove all the way there only to turn around (this has happened before previously in my life, when I get excited/nervous about things). The self-pep talks didn't even help. "C'mon Megan, isn't this what being a Jane is all about? Overcoming your own obstacles, whether they be physical, mental or emotional? We need to walk before we can run." I felt as though maybe I had forced enough smiles lately, or that I was too miserable to be social. Then I realized that maybe I didn't want to go because I didn't want to say goodbye to the Janes.

One of the best things about State College, and the Janes, is that now that I've moved forward with my life I am still able to have a get up and go attitude. I know that it's ok that we fall once in a while. I know that we all have to start somewhere and that we're not the only ones going through it. The Janes have been so wonderful to me, and I didn't think I could find a group of ladies that would be so welcoming. For a little bit of time, I had a home in State College and I'm glad they were a part of it.

Now as I move forward in my journeys I have a couple goals in mind that I wish to share. Being without a bike, and now without some friends to cycle with, I still plan on completing the Coal Cracker Classic in September. I will find a bike somehow, and once I do I will start riding. If anything I know the territory in Allentown so I am excited. Nothing can stop me from competing in that race. I will be sure to visit Tom, as well as the Janes and go riding again in State College. This blog will continue to be about my misadventures, whether they are on a bike or not. Thanks to everyone in State College and in Allentown for helping me figure out this step in a new direction.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fat Girls on Bikes

So I saw this, and instantly needed to share. First off, I need to plug my friend Alicia's blog yet again, not just because she is creative and awesome, but because she just shared some amazing shots of her bike Lulu that I adore.

She was recently featured in a blog Fuck Yeah Fat Girls On Bikes. Um is that not AWESOME?!

Alicia has always been a promoter of having a positive body image, regardless of your size, and I admire her so much for it, especially in this day and age of physical perfectionism.

So, check out her blog, check out Fat Girls, love yourself, and get on your bike!

The ride tonight got rained out, and my work schedule is now when the Janes tend to go on most of their rides. Fear not, I will ride again, hopefully soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adventures in Crafting!

When I was visiting the Lehigh Valley I decided to go to the Indie Made Craft Market in Bethlehem. The IMCM has been around for a couple years I think, and I always miss the opportunity to go.  This time around My good friend Meghan insisted we go, most importantly to be one of the first 50 people to get free swag bags, and also because it was World Wide Knit in Public day. I myself am not a knitter, but Meghan is, and I do love me some free swag so we set out on our way.

 Even the posters were crafty!

The IMCM was being held at the Bethlehem Ice Skating Rink, but Meghan and I ended up going to the wrong ice skating rink. Seriously Bethlehem, how many ice skating rinks do you have? I thought, wow there are a lot of people here, but rather than seeing fellow craft enthusiasts, I saw people getting out of their cars with skates and hockey sticks. Strike one. My phone died and I couldn't figure out where else we had to go, but eventually we figured out where to go, got there, and hoped we still were eligible to get some free swag. I ended up being the 48th person in line, as Meghan was the 49th, and we did end up with some sweet swag bags. Each one was different, and had little somethings from the different vendors at the market.

So many business cards! So much awesomeness!

I wanted to share with my readers all the things I found(bike related, and non-bike related) and shout out to the vendors that I absolutely adore.

First off, the only reason I know about the IMCM is because of my good friend Emily. She's been making jewelry for many years, and is in an amazing jewelry group call Blue Stem Studios. They consist of many individual artists, but I definitely recommend checking out Emily's shop on Etsy, especially if you like quality stone and metal working with the occasional found items such as plastic dinosaurs.  

This is part of a broken plate made fabulous!

I may or may not have a new love interest(remember that drama I keep talking about? Yeah, I'll tell you later). So I saw Geek Boy Press and immediately had to buy something for him. My friends Patt and Emily have plenty of Geek Boy's lady superheroes and villains decorating their daughter Wylie's room, so I always wanted to see what else he had to sell, as I'm not the biggest marvel/dc comics kind of gal.Geek Boy has everything from comics to Star Wars to Ghostbusters to popular movies and other TV shows. He even does commissions! Looks like I might be getting those Bioshock posters I've always wanted.

I went with my favorite droids, and he loved it. <3

Next I stumbled upon Survive Design and their stunning but simple bags. I got one for free in my swag bag - the pink and green bunny watching tv. However, when I saw their other designs I wanted to swap it, or collect them all. While these are more my style, they also have larger purse/tote styles available.

