Monday, November 29, 2010

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells got it. he understood.
he obviously rode a bike.
because these words are his, and they help explain why I keep riding, and riding, and riding.

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow. ~H.G. Wells,The Wheels of Chance

and this is probably impossible for one to understand until one gets on one's own bike, and realizes that karl kron also had it right, when in 1887 he said this:

All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly. With highwheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet. ~Karl Kron, Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle

tricycle, highwheeler, carbon-fiber framed bicycle, it doesn't matter. they all provide wings and dreams, two things absolutely necessary for a vibrant, joyful life.
this is why I ride.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


a biking buddy asked me the other day who my favorite authors were.
it was as if the proverbial cat had taken my tongue: I couldn't come up with a response.
of course it was 5:30 in the morning and as usual, most oxygen in my system was rerouted from brain to leg muscles by our workout, but still, I was shocked by my inability to spew off a list of authors I love.
because there are many authors whose writing I love. too many, and this may have been part of my problem. I love many books by many different authors, and I must admit that my taste in fiction is a tad bit plebeian.
I love terrific mysteries; I love superb crime and murder and legal thrillers. I love great spy novels. I even love the occasional historic novel that is well enough written that I become lost in another era. a list of my favorite books would show my eclectic taste, and my appreciation for good storytellers whether they be writers of great literature or not.
I mentioned last month my struggle with William Faulkner, and I shamefully admit that many Great Writers are not on my personal list of Favorite Authors. I don't mind working for my reading pleasure, but when the scale tips from "work" into "struggle" I'm not likely to keep that author's name in my memory bank associated with the category Things I Love.
a list of some of my most treasured written works will be released here in the near future, but today I just want to share something I came upon in a book by william kent krueger, and author I quite enjoy.
mr. krueger's characters often live in minnesota, wisconsin, or the UP, and many have native american ancestors. though I can't say that I believe everything ever espoused by native american elders, they seem to have operated from a belief system that is more spiritual and more connected with our physical world than most others I've encountered. often, just to read quotes attributed to native american elders brings me peace and a sense of groundedness that resonates deep within.
so when the other day I read the following words that mr. krueger put in his character henry meloux's mouth, I knew I had to document and save them for the power of their impact upon me:

I think it is like this. The spirits shoot an arrow It is past us before we can see it clearly. But if we follow, eventually we come to the place where it has lodged. And we realize the arrow is not important. What is important is the place it has guided us to.
Heaven's Keep p.211 William Kent Krueger

many books have been arrows for me; many people have been arrows as well. sights, sounds, feelings, experiences, at times all of these have been arrows along my path. and the biggest arrow during these past four or so years of my life has been one with two wheels and a set of handlebars.
for some reason the spirit shot this into my life, and I have been following its path ever since. I know this, I understand this. I love my cycling, but I realize it's simply a means to an end.
and if I continue to play my cards right, I'm hoping it's a means that won't ever truly have to end, regardless of what place it guides me to.

I plan to keep reading until I'm too old to do so, for I never know until I finish a book exactly what treasures it will drop into my life.
and I plan to keep riding my bike until I'm too old to do so, for I never know until I start riding down the road exactly what treasures it will drop into my life.
but I am certain that both will continue to do so, as long as I give them the opportunity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

missing ruby

I drove a stretch of road yesterday that I have ridden many times, and I felt a physical aching, a missing of my bike. my ruby. (she's a Specialized Ruby Expert, and although I do tend to call her a "her," I try to limit my anthropomorphizing to just that.)
and today a blizzard is coating our world in a thick, white, slippery blanket that will probably keep me off her for the next little while, so I am sure to experience another pang or two during the coming weeks.
it's okay. it's part of the program.
because, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated,

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.

