Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm eating a sammich at Arby's. My parents are sitting across from me. I'm looking over the intersection of routes 1 and 202. First we all went to Kohl's. Now I'm eating this sammich. Next we're going to the AMC to see "Baby Mama." After that, we're getting ice cream.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baby's Mama

The phone rang. Papi's baby's mama on the line. He mouthed "my baby's mama" to me while she was talking in his ear. Maybe yapping. I picture yapping, but I have no way to know that. I drink several cherry cokes at work, and usually two slices of pizza. Usually means that this is my third night working here, and I've had two slices per night. If you want free pizza, come to Peace a Pizza while I'm working right before we close. There is a lot of pizza being thrown away.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fking around in Kennett forever.

I just dipped a chip in some Athenos roasted red pepper hummus. I'm in Kennett at my folks'. They got me some really good hummus. I've been sitting around here doing nothing and feeling very slightly sick. Sick if you're a wuss, but perhaps "on the verge" of real sickness.

I'm not working on my huge stack of bicycles that I've stacked outside in front of the garage. Not a bit. I'm thinking about putting together for myself something that I actually want to ride: how about a really nice Trek 800? KHS Professional 531 racing cycle? These are works in progress, floating around half-assed and waiting for parts to materialize from thin air.

I got a Trek 800 21" frame in Burlington last June. 8 bux. I recently made a purchase of an old Raleigh "Mountain Tour" - from a response to my ad placed in the Wilmington News Journal. The Mountain Tour has SunTour friction thumb shifters, and some real simple DiaCompe cantilever brakes that I like. I could strip that stuff off and earmark it for me. I should. But the Northroad handlebars that I'm using have been drilled out to accept bar end shifters. Incredibly unique and badass. So I should get some bar end shifters. Instead, I just ordered some Silver Down Tube shifters from Rivendell last night. That's an aside - they won't work. But Rivendell has bar end 'pods' that fit them. Maybe I'll get them in the future when I'm rich again. Then I can have nice friction shifters for all my rides.

I'm also working on a really tall 63cm KHS Professional (w/ 57cm TT). This will be my road bike. It struggles to fit 700x32c Pasela tires. It's made to be race-y, and has very simple but thinned lugs (good craftsmanship). It also has forged SunTour dropouts, and full 531 tubing for the frame and fork. It's nice. I put a nice quality Campagnolo-hubbed wheelset on there. I bought that from another response to my ad. 8spd cassette included. Throw your hands in the air for friction shifting. Throw'em!

But I'm out of shape and I don't ride my bicycle much. Haven't ridden an inch since returning from Key West, except for the Peace a Pizza delivery bicycle. I don't have a bicycle I'm in love with, and I find any excuse to be a slob. Gotta work on that. Especially since I'm a nerd, and pre-7:21 today I spent a very considerable amount of time geeking around on the internet looking at the Furnace Creek 508 website, some "Rough Riders" website, and one I haven't seen before: The 3 Speed Adventure Society. Wow. 3 Speed Adventure Society... someone has been sneaking into my room and reading my diary!

Also: I didn't sleep in my van last night. I slept inside in a bed. That breaks the Dec 1 to Apr 25 streak of enjoying my sleep in a vehicle. Streak broken.

Let me continue to talk about how I spent $41 at bars in Kennett getting really drunk on Hop Devil. Completely ridiculous. Some lady was trying to prod me to 'smile' and seem real happy. I was reasonably happy, but my catatonic expression did not spell this out clearly enough. I told her I was being 'fucking introspective and shit.' I was sitting alone - obviously - right in the middle of the bar. She was flirting with some golf pro fuck across another lady. Maybe he wasn't a fuck - to be fair, he just looked like it. Well the joke is on her, 'cause I ended up smoking weed in my van with a girl from Scranton who knows Mike Quinn. Mikey. Life is not to be taken very seriously.

Two days after that, I saw Matt Emerson. Speaking in terms of physical appearance, the Army has turned him into an imposing figure. Always good to see childhood neighbor friends. Kennett is a fucking trip, g. I talked briefly with those who I have not seen in some time, then spent a lot more time drinking up a good tab alone. I think the combination of meat, beer, and weed has hurt my typically fantastic immune system. I blame meat the most. I think I was a lot healthier when I didn't eat meat. But that might have more to do with riding a bicycle.

