bicycle monogamy

summer

Hello!

I am getting old, and at my age I feel it’s necessary to impart wisdom. Therefore, I hope you enjoy the convoluted quasi-essay that’s about bikes but actually about life, below:

My bicycle looks like this:

MTN BIKE

i am so talented

It’s a heavy, metallic blue mountain bike that I ride EVERYWHERE because it is my only bike, and has been for the past eight years. Ergo very familiar, and very useful for city-riding (potholes!) (decidedly not-quick-release tires!). Also, it’s kinda heavy, so I get another workout carrying it up and down a few flights of stairs from my dorm room (I’m in college; I am so old).

 

This is a friend’s bike, which was so graciously lent to me for a road ride two weeks ago:

ROAD BIKE

i am so talented, part two

YAH. It’s significantly smaller, lighter (I was benchpressing it in one hand within minutes), and it’s so shiny and RED!! The drop-handles threw me for a moment, as did the gear-shifting mechanism, so we had a lot of false starts at the beginning of our ride (shout-out to dudes with patience!). When we actually began our ride, I was amazed by the differences between bikes. The little red bike was so light!! And I was sorely tempted to dart into and out of traffic because it was so nimble.  It climbed like a bird, and we were flying down Chuck St. (hi, that was us).

It wasn’t a perfect bike: apart from its lack of suspension (I! felt! every! thing!) and those derpy handles, it was unable to scale pebbles, much less onto sidewalks. My lovely mountain bike can hop curbs and cross very large potholes (in cities) and fallen logs and jutting boulders (on mountains) without incident. With this little red road bike I was desperately praying not to launch after every divot in the asphalt. Like, pedaling over a used lotto ticket felt dangerous. (Joke. Kind of.)

Even with those new challenges, it was a great ride and I had a great time exploring the city on that speedy little bike. The takeaway from all this, I’d argue, is that trying new things is awesome! Even if it’s terrifying in the moment a.k.a. for a few hours.

Point being: Bicycle monogamy is overrated!

Second point being we should all ride our bikes more and drive cars less because bikes are significantly cooler, and better for the environment, and make your calves look great.

Just saying.

 

hugs,

Carey

 

p.s. I miss The Toast.

 

ALSO!!  DON’T FORGET TO WEAR A HELMET! CONCUSSIONS ARE NO FUN AND YOU LOOK MORE STUPID WITH A CONCUSSION THAN YOU DO WITH A HELMET.

SO THERE. WEAR ONE.

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Bloomsday // Baltimore Pride

festivities, summer

imageedit_3_6796630147

Hello, internet friends!

So, here’s the kicker: I’m really not so great about writing yearly posts for various holidays YET this will be the third June I’ve managed to honor(???) Bloomsday with a blip on the blogosphere and I still haven’t finished the book – actually, I haven’t revisited it since 2016… Yes, well, em, I haven’t heard the banshee so I’d like to think I’ll have time to finish it by next year’s Bloomsday.

While I can’t yet gush about finishing Ulysses, or visiting Dublin, or any other Joycean joys I CAN & WILL congratulate another Irish writer, Deirdre Sullivan, on writing the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year: a feminist fairytale anthology, Tangleweed & Brine (and another huge congratulations to Welshwoman Karen Vaughan for the collection’s exquisite illustrations)!

I both loved and feared each tale in the collection, and absolutely, wholly, utterly recommend you find yourself a copy to read (support your local library!).

Speaking of libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library just nixed its late fees for overdue books! Just another reason for you to come around and visit Baltimore. And please do come by; this is really a wonderful city—it’s not just the doom and gloom you see on the news.

A particular gem of the City in the summer (apart from all the movie festivals) is Baltimore’s Pride celebration, the pinnacle of which, the parade, happened to be today…So we should all just be partying all weekend, honestly. (ALSO, let’s wish a happy first birthday to Lorde’s Melodrama today!)

I’d like to say the local LGBT+ community has a terrific presence in the city even after the rainbow beads and iridescence of the parade have been swept from Chuck St. Or, that’s my impression from attending book readings and talks and dance parties and ever-popular “Gay Movie Nights” with queer friends (HAVE YOU SEEN MOONLIGHT?!).

But I’d like to clarify that at these events I’m here to celebrate my friends: When I go to Pride celebrations and meet the SOs of some of my best friends, I’m at events that are not meant for me (a straight cisgender woman). It’s an honor and a privilege to have LGBT+ friends who feel they can confide in me, and I actively seek ways to help them feel safe and loved. This is devolving into a “wow, isn’t Carey great?” sort of thing, but what I’m so poorly trying to explain is that these wonderful people are so brave; to feel comfortable expressing yourself as you are, regardless of your sexuality, gender identity, or any other facet of your true self that doesn’t conform to the heteronormative narrative we’ve all been told is the only way to be—to have been told that you’re wrong by so many and oftentimes so violently, and to still celebrate yourself as you are is just — amazing.