I love the bike, the owl, and the robots.

A good part about the show was that I got to spend plenty of time with my friend Meghan, as we hadn't spoken in quite some time. Here's Meghan doing what she does best, being awesome. She also is an artist, so check out her site too!

She just learned a new knitting technique. So proud!

While I was sitting with Meghan in the knitters circle, I couldn't help but notice that Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation was staring at me from across the room(see below). I had to go over and see who had made this glorious thing, as I am a huge fan of parks and rec. I approached the stand and got to meet Aaron and his wares called Aaron Takes Pictures. We talked for a while and he also offered me some PBR goodies that he had left over from the Philadelphia PBR craft show. His photographs are pretty amazing in their simplicity, and not to sound shallow, but it definitely helps that he was downright cute.

Ron Swanson, giving his best Ron Swanson.

I thought I'd leave the best for last. While each booth had a couple items I wanted, BubbleDog made me want to run off with the whole table of goodies. Everything from plushes, shirts, pillows, belts, and paper crafts. If you click any of the links on this blog, Bubble Dog is the way to go.  He makes so many interesting characters and each one gets more adorable. I was completely overwhelmed by his collection of belts. I knew I had enough money for one and that I needed a new belt. I spent about 30 minutes though in front of his stand trying to decide which one suited me the best. I even needed Meghan's help. I decided to get this one.

Narwhals in LOVE!

I wish I could post everyone of BubbleDog's items on here, but check out the website again. He also sells exclusive items here at ShanaLogic. They also have tons of other cute adorable things that I insist you look at.
I've already found two amazing bike-related shirt dress there that I want. This one and this one.

So glad I went and I had a blast. Can't wait to go to the next one! Next time I will have to take my good friend Alicia with me who probably has an equal love for Ron Swanson and Narwhals, but more importantly crafts!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Warm Weather Adventures!

Good day, readers! This post is long overdue. I've been out adventuring for quite some time, and have finally returned so that I may share my recent travels with you. The beginning of June started off with some adventures with the Janes. I can not believe it is June already as that means I've been in State College now for half of a year. I didn't want to sacrifice safety trying to take ride pictures, but here we are getting suited up for Abbey's first guided ride.

Bikes and Janes a plenty.

While it may have been a longer ride than what I'm used to, I felt very accomplished afterwards. I got to face the dreaded never-ending incline of Blue Course Drive, and it wasn't nearly as bad as last time. It almost felt like a completely different route. I also got the chance to talk to Carla more, and I am even more positive now that the Janes are where I should be, and that they will help me get to where I want to go.

 I had been craving rivers, and Tom and I took Vali over to Spring Creek Park to run around and explore. 
He's a natural swimmer.

Tom and Vali at the Mike Lynch Overlook.

The Janes had attempted a hike the last week in May but there were tornadoes(?!) that day, so it was cancelled. Tom and I, wanting to explore, decided to set out to the same destination of the cancelled hike on a later day and see where it took us. Mt Nittany kicked my butt that day, as I hadn't realized that there was a 600 foot elevation change all within less than half a mile. The next week the Janes went there and it was much more leisurely. Maybe because I didn't have an empty stomach this time. Everything seems easier with the Janes.

This picture is a must, as everyone has to see Carla(R) and her growly face even though we're shadows.

After some adventuring in State College, I set my sights to the motherland, and headed home to the Lehigh Valley. I had a couple amazing destinations on my list, such as Bake Oven Knob, the Rittenhouse Gap Mines, and the ZOO. My only sad report, is that I was having so much fun adventuring, that I took little time to document those adventures. I guess that makes me a good adventurer, and a terrible blogger.

I love you goats.

I went to the Lehigh Valley Zoo and saw all the animals. I arrived with less than an hour before the park closed, but managed to do my favorite thing, and that was feeding the goats. <3

Good yawn! or he's cheering for the Iron Pigs.

I also took Vali to Bark in the Park at CocaCola Park to see the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. It was way too crowded, and on dog days the last thing you end up seeing is the actual baseball game.

Vali making friends.

Now I'm back in State College and I start a new job soon so I will have a little less time for adventures. In this kind of world, I need the money so I can't complain. I do have a lot I'm mulling over on the personal front, so I will report back shortly. Thanks for reading!