I can't have it all. I need to give, I need to rest, I need to expand my horizons and incorporate new experiences into my life. like a field lying fallow, we become more vital and vibrant by leaving the known and loved and exposing ourselves to challenges, that which is unfamiliar, and at times, repose.
snow is good for this.
tonight we have been warned to stay off the roads and cocoon ourselves in the safety of our own homes. the storm may dump half a dozen inches or more on my little house in the city, and maybe twice that on houses on the hill. when we wake tomorrow it may be to a soft, gentle, slow world.
I won't be able to take ruby out for a spin, and my morning workout has already been cancelled in anticipation of untravel-able roads. instead, I'll gain the beautifully peaceful feeling of being in my warm, safe home, where all is just as it should be.

and then maybe I'll go for a run.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


yesterday I took my nike frees out again for a run. okay, jog. it was gray and threatening and hovering around fifty degrees. the sky spit a few drops at me now and then, but the forecasted assault of rain and snow held off.
so my new shoes stayed white and pretty.
someday this will change.

last fall john bought me a new pair of cycling shoes. he took me shopping, I tried on pair after pair at store after store, and I finally settled on a pair of Mavics that were blinding white. white? pure, solid white? what were they thinking?
when I first wore them to spin class everyone (okay, a couple people) teased me about how pretty they were and how obviously un-used they were. then spring rolled around, and I started using my pretty white shoes on my real bike in the real world.
now they're somewhere between "dirty white" and "seriously gray."

this is bound to happen to my pretty frees, as well.

new is fun, new is a great treat, new makes you feel special. new makes you feel connected with our constantly-changing world, helps you feel part of the continual movement forward and upward. it makes you feel potent, participative, vibrant, connected.
yep, all of this just in a pair of new shoes.
they don't even have to be white.
they just have to be new, just for a little while, bringing back that feeling you had as a little kid, wearing your brand new whatevers that made you feel like the king of the world.
that's me in my pretty white frees, on top of the world, extraordinary, queen of

Friday, November 19, 2010


I haven't needed my alarm clock all week.
each night I've set it for 4:35 am before turning out the light and begging for sleep, and each morning I've woken sometime between 4:15 and 4:30, sighing as I looked at the time.
I've awakened somewhere between somewhat-alert and energetic, a bit closer to the former than the latter. but I haven't awakened exhausted and dreading movement out of bed and toward activity, which strikes me as something quite great.

perhaps I truly am becoming a vampire.

that's what they call us, "they" being the people who attend power camp and spin classes at normal times of the day.
that's what they call those of us who wake up well before dawn, get our workout in, then leave the facility well before sunrise.
vampires. I kind of like it.

it's been a week of adjustment. back to the weight room, back on the spin bike. various body parts have issued complaints, from quads to abs to my--um--saddle interface area. I'm missing my real bike with its real saddle and ability to move me through space and time.
I sigh a lot these days.
but it's not until my skin starts to lose color and my eyeteeth sharpen that you all should start to worry.
I do suggest stocking up on garlic, because I have another sixteen weeks of this, and can't predict what might happen . . .

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


back to running.
it's been a week, and I promised myself I wouldn't let more than a week go by without running so that I wouldn't have to endure those muscular aches again.
so . . . I had to run this morning.
in my new shoes.

I went shoe shopping last week: I hauled myself up onto the treadmill at Salt Lake Running Company and modeled my running (jogging) style so that I could be fit in appropriate shoes. I was offered a selection to try, though none were as cute as I would've liked them to be. I tried on one pair, then another, and then I tried on a really ugly pair of black shoes with a turquoise swoosh. geez they were ugly.
but they felt good.
really good.
"do these come in another color? maybe with green on them?"
"let me see . . . well, here's a gray and white pair with a little light blue . . . "
sigh. (me)

I believe it was mick jagger who sang you can't always get what you want . . .
but I got what I needed.
and I ran (jogged) a whopping two miles in them today: a new record! what I ended up purchasing was a pair of Nike "Free" running shoes. this is what Nike has to say about them:

" . . . the Nike Free Run+. Its flexible design closely mimics the natural movement of your foot. And unlike a lot of regular running shoes, its flexibility provides a world of comfort on the run or while walking around.

Other features:

-More flex grooves promote an even more natural, barefoot-like stride.

-Increased support under the arch for improved stability.

-More cushioning for an exceptional ride.

-A completely new midsole design for a better fit.

-A precisely engineered upper for targeted support.

-Asymmetrical lacing for added comfort."

asymmetrical lacing for added comfort?? who came up with that?? this is an example of why I changed my major from advertising: it's all a bunch of hooey. asymmetrical lacing for added comfort. geez.

anyway, they felt great, and I ran (jogged) further than ever before. maybe nike will put me in a commercial . . . actually, I think I'll just keep hoping for a cuter pair, maybe with some green on them somewhere.

