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WhewAugust 13, 2007

I have a new coffee-shop! That is just so exciting to me. I'm well enough now to ride my bike there, which is thrilling to me. Maybe you're a bike rider, so you won't understand, but ohmygod, riding a bike is SO COOL. I'm still kinda terrified of it, so that adds to the thrill, but I heard through a friend of La's that there was a good coffee-shop in San Leandro, called Zocalo. I looked it up, and it was only 2.5 miles from our house! Totally do-able, even in my still-recovering state. And it's a flat ride, with a BIKE LANE all the way there. I am in love with bike lanes. I don't think I'll ever ride on a street without them, really. They're so polite! They give the impression of safety! (Although I trust nothing and no one, don't worry.)

So it's a sweet ride there (kind of through the hood for a while, and then suddenly, you cross the border from Oakland to San Leandro, and there are trees! Gardens! The line of demarcation is so sudden and obvious it's mind-boggling, really), and then the cafe is just so nice: It's big, open, lots of tables that seem constantly full, free wifi, really good coffee, nice people, music quiet enough that iTunes on my computer drowns it out, couches, a kid's play area, the roaster actually roasting beans in the same room with you, putting up that heavenly smell.....

And I'm writing. Still not well enough to go back to work, can't talk for 12 hours straight although a couple of hours is okay, so I'm using this vacation-like time to write. And I've got a new method -- called the Treadmill Journal, I stole the idea from here. Basically, you write your plan of action and how much time you're going to spend on it, then you do it, then you write about how it went, and then you plan the next day's writing. Granted, I've only done it for four days. But it's been successful in that I have to plan when exactly I'm going to write the next day. I never do that, never plan in advance, and every day I expect to find time to write, and then I don't, because days fill up and go by, don't they? But if you have a plan, it's easier to write. I'm lovin' it, and I'm loving getting actual writing done. I've plotted to the end of the novel I'm working on, and OH LORD LET ME FINISH A BOOK. With three novels more than half-way done, one 500 pages long and ALMOST done, it's frustrating never to be able to finish. It's just a mental block -- always more fun to start something new rather than finish the old -- and I know if I just finish one, that will be the kick I need to finish the others. I don't even care if they're good endings. Just as long as they END.

But I'm not in a great hurry. Heading toward an ending is good enough right now.

And I'd also like to jump on the clutter-purge bandwagon and clean out my writing/yarn room, but every time I get gung-ho about it, I feel tired. This throat of mine lets me do only some of the things I want. By the end of the day, I'm pretty much guaranteed to feel like ass. Riding my bike five miles just took it out of me for a couple of hours. So I think I'll retire to the couch and continue reading the book I'm LOVING, Dishwasher, by Pete Jordan. Ah, the best kind of confessional-memoir. He's a guy who spent years attempting to wash dishes in all 50 states. He wrote a zine about it, and this is his book about those years, and something about it is so comforting. And he's just so damn funny. You might enjoy it.

Off to the couch.


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I'm glad you are on the mend. How goes things on the Kitty Front.

Dude, the lands of bikepaths down EVERY road are the Netherlands and Denmark. Its mind-blowing.

You'd love the ride between our house and the nearest largish city. There's a coffee factory whose smell floats through all the neighboring villages.

Riding bikes when you haven't done much of it most likely reminds you of your childhood. I once read that doing activities that you loved in childhood is a great source of joy in adulthood. Try swinging high on a swing (a sturdy one) next time you're near the park. Bliss.

Congrats! Nice progress report on both health and writing. I saw the dishwasher dude on Letterman, his second 'apperance'. Funny guy. He had his roommate showup the first time as he didn't want to be on TV!

Heh - you guys need to visit Portland. Music city *and* crazed biking groups everywhere. Plus lots of yarn shops, coffee and beer. Keep getting better, and good luck with the writing when you get more energy back!

My boyfriend is reading Dishwasher right now, and reading bits of it to me occasionally. He IS a dishwasher, and used to read the zine, so he really identifies with it. I'm going to have to borrow it from him when he's finished with it.

