September 29, 2008

I'm really loving my fall routine. Although the summers are excellent for me (sleeping in and a general life of leisure), the fall always gets me back into being structured and productive. I don't work on Mondays and Fridays but I do have class those mornings. I love riding to school with the crunchy leaves under wheel, discussing books and writing with the smart people in my classes, then going for a lunch or a coffee, and stopping by Whyte ave to run some errands and get groceries before biking home and taking Dougal for a super long walk. Glorious!

Also, the weather is totally unpredictable. The mornings are damp and cold while the afternoons may be sunny and bright, I like that the elements make my bike riding more adventurous. I bring lots of layers and am usually ready for anything.

Here is Pashley and I back from just such a day. Groceries in the basket up front and my next week's readings (Grey Owl and Completed Field Notes) with my purse on the carrier.

Since it was such a beautiful afternoon, I took the camera to the dog park with Dougal. He was so happy!

Andrea on Pashley

My friends Geoff and Andrea were visiting last week! After lunch Andrea took Pashley for a test ride down the street. She is also petite and the 17.5 frame looked great on her! She's also a girl who rides a bike in Toronto, and navigates those scary narrows where the left is cramped cars and the right is parking lanes where car doors threaten to open unexpectedly. Neither of us have a death wish, we just wish people would shoulder check when turning, parking, and exiting their vehicles on the curbside.

Doesn't she look excellent? I think so.

P.S. My new dress is in the bag on the rear carrier. Will post when I'm next wearing it and riding!

Bussing, not Biking (to a formal)

September 22, 2008

So... Don and I don't always ride our bikes. Especially when I'm wearing an awesome hair piece! I guess this is cheating on a bike blog, but this is the two of us on the bus. The 7 stops pretty much right in front of our house so it's super convenient! We were on our way to the U of A's centenary alumni banquet.

I was discussing the definition of "formal" with somebody the other day and I complained that even when an invitation says "formal" or "black tie" people here in Edmonton inevitably end up showing up at events in business casual or other disappointing ensembles. I have particular qualms with the following:

- Bare legs and open toe shoes when it's colder than -10 degrees and there are several feet of snow covering everything.

- Exposed dingy white or even dingy nude bra straps that become unearthed under black dresses.

- Summer dresses or sun dresses with flip flops being passed off as formal evening wear.

- Velveteen pantsuits. Particularly the ones with glue/sparkle appliqué

- A shoulder bag doubling as an evening bag. I hate seeing this at clubs too (they always end up hitting people on the dance floor)

I know this is super judgmental. I'm sorry. I just wish people would take more pride in getting dressed up and going out.

Evidently "formal" also denotes long in terms of hem length. I hate hemming and tend to buy a lot of dresses that don't require it. Although I may be subverting traditional parameters of "formal' (ironic, I know, after my griping), I am content that the degree and manner of presentation is paramount. After all, ankles are totally kosher now!

Cocktails @ FAB - Writers in Exile

Last Friday Don and I went to the FAB (fine arts building) Faculty of Arts cocktail reception at the gallery. Bumped into some friends and ate tons of hummus from huge vats. It's the University of Alberta's centenary so there are all sorts of events to celebrate the U of A's 100th birthday.

Afterward we went to the Stanley A. Milner Library for the book launch and reading of How I Got Here, a compilation of Canadian immigrant narratives. It's available here in Edmonton at Audrey's!

Since Don is 6'4 and I am 5'0, I look extra short when he takes pictures of me:(

Darts at the Black Dog

September 21, 2008

On our way out to play darts with some new friends at the Black Dog.

Notice how my tires don't match? Still waiting for a replacement after the tire slashing. Sigh.

Oh well, I got to wear my orange jacklet that was on sale at Bamboo Ballroom. Yay!

Orphan Bike

September 19, 2008

So at the new house we're currently keeping the bikes in the shed instead of the garage (which is filled with many "other" things that have yet to be processed). There is only 1 key for the shed at present and Don took it off my key ring last Sunday to get one of his rides out.

He went to the lake. I got home from work and was going to bike to dinner with my parents. The shed was locked.

Luckily, the orphan bike that I found on the way home from walking Dougal at the dog park, was in the garage. It was just sitting on somebody's lawn and had this wonderful little sign taped to it - I had to take it home! Particularly an orphan bike just my size.

I was a bit skeptical... but figured that I'd try it out and see how hazardous it might be. Pumped up the tires and rode it up and down the street a few times. Crusty. Rusty. Dirty. But definitely a decent ride! That thing went pretty fast and was miraculously positioned quite accurately for me. Handlebars and seat were comfortable (except for the sticky old duct tape on the handle grips), I had a nice ride to Tropika.

Here I am post work with more jeans. A striped turtleneck, and corduroy puff sleeved jacket.

Diesel in the Parkade

September 18, 2008

Don and I had errands to run last Friday afternoon. He had his car parked at city hall since he had been biking/bussing all week, but we needed the vehicle so I rode the Dahon to school that morning, then to the parkade where we folded it up and chucked it in the car. Easy!

