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Tag: Introspection

How to pick a bicycle in a world of choice with limited resources.

Wow. Yesterday’s post about how I’m a fraidy-cat and need to stop being such a wuss has brought people out of the woodwork regarding the bicycle purchase. Good to know that a) people read my blatherings and b) people are in support of the bike purchase. Thanks, everyone! Though Michael did tell me he thinks it’s a good idea I DON’T drink whiskey since it will lead to a lot more shit talking.

I responded to him by asking if there’s actually more shit to talk?

SO, now I have to decide what sort of bicycle I want to get. And I’m currently overwhelmed by the choices. Do I want to get a road bike? Charles said that they are for assholes and commuters, but I’m kind of an asshole, so maybe that’s the right choice? Do I want a touring bike? A hybrid bike? A cruiser? Do I actually want a mountain bike even though I’m pretty sure I don’t?

And what size? The table on About.com seems to indicate that I want something in the 23-24″ range since I’m 6’1″ with a 34″ inseam. But what range would be comfortable?

And then there’s the issue of money. Since I won’t be working the next few weeks at all, I don’t want to drop a whole lot of money on this thing, especially since it’s my first bike in a decade and a half. Really, it’s just for putting around town and getting some exercise, so it doesn’t need to be all crazy and shit. I don’t need the 4000 dollar carbon fiber bike that weighs like 3 pounds. I wouldn’t mind spending 150-200 dollars on the thing. It’s enough that I won’t be buying a completely thrashed piece of crap, but not so much that if it gets broken or stolen that I’ll be devastated.

I’ve been reading the Brooklyn Craig’s List classifieds, but all it’s doing is making me feel overwhelmed.

Any thoughts out there, interwebs land?

A handful of things I am a little afraid of but want to do this summer because I am afraid of them. UPDATE: one additional thing added.

Otherwise known as, “Stop being such a fucking pussy, Joe.” This is really all a part of this whole introspection kick I’ve been on recently, so it’s not surprising to me that I feel motivated to do something with these feelings. Funny thing, I had a drink with Adam last night, who I referenced in my previous introspection post, and he answered the questions I posed at the very end of the post about what to do with all this newfound awareness. His answer? A very simple, “Have patience,” meaning to take a step back and check myself when I find myself getting all worked up about some stupid thing or worrying about nothing or whatever. I thought that was pretty good. Thanks, Adam.

Back on track, there are a few things I’d like to do this summer. In no particular order, they are:

  • Get a tattoo. I don’t have any, even though I’ve been thinking about getting one since I was 11. I think the main reason I don’t have any is that I’m a little scared of permanence. I’m not able to easily make long lasting decisions, and a tattoo, though mundane, is one of those decisions. I’ve never been able to decide on anything long enough that I wanted to keep it in my skin for the rest of my life. But, you know what? I think I’m just being a big pussy la la about it and just need to do it. I mean, why the fuck not? My body is already covered with reminders of past mistakes, so why not just make a choice and go for it?

    My friend Charles has planned a dinosaur-themed party for his birthday in a few weeks. Part of the plan is to get dinosaur tattoos. He sent me a link to East River Tattoo which is right in our neighborhood. I particularly like shop owner Duke’s work. His pieces look like old wood prints, which is a fairly different style. I think it’s real cool.

  • Ride a bicycle around NY. Let’s be honest, I don’t exercise enough. I know it. You know it. Everyone god damned knows it. And, now that I live in Greenpoint, a biking hot spot to be certain, I feel like I really want to get out there and just bicycle. Problem is I haven’t really ridden in like 16 years. I’m not worried that I won’t be able to ride a bike. I am worried, however, about all the street traffic in the neighborhood. Again, this is totally just me being a complete pussy. I have zero problem driving a car all over town, and that has a whole lot more potential for fucking things up. Buying a bike is no significant financial burden. I even have a spot to put it away in the backyard of my building.

    So what’s stopping me? The answer? Nothing. I’m just being a complete idiot about it. In the immortal words of Freddie Mercury….. (warning: naked girls on bikes in the video.)

  • Drink whiskey. I am a beer and wine man. I don’t often drink liquor mostly because I feel like I’ve fucked myself up on it so many times that my body just says, “No thanks.” Fuck you, body. Don’t get me wrong. I love beer and I love wine, but I need to stop feeling intimidated by good ol’ whiskey and just broaden my palette. I don’t want to do shots of the stuff, but I do want to develop an appreciation of it in the same way that I can appreciate a great beer or an amazing bottle of red. Stop being a pussy, Joe, and just drink the whiskey.

    I mean, what would The Clancy Brothers say? Probably this:

I bet there are some other things I’m worried about doing that I just need to get over and do, but these have been at the forefront of my consciousness recently. Do any of you feel this way about things? What have you been afraid of doing that you haven’t yet done but that you think you should? I can’t be the only weirdo out there that thinks like this.

Introspection, is it for the birds?

With all this newly found free time I have, I’ve come to realize a few things about myself. Typically introspection is not my game. I prefer instead to blindly run through life without a clue about why I do things or why I am the way I am. I think it provides a more comfortable background for being the sort of absurd bastard that I am. Nevertheless, in the quiet moments, I have learned some things.

First, I am essentially an anxious person. If I have nothing to worry about—and often I don’t—I will manufacture something to be stressed out about, something the make me lose sleep. It’s like anxiety is the fuel for the engine of my life. It’s funny because I’s always thought of myself as sort of an easy going person, but the evidence does not lie. You’ll find plenty of examples of me bitching about being stressed out on this site. They’re everywhere.

Next, I am horrible at being alone. I spent a lot of time in my past relationship desperately seeking alone time, but now that all I have is alone time I don’t want it. I don’t want to go back to the intensely togetherness of living with someone, but I wish I had someone to play with basically all the time. If you’re reading this and in New York, you’ve gotten a call or text from me beseeching you to come and while away an afternoon with me. For example, I’ve been trying to get my friend Adam to hang out for weeks, but he is constantly scheduled and busy. I’ve been trying all sorts of peer pressure tactics—both vinegar and honey—but to no avail. If you’ve turned me down, I’m not mad.

Next, I am terrible at saying “no” to things. This ties in with the last bit of revelatory self awareness. If a friend calls me and asks me to go out and I’ve been out every night for three weeks and desperately need sleep and have work early the next day, I will say “yes” every time. The thought of saying “no” makes me anxious (see?) enough that I just don’t do it. Life is too short for “no”s and “later”s. Have fun and enjoy it. But once in a while, you probably need to sleep too. This is a lesson I am learning. Then again, as Stephin Merritt once sang, “There’ll be time enough for sleeping when we’re dead. You can have a velvet pillow for your head. But tonight I think I’d rather just go dancing.”

The real question is what to do with all this knowledge? What does a man do with awareness of self? Change? Understand? Regret? Enlighten? Do my motivations change by being understood? Or do I keep spinning the same wheel, a hamster perpetually running but making no process?