Thursday, November 25, 2010

Night Life

With school winding down and the weather getting colder, I honestly haven't been out during the evening too much. I just get too tired, what with it getting dark earlier, and sometimes, living in Southern California, it's hard to determine how many layers are enough to avoid an unwanted chill. Oddly enough, however, it's for those same reasons that I find it nice to sometimes venture out into the nightlife.

This past Monday evening I headed to Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood to see my friend Ale play a set with her guitarist, Kyle. As always, they're a riot and quite the talented duo. I also made the pleasant musical discovery of Mimi Page, so all in all, not a bad evening. The venue was great, the company and talent even better, and there's nothing quite like cheering along worthy local musicians. But in all honesty, it was the night that was the icing on the cake. The slight chill in the air, puffs of gray clouds in the sky illuminated by the lingering full moon in the sky - it was just beautiful. There's something about warmth packing in your core, surrounding your neck and ears, leaving your face and all appendages somewhat exposed (can you tell I'm a writer? Or that I at least love words?). Running up and down the stairs from subway to bus is somewhat exhilarating in more moderate temps, what with the rush of bodies heading where they're going in a rhythmic - if not always synchronized - dance. For some reason the cold accentuates that, as it seems we're all rushing somewhere to get out of it.

It gets cold in Southern California, but thankfully not so cold that being out in it is as much of a danger as midwest or northeast/west temps, and so on. It's kind of nice that we have the option of enjoying it without necessarily worrying about what will happen if we fall asleep in it, say. I have to give Metro mad props - thank you for keeping the buses and trains warm and with less congestion. It's made for some comfy rides this chilly season.

So get out there and enjoy the night. It's calling...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"What's the Helmet For?"

Back when I was riding my bicycle pseudo-regularly, I would actually remember the days that I would ride. It'd either be five days a week or spotted somewhere, sometime throughout. Now it's become so much a part of my every day that I don't... really think about it anymore. It's just 'hop on the bicycle and go' with me. It's become so routine (in a good way) that I'm often surprised when people notice that I ride something, if not a bicycle. But I shouldn't be, because for the most part, I'm carrying my helmet everywhere.

"So, what do you ride?"
"A bike."

"Ah, what's the helmet for?"
"My bike."
"Motorcycle? Wow---"
"Nope. My bicycle."
[some verbal variation of "awesome" accompanied by a smile]

A friend gave my current helmet to me last year. It's black, delightfully scuffed, and was manufactured by the great folks at Triple 8. I've worn others before but for some reason this one fits my head well. I'll probably check out one made by Giro but for now this one is serving me well.

And on the relative note of interesting conversations, it's served as an awesome pick-up line, too. Often there's the one line of "it shows, how many miles you ride" followed by the approving (if not entirely appropriate) stare. Oh, flattery. Flattery and bicycles. Quite possibly the easiest way I've landed a date living in Los Angeles. Girls are so rare on bicycles. I honestly haven't seen many with the exception of being on campus, and unfortunately not many of them wear helmets. Actually, not many people wear helmets to begin with, which is the subject I'll be glad to take apart at some other time. But when it comes to being on my bike, if I don't have my gear, not only do I feel unsafe, but damn do ever I feel like a poser. And unsexy. Girls on bikes are sexy. (Don't believe me? Check out this safe-for-work photo blog. We may not all be outrightly bohemian... but we're sexy and you know it.)

Still, as much as I don't always feel like toting it around, my helmet says something about me, and is in most cases a great conversation starter. I don't know what I'd be, cycling-wise, without it.

Happy cycling~