Summer is for mopeds

9:28 AM

This is mine. I call it The Piglet. You know--cause it's not quite a Hog.

I inherited the moped last summer from my Dad. It was basically a hand-me-down as he upgraded to an actual motorcycle. His is a yellow Kawasaki Ninja--or, as he explains it, "his toy-colored motorcycle."

Dad picked up the moped the summer before. It had originally been purchased for my cousin. He rode it once or twice, and then it sat for ten or so years in the basement of my aunt and uncle's house. Dad rode it around all summer and proclaimed it the most fun ever. Well, until he got the motorcycle.

I have to concur--at least as far as the moped goes (no motorcycle for me--at least not yet). Last summer was very difficult for me--I had gone back to school and was driving to Kingston, RI twice a week for class. On top of that, my job security was in the toilet, as half of my organization's funding had been cut. Dad to the rescue: "You've got to take the moped out. You can't be depressed and ride the moped at the same time. I can't explain it, but it works." And, you know what? It does. Perhaps it has to do with taking your life in your hands. The engine is very basic and the machine runs on a mixture of gasoline and oil--the same mixture Dad uses in his chainsaw. Going downhill, you can push it as fast as 40-45 MPH, which makes your life rush before your eyes. I average 30 MPH on it, which makes it perfect for riding around town. And since it gets about 200 MPG, it's like I'm saving money 'cause I'm not taking the car to church/to the store/to the dentist/to my parents' house/etc, right?

This summer I added the milk crate to the back so I could just pop my handbag in there when I wanted to go somewhere instead of having to transfer everything to a backpack, or bungee cord the thing to the back and hope for the best. The milk crate also means I can take it to the supermarket if I only need a couple of things. I can pop my helmet in the crate while I run in to do my errands, and then put the bag of groceries in the crate to go home! Efficient, if not cool looking.

For, I admit, the moped is a bit geeky-looking. It is not a Vespa; it is not sleek and European. It is very utilitarian. As my Dad says, "People with scooters go clubbing; people with mopeds go AV clubbing." Whatever. I have, though, gotten some nasty looks when I park my moped next to their shiny new Vespas in front of the coffee shop in the center of town. I'm sure they're just jealous. Then there are the cars that refuse to share the road and pass you in completely illegal fashions. Dude. I love getting passed on in-town streets--particularly when I'm going the speed limit or a little faster. Really. I do. Life in the moped-fast lane.

In other news: Jaywalker #1 is coming along nicely. Last night I turned the heel, picked up stitches and started the gussets.

Turning the heel is probably my favorite part of sock-knitting. It's like magic every time. I remember turning the heel of Conwy on my lunch break at work and giggling like an absolute simpleton--look, it was straight and now there's a little cup for your heel. How unbelievably cool is that??? It was much the same for this heel, only I did it at home for The Beloved. He gave me his patented patient "I married a touched woman" look and continued to watch his TV program. Poor man simply doesn't know what he's missing. I fear the day I no longer appreciate the magic of the turned heel. It will probably be a sign that it's time to tie the anchor to my ankles and toss me overboard.

Gussets, on the other hand.... I hate picking up stitches. And no matter how hard I try, I always end up with a little hole between needles 3 & 4. I'm pretty sure it's small enough that no one will notice, particularly since there are little gaps there anyway as part of the pattern...but I notice and it ticks me off. I'm sure I wasn't helped last night by The Beloved's running commentary of the program we were watching and the fact that the light in the TV room was not very good. Excuses, excuses. Anyway. Stitches are picked up and we're on our way towards a foot.

I'm much happier with this sock now than I was at the very beginning. Marianne was right--the Funky Stripe does make a nice Jaywalker. I need to lighten up and realize that judging the yarn based on an inch of ribbing and a handful of pattern rows is not a good idea. I really need to trust
that these things will all work together. you see...they are!

This sock and its mate will be coming on vacation with me. The Beloved will be pressed into yarn-holding duty so I can wind the second skein of yarn. (He keeps whining, "I am not a yarn swift." No, he's not. But until he gets me one, he'll have to do.) Tonight, we (The Beloved, the sock and myself) are going up to Portland to watch the Sea Dogs game. The Sea Dogs are the Double-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. I've never been up to see them play, but it's supposed to be a very good time. We're sitting here, and the tickets were more than reasonable, considering I'd have to pledge my first-born in order to score Red Sox tickets...and those would likely be standing room only. I think we'll have fun--and we'll even have enough for a hot dog and a beer, which is all part of the adventure, yeah?

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