 

Lots of love this Bloomsday!

oo Carey

 

SOURCE UNKNOWN

(the day on which the events in Ulysses were set) SOURCE UNKNOWN 😦 

 

Baltimore / year in review

let's get political
‘Nobody shoot anybody!’
‘Names not numbers!’
‘You matter! You matter!’

I won’t lie—This was an exceptionally violent year in Baltimore. As of 29 December, 343 persons were killed in the city, and a police officer scheduled to testify against the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force was shot and killed (allegedly with his own weapon) the day before he was scheduled to testify in court.

But, this was also a year in which the unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 5%.This was the year Erricka Bridgeford was named Marylander of the Year 2017 for her activism, specifically, the ‘Baltimore Ceasefire’ of 4-6 August. A judge ruled that Black Lives Matter was not an organization in the traditional sense, and therefore could not be sued.

This was a year of terrors, horrors, and tragedy; it was also a year of bravery, activism, and the tenacious belief that Baltimore is a good city, and will improve. In short, 2017 was a year of contradictions.

I write this to pay my respects to the persons killed this year. I write this to reiterate that I believe Baltimore is a good, is a loving, city.

I do not write this to inflame, I do not write this to misinform, I do not write this to sound woke for the sake of sounding woke. The facts and stats I provide are linked to legitimate sources. Baltimore IS a good city, and it’s a far better place than is often portrayed in media.

I write this to say: 2017 was an especially rough year for the city, but 2018 will be better. We will make it so.

 

‘the bleak December’

winter

Ah, distinctly, I rememeber

 

IMG_0001

I’ve a friend who describes this time of year as liminal.

We’re both the superstitious sort, but there’s truth to the matter. There is something spooky about the winter, the last month of the year (in the Gregorian calendar, at least). The cold is coming and things are ending, and they won’t begin again for some time.

(Etymological side note: liminal comes from līmen, Latin for ‘threshold’; next month is January, which comes from Ianuarius—the month of Janus, a Roman god: the gatekeeper.)

IMG_0016

It’s cold here, where we are, and it snowed over the weekend. We are almost over our heads in final papers (my humanities cohorts and I) and exams (my aforementioned friend, a STEM major…oxymoronic, huh?) but we are OK.

The cold and the dark do affect me, but I’ve pulled through for the past twenty winters and I’ll do so again. 2017 has been a bad year for so many people, for so many reasons (but also a good year! for the silence-breakers!) but we have pulled through. And anyway,

perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim

(Ovid, Metamorphoses)

IMG_0010

love, Carey

to the walters

i went to a museum
a lit god at the Walters art museum in Baltimore

a lit god at the Walters art museum in Baltimore

Oh goodness.

I love the Walters.

It is the best secret museum in the Mid-Atlantic,

though it’s not really secret

(just underrated).

There I find the curator (not worrier) in myself,

an artful being who will pose for off-kilter photographs like this:

ME!

while I enter the sculpture garden

The best part of the Walters in my eyes

is the inclusion of women

and persons of color

skylights, sky bright, first painting I see tonight...

skylights, sky bright, first painting I see tonight…

in each capsule, collection, and exhibit.

There’s always Shakespearean collection, and Othello pops up,

Ira Aldridge as Othello, by Mulready, ca. 1826

Ira Aldridge as Othello, by Mulready, ca. 1826 (this is from the Walters Web site, all other images my own)

Madonna and Child are represented in Iconic Russian, Ethiopian, Byzantine media…

SAINTLY SINNER REDEEMED

my buddy, Mary Magdalene, by Galli

it’s really beautiful.

Bmore loving

let's get political

It’s a zeugma!

So, this is a pop art collage to Bawlmer, my sanctuary.

I love Baltimore.

The riots this week

have patina’d

the city’s name,

but with a little polish,

we,

the consortium of

incoming classes of 2019

{at Towson, Morgan, Stevenson, Hopkins,

Loyola, Sojourner-Douglass,

UMBC, MICA, Goucher,

Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, University of Baltimore,

Notre Dame of Maryland and more!}

WILL make a difference in the city.

WE

are a

diverse,

revolutionary,

intellectual,

compassionate,

empathetic,

brave,

exquisite

community

of

HOPE.

WE will continue Charm City’s legacy,

WE will be victors in this crucible.

WE will BLIEVE, HON.

Lots of love,

to every and all Baltimoreans,

may they make

the just,

the right,

the nonviolently resistant

choice

to better our world.

Pax Baltimoreus!

-Carey

typographical errors, image edited 10 June 2017