Well I'm no scientist, that's not what I went to school for
And I'm not a doctor, so I don't know much about medicine - EL-P

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Movies and books at folks

I'm sitting on my usual sofa spot, back sorta-home in Kennett. I'm watching Charlie Wilson's War with my parents. I was reading before the movie started. 1000 Acres by Jane Smiley. Not accomplishing shit.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Challie's with my parents

I'm sitting across from my mom and dad at Challie's in Kennett. I got a buffalo chicken cheese steak with jalapenos. Always with the jalapenos.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Google Maps at Peace a Pizza

I'm looking at the computer screen at Peace a Pizza. I'm checking to see the location of the next delivery. I ride a Worksman delivery bike with a big metal pizza box attached over the front wheel. The front wheel is small to make space for this. Worksman bicycles are awesome. When I saw it parked out front, I applied right then. There aren't a ton of deliveries to be made - four tonight - but when I get to haul around on that bicycle it's awesome. I get to eat free pizza too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cibo Matto, driving to the farm

I'm driving to the farm. The big 100 acre Chester County farm. I'm going to over to visit James and Laura and Paul. I'm listening to Cibo Matto. I didn't know Cibo Matto was so great until a week ago.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peace a Pizza: first day of work

I'm in the middle of washing a lot of dishes at Peace a Pizza in West Chester. I got a job here, and this is my first day of work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bicycling by the Obama rally

I'm riding the City Bike fast on Market Street in Philly between 6th and 5th. There is a crowd all around - everyone is waiting for Obama to speak. I was waiting with Nat and Caroline, then I left to get a burrito and two beers with Jonas. Now I'm coming back to sit and wait some more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stirring at Fennario

I'm standing at a table in Fennario in West Chester stirring sugar into my coffee. I'd say I'm stirring cream too, but that kind works itself out, you know. I'm around the corner from getting pizza with my family, and I just got off the phone with Nat. I'm in my best mood. Up there with my best days. The weather is fantastic, and something feels like home to be back in West Chester.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ordering business cards

I'm on the internet in the upstairs room - what we refer to as the 'back room' - and I'm on the internet. But this isn't just screwing around. This is business. I'm ordering some very snazzy business cards. "Chris Harne Used Bicycles Wanted. 'I get dormant machines back on the road'" They're going to be glossy and thick with a stock bicycle graphic. You've just gotta see it. 8 cents a piece after shipping and all. I can swing that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Showing off my van

I'm home. West Chester specifically. I'm standing outside my house - my van - at Gary and Danielle's. Gary is a mechanic, so the hood was immediately popped, shit got poked at, and he even slid right under the van. My van passed with straight a's.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cafe Risque

I'm sitting at Cafe Risque feigning comfort and waiting for a cheeseburger. This is the place with the billboard that says "Topless! Topless!" ; Exit 70 on I-95, North Carolina. I finally made it. I've been seeing that sign every time I've been up or down 95 ever since I was a little boy. At that time, even the sight of the billboard was scandalous. Now I'm alone on this road for the first time. I'm in mid-migration to the north. I'm taking my time and stopping on a whim. I'd feel regret if I didn't finally see what this place is all about. Is it like Denny's with a topless waitress? The word 'cafe' makes me picture booth-style tables, florescent lights, and lots of coffee. Eerie... it couldn't be. In spite of my low level of comfort, I definitely went for it. It was obvious upon entry: just a strip club with no booze license, duh. Black lights, corny music, cigarette smoke, $8 cheeseburgers. I spent about an hour, and now I shall wonder no longer.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Books on mp3

I'm driving northbound in northern Florida, listening to Steven King's "The Dreamcatcher" on iPod. I started listening to this audio book before leaving for Key West. I took a major hiatus, but I started again and picked the story right up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crawling home

I'm trying to catch a nap in the van. My house. I'm pulled off at a public boat ramp on route 1, a few miles north of Big Pine. My side doors are open to a view of moderately littered-up mangroves. As I'm laying here, I can see enough of the sky to know the sunset is beautiful - but the sun itself is out of range of my open doors. I bought six beers earlier, and now there is only one left. That's because I'm fucking stupid, and I drank five. I really really wanted to leave Key West after I was done with my marathon of goodbyes, so I did. I was planning to spend the night on Big Pine at a final hoopla with my crew of friends who I met through Dave and Bill at the bike store. This left me with time to kill. Sleep, a book, find some fucking shade. I also planned on one beer: for reasonable reasons, I assured myself. Ha. How one equals five is something I cannot explain logically, but the concept is familiar enough. I'm not drunk - that would require more than the whole six pack, and these bottles have been emptied over the course of several hours. I'm not at all drunk, I'm just a little ashamed of my lack of control sometimes. I'm not worried about my safety, I'm just ashamed to have five empties in my cooler. Mosqitos are biting my ankles.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Last day at bike shop

My last day at Eaton Bikes is almost finished. A girl came in with a flat front tire, and through the course of a short conversation while I was fixing it, I learned that she might kinda want to know how to fix it herself. Great! I let the air out of the fixed tire, pull it apart and we go through the repair again. She does it herself this time, while I instruct. I don't charge for labor since she did the repair herself. Plus I just don't wanna charge six bucks labor for someone who wants to learn something.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gonna leave Key West soon