Monday, November 15, 2010

benefits of riding in the snow

two things come immediately to mind:
  • the dermabrasion for my face from the sleet on the downhill, and
  • the time and energy savings from not having to wave at any of those silly cyclists who expect you to wave back at them
now there are a few drawbacks, namely the wet feet (through neoprene booties and wool socks), the frozen fingers (which eventually thawed after 15 minutes in the HOT shower), and the fact that I had to clean my bike of all the wet, muddy yuck when the ride was over.
and, okay, it wasn't really snowing. it really never got much past an icy sleet.

it began as a gentle mist.
I left my house when the road was dry and the air was thick with hanging moisture. within a mile, the moisture began to break through the weight barrier and settle upon the world as a fine, ultralight, cool mist. I could see the cloud hanging over my canyon, and decided that I would ride until it became unbearable, then turn around and head south below the cloud line.
remember that story of how you can boil a frog? that if you put him in a pot of lukewarm water, then slowly, slowly turn the heat up he'll stay there, not figuring out that soon the water will reach a boiling temperature and he'll be . . . well, no longer living.
this is what the mist did to me yesterday.
all the way up the canyon it intensified, but at such a slow, gradual pace that it wasn't until I headed downhill that I realized the road was truly wet and what was coming at me was sleet. thus the dermabrasion. does it hurt in a spa or clinic? it sure hurt out on the road.
and the sole cyclist who was out while I was looked every bit as cold and wet as me, and the grins we exchanged were almost identical. there's just something inexplicable about the joy of riding your bike when everyone in their right mind is doing something else.

my uphill ride was quiet, my toes and fingers were warm, I was filled with peace and gratitude.
my downhill ride was wet and wicked, my body temperature dropped and my extremities clamored for crackling fires and down comforters, and I couldn't wait to get home.
but I returned home thrilled that I had left, that I had ridden, that I'd braved the elements and felt the joy of being at one with the world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

what happens when I go away

today I drove across parts of wyoming. flat parts, hilly parts, windy parts. smooth asphalt, old and cracking asphalt, and test sections of slurry seal/chip seal/crack seal. (utah is not alone in proud ownership of crappy road surfaces.) I even drove a section of beautifully well packed dirt road.

I was in wyoming to research the writing project I'm working on, the first time in about eighteen months I've been on a road trip where my bike didn't come along.
what did come with me was thoughts of riding my bike.
especially when I saw the stunning wind river range, all snow-capped and crusted, sugary peaks poking up into the clouds. I wonder if there are roads up in there you can bike on, ran the little thought stream in my mind. wouldn't that be cool.
later I turned off the highway onto a side road that took me to south pass city (nearly a ghost town) and atlantic city (not much better), then a dozen miles further to a small bridge over the sweetwater river. the road rose and dipped, curved and swooped for mile after mile, sitting atop a stretch of land between the wind river range and the oregon buttes, allowing one a view for miles and miles in every direction. this stretch of land contains what is called the south pass, a seemingly flat section of the continental divide where pioneers crossed the mountains on their treks to the west.
I drove hundreds of miles today, a round trip from salt lake and back. flying along at seventy five miles an hour, I couldn't help but compare my travel to that of the horse-riding pioneers, the handcart-pulling mormons who walked, and the modern-day masochists (like me) who ride their bikes on ridiculously lengthy routes.
I was grateful for the sturdy metal that encapsulated me, protecting me from wind, cold, snow, and muscle fatigue. I don't wish that I lived in a time of horse and wagon travel. and today I didn't want to be riding my bike across even a small strip of windy wyoming.
nonetheless, my mind is programmed to consider the possibilities, to think about what the hills might feel like, to imagine the smell of the sagebrush and pine, to feel the burn of the climb and the joy of the swoop. even the grit of the hardpack dirt and the vibration of the chip seal.
it's part of me, a part that's hard to turn off.
so it's just possible that someday you might read about my riding adventures in the wind river range.
or on the dirt road between atlantic and south pass cities.
because everywhere I go, the wind blows minuscule little seeds that attach themselves to me and find a way to grow into whisperings that remind me of all the miles and miles of roads I have yet to ride my bike on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I had a VO2 max test today.
I almost didn't: part way into it I suffered one of those moments that threatened to turn into panic and I had to stop and regroup. I thought I'd moved past that, leapt that hurdle, taught myself that panic is all in my mind and completely unnecessary, but apparently I'm not quite there yet.