Here is me with jeans on. I am a huge fan of wide leg jeans, ever since like... 1992. For those of you who understand me, you will know how painful it was a few years ago when the only thing out there was skinny jeans. I don't have anything against any particular cut of jean, but shopping is so hard when your favourite cut isn't in season!

As an aside, skinny jeans are fabulous for biking. I love how you can tuck them into boots when it's cold. But, as somebody who has short legs and pretty substantial booty for a small Chinese girl, skinny jeans with the wrong top and shoes can go severely wrong. It's about creating good proportions and skinny jeans on me is a delicate craft.

This pair of Diesels is 4-5 years old and I wore them exclusively throughout the skinny campaign. Luckily, my wide legs made a comeback last year so I stocked up to tie me over the next drought.

Uniform: Thursday

September 17, 2008

I love tights! They keep me warm. Also, Mary Janes. They keep my feet from slipping out of shoes. And shortaloons (sort of like pantaloons, but shorts). I find it ironic that people tell me it's warmer and safer to bike in jeans/pants. Although I do when it suits me, it's quite frankly even more convenient to forego pant legs altogether!

Old Faithfuls

September 14, 2008

These cheap red pumps are a staple in my wardrobe. It's surprising how many things red shoes go with! They weren't expensive or very luxuriously constructed, but they're real survivors. Sleet and snow. Fall and spring. Ever faithful.

I've had the little nubs replaced several times now and I'm afraid they might be at the end of their long shoe life, but I'll keep wearing them until I can't anymore.

Other: rhinestone belt I stole from my sister, charcoal grey T, little black jacklet (that's what I call tiny jackets), and Marc by Marc Jacobs skirt.

Uniform: Monday

September 11, 2008

Short sleeved pinstripe oxford blouse with white cuffs, pleated tweed skirt, and Pura Lopez mary janes. I was trying to look collegiate for my first class of graduate Canadian literature that day. Turns out my professor is absolutely rad! After going over the course we all walked (or bike-coasted in my case) to Da Capo for coffee and mingling. It's one of my favourite haunts!

Some of my classmates were very complimentary of my Pashley, I think they like her!

And I also discovered that a few ladies in my class are also representing girls on bikes.

I like my can lit class very much.

Gentlemen on Bikes

September 10, 2008

From my time with Bryce and Brian, more pictures of gentlemen on bikes!

Love the dapper seersucker jacket, dark wash jeans with cuff, and silver shoes. Stylish men on bikes is every bit as good as stylish women.

I particularly like this one where the little kid on the side is (I think) admiring the guys and musing about how excellent he'll look if he continues to ride his bike when he's a grown up.

Summer Long Gone

September 7, 2008

The days of going to the Italian Centre Shop to pick up goat gouda cheese and hot soppressata in nothing but a sun dress are long gone.

But, I can still keep doing that with increasingly more clothes as fall sets in!

We're Crazy, We've Moved.

September 4, 2008

Haven't made a new post in a while because we've moved! Totally last minute, I guess you could call it impulsive. After biking Dougal to the off leash area in the neighborhood of Belgravia, we started walking on leash in the neighborhood only to discover that the houses in this dream location are actually within our means now. Whoa. I feel old. Also, the market in Edmonton has softened up a bit.

That aside, what began as a fancy turned to reality as we quickly sussed out old houses with potential. Don and I aren't the new build, dream mansion, 'contemporary' sorts of people. We like vintage, mod, spacious bungalows that reflect the simplicity of mid century modern builds. We found one. And this past weekend we moved after swearing never to do it again three years ago when we settled in a fine and lovely bungalow in Malmo.

I thought the days of sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a dining room surrounded by boxes was over. Evidently not. Hopefully after our master is painted and a gigantic wardrobe is built (it has 2 regular closets, but those are for me alone) we can start sleeping in our room properly and start using said dining area for box allocation during the various DIY fix-it-up endeavors we have on agenda.

Long story short, the location is key! Come spring Don will be able to walk 6 minutes to the new LRT station just up the street, and all our bike rides have become 10-15 minutes shorter (not that it was a big deal in the first place). I timed it yesterday, a quick jaunt out to dinner on Whyte is 8 minutes. And today when I went downtown for a hair appointment it was 20 mins door to door. Meaning, from when the bike gets taken out of the shed to me being at the counter in the salon. Glorious!

I don't always have people with me to photograph my comings and goings, so here are some amateur self portraits of today's uniform. A simple black jumper with pink tights and column pumps. It's getting chilly now that fall is around the corner, you will notice in the months to come that I have a copious collection of tights to extend the life of my skirts and dresses into fall.

Also, many women complain about having helmet head after riding a bike and their hair being tortured by the elements. I got my hair refined into a sleek bob (which incidentally, is really flexible with hats). It barely notices when there is a helmet on or off of it. However, I did forget to wear a helmet today (can't find anything after the move) so I grabbed a scarf and tied it around my hair and neck, 50s style. It was superb for hairstyle retention, protection from the sprinkling rain, and keeping warm. I got tons of compliments during the ride - try it!

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