Posts Tagged ‘body’

Just Maintain It

5 January 2010

Dear J-

At this point the bike is waiting on a lot of deferred maintenance: the right pedal has lost a fair number of bearings, though I haven’t had a pedal fail on me outright, that will be the second set of pedals I’ve gone through on this bike. It’s still better than the first one, which broke at the bottom bracket, but I’m breaking things I never did when I was riding to school: one chain, two right pedals, and the stem. The answer is not, as I might want, a new bike (my imagination, or does the Abio look a lot like the Beixo?) that I’ll just end up breaking like this one.

The Sube’s got a lot of miles on it (although thanks to carpools and vanpools, not as many as you might think for a 1997: 130K, give or take. It is the car I learned to drive stick on and consequently that first month filled with burning clutch smell is now starting to catch up as even mildly aggressive throttle will result in the clutch slipping, revs building, and me petrified of trying to get up to speed. It’s another vehicle that deserves more than it’s gotten (the tires are probably marginal now, as I haven’t replaced them since they got slashed in Davis nearly ten years ago, and if I keep putting off replacing the battery it’s going to strand me somewhere through no fault of its own).

We live in such a disposable society; it’s cheaper to discard than mend. To impress a girl I liked once I fixed her Panasonic-branded Walkman; it was easy to crack open and diagnose (the single-layer circuit board had broken a corner off; all I had to do was bridge the gap with a few soldered wires. Another friend found out and brought over a Sony, which I struggled to get open, and then failed to fix as the build was even more compact. I’m still amazed at those who can open us up and tinker around with the insides — we can transplant organs nearly as easily as swapping engines in a car now. Yet in the end it seems the body heals itself, and the maintenance we end up performing is on our own (exercise, reflection, resolution) which makes us a perfect target for New Years hopes.



Long Run

4 September 2009

Dear J-

As I get older I grow increasingly aware of the body’s limitations; I suppose that the cure is to get out and do more exercise, but I feel like I do plenty between riding my bike (the distance is short, but the hill is fierce) and chasing after figgy all weekend.  Lately we’ve been plunking down in front of the TV during Saturday afternoons as a rest for the whole family and sampling our ever-growing animation palette — between Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks we’ve got the last twenty years or so covered pretty thoroughly.

When I was young, we used to watch pretty much every animated special ever — it was the only prime-time television we ended up being allowed until we were ten or so — and continued with a healthy dose of Saturday morning cartoons.  In fact I think it was watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit? that finally broke that spell somewhat; animated characters sharing the screen with humans made me aware of the limitations of the body, and the limitations of what can be expressed through pen and ink.

Now, of course, I feel every year as I swing out of bed in the middle of the night or at the typical wake-up time, even; the snooze becomes an increasingly good friend as the week wears on.  I don’t bounce back as resiliently as ever from late nights or extended hours; if anything I’ve become more aware of how short time is, how easy it is to lose.  The hours at home are not something to be trudged through, or whiled away; we seem to have little enough as it is to be wasting them apart or in different worlds — interacting in the camera’s lens or under the glow of the television but mentally distant.