it began in the gargantuan lifetime fitness center in sandy, utah. I like to call myself a city girl, living in my little space on the fringes of salt lake, urban but not too urban that I don't have grass and trees. whatever I might desire is not too far away, and I love the eclectic feel of this mix of people, styles, and tastes that surround me.
then there's sandy, where too many people live. it's a big place, there are people and roads everywhere, and you can find whatever you might desire, you'll just have to find it in a superstore or a chain restaurant. or in the largest fitness center on earth, where I was this morning. I've never seen so many machines, or so many slender women with artificial---oops, back to my story.
my bike is loaded on the trainer, the watt meter attached, and I am given a neoprene mask to put on so that my exhalations can be measured and oxygen content assessed. I try not to freak out.
and I do a pretty good job for the first five minutes or so, and then I feel the anxiety rising. I push it down, and it pushes back. harder. I try to talk myself out of it, and it outshouts me. in mere moments I know I've lost the battle and I have to unrip the velcro and peel the mask from my face.
casey, patient test-giver, lets me spin for a while until I can get myself back under control and commit to trying again. I am not about to walk out of there a failure. I will get past this. just before I'm quite ready, I tell him I'm ready and let's do it again.
casey, kind and knowledgeable guy, eases me back into it and then starts taking me through the protocol at a quickened pace. we're moving up by watts produced, twenty at a time. we jump from sixty to eighty, then one hundred, then one-twenty. the speed of movement from each zone to the next doesn't allow my mind time to fixate on whether or not I'm going to die because I'm so focused on moving to the next level, and we out-smart my little panic-producing mind.
before I know it, I'm done, and on to the recovery phase. I like this phase. all tension off, spinning it out, breathing normally, knowing that the worst is over.

and then you get the results. fitness, awesome, recovery, fabulous. woo hoo! all these years of effort have truly paid off. I am strong, I have a great power-to-weight ratio, and my heart is one extremely healthy organ. (this is powerfully important to a girl whose grandmother died of heart disease. I am not going to go that way. I'll probably go slipping on a weed on a bike path.)
and then the bad news: I'm not doing so well at burning fat for fuel. in fact, I'm not doing well there at all. casey suggests the reason is probably too many aggressive workouts, and I grin. yep. casey then suggests I retrain my body to burn fat (which our body stores easily, which burns cleanly without side effects) instead of carbohydrate (which our body can't store much of, which doesn't burn as cleanly and which produces things like lactic acid). I can do this by adding more low-intensity workouts to my regimen.
which brings forth the discussion of base-building, which fall is supposed to be all about for us cyclists. we are supposed to be doing long, low intensity rides, which build this base, which gives us the fat-burning skill which will benefit us when we start working in the higher heart rates early next season.
they call these lsd rides: long, steady (or slow) distance.
for me, it has to be slow because I have to hold back so much to keep my heart rate low. casey tells me he puts a piece of tape over his speedometer when he does these rides so he can't stress about how very slow he has to go.

so this afternoon I braved the cold and went on a zone two ride. I spent an hour keeping my heart rate under 140 beats, and it was NOT EASY.
but I am a good student, and I will obey the rules. it helps when it's 37 degrees and snowing in the canyons . . . we'll see what happens when the sun's out, the temperature hits the upper 40's, and emigration's bike lanes are dry . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


  • some days I think I'll never ride my bike again.
  • there are moments when my knee aches so much I think I'll have to stop all activity.
  • at times I think I have lost all my fitness, my strength, my flexibility.
  • sometimes I think I absolutely cannot make it to the top of the hill, around the next corner, or into the next second holding a yoga asana.

what these all have in common is the fact that these are just thoughts. each sentence involved the words I think.
and they're not simply thoughts, they are thoughts that belong in the category of black/white thinking, where it's either or, one extreme or the other, no middle ground, no possibility of change.
we can call this catastrophic thinking.
it's not just a sore knee, it's a ruined knee that will never run or pedal a bicycle again.
it's not just that I'm tired, it's that there is absolutely nothing left in me at all, forever.
it's not just a bad day, it's that I will always feel this way from now on.