I'm walking through the parking lot of the La Concha Hotel toward the movies. On my mind: bicycles; leaving the island very soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chat before a jam

I'm sitting behind the drum set at the space next to the Tropic. It's a youth center of some type that Steve discovered. Me and Matt are waiting for the director to finish a phone call so we can have a quick awkward little jam session before getting ready to see a film next door. Dreamane's here. We're all talkin'.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

pretty good buzz

I'm pretty fucked up, dude. I'm sitting at Andrew's with Matt while Andrew is at a softball game. Beer, pot, hash: I'm very focused and riveted in place. Me and Matt are here without Andrew because he forgot about his game and left in a hurry. Us sitting here is fine with him.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Reading and getting money

I'm sitting in front of Kelly's. I got up from a nap just in time to get in an order for two IPAs and some wings before happy hour was done. Now I'm sitting on some steps out front reading the Bar Tab. The Bar Tab is a cheesy little square-shaped publication that is more for tourists and clowns than cool people like me. I belong with a Steinbeck at best, or at least a paperback of some sort. So I'm actually embarrassed when Melanie comes by and I'm reading an article in it. It was a good happenstance meeting though, because she tried to stop by the bike shop earlier, but I wasn't working today. She gave me $45 bucks that Eddie owed to me for looking at, or "fixing" or whatever, some of the pedicabs. I actually wouldn't accept a single cent from Eddie, but it was the pedicab shop's money - not his. Eddie just got me the gig of doing some work there. For what I did, $45 is a true mugging - but I feel fine about it because I've done way more than $45 worth of work on those tricycles since I got to this island.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reading in the Truman Annex

I'm reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakaur. I'm sitting in my chair in my van which is my house in the big parking lot in the Truman Annex. I woke up this morning to a dead battery. Guess my little fan isn't such a hot idea quite yet. Here's what I did: called AAA, read while waiting. Drove to Baby's Coffee at mile marker 15 to charge the battery up. Got a big coffee and muffin. Sat in the van with the doors open and read. I sweated like crazy. No shirt on, sweating. Some breezes came in, but I was in the sun. Then I drove down to the Truman Annex spot and read some more. There is a good steady breeze there, so no sweat. Then I got tired and slept a good few hours. Now I'm up and reading again. I don't usually spend nearly this much time in my van home, but upon analyzing my feelings, I've discovered that I don't get the boring cooped-up feeling of sitting inside all day. My senses are still aware of being outside, and my mind appreciates this. It's like I spent all day in the park relaxing with my favorite chair and my bed for when I needed a little sleepy time nap.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Seatpost removal attempt

I'm running a hacksaw blade into the cut-off seatpost of the Trek that I bought yesterday. I've tried everything else suggested by Sheldon Brown (passed away, but never forgotten). This is the second slit I've cut inside the seatpost along the entire remaining length in the frame. I'm afraid of cutting the frame, so I may not have quite gotten through far enough. I do not want to concede defeat here. I want to be able to handle such situations and emerge victorious. I'm not there yet.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Holding a Cateye light

I'm at the bike shop still, even though my schedule says I should be gone. A guy bought a bike and he needs accessories installed and accessories transferred from his previous bike. I bought the previous bike for $40. It's an olive colored Trek 820 with a very large frame - probably 23". At 7:21, I'm holding his headlight and preparing to move it to the new bike - a corny new GT. At some point after this, I realize that my new $40 purchase might be a headache or a total loss: the seatpost is very much frozen. Aluminum in steel. Crap - I should know better. but I saw a deal, and I jumped at it. I want to build this bike into what it is capable of being.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Phone on stomach

I'm sitting alone outside at Donnie's house. Also his parent's house. Also where Dave lives, and where I just took a swim. Others are nearby somewhere, but this moment is all mine. I'm sitting at the dirty cigarette-trash misty glass umbrella table, slouched with my front-of-body at a very obtuse angle. My phone is resting on my stomach, and I am watching my heartbeat make it jiggle like a kid on a water bed. As I observe my body's capabilities here, I think of what is next. A ride south to sit on a porch, a return text message to Matt, a meetup with Jonas who is driving here at this moment to experience glory.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Swig of juice

Someone fermented Juicy Juice (which is 100% juice). He used champagne yeast and brought two bottles to the bike shop. It tastes highly suspect, and its been in the Eaton Bikes mini fridge for a week. I'm getting ready to leave work, and I'm taking one last big swig of this stuff. It reminds me exactly of when I tried to make wine in my closet in Boston. This stuff tastes the same, but it does not make me ill. Jonas, Matt, Steve and Dreamane are goosing around outside waiting until I'm finished cleaning and swigging so we can go. They're on bikes. By goosing, I mean existing in a space. I have Erykah Badu in my head, and parts of her are spilling out my mouth.