Glad you're feeling better and that yuo're writing. I'm still trying to work that part of my schedule out.

Enjoy your evening.


I love Zocolo! I'm glad you found a fun new coffee shop. =)

I'm a long-time reader, admirer, and very infrequent commenter and you don't know me from Adam - but I've just nominated you for a Rockin Girl Blogger award (button) that a writer-blogger started.... You certainly do rock!

Good for you! if you ever want some company or would like to meet someone from here, I live in San Lorenzo. I grew up in these parts and am intimately familiar with San Leandro. Is it on East 14th, or somewhere around there?

Good to hear you are on the road again. But I would suggest that de-cluttering might be pushed backk a little. Usuallyt hat involves stirring up a fair bit of dust. Which is probably not too good for your throat right now,.....Speaking of recovery...how's Digit?

Natalie Goldberg writes in Wild Mind that you should make dates with yourself to write. She even recommends planning to write with someone. They never have to show up but the fact that they might, it means you will be there.

Wild Mind is a great book about the writer's life. It gave me my writing back. It came into my life when I really, really needed it.

I finally figured out exactly how I want to tell a story that has been floating around my brain for two years. The characters were there, I already loved them but their story just wouldn't come out right, now I think I have a plan. I have so many notebooks of incomplete thoughts, I think I can actually do it this time.

Good luck and I'm glad you're feeling better!

Riding a bike never gets old. Well, maybe halfway up a hill. But that nearly silent whizzing along, or laid back pedalling on a hot and lazy day, it's great.

Glad to hear your throat is getting there.

i used to ride my bike everywhere in boston when i lived there. i was not nearly as fat.

hey are you wearing a helmet though?

I can smell the coffee from here! I have always been a bike rider, but I never used to ride to work. Since moving to the DC area, where there are a decent number of bike lanes and bike trails, I have become quite gung-ho about it. Sure, it's 12 miles each way, but it only takes me about 10 minutes longer than public transportation would, and then I don't have to take out extra time to go to the gym. I have a 2-hour workout built into my day. Hope you are able to keep up with the biking once you're well and back at work. Oh, and I'm sooo happy for you that you're finding a way to take advantage of the semi-vacation and get some writing done. What a good feeling.

I know where Dutton and Bancroft is. On a weekend that you think you can go, drop me a line a few days before, and I'll meet you there with knitting in hand!

Sounds like a great plan indeed! And I'm in love with your coffeeshop just from the discription.

Glad you're feeling better! You are the amazing Tonsil Girl!!

One of my best friends was out of commission for 6 weeks and called me one day and said she can't take too much more time off because she wouldn't have any more possessions. She streamlined alot during the recovery. Don't go nuts please, you actually need dishes and silverware!

Glad you're enjoying using the Treadmill Journal!

Hey, I live in San Leandro, so what is the address or cross street? I'm always looking for great coffee and a place to pull out the needles too. I was 29 when I had my tonsils out, pretty painful. After the surgery, I remembered looking at toast with new eyes. Soft drinks with all those fizzy bubbles were just too much for me. I lived on warm tea and broth for several weeks.

What is going on with the little man kitty? Sure hope he is still on the mend.

Just had a brilliant idea, how about the knitters and non knitters who live in the area start a KIP night out? I've been looking to get a group of knitters together for a long time and the closest one is in Fremont at Panera Bread. So, what do you think? Anyone intersted. I'm on vacation next week, and hanging around home, so if you want to meet up, let me know.


I like Leslie's idea.

I'm amused and depressed driving from East Oakland into San Leandro. Stark demarcation. I worked with someone on 106th Ave, and she was so close to being able to send her kid to San Leandro schools! Of course, a San Leandro mom I know asked me why anyone would want San Leandro schools. The answer being - they're not Oakland schools.

By the way - tasty dim sum, and pretty cheap, at Oriental Tea House on MacArthur (604 MacArthur San Leandro), a little way down from 106th Ave. We wander over there from Eastmont for a lunchtime treat sometimes.

I promise not to swerve into you in surprise if I see you riding down the street!

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