I don't have an anxiety disorder, I'm actually quite mentally stable. but I catch myself, frequently, slipping into this place where these little catastrophizing thoughts niggle their way into my mind and try to set up camp.
and what I'm trying to do about it is to teach myself about making it through until tomorrow, because tomorrow is always better. sometimes the next hour is even better. sometimes things can change in even less time than that.
and it's this reality that I try to hold on to. you'd think by now I'd understand it, having lived and experienced these situations for so many years. why is it still something I need to convince myself of? why do I still fall into that trap of catastrophizing?

I don't have an answer to that.
but I know that each time I push a little further than I think I can bear, each time I hold a pose longer than I want, each time I think I might explode and yet I don't, each of these experiences adds to that pile of validations or proof that my thinking is in err. so I keep pushing myself, I keep surviving, I keep getting up the next day and proving my egoic mind wrong.
you'd think it would, by now, just give up.
but apparently it's one tough son of a gun, so I keep battling away at it.

today I received an email from our bad ass cycling team captain, in which she said she's hung up her bike for the season. sometimes the thought of doing that is quite tempting, even when the roads are dry and the temperatures are in the fifties. but I've learned this about myself: as much as I think it's time for a break, as often as I think I'll never ride again, as frequently as I experience those "I can't do it" moments, I always, eventually, get back on the bike.
I always find myself eventually feeling better.
I always make it through the pose, even if I have to regroup for a moment.
I always rediscover my strength.
and I always, always, make it up the hill.

so there, mr. catastrophe.
go pick on someone else.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

riding north

today was an excellent day to ride north.
and not such a great day to ride south. unless, that is, one is desirous of a good training ride.

you should know by now that "training ride" is my euphemism for a ride that is full of misery. which for me usually involves wind.
today there was a wicked wind from the south. during the hours I was riding it was a fairly consistent 22-26 mph, with gust up to 34 or so mph. admittedly, it could have been worse. but it was just about at my outside limit of tolerable windy conditions.
not only is it more difficult to ride into the wind, it's just purely disappointing. as strong as you may think you are, that headwind is just out to prove you incorrect. it holds you back on what should be a lovely descent, and it slows your progress on flats and hills so devastatingly that no matter how hard you push, your speed is decreased to numbers you're embarrassed to experience.

but, as with everything in life, there is a yin to the headwind's yang, and that would be the tailwind. and today my gift was that the first half of my ride was into the wind, so the second half was blessed with one of the strongest pushes I've ever had. I hit new personal land speed records for certain stretches of road, and was getting such a great boost from the wind that working in zone 4B was well worth it just to watch that mph number creep higher and higher.
and because I was in such a pleasured state on my return trip, I was able to let my mind drift into the more metaphysical concept of tailwinds.

earlier this morning I'd read a brief essay by steven taylor in which he discussed how we receive help from others in our quests and desirings and movements forward into that which we strive for. as the wind was so gently pushing me toward home, I thought about all the other tailwinds in our lives that help us toward our goals. I often speak about "the universe" listening to me, teaching me, guiding me, and the way the universe most often works is through other people. (though I believe it sometimes works through things such as weeds.) we might say it's a "situation" that benefits us or gives us that push, but the situation comes about only through the workings of other humans. therefore, all of the many tailwinds that help us navigate and stretch and grasp our next desires come from the strivings, the consideration, the help and the compassion of others. and none of us will ever know how much our own efforts toward our own quests become tailwinds for other people. how amazing and awesome is that?

riding north today was pure pleasure. I felt supported, my mission was eased, and I reached my goal in less time than ever before. I had to work hard heading south before I reaped my reward, but my reward was huge and fabulous and a reminder of the fact that whatever my dreams, my movements, my desires, I am not alone in bringing them to fruition.

Friday, November 5, 2010

time and money

the answer is:
if I had so much money I didn't know what to spend it on, and so much time I didn't know what to do with myself.

the question:
under what circumstances might I take paragliding lessons?

it was great fun!

it began with the meeting in the parking lot, on the north side of the point of the mountain, where a few dozen of us milled around and looked up to the ridge of the point. we could see a few bodies, and a big white truck moving along the ridge, first one direction and then the other. some gliders then appeared, floating, soaring, and ripping down from the top of the hill, legs dangling from their little seats, hands firmly gripping the cords.
I signed my life away and then climbed into the big white truck for the ride up to the top of the hill: this was the scariest part of all. if you've never been in a vehicle that is climbing such a steep hill that you see nothing but blue sky in front of the hood, well, you might want to try a ride like this. I learned that the ridge on top of the hill is just that: a narrow ridge. there is a point where the hillside drops off to the right and to the left, and you look out to the north and see the entire city spreading far, far, far below . . . this is not for the faint of heart.
getting hooked into my harness, putting on my helmet, waiting to get connected to my pilot, then leaning forward against the tremendous pressure of the wind catching our sail were the few, brief steps before I slowly ran off the edge of the hill and into the sky.
and flew.

we glided, swooped just a bit, and floated some two thousand feet off the ground, and it was as if time stood still. anything moving was so far away that it didn't matter, and time was just suspended up there between the gentle gusts of air. this lasted not nearly long enough, and then we were within shouting distance of the landing field. my pilot asked if I wanted the mellow landing, or the roller coaster.
which do you think I chose?
we whipped and rolled our way in, leaning to the left, to the right, to the left, and I watched the ground from every angle but--thankfully--upside down. within too few seconds we approached the field and my pilot told me to get ready to run.
I did, we did, and in much too short of a time my experience was completely over.

given enough money and too much time, I would own my own glider.

so I say.

in closing, I leave you with this little blurb from the Paraglide Washington website, found under their Frequently Asked Questions:

is paragliding safe? With proper training and equipment, paragliding is the safest of all forms of personal aviation. But like anything, you are responsible for making it as safe, or as dangerous you want it to be. You are more likely to get injured riding a bike (well, crashing a bike) than while paragliding.

need I say more??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

the sky's the limit

how many times have you heard that phrase?
well, my question is, which part of the sky?
because it seems to me that the sky begins where earth leaves off, basically at our feet. and then it extends upward until . . . until when? it goes and goes and goes, the most expansive substance in our experience.
tomorrow afternoon I plan to experience a different part of the sky than I've ever known before: a part that is somewhere between the stuff by our feet and that which I've flown through in an airplane. a part that's not really near the earth at all, a part that I hope is thick enough to hold me up for at least a little while.

it's all because my family has a sense of humor.
I crashed on my bike ten days before my birthday, and what they gave me for a birthday present was a gift certificate to go paragliding.
yes, paragliding.
that's when you get attached to a big set of wings and jump off a mountainside, I believe.

I told them I needed to get through lotoja, and then I'd schedule my experience. well, it's that time, and I head up to that middle stretch of sky tomorrow afternoon. I get help, thank goodness: I'll actually be doing a tandem glide, with someone who knows what he's doing in charge of it all. and I'll learn what it's like to be somewhere in the midst of sky, no terra firma beneath my feet, no pedals clipped to my shoes, engaged in an entirely different kind of swooping than I'm used to.
and who knows, I might fall in love with a new kind of adventure, one where truly, the sky is the only limit.
I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

nowhere but there

it happened again today: I was doing my jogging thing and I became thoroughly, deeply, positively engrossed in the very moment I was living.
nothing past, nothing forward, nothing but the clear air and the movement of my legs, my feet connecting with the concrete beneath.
no worries about what happened or what's yet to come, what hasn't happened or what might.
this jogging thing is even better than cycling for being in the moment, at least for me at this stage in the game. ( this most likely occurs because my "jogging" takes away all my oxygen so quickly, and I have to stay focused to keep from following through on my desire to quit. )
regardless, I'm thrilled to have found a new way to be exactly where I am.
I still watch the time, I'm still glad when it's over, but while it's happening, I thoroughly enjoy that place of being nowhere but where I am, nowhere but where I'm apparently